“So, what can’t you do?” Al asked later that night as we sat in his room with all the lights on, playing Wizards’ Chess. I was making sure that he didn’t fall asleep until after midnight, since if he fell asleep with a concussion, the results would not be so good. Although nothing would make me happier than his untimely and convenient death, I wasn’t ready to become a widow this early.
And, fine, maybe he’s growing on me a little.
But I still hate him.
A lot, for the record.
“I can’t do a lot of things,” I responded, rolling my eyes as I nudged my too-timid knight forward with the tip of my finger. He scowled up and pouted resentfully at me, and I sighed in annoyance at his reluctance. Aren’t knights supposed to be brave? Why does my chess set have to have the dysfunctional knights? Why can’t anything in my life be nice and normal for a change?
Poo. You suck, Merlin.
“Yeah? Like what?” he asked, raising an eyebrow as he directed his rook to beat up my knight. I scowled at the stupid thing. Good job, idiot. Now you’re dead.
“Well, for one, my life rather sucks. I’m not perfect,” I said absently as I leaned back to survey the board. Come on, Adele, use that brain of yours. “I’m terrible at knitting, sewing, or making any types of clothes. I wasn’t too great at Transfiguration, either. I liked Charms better.”
“I hated Charms,” Al responded, “and loved Transfiguration.”
“It frustrated me; I didn’t get it,” I told him, “that’s why I’m better off as a Healer rather than an Auror, though I could have taken both courses.”
“I’m going Pro for Quidditch,” Al said, unexpectedly sharing something about himself for a change.
I looked up at him in surprise. “Really? What team?”
He grinned proudly, “Magpies.”
I was sufficiently impressed. “Seeker?”
My mouth dropped open.
“You got onto the main team?” I asked incredulously. “You’re kidding! Hogwarts graduates only ever get onto the reserve!”
“I know, and that’s why I was so shocked when I got the offer,” he said, his green eyes sparkling, “At first I thought it was because of Dad, but then later I realized that they’d been desperate for a Seeker anyway.”
“So you got on because of pure perfect timing?” I guessed, smirking teasingly.
He looked indignant. “Oi, and talent, thank you very much.”
“Lucky bastard,” I muttered under my breath, shaking my head in wonder.
“I thought you’d go for Pro, too, actually. Didn’t you get offers?” he asked me curiously. The chess game lay forgotten in front of us. I didn’t mind; I was losing anyway.
“A couple,” I said nonchalantly.
“Well, the Harpies, Magpies, and Puddlemere,” I said, shrugging. “But they were all for reserve.”
“You – you said no? To all of them?” he seemed appalled at the mere idea.
I rolled my eyes. “I didn’t want to be a professional Quidditch Player. That’s my hobby. I want to be a Healer and do something. Not,” I added hastily, “that Playing Pro isn’t doing a lot, but…I like the idea of saving lives. It would make me different, as…you know. A Malfoy.”
He grinned suddenly. “You do have a heart!”
I gave him a dirty look. “As opposed to…?”
“A cold, unfeeling rock lodged in your chest region,” he said right away.
I glared at him, and he smirked.
“Thinking about my chest region, are we, Potter?” I asked tightly, trying to regain some leverage.
“It’s hard to forget something that scarred me so deeply,” he responded lazily.
“Funny; you were practically drooling at the time.”
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
“Are you kidding? Have you looked in the mirror lately?”
“Well I have. You, on the other hand…well, the fact that you’re still alive says a lot about whether or not you’ve bothered.”
“Careful, Potter. I can easily prove my point to you,” I was full-on smirking at this point, enjoying every minute of our retort-war.
“Yeah? Will it make me laugh? If so, by all means, please continue.” He raised an eyebrow and leaned back in his chair.
I scoffed. “Please. You’re definitely attracted to me.”
“Sorry love, but you’re the one who can’t keep your hands off of me. Not the other way around.”
“Oh, but the events of two days ago beg to differ.”
“What events? I can’t seem to recall what you’re talking about,” he said innocently.
