Chapter 13
A View From All Sides

Hermione was sure it was wrong. Whatever it was that boiled inside of her when Draco touched her, kissed her, muttered his stupid, tempting words in her ear; was very, very wrong. After all, it was Blaise that truly liked her, and with how quickly Draco had accepted the idea of keeping their affair secret, she could only assume that he was still only in it to distract her from his friend. She knew all this, it was as obvious as an ink drop on a piece of blank parchment, but somehow there was still a part of her that was second-guessing.

No, not second-guessing. Never second-guessing. Because Draco was plain, his motives were obvious, and when it came to reason he was about as deep as a puddle. No, there wasn't doubt of any sort, but maybe she was letting herself believe there was. Perhaps Hermione was simply letting herself be distracted at times, like she was technically suppose to be from Draco's side of the whole ordeal.

You couldn't really blame her, considering it had been almost a week since Hermione had told Draco it was he she really wanted to be with. A week jam-packed with secret meetings with the two Slytherins, lies to her teachers and friends, and abandoned prefect duties, so much so that Hermione hardly had time to do her homework let alone see her friends. She had dwelled on this recently, but found it to be the last worry on her mind. It had only been a week, she was sure Harry and Ron were just brushing it off as her usual swamp of homework that she would get every so often, considering she had taken so many more classes then them still.

No, perhaps the more important worries were the fact that Blaise had yet to tell Draco that he had 'given up' on trying to be with Hermione, like their plan had originally implied, and Hermione was becoming more and more nervous as she was slowly but surely enjoying her times with Draco more and more.

And that's what was wrong. Wrong because Draco hardly even talked to her when they were together. For some reason, talking was awkward, or at least, far more awkward then making out was. Maybe that was because Hermione had a feeling he knew she was lying to him sometimes when they talked, and it was much easier to snog, and avoid it.

Hermione had to admit that Blaise was right in saying that snogging was Draco's element. Within a few days he had learned things about Hermione that she wasn't sure if anyone else knew. Things like where to kiss her to get the best reactions, and how far he could push her before being stopped, or smacked, depending on how far over the line he had managed to get. And it seemed now every time she saw Draco, she ended up letting him push just a little farther then the time before. It was scary in a way to have someone suddenly know her so well, but at the same time, maybe that's why she liked it so much.

It's not that she was falling for him. No, for when they were not kissing he was just as much of a git as he always was, telling her it was to cover up their affair, shooting her snide comments in class and keeping up hateful glares when passing in the hall. She could never fall for him. It was simply lust, a fantasy that she unfortunately had for years, despite her hate for the blonde.

She couldn't really blame herself for liking his attention. After all, how many times had she heard of scandals happening between women where Draco was the center of the problem? Why did these scandals happen? Because Draco was relentlessly passionate when it came to the sexual side of relationships. Draco mastered in making girls melt. Hermione was sure that by now, causing problems was simply a reflex for Draco.

No, it was not Hermione's fault that she was enjoying Draco's attention. This was really Blaise's fault, because if it weren't for him or his stupid idea, Hermione would have nothing to do with Draco at the moment. She would have ignored their initial kiss, pretending it didn't happen, and go back to hating the blonde as she always had. If Blaise hadn't told her that it was the only way they could be together, she wouldn't be doing it.

Hermione yelped slightly, interrupted in her walk towards her Ancient Runes class as someone grabbed her elbow and hauled her out of her thoughts and off with him into an empty classroom, one of the many places they had chosen over the past few days. His lips were on hers before they even got in the room, opening the door blindly, a skill he obviously had practice with. He led her inside by a grip around her waist, kicking the door shut behind them with his foot. Hermione had pondered over how many girls he had brought into this room the first time they had taken residence in the musty class, but now that it was their third, the memory of the thought was quickly forgotten when she was trapped between the wall and him.

She had let out another sound as Draco grabbed behind her knees to lift her, her stomach flipping as his body pressed against hers quickly, now only being held off the ground by his frame pinning her to the wall and the hold she had around his neck. She felt a shiver crawl over her as his hands already moved to feeling over her legs, fingers daring up her skirt to touch skin that Hermione only allowed one other person to feeling.

She couldn't completely blame Blaise. It wasn't really his fault. After all, if he knew where Draco's hands were, and the sound that Hermione was allowed to escape from her lips as Draco kiss her; he'd put a stop to it immediately. Hermione just didn't want to admit to herself that she had the power to stop this. If she admitted that, that means that she was letting it happen on her own free will, and that was even worst then letting it happen because Blaise told her it had to.

