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Chapter 2 : The Eyes of Fate
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In all of her inexperience the witch could feel the unfamiliar feelings of lightheartedness and content to accompany her slurring words as the alcohol ebbed through her veins and up into her head. It was wondrous to be this carefree. She was viewing at the world through rose-colored glasses and even Malfoy began to look inviting.
As he poured and mixed, Draco often stole a drink for himself to calm the excitement. He had been watching Granger and was surprised to learn that she had the unique ability to hold her alcohol as a first timer. As much as he wished he was disappointed by this discovery, he couldn't bring himself to want to make her sick or unconscious after all. He had given it a fair shot, but now, it was time to throw in the towel. He didn't want to spoil her, for Merlin only knew what reason.
Damned dreams and there unpredictable influences.
Clasping his hands around the freshest beverages he had made, Malfoy rounded the bar and came to sit along side Hermione on top of their coats, which were stretched out before the fire as a blanket of sorts. Handing Hermione the weakest of the two, he nodded as she thanked him with a delicate grin. She handled drunkenness well.
The two fell into silence, casually sipping away while watching the flames in the old cracked hearth lick the brick calmingly. They had settled for the idea that the booze would have to be their dinner, as neither one of them wanted to scrimp for scraps in the now clean and bare kitchen. Hermione had managed to make the food hunt a tad more difficult by chucking almost everything in the rubbish bin. Now there was next to nothing at all, edible or otherwise.
“So what really brought you to the tavern in the first place, Granger?” Draco asked, for no other reason than to make a little noise in the silence.
“Pardon?” Hermione countered, caught off guard by his sudden inquisition.
“And don't tell me that it was just because you are now legal and were curious.”
Hermione scrunched her face in fuzzy concentration. “No, I'm pretty sure that's exactly why I decided to walk into this place. You should know by now that I'm just about helpless to fight my own curiosity, Malfoy.”
“I think there's more to it, so spill the beans,” he prodded on.
Hermione thought long and hard. Malfoy wasn't about to let this go, so she best just find a reason deep inside her mind to relay back to him. “I guess, maybe, it was my one chance to do something before either Harry and Ron beat me to it. I'm the first to be legal out of the three of us, so I took a shot.” Suddenly, as the words spilled from her lips, Hermione realized that this really wasn't a track she should ride with Malfoy. But it was too late now.
Draco furrowed his brows and looked at her thoughtful face. There was something there that he didn't often see. Embarrassment, without the anger that usually followed when he was involved. “But we, the Slytherin's, don't call you the 'Insufferable Know-it-all' for nothing. What could those two lumps have possibly beaten you at?”
Hermione let out an involuntary chuckle. “You'd be surprised,” She might as well embrace the facts of this conversation with the twist the blond brought to it. It was the booze leading her on, of course it was the booze.
Draco wasn't believing it for one second. “Come on Granger! I'm not stupid. As much as I hate to admit it, you are the smartest Mudblood student Hogwarts has ever seen pass through it's doors. Quit insulting my intelligence.”
Hermione gazed up at him then, searching his face to find out if what he had said was meant as a snub or as a compliment. Finding no conclusive answer, she bowed her head and stared at her intertwined fingers. “It wasn't academics that I was beaten at,”
The blond looked on, pushing to find out the deepest secrets the witch at his side held.
“It was more extra curricular.” Against her will, Hermione blushed a deep scarlet and rose her cup to her lips sipping in a large gulp.
“Quidditch?” Draco questioned confidently. “Well, you do suck at flying. Your control over the broom is pathetic. Have you even gotten back on a broom since first year training?”
“No,” she answered meekly, “But, that's not what I was talking about.” She saw the miscommunication between them and sighed. “Forget it. Forget I said anything at all.”
Hermione watched him out of the corner of her eye as she stared at the fire once again, taking another sip of ale to calm her discomfort with their topic. It was as if a light bulb went off in his head as she saw him jump to his feet and smirk in disbelieve.
“You're a virgin!” Draco called in delight. “Unbelievable,”
Hermione just continued to stare into the flames, waiting patiently for him to get it all out of his system. To her, it really wasn't a big deal to still hold her virginity. She was proud of it. So often people made mistakes the first time round, and she knew that a second shot at something like this was not an option.
Malfoy had been ranting on about how he should have guessed, and contemplating who would ever have sex with a bookworm when another question entered his mind. “-So that means that both Weasel and Potty have pleased the pork, without you? I thought for sure that it would end up being a group activity between the 'Golden Trio'. Or did they just get to work together, only them two?”
“Oh! Malfoy stop! You're so unbearably vulgar.” Hermione cringed at his language, expressions and the ideas he had placed in her head about her two best friends being homosexual together. It was a visual she didn't need. They were like her brothers, for Merlin's sake! “Harry and Ron aren't gay. They both had girls. Now, new topic!”
