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Tall Drink of Water

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A mild whiff of cologne precedes Harry's entrance into the room, and Hermione lowers her book into her lap. "Heading over?" she asks, taking in his crisp shirt and trousers.

Harry flashes a grin. "Date night."

She withholds a smile of her own, flickering her brows as she muses, "Enjoy yourself. Send Theo my love."

"Will do," he returns, tugging at an unruly bit of hair across his brow. "Theo says Malfoy is going to be out late tonight so you shouldn't need to worry about him coming over to bother you."

"Okay." The word slides from her lips, toneless. "That's fine."

Giving her shoulder a squeeze as he walks past the sofa, Harry opens the door of the flat. "Wards up?"

Hermione beams at him. "Sure. Thanks, Harry."

When the door closes behind him, Hermione ruminates in her thoughts for a long moment before she returns to her book. She and Harry moved into the flat following the completion of their eighth year at Hogwarts, and they had been dismayed when Malfoy and Nott moved into the flat across the hall.

For weeks, old tensions had made the corridor separating them unpleasant, to say the least.

But at some point the situation began to shift, and animosity drifted into a sort of casual acquaintanceship with the pair of former Slytherins. And when Harry started dating Theo, Hermione had resigned herself to a certain amount of Malfoy in her space.

Especially given Harry and Theo frequently hole up together in one of their flats―leaving Hermione and Malfoy sequestered in the other one.

They aren't friends by any conventional understanding of the word.

But the blond possesses a certain charm and a tendency to crawl under her skin. Most of the time, she isn't sure whether she wants him to come over or not.

It seems tonight that won't be an issue.

Rising from her seat on the sofa, Hermione sets the kettle on and prepares a cup of tea. Then she returns to her book, tea in hand, and tucks herself beneath a knitted afghan Harry received from Molly years back, content with a night alone.


She doesn't dislike spending time by herself. And she's happy that Harry's met someone he really cares about. He spent too many years feeling alone.

But maybe to a certain extent, she's come to rely on his presence. They've scarcely been apart since they were on the run during the war, and he spends his nights at Theo's more often than not lately.

Hermione sighs, rolling a kink from her neck. She marks her page and sets the book aside, then drains the last dregs of her cold tea. She's hesitant to admit, even to herself, that sometimes she enjoys Malfoy's presence.

They don't converse, not in any true sense, but he's usually as keen on a book and tea as she is, and she likes the peace that sometimes settles between them.

She stifles a yawn behind her palm, and though she's starting to feel tired, it's Friday after a long week and no part of her is ready to go to sleep early.

Especially now that she's thinking of Malfoy. Wondering where he's gone tonight. If he's on a date.

The thoughts have a tendency to slide, intrusive, into the back of her mind as if they've always existed there. Like she can't recall any conscious origin to their presence there.

She doesn't like Malfoy.

But every so often, she has to wonder exactly why she thinks of him with the frequency she does. Sometimes, the voracity. As though she knows him better than she truly does―or maybe some part of her simply wants to.

Hermione releases a sigh, sinking deeper into the sofa, and attempts to banish the man from her thoughts. But forcing herself to stop thinking about him only makes the situation worse. It's the first time she's been alone in the flat―with Harry gone to Theo's―that Malfoy hasn't stopped by.

Rising from the sofa, she takes her empty cup to the sink and makes for her bedroom. Surely, thinking of Malfoy late at night is a sign she should simply go to bed.

But as she switches on the nightlight and prepares for bed, she can't ignore the thoughts any easier than before.

A low, insistent coil of intrigue pools in her belly. She doesn't care to acknowledge it as anything so base as desire, but in a stubborn, silent pact with herself, she strips out of her clothes and slips into bed.

Almost of their own accord, her fingers trail south. She curses low under her breath, but now that the urge has crept in, she can't ignore it. Thoughts of Malfoy have spurred some measure of desire, but she refuses to feel bad about her body's instinctive urges. Even if they are driven by a blond prat who should be far from her mind.

A sharp breath slides from her lips, eyes fluttering shut, and with a non-verbal wave, she turns on some soft music. One hand roams her torso, grazing the peaked flesh of her nipple, and she groans when she gives it a squeeze.

She can push this from her mind after.

Objectively, she can find Draco Malfoy attractive without being interested in him. She can touch herself with vague thoughts of him, and it doesn't have to mean anything.

