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Chapter 29 : Love, Laughs, Sandwiches, and Surprises
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Hermione rolled over, swiping at a cluster of curls that was covering her face. She’d been asleep, though she didn’t know for how long. A stream of moonlight was beaming down through her window drapes; beyond she could see the dark night sky. The sun’s already set, she mused. It must be fairly late…
Hermione’s body ached in a very pleasing, very satisfied way. Though she’d just awoken, she felt just as spent as she had when she’d fallen into a deep sleep, hours before. The reason behind this was Draco, of course. Her insatiable husband. He very much enjoyed making love to her entire body, every single cell of it. He took his time, explaining that they still had so much lost time to make up for.
When they’d finally, exhaustedly, fallen asleep, he hadn’t ended it there… Oh, no, Hermione mused, feeling her face flush in the darkness at the memory. Not Draco… He’d sought her out in their dreams, fully intent on the continuation of their lovemaking.
Hermione was, in a word, tired.
The muted sounds of the city floated up toward her from the streets below. Morning people were going in for the night, and the lives of the night people were just getting started. Hermione slowly turned her head toward the still figure beside her. My husband, she thought dreamily; Draco Malfoy…wait... asleep?! She nearly leapt out of bed in happy realization. Draco was fast asleep! Unconscious! Vulnerable… A wicked grin slid across Hermione’s lovely face. She wasn’t malicious in any sense of the word, but she certainly was an opportunist. He didn’t often give her the chance to observe him unawares; he was just too damned alert. Sighing softly in excitement, Hermione gently sat up.
Draco lay on his left side, facing her direction. His ribs moved slowly as he silently breathed in the rhythm born only of deep sleep. A pillow lay sideways behind his head; Hermione recognized it as the one he’d pushed out of his way earlier. He seemed to be a bit of a fitful sleeper, the type who tended to scatter the sheets every night and sprawl themselves ungracefully across the mattress. Draco, however, wasn’t capable of doing anything without grace. Even at that moment, with his blonde hair mussed in every direction and a lone blanket twisted round his legs, he looked like a bloody runway model.
Blast him, Hermione smirked enviously.
She clasped her fingers together in a desperate attempt to keep from running them along his pale white skin. The moonlight hit him from behind, lighting his figure and making him appear even icier than usual, almost like a frozen statue. In the back of Hermione’s mind, she felt blurry images of herself take root. He was dreaming about her.
“Sweet Merlin, I love you so much,” she whispered, collapsing under the weight of her desire and brushing her fingers along his soft hair. His whole body stretched in response, startling her and causing her to pull back in hopes that he wouldn’t awaken. Hermione had nothing to worry about, however, unless one counted the possibility of her heart exploding with longing.
How is it that he can be so formidable and yet so innocent at the same time? She mused, not wanting to blink and miss a single moment. As he moved in his sleep, she watched his muscles move under his skin. Draco drew out his long legs in a straight line, very like a jungle cat. Simultaneously, he’d inadvertently tugged the blanket at his waist very low, to the point were his hip was quite visible and the rest of him was getting close. Hermione’s eyebrows raised and she could barely contain a nervous giggle. It’s not as though I haven’t seen him naked- another almost-giggle. I need to get a handle on myself! She mentally scolded. What was it about making love all day that’d turned her into a giddy little coquette? She couldn’t stay focused on the problem, however; Draco was stretching again.
To her intriguing sensation of pity, the blanket didn’t move a second time. Her eyes scanned over him with interest. For some reason Hermione didn’t understand, she seemed unable to look away from the mesmerizing cut of his abs just on the inside of his hip. So delicate… so dangerous… her thoughts were getting away from her. If she weren’t careful, he’d most likely sense them and wake up.
