He’d tried to put their late night encounter from his mind as they’d fallen back into their Sunday ritual, but she’d been getting more comfortable with him in ways that made it hard not to want to push their whatever it was into even newer territory.
She’d come home earlier some nights and make dinner, claiming to have made too much and walk into the living room with two plates. He’d stay in the living room until she came home even when she worked late now and she’d open a bottle of wine for them as they relaxed on the couch together. She’d move from her spot on the couch right up next to him if there was something in a book she wanted to talk about; close enough that they could both read the same passage. And those were the hardest moments: looking over her shoulder reading fine print as she talked from that brilliant brain of hers about one thing or another and then she’d look up at him waiting for whatever response she was waiting for. And his traitorous eyes would steal glances. At her lips, down her shirt accidentally once or twice, at a loose curl straying wildly from the pack that he wanted to tuck back in.
But he kept his hands to himself, never forgetting to focus on her words to adequately give her the response she’d been looking for. And then she’d triumphantly return to her normal seat and he’d stare at the same page in his book for the next five minutes. Hermione Granger did not want him having these thoughts about her. That much he was sure. Because why would she? Him of all people? No, she wouldn't want that.
Fast forward another few weeks of a growing sexual tension that was at least one-sided, if not two, and Harry and Pansy had returned, just as lip-locked as they had been the last time and inferring, in the least inconspicuous detail, many things about their sex life. Luckily, or perhaps not so, Blaise and Theo had been there as well so Draco’s ability not to immediately picture himself in similarly precarious situations with Hermione was tapered and they were able to laugh about their hopelessly lovestruck friends. Blaise had taught them all a casual drinking game that involved some winner-decides-the-punishment-for-the-loser rules that were heavily abused by the end of the evening, Draco losing his shirt and being forced to don just slacks and a tie for the remainder of the game. He thought maybe he’d caught Hermione glancing over at one point, but he couldn’t be sure.
Theo’s punishment in one close round had been determined by Hermione — “Replace everything you’ve moved around the living room tonight.” There had been a groan and then they’d lost Theo to the game for a good half an hour as he tried to remember everything he’d tried to sneakily misplace.
Blaise had been punished to kiss Hermione on the cheek by Theo when he finally returned, a rotten punishment by Draco’s standards as something inside him coiled in a dark way watching his friend put his lips on a laughing Hermione, though he’d returned to his seat muttering, “Don’t you dare tell Daphne about that. She’ll have my head on the wall next to the dead Greengrass house elves.”
Harry had somehow ended up covered in lipstick kisses — a punishment from Pansy to Harry but no one really knew if it was a punishment or not. Pansy, somehow, had never lost a round and Draco was decently positive she was cheating. Though he didn’t know how and he couldn’t prove it.
The game had ended when Pansy fixed Hermione with the punishment of naming one appealing part of Draco’s body. The vixen she was.
Hermione had gone beat red and done her best to not answer the question before an onslaught of pestering made her call out, rather loudly, “Fine, Merlin, his hair is nice.”
Pansy tutted, “Body, Granger, not appearance.”
Another groan, “Gosh I don’t know.”
More pestering came from the audience, Draco staring sparks at her as he waited patiently for an answer with a devious grin.
She ran her hands down her face, just as pleasantly drunk as everyone else, “You’re vile,” she shot at Pansy without any real animosity behind the words, “His— his— that , I guess,” she gestured generically in his direction.
“Just, all of it?” he said in a low, teasing tone, leaning back against the couch casually, playing with the tie around his neck.
There was another loud howl of laughter from the group.
Hermione ignored his gaze and his comment as she looked back at Pansy, “Oh come on, I mean look at him,” she said as though the question itself had such an easy answer that it was offensive to even ask, “You're the one that made him take his shirt off, Pansy.”
“You’re welcome then, I guess,” she was positively beaming at the admittance.
“Great game,” she shot a glare at Blaise who doubled over all over again.
“I think we’re going to call it a night on that perfect ending, Granger,” Pansy cooed as she and Harry stood from their shared seat in the armchair, her hand slipping into his.
Hermione gave a bit of an awkward bow with her hands as though accepting the embarrassment of the words that had come out of her mouth and trying to move past it even as she continued to avoid Draco’s gaze.
