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Lose Control

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ONE

The war fucked everyone up. That was expected. When the dust settled, not even the victors came out unscathed.

Everyone found their own way to cope. Her therapist said that people's vices tended to match their personalities. That they would manifest from their most prominent traits. She couldn't argue that. Especially when presented with a plethora of perfect examples.

Harry had turned to alcohol. Being toted around by the Ministry and the Prophet as the Golden Boy and Savior was tiresome. Since entering the Wizarding World, all he had known was fame and he didn't like it. It was easier to tune everything out when you were chasing the bottom of a bottle.

Ron liked to gamble. Where Harry hated the attention, Ron craved it. He grew accustomed quite quickly to the money that comes with fame. Not to mention the scholarships and the promotions that followed. He was so used to being poor that he was always trying to increase his wealth. Even if he lost more than he earned, he would never stop chasing that pot of gold.

Ginny had anger inside of her that couldn't be touched. She was able to release it through Quidditch. She was notorious for how she handled a Bludger. And outside the pitch? Everyone knew better than to play with that fire. But that wouldn't keep her from chasing after her next fight.

Luna had turned to potions, but it was hard to tell how that affected her. She was just as aloof as ever. Always chasing after Nargles or some other invisible creature.

No one would ever figure out Hermione's vice.

And she had no plans to tell a soul.

They would never guess that the Golden Girl, someone who had spent the majority of her life saving others, would spend so much time chasing after a little death.

Hermione had tried to drown her sorrows, but she didn't have what it took to drink when she wasn't thirsty. Gambling wasn't her forte either. She was too logical to just make snap decisions and it only exhausted her further. She was angry, but as an introvert, never was able to let it burst forth. She had even tried potions, but after awhile, being numb made her feel worse than the lingering echoes of the Cruciatus.

The world would be shocked to discover the way Hermione chose to cope with the horrors of the war. The way she silenced her inner demons. For her, the only way to feel something was to lose control.

It had started with a blind date. One that was set up by her coworker. The date itself was nice, but Hermione didn't see it happening again. And when he made the suggestion about taking her to his place, she let her curiosity take hold and went with. Knowing that she wouldn't ever see him again and there were no strings attached enabled her to really let go and enjoy the moment.

And she enjoyed each moment after that too. At first, she went to the bar once a week, looking for her next one-night stand. Then it became two nights a week. But then the Prophet had run a story about the Golden Girl spending so much time with a drink in her hand without her friends so she stopped going. It was her Muggle neighbor that turned her onto a Muggle dating service. It was an entire medium just for hooking up and leaving. And for awhile, it was what she needed, but there was still something missing.

She found the last piece of the puzzle when one of her random hookups asked for something special. A part of her had been terrified of the rope when he showed it to her. She couldn't stop thinking about being pinned to the floor under the weight of Bellatrix's magic while being tortured. However, there was something thrilling about the idea of being immobilized while experiencing torture of another variety.

And it was everything she could have ever wanted.

She had never had her control taken away from her in quite such a manner and when it was over, she was already planning on how she was going to have it taken away again.

It had taken a few weeks, but she found what she was looking for. Elysium. A place where all of her fantasies could come true. Where she could place a mask over her face and let people do whatever they wanted to her for a few hours a night, once or twice a week. More if she wanted.

The club was invite only and it took her awhile before she was able to find her in. Her first night there had been as a guest during Preview Night. It the first Saturday of every month where the favorites were put on display and new commers could see if this was to their liking. They could participate or simply watch; entirely up to them. Completely enthralled, Hermione jumped at the chance to join and after a few weeks of learning the ins and outs, she made her debut.

As usual, she was a star pupil. Under her white mask, no one would know that the girl that begged so sweetly for release was really a girl who never asked for anything. That the girl who dropped to her knees the moment someone told her to was the one that could command a whole room just with her eyes.

Even now, as she sat in a reclined position with her arms cuffed to her ankles behind her on a short chain, a collar around her throat, and someone holding a vibrator against her clit, it was easy to see why she had become a favorite overnight.

She felt the whip crack down against her abdomen and she cried out. Whoever struck her must have been new; a seasoned wielder would have applied a bit more pressure. She would have come immediately if it had been even a fraction harder. As it was, she tried to jerk her hips against the restraints, chasing after the vibrator as the user removed it from her core.

A chorus of chuckles from her whines of denial filled her ears, but her body was too close to the edge for her to open her eyes and see them. She preferred to keep her eyes closed anyway; opening them made it real. Even though they couldn't see her, she could see them. She didn't want to risk breaking the fantasy for herself either.

"Please," she begged, knowing that's what they came to hear. "Please let me come. Please."

"Sweet, Hedone," the host for the evening cooed as she knelt beside Hermione. She placed her lips over Hermione's and her body jerked as she felt fingers slip into her core. The sound of her slick made her moan and she tried to arch her body to draw the host's fingers deeper in when she refused to move. She laughed into her mouth and retreated. "Would anyone like to reward her for begging so sweetly?" she asked the crowd.

"I will."

Hermione whimpered with anticipation as the volunteer to finish her off stepped forward. She felt tentative hands roam her body, as if savoring the moment. "How should I finish you?" he asked, giving her nipples a quick tweak.

"However you desire, Sir."

There was a low chuckle and some excited whispers from the crowd. His hands trailed lower on her body, but still not where she craved the touch most. "Gods, you really are something," he muttered, mostly to himself. "I'm going to let you come, Hedone, but you have to beg. Never stop begging. Even as you peak, I want to hear your pleas loudly and clearly."

"Yes, Sir."

The pleas and cries fell from her lips with ease. Her volume increased along with his pace, something the crowd always went wild for. As his other hand rubbed at her clit, she felt someone's hands on breasts and lips on her neck. As she approached the edge of her release, she focused hard on making sure her words were coherent. And she must have been successful for when she was able to hear again, the crowd was going wild and the volunteer was praising her relentlessly.

And even as she left the club fully satisfied and ready to collapse with exhaustion, she was already counting down the minutes until she could come back and do it all over again.

Chapter Text

TWO

Friday nights had always been her favorites at Elysium. Everyone, including herself, was still plagued by the stress of the work week and ready to do whatever it took to get rid of it. Aside from Preview Nights, Fridays were usually the nights that she came the most and the hardest. So many people ready to take their office frustrations out on her body.

As she was finishing up in the dressing room at the back of the house, the host came to find her. Her mask was purple and it matched the color that stained her full lips. Hermione smiled at her and considered getting into position. But the night hadn't started yet. She wasn't quite Hedone the submissive. "Mistress," she greeted, inclining her head.

"You made quite the impression with a newcomer last Saturday."

Hermione blushed as she closed her eyes and thought back to the previous weekend. To date, it had been one of the best Preview Nights she had experienced. It wasn't much of a surprise to hear that she had made an impression; it was why they had her in the front room with the most activity.

"You have been requested for a private session tonight."

Hermione did a double take as she stared up into Mistress Persephone's eyes.

"I know you prefer to be in the front of house," she said, reaching out to brush a finger along her jawline. "But this newcomer was very adamant he have you to himself tonight."

Hermione cleared her throat and nodded after a moment to think about it. Since joining Elysium, she had only taken a few private audiences. Mostly it was new doms who weren't comfortable performing in a group setting. They were fun and did the job for both of them, but she thrived in the front.

"Follow me," she demanded, turning away.

Hermione tucked herself away and let Hedone follow the mistress. They went into one of the larger suits that was lit with dozens of floating candles in the air. It reminded her of the Great Hall in Hogwarts at Halloween. Before she could lose herself in memories of yesteryears, she moved to the center of the room.

Persephone held her hand up and a moment later, a little folder appeared in her grasp. "He has already read over your limits and signed to acknowledge them." She handed the folder over. "These are his limits. Should you sign your acknowledgement, you will have given consent to the evening."

Hermione nodded and looked down at the folder as she opened it. There was only a single piece of parchment inside. The very first line was his stage name: Kratos. She smirked at how well it fit with hers. The goddess of lust and the god of power. Already there was a pooling of heat between her thighs. If she accepted, she would find out if he lived up to his name. Beneath his name contained his hard and soft limits, but where most people would have a few in either category, there was only one in the hard limit: sharing.

She reached for the quill Persephone had materialized and made her initials on the bottom of the form. The folder and quill disappeared a moment later and she looked up at the Mistress. "Your safe word?"

"Kneazle."

She smiled. "You will assume the position upon my departure. Kratos will enter and introduce himself. You will do the same and state your safe word clearly. After that, you will do what you do best."

Hermione nodded, her body already tingling with anticipation and desire. "Yes, Mistress."

Persephone nodded in approval and then took her leave of the room. The moment she was gone, Hermione vanished her robe and sank to her knees. She leaned back on her feet and folded her hands in her lap. She kept her gaze down on the floor, but not too low so that she limited her vision. Her curiosity was getting the best of her. Normally she was able to fully get into her role, but right now, it was hard to squash that part of her personality.

She felt her body flush when she heard the door open again, followed by heavier footsteps. He came to stand before her, but remained a few paces away. "Look at me," he demanded.

She took her time looking up, letting her gaze take in his black trousers and black jumper. Combined with the black mask marking him as a dom, it made his skin seem to glow like moonlight in contrast. She studied the slits of his mask, but she couldn't discern his eye color. All she saw was the flickers of the candle flames.

"I am Kratos, but you will call me Master or Sir. I don't care which."

She inclined her head. "I am Hedone, Master. Kneazle is my safe word."

"Have you used it before?" he asked her.

She shook her head; fear and the thrill of anticipation washing over her. He waited a moment and then smirked, snapping his fingers until a whip appeared in his hands. Before she could even register his movements, she felt the tendrils smoothing down her back. Her body arched and she moaned.

"I expect an answer when I ask questions."

"Forgive me, Master," she said, dropping her gaze to the floor. "I have not used the safe word yet."

"Have your limits ever been pushed enough for you to consider using it?"

She wet her lips and her core clenched at what he insinuated. "N-no, Master."

She felt his fingers delve into her hair and after grabbing a fistful, yanked her head back. He was leaning down, his lips pressed to her ear. "There are many things I wish to try with you, Hedone. You have my ongoing permission to tell me if something I do or mention is something that may test your limits."

"I will, Master."

He smiled against the curve of her ear and then traced it with his tongue. "Let's see if your tongue is as sweet as your cries," he breathed, sending a shiver down her spine with each word. "Open your mouth."

Her lips parted immediately and he stood up, his hand leaving her hair in order to free himself from his trousers. He moved to stand in front of her and when she reached out to wrap her hand around him, he struck her with the whip.

"Hands behind your back."

"Yes, Master," she replied, clasping her hands together behind her back and reopening her mouth to take him. He swiped the tip of his cock along her bottom lip, the bead of moisture that had collected spread as he went. Her tongue darted out to taste him and before she had even circled the tip, he shoved himself into her mouth.

He might be a newcomer to Elysium, but he was no amateur dom. He knew exactly what he was doing. At this stage of private sessions, the doms she'd entertained had still been talking about what they may or may not do to her. Sometimes they would even ask her what she wanted from them. Being the good little sub that she was when she was Hedone, she had played her role and gotten what she needed in the end, but Hermione craved someone to take full control of her.

Not even five minutes in and Kratos was already making her forget her own name.

She was no stranger to having a cock in her mouth, but there was something about Kratos sliding over her tongue that made her slick with need. Most men would make this about their pleasure, but he knew exactly what to do to capitalize the moment for both of them. With each thrust of his hips, each twist of her hair wrapped around her hand, each flick of his wrist that sent the whip careening down her back he brought her closer and closer to her own release.

A guttural whine left her throat along with his cock as he yanked her head away and pulled her to her feet by her hair. His mouth was on hers, turning her whine into a moan. He vanished the whip and ran his hand down her body until his fingers sank through her folds. He groaned at the discovery of how wet she was and pulled his lips from hers, resting his cheek against hers.

"So wet already," he purred, two fingers pressing into her body. Her inner walls clutched at him immediately, hoping to keep him there forever. He swirled them inside of her and she whimpered. "On the bed," he demanded.

Automatically, her thighs clamped around his hand, preventing him from removing his fingers from within her body. His grip in her hair tightened and he wrenched her head back. Normally she would never disobey an order, but her need for release was overwhelming in that moment. She flexed her hips, hoping to coax him in.

But he was not to be disobeyed.

In the space of a heartbeat, he let go of her hair, freed himself from between her thighs, and laid her across his lap as he sat in a chair he had conjured. By the time her mind caught up with the movements, his palm connected with her ass in a resonating crack through the silence of the room. Her lips parted in a silent scream as her body took its time in realizing it was in pain. As it did, the cry that came out of her throat was almost inhuman, but definitely laced with pleasure.

"When I give you a command, what do I expect?"

"O-obedience."

Her body jolted as his hand cracked down on her other cheek just as hard as the first. "Try again."

"Obedience, Master!" she whined, writhing against the stinging sensation of her ass.

He made a noise of approval and ran the tips of his fingers across her sore cheeks. "And what did you do when I told you to get on the bed?"

She inhaled and swallowed hard, her throat dry. "I… I disobeyed."

This time the crack landed right between her cheeks, drawing a choked sob from her. She squeezed her eyes tight as she felt tears prickle her vision. He stiffened beneath her and moved the hand that was on her back to her face, gently cupping her jaw.

"Is this testing your limits?" he asked. His voice was still laced with his dominance, but there was just enough concern underneath that it made Hermione twice as wet.

"No, Master," she replied in a whisper.

His thumb swiped over her lips and she opened her mouth so she could circle the digit with her tongue. He hummed in approval and shoved it further into her mouth, enjoying the way she mimicked what she had done with his cock a few minutes before.

He withdrew his hand quickly and placed it gently on her back again, keeping her in position. "Two more, Hedone."

"Yes, Master."

"And when I'm done, what will you do?"

She wet her lips. "I will get on the bed," she replied. "Master."

He delivered the last two blows in rapid succession, one to the right and the last to the left. The moment his hand connected to her flesh the second time, she slipped from his lap as gracefully as she could and walked towards the bed.

"Stay near the edge, face down, ass up," he demanded as she reached her destination.

She climbed onto the edge and sat on her knees before leaning down to rest on her elbows. She arched her back as much as she could and spread herself wide, exposing every inch of her most intimate parts to him.

She couldn't see him from this angle so she jumped a little when she felt his hands on the backs of her thighs. He hummed in approval again as his fingers skimmed the expanse of flesh, heat unlike anything else trailing in their wake. "Perfect," he muttered, saying it more than once as he continued his ministrations of barely there touches.

She winced as his hands grasped her ass and spread her even further. The sharp sting from the blows felt renewed from the action, but the pain was short lived as he lifted a leg beside her and shoved himself into her core. She cried out as he filled her, hitting deep enough that she almost launched forward to flatten against the bed.

He didn't wait for her to adjust to him. He just pulled all the way out and then snapped his hips to fill her once again. Her legs began to tremble and she could feel her pussy convulse with the need for release. She could hear him muttering something as he picked up the pace, but she discerning the words was impossible. The way his hands dug into her freshly spanked ass as he pounded away with wild abandon pushed Hermione into subspace.

As she came so hard she screamed and sobbed, she distantly wondered if he had ordered her not to.

She had only read about this phase of pleasure. She knew it was hard to achieve, that even those that had experienced it couldn't really say what had happened. All accounts she had read said that subspace just occurred because all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. That both the time and mood was right. And that sometimes it was a one time deal.

But as Kratos continued to fuck her into oblivion and back until they both collapsed on the bed in pure exhaustion, Hermione had already made up her mind. She would spend the rest of eternity chasing that level of pleasure until she found it again. So during their moment of aftercare, as Kratos massaged a soothing balm onto her ass, she jumped on his offer for a contract.

He made it clear that he wanted her for as long as he would have him and she returned his sentiments with equal fervor. They were both reluctant to leave for the night and only did so after promising to reconvene the next to discuss their contract.

When Hermione made it home, she collapsed upon her bed and drifted off immediately with a smile on her face and dreams of a powerful god whisking her away to Olympus and back.

Chapter Text

THREE

"Hermione! Wait up!"

She paused her pursuit of the lift at the sound of Harry's voice and waited, tapping her foot in irritation. He had known long ago that someone had better be broken, bleeding, or dead before he approached her after she punched out on Friday nights. She had been wet and needy all day with anticipation of meeting with Kratos tonight. She didn't need this.

"What?" she snapped. "I have-"

"Somewhere to be and you can't be late," Harry finished with a sigh. "I know, but you haven't answered me about tomorrow and I kind of need to know."

"Tomorrow?"

He narrowed his eyes at her. "The fundraiser." The tone of his voice portrayed his annoyance. "Come on, Mione. Please tell me you didn't forget. You can't back out on it now. It's for your department."

She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. She usually did everything in her power to avoid such events. They took time away from her weekends at Elysium and she needed those to get through the rest of the week. This one, unfortunately, was one that she couldn't skip. She had organized it all months ago. Before Kratos.

She groaned and nodded. "Right, no. I'll be there."

"Do you have the list Kingsley asked for?"

She nodded again and beckoned him to follow her back into her office. After rifling around for the right material, forcing herself not to look at the clock, she followed Harry to Kingsley's office to deliver. She had hoped that the Minster would be out for the day already, but she wasn't that lucky. Not only was he in the office, but he was extra chatty, keeping her and Harry both in the Ministry off the clock for near an hour. When Kingsley finally wrapped up and let them go, she practically forced Harry into a run just to keep up with her.

"See you tomorrow then?" Harry said as they approached the Floo system.

"Yes, Harry," she said, throwing her handful of powder to her feet and shouting her address.


She was late. She knew that. If Kratos was still there waiting for her, her punishment was sure to be intense. If he hadn't bothered to wait, she would only double the anger she knew was there when she didn't show up tomorrow either. That was the only downside to anonymity. She wouldn't be able to tell him anything unless they met at Elysium first. She would never risk her identity by sending a message to the club as Hermione.

She stripped down in the dressing room, attached her collar, donned her mask, and conjured a robe before hurrying towards the room she always shared with Kratos. She paused a moment outside the door to catch her breath and get into the right headspace. When she was ready, she stepped inside the room. Immediately, she cast her gaze down and made her way to the center of the room, assuming the position on her knees with her hands in her lap.

"You're late."

"Yes, Master. I'm so sorry. Work-"

"Do you know how long I've been waiting?" he interrupted.

Hermione mulled it over for a minute. "Thirty minutes." As she said it, she was surprised he was still there. "Sir," she added.

"Do you know what that means for you?"

She swallowed hard. "Punishment, Master."

"For every minute you have made me wait, you will wait double."

She stiffened and, forgetting her role for a moment, made the mistake of looking up at him. He was sitting in a chair with leg propped up on the other, his hands clasped over the knee. She could never see his eyes due to the glamour on the mask, but his sharp jaw was set into a harder line than she had ever seen before. He was beyond livid with her.

"Did I say you could look up?"

Her eyes dropped immediately and she shook her head. "N-no, M-master. Forgive me."

Her mind raced nearly as fast as her heart as she considered his words. Was he really going to make her wait an entire hour to come? She shuddered at the prospect. She didn't think she had ever waited that long before; whether it was on purpose or accident. She did know, however, that if she came before he allowed it, he would never let her come for the rest of the night.

"Come here."

He didn't express how he wanted her to get there, but she knew from previous experiences that he preferred her to crawl. Leaning forward to place her hands on the floor, she made her way to him on hands and knees. When she reached him, his hand shot out to grasp her by the chin and craned her neck back as far as it would go without hurting her.

"Up."

She got to her feet and clasped her hands behind her back.

He waved his hand and a pair of purple lace knickers appeared there, dangling from his fingers. "Put them on."

She took them from him and as she shimmied into them, it was clear that they were not normal knickers. There was something in the crotch that not only pressed into her and filled her just enough, but there was a bullet against her clit, already buzzing at the lowest setting. She jolted from the sensation and let out a breathy moan. She barely registered the hole towards the back of the knickers, leaving her rear entrance uncovered.

"Kneel," he demanded next, undoing his belt and fly of his trousers as she sank down to the floor again. "You're going to please me until I tell you to stop. I will be adjusting the knickers, but you will not come until I tell you to."

"Yes, Master."

"You must tell me when you're about to come. If you come before I let you, we're done for the night."

"Y-yes, Master," she whimpered as the vibration in the knickers turned up a little.

His hand stole into her hair and wrapped it tightly around his fingers, bringing her towards his lap. She opened her mouth and took him in deep, both of them sighing in unison. By the time she had coated his cock with her saliva to truly begin did she feel herself cresting. A part of her wanted to let it go and get that release that she craved, but before she could give in, she told Kratos as best she could with her mouth around his cock that she was close. The vibrator stopped and she whined profusely, causing his cock to slide even deeper into her throat.

For the first quarter of her punishment, that was how it went. Kratos kept his hand in her hair and cock in her mouth while bringing her to the brink of oblivion time and time again only to stop before she could get there. By the time he was coming down her throat, she was sure her body was spilling just as much slick around the part of the knickers pressed into her core.

After swallowing the last of his release, he pulled her back, his grip on her hair lessening slightly. The vibrator switched off and she felt a few cooling charms hit her body. She sighed with relief and sat back on her haunches when he released her hair altogether. He cupped her jaw and rubbed her cheek with his thumb as his other hand produced a glass of water for her. He tipped it to her lips. "Drink, Hedone."

She sipped at it slowly, thankful for the replenishment of moisture to her body. "Thank you, Master."

He inclined his head and when she had finished half the glass, made it disappear again. "Do you think your punishment is complete?" he asked, still stroking her cheek.

"Only if you think it is, Master," she replied.

"Almost," he promised. After a beat, he gestured for her to rise. So she did, carefully getting to her feet. She braced herself for a quick punishment when she stumbled and had to use his knee to steady herself. But the only thing he did was reach out and lay his hands gently on her hips to make sure she was alright before rising up with her.

He vanished his clothes and pulled her tight to him, pressing his mouth over hers to devour her. The moaned together as his hands ran back over her ass, squeezing it as he pushed her flush to him. Her breasts flattened against his chest and she forgot her role for a moment as her arms wound their way around his neck.

But if he was going to punish her, he never made move to do so. Instead, he reached down to grip her thighs and pulled her up. She wrapped her legs around his waist, moaning loudly and bucking her hips as the toy part of the knickers sank further into her body. He chuckled darkly, cock twitching against her skin, as he turned and carried her towards the bed.

He set her down gently on top of it and then pulled away from her, lingering with his forehead against hers for just a moment. "Turn around," he demanded, his voice tight. She did as he asked and sat on the edge of the bed on her knees with her back to him. He whispered something and a moment later she felt his fingers press against her anus. She inhaled sharply as his lube coated fingers eased their way inside of her.

This had always been one of her soft limits, but Kratos had asked her about it more than once. After their second week of meet-ups, she had allowed him to start preparing her to take him there. "If you don't like it, say your safe word," he reminded her.

"Yes, Master."

He continued to work his fingers in and out of her, swirling, and stretching as he went. He paused frequently and checked in with her to make sure it was still okay. She heard him mutter extra lubrication charms and then stiffened when she felt him press his cock against her entrance.

"Deep breath in," he stated. "Exhale as I enter you."

She nodded and squeezed her eyes shut as he slowly began to ease the tip of his cock in. She cried out and he stopped immediately. "Keep going," she whispered. "Feels good."

He waited a moment and then continued to slide into her. When he was as far in as he could be, he put one hand on her hip and the other came up to pull her hair over one shoulder. "Still feel good?" he asked.

She nodded quickly. It hurt, but it wasn't as bad as she thought. He had done everything he could to lessen the pain and she wanted to see what it felt like when he moved before she invoked her safe word.

"I'm going to move. Tell me if it's too much."

She nodded again, unable to trust her voice and thankful that he seemed to understand. He put his hand on her chest and gently pushed her back so that she was flush against his chest. When his hands dropped to her hips, he pulled out of her slowly to the tip and then just as slowly sank back in. Her moan increased in volume as he moved and she shuddered hard.

She wasn't sure if it was just the fact that they had been gearing up for this or if it was his overall generosity at the moment, but it felt almost too good. And combined with the toy part of her knickers lodged in her core, it all felt like overindulgence during the holidays. Her body spasmed and her moans turned to mewls, wrapping around them like a blanket.

"Do you like it, Hedone?"

She answered him to the best of her ability, but sounds were beyond her at the moment. He chuckled and pressed a kiss to her shoulder. He began to move again, this time picking up his pace with each thrust, though still being careful. She was sure with time he wouldn't be as gentle, but she didn't care. If it felt half as good on the hundredth round as it did on the first she would let him do this every night.

"Do not come," he demanded, his breath hot on her ear. She whimpered, already grasping at both the toy and him. "Think you can manage that?"

"Y-y-yes!" she cried, her hips shoving back against his on their own accord.

"If I come before you, your punishment will end," he said, slamming his hips up and going still for a second. "And when it ends, I will let you come until you beg to be done."

She sobbed out her response and he picked up the pace again. He drove into her with wild abandon. His fingers dug into her flesh hard enough to leave bruises and the sounds of their moans overpowered the vibrator as he turned it on again. "K-kratos!" she cried out, her body demanding to be sated.

He groaned as he bounced her up and down over his cock. "I'm almost there, Hedone. Just… A few…" He grunted with effort and her body began to convulse. She cried out over and over again, slamming her hips in tandem with his. She wanted her reward, but she was so close it hurt. "Oh fuck, I'm-"

He slammed into her with a force she had never endured before and she felt his cock dumping the contents of his release into her. The sensation of his cock pulsing and the knickers was too much. She didn't wait for his approval as she screamed her throat raw giving in to her body's need for release.

He muttered a string of curses in her ear and she realized that he was coming again which triggered a second orgasm from her immediately. He was trembling behind her and after unloading the second time, he collapsed forward, pushing her face-first onto the bed. He slipped out of her and landed on his side next to her. But, in keeping his promise, he didn't turn off the bullet. Instead, he pulled her over top of him so that she was straddling his waist and watched as she came a third time.

"That's it, Hedone. Sing for me."

His hands on her waist not only steadied her, but held her into place as she cried out from wave after wave of pleasure. She lost count of how many times her body seized only to shatter moments later, completely relying on him to hold her up as her bones turned to jelly inside of her. Pleas and cries fell incoherently from her lips like a siren song.

The vibration stopped for a moment and she felt the loss of the toy inside her. She opened her eyes to see Kratos looming over her. She wasn't sure when he had rolled them over to put her on her back, but she was grateful for the softness of the bed behind her. He had vanished the knickers too and was rubbing his hardened length through her slit. She whimpered and shied away each time the tip of his cock touched her oversensitive clit.

"One more, Hedone. I want to feel you come on my cock."

It was a demand, but even so, he waited until she nodded before he slipped inside of her. She was soaked, she knew that, but even with his seed that had leaked from her had combined with her own slick from multiple releases, she still felt the moment he penetrated her. She bent her knees and planted her feet flat on the mattress to cradle his body to hers as he rocked his hips at a tumultuous pace.

He caged her head in between his forearms as he leaned in and captured her lips with his. He stole the air from her lungs and swallowed her moans as his pubic bone ground against her clit with each stroke. Her hips came up off the bed in sync with his and before they knew it, they were chasing after the stars together.

Their session had lasted about as long as she had made him wait for her; about a fraction of their normal nights together, but he didn't seem to mind starting their aftercare sooner. He was just as spent as she was and, if she was being honest with herself, this was becoming her favorite part about their time together.

When they had gotten their breathing under control and were able to move without collapsing in on themselves, Kratos had conjured them both some water and cleaned them off. After taking it easy and slowly drinking their fill, they reclined against the pillows and she curled into his side while he held her.

"Will you be on time tomorrow?" he asked.

Hermione hesitated to answer. She was still upset about having to go to the damned fundraiser as it was; furious that it was taking her away from her addiction for a night. The week that followed was sure to be one of complete hell.

Or at least it would have been had tonight not been so sinfully good.

"Hedone?"

She sighed heavily against his chest, ceasing her movement of tracing the scar that ran the length of his torso. "I won't be here tomorrow," she said, not even bothering to hide her sorrow. "I have a work thing that I can't get out of."

He chuckled as he carded a hand through her curls. "Should we meet during the week then?"

She stiffened for a moment as she thought about it. She usually kept to the weekends because it was too hard to go back and forth from sub to control freak without a full day to recoup from the former. She already knew the fundraiser would be hard enough after the session they just had. "Sure."

"Wednesday."

It wasn't a question. "I'll clear my schedule," she promised, wondering how in the world her body was already producing more slick at the thought of meeting him during the week.

They stayed as long as they could, only getting up to take their leave when Hermione thought she might fall asleep in his arms. As tempting as it was, it wasn't wise. The whole point of Elysium was anonymity. If she got attached to her dom things would change and if he didn't want her back, he would leave. If he left, things would never be the same.

Kratos caught her by surprise with a kiss that left her breathless and needy again. Usually once they left the bed, they would dress and part without another word. When he pulled back out of need for air, he kept his forehead pressed to hers. "Don't be late on Wednesday." He traced her jaw with his knuckle. "I don't think either of us can recover fast enough for another punishment of that caliber."

They both laughed and she nodded before kissing him again. "I won't be late, Sir," she promised and reluctantly took her leave; already counting the moments until she was with him again.

Chapter Text

FOUR

Upon waking up Saturday morning, Hermione had never experienced an ache in her body quite like this before. From the top of her head to the tips of her toes, her muscles quivered with a tightness she wasn't sure even the best of potions could subside. As it was, she had no interest in getting rid of the pain. She only wanted it to ebb enough to move about her day. She wanted the constant reminder of the previous night; needed the marks on her skin to be there to keep her grounded.

Muggle Advil would be the only thing she allowed to help when she discovered a blinding pain upon rolling onto her back and sitting up. Her groan was mixed with a little pleasure though as she remembered the way Kratos had stretched and filled her so thoroughly. If there were times that she had to sit today, she would just have to remember to cast cushioning charms.

After getting ready for the morning, she met Kingsley and the other members of the committee to put the final touches on the space they would be using for the night. When it came time to leave to get ready for the night, Hermione returned home. She stared at her dress with contempt. The time the fundraiser started was the time she would be getting into position on the floor while she waited for Kratos to join her in the room.

With a heavy sigh and a lot of muttering under her breath, Hermione dressed, did her make up, and then took to the Floo to the Ministry. Harry and Ron were both waiting for her in the hall outside the event space, just as they did for every event. This was one of the reasons she hated coming to these. Even though a few years had passed since the war ended, the Ministry continued to treat them like royalty.

She was tired of the spotlight.

Harry removed his flask from the inside of his jacket and offered it to them. Hermione beat Ron to it and took two large swigs before handing it to Ron. When he took his fill, he handed it back to Harry. "I hope you have more than one," he said.

Harry smirked. "Is this is my first function?"

Hermione rolled her eyes and extended her hands for them to take. "Come on, let's get this over with."

"You're not planning to slip off in the middle of this, are you?" Ron asked her.

"No," she replied, her voice bitter. "I had to cancel my plans completely in order to be here." She looked back and forth between them. "The minute either of you decides to leave, you had better tell me. I'm not staying here any longer than I have to."

"Yes, ma'am," Harry replied and then the three of them were stepping forward. Harry and Ron used their free hands to open the door and led Hermione over the threshold and into the press cameras for the usual pomp and circumstance.

Schmoozing had never been her forte. She was too forward; too hot-headed to be any good at it. It was the only saving grace of the night; that Kingsley couldn't use her like he could Harry and Ron to mingle with the elite and get donations. Instead, he made her give the speeches when the time came. To be fair, she had written one ages ago and used it at each and every event, tweaking it here and there to fit the cause.

Once the speech was over, she was free to just be Hermione Granger. It helped that, as long as they weren't seen together, the Golden Trio was largely left alone by the press for the remainder of the night as well. One of the few other upsides to a fundraiser. Although, since this one was for her department, it was easier to talk to people; helping creatures had always been a passion project for her.

"Lovely event, Hermione."

She turned at the sound of Luna's dreamy voice behind her. She smiled fondly and excused herself from the group she had gotten stuck in. "Thanks, Luna."

"I thought there would be more Wrackspurts here."

Hermione blinked. It wouldn't matter if a hundred years had gone by, she would never be comfortable when Luna mentioned things like that. Especially in public. "Well, um, I'm glad there aren't?" she said, unable to help it coming out as a question.

Luna smiled brightly and nodded her head. "Me too."

There was a pregnant pause and Hermione considered just walking away, but didn't want to be rude.

"Could I interview you for the Quibbler?"

"Oh, uh, of course," she answered, giving a small smile.

"Great. There's a free table over there by the bar."

Hermione's eyes widened. "Now?" she asked and then plastered a smile on her face. "Lead the way."

Luna grinned and turned. Hermione sighed heavily and looked around for one of the waiters. She was definitely going to need a refill to get through Luna's interview. If previous interviews were any indication, this one would have nothing to do with the event and what she was putting on the fundraiser for. Either way, Luna was a dear friend and she would rather boost the Quibbler than the Prophet any day.

And just as she thought, the questions Luna had for her weren't related in the slightest to her event. If she was desperate to pinpoint something, it would be the fact that she worked for the Care of Magical Creatures and Luna asked about things she thought fell into that category. Make-believe creatures fell under her jurisdiction, right?

When the interview was over, Hermione scrambled for an exit. There was only so much Luna she could handle in one night and she had already reached a month's quota in one sitting. When someone Luna introduced to her as a fellow Ravenclaw, one that Hermione didn't recognize, she used the blonde's distraction and excused herself.

As she whirled around to make a beeline for the bar, the collision into someone else nearly had them both tumbling to the floor. Hands grabbed at her waist to keep her from falling and she grabbed their upper arms in return. It took a moment for Hermione to regain her composure and looked up only to be bewildered once more at the sight of Draco Malfoy holding onto her.

"Oh, uh, I'm sorry," she stammered.

"It's alright, Granger. I've grown quite accustomed to women falling for me."

She cleared her throat and huffed at him indignantly, letting go of him quickly. "You don't usually come to these," she stated, his hands on her waist beginning to burn through the material of her dress.

"Neither do you," he replied. "But my plans fell through last minute so… Here I am." When she shifted, he realized that he was still holding her and took a half step back, smiling apologetically. "You look…well."

"You too," she replied cordially.

They had all cleared the air after the war, but things were still tense and awkward between them. She knew it was mostly due to the fact that she hardly ever spent time around him. Their paths didn't usually cross much. He worked with Harry and Ron in the DMLE as an analyst. He was very good at breaking down potions and breaking curses. If Harry and Ron both could get along with him, then she saw no reason she couldn't do the same. Then again, he certainly hadn't sought her out to try either.

"Fuck," he muttered. "I hope you're ready."

"For what?" she asked, panic in her voice as she turned to follow his gaze. She muttered her own curses at the sight of Prophet cameras making a beeline towards them.

"Former Death Eater and the Golden Girl," he mumbled. "What do you say, Granger? Just let them snap a few photos for whatever drivel they're just going to write anyway and then I'll buy you a drink?" He leaned in so their faces were only centimeters apart. "Do you think you can manage that?"

She had gone completely rigid as those last few words played on a loop inside her mind. Her breath came in shallow little pants as he put an arm high around her waist and smiled stoically as the camera bulbs flashed incessantly around them. She could see their lips move as they asked them question after question, but she couldn't hear a word they were saying. She did nothing but remain frozen in time as memories of the previous night came alive in her mind's eye.

And then she was moving.

Or rather, Malfoy was propelling her forward with one hand cupping her elbow and the other in the small of her back. He whisked her away until she was out of crowd and when they were alone, he shook her by the shoulders, effectively snapping her out of her daze. "You alright?" he asked, grey eyes full of concern.

She studied him for a long moment, stopping only when she realized he was fidgeting uncomfortably in front of her. "Could you get me some water?" she asked, biting down on her cheek to prevent her from adding sir or master to the end of her request.

He inclined his head, holding her gaze as he spoke. "Don't move."

The moment he was out of sight, Hermione sagged against the wall and immediately began to go over all her nights with Kratos. She compared everything she had committed to memory with all the she had seen of Malfoy. It was as if her consciousness refused to draw any conclusions, but her subconscious and her body were reacting so strongly that it almost made her ill.

He returned shortly with a glass of water and promptly went to hand it to her. It took every ounce of willpower to not open her mouth obediently and let him administer the water like he typically would do. He watched her curiously for a moment and when her trembling hand rose to take the glass, he sighed and pushed her hand away. "Drink," he demanded, tipping it to her lips. "Tell me if it's too much, alright?"

She choked on the first sip.

