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Night Of The Hunter

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         night of the hunter ch1 


 

The last class of the day, Charms, had just ended. Students were making their way to their dorms, the hallways crowding with them.  Hermione was walking alongside Harry and Ron, her mind lost in thoughts about the lessons when she bumped into someone. She lost her balance, her heavy book bag not helping in the least. An arm shot out to grab her tightly, preventing her from falling on her bottom.

 

Mal---Draco. Her unlikely savior.

 

“Watch where you are going, my princess,” Draco said in a molten voice, right next to her ear.

 

His proximity brought back all the memories of that night. That heady essence of leather, petrichor, parchment and a smell that’s entirely him. Those moans in the throes of passion, his whispered confessions on her bare, sweat covered skin, his hands touching her in intimate places, her wanton reactions, her bold touches on his body---

 

“Shove off, Malfoy!” Ron’s cursing broke the moment between them.

 

Draco didn’t pay Ron any heed. “Tonight. Come and Go room. I’ll be waiting.” With that, he pecked her on the cheek.

 

“Oi!” Harry shouted at Malfoy.

 

Malfoy shot a smirk at Hermione and righted her. He adjusted the strap of her bag and walked away, followed by his lackeys.

 

“What the bloody hell was that?” Ron shouted in the general.

 

Hermione didn’t reply. Harry looked at her funny. She didn’t bother reassuring him. This was her secret to keep. She did what was the best possible option here- she ran.

 


 

 

‘The Gorgons were three powerful, winged daimones named Medousa, Sthenno and Euryale. Of the three sisters only Medousa was mortal. King Polydektes of Seriphos once commanded the hero Perseus to fetch her head.’

 

He nipped lightly her clavicle. The jolt of pain was followed by the lavish laps of his slick tongue, as if apologising for the pain.

 

Hermione shivered. Then she shook her head to dislodge those thoughts.

 

“Cold?” Ginny asked Hermione, who was sitting beside her in the library doing her homework.

 

Hermione shook her head in denial and got back to studying.

 

‘The Gorgons were three powerful, winged daimones named Medousa, Sthenno and Euryale. Of the three sisters only Medousa was mortal. King Polydektes of Seriphos once commanded the hero Perseus to fetch her head.’ Hermione read again.

 

She felt him smile against her folds and placed a kiss on her inner thigh.

 

“Eyes on me, my love,” he ordered her.

 

His grey eyes were blown wide- all black, the grey of his iris was just a ring. He smiled smugly and lapped her bundle of nerves- his eyes never flattering from her. She watched him as he ate her out, his head in between her legs. It was so erotic that a loud moan tore from her mouth.

 

Hermione looked at her book, eyes wide in mortification. She was aroused, her knickers were drenched. She rubbed her thighs together to get some meagre relief. All it did was make her hypersensitive- the lacy crotch of her knickers teasing her unsatisfactorily.

 

Hermione clenched her fingers into a fist.

 

‘His pheromones must have been more potent than usual. Coupled with that skin on skin exposure- he must have pored his everything into it. That…’ Hermione tried to curse, ‘horrible git!’

 

She had studying to do. Hermione took a deep breath and exhaled through her mouth. Study first.

 

‘The Gorgons were three powerful, winged daimones named Medousa, Sthenno and Euryale. Of the three sisters only Medousa was mortal. King Polydektes of Seriphos once---’

 

He leant in for a kiss. It felt like Draco was trying to drown in her. His tongue caressed hers when he suddenly thrust into her, filling her, stretching her impossibly. She arched against his body- pleasure rushing through every cell in her body- as she moaned---

 

“Bloody hell!” Hermione shouted, her book dropping with a thud on the table. Hermione almost fell off her seat when Madam Pince reprimed her with an angry “Miss Granger!”

 

Ginny flinched. But before she could ask Hermione anything, Hermione packed her things, mercilessly shoving her parchment, quills, ink well in her stachel and didn’t keep the library book in its proper place and ran away murmuring loudly.

 

Madam Pince and Ginny shared a shocked look. Something was terribly wrong with Hermione Granger today.

 


 

Hermione paced restlessly in front of the tapestry. As soon as the door appeared there, she yanked it open and stormed in. She dumped her satchel near the door and slammed it shut. The room has an opulent one, something expected of Draco. There was a four poster bed near the middle of the room adjacent to the wall, and a loveseat in front of the roaring fireplace. Hermione couldn’t see any farther than that.

 

Her eyes were fixed on one Draco Lucius Malfoy lounging in a black velvet wingback chair, a little away from the fireplace, reading something.

 

“Why?” Hermione shouted at Draco, who was looking at her with an amused look on his face.

 

“Why what, princess?” Draco asked, dropping his book on the small coffee table in front of him. He knew why she asked that particular question. But it was waaay too much fun toying with her.

 

“I...I have accepted you. Then why do you keep doing such things?” Hermione seethed, stalking into the room to stand in front of him.

 

“I love seeing you all flustered and aroused. Your body smells like it wants me to devour you. I love that heady feeling.”

 

“That's why you,” Hermione couldn't put her anger into words and stuttered, “you...in the freaking corridor-- you---”

 

“I bumped into you, saved your delectable arse from hitting the floor, saved your satchel, kissed you as my pre-reward and called you. Because you are my real reward.”

 

“You kissed me in front of Harry and Ron!” Hermione shouted at him, embarrassed and angry.

 

“If I wasn't a possessive man, I would have fucked you against the wall for the world to see,” Draco said in a manner that it felt like he was talking about the weather. “But then again if they saw you in the throes of bliss, I would have to kill them.”

 

Hermione looked at him, scandalized and shocked at the image he created. It didn't last long. After all, Draco was and will be as crass with her. He's always been like that.

 

Seeing her flustered was his guilty pleasure. Only he didn't feel the guilt. It has always been like this, their cat-and-mouse relationship. An unlikely relationship that started at the end of fourth year.

 

Draco got up from his seat as the chair vanished with a pop. He walked up to Hermione and peered down at her flashing his extended fangs and his dimly glowing grey eyes- his pupils blown wide in arousal.

 

“It's been way too long since I had you, my mate,” Draco said as he held her biceps and pulled her towards him.

 

“Three days isn't that long,” Hermione grumbled, not protesting much. Hermione noted his change of nickname. When she becomes mate instead of princess, it's his Incubus making his presence known.

 

Draco took the sides of the robe in his fingers and removed it, dropping it on the floor. He wrapped his arms around her and placed his head on top of hers. Hermione's hands were trapped between them, palms flat against his Oxford shirt covered chest.

 

“Three days without a full meal, only nibbles and bits from here and there,” Draco said in a small voice.

 

Hermione gave a small gasp of shock. She hadn’t known the Incubus side of him for long to understand the dynamics of emotion to food conversion for his Incubus.

 

Draco felt her heart stopping in shock followed by bitter guilt and then bold determination building slowly in her. She started rubbing her hands on his chest as if that could lessen his hunger.

 

“Sorry, it's just that I see you eat normal food but---”

 

Draco shushed her and looked in her eyes. Her whiskey coloured eyes were dilated with lust. Yet, her mouth was downturned in a frown.

 

She wanted to comfort him and not jump his bones like her responsive body wanted too. She was rubbing her thighs to alleviate her need but her focus was on him. His mate. The one for whom he's the one and only.

 

He leant in for a searing kiss. His mouth moved against hers, in a familiarity that could only be born out of a practiced intimacy. She moaned when he slipped his hand inside her tucked in shirt, caressing her velvety soft skin in the back. She firmly rubbed her hands on his chest, memorising his built, his body.

 

Her hands slipped in his hair and pulled softly, tugging him closer to her. His tongue had slipped into her mouth, exploring it, tasting her and getting high off it. His drug of choice.

 

Draco broke off the kiss before he took a seat right there on the floor. “Come on, sit.”

 

Before Hermione could say anything, Draco turned her around and suddenly found herself sitting on Draco's lap on a nice, comfy armchair the room had provided.

 

Draco adjusted her legs to be splayed open and then pulled  her flush against his body. She could feel his straining erection, the heat of his skin barely contained by his trousers.

 

Draco wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her skirt up, his hand cupping her mound. Hermione gasped- she had forgotten how turned on she was.

 

“So wet. Only for me, right?” Draco whispered sensually in her ear.

 

“Yes. You ruined my self study time and your pheromones kept making me think about our first tiIIIIIIIMMMMEEEEE,” Hermione squealed out. Draco's fingers were inside her knickers and he was busy playing with her clit.

 

“Princess, do you have any idea how erotic this is. My hand down in your knickers, playing with your little pleasure button all for my fun,” Draco breathed in her ear. He inserted a finger inside her slick passage, his thumb flicking her clit lightly. “Guys would kill for a chance to see you like this, riding my fingers like your life depends on it.”

 

Hermione could do little but screech at the sensations he was creating in her. He was not holding back at all. The arm holding her waist slid up and grabbed her breast, fondling it softly. But his finger kept up the relentless teasing.  He inserted two of his fingers in and she gasped as he stretched her. She was soaking wet, his fingers thrusting in were making obscene sounds.

 

“Hear that?” Draco said, mumbling against her neck. He placed open mouthed kisses, his saliva inducing a insane degree of lust. He lightly dragged his fangs on her sensitive skin making her reddening skin shiver. Hermione panted, his frantic movements wrecking havoc on her. She was climbing a familiar high, a familiar mind numbing pleasure.

 

His fingers kept on pleasuring her, not stopping for once. Hermione's splayed legs went taut with the anticipation of the oncoming tsunami of bliss. Her toes curled so tightly, she could feel the muscles of her calves cramping. She grabbed his arm which was on her breast was busy alternating between squeezing and pulling at her sweat drenched,clothes covered, peaked nipple. But she could care less; her release was just a bit away. If only he---

 

Sensing her buildup, Draco pulled away his fingers away, making Hermione whine in disappointment. Draco sucked in his fingers, covered in Hermione's essence, in his mouth.

 

He couldn't stop the groan from escaping his mouth; her taste was intoxicating. His cock throbbed against Hermione's backside. He couldn't wait to sink inside hot, wet and slick cunt. But he needed his saliva on her- the Incubus’ way of ensuring the fidelity of their mate.

 

So he quickly put his saliva covered fingers on her bundle of nerves, trying to bring her off soon and moved his fingers around that protruding bit, not quite touching the sensitive area.

 

Hermione keened and moaned, gasping softly at every change in his fingers’ motions. Suddenly, her orgasm crashed upon her; she closed her eyes and saw stars burst behind them. She almost stopped breathing- that's how intense it was. Hermione could feel herself dripping with her release. Draco's fingers were still stimulating her nerves, making her jerk a little. Hermione's hand shot out, and held his hand tightly in her grip to stop his onslaughter over her uber sensitive slit. Draco gave a few more flicks and deep, soothing rubs, despite being held back by Hermione, just to prolong her pleasure.

 

“Merlin, I love watching you fall apart. you close your eyes and experience it all. I love how your cunt tightens around my fingers, urging for more. Always so wet. For me,” Draco kept whispering in her ears. Hermione couldn't kept the tightening of her body. His dirty words turned her on like nothing could.

 

Draco grind his hard on against Hermione for some meagre relief.

 

“I need you now!” Draco snarled ripping off Hermione's shirt.

 

“Draco!” Hermione shouted, indignantly.

 

“I'll buy another one,” Draco said as he frantically threw the ruined shirt away.

 

Draco picked Hermione up like she weighted nothing, bridal style, and walked towards the bed. He dropped her from a short distance, watching her fall on the mattress and bounce once. Hermione's hair was spread around her like a halo, her chest rising up and down from the exertion, lips swollen and skin flushed. What a picture she made.

 

Draco unbuttoned his shirt, slowly, savouring the way she took in his exposed skin. He dropped the shirt and unbuttoned his trousers and pulled down his boxers, making his hard cock spring out. The trousers joined the shirt on the floor as Draco climbed the bed with the grace of a predator.

 

Hermione breathed deeply, taking in the Adonis before her. One who's only hers. And hers alone. He worships her as if she's a goddess. She couldn't help the flush from spreading down her body, thinking about the way she's lying on the bed- legs splayed, arms near her head, hair out of control, panting like an old dog. If the looks Draco was giving her were any clue she'd say she looked damn fine.

 

Hermione sat up and unclipped her bra, tossing it at Draco. She didn't look at him again as she pulled her skirt down her legs. She knew better than to protest when Draco's incubus was awake and hungry. If she denied him now, a student death was confirmed.

Draco looked at her with such adoration that it made her breath get stuck in her chest. He made her feel like she was the only girl in the world. She was self-conscious about her scars- the one from the DoM fight was the worst one. But the scars he left on her… mate marks… they made her feel special. Draco had given her three marks- one just over her heart, one on her right hip bone and the last one on her left inner thigh. Hermione remembered how devotedly he cared for her; in the snarkiest way possible of course, but he did care.

 

Sometimes, Hermione wondered how a prejudiced prat could become such an important person in her life.

 

Her eyes fell on his spotless, pale arms and wished she could tell Harry to take a break from his “Draco is a Death Eater” conspiracy theory. It was indeed becoming difficult to be with Draco when Harry was pouring over that wretched map day in, day---

 

“I should take this as an offense. An incubus is in bed with you, in his boxers and you're distracted by your thoughts?” Draco said teasingly.

 

“You know… my head rules over my heart,” Hermione replied flippantly. But Hermione guilty thought how much more attuned to her emotions and thoughts he was than her friends.

 

“Then let me blow your mind away.” Draco smirked at her predatorily and kissed his way down her body.

 

Hermione squirmed as he nipped her clavicle, then placed open mouth kisses on the first mark, one that he gave after they had first snogged.  

 

Then he moved down, kissing all the way, between her breasts, her soft belly, near her sensitive belly button and finally to her hip bone where there was another mark. One that he gave when she had agreed to be his mate. He paid good amount of his attention to that really, really sensitive scar. Hermione moaned when he sucked that scarred skin into his mouth and worried his teeth on it. He lapped at it and moved down her body.

 

He nuzzled her cloth covered crotch and took in the heady, musky smell of her arousal. He was rock hard at this point. He knew his eyes had gone completely black, covering even his eye whites. He shouldn't have gone so many days without having sex with his mate. Now, he wouldn't be able to enjoy going down on her. Watching her fall part around his tongue, his teeth and his fingers…

 

No worries though. The night was young.

 

He hooked a finger inside the waistband of her knickers and pulled it down her legs. She raised her hips to help him and shivered a little as the cold air hit her wet and leaking slit. Hermione had given up every pretense of being in control. Draco could play her like a instrument and she would probably be happy to being played. His finger traced her moist folds and her belly tightened in anticipation. She closed her eyes and just felt him. His two fingers gathering moisture and then slipped inside her without any hitch.

 

“So responsive. It makes me feel like I’m  the luckiest man in the world,” He murmured, his breath tickling her.

 

Hermione didn't try to reply, she just nodded her head vigorously. There was no denying him. Suddenly, she tensed up as she thought of the implications. A sex demon. Her life tied to him. Forever and after. His and only his. But him? He could…

 

Suddenly she felt a wet kiss right on top of the last fang wound on her body- in her inner thigh.

 

“I am yours, as you are mine. There is no deception in this. This is the truth. I would live for you, I would die for you and I would kill for you. Only you. My mate. My princess,” Draco assured her. He placed a kiss right on her clit and moved away- not before giving a strong lap against it. Her hips jerked on their own accord. Draco chuckled and raised up on his elbows- in his true form of pale skin, black, glinting eyes and fangs- looking at her with unparalleled adoration and lust.

 

It was right that they were physically very intimate with each other but this adoration...this adoration was growing with leaps and bounds. Hermione really hadn't expected herself to care about him as anything other than a person who had taken away her future. But now? Now she can see a future with him.

 

“I know usually I take a lot of time to please you. But today, I need to be inside you right now. You ready?” Draco replied through his clenched teeth.

 

Hermione felt bad that she hadn't noticed him… being in pain. She nodded quickly and reached out a hand to grab the nape of his head, pulling him towards her. She rose a little and kissed him hard.

 

Her reassurance left like fire burning in his blood streams. He kissed her back, tongue sliding against hers, and he pulled away her hands. He stretched her arms above her head and then entwined his fingers through hers. Her body was arching below him, her hips trying to seek friction.

 

He kept kissing her until he had his fill of her taste and then pulled back. He placed his hands on the either sides of her hips and settled in between her legs. At her nodding, he slipped inside her with one strong stroke.

 

Hermione's torso lifted off the bed. The feeling of being so full was a bit uncomfortable but oh so good. She had really missed this. He quickly set a punishingly slow pace, making her feel his every motion.

 

“Faster, Draco. Please, faster!” Hermione begged as she grabbed his shoulders and hid her face in the crook of his neck. Her ankles were locked around his waist, pulling him deep into her.

 

“As you wish, my love,” Draco panted.

 

He thrust deeper into her, hitting a spot that he knew made her keen. Hermione wasn't much of a screamer but damn, didn't he love to hear those sounds spilling from her mouth!

 

This was the probably the best part about having sex; no thinking, just feeling. Feeling the way his hard cock parted her folds over and over again, hitting her sweet spot just right. He was hilt deep inside her, yet she couldn't get enough of him.

 

Draco moaned in pleasure when Hermione threaded her fingers through his hair and pulled him to kiss him. Draco wasted no time to claim her lips in a searing kiss. He could live the rest of his life just kissing her, tasting her.

 

The room filled with their mingling sound of moans and gasps. The frantic whispering of each other's name in reverence, lust and dare they thought, love was a sound too good to be true for them. Their bodies moved in a synchrony that only age old lovers had, though their relationship was mere months old. It wasn't long until Hermione was arching off the bed, her mouth opened in a silent screech as her orgasm hit her hard. With her fluttering around him, Draco followed her soon.

 

Draco was lying languid on top of her, but she didn't mind. She liked his assuring weight on top of her. She hugged him lightly as much as her hands could rise- her body had turned into a blissful goo. Draco raised his head a little and place a kiss on her forehead. He rose on his elbows and rolled to his side. But not before wrapping her in his arms for a light nap.

 


It hadn't been long but the insistent buzzing of a spell aura around him disturbed his sleep. He opened his eyes with a scowl and a glare directed at Hermione's satchel. Hermione nuzzled into his chest and he pulled her flush against him. What he wouldn't do to have another go again. He smirked and placed an open mouth kiss on the crook of her neck, making her shy away from him a little.

 

Draco, regretfully, pulled away from Hermione and put on his discarded robe- the chill in the air nipped  this skin. Pulling it on, he headed towards the satchel. The aura of his mate’s spell grew stronger as he neared the satchel.

 

Draco picked it up and shoved his hand deep into it, right up to his elbow. Trust his mate to cast a bottomless charm over all her bags and purses. He cast a wandless Accio and a coin jumped into his open palm. A galleon. Looking closely, Draco saw that it was different from the usual Galleons.

 

Ah, the Protean charm, she had been researching that, was cast on this coin. Rubbing his thumb lightly on it, Draco felt the grooves on it. Taking a closer look, he noticed it spelled something.

 

DE in Hogwarts. DA assemble.

 

Oh right! He had completely forgotten about that. The Dark Lord's minions must have have made it through the vanishing cabinet. Draco turned to look at his sleeping princess. If he left now, Hermione was bound to wake up and join the fight.

 

Her hand was loosely trying to find him in the place he just vacated. That little huff of irritation in her sleep. He did better get back to her. Unhappy mate means unhappy Draco.

 

He walked back, discarding the poor robe and lifted the covers to slide in next to her. Hermione shuffled close to his body and gave a soft puff of contentment. He wrapped his arms around her and closed his eyes.

 

Death, guts and glory could wait until later. 


 

 

Chapter Text


NoTH ch2


 

Draco was particularly pleased with himself. That ruddy arrogant bird was going under the axe, because he wanted it so. Nobody hurts Draco Lucius Malfoy and gets away with it. This school was getting more and more pathetic as every year passed.

He would have to talk to his father about the quality of teachers the school had been recruiting of late. Look at the pathetic, good for nothing gamekeeper turned Care of Magical Creatures teacher. Why give a practical lesson about Hippogriffs if the oaf can’t control them? Serves him right.

Draco was busy sniggering about the known fate of that overgrown chicken when he felt rather than heard the presence of the Gryffindor saints- St Scarhead, St Too-poor-to-get-a-decent-meal-a-day and St… What was that smell? Hot chocolate with spices and that—that smell! For the love of Merlin, he couldn’t place the flowery smell. As of late, Draco’s sense of smell was getting rather powerful. Must be his family magic strengthening as he was growing up.

Their usual badmouthing and sneering got kickstarted as soon as the Gryffindorks came into hearing range. Draco felt himself mocking them absentmindedly. It had become a memory muscle thing for him; he didn’t need to give his attention to what he sprouted. It came automatically. But he didn’t expect that wand at his throat by Hermione. He was now focused completely on the bushy brunette — a broom would be jealous of those coarse curls.

She was close enough for him to get an onslaught of her natural scent. He then recognised it- English rose, which grew in abundance in his mother’s special garden. For a moment, he felt like he was lounging in his favourite settee in the garden with a cup of spiced hot chocolate in his hand surrounded by magically blooming English rose,  watching the snow drift down from the sky almost lazily- twirling and spinning without  a care in the world.

He was completely out of his depth here. He could feel something move under his skin- stretching and extending. His skin felt too tight; he felt like something oily with tar like consistency spread over him. He grimaced and felt his mouth become dry. His vision got fuzzy when Gregory…or was it Crabbe said something and he just nodded and gave a shark like smile to keep his face. He couldn’t be seen getting sick, especially in front of the Golden Trio. So he did what he did the best - he taunted her.

“You! You foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach!” Hermione shouted and she punched him with all the strength she could muster in her petite body.

As soon as her fist touched his face, he felt as if his blood was on fire. His body was burning and he felt blood drip out of his broken nose.

‘Damn! That rumour about Mudblood germs must be true! This jumped up mudblood punched me and I’m ill- instantly!’ Draco thought as his lackeys pulled him away from the scene. Draco didn’t know where he was being led; all he knew that he couldn’t take any step by his own. He could feel his throat constrict.

He gasped out, “Snape!”

“What?” Crabbe asked putting his ear next to Draco’s mouth.

