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“You’re late.”

Hermione sighed as she tossed her bag to the ground by the couch. “I had things to attend to.”

Draco nodded and shifted on the couch to stretch his legs out. “I finished the homework for Binns if you’d like to look at it.”

She shook her head and picked up Duchess. “I completed it yesterday. Did you do your Potions work?”

He shrugged. “No, and I don’t plan to. Bring Duchess here.”

Duchess mewed softly as Hermione placed her on the ground facing his direction. “Are you going to dinner?”

He shrugged again. “Pick her up and bring her here.”

The small cat, only a head bigger than the day Hermione first got her, hadn’t moved from where she had been placed, only stared up at Hermione with big eyes. “No.”

“Why not?”

“You know why.”

Draco sighed and stood up. “I’ll be in my room.”

Hermione held her breath as he approached and bent down to pick up the small animal, cradled her like a baby, and retreated in to his room.

Draco and Blaise had returned to classes yet the twins did not. It didn’t deter Tyler from trying to assert his place next to Hermione. Draco was always out of the dorm before Hermione had finished getting ready and back before she had finished dinner. Blaise didn’t visit or show up around corners anymore and his appearances in class or at dinner were rare. They talked to no one but each other, and always in hushed conversation with their heads down. Many were grateful that they at least weren’t bullying the other students, but the now dark and silent aura they gave off seemed almost worse than their usual schoolboy antics. The only other time Draco spoke was in the evenings, in the time between the end of class and start of dinner, and only to Hermione in the privacy of their dormitory. Their conversations were somewhat cold and usually ended with him leaving to his room or out the portrait hole to disappear until she’d see him in class the next day, ignoring her. It was all very strange and uncomfortable.

A month had gone by, dragging slowly like feet in snow. There had been no word from Harry or Ron and whenever Hermione asked Luna or Ginny for any information, they both answered that they didn’t know either. The days were becoming routine and monotonous.

“Good morning.”

Hermione glanced up. It was the first weekend in March and the first morning she had seen Draco since before the Christmas break. She felt a blush try to creep on to her cheeks when she noticed he was wearing the same loose black pajama pants and robe he wore the night she failed at seducing him in his room, the night the Forbidden Forest caught on fire.

Despite his tall frame and muscular build, he moved across the floor with quiet footsteps to where she was sitting on the couch in her own pajamas. On Saturday mornings she liked to do her homework by the fireplace before taking a long bath to relieve the stress of the week. Usually she did not see him until the evenings, before dinner, when he returned from Quidditch practice. Thinking back, she wasn’t sure he had ever seen her in pajamas.

He sat down on the opposite side of the couch and sighed heavily. “Don’t you think this has gone on long enough?”

She ignored him and focused on the essay she was writing.

“We’ve barely spoken since I returned.”

She reached for her textbook and began flipping pages.

“I’ve missed you.”

Her fingers stopped mid-turn as she closed her eyes. “You have a funny way of showing it.”

Draco closed his eyes as well, his memory flashing back to his last night in Paris. She had looked so beautiful in the moonlight, her cheeks flushed from the cold and the snow in her hair shining like glitter under the streetlights. Her hand was reaching out for him as she laughed and just as he was about to take her hand his eyes flew open. Duchess was caressing his thigh with her head.

“I’m sorry I left you in Paris, Hermione. It wasn’t my intention to disappear without saying goodbye.”

Hermione shook her head. “That’s not what I care about.”

“Then what is it?”

“You were gone! For two months! I had no idea where you were, what you were doing, the last thing you were saying…” She broke off. “It doesn’t even matter now.”

It had started as just a game to her, just a bunch of silly nonsense and an evil boy she wanted revenge on. She hadn’t meant to get too close to him or to… And now she was paying for her foolishness.

Draco turned his head to look at her. “We both know it wouldn’t have worked.”

She knew he was right. “Who said I even wanted it to?”

He knew she was lying. “We both wanted it to.”

