Chapter 8 : life at the manor
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Hermione sighed with boredom for what felt like the hundredth time that day. She was sat in a large, white room on a heavily padded, round cornered bench. (Corners were dangerous, if anyone tripped, they could take their eye out.) There was no way of telling what time it was as there were no windows and no clocks in the room, (just in case the glass broke and cut someone) and Hermione had been relieved of her watch on the way in, (it could catch on someone’s hair or clothing and hurt her wrist). The room was warm, (so no-one got hypothermia or frostbite) but not too warm, (so no-one could dehydrate) and on a raised platform at one end of the room, (enclosed by a safety rail and accessible by a long ramp, people could easily trip on stairs) sat Harry, Voldemort and several officials in blue and yellow checked robes. Hermione was at the international wizarding health and safety committee’s headquarters, and was currently awaiting the outcome of Harry and Voldemort’s trial. They were being charged for ‘Needlessly breaking the Health and Safety regulations on seven counts, and conducting an unnecessarily violent and unsafe duel on official premises.’ The Head of the committee stood carefully and read from a piece of paper he held gingerly in gloved hands, (in case of paper cuts).
‘Harry James Potter and Tom Marvolo Riddle, you are charged with Needlessly breaking the Health and Safety regulations on seven counts, and conducting an unnecessarily violent and unsafe duel on official premises. The committee has received your plea of exceptional circumstances and has duly ignored it. We pass the following punishment. Neither of you may participate in any violent activities or breach international wizarding health and safety code for a period of thirteen years, during which time we want you to reflect upon your actions and think about how you jeopardised others’ safety. Any infringement on this punishment and you shall be immediately immobilised until a member of our patrol is able to mobilize you and hear your excuse. You may now leave in a sensible and safe manner.’
At the back of the room Hermione simply rolled her eyes and left the building, getting told off three times on the way for walking too fast. She was keen to avoid any contact with Harry and his entourage, so she apparated away to the place she was staying. A tall blonde boy approached her as she walked through the gates of Malfoy manor, her temporary residence.
‘We’re having a party tonight,’ he said conversationally as they walked towards the sprawling building built of yellow sandstone, ‘in the West Wing, I would be delighted if you would join us.’ He remarked politely. Hermione wracked her brains for an excuse and came up only with;
‘I have absolutely nothing to wear I’m afraid.’
‘Don’t be stupid Hermione,’ he drawled, dropping the polite host act, ‘it’ll be fun.’ She raised her eyebrows and smiled at him,
‘Although I can think of nothing I would enjoy more than to spend time with your self obsessed Slytherin cronies Draco, I’m afraid I must decline your generous offer.’ They had become good friends since the should-have-been-final battle, but Hermione still did not enjoy mixing with his housemates.
‘Pleeeeease?’ He whined, fluttering his eyelashes.
‘Have you got something in your eye Draco?’ joked Hermione, mock concerned.
‘There’ll be smokes…’ he tried to tempt her, ‘I know yours have nearly gone. And alcohol too.’ She sighed dramaticly.
‘Go on then, you twisted my arm.’
‘Great, see you at seven.’ And with that he held the door open for her and then vanished up the sweeping staircase towards the West Wing and his rooms. Hermione wandered along the dark corridors in the vague direction of the East Wing and her own rooms, thinking. A year ago she hated this boy and everything he stood for, now the opposite was true. She even occasionally caught herself thinking of him as more than a friend, though admittedly she was usually drunk or stoned when these thoughts occurred. He had taken her in when she had nowhere else to go, and now refused to let her leave, not that she would have wanted to.
At last she reached her suite of rooms on the second floor, a large living room, well stocked library, bathroom complete with swimming pool sized bath, dressing room with walk in wardrobe and a huge bedroom overlooking the immaculate gardens to the rear of the property. Draco’s rooms were the twins of hers on the other side of the house, and Mr and Mrs Malfoy lived between them, one floor below. The party would be held in the guest rooms, on the first floor of the West Wing. Hermione sighed and went to her wardrobe, it was six already, she decided she had better find something to wear.
An hour and a half later Hermione entered the party. She glanced quickly around the room, grabbed a bottle of something and went in search of Draco. She found him in a quiet corner, sat on the floor behind an armchair. He jumped as he caught sight of her, then, looking relieved, patted the floor beside him. She smiled and sat next to him, leaning against the wall.
‘Who are you hiding from then?’
‘Hiding?’ he gasped, pretending to be offended. ‘A Malfoy never hides. I am simply checking that the carpet is spotlessly clean in this part of the room, and am most defiantly not trying to avoid a certain miss Parkinson.’ He let out a sigh. ‘I’m just so irresistibly sexy that she can’t keep her hands off me. Honestly, being this good looking is a burden.’ Hermione laughed at his ‘my life is so terribly hard, feel sorry for me’ expression and shook her head.
‘Really Draco, It’s dangerous for you to be around us ugly mortals, we just go silly at the mere sight of you.’ He broke out of his pout to look confused.
‘What do you mean ‘we’? For one you aren’t an ugly mortal, and for another you don’t go silly at the sight of me, no matter how hard I try.’ Laughing again Hermione shook her head.
‘As if you’d want me to, you get that enough from your Slytherin sluts, as for me, I may not be ugly, but I’m hardly good looking am I?’ Draco looked at her as if she were a complete idiot, a look she was not accustomed to.
‘Of course you’re good looking, haven’t you noticed all the boys leering at you? And please don’t call them my sluts where they can hear you.’
