The fiery red-head rose to answer the incessant pounding on her chamber door. Beyond which a muffled voice ranted, “Hermione? Are you in there? We must discuss this situation, immediately!”
Ginny opened the door a crack. “Draco,” she began in her low, level-toned healer voice, “Hermione does not wish to see you nor speak to you. ‘Tis best if you go.”
She almost had the door shut but not before Draco could shove his foot into the small space. “Weasley, listen…there’s been a huge misunderstanding and we need to sort it out straight away. It is imperative that I see her,” he implored.
Ginny narrowed her eyes, regarding him searchingly. “Wait here.” She said it simply while kicking his foot from blocking her door.
Draco could hear the two women’s voices inside- one low and inquiring, the other high-pitched and indignant. He strained to listen for specifics when the door flew wide and there she stood. Hermione; with her scorching glare that pierced his skull, and her hair a wild mass of curls. He should have felt wary of her countenance, but instead he found himself extremely aroused.
While he contemplated this, Hermione drew her wand so quickly, Draco barley saw it coming.
“Hermione, it’s not what you think….” he leveled.
“Really?! You’re going to have to come up with something better than that!” She dug the tip of her wand into the delicate skin at his neck. Draco winced a bit, but his eyes never let hers.
“Nothing happened; I swear to you. Look, I’m here right now, aren’t I?”
Hermione’s eyes darkened with fury to a liquid black, and narrowed suspiciously. “You mean nothing happened tonight? And what about any other given night? Hm? I hardly think Pansy usually goes round in that…dressed in such a manner. Why should I preserve any faith in what you say, when you have never placed any faith in me? Do I look as much a fool to you? Get out of my sight before I-”
“You what!?” Draco move toward her, pressing the wand deeper into the place where his jugular bounced in rhythm with his heart, just beneath the skin. “You’ll kill me? You’ll have to do just that, because there is nothing worse you could do that I haven’t already endured.”
His piercing eyes bore into hers, melting the look of resolute anger from her face. Hermione’s pulse began to gallop as she wondered what tortures he had suffered and at whose hands…
She slowly lowered her wand and fought to steady her breathing. She did not want her voice to quiver when she next spoke.
“I’d ask you what the hell Pansy was talking about, what mission, but I- could- care- less. You are a liar and there is nothing I detest more.” She added severely, “I suggest you leave as you’d be no match for Ginny and I…I’ve seen your dueling skills.
“Oh, that was harsh, Hermione.” He shook his head and glared back at her. “I’ll have you know I’ve never lied to you. Yes, there’ve been things…are things I cannot tell you- to do so would put you in grave danger- but I have never lied to you.”
“Hah!” Hermione snorted, and crossed her arms in front of her chest. She closed her eyes tight, trying in vain to do the same with her heart.
Suddenly she blurted, “She kissed you! She was practically…naked! You said nothing in my defense…. I… I loath her.”
Draco tried hard to hide his cockeyed grin and slight chuckle. He slid hid hands firmly round her waist and held her to him. “Oh, darling, you’re jealous- that’s so sweet. My, you are possessive, but- I don’t mind in the least.”
“You arse!” She half-heartedly struggled against him. “Don’t try to turn this around to your advantage! I am completely, utterly-
“- in love with me?” Draco bent forward to catch her lips but she turned at the last instant and he received a mouthful of hair.
“You are unbelievable! I am angered beyond words- I’ve nothing more to say to you. GO AWAY!”
“You don’t mean that,” he drawled softly, his hands still resting on her hips. “It was to be our night… tonight.” Draco gave her hips a squeeze. “I could kill Parkinson,” he added under his breath.
The mention of Pansy’s name sent her rage to new heights. Hermione’s hand grasped her wand so tightly her fingers turned white with the pressure of her grip.
“I do mean it, Draco. I wish for you to leave me be. I’ve made up my mind.” The fierce flash of her dark, chocolate eyes did more to convince him than any words.