“Wait just one minute. If they were girls who were they?” he pressed, trying to catch her in a lie he thought existed.
Hermione huffed in irritation. “If I answer this will you drop it?” Upon seeing his reluctant nod, she divulged what wasn't hers to tell, but that everyone would find out in time anyway. “Harry had Ginny, and Ron had Lavender.”
“Malfoy, you said you'd drop it,” Hermione whined, “This is so uncomfortable to talk about!”
“Just answer that and I'll leave it alone.”
“End of sixth, both sixth.”
Draco slowly sat back down on the coats and crossed his arms. “Well, that's a surprise to me.”
“That's because most of the time you have no idea what your talking about. New topic.”
“Fine, settle down.” he grumbled, as she bossed him around. Why he took it he wasn't sure. Degrading to a Malfoy it was, but he chose to ignore it and ask questions of her again. “Won't everyone notice that the Head Girl is missing this weekend? Especially the afore mentioned party of two?”
Hermione furrowed her brows begrudgingly as she thought of her answer. “Surprisingly, no, I don't think they will notice.”
“And why would that be, oh 'Princess of Gryffindor'?” Draco sympathized sarcastically, watching her shoot him a warning glare.
Before she answered his question, Hermione took a few more sips to maintain her confident buzz, noting that Draco had done the same. “I got into a fight with the boys before I left for town today, hence the reason I bought them 'juvenile' jokes from that horrid joke shop as peace offerings. They'll just think I hopped the holiday train to London to stay the weekend with my family. They've probably decided that I didn't notify them of my plan because I was angry and thought I wanted away from them for a while. They aren't very good at reading me sometimes, especially Ronald.”
“So, what, they'll just share their fabricated decision about your whereabouts with anyone who asks?”
“Most likely,” Hermione chuckled musingly.
Draco knitted his eyebrows together and shook his head in comprehension. “That must be a Gryffindork thing. Mental.”
Hermione shrugged her shoulders, letting his soft insults roll of her back as she sipped away at her drink some more. “I've got one for you. Why is it that no one will miss you? Pansy, Blaise? Crabbe or Goyle?”
“Easy,” he started, downing the rest of his drink, raising to go to the bar and get another for them each. “Crabbe and Goyle are serving a detention level four, so they won't see the light of day, let alone know I'm gone, for a while. They're also denser than a wet mop combined.” Bringing the drinks over and handing one to the witch, he continued. “As for Blaise and Pansy, I doubt they've noticed much outside the other's mouth.”
Hermione stopped in her tracks to look sideways at him in disbelief. “She cheats on you with your best mate?”
Draco smirked at the nonsensical relationship he had to share with the pug-faced girl as he sat down. “My best mate, a few teachers when her grades are low, all walks of male life inside the castle no matter the age, and the odd female to switch things up. The possibilities are endless for her. I wouldn't be surprised if she had crossed the line of species, either. She's always fawning over that horse-man Firenze that teaches Divination.”
Hermione set down her goblet, horrified by what he was telling her. “He's a centaur,” she threw in automatically before getting back to the real issue at hand. “Why do you put up with that? I thought you were Draco Malfoy, the Slytherin that no one fucked with.” Her hand flew to her mouth as a precaution as the profanity slipped out. She wasn't one to swear so boldly before this weekend. Before total inebriation. It was new and sounded strange in her voice.
“It's something you wouldn't know about, Granger.” he said as he shrugged away all of her questions.
“So, enlighten me.” she countered, settling in toward the fire, waiting to hear his story.
“It's a pureblood thing,” He tried to detour, but with a deep sigh, he realized she wasn't going to leave it alone and wondered why he had even brought it up. “We, Pansy and I, are arranged. As long as my father walks this Earth it will be so. Neither of us are particularly happy with being nailed down, though her less-so, I'm sure.” He had selectively left out the bits involving the Dark Lord, avoiding a catastrophe between he and Hermione that was sure to come if he didn't.
Hermione mulled all of the facts over in her mind before she spoke. “So you're sure she cheats on you?”
“What's your proof?”
“It's hard to miss, she's not that cunning, really. I don't know why she's a Slytherin at all. Blood lines maybe? It's just-” Draco suddenly broke off groaning in exasperation as his face hardened to shield his pain. “I don't want to talk about it, especially with you!”
“Okay, sorry. Just trying to help.” she shot back, countering his exasperation with her own defensiveness.
“Well don't, Mudblood!”
With heavy insults slowly finding their way back into the conversation, both Hermione and Draco silently agreed to cut the topic loose and slowly move to opposite sides of the makeshift blanket before the fire. In simultaneous action they brought their goblets to their lips and drunk until there was nothing left but glass at the bottom, trying to forget about the other.