“Uncle Severus. Get him. Now!” Draco gasped out before clutching his throat with his hand. He was dry heaving so hard that it looked to Gregory like Draco was trying to throw up his innards. Crabbe was already off to get Professor Snape.  

Gregory tried to pull Draco up, but Draco gave him a push that made Greg smash against the nearby wall. He hit his head and Greg slid down the wall unconscious. Draco gave a loud retching and threw up black sticky substance.

Draco kept projectile retching. He was disgusted with himself but he couldn’t do anything about the stream shooting from his mouth. When the retching stopped, he tiredly wiped his mouth with the back of his sleeves. He tried to pull out his wand from his robe’s pocket however his shaking hands made it impossible. 

He coughed and sensed his throat getting choked up again. He couldn’t take it anymore. He was already seeing the world through frosted glass. He gave in into his weakness. As he closed his eyes, he could just make out a black blurry silhouette.

‘Thank Merlin for small mercies, at least my body shall reach my parents,’ was Draco’s last thought before he passed out for good.   

 


 

“…think that he would…inheritance…soon—”

“Must have…mate…”

“But who?”

“We’ll…ask…”

Draco was coming too and this was all he could hear of the conversation between his parents before fully waking up.

“Mom,” he groaned, knowing his mother will come to him immediately, despite the work she has yet to finish.

“Here, my boy. I am here,” Narcissa crooned cradling Draco’s head in her arms.

From somewhere on the bed, Draco heard his father scoff at the sickening display of affection. But Draco didn’t care about decorum. He almost died from throwing up his innards, caused by those Mudblood germs of that Mudblood. He deserved some pampering from his mum.

Wait…didn’t he throw up…ichor? Draco’s eyes widened at that revelation! How was this possible? He wasn’t supposed to reach maturity until he was at least fourteen.

“My boy, were you recently in touch with a girl?” Narcissa asked him softly as she ran her fingers through Draco’s scalp caressing him.

“She hit me! Then I started throwing up. Gregory and Vincent! They didn’t see me throw up ichor did they?” Draco asked his mother.

“No. They merely thought you overindulged in…dark…chocolate,” Snape spat the words out. Lucius gave a shiver at that.

“So, the girl…” Narcissa trailed off, looking at Draco hopefully.

“Granger,” Draco said defeatedly.

Lucius’ face turned into a snarl and didn’t hold back the growl. Narcissa merely shot him a glare and turned to coo at her boy.

“It’s not a problem. For now. She’s a brilliant witch as far as I’ve heard,” Narcissa said hopefully.

“A Mudblood!” Lucius snarled.

“And you are a fucking sex demon!” Narcissa snarled in response.

Lucius merely blinked at her in surprise. Draco was torn. He had never heard his sweet mother curse. Ever.

“Narcissa!” Lucius whispered in hurt.

“My world was shattered when I learnt why you chose me as your bride. I knew I could never find love match. But to be chosen by a demon , an incubus wizard , was beyond my wildest imagination. But I was lucky that you loved me! In fact, I support the choice the…the…demon takes in the matter of mates. We are a perfect match, Lucius. I don’t want my son to face your wrath just because his demon chose the perfect person for him. You need to learn to accept the Granger girl. Keep this in mind that that girl is our future daughter in law!” Narcissa ended her rant with a huff.

“I remembered I left a potion unsupervised. Excuse me,” Severus excused himself and took his leave.

“Traitor,” Lucius whispered irately.

Narcissa tapped her feet lightly on the stone floor.

“Yes, dear,” Lucius answered grudgingly.

Draco couldn’t take it. That…that humanoid book is going to be his…mate! Never. He’ll kill himself before he lets Granger boss him around like his mother just did with his father.   

Draco made up his mind. He wasn’t going to accept that bookworm as his mate.


 

A couple days after the Incident That Shall Not Be Talked About Draco found his mate laughing at something the Four-eyed Menace said. Sitting there in the middle of two boys, Hermione seemed to be having a merry time at breakfast.

‘Who in the world is so cheery at breakfast? It is eight o'clock in the morning, for Merlin’s sake,’ Draco thought as he angrily chewed his marmalade lathered toast.

‘There! There she goes, laughing her head off over something the Weasel said this time. Oh! And a blush accompanying that laugher! Intolerable!’

“Who pissed in your cuppa?” Blaise asked, taking in Draco’s stormy expression.

“It is more of a who isn’t paying this lad any attention,” Theo added snidely.

“Heard what Granger did to you. Sad, sad. Very sad. Why wasn’t I there to see it?” Blaise mock lamented.

“Because you don’t happen to be a part of Draco’s bodyguard entourage,” Theo replied.

“Shut the fuck up. I don’t need your smartass mouth running off first thing in the morning,” Draco said hotly.

“Sorry, master. Oh, wait! You are not my master. So, you shut the fuck up,” Blaise mouthed off.

Draco smartly didn’t add anything more. Already the smugness oozing off from Blaise had placated him. Theo didn’t feel smug. He felt normal. Like a plain toast.

Come to think of it, Draco could now slowly feel everyone in the Great Hall. He closed his eyes and just felt- there were mostly tired, not fully awake feelings of his fellow schoolmates with a dash of cheer from the early risers. What caught his attention was the feeling of happiness and content that was like a beacon in the darkness for Draco. Draco cautiously turned his body to the epicentre of the feeling and opened his eyes.

And his heart fell into his stomach out of disappointment.

‘Why did it have to be Granger? Why was she his mate?’

Draco grumpily chewed his breakfast. He really wasn’t looking forward to the Potions class the first thing in the morning. Hold that thought… maybe riling her up could give him the boost he needed. After all, there’s nothing in the world more captivating than watching Hermione Granger get angry. Such passion, such fierceness that seemed to light a fire in her eyes and those pursed lips… Oh, he’s going to enjoy teasing her today.


 

“Well, well, well. What do we have here?” Draco drawled when he spotted Hermione and her gang of merry fools waiting outside the Potions classroom.

“My zero interest towards whatever you’re going to say,” Hermione snapped.

Draco didn’t get a chance to retort as the door to the classroom swung open and Hermione walked in quickly without a backward glance.

Blaise came up behind Draco followed by Theo. He patted Draco on the back and said, “Happens, mate. Not all days are the same. Better luck next time.”

Theo merely snickered.

“Not funny,” Draco growled lowly.

Theo and Blaise merely snickered in response and went inside the lab to take their places.

Pansy always kept a place for him so Draco didn’t hurry.


 

The next time Draco felt an overwhelming emotion from Granger, it consisted of waves and waves of exhaustion. That girl was tired to the bone. It was weekend and almost everyone let out a sense of cheer and excitement. But the stale taste of exhaustion coming from Granger marred it all. Draco scowled. Yes, the Dementors that were roaming around the school already dulled the cheer, but this was too much.

What had this girl gotten herself into to be so exhausted? What crimes had he committed to get mate who’s emotions just moved in the grey sections of tiredness and worry, blue of sorrow (must be for that overgrown chicken) and sometimes in the red section of rage and rare pink of happiness?

Yes, lately he’s been ‘seeing’ these emotions. The emotions belonged to the different spectrum of colours- the bright were always the positive ones and the more duller colours were the negative ones. That spectrum of colours manifested as hues of the aura.

Why, once he felt blinded by the yellow aura that Blaise painfully emitted when he woke Draco up one morning.  Pansy’s irritating hot pink colour made him grit his teeth in irritation. Her lust for him- this early on- was nothing but annoying. For Merlin’s sake, he hadn’t even started giving off the pheromones to induce such a lust.    

Draco was again hit by a crippling wave of sadness that made him feel as if somebody had scooped out all the happiness out of him. Oh wait, somebody was wringing the last drops of good feelings out of him. For a moment- sitting in the Great Hall- Draco looked around to see if there was a Dementor amidst them. He looked around to find his offender and there! There was his—F*ck it!—Granger who was sitting at the Gryffindor table picking at her breakfast.     

Yes, he had observed that a few days before, those two fools had been acting coldly towards her, but now they seemed to have reconciled. Then what was she mourning? Because the crushing sadness coming off her seemed to say otherwise. As far as he had heard the ginger fool had accused her cat of having eaten his rat. But later said rat was found unharmed. And there was the fact of Granger reporting about Potter’s Firebolt to McGonagall. Those two fools were so undeserving of her.

“Then make her see the person she deserves. Make her see that she deserves a person , who treats her like a queen. A person that is you .”  

Draco looked around abruptly to see who spoken. But he found no one leaning towards him. Was it an Imperious attempt? Draco’s eyes narrowed at the thought. He pulled up his Occlumency shields as much as he could so that the least he could do was feel the attack.

“That was just a suggestion. No need to be alarmed. After all, you can pursue her whenever you want. She’s ours in the end.”

‘Ours? Oh, his demon has finally started talking to him,’ Draco realised. Father had told him his demon would wake up as soon as his body was ready to house another presence. Looks like the demon had finally found his body good enough for habituating.

“Meh, it’s okay for now. But you need to get a little taller and firmer. You are way too skinny. Woman aren’t going to fall over a stick with a dick, would they? Just because the stick emits pheromones?”

‘Shut the fuck up. I’m only thirteen.’

Sigh. “Looks like I ’ll have to do everything.”

‘What do you mean?’ Draco asked frantically, but only silence met his question.

Draco dreaded what was about to come.


 

The day started pretty mundane, but Draco knew this was just the calm before the storm. As the sun started to fall, he felt as if his skin was too tight for him. He was in the common room working on his homework when he felt as if his heart was about to burst.

“Ride it out. It’s going to improve you.”

Draco couldn’t breathe; his throat felt like someone was choking him. He was gasping for air but he couldn’t take it in. He flung out his arms and fell off the seat he was occupying, scattering all his supplies on the floor.

“Mate? Draco?”

Draco was wheezing. It looked like he was having a seizure.

“Pansy, call Professor Snape. NOW!” Draco heard Theo shout.

Blaise, in the meantime, cushioned the floor so that Draco didn’t hurt himself too much. That’s the last thing Draco registered before he lost consciousness.


 

Draco opened his eyes a little.

“Three turns should do it.”

Soft murmuring followed and then the door was shut. ‘Was that the voice of the Headmaster?’   

Some more murmuring later, Draco heard the voice he expected to be present there. “Sorry, Ron. But the thing is that you can’t walk.”

He could hear a soft tinkering and then abruptly he didn’t feel her there anymore. ‘What the hell happened? Oh, darn. His head hurt. It was like a troll has bashing his brain. Draco grimaced and with a groan decided to go back to sleep. Sleeps fixes everything.


 

Okay, so a lot happened. Sirius Black escaped. Harry bloody Potter got a Firebolt. Hermione reconciled with those treacherous fools. And she managed to save the Hippogriff too. Oh, and Lupin resigned. The one DADA professor who was better off than all the others. Though not more than Snape.

All he did was get a sudden growth spurt and ended up looking gangly. He would have to exercise to gain some muscle to compensate for his long bones. His hair was marvellous though. So thick and smooth and soft.

What was curious was the lingering smell of wet dog and wet chicken that came off from all the three of the Golden Trio.

‘Note to self. Watch Hermione carefully the next term.’


 

Chapter Text


     NoTH 3 


He might have promised himself to keep an eye on her but the whole summer all Draco did was- eat, sleep, Quidditch, repeat. His demon never allowed him a moment's rest and his developing body never allowed him a moment's peace.

His whole body ached so badly had he had to spend a day in the tub soaked in potion dumped hot water. He was miserable, cranky- thanks to the freaking honest to Merlin voice in his head.

He did know that every demon spirit has to come from somewhere which is why they were so much more...wise about the world. But that did NOT mean he wanted tips on how to do what when he next saw Granger.

Hermione!

On top of that, his demon- Djall as he called himself- hissed with anger whenever he called Granger...well, Granger.

'Hermione,' Djall hissed in anger. 'And soon it would be Hermione Malfoy. Has a nice ring to it.'

There you go.

'Can’t you just give me a day off? I want a day without you chattering in my head. Just one freaking day!'

'When you get me Hermione, I'll stop, what you quoted, chattering in our head.'

'Fuck off.'

While he had been busy with arguing with...himself, Draco hadn't fail to hear the raised voices of his parents right in the hallway.

"Are you really going to ignore the signs?" Narcissa screeched.

That was wrong. That was so wrong. Mother never ever screeched. Not even the time Draco had smuggled a family of kneazles into the master bedroom. Those ungrateful creatures had shredded mother's favourite Egyptian cotton bedsheets and shat on the ivory polished dressing table. Not even the time when Father's albino peacocks had taken personally offense against the blooming lilies.

He walked up the attached door and poked his head in.

“What is wrong?” Draco asked.

“Your father’s previous…employer is going to be back soon,” Narcissa answered.

“Employer?” Draco looked at his father incredulously as he entered the study.

Lucius, seated behind the desk, didn’t answer right away. He was busy giving his wife a fierce glare. Narcissa looked nonchalant.

“What else do you want me to call that manipulative smooth talker? My Lord?” Narcissa spat. “Smooth enough to make you- a pureblood demon- into his servant!”

“I am not his servant!” Lucius shot back.

“You are at his beck and call. He’s dead and he calls you from beyond the grave! He’s Marked you! Is it of no consequence to you? Or have you forgotten what it means, my dear husband?” Narcissa challenged Lucius. "Someone other than your mate Marked you. Have you forgotten the importance of a Mark?"

Lucius seethed; his pallor went absolutely pale and his eyes were turning a shade black. Draco wisely didn’t say anything. His mother had a sneer fixed on her face. He didn't want to get into the crossfire- he would become a martyr before he knew it. He might be their own flesh and blood. But never ever ever get between a Mated incubus pair. One way ticket to the coffin. Ask his grandfather.

Draco silently went out of the study. He could do with a friendly visit to Theo's house or Blaise's. He was pretty sure by the time he would come back, his parents would have...calmed down.

He had much more important things to meddle with- the Quidditch World Cup Finals! That thought alone had made him forgot the soreness of his body that was hit by another growth spurt.

 

Draco hoped that player would come near him after the match. Then, he would use his pheromones to get an autograph or two! Maybe of the whole team! Draco spent the rest of the day lost in his daydreams. Being a airhead this summer was much better than witnessing his parents snap at each other every other moment.

On second thoughts, sleeping over at Blaise's sounds more and more attractive at this point. It was a given fact that...they will make up. And rather loudly at that. They always forgot the Silencing spell. Always.

 

Draco went to his bedroom fireplace and threw in a fist full of Floo powder, shouting Blaise's Floo address loudly. Summer vacation meant hanging out with Blaise and Theo and not so recent tag alongs- Pansy and Daphne.

 

Draco arrived with a whoosh and walked out of the fireplace, dusting off a bit of soot off his shoulder on the carpet kept there for this very purpose.

 

The Zabini house elf popped in front of him with a bow to tell him that Master Blaise and his friends were at the pool side and that he was to follow Turba. Draco scoffed. As if he didn't know his way around here. He was here practically every summer and sometimes even during winter holidays. For the past seven years.

 

Draco walked past the elf and went straight to the poolside. And what a sight it was. It never failed to amaze him- the Mediterranean themed mural done with lapis lazuli, blue sapphires, turquoise, amethyst and alexandrite. It was definitely… a little too much but you can never call it tacky. Zabinis were nothing but classy despite the gem encrusted pool and the mother of pearl polished table tops coupled with the delicate glasses with enchanted works on them from Magical Persia.

 

Coming to the Zabini estate has always felt like stepping into a place where being ordinary is forbidden. It was either flashy or exquisite.

 

Currently, his friends were getting… massage from the professional elves all the way from Turkey.

 

“Ciao, Draco! Took you sometime to make your way to my humble dimora. Usually you start hanging out as soon as the vacation begins,” Blaise said not getting up from his ornate massage table complete with velvet tassels.

 

“Yeah, Draco. Where were you all these days? Summer ends in a month,” Theo added.

 

“Was busy,” Draco replied, provided no more reasons.

 

“Not being...ohhhh, chatty, are you?” Theo said mid-moan from getting a knot on his neck massaged.

 

Draco rolled his eyes, not replying. The elves came to take his robe away. Draco shed all his clothes but the suitable boxer and chose a table next to Theo.

 

Pansy whistled. “What have you been on, Draco? Is that pelvic muscles even real or a glamour?”

 

“Why would I need to glamour? It's the Malfoy genes kicking in,” Draco replied smugly.

 

“Mate, you have been on something. That's for sure. No one can get such a defined body in mere two months,” Blaise commented as he took his time watching Draco who was getting on the massage table.

 

“Quidditch and healthy eating. That's all you need,” Draco replied with a smug smile.

 

“And I don't believe that,” Theo murmured, ohhing and ahhing as his corded muscles got a nice kneading.

 

Draco scoffed. “I hope you all have got your tickets for the Quidditch finals,” he said diverting the topic.

 

“The box seat!” Blaise and Theo shouted in union.

 

“Father got the seat next to the box seats,” Pansy said with a sniff. “As usual, Father was too busy to get the box seat on time.”

 

“My father thought it is nothing but a frivolous way to gain connections. So, he decided to go only to the after parties that will be held by the winning team,” Daphne said with a shrug. Well, as much of a shrug she could manage lying face front.

 

“Harsh,” Blaise commented, “You could come with me. I have an extra.”

 

“I’ll pass, Quidditch doesn’t interest me like that. Knowing the scores and the match highlights would be suffice,” Daphne replied.

 

While his friends were busy talking, Djall kept him company.

 

‘It’s not I didn’t like their attention towards your physique but.. Something about them smells wrong. I don’t like the taste of their emotions. It doesn’t satisfy me.’

 

‘That’s because I consider them my brothers and sisters. And you do know how horrible familial emotions tastes. Unless it’s happiness, it tastes...yuck.’

 

‘I need Hermione. Naked and underneath me. Moaning in pleasure. Soon.’

 

Draco gave a shudder of disgust.

 

“Master Malfoy, fine he is?” The elf masseuse asked him.

 

Draco nodded.

 

‘Soon.’

 

‘Shut the fuck up!’


 

“I can never apologise enough for what I’ve done,” Lucius said, taking Narcissa’s hand in his own, rubbing his thumb over her knuckles, as they laid naked under the covers.

 

“Forgive me. I can never seem to get over...over that,” Narcissa replied, shoving her chin towards Lucius’ Dark Mark.

 

“It is I who should ask for your forgiveness.”

 

Narcissa nuzzled into his chest. “So what are you going to do about the after match incident?”

 

“I am thinking of being half hearted in my actions.”

 

“Would that be enough to fool them?” Narcissa asked worriedly.

 

“It should be. We also have...also have Draco’s mate...to consider about,” Lucius said with a defeated sigh.

 

“Like with like, my love. There’s no one who can be more perfect than the girl who despite her unfortunate heritage happens to be the thorn in the sides of the Dark side. Think about it, Lucius. She’s powerful enough to satisfy our son; to keep him with her.”

 

“We need to warn Draco to keep her safe after the match is over.”

 

“Yes, dear. Let’s do that. It is about time our son proved if he’s protective enough,” Narcissa said with a finality.

 

“A test every incubus has to go through,” Lucius replied with a smirk.

 

“Don’t start now,” Narcissa said with a twinkle in her eyes.

 

“I seem to be ready again, my mate.”

 

“Luci--Ahhhh…”

 


 

Draco couldn’t believe it was this day! He watched the World Cup Final of Quidditch! And what a match it was. So wonderful. Heart racing. The maneuvers by Krum had brought his heart to his mouth. He would love to try be as swift and nimble or even more than what he saw. He watched as a sweaty yet extremely happy Krum approached the Minister's Box to accept his Seeker of the Year award. Krum so near him. He was sure he could manage an autograph from him.

Should he try his pheromones? But what if it attracted the whole crowd instead? That would not do. Maybe the hypnotic allure? That focuses merely on one person. He could try that on Krum. He looked at Krum, only to find the world famous seeker's eyes stuck on...stuck on Granger!

‘Scratch his filthy eyes out. How dare he lust after our mate!’

Draco scowled at the Quidditch player. His hatred was triggering off an oppressive, hostile wave of emotions in the people near him. Everyone was starting to get very very angry. He was getting up to punch Krum in the face for staring at Granger when he felt a hand gripping his shoulder tight.

Draco turned to see his father slowly shaking his head in disapproval.

"Now is not the time," Lucius whispered. “Remember what you must do?”


Draco nodded in reply. Lucius gave a solemn nod in return.

Draco took a breath to calm himself. He would kill that scum later. But first he needed to calm himself. He turned to look at Granger only to find her looking at him with a perplexed look.

Everyone was shaking off the effects of the sudden murderous rage while Granger was looking at him like she found an unwanted but very interesting insect in her afternoon tea.

Not good, this was so not good.

'She suspects. Good! Lure her out and claim her. You are told to keep her safe by your sire after all. What makes a woman more safe than having her mated incubus beside her.'

'Then get fucking killed by her, you mean?'

'And what a death it would be...'

'A very bloody and gory on. She would bath in our blood and wear our inards as a garter. She's a savage.'

'As long as she's savage in the bed too, I am game.'

Draco rolled his eyes. There's no way he can make Djall see any reason.

Granger's eyes were still on him, so he did what he did the best. He winked at her and gave a what he assumed could be a sexy smirk.

She flushed visibly and looked away.

Yep, sexy smirk works every time! Now to work out how to get her away from Idiot one and Idiot two. Only then he’ll be able to relax.

Chapter Text

 


NotH ch4


 

As soon as people left the stadium and went to their tents to rest or celebrate, Draco made a mad dash to his tent. He needed less restrictive clothes, preferably all black attire, and some food. He’s growing boy after all.

The afterparty of the Death Eaters would start in approximately in an hour. He’d better be nearby close to her.

 

He stood nearby the Weasley’s tent, near the sovereign shop pretending to look at the goodies, trying not to scrunch up his nose in disgust at the pathetic conditions his mate was forced to be reside in. The mild, floral smell of joy did nothing to distract his mind from it. Merlin, he should have claimed her before she had to be in such a despicable.... The screams. It has begun.

Slowly, the smell of joy got replaced by the pungent, sharp smell of nervous curiosity. Then came the slight touch of rot, fear, mixed in the air. As soon as the Death Eaters starting setting fire to just about everything the smell of rot got replaced by a something metallic. Was this what absolute terror smelled like?

