What do I care

Chapter 18

-Calling out your name-

It was not exactly perfect weather for outdoor activity, or rather 'outdoor activity watching', Hermione assumed.

Drawing the cloak tighter around herself she was currently ducking her head between her shoulders, apparently determined to shrug off the chilly air.

It was a grey and misty day. A day on which no sun was visible, making it almost impossible to tell what hour it was. It had to be around late mid day or early afternoon already she supposed, but it might be even later.

Left of her, almost drowning beneath the thick white billows, she could spot the mist-shrouded shapes of the castle. It was a strange, dreamlike atmosphere, where every sounds around were muffled.

It was perfect library weather. Hermione Granger whatsoever was currently seated atop a fallen trunk at the lake, watching the hardly distinguishable spot amid the thick screen of fog above the water that was Draco Malfoy on his hell of a racing broom with an itching, excited fluttering in her chest.

She had been entirely surprised by his suggestion to come along and watch him fly. It was not the day for flying nor was it exactly suitable for a stroll along the lake either.

Nonetheless she just had not been able to decline his offer. He seemed to be so zealous to talk her into it. She had been so flattened and excited that he wanted her to be around. So she had just agreed, curiously. And so, after fetching their cloaks and his broom at their rooms, they had headed straight for the lake.

She did not regret it.

Unusual as it was. She loved being out here. With him…

She loved being outside in the grounds. It was a pleasant, welcomed change, not to be surrounded by the castle walls right now. She had not felt this alive and excited in weeks...

Inhaling the fresh, misty air that caused her already messy hair to curl until it was in almost a bad state and just as unmanageable as it had been in her first year, Hermione Granger kept watching Draco Malfoy on his broom, with an absentminded little smile – eyes shinning and sparkling with delight.

O O O

Even atop his broom high up the air, Draco Malfoy could not get Hermione Granger out of his head. Nor could he stop himself from glancing down at her - whenever she was visible between the thick layers of mist that was.

It was rather tricky, difficult weather for flying to be honest. Not exactly suitable for watching anyone and certainly completely unsuitable for training any finer moves or stunts. It was slightly disappointing – well, it was completely stupid to be precise!

While he had been in an enthusiastic mood when they had left the library earlier and had just given in to the impulse to ask her to come along – he was not entirely sure of it anymore.

What had seemed like a good idea to him back then – euphoric as he had been – seemed to be kind of stupid, now.

He was glad she did come along, but… it made him nervous. Feeling her eyes resting on his every movement did not help.

Currently, she was seated on a fallen trunk beside the lake, watching him. Well, trying to spot him what probably more precise, he admitted to himself.

He knew she was not especially fond of flying. And now that she could hardly even see him, it had to be dull for her – boring.

So why did she come, then? How could he tell she was not just being polite? Did she feel obliged to do him a favour? What for, he wondered kind of uncomfortably. He did not want her to do anything out of gratefulness.

But then, if she was just here now, anyway, if she bothered to take all these inconveniences to herself he felt kind of obligated to at least try to make it remotely entertaining.

Therefore he tried to impress her with a couple of sharp-angled, sudden changes of direction and rise and falls, even if it was a little risky. He was doing it above the lake after all. So even if the wind was much heavier out here – even if he could not always see the water's surface beneath him, what could possibly happen?

Since he had started to fly more quickly and venturesome, she was watching him even more closely, he had realised. By now she was on the edge of her seat to have a closer look.

He smiled. So he had managed to catch her interest, indeed.

She had had a row with Potter about not coming to see him at his Quidditch game even, he had heard about that – but here she was, a mid screens of fog watching – him!

Thinking of Potter only increased his eagerness to show off, though. Her idiot of an ex-boyfriend was a spectacular flyer – there was no denying that. He even managed that bloody Wronski Feint Draco himself was so eagerly practicing on recently.

Mmm…

He knew he could not handle it as good as Potter, but he certainly progressed. Maybe he should just give it another try? She might acknowledge that. It was a very difficult move after all.

Maybe it was the mist that caused him to misjudge the exact distance, the wind possibly - or maybe it was just Hermione Granger watching him, that was inciting him to hopelessly underestimate the weather and show off more than necessary and suitable as he finally tried to do another Wronski Feint above the lake.

This time he did miscalculate his reaction time, though. One moment there was only mist beneath him – then, the very next second, there was water, glittering right in front of him. There was no, absolutely – no – chance he could pull his broom out of his break-neck dive without to face plant it! And given the pace of his plummet that would not be fun at all!