Trailing her fingertips along the inside of her thigh, the other hand teasing her breasts, she bites down on her lower lip when she grazes her clit.

Hermione's heart skips into a quick cadence as she presses down on the bundle of nerves, slow, roving circles, moisture gathering between her thighs. The sheet slides down from one knee on an angle to her feet as she bends her leg, her core clenching in anticipation as desire grows deep within her.

A low moan breaks free as she drags a finger through her arousal, teasing against her opening before sliding between her walls.

She clenches again, a smile grazing her face as a quick breath falls from her lips. Easing one finger, then a second, into herself, she sets a slow, indolent rhythm.

In the back of her mind, she sees soft blond hair. Teasing grey eyes, all heat and intrigue. The scintillating curve of his mouth in a smirk. The smooth, lean lines of his physique.

She thrusts into herself a little deeper, a little more erratic, finding her clit with her thumb. And she arches her hips into her hand, desperation growing within her for release as she pushes herself nearer to the edge. A whimper falls from her lips, breaths quick, pulse frantic.

Her toes curl in the sheets. She's so close, and she doesn't even care that it's Draco Malfoy she's thinking of.

Release hovers as heat on the surface of her skin, pleasure and adrenaline coursing through her veins, her entire body coiled tight with the imminent break.

"Granger? You in here?"

She stills, shock cooling the warmth in her flesh, and before she can so much as react, the bedroom door opens wide.

And for a long, horrifying moment, she stares at Draco Malfoy.

His eyes are wide, lips parted, and dread sluices through her. Hastily withdrawing her hand, she wrenches the sheets over herself, afraid he's already caught an eyeful―she can only hope the lamp is dim enough.

"Oh," he whispers, then offers her a grimace. "I... am, Merlin, I'm―"

"Get out," she breathes, propping herself back against the headboard, "please."

Clapping a hand over his brow, Malfoy stares hard at the door frame. "I only―Potter said you were in, and―"

"Malfoy."

"Right."

Hermione's heart still courses a frantic rhythm, only it's entirely different from moments before when she hovered on the edge of release.

He steps away from the door, still lingering in the shadow beyond, and drawls, "I won't erm... this is awkward."

Folding her legs tightly into her chest, she stares at the opposite wall. "Maybe if you could just not mention this."

"No," he says quickly. "Of course not." He hesitates, as though about to say something else, and Hermione doesn't even know what she wants him to say. If she wants him to say anything or if she simply wants him to leave.

If she wants him to stay.

But he clears his throat roughly and says, "Have a good night, Granger. Not―I mean―not like―"

"Good night, Malfoy."

Merlin, she considers herself fairly open about these things, but something about the way Malfoy fumbles over his words when he's always so self-assured leaves her flushed and uncomfortable. This is worse than she could have imagined. Not least of all the fact that he interrupted her right when she was about to come.

"Yeah," he mutters. "Sorry about that."

And despite herself, a laugh breaks free. "Why are you even―you know what, maybe I don't want to know."

"Theo and Potter," he says by way of explanation.

He doesn't need to elaborate, because she understands well enough. For as much as she loves them both, they have a tendency to slide into their own bubble where no one else exists.

Malfoy hovers in the doorway a moment longer, scrubbing at his hair. "Potter said you'd probably still be awake, and―"

"The door was closed."

"It was ajar."

She isn't even certain why she's debating the semantics of him walking in on her masturbating. She's overheating, her face flushed and heart still beating too fast. She ought to tell him to go―and she doesn't even care what he has to deal with in his own flat.

This evening has been mortifying enough.

But in the shadow of the door frame, she catches the ghost of a smirk on his face at last. "I'll leave you to it."

"Prat," she hisses, and whatever peace hung between them only moments before shatters. "You do that, then."

Before he leaves, his gaze slides up to meet hers only for a moment. Something like amusement dances in his light eyes. Something else―something she doesn't know how to unpack.

Then he slips from the frame and closes the door behind him. Moments later, she feels a spark of magic as he restores the wards.

And she collapses back into bed with a groan.


She hasn't seen Malfoy in nearly a week―since the horrifying incident where he caught sight of entirely too much of her―so Hermione jolts when he takes a seat on the bench beside her.

The sun's beginning to set beyond the small courtyard of their complex, and she draws her knees towards herself on the wooden slats, resting her chin on her knees. "What are you doing out here?"

"Self-explanatory, I imagine," he drawls, waving a flippant hand. "Fresh air and all that."

