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Otherwise Engaged by majamariamaja
Chapter 8 : The Sparkling Nest
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 51

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Incredible chapter image by rockstarkisses @ tda !



Chapter 8. The Sparkling Nest

I was staring dreamily into space, chewing slowly on a piece of gum, smiling like some kind of goon.

«What are you smiling about?» asked a voice I could've recognized anywhere.

«Nothing in particular,» I answered and turned to look at Draco.

Today he had been wearing a dark blue suit, a white shirt and a black tie. But seen as the day was at its end, he'd removed the jacket, loosened his tie and opened the top buttons of his shirt. His blonde hair was messy after a whole day of running his hands through it, but all of this only emphasised the fact that he was the most gorgeous man alive.

Except for Martin. Of course.

«So, what are you doing tonight?» he asked while sitting down on the edge of my desk. His edge. «I mean, it's Friday, so I bet you've got big plans with Mr. Fiance?»

«Actually, I'm going to this thing th-»

«Alone?» he interrupted.

I logged off my computer, got up and went to grab my coat. Draco's hands were suddenly grabbing my coat just a second faster than me and held it up so I could slid my arms through the sleeves.

He could really be a gentleman when he wanted to be.

«Thank you,» I smiled, and let him put on my coat, «and yes, alone – Martin's got a late meeting, and none of my friends are really intere-»

«Can I join you?»

I take that back. He had a tendency to interrupt me.

«What about Miss Boobs-And-A-Pulse from last week?» I asked while raising my eyebrows at him.

«Who? Oh, ehm, her. I let her go.» Draco ran his fingers through his hair and looked away.

«What? You dumped her? Is that what you mean?»

«I didn't dump her! We just... grew apart.» With strong fingers he unbottoned another button on his shirt. The wind was knocked out of me as I saw another two centimeters of his bare skin.

«A-already? Didn't you just meet a week ago?» I stuttered.

«What can I say? People change. So can I come with you or not?» Who could say no to those eyes of his? Not me, that's for sure...

"Ehm, yeah, of course. But I have to warn you tha-»

«So when does this 'thing' start?»

What is up with all the interrupting?!

«Nine, but I still have to wa-»

«I'll see you then.»

See? I rest my case.

Draco walked off without saying(or letting me say) anything, leaving me with an annoyed but tingling feeling. I was going to actually see him tonight outside of work. Was it wrong of me to be excited to see him again even though I saw him six seconds ago?

While letting out a long sigh, I flicked off the lights, walked out of the building and disappeared into the wave of people out on the street.

«This is impossible!» I screamed at my reflection in the mirror. It was truly maddening that I could never find anything worth wearing in that closet of mine. I wriggled out of the dress that was my latest attempt and threw it violently on the floor.

«You really shouldn't leave your door unlocked!» I heard someone yelling from the hall.

While wrapping a pillowcase around my torso I looked out of my bedroom door. There, at the far end of the hall, standing right beside the front door was Draco. A wide grin spread across his face as he saw my outfit.

«You look... nice,» he laughed.

«I can't find anything to wear,» I growled and kicked off my pumps, turned on my heels and marched right back into my bedroom in only my stockings and improvised pillowcase-dress.

«Want any help?» he asked while walking after me. Laughing, I might add.

«Not unless you can do magic, if not I'm totally fine on my own,» I answered, throwing the pillowcase back on the bed.

«Did you seriously just say that?» Draco asked and peeked his head into my bedroom. I immediately covered my breasts with my hands.

«Draco!» I hissed. «Get out of here! I'm practically nude!»

«I've seen you nuder, did you-»

«'Nuder'? Are you serious?»

«Are you serious? You do know that you're a witch, right?» he asked, looking at me with raised eyebrows.

«Yeah, so?»

«So? So you can do magic! You can magically enhance your clothes with just a wave of your wand! See, like this -» He quickly drew his wand, pointed it at the dress I'd just thrown on the floor and flicked it.

The dress floated up and hovered above the ground right in front of me.

«I think...» He looked at me for a second. «Blue.» He waved his wand and the dress turned a dark shade of blue.

Astonished, and annoyed because Draco was the one who came up with this and not me, I stared at the dress.

«No, there's still something missing...» he mumbled, made a little spin-thing with his wand and the dress' cleavage deepened into more of a square. Another flick – the fabric changed from flowing shiffon to curve-hugging silk. He nodded to himself, smiling.

«There we are,» he said, carefully taking the dress in his hands and putting them in mine.

The smooth silk felt great against my skin, and I smiled at him.

«Thank you,» I whispered, and pulled the dress over my head. It fit perfectly.