She smothered the idea in another kiss, Draco's hair already askew from tangling her fingers in it the moment she had been grabbed, hers probably just as messy if his was any example. She grabbed for his tie as he tasted her, loosening it and breaking the kiss for a moment to pull it over his head before his lips found hers roughly again, then moving into amazing kisses down her jaw and neck.

"Have you never heard of conversation Draco?" Hermione asked, despite the second chill that caused her body to openly shiver as his breath roamed over her neck. She had heard a bit of a laugh, mildly distracted by his hands, which had returned to hold behind her knees, the bare skin that had been grazed by his strong touch feeling like fire.

"Sure. I usually only need to talk to convince someone to make out with me though." He said, a grin on his lips, one that Hermione had become surprisingly fond of. It wasn't like his sneer, which was tainted with an undertone of loath, but instead had a hidden pleasure in it, while being openly sexy and mischievous.

"For some reason, that's actually believable." Hermione muttered, hearing another laugh from him before he kissed her, strong and filled with the excitement of the moment. As he broke, he stayed close, so that their mouths were practically still touching, and she felt his reply on her lips as his move to speak.

"I don't lie Hermione." Her name on his tongue made her eyes opened, watching him looking down through her heavy lidded eyes, no doubt watching the closeness of their bodies, or perhaps how high her skirt was pushed up. She found her breath stolen as the eyes she had been watching shot up to hers a second later, so close and so stunningly silver it they made her heart stop.

"Now you're lying." She whispered once getting her voice back, feeling his lips stretch into the grin again, before being engulfed in another kiss, and another wave of pure exhilarating passion. This had to stop, now. Before it really was too late for her. She couldn't allow herself to become another Pansy Parkinson, striving for the boys attention like a drug, longing for just one more hit. Not when she was already that way over Blaise.

It wasn't that Blaise was avoiding telling Draco that he had 'given up' on Hermione. It was just the fact that, when Blaise was not playing dumb about Draco's whereabouts, or seeing Hermione for himself, he was going out of his way not to spend time with his fellow Slytherin. He knew that he had to tell the blonde, sooner rather then later if he didn't want Hermione mad at him, but at the same time, it seemed that whenever he was with Draco, the blonde only wanted one type of attention from Blaise.

It's not that Blaise didn't like this type of attention from Draco, if he hadn't he would have never really agreed on the relationship in the first place. On the contrary, it seemed that he liked the attention a little too much, egging to boy on often, teasing as much as Draco did to him and sending suggestive comments even though with every one his stomach panged with guild for Hermione. Blaise found himself thinking of Quidditch numerous times when with Draco to keep himself from completely falling apart, but this only worked so many times, and it seemed that Draco was even more intolerable now that he was also deeply tangled in this twisted game of deceit and lust.

Blaise had also realized that he was sure Draco knew nothing of the serious attraction he had developed towards the boy, which made it even more difficult because Blaise had to constantly act as if everything was normal, or at least, as normal as their relationship could get, even though now when Draco touched him he felt like his skin was searing, a painfully addictive touch that he longed for in the worst way.

It was a little like when he was with Hermione, except with her he was always much more content. When her delicate fingers slide over him his skin tingled amazingly, and he didn't have to hide how much he enjoyed her attention. Or at that, how much he just loved being in her presences. To be with her was enough to please him, they didn't even need to be within reach of each other, which would explain why Draco had been asking for the past few days why Blaise was so chipper during meal times.

Blaise smirked, petting his hand over Hermione's stomach, which was still shown because neither of them has bothered to do the bottom buttons of her shirt back up after they had finished greeting each other. He had been taking joy in the way her thin stomach dipped and quivered slightly at his touch, until finally her hand came down and grabbed his, to stop him from gently tickling her.

He looked up, being slightly lower then her as they lied on the blanket they had put out in the astronomy tower, and she faked a scowl at him, causing him to smirk again before moving himself to be level with her, and planting a kiss on her, rich and warm, saturated with his taste as well from how many times they had actually been locked to each other in such a way that night. If they ever made a food that tasted just like she did, Blaise was sure it would be the only thing he ever ate.

"You're amazing." He said after they had broken, letting his nose rub against hers, and she giggled.

