You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com
View Online | Printer Friendly Version of Entire Story
Chapter 4: Rising To The Occasion
Lovely chapter image by toxicity @ TDA
Malfoy hadn’t stuck around long after her knee went slamming into his chest. With his ego sufficiently bruised he had had all but fled from the room as though there was a very, very angry dragon shooting fire at his ass as he moved. It was rather amusing to see and the whole time he was climbing off of the bed and making his way to the door he was sending a rather colorful array of curses back at her while she dug through her bag for something to wear. She knows that his intention was to upset her but all it served to do was to amuse her. Being able to get to him was a great accomplishment on her part, a victory she can’t help but feel completely and totally pleased, a warmth swirling around inside of her over the fact that she had gotten to him while playing his game. He had thought he would get the best of her, he had thought that he could perhaps even get a little action of some kind out of it but he had no such luck. Instead he got kneed in the chest and got the wind got knocked out of him and then he got laughed at. It was a very, very amusing situation on her end while she can understand that on his end it wasn’t remotely funny. He had been rather pissed off. Oh, how amusing this whole thing could turn out to be if everyone were able to play games just like this. Yes, this could turn out to be a very amusing adventure indeed. And Hermione was more than looking forward to the chaos that could commence from all of this.
Once dressed she made her way downstairs to the dinning room, finding a seat next to Ginny, folding her skirt beneath her as she settles down. Across from them sat both Ron and Harry, whispering softly to each other as though they were sharing some great plot and perhaps they were, plotting how to go about this game though she finds it to be rather ridiculous. The whole idea of this game is to win against everyone. But, the more she thinks about it the more she thinks that perhaps working with someone in certain areas might be a good idea. Friends could come in handy during this for sure but at times it was still a game and the object was to win, you had to win above everyone and everything. Still, using her friendship with some of these people could definitely come in handy at certain times and she could definitely see herself utilizing those friendships when the time came.
Draco entered the room, looking rather kempt despite his little encounter with Hermione that morning. He had redone his hair so it would actually be slicked back as he normally wore it because by the time he had left it had become tousled and had been hanging rather awkwardly near his eyes. He could have always pretended that he had gotten lucky in some way but at the same time questions might arise if he were to do that and if the truth came out then he would definitely be thoroughly embarrassed. Imagine having to admit that his attempt at sexual conquest or using his sexuality to his advantage hadn’t gone over well. The mockery would have been severe.
He took a seat at the head of the table to Hermione’s left, glancing over at him with cool gray eyes. If he wanted to pretend not to be annoyed with her he wasn’t doing it very well though to the ones who didn’t know what had happened might merely see it as a regarding look. She knew better though. she had gotten under his skin and that didn’t sit well with him, the snakelike nature that all Slytherins held deep within them rising up to the surface, making him very much resemble a snake ready to strike and if you could shoot poison out of your eyes than he would definitely be shooting poison at her right then. He was hoping for her to squirm or twitch or look uncomfortable in some way but she wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction. Instead she merely regarded him with a very casual look on her face and then a slow smile spread across her face, quirking one of her dark eyebrows towards her hairline as if daring for him to say something about their little exchange, a challenge that he didn’t rise to. He merely turned his gaze towards the rest of the group and she had to force herself not to let her smile turn into a self-satisfied one. It wasn’t very often she got to get to Malfoy nor beat him at his own game, especially considering they were in his house. No, this was definitely a treat.
He didn’t say a single word to any of them and other then a few people whispering amongst themselves, probably trying to come up with some sort of a game plan. The sounds of clinking glasses and plates and the sound of knives and forks scratching against each other was really the only sounds that could be heard other than the occasional shifting in seats and the sound of clearing throats.
The food was good, Hermione had to admit that. She hadn’t expected it not to be however. She didn’t think that a Malfoy knew how to do anything small scale so there’s no reason for this to be any different. As a matter-of-fact, there was probably more of a need to impress given the fact that he was entertaining several guests right now and while he may not be overly fond of said guests he still had to put out a good spread and play the concerned host. She doesn’t think he really gives a flying fuck about any of them though if she is completely and totally honest with herself. He hates most of them anyway, would prefer never to see any of them again when this is all done. He just wants to prove that he’s smarter than them, more sneaky and manipulative and in a lot of ways that’s true; he is more manipulative and more sneaky. But being a slithering Slytherin doesn’t make you better than others, it just makes people expect this sort of thing from you more than from others.
