A/N: This story is FINISHED. There are five chapters and I'll be uploading one every one or two days until they are all up.
Now that I've got that out of the way, Hi. :) This is the first non one-shot fic I've written (read: actually finished) on my own and I'm really excited about it. I hope you guys like it! XD Please review and let me know what you think. :)
I'd just quickly like to thank my friends and beta readers, Jennasaurus-Rawr and ShadowNymph92. You two are amazing!
Disclaimer: The characters in this story are not mine; they were brought to life by J K Rowling. But I think you all know that. :)
Hermione sat on her bed with her head in her hands. She couldn't believe what she had just done! True, she had been a bit tipsy– okay, she had gotten completely sloshed – but she liked to think that even her intoxicated self had more sense and control than this!
She heard the water turn on in the bathroom. He was already up and apparently had made himself quite at home. Well, she would just have to put a stop to that, wouldn't she? She couldn't have him getting comfortable in her apartment!
Hermione got out of bed to get dressed, hoping to hold on to some shred of dignity as she kicked him out of her apartment.
"Do you remember where I left my clothes?"
Hermione spun around in the process of buttoning her shirt to find Malfoy standing in her bedroom doorway, a towel slung low around his hips. However annoyed she was at herself for the happenings of the previous night, she had to admit that her old school enemy was extremely easy on the eye.
"Can't you knock?" she asked, scrambling to regain some semblance of her usual composure.
Draco raised an eyebrow. "I didn't really think it necessary after last night; not after all the wild se –"
"I get it!" Hermione cut him off loudly, holding up her hand to stop him and squeezing her eyes shut as though in pain.
"Er, I think your shirt is in the hallway," she said, regretfully trying to recall the details of the previous evening. "And I think your pants are in the lounge."
Draco left and returned holding the two items of clothing. "Any idea where we left my boxers? I seem to recall you getting rid of them rather frantically," he said with a smirk. "I just can't remember where."
Hermione blushed deeply and instead of answering turned her gaze towards the window; a pair of blue boxers were hanging from the curtain rail.
"Ah yes, it's all coming back now." Draco chuckled. He retrieved his boxers and dressed, not bothered in the slightest by Hermione's presence.
Realising that she was staring, Hermione blushed again and hurried out into the kitchen. She put the kettle on and leant against the bench. Why was she feeling so shy, so embarrassed, so uncomfortable? She had never felt this awkward after a one night stand – not that she made a habit of them. But then again, she had never before regretted sleeping with someone quite as much as she did right now.
"Why in Merlin's name did I invite him home?" she muttered to herself.
"I seem to recall it was something about being lonely. But it probably had more to do with the weasel's engagement to that dumb blonde." Draco had just entered the kitchen, now fully clothed, which unfortunately did not lessen his appeal.
Something in his tone made Hermione ignore the first part of his comment. "How do you know she's dumb?" she asked quickly.
Draco scowled. "Victoria is about as smart as a flobberworm." Hermione raised her eyebrows in a way of prompting him to answer her question. "We had a fling a while back. Personality of a horklump , but Merlin's beard was she hot ! And in bed… Wow!"
"That's not really something a girl wants to hear after she's just slept with a guy," Hermione said frowning.
"Why do you care?" Draco asked, now helping himself to a cup of tea. He had of course taken the mug Hermione had intended to use herself. "Last night didn't mean anything."
"Not the point," she sighed.
He sat down at the kitchen bench, facing Hermione. "What happened between you and the weasel anyway?"
"Why do you care?" Hermione repeated his question as she grabbed another mug and poured herself a cup of tea.
"I just want to know why he would trade you for Victoria. I mean, something must have happened to make him give you up," he said nonchalantly.
Hermione, who had just taken a sip of her tea, sprayed it everywhere. "Excuse me?"
"Unlike the future Mrs Weasley, you can actually hold an interesting and intelligent conversation," Draco shrugged . "Also, have you seen yourself lately?" he added, giving her an appraising look, his eyes coming to rest on her chest.
Feeling uncomfortable, Hermione crossed her arms as though trying to shield herself from Draco's gaze. Her new stance, however, only worked to accentuate her cleavage.
Draco put down his mug. "How's about we skip breakfast and head back to your room?"
"Merlin's pants! You are infuriating!"
"You didn't think so last night," he said, smirking.
"Last night was a mistake," Hermione said, trying to convince herself as much as Draco. "I never want to think about it again. And I certainly don't want to repeat it, so you need to leave."
Draco's face betrayed a second of shock before he arranged his features into a blank expression. "As you wish." He stood up and gave a sweeping bow. "Owl me if you ever want some more interesting company." He let himself out, leaving Hermione to marvel at how easy it had been to get rid of him and thinking that if she ever saw him again it would be much too soon.
Two weeks later found Hermione sitting at the bar of a muggle pub called 'The Moose'. She had just attended Ron and Victoria's engagement party and was feeling downright sorry for herself. Not that she should. She was the one who had dumped him, after all.