Draco Malfoy. The boy from her childhood. The one that tormented her for years. The one that called her the vilest of names and watched as his aunt carved the same slur he loved to hurl into her arm.

Kratos. A man who wore a mask. Who had entered her life only weeks ago. A dom who had done unspeakable things to her in those short weeks and brought pleasure and pain so readily she had trouble walking the day after.

They were one in the same.

"Stay here," he said, looking completely worried. "I'm going to find Potter."

"No!" she hissed, grabbing his forearm to keep him from moving. "Please, no." She begged her body to quit reacting so strongly, but only managed to press her thighs together tightly. "Just… Don't get Harry. I'll be fine."

He snorted and raked his gaze up and down her trembling form. "You look like you've just seen a bloody ghost for the first time." He rubbed at his chin and frowned at her. "Was it the photo op? Look, I'm sorry if you didn't-"

She shook her head and took the water from him. "No, no. I don't care about the photos, Malfoy. Like you said, they were going to print whatever they wanted anyway. People know not to believe that rubbish."

He snorted. "You'd be surprised."

"Fine, anyone that matters won't believe it." She cleared her throat and forced down a little more water.

"Are you sure you're alright?" he asked again.

She nodded, but her focus had moved to his lips, watching as he spoke; feeling them as if they were on her skin. She shook herself out of her reverie and thrust the glass of water back at him since there wasn't anything else to set it down on. "I should go."

"Isn't this your event?"

"Yeah," she said, moving around him with the intent of heading straight for the employee only exit not too far from where they stood. "I'm sure they'll manage."

"Granger," he said, pulling her to a stop. "I don't think you should leave like this."

"I'll be fine, Malfoy, I promise."

He sighed and gently let go of her arm. "Well, then I guess it was nice to see you again."

She nodded and despite the warning bells going off in her brain like a firework's display, she looked up and met his gaze again. "I'll be early," she said.

"Early? For what?" he questioned.

She wet her lips and leaned in just enough so only he could hear her. "When I see you on Wednesday," she breathed, adding, "Master," before she pulled back enough to catch his gaze again.

She saw the moment he connected the dots; watched as his eyes went round as saucers. When the glass of water shattered in his hand from an accidental outburst of magic, she tore her gaze from his and made way towards the exit.

His eyes burned a hole into her back as she disappeared.

Chapter Text

FIVE

He didn't show up to Elysium on Wednesday. She had waited an hour in the room for him, kneeling on the floor with her mask on before she decided to take her leave. She refused to cry that night, but on Friday night when she faced the same rejection, she couldn't hold back any longer. She hadn't even bothered going to Elysium on Saturday. Instead, she drank herself into a stupor and continued to do so until Monday when she had to go to work.

She didn't return there the following weekend either, marking two weeks since she had last seen Kratos. She was angry at herself for having messed it all up by breaching anonymity and outing herself to Malfoy.

Then there was the mortifying prospect of the fact that she might have been wrong. The idea that Malfoy wasn't Kratos after all and she had just called her childhood bully Master for no reason was unsettling.

She found herself going back and forth between the two extremes, wishing she had a Time Turner so she could go back and make sure she didn't talk to Malfoy that night. Realistically she knew his rejection was because he was Kratos. It made more sense as to why Kratos had stopped showing up. If it wasn't Malfoy, whoever Kratos was wouldn't have any reason to not come to the club.

And if it was Malfoy, then she wasn't sure she wanted to see him again because she didn't think she could stomach the reality of looking into his eyes again and seeing all the things they had done to one another in the privacy of their room at Elysium. Just thinking about it made her equally sick with anxiety and turned on.

Saturday evening, Hermione was sifting through takeout menus debating which one she wanted this time when a knock sounded at her door. Only a handful of people used the front door as opposed to her Floo. The main one being Harry as the same customs of growing up Muggle she couldn't break resided in him as well. With a huff, she stalked towards the door, intent on refusing his invitation to the Burrow this weekend one last time before hexing him into oblivion.

"Look, I've already told you I'm not- Oh."

She went still at the sight of Malfoy on her front stoop. His gaze raked over her so fiercely that it nearly stole her breath away. She met his gaze and held it for a brief moment before turning away, heat rising to her face.

"May I come in?" he asked.

"Uh, sure," she said, stepping back to let him in. She shut the door slowly behind him and leaned her forehead against it for a moment before turning back towards him, arms crossed over her chest and eyes cast to the floor.

"Were you…expecting company?"

She barked out a laugh and shook her head. "No. I thought you were Harry. He's been trying to-" She stopped and dared a glance up. Upon seeing him eyeing her curiously, she cast her eyes down again. "Not important. What are you doing here, Malfoy?"

"I came to take you to dinner."

She brought her gaze to his again and forced it to stay there. This was her house. Hermione's. She wasn't at Elysium. She wasn't Hedone. "No thanks, I'm not hungry."

Her body betrayed her by grumbling quite audibly, quirking his lips into a smirk. "Get dressed," he demanded, his voice boarding on the tone that he used as Kratos. "Wear something nice."

She scoffed. "You can't just order me around, Malfoy."

"Oh no?" he asked, taking a half step towards her, straightening his spine to show that he wasn't playing games. "I seem to recall quite clearly that I can. Should I recount one of my memories for you?"

It was all she could do not to drop down on her knees right now and open her mouth for him. She swallowed hard and shifted on her feet, forcing herself to remain upright. "Where were you?"

"Dinner first."

"Malfoy, I'm sorry, but I-"

"Granger, having dinner with me was not a request. You were the one that broke the anonymity of the club by letting me know who you were. If you didn't think something would come of it, then you're not as smart as everyone seems to think, myself included. Which is highly disappointing. Either you go to dinner with me right now so we can discuss this properly afterwards or I leave and that's it. No more Malfoy. No more Kratos."

"What if-"

"After. Dinner," he said, the tone of his voice harsh with finality. "Any questions you're thinking of, discussions you want to have, the club; it all goes away. Everything, and I mean everything goes with me, Granger, if you let me walk out of your flat alone."

Her mind went into overdrive as she contemplated his offer. She didn't want her time with Kratos to be over. But he wasn't Kratos anymore; he was Draco Malfoy. Did she want things to continue knowing that? Did she want to risk never knowing if she could continue what they had despite his identity?

Either way, the time limit on his offer was beginning to expire as he shrugged his shoulders and made his way to her door. When his hand began to lift to the handle, a strangled cry escaped her throat and she surged forward to lay her hand over his. "Okay, okay!" she hissed. "Please, just… Wait here. I'll get dressed."

He smirked in triumph and she scowled back at him, almost regretting her decision instantly. "There's my good little, Hedone."

She shuddered and looked away, heat rising to her face again. "Not outside the club," she ground out.

"We're in the privacy of your own home, Granger, relax."

"I'm serious, Malfoy. Nobody knows that I-"

"And you think they know what I get up to in my spare time?" he fired back. He glared at her for a long moment before he sighed and stepped back. "Go get dressed."

She rolled her eyes and turned towards the hall for her bedroom. "I hope you weren't thinking anywhere fancy. I'm not getting all dolled up for you."

"It won't be. Besides, I prefer you without a stitch on anyway," he said, his candid tone making her pause mid-step. "You're much more…amenable that way."

She turned towards him sharply, scowling again at the amusement dancing in his eyes. "Are you going to be like this the whole time we're out?"

"No," he said, raising his hands in a mock surrender. "I'll stop."

"Thank you."

"Thank you, what?"

Her lips parted to ream him a new one, but he only chuckled and waved at her dismissively.

"Sorry, last one. I promise. Go get dressed."

She glared at him for another moment and then stomped towards the bedroom, slamming her door once inside and then leaning back onto it. She was going to need all the inner strength she could summon if she was going make it through the next few hours. As she dressed, she wondered if she hadn't made a mistake; if she shouldn't have just let him walk out of her flat and let that be that.

But then she thought back to every moment she had had with him as Kratos. As time had progressed, she had grown attached to him. How many nights had she spent wishing she knew who he was on the outside? How many times she looked for clues as to his identity? How often she had wanted to broach the subject of more, but was held back in fear of rejection.

She had the chance now and, Draco Malfoy or not, she was going to make the most of it. So long as she could make it through dinner without strangling him or dying of embarrassment, that is.

After spending far too much time agonizing over what to wear, charming make up onto her face, and scraping her hair into a messy pony, she ventured back to the living room. Draco was standing in front of her bookcase, perusing the shelves when she stepped into view. "I thought you'd have more books," he said, smirking at her.

"Maybe you shouldn't assume so much about people."

He snorted and let his gaze sweep leisurely over her. "Oh trust me, I think I've learned that lesson rather well recently."

She blushed and cleared her throat. "Shall we?"

She stepped towards the door after gesturing towards it, but when she went to open it, she found herself pressed against it. Malfoy had turned her so that her front was flush against his and he had her face cupped between both of his hands, thumbs pressing on her jaw to tilt it upwards. His gaze bore into hers for a few breaths and then his lips were closing over hers.

Her body melted against his, molding together as if it were the most natural thing in the world. His tongue forced its way past her lips, not even pausing to consider the fact that she would have granted him access to her mouth readily. His tongue chased hers as he tasted her, pressing himself into her even further, to the point where she thought the door might break and they would fall through it and crash in a heap on her stoop.

Her entire body was flush with desire as his kiss brought back a flood of memories. Of the way his tongue was flicking at hers the same way it did at her clit. Of her way her hands stroked his back like she would the length of his cock. She moaned loudly into his mouth and he moved one of his hands to the back of her head. She felt him tug at her hair and realized that he was undoing her ponytail, tossing the band somewhere on the floor behind him.

He pulled his mouth away abruptly and let his forehead rest against hers while they caught their breath. "I hate when you wear your hair up."

She cleared her throat and shifted her head to the side, forcing him to pull his head back a little. "What was that for?"

He shrugged and dragged a knuckle across her jaw. The action made her shudder and shifted her into a position where she could feel his arousal pressing into her hip. His eyes darkened from the movement, but he smirked. "Because I needed to be sure," he breathed, leaning in to brush his lips lightly over hers once more.

He pulled back, his body leaving hers completely, and she tried not to whine at the sudden loss of contact. Instead, she straightened her clothes and watched him do the same. "Are you?" she asked.

"More or less," he replied. "I still feel like I'm in a daze. Like I'm either dreaming or in a nightmare. I can't decide which, but I know it's the moment right before I wake up."

She nodded and mustered up a small smile. "I know exactly how you feel."

He smiled at her and then reached for the doorknob, opening the door for her when she stepped aside. After she locked up, he held out his arm for her to take and she let him lead the way towards whatever place they were going.


They had gone to a Muggle restaurant which surprised her. From the way he ordered without even sparing a glance at the menu told her he had gone there before. They kept their conversation casual, most of it pertaining to work. She mentioned friends and family and was relieved when he didn't hesitate to speak of his own. She figured the least of her concern was hearing about his parents and their boring confinement to the Manor.

When they were done with dinner, they took their time getting back to her flat. As much as she wanted to bombard him with a thousand questions and figure everything out in one night, she wasn't sure she wanted to discuss any of this at home. She wasn't sure they would be able to talk once they were behind closed doors again. He was already sending her signals that he was game if she was and she was sure that she did the same.

As it was, they eventually found their way back to her flat and she brought out the Firewhiskey to smooth things over if necessary. Silence stretched over them for the longest time; so much so that, if she listened carefully, she could hear the clock ticking down the seconds in her bedroom down the hall.

"How did you know it was me?" he asked, finally putting an end to the torment that was the silence.

She swallowed hard and looked at him from across the couch. "Something you said to me when the cameras were approaching us."

He tipped his head to the side as if trying to recall and asking when he didn't. "What did I say?"

"You asked me if I could manage that," she said meekly. "It was the same line you had said to me the night before."

He cleared his throat and brought his hand to the back of his neck to rub it awkwardly. "Ah."

"And then again with the water. The last one being you asking if it was too much."

His cheeks turned rosy at that and he finished off the contents of his glass before pouring himself another shot. "I thought the masks altered our voices."

"They do. I mean, we've been…meeting…for almost two months and I never suspected it would be you of all people behind the mask." She took a drink from her own glass. "It was more of the words themselves and a feeling in my…gut."

He smirked at that and she felt her cheeks flame. "You sure it wasn't a little further south than your gut?"

She huffed and took another drink. "Anyway, I didn't recognize your voice. Even when I think back, I don't recognize it all. Sometimes I think I do, but it's more my mind putting that there than it is organic. Same goes for your hair. I would have definitely known who you were if I remembered seeing that color."

"What color did you see?"

She shrugged. "I've tried to remember, but I think it's part of the mask's glamour. Your hair is always there, but when I think back on it, I can't remember the length or the color. Just the way-" She stopped herself and looked down.

"Just the way, what?"

She swallowed, her throat dry. "The way it felt when you let me run my fingers through it," she said quickly and then finished off her glass.

He smirked and tipped his glass towards hers. "Same here. I can recall little things, but most of it's just the sense of touch. I can't remember details."

She worried at her bottom lip for a moment and let her eyes drop to his chest. "I remember the scar on your torso. I remember thinking it was strange that you didn't set your glamour to cover it." She let her gaze wander upwards to his. "Was that the one Harry gave you in Sixth Year?"

He nodded. "It doesn't bother me like the other scars."

She smiled sadly. She knew exactly which ones he referred to. "I'm sorry I broke the anonymity, Malfoy." She got to her feet and sent her glass to the sink with a wave of her hand. She sent a fleeting glance his way. "I've adjusted the wards so you can Apparate out, but-"

"Hey," he said, getting to his feet and taking her hands in his. "I'm sorry that I didn't come to the club to talk, but I didn't really think you would go back there either. And if you did go, I wasn't really sure what would come of it. I just needed time to think." He dropped one of her hands and cupped her face. "I should have come to you sooner; I just didn't know how you would feel if I did."

She nodded. "I don't know what would have happened either if you had shown up. I don't really imagine we could have just gone back to what we had. Pretending to forget it all would have been impossible. And the club wasn't really the best place to talk."

"And now that it's out there, do you think the club is something we can continue? That knowing Kratos is just me behind the mask is something you can handle."

It had taken her so long to come across someone like him. Someone that knew her body inside and out the way he did. Someone that could make her feel alive again while taking all the control away from her. She had already known that if anything ever happened and he disappeared, she would never have that feeling again.

"No, I don't think it can go back to the way it was before. Knowing it's you makes it different," she admitted with a heavy sigh. He nodded and she noticed the way his jaw clenched in disappointment.

"Do you want it to be over?" he asked, his eyes coming up to meet hers again. "Because I don't."

She wet her lips and shook her head briefly. "I don't want it to be over either," she whispered.

His grey eyes were alight with excitement at her words. "Then we don't need the club."

"No," she said. "I suppose we don't."

"We can carry on as we were, but in the privacy of our own space."

"Here?" she asked, eyes going wide in alarm as she stepped away from him. She shook her head and pushed her hair behind her ears despite the fact that it refused to stay there. "That won't work. Everyone just Floo's in without warning and if I lock it, they'll ask questions and I-"

"Woah, Granger, slow down. I didn't mean your flat."

Her eyes went even wider. "Well I'm certainly not going to the Manor!"

His jaw ticked with the urge to either laugh or snap at her. "I wasn't suggesting that either. I can get a flat somewhere no one will recognize us. A place that we can Apparate in and out of whenever we want."

"Oh," she whispered, shoulders slumping forward with relief. "That works."

"I'll get started on that right away and the moment I have one, I'll take you there so you know where to go."

She nodded. "I want to keep the same schedule. Friday and Saturday nights."

"One weekday."

She shook her head. "I can't do during the week. It's too hard with work."

"I'm sure you can figure it out."

She narrowed her eyes at him. "It's too hard for me to switch from Hedone to Hermione without a day of nothing; that day being Sunday," she said, her hand falling on her hip. "It's probably easy for you to switch it off, or tone it down, rather. It's not easy for me. I have to be in the right headspace to lose control the way I do. I can't do that if I'm pressed for time."

He stared at her for a moment and then inclined his head. "Fine, Friday and Saturday nights for now." He smirked when she bristled at his addition. "Should we have a contract like we did at Elysium?"

She worried at her bottom lip as she mulled over the pros and cons. "I think we should have something, but I don't know if we would need a full contract. Maybe a list of things we haven't tried yet? We can decide in the moment what works and what doesn't."

"How set are you on your chosen safe word?" he asked.

"Considering I have yet to use it, let's just leave it be."

"Have I ever made you consider it?"

There had been a few brief instances during their time together at the club where she had considered it, but it was mostly out of her immediate reaction to the taboo of it. When it was over, she was always glad she hadn't said it. "Not really, no," she replied and then narrowed her eyes again. "And that doesn't mean you should try and find stuff to make me say it."

He chuckled and picked up the bottle of Firewhiskey, chugging directly from it only to chuckle again at her reaction. "Please, I've licked every square inch of you a dozen times with this same tongue. You should be past worrying about my germs."

She balked and yanked the bottle from him. "I think we've discussed all we can for one night, Malfoy. You should go."

"Are you sure you want me to leave?" he asked, his hand shooting out to grab her wrist.

"Yes," she replied almost immediately. "You shouldn't come here again. We may not have anonymity anymore, but that doesn't mean I want others to find out about us. Nothing is happening until you have a flat we can meet at. We'll continue on as we were; acquaintances who hardly ever cross paths during the week and," she waved her free hand between them, "whatever this is on the weekends."

"Alright," he said, letting go of her and stepping back. "Then I'll owl you when I find a place and we can discuss meeting up then."

She nodded. "I mean it, Malfoy. When we meet again to do what we do, we won't have masks. We'll know who we really are. Other than that, everything else stays the same."

"I understand what I agreed to, Granger."

She stared at him for a moment and then nodded. "Goodnight, Malfoy."

He stepped forward, cupping her face with one hand again. "I'll be seeing you soon enough, my sweet Hedone. And when we're reunited, you will be punished accordingly for making us lose all that time." He kissed her soundly; long enough to make her head spin. "Goodnight, Granger," he added and by the time her mind refocused, he was gone.

Chapter Text

SIX

By Friday, Hermione was agitated and snapping at everyone. She found her assistant at lunch sobbing under her desk over the way she had yelled at her earlier that morning. She tried to make up for it, but the poor girl just ended up crying more, so Hermione sent her home early. With pay.

Normally, with two hours left of the work week to go, Hermione was gearing up her mind for the role she would assume in the span of a few hours time. But, as Malfoy had yet to owl her about the flat he promised, she was going insane. The waiting was just angering the control freak in her. At this rate, she wasn't sure if she would even be able to channel Hedone for quite some time.

This would be the third week since their last encounter.

Any longer and she was sure the nightmares would start again. Fucking random strangers; losing herself in her own mind in the comfort of release was the one thing that helped her cope with the memories of war. Without it…

That was how she found herself in the DMLE with one hour left of the work day. She stepped off the lift tentatively and looked around for any signs of platinum hair or aristocratic attitude wafting down the hall. When there was none, she casually began her approach towards Harry's office.

The door was already partially opened and when she knocked, it opened more, revealing Harry seated behind his desk with Malfoy and Ron on the other side. Three pairs of eyes landed on her at the same time, but only one of them made her nervous.

"Hermione?" Ron asked, blinking as if she were a ghost.

She cleared her throat and smiled, refusing to look at Malfoy. "Do you guys still go to the Leaky after work?" she asked.

"Yeah," Harry replied slowly, quirking his brow at her. "Why?"

She let her gaze flicker to Malfoy who was resting his chin against his fingers as his eyes continually drifted up and down her body. "Think you'll have room at your table for one more?"

"Is… Is this some kind of dream?" Ron asked, turning to Harry. "Is she fucking with us?"

"I'm not sure," Harry said, canting his head to the side. "Are you sure you're Hermione and not an imposter? Quick, which is worse, death or expulsion?"

Harry and Ron dissolved into snickers and she crossed her arms over her chest, glaring at them menacingly. "You know what, never mind."

"Wait, wait!" Ron said as she turned around to leave. "Of course there's room for you, Mione, it's just…"

"You always have somewhere to be and can't be late," Harry quipped.

"Turns out my night is wide open. I have nothing to be late for."

"Will it be open every Friday?" Ron asked hopefully.

She shrugged, tilting her chin upwards in arrogance. "It's certainly starting to look that way."

Hermione's resolve waivered slightly when she let her gaze slide to Malfoy again. His eyes were dark and his demeanor in the chair reminded her of all the times he had demanded she crawl to him and suck him until her jaw might unhinge. She shifted on her feet and wet her lips. If he didn't stop looking at her like that, she was going to do just that. Here and now. In Harry's office. In front of her two best friends. And she wouldn't even care.

"What about you, Malfoy?" Ron asked, reaching over to nudge the blond with his elbow, breaking him out of his stance, allowing Hermione to breathe. "You coming?"

"I paid for the drinks once, Weasley. It doesn't mean I'll do it every time."

"Yeah, but tonight's special. Hermione will be there," he teased, a smile on his face.

Malfoy's smirk was slow and sinister as he shrugged his shoulders and tapped his fingers on the arm of the chair. "Well, if Hermione will be there, how can I say no?"

"You don't have to-" she started.

"I know don't have to," he said, getting to his feet. She shivered at the insinuation that he was giving her an order. "I'll see you lot at the Leaky. Five-thirty, right?" he asked, earning a nod from Harry and Ron. As he passed by Hermione on the way out, he smirked again and said, "Don't be late."


She could have gone home to change, but instead, she just stayed in her office and used her private bathroom to freshen up. It was just drinks after work with her best friends and Malfoy. Presumably, some of the other Aurors they had gone to school with would come too. She wasn't sure since she never went anymore. Either way, purple blouse tucked into her dark pencil skirt was fine for a Friday night out. The only changes she made to herself was a touchup of lipstick, an extra coat of mascara, and she tied her hair back into a ponytail. She smirked as she made sure it was as high as she could stand it.

If he was already planning on punishing her, she might as well go big with her antics.

And just before she left her office for the Floo, she vanished her knickers.

She was precisely ten minutes early and grabbed a booth. She ordered a drink and was nearly about to order a second when Ron and Harry came through the front door. She waved to them and they slid into the booth across from her. Ron held out his hand to Harry, smiling smugly. Harry sighed and pressed something into Ron's hand.

"Did you bet I wouldn't show up?" she asked, glaring at each of them.

"Can you blame me?" Harry asked, pouting at his loss.

Ron reached over the table and pinched the back of her hand. She yanked it away with a yelp and scowled at him. "Ronald!"

"What?" he asked, shrugging defensively. "I had to make sure this was real."

"You're supposed to pinch yourself," she chided.

"That's if you're dreaming," he replied, smirking at her.

Hermione continued to scowl as she raised her glass to her lips. Her gaze drifted up towards the entrance again, only to flicker back to the table when she couldn't find what she was looking for. "So, what's new with the two of you?" she asked.

"Drinks first," Harry mumbled, waving for the waitress to come around again and take their order.

"I bet she orders one more before she pissed," Ron whispered.

She flung a Stinging Jinx at his knee from under the table and he howled in pain. She and Harry dissolved into a fit of giggles. As the round of drinks came, they began to talk as if they were still as close as they once were. Ron and Harry still had the same friendship they had forged from school, but Hermione had distanced herself away from them a bit. Some of it was work, a little of the initial awkwardness once she and Ron decided to call it quits, but mostly because she wanted as much distance from reminders of the war as she could get.

Which didn't explain why she kept looking towards the door.

"Are you expecting someone?" Harry asked.

"Hmm? No," Hermione repeated, dragging her eyes away from the door and back to her friend.

"I would like to know where Malfoy is though. He said he was paying," Ron groused.

Hermione shook her head and got to her feet. "I'll be back in a minute," she replied, heading off towards the loo at the back. She took her time in relieving herself and washing her hands. She stared at herself in the mirror for a few minutes and pulled at her hair before taking a deep breath. If Malfoy wasn't here by six, she was going home.

With a nod at her reflection, she turned and opened the main door, only to find herself being shoved back into the room by Malfoy. She yelped a bit when he spun her and threw her up against the door, pinning her there with his own body.

"You're late."

He chuckled. "Doesn't feel too good, does it?"

"That was one time," she whined. "And it wasn't my fault."

He smirked as his hand came up to wrap itself lightly around her throat; his other forearm braced on the door above her head. She stiffened and looked up at him through her lashes. "Are you wearing knickers?" he asked.

She rolled her eyes at him despite the answer being right at the tip of her tongue.

His eyes flashed at her insubordination. "I asked you a question," he pressed, his fingers tightening lightly on her throat.

"No," she bit out.

He cocked his head to the side. "No, what?"

"Malfoy I'm not-"

"It's Friday night, Hedone. This is my time. When we're alone, you will address me correctly."

"Not. In. Public."

In a matter of seconds he had moved her so that she was bent over the sink and her skirt had been removed. She realized only when his hand connected with the flesh of her backside that there weren't charms in place to silence them. She bit back her cry, but allowed her body to react violently from the pain. When his hand touched her flesh again, she jumped, but relaxed again when she realized he was only massaging her cheek.

Slowly, he pulled her back from the sink and held up his hands, the purple pair of vibrating knickers dangling from his fingers again. "Put these on."

She glared at him for a moment before snatching them out of his hand and bending to step into them. She moaned softly as the toy entered her, grumbling slightly at the fact that she was already soaked with need. "Is this meant to be a punishment?"

"Yes."

She scoffed. "I don't see h-how…"

Her voice trailed off as the bullet began to vibrate on the lower end of the scale. But it had been two weeks, going on a third, and just the smallest of sensations had her clamping her thighs together. She gripped at the edge of the sink and cursed under her breath at his smirk.

"Because I'm not turning it off," he said and disappeared out of the loo.

Hermione's mouth gaped in horror as she realized what he had meant for her to keep coming while she sat across from Ron and Harry. Heat flamed over her cheeks as she panicked about what to do. The vibrations turned up and she cried out. If she didn't go back out there, he was going to turn it up to full blast and leave it until she begged. And she would. Right there in front of everyone.

She picked up her skirt from the floor and slipped it back on before slowly making her way back out to the booth. Malfoy got up for her, the gesture coming across as a total gentleman, but she knew it was to keep her from being able to run away.

"You alright?" Ron asked as she carefully situated herself on the bench beside Malfoy. "We were just about to go back there and get you."

"I'm fine. Really had to pee," she breathed, finishing off the rest of her glass.

"You're not going to be able to stop if you keep that up," Harry said and she choked on her drink.

Beside her Malfoy smirked. "Maybe she doesn't want to stop."

The vibration went up another notch and she pitched forward, her palms smacking against the rough wooden table. "What are you, my Mu-Mum?" she asked, trying to keep her composure.

Six months of just letting loose and coming for an audience was hard to let go of in a moment's notice.

"You know what, Mate, I have to use the loo now," Ron said, shooing Harry out of the booth.

As he stood, someone shouted Harry's name and he groaned, finishing his drink. "Be right back," he told them.

Hermione lunged at Malfoy, her nails digging into his forearm. "Turn it off, Malfoy." She was going to come any second and she didn't want it to be in a room full of people she knew. "It's the o-one thing I a-a-asked for. Malfoy-"

And just as she squeezed her eyes shut at the beginning of her crest into the void of pleasure, the vibration ceased. Her face fell and she let out a whine of agony.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you wanted it off?"

When her mind caught up to itself and realized it was not getting the release it craved, she threw a murderous look at him and shoved. "Out. Let me out."

He shook his head and picked up his drink. "No."

"Malfoy, we-"

She had to stop talking as Ron came back and slid into the booth across from them. He smiled until he saw the way Hermione's face had twisted in anger towards Malfoy. "Oh come on you two, don't start. Not on drinking nights. If I'm not allowed to still be cross with Malfoy, neither are you, Mione."

"Ron-"

"Whatever it is, Malfoy, I would just apologize now," he continued, reaching for his drink as well.

Malfoy's brows shot up in surprise and then he shot Ron a look of contempt. "What makes you think I did something?"

Hermione snickered from beside him. "I didn't say you did, but it's just easier to say it was or she'll be angry about it all night," Ron replied, taking the laughter right from her throat.

Harry fell back into the booth beside Ron with a heavy sigh and lowered his head to the table. "I think I might only start coming out under the guise of Polyjuice," he muttered into the wood.

"The world would be better without your face everywhere I go, Potter," Malfoy agreed, earning a raised hand with only the middle finger sticking up pointed in his direction.

"That's what you get for choosing the Leaky," Hermione snapped, finishing the contents of her glass.

His head snapped up so he could glare at her. "This is the first time you've come out with us in… I don't even know how long and not even an hour in, you're lecturing us over poor choices. Really, Hermione?"

She bristled at his comment, body still humming with anger from being denied release. "Well excuse me, Harry. I would think if you were over your fame of being recognized and wanted some alone time, you would choose another establishment to drown your sorrows." She shoved at Malfoy again. "Let me out."

"No."

Both Ron and Harry stared back at him wearily as he held his ground against Hermione's wrath. But Hermione barely noticed her friends watching them as she and Malfoy engaged in a glaring contest of their own. She was ready to scream at the top of her lungs and hex him until he bled if he didn't let her out of the booth right then and there. But there was also a part of her that was begging her to just shut up and let him take control. That the reward would be sweeter than honey, reminding her that she was long overdue.

Harry cleared his throat and Hermione drew her eyes away from Malfoy to meet the emerald gaze of her friend. "I'm sorry, Hermione. I would really like if you stayed a little longer. I miss you."

The anger subsided fairly quickly from the tone of sorrow in Harry's voice. Beside him, Ron was nodding and giving her that grin of his that had won over her heart way back when. "Please stay," he said.

She sighed and gave a small nod, adjusting carefully in her seat as the toy was still lodged inside of her. "Two more rounds and then I'm leaving. Last thing I want to do is end up pissed in the Leaky on a Friday night," she said, smiling at the two of them. "And I miss you both too."

"You don't miss me?" Malfoy teased from beside her.

She turned to stare at him and smirked. "No, I think I've quite had my fill of you."

He said nothing, but his eyes darkened and Hermione couldn't help the shiver that tingled up her spine.

If Harry and Ron thought anything off about the interaction, they wisely kept it to themselves. After that, Hermione relaxed as much as she could and the conversation turned mostly to work and Quidditch. Neither of which she contributed to much, but she liked listening to them banter and their excitement about certain things. It made her long for their Hogwarts days where she heard this from them all the time.

By the time she had finished her next drink, she had started to dry out and the toy was bothering her. She wasn't about to ask Malfoy for help again, so she tried nonverbal lubrication charms. Nothing worked. Whatever charms he had placed, nothing would work unless he allowed them. She got a break when a few fellow Aurors called Ron and Harry over to their table, leaving Hermione with Malfoy again.

"Will you at least take these off of me?" she asked him the moment she was able. "They aren't comfortable anymore."

"That's because they aren't being used properly."

She took a deep breath and tipped her head back for a second to gather her wits. When she looked at Malfoy again, she fixed him with a hard stare. "Then perhaps you should have done a better job looking for a flat. Then it could have been you inside of me and not some toy in a bar."

His eyes flashed a moment before his brows shot up again. He had not been expecting her to say anything remotely close to that. Especially in such a public setting. "For your information," he started, snapping his fingers between them. Her body jolted as she felt the chill of fresh lubrication in her core, erasing the irritation, followed by the gentle buzzing of the bullet. "I found a flat on Monday."

"Then why haven't you told me about it yet?" she asked, forcing her breaths to remain level.

"Because you told me not to talk to you outside of Friday and Saturday nights."

"You said you would owl me when you found something."

The vibration went up a notch and her stomach muscles tightened as she fought the urge to pitch forward. Her hips bucked involuntarily and she clamped down on her bottom lip to stifle a moan. His smile was sinful. "I was planning on ambushing you at the Floo on your way home tonight."

She was losing the ability to speak as her release came sneaking back up on her. Her eyes flickered past him towards Ron and Harry. She was glad to find them still engaged in their current conversation, completely ignoring what was happening between them. "Is the flat ready?"

"Ready enough. There is a surprising amount of things to purchase for what we do." He smirked and the vibration turned up. "Does that mean you're ready to go to the flat? That you're Fridays are no longer available for the foreseeable future?"

She nodded, a low whine emitting from the back of her throat as her hips bucked again, her clit pressing closer to the bullet. "I'm sorry I said that. I was just… Irritated, and…" A small moan left her and she gripped the bench on either side of her thighs. "It's been three weeks."

"I'm aware of how long it's been," he replied, his voice low and filled with lust.

"It won't happen again," she promised, her eyes fluttering as the vibration increased again. "But neither can th-this. I meant what I s-said, Malfoy. I don't want this to bleed over into…" She swallowed hard as her throat constricted. "Into my every day life. This has to stay between us. Behind the doors of that flat."

She saw the flicker of disappointment in his eyes, but it was so quick to disappear she thought she imagined it. He gave a slight nod and took a slow drink from his tumbler as he watched her hips grind down on the bench more frequently. "I will keep it to the flat on one condition, Granger."

She made a noise to indicate she was listening, but she knew if she opened her mouth to speak, she would moan and everyone would hear her. It was too late for her to cast a silencing charm that would hold and she knew damn well that he was enjoying this too much to cast one himself.

"Give me this," he purred, sliding towards her as much as he dared without drawing suspicion to them. "Let me see you. I want to watch you come in a room full of people without your mask on. I want you to remember that you are the sub here, Hermione." His hand brushed against hers under the table and the bullet skyrocketed to its full potential. "And you wouldn't want to disappoint your master, now would you?"

"N-no," Hermione choked out.

"Come for me."

She was so close. She could feel it at the back of her head; that tingling sensation that would soon be flowing through her entire body as she fell into the void of pleasure the likes of which only he could bring her.

"Come for me right now and I will take you to the flat and fuck you until neither of us can stand." Her lashes fell against her cheek for a moment as she struggled to keep control. "Eyes open." She obeyed the command immediately and the moment their gazes met, her lips parted and her body arched and quaked where she sat as she fell to pieces. "Good girl," he praised, moving his hand to her thigh, stroking it softly over her skirt.

The vibrations stopped and she sagged back against the booth upon feeling the knickers being vanished from beneath her skirt. Her body was still spasming as it fought to wind down from her high. She wet her lips and raised her gaze to his. "Now what?" she asked.

"I'm going to say my goodbyes and leave. You're going to finish your drink and meet me back at your flat in ten minutes."

"Yes, Master," she replied without hesitation, a blush creeping up to her already flushed face.

His smirk was devilish as he got to his feet. "I can't stress this enough, Granger, but for fuck's sake, do not be late."

Chapter Text

SEVEN

Hermione was two minutes early and Malfoy Apparated her to the flat the moment she landed in hers. They appeared just inside the door and Hermione took a moment to look around. She was surprised to find that he had fully furnished the place. The main living area was all open to itself. The living room had a couch and a couple chairs that framed the coffee table in front of a fireplace. The kitchen had a few stools under the island and there was even a four-seater table in a small dining space.

And it wasn't just furniture that had been placed like someone staging a home. It had been set up as if it intended to be used as a real flat and not a place for them to explore their wildest sexual fantasies. It made her nervous the more she looked at it.

When she looked up at him, it was as if all the heat and tension that had built up between them since the Ministry that afternoon was gone. Reality hit her like a stampede of Hippogriffs. She wasn't at the club, about to meet with Kratos and shut her brain off for a little bit. She was in a flat with Draco Malfoy. In fact, it wasn't Kratos that had just made her orgasm in a bar; it was Malfoy.

Then again, it had always been Malfoy.

"Granger?"

She swallowed and reached up to rub the skin at her throat. "Can I see the rest?" she asked.

He nodded and slid his hand down her arm so he could lace his fingers with hers. The first door on the left was a half bath, fully stocked. The door next to it was a little hall closet. Beside that was a guest room, bigger than her own bedroom. At least it appeared that way since it was lacking the normal bedroom furniture. Instead, this room looked like a Muggle sex shop. Toys, props, clothing; everything one would need for a truly unforgettable night was in that room.

He didn't let them linger there for too long before he led her back to the little hallway and shut the door behind them. The door directly across from it was the master suite. The bathroom was to the left, something she saw first because of the lack of doors. A very large clawfoot tub sat on a dais in the back as if it were the main focus of the room. To the right was a large four poster bed and then all the regular furnishings.

They stood in the center of the room and she could feel him watching her as she looked over every square inch of her surroundings. When her eyes finally did connect with his, he brought a hand up to her face and dragged his knuckle gently across her jaw. "Do you want to wear masks while we're here?"

She nodded and he waved his hand. A pair of masks appeared a moment later. He handed her the white one and she stared down at it tentatively. It looked like the one she had worn at Elysium, but she wasn't getting the same rush she normally got when she saw it.

