Disclaimer: You know what goes with bread? Butter. You know what goes with peanut butter? Jelly. You know what goes with authors? …. I seem to be short a pair. No author's rights for me. How terribly incomplete.


The night was clear. The sun had not quite finished its routine travel to the horizon casting a slight orange tinge to the dark stormy sky. The grass of the castle grounds was too long and swayed gently in the light air of the evening, rippling calmly as if it were a single ocean of dull grey-green.

Hermione stood on the balcony. Her hair was wild. She had run her fingers through it so many times it no longer held any of the initial style she began with that day. The breeze caught the hem of her nightgown, pulling the light fabric, flashing her body to the dying sun. The hair on her arms rose lightly with the rush of being so deliciously exposed. She smiled dryly to herself. She had lived the past two weeks with this level of exposure linked to the silver around her neck.

Her dark eyes were trained on the castle gate, watching every returning student make the journey up the path. She'd been standing in this repose for far longer than was comfortable. Her palms were numb from the lack of blood flow to them resting on the slick stone. Her left leg ached, flesh raw from the corner of the rail digging into her as she perched. The breeze at her back was frigid, icy air tearing through the blanket she had wrapped tightly around her. Her toes cramped viscously under her supporting leg, delicately keeping her balance.

Light snow had begun to dance down from the clouds, falling onto the frosted grass in a powdered sugar imitation. She was waiting for him. She knew he would be back today, as she was. She understood without words, without a full formed thought that she was to remain silent and stoic, poised – for him.

Dark booted feet made impressions in the dusting of snow on the stone pathway. Deep blue jeans hung heavy on his hips, the hems caked with icy liquid. A weighty cloak swung around him, parting for the briefest second to reveal the shocking white of a T-shirt. Grey eyes scanned the crowd, imperceptibly and frantically searching for some sign of his target. Hermione exhaled softly. Sanctuary.

As if the breath had called to him across the frigid terrain, his head flicked to her. Cold met warm as their eyes danced together, locking in a palpable line of fire in the air. She could see his body turn slowly to her, weight shifting, boots grinding circles in the snow. He moved easily, not a visible action to the surrounding crowd. He veered off the main path, taking a stone walk that looped around the castle to his right. He was come to her – for her.

Hermione's breath labored a bit, her air flow restricted by more than just the cold of the atmosphere. She knew there was a side door that entered behind the Great Hall. It was used mostly by teachers as it entered into a hallway directly behind their table. It also happened to make a sharp turn to a staircase – a staircase that came out directly in front of their dormitory.

He approached the door, breaking eye contact with her and unhooking the latch in one fluid motion. Draco moved through it quickly, the wood falling closed behind him with a heavy thud. Hermione sat staring at the wooden barrier that had just cut his powerful figure from her line of sight. She seemed frozen again. Her neck was cramped awkwardly around so that she could see him. She couldn't move, as if she'd been thawed by his presence time enough for him to traverse the grounds, then ice flooded her veins again, returning her to her quiet paralysis.

A creak echoed softly across her room from the open common room door. Hermione snapped her head around, staring back through the open French doors of the balcony. There was a heavy thud, followed by muffled footsteps. He must have dropped his rucksack on the floor.

Hermione detached herself from the ledge, feet screaming in protest as they made contact with the cold ground. She padded softly forward, clasping her hands around the chenille blanket at her shoulders. She stopped just inside the doors, warmth flooding back to her. The doorway to her room had a magical barrier of some kind allowing the doors to be open to be open but the temperature to stay constant. She watched her bedroom door hesitantly, waiting for him to enter.

The footsteps halted their thudding progression on her stairs, keeping him just out of sight from her, tearing at her heart. He was going to make her voice her desire for him. She wouldn't be allowed to rely on him – no faking reality would he sanction.

"Come in." Her voice was clear but quavering, brutally accepting of the world her words opened. She could hear his gentle smirk in the silence, confirmed when he walked through the polished wooden frame.

Draco stepped into the blood red room, firelight licking every surface it could reach. She stood before him, proud and terrified at the same instant. Her neck arched high, pulling her back straight up, attempting to camouflage her terror. A thick blanket was wrapped around her shoulders, pulling against her frame, shielding her from the cold outside. But in here, it was warm. There was no need for the desperation with which she clung to it or the fear her fingers conveyed.

Draco raised his head, jaw elevating a fraction of an inch conveying his distaste for the cloth. She appeared to steel herself, as if gathering her resolve to face judgment from one whose good-opinion she craves. And she released the fabric. Draco exhaled low, a growl gracing his throat as he drank her in.

She'd dressed for him. He knew she had. But she had done with such subtlety and class, one could be forgiven for thinking it mere normal sleeping attire. Her legs and feet were bare, closed together with a sultry innocence, her left leg arched in a hip cock. He traveled the lines with his eyes, marveling at their imperfect proportion, celebrating how much more real that made her. Just below her hips rested the hem of her gown. It had caught tantalizingly on the shimmering high cut lace of her panties, hooked on an emerald green gem interwoven into the black floral pattern.