Draco suddenly raised his arms, pulling them up and nearly covering his face. This single act provided the distraction his wife so desperately needed from his captivating musculature. There, along the side of his torso was…
Hermione’s mental creativity spiked suddenly and instantly hit overload. She was abruptly burdened with a ferocious need; the kind she hadn’t had the time to acknowledge in quite a while. It surprised her with it’s velocity, swamping her brain before she had time to grasp the direction from which it came. Okay, she thought, looking around her, I need light, not a lot, I don’t want to wake him- With a quick hand, she grabbed his wand and transfigured a few small articles around the room into lit candles. Gazing back to Draco, she sighed. Good, Hermione smiled, he still hasn’t moved…
Once again, she found herself drawn in by him. This time the culprit was the divine shape of his right arm as it lay draped along his profile. She’d never told anyone, not even Ginny, but she’d always been a sucker for great arms. Now, cast in the shifting light and shadow thrown off by the candles and the moon, Draco looked more otherworldly than ever. Even in sleep, he had an animalistic, supernatural strength that surrounded him like a cloak.
Gods, you’re one beautiful man, Draco Malfoy, Hermione thought. Finally tearing her eyes away from his slumbering form, she reached behind her for the handle to the drawer of her nightstand. Is it still in here? She wondered briefly, searching the darkness of the cubby with her fingers. When her palm fell upon what she sought, she knew instantly. Smiling happily, Hermione pulled the item into her lap. Now, she thought excitedly, time to get to work while I can…
Scritch… swipe-swipe… shhh-scritch-scritch…pfff…
“Hmm…” Draco contemplated moving his head, but he was still half asleep; it just didn’t seem important enough.
“What’s that sound…?” his voice was muffled by his elbow, bent and draped over his ear as he lay on his side. The unmistakable sensation of someone’s lips brushed against the skin of his upper arm. Hmm… my wife… he smiled.
“Good morning, Draco,” Hermione murmured, “or night, I should say. Stay still, please.”
With his eyes closed and his arm still laying parallel to his profile, Draco raised an eyebrow. “And… why am I staying still?”
“Because; I’m drawing your naked body.”
At this, Draco’s eyes immediately snapped open. Her sultry tone had been almost enough to make him leap at her. “You expect me to stay still?” he asked disbelievingly. “While you’re sitting there, wide awake and just as starkers as I?”
Hermione laughed quietly, “yes I do, as a matter of fact. I’m surprised you’re not still…” she cleared her throat and felt her cheeks increase in temperature, “…tired, actually.”
Draco’s responding laugh came from deep in his throat and was full of pure wickedness. In the glowing light of the few candles within the room, Hermione could see lust gathering in his eyes. “You don’t know when to stop, do you?” she asked, feigning a casual attitude.
“That’s funny; I recall you asking me, several times actually, not to stop,” he grinned.
“Yes, well…” she was cutely flustered with the newness of her own flood of sexuality.
“This isn’t easy for me, you know,” Draco indicated his motionless state with a small nod of his head and tried somehow to stretch.
“Stay still!” Hermione held a hand out to caution him. He noticed that she held a charcoal stick; it’s inky darkness was smudged across her fingers and a small streak ran across her forehead.
“All right, all right,” he sighed dramatically. “You certainly have your work cut out for you; drawing a physique like mine is no easy task.”
“You’ve certainly got that right,” she agreed offhandedly without guile or sarcasm. She’d rolled right back into her mode of concentration; the idea of joking around had instantly become lost on her. Beneath his arm, Draco felt a faint blush creep over his cheeks at her words. She’s my wife, with whom I’ve just made love for hours, he thought to himself. How is it that she manages to make me blush with her simple, straightforward praise?
“This is the first time I’ve really been able to… study you,” Hermione said, blowing a strand of hair from her face.
“Study away, love. Merlin knows I’m thoroughly enjoying studying you,” he smirked.
She cleared her throat again before a smirk captivated her lips, as well. “Likewise,” she murmured. “This is also the first time I’ve been able to get a good look at your tattoo.”
