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A/N: Thank you SO much for being patient with me! I know this update is later than I'd planned, but last week was finals - and my brain and my fingers hurt from working so much. 

 

My 22nd birthday is this weekend, and I fully plan to be ~inebriated~ in order to be able to process that I'm getting old. Send me good vibes this weekend, I'll more than likely be wallowing a little bit.

 

I love you all, thank you for your support! 

 

Betawork done by Leilahmoon and firstlovelatespring! Seriously, I owe them my life.

 

xoxox, carmen

 

-

 

The smell of sweat filled the air as they communicated in the only way they knew how. Though they had known each other for years, they had never shared more than vicious words and scathing glances. Truly, the kindest words they had ever spoken to each other in the last five years were each other’s last names.


This was why it made little to no sense that they constantly wound up in this predicament - although, let the record show he wasn’t complaining, and it didn’t seem like she was either. Her head tipped back to rest upon his shoulder, breathy little moans entering through his ear and weaving themselves into his brain. It was this sound in particular that she kept making which spurred him to continue pushing himself slowly into her from behind, wanting nothing more than to draw that perfect little noise from her again and again and again.

 

It had been on repeat, a background track to the mess that was his life, ever since that first night. Echoing through him as he chased sleep, in the shower, at dinner, when she raised her hand in class, the little swotty know-it-all she had always been and would undoubtedly continue to be.

 

His groan punctuated the air sharply as he thought about how much he had craved and wanted so badly to hear it once more. And how good it felt to be the one to get it from her.

 

She fluttered around him at the sound, rewarding him once more as she moaned again. He smirked, knowing how much she liked it when he was vocal with her. Leaning down to kiss her throat, he said, “You like that? You like knowing that you feel good around me, huh?”

 

She was so willing, it still shocked him, and they had been playing this game for a while now. Longer than they should have been, but neither of them were willing to throw in the towel.

 

His breath was ragged against her throat as his fingers trailed down her sweaty, damp stomach to rub at her clit, pushing her further. She nodded, her hair scratching against his skin, and squirmed in his arms as his grip tightened around her. He knew that the closer she got to the precipice, the more restless she became in chasing after it. He thrived on being the one to give her what she wanted, or deny her until she was nearly sobbing with want.

 

He got off on the power he had over her, the control she ceded to him when she was too embarrassed to admit what she needed. He knew. He always knew what she needed. He could give it to her - he probably always would have if she had ever only asked.

 

He relished the feeling that washed through him as he finally let her give in and pushed her over the edge. He loved fucking her through her orgasm, loved the feeling of her perfect cunt as she took what she needed from him before he followed, diving headfirst over the edge he loved to create for the both of them.

 

What he still hadn’t figured out though, was why he never felt sated every time she walked away.

 

-

 

He woke in the early morning with a gasp. Sweat trickled down the side of his face as he raked a shaky hand through the hair stuck to his forehead and tried his best to process the wisps of the dream that was now floating away from him.

 

So now she had fully and thoroughly infiltrated his dreams. Fan-fucking-tastic.

 

While the girl in the dream had been pulled up flush against him as he ravaged her from behind, unfortunately, there was no question about who it had been.

 

And holy fuck had it been so incredibly vivid. Draco swore that he could feel her clenching around him as she gasped and moaned and gave him all of those hot, pretty sounds that he loved to hear from any witch. Somehow it felt better when it came from her, because it was her.

 

The part of the dream that concerned him the most - besides the fact that it had been her - was that they had seemed to know each other on a level he’d never known anyone. All of his motions had clearly been practiced, and he had reached for the spots that made her shiver with an ease that rivaled breathing.

 

And the fact that she was comfortable with him? That their mutual desire had clearly been long since established - and not only that, but acted upon?

 

That, to him, was truly the most terrifying aspect. The idea that they would feel at home with each other.

 

As he slipped further into the land of the living, he realized there was a sticky feeling in his boxers that he hadn’t noticed before as he shoved his duvet off. Even better. Draco groaned and flushed with embarrassment, regardless of the fact that he was in the privacy of his own bed. It had been years since he had come in his sleep. He was an adult now, he very well knew how to control himself.