“You never wanted me, you wanted what all the other boys want. And I didn’t want you, I wanted to win.”

It didn’t matter if she said it, he didn’t know what she was talking about. “Win what? My virginity? Hate to say it but that ship sailed a long time ago.”

She blushed with anger. Of course he wasn’t a virgin, that was obvious, but he didn’t have to say it like it wasn’t important. It was very important. She had grown up associating intimacy with love and here was a boy who clearly loved no one but was more intimate with women than Hermione could even dream. The furthest she had ever gotten was heavy petting, and even then it was over her clothes and she had become so embarrassed she had literally pushed Blaise away from her before he even got a decent feel.

Draco, oblivious to her anger, gazed into the fireplace. “You slept with Blaise didn’t you.”

It wasn’t a question, it was a statement, as if he was challenging her to tell him otherwise. But how could she tell him the truth? Her whole school year had been spent on trying to maintain the image of a sexy goddess full of seduction yet the only times she had been in bed with a boy (interestingly enough it was only two boys, and they were Blaise and Draco), she had fallen asleep. Was she really so poorly versed in intimacy that the best she could was sleep!?

She sighed openly and gathered her study materials and stood up. “That’s really none of your business.”

Draco laughed. “Isn’t this an opportunity for you to say something sexy? Or are you not doing that little charade anymore?”

It was obvious he was trying to push her buttons but instead of responding she began packing up her school bag with her back to him. He was not going to get the best of her this time.

“Nothing to say? No witty retort?”

She shook her head and turned to face him. “Why not ask Blaise.”

“I did. He grinned.”

What a bastard. “Then I guess you have your answer.”

Draco stood up. “Do you remember that night? In Paris?”

Of course she did. “I spent the entirety of my break in Paris, you’d have to be more specific.”

This was the closest Hermione had been to him since the break, so close that he only had to reach out a little for his hands to find her waist. She didn’t struggle, he knew she wouldn’t, but she tensed up in the slightest way that he would have missed if he had been anyone else. But he was Draco Malfoy, and he had held her enough times before to notice such a small change.

Hermione pulled back, the sound of fireworks exploding in her ears not loud enough to drown the fast beating in her chest. Had she really heard what she thought she heard? Had he really said she should be with him?

His arms were still around her waist. “Why did you stop,” he whispered. Though she had pulled back she was still close enough that he leaned his head forward so their foreheads touched.

“I think you’re drunk,” she giggled. She could smell it on his breath and was positive it was the drinks that were causing her to act like this when only a moment ago she had been furious with him. Was this what a drunken kiss was like?

Draco smiled and kissed her nose. “So?”

Hermione smiled but put her hands on his chest. “You know who I am right? This isn’t… I mean you know who you’re kissing, right?” As happy as she was it was hard to believe he was eager to kiss her when she had spent all those weeks trying to seduce him unsuccessfully.

He pulled her closer so that her hands dropped from his chest. “The brave Gyffindor, brightest witch of her age, Head Girl extraordinaire. You’re Hermione Granger.”

So maybe he wasn’t drunk? But just to be sure… “And you’re kissing me because…”

“Because you look beautiful in this moonlight.”

She smiled despite herself. “If you tell me such pretty things I might just be fooled into kissing you again.”

“So it’s working?”

Before she could respond he had yanked her straight into him, their lips crashing against each other. What was she supposed to do with her hands? Was she moving her lips the right way? Is that his tongue? She was hyperaware of every piece of her skin and each beat of her heart as she fell into him as he leaned back into the wall. He was warm despite the chill of the wind and his hands on her waist were making her feel a little sweaty, a little dizzy.

He pulled away and closed his eyes. “We can’t do this.”

Oh. So maybe he had finally grasped exactly what he was doing and with whom. “I,”

“We can’t do this here, there’s no privacy.”

Excuse me? “What?”

Draco smiled and straightened himself up as he dropped his hands from her waist and instead intertwined their fingers. “Let’s just go, so we can be alone. Let’s go, come on Hermione, let’s just go.”

