A/N: Thanks for all the reviews guys!! Hope you enjoy this chapter *grins*!!
One Big Step.
Hermione smiled, practically skipping on her way to Gryffindor tower. Harry and Ron had not asked her any questions about Blaise for an entire week, and Draco had been conveniently absent from her life for the same amount of time. Dinner that night had been pleasant. She had positioned herself so she could see Blaise throughout the meal, catching his eyes every so often and returning the sly smiles he sent her. The rest of the Slytherins were acting as they usually did, so she assumed word had not gotten out. She could see Pansy looking quizzically at Blaise, her eyes flickering to the empty seat usually occupied by Draco. A small part of her felt bad for Draco, simply because she did not like to see people hurting, but it was only a small part, and relatively easy to ignore. She smiled dreamily to herself as she got ready for bed, tossing her clothes aside and crawling into her pajamas. Knowing that Blaise had declared he would be her boyfriend caused Hermione to giggle into her pillow, even though it happened a week ago. The term was so juvenile, but the fact that he cared enough to suggest it meant a lot to her. She had tried not to think too much about Blaise’s strange behavior in the classroom, effectively pushing it the back of her mind. It had been a bizarre couple of days leading up to that event, and Hermione reasoned there was no need to confuse herself even more. Smiling, she eventually drifted off to sleep, happy that the following day was a Saturday, and she could spend it with Blaise.
Time passed quickly, and Hermione was rather shocked one day to realize she had been with Blaise for over a month. They were sitting together by the Lake during a free period, braving the cold so they could spend some time alone. Word had finally gotten out that they were a couple, and after a less than enthusiastic response from the Slytherins, no one seemed to care anymore. Hermine chuckled to herself. The reaction this time around was nothing compared with how irate the older members of Slytherin House had been when Draco had boldly announced to the entire Great Hall at breakfast one morning that he and Hermione were together. She frowned out at the dark water of the Lake, her thoughts drifting unwillingly to Draco. They had not spoken since that day in the classroom, when she told him in no uncertain terms to stay out of her life. She sighed, causing Blaise to tighten his hold on her.
“You okay?” he asked softly, sliding his finger under her chin and tipping her face back towards him so he could look into her eyes. No matter how often she looked at him, Hermione never tired of how incredible his eyes were, how soft and silky his skin and how perfectly formed his face was. She smiled slowly, nodding, and he kissed her, their lips fusing together for a moment, before he pulled away. She giggled as his fingers found her ribs, brushing her flesh gently. His hands were under her shirt and she was perched against his lap, his legs falling either side of her, his back resting against the trunk of a tree. They often sat that way – Blaise claimed it was comfortable, but Hermione knew it was only so he could reach parts of her body he was not supposed to be touching. After he had declared himself her boyfriend, she had still insisted they take things slowly, not wanting to rush the physical side of their relationship, as she had with Draco. Although they had never slept together, Hermione and Draco had spent so much time with their lips and limbs wrapped together, they had never really talked all that often.
Hermione smiled and lay back, her head tucked under his chin, closing her eyes as his soft hands moved to caress her stomach lightly, sending shivers along her spine. Blaise shifted suddenly, lifting her up and turning her quickly so that she faced him. Hermione was always quietly shocked by how strong he was. He picked her up and moved her around as if she were nothing but a leaf. Blaise grinned, pleased with their new positions. Now, she sat astride him, her knees brushing the ground. Hermione quirked a brow accusingly, and he shrugged, his hands walking around her body until they brushed her back, sliding up and back down.
“Interesting. Are you going to tell me this is comfortable?” Hermione quipped sarcastically, trying hard not to smile at the look of extreme innocence that crossed her boyfriends face.
“I wanted to look at your face,” he replied, leaning forward and kissing her softly. “And you have to admit this makes kissing me easier. You won’t strain your neck.”
