The first week of the new elective semester was not going as smoothly as Hermione had hoped.
Especially since she spent the day holed up in her bedroom, which wasn't much different from the time she'd spent alone in the cabin in the summer when her friends left her after her birthday, so it felt like time stood still.
And now she hadn't heard from Draco in over three weeks.
Well, that was a bit of a lie. She did know about him, the bare minimum that Harry had told her, that he went back to college like the others, but nothing more. He stepped aside from the rest of the group, so his life after leaving the cabin was a complete mystery to her.
And she hated it deeply.
She had fulfilled her mission in the cabin, since he had finished her book and had sent it to her teacher, to later pass it into the hands of his friend that worked in a publisher house, but that had not filled the emptiness that she felt in her chest almost all the time.
Hermione had spent some time with her parents afterwards in her childhood home, somehow afraid to go back to the London campus in case she ran into him, but she soon realized that it wasn't going to happen, that he had definitely made sure it didn't happen again, by going missing at their hangouts, ignoring the group messages, and slowly disappearing from their lives without a trace.
And she was so mad at him that sometimes it ached to think about it, so all she did was wait for just the anger to pass. Wait for the editor's response. Wait for something to magically change, not moving a muscle, occasionally allowing himself to look at the little blue box Draco had left her as a birthday present, still not daring to open it.
And she felt stupid.
They could call her the smartest girl in her class, but that didn't stop her from feeling that way.
God, she was pathetic.
"Granger, it's Saturday," Pansy told her, from outside her room. She knocked a couple of times on the door, but she didn't answer, knowing that whatever she said was meaningless and she was going to get in anyway. Seconds later, she did it. "I can't let you stay in your bed another week; you're scaring me."
"I'm not in my bed," she said, pointing to herself. "I'm sitting at my desk, looking at the moon through the window. It's poetic."
"You're checking your email like a psycho waiting for a response from the editor," she deduced instead, frowning. "And I'm sure the moon has something to do with Draco that I honestly don't want to know, because it sure involves shagging and I'm not in the mood now that Harry is with the Weasleys far away from here…"
Hermione shook her head, sighing.
"No. I just miss him."
She knew she was sincere, that Pansy didn't feel insecure about her relationship with Harry and the one he had with Ginny before or that they considered him part of the family even after the breakup and kept inviting him whenever they all got together. So she liked to listen to it, because it represented an affective maturity that she felt planets away from.
"And you haven't denied it."
"I'm not thinking about him, I'm not interested."
"You are not?" Pansy repeated, arching an eyebrow. "Aren't you wondering if the moon you see is the same one that cradled you in the cabin, and if he is looking at it at the same time?"
Okay, maybe Pansy had a point, but she was never going to admit it to her or anyone else.
"Are you the writer?"
"It sticks to me," she said apologetically. "So?"
"I'm not interested," she repeated, turning the chair she was in to face her. "I'm sure he's fucking amazing, I'm sure he's having a much more entertaining Saturday night than mine, he must be throwing a party, is that why you're so dressed up now?" she asked her, watching her carefully, noticing the beautiful short green dress she was wearing, with thin and delicate straps. She shook her head. "Did you dress up cute for me?"
"Maybe, can't I dress up a bit around here? You could imitate me and put those pajamas to wash, Granger" she replied, with a mysterious smile. Hermione admitted that she had been in the same pair of argyle pants and spaghetti strap top for more than a couple of days, but she still didn't think it was weird. She was tired, that was all. "Actually, I'm going on a date. And no, don't look at me like that, Harry knows all about it."
"I…, I don't understand," she mumbled, confused.
"It's like a double date, but not a date, because Blaise and I go together to make the situation less strange" she explained, shrugging her shoulders, dismissing it.
"And who is the real couple on that date?"
Pansy was slow to answer, and for a moment she expected the worst.
Draco, obviously Draco had a date and Pansy was going to help him win her over, as if he couldn't do it perfectly with just his personality, his brain, that face and that body of his and—
"Granger, dammit, stop looking at me like someone's dead. It's not Draco," she hurriedly said, running a hand over her face as she suddenly looked stunned. "It's…, it's Theo."
"Oh." She didn't have big words to say, nor did she think she needed them, given the circumstances. "With whom? If you may tell me, of course."
"Loony from his Philosophy class?"
"She's not crazy, honey, we've stopped calling her that ages ago. It seems like she asked him out months ago, but he didn't understand her because, well, she's pretty particular about her stuff, but last week they ran into each other again in another class and told him again in a different way and he accepted," Pansy explained. "It bothers you?"