Suddenly, he was overwhelmed by the smell of English rose, warm spices, old parchment and something that was completely Hermione Granger.

Everyone was running towards the woods. Draco felt lost for a moment. What should he do? Follow Granger and make sure she’s away from the fray? Stun her and leave her in his family’s tent? Or—

‘Allow me.’

That was all the warning Draco got from his demon before he lost consciousness.


 

People were screaming and running. It was evolving into a stampede. There was no quick emergency exit available. Everyone was simply running for their lives. It wasn’t the first time Hermione regretted being in the middle of the chaos called the British Wizarding World. She was sure the French didn’t have such problems!

Ron and Harry were running alongside her, with Harry holding her hand. They were following Ginny and the twins when someone shoved Harry hard from behind. She turned as did Ron to run towards Harry who had fallen down. The crowd took care of separating them and soon Hermione was alone in the panicked crowd.

She screamed for Ron and Harry. She didn’t dare to stop, running right past the trees that marked the beginning of the woods, when someone grabbed her from behind. A hand clasped around her mouth and an arm wrapped tight around her waist, trapping her arms against her sides.

Hermione struggled but the guy- yes, it was definitely a guy- had an iron grip. She kicked his shins, but all he did was chuckle into her ear.

“Shh…Shh…It’s okay. I’m here now. Nothing can hurt you now. I’m here now,” the guy said, in a voice that oozed sensuality.

But sensuality won’t save her. This guy must have targeted her, followed her and…was she going to get sexually assaulted?

Her struggles became stronger and more desperate. She tried to scream, but all that came out a muffled sound.

The guy was now pulling her deeper into the woods, away from the clearing where Hermione could clearly spot some people. She screamed in frustration.

“I’m just saving you, girl. I mean you no harm.”

Says every serial killer before killingtheir victim. And Hermione will not be a sad headline for tomorrow’s newspaper. She kicked the guy’s shin even harder and then bit into the hand covered her mouth.

The guy didn’t even flinch so she bit with all her might, breaking skin and making his blood stained her mouth.

“Harder, my love. Only if you bite harder,  I will let you go.”

Infuriated and at her wits end- her wand beyond her reach and her kicks seemingly useless on the guy — she bit into the injured flesh, flooding her mouth with the guy’s blood. If she gets a blood transmitted disease from this — Merlin help her — she’ll hunt him down and cut him into pieces and feed him to the Giant Squid.

“That’s more like it. Now, if you promise not to scream, I’ll remove my hand. Nod if you understand.”

Hermione nodded and as soon as he removed his hand off her mouth, she opened her mouth to scream. He quickly turned her around and all she could do to remain on her feet was clutch the arm around her waist. Somehow, the guy managed to back her against a tree and she felt something soft against her lips.

It took her a couple moments to understand that the pervert was kissing her. She pushed at his chest, not realising the guy’s hands were at her hips, and fisted her hands to punch him right on the face when she noticed something familiar about her harasser. In the fire light from the nearby burning tents, she could make out platinum blond hair and the sharp features of his face.

“Malfoy?”

The prat only smirked at her and caged her with her hands on the either side of her head. Hermione’s hand slowly crept towards her wand in her back pocket.

Draco tsk-ed at her. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. I’m the only thing between those crazy Death Eaters and you. Run to the right, and you’ll have Ministry’s guard dogs waiting to blame you. On your left, you’ll find some…unsavoury things. And in front of you,” Draco said as he slowly moved away from her line of sight and exposed the burning tents, “are the Death Eaters trying to restore their former glory.”

“Why are you saving me?” Hermione asked him, lifting her chin in defiance.

“You’re going to be important to me. Soon,” Draco replied with smug smile.

“I’m going to important? A mudblood—”

Draco put a finger on her lip to quieten her. “Shush… I know that… Idiot…” Draco turned his face away from her murmuring under his breath furiously. He turned to her and took a deep breath, “Can you find it in yourself to forgive me for a childhood folly?”

Hermione looked warily at him and nodded once. Then she recalled what she had done to his palm. “I bit you…”

“I don’t mind. It’ll save you.”

“Your blood will save me from what?” Hermione looked at him like he was sprouting crazy things, which he was in her defence.

Draco leaned in and looked right into her eyes. Slowly, he wetted his lips and placed a kiss on her lips. All the while Hermione didn’t dare to close her eyes, no matter how erotic it felt for her. Eyes wide as an owl, she kept staring at him.

Draco winked at her and ran towards the right. Hermione watched him go, mouth half open to call him back and demand answers when Ron and Harry arrived on the scene.

“Hermione! Are you okay? We were looking for you!” Harry said in a rush.

“Yeah! Where did you go?” Ron asked.

“Came running here,” Hermione replied distractedly, still trying to figure out where Malfoy went. She was still in a shock. What the hell just happened? Did the pureblood fanatic Draco Freaking Malfoy kiss her? He freaking stole her first kiss!

Hermione wanted to rant and rave but there was no time. They had to get to safety. So she ran with Harry and Ron towards what they presumed was a safe place.

 

Chapter Text


          noth 5


Draco had never felt more anger than he was currently experiencing. If he wasn't so angry, he would have laughed at the fact that his tremendous anger, the wrath of the seven hells was all directed towards himself.

‘How DARE you take control of my body!’

‘You’re just angry that you didn’t feel her lips against your’s first hand.’

‘This is not about Granger.’

‘Everything is about Hermione.’

‘She drank my blood.’

‘The first ritual is complete. Rejoice, celebrate. You now have a connection to her mind. The more you use it, the stronger it’ll be and one day, all her thoughts, dreams, everything in her mind shall be yours to do with as you please.’

‘I don’t want that.’

‘Too bad.’

‘Djall! What happened?’

‘How many times do I need to tell you? She was running in the wrong direction, I guided her to the right one; she bit me, I kissed her. Id est.’

‘That’s it? That’s it?? Didn’t she recognise me? She just allowed herself to be manhandled by—Oh, don’t scoff, Djall. My shins are screaming in pain. My palm has a bloody bite mark on it and it hurts! My right palm! I can’t even fold it. No potion or ointment paste is working on it! I’m getting vague, distorted thoughts in my mind that I know are not mine! WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE?’

‘Get your tantrum in control. This is just the beginning.’

Djall didn’t speak after that. And that was the night of the Quidditch World Cup. Five days went by but no Djall. Instead, Draco sometimes was getting flooded with a sense of fear, helplessness and righteous anger. Granger. Must be complaining about the unfairness of everything.  Mercifully he knew Occlumency- that helped shut the door to the undesired insider news straight from Granger’s head.

Family dinners were sombre affairs. His father had asked him if his mate was safe. He had replied in affirmative and that was that. Mother was more often than not found tending to the garden- especially her prized black rose bushes.

It wasn’t until the day before going to school that his father reminded me of what he had told at the very start of the vacation. They had just finished their breakfast and were just sitting with Lucius reading the newspaper, Narcissa dictating the lunch items and Draco getting up.

“I hope you remember there's going to be a Triwizard Competition at school. Tell Marcy to check your luggage in case you forget to take your dance robes,” Lucius said without lowering his newspaper. 

“The Yule Ball,” Draco murmured. 

“Do not embarrass me. The Granger girl might be your mate but remember you are a pureb—” 

“Say that once more again, Lucius and I shall make sure to finish you where you sit,” a voice with an echo behind it cut in. 

Lucius looked up from his newspaper while Narcissa turned pale at the voice. “What are you called?” Lucius asked without breaking a sweat. 

“Djall,” replied Draco whose eyes had turned pitch black, skin a shade paler and that echo-y voice. 

“The Albanian devil himself?” 

“The one and only.” 

“Is it a coincidence that the Dreq has inhabited Draco’s body?” 

“They thought it was funny too, Ralph.” 

Narcissa didn’t dare to interrupt a conversation between the demons. The silence was your friend here. Lucius’ demon had long merged with him but the essence of the Demon Prince of Apathy was present still. Lucius might be a great husband, perfect lover and a loving father but his moments of apathy chilled her to the bones. 

“How is my son?” Lucius asked, keeping his newspaper away.

 “Idiotic. As expected of a teenaged human.”

 “The mate?”

 “The mate is delectable. Young but we’re working on it.”

 “Is it worth it?” Lucius asked a question that made Narcissa feel as if the world stood still.

 “Worth every drop of blood of every purebloods.”

 “You have made your point,” Lucius replied after a pause.

 “Don’t force Draco. The future of this family is dire in the coming times. The path that we have in front of us is the best one possible. Trust yourself.” And with that Draco’s eyes rolled back and he fell off his seat.


 

Sleep had been elusive for Hermione. Ever since that…kiss. And that…She still couldn’t believe she actually bit him so hard that she caused him to bleed. But then again it was mild considering what she could have done with a wand. What irked her more was the fact that she couldn’t recognise him by his whiny voice alone. Come to think of it, his voice had sounded way different from his usual tone…It felt incredible just to hear him. Being shitless scared apart; his voice was definitely a turn on. So husky, just the right amount of baritone, so masculine.  She hadn’t expected that voice coming from Malfoy…so that resolves the not recognising part. But then why didn’t she struggle harder. She knows self-defence; she could have easily thrown him over. Then why?

 

Hermione tossed around in the bed with Ginny snoring lightly on the next bed. Tomorrow, she’s going to sport terrible dark circles underneath her eyes for everyone to see at the King’s Cross. She let out a soft sigh and began making lists in her head- her failsafe way to doze off.

 One: get up at six and check the luggage one last time.

 Two: feed Crooks and apply that no flea spray.

 Three: send a letter to mum to order a gown for god knows what. Maybe, Wizarding prom?

 Four: make sure to send a picnic hamper to Snuffles.

 Five: go to Madam Pomfrey and get checked for possible diseases. Who knows what that blood could be infected with? Maybe some obscure inbreed   twisted illness.

 Hermione gave a shiver of horror. She’ll kill Malfoy with her bare hands if he gave her some disease.

 Six: Read the Transfiguration…

‘Sleep. You need it.’

Hermione let out a yawn. ‘Hmm…yes.’

‘We’ll meet soon again.’

‘Okay,’ Hermione replied sleepily, slipping into the realms of dreams.


 

‘What the fuck did you do again?’

 When Draco got no response, he shouted in his head, ‘What the FUCK did you do again? I know you did something!’

 It was a blessing that Granger didn’t spot him on the station. He was half expecting her to kill him with her bare hands- she’s savage like that. He knew his blood was affecting her, he even knew Djall did something using the newfound connection to her. What he didn’t know was what.

 ‘Djall, I swear—’

 ‘She couldn’t sleep last night. Poor thing was overthinking as usual. I just…helped.’

 ‘You forced her to sleep?’

 ‘I suggested her to sleep.’ 

‘And that worked?’ 

‘Like a charm.’ 

‘She didn’t even get a gulp of my blood. Despite that…’ 

‘A ritual is a ritual. Now we need to strengthen the connection and get to the next step.’ 

‘Which is?’ 

‘Oh, it’s something that you mortals call being naughty. It includes claiming her release with your hands.’

‘What?’

 ‘What was that word… Ah! Getting her off with your fingers. Fingering. That’s what it is called, right?’

 ‘Oh, Merlin…’

 ‘I’m afraid that stupid wizard can’t help you. Why, he was a victim of the greatest Succubus of all time.’

 ‘Morgana was a Succubus?’

 ‘You heard nothing from me.’

 ‘Djall!’

 ‘You are hallucinating. You are making up things. You need to rest.’

 As soon as Djall’s voice faded away, Draco realised his friends were staring at him like he was an exotic specimen at the menagerie.

 “What?” Draco asked defensively.

 “You seemed to be talking to yourself,” Theo commented, for once looking away from his latest book.

 “Yeah. I’ve noticed you often get this faraway look and…and it looks like you are talking you yourself,” Pansy added.

 “Thank you for minding my business,” Draco replied scathingly.

 Pansy flipped him the bird and turned to talk to Daphne about the Yule Ball that would happen later that year.

“So, Triwizard competition?” Blaise asked, wanting to know what Draco had to say about it.

“More like big distraction ploy on the old coot’s part,” Theo replied instead with a scoff.

“Why do you think that?” Draco asked him.

“It is obvious to children like us that something big is going to happen. Dumbledore wants everyone in the school and the Ministry to be focusing on the competition while he does what he wants to behind the scenes,” Theo explained. “And I am very sure Potter shall get involved in this too. He’s the biggest bait Dumbledore could ever have and he’s going to use that boy over and over and over again. You just wait.”

“That sounds like a perfect conspiracy theory,” Daphne replied having heard every word that Theo said.

Theo only shrugged in response.

They didn’t talk about that later; busy entertaining themselves with the trolley food, Exploding Snaps and busy talking about teen stuff.

Draco wondered what this year of the school shall be like. But something told him this year would change everything as they knew it.


 

 

Chapter Text

                noth 6

 


“--the prestigious Triwizard Competition--”

 

'Blah blah blah blah… I'm hungry,’ Draco thought as he tried his best to not look at the Gryffindor table again.

 

He knew Granger must have been hanging on to every word the old coot was saying. Poor her, he was confident that she didn't know about this. Must have looked like a surprise to her.

 

Dumbles was still speaking. And here he was, feeling overwhelmed by all the chaotic emotions of around 500 people or more. Huh… he thought that train ride with his chattering friends was too much. The curiosity, the suspense, the wonder… it was overwhelming him to the point he almost gagged on it.

 

Only Hermione's wonder and curiosity… and was that anger?... Only her emotions kept him stable.

 

He could see the dreams she sees, feel the thoughts that she thinks. But of late, he couldn't get the complete feel of the thoughts. It felt so vague to him.

 

'Time for the next ritual. Only then the connection shall be strong enough to last a lifetime.’

 

'That’s it?’

 

'Yes.’

 

Just then, a sickly sweet smell with a sharp note floated in. Draco, whose stomach was rumbling slightly, felt his hunger ebb away a little.

 

'What was that?’

 

'A snack. Anyone's lust is food. Hermione’s, on the other hand, is a fucking feast that I can't get enough of.’

 

‘I know we have to seal the bond as soon as possible. But you know this as well as me that I can’t just walk up to her and… and finger to orgasm! She will kill me. Kill us! She wouldn’t think twice. She’ll hang us by our bollocks and cut us into pieces while reciting the Hogwarts: A History word by word.’

 

‘Why are you so scared of her? You fear her more than you lust for her! One punch to the face shouldn’t scare you so MUCH!’

 

‘She set Godfather on fire because she suspected he was messing with Potter’s broom in the first year. In a freaking first year. And people call her the good girl. You’re a fool, Djall if you don’t fear her.’

 

‘All these just turns me on even more. Just imagine all that fire, that passion in bed. I can’t wait to be deep inside--’

 

Draco exhaled loudly, trying to not hear whatever Djall had to say.

 

“It is just me or Is Draco really blushing?” Pansy commented to Daphne.

 

Daphne turned to face Draco and found that, indeed, the infallible heir of the Malfoy was blushing at his empty plate.

 

“He seemed odd during the whole vacation. He got lost in his own thoughts. Sometimes I even saw him smile at something he thought to himself,” Theo commented. “I meant I am sitting in front of him, talking about him and he heard nothing.” He waved his hands in front of him; Draco didn’t notice still. “See?”

 

“Mate! Draco!” Blaise called his distracted friend.

 

‘Have you noticed how perfect her petite body is? She’s made for us. When I held her in our arms, she fit right in, tucked under our chin. And that slender neck. The skin is so thin there, I could see her pulse jump there. So feisty. She bit us to hurt us. It’ll be a dream to bed her. She’ll lie naked on our--’

 

“Draco?” Daphne placed her arm on Draco’s bicep.

 

Draco didn’t get startled like they expected a distracted to do. Instead, he slowly raised his head and stared at his friends- with all blacked out eyes, no whites visible- like he didn’t recognise them. He cocked his head to one side like a bird, scrutinising them.

 

“Friends of Draco, I presume?”

 

Pansy’s mouth fell open. “The fuck is wrong with you?”

 

Pansy wished she hadn’t said that when those demonic eyes bored into her.

 

“I take it Draco did not tell you about me,” Djall said in his unique dual-toned voice.

 

“Not here, whoever you are. It’s Draco’s secret. You can’t spill it like this,” Theo said quickly, trying to cover up the situation.

 

“Oh, don’t worry. Only the one that matters needs to know,” Djall said with a smirk looking straight at the Gryffindor table, more specifically- Hermione.

 

Everyone followed his sight and the four Slytherins turned to face one Hermione Jean Granger.

 

The Gryffindor brainiac looked at them with a deep scowl, confusion apparent on her face.

. . .

 

“You are seeing what I’m seeing?” Hermione whispered to Ginny who was taking in the same scene as Hermione.

 

“Planning their next prank, I’m sure,” Ginny said without conviction.

 

“With such grim faces?” Hermione asked again, noticing Malfoy’s completely black eyes. “Look at Malfoy’s eyes,” she whispered.

 

“Glamour spell?” Ginny asked, rather than said.

 

Both the girls knew somehow that was not the answer.

 

The days that followed were strange to Hermione. Her accursed lab partner, Malfoy, was acting friendly with her. He didn’t snipe at her, didn’t call her a Mudblood. If anything, it seemed like he was trying to flirt with her. In the most awkward manner possible. Making sure to touch her- small touches- fingers touching when trying to grab the same ingredient, a purposeful caress on her knuckle while passing the quill, sitting oh-so-close to her.

 

His continued I-was-just-passing-by-the-library-so-I-came-to-see-you visits irritated her. His friendliness got on her nerves. WHy was he acting so unlike himself? Was she going to be poor Carrie at the prom drenched in pig’s blood that Draco would gleefully throw on her?

 

She had arrived at her favourite table in the library- the farthest table, hidden from prying eyes and noisy chatters. Unfortunately, Malfoy was already there, standing right next to the table, leaning against it slightly.

 

Yes, so he had kissed her--more like stole her first kiss a month ago. Probably tried to prove a point that as a pureblood he could take whatever he wanted.

 

Hermione clenched her fist. She so wants to take a time tuner and go back in time and punch the shit of that bloody prat!

 

Yes, so she had searched all of the library for occasionally black turning eyes. The result was...weird. She was half positive at that time that Malfoy was not possessed by a demon.

 

But now… She knew he was a devil spawn!   

 

“I don't care what you are trying to prove. Just stay away from me,” Hermione said heatedly.

“I am trying to prove that I want to be your friend,” Malfoy said with a slight smile on his face.

 

“You can take the excuse and shove it UP. YOUR. ARSE!” Hermione snarled in his face.

 

‘I told you!’ Draco hissed to Djall.

 

Take her against the wall. Take her now. She looks so magnificent. She'll look even amazing riding our co--’

 

Hermione huffed and quickly turned to walk away from the shit case that was Malfoy.

 

Draco smirked and grabbed her wrist, giving a jerk; pulling her right into his arms.

 

He raised her head by her chin and kissed her. But the chaste kiss soon turned more passionate. His tongue traced her lips. Hermione gasped at the sensation; Draco, ever the opportunist, deepened the kiss. His tongue slowly exploring her mouth, caressing her unresponsive tongue.

 

They don't call the Gryffindors brave for anything. Hermione shyly responded back, moving her tongue against his in hesitant strokes.

 

Something very primal roared inside Draco.

 

The two of them kissed each other like it was the end of the world. They lost track of time, completely lost in each other.

 

Two unlikely people finding their peace and satisfaction with each other.


 

 

 

Chapter Text


 

Draco couldn't wait to get some privacy to have a good chat with Djall. As soon as they were excused from the Great Hall, Draco shot out of there like a vampire from sunlight.

 

He couldn't wait. He needed answers right out.

 

'You revealed yourself to my friends! Have you got no sense of self-preservation?! Do you have any idea of how big and important information you unveiled?! Do you?!’

 

'Ever wondered why their emotions are never satisfying no matter how potent they are?’

 

'That does not answer my question.’

 

'Kid. Because you are merely a decade and a half old am I entertaining you. Merely because you are still a baby. Your whining and nagging are getting on my nerves. So shut it. And answer what I asked.’

 

Draco was a Slytherin through and through.  He knew what fights to choose. He knew the demon inside him. A very powerful entity who is not serious, ever. He's merely amusing himself. But Draco had an inkling of the havoc Djall can create if he’s pissed off.

 

'Yes, I have wondered.’ Draco answered, keeping his tone neutral.

 

'Familial emotions do not sustain us. And your friends reek of it. They are your family- whether you see them as that or not.’

 

'You told me your presence was supposed to be a secret!’

 

'Sometimes you need to show your cards to win the bigger game. Our mate is interested in us. Curiosity draws her in, tap her intrigue and you've got yourself the way where she'll come to you on your own.’

 

'I just hope you know what you're doing.’

 

'Huh… I've been around for a long time. Long enough to be the reason why mortals fear darkness.’

 

'You are old.’

 

'I would like to roll the eyes. Cue eye rolling. For the sake of my dignity.’

 

'What happens when we are no longer two different consciousness? Does your knowledge become mine?’

 

'There! There's the reason why I inhabited the body of Ralph's spawn! This is the viciousness that I'm looking for! The ruthlessness, the hunger to be more, to have the ability to take whatever you want. You've pleased me, kid.’

 

'So…’

 

'No. Your mind is not strong enough to contain knowledge and experiences worth millenniums. Before you take offence, no mortal can have this knowledge.  Maybe glimpses of some in your lifetime. But not more.’

 

'Can you tell me what exactly is your use? Why does an incubus need a demon?’

 

'Every monster is a child of Lilith. But when you're born with magic in your blood, your soul is born without Mother’s touch. Thus you need a demon to ground you to your roots. You will understand it as time passes.’

 

By the time their conversation was over, Draco was in his bed- the curtains drawn around his bed. He was not in any mood to face his friends. There'll be a Spanish Inquisition awaiting him. He'll deal with it tomorrow.

. . .

 

Draco woke up to find Blaise, Theo, Pansy and Daphne sitting on his bed, waiting for him to wake up.

 

As soon as he opened his eyes, Draco spotted Blaise opening his mouth to shoot off his questions.

 

“I wouldn't even ask why this level of curiosity but before I say anything- bathroom,” Draco said as he tried to get up from his bed.  “You all are messed up. You have nothing else better to do than to sit on my bloody bed and wait for me to wake up! You bunch of creeps!”

