A/N: Hi there! This is my first-ever fanfic, and took me three weeks to write (I've edited it a bajiliion times or so, and my bff Sam (I'll give her more credit in a minute) beta'd it for me :D). I hope you enjoy it!
Back to my bff Sam, both here and on Mars: thank you so much to the lover of all things to do with Harry Potter and Queen of Slytherin; for reading my fanfic the first time, second, third and fourth time and giving me tips!
Sitting carelessly on a barstool in the Leaky Cauldron, a blue eyed blonde leans on his elbows against the bar wallowing in his only comfort these days. Firewhiskey. His position is one of an accepted defeat: he was facing the bar, leaning against the table on his elbows, head down and looking at his smoking beverage and fiddling with the rim of the glass containing it.
It's a Friday night and the only people in the pub are a couple of bums and three or four witches and wizards - these ones in particular have nothing better to do with their lives than drink themselves into a stupor, him included. He was only on his first glass of firewhiskey and was still painfully aware of his surroundings and the people in them, as well as the unfaithful, cranky, bitch of a wife at home. He was only married to her because it was arranged by his bastard of a father, who very conveniently forgot to tell him about it until the day of the unfortunate event. There was no way out of it, either, because his father had signed a magical contract signing every one of his son's possessions over to his new daughter-in-law-to-be. So the blue-eyed man had been faced with two choices: marry the woman who was honestly worse than Voldemort, or be disowned and forced out on the streets with nothing but the clothes on his back.
The icing on the cake? Not even a day later he found out she was a muggleborn. The only reason his father had made him marry her was to restore his family's honor after the war had ended and Voldemort lost, and seeing as his father had been one of Voldemort's top supporters, he was regarded as scum by most of the wizarding community. Until, that is, he made his son marry the muggleborn.
Truth be told, the blue-eyed man didn't even really care that she was muggleborn. He had gotten over his stupid prejudices about blood purity and all that bull very soon after the war ended. No, the real problem (aside from the known fact that she not only slept around, but bragged about every man she slept with to anyone who listened) was that, after the marriage, none of the purebloods he had ever talked to – and they were the only people he talked to (once again because of his damn parents and their pureblood mania) – would even look at him. He was alone. He had married the ungrateful wench, and every Friday, Saturday and Sunday after that when he wasn't working in the Auror office he went to various pubs here and there to wallow in his misery. It had been like that for three years now.
The door slammed open and a woman who was soaked to the bone half-limped in. The blue-eyed man looked over curiously for a half a second, but quickly looked away without interest. Nothing was very interesting to him anymore. She was probably just like him: unhappy marriage, too proud to cheat, came weekly to get drunk and forget about life for a few blissful hours. He didn't watch as she walked over to the bar as naturally as she could with her clearly injured leg, threw her leather over-the-shoulder bag onto the ground next to the bar, and collapsed onto a barstool three or four stools away from him. Now she would order a drink (probably something weak, due to an inability to hold her liqueur), get drunk quickly, and stumble home. He wondered briefly if he knew her; the curly brown hair cascading down her back and her professional attire (white button-down shirt and khakis) seemed vaguely familiar.
"Firewhiskey, please, Tom;" she told the bartender softly and bitterly. "And leave the bottle on the table." This caught his attention. She was a regular? He perked his ears and listened intently, wondering if she was the type to cry out her life's worries to the bartender. He snorted, imagining what it might be. Husband is cheating... their children hate her... no friends... lost her job... yeah, probably just like him, just without the children and lost job.
"Another bad day with the husband, Hermione?" Tom says softly back in a knowing and sympathetic nature, intended more as a statement of fact than a question. So she knows Mr. Bartender on a personal level? A total regular. Maybe there was going to be some good, interesting stuff in this.
"Don't you know it." She put her head in her hands, her fingers raking through her golden-brown curls. Tom rested his hand on her shoulder comfortingly before getting her drink. Yup, there was the fatherly gesture. Tom was about to hand her a shot glass when she raised her hand to stop him and said, "No – give me a gillywater glass, please." The blue-eyed man looked at her as if she was insane; gillywater glasses are large and tall, a lot like a tall muggle beer glass but thinner and slightly shorter; and his mouth dropped open when Tom sighed and actually gave it to her before going over to help another customer. She poured herself a glass and took a great gulp of the firewhiskey, relishing the searing sensation it left in her throat, closely followed by a second and a third. Huh, maybe she wasn't a pansy. She leaned against the bar on her elbows looking at the glass, much as the blue-eyed man had been. Her posture sang of helplessness and defeat. Mhm, she hadn't gotten the blue-eyed man's attention now.
