A/N: Hello darlings! Sorry about the wait. Thanks so much for all the lovely reviews you've been giving me. It's very sweet of you. I hope you enjoy this chapter. Much love! xx-Kitten.
Don't You Dare
Chapter 10: Angry Words
Hermione sprawled across him after what might just have been the best shag of her young life trying to get herself back together and to work up the energy to get off him. She had a swath of homework she needed to get done tonight. She was also thinking that she needed to instigate another rule about no cuddling.
He'd curled his arm around her back and pulled her down on top of him, his free hand tangled in her hair and it felt entirely too nice for her thinking. She had to remind herself sternly that this was an arrangement for sex only. Not for cuddling.
"Let go," she muttered when she tried to crawl off him in search of her wand and found that he didn't seem interested in releasing her just yet.
"Shut up, Granger," he retorted, sounding tired.
Hermione narrowed her eyes and lifted herself off him more vigorously, freeing his softening cock from inside her and wriggling out from under the arm he'd wrapped around her. She clambered to one side of him, his hand still fisted in her locks while she reached for the wand she'd abandoned by the pillows.
When she reached it, Hermione began muttering cleaning charms.
He didn't seem interested in releasing her hair even as she sat up and Hermione reached up, untangling his hand from inside her hair in annoyance, gripping his wrist tightly to keep him from pulling at her curls until they stung.
He snorted quietly when she flung the freed appendage at him before going in search of her knickers.
"Get up," she nudged him, tossing his boxers at him when she located them before wriggling into her blue knickers once more. Her bra was across the room and Hermione scuttled towards it.
"Where's my belt?" he asked her, sitting up slowly and swinging his long legs over the edge of the bed.
Hermione turned to look at him wearing only her bra and her knickers.
He had a love bite on his neck and some claw marks on his chest. She knew if he turned he'd have even more of them on his back.
"Over there," she pointed when she spotted it over by his bag. The entire room was a shambles of discarded clothing and Hermione smirked to herself as she reached her arms over her head, stretching her muscles deliciously and enjoying the burn in them after the exertion she'd just put them through.
She felt good. She'd been irritable for days and Hermione had thought that she was just getting a bit of PMS before consulting her calendar and realising she'd already dealt with PMS this month. When she'd realised that, she'd begun to suspect she just needed to get laid. Harry had jumped down her throat earlier that afternoon about something and when she'd spotted Malfoy in the library she'd begun to smirk as the idea occurred to her.
"Don't do that if you want me to leave, witch," he warned her quietly and Hermione paused mid-stretch to glance at him.
He watched her from the edge of the bed, his elbows resting on his knees and his stormy grey eyes fixed on her hungrily as she stretched up on her toes, her arms reaching for the roof and pulling her body taut.
"Turning you on again, Malfoy?" Hermione smirked at him, realising that she was.
He smirked in return, apparently not above admitting that she made him horny.
"Too bad," Hermione teased, "I have homework to do. So scram."
He snorted at her words and Hermione was mildly surprised by the genuine-looking smile he wore. Hermione bent and tossed him his shirt, not even joking about needing him to go. She really did have an essay she needed to get written tonight as well as revision for the entire week to work on.
"How often do you use this room?" he asked her as he caught his shirt and began pulling it on, standing to begin dressing himself again. Hermione wriggled into her camisole and her shirt before seeking out her jeans – which she found in a crumpled pile at the end of the bed.
"Almost every day," Hermione shrugged, "No one disturbs my study up here and it means that if anyone comes looking for me when I don't want to be interrupted, I can't be found."
"So no one else knows about it?" he clarified and Hermione noted the way he was eyeing the room with interest, including the study timetable she had spell-o-taped to the wall above the desk.
"Only you," Hermione admitted, "So you better not tell anyone or show anyone. Or I'll kill you. Not even Pince knows about this place. Or if she does, she never checks it to make sure there's no one using it"
"You sleep in here sometimes, don't you Granger?" Malfoy asked her as he pulled his trousers back on.
