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Hermione was awoken by violent jerking and someone bouncing on her bed. She moaned and rolled over on her right side, only to hiss in pain when she rolled over her fresh mark from Draco the night before. She layed flat on her back once again and glanced up at her intruder. Jumping up and down like a five year old, was her best friend Ginny.

" Wake up Mione, it's Christmas. We need to get going. Mum's going to blow a gasket if we're late, and I personally don't want that to happen. Plus I want to hear about your present from Draco." Ginny squealed, pulling Hermione by her arm out of her warm bed.

Hermione and Draco returned back to the house, settled into the family room once more and participated in the family stories about their past Christmas'. Draco had gone an angry red, along with Blaise when Narcissa had begun discussing the time Draco, when he was three, had run donstairs early one Christmas morning, and had unwrapped every single present, while Blaise and joined him, only instead of unwrapping the presents, decided that today he wouldn't be needing a diaper on and was streaking through the house. Hermione had choked on her champaigne when she heard that, while Ginny had rolled off the couch, holding her sides with laughter.

" Wasn't that funny Weasley," Draco had mumbled, while Blaise just crossed his arms over his chest.

Ginny regained herself, and told them about some of her Christmas' at The Burrow. Her stories included the one time that every single present from Fred and George that was given to Ron, had been a hex everytime he opened it, ranging from turning his hair a different color, to making him a blubbering idiot who couldn't form a word. The entire room was laughing when she told them one present had actually exploded in his face, rendering him deaf and blind for an hour. Hermione couldn't deny that that had been extremely funny watching that happen, and listening as Molly had given the twins a wicked tongue lashing after that.

Lucius was defiantly interested in Hermione's Christmas memories. Her being the only person in the room to have experienced a Muggle Christmas, everyone was curious to hear what they did. She told them about ice skating, sledding, baking cookies, watching christmas movies with family, making snow angles and playing in the snow, caroling, and decorating a christmas tree and singing christmas carols with the family on Christmas Eve.

" But what about this Grinch character I've heard so much about? Aren't you worried he's going to come and steal your presents every year?" Blaise had wondered.

Hermione stifiled a laugh and explained to him that the Grinch was a fictional character from a beloved children's book and movie by a Muggle author. After an hour, Hermione really needed to go to bed. The marking had caused a severe headache, and had taken alot out of her, making her yawn every couple of minutes. Her, along with Draco stood, and excused themselves. He had walked her up the stairs and helped her into bed after she changed, kissed her on her forehead and wished her goodnight, but not before he told her he loved her a million times and thanking her for letting him mark her. She could only murmur her response before she drifted off to sleep.

" So come on, tell me, what did he get you?" Ginny wondered, following her into the bathroom, not allowing her to escape her question. She waited until Hermione had finished brushing her teeth before she began tapping her foot on the floor in frustration. Hermione merely moaned and began describing the backyard.

" Merlin Hermione, that sounds so romantic. That carriage ride must have been gorgeous."

" Probably would have been if it had lasted more then five minutes."

Ginny raised an eyebrow in question. " Why only five minutes?"

Hermione only smiled a sly smile and whistled as she walked out of the bathroom.

" Oh no you don't. You fess up now, or I'll tie you to the chair and hex it out of you."

" Well, now it's not what your thinking Ginny, we didn't do that! However I did kinda..." Hermione mumbled to herself the last part.

" Didn't quite catch that last part. What was that Hermione?"

" He marked me last night. That's why I excused myself early, I needed to sleep afterwards."

" WHAT?" Ginny squealed, clamping her hand down on her mouth. " What was it like? Did it hurt like we thought? Are you different?"

" Ginny shush, everyone is still asleep. It was, well different, never had anyone bite me before, and bloody hell yes it hurt. Hurt like hell, I felt like I was on fire. But it was also magical, Ginny. I've never felt so close to someone in my entire life. Now I don't feel different, but I can hear Blaise softly snoring down the hall, and I can smell the house elves cooking in the kitchen. Plus I can see the birds in the trees about fifty yards from here. I think it's the venom, it has magical qualities, I'm assuming these are them."

" Merlin, Mione, that's incredible! Do you think I'll have those quirks when Blaise marks me?" Ginny asked, pondering the situation.

" Only one way to find out, I suppose! Only, do it when you feel the time is right Gin, don't rush into anything." Hermione begged her best friend.

" Oh I had already planned to do it on New Years Eve. You know, start the new year off with a bang, so to speak."