The minutes began to pass, and ever so slowly eyes began to wander. Hermione now noticed just how intoxicated she really was as she stood up to readjust the coats on her side. She began to stumble and opted for sitting down quickly rather than landing head-first into the fireplace. Her face grew a bright red in embarrassment as she realized that Draco had noticed her uncoordinated spectacle. Mumbling something inaudibly in discomfort, she watched the flames dance before her. They were mesmerizing, yet not enough so to stop the nagging urge to glance at him slyly.
Draco watched the muggle-born witch discretely in curiosity through beer-goggled eyes. The ability to manage and find a fault in her drifted away as they sat side by side. Even in all her clumsiness he couldn't stop himself from putting her higher on a pedestal as the seconds ticked by. He didn't want to be drawn to every deep brown freckle that dusted her nose, or the golden sheen in her unruly locks that the flickering fire light secretly highlighted. He didn't want to feel his heart rise in his throat every time she linked her eyes to his, no matter the emotion they portrayed. And he certainly didn't want to feel a heat for her grow within him as he watched her teeth lightly scrape at her dark red and lush bottom lip. This was some kind of dark magic, lollipop included. It must've been. On his own accord he would never feel this way about a Mud – Granger!
He couldn't even insult her properly anymore!
Hermione felt herself growing warm under his secretive gaze. She knew he was watching her, she could feel his eyes roaming her body. She should have been repulsed, but instead, she felt a sexy confidence bloom from inside her. No one ever looked at her like that. She didn't want to feel this way about the evil boy who's mission it became to make her life hell for almost seven years now. She didn't want to feel her knees weaken when he smirked devilishly at her - even when she sat - or her breath catch in her throat as she watched his muscles ripple under his fitted black shirt. Most of all, she was terrified yet horribly exhilarated by the fact that her body was beginning to react to him in a way she had never known. She wanted him to touch her and hold her roughly, with passion in his eyes.
“I had a dream last night,” Draco murmured deeply as he threw her a mysteriously knowing smirk. “Can change your perspective on people and shit quit effectively, actually.”
Hermione nodded in agreement as she turned her head and caught his eyes with hers. Her lids felt heavy from the heat, lust and booze. “I had a dream like that too,” she mumbled back, feeling confidence and determination rise in her intoxicated blood. “It was about you.”
Draco's drunken smirk slowly bled from his face as his fascination with the witch before him fully took over. “I've been trying to fight it. All day I've been trying to push it out of my mind, push you out of my mind.” He watched as Hermione slowly drew closer to him, her cinnamon eyes now a shade of dark chocolate with want. “I don't have the strength to fight you out anymore.” he growled as if angry at his weakness.
“Then don't. I don't want you to fight me anymore.” Hermione breathed lustfully as a brilliant idea occurred to her. “Why not show Pansy that she's not the only one capable of cheating? Show her that you'll do whatever the bloody hell it is you want to and she can't stop you.” Hermione was now closer to the blond snake than she had ever been before. Placing her hand on his leg, she gently let it travel up his outer thigh and over to his muscular torso, relishing the danger that each tight muscle could bring. Her lips were now inches from his pale mouth and never in her life would she have thought she'd be in control of Malfoy. “Teach her a lesson,”
Draco couldn't restrain his lust any longer. The combination of unyielding cabin fever, alcohol and the mysterious want in Hermione Granger's eyes was more than enough to overpower his resent of her blood type and all she stood for. He was maddened from flesh to bone, heart to head. He craved Granger and didn't care that he couldn't understand why.
He could feel her hot breath dance across his cheek and her palm on his chest burn into him with searing heat. It felt good in such a frigid environment.
She stared at his lips watching as the one corner tugged up to reveal a lazy smirk, yet it wasn't meant insufferably. Hermione drew in a ragged breath, for she was so close yet frozen to go any further.
There was an unfathomable strain between them as if they were two oppositely charged magnets resisting each other yet pushing to come together. Cruelty and kindness. Lion and snake. Never before in their memory of Hogwarts had someone crossed the line between Gryffindor and Slytherin - except maybe Pansy - and as much as it was a hindrance it was also a motivation. The two students could see that their same view was reflected in the other.
Draco's eyes flickered up to pierce Hermione's, drowning as pools of warm cinnamon and icy silver swirled together with something unnameable. Hermione let an almost inaudible whimpering moan from her lips as reckless abandon flashed in her eyes.
He was lost. With a sharp intake of sweet breath, Draco reached for her, crushing his hot lips with hers awaiting. He threaded one hand through her hair and one around her small waist bringing her closer, bowing her body against his as they kneel before the fire kissing in ecstasy.
Hermione responded passionately as the kiss electrified every nerve in her body. It was exactly as she imagined, lustful, rough, wanting, needing. It was agonizing how much she craved Malfoy. She fought her lips against his for dominance, snaking her arms around his neck and combing her fingers through his platinum locks, every so often giving them a small tug when Malfoy got cocky.