"No, no," she assured, instantly. "It was a surprise, more than anything. I don't know her very well, but I'm sure that if Luna has been interested in Theo, it's that she is also a beautiful person and…, and I hope that it goes great today".
Pansy smiled, leaning over to kiss his hair.
"Thank you, darling. I'm sure he'll appreciate it," she assured her, calmly. "And now that you know we all have a plan, you can't stay here alone on Saturday. Maybe you could take advantage and open the present and go see him—"
She pulled away from her, suddenly serious.
"He's miserable, Hermione. I know that you don’t want to know about him, but he is," she said. "And you're being miserable too. I don't understand, are you waiting for a sign or something to forgive him?"
Hermione sighed, feeling her heart sink at the thought of him sad. She was much calmer living her days imagining him happy and with someone else, than as sad and desolate as she felt, because it was stupid that she didn't try to fix it, as Pansy said.
"You guys are too smart to be that stupid," she said, leaning in to hug her goodbye, when she suddenly noticed the screen of her laptop and narrowed er eyes. "Have you checked the spam folder yet?"
"You were supposed to hear from the editor by the end of the week, and now it's the end of the week, maybe his email is there."
Hermione felt her heart beat faster, nervously.
"I don't think I'm that—" she started to say, as she turned to face the laptop, and moved the cursor to the spam folder, which only had one file, because she cleaned it regularly. And, there, the publisher's name shone among the unread emails. She clicked it, her hand shaking and her ears plugged. "Pansy Parkinson"
"Hermione Jean Granger?"
"I'm going to be a published author!"
Pansy screamed, so loud she could have sworn it would make her deaf forever, but that was until her own scream left her mouth, after reading for the third time the mail from her future publisher, explaining that he had loved the book, that they would have to make some corrections, but that he was interested in publishing it if she agreed.
Suddenly she was jumping up and down in her room, holding hands with Pansy, making such a racket that she didn't doubt the neighbors would start complaining. But she didn't care.
They were going to publish her. That was the only thing that mattered to her.
She just let go of her friend to go for her cell phone, her fingers moving furiously over her contacts, until she stopped in her tracks.
"What's the matter?" Pansy asked, concerned at how pale she must suddenly look.
"My…, my first impulse was to tell Draco about it."
"Honey," Pansy whispered, putting her hands on her shoulders. "That's your signal."
That was it.
She was fulfilling her life's dream and the first person she wanted to tell was Draco Malfoy.
That meant something bigger to her than her words could ever explain.
"Gods," she whispered to herself, wriggling out of her grasp to go to her library, where she had left the little box he had given her. That was the only possession of him that she had left, as she had returned his backpack to him through Blaise weeks ago.
She opened it, watching her fingers tremble, finding his handwriting in a letter:
"Not because I own you, because I really want to know you.
Happy Birthday, Hermione.
Be mine, please?
And behind the note was a beautiful gold necklace with a D charm.
The fact that her birthday present had a direct relationship with Taylor Swift, which showed how much he had listened to her in that week, was what she needed to put on her sneakers and grab a jacket with money in her pockets.
"Where are you going?!", she heard Pansy yell at her, chasing after her through their apartment.
"To see Draco! Don't wait up for me!"
"Only if you promise to never shag in my bed, please!"
She barely heard her as she was walking out, starting to run to catch a cab. Draco didn't live that far away, but she wasn't crazy enough to get on public transport with the clothes she was wearing, nor did she think she had enough time to go change.
She gave him his address with the necklace tangled in her right hand, unable to stop looking at it. It was beautiful. It was perfect.
When she arrived there she had to assure his doorman of her coherence, because she looked crazy, but the only thing that allowed her entry was that he seemed to recognize it from previous times when they had gathered there with the rest of the group, since Draco was the only one who lived alone and in a space too big to be able to occupy it in its entirety.
Breathing heavily, she reached for his door, knocking on it with her knuckles more times than should have been necessary.
The moments it took for Draco to open the door for Hermione felt like forever, but it was worse was when he finally did and found him in his pajama bottoms, with a poorly buttoned shirt and significant dark circles under his eyes.
Her voice sounded tired and scratchy, as if he had barely used it lately.
And she wanted to burst into tears.