“We’ll be a bit… tied up,” Pansy winked over at Harry as he ginned with a furious blush, “Next weekend, but maybe weekend after that we can do this again.”
“Merlin Pansy have some fucking tact,” Draco huffed as Theo laughed raucously beside him and Blaise wolf-whistled from his other side. He chanced a glance at Hermione, who had decided on a nice cushioned pillow on the ground by the coffee table, her face was cooling as the attention was taken off of her and she was trying to stifle a grin at Pansy’s innuendo. Unexpected.
“Would you prefer to hear it from me, Malfoy?” Harry quipped, “We’ve got plans with some ties and cuffs next weekend, very personal plans that also involve a bed and no clothes, and sex. A lot of sex. Maybe some other props, as well. So the weekend after would be better.”
“Get laid, Draco,” Pansy blew him a kiss and pulled Harry through the Floo as they waved their goodbyes, Theo all but crying, clutching his stomach and beating his feet into the couch.
Once they’d calmed down again, Blaise and Theo had left soon after, but not before committing Draco to brunch plans the following day.
And then they were alone again as the green embers fizzled back to a cool red.
“So,” Draco’s eyes followed her as she stood and started replacing pillows and blankets to their appropriate places, “That was fun.”
“It was,” she said matter-of-factly, refusing to show any more signs of embarrassment, “Theo and Blaise, they’re a riot.”
“Truly a menace, but I’m starting to enjoy it.”
He chuckled, “That’s basically how one would describe Pansy in a nutshell.”
“And Harry?” she lifted an eyebrow at him to pose the question his way.
“Shockingly hilarious.” He’d been surprisingly impressed with the sass that came out of Potter’s mouth on a regular basis and it almost, almost , starting making sense of Pansy’s connection with him. They were an awkward sexual mess together. It was very entertaining.
“So should I start going shirtless around the flat more often?” he couldn’t help himself. Really, he couldn't.
“I don’t know, you wouldn’t let me go pantless,” she shot him a smart look as she continued tidying, waving her wand as glasses and bottles started making their way back to the kitchen.
A challenge. Accepted.
“I’ll make you a deal, you can go pantless if I can go shirtless.”
Hermione turned back to him, pausing for a moment before her hands moved to the button on her jeans, slipping them through the fabric and pushing them off, stepping out effortlessly and continuing on to the snack bowl as she grabbed it and walked to the kitchen without a backwards glance.
Draco sat, stunned, still staring at the place she’d been standing. And then his brain turned on again and he stood, setting his half-drunk glass of firewhiskey on the coffee table and following her purposefully.
She was replacing the bottles of alcohol back in their respective places on the shelf of the small bar in the corner as he walked in and leaned himself against the end of the island not more than a couple steps behind her.
“You look much more comfortable.”
She turned back to him, “I am, thank you.”
She was either playing hard to get very fucking well or he was very fucking friendzoned.
“I would have had a similar response to the question, had Pansy posed it to me,” he said, calculating each word.
She replaced the last bottle, turning to him and leaning back against the bar counter, “That you think your entire body is magnificent?”
“You think it’s magnificent ?” his lip curled up and her eyes rolled. The temptation.
“I was just assuming what you would say.”
“I meant if she posed the question to me about you,” he clarified, doing a generic wave of his hand in her direction.
“You think my body is magnificent then?”
“I think it’s alluring. In every way.”
That seemed to finally catch her as her mouth closed and she regrouped quickly, “So what are you going to do about it?” the words were breathy and quiet this time.
He pushed off the counter, closing the few steps between them and let a hand find her waist as the other fulfilled its multi-months-long dream of losing itself in her hair. Her chin tilted up to him with a slight pull to her lips and a paralyzing fire in her eyes, “This,” he said barely audibly as he leaned down to her, heart jumping out of his chest as his lips brushed hers, soft hands slipping around his back and pulling him closer.
He pressed his lips back to hers more firmly and a sigh ghosted them as they broke apart again. His eyes met hers as they opened; heavy but ablaze, and a groan rumbled in his throat as he kissed her more fiercely this time, his tongue finding hers with a parting of lips. It felt like silk against his own and elicited the slightest moan from her that he’d do anything to hear again.