“Hermione, you and I both know there are things I can’t tell with you, but I assure you my feelings towards you are genuine.” The softness she saw flicking behind his heated gaze almost made her relent. She looked down, as if to hide from his unwavering stare.
Finally, Hermione looked up at him with the set, ridged face of a determined woman. “Draco,” she whispered, “that’s just not enough for me.”
Draco’s hands fell to his sides and his expression crumpled, as she turned and swiftly shut the door on him at last.
The weeks dragged on and on for Hermione. Draco must have been avoiding her because she hadn’t seen him at all, not in the hallways or in the Great Hall. Nor had she seen him in the staffroom. That is until Thursday.
Ginny and Hermione sat in the dark paneled staffroom discussing there spa appointment scheduled for the coming Saturday. It had been Cho’s idea for all of the girls to go to the spa the morning of the Winter Ball for some pampering and relaxation. Hermione was still feeling the sting from Draco’s callousness the night Pansy showed up to spoil their evening and was only half listening to Ginny when the staffroom door opened and in he strode.
Draco entered the room with a dark, brooding look. When he spotted Hermione a flicker of remorse flitted across his fine featured face. In an instant, it was gone- replaced by the well practiced haughty expression he was so well known for.
Ginny, whose mind was quick and calculating, piped up immediately.
“Well, Hermione. Hans has the best hands in the business. His full-body Swedish massage will leave you limp and purring for more.”
Hermione creased her brows at her, while Ginny, in turn, raised hers to Hermione.
“You know,” urged Ginny blatantly, “Hans is really good. Cho was lucky to book him on such short notice.”
“Oh, yes,” sputtered Hermione, finally catching on to Ginny’s game. “It sounds divine!”
Draco sat pouring over a huge volume on potions but at these words cast his eyes toward the two of them without raising his head.
Ginny went on. “There are several women masseuses at Madame Moon’s Crystal Ball Spa, but none are as good as Hans. His hands are fantastic- and Hermione; since it’s your first time and all…I’m glad you’re scheduled with him. We’ll tell him you’re a massage virgin. He’ll take good care of you.
Draco looked furious, the muscles in his jaw clenching and unclenching as he tried to ignore the rubbish they spewed.
“And Hermione, dear, I was just wondering- will you leave your knickers on or go in the nude?”
A brisk snapping sound was heard as Draco gripped his quill so hard between his thumb and forefinger, it broke clean in two. He jumped up and strode to the girls, towering over them. He glared down at Hermione, fighting for control.
“Can we help you, Draco?” snapped Ginny.
Draco’s eyes never left Hermione’s and he hissed through barred teeth, “What are you trying to do to me, Hermione? I’d have never pegged you as a game player. I’ve had quite enough of that in back in school. Girls always playing their silly mind games-
“Me? Me?! What about you?” She stood drawing her slight five foot five frame up and squaring off with all six foot one of his. Neville and Luna got up from the staff table and made a quick exit.
“Whatever you think, know this,” he whispered, leaning in, “I am not sleeping with Pansy. There is nothing between us. Nothing!”
“Really?” She was shaking now. Now they would have this out she thought. Finally. “That’s not what it looked like to me. Her showing up half-naked- strutting and preening…wrapping herself around you like some….evil snake!”
“I kicked her out, Hermione.” His voice was low, controlled.
“Do you always kick out the girls you sleep with? I’m glad I didn’t get to find out first hand!”
“Damn it, it’s not like that!”
Before Draco could utter another word, she’d turned and stormed out. He chased after her and, cupping her elbow, ushered her into an empty classroom. She spun round and he caught her other arm forcing her to face him.
“Hermione, listen to me. What you saw, it’s not what you think. Believe me…”
“Unhand me you…you scoundrel!” She tried desperately to pull from his grip.
“Her-mione…,” She was stronger than one would assume. He exerted more power and easily contained her while she struggled frantically against him, causing him to lose balance. Draco almost laughed. He wished he could see what they looked like, tussling and struggling.
“Lemme go you…brute!” She began to pound on his chest with her fists.
“Not until you- Damn it! Listen to me!”
