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except when we went from friends to this

Chapter Text

The lights went out completely, leaving her in the dark.

She knew, of course, that it was going to rain before she decided to go to the cabin that her parents had in the woods, so that part wasn't exactly a surprise. However, this wasn't rain, this was a thunderstorm, and she was not prepared for that kind of thing, because not only the lights went out the second the first lighting appeared in the sky, but she realized quickly after that if she didn’t have any power, she also didn’t have Wi-Fi, and the cellphone signal was weaker than her will to live.
Great. Just, great.

Hermione was forced to turn off her laptop to save some battery, since she had absolutely no idea when the power was going to came back and at least needed to pretend like she was working in the meantime, and used the flashlight on her phone to look for some candles in the kitchen.

It didn't took her that long to find them, thankfully, because her family was always thinking one step ahead of everything, so in the same drawer under the sink were the candles were, she also found some kind of carepackage for a blackout, with cans of food and some matches. And a bottle of wine. She appreciated deeply that one, even if she had her own alcohol for the trip, that was way better than the cheap one that she got from the local supermarket the day she got to town just to drown her sorrows.
It was kind of pathetic at that point, but she was trying really hard not to judge herself once in her life.

She quickly decided the best spots to place the candles to illuminate the entire house, which wasn’t that hard to do, since it was pretty small. She adored that house, though. It had a kitchen connected with the living room in a way that the fireplace warmed up the entire house, one bedroom with a big bed that she always liked growing up, a bathroom, and the one that was her room when she was little it was now a studio. She was supposed to be writing there, of course, but she was incapable of leaving something unfinish, and now she was half-chapter in and wanted to cook dinner at the same time.

But now she couldn’t do any of those things.

Thankfully, she had some wood ready to burn in the fireplace, so it was the next step to take, while trying to catch her breath. It was summer, it wasn’t supposed to be this cold, even in the woods, even in England, but sometimes the weather just seemed to decide to follow her whatever she went and try to make her life harder.

She could scape London, sure. But she couldn’t escape the rain.

Hermione was about to go to her room to change for a more suitable outfit, since it was obvious that the matching red shorts and tank top that she used as a pajama were going to give her hypothermia as the temperature quickly dropped as the thunders broke the sky, when she heard an unexpected knock in the front door.
She was hallucinating, of course. Life was nonexistent behind that door. She was kilometers away from any neighbor and she was clear with her friends that she didn’t want company in those three weeks that she was away. It was probably a tree, or an animal.

Or a serial killer. That was also a possibility, sure.

But the knock on the door didn’t stop, and it didn’t seem random either. It was insistent, with a purpose. It was clear that whoever was behind that door really wanted to be heard, like, desperately.

She made a decision in a second, then, with her heart beating in her ears. Quickly she went to the fireplace and grabbed a piece of wood before walking slowly towards the door, and opened it with the key that’s still there, waiting for her to gather the courage to make a choice in the spare of the moment for a change.

And she did.

The person there was soaking wet, so much so that his whole body was dripping with water, but she recognized him almost instantly, despite the darkness of the night and the fact that he was paler than marble from the cold. It was him.

Her whole body shook from head to toe, because, what was he supposed to be doing there?

Before she could say a word, he did:

"Will you invite me in or what, Granger?"

Although his tone wasn't angry, he made her feel uncomfortable with herself, almost small.

She left the piece of wood on the floor and grabbed his jacket, hard, pulling him inside, locking the front door a second later. And she wasn’t surprised at all when she turned around and saw him looking at her with that damn intensity that always made her weak in the knees.

"Were you planning on hit me with that?" he asked, pointing at the wood.

"Yeah, that was my plan all along", she signed. "Why are you here, Malfoy?", she finally asked, trying to sound serious.

"Oh, so we are back to 'Malfoy', are we?"

She rolled her eyes, already tired of that bullshit.

"Draco", she corrected herself, wishing that her voice was firmer this time, "Why are you here?"

"Because I wanted to see you, Granger. Or I can no longer see my sister-in-law?" he asked, with a hint of bitterness in his laugh. Her muscles tensed almost instantly, as expected.

"Theo is not really your brother just because you grew up together, Draco. And we broke up months ago, we were not engaged, for God's sake. I was never your sister-in-law", she corrected him, swallowing hard. She liked Theo, of course. He was attractive, kind and seemed to adore her as well, but the first year of university was crazy for everyone, but specially for someone that Hermione Granger, were her romantic life never stood a chance with her studies, and that’s why they only dated for like four months before she called it quits.

"But I like to call you that, because you hate it," he said, dragging his words. He took a few steps closer to her, making the scent of rain and men's cologne fill her nostrils even more. "Although, if you reject the title…", he raised his right hand slowly, aiming for her cheek.

She immediately placed one of hers on top of his, and pushed him away.

"Draco, no". She wished her voice had sounded more convincing than that. "I can´t, we can't".

"Why not?" He asked, somewhat annoyed. She swallowed hard, and tried to avoid the look in his eyes, because she didn't think she could stand it.

"I dated your best friend in the whole world", he said, as if it was the most obvious thing in that conversation. "Do you understand? This is not okay. It was a mistake, and it won't happen again".

She wanted to bite her tongue as she spoke, but she couldn't even do that.

What a bad liar.

"It was a kiss, not a mistake", he frowned, confused, but quickly went back to his other personality, the one that she wanted to kick out of him since they were in school together. "And you have to admit that you loved it", he commented, arrogantly.

She rolled her eyes and walked away, exhausted already.

"You have to go; this is nonsense and I don’t have time for it. I have a book to finish before we go back to class and you know it", she said, turning around to see him for an instant. "I don't care what made you come here. I don't want you here."

She wanted to be strong, but her confidence was nowhere to be found.

"Will you let me drive with that storm outside? You're not like that, Granger", he said, smiling as he thought about it before. He was right. No matter how mad she was at him, they were friends, and she just couldn't let him get hurt in the miserable weather outside.

"You're insufferable, Malfoy," she said, rolling her eyes.

She went to the only room in the cabin and took some blankets from the closet, and then returned to the living room. Draco had removed his jacket, tossing it over the back of a chair. Now he was just wearing a black shirt that clung to his body like a second skin. She felt like she was running out of air, and hated herself for being so damn easy.

"You'll sleep here," she announced, throwing the blankets over the wide three-seat sofa that was in front of the fireplace.

"I figured so," he said, with a little laugh. "Although you know I'd rather sleep with you."

"Don't start," she warned. "Now go take a shower, you´re freezing. I think there must be some of Harry's clothes around here from when he stayed over. The towels are in the bathroom."

"You want me to wear Potter´s clothing?"

"Do you have a better alternative?"

She regretted that question as soon as she said it for the look in his eyes, and sighed.

"Wouldn't you prefer if we talk first?" he suggested, changing the subject, almost sounding serious for once in his life.

"No. You´re soaking wet, you could get sick. Come on, listen to me for once, please?" She pointed to the door next to her room, with a serious expression.

Draco nodded and without another word walked towards it.

She went back to the kitchen and tried to think, even though she knew she wouldn't be able to focus knowing that that one of the most handsome men in England was naked just a few meters away from her. That thought only already made her sound like a stupid brat with raging hormones, but it wasn't. She knew the kind of boy Draco was, and so she avoided him.

But her brain left her for a moment there. Kissing him was… unbelievable. She couldn't regret that even if she wanted to, because she had liked kissing him, she had liked being in his arms. That could have led to more, but she stopped it. They we were in the front seat of his car and she wasn’t going to have sex with him in a place like that. Or in any place, for that matter.

She rubbed her hands over her face.

Stupid. She was stupid. She wanted to be with Draco, she really did, but her friend's group was the most important thing in her life, she treasured it knowing how long it took for everyone to actually became friends. At first Harry, Ginny and herself hated Draco, Theo, Pansy and Blaise, they really did, and it was completely mutual. They went to high school together and were only able to see eye to eye when they moved to university and some cruel destiny's joke made her roommates with Pansy Parkinson. They almost killed each other the first couple of months. It took forever for everyone to decide to be friends, and she didn’t want to brake that.

Yes, Harry and Ginny broke up after being middle school sweethearts, and it was the other's fault, in a way, but now he was with Pansy and she was on and off with Blaise, and everyone was somehow happy. And Hermione loved them all.

She was not ready to give that up.

She hard the bathroom door open and fought the urge to look there, but failed when he called her, in that deep manly voice of his.

"Yes?

As soon as she said it, she regretted it.

Again.

Draco was only wearing a towel from the waist down, his chest bare. God, his abs were to die for, and she wanted to climb him like a damn three. She tried not to look away from his eyes, although that didn't go well with her either: his hair was still wet, soft drops falling down his body, making him look even better.

"I don't know where you left Potter's things," he admitted, as if nothing had happened. "I think it was a trick to get me naked,” he joked.

She smiled.

"I already had that chance," she laughed, and Draco did too.

She got up quickly and went into the bedroom, with her following her. She rummaged through the drawers until she pulled out Harry´s blue t-shirt with some gray joggers, and turned around to handle them to him, blushing a little.

Draco noticed, and he couldn't help but laugh. He kissed her forehead before opening the door to let her out. She thanked him with a look and once she was outside, she tried to figure it out how this was going to work, alone in a cabin in the woods with no power and with sodding Draco Malfoy.

This can't be happening to me, she thought.

She walked over to the sofa carrying a pillow, sitting cross-legged like she used to when she was little and nervous about something.

"Granger", he called, sitting down next to her, just moments later. "Does it really bother you that much that I'm here?"

"If you don't tell me why, yes," she admitted, sitting sideways to talk to him.

Draco sighed.

"I wanted to see you, is it so difficult to understand? One night we were kissing in my car and the next you were going to the other end of the country with no explanation, shutting everyone out", he said, almost exasperated.

"You didn't call or anything, and it's been a week already" she said, almost spitting out the bitterness in her words.

"I didn't want to distract you either. I know how important is this book for you".

"And why are you here? You know you're distracting me,” she muttered under her breath.

"Because I really wanted to see you, before it was your birthday and everyone else was there, since it's the only day you told us that we could visit, apparently". For some reason, she knew that "everyone" included Theo, and that didn't seem to thrill him. "I don't understand why you dwell on it so much, Granger. I want you…, and I thought you wanted the same".

"Don't lie to me, Draco, please" she said, feeling that known pressure in her chest. "You want what your best friend had because you're a child. You can't understand how a girl dated him and not you. But you're in the wrong place, darling. I didn't sleep with him,” she confessed, understanding his thoughts.

He cupped her face in his hands, making her shudder.

"Do you think I would even turn to see you if you had slept with him? That would be breaking the code between brothers" he said, laughing slightly. "I know you didn't. And that's not why I want to fuck you", he admitted, abruptly. "I see you. You are beautiful and fragile; you have thousands of guys who want to sleep with you. All idiots, of course. And you are going to give up along the way, because you hate being behind the rest of us in anything, but also hate to make a big deal out of sleeping with someone. And I want the first person to be with you to truly love you, one way or another…"

"And that person should be you? Are you protecting me?", she laughed. "That's rich, Draco. You were the one who made my life miserable since I was a child. You never cared about my protection before."

She knew she wasn’t being fair. They left behind those days long ago and she forgiven him already, but she just wanted another explanation, she just wanted more.

"And I already apologized for being an idiot back then. I wasn’t thinking".

Having his face so close to her was too much; his minty breath literally making her shiver.

"And what do you think now, then?" she murmured, trying to look away from his lips.

He paused, looking at her.

"I just have one thought now."

"What is it, Draco?"

"Can I kiss you, Granger?"

She stayed silent for a whole minute.

And nodded.

And without further ado, he fulfilled his purpose.

His kiss was the same as the one in the car, only more intense, and with her participating more. It was an explosion. It was something so big and so intense that could create another Big Bang, and with that the birth of another universe all together.
They moved backwards so that she was lying on the sofa with Draco's body pressing against hers. His hands clung to her hips, and hers to his neck, feeling their tongues entangle like she had never experienced with anyone before. She raised her legs by instinct, wanting to feel him closer, closer, closer, wrapping them around his hips, making her feel the bulge in his crotch perfectly.

She smiled to herself, kissing him. He pulled away, only to start soft kisses down her neck. She moaned. She doesn't think she's ever done that before with a partner, specially not with just kisses. She tugged at his hair unconsciously, and heard him groan in pleasure at that. He stroked her sides with his hands, moving them up to lift her top, but stopped. She saw doubt in his eyes.

In response, she helped him take it off and kissed him hard, taking control this time.

She wasn't ashamed of being just a bra, since she understood that it was the same as wearing a bikini, and he had seen her like this hundreds of times. She wasn't really nervous, at least not yet, she was suffocated, and wanted to dispel the fog of my thoughts as soon as possible.
Hermione moaned loudly when Draco bit down on a specific part of her neck, which made her think that she liked him like that, so she slipped her hands under his shirt, pulling it off with his help, feeling his warm muscular chest crash against her flat stomach. His mouth returned to her lips, and she almost didn't care if it felt so stupidly comfortable with his company like that, as if it was natural for them. His hands slowly descended towards her pants, giving her a chance to stop him. But she didn’t. She didn't want to stop.
Removing it didn't cost him anything, because it had elastic and it was tremendously easy to so. She returned her hands to his joggers, although she had to release his hip to do so and laughed when she noticed it. Draco smiled when he heard her, looking at his eyes like he couldn’t believe what was happening.

She couldn't, either.

PIP, PIP, PIP.

Her phone rang, it was a call. She put on an annoyed face and looked at Draco, expecting him to tell her not to move, that it could wait, but he just smiled sweetly and kissed her lightly on the lips, letting her know that he wasn't going to mind if she did. It was dark, there was a storm outside and she barely had phone signal, so ignoring that call seemed wrong in every way possible, since it should be important to be able to ring against every obstacle imaginable.

He made room for her, and she stood in her underwear, as he was, angry at whoever interrupted them, so angry that didn't even check the name on the screen of her phone.
"What?", she answered, after clearing her throat, knowing that it did not show the desire of before.

"Hermione".

She almost fell when she heard that voice.

"Theo?"

Chapter Text

Her heart was pounding in her chest; she didn't understand what the hell was going on.

After breaking up, Theo and Hermione silently decided to do their best to preserve the harmony of their group of friends. It was a clear and friendly breakup, at the end of the day. Neither of them missed any birthdays, any social events involving each other, and they tiptoed around each other until they fell back into the comfortable normality they had adopted before making the decision to go out together. There were no awkward silences, no drunken midnight calls, no regrets.

But that didn't mean they were in the habit of calling each other out of the blue. The personal contact between the two had ceased like before they dated, since they weren't close before, and they didn't have the need to send messages every day to see how they were doing. She couldn't remember the last time he'd called her without first texting her if he could, just in case she was busy, because somehow, she had trained him that way by spending the entire duration of their relationship just bloody busy all the time.
And Theo knew that she had asked everyone not to disturb her during her stay in the cabin. She had sent very clear message to the group they shared with the others before taking their train to the forest, and so far, they had all respected her wishes for peace and silence.

Well, everyone except Draco.

So, the only thing left to think was that this call was some kind of cosmic emergency, indicating that the events that were about to occur were a bad idea of the universe.
Did Theo know that she was making out with his best friend? Did he know about all of this? Seemed impossible. But since when is there something impossible for the Serpents, as they called them in school? The nickname wasn’t a compliment. It was because they were sneaky and quiet, but someone how they always knew everything. It always bothered her that they were like that, so irresistible to everyone that they could keep their mouths shut.

"Is everything okay, Theo?" she asked, when she got her voice back.

"Of course, Hermione. I just wanted to know how you were, it's already been a week. Harry told Pansy that the cabin was magical for thinking, is it being useful to you? I can't wait for that book, you know".

She sighed, trying to hide her relief.

"I'm great. There's no light right now because of the storm, but I'm sure it'll be back in the morning", she explained, like it was nothing. When he didn't reply, she asked, again. "Are you sure everything is okay over there?"

"Why wouldn't it be?"

"I do not know. You surprised me with your call, that's all".

Now it was his turn to sigh.

"Okay, maybe there's something. Draco's not here, nor has been for like two days, and it occurred to Blaise that maybe… maybe he was with you", his voice cracked. She could tell how much that thought must hurt him. And she froze and Draco noticed it, walking towards her.

"Why would Draco be with me?", The blonde's eyes widened even more, and he shook his head. She had no explanation for why he was there, at least not one that she could tell her exboyfriend. "He must be in some bar, with some girl. That's the Draco Malfoy we know, right?"

God, she was awful at lying.

She was sure that at some point in her life she had been good at lying. At least, it had been her quick-thinking ability that had gotten them out of a thousand and one troubles with Harry growing up, while lying her arse off. But with the Serpents she had always seemed stupid.

Perhaps that was part of the reason why she hated them so much before. She hated feeling stupid.

"Are you sure, Hermione?"

"I'm sure, Theo. He will surely show up again in a few days, smelling of alcohol and looking for a washing machine. Don't worry about him", she tried to sound convincing, but she was so bad at it she could almost see him cringe while hearing her. "Anything else I can do for you today?"

"Could I… could I visit you one of these days?"

His voice was insecure, so much that she wanted to scream.

That was so wrong.

Fuck.

"We'll talk about it later, okay? I was just in the middle of a chapter and I don't want to lose my train of thought", she lied, biting her tongue.

"Sure, Hermione", he said, almost in a whisper. "Take care, okay? See you soon".

"See you soon"

Without further ado, she hung up.

She was shaking from head to toe. Hermione covered her face with her hands, ashamed of herself. And she hated that, she hated that the Serpents unwittingly hurt her like that. It bothered her a lot more than she gave them credit for.

"What happened?" Draco whispered, wrapping his arms around her waist from behind.

"Theo wanted to know where you were… ", she paused, thinking whether to tell him or not. "And he asked if he could come here someday."