«That looks...» Draco's mouth dropped open, but he quickly closed it «All right.»

«Thanks, if it weren't for you I would never have gotten out of this bedroom.» I sighed and looked around on the floor.

«Why do you take this so seriously? You're getting so hung up over nothing at all, I mean it's just clo-»

«Hold on. Let me just clarify: women take clothing much more seriously than men.» I walked to my shoe shelf, while speaking. «I've never heard of a man walking into a party and saying 'Oh, my God, I'm so embarassed – get me out of here! There's another man wearing a black suit!'»

Draco's laughter filled the room, filled my whole being and made me laugh as well. And for a little while that's all we did – laugh. Then I found the perfect pumps, stepped into them and looked once again at the mirror.

«This is as good as it gets,» I murmured. Draco appeared behind me and we locked eyes in the mirror.

«You really do look beautiful, Brownie.»

Oh my.. Those eyes are a hazard. A warning should be written all over his face. That delicious, strong, bewitching face.

«Erm, thanks,» I whispered. «We should get going.»

«Where the bloody hell are we, Brownie? Is this a joke?»

Draco and I were standing a few feet away from the entrance of a grand and glittering bar, with a massive neon sign that said: 'The Sparkling Nest'. You could get an epileptic fit just from looking at this place for too long. Lights in every existing colour were swirling, blinking, fading in and out, shooting into the sky and shifted to another colour. I had to look down to keep my balance.

«Where in Merlin's name have you taken me?! I feel dizzy.»

I grabbed his arm and forced him to walk towards the giant-sized disco ball, and even though we walked in silence, there really wasn't any need to break it. Noises bounced at us from every angle, and the closer we came to the entrance, the better we caught a glimpse of what was inside. Men in all shapes, sizes, with and without dresses and make-up were dancing and entertaining each other. On the massive stage at the far end a tall man in a sequin dress was performing a song while waving a fan that was ten times the size of his head. Waiters (or waitresses, I really don't know) dressed in glittering hotpants were rolling around on rollerblades while balancing trays of food and drinks, and taking up orders from costumers. Once safely(at least I hope so) inside there was luckily not as many lights as on the outside.

As far as I could tell, there were only a minimum of females in attendance, but I didn't really care. Draco, on the other hand, looked practically dumbfounded.

«Hello, there darlings,» greeted a large man with feathers in his wig and a bright orange dress while smiling at us. «Welcome to 'The Sparkling Nest', and thank you for contributing to our cause! A table for two?»

I nodded, and couldn't keep from smiling back at the large man.

«First timers, I see.» He winked at Draco, and grinned at us both. «Please wait at the bar and I will go check if there's one ready soon. Excuse me, my beauties.» And he flitted off without another word.

«Hermione,» for the first time in forever Draco used my real name. «I don't feel safe in here,» he whispered.

«Draco,» I whispered back, «get over yourself.»

And with that I dragged him to the bar, pushed him onto a stool and ordered him a strong drink.

«Here you go,» I said while giving him the drink.

«I need something stronger...» he mumbled, and I almost couldn't hear him through all the noise.

«You didn't even try it! I asked for the strongest they had, and this is what you got. Drink.» I pushed it into his hand.

«It's not that. I mean I need something even stronger than muggle alcohol, I need some good, old magic Firewhiskey,» he whispered into my ear, and I ignored the tingles when his skin met mine for those brief seconds.

«What? Where are you going to find that?» I meant to sound scolding, but truth was that I really wanted the drink too. Merlin knows it had been a long time.

Without a word he snuck his hand in his jacket pocket and showed me a small silver flask. He unscrewed the cork and took a swig, then handed it to me. I looked around, and deciding that there were far too many people in here to notice anything, I took a long gulp of the burning liquid. If this had been a muggle flask, that gulp would have completely emptied it, but seeing as it wasn't, it kept refilling itself with the magic drink. This was going to be a fun night!

My stomach felt suddenly warm and the feeling stretched into my toes and upwards to the top of my head. With a giggle, I handed him the Firewhiskey, and his expression softened.

«I didn't know you liked Firewhiskey, Brownie?» he whispered into my ear, this time the tingles when our skin met magnified to a million times worse than before. Amongst making you feel like the most amazing thing on the face of the earth, Firewhiskey apparently made your skin so sensitive that you felt everything. He didn't even need to touch me and goosebumps rose all over my body.

So when our skin touched now, I jumped back, landed on the floor and caught everyone's attention. Well, obviously not everyone, but about three or four drag queens ran to me to get me up from the floor. Draco did nothing but hold his sides while laughing hysterically.

