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I awoke the next morning with a pounding headache and a sore stomach. Inhaling sharply, I glanced groggily around the room, searching for my bearings. Nothing was familiar. I was suddenly alert, attentive. It wasn’t until my wide eyes fell onto the sleeping figure next to me in the bed that it all came flooding back to me.

The pounding in my head increased; it felt as if someone was constantly banging at it with a hammer. An alarm rang inside of me and I fell back onto the pillows, my heart racing and my mind sifting through last night’s events. I felt as if I would be sick. I clutched my throat, gulping down the gagging sensation. The room spun out from around me and I shut my eyes tight against everything.

What had I done? What on earth had possessed me to have sex with my fiancé’s best friend? I glanced at Blaise sleeping peacefully beside me. He was lying on his back in a straight, neat position. Half his body was covered in the white silky bed sheets; his bare torso lay naked in front of me. My eyes racked over the smooth ripples of his muscles and my mouth watered. I reached his face, smooth and vulnerable in its sleeping state. His soft lips were slightly parted, and his eyes moving slightly under his lids as he dreamed. I almost fainted.

I had been angry with Draco last night. Was that the only reason I had slept with Blaise? To give myself a sense of payback? No, that was definitely not it. I was not a slut. I did not go around sleeping with other men just for the fun of it. I loved Draco – that was more truthful than anything. But as I recalled last night, I knew that my desires for Blaise could not be held back. Hence why I had allowed him to take me back to his flat and given myself to him.

I found myself growing angry at this. How dare he bring me back here when he knew something like this would happen? He knew I was engaged for Merlin’s sake! Why did he have to go and ruin everything I had built? This man I barely knew!

I silently agonised over everything for a few minutes until a stirring Blaise rolled over and wound his arm around my waist. He rested his head on my shoulder, waking up. I stared down at him, frozen, my brain unable to send messages to my body fast enough. He blinked at me groggily for a second before a faint smirk twitched at his lips. The arrogant bastard’s way of saying good morning, I assumed with slight annoyance.

“You’re still here, Granger.” He stated without surprise. He craned his head up to peck me on the lips but I dodged away, shoving his hands away from me and sitting upright in bed. Blaise clucked irritably and climbed out of bed, slipping on a pair of grey sweat pants. He wandered shirtless into the bathroom where he disappeared for a few moments to emerge with a clean towel. He threw it at me. “Take a shower,” he instructed bitterly, opening the door that connected the bedroom to the lounge.

As soon as the door clicked shut behind him, I began to cry. At first they were slow, regretful tears, but they soon evolved into stifled wails of pain and betrayal. I cried for what I had done and who I had done it with… behind Draco’s back. I was still bawling when I climbed into the shower and washed all evidence of Blaise from me, making sure to run the soap over my body three times. I made sure all signs of Blaise’s alluring aftershave went down the drain with my pain.

When I emerged ten minutes later, I had managed to stop crying, but my eyes were still red and puffy. I ventured out into the kitchen where Blaise sat hunched over a bowl of cereal and the morning newspaper. He looked up as I entered. I stopped at the counter and we stared at each other for what seemed like hours.

Blaise was the first to speak. “What do we do now?” He had obviously cooled down a considerable amount, but I could still hint that previous anger linger beneath the surface.

I pressed the base of my palm to my eye and rubbed it hard, unsure of how to answer. “I don’t know.” I eventually replied in a withered, exhausted voice.

Blaise set down his spoon and stood to his feet. He was still shirtless, and I tried to keep my eyes away from the ripples of his abdomen. I remembered scraping my fingernails down them last night. I winced at the vision of our naked bodies and my moans of elation. I realised just how helpless I was right at this moment.

Blaise stopped before me and took my hands in his. I wanted to pull them away, but something in Blaise’s eyes assured me that he was not going to do anything stupid. I merely stared back at him, refraining from becoming lost in the violet eyes that still remained mysterious.

“Hermione, we need to do something about this – about us.” He said with a heavy tone, concern in his drained expression.

I sighed, casting my eyes to the ground, trying to ignore the growing awareness in my mind of the warmth of Blaise’s hands. “What do you suggest?” I asked, at a loss of making a decision for myself.

“Obviously we can’t tell Draco.” This did not need to be voiced, but I gave him credit for being brave enough to mention Draco’s name in this situation.

I nodded in agreement.