"What's it to you, Malfoy?" Hermione frowned, not understanding why he was asking her questions or why he was talking to her at all. This was an arrangement for sex. Not for chatting.
"Just wondering how often you hide out in here," he shrugged his shoulders, "Don't Potty and Weaselbee ever wonder where you are?"
"They don't know it exists and they never check the entire library when they look for me," Hermione frowned at him further as she found her jumper and pulled it back on, "And if you knew what it was like to share a dormitory with Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil, you'd understand why sometimes I prefer to stay here and not have to deal with them."
Malfoy nodded, looking thoughtful as he buckled his belt before finding his shoes and sitting back on the edge of the bed to pull them on.
Hermione – now dressed – made for the desk, intending to sit down so she could get on with the study she hadn't been able to focus on when she'd been itching for a good shag earlier that afternoon. She was acutely aware that Malfoy was still behind her as he pulled his shoes on.
"You're doing homework now?" he asked, sounding annoyed by the idea.
"I have an essay to write," Hermione shrugged, glancing over her shoulder at him and jumping slightly when she realised he'd come up right behind her chair.
He was staring hard at the copy of her study timetable that she'd spell-o-taped to the wall in front of her. She had a strict schedule and she liked to keep to it. She'd been distracted enough by her libido for one night and now she needed to get back to it.
"No bloody wonder you're still top of the class," she heard him grumble, "You don't have any time on this thing for anything but classes, meals and studying. What are these? DA? What does that means? Defence study?"
"Malfoy," Hermione interrupted him, her blood running cold as she realised that he might work out what DA actually was, "Maybe I wasn't clear about the rules for this arrangement, but I'm fairly sure one of them was that once we're done things go back to normal. Meaning you can go back to not speaking to me, looking at me or annoying me with your questions."
"Is this your less than polite way of suggesting I sod off, Granger?" he smirked and Hermione caught the way he met her gaze for a moment as though the idea amused him.
"I can't be even less polite if you really need me to dumb it down for you, Malfoy," Hermione smiled coldly.
"Aren't witches supposed to be less grumpy after they've been laid? Or do you need me to fuck you again to improve your mood?" he retorted, not at all offended by her comment and seeming to take pleasure from the way they snapped at each other.
"I need you to sod off so I can work on my essay. I expect you have the same one due, so would you just go?" Hermione growled at him.
She hissed between her teeth when he tangled one hand tightly in the hair at the back of her head, using the grip to force her head backwards until she was staring at the ceiling. When he bent forwards and planted a hot but brief snog on her lips Hermione's eyes crossed in a combination of pleasure and annoyance. She wondered how anyone could make her so needy and so angry at the same time.
He pulled away several minutes later, gracing her with a rakish smirk before he left her little study nest without another word. He was even careful enough to avoid the trick step on the way down. Hermione shook her head to herself, both to clear it thanks to his daze-inducing snog and also in annoyance with him. She heard the softest of clicks when he exited the door at the bottom of the staircase, and then he was gone, leaving her in peace to complete her essay.
She was being followed. Stalked, even. Hermione was sure of it. And she'd been being followed for almost twenty minutes now. She'd taken several secret passageways as she tried to lose her pursuer and nothing seemed to be working. First she'd tried making it look like she was going to the library to study and she had managed to locate several books she needed to complete their most recent homework.
Hermione was certain it was members of the Inquisitorial Squad following her. She was supposed to be on her way to a DA meeting and it wasn't going well. She also happened to know she wasn't the only person who was being tailed. She knew because about ten minutes ago she'd run into Seamus in one of the secret passageways and he'd hissed at her that he'd been being followed all afternoon by Theodore Nott and Daphne Greengrass at sporadic intervals.
Narrowing her eyes, Hermione ducked behind the nearest statue after skidding around a corner. She could hear rapid footsteps racing after her and she watched as what appeared to be one of the Slytherin boys from the lower years – perhaps a third year – raced into the corridor and immediately began searching it for her. The boy wasn't the only one following her. A sixth year girl had tailed her into the girl's bathrooms when she'd been trying to lose one of the others tailing her.