Draco frowned. “Really?” he asked, “that’s surprising; I assumed you’d already seen it many times.”
“I’ve tried to look at it many times, actually.”
“Is that so?” the smirk was back. His eyes told her he was on to her double entendre, “so this whole, spying-on-me-while-I’m-naked thing isn’t entirely new to you, hm?”
“Oh, Draco,” she rolled her eyes, “you like it.”
What he liked, was that she didn’t deny it. “Woman, you’ve got to be done with that sketch by now,” he groaned, “I’m dying to attack you.”
“Be patient…” she smiled. “When did you get the tattoo done?”
“When I was eighteen,” he replied, comically holding back another groan.
“So young for such a large tattoo,” Hermione murmured with interest. “Did it hurt?”
He stared at her with mercurial eyes for a moment before letting out a small laugh. “No,” he replied.
“Draco, I’m being serious!”
“So am I,” his tone was matter-of-fact, “compared to the shite people like us have been through, things like tattoos don’t ‘hurt.’”
“Point taken,” she sighed.
Draco watched her eyes rove over his body, trying not to think about how sensual she unwittingly was. He lay on his left side, facing her as she sat with a notepad balanced on her crossed knees. Down around his legs, a sheet was severly tangled. He glanced at it, then back up at her serious expression.
“Would you like me to remove the blanket?” he asked with a sly edge to his voice. “I wouldn’t mind, you know.”
“I don’t suppose you would,” she smirked knowingly at him, “the better to ‘attack’ me with, right?”
“Naturally,” he grinned wolfishly again.
“I’m… nearly… done…” she murmured, blending her fingers across the page. “This is quite an intricate tattoo…”
Draco’s tattoo spanned the entire right side of his torso, from just below the pit of his arm to his hip. It was a twisting, black, tribally-designed dragon. Hermione had gotten irrationally ecstatic when her beautiful husband’s ink had been exposed many minutes ago. Thank Merlin my old sketchbook was still in my nightstand! She thought with happy relief.
The tip of the dragon’s scaled tail curved high on Draco’s side, it’s body snaking down Draco’s own until it's vicious head and fanged mouth reared beside his hip. It’s bat-like wings were folded in close and it’s feet and claws were extended. Hermione’d had a wild thought upon seeing it: that she could easily picture it being his patronus. It suited him that well.
“Yes, darling?” his voice was still muffled by his arm.
“What’s your patronus?”
He snorted, “where’d that come from?”
“Your tattoo,” Hermione replied quietly, “it… looks like you, so I was wondering…”
“If my patronus is a dragon?” his eyes caught hers and she found herself unable to look away from their unfathomable depths. He held her captive for several moments, only breaking away to drag his gaze across more of her skin. “Unfortunately,” he continued, after the miniature stare-fest he’d had of her body that left her a tad bit warm, “no. That would be pretty wicked, though.”
“So, what is it, then?”
“Why’re you so curious?”
“Is it a gerbil?” Hermione countered, determined to get an answer out of him, “yes, that must be it; it’s a gerbil!”
“Hardly!” Draco sat up, to her instant malcontent. She tried to flap a hand at him to get him to lay back down, but the man would have none of it. “Relax, Mi, you’re done drawing,” he told her unconcernedly. Grabbing her sketchbook from her hand, he tossed it over his shoulder. It fell off the bed and clattered to the floor with irrepressible finality.
“Oi! That’s mi-”
Draco tackled her, covering her mouth with his hand, he said, “It’s still in one piece, I’m sure. You should be more concerned about yourself.” Her tongue darted out to lick his hand and her jerked it away in shock. “Woman!” he yelled, his grey eyes dancing with disbelief.
“A sea urchin!” Hermione laughed, “that’s your patronus, isn’t it?”
Sitting up and looking quickly around the room, Draco shouted, “hurry! Someone call a healer! I’ve shagged my wife senseless!”