She had waited so long to find the right person, the one she could release herself to. She had searched so hard, never coming up with anything but empty hands. But her undeniable curiosity began to convince her that maybe, just maybe, he was the last person she would have ever suspected. It felt so right wrapped up in Malfoy's hot grip, lost in each other, kissing with a hungry power, feeling enthusiasm and charged energy pounding in their wanton bodies.
Draco felt small hands begin to work the buttons of his fitted shirt, notifying him that the moment had arrived for him to return the favor and hook his fingers up under the hem of Hermione's hideous sweater, relieving her of its heat and cover. His chest was now bare to Hermione's silken skin as she ran her hand down his well defined stomach.
Draco moaned as shivers rippled down his spine at her touch. He had never reacted to someone so violently before. His body was defying him in every way it possibly could.
As she deepened the kiss for a fleeting second Hermione took advantage of his fallen resistance, pushing him hard to the floor, where she followed a moment later with a few less pieces of clothing about her skin.
He had to smirk at her aggression. “My, my, Granger. Who would have thought you had such dominant experience under your belt. What a sexy surprise.”
Hermione rolled her eyes and tugged at his pant legs, inching them down. “Don't pretend like you're going to lay back and take it, Malfoy. You and I both know that a Malfoy never settles, especially for second in command. As for snogging experience, Viktor was better for more than just scoring in Quidditch -”
As the last few syllables left her mouth, Draco smirked, re-laced his hand in her hair and brought her back to his ravenous lips. “Enough talk. It's about time I showed you exactly why they call me the 'Slytherin Prince'.”
“I hate you,” Hermione breathed devilishly as her head buzzed with induced confidence. She took the initiative, colliding her lips with Malfoy's, greedy for more, with the flickering flames of the fire as their bare bodies only witness.
Draco's eye flickered open as he felt something hit his cheek. Deciding it was his imagination, he ignore it and tried to sleep off the hungover headache he felt was approaching, but the light flashing into his eyes wouldn't allow it. It must have been the firelight. In the distance he could here a rattling scraping sound, but chose to ignore it, listening to his hungry stomach growl instead. It was probably just some stupid owl or a rodent scratching at the window frame or eves.
Turning his head with his eyes still tightly sealed, Malfoy hid his face from the bright light, only to catch much of something falling on his other cheek, his closed eye and the corner of his mouth. It was freezing cold causing Draco to shoot his eyes open and notice that he was flat on the floor with his limbs tangled around a slumbering Granger.
Realization hit him like a ton of bricks when he looked down and found himself naked apart from his green boxer shorts. So last night was real.
He slowly un-knotted himself from her and rose right up into a sitting position. Raising his hand to his face, he felt water there, just as a few more drops fell onto his head from what he concluded was a crack in the ceiling. Since he was up now he rubbed his eyes and stood quickly before anymore water targeted him.
Looking around as he ran a hand through his hair in panic, he began to realize many other things around him. Hermione was laying on the floor beside where he had been, covered in only her black bra and that vomit colored sweater of hers draped on her thighs, still fast asleep. The fire had not been the light he had fought through his eyelids but the sun shining bright through the rotten window shutters. It was melting the snow, which was leaking through the roof. Jogging a step over to the window, he peeked through a broken hole and found the sun high in the sky. It was past at least two in the afternoon. How late did they stay up? They had slept away the entire day!
Suddenly, the rattling scraping noise that he had faintly heard had increased to include banging and pounding. Draco spun around to find that someone was at the door to the tavern, trying with all of there might to fight their way inside past key locks, the web of locking charms, incantations and so forth that where the only means of keeping wizarding folk out – or in. He suddenly hit the floor on all fours, dropping out of sight from the person outside. He hadn't been spotted through the grimy window. Draco could hear them cursing the old rickety building, just as he himself had done before. Watching intently from his place near a table, he noticed that the person was wrestling with a ring that must have held at least one-hundred and fifty-odd keys. They were now bellowing cusses left and right as he or she continued to try key after key on the warped lumber door.
Draco crawled across the floor as fast as he could. He had to wake Granger. Shaking her to life when he reached her, he indicated for her to stay very quiet and pointed at the door. They had to get out of there.
It had crossed his mind only seconds before how bad the situation looked if someone else would see it - two teenagers breaking into a tavern to have sex on the floor in front of the fire and drink booze to their heart's content – No one would believe it to be an accidental lock in.
That moment Hermione realized just what he was thinking as she looked around at their strewn clothing and half naked bodies. Her face grew scarlet with shock at the lack of clothing covering her for a mere second before draining to a pale white at the thought of being caught like this.
They kept silent, never speaking as Hermione flew up from her spot on the floor. They dashed around the room, collecting clothes and throwing them back on; grabbing forgotten shopping bags and dousing the fire, all the while glancing up at the person Hermione now recognized as her waitress from the few days before. She was almost through the ring of keys when she seemed to stop and light a cigarette kicking the door in frustration before resuming her task.