" GINNY!" Hermione yelped, and hit her friend over the head with one of her pillows off her bed.

The girls errupted into a pillow fight, which with the shrieking, woke up the other four sleeping occupants of the Manor, who shot up in their beds, wondering who was being murdered!


The smell of food cooking, wafted through The Burrow, causing Hermione's stomach to growl uncontrolably. Molly's cooking was, in Hermione's opinion, better then any five star restaurant in the world.

" Is there anything I could do for you Molly?" Hermione asked, never one to sit out while there was work to be done.

" Merlin, no, Hermione. Go, play.. er.... watch the boys. Make sure they don't get themselves into anymore trouble. Merlin knows that little red head boy of mine can find trouble in the most holiest of places." Molly replied with a fake laugh. The war had taken it's toll on her. She had seen many of her friends, even close ones, like Sirius, perish. Then when her youngest son had jumped at the opportunity of following ' The-boy-that-trouble-follows, and the most sought after Mudblood, she nearly went bald, spending nights pulling out her hair, wondering if her child was dead or alive, espically during the trek of finding horcruxes. That was the worst of all. Now knowing that her youngest son was safe and at home, she wasn't going allow him the thought of going off alone again! She knew she could trust Hermione to keep him at home!

A loud boom was heard, followed by Ron shouting and laughter. Molly only sighed and placed her hand on Hermione's arm. Her hand began to tingle, and she looked at Hermione knowingly as she pulled it off. " Kids! You'll understand when you have a few yourself one day." She looked Hermione up and down, trying to notice a difference before walking out of the kitchen in search of the damage that was undoubtibly caused.

Hermione stood there for a minute, her fingers lightly grazing the spot here Molly's had been a little while ago. She had felt the sharp tingle as soon as the womans fingers brushed her skin, and knew Molly had as well. It was part of the marking. No one that her and Draco hadn't deemed alright to touch Hermione would be allowed to without them feeling like they were being burned, depending on the touch. A tingle from a motherly touch on the arm, Hermione shivered with fear when she began wondering what was going to happen if any one of the Weasley brothers or Harry hugged her. Figuring that the only way to keep that from happening would be to keep her distance till she had a chat with Draco later on that night.

" Ronald Billius Weasley, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times. If your going to degnome the garden, make sure you stun them first. Now look at you, boils all over your face and right before the family Christmas picture. How am I going to be able to send them to your grandmother now?" Hermione heard Molly berating Ron, three rooms over. Hermione chuckled and made her way outside to see her friends that weren't having problems with the gnomes.

" Hey Hermione, Happy Christmas!"

The rest of the Weasley brothers and Harry began to make their way over to give her a hug and welcome her, but she only took a step back, held out her hand in front of her for them to stop and shook her head.

" Mione, you okay? What's wrong?" Harry asked, walking slowly up to her and stopping when his chest was an inch from her hand.

" I'd love to tell you, but not infront of everyone. Can we go somewhere private?"

" Sure Mione." Harry almost reached for her hand, but stopped when she put them in her pockets and began walking out into the field towards their favourite spot. It was a corner of a tiny pond that they used to swim in every summer, but mostly it was recluse for the Trio during the war when they needed to get away and either be alone or just together, away from everything and everyone. Coming to a stop at tiny hill, Hermione plopped herself down in her usual spot while Harry took one beside and turned face her.

" So what's up? You seem really off Mione. What's the matter?"

" Nothing's really the matter, just a new complication has risen and I didn't want to discuss it with everyone. It's kind of a personal problem."

Harry began to turn a slight pink, " it's not one of your feminine problems is it? Merlin Hermione, I am a pretty open guy and willing to discuss anything with you, but if I have to go through another chat about cramps or bloating or anything of the sort, I swear I will hex myself deaf for the remaining seven days if I must."

Hermione laughed, remembering the first time her and Harry had discussed her intimate issues when she had yelled at him for no reason one morning in the Gryffindor Common Room. " No Harry, it has nothing to do with that. Although if you would like to hear about it.."

" Merlin Hermione, I swear, if you even begin.."

" I was joking Harry, calm down. No this actually has to do with Draco and myself."

Harry face broke out in an evil grin, " Oh really? Come to ask if it was done properly?"

" HARRY JAMES POTTER! Get your mind out of the gutter this instant. But for your information, I have not slept with Draco, but when I decide too, you'll be the first to hear all about it."