"What do you need from me?" he asked, his voice so similar to the one she remembered Kratos having in their moments of aftercare.

"I don't know," she replied with an exasperated sigh. "It's like I can't get into the right headspace. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it was you all along. And I know we talked about it, but now that we're here, I just…" She took a deep breath. "It's like the rush of something new like a one-night stand and even though we're far past that, it still doesn't quite feel like it."

"You know we don't have to do anything, right? That you can walk away at any time?"

She nodded. "I don't want to walk away," she replied. "I'm just…nervous."

He reached up and cupped her face with his hand. "We can take this slow, then. We can ease back into our roles. Tonight doesn't have to be about Hedone and Kratos. Maybe tonight is just about us putting a face to the other person. Once the nerves are gone, we can start fresh. It'll be like we're learning each other all over again."

She mulled it over as she leaned into his touch. "How did you find yourself in this situation?" she asked.

"For so long I was powerless. Powerless to be who I wanted to be. Powerless to help my family. Powerless to do anything to stop a madman from burning everything to ashes around me. When everything settled, I never wanted to feel that way again. Being a dom gives me the power." He paused to smile. "And, like you said, it goes with my personality outside the mask as well."

She smiled back at him. "For me it was about giving up control. For so long I had to be the one to figure everything out. To plan. If I failed, our chances of death were greater. And then after we won, I had to keep control over every little thing because that fear of one little slip up was always there. I tried everything to feel like me again, but it turns out the only things that worked was when I lost control. And choosing to let someone else take it from me makes me feel alive."

He pulled her close and dipped his head down to kiss her. She wrapped her arms around him, her mask slipping to the floor as her lips parted for him to taste her. It had felt good to finally tell someone. She had held that secret in for so long, convinced that it was just for her and no one needed to know, but it was eating her away inside. She didn't like hiding a part of herself away from the world.

She could truly be herself with Draco and he with her.

Hermione pulled herself away from him, licking her lips as she let her gaze sweep down his body until it landed on the floor. "Can you give me five minutes?"

"Of course."

She lifted her gaze long enough to watch him stride across the room and when he reached to pull the door closed, she said, "When you come back, have your mask on." She smiled sweetly. "Master."

His eyes darkened as he smirked and pulled the door closed.

The moment it clicked into place behind him, Hermione inhaled sharply and exhaled slowly as she closed her eyes. She bent down for her mask and stared at it, twining the silky ribbon in her fingers. She brought forth all of her memories of Kratos. She went over them one by one. From the first time he had requested her for a private audience to the last time; the day before the fundraiser.

A slower shiver crept up her spine as she remembered every touch of his hand, every brush of his lips against her skin. The way his chest felt pressed against her back as he murmured commands into her ear. As she brought the mask up to her face, tying the ribbon behind her head, she recalled the way it felt to have him fill her up; his fingers, his cock. The way she came apart for him no matter his method of delivery.

She pulled her hair loose and shook it around her shoulders. She waved her hands at her clothes and they vanished from her body. The air of the room was cool against her skin and the sudden exposure caused her body to flush with goosebumps. She closed her eyes as heat washed over her from head to toe. She was very aware that Malfoy would be back any moment. That she was standing naked in a bedroom in a flat he had procured just for them to shag like rabbits.

She tried her best to shove those thoughts out of her head, but as she heard the click of the door opening behind her, she stiffened. She wanted to drop to her knees and be Hedone like he probably expected her to be, but she couldn't. She kept her eyes closed against tears of frustration; cursing herself for breaking anonymity.

She felt the trembling begin in her stomach and spread throughout the rest of her body. A small gasp left her freshly parted lips as she felt his hands on her hips from behind. He pressed himself against her and she shivered as the heat of his nude form erased the chill from the room, wrapping around her like a blanket. She felt the sharpness of his mask against her as his lips ghosted over the curve of her neck and over her shoulder.

"You're safe here," he whispered against her skin, the warmth of his breath sending more shivers down her spine. "Nothing will happen that you aren't ready for."

She nodded, her hair tugging from being trapped between them. His hands left her hips, pushing forward, leaving a trail of searing heat in their wake. His right hand flattened below her navel and pressed her body back further into his while his left had continued upwards. It snaked up between her breasts until his fingers could wrap themselves gently around her throat, caging her arm against her side and pressing her head back slightly.

"I know who you are with or without the mask," he said, his right hand dipping lower. "Hedone," he whispered, pressing a kiss onto her shoulder. "Hermione," he added, nipping her flesh with his teeth. "I don't care who you are tonight or any other night." She jolted as his hand lowered itself until he was cupping the apex of her thighs. "It won't matter because by the time I'm done with you, you won't remember either name."

The moan that left her lips was the permission that he needed. He tightened his hold on her chin as the fingers of her other hand brushed through her folds. She widened her stance and let her eyelids flutter as she widened her stance. He dipped his middle finger into her once, making her whine as he immediately pulled out and moan again when he teased at her clit.

Her hips thrust towards his hand, seeking more. The more he teased her, the more she felt her nerves and anxiety falling away. "All that really matters," he whispered, his tongue tracing the outer shell of her ear. "Is that you remember who you belong to."

Her body shook and her nipples hardened as he followed the words by pushing his index and middle finger into her core. She relaxed against him as she gave into the pleasure he gave by sliding them in and out of her. She whined when he stilled inside of her, his teeth nipping at her cartilage.

"Who do you belong to?" he murmured, his voice husky, almost sounding like the Kratos she remembered.

"You, Master." He smiled against her ear and slowly resumed his ministrations. "Only you."

"Tell me again," he demanded, his cock twitching at her back.

"I belong to you, Master. No one else. Only you."

He hummed in approval and increased his pace. She let out another loud moan, unable to control her hips from thrusting in time to his movements as she sought bliss. "I want to hear you say who you belong to while you come."

She nodded to the best of her ability in his grasp and continued to sing his praises as he added his thumb to her clit. She knew she wouldn't be coherent soon, but he didn't care. As long as she kept trying to say the words, he would let her come.

"That's it, fuck," he muttered and she felt him shudder at her back. "I can feel you clutching at my fingers. You're close, aren't you?"

"Yes, Master," she cried out, breaking her declarations to answer him. "I belong to y-you."

"Come," he demanded, his voice tight as he nipped at her shoulder again. "Fuck," he hissed as her body began to tremble and her thighs started to clamp around his hand; her cries getting louder and more frequent. And before she knew it, she was crying out for him as her body bowed outwards, pushing her into oblivion.

She sagged back against him as he continued his movements until she was completely back inside her mind again. When he did pull away, he brought his hand up to her. She opened her mouth without needing to be told and they both moaned as she licked his fingers clean of her essence. When he pulled away, he spun her around and his lips crashed down over hers, his tongue greedily sliding over hers, devouring her as if he had forgotten how she tasted.

She pulled away with the intention of sinking down to her knees to take him into her mouth, but his hold on her tightened, keeping her in place. He grinned against her lips before he trailed kisses and nips to the curve of her neck. "As much as I miss that thing you do with your tongue, I need to be inside you." She shivered and arched into him, making him chuckle against her skin. "Stand at the foot of the bed and bend over," he demanded, pulling away and giving her the smallest of nudges in that direction.

She walked quickly, ignoring the way her knees wanted nothing more than to buckle and send her to the floor. As she approached the end of the bed, she bent over, gasping in surprise as the bed rose to the perfect height. Out of habit, she spread her legs as wide as she could and waited. She heard him approach and when he gave his next order, his voice came from directly behind her.

"Spread your cheeks."

She swallowed hard and slowly moved her hands back behind her, grabbing the flesh of her rear and opening herself up for him. A deep blush stained her cheeks at how exposed she was. She inhaled slowly and whimpered as she felt something cold and hard against her opening.

"You liked this last time," he said, swirling whatever it was against her, spreading what she assumed was lube. "Did you like it enough to let me do it again?"

She nodded immediately, her cheek scraping against the soft comforter. "Yes, Master. Please."

Slowly, he pushed whatever it was into her ass. She moaned at the sensation, glad that the only pain she felt was from the first push. He paused to twist it, spreading the lube even further, and then gave one final push. Her body clenched at it, trying to draw it in further, but it wouldn't move. When he removed her hands from her cheeks and used them pull her up, she realized it must have been a plug. The fact that he intended to leave it there while he fucked her made her body ache for more.

He let go of her, smirking, and then moved to get on the bed. She waited for his signal, watching as he propped himself up on the bed near the pillows, his back against the headboard. He reached down with one hand to stoke himself while beckoning her forward with the other. She wet her lips and got onto the bed. She leaned forward on her hands and knees and began to crawl up to him. She stopped halfway there, holding his gaze with hers as she lowered her mouth to his cock.

As he disappeared inside her mouth, his eyes darkened and his head tilted slightly, presumably to get a better line of sight. She flattened her tongue along his shaft, swirling it around the tip each time she drew her head back up, only to draw him back in, taking her as far as she could into his throat. When his eyes fluttered and he groaned, she lifted herself away and continued to crawl up his lap until she was straddling him.

His jaw was clenched as he looked at her with hard eyes when she settled into her position. She smiled down at him and she saw something flash in his eyes before he smirked. Her smile vanished and her hips jerked as she felt the plug in her ass begin to vibrate. Her palms smacked loudly against his chest as she pitched forward from the unexpected waves of pleasure it brought.

He placed one hand on her hip to keep her in place while the other reached between them so he could brush his cock through her slick. Her hands curved against his chest, her nails tearing into his skin as he pushed forward, filling her. She keened above him as his cock pushed up against the plug through the thin layers of her skin.

She didn't care if he wanted to set the pace or take control. Her body was literally vibrating with pleasure and before she knew it, her hips were moving frantically against his. Her nails raked down, tearing at his chest more until he pulled her hands away and surged forward to bury his face into the crook of her neck. He let her take control as he teased her skin.

Her eyes squeezed shut as she lost control of her movements. Normally she would ask for permission to come, but she knew her voice was gone. The only thing she was capable of was moans and whines. And he was equally as silenced as he would normally be giving commands and whispering filthy things to her, but he only groaned and met her thrust for thrust.

When her release hit, she arched into him hard enough to make him grunt and she felt his body respond in kind. Her body pulsed and clenched at his cock, drawing every bit of his release that it could from him. He shuddered around her as his hands gripped her hips to keep her in place. He panted against her skin and she threw her head back to catch her breath as well.

When he tried to move, she moaned and bucked her hips, hitting another wave of pleasure through her body. He did take control, lifting her just enough so he could be the one to slam in and out of her with wild abandon.

By the time they collapsed on the bed, she had lost count of how many times she had come for him. Judging by the amount of fluid spilling out of her and down her thighs, he had come more than once as well. With a wave of his hand, the plug disappeared and she curled into his side just as she always did when their tryst was over.

As usual, his hands would roam her skin in a tender way that almost always lulled her to sleep. With one of her arms trapped between them, she would trace obscure patterns up and down his body with the other.

"I guess we have some stamina to regain," he said with a chuckle.

She let out a small laugh and nodded against his side. "I think we could have gone more than one round if it hadn't been for that plug."

"Too much?"

She shook her head. "No," she replied quickly, earning another chuckle. "No, that was good. Too good. Feel free to do that again."

She felt him smile against her forehead before he kissed her there. "I intend to. Glad you liked it."

She smiled and kissed his chest before sliding off the bed slipping into the bathroom. She cleaned herself up and then returned to the room, summoning the clothes she had vanished earlier. "What time tomorrow?" she asked.

He cleared his throat and she did a double take at the disappointment in his eyes. Had he intended for them to sleep here? She looked away and dressed quicker than she meant to.

"Same time as before."

She nodded and heard him get off the bed. She turned to face him and relaxed into his hold as his arms wound around her. His lips brushed over hers tentatively at first, but she surprised them both by deepening the kiss first and exploring his mouth as if it was the first time she had access to it.

When she pulled away, they both sighed, their air mixing in the space between them. "Goodnight, Granger."

"Goodnight, Malfoy," she returned. She took another look at him; still nude and glowing in the aftermath before she stepped away from his touch and Apparated back to her own flat.

Chapter Text

EIGHT

The following day, Hermione had arrived early to prepare herself. It was easier that time and when Draco arrived, he found her in the middle of the room, kneeling with her hands in her lap without a stitch of clothing in sight.

And for the next two weekends, they had continued on as if they had never left Elysium. They met at their scheduled time, fucked like it was the end of the world, and parted before they fell asleep. Each time Hermione got home, she counted down until it was time to see him again. She took comfort in the fact that, even though the only real thing that had changed was the location. That even though she had broken anonymity, everything felt as if it was the first time all over again.

If he felt half as exhausted as she did waking up Sunday mornings, she knew he was counting down too.

He had respected her wishes to keep to themselves at work. She didn't take any extra precautions to avoid him and he seemed to do the same. If they did happen to see each other, they would exchange cordial greetings and then part ways without so much as a backwards glance. Six years of ignoring each other at Hogwarts was finally paying off.

At least it was until the head of the DMLE had caught a break in a case and asked for a few people from every department to sit in on some briefs. The missive had said any outside input would be grateful. She knew that meant Draco would be there as well. She had often wondered why he didn't just become an Auror. He was there just as much; he might as well get the title too.

She was surprised to see him walk into her office when she had called for whoever knocked to let themselves in. She had been tidying up a report before heading down to the brief for Robbards and did a double take at the sight of Draco closing her door.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

He tsked her with a cluck of his tongue. "That's not how I should be greeted, Granger."

She cleared her throat and went back to her report. "Not in the mood to deal with you right now, Malfoy. I have to finish this and be in the conference in about ten minutes. Is this important or can it wait?"

"It's of the utmost importance."

There was a seriousness in his tone that she looked back up at him. "Okay, what is it?"

He stalked his way towards her desk and stood in front of it, rapping his knuckles along the edge as he stared down at her with a gleam in his eyes. "How do you feel about being suspended?"

She continued to stare at him for exactly three seconds before sighing loudly. "That is far from work related."

"It's still important," he pressed, smirking at her. "And I'm waiting for an answer."

She glared at him, debating on if she should answer him, wondering if he would bend her over the desk if she didn't. She cleared her throat again. "Nothing that puts me upside down."

His eyes went wide, but they dilated until they were nearly all black. When she glanced down, there was a definite tent to his trousers. He swallowed hard and she saw the way the apple in his throat bobbed.

She smiled sweetly at him and waved a hand to shoo him. "And now I have five minutes. If there's nothing else, will you please leave my office?"

She saw him get control of his arousal as he carded a hand through his hair. "Actually, Robbards sent me to collect you for the meeting. Which, I've made us late for."

"What?" she nearly shrieked, jumping to her feet. "Gods, you're such a prat," she mumbled, hurrying around him to get out of her office. When they entered the conference room, they were indeed late and Draco was lucky that looks couldn't kill.


Instead of finding her on her knees on the floor, waiting for her first command of the night, Draco came into the bedroom to see her staring up at the ceiling. She had stripped and donned her mask, but once she had spotted the additions to the ceiling, she couldn't stop looking at it. He had wasted no time in setting up the necessary steps to suspend her after asking how she felt about it just two days prior.

"Have you ever been suspended?" he asked.

She shook her head. "I've seen it and I've been curious," she replied.

He studied her for a moment. "Do you like to be tied up? You were when I saw you during Preview Night, but it's not something we've done."

"It's…not my favorite. I'm all for losing control and having someone overpower me, but sometimes it's a bit too much for me."

He smirked. "How very Granger of you."

"Is it something you want to do?" she asked, curious as to why he hadn't brought it up before now.

"Only if you trust me. I know you do on some level or you wouldn't be here right now, but putting you in a completely submissive state requires complete trust." He stepped forward a little and she felt her body tingling in response to his proximity. "You might have trusted me as Kratos if this was still Elysium, but do you trust me? As Draco."

It was surreal the way she was able to answer without hesitation and mean it. "Yes."

He reached for her and pulled her to him, his lips falling to the column of her throat. He teased that spot just behind her jaw with his lips and teeth, enjoying the way she shuddered in his arms. "Kneel on the center of the bed," he demanded against her skin.

She gave a nod and pulled away from him to follow his demand. She rested back on her heels and put her hands in her lap, her eyes cast down to the comforter beneath her.

"Arms up."

She stretched her arms above her head and fought the urge to look up when she felt something smooth and slightly chilled tie her wrists together. He gave a swift tug and she relaxed her arms, finding them secured to the ceiling. Whether it was by magic or Muggle means, she couldn't tell yet.

"Lift up," he murmured from close beside her.

She canted her hips and shivered with anticipation as she felt him nudge something between her thighs. He did it from behind so that she couldn't see more than a quick flash of purple. She adjusted her hips and pulled on her restraints out of habit. A moan escaped her lips as he pushed something inside of her and then jumped when she realized something had gone up her ass as well.

"Oh," she hissed, sucking her bottom lip I between her teeth as something touched her clit at the same time it started vibrating. She had seen a triple stimulator toy at Elysium before, but no one had used it on her before. The thicker part inside her cunt began to rotate along with the random, pulsing vibrations, and her hips began to gyrate, begging for more. "Oh Gods."

He chuckled darkly as she tipped her head back. She felt both of his hands on her breasts, tweaking at her hardened nipples. The vibrator continued to move with her as he teased her skin with his hands and mouth, leaving Hermione to believe he had charmed it to stay in place.

"We're going to play a game."

"O-okay."

She whined when he pulled away from her, but cried out as a crack sounded in the room followed by a sharp sting on her skin as he brought a riding crop down on her ass cheek. "You're going to count how many times this," another smack "gets you. If you give me the wrong number when I ask for your count, you don't get to come again for the night."

She half whimpered, half moaned as her hips began to jerk in no rhythm whatsoever and her hands tugged on the bonds above her head. "If I'm right?" she asked.

"Then you get to pick one of three things to try tomorrow." She nodded vigorously and moaned again, her first orgasm of the night already dangerously close. "Are you going to come?"

"I'm cl-close, Master."

"Not yet," he said, delivering another smack, making her wail with pleasure and pain.

She wasn't sure if she could hold it back, but she forced a deep breath into her lungs and nodded. "Please, Master."

"How many?" he asked.

"Th-three."

"Come."

No sooner had the word left his lips, Hermione's body bowed and shook with pleasure from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. Coming back down to reality, the continuous vibrations of the toy kept her in a fog and ready to soar up to the heavens again. It almost made her miss the sharp sting of the crop at her backside again and she wondered if he hadn't snuck one in while she was letting go.

The next smack, her fifth, started a continuous loop of each one leading to an orgasm. By the time her body went slack and she was pleading incoherently to either stop or finally fuck her, she had lost count of how many times she came and how many times he had spanked her. When he removed the toy, her body went slack and her arms nearly went numb.

He undid the material binding her wrists and gently helped her lay on her side. He stretched out behind her after a moment and she hissed as his cock slid between her cheeks and found her dripping core. "How many?" he asked, filling her to the brim as slow as he could manage.

"Twelve?" she said, her fingers clutching at the bedspread.

He chuckled against her skin and kissed her shoulder. "Lucky guess," he replied, nipping at her playfully. "You came three times already. Can you come one more time for me before we take a break?" he asked, his hand finding its way between her legs, his finger tracing lazy circles around her pulsing clit.

She opened her mouth to answer, not really sure if it was to say yes or no, but the only noise she was able to make was a moan as he continued to take her slowly. He nipped harder at her shoulder as he grunted with every stroke.

"Fuck, you're tightening up," he said, his voice strangled. "Gods, I'm-"

Her body arched back into his as her inner walls clenched, milking down every last drop of his release as his hips jerked uncontrollably. When he pulled out of her, she rolled onto her back, her leg resting over his thigh, and stared up at the ceiling. He lay beside her doing the same, both of them panting for air.

She turned her head towards him at the same time he turned to look at her. Their gazes met behind their masks and they smiled in exchange. He reached down for her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing the tops of her knuckles. "Are we done?" she asked.

He chuckled again. "Do you want to be?"

"No."

Her cheeks flamed at how quickly she responded and he barked out a real laugh. "Well, alright then."

They agreed on a small break for liquid refreshment, a bit of clean up, and then they were at it again until the early hours of the following morning when they parted ways for the night.


The following morning, Hermione woke with a vicious headache. She was used to her Saturdays starting off with aches and pains, but this was not something brought on by countless hours of sex. Combined with development throughout the day of watery eyes, the inability to breathe through her nose, and a tickle in her throat that had her constantly clearing it and coughing, she knew this was different. She had forced herself to take a hot shower, hoping the steam would clear everything up, but it had made her worse. She had even tried eating breakfast, but made it through half a piece of toast before her stomach revolted.

She took an over the counter cold and sinus relief pill, cursing herself for being out of potions and then crawled back into bed. For the bits of time that she was awake, she read, but most of her day was spent in a fitful sleep.

She woke with a start at the sound of her Floo roaring to life and immediately cursed whoever it was as the room began to spin. "Granger?"

Hermione choked on a breath at the sound of Draco's voice. "B-back here!" she called, wincing at the volume of her own voice.

"I hope you have a good- Merlin, aren't you a sight."

She rolled her eyes and tossed a pillow at him. "I should have owled you. Sorry."

"What happened?"

"I woke up like this."

"Is this why you never stay the night?" he teased, stepping towards the bed.

She narrowed her eyes at him and then waved her hand in attempt to make him keep his distance. She refused to let herself mull over his comment. When she was feeling better she would analyze and overthink it death. "I don't want you to catch whatever this is."

"Did you forget you're a witch again?" he asked.

"I didn't have any potions. Just some Muggle stuff."

He ignored her protests and warning about potentially being contagious as he came to stand beside her. He placed his hand on her forehead and frowned. "What are your symptoms?"

"Lethargic, headache, sore throat, a bit of a cough, and stuffy nose."

He gave a curt nod and let is fingers trail down the side of her face. "When did you last eat?"

"Half a piece of toast this morning. I'm not sure what time it was at."

His frown deepened and removed his hand. "I'll be right back."

She said nothing as she watched him walk away. She heard the Floo and wondered where he was going, but in his absence, she carefully got herself out of bed to use the loo. She had just reached the bed when he came back in. He helped her back into bed, propping her up against the headboard with pillows at her back. He showed her a vial before setting it on her nightstand.

"You have to eat first before you take it. Otherwise it does more harm than good."

"I don't think-"

"I'm having Nixie bring over some soup in a moment."

Hermione stared at him. "Oh, uh, thank you."

They didn't have to wait long before the familiar crack of Apparition brought a House Elf into Hermione's bedroom. She was wearing a lopsided dress of bright yellow and carried a silver tray with a bowl of soup, a large glass of water, and a chunk of freshly baked bread. "Thank you, Nixie," Draco said, taking the tray.

"Is there anything else you's be needing? Nixie would be happy to get it!"

"Not now, but if I think of something, I'll call for you. If Miss Granger calls, I expect you to answer her too. Even if I'm not here."

Nixie nodded eagerly and smiled at Hermione. "Anything the Missus needs!" she proclaimed and then she was gone with a snap of her finger.

"Before you give me that speech I know you're biting your tongue about," he started, levitating the tray over the bed. "She was wearing a dress, she's a free elf, I pay her, and I meant it. Call on her if you need anything."

"What are you doing?" she asked, watching as he removed his shoes and stripped down to his trousers and shirt. He had unbuttoned the cufflinks and removed his belt before coming to sit next to her on the bed.

"What does it look like?" he asked, steering the tray to settle over her lap. He cooled off the soup just a touch and then gathered a spoonful.

"I can feed myself."

"I know you can," he said, giving her a devilish smirk. "But I quite enjoy having you open your mouth for me." Her jaw dropped and he used the opportunity to push the spoon past her lips and dumped the contents over her tongue. She narrowed her eyes at him as she swallowed and he winked at her. "See? Even sick you're capable of following instructions."

"You're the worst," she said, opening her mouth for another spoonful. The broth felt wonderful against her throat and she leaned back into the pillows after the second spoonful. "You don't have to stay you know. I appreciate it, but-"

"Well, seeing as how you're all laid up tonight, it turns out my night is wide open," he said, placing the spoon in the bowl.

"It's a Saturday. You mean to tell me you've got nothing better to do than spend it nursing me back to health?" she asked, eyeing him wearily.

He held her gaze for a moment and then shrugged. "It's been far too long since I've had a Saturday night to myself, so no." He tipped his head to the side. "Unless you really want me to go."

She shook her head and reached for the spoon to feed herself. "No, you can stay."

He smiled and carefully maneuvered himself to sit next to her. "At least get half the bowl down and then you can take the potion. Whatever's left I'll put in your fridge for later if you want more."

She nodded and watched as he accioed the book from her nightstand into his hands and cracked it open. She was far too drowsy to truly comprehend that Draco Malfoy was nursing her back the health as well as reading beside her in bed. Something else for her to think about later when she was out of her daze.

As it was, he took the tray from her when she was done and gave her the potion. He continued to sit next to her and they eased into conversation. Hermione couldn't recall a single word they exchanged when she next woke. Instead, she just recalled the way she had curled up against him as he held the book open with one hand and stroked her hair and back with the other, lulling her to sleep.

Chapter Text

NINE

Hermione was alone when she woke up Sunday morning. In the spot where Draco had been, there was a note instead. He had told her that he wasn't sure if he should stay the night or not, but figured it was best if he didn't. That he had hoped she was feeling better and he would see her Friday night if not sooner at the Ministry. He then reminded her to call Nixie if she needed anything and that her fridge was fully stocked as was her medicine cabinet.

She had owled him right away, apologizing for ruining their scheduled night, but thanking him for everything he did regardless. She didn't even berate him for having his House Elf clean her flat. Instead, she took the gift without question and spent the rest of her Sunday curled up on the couch reading.

Monday was filled with meeting after meeting, most of which had to do with the case Robbards had asked her to be a part of. She had barely enough time to grab a quick lunch from the cafeteria; the only moment she had to herself the entire day. It wasn't until the last half hour of the day that she was able to sit at her own desk and relax. The moment she was behind closed doors, she dropped her head to her desk, folded her arms around her face and sighed.

Her sigh, however, turned to a groan of frustration when a knock sounded at the door. "Come in," she called, begrudgingly, hoping that it wasn't anyone that would make her stay after she was due to punch out for the day.

"You should have taken the day off."

She popped up at the sound of Draco's voice. She smoothed a few fly away hairs from around her face and shrugged. "Your potions worked rather well. I was feeling much better the moment I woke up on Sunday morning." She smiled at him and relaxed in her chair. "Thank you, Draco. You didn't have to do any of that, but I appreciate it regardless."

"Now that you're better…" he drawled, closing the door softly, his gaze never leaving hers. "Care to show me just how much you appreciated my healer skills?"

Hermione simply rolled her eyes. "As…tempting as that is," she started, "I have been stuck in meeting after meeting today and tomorrow's looking to be about the same. I just want to go home, take a hot bath, and read until I pass out." She took a deep breath. "Possibly add a glass or two of wine into the mix."

"Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach is unwise."

"Nixie stocked my fridge, remember? There's plenty of things I can reheat."

His fingers drummed along his forearms where he had folded his arms across his chest. "No."

"No?"

"Come to the flat with me."

Her eyes went wide. "Malfoy, it's a Monday. I-"

"I've seen the size of your bathtub, Granger. Even full, I'm sure the waterline wouldn't cover a toddler. How is it relaxing to sit in water that barely covers your waist?"

She narrowed her eyes a bit. "Excuse me for not living a life of luxury twenty-four seven. Not all of us can afford bathrooms that rival a spa."

He was the one to roll his eyes at her. "Just come to the flat, Granger. You can use the tub there and I assure you, you will be far more relaxed for your day to repeat itself tomorrow."

"I'm not really in the mood for-"

"No strings attached."

Hermione's lips were still parted from being cut off. She clamped them into a thin line and blinked at him. "Why?"

"Doms take care of their subs." His head tipped to the side as his eyes gleamed with mischief. "Which I assume you know because I know you did countless hours of research before you donned your mask. It is you, after all."

She bristled at his assumption, true as it may be, and narrowed her eyes further. "And you do; after. This is strictly a method of stress relief for me. I don't need or want anything else from you."

"And what about what I want or need?" he asked, finally stepping closer to her.

"If you wanted to take care of someone, then perhaps you should get a girlfriend," she said carefully. "Or maybe another sub."

He stopped moving once he had reached the edge of her desk, his hip resting against it as he stared down his nose at her. "I don't want another sub."

"Why not? Aren't we all the same?"

He glared at her for a moment before letting his hands fall to his sides, his fingers hovering over the top of her desk. "I have been with enough subs before you to know that you have effectively ruined this for me. They just lie there and take it."

Her breath caught in her throat as he reached for her hands, drawing her up from her chair until she was flush against his front.

"But not you." His voice was nearly as dark as his eyes. "Even in the safety of that room; before I knew it was you, you responded to everything. You were a sub to the way I made you feel, but there was still this hint of defiance." His hand cupped her jaw for a moment before his hand pushed back to grip her hair. "So no, Granger. I don't want another sub. I want you."

Her eyes nearly rolled back into her head as her lashes fell to caress her cheeks. He tugged her hair just enough to tip her head back and his lips ghosted along the column of her throat. Her hands reached out to grip his biceps to steady herself. Her body ached with need from his barely-there torment and she arched into him, a moan flowing freely from her now parted lips.

He chuckled and moved his mouth to her ear, his teeth nipping slightly at her lobe. "Do you want me to take care of you?"

"Mhmm." Her mouth was dry and her mind had fogged up completely.

"I didn't quite catch that, Hermione. You'll have to speak up," he breathed.

She nodded as best she could with his hold on her hair. A part of her wanted to riot by shoving him away and telling him to piss off, but that part was receding the longer he remained pressed up against her. "Y-yes." It was infuriating, how much he affected her. She nodded again and whimpered despite herself. "Yes, Master."

He hummed in approval, brushed his lips over hers in a semblance of a kiss, and stepped back. She fell back against her desk, gripping the edges until her knuckles turned white. He smirked and shoved his hands into his pockets. "Dinner is at six," he informed her, "Don't be late." With one last sweeping gaze down her trembling form, he turned and strode out of her office.


Hermione paced the narrow length of her closet. Draco had invited her to the flat and told her a time for dinner, but she wasn't sure if that meant they were going out or eating in. She wasn't sure how to dress for the occasion. And if he wanted to take care of his sub, that meant she was going there as a sub. Did that mean she wouldn't be wearing clothes anyway? Yet another sigh escaped her as she left the closet and stared at herself in the mirror again.

She decided that what she had worn to work was good enough. It was her standard pencil skirt, this time in navy, and a light grey long-sleeved blouse. The only thing she did to freshen up was brush her teeth, let her hair down, and change her knickers. She had contemplated on leaving them off entirely, but going commando wasn't really her thing. She still wasn't certain what possessed her to do so the night she had gone to the Leaky.

Pushing away those thoughts, she glanced at the clock and squared her shoulders. She had a few minutes left and used that time to make sure Crookshanks had dinner, fresh water, and even scooped the litter. When she was done, she closed her eyes and Apparated to the flat, arriving in the living room with one minute to spare.

She hadn't realized how hungry she was until the scent of food wafted through her nostrils and made her mouth water. "I didn't think you knew how to cook."

"I don't. Thank Nixie," he replied from behind the counter, pouring two glasses of white wine.

Hermione couldn't help but chuckle as she took the glass he offered. She watched as he moved about, flicking his wand here and there to keep things from burning. He was dressed about the same as he had been when she last saw him at the Ministry. The only difference was his shirt was no longer tucked into his trousers and his sleeves were rolled up, exposing his lean, muscular forearms. He looked…relaxed; completely at home. As if it was the most normal thing in the world to share a meal with her in this place after work.

"Relax, Granger."

She jumped, her hand tightening on her glass as she looked up to find him still standing at the oven with his back to her. "What-"

"Stop overthinking," he said as he opened the oven door and flicked his wand to take the pan out of it. When it landed on the stove top, he turned to her again. "It's dinner. You were going to eat something no matter what. I just gave you a better option."

"Why bother stock my fridge if you have no intention of letting me eat it?"

His head tilted to the side slightly and he tapped his wand against his knee. "Do you want to go?" he asked. "You're free to walk away at any time."

"I know," she replied immediately and shook her head. "I'm not going anywhere, Draco. I just… I'm curious."

His grin was downright sinister and she felt heat rush to her face. "Ask me anything."

"I will." He inclined his head and studied her, his gaze sweeping down what he could see of her over the counter. "Eventually."

He nodded again and turned to use his magic to plate up their food. She met him at the table as it finished setting itself and sat in the chair that he pulled out of her. He took the seat across from her and they tucked into their food.

It was the most awkward meal Hermione had ever consumed.

Most of her time was spent staring down at her food, but when she did look up, it was to see him looking away. A few times she had even parted her lips to initiate conversation, but the words never came to her. As the nerves got to be too much, she resorted to pushing her food about her plate, staring down at it absentmindedly.

"You know, we have had dinner together before," he said.

Her gaze snapped up to his and she tucked her hair behind her ears after setting her fork down. "It isn't weird for you?"

"Eating dinner?"

She rolled her eyes. "Being here for something other than…"

"Other than fucking you senseless?" he finished when she fumbled over her words.

She cleared her throat and wondered how it was that her cheeks were permanently flushed. "Is it?" she pressed, choosing not to give him any more fodder to be crass.

He smirked and took another bite, chewing and washing it down with wine before he leaned back in his chair to answer. "No."

She waited for him to elaborate, but when it was clear that he wasn't going to, she nodded and picked up her fork to resume eating. Hermione wondered if he had had this kind of relationship with other subs before. All her experience had been one-night stands with random encounters or being at the club where this portion of a dom-sub relationship wasn't explored at all. If this is what giving up anonymity entailed, she could learn.

"It's not like we didn't know each other beforehand."

Her brow quirked up and her fork paused halfway to her lips. "We didn't," she said. They may have gone to the same school for six years; may have worked at the same place for a few years, but when it came down to it, the only thing she truly knew about Draco Malfoy was that he liked to be in charge of her in the bedroom. And she liked to let him. "Not really," she added.

He studied her again and then leaned forward, crossing his forearms over one another on the table. "Why anonymity for you?"

She gave a shrug and went back to twirling the last of her pasta around her fork over and over again. "It was easier."

"Easier than…?" he prompted.

She held his gaze, curious as to his reaction. "Our first night here, I told you that I liked losing control, but that was only part of it. I've never been good at relationships. More than once I've been told to just let shit go or unwind a little. I can't. That's not me. I can only shut that part of myself off for so long." She took a sip of her wine and thrummed her fingers along the glass. "Elysium gave me a place where I could get what I needed; where I could seek solace in another without getting bogged down in the details. Not knowing anyone's name or being able to recognize faces or be recognized was the ultimate way to be free."

"Had you not realized it was me, how long do you suppose you would have continued what we had?"

"Until you got tired of me."

"And then?"

She shrugged. "Then I would have gone back to being the main attraction."

There was a flicker of something in his eyes, darkening them slightly. He simply stared at her for what seemed like eternity before he got to his feet and moved around the table to her. He extended his hand and she took it, allowing him to pull her up. He put one hand on her waist to pull her close and keep her there, while the other rose up to lightly grasp her chin. "I won't."

"Won't what?" she asked, her voice barely above a whisper.

His smile was soft as he leaned in and brushed his lips over hers. "Get tired of you."

Her lips parted and he swallowed her gasp when he sealed the gap between their lips. It was a brief kiss, one that left her whimpering and wanting more when he pulled back and twined their fingers together before leading her back to the bedroom. She was surprised at the part of her that was disappointed when he didn't stop there, but continued on until they were in the bathroom.

He kept hold of her hand as he used his other to wave his wand. A handful of candles appeared to hover above the tub, replacing the overhead light with the soft glow of flickering flames. The tap turned on and water began to flow into the porcelain base. A smaller tap beneath it opened and the room filled with the perfect blend of relaxation and warmth with a hint of sweet and floral.

He set his wand on the stand beside the tap and then turned his full attention to Hermione. She remained motionless as she watched him while he reached up to undo the buttons on her top. She lifted her arms when he made to pull her top over her head. She half turned so he could access the zipper on her skirt and then continued to watch him as he pushed her bottom layers down until they pooled at her feet. She stepped out of them and kicked them to the side.

She even watched as he began to undress himself. She tracked his movements, taking in the sight of him as he bared himself to her. By the time he was done, he shut off the taps and held out his hand to her. She took it and he held her steady while she stepped into the tub. He climbed in after her, sat with his back against the porcelain and then motioned for her to sit with her back to him. She obliged without hesitation and sighed as the heat of the water seeped into her skin. Combined with the feel of him behind her and the fragrance he had added, she immediately felt her body relax.