“Honestly! I never would’ve thought a morning of shagging would make you so silly,” he laughed. “Well, and an afternoon’s worth, too, I suppose-”
“Draco!” She exclaimed again, taking her turn to clap a hand over his grin as her face turned scarlet. He took a gentle but firm hold on her wrist, pulling her hand back to nip at the tender skin between her thumb and forefinger. Her held her gaze, seeing the candlelight reflected in her eyes.
“A falcon,” he murmured slowly against her hand.
He smiled to see her so adorably distracted by him. She seemed to have forgotten her question. “A falcon,” Draco repeated, “peregrine, to be exact. That’s my patronus.”
“Really?” Hermione’s expression lit with interest.
“Yes… now tell me yours, Ms. Nosy,” he smirked at her.
“Nothing so glamorous,” she smiled, “just an otter.”
“Otters are practically gerbils!” Draco crowed.
“They are not!” she swatted at his delightfully bare chest, “they’re very clever and hardworking! They even set time aside to ensure they can play with each other!”
“A very enjoyable pastime, indeed,” he winked.
“Did you know,” Hermione asked, “that a peregrine falcon’s dive was once recorded at three-hundred and twenty-two kilometers per hour? That makes them the fastest creature on earth.”
“I did know that, actually,” Draco replied, finding her more charming than ever, “I’m glad you know it, too, though; that saves me the tiresome work of bragging about it to you.”
“As if you would ever get tired of bragging!” she threw her head back in laughter. Draco knew a target when he saw one. Without a nanosecond of hesitation, he dove in for the kill, smothering her with kisses. She squealed in shocked merriment, scrunching her body up and trying to breathe through his onslaught of tickles.
“Merlin’s beard, how did I ever survive before this?” Draco asked incredulously, leaning back a bit. His wife seemed unable to catch a full breath in the midst of his tickling kisses, and he chose valiantly to give her a break, if only a small one. She lay beneath him, gasping and giggling and rosy-cheeked. Rubbing at her neck and chest absently, she appeared to be trying to settle her nerve-endings from their most recent bout of enjoyable harassment.
“Maybe that’s just it,” she murmured, still trying to slow her breathing, “before, you were merely ‘surviving.’ Now, with me, you can really live.”
Draco absorbed her words and their simplicity for a moment, contemplating their unobtrusively deep meaning. “Look at us,” he said, indeed, looking at her still, “indulging in each other, in… in-”
“A naked tickle-fest?” Hermione supplied after a stray giggled bubbled up independently.
“Yes!” he agreed emphatically, “precisely! How did I actually exist so long without this? Without you?”
“I don’t know,” she replied honestly as she remained on her back. Looking past him briefly to the ceiling fan above, Hermione added, “it sure took you long enough, though.”
“What?!” Draco demanded in shock. Beneath him, she simply broke into cackles of vociferous laughter. “What was that?” he repeated, taking her by the shoulders and pulling her face to his. “I took long enough? I did? Ha! Have you forgotten that I had to kidnap you to get you to look at me? Woman, don’t even get me started-”
Hermione cut him off with her sudden daredevil expression. Before Draco had registered what’d happened, she’d taken him by the shoulders as well and had promptly flipped and pinned him. Her hair fell along the sides of her face in curtains of waves; her smile spelled out pure mischief.
“Come on then, Draco,” Hermione said, narrowing her eyes challengingly as her smile widened, “get started. What’re you waiting for, hm? Don’t wait for little old me to get you started.” Her slim fingers held fast onto his arms, preventing his movement as he stared at her, openmouthed in awe.
“As if I needed any proof,” Draco muttered, shaking his head lightly under the canopy of her brunette locks.
“Proof of what?” Hermione questioned, tilting her head to the side and scrunching her nose up impishly.
“That my wife’s a cheeky, wicked-hot little smart-arse!” Draco replied, grinning brilliantly and flipping her once again as the sounds of her crystalline laughter flooded the room.