Harry only chuckled, " Good to know. Well if it's not that, then what's the issue?"

Hermione sighed, " I decided last night that the ferret is going to live a long and happy life, with me as his mate."

Harry's eyes bulged out of his head. After hearing that Malfoy was a Veela, Harry figured out quickly that he knew very little about them, and since his two best friends were mated to two of them, he went and did a little research on them. He knew full well what she was talking about. " You let him mark you?" Hermione nodded, " What was it like?"

" I guess the usual. Hurt like hell, my skin felt like it was on fire and I had an enormous fever. Then I got very tired and almost slept an entire day. But the weird thing was, when I woke up this morning, I was different. I mean, I don't feel different, but I seem to have these extra powers I didn't have yesterday." she shurgged her answer.

" What powers do you mean Mione?"

" I can see far distances, hear quite a ways away, and I can smell things alot easier as well. Like I know, right now, that you were with Luna," she stopped and sniffed Harry, " about two hours ago. It's weird yet at the same time, exciting."

Harry blushed a deep red, Hermione was right. " Are they going to stay, er I mean, last? Are you always going to have these powers now?"

" I think I will. It's a way for the mate, that's less magically inclined then the Veela, to feel more like an equal."

" Wow, that's incredible. Now, I know this is going to sound weird, but if it's not too personal, might I ask to see the mark? I read about them, but was never able to find out what it actually lookes like."

" Sure," Hermione stuck her fingers into the tops of her jeans and pulled the corner of them down passed her hip. Harry leaned in close but couldn't really see anything.

" I don't see anything but a really, really tiny white line. It's almost invisible."

" What? No way, it's right there." Hermione used her other hand to point to Draco's initials, on her right hipbone. She had been a little peeved when she saw that little bit in the morning. She had thought it was going to be like a design or marking, but instead it was his initials. Oh how Draco must have loved that, seeing her embrodiered with his name.

" I'm telling you Hermione, I see nothing but a line."

" Oh wait, you won't be able to." Hermione pulled up the waistband of her jeans. " To a regular person, it will look like a tiny scar, barely visible. To a Veela though, it will be as clear as day. To let them know I am marked, or taken in regular terms."

" What does it look like then?"

Hermione growled, " it's his bloody initials, I've been branded with the ferrets name."

Harry began laughing so hard he hunched over, clutching his stomach. " Malfoy must have loved that. I can almost feel the smirk."

" Not funny Potter."

" Oh, but I think it is Mione. Anyways, so why are you all depressed. It couldn't possibly be because the mark turned out to be his name?"

" No, it's not that. When a mate is marked, no other will ever posses their heart, no one may be allowed to touch the mate unless deemed okay by the Veela and mate. And unfortunatly, I haven't been able to talk to Draco since last night. If a person was to touch me, depending on the severity of the touch, is how much pain will be inflicted on them. Molly touched my arm in the kitchen and her and I got a slight tingle. Had you or anyone else had hugged me, it probably would have been an excruiating burning sensation. I can not be physically touched until I see Draco."

Harry stretched out his hand and experimently touched her arm. He allowed his hand to linger for only a moment when suddenly, it felt like his hand was on fire. He yanked it back, and immediatly stuck it in the pond, trying to cool it off.

" Now imagine if you had hugged me?" Hermione whispered.

" But you said Molly touched you in the kitchen and all she got was a little tingle?"

Hermione shurgged, " must be more severe if it's another male who touches me, seeing as how I'm a female mate. It's probably the same for male mates if a female touches them."

" Well, you had better have a little chat with Malfoy when you go back tonight because I refuse to go the rest of my life without being able to hug my best friend. And since that polyjuice class, Ron's found his love of hugs as well. He'll go mad if he can't get a hug from you. Let's head back, or was there anything else?"

" Well, I have been feeling a little bloated......."

" LALALALALALALA," Harry clamped his hands over his ears and began walking back to the Burrow, Hermione in tow, laughing the entire way.


" That one?" hissed a dark, cloaked, hooded figure. Two shadows emerged from bushes off to the side and were watching intently the two kids by the pond.

" No, I don't want Potter, I want the Mudblood! She is the heart of the Trio. The only way to break Potter, is to break her! Besides, she smells delicious. She'll make a fine addition to my collection."

" Your taking them all! There won't be any for me!"

" Don't worry, I'll let you play with them all you like, but the Mudblood is mine!"