With a horrid flood of panic, the two students suddenly heard her call triumphantly from outside as she had finally found the right key. As quick as lightning Draco seized Hermione's wrist and pulled her and her shopping bags over the broken bathroom door, setting it upright and blocking themselves from view inside the loo.
As they held there breath for a moment and stood statue still, Hermione rapidly felt herself overcome with a queezy belly and a thunderous headache. Just what she needed to make this a more terrible experience. Closing her eyes she calmed herself enough to say what was nagging at her mind. “This doesn't make any sense. It's Easter Sunday! Nothing is opening today. Why do you suppose she's here?” she whispered, looking at him curiously and then back at the door. “And I've been meaning to ask you if it was you that did this to the door -”
Draco cut her whispers off with a wave of his hand, indicating that the waitress was inside and non too happy about it.
“Bloody soddin' Aberforth! Can't even clean up 'is own filthy pub on a 'oliday weekend. Has ta demand Grenith do it fer free, do 'e? Sure I gots no family. 'Course I gots nowheres ta be on blinkin' Easter! Ruddy slug that man be! Guess everythin' is gunna gets a nice spit shinin' from the likes o' me.” With that last comment she hoked and coughed until she spat a grotesque wad of spit onto the floor, chuckling darkly and heading for the kitchen door.
Hermione wrinkled her nose in disgust as they spied the woman through a space by the broken hinge. “That's disgusting, but at least my question found it's answer.”
“Charming lady that one is,” Draco joked sarcastically. “She sounds like a pirate. Good thing you were the one to do most of the cleaning around here and not her. Just imagine a wad of bile in the bottom of your glass the next time you drink here-”
“Oh! Gross. Please, no more. I'll vomit I swear.” Hermione grumbled with a hand over her mouth, urging the puke back down. “And as for next time I come here, you couldn't pay me enough after what I've witnessed.”
Ever-so-slowly, Draco began to ease the door open as the woman disappeared from view. “We have to move fast. She'll probably notice how clean it is in there soon and realize that something is quite off.”
Hermione nodded her understanding and followed close behind the Slytherin with shopping bags in hand. Once over the door they could hear Grenith smashing things and groaning about how she had to be the one to suffer because Aberforth was always angry and bad tempered to her. She complained that it wasn't her fault his brother was one of the most powerful wizards in all the world while he was stuck with owning a grubby stinkpot of a tavern with less talent than a toad. It was his own damn fault!
Feeling as though there were undercover Aurors for the Ministry, Hermione and Malfoy bolted swiftly to the door. Inch by inch Draco pried it wide while holding his breath and hoping the weathered young witch in the kitchen would continue to make so much noise. Hermione took this opportunity to draw her wand and quickly repair the bathroom door from afar, yet not registering that the door itself may have a chance at making more noise than the spell and Grenith combined as it fit back into place.
“Run!” Draco hissed, throwing open the bar door, grabbing Hermione and tugging her through in a flash. Grenith had heard them no doubt.
She was right on their tails, thundering out of the kitchen and through the main pub as the two escapees ducked into a dark alley on the street and out of sight. They watched as the makeup caked waitress stumbled out into the snow huffing and growling, convinced she heard something. After peering around with eagle eyes she finally gave up and stomped angrily back inside the tavern, locking the door behind her.
“Good thing we didn't try to reason with that one.” Draco commented with an exhausted grin. “Come on, hurry up.”
Hermione stayed inhumanly silent as she trudged quickly behind Malfoy through the sleety streets of Hogsmeade with shopping in tow. Now that the most strenuous part of the situation was behind them she was left to her own devices, thinking much too much about the events of the past night.
There were no regrets, only questions in her active mind. Had it really happened? Was it really consensual? Why had she enjoyed it so much and why did it feel like the best thing she had ever done for herself? But of all her racing questions the only one she really needed answered from Draco's lips was what would this change between them?
Draco held his stomach and clamped his lips shut as his feet slammed to the ground. No matter how many times he apparated the vomit always seemed to rise in his churning stomach. Even though the hangover didn't help he wasn't ever going to get used to it.
Crumpling over to ease the discomfort, he glanced sideways to witness Hermione's flawless execution of her apparition and scowled. Of course she'd be fine while he wanted to hurl.
“Give me a minute,” he wheezed, as he straightened up and brushed his cloak clean of snow and dry dirt. They had appeared on the very outskirts of the Hogwarts grounds and still hadn't spoken much since they were escaping Grenith. That had been half and hour ago, if not a bit more.
