|Secret Snog Spot
Author: Hanako A PM
Tis a truth universally acknowledged that any secret couple in possession of an abundance of overly inquisitive friends must be in want of a hiding place to call their own.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Draco M. & Hermione G. - Words: 10,118 - Reviews: 32 - Favs: 126 - Follows: 20 - Published: 11-30-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3920816
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Secret Snog Spot
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine. If they were, the epilogue would have been much different. As it is they all belong to JKR.
Almost instantaneously, her boyfriend launched himself away from her. Hermione froze momentarily, her mind frozen between longing to have the warmth of his body pressed up against her once more and fear about who it was that came too close to catching them. While she stood there, Malfoy quickly drew his wand in one fluid motion, and in the next, cast a charm to the cover the love bites from the attention she had lavished on his neck. His actions spurred her to move, quickly righting her robes before drawing her own wand. Her boyfriend, however, was still ahead of her.
"Show yourselves," he demanded and flourished his wand out in front of him. "We both heard you, so hiding will only make matters worse for you."
There was no response.
A sneer marred Malfoy's face. "Whoever it is, it must be a Gryffindor," he said chillingly. "I think I'll start taking ten points away from your House total for every minute you continue this nonsense."
"Malfoy, you don't know it's a Gryffindor," Hermione told him indignantly. "Without any proof, you can't abuse your authority and take points away. For all we know, it could be a Slytherin, and you should be taking points away from your own House."
"Granger, trust me when I say no Slytherin who wants to live to see the sun rise tomorrow is going to dare spy on me. A Hufflepuff would have already wet his pants by now, and we would be able to sniff him out. A Ravenclaw wouldn't be hiding because none of them is stupid enough to be caught out this late without some sort of pass. So that leaves us with Gryffindor, home to idiots from all walks of life." He glanced about impatiently. "You should train your Gryffindors better, Granger. They're making you look bad, the way they're flouting your authority." He gave her a look that clearly said she should go ahead and do something to remedy this situation already.
Unfortunately, during his rant, Hermione had come to her own conclusions as to who was hiding from them, and she didn't like those conclusions one bit. She narrowed her eyes at the darkness, willing herself to see where her best friends had holed up. She had never bothered to go easy on them just because they were her friends, and she wasn't about to start now. Especially not when they interrupted the first bit of private time she had with her boyfriend for the past week. Seeing him during prefect meetings or while they worked together at the library on their joint Arithmancy project wasn't enough any more.
Feeling a bit silly talking to empty air, she said, "I can always check to see who left late at night without returning." She paused, wanting to let the boys feel as though they had got away with it before she pulled the rug out from under them. "Although if the answer is no one that's not whom I'll be giving a month's worth of detentions to," she finished quietly.
Her threat was answered by a soft rustle of cloth and then the sound of steps of someone walking up the stairs towards them.
"Hello, Hermione," said Harry. Ron trailed sheepishly behind him. "Imagine meeting you here."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Honestly, Harry. Do you like losing House points?"
"I don't know. Do you like taking them away?" Harry asked bitterly. "It certainly seems that way. I know that Malfoy here usually manages not to take points from Slytherins."
"Ten points from Gryffindor for talking back to the Head Girl," Malfoy said imperiously. "Potter, Weasley. Do you even have an excuse for being out this late? Or maybe you fancy serving detention together seeing how it lets you have a bit of quality time with one another."
"Sod off, Malfoy," Ron growled.
"I could ask you the same question," Harry said. "What are you doing out so late, Malfoy? Plotting something perhaps?"
"Oh my," Malfoy drawled. "Did I somehow fall into an alternate dimension where—Merlin forbid!—Potter made Head Boy?" He made a great show of looking down at his robes and finding his Head Boy's badge. "No, no. That's not it. I still have my badge, and all is right with the world. Tell me, Granger, does Potter often have delusions? Have you suggested he seek professional help?"
Out of reflex, Hermione stepped in between Malfoy and her friends before either Harry or Ron could think of an appropriate hex to throw. "Harry, Ron, behave," she told them sternly. She sighed. "Let me guess. You stepped out to get a midnight snack. You should both know better by now."
"That's not it," Ron interrupted her, seemingly aghast. "We were looking for you!"
"Yes, you," said Harry, pointing a finger in her direction. "We haven't seen you at all tonight, and when we asked Neville, he said that you weren't in the library. No one else has seen you in the tower all night long. So of course we came to look for you." He paused for breath. "Hermione, what are you doing out here so late? And with that?" asked Harry, a look of disdain crossing his face.
"I'm on patrol," Hermione answered automatically, then silently swore. Of all the lies to feed them, that had to be the worst one. Harry and Ron were well acquainted with her schedule, always staying up late to wait for her to make sure she came back after she had to roam the halls of Hogwarts late at night with Malfoy.
"But it's not your night!" Harry all but shouted.
"Yeah!" agreed Ron. "Tonight's supposed to be Ernie and Hannah. Not you and the ferret."
"Obviously, the Head Students have to occasionally check up on the work the prefects do to make sure they're doing an adequate job," Malfoy said, his quick thinking saving the day. He somehow managed to look down his nose at Ron, even though the other wizard was taller. "Especially seeing how the standards for making prefect these days have been greatly lowered."
"Then why didn't you tell us?" Harry demanded of Hermione.
Malfoy rolled his eyes expressively. "It would defeat the purpose of us randomly checking up on the prefects if we let everyone know when we were doing it. Of course she didn't tell you. I certainly didn't tell any of my Slytherins."
"Exactly," said Hermione. She didn't bother to elaborate on Malfoy's story because she would only find a way to ruin it. However, there was a point she was longing to bring up. "I don't need the two of you keeping tabs on me. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself."