"I know. You tell me ever other minute." She replied, kissing him quickly again before moving to lie on top of him slightly, resting her head on his collarbone and letting her fingers dance over his abdomen, easily accessed because they hadn't bothered to button up his shirt either. He made a sound like a purr when she rubbed fingers over his side, counting his ribs, and he couldn't help but have an absentminded thought that maybe she was getting a few pointers from Draco.

"When are you going to tell Draco, that you've forgotten about me I mean?" She asked after a moment of prefect silences, as if she had heard his thoughts about the boy, and Blaise swallowed, realizing how horribly that question had snuck up on him. Guilt mingled in his stomach again, a feeling that was surprisingly absent lately because of how much time he spent with Hermione.

"I can do it tomorrow if you want me to." He replied, telling himself he really couldn't put it off any longer. If he did, he risked losing Hermione to the group of fawning fan girls that Draco already had. After all, Hermione had already told him that Draco was pushing it a lot recently. And Blaise knew what Draco was capable of.

"I want you to. I can't take his crap anymore. I hate this. I want to be with you, not you and your best friend." She said, a surprisingly bitter tone finding her voice as her fingers circled his bellybutton.

"I'm sorry it's taken so long. I just wanted to make sure that he believes it. We only get one chance at it." Blaise replied, rubbing a hand over her back comforting and apologetically. He really was sorry, he didn't want to put her through it, especially after everything she had told him Draco was trying with her. If he could he would take Draco out.

Except he couldn't, because it was Draco.

"It's fine. Just promise me that tomorrow it'll be over." She muttered, letting her head lift so that she could look at him. He offered a smile.

"I promise. I'll tell him." Blaise replied, nodding, before he grabbed her chin lightly and placed a kiss on her lips, that cause a grin to bloom on them, one that he kissed again.

Hermione was prude, and that was something that Draco really liked about her. She was like an inexperience child, naïve and completely new to the world of physical desire. He was growing to enjoy his times with her, because the simplest things excited her; a graze of his lips, a bite instead of a kiss, a touch on formally hidden skin, and because she got so excited only made him follow suit. The fact that she frequently revealed to him how much power he had over her, finally outdoing her in knowledge and experience in a department, was thrilling for him.

Of course, it's not like he hadn't learned things from her. She had done some teaching as well. After all, Draco was sure he would have never realized how much he really loved legs if it hadn't been for the tight muscles of her calves, dainty ankles and soft, smooth plains of her thighs, holding tight around his hips. Draco found himself smirking into the fire in the Slytherin common room, flashes of that days rendezvous searing into the back of his eyes.

Miss Hermione Granger. The name had a new ring to it now that he said it in his head. There was no longer an undertone of aridness or average, but intrigue, because he had seriously learned what the girl was capable of. There was a minx hidden under her drab exterior.

Of course, even so, she was still the same Granger he had always know, slightly too worried all the time, timid at moments, hidden in her emotions. This troubled Draco, considering his next goal was getting Hermione to tell him aloud that she loved him.

Draco had only had a handful of girls say this to him, which is saying a lot considering how many have had the opportunity. So this, mixed with the fact that Hermione herself is already withdrawn, made for a bad combination for Draco that he was still trying to work out how to get around. After all, if he wanted Hermione away from Blaise, he would still have to end this game as soon as possible.

Draco flicked his eyes up from the fire he was staring at and over to the entrance of the common room at the thought of the boy. Blaise had been missing in the late evenings for about a week now. Draco had already know that Hermione was still seeing him, slowly weaning him away from her so she could let him down easier, but Draco would never have thought she would permit him to keep her out so late.

A yawn found the blonde's lips as he allowed his eyes to shut for a moment, resting them from the stress of trying to see through the dark of the empty common room. He had been worried about Blaise lately. He was acting weird at times, his usual witty comments that Draco use to get a right kick out of had grown less frequent, and he kept to himself a lot, reading far more often then any human being should.

And yet, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, since the day that his and Hermione's sessions had started, that between Blaise and him had become far more intense. Draco would openly admit that he found himself mildly addicted to this new fire that had bloomed in the dark haired Slytherin, liking the lose of control that would flood his senses as much as he liked the dominance he himself held over Hermione. He found himself making excuses at times to feel his lips burn with their kisses, like drinking fire, searing his throat and filling his lungs with smoke, making his chest tight with pressure. The need for it resulted in being 'alone' with his friend far more then necessary.

Draco sighed, thinking that perhaps this was the reason he was seeing less and less of Blaise. Was Blaise avoiding him? Had he realized how out of hand Draco was letting it get? That, dare he say he had let too much emotion come into the relationship?