Her nightgown was of deep green satin, almost black in the low light. The light from the fire reflected off the curve of the fabric in a bright arc. The cloth hung around her, falling languidly over her curving hip bone, reminding him of the parts of the siren he was not seeing. The satin bunched together as his eyes travelled up, gathering and trimmed with an emerald detail under her breasts.

Draco inhaled sharply again. The top of the gown was similar in style to a bra. The sculpted cups were covered in the same green-embellished lace he'd gotten a glimpse of earlier. The straps were thick and luxurious, fashioned out of satin in the same green as the rest of the gown. The construction pulled her chest together, pushing the pale orbs up and together – creating an alabaster shelf on which rested –

"You're wearing it." His voice was low and visceral as though each word pulled from him was an agonizing fight. She moved her hand to touch the chain at her throat. In one lightning motion he leapt forward, seizing her wrist, preventing her from disturbing the vicious adornment nestled in her cleavage. She let out a small squeak of pain.

He released her at once, pulling her arm toward him, soothing over the aching flesh with his tongue. She gasped. He felt her shiver and looked up at her. Her lips were a deep, ruby red – evidence of her nerves as she compressed them between her teeth. Her hair was full, fuller than fashion would dictate. However in their current state, the untamed debauchery only added to the eroticism of the moment.

But her eyes, as they so often did, drew him in. They were frantic, roiling with a dozen different emotions that all centered around the man standing before her. She flicked her gaze down, the twinkle of the stone against her cleavage cut the air sending a brilliant flash of pink and yellow arcing across her vision. She touched it lightly, rolling the stone between her fingers.

"It's beautiful." She whispered, eyes still concentrating on the floorboards that rested frigid beneath her bare feet.

"Yes." It was a simple statement, no more obtrusive then the fire licking the logs on the hearth in front of them.

"Why?" She still didn't look up. He moved in front of her, his booted feet shuffling softly on the carpet. She sensed his closeness before she saw it, his presence a magnetic force pulling at her.

She felt his hand on the side of her neck, the warmth of his skin searing her to the core. His thumb pushed on her chin, lightly forcing her head up to look at him. She met the clear crystal blue of his eyes, seeing the flame there, the light they carried.

His hand stroked down her neck slowly, following the silver chain supported there.

"The chain, for your fidelity." His hand kept moving further, tracing over the fair curve of her collar bone to the rising flesh below.

"The stone," he touched the string of emeralds down the chain's side, "for your constancy." His hand left the necklace momentarily, brushing over the top of her breast, making her breath hitch in her throat. He moved back to the necklace, lacing the pendant between his fingers as he spoke.

"The pearl, for your desire." Hermione closed her eyes momentarily. He had her entire body on edge simply from the tone of his voice.

"The snake, for your evasion." She pulled lightly at him but he tightened his hand on the ornament, holding her still.

"And finally," he whispered, pulling her close to him. He held up the point of the pendant, running the needle sharp end down the curve of her cheekbone. "the point."

She looked up at him, eyes clouded with lust and desperation and ecstasy. "The point," he said again, "to remind you that, as I live and breathe, as I stand here before you, as I am a man and you are a woman, as there is magic in the night and death in the slums, you are staked to me. Your heart is speared with mine and we both belong to each other. You are mine."

She stared up at him, tears streaking silently down her cheeks as she shook in his arms. His breath fell across her, cooling the lines of salt on her face. His free hand trailed at her waist, slinking under the short satin gown, tracing the top edge of her lace underwear and coming to rest in the small of her back. He looked down at her, safety and comfort in his eyes. "Now," he levered his thumb under her chin and forced her to look directly at him. His voice was soft, barely audible if they had not been occupying the same space. "What are you?"

She looked at him, silently fighting the response she so desperately wanted to give. She shook her head imperceptibly, unknowingly, begging him to answer for her.

His eyes burned bright with anger, rage at her continued denial. With the hand still on her neck, he turned her head into him. His mouth descended violently on her neck, kissing every inch he could find, biting down on the skin behind the cord of her neck. Simultaneously, the hand at her back abandoned restraint, delving below her waist band across the curve of her behind. His fingers stroked the inside of her thigh, then shifted slightly.

He detached himself from her neck, pulling away and staring straight at her face. He moved suddenly, closing the gap between them, sealing the kiss. Except, he stopped, mouth hovered a scarce width over top of hers. He spoke again, growling the words as if wanting to shove them down her throat. "What are you?"

Before she could move, before she could even think she spoke, voicing the only response that formed in her mind.

"I am yours."


Birdies, lovies, reviewers most adored. Please, please, please. Save me from the sexiness that is Draco. Save me from the all encompassing protective envelopment that is his perfection. UNGH. I adore him. So very freaking much I can't stand it. And the ANSWER! I've had the answer to that question for about three years now. You don't even understand. I'm so happy to finally give it. Please review?

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