"But Hermione—" they both protested.
"Enough. Back to Gryffindor Tower with the both of you." Hermione crossed her arms across her chest and maintained a firm stance. Any lingering objections from Harry and Ron remained unspoken.
"Yes, Hermione," said Harry. "I guess we can talk about this later."
"We'll be waiting for you in the Common Room," added Ron.
Hermione nodded her head. This was neither the time nor the place to argue that point with them. "Fine. I'll see you later." Her friends turned around to leave, appeased for the moment, when someone decided to go ahead and provoke them some more.
"Before you run home like good little boys," said Malfoy lazily, "I believe the two of you have lost a total of thirty points so far. Oh, and detention of course for the both of you. And for being out past curfew…"
"An additional detention and ten points each," Hermione put in quickly. Harry and Ron looked livid enough already. If she had let Malfoy continue, the brawl that she had been trying to prevent might become unavoidable. Hermione ignored the glare Malfoy shot at her. "Next time though, I won't be so lenient."
Harry looked as though he was going to say something else, but thankfully was stopped by Ron, who tugged on his robes. The two of them traced their steps back down the stairs and soon were out of sight. Once she could no longer see them, Hermione whirled around and began walking down the hallway, determined to continue with the pretense that she and Malfoy were patrolling. Her boyfriend stalked behind her, and Hermione wondered how long it would be before he opened his mouth to complain.
"Really, Granger, you should have kept your mouth shut and let me handle it," he said a couple minutes later. "Fifty points each and a week full of detentions would have stopped them from ever following us around again."
"If it were that easy, I would've assigned them that much detention long ago. You're just miffed that I didn't let you take more points away."
"True enough. The wonder twins deserved to lose more points after the way they interrupted us."
Once again, Hermione's eyes sought out the ceiling. "Please. I know there were plenty of occasions when you should've taken points from Tweedledee and Tweedledum, but didn't."
"That's different. At least they know not to follow me around when I don't want them. You should train your guardians better. They're getting to be a bit of a nuisance."
There was nothing Hermione could say to that. Harry and Ron were becoming rather bothersome. She continued to march down the hallway, with Malfoy right on her heels. He didn't say anything else on the subject of her wayward best friends. Hermione was willing to bet that he had become more interested into going back to what they had been doing before her idiots had come along.
"Come on now, Hermione. I know you're upset, but let's make up." Hermione was all set to ignore him, when Malfoy's hand caught her by the waist and pulled her back against him.
"Stop that," Hermione hissed.
His only response was to lower his head to nibble on her left ear.
"Malfoy, I'm serious," she said. She gasped in pleasure as he started kissing his way down her neck, and she could feel her willpower fading. Hermione pulled herself away from him and spun around to face him
"What's wrong?" he asked. Malfoy started to pout, that bastard, knowing full well what effect that had on her. "Now that the wonder twins are gone, don't you want to continue our fun?" He leered at her. "I know I do. I can never get enough of my little witch."
"No?" His face dropped. "Why not?"
"Because it's not safe. That last call was too close for comfort." She shuddered. "Honestly, I don't think I could relax enough to enjoy myself."
"Care to test that theory?" He waggled his eyebrows at her in what he evidently thought was a charming manner.
It was, at that.
Hermione, however, wasn't going to let her be distracted by her boyfriend. She took almost getting caught by her best friends as a sort of warning, and she wasn't going to ignore it. "No, Malfoy," she said. "We don't know who else is about."
"What? Are you scared, Granger?" he taunted her, trying to get a rise out of her. "If anyone else is out and about, we'll take points, assign detentions, and all that rot."
"And if they actually happen to catch us?"
"That's what Obliviate is for, my dear."
Hermione threw up her hands in frustration. "Draco Malfoy! I cannot believe you are even suggesting such a thing. Do you know all the ways that—"
"Have I ever told you how sexy you are when you go into lecturing mode?"
"Are you always on?"
"I'm a teenaged wizard. I don't have an off switch."
"Too bad for your hand. I imagine it must get tired." she sniped at him. Malfoy looked away from her, but not before she saw the flicker of hurt in his eyes. "Merlin. I am sorry, Malfoy," she said softly. "But after that last scare…tonight's been ruined for me. Maybe tomorrow."
"It's bloody hard trying to fit into your schedule," he grumbled, "much less find a private spot where we can have a bit of a snog."
That was when he suddenly flashed her an absolutely blindingly bright grin.
Hermione knew what that look meant. All boys seemed to share the same look of glee that signaled they had thought of the perfect way to get themselves into trouble—and lots of it. Hermione had seen that look of glee far too often on both Harry and Ron's faces. It was almost disconcerting to see it on Malfoy's.
Something told her that Draco Malfoy could get into more trouble than Harry and Ron put together without even trying.
"Oh no," Hermione said involuntarily.
"What?" asked Malfoy, his grin briefly replaced by an irritated frown.
"You've just had a bright idea, haven't you?"
That look of glee returned, brighter than before. Hermione could feel a headache start to set in. "You are the smartest witch to ever roam these halls, aren't you, Granger? But yes, I did have a bloody brilliant idea, if I do say so myself."
"What? Peeved that you didn't think of it first?"
"Just tell me what it is already, Malfoy."
"We need our own spot," he stated grandly.
"Our own secret snog spot. Think of it. Doesn't it set your girlish heart to beating? We could meet secretly there for romantic interludes, mark it as our secret meeting place by carving out hearts with our names inside—you witches like that right?—anything that you might want to do and so much more."