The two figures turned on the spot and disapparated away before they set off the wards of The Burrow.


" Merlin Hermione, this is amazing. I love it!" exclaimed Harry, having caught the snitch and watched the scene play out.

" Your welcome Harry. Molly, this sweater is perfect, I love it." Hermione said, running her hands over her new, midnight blue sweater. Over the years, Molly had come into better tastes when it came to fashion. Hermione was thankful, as was everyone else.

" Oh nonsense dear. It was nothing really, now if we are done here, let's get dinner started."

At that moment, Ron's stomach grumbled so loud, the entire room heard. Hermione laughed while Harry joked, " I think Ron's stomach has answered for all of us."

Ron merely turned beet red and hopped up from the floor and followed his mother into the kitchen.


Dinner was amazing, as usual, and Hermione and Ginny were saying their goodbyes to everyone before stepping into the floo, back to Malfoy Manor. Ginny went first, walking right out and into the waiting arms of her Veela. Blaise immediatly wrapped her in his arms and held on for dear life. Ginny awaited the arrival of Hermione, but she didn't come.

All of a sudden there was a flash of bright green and out tumbled Hermione, covered in black soot and landing unladylike on her bottom. Everyone laughed, while Draco offered her his hand and helped her to her feet.

" Never let it be said that Hermione Granger doesn't know how to make an entrance." Draco mocked, earning a death glare from Hermione.

" I've never been able to properly exit the floo. I perfer to apparate. Much safer then these blasted fireplaces." Hermione mumbled, dusting the soot from her new sweater. Narcissa went to take Hermione's hand and lead her into the kitchen where she wanted to discuss the ball with her and Ginny, but was stopped when a light, burning sensation ran through her hand and up her arm. She pulled her hand back fast and looked at Hermione with wide eyes. Hermione only rubbed her arm and looked down in embarrassment.

" What's the matter love?" Lucius asked, coming to stand behind his wife. He was about to tend to her hand when he began sniffing the air. He was twisting and turning his head from side to side, trying to find where that smell was coming from.

Blaise had walked over beside Draco, leaned in and whispered in his ear, " I think your father has officially gone off the deep end, Mate."

Draco only nodded in agreement before asking, " Father, what's the matter?"

" I don't know, I smell...something. Somethings different....." Lucius trailed off and began walking towards the children, sniffing everyone till he came to Hermione. He sniffed her once and placed a hand on her shoulder. She screamed out in pain, as well as Lucius, who gripped his hand as though it was on fire. Hermione nearly fell down from the pain, until Draco wrapped his arms around her waist and snuggled her into his chest. He turned to his father with wide eyes.

" What happened Father? Why did that happen?"

" You marked her?" Lucius asked, the pain slowly going away.

" YOU WHAT?" shrieked Narcissa, grabbing her husbands arm.

" So what if I did, it's what we wanted. I didn't force her, I waited until she was ready. It only happened last night. How did you know?"

Lucius shook his head slightly in disbelief. Sometimes his son could be so dumb. " A newly marked mate has a certain smell to them, though it only lastes for a little bit. It's from the Veela vemon. However, when a mate is marked, they are unable to withstand the touch from anyone else but their Veela, until discussed between them. I thought you would have been smarter then this Draco. You could have seriously hurt your Mother and I."

" I didn't know that part. I would never intentionally hurt my family and you know that, Father. So what, how do I stop whatever is going on with Hermione?"

" You two need to agree on who can and can't touch her."

" That sounds insane. I can't tell her who can and can't touch her. I'm not her owner. That's barbaric."

" Unfortunatly, yes, however we're talking about Veela magic. Magic that's been around since the dawn of men. That was a barbaric time, there's nothing we can do about it."

" Okay, I agree that you, Mother, Blaise and Ginny may touch my mate."

" Also the Weasley family, Harry, Luna and Pansy as well," Hermione piped up.

Draco growled low ," fine, I agree to them as well. Anyone else you feel the need should be able to touch my mate, or are your demands set, Princess?"

Hermione gasped in shock and anger set in. " Actually, one more thing. You can add your name to the list of people who can't, you self righteous git." and with that, Hermione ran up the stairs, Ginny following right behind her.

" Draco Abraxas Malfoy, I rasied you a hell of alot better then that. How dare you treat a woman, not to mention your mate, the way you did? You march yourself up those stairs right this instant and apologize, and afterwards, you may retire for the rest of the evening." Narcissa exclaimed, swatting her son on the back of the head.

