A/N: just want to say thank you to all the readers and especially those that have taken time to leave a review. your comments and insights have been invaluable to my motivation. i write this story for myself- it is very personal- but also for you; and to have so many of you enjoy it, love it, and praise it…well, that’s just been extraordinarily satisfying. : D
IMPORTANT: remember in the world of my fic DH did not happen; I’ve created this fic from book six on. see previous chapters.
Chapter 9 Lies
The following morning, Hermione was off to teach her first class of the day when she heard quick footstep closing in from behind. She stopped and turned to see Ginny dashing forward, her face beaming.
“Well, well, well. Aren’t you all aglow Miss Granger? And for a dull Monday morning, too. I daresay something has made you quite happy- or should I say someone
Hermione could not hide the smile which slowly formed on her lips, breaking across her face. “Maybe…you might be right about that…”
Ginny gave a little squeal. “Let’s meet for lunch so you can fill me in on the details.”
“There really are no details, Ginny.”
“Oh, come on now; don’t hold out on your best girl friend. Did Draco kiss you?”
Color crept onto Hermione’s cheeks and she glanced around quickly, “Yes; but -“
Ginny squealed again. “Oh! Hermione! I knew it. Well…how was it?”
“Ginny! Shh, not here- we’ll talk at lunch.” Hermione would say anything to quiet her friend from alerting any passersby to her new liaison with Draco. “I’ve got to run. Meet you later.” She swept away feeling put on the spot and relived to depart. It felt a bit odd, not wanting to tell Ginny; usually Hermione was very open with her.
“Okay, off you go.” Ginny called after her, “I’ll have something ready for us.”
Hermione lifted her hand in acknowledgement without turning back around. She rounded the corner, descended a moving flight of steps and headed down a small dark, empty passageway.
All at once, Hermione felt hands on her, spinning her round, grabbing her waist and practically lifting her off her feet.
“Good morning,” said a smooth, low voice just above her ear, causing tingles to shimmy down her neck.
She drew back and looked up into Draco’s silver-gray eyes, her heart hammering; she felt the adrenaline dissipating through her system. He had taken her quite by surprise when he had seized her from out of nowhere.
“Draco,” she whispered breathlessly, “What on earth are you doing… where were you hiding? What if students see you manhandling me?”
“That doesn’t matter,” he drawled. “Haven’t’ you heard?” He tightened his grip on her waist, drawing her nearer.
“Heard what?” She was beginning to feel a dizzying heat come over her.
“All the students are talking about us.”
“What!?” He felt her body stiffen.
“Oh, yes, love. We’re fodder for the rumor mill- young, brainy but attractive Transfiguration professor; the new, devastatingly handsome potions master…” Draco smirked down at the astonished look on her face.
“That’s just speculation, I mean they can’t possibly know- wait, ‘devastatingly
handsome’?” Hermione teased him and clicked her tongue, “Really, is there no end to your arrogance?”
“Arrogance? No, I’d say a more accurate term would be confidence.”
Approaching voices and footfalls made them break apart. A group of sixth year Ravenclaw girls entered the small passage and stopped talking when they saw Draco and Hermione. The girls eyed each other knowingly and began tittering and whispering.
Hermione crossed her arms in front of her chest; Draco ran a hand through the platinum fringe gracing his forehead.
As the gaggle passed them, Hermione spoke louder than necessary. “And I would appreciate it, Professor Malfoy, if you would refrain from-“
Draco watched the group pick up the pace and disappear out of the darkened corridor. “They’re gone,” he whispered.
“… refrain from teasing me and just kiss me already,” she continued in hushed tones as Draco took her once more into his arms.
He looked around hurriedly. “Come with me, in here.”
Before Hermione could protest, he was dragging her out of the tunnel-like passage and into the boy’s lavatory locking the door behind them.
He backed up to the marble sink and leaned against it. “Now, what was it you were saying, Professor?” He took her hands in his drawing her to him, wedging her snuggly between his legs.
His hand glided into her tightly twisted tresses, cradling the back of her head. His other gripped her hip firmly and before she could utter another word, his lips took hers, lightly, gently; and he spoke softly to her in between sweet, delicate kisses.