“I hate you! I trusted you! I started to…to feel something for you.” Her voice died out and she went slack in his arms, as a sob caught in her throat.
He held her. She buried her head in his chest, inhaling him, soaking in his warmth, wishing to Merlin she didn’t feel for him the way she did. She cried.
“Oh, baby…I wanted to die when I saw the pain on your face. I could have killed Pansy. Draco stroked her hair soothingly. “She’s a vile, wretched thing,” he added with bitter venom.
“Why did she come to your room…dressed like that? I…I don’t understand. Why didn’t you make her leave, straight away? Why didn’t you stop me from leaving? I feel like you’re keeping a part of yourself from me.”
She wretched herself from him. “So here we are again. You and your secrets!”
“Save it! I’ve only one thing left to say to you. Piss off!”
Draco grabbed her, a bit too hard, and pressed her against the classroom wall. “I guess this means you’re not going with me to the Winter Ball?”
Hermione’s wide eyes stared into his. “Have you gone completely mental?”
“Yes! Yes, I have.” His fingers dug into her flesh and she winced. “You are driving me insane. You want to believe me, about Pansy, but your stubborn pride won’t let you.”
“You are hurting me-
“But you don’t care do you? You just want my hands on you. I know Granger. I’ve always known. I was always able to raise your hackles in school because, like it or not, you fancied me.”
“No. That’s rubbish.”
“Oh yes, little-Miss-know-it-all. You wanted to be the best at everything. Wanted everyone to like you, appreciate your brain. You couldn’t stand it because I only insulted you.”
“No surprise there, Malfoy.”
“You hated it because I didn’t stand in awe of your immense intelligence like Potty and that idiot Weasel-”
“Stop it!” Weak tears gathered under her long, dark lashes.
“You had an idea of how I really felt thought, didn’t you? That’s why you slapped me, always took my bait. Hermione Granger could never just ignore Draco Malfoy… because you wanted me, as well. Didn’t you? Didn’t you?!”
He shook her at his last words.
“Why are you doing this?” she pleaded.
“Because I told you, I’m not that boy anymore. I’ve been honest and open with you, maybe even more than I’ve had a right to be.”
Hermione was confused by this statement.
“You’re afraid to trust me, Hermione. You want your friends’ approval before you do anything. Or should I say Harry’s approval?”
She stared at him letting his words sink in, feeling guilty because it was the truth. Both their chests were heaving, their panting the only sound.
“Stop fighting it. Stop fighting me.” Draco let go of her and placed his palms on the wall beside her head. Bending his elbows, he eased toward her, staring at her quivering lips.
“You want me so bad it hurts…just give in to it. Give in to me.” He dipped his head to take her mouth with his, but as she lifted her face to him he drew away.
“You’re trembling…” Draco breathed and his hand ran down her arm and back up again to slide round the back of her neck.
“I’m trembling with anger,” she whispered softly.
“No…” his sultry tone wafted to her ear. “You’re trembling with pent up desire, with need; every cell in you’re body is craving me. Let me fill you up, Hermione. Don’t run from this.”
His hand tenderly squeezed her neck but she was the one to close the gap between them. Crushing her mouth against his, she could smell and taste the sweet, spicy tinge of him. He dragged his lips down her jaw, biting and sucking on the coolness of her neck. Hermione hands fisted in his hair, urging him on. In response, Draco ran his hands down her back to her bottom. He lowered them still and gripped her thighs coercing her legs around his hips.
Her body pressed next to his was maddening. He glanced round the room to find a place to take her where he could get his hands on her. In the far corner was a professor’s desk and chair. He carried her swiftly and sat at the chair, digging his fingers into her thighs, holding her firmly against him.
“I want you, Hermione, god, I want you…”
She kissed him with a needful brutality that made his head whirl. Running his hands up under her cotton blouse, he sighed with delight at the feel of her soft skin. He reached up further, slipping his fingers inside her brassiere, eliciting from Hermione, whimpering sighs.