" Mother, I am in no mood to be yelled at by you. I have bigger issues at the moment, or did no one else see my mate fly up the stairs in anger because of me. Now please, leave me alone."

Lucius began panting and his eyes blackened over. He raised his right hand, his fingernails growing dangerously long, almost animalistic, in an attempt to strike his son. Draco saw this and immediatly stepped back, Blaise hiding behind him.

" Draco, I have never rasied a hand to you once in your life, but so help me, you speak to your mother, like that again and we will be having one hell of a row. Now you will go upstairs, apologize, and retire for the evening. I do not wish to harm my son." Lucius was trying his hardest to get his breathing under control and relax.

" I'm sorry Mother, it was wrong of me to speak to you like that, please forgive me."

" I do, however, there's a young woman upstairs who deserves your apology more then I do, now go. I will see you tomorrow."

Draco's mouth hung open in shock. " I apologized. You can't seriously still be grounding me? I'll gladly apologize to Hermione, but you can't still be gounding me, that's absurd."

" NOW, DRACO," Narcissa yelled, pointing her finger up the stairs.

Mumbling a mouthful of swears, that he made sure no one heard, he headed up the long flight of stairs, towards his ever appending doom, Granger's bedroom, to apologize.

He stopped short of her bedroom door and focused his hearing as hard as he could, trying to hear anything going on in Granger's bedroom.

" I heard you coming up the stairs, Malfoy. Now instead of standing outside my door, evaesdropping, feel free to come in and say what you came to say."

He grinned, he had one hell of a mate! He slowly opened her door, hoping nothing would come flying towards him. " About what happened down there, well, I came to apologize. What I said was wrong, and should never have been said in the first place. I beg your forgiveness."

Hermione huffed in anger, " Draco, cut the bull, I heard your mother order you to come and man up. Malfoy's never ask for forgiveness, as I seem to recall. However, to make your mother happy, I accept your apology. But you will however, have to make it up to me."

Draco threw her a very naughty grin, " Anything you desire, love. I live to make you happy," he wiggled his eyebrows at her.

" Anything my heart desires?"

" Yes, anything, yes." A smug grin appeared. He hoped it was leaning towards dirty deeds and either hers or his bedroom, he really didn't care.

" Crookshanks needs a bath. Your in charge, no elf, no Blaise, just you. He needs to be groomed for the New Years Ball."

Draco's grin instantly faded. " What?"

" Did I stutter? I'm sure your Veela ears heard me correctly. And before I even begin to think about letting you touch me again, the deed must be done. Now, I'm tired, it's been a long day, see you in the morning."

Draco grumbled a quiet goodnight, closed her bedroom door and began searching the house for that ruddy beast of hers. Where was that damn cat when you needed him?


" I'm not sure we'll be able to break the wards. Malfoy Manor wards are long since ancient. Even Dumbledore himself couldn't break them." One shadowed figure hissed to the other, who both huddled in some bushes, not far out of sight of Malfoy Manor.

" Quiet, you fool, someone will hear us. Have no fear. I have my own way of getting onto the grounds. I'll get that cowardly bastard, whatever it takes."

" Mmmm yes," the first shadowy figure licked their lips in hunger, " starting with his son's and their ever so delicious mates."


Draco emerged from the bathroom, cursing very imaginatively that amazed even Hermione. He had small little cuts all over his arms and legs, a few across his cheek. He was soaked from head to toe, and he looked dishevled. He jumped aside as Crookshanks trotted out behind him, a brilliant, proud look on his face as Hermione scooped him up.

" You look so handsome, your all ready for the ball," she put the cat back down who immediatly pranced out of the room, but not before turning around and glaring one more time at Draco.

" I swear it Hermione, that bloody beast tried to kill me." Draco growled, sticking his tongue out at the retreating backside of the cat.

Hermione scoffed, " hardly, he's a very well behaved cat. He wouldn't harm a fly."

Draco snorted and held out his arms as evidence to thwart her theory.

" Oh nonsense, he's a cat, Draco, he by nature, hates water. Of course he would put up a struggle, did you honestly expect something different?"

Hermione turned and walked into her bedroom and closed the door behind her. She was quietly laughing to herself, for she had sent Crookshanks to The Burrow for a few days after her agreement to Draco, only to pick him up New Years Eve, allowing her time to cool off from being mad at Draco, and finish some last minute preperations for the ball uninterrupted.