 

“For your information, I don't find you attractive anymore,” Pansy said as she flicked her wand on her fingernails, changing the colour with every flick.

 

“Why are you all sitting on my bed?” Draco asked as he walked towards the bathroom with his undies. He noticed his roommates, Vincent and Greg, had already left the room. “Did you guys drive Vincent and Greg out?”

 

“We don't have much time before breakfast. We need answers as soon as possible. Great Hall is too public, Vincent and Greg aren't in the know. This was the best alternative,” Theo explained, pushing his sliding spects up his nose bridge.

 

“What he said,” Daphne added, with a smile.

 

Draco shook his head and went to the bathroom. He could already feel the anxiety and nervous energy rise when he wasn't out by ten minutes. He opened the door only to see Blaise raising his hand to knock on the door.

 

“Give it a rest,” Draco said, walking past Blaise, going to his chest of drawers to get his uniform.

 

“So, start spilling,” Pansy prompted.

 

“There’s nothing to spill,” Draco replied, trying to go to the bathroom again.  

 

“Mate, normal teenage guys don't flash pitch black, no white eyes at their crush. They get a hard on, get laid or wank it off. What's with you?” Theo explained in the crudest way possible.

 

“You get hard on when you look at your crush?” Daphne asked, looking pointedly at Theo’s crotch.

 

Theo noted Daphne's line of sight and sighed. “Unless you're offering to have sex with me, kindly don't look at my crotch. I shall not be held responsible for spoiling the virgin eyes.”

 

“Oi, who you calling virgin?” Blaise snapped indignantly.

 

Theo waved his hand towards them, “All of us, you liar.”

 

Draco had removed his nightshirt and the girls wow-ed.

 

“You looked amazing at the pool this vacation. But what am I seeing here? How did you become so shredded?” Pansy asked, checking Draco out from top to bottom.

 

“Puberty,” Draco answered, looking exasperatedly at everyone.

 

“Mate, truth, please. I've not seen such a defined body on someone as young as you. And a midget like you is suddenly tall and strong and…”

 

“Fae? Your family has fae blood!” Theo exclaimed.

 

“No,” Draco replied in a monosyllable.

 

“Veela!” Blaise offered.

 

“No.”

 

“Oh, oh. Greek demigod!” Pansy said.

 

“Good one,” Daphne commended, sharing a hi-five.

 

“Still no.”

 

“Incubus?” Daphne threw in offhandedly.

 

Draco stilled causing his foot to get stuck in the pants’ leg hole.

 

“Shit!” Theo cursed softly.

 

“Fuck me sideways,” murmured Blaise.

 

“What do I smell to you?” Pansy asked, slightly inching away.

 

“Tell me everything,” Daphne looked at Draco with wonder in her eyes.

 

. . .

 

“So, you are an incubus. Granger is your mate. You need to mate her and we smell bad to you. Did I get it right?” Theo asked after Draco explained the circumstances to them.

 

The five of them were walking down the corridors to get their breakfast. First class was Potions, so they couldn't bunk it even if they wanted to.

“Yeah, in plain words,” Draco replied, wondering if he did the right thing by telling them or not. Djall did make things worse for him by exposing himself. But did he make it better or worse?

 

“Are you feeling the urge to jump her bones yet?” Blaise nudged Draco slightly.

 

“Her presence near me is sufficient for now,” Draco replied not revealing much. He had already said too much.

 

“Are you sure your parents are okay with this? Because I cannot imagine Lord Malfoy agreeing to… Granger,” Pansy said as vaguely as possible.

 

“Do you think I am becoming an incubus because I wished it?” Draco stopped turning around to question Pansy.

 

“Just making sure,” Pansy said, “You do realize your past… behaviour will make it difficult for you to approach her.”

 

“I am trying to make an effort. I think it is working,” Draco replied trying not to think about the kiss they shared.

 

“Yep, working just right,” Blaise pointed towards Hermione who turned back as soon as she spotted Draco at the entrance of the Great Hall.

 

Theo and Daphne snickered.

 

Draco rolled his eyes.

. . .

 

Draco wanted to kiss his godfather. He had assigned Granger as his lab partner for the rest of the year. Merlin’s white beard, he loved every moment of it. She was meticulous about everything, stirring rod on the right, the measuring equipment on the left and perfectly following the instructions.

 

She brews potions like an automaton. She doesn’t go a bit beyond what’s instructed. Draco smiled as he noticed Hermione double check the instruction of five newt eyes and recounted the number of eyes on the spoon.

 

He extended his hand to grab the spoon, making sure to caress her fingers. She jerked her hand back so fast that she spilt the content.

 

She stared at him with horror in her eyes. Draco couldn’t help but lean in. He gave a quick glance around the class, noticing no one paying them any attention and whispered right in her ear, “You do realise that kiss wasn’t a fluke. I meant it. I want to have a relationship with you.”

 

Hermione stared at him speechlessly for a moment. And then her face flushed in anger, a hot iron smell permeated the air. She hissed at him. “If you think by stealing my first kiss you have earned the right to talk to me, you are mistaken. Touch me again and I’ll show you a new meaning of castration.”

 

“I will still not back off,” Draco smirked.

 

Hermione looked at him straight in the eye and stamped her heel on his toes. She turned away, her hair slapping his face.

 

Yes, he limped the half the day but it was worth it.

. . .

 

Like he promised, he really didn't give up. He kept on with his awkward attempt to flirt with her. He made sure he touched her one way or the other when they were in the Potions lab. He had also taken to appearing at her usual haunts- the library. His smart mate was looking for books that talked about maladies that caused eyes to go pitch black.

 

He hated the disbelief that rolled off her. She was waiting for him to reveal his big prank. As if he would toy with her heart… There are other people for this purpose. Not his Granger.

He had been lucky that when he got to kiss her again. Extremely lucky. She kissed him back. It was the most beautiful feeling in the world, feeling her in his arms, the world dissolving around them. It was only them.

 

For the first time, Djall wasn’t guiding his actions. That demon didn’t have anything to say. Draco could feel him in his consciousness but he wasn’t a different part of him now. He was himself. Just a young boy kissing the girl he liked. No prejudice, no demonic compulsion, no nothing. Only them.

 

And like every good thing, the kiss too ended. Faster than he wanted. If he could, he’d kiss her for the rest of his life.

 

“I have to go,” Hermione said breathlessly.

 

Draco merely nodded, staring at her lips and licking his own subconsciously.

 

“I’ll kill you if you touch me again,” she threatened, her voice still breathy ruining the potentness of the threat.

 

Draco pushed her against the bookshelf. “I’ll touch you again and again. I’ll kiss you too. Because I wanted to be somebody to you.”

 

“You are kidding me!”

 

“No. Not one bit.”

 

“I do NOT believe you. Stay away from me.” And she pushed him away, not harshly- mind you, hastily picked up her satchel and ran away.

 

Draco was a little disappointed. Her continued rejection of him was hurtful. It didn’t help his incubus nature one bit. It made him even more agitated.

 

‘She is scared. You have not given her a reason to trust you. Don’t worry. She’ll be ours soon.’

 

Draco hoped it would be true.

. . .

 

Yeah, so he teased Ron for being poor and his father getting a stupid mention in the newspaper. What’s a big deal? He did that all the time. Potter had to get nosy again. Defending the family as if it’s his own.

 

Draco’s face twisted in a sneer. When he had offered his friendship that stupid scarhead had rejected it! And his mate laughed when he was being bounced around as a ferret.

 

Nothing could be more humiliating than that. Nothing. He wanted to kill Moody. He could too. A drop of his saliva in that disfigured son of a bitch’s drink and he’ll flop around on the floor in agony. A slow, painful death. Just what he deserved.

 

Draco stomped to his favourite part of the castle- the abandoned turret that faced the Quidditch Pitch.

 

He wanted to quickly go to his special place but he’s been sensing her for the past five minutes, trying to follow him as pathetically as possible.

 

Soon he heard the footsteps just a few metres away from him. He didn’t bother turning back.

 

“Go away. Leave me alone,” Draco said, firmly but softly.

 

“Oh, so only you have the right to disturb and annoy?” Hermione taunted him without heat.

 

“Are you here to kiss and make it all better? Because I could use that,” Draco replied, taking his seat on the settee that he had made the elves to place there. And now if Granger knew that he used elves she’ll go on another rant. Perhaps, he could make her understand that it is a symbiotic relationship between the elves and their master.

 

“Did it hurt?” Hermione asked, sympathetically.

 

‘Milk it! Play the victim!’

 

Draco patted the place next to him and she sat down beside him.

 

“The change was so sudden that,” it didn’t hurt a bit. It was over before I knew it, “for a moment I thought I was gonna die. Forced transfigurations can kill. I’m lucky I didn’t die.” Draco ended with a sad laugh.

 

Hermione hesitantly placed her hand on his bicep, patting it to comfort him.

 

“Won’t you complain about this to your father?” Hermione asked.

 

Draco scoffed. “Moody is an Auror. And a high ranking one at that. Father is a known ex-supporter of the Dark Lord. If anything, they’ll probably cast a couple more hexes on me for being my father’s son.”

 

“That’s not fair,” Hermione commented.

 

“Nothing is fair here. It wasn’t fair of me to...hurt you. But can you really blame me? I was just doing what my father wants. I was being a good son. Now I don’t know what to do. You wrecked my life, turned it upside down,” Draco turned to look at her with eyes full of adoration.

 

“Excuse me!” Hermione hissed.

 

And of course, once a Gryffindor, always a Gryffindor.

 

“You forced me to see the world from a different point of view. Blood is not important. People are.”

 

Draco had to strain his ears to hear the softly exhaled, “Oh…”

 

A comfortable silence settled between them. They sat there watching the birds fly over the Quidditch pitch.

 

“I’m sorry laughed at your...predicament,” Hermione apologized, sincerity reflecting in her tone.

 

“You didn’t know. It’s water under the bridge,” Draco replied.

 

“Thank you.”

 

Draco gave a small smile. He sat with his hands entwined with each other to resist holding her close to him. He wanted to wrap his arms around her, to hold her back to his front, between his legs watching the darkness creep slowly across the day.

 

A strange, irritating noise broke the calmth like a stone rudely thrown in a still pool.

 

“What’s that?” Draco asked, noticing the noise was coming from Granger’s wristwatch.

 

“Oh… Ginny made me keep an alarm for me to her join her for girls’ night.”

 

“Right, I wouldn’t want to keep you waiting then,” Draco replied.

 

“Okay, bye,” Hermione got up as did Draco.

 

Draco took her hand and kissed her knuckles. “Thank you. For being with me.”

 

Hermione’s face was slowly turning red. She merely nodded and murmured, “You’re welcome.”

 

Draco stood there watching her go.

 

‘Okay. You can hold your own. Not bad, not bad.’

 

Draco only smiled.

. . .

 

Draco didn't even realize when a month passed by. He was making progress with Granger in leaps and bounds. They often spent an evening every week at their turret. They have become good Potions partner. Sometimes, they even did homework in the library together.

 

Today was Halloween. And he wanted to spend the time with her in the kitchen. He wanted to show her that the elves are not being abused and feast on the goodies they made with her.

 

But of course, the Triwizard schools had to come early. Of course, everyone rushed out before the feast began. Hermione was being dragged away by the Weaslette. She shot him a sorry look and went away with her.

 

Draco took his sweet time to reach there. Not one of his good decisions. He only managed to come right in time for the oh so grand entrance of Viktor Krum. Right in time to catch the glimpse of Viktor looking right at his distracted mate talking to her redhead friend.

 

‘I’m telling you. That boy is going to be trouble. Mind my words.’

 

‘I will kill him before that.’

 

‘Despite this new threat, I am happy with you.’

 

‘Help me eliminate the threat.’

 

‘Gladly.’

 

Chapter Text


 

Everyone handed Theo five Galleons. Theo promised he’ll get them one Chocolate Frog each with a crackle. All because Harry Bloody Potter managed to get his name in the freaking Triwizard competition. They had seen what happened when the crazy Gryffindor twins had tried to fool the age line. Nobody had seen Potter sport a beard.

“Wanna bet again?” Theo whispered as they watched Dumbledore calmly ask Potter if he had put his name in the Goblet of Fire.

“Bet for what?” Daphne asked. Theo and Daphne had a bad bad habit of betting. All the freaking time.

“Someone put Saint Potter’s name in the Goblet,” Theo said confidently.

“Flobberworm shit,” Pansy cursed. “He is not that important that someone will--”

“He is that important. I don't why what happened but it's plain to see something really important happened with Potter in the middle of everything. Why else do you think the vanquisher of Grindelwald is interested in a boy? Dumbledore is very powerful and cunning. He's a snake in lion's skin. Brave and cunning. A terrible combination for someone not on his team. Like us,” Theo cut in and explained.

Blaise spoke up, taking a break from gracefully eating sfogliatelle, “How many hours of your life have you dedicated to thinking all these things, huh?”

“When you're an only child with a dead mother and a sadistic, megalomaniac father, you have a lot of time to think about a lot of things because you don't have the rosy glasses of innocence and naivety to blind you,” Theo said in a monotone.

“Ouch,” Blaise murmured.

“Has anyone seen Draco? Because I haven't spotted his blonde head for past three-four days,” Pansy asked.

“Oh, he comes to sleep. This much I know. But he's out before anyone wakes up. He's stopped interacting with anyone of us,” Blaise complained with an eye roll.

“Too many new males in the schools. He's acting like a normal male who hasn't claimed his mate,” Theo replied.

Blaise pinched the bridge if his nose. “Somebody shut this encyclopedia down.”

“Okay,” Daphne replied with a small shrug.

She got up from her seat and straddled Theo, taking his face in her two hands and kissing him soundly. Their make a small squak of surprise but only groaned lightly when their kiss got more heated.

“I did not mean it like this!” Blaise squealed.


 

Draco didn't like that. The continued smell of lust, infatuation, admiration that Viktor’s fangirls club managed to suffocate the library atmosphere with.

He hated it. Not because he wanted it. But because Viktor who could anyone of the airheads of the club instead he lusted after his mate.

He knew he was being a liar when he said Viktor's emotion for his mate was lust. But infatuation, curiosity will only lead to the conclusion he was making. Krum was one step away from panting after her.

He sat in a table away from Granger, noticing her, observing her and being satisfied with his conclusion. Draco watched the two of them, trying to ignore the noisy fanclub.

His only saving grace was her rising irritation towards the fanclub. And of late, her irritation towards Krum who was the reason why her place of solace was being disturbed.

Too many people, too many witnesses. He couldn't remember when was the last time they spent the day together. Stupid Potter got his name signed up for Triwizard and his witch got busy saving his ass again.

Maybe, he could kill Potter, Krum too. That way his mate would be safe and all his.

Krum was... irritated too. Interesting. He hated his fanclub. Very interesting. Shit… he was in the library solely to leer at Granger.

Kill Krum first. Then Potter.

Draco nodded to himself. Now that was a plan.


Fucking Yule Ball. Ever since it has been announced the craze lust, infatuation, even admiration levels have reached the sky. He was suffocating on it. It was supposed to make him more powerful. He was getting a feast but all he could feel was the uneasiness. The nausea that accompanied fear. His fear of losing his mate.

She could do better than him. But he couldn't. She's the only one…

'Stop your fucking mopping over your mate.’

'First you made me like her, love her. Now you're telling me to stop--’

'I am telling you to stop mopping. Go fucking get her. Before that apeman makes his move.’

'She’ll say yes. I know this. What's the use of claimin--’

'It is not about what she deserves or what she wants or what she needs. It is about us. Us! We need her, so we shall have her. By hook or by crook.’

'That is not right.’

'You mortals and your moralities. No wonder you need a conscious demon to guide you. Looks like I have to do everything myself.’

'What do you mean? Djall! Answer me! Where did you go? What do you mean?’

Shit.


 

The first task of Triwizard competition included dragons. Fucking dragons. And that bloody Krum didn't die. Neither did that Potter. He made off with his broom and it was a good show. But why couldn't he die already?

The Dark Lord probably thought the same thing.


He was waiting for Hermione for the past half an hour. He could smell she was here. Hell, her things were still here. But she isn't. It didn't need him to be a genius to know where she went… more like who she went him.

That musky smell of the other male was present here. It hadn't mingled with her smell. Thank Merlin for small mercies.

He soon heard rapid footsteps and panting. The sudden rush brought about a waft of wind carrying her intoxicating smell. It soothed him but only for a moment.

“I am so sorry. I didn't realise I was away for so long--” Hermione began, still panting from running all the way to the library, her cheeks flushed, smile adorning her face.  

“He asked you out to the Yule Ball, didn't he?” Draco managed to asked in a small voice.

The smile dropped immediately. “What?”

“I am late, aren't I?”

“Draco…”

“I like you. I really do. I know what I've done with you in the past. I know about these prejudices. I beg of you to allow me a chance,” Draco began earnestly. His girl wasn't someone who would understand or appreciate the subtle games of heart. Brave and bold, these Gryffindors needed to be knocked on their heads to get something in their heads.

“Draco, I've forgiven you for all that. We were too young. We are friends now,” Hermione told him, reaching to hold his hand in her small ones.

“I want more.”

Hermione looked at him questioningly.

“I want us to be more than friends. I want us to be us .”

“Is this because Viktor asked me out for the Yule Ball?” Hermione asked, suspicion in her tone.

“I've been waiting for you. It wasn't my fault you weren't here to be asked out.” Draco shrugged.

“Oh Draco…” Hermione gasped softly, “I don't know what you say.”

“I want to date you. I want us to be in a relationship. A romantic relationship. I like you. A lot. You are the one for whom I can fight my father. I don't care what--Umph…”

Hermione had grabbed him in a bear hug. Draco didn't waste another moment and hugged her back, his arms enveloping her completely.

She was so small against him. So soft, so perfect. Made just for him. He buried his face in her neck. He couldn't help but take a deep breaths of her smell.

“Are you sniffing me?” Hermione mumbled against his chest with a laugh.

“You are intoxicating. Heavenly. I could roll around in your smell for the rest of my life.” With that, Draco pressed his lips at the sensitive skin behind her ear and nibbled at it lightly.

Hermione gasped at the sensation and stiffened in his embrace. But Draco didn't stop. He kissed her neck, nibbled at the soft skin making her moan softly.

“Draco, we're in the library,” Hermione protested.

Draco smiled against her skin and moved away from her a little, only to dip his head back to kiss her. A gentle peck on her lips. Nothing like they've kissed before.

“Save a dance for me, okay?” He murmured against her lips, “I'll be waiting.”

Hermione nodded her head.

'Proud of you, kid.’


 

The anxious energy of everyone present in the Great Hall was making Draco high. So many emotions in such a huge amount in such a short time could keep Draco full for a couple of days easily.

Despite this entire good happening, he could help but wonder where his mate was.

He hadn't seen her in her dress yet. He wanted to spend the time with her. Only if he had asked her-- But what use would it have been.

He still can't be seen with his mate out in public. With the rise of the Dark Lord's presence again, all this would have done was paint a target on Hermione's back.

Why couldn’t this Ball be a masquerade? Then he wouldn’t even needed to steal a dance. He could have claimed it as was his right.

Waiting there in front of the doors of the Great hall with Pansy as his ‘approved’ date was nothing less than torture.

He hoped that stupid oaf of a player didn't dare touch her inappropriately. He wouldn’t be able to control himself. He would kill him, slowly, as he drew his strength from that pathetic piece of shit’s dying moans. Or maybe a loud piercing scream as dessert.

Draco’s back shuddered in delight. Pansy’s tight hold on his arm brought him out of his daydream only to catch a glimpse of Hermione who glided right by him on the arms of Viktor Krum.

Draco did a double take. His mate had dressed for the occasion and dressed she did. She was looking so exquisite in that blue dress whose sleeves fluttered as she moved.

He looked at her with an uncharacteristic smile that flashed his fangs which had grown in her presence.

Her scent lingered in the air- a beautiful mixture of English rose and warm spices on a crisp, winter morning.

His nostrils flared as he took in a deep breath. His pupil dilated so much that only a ring of grey was visible. He had begun releasing his pheromones in the air which began evident when the people around him grew amorous.

“Draco!” Pansy hissed as she jabbed her elbow into his side.

Draco snarled at her, didn’t even grace her with words.

“It will become very difficult for me to be with you, platonically if you keep releasing your pheromones. If I jump your bones, don’t blame me,” Pansy whispered angrily as she rubbed his back.

Draco closed his eyes and collected himself. “I am... I apologise.”

“Apology accepted. Now please try to go through this event with an incident.”

Draco merely nodded as he took deep breaths to calm himself.

Thankfully, nobody noticed his little episode. Out of the corner of his eyes, Draco saw Pansy nod subtly at Blaise, Daphne and Theo. These four would be the death of him.

The whole ball went smoothly thereafter. Draco danced his dances with Pansy and later with Daphne when Theo cut in to dance with Pansy.

Blaise was busy flirting outrageously with any girl irrespective of their House present at the ball who was without her date of the night. It seemed like this Ball had given Blaise the ticket to spread his dating pool.

But Draco’s eyes never strayed from Hermione and her dancing partner. His blood boiled a little that it was Krum who was Hermione’s date but he thanked any deity hearing him for Krum being an absolute gentleman whose hand never strayed into the uncharted regions.

Draco didn’t know what he would have done if he touched her more intimately.

Draco knew he was her ultimate prize but he couldn’t help but feel a bit proud that his mate had bagged the biggest prize that others couldn’t even dream of having.

As he took a break from dancing, he watched Hermione and Krum dance to the funky music now. It looked to him that she was having the most fun in her life, she was laughing and giggling.

Her face was flushed and her cheeks straining from smiling so much. Draco was happy that she was happy. He vowed to make her happier when she would be with him.

Hermione took her seat by the grumpiest people of the night in the whole Hogwarts and said something breathlessly. He felt rather than noticed the sharp tang of jealousy and frustration.

From afar, Draco watched that Weasel say something snarkily to Hermione and there was a bitter taste of sadness and hurt coming from her. Draco rolled his eyes.

That git was going to ruin her night, Draco noted. He would have gotten up and approached Hermione if Krum had come to her with drinks.

He would have to keep Hermione in sight, that boy with dragon dung filled head would definitely say more to her.