"You don't strike me as the outdoors sort," she muses.

Malfoy snickers, leaning back in his seat. He folds his arms across his chest. "And you?"

"Nature," she announces, gazing upon the deep shadows reaching out from the tree trunks. She offers him a bit of a sidelong glance. "Theo came over. He and Harry are watching a movie."

"A movie," Malfoy echoes, shooting her a smirk. "Right."

She laughs a little at the insinuation in his tone. "Exactly." Then she adds, "I like it out here. I come out to think sometimes."

Malfoy shifts on the bench, and when his shoulder nudges hers, she tenses. She can't tell whether he's done it on purpose, and she keeps her gaze fixed carefully ahead. They're both silent for a long pause―long enough that the quiet wears on her and she grasps for something to say.

"I hope you aren't upset with me," Malfoy says abruptly, as though the words forced themselves free against his will. "About the other day."

She hoped they would never speak of it again.

"Should I be upset?" she asks, inwardly cursing the breathiness of her tone. "Maybe by the way you not only came into the flat, but walked into my bedroom?"

"The door was ajar," he insists.

"And you thought you'd simply walk in unannounced―"

"I asked if you were around, and the light was on―"

She grimaces and he falls silent, the air between them thick. Drawing a deep breath and expelling it, she straightens on the bench. "An honest mistake, then."

"It was," he drawls. "And for what it's worth, it's perfectly natural―"

"Don't," she hisses. "Please spare me that conversation."

Something shifts in his expression, and she doesn't know him well enough to decipher what it means. His shoulder brushes hers again. "Fine. I'm only saying. We all do it."

Realistically, it's not as if she's ashamed. And surely she isn't the first naked woman Malfoy's seen. He certainly isn't the first man to see her naked.

"It was the shock of it, I suppose," she settles on, clenching her hands together in her lap. "I'm not upset."

Genuine relief flits across his face. "Good. I didn't... look."

A part of her wishes he had.

"It's alright," she clips. "I know you didn't mean anything by it. And that you wouldn't look on purpose."

Raking a hand through his hair, Malfoy blows out a breath, his shoulders sinking like he's released the tension he brought with him. "I don't really know what you mean by that," he says quietly. Now he's staring hard at the nearest tree. "And I hope you don't think I wouldn't."

"Wouldn't look."

"Yeah."

Hermione bites down hard on her lower lip. The conversation has spiralled in so many directions that all of the frayed threads are slipping from her grasp without any sense of resolution. So she doesn't immediately respond, and when he shifts on the bench as if to stand, she suspects she's lost her chance.

But he hesitates, leaning forward. His voice is low when he speaks again. "I would be lying, Granger, if I said I haven't thought of it. Every day."

A breath hitches in her throat, and she's afraid of what might come out if she tries to speak. Of what she might admit. That it was him she was thinking about with her fingers buried in her cunt.

He rises from his seat then, and she manages a thin, uncomfortable smile. "I suppose I have, too."

That same glint comes into his eye from the week before, and it unravels her composure to the point where she's holding herself in one piece through sheer power of will.

Malfoy eyes her for a moment longer, a hint of amusement playing about his lips. "Anyway. You're welcome to come by if you don't want to deal with those two all over each other."

Without waiting for a response, he turns and walks back to the building.

As she watches him go, gripping the bench, it takes everything in her to stay sitting. And she knows she'll be thinking about what he said for weeks.


"Theo's invited us over," Harry says as he strides into the sitting room.

Hermione glances up from a jigsaw puzzle spread across the card table. "Both of us?"

At Harry's broad grin, she instantly knows this is a bad idea. "Absolutely."

She can't very well refuse, but she debates the idea for a long moment before asking, "Will Malfoy be there?"

"I think so." Harry shrugs, as though the matter is of little consequence. As though her heart hasn't started racing in her chest at the thought. "Theo didn't say he wouldn't be there."

"Right." Taking her time connecting two pieces, she releases an even breath. "Sure. I suppose that would be fine."

"You don't need to act like I'm forcing you into it," Harry says with a snicker. "Come on. Your puzzle will still be there in a couple of hours."

The last thing she needs is to make a scene and invite Harry's attention to the matter, so she plasters on a smile and they cross the narrow hallway to Malfoy and Nott's flat.

She's been in the flat numerous times, but every time it catches her off guard in the way that it's styled like theirs but in reverse. Malfoy glances up from a book on the sofa, thin frames perched on his nose, and his brows lift in surprise as his stare lands on her.