Instead of trying to jerk his broom around, violently and probably hit the surface hard at it, Draco decided to go for the lesser of two evils.

Taking in a deep breath, pinching his eyes shut, he leaned forward to minimise the angle of incidence as he dived full speed into the water.

O O O

Within an instant Hermione was on he feet, storming down the water's edge in a hurry. With a loud splash, right before her eyes Draco had just disappeared into the water.

"Draco?!" she called out through the billows of mist. "Draco!?" but there was no answer.

She could not spot him anywhere. He had to be underwater still.

Ice-cold fear was running through her as she stumbled forward, slipping over the uneven embankment of mud and gravel, wading waist deep into the water.

"Draco!" she called again, fear clutching at her heart that was bordering to desperation. "Draco… Oh Draco… where are you!? Say something! Please!… Draco…"

There was no sign of him, still.

Hot tears were welling up in her eyes blurring her vision, were streaming down her cheeks. She blinked them away, furiously as she stormed onward, a terrible pain and fear clutching her heart and soul.

This could not be…

He could not… must not be hurt… or worse… She did not even dare to think any further about the disturbing possibility he might be floating in the icy water, unconscious or worse, much worse even…

"Draco…" she called again, the mist muffling her voice, almost absorbing it.

The water's icy chill causing her to gasp for breath, her wet robes clinging to her legs as she stumbles forward.

Just when she though she could bear it no longer – Draco returned to the surface. Wet as a cat, snorting and gasping for breath he struggled against the coil of wet cloths clinging to his legs until suddenly he paused in mid movement, staring at her in amazement.

"Hermione!?" he gasped not quite believing his eyes. "What are you doing in here?!"

O O O

Utterly surprised and startled to find her in the icy water he paddled towards her until his feet felt out solid ground again. Then he rose, the water now only reaching up to his hips so he could finally hive himself off, forward – towards her.

The moment she took sight of him Hermione jumped forward likewise, reaching out to him with a sob of relief.

"Draco!" she gasped. "There you are! You're fine?! Oh Draco… I was - so - worried!"

Without further thinking Draco caught her as she hurled forward – right into his arms – to clutch him into a crushing, almost painful hug. "Hermione…" he gasped entirely dumbfounded.

"You're not hurt? You're just all right?! Honestly?" she muttered over and over again her voice slightly hitching in a mixture of relief and fury at his stupidity, the panic slowly ebbing away from it. "You're an such an idiot!" she suddenly yelled. "You're completely, utterly crazy, Draco Malfoy, you know that!?"

"You were worried?" he asked in awe, leaning back to look at her, his hands still holding her by her shoulders.

He could not help but smile – broadly.

She merely shook her head only to nod the very next second, fumbling at the front of his robes, clutching them, as he noticed with some kind of amusement. "Yes." she admitted, kind of weakly, "Yes I was…"

Her forehead nudged into his chest as she leaned into him the very next second. On an impulse Draco leaned in as well, attempting to rest his cheek against the crown of her head, still smiling, when she suddenly threw her head back in a rash, unexpected movement that caused him to flinch with surprise. Missing him by inches as it seemed, she glared right up at him.

"Of course I was!" she suddenly yelled, pummelling and slapping his chest with a couple of half-hearted punches that made him realise how wrought up and troubled she actually was. "Even if I certainly don't know, why! You… you…"

Amusement instantly made room for concern and some strange feeling of remorse for causing her such discomfort, leaving him to feel guilty in her behalf – guilty of worrying her…

"Hermione," he murmured soothingly, just as another punch hit him right in the chest, knocking the wind out of him.

"Ouch-" Grasping her hands in his, stilling them to rest in the place right above his heart, he realised how badly her fingers were shaking as she was now cringing at the wet material of his robes again.

"Whoa- Hermione," he murmured, once again… "Hermione…Don't kill me right away, will you?!" he pleaded, soothingly and a tad amused once again. For some reason this seemed to agitate her even further, though.

"Oh no!" she snapped, "You wouldn't need help on that! You seem quite capable of doing that yourself, aren't you?!"

"Hermione," he insisted comfortingly, holding her against himself he realised she was still trembling in a mixture of fear and rage. "Look, I'm sorry…" he whispered, removing one of his hands to soothingly stroke the back of her head. "I'm sorry, Hermione…I…I didn't think…I…"

"That's obvious," she snapped, "apparently you didn't think, Draco! You just decided to be a complete git – once again, didn't you? You're horrible…" she gasped, struggling for self composure, "you're just… just…oh…Oh Draco…"

Then she was in his arms again – laughing and scolding at him at the same time. He did not care. All he could think about was that she was hugging him, shivering in a mixture of relief and the aftermath of shock.