Then something Tom had said hit him, and the blue-eyed man began full-out staring at her as she poured herself another glass of firewhiskey. Hermione? As in mudblood Granger, Hermione? Now scrutinizing her appearance, he could see the resemblance between this woman and the Granger he knew from Hogwarts. Though her hair was no longer a bushy, wild mess and was now a soft cascade of honey-colored curls falling down her back, it was still the same golden-brown color it had been in school. He leaned over the table, trying to get a better look at her face. Her eyes were still chocolate colored, but there was something that he couldn't quite put his finger on about them that was different, and… disturbing. Sitting back in his stool in a more normal way, he took in the rest of her body. She still had the characteristically long legs that the old Granger always had, though she had filled out more and was… well, to put it simply, a woman. She wasn't hiding herself under her clothing anymore, either. Clad in that simple white button-up shirt and khakis, with a black leather coat that was now discarded next to her, the clothes suited her. Like, really suited her. She looked very professional, just as she had noted earlier, but it wasn't in a stern or cold way. She pulled off the look quite nicely. Hermione Jane Granger was, he admitted to himself with a wince, beautiful. Of course she had always been pretty at school (which he had only very grudgingly admitted to himself a couple of years after leaving Hogwarts, when he found a picture of her in the Daily Profit. She was being recognized as one of the most talented witches to go to Hogwarts, and there was a picture of her when they had been in their fifth year.)
She felt him watching her, and her head whipped around to look at him. She jumped back and almost fell off of her stool, knocking over her glass in the process, when she realized who he was. Surprise, Granger, he thought bitterly.
At first, Hermione was shocked so badly that she could think or speak.
It had been five, almost six years since she had last seen the sneering, pale-faced and blue-eyed man that was now before her. Of course, he had been different then; before they left Hogwarts, his posture alone rang of arrogance – he was tall, erect and proud. Now, however, he was slouched over and his pride was quite clearly gone. His icy blue eyes also used to be cold and full of malice, but now they seemed devoid of emotion. The way he dressed, in those days, was meant to show off his wealth and family status: if he wasn't in the Hogwarts school uniform, it was always black dress pants, expensive white button-up shirts, and dress shoes that were polished until they shined brighter than the sun. Now, though he was still sporting the old white button-up rolled up to his elbows, he was wearing jeans and sneakers. Granted, they probably weren't your everyday cheap shirt, jeans or sneakers, but she had never seen Malfoy dress so casual– or so muggle.
She swayed a bit and gripped the counter to steady herself, hissing in pain when her hand came in contact with broken glass and firewhiskey.
"Shit," she muttered, taking out her wand and cleaning up the mess. She shot a glare at him as she mended her hand and hoped he could feel his nose throb where she had punched him in their third year.
"Sod off, Malfoy," she snarled at him when he didn't stop staring with that look of utter bewilderment. She couldn't believe that after thinking that she was rid of him five or six years ago that he was back to haunt her. Oh, I bet he loves seeing me like this, she thought with a sneer. The great Hermione Granger, brains of the group, proud bookworm and brightest witch of her age; broken, sitting at a filthy bar, trying to get drunk because her life sucks.
The real reason that she was so unhappy to see him, however, was because it reminded her of a time when her life had been so much happier and simpler. But of course she refused to admit that to herself.
She turned away, poured herself another glass of alcohol and resumed her drinking; and after a couple of minutes her upper body was once again hunched over with hair obscuring her face, as if the weight of the day's stress had been placed on her shoulders.
Five large glasses of firewhiskey later, Tom came over again. Resting his hand on her shoulder again, he told her "I think you've had enough to drink now, Hermione." Indeed, more than three quarters of the bottle was gone, but she just shrugged as if not much in life mattered to her anymore. Her head was still bowed when he asked softly, but just loudly enough for Malfoy to hear, "What did he do to you this time?" Her eyes shot to where Malfoy was sitting and watched as he took his turn almost falling out of his seat while his eyes widened at the words' implications and the tone they were said in. Watching Malfoy carefully, Hermione slowly and hesitantly took out her wand and took off the concealment charm; revealing a puffy black eye almost swollen shut, a large bruise on her cheek, and a split lip that was still bleeding slightly. There were other bruises, some yellow and fading and others not, that cluttered her face as well as a couple of scratches. She winced at Malfoy's look of horror. Why so horrified? Isn't this what's supposed to happen to mudbloods? She wanted to hiss at him. She bit her tongue instead and looked away.