Unfortunately though, that did not mean that she didn't still love him. She was happy for Ron – she wanted him to be happy – but she couldn't help feeling bitter about him getting engaged so soon after their break-up. And it certainly it didn't help that Hermione was still single and the only man she had slept with since Ron was a complete nimrod.
Draco sat down next to her. "You know, there are plenty of pubs in Diagon Alley. Why did you have to pick this place?" He looked around with an air of disgust.
"And yet you still came," Hermione said airily before taking a long swig of her beer.
"And yet I did," repeated Draco, though he looked as though he might now be regretting it. "I was actually quite surprised to receive your owl; you couldn't seem to get rid of me fast enough before. I'm curious – why did you want to meet me tonight?" He ordered a shot of firewhiskey from the barman, who gave him a peculiar look before pouring him a normal muggle whiskey. Draco took a small sip and must have approved because he downed the rest quickly before ordering another for himself and one for Hermione.
Hermione threw back the drink before shivering and answering Draco's question. "I want to get blind drunk with someone, and you are the only man I know who I don't work with or is not currently at Ron's engagement party. And I'm pretty sure you won't judge me for my terribly misguided actions."
Draco arched an eyebrow. "And why aren't you at said party?"
"I left early," Hermione explained, ordering a round of vodka shots, her beer forgotten. "I can't stand being around the two of them. They're disgustingly soppy."
"No! Contrary to popular belief, I left him! Not the other way around," she said grumpily, taking another shot.
"Then why all the drinking? And why do you need me?"
Hermione glared at him. "I didn't call you here to play psychologist."
"Then why –" she cut him off in the most direct way possible, putting her mouth on his.
"Why do you think?" she whispered, pulling back to look him in the eye.
They soon came stumbling out of the pub. They barely made it behind a dumpster before Draco turned on the spot, pulling Hermione with him.
Hermione woke once again to the sound of the shower, though this time she was not in her own bed. She couldn't remember much of the previous night, but she presumed they had gone to Draco's house after leaving the pub. She got up and dressed quickly, hoping that with some luck she would be able to leave before Draco got out of the shower. She wasn't usually one to use and leave without so much as a goodbye, but she did not want a repeat of the awkwardness of last time.
It seemed however, that luck was not on her side. Just as she was collecting her bag, Draco walked into the room. He was again dressed (if you could call it that) in only a towel.
"Leaving so soon?" he asked, running a hand through his still wet hair.
"I, uh, need to get to work," Hermione said hurriedly; she wasn't able to think up a better response, distracted as she was following the water drops dripping down his arms and chest.
"It's Sunday." Draco pointed to the Sunday Prophet resting on his bedside table for proof. "No ministry department heads work on Sundays."
"How did you –"
"Hermione, you're the youngest ever department head. Everyone knows that. Especially fellow ministry workers." He said slowly and clearly, as though he was talking to someone incompetent.
"So?" Draco raised his eyebrows.
"Why are you in such a hurry to leave?"
"Last night was a mistake."
"You make a mistake the first time. The second time is a calculated decision. You knew what was going to happen when you owled me last night," Draco challenged.
Hermione sunk onto the edge of the bed. Why did Malfoy have to be right?
"Fine," she said, "but that doesn't make it any less wrong."
"Merlin, Hermione, it was just a bit of sex!"
"Draco, we hate each other," Hermione reminded him.
He smiled and nodded, making Hermione wonder what he was thinking. He moved to his closet and started getting dressed. When she didn't move for a few minutes he chuckled.
"What?" asked Hermione.
"Weren't you leaving?"
Hermione glared at him as she got up and walked out of the room. She paused for just a second outside Draco's room, realising she had no idea how to get to the front door. Her pride wouldn't allow her to give Draco the satisfaction of asking him for help, so she decided to find her own way. Turning left, Hermione walked passed a few closed doors before turning a corner and reaching the stairs. Thinking that she must be on the right track, she descended the stairs and found herself in a huge library. The room was about ten times the size of her apartment and had three levels of balconies running around the walls. Stunned, Hermione took a few steps further into the room then stopped herself; she was supposed to be leaving, not examining Draco Malfoy's library. But it wasn't just a library; it was enormous, gorgeous and elegant, the perfect library. This was the kind of library she had dreamed of having her whole life. How was it that someone like Malfoy deserved to have something as beautiful as this?
His overflowing Gringotts vault, that's how, she told herself, breaking her daze. She was about to turn around and head back up the stairs when she heard someone cough behind her. Hermione spun around to find Draco standing there, wearing only his jeans.
A moment later Draco coughed again, and Hermione realised she had been staring, once again, at his toned torso – the frequency with which she saw it did not seem to be affecting her appreciation for Draco's body. She blinked a few times trying to clear her head, firmly reminding herself that she didn't even like Draco.
"You went the wrong way," Draco told her, unperturbed by Hermione's reaction to his sudden, half-clothed, appearance. "I didn't want you to get lost."
He started walking away and when Hermione didn't immediately follow him he asked, "Coming?"