" Ugh, Hermione, you in there?" Ginny knocked softly.

" Yeah, come in, Gin. Everything alright?"

" Yeah, just ugh, why haven't you begun getting ready for the ball? You do know it begins in two hours right?"

" MERLIN, Ginny I lost track of time. You have to help me, I haven't even begun to get ready." Hermione began digging into everything she owned, trying to find everything she needed.

Ginny only laughed, " Mione, calm down. I'll get everything set up in here, you go shower. When your done, I'll be here to get you ready and myself, now go."


An hour and a rushed half later, the girls stood in front of Narcissa, who was putting the finishing touches on them. On Hermione, she had placed the Malfoy heirloom necklace and earrings, making sure her ring sparkled. On Ginny the Zabini heirloom necklace and earrings that Blaise's mother had owled over earlier that day.

Narcissa took a step back, tears welling in her eyes. " You two look absoleutly breathtaking. My boys will be beating others off with sticks tonight I think."

" Thank you Cissa, but don't cry, you'll ruin all your hardwork on your makeup."

" Yes, uh yes, your quite right. Now I'll you'll excuse me, I must be at the bottom, to greet our guests and welcome you two down the stairs." and with that Narcissa elegantly wisked herself off, down the stairs to begin to greet guests.

" How's everything Mione, how's my hair?"

Hermione turned to look at Ginny. Her hair was pulled up tight, into a proper bun, with only little tendrils escaping down the back, while Baby's Breath was stratigically placed throughout her hair. Her dress was an off the shoulder, forest green, velvet number that fell just above her calves. Outlined in black, it made her red hair stand out more. Her makeup was dark, dark green and coal ontop of her eyelids, black eyeliner rimming the outedges. A faint blush added to each cheek and light, pale pink to her lips. Her feet were donned with the most blackest and highest heel Hermione had ever seen, a single strap, wrapping it's way around her ankle. She was stunning. Simply put!

" You look gorgeous Gin, it's remarkable how much you look like your mother."

" I can't wait for her to see you. Incase it's slipped your notice, your quite the fantasy yourself."

Ginny took in Hermione hair, swept completly off her neck in some weird, but fashionable updo, three tendrils fell on each side of her face, outlining the heart shape it was. Her hair, everytime she moved, seemed to sparkle, as if it were made of diamonds. Her dress was something to behold for sure. A deep midnight blue corset cut, a deep v-shaped down the middle of her cleavage, only leaving a little bit to be seen. The length ended just above her knees, and shaped her frame beautifully. The straps wrapped around her shoulders, leaving her neck and shoulders bare. The Malfoy necklace and earrings she got from Narcissa and Lucius at Christmas, matched beautifully the diamonds incrested along the top of the dress. Her makeup was a dark blue, eyes rimmed with dark black eyeliner and her lips stained red. She was defiantly a sight to behold for sure. She had again borrowed Ginny's velvet black, 4inch heels, shaping her legs. After borrowing them all the time, Ginny decided to give them to Hermione, stating she gets more use out of them then Ginny ever had herself.

The music started up loudly, announcing the arrival of the two girls. Ginny grabbed a hold of Hermione's hand and began their decent down the stairs. Hermione's eyes washed over the crowd as she heard their announcement. Everyone was there. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, who was crying her eyes out. Harry and Luna, with Ron and Pansy standing beside them. Hermione caught Pansy's eyes and watched as Pansy made a descret gesture for Hermione to straighten her back. Hermione stood straighter, thankful she had a pureblood friend who had to endure this more then once. She turned to look at her boys, Harry with a proud smile on his face while Ron stared, mouth hanging open. Pansy put her middle and forefinger under his chin and closed his mouth. More of their friends from Hogwarts, including a few professors. Snape, McGonagall, even Dumbledore had made an appearence. She nodded her head as Dumbledore looked at her, the knowing twinkle apparent in his eyes. They reached the bottom, where Ginny parted from her and took ahold of Blaise's arm and Hermione hooked hers through Draco's. The boys looked fantastic with top of the line black robes.

Draco leaned over and whispered in Hermione's ear, causing her to shiver, " you look amazing love, absoleutly perfect."

" Thanks, you clean up good yourself Malfoy," she giggled and walked behind Blaise and Ginny into the ballroom.