Tom took her chin in his hand, tilting her head this way and that to examine her injuries. The way she kept her eyes down, her posture relaxed, and didn't object to his scrutiny, added to the way Tom's hands gently held her face in a caring way that a father may put to use, Hermione knew that Malfoy could probably tell that it was a routine thing. She wondered if he could tell that Tom had become a fatherly figure for her.
"Mother of Merlin, Hermione," Tom said softly. He tilted her head up slightly and examined a red and raw ring around her neck that looked as if someone had put a cord of some sort around it and attempted to strangle her.
"Mother of Merlin is right," Hermione watched Malfoy whispered to himself. She watched coldly as his eyes followed her bruises down her neck, pause at the ring, and then past her collarbone to where her shirt hid the rest from view, and watched as Malfoy came to the conclusion with a shudder that they were all over her body. Finished with his inspection, Tom put a new concealment charm on her and she ripped her eyes away from Malfoy. She felt the familiar warm sensation trickling down her that signified that, because of the charm, she was beautiful as ever. Tom moved out from behind the bar and sat on a stool next her and she turned to look at him, unwillingly allowing Malfoy get a glimpse of her eyes. She glanced at Malfoy and quickly away again as his eyes widened in shock at what they saw, what he couldn't quite put his finger on before: the life, fire and passion that had always refused to burn out at school had been completely drained away. In its place left a beautiful but empty woman. She whispered something so that Malfoy couldn't hear, and scowled when he just took out his wand and cast a charm to heighten his hearing as Tom began replying.
"-didn't just beat you today, did he?" asked Tom, his voice ringing with helplessness. Hermione shook her head. "What happened?" he persisted. She hesitated, wondering if Malfoy was still watching, but refused to look at him again. For now. She finally lowered her head down again, and finally began speaking softly.
"I hadn't had the time to make dinner between the time that I got home from work and the time he did," She told Tom in a strangled whisper. "The Head of the Department of Magical Affairs– I told you that I worked at the ministry, right?– Well, he pulled me aside for a moment to talk to me because he was worried about something. I had come into work late the past couple of days and he said that it wasn't like me, so he wanted to make sure everything was okay. God Damn it, I was an idiot," she moaned, putting her head in her hands. "I accidentally mentioned something about some troubles with Ron," at this Malfoy tensed, hoping he was wrong about his suspicion. "And he was suspicious… It took me 45 minutes to convince him everything was fine, I had to make up some crap about my grandmother coming to stay with us for a few weeks and that he doesn't like her much. I got home and then about a half-an-hour later he came home, too. He was an hour early and I hadn't even finished cleaning the kitchen. And, well, you know how he is when he's angry. He started screaming about how incompetent and useless I was, and how I was a waste of skin and a good-for-nothing mudblood." Malfoy winced as he recognized his old nickname for her. "He took out his wand and cast a spell… I don't know what it was… but it suddenly felt like I had an invisible ring around my neck," tears began to well in her eyes as she began talking really fast, getting more hysterical by the moment, wanting the memory to end. Malfoy felt an overwhelming pain for her and dreaded what was coming next. "Whatever it was lifted me up from the floor and hurtled me upstairs, and then he threw me onto the bed and took the spell off just before I blacked out and he pinned me down and ripped my clothes off – and – and – and he –" She turned back to the bar and buried her head in her arms, breaking down into sobs. Tom rubbed her back in that fatherly manner and with a tortured expression.
Malfoy felt sick. Turning back towards Tom, one half of a glance told her that he did. She could see it; he had turned even paler than usual and his eyes were wide. She saw in his icy blue eyes that he had either gotten over his ridiculous prejudices or forgot who she was; either way, she could tell that he felt like an ass for making her miserable during school. And now, she thought bitterly, I'm getting an even worse hell from my husband. Congratulations, Draco effing Malfoy. She wondered, squirming in her seat uncomfortably, if he knew– or even had an inkling– who it was.