Draco just couldn't shake the feeling that he should be worried about something. He hadn't really spared any time to think about the night before while they were basically running for there lives from that crazy pirate-hag of a waitress. Resting in his stomach now was a pit the size of a Quaffle and he couldn't place the reason why. His mind whirled in thought as he began venturing up towards the castle with Hermione at his side.
Hermione bit her lip as she stole a quick look at Draco's troubled face. Was he really regretting last night that much? Shaking her head she decided that she should have realized that this was just a one night stand for him, as it was for her. Exhaling forcefully she reset her minds wandering path to what she would say to Harry and Ron when she saw them, convincing herself that she expected nothing more from Malfoy and never had.
The words would not find their way out of his mouth. There was so much that he wanted to say to Granger. Discuss where they went from here. They both knew that love was non existent in the accord they had reached last night, but for the first time in his life Draco actually cared about how they left off at the end of all of this. Usually he had just cast the girls aside and waited for them to crawl back in time, as they always did. With Granger he knew that wasn't so. She would never forgive him and to his surprise that upset him to think about. Their sexual chemistry was so strong that it was mind numbing, neither could disagree. But they were from two different worlds, one ruled by light and the other by dark. Similar to Romeo and Juliette, with the replacement of lust where love would reside. And of course, Romeo wasn't the son of a Death Eater.
Both held their breath, afraid to speak yet smiling timidly at one another, as they pushed there way through the entrance doors. It was quite crowded in the Entrance Hall when it reoccurred to Hermione that it was Sunday and everyone was to gather for the Easter feast and festivities this afternoon. Glancing down at her wrist watch, she noted that it was gaining on four o'clock, which was when everyone was to be gathered in the Great Hall by.
Many students were trickling in and seating themselves at their designated house tables and without any other plan in mind, Draco and Hermione followed suit, starting their glide down the long Entrance Hall. They seemed oblivious to their slightly ruffled and unwashed appearances and the fact that they were walking side by side looking guilty as sin to everyone around them. Whispers began to circulate like wildfire while they journeyed their way to the Great Hall.
Suddenly from the corner of his vision Draco caught Pansy's eye while she was snogging Blaise in a dark corner. She froze with a mixture of horror at being caught and disgust that he was within a one-meter radius of a mudblood. Breaking their kiss, Pansy shoved past Blaise and plastered an expression on her face that made her look severely constipated while trying to hide the fact of her discomfort.
“Drakie,” she swooned as she approached with arms wide for a hug, as if nothing had ever been seen. “Where have you been, my love?”
Draco cringed at her sickly sweet voice, refusing to respond to her embrace as he watched Blaise register what was going on, stumble over and pretend like they were the best of pals.
“Hey, Mate, lost you back in town there the other day. You go home to the parents for a few days?”
Sighing with defeat, yet refusing to show it, Draco answered, “Yeah, Mum's been hounding me for a visit for weeks now, so I thought I'd humor her with a pop by.”
Hermione furrowed her brows refusing to move from his side. His mother wasn't the only one his was humoring. Liar. But really, what else could he have said? This was between herself and Malfoy, no one else could know. So lie they must. Hermione just hated that he ignored the way Pansy and Blaise treated him. Even though she was sure he wouldn't ever give a damn about either if they died in the inevitable war approaching. That's just the way Slytherin's operated. With a loud huff she crossed her arms over her chest and glared a Pansy and Blaise. Harry and Ron now seemed like angels that never did wrong comparatively speaking.
Blaise's eyes flicked venomously down to Hermione's and a shadowy sneer flooded his face. “What do you want, Mudblood? You're standing here like you think Draco wants to be your man candy.”
Pansy's face instantly mimicked Blaise's as she finally registered the girl wasn't leaving, and considered her a threat. “Draco, darling, what is the meaning of this filthy frizz-balled Mudblood? I demand to know what she's doing with you!”
Hermione glowered at the pug-faced girl with contempt. They almost talked about her as if she weren't a person, but an object. Shifting her eyes up to look at Malfoy she watched as his eyes wandered as if he was thinking fast. Only she would pick up on that.
Draco's thoughts raced through his head as he strung together the perfect lie. “Granger won't leave me alone! I have to agree to comply to her new Prefects schedule or some shit before she fucks off.”
“Well then agree, so we can ditch her and put some distance between us and her dirty blood!” Blaise decided. “Gross.”
“Agreed Granger. Go away.” he drawled, shoving past her with a dismissive wave of the hand.
Hermione flinched. For some reason she wasn't expecting such a harsh excuse. Now that she thought about it, was it really a lie? Not in his words but in his voice, expressions and actions?
Pansy saw the look on Hermione's face and grinned evilly in delight. “Run along.” she half sang as she laughed at Hermione's dismay. Looping her arm in and around Draco while he placed himself beside Blaise, the threesome turned their backs on the Gryffindor witch and headed into the Great Hall.
