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In the Cold by geminirose23
Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Relief
Hey everyone! This is my first fanfic so I’m a little nervous but I’m anxious to know what you all think so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE review!!! If you really don’t like it though, please be civil with your criticism, I’m sure you can find something you like elsewhere. I tried to upload this before, but I think there was some kind of error, either way, it gave me time to edit it further. And please tell me if you notice any spelling/grammar/consistency etc. errors that I missed, though I know I tend to overuse adverbs, adjectives, and run-on sentences. :) Hope you like it!
DPOV: Draco’s point of view
HPOV: Hermione’s point of view
Head Girl and Head Boy. Gryffindor and Slytherin. Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy. Opposites. Even after the war, with Voldemort and his parents dead and his prejudices fully discarded, Draco thought, it would never work. Even after he joined their side in the Battle of Hogwarts, before Voldemort lost, the rest of the school still resented him some. They respected his choice to return, and left him alone for the most part, but his classmates were still sort of bitter. Even so, they’d been civil, even Potter, Granger, and to some extent, Weasley, hotheaded orange tumor that he was. But Granger and Draco had been made Head Boy and Head Girl, so she had been pretty nice to him, though there always seemed to be a flicker of an enigmatic emotion towards him, behind her warm chocolate brown eyes, that he couldn’t fathom.
He tried to ignore it, tried to ignore her, sometimes, but it had become increasingly difficult. He had been battling an attraction to the tenacious witch, to everything about her, for a long time now. The way her hair was incredibly gorgeous, running down her back with simple care, the light dancing in the smooth silky chestnut curls. The way her face lit up as she laughed, and her laugh and voice itself, how it was the only music he’d ever need if he lived to be a thousand years old. And her body itself had matured significantly since he’d first met her, growing taller and skinnier, her figure toned and simple but with intoxicating curves, a kind of perfect he never would have imagined. And her eyes, unyielding to cruelty, but warm, compassionate and kind in ways he’d never known. She was just spectacularly beautiful, every curve of her face, from her light caramel-tinted skin, to her graceful nose, to her perfectly curved and full raspberry-colored lips. And all so natural, unlike any other girls he’d been with. Even the way she moved, graceful and precise, always walking with a purpose. Anyone else struggled to match her strides. He’d nearly swooned watching her race across the grass along the lake with the Weasley sister once, flying boldly with a brilliantly free and joyful look on her face he’d never encountered, but loved.
She was brilliant, the only person at Hogwarts whose brains ever outshined his own, and clever, the way she so seamlessly crushed him in any battle of wits they’d engaged in since first year, and there had been many. She was never affected by him, an impenetrable shell he would kill to even scratch the surface of. So irresistibly strong, it sobered him. But around him, she was silent. Stoic as if holding something back, possibly trying to refrain from showing him how she really felt about his return, maybe resorting to a Weasley-like temper flare.
But no, she had more self-discipline than that, and he knew it. She had always kept a close and enviable control on what she expressed, and it made him all the more interested. She was just strong. In all aspects of the term. When put in situations she disliked, she could certainly bite the bullet with the best of them, and only rarely were there slips in her resolve.
All of this, and it pained him to resist, so why did he? Because he knew it would never work. Pot-face and that Weasel had admirable intentions, and provided her big brother-like protection that while often unnecessary, was formidable. He only wished he could do what they did for her, and more. But that protection was mostly from him, and anything they were scared that Draco would do to her. As if he would ever harm a hair on her brilliant angelic head, but they persisted nonetheless. And she would never want him the same way he wanted her. Even though she had long since ended her romantic affiliation with Weasel, and seemed oblivious or indifferent to any of her countless other admirers, she never showed any interest in him. Maybe as friends, but why would she want anything more? She would never want him like he wanted her.