"When are you just going to leave that bastard of a Weasley, 'Mione?" Tom muttered shaking his head. Hermione winced for the umpteenth time, as Malfoy's mouth dropped open in shock yet again. Well, that answers that question, she thought to herself bitterly. Wonderful. She could almost see the red haze of anger wash over his vision as his suspicion was confirmed, and could imagine him shouting in his head It's the Weasel doing this to her?And she's letting him? Even if it wasn't someone he knew, (through hatred or not), he probably couldn't believe that anyone would subject themselves to that – or that someone would do that to another person.
She slumped forward a little more, her head still bowed. She could feel Malfoy's eyes boring into the top of her head. "The worst part," she whispered, not knowing who she was talking to anymore, "even worse than the bruises and fractured bones… is that I didn't have the strength, or even the willpower, to fight him anymore." She started to take another sip of firewhiskey, but an annoyed Tom snatched the glass away from her before she could and Vanished it.
"You've had enough to drink," he echoed himself from earlier. Hermione once again merely shrugged. He groaned. "Damn it, Hermione, that man is going to kill you one of the days!" Tom whispered angrily.
"I– I don't know what to do," she whispered after a couple of seconds as she put her head in her arms again, vulnerable and helpless. A brawl erupted between the two bums in the corner of the pub and Tom hesitantly and reluctantly went to break up the fight. When he left, Malfoy couldn't keep himself from getting up and sitting next to her.
Malfoy may have never particularly liked Hermione (okay that was an understatement), but after leaving Hogwarts and taking a second look at life, he somewhat regretted the way he had treated her. Alright, that was another understatement. And the remorse grew every day. He wanted to apologize, to reconcile with her, but his pride - his goddamn pride - always got in the way. But now, after seeing what he saw, he didn't know what else to do.
After sitting there for a moment without her realizing that he was there, he mustered up some courage to speak.
"Why do you let him do it?" he asked her, telling himself that it was just out of curiosity. She jumped a little and sat up, and turned to face him slowly and hesitantly, emotions flashing across her face. Shock, because he was talking to her. Alarm, because he sounded concerned. And terror at the thought that he knew.
"W-what do you mean?" She said, flustered. Malfoy noticed that she wasn't swaying or slurring her words at all; it seemed she could hold her alcohol very well.
"You know damn well what I mean," He said, frowning intently. His eyes locked onto hers and trapped her in his gaze.
"I– I really–"
"I heard you telling the bartender," he said softly. His tone was gentle yes firm, and told her arguing would be useless; yet Malfoy doubted that eventually it wouldn't stop her from doing so.
"Damn it Malfoy why do you care?" she glared at him. "I'm just a filthy, worthless, good-for-nothing mudblood not worth the slime on your shoes, if you remember. You certainly reminded me enough in school." She turned back to the bar counter and conjured herself another glass, and after pouring herself more firewhiskey, took a sip and ran her finger slowly and tenderly along the rim of her glass.
Malfoy winced. "I'm sorry for what I did to you at school," he said to her sincerely. "I was a bloody idiot who needed two things: attention, and to be better than everyone else."
"Draco effing Malfoy, that's the truest thing I've ever heard you say in my life."
"I know. I was an asshole."
"You were," she said and nodded; agreeing. "And a bastard, as well as an arrogant prick and a big-headed jerk that needed to get over himself."
"Yeah," he said, somewhat uncomfortably. He struggled for something to say after that.
Hermione was the one who broke the moment of awkward silence. She shook her head slowly, saying softly and clearly reluctantly, "But there's something you're forgetting about, Malfoy."
"You can call me Draco, you know," he said, smirking that signature Malfoy smirk, but without the coldness and hate. "I won't hex you." Hermione grimaced. If she was going to be cordial, she would have to let him use her name as well.
"Alright… Draco…" Hermione grimaced again. "Then I suppose you're allowed to call me Hermione, and I'll try my best not to hex you," she said reluctantly. "Seriously, though," Hermione continued after a few seconds, "You're forgetting something." Draco furrowed his brow and stroked his chin, clearly attempting to make her smile at least a little bit. When it was clear she didn't find it amusing he dropped the act and replied in what seemed to be all seriousness.
"I was a prat who needed to face reality and the fact that he wasn't the most adored person in the world." Hermione shook her head slightly, the corner of her mouth twitching upwards against her will in what would normally have been a small smirk, but right now, for the lack of practice, was a little more of a grimace. "An unbelievable git who's going to hell for being so bigheaded?" She shook her head again.
"Definitely, but that's not it."
