Hermione stared resolutely at her potion and stirred it slightly harder than was necessary, causing part of the viscous liquid to splash onto her desk. Letting out a hiss of irritation, she mopped it up and turned back to her potion, determined not to look up and catch Malfoy’s eyes. Yes, she was angry with him for his nasty, manipulative nature but she was furious with herself! How could she have been so stupid, to fall into his trap? To let him kiss her? To ask him to kiss her?
She thought back to that horrible moment where her tongue had taken over, lulled into a false sense of security. How she had just whispered at him. She could still hear her voice and it was making her die a little inside every time she thought about it. Which was precisely why she couldn’t look at Malfoy. She was absolutely positive that just one glance from those horrible, cool, calculating, mesmerising eyes would cause her to spontaneously combust.
Draco looked over at her, noting with quiet glee that she was resolutely ignoring him, and trying to lose herself in work. Had she not learnt anything from last night, he wondered. There was no fun in doing the work as soon as it was set. Far better to rush at the end, and then make everyone help you. Which reminded him…he turned his back on the potion recipe. He would make this one up as he went along.
Ten minutes later, he was looking into Slughorn’s puzzled face. ‘’What can I say Professor? I suppose I just need a lot more help.’’
‘’Maybe you need a tutor other than Miss Granger.’’ Slughorn rubbed his chin ruminatively.
‘’No, Professor, Granger is great, I’m just being thick.’’ Draco smiled at him, and then smirked at Harry and Ron as they glared at him in utter fury.
‘’Well, Miss Granger, I think Malfoy will need your help again. Could you make the session this evening – Malfoy, I’d like you to have an essay in to me in the next couple of days detailing where you went wrong with this potion. Miss Granger can help you with it.’’
Hermione’s lips narrowed. ‘’Professor, I really don’t think Malfoy needs any more help.’’
‘’Miss Granger!’’ Slughorn gestured at Malfoy’s cauldron, which looked like it was covered in congealed green porridge. ‘’He clearly needs all the help he can get!’’
Draco did his best to look innocent and failed miserably.
Hermione turned back to her cauldron. For once her own perfect potion was little consolation. More time she would have to spend with him.
It could be worse, that pesky little voice in her head said. You weren’t complaining last night by the lake.
You can shut up, she told it firmly, and flicked to a new page in her textbook, seeking anything that would shut out the memories of Draco’s hands around her waist and his body pressing against hers.
Time flew past in that irritating way that it does when you are dreading something, and before Hermione knew what she was doing, she was walking with a sense of dread anticipation towards the library. She was firmly lecturing herself: tonight there would be a respectable distance between herself and Malfoy. They would discuss only the work which he seemed so intent on failing to understand. There would be no sunset walks down to the lake. There would be no whispering, and no falling into nasty traps set by horrible Slytherins.
Pushing the library door open, she saw Draco sitting at a table that was in the middle of a pool of early evening sunlight that was falling through the arched windows. Taking a deep breath in to fortify herself, she marched over to the table and sat down, her mouth clenched in a thin line.
Draco sat up in his seat. ‘’Evening Granger.’’
Hermione ignored the greeting and flipped through the pages of her textbook, noting as she did so that Draco hadn’t seen fit to bring any of his books, or even a parchment. Breathing in through her nose, she pushed the textbook at Draco. ‘’That was the potion that we were doing today. Look at it, and tell me what you did wrong.’’
Draco pushed the book to one side. ‘’I didn’t even look at the instructions for making the potion, that’s what I did wrong. What the hell’s wrong with you?’’
‘’I’m fed up of spending my evenings trying to tutor someone who first of all doesn’t even need my help, and secondly won’t even pretend to make an effort!’’ Hermione hissed at him, and pulled the book back in front of him.
Draco just pushed it to one side again. ‘’You weren’t fed up last night!’’
‘’Mention last night and I’ll curse you!’’ Draco looked at the furious amber eyes and truly believed that she would. Mind you, he did love looking at her when she was angry. She narrowed her eyes and he smirked and slowly pulled the book back in front of him. ‘’Do you have a quill and some parchment?’’
She shoved them at him without even deigning to glance at him. Draco lowered his head and began copying a passage, still smirking to himself. Hermione looked at him briefly and then firmly averted her gaze. But her mind was whirring: why was he actually doing what she wanted him to do? It went against everything she knew of him!
Half an hour later, she knew exactly what he was doing, and she hated him almost as much as she hated herself for playing his game. Because while he sat there working, just occasionally glancing up at her with that hateful sneer written across his lips she was sitting there wondering why he had capitulated to her fury so easily. Why he wasn’t pursuing her like he had in their previous sessions? Why had he given up so easily?
As soon as each of these thoughts crossed her mind, she would scold herself, telling herself that that was precisely what she needed him to do. She could not, and would not, tolerate some ridiculous faux-attraction. He had been manipulating her, and she couldn’t sit there wishing that he would push the book to one side, reach across the table and kiss her! Looking around the library, she grabbed the nearest book and tried to lose herself in Rune Translation rather than thinking about Draco’s caresses.
Draco for his part was having a great time. He could sense, even without looking at her, Hermione’s complete and utter frustration. He knew that she wanted to kiss him, and by denying herself she was becoming more and more irritable and frustrated. Even now, he was aware of her flipping through the pages of her book without taking anything in, of her crossing and re-crossing her legs, her surreptitious glances at him, her flicking hair, her soft sighs of irritation. Every time he glanced up, over the piles of books that he had been getting, he met her eyes. No wonder he was smirking: for the first time, he felt like he was properly in control.