Stunned, captivated by wonder and delight, Draco closed his eyes, valuing the feel of Hermione in his arms. He clearly felt her flinch at the feel of his dripping wet robes drenching hers with icy water. She gasped with shock, stirred, but did not let go.

She remained just were she was, hugging him, brushing his icy cold cheeks with her hands as she kept telling him off.

Then she was leaning in to him more closely, again, her forehead resting against his now, so her warm breath was brushing across his face as she continuously reassured him how much of an idiot he was.

It was sheer delight!

She had been worried!

About him!

It was a thought so powerful, so incredibly wonderful it caught the breath in his throat.

O O O

At the feel of Draco's icy cold, wet cheek against her face and neck Hermione started shivering. Her head was spinning in a mixture of worry and happiness.

She could not move, could not do anything but stay just were she was. Hugging Draco Malfoy in the icy lake on a chilly, misty late October's day.

Like that they just stood there in the water, clinging to each other, pressing their foreheads and cheeks together, gasping and panting for breath in the aftermath of fear and excitement.

Feeling his icy cheek against hers – water dripping into the collar of her cloak, running down the skin of her neck, tickling it with its icy chill, Hermione just held Draco – and everything was just perfect as it was.

"I'm sorry," he muttered very close to her ear. "I'm so sorry I frightened you. Please, don't be mad, Hermione…"

"I'm not mad…" she uttered mildly. "I'm just… I'm so relieved… so glad you aren't hurt… That's… that's all… Oh Draco… just tell me…Are your really fine, then?" she muttered profoundly, nuzzling his cheek and neck "Tell me…"

"I'm fine," he whispered back, likewise nuzzling her neck now, "I'm fine – everything is all right, Hermione…"

Their breaths were mingling in a mixture of panting and laughter as he nudged his forehead against hers, increasing the feel of longing in her chest, until Hermione thought she might go entirely crazy if he did not kiss her. Now.

Since he probably would not - there was just one way to solve this.

"Draco…" she whispered, once again. "Ohh-h- Draco…Draco…" She closed her eyes, gathering up courage.

The feeling of his warm lips on her forehead caused her to jerk her eyes open the very next second. While this was not bad at all, it was not exactly was she had hoped for, either. It did not pass for the kiss she had had in mind… it did not pass at all! She wanted… more…

So much more!

In a way the feeling of his warm lips on her skin only made it worse. This longing – deep inside her chest…

Even if it was just a gentle caress of her forehead - meant for nothing but comfort - it was her undoing which started a whole cascade of fantasies to swamp her away and right off her feet…

Imagining his lips might actually brush soft, sweet kisses down across her face until they found hers, covering them in a smooth, gentle caress – the mere idea of what his hot mouth sealing hers with tender, yet smouldering gentleness might actually feel like – caused her to whimper deep down in her throat.

In a far corner of her mind Hermione – knew – it was a bad idea – knew – she would probably regret it bitterly to have scared him away like this in a few seconds already, but her mind was not in lead right now. It was to no use. It was hopeless.

She was so violently in love with him she realised with astonishing clearness. She was restlessly and utterly enamoured of Draco Malfoy.

Impossible or not – she just had to kiss him – just now – just this once… She simply could not resist…

To hell with the consequences…

With a soft sigh of longing, Hermione leaned forward to clasp Draco's lips with hers…missing him by inches, since he was already leaning back again just that instant.

A wave of frustration captured her. She was not even sure if he realised what she had been about to do…

"I'm really sorry, I caused you such trouble, Hermione. It's the last thing you need right now, I'm aware of that," he muttered very softly, smiling at her in a gentle, protective kind of way that made her feel only stronger for him. "But you're freezing … my… my Dear…it's way too cold… for you. You're shivering even…," he whispered, rubbing her forearms in a gentle, caressing kind of way. "You ought to be careful, Hermione. You mustn't catch a cold."

Her mind only slowly clearing Hermione could not pull her gaze from his soft, compassionate eyes. Who would have imagined even a couple of weeks ago – that Draco Malfoy went all attentive towards her! It was definitely something she could imagine of getting used to. Though it was still strange and breathtakingly exciting it was flattering, and seriously addictive, too. It was just so incredible, utterly sweet of him…He - was sweet… incredible…addictive…

To hide the uproar of confusion she felt at these thoughts and at the clear, unmasked display of his gentleness and concern, Hermione blinked frantically as she fought the urge to just melt into his eyes.