"A blind bugger who was so dim-witted that he decided to look past your beauty and wits and treated you like scum because of jealousy and your parents, among other things?" she looked at him again questioningly but amused, blush creeping up both of their necks.
"Well I was going to go with the fact that you were taught that mudbloods such as myself are scum so it really wasn't your fault, but I guess that works, too," she said, the corner of her mouth going up in half-smirk for the second time. It almost reached her eyes this time; not quite, but Draco figured that if he could get her to smile again that in another couple of tries he could get it to.
Draco rolled his eyes and rested his hand on hers. "Stop saying that word, will you?" She flinched away from his touch almost as soon as it occurred and placed her hand in her lap.
"And why should I?" she demanded. "Even my husband says it," she murmured to herself at the end so that Malfoy almost couldn't hear it.
"Your husband is a bastard who should be thrown in Azkaban for the rest of his life for what he does to you," Malfoy growled. She was about to protest when he cut her off, saying "Don't defend him! It made me sick to see what he did to you–"
"Which is quite clearly nothing, because as you can see, I don't have a single mark on me!" she cut him off. He glared at her, but she knew that it was because he knew she was lying and he was sick of it.
"How can you still deny what he's doing?" he demanded, completely nonplussed. "I heard you telling Tom about what he did today! I saw what he did to you!" He grabbed her shoulders and searched her eyes pleadingly. "Admit it! Please! Admit that Weasley is hurting you, that he hit you and raped you! It's going to drive me insane!" he begged as she shrank away from him. He removed his hands when her eyes began to fill with tears as though burned by her look of fear and sadness.
"He– it's not–" she gasped around strangled sobs. "If I were– were just a better wife– a better– a better person–"
He grabbed her shoulders again, more gently this time, but firmly so that she couldn't shrink away from him.
"Don't you dare," he growled with icy fire in his eyes. "Don't you dare blame yourself for what he does." She finally succeeded in wrenching herself out of his grasp and he turned away from him, tears shining in her eyes, clamping her hand over her mouth to stifle sobs.
"Hermione," he whispered, and she glanced and him, taking her hand away from her mouth and wrapping her arms around herself protectively. She was turning away from him again, but before she was completely turned he flicked his wand at her and the concealment charm came off. She turned the rest of the way away quickly, humiliated.
Before, Draco had only seen one side of her face; and even though he only got to see the other side of her face for a second before she turned away, he could tell that if anything, that side was worse. Malfoy gently put his hand on her arm, and then slowly turned her to face him. When she was facing him again she shot a glare at him with angry tears in her eyes, but he gently took hold of her chin with his thumb and forefinger and turned her head so that he could look at her injuries, placing his other hand on her shoulder comfortingly.
She had a deep cut going from her temple to her jaw line, and yet even more bruises; one on her cheekbone looking particularly nasty. His fingers gently brushed over them for a moment. Then he took out his wand and traced the cut, causing it to heal and leaving only a very faint scar in its wake. It would fade in about a month. Then, pointing at each of her bruises, he healed those as well; eventually she looked like she did with the concealment charm earlier, save for the scar on the side of her face.
Without thinking about what he was doing, he suddenly leaned in and traced the scar with a series of small kisses, starting at her temple and going down to her jaw. Draco felt Hermione stiffen immediately, but to his surprise she didn't pull away. Both of their hearts began beating slightly faster and Hermione's breathing started going a little more quickly as he got to the end of the scar but didn't stop, instead continuing along her jaw and arriving at the corner of her mouth. He lingered there for a few seconds, expecting her to pull away, but when she didn't and instead her breathing became very shallow and fast, he moved on and they gently closed their lips closed over each other's, kissing gently once… twice… and suddenly Hermione pulled away, a hand flying up to her mouth, and terror filling her eyes.
"I– I–" she struggled for speech. "I have to go," she said quickly, her eyes wide. She was gone in a flash with her bag and coat, running in a surprisingly straight line for a woman who had 5 large glasses of firewhiskey. Draco was sitting there, feeling helpless, when who and what she was going back home to hit him in an enormous wave. He threw the contents of his pockets onto the bar table, hoping that in them there would be enough money for both of their drinks; though doubting that if there wasn't that Tom would press charges. Running out the door he saw her running through the rain towards an alleyway where she could safely apparate away from prying eyes, and Draco sprinted after her. She reached the alley and was beginning to turn on her heel when he grabbed her upper arm, forcing her to stop, and spun her to face him. They stood there for a few minutes: Draco, holding onto both of her arms close to her shoulders so she couldn't apparate and a slight panic in his eyes and panting for breath; and Hermione, silently crying and doing everything in her power to not look at him. Finally Draco removed one of his hands and used it to turn Hermione's face gently to face him and trapped her in his stare, and his eyes bored into hers; searching. Draco wasn't even sure what he was looking for; but whatever it was, he found it.