Hermione blinked. He was still there. She pinched herself. That didn't work either. Her boyfriend was still there with that overly cheerful expression covering his face. Clearly, she wasn't hallucinating or dreaming. That was too bad really. She had no concept about what to say to him. Somehow she didn't think it possible to convince him that his idea wasn't the solution to their problems.
"And where do you expect to find this secret snog spot we so desperately need?" she questioned. "This castle is full of nosy professors, gossipy students, peeping portraits, and let's not even get into the ghosts."
"Granger, I never said it was going to be easy to find the perfect spot. Just that we need one," he told her. "Shall we start searching for one tonight?"
"I can't," she said. "Undoubtedly Harry and Ron are waiting for me. I don't want to tempt fate and have them come looking for us again."
"No, I guess not," he agreed. His grin faded. "With our luck, they'd probably come upon us just as we finally found the perfect place." Her formerly fearsome boyfriend now resembled a puppy that had been kicked.
Hermione reached out to take his hand. Whenever he looked so sad, it was impossible for her not to try to cheer him up. "There's always tomorrow, Malfoy," she said. "We can look at the records in the library. Perhaps we can find something there."
At those words, a wicked grin covered his face. Hermione hoped that whatever he was plotting wouldn't blow up in their faces.
His years in Slytherin had taught him how it was better to settle for insulting his opponent in order to get the fool to draw his wand first. Once that was done, anything Draco did afterwards was in the clear because he would only be defending himself. More than once, Draco reflected that whoever came up with that old adage about sticks and stones must have been a Slytherin. He would have liked to have met the genius who had propagated that lie; many a time, he had heard it used on Potter and Weasley when they had reacted poorly to one of his verbal shots. It was always sweet to see them getting scolded and losing points while he was let off with a mere slap on the wrist.
It was not as though Draco didn't have his weak points however. He had several, but they were generally not used against him due to the sheer violence of his reaction. One of his sore spots was his parents—mentioning that his father belonged in Azkaban or that his mother was a common slag was an excellent way to spend the rest of the week in the hospital wing. Another was the insinuation that his father had bought Draco first his spot on the Slytherin Quidditch team, then his position as prefect, and finally his Head Boy's badge. His father had certainly influenced his team's decision, of that there was no doubt, but no amount of influence would have allowed Draco to keep it if he was shit at Seeking. As for making prefect and then Head Boy, that resulted from have expectations placed on him by his parents and hard work in order to meet such expectations.
Yet his sorest spot as of late had been his girlfriend and namely the way she coddled those two idiots she called friends. Currently, she was eating with them at the Gryffindor table and acting as though whatever Potter had just said was fucking hilarious. Draco knew it had to be an act. The only person Potter could beat in a battle of wits was his sidekick, Weasel. It had always been a great mystery to Draco how anyone could stand to eat in the face of Weasley's atrocious table manners. It was a wonder that his housemates hadn't revolted against having to sit with him for every meal and demanded that Weasley be given his own separate table. Perhaps that was the reason why Granger insisted on bringing books with her to every single meal—the better to block out the disgusting spectacle. Of course, whenever there was a book around, she had the tendency to forget everything else. With the hours she had been putting in lately, his witch needed to start taking better care of herself.
No, these days seeing Granger with those oafs was enough to make him clench his fists, no matter how much he wanted to seem unaffected by her. It was times like this, when Weasley was actually whispering into Granger's ear (part of Draco hoped the other wizard still wasn't chewing on anything, otherwise Granger was going to get an earful of another sort), that he longed to be able to march over to her table and pull her away from silly wizards who needed to learn to keep their hands to themselves. Alas, he and Granger had agreed that they were going to keep their relationship a secret for now, as they both were so busy with their assorted duties that neither had the time to placate their friends. They also agreed that they would both try to prepare their friends for the big news. Draco had already begun laying the necessary groundwork so his housemates would react favorably once they knew. If everything went as planned, they'd all be marveling at his brilliance in securing the Head Girl's favor in order to redeem his much maligned reputation. If he wasn't lucky, he intended to take Granger and run, leaving Potter and company to deal with the irate Slytherins. If it did come to that, having a secret place to flee to would be ideal.
Enough was enough, he decided. He had sat here for the better part of the last half hour, watching as Granger fussed over those idiots. He was done with exercising his self-control and now it was time to take some action. He got up from his seat, gesturing absently at Crabbe and Goyle to let them know that they need not follow. He stalked over to the Gryffindor table, while trying to appear as though he wasn't in any sort of a hurry. Before anyone could react to his sudden appearance, he reached down and yanked Granger's bag of books.
"Tell me, does it go against the Gryffindor code of conduct to keep track of time?" he asked his girlfriend rudely.
"Get lost, Malfoy. This is a ferret-free zone," Potter replied automatically.
"Oi! That's Hermione's. Give it back, you git!" was Weasel's eloquent rejoinder. He reached for his wand.
"Ron! Don't do that," Granger warned him. "You are not going to start a fight in the middle of the Great Hall, no matter how much the ferret deserves it." She focused her glare back on Draco. "Tell me, Malfoy, to what do we owe the pleasure of your company?"
"What this I see? A Gryffindor with manners? Will wonders never cease?" He was delighted to see his girlfriend bite her lower lip, a sure sign of her rising ire. Good. That would make their study session more interesting. "Did you misplace your schedule for today, Granger? Or did you forget that we had agreed to visit the Restricted Section this afternoon to work on our Arithmancy project?"
Comprehension dawned in her eyes as she figured out what his plan was. "Oh. That." She snapped her fingers. "I completely forgot. So sorry. I was having so much fun with Harry and Ron that I lost track of time." The glint in her eyes told him that the little minx had chosen her words so they would upset him.