Finally, he laid the quill down and pushed the parchment away. ‘’I’ve done that essay. Will you proof-read it?’’
His tone was so meek that Hermione instantly knew he was up to something but she just held out her hand and took the sheets. As she scanned his slanted print, she was aware of him standing up but assumed he was just stretching. Seconds later, he was standing behind her, and she could feel the warmth of his hand next to her back as he rested his hand on the back of her chair.
Finished reading, she pushed the essay away. ‘’It’s fine. Just bear that in mind and you won’t need any more tutoring.’’ It was too much of an effort to fight with him; much better to just pretend he was stupid. Pretending meant that she didn’t have to consider ulterior motives.
But Draco didn’t seem keen to let her forget them. He was slipping into the chair next to her and staring her down with steely grey eyes. ‘’If that’s the case I might as well tear up the essay now.’’
‘’Stop being stupid.’’ But the statement, which had sounded so forceful in her head, came out more like a plea. Hermione began gathering her things and stuffing them into her bag, but Draco’s cool hand slid around her wrist and halted her process.
‘’Help me put those books away.’’ Hermione thought idly that he had the tone of voice that she had been aiming for. Standing up, she grabbed some of the books and disappeared into the shelves.
Draco ran the soft feather of her quill across the back of his hand, paused reflectively and then followed her into the shelves, padding gently.
Hermione didn’t hear him approach, and was just sliding ‘Potion Making for Squibs’ back into its place when a hand slid around her shoulders and turned her to her right. She was about to scream when she saw the familiar blonde hair hanging over eyes that glinted malevolently. She wrenched away from Draco and pushed the last book into place. ‘’What are you doing?’’
‘’It’s a little game I play called ‘See how defensive you can make Granger.’ I’m excellent at it.’’
‘’I’m even better at one called ‘Permanently scar Malfoy.’’
Draco grinned and reached out to push her hair back from her face. She jumped back with superb reflexes that would have made her the toast of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Draco smiled in incredulity: why was she still denying herself this? He reached out again, and Hermione jumped back again, only to find herself pressed against a shelf.
‘’Stop denying yourself what you want! Are you honestly telling me that you were happier reading a textbook than you are now with me like this?’’ Just to make his point that little bit more clearly, Draco stepped in closer to her. She could smell his aftershave and closed her eyes in an attempt to block it out. This was not meant to be happening! It wasn’t fair! Not after she had managed to go for so long without doing anything stupid, and now her stupid hormones were going to conspire against her and make her doing something that she was going to regret so much later.
She looked up at Draco and he had to take in a deeper breath than usual. Those eyes: they were so mutinous and still so vulnerable. Draco reached out again and this time, Hermione just stood still and let him stroke her cheek. He was reminded of stroking a cat that had been fighting him off for ages and then suddenly relents, simply because it wants the attention. And then, against all original intentions, the cat finds itself liking the attention and wanting it for its own sake.
She closed her eyes in brief acceptance and felt the long fingers roam over the soft skin of her face. Opening her eyes again, she looked at the intense expression on Draco’s face, and felt a weakness in her knees that she had never expected to feel. She had always thought that romantic writers had been exaggerating when they described light-headed lust and hungers rippling through every nerve. There was nothing she wanted more at that precise moment than to have Draco’s body pressed up against her, his lips against hers.
Draco saw a softening in her expression and seized the moment. Stepping forward, he lowered his lips to hers, and in an unprecedented movement, felt her arms slip around his neck, holding him to her. Pushing her further back against the shelves, he buried his face in her neck. Almost before she could realise it, Hermione and Draco had retreated further into the darker recesses of the library and her shirt was lying on the floor, with the rest of her clothes following quickly. Draco’s bare skin was sliding against hers and her soft whimpers assured him that she needed this just as much as he did.
Later, pulling her shirt back on, she was unable to look up from the floor. What the hell had she done? What had possessed her to do that, in the library of all places?
Draco looked at her reflectively, and wondered that he hadn’t broken her. She seemed so small now. Almost fragile. He hooked a hand around her waist and pressed another kiss to her lips.
‘’What have you done to me?’’ She asked him, her eyebrows furrowed. ‘’What am I doing?’’
‘’Giving in to temptation. It’s about bloody time if you ask me.’’
‘’You assume that I want to be giving in.’’
Draco reached out and gently bit the side of her neck, and felt an involuntary shudder of joy ripple through her and a moan slip out of her mouth. ‘’Yeah, I think I can assume that.’’
Hermione stared up at him and wanted to bury her face in her hands. She regretted what she had done, but at the same time nothing had ever made her feel more alive. Nothing had ever made her feel that good. Nothing had ever made her want to kiss his despised face more. Which is maybe why she didn’t flee back through the shelves as his face loomed closer to hers, and why instead she let his teeth gently nip at her lower lip as his hands arched her back.
‘’Temptation has never been this sinful though,’’ she whispered against his mouth before losing herself in wicked bliss.
AN: I know…it’s been ages! Unfortunately, regular updates are pretty much out of the question until after 21st May, as my exams are coming up (and having worked for 5 years to get to Uni to study Law, these exams are taking precedence). But anyway, I really hope you enjoyed this chapter – leave me a review and let me know! Love as always…petitesorciere
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