When I'd successfully gotten to my feet, thanks the (wo)men, and sat my bum back on the stool, I joined Draco's laughing marathon. After a while (I couldn't decide whether it was an hour or a minute) we stopped laughing, and was escorted to our table.

To get to that particular table we had to walk through flocks of men, and men pretending to be women, and this sobered Draco up significantly.

«Seriously, Brownie, what are we doing here?» he whispered across the table after our waiter went to get the menus.

«It's a fundraiser for gay rights,» I answered, and Draco looked at me like I was barmey.

«And why didn't you think of telling me this before now?» he hissed, and I had to laugh at his expression.

«Actually I tried several times, but you kept interru-»

«Oh, no!» Draco suddenly turned pale white and hid himself behind his drink. «That guy just winked at me!» He nodded to his right, eyes bulging.

«Who?» I barely contained a laugh as I looked at him. «That black bodybuilder in the corner? Score!» I lifted my hand in the air in an attempt of a high-five, but I don't think I did it right. Because all Draco did was glare at me, and I lowered my arm. This time I did laugh.

Our waiter came back with our menus, took our order (or my order, as Draco was too busy with casting glances to his right to make sure the bodybuilder kept his distance) and left with a wiggle I hadn't seen since I saw that old Marilyn Monroe-movie with Mum.

«Nothing good can come of this...» he mumbled, and took another swig of his magic flask.

«Don't be such a winp. Here,» I stuck my hand in my bad and handed Draco an object no bigger than a small perfume bottle, «since you can't wave your wand around here, I'm giving you this. It's for emergencies.»

Draco looked at it.

«What can it do?» He was just about to press the top of if, when I smacked his hand to make him stop.

«I said emergencies. That's mace. When you aim that at someone's eyes and press the top, a kind of gas squirts out of it and blinds the one you spray it at.»

That made Draco smile.

«Feel better?» I asked.

«Yes. Definitely!» He hid the mace in his pocket, and I noticed throughout dinner that whenever he felt like anyone came a little too close he touched the contours of it to reassure himself that it was still there – ready if he needed it. It was quite funny.

After dessert he'd managed to relax(probably due to the never-emptying flask of Firewhiskey), and was chatting with out waiter. I was sitting across from him as he smiled and laughed with the large feather-covered man, and all around us the people and the noises had calmed down considerably. Couples of men and men, men and (wo)men, (wo)men and (wo)men, and (a very few) men and women were coupling up and dancing to slow music.

The waiter left to get us another round of drinks, and Draco turned to look at me.

«Do you want to dance?» he asked flat out.

It took a few moments before I could get my head to formulate a respond, and when those moments were over and I still couldn't say anything I simply nodded.

Damn Firewhiskey.

Draco's hand grabbed mine and he led me onto the dancefloor. One of those strong, firms arms of his was placed on the small of my back,  holding me close to him, and the other one gently held my hand.

With every movement it felt like a thousand explosions were going off at the places where our bodies met. But nothing could compare to the sensation when he pulled me even closer to him, the two of us swaying in complete unison.

«Am I holding you too tight?» he whispered, and his breath felt like it was being tattooed onto my skin.

Merlin knows I should say 'yeah, back the bloody hell up', but it just felt too good. So I shook my head.

We danced without stopping for several songs, and I bet that we could have gone all night without saying anything but just dance. It was so easy to be this close to Draco, so natural - like breathing.

He was the first one to break the silence.

«I'm having an epiphany,» he whispered.

«I knew it! You're gay.» I smiled up at him, and he smiled back.


«Then why were you flirting with our waiter?» I raised my eyebrow, and smirked.

«I was just being polite!»

«Hey, I'm not judging. Whatever flies your broom.»

«I'm not gay!» he said a little too loud just as the song ended. Every face on the dancefloor turned to look at him.

«Still in the closet,» I said to the crowd. «Very difficult for him.» And they turned back to their own partners as a new song started to play.

«About your epiphany?» I couldn't keep the wide grin at bay, so I let out a laugh.

«I don't remember that now.» Draco squinted his eyes, and sent me a look that sent shivers through my spine. I wasn't afraid, I was... aroused.

Uh-oh. This was not good. I had to get some distance, and I had to get it now.

«I think our drinks are waiting,» I muttered, and went back to our table.

I took a sip of my drink, and looked everywhere but at the blond, muscular man in front of me. I needed to get some space. Collect my thought. Yes, 'thought', singular. I only had the one.

Another sip.

And then something happened. Someone happened.

«Oh, no. Oh, no! Oh, my God! Oh, God, no!» I looked more closely at the man at the bar, and recognised him at once. He'd changed, but I could still se who he was. «Oh, God!» How could I forget?!