When her next breath comes a little quicker, she quashes the thoughts that flood in and offers a brisk, "Hello."

"Hello," Malfoy returns dryly, then marks his page and sets the book aside. "I didn't know we were expecting company."

"You were," Harry retorts, then strides into the flat in search of Theo.

Left alone with Malfoy in the sitting room, Hermione leans against the kitchen wall and looks around. Feigns curiosity in an attempt to chase the image of Malfoy in glasses from her mind, but it doesn't work. She doesn't care to let on to any sort of attraction―especially with Harry and Theo around.

Malfoy rises from his seat and approaches her. "Can I get you something to drink?"

"Sure," she says, a little more forcefully than she intends.

Merlin, she's acting like a teenager with a crush. This is Draco Malfoy. And just because he's caught her in an intimate situation, and because they've shared a couple conversations to incite her imagination, it doesn't mean there's anything between them.

Folding her arms across her chest, she asks, "What do you have?"

Malfoy cocks a single brow. "Water, juice, wine, whisky, ale..." He trails off, making a face. "Milk. Chocolate milk―Theo likes chocolate milk." His eyes drift up as if in thought. "Tea and coffee, of course―"

"Water is fine."

A low, derisive snort breaks from him, and his mouth twitches with amusement. "Water it is." He slips the frames from his nose, carefully folds them and tucks them into a slender case, and she can't help the way her eyes follow his hands.

Warmth creeps up her neck towards her face, and she fumes at herself. She refuses to spend the evening acting like a lovestruck fool.

"Thanks," she says, following him towards the sink as he fills two tall glasses of ice water. Their fingers brush when he hands her a glass, shooting a jolt of energy through her.

Malfoy's eyes lock on hers, that glint she's coming to recognise in them again. At once, her mouth goes dry and she takes a sip of water.

Something like a smile curls one corner of his mouth, though it doesn't contain any of his usual mocking amusement. His lips part as though to say something when his head snaps sideways at a disturbance in the sitting room instead.

"Oh, good," Theo says as he breezes into the room, "Draco's being an acceptable host."

Malfoy scowls, rolling his eyes, and steps away. "Of course I am. You know how I was raised."

It's that reminder, more than anything, that cools her blood. The thought that they're so different from each other in every conceivable way. That Malfoy most certainly only cares for posh, highly bred women. The wizarding world is backwards in too many ways, but this thought serves to force her a step back from him.

It's almost laughable to think he might have any genuine interest in her.

"Thanks for the water," she says again, cursing herself when she makes for the loveseat. She clutches the glass a little tighter when Malfoy follows, taking the seat next to her.

Harry and Theo linger in the kitchen, engaged in some sort of raucous conversation she can't make out, and she releases a careful breath. Takes another sip of water.

Malfoy sits beside her in silence, drumming his fingers on the arm of the sofa.

Desperately, she casts out for something to say, and her eyes land on the book he was reading when she walked in.

"Muggle literature?" she blurts out, head wheeling towards him.

His gaze slides to the book―an old-looking copy of The Hobbit. "Yes, Granger," he drawls. "You don't get the market on good fiction." He reaches across her, his arm grazing hers, and snags the book from the end table. "Picked this edition up at a rare book dealer in New York." The reverence with which he handles the book causes her blood to stir.

"It's lovely," she chokes out, clenching her hands together to keep from reaching for it.

"And by the way," he says, voice lowering, "this doesn't need to be awkward." Her eyes snap up to find his already resting on her. "We can put everything else aside, if it makes you feel better. As long as those two are together, we're going to be around each other."

All she can think of is his voice, low and enticing, when he told her he thinks about her touching herself. Her head spins at this about face now, but she isn't about to refute the offer of peace.

"Yeah," she returns, giving him a hesitant smile. "Okay, you're right."

Malfoy hands her the book without another thought, as though he realises she won't do anything to damage what might be a priceless copy. As she grazes her fingers along the spine, her smile widens just a bit.


Almost without catching her notice, they slide into conversation. It stems from one book into the next, Hermione browsing his expansive collection along one wall while he shares stories of some of the rarer items.

Her heart races the entire time.

And it occurs to her when she settles back down with a fresh glass of water that it's the most she's ever spoken to Draco Malfoy in one sitting.

Harry and Theo have effectively ignored them the whole evening, the pair of them possessing little interest in books, but Hermione's noticed eyes on them more than once. A hint of sly amusement on Harry's face.