‘People don’t leer at me.’ Hermione insisted. ‘And they are your sluts, aren’t they? How many of them have you had sex with?’
‘All of them.’ Mumbled Draco, going red.
‘And are you saying that any one of them wouldn’t jump into bed with you if you asked?’
‘No.’ he sighed.
‘Then they’re your sluts. They should get used to hearing it.’
‘I hate it when you’re right.’ He huffed. ‘But back to the leering point, any one of the boys in here and I suspect a few of the girls, would jump into bed in with you if you gave them the slightest bit of encouragement.’
‘You reckon?’ she challenged, ‘well we’ll see, shall we. Are you saying that if I… say…smiled at…Blaise, then he would want to have sex with me?’
‘No, I’m saying he already wants to have sex with you. But I bet that if you did smile at him, he would make a move on you.’ Hermione smiled evilly.
‘You’re on. What are the odds?’
‘I win; you hand over your drugs. You win and…I’ll buy you smokes for a year.’ Hermione smiled, thought for a second, then said, rather recklessly,
‘Deal.’ and without further ado, she hoisted herself up and sauntered past Blaise. To her immense surprise he was indeed very obviously checking her out, from her battered old combat boots up until he caught her eye, obviously expecting a harsh comment or glare. Instead, he got a warm smile and a long look from the heir of Slytherin.
About a minute later and Hermione felt someone come up behind her where she was gazing thoughtfully over the lush green lawns. Checking the reflection in the glass, she saw that Blaise had come to stand just behind her. She didn’t turn around.
‘You know, you look very, very sexy tonight.’ He whispered. Fighting the urge to roll her eyes she replied just as quietly.
‘I didn’t realise I had that effect on you.’
‘I just find everything about you irresistible, your personality, your attitude, your body…’ and as he said the last word, Hermione felt a cool hand on the back of her leg. When she didn’t pull away, he continued.
‘I know we didn’t get off to the best of starts, but I think we should put that behind us,’ his hand began to inch upwards, ‘after all, we are both adults now,’ it was under the hem of her skirt and rising, ‘and we should be able to behave as such.’ He had reached her ass, and had begun to squeeze it gently when Hermione, thinking to herself how direct these Slytherins were, spun to face him, one arm going around his neck.
‘You know Blaise, you’re quite right. We should be able to behave like adults,’ she was pressed against him now, whispering in his ear, ‘and not like horny teenagers desperate for a quick grope.’
She smiled sweetly and went to pull away, but found his hands on her ass and back held her quite securely against him. His eyes took on a steely quality as he replied,
‘In Slytherin, we work through the ‘quick teenage grope’ phase at around eleven. By now, we expect slightly more.’
‘Then get what you expect from your housemates.’ She tried again to pull away, in vain.
‘I’m really quite bored of them.’ He hissed. ‘You’re rather more…exotic.’
‘Having any trouble Hermione?’ drawled a coolly assertive voice. Blaise glared at his old friend.
‘We were actually rather busy Draco, if you don’t mind.’
‘Oh but I do, you see, I happen to be charged with Miss Granger’s care, and she doesn’t appear to be altogether happy with the situation. So, if you would be kind enough as to remove your hands, we’ll be going.’
Hermione breathed a sigh of relief as they reached the sanctuary of Draco’s rooms. He had literally had to prise Blaise’s hands off her body and threaten him with the Dark Lord’s inevitable wrath to prevent him following them.
‘You won the bet fair and square Draco, here you are.’ And Hermione held out a small bag of white powder very reluctantly. He looked intently at it for a second, and then dismissed it with a wave of his hand.
‘You won, take it.’
‘No.’ the argument went on for a while, but in the end they shared it. That coupled with copious amounts of alcohol soon had them feeling light-headed and laughing at nothing. Hermione fell over at one point and they lay in fits of giggles for a while before Draco recovered enough to say,
‘You know, you really shouldn’t wear a skirt when you’re drunk.’
‘Huh?’ Hermione looked down and saw her skirt had ridden up so much that Draco was getting a rather interesting view. ‘Oh. If it bothers you I’ll change.’ And she began trying to heave herself up.
‘No!’ said Draco, ‘I don’t mind in the slightest.’ His eyes were ranging over her body now, it made Hermione a bit self-conscious, but she made no attempt to obscure his view.
‘You know, anyone would think you liked me Draco.’ Mentioned Hermione, giggling at the ceiling.
‘Who says I don’t?’ Hermione raised her eyebrows.
‘Oh yea? Well I haven’t seen any evidence of it.’ Draco just shrugged. ‘I can’t see how I would appeal to anyone.’ Hermione continued, ‘I mean, I’m hardly the prettiest am I?’
‘I thought I just proved that any of those guys downstairs would kill to be with you?’ Hermione laughed again, though rather bitterly.
‘They’d kill to be with the heir of Slytherin, not me.’
‘I won’t pretend the danger isn’t a turn on, but there is more to it than that. Your body, your brains, your attitude, your personality, you’re an extremely desirable girl.’
‘If I’m so desirable, why haven’t you made a move on me?’ Draco rolled his eyes and wriggled closer to her on the floor.
‘I thought I just did?’
It was the second time she had fallen asleep with Draco, but this time she had woken up in Draco’s bed, not wearing anything. Usually in these situations Hermione would call herself a thousand names in her head and try to get out of there as fast as was humanly possible. This was different. She turned her head and saw Draco’s silver grey eyes smiling at her. She smiled back.
TaDa! the end. watch out for the sequel, ' the new heirs'...i'll be posting the first chapter soon. hope you enjoyedi it, review!