"I'm not in such delicate health, Draco," she scoffed, lips switching in amusement as she finally managed to snap out of it

"No, but you're in a delicate way," he replied softly while – apparently on its own accord – his hand reached down to cup her still flat belly in a gentle, protective gesture, sending a myriad of butterflies right through her abdomen. "You're certainly a lot more sensitive right now, Hermione," he whispered softly.

Apparently sensing her flinching he obviously mistook her sudden, reaction for discomfort.

"A little ticklish, are we?" he teased with a mischievous smile as he now purposely titillated her, causing her to cringe with surprise, now seriously squirming and writhing in his embrace.

"Draco-o…" she gasped, as she bucked against him brushing his hands off in a desperate attempt to escape his teasing assault. "Stop that… Stop!" she shrieked, doubling up with laughter as he merely refused to let go of her.

"Umm, Hermione… you appear to be kind of stressed! Something…troubling you, hu?" he teased, playing the innocent.

"Dra-co-o…" she whined collapsing against him in defeat…

He immediately stopped tickling her. Turning serious again he removed his left hand from her waist, now cupping her cheek in a tender gesture once again.

"Honestly - you couldn't even take Pepper-up Potion right now – you need to be a little more careful, you know?" he murmured fondly. "So come on now Hermione - Come. We need to get you out of those wet cloths of yours as quick as possible…ummm…I…I mean…" he trailed off, startled at his choice of words.

Just that instant the sun, breaking through the thick grey blanket of clouds for the first time that day, was shimmering on the lake's surface illuminating the banks of mist around engulfing them into a haze of blinding brightness.

Relieved of all the stress and worry she had previously endured, Hermione broke into a full blown laugh at the charming awkwardness of the situation.

"Well – you're lucky with words!" she mocked, causing him to cringe with embarrassment. "Not especially shy, are you?!"

"I wasn't…" he stammered, blushing to the roots of his hair. "Hermione I didn't mean to…I…I…wasn't implying…"

"Relax!" she giggled. "Don't psych out, OK?! I know you didn't! But you're probably right. It's no season for swimming in the lake…"

"Not quite," he agreed a little awkward still, flashing her a full blown, wholehearted smile. "So then – come on, let's hurry up to our rooms…and take a hot shower, shall we?" he laughed insecurely as he reached for her hand to pull her along with him, out of the lake.

Hermione gracefully overlooked the fact this was hardly any better. Accepting his hand, she started to wade out of the water, climbing up the muddy, slippery bank along with him.

"You certainly have a fun idea of 'outdoor-activity' Draco Malfoy …" she declared, still grinning.

O O O

In contrast to the spectacular happenings in the morning and early afternoon the rest of the day passed quite uneventful. After taking a hot shower and putting some dry cloths on, Hermione had huddled herself onto one of the couches with a thick woollen blanket and a mug of steaming hot Darjeeling tea. For the rest of the afternoon she was working on the Transfigurations task, she had not been able to complete in the morning.

By the end of the day she was plainly fagged out, but when she was finally lying in bed, sleep simply would not come.

Only now in the cosines of the dark she dared to reflect on the day's happenings. There was absolutely – no – way she was able to lie to herself about it any longer.

She had managed to become infatuated with Draco Malfoy – unfortunately enough – she was also pregnant with Harry Potter's child. Not the perfect combination, probably, she assumed.

With a sigh of frustration Hermione probed herself up against the head of her bed, staring into the dark. What a mess! Embarrassing as it might be, she had almost made a complete fool out of herself by approaching Draco with her yearning, wanton advances.

What on earth was he about to think of her now?! If she imagined that she had almost thrown herself at him...

Could she really be so lucky that he had not realised she had been about to kiss him? Or rather to snogg him senseless – she mentally corrected herself - feeling heat creeping up her face.

She certainly would not have been satisfied by a sweet little peck on the cheek - nor would she have liked to stop once she might have managed to truly taste the sweetness of his lips…

She could only imagine the amount of shock she would have most certainly caused him.

She was hardly recognising herself anymore. She, who had been always proud to be a 'good girl', sensible, hardworking, and just plain – righteous. She could see none of those characterisations to fit herself anymore. In fact she was acting like a thoughtless, shameless little trollop instead, she supposed.