"I knew it would only be a matter of time before he realized how much he missed you," he said, resting his chin on her shoulder. "But it's a shame he can't come. Because I came here first without asking". After saying that, his hands slid over her skin until she turned around. He loosened the ponytail in her hair, ruffling it. "Beautiful".

Her thoughts were a like ticking time bomb.

She could go ahead and have sex with Draco Malfoy, a sure one-time thing, not caring about someone else's feelings for the first time in her life… or she would to stop and go to sleep.

The first idea sounded fun, and the second was too serious and boring, so why would she listen to it? She had always been serious. She could take a break. She was far, far away from home and all the judgment she would have there.

And it wasn’t like anyone would know, either.

She made up her mind.

"He would probably want you to step aside." She said, moving closer to him, biting his lower lip. Draco smiled, encouraged by her green light to touch her again.

"I don't care about him right now. I care about you", he said, still with his lower lip caught between her teeth. "But I don't want to be on the side, I prefer to be on top."

Having said that, he kissed her again, with the same force as before.

He grabbed her by her thighs, lifting her up, causing to wrap her legs around his hips again and her arms around his neck. Draco walked almost blindly to her room, closing the door behind them even though we were the only people there.

He was laying her down on the bed, on top of her but without putting weight on her body, now with his hands on the side of her hip, resting on the mattress. One of them rose, very slowly so that she hardly even noticed, to one of her bra-covered breasts.

She moaned, breaking the kiss.

"Draco…", she gasped his name.

He smiled. It was beautiful.

His other hand traveled to her back and unhooked her bra, removing it in an almost expert way that made her worry for a second, but she didn't have time to think about it at the moment. She brushed against him, to be within arm's reach, causing him to moan right next to her ear.

"Fuck, Granger" he whispered.

She dug her nails into the back of his neck, collaterally, making him moan louder.

Draco kissed her neck again as his right hand crawled from her belly, reaching inside her knickers, making her close her eyes at the mere brush of his fingers.

"You're already wet," he murmured. She shivered and arched her back at the feeling, and he groaned. She opened her eyes and Draco looked at her with a smile. "Because of me?", he asked, even as he already knew damn well the answer.

"Yes...", she swallowed hard, noticing how he bit his lip.

Draco kept moving his hand, more slowly this time, making her gasp and arch her back again. She licked my lips and met his gaze mischievously, out of breath. He inserted a finger slowly, making her even wetter, which made her moan by squeezing her thighs.

"God…" she said, closing her eyes.

Draco stole a kiss from her, flicking his finger, making her swallow hard and gasp. The feeling was so new, so strange, but she didn't want it to stop for the world.

He moved his mouth to her neck, lowering, making her my body tremble with each brush of his lips. She was so vulnerable that hated myself for it, but loved it at the same time. He kept going down,, leaving bites, until he got to her breast and she actually heard him giggle before licking directly at the nipple, then turning to look at her, smiling.

Instantly it went hard, and she gasped, crumpling the sheets between her hands, cursing Draco internally for being so good at it. The blond took a light bite, smiling at how she was, making her moan loudly without being able to control it herself.

"You like that, Granger?", he asked, licking the other nipple.

"Y-yes..." she managed to say, gripping the sheets tighter. Draco laughed, biting her slightly and then licking the area. She throwed her head back. "Fuck, Draco", she managed to say between moans.

"Patience, we'll get to that".

She saw him tilt a smile and knew he was going to do something now that would completely knock her off her game, and wasn't wrong when he started moving his finger again, paying extra attention to her chest. Her body started to tremble slightly, forcing herself to bite her lip, drawing a little blood. He seemed to notice, because he stuck another finger in, panting. She lifted her hips a little making him push them deeper, subconsciously, moaning at it.

That seemed unexpected because he just let out a sudden gasp and gave her right nipple a hickey. She was proud of that reaction, because he was obviously trying to drive her me completely insane, making her moan no matter what.

Draco went on with his work until she instantly tensed, ripping the bedspread with her fingernails, while the other hand yanked hard at Draco's hair. She saw him smile sideways, as he moved his fingers faster. She knew it was the end for her.

"Draco...", she warned him, and threw her head back. He answered with a slightly stronger bite. A shiver ran through her body and I knew it wouldn't be long before she came.

"Do it, please, Granger. Please. I want to feel you", he said, climbing from her neck to her mouth. She swallowed hard. While a few seconds later her body bowed to the pleasure, moaning loudly.

She was breathing fast, tired and shocked, but he stroked some more, kissing her hard.

"Are you okay? No regrets yet?"

God, she hated him sometimes. He was so full of himself.

But she smiled, after being completely silent, enjoying the doubt in his eyes, until she touched the elastic of his boxers.

"Draco, please".

He smiled like she never seen before, but quickly cursed himself.

"This is so anticlimactic, but I need you to wait a second. Please don’t change your mind".

She laughed because he seemed so worried that it was actually adorable, and saw as he got up from the bed and left the room. Seconds later he appeared again, with a small metallic package between her fingers.

Well, at least he had come prepared. She didn't think she had any condoms stashed around the cabin, unless Harry had brought someone along when she lent him one last summer.

But quickly Harry Potter and all other thoughts like, you know, breathing, slipped from her mind as she watched as Draco stripped off his underwear and slowly, almost tortuously for both of them, put on the condom.

"You didn't change your mind?"

"If I have to beg you again, I will literally kick you out to the storm".

There wasn't much light in the room, just a few candles that she had lit before his arrival, but it was enough to see him smile like that before carefully laying down on her.

Before she could threaten to kick him out again, he was inside of her.

There was pain and it was oh so slow that for a moment she felt suspended in time, as if nothing existed beyond the two of them, the rain and that cabin. It was impossible. She had read enough romance books in her life to know that this particular moment didn't last forever, but it seemed that way to her.

"You can move" she whispered. "Please. I'm fine. Please"

He laughed and kissed her, increasing his peace.

"I just wanted you to beg one last time. I'm sorry"

And then it really started. The clumsiness of the first few thrusts, the care wrapped in sarcasm as he moved. He was trying to go at her time, to give her a minute to adjust, but his patience seemed to have run out as she tried to mimic his movements.

Draco attacked her neck again, causing her to moan his name slowly.

"Fuck, Draco".

"I almost didn't think you could swear."

She laughed.

"Don't fucking stop, please."

He increased his speed, clearly motivated by her sounds.

"I won't. I promise".

She smiled and licked his lip when he moaned, causing him to close his eyes and tangle a hand her my hair. She was sure he loved that, at least the way he moved, as he moaned my name heartily, making her smirk.

Draco moved faster, which prompted her to put her leg on his shoulder, pushing him deeper, making her moan louder. He let go of her hair and placed the other one, fully inside her as she moaned louder. This new position made her feel it at all, it was incredible.

A while later he grabbed her hip hard, possibly leaving a mark, giving a stronger thrust.

"I…, I'm going to…, I…" I warned, while his lips returned to her mouth from having been entertained with her neck.

"Together," she heard him say in a moan from the back of his throat, just above her ear.

Shortly after she cried out, and the left out one last groan, placing his sweaty forehead on her shoulder. Exhausted, satisfied. Done.

Draco lowered her legs from his shoulders, stroking them gently, until they were in place under him. It was still hard for her to breathe, but he calmed her down, looking into her eyes, searching for something to fix.

She smiled at him, slightly, and he kissed her tenderly.

"Are you okay, love?" he asked, wrapping his arms around her waist.

Love. He never called that before, she was sure of that.

"Tired…, but fine," she said, smiling at him. She didn’t want to make anything awkward, but didn’t know how to proceed either. "I guess you're happy to have fulfilled your mission"

"Be the first one to love you? Yeah. You could say that" he said, laughing a little, removing the condom. She blushed furiously as he threw it in the trash.

"And you have", she said, with a weak smile. She sat up, thinking about getting dressed to not make this harder that it should be for herself. "Do you want to have dinner now or…?"

"I thought you were sleepy," he said, trying to wrap his arms around her waist to get her back to the bed, yawning.

"I'm exhausted, but I can wait to eat," she said. She got out of bed, naked, and went to the closet. She grabbed her bra and knickers and quickly put them on, turning to look at Draco. "What are you looking at?"

"Your body, isn't it obvious?" he laughed, getting up to put on his boxers.

"Well, I hope you enjoyed it, because it will be the last time you'll see it, love".

"What?", he asked, perplexed.

She turned to see him, putting on a big shirt, and sighed.

"You wanted to make sure that the first person I had sex with loved me and that I wasn’t motivated by social norms to do it with anyone. And you did", she said, trying to sound sure of herself. "I don't need another pity fuck, Draco. You don't need to approach me with these intentions anymore, okay?"

"It wasn't…" he said, but she cut him off.

"It doesn't matter," she faked a smile, although that thought made her sad.

Pathetic.

She had slept with him, and she had liked it. But he didn’t love her like he should to continue with it. It was stupid to even suggest it.

"Granger," he called, taking her by the arm so she could look at him. He had put on pants, but not a shirt. She saw the scratches on his chest and that turned her on almost immediately. Fuck. "It wasn't pity. I wanted to shag you because you've been giving me a hard on since I can remember", he declared, looking at her in the eyes. Fire. They were pure fire. It was impossible, since they were gray like ice, but they were regardless. Since she didn't say anything, he seemed to panic a bit. "I want to teach you".

"Teach me?" she repeated, perplexed.

"As I said; there will be an infinity of guys who will want to be with you in that way, they are already there, and I know how insecure you can get… I would like to show you everything in between, to feel comfortable," he said. The idea was already impossible for me, but she let him continue. "It is mutual benefit. I know that you also liked being with me. We wouldn't be involving anything sentimental, so technically you wouldn't be dating me… kind of like friends with benefits. That way you won't be able to feel guilty about Theo".

"Why would I feel guilty at all?" she asked, defensively.

"Because I know how to read signs. Signs you should learn", he concluded, serious. She swallowed dry. "What do you say, Granger?"

"I…" She was blank, she didn't know what to say. "I'll think about it, okay?"

"Okay," he smiled, calmly. "But, Granger…" he added, when he released her and she turned to go to the kitchen. To cook dinner with no light, to blow the candles, she didn't know yet. "Remember that your first time will always be mine."

She laughed.

"Always."

And then turned her back on him to blew all the bloody candles in the cabin.

Screw dinner, she needed to sleep.

Suddenly she had much more to think about than just her book.

Chapter Text

He was an idiot.

If there was a better word to describe him, he would use it, obviously, but he didn't think there was one at the moment. He was stupid, plain and simple, and now he had to deal with the consequences of having acted without thinking. One moment he was in his room, having a staring contest with the phone, which he was clearly losing, waiting for the miracle that Hermione Granger decided to call him. It wasn't going to happen, he already knew that, but back to the main point of his thinking, Draco Malfoy considered himself plain stupid.

He blamed himself over and over for letting her go in the first place, for not running after her when the second after finally kissing her for the first time, when their eyes met and she panicked without saying a single word. She said goodbye to him, with all the courtesy with which she had been raised and he had always envied, opened the door of his car and entered her building without looking back. Not even thirty minutes had passed on a clock before a message arrived to the group they shared with her friends notifying them of her departure to the bloody woods to write the book that she had been ignoring for the past month or so.

And he was still in her front door, motionless.

Draco allowed himself the luxury of hurting his pride, then. He restarted the car the second after reading the message and sped toward his apartment, where he'd proceeded to lock himself in her room and pretend nothing had happened. He didn't call her, didn't send a single reply to her text and let it go. He convinced himself internally that he was giving her free rein to ignore him, that it was better for both of them, that they weren't going to get anywhere.

But damn, he couldn't regret that kiss even if he tried.

(He hadn't tried either, anyway, nor did he want to).

He lived in a parallel reality in which he had never had the privilege of kissing Hermione Granger for a whole week, until he made the mistake of agreeing to go see a movie with Potter, Pansy and Theo, so that the latter was not left as the third wheel in an night that promised to be purely friendly (but Ginevra and Blaise decided to skip it) and everything went to shit.

The movie was romantic and stupid, but he wanted nothing more than to clear his mind and have something to focus on for an hour and a half other than his own conscience so it was fine. However, he made the fatal mistake of realizing that the leading couple were friends who really, they weren't together, but that didn't stop them from fucking, and some words that the guy said made him had the brilliant idea of whispering to Pansy, in a movie theater full of people, that if that worked in reality his life would be ideal.

Pansy Parkinson didn't leave him alone for the rest of the night until he told her what he meant by that, and what had happened with Hermione, by extension. And she asked him, for once in his fucking life, to stop being stupid.

The next thing Draco knew he was thanking his best friend, and her tactics that he would never want to know about but involving Potter, for getting him the address of the cabin in the woods that Hermione had gone to, and he was taking his car through half of the country in order to ask her for an opportunity to prove that the kiss did mean something to him.

But he didn't count on the storm, he didn't count on her being so mad at him, and he didn't count on her tongue dulling at her beauty and practically saying what he'd heard in the movie to give him a moment to prove her that he deserved a chance.

So, his intentions had not been entirely saint in coming there, he knew that he couldn't get close to her without an excuse that could be believed, because she was too damn smart for her own good. And he didn't lie to her, anyway. He wanted to be the first person to love her, but that was because he really loved her, and not the way that she loved him. And now, somehow, he was invested in some kind of friends with benefits thing, hoping that she could end up reciprocating his feelings in the long run, or before her birthday, before the others were there.

The night before, Hermione had returned to the room after blowing out the candles in the rest of the house, and he expected, logically, that she would send him back to sleep on the sofa. But she just smiled, she said that she was too tired for dinner and wished goodnight.

So, he slept there, on the bed, next to her.

Hermione slept on his side, curled up with her legs and with her back to him, and he had decided not to push his luck so much and create a distance between the two, so as not to make her uncomfortable, until somehow, he ended up falling asleep listening to her calm breath, something he had long believed would be impossible.

Hermione was not in love with him, and he could accept that. But she wasn't indifferent to her either, and for now he could work with that.

But now he was waking up to an empty bed.

He was still wearing Potter's clothes that she had lent him the night before, but it was about time he went to get his backpack that was waiting for him in his car. Therefore, he summoned the strength to get up and leave the room, expecting the worst.

Expecting that Hermione had regretted her words, that last night had just been a dream.

However, she was simply found typing furiously on her laptop, with her back to him, in the dining room. Beside her was a cup of coffee, and she looked very focused.

But how was he going to miss out on such an opportunity?

He walked over to where she was and leaned gently down to her neck. He brushed his lips there and nibbled on his earlobe, causing her to jump in surprise. She turned quickly to look at him and couldn't suppress a laugh when she noticed him smirking, as he knew she liked it from the mischievous gleam in her big brown eyes.

"I left your breakfast in the sink," she announced, willing to ignore him after that.

"I thought you would be my breakfast," he teased, biting her neck.

She gasped almost instantly.

"Draco, I have to write," she said, with more conviction than yesterday.

"You can do two things at once"

"You're an arse".

He laughed, placing a kiss on the top of her head.

"I was kidding, Granger. It stopped raining so much? I see that the light and the internet have returned"

"Yes, at least for now it's a drizzle" she said, looking at the windows. "Why? Do you want to go?"

She suddenly sounded worried.

Almost hurt.

He smiled, shaking his head.

"I'll just go get my backpack. I left it in the car. The keys...?"

She seemed relieved.

He was too.

"At the door"

"Thank you, Granger", and before leaving he left a kiss on her curls again, hearing her laugh.

He found his boots near the door, already dry, and put them on before leaving the cabin. The weather had improved exponentially, which meant that he was no longer tying him down to stay there. It meant that she wanted him to be there, if she still hadn't kicked him out, and seemed so worried that she already wanted to leave.

He smiled inwardly as he grabbed his backpack and car keys that she had left inside her in her haste to see her as soon as possible the night before, then headed back to the cabin.

He decided not to disturb her for a while, letting her write in peace.

He stopped by the bathroom to freshen up for the night and brush his teeth. He hadn't packed much in his backpack, a couple of shirts and pants, but he brought a toothbrush. He was an impulsive jerk but not that much.

Though he still had no idea how long Hermione would allow him to stay. He didn't know how much to push his luck. He went back to the bedroom to leave his backpack there and stared at his phone for a moment, wondering if he should call Theo already, since he disturbed them the night before.

But he decided not to.

He was already the worst best friend in the world, he had little more to lose if he waited a few more moments to come up with a more or less believable excuse that didn't denote that he was shagging his ex-girlfriend.

With that in mind he placed a condom in his pants pocket and went back to the kitchen.

She was doing dishes, with his back on him, he saw an opportunity he couldn't just turn down.

He stood behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist.

 "Does it hurt?"

His plan was to make her uncomfortable, to take away her embarrassment of her own body, so he had to start with something. He felt her tense and smiled to himself. She slowly turned around, leaning against the counter, looking at him with those big brown eyes that he adored so much.

"What?", she asked, blushing.

"You know what I mean", he said, laughing. He took her up on her counter, slowly, giving her all the time in the world to refuse, sitting her down there. "Are you in any pain, Granger?"

"No," she murmured, self-conscious. He smiled, which made her laugh. He placed myself in the middle of her legs and caressed them slowly, feeling her tremble. "Draco…” she whispered, looking into his eyes.

He leaned towards her.

"Yes, love?" he murmured, giving her light kisses on her shoulders and neck.

"I—, uhm", she trailed off mid-sentence, breathing faster. He smiled internally and brought his mouth up to her lips; she was blushing and her eyes were demanding with passion, but still seemed to be unable to speak those words out loud.

"Have you had time to think about what we talked about yesterday? About letting me teach you?"

Hermione seemed at a loss for words. He knew her too well to know when she felt the need to say nothing. But he wanted her to talk, he needed her to talk.

"Yes".

"And what have you decided, pray tell?"

She sighed, his cheeks blushing even more.

"I said yes, Draco".