“Is that your way of subtly getting me to take my shirt off again?”
“Please don’t. I already need therapy from last time.”
A knock at the door saved me from answering. “Who is it?” I called out instead.
“James. Put your clothes back on. I’m coming in.” James’ voice was muffled, but his amusement was clear. The poor, delusional bloke thinks he’s funny.
“It’s unlocked, you tosser,” Al said, rolling his eyes.
“Put your clothes back on first!” James said. Merlin, he’s really pushing it now. It wasn’t even funny to begin with; now he just sounds mental.
“I don’t know, James,” I said seriously, “I mean, I really like being naked. You should probably just go back to your room so we can continue our hot, steamy sex.”
The door burst open. “Aha! I knew you two were –” James stopped short at the sight of us.
“…playing Wizard’s Chess,” he muttered dejectedly. “Damn.”
Al was laughing next to me, so I decided to inform James that he was in idiot.
He didn’t like that very much.
“Just break my heart all over again, Adele, why don’t you?!” he finished dramatically, clutching at his chest.
“Are you done?” I asked drily.
“No, actually. We’re sneaking out to a muggle nightclub,” James informed us gleefully, his face lighting up. “Wanna come?”
Al snorted. “Fuck yes.”
They both turned to look expectantly at me. I huffed and rolled my eyes. “What the hell am I supposed to wear?”
“Calm down, just dance like it’s natural for you!” Fred called to me over the music. I shot him a glare and fidgeted with my dress again, trying to pull it down every time a body rubbed against me.
“Did you put me in this for a laugh?” I asked Al angrily, pulling him away from a couple of bimbos he was grinding cheerfully with.
“What? Oh, the dress. Yeah, pretty much.” He shrugged at me and looked over my head for someone to dance with.
“Oi, I’m trying to talk to you!” I snapped my fingers in front of his nose. “Pay attention to me. This dress is bloody ridiculous. I demand you to Transfigure it.”
He rolled his eyes and looked down at me, slowly scanning me for the umpteenth time. “Nope,” he promptly decided.
I let out an incredulous squeal at that. I mean, honestly – the dress is cute, don’t get me wrong. It’s little and black; what’s not to like?
Oh yeah – maybe the fact that this dress belongs to Lily, who happens to be a good four inches shorter than me. Upon noticing that it just barely reached to halfway down my thighs, I’d tried to hastily remove the dress, but Al decided to piss me off and put a Sticking Charm on the dress that wouldn’t come off unless he wanted it to.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the only reason you don’t let me take this off is because you want to see me in a little black dress.” My eyes narrowed, and his veered into a roll.
“That’s nice, Adele,” he said lazily. “I’m going to go and dance…over there. Go bother James, will you?”
Irritation spread through me, abrupt and icy cold. Who the hell does this kid think he is, that he can just dismiss me and tell me what to do like I’m a small child? Giving him a look of pure disgust and loathing, I stalked off towards the bar, where I was sure to get some extremely alcoholic drink and perhaps some courage to let loose. I plopped myself unceremoniously on a stool, and the guy next to me gave me an appreciative once-over. I decided to ignore him.
“What would you like, miss?” the bartender asked me, swinging his rag over his shoulder. He looked at me, grinned, and winked once.
“Mrs.,” I automatically corrected him. I hunched my shoulders protectively. I don’t like this place at all.
“Married, eh?” he let out a chuckle, looking me over again. “Don’t look the type. Where’s the lucky guy at?”
I scowled against my will. “Dancing, somewhere.”
He nodded understandingly. “And that brings me to…what would you like, darling?”
I couldn’t exactly order a firewhiskey. “Surprise me,” I said bravely. His face lit up in another grin and he started pulling random bottles from Merlin-knows-where, adding them to a titchy cup. My stomach rolled unpleasantly at the thought of drinking all those different types of alcohol in one go.
