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     Disclaimer: Sadly, I am not the wonderful Ms. Rowling, no matter how much I wish I were. That would be awesome. Anything you recognize isn't mine. But I'm sure you already know that :) 

This is set after the second wizarding war, and Hermione has gone back to complete her seventh year at Hogwarts without Harry and Ron. She and Draco are Heads so they share a dormitory.

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     Darkness engulfed her. Any sound that came to her seemed muffled and distorted, as if she were hearing it from under water. She couldn’t feel anything except a dreadful sense of despair and loneliness, but she knew she was cold. Freezing, actually. Her head was pounding and she could hear the blood rushing through her ears. And suddenly, she was aware that she was not entirely alone. Someone, or something, was watching her. She could faintly hear deep, rattling breaths, and she felt drained and hopeless. Happy memories of her childhood were replaced by visions of Bellatrix Lestrange standing over her. She knew she was only imagining the high-pitched, terrifying cackle and the manic grin, but it felt so real. The pain felt real, and Hermione screamed. She closed her eyes and screamed and sobbed until there were tears streaming down her face and her voice was hoarse.


     Distantly, Hermione heard a soft whisper, “Shhh”. It sounded far away, but it was calming, gentle, like the wind.


     Suddenly, the scene changed. There was a bright light that she could see through her eyelids. She opened her eyes and what she saw sent a rush of happiness through her. In front of her, pacing back and forth, was the bright white form of a huge cat. All around them, black cloaks were fleeing in every direction.


     Looking around, she found that she was in a beautiful forest. The air was crisp and warm, and some of the trees sported beautiful red, orange and yellow leaves. A wonderful spicy, woodsy scent wafted through the air, carried by a light breeze that brushed past her softly. She felt warm and happy, safe even. She relished the feeling. It had been a long time since she had felt truly safe. Somewhere off to her left she could hear a stream gurgling and a sense of peace washed over her.


     Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the patronus slinking away into the trees. She felt a sense of desperation overcome her. “No! Don’t leave! Please.” The cat turned around, staring at her with inquisitive eyes. “Please.” She walked over to a tree and sat down under it. The bright, glowing cat followed her and lay down next to her, resting its head on her leg and watching over her, even though the danger had passed. She slid into an easy sleep and the vision washed away.


     When Hermione next opened her eyes, she was back in her bed at Hogwarts, snuggled under her blankets. She dozed for a little while, relishing in the better part of her dream. It had seemed so real. She still felt vaguely as if she had not actually woken up. It was as if she could feel the comforting warmth of the big cat all around her. Her face felt puffy, like she had been crying recently, and she buried her face further into her pillow. She didn’t want to leave her wonderful dream world.


     That was when Hermione realized that her pillow was not normally hard and warm, nor did it smell this nice. Slightly musky, woodsy with a hint of spiciness, and very masculine. It was wonderful. Hermione took a long couple seconds to just breathe in the smell. Then her mind started running a mile a minute, taking in the weight of two arms resting on her back protectively and the slow, steady heartbeat under her ear.


     Her pillow shifted a bit and the two strong arms tightened themselves around her waist. She became aware that her whole body was pressed up against the mystery man’s and their legs were tangled up together under the covers. His head shifted and soft lips rested themselves against the crown of her head, his breath brushing just barely across her forehead. The feeling sent tingles down Hermione’s spine. She had no idea who this was, but she felt too relaxed and comfortable to care all that much. Which brought her back to the identity of whomever had found their way into her bed and was holding her. She opened her eyes and leaned back to get a look at his face. She was met with bright, platinum blond hair and immediately knew who it was.


     “Malfoy?!”


     A pair of bright, icy grey eyes blinked down at her. His hair was ruffled and stuck up in some places and there was a slight shadow of stubble on his jaw, but this just added to Malfoy’s appeal. A sleepy smile appeared on his face and then his eyes were slowly sliding closed again.


     After a couple seconds Hermione began to get a bit unnerved and fidgety. Malfoy had just decided to go back to sleep. He didn’t seem irritated at being woken up, or confused about where he was or why he was with Hermione Granger in her bed. This was not normal.


     “Malfoy! What the bloody hell are you doing?!”


     Draco groaned. “Morning, Granger”


     “Seriously, what are you doing in my bed?”


     Suddenly those silver grey eyes were staring at her again. Malfoy looked like he couldn’t decide if he should be irritated or amused. “You had a nightmare.”


     “And you’re in my bed because...?”


     “Because you were screaming bloody murder and I couldn’t wake you up. This was the only way to make you stop.”