God, he could be happier even if he tried in that moment.

But he needed to be sure.

He smiled and moved his hands to the elastic of her pants and played with it.

"What do you want, Granger?"

"I'm not in any pain. So, I want that", she murmured. But he wasn't going to leave it so easy.

"I want to hear you say it or I won't do anything", after saying that he took a step away from her body.

Hermione was hot, breathing fast, and wearing a surprised look. She was adorable.

"Why are you doing this?" she managed to say, swallowing hard.

"Because you are very… modest. Your body responds, but not your words. You have to get rid of that shyness, love", he smiled, and went back to her, unbuttoning her nightshirt, pulling it off her shoulders so damn slowly that it was hell for both of them. "Sex is not a taboo if you don't want it to be, right?". He caressed her arms and waited. "Now tell me what you want".

"Oh, Gods". She was impossible flushed, but she still looked so fucking beautiful. The words seemed to be in the tip of her tongue, but her brain was unable to actually say them. A whole minute passed, and once he was actually deciding that this was too much for her that quickly and it was better to leave her be, she closed his fist around his shirt. "Fuck me, please", she blurted out, leaving him speechless.

Okay, he wasn't expecting that. He expected her to say something sweater, even, but the fact that she was expressly asking him to do so made me him incredible hard. Hermione kept looking at him, now biting the inside of her cheek, maybe thinking she screwed up, unsure on how to proceed, when he was actually just too shocked to reply.

Seconds later his lips were already devouring hers.

Hermione wrapped his arms around his neck, tugging at the hair on the back of his neck, turning him on more if that was even possible.

He moaned into her kiss and plunged his tongue into her mouth until it met hers. His hands went down to her pants, which he yanked off and I quickly pulled his own pants down, leaving the condom next to her legs.

"In the kitchen?" Hermione whispered between gasps.

He laughed softly, biting her jaw.

"I'd fuck you anywhere"

"Here, please" she moaned in his ear, throwing all his self-control away.

If he heard one more "please" with that sweet voice of hers that was going to be over for him embarrassedly quickly.

He removed her top, throwing it on the floor on purpose, and started kissing her neck as he felt her warm hands on his torso. She followed the lines of his abs slowly with one of her hands, as if she were exploring unknown territory, one that she was unaware that she could do whatever she bloody wanted with it.

He lowered his hands to her breasts, positioning his palms to touch her aroused nipples, making her moan louder, with made her hand drop to the front of his boxers. Draco almost felt the gears of her brain trying to decide what to do about it. Her palm stayed there, her eyes glued to his body, just thinking.

"Touch me" he said slowly, prompting her to do so. "If you want to".

Hermione's shoulders tensed, and je felt her whole head go upside down. However, after a few seconds that seemed like days for him, hooked her fingers to the waistband and lower them to his knees. She started to lightly touch his cock with her fingertips, barely brushing it, like every touch she had, as soft as a flower petal.

Draco dropped his forehead to her shoulder, breathing heavily, looking at her movements transfixed by them.

"Can I say something… without sounding like a pervert?” she murmured, while he kissed her neck.

Before he was able to reply, he hissed, because she finally, oh finally, wrapped her hand around him, starting to move up and down. She gathered the precum that was on his tip with her thumb and did it faster, placing her other hand on his neck. He was absolutely sure that she was somehow following his breath, his little overachiever, and changed his movements according to it.

"Fucking hell, Granger" he whispered, and bitter her shoulder, noticing her shudder. "Yes, you can say whatever you can, now and ever".

She actually laughed. God. She was about to make him cum on that very spot just with a brief handjob and she was laughing, as if she knew the effect that she had on him, as if she loved it as much as he did.

"You're very big", she laughed slightly, as if it were a childish comment, which drove me completely crazy. "I may not have any comparison images in my memory from real life, but I know".

Draco thought that he was going to lose his fucking mind right there.

Instead, motivated his kisses towards her neck, slowly going up her body, and moved her dump knickers to the side with his thumb to check for himself how unbelievable wet she was, just for the sake of his ego.

He gathered the moist of her entrance and went to her clit, stroking her with a clear purpose, loving the sounds that left her mouth. However, he only kept his thumb there after a while, and quickly entered two fingers in her cunt.

"And you're so tight, love" he gasped, moving his fingers faster. Her moans were louder, and he was unable to stop his, since her movement never waved. She was a woman in a mission, it seemed. "I can't take it anymore, fuck", he groaned, finally.

He pulled her to the edge of the counter and placed the tip of his dick in her cunt after rolling the condom, noticing her curious eyes watching him as she bit her lip.

"You do it", he suggested, as if it was nothing.

Without further ado, she wrapped her legs tightly around his hips and pulled him inside her, moaning at it.

Draco moaned from his throat, taking her hips with his hands to pull her to him, in a swing of hips that was driving them both crazy. He lowered his lips to kiss her breasts, trying to control myself from his moaning.

She cried out when he bit one of her nipples, and since he saw that she liked it he did it harder.

Hermione then took his face between her delicate hands and kissed him passionately, leaving them both breathless. He was going harder, faster and deeper, until he felt her inner walls squeeze him hard, ending both of them with a fantastic orgasm before he was able to process what was happening.

He gasped, trying to breathe normally. She was visibly agitated, but smiling at him.

God, he loved that smile.

He loved her, overall.

Draco gave her a brief kiss on her lips before pulling out of her and trying not to moan at the friction, because then it was going to be impossibly difficult to stay away from her the rest of the afternoon.

"Are you satisfied, Granger?" he asked, smiling as her cheeks automatically turned pink, as if minutes ago never happened and she was an enterally different person now that her hands were at either side of her own legs. "Consider the unexpected moment as a pop quiz. That you passed with flying colors, of course".

"Draco!" she laughed, hitting him in the chest. He allowed her to dress again as he did, silently wondering if he could just take all her clothes to the storm, so maybe she wouldn't use them anymore. "Thank you".

"You didn’t answer my question".

She bit her lower lip, rolling her eyes.

"I am satisfied, you idiot. Happy?"

"Were you comfortable? It's very important that you are comfortable with a partner and you trust them, so you can be vocal about what you like and what you don’t", he said, just pushing her limits a little bit more.

"God, you're impossible" she said, trying not fight back a smile. "I was comfortable with you". Hermione went back to her laptop, scrolling with her mouse, as if she was re-reding some of her old words to continue what she was doing before he interrupted her. "You are my friend, Draco. Of course, I trust you."

Friend.

She wasn’t even looking at him while she spoke, as if was nothing.

Which, being honest, it was better, because Draco was sure that at that moment, she could have seen in his eyes the incredible pain that hit him like a punch to the gut.

"Of course," he said, as if it was obvious after clearing his throat. "And I will always be your friend, Granger".

Even if it was breaking his heart, because it was better to have some part of her, to none at all.

Chapter Text

She regretted the word the second it left her mouth.

Friends.

It hadn't sounded right out loud, since it wasn't connected to the thought that crossed her mind when she decided to say it. Hermione understood what Draco was explaining about being vocal with her preferences in order to enhance the new dynamic they had, and in her mind, she was making it clear how much she trusted him by saying it out loud, by vocalizing it. But she had sunk herself by adding the "friendship" part.

Because she had only been friends with Draco for a year, after many previous years of hating him with all of her being, and now she was scared of just how much she trusted him. Labeling it as a simple friendship protected her brain from her heart, from analyzing deeply how it had been so easy for her to accept the touch of fingers on her skin when before she had never had the need to feel ones that were not hers.

She shook her head, looking at her at the notebook in front of her.

Surely, she was so internally conflicted by the situation because Hermione wasn't used to seeing her friends naked. Ginny, of course, because they were friends since they were children and she could change in front of the other without fear of comparisons. But she had never, ever seen Harry naked, and even thinking about it gave her the creeps. However, yes, she had seen Pansy naked, but that was because the girl was ridiculously comfortable in her own body and had never minded pacing as God brought her into the world through the apartment they shared at the university. At first, Hermione had come to believe it was a way of establishing dominance on the ground, as if she were a little dog peeing on trees to mark territory, or even because he wanted to make her feel inferior, since Pansy's body had always been the closes thing to the canons of beauty that she had seen with her own eyes. But no, it turned out that the Serpent was simply really comfortable with herself and she wasn't going to change her ways just because now shared a flat with someone she hated.

But going along those lines, Hermione had never thought about seeing Blaise naked. The three Serpents' boys had always been reserved during school in that way, almost like a mystery to her, but even as part of the same group of friends and visiting the pool at Malfoy Manor, his bathing suit was always longer than the other's. Ginny had confessed very recently that more than merely shyness it was a complex of having grown up in the shadow of Theo and Draco, even though neither of them had caused this on purpose, it turns out it was a collection of comments he had heard from girls about his friends during his most formative years.

And, fuck, she hadn't even seen Theo naked. She had felt him, yes, during one or two of the most intense make-out sessions they had shared, but time was always tight and there never seemed to be the right time to take the next step.

And now she had seen more of Draco than she had ever allowed herself to imagine, and he had explored her more than anyone else in the world. But they were friends. It was still friendship, with its modifications.

She was drowning in a glass of water, definitely. Draco hadn't even cared about the comment, and he hadn't missed an opportunity to affirm that yes, they were indeed friends. And that they would always be friends. Friends, just friends.

It was fine. He was obviously fine, so she was fine too.

She snorted loudly, unable to help it, and rested her forehead against her notebook.

"Everything okay out there, Granger?"

Hearing the blonde's voice on the other side of the sofa that divided the kitchen from the living room surprised her enormously, despite the fact that she already knew that he was there, reading patiently and in silence, during the last few hours, without disturbing her at all.

It was irritating.

She almost wanted him to bother her.

Draco was fulfilling what he had promised her earlier in the morning, to let her write in peace. Hermione focused on editing on her laptop some of the words she'd typed the night before the blackout, completely lost in her thoughts that she hadn't even realized what was up around her. That was a very normal characteristic of her personality, which irritated a lot of people enormously, and her parents used to say that the house might be on fire, but if her nose was stuck book she would not realize anything until the flames burned her.

She had almost expected Draco to interrupt her at some point, but he hadn't. He hadn't even told him that he was going to start cooking, or at least she hadn't listened, and she only looked up from the screen when the smell of pasta had filled her nose.

Before she could protest, Draco had told her that it hadn't been a big deal, that he even cooked the wrong proportions and they would have pasta until they were bored of it, and that he didn't want to bother her. He had placed a full plate in front of her and he sat down too, starting to eat.

She didn't even remember if she had thanked him. She was too shocked to speak.

They chatted over lunch about the storm, similar experiences with rain, and the trip he had taken by car, as opposed to the one she had taken by train and then on foot to get to the cabin, and neither of them asked how long he would stay with her.

Hermione didn't want to know, if she was being honest, because it would make it completely impossible for her to get a single word out on her keyboard if she had a clock on her head with Draco's name on it.

She had insisted on doing the dishes (and found out that he indeed had cooked pasta for an army), and then suggested that he read some of the books in her library if he wanted to. She was terrified that he would get bored of her company, but at the same time she hadn't asked him to come see her, so he must have known what was in store for him, right? Hermione Granger was nothing if she wasn't determinated.

Draco hadn't refused, and he simply kissed the top of her head and insisted that she didn't have to worry about him, that he was going to check that everything was okay with his car after the storm, and then he would take her word for it and read something.

None of that should have been a problem for her, but it was.

They spent the rest of the day around each other, and she had soon noticed that, to her dismay, she was waiting for him to initiate something. But it never happened.

They had dinner (and pasta again, yes) between friendly chats that reminded her of how bloody interesting Draco was when he wasn't being such a prat, and then she'd suggested they open the wine she'd found hidden when she found the candles, and her paths had parted again.

But now she was about to freak out. Was that part of his plan, part of his idea to teach her to control herself, to understand sexual cues? Because she was very sure that she was very close to being sexually frustrated when, fuck, they shagged in the morning. So, she was being unreasonable, right?

It seemed like she was waiting for something that wasn't going to happen.

"Yeah, don't worry. I just ran into a problem in the plot, I'll figure it out".

"Do you think some more wine will help you?" he asked, pointing to the empty glass of hers and the still-half bottle on the table in front of him.

Hermione smiled, nodding her head.

"Please."

Draco cleared his throat slightly and then walked over to her with the bottle.

And she finally considered herself completely insane when the glass in her hand dropped the second her fingers brushed his.

Fuck.

"Oh!" she said, watching as the glass shattered into a thousand pieces. "God, I'm sorry! I must be more distracted than I thought," she insisted, then moved quickly to gather the pieces between her hands, awkwardly.

"It's okay, Granger. It was my fault, I hit it with the bottle," he said, so simply that for a moment she considered if that wasn't what had happened. However, when she noticed how Draco reached for a towel from the kitchen to pick up the shards of glass from her hands, she understood that he hadn't. "Did you cut yourself?"

"No, no. It's nothing", she said, taking the towel with the glass from his hands and leaving it in the kitchen. She took another glass and filled it herself, only to sit back in the same place she was before, looking at her notebook as if it could give him the secrets of the universe. "Thank you."

She could have sworn that Draco was just standing there next to her, confused, but moments later he was back on the couch.

"I'm glad you have more glasses. It would be awful if you hated me again for my clumsiness", he laughed, downplaying it.

She looked at him again and found him finishing his glass almost in one swoop, then picking up the book again. She didn't even know what he had decided to read, and she was insanely curious to find out, but she didn't want to ask him about it right now.

"Did you hate my clumsiness when we were in school together?" she asked, suddenly. He raised his eyebrows, surprised. "I mean, was that why you hated me?"

"Of course not", he answered, visibly confused. "You know why we weren't friends in school. Little rich kids who have everything except love from their families can't stand it when others have what they can't buy. We talked about this when we decided to be friends after you moved in with Pansy, remember?"

"Right", she replied, beginning to play with the glass between her fingers, looking at the content. "Did you always know that Harry was an orphan? I mean, his parents' car accident happened when he was a baby, so…"

He giggled.

She would have laughed in another context, because, God, it must be so clear for him to notice that she was losing her mind already.

"We knew, yes, but he was always glued to Ginevra's hip, who has like fourteen siblings, so his lack of family love was never visible, if you know what I mean", he said. She remembered the first heart-to-heart talk they'd all had together, where they'd cleared the air about why they hated each other so much at school, and discovered they had more in common than they thought and they explained all of that, but she just wanted to hear him talk and that had been it. the best thing that had occurred to him at the time. "Why do you ask? The problem in the plot of your book is about teenagers hating each other for stupid things?", he asked her, sincerely curious, as if he wanted to help her.

"No, I was just curious", she said, brushing it off.

Draco straightened up on the couch, setting the book aside.

"Tell me what the book is about."

"You know what is about, it's the only thing I've been talking about for the past few months," she said, smiling.

And it was true. What had started as an innocent paper for a creative writing class in college had developed into the professor telling her that he had a friend at a publishing house who might be interested in her idea, if she was willing to hand him a draft for the start of the next course. That started everything, and she told everyone about it, seeking for their approval.

"I like to hear it."

She laughed.

"It is a story of love and magic. Where the protagonists are finally together after what is explained to have been years of insecurities, but the day after the night they spend together and confess their feelings, the boy dies in a car accident", she told him, and she could see his eyes fixed on her, hanging on every word, as if they were new to him. "She had the family power to turn back time and she decides to do it to prevent the accident and save him. But this doesn't stop him from dying and he just keeps dying, but in different ways, and there's nothing she can do about it. And she freaks out, trying to be more powerful to change it", she continued, as if it was nothing to her. "The story is about overcoming the death of a loved one, understanding the power of fate and moving on. Accepting that sometimes love just can't be and there's nothing wrong about it", she murmured. "Sadly, I have no problem with teenagers who hate each other for silly things", she added, with a slight laugh. "I just had a few issues with my lead's stubbornness. I don't want her to look bidimensional, either."

The weight of her gray eyes as she explained where she was putting her heart and soul for months was too much for her, so she looked away.

He seemed to feel the tension in the air, and commented:

"Stubbornness? That sounds like someone I know. Is there something self-referential about her?"

"Not on purpose," Hermione insisted, shaking her head. "Sometimes I can't help it, but she's not me, for sure. I imagine her physically like Pansy!"

"Oh sure, as if she wasn't stubborn either. Letting go isn't exactly her strong suit, especially on relationships, if not, ask Potter for how long was she mad at him when he didn’t got her pansys for their three months anniversary".

"You'll know, huh", she said, in a way that she swore had cut off his laughter a bit, unintentionally. She sighed. "God, I didn't mean in a bad way. I mean, since you guys were together, uhm—, if anyone knows what Pansy is like in that sense, it's you."

God, Hermione wanted a hole to open up in the ground right now.

She didn't want to hear about his romantic relationship with Pansy Parkinson. She already knew that they had been together during school, and she assumed they must have been their first everything in their life. Even if she adored her now and accepted everyone's past, that didn't mean she liked imagining her with Draco in that way.

Although he seemed surprised by the mention of the subject, he just moved on.

"We were fifteen, Granger. She got mad at me for a lot more than flowers, believe me", he said, as if there was no big deal. He then rested his elbows on his knees and clasped his hands together, and seemed to be thinking about something important. She didn’t break the silence between them. She was just admiring his fingers, like a lunatic. "So, there's a sex scene in your book?"

The question caught her off guard.

"Well, something like that."

"What do you mean?"

Hermione blinked rapidly, confused by the sudden warmth she felt in her chest.

"I mean my book is pretty PG-15. It's not really important what actually happens in the scene, it's that it happens. Do you understand?"

He laughed.

"That's bullshit! Really, Granger? Are you going to cut off the fun for your readers like that? You should show all the ways someone can use a bed if they only shag once!"

"Don't be absurd!" she laughed, seeing his reaction. "No one is going to care about that. It goes without saying that it happens, and that's enough."