"You can't be serious, Hermione," Weasley stated. "It's Saturday. And you've decided to volunteer to spend it holed up with Malferret in the library!"
"I never understood how you two could not study on the weekend," Hermione replied evenly. "Best time for it really."
"It's clear why you have the best marks in the whole school," Potter said. "Do you want us to go with you?"
That wouldn't do at all. The last thing that he wanted was for her two sidekicks to follow them around the entire time. He wanted some time alone with her, damn it. "I wasn't aware that Granger here wasn't allowed to go out without her bodyguards," Draco said lazily.
"It's hardly that. And we're not her bodyguards, we're her friends. Not that you would understand what that's about," Weasley answered back.
"I was just checking to see if she wants us to tag along in case she decides to do the world a favor and get rid of you," Potter added. "Help get rid of the evidence and all that."
"Too bad," Draco spat out. "The pass I have is only for us two."
"Please stop underestimating me, Harry," Granger said airily. "I am perfectly capable of cleaning up any mess associated with ferret extermination if I decide to take that route. Don't worry." Granger shut her book and stood up. "Stay still, Malfoy," she commanded as she stepped closer to him. He almost forgot to breathe as he wondered what she could possibly be plotting—surely she wasn't going to kiss him? She was close enough to do so, and that would definitely wipe the stupid grins off both Pothead and Weasel's faces permanently.
Granger batted his arm rudely. "Lower," she demanded. He complied. She opened her bag and forcefully stuffed in the books she had been reading, the added weight unbalancing him enough that he briefly stumbled backwards. She rolled her eyes before advancing forward again to close her bag. "Good. All set now. Thanks for offering to carry this for me. It is a bit heavy," Granger said sweetly. She turned around and started to march out the Great Hall. "Come along, Malfoy. You were the one complaining about wasting time. Let's go."
Draco trailed after her, all too aware that she had made him look like he was her lap-dog. He fumed as chortles rose up from the Gryffindor table. She had got the better of him this time. That's what he deserved, he supposed, for not having a plan before he had approached her amidst all her friends. Next time, he would not make the same mistake.
They walked in silence towards the library, him a few steps behind her. The hallways were practically empty. Draco had only seen a couple of Hufflepuffs a short distance away from the Great Hall, and they had scurried outside after he had glared at them. It looked as though most students had decided to take advantage of the weather and spend the day outdoors, something they probably wouldn't have the luxury of doing in the upcoming months.
"Did you have to be so foul?" Granger asked abruptly when they were almost to the library.
Draco raised an eyebrow. Granger wasn't looking at him, however, so it had no effect. "Tell me, my dear, how should I have approached you? Should I have walked up, politely inquired about Potter and Weasley's health, and then asked for your company?"
"That would have been a nice change. Variety is the spice of life and all. You don't always have to be such a prat to them."
"You're suggesting something that would be completely out of character for me," Draco noted. "If I had done that, everyone would have known something's up."
"I think Harry and Ron already suspect something," she mused aloud. "We have been spending more time together, and I think they've noticed."
"I doubt it."
"Naturally. You never give them enough credit."
"It's hard to give them credit when I know what sort of marks they get."
"They're not idiots, Malfoy." She shot him a stern look. "You'll have to play nice once they do know."
"Granger, I can recall the terms of our compromise. I can be as unpleasant as ever while they don't know so as not to tip them off. Once they do know, I'll stop constantly provoking them." He shuddered. "Though how I'll manage to keep my food down if I ever have to eat with Weasley is another thing."
"At least he can hold up his end of a conversation even if his table manners are non-existent. Can't say the same about the company you keep," she sniffed.
"Low blow there, Granger."
"You deserved it." She stopped suddenly and turned around to poke him in the chest. "You know perfectly well that you never told me about meeting today to work on our project. I didn't even know you asked Professor Sinistra for a pass. It certainly wasn't in front of me."
"That's because I never got the chance," muttered Draco. "Blame that on last night's interruption. And I didn't ask for a pass. I still have the one from last month."
"Have you lost it? Madam Pince won't let us in unless it's dated for today."
"Is that so? Best fix that then. Here, hold this." He shoved her bag into her hands. Reaching into his robes, he pulled out the piece of parchment in question. His girlfriend peeked over his shoulders to take a look at it.
"You blithering idiot! Not only does it have the wrong date, it doesn't even have my name on it! How can you even criticize Harry and Ron for not thinking things through when this has got to be the worst planned assignation ever!"
"You know I love it when you play with words like that. Do your friends even know how that's different from an assignment?"
She stamped her foot imperiously. "Not. Helping. Here."
"Oh? But look." The ink was lifting itself off the parchment, swirling about in the air, before settling back down. When it was finished, the date had changed and Granger's name was next to his. "There. How does that work?"
"Explain," she ordered tersely.
"There's not much to explain. I simply loaned my quill to Sinistra while she was writing out the pass."
She prodded him sharply with her elbow. "That cannot be the full extent of your explanation."
"Oh, did I forget to mention that it happened to be my self-inking quill that uses rapid revisions ink? Guaranteed to make all changes needed." He rolled back on his heels, waiting for her to compliment his cunning.
"Draco Malfoy!" she hissed. "Don't tell me that was how you managed a perfect score on the last Transfiguration exam!"
"What?" He came close to toppling over; he was so shocked at her accusation. "Don't be ridiculous, Granger. I don't use that for schoolwork. That would never work. The changes wouldn't be made until a professor tried to take points off, and then where would I be?" He shook his head. "Do you think so little of me?"
"No…I'm sorry. I should have known better."