«What is it? Are we praying?» Draco tried to look for what I was staring at.

«That's my ex!» I whispered, and hid my face behind my hand.


«The guy at the bar! Black hair and glasses. No feathers or glitter,» I hissed and took a big gulp of my drink.

«But this is a gay bar?» Draco looked confused from me to the guy.

«Thus the reason we're not still together.» I almost threw in a 'DUH' at the end of my sentence, but I was too mortified. I looked at my ex again. He had cut his hair, and the last time I saw him he had been using contact lenses, but he still looked just the same.

«Why are you whispering?» Draco asked. «It's not like he can hear us, the music is too loud and he's at the opposite side of th-»

«Oh, no! He saw me!» I interrupted. «He'll come over. Please don't come over, please, please, please, pl- Oh, SHIT

«Why a-» Draco started, but I didn't have time for his questions right now.

«Shut up and kiss me,» I said in a hurried voice.

«Wha-» Draco started, but didn't finish.

I practically jumped across the table and pressed my lips against his. At first his lips were too shocked to move, but then he made up for it. He got to his feet and pulled me up with him, dragging me to the wall right beside us and pushing me up against it. His fingers entwined with mine, and our heartbeats were completely syncronized, and our lips were moving like there was no tomorrow.


I lifted my head and looked over Draco's shoulder. Oh, that's right.

Charlie. My ex-boyfriend who after six months of sex told me that he was gay. My self confidence suffered a massive blow that day.

«Charlie! Is that you? Hello!» I forced my voice to sound as suprised as possible.

I failed.

«Hi.» He looked awkwardly at me and Draco. Who, by the way, was still pressing me up against the wall, our fingers locked in a tight grasp.

«And this must be Martin, your fiance?» Charlie asked, and I froze. I hadn't thought this through...

«Yes, I am.» Draco let go of my hand and reached it out to Charlie. He shook it.

«Well, it was nice to, ehm.. run into you,» Charlie said and smiled at me. «And nice to meet you as well, Martin.»

Draco nodded, as did I. And then Charlie left.

I had no idea I had held my breath until this very moment, and I inhaled as I watched Charlie walk away.

Draco turned slowly to look at me. I didn't look back. Even though it was dark in here, I still saw how the blue in his eyes caught what little light was in here and shone with the light of Cornish Pixies themselves. So I kept my head bowed as I squeezed past him and sat back down at our table.

Our waiter came back to give us the bill, and after paying we both got to our feet without a word and walked towards the exit.

All of a sudden the black bodybuilder snuck up on Draco. He jumped about ten feet in the air as the bodybuilder's husky voice purred in his ear:

«I got lube.»

«I-I got mace,» Draco retorted and fumbled to get it out of his pocket.

«Ooh, kinky!» The bodybuilder smirked and licked his lips like a cartoon wolf.

«Mate, I'm serious.» Draco showed the man the mace with a warning look.

«You wouldn't,» said the bodybuilder, but he looked significantly less sure this time.

«Try. Me.»

Draco positioned the mace directly in front of the bodybuilder's eyes and his index finger hovered over the top, ready to spray him if he had to.

I found myself watching the situation unfold with a giggle, and felt a shot of disappointment when the bodybuilder backed off. Where was the drama when you needed it?

Draco took my hand and dragged me out of the crowded bar, and didn't let go of it even after we were safely out.

«I'll take you home,» he muttered, tightening his grip on my hand.

When we rounded a corner and found an empty street, he fished his wand out of his pocket and looked down at me.

«Hold on tight, Brownie.» Then he closed his eyes and turned on the spot, and everything went black. My body was being pressed against Draco's and I tightened my grip on his arm. Just when I thought I would suffocate from the intense pressure, I felt ground beneath my feet and air fill my lungs.

«What the hell?!» I screeched and pushed Draco away from me while glaring at him.

«Has it been that long since you've Apparated?» he asked, shocked. «Have you forgotten everything

«Oh,» I replied, and looked away from him. That was when I figured out that I was standing right around the corner from my apartment building.

«Is this..?» I asked weakly.

«Yes. That's your building, right there. I said I'd take you home, didn't I?» He wouldn't meet my gaze, so I slowly started walking toward the entrance door.

He didn't follow me, and disappointment washed over me, forcing me to stop and turn around. Those blue pits of danger were glued to me, and I was (without my knowledge) drawn closer to him.

That man was dangerous. He had an extraordinary talent of having complete control over me. Like now, for example, when the voice of reason was screaming in my head to turn away and find Martin, my feet would not react. So I just stood there in front of him for several minutes without doing anything.