"I'm sorry," was the first thing she managed to say, seeing the surprise in his gray eyes, the ones she had missed so much. "I asked you to leave the cabin without letting you talk, because I was too disappointed to want to listen to you. But these weeks have been hell without knowing how you were every day, and you have every right to tell me to fuck off, because I'm talking very quickly, because I'm not letting you talk again, but I just found out that my book is going to be published and I realized that the first person I wanted to tell was you. And I know that it means that I love you. And you can do whatever you want with that information, but I had to say it."
Draco looked behind him, visibly confused, and then over to her.
"I'm making sure I'm not hallucinating and that you're not talking to someone else, because I don't think I could handle it."
"Draco," she said, her voice choking, her eyes glassy. She raised her right hand, showing him the necklace. "Do you still believe in this? Or have I missed my chance?" He smiled, the prettiest smile he had ever given him, and she took it as a sign to turn around so he could place it around her neck. Then, turning around again, she found him a foot away. "Hi".
"Hello," he said, his voice small, almost nervous. "Can you say it again?"
She clung to his neck, brushing her nose with his.
"I love you; I love you; I love you".
Hermione jumped a little when his hands moved to her thighs, wrapping her legs around his waist and her hands cupping his face before her lips reached his. She barely noticed his effort to close the door before moving with her through the house, because she was too intoxicated by the prospect of feeling her tongue play with his once more.
Damn, she had missed him so much.
She began to run her hands all over his body, desperate to feel him, digging into the skin between his shirt and his back, digging her nails into his shoulder blades, taking him by surprise so that he suddenly left her propped up on the pool table that was in the middle of his living room, while moaning her name.
She knew that he didn't mean to leave her there, that it was just to reposition his hands and surely move together towards his bedroom, but she suddenly couldn't wait any longer. Three weeks apart had been more than enough, so she stopped him from moving her by leaving her hands on the table and attacking his neck with kisses.
She smiled, not moving an inch away.
"I'd let you fuck me anywhere."
Her words send a shiver down his body, hearing him groan as her quick fingers begin to undo the buttons on his shirt, leaving wet kisses all over the bare skin of his chest.
Then, Draco suddenly regained control as he effortlessly removed her jacket, then lowered the fabric of the shirt to run the tip of his tongue to the nearest point of her collarbone, sliding it down her neck to her ear, making her shiver, whispering when he got there:
"Only if you promise to blush every time we use it to play with our friends."
"Only if we tell everyone and we can see them blush when playing."
The mischievous smile that came out of her when she spoke managed to completely stun him, or at least enough to lower her hands to his pants, resting his hand on the bulge it formed. She loved him in every way, but when she managed to take control, she felt the blood rush to the center between her legs, making her feel so fucking powerful.
He moaned her name as her hands lowered the elastic of his pants, meeting his cock free, ready for her, allowing her to run her thumb over the tip and catch her lips with his, while his hands tugged at her pants, ready to leave her breathless.
But she stopped him, before losing her mind, and released him.
"I want you to do it."
"Touch yourself. I want to see how you do it. I want to learn, right?"
Draco's eyes widened, his chest heaving.
"Don't do this to me, love."
Hermione smiled, incredulous to find him flustered, as if it was new to him. Although, having the chance to own one of his new experiences felt so good that she couldn't change her mind even if she tried.
She caressed his chin, running the index finger that had been on his cock earlier over his lips.
"Now you will tell me that you have never done it before."
"Yes, I have, but in other circumstances."
"Well, this is a new one."
Draco shivered at her words, but he wasted no time in agreeing with her, stripping off his clothes completely and letting his shirt fall unbuttoned as well, until he was completely naked just inches away from her. But he took a couple of steps back, as if he wanted to create distance with his own temptation, before wrapping his hand around his cock and sliding it up and down.
Fuck, she didn't think she could be any wetter than she was right now, watching as he struggled to hold her gaze, but every now and then his head jerked back in pleasure.
In one of those moments, she took advantage of his surprise to bring a hand to her cunt, starting to make circles on her clit, squirming under his attentive gaze.
She gasped, biting her lower lip. His fingers had kept her company these weeks, and although they weren't like his, the chance they were giving her to watch him pleasure himself, which he was surely doing these days, was an image she wouldn't change for anything.
It was hot.
She only stopped to take off her shirt, beginning to feel suffocated.
"Weren't you wearing a bra?" he groaned, her eyes devouring her whole.
"Do you like it?"
"I love it".
She moaned just hearing by him, reaching the limit of her own self-control.
"Draco" she called; her voice choked. "Please just fuck me."