"Which makes us even. For earlier." His smile was answered by one on her face.
"I guess that means we should proceed to getting to the library and finding a cozy spot to make up at."
"Now you're talking." He took her bag from her once more. They couldn't walk too close to each other or hold hands in public, but at least he could carry her books for her. If anyone had dared to ask, he would have told them he was merely proving Slytherins were more gentlemanly than Gryffindors. He knew damn well that neither of her friends had ever bothered to help her out, and it was a small miracle that she hadn't thrown out her back yet.
Once inside the library, he showed the now updated pass to Madam Pince. The old hag squinted at the parchment, particularly at the signature at the bottom, to verify that it wasn't forged. Begrudgingly, she allowed them to cross the rope that marked off the Restricted Section, warning the two of them that if they dared to damage any of her books in the slightest, the consequences would be unimaginable.
"That woman has some nerve. You'd think she owns this place," he grumbled as he scouted for an appropriate table. The library was a bit of a risk, since there were so many distractions for his girlfriend, but he also knew that she liked the musty smell of the old tomes. He had to ensure that they didn't wind up a part of the library that was totally unsuitable for his purposes. The section on sex magic was completely off limits. He still had vivid dreams of that night. Granger had concluded that it would be amusing to read aloud from one of the tomes to research what interested them both. The entire evening he had been caught between feeling embarrassed about what was happening, frustrated that he wasn't able to do anything about it, and downright ecstatic that his witch was such a naughty little thing. Draco grew warm remembering the items that Hermione had lingered over.
"Is something wrong?" Granger asked. "You look a bit flushed." He fervently shook his head no. "And yes, she does take a rather proprietary view of the books. The hours she sets for this place is positively ridiculous. They're more appropriate for a used bookshop than a school library."
"You'll have no argument from me." He reached out with his free hand to grab hers. He steered her away from the section that she was headed towards—she was such a wicked minx!—and towards a dimly lit table with the only books to be seen having nonsensical titles. He couldn't imagine who would want to bind chaos, if that was even possible, and he hadn't heard of quantum mechanics. It was perfect. There was nothing here to interest Hermione except him.
"Here we are," he said when they arrived at the table. He plunked her books down with a loud thud. Granger gently tugged her hand away from his. Looking sideways at him, she pulled out a chair.
"What do you think you're doing?" he asked, huffing in annoyance.
"Sitting down," she said succinctly. She arched an eyebrow at him. "I prefer to study while seated. You may remain standing if you wish." Granger was asking for it, and the smirk on her face told him that she knew it.
He decided to oblige her. He kicked the chair aside before she could sit, then picked her up. He placed her down on the table after turning her around so that she faced him. "Good idea," he said. He gently nudged her legs apart and stepped in between them. "You can study me while sitting, and I can study you while standing."
She tilted her face up, and he felt her soft lips descend upon his neck as she leisurely worked her way up. His hands wandered down her back, coming to rest on her arse. He pulled her closer to him and swiveled his hips against her center so she could feel how much she was affecting him. She stopped her ministrations and gasped when he repeated the motion a second, then a third time. His hands trailed up and over her breasts, stopping only they reached the top button of her robes. His gaze silently asked her for permission. A breathy sigh and her leaning her head against his shoulder was the answer he received.
He wasted no time. His hands expertly undid the top of her robes, before doing the same to the shirt she wore beneath. His fingers traced the edges of her bra as they headed back towards the clasp. He wanted to feel her without any bits of fabric getting in the way. He grinned in anticipation as he undid the first hook.
Without any warning, she pushed him away. Draco tumbled gracelessly on to the floor as she bounded away from the table. She emitted a high-pitched squeal upon reaching the bookshelves, causing his hands to cover his ears.
"I can't believe this!" she exclaimed. Granger turned around and beamed at him. "Do you know how long I've been looking for this section?"
"I don't know," he groused, dusting himself off as he got up. "Forever, perhaps? Because that's how long it's been since I've last got to kiss you properly," he muttered grumpily.
"Forever is right," she sighed, ignoring his other comment. She selected a book from the shelf. "You are absolutely brilliant, Draco." She bounced back to the table, pulling the chair Draco had kicked aside earlier back into position. He looked at the spine of the book as she sat down. Evidently she found a book entitled What Nonlinear Dynamical Systems Can Tell Us About Accidental Magic more interesting than kissing her boyfriend.
It was a good thing that no one knew about them. He would never be able to live that one down.
Draco groaned as he took the seat beside her. "I can't believe you threw me aside for a damn book," he whined.
"Oh hush. You know I love you."
"Funny. I'm not feeling very loved right now."
That earned him a glare from his girlfriend. She went back to the books and pulled another one out, dumping it rather painfully on his lap when she returned to the table, where took care of the lingering traces of excitement he still felt. "Here. It's a bit basic, but I imagine you don't know much about physics since evidently how science and magic interact is privileged information. Go on." She smiled brightly at him as he opened it up. "You've found a real treasure trove here, Draco. It's all fascinating stuff."
"Joy. Can't imagine anything better. Exactly how I wanted to spend my afternoon, you know."
She looked up at him and then quickly pecked his nose. "I do love you," she told him sweetly before returning to her tome.
That didn't do much to assuage his bruised ego.
She had to admit the library had been mostly her fault. Her boyfriend had been rather disgruntled with her for that, not appreciating what exactly he had found. She had tried to make it up to him a couple days later, suggesting that they visit the old alchemy classroom, which hadn't seen any use after the subject was abandoned due to a pair of brothers barely being stopped from an unauthorized experiment that could have blown up half the school. They hadn't even got themselves situated in the old classroom, when Harry and Ron came along searching for Hermione because they needed some help with their Transfiguration essays, having left that off till the last minute once more.