Hermione's gaze had found a shelf of ancient looking books to her right and she struggled to tear her eyes from it before following Draco.
She expected him to walk back up the stairs, but instead he skirted around the left of them and walked through a door hidden between the wall of the stairs and a towering bookshelf. Hermione took one last look at the library before scurrying through the door. As they made their way down a corridor, one wall of which was made of glass and looked out on a spectacular garden, Hermione began to wonder if she was in Malfoy Manor. She voiced her question just as they reached the entrance hall.
"Merlin, no," Draco replied. "Do you honestly think I'd want to live in that place alone after all that happened there?" If Hermione's ears were to be trusted, Draco's voice wavered slightly. She wondered if he was remembering the same thing as she was. "No, this is Malfoy Hall; much smaller and much less depressing."
She didn't know how to respond to that so she just stood there awkwardly until Draco walked over to the door and held it open for her. "Well, er, bye," Hermione said, as she rushed through the open door.
The next time they met, Hermione had just been to a Weasley family dinner. Even though she and Ron were no longer dating she was still expected to attend and she couldn't stand to let Mrs Weasley down. She also had a sneaking suspicion that Ginny would curse her into oblivion if she didn't go; the youngest Weasley was even less fond of Victoria than she had been of Fleur.
Hermione was sitting in the same muggle pub when Draco walked through the door. This time she didn't wait for him to sit down (she was already sufficiently drunk). She stood up and walked over to him, grabbing his arm as she went. She pulled him outside and down an alleyway. Draco only had time to ask "What happened this time?" before Hermione pulled him into the suffocating oblivion of disapparation.
They landed in her living room.
"Ron happened," Hermione growled.
The following morning Hermione woke up to a quiet house. She dressed and made her way out to the kitchen where she found Draco sitting at the bench, cup of tea once again clutched between his hands. He looked up as she walked in and nodded towards a second cup of tea. She took it gratefully, surprised that he had thought to pour her one as well.
"Why are you still here?" she asked him.
"I can leave if you want me to," Draco said quickly.
"That's not what I meant. I just expected you to have left already."
"I guess I don't like to fuck and fly," he said, shrugging his shoulders. "But don't tell anyone. It'll ruin my reputation," he added, winking.
Hermione - not knowing quite what to do with that - ignored his crude choice of words and sipped her tea. It was surprisingly good – just the right amount of milk and not too sweet. She assumed Draco had made it using magic.
"So Malfoy Hall, huh? That's very original," she said.
"Yeah, well, originality isn't something Malfoy's have been known for," he said wryly.
They sat in silence for a while before Hermione's curiosity got the better of her. "I've never heard of Malfoy Hall. Is it not as old as Malfoy Manor?"
"No, and it's not as infamous. It's only about 200 years old. My grandfather left it to me. Probably in the hope that I would use the cellar to imprison muggleborns or something." He scoffed, and Hermione could sense some underlying bitterness in his tone.
"I guess I didn't see much, but it didn't really seem like a place that was built by someone devoted to the Dark Arts."
"I've done a bit of work on it in the past few years. Mostly I've just put in more windows and painted over all the dark walls."
This statement surprised Hermione even more. She couldn't really picture Draco Malfoy wanting to bring more light into any place. Draco noticed the expression on her face and when he questioned her she hesitated before admitting her surprise at his redecoration choices.
His expression remained blank as he said, "Yeah, well I'm not the same Dark Arts loving, aspiring Death Eater I was when we were at school, you know."
An uncomfortable silence followed. Hermione was the one to break it. "The library – it's, um, it's beautiful."
"That was another change I made." Grateful for a discussion topic, Draco continued. "The basic structure and layout was already there, of course, but I painted it and fixed up the balustrades and bannisters. And I got rid of a lot of the books."
"Why would you get rid of books?" Hermione asked, horrified.
"You'd have me keep books detailing the best ways to torture muggles and muggleborns?"
"Oh," Hermione said, looking down into her half empty cup. It wasn't until later that she realised he had used 'muggleborns' rather than 'mudbloods'.
"Didn't think so." After a moment's pause Draco finished his cup of tea and stood up. "Well, I guess I'd better be going."
Hermione nodded. She said a quick goodbye as she opened the door to let him out. Once Draco was gone, she leaned her back against the front door and slid to the ground, knees pulled up to her chest.
What was she doing? She was actually enjoying Draco's company. Draco Malfoy, the boy who tried to make her existence as miserable as possible in school; whose aunt had tortured her and whose father had tried to turn her and her friends over to Voldemort. Was it really possible he had changed as much as he said?
Well he must have, she answered herself; the Malfoy I knew at Hogwarts wouldn't have wanted to be alone in the same room as me, let alone sleep with me!
Even if he had changed, it wasn't at all like her to have such a casual relationship like this. Hell, it wasn't even a relationship – more a convenience. Hermione put her head in her hands, head spinning with her predicament. Eventually she decided she needed to discuss a thing or two with Draco; if things were going to continue the way they were going, they needed to set up some boundaries.