“You are so considerate,” Hermione murmured as his lips found her throat. Blaise sat up straight, his back leaving the tree, giving himself better access to her neck. Hermione closed her eyes, giving in to his wonderful attentions as his lips, tongue and teeth worked her flesh until she thought she would literally melt. She reached up and grasped his head between her hands, forcing his lips to hers, groaning with pleasure as he kissed her deeply. His fingers dug into her hips, effectively bringing their bodies closer together and Hermione found herself unintentionally clenching her knees tighter around him, her body responding to his kisses. One of Blaise’s hands moved to her lower back, the other crept up to rest at the base of her neck, pressing her into him. With difficulty, Hermione forced her hands between them, untucking his shirt and sliding her hands over the flesh of his ribs, digging her nails in a little. Blaise broke away with a growl, his face flushed and his eyes glassy. His lips were plump and swollen, rushed with colour, and his hair fell into his eyes messily.
“God, Hermione,” he whispered huskily, squeezing her so tightly she yelped. “You are … fuck me. This is torture.” He leant forward and tried to kiss her again, before allowing his head to fall back with a groan as she moved out of his reach, feeling hot and flustered herself. Hermione reluctantly removed her hands from his body, missing the feeling of his skin as soon as they were out in the open. She sighed, smoothing his hair back from his forehead.
“We need to get back. We both have a class before dinner,” she said gently, and he groaned again, shaking his head. “Come on, Blaise. If we go now we won’t be late.” Hermione climbed to her feet, straightening her clothes and hair, watching out of the corner of her eye as Blaise stood also, retucking his shirt. She noticed him quickly adjust his pants and she blushed, averting her eyes. She was still quiet surprised she could do that to his body so easily. He noticed the blush that coloured her cheek and laughed until she scowled at him.
“Why is it so hard to believe I want you? I said over a month ago I wanted to shag you senseless, and nothing has changed,” he murmured, grabbing her and pulling her into his arms so that their bodies were flush together. Hermione smiled shyly, reaching up to kiss his neck, feeling incredibly warm at his words. He was so different from Draco, who never really said what he was feeling, choosing instead to show her. Hearing him say he wanted her sent a thrill of excitement mingled with fear through her body, and she wondered quickly if he knew she had never slept with Draco.
They walked back to the castle quickly, Blaise with his arm draped around her shoulders casually. He paused when they reached the greenhouses, where they would go their separate ways for the afternoon. Not caring who was around, he bent down and kissed her sweetly, his lips lingering over hers. Someone whistled and Hermione rolled her eyes, sensing Blaise lift his finger in a rude gesture.
“Do you have Patrolling tonight?” he asked when he moved away, running his hand through his hair. She shook her head. “Good. Meet me in the courtyard after dinner, at about seven. It’s meant to a be a full moon tonight, so I thought we could take a walk. As long as we’re back inside by nine, it will be fine.”
“Sounds wonderful,” Hermione whispered.
The moon had just risen when Hermione and Blaise crossed the courtyard and walked slowly towards the Lake. The strong and brilliant light of the full moon illuminated their path, so there was no need for wands. Blaise held her hand securely in his, leading her carefully through the trees until they reached the waters edge. Moonlight bounced off the surface of the Lake, entrancing and ethereal, and Hermione sighed appreciatively.
“So are you,” Blaise replied softly, pulling her to him and kissing her cheek. They stood in silence a while, watching the moon climb higher ever so slowly into the sky. “So, Granger. Has it been worth it?”
Hermione twisted her head, looking up at him sharply. His eyes were fixed on her face, dark and full of shadows in the ghostly light, but he was smiling. She nodded. “Yes. Every minute.”
“Your friends. You never talk about them much. Are they okay with this?” Blaise asked, surprising her. Hermione sighed, snuggling a little closer to him.
“I think so. I mean, Harry knows I can make up my own mind, and Ron…well, he hasn’t said anything derogative about you since I slapped him in the face,” she replied, hearing him laugh softly.
“You slapped Weasley? I wish I could have seen it,” he snickered and she frowned and hit him playfully on the arm.
“I didn’t mean to do it. He just …Ron appointed himself as my protector years ago. He was ready to murder Draco after he broke up with me, so he is naturally suspicious of every boy who looks at me now, especially if he’s a Slytherin,” Hermione explained softly. “But, now, he’s different with me. We used to have a lot of fun, and there was nothing that could cheer me up more than a hug from Ron.”
