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A/N's: Well here's the next chapter, sorry it took so long, College life can distract you from writing, but here it finally is. This is the aftermath of Hermione's very illicit night, as you can probably guess by the chapter title.
As always I've really enjoyed your reviews and your screams for more. :-)
Well on with the story. Enjoy.

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Chapter 10 The Aftermath

You can't hide your lyin' eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
There ain't now way to hide you lyin' eyes

She gets up and pours herself a strong one
And stares out at the stars up in the sky
Another night, it's gonna be a long one
She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry
She wonders how it ever got this crazy
She thinks about a boy she knew in school
Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
She's so far gone she feels just like a fool
My, oh my, you sure know how to arrange things
You set it up so well, so carefully
Ain't it funny how your new life didn't change things
You're still the same old girl you used to be.
Lying Eyes by The Eagles

The first rays began to filter their way through the heavy and oppressive dark curtains, at first making their way downwards from the wall opposite the window, until they finally fell upon the sleeping couple lying haphazardly on the bed. The blankets were strewn on the floor, while only the light sheets clung around their naked bodies. Hermione was the first to stir, tossing her head lightly when the beam of sunshine hit her eyes, causing them to flutter in her sleep as her body slowly but surely pulled her from the lulls of sleep. She groaned tiredly and finally opened her eyes blearily, not quite registering where she was. She was lying on her bed, though it only took another few seconds for her to realise, the reason why there were light goose-bumps along her exposed arms was because she was in fact not wearing any clothes. Coupled with the fact that there was a very manly arm draped across her waist holding her securely, caused her foggy mind to begin to work into overdrive on trying to remember how she got into this situation. She groggily rolled over in the bed and faced the owner of the male arm, only to find a sleeping Draco Malfoy next to her, his hair very tousled and messed from sleep, still distinctly fast asleep. It was also at that moment she realised the curtains hanging on the window were in fact green and not red and gold. She was not in her own room.

It was at that moment her mind really woke up and her eyes sprang open fully as she took in the scene before her. Her body awoke properly from the sleep and she deftly tried to move out of his arms, but they held her securely around her waist. Hermione groaned lightly and tried wriggling free but Malfoy wouldn’t give way, whether asleep or awake. She let out a huffy sigh and dropped her head back onto the pillow, her hair splaying around her. She gently prised Malfoy’s fingers open and lifted his hand from around her waist, slipping out from beside him before she dropped his hand back onto the bed. Hermione sat up on the edge of the bed, shivering slightly from the early morning chilliness so she wrapped her hands around her shivering naked body and stood up. A thin grey woollen blanket was lying over the wooden chair next to the desk and Hermione quickly picked it up and wrapped it around herself. The room looked a mess around her, books that had previously been neatly stacked on Malfoy’s table were toppled over and lying on the floor, along with quills, clothes and a multitude of Quidditch things. Hermione looked about her, for anything of hers, but when she found nothing she shuffled towards the door, clutching on tightly to the blanket she had wrapped around her.

Hermione quietly opened the door and slipped out, closing the door silently behind her, before making her way down the stairs to the common room. On her bare feet, Hermione padded down the wooden stairs and walked across the common room and saw her clothes scattered throughout the common room. Her underwear and jeans she quickly found next to the fireplace and swiftly pulled them on, dropping the blanket onto the sofa. Her jumper unfortunately was a little harder to find, they had gone and hidden themselves with her shoes and socks. Hermione quickly darted around the common room, looking for them, under the table and near the sofa, anywhere where she might have ended up the night before.

Maybe it was the lack of sleep, or the fact that she had just woken up, but Hermione was still quite numb to the events of the last night, but as she lifted up the seat cushions of the sofa, flashes of the last night returned to her. She looked up at the table and remembered how Malfoy had pushed her against it, and the bruise she got on her lower back was still hurting her. Hermione sighed and shook the thoughts from her mind, concentrating on locating her lost items of clothing, but the memories and thoughts of their passionate night wouldn’t leave her.