Their kisses slowed from the ferociousness with which they began, and deepened into luscious expressions of contentment, each drinking in the other. Hermione was dizzy with pleasure; tingly numbness zoomed up her neck to her cheeks and her head fell back as Draco’s lips swept across her throat. His hands tore at the buttons of her prim oxford shirt to reveal a white cotton ilet bra. Draco groaned when he saw her, enraptured on his lap, pressing her hips into him. He touched and kissed the supple valley of her bosom… She was out of control now, feeling undulating heat sweep her body, the wave was coming and all she wanted was for it to crash over her. She wrapped her arms around his head and buried her face in his silky hair.
“Hermione? Wait, not like this. Not here…not like this.”
Draco was trying to gain composure. He did not mean for things to go this far. When he and Hermione came together, he wanted it to be special for her. Not a quick shag in a vacant lecture room. Maybe later on there could be shagging in deserted classrooms but the first time, he wanted it… not like this.
“No, no Draco…don’t stop this…”
Draco pushed her off as gently as he could while he still held the upper hand over his physical drive; hearing her moaning for him not to stop had almost sent him over the edge.
“What… are you doing? Why are you...pushing me away?”
“I just don’t want it like this-”
“Don’t want it? Don’t want it or don’t want me?”
“Hermione, that’s crazy-”
She drew back her hand and slapped him. Hard. Across his pale face, angry red welts sprang up; one for each finger that made contact.
“What the hell, Hermione!” Draco pressed his palm to his smarting cheek. He looked at her with shock and then…amusement.
“Love, I didn’t mean I don’t want you…”
“You are the world’s biggest...arse!” She fumbled furiously with the buttons on her blouse. “Not sluty enough for you? Not like your Death Eater whore!”
“Stay the hell away from me," she raged at him. "This time I mean it!” she shot him an icy glare and fled.
Draco punched at the air, expelling an exasperated growl. He didn’t bother going after her this time.
What the fuck!
Why do I keep fucking this up so bad! He screamed at himself inside his head.
He had never had woman problems- ever. But then again he had never…had never….no. He was not it love. He could walk away at any time. He had walked away from his family, from his inheritance, from his home; from the power of the Malfoy name. Surely he could walk away from Hermione Granger. Couldn’t he?
Since the Winter Ball was to take place on Saturday, classes ended early Friday for the Hogwarts students. They were to attend basic formal dance instruction from some of the professors.
Professor’s Longbottom, Lovegood-Longbottom, Granger, and Malfoy greeted the timid looking crowd in the Great Hall. Luna spoke in a misty tone, “Okay, you all will be expected to bring a partner to the Winter Ball, therefore basic ballroom dancing is a must.”
Low groans broke out among the boys, while the girls tittered happily.
“Please relax and enjoy the lesson; it’s not as hard as it seems,” added Neville. “Professor Granger, Professor Malfoy? Will you please demonstrate proper form and dance steps?”
Draco readily extended his hand to Hermione, who stared dumbly at him, then quickly placed her hand in his. He led her confidently to the center of the floor pulling her gracefully toward him. His left hand fell to her lower back, his right firmly clasping her left hand. Hermione noticed Draco’s hand was soft, cool and strong. She placed a shaky hand on his shoulder and he smirked, “Relax, Granger. I don’t bite. Not unless you want me to.”
Draco’s face was without expression, but his eyes were full of emotion, that memorable softness and longing she had seen before. Hermione blinked and looked away; anywhere but in his eyes. She felt he could command her very soul when he gazed at her so piercingly.
Luna continued, “Notice how the gentleman holds the lady…” Hermione knew someone was speaking but couldn’t make out the words. There was a buzzing in her ears as her blood rushed and swirled… And then, they were dancing; Draco expertly moving her through familiar dance steps. But somehow she didn’t feel her feet touch the ground. It was just the two of them as they effortlessly moved together as one.
Neville must have stopped the music because the next thing Hermione heard was his voice instructing them.
“Please hold your frame a moment so the students may imitate the position. Boys and girls, take the partner across from you….”