The hand on her face moved and, cupping the nape of her neck, he crushed his lips down onto hers.
Hermione didn't trust herself to think anymore.
All she knew was that she was falling hard and fast for Draco– a Malfoy– and had to get out of that pub. She was about to apparate away when that godforsaken man caught up to her in the rain.
It was like one of those stupid muggle romance movies.
And then his lips were on hers; and he was kissing her, and she was desperately kissing him back. She couldn't think; the sweet smell and the taste of his lips combined were intoxicating and made it impossible both breathe and hold a coherent thought at the same time. He let the hand that wasn't on her neck go to the middle of her back, and he held her to himself while Hermione's fingers wove themselves through his hair. When they both needed air to the point where they were going to pass out soon, Draco moved to her neck and began kissing it softly. Hermione gulped in the sweet air, tasting the rain; and then the oxygen finally got to her brain, and she was suddenly able to think again. Her eyes, which had closed themselves while Draco's hot mouth moved against hers, flew open again as her hands went to his chest to push him away, and Draco moved his hands back to her arms.
"I– I can't," she said in a whisper, pushing herself away from him.
"Why not?" Draco asked, almost in a pleading tone.
Hermione's mouth opened and closed as she struggled for an answer for almost five seconds; an eternity; and he took advantage of that by leaning down and kissing her again; but this one was soft and tender. Nothing but pure emotion. Her will to resist immediately began crumbling when she realized what he was doing, and she pushed away again.
"Draco, just- just look at this logically-" she whispered.
"No," Draco growled, kissing her neck again. Hermione's knees felt week and she knew that if he kept this up she wouldn't be able to resist for long.
"If Ron-" Draco's mouth moved back to hers, and her wall of resistance, already incredibly weak, crumbled; and she was once again kissing him back.
Draco deepened the kiss by tilting his head a little more, and Hermione responded; surprising Draco. He ran his tongue across her lower lip, begging for entry. Hermione hesitated for about a half of a second but he ran his tongue across her lip again and she immediately opened her mouth to let him in, unable to resist. As they explored each others mouths, Draco slowly let one of his hands travel up her arm and back onto the nape of her neck again, while his other hand found its way to the small of her back, holding her body to his. Her hands slowly made their way up his muscled chest and around his neck, and he groaned slightly while turning on his heel and aparating them to the small, private house he lived in on the weekends to get away from his wife.
When they were there, she didn't hesitate and threw her bag and coat on the floor while they both discarded their wet shoes. Draco pushed her onto the first surface he saw: the couch, all the while his lips never leaving hers. Smiling slightly, Draco's tongue caressed Hermione's, and continued the passionate kiss. He slowly pressed her into the couch while they kissed, both of them heating up and their breathing getting heavier. Finally both of them needed air, so Draco moved to Hermione's neck as she gasped for breath. Hermione's hands moved to the shirt he had on, undoing each button agonizingly slowly, torturing Draco; and when it took her a whole minute to undo three of the buttons, her fingers brushing ever so lightly against his skin and setting it ablaze every now and then, he took over with a growl and quickly undid the rest of the buttons and threw it onto the floor. Hermione smirked and ran her hands across his muscled chest, and Draco thanked the gods that he still played Quidditch with the only friend he had left, Blaise, every Monday – it was what got his muscles to where they were. He groaned into her neck and stood up with her again, now pressing her into the wall beside the doorway for to the stairwell leading upstairs and returning to her mouth. The hand on the small of her back moved down a little more, pressing her pelvis to his as the kiss deepened even more; assuming that was possible. Hermione's eyes widened when she felt the bulge in his pants; she couldn't possibly have that effect on him after an hour or so of conversation about her abusive husband and a bit of kissing.
Hermione moaned and Draco moved back to her mouth yet again. The hand in her hair moved down her body very slowly to the crook of her knee, sending waves of heat and shivers through Hermione's body at the same time. When he finally reached his destination, he quickly picked up her knee and placed it around his hip. Pressing her even more into the wall he took her other knee and placed that one around his other hip, lifting her up to the same height as him. One of Hermione's hands went into his hair as she gripped his waist tightly with her legs, and when Draco was sure she was holding on tightly, he removed his hands from her legs and began unbuttoning her shirt even more agonizingly slow than when she had been unbuttoning his; now he was taking his turn teasing her.