“Drink that quickly,” he advised me, winking once, then walking towards a gaggle of giggling girls. I swallowed nervously, looking at the cup. I glanced around me, my eyes immediately catching on Fred, who was doing some sort of weird, jerky dance move amidst a crowd of awed muggles. James was dancing enthusiastically in the middle of a mob, and Al was grinding with two different girls at the same time. My stomach clenched as his hands moved a little too low on a blonde girl’s hips, and she giggled as he whispered something in her ear.
Damnit, the least he could do is stay loyal to me. I’m not asking for much here.
Screw it all. In one, fluid motion, I had swiped the cup off the counter and threw it into my mouth, swallowing the contents in one go. The next second, I was slamming the cup down and hopping right off the stool, reveling in the feeling of anger and alcohol running through my body. In that moment, I was brave and free to do anything. Who cares, really?
Weaving my way gracefully through the sweaty bodies, I found a little bubble of space. For a second I stood there, letting my eyes close, letting the music flow through my body. I remembered all those years of dance lessons, how much I enjoyed the feeling of release. I remembered how I could move to music – and then I started dancing.
Within the next four minutes, a body moved up behind me, and I couldn’t help but smirk slightly. Wait until I tell Rose I made a new record. She’ll be so pissed. Her best is six minutes of dancing before some randy guy comes over to her. Mine was five minutes and forty seconds.
Yeah, so what if we liked to go to random wizard clubs and play games? It was fun. A bit dangerous, but fun.
Oi, I haven’t always been this uptight, you know. With Rose, it seemed like innocent experimenting. But now…something about the real world made everything a hundred times more serious.
But I don’t care. Why am I caring? I shouldn’t care. I’m just dancing.
“Hey, beautiful,” a husky voice whispered in my ear. I could feel muscles pressing against my back, and I craned my neck slightly to look at the guy, silently thanking Merlin that he was hot. I gave him my trademark Malfoy Smirk (yes, the one that Scorpius had spent three hours teaching me when I was thirteen) and hooked an arm around his neck, letting him press against my back again. I threw my head back slightly and started moving my hips from side to side, faster and faster.
I feel like a slag. Why isn’t this damn alcohol working?
The music seemed to pump louder and faster around me, and the guy’s hands pressed into my hips, his breathing loud against my ear. He lowered his mouth to leave a kiss against the side of my neck and I considered shoving him off of me, but before I could even elbow him in the stomach, someone pulled me away.
“What the hell are you doing?” Al’s voice broke from the confusion around me, and I focused on him, my vision slightly fuzzy.
“I was dancing,” I said. My voice sounded slightly muddled to my ears, but not enough for me to be considered fully drunk – just a little tipsy.
“Let me reiterate.” His lips pulled back into an angry sneer. “What the hell were you doing, dancing with that creep like a bloody hooker?”
I smirked toothily. “James was busy, so I decided to bother him instead. He didn’t seem to mind very much.”
“You’re unbelievable,” he growled. “You do realize that two more seconds with that guy and you would have ended up in his bed, somehow?”
I scoffed. “No, I wouldn’t. I was just about to push him off when you appeared. What happened to him, anyway?”
I turned my head to look for the stranger, but Al grabbed my face and pulled it to the front. “You don’t understand how dangerous it is in these places. You’re drunk, wearing a tiny dress, and dancing with random blokes.”
“I’m not drunk,” I wrested his hand away from me. “I’m wearing this dress because of you, so don’t even complain about that. And what the hell else am I supposed to do in a club, if not dance?”
“I thought you were going to go and dance with James,” Al said to me through gritted teeth.
“James is not my keeper,” I retorted defiantly, “and neither are you, so bugger off.”
“You think I want to have to look after you like a babysitter?” Al hissed, his green eyes flashing. “I’m trying to make sure you don’t do something you’ll regret later on. For once, just take it.”
“Why do you care, anyway?” I asked angrily. “I’m not asking for you to do anything! Go back and dance with those bimbos. Go on. Go. I don’t need you looking after me.”
“That’s it. We’re going home,” he said flatly, grabbing my arm and starting to tow me towards what was apparently an exit.
“The hell we are!” I pulled my arm back. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying here and dancing.”
“No, you’re not,” he responded. His voice was low, his eyes swirling with anger.