Blaise sighed and the silence encased us as we both thought about our treachery to Draco, and the consequences. But what was mostly on my mind was everything that had happened last night; the pleasure, the security and the best damn sex in my life. I knew I was being irrational, but what was I to do?

“What do you want to do?” I finally asked to break the silence.

Blaise rubbed his thumbs up and down her palms. “I know I don’t want to stop seeing you.” He said and I hinted his genuine tone. “I know it was wrong, but last night was… wow.” He seemed flushed as he added this. My heart ached. He was right. Last night was… it was definitely wow.

I loved Draco – I knew that much was true. But I knew even better that I could not just ignore my feelings for Blaise now that they were recognised. When I wasn’t with him, I physically ached for him, and when I was with him, I hated the thought of going back to Draco. I wanted to spend all my time with Blaise; Blaise made me feel like nothing I’d ever felt before. Everything about him was so satisfying, yet it was unsatisfying that I could never get enough. I had found myself at a crossroad.

“As much as I love Draco and I hate hurting him, I don’t want to stop seeing you either.” I said before the words had properly formed in my mind. But even as they left my mouth, I knew they were one-hundred percent true. Merlin, what had become of me? Was I seriously considering cheating on Draco just to satisfy feelings that would most probably not morph into anything other than physical needs?

As soon as I asked myself this, the answer was clear:

Yes.

Blaise’s face crumpled into a smile, all previous signs of anger and worry gone, replaced with relief and satisfaction. He still sighed heavily, however, and I found myself following suit.

“We should lay low for a while.” He said matter-of-factly, running a hand through his shiny black hair. I nodded in understanding. Blaise opened his arms and I stepped into them. He hugged me close to him to seal the arrangement. I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to go back to Draco and face him; one: because he was most probably still angry with me for leaving him last night and two: I had slept with his best friend and things would be awkward.

But I knew I had to.

“Draco’s going to want to come around and talk to you.” I told Blaise with a heavy tone as I stepped away from him, ready to leave.

Blaise tilted his head sideways in question. “Why?”

I blushed slightly. “Our fight was over the fact that I didn’t want you at the party.” I admitted shamefacedly. I shifted on my feet, ready for the questions to start pouring in, bracing myself for Blaise’s inflamed eyes and raised voice.

But instead he grinned. “Why, do I smell bad or something?”

I couldn’t help but laugh, relieved. “It’s just… there was enough going on already – I was confused enough as it was. And having you there wouldn’t have helped much.” I said. Half of it was true, but I did not want to admit to Blaise that I was pissed off at him. What, and ruin the moment? No way.

Blaise chuckled light-heartedly. “I get what you mean. I didn’t want to be there either. The last thing I wanted was to create more conflict. But Draco insisted…” he trailed off with an apologetic smile.

I nodded and told him truthfully that it was OK.

“So what am I going to say if Draco asks whether I knew where you supposedly went last night?” Blaise asked as if it were a daily routine. I prayed to Merlin it wasn’t.

I wracked my brain for a plausible explanation. “Just say you saw me apparate out but have no idea where I went. I’ll think of something to tell him. Just play the innocent card – I’m sure you’re good at that.” As I said the words, I couldn’t believe I was thinking of a lie to feed to my fiancé of my whereabouts last night.

Blaise nodded, telling me he understood. “Are you going to be OK?” He asked, running his hands up and down my arms reassuringly.

I shivered at his touch, but swallowed my feelings down. If we were going to lay low, I supposed I should start getting used to it now. “I’ll be fine. Wish me luck.” It seemed ironic. I felt sick, but I gave Blaise an assuring smile before apparating away. I appeared in the empty lounge of mine and Draco’s flat. I gawked at the mess; paper cups and plates littered the floor, there was rubbish everywhere, and drink and food spills occupied almost every available surface. Obviously the party had become a little out of control. It was disgusting to see the house so messy.

I poked my head into the bedroom to find fast-asleep Draco sprawled out across the bed, the sheets falling away. He was snoring gently, indicating deep sleep. A pang of guilt flitted through my chest but I pushed it away and quietly snapped the door shut. I glanced back at the room and groaned at the mess. I was about to whip out my wand and utter a quick spell to put everything back in their right places, but realised a good clean up the muggle way was just what I needed to take my mind off things.

Half an hour later, the room was immaculate once again. Ravenous, I buttered myself a bagel and sat down on the couch, gazing out the window to the busy London streets below. I was glad I did not have to go into work today. Piles and piles of papers and reports were not what I needed right now.