He found the back of her thighs and lifted her onto the counter as her arms locked around his neck and his hands found their way under her shirt. He may have uttered a few curses between kisses, his growing arousal making itself known as she dragged a hand down his chest.
“Draco? Where are you?” came Theo’s voice from the living room and Draco jumped back, leaning in what he hoped was a casual way against the refrigerator and readjusting himself as Hermione jumped off the counter to hide her bottom half behind the island, just in time for Theo to walk through the doorway, “Oh perfect, I left a reserve bottle of firewhiskey. My father will literally murder me — not an exaggeration — if he thinks I took it so I was going to sneak what’s left of it back into the bar. Did you move it? I thought I’d left it on the mantel.”
“Sorry, I cleaned up when everyone left,” Hermione’s voice was a little airy but didn’t raise alarm, “Draco, do you want to grab it from the shelf?” she requested, clearly trying not to make it obvious that she didn’t have pants on.
“Right,” he pushed off the refrigerator, turning to the bar and scanning until he found the right one, pulling it from its place and walking over to hand it off to Theo, “There you go. Hope you don’t get murdered.”
“Cheers,” he lifted the bottle to them with a grin before disappearing back to the Floo.
Draco and Hermione looked at each other with a wry smile until Theo’s voice carried from the living room again.
“By the way, Granger, your jeans are in here so I look forward to hearing this story soon!” and then there was a crackle of flames and silence.
“Oh god,” Hermione leaned on the counter with her head in her hands, exhaling a light laugh.
“Leave it to Theo,” Draco muttered.
“I should go to bed,” Hermione looked up at him. He scanned her face for regret but only found amusement and a bit of a drunk haze.
“Might want to grab your pants on the way,” he winked.
She laughed, walking from the room with a showy swish to her hips, “Goodnight Draco.”
“Goodnight,” he called after her, left in the kitchen with nothing but the memory of her lips on his.
He’d relayed the story to Theo and Blaise at brunch the next morning, leaving out the more private details, as Blaise clapped him on the back, “You’re into Hermione Granger, what a twist.”
“Well he’s not into her yet,” Theo wagged his eyebrows.
“Fuck off," Draco pushed his arm in annoyance.
“Oh he really likes her,” Theo’s grin deepened.
Draco brushed his tongue along his teeth with a sigh of defeat, “I’m fucked, aren’t I.”
“Entirely,” Blaise raised a mug of coffee towards him and the conversation moved on.
The next couple of weeks had been a push and pull of trying to remain neutral and friendly, and trying to determine if there was more between them than a one-time drunken make-out. A very hot, mind-blowing one-time drunken make-out. But she was hard to read. Sometimes she’d flirt and it would be obvious, and sometimes she’d sit on the couch as they read in a comfortable silence without the slightest hint at attraction.
After two weeks of it, the suspense was killing him. He couldn’t stop thinking about that night. About her. About the very real and palpable spark that coursed between them in that short moment. With one kiss she’d wormed her way into his thoughts and there was nothing he could do about it. Other witches be damned at this point. There was no other witch he wanted. And that fact was highlighted by everything she did. A light sigh while reading made his mouth dry. Her laugh made him dizzy. And their debates left him feeling as heated as the discussion. Everything about her had become electrifying. And he wanted more of it. He had to know if it was mutual.
Throwing caution to the wind, he took to the living room on a Friday evening in a comfortable pair of pajama pants and no shirt. He hadn’t brought up anything from that night since, which included not going shirtless in the flat around her. It felt like a respectful thing to do, to let it all blow over; if she wanted to pretend it never happened, he should let her have that. They were flatmates after all and they had a certain friendship to maintain. But it had been some time now and there was nothing inappropriate about being shirtless. It was harmless and if she alluded to it he could just mention he was warm after a hot shower and trying to cool down. Really not a big deal.
He settled himself on the couch with a book in hand, propping a leg up on the couch and letting the other dangle contentedly off the side. Her door had opened a little while later and she’d stared at him, his eyes lifting her hers, eyebrows raising as though questioning her pause, and then her door closed again. His eyes returned to his book although his heart rate spiked and his stomach clenched thinking he may have downplayed her discomfort at a reminder of that particular evening.