 

And the fact that it had happened to the thought of Hermione fucking Granger was just pathetic.

 

He grabbed his wand and vanished the mess away, not wanting to deal with taking a shower at this hour. Conjuring a glass, he muttered a quick Augamenti at it, gulping the water down in a weak attempt to cleanse his body, mind, and soul of her - to flush her from his system.

 

Draco rested his head back into the pillow, contemplating tossing back a Dreamless Sleep potion to ensure that it wouldn’t happen again tonight. As much as he knew he should, he couldn’t deny that he wasn’t opposed to seeing her in his dreams again.

 

-

 

He was conducting his routine musing in the Great Hall over breakfast, although he was much earlier than usual. Draco could chalk that up to the restless sleep that followed after the dream about Granger.

 

Breaking his concentration, as was his specialty, Theo slid in next to him. “There he is! We missed your usual preening in the mirror this morning. We were worried that you missed that very integral part of your routine. I almost felt good about myself without you there to take me down a notch.” If he hadn’t been in such a mood, Draco would have laughed.

 

Never far behind, Blaise sat down across from them. “We know, Theo. You wouldn’t shut up about your supremely heightened confidence levels on the way down here in Draco’s absence.” Blaise chuckled as he scooped eggs onto his plate. “Why don’t you go try to ask out Pansy now that you’re on cloud fucking nine?”

 

Theo rolled his eyes. “Sod off, Blaise. You wish you were nearly as good at insulting me as Draco is. I have to say, you’re a pretty shite substitute. I would have expected you to get better with practice, but alas…” Theo sighed dramatically.

 

Massaging his fingers into his temples, Draco groaned. “Can the two of you please shut up? Like really, do you never stop talking?” There was not one part of him that wanted to have this conversation so early in the morning. He was still in a state from his lack of sufficient sleep.

 

Through a mouthful of food, Theo spoke again. “Ooh, I see. Drake is clearly having trouble in paradise. Still not going to tell us about the witch you fucked recently? Or is it witches plural? I bet it’s because she hasn’t let you see her again.”

 

Blaise looked at his friend in slight disgust at table manners his father would absolutely detest. “Theo, you know he isn’t going to tell us anything. He’s going to suffer in silence until he explodes and takes it out on everyone else. And for Merlin’s sake, chew with your mouth closed.”

 

Swallowing and waggling his eyebrows, Theo said, “Oh, he exploded this morning alright.”

 

Draco balked at the statement. In hindsight, he supposed it was too much to ask that his momentary, subconscious lapse couldn’t have been limited to himself and whatever demons possessed him.

 

Blaise groaned at his friend’s clear implication, but pushed anyway. “...Do I even want to know what you mean by that?”

 

Draco’s input was short, sweet, and cold. “I know I don’t.” He forced himself to stare at the wall.

 

“Shut it, Draco. Just some advice… you should probably invest in a Silencing Charm next time you plan to have a wet dream.” Theo’s accompanying smirk was victorious. “Clearly a good one judging by the sound of it.”

 

Blaise didn’t bother to hide his laughter. In between breaths, he said, “What? Theo, why didn’t you mention this earlier?”

 

Scrunching his eyebrows in thought, he said, “I don’t know….You know I sleep on my other side and I just kind of forgot about it until now.” Theo shrugged. “You can’t blame me. Honestly Draco, must have been some dream if you were moaning like that.”

 

Blaise let out a low whistle and scanned the slowly filling Great Hall. “Damn, now I really want to know who she is. Malfoy, are you sure you don’t want to share with the class?”

 

Normally, Draco loved his friends and was more patient with their antics, but he wasn’t in the mood. “I just can’t catch a break can I? No, there is no girl, and even if there were, I wouldn’t tell either of you just so you can turn around and mock me for it.”

 

Backing down and holding his hands up in surrender, Blaise said, “Fine, fine, we’ll find out soon enough anyway. You’re too damn territorial to let it go unknown for long, and we all know it.” He chewed thoughtfully. “Just look at you and Pansy during fourth year.”