And that’s exactly what happened. He heard Hermione scream that if Ron didn’t want her to go out with someone else then he should have asked her out first, not keep her as a last resort. She then screamed that Ron had ruined everything. 

Draco breathed heavily as the bitter taste of hurt filled the atmosphere. He snarled and took a step out of the Great Hall when two pair of hands held him back.

“Mate, not the Weasel. Don’t go to Azkaban for that Weasel. He’s not worth it. Comfort Granger instead. She needs it more,” Blaise whispered quickly.

“Yes. I know I don’t like her but even she doesn’t deserve that sort of an end for such a beautiful night,” Pansy agreed grudgingly.

“Go to her, Draco. She needs you. And this is the best time to cement your place in her life. As the knight on shiny broom,” Theo replied his mind already having charted out the pros and cons of the situation.

Draco snarled once and then wretched his arms from their grip and stomped his way to Hermione. She was bawling her eyes out. Draco sighed angrily and rolled his eyes.

He promised to himself that after tonight she wouldn’t ever look for affection from anyone but him. His mate needed to be assured that she had him.

There were a couple of girls consoling a sniffling girl on the stairs where Hermione was having her breakdown.

She hadn’t registered his presence but as soon as she did she stopped cried and looked up and a tang of loathing cut through the bitter haze of her sadness.

“He ruined my night, Draco,” Hermione said with such sadness that his heart ached for her.    

Draco didn’t reply and merely held out his hand to pull her up.

Hermione put her hand in his, he gripped her and pulled her off the stairs.

“My queen shouldn't be sitting on the dirty stairs. Come on. The gardens are beautifully decorated. Let's go there.”

Draco's eyes were fixed on Hermione's dolled up face which was now streaked with tears. He observed how she took deep breaths to calm herself. So strong willed. So brave.

He smirked when she turned around and pulled out her wand and cast come spell and turned to face him after taking a deep breath. Her fluffy, red eyes were gone as were the tear stained. She took another deep breath and thanked him.

“No, no. You can’t get away with just a thank you?” Draco replied.

“What do you want?” Hermione asked with a slight smile.

Draco tapped his lips with his pointer finger.

“Is that so?” She asked teasingly.

“'Tis fair price, my lady,” Draco said, pulling her hand to his lips and kissing the back of her palm.

Hermione smiled and raised on her toes to kiss him on his lips. He pulled her close by her waist, placing his hand on the side of her hips. As they deepened the kiss, Draco wrapped one arm around her waist and the other went to hold her by the back of her neck.

They kept kissing for quite some time until they heard Snape taking off points from couples who were 'defiling’ the garden.

Hermione hid her face into his chest and laughed softly.

It was snowing lightly outside but Draco took out his wand and cast some spell warming a small section near the shrubs and vanishing the snow there. He turned towards her and offered his hand. She smiled shyly and placed her hand on his.

He placed her other hand around his waist and then wrapped his own arm around her waist and with a slight jerk pulled her flush against him.

“Draco!” Hermione squealed.

“I don’t know about you but slow dances are always danced like this,” Draco replied like the smartass he was.

“You prat,” Hermione retorted without any heat.

Draco, in the low lights, could only make out her dark iris and freckles that dotted her nose.

“I think we need to capture this moment for keeps,” Draco whispered breathlessly.

“And how do you suppose we do that?”

Draco stared into her eyes without replying her and brought his face more close to hers. This was not his first kiss with her but he felt as if it was his first time.

Well, the first time it mattered. He took a slight gulp, his Adam’s apple bobbing a little and neared Hermione. Her eyes just kept hovering on his eyes and his lips.

Unknowing, she wetted her lips with that pink tongue of her. Unknown to him, his lips mimicked hers. By now, Hermione had closed her eyes; he didn’t want to keep her waiting anymore.

He closed the distance between them and slowly rubs his closed mouth on her soft lips. Her scent fills his nostrils and he took a deep breath. He wanted to wallow in her scent- the arousing mixture of spicy hot chocolate on a winter day with a bouquet of English.

He could drown himself in that smell. Nothing turned him on like her smell. And here she was in her glory, tightly wrapped in his arms kissing him.

He parted his lips and captured her lower lip and suckled on it. Hermione gave a startled moan but that soon turned into an erotic one when he deepened the kiss.

It was nirvana for him. He could feel at peace with himself. That treacherous presence inside him was quiet; for it had what it wanted-her.


 

Hermione slept with a smile on her face that night, unknown to the fact that there was a dark hickey right at the crook of her neck that bled a little. It wasn't an alarming bruise other than the fact it had a dark, sluggish, sticky liquid of some sort seeping into the wound.  


 

Chapter Text


 

He hadn't wanted to spoil her night. When Seamus told him that he had seen Hermione crying her eyes out, he felt his heart give a painful tug. He was wrong. She was not fraternizing with the enemy. She wasn't doing anything wrong. She was just enjoying one night of her life. Which he fucked up. Rather badly.

Ron was remorseful but his ego would not allow him to apologise to her.

Maybe, if he saved a couple of the desserts for her… she did love her creme brulee.

Ron was lost in his thoughts, trying to think of ways to apologise without saying the words. He hurried to the stairs to the Transfiguration class, when his cloak snag and he lost balance.

He fell down the stairs and landed at the foot, luckily the stairs having arrived on a stable platform. His left wrist was at an awkward angle, plain to understand that it were broken.

Ron's mind was bursting with pain. He couldn't gather the power to scream. He just groaned with pain.

The other students who were at the moving stair with him immediately called for help.

Ron was having problem in breathing. The pain was too much. He decided to faint.


 

‘One down. Two more to go.’

 


 

It wasn't the fact that he couldn't carry the books that Hermione was dumping in his arms. Yes, the pile already had fourteen books in it but Hermione still wasn't satisfied.

“I'm sorry, Draco. But Harry needs my help now,” Hermione had told him, standing in front of him, twisting the straps of her satchel in her fingers.

This was a week before Hermione went crazy to help that Potter.

“That idiot hasn't figured out anything yet, has he?” Draco asked with a haughty look. But the heavy books in his arms spoiled the effect.

“Draco…”

“I know, I know. Friend needing your divine help--”

“Draco…”

“Those badges weren't my idea if that's where--”

“Can we meet later tonight?”

Draco stared at her without a response for a moment and then broke into a leering smile. “Of course.”

Hermione huffed, “I did not mean it like that.”

“I'm all for any way you mean it.” He winked.


 

“How is Skeeter getting all those news?”

Now, Draco wasn't expecting that. Not at all. He was expecting some questions about himself. Yes, he's happy she wasn't asking questions she shouldn't be asking now but it miffed him when he found this meeting up wasn't meant to be a personal one.

'See, I told you not to expect so much. And you made me take another bath because of this!’

'Constant vigilance!’ Djall roared in laughter.

'Har har. Not fucking funny.’

“Draco?”

“All that I know of is that Skeeter is shady character and on shouldn't mess with her if you care about your reputation,” Draco said as he leant back on the loveseat they were sitting on.

He could have pulled her in his lap but he didn't. Hermione is like a cat, you need to allow the kitty to come to you- lure her in then never let her go.

Hermione tilted her head to look at the maniacal look on Draco's face. It wasn't something new. Of the couple months she's got to know him, she's found his face seemed to sport socially improper expressions. Was this a pureblood thing? Who knows…

“So Skeeter is a powerful woman?” Hermione asked, wanting to know more.

Draco scoffed. "More like English wizarding populace is weak minded. They believe every word printed on the pages of the newspaper." 

“I was thinking of picking a fight with that woman. She's violating the privacy of people in the name of journalism. Today it is Hagrid, tomorrow it'll be someone else,” Hermione said, running her fingers through her hair.

Draco leaned towards her. “Not that I'm not honoured but why not tell this to the foo--I mean Potter and Weasley?”

Hermione bit her lips and sighed. “Well… they are good men of action. Not men of planning or the covert work of the strategy. Ron is a fantastic chess player but he's horrible with people interaction. You, on the other hand, you know exactly how people tick. So you push buttons that make you get a punch in the face.”

Draco chuckled and took her hand in his and placed a kiss on the back of her hand.  “What do you need?”


 

“Do you see that?” The Slytherin, sixth year girl murmured to her friend as they spied on an unlikely couple.

“Maybe he's just playing around?” The friend replied unsurely.

“He’s the heir of the Malfoy family. He's not supposed to play around as you so eloquently put it.”

The friend snapped, “Well then, Martha, you go be the etiquette Auror. I'm going.”

“Wait!” Martha grabbed her friend before she went away. “I want to hurt that snobby know it all mudblood. Walter has been sniffing after that chit of late.”

“Merlin, then set Walter right not that girl. She wears her skirt two inches more than regulation. She is not a slut.”

“You can't trust a mudblood, Jessie.”

“Hey, Martha?” Jessie asked, her voice full of concern.

“Yes?”

“Fuck off.”

The sensible Slytherin girl huffed and walked away from her disillusioned friend.

In Slytherin, you'll make real friends, they said.

Cunning folks, they said.


 

Draco was having a lazy morning. He had spent the earlier evening helping Hermione help her fool but it had turned into a lovely evening with some exotic sandwiches, perfectly warm butterbeer and lots of talking.

She loved the colour blue, had a severe weakness for pens and quills (and what a fantastic invention this pen was. She had showed him her favourite pen, a nice shiny black one with a fake jewel on its head and it revealed its nib only when it was twisted), her shopping spree for socks and mittens and scarfs, her vacation at the Alps for skiing.

He was enchanted by her. Muggle world didn't seem so savage and behind the time for him. She had explained him how much advancement the muggles had done. They flipped a thing called switch and instant light everywhere. He wanted to see her house.

She promised him this vacation if he's free. He'll have to talk to his mum about it. His father will flip if he even thought about it around him.

'You fear your father despite having me, the great Djall inside you?'

'One, it sounded so wrong. Two, he's my father at the end of the day.'

'Mortals...'

Suddenly, someone snapped open his bed curtains and allowed the glaring sun to pour in. Draco snarled and squinted his eyes at the figure standing in the light. Draco took a deep breath. Smug, self satisfied, narcissistic... Oh, Blaise. The devil himself.  

"What the fuck, Blaise?"

"Fuck you, read this newspaper. Came in this morning. Dearest Rita wrote some bit about your lady," Blaise said as she slammed the newspaper roll on Draco's belly.

Draco let this pass for now. He can get back at Blaise anytime he wanted. Hermione in the news is better news.

Blaise sat on the foot of the bed waiting to see Draco's reaction. He didn't have to wait for long. Draco tore the newspaper into two and tried to jump off his bed, topless to hunt for bloody Potter!

He would have done it had Blaise not  tackled Draco into the bed like a professional crowd managing Auror.

Theo and Daphne came in kissing to see Blaise lying on top of a snarling, growling Draco. They parted from each other to look at Blaise who was trying to look unfazed atop Draco.

Blaise smiled sheepishly. "I usually have a more... ah, shut it, you beast-- a more aesthetically pleasing reaction. I'm blaming it on Draco's being What-We-Can't-Talk-About for this bad reaction."

"People have a bad reaction to peanuts or uncleaned prawns. Our buddy is turning rabid under you," Theo commented.

"I drive people crazy," Blaise replied as he turned pale with panic. Theo and Daphne kept looking on. "You fuckers, help me subdue this or else The Boy Who Lived shall be Boy Who Was Killed!"

Theo brought out his want and casted Stupefy on Draco. He went stiff and Blaise finally climbed off him.

"Thank you, you asshole," Blaise thanked Theo.

"Lick me!" Theo replied.

Daphne asked the matter at hand. "Why is he frothing at his mouth?"

"Daily Prophet printed an article about Potter and Granger's relationship," Blaise answered.

"Oh, so that was what everyone was talking about?" Theo murmured.

"Yeah, apparently. You probably didn't notice because you went on a tour of Daphne's mouth,"  Blaise snarked.

"Totally. It was amazing. Such slick tongue, that taste, so soft..." Theo hummed as he closed his eyes.

Daphne looked at him scandalised and slapped his arm and slapped Blaise for a good measure then huffed out of the room.

Theo scowled at Blaise.

Blaise smiled a toothy smile. "Help?"




'How in the fuck did they manage so stun you? How?!' Djall howled in his mind.

'I allowed them that's why.'

'Why?!'

'Shut up. Stop shouting in my head!'

'I want that Potter runt's blood, I want to tear that Skeeter's limbs apart, bath in her blood.'


'You know despite the rumours, blood is actually bad for your hair?'

'Sass!'

'I do know the form of expression I used to convey my feelings. You really don't have to point it out. Yes, I am being sassy.''

'First we kill Skeeter, boy!'

'No...'

'No? NO!?'

'We first kill the girl who's being a pain in my ass. I've heard someone sent an owl to my father about my consorting with a muggleborn. And I'm being polite.'

'Death! I demand a death.'

'Probably it's a bit too dramatic even for you. But we'll see.'



"I could twist your neck and leave your body to rot here. Rip your limbs from your body as you felt the pain of your muscles tear away from you. Colour this floor with your blood and maybe jump in a small puddle of your life force for joy. And I would make this especially slow for you. A tear each day. Small tears. You would almost call them nibbles." The dead voice spoke right in Martha's ears. The rancid, rotting breath made her insides squirm. "For the flies to lay eggs in your decaying flesh. For the maggots to feast on them. And no one in this castle will even know about it. They'll be so busy. One girl missing in the fray of things. Myrtle died too. You see anyone give a damn about it. They found the body, they buried it. Do you want to be the next Myrtle, Martha?"

She cried, tears streaming down her face. She couldn't see, she couldn't move, she was tied up so tightly that she couldn't even move her fingers. The ropes were cutting into her skin. The monsters had picked her up from where she had been incapacitated and was standing with her body flush to his. She wanted to throw up, that nauseous smell. Merlin help her. She shook her head jerkily.

"I need an answer, Martha," the voice hissed. "Do you want your body to lay here ripped open?

"N-n-no."

A cold, clammy hand patted her cheek. That horrible smell so close to her made her gag. "Good girl. Remember... Stay away from the business of the Malfoys. Okay?"

And just as suddenly that...that monster had come, it went away. She fell to the floor in a heap in a dead faint. 


Hermione looked left right down the corridor as she came out from the empty classroom where they had been doing self study. Draco was upset it hadn't resulted into 'self' study but even then her presence was a nice comfort.

"What are you looking out for?" he asked her.

"A Slytherin girl had been shadowing me for a couple days or so," Hermione commented as she tried to find the girl.

"Really?"

"Yeah."

Draco grabbed Hermione by her shoulders. "Don't worry. If she had to do something, she would have done by now. Besides, I have a reputation. They wouldn't interfere in a Malfoy's business."

"Yes, right. How can I forget that?" Hermione teased him.

He just squeezed her to him. He took a deep breath breath, filling his lungs with her smell and placed a kiss on her head. Hermione leant into him, her face tucked in his chest.

Leather, petrichor, parchment.

He smelt like home. She smiled against him.

Draco tightened his arms around and smirked. Nobody should dare to even think bad about his mate. No one.


 

Chapter Text


 

He was waiting at their usual hidden corridor some corridors away from the Great Hall.

She was supposed to be here now, she was never late. Hermione Granger is a very punctual about time. Never a minute here or there. It was breakfast time and she was nowhere to be seen.

His panic was mounting slowly. He knew this school was safe, it's Dumbledore's school after all. But his father's Dark Mark had started to re-appear and Hermione was recognized for her association with Potter.

What if in the chaos of the competition someone kidnapped her?

'It is nothing like that,' Djall tried to assure him but who was he lying. They both knew it was a very likely possibility.

'Nothing small scale ever happens with her. Never. Petrification, freaking time travel and now this... She's in danger. I can tell she's not in her senses. She's...just... She's... Not...'

'...here.'

'Where has she disappeared, Djall?'

He was howling in sorrow for his lost mate. The same thought kept circling around his mind.

Lost, lost, lost, danger, dead, lost, danger, dead…


 

Blaise, Theo, Pansy and Daphne were waiting for Draco for the past half an hour. Yes, he often met up with Granger before breakfast but they were getting late. And that git had all their Potion homeworks in his satchel.

“We have to find him. Snape might forgive Draco but not us,” Theo said, looking at his pocket watch.

“Yeah, we are getting so late,” Daphne added.

“Have you guys been smoking Gillyweed or what? Today is the Second Task. It's supposed to start in an hour. Blaise, are you seeing this?” Pansy screeched at her friends.

Blaise opened his open to speak when he spotted a bit disturbance at the Gryffindor table as well as the Hufflepuff table.

“Have you seen Ron?”

“Have you seen Hermione?”

“Have you seen Cho?”

“Oú est Gabrielle?”

Blaise turned to his friends, “We need to find Draco now !”

The four of them ran out of the Great Hall to the secret alcove behind a tattered tapestry where Draco and Granger met before breakfast.

A pained moan came to Pansy's ears. She rushed forward to the alcove and snapped the tapestry away.

Draco was kneeling on the dirty floor, his hands in his hair, clutching at them with a white knuckles.

“Draco? Mate?” Theo moved in cautiously.

Draco looked up and Theo flinched back at the open sorrow on his face.

"Mate, you are freaking out without a reason," Blaise tried to explain him. He knew it was something to do with Granger being missing but he had to calm him down.

Draco stared at him with a blank look and then slowly the black of his eyes started bleed into the whites.

His cheeks shrunk in a bit, skin lost its healthy pallor.

"Shit, shit, shit! He's transforming! Help me!" Blaise hissed furiously.

Theo dropped everything and jumped on Draco to tackle him on the floor. Instead, Theo crumpled on the floor with a moan after hitting Draco with his full force. Blaise tried to grab Draco but one slam from his forearm made Blaise fly back and collide with Daphne. Pansy pulled out her wand and sent a spell at Blaise and Theo. Daphne and Pansy shared a look.

“I'm fine, I'm fine. Get Lord Malfoy. He is supposed to be here. Blaise, get off.”

Pansy ran to get Lord Malfoy. This is beyond their hands now.


 

Lucius felt a ripple go down his spine.

Awakening.

Draco is still so young! Did something happen to his mate? 

Lucius closed his eyes and tried to feel the aura of his son and ran. He didn't think twice about the jaw dropping as they watched Lord Lucius of the Ancient and Most Noble house of Malfoy run.

Lucius ran until he came upon the sound of wretched sobbing coming from behind the tattered tapestry of making out beside The Great Hall.

Theodore Nott was lying on the floor looking at Draco warily and Blaise was subtly casting shield charms on him. Daphne was trying to talk and calm Draco. Something they all knew was futile at this point of time.

Draco was kneeling, hunched down so harshly that his shirt was stretched tightly over his back, the spine visible.

With hands still clenched in his hair into fists, Draco looked up after a beat.

Pitch black eyes with no recognition in them. Draco was transforming and rapidly.

Too young, too young, too young.

Why was he transforming? What triggered it? How can he stop a transformation?

You can't.

Help me…

He'll learn on his own. Save his mate while he's indisposed.

The second task. The hostages!

Lucius snapped his fingers and called for his personal elf, Bells. Before Bells could even greet, Lucius barked out his orders.

“Find old clothes of Hermione Granger. Ones that are sweaty and unwashed. Quickly, no questions!”

“Yes, Master.” And Bells vanished with a small pop.

He carefully walked in front of Draco noticing how Draco looked at him without recognizing his own father. But a couple quick sniffs and Draco cocked his head at Lucius like he was trying to figure him out.

“Everyone leave,” Lucius commanded the children. There wasn't time to beat about the bush for this. They definitely knew what was up, so he didn't mince his words.

A murmured “As you wish, Lord Malfoy,” reached his ears and he acknowledged it with a nod.

A couple groans, shuffling and huffs later, the father son duo were the only one there at the alcove.

Lucius knew he was useless in aiding Draco until he had clothes that smelled of his mate. At least, that'll help him know the threat wasn't so great.

Bells popped in at the right time along with a t-shirt, a sweater and a camisole. With a nod, Lucius took the clothes and handed Draco the camisole- the cloth that was directly in contact with the skin.

“Your mate is safe. It's just that fool's…” Lucius was so angry that he couldn't even finish the sentence. How dare that pretentious, old coot hurt his son!

Draco grasped the cloth out of Lucius’s hand and took a deep sniff off it. Her smell calmed him immediately. His breathing slower, his seized muscles seemed to relax. Draco raised his head to look at his father and passed out soon after. Lucius grabbed Draco before he fell on the floor.

“Bells!” Lucius hollered for his house elf. “Get Severus right now. We need the access to the Floo network.”


 

Pansy reached the stands where Lord and Lady Malfoy we're supposed to sit. Instead, only Lady Malfoy was there. 

She reached Lady Malfoy in a state of utter dismay. Hair out of the place, running out of breath. The poor girl was panting. No lady should be running. Narcissa stared at Pansy with a shock etched on her face.  

“Pansy, dear girl, are you okay?” Narcissa asked. Something was wrong, very very wrong.

“Dra...Drac… Transfor...Transforming… Gran...ger missing…” Pansy panted out.

Narcissa heard nothing more. She shot off like a snitch out of the box inside the castle, leaving her purse right there at the stand that was built for the spectators of the second task.

“Don...t worry. I’ll… guard the purse…” Pansy promptly sat down.


 

Lucius knew Severus would direct Narcissa to the hospital. So, it wasn’t a surprise when he found Narcissa siting the Malfoy ward of St. Mungo’s running her fingers through their son’s hair. Draco looked so fragile and vulnerable. His veins had popped up and were clearly visible making his boy look like he went through an ink happy phase. The dirty cloth was clenched in his hand like it was lifeline. In a way, it was.

Lucius heard murmured arguments but couldn’t care to pay attention to it. Until it got irritating.

“Healer Addington, I respect your experience and age but this is a high profile case and it needs a sharper mind,” a pompous man in Healer coat was telling this to the special Malfoy case expect Healer.

“Healer Simonson, I am the Healer assigned to assist with this case. Please don't hinder in a delicate situation.”

“Please, Healer Addington, he's definitely not 'transforming’ as you so confidently put on the chart.”

Smugness and the sense of self importance that was rolling off that idiot made Lucius snarl.

“Healer Addington, if this fool doesn’t leave this room right now, I shall not be held responsible for what I do next,” Lucius seethed as his eyes flashed black.