“… I’ve missed you… the feel of you… the taste of you… the smell of you…”
Heat surged from her belly up to her chest and crept down her arms. Without conscious thought, she ran her hands up his chest, to his shoulders and around his neck. She found the soft, silkiness of his hair and weaved her fingers through the strands. She felt she was being swallowed by a crashing wave, and she wanted nothing more than to let go, let it carry her, consume her.
He tugged lightly on her bottom lip with his teeth, breaking the kiss. “Let’s meet for lunch in my suite.”
“Okay,” replied Hermione drowsily, without opening her eyes. Her hands ran back down his chest to find the opening in his robes. She slide her fingers round the band of his trousers and, reaching under his sweater, she tugged his dress shirt up to feel the warm skin of his narrow waist, trailing her fingers to his stomach.
Draco growled low in his throat. Her touch was so slight it almost tickled, making him shudder. He grabbed her small hands in his long-fingered ones. “Don’t…that’s a dangerous thing to do...”
“Yes,” she replied in a hushed, sultry tone, “But you know I’ve never shied away from danger.”
“True, but I never knew you were so… adventurous and uninhibited. Shall we drop down on the floor, then? Right here, right now?”
“Mmm, sounds tempting but I’ve a class in five minutes and I never miss class” She nibbled on his earlobe and he felt the results of her efforts in an area that was in desperate need of relief. “Besides,” she continued to entice him, “if we get started, we might be here all day…”
“Aren’t you a naughty girl…?”
“Mmhm, maybe a spanking is in order for me, then?”
Draco coughed and sputtered, “Oh, lord woman; you had better go now before I won’t let you leave.”
Hermione sniggered and backed away still holding his hands. “Are you coming too?”
“Uh- no, you go ahead. I need a moment…” He glanced down quickly then looked up at her grinning cheekily. “I can’t wait to see you later-“
“What? What is it?”
“I completely forgot! I already said I’d meet Ginny for lunch,” said Hermione, visibly disappointed. “She’ll be leaving soon for London to sit for her Healer finals. She’s leaving after the Winter Ball and won’t be back until January…to finish her interning with Pomfrey.”
“Then tonight, let’s have dinner together…tonight, in my suite.” Draco held tightly onto her hands and spinning her around, inclined her body to back up against him. He swept his lips across her neck and bit down gently on the velvety smooth flesh, letting his tongue explore the sweet taste of her skin.
“I really can’t. I’ve got…I’ve…got to prepare end of term reviews…it’s almost December- and…” Hermione nudged him away, with effort, and turned back to face him. “And every other day this week I’ve lunch scheduled with my independent study groups to go over their evaluations and in the evenings- review workshops with my OWLs students….
Draco kept his eyes on hers; she noticed how they had detonated into a dark, hazy, needful gaze that made her legs feel quivery, as if they wouldn’t hold her up much longer.
“All right then,” he spoke in a command rather than a request. “We’ll have dinner this Friday night in my quarters…where I can have you all to myself.” He took her face in his hands, stroking her cheeks with his thumbs. “I want you all to myself.”
It was bliss. Falling into his eyes. Feeling his eager yearning for her. She could tell he was not one who usually held back, not when he wanted something and he so obviously wanted her. Draco made her feel as if she was the most desirable woman in the world and the feeling was truly intoxicating. And now he was kissing her, so delicately…so carefully, but she could feel the power behind it, the hidden storm he was suppressing. He held back as he did the first time he kissed her and as he broke their kiss, she swore she felt him tremble slightly.
“It sounds lovely, Draco. I’ll bring dinner for us- do you like Chinese?”
“Oh, you actually want to eat?” He tugged at her loosened ringlets, savoring the flush of heat that had spread across her cheeks.
Hermione regarded him keenly, silence her reply.
Draco smiled. “Anything is fine with me, love.” He was having a difficult time keeping his hands off her and knew if he didn’t leave now, he would
have her on the floor. “I’m off, then.”
Draco turned to leave but stopped short and moved close once more to flip a few renegade curls. “By the way, you may want to fix you hair before any students see you. It looks a bit…ravaged.” He winked at her and swept form the room, his fine woolen robes billowing behind him.
Hermione turned to scan her reflection in the mirror. A bright pink blush graced her cheeks and lips. Her lips…were a bit swollen and tingly. The tip of her tongue darted out to touch them and she could taste Draco, could taste his kiss. She closed her eyes and touched her fingers to her mouth contemplating all she felt…the new awareness of him, the relationship they were starting. The burning ache down within whenever he touched her, hell, whenever he looked at her.