Malfoy kept giving Ginny and her this strange looks, not like the angry and upset gaze he had been giving Hermione when he first came into the room but something more, something different that she can’t quite pinpoint and Ginny is getting the same look. From time to time Hermione would glance at the younger girl out of the corner of her eye to see if she noticed the expression but Ginny seemed to be very wrapped up her meal. It was rather unnerving, the glances that Malfoy was giving them but she did her best not to shift in her seat and make him see how uncomfortable he was making her. That would only make him think he was winning at this game and she wasn’t about to let that happen.
Once the meal was done everyone scattered like a batch of rats that just had a bullet shot into the center of them. Some opted to explore the grounds, some decided to retire back to their rooms. Hermione, however, would prefer to spend his days in a rather productive manner and would rather be in the library. No doubt the Malfoys would have books that she herself never even heard of let alone read and as such there would be a lot of interesting things that she could find within the pages. True, some of the books would undoubtedly be full of dark, twisted magic that she couldn’t even begin to comprehend- nor would she want to- but there would also have to be some things that she could actually handle dwelling in her brain.
She makes her way slowly down the halls of the manor, her heels clicking rhythmically against the floor. Walking down the corridors it almost felt like she was in this passageway back through time, traveling into the past and she doesn’t really understand it. Not the feeling itself but the past that she seems to be surrounded by and it’s a past that she knows she could never understand. It’s a past full of ridiculous rules and prejudice and horrible things done in the cover of shadow. And for a moment she thinks about that story Malfoy had told her the day before, about Willow Roth and how she had spend her entire life here in this house as the other woman to the man that she loved and how she had let herself be content with that. And for a moment she actually pictures Willow walking down the halls, just ahead of her, the dirty little indulgence that Malfoy’s ancestor had allowed himself to indulge in. It’s almost sickening to think about, that she would allow herself to be used as such.
Love was all well and good but you shouldn’t allow the person you love to treat you like you’re there merely for their amusement and that nothing more matters. Hadn’t Willow done just that? Hadn’t she let him use her and keep her hidden like she was something to be ashamed of? Hadn’t he let tradition and keeping the family name unsullied come before her? How you can treat someone that you supposedly love as such is beyond her and she would never, ever let herself be some mistress, hidden in the dark corners and forced to pretend that she wasn’t in love with the very person whom her heart was beating for. No, she’d sooner die alone than put herself through that kind of emotional torment. Love should mean going out of your way not to hurt the person you’re with. What Willow and he had, in her mind, wasn’t love. It was mutual sexual attraction and nothing more.
Her attention still on the imaginary specter of Willow Roth she didn’t notice the prescience of someone behind her, didn’t hear their footsteps or feel them there until their hand was on her shoulder and she found herself pushed back against the wall, the wind knocked out of her for a moment. And then she finds herself looking up into a pair of very familiar gray eyes, the same ones that had been glaring at her this morning and kept glancing her and Ginny odd looks all throughout breakfast, looks she couldn’t read which was more intimidating than event he fact that he kept looking at her.
“You were getting far too much amusement from my discomfort,” he told her, his voice rather even, as though he doesn’t really care about what he’s saying thought he way his body presses hers against the wall to keep her there seems to contradict that sentiment a great deal, seems to scream that he does in fact care very much that she took so much amusement from the situation. “Not very nice of you, Granger.”
“I wasn’t aware that the point of your little game was to be nice, Malfoy.” She kept her voice as calm and as clear as his was, keeping her gaze locked with his. If he was looking for a battle of wills he was going to be on a run for his money. Of all the things in the world Hermione Granger was willing to do allowing Draco Malfoy to make her look away as though she were frightened or ashamed definitely wasn’t on that list. “If that were the case then you should have stated that more clearly from the beginning, though it does seem a little bit contradictory to the concept of a game of deceit, doesn’t it?”