Hermione could feel heat prickling up under her eyes as tears percolated. She had been so stupid. What had she thrown away on a Malfoy? She was nothing to him. Never had she ever been anything more than a body for sex. He had stolen her innocence, and she would never get it back. She had just made the very mistake she had tried so hard to avoid for so long.
She watched them as they went through tear filled eyes until something caught her exceptionally off guard.
As he passed the large wooden doors of the Great Hall and was venturing to take a left to his table and out of sight, Draco turned to stare at the crumpling witch he had left behind. His excuse was crude, yet more than appropriate. But the duty to reassure her was too strong to resist.
Hermione's tears cleared instantly when their eyes connected. There was something there in his moonlit orbs that told her the truth. Something shining like the sun. His thanks.
He really was a good actor.
With a small trademark smirk and a intriguing wink of his eye, Draco nodded his head subtly to her before reseting himself and disappearing behind the doors.
That moment was the last Hermione saw of the Malfoy she had discovered in an abandoned tavern, for as the days went on, turning weeks into months, he once again became the loathsome prat that everyone had always expected him to be. The jeers and taunts where as strong as ever and the attitude was just as repulsive. The only difference was that they seemed to always be directed around her towards Harry, Ron and anyone else that got in the way. He hadn't even called her a mudblood since. He couldn't bare to do that to her. She had given him everything she had, and as much as he was bred to take without the need to deserve he just couldn't do it. She was the most fun he had had in ages and he couldn't get over a lustful connection like that easily.
She was perfect in her own way, but he'd never tell that to a single soul.
It had been four years since Hermione had found herself shopping in Diagon alley for school supplies or wandering around the shops on the Christmas holidays home from school, but here she was, all grown up.
The winter holidays were upon England in a blizzard of white and silver, and Hermione had left her shopping – uncharacteristically - to the last minute. It was now two days until Christmas and she still hadn't even gotten gifts for Harry and Ron, the two she always bought early for.
She had racked her brains for the perfect gifts, yet seemed to fail in the efforts for the first time. Hoping that something would occur to her magically, the young witch had procrastinated for a good cause – or at least that's what she was trying to convince herself of.
Never realizing that this procrastination was so common had Hermione quite taken aback as she sent the brick wall alley entrance folding aside, witnessing the chaos and mayhem that ensued beyond it. Witches and wizards cutting left and right, examining cauldrons, testing wands, flipping through book after book and sharing joke items from Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. There was hardly room to push her way into the street as everyone bustled around with a one track mind. Politeness was long since forgotten. With a groan of disbelief, Hermione toughened her skin and slipped through the crowd with a great effort.
Everywhere she found herself there was a crowd, whether it be to gawk at the new Nimbus – or was it Firebolt now? - or to stand in line for a withdrawal at the surprisingly over-packed Gringotts Wizarding Bank. She thanked her lucky stars that she wouldn't be joining the back of that line anytime soon.
Hermione sighed in crazed wonder as the conditions surrounding her worsened. She had to calm down, regain her head so that she could prepare for the task at hand. If that was possible. This was what she got for shopping late. It was now already well after three o'clock, to add to her dilemma.
Gathering herself up, Hermione set her feet in motion to the safest place she knew in Diagon Alley. Flourish & Blotts.
With her head down she pushed her way to the door of the shop, grasping for the brass handle. People bumped her from every side, throwing her balance off every time her fingers brushed the metal. Hermione's attention was lost to the whirling blur of bodies surrounding her as she finally lunged through the belligerent passers-by, closing her hand where she had known the handle to be. Only her fingers did not wrap around what she had expected. Where cold, frosted brass should have been, warm thick fabric occupied.
Jarring her neck as she whipped her vision to the hand, Hermione noticed the material of a black cloak trapped in her grip. A cloak of someone exiting the shop before her.
With stalled breath she began to slowly travel the creases and folds up, upon hearing the sound of a arrogant smirk. She knew that sound. It was etched into her mind like an ancient tablet carved into stone from a lost civilization.
As she rocked to and fro against the crowd around her, Hermione's eyes finally came to connect with those of the person before her. They were exactly what she expected, how she remembered. Silver as a glowing moon. Dangerous and exciting. The very soul of Draco Malfoy.
Without warning a hand grabbed her under the elbow and the beautiful blond man quickly drew her inside, looking left and right as he did so. Hermione had no time to even register the expanse of magical literature that adorned the walls around her as she was led weaving through the shelves to a back alcove. This spot was rarely trafficked by patrons, as she knew very well from hiding here in her school days to flip through her new books in peace. Even with how packed every shop in every corner of the alley was, the large book store seemed spacious by comparison, with its high ceilings and towering stacks of texts. No one had taken any notice of them what-so-ever.
Secretively, Draco backed them into the small alcove and stared entranced at Hermione's matured face. She was every bit as enticing as she had been every day he had seen her after the tavern encounter took place. Staring into her eyes as he lifted her chin, her complying with his every touch, he smirked in success. “As long as I live, I'll never be able to forget those cinnamon eyes.”