By the time I had finished the remnants of my bagel, the door to the bedroom swung open and Draco ventured in, looking drowsy and uncoordinated. He yawned, and suddenly stopped dead in his tracks when he laid eyes on me. I merely stared back at him with a blank expression on my face.

I expected him to fire off at me for leaving him without notice, but his features softened and he crossed the room, stopping before me. “Hermione, I’m so glad you’re OK. I called you at least fifty times last night.”

I realised I had not taken my cell phone with me last night. Just as well, I thought.

“I’ve been so worried. I thought maybe you’d gone and got smashed or something.” Draco continued, suddenly awake and alert and looking extremely guilty.

The guilt was pressing in on me again. He had spent most of the night worried sick about me, while I had been sleeping with his best friend. But I did not allow it to get to me. What Draco didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. And at least I could live with knowing that Draco had no idea of my unfaithfulness and I was safe. For now.

I was about to relent, to accept his concern as an apology and tell him everything was OK, until I remembered just why I had left last night.

My expression hardened into a glare and I folded my arms across my chest. “Do you think that petty argument was worth me getting smashed over, Draco?” I demanded angrily. I knew this was the last thing I should be doing right now, but I couldn’t help it. I was just so angry.

Draco was taken aback; he had obviously expected me to drop all thoughts of the argument. “You looked pretty upset last night and –”

“Uh-huh, and why do you think that is?” I interrupted rudely, staring him down with brutal eyes.

Draco was still shocked. “Hermione, look – I know you were upset, but I wanted you and Blaise to at least be civil. Was that too much to ask?” Although I knew how much he wanted to throw away his morals and yell at me, he was doing a good job of keeping his temper under control.

My glare intensified. “I told you from the start there was no way I could get along with that skiving, arrogant bastard!” I felt guilty for describing Blaise in such a way, but felt reassured at the knowledge that they were not true.

Draco folded his arms across his chest, scowling. “You barely know him, Hermione – you can’t judge him so quickly. He’s my best friend.”

“And I’m your fiancée.” I said stubbornly.

Draco’s lips twitched and I knew he was about to explode with anger, but he managed to swallow it down. I felt a little disappointed when he heaved a sigh of surrender and dropped to his knees in front of me. “Hermione, I’m sorry about last night, OK? I guess I was asking a little too much of you. I don’t think I would be able to do the same with Potter and Weasley, so I guess I can understand where you’re coming from.” He said, obviously desperate to make amends with me.

Not bad, I thought, considering my forgiving him. But I found myself wondering whether I was still angry with him or whether I was only acting like this to deter any thoughts of last night and the immense guilt I felt. Perhaps I wanted Draco to suffer too?

Whatever I was doing, I knew it was not fair on Draco.

I finally nodded after a much agonised argument with myself and told Draco he was forgiven.

He smiled and drew me into a hug, kissing me passionately – a kiss that was not easily returned by me. I prayed Blaise’s taste still did not linger in my mouth.

When Draco pulled away, I expected him to question where I had gone last night. But he didn’t, and I didn’t know whether I felt relieved or worried that he was not curious of my sudden disappearance. And I knew I was being paranoid, but I kept wondering whether he knew I went off with Blaise.

“You would’ve been better to stay last night, anyway.” Draco offered and I was sure he had been able to read my mind.

“Why is that?” I asked curiously. Somehow I did not think I would’ve wanted to stay judging on the mess. I was not one for wild parties, and with all the food and rubbish lying around, it was obvious hadn’t been playing scrabble.

“Blaise left around the time you did. You missed out on a lot of fun.” He looked as if he were holding something back.

I swallowed the lump in my throat. “I bet I did.”



A/N: OK, so I was reading this book called Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin today and realised that what I had in mind for this story is completely along the lines of what happens in that novel. It was so scary that a lot of my ideas have already been used. And here I was thinking this was quite original! So seeing as I do not want to change the story around, I've decided I'm going to kind of morph it into the novel... you know, make them similar. So, as of now, this story is 'inspired by and loosely based on' the novel Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin. Take that for a disclaimer!

I'm sorry that this chapter was a little boring, but I needed to explain and set a few things and yada yada. But I hope you enjoyed it nevertheless. And I swear there will be much more 'enjoyment' in the next chapters that you won't know what hit you! For now, leave some reviews and let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is encouraged! Thanks so much, guys! ^_^

Danielle xx

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