 

Theo cackled. “Anyone who went near her during that year was just begging to get eviscerated, us included. You know, I never did get an apology for the knee reversal hex you sent my way for partnering with her in class that one time.” He shot a mock glare in Draco’s direction. “I was in the hospital wing for two days. I still don’t know how you got off scot-free.”

 

Draco laughed at the memory. He had actually had to serve detention with Snape for an evening, cleaning out the potion classroom shelves, but it had been well worth it. Although he’d never admit to it - the story was more amusing that way. “It pays to have friends in high places. And you won’t ever get one, Theo, so stop whining about it. It’s been two years, get over it already.”

 

Blaise looked at him curiously again. “Anyway, where did you wander off to last night? I was looking to see if you would want to have a drink with me and Theo but you were nowhere to be found.”

 

Draco sighed. Could no secrets be his own? “I was wandering around, and then went to the kitchens. I skipped dinner, so I was hungry.” He shrugged nonchalantly. “Not really all that interesting.” He’d left out the more significant bits, and he technically wasn’t lying.

 

A lie by omission is still a lie. He kicked his father’s voice out of his head before he could think too much about it.

 

Blaise chuckled. “You seem awfully intent on making us think so, don’t you?” Blaise was a true Slytherin - always making people feel like he knew their secrets. Typically that worked in Draco’s favor, but not when it was being pointed towards him. He looked pointedly at Draco, as if he knew something Draco didn’t want him to. That set him on edge for what felt like the millionth time in this conversation alone.

 

Theo chimed in, changing the subject. Unfortunately for Draco, it was to another topic he would have been all too happy to avoid altogether. He sounded legitimately thoughtful, which couldn’t be good. “I was wondering about something, Draco.”

 

Unlucky for him, Draco’s patience was wearing thin. “Here we go. What is it, Theo,” he drawled.

 

To Theo’s credit, he looked a bit uneasy as he asked, “So...what was with you helping out Granger at the Quidditch game? With that Bludger?” He bit into a piece of toast, unable to meet Draco’s eyes.

 

He should have seen this coming. People were still talking about it, even though it had happened well over two weeks ago now. Evidently Draco saving her from imminent danger was something of a riot. He twisted his face into a nasty sneer, pouring extra disgust into his tone that would convince his friends beyond a shadow of a doubt. “I don’t know, no one else was doing anything. Just like I told her, no one wanted her dirty blood all over the seats. I’m sure not even a Scourgify could have gotten it out,” he spat in revulsion. “And it gives me something to hold over her and Saint Potter.”

 

Cutting off whatever Theo or Blaise would have said in reply, Pansy sat down next to Blaise. “Good morning, boys. Talking about that Quidditch game, I see?” She turned her attention to Draco, clearly not reading the room. “So, what’s up with you and Granger? People are saying the craziest things. Like, literally, I’ve heard everything from the fact that you’re secret lovers to her being your future betrothed. You should have just let the Bludger hit her, save yourself all the trouble.” Her tone was matter-of-fact. “At least then people wouldn’t speculate.”

 

Draco slammed his hands on the table in frustration, rattling the cutlery around him and drawing the attention of a few third years close to them. He kept his voice down. “For the last fucking time, I’m not seeing anybody,” a pointed glare at the two boys, “and I only helped Granger because no one else was, not to mention getting to lord it over Potter and Company. I hate to break it to you, Pans, but whatever rumors you’ve heard are just that - rumors.”

 

Nodding thoughtfully, Theo looked like he was having an epiphany. He said, “Oh, I see. You’re using your new hero status to get in good with the witches. How wonderfully conniving. Blaise, why didn't we think of that?” His grin was too wide and slightly eerie.

 

“Because we couldn't pull it off,” Blaise deadpanned to his friend, cocking a brow in an isn’t-it-obvious kind of way.

 

Huffing a sigh and slumping in his seat, Theo agreed. “Damn it, you’re right. We’ll have to scheme something up later. I don’t know about you, but I want whatever Draco’s having.”

 

Draco had finally had enough, and threw down his napkin in frustration as he stormed off, leaving behind a nearly full plate.

They all looked after him, and Blaise chimed in, “I’m surprised it took him that long.”

 

Just as Draco left earshot, he saw Pansy in his peripheral shake her head and roll her eyes at the three idiots she called dear friends before sighing, “Boys.”