She hated to admit that he was right; that having the water come up over her breasts was far more rewarding than just above her waist. And she didn't have to just sit in one position and not move in fear of splashing water out of the tub. Even with his thighs outside of hers and his arms at her side, there was plenty of room to move about.

"Thank you," she murmured, relaxing back against him even more.

His chuckle sent vibrations up her spine and she sucked her bottom lip in between her teeth as he moved her hair off to one side, his fingers gently scraping her skin. "I haven't begun to earn that thank you."

"What happened to no strings attached?" she asked, feeling his cock spring to life at her back.

He leaned forward to skim his lips over the curve of her shoulder. "Still true, but did you really think I wouldn't do my best to convince you otherwise?"

It was her turn to laugh softly at that. "I suppose I forgot who I was talking to."

"Allow me to remind you."

She replied with a sigh as she dropped her head back on his shoulder and closed her eyes. His hands began to knead her skin. Combined with the heat of the water, the soreness in her body began to ebb to nothing. He took his time, massaging every bit of her that he could reach. There even came a point where she considered letting herself nod off from the comfort of his touch, knowing full well he wouldn't let her drown.

But, in true Malfoy forum, his massage eventually turned from innocent to teasing. It had started as he dropped his arms into the water to massage her hips. Then he had moved up her sides, her ribs, and when he reached her breasts, he massaged around them and the next thing she knew, he was cupping them, his fingers rolling and plucking at her nipples gently.

A moan escaped her lips and she felt his lips brush the crown of her head. He continued to knead her breasts, never slowing or increasing his pace or pressure. She whimpered and shifted against him when he finally let go, working his way back down her ribs and then working her hips again.

"Draco?" she crooned as his fingers slowed to a near stop.

"Yes?"

"I'm convinced."

She felt his laughter through her entire body and gasped when he grabbed her hips firmly and lifted her enough so he could set her down on his lap. His legs came together beneath her and she adjusted so that he could line himself up. When she felt him nudging at her entrance, she adjusted once more and sank herself down onto him. He kept his hands on her hips to steady her as hers rose to grip the edge of the tub. From this position, Hermione realized she would be in charge and she took full advantage of it.

He continued to steady her as she lifted and settled her hips above him. She wasn't able to get high, but the friction alone from this angle was a magic of its own. When she found her rhythm, he moved one hand up to cup one of her breasts, pushing her tight to his chest, while the other sank lower to tease her clit.

It wasn't long before her moans became louder than the sound of the water lapping at the edges of the tub. He buried his nose in her hair and groaned curses and her name on repeat, often combining the two. She kept expecting him to speak to her like he normally would, but the fact that he didn't, brought a new level of thrill to their tryst.

When she came, it wasn't with her normal gusto. She wasn't falling off the precipice or soaring into the clouds. Instead, heat spread through her entire being, burning her from the inside out, consuming her until there was nothing left. When the blazing heat ebbed until it was nothing more than a pilot light, she realized that Draco had come right along with her. She could feel him spasming inside her as his body matched her tremble for tremble.

Carefully, remaining seated inside of her until he softened and began to slip out on his own, he moved his torso to one side and she moved to the other so she could turn and kiss him. The hand on her chest came up to her throat, holding her in place as if she were a flight risk. Needing air, she turned to rest against him, groaning when he finally vacated her core. He wrapped his arms around her waist and she reveled in the fact that her mind stayed blissfully numb in the moment.

As the heat of the water started to lessen, Draco summoned a sponge and they added soap to the mix to actual clean themselves up. Afterwards, they stayed in until the water turned cold and their skin began to prune. They helped one another out of the bath and then he dried them off with a wave of his wand.

"Am I allowed to thank you now?" she asked as she wrapped her arms around herself from the chill of the air against her body.

"I would prefer that you show me instead of tell me," he said with a smirk, one that faded a bit as her hand rose to cover a yawn. "But you have work tomorrow, so I'll concede this time."

She smiled and nodded her head. "Thank you, Draco. This was exactly what I needed after a day like today."

His brow quirked. "I was serious earlier," he started. "About the taking care of you. What we had was fine when it was at a club and there was anonymity, but there is more to dom and sub than-"

"Okay."

His lips were still parted after her interruption. She cleared his throat and canted his head to the side. "Okay…?"

"One weekday, but I need it to be like this. I can't go full sub during the week."

"Wednesdays."

She worried at her bottom lip as she studied him. "Last time you asked for a Wednesday, you stood me up."

He reached for her, his hands cupping her face and tilting it up. "I won't. You have my word," he said, leaning forward to brush his lips over hers. "Never again."

She pulled away and looked down only to avoid yawning in his face. They both laughed and she nodded as she looked back up at him. "I should go."

"You're welcome to sleep here if you want."

She hesitated for a moment, sensing that he wanted her to say yes; that it was his way of asking without asking, but she wasn't there. Not yet. "Draco-"

He silenced her with a kiss that left her even more unsteady than their tryst in the tub. "I'll see you around the office," he said, stepping back to summon her things for her.

"And I'll be here Friday," she said, clarifying that today was this week's weekday meetup.

He gave a curt nod and watched as she took another step back and Apparated home without even bothering to redress. She stood, rooted to the spot she had landed in in her bedroom, staring at the space before her that Draco had just occupied. As she set her things in an unceremonious heap in front of her nightstand, she wondered what it would be like to have spent the night with him.

And as she crawled into bed, she wished she had stayed to find out.

Chapter Text

TEN

As conflicted as her emotions were upon waking up the morning after, Hermione's week had been so busy that she hadn't had the proper time to deal with it. The first reprieve she had from meetings and her ever growing stack of paperwork was her lunch break on Friday. The only reason being was that there was some sort of incident that took half the Auror team out of the office for the day. As much as she hoped everything was alright, she was glad for the peace and quiet.

As she debated on going out or ordering in, a knock sounded at her door and she looked up to see Draco letting himself in. She watched him kick the door closed behind him and hold up a bag with a familiar takeout logo.

"What are you doing?" she asked as he set the bag on her desk.

He stared down at her from across the desk. "Are you going to fight me on everything I do?"

"Malfoy, we're at-"

"Work, yes," he replied, diving into the bag to divvy up the food. "And as coworkers, I believe it would be natural for us to eat lunch together. We are working on the same case, last I checked."

Hermione worried at her bottom lip as she nodded her head. He had already made it clear that since anonymity was gone and they had moved their encounters outside of Elysium, he wanted something like a more traditional dom-sub relationship. And she had researched it, but not to the extent that made her comfortable with it. Not yet anyway.

As he took a seat across from her, she smiled at him, choosing to let it go and give in to the gesture as well as the growl in her stomach. "Thank you."

He smiled back at her. "You're welcome."

She didn't want this meal to be as awkward as their last. As she tucked into her food, she initiated the conversation. "How did you get out of going with the Aurors?"

"I'm an analyst," he replied. "The only time they ever bring me to the field is if the item is too unstable to move right away. It's usually up to me whether or not we move it or if we call the Department of Mysteries."

"Are you not interested in being an Auror?"

He toyed with his food for a moment before taking another bite. "I wanted to, at first, but the Malfoy name doesn't exactly inspire much trust."

Hermione frowned. "But you were acquitted."

He shrugged and she studied his face, surprised to find that there wasn't any visible anger. "Didn't matter. My father had done too much harm to the name by throwing his support in with the Dark Lord. My taking the Mark didn't help."

She couldn't help but glance down at his left forearm for a fleeting second. She couldn't remember seeing it all that often. At Elysium, she was sure the enchantments of the masks had glamoured it, but-

"I keep it glamoured," he replied as if reading her thoughts.

She swallowed her bite of food and sought his gaze. "You don't have to," she said, her voice low. "When it's just us. It doesn't bother me."

She saw the twitch in his lips and noticed the way his pale flesh began to spot with color. He inclined his head slightly. He didn't comment on it, instead he continued his train of thought. "Thanks to the Golden Trio, though I'm not sure Weasley did much good then, they gave me a job anyway. Robbards has asked me more than once to reapply, but I like being an analyst. It's not like I need the money anyway and just being here is enough to help restore the Malfoy name for future generations."

Hermione paused mid-chew at that. She recovered quickly, washing everything down with her drink, but the way he was looking at her made it clear that he noticed her reaction.

"What about you? I imagine your current position is your endgame in paving the way for future Muggleborns."

She nodded slowly. "When this case is finished, I can use it to advance to the next level. I hope to one day be Minister of Magic." She felt heat wash over her entire being. She hadn't ever admitted that was her ambition to anyone but herself.

Draco's gaze was unreadable as he schooled his features. "The Wizarding World will never know what hit them," he said, reaching for his drink with a smile. "We'll all be lucky to have you guiding us in the future."

It was on the tip of her tongue to ask if he really meant that given her blood status, but she refused to let the words slip. If it bothered him, he would have made it clear the night she had broken anonymity. Instead, she returned his smile and inclined her head. "Thank you."

The rest of their meal was consumed in lighthearted conversation. As their break came to an end, they cleaned up, but it wasn't until she went to toss everything in the bin that she noticed a smaller bag that had been hidden behind the one with the food.

"What's that?" she asked.

The smile that graced his lips along with the gleam in his eye made Hermione's heart skip a beat and heat pool between her thighs. "I truly did want to have lunch with you, but I'm afraid there may have been an ulterior motive."

She worried at her bottom lip as she crossed her arms in front of her chest. She wasn't completely surprised. She thought about his earlier question of whether or not she was going to fight him on everything he proposed and clamped down on the urge to do that now. "Okay."

With a flick of his wand, the small bag lifted through the air towards her. She plucked it out of the air and peeked inside after removing the tissue paper. There was a small packet of lubricant and a slim box. She withdrew the box and read the title as well as looked at the picture of the product.

"Ben Wa balls?"

He inclined his head. "They're for-"

"I know what they're for, Malfoy," she interrupted, unable to keep the irritation from her voice.

His smirk widened. "Then you're aware that they're not just for strengthening," he said. "That they can be used to enhance your pleasure. That the longer you wear them, the better your orgasm will be."

Her eyes widened as realization dawned on her. "Now?"

He inclined his head and flicked his wand. She heard the lock click on her office door and then he set the wand on her desk near hers before beckoning her forward. She moved without hesitation, half mad at him for doing this at work, half looking forward to the pleasure he promised. He took the bag from her and set it on the desk as well. He then turned to face her and kept his gaze on hers as he reached out to untuck her blouse from her skirt. He took his time in unzipping the back of her skirt before pushing it off her hips. He then knelt before her, dragging her knickers down her legs, planting feather-light kisses to her skin as he went.

Bare from the waist down, he rose up and helped her step away from her clothes before lifting her to sit at the edge of her desk. She planted her feet on the surface and angled her knees inward so they were resting against one another. He let her be as he opened the lube and the box.

"Lean back," he demanded. She propped herself back on her elbows, curiously watching as he sank down into the chair before her. He had devoured her too many times to count by now, but seeing the hungry look in his eye as he wet his lips made her clench at the emptiness inside her core. "Open up." Her legs fell open for him and he pressed his lips against the soft skin of her inner thigh.

She watched as he coated his fingers with the lube and sucked in a breath as he applied it to her core. It was almost clinical, the way he pushed his fingers inside of her to make sure she was well lubricated for the toy. But clinical or not, it didn't stop her from whining when he pulled away. He smirked and kissed her thigh again, higher this time, before applying the lube to the first ball.

He nudged it against entrance and then pressed it into her. She moaned softly as her core clenched at it, greedily wanting more. He applied lube to the part that connected the first ball to the second and then repeated the process until only the pull cord was sticking out of her. He held her gaze as her body adjusted to the feel of them and when she gave him a reassuring nod, he kissed her skin again and then got to this feet.

"Get dressed."

She leaned forward carefully, groaning in pleasure as the balls shifted inside her core, causing her to clench. He crossed one arm over his chest, tucking his hand behind his other elbow as that hand came up to cup his jaw as he watched her bend over for her clothes. Her movements were slow and jerky. She bit her lip over and over again to keep from moaning with each movement. After an embarrassingly long amount of time, she turned to him, wondering what came next.

He moved his arms down to his sides and then leaned in to brush his lips faintly over hers. "See you tonight," was all he said before taking leave of her office.


The only way Hermione could describe what it was like to have the Ben Wa balls inside of her was that they were pleasantly uncomfortable. Every time she moved, her core would clench and leave her aching for more. The only thing that wasn't comfortable in the slightest was sitting. So, for the rest of the afternoon, Hermione did her paperwork while standing up. By the time the day came to an end, she was beyond frustrated and ready for release.

On her way to the Floo network, she spotted Draco chatting with a handful of people she recognized from other departments. If anyone asked her to introduce them, she hadn't the slightest idea what any of their names were. He did a double take at the sight of her coming towards him and excused himself to meet her half way.

His smirk was downright wicked, eliciting a fevered blush as she shifted on her feet before him. "Do you have something to do after work?" she asked.

"What ever did you have in mind, Granger?" he asked, his smirk widened into a grin.

"Malfoy…" The way she said his name was done in a half whine. "I can't take much more of this."

"Of what?" he asked innocently, his eyes darkening.

She narrowed her eyes at him and looked around, only half caring if someone spotted their interaction. She shifted again and wet her lips slowly, watching as he tracked the movement before snapping his gaze back to hers. "Please?"

He cleared his throat and reached up to rub at his chin for a moment. "Go straight to the flat," he said, leaning in just a touch so he could lower his voice. "Assume the position and wait for me."

She nodded readily and swallowed hard as she shifted again. "Yes, M-" She bit back from calling him master in the midst of the crowd around them.

"Do not touch yourself."

Her eyes widened and she looked around again, her face burning. "H-how long?"

He leaned in another fraction. "However long it takes," he whispered and then pulled away, straightening up to his full height. He tipped his head to her and walked away without another word.

Resisting the urge to run after him and demand he come to the flat with her, she did as she was told and fell into the line for the Floo. Before long, she was stepping into the living room for the flat and taking off towards the bedroom without stopping to think. She vanished her clothes and conjured her mask. Once it was secured on her face, she decided to wait on the bed. The idea of kneeling brought forth images of the toys falling out and she wanted Draco to be the one to remove them. So she laid back amongst the pillows, legs stretched out before her, eyes on the ceiling, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

The longer she laid on the bed, the harder it was to remember his order not to touch herself. It had been hours since he had inserted the device into her. The whole time she had been slowly going mad with need and now that she had the privacy and the time, the only thing keeping her from relieving the ache was his demand. Just as she was debating how bad the punishment might be or if he might forgive her if he walked in on her pleasuring herself, she heard the crack of Apparation from the living room.

He entered the bedroom fully clothed and a hand running through his hair in agitation. She propped herself up on one elbow and studied him. "Everything okay?" she asked.

He stopped short at the sight of her, his expression hardening before he relaxed and let his eyes rake up and down her body. She wondered if he hadn't forgotten he had told her to come early. Surely she hadn't been waiting that long? "Did you touch yourself?"

She shook her head and watched as he approached the bed, stopping at the foot of it. "No. I wanted to, but I didn't."

He smirked as he reached up to loosen his tie. "I suppose you would like a reward for being so good then."

She nodded eagerly, bending her knees so that she could open herself up for him to see just how much she needed him. His gaze flickered to her core before coming up to capture hers again. She didn't miss the way the grey darkened with his own desire. "I've been so good, Master. Please."

He raised his right hand between them and beckoned her forward. She slid down the bed until her knees could hang over the foot of the bed. She brought her feet up to rest them on the edge and trembled as he placed his hands on her knees and slid them down her inner thighs, stopping just before her core.

"Wait there," he demanded.

She nodded, but whined when he stepped away from her and disappeared out of the bedroom again. Whatever he had gone to retrieve, he was intentionally messing with her more than necessary. He could have easily summoned it with his wand. Her eyes went wide at the sight of the spreader bar in his hand when he returned, still fully clothed.

He said nothing as he lifted one ankle and attached a cuff to it. Then the next ankle, the bar keeping her legs spread wide. He pushed forward on the bar, forcing her knees back. She moaned as the toys moved inside of her and she couldn't help but buck her hips up in search of more. He extended his hand and she adjusted herself so that he could add a wrist to each of the last remaining cuffs. With one hand holding the center of the bar to ease the pressure on her body, she waved his other in front of him and his clothes vanished.

He reached down and stroked himself a few times before summoning a bottle of lube. He opened it and she jumped at the cold sting against her ass. Her breath quickened in anticipation. He smirked as she thrust herself towards his cock as he stepped closer to rub himself in the lube in preparation for entry. "Eager for my cock in your ass?"

"Y-yes," she whined.

"Beg me."

Hermione's wrists tugged absently at the restraints as she stared at him over the contraption. "Please," she whined, swallowing hard so she could beg until he put her out of her misery. "I've been so good for you all day, Master. I want you to put your cock inside of me. Fill me up. I'll show you how good I can be. Pleasepleaseplease!"

The last of her words turned to a screaming moan as he shoved his way inside her channel. He tightened his grip on the bar as his other hand came to rest on her hip to steady himself. With each powerful stroke, the balls in her cunt moved, giving her the feeling of being completely full. She moaned and writhed beneath him, her release already within reach.

She cried out as he pushed forward and moved his hand to smack what he could reach of her ass. "Did I say to stop?"

"N-no!" she choked out. "I'm s-sorry, Master. I'll be good, I swear, just…" Her words turned into a moan as he eased up on the power of his strokes in favor of going deep. "Please don't stop. I'll… Fuck."

"You'll what?" he asked, slamming his hips forward, hitting deep.

Her body bowed off the bed, her head grinding back against the bedding. Due to the thickness of his cock and the size of the balls, she could feel both of them rubbing each other through the barrier inside her body. Her fingers continued to grasp at the air as her eyes rolled back into her head.

Whether he was wanting to be the one to allow her to come or not, there was no way for her to hold back. A wailing moan started low in her throat and grew louder with her release as he continued to fuck her through it. "Gods, I'm coming. I'm… fuckDraco, I'm c-c-coming!"

Everything went white. Her mind, her sight, the noise in her ears; everything. Her return to reality was the longest she had ever experienced. Once she was back, she sagged against the mattress and blinked her eyes open, waiting for her vision to slowly return to normal. When the blurriness faded, she noticed Draco leaning against her for support, sweat drenching his brow, and a curious look in his eye as he stared down at her.

They both groaned softly as he withdrew his cock from her ass. After a moment to catch his breath, he undid the restraints on her wrist so she could relax, but kept her ankles shackled together. She scooted back a little, at his insistence, and he knelt with one knee between her thighs to remove the Ben Wa balls from her core. She sighed heavily at the loss of them from within, amused as her body continued to clench for them.

He then stepped back and gestured to his cock, dripping with his release. "Clean your mess and I'll give you another reward."

Her ankles twitched, the bar clinking from where it was still attached. She looked at him, her brow raised in question behind her mask.

"Figure it out."

She bit her lip and took a second to move back down to the edge of the bed, not caring about the trail of bodily fluid she left in her wake. Feet planted on the ground, she stood up. A few awkward, shuffling steps forward brought her to him and he extended a hand to help ease her to her knees. His lips parted to give the command she knew was coming, but he smirked as he watched her bring her wrists behind her back without being told.

"Good girl," he purred, his hand sinking into her hair and wrapping it around his fingers. He drew her closer, stretching her a little more than she was used to. Her jaw dropped automatically and she turned her attention up, locking her gaze with his through her lashes as he buried himself as far as he could in her mouth. "Fuck," he muttered, his fingers flexing in her hair. "Gods you're amazing."

She hummed around him at his appraisal and shifted against a fresh wave of arousal pooling between her thighs as he shuddered above her. As she sucked him clean, some of his earlier release bunched up at the base, dripping down between them; just as what he left behind ran out of her and down the backs of her thighs.

Hermione continued to please him, alternating her techniques until he was groaning above her and jerking his hips. When he came, half of it made it down her throat before she had to pull back to breathe, the rest splashing over her face and into her hair. Without a second to catch their breath, he hauled her to her feet and kissed her. His indifference to not only tasting himself in her mouth, but feeling his release pressed between where their faces met; it threw her off a bit. No one had ever done something quite like this with her before.

She didn't even have time to wonder if it bothered him in any way, but decided he most likely didn't as he dragged her back to the bed and proceeded to bring them both over the edge too many times to count. She was definitely sure that he didn't care as she lay curled around him in the after, panting for air with evidence of release still cooling on various parts of her body.

It wasn't until the time felt right for her to start cleaning up to head home that she realized he hadn't worn his mask at all that night. And that she had called him Draco instead of Master. And that he had seemed to like that quite a bit.

"Granger?"

She shook herself out of her daze and smiled sheepishly as she realized he had been speaking to her. "Sorry, what?"

He smirked as he tugged his trousers over his hips and then brought her clothes to her. "I said there's some business with my parents I have to take care of at the Manor tomorrow. They usually have me stay for dinner and then dinner turns to-"

"You can't make it tomorrow," she said with a nod of her head as she clasped her bra behind her back. "You don't owe me an explanation." His jaw ticked and she paused with her hands still behind her. "Wait, you don't live at the Manor?"

He shook his head. "I haven't lived there for quite some time. That house is…"

She averted her gaze and used the break in eye contact to tug her shirt over her head. She nodded understandingly and they continued to dress in silence. Finished, she stepped towards him and laid her hands on his chest. "I'm aware that you have a life and that sometimes it will take precedence over…this. It does for me too," she said, giving him a small smile. "I'll find something to do," she assured him, trying not to let it show how disappointed she was that she wouldn't be seeing him the following day.

When she moved to step away, he brought his hand up to keep hers on his chest. "Promise me you won't back out of Wednesday?"

She nodded. "I promise."

He said nothing, only inclined his head, and then let her step away to Apparate home without another word.

Chapter Text

ELEVEN

When Hermione finally managed to drag herself out of bed the next day, she spent her time in the shower staring down with contempt at her bathtub. She wondered if Draco would mind if she used the flat just to soak in the tub. With a sigh that she knew wouldn't be the last, she shook the idea away and continued getting ready for her day of absolutely no plans.

It only took an hour for her to get restless. In that hour, she had cleaned the few dishes she'd used through the week and picked up after herself. With nothing left to do that wouldn't leave her the same way tomorrow, Hermione decided it was useless to sit around all day. For the first time in a long time, she had a full Saturday to herself to do whatever she wanted.

Aside from the problem being that what she wanted to do was busy doing another things, she was determined to not squander the day entirely.

When she arrived to Diagon Alley, she found it busier than she ever remembered it to be. She took her time in the shops, visiting nearly each and every one of them; even the ones she didn't need anything from. All for the sake of distraction and hoping time would fly by. She saved Weasley's Wizard Wheezes for last, knowing that seeing George would suck her into a conversation. If she was lucky, it would just be George though. If it were anyone else, she didn't know if she would be able to leave Diagon until Monday.

The sounds of many children laughing, shrieking, or crying could be heard from a few shops down as she approached. She tried not to let herself think about Draco's future generations comment from earlier that week. Instead, she held the door open for a couple and their three children before ducking into the store herself.

"Hermione?"

"Out on a Saturday?"

"Is this real?"

Hermione recognized both Harry and Ginny's voices before she saw them to her left. They were staring at her with a shocked expression on their faces, ones that dissolved as she approached and turned to grins as Ginny surged forward to embrace her. "What brings you away from those iron clad weekend plans you never break?" Ginny asked, looping an arm through hers.

Hermione mustered up a grin of her own. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe I just don't want to see you lot on the weekends? That perhaps I prefer to just hole up at home and enjoy the silence? You know, the opposite of you."

Ginny stared at her for all of two seconds before she leaned into Hermione and roared with laughter. "And they say you never had any sense of humor!" she said, slapping Hermione's shoulder as she pulled away. "That was right funny to me." Her reaction changed entirely at the sound of James screeching from nearby. She muttered curses under her breath, mostly her brother's name, and took off down the aisles.

Harry rolled his eyes and chuckled. "Are you free tonight?"

She nodded before she could let herself hesitate. "What are we doing?" she asked.

He pulled his flask from beneath his jacket and handed it to her. She downed a shot and handed it back, watching as he took one for himself before putting it back. "Some of the Harpies are in town and Ginny's going out for a bit. Ron was going to come over and hangout. You're more than welcome to join us."

A quiet night in with her two best friends that she had been seriously neglecting sounded like the very thing she needed. "That sounds perfect. It's been ages."

He nodded again. "I'll try not to tell Ron. That way he can't bet on it."

Hermione laughed as Ginny rejoined them, shaking her head profusely. "What is Ron betting on now?"

"Nothing," Harry said. "Because he won't know that Hermione's joining us tonight while you're out with your teammates."

Ginny's eyes widened and a large grin took hold of her lips. Hermione felt a sinking in her stomach. It was the same expression she got right before she spoke the idea forming her mind and declared that that's the way it was, leaving no room for argument. "Why don't you come with me and the girls tonight instead? You need girl time, Hermione." She gasped loud enough to cover Hermione's groan. "I make an excellent wing woman. You're still not seeing anyone, right?"

"Ginny-"

"That's a no," she said, smirking victoriously. "Don't you worry, I will make it my mission to get you laid tonight."

Harry gave her an apologetic look, but didn't dare try to talk his wife out of something when she was like this. Hermione sighed and plastered a smile on her face. If only Ginny knew that her own plans were quite the opposite tonight. "I'll drink with you and the Harpies, but please do not make a big fuss over setting me up."

Ginny only winked at her and then gave her the details on when and where to meet up later that night. After spending some more time with them around the shop and speaking to the handful of other people she knew there as well, they parted ways with Ginny reminding her to dress accordingly. Hermione promised she would and went home to enjoy the last few moments of solitude for the night.


When she met up with Ginny, Hermione couldn't help but feel remiss that typically around this time of night on a Saturday, she had already come two or three times and was usually begging for more. Her thighs pressed together at the thought of Draco between them and she tugged her clothes, feeling more restricted than usual. With a sigh of frustration, she hailed a Muggle cab to delay getting to the club even longer.

Hermione bypassed the line waiting for entry and walked straight up to the bouncer at the front. His eyes swept over her, landed on her forearm, and stepped aside to let her in. If anyone was upset about her cutting or using her status to gain entry, she didn't hear a thing. Instead, she gave a nod to the bouncer and stepped inside to search for her Ginny and the others.

She didn't have to search too hard. They were Quidditch players after all. They were always going to be the loudest, most rowdy crowd of all. She paused and grimaced at the idea that Ginny had somehow roped her into being here and considered turning around and heading home before she as spotted. However, that dream was short lived as someone shouted her name and all eyes turned towards her.

There was so much commotion as Ginny and her friends left their spot to crowd her. People she didn't know were cheering and introducing themselves. She caught a handful of names, but only one or two stuck out. And if anyone asked her to point out who belonged to those name, she would never be able to answer that.

By the time the crowd died down and went back to normal, putting her at the fringes, she was three shots in and already feeling a bit more relaxed about being there. Luckily for her, she wasn't the only friend of a Harpie that had been invited along. There were a few other women that lingered on the edges of the main group and Hermione sat with them for a good majority of the night.

Had Ginny not stolen her away at some point, she would have been content talking to them until she was ready to leave. "There's someone I want you to meet," Ginny said, spinning her so that they were both facing the bar.

"Ginny-"

"There," she said, pointing and not giving two shits about who saw. Hermione followed the gesture and spotted a man around their age, maybe a few years older sitting off to the side of the bar by himself. "That's Ashton Kettlesby. He's Carlotta's older brother."

It took Hermione a moment to vaguely recall Carlotta as a name of someone on Ginny's team. Before she could even say anything else on the matter, Ginny was propelling her forward, stopping only when they were right at Ashton's side. He smiled at the two of them, giving Hermione that knowing look.

"Ashton, this is my friend Hermione."

"I know who she is," he said with a smile, extending his hand to her. "It's an honor to meet you."

Hermione reached up to grasp his hand, surprised when he brought it to his lips instead of just shaking it like she had expected him to. "Okay, leaving now," Ginny whispered and dashed away before Hermione could stop her.

She turned back to Ashton and smiled. He pulled out the barstool next to him and gestured for her to take a seat. "If you don't, she's just going to keep throwing us at one another."

Hermione dissolved into laughter and nodded as she took the seat he offered. "Good point."

"What would you like to drink?"

"Tequila, double."

He signaled for the bartender and ordered two double shots. When the bartender returned, they each picked up a glass and tipped it towards the other. "Here's to friends that drag us out," he said.

"And aren't subtle with their intentions," she added.

He chuckled and they both tossed the shots back. She was sure they wore the same expression of distaste until the alcohol was gone from their tongues. "So what do you do?" he asked.

She wet her lips and studied him, wondering how much of this was true interest versus just making conversation until one of them let the other down. "You don't read the Prophet?"

"I do," he said, tapping the empty glass on the counter. "But I'm asking anyway. I'd rather hear things from the source."

She was surprised by his response and that her smile was genuine. "I work for the Ministry. With the Regulation of Magical Creatures. Occasionally I help the DMLE with their cases, so long as they pertain to my department." She shrugged. "It's boring office work, really, but it keeps me busy."

"I think it's admirable."

She could only blink at him in response. "How so?"

"You being who you are," he started. "You could have demanded any job, no matter how high ranking it is, and they would have given it to you. The fact that you didn't shows that you're not like the majority of others out there. Anyone else would have, but not you."

She thought of Harry and Ron taking Auror positions a few weeks after everything had settled. She thought about the jobs she had been offered in the beginning as well; the ones she turned down to go back to Hogwarts and complete her education before joining her department at entry level.

"Not many people care about that," she said. "What about you? What do you do?"

His grin was warm. "I'm a broadcaster for the Wizarding Wireless Network. I do the sports every Sunday. During Quidditch season I travel to see as many games as I can and report it during my slot. We've been working on integrating a television network as well. A way to encourage more wizarding families to embrace Muggle technology."

Hermione's eyes went wide. Not many wizards or witches were willing to talk about Muggle things so candidly. As much as she wanted to launch into the hundreds of questions that were rapidly clogging up her thoughts, she refrained. "Have you started the program yet?"

He nodded eagerly. "We have a few families that have been testing it. So far it's been successful. We're hoping by the end of the decade more will embrace the ways of the future."

"That would be a huge step forward."

He nodded. "Would you like another round?"

"Sure, thank you."


There were quite a few rounds shared between them after that as they spent the next few hours talking. Neither one of them bothered in the slightest as the crowd grew larger and noisier. When she finally declined his offer for another, not sure what number they were even on, he asked if she wanted to get some fresh air. She hesitated for a second before nodding and let him lead her out of the club.

Instead of hailing a cab or Apparating home, they just decided to walk until neither of them could stand it anymore. The fresh air felt good on her skin and worked well on the alcohol induced fog of her mind. When the yawning began, he offered to escort her home and she extended her hand to Apparate them to her front stoop.

There was an awkward moment of them staring at one another before his eyes flickered towards her door in question and she averted her gaze. "I've had a lovely time chatting with you tonight, Hermione."

She nodded and shoved some curls behind her ears. "I did too."

"Maybe we can do this again sometime? Maybe over dinner?"

Her lips parted to respond, but anything she thought to say felt like a lie. She and Draco had never discussed seeing other people. "I, um…"

"Oh," he said, taking a half step back, his smile fading slightly. "I didn't realize you were seeing someone. I thought-"

"It's complicated. I'm sorry, it's not something I talk about."

He summoned a Muggle pen and a piece of paper from an unknown source and scribbled down his name and number before handing her the paper. "Well, if it ever gets uncomplicated, give me a call," he said, boldly stepping forward to press his lips to her cheek.

She swallowed hard and nodded at him. Unable to trust her voice, she smiled and turned to let herself in. The moment the door clicked closed behind her, she heard the crack of Apparition and stared down at the paper in her hands, wondering if she should toss it or keep it.


The following morning, Hermione went about her normal routine. As she brought her morning coffee to the table, the Post owl rapped its beak at her window to deliver the Sunday paper. She gave the bird a treat and dropped a Sickle into its pouch. As it took its leave, she plopped into her chair and unrolled the paper.

Normally she would skip the front page news as it was usually nothing but the latest scandal or drama she didn't care for. She would turn towards the second half of the paper where all the real information was stored and peruse the articles with some merit. She would have skipped that day's front page as well, had the person in the photo not been the object of her every waking thought as of late.

She swallowed hard at the sight of Draco with his arm around a slightly younger witch with dark hair, his hand in the small of her back. They were both smiling at the camera, but they were in motion, as if walking away. She glanced up at the headline, her heart sinking down to her stomach as she read:

Spotted. Astoria Greengrass and Draco Malfoy enjoying their first dinner out after rumors of their impending betrothal surface. True to Pureblood traditions-

Hermione flipped the paper over and stared into the empty space before her. Her brow furrowed as she tapped the back of the paper and after a few deep breaths, she got to her feet and hunted down the piece of paper that contained Ashton's phone number. She wasted no time in summoning her phone and calling the number.

"Hello?" Ashton asked, having picked up on the third ring.

"Uh, hi, this is Hermione. We met last night."

There was a pause from his end and she began to panic, wondering if she was coming off desperate. "I was not expecting to hear from you."

She turned her head to clear her throat and take another deep breath. "Yes, well, things have been made uncomplicated and I was wondering if you'd be up to getting breakfast instead of waiting for dinner?"

"Sounds great. I can pick you up in half an hour."

"I'll be ready," she said and hung up before she could change her mind.

With one last look at the paper, still upside down on her table, she stormed to her bedroom to get ready. If Draco felt free to date, let alone get engaged without saying one word to her, then she found no need to feel guilty about doing the same.

Chapter Text

TWELVE

Her date with Ashton had gone well and they had left it open to maybe repeating it the following Sunday. It wasn't until she returned to work on Monday and saw Draco that she realized with an aching clarity, that, as nice as Ashton was, he wasn't Draco. And it frustrated her to no end that he might not ever be hers to keep.

Instead, she forced herself to focus on her work and ignoring Draco as best she could. She almost canceled on him for Wednesday, but found her desire to be near him had intensified. It scared her to no end, but when she returned home Wednesday night, she buried the fear and decided to just let it go. If they really were engaged, there wouldn't be much time left for her to enjoy what they had.

The following day, Hermione sat in the conference room, swiveling back and forth in her chair as whoever spoke droned on and on about the current case. She barely heard them as she stared down at the person responsible for her poor listening skills. He was leaning back in his chair, one hand tapping fingers along the armrest, the other propping up his chin.

She had her thumbnail between her teeth as she let her mind run wild with fantasy after fantasy. Of how she wished she could crawl across the length of the table and yank him close by his tie. How she would spread her legs wide before him and have him eat her out right there on the table. How she would wrap her legs around his waist in that very chair and ride him until it broke.

And at some point, her fantasies turned into memories of their tryst from the night before.

A hiss left her lips as Draco dragged the ice cube down her body, from the hollow of her throat to the dips of her hips and then back up to drop it into her navel. She moaned as the heat of his tongue lapped up the trail of water that had melted off. The constant temperature change on her skin left her keening something fierce.

He moved back up to take the cube back between his lips, sucking it into his mouth to cool down his tongue. He dropped it back into her navel after a moment and settled down between her thighs to press the now icy muscle to her clit. She cried out as the temperature changed and he repeated the process over and over again until she came from it.

Someone cleared their throat, drawing Hermione from her thoughts and her entire face flamed embarrassment when he shot her an amused smirk. When he tilted his head at her, she realized he wasn't the only one looking at her and Robbards was saying her name for what she was sure wasn't the first time.

She cleared her throat, pulled at her clothes, and apologized before getting to her feet and making her way towards the front of the room. In order to do so, she would have to pass Draco. She swallowed hard as she did and refused to look his way as she delivered her report on the case she had been asked to help with.

When she was done speaking, she stepped back towards her seat, but someone raised their had to ask her a question. She stopped, putting her directly at Draco's chair. She considered the question and halfway through answering it, she fought the urge to gasp when she felt his finger move lightly along the backside of her knee.

He shouldn't have the ability to affect her like this, but he did. And he knew it. She wanted to move back to her seat and return to her fantasies, but one question turned into two and before she knew it, Draco's head was dangerously close to her waist as he adjusted in his seat. It enabled him to move his hand up the back of her skirt, up the length of her thigh.

"Thank you, Miss Granger. You may sit now. If anyone else has a question, send it to her office later," Robbards said and Hermione rushed back to her seat before she collapsed at Draco's feet.

It wasn't fair that she was this needy. That he could turn her on this much just by looking the way he did or touching her with just one finger. It wasn't helping that they had only met one day last weekend. Especially now that she had to tell him that she couldn't see him this weekend because Harry had dropped the biggest cockblock of them all on her right before the meeting.