"We're going to go out for a drink," Theo announces, rising from his spot at the kitchen table. "Do you two want to come or will that interrupt this lovely tribute to the written word?"

Malfoy lifts an unimpressed brow, though his mouth twitches. "I'm fine, thanks."

Hermione's gaze darts sidelong. She may never hear the end of it if she opts to stay back with Malfoy, but no part of her wants to tag along as a third wheel.

"I'm alright," she says, sinking a little deeper into her seat. "You two enjoy yourselves."

"We will," Harry says with a grin.

Within minutes, she finds herself alone in the flat with Malfoy, and a sudden tension creeps into the space between them again.

"I can get out of your space," she says, suppressing a twinge of regret as she makes to stand.

"You're fine," he drawls. "Stay. If you want to."

Her mind whirs at the offer. Especially after a cordial evening spent between them, she does want to stay. She wants to do more than stay, if she's honest, but the last thing she needs to do is to make things uncomfortable between them again.

But in the face of his suggestion, she can't bring herself to leave. "Okay. Thanks."

"Of course," he murmurs. His gaze locks on hers. "Are you still good with water or would you like something else?"

She can't tear her eyes from his. "Wine," she says. "Wine would be nice."

The evening has been a study in Draco Malfoy's mannerisms. The way he rarely lets on to what he's feeling, and it's only if she looks close that she catches the minute shifts. The light in his eyes; the curve of his mouth. The rigidity of his posture.

It's akin to a smile now, pulling only at one corner of his mouth, but accompanied with a glint in his gaze, it shifts his demeanour entirely. "We can do wine." Standing from his seat, he makes for the kitchen, and her eyes land of their own accord on his arse. "White? Red? Rosé?"

"White, please," she murmurs, following along.

He takes the same care in opening the bottle as he does with his books, and she can't help but be enraptured by his movements. Careful but practised, measured in their surety.

She's quite certain she would be enraptured by anything he does at this point.

He turns to her with two glasses, handing her one, and he's close enough that she has to look up to catch his stare. "Cheers," he says, a low purr, and brandishes his glass.

Hermione clinks it with her own and takes a sip. The liquid is a bright sparkle on her tongue, and she has to refrain from drinking back the entire glass. "It's delicious," she says, "thank you."

For a long moment, he doesn't respond. Then he fixes her with that look again and she nearly melts into the floor. Malfoy leads her back to the sofa, and when they retake their seats, they're a lot closer.

She can feel the heat radiating from his side against hers, and it's as enticing as any other part of him.

Emboldened by his closeness, she says, "This is nice."

"It is," he replies, setting his glass down. "I'm surprised you decided to stay."

The words catch her off guard, and she says, "We're making an effort, aren't we?"

A laugh falls from his lips. "That we are." His thigh grazes hers when he turns to face her, propping one elbow on the back of the sofa behind her head. His expression sobers into something discerning she doesn't quite recognise. "I'm glad you did."

Drawing a deep breath, Hermione searches herself for a response. He leaves her off balance in a way with which she isn't entirely familiar. But she's brimming with energy and a sort of fresh exhilaration.

"Did you mean what you said?" she asks softly. "That day outside."

A smirk crosses his face. "I said lots of things. You'll have to be more specific."

Prat.

"That you think about what happened."

He slides his tongue between his back molars, fighting a smile. "Should I not?"

Merlin, she thinks her blood might simply boil and this is how she'll expire. "No." She dips her tongue out to moisten her lips. "That's alright."

"If I recall," he drawls, "you said you also think about it."

Turning her body towards him, she takes a sip of wine. "I do." She forces a slight tremble from her hands and grapples for courage. "Do you… touch yourself when you think about it?"

For the first time that night, she's certain of the reaction she's elicited from him. Surprise. Warmth and amusement and mischief. "More than you would believe."

She sucks in a breath. "Tell me about it."

Now, a grin spreads across his face, and he assesses her as though he might see through the layers to her very core. "You want to know how you turn me on?" he asks softly. "How the thought of you touching yourself in bed, late at night, has kept me up ever since?"

"Yes," she breathes. "I want to know."

"How I can't look at you without wondering how you would feel? Taste?" He ducks in, mouth closer to her ear. "That you make me so hard I can't last through the day without getting myself off?"

His words stir desire within her the likes of which she's never experienced. Her entire body grows hot, adrenaline beating a low pulse behind her ears.