Finally, he got impatient with his game, tugged her shirt off and threw it to the floor, revealing a plain tan bra and a beautiful though devastatingly bruised body. Shock flooded through him when he saw the evidence of the extensive violence she had endured for what must have been years; and he marveled at how even though he had been a little rough, she hadn't shown any pain in the slightest. Against Hermione's desires he pulled away and set her down, and for a moment she thought that he was disgusted with what he saw and began to turn away from him as she had done earlier that night; but then he took out his wand and with a flick made all the blemishes disappear – even the ones still covered by cloth.
They rushed back together and the wand was discarded on the floor as she jumped up and once again wrapped her legs around his waist, and their lips moved together in a frenzy of passion and lust. Draco, breathing heavily, began slowly walking up the short flight of stairs to his bedroom. He set her down on his large bed and she unbuckled and tugged off his belt, throwing it into a corner of the room; soon his jeans were on the floor around his ankles and he was standing in his grey silk boxers. She gently pulled him down on top of her and he expertly removed her khakis; and then those were on the floor as well. One of Hermione's hands traveled the expanses of Draco's chest, feeling his muscles tense as they left a fiery trail over his torso, while the other hand remained on his neck. Draco left her mouth again, traveling down her neck and to her bra with a trail of kisses and nips. Before she knew it, her bra joined the other clothes on the floor, and their bare chests were touching and on fire.
Going back to her mouth again, his hand began traveling down her back towards her panties the same time her hand began its journey to his boxers; Draco smirked slightly: they had been thinking the same thing. Before removing her panties, Draco softly stroked the inside of her thigh teasingly and Hermione moaned.
"Hmm, have I found a sensitive spot?" Draco murmured, smirking evilly. Suddenly both articles of clothing on the floor and he was moving inside of her.
It was a dance, and they were equal participants. Draco, for the first time since his marriage, liked someone who liked him back; and it was the same for Hermione. It wasn't full-blown love, but both of them felt that what they had could go somewhere. Their bodies moved in sync, slowly at first and growing faster as panting grew into moans, which, in turn, turned into screams when neither of them could hold on anymore and they both let go. Draco rolled off of her, both of them panting.
They fell asleep in each others' arms, both of them softly stroking each other's hair and smiling: both Hermione and Draco felt happier than they had been in almost three years.
In the morning, Hermione woke to find Draco watching her with caring eyes. They stayed lying down, smiling at each other, for probably close to a half-an-hour.
"Can – can I ask you something?" he asked, his smile faltering a bit and sounding curious but hesitant.
Draco hesitated, speaking slowly. "Why didn't you heal your injuries yourself?" Hermione's smile fell and she hesitated for a moment as well, and also spoke slowly.
"I did, for the first few months… That was almost three years ago. But for every bruise or cut I healed, I got two more to replace it. Eventually I didn't see the point anymore and started using various charms and spell to cover everything up instead." Draco frowned slightly.
"So what are you going to do now?"
"I'll have to start looking for a place to stay. Maybe Harry and Ginny have a little space, and I could stay with them."
"Any particular reason why?" a little smirk played across the corners of her mouth.
"Well, this really great guy I met convinced me to leave my bastard of a husband and get my life back," she said smiling a little.
"That guy must be very smart," Draco observed with a grin.
"Yeah, Tom is very smart," she said with a sly smile as Draco scowled. She stretched her neck up to kiss him gently on the lips. "Kidding," she softly with a smile. Draco smiled back and kissed her. It was a kiss with no passion, lust or need; just pure emotion and love. Suddenly he pulled back, a small frown on his face.
"One other question." Hermione raised an eyebrow.
"How in the bloody hell do you hold your alcohol so well?" he demanded. Hermione laughed.
"That's for me to know, and for you to not," she said, grinning mischievously. He scowled but recognized defeat, so went back to kissing her; even more gently and reverently than before.
A/N: How'd ya like it? I love constructive criticism, so feel free to tell me about every mistake or bad part you think should be changed! You can also just flat-out say you hate it if you don't feel like giving a reason, I'm tough and can handle it :) so what are you waiting for? R/R!