As people began to empty the conference room, she shot to her feet and gathered her notes, waiting until Draco was at her side before she moved. "Can I speak with you about something in my office?" she asked as they crossed the threshold into the hallway.

His eyes went wide and she saw a glimmer of hope among the mischief. "Anytime, Granger."

He followed her to her office and after she shut the door behind him, she turned to see him sitting in her chair. "What are you doing?" she asked.

"On your knees."

"Wh- Malfoy, that's not what I asked you in here for."

He fixed her with a hard stare, his eyes still alight with amusement. "Tell me the work stuff after."

"Malfoy-"

"On. Your. Knees."

She sighed and shook her head as she cocked her hip and propped her hand on it. "We're not at the flat, Malfoy, so stop it. You can't be pulling that shit again. We were in a room full of people! I mean, for Merlin's sake, we were in a meeting!"

"And how much of that meeting did you actually pay attention to, hmm?" he asked, arching a brow at her. "I think Robbards had to say your name four times to pull you out of your little fantasies."

She had opened her mouth to scold him more, but the words died on her tongue when she realized what he said. "Were you in my head?"

"You were practically begging me to slip right in," he purred, reaching out to drum impatient fingers across the top of her desk. "And if I could have catered to your every little whim back there, I would have." His eyes raked over her slowly, undressing her in his head. "If I have to ask again…" he let the promise of punishment go unspoken and smirked when she began to tremble where she stood.

"N-no…" she stammered and cleared her throat, hoping her voice sounded more confident when she spoke next. "We agreed, Malfoy, weekends only. In the flat."

"And Wednesday's," he added, his eyes glimmering with amusement. "If only we had a contract."

"Malfoy-"

"Tell you what, we can consider this making up for my cancelling on Saturday."

She considered that for a moment and then took a step forward, enjoying the way he shifted in her chair. "Fine, but this will have to be enough to tide you over for this weekend too."

"What?"

"I can't come to the flat this weekend."

"Why not?" he asked, his voice the whine of a child who had his favorite toy taken away.

"Because it's Harry and Ginny's anniversary and Molly's come down with something contagious. He asked me to watch James. I'm to pick him up tomorrow from daycare after work and drop him off at daycare on Monday morning. Ginny will pick him up when they get back Monday afternoon."

She wanted to make a comment about he was free to arrange another date with Astoria with all of his newfound free time, but she held her tongue. She was sure she would see an article in the paper about the two of them once the weekend was over. And she wouldn't even be able to meet Ashton for a distraction if she had James.

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, closing his eyes for just a moment. When he looked at her again, his eyes were nearly all black with desire. "Then I suggest you put up some very strong wards, Granger, because you're not leaving this office until I've fucked you enough to get us through until next weekend."

She hesitated for just a moment before she pulled out her wand and locked the door, put up wards, and plenty of silencing charms. As she flourished her wand, his smile grew wider and he pushed the chair back from the desk, leaving enough room to get into position. She dropped her wand on her desk and stood between it and him in her chair.

"This is a one-time thing," she informed him.

He watched as she sank to her knees before him. "It bothers you, doesn't it?" he asked, reaching forward to thread his fingers through her curls. "How much you like being bossed around by me." He tugged her head back a little. "Regardless of where we are."

"I'm serious, Malfoy. Special circumstance. Never again," she said as she reached into his lap to undo his fly and pulled him free of his trousers, her eyes never leaving his. "And I hate when you boss me around."

"So if I were to bend you over and stick my cock inside you, I wouldn't just slip right in?" he asked, his member twitching against her a palm as she wrapped her hand around his shaft. "I bet your knickers are so soaked already that your thighs are slick."

She held his gaze as she leaned in and swirled her tongue around the tip of his cock, catching the bead of moisture there and spreading it down his shaft. His hand tightened in her hair and he hissed in pleasure as he watched her. She closed her eyes as she closed her lips around him and took him deeper into her mouth.

She had done this countless times before, but this time felt different. She knew it wasn't just the location although that definitely was part of it. It was mostly due to her realization that of all the times she had pleasured him with her tongue, he had never let her use her hands. He had always ordered her to keep them behind her or held them above her.

This time, she was eager to touch him. She kept one hand on his shaft, softly kneading and pumping at the base when she had taken him as far as she could down her throat. He reacted strongly when she pulled his skin taut and flattened her tongue before hollowing her cheeks. He lifted his hips, pushing himself further into her mouth and hissed a stream of curses under his breath.

Smirking around him, she reached up with her other hand and began to massage his sack, earning a shudder of pleasure from him. She moaned around him and felt her own core pulse with the need to be as full as her mouth. She felt him twitch against her tongue and he lifted his hips in a way that had him sliding further into her mouth, nearly hitting the back of her throat.

Not expecting it, she gave a small cough and pulled back, desperate with need for air. While she panted to catch her breath, he picked her up and tossed her down on her desk, vanishing her skirt and knickers in the process. She leaned forward on her elbows and positioned her knees so that they were right on the edge. She had barely had enough time to move before he was slamming into her.

"Fuck, Granger."

She hissed in pain and pleasure as the palm of his hand came down hard on her rear, the sound resonating off the walls. His thrusts were punishing in nature, hard enough to slam into her cervix more often than not. She was close already and she could tell he was nearly there too. He reached forward and wrapped his hand in her hair again, yanking her head back as far as she could stand it.

"Touch yourself," he demanded.

Her hand immediately crept between them and she cried out the moment she found her clit. He groaned as her inner walls began to tighten around him. She could feel him beginning to falter behind her and the moment she pushed herself over the edge, he followed her with his own release.

He collapsed against her back, pinning her to the top of her desk for a moment. When he retreated, he landed back in her chair and she tuned to sit on the edge of her desk, not caring that the aftermath of their coupling was ruining whatever she was sitting on top of. They both stared at each other as they caught their breath. As far as their encounters had gone, this was their first conventional one, not counting the bathtub. Only one other time had Draco neglected to wear his mask. Other than that, they had always worn them. But this time…they hadn't even been dom and sub. Not truly.

They had just been Draco and Hermione.

She looked away as the realization hit and used her wand to clean up, remove the wards and charms, and then redressed with lightening speed. "Hopefully it's out of your system now," she said, pulling at her clothes, feeling as though they would never feel straight now.

"Is what out of my system?"

"Fucking outside of our scheduled times."

He stared at her as he got to his feet. "You know, spontaneity is good for relationships. Helps keep the spark alive."

She went still, her eyes going wide as she stared at him. "Relationship? Is that what-"

They both jumped at the sound of someone knocking at her door. She swallowed hard and turned to open it, hoping her hair didn't look as bad as she knew it probably did. One of the new interns was on the other side with a stack of folders in her hands and worried expression. "Robbards asked to give these to you," she said, handing them over to Hermione.

"Thanks."

"And Shacklebolt needs you in his office."

She nodded and watched as she disappeared down the hall. Slowly, she turned back, leaving the door open and placed the folders on her desk. "Granger-"

"You should go, Malfoy, I have a meeting with the Minister," she said, not even pausing to look at him before striding out of her office. Whatever he had meant by his comment, she wasn't prepared to hear. So she buried that part of their tryst away and by the time she got to the Minister's office, she convinced herself she had forgotten all about it.

Chapter Text

THIRTEEN

Even though their paths didn't typically cross at the office, Hermione went out of her way the following day to ensure that they didn't cross at all. She even took it upon herself to make sure that she wasn't in her office unless she absolutely had to be there. Yesterday's encounter on her desk where he had declared what they had was some sort of relationship would never leave her alone if she stayed too long.

She even took off an hour early to pick up James from daycare before dinner so that she wouldn't chance running into Draco on the way to the Floo. After getting taking him to her flat long enough to check on Crookshanks and pack a few things for the weekend. She had opted to stay at Grimmauld while Harry and Ginny were gone. It was far easier to pack her stuff than it was to pack James'. From previous experience, she knew it would help him during the night if he was surrounded by his own things.

And while she was happy James slept through the night, Hermione had done nothing but toss and turn. More than once, she had let her mind wander to what she and Draco might have gotten up to that night. More than once, she had stopped herself from sliding her hand down the front of her knickers and imagining that it was his cock inside of her instead of her fingers. But with each creak of the ancient floorboards or settling of the walls, she stopped herself.

The next morning, she opted for an exuberant amount of coffee in lieu of an actual breakfast. A plan that quickly backfired when both she and James became too fidgety to sit still inside all day. After a not so quick change of clothes, she found the bag Ginny always kept packed for outings to the park and began to walk with James to their destination.

After reminding James that this was a Muggle park and he had to behave, she took a seat on one of the benches where all the other parents were sitting, and watched him run about on the equipment. She found herself shaking her head more than once at the miniature version of her best friend. Ginny's stubbornness combined with Harry's penchant for acting first, thinking later was making him that kid on the playground. The one that all the other kids wanted to hang around with, but the parents considered him too rough.

After a quick bathroom break in the public loo, Hermione sent James back out onto the playground, promising that they would go and get lunch soon. It was when she turned around to go back to her bench that she stopped short at the sight of the man sitting at the bench she had just vacated.

She looked around nervously as her heart hammered in her chest from the way he smirked at her. When it was clear she was too stunned to move, he got to his feet and strode towards her. Her eyes darted around again, heat flaming her cheeks as she noticed the way the adult women were either staring at her with envy or at Draco with lust.

"What are you doing here?" she asked when he came to stop before her.

He shrugged. "Last I checked, this was a public place."

She wet her lips and crossed her arms over her chest. "Stalking is a hard limit, Draco."

"I'll remember that for next time. But seeing as how I'm already here-"

"What's a hard limit?" James asked, standing beside them as if he had appeared out of thin air.

Hermione's mouth gaped open as she looked from him to Draco, floundering for something. Meanwhile, Draco did nothing but laugh with his eyes. "It's… It means something you never want to do."

"So next time, I can tell Mum and Dad naps are a hard limit?"

Draco burst out laughing at that point. "Yes, Kid. You should tell them that exactly."

James grinned and ran back to the playground. Hermione whipped her head in Draco's direction and scowled like McGonagall. "Look what you just did!" she hissed.

"What I did? You're the one that said the words. Good luck explaining that to Potter."

"I'm not worried about Harry," she whined, pressing her palms to her eyes. "Merlin, Ginny's going to kill me." Draco continued to laugh, turning it into a fake cough into his fist when she turned another scowl in his direction. "Did you really just happen to be in a Muggle neighborhood park without a child?"

The faintest traces of pink tinged the highpoint of his cheeks as he reached up to rub the spot on the back of his neck. "If I admit to the stalking, how mad will you be?"

She felt betrayed by her own body when her lips quirked into a smile. "It depends," she said, folding her arms over her chest again.

"On?"

"Why you thought it was a good idea."

He took a half step closer to her, his hand raising to reach for hers. She tensed when his fingers twined with hers in the space between them, but relaxed after a moment. "Because I didn't want to go an entire weekend without seeing you."

She cleared her throat and shifted her feet as she looked around nervously again. When her eyes settled back on his, she withdrew her hand from his, guilt knotting in her stomach at the flash of rejection in his eyes. "I have James. I can't-"

"Granger, I know," he said, giving her a reassuring smile. "As much as I would love nothing more than to pass him off to a House Elf for a few hours tonight, I know that's not what you would do." He shrugged and shoved his hand in his pockets. "So how about you allow me to take the two of you to lunch? I'll take whatever kind of time with you that I can for as long as you'll let me."

She narrowed her eyes at him and tipped her head to the side, lowering her voice as to not be overheard. "This goes far beyond dom and sub, Malfoy."

Raw hunger darkened his gaze for a moment and she swallowed hard as her core clenched with need. "Obviously," he drawled, holding out his hand between them. "What about friends?"

Her eyes widened with surprise as she stared at his hand and then let her gaze travel upwards to his. She smiled and took his hand, shaking her head when he pulled her forward to brush his lips along the back of her hand. "Friends," she said, letting the word roll off her tongue. "Friends will work."

He was slow to let go of her hand before they walked side-by-side to take a seat at the bench again. As they fell into conversation while they waited for James to declare he was ready to eat, Hermione realized that being friends with Draco Malfoy could be great, but it wasn't what she wanted. What she wanted was something he couldn't give her so long as he was engaged to Astoria. Something he still had yet to mention to her.

But for now, friends would have to do and she would make the most of it.


Lunch had turned into ice cream. After plying James with more sugar than she would have liked, Draco continued to stick around by taking them to a Muggle arcade. He even offered to take them to dinner. Hermione had tried to argue, that he had done too much already, even as friends, but he had smirked and told her she could always make it up to him later.

Sunday, she had woken up to a phone call from Ashton and they talked for the few moments she had before she heard James beginning to stir across the hall. After bidding Ashton goodbye, she got herself and James ready for the day, even though they stayed inside where she catered to his every whim in the hopes he would forget the new term he had learned the day before.

For everything she had come to dread about being left alone with a child for almost three days, especially one that she knew was more than a handful on his best day, it had gone well. By the time she dropped him off at his daycare on Monday before she went in to work, she was quite proud of herself. Nothing had burned down and both of them were still alive. Not that she was vying for position of the first person Harry or Ginny thought of when they needed a sitter. It was just nice to know that she could do it and it wasn't the end of the world.

Having already arranged with her boss that she would be late this morning, she took her time to stop at the coffee place she actually liked versus the one that was close to work and had to go to during the week. On a whim, she ordered one for herself and one for Draco before heading in for the day. She did still owe him for everything he had done for her and James on Saturday and she knew exactly what he would like in return for his kindness.

He was just getting up from his chair behind his desk when she walked in. He did a double take at the sight of her as she eased the door closed. "Good morning," she said, walking up to the desk to set his coffee down, having finished hers before even getting on the lift.

His brow arched as she didn't stop after that, instead, continuing on until she was between him and the desk. Just as she had been just a few days prior in her office. "Good morning," he replied, staring at her in complete awe as her hands came up between them and started to undo his belt.

"I just wanted to say thank you," she said, moving to the button of his trousers and threading it through the loop. "For everything you did on Saturday." His jaw clenched at the sound of the zipper giving way after a gentle tug.

"And this?" he questioned, eyes darkening when she sent all of his bottom layers of clothing to pool around his ankles.

"I told you I'd make it up to you, didn't I?" she teased, hands moving up to his shoulders.

He followed her lead and sank down into the chair when she gave him a gently push. "Do you do this with all your friends?" he asked, watching intensely as she lowered herself to her knees before him.

"Show them how much I appreciate them?" she returned, her tongue swirling around the tip of his cock. "The delivery varies though. Depends on the friend," she added as she smirked up at him while leaning in.

He hissed as she grasped the base of his shaft and flattened her tongue along the underside, running up the main vein before closing her lips around him and taking him as far as she could into her mouth. She hollowed her cheeks as she pulled back and lowered her hand until she was massaging his sac. His hand stole into her hair, wrapping around her curls to angle her head back enough to hold her gaze.

"This isn't you backing out of Wednesday, is it?"

She shook her head slightly and he shuddered at what the action caused her tongue to do. His fingers tightened their hold on her hair and she moaned, the sound vibrating around his cock. He groaned above her, his lashes fluttering as he swallowed hard. She could tell he was trying to restrain himself, still slightly in shock at her having been the one to initiate the encounter.

"Gods, Granger," he groaned, his hips jerking, shoving himself further down her throat. "You have no idea how perfect you look with my cock in your mouth."

She moaned again in response, drawing back to release him. Saliva dripped down his cock, which she promptly leaned forward to clean up before moving down to draw one of his balls into her mouth. He pitched forward, his free hand smacking against the edge of his desk. She smirked as she swirled her tongue before swapping the one in her mouth for the next.

"Did you get yourself off this weekend?" he asked as she licked her way back up to the tip of his cock.

"No."

His grin was feral. "Good girl," he whispered as she parted her lips and waited for him to take control. He buried himself to the back of her throat and waited a moment before drawing back a little. "My little Hedone, are you waiting for me to fuck your mouth?"

She nodded as best she could and braced her hands on his thighs as she relaxed her throat. He held tight to her hair and drew back again, easing into a rhythm she knew would have him coming in no time. But only after a few strokes did they both learn the hard way that she had not locked the door upon closing it.

Draco stilled inside of her mouth and let go of her hair to place both hands on his desk. She saw him look up at the intruder, his gaze only flickering down to hers once more before she saw annoyance on his face. "What, Weasley?"

Hermione felt herself trying to become as small as possible. She wanted lift her head pause now that Ron was in the room, but as she started to move, she saw Draco arch a brow and give one shake of his head. She swallowed around him and his hips came up to drive himself deeper into her throat. She tried not to laugh or moan at his actions; deciding instead to continue.

"Well, Harry's not here today so I was wondering if you wanted to get lunch with me?"

Hermione couldn't help but laugh at the way Draco stilled. She hoped Ron wasn't paying attention as she lifted enough to clean up the mess she made her in amusement. Doing her best to tune them out, she continued her ministrations, doing everything she knew to bring him to the edge.

"Lunch isn't until noon, Weasley. It's barely past ten."

She could hear the restraint in his voice, but to anyone else, it was the same gruffness he always used whenever in Ron's presence.

"Do you already have plans then?"

He leaned forward just a little, the muscles in his thighs tightening under her touch. "No, I don't bloody have plans. I don't make them until…" He cleared his throat as she increased the frequency of her head bobbing up and down. "Until it gets closer to noon."

"That's fine, I can-"

"I know you and Potter have hollow legs that can never be filled, but I do not."

Ron let out a snort, one that droned out Hermione's moan as Draco's hips bucked forward again. He was pulsing against her tongue and fidgeting above her, signaling that he was close. "Well, I just thought that-"

He groaned then, passing it off as irritation. "Weasley, if you bugger off right now, I'll go to lunch with you every day this week and I'll pick up the tab."

"Wicked." She could practically see the grin on Ron's face from the tone of his voice. "Guess I can admit we're friends now."

Draco let out a curt laugh to cover his groan. "Yes," he hissed, gritting his teeth. "Friends. Please-"

Hermione held still as he began to empty himself in her mouth. She swallowed him down with ease, trying her best to not make a mess. He leaned back in his chair and scrubbed at his face, letting his gaze flicker down to her as she sat back and wiped at her mouth.

"See you at noon," Ron said and a moment later, the office door was shutting behind him again.

No sooner had the door clicked into place did Draco reach down and draw her into his lap. As she straddled him, they groaned simultaneously when he brought her lips to his. His tongue shoved its way into her mouth to sample to combined taste of them and it was then she realized he had vanished her knickers, allowing him to fill her core as well.

Her head fell back, resting against his hand that cupped the back of it. He lips fell to her throat, nibbling at her skin. "Was that your intention, Granger?" he asked, thrusting into her hard enough to make the chair groan beneath them. "To get us caught by not locking the door?"

"N-no?"

She bit her lip to keep from crying out as his teeth dug into the curve of her neck. "You were just that eager for my cock that you didn't think, then?"

She nodded above him, her fingers clutching at his shirt to keep her from falling off of him. "I couldn't…" Her breath caught in her throat as she felt herself beginning to crest. "Couldn't wait until W-Wednesday to m-make it up to y-you."

"Thank fucking Merlin," he grunted, head falling against her shoulder as they came undone at the same time.

It took more than a few minutes for either of them to catch their breath. While they waited to regain composure, they clung to one another. It wasn't until she was at risk of a serious thigh cramp that Hermione slid off of his lap and to her feet. He stood with her, using his wand to clean them both up. When they were both fully redressed, she turned to leave, but he stopped her.

Her lips parted immediately after his crashed down to hers. Her arms wound around his neck as his hands settled on her hips, pushing her back against his desk. They stayed lip-locked against one another until they mutually broke the kiss, needing air.

"Thanks for the coffee," he murmured, his breath tickling her ear.

She nodded and pulled away from him. "What are friends for?" she taunted as she stepped out of his office.

She made her way towards her own office, nodding and exchanging greetings with people as she went. The moment her assistant saw her turn down the corridor, she was there with a stack of papers. "Kingsley and Robbards want your approvals on these before the end of the day."

"Thank you," she said, taking the stack and opening her office door. She set the stack down on the desk and took her seat, ready to start the day. However, her good mood deflated the moment her eyes fell upon the moving photo. It was Monday edition of the Prophet, complete with another article about Draco and Astoria, detailing their Sunday brunch outing.

Not bothering to read about the speculations, she tossed it into the bin and shoved the thoughts that arose to the back of her mind, determined not to let it get to her.

Not anymore than it already had.

Chapter Text

FOURTEEN

The following two weeks continued as per the norm. She met Draco at the flat shortly after departing work on Wednesdays. The night compromised of what she could only describe as tender and attentive. She refused to let herself consider it romantic nights; no matter what they ate during a candlelit dinner or how the sex afterwards was far from dominant.

Both weekends had gone as they always had; incredible and rough. Exactly what she needed to just lose control and forget about everything for a few hours. She would spend her Friday and Saturday nights at the flat wrapped up in whatever scenario Draco had in store for them. Sunday, she would put it all behind her as she met Ashton for brunch.

During the weekdays, she was buried in the case as new leads were being uncovered nearly every day. It kept her busy though and she was grateful from the distraction especially as the Prophet each Monday would report on whatever it was that Astoria and Draco had done over the weekend when Hermione wasn't occupying his time. The case kept her from drowning in guilt when the realization that she was fucking someone else's fiancé settled in.

She had all but given up hope that he was ever going to tell her about it. With each article she saw, it became clearer that she would be nothing but a secret to him. She was even glad for fact that she was too busy to even be friends with Draco. On the rare occasion they did see each other outside of the flat, they barely had time for anything more than a passing nod in the hall. There had been one time he joined her, Harry, and Ron for lunch, but she had taken two bites of her food before a charmed missive found her, summoning her back up to her office. She had left almost immediately, bringing her uneaten food with her to consume later when she had the time.

It was the third Wednesday after their outing at the park that Draco showed up in her office as she was gathering her things to leave. "How soon can you meet me at the flat?" he asked without bothering to close the door behind him.

"I have to go home and take care of Crooks," she replied, calculating the time before shrugging. "Half an hour at the most?"

He nodded and fidgeted with his cufflinks for a moment before turning his gaze on her. "How set are you about staying in tonight?"

She swallowed hard and cast her gaze down to the file on her desk. "As opposed to…what? Going out? I don't-"

"As friends," he countered, cutting her off. She looked up at him then and saw the genuine smile on his face, cursing the way it made her heart skip a beat. "Friends go out to dinner, yeah?"

"I suppose," she replied, finishing her notes before closing the file and putting it off to the side to work on again in the morning. Her nose wrinkled as a thought occurred and he furrowed his brow at her expression. "Can you not pick somewhere fancy? I'm not in the mood to play dress up."

He laughed quietly. "I distinctly remember you once telling me you wouldn't get all dolled up for me."

She couldn't stop the smirk that took hold of her lips as she got to her feet and reached down for her purse. "As I recall, you said you prefer me without a stitch on anyway."

His gaze made her thighs clench. "Still my preference." Hermione cleared her throat and slung her purse over her shoulder as she approached Draco on her way to the door. "After dinner," he said as she stopped at his side. She shivered as he leaned in, lips ghosting over her ear as he whispered, "You make one hell of a dessert."

She bit her lip to stifle a moan and proceeded to walk out of her office with him in tow. He stayed by her side on their way down to the lobby and even stood behind her as she stepped into the grate to Floo home. "Thirty minutes," she assured him, grabbing a handful of powder.

He inclined his head and she held his gaze as she disappeared in the flames. She dusted herself off upon entering her own living room and set about to set Crooks up for the time she would be gone and change out of her work attire. As she picked out her outfit for the night, she found herself wondering if his suggestion that they be friends his way of starting to let her down easy. That his change of plans wouldn't be the first time they replaced their usual activities with a friendly dinner.

She wondered that when the time and he finally told her about Astoria, would he want them to be friends. Would Astoria even allow him to be friends with someone he had been sleeping with on a regular basis for the better part of a year? Someone he had procured a flat just for the nature of their relationship? Would he even tell her at all and she would just have to accept being his friend in lieu of not having him in her life altogether?

When the time came to Apparate to the flat, Hermione was more stressed than she had been upon leaving work for the day. Draco was supposed to be the one thing in her life that made her stress disappear, not add more. It all boiled back down to the fact that she broke anonymity all those months ago. Not for the first time, she wondered if she hadn't made a mistake by opening her mouth. She wondered how long it would be before she found herself back at Elysium. Back to being Hedone. Wondering if she even wanted that again.

When she Apparated into the flat to be greeted by Draco, she couldn't help but think of Ashton and how easy it was between them. Knowing that she could have something real with him whereas she wasn't entirely sure where she stood with Draco. Before she even knew it was him behind that mask, she had thought he was what was missing in her life, but now…

Now she wasn't sure if he made it better or worse.

Pushing those thoughts aside, she accompanied Draco downstairs to hail a cab so they could grab dinner as friends, coming to terms with the fact that this was how it was going to be.


Dinner had been just fine, not that she was expecting it to go horribly. He had taken her to a hidden gem in the heart of London, somewhere definitely Muggle, which allowed her to relax. The last thing she needed was to be photographed with him and have articles published about them. She wanted no part of a confrontation with Astoria in the attempt to be just friends with Draco.

After dinner, they found themselves walking leisurely around the city instead of hailing a cab or Apparating back to his flat. Hermione was slightly disappointed, as she wanted nothing more than to have him shut her mind off the way he should have already done by now. However, she was also glad for his company in this way. He wasn't like the prat he had been in their younger years. He was tolerable now. Had he been like this back then, she could see themselves being friends from the get-go instead of having to go through what they had.

Either way, they found themselves lost in conversation, discussing everything from the current state of affairs to entertainment; both magical and Muggle. It was during that conversation that he had surprised her by even knowing what a movie was, let alone naming several. It ended up with them hailing a cab to a nearby theatre and settling in to see their flick of choice.

With it being late on a week night and the movie having been out for awhile, the theatre was practically empty by the time the lights dimmed and movie started. Hermione couldn't help but stare at Draco in awe at first. When he caught her, she had laughed and explained that it was just surreal to be in a Muggle cinema with a Pureblood wizard.

And then the movie started and they lapsed into the mandatory silence. The longer they sat there, staring at the screen, the more Hermione squirmed in her seat. She saw the movie play out before her, heard the lines being recited, but she wasn't paying attention. Instead, she was focused on the way his hand would only occasionally graze hers. Or the fact that they were sitting so close, but it was as if there was an ocean between them.

Did friends go to dinner and a movie? Yes. Sure. All the time. Did they do them on the same night? Occasionally. Did friends lay across one another's laps and count the amount of time the other's hands smarted across their backside? Probably not that many. And friends certainly didn't spend their quality time together being frustrated at the lack of intimate interaction.

Even when his hand would occasionally drift across her thigh or up her forearm, it wasn't enough. She shifted in her seat constantly; whether from wanting more or just uncomfortable with the whole situation, she wasn't sure. At one point, she could feel his gaze on her and he tapped at her palm until she turned to face him.

"You okay?" he asked.

She swallowed hard and plastered a smile on her face before giving a noncommittal nod. "I'm good," she managed to say, her voice strained.

He continued to stare at her, his eyes full of disbelief, but he inclined his head, tightened his hold on her hand for a moment, and then turned his attention back to the screen.

Hermione didn't even make it halfway through the movie before she came to the conclusion that she didn't want to be Draco's friend. She liked what they had and if he was going to end it because of his fiancé, she would rather he do it sooner rather than later. She would rather he quit toying with her emotions, especially when she as already drowning in her own indecisions when it came to him.

She excused herself as quietly as she could and tried her best not to run to the bathroom as she felt his eyes burning a hole into her back as she went. She knew he would follow her soon, but she didn't care. She just needed a moment to herself; a moment to breathe and get control over herself.

She paced in front of the sink, worrying at her bottom lip with her teeth and going back and forth between wringing her hands together or tugging at her clothes. She knew that it would be better to ask him about Astoria. That they needed to talk about it. If he wasn't going to bring it up, then she would have to suck it up and do it. That as much as she didn't want to lose what they had, she didn't want to be stuck in this hellish limbo of waiting for him to cast her aside.

Just as she had worked up the nerve to go back and ask him, the door to the loo opened and Draco walked in. Despite the fact that it was a multi-stall facility, he locked the door behind him. As he turned his gaze on her, grey eyes full of concern, her newfound bravery went right out the window as she surged forward and brought his lips down to hers.

After a moment of being taken by surprise, Draco's hands found her waist and turned them to pin her between himself and the wall. There was a flurry of movement as they divulged themselves of all the necessary bits of clothing before he hoisted her up so she could wrap her legs around his waist. Her head fell back against the wall as he filled her core, pressing into her to hold her steady. He muttered something into the crook of her neck and she felt her arms being lifted above her head. When he withdrew his hands, she quickly discovered that he had pinned hers down with magic.

She groaned in frustration and rolled her hips, begging with her body for him to give her the friction she craved. He gripped her thighs tightly, hands sliding back until he was able to make sure he was holding her in place. The moment he knew she wouldn't fall, he pulled back and slammed into her again and again, picking up speed with each thrust. Her fingers twitched with the urge to touch him, to grip his shoulders and be as close to him as possible.

As he pushed her towards the edge of bliss, Hermione realized she was slowly losing control. And not in the way she normally craved. With each stroke of him against her inner walls, each breathy moan, each nip of his teeth at her skin, she found herself wanting all or nothing. Her cry of pleasure as she reached for the stars quickly turned into a real sob of anguish as he chased her release with one of his own.

"Hands," she said, her voice hoarse, as she tugged at the magical restraint around her wrists.

She felt his magic give way and used her hands to push him away. She smoothed down her skirt and stepped away from him. "Granger-"

"This isn't how I imagined Wednesday's to be," she said, tucking her blouse back into her waistband.

His brow furrowed in confusion as he reached for her, his fingers curling around her chin. "I thought tonight was going rather well. What changed?"

This was her chance. She could tell him everything; get it all out in the open and get it over with, but the moment she tried, the words died on her tongue and she just sighed and shook her head. "It's nothing," she said, pulling away from him again. She pulled her hair to one side of her neck and twisted the ends around her fingers. "I'm sorry, but I-."

"Hermione-"

She shied away from his touch and offered him a weak smile, but refused to meet his gaze. "I have to go, I'll see you at work tomorrow."

She could still hear him calling her name as she Apparated home.

Chapter Text

FIFTEEN

They hadn't really had the chance to speak at work the following two days and Hermione had gone to the flat on Friday pretending nothing had happened. Draco found her there in her usual position; sitting on her heels with nothing on but her mask, waiting for him to take control. For the entire weekend, Hermione was able to just shut her mind off and by the time Sunday had rolled around, it had felt as it had in the beginning. When they were Hedone and Kratos at Elysium. They fucked until they couldn't move and she left before she caved to her exhaustion.

But by Monday, the good feeling he had instilled over the weekend faded as she realized Wednesday was just around the corner. However, with the break in the case from the week before, there was even more work at the Ministry than ever before. For the brief moment that they did cross paths, Draco had come back to her office with her and closed the door.

"Malfoy, I don't-"

"I don't have time either, Granger, so I'll be quick."

She wasn't sure if he was affronted with her or something to do with work, but either way, she tried not to let it affect her. "I'm listening."

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to cancel our meeting tonight. With the caseload, I'm not sure when I'll be getting out of here and I don't want you to wait too long."

She nodded, trying not to show the relief that flooded her system. "Maybe we should cancel Wednesday's altogether," she suggested, keeping her eyes on her desk to make herself look busy.

"Is that what you want?" he asked, a tightness to his voice.

When she lifted her gaze to him, she was taken aback by the disappointment in his eyes. "I think it's the best thing if we want our weekend arrangement to continue."

He stared at her for a moment and then shrugged. "I'll see you Friday then," he said before taking his leave without another word.

Hermione stared at the space he had vacated and warred with herself on what she should do. She wanted to get back to her work and just forget about everything until she saw him again on Friday, but she also wanted to explain herself for the previous week. They hadn't talked about it; she never allowed the opportunity to present itself. She had even kept the aftercare short both between rounds and at the very end.

Taking a deep breath, Hermione took leave of her office in search of him. The least she could do was talk to him; it was what she was going to do at the theatre before she lost her nerve. And it was lunch time. It stood to reason that they could be having a working lunch and bounce some ideas off one another too. But it seemed that she wasn't the only one to have the idea to have lunch with Draco.

As she rounded the corner to the hallway leading to his office, she stopped short at the sight of Astoria standing in his doorway. She stood, frozen, watching as the pair shared a laugh at something and then began to move towards the lifts. Draco's hand found the small of her back as he escorted her through the maze of desks. It wasn't until they disappeared in the lift across the way that Hermione was able to move again.

She straightened her clothes and returned to her office, slamming the door shut on accident and collapsing into her chair. She brushed a tear of frustration from her lashes and sniffed; refusing to let any more fall. She was the one who had pushed him away and while she hated that he hadn't felt the need to tell her about his engagement, if she lost him, it would be no one's fault but her own.


He had arrived to find her in her usual position. He had given her the command to kneel on the center of the bed. Once she had, he instructed her to raise her arms. Just as they had the last time, ropes came down from the ceiling and after a moment, her arms were up above her. He turned her mask into a blindfold and made it so that she couldn't hear anything except his demands. To top it off, he added a gag to prevent anything other than cries of pleasure. She was sure she would be able to say her safe word if she needed to; he would never take that ability from her.

One by one he had begun to add different sensations. Alone, they wouldn't have done much, but combined, they left her breathless and aching for more. The first thing he added was the Wharton Wheel. Charmed, it never stopped moving over her skin at a pressure that brought just enough pain and pleasure to make her squirm. Next, he had added clamps to her nipples, ones that had a chain between them, charmed to tug at random intervals.

She had jumped at the feel of something being slid between her nether lips and moaned as he inserted something into both her core and her ass. The vibration was set to the lowest setting in both toys and with magic, they moved in and out of her at an equally slow pace. The last thing he added was something to spank her. She guessed it was a riding crop based on the familiar feel of it, but without seeing it, she could never be sure. Either way, it continued to smart across her skin at varying strengths and places.

The only place he didn't put stimulation was her clit. Hermione knew that she had a hard time; nearly impossible, really, coming without clitoral stimulation, but this time, it seemed he was using that knowledge against her. Whatever his plan, she was sure she made quite a sight for him; tied up while being fucked with toys, unable to hear, see, or speak.

At first, she had been frustrated with the decision, but the more the other toys began to work their own magic on her, the less frustrated she became. In fact, with all the different sensations in various places, it wasn't long before she came for the first time. Her reward was an increase of each ministration. And by the time everything was at its highest setting or on the precipice of being too much pain and not enough pleasure, she had already lost count on how many times she had cried out for him.

All of which was accomplished without him having to lay a single finger on her.

When he decided it was time for a break, nearly everything disappeared, but not before bringing her right to the edge of another release, only to deny her in the end. The only thing he hadn't restored were her sense of hearing, sight, and ability to speak. He brought her some water and after her body recovered, he gave the order for her to lie on her back.

When she did, she felt something cold and heavy clamp around her wrists. Slowly, she felt her arms being stretched out to her sides and soon found that she couldn't move them. Her throat went dry as she felt sensation being repeated on her ankles. Once the binds were secured, she was fully strapped down and spread open; completely at his mercy. As she felt him crawl over her, a sense of panic settled in.

She squeezed her eyes shut beneath the blindfold of her mask and tugged at her restraints. She felt his lips dragging across her jaw, peppering her skin with kisses as he loomed over her. She could feel his weight pressing down on her. Normally, it would feel comforting, but at that very moment, it felt stifling. She tugged on her restraints again and tried to regulate her breathing. The gag in her mouth prevented her from drawing a deep enough breath and added her panic surged.

His hands roamed her body, giving her feather-light touches that she would normally crave. Only now, they just felt like the tip of a blade running its course over her. The tipping point was when his fingers slid up her arms, staring at the inside of her wrists. When he reached her forearms, she was transported to the drawing room of the Manor.

It was no longer Draco above her, it was Bellatrix. It wasn't his hands on her skin, it was her wand. It wasn't his touch she was feeling, it was her skin being flayed open as the crazy witch carved that slur into her arm.

She knew she just had to say her safe word and he would stop. She needed him to stop. Without being able to hear or see him, it was hard to differentiate the reality from the nightmare. The longer she let him continue, the further her mind pulled her into the worst moment of her life.