“You know,” Blaise began, pulling her closer so that she could smell his aftershave and the delicious scent of his hair. “There was a rumor floating around the Slytherin dorms a while ago. Some people reckoned you were shagging Potter, others thought Weasley, and some thought both.”
Hermione felt her jaw drop. “Don’t Slytherin’s have anything better to talk about?” she asked faintly, twisting out of his arms. She stared at him, blinking in disbelief. “Are you telling me the truth? Were people really saying that about me?”
“Oh Hermione, don’t worry about it,” he murmured, kissing her ear. She shivered, but shook her head.
“Is that what they really think about me?” she asked, more to herself than Blaise, but he sighed and answered her.
“Hermione, it was just a bunch of Slytherin’s with nothing to do. They shut up eventually, and moved on to something else. You are Potter’s best friend. It’s not the first time they have talked about you,” he said softly, his breath warm against the skin of her neck.
“That’s not the point,” Hermione whispered, still feeling slightly insulted that people would think that of her, even if they were Slytherin’s. Blaise chuckled, one hand creeping up the back of her shirt and tickling her skin, the other sliding down to cup her backside, pressing her even closer to his body until she was certain no part of her was not touching him. There was urgency to his movements that was different from usual. “Blaise, …” Hermione’s reproached, her words dying in her throat as he nipped at her neck with his teeth. She closed her eyes.
“I thought I was your boyfriend,” he said, feigning hurt, continuing to kiss her neck.
“You are, but that doesn’t mean I have to sleep with you,” Hermione managed to choke out as his lips worked against her throat. “Walking in the moonlight. What a joke. I knew you had ulterior motives.”
“I’m a Slytherin. What did you expect?” he whispered, his voice deep and husky, sending a constant stream of shivers through her body. Blaise’s lips found her collarbone, her throat and her chin. He paused near her lips, his breath warm and sweet on her face. Hermione opened her eyes to find him looking at her intently, his deep blue eyes fixed on her.
“I’m not shagging you, Blaise Zabini,” she replied, watching his lips curl into an enticing smile. His eyes glinted mischievously.
“Not yet,” he said cheekily, before kissing her sweetly and passionately on the mouth. Common sense flew out the window as Blaise deepened the kiss, his tongue exploring her mouth delicately, tentatively and expertly. Hermione groaned, her arms moving to encircle his neck, lifting her body up into his, rising on the tips of her toes. Blaise’s hands grasped her hips and he lifted her off the ground effortlessly, so that their heads were on the same level, giving him better access to her mouth. He held her easily, kissing her senseless, until Hermione felt a shudder pass through his body and he started to let her down. She lifted herself up a little higher, wrapping both her legs around his middle, her knees clenched tight. Blaise broke the kiss, staring at her in surprise.
“It’s easier to kiss you up here,” Hermione offered faintly by way of explanation, trying not to think about the raw intimacy of their position. Blaise grinned, kissing her quickly.
“Sure, Granger. Admit it,” he whispered in her ear, the touch of his lips on her delicate flesh sending a shock wave of heat and desire through her body. “You want me.”
Hermione felt her face heat up and she unconsciously tightened her hold on him. Blaise laughed against her neck, sucking the spot beneath her ear until she thought she would explode. Hermione dug her nails into his back, making him stumble a little. “You can’t hold me up here forever,” she whispered, running her fingers through his hair. Blaise lifted his head, meeting her eyes, grinning.
“No, you’re right. Perhaps we should get off our feet?” he suggested. Hermione raised her eyebrows.
“What, and onto our backs?”
“Well,” he smiled wickedly, nipping at her lower lip, causing her to groan and close her eyes. “Only one of us has to be on their back.”
