Chapter 48 : As It Should Be
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They landed in the abandoned corridor where Hermione had taken refuge earlier that day, had it really been only an hour ago? It seemed like eternity since she had last been here. Her feet touched the firm stones cautiously, unsure if her legs would support her weight in the light of recent shocks. “Did you mean it?” Her back was to him a she tried out her legs, though he was still very close behind her, his hands resting lightly on her hips, ready to catch her should she fall.
“Why would I lie?”
“That’s not the answer I want.”
“What answer do you want?”
“Ever since our freak meeting this summer you have never been far from my thoughts. You are a part of my extended foster family so to speak, Travis is the closest thing I’ve had to a brother other than Harry and Ron and the Court, and you, by extension are somehow a part of that family. You have seen me at my strongest, and at my weakest, you have propped me up when I was sick, and held me up when I wanted to beat Jamie and Travis at a silly pool game.”
She took a deep breath and turned slowly to face him, removing his hands from his hips as she did so and holding them tightly between her own palms, “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can’t seem to picture my life without you anymore. You are a part of me whether you like it or not, so I don’t want that to have been a slip of the tongue, or a way to placate me.”
“I meant every word I said.” She had been staring steadily at their intertwined hands, now she raised her eyes to him as he began to speak. “I mean it when I say calling you anything less than mate for life just seems wrong. You have affected me in way that no other girl or woman has. This morning when we were simply walking together was more breathtaking than almost anything I have ever done, I didn’t want to do anything but have you by my side for the rest of eternity, and if that means walking beside you to the Great Hall and back all day everyday, then I think I could like with that.”
Hermione smiled as he quoted her, “You said almost though”
“Well I think that kiss by the lake has to be the most breathtaking thing, or maybe just holding you while we were flying.”
That made her smile even wider, “Well this is the most breathtaking thing I’ve ever done.” She said, dropping his hands and taking a step closer, their bodies almost touching.
“What?” he breathed, their faces mere inches apart, Hermione laid her hands on his shoulders.
“This” she whispered, and closed the miniscule gap, her lips meeting his, her body pressing against every line of his muscular frame, her mouth opening and granting his tongue full access.
His tongue battled hers hungrily; she was so sweet, so wickedly sweet, there was no comparison on earth that would come close to how he felt.
Her hands were exploring the supple muscles of his shoulders, and sifting through his silky hair. One of his hands was cradling her head, the other was stroking her back sensually, each time venturing a little lower, making Hermione shudder with pleasure.
He smiled into her mouth as her trembling made her press more firmly against him; he hitched her leg around his hip on impulse, bringing her, if possible, even closer. Hermione gasped, but was cut off by his mouth on hers, oh the things his hands were doing, the way he made her feel, she felt more alive than she had in a long time, possibly more alive than she had ever felt.
His lips left hers, planting a trail of burning kisses down her neck to her shirt collar, he growled lowly as the fabric obstructed him from access to more of her delicious skin. His hand left from where it had been stroking her hair, and began working on the buttons of her shirt, fumbling because her crimson and gold tie, though loosened, was still in the way.
Hermione chuckled giddily and pushed his hands away, untying the tie, and throwing it casually away, letting him work on the tiny faux pearl buttons unhindered. Draco undid the top two buttons smoothly, and resumed kissing her neck, trailing ever lower as his hands worked loose yet another button.
They were dangerously close to getting extremely carried away when; out of nowhere the bell rang to change classes.
Hermione sighed, “We’d better get down there.” She whispered regretfully, do they have bells everywhere in this school? “The Court will get suspicious if our Brothers are back, and we’re not.”
Draco made a hum against her collarbone that sounded something like an “and I care why?” noise. His face rose, “They’ll find out eventually you know that right?”
“Well, yes, but I would prefer it to be a little more than two days after I made a big deal about our relationship being purely professional.“
He chuckled reluctantly, “Are you always so concerned with your image?”
“No, only when it comes to people I like and respect, I don’t want them thinking I’m prone to changing my mind easily.”
“Then we’ll explain that I had to persuade you.” He murmured suggestively, Hermione slapped him playfully.
“Well I don’t want to be privy to that conversation personally, now are we going to go to Potions or not?”
“I’d rather not…”
“Probably, but us being together will come out eventually, we can’t be mates and no have someone outside the Court notice.”
“And all hell will break loose.”
“That could very well happen, or not.”
She favored him with a skeptical look, to say the least.
“Okay, you’re right, the entire school will riot, now can we get back to what we doing?”