But Merlin he wanted her. She was better than him, deserved better, and he already considered himself monumentally lucky to share the Head’s dorm with her. But he’d never force her into anything. His revelations since the war had marked him, and he decided he’d never ask for anything more than she would willingly give him. But that meant waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for the smallest things that he wanted. Oh well, he’d have to deal, and he knew that. But he never really knew how she really felt about him, and that mystery left chance, and it kept his hope alive and contained. He was even slightly encouraged by her smallest of actions around him. Curse his optimistic side, for it was raising his hopes far too high.
But every so often he caught her glancing at him, even with that barely readable expression on her face, soft yet calculating. He’d certainly stolen a few looks at her, though sometimes he’d either be caught staring, or he would catch her staring at him. Their eyes would meet, his heart would leap, and she would allow a slight blush to color her bloody edible cheeks before furrowing her brow and casually returning her focus elsewhere. All so powerful and controlled. It enraptured him, and he was never sure if it meant she was still wondering what he was doing back at Hogwarts, (as his realistic side assured him) or if maybe she felt some interest in him too. The mystery certainly kept him interested, and he was forever waiting for something a little more tell-tale. But the passionate tension he felt to be with her was threatening to burst within him.
He had returned to their common room late after quidditch practice, and he was freezing and sore all over and too intent on a shower to focus on anything else until he reached his bathroom. So he didn’t notice anything else on his way through their common room. Once he had showered, he was still sore, but warmer at least. So he changed for bed, into a pair of dark green and gray plaid sweats and a comfortable gray cotton t-shirt.
He then headed into their kitchenette to grab something to eat before bed. But as he passed through the common room, he noticed for the first time that Hermione was lying on the couch. She was wearing a tight-looking dark green crewneck shirt (green suited her nicely, he noted with a smile) and some gray sweatpants. Her head rested on the armrest, and her eyes were closed in sleep, her honey-auburn curls still framing her face perfectly, and catching the white moonlight.
Though her face was partially relaxed in sleep, he noticed that her expression was also tense and uncomfortable. He then realized, as a draft ruffled his hair lightly, that she must be cold. It was November in England, and the thin wool blanket covering the lower half of her body looked hardly sufficient.
She was also shivering lightly, he noticed with a pang of pity. She had never been one to withstand the cold, he remembered, recalling how she wrapped herself tightly in her cloak whenever the chilly season set in. Suddenly he was overtaken by a need to ease her discomfort. He didn’t care if it ended badly, he just couldn’t stand to see her so vulnerable. So he crossed the room and sat next to her on the couch.
She was dreaming restlessly. Hermione had fallen asleep on the couch after her fellow Head had left for quidditch practice, and her subconscious had allowed her thoughts to once again wander to her favorite subject: Draco. After he had joined their side, she had fallen for him, hard and fast. Sharing the Head’s compartment on the Hogwarts Express on the journey to their seventh year at school, and now a dorm had put things in perspective. He had changed.
He was still sort of arrogant, and a little sarcastic but less so, and he had discarded his prejudices and actually grown to be friendly to her. She hadn’t heard him utter the word ‘mudblood’ since before he’d joined them. She was certainly on better terms with him now than Ron and Harry. And now she had been battling a strong attraction to the enigmatic wizard.
He was tall, and beautifully built, with his smoothly sculpted stomach, arms and chest, as she’d caught a glimpse of one awkward morning when he came downstairs with just his school slacks on, looking for his shirt. She decided the abs were her favorite part. He was just handsome too, his soft-looking (what she’d give for a feel of it) white blonde hair, his gracefully carved face, baby pink lips, and deep, soft, striking blue eyes. Her knees were weak just thinking about him.
But it wasn’t just his looks, it was everything about him. His skill on a quidditch pitch, his brilliant mind and clever wit, which challenged her own at times, his deep, silky voice, his graceful walk, even, mesmerized her. Her mind went foggy whenever he laughed or spoke, her stomach tensed and her heart skipped several beats when he spoke to her, and she was entranced by the way he looked at her sometimes. She thought she caught him glancing at her sometimes, but she quickly dismissed it as her imagination, wishful thinking. He was kind to her, but it would never work.
Why would he want to be anything more than friends? What friends in Slytherin he still had (the war had left him with more enemies than he deserved) still disliked her and all other Gryffindors, and he would never want her like she wanted him.