The other Healer felt confused and bit frightened. Lucius flashed his pitch black eyes at the younger Healer and growled, “You will forget the Malfoys are here. You’ll fear coming here!” The fear that wafted off the Healer pleased Lucius. “Go now.”

The other Healer couldn’t scamper off faster. Lucius focused on Healer Addington now, “He can't be transforming. He's too young. By the looks of it, he’s an hour into transforming already. He shouldn't be transforming.”

"Are you trying to tell me that I don't know what it looks like when my offspring is transforming!!"

Healer Addington calmly explained, “I meant his body can't be. As in physically not possible. It would be like a pumpkin growing in a mouse hole. Deformed, shunted pumpkin or a ruined mouse hole.”

The gasp informed Lucius that Narcissa heard what he didn't want her to hear. His temper soared.

"What did you say?! Leave! Leave and get me a doctor who knows what he's bloody doing! NOW!”

“Lord Malfoy, you know I'm the only doctor in magical Britain who's treated an incubus. And that was your father.” Healer Addington took a deep breath and continued, “May I suggest you bring his mate near him. Maybe that'll do him some good. Since it was because of the mate that his transformation triggered.”

Lucius snarled again. "Perhaps you're going senile then because clearly you underestimated the stress my son is going threw now! Either treat him or get out!”

“Lord Malfoy, he is running a mate fever. Please bring the mate.”

“No!” Narcissa whispered in horror.

“Lord Malfoy, bring the mate.”

Lucius was stuck on this- on one half it's not safe for anyone to bring Hermione, on the other hand Draco was suffering. Wasn't she called a harlot in the newspaper recently?

Narcissus was at breaking point. Her son was lying motionless on the bed, his muscles clenched so tight that it looked as if he was a marble carving.

“You will bring that girl here this instant or so help me, Lucius, I will do something you will regret!”

His eyes flashed black.

"Don't you flash your eyes at me Lucius Abraxas Malfoy! This is our son's life! I can live without you, don't you forget that!”

Lucius grumbled and he slowly replied "Okay."


 

When Lucius Floo-ed back to Hogwarts, he wasn't expecting Severus to tell him where to find Hermione Granger.

Lucius strode down the corridors only to see a Gryffindor trying to get one over a Slytherin.


 

Draco wasn't there at the spectator's stand by the lake. He wasn't even there when she was 'rescued’ out. She was worried about him. This was unlike him.  

As soon as she was given the green card, she shot out of the medic tent to look for Draco. The Point Me spell that she had created couldn't spot him. It kept spinning rapidly. It meant he wasn't on the school grounds. What happened to him? Why wasn't he in the school campus?

His friends might know about it! So Hermione quickly cast Point Me to find the least annoying Slytherin friend of Draco's- Blaise.

She followed the wand like a compass and soon she found Blaise slowly walking down the corridor to the dungeons.

“Zabini!” Hermione called out.

Lucius knew the time was against him but he had to see what this girl was up to? Was her concern for his son so big that she'll risk talking to a Slytherin? He noticed the spell she was casting. It wasn't one found in the books. Did she create it?

Blaise felt conflicted. One wasn't supposed to talk to a Gryffindor at school even if she's your friend's mate. That sounded so wrong in his head. Friend's mate. Only possible if your mate happens to be a fucking incubus. Not his mate. His friend. Gosh, he should stop thinking.

“Zabini, I didn't see you guys by the lake…” Hermione began.

“I didn't know it was an offence to not go.”

“I didn't Dra--Malfoy there,” Hermione stated.

Blaise opened his mouth to say and then clams his mouth shut. She felt a presence behind her and turned around. Lucius Malfoy was looking at her.


 

Yes, the girl definitely needs an immediate course in subtlety but her concern for his son…was endearing. It was in that particular moment that he decided he would, indeed, bring her to Draco.

“Are you familiar with Apparation?” Lucius asked.

Hermione narrowed her eyes in suspicion. “I know what it is if that's what you're asking.”

“Draco is at St. Mungo's. I'd appreciate it if you...visited him. I'll escort you, of course.” Hermione opened her mouth when Lucius began again, “I've got Lady McGonagall’s permission too.”

Hermione blushed lightly at that. “I'd like to visit him. If you don't mind.”

“I don't mind at all,” Lucius said as he extended his gloved hand towards Hermione, “Shall we?”

Hermione nodded.


 

“Blaise, what happened?” Theo asked who came across a frozen Blaise.

“My brain is frozen,” Blaise replied.

“Why? What did you see?”

“Lord Malfoy saying he'd appreciate a muggle born visiting Draco.”

Theo did a double take. “You're joking.”

“That's why my brain is frozen.”


 

Narcissa sat by Draco's bed, running her fingers through his hair just like he liked it.

The fever hadn't broken yet but at least the temperature had stopped rising. Draco whimpered in his sleep, the scowl a constant companion. He tossed his arms and legs for a moment, his eyelids fluttering but never opening. Then he fell into sleep again.

Her poor son. She prayed Lucius would bring that girl with him. Otherwise, she'd bring her herself!

She didn't hear the two pair of footsteps approaching her. Narcissa was startled to hear the gasp.

She turned around to see her husband and… her would be daughter in law.


 

Chapter Text


 

He has been called many names throughout his life. Brilliant mind, genius, sly snake and the most recent...old coot. To be honest, he was all of them. After all, they are called names because they are based on what a person is. A name is a powerful thing. You keep repeating it over and over again, you’ll soon believe it to be true.  

Just like Tom Marvolo Riddle Jr. did.

He called himself Voldemort. Thinking he can escape death. As if.

He was also once fascinated...captivated...with the notion of ‘escaping’ death. More like conquering death. He just realised too late for her . Early enough for himself. He did lose him but… life.

He is called many names. Each holds true at one point or the other. But it is completely up to him to be them. Those names.

He had indeed supported this competition and its hype being forced upon the students. He knew it was a grey decision to make. But he knew...it was only during chaos that the vermins come out to spread their poison. Harry’s participation was an...unfortunate haptance. Though from another point of view, it convinced him that the vermins were at play. What had irked him was how that managed to take place in his school.

There wasn’t a reason to fret over the past. Learn and move forward in a prepared way. That is what life is all about.

Just like he noticed the sudden feelings the Malfoy heir had for the Boy-Who-Lived’s shield. The Muggleborn extraordinaire.

Children…they think they are so...discreet. They are like kittens- if they can’t see anyone that means no one else can’t see them.

Abraxas and Marcella.

Lucius and Narcissa.

And now, Draco and Hermione.

This family falls fast and irrevocably for their partners. That hair and their French origins had always made him wonder if they are Veelas. Was it because of having this trait in their blood made them such Pureblood fanatics? Because it is often the loudest who has something to hide.

Dumbledore smiled a small smile. Fawkes flew into his arms and demanded pets.

“You realise, my friend, the universe has made a big bargaining chip fall in our lap. One that can make or break this war that is inevitably going to take place. Sometimes, it is the war that is the hand that cleans the slate. Sometimes, it is the only thing that can.”

Fawkes chirped. “Don’t worry. It is all for the great good, my feathery friend.”


 

Narcissa rose to greet the young, worried girl who Lucius brought alongside him. She walked towards her and extended her hands. The petite little creature with big brown doe eyes stared at her in confusion and slight concern. But then it all got concealed by an inner strength and will that Narcissa spotted right away and then the little girl placed her hands in Narcissa’s. Narcissa held Hermione’s hands in hers and kissed the air near both her cheeks.

“It is so nice to see you in person. Though under unfortunate circumstance, to my dismay,” Narcissa greeted Hermione.

Hermione stared at Narcissa for a beat too long. How does one reply to a sentence like that?   

Hermione quickly ran some of the dialogues of Pride and Prejudice in her head. “It is indeed a dismal situation but it is my fortune that I finally met you, Lady Malfoy.” And gave a slight bow as much as she could manage given Narcissa was still holding her hands.

Lucius’s brow raised in a silent appreciation.

“The pleasure is all mine, Miss Granger. I was informed you were,” Narcissa’s face scrunched up in displeasure, “held hostage under water for the...competition.”

“If it eases your worry, I was unconscious and had no idea about anything,” Hermione gave a tight smile, trying to hide how things could have gone wrong terribly. She didn’t show her fear. 

“What about your consent? Were you asked about it?” Narcissa asked Hermione, kindly but with a firmness in the tone.

Hermione gave an one armed shrug. “We were told why we were called and what was going to happen to us and if we're okay with it.”

'That stinky goat bastard!’ Narcissa cursed in her mind. She gave a small smile to Hermione, trying to reign in her anger at the situation. It wouldn't help her to lose temper now.

“The Healer  checked you before you came here, didn't they?” Narcissa asked, still very concerned about the poor naive thing.

“Yes, Madam Pomfrey did a complete check up.”

Thank Merlin for small mercies.

“If you are willing, we can get another check up done for you. It was a magical lake. Who knows what was floating around? Better safe than being sorry, eh?” Narcissa asked Hermione kindly.

Hermione fell into a moment of contemplating. Then she nodded her head in agreement. 

Lucius immediately went off to find a general Healer to give her a check up.

Narcissa noticed Draco had stopped thrashing in his sleep. He looked more calm now, his eyes no longer fluttering despite being closed. This young girl had no idea what she was getting into. She has the, at present, most powerful house on it's knees and she didn't even know it.

Lucius is good at what he does but subtly really isn't his forte. Her husband always like his methods to have enough flare and drama. Narcissa still cringed to think of the idiocracy that Lucius displayed when he gave the Weasleys the Merlin forsaken diary.

They had expected the mama bear matron to look into the contents but they seemed to have overestimated the Weasleys. Having seven children would do that to anyone.

Narcissa placed her hand on her flat stomach. Three stillborns and two crib deaths. That's what she had to go through before she was blessed with Draco. Narcissa removed her hand and placed her hand, one on top of the other as she watched the Healer fuss over Hermione.

She might not have been blessed with a plentiful children. But she'll be damned if she didn't make her daughter in law her own daughter. Maybe this was why the House of Malfoy is getting a Muggleborn daughter in law. The fresh blood. And by the looks of it, powerful.

Narcissa rose and sat next to Hermione, where she was made to lie down as the Healer took in Hermione's vitals. She clasped Hermione's hand, after the Healer left, and asked her softly, “You are not overwhelmed, are you?”

“Not exactly, Mrs Malfoy,” Hermione politely replied, as she panicked as calmly as possible.

“It's alright to panic. I rue the fact that Muggleborns, after being introduced to the society so late, are not guided through the things they should have known. One of the basic things being health,” Narcissa aired her thoughts out.

“And as days are passing, the chasp is enlarging instead,” Lucius murmured slowly enough to be heard.

Hermione turned to look at Mr Malfoy with curiosity. Wasn't he a Pureblood fanatic? The question must have been written all over her face because Narcissa stepped in to reply.

“My dear, not everything is as it looks. We have had our reasons. There are a lot of delicate balances that are ought to be maintained when one is magical. A lot of factors comes into play.”

“Then how do we learn these balances? There's nothing in the Hogwarts library about this,” a bitter note crept into Hermione's voice.

“The Malfoy family library is a great treasure for someone who places knowledge as such. I would love it if you could utilise the same. I could help you too,” Narcissa's eyes glint with hopefulness.

“Really?” Hermione beamed at Narcissa.

One mention of books and this girl is sold, Lucius tutted in his head. How she became a Gryffindor is beyond him. Oh, wait. She set Severus on fire. Yeah, so a brainy Gryffindor. One of the rarest of the rare.

“Please visit us during the holidays. I would really love it. Do tell me your parent's address and I will owl them myself,” Narcissa continued on. 

Hermione smiled without a restraint. If they were extending the olive branch, then she wouldn't act knuckleheaded and refuse this invite.


 

I am the least bit sorry for what happened.

Happened? You mean what you did.

It happened.

You made me a stunned Diricawl. I am useless. There could be anything happening to Granger and you made me bedridden!! Fucking bedridden and unconscious, you fucker.

Still not sorry. It happened for a reason.

You do know I was too young to transform. What is going to happen to me? To us?

It's a part of growing up.

That doesn't answer my question.

I'll be around.

That doesn't sound promising either.

Yeah, so we did have a couple more years together. I hastened and now it's going to be a grown up you with your mate.

Where will you be?

See, when we were given this job to train kiddos like you, we took it. We followed our instincts. We know nothing more.

So when I wake up, you'll be gone?

Ralph is still there in your father. I'll probably be still there after you wake up.

Ralph fades with maturity. This transformation was forced.

You'll probably be an amalgamation of us.

I don't know what to think of it.

Do you feel that?

Feel wha-- Granger! She's here.

Our girl is here. She's a bold one, I'll say.

This is exactly why she's a Gryffindor not a Ravenclaw. She gets what she wants.

I am glad she's our mate. She's so powerful, beautiful and that ass.

Djall…

I was there in your head that one trip to the bathroom during lunch right after Potion class ended. You had even messed your brew because you were staring about those two--

Okay, you can now fuck off.

I want to squeeze her ti--

Fuck off!

You're gonna miss me when I'm gone.


 

Chapter Text


 

He felt a tingle run through every part of his body. Then came the voices. His mother, his father, an unknown woman and… her.

Then the smell. His mouth watered as he took in her smell- today, she smelled more like roses than chocolates. Sugar and spice and everything nice

He had delayed it for as long as possible. he wanted to see his mate right now.

He slowly opened his eyes, blinking generously. A sharp gasp and soft footsteps moving away from him followed by two set of heavy and heavier footsteps. His parents and the Healer vacated his chamber, keeping his mate and him alone. It was almost funny how she didn't even realise what just happened.

“I'm glad you're here,” he said, his voice rough from not speaking for quite some time.

“Oh my God, Draco! You're awake. I should get the Healer,” Hermione exclaimed.

“Stay. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you called them a couple minutes later,” he tried to assure her.

He extended his hand and she clasped it automatically as if drawn to him like a moth to flame.

“You're a sight for sore eyes,” he said with a soft smile.

“You gave me such a scare! Don't you ever do that again!” Hermione whisper yelled at him, clutching his hand tighter.

“I am sorry. Forgive me?”

It was hard not to grab his head and kiss him silly with the way he was looking at her as he said it. There was a change in him. He looked at ease with himself. So content in his skin. Did he have some enlightening while he was out like a light?

He cocked his brow, a teasing smirk gracing his face.

She must have been sporting a stupid look by the looks of the amusement oozing off Draco.

“I forgive you. But please don't make this a habit. Harry and Ron are enough. I don't think I can bear to fret this much again. I was… I was so… scared. I can't… you looked so pale…”

She's hurting so bad.

That thought! He didn't think that! But it wasn't Djall either. What change is this?

He decided to think about this later; he needed to placate his girl first.

He pulled her towards himself, making her lying with half her body on him as she stood near his waist. She clutched his hospital robe and gave a silent sob.

Draco rubbed her back as she cried her stress and worry out. He kissed the top of her head, her temple to assure her. He clutched her tightly to his chest.

Still got to put that Bulgarian boy out of the way.

Was this how Djall's voice be manifested in his mind? Like a thought? A gut feeling?

Whatever it might be, it's more important to ease her now. She is the most important person in his life. Her welfare is the foremost thought.

He knew what he was going to do once he's back at school.

So deep in his thoughts, he didn't notice his parents and the Healer entering.

Lucius gave a soft tap with his cane on the floor.

“Father,” Draco uttered as soon as he heard the tap.

“I need to escort Miss Granger back to Hogwarts. It wouldn't do for her to be tardy,” Lucius said as he entered the private room where he had left his son with that... girl.

As much as he would have liked a well bred girl for his son, the demon had chosen and by the looks of his son, so had he. He could raise hell because of this; in the end, it'll all be for naughts.

They have chosen. And if he was being honest, he'd say the girl isn't that...unfortunate. Yes, sold at the mention of a library but that girl had a good head atop her shoulders. Given the times that are hinting to come, she could be their shield. He needs to proceed with caution and care. Extreme care.

O.O.O.O

Draco had never expected his father to have brought his mate here. Never in his wildest dream. Wildest nightmare, definitely. But his father and mother had done it. They had brought a Muggleborn willingly to their only son only because that would comfort him. He would have should the sentimentality of the gesture if he wasn't taught otherwise.

Hermione seemed comfortable around his mother; it seems mother must have outdone herself at making his...lady friend? There's that question. What are they? Companions? Mates? Lovers?

They are falling in love, they haven't still; they're on the way there. Not yet but soon. So girlfriend? Is that the proper tag for this relationship that they have? Are they even in agreement with what's is taking place?

Does it matter? It's all going to boil down being together till the sky burns down or this body does.

Djall... He's gone from his head but...he's still there. Or is he? Or it's just his latent poetic side showing itself after the trauma his body and mind went through?

No answer greeted him. So, his poetic side it is. Though he couldn't shake that feeling off- he still wasn't alone. It felt empty in his head...so did Djall just shifted? From his head to where? The higher thought process area of his head?

So many freaking questions. His head was getting dizzy with them all. He was spiralling when he felt a soft hand atop his hand.

"How are you feeling now, Draco?" she asked him.

He looked into her whiskey brown eyes and gave a small smile and a reply to assure her. He might have a thousand and one questions but one thing was clear like veritaserum- his life revolved around her now.

O.O.O.O

The advantage of being a Slytherin was that a Slytherin's news was exclusive to only those who sported the silver and green robes. So, his absence of a couple days wasn't even registered by any other Houses. His friends knew why he was missing, his Head of the House knew, his girlfriend knew, his parents knew… so his whole world knew. That's all that mattered to him.

But what irked him the most was the fact that this exclusiveness made some girls think they had the right to approach any guy. Like him.

As if.

Draco was a bit surprised when he came to the Great Hall and a Beauxbaton girl came to him, simpering in front of him- asking about his whereabouts as if she means something to him.

He had responded rather coolly. But that didn't stop her. She was looking and expecting more from him. This would not do.

His one look told his friends to not tag along with him when he left the Great Hall. As he left, he noticed from the corner of his eyes the disgusting girl follow him.

He has had his fill of sweet. It was time for the bitter sour treat of fear.

O.O.O.O

He didn't have to wait for more than a minute. The girl came up to him and clutched his hand in her's. Draco looked down at their joined hands and snatched his hand away.

“D’aco…”

He looked straight into the girl's eyes and snapped, “Who do you think you are? How dare you think you are worthy enough to stand beside me?"

"D’aco, I don't unde’stand. I was so wor’ied when I didn't see--"

"You are not supposed to worry about me. I have a mate for that," Draco snarled in her face.

Belle flinched as she took in how his cheeks shrunk in and his eyes changed into a illuminescent mercury silver. But most frighteningly, the ever attractive charm smell around him turned foul. His ethereal beauty, that glow that came from within withered away to reveal a rotting core.

Belle could swear he aged decades in a matter of moments. What scared her the most was not his suddenly changed appearance- it was that voice. Her mere was so right; otherworldly beauty hides a molted skinned demon.

To her horror, Draco Malfoy, the only heir of the richest family in all of England kept on speaking.

"I am soul bound to a beauty whose presence cleanses this mortal world's sins. You presume to think you can woo me away from her!" Draco snarled in her face. His pheromones made him smell like a cadaver to her; she slunk away from him further but he grabbed her hand and whispered in her face, "I will love you."

Suddenly that foul smell turned into a heady smell of leather and parchment. She looked up and him and stared at the face of an angel. "I will love you. If you hang down the ceiling like a fish hung by hooks out to dry."

She screamed and he pushed her down on the floor. She hit the cold floor hard and her survival instincts kicked in, making her run away from him- doesn't matter if she has to crawl away.

Tsk-tsk-tsk. Showing her back to the predator. Our girl would have fought tooth and nail. Oh, we know. She would have hexed her into the next week.

Poor Belle never saw the soft white light hit her.

O .O.O.O

Hermione had seen how he was agitated by the continuous hounding of the girl from Beauxbaton. When he left the Great Hall without eating, she knew he was utterly pissed off. That damn boy had a fast pace along with a set of long legs. She couldn't quite spot him when she heard a girly shout.

'Did he end up hexing the girl?'

Hermione ran towards the sound and was met with the sight of a girl sprawled at Draco's feet.

"Are you quite alright, Miss?" Draco asked the girl in light blue uniform as he extended his hand to help her up.

"Oui, s'il vous plait," the girl answered.

"De rein," Draco replied with a tight but polite smile.

"Everything alright?" Hermione asked, approaching the two slowly.

Draco turned to her and flashed her a thousand watt smile. She stood there transfixed for a moment or two as she watched him glow in the happiness that her presence brought.

"Hey, didn't see you there," he said, moving towards her.

"I came here just now," Hermione replied.

The girl dusted herself softly and walked away with a small wave of her hand.

"Who was that?" Hermione asked, looking at the petite French beauty walking away.

"No one of importance. Unfortunate enough to slip and fall at my feet. Mortifying, to be honest," Draco replied with a smirk, nudging her shoulder with his.

Hermione laughed. "Come on, we're getting late for lessons."

"See you later," Draco said, quickly slipping in a kiss on her cheek.

"See you," Hermione replied, her cheek painted with a healthy dose of red. Damn him for smelling so good. And being so handsome. And chivalrous. And loving. And...

O.O.O.O

 

Chapter Text


If he was being honest, he didn't know how he ended up there. He remembers being hungry but not those pangs in his stomach. He was hungry for something more. He just didn't know what.

He had munched on his favourite sweet dishes- still nothing. He even resorted to getting some food from the kitchen. But nothing abated this hungry. He was craving for something more. He didn't know what…

He didn't realize it until a girl giggled and simpered around him after the last class of the day. He was planning to go and meet Hermione. Maybe being near her would solve this problem. She more often than not was the solution to any problem of his. 

But the other part of him was attracted to this girl like a moth to a flame. He watched her talk to him hut hearing nothing. She placed her hand on his cloak covered bicep and batted her eyes at him, even bit her bottom lips. She was speaking some more, her tone changed, pitch too. But for the life in him, he could not discern what she was saying.

When she looked at him from under her eyelashes, he simply nodded at her. She beamed and grabbed his hand and pulled him somewhere. He walked along like a man ensnarled.

When they were in the abandoned classroom- doors locked for privacy, the girl smiled at him and walked towards him with a satisfied glint in her eyes.

She's fertile. She's ripe. She'll do.