“You think you’re very clever, don’t you?” he questions, blatantly ignoring her sardonic answer as though she hadn’t even spoken at all. One of his hands travels up to press against the side of her neck, fingers lingering over the pulse point, feeling the steady drumming of blood rushing through her veins. “You think you’re by far the smartest girl here, don’t you?”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” she counters, shaking her head ever so slightly, angling her body in a way that put the back of her head against the wall and pressed her body closer to his. If he could play games by pressing them closer together then she could play them, too. “I do think I happen to be a reasonably intelligent person and can figure out ways to get to people. Seems I have already found a way to get to you, haven’t I?”
“You got lucky,” came his immediate and yet at the same time very casual argument, one of his eyebrows arching towards his snowy hairline, angling his head slightly to the one side, the light in the hall casting interesting shadows off of his angular face. “I wouldn’t consider that to be as big of a victory as you do.”
“Of course you wouldn’t. Why would you want to admit that I got the best of you? Wouldn’t that just prove that you’re not the master manipulator you want everyone to believe that you are?”
“I’m much better than you give me credit for. I happen to be a very talented person.” There was something in his voice that screamed to her that there was a double meaning intended in his words, like he was picking on her in a way she just hadn’t really come to understand yet. Or maybe he was, in a way, propositioning her. It wouldn’t surprise her. He’s conceited enough that she can imagine he would find it difficult to believe any woman could turn him down and that may well be true. Hell, she can admit to herself that if he hadn’t been a complete and utter prat towards her in school she’d have been much more inclined to respond at least some to his advances that morning.
“You know, you talk a lot but something tells me if the occasion arose I’d find that’s just all it is: talk. It’s very easy to run your mouth off but it’s hard to live up to it.” His fingers still brushing against the pulse point in her neck she lifts up her hand, not willing to let him have the upper hand, and brushed the pad of her thumb across his bottom lip. “Very hard to live up to.”
“If you’re trying to emasculate me in hopes of distracting me it isn’t going to happen,” he informs her, the edge of his mouth curling up in a way that resembles the smirk he so often wore back at school and it sends a rush of familiarity through her that just makes this all the easier to do, so much easier to handle. “I have far too much confidence for that.”
“You call it confidence, I call it conceit.”
“Call it what you will,” he said carelessly, shrugging off her comment with words where he cannot with actions. It’s like he wants to upset her, wants it more than anything in the world and maybe that’s an accurate assessment. He always did enjoy trying to get to her. It seemed to be his favorite of all pastimes. “I will admit this,” he says after a moment, his face moving closer to hers, his breath warm on her face. “You are going to be a very fun opponent in this little game. I’m going to thoroughly enjoy knocking you down a peg.”
“If either of us needs to be knocked down a peg, Malfoy, it would be you. You seem to think you can do something to embarrass me, to complicate my life. It won’t work.”
“No?” His eyebrow shifted towards his hairline again his eyes shinning with this look like she had renewed his desire to play his game, like she had just issued him a very interesting challenge. And in his mind she had because she had basically made everything open territory by saying that, at least in his mind. He could do whatever he deemed fit to beat her at this game he had initiated and by the end of it he was positive, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he could make her regret agreeing to play to begin with.
“We’ll just have to see about that,” he whispered before his mouth descended and claimed hers, the kiss all pressure and animalistic, no true affection hidden in it, his tongue seeking entrance into her mouth and it found purchase when she opened her mouth to him, her tongue moving out to meet his, both physically meeting his body as she mentally met his challenge, giving him this little victory and not letting herself deny the thrill this all sends through her, to be pressed so close against his body, his tongue in her mouth, their friends wandering around. Its dirty and scandalous and oh so wrong but at the same time it sends this delicious thrill through her and she realizes the forbidden fruit can often be just as sweet if not more so than any other kind.
She’s almost finding herself lost in the contact of their mouths and the press of his hips against hers that when someone down the hall clears their throat it startles her so much she nearly bites him. Draco, however, wasn’t even remotely startled as he leaned back from her, his mouth slowly shifting into a smirk again, his eyes shinning the entire time. “Looks like you’re going to have some explaining to do,” he drawls, eyes shifting in an almost motioning gesture in the direction that the sound had come from.
Slowly, almost as if someone had brought time itself to a slower pace, she turned her head to look down the hall and found Ron standing there, his arms folded across his chest, a look of both confusion and anger across his face, skin almost red enough to rival the hair on his head.
Checkmate, Malfoy, she thinks bitterly. But the game isn’t over yet. Far from it.