“Yeah?” I said challengingly, pulling myself so that I was closer to him. I rested my forearm against his shoulder and looked him straight in the eyes. Our noses brushed slightly. “Watch me,” I whispered.
Then I snapped myself away and whirled back into the crowd. I distinctly heard him mutter an expletive before he was swallowed up by the music. Within minutes, I was back to dancing. My hair waved around my head and my hips moved fluidly, and everything was free and okay. I forgot about Al, and instead focused on the way the music made my body move.
I made a new record. This time it was two minutes.
An arm snaked its way around my stomach and pulled me flush against a body. I couldn’t help but let out a quiet gasp in the midst of my haze – something about how perfect it felt made my stomach flutter pleasantly.
“You’re going to come home, one way or another,” a voice curled into my ear, and I scowled. Damnit Al, you’re ruining all my fun.
“I’ll come home eventually,” I said, tilted my head onto his shoulder so I could talk into his ear. “I’ll just do it whenever I want.”
“And I’ll make sure you do it when I want you to,” Al responded smugly.
“Uh-huh. And how, pray tell, are you going to do that?”
“I won’t let you have any fun,” he promised.
“Who said I won’t have any fun dancing with you?” I retorted, sending him the trademark Malfoy ‘Holy-Shit-That’s-Hot’ Smirk. Sure enough, he swallowed rather forcefully afterwards.
Yes, we have a couple different kinds of smirks. We’re pretty legit, I know.
“Because I can, hands-down, outdance you any day,” he said to me, forgoing his moment of hesitation.
“Is that a challenge?”
“Fuck yes, it is.”
“You’re on, Potter.”
“Bring it…Potter.” He smirked down at me, so I decided to give him the Double-Whammy Malfoy ‘I-Wanna-Fuck-You’ Smirk. I spent a week and a half mastering this one in my bathroom. Judging by the look on his face, all that practice paid off beautifully.
Something about the look on his face, or maybe the depth of his green eyes – or probably, most likely, the alcohol and heat flowing through my body and the music pulsing, beating, pounding around me – something about now made everything different. I wasn’t Adele Malfoy-Potter, the little shmuck that got married at seventeen to the arse currently grinding against her. I was just Adele, an adult dancing in a club with a hot guy. And in these situations, anything is allowed.
So I threw my arm backwards and around his head, letting my fingers slide into his dark hair as I arched closer into him. The other hand clutched at his thigh, holding him tightly against me. The side of my forehead came to rest against his jawline, and my eyes fluttered shut as I reveled in the feeling, the movement, the moment. And as his arm locked tighter around my stomach, pulling me closer, and his hand pressed with dizzying intensity into my hipbone, the fingers tracing patterns against my upper thigh, I couldn’t help but let out a small sigh of pleasure and press myself into him again.
At that, he let out a ferocious, extremely sexy growl and moved faster against me, pulling me even closer. The feeling of him against me was competitive, fast – but I was completely and totally turned on by it. Ridiculous, really, considering that this is Albus Potter, the kid I most dearly hate (most of the time). But…somehow…at that time…he wasn’t Al. It didn’t matter who he was.
All that I could feel was the heat between us, the spark, the friction – and how he made me feel dizzy and dazed and completely and totally breathless.
I felt alive. And Merlin, I felt it right down to my toes and back up again.
This is wrong. Everything about this is wrong. It’s wrong, the way we’re so tightly pressed together you can’t even tell the difference between him and me anymore. It’s wrong, the way my nose skimmed across his jawline as my head tilted back into him. It’s wrong, me kissing pressing butterfly kisses against the underside of his jaw. And it’s completely and totally wrong, when he swoops down and starts trailing openmouthed kisses along the side of my neck. I shouldn’t be sighing and moaning into his ear, and he shouldn’t be growling and biting my skin the way he is…
…and yet, I don’t care, because nothing’s ever felt this good before.
“Let’s get out of here,” Al murmured seductively in my ear after he was done leaving a huge mark on the base of my neck. My breathing had turned ragged, my hands had clutched tighter against him, and I could have sworn that I felt something pressing against my arse.