"Well, I'm going to be your reader and I care," he said, raising his chin. "What happens, then? You describe how they take off their clothes and little foreplay and—?"

"No," she stopped him, feeling the heat rise to her cheeks now. "They're kissing and she's straddling him and I kind of describe how it goes on, no details, blah blah blah, it ends with something like 'and finally they were one' and the next chapter starts waking up in bed by morning. And that's where the important part of the story, this is just uhmm—, the beginning."

"I can't believe you're going to do that. I feel personally offended, Granger."

"I'm sorry I'm not up to your standards in erotica, Malfoy. I didn't know that was your type".

"For your characters it's the first and only time that they have the opportunity to shag, so for them it would be important to know how it went. What did they feel, don't you think?" His tone had changed, now it was slower, warmer. He made her heart beat faster that easily. "So the girl can remember it with the readers throughout the story. Don’t you think?"

Hermione bit the inside of her cheek, setting aside her glass of wine.

"I can't tell if you're joking or not."

"Joking? You wish, Granger," he said, stretching back on the couch. She followed the movements of his muscles, swallowing hard. "Come here".

"What?"

She was sure she had heard wrong, that the heat suffocating her body had spoken for her.

"Come here. I want to figure out together how to describe the scene" he insisted, as if was completely normal between them. "I promise not to tell anyone. Your book is all yours".

She dug the nails of her right hand into her palm, reminding herself that she couldn't just scramble up and run to him, that she couldn't show how much she'd been waiting for some sort of innuendo from him all day.

She counted in her head to ten before rising with planned slowness, seeing the grinning that covered his face, almost as if he knew the effect those simple words had had on her surely wet knickers.

Hermione placed her legs on each side and straddled him, her hands falling gently on his shoulders. But his hands never moved as he felt her body over his, as if he was waiting for something.

"So, what were your characters doing, Granger? Remind me, please."

"They were… they were kissing," she managed to say, suddenly intimidated with his gray eyes that close to her face.

"And what was he doing?", Draco insisted, quietly, as if it were a secret. "Where were his hands while they kissed?"

Hermione was sure she was going to scream if nothing happened soon, but she answered, with the last ounce of courage left in her body:

"On her bum. Squeezing it between his fingers."

He smiled at her and his hands followed her lead, pressing into the fabric of her shorts. As he readjusted her over him it was obvious to feel the bulge beneath her, the only proof she had that he was as affected by her pauses as she was.

"Good fucking answer".

And then he kissed her with the same passion he would have had if the male character in her book knew it was the first and only time he was going to find himself in that position.

The heat that spread through her body was scorching, as her hands pulled at the hair on the back of Draco's neck as he completely devoured her mouth, making himself lord and master of all the ground he traversed, leaving her with no hope of ever finding another in her memory that compared. As his fingers pressed the skin of her bottom beneath the thin fabric of her clothing, and for a second she had the incoherent wish they would leave marks on her. Forever.

When she separated from him, just a few centimeters, to be able to breathe, he continued to whisper:

"Do you think he would kiss her neck while he feels her move against his cock?"

Hermione stopped abruptly, noticing the movements of her hips she didn't remember starting.

"Don't you dare stop, Granger."

Her tone was scathing, choked.

She felt powerful and looked back into his eyes and she barely saw the gray in them now.

"I think she would, while he puts his hands under her shirt."

Giving neither him nor her own brain time to react, she buried herself in her neck, spreading wet kisses up and down, having to remove her shirt to move them to her shoulders. She could feel him tremble under her lips, and see his chest rise and fall erratically because of her.

Fuck, she never wanted that to end.

She only broke away from him when Draco seemed to react after she bite his right earlobe, and he slipped her hands under her shirt, pulling it off her, leaving her now with only her bra. Her palms closed around her breasts, eliciting a moan from him that echoed throughout the cabin and within her own brain.

Her legs were trembling and the friction against his pants was driving her crazy, but it wasn't until she heard him moan through her lips on her jaw that she needed to pull away, flushed and aroused beyond belief.

"This is the time he should take her to the bedroom and show her all the uses a bed can have, don't you think?"

To her total surprise, Draco shook his head.

"If it's the only time they have to be together, I refuse to think there wouldn't be more foreplay," he said, brushing his nose against hers, breathing in her breath. "There's so much he has to do first. Use his fingers wiht her, his tongue on her." She was totally unable to hide the shiver that ran through her at hearing him, digging her nails into her shoulders. And, of course, it did not go unnoticed by him. "Don't you think he would like to use his tongue first? Would she like that?"

Hermione felt delirious, the warmth of her preventing him from forming a single word, but she managed to nod, wetting her lips with her tongue as her mouth felt dry.

Draco, for the first time that afternoon, moved his hands up her body without warning, and led them to the elastic of her pants.

"Do you want to come, Granger?"

God, she hated him.

He was done with the characters; he was talking about her.

"Please".

Hermione let out a strangled squeak as Draco caught her waist and shifted their positions on the sofa so that she was now lying on it, his body gravitating over hers.

His eyes never left hers as he reached for his pants and removed them, then with tortuous slowness, he lowered her knickers so that they only hung around one of her ankles and he was free to position himself between her legs.

She felt panic escalate with alarming speed as she realized the seriousness of the situation, the fact that Draco bloody Malfoy's face was just inches from the most intimate part of her, the one no one had ever seen so close. God, she hadn't even had that perspective of herself, unless that time she was twelve and she decided to look at herself in a mirror to understand her body better and—

"Granger, eyes on me."

She hadn't even noticed when her head went to the ceiling.

She obeyed him, and she felt his fingers on her thighs in warning.

"Good girl".

She literally moaned after hearing him.

She was almost sure she was going to come without needing to be touched, but that was until she finally felt his tongue on her cunt. He parted her folds and ran his tongue up and down. A small shriek echoed through the room, followed by moans that came as he increased the pressure of her tongue, lingering on her clit.

"Draco". The bubble that was on her lower belly was killing her, but he dared her as he opened his eyes and looked at her without removing her tongue from her, which was the most erotic image she had even seen in her entire fucking life. She wanted to cry, for God's sake. "Fuck."

He nibbled lightly on her clit, pulling away from her for a moment to fully see her, but the instant she noticed his lips glassing from her arousal, she began to move her hips up and down, restless.

Draco wasn't shy at all with his work, he wasn't like any character she could ever describe, because they hadn't invented words in the English language yet to describe the movements her tongue made inside her, giving her no time to think, something that no one else ever managed to achieve with Hermione Granger, the biggest swot of England.

When he bit into her skin again, this time with more pressure, it was the end of her.

And it exploded into hundreds of pieces, crying out his name.

She couldn’t place up or down, she could see literal stars behind her eyes.

Fuck, that couldn't be normal.

She was no stranger to sensations after someone going down on her, in theory, she had read all the possible metaphors in the romance books, and then all the clinical ones in the medical ones. But he never expected them to be true, at least not for her.

She was barely aware of the trail of kisses he left on her cunt, prolonging her orgasm until she could't even breath, then sliding his lips gently down her legs, down to the fabric of her knickers, and back into place.

"We were right, Granger. That was what the scene needed."

In some delusional way Draco didn't think that she was able continue the scene and was giving her a way out.

And Hermione, in an even more delirious way, was going to show him that she could do more, much more.

She pulled him by the neck and into her mouth, testing herself on his tongue.

"Take me to bed, Draco."

Chapter Text

Bloody hell.

Did she just...? She said...?

Oh, she didn't have to repeat it twice.

He lunged over her body, grabbing her hips and loving every second her hot skin touched his, while lifting her off the sofa by the waist and making her wrap her legs around his hips as they moved into the bedroom. Draco's mouth pressed to hers in search of a kiss he would kill for, a kiss so hot he would wage wars and destroy entire nations for it.

Draco would like to take credit for the situation, just for his ego, that in some way he had planned everything that would happen next since he proposed to Hermione to act the scene before which the protagonists of her book would shag for the first and last time, but it would be a lie. Not even in his wildest dreams could he have imagined such a turn of events.

Hermione Granger was letting him be the first where no one else had been was an unparalleled privilege, and he wished that her taste on his tongue would never, ever leave his senses, but he always believed there was a certain fog in her brain from the arousal that drove her thoughts once her body screamed for release, and not because her body was so fucking responsive only for him. So, when she was the one who took the initiative to continue with the scene, who explicitly asked him to take her to bed, it completely disarmed him.

He had spent the entire day straining his own patience around her, forcing his own will not to create a sexual moment between them again after that same morning, so that she would be the one to show him that she wanted them to happen again. And again and again, and every time she would want it, as she said.

It was like a test on his whole teaching shite, yes, but one he'd hated the instant it occurred to him. But the last thing he wanted was to scare her, so he had decided to give her space and time until the situation progressed naturally.

And he had done it, hadn't he? He deserved his prize.

He poked her tongue out and licked her lips possessively of hers, reminding her of who he was and forcing her to never forget him, leaving his imprint inside her mouth. He kissed her so hard so that from now on she would not be able to compare him with another. It was primal, it was so, so stupid and it was kind of toxic, but the thought of sharing Hermione made his blood boil. It was the same feeling that he had during the whole fucking four months that she dated Theo.

God, he was an arse.

Motivated by that thought, he squeezed her hips tighter and heard her mouth leave a sound that was a mix between a gasp and a purr into his mouth. He broke away the kiss just to see her like that and pressed his forehead against hers, even as her eyes were closed as well as her fists around him.

She was so beautiful like that. She was beautiful in every possible way, but when she was demanding and at the same time vulnerable it was everything to him. It made him want to kick himself again for not being the one that asked her out first, for having to create a lie to be in that situation in the first place, for being a coward and a bad friend and—

Draco deposited her body on the bed and directed his mouth to her neck, wanting to punish, wanting to impose myself; and being possessive was the only way to show how much he cared. Also, it was because he loved her neck, though she might not have realized it yet, and the reason was simple: he could feel her pulse quicken every time he nibbled on it or when his fingers decided to scan her skin.

She was transparent like this, like an open book he would never get tired of reading.

"How many uses can be given to the bed?", she asked in a dazed way, her voice sounding silky and fine as a thread.

She shivered slightly as his hand moved down to her thigh, caressing her skin that only had her bra and knickers to cover her, and I lifted one of her legs up to his hips while he gravitated above her. He sniffed her neck, making no secret of his erection being on the middle of her legs.

"Don't tempt me to show you the thousands of things people can do in a bed", he whispered in a hot, yearning voice.

"I want…", she licked her lips, tilting her head back as he began to place wet kisses on her collarbone. "I want you to show them to me, Draco. I mean it".

Draco flinched like he did every time when she mentioned his name in that hot, sexy tone, almost needy.

He devoured her pretty pink lips and acted on instinct: he carefully stripped her of her bra, but lost all sorts of calm the moment he took off his clothing, letting everything fall to the floor, and getting on top of her body again. He aligned their hips and laced his fingers through hers, lifting her arms so they were above her head.

"Use number one", he murmured against her mouth. "Fuck till exhaustion"

He lost myself in her lips again, then kissed her neck and continued to slide down her breasts, giving them all the attention he neglected before when he was focused with trying not to fucking come in his boxers while eating her perfect cunt.

"I think… that…", she gasped when she saw the attention her breasts were receiving. She threw her head back, and moaned.  "The first use… of the… bed… is to sleep."

He shook his head.

"Oh no, love. If people could choose between sleep and sex, at least ninety percent of the population would agree with me and would prefer the second option as the number one use for a bed".

Although, really, any surface would do, but he didn't tell her that.

They would have time for a practical class on surfaces, right?

The table at the kitchen, the sofa, the bed, the wall, the shower…

He didn't let her reply because his mouth took care of covering one of her breasts. He licked it once and it didn't need anything else for her nipple to stand up proudly, so he went back to licking and sucking on it. She moaned. From the sounds she made, it was obvious that she still hadn't gotten used to it. And fuck, he liked being the first to make her feel like that. And maybe, if his luck wasn't so screwed up, also the only one.

He turned his attention to the other breast as well, loving the way her nipple firmed up for him. As he still held her hands above her head, he could feel her start to dig her nails into his fingers and part of the sheet, so he licked her pink nipples several times and enjoyed the sounds she made.

Suddenly his boxers felt too tight. He was actually surprised he lasted that long, to be honest.

He separated himself from Hermione's body, removing any burden between her skin and his. But, when he was totally naked before her, and she saw him, she blushed, so he had to actually fist his cock with his own hand a couple of times to control himself, like a teenager that saw porn for the first time on late night TV by accident.

She swallowed hard, not breaking eye contact while he got a condom from his backpack and he slid it on himself.

"Is it seeming acceptable to your characters how does the scene unfolds, Granger?" he asked, adjusting the material on his cock, with her eyes glued at it. Fuck, he should have asked to do it herself. "Do you understand my interest for details now?"

She sat up with her elbows on the mattress, her flushed chest heaving up and down, her big brown eyes darkened with desire, trying to articulate an answer for him.

"I think my readers will greatly appreciate these details, yes."

He giggled. She was literally the only person in the world to make him giggle in a situation like this, and he loved her for that.

But there was another problem: she still had her knickers on.

Draco straddled his thumbs to the ends of the delicate fabric and said:

"Love, you're going to have to add a new pair of knickers to the list of things I broke after that glass of wine."

So, he ripped them.

She gaped. Flustered and excited at the same time, so he parted slightly from her body and took in every part of her beautiful nude silhouette. She was everything. She was it for him. He always knew it, maybe that was what made him a coward in the first place, maybe that was why he waited so long he wouldn’t have chance, maybe—

He disappeared the space that he had created between them and in a furious way he grabbed her waist to lift her up and stay on their knees on the bed, looking into her eyes. He took advantage of the position to devour her lips and lick them as he wanted to all day, and the warmth of her skin welcomed his.

His hands went to her back to hold her and to caress her. Soon one was on her thigh and he began to slowly spread her legs apart. Draco carefully sat on his knees and went from kissing her mouth to kissing her breasts, licking, sucking and nibbling at his whim. She threw her head back and from her lips the most sensual sound in the world escaped.

Draco wasted no time and grabbed her knees, urging her to come closer to him.

He spread his legs a little while separating hers and while holding her beautiful bum he raised her directly to his cock. She took him by his shoulders as she breathed heavily and let him sink her slowly and carefully on top of her. He spread her legs with his, and when she was all the way down, because he couldn't possibly go any further, he heard her moan between pleasure and pain.

Draco tried to calm his own breathing as she put her face in the crook of his neck and her sweat mixed with the one on his skin.

"Granger", he whispered. She was still whimpering. "Love, did I hurt you?" he insisted. She shook her head, still on his neck. He took her by the jaw and forced her to look into his eyes, needed to see an actual confirmation. "Hermione, please be honest", he said in a muffled voice.

She opened her mouth but no clear sound came out.

He started to panic.

"I just feel so…, so full, God, I—", she bit her lip, moaning. "Please, please, please move, move faster—".

If he moved faster, he was going to be over before being able to get her off again.

Which was unacceptable.

"It's the only time your characters will fuck, Granger. Please let him savor it."

So, he started to move slowly. First to test the angle, he took her hips and, with the help of his own body, he raised her and then let her slide along his cock. She moaned. He grunted with pleasure.

She felt so incredibly good, it shouldn’t be legal.

He did this a couple more times; listening as she held her breath and turned her head to his shoulder. By the third time, her hips were beginning to keep pace with his. Her breathing increased and he felt her bite his shoulder. That aroused him past any turning point.

Draco moved with her, up, down, and then up again. Her skin slipping against his, and that being the only sound in the room, their bodies colliding again and again.

He kissed her, hard. And started to move slowly once more. Pushing himself up with his hips, holding hers for her to follow him. She moaned and cried out. They soon kept up the same pace and he continued with each delicious thrust. They moved inside each other's bodies, feeling their pulses and listening to their frantic breathing, feeling the sweat descend from their pores until they mixed to be one.

"More, please…" she groaned and looked back at him, pleading.

How could he dare say no to her?

Hermione moaned loudly as she felt the thrusts increase. She grabbed him a little tighter with her arms and kissed him hard. He placed his hands on her bum to speed up his movements, pressing his fingers against her skin, wishing he could leave his mark there as well.

Maybe his teeth or—?

Suddenly Hermione closed her eyes and rested her head on his shoulder moaning and digging her nails into him a little, breaking skin.

"Keep going…", she whispered between moans.

She cupped his face with her hands and slowed the kisses, making him delirious.

But he heard her whimper with a particular thrust that made him change his movements again, breathing heavily, repeating over and over inside his brain that she was new to this, that he could hurt her, that he could scare her or—

"I…, fuck", she moaned. "I won't break. Please, faster, please", she kissed his neck. Hearing her moan that close to my ear was electrifying, so he nodded. But the actual answer he gave her was a hard thrust, digging his nails on her skin. She dug hers into his neck, biting him, as a moan tore from her throat. "Keep going. Fuck, Draco", she gasped.

He cried out, feeling his entire body about to collapse.

"Granger", he said her name between moans of pleasure and felt her shiver.

"Draco", she moaned in his ear as she felt how I entered her. One of his hands left her arse cheek just to go back to her clit, rubbing it furiously with his thumb. She whimpered in a high-pitched sound that he hoped would echo into the room forever. "Yes! More, God."

"Yes?" he asked between thrusts, feeling his cock completely inside of her.

A moan ripped him apart at that thought.

"Yes, yes, yes".

She brought their lips together, gradually increasing the intensity of the kiss, while she matched his thrusts to the kiss, feeling his body tense unquestionably. He just couldn't hold it any longer.

Hermione broke away for air, letting out a few moans.

"I'm— I'm—, how long do you—? Ah!"

"Not long, fuck…" he managed to say, hoarsely.

Then there was a second of silence before they burst into pieces at the same time.

It took him longer than ever to even rationalize that he had to leave Hermione's body, as being inside of her felt like she was a vital part of his own body.