'No,’ Draco thought as his face turned into a quizzical scowl, 'she won't do. I already have a she who's mine.’

Draco didn't realise when he had started to breath deeply as if he wanted the smell to be imprinted into his body. But he did not want that smell. It was wrong. It was not Hermione. But he still wanted it. 

What sort of war was raging inside him? 

The girl removed her cloak and loosened her tie. He watched but to him it felt as if he was having an out of body experience. He was watching everything his body was doing, not him. Why would he be in the making out classroom of the second floor with someone who's not Hermione?

Then why wasn't he stopping his body from… soiling himself? 

He didn't know. 

The girl made a sultry move with her hips and walked towards him. She went to him, standing flush against him. She removed his cloak and loosened his tie, pulling it off him to discard it nearby. She pulled out his shirt from where it was tucked in and started unbuttoning it- running her finger over the exposed skin. She stooped down, starting to kiss the Adonis body of his from the waist to his neck, leaving a trail of her adoration on him.

The more she kissed, the more he felt as if he was coming back to himself.

She said something again and shot a smirk at him but he was incoherent still. She kissed his neck and her earlobe. Pulling him down by his collar, she placed her lips on his. 

'This is not happening!’ Draco shouted, having gained enough consciousness to protest, ‘I do not want this! I don't! I don't! I don't!’ 

Sluggishly, Draco pushed weakly at the girl's shoulders trying to distance himself from her. The girl assumed he was trying to hold her shoulders, so she tried to deepen the kiss- running her tongue along the seam of his closed lips. 

Draco jerked out of her reach. “I'm sorry. I can't. I have a girlfriend!”

“Oh my Merlin! Why didn't you tell me before, you pig!” The girl exclaimed moving away from him.

“Sorry, sorry, sorry!” Draco babbled as he tried to run from there. He couldn't run, he couldn't guess why; he tried to run as best his lead like legs allowed him. 

In the end, it looked to poor Penelope that a super drunk boy trying to escape from the make out classroom. The way he struggled with the lock on the door… she sighed. That's why this bugger didn't reply to anything she did! This stupid seventh year guy was drunk!!

She took pity on him and shot an Alohomora at the door. He had even forgotten how to use his wand. Merlin have mercy, at least they hadn't gone all the way. It would have been so mortifying to have sex with a guy who didn't even remember who he was. Purebloods really need to spread their branches. Their madness is becoming evident. Eww…


Draco needed to find his girlfriend. And fast. 

He took a detour in the second floor girl washroom. He could not… would not let Hermione see the evidence of how he almost… cheated on her. Merlin, he still couldn't believe he let that… Draco shivered with disgust.

He hadn't even Oblivated this girl like he had done with that Beauxbaton girl.

What if she spills?

He needed help. But first Hermione.


She had planned to go to the library for some referencing. That theory that Professor McGonagall taught had a couple complex bits that needed some research for a better understanding. She wasn't even halfway there when a hand grabbed her and pulled her into the disused corridor near the Transfiguration classroom.

Draco usually was the one who pulled such antics so she didn't fret but pulled out her wand. Better safe than sorry. She wasn't a bullying survivor for nothing.

But the alluring smell of leather, parchment and faint wafts of petrichor assured her it was Draco- though why he was mimicking an octopus was another mystery to solve.

“Oh, girl, I need you,” Draco moaned in her ears.

It did make that girly part of her persona squeal out in her head that her boyfriend missed her so badly but she tried to control that. She's Hermione Granger and she doesn't melt into a puddle just because her boyfriend is being extra romantic. 

Then he pulled her shirt from where it was tucked in into her skirt and deftly slipped his hands under her shirt. She sighed. The feeling on his fingers on her never failed to calm that inane distress in her. It always feels as her whole body was yearning his touch and she realises that only when he touches her.

He kissed her and she deepened the kiss. She wanted all of him. Right now.

Draco tried to say something as they kissed, pulling away mid kiss- a string of saliva stretching between them until it finally broke.

“Corridor. We need… room. Need room,” Draco tried to say as eloquently as possible. His brain was lacking blood flow, you see.

Transfiguration classroom corridor, a left turn and...and that… aha! 

Hermione grabbed his hand which was roaming all over her and trotted to that particular abandoned classroom where she did her extra assignments when she wanted some secluded time for just her studies and herself.

Hermione hadn't realised she hadn't placed her wand to her pocket; it was still in her left hand. Without anymore thought, she opened the classroom door having put her special lock ward on it. She walked in with him and she barely had time to shut the door when Draco pushed her against the door, her wand clattering down on the floor.

He was kissing her like his life depended on it whilst he started undress himself, unbuttoning his shirt. When his fingers fussed over a stubborn button, he simply ripped his shirt off him.

Hermione gasped on hearing the sound of tear and pulled away, breathing deeply as she looked how Draco carelessly threw his shirt on the floor. But his eyes fixated on her. His pupils were blown wide, the grey of his iris barely visible. His face sporting a satisfied grin.

“Your turn,” he pointed at her shirt.

Hermione stepped closer, running her hand on his bare torso. Her fingers running over his chest with feather light touches. Starting from his collar, his pectorals, then his sternum- the fine hair there, following that trail down his firm stomach where the rest of the trail disappeared into his trousers.

Hermione's eyes flicked up to his, taking in the way he was looking at her exploration of him. He smiled at her- not his usual sweet smile. This one was different; it was so heated and full of passionate promise.

“I want to see you,” he implored.

Hermione's hands flew up to the top most button without any delay. She started unbuttoning her shirt quickly and then shrugged it off her shoulders.

Draco's eyes roved over her tawny skin with slight freckles all over. Her small breast encased in a soft pink…

“What's that?”

“It's…” Hermione covered her chest with her forearm and rubbed her upper arm awkwardly, “it's a training bra.”

“What are you training them for?”

Hermione's mouth twitched, “To be good boobs.”

Draco smirked at her and stared her a covered breast, “They're good girls. They don't need no training. Let them be young and free.”

Hermione couldn't stop the giggle and in their state of various undress, they both started laughing.

Draco embraced her, hands running over her back, side-- yeah, he was being an octopus. Sue him.

“You're perfect. I don't know how I'll ever get over the fact that I have a future with you,” Draco murmured in her ear as he kissed her ear lobe and the place right below it.

“Aren't, oh! we too… ah! Too young to...yes! contem--ah!--plate future?” Hermione tried to articulate without letting the sudden moans from his administerings hinder her ability of speech.

Draco chuckled as he placed open mouth kisses on her neck, “You're my future.”

Hermione simply hugged him tighter in response. And ran her hand over his back. She had a faint idea how beautiful her boyfriend was going to become in the coming years. She might even have to stave off girls for him.

Hermione kissed him, wrapping her hands around his neck.

Her boyfriend.


That evening after spending the whole afternoon with her, Draco was lying on his bed alongside his friends around him- their usual way of having a meeting.

“So you don't know that girl's name?” Daphne asked. 

“No.”

“And you don't even remember how she looks like?” Pansy confirmed. 

“No.”

“Not even the House?” Theo enquired.

“No.”

“How did she smell like?” Blaise probed.

“Bad.”

“You are not helping us, Draco!” Daphne spoke sharply.

“I was in a… I can only describe it as a trance. I don't even remember what happened except she smelled wrong and I told something or did something. Then I ran to clean up because her smell was on my mouth and then I grabbed Hermione and made out with her. She's very beautiful. And sexy. She does this thing with her tongue when we kis---”

“Lalalalalalaa, not hearing it!” Theo shouted as he put his fingers on his ears.

“Aww,” Daphne cooed at him.

“We don't need details, Drake,” Pansy said dispassionately.

Draco shrugged.

“She's good, huh?” Blaise leered.

Draco looked at his childhood friend with darkening eyes which slowly became ebony black. Then rolled his eyes and then stared at the canopy of his bed.

“What should do now?” Pansy asked, trying to get the agenda for the meeting going.

“Keep girls away from this jerk and get him hitched to Granger,” Blaise answered, not fazed by his friend's supernatural display of irritation. He's sat on him as he tried to go full Incubus on the world. He can take darkening eyes any day.

“And find that unknown girl. Spread your network and try to figure her out, maybe,” Theo suggested.

“Is it just me or this bespectacled guy becoming more smart everyday?” Daphne said adoringly as she pulled Theo for a kiss.

Pansy scrunched up her nose at their not so public display of affectionate and Blaise barely batted an eye at their weirdness. Draco quirked a small smirk at their emotions. Like munching on a chocolate frog after a heavy, delicious, rich lunch feast.

Hermione really is a fulfilling for his mind, body and soul. 

‘I knows right…Hey!’


There was word going around the house of Snakes that no girl should approach the heir of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Malfoys all by themselves. The young heir didn't appreciate it. It made some students were sour over the authority that the family held on the Hogwarts House and some were awed for the very same reason. 

Such was power and the shine it brought with itself.

Yes, he was too young to be hit on by elder girls- regardless of their age. But he was a perfect suitor. Rich, young, influential. Yes, there was a word out to not approach the Malfoy heir without permission but chances always favoured the bold and brave.

He did have an entourage of friends who always hovered around him and then there were the two trolls in shape of human of bodyguards.

They'll wait for a chance. Life always gives a lot of chances. It's only a matter of brains to know when to use those opportunities. So they waited.


Young master Draco seemed troubled, Dumbledore noted as he took his seat in the Great Hall for breakfast.

He had heard that the sudden inane attraction people have developed for the young heir. He had also heard how he resented that and had done his best to stave off the attention away.

He didn't have long. Something ominous was brewing in the horizon. His old bones could attest to that. He needed to act fast. And soon.

He needed to have a calm chat with Lucius Abraxas Malfoy.


He was supposed to be glad that he got a break from training for the length of their stay at this foreign school. If Viktor was being honest, he actually missed his regime. The rushing of wind as he swooped down or chased a Snitch at the risk of his life… that thrill is something not quite duplicable.

He had heard and read so much about the Triwizard Tournament but seeing how it actually goes about, he regretted that someone else wasn't the Champion of Durmstrang. Well, on the brighter side he got a new friend who wasn't blinded by fame and didn't fawn over him just because he was good at flying and catching a Snitch.

People thought he had a crush on the younger, brilliant girl. He admitted her, true. But it had more to do how much she reminded of his little sister. And given how no boy asked her out for the Yule Ball (spineless, stupid boys ), he thought better him than anyone else who could ask her out as their last resort.

Then he found out she had a secret special friend. Given how he was from a Traditional family, he couldn't ask her out like that. Hermione had showed him who her special friend was but he was yet to meet the boy in person.

Viktor wanted to share this with his girl so badly. Irina was a sucker for romantic tales as such. It was unfortunate that she couldn't come with the entourage. At least she could fawn over this young would be couple in letters.

He didn't realize he had walked out of his known path around the school. He looked around and didn't recognise where he was standing. He heard a girl's voice coming the room at the end of the corridor and went there.

Only it wasn't a classroom but a bathroom. And it was a ghost of a young girl.

Which school keeps a ghost of a dead young student floating around?! This school was crazy!

But the way she was sniffing, his stupid soft heart decided to be sympathetic to her.

Maybe some kind words could…

‘Thanks, Mama. For a raising such a bleeding heart that your boy is now deciding how he should comfort a ghost girl.’


He came out of the girls’ toilet with too much information about everything he didn't need to know.

Except one thing.

Hermione's special friend had a liaison with someone.

Apparently, the gho-- Myr-- Mir?-- Mirtell?-- is a big time eavesdropper and a world class gossip. And she had solid information that Draco Malfoy went to a make out classroom with someone and he came out running out of there.

And he had come to wash of the evidence of his hot blooded decisions in Mirtell's bathroom.

She was telling on the blond because he didn't greet her.

He wouldn't let a pureblood spoilt boy ruin love for his little English sister. He needed to have a talk with this boy. Soon.


Now that the hunger is satiated, the contender to our claim on Hermione needs to be dealt with. Soon.

Draco agreed with the thought in his head. Djall, the demon spirit, was gone but thoughts… those thoughts were them. For they are one now- the man and the demon. They just needed to grow up to fully become they are destined to be.


 

Chapter Text


Viktor had kept his ear to the ground and surprisingly it gave him a lot of information that he didn't know where he could use them. True, if he were a student at Hogwarts, it would have been a different matter- as a Durmstrang ward he knew exactly how important information was. After all, Durmstrang was advanced Slytherin school; you have less than Slytherin, more than Slytherin, just like Slytherin and then there were the emotional Slytherin. But vipers, the whole lot. So the information he had glean so far concluded only one thing- this Malfoy brat was a walking talking contradiction. He had finally found out that Malfoy indeed had a hanky panky with a girl who wasn't Hermione. It had amused him when he had found his own schoolmate, Penelope had hit on Malfoy thinking he was a seventh year guy. Poor Penelope, she still shuddered thinking she went after an under-aged guy.

What was irking Viktor was the fact that Draco cheated, almost cheated, on his little sister. He couldn't sit quiet. But he couldn't be tactless about it either. Heart breaks silently, though the pain can make the strongest person whimper. He had to go about this some other way.

He is a seeker. He knows to wait and observe and win the match.

He can do that.


 

So he might have found out about his girlfriend's inane desire to fight for the rights of the elves. When he first heard about it from his house mates, he had honestly scoffed it off. But Blaise just smirked at him smugly and told him to check it out, pulling out a freaking badge with S.P.E.W written on it.

“You are joking, right? This is an elaborate joke for what the troubles I give you, right?” Draco said as he rubbed his thumb over the pesky hideous badge. He could feel her magical aura on it clearly. But he wanted confirmation tha--

“It is not a joke. She's really doing it. Two Sickles a badge, the funding going towards the making of even more hideous hats to, hear this, free the elves,” Blaise explained, pulling out a hand knitted hat.

Draco groaned. “I am dreaming.”

“No, you’re not. She's truly a champion for the underdogs. You should really milk it,” Theo suggested with a wriggle of his eye brows.

“I don't want to come off rude but Lord Malfoy didn't exactly treat Dobby well. Merlin knows what all has Dobby told about his treatment from Lord Malfoy. Then you have Winky. Granger got enough evidence to support the...elves.” Pansy wrinkled her nose, the thought disgusting her.

“Why do I have to look into this?” Draco groaned, rubbing his face.

Theo and Daphne merely looked at him, trying to glare into action.

“Obviously, it’s your job,” Blaise began, “she’s your girlfriend, not mine.”

“I don’t want to rain on her ball,” Draco said, not getting up from the bed.

“She’s making a fool out of herself! Later on in life, I do not want to face a situation where I’ll stand next to future Mrs Malfoy and be introduced as the friend of the crazy elf lady!” Daphne screeched, “Besides, she’s becoming the laughing stock of three schools! Right next to the Weasley clowns. Do something or else I’ll have to take some drastic actions!”

Draco removed his hands away from his face and looked at Daphne and asked, “Oh, yeah? What actions will you take? What actions can you dare to take?”

Daphne moved a step forward to stare down at Draco, “I will vanish every handy work of hers. I’ll order the elves to actually bring ruin to her. Would that suit you, incubus supreme?”

Draco seethed, his lips twitching to bare his teeth at her. But even he knew she was absolutely right. He couldn’t let her make a fool of herself. She needed help desperately.


 

“That’s what they’ve been doing it for thousands of years! Of course, they’ll think it is right, Draco. This is why we need to change it,” Hermione explained when Draco tried to get Hermione off the case of house elves.

They had managed to evade people and arrive at their rendezvous site. Draco had added his touch by throwing in a comfy pillows and a nice fluffy blanket and a carpet, just because he can. 

“Hermione, I am not saying they’ve been made to think like their only purpose in life is to serve folks with magic. I am saying that's what they do. They leech our magic to feed themselves. In a way, they are paying themselves for the service they provide!” Draco had finally managed to get his point across in the half an hour ‘conversation’ they’ve been having. Girl got really passionate about house elves.

“But they are mistreated, Draco! I am trying to make people understand this. I get that they like working for us because of the give and take of magic but they are mistreated because of their dependency on us! Look at Dobby, look at Winky. Everyone was fleeing that place- you were there with me.”

She had become so agitated and so excited. She was passionately trying to explain the wrong doings done on the house elves. Her hair seemed to wither slowly from all the build-up energy in that tiny body. She is so marvellous.

And all his.

“Winky couldn’t even run to safety because she did not have the orders! Orders! Does she not the right to self-preservation?! I know for a reason that Mr Malfoy made Dobby iron his hands! How about someone orders me and tells me to iron my hands because I’ve displeased that person? Let’s assume Professor McGonagall does that because we didn’t submit our homework and that displeased her! Then what, Draco?” She glared at him, getting up and putting her hands on her hip.

Draco grabbed her hand and pulled her to sit next to him, “I am not telling it is wrong to fight for them. I am telling you you’re going about it in the wrong way. It’s an ingrained thing- this…this tendency of ours to take house elves for granted. Purebloods like us, we’ve grown up with house elves working for us,” Draco extended his hand to move a rebellious tendril of lock away from her face, “Mother has a crew of five house elves to help with housekeeping only. Then we have the gardens, the kitchen, and the land. This is just for Malfoy Manor. And we have quite a number of houses, estates.”

Hermione opened her mouth to protest again, he leaned forward and kissed the tip of her nose. “Uh-uh. Let me finish first. Yeah, so what I was trying to tell you before you distracted me,” Hermione slapped his arm softly, “Ouch, abuse, woman. I’ll need a badge for myself. Society To Prevent Abuse on Charming Boyfriends- S.T.P.A.C.B. St. PacB.” Hermione slapped his arm with force now. “Still a better name than S.P.E.W. You do know what it spells, right?”

Hermione raised her hand to slap his arm again, but he grabbed her hand and pulled her closer still. So close that he could count the freckles on the bridge of her nose. He placed a chaste kiss on her lips.

“I am with you on this. But take it from a Slytherin, these sort of things needs a subtle hand. You are acting like a Hippogryff in a china shop. You even scared the house elves into boycotting the Gryffindor tower from cleaning,” he said gently.

Hermione frowned, “Then who’s cleaning the tower and taking all the hats I knit?”

“Dobby.”

“He is the one who is cleaning the whole tower?!”

“Unfortunately, yes.”

Hermione whined 'no'.

“That’s how it is, love,” he wrapped his arms around her in a tight embrace.

He nuzzled the soft skin of her neck, placing kisses over it gently; it wouldn't do to leave behind hickeys now. 

She'll soon sport our bite. Hickeys fade with time, our mark won't.

Draco agreed with that thought silently.

 Soon.

“So it’s back to square one,” Hermione murmured dejectedly into his chest.

“Well, at least now we’re both there. Together,” Draco replied, pecking her lips again.

 He could feel her smile.

Trouble averted momentarily. Now, they’ll make out like the randy teens that they are.


 She loved kissing Draco, hands down. He had a perfect set of lips for kissing. And boy was damn good at it. It used to be just innocent pecks and closed mouth kisses.

 Now Hermione feels a blush forming as she tried to thinking all that they have done. He's so sinful. And all her's.

 He slipped his hand under her shirt, caressing her back and then firmly mapping every inch he can get his hands on.

 He parted from her mouth and dipped towards her neck to kiss her there. He knew how she liked it. Her understanding and loving prat.

 She ran her fingers through his flaxen hair, nails against his scalp. Her other hand clutching his shirt in her fist, pulling him closer to her.

 She was floating and that pleasant buzz spread through her entire body, tingling down to her toes. And slowly, she became lax in his arms.

 He's so comfortable and he smells so good. She could feel her breathing slow down; the tension in her shoulders edging away. Sleep creeping in like a lethargic tortoise. She didn't dare to yawn as he mouthed at the edges of her bra.

 When did he unbutton her shirt? He lapped lightly with his tongue and she shuddered.

 Who cares? She's home. She decided to take a nap in his arms. Yes, he'll do.


 Draco knew something was wrong when she reacted to his kisses and nibbles a little too slow. The moans were no longer audible to him. He would have found out what's wrong if he could move his damn head away from her sweet sweet body. Which he was failing massively at.

 It was only when she went completely limp, head lolling back that he could move away from her and see what was wrong.

 His girl looked pale and looked like she was having restless sleep. Did she just fall asleep in the middle of…

 Draco frowned at her, he put his cheek against her forehead and noticed it didn't have the fever heat. He placed his ear above her sternum… holy Merlin, he could barely hear her heartbeat. It was a good time to panic now.


 Viktor was just roaming around- the castle of Hogwarts was unlike Durmstrang castle; it eluded warmth and friendliness. Plus it kept his fan girls and fan boys confused regarding his whereabouts so win-win.

 It hadn’t been more than half an hour when he came across that blond from Slytherin- ah! Right, his little English sister’s cheating beau. His temper shot up again. Why that sneaky little spoilt rat!

 But in the end moment, he caught himself back. That brat was running with an unconscious Hermyown-e in his arms. That boy looked panicked and his sister didn’t look too well either.

 Viktor made to ran after that boy but held himself back. Any confrontation now will only cause delay for her. Tomorrow. He'll catch that little ferret tomorrow.

 Viktor's lips twitched at the insult he thought. Who didn't know about that incident? Even a visitor like him knew, thanks to the running joke amongst the rival houses.

 He should rather get a basket of goodies for Hermy- Dear Merlin, he’ll call her vrabche. Yes, it suits her just fine- she's small, short, flighty with a sweet voice. Little vrabche.

 And someone hurt his little bird.


 Oh the observations that he concluded as he watched his godson panic. He had completely ruined his hair by running his fingers through them over and over again. Draco was pacing in the small chamber of the Potion Master as he tried his best to make his godfather and house head understand how important that girl's health and wellbeing was to him.

 “Poppy would have a better choice for you, Draco,” Severus commented as he waved his wand over the unconscious girl, checking her vials.

 “I can't get her there. But you can!” Draco told him as he extended his hand to touch her forehead.

 Severus saw the darting hand and slapped it away.

 Draco visibly hissed at him, only for Severus to snarl and bare his teeth back at the teen. Draco jerked his head back and titled his head a little to the left.

 “Your constant touching will drain her energy. Exhausted to death would not just be a phrase then,” Severus explained, trying not to be harsh while Draco was so agitated.

 Draco sat down on a cushioned chair next to the bed where Hermione was lying.

 “Why aren't you doing something?”