After that, there was Malfoy's suggestion that they were looking too hard and perhaps their spot had been under their noses all along. He was referring to the office Hermione had wheedled from Professor McGonagall after she had convinced her mentor that it would be beneficial for the Head Students to have a dedicated space to conduct tutoring and to work on their other duties. Hermione had thought that idea was rather inspired. Unfortunately, there had been a bit of a mix-up about who was supposed to charm the door shut and before anything could start, they were interrupted by a fourth-year who needed help with Charms. After Hermione had helped her, Crabbe and Goyle made an appearance, needing Malfoy's help with their Potions assignment. Then there was the group of Ravenclaws determined to pick Hermione's brain about Ancient Runes, followed shortly after by a Hufflepuff who had the misfortune of having Malfoy tutor him in Transfiguration. Once they had finally managed to clear the room, they were both too tired and snappish to do anything but call it a night.
There had been an unspoken accord between them afterwards never to linger in their office again. Hermione and her boyfriend had tried several other places in the castle, but someone always came along to spoil their fun. In their last attempt, they had ventured outside the castle as Hermione thought they could have a bit of privacy over by the lake. However, it seemed as though even the elements were against them. A quick Impervious was enough to stop them from getting soaked, but there wasn't any charm to stop Hermione from slipping and falling into the mud. A laughing boyfriend hadn't done anything to improve her temper, and she had left him in a huff. She had given him the silent treatment for several days before finally accepting his apology.
So it was Hermione was a tad wary when she received a note from Malfoy asking her to meet him tonight after the library closed. He claimed to have thought of the perfect spot for them, but Hermione was beginning to think that there was no such place. The litany of failures was beginning to show on her. She had been so snippy this morning Ginny actually had the gall to ask if she was early. Hermione knew it was taking its toll on Malfoy as well. He had become increasingly malicious towards Harry and Ron as time progressed. Almost all of the first years were terrified of him, and that was gradually becoming true for the older students as well. She sighed. Maybe Malfoy got off on being feared by all, but not she. Sometimes she wanted to end their deal so she wouldn't have to worry about keeping secrets any more.
Not wanting to dwell on her thoughts any longer, Hermione asked, "Tell me again where we're going?"
"I don't recall telling you in the first place, Granger."
She silently swore to start carrying around something in her robes that she could lob at him whenever he was being an arse. Which was practically all the time. Something small, yet heavy. Maybe the Weasley twins had something in their shop that would do; if not, Hermione felt certain she could convince them to come up with something. It was for a good cause and all.
"That was my trying to subtly prod the information from you," she retorted. "I'm not mad. I know you haven't told me where we're going, and I'd like to know thank you very much."
"Haven't you heard that good things come to those who wait?"
She briefly contemplated kicking him in the back but then decided against it. With her luck, she'd lose balance and topple on top of him as they both fell down the stairs. Besides, she didn't want to seriously hurt him. Just throttle him until he told her what she wanted to know.
Hermione stopped in her tracks. "Fine. I'm not coming then."
He turned around to face her. "You certainly won't be if you simply stay there, my dear. Come on. Let's not waste time."
She crossed her arms. "No. I'm not moving until I know our destination."
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," he answered. Hermione didn't respond, determined not to allow him to skirt around the issue. Finally, he sighed. "Please Hermione. I'll tell you once we're near. It's a bit of a secret." His eyes held a silent plea.
Hermione sighed, then nodded. She loved hearing him pronounce her name. It hardly ever happened. Using each other's last name was deeply entrenched in them; it was rare for one of them to use the other's given name. She did it for him when she wanted him to know that she really meant something. He did the same, and that was enough to get her to relent.
Hermione took note of their bearings as they continued to walk through Hogwarts towards their unspecified destination, trying to determine where he was taking her. It hit her as they were walking stealthily through the Entrance Hall. They were going in the general direction of where the different House's Quidditch team's changing rooms were located. Hermione held back a frown. Normally she liked being right but in this instance, she hoped she had come to the wrong conclusion. A few minutes later, she convinced herself that she had been mistaken. The turns they had taken were not the same ones one took to get to where she knew the boys' changing rooms were located. With any luck, he had another destination in mind.
That changed, however, once he flattened himself against a wall and motioned her to do the same. She complied, watching his eyes dart around.
"Excellent," he said quietly. "We're in the clear."
"Afraid of being followed?"
"Yes," she said, "but you seem to be verging on paranoia."
"Perhaps I am, at that. Don't want anyone to find out where I'm taking you."
"The Slytherin changing room."
She wrinkled her nose. "No thanks."
"I can't imagine any place that has to house Crabbe and Goyle after a match can smell very nice."
"No, you're right," Malfoy agreed. "Which is why we're going to the girls' changing room."
"Didn't hear me the first time, Granger? I said—"
"I heard you perfectly well, but I know that there's no such thing. Witches aren't allowed on the Slytherin Quidditch team."
"Well the first step to changing that would to have a girl's changing room installed, right? So after I became captain, I made certain to get one."
"There are still no witches on your House's team, Malfoy," Hermione pointed out.
"I know. It is such a shame. Still didn't want to let it go to waste, so I'm using it for myself."
"Horrid, I know. But not half as horrid as having to spend another year almost passing out from the smell of Crabbe and Goyle's dirty socks." He shook violently. "The house elves are quick to take them away, but it's never fast enough. I can't describe how much the room reeks after practice. It's a wonder no one's ever fainted."
"No, it's worse. Much worse."