But Merlin she wanted him. He was incredible, an angel with broken wings. All she wanted was to mend his past, to comfort him on what he had lost, and to maybe receive solace in the security of his slender, yet sculpted arms. But it wouldn’t happen. She would have to deal, and she knew that. But if he would give her a sign, a meaningful glance or smile, something to hold onto, she’d never dare ask any more than what he was willing to give.
Though Godric curse her optimism to hell and back, every so often she thought he was looking at her. She would often sneak furtive looks at him when nobody was paying attention, and a few times she had either been caught by him and seen him tense slightly, or she had found that he was staring at her. She was always the first to look away though, knowing that it was most likely a fluke, though she’d never experienced so many of those with the same person. She mustn’t get too encouraged though. Their exchanges would last no more than a few seconds, but it never failed to heighten the tension burning inside her. She never really knew if it was out of innocent curiosity, or genuine interest, but she would kill to find out. But instead she lay in wait. Forever knowing that there was always a chance for her to be incredibly hurt. Her feelings for him were strong, and he had no reason not to throw them aside if he didn’t return them, breaking her heart in the process. So she prayed that if he felt anything for her, then he’d make the first move. The passionate tension was killing her.
Her dreams had drifted to him again when she was interrupted abruptly by a particularly violent shudder. She awoke with a start, and her mind was brought back to the present setting. Hermione looked down, and made to readjust the fallen blanket that was supposed to shield her from the chill, but a noise made her pause.
“Are you alright?” Draco said, and she realized with a jolt of reality and a sting of nerves that he was actually sitting next to her on the couch, looking as if he was actually concerned about her current state. Taken aback, she put up her normal shield of indifference, but with the normal tests of attraction in play.
“I just don’t like the cold” she said softly, not meeting his eyes, and shivering again when another breeze roused goosebumps on her bare arms.
“I noticed. Here,” he offered, “that won’t work,” he then hesitated, and she noticed a slightly unsure look cross his face before he covered it with one of determination. “Try this.” He tossed the blanket gently aside, and before she knew it his arm was snaking around her waist, pulling her ever gently closer to him, nearly into his lap, bewildering her. Reluctant at first, but instantly willing, she molded perfectly against his chest, wrapping her arms across his stomach and around his middle, enjoying the heat and the firm feel of his torso under the shirt. Her mind was going foggy again. She foolishly looked up into his eyes, and was initially met with a look that was clearly saying: You’re ok with this right?! Just wanna be sure… She comforted his nervous face with a meek smile of assent, and dug her face back into his chest.
“Better?” Draco finally asked, almost shakily, she noted.
“Much, thank you.” She sighed softly and loved how he instantly relaxed at her words. “But why try this method, particularly?” She immediately felt him tense slightly, but he quickly regained some composure.
“I, um, I don’t know. I didn’t fancy seeing you all freezing, and this was the first thing I thought of. Sharing body heat is more efficient,” he confessed quickly. She looked up and saw the light pink blush staining his otherwise milky skin. Hermione chuckled softly.
“Quick thinking. Don’t worry,” she murmured, “I’m alright if you are.”
“I’m brilliant,” he said without thinking, and suddenly they were both chuckling lightly as she tried to keep her heart from jumping out of her chest. I’m in his arms, on a couch and now we’re sort of, like, cuddling, I guess, She thought with a thrill, And this is real… But it was fine by her.
Merlin, what was he doing? How did they get into this position? And was she really enjoying this? Or had he just fallen asleep? Though he wasn’t sure how she would react if he pushed his luck any further. But it was certainly bloody fantastic to have her curled up against him, his unsteady breath ruffling her hair. Which, he noted, smelled like black currant and vanilla, and though it was probably not that much to anyone else, he felt as if it was coming off of her entire body in waves. It was infesting him in wonderful new ways, and he just wanted to drown in it.