Before she could respond she felt the familiar tugging feeling behind her belly button that meant they were apparating and as the world came back into view she found herself in a bedroom, dark from the lack of turned on lights but visible enough that she could make out furniture from the light of the moon through the windows.

“Where are we?”

He had left her side and was crossing to the windows to fully pull open the partially open curtains. “This is my room here in Paris.”

Well things certainly had escalated quickly. “I’m not…” She couldn’t make the words come out.
I’m not going to sleep with you. Why couldn’t she say it?

He had walked out of his shoes and was standing on the opposite side of the bed so that they were now across from each other. There was no sound in the room which only made the sound of her heartbeat feel deafening. It was true that this was what she had been waiting for, the chance to finally seduce him and break him, but now that the moment was here she had more than cold feet – she had feelings for him.

Draco raised an eyebrow. “Hermione?” Her name rolled off his tongue as if he had been saying it all his life.

She gulped. “Draco?”

He could see that she wasn’t going to come him so he instead went to her, slowly around the bed, their eyes locked. When he reached her he slowly brushed her hair away from her face and placed his hands on her hips. Even in the near darkness he could see the faintest tint of her full lips and the tiny freckles across the bridge of her nose.

“Can I kiss you?”

It was such a soft whisper that at first he was unsure if she had really said it. As he moved his gaze from her lips to her eyes he could tell she had meant it but instead of responding with words he squeezed her hips slightly, not enough to hurt her, but enough to convey that he wanted her too.

Hermione kissed him slowly at first, a perfectly romantic kiss that one would expect to take place in a location such as Paris, but by the time the hunger came out she wasn’t sure which one of them had initiated it. She had never been kissed like that before, with such ferocity and passion, but maybe that was what alcohol did to you.

Slowly he leaned into her, coaxing her to fall backwards onto the soft sheets, and had she not been so distracted by his kissing she would have noticed it before her back made contact with the bed. His hands were no longer on her waist, but on either side of her as he leaned over and into her as they kissed. Her fingers were balled into fists gripping his shirt, afraid to let go of him and break the moment. If she let go would he push this further than it already was?

His lips moved from hers down to her neck as he pulled the fabric away from her left shoulder and began to kiss it. What was she supposed to do now? Is this where she should moan or sigh in ecstasy? Was it awkward that she was breathing so heavily? Should she move her hands now? Could he tell that she was nervous and sweating or was that how it was supposed to be?

“Hermione?”

Was he saying her name? “Hm?” She opened her eyes and saw his staring at her. When had he stopped kissing her?

“Are you alright?” He asked, concern mixed with desire drilling into her.

Despite herself she gulped. “I’m just…” she trailed off, looking away from him in embarrassment.

As frustrating as it was, Draco knew he wouldn’t be getting anything from her. Why was he trying anyway? It had to be all the drinks he had that made her look so beautiful and attractive, that had stirred inside him some unquenchable thirst he had never experienced before.

She watched as he stood up and grabbed her hands, pulling her to a sitting position. The headache was setting in and he had no patience for anything complicated so he put a smile on and walked around the bed, pulling the cover down on his side and climbing in to lie down. Surely he could just sleep off his feelings but he couldn’t just dismiss her now and risk a fight that would further aggravate his headache.

Instead he pat the bed and smiled at her again. “Come here.” Hesitantly she turned and climbed into bed at the edge, an arm’s length away from him. “No, come here, to me,” he chuckled, patting his chest.

She scooted slowly across the sheets and hesitantly placed her right hand on his chest. When he didn’t pull away, she lowered her head into the crook of his neck and shoulder and settled into the sheets as his arm came down to encircle her against him. She had fallen asleep so peacefully and the next morning…


Hermione sighed as Draco placed his head on her left shoulder, his arms still around her waist. “You remember that night, don’t you Hermione?”

How could she not? It was the first of many they had shared.

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