"And if I told you I was thinking of you that night?"

He drops his head back against the sofa, biting down on his lower lip but a groan slides free. "I wouldn't believe you."

She smiles. "Why not?"

"Because you're you," he murmurs, low and quiet, "and I'm me."

"What if none of that matters anymore?" she asks, genuine curiosity colouring the words. She sets her wine glass on the coffee table. "What if we're past all of that? What if... when you walked in on me, I wanted you to stay? To feel your touch instead of my own."

Her own boldness surprises her, but something about the look in his eyes is intoxicating. Dark grey and blown wide with desire.

"If all of that were true," he says, "I don't know that I would want to refrain from touching you any longer."

"Is that what you want now?" she asks. "To refrain?"

A low, disbelieving laugh. "Merlin, no. Not a chance."

"If I asked you to kiss me? To touch me?"

Malfoy's throat shifts with a swallow. "Are you asking?"

"Yes."

The word scarcely leaves her lips before his mouth is on hers, heat and desire and the mild sweetness of the wine. His hand finds the back of her head, sliding deep into her curls, and his tongue teases her own as he delves into her mouth. The kiss is all raw edges and sharp desire, and her heart races a frantic rhythm in her chest as she draws him close.

She's wanted this for too long. Thought of him every day.

Malfoy drops a hand to her leg, tracing circles on her inner thigh with his thumb, and a low moan spills from her lips against his. His body is firm and hard against her own, his kisses careful yet insistent.

Hermione doesn't know whether she's ever wanted anything more.

Drawing back, he stares at her for a moment, pupils blown wide. He snags her lower lip between her teeth, sucking the flesh between his lips, and the wicked glint that brightens his eyes makes her stomach twist into knots.

His hand grazes along her thigh, inching towards her centre, and a heavy exhale falls from her throat as she shifts towards him.

A smile curls her lips. "Do you believe me now?"

Malfoy grins―the truest iteration of emotion she's seen from him―and it lights his face in a way she's never imagined. His thumb roves closer and closer, but he only presses another gentle kiss to her mouth. "Maybe."

He has her pinned against the arm of the sofa, close enough she can taste the wine on his breath―but she wants him so much closer.

Reaching around his back, she smooths a hand beneath the fabric of his shirt, holding his gaze with her own. His eyelids flutter at the contact, and her gaze follows the movement of his dark lashes.

Maybe this is impulsive. Maybe she doesn't know him well enough after everything they've been through.

Maybe she doesn't care.

When she falters, his eyes snap open. "We don't have to do anything if you don't want to."

If anything, his consideration only bolsters her resolve. She's wanted him longer than she's dared to admit to herself―maybe a part of her even allowed this interest to grow unchecked because of Harry's relationship with Theo. If her oldest friend is able to accept Theo despite his family history, she can do the same.

Hermione tugs on the hem of his shirt, and he shifts to oblige her efforts.

"I want to," she whispers, drawing his mouth to hers as he tosses the shirt to the floor, "if you do."

His eyes flash. "I want to."

Then he's kissing her again in earnest, his body firm against her own, and she winds one leg around his hip, inviting him fully into her space. His tongue finds hers, teasing and enticing before he deepens the kiss again. And when he reaches for her jumper, she can't divest herself of the garment fast enough.

Realistically, she knows Harry and Theo could return at any point, but they haven't been gone for that long. And she can only hope they'll return to her and Harry's flat and not this one.

Laving a trail of kisses along her jaw and throat, Malfoy shifts her beneath him on the sofa. A low moan falls from her lips as she arches into him, basking in the feel of his mouth and hands on her.

Heat pools in her centre, coiling into a knot of desire, and her breath quickens when he moves lower, kissing the swell of cleavage between her breasts. He hesitates, tracing the lace edge of her bra, and lifts his eyes to meet hers.

The way his breaths fall a little erratic against her skin, warm and intriguing and as though he's as off balance by this as she is, only stokes her desire further.

Biting down on her bottom lip, she nods. Feels the heat course through her veins when he tugs the cup of her bra to the side and envelops her breast in his mouth. His tongue teases the nipple before grazing the flesh with his teeth.

Her eyes fall shut, arousal a searing rush within her, and she thinks she might melt under his tantalising touches. Lacing her fingers into his silky hair, she manoeuvres his head in place as he switches his attention to the other side.