But suddenly he felt bold, and tentatively stroked her cheek with the hand that wasn’t holding her waist. Merlin knew he wasn’t about to let go of that. She barely flinched, but allowed her eyes to drift shut and a small smile to grace her features, and he’d never seen her more at ease. Her skin was soft and smooth, and he paused to cup it with his palm, letting his thumb gently continue to caress her face.
Her eyes then opened, and she cautiously adjusted her position on him so that she had one hand on his shoulder, and the other arm still wrapped around his waist. They remained close, he still had his hands on her face and lower back, and she was looking straight into his eyes.
She could hear both of their breathing gain pace and depth. Was she breathing? She couldn’t tell. The heat radiating from their bodies was overwhelming. Hadn’t she been freezing before? She couldn’t remember. She couldn’t remember a single thing but how comfortable his body felt and how beautifully icy blue his eyes were, yet still warm and fiery. Hermione had been nervous before, self-conscious about being so close to him, and whether he was comfortable with this. But there was no doubt. He wanted this. Badly. And so did she. Badly. He brushed a piece of hair out of her face, and continued to hold the stare that seemed unbreakable. Chocolate and ice. Staring into each other. Endless.
His mind was blank. Her eyes were melting into his. Her body felt amazing on his, and suddenly he was feeling bold again.
He leaned forward ever so slightly…
She leaned forward ever so slightly…
His lips were getting closer…she could feel his warm breath...
Her lips were getting closer…he could feel her warm breath...
Something snapped. The intense strain they had both been feeling for weeks burst as a soft, sensual sigh escaped her mouth, and was smothered instantly as his lips firmly met hers. Their eyes drifted shut as she immediately moved to readjust her position, and he helped her swiftly into a straddle across his hips, until his hands went to one wild in her hair, the other exploring her back frantically. It got faster. Their lips were moving smoothly and perfectly across each other’s, and she felt his tongue ghost only for a moment along her lower lip, and she immediately granted him access. Their tongues toyed momentarily with one another before simply deepening the kiss, allowing all of the pent up passion they’d been withholding to spill into each other. It was perfect, she noted, perfect pace, perfect pressure, perfect amount of tongue and hands, all varying but perfectly in sync. She shivered slightly as his hand began to run slowly up and down her back, but not from the cold. Not even close.
They seemed to not need to come up for air, as hurried but sufficient sweet breaths mingled between the clashing of lips. His taste was indescribable, and she just knew she was prepared to drown in it. Merlin, this was amazing.
Merlin, this was amazing. He fought a violent twitch from down south as her hands ran through his hair and across his chest and stomach, her fingernails ghosting across his nerves and causing him to groan softly into her mouth. She was amazing, her pressure and pace matching his perfectly, and he was going under. He let his hand snake from her lower back to wander carefully under the hem of her shirt, and they both shivered again when he stroked the firm muscles contracting on her smooth, warm stomach. He didn’t wander farther than her navel, not wanting to make her uncomfortable. Though she certainly showed no signs of holding back, he noted blissfully as the hand that had before been clenching his shirt found its way to the hem of his tee.
She mimicked his movements on his own stomach with an equal curiosity, and he smothered his untimely urges by kissing her harder, which she obliged to. Her touch was teasing the lusty burning sensation that had erupted in his stomach that was foreign to him, for he’d never been so attached to a partner like this before. But he was loving every nanosecond of it.
He surrendered all his strength to the vital task of keeping her poised, comfortable, and close. Had he been sore before? He couldn’t remember. All he could remember was the fantastic feel of her legs, her hands, her lips, her body, all on his, and seemingly all his for now. She was now fully straddling him, and it took all of his composure as he gently pressed her into a more comfortable position, so that he was on top of her and her back was resting on the cushions, all the while their lips never breaching a millimeter apart.
He then realized blissfully that she hadn’t stopped him. She didn’t even seem to consider it. She wanted this too, it seemed, about as badly as he did.