With a sigh he shook his head.

«I really want to kiss you.»

I suddenly remembered that nightmare I'd had some time ago, where blue eyes melted me into a puddle on the ground. Apparently it was a prophecy, because my body was not a body anymore. It was a melting object which would in just a few seconds be nothing but a puddle at Draco Malfoy's feet.

«I'm sorry.» While an awkward laugh passed his lips, he ran his fingers through the blond hair, messing it up. «It's just the Firewhiskey talking...» He locked eyes with me once again and sent me a crooked smile.

I clenched my teeth together in an attempt to take control of myself. So I just nodded.

«I'll see you Monday?» he asked, and when I didn't respond he looked away. «Right.. Ehm. Bye.» He turned to leave when my weirdness suddenly overwhelmed me.

«Toodle-oo!» I mentally beat myself to a pulp when I realised I'd just said it out loud.

Draco looked over his shoulder at me, smiling, and then he suddenly disappeared. Correction; Disapparated.

Toodle-sodding-oo?! What in the bloodiest hell was that?!

With a long sigh, I walked into the building, up the four stories and let myself into the appartment. Martin was home. His shoes were by the door and his coat was hanging over a chair. He was probably already asleep, so I tiptoed into the bathroom to remove my make-up and undress, then tiptoed again through the bedroom and quietly crawled into bed.

«How was the Gay Rights-thing?» Martin's sleepy voice asked me while he curled up against me.

«It was fun.» Against my better judgement I shrugged out of his arms. «How was the meeting?»

«Long and boring.» I heard him shuffling his sheets, and getting closer to me, not realising that I kept wriggling away from him. «I missed you,» he whispered in my ear, and stroked my back with his hands. Then he kissed my neck, and I let out an involuntary moan.

Was it physically possible to be attracted to two men at the same time?

Leaving a trail of small kisses, he made his was up to my mouth, dwelling at the sensitive spot right behind my ear.

Obviously it was very possible.

«I love you, Hermione,» Martin whispered just before his lips met mine with a tenderness that made my toes curl.

And then suddenly a pair of blue eyes flashed before me, and I felt guilty. In shock I broke off the kiss and pushed Martin off me.

«What's going on here, Hermione?» he asked in a hushed voice, but instead of answering him I buried my face in my pillow.

«Hermione?» He put his hand softly on my shoulder, but I violently jumped at his touch. I felt him getting out of bed and then he turned on the lights. I refused to look at him.

«What's happened to you?» he asked, getting worked up, probably seeing that I was refusing to look up from my pillow. «We barely talk nowadays, and in fear of sounding like a bloke, we never  make love anymore.» He was still standing by the light switch, I knew because I heard him breathing heavily from the other side of the room.

«Ever since that amazing Sunday morning, you -» I stiffened, and it was probably very noticeable since he stopped talking.

«Have I done something to hurt you in some way?» I didn't answer. «If I did, could you please tell me so I can apologize?» He knelt down by my edge of the bed and sighed.

I suddenly realised that I was crying. The pillowcase was wet with tears, but I still didn't move.

Several silenced moments passed, and then suddenly I felt Martin's fingers carefully putting a strand of hair behind my ear. That was all he did, and then I didn't feel him anymore. But I heard him sigh.

«Is it the wedding?» His words sounded slightly choked, and I feared that my heart would be cut in half if I heard that heartbroken sound once again.

I lifted my eyes to look at him, and we locked in a stare. Those calm, green emeralds reaching into my soul and calming it down, reassuring me of his love.

«Because we can postpone it, you know? Even cancel!» Martin got up from his knees and sat down on the bed beside me. «The only thing I care about is your happiness, and you're obviously not...» His voice trailed off, and I watched as he tried to collect himself.

I reached my hand up to him, and he took it. After sitting up, I removed my hand from his, only to wrap both my arms around his broad torso.

«I'm sorry,» I whispered hoarsely. «I'm just overwhelmed, I think.»

Martin turned to kiss the top of my head, and started stroking my arms with his fingers.

«Please, talk to me whenever you get overwhelmed again,» he whispered back. «I will never be too busy to listen to you. I love you, I hope you know?»

«I know.» I looked up and placed my lips very gently on his. He didn't deepen the kiss, he just continued to calmly run his fingers up and down my forearms.

I didn't deserve that man.


I know, it's a long chapter.

Have I finally made you see how wonderful Martin is? I absolutely adore him.

Any thoughts? Please write them in that little box at the end of the page ^^ I love reviews, and they really inspire me!

All my love,


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