Hermione held back a sob as the guilt over what she had done set in; hitting her with such a force she was winded and blown away. Last night she had cheated on Ron with his, and her worst enemy and no matter how she tried to explain it away, Hermione couldn’t. Last night had been the point of no return and she had crossed it and no matter what she said to herself, there was no forgiving what she done. She let out a sob as her hands flew to her face, trying all she could to hold onto some form of control, but Hermione couldn’t. The sobs increased in intensity and her body shook with them, tears were freely flowing down her face and all Hermione could do was stand there in the middle of the common room, trying to find her blasted jumper. Through her streaming tears she finally managed to find her shoes and socks lying underneath Malfoy’s pyjama bottoms he had been wearing when she first entered the common room after that fight with Ron, that fight that nearly destroyed her relationship.

She felt so terribly ashamed for what she had done and let out another sob as she threw the cushions away from her in a frantic attempt to find her lost jumper. Another fresh wave of tears made their way down her cheeks and as much as she scrunched up her face in an attempt to stop the tears, they rolled down her face.

What had she done?

Luckily for her the jumper was located shortly afterwards, thrown carelessly over a wooden chair and as she picked it up and made her way back up the stairs to her room, she clung as tightly to her composure as she could, and it was only when she was in the shower that she finally let it go and cried in earnest.

Hermione’s body wracked with sobs, as the guilt washed over her, like a powerful wave, threatening to pull her under and suffocate her. She pushed her hands against the tile wall for support, letting the hot and powerful water wash over her and even when the water fell into her open eyes and mouth she didn’t move or try to stop it, so deep was she caught in her own horrible feelings. The pain that was coursing through her body, the remorse and shame was like nothing she had ever felt on this earth and she was afraid of it.

At that moment she felt more alone than ever before. There was no one she had who she could talk to, no one who would understand and that killed her. She had probably destroyed everything precious she ever had with Ron, for some feeling with Malfoy. If Ron ever found out he would never forgive her.

Hermione pushed back those thoughts for the moment; they were too hard to deal with. Instead she began washing out the dirt, taking comfort in the distraction of not having to think. Unfortunately as hard as she tried to scrub the sweat from her body from her illicit night with Malfoy, the more memories returned to the surface of her consciousness, tormenting her soul. Hermione closed her eyes as a flash of the night returned to her, their hot, sweaty bodies on his bed, the sheets tangled up in their feet. She violently shook her head to dispel the thoughts and continued to scrub her body clean as the tears began rolling down her cheeks again. She suppressed a sob and rubbed harder on her arms, the skin growing red and sore, but Hermione was feeling too polluted and ashamed to stop. She felt so horribly dirty and filthy from the last night and as hard as she scrubbed her body raw, the memories would not fade and neither would her guilt. Her chest heaved with the wrack of sobs as she laid her head against the cold tiles to cool her flushed body.
“What have I done?” she cried brokenly through her sobs, dropping her head into her hands. Her legs gave way and she slid down, until she landed in a crumpled heap on the shower floor, the hot, hard water beating down onto her back. She tugged her knees up close to her and hugged them tightly.

What had she done?

It took Hermione a full hour to recover somewhat and compose herself as she lay on the shower floor, her back aching from the blistering and pressurised water. She cried until she could cry no more and afterwards cried some more. Hermione was feeling the lowest she had ever felt and no matter how many scenarios ran through her head, she had neither the courage nor the justification to see them through. As to what she would do about Ron, she really had no idea.

It took her a long time to calm herself down, but she eventually did and when she felt confident enough to stand, she gingerly pulled herself up and stretched her tired and cramped muscles. Her legs were screaming in protest and Hermione cried out in pain as they spasmed, but eventually they too did subside. She hadn’t even realised the water was turning cold and she quickly wrapped her arms around her shivering body and turned off the lukewarm water. Hermione grabbed a towel from the rack next to the shower and wrapped it around her shivering body, hissing as the slightly rough material made contact with her red and sore arms. She got dressed in her oldest and most unflattering clothes she owned, a large knitted jumper and a maroon set of cords. Hermione couldn’t even bear to make herself look nice and looking in the mirror at her reflection made those feelings of shame even more acute. She snorted at the reflection staring back at her, noticing the dark circles under her tired eyes and saw how different she looked, with a defeated and broken look on her face. She tried to crack a smile to make herself look better, but let it slide from her face as the feelings of shame returned.

Hermione allowed one more tear to roll down her cheeks, before she angrily wiped them away with the back of her hand and left the bathroom, making her way to somewhere quiet where she could hide, undisturbed from anyone and especially Malfoy.