The band had begun their second set that night, and Hermione needed to sit. Her feet were throbbing. She had danced with most of everyone, including Snape, which shocked everyone, including Hermione. Harry kept laughing while Ron stood with his mouth hanging open, trying to form words, but only curse words were coherent. " Hermione, may I have this dance?" she heard, a hand placed open in front of her, awaiting her answer.

" I'd be honored." she replied, placing her hand in his delicately and allowed herself to be lead on the dance floor. Everyone parted off the floor and circled around to watch as Lucius Malfoy and Hermione Granger elegantly waltzed around the floor.

" Everyone's watching," Hermione whispered, her cheeks blazing red.

Lucius chuckled, " and so they should be, I am a Malfoy after all," he joked, twirling her out and spinning her back in.

Everyone was gobsmacked. Here was the most renowed Death Eater, dancing with the most famous Mudblood, and they were laughing, enjoying themselves! No one could speak let alone breathe. Lucius made a sudden change and spun Hermione over and over again, allowing her to spin fast, coming to place his arm across her back, finishing the dance with her bent backwards over his arm, two inches from the ground, and a gasp was heard throughout the crowd.

" There, that should give them something to talk about for the rest of five minutes. Thank you for the dance, my dear."

" Uh, my pleasure." Hermione curtesied while Lucius bowed and began to make his way back to his wife, who had tears sparkling in her eyes.

" Hermione, that was beautiful." Ginny squealed, coming to stand beside Hermione, followed by Luna and Pansy.

" Positively devine, " Luna breathed, and began swaying to her own music that played in her head.

" I don't know about anyone else, but it's getting close to midnight. How about we go out onto the balcony for some fresh air?" Pansy asked, fanning herself with her hand. " I'm sweating like a pig."

" Ladies don't sweat, Pansy, they glisten." Ginny joked.

" Well unless it's escaped your notice Weasley, I'm no lady! And last time I checked, none of us were, now get me outside before I die from the heat!" Pansy quipped, rushing out into the cool air.

All four girls moaned in appreciation as the cool night air brushed their fevered flesh. Hermione scrunched her face in disgust, " does anyone else smell wet dog?"

" Have you been into the firewhiskey Granger?" Pansy asked, sniffing the air.

" I don't smell anything Mione," Ginny replied, also sniffing the air.

" Perhaps I'm losing it. Well we had better get inside before the boys send out a search party." Hermione sighed and began walking inside. She had only made it a few steps before strong arms pulled her aside and enveloped her. She melted right away recognizing Draco's scent.

" Where did you run off to, my little lioness? I was looking everywhere for you." Draco bent his head and breathed in deep, his eyes glazing over in lust from her scent.

" I went outside for some air, I was beginning to get hot," Hermione moaned, and tilted her head back as Draco began trailing feather light kisses down her throat.

" You don't know hot yet love, but I promise, in a few minutes, you will," Draco growled, picked her up bridal style, and ran into the closest deserted hallway.

" Draco, stop. We could be seen." Hermione pleaded as he began his assault once more on her neck, sucking, nipping and licking. His only response was an animalistic growl from deep in his throat.

He smirked, and pushed her against the wall. "I had a feeling you wouldn't need the bed," he whispered as his teeth caught hold of her earlobe. His mouth traveled down to her neck, and she reveled in the feel of it when he bit her. His quick hands had the back of her dress undone in seconds, and she sucked in a breath when she felt his cold hands on her skin. She ran her hands through his blonde locks, relishing in the feel of his soft hair against her fingers. She brought her hands down and grazed his shoulders with her fingertips once before sinking her nails into his skin--it was a silent plea to get him to be rougher, and they both knew it.

He smirked again and shoved her up, keeping a knee between her legs to support her. The stone of the wall scraped against her back, leaving marks she knew she was sure to have later on. He managed to undress her completly, even in that position. She looked down at him with clouded eyes. He looked up at her, matching her expression. Suddenly he pulled her into a bruising kiss which left her lips pained and her lungs burning for air. She didn't even realize he had also undressed until he pulled away from her, then gave her a malicious look that she should have hated, yet couldn't help but enjoy.

He smiled as he whispered against her ear, "Scream if this hurts."


Moments later they returned, Hermione trying endlessly to reposition her dress while fumbling with her hair. She grunted in anger and turned towards Draco, who had a goofy grin on his face.

" You do know, everyone is gonna know. I mean look at me, I looked positivly wrecked." Hermione whined and gave up on her hair, waving her wand, allowing it to come undone, falling down her back.