 

-

 

Hermione was late to breakfast that morning, having foregone her Hangover potion by choice. She felt that she deserved to suffer for lying to her best friend not once, but twice. She sat down next to Harry. “Morning,” she said.

 

Harry piped up, perkier than usual for the early hour. “Morning, Hermione.” She supposed he was planning on making up for all of the abnormal tension he knew would be brewing. Harry was good at diffusing situations like that.

 

Ron and Lavender made their arrival just after Hermione. She couldn’t ignore Lavender's ruffled hair and crooked shirt. Her stomach roiled and she nibbled hesitantly on a piece of toast.

 

Lavender sat down next to Ron with a lovestruck smile on her face as she reached for some bacon. “Oh, isn’t it a lovely morning? I think it’s just a lovely morning.”

 

Ron’s matching grin was just as wide. “Yes, I agree, Lav, it is quite a nice morning.”
 

They shared a loving glance. Hermione desperately fought the urge to gag as she fought down some tea and toast.

Sensing her uneasiness, Harry engaged her in low conversation. “So...Hermione, have you given any thought to our discussion last night?”

 

Welcoming the conversation, she nodded and turned to face him. “Yes, I have. I think it’ll be easiest if I use the platform we have now as enemies and manipulate the… tension to my motives.” Her mouth twisted uneasily. As much as she knew she needed to do this, she wasn’t fully comfortable with using people to get what she wanted. That was much more Malfoy's forte.

 

What killed her was that now, she was using both Harry and Malfoy, albeit in different ways.


“That sounds as good a plan as any,” Harry said. It was clear that he was going to let her take the reins on this one, and for that she was thankful. She knew he was very much used to acting on a whim and not playing the long game, but he’d evidently decided that this one was entirely her discretion. Rightfully so, she thought. Hermione was putting herself on the line for the sake of something she wasn’t sure was really there, just because her best friend was convinced of Malfoy’s guilt. Harry owed her for that.

 

Hermione continued on. “I mean, worse comes to worst, I can always just get physical. Everyone knows the best way to a man’s heart is through sex,” she added, knowing Harry wouldn’t like it.

 

Harry looked abashed. “What? Hermione, no way. You don’t have to sell yourself for this. In fact, I’d much rather you didn’t.” He was talking quickly, his eyes wide. She shushed him, reminding him to keep his voice low.

 

Hermione waved him off. “It’s not a big deal. It’s not like I would care if it happened anyway since it wouldn’t mean anything.” Another lie. Hermione knew she had the dangerous potential of getting too attached too easily if she let herself feel. If she wasn’t careful, she was going to dig herself into a grave of lies too deep to dig herself out of.

 

She shook it off. “Plus, if he really is up to something, this would be the easiest, most logical way in, wouldn’t it?” Hermione was always far too good at rationalizing her decisions. It was both a strength and a weakness.

 

The strength was that she could make just about anyone see reason. The weakness was that she could also delude herself just as easily as she could convince her friends. She knew better than most that you could logic yourself anywhere if you started with the right assumptions.

 

Harry looked hesitant, running his fingers through his hair and making it stick up. “Well, I suppose, but Hermione—”

 

She cut him off. “Harry, it’s fine. It’s my decision, and I don’t plan on doing it until it’s necessary.”

 

“Hermione, no. Come on, you know he’s not worth it. We can figure something else out.” Harry was pleading with her, guilt plain as day on his face, clearly regretting the decision of letting her go through with this.

 

Her face softened. “I know Harry, but it’ll be a last resort. I’ll just… flirt, tease, whatever. It’ll be fine.”

 

Harry stressed, “You know you don’t have to do this, right? There are plenty of other ways to figure out what he’s up to.”

 

He was giving her an out, and he was making it obvious. Hermione knew that she had gotten herself into this situation, but this was a bit out of her comfort zone. She was trying to convince Harry of her commitment to this as well as herself.

 

This was for the greater good, wasn’t it? Imagine if Harry was right, and Malfoy really was a Death Eater. He was bound to be up to something awful, and what if she was their only hope for figuring him out or preventing it?