He prolonged her pleasure as long as he could with his thumb on her clit and when her breaths came even, he lifted her hips to separate her from his body with extreme delicacy, listening to her moan at the friction. He took the condom off him as quickly as possible to tie it up and leave it in the trash in the room so he could get back to her.

It felt different.

Could she have felt it, too?

He didn't even pretend that he didn't want to hold her in his arms like the other times, because finding her almost disoriented, visibly tired and agitated, still on her knees on the bed, it was impossible for him not to lie down on the mattress and carry her with him. He stayed with one arm by her side to use her other to brush a curl from her forehead, watching her intently, making sure she was okay.

Her eyes wandered calmly over a scar across his chest from when he was sixteen and Potter had pushed him (and had sworn, even as friends, that it had been an accident) through a mirror in the men's room when he had run to get out of there without noticing who was in his way. It was a nasty scar, but it didn’t seem to bother her. Soon his right hand slowly traced it, and they both fell into a warm silence, where his breaths were the only thing that could be heard.

Her skin was blushed and he thought that she was the most precious think the earth had to offer.

Being naked with her, sharing such an intimate moment felt unreal, until soon a knot reached his stomach when he understood that, in truth, it was. He was not her boyfriend, he was her friend, a weird friend and a friend that was in love with her, but a friend, and that was an illusion.

"Good enough for your book, Granger?"

His words seemed to break the spell that enveloped them.

She stopped caressing him and looked back into his eyes, blinking rapidly.

"Maybe I will need your help to describe it later, honestly."

It was a scene and they both knew it.

And it was fine.

"It would be the privilege of my life".

She smiled and, against all odds, she didn't separate from him and got dressed normally like the other times, but instead stood there, with her arms folded across her chest.

"You called me Hermione."

"When?", he asked, confused by the statement.

She poked the inside of her cheek with her tongue.

"Before."

"Before?"

He remembered after a moment, but that didn't stop him from asking.

"When you thought you had hurt me when we started shagging".

Draco smiled, pleased.

The word escaped him, if he was honest, driven by fear, but it was sweet for her to notice, especially in the state she was in at that moment.

"It's true. It's your name, isn't it?"

"That's never mattered to you before," she said, though it didn't sound critical, but something closer to curiosity. "Why have you never called me that before?"

The blond removed his hand from her face, but kept it close to her body, motivated by her warmth.

"It's a habit. It created indifference to call you by your last names. The only one who didn't comply with that was Ginevra, because she has sixteen other siblings, although it's not as if we had gotten along particularly well with any of them," he said, brushing it off. "Charlie was the most tolerable, I think. The rest? Unbearable."

He hoped the sarcasm was palpable in his voice when he talked. It was easier to explain that part of his childhood he hated the Weasley brothers because he found them irritating and their families had always had differences, his parents having gone to school together, before he went on to specify that he had never really bothered to meet them because one of them dared to—

"They can be a bit much sometimes, yeah. I dated one of them brifly, not Charlie, but Ronald, around the same time you were with Pansy and—"

Draco wished his face wasn't contracting the same way his brain had.

He already knew that, clearly. That was the first time he had completely lost interest in any girl but her, as if his fourteen, almost fifteen-year-old brain finally understood that the annoying girl who always outclassed him in every class was, in fact, a girl, who was allowed to have boyfriends.

And they weren't him.

It had to be the most pathetic realization in the world, but that’s when he knew.

He flighted that feeling for like five years since then.

"Do you want me to call you by your name?"

He had barely noticed that she had said something else afterwards and was waiting for her reaction, but she clearly hadn't expected that question.

"I like that you're the only one who calls me by my last name, honestly. But I liked that you called me by my first name when it was serious, so I guess that's a way for you to gauge your own seriousness and I'll let you handle it as you please."

He smiled. That answer was better than he deserved.

"Sounds good to me, Granger," he said calmly. She laughed lightly. "Did you have a good time?"

"Yes, Draco. I liked it."

"Everything we did?"

"Everything we did."

"Including…?"

"Including when you ate my cunt, yes. And I swear I'd like to learn how to return the favor, but I don't think I can stay awake long enough tonight."

Draco's eyes widened at her words.

He had to put on his underwear fast before he could make her keep that promise.

Under her watchful gaze he moved to pick up her knickers from the floor and pass them to her, then put on her own boxers and watch as her eyes followed the trail of his shirt. He took the cotton material in his hands and she took it from him with a wide smile.

Damn, she looked good in his clothes. Maybe that hadn't been the smartest idea.

"We still have time for that particular class, Granger," he said, as they both dressed.

She made a small sound of affirmation in her throat and laid back on the mattress, looking at him with renewed curiosity.

"How long are you going to stay here, Draco?"

The question seemed freshly thought, but something carried more weight than that.

"As long as you let me."

"I do not want to get bored."

"I'm not going to be bored. But you don't have to say it to protect my ego, Granger, I promise. I'll do whatever you want me to do."

She pursed her lips, as if she wanted to think through her next words.

"I don't want you to get bored, I'm not lying," she repeated. "And I don't want you to go anywhere, but—"

Hermione seemed conflicted with her own words, and he didn't doubt it had to do with her birthday, with her friends going to the cabin and this including Theo.

Draco was forcing her to push her own morals at his whim and that wasn't right, no matter how he felt about her.

"We should have a safe word, for when we are together, where everything will stop. You can also use it when you want me to leave and I will not get mad, I will not ask questions, I will let you end everything as if it never happened."

He watched her swallow visibly and press her lips together.

"You're sure?"

"I want you to be comfortable with this, Hermione. I'm sure."

She smiled a little at the sound of her name and the seriousness she carried in saying it.

"What could be a good safe word?"

"It should be something you can't mistakenly say in normal conversation, not like wine or…"

"Butterfly"

"Butterfly?"

"Yes, I like butterflies. I mention the butterfly effect a lot in the book, it's interesting"

He almost contradicted her, but she looked excited about it.

"Butterfly it is."

He could see the pressure leave her shoulders almost graphically, and a yawn escaped her mouth.

"I think it's time for bed, Granger," she told him, standing up again to turn off the light in the bedroom and then pulling a sheet over her body, watching her take it.

"Have you told anyone you're here?"

"I announced in the group that I had gone to Paris to see my mother because my father had gone to do business in New York and he was lonely. I didn't give a return date", he explained, biting the inside of his cheeks. "But I told Pansy the truth. She would have gotten it out of me anyway, I was never good at keeping secrets from her."

Pansy was the first and only one to know about her crush on Hermione, since she witnessed it with her own eyes when she was still dating him. And even though he denied it all her life, she never believed shite.

"Fine," said Hermione, curling up on her side. "I didn't know Narcissa was in Paris."

"Me neither. I lost track of them a bit on this world tour they're doing, but it's okay, there's a good chance that she is actually in France", he lied, in a low voice. He didn't feel like talking about his absent parents at that particular time and ruining the night. "So that's fine, I've already shown signs of life, no one should worry about my whereabouts anymore."

He really hoped Theo had believed him.

He didn't know if he would endure a real interrogation with him without exploiting the whole truth.

"Great" she said, nodding her head. She looked shyer than she had before, suddenly, as she took the sheets in his hands and looked at him sitting on the edge of the bed. "Are you going to go to bed or…?"

"Do you want me to?"

She smiled.

"The scene ends with them sleeping in the same bed, of course."

Draco couldn't help but laugh as he got between the sheets, looking at her.

"Did they end up cuddling?"

Hermione nodded, but nervously.

"My character doesn't have my hair, she has straight short hair, like Pansy, meaning no one could suffocate in it when sleeping and—"

He almost couldn't believe that after everything they'd done it was that particular thing that he managed to get her into like this.

"It would be an honor to be suffocated by your hair, so go ahead, move, Granger," he urged, laughing, hearing her squeak as he turned his back on her. Draco carefully wrapped her arms around her waist, letting her rest her back against his chest. "Like this?"

He could have sworn he felt Hermione tremble, but between the darkness and his back to her he wasn't sure.

"Like this" she whispered. Her hands timidly rested on his, moving them down to her stomach. "Goodnight, Draco."

He left a kiss in her hair, inhaling her scent.

"Goodnight, Granger."

He hoped she didn't miss a single detail in describing the scene for the book, not even the stutter in his heart when all he could feel for a moment was purely and exclusively Hermione Granger.

Chapter Text

Hermione.

She was supposed to be the smartest person in her group of friends, the smartest person in her high school, and the smartest person in her year in college, as they said. But the reality was that Hermione considered that academic knowledge was something that she was given easily, yes, but nothing compared to the general or emotional knowledge that she was indeed lacking.

Because, for example, if she was as smart as everyone said, she wouldn't have told Draco that she preferred him to decide in the moment what to call her. No, she should have told him that she preferred to be called 'Hermione', that it was her name, that all people referred to her that way because it was just the most normal thing in the world to do.

And because she didn't remember hearing him say it before that day in the cabin, and now she just wanted to hear it over and over again, in a constant loop inside her brain.

She had never minded being called by her last name by him, and not even now it was a matter of irritation, but preference. It was ridiculous how much she liked hearing her own name in his mouth, so much so that at the time she had barely allowed herself to reason it out.

And now she had spent the rest of the week waiting to hear it again.

Without success, of course.

But she was not angry, but expectant, impatient, as she felt when she waited for the fireworks to explode on New Year's or Christmas, with the same kind of illusion. After all, she couldn't be mad at him, since the moments when he called her 'love' made up for everything. The word seemed to have a life of its own, because it only crossed his lips at very particular moments, and there was always a slight spark of surprise in his gray eyes when he said it, as if he couldn't believe himself.

Somehow, they had fallen into a harmonious day-to-day routine, as if it wasn't the first time they had lived under the same roof, as if they had practiced it, when she had been sharing an apartment with Pansy for a year, and he lived alone.

It didn’t make any sense.

She woke up before him every morning, no need for an alarm, and spent a long time writing uninterrupted until Draco woke up. Sometimes he wasn't affectionate, sometimes he kept his distance, but they always had breakfast together through chats. And every morning he asked her about her book, about how she was doing with the development of her characters (because he knew she struggled with that in the past), about how she had resolved specific scenes that irritated her at that point (because, again, he knew that she had issues with them). And it seemed like he genuinely cared about the answer, even though she couldn't help but think it was a matter of politeness, of making small talk.

Later on, he read on the sofa until he noticed that her gaze was already lost in a fixed point on the wall, identifying that she was locked in a scene, and tried to distract her so that she could refocus. The first time she thought that he had done it because he was bored of reading in silence, but days later she asked him about it and he told her that it was something he remembered she did during high school, and that Harry helped her in that way.

And he was right, of course, but Harry knew her so well, being close to her all her life, so much so that she could literally consider him to be the brother she never had.

And she had never noticed Draco looking at her in high school.

If that was true, she would have noticed, right? It wasn't like she didn't spend a valid amount of time watching the Serpents herself. At first it was to try to identify what was so different about them that made them so magnetic to the gaze of strangers, and later it was because she herself had been hooked on them, like all the other students who passed them.

And Draco never looked at her. She knew it well, since he was the one she observed the most.

So, she had decided to let him pass that comment. Not that it required much convincing, since the time that she didn't spend with her nose buried in her laptop or notebook, where she hand-drawn a timeline for her story, she spent lost in the blonde's skin and was very, very distracted.

Every day was different and she couldn't help but wake up with that excitement in her chest. She was learning the reactions and timing of her own body in a way she hadn't thought herself capable before, understanding what she did and didn't like sexually, but she was also creating her own mental list about him. She knew what words to say to hear him swear at her ear level, she knew how to move her hips to hear him moan and bite her skin as his only response, and she had finally reached the point where she was able to verbalize certain desires because she knew that his reaction would be worth all the embarrassment she could experience in a short moment.

Perhaps she was getting too used to him with an abysmal speed that had never happened before with other relationships, but the difference was always said outloud, either from him or for her, and almost unconsciously the line of friendship was redrawn between the two.

And she hated it, even though she had been the first to draw it with an indelible permanent marker.

It was easy to get confused when he smiled at her, okay, who could blame her? Since the union of his two groups of friends that they spent more time together than the others without being a couple, because they had similar interests and were the only ones who put up with their mannerisms when they studied, but she had never noticed Draco really smile at her until those days in the cabin.

Which sucked.

He had even convinced her not to spend the whole day locked up like a hermit, but instead, in the afternoon, when he assured her that if she continued writing her fingers would fall off and that her mind deserved a rest, he would take the car an took her for a ride around the surroundings: the beaches, the parks and castles, and assured her that she would find more inspiration there than in the four walls of the cabin.

And damn, he was right. Her book had never made as much sense as it did now.

And she enjoyed those outings every day, even looking forward to them.

Right now, they were returning from a visit to a museum dedicated to medicine and the human body. Did she have any kind of interest in those topics? No, and neither did he, since his studies at the university were in international business and hers were in journalism, but visiting those places with him had made it an incredible experience that she wouldn't want to miss for the world.

They'd stopped to get groceries before heading back to the cabin, even though he intended to make this trip alone, she insisted she couldn't let him take care of everything, and that's how he'd ended up driving while she was in the backseat organizing bags of groceries between categories so it would be easier to leave them in the kitchen later.

"Granger, this doesn't make sense, drop it and I'll do it later", Draco told her for the fourteenth time, though she hadn't counted them. "I'll park through these woods, you can sit in the front again and change the music you've left playing to shuffle while you're at it, okay?"

She laughed, shaking her head, watching him stare at her in the rearview mirror.

"No". She smiled. "You let me connect my phone into your car and that was your first mistake. Now pay attention to Taylor Swift's lyrics for once."

He rolled his eyes, but laughed.

"You are being impossible and unreasonable."

"And that's why you love me."

Suddenly there was a silence in the car, one that was only filled by the lyrics of Paper Rings in the background.

Hermione felt small at that silence.

He had told her before that he loved her, so why did he seem so dismayed by that statement?

"And that's how I love you, yeah", he finally said, after a few seconds, with a slight smile. She was finally able to swallow nervously. "But I'm serious. We're home in two minutes and it´s not enough time to finish that organizational plan, just let me do it later."

"That's your fault for buying so many things!", she complained. "You broke one glass, Draco, not ten, I didn't need that many," she added, holding up the packet in question with the carefully packed crystal objects.

"Most of the food is for your birthday and honestly, you needed more glasses, they're never enough and I've already promised you before that I would get them", he answered, shrugging her shoulders as if nothing had happened.

She snorted.

"You also promised a new pair of knickers and you didn't buy them for me."

The comment had barely passed the filter of her brain before it came out of her, but it had been worth it to see the surprise on Draco's face as he let out a laugh.

"I'm not going to buy you knickers at a market around the corner, woman. I'll get you those when we get back to London."

Oh.

"London, of course"

She smiled, as if for that to be enough of an answer, because she really didn't want to delve into what would happen when they got back home. Would she take it for granted that the arrangement they had up until now would be broken once they returned to the city, to the university, to their friends? They couldn't maintain the freedom they now had in those scenarios, it wouldn't make sense or pretend that it would be possible.

But she still didn't want it to end like this, so soon.

Draco seemed to notice the change in his face, because he slowed his pace a bit, even though they were in the middle of the woods at this point and the worst thing they could come across would be a lost little animal if he was distracted from the wheel, and turned his face away to see her.

"Hermione, I…"

Hermione.

She didn't even have time to rejoice at the word when the music abruptly stopped, and instead her ringtone filled the car's speakers.

"It's Ginevra," Draco said, already maneuvering to grab the device.

"Oh, answer the call then."

"Are you sure?" he asked, surprised.

"Of course, Draco. It's Ginny, just…"

"I won't make a sound, don't worry."

For a moment she felt shitty for that comment that made a clear allegation to Theo and his call on the first day, but soon the redhead's voice was heard and she had no choice but to stop thinking about the past to concentrate on her present.

"Mione! Hi! Bloody hell, I'm so glad you picked up the call! I´m glad that you're alive and you haven't been eaten by a bear!"

She let out a laugh and watched as Draco held back one.

"Really, Ginny? A bear?"

"What do I know?!" the redhead exclaimed, also laughing. "Please don't be angry that I have called you in your spiritual retreat to write, I just wanted to confirm if it was still okay for us to visit you on your birthday. We thought we would arrive early and spend the day, maybe even the night if you allowed us! I promise we'll bring sleeping bags; no one will disturb your bed! It's just that we miss you—"

Draco raised his eyebrows mischievously and she punched his shoulder.

"Yes, no problem, you can all stay that day. I miss you too."

"How glad I am to hear that!" she shrieked, in a way that rumbled into the car. "I swear we are in hell without you. I am irritating Blaise so much that he is about to leave me, Pansy is irritating Harry because they are living together in your flat and let me tell you that as someone who has spent a lot of time under the same roof with Harry Potter it's not the easiest thing in the world either. Theo behaves as a lost puppy and Draco isn't even in the country", she counted, at full speed. "Yes, he did tell us that he was going to be with his mother in France, but for Draco Malfoy to willingly decide that for it me means he couldn't stand this town without you either. We're living in insanity, Hermione Granger. Come back."

Ginny had always had a tendency to exaggerate to prove a point, but at least this particular one made Hermione feel good about herself, needed, useful among her friends, despite being convinced that all was the redheads' imagination.

"I'm sure you can all live without me for a week or so, no matter how much your heart aches, drama queen."

"Probably, but it's not something I want to do either, you know?" Ginny scoffed. "Well, that's how we are over there. How about you? How's the book going? Is the sun shining on you? Aren't you bored of the silence yet?"

"The book is going better than ever, Gin, you have no idea" she said, with a slight smile. "And no, darling, I'm fine with the sun and with silence and with everything you want to add to me as a hermit, so don't even worry about me." She swallowed hard, watching Draco drive. "I am where I want to be."

He smiled.

She smiled.