A sound brought Draco out of his thoughts, the familiar rumble of the secret door into the common room closing, and the faint, light footsteps that Draco had memorized over all these years. Blaise had always had a very quiet, cat like quality about him. Usually people would hardly notice him if he didn't want them to, but Draco had always known when he was present.

"Out trying to make up for lost ground?" Draco asked through the subtle golden darkness of the common room, watching Blaise flinch slightly when the silence was broken, but hardly showing more startle then the abrupt halt in his quick pace.

"Trying, without much success." Blaise had replied, and Draco allowing a smirk to slide onto his face as the dark haired boy permitted himself to sit on the couch perpendicular to the armchair that Draco was lounging on.

"Don't bother. I've already lapped you too many times in this race to catch up." Draco said gently, just enough joke in it to sound like himself, but reduced in sharpness to spare Blaise some hurt.

The blonde had told Blaise about his advancements with Hermione almost immediately, despite his promise to the girl, and had watched Blaise desperately trying to hold on to the girl for days now. Of course, after that, Draco hadn't had any inclination to taunt Blaise at all about their game, which would usually be the first thing to come to mind when he was so far ahead now. It was probably because since then Blaise continued to return every night looking more and more defeated, making a pang of guilt pass Draco.

Tonight was no exception. Tonight Blaise looked like a child who just witnessed someone killing their puppy.

Blaise had caught the toned down remark, flicking blue eyes up to Draco in a sharp gaze that slide over his face for a moment, reading the intent of that comment on Draco's features before letting a sigh cross his lips and his eyes fall. Draco had to resist taking him right there like he wanted to, distract Blaise from their stupid game, but he didn't want to risk scaring his friend away. He missed Blaise, he missed laughing and joking around, or simply talking about that days classes like regular friends did.

"Believe me, I know when to forfeit." Blaise had replied, defeat hidden in his tone, and Draco couldn't help but frown the slightest bit. Had he really made up that much ground in this game? He knew he had Hermione's attention, but he hadn't known that he had converted her so quick, so easily.

It didn't seem right.

"Blaise." He didn't have anything to say really, but felt it necessary to speak, feeling awkward creeping up on them. Since when were they awkward together? Perhaps it was because of the secrets Draco was keeping from Blaise. Not about Hermione, but about his habit to snog with Blaise more then be his friend, and the reason for it.

Or maybe Draco could just feel something grave coming, considering this was the first time they were having a good, serious conversation in days.

He had smirked slightly, an undertone of melancholy on the slight laugh that came from him. A laugh at Draco's attempts to push away the awkward perhaps. Draco always liked that about Blaise. The dark haired boy was probably the only person in Slytherin who was not afraid to laugh at Draco.

"I was just with Hermione." Blaise said this as if going somewhere, as if leading further into the story, but stopped. Another silence.

"What would you do if I backed out of this?" Blaise asked suddenly, eyes not even looking up from his fingers, which were idly fiddling. Draco had not expected the Hermione comment to lead into such a question. He found his eyes flicking up to Blaise with abnormal speed, his mouth dropped open for a spilt second, completely baffled. When he had said forfeit, Draco never actually thought forfeit, as in quit, give up, let him win. He had thought it was a playful reply to Draco's remark. A nip back at his bite.

He caught his composure quickly, concluding he was being played with. There was no way that Blaise would just, quit. He must be having his leg pulled. Well, two could play at that.

"Well, I was thinking that after you finish licking my shoes, you could stand up in the middle of dinner and tell the school that your madly in love with Potter, and then maybe kiss him, depending on how fast he runs and if we can catch him." Draco replied after talking a moment to dramatically emphasize his thinking, as if deciding something of great importance. After he finished he rose to his feet and then flopped back down on the couch next to Blaise, letting a foot come up to rest in the other boy's lap. Blaise was smirking an irresistible smirk, something Draco was sure the boy had adopted from he himself.

"We'll start with the shoe licking." He added, and Blaise rolled his eyes slight, that playful smirk turning slightly sour as he pushed Draco's foot away.

"I knew you wouldn't take this seriously." Blaise commented, trying to get up, but having Draco put his slender fingered hand on his chest and push him back to sit again, buying time as Draco tried to think, to absorb that comment.

Seriously? Since when did they take anything seriously? That was foreign when it came to them, the boys who would get a laugh out of someone getting dragon pox for Merlin's sake. After all, you'd have to be able to make fun of things when in the relationship they were in.