 

The more Hermione thought about it, the more determined she became.

 

She smiled at him. “I know. But this is the easiest way in, isn’t it?” She laughed for good measure. “Think of it as my own experiment on human nature, if you will.”

 

Harry looked at her, scrutinizing her expression for anything that looked minutely out of place or any kind of fracture in her resolve. Finding none, he sighed in concession. “Okay, Hermione. If you’re sure you can handle this, I trust you. I’m just worried about you, that’s all.”

 

Placing her hand over his and smiling at him, she said, “I’ve got this, Harry. I know you don’t trust him, but trust me.” He returned her smile and nodded.

 

Finally noticing their conversation, Ron chimed in. “What are you two going on about over there?”

 

Harry and Hermione spoke simultaneously. “Nothing.”

 

Ron eyed them warily, but didn’t push the subject. He was probably too wrapped up in Lavender to care.

 

Hermione groaned internally as she pushed her food around on the plate. Great, not suspicious at all.

 

-

 

By the time Draco met up with Granger for rounds that night, he was very much on edge. Spotting her approaching, he found it appropriate to gloat a bit. “Oh, Granger, how the tables have turned. Looks like you’re the one who’s late this time.”

 

Hermione rolled her eyes at him as she walked up to the statue, their established meeting place. “Will you shut up, Malfoy? There was an incident in the tower that needed to be dealt with. Besides, I’m only,” she glanced at the clock on the wall, “three minutes behind schedule.” She looked smug, but her eyes were guarded.

 

“Hey, I’m only repaying you for your harsh criticism of me the last time I was only two minutes late. Although if I really wanted to repay you…” Draco’s eyes drifted suggestively in the direction of the door of the classroom where their years of built up tension had recently come to a head.

 

She blushed at the clear implication. “That was a one off, and it was nothing more than you cashing in on the favor I owed you.”

He cocked his head and looked at her. “What are you going on about, Granger?” He had no idea what she was talking about, and that much was clear on his face.

 

She waved her hand ambiguously, before bringing it up to tuck a stray curl behind her ear. “You know, from the whole Bludger thing. It was obvious you did it so you could get something out of me in return, so I figured you were just… cashing it in.” She crossed her arms in front of her as she shrugged, as if it were the obvious conclusion. Which, he supposed, to her, that’s exactly what it was.

 

He chuckled at her deduction. “While I’m touched you think I’m that conniving, that clearly wasn't the case. Don’t you know I would have made it abundantly clear if it were?”

 

Now she looked sufficiently rattled. “I…. suppose,” she said, agreeing to that much, at least. She met his eyes hesitantly. “Then why did you do it?”

 

Fuck, what was with everyone hitting him with all of the pressing questions today? He racked his brain, and decided to go with the honest answer. “I don’t know. I was drunk, and—”

 

Hermione gasped. “You were drunk during rounds? Malfoy, what is wrong with you?” Her mouth was open in shock. “How can you be a Prefect and have such blatant disregard for school rules?”

 

The set of his mouth was wry as he regarded her. “You drastically underestimate how much it takes for me to put up with you even on a good day, Granger.” Her eyes narrowed, and she opened her mouth to speak again, but he started before she could butt in. “Anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted,” she rolled her eyes, but he chose to ignore it and continued, “it just happened. You were there, I was there, we were yelling, the Firewhisky got to me, and then it wasn’t like you were against it, so...” He let the sentence trail off as she blushed.

 

Her tone was curt. “I see.”

 

They walked in a tense, uncomfortable silence for a while. Somewhere along the way, they made the mutual decision to ignore each other.

 

Her voice pierced through the thick air, breaking his thoughts in half. “To say I wasn’t opposed would be a vast understatement, Malfoy.” It was a hesitant admission he could tell she hadn’t wanted to give. She was clearly still very much unsure of herself, at least where he was involved.

 

Or was it all just a part of her and Potter’s little plan? Whatever the case, he would take it and run.

 

He couldn't deviate too far from his natural demeanor with her, so his answer was sarcastic and snide, his specialty. “Did I hear you right? You, Hermione Granger, weren’t opposed to fucking me, longtime enemy, Pureblood elitist scum Draco Malfoy? Someone owl St. Mungo’s immediately - Granger is officially off her rocker.”