 “I am. I am stopping you from touching her. Giving her a Pepper Up would only help temporarily. It’ll be beneficial for her to recover this...energy leech normally while you have a talk with your father,” Severus fixed a look at him.

 “While I have a talk with father?” Draco questioned.

 The Floo whooshed and out came Lucius Malfoy, his wand flicking to get the soot off his robe.

 “You called father?” Draco asked Severus indignantly.

 “Draco, boy, I am really not going to give you a lesson to...curb your...sexual urges. Fathers are there for a reason. Godfather will hide the dead body but father will teach you why it is not right to leave bodies behind your wake,” Severus turned to Lucius and the two grasped each other’s forearm in greeting, giving a small shake, “The Firewhisky is in its usual spot.”

 “I appreciate it,” Lucius answered with a nod.

 “I have the task at head. But I am sure I would enjoy a drink after finishing grading assignments submitted by dunderheads,” Severus rolled his eyes.

 “I will try not to impose upon you much,” Lucius replied.

 Severus nodded again and retired to his study. Unlike what the general populace thought about him having made the Potions lab his home, his quarter was just that- quarter. A small sitting area with a fireplace for Malfoy family drama to unfold, a study attached with his bedroom for Snape to escape from the said drama.


Lucius took his seat on the Ottoman wingback that was his favourite while his son sat on the velvet green mid nineteenth century Victorian Rococo loveseat. Lucius knew his furniture- this happened when you’re married to the woman who had impeccable taste of décor. 

Draco was fidgeting- not really. But he was his father, he knew his ticks. Draco had clenched his fist four times now, changed legs while crossing them twice and scratched his head for quite some time now- all in the span of five minutes. Yes, he had hoped Draco would have calmed down but time was not helping them. Lucius had not expected it to come down to this.

 “I assume you’ve been so distracted by Miss Granger that you forgot your...restrain,” Lucius began.

 How dare you speak to us like that!

 This is my father.

 “I will always be distracted by her. That doesn’t resolve this!” Draco points to the other couch where Hermione was sleeping soundlessly.

 “Well, if you don’t you’ll drain all her energy. Now this energy is something that comprises of energy to function and to perform magic. It’s like emptying a small pond that’s fed by a slow brook. If you drain everything all at once, the flora and fauna in the pond will die because the refilling time is too long. You get where I am going with this, Draco?”

Draco remained silent, looking at the sleeping girl.

“You will kill her if you continue this,” Lucius continued.

Draco looked genuinely upset and guilty.  

“What should I do?” Draco asked as he looked at her sleeping form.

 Hermione made a little noise of discontent and Draco shot out of the couch. It was a statement of his strength that Lucius was able to grasp his son by his shoulders and push him back down.

 Merlin knows a desperate Incubus can tear him into two for not letting him tend to his mate's discomfort.

 “Father, let me go!” Draco looked at him with obsidian eyes, cheeks already shrinking in.

“You touch her and she'll deteriorate. Control yourself, son!” Lucius couldn't help the second voice from leaking in into his normal voice- the Incubus speech.

“She needs me!” He implored his father, his iris less eyes begging him to let go.

“She needs her heartbeat more.”

 Draco whimpered. He audibly did. The bond between his son and his mate had grown very strong in just a year.

 Lucius had to ask about his demon. Djall was strong enough to assert himself and he did whatever necessary to teach. Then where is he now?

 Despite being a father, asking about their demon was an extremely personal thing. Demons took offense on it. Otherwise… he's got to ask.

“Son, what happened to Djall? You never said…”

“I don't know, dad. He just he stopped talking,” Draco said sadly.

“After that incident?”

“Yes.”

“Not a peep?” Lucius couldn't believe it. His demon is still there. Deep down, silent and dormant. Never truly gone. A second presence that will probably won't die even when his body has perished.

“Sometimes I get these really dark thoughts.”

 Hermione whimpered again just as Severus emerged from his 'cave’.

 “Lucius, Draco, I think your presence is disturbing complete rest for Miss Granger. You are draining her still. Leeching to be exact but…”

 Lucius nodded and got up, placing a hand on his son's shoulder, “We should take it outside. The weather seems breezy; it would do us some good.”

 It simply felt as if Lucius was just trying to pull a stick off the tar without magic. A stick with blonde hair on top.

 “Draco, you’re being unnecessarily difficult. You're really bent on killing her, huh?” Lucius snapped.

 Draco turned to glare at his father.

 “Take it from me; there's nothing worse than the mere notion of losing the mate. I almost lost Narcissa to childbirth. Take it from me, son.”

His father sounded so…broken right there. “Let’s go out, father.”

The corridor where Severus’ chambers were had a beautiful view of the lake, a light breeze often flowing there.

“Son, when—” Lucius began only to be cut off by Draco.

“Father, do we really need to talk about this?”

“Yes, we do. If your demon had been here, this situation would have never arose. Can’t trust anyone for anything these day,” Lucius grumbled. “Do you know how hard it is not to drain your mother?”

Draco put his hands against his head, “I am not listening. Bumbly bee went buzzing in the fuzz of the bluzt of the—”

“Stop singing that nursery rhyme right now!”

“I do not want to know what mum and you do! As far as I know, a phoenix gifted me to mum. That’s it.”

“You’re being childish! You have to listen to me. Do you want her to die? Do you even realise how... How you'll survive if your mate.... mate... dies?” Lucius’ voice broke at the end.

Draco had never this sentimental side of his father.

“Your mate is the most precious thing in your life; she is an angel and a siren all at once,” Lucius continued. “She gives you sustenance but the problem is you can't stop and if you can't stop… You will always have to stop yourself.”

“I feel so hungry all the time,” Draco added gently.

“I still struggle with stopping myself. Your mother has to stay in bed some days,” Lucius sighed deeply. “The older you get, the harder it gets. That's why I thought I was a good thing to support the Death Eaters. The emotions brewing in any meeting sufficed my hunger. But now... It has become the albatross around my neck.”

“Dad…”

“And your mother and you are paying the prices for it.”

Draco moved towards and hugged his father. A rare hug shared by the father son duo.

“What should I do?” Draco murmured.

“Stay around severe drama. Places where emotions run high. Maybe sometimes even create a chaos. You chose. But control yourself around the girl, enjoy her attention bur don't steal them.”

Draco nodded.

“You're my good boy. Make me proud.” Lucius ruffled Draco’s hair lightly. A rare show of affection. Draco smiled at his father.

“If you’re quite done…” Severus poked his head out of the doorway. “I’ve managed to send Miss Granger to the hospital on the pretence of over exhaustion. Please don’t go there until after curfew. I’ll escort you myself.”

“Thank you, uncle.”

“Now off you go, be normal,” Severus shooed Draco away and went up to Lucius.

“You are such a bitch,” Lucius cursed at Severus, watching his son go into the chambers one last time and coming out with a Gryffindor tie, dragging his feet away reluctantly.

“Perfectly fit for your jerk self,” Severus deadpanned. “The drink awaits, you pompous peacock.”

“The boot awaits your arse, you overgrown bat,” Lucius smirked.

Severus sniffed and walked away into his chamber, his cloak billowing behind him.

‘Some friend he has,’ Lucius thought fondly, the cane tapping softly on the stone floor.

 


 

Chapter Text

 


 

It wasn’t that she didn’t know there was something really weird about her boyfriend. She did. But she had always chalked it up to the…inbreeding. History knows what it does. So he’s a little too quirky? He’s her boyfriend. And after three years of bad blood, one year of unlikely friendship and a year of being in a relationship, she can clearly say they’re going rather strong.

If he had wanted to humiliate her-yes, Hermione Granger has seen her share of teen movies- he could have done so ages back. But he didn’t. He could have made a spectacle; he had ample opportunities. But he didn’t, so she trusts him. She’s always been a little wary but he makes her feel safe. He feels like home. 

But this nagging voice in the back of her animal mind kept screaming at her to take flight when he walked towards her with a warm smile. She knew better than to ignore that voice. Gut feelings, no matter how underrated they are, they hold importance in her life. It had told her about the fishiness of Professor Quirrel, it had told her about the Basilisks, the furriness of Professor Lupin and now they told her about the predatory aura of her boyfriend. It made her want to ask questions about who Draco actually is. 

But doesn’t she know who he is? He is the only son of the Malfoys, pampered to death by his mum, young shoulders already burdened with expectations. A bratty, snarky guy who thinks the world of her. A wonderful kisser and a considerate person. He didn’t try to let her walk over him but didn’t try to dominate her either.

He listened to her! Hallelujah! And they have discussions about everything under the sun. The things he didn’t know about, he was eager to learn. He had turned into the perfect guy who was bound to impress her parents if she introduced him to them.

Then why was she still waiting for something to happen? Something to mess up this peace. Like she was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Maybe, this weekend she’ll have a nice ‘hypothetical’ discussions about their relationship. That should satiate her overactive mind.

Now back to following the daily routine Madam Pomfrey had set for her given the episode of passing out from exhaustion. Hermione groaned into her hands; she had passed out in the middle of making out!

She would never be able to live it down. Draco was an absolute gentleman for not teasing her about it. He had looked so genuinely panicked and frightened out of his mind.

Poor dear.


 

Draco was at war with himself. Whenever he's hunger rose, he found the girls flocking to him like flies around sweets. 

Only if he could swat all of these annoying waste of space. 

He chose the best option- he ran to have some private time with his girlfriend. It wasn't always necessary for him to make out with her. Just being in her presence soothed his ache.

He loved making out with her. Everything about her called to him, called to every baser need in him. He wanted her so badly, he wanted— our venom to run in her vei -- where in the world did that thought come from? 

Shaking his head as if to dislodge the thought from his head, Draco decided firmly that he would not make out with her. He’ll just be around her. Later, he would go annoy some Gryffindors or stir something up between the Durmstrang and Beauxbaton and enjoy the unrest.

Of late, this was yet another problem he's been facing. The urge to bite Hermione. She would dump his fangy self and run for the hills if she knew what went through his mind as she kissed him.

Draco sighed, reliving what it felt like to feel her soft, plump lips slide against his lips, wetted by his tongue. The feel of her delicate skin in the crook of her neck against his mouth as he kissed her there.

She always shivered when he nuzzled her there. Her light giggle and squirming and…and… the throb of her jumping pulse making his gum ache with the need to sink his fangs into her, the mating mark scarring her neck as he rutted into--  

Fuck! That thought again! No mating marks before we’re both on the same page! I don’t know where I am getting this thought from but know this, this is a consensual thing! Because I respect her and fear her. I don’t want to be hexed all the way to Sunday. So shut the fuck up!!

Yeah, so back to daydreaming about his hot girlfriend. If she knew how much of a pervert he was, she might punch some features off his face. That's more accurate; his girlfriend was fire incarnate. He'd be lying if he didn't say that fire of hers makes an exciting tingle run down his spine. 

“Hello, Master Malfoy, fancy finding you here?” Hermione broke into his musings. 

“Ah, it's a pleasant surprise seeing you here, Miss Granger,” Draco smirked; he wanted to push her against the wall and…and kiss her silly, when she called him Master. It does funny things to him. 

Hermione beamed at him and sat next to him, wrapping her arms around him in a tight embrace. His response of embracing her back was a muscle memory now. Around her, he was the sweetest person he could be. This girl made him feel .


 

Draco was taking a leisurely stroll that evening when he was grabbed by his collar and shoved roughly against the wall by… none other than Viktor fucking Krum.

“What are you trying to do to my vrabche?” Krum growled in Draco’s face.

“Excuse me!” Draco was seeing red as soon as the possessiveness of the sentence hit him.

“You are handsy with other girls!” Krum gave Draco a short shove, “And you… you be intimen with moyata sestra! You dare!”

“Who the fuck are you talking about?!” Draco hissed at him.

“Her-mio-knee!”

Draco heard white noise after that. He tried not to have any problem with Krum, given how he sniffed after his girl. He had noticed that!

All because he knew what Hermione felt for Krum. But Krum had gone over his limits by calling her his . Draco could feel his surroundings starting to smell rancid and acidic and he was seeing red. He couldn’t manage to keep that smirk off his face.

It felt good to be free once again.

. . .

Viktor watched as the younger guy undergo a startling change- the cheeks shrinking in, the face becoming gaunt and sharper, the pallor of the skin becoming so pale that it looked sickly, the eyes developing dark circles underneath. The most shocking change was the whites of the eyes getting swallowed by a tar black viscous…something.

Viktor flinched back, taking his hands off Malfoy and wisely, stepping back. All the while noticing how the blonde guy straightened his mused clothes, rolling his head to the side, as if he was in a punishing posture for a long time.

Malfoy ran his scrawny, claw-ish hands through his, surprising still normal, hair. The smirk that adorned his face made a chill run down Viktor’s spine. This Malfoy was a—

“You a…a koshmar!”

“Nightmare, huh? Not bad. Not too classy either. I am called Inkubus even in your tongue, aren’t I?” Malfoy’s completely black eyes stared right into him as he smirked at Viktor.

“You hunting my little English sister?!” Viktor roared in his face. For a mere wizard, Viktor sure had a lot of guts. He had to- that Wronski Feint didn’t happened just like that.

Malfoy growled in his face, fangs showing, glinting with dangerous venom that had a slight silver sheen to it. Maybe, he showed too much guts in the face of a freaking koshmar! An adolescent koshmar. ‘Ohkay, Viktor. You have done it now.’

“Sister you say,” Malfoy said as he stepped closer to Viktor.

Viktor decided it would be best to reveal how he felt about Hermione. He didn’t want to die this young and in this strange school where ghosts of dead student roam the bathrooms. “Yes, little vrabche. Sister small like… small brown bird.”

“That does not give you the right to call my mate by a nickname!” Malfoy roared in his face.

“You not claim her! You sneaking all over ha dvorets with momicheta. Dirty momicheta, you are cheating!”

The koshmar in front of frowned slightly and cocked his head, “Exactly what have you seen?”

“Seen enough!” Viktor spat. He had to keep up his bravado because backing down now wasn’t an option.

“I don’t even like the oozing nasty auras of other people,” Malfoy spat.

“That thing with that momich—girl in that classroom?” Viktor ploughed on.

The koshmar seemed to be calming down slowly once it realised that he wasn't a threat to his mate's affections. Close save.

"Loss of control for a moment. Lucky for the girl," Malfoy sported a devilish smile, "It wouldn't have been bad to drain her dry. She had asked for it after all."

"You could kill her."

"I would have killed her. The audacity of that bitch to put her hands on me!" Malfoy spat. 

"So, you really like vrabche? I not talk of the koshmar. But you as a boy."

"I... I'll confess it is still a new thing for me but I have come to...adore her. Respect her for the witch she is and trust her as the person she is." The koshmar was almost gone from his person leaving behind the human to talk to Viktor.

Malfoy, the human with eerie pitch black eyes, continued talking, "My future is with her so I want... I want this relationship to be worthwhile. We, the beings of the dark, tend to live longer than ordinary wizards so...yes, I want to have a good relationship with her."

"Good, good," Viktor nodded his head in approval.

"I can really see myself falling for her, you know," Malfoy's eyes were now finally back to normal. "She's a brilliant, beautiful witch."

Viktor nodded.

Malfoy seemed to shake off the dreaminess in his head and came to the point. "I can't have you knowing my secret."

Viktor knew what he had to do. One doesn't take chances with a child of the night. "I swear on my magic I will not spill your secret."

Viktor's wand glowed lightly through his full sleeves where it was stored in the holster. Malfoy nodded and swore on his magic that he would see Viktor as his ally.

Both boys clutched each other's forearms and shook it once, like the old traditional manly greeting. They both nodded at each other and took a step back, trying to disassociate themselves from the 'awkward' situation they had landed themselves in. 

After a moment of just trying to decide what should be the polite way of parting ways, Malfoy mumbled something. 

"Izvinete?"

"Would you give me your autograph?" Malfoy extended a fancy parchment and quill towards him.

Vitkor flashed a big smile, "sigurno!" and took the writing kit to sign. 


Hermione was sitting on her bed and doing a ‘light’ reading when the bed dipped marking Ginny’s presence. Hermione knew Ginny would not be able to hold on to the suspenseful air and would spill soon.

“So… Hermione.”

There she went.

“Yes, Ginevra.”

Ginny shot her an ugly glare; Hermione couldn’t help but smile at that. Ginny hated her full name.

“Yeah, so Miss Granger,” Ginny began.

“Wasn’t it Hermione just a while back?”

“Well, you lost that privilege!”

“Oh…okay,” Hermione said with fake disappointment.

“So where was I before being rudely interrupted?” Ginny kept a glare maintained at Hermione, threatening her to not interrupt. “Yes, Hermione, how good of a kisser is Viktor?”

Hermione choked on her spit and started coughing.

“That proves a bit of it. Tell me now! How good is he?” Ginny demanded, looking at Hermione with a twinkle in her eyes.

“I didn’t kiss Viktor,” Hermione tried to ignore the fact that Ginny was hitting really, really close to the heart of the matter. She wasn’t even sure if the younger girl could be trusted about it either.

That was definitely a matter to talk about with Draco.

“I don’t buy that at all,” Ginny laid back on the bed and wriggled her brows at Hermione. “I know it was a good date, I know you two have been hanging out in your free time and you were his precious in the Second task. So spill the details. I’m sure Harry and Ron don’t make good gossip buddies unless it’s about Quidditch and I know you do not gossip about Quidditch but you could be due to Viktor’s presence in your life. So spill.”

Hermione looked at her talkative friends with a wary fondness. She needed to make a decision now. Lie or tell the truth.  

"It's not Viktor. He's just a good friend to me," Hermione said, not explaining herself. 

"But that Second Task?"

"It was based more on what Dumbledore thought was precious to the person. Cedric's date because he doesn't have a family member in school or best friend for life, same for Viktor. It was Fleur's sister because she's an unmated Veela so family is precious and it was Harry's best friend because you and I both know Harry will always pick Ron over me, any day," Hermione replied. 

"So who was the lucky guy?" Ginny pressed on.

"Ginny... It's... I know... And I also don't expect you to understand but I want to share... But I'm not sure." 

“I am your friend, I will always love you and support you. Plus, I’m a girl so I have more brains than those two,” Ginny said with a smile. 

Hermione nodded her slowly.

“You can tell Aunty Ginny everyth--”

“It’s just that it sort of...just happened. You know… I know there was a lot of history between us but he is just so… I know a lot of things had happened and it made no sense. But he was just so sweet and understanding. He tried to know me and not just… just… take my help in homework and forget about me,” Hermione was waving her hands around to explain, “He likes to spend time with me. I even met his parents- under really dire circumstances but it was nice. Ish. He likes to talk to me, simply talk and...and… only because of house affiliations, one should not judge a person. He might have been a little shit but...he’s changed now. He's a good guy. And I don’t know ho’ yo’ ‘act,” the rest of the sentence were muffled as she talked with her hands over her face. 

“Hermione,” Ginny laughed as she took Hermione’s hands off her face, “It is alright to date! Merlin, you are acting like you’re dating Malfoy.” 

Ginny laughed as Hermione lost all colour off her face, her hands dropping into her lap as she stared them not looking up. Ginny looked up to see why her friend didn’t join in laughing.

“Wait, what?”

“Ginny…”

“Oh my Merlin! You are dating Malfoy! You are dating Malfoy. You are dating Malfoy. Oh my Merlin!”

Ginny jumped while she remained sitting on the bed. Hermione flinched but Ginny had dived in to grab her wand. She flicked and the curtains around the bed shut tight and then she cast a Silencio on the curtains. 

“Spill everything,” Ginny demanded. 

Hermione merely looked at her. 

“Don’t play coy with me. I need to know everything!”

“For what? ‘Condemning’ me for fraternizing with the enemy?” Hermione asked, her eyes glinting.

“What? No! I just need to know if he’s treating you right and if everything is alright. Because when I came in you looked puzzled.”

Hermione’s eyes softened at that. It did seem like she wouldn’t regret this decision.

. . .

"As far as this concerns me, the only thing I can do is give him the talk," Ginny said, munching on the funky, muggle snacks Hermione bought for her. 

"What talk?" Hermione pursued. 

"That if Ferret Extraordinaire hurts you, then I'll knock his teeth out and grind them and bake them into a pie and make him eat it," Ginny replied with a maniacal smile. 

"First of all, that forced Transfiguration hurt him physically. Secondly, that's guresome, Ginny," Hermione chastised her friend. 

"It's pretty tame considering what Fred and George can do to him. Then Charlie, then Bill. Then Ron, for good measure."

"Draco is a nice person. He's considerate and understanding. He's very caring. He's a bit rough on the edge because of the background he's had but he is a good and nice guy," Hermione replied with a sniff. 

"Yeah, one with a naughty streak. He's a Slytherin dating the Gryffindor princess. He's got guts, I'll give him that. But this courage also makes him…unpredictable. So he needs to be threatened so that he doesn't forget his status. Our princess isn't someone who can be approached by just about anyone!" Ginny ended the impassioned speech with a huff. 

"What do you mean by his status?!"

"That he's a slimey dungeon dweller trying to touch our princess…"

"Ginny…" Hermione sighed. 

"He dare not take advantage of you!"

"Ginny…"

"We protect our princess!"

"Ginny! I am not a princess! Why would you think that?!"

"Oh dear. You're so innocent. See, this is exactly why I feel the need to protect you!"

Hermione glared at Ginny with pursed lips. 

Ginny let out a loud giggle and continued, "Well, guys were talking. Like they always do. Our housemates were very impressed by the punch that you placed lovingly on Malfoy's face. Oh, oh… were you dating then?"

If Hermione sighed anymore, she'd probably exhale all the oxygen out of her body. "No, Ginny. That was very genuine burst of justified anger."

"Good, good. So where was I? Yes! So you were this angry, vengeful goddess. But but but, you walked down the stairs in that pretty dress, all dressed up. That made you a princess. Angry princess sounded bad. So… lioness princess, which turned into Gryffindor princess. Also the fact, we all love you. I can't speak about these makeup caked buffoons," Ginny waved her towards the beds of Parvati and Lavender, "but the rest of us love you."

"That's a lot to take in."

Ginny jumped on Hermione to give her the infamous flying hug. "You deserve every bit of it. The bit about being a princess, being a lioness and the bit about dating a handsome snake."

Hermione hugged Ginny back with her equally infamous grasp of love, "thank you so much for understanding me and supporting me."