And then her door opened again and his eyes flew back to her: standing there in a cropped black t-shirt and black lace panties. His book fell from his hands and she walked forward, eyes locked on his as she took a seat on the opposite end of the couch, turning towards him and lifting her legs onto the couch to cross in between his. His mouth fell open as he took in the length of her deliciously tanned legs. She grabbed her book from the coffee table as his eyes returned to hers and then she opened it, her gaze moving to the book.
Once his brain caught up with real time, twice now she’d done this to him, he moved from his seat, crawling over her and pulling the book from her hands and throwing it onto the recliner, their gaze meeting again.
“So you don’t regret it?” the words held the implication of a hundred different questions.
“No,” she said simply, a smile playing at her lips in a tantalizing way, "I've just been waiting for you to make another move."
He captured those mesmerizing lips without hesitation and her hands slid into his hair, displacing his perfectly placed blond locks and shattering every bit of his self-control in one swipe.
“You are,” he kissed the corner of her mouth, “So fucking,” his lips moved across her jawline, “Beautiful,” he growled in her ear. Her breath was hot against his cheek and he continued on to her neck as his teeth grazed gently down the soft skin. She moaned, igniting every part of his body as his hand gripped her waist, a finger playing with the seam of her lace panties.
His lips found hers again as he kissed her deeply, her fingers pulling at his hair in the most appealing way.
“Your room is bigger,” she whispered between kisses and he pulled back, eyes moving between hers, loving the innocent blush on her cheeks as he grinned, standing from the couch and holding his hand out for her as she took it and followed him to his bedroom, the door closing behind them with a deafening click that solidified the very real decision they were making as two very capable adults.
His room was perfectly in order — items placed very particularly by Pansy, sheets tucked and pillows fluffed. And if Pansy could have foreseen the destruction that would take place to all of her hard work, she’d have shrieked.
Draco lifted Hermione into his arms as her legs wrapped around him and he pressed her back to the door, his hands immediately finding their way beneath her shirt and running down the curves of her back thinking how they would look displayed in front of him.
He pulled her from the door and swept his hand across his dresser as a slew of personal grooming supplies fell forgotten to the floor and Hermione’s very grabbable backside took their place. He inched her shirt up as they kissed and her arms lifted, pulling back just long enough for him to slide it off and discard it on the floor. He took a well-earned moment to fix his eyes on her bare chest before his lips replaced his gaze, tracing the curve of her breast as she gripped his shoulder, leaning back to steady herself on the dresser.
After an adequate introduction to a new part of her body, she breathed, “Bed?”
He lifted her from the dresser and reattached to her lips as he cleared the distance to the bed, setting her on the edge and following her as she crawled back to the pillows.
“What do you want?” he spoke into her neck as he nipped lightly at the exposed skin.
“All of it,” she said heavily, “This. With you.”
He sucked harder on her neck and she hissed involuntarily, nails finding the skin on his back. He smirked against her as he ran a line of kisses down her body, heat blushing across each area of skin as he went.
She tensed slightly as his lips traced her pantyline. His eyes flicked up to hers, looking back at him with a burning need he would murder a man to be on the other side of. His finger slipped past the fabric and she tilted her head in the slightest nod as he pulled them down her legs and discarded them. His kisses moved to her inner thigh as his hands began to explore new territory again, coaxed by soft moans and breathy sighs from above.
He didn’t deserve a single second of this; a single brush of kisses against her radiating skin; the eruption of goosebumps as her fingers devoured his hair; the taste of her on his lips. Hermione Granger needed to be savored. To be appreciated and respected. Because he didn’t deserve any bit of this heaven or any ounce of her affection. So as much as he wanted to take her; ravish her; have her, he pushed it all from his mind and focused on taking it slow; enjoying every touch and logging each beautiful sound into his memory until she was quite literally begging him for more.
“Draco, please …”
His kisses worked their way back to her lips as she pushed at the top of his pants, which were quickly delivered to the floor with the rest of it. Her hand wrapped around his length and she pulled his face back to hers, kissing him with a renewed tenacity that he matched with fervor.
“Gods I want you, Hermione,” he barely got the words out before her teeth softly caught his bottom lip again and his thoughts evaporated.