When Draco and Hermione finally left the small loft, it was nearly midnight and they’d gone the whole day without food. The mundane concept of fueling oneself took a backburner when compared to the thrills of lovemaking. All the same, intimacy becomes humorous in a way it only can between a close couple when one hears the other’s stomach growling in violent protest. Sadly, internal organs don’t give a shite about the glory of physical euphoria; they have their own needs.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been so hungry,” Hermione joked as they strolled down the sidewalk toward a nearby twenty-four hour diner.
“It’s called ‘working up an apetite,’ love,” Draco grinned down at her, only to laugh in surprise when she smacked him on the bum in response. They continued to harass each other affectionately all the way to the restaurant, catching the curious gaze of many a nightowl as they passed.
Who are they?
Look at them…
They must be in love-
Love like that is actually real?
Could I have that?
I wish I had that…
Neither of them realized it, but they were the subject of jealously and longing to all through who’s presence they breezed. Draco held the door open for Hermione and she pivoted to smile radiantly at him. She reached for his hand as they sought out an empty booth. The waitress blushed when she caught Draco’s eye, dropping their menus twice and causing Hermione to snort into her glass of water. When the flustered young woman walked away, Draco turned an amused face to his wife.
“What?” he asked, smirking.
“You know ‘what,’” Hermione replied, snickering and kicking him lightly under the table. “Merlin’s beard you can turn some heads.”
“It’s a gift really- oi!” he yelped, dodging another of her kicks.
Laughing and joking and joyously teasing, Draco and Hermione, in their quiet little booth, were the definition of a young couple in love. Ordering thick potato soup, tall club sandwiches, and strong, hot coffee, the eager two made quick work of their meals. They alternated between talking and relaxing in comfortable silence, laughing and throwing their straw wrappers at each other. When the waitress came to pick up the bill, she managed, under Draco’s casually intense glance, to drop that, too. Hermione had never seen anything so funny.
Draco quirked an eyebrow at his jubilant wife. Hermione literally glowed in his presence, from the inside out. He leaned forward, placing his elbows on the table. Hermione squinted at him curiously and did the same, bringing their faces close together.
“You know what?” Draco whispered.
“What?” she whispered back, smiling with interest.
“I like you like this.”
“Oh really?” she questioned, “and how’s that?”
“Lighthearted and adorable as a kitten, a witty one, of course,” he added.
“Oh, of course,” she nodded imperially. Circling a fingertip across the tabletop, Hermione asked, “so, what do you plan to do about it, then? What control do you have over my mood?”
“Apparently, a lot,” Draco smirked at her mock-scandalized expression, “as for what I plan to do about it, well, let’s just say that it’s a good thing shagging you is the most enjoyable thing I’ve ever experienced. It looks like I’ll be doing it very often.”
He winked at her and leaned back just in time to avoid her pinching his nose, which was what it appeared she was determined to do. He successfully snatched her outstretched hand and stood, tugging her up from her seat as well and pulling her body close in a smooth movement. Hermione opened her mouth to protest, but he prevented her from doing so by covering said mouth with his own. Behind her, Hermione heard something land on the floor. What has the waitress dropped this time? She wondered, smiling against Draco’s kiss. When they broke apart, she reached up impishly and tweaked his nose, her eyes twinkling with laughter.
“All right, you saucy vixen,” he nipped at her fingers, “let’s get out of here.”
They breezed though the café and toward the exit, an uncanny virtual trail of je ne sais quoi following in their wake. The gentle ringing of the bell above the door lingered in their ears as they stepped into the cold winter night. Hermione pulled the hood of her giant parka up over her head, shivering.
“All right, there?” Draco asked. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, smirking all the while. His own coat wasn’t even buttoned.
“How are you not freezing?” she raised her eyebrows at him incredulously. “We should’ve transfigured you a thicker coat, for pity’s sake!”