Not enough that she had somehow managed to get herself knocked up by 'the boy who creased to care she existed by the time she had finally realised' – no, she had to lust after another one already, one who had treated her like dirt for the longest time. She was throwing herself at him, no matter how much he probably did - not - want her… damaged goods as she had to be in his eyes now… How horrible!

Hiding her flushed cheeks in her hands she closed her eyes, remembering the scene in all its embarrassing details.

It still did not help. The mere thought of him caused the blood to rush in her ears, her heart pounding wildly in her chest.

There was no denying it. She was restlessly smitten with him…. She was all lovey-dovey about Draco Malfoy…

Another rush of desire rippled through her at the memory of his gentleness and comfort…

The soft, warmth of his lips on her forehead, the precious sensation of his breath brushing across her cheek and neck as he had held her… It was so tempting to imagine that gentle, comforting hug to be a tender, cuddly lover's embrace.

Memory was mingling with wishful thinking and before she even realised it, Hermione entangled herself into a heated mass of amorous rapture and longing as her thoughts were crossing the border between mere memory and imagination, drifting away into a world of their own…

She was once again in the icy lake… with Draco Malfoy…

With a tangled cry she was pressing herself against him, feeling the icy wetness of his cloths soaking the front of her robes as he hugged her in return, pressing her firmly – almost crushingly - against himself.

He had certainly liked that. Most certainly the clear, unmasked concern she had shown for him must have been flattering, massaging his ego…

'Well, well…' the nasty little voice in the back of her head commented, 'his ego wouldn't have been all you attempted to massage back then – would it?!'

The flush in her cheeks only increased at this. There was quite a lot more of him she would like to massage, indeed.

She just –longed- to run her fingers through those incredible platinum-blond hair of his – longed – to cup his face with both of her hands… She – longed – to gaze into the soft pool of his eyes of which she always wondered whether they might be more blue or rather silvery-grey… She – longed – to pull his head down towards her, to snuggle her face against his, nuzzling the crook of his shoulder, breathing, nipping and softly nabbing at his neck and earlobe to send shivers of pleasure across his spine, causing him to gasp in a mixture of surprise and amazement so she would find his lips slightly parted when she finally – finally – leaned in to clasp his mouth with hers in a possessive yet so loving kind of way that would make him light-headed with desire…

And this time in the safety of her night-time bedroom fantasy, Draco Malfoy kissed her back… And – boy oh boy – how he did…

Quite in contrast to the rest of his body his lips were warm, just as his tongue was caressing her bottom lip by softly nudging into it, seeking permission to slide right between her lips – nudging, teasing them to move further apart, so she would play along, eagerly accepting his tongue - hot and smouldering in contrast to his icy face – accepting it to plunge deep into the hot cave of her mouth – invading her, claiming her… heart, body and soul…

The mere thought of it was driving her completely crazy for him…

Without further thinking, without even realising what she was doing, Hermione clasped her lips around his tongue and started to suck on it, delicately at first, tentatively, but when she felt him respond, shivering in her arms, bucking up against her, moaning with surprise and clear, utter delight, she grew bolder, more determinant… and so - before either of them realised what was happening, they were entangled in a passionate, real deep kiss panting and clinging to each other with a passion that was bordering to desperation…

The mere idea of how precious and intoxicating the taste of his mouth on hers would actually be… how much she was going to want him once he started kissing her – like that – once he started to fully, truly kiss her in frantic, complete earnest… once he lay as much of his own being into the kiss as she would… flinging his very soul around hers just like the sweet, utmost heartfelt caresses of his tongue twirling around hers… was just incredibly wonderful.

He was setting every nerve of her skin on alert by the intensity of his kiss…and he… did not even really kiss her… Good gracious! He was not even there…

She was merely fantasising about kissing him - and yet it was enough to evoke a sweet pool of moisture between her tights…

Gasping for breath Hermione bit her lip… She was in lust! She was blazing with passion! For him… She was dead keen on Draco Malfoy!

There was no denying that, either.

And however pathetic it might be - she simply could not stop thinking of him, imagining – his –hands to be in the place of hers as she started to softly touch and fondle herself beneath the gown…

"Draco.." she sighed longingly, "Oh Draco…oh…."

Achingly slow, teasingly, Hermione brushed along the shape of her body, trembling from the sheer agony of this intense, completely unfamiliar amount of heavy sexual craving.