Hermione opened her eyes to see half her hair cascading down to her shoulders. She quickly raked the clip out and twisted those rebel waves back into place. She threw cold water on her face and dashed from the lavatory.
Professor Granger was six minters late to her morning class; something she had never been before.
Far from the Hogwarts Castle, an ancient country manor stood in harsh relief against the gray morning sky. The cliff behind the crumbling old house dropped straight down to jagged rocks; the ocean churned and crashed against them relentlessly creating a droning rhythm.
With a loud crack the old house-elf apparated to a dilapidated landing and entered the bleak foyer. “Sir! Are you here!”
“In the drawing room, Moxie. Come.”
The wrinkly little creature was out of breath and took pause before speaking. “I saw young master Malfoy, with the mudblood Granger girl. It seems you were accurate in your assessment, Master. They are cavorting and carrying on together…”
“As I feared- I’ll need to remedy the situation. No matter, I know just the thing. Summon her to me. She is here…somewhere. Then leave us.”
The old elf bowed deeply and vanished into the decrepit house. Moments later he reentered the drawing room followed by a highly irritated house guest. “As you requested, sir.”
“That will be all, Moxie. Back to Hogwarts with you.”
Moxie stood wringing his hands. “And my payment, sir?”
The old manor’s owner met this query with a steely glare. “You doubt I have payment?”
“No, no, sir…Master, no-“
“You will get what you want, when I get what I want!” His menacing voice boomed and the intensity of his outburst seemed to shake the old dwelling from the rafters down to the foundation.
With a loud crack the house-elf was gone, leaving the two occupants alone. The young woman stood in silence with narrowed eyes waiting to be addressed.
“Well, my dear, it looks like you’ve a little favor to do for me.”
She could barley make out his form in the darkened twilight. “Don’t tell me I’m going to Hogwarts to be your next spy?”
“Not exactly, but you will be visiting Hogwarts…and don’t look so sour. It’s not like you haven’t down this before…”
“Yes, those castle house-elves really outdo themselves sometimes. Even more so now that they’re receiving a nice stipend…” Hermione glided to the sitting room and dropped the brown paper bag on the sofa table. Draco gazed at her as she pulled out little white boxes and chopsticks.
“Oh you don’t expect me to use chopsticks…”
Hermione flashed him a winning smile. “Don’t be such a spoilsport.”
She was as alluring as ever in black knit pants and a clingy turquoise shirt. Her shiny hair was pulled back loosely and shimmered in the firelight, each curl casting a different shade of gold and brown. Draco marveled at how she could look classy and sophisticated yet sexy at the same time.
For Draco, Friday could not have come fast enough. He had waited so long, not even sure if this moment would ever belong to him. He had also dressed casually, black button down shirt, black pants- he was well aware he looked his best in black.
He also knew he needed to play it cool, but this was proving to be difficult seeing how he wanted to take her the moment he saw her standing in his entryway. Everything was, of course, perfect- the crackling fire, the flickering candlelight, the white wine chilling in the carafe…
He came up behind her wrapping his arms around her small waist, burying his face in her copious waves. “Mmm, let’s skip dinner for now, and get to my fortune.” He reached down and cracked open the package with the little vanilla cookie and studied it intently with a concentrated look, his chin resting on her shoulder.
“Well, what’s your fortune?” Hermione asked, trying to sneak a peek.
“Uh, uh. If I tell you it won’t come true.”
“Draco, that’s only for birthday wishes, not fortunes.” She made a swipe for it.
“Right, then. Just testing you...” He continued to hold her round the waist with one arm, the other raised high above her head, the tiny paper clasped between his fingers.
Hermione rolled her eyes at him, “Don’t keep me in suspense.”
Draco ceremoniously cleared his throat and Hermione snorted with laughter at his attempt at drama.
“It says- ‘You will be the recipient of a big surprise’. Well, I hate surprises. This must be your fortune, Granger. Let’s see…” Draco grabbed for the other cookie but Hermione had wiggled free of his grasp, snatching it at the last second.
“You can’t just throw away a fortune if you don’t like it.” She flitted away from him.
“Says whom? Now, give me that cookie.”