"Okay, okay…", the girl on the phone huffed. "But you're two weeks into it, have you at least looked into having a dirty, steamy, short-lived romance with some local man? Enough time since Theo has passed, and there are few things I want more right now than you having a good shag"

"Ginevra!" she shrieked, flustered.

"Don't be like that, Hermione! I want the best for you!" insisted the redhead. "Besides, I've been wanting to talk to you about sex for ages, I'm sure you'll have the best advice as with everything else. I'm tired of talking to Pansy, we have an ex in common and she keeps talking about things Harry does like if I hadn't shown them to him, and she gets all the credit! She's going to drive me crazy", she yelled, frustrated. "I swear to you, you listen to Pansy Parkinson and you think that she has trained the best lovers in the world by herself. You should listen to her talk about Draco because, bloody hell, you know? The things that she told me about him in the sack…"

Fuck, her cheeks felt hot.

"Ginevra Molly Weasley!"

"Hermione Jean Granger!" she imitated her. "See? That's why I want you to sleep with someone. I want stuff, I want gossip… plus, you know I'm a feminist, but sometimes I feel like I could de-stress you a lot just by shagging someone…"

Draco had had to park to cover his mouth with both hands to keep from laughing out loud.

And Hermione felt like dying.

"Ginny, please" she asked, once more. "I don't need any man to de-stress me that way, I can do it by myself, I have hands."

"Masturbating isn't the same as fucking, Hermione."

"I know, dammit!" she sighed, quickly noticing that she had to correct herself. "Right now, I want to focus on the book, but you'll be the first to know when my priorities change, okay?"

Ginny snorted.

"No, but it's the best I can hope for" she answered, reluctantly. "I hear you far away, am I on speakerphone?"

"Yeah, I'm sorting out some shopping I did for my birthday," said Hermione, finding the moment to change the subject for good. "I have to leave; you already know how I am with the organization—"

"Same old Hermione," Ginny said, and she could swear she was smiling. "Sure, sure, don't worry. Thanks for taking the call! I can't wait to see you. I love you so much."

Hermione smiled, touched.

"I love you too, Gin" she said, calmly. "See you soon".

"See ya!"

And she hung up.

For a moment, they were silent.

Until Draco let out the laugh he had choked on.

"Well, that was…interesting", he said, mischievously.

"Do not be like that!" she complained, feeling her cheeks burn. "It was humiliating. She…, dammit."

"She just wants what's best for you", he answered, taking off her belt to turn fully to look at her from the front sit.

"She just wants gossip", she huffed, shaking her head. "I can't believe she talked to Pansy about all that. It's the first sign of desperation, it's shaking her hand so she'll grab your elbow—"

"She just wants to be appreciated as a good teacher, although I'm sure she exaggerates" he said, cutting her off, her voice instantly dropping a tone. "For example. Am I a good teacher, Granger?"

Hermione felt her heart pound in her throat, and she blinked rapidly.

Images of them together the last week swirled in her brain at just that word. Her big hands shifting down to the smallest nerve of her body, her lips making him lord and master of her skin. Tangled in the sheets on the bed, on the kitchen counter, but also on the sofa and in the shower, against the bedroom wall—

She cleared her throat, noticing how he was still waiting for an answer.

"Your ego does not need my validation nor praise, Draco Lucius Malfoy."

She meant to sound confident, but it didn't go unnoticed as she clenched her legs as she spoke.

"You wound me" he said, feigning pain, bringing a hand to his chest.

"Prat".

Although she wanted to stay serious, she couldn't help but laugh at the sight of him smiling.

Fuck, he was so hot.

"Are you stressed right now, Granger?"

That was the easiest question he had been asked all day.

"Yes."

"Come here then."

She frowned, believing that she had misunderstood him.

"We're in the car… outdoors."

Draco nodded.

"We can go into the cabin, of course. And you can say no, always, I want to remind you of that, the 'butterfly' will always be at your disposal so you want to use it", he reminded her, seriously, leaving the mischief of side. "But also, the sun has already gone down, we are in a forest and there is not a soul for miles. However, it is your decision. This is all your decision, always, okay?"

She knew it, it was one of the few things in the arrangement they wore that she was clear about. Each time he sought verbal confirmation from her before proceeding with something new, a movement, a word, a position and a touch. It was one of the reasons she felt so comfortable with him, in every possible way.

Instead of answering, she opened the back door of the car and got out, closing it behind her, before opening the one on the side he was sitting in, before long she was straddling his lap, her skirt riding up to her waist, then he blindly closed that door.

His lips returned to devour each other with desire and need. A wet and hot kiss, one of those that Draco gave her that were impossible to stop. Hermione had yet to find anything he did wrong and kissing was certainly not one of those things.

Although her hands immediately traveled to his pocket, already knowing that he had a condom there, but he stopped her:

"Are you sure, Granger? I don't want you to feel pressured by—"

"Didn't you want praise as a teacher, Malfoy? Then earn it."

Her response was immediate.

The blonde's hands went to the straps of the top, while his kisses went down his neck. He caressed one of his nipples as soon as it was exposed, letting out a sound of satisfaction from his throat at finding her braless, watching it instantly harden at his attention.

"You're unreal, love", he said before lowering his head and capturing her nipple in his mouth. He sucked it hard before moving on to the other one and doing the same. "So bloody beautiful".

Hermione groaned, throwing her head back.

With a nimble flick of his fingers, he caught the sides of her underwear down to mid-thigh due to their position, and Hermione was unprepared when he expertly slipped her fingers into her folds, before inserting them inside her. She could see how he bent these to be able to go deeper and, in that way, give her more pleasure.

"Fuck, Draco", she cried out.

A few moments passed before he removed his fingers from her, stroking her slowly after the speed he had used earlier. That shook her, completely, emitting the louder moan since they started.

And even though that was her idea, soon her hands began to itch to touch him.

She jerked away from him suddenly, noticing the surprise in his gray eyes, until she continued with her plan to unbuckle his belt, took the condom and pull down his pants, though she needed his help to get them down to his ankles. Hermione stroked him through his boxers, and Draco stopped kissing her neck to rest his head on the seat and moan.

In those moments she felt like the most powerful person in the world for giving him that pleasure.

Soon her hand was masturbating him without the fabric of his boxers in between, skin to skin, while 'Granger, just like that, fuck' left his lips in a barely audible whisper.

"Do you think you deserve praise, Draco?" she murmured against his lips, moistening them with her own with her tongue but not kissing him.

He tried to kiss her, but she backed up a bit so he wouldn't do it.

"Please."

She smiled, feeling her own peak approaching just from his words.

"Good boy."

Hermione tore the condom open with her teeth and slid it down his cock, noticing him tremble as he bit his lips, watching her. She brought her own hands to her knickers to put them aside before sitting on him fully.

She cried out instantly, clasping her hands back to his neck, feeling his hands hover over her hips.

They didn't have much room in that car, but they began to move together in a pleasant sway without ever missing a beat as if they were in the comfort of a mattress under them. Over and over, he lifted her hips and she brought them down hard on him.

Draco's mouth met her breast again and Hermione thought that it was amazing that even as she was on top, he never lost that intrinsic part of being in control of the situation, and fuck, she quite liked it.

They moved with more and more force, and more and more depth in each thrust. His forehead glistened with sweat from the effort he was making and her hair was somewhat damp from it.

"Please, please, please."

She didn't even know what she was asking for, but she couldn't stop.

"Anything you want, Granger, anything you want."

She came by digging her nails into his shoulders and at that moment she didn't care if she hurt him or not. She just wanted to hold on to him and never let go of him again. And she didn't despite feeling as he come because of the loud growl he had let out from his throat.

A couple of more thrusts and he stopped, and the only sound that could be heard was their irregular breathing inside the car. Not birds, not the wind, nothing else.

Just the two of them.

Draco hugged her around the waist with his face between her breasts, leaving kisses all over the skin that was within his reach, while she caressed his shoulders, noticing small folds in his skin that she had surely caused with her nails.

It got to the point where Hermione was afraid to look into his eyes, because she swore hers were transparent, and said what her heart was way too far from being able to process.

Oh, bloody hell.

She was in love with Draco sodding Malfoy.

Chapter Text

He was finally ready.

Or, at least, he thought he had everything in his power to be ready.

It had been difficult to plan everything under the nose of the great Hermione Granger, but taking advantage of those moments where she left her soul in her book, Draco had managed to gather everything he needed to celebrate her birthday that night, as soon as the clock struck at midnight.

He'd bought champagne to celebrate just the two of them, gotten rose petals to spread on the bed, plus scented chamomile candles that were nothing like the ones she'd lit during the blackout, but would create a romantic atmosphere that he hoped to use until tomorrow, with the last moments they had before the others arrived to celebrate her birthday. And, if all went as planned, he had a necklace with his initial charm as a birthday present that wasn’t because of his possessives, but it would instead follow the lyrics of one of the Taylor Swift songs she had so often played in the background. the days they spent together. He had arranged for that package to be delivered to one of the restaurants miles from the cabin, and now it rested in his car like the rest of the preparations, and would wait until she was distracted by phone calls from congratulations from family and friends to move everything to the cabin.

And he would tell her that he loved her, romantically, and not just as friends.

In recent days he had lowered his guard, allowing himself to fantasize that perhaps she was not as indifferent to him as he thought, and that she might like him beyond him being a good fuck, since the two of them were already ridiculously compatible in all areas he knew.

It made sense, given how comfortable they felt when they read silently on the sofa and she fell asleep in such a way that she was sliding backwards, until she was leaning on his chest to rest and he left her sleep there while stocking her hair. And how quickly that situation had to change to a much hotter one when she woke up and rearranged herself to find the bulge in his pants. It was natural, it was as if it should always have been this way.

Except it wasn't, at least not yet.

For now, everything was on the right track, so much so that he didn't believe his luck.

He had prepared dinner, something that although it was not unusual between the two, since she used that time to write almost without realizing it, but he had put much more dedication to the preparation, making her participate from time to time so that she could try while he cooked and gave him her opinion, and for dessert he had bought some dark chocolate bonbons, because he knew they were her favorites. It was just over an hour before midnight, and although she seemed completely oblivious about it, Draco kept looking at the clock so as not to miss a second.

They took turns using the shower, because despite the fact that they had already discovered the wonders of doing it together in there, Hermione insisted that it was impossible to wash her hair properly with him in it. Draco, far from taking it as an impediment, proposed to help her, but she ended up getting in before him, avoiding him from the side, after distracting him by leaving kisses all over his face. He decided to accept his defeat and kept looking at the clock, until it was his turn to go in the shower.

He barely allowed himself a second to make the girl blush with innuendos about how much he liked seeing her wet before stripping off her clothes and taking the shortest shower in the world, with the time still on his mind.

Coming out of already dressed, he found her lying on her back on the living room sofa, in her pajamas, her curls damp.

She looked domestic. She looked like he would always want to see her, at home.

Fuck.

Draco thought, foolishly, that he had time to allow himself to deviate from his plans for a moment, didn't he?

He, therefore, he moved closer to her, kneeling to the side of her face, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.

"You want a massage?"

Hermione just made a small noise of affirmation from her throat and moved a little so that he could place both legs to the side of her body, pinning her knees to the sofa at the level of her bum so as not to put weight on her body.

He dragged her shirt up slowly, removing it, and discovered that she had clearly decided to opt out of wearing a bra now that she had only her pajama top on. Therefore, his hands tightened around her neck, exerting pressure on her cervical, letting her fingers walk over her shoulders, down to her shoulder blades and keeping the pressure on the hollow between them.

"God, Draco," she whispered, burying her face in the sofa to drown out the sounds of her mouth. At any other time, he would berate her for it, but it had completely disarmed him to hear her.

It was inevitable for him to get turned on by her hearing her moans of pleasure, despite the fact that he did not intend to do anything about it, which led him to raise his knees higher so as not to bother her. He for once really meant nothing more than to give her a pre-birthday massage, even though his body hadn't understood the message.

He lowered his hands to her lower back after several minutes, circling her fingers and squeezing a little as he heard her sigh.

"Lower."

Draco was relieved when she turned her face and he could see a mischievous smile drawn on it, with flushed cheeks.

"As you wish, Granger."

He followed the order to the letter and moved his hands lower, caressing her bum through her pants, when she lifted her hips so he could slide it off completely. Having done so, he let his fingers run over and over the bones of her hips, without haste or pause.

Hermione, already knowing too well what to do to receive an answer from him, continued to rub her bum against him for his planned slowness, even when Draco began to leave kisses on her shoulders and back to seek some peace, until he finally placed one of his hands on her hips to spin her around on the sofa.

"Was this what you wanted?" She nodded, flushed and excited, but he shook his head. "Words, love"

"Yes, Draco."

Hearing her say her name in a voiceless stifled breath would never get old.

His tongue descended extremely slowly from her neck, emphasizing to feel every pore of her body, and Hermione squirmed as he paced the movement of his tongue with his hands on her belly, his hands naughtily wanting to be finally inside her underwear.

However, when his mouth was finally entertaining her rosy nipples, his cellphone began to ring from his pants. He ignored it, barely snorting at the sound, but she brought her hands up to his face, cradling him.

"You can answer that."

"No", he said, and got ready to continue with her arduous task.

She moaned.

"It could be… important…"

"Nothing is more important than this"

Then he put the phone on silent without looking at the screen and put it on the floor.

But before continuing, it was her who stopped him this time.

"Everything alright?" he asked, concerned and sitting up.

She nodded, suddenly redder than before, caressing his arms with her hands.

"I want to try something first, okay?"

"What…?"

Hermione, resolute in words, lowered a hand to his trousers and touched his cock through the fabric.

"Please, sit down."

Suddenly dazed, and still guided by her, Draco stopped straddling her body to sit on the couch, noting how she was the one kneeling in front of him, in the middle of his legs.

He swallowed hard.

"Hermione, you don´t have to…"

She blinked, brushing the hair from her face.

"You don´t want me to?"

"No!" he said, eyes widening. She seemed surprised. "No, no, fuck. I want to, it's just not something you should do if you don't want to."

"I want to do it" she said, frowning, puzzled. "I already said I had a big favor to return. Now, can you please leave me be?"

Draco nodded, clenching his fists around the couch.

Hermione was a woman on a mission and he wasn't going to get in her way. Although he had failed to see that characteristic sparkle in her eyes before that moment, the one she had when she had a problem that she wanted to solve with all her mind.

This time it was her turn to start kissing his neck, pulling off his shirt to go down his torso. Draco didn't have an ounce of shyness in his veins, letting out the moans his body demanded of him, in case she needed confirmation that she was slowly but surely driving him crazy.

Meanwhile, her hands went down to remove his pants and he helped her, although he did not expect that she would also take his underwear. However, that didn't make her increase her speed, as she completely ignored his cock for several minutes, not even brushing it with her fingertips by mistake.

"Granger…" he pleaded, eyes closed.

"Yes?" she asked, carelessly, while her fingers walked along his ribs, without taking her tongue too far from his body.

The last thing he wanted was to speed up her tempo, but he barely noticed that it wasn't nervousness, but she was indeed on a mission, so he couldn't help but be vocal about it.

"Fuck…", he whispered, opening his eyes. He tightened his hands around the sofa, thinking that he couldn't finish with just the sight of her topless between his legs, and she hadn't touched him yet, although he saw it more and more possible every minute.

"What do you want me to do?" she said, provocatively, in a honeyed tone without taking her gaze from him.

"Get the fuck down..."

She barely descended a few centimeters down his body when she stopped again and remained static.

"Granger, fuck..."

"How far do you want me to go?" As encouragement, she slid her hand down so that she was brushing against his cock, but her mouth remained still and her continued teasing nearly made Draco pass out. "Words, darling."

"Lower". When he asked her to, she descended a little more, but she didn't quite meet him until he spoke the next words. "Suck me off, please, love."

Hermione finally granted all of his wishes and stuck out her tongue to lick him, then slowly shoved her cock as far into her mouth as she could, moving her tongue in ways he would never be able to describe.

He watched her move awkwardly, like everything the first time, and breathe through her nose as she slid into him over and over, using her hands to cover what didn't fit.

Soon her eyes met his, seeking approval, and he thought that if he died right then it would be a wonderful way to do it.

"Good girl, you're being amazing, please, keep going, please", he whispered, barely finding his own voice.

Hermione pulled away to catch her breath, but she didn't stop her hand movements, and what had been more leisurely and slow movements before had now lost control and speed, rising and falling on him, was drawing uncontrollable moans from him.

Feeling his heart about to pound out of his chest, Draco tangled a hand in his hair as she almost shoved it back into his mouth, causing her to lick him instead, to get her eyes to look at him again.

"Love, you need to stop, I don't want to finish now."

She smiled, broadly, as if she had gotten what she wanted so badly, then pouted her mouth.

"But I want you to."

"Fuck!" he blurted out, surprised, when she settled back between his legs, sucking on her cheeks. "Bloody hell, you're going to be the death of me, woman."

Satisfaction was present in her eyes and he noticed how at no time did she allow him to break eye contact, while his hand was still on the back of her neck, despite the fact that she was the one dictating the movements.

Draco tried to put it off for as long as she could, still thinking that she might change her mind, when finally, her tongue tangling around him once more was enough to make him come inside her mouth. Hermione pulled away from her moments after, making a loud swallowing sound, then rested her hands on her legs.

"Are you going to grade me now or what?"

Draco was going insane.

He lifted her off her thighs roughly, sitting her on top of him, and attacked her mouth like never before, swallowing her laughter from her.

"You're fucking amazing," he managed to say, as her fingers trailed down to her knickers, finding them soaking wet. "Did you like it, love?"

Hermione opened her mouth to reply, but her words left her as he slipped a finger inside her as his thumb circled her clit.

And he looked at the clock, again.

00:01

He laughed, amazed with the timing.

"Happy Birthday, Granger"

And he kissed her.