"We should," she breathes, a whimper falling from her lips when he bites down gently, "go somewhere."

He only carries on with his slow, merciless assault upon her chest for another agonising moment. A smirk drags at the corner of his mouth. "Where?" He plants another kiss between her breasts, reaching beneath her back to unclasp her bra entirely. "The gardens?"

A breathy laugh breaks free, unexpected. "Preferably nowhere we could get arrested."

Those heated grey eyes land on hers again and he drawls, "Where's the fun in that?"

But in a swift movement, Malfoy rises from the sofa, and before she has a chance to feel the loss of his warmth, he tugs her up with him. Banding his arms around her, he pulls her tight into his chest, staring down at her for a long moment. He reaches out, tucking a messy curl behind her ear, and something soft in his stare causes her next breath to catch.

Hermione presses up on her toes, catching his lips in another long, drawn out kiss, and she finds she enjoys kissing him more than she's ever known.

She has a vague understanding of the corridor that connects the sitting room to the bedrooms, but his touch has her so disoriented he has to lead her towards it. Partway down, he presses her against the wall―every kiss pure heat and desire and indulgence.

Every touch shoots straight through her, as though she's lost all sense of anything that isn't him and this.

Any space between them is gone, his hard lines flush against her body, and she can feel his rigidity against her hip as he grinds against her. Moaning into his mouth, she reaches for his belt, palming his hard length through the fabric of his jeans.

"Fuck, Granger," he murmurs against her skin, his hands tensing on her as she strokes him.

Desire coils into desperation, and she can't get enough. Pushing his jeans and shorts from his hips in one, she takes him fully in her palm, smoothing her hand along the hard, silky flesh.

When he props one arm against the wall beside her head, his breaths falling rapidly against her cheek, she feels powerful in the wake of his reaction. The way he's dissolved into some version of himself that doesn't hold back.

The slight tremble in his fingers when he fumbles with the closure of her jeans.

"I want to touch you so fucking bad," he growls in her ear. "Break you apart again and again."

"Yeah?" she breathes, turning her face when his lips meet her jaw.

"Mhmm," he hums, grazing his teeth along her skin. He releases her jeans, pushing them down her hips, and she toes them the rest of the way to the floor. She sees stars when his fingers graze the soaked gusset of her knickers. "Fuck."

Pressing herself into his hand, her grip on his cock falters when he nudges her knickers to the side and strokes her clit with one finger. A soft keen tumbles from her and she drops her face into his chest, smooths her thumb along the head of him, pumps him a little harder.

"I thought," Malfoy groans, "you wanted to go to the bedroom."

At the moment, she doesn't care if anyone walks in on them. The irony of the thought incites a quiet laugh.

Not to mention the fact that they've left a trail of clothing from the sitting room.

"Okay," she breathes, the word coming out shaky as he draws easy, indolent circles along her clit. She wants him inside of her―needs him inside of her.

But this is what she's dreamed of for weeks―months―his hands on her. Heat rushing between them; her arousal now is overwhelming in the face of it.

Grasping his cock a little tighter when he thrusts one finger, then two, inside her, Hermione doesn't care where he fucks her so long as he does. As he slides his fingers into her, he groans.

"So tight," he breathes against her ear, snagging the lobe between his teeth. "So fucking wet."

When he curls his fingers inside her, brushing against her inner wall, a cry breaks from her throat. "I need you," she gasps, her entire body a mass of desire. Already, she can feel herself begin to shake, to tighten with the build of her orgasm.

His mouth finds hers, swift and punishing, and when he speaks, his voice is hoarse. "Give me one first."

He drives his fingers into her harder, deeper, his thumb meeting her clit and drawing pleasure from deep within her. Her head spins, vision darkening around the edges as her heart races a frenetic cadence in her chest.

"Malfoy," she breathes, drawing him tight against her. "I'm going to―"

She can feel the smirk against her skin when she comes with a cry, release crashing over her in one tempestuous wave after another. Pleasure rolls through her and it's all she knows for long, unending moments.

He purrs against her cheek, "Good girl," and she swears she might come again.

As she falls from the high, her eyes landing on his, she can't help the smile that draws at her mouth. Malfoy smiles back in return, cool and secretive and seductive all in one.

He bites down on his lower lip, roving her dishevelled state. Then he loops an arm around her waist and drags her through the closest doorway, mouth never leaving hers.