"All right then." Hermione briefly considered asking if he had even bothered to try and recruit any females for his team. She decided against it as she already knew the answer. Of course he didn't. Getting a changing room for the girls was a ploy on his part to get his own private room. She didn't quite approve of his actions but there were extenuating circumstances.
Besides, it had been three weeks since she last got him alone for an extended period of time—the library not counting because they were surrounded by books—and she didn't see how anyone could find a room if they didn't know it existed. Really, he should have thought of this long ago. Maybe he wasn't as clever as she thought he was.
Malfoy reached out and grabbed her hand. He cast one last glance around before pressing a couple of the stones on the wall beside them. The wall parted, and they slipped inside. The wall quickly slid back into place.
She looked around at the room. The furnishings were sparse. There were lockers off to the right, done up in green and silver. In the center were a couple of benches, and a large mirror hung on the left wall.
"Somehow I thought the Slytherin captain's private room would be more luxurious," she remarked.
"Granger, please. I believe I told you this room was for witches."
"And you've converted it for your private use."
"Only because I didn't want it to be taken away again because we didn't use it. Do you know how much effort it took to get this?"
"Was it worth it?"
"I don't know," he answered slyly. He put his arms around her. "I think I'm about to find out." He bent his head down.
Hermione stopped him by placing a finger against his lips. "Not so fast there," she told him. "Do you really use this room?"
"I was about to," he said through clenched teeth.
"I meant for Quidditch. If this room isn't being used, then Slytherin doesn't really need it and as Head Girl, it would be my duty to report that."
"Get to the point."
"Do you not keep your uniform here?" Hermione asked a wicked smirk on her face.
Understanding lit up his eyes. "That I do. Shall I put it on?"
She nodded her head. "Robes and all," she said.
"Everything? You mean the robes, the gloves, and everything else? Woman, do you know how long that will take? Just to take it off again?"
"I can help," she offered.
"Something tells me that would take longer," he replied, "Although it might be more fun."
Before Hermione could answer him, a thunderous bang came from the room's entrance.
"Damn it! What now?" Malfoy screeched.
"Our luck continues," Hermione groused. "Sometimes I think the entire world is against us."
"Good thing you Gryffindor types don't know the meaning of defeat."
"Lovely. Your snark is just what I needed to hear at this moment. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. What's your excuse?"
"I'm a Slytherin. I don't like to lose." He shrugged his shoulders." I figure it's the world that should be worrying if it wants to go up against the two of us. As well as whoever is behind all that banging. No one's supposed to know about this place."
"Nice theory, too bad it doesn't quite work in reality."
"Spare me, Granger. It's not as if any of your ideas had any success." There was a spectacularly loud crash. "Maybe it's just Peeves throwing a fit because the wards are keeping him out?" he suggested.
"Maybe," she said slowly. "Quiet! I think I hear someone talking."
"S'not working," said a familiar male voice.
"Stand back. I'll try the Blasting Curse," said another male voice, one that was all too easy for Hermione to recognize.
"How the hell did they find this place?" Malfoy shouted. "I know they can't have followed us here because they had detention tonight for the last time they almost caught us."
"Blast!" Hermione put two and two together. She realized how often it was that Harry and Ron had ran into them when they were looking for a bit of privacy—too often to be accidental. She silently cursed herself for not reaching the obvious conclusion earlier. Unfortunately, she couldn't see any other way out of their current predicament without playing her final gambit. It still felt too early to use it. She hoped it would be enough.
"Let them in, Malfoy," she said quickly.
She rolled her eyes. "You heard me. Let them in. If you don't, Harry will blast his way in once Ron fails to convince him that sheer brute force isn't the answer."
"I'm rather fond of that as an answer. I usually win."
"Fine! I swear though, if they kill me, I'll come back and haunt you for the rest of your miserable life."
"Spare me your theatrics. I thought you weren't scared of them."
"I'm not. But it'll be two against one, and I know where your loyalties ultimately lie," he ground out as he took out his wand. He walked over to the wall they had entered through.
"Don't worry. I have a plan," she told him. Impulsively, she went forward and grabbed his free hand. "And you're a right git if you think that I'd abandon you to their tender mercies."
"That sounds about right. I've always been a git in our relationship so there's no point in stopping now," he said. "I certainly hope your plan is a good one, Hermione." He traced an odd symbol in the air and stepped back. Slowly, the wall opened.
"Hermione!" Harry and Ron rushed in.
"Get away from her, you wanker!" Harry had his wand out and pointed straight at Malfoy.
"Come here, Hermione," Ron said to her. "Don't worry. We won't let him hurt you."
Hermione moved forward so her body was squarely between Malfoy and Harry. "Harry, lower your wand. You are not going to duel anyone tonight, especially not over me."
"Like hell I won't. I don't know what he has over you, Hermione, but it ends now."
"Yes, it does," she agreed pleasantly. She flicked her gaze over at Ron, who was currently holding Harry back. "I'm through of hiding the fact that Draco Malfoy is my boyfriend from the both of you."
Ron let go of Harry's arm and brought out his own wand. "Harry," he said calmly, "do you remember that tripe I was spouting off about not being able to hex your way through life?"
"Yeah," Harry answered, his wand hand never wavering.
"I was wrong."
"The way you two are acting, I would think that you don't trust me," Hermione accused them.
"We trust you, Hermione," said Ron.
"But we're not going to let you make the biggest mistake of your life," finished Harry.