“Absolutely not.” She gave chase round the room, Draco in hot pursuit, but she was no match for his speed and agility. He caught her from behind, his powerful arms pinning hers to her sides.
“Hand over the cookie, and no gets hurt.” Draco's silky whisper tickled her ear. Hermione snuck a glance at him over her shoulder and he smiled suggestively, raising his eyebrows.
“Okay, Granger. You asked for it.” He tossed her down on the sofa and his fingers found her ribs, tickling her mercilessly.
“Stop!” she gasped, “Please- all right! Here- take it.” She tossed it across the room, smashed to bits inside its plastic wrapper.
“Ah, my methods are flawless,” Draco drawled as he strolled over to the prize. “And the winner takes all!”
Hermione lay breathless and disheveled on the couch. “You,” she teased, “-are pathetic.”
“Don’t be such a sore loser. To the victor, go the spoils.” He crept to her, and leaned on the cushion nearest her head. “But if you’re a very good girl, I’ll-“
Knocking interrupted him mid sentence.
“Are you expecting somebody?”
“No,” replied Draco and he strode to the door, annoyed at whoever was disrupting their evening. He swung the door wide and wished, with his whole being that what he saw was not reality.
She stood in the doorway, clad in a long black leather travel coat. The blood-red nails on her pale fingers flashed as she untied the sash at her waist and whipped open the coat to reveal a black lace bra and matching thong. The Dark Mark shone, etched in the chalk white skin of her forearm.
Moving as quickly as a cat, she draped her arms round Draco’s neck sending him back a few steps. She threw her leg around his hip and planted her lips on him, their garish rouge a sharp contrast to her sallow complexion. The patent leather of her thigh high boots squeaked and groaned as she fought to keep him in her clutches.
Hermione felt paralyzed as she stared in shock from over the back of the sofa. She was quite sure Pansy Parkinson has not noticed her presence in the slightest. The feeling began to come back into her body as her heart jolted into a rapid cadence, thumping helplessly within her. The sheer volume of it thundered in her ears and she was convinced the two before her would hear it as well.
Draco untangled himself from Pansy’s grip, her strength unexpected for her slightness.
“What’s the matter Drakie
…?” And then Pansy’s eyes landed on Hermione, stabbing her with a piercing glare. “Oh, you have got to be joking, Draco. Don’t tell me they made you fuck that…? Merlin, the mission is important, but this is taking it a bit too far…”
She laughed a shrill high pitched cackle that sent Hermione flying up off the couch. Her face burned with humiliation and anger. Hot angry tears threatened behind her eyes, but she willed them not to fall. Walking calmly toward them felt like an out of body experience. She studied Draco’s expressionless face, his eyes void of all emotion. And this cold hardness in his eyes, this is what ripped her open and tore her heart out.
“I see you’ve an old friend for company- I’ll see myself out.” Hermione stopped short of the door and a strangled laugh burst from her bloodless lips. She could heard her own voice speak, but it was as if it belonged to someone else. “I guess you were right Draco- that was my fortune after all.”
As if in slow motion, she walked out, heard the loud click of the latch, and Pansy’s shrieking laughter from within Draco’s suite.
Hermione sucked in great gulps of air, her body shaking violently. She felt displaced; foreign. She did not know what to do or where to go.
She ran. Ran and ran to where, she did not know, did not care. Tears blinded her and streaked down her cheeks. Her stomach, in an unrelenting vice, clenched tighter and tighter until pain made her collapse against a wall. She slid down the hard stone, unaware of its cold against her body. Anguished cries erupted from the depths of her, echoing in the vacant passage and her body heaved with wracking sobs.
How could she have been so foolish? How could she have allowed herself to feel again? To feel what again? Love? Does she even know what love is? And Pansy. A Death Eater, kissing Draco, wearing practically nothing. Her mind grappled and slipped, trying to wrap itself round this hideous knowledge.
“Hermione? Professor Granger, is that you?” Sir Nicholas floated down the dark corridor, his transparent form glowing eerily. “My dear, what’s happened?”
“Sir Nicholas, I’d rather not discus it. I want to be alone, please.”
“My dear girl, you are in no condition to be left alone.”
Hermione was too defeated to argue.
“Tell me, what’s happened to work you into such a state?”
Fresh sobs greeted him in response.