Hermione was stunned at his genuine words. Was this the right man? No half joking insults right of the block?
She began searching his face for something – anything that could prove this was all a lie or a dream of the cruelest nature. For the past four years she had been plagued by his every action; every word; every expression, until she was sure madness would consume her. She found that she never had the regrets she feared about giving to him what was her most treasured asset. No one could have been more worthy – in a twisted unexplainable way. He had given her more than she could ever ask for, yet as much as she understood why, was saddened by how things had to end between them. Those were the thoughts that made him ever more impossible to shake from her lists of wants.
Draco stayed silent for that moment, never expecting her to remark or speak back on his statement. He watched the eyes of the woman now subtly wrapped up in his arms as images and messages flashed within them. He had waited and fought so patiently against her beautiful being. Hoping that soon fate would bring her back at a time when the world wasn't so fucked up. Someone had heard his wish and answered it to perfection.
No longer did he have to fight from conforming. He was his own man, free from his imprisoned father to decide that mudbloods weren't of any disgust and that Potter and the light – as much as he hated to admit so - were the worthy victors in a pathetic battle between good and evil that most people wouldn't even refer to as a real war. Voldemort had become much too cocky and pretentious in his domination and was demolished within hours.
Thinking on it now, as he happily lost himself in Granger's eyes, Draco realized that he would have floundered hopelessly in anything more than what that battle had turned out to be. He was tied by him family and school house to the dark side, yet hooked to the light by a conscience that knew much better of what he had been told all of his life. And finally, he would have never been able to watch the engrossing witch before him die for a cause, in which he was trapped in No Man's Land.
Hermione blinked feverishly as her face blushed a dusty rose. It was as if she could read all of his thoughts through his moonlit orbs in all clarity. She had caught every emotion and meaning to form the story he was telling her with his eyes. Clearing her throat, she struggled to look alert and indifferent, now locked against his hot chest, marveling in the rhythm of his heart beat and steady breath. Opening her mouth to just make noise, the lustful witch released the words from her lips without a thought.
“Whatever happened to Pansy Parkinson?”
He nodded with a crooked smirk. “Gone. Hopefully far enough away that we'll never encounter her again. She met some wealthy Bulgarian or Belgian and that was that. She floats to where the money is. But not fast enough for her to escape the wrath of my words and a swift kick in the ass.”
Hermione smiled. So the pug got what she deserved – excluding the millions of Galleons.
“But enough about her,” Malfoy growled seductively, before capturing Hermione's lips in a short but painfully searing kiss. “I've been dying to get your thoughts on what you think of another lockdown...”
Hermione suddenly felt a rush of warmth flood through her center, as Malfoy raked her body with his darkening eyes. They could still note the truth in this dysfunctional relationship. It was pure lust and always would be. But that was perfectly fine with both. They'd never want it any other way.
With a cunning cock of the eyebrow, Hermione smirked at the blond with sexy determination. Looking around Flourish & Blotts she noticed that there was hardly anyone left in the place or in the darkened streets beyond the shop window. How long had they been lost in each other?
“Well, I s'pose I could use a lengthy refresher on why it was that they called you the 'Slytherin Prince' back in our school days. Oh, and please feel free to remind me in significant detail. I would hate to miss anything important.”
A wink of her eye was enough for Malfoy to growl in triumph and capture the saucy witch's lips with his. It was as blinding and passionate as before, yet made stronger by the years of yearning. Their clothes were already coming undone as ever so faintly in the background the door bell chimed and the lock clicked indicating the shopkeepers leave.
Hermione smiled into Draco's lips as they ravaged each other savagely.
So her shopping plans had failed her, but at least the whole trip hadn't been a total waste. She'd just have to prepare herself for the many disappointed faces of family and friends when they all got a book from Flourish & Blotts for Christmas.
She was Hermione Granger, after all. Really, what did they expect?
So here you have it, the second and final chapter! It isn't as lengthy as the first but it's close enough, I suppose. I want to remind you all that there is scenes of a strong sexual nature in this chapter, yet tastefully done – in my opinion. I hope you think so as well.
Also, a few teeny clarifications:
First, I noted that there was substance use and/or abuse in my summary only because there is booze involved to make this plot work to my liking. I don't know if that qualifies, but better safe than sorry! Second, some of you have been wondering how it is that a witch and wizard could possibly be locked inside a building and not magic their way out. My answer is – I didn't really think about it until it was brought to my attention via reviews. To resolve that, I decided to do a miniture explaination in this chapter about how the only way to keep wizarding folk out was with an intricate web of spells and keys. It's not even that big of a deal. Just have fun reading it!
Please review! I'd love to hear your thoughts, so don't be shy!!
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