"Draco…" she whimpered, as she started to cup and softly knead the roundness of her recently so very tender breasts, thumbs brushing over her nipples – imagining his tongue and teeth to softly tease and kiss them instead – getting so very aroused, so incredibly hot and wanton, her entire body was burning with need for him – just him…

"Draco…" she moaned, throwing her head back, just as her hips bucked up in a desperate attempt to press herself against her imaginative lover, longing for the feel of his caressing hands and hot mouth - brushing across the tender skin of her décolleté, breasts and throat – longing for his lips, smothering her with kisses…

She gasped out aloud at the torturous sweet, but heavy twinge of desire that flashed through her lower belly as she finally touched her most sensitive area through the damp fabric of her panties – shoving them aside to gently rub and fondle herself…

"Draco…" she gasped, "Oh… Draco…"

Heaving another groan, she was shuddering within the sudden intense shock of pleasure as she imagined to be with him… to actually, really – be – with him….

"Draco…" she sighed once again… The sound of his name an incredibly sweet highly treasured aphrodisiac of its own…

She could not get enough of speaking it aloud… her voice thick with passion… the most beautiful name she could imagine…

"Draco…"she whimpered longingly, almost pleadingly…"Draco…" as if she could somehow cause him to become real in her arms by the mere force of willpower, by merely uttering, moaning and whispering his name - over and over again… "Draco…"

She ached for him – ached for the torturous sweet, delicious feel of his weight on top of her – for the feel of his arms around her back, holding her, while he was grinding his hips into hers in a frantic, passionate rhythm, their bodies covered by nothing but the sheets… entirely conjoint with each other…

Restlessly engulfed by her fantasy Hermione's lips formed a silent 'O' as her hips bucked upward against those of her imaginative lover in a frantic, mindless display of desperate, reckless abandon…

"Draco…" she panted… her legs moving apart on their own accord… her hips soaring upwards once again, bucking into the frantic caress of her trembling, fingers… "Oh Draco…Draco…Draco…"

Gasping for breath Hermione opened her lips as Draco's hot tongue slipped across them, plunging into her mouth, claiming her, just as he was claiming her aching, needy heat, claiming the very depth of her…

"Draco…" she cried out, helplessly aroused and lost in her intense fondness and desire for him. "Oh! Oh Draco…"

She tried her best to muffle her heated cries of need within the pillows – but it was to no use…

With a sudden, sharp cry of pleasure Hermione threw her head back – convulsing within the violence of passion…

"Draco!" she moaned, shivering, as she was hit by the full, raw force of her pleasure… "Oh- D-R-A-C-O!"

When Hermione became aware of her surroundings again, the sound of her own heartbeat was still pondering in her ears. Her rash, laboured breathing slowly easing out, she was still glowing in the aftermath of passion.

Her entire body was covered in a dainty film of sweat. Her gown - seized up across her hips - was clinging to her skin. The damp fabric of her panties telling a tale of its own.

She flushed bright red as realisation of what she had just done drew into her…

She could hardly believe it, but she had actually just brought herself off fantasising about Draco Malfoy… and it had been just … mind-blowing….

So – that – was what she had never managed to achieve with Harry so far? That was what everyone was making such a fuss about!

She could not deny it was worth the trouble…

Whereas she had definitely liked the feel of pleasuring herself before, she had never, ever come close to what she had experienced just now… Nor had she felt anything remotely related to this complete and utter bliss at with Harry… not once…

With Draco it was a different cause as it seemed… and he… was not even there…

She whished he were, though. While the former intense desire for him appeared to be currently soothed, the deep, almost painful ache in her chest certainly was not… She still longed for him… badly… She longed for him to put his arms around her… longed for his lips on hers, soft, sweet and gently… Especially now…

Well – that was definitely something to gnaw at…

Quiet and very thoughtfully Hermione remained lying in the dark – recovering from the aftermath of her passionate imaginative powers – realising what Draco Malfoy meant to her – and only after a long, a very long time of staring into the dark, she finally fell asleep.

O O O

On his own bed only next room Draco Malfoy was lying awake in the dark, unable to block Hermione Granger from his mind.

Musing about the way she had hugged him at the lake – in – the lake to be precise. Musing about how nicely her wet cloths, clinging to her body had been showing off more of her figure than she had apparently been aware of.

He smiled at the memory of feeling her in his arms – amid the icy water… She had hugged him so intensely, so very profoundly back then. He still could not get over the fact that she had stormed into the icy lake to look for him…

It had been something he had been musing over all afternoon. She had been worried about – him! She had been actually worried….

And all he had been able to think about was how very much he had longed to kiss her… how much he had wanted to find out if it might be remotely like the kiss they had shared at the Potions classroom the previous week, when he had dared to act upon his 'first and foremost intentions' in the shape of his older self.