Draco stood there, heart pounding, looking into Hermione’s face. It was flushed with dewy color rising on her cheeks.
So, I’m making you blush, Professor, he thought, pleased with himself.
She wouldn’t look at him and he took the opportunity to let his eyes linger on her delicate features. He lowered his gaze to her lips; so much like the velvety petals of a pink rose. Draco could stand it no longer. He couldn’t help himself. His right hand released hers falling softly upon her cheek. Staring at her lips, he forgot where they were or who was there. All he knew was Hermione Granger was in his arms again at last, and he would not let this chance slip away.
Draco brushed his thumb tenderly along her trembling lower lip and began to move closer, his face mere seconds from hers. He watched as her lips parted.
“Draco!” she hissed, quietly.
He heard the students nervous giggling, low whistles and a wolf call. Draco snapped to his senses as Hermione shot from his arms.
Neville, looking quite uncomfortable, directed the students to pair up and practice the dance steps. With a flick of his wand, the music commenced once again.
Hermione quickly slipped out through the doors into the coolness of the entrance hall feeling as though she couldn’t breathe. Her body was quaking from head to toe; her hand rose to her cheek, her forehead. She felt faint.
What the hell just happened, her mind raced.
“Why do I feel like this?” She closed her eyes and could still feel his hands on her, leading her, guiding her round the dance floor. And his eyes. She felt they had bore into her soul.
“Hermione?” his voice cut through her contemplations.
“No, please…stay away,” she begged and turned to run. Draco caught her wrist and twirled her back toward him.
“Don’t go. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to embarrass you. Let me explain.” Draco’s face was blank but his eyes were pleading.
“There is nothing to explain!” she cried.
He stepped closer. “Yes, there is, Hermione. And I’ll tell you right here. Right now.”
Draco continued to hold her with his piecing gaze and she stood transfixed, numb, sensing nothing but his stare and how it swallowed her whole.
“I’m in love with you. I’ve wanted you since we where in school together. I love your sharp mind, your sharp tongue. I love your witty charm, your fire; your spirit. You challenge me, Hermione- on so many levels. You make me want to be a better man. You make me want to be someone worthy of your pureness and goodness. I want to be someone you could love. Could you, Hermione? Could you ever love me?”
His face was pale, his cheeks flushed. His chest rose and fell heavily. He had said it. Admitted it out loud and laid it all before her. Now, what would she say?
Hermione gapped at him in shocked astonishment. She could not believe what she was hearing. All the things a girl dreams to hear had tumbled fast from Draco Malfoy’s mouth. He said he loved her….loves her…had always wanted her. She stepped back, unable to fully comprehend this knowledge. Then, she simply turned and began walking away.
Oh no you don’t, he thought. You’re not getting away that easily.
Draco strode up behind her and whirled her around. “Bloody hell, Hermione! Did you not hear a word I’ve said?!” he demanded, his steel gray eyes detonating.
She opened her mouth but before she could speak his lips were on hers. He crushed her small frame against his well muscled chest, pulling her in. And she let him, her body melting into his embrace; her arms encircling his neck.
He parted her lips with his tongue, slowly, tentatively as if asking permission to enter her soft mouth. She conceded and allowed him in, his tongue exploring that sweet cavern.
He felt her relax fully in his arms responding to his touch; his kiss. She moaned into his mouth and his question was answered. She could love him. He felt it in the way she clung to him, the way she surrendered to him. His heart soared; it felt like coming home.
In an instant, she tore herself from him.
“No!” she gasped. “No…this is wrong, all wrong.”
“I love you,” he exhaled. “How could it be wrong? Hermione, you feel something for me too. I feel it whenever I touch you.” His hand reached up to tousle her bouncy curls.
“Stop!” She batted his hand away. “Stop it. This can never be.”
Draco stared at her and replied quietly, “It already is, Hermione.”
Stunned at the truth behind his words, she did the only thing she could think of. She turned and ran all the way back to her private quarters.
sorry about the wait :( i hope this juicy chapter compensated for it. let me know what you think =]