Hermione sighed and moved away from him, “Tut-tut, such a one track mind, I should have known it would be this way.” She bent at the waist to retrieve her carelessly discarded tie, and listened to him give a sigh of longing as she did so. She smirked to herself, he was such a pig, but she honestly couldn’t say she wanted him to change. Slowly she straightened, unconsciously tightening the long muscles that ran along the backs of her thighs and calves, listening with pleasure to his swift intake of breath.
“You tease” he hissed, coming up behind her and snagging her waist, Hermione just chuckled, stepping away from him again, knotting her tie with long, clever fingers, before reaching across to him to do the same to his own disheveled tie. Her wand was produced out of a shirt sleeve, and his shirt mended with no words, it goes without saying that the tell tale blood flecks disappeared as well. Briskly she plucked at the seam on his shoulder, straightening it, and then doing the same for his collar.
“Tuck in your shirt.” She ordered, waving her wand to repair her own clothing, buttoning her blouse with quick, jerky movements.
“You sure that you don’t want to do that for me?”
Hermione openly gaped at him, and half considered it, and then decided that a deserted corridor a half dozen floors up wasn’t exactly the place for that sort of behavior.
Draco must have decided the same thing, because he cursed softly, “Maybe not here huh?”
Hermione nodded mutely, wondering where her ability to spit out snappy comebacks had gone. “Shall we go down then?” she finally spluttered.
They were both fairly presentable, though their hair was rather windblown and, er, tousled?
Draco finger combed his back into place, and Hermione preformed the French braid spell, wincing as her hair was tamed, forcefully. Draco watched with fascination as the locks twined themselves together, and then were bound deftly with the band from her wrist. He watched her long, clever fingers with something akin to the avid stare of a hungry man on a feast.
He wanted nothing more than to grasp those long thin fingers in his own, to feel them trail across his bare flesh to…
The band snapped into place, and Hermione swung her head, feeling the braid follow her skull, getting the feel for the heavy rope of hair before turning and striding towards the hidden exit. She didn’t make it very far before her legs wobbled and she nearly lost her balance.
Draco was suddenly there, arms wrapped protectively around her, keeping her from falling on unstable legs. “Still hungry” Hermione explained weakly, trying to laugh it off and stand on her own, it wasn’t quite working out for her though. Every time she tried to put any kind of weight on her feet her legs just flopped like wet noodles, she tried, and failed, to lock her knees to help support her body.
That wasn’t working either.
Draco would have smiled at her attempt to keep him from worrying, if he hadn’t been berating himself soundly for not noticing her weakness himself. “Let’s get something in your stomach before we go back to class.”
“Not the kitchens” her eyes widened with something breaching on panic, she couldn’t deal with that on top of everything else; she knew she couldn’t.
“Here” Draco drew a spell circle over her forehead, and immediately her sense dulled, she could still see, and taste, touch, and smell, but it was…different. The colors were monotonous, the smells soft, his flesh still burned against hers, but it was dull, she felt little of the fiery passion that his touch had exited mere moments before.
“Can you fix it?” she demanded, meaning her suddenly weakened senses.
“Of course, but for the moment you need human senses if you want to eat without gagging.”
Hermione sighed, nestling closer against his chest, “Okay, let’s go eat.”
Draco’s deep chuckle rumbled through his chest, making Hermione feel giggly as his skin vibrated against hers with his mirth. Gallantly he carried her out of the abandoned corridor and down the stairs, through the trick doors, and over the fake steps, never missing a beat. Hermione was hardly jostled, and rather liked the rhythm of his steps, finding them soothing to her aching muscles, the gentle rocking lulling her into a light doze.
They reached the third floor, the top level of the used classrooms, without incident, descended to the second floor unannounced as well.
It was only when they reached the marble staircase that led to the entrance hall, and the ground floor, that their presence was suddenly, and rather rudely announced.
“What have we here ickle seveies?” a sickly sweet voice sang at them from thin air.
“Peeves” hissed Hermione, coming out of her doze at the hint of a threat.
“Leave Peeves” Draco growled, Hermione glanced up to see his eyes a brilliant orange.
“Ooh, and the Heads too” he the poltergeist cackled, ignoring them completely.
“I mean it Peeves, leave now.” Draco’s voice was deadly soft.