“Is it...” Sir Nicholas struggled to put it delicately, “…a matter of the heart?”
Hermione hiccupped and nodded.
“Ooo- That Draco Malfoy! If that boy broke your heart, I’ll haunt him day and night ‘till his dying day!”
Hermione managed a meager smile. “It’s a worthless thing anyway.”
“What is, child?”
“My heart is. My heart betrays me, my head misleads me,” she wailed. “I should have never followed my heart.”
“What does your heart tell you now?” he soothed.
“I don’t trust the bleeding thing, besides, I feel like it’s been ripped out.”
Sir Nicholas floated down to her eye level. “Sometimes, when the heart and the head are in conflict, it’s hard to see things…circumstances as they really are.”
“Whatever do you mean, Nick?”
“I mean, things aren’t always as they seem. Just take it from a ghost; most of the time things are not what they seem.”
Hermione, feeling quite desperate, was willing to grasp at any shred of hope. Yet she was still unsure how any of what she just witnessed could be anything other than what is seemed.
Draco was seething with rage. He grabbed Pansy by her jet black bob and dragged her to the nearest chair, discarding her there like so much rubbish. She howled and clawed at his hands, leaving deep scratches in his skin.
“Great Grindewald’s Ghost, Pansy, what the hell are you doing here?”
She smiled up at him with sick pleasure. “I know you like it rough, Draco, but really…”
“Shut your foul mouth.”
“Not happy to see me, are you?” she mewed, reaching out to caress his thigh.
“Don’t touch me, Pansy. What do you want?”
She glared at Draco, realizing he meant what he said. “Well, I have a message for you. From him
“What is it then? Spill it.”
She stalked round the room, prancing and preening in front of him. Now that she had his full attention she wanted to use it to her advantage.
Draco strode to the entryway retrieving her coat and threw it at her feet. “Put your fucking clothes back on.”
Pansy frowned then pouted. “Draco, you’re no fun anymore. What, has the little mudblood domesticated you?” She hooted with laughter and Draco shot her a look that would like to leave a bruise.
“Again, what is it that he wants?”
She sighed heavily. “He wants you to find something for him, here, at Hogwarts. An old school-book.”
Draco’s insides jumped. “An old school-book. Whatever for? There are tons of old-school-books here, in case you’ve forgotten.”
“Just listen!” she hissed. “It’s an old Advanced Potions book. It will bear the name, Half-Blood Prince.”
Draco’s thoughts were racing. “I can’t see why he would have need of such a thing. And belonging to a half-blood… are you sure?”
“Quite. He tells me everything, you know. We’re rather... close.” She narrowed her smoky eyes at Draco.
“Are you sleeping with him?”
“Well, in any case, Drakie
,” she sneered, “He wants it in the worst way. You’d better find it for him and soon.”
“And if I can’t lay hands on this…old book?”
“Oh, you will,” she stepped closer and ran a sharp, blood-red nail down his check. This time Draco stood stark still. “You will because of what’s at stake…your little mudblood slut.”
Draco’s chest heaved as he fought not to slam Pansy out through his window. “You wouldn’t-“
“Oh yes, I would… he and I share everything. But alas, he already knows about your…dirty little secret. And I see you care about her. Do you wuv
her, Draco?” She grabbed his face digging her nails in.
Draco jerked his head away, “Is that all?”
She ran her hands up his chest. “It doesn’t have to be.”
Draco grabbed her by the arms and pushed her away. “Never again, Pansy. Not in this lifetime. Get out.”
She picked her coat up off the floor and shooting him one last hateful glare, stalked out.
“Damn it to hell! He knows!”
Just how much he knew, Draco couldn’t be sure. “This complicates things.”
His thoughts flew to Hermione. Recalling the tortured look on her face made his gut clench. He snarled as he drew his wand cursing half the objects in the room. Glass shattered, chairs and tables toppled. When the dust settled and he surveyed the ruble of his sitting room, Draco’s eyes fell on the smashed fortune cookie. He laughed, absurdly at how possibly the best night of his life had turned into one of the worst. He crossed the room and plucked the tiny paper fortune from the crumbs.
The laugh died in his throat when he read the words.
He, who forgets his past, is destined to repeat it.
A/N: well isn’t this a fine kettle of fish? reviews greatly appreciated!!