She had a feeling she knew what they were up to. Malfoy had caught a glimpse of her timetable for when the DA meetings were being held and he'd clearly figured out what the slot was filled with, even if he didn't know the acronym. He'd convened with the others who were spying for Umbridge and they were more determined than ever to catch them all in the act and figure out what they were up to.
Hermione supposed they'd brought it on themselves. Just that very morning the story in the Quibbler about Harry's encounter in the graveyard with Voldemort last year had been released. He'd named a number of well-known pureblood families as being in league with Voldemort and most of the children of those Death Eaters had been tailing her and her friends all afternoon. The majority of people in Slytherin house, in fact, had been indicted as being part of Death Eater families.
They were out for blood and Hermione didn't doubt that if they could get away with hexing the lot of them, they would do it. She'd caught a glimpse of Malfoy across the hall that very day at lunch and he'd looked positively livid. He'd been glaring at Harry, Ron and Hermione herself. She could tell from the look on his face that it was taking most of his energy to keep from getting up right then and there to begin a duel in the name of his father's honour.
When she'd been in Charms that afternoon he had even gotten slightly violent with Harry and Ron, driving his shoulder into Ron's and causing Ron to knock into some desks, accidentally knocking Hermione to the floor in the process. Harry had been about to hex the git but Professor Flitwick had interrupted them all by beginning the class.
Malfoy was clearly behind this mess of everyone being tailed and she'd bet he was frothy with rage too.
Shooting a stunning spell at the third year boy who'd been following her, Hermione watched the younger boy slump ungracefully to the ground. He looked like a Macnair. Ducking out from her hiding place, Hermione crossed to him quickly. He hadn't hit his head or anything too horrible and so Hermione didn't feel too bad about the attack. Dragging him across the floor, Hermione propped him against a wall out of the way where no one was likely to come across him and rouse the alarm.
When she was done she stood quickly, toting her bag on her shoulder and straightening her skirt before making a run for the seventh floor.
"Hermione?" Harry asked, hurrying up the fifth floor corridor as she was about to race up the staircase.
"Are you being followed too?" she asked him without preamble when she lowered her wand, having reflexively jerked it up in surprise at the sound of his voice.
"Yeah, I just shoved Goyle into a broom cupboard and ran for it. He and Malfoy were tailing me for ages. We're late for the meeting," Harry nodded, "You're being followed too?"
"Yes," Hermione nodded, "I had to stun the younger boy of Macnair and I tricked that girl of Pucey from sixth year into thinking I was still in the library. I ran into Seamus in one of the secret passages up from the second floor and he said he's being followed too, by Nott and Greengrass. Ron's supposed to be on his way back from Quidditch practice too and I haven't seen him even though I feel like I've crossed half the castle trying to lose these idiots."
"What are they doing?" Harry asked, "Not all of those people are from families I named in the article. Why are they following us around like this?"
"I think they're working for Malfoy," Hermione admitted, "After the story today I imagine Malfoy and his goons are furious. They've been trying to catch us in the act of getting to or from the DA for months. I suppose they figure one of us will eventually lead them there if they tail us long enough. I hope the others are as observant as you and Seamus have been. I shudder to think of Neville or someone leading these idiots into the Room of Requirement."
"It won't open for that without one of us already inside, you know that," Harry reminded her, "And even if they could turn it into the training hall, it wouldn't because it won't open if they're being followed. I imagine the person following them will have to be close enough to catch them. The room would pick up on their need to catch their target more than any DA member's need to get into the room since they think we're already inside and waiting. I thought Goyle just wanted to have a go at me for naming his father in the article. He tried to hex me and when I disarmed him, he tried to punch me."
"Did he hurt you?" Hermione asked, alarmed.
"No," Harry shook his head and chuckling as though it had been good fun to duel with the thick-headed Slytherin, "I'm used to dealing with my cousin Dudley in that regard. Side-stepped and made him miss before kicking him into the cupboard and locking him inside it."