“Please,” she said again, directing him between her legs.
He took her hand and lifted it over her head with a look that melted her inside, positioning himself more fully against her as he kissed her again; a promise. To make it worth it; to make it right; to try to be deserving of her.
He pressed into her as she inhaled sharply, her free hand wrapping around his bicep. His kisses were soft as he slowly worked his way in, pausing as he filled her.
“Draco,” she breathed, a leg wrapping around him to pull him in deeper.
He retreated just as slow before pushing into her a little harder, met with more sounds of encouragement as he began moving more steadily inside of her, her back arching into him as his eyes fluttered closed, memorizing every feeling; every sigh; every caress of nails against skin. She made everything that came before completely inadequate and he knew nothing after besides her would ever feel this good again.
Her forefinger ran rune-for-rune against the Azkaban number on the side of his neck as he groaned and then she found the back of his head and pulled his face to her, filling his mouth with hot kisses and indiscernible moans that he hoped would fill his head for the rest of his life; burned there; branded there; the only mark he’d never want to get rid of was the mark she was leaving in his memory of their bodies completely and unequivocally connected just as they were in that moment.
His hand slid down between their bodies and her pants came heavier; words less cohesive before she lost herself to him, her body shaking against him, head thrown back in bliss as he watched her greedily. And it was all he needed: watching her eyes flutter, taking in every curl spread over his pillow case, feeling her nails curl against his arm, and he followed her over the edge, head falling to the crook of her neck and curses muffled by hair.
And when he opened his eyes, everything felt new; felt fresh; felt light.
He’d kissed her once, twice, twenty times, he couldn’t remember, but eventually he’d fallen to the side and pulled her to him, exhausted and exhilarated, and she’d smiled and laughed as they’d done their best to make cohesive pillow talk and it had felt so fucking good to lay there with her before they’d both drifted to sleep.
And now he lay in his very own bed the next morning with Hermione Granger pressed against him, still sleeping, looking more relaxed than he thought she was capable of in her normal day-to-day life. She’d regret it. He knew she would. Draco Malfoy was an ideology. He was an ex-Death Eater. He was dangerous and misunderstood and all that garbage. He was the type that girls liked to be with once or twice for the thrill of it. Maybe Hermione had needed that experience. And now she would realize her mistake, or the itch would be sufficiently scratched, and things would return to some slightly more awkward version of the friendship they’d had before.
He let a long breath out of his nose, committing to memory once more the feeling of his face buried in her hair and her bare skin against his, before he slipped from the sheets, grabbing his boxer briefs and pants and heading quietly for the door.
“You can’t very well sneak out of your own room, Malfoy,” came Hermione’s voice sleepily as she stretched and turned over towards the door, resting on her elbow.
“I wasn’t… sneaking out,” he faltered and she laughed, eyebrows raised in challenge.
“Where are you off to on your tip-toes with your clothes in your hands then?”
He subconsciously lowered back down onto the heels of his feet, “Well I just — look I don’t know how we ended up like this and I was just trying to make it less awkward.”
“You don’t… know how we ended up like this? I remember quite clearly.”
“I mean I know how, just more theoretically,” he straightened with a huff, “I assumed you’d rather wake alone.”
“That actually wouldn't have been my preference,” she shrugged, eyes flickering against his, “This doesn’t have to be awkward.”
“And how do you suggest we make it less so?” the condescending tone couldn’t be helped.
“Well how about you drop your clothes and that bite in your tone and get back in bed where I think I can make some very compelling recommendations.”
He gulped. And it was audible. Hermione Granger was trying to seduce him back into bed. He was not a regrettable mistake to her. And she wanted more of him.
His clothes hit the ground and their eyes never left each other as he made his way back to the bed, “As a favor to you, I’ll hear your ideas,” he said as he slipped back into his new favorite emerald sheets, her hands finding his chest like a moth to flame and his lips silencing any other cheeky retort that might have been.
In three months time his life had been turned upside down. And if he played his cards right, maybe with some more time, he could become the kind of man that could deserve Hermione Granger; could deserve her kiss and her touch and deserve lazy early mornings wrapped in the sheets sharing forbidden moments and unspoken promises. Only time would tell.