“Pity nothing,” he scoffed, “My blood runs a bit hot, is all,” her glanced down to wink at her before adding, “I know you’re brilliant, and all, but the transfiguration spells on these clothes had just better last.”
“Oh?” Hermione felt a chuckle rise in her throat. “Not interested in finding yourself abruptly in my clothes?” her eyes danced as she posed the ridiculous question. “You should be glad the idea even crossed my mind! Or, perhaps you’d rather continue to wear those battle-scarred black pants of yours?”
“Ha!” Draco exclaimed, tightening his arm to bring her closer. “Glad I am, Mi, I assure you. I must say, though, even if I do have the incredible ability of making anything look unbelievably hot, should this spell wear off somehow, I think I’d find your clothes a bit uncomfortable.”
“Questioning my skills are you? And here I thought you liked getting into my clothes-”
“Gah! Flirt! Could you be any more tempting?!”
Hermione laughed at his mockingly pained expression. They’d made it nearly halfway back to her flat, choosing to enjoy the walk despite the cold instead of simply disapparating. The latter choice, however, would’ve been a less surprising and eventful one.
“… his face…”
“Could it be…?”
Draco tensed, sharpening his senses to the suddenly significant sounds around him.
Thanks to the blood of her husband, Hermione, too, could literally feel the sensation of newness and danger. They’re on your left, in the alley we just passed, she thought to him, trying to maintain an artless expression as she listened intently along with him.
Yes, he agreed.
Do you think they were talking about you?
Yes, Draco repeated, and they’re following us.
Hermione resisted the urge to spin around and confirm his unwelcome observation. Steeling her jaw, she contined to stare straight ahead while her mind whirled a million miles a minute.
Have you caught full sight of them at all? Do you think you know them? Did you recognize their voices? How many of them are there?
Hold up, Draco cut her off; there’s only two of them. I don’t think I know them, but they’re definitely werewolves. We won’t have any real problems, unless they decide to make a scene-
The shout came from behind them. Draco stopped in his tracks, halting Hermione along with him and counting to ten under his breath. She felt his anger rising in his shock and indignation at being blatantly called out. Oh, Merlin, she thought to herself, please let this not turn into a catastrophe in the middle of muggle Chicago…
“You are Malfoy, yes?” the second of the two voices asked. It was female and mild, though not hesitantly so, with a Spanish accent.
Draco slowly turned, keeping Hermione tucked within his arm as he did so. His eyes were narrowed as he surveyed the strangers that stood side by side, nearly ten paces away. “I am,” he began, the remainder of his response dying in his throat at the mind-boggling and ecstatic looks on their faces.
“Yes,” the first of the strangers whispered in awed excitement. He was a tall man in his mid-twenties with light brown hair and an apparent indifference to shaving. A week’s worth of stubble grazed his jaw, managing to mostly hide the flush of red in his cheeks. If the hue was caused by the bitter air or the obvious thrill of meeting her husband, Hermione didn’t know. She realized that she was madly curious about it, though.
“We knew it,” the mystery-man continued. He and his petite, dark-haired companion walked briskly toward Draco and Hermione, eager to see the surprised blonde man up close.
“How could it not be?” the Spanish werewolf asked; she looked to be twenty years of age. Her eyes twinkled delightfully when Draco moved in front of Hermione to keep her from their reach. “Look at him, Blake; see how he glows, how he preciously keeps her from harm.”
“Who the bloody hell are you?” Draco asked fiercely, scowling.
The man, Blake, straightened his shoulders officially and set his jaw. A gleam of pride came into his eyes, and he spoke, “Blake Telling and Leilah Erres; werewolves, members of the clan under the leadership of Draco Malfoy,” he paused to gaze over to Hermione’s expressly intrigued face, “and his wife, of course. The Clan of the Dragon.”
A/N: Blake - (English) "Dark; bright"
Leilah - (Persian) "Dark-haired beauty; night"
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