Her aimless wandering through the corridors of Hogwarts led her to the most unexpected place she thought she would end up in, the Owlery. Hermione sighed and walked into the cold tower, maybe this was a good place to hide in for the moment, it was still early and the tower was still empty, the owls hadn’t returned from their hunting yet. Stepping in between the dropping strewn floor was difficult, but Hermione made her way over to the large open window, which thankfully was free of any droppings. She tentatively leaned her arms against the cold stone windowsill, and stared out into the hazy sky. The morning mist was gathered around the Forbidden Forest, making only the treetops visible in the hazy hue. She sighed and let her thoughts roam with the birds flying this early in the morning and for the first time that early cold morning she didn’t stop the tears from falling.
While she was caught in her reverie, that dark and despairing pit her mind had conjured for her guilt-ridden consciousness, the door of the Owlery creaked loudly, as it let in someone else. Hermione spun around startled, the tears still clinging to her lashes as she appraised who had come in. It was not like Ron to be awake so early, and by the sight of his surprised face, he hadn’t expected her to be awake so early either. Another tear fell down Hermione’s face as she looked at Ron, who had dark circles under his eyes and obviously not slept well either. The guilt churned loudly in her stomach, causing her to let out another sob and turn her back to him. She couldn’t face him, after what she had done. She concentrated on watching the first of the owls returning to the castle after a night spent hunting, but her ears were attuned to Ron’s shuffling as she made his way around the near empty rails, looking for his own owl, more than likely.

They continued with their pretence for a while longer, acting as if the other weren’t there, though being more than aware of each other’s presence, for the tension in the air was so strong, it threatened to suffocate Hermione, in her hour of despair.

The shuffling of the feet stopped and Hermione almost wished Ron had left the Owlery again, but when his voice spoke up, her back stiffened.

“I’m sorry Hermione” he tried tentatively. Hermione just stood there with her back to him, staring out onto the grounds. When she did not answer, he continued, a little unsure at first, “I’m sorry for being such a prat to you last night. I know you’re right and I’m sorry I hurt you so much”.

The tears Hermione had been hiding by having her back to him, became worse and her shoulders sagged with Ron’s apology, knowing full well if she turned around right now she would lose whatever tentative hold she had on her emotions and break down completely. As hard as she tried to control her tears, a sob escaped her, echoing eerily of the empty stonewalls. Ron took a few steps towards her, the sound practically deafening in the quiet tower and he halted there, a foot away from Hermione, unsure of what to do. A moment later he decided and he gently turned Hermione around and held her to him.

This turned out to be Hermione’s undoing and as if the flood of tears had broken free of their dam, began to freely make their way down her cheeks. Hermione sobbed like there was no tomorrow, clinging tightly to Ron as wave after wave of guilt and despair washed over her, and were she not in his strong and comforting arms, she would surely be lost at that moment.

“It’s okay Hermione, please don’t cry”, Ron whispered into her ear, holding her closely as she leaned into his chest, soaking is woolly jumper with her tears. This did nothing to stop her, it only caused her to cry even more, and Ron had to rub her back in an attempt to calm her down.

“Come on ‘Mione, it’s okay I’m sorry for what I said to you last night and I promise I won’t be that vindictive again, just please don’t cry”.

It took Hermione a moment to finally calm down and she hiccupped as she nodded her head into his chest, showing him she heard what he said. She slowly lifted her head, glancing up at him through tear stained red eyes and smiled awkwardly.

“Please don’t apologise Ron”, she croaked out, “I don’t want you to-“

She was cut off by Ron’s finger on her lips, silencing her speech as he smiled down at her. Hermione gulped as she looked up into Ron’s adoring blue eyes. The words she had been about to utter, caught in her throat. The words, which were filled with regrets and an apology for all she had done to him, died on her lips when he looked down at her with those loving eyes, and she couldn’t look at him anymore. Her gaze flickered down to his chest, gulping back the knot that had formed in her throat. Ron must have noticed her change, and he gently placed a finger under her chin and lifted her head up so he could look at her.

“Are you okay Hermione? You looked like you wanted to say something, I shouldn’t have stopped you”, he asked concerned, so affectionate it tore at her heart.

She blinked away the tears that had been forming once again and smiled a watery smile up at him, knowing at that moment she could not go through with her plan, she couldn’t tell Ron. He meant too much to her and she couldn’t lose him.