Peeves blew a loud raspberry at them, before sucking in an enormous lungful of air…”HEADS SKIVING CLASS, OFF TO THE BROOM CLOSET. DUMBLEDORE, MCGONNAGAL, MINESTER, HARRY POTTER, HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED, ANYONE AND EVERY ONE COME QUICK”
Draco took off before he got to Dumbledore, sprinting down the grand staircase, and bolting across the entrance hall, sliding down a stair railing to the corridor where the kitchens secret entrance was hidden. Hermione tickled the pear for them when they got to the painting, grabbing the handle that appeared, and holding on as Draco took two steps back, letting her drag it with her.
Draco’s finely tuned ears caught the thud of footsteps on the stairs, drat, Peeves must have snitched.
But the door was open, all that remained was for him to step over the threshold, and let it swing closed behind him, and Hermione in his arms. “Food” was all she whispered, unable to hear the impending threat as he had dulled her senses.
Grinning Draco set her down as houselves came from all corners of the kitchen to see what masters needed serving. In short order a large silver tray covered in light snacks and fragrant tea was making its way across the kitchen, appearing to float unsupported, as there were three elves holding it up from beneath, running in perfect unison.
Hermione gulped down three servings of tea before she did anything, and then began to work on the food, tackling it with gusto. “Where’s the real food?” she inquired between mouthfuls, too hungry to care about table manners.
“If by real you mean heavier food, then it will not be coming till your next meal. You will get sick if you eat too much rich meat and bread so soon. “
Hermione conceded with poor grace, and returned to her light fruit and crackers, sulkily stuffing her face until she was happily surprised by Jason’s sudden appearance. Happy hug went around, and the child was chattering and stealing tidbits when McGonagall swept in, in search of her Heads.
Hermione looked ashamed, while Draco explained what had transpired to the formidable old Dragoness, who stared at them as she would stare at a mouse that dared be lurking against the wall of a corridor at the same time she was walking down it.
That is to say, she was not amused, or impressed.
The silent rebuke was powerful enough to have Hermione bid Jason a hasty farewell, and together, with Draco, make a beeline for their next class.
Lucky for the two Heads classes were again changing by the time they returned to the level of the living, and they managed to slip in with the crowds relatively unnoticed. Their last class of the day (astronomy), passed slowly, but it couldn’t be helped, and they both retreated gratefully to the Head’s Tower, where Jason was soon brought up by a harried houself who left as soon as she had been assured that they wanted for nothing.
Jason was playing on the rug with Hermione when Blaise, Michael, and Anthony arrived, carrying with them more homework that should be leagal. “Great Merlin, that isn’t all yours is it?” was all Draco could manage, glancing up from his star chart.
“Nope, not all of it, most of it is yours and Hermione’s” they grinned as the Heads groaned, “Well that’s what you get for playing hooky all day.”
“It was only half the day.” Hermione defended weakly as she hauled herself over to the table, Jason trailing in her wake.
“Yeah, and we only missed two classes, suck it up.” Anthony yawned, sitting at one of the two massive desks with his own star chart and beginning to fill it out, only occasionally glancing at Draco’s for reference.
“Um, knock knock?” The crew of Dragons turned to see Harry and Ron standing nervously in the doorway, “We were wondering if Hermione could give us a hand on…”
Hermione sighed, “Come on in guys, and might as well kill as many birds with one stone as possible.” Soon everyone was arranged around the huge desks, or splayed out on the floor, Hermione had rigged up a radio that was playing a lively mixture of popular wizard and muggle songs, and questions and answers were flying.
They study hall didn’t break up until Harry and Ron had to leave for Quidditch, and the other Court members suddenly realized that they might be missed in their common rooms. Hermione watched them all go, not entirely sure what to say, she didn’t want to be rude, but on the other hand she really was ready to get some rest. The matter was settled for her when Draco sent their Brothers on their way with a few pointed glares, and a rather telling nod towards the door.
He then, excellent mate that he was, ushered her into the kitchen where he clumsily poured her a bowl of cereal and kept her poked awake long enough to eat it, and then carried her up to bed. Hermione smiled in her doze as she snuggled closer to him, her hands draped loosely around his neck momentarily tightened, she hummed contentedly against his warm broad chest.
Draco grinned and laid her on her bed, taking her shoes and socks off, and loosening her tie, before tucking the sleeping girl in, and returning downstairs to keep her young cousin from barreling up and waking her. Hermione slept with a smile on her face, and Draco grinned all evening long, happy to have his mate happy, and his brethren taken care of.
For one night at least, everything was as it should be.
So how about the steamy makeout? I thought that part of the chapter atleast flowed pretty well, even though the rest felt really clunky. Feel free to tell me how terribble it was, I am hard at work on the next chapter, and hope to have it out by the end of the weekend, no promises though.
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