" By all means, you should Granger, that was no half assed attempt back there, but if you need a repeat performance, I'd be glad to show you once again." he wiggled his eyebrows at her.

She gaped at him, " Not right now Draco, people are going to notice that we're not there when they ring in the New Year. Now let's just get this night over with, and later I promise, I will be all yours." She finished fixing her dress and walked into the ballroom. Harry was the first person she saw and walked over to him.

" Hey Harry, seen Ginny, Pansy or Luna around anywhere? I can't seem to find them."

" Yeah, last I saw they were heading back outside. Something about finding a wet dog or something, not too sure. You alright? You look like you've been to hell and back. Problems in paradise with the ferret?" Harry joked, laughing at the blush that crept up her neck and sank into her cheeks.

Hermione puffed up. It was perfectly alright for her to call Draco a ferret, but far be it for anyone else to use that name to describe her mate. She only knew one way to close his mouth.

 " On the contrary, snogged him within an inch of his life. Shagged the living daylights out of him too, if you must know! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go look for the girls." With that, she turned on her heel and walked away, leaving Harry wide eyed, frozen in place and staring out into space, trying to decide if she was telling the truth or not. She paused a moment, before looking over her right shoulder at him and said, " I did say you'd be the first to know," and continued her search.

" There you are, I came to get you so we can ring in the new year together." Hermione exclaimed as she came up behind the three girls on the balcony.

" Is it that time already?" Ginny asked.

" You know, I gotta say, if someone had told me a year ago that I was going to be standing here, friends with you three, dating a Weasley and actually enjoying myself along the way, I would have considered them mentally unfit." Pansy sighed.

Hermione laughed, " your not the only one Pansy. Now lets get inside and... hold on, you guys hear that?"

" What?"

" Shhh, I hear someone, or someones!"

Pansy, Luna, Ginny and Hermione all pulled their wands out and huddled together.

" Can you guys see who it is?" Whispered Ginny, her hand holding her wand trembling a little bit.

" No, I just hear rustling and footsteps." Hermione whispered back.

" STUPEFY" was shouted and a flash of bright light hit the four unsuspecting girls. They all fell to the ground, unconscious.

" I got them, did you see? I got the little witches."

Hermione moaned and tried to open her eyes, attempting to see her attackers, but wasn't able to with Ginny on top of her.

" Oh look, the Mudblood is awake."

Hermione cried out in pain as one of them kicked her in the stomach. She felt one of them bend down and grab a hold of her and Ginny's arm, and felt the distinct pull behind her navel as they transported away from the Mansion and everything went black.


" Bloody hell, Blaise. What was that?" asked Draco, a sudden pain ran through his stomach.

" What are you playing at Draco? Nothing happened."

" Well, I don't get sudden pain like someone just kicked me in my stomach for no reason now do I?"

Harry and Ron ran up to the two boys suddenly in panic.

" Have either of you two seen the girls? We can't find them anywhere." Ron asked, his face flushed.

" We went outside and all we found were their wands on the ground." Harry said, holding out the wands as proof.

Draco looked at Blaise for a moment before running outside and coming to a halt where the girls were. Both him and Blaise began sniffing the area.

" They were here, I can smell them. It's still strong, but it's not anywhere else." Blaise said, his nose scrunched up as a disgusting odour hit his nostrils.

Draco had his scrunched as well. " And they weren't alone." His eyes blackened over and he at once began putting the pieces together. Someone had hurt Hermione, thats why he felt pain. " Someone took the girls. Potter, go get my father and Dumbledore."

Harry nodded his head and ran back inside. A moment later Lucius appeared with Dumbledore trailing behind.

" Do you recognize the scent Father?"

Lucius growled loudly, causing the boys and Dumbledore to jump in surprise.

" Only one person has that disgusting stench around him. Greyback was here and he was with someone too. A female. Smells like Bellatrix. They've taken the girls."

" I thought this place was protected with centuries old wards, how did they get on the grounds?" asked Ron, his face pale at the mention of Greyback.

" Yes, however Bellatrix is Narcissa's sister. She's family and allowed to enter the grounds. She must have gotten Greyback in as well. We need to find the girls and fast. I know Greyback. He's not one to keep prisoners alive for long." Lucius answered and looked at Dumbledore.

Dumbledore only nodded his head. Fears and images parading around in his head of what the two kidnappers were going to do with the girls. He only hoped that they arrived in time before it was too late.


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