“Is this how you get girls into your bed, Potter?” I asked breathlessly, my own voice rougher and lower than usual.
“Wanna find out?” The words melted like velvet against the shell of my ear.
The hand clutching the side of his thigh moved backwards, and I smirked as he groaned quietly.
“I already sleep in your bed, love,” I said to him.
“Well then, how about we repeat the experience with a lot less clothing?” His palm, which had been resting against my stomach, moved dangerously upwards.
“What are you implying?”
“What do you think I’m implying?”
My hand fell limply to my side and I stopped moving to the music as I tilted my head back and simply stared at him in confusion. He looked serious and sultry, like he actually wanted to…to…oh, Merlin.
“You’re…you’re not kidding,” I said incredulously, starting to move away.
“Of course I’m not bloody kidding.” He pulled me back against him.
“You actually want to…”
“…have sex with you? Might as well happen sooner than later, yeah?”
My mouth gaped open. “That’s – you’re – that’s just –”
“Extremely inviting and unbelievably appealing? I can understand why.” He nodded seriously, only a hint of humor in his darkly glinting eyes.
I untangled myself from him and faced him, a couple feet of distance between our bodies. He cocked an eyebrow at me, looking devilishly handsome with the lights pouring an aura around him. I couldn’t believe what I was actually hearing – no, what I couldn’t believe was that I was actually hurt by the implication in his voice that I was going to be nothing more than a good shag to him.
I shook my head slowly, and to my utmost surprise and disgust, tears sprung lightly into my eyes. “Do you have any respect for me at all?” I asked.
His brow furrowed, and for a second he looked genuinely thrown off by my question. “What are you talking about?” he asked.
“I’m talking about the fact that I’m your wife, you little shit!” I was shocked by the amount of anger in my words.
“And…somehow…I’m not supposed to want to sleep with my wife?” His mouth was starting to curl slightly in amusement.
“You don’t even like me,” I pointed out in a low hiss.
He shrugged and moved forward, trapping me between his body and the pulsing mass of the dance floor. “What does like have to do with anything?” he asked in a low voice, taking a curl and brushing it slowly behind my ear. “All that really matters is passion.” The last word, whispered into my ear, sent a rush of tingles down my spine.
I swallowed with some difficulty. “We don’t…have…passion,” I barely got out.
He laughed darkly, snagging me around the waist and pulling me flush against the front of his body. I stifled a gasp. “Love, we have so much passion it’s nearly suffocating.”
And I was breathless all over again.
“But…I don’t think…” I protested pathetically, my voice barely above a squeak.
Easy for you to say, Potter.
I shook my head roughly to clear it, pushing him jerkily away from me. My movements were all rushed, my words blurred and fast and choppy with uncertainty and panic. “I’m going home.”
“I’ll come with you,” he started forward slightly.
I shook my head. “Not yours. Mine.”
“You can’t –”
“Just for the night. Until you’re…normal.”
“What the hell else am I supposed to be? I’m not a mental patient, for Merlin’s sake; I don’t have periods of time when I’m normal and not normal –”
“Look, I can’t deal with this right now, okay? I’m going,” I cut across, turning around and trying to battle my way to the closest exit.
I quickly fumbled my way to the door, opened it, and threw myself out into the welcoming rush of cool, summer-night air. Practically running to the end of the alleyway, I dissapparated with a quick, quiet snap noise, appearing just as quietly in the middle of my bedroom. I sighed in relief, knowing that it was impossible for anyone who didn’t have Malfoy blood to apparate directly into the house like I did. I’d be gone in the morning, and no one would be the wiser.
Heat and energy were still coursing through my body, so I buried myself into my bed, pressing my shaking hands to my forehead as I stared down at my knees.
Of two things I was perfectly certain:
1) Al Potter didn’t give a shit about anything other than my ability to shag.
2) I was definitely, painfully, absolutely attracted to him.
Merlin’s Mother’s panties, what has gotten into me?
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