As her mouth opened to scream from the pain of her torture, she found her voice and sobbed her safe word over and over again around the gag until it disappeared. The moment he heard it, Draco was off of her and in the next instant, everything else disappeared as well. Hermione scrambled into a sitting position near the headboard with her arms around her legs, pulling her knees to her chest, and her head resting on them. She rocked back and forth as she sobbed, trying to get the images of Bellatrix to go away.

"Hermione-"

"Don't touch me!" she hissed, flinching away as his hand touched her elbow. She hoped that he didn't take it personally. She wanted him to comfort her; just as much as she didn't want any comfort at all.

She continued to rock back and forth until she was able to get ahold of herself. When her breathing calmed down, she was able to lift her head and wipe the tears from her face. Trembling, she pushed herself to the edge of her bed and summoned her clothes. She could feel Draco watching her from his spot on the bed as she slipped her dress over her head and held her bra and knickers to her chest.

"Hermione, talk to me. Was it the-"

"Yes," she answered, sitting back on the bed when her knees gave out.

He moved to sit next to her, careful to keep from touching her still. "I'm sorry. I didn't-"

"I know," she replied, swallowing hard. "I'm not blaming you, Malfoy." She pushed herself to her feet once again. "I need to go."

"I think you should stay. You shouldn't be alone right now."

She shook her head adamantly, hugging her things closer to her, wincing at the phantom pain that coursed up her left forearm. "I need to be."

"Hermione-"

"I'll owl you," she said before disapparating on the spot.

She dropped her things and vanished her dress the moment she landed in her bedroom and hurried into her bathroom. She turned on the shower to the coldest setting and stepped under the water. It was a technique that used to work for her before she had found Elysium; one that she hoped would still do the trick.

The longer she stayed there, the more she lost control of herself overall. By the time her breakdown was in full swing, she was sitting with her knees drawn up to her chest again in the corner of the tub. She stayed there until it was all out of her system and even then, she simply shut the water off, but stayed huddled up in the tub, too afraid to move lest she set herself off again.

In the morning, she did owl Draco again, but it was to tell him that she wouldn't be coming over and would appreciate if he didn't come over to check on her either. She assured him she was fine even though she was pretty sure he would know she was lying. Once the letter was sent, she dosed herself with a Dreamless Sleep and spent her day getting exactly what it advertised.

Chapter Text

SIXTEEN

The only reason Hermione had gotten out of bed over the weekend was when someone knocked at her door. She had opened it cautiously, thinking it might be Draco, but was stunned at the sight of Ashton instead. He had a take away bag from their brunch spot and a drink carrier with their coffees. She had invited him and excused herself to change out of her bed clothes and freshen herself up. He had even stayed for a good majority of the day, parting ways only when the sun began to sink beyond the horizon once more.

Their parting kiss was on her mind when she entered the Ministry on Monday morning. It continued on an endless loop in her mind as she rode the lift and didn't cease when she sat down behind her desk to start the day.

However, instead of her ever growing stack of paperwork, she simply leaned back in her chair and sat in silence with her thoughts. They had begun to shift to Draco and the disaster that had been Friday night. Once upon a time, he had been what kept the nightmares and the flashbacks at bay. She knew it wasn't his fault that she had been triggered. And she was grateful for the way he had responded the moment he heard her safe word.

But if their arrangement was no longer doing the one thing she entered it for, was it worth keeping? Especially when he was engaged to someone else. There was Ashton to consider as well. She hadn't expected to like him as much. Hadn't expected for him to make her feel like her old self. He wanted to know Hermione; all parts of her. Not just the war heroine and the stories printed in the tabloids.

If Draco wasn't going to put an end to what they had for Astoria, there was no reason she couldn't do the same. Would she miss it? Of course. Would it be better to stop holding back from Ashton because she was still holding onto something she could never fully have? Absolutely. Draco had been exactly what she needed to heal, but maybe it was time to find a different way to cope. Maybe it was time to stop trying to lose control. To take a chance at something real and put everything from the war behind her.

Having nearly made up her mind, but too afraid to admit her decision to herself, she pushed the thoughts to the side. She told herself she would give him one last weekend. Afterwards on Saturday, she would talk to him; tell him everything, and when it was all out on the table, she would make her decision.

Until then, she threw herself into her work and tried her best to ignore the dread in the pit of her stomach.


It was only two days later that Hermione experienced another flashback. This time, she had been in Harry's office going over a discrepancy in one of the reports that was tied to the case. They were about to leave to bring it to Robbard's attention when Draco and Zabini walked in.

She had flinched so hard at the sight of them together that she bounced off the wall behind her, sending one of Harry's photo's crashing to the floor. She was able to make it look like she tripped over her own foot in the process of stepping out from behind the desk, but one look at Draco's face told her she wasn't as convincing as she thought.

"You alright, Granger?" Zabini asked.

She swallowed hard and smiled nervously. "What brings you by, Blaise?" she asked, averting her gaze from Draco.

She fought with her mind's eye to banish the image of Goyle at Draco's other side. It's not real, she told herself. The war is over. It's not real. Her breathing was more shallow than before and she was having trouble catching her breath. If she didn't get out of there soon, she was going to have a full blown panic attack. Her mind refused to believe she was in Harry's office at the Ministry instead of the Room of Requirement trying to find the Diadem.

"Hermione?"

Her attention snapped to Harry and she flushed as she realized they had been talking and she hadn't heard a word. She rolled her shoulders as reality slammed back into her. She gripped the edge of his desk and took a deep breath. "Sorry, I don't feel well."

"I'll take this to Robbards," Harry said, his hand coming to rest atop hers. "Why don't you go home and get some rest."

Normally she would never agree to leave in the middle of the day, especially with this high profile of a case. But right now, all she wanted to do was crawl into her own bed and scream into her pillow until the images went away. "I think that's exactly what I'll do, thanks Harry," she said as she pushed herself away from the desk.

"Nice to see you, Blaise. Draco," she said, nodding at them as she passed.

"Actually, Potter, do you have a minute? It's about the case," Zabini said.

"Yeah, sure. I'll stop by after work and check on you, Mione," Harry said, that familiar tone of worry in his voice.

"Sure. See you," she said as she passed, not even bothering to decline his offer. She knew from his tone it wasn't up for debate anyway. She ducked into her office to grab her things, not bothering to close her door. She didn't have to look up to know who it was that closed it a few moments later. "Malfoy, I don't-"

"What was it this time?" he asked.

She looked up at him briefly before closing her eyes. "The Room of Requirement," she replied. "Though you may know it as the Room of Hidden Things."

"Is this because of Friday?"

Her jaw ticked. "Yes and no."

"Hermione, I'm so sorry. I should have known that tying you down-"

"Stop," she whispered, her voice cracking. "There's no way you could have known what it would do. I had my suspicions, but it wasn't as if I were going to bring it up."

"You should have. You should have told me why-"

"You were there!" she hissed, her fingers raising to cover her lips for a moment. "You watched…" She shook her head and drew in a breath. "It doesn't matter, Malfoy. I don't blame you; I'm not mad. I'm just… It's…" She sighed as her mind started to frazzle. "Once the flashbacks start, it's hard to get them to go away."

"What helps? Whatever it is, I'll-"

"Elysium was what helped."

Silence washed over them as they stared at one another, unsure of what to say. Slowly, he advanced on her until he was near enough to place two fingers under her chin and tilt her face up higher. "You should have stayed," he said softly. "One of the worst things you can do in that situation is leave without the proper aftercare. I could have helped you through it. The trauma alone is hard enough, but when you combine it with what we do…" He shook his head and trailed his fingers along her jaw. "It can be even more dangerous to the psyche."

Hermione knew that. It had popped up early on in her research. But just as she had equally wanted comfort and to push everyone away, she was conflicted between letting him be her safety net while coming to terms with the fact that soon he would be someone else's as well.

It took every ounce of willpower to pull herself away from his touch. His hand remained in the air, surprised at her withdrawal, and then slowly drifted back to his side. "I'm going home now."

She could tell he wanted to protest. It was in the way his eyes darkened and how his lips pressed into a thin line. "Please call for Nixie if you need anything."

She gave a curt nod and then stepped around him, leaving him standing in her office as she made her way towards the lifts to go home in the middle of the day.


Harry always knew how to cheer her up. He never once asked her to talk about it; just as she never commented on how many times he refilled his glass. He always knew exactly what she needed and when she needed it. And every time he gave it to her without having to ask. Even when it was late into the night and they just sat on her couch in the dark curled up against one another. Even when she had fallen asleep with her head on his shoulder, he was there for her.

The first waking breath she took the following morning felt as though it were the first real breath in a long time. As the day wore on, she felt good as new and thanked Harry again several times throughout the work day. She even sent an owl to Ginny for letting Harry stay the night with her. She knew it wouldn't be a problem. Harry was every bit her brother as Ron was Ginny's.

The thought of her two best friends had her seeking them both out and solidifying plans for her to accompany them to the Leaky on Friday after work. She penned Draco a missive, letting him know of her plans and informing him that she would be late on Friday, but she wasn't canceling entirely.

Her plans, however, were derailed as she gathered her things to go home for the weekend on Friday. She stopped short, her jaw dropping with surprise at the sight of Ashton stepping across the threshold. "What…what are you doing here?" she asked, smiling as he placed a kiss to her cheek in greeting.

"I was here for a meeting with Kingsley about the television program. I thought I would surprise you and take you to dinner." His smile faded a bit when she stiffened. "Or-"

"No!" she hurried, shaking her head and smiling at him. "No, sorry, I think it's a great idea. I just… Surprises are tough."

He chuckled softly. "You didn't have any plans, did you?"

She cleared her throat. "None that I can't cancel," she assured him. "Will you meet me in the lobby? There's just a few things I have to finish up here on my way out."

"Sure," he said, kissing her again, only catching her lips this time.

She watched him turn left and then stepped out of her office to the right. She found Harry and Ron in Ron's office and sighed with relief. "Hey, I know I said I would be there tonight, but something came up."

Both men gave her sad, knowing smiles followed by small nods. "That's okay, Mione. Raincheck?" Ron asked.

"Of course," she said and then motioned for them to follow her on their way out.

She cursed her luck as she saw Draco also waiting for the lift as they approached. "Have fun at the Leaky," he said, giving her a tight smile as the doors opened and the four of them boarded.

"She cancelled on us again," Ron said with a deep sigh, shrugging when she shot him a look. "What? You did."

Panic began to radiate up her spine as Draco narrowed his eyes at her. She swallowed hard as the lift came to a stop at the lobby and everyone began to file out. His fingers brushed her wrist with the intention of holding her back to talk, but he withdrew his touch when a hand settled against the small of her back.

"All set?" Ashton asked.

She nodded and moved towards the exit. Once they were further away, she chanced a glance over her shoulder and saw Draco staring after them with shock and hurt etched on his face. It stung, but only for a moment before she forced all thoughts of him to the back of her mind.

The time she was supposed to have been at the flat with Draco had come and gone. She chose instead to let her date with Ashton stretch on. It had gone so well that when he brought her home several hours later, she invited him in for one last drink. That drink, though poured, remained untouched on her kitchen counter as they got too caught up in a kiss worthy of high school television dramas. But as things started to heat up, Hermione pulled away. She was grateful that Ashton seemed to understand and didn't push her for more. He simply acted like a true gentleman, kissed her goodnight, and took his leave.

It was when she was lying in bed that night, feeling guilty about Draco because of Ashton and then feeling guilty about Ashton because of Draco, that she finally admitted her decision. The one she had formed on Monday, but hadn't let herself come to terms with. Whatever her reasoning behind her choice, the reality was simple. Whatever her and Draco had had finally run its course. And it was time to end it now before it got any worse.

Chapter Text

SEVENTEEN

Draco was at the flat before her the following night. He was sitting on the edge of the bed, staring at the door when she walked in. Her eyes widened in surprise, but she didn't pause as she continued on to the middle of the room and conjured her mask. She fastened it around her head, managing to hold his gaze as she did. It was when she went to remove her clothes that he got to his feet. He reached for her, his fingers curling around her wrists to quell her movements.

She stared up at him and broke her role as she pushed herself up on her toes and pillowed their lips together. They could talk after. Her intention was to end this, but she wanted there to be one last time. She was determined to make it as memorable as possible so she could look back on these memories and feel something other than guilt and regret. Before he was Draco, he was Kratos; her escape. Tonight would be her final journey into Elysium and close that chapter of her life.

Gently, Hermione tugged her wrists free of his hold and pulled back to resume undressing. A soft gasp escaped her when he pushed her hands away and began to remove her clothes himself. His movements were slow, as if dragging everything out on purpose. As he lifted her shirt over her head, she wondered if he was trying to tell her something with just his touch alone or if he felt the shift between them. It certainly felt as though his hands were memorizing every inch of her skin as they trailed over her.

Her head tipped back as he cupped one of her breasts and pushed it up. He dipped his head in and she hissed as his tongue swirled around her nipple. The skin puckered and pulled taut as he pulled it between his teeth and sucked. His other hand traced the ridges of her spine until it rested against the flesh of her rear. He squeezed her hard enough to make her moan and mimicked the action on her chest.

She moaned again when his mouth left her breast, the hand there sliding down to hook into the band of her skirt. With both hands, he pushed the remaining articles of clothing to the floor and took his time kissing and nipping at the lower half of her body. By the time he stood back up to kiss her, she was trembling from head to toe.

It wasn't long before his clothes joined hers on the floor. As he wrapped his hand in her hair, she already knew what to expect. The gently push to get her on her knees was received, but she took her time to kiss his way down his chest to get there. His cock twitched, begging for more attention below her. He was fully hard and weeping as she settled onto her knees and took him into her mouth.

He moaned at the warmth of her mouth around him pushed her forward gently until he was completely seated at the back of her throat. She swallowed around him and moved her tongue as best she could, enjoying the sounds he made. He moved his hand to the side of her head and let his other hand do the same. She reached up to place her hands on his thighs and tapped once to let him know she was fine. She felt his muscles bunch beneath her palms and then a moment later, he was thrusting in and out of her mouth.

It wasn't long before his hips began to stutter, but right as she braced herself to swallow him down, he lifted her up and pulled her to the bed. He bent her over the edge and settled himself behind her, filling her with one harsh snap of his hips. She cried out and gripped the bedding as his hand cracked against the globes of her ass. The depth of his thrusts had her coming with screams that left her breathless.

The way he collapsed at her back and twitched inside of her told her he had come with her. But he didn't let either of them enjoy it for too long. Instead, she found herself astride his lap after having been pulled to the top of the bed again. His hands were already on her hips, guiding her over him so he could find his way back into her core. She moaned from the sensation; the sound of their combined slick echoing around them as he thrust upwards.

Whereas he had been all about fucking her senseless, he seemed to switch gears. He simply kept hold of her hips and rocked them back and forth until she took over. She leaned back, resting her hands on his thighs and began to ride him, keeping the pace slow and steady. He surged forward, wrapping his arms around her, pulling her flush against him so his face was buried against her chest.

She moaned as he teased at her nipples with his teeth and tongue. He alternated between them for a few strokes each before moving his way up her throat. When he settled back against the bed again, he brought her with him until she was leaning over him. He reached up then and removed her mask. As his hand sank back into her hair and his eyes bore into hers, she realized he had never bothered to put his on.

The entire encounter had been a far cry from what it normally was; a sign that he must know what she had really come here for. She swallowed hard and put that thought to the side, determined to enjoy these last few moments. To allow them both a proper goodbye.

Draco's hand slid forward to cup her jaw as her lips parted with a moan. His thumb pushed past her lips, resting against her teeth. She closed her lips around the digit and hummed as her clit ground against his pubic bone. Her lashes fluttered, but she kept her eyes open and on him as she continued to ride him. As she came, her lips parted again and his thumb moved to her bottom lip, dragging it down just a bit. His fingers tightened on her jaw as he thrust up and came with her again.

Neither one of them moved for the longest time; neither ready to part from the other's bodies. It wasn't until he slipped out on his own that she extracted herself from on top of him and slid to his side. Instead of curling up around him like she normally would, they lie shoulder to shoulder, staring up at the ceiling, panting to catch their breath.

As the high of their releases faded, the awkward tension returned. Hermione knew the time had come and knowing it would hurt, she dove in head first. "Can we talk?"

He stiffened for a moment before replying. "Is this about your date yesterday?"

Hermione gave a small nod and pushed herself up into a sitting position. She tucked the sheet up under her arms; this was not the sort of thing to be discussed while having her body bared. He scooted up against the headboard, scrutinizing her every move. "I told you once that this," she waved between them, "was a way for me to cope. I went to Elysium to have people shut my mind off because I couldn't do it myself. I never planned when I would leave, but I knew I would." She swallowed and plucked at the sheet in her lap. "I never expected to fall into whatever this is with you."

"Whatever this is?" he questioned. There was a hint of anger in his eyes, but his overall demeanor remained calm. "I've been pretty clear about what I wanted from you, Granger. Maybe you should tell me your definition."

"It doesn't matter," she said, her voice a shaky whisper. "It was never supposed to last."

"So you go and start dating some random bloke? How long have you been seeing him?" he asked, bitterness in his tone as he got out of bed and made way for his clothes.

Hermione stared after him, her jaw dropped in shock at how he was taking this. "About the time your engagement to Astoria debuted in the Prophet," she fired back, keeping the sheet around her as she got to her feet and summoned her clothes.

He paused in pulling his trousers up. "I thought you didn't read the Prophet," he said as he finished tugging them up over her hips.

Her laugh was bitter and harsh. "That's all you have to say, Malfoy?" She bit back the sob of anger and began to dress. "Were you ever planning on telling me you had a finance or were you just going to pretend she didn't exist on the weekends?" A thought occurred and she went still. "Does she even know about me?"

Not that it would change her mind if Astoria did. She had no intention of forever coming in second.

"Did you tell your date you were coming here tonight?" he countered.

She took a deep breath, blinking rapidly against the tears that threatened to fall. "I did actually. He's always known that what I had with someone else was complicated."

"Does he know why you came here then?"

"Part of it."

"Which part, Granger?" The look in his eyes as she caught his gaze told him he knew which part, he was just making her say it.

"To end it," she breathed, closing her eyes. Tears brimmed and slipped past her lashes. She brushed them away and shrugged. "This was never supposed to last as long as it did. Ashton-"

"I don't want to hear about him, Granger," he snapped, yanking his shirt over his head. "If you're sure about this, you should go. Just know that if you leave, that's it. It's over. Is that what you want?"

She chewed at her bottom lip and swallowed hard. She had been determined to walk away from this with her head held high, but she was second guessing herself. Was it what she wanted? Before she could even answer that for herself, her mind brought forth images of him and Astoria. It didn't matter what she wanted.

"You're not mine to want," she heard herself say at the same moment she thought the words. "Goodbye, Draco," she whispered and Apparated home.

She dropped to the floor where she landed in her room and let sob after sob wrack through her body. It was only supposed to be temporary. A phase of her life that helped her deal with the things she couldn't move on from. But somewhere along the way it had gotten twisted. Now, instead of parting ways and moving on with her life, she felt as though a piece of her soul had been ripped from her.

As she realized she had broken up with Draco Malfoy, she tried her hardest to pinpoint exactly when it had turned into something that could have broken at all.

Chapter Text

EIGHTEEN

Hermione had allowed herself to wallow for the rest of Saturday night. She knew that if she got it out of her system, she could work on putting it behind her in the morning. It was exactly what she did upon waking up to a text from Ashton asking if brunch was still on. She had confirmed without hesitation and went about getting ready. Their time together even extended until after dinner and not once did he ask her about the night before. He was smart enough to know that regardless of how it went, she wouldn't want to talk about it.

Monday made her anxious, but as the day wore on, her nerves settled. It had hurt to see him from across the Ministry and she could tell he felt it too, but they both went their separate ways. It made it easier to pretend that nothing had ever happened between the two of them and for the first time in weeks, she was able to concentrate on the case.

However, that didn't last long as Wednesday, Draco had cracked a huge lead. As a result, Robbards put everyone in teams of four. Not surprisingly, he put her with Harry and Ron. She knew that Draco would be their fourth as the three of them had been at the forefront of this particular project since it had come across their desks a few months prior. It was much easier to pretend when she was alone in her office rather than in Harry's with the four of them working in awkward silence. A tension that didn't lessen as the rest of the week flew by.

She kept her eyes on her half of Ron's desk, trying her best to ignore the way the three of them, mostly Harry and Ron kept looking back and forth between her and Draco as well as themselves. It wasn't until Ron sat back and spilled his ink all over the table, that Hermione spoke more than three words for the first time that week.

"Ron! You need to be more careful! Or start charming your stuff so when you do bump it, it won't spill," she snapped as she hurriedly cast charms to clean the mess before it stained.

"Sorry, Mione. It was an accident. Lighten up, will you?" He shrank in his chair when she lifted her gaze to glare at him.

"I think we've done all we can for this week. Why don't we all go to the Leaky and get a drink?" Harry suggested. "Merlin knows we all need one."

Hermione turned sharply to stare at the wall over Draco's head, finding the time closer to the day getting out than she had expected. "I'll pass, thank you," she said, gathering her things to head back to her office before leaving for the day.

"A no for me as well," Draco replied, the sound of his voice making her pause for a second.

"Really you two?" Ron whined. "Come on! I would say the two of you need one more than we do."

Draco's gaze slid her way and she couldn't help but meet it. She swallowed hard and straightened up, smoothing her blouse. "Don't push it, Ron. I think I've quite had enough of you lot for the week. Excuse me," she said, moving towards the door.

She made it to her office without tripping over herself or running into anyone else; a feat in and of itself as she let her mind wander. So engrossed in her own thoughts, she stopped short at the sight of Ashton propped up on the edge of her desk with a smile on his face. "Busy day?"

She let out a heavy sigh and placed her things on her desk before leaning into his embrace. "Busy week," she muttered against his chest. "Did you have another meeting today?"

"I do."

She pulled back with a furrowed brow. "It hasn't happened yet?" she asked, looking at the clock to confirm the time. "It's a little late to-"

He silenced her with a quick press of his lips over hers. "You're my meeting for today," he replied, smiling against her lips. "Though I suppose our meeting is more of a date."

She let out a laugh and shook her head. "I should hope so. Otherwise this is wholly inappropriate for a meeting," she said as she withdrew to organize her office so she wouldn't come back to chaos first thing on Monday morning. "Where are we going?"

"Nowhere you'll need to go home and change for," he said, knowing that was why she asked. "Unless you want to, of course."

She glanced down at herself. "No, this is fine. Nothing a little magic can't freshen up."

"How much do you have left to do here?"

She smiled as she gave a few flicks of her wand and watched everything settle into place. With that, she grabbed her beaded bag from the drawer of her desk and shrugged. "Nothing now."

Ashton smiled as his arm slid around her, his hand pressing gently at the small of her back as he guided her out. As he started to tell her about the meeting he had had earlier in the day, they made their way to the lifts. It was after they had stepped into it that someone called for them to hold it. When she looked up, it was to see Draco and Astoria sliding into the compartment at the last second.

There was a moment where she was face to face with Draco and she couldn't breathe. She stared up at him, her heart hammering against the confines of her chest. She forced herself to look away, but not before she saw the way Astoria looked between the two of them. She swallowed hard and sucked air between her teeth as she dropped her gaze to the floor.

The next real breath she took wasn't until she was stepping out of the lift and away from the people inside of it. As Ashton reached for her hand, she felt herself relax. Without missing a beat, he continued the story he had been telling her before they got into the lift and walked out of the Ministry for the night.


It was the following Tuesday that the boys had left her behind in the office while they went to get lunch. It was a mutual decision. She was lost in reading through reports and Harry and Ron had known better than to even try to disturb her. When Draco had tried to invite her along, she smiled when she heard her friends try to shuffle him out without interrupting her. She knew they would bring her something back or when she found what she was looking for in the reports she would join them.

However, her concentration was broken with a soft knock to the partially open door. She looked up and did a double take at the sight of Astoria. She straightened in her seat, cleared her throat, and set the report on the desk so she could stand. "Astoria, right?"

The younger witch smiled brightly and cocked a perfectly sculpted brow. "You don't have to pretend you don't know who I am, Hermione."

She cleared her throat again and returned a nervous smile. "Sorry, I just don't believe we've met before."

"Why would we have? I was two years behind you and you had your hands full with Harry and Ron if I recall."

Hermione couldn't help but smile at that. "Malfoy's down at the cafeteria with Ron and Harry to get lunch. I'm sure you can find-"

"I'm not here for Draco."

"Oh," she replied, her heart racing. "Can I help you with something?"

"I came here to take you to lunch,"

That was leaps and bounds away from what Hermione thought she would hear as well as wanted to hear. She had been dreading this from the moment she saw Astoria looking at her and Malfoy in the elevator a few days prior. "I can't. I'm sorry, I-"

"If the boys can break for lunch, so can you," she said with that smile still on her face. "Come on, my treat," she added, turning to leave the office.

Hermione sighed and followed her out, tugging at her clothes as she went. They were silent on the way to the lobby and didn't speak again until they were settled in the little café in Diagon Alley after travelling by the Floo network. Once they had ordered, she turned to Astoria to finally break the silence. "Astoria, I'm sorry. I had no-"

"I don't want your apologies, Hermione," she interrupted. Hermione felt the urge to run, but her legs refused to obey. "I should be the one apologizing to you." She paused for a second and smiled again. "Actually, Draco should be, but he's taking far too long for my liking."

The breath she was holding burned her lungs until her body forced it out. "I'm sorry, what?"

Astoria studied her for a moment and then frowned. "He'll be cross with me for telling you this, but I saw the way you looked at each other in the lift. Both of you are being stubborn and I want to help. I feel a tad bit responsible for what happened." She took a sip of her drink and settled back in her chair. "Though not as responsible as Draco considering he should have told you from the get-go."

"Astoria…"

"Let me start from the beginning," she said, pleading with her dark eyes. "You need to hear this."

Hermione took a deep breath and gave a slight nod. "Okay."

"Pureblood tradition often includes arranged marriages. With the Sacred Twenty-Eight, sometimes the contracts are drafted the moment an heir is conceived. That's what happened with my family and the Malfoy's. Only, it was supposed to be Daphne, not me. None of us knew about it until recently.

"One day my parents invited the Malfoy's over for dinner. Apparently it had been decided that was the night they were going to announce the contract to the both of them and put it into motion." A sly smile spread across her lips as if she was about to spill some juicy gossip. "It was so quiet at the table until Daphne laughed so hard she cried. She nearly passed out.

"Turns out, she had already eloped with Theo Nott a year prior and didn't tell anyone. I was hurt that she didn't tell me, but I forgave her instantly when I saw the look on my father's face. My mother was distraught as well and Narcissa just shrugged and said it was an outdated practice anyway. But you know Lucius."

Hermione snorted and shared a knowing looking with Astoria.

"The next weekend I found myself being escorted to tea with my mother and Narcissa, something I go to often, so I wasn't suspecting anything. But my father was already there with Lucius. When Draco walked in, I knew he had been just as caught off guard as the rest of us. Our fathers reworked the contract so that I was the one to wed Draco. Our mothers immediately started fights with our fathers and Draco just escorted me out of the room.

"It was adorable, really, the way he tried to let me down without offending me. I let him ramble for far too long, thoroughly enjoying the compliments. He told me right away that he was seeing someone; someone that he hoped to have in his life for a long time." Astoria's smile was soft when Hermione's breath hitched. "He wouldn't tell me who it was out of respect, but he said it was someone worth the effort. That's how I knew it was you. The way he looked at you told me everything he wouldn't say aloud."

Hermione's throat was as dry as it was tight. She was struggling to breathe as well as hold back her tears. "But you kept up the rouse of being engaged for months."

She nodded. "Long enough for us to figure out a way out of it without me having to come out to my father. I might be confident in my choices of partners, but I have no intentions of being cut off just yet."

"Choices?"

Astoria laughed and thanked the waiter who set their food down before them. "I'm into witches, Hermione."

"Oh," she breathed, her eyes widening. "Oh! Sorry, I didn't…"

She waved her off and took a bite of her food. "Finally his mother came through for us. The engagement has been officially off since Friday. It's what I was doing at the Ministry. We were filing the dissolution paperwork. We wanted it notarized by an official so neither of our fathers could go back on their word."

Hermione stared at the plate of food before her, her stomach rolling as several emotions coursed through her.

"I don't know why he didn't tell you, Hermione, and I'm sorry if this explanation is too late to change anything between you two. I just felt that you had to know. I didn't want you to cower whenever you saw me or heard my name like you did back in the office earlier. You were never the other woman; you were the only woman."

Hermione swallowed over the lump in her throat, unable able to decide if knowing all of this made everything better or worse. "Thank you," she said after a moment, forcing herself to eat a little.

Astoria nodded. "Alright, enough with the heavy stuff. I've been dying to pick that brain of yours for ages."

Hermione couldn't help but smile at that and tabled her thoughts of Draco for when she got home where she could process them in the safety of her own place.


Wednesday, the discrepancy she had discovered in a case file weeks before came across her lap in another file. The four of them alerted Robbards and by the end of a very long day, the case had been cracked open. Once the final pieces of the puzzle had been put into place, most of those working on it were sent out to make the necessary arrests. Draco and Hermione were one of the few that stayed behind to help get a head start on paperwork.

Normally, that was the easiest part of her job, but she couldn't help but stare at Draco across from her. Astoria's words had been plaguing her since coming back from lunch the day before. She had even lost sleep debating what she should do with the information. While she was happy to know it hadn't been real, she was equally as sad and frustrated that he hadn't told her any of it from the beginning. If he liked her as much as he told Astoria, he should have said something. Maybe then they could have been utilizing the quiet of the office for something a bit less productive.

She cleared her throat and shifted in her seat, dragging her eyes away from Draco back to her report. She could feel his gaze on her, making her cheeks burn. She put up her Occlumency walls, vividly recalling the last time she had fantasized about him and the fact that he had caught her.

She didn't look up at him again for the rest of the night. Something she felt was a personal achievement of sorts. It was late when she arrived home, but she still called Ashton just like she promised she would. It led to him coming over with a very late dinner, something she had completely forgotten about during the rush of excitement from solving such a high profile case.

"So you can take some time off now, yeah?" he asked as they tucked into their food.

Her fork hovered over her takeout container as she gave a half shrug. "I suppose." She eyed him when he smirked. "Why?"

"I was thinking we could go away for the weekend," he said, his hand coming out to rest on her thigh. "Maybe turn it into a long weekend by taking Monday off."

She gave a short nod and bought herself some time by chewing her food extra slow. He had been patient with her; a perfect gentleman. This was her chance to have something real; something easy and void of secrecy. All with someone that didn't remind her of the past she had gone to great lengths to banish.

"I'll put in for it tomorrow," she said.

"Perfect, I'll make the arrangements."

Hermione only nodded and listened to him talk about his day while trying her best to squash the thoughts of Draco. If she wanted to put him behind her, Ashton had given her the perfect opportunity and she intended to make the most of it.

Chapter Text

NINETEEN

Hermione had put in to have a three day weekend before even going to her office. Her boss had granted the request immediately and asked if she wanted more than just one day. She declined, and took her leave, but she could have sworn she heard him mutter something about forced vacation as she left. The rest of the day was filled with reports that seemed never ending. So much so, that it took the first half of Friday to finish them all.

Once everyone had returned to lunch, Robbards had asked everyone down to the conference room and informed them that there would be a celebration for all of those that had given the case their all over the last few months. That there would be food and drink on Ministry Galleons at the Leaky that night and all were welcome.

Harry and Ron were on her immediately after the announcement. "You have to come, Mione!" Ron insisted.

"I can't. I have plans with Ashton after work."

"So bring him," Harry replied with a shrug.

"We're going away for the weekend," she pressed.

Both of them pulled a face at her to which she shook her head. "So leave after. You both have access to magic, yeah?" Harry asked. She nodded and he grinned at her. "Great! Then you can just Apparate away after. At least come by for a drink, Mione. Even if you don't stay for dinner. You worked hard on this case too. You deserve to celebrate with the rest of us."

She let out a sigh and crossed her arms over her chest. "Okay, fine. Ashton and I will be there for one drink," she said, looking between the two of them. "But I mean it. Only one."

As she turned to head back to her office, she paused at the sight of Draco. He was in a group not too far away from her, talking to other Auror's, but his eyes were fixated on her. There was a crease to his brow and his stare was intense. She swallowed hard and turned away from him. Whether he had heard her or not, it didn't matter. She had made her choice and she was determined to stick with it.


Ashton had thought it was a great idea. She had brought up the invitation thinking he would be irritated at the delay, but was surprised when he reacted the opposite way. He told her he was excited to meet her friends, officially, and what was one or two hours when they had the rest of a long weekend. She was also surprised by how good it felt to have him respond that way.

The Leaky was insane by the time they arrived. The only reason it didn't feel as suffocating as such a gathering might was that the attention wasn't being put on the Golden Trio. Instead, everyone was just letting off steam by chasing the bottom of their mugs, reveling in the fact that come Monday, they would be back to regular hours. Not to mention the weight of what ifs no longer bearing down on them from not solving a case.

One drink had quickly turned in to two. Hermione thought she could have been on her third, but she wasn't entirely sure. Either way, she was happy that Ashton was getting along quite well with her friends and vice versa. Ron especially. She should have known they would have bonded over Quidditch. The downside to their budding friendship was that once the pair of them started discussing teams, Hermione knew it would be near impossible to get them to leave any time soon.

As the pair started to argue about two teams she couldn't pretend to care about any longer, she turned to get a glass of water from the bar. The water sloshed over the rim of the glass and her hand as someone barreled into her from behind, their arms wrapping around her middle.

"Is that Carlotta's brother?"

Hermione whirled around at the sound of Ginny's voice, pulling out of her grasp in the process. "Please don't do that," she mumbled as she brought her free hand to rest over her racing heart.

"Right, sorry," she mumbled, but her grin only widened. "Why didn't you tell me the two of you hit it off?"

Hermione opened her mouth to give an excuse, but there was nothing other than she forgot. She certainly wasn't about to tell Ginny she didn't really want her to know. "It's only been official for a week or so," she settled on.

Ginny turned to be at her side and looped her arm around Hermione's pulling her to table. "Tell me everything."

"There's not really much to tell you, Ginny."

Ginny sipped at her own drink and shrugged. "Nice try. How about the beginning? What happened the night I introduced you?"

"We talked at the bar and then he walked me home."

"Walked? Like Muggles?"

Hermione rolled her eyes, but chose to let the comment go. "He kissed me when we got to my door and left me his phone number."

"Is that that little device you communicate with people through?"

Hermione bit back a smile and nodded. "So I called him the next morning and invited him to breakfast."

"Why in the name of Morgana didn't you invite him in and have him be breakfast?" Ginny asked, a wicked gleam in her eyes.

"Because unlike some people, I don't particularly like to jump into bed with blokes."

Ginny gave a knowing huff. "Clearly I don't do that anymore, but I regret nothing. There is no shame in letting loose with a random bloke from time to time."

Hermione only sipped at her water to try and keep from telling Ginny that she had tried it. That it wasn't just blokes and it had worked well. Too well. As if on cue, she caught sight of platinum blond hair and grey eyes in her field of vision and it took her a moment to realize it wasn't her mind's eye. It was Draco. Here in the Leaky mingling with everyone else.

It took a moment for her to refocus and realize that Ginny was asking her something else. "So?" she prompted again. "Have you?"

"Have I what?" she asked, keeping her eyes glued to Ginny despite how much they wanted to wander to subject in her periphery.

"Slept with him yet."

Hermione cleared her throat and shook her head slowly. "No, not yet."

"What are you waiting for then?"

Hermione frowned at her friend. "There's more to a relationship than sex, Ginny."

The red-head rolled her eyes and knocked back the rest of her drink. "Clearly, but it's fun, no?"

She simply sighed as she answered. "Ask me again after this weekend."

"Oh?" she asked, her eyes twinkling again.

"After this we're going away for the weekend. He even asked me to take Monday off and I did."

"If you don't sleep with him, I'm going to kill you," Ginny muttered with a grin. "I'm desperate for proper girl talk with you."

Hermione couldn't help but laugh at that and nodded her head. It was then that Harry came over to them and leaned in to press a kiss to his wife's cheek. "You ready to go?" he asked her.

Ginny winked at Hermione as she got up and took Harry's hand. "Hermione can't be the only one getting laid this weekend."

Harry's gaze met Hermione's for only a split second before they both looked away from one another, a blush burning hot on their cheeks. "Please take her home. Now."

"On it," he said, waving over his shoulder as the pair turned and made for the door.

She caught sight of Ashton and Ron still at the bar, arguing, but in a friendly manner. She shook her head and got to her feet, deciding that after relieving her bladder, she would cut in and they would take their leave too. She had already stayed longer than she initially planned and it was getting late. She as ready to start the weekend and escape the chaos that had become the Leaky.