 

She swatted at him and hissed, “Will you stop it? Someone could hear you.” Her eyes darted around them, peering into the dark hallways as they patrolled. “Besides, it was abundantly clear that you weren’t opposed either or it wouldn't have happened in the first place. Gods know I wouldn’t have initiated it.” She picked at her cuticles, clearly uneasy with the turn the conversation had taken.

 

He agreed easily, unabashedly admitting to himself that he wanted to push her into snapping again. “You’re right, you wouldn't have. You’re too much of a prude.”

 

She hummed lowly. “I’m too much of a prude? Do you already need a reminder of what happened the other night?” Her voice was soft and almost sultry as she turned and took a step closer to him. Hermione tilted her head and looked up into his eyes, an unfamiliar smile toying with the ends of her lips.

 

Draco’s voice was sure and heavy as he answered her, “I sure as hell don’t need reminding, Granger. It’s been replaying in my head since it happened. Can you honestly tell me that it hasn’t for you?” His mind flashed back to the dream from that morning, and his cock twitched at the thought. Blasted teenage hormones. Any attention from a girl, even Granger, and all of his blood rushed south.

 

She looked away, which was a dead giveaway in itself. Her avoidance was her answer - he knew it was a yes.

 

He took gratification in her innocent demeanor. “That’s what I thought. It’s always the good girls who like it fast, hard, and dirty. And you’re nothing if not a good girl, Granger. I take immense pleasure in wondering how that translates into the bedroom. My imagination is very vivid. I’m highly gifted in that sense.”

 

“You’re highly gifted in being an insufferable prat, Malfoy. Don’t let your head get any bigger than it already is. It might pop. Although, I can’t say I would be opposed to that.” Her tone was sarcastic and mocking, but he could tell she was deflecting.

 

“Watch your mouth, Granger. You wouldn’t want me to have to discipline you, now would you?” he taunted, his voice low and harsh, catching her off guard. She froze mid-step.

 

He stepped toward her again, changing his tone, transitioning into more of a verbal caress. “I find myself constantly wondering what else this good girl is into. There are things I could show you that you never knew existed. And do you know what the best part is?” She looked up at him, enraptured. He smirked, knowing he had won this round. “You would love it. And it kills you because you know it.”

 

His breath was hot as he tucked the very same rogue curl behind her ear and his thumb brushed feather soft against her cheek. Her eyes were wide and her face flushed as she looked up at him, dazed.

 

Coming back to herself, she cleared her throat and stepped away, breaking eye contact to look him up and down before meeting his eyes again and cocking a brow. “Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll find out.” She started walking down the hallway again.

 

He followed her, and his voice was rough and final when he said, “Oh Granger, I’m not lucky. I just know how to get what I want. And rest assured, I never fail.”

 

Whoever had said all’s fair in love and war clearly hadn’t met Draco Malfoy.

 

-

 

Narcissa Malfoy never simply walked - she glided. She'd had years of practice from none other than the best teachers, and it showed in every aspect of her life. You would never know her feet ever touched the ground if it weren’t for the soft click of her heels on the cold Manor floors.

 

That day she glided quickly, in a hurry to get to her destination without being seen. Regardless of the fact that the Dark Lord himself had made her family home into his headquarters, she still felt that spark of anger that she, Narcissa Malfoy, was scared of walking through her own home. As quickly as it came, she snuffed it out.

 

She couldn’t afford to feel something as callous and irresponsible as anger right now, not when there was something so much more important at stake. Narcissa forced it out of her mind and cleared her mind in order to obscure her thoughts, cutting herself off mid-thought. There would be time to better process her emotions later.

 

She kept her head down, robes pulled tightly into her chest - her coat of armor. Narcissa heaved a quiet sigh of relief as she reached her destination successfully.

 

She knocked quietly, and the large wooden door before her slowly creaked open, permitting her entry. As she took in the tall figure standing at the window overlooking the gardens, swirling a glass exactly two fingers full of an amber liquid - the way he always took it - she spoke.

 

“I was hoping you would be here tonight. I need to ask you for a favor.”

 

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