     “Oh”


     “Yeah, oh” Draco smirked at her. Hermione suddenly felt very embarrassed. Not many people knew about her nightmares. Every night she would wake up sweating and crying because of a bad dream about the war.


     “Well in that case I’m going to read for a bit,” Hermione tried to get away from him and off of her bed but Malfoy had other ideas. His arms around her waist kept Hermione trapped firmly against his side.


     “I’m kind of comfortable here actually.”


     “And I’m happy for you, now let go of me!”


     “No, I don’t think I will, Granger,” Malfoy smirked at her and tightened his hold on her. “I think we should both just go back to sleep.” With that, Draco closed his eyes again and held on to her as if she were his favorite teddy bear and he had no intention of ever letting go.


     Hermione started squirming to get away. She was considering giving him a good smack like she had in third year. She wanted to get away from him and definitely from more dreams about the war. “No,” she hissed. “Let. Me. Go.”


     Malfoy practically growled in frustration. Before she could blink, he had rolled them over so that he was on top, with his legs resting between both of hers. Draco grabbed both her wrists in one of his hands and held them above her head. He placed most of his weight on her hips and the forearm by her head, his other hand resting on her hip to keep her still. He leaned his face in close to hers, and started talking softly, his lips just barely brushing against the outer shell of her ear, sending shivers down her spine.


     “Let me tell you something Granger. I was woken up at one in the morning by your nightmare. It is now,” he checked the clock on her bedside table, “five a.m., and I intend to go back to sleep,” he pulled back to look at her with dark, intelligent, grey eyes. She was astounded at how sexy he could be without trying at all. She just prayed that her voice would come out steady.


     “Well go back to sleep then, I’m not stopping you.”


     Draco let out a sigh and rested his forehead against hers. The small smirk that formed on his face made her extremely nervous. She already had goosebumps and a small flame of desire had formed in the pit of her stomach. She felt the hand that was resting on her hip slide a thumb under her shirt so it could draw small designs against the sensitive skin there. Draco let his chest rest a little more firmly against hers and dropped his head to drag the tip of his nose against her jaw line.


     Hermione was a little embarrassed to feel herself shudder and the heat between her legs grow. She was sure he could feel her reactions to him. Hermione was also not used to being in situations like this and had no idea what to do.


     She felt completely helpless against his ministrations. She could just tell that all her walls were being stripped away one by one. She was starting to consider just giving up and going back to sleep like he had suggested. Furthermore, although she would never admit it out loud, she was enjoying this.


     Draco nibbled a little on her earlobe “The thing is, Hermione, I haven’t slept that well for years, if ever. I need to catch up, and I’m sure you do too. No one else will be getting up at five in the morning on a Saturday. So really, it makes sense for us to just go back to sleep.”


     Hearing her first name come from Draco Malfoy’s lips was the last thing it took to send her final wall crashing down. Her will power was crumbling right before her eyes. It was very disconcerting.


     “That’s true,” Hermione hadn’t realized her eyes were closed until she opened them to find Draco’s face hovering above hers.


     The smile that lit up his face was breathtaking. He was practically glowing. She hadn’t realized fully until this moment just how handsome Draco Malfoy was. His stormy grey eyes looked happy and relieved and excited all at the same time, the effect was mesmerizing.


     Assuming that he could take her answer as a yes, Draco rolled them both back over again. He wrapped her up in his arms again and pulled the covers up over both of them, where they settled to rest against the small of Hermione’s back. He tangled their legs together like they had been before and seemed completely content to cradle Hermione against his chest. Draco kissed her gently on her forehead before he buried his face into her hair and let out a contented sigh.


     Hermione was completely taken aback. He saved her from her nightmare, seduced her into taking a nap with him, acted practically giddy at being allowed to go back to sleep and cuddle with her, and now he kissed her on the forehead. Where in Merlin’s shaggy arse had all this come from.


     She was pulled out of her musings by a large, strong hand rubbing her back. It was entirely too relaxing for her to be able to think properly.


     “Neither of us will be able to go to sleep if you don’t relax a bit, Hermione,” came a whisper against her head.


     “Hhmmmhmm,”


     Her eyes were already drooping and she melted into him. She pressed her forehead against the column of his neck and released a sigh.


     “I never imagined you as the cuddling type,” Hermione whispered as she allowed herself to be lulled to sleep by the sound of his heartbeat and the steady rise and fall of his chest.


     She was already asleep when he whispered back his reply.


     “Only with you.”  

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