Hermione moaned, her nails digging into his shoulders, her hips moving in rhythm with her fingers on her cunt.

When then someone rang the bell of the cabin.

She could barely hear him beyond the sounds coming from both of them, but it was impossible to ignore him or think it was the summer wind when there was a knock on the door, as well as the doorbell, and her phone began to ring.

They looked into each other's eyes, puzzled.

"Whose…?"

His movements instantly stopped as voices, in the plural, were heard.

"You can't be asleep already, Hermione!"

Blaise.

"How is she going to be asleep!? She just started her birthday!"

Ginevra.

"I think I have a copy of the key from when I used the cabin…"

Potter.

"Leave her alone, dammit! She must be waking up from all this noise…"

Pansy.

"Hermione Granger would never fall asleep before her birthday, not with the amount of people who call her to congratulate her"

Theo.

Recognizing the voices of their friends and implications, Hermione jumped up from him, staring up at him with wide eyes as she desperately reached for her clothes from the floor and put them on.

"I'm coming!"

Well, not really.

Draco stopped her, helping her straighten her clothes, while she untangled her hair, which at least was still damp and manageable.

"Hermione, calm down. Everything is fine, remember it."

"I know, I know, I just…" she whispered, in the same tone as him, continually looking at the door. "I thought we had more time."

"Me too," he said, putting on his pajamas as well. "Fuck, you didn’t…"

She looked frustrated; her cheeks still flushed.

"I know, believe me."

"I'm sorry, love"

She smiled.

"I'M GOING TO BREAK THIS DOOR, HERMIONE JEAN GRANGER"

Ginevra, again.

"Open the door, I'll go to the bathroom, I'll be back in a moment."

"But…"

He held her face in his hands, one last moment, to give her a kiss.

"Leave it to me, okay?"

Hermione nodded, biting her lower lip and rushed towards the door.

Once in the bathroom he closed the door and leaned against it, sighing, burying his face in his hands, cursing under his breath.

His surprise had gone to shit.

And Hermione had practically confirmed that their time together was over.

He heard the hubbub from the room, the shrieks, laughter and words towards the birthday girl, while he splashed water on his face and combed his hair back, and took a deep breath before getting out of it.

He waited a little longer, with planned slowness, until he mustered up enough courage to leave.

The first person that saw him was the very person he still didn't know how to talk to.

"Drake?" Theo asked, visibly confused.

"I knew your flight landed earlier, you son of a bitch!" Pansy shrieked as she lunged at him first, wrapping her arms around his neck. Draco wrapped his around her waist, still paralyzed. "I tried to call you to warn you, let's see if you learn to pick up the fucking phone, kid"

He snorted, hiding in her neck, then spinning her around in her arms to make her laugh and hide.

"You look good" she told him, separating from him, with a hand on his cheek. "Paris suits you"

They knew what that meant: being with the person he loved suited him.

Hermione was still drowning between Ginevra and Potter, who had a key in his hand, thus showing her that perhaps his fate was not such a son of a bitch with them, because if he had found her before they would have been caught in a much less explainable situation.

They barely left her alone to greet him, with complete normality, so it was more than evident that Pansy had given several explanations on the way and in all of them he had just arrived from France and that he knew that they were going to surprise Hermione there as soon as midnight struck.

"How's Cissy, mate?" Theo asked her, when it was his turn to greet him.

"Better now. She was kind of lonely," he said, shrugging. "How are you?"

Before answering, Theo's eyes traveled to Hermione, who was being squeezed by Pansy.

And he smiled, serenely.

"Better now."

Draco swallowed hard.

The fantasy seemed to have ended.

And he wasn’t ready.

Chapter Text

Everything around her was chaos in more ways than she could count.

Her friends had shown up at the cabin's door at what was probably the worst time ever, so she still felt the ghost of Draco's fingers on her body, making her shiver, but that didn't mean she could show herself irritated with them. After all, it was her birthday.

She had only been distracted because her cell phone started ringing, and in the time it took to answer the next calls that came after that first, all from members of her family, the living room of the house was ready for a party. There were bowls of food here and there, background music courtesy undoubtedly to Pansy's particular taste, and alcohol in abundance, so that the glasses Draco had bought her after breaking one of the glasses had come in hand.

Draco, who was currently laughing at something Theo and Blaise were saying to him, sitting on the couch where they previously laid almost naked. They had lit the fireplace and his cheeks were flushed from the heat, and it seemed that he had changed his clothes from his pajamas to dark trousers and a white shirt, and Hermione thought it wasn't fair that he looked so good in such a simple way. It wasn't fair that he looked so good and half an hour ago she'd seen him throw his head back in ecstasy, one hand tangled in his hair, his mouth slightly open as his gray eyes refused to leave hers while she sucked him off.

She swallowed nervously and took another sip of the glass of gin and tonic that Ginny had poured for her, so that she could justify the warmth of her body with the alcohol and not with the memories that were plaguing her mind, which in no way could be explained to the rest of his friends.

Fuck, she couldn't believe everything was over so soon.

She wished she had known it was going to be the last time.

But being honest, would she have done anything different? Would she have taken advantage of the heat of the moment to confess that she was stupidly in love with him, and then she would blame the hormones in case he didn't feel the same way? Probably. Most likely. Although when she normally had sex with Draco she was rarely able to blurt out coherent words, much less entire sentences, so she doubted her own tongue was her friend in such a case.

"I'm so mad," Ginny said suddenly, as she grabbed her hand to drag her towards the others, seconds after she took the second sip of her drink. Hermione let herself go, almost absentmindedly, so much so that she didn't realize she was pushing her onto the sofa until she was sitting next to Draco.

And next to him was Theo.

She had never wanted to be between them figuratively, let alone literally.

"Why is that, little Weasley?" Pansy asked, after taking a cushion and putting it on the side of the fireplace, handing Harry another. Meanwhile, Ginny opted to sit on her boyfriend's lap, who was on Draco's other side.

"I wanted to be the first to say happy birthday to Hermione. I think that thought was what prompted me to have this idea in the first place," she complained, frowning. "But Malfoy beat me. I can't believe it."

Yes, Draco had definitely beaten Ginny, since he told her happy birthday so shortly after midnight, while he was devouring her mouth with his own and had a finger inside her.

She took another drink of the gin and tonic, watching Draco raise an eyebrow.

"It was just good luck. The flight landed early," he said, brushing it off. "You can take your complaints to the European airlines whenever you want, my dear."

"That flight left ridiculously early, if you had time to get the car and everything" she insisted, frowning.

Draco ignored her (thankfully), since Theo asked, instead:

"How did you find out we were coming? You've been completely out of touch with everything since Paris."

"He has a personalized ringtone for me, Theodore. That way he knows who he can and not ignore," Pansy said, with a lopsided smile. "He's well trained, love, that´s just life."

Hermione could see Ginny rolling her eyes at her, which made her laugh.

"What a best friend you are, bastard," he snorted, looking at Draco. "Although if to have a personalized tone I have to fuck you like Pans says you did with that beautiful 'training' euphemism, I think I'm fine with you ignoring me"

Hermione hold her glass tighter. Ah yes, the constant reminder that Pansy and Draco had dated, just what she needed right now.

However, he didn't seem irritated by her comment, instead raised an eyebrow, giving her a sidelong glance, before bringing the wine glass to his mouth.

"You're missing out, Theodore."

Hermione felt like the air in the room was running out when he looked at her like that.

Could he already knew that she—?

"I think what matters is that we're all here now, celebrating her birthday," Harry insisted, reaching out to interlock his fingers with his girlfriend's hand. "Right, Hermione?"

"Of course," she managed to say, remembering how she was supposed to talk. "Thank you, guys, so much for coming, you shouldn't have bothered. If you were still going to come tomorrow afternoon…"

"You didn't let us surprise you in London," Ginny said, for her defense. "It was your own fault."

"Are you ready to go back to the real world soon, Hermione?" Blaise asked, glaring at his girlfriend for her answer earlier. No, no way, but she couldn't say that. "The book is ready, right? Do we already have a bestseller on hand?"

"And this bestseller is full of Taylor Swift references?" Pansy asked, amused.

"Yeah, almost, I don't know and of course it is, Parkinson," Hermione replied to every question, using her fingers to number them, after laughing. "Can you play something that's hers? It's my birthday after all…"

Pansy rolled her eyes, but she didn't hesitate to pick up her phone and change the song that was playing.

And then, for some strange reason, Hermione saw Draco's eyes widen at the sound of Gorgeous. Did he not like it either? He hadn't complained all week, what's more, he always insisted that she choose the music...

"So, is this everything you ever wanted your first book to be, Mione?" Harry insisted, slamming her back to the real world real fast.

She smiled widely.

In recent days she had come to correct the final chapters of the book, and although she still lacked details regarding the epilogue and later others such as the dedication, acknowledgments and epigraph, the most difficult part was ready. And she liked it. She was comfortable with her job and, more importantly, she didn't hate every word she read.

Hermione understood that her book was sad, with love not having a happily ever after, but that was not the note she wanted to end it on, but one of hope and overcoming, and according to Draco, who had read a few pages under his dedicated supervision, she had achieved its goal. Other than that, she hadn't let him read anything else, despite his insistence and including the scene that she had maybe taken some reality from the two of them on the couch and then in bed that particular night. He was right, it was much more distressing to read the protagonist remember that moment with the reader than if it wasn't there.

She had a feeling that realization of hers was going to bite her in the arse in the future.

"Yes, Harry," she answered, confidently. "I hope my professor and his publisher's friend think the same."

"Of course, they will! Fuck them if they think differently," Theo insisted. "Tell us something else, it seems that you have been missing for months."

Hermione bit her tongue to keep from saying that they hadn't been close in months, and that was probably what he was feeling, but instead she started to recount some funny tidbits about her writing process and soon everyone else had more questions about it, so much so that between answer and answer her glass was empty.

"And if they don’t like it, I don't think I've wasted my time here," Hermione added, ending the subject, placing a hand under her own leg so that it brushed against Draco's. "It was beautiful being here, really"

She really hoped he understood her. She had to understand her, right?

"I imagine. With a place like this, it can't be, right?" he said, his tone so soft it made her hair stand on end.

She barely nodded, raising the glass to her mouth, even though it was empty, fearing that one more word would expose her entirely.

"Yes, yes, very lovely, but this is a party and you're not dressed for a party, Hermione Granger," Ginny said, suddenly standing up from her boyfriend's lap to offer her a hand. "But we can fix that soon, come on."

Since she knew that when the youngest of the Weasleys got something in mind it was best not to argue with her, and since she was the only one wearing pajamas and her underwear was ruined anyway, she didn't complain and instead accepted her hand, guiding her to her room.

"This is the only closet," she said, pointing to the rectangular cabinet in front of the bed, next to the garbage. "You're not going to find much, Gin, I wasn't planning on coming here to have a party, so I think all I brought was t-shirts and shorts."

"I'll be the judge of that, darling."

Hermione took advantage of the distraction and went to drawer where she kept the knickers to change them while Ginny went through her clothes as if she might find gold in them, and then she took a brush to fix her hair a little, although there were knots in her curls that she couldn't take out until he took a shower, probably.

"Hermione" Ginny said, her voice suddenly serious.

"Uhm?" she said, seeing her again, with a dress in her hand. "You didn't like it at all, huh? I told you—"

"Why are there used condoms in your trash?"

Hermione's mouth dropped open, frozen.

"Why are you going through my trash?"

"I'm not!" she shrieked; her voice too high-pitched. "I was going through your clothes and this dress fell on the floor and I was at eye level with the garbage. And that doesn't answer my question."

God, she wanted the earth to swallow her.

"Ginny, please…"

"You've had an affair with a local and you haven't told me? And one who uses those condoms? God, Hermione, I'm deeply offended," she said instead. "Are you going to tell me his name, at least? Or what was he like? Or when was it? Or…?"

"Gin!" she exclaimed, embarrassed. "It's not what it seems."

"What? Are you going to tell me that you haven't emptied the garbage since Harry used the house? And, in that case, are you going to tell me that Pansy saw this house before I did? Or—"

Hermione took two strides forward, taking the dress she had in her hands and putting it on.

"This will do, right?"

"Hermione Jean Granger…" she said, threateningly. "Am I not your best friend? Have I ever made you think that you can't tell me something? That am I going to judge you? What…?"

Hermione, hysterical, covered her mouth with her hand, holding the other on the back of her head.

"It was with Draco," she whispered, seeing her best friend's blue eyes widen. "He's been fucking amazing, he's been here for several days and the important thing about all this is that he has treated me very well, Gin, I have no complaints. I'm sorry you saw that, but I'm not so sorry because we were to about to shag when you have arrived so you kind of deserved it."

She didn't take her hand from her friend´s mouth, but she could see all of her emotions in her eyes. She was getting crazy.

"We're not together, okay? We're friends. He's been... teaching me to be more aware of my body, to feel good and to make others feel good, but we're still friends, that's all you need to know," she added sternly. "If I take your hand away, will you promise not to scream?"

Several seconds passed before Ginny could react, nodding her head.

Hermione pulled away, trembling inside.

"Bloody hell, Hermione," she blurted out, as if she had him stuck in her throat. "I can't believe it... or maybe I can, but... fuck, that's a lot of information, God."

"I know" she assured, scratching the back of her neck. "I repeat, I didn't plan for you to find out like this."

Ginny looked her up and down, as if she was looking for a change in her physique now that she already knew she wasn't a virgin anymore, but then she just frowned.

"Where have your hands been recently before you put it in my mouth or did you wash them, you dirty girl?"

Hermione would rather die than answer that.

"Of course, Ginevra! God."

The redhead laughed.

"Sorry I had to. But I'm happy for you Hermione, the most important thing is that you felt comfortable and I treated you well" she said, still smiling. "Although I can't help but be surprised, not so much because of him and all…, but because I didn’t think of you as someone who believed in 'friends with benefits', or is it something you've developed now your only male friends aren't Harry and my brothers?"

She laughed, but shook her head.

"I don't know what I believe in anymore, Ginny. I thought it might work, it made sense at the time, but…"

"But?"

She sighed.

"You're in love with him."

"It is so obvious?"

Ginny put a sympathetic hand on her shoulder.

"The eyes, darling, they never lie."

"And what the hell am I going to do? I'm freaking out"

"It's just as obvious, you should tell him what you feel, Hermione. You'll never know what he thinks otherwise."

"I can't do that. I wouldn't stand it if I am not reciprocated, I wouldn't be able to see his face again, Gin" she protested, immediately. "It's too important to me to risk it. Plus, there's Theo, and I don't want to get between the two either."

"Fuck Theo"

"Ginevra"

"I'm sorry," she sighed. "But I never saw that light in your eyes the months you were with him, so I don't care. You know what I care? You, and if that stuck-up blonde makes you happy, that's enough for me. You're glowing, for crying out loud." Hermione felt the heat travel to her cheeks once more and this time not from the alcohol. "Let me find out. Don't worry, I won't be too harsh, but you know I have my means…"

"Ginny, we're not in school for you to find out if a boy likes me."

"That's a no?"

Hermione snorted, frustrated with herself.

"Do what whatever want, I don't know anything anymore" she said, desperate to escape those big blue eyes that now contained the whole truth. "So, is this dress enough? Can we go back?"

The redhead gave her approval, messing a bit with her hair, and they decided to go back to the living room, where she found more empty glasses than she expected, as well as half bottles. How long had it really been? Fuck.

"The girl of the moment is back!" Pansy said cheerfully, a little more than usual from the nearly empty gin and tonic in her hand. "Where did you go to get the dress? Paris?"

"Perfection can't be rushed, Parkinson," Ginny said, rolling her eyes. Then she took one of her hands, making her show off a little. "Isn't she pretty, guys?"

"Definitely!" Pansy yelled, sitting on Harry's lap.

"Beautiful" Theo said, bowing dramatically to her, causing her to laugh.

Draco cleared his throat, placing his empty glass on the table as well.

"… as usual"

She blinked rapidly, waiting for him to elaborate.

But he did not.

"Care for another round, Hermione? Theo?" Blaise asked, standing up way too fast for it to be a normal reflex, and she didn’t even have to turn around to see Ginny forcing him to lure them away again with just a movement of her head.

She agreed, realizing she wasn't in the same condition as the others, and followed him into the kitchen behind Theo. And though she regretted it even before she did, she turned slightly to find Pansy and Harry deep in private conversation, while now Ginny was sitting next to Draco, chatting animatedly.

There were so many things that could go wrong in this interaction that she preferred to stop thinking about it.

Blaise started to mix more gin and tonic, while creating small talk between them, as if he knew that he couldn't leave them alone because there would be silence, but after a few minutes he noticed that he was running out of tonic water, and he had to go to look for her in the car.

"I'll be back in a moment, stay here" he said, completely matter-of-factly. Hermione didn't know how Blaise had wordlessly understood Ginny's signal to take her out of the room for the time being to talk to Draco, but it was amazing to see him in action.

But she was suddenly alone with Theo in the kitchen of her cabin, staring at her glass half full that had only gin in it.

"I'm sorry I called you that time, Hermione," he said suddenly. She looked at him again, surprised. "I didn't want to upset you. And I shouldn't have put you in the position of having to invite me to come either, I'm afraid that made you feel bad somehow"

"Oh, no, no, Theo, not at all" she denied, calmly. "It's not that, I've just been very busy these days, I haven't thought much about anything else"

"And have you had time to think about us?"

Hermione frowned, confused.

"Us?" she repeated.

“I don't know how you feel about me, Hermione, but I think there is trust between the two of us after our relationship, which ended too soon for my liking and I understand if you don’t want to take me back. There will be countless guys who will want to be with you, and I know how insecure you can get. I would like to teach you so that you feel comfortable with your body. To be sure that the first person who is with you loves you, in whatever way."

Her face felt suddenly cold, as if her blood had left her.

She swore she had heard wrong.

It was impossible.

"What have you said?"