“No Ron there’s nothing I wanted to say other than I’m sorry too for fighting with you last night”, she tried a confident smile to reassure him and visibly relaxed when she saw him smile back at her.

“I love you Hermione”, he said simply, leaning down and kissing her.

She slowly pulled away from the kiss, her lips still tingling as the tears threatened to start again and pushed as hard as she could the guilty feeling to the pit of her stomach and replied with a smile, “I love you too”.

Hermione had left shortly afterwards, armed with the knowledge that her boyfriend loved her more than anything and she could not lose that. Just the thought of his loving gaze and his affectionate nature, strengthened her while she was feeling her lowest and with this strength and love in her heart she made her way back to the Heads Common Room, intent on finishing what had happened the night before. She didn’t stop to see if Malfoy had finally woken up, it was not in his nature to be an early riser, so she strode up the stairs to his room. The door, which she had earlier on left open after her escape from his room and his arms, was still ajar. Hermione steeled herself, collecting all the courage she possessed, drawing on Ron’s words, and took the step into his room, staying in the doorway. Malfoy was still not awake, though he had moved a little his bed since she had left it, the sheets were only barely drawn across his torso, one feet kicked out, hanging loosely over the edge of the bed. Hermione faltered at the doorway, not sure how to wake him without drawing closer, and contended with making loud coughing noises, much like Umbridge used to do a few years previous. This did nothing but cause Malfoy to grunt incoherently in his sleep, and Hermione huffed in irritation.

“Malfoy!” she called out, a little hesitant at first, but he wouldn’t move. “MALFOY!” she cried loudly.

Malfoy jerked startled, his head rising at the loud noise, and turned around to face Hermione, his eyes bleary.

“Granger”, he replied, his voice husky from sleep, that Hermione noted had quite a sexy edge to it. A smirk grew on his face as he woke up properly and he sat up in the bed, not bothering to draw the sheets up around him or getting dressed. As he cocked an eyebrow at her, Hermione knew he was doing it deliberately and she closed her eyes briefly, lest he catch the tear rolling down her face.

“Merlin’s sake Granger you sure know how to wear a man out with those numerous antics we got up to! I never even woke up when you left” Malfoy drawled, sweeping his hair away from his eyes against his head again that made Hermione want to slap his hand away, but when she realised her thought, she blanched slightly and shook the thought from her head.

“I mean the sound of you moaning and screaming out my name like that last night, I never knew you had it in you, and what you done with your tongue-“ Malfoy whistled, sounding genuinely impressed, and he looked at her in a whole new light that would normally have pleased Hermione, but that morning it made her feel more sick of herself.

She dropped her head as a silent tear rolled down her cheek, unsure of what to say for the first time. She finally raised her head and looked at Malfoy with such a morose face, he stopped whatever snide remark he was going to say and stared at her.

“Last night was a mistake Malfoy and it’ll never happen again. You and I are over”, she said tonelessly as she stared into his emotionless grey orbs.

“Yeah right Granger!” Malfoy laughed, then his tone dropped an octave as he gazed at her hungrily, “Now get over here so we can finish what we started last night”.

“No”, she replied, keeping her position in the doorframe.

“What you’re actually serious?” he asked amazed, and then he let out a derisive laugh. “Oh like that’s ever going to happen Granger, face it you can’t keep your hands of me, you pretty much proved that to me last night. You’ll come back again”.

“Malfoy I’m very serious”, Hermione spoke, her tone very serious with a hint of irritation in it. “We’re enemies, I’m a Gryffindor and you’re a Slytherin. Not only would my friends hate me, as would yours hate you, the whole school would probably turn against us because of my betrayal, and you would also lose your precious reputation you seem to care about so much! I mean sleeping with a Gryffindor must be bad enough, but to sleep with a Mudblood Gryffindor who is your enemy. No Malfoy you’re going to be wise for once and keep your mouth shut about this and see it for the big mistake it is!” Her tone held a warning note in it, that made Malfoy realise she was deadly serious and now was not the time to taunt her over it.

Instead he sat up straighter and fixed Hermione with his gaze, “You’ll come back Granger, I know you will”.

Hermione just sighed, before she turned on her heel and walked out of his room.

Anyone who thinks the story ends here, I have only this to say. “I shall think you a simpleton!” Oh God help me, I’m quoting Jane Austen again!

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