After using the loo and washing her hands, she took a minute to rummage through her beaded bag for a Sober Up potion. She hadn't had that much to drink, but she much preferred to start the weekend off without a hangover. She washed the potion down with a handful of water from the tap and stashed the empty vial back in her bag. With a quick glance at her reflection and straightening of her clothes, she moved to take her leave of the bathroom.

She stopped short at the sight of Draco on the other side of the door and gasped as he stepped inside, forcing her back into the room with him. He shut the door and clicked the lock into place. She continued to move until her back was against the counter, her arms folded over her chest. "What are you doing?"

"I just need five minutes of your time."

She shook her head. "Ashton and I have somewhere to be, Draco."

He snorted. "Yes, I heard about your upcoming weekend away together."

"Then you know I have to go," she said, forcing her feet to carry her towards the door.

"Hermione, please," he whispered as she passed him, his fingers curling around her wrist gently to stop her if she let him or let her go if she didn't.

She turned her head to see him and lifted her shoulders for a moment. "You had your chance, Draco. Several of them, actually, if Astoria was telling me the truth."

"She was," he replied immediately.

She pulled her wrist from his and angled her body to face his completely. Her head tipped back to see him better and she placed her hands on her hips. "Then why didn't you say something? Why did I have to hear about all of this from Astoria?" she asked, trying to keep her emotions at bay, thankful for that Sober Up in her system. "You knew that I would see the Prophet at some point and not once did you think to tell me about Astoria or that it was all an act?"

"I know," he said, shaking his head. "Merlin, I know. And I'm sorry, but I wasn't sure how to tell you. Telling you would have implied that there was more to us and you clearly weren't ready to admit anything." He snorted and carded a hand through his hair. "Or so I thought, anyway."

"What are you even talking about?"

"What should I have said, Hermione?" He took a deep breath. "Do you remember the time in your office when I mentioned the word relationship and you nearly ran for the hills?"

"Because I thought you were engaged," she said weakly, knowing it was half true.

"And what about before?"

"What about before?" she challenged. "You proposed a traditional dom and sub relationship and I agreed. If you wanted more, you should have said something."

"I tried, Hermione," he said, his voice filled with frustration. "I tried everything I could think of to tell you that I wanted more without scaring you off. But every time I tried, we ended up taking a step backwards. Merlin's fucking beard, I even showed up at your house and asked you to dinner after you broke anonymity." He paused to take a deep breath, pinching the bridge of his nose. "I thought you had wanted more too, but I guess I got the signals wrong."

"You didn't," she whispered and then swallowed.

"Then why-"

"I didn't realize that I wanted more with you until I saw you and Astoria. I thought it was real, Draco; that you were getting married, so it didn't matter how I felt."

"But you kept coming back," he breathed, taking a step towards her, his hands warm on elbows.

"Because I didn't want to let you go," she admitted. She cleared her throat and tried to blink away tears that formed. "I knew I had to, but I couldn't help myself."

"So Ashton was, what? A distraction? Payback?"

"Neither," she replied, wetting her lips. "He was my out."

His hands dropped away from her and she closed her eyes to keep from seeing the pain she caused by her words. When he spoke, his voice was low and raw. "You told me that Elysium was just an escape. That we were never supposed to last beyond it, but it was you who clued me in to who it was behind the mask, Hermione. You could have walked away, but you knew then that you didn't want it to be over." He reached for her hands, twining them together with his. "If I had told you about Astoria-"

"It doesn't matter, Draco," she interrupted, a tear sliding down her cheek. "I made a choice. Just like you did by not telling me."

He let go of her hands in favor of taking one purposeful step forward, pinning her between the wall and his body. His face dropped to the crook of her neck. He had one hand firm on her hip while the other sank back into her curls. She placed her hands on his biceps and shivered as he spoke. "All my life, I've done nothing but make the wrong choices, Hermione. I never intended for this, for you, to be one of them. If I could go back and fix it, I would. I would choose you right from the start."

"It's too late, Draco."

"It's not," he insisted, his lips finding her flesh. "Don't go with him this weekend, Hermione. Come back to the flat. I want you more than anything," he breathed. "Not just the sex. All of you. Let me prove to you that we're more than just Hedone and Kratos. That there's more to us than dom and sub."

"Draco-"

He tore himself away from her, the effort plain as day on his face. "One hour, Hermione. I'll be at the flat. If you don't show up…" he swallowed hard. "Then I'll have my answer. Just please," he added, smiling softly as he tucked curls behind her ear. "Please come to the flat."

Even if she had been able to respond, he was gone before she could even try. Instead, she just stood with her back to the wall, hand on her lips, staring at the spot he had been a moment before. It wasn't until a knock sounded at the door that she pulled herself together and went back into the crowd at the Leaky. Her mind was racing, but as her gaze landed on Ashton, she knew exactly what she had to do.

Chapter Text

TWENTY

Kingsley was in her office first thing Tuesday morning when she returned to work. He came to ask for help with some vampire negotiations in Romania and would need her to leave right away. She had taken it without asking her usual laundry list of questions. What she needed was a way to get out of the office and he had presented the perfect opportunity. The fact that she was to stay out of the country until Friday was icing on the cake.

The best part, she realized upon getting her bearings after traveling via portkey was that she would be staying with Charlie. It had been far too long since she had seen him and it gave them the opportunity to catch up. She got to know his wife a little better as well as their twin girls.

Her mission was simple enough. The consulate was in the process of negotiations with the local covens. They were trying to come to an agreement. One that would give the vampires the food source they needed without resorting to human sacrifices and in return, they would stop wreaking havoc on the local humans and their subsequent livestock. Since she had helped write the proposals for the vampire covens, they let her take the lead.

And when her days were over, she was able to see the developments Charlie had made with the dragons. He had asked for her advice on more than one occasion on how best to approach the Ministry for aide. His ideas were always solid, but it was his wording that she helped him with. In return, he answered any and all questions she had about his work.

Needless to say, by the time she returned to the Ministry Friday afternoon, she was even more grateful from the distraction. Being gone for a few days had been exactly what she needed to help get her out the funk she had put herself in since holing herself up in her flat Friday after the Leaky. She had spent the weekend dodging Ginny's attempts to come over and ignoring her owls.

Hermione had made her choice, but she wasn't ready to talk about it.

About how she had led Ashton outside the bar and then told him that she couldn't go away with him. That she liked him and he was special, but he wasn't the wizard for her and she didn't want to string him along anymore. He had been upset, sure, but he wished her well and said he would be in touch about the television program when they started rolling out testers.

Then, instead of going to the flat to meet Draco, she had just gone home.

She wanted to go. She wanted it more than anything, but she wanted to have a clear head when she went. The Sober Up only did so much and he had put her emotions through the ringer. She wanted some time to think it over. She knew he had told her if she didn't show up, he would consider it her answer. She also knew if he was serious about what he said, they could talk about it after she'd had some time to process.

But even three days of locking herself into her flat hadn't been enough time to process. She had only found herself in an endless loop of what-ifs. Ultimately, she needed to talk to him again. There were still answers she needed and getting those would be the only way to put her mind at ease. Whether their talk resulted in taking that next step for them or gave them both better closure, she would welcome it. The problem was that each time she made to Apparate to the flat, she would psyche herself out again.

Which only led her to wonder why the Sorting Hat had ever put her in Gryffindor.

After delivering her reports to Kingsley, she went home where she currently found herself pacing her living room. All the good the week had done for her while away was fading away rather quickly. With a string of curses under her breath, she tightened her hold on her wand and Apparated to the flat without giving herself a chance to talk herself out of it again. She had expected the flat to be empty, for her arrival through the wards to alert Draco and then he would meet her there.

She had not expected Draco to be sitting on the couch with his feet up watching the television while eating takeaway.

He stared at her mid-chew as she looked around, realization dawning on her. "Do you…" she started. "Do you live here?"

She set the container on the coffee table and turned off the television. He got to his feet and turned to face her, his hand coming up to rub the back of his neck. "If I say yes, are you going to yell at me?"

She could only stare at him for a moment before a shudder erupted down her spine. "What if someone had come to visit you when I was over?" she asked. Her eyes went wide and she nearly choked on her own spit. She shuddered again and crossed her arms over her chest. "Oh gods," she groaned, thinking back to the day she had waited sprawled out on his bed with the Ben Wa balls in her core. Her thighs clenched in response. "There were plenty of times when I was waiting for you, Draco. Waiting and fucking naked!"

Her eyes narrowed even further at the way his lips twitched and his gaze quickly swept down her body and then back up. He cleared his throat and wiped the smile from his face. "I don't have a Floo connected here. My wards only allow for you, Nixie, and myself. Everyone else has to use the front door and no one has a key but me. So I assure you," he said, taking a few steps forward, his pupils widening. "No one but me was going to see you."

She swallowed and took a step back, shaking her head to clear it. She waved her hand in the air and huffed. "Still, you should have told me."

"You would have said no."

She pinched the bridge of her nose and counted to five. "The point of having a flat to meet at was that so it wasn't part of our everyday lives."

He did grin that time. "You said you didn't want it to be at your flat or the Manor. You didn't say it couldn't be my flat."

"Merlin's beard, Draco. I'm sure another flat wouldn't have been that hard to get. Nor would it have been an inconvenience to your vault."

He shrugged and crossed his arms over his chest. "Well, surprise. I live here," he said. "Now that you know, would you mind telling me why you've come over unannounced?" His eyes glanced over her shoulder for a moment. "Does Ashton know you're here?"

She held her breath for an extra second and then let it out slowly with a shake of her head. "No, he doesn't," she said and rushed on when his lips parted to speak. "And he wouldn't know because I haven't talked to him since I broke things off with him on Friday outside the Leaky."

His jaw remained open as he stared at her. His grey eyes shone with triumph and his arms unfurled to hang at his sides. She saw the apple of his throat bob when he swallowed and he took a small step forward. "You didn't go out of town with him?" he repeated, the words rolling off his tongue with disbelief.

"No," she replied with a small shake of her head. "I did not."

He studied her for a moment and then frowned. "But you didn't come here either."

She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. "I'm here now."

Draco took another half step forward, causing her to tilt her head back slightly in order to maintain his gaze. "Why now?" he asked. "Why not a week ago?"

"Because I wanted to have a clear head when I did. Because I need answers from you and had I shown up that night, you know just as well as I do we wouldn't have done any talking."

The smirk that took hold of his lips made heat rise to her cheeks.

"Any productive talking," she amended before he could say something that would make her forget herself.

"Fair enough," he said after a moment. He tucked one hand in the crook of his elbow as the other hand reached up to stroke his chin. "What would we have talked about, Granger?"

Her lips parted with the intention of asking everything she had carefully listed in her head. But the longer she stared at him, the longer those answers seemed frivolous. It really didn't matter what had happened before. They had both made mistakes. He had kept things from her, but he had also been honest about what he really wanted on more than one occasion. It was her who ran from everything. And not just from Draco, but from everything.

She didn't want to run anymore.

"You said you wanted more than Hedone and Kratos. More than dom and sub. Do you still want that? Even if it's me? I'm not-"

He was right before her, pulling her flush against him as his mouth slanted over hers. "You could lose all your magic right now and I would still want you. I'm sorry that I ever gave a fuck about something so stupid as blood status, Hermione. I'm sorry that I didn't tell you about Astoria" His lips continued to brush over hers as he spoke. "I've wanted you for a long time. Hell, I was yours before I knew it was you under that mask and I want to keep being yours until it's you that doesn't want me."

She smiled against him and wrapped her arms around his neck, her fingers threading through his platinum locks. "I want you. All of you. Just like you said," she whispered back. "I'm sorry I was too stubborn to admit it. That I fought you the whole way." Her lips quivered against his as they drank each other in. "I'm scared."

"Why?"

"Because I've never wanted anything so badly in my entire life," she admitted, tightening her arms around him. "I'm scared that it's all going to fall apart and I don't want to get hurt."

"The war's over, Granger. The only thing standing between you and I is… Well," he laughed. "You and I." She laughed with him for a moment before he spoke again. "I know what it feels like to lose you now, Granger. I won't be making that mistake again. I can't promise the road ahead won't be rocky, but I promise to be by your side no matter what lies ahead."

"And if-"

His teeth caught her bottom lip and she whined. His tongue was there to soothe the bite a moment later. "If you're determined to think of worst case scenarios, that's all we're ever going to have."

She bit her own lip, her tongue swiping the skin to taste him. She moaned low in her throat and fought the urge to lean in and devour him where he stood. "You're right," she breathed. "Gods help me."

"We're doing this, yeah?" he asked, his breath having increased.

"Yes," she rasped out without hesitation. "Yes, Draco. I-"

He cut her off with a kiss that left her breathless. He devoured her the way she had just tried to hold back from doing to him. Her body molded to his and she could feel his arousal twitch against her abdomen. She gasped into his mouth as he lifted her by the hips, her legs wrapping around his. "Can we skip to the part where you let me fuck you or are you going to ask me to take it slow?"

"I-"

"You have about three seconds to-"

"Fuck me," she whined, grinding her core against his cock. "Please, Draco. I need you."

With her coiled around him and their lips locked so their tongues could continue their duel, he marched them down the hall to the master suit. There was no preamble as he set her on the edge of the bed, leaning over so he didn't have to break their kiss. The cool air of the room alerted her to the fact that he had vanished her clothes and when she pulled away to settle herself on the center of the bed, she saw he was just as bare as she was.

He crawled after her, but not over her. Instead, he settled himself between her thighs. He didn't stop or give any warning and she cried out when his tongue ran the length of her slit. Her body bowed off the bed as he flicked at her clit. She reached down to thread her fingers through his hair as he continued his assault. Her hips bucked and she whispered his name on repeat as he pressed two fingers into her core; working them in tandem with his tongue.

She hadn't wanted the sex to be her only reason to be with him, but fuck it if it wasn't high up on her list of pros. As he continued his ministrations, knowing exactly what it took for her to come in record time, she was glad they weren't entering this from the beginning. They didn't have to spend time learning each other's bodies and fumbling through awkward moments. If she really thought about it, she might think they knew each other's bodies better than their own.

Her cries sounded around the room when she came for him, but he didn't relent. He continued to suck her clit between his lips as well as stroke it with a broad tongue while his fingers curled to find that spot within her walls. She hadn't even finished her first orgasm before she felt herself careening into another one. Only when her thighs clamped around his head, quaking in the aftermath, did he carefully extract himself and settle over her.

His lips found hers and she reached around him, her palms lying flat on his shoulder blades. His forearms bracketed her head as her legs wrapped around his hips once more. He didn't even need to push forward to slide into her dripping wet center. They both sighed when he bottomed out and he wasted no time in setting a pace of deep and powerful thrusts.

It wasn't long before he found the spot to deliver the best friction. The moment she started to feel the familiar coiling in her core, she shattered beneath him. Endless cries tumbled past her lips as he came with her, groaning incoherent babble of his own into her ear from where their cheeks were pressed together. Just like before, he hadn't stopped. Instead, he slowed the pace to draw it out for both of them and pulled back to smile down at her.

"Gods I nearly forgot how fucking perfect you are."

She moaned loudly and pushed upwards, rolling them so that he was on his back. She took control rather quickly, relying on his hands at her hips to keep her steady. She rocked back and forth on her knees as she leaned over him, hands on his chest. The last time they had been together; the last time she had watched him as he came for her, she had been memorizing his every move. She wanted it etched to her memory because she knew it was the end.

This time, it felt like the beginning of something. It was terrifying, but it was thrilling too. A part of her had wanted it since she had met him as Kratos. For weeks she had wanted to take a risk and ask for more, but when she finally got it by connecting the dots, she thought it had been over. But that was a start too. One that she didn't think would lead to this chapter of her life, but as they came together again, calling for each other, she was more than ready to see where it led.

Hermione collapsed on top of him, their skin fusing together from the sweat their little workout had caused. There was a right mess of slick between her thighs, but she was too comfortable curled up at his side with his arm around her to care. She could clean it up later.

It took some time for their breathing to regulate and their bodies to relax, but even then, they retained the comfortable silence that settled over them. Both of them had wandering hands that skimmed over whatever part of the other they could reach, leaving gooseflesh behind each time. It was when her eyes started to grow heavy that a small bubble of anxiety began to rise.

"Draco?"

His hold tightened ever so slightly. As if he were afraid she was going to leave since it was the routine they'd developed. "Hmm?"

"Can I stay the night?"

There was a pause before he chuckled and turned so that she was on her back and he propped up on his elbow looming over her. His other hand stroked her cheek as his lips brushed hers. "Was there any part of you that really thought I was letting you leave this bed tonight?"

"What if I have to pee?" she asked with a laugh.

"Exceptions can be made, I suppose."

She kissed him softly and then wriggled out from beneath him. "I'll be right back," she promised and hurried off to the loo.

When she returned to the bedroom, he was beneath the sheets with half of them turned down and ready for her to climb under as well. She did and he wasted no time curling around her back with one arm tight over her middle while she used the other as a pillow. Even their legs twined together. His lips met her shoulder before he moved his face to the crook of her neck.

It wasn't long before exhaustion crept up and her eyes refused to stay open. Completely wrapped up in Draco, she drifted off to sleep; a smile so wide she wondered if her cheeks would hurt in the morning.

Chapter Text

TWENTY-ONE

It was completely surreal to wake up the next morning in a place that was so familiar, yet not her own. Draco's arms were still tightly wrapped around her; the rest of their limbs tangled as well. The only thing that had changed since her eyes had closed the night before was that she had turned so her face was buried in his chest. His neck was stretched above her, presumably so that he didn't choke on her hair. She sighed, smiled into his chest, and burrowed even tighter into his embrace.

He shifted and Hermione wondered if he was awake. She got her answer when his lips brushed across her temple followed by his chest expanding for a deeper breath. "Do you have plans for today?" he asked, his voice still husky with sleep.

She did a quick rundown of her mental checklist and shook her head against him. "The only thing I have to do is check on Crooks. He'll tear my flat apart if I don't feed him."

Draco's chuckle sent vibrations through her entire body and it made her smile more. "If it's alright with you, I'll send Nixie to care for the beast."

She rolled her eyes and moved so that they were eye level on their respective pillows, but still tightly wound around each other. "He is not a beast. He's just a cat."

"I've seen cats, Granger," he said, his hand sliding up her side to gently roll her nipple between his thumb and forefinger. "That orange mess of fur you insist on keeping around is definitely a beast."

Hermione's teeth sank into her lower lip as her body bowed towards him slightly. The shift allowed his cock to graze her inner thigh and his eyes darkened slightly. She huffed as he leaned in, his lips closing around the taut peak. "I don't know why everyone picks on poor Crooks. If it weren't for him, we would have died in Third Year."

His movements quelled for a moment as if considering whether or not he wanted to hear the story. She assumed he decided against it when she felt his tongue swirl around her flesh while his hand skimmed down her stomach. "Still a beast," he muttered, releasing her with an audible pop.

A moan left her lips as his hand grazed her core. Her thighs involuntarily closed around him, pinning him in place. He snorted and nipped at her skin. "If your intention is to fuck me all day, we should start with breakfast." To punctuate her point, her stomach growled. "I already skipped dinner."

He chuckled and kissed the top of her breast before tugging at his hand until she parted her thighs for him to remove his hand. He cupped her face instead and leaned in to capture her lips. "How about we take a shower to start the day fresh?"

"Then food?" she asked.

He nodded and pushed himself into a sitting position. As he called for Nixie, Hermione scowled at him and scrambled to pull the sheet over her; only just managing to do so as the elf popped into the room. "Nixie, could you go to Miss Granger's flat and attend to the beast she considers her pet cat, Crookshanks?"

Hermione's scowl turned into a glare, one that only earned a widened smirk, but he never broke his gaze from Nixie. "Yes, yes! Anything else youse me needing, Master Malfoy?"

"When you're finished with that, please bring us something to eat. A full spread if you don't mind."

"Right away! Nixie gets it for youse both!"

"Thank you, Nixie," he said and then she was gone with an excited squeal and a familiar crack.

The moment they were alone, Hermione reached up to swat at Draco, happy with whatever part of him she got. He simply laughed at her and captured her wrist before ducking down and stealing a kiss. She wrenched herself away and got to her feet, intending to keep the sheet around her, but Draco yanked that away as she stood. She rolled her eyes and made her way to the bathroom, unashamedly putting a bit more bounce in her step because she knew he was watching.

"Are you coming?" she called over her shoulder as she stood in front of the shower, taking in all the knobs and gadgets it contained.

"Soon," he said from behind her, making her jump. "We both will," he added, playfully swatting her rear as he started the shower with a wave of his other hand.

She rolled her eyes, but smiled along with him as he took hold of her hand and drew her under the water with him. He placed his arms around her and she laid her head on the center of his chest while the water rained down around them. "I'm sorry I didn't come to you sooner," she whispered.

He shook his head above her and kissed the top of her head. "We said all we had to yesterday. I don't want to spend the next however many days apologizing and I don't want to hear you do it at all," he said, moving them out from the shower head in the center of the ceiling. "What do you say we just move forward? From this moment on, we don't forget, but we agree we were both stubborn, stupid, and scared. That's all behind us now, yeah?"

She nodded and looked up at him. "No more apologizes," she promised.

"Good," he replied and moved forward. She hissed at the contrast from the cold tile at her back and the heat of his body at her front. "Because I'm going to fuck you," he added as he lifted her up.

Her legs wrapped around his waist and she groaned as he slipped into her with ease. "How do you still have the energy for more?" she breathed, trying to use his shoulders for purchase, but her hands kept slipping off from the moisture that clung to his skin.

He chuckled and then grunted with the effort of holding her up and thrusting his hips. "Are you really complaining?"

"N-no," she stammered, waves of pleasure shooting up and down her spine. "Just surprised."

He smiled against her lips before capturing them with his own. "Are you?" he asked with a groan. "I find that hard to believe." He groaned and nipped at her lips. "You're so fucking soaked I slipped right in."

"We are in the shower."

The laughter at her own humor turned into a moan as he snapped his hips and angled hers to take him deeper. "Gods, I wanted you to wake up with my head between your thighs."

She moaned and arched her back off the wall. "Why didn't you?"

He stilled as his head reared back, his pupils blown wide with lust as he peered down the length of his nose at her. "Tomorrow then," he nearly growled before resuming his pace.

"Unless I wake up first," she teased, her nails digging into his shoulders.

He shuddered beneath her touch and quirked a brow, his eyes alight with hope. "Waking up with my cock in your mouth sounds like heaven." He carefully maneuvered a hand between them so he could rub at her clit. She keened loudly, the sound muffled by the drum of the water. "Just as it will when you come for me," he said, picking up the pace as her inner walls started to flutter. "That's it, Granger. I can feel you tightening up. Fuck. You're gonna make me come."

Her moan turned into a wail as she began to crest. "Oh gods, Draco. I'm coming! I'm com- Oh!"

She shattered around him and after a few last thrusts of his own, he was right there with her, moaning into the abyss of pleasure that swallowed them whole.


Draco's lips were sticky when they pressed against hers. For a moment, the mystery substance fused them together. The moment he pulled back, her lips darted out to taste what he left behind. She searched the recesses of her mind trying to place the acidic sweetness as she swallowed it down.

"You're over thinking," he mused, gently tweaking her nipple.

She squirmed and pouted in the general direction she assumed he sat. It was hard to tell without her sense of sight. "You just wait until we play the reverse." He laughed as she licked her lips again. "Raspberry?"

There was a moment of silence before she felt him moving across the bed. She shivered when his lips ghosted along the shell of her ear while his hand smoothed over the curve of her rear. "Tell me, Granger," he drawled, his hand lifting. She braced herself, but yelped anyway when his hand smarted across her backside again. "Are you intentionally getting these wrong for the punishments?" Another smack followed by a nip at her earlobe. "Or is your pallet truly this bad?"

She huffed and moved her head hoping to catch his lips, but he was faster. He kissed the tip of her nose and then pulled away from her. "Does it really matter?" she asked.

"No," he replied with another chuckle. "I suppose it doesn't. One more."

She licked her lips again and went over the ones he had already given her. So far there had been peach, watermelon, strawberry, and the last one. He had forgotten to tell her what it was. The only one she had been right about was strawberry and that was because she hated that particular flavor. How she had gotten watermelon wrong was beyond her.

This time when his lips touched hers, she recognized the scent of the fruit. She smiled triumphantly and licked the juice from both their lips. "Apple," she murmured against him.

"Finally," he replied and let his tongue slip into her mouth. He pulled her over him and slipped her blindfold off. They only broke the kiss when he rolled to put himself on top of her and pulled back enough to smile down at her.

"What was the one before that?" she asked.

"Blackberry."

Hermione huffed again at her inability to guess simple fruits. "At least I didn't get them all wrong."

"Two of five is still a fail," he teased, pushing himself into a sitting position at her side.

"What are you doing?" she asked, watching as he grabbed a small bottle from atop the try Nixie had brought them that morning for breakfast. They had eaten hours ago, but after several more rounds of fucking like the world was ending, they were ready for more sustenance. They had just started to pick at the food left in stasis when Draco suggested they make a game out of it. "Draco-"

"Relax, will you," he said, batting her hands out of the way. "It's chocolate sauce."

"The sugar-"

"I'm not putting it anywhere that could cause a problem for you down the road." He paused with the bottle half turned, a drop of chocolate threatening to fall where it hung above her chest. "Please?"

"What are you going to do?" she asked. "Write your name in chocolate?" The way his eyes blazed made her roll her own, but smile regardless. "Whatever pleases you, Master."

His eyes darkened for a moment before he turned his attention to applying the sauce to her skin. "Been awhile since you called me that."

"I don't think it suits us anymore," she replied, carefully watching his reaction. "Not all the time, anyway." He paused and let his gaze flicker up towards hers. "We said we were going to explore other things between us than just dom and sub, but that doesn't mean there can't be times where we indulge."

The grin that took hold of his lips made her core clench with a need that somehow hadn't been met yet. "I was secretly hoping you wouldn't let go of that part of us completely. I quite like bossing you around."

"I'm aware," she replied.

She watched him as he put the bottle back on the tray and loomed over her. He pressed a quick kiss to her lips and then stared down at her. "Now there's a sight." And before Hermione could even attempt to see it for herself, he was leaning in, his tongue dancing across her skin to lick her clean.

By the time he passed her navel and began to settle himself between her thighs, she no longer cared about sugar in sensitive places. And it wasn't until they collapsed on the bed beside each other that she realized he hadn't gotten all the chocolate off her body. They both glanced at one another's body smeared with the syrup and laughed. "Guess we'll just have to take another shower," he said between pants.

"Or a bath."

He chuckled as he drew her over him for a searing kiss. Before she knew it, she was straddling him in a heavenly scented bathtub with water lapping over the edges as they brought each other off again. She had lost count since waking up that morning and so long as their stamina continued, she knew this wouldn't be the last for the night either.

They had passed out shortly after dinner and woke up late on Sunday morning. They had simply laid in bed for a few hours without making a single move towards anything sexual. Hermione was completely worn out and she could sense that he was too. But as much as she was enjoying just laying in his bed all day, she had things to do before returning to work the next day and couldn't do them from her current state.

"Draco…" His arms tightened around her automatically. "I need to go."

He sighed and kissed her clavicle. "I don't want you to."

"I know, but you have to."

There was a moment of pause before he straightened to lay at her side. He propped himself up on one elbow and looked at her, his other hand stroking her face. "I'm afraid that if you go home, you'll overthink your way out of us. I'm sure if you were to do a pros and cons list, the cons would win."

"Not true, you were never convicted."

He stilled for a moment and narrowed his eyes as she began to laugh. "Granger-"

"I promise you, Draco," she said, her laughter ebbing as she placed her hand over his on her face. "My going home to do my normal weekend stuff won't change what we discussed."

"So when I see you tomorrow, you're not going to blush and run for cover? You're not going to avoid me all day?"

His thumb brushed over her bottom lip and she shivered. "I promise. If you don't see me, it's because I've spent the last month helping the Aurors so much I've been neglecting my own department."

"I'm serious, Hermione. I don't-"

She surged forward to capture his lips, cupping his jaw with one hand. "I promise," she murmured against his lips. "Nothing changes."

And for the first time in a long time, she Apparated home with a smile on her face and was already counting down until she would see Draco again.

Chapter Text

TWENTY-TWO

True to her word, Hermione had not avoided Draco at the office on Monday. She had gone home and began to overthink everything, but it didn't last long. She had been able to calm herself down and woke up the next morning excited to see him. She had even left early so she could bring him coffee and surprise him at his office with it. Her visit had been a quick one with only time to say thank you and then she was off to start a very long day.

Near the end of the day, he had dropped by her office to see if she was busy after work. She had smiled apologetically and told him that she was staying late each day until she was caught up. Later that night, she had come home to find dinner waiting on her kitchen table under a stasis charm to keep it fresh. She smiled as she read the note he'd left for her and then dug in. She sent him a thank you note in return and then went to bed early.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday and gone about the same, but it was Thursday morning that Draco had had the time to come into her office. She smiled at him for the brief second that she looked up from her report only to frown when he was at her side, pulling her from her chair. "Draco-"

"It can wait," he murmured before cupping her face and kissing her soundly. She hesitated for only a moment before letting her hands settle on his hips and kissed him back with equal fervor. "I've been waiting all week to give you a proper snog."

"Sorry," she breathed as she settled back against her desk. "I told you I would be busy playing catch up with my department."

"Still," he muttered as his eyes flickered to her lips. "Think you can take a break for lunch with me?"

"Or you could get it and bring it here?"

He shook his head. "I have a meeting with Gringotts soon that will take me up to lunch. I was hoping you could meet me in Diagon to save some time." He shrugged. "And to get you away from any temptation to work as I would love some of your undivided attention."

Hermione opened her mouth to say something, but quickly pressed her lips into a thin line. His brow quirked up and he tipped his head to the side. She swallowed hard and dropped her gaze to the buttons of his shirt as her cheeks began to flush with warmth.

"I was under the impression we wanted a real relationship," he said, his voice low.

"We do," she replied, her gaze slowly lifting to meet his. "I do, Draco. I promise, but-"

"But what, Granger? Either you want this or you don't. If you do, that means everything a relationship entails." He took a step closer, causing her to straighten, and let his hands rest on her hips. "That means we can be seen together in public. That I get to hold your hand whenever I want." He took her hand to prove his point as his other hand slid back to grip the curve of her rear. "That I can come into your office and not have to make up an excuse to bend you over your desk."

She shivered under his touch. "Draco-"

"Besides, we'll be going on our first date soon anyway, Hermione. You might as well get used to the idea of being seen in public with me now." He grinned and slowly let go of her to step back again, his arms crossed over his chest. "So, lunch today…"

Her lips parted to answer him, but they were interrupted by the sound of a knock on her partially opened door. Both Hermione and Draco's attention snapped towards Harry as he entered her office. "Now's not a good time, Potter," Draco said, his voice tight.

"This is my office, Malfoy," she stated, stepping away to smile at Harry. "What can I do for you?"

Draco continued to stare at Hermione before running a hand through his hair and turning away. "Fine, but this discussion isn't over."

"Oh no you don't," Harry said, stepping in front of the door. "What I have to say concerns both of you."

"I have a meeting with Gringotts," he pressed.

"That meeting has been pushed back until two. You have time."

"I haven't received a memo, Potter. How would you-"

"It's my meeting," Harry said sternly. "So I'm pushing it back. Now sit before I put you both in a full body bind and call my wife to do this."

Hermione sank into her chair behind her desk as Draco simply leaned against it, his ankles and wrists crossed in front of him lazily. "What is it Harry?" she asked gently, although she was pretty sure she knew already. She had been waiting for this moment since the afternoon at the park.

Harry eyed them both wearily, using his Auror skills to analyze them on the spot. He then pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed deeply. "James said the damndest thing the other day when I tried putting him down for a nap."

Hermione bit her lip and forced her eyes to stay on Harry. "What did he say?"

"He told me that naps were a hard limit. That that meant he didn't have to take them anymore."

She could swear Draco's shoulders were shaking with the attempt to conceal his laughter.

"And when I asked him where on Earth he could have learned that term, he told me Aunt Minnie said it. That she had said it to the blond man who had stalked her."

Hermione wanted to phase through her chair, the floor; every layer of the earth until the burning hot core of the planet melted her to nothing.

"And when I asked James about the blond man, he said it was the one from work. I really wasn't considering that he meant you, Malfoy, but imagine my surprise when I come in here and see the two of you together."

Hermione let out a whine of embarrassment and put her head on her desk, her arms folding over her hoping that they could no longer see her.

"Would either of you care to explain yourselves?" Harry asked.

"You caught us."

Hermione's head reared up so fast the room spun for a moment. She got to her feet and glared at Draco. This was not how she wanted to bring up their relationship to anyone, much less Harry. He smirked at her and gave a little shrug, putting a lovely shade of green on Harry's face as he watched the interaction.

"Hermione and I have been seeing each other for quite awhile now. I discovered she wasn't such a tight-ass and she realized my personality wasn't all crass. Lately, I've been pushing for more and when she blew me off to watch your child, I made a decision. I wanted to show her I meant it."

Hermione's lips twitched into a smile. It was a nice cover story considering she had absolutely no intention of telling anyone exactly how they had gotten together.

"How long?" Harry asked.

"Think, Potter. How long has it been since either of us have accepted an invitation for anything off the clock; especially weekends?"

Harry's eyes had gone wide as saucers as he looked from Draco to Hermione. "Is this true?"

She nodded absently, unable to tear her gaze from Draco. "Harry, can we talk about this later?"

"Hermione, I-"

"Potter, since you pushed our meeting back, I plan to use my newfound free time to bend Granger over her desk. It's best you leave, but if you want to watch, I'm sure-"

Harry had gone red as Ron's hair as he plugged his ears with his fingers. "Alright, I'm leaving!" he shouted, turning and running for the door. The moment it closed, they both grabbed for their wands to cast the necessary charms and then Hermione found herself on her desk with Draco wedged between her thighs.


Just as Hermione was clearing up that week's chaos from her desk, Harry and Ron were walking into her office. She could tell with one glance at Ron's face to know that Harry had told him she was seeing Draco. He cleared his throat and studied her as she directed her things to move back into their places.

"So it's true then," he said after a moment.

"Yes," she answered. She was not in the mood to play games. Draco was going to be coming to her office soon so they could have dinner at the flat and discuss their date the following day. "And thank you for not letting me break the news," she said to Harry.

"You wouldn't have told me if it weren't for…" his voice trailed off. She smiled as he reached behind him to rub at his neck. "Why didn't you tell us?"

Finished with her desk, she folded her arms over her chest and stared at the two of them. "Because I only just admitted I wanted something other than-"

"Oh please don't finish that sentence," Ron interrupted, his mouth contorting with distaste.

Hermione rolled her eyes, but smiled anyway. "Because we weren't ready to tell. We still aren't, but…" she shrugged. "Now you know."

Harry looked at Ron and then back at her. "You can come to us with this type of stuff, Hermione. I wish you had told us sooner. Even if it's Malfoy of all people. So long as you're happy." He nudged Ron with his elbow. "Right?"

"Right," Ron agreed, still in a daze. "Even if it's Malfoy."

"Why don't we go somewhere and get a drink?" Harry suggested. "You can tell us everything and we promise to keep the gags to a minimum."

Hermione's eyes flickered over their shoulders to Draco who was lounging in the doorway. He gave her a warm smile and inclined his head. "I think that's a great idea."

They turned towards Draco's voice and watched as he strode past them to stand by Hermione. She blushed as he dropped a kiss to her cheek and looped an arm around her waist. "We had plans, I thought?"

"We did, but these are your friends and I've taken up too many of your Friday nights as it is." Hermione felt her heart skip a beat as she smiled back at him. "Besides, it'll give me time to plan for tomorrow. I'll send you an owl in the morning. Potter, Weasley, she'll meet you in the lobby."

"But-"

"Come on, Ron," Harry said, shoving his friend toward the door. "Before he offers to put on a show."

"Gross," they heard as the pair slipped out of her office, causing both of them to snicker.

"Are you sure?" she asked, turning to Draco then, her arms winding around his neck.

"They're your friends, Granger. Now that we're official, I can have you by my side any day of the week. The last time you tried to have a night out with them, I ruined it."

"I wouldn't say ruined," she countered, a smirk taking hold of her lips. "But thank you, Draco. This means a lot."

He leaned in and slanted his lips over hers. He kept the kiss to a minimum despite her tongue swiping across his lips. "Besides, you can make it up to me tomorrow after our date."

"Who says I put out on the first date?"

She couldn't help but laugh at the pained expression on his face; one that he tried to hide, but failed. "I think I liked you better as a submissive."