Theo seemed deeply embarrassed way too quickly.

"Fuck, I know it's a shit line, but we saw it in a movie with Draco weeks ago and it seemed like a good way to start something with a girl, you know? God, you must think I'm pathetic."

Hermione felt her heart beat slower, tired.

It was the same, word for word.

"Is that a line?" she asked her, blinking slowly. "Wanting to be my first to be sure that that person loves me?" Theo, visibly uncomfortable, nodded. "Everything else too?"

"It's the plot of a bad romantic movie. I'm sorry, I promised myself I would try."

She suddenly felt her throat dry.

A fucking line from a movie, a ruse to be with girls, one that others could repeat.

It wasn't real.

None of it had been real, just reruns of Hollywood cut-words, a chance to fuck the virgin his best friend had never had.

She felt that she was going to get sick.

At that moment, Blaise arrived with the tonic water.

"Are you okay, Hermione?" he asked, seeing the bad look on his face.

She didn't reply immediately, but picked up her glass only filled with gin and gulped it down.

"Fucking amazing."

Chapter Text

Blaise inviting Hermione and Theo to follow him into the kitchen for a second round of drinks had been strange.

But not so strange as little Ginevra Weasley, the youngest of seven siblings and the only female, therefore a person to be feared, suddenly sitting next to Draco on the sofa and beginning to chatter him up in a very direct way.

You only had to see the evil gleam in her blue eyes to know that she was up to something, and that she had somehow convinced her boyfriend to help her without saying a word in front of the others.

Now it only remained to discover what the purpose of that plan was.

She had first asked him some quick and innocent questions, mainly about Paris and how was his mother there, if he had seen his father, if he had had fun during his little trip. His responses were calm and simple enough not to draw anyone's attention, but when Blaise left the kitchen to head out of the cabin with an empty bottle of gin, she attacked, she really did.

"Okay, cut the crap, Malfoy, I know you're lying to me."

He didn't bat an eyelash at her certainty.

"Why would I do that, Ginevra? Paris is beautiful in the summer. I should take you to the family's place there so you can understand my need to get lost there and put my phone down for a while, if you are asking why I was so unavailable there. I wasn´t aware that you would miss me this much," he said, turning his face to Pansy, who was eating her boyfriend's mouth with too much interest to be in the public eye. "Isn't that just adorable, Pans?"

"Uhm? Sorry, doll, I wasn't listening to you, what did you say?"

He rolled his eyes, letting out a sigh.

Potter and tequila, two weaknesses of hers, had already managed to completely stun his best friend.

"She's not going to save you, Malfoy."

"I don't need saving, Weasley," he said, with a sly smile. "Why would I lie to you?"

She smiled in such a particular way that he couldn't help but think that he had fallen right into the lion's den, where she wanted him.

"That's something I've been wondering, you know? If you were lying it wouldn't be because of yourself, you're not like that. You're vain and self-centered, you've never liked to keep things secret," she began to point out, logically. "I remember when we were in high school and you scored higher than Hermione on an English test. You didn't mind being annoying and you wanted everyone to know it. You were the best of class for half a semester and you've been trying to get it your whole life, we knew that. You've always liked letting others know when you finally get your wishes, right?"

Draco scowled, bringing the glass of wine to his mouth, watching her intently.

"I'll take your silence as a yes," she continued, smiling. "And, I wonder, if now as an adult you got something you've been waiting for a long time, you wouldn't want to keep it a secret. You'd want to shout it from the rooftops, unless it hurt the people you care about, right?"

"Ginevra, I don't understand where—"

"Because you hurt Hermione that semester, you made her feel less and I think you wanted that. And nowadays, I'm sure your reaction would be different, because you care about Hermione, don't you Draco?"

"Of course", he said, as if he was the most obvious thing in the world, after clearing his throat. "I care about all of you. After you and Potter forced your way into our group, I kind of had no choice, right?"

"Something like that," Ginevra said, still smiling. "But do you know what I think?"

"No, but I know you're going to tell me anyway."

She laughed at his reaction, moving closer to him, as if it were a secret between two.

"I think you've achieved something you've wanted for a long time, like being the best in the class. But you can't shout it from the rooftops because that would hurt someone you care about" she said insightfully. "My question is, would that person be Hermione…or Theo?"

Draco looked around, checking that there were no prying eyes on them, but Pansy and Potter were in the world apart from him, and Blaise had just come back from outside the cabin with a new bottle in hands, slipping into the kitchen where Theo and Hermione were.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

She rolled her eyes, reaching the limit of what-ifs of her.

"You can't tell that you've shagged Hermione, a girl you care about, because it would hurt Theo, your best friend. Or you can't brag about it because it would hurt Hermione, someone you don't care about beyond the fucking friends with benefits relationship you've been trying to sneak in with her. Those are the options."

Draco's eyes widened in panic, wondering if it was so obvious, if his gaze had lingered too long on Hermione, if his eyes had traveled down her legs too much, if his body still smelled like her from hours ago—

"I saw the used condoms in the trash, please stop making weird faces and answer me," she ordered, after huffing. Then she looked at his crotch, letting out a laugh. "You know? Blaise uses the same."

"Geneva!" he groaned, louder than he intended. He shook his head nervously. "Have you talk to her?"

"Not yet, I only just got that you arrived earlier than you said because it didn’t make sense", she said. "Your lie about Paris was very weak, Malfoy, I expected more"

"In my defense, Pansy came up with that."

"And do you have a 'defense' for what I just said?" she insisted, poking his chest with her index finger. "What is the truth?"

Draco thought about it for a moment, directing his gaze to the kitchen, hoping she would come back and save him the torment of having to answer. For her to give him a smile that promised that everything would be alright, that gave the strength to put his heart on the line and be honest for once, even if it wasn’t with her. Yet.

And, as if it was by magic, she appeared.

She was walking backwards, glass in hand, but seeing her gorgeous curly hair was enough for him.

"I'm in love with her. I'm a coward, but I'll tell her soon," he whispered, glancing quickly back at the redhead next to him. "Please don't tell her. Let me do it. I want to do it right, for once. She deserves it".

He expected an endless lecture on not hurting her best friend or else, but he didn't get it.

For now, he only earned a big hug from the little Weasley, almost spilling the drink on her.

"Correct answer, doll."

Draco couldn't help but smile, feeling hope rise in his chest.

Even if Ginevra was telling the truth and didn't know anything from Hermione's side, her reaction was so positive that gave him all the encouragement he needed, that he wasn't about to do something crazy that would hurt everyone in his life. Having that kind of approval from her was more than he could dream of at other times, so he would take that feeling and use it to motivate him for the rest of the night.

He would confess everything to Hermione that day, on her birthday, as he had planned.

He just needed to be alone with her.

It couldn't be that hard, right?

Finally, Hermione, Theo and Blaise all three came back from the kitchen, but in a very different mood than he expected: Blaise looked extremely uncomfortable and Draco hadn't seen Theo look worse in years.

But Hermione was the one he was most worried about. Her shoulders were tense as she walked, her mouth in a perfect straight line, that was until she reached them and in a couple of gulps drank the rest of her glass, then leaned it on the table in front of the sofa with such force that he could see the glass crack.

"Well, this is a fucking party and I don't see you partying. It's my birthday, remember? Let's dance!"

"Honey? You broke—" Ginny wanted to say, but she was interrupted by her best friend, who put a finger to her lips, to silence her.

"If your next words aren't 'yes, Hermione,' I'm not interested," she decreed, stern, but with a mischievous smile on her lips. Draco swallowed hard, raising an eyebrow. She watched the others, as now all her eyes were on her movements. "That goes for everyone. So, shall we dance?"

Pansy, who was already in another galaxy, was the first to get up from the ground and raise her glass.

"Yes, Hermione!"

"That's how I like it!" she yelled, almost hysterical. "Harry, change the music, honey, this sounds like a fucking funeral."

All Too Well was playing in the background, and although it was not one of Taylor Swift's happiest songs, Hermione had spent almost two hours in the week explaining why the song was so important to her, the whole story of the song with the missing scarf and Jake Gyllenhaal and especially why the 10-minute version she had done for Red TV deserved all the awards music the world could give it, so that reaction was… odd.

It was easy to convince Potter to join them, and with him Ginevra, who pulled Blaise towards her as if her life depended on it. It seemed that the only ones who remained too confused to move were him and Theo, who sat on the sofa, looking at them for several minutes.

That was until several songs passed, the only way he had to notice the passage of time, in which Hermione pulled his hand to make him stand up, moving closer to dance with him.

"Come on, Draco, I know how much you like the way I move."

"What?" he said, surprised, seeing her seductive smile. She hadn't spoken softly; she wasn't making the slightest effort to hide… them. "Granger, are you feeling okay?"

"Oh, we're back to 'Granger,' huh?" she hissed, rolling her eyes. "I should have known. The second I didn't have your dick in my hand we'd be back to last names. Typical of you to be crass so quickly, Malfoy."

"What!?"

Theo, behind him, had heard her words loud and clear.

Hermione smirked, mocking him.

"Oops?"

There wasn't a drop of remorse on her face.

What's more, she looked…satisfied.

"Draco, what the—?"

Fuck, the betrayal in his best friend's eyes was exactly what he wanted to avoid.

"Theo, mate, I can explain."

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

"Don´t fucking bother"

Theo turned away, walking angrily in direction of the kitchen.

Draco followed him, without a second thought, but he turned around a second before opening the door: Hermione was still smiling. He had no idea what had happened, but she was reveling in the chaos she had caused.

She gave him just one more moment of eye contact before taking Pansy's hand and continuing to dance as it nothing ever happened.

Draco gritted his teeth and walked into the kitchen to find Theo leaning against the counter, his head in his hands, sobbing.

"Theo…"

"How long did you wait to go after her after we broke up?" he asked, turning sharply, anger fixed in his green eyes.

"This is new, mate, I promise you. This is not the way I wanted you to find out, I—"

"Have you even gone to Paris?" he asked, stopping him. "Or have you been here all this time, fucking her?"

Draco moved towards him suddenly, pissed off.

"Don't talk about her like that."

Theo laughed, coldly.

"I can't believe it. You were supposed to be my best friend, what the fuck happened? You knew I wanted her back, you knew I'm not over her, what the fuck Draco?"

Draco swallowed hard, taking a step back.

"I'm sorry, Theo" he said, putting his hands to his chest. "But I love her. This wasn't the best way, but my feelings have been there for years, but only now I'm sure of what they are. I'm in love with her."

"And you think that makes it okay? You think I'm going to jump the fuck up for you?"

"No, no", he hissed, desperate. "But it's the truth. And I think… I think she might feel something like that about me too, mate," he whispered, in a low voice. But, he knew that, if he had gotten to that point, he had to lay all the cards on the table if he wanted to move forward. "I know how important Hermione is to you, and that's why I know you'll understand that if she's happy with me there's nothing else to talk about. Neither of us is above what she wants."

Theo rolled his eyes mockingly.

"Don't worry, Draco, she already rejected me a few minutes ago, you don't have to worry about me", he said seriously. "But I would be worried if you really think Hermione Granger is in love with you, because if there's one thing, I've learned it's that it's impossible to know what the hell is going through her head half the time, much less her heart. As far as you know, she may have been with you just for fear of hurting you by rejecting you. I think that's what he did with me in the first place."

Draco knew that Theo was wrong, that there was no way in those days that Hermione was faking it with him, because even though he had no explicit confirmation of his feelings, the reactions of her body had always been there. But he didn’t have to tell Theo that, there was no need to be so cruel.

"I'm really sorry, Theo. I hope you can believe me."

His best friend sighed, exhausted.

"Fuck, Draco, this is so messed up. I don't know what to believe right now."

"I know", he declared, defeated.

They remained silent for several moments, without even seeing each other's faces, the only background noise being the music that came from the living room.

Until Theo cleared his throat, what felt like ages later.

"You should talk to her. If she…" he sighed. "If she reciprocates you, you better know now, you son of a bitch. Make all this shite worth it."

Draco met his eyes, giving him time to regret it, but when he didn't, he thanked him, still seeing the utter sorrow on his face. He knew that Theo didn’t forgive him, that it was going to be much harder than that to regain his trust, but that was something.

He ran back into the room, finding the same scene he had left before, only now everyone dancing around the birthday girl.

He moved directly to her, without hesitation.

"Granger, can we talk?"

She laughed cruelly.

"Us? I don't think so, Malfoy."

He felt as if a punch hit him in the stomach, knocking the air out of him.

"Hermione, please."

She screamed, frustrated, louder than the music.

"You can't fucking do that! You can't roll those fucking eyes at me and say my name and ask me pretty please! You just can't!"

The others stopped instantly, analyzing the seriousness of the situation.

"Honey, maybe if you go outside—"

"Mione, maybe you should listen to each other—"

Pansy and Ginny's words were drowned out by another scream, breaking away from them, heading for the exit door.

"Okay, okay, okay! Looks like you all want to give me orders for a change!" she screeched, and then addressed him specifically. "Out, Malfoy, come on."

He didn't hesitate twice before following her, but he did see her panic reflected in Pansy's eyes, who suddenly seemed more sober than a nun.

Outside there was a soft summer breeze embracing the night, and with the door closed the music could barely be heard, so for a moment they could even pretend they were still alone miles away, in a pretty cabin in the woods, in their own little world.

"Hermione, what was—?"

"I know about the movie."

Draco frowned, confused.

"What?"

"I know about the movie, the lines, the plot of taking a girl and telling her that you want to teach her everything she doesn't know, that you want to be the first to love her. I know everything, Theo has told me, because he has tried to use that strategy with me, without knowing that you had an advantage, you already did it."

Hermione wrapped her arms around herself and started to shiver, but he doubted it was from the cold.

She had dropped the layer of indifference that alcohol gave her the moment they were alone.

But, the truth was that Draco barely remembered the movie. He would never have thought of—

"Hermione, love, I…"

"Don't call me that," she told him, pressing her lips together. "Please, don't ever call me that again. Just thinking about how many times you've used that fucking strategy, how many girls have you made believe they were special to you because of it… it makes me sick, so please stop."

He tried to get closer to her, slowly, breaking internally when he noticed that she seemed to want to hold back her tears.

"It's not like that, Hermione. Everything I've told you has been true, the only reason I used someone else's words is because I've been fucking in love with you, for God knows how long, and I thought convincing you to be close to me without pressure would make you arouse some kind of minimal feeling towards me", he began to explain, noticing how pathetic he sounded out loud. "But I love you. And these days were the happiest of my life. Allowing me to be a part of these moments with you, your book, your day to day, meant everything to me. Please, please, Hermione, you have to believe me."

She was crying.

He had made her cry.

So, he wanted to die.

He could see how her lower lip trembled and her perfect face was contorted in pain.

"Hermione, please say something," he begged, his voice breaking.

He watched as she swallowed hard, closing her eyes.

"I don't believe you, Draco."

He never believed that those words together could feel so much like the end, but they sounded so decisive as to believe it, mortal even, capable of cutting glass, of breaking all the cups in the world in its path.

"I know I'm not alone in this, love. I know I haven't been hallucinating. Please tell me we can fix it. Tell me what I should do to fix it", he corrected himself as he spoke, feeling his heart beating so fast in his chest that he was afraid it would come out of his throat at the slightest carelessness.

"You can't say things like that to me anymore, Draco," she protested, but without raising her voice, which was that much more chilling. "I don't trust you anymore. What I felt... or what I thought I felt... I don't trust that either, because it started with a lie. So... then it's not worth it, it's nothing. We were nothing."

He stumbled back, suddenly.

"Hermione—"

"Butterfly, Draco."

"No—"

"Butterfly!" she insisted, backing away further. "You promised me that the word meant that everything would end between the two of us, that there would be no explanations, that I shouldn't look back. Well, I'm using it. You heard me. Butterfly, fucking butterfly."

He had never felt so down in life.

But she was right, he had given him that word for exactly that, as an easy way out.

He couldn't argue with her, not when she knew exactly what she wanted.

And that something was not him.

"What do you want me to do now, Hermione?"

She wiped away her tears with the back of her hand, angrily.

"I want you to go away. I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to talk to you. I said 'butterfly', didn't I?"

She was dead serious.

Draco nodded, understanding that he couldn't pressure her into loving him.

She didn't feel the same. There was nothing he could do.

But, he had one last glass left up his sleeve.

He went back to her car, searching the glove compartment for one of her birthdays presents, and he came back to her with the little blue box in his hands.

"I do not want it—"

"Please, it's yours. Throw it in the lake, pawn it for money, but it's yours," he whispered, kneeling to lay it at her feet, and there, still at that height, he continued, "I'm really sorry, Hermione. You can doubt me, my inheritance, my mind, my body, but not that I love you. That I'm a coward, but I love you endlessly. But I'm sorry. I will go, as you don’t want me here anymore".

She refused to look at him and Draco finally shed his first, and surely not last, tear of the night. He didn't mean for her to see him, he didn't want her to think he was doing it to get any pity from her, but it was inevitable.

Hermione Granger was breaking his heart. And he deserved it.

He didn't give her time to say a word as he turned back to his car, taking the keys from his pocket and starting the engine.

He waited, for a stupid moment, for her to stop him.

God, he was pathetic.

She did not do it.

Then he didn't stop either, driving through the woods, toward the road.

To London, perhaps.

To return to the cruel reality that he caused, knowing that somehow, without even being there in the first place, he broke Hermione Granger's heart.

Chapter Text

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.

"Jealous, Parkinson?"

"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."

"Luna Lovegood."

"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—"

"Pansy, no."

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.

"Maybe"

"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?"

"Why?"

"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."

Yeah.

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?

—DLM."

And behind the note was a beautiful gold necklace with a D charm.

"Fuck"

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.

"Hermione?"

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.

"What—?"

"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.

"Here?"

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."

"What?"

"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.

"Fuck, love—"

"Yes?"

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.

"You better"

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.

"Oh"

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.