"Funny. That's not how I define trust." She narrowed her gaze at her two best friends. "So let's be perfectly clear. Do you trust me or not? Because if Malfoy being my boyfriend makes you not trust me any more, I'll make sure you'll never find us together again." Hermione firmly held on to Malfoy's hand even as he tried to disengage his from hers. She tightened her grasp, trying to let him know that she wasn't planning on letting him get away from her. She didn't know if it worked, but he kept quiet and stopped struggling to get away, allowing her to handle things for now.
"Hermione! Think about who you're dealing with here! Look at the way he treats you—"
"With more respect than you two right now because he's not questioning my decisions."
"Enough," said Harry. "I don't know what he did to you, and we'll have to sort that out later. I won't let this continue."
"I won't stand for the current state of things either. Map, now." She snapped her fingers and held out her hand bossily.
"Didn't you hear me? Or have you forgot what I said already? If you don't trust me, I'll make sure you won't be able to find us again. So hand over the map, Harry."
"Please, Hermione, you're not thinking clearly here," Ron pleaded with her.
"No, you're the one who's not thinking, Ron Weasley," she replied. "You're worse than he is. You let Ginny date Harry but you think I'm mad for wanting to be with Malfoy. That's a double standard, and you know it."
"That's different!" Harry exclaimed. "I've always treated Ginny with respect."
"Really? Putting your hand up her skirt at breakfast is treating her with respect?"
"You did what?" Ron's face was completely red. He whirled around and faced Harry. "Tell me she's lying, Harry."
"Do you like your men scarred for life, Granger? Because that's what you just did to me."
"She liked it!" Harry had his hands out in front of him. "Ron! I wouldn't do anything to Ginny that she didn't want. You can trust me." He stared angrily at the redhead in front of him.
"Not if your idea of treating my sister with respect is groping her in public." Ron shook his head. "You're no different than Malfoy."
"Exactly," said Hermione. Ron and Harry turned to look at her. "You can't trust Harry with Ginny. You can't trust Malfoy with me." She stepped forward so she standing right next to Malfoy before continuing. "And if either of them ever do anything to hurt us, you're going to beat them bloody."
Ron stared at her for a long moment. Hermione held her breath as she silently willed him to see what she was trying to say here. Then without saying a word, Ron put up his wand. "Right," he said finally. He stepped forward and held his hand out. "Truce?" he asked Malfoy.
To his credit, Malfoy didn't hesitate. "Truce," he said and they shook on it.
"Ron, what are you doing? Have you forgotten who you're dealing with?"
"I don't trust you, Harry," Ron said. "I don't trust Malfoy, either." He closed his eyes. "But I do trust Ginny. She's my sister, how could I not? And I trust Hermione. She's usually right. And because I trust them, I'll stand back when they make decisions that might be mistakes." He glanced over at Harry. "Yes, Malfoy's been an awful git to Hermione. But you've already broken Ginny's heart twice that I know of, Harry. At least Malfoy doesn't have that on his record."
Harry had no response to that. He stood with his head bent down as he mulled over Ron's words. Finally, he said, "I still don't like it."
"You don't have to," Hermione said softly.
"No. I guess I don't at that." His head snapped up. "I'm not keen on you sneaking around at night with him."
"Oh! But I like it," she told him laughingly "I'm not an exhibitionist, the way you and Ginny are."
"I see I need to have a talk with that girl," Ron muttered to himself.
"If it makes you feel better, we're not going to be sneaking around forever, Potter," Malfoy said. "But for now until…"
"We have all our plans in place. Then we'll tell everyone," Hermione finished.
"You're scary enough on your own," said Ron. "I don't want to think how frightening the two of you will be together."
"Bloody hell," swore Harry. "They'll be a nightmare."
"I always suspected you dreamed of me at night. How are you going to explain that one to your girlfriend…or her brother?"
"Enough," Hermione interrupted before the verbal exchange could escalate. "Good bye, you two. I'll see you later."
"Not too much later," Harry put in.
"You're not my father," Hermione reminded him. She stepped closer to him. "You keep that up and I'll tell Ron here how you polish your broom," she threatened quietly so Ron wouldn't here.
Harry paled. "You don't play fair."
"She learned from the best," Malfoy said proudly. "Now I do believe that the Head Girl has suggested you two leave. So unless you want detention—for the eighth time this month—you better listen to her."
"Right." Harry regarded her solemnly. "Be careful, Hermione."
"I always am. Wish I could say the same for you."
Harry bobbed his head sheepishly, recalling all the times he had ignored Hermione's warnings, as he walked out. Ron made to follow after him but stopped.
"Hermione," he said urgently, "remember we're counting on your for their strategies." He ran off as Malfoy swore.
"Prat," Hermione muttered under her breath. She looked at her boyfriend who was still turning the air blue. "He was winding you up. We've already beat you this year."
"You are so good at this comforting thing. And I knew that. I'm pissed off that he left before I could snipe back."
"Poor Malfoy," she said sweetly. She moved so they were standing face to face. "That's the second time in the last hour that you've been beaten by a Gryffindor."
He furrowed his brow. "How do you figure that, Granger?"
"Once when Ron got off the parting shot. The second time when my Gryffindors proved that they are better behaved than your Slytherins." She clucked her tongue and shook her head. "Honestly! It seems that it was just last week that you were accusing me of being unable to train my Gryffindors when obviously it's you who doesn't have a handle on your House." She gave him a knowing grin. "I bet you'll be welcomed in the Gryffindor Common Room before I even set foot in Slytherin's."
"Name your terms, witch."
"If I win, next Hogsmeade weekend, you have to do whatever I want."
He nodded sharply. "You're on. I wouldn't start making any plans on what to do if I were you."
Hermione was only too pleased not to go to Hogsmeade when the next weekend rolled around. Not when the activities Malfoy planned made them both winners.