Draco couldn't think for a moment, couldn't do anything else but sit there, halting Blaise's escape by a hand on his shoulder. Seriously.

"Are you saying you're quitting?" Draco asked finally, trying to wrap his brain around the unusual situation. He had known he was winning, and he had known that it was putting Blaise in a rough spot (perhaps because he really did think he was in love with Hermione like Draco had suspected?), but he would have never expected Blaise to just quit. It just wasn't Blaise.

Then again, Draco tried to look at it from his side, the way he would see it if he wasn't clouded by how depressed Blaise actually looked. Well, if Blaise really was going to quit, then Draco had nothing really to worry about anymore. Not only did he not have to fret about Hermione telling him she loved him, but he also didn't have to lose sleep about Blaise thinking he loved Hermione either. And he would win, even without completing the game.

"Of course I'm saying I'm quitting. I can't win this stupid thing. She told me today that she doesn't want to see me anymore. That she wants to be with you. So, I give up. You win." He had sighed, the words coming out in a flood of annoyance and perhaps the smallest bit of failure, striking blue eyes filled with disappointment. Blaise had folded his arms across his chest in a childish manner, a small frown between his eyebrows and he tried to avert his eyes away from Draco, hiding the shame.

Draco was speechless for a moment. He was quitting. But, he never quit. Even when they were in a very one-sided game, he would either let Draco finish fairly, or keep fighting. He never quit. Draco found himself mildly annoyed for a moment, disappointed that he had been stolen of the pride of winning fairly, but then shutting that thought out of his head. He had won; he didn't have to worry anymore about how he was going to win, because he had won.

He had won?

"Say that last bit again." He demanded, catching the blue eyes of Blaise after they turned to him in question. Blaise let his nose crinkle slightly.

"She wants to..." Blaise trailed off when Draco shook his head. That was not what he wanted to hear, and for some reason, Draco had a feel Blaise knew it wasn't. Blaise was taunting, he could tell because that disappointment had disappeared.

"After that." Draco replied. A roll of blue eyes made him smirk the slightest bit. Yes, he had decided. He wouldn't be harsh on Blaise this time. No declaring of Potter loving today, that was too cruel for broken Blaise. But he did want some sort of prize, and the idea had come to him quickly.

"You win." Blaise said, his tone annoyed, but stretching into playful as he let his head fall to rest on the back of the couch. Draco found his smirk growing the smallest bit more, daring to move just slightly closer, not that they weren't already far closer then most best friends would be.

"Say it again." He ordered, and this time saw a flicker of amusement in Blaise's eyes and his lips twitched in the beginning of a smile. Merlin if he kept up with that look, Draco wouldn't be able to resist.

"You win." Blaise's voice found taunting as he said the words, and then, reading Draco's mind and catching the words in his throat, Blaise continued before the blonde even got another demand out.

"You win, you win, you win, you-." Cutting Blaise off abruptly, Draco couldn't help but savior how amazing those words tasted on the boy's lips. He resisted a smile, noticing how much he loved surprising Blaise in this way, the delayed reaction of the dark haired Slytherin's returning pressure, the way he almost literally melted into the kiss.

Draco decided on taking the accomplished feeling that hit him as his prize enough for tonight. Yes, he would take it, break it off with Hermione tomorrow and they would never speak of the unfortunate incidents of the past week ever again.

It took all his power just to keep the kiss from deepening, telling himself he wouldn't let that happen again, so soon. He wouldn't get caught up in his addiction tonight, he wouldn't chase away his friend, but would simply have a taste. After all, he had won.

He pulled away after another moment, feeling his limits pushing. If he had given this kiss to Tracey, or any other girl for that matter, it would be hardly more intense then a peck on the hand, but for some reason Draco found himself mildly flustered after surfacing from this one.

He cleared his throat lightly, feeling a very strong urge to apologize for his actions, for turning their serious conversation into another way of chasing his addiction, but knowing that Malfoy's don't apologize for anything. Suddenly hating Blaise for how he bit at his own lower lip and nudged his nose against Draco's, feeling the other boy swallow hard because of his hand on Blaise's neck, Draco tried his best to pull himself together.

"That'll do as winnings for now, I think." Draco commented, light, although it was a well-hidden attempt at escaping, trying his best to flee from the situation before he chased away the Blaise he was so fond of, but found unfamiliar lately.

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