"Thank fuck" he exclaimed, relieved, before striding forward and bringing one hand to her hair, the other breaking her knickers. "I actually bought you a new pair as I promised, they're in my room. I guess now I owe you another one".
Hermione laughed, incredulously.
After her mouth took care of his, he slid her hand down, caressing her entrance with his fingers as she nibbled on his earlobe. Hermione's breath hitched and she moaned, wrapping an arm around Draco's shoulders as he found her hot slit, pumping a finger inside her as he wet her. She gasped with happiness, arching her hips closer to her hand, grasping her hair and leaning heavily into him as her body came alive.
God, she did miss him.
Fire built in her lower abdomen as she felt the tension in her navel increase each time his fingers grazed her clit.
"Hermione…" Draco murmured, sounding tense as he left wet kisses along her jaw and neck. "I need to be inside you."
"It's okay." She almost meowed, tilting her head to the side to give him more access, waves of pleasure dancing between her legs. "I'm ready, please."
She could feel him pushing insistently against her, hard and thick and hot, and he sure could feel how warm and wet and ready she was, already on the verge of orgasm, but needing him inside of her to come.
"Fuck…" he gasped, waves of pleasure running through her body like electricity. "Give me a moment, I'll go get a condom."
"Pill." Draco looked at her in surprise, but she just smiled. "I'm clean, unless you—"
"No one after you. There won't be anyone else in the future, either," he said, before positioning herself at her entrance.
She took the length of him with one hand, guiding him to her opening before burying him as deep inside her as possible. They both let out strangled moans, the sensation of being filled and of absolute warmth taking over them almost completely, and she wondered if her brain had shut down completely.
Draco began to move in constant thrusts, as if he had been deprived of something he needed to live, using his hands to play with her nipples, paying attention to the one he wasn't licking.
"I've missed you so much" he whispered, mesmerized as he watched his body join hers, memorizing every little squeal and shudder of pleasure her body made. "I love you; I love you; I love you".
She cried out, lying on the table, raising her legs to his shoulders, when now the hand that was entertaining her breasts began to play with her clit as if his life depended on it, making her arch her back and throw her head back.
She wanted to keep her eyes open, desperately, but it was too much.
"I'm—, fuck, Draco, Draco, Draco"
"Come on, love, do it for me."
Hermione cried out as the first orgasm washed over her body, making her see stars behind her eyes.
She slowly could feel how he wrapped her legs around her waist again after some moments, prolonging her pleasure with his hands, and then returning to the rhythm with his hips.
"More, love, you deserve more."
Her body began to spasm, choking, but she managed to regain consciousness long enough to push herself up on her elbows until she reached him, hanging on his neck and bringing her mouth to his, feeling him just there, as close as humanly possible.
His thrusts became more erratic, her nails digging into the skin of his back, noticing how time passed only because she knew that they could not be suspended in a perfect moment, because she would otherwise doubt it forever.
Draco started to tremble and she pulled away from her mouth, panting.
It was precious.
"I love you, Draco."
Her orgasm triggered his, drowning him in her mouth, feeling him finish inside her for the first time.
They stayed in silence, listening to each other's slow breathing, without separating a bit.
"I love you so much, Hermione Granger," he whispered into her ear. "And I'm so proud of you and I hope that you sign me your book right away", he laughed, kissing her. "But, seriously, love, your book is going to be the best in the world, because you are one of the most talented people I know, and you are destinated for greatest. I have no doubt. I'd always knew, even when I was an arse to you in school"
She laughed, seeing the vibration reverberating through his body.
"You don't need to sweet talk in my ear when you're still inside me, Malfoy."
"I don't need it," she smiled at her, making no move to pull away. "In these weeks, do you know what I've thought about your book the most in this time? What made me regret the most how we parted ways that night?"
"Tell me, please".
"That, if I had known that it was the last kiss that I gave you on your birthday, I would have made it eternal, as the character in your book wanted. I want to make every kiss eternal now, if you let me."
She cupped his face in her hands, tenderly.
"You won't have to think about it anymore, Draco. And I'll sign all the books you want."
"In whose name will you do it?"
She laughed, kissing him once more, and he played with his fingers with the chain around her neck, the only thing that she was wearing at the moment.
They still had so much to talk, to forgive, to grow.
But she expected to do all of that, and more, together in the future.
"To my boyfriend, Draco Malfoy. From his girlfriend, Hermione Granger."
He smiled and she knew, once and for all, that she would love him for good.