The mere imagination of kissing her out there in the icy lake with their wet cloths clinging to their skin, hugging each other with desperate intensity, had caused him to get into a state of longing that had creased to release him ever since. He was shaken by his wrought up feelings. He was definitely, doubtlessly aroused, deeply stirred and seriously impassioned by Hermione Granger…

He should not think of her in that way. He really should not. It was simply not right.

She trusted him. She even drew comfort in him… He must not let her down on it. If she was to find out he was lusting after her like this, she would suppose all of his actions to be triggered by just that – lust. Plain simple lust. She would suppose him to play an act on her – to only be nice and kind to her to get into her favour – to get into her panties – as Potter had so nicely worded it… And that… simply was not true.

He was affected by her, yes – there was no denying that – but there was more, there was so much more to it than plain simple lust…

And though he still tried to come to his senses, he knew he was struggling in vain… He was definitely fond of her – more than fond he was all lovey-dovey about her severely, desperately spoony and given the way she reacted to his closeness and what she had said about sensing this so supposed 'ancient wandless magic' between them the other day, the way she had been worried about him today, made him hope against hope that deep down in her heart – without even realising it so far – she might feel something more than mere thankfulness for his support and comfort some day.

There had been the spell of Trust and Care after all…. It was not bound to refer to exclusively – this – kind of emotional attachment, of course but he had a pretty good idea what it was for him.

Maybe, if he was gentle and careful in his advances towards her – if he took himself time to earn more of her respect, trust and affection, maybe he might actually have a chance to win her heart then…

Right now she was way too troubled and scared to oversee the true origin of her needs. He had to keep his hands off her until she did…

He simply could not stand the idea she might actually give in to his amorous advances, confusing gratefulness and the desperate craving for physical and emotional comfort with sexual desire. He could not stand the idea of watching her dear, kind face – her soft amber eyes – clouding with disappointment and disgust at him, if realising that he had taken advantage of her when she had been most vulnerable. She certainly did not need that.

She was scared, she was confused, she was lonely and probably heartbroken. And he could hardly stand by and watch her suffering so much. He wanted to make her realise his action towards her was not triggered by pity or compassion at all…

It felt like physical pain having to bottle all these feelings up inside of himself for the time being, when all he truly wanted was telling her how dear and precious she was to him, how happy she made him, every moment she was just there. How much he longed to be around her to just watch her reading… preparing potions ingredients… eating… walking along the corridors of Hogwarts by his side… sleeping…

He just could not forget the sight of her, curled up atop her bed fast asleep the other day, when he had come to look for her before the staff meeting. She had looked so endearing, so incredible sweet and deserving protection.. He could not even tell what exactly the sight of her had meant to him then, but he had longed to see her like that again ever since…

How much he longed for her to be peacefully asleep and contently curled up in the save shelter of his arms, so he could feel some strands of her hair tickling his cheek and nose as he snuggled up close behind her, nuzzling his face deeper into her curls, so deep, he could kiss the soft skin of her nape beneath all these masses of hair, inhaling her soft sweet scent…

And while thinking of this might even still pass in his opinion, it simply did not pass to fantasise about caressing her sleeping form...

His hands were roaming her body with teasingly soft yet significant movements…

His hands were following the outline of her waist, her hips and belly, reaching up to gently cup and fondle her breasts while spooning her, pressing himself against her backside so she could feel him… so she could feel how very, very much he actually liked her closeness…How much he longed for her…

His lips were nuzzling her neck, affectionately, teasingly, brushing kisses across the soft, sensitive area behind her ear, whispering her name…

'Hermione' he muttered softly, grasping her earlobe with his teeth the very next second, evoking a soft whimper and a shower of sweet little sighs of delight from her in return, causing her to contort herself within his arms, to shift and rub her backside against him, moaning his name in her sleep…

It was a fantasy so intense he almost meant to actually – hear – her gasping, moaning his name within the throes of passion…

The mere idea of hearing her voice, thick and heavy with desire, calling – his - name drove him absolutely, utterly crazy…

Affirmed by the eagerness of her response, he grew bolder, allowing his hands to caress and fondle her more freely now, running the tips of his fingers across the skin of her legs in a feather light, teasing caress - causing her to respond with a soft whimpering sound – and further up until they actually disappeared beneath the hem of her skirt…

He did imagine her as he had seen her – atop her bed in her school uniform.