Godric, she was beginning to get nervous with how far this was getting, but relaxed at the realization that he didn’t seem to be in any hurry. He seemed to be keeping any urges he had in check, and pressure to shag didn’t appear to be a possibility. This calmed her to some extent, though her heart was still racing as she realized they’d probably been like this for a few minutes now. She didn’t care. She could stay like this for hours, in his arms, wrapped in his warmth, and kissing him furiously as if it was their last chance.
She all but cried out as the feeling of his hands on her stomach caused a sudden eruption of the burning tingle of lust in her core that veered between pleasure and pain. It didn’t matter, she had never felt so wonderfully lost in a partner like this, nothing compared.
She caught a moan from both of them as his motions moved gently to her jaw, and down along her neck. Her head tilted back, eyes stayed shut and her breathing accelerated as his kisses, soft and gentle, yet firm and determined, moved along her neck to any inch of skin there he could savor. She then contented herself further with running her hand up and down his neck, to pad the cloud-soft hair at the base of his head. She writhed underneath him, wanting him to never stop. She would never get tired of this mouth. And then it hit her. He hadn’t stopped her. He didn’t even seem to consider it. He wanted this too, it seemed, about as badly as she did.
She was incredibly sweet, like berries with a hint of something that may have been floral or vanilla. It didn’t matter as long as he could drown in it, in her. He fought with the wrong part of his mind as he teethed on her neck gently, hungrily and swallowed her sigh, capturing her lips once again. They repeated their tongue battle briefly but continued to adjust to one another, from every curve of the neck to each bend of the back, he mused to help her enjoy this as much as he was.
But a change in position was due, so he guided her gently upwards, and she clenched the hands on his shoulder and stomach to get a more secure hold on him. He returned his hand to her lower back as she fell on top of him softly, retaining her balance against all odds. He could lose himself like this. Forget Potter, Weasley, his friends or anyone else who would try to tell him that this amazing witch didn’t belong with him. Because here, with her in his arms, it was as perfect as it got.
Ridiculously the pace began to slow down, and she reluctantly detached their lips, while opening her eyes to meet his, reassuring him with a wide, shy grin. She softly kissed his nose, then his cheek, then his forehead before resting her own head against his chest. He pulled her against him into a more comfortable position, one they could have slept in. He kissed her hair tenderly before speaking.
“I was thinking of telling you I love you. I guess the feeling’s mutual?"
“Yes,” she confessed softly, realizing she really meant it “how could we both have missed it?"
“Both convinced the other would never feel the same way?”
“That must’ve been it.” She sighed and felt sad that this all could have happened sooner, but grateful nonetheless that it had happened at all.
“But that was amazing. You’re amazing. You always have been. ”
“I don’t know how anyone could hold a grudge from the war against you, I forgave you in a heartbeat. It was the way you were brought up, you were the victim.” He paused at her words, and contented himself with caressing her hair affectionately, before leaning in to press another soft kiss to her intoxicated lips.
“I miss you when you leave,” he admitted shyly, “there’s nobody quite like you. You’re all I want.”
At this she leaned up, and looked him dead in the eye.
“This has been fantastic. I’ve wanted to be with you for so long, I thought it could never happen,” she confessed sadly, but continued steadily with a smile, “and nobody could ever chase away the chill like you.” He grinned himself as he felt the heat now being shared perfectly between their bodies. He hugged her firmly back to his chest, a foreign protective feeling empowering him. Kissing her hair one more time, and allowing his hand to feel up and down her back, he whispered.
“I’ll never let you go cold.”
He curled his arms more securely around her, and sighed softly as she adjusted herself to him once again. He was ecstatic that she felt the same way, and now it was as if he had a precious and delicate treasure that he would need to cherish and handle with extreme care. That would not be a problem. He loved her, now realizing that he had for a long time. He was prepared to let her know, if only making it more pronounced, soon, when they were ready. They had been needy tonight, but he would devote any portion of his consciousness he could spare to keep her safe and comfortable. They fell asleep there, on the couch, wrapped in each other’s warmth, dreaming of each other.
*Gasp* JEEZ it felt amazing to be writing like this again, incredible pleasure. Please let me know what you think! Hope you enjoyed it! :) -geminirose23