"I think Hedone is more of a third date kind of thing," she said with another soft laugh. She pressed up on the tips of her toes to kiss him again and then withdrew from his embrace to gather her things. "Walk with me to the lobby?"

"Of course," he said, offering her his arm to take and escorting her down for an evening out with her friends.

Chapter Text

TWENTY-THREE

The owl she had received from Draco early Saturday morning hadn't been very forthcoming with details about their date later that night. All it said was to dress comfortably as they wouldn't be going anywhere that would require reservations or put her out of her comfort zone. She had smiled at that and proceeded to go about her day, though she made sure to give herself extra time to get ready just in case she changed her mind.

Which happened to be the case three times.

She only settled on an outfit when a knock sounded at her front door signaling that her time to get ready had run out and whatever she had on was going to be the one. Glancing down at herself to make sure, she gave herself a nod in the mirror and dashed to the door to answer it. She smiled at the sight of Draco waiting outside with his hands behind his back. The dark charcoal slacks and burgundy button down with his sleeves pushed up not only made her mouth water, but made the silver of his eyes even brighter.

He pulled his hands before him and her eyes widened at the bouquet of purple roses. He took advantage of her surprised state to press forward and capture her lips with his. "Hope it's okay I used the front door," he murmured when she finally pulled back to invite him in.

She nodded as she took the bouquet and used her wand to summon a vase. "Of course," she said as she set the vase on her table and muttered a spell to add water to it. "Though I've unlocked my Floo for you as well as adjusted the wards to let you in."

"I'll keep that in mind," he said, his sweeping gaze making her blush.

"How did you know I liked roses?" she asked.

"I'm not clueless, Granger. You may be progressive and independent by nature, but when it comes to timeless traditions, you're a sucker for the tried and true. Roses, though overdone, are your favorite." His eyes sparkled as his grin spread. "In fact, if it's not roses, you're not really one for flowers at all."

A smile took hold of her lips and she hummed in approval. "So you do pay attention."

"I may have acted the fool when we were young, but I assure you, I was always right behind you in intelligence," he said, coming to pull her into his arms. "And even then it was only because you were such a distraction."

She snorted before his lips pressed over hers. "And here I thought your romantic streak would end when we got together."

"One of the only lessons from my father worth remembering was that just because you have the witch, doesn't mean you stop courting her."

Her nose wrinkled at the thought of Lucius with a romantic streak and pulled herself away from Draco with a shudder. "That's too weird for me to think about."

He shrugged. "For all his other shortcomings, treating my mother like a goddess was something he did rather well."

She nodded, but chose to not carry that conversation a moment longer. She looked down at her dark wash jeans and long-sleeved cream-colored tunic that slouched off one shoulder. "Am I too casual for what you had in mind?"

"No," he replied, but produced his wand from his pocket. "Although the color could be adjusted."

She watched as the cream turned to a dark green and crossed her arms as she stared at him. "Really?"

"Much better."

She waved him off and summoned her purse. He offered his arm and when she took it, he smiled down at her. "Ready?" When she nodded, he Apparated them to their destination.


The date itself was nothing like Hermione had expected. Then again, nothing about Draco had been what she expected either. From the moment she discovered it was him under the mask of Kratos, he had made her rethink so many preconceived notions of the man who used to torment her as a boy.

Instead of going to some posh restaurant to try and flaunt his Gringott's vault or impress her with his upbringing, he took her to a little hidden gem of a Muggle restaurant. It was obvious he had been going there for some time when he spoke to the staff with a familiarity that could only be obtained by frequent visits. And she decided that it was worth it alone to hear him speak fluent French and lots of it.

However, it was after dinner that surprised her the most and left her speechless until it was time to leave.

Not more than a fifteen minute stroll from the restaurant, Hermione found herself passing through a ward and stopping short at the sight of a street that looked similar to Diagon Alley, but more streamlined. The shops that lined the small section of the street were devoted to rare magical items; mostly books. She had looked at Draco like a child on Christmas morning and told him he would regret it when he told her to get whatever she wanted.

By the time they returned to his flat, he had spent quite a few of his Galleons on rare finds. Under his breath he had made a comment on how he never knew someone could spend so much on books, but when she tried to apologize, he cut her off with a kiss and led her down toward the bedroom.

Later that night, he promised to take her shopping for books every day if she promised to make up the empty space in his vault by repeating that thing she did with her tongue. She agreed with a laugh and snuggled in closer to his side as she drifted off to sleep.


Hermione woke to the feeling of bliss.

Her eyes remained shut as a shiver caused her skin to erupt in gooseflesh. Heat licked up her spine as the coil inside her belly began to tighten. The more it threatened to snap, the more of Hermione's senses returned. Her fingers clutched at the sheets as her body bowed off of them, her legs quaking around Draco's head. She sucked in a breath and released it in the form of a moan. Her head ground back against the pillows as she chased the throes of passion while Draco's tongue whispered lustful secrets into her core.

He pulled away from her well after she had finished and took his time kissing his way back up her body. When his mouth closed around a nipple, she forced her eyes open. Once they focused on his face, she reached up for him with a sated smile. "That's one way to wake a girl up," she murmured as he settled himself over her.

"Best breakfast I've ever had," he returned, making her shiver as his mouth closed over hers.

She moaned at the taste of herself on his tongue; hers darting out to chase his. He reached down between them, taking his cock in his hand and brushing it through her dripping folds. He lined himself up at her entrance and pushed his hips forward, filling her in one stroke. They sighed into the kiss at the union, but before he could do anything else, something buzzed past their heads and made them pause.

They glanced to the side and Hermione recognized the disturbance immediately. "Is that-" he started.

"A howler," she finished, confirming it for him.

"Who would-"

He was cut off as a pair of lips appeared on the side of the letter facing them and then began to speak, the volume making them both wince. "Why is it that I had to find out my son is seeing someone from the bloody Prophet?"

Hermione squeaked as she shoved Draco off of her and diving under the covers at the recognition of Narcissa Malfoy's voice. She pulled them up to her chin as Draco simply pulled part of the sheets over his lower half and then placed a pillow over his face and groaned.

"I realize the whole arranged marriage thing may have instilled some mistrust, but I am still your mother. I should be made aware that my one and only son is courting a witch. Especially one such as Miss Granger!"

There was a pause and dread filled the pit of Hermione's stomach. She braced herself to hear the worst. To be told that she was no good for Draco with her muddy blood.

She was not prepared for what Narcissa actually had to say.

"Miss Granger, I realize you might still be with my son and I mean no disrespect," the recording said, the voice much gentler. "You are a witch of high standing in society and I only meant that Draco would be daft to think I wouldn't find out if he intended to keep it a secret. I am honored to have you be on the receiving end of my son's courtship."

Hermione could only stare at the floating letter as it continued to ream Draco apart.

"You should have told me! I'm stuck inside, Draco. If Miss Granger is the one you told Astoria you were seeing for some time, I demand the two of you come over for dinner next Saturday. No excuses! Though I shall see you at tea this afternoon."

The letter sighed and then self-destructed, the pieces fluttering to the ground next to the bed.

Both of them remained silent for a moment before he tossed the pillow off of his face and she loosened her grip on the sheet. "Cockblocked by my own mother," he muttered.

She stared at him before dissolving into hysterics. He glared at her for a few seconds before joining in on a much lighter of a laugh. When she finally began to wind down, she wiped tears from her eyes and held her other hand to her chest to catch her breath. "Sorry," she mumbled when she could finally speak.

"You should be," he groused, glancing down at his softened cock. "I doubt you'll be getting any for the rest of the day."

"Honestly, I think we could both use a break," she said, smiling at his glare. "Besides, I should be getting home and you have tea with your mother to get ready for."

He groaned and surged forward, pinning her beneath him. "I can decline if you want me to," he offered.

"Why?"

"Because they're still under house arrest at the Manor. After the last time you were there-"

"It's been years since then, Draco."

"But clearly what happened there still haunts you," he said, the humor fading quickly from his eyes.

"And it will continue to do so if I refuse to face my demons head on," she said, taking a deep breath. "Maybe while we're there you can show me the drawing room?"

He frowned, searching her face. After seeing she was serious, he gave a slight nod. "You're sure about this? We just had our first date, Granger. I've never taken anyone to have dinner with my parents. Or any sort of formal meeting." He paused to swallow hard, his fingers brushing hair from her face. "This means we're serious."

She gave him a smile as her hands ran up and down his biceps. "I suppose it does."

His eyes widened with surprise for a moment before he grinned down at her. They both felt his cock harden and twitch against her thigh. "You really want to? Hermione, I-"

"I want to," she interrupted, one hand sliding down between them to wrap around his cock. "I want to move forward with you, Draco. I want to get to know every part of you. You accept me for who I am and where I've come from; it's my turn to show you I can do the same for you."

He groaned as she directed him to her core. Finding it still wet and ready for earlier, he sank into her with ease, both of them shuddering at the sensation. He held her gaze as he moved his hips with a painstakingly slow pace, one that she could feel in every inch of her body. Her fingers curled around his arms as she bit her lips to hold back the words that lingered on the tip of her tongue.

"What is it, Hermione?" he asked, sensing she was holding back.

"I love you," she replied in a barely there whisper.

He stopped moving for a moment; choosing to stare down at her with wide eyes instead.

"I know it might be too much or too soon, but I-"

"I love you too," he said, putting an end to her ramble. "Gods, I think I've loved you for awhile."

"Me too," she said, gasping as he resumed thrusting into her, picking up the pace as he went.

Instead of going home, she spent the rest of the day wrapped up in Draco as they expressed their newfound love for one another.

Chapter Text

TWENTY-FOUR

In the ten years since Voldemort had been finally defeated, Hermione hadn't been back to Hogwarts. She had considered taking the offer from McGonagall after the war to come back and finish her schooling, but she had declined. She had jumped straight into work at the Ministry and never looked back.

Since then, the Ministry had held an annual day of remembrance for those that had lost their lives not only in that final battle, but in every skirmish and mission during Voldemort's reign of terror. Each year, it had been held at the Ministry itself, but since this was a special anniversary, they decided to move the event to Hogwarts to commemorate it properly.

Had it not been for her support system, she would have never been able to make it past the grounds. And she knew it was the same for them when they had paused upon the carriages pulling them up to the main gate. Draco had dropped a kiss to her cheek and given her hand one last squeeze before telling her he would be waiting inside. She watched him walk away with his former housemates as Harry grasped her left hand and Ron took her right.

They stood there for awhile, the three of them lost in their own little world of memories. It wasn't until Hagrid had cleared his throat and greeted them with a warm smile and tears of joy that they released one another. With his giant stature, Hagrid had pulled the three of them in for a hug all at once and held them there until the unease of seeing the castle began to ebb.

For as many bad memories as their alma matter held, there were even more good ones.

The four of them chatted as they made their way up to the castle where the event was taking place in the Great Hall. It felt just like old times, only when they saw Draco again at the entrance of the castle, he wasn't wearing a smug smile with the intention of getting them put in detention. With one last shared round from Harry's flask, the five of them entered the Great Hall and endured the spot light. Something none of them was sure to disappear until they died.

Of course, when news had broken about Hermione and Draco being a couple over a year ago, the press had been all over them. She had been sour over the first headline: Draco Malfoy; trading a Pureblood fiancé for the Muggleborn Golden Girl. It had made her sick, but Draco had only laughed. However, Astoria had dropped by her office the following work day and laughed about it too, Hermione softened. Ever since, she had become friends with Astoria; something the press also had a field day with.

Tonight, being the night that it was, the Golden Trio was getting more attention than ever. And being that Draco and Hermione were still going strong in their relationship as well as her recent promotion to head of the Department of Magical Creatures, Draco was getting just as much attention too. The only time she wasn't at his side was when it came time for her, Harry, and Ron to give their speeches.

"It's the same speech every year," she groused as she saw Kingsley's secretary coming to find her.

"It's the same speech for every event," Draco countered.

Hermione's brow lifted slightly. "What'd you do? Memorize it?"

He snorted, but drew her close and smirked down at her. "I'm sure everyone has at some point. But I don't think it's the speech that anyone cares about so much as the sight of the Golden Trio together," he said.

"And here I thought you never paid attention when I speak," she murmured, lifting herself up enough to lay her lips against his.

"Of course I listen, Granger, but truthfully," he leaned down, his lips against her ear. "I just liked the excuse it gave to watch your lips move."

"Okay lovebirds," Harry interrupted as Ron cleared his throat. "Think you can tear yourselves away from one another long enough to give this speech?"

"I suppose," Draco murmured, but he kissed her one more time before stepping back. "I'll be right here," he promised her.

She smiled at him and then reached for Harry and Ron's hands again as the three of them made their way to the head of the room. Instead of the long table for the professors, there was a podium set up for them to give their speech. As they settled into their positions, the crowd began to take notice and drifted their way to listen in. Kingsley gave the introductions, speaking of how it was a long, winding journey, one that was full of sacrifices, but one that he was sure each of the fallen would make again to know their loved ones would be free of Voldemort.

Then it was Ron who gave his portion of the speech. He spoke of his family and the losses they had suffered. Tears sprang to his eyes and kept him from speaking for a moment when Fred's ghost came to join him on the stage. Hermione was still struggling to keep her wits about her, something that she was only able to do when she found Draco in the crowd and held his gaze.

Her speech was next, though she cut it down considerably when her voice began to fail. She had cried enough for a lifetime in front of crowds and she didn't want to spill anymore tears. Instead, she passed the light to Harry to finish it up.

Unlike previous years and speeches at other events, Harry was the most sober she had ever seen him. When he spoke, it was like watched the boy she had grown up with; the one that had defeated Voldemort instead of the man trying to hide the demons the war left behind. The pride that swelled made tears threaten to fall, but she refused to let them. When his words got too close to home, she turned her attention back to the crowd, but no matter how hard she looked, she couldn't find Draco to calm her nerves.

"Ten years ago, we all came together to stop a madman from taking over. Blood was spilled and tears were shed, but it was worth it. Voldemort is gone because of everyone's hard work and sacrifices." He turned his attention to Hermione and she went still as a statue. "But there has been more than enough sadness when it comes to the memory of this day. I think it's time we added some happiness to it."

For a moment, time stood still. She forgot how to breathe as Harry stepped away, allowing her to see Draco walking up to her. Even Ron moved away from her, squeezing her shoulder as he passed to take his spot next to Harry. The podium in front of her disappeared and her heart skipped several beats as her hand rose to cover her mouth.

By the time Draco reached her, he had dropped to one knee before her. One hand was raised to her with a ring that sparkled brilliantly in the lights around them as he held up a little jewelry box.

"Ten years ago I was at my lowest," he said, his voice deceptively strong. She could see the extra shine in his eyes, but she let her own tears fall and cried enough for the both of them. "And that's saying something, considering that I did nothing but bully everyone. Especially you." He swallowed and her fingers trembled on her lips. "I know we've all changed since the war ended and Potter's right, we do need some happy memories for this day. And there's nothing I can think of that would be better than if you would do the honor of saying you'll marry me, Hermione."

She nodded at first, but when she found her voice, it was still shaky with her tears. "Yes!"

She extended her left hand to him and he took out the ring. As he slid it onto her finger, the crowd erupted into cheers and she launched herself at him; her arms winding around her neck. His looped around her back and lifted her up, spinning her around in celebration as their lips met over and over again. For the first time in all her life, she welcomed the spotlight, knowing she would cherish the images of this moment for years to come.


It was equally by extreme luck as it was Harry and Ron's distractions that allowed Hermione and Draco to slip away from the Great Hall. Immediately following his proposal, cameras had been everywhere. They had posed for what felt like eternity and then reports from all sorts of publications were there to get the inside scoop. Hermione was giddy on the high of it all, but she was more than ready to leave so she could properly celebrate this new part of their relationship.

So it was a shock when Draco tugged her away from the entrance and up towards the main staircase. "I thought we were leaving?"

"We will," he said, turning his head to the side to grin ruefully at her. "There's just something I've always wanted to do first."

Hermione paused mid-step and rolled her eyes at him. "You didn't get enough girls to shag you in these hallways when you were a student here?"

He pressed his lips to hers until she couldn't keep her lips curved down any longer. "But I never shagged the right girl, so the fantasy is still very much alive." His own smile was triumphant when he grabbed hold her hand again. "Don't tell me you never had any fantasies about this place, Granger. I'm sure there was a time or two when you would have wanted Potter or Weasley to slam you up against the stacks in the library."

She huffed and moved forward so she was the one pulling him up the stairs. They made it to the second floor landing before she found herself being shoved up against the stone wall. "Draco- Anyone can see us here!" she hissed as his lips descended upon hers.

"Afraid they'll see me stake another claim on you?" he mumbled as his lips trailed their way down her throat, making her shiver. "Let them see," he added. "Let them hear you call my name when you come for me, Granger. Let them see me fill you up with my cock and mark you as mine."

The moan that escaped her lips was more akin to a wail and he chuckled as it echoed around the empty halls. But as she felt him lift the skirt of her gown, she pushed him back and took hold of his hand again. Without stopping again, she continued to lead the way to the seventh floor. Only when they reached the all too familiar corridor did she stop and let go of his hand. She thought of what she wanted and then looked at him once the door began to appear on the wall.

"Dozens of classrooms and you come back to this room?" he questioned.

"It's more than just a glorified dumping ground," she assured him, moving forward to push open the door. "You can ask for whatever you want and the room will give it to you." She reached out for him to take her hand and led him across the threshold. "This way, you get to fuck me in a classroom, but we don't run the risk of being walked in on."

"That's half the fun, Granger," he mumbled as the door closed behind him.

"When the potential voyeurs are minors, I refuse to take that risk," she replied.

His lips pressed into a thin line. "Fair point," he said with a grin and reached for her. His eyes widened in surprise when she held up her hand to stop him and took a step back. "Since when do you give the orders here?"

She bit her lip and watched as his eyes flickered down to her mouth; the apple of his throat bobbing. "I don't, but if there's one thing I've come to learn about you, Draco, it's that you don't like to do anything half-assed." She made a spinning gesture at him with her wand. "Turn around, please."

He took his sweet time, but eventually, Draco turned his back to her. She made quick work of her clothes, transfiguring them into her old Hogwarts uniform. She even made it so that everything fit just a little tighter; the buttons of her shirt straining against her bust and her skirt just a tad shorter than what was appropriate in her youth. And just because she knew it would drive him crazy, she kept her Gryffindor colors.

As she glanced down at herself, she did a double take at the sight of the ring on her finger. She lifted up her left hand and smiled fondly at it. The fire opal in the center seemed to glow in the dim light of the fake classroom. From the darker navy and purple on the outside of the stone to the reds fading into the yellow at the center; the entire thing truly did look as though it were made of fire. She was so caught up looking at the stone that she nearly forgot about Draco until she heard his voice again.

"Are you finished with whatever- Oh fuck."

She lowered her hand as he turned around and watched as his gaze raked hungrily down her body. "Sorry, the ring is-"

"Perfect, yes," he interrupted. "On your knees."

"Draco-"

"Now, Granger."

She held his gaze as she sank to her knees, her hands falling into her lap automatically. It had been awhile since she had fallen into submission so readily and the thought of him dominating her in Hogwarts made her knickers damp. His eyes darkened as he took in the sight of her while removing the jacket of his suit. He conjured a rack for it to hang on and then sent it over. He took his time undoing the cuff links of his shirt and rolling his sleeves up towards his elbows. The sight of his forearms with their lean, corded muscles still made her mouth water.

She watched as he drew his wand from his pocket and aimed it at her. Long ago, she would have flinched and assumed only the worst would come from the action, but things were different now. She trusted him completely. The only time he ever hurt her was when she asked him to. A smirk took hold of her lips as he stared down at his wand and then at her with a frown.

"Always one to find a way to defy me, aren't you?" he asked, slipping his wand back into his pocket. "You knew I would want to change your colors to Slytherin, but you're keeping me from doing that." He advanced until she had to crane her neck at a near painful anger to continue holding his gaze. "You want to be punished, don't you?"

"Y-yes, Master."

The way his eyes lit up made her shiver with anticipation. Aside from the occasional trip down memory lane, Hermione hadn't used that moniker for him since they had officially come out as a couple. In this situation, it felt like the right thing to say and judging from his reaction, Hermione was quite pleased with herself.

She continued to hold his gaze as he began to undo his belt. She wet her lips as she forced herself not to look down. It was a surreal to be this aroused from a scenario the two of them had enacted far too many times to count. Even more so when his eyes darkened as he freed himself and slid the tip of his cock along the seem of her lips. She parted them upon feeling the bead of moisture weep from the tip and sighed around him when he hissed at the warmth of her mouth.

"Hands behind your back," he demanded.

Hermione obeyed immediately, her fingers threading together to ensure they stayed where he wanted them. Her lashes fluttered against her cheeks as one of his hands stole down to twine in her hair so he could slide as far back as she could take him. He groaned as he twitched against her tongue. She remained still, breathing through her nose as she waited for him to take control. She didn't have to wait long; his grip tightened on her hair, using it to draw her back and forth so he could fuck her mouth.

"Gods I was so stupid back then," he rasped, his gaze holding hers. "I would have bent you over every desk, fucked you against every bookshelf, and made you scream my name in every corner of this castle." She moaned around his cock and hollowed her cheeks, her thighs shifting as her own core clenched with the need to be filled. "Touch yourself."

She brought her hands immediately back to her lap and pulled her skirt up. She left her knickers on, wanting him to be the one to take them off. She simply pushed them to the side and moaned again as her fingers found her clit.

"Imagine all those times you were on patrol as a Prefect," he drawled, keeping a slow and steady pace with his thrusts. "I could have spent the whole night teasing you; bringing you to the edge." They both groaned. "Or I could have fucked you at the start and made you do your patrol with my cum dripping out of your pretty little cunt."

Hermione's head arched back, releasing his cock with an audible pop as her thighs clamped around her own hand; her whimpers turning to full on cries as she came for him. She had barely even finished before she found herself being lifted up. When she came to a stop, she was bent over the desk in the center of the room and he had barely lifted her skirt, her knickers disappearing, before his hand cracked across her rear, making her yelp.

"We can do that right now," he stated as he nudged her to widen her stance before lining himself up behind her. He snapped his hips and filled her with one hard stroke. They both groaned together, but he gave her no time to adjust before he set a brutal pace. "I'm going to fill you up and we'll go back to the Great Hall. We're going to be the last ones to leave and you'll have to look everyone in the eye with my cum dripping down your legs."

Hermione's moans were becoming louder at the thought of it all. "Draco-"

"Do not come until I tell you to," he demanded, his hand coming down across her rear again, giving it a hard squeeze at the end. "Gods, I can't wait to spend forever with you. You're fucking perfect."

"Draco, please… I can't…"

She tried. She really did, but in the end, she couldn't hold back her release a second longer. It crashed over her and she hoped there was no one in the corridor beyond the room because there was no way that they hadn't heard her if they were. He collapsed at her back, his cock twitching inside of her as he filled her up just like he said he would. They stayed that way for quite some time and she was grateful for the desk to hold herself up on as her legs were trembling something fierce.

When Draco moved, he pulled her with him, turning her so he could kiss her until her head spun. Only when they needed to breathe did he pull away and retrieve her knickers from wherever he had vanished them to. As she reached for her wand, he quickly plucked it from her hand and placed it in his pocket with his own.

"I meant it, Granger, you can clean it up when we get home."

"Yes, Master," she replied, a wicked grin on her face.

His eyes widened and he leaned in for another kiss, hovering his lips over hers. "Careful or we may never leave the castle."

She continued to smile through the kiss and squirmed as he pulled her to him, causing more of their coupling to leak out of her and into the overflowing fabric. "Are you going to continue to call me Granger after we're married?" she asked as she pulled away.

"Depends on the situation," he replied without missing a beat as he laced their fingers together and pulled her towards the door. "Are you going to take my last name?"

She frowned at the hint of surprise in his tone. "Why wouldn't I?" He held her gaze for a moment and gave a shrug that she knew meant he was trying to hide his feelings. She stopped him from opening the door and placed her hands on either side of his face. "I love you, Draco. You've worked so hard to make sure your family name doesn't have the same stigma it did when you were younger. I'm honored that you want me to be your wife and I can't wait to prove it to you by taking your last name."

She gasped as he pinned her up against the door and covered her mouth with his. His tongue swept repeatedly over hers as his hands roamed her sides. "I fucking love you, Hermione."

"I love you too," she replied breathlessly as she rested her forehead against hers. "Come on, I have a punishment to endure."

He shook his head adamantly. "Fuck it," he said, pushing the door open and taking hold of her hand. "We're going home so we can celebrate some more. I'll punish you later."

She laughed as he pulled her through the castle at top speed, not stopping until they were beyond the wards so he could Apparate them home and carry out their celebration in the privacy of their own home.

Chapter Text

TWENTY-FIVE

The building across the street from where they stood wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Much like the last time she had been inside those walls, had she not known what went on behind closed doors, she wouldn't have given this place a second glance either.

Draco's grip tightened on their joined hands from where he stood at her side. "We don't have to go in there, you know."

"I know," she replied, bringing up her other hand to rest it on his forearm as she leaned against him. "But I want to." She looked up at him through her lashes, a smile curving her lips. "Don't you?"

"I want whatever you want."

Hermione swallowed hard and turned her attention back to the building across the street. It had been a surprise to find that Elysium was still in the same place. She wasn't sure why she thought it would be something that changed location, but she couldn't help but feel the shock upon walking up to the building a few months prior to this moment. She hadn't told Draco that she had been here before tonight. That she had spoken to Mistress Persephone in preparation for tonight.

To anyone else, the Fifth of November was just another Saturday. To the people inside Elysium, it was a Preview Night; a night that used to be her favorite. But to Draco and Hermione, it was their anniversary. Their first one as a married couple. And in honor of that, Hermione had something special planned for Draco, something she had been wanting to do for the longest time.

A shiver coursed through her at the thought of her plans and she tugged on Draco's hand. "Come on," she said, looking both ways before leading him across the street.

He knocked on the door after they ascended the few steps to the porch and crossed that as well. The little wooden window in the door slid open and a pair of violet eyes peered out at them. Draco's voice was firm as he delivered the password to gain them entry. "Himeros."

The eyes blinked and then disappeared as the window closed. A moment later, the door opened and they stepped across the threshold. Once inside, they signed their consent forms and were each handed a mask. This time, theirs were matching royal blue instead of black and white, a symbol that they were guests for the evening. That they were there to watch, but not to participate. Hermione's heart rate increased as she secured the mask around her face and took Draco's hand once more.

Together, they crossed the wards into the front of house where the Preview Night was already well underway. The sounds of both male and female moans echoed around them. Hermione's immediate attention went to the center of the room where a woman in a white mask was reclined on a narrow bench. It brought back the memory of the night she had attracted the attention of Kratos. Of Draco.

As the girl crested, crying out a series of thank you's to the man and woman pushing her over the edge, Hermione felt her own knickers dampen. It was strange to think that once upon a time she had been that girl. The one begging for someone, anyone to let her come. To make her lose control of her mind and shut off her thoughts. But now, she was just an onlooker, one of those that would help heighten the experience of the woman currently crying out for more.

Draco's hand tightened its hold on hers as they continued to mosey around the room, taking in all the sights and sounds. It wasn't long before they let go of another's hands in favor of letting their touch wander. Hermione had introduced Draco to the Muggle internet and the large stash of pornography that it contained. They had watched their fair share of it together and she knew from that experience that he was close to finding a quiet corner and adding their moans to the others in the room.

Knowing this, she gently extracted herself from him and told him she was going to use the loo. Once out of sight down the hallway she found Mistress Persephone waiting for her. She followed her lead and into the room next to the one she and Draco used to use as Hedone and Kratos. The room where Draco would be escorted to by Mistress Persephone in just a few minutes. Hermione smiled and let out a slow, nervous breath as she began to exchange her current attire for what she had chosen weeks ago for this very moment.

Finished, Hermione turned towards the full-length mirror and stared at her reflection. A faint smile curved her crimson lips up at the sight. There wasn't a single drop of submissive anything about her look tonight. Everything about the woman staring back at her screamed power and dominance. From the deep red corset lifting her breasts and making them fuller to the way they pulled in her waist and rested on her hips. The way the black swirling lace added just enough femininity to balance her out. Her knickers matched and she had made sure that they left some of her ass cheeks exposed; something she knew would drive Draco even more crazy. The bottom of her corset was strapped to the tops of sheer black thigh high stockings that did wonders for her otherwise short legs. To complete the ensemble, she had gone with a pair of basic black stilettos with a matching red sole.

A small knock at the door let her know that Draco was situated in the room and her heart skipped a beat. She swallowed hard and took one last deep breath before taking her leave. The few steps from her current room to the one Draco was waiting for her in felt longer, but with each one she took, she felt her confidence slowly coming to her. It wasn't until she was in the room with Draco in her line of sight that she felt the rest of her nerves fade away.

"Hermione?" he called out, his voice cautious.

"You'll be addressing me as Mistress tonight," she corrected, surprised at the commanding tone of her own voice.

He turned his head towards the direction of her voice and she saw his brow quirk over the edge of the blindfold Mistress Persephone had placed over his eyes for her. A thrill went through her, dampening her lacy knickers at the sight of him before her. His state meaning he had agreed to the vague consent forms she'd created. She had tried to keep the mystery of what she planned, but wanted him to know what he was consenting too as well. The fact that he trusted her with so little to go on gave her confidence for this a boost.

Like she had done plenty of times for him, Draco was kneeling in the center of the room facing the door. And just like all of those times she had arrived early to wait for him, the only thing he wore was the blindfold. She wondered if he experienced the same sort of power each time he had arrived to find her naked and ready to be taken. The sight of him in such a submissive state made her mouth water and her skin prickle with gooseflesh.

"I thought we could do something different tonight. That this time I could be the one to make you lose control."

He nodded immediately. "I'm yours to command, Mistress," he purred.

She approached him with her hand out, a thick piece of matte black leather appearing in her hand. His body gave a slight jerk as the tips of her fingers brushed against his jaw before tipping it up. She placed the collar around his throat and then stepped back to admire the sight. "Much better." She raised her wand as a pair of matching leather cuffs came floating over to her. "Hands behind your back."

He obeyed her without hesitation and as soon as they were behind him, the cuffs fastened themselves around his wrists to keep him from being able to touch her. Her smile widened as his cock twitched and hardened from being restrained. She had wondered about him not liking this despite having talked about it for months.

"Safe word?"

"Nimbus," he replied, a faint smirk appearing on his face.

"The rules you consented to?"

"I will not speak unless asked a question first. I will address you only as Mistress." He cleared his throat and Hermione watched as moisture wept from the tip of his cock. "I will not come unless you allow me to."

Hermione hummed in approval and with a flick of her wrist, the blindfold fell away. Since she had never worn anything remotely like this, she had expected his reaction to be spectacular, but she hadn't counted on rendering him speechless. His eyes had darkened considerably as he took in the sight of her. Slowly, his gaze raked over her from head to toe several times. He even dragged his bottom lip between his teeth and squirmed once his gaze settled on hers.

"Fuck, Hermione. You can't wear that and expect me to-"

Another flick of her wrist had the sound dying on his tongue. "I believe that's two rules broken." She clucked her tongue at him and placed her hands on her hips. "And so early too."

His eyes blazed as he squirmed again, his cock turning red from being hard and strained with want. She held out her hand and a riding crop appeared in it. She gently placed the end of it against the center of his chest and smiled down at him. "You must be desperate for a punishment."

His eyes narrowed and a small moan escaped his lips as she gave a small test strike to his chest. She removed the spell that silenced him and then stood with the crop lightly swatting over her own palm. "Bend over the edge of the bed," she demanded.

"Yes, Mistress," he replied, a storm building in his darkened gaze.

She watched as he rose to his feet and put himself in the position she had asked for. When the pale flesh of his rear was turned towards her, she advanced. She gave him no warning before cracking the crop across his backside, twice on each cheek. He hissed at the initial contact, but when she stopped, he let out a groan of pleasure.

Her free hand came out to smooth over the welts. "Turn around and sit."

He winced a little as he sat on his freshly reddened cheeks; a feeling she was familiar with. She smirked and held his gaze as she knelt before him. She reveled in the way he shuddered when she wrapped one small hand around his cock. She gave a few idle strokes before leaning in and taking him into her mouth. She felt his body twitch as if meaning to reach for her and she smirked around him at the frustrated whine that left his throat.

Hermione continued to please him, taking her time and doing the opposite of what she knew would get him off. She wanted to drag this out, to keep him hard, but let his release build nice and slow. Every time he thrust into her mouth, she would pull herself off of him and shake her head, earning another frustrated groan. When she had him nearly begging for release, she pulled away completely and got to her feet again.

She summoned one of the cock rings from the table of toys off to the side of the room and slid it down the wet length of his shaft and then placed the other part around his balls. This way, he would stay hard and it would be harder for him to come. He would really have to work at it. She removed the cuffs from his wrists and sent them away. "On all fours," she ordered, watching as he did so, grunting with effort and panting from being denied sweet release.

As he crawled into position in the middle of the bed, she summoned more items. One being a small tube of lubricant and the other a strap on. After situating herself in the latter, she knelt on the bed behind him; one hand reaching down between his thighs to stroke his still hardened cock and the other applying some of the lube to his ass. He jumped and hissed at the cold feeling, his head turning to try and look at her over his shoulder.

He puckered as her index finger traced the rim and his cock pulsed against her other palm. "Does the thought of me fucking you like you fuck me turn you on, Draco?"

"I'm yours to do whatever you want with, Mistress," he replied, his voice raspy with need.

"Tell me if it's too much," she insisted, letting her finger slip inside of him. He tossed his head back and groaned; his body clutching around her finger as it acclimated to the intrusion.

"Fucking perfect," he muttered. "Mistress." She smirked at the way he said it as an afterthought.

She took her time in preparing him for what she wanted to do next. While it wasn't the first time she had touched him like this, it wasn't something they did often. Whenever her curiosity flared, he let her take the reigns, but she had always held back. Until tonight. She added another finger, enjoying the way moisture seeped through the fingers wrapped around his cock. He shuddered when she withdrew her hands from him so she could apply the lube to the shaft of her strap on.

"Beg me to fuck you," she demanded as she moved into position, pushing the tip of the toy to his entrance. "Beg me to make you come."

"Please, Mistress. I want you to fill me up. I want you to pound into me so hard I forget my own name."

Hermione nearly forgot she was in charge for a moment as a whimper escaped her own lips. She swallowed hard and shook her head as she took charge again and slowly pushed forward. Draco tried his best to relax, but she could tell he struggled. She remembered what the first time he had taken her this way had felt like and made sure that she didn't do anything to hurt him. On the third attempt, the toy slipped in and she did a few test strokes to make sure he was adjusted. After a little bit of trial and error, she found a rhythm that worked and gripped his hips so she could thrust hard and deep.

In no time at all he was pressing his face against the bed, groaning fiercely and begging for her to let him come. Too caught up in the moment to tell him yes or no, she continued to rock her hips against him, thoroughly fucking him until he came so hard he cried out for her. She slowed her pace, extending his release for as long as she could. Only when he collapsed on his stomach did she pull away from him and remove the toy from around her hips, shimmying out of her knickers in the process.

She gave him a few moments to recover before she guided him to lie on his back. He was still hard due to the ring around his flesh and her eyes widened at the sight of the mess he had made. He definitely hadn't come that hard in the past and it made her confidence soar to know she had been the cause. Carefully, she removed the device from around him and then crawled over him. He shuddered beneath her as she reached between them and lined his cock up with her core. They groaned in unison as she sank down on him, not stopping until he was fully seated within her.

Using her magic, she forced his arms over his head and used a sticking charm to keep them there. She smirked down at him as she began to flex her hips. She kept her pace slow at first, wanting to draw out both of their pleasure for as long as she could. When it got to the point where her own need for release was too hard to ignore, she leaned forward to rest her palms on his chest and rode him until she shattered.

It wasn't until she came down from her high that she realized her magic had withdrawn and he had taken advantage of the moment to roll so she was beneath him. Her legs immediately wrapped around him as her hands went to his shoulders. His head dropped to the curve of her neck as he pounded furiously in and out of her. When they came, they came together. One loud, indistinguishable cry that sounded around the room and caused their ears to ring long after the sound had stopped.

Draco collapsed on top of her as they panted for air. When she was no longer just a pile of boneless flesh, she adjusted so she could bury her head in his chest and wrap herself around him. "Have I told you that I love you?" he asked with a chuckle.

"I love you too," she laughed in return and tightened her hold on him. Thinking of all their other encounters in this very room, she was happy that not only had they come full circle, but that everything had changed for the better. "Happy anniversary, Draco."