Was she lying atop her bed like that now, wearing a gown instead, he wondered, swallowing against the hard lump of longing in his throat…

And if she did? Would she be wearing anything beneath her nightclothes? Or would she rather be nude beneath the gown… bare and vulnerable…to his touch?

A low moan of desire escaped his lips as he imagined his hand to travel across the bare roundness of her buttocks…

following the curve of her hips and midriff to travel along the soft, sensitive area of her loins and belly, cupping and softly rubbing the solid firmness of the little mount beneath, dragging her closer against himself, just as he pressed against her from behind, rubbing himself against the soft but firm shape of her buttocks…

"Hermione…" he gasped at the mere idea of touching her like that…exploring the eager, sensual heat he was to find as he started to softly rub and fondle her…

Once again the sound of her calling out his name in a rush of lust felt almost real…

It was so easy to imagine this to be just true to actually – really – hold her like this… to feel her respond to his wanton, desirous advances in a heated, frenzy of delight… shifting her legs.. giving his caressing fingers more access to her deliciously ready and welcoming heat… causing him to almost loose it on the spot…

"Hermione" he moaned, desperately aroused and yearning for her… "Ohh…Hermione…Hermione!"

Taking pity on him, the incredible, seductive woman of his dreams rolled onto her back at that, dragging him close… along with her… and he… was more than willing to oblige… his mouth found hers in a heated, passionate kiss as he rolled on top of her, bucking his hips into hers just as she ached up beneath him in return, moaning his name…

Quite on its own accord his hand had found its way down towards the hard almost painfully straining evidence of his desire, bothering him, imagining it to be hers instead. Longing for her hand, to softly touch, rub and fondle him - creating an almost unbearable stir of passion and desire…

It was not right to think of her like that! It simply was not right! Finding out about it would trouble her – it might drive her away even… He could not risk that – he mustn't…

Nonetheless he was way too much aroused to just back off now… When he could not take the uncomfortable mixture of guilt, longing and desire any longer he finally started to seriously buck into the firm caress of his hand, trying to focus on his actions alone, rather than on the one who had caused his longing in the first place… But no matter how heard he tried, it was to no use. He just could not stop thinking of her… He just could not… Over and over again Draco Malfoy found his thought returning towards his fantasy of making hot, passionate love to Hermione Granger…

Therefore despite the nagging feeling of guilt he was finally giving in to the intense ache to think of her and her alone, longing for her body to be combined with his – conjoining with his in the most tremendous, thoroughly and significant way he could imagine…

"Hermione…" he called out in a rapture of pure agony and bliss as every rational thought left his mind… "Hermione…"

Utterly confused… he remained lying there in the dark, his heart still hammering in his chest…his ragged breathing slowly easing out, while he reflected on his inappropriate, but intense desire for Hermione Granger - reflected on how much he wanted to hold and kiss her like that – all through the night…

How much he wanted to show his adore and affection for her to her and to everyone else, although there was probably not a single person in the world who might approve on it… Musing about how much he wanted to fill in just where Potter had left her – to take his place within her heart… her bed… her life…

For the time being this was – way too much – for her, though.

The time was not ripe for telling her any of this – she needed time to heal and regain her self compose after all the heartache and disillusionment she had endured… He wanted to help her to break through the sorrow and pain she was probably still struggling with… She needed time to even remotely consider him to become involved with her like that… and he was determinant to give her what she needed – whatever she needed – no matter how hard, how difficult it might become for him. He would keep himself back.

And then there was the quite considerably fact that she was pregnant - with Harry Potters child - of course… He just wondered why on earth was this the least important problem in his opinion.

It took him a long time to calm his tangled mess of emotion enough to fall asleep that night and as he finally did, his dreams were deliciously focussed on Hermione Granger once again…

AN: Whoa- that was kind of difficult, but fun to write...

I hope you enjoyed it, even if it was 'just' imagination so far... It's hard to tell who has got it worse, isn't it? Although I personally think Hermione is definitely cracking up to Draco in this chapter...

Just to spare confusion. I put all those parts that are real fantasies for either of them in italics - whereas I left those parts where they are just wondering whether the other might do this or that and what they would probably feel about it in normal print.

Thanks for the nice feedback to the last update!

Dragon Rose4: Thanks for your nice comments.

Slinkiee: Thanks for taking pity on me about my shameless request to get some feedback on 'A Weeds' Whisperess.' Your review is still the only one. But I'm definitely happy to know you did like it so far!

Venifica de animarum: Thanks for the nice suggestion. That might be doubtlessly interesting. It's not what I have in mind for this story, though.

Serpentina