Hermione’s eyes snapped open and she looked at him, enjoying the flush of colour that played across his cheeks. The moon was full in the sky, illuminating the small clearing with pale ghostly light. She knew they should get back to the castle, but she didn’t care. Being in his arms was comfortable, pleasurable and much better than the Common Room. Blaise was watching her, the playful sparkle in his eyes melted away, replaced with a seriousness that made Hermione feel incredibly shy and nervous all of a sudden. She shivered with anticipation, and he instantly tightened his hold on her. She unwound her legs from his waist, and he held her firmly as she slid her body down, her shaking feet connecting with the ground. Blaise’s arms moved to circle her waist and he bent his head and kissed her softly on the lips.
“I’m thinking,” she whispered, staring up at him, at the soft fall of dark hair that danced across his forehead, tumbling gracefully into his eyes, at the creamy texture of his skin, the strong jaw and cheekbones, and the lusciously soft lips. She thought of the strength of his hands, of the long line of his body, of the sculpted length of his back and shoulders. She licked her lips, feeling her body heat up again, imagining what it would be like to touch every inch of his bare skin, to feel his flesh move under her fingers, and to have him touch her. She swallowed, lifting her hand and resting it against his cheek, her heart beating furiously in her ears.
“Okay,” she whispered and he frowned in confusion, his eyes scanning her face. She smiled, stepping closer to him and sliding her hands underneath his shirt gently. She heard his sharp intake of breath, and he reached up and cupped her chin, lifting her face so he could look into her eyes.
“Are you sure? I wasn’t pressuring you, I was just playing,” he said seriously, and Hermione nodded slowly, ignoring the butterflies in her stomach.
“Yes, Blaise. I’m as sure as I can be at the moment,” she replied softly, continuing to run her hands over his chest, her fingers tracing the line and curve of his muscle. “But I don’t think this is the right place.”
Blaise grinned, reaching into his pocket and withdrawing his wand. “I can fix that,” he murmured, flicking his wand and bending his head to kiss her at the same time. When Hermione opened her eyes, she gasped. A black wrought iron four-poster bed draped in deep green linen stood behind Blaise, sheltered beneath the trees, almost seeming as though it were part of the natural environment. In the distance, she could see the lights from Hogwarts castle glinting in the darkness. Moonlight caught in the branches of the trees, on the beautiful bed and on the ground around them, casting gentle shadows over everything with its pale kiss. She looked at Blaise, feeling teary that he would be so considerate of her.
“It’s perfect. Thank you,” she whispered, and he smiled, taking her hand and raising it to his lips.
“You’re welcome,” he replied simply, beginning to walk backwards, drawing her with him. Hermione bit her bottom lip, her breathing quickened, her eyes floating between Blaise and the bed. He paused, pulling her towards him and catching her in his arms, kissing her swiftly, some of her nerves melting away under his touch. As he kissed her, the need to be with him sparked courage, and never taking her lips away from his, Hermione gently began to push Blaise backwards, until his legs hit the side of the bed and he lost his balance, grabbing her and bringing her crashing down on top of him. She giggled, kissing him.
“See,” Blaise murmured between their kisses. “I told you only one of us needed to be on their back.”
“Cheeky,” Hermione scolded, slapping him gently on the arm. He tickled her ribs, making her squirm around on top of him, before he gasped sharply. Hermione bit her lip, looking at him in consternation.
“Are you okay?” she asked, and he winked and nodded, grinning. She stared down at him, loving the way the moonlight played across his face and caught in his eyes. His hair was ruffled and his lips plump and swollen from her kisses. His smile slowly faded, the seriousness returning to his eyes. Hermione held her breath as he reached up and gently traced the line of her cheek with his finger.
“You are beautiful,” he whispered tenderly, and Hermione’s eyes filled with quick tears as his fingers continued to caress her face delicately.
“I’ve never done this before,” she whispered, nerves clenching in her stomach as he looked up at her. He nodded, understanding, flipping them over quickly, and reversing their positions. Blaise lowered his body on top of hers, being careful not to crush her. He smiled, reaching up and stroking the hair back from her face.
“Then I’ll make sure you have no cause to regret it,” Blaise whispered back, catching her lips with his, kissing her sweetly as he slowly and gently removed her clothes.
Hope that wasn't too fast for you guys xD Remember to leave a review!!