Finally they draw back, his fingers sliding beneath the waistband of her knickers, and his grey eyes are dark but intent as he stares her down. They've managed to strip each other of everything else en route to his room, and desire for him begins to build again in her core, pulsing in her veins and a resounding echo behind her ears.

"Are you sure?" he asks, and though the words are low and pained, he doesn't do anything more than graze the fabric.

Hermione doesn't have to think about her answer, but still, she hesitates. "How long have you wanted this?"

"Long." He brushes a kiss to her mouth. "Longer than I should have."

The confession catches her off guard. "Before you walked in on me?"

"Yes." His gaze remains on hers, his expression soft. "Since Theo and Potter started bringing us all together. Since getting to actually know you."

Malfoy was so indifferent to her for so long that the words are jarring―but she's come to know him, and she knows everything he gives up is hard fought. It makes the admission now worth so much more.

There's something in the moment―more than she ever thought there could be. Enough to make her heart race and her soul ache in equal measure. Cool moonlight filtering through the window lights his pale hair and gleams in his eyes, and he's never looked quite so beautiful.

When she kisses him again, a murmured, "Okay," against his mouth, the remaining space between them vanishes as he tugs her knickers down. Fire flows into the gaps, setting her body alight with his touch. She rolls her hips towards his, nothing but flushed skin and heat and raw awareness.

As she tugs him towards the bed they stumble into it together; arousal throbs, insistent, between her legs.

She reaches for him, straddling his waist on the bed, and smooths her hand along his hard cock, basking in the liquid desire darkening his eyes. Biting down on her lower lip, she positions herself above him, and in one smooth movement, takes his length into her.

"Fuck," Malfoy whispers as they both adjust to the feel of it. He's big enough to fill, to stretch, and a heavy breath slides from her lips when she shifts atop him.

Grinding against him, she smiles, kisses him, lifts herself up and sheathes him within her again.

And it's so easy to fall into it, to give herself over to the rhythm, the roar of her pulse. They fit together as though made for it, and the thought wrenches at something deep within her.

He draws her close, lips and tongues meeting in a lazy tangle as she takes him into her again and again. He swallows her cries, her moans, his hands roving her bare skin and tugging at her hair. Pleasure floods through her as she quickens her pace, every part of her tensing as he pushes her near the edge again.

"Malfoy," she breathes, eyes meeting his. "Draco."

His brow knits with a furrow. Then he curls a hand around her waist and rolls them so his body covers her, and a mischievous smirk tugs at his lips. He slams into her, driving deep, and a moan slides from her at the sudden intensity of it.

And he thrusts again, rolling his hips against her as she curls her legs around his hips, inviting him deeper still.

Pulse racing, she arches from the bed. Rakes her nails down his back. Groans his name.

The heat between them is everything, and she gives in to it as he draws her pleasure to the surface in all-encompassing waves.

Release teases against her mind, playing about the edges of her nerves, and her entire body tenses with the scintillating heat.

Malfoy thrusts into her again, grazing his teeth along the line of her jaw, and he murmurs a low, reverent, "Hermione," as his thumb finds her clit.

She comes with a cry, clutching him tight to her as he follows her over the edge.

For long moments, she's aware only of him, of the heat and the rapture spreading through her veins. Of the way he feels against her, inside her, the touch of his hands on her skin.

When she at last comes down, breaths rapid and heart wild, she gazes at him. Loses herself in the depth of his eyes.

Another of those slow smiles she's coming to know spreads across his face, lighting his eyes, and he draws her into a long, indolent kiss. Every part of her stirs in response, her heart beating a wholly different rhythm when he withdraws himself and settles at her side.

Fatigue tugs at her eyelids, contentedness in her soul.

But she finds him watching her and looks up with a teasing smile. "You left the door ajar."

He laughs, and with a wave of his hand, the door closes with a soft click. "Those two aren't coming back here tonight."

Malfoy draws her close, pulling the sheets over them both, and she longs to succumb to the comfort of his hold. "What did you do?"

"Nothing," he says, his tone a little too facetious. "But I know Theo, and he was watching us like a hawk earlier. I'd be surprised if they actually went out for that drink and not just back to yours."

The thought didn't even register with her earlier, but she supposes they might have been a little obvious. And if she knows Harry, he likes to plot. Eyes sliding shut, she murmurs, "Fine. Those two can deal with us for once."

"More than once," he muses, almost idly, and when he plants a kiss to her brow, she smiles against his chest.

And she thinks she quite likes the sound of that.