"Your cousin hits you? Harry why haven't you ever told me that before now?" Hermione asked, frowning at him in concern.
"It's not really important, Hermione," Harry laughed at her concerned expression, "How are we going to hold the meeting if no one can escape their pursuers?"
"We're not," Hermione decided suddenly, pulling out her coin and beginning to alter the dates on it, "We'll change it to tomorrow night instead. If not everyone can make it, so be it. I'd rather cancel tonight's meeting than have us all get caught by Umbridge or her ridiculous Inquisitorial Squad. We cancel the meeting for tonight and everyone can meet in our common room. They'll complain about it interfering with their other plans, but detention for the rest of the year would be more interference with those plans, I think."
"Damn it, I was really looking forward to tonight," Harry sighed, "Missing Quidditch because I'm off the team sucks. DA's the only good thing still worth doing in the bloody place with that toad running around."
"I know," Hermione patted his arm comfortingly, "But we don't want to let that rotten old toad take DA away from us too. Come on. Let's head back to the common room. Almost everyone will be there. Oh! Hello, Luna."
"Hello Hermione. Harry. Have you noticed an alarming amount of Nargles about today?" the vague blonde Ravenclaw girl asked them.
"Um…" Harry darted a glance at Hermione.
"You think you're being followed too?" Hermione asked the girl.
"Yes!" Luna cried, "I knew it. Nargles again!"
"It's not just Nargles Luna," Hermione told the girl, choosing to avoid outright telling her that she was barmy and nargles had yet to be proven as existing, "The Inquisitorial Squad has been tailing anyone suspected of being a DA member, trying to catch us after the article today."
"Oh. Wasn't it wonderful? Daddy told me they're doing a third tonight re-print because the story is so popular," Luna told them, "I got your message too, Hermione. Tomorrow night works fine for me."
"You want to come sit with us in Gryffindor Tower, Luna?" Harry offered, grinning at the younger blonde girl and looking amused by her antics and pleased by her enthusiasm about the story in the Quibbler.
"Oh… That might be nice," she nodded before linking her elbow with Harry's and beginning to wander towards the seventh floor along with them.
As they went, more and more people from the DA met up with them, most of them being conspicuously tailed by Slytherins by this point. Hermione could tell the fools thought they were getting close to catching them in the act and she spotted Malfoy among the gathered Slytherins lurking in the corridors behind them.
Unable to resist taunting them all, Hermione turned when they reached the Portrait Hole and smirked coldly at them.
"Well, it was an amusing effort, I must say," she taunted, her eyes fixed on Malfoy, "It's just too bad about all those terrible incidents befalling members of your little gang tonight, wouldn't you agree? It's almost like… oh, I don't know… a prelude to the fate of all who choose the wrong side."
Malfoy curled his lip at her hatefully but before he could say anything, Ron and the rest of the Gryffindor Quidditch team appeared at the end of the hall.
"Oi, what are all you losers doing near Gryffindor Tower?" Ron wanted to know.
"They're following us all Ron," Harry grinned at his friend.
"Why?" Ron asked, raising one eyebrow, "What is it Nott? Fancy Harry or something do you? Malfoy, I already knew you fancy him."
The Slytherins all began to hiss denials and snarl like they were going to hex the lot of them. Hermione raised her wand and disarmed Crabbe before he could fire a hex at Ron's back. She watched the way Ron swaggered down the hall leading the team, his broom balanced on one shoulder and a mischievous grin on his face.
"Tsk tsk, Crabbe," Hermione clucked her tongue at the boy disapprovingly when he was thrown back with a slight bang instead of relinquishing his wand, "Maybe you lot ought to focus more effort towards learning shield charms and the like. Imagine, being bested by a muggle-born. What would Daddy have to say?"
"Oh don't worry Hermione," Ron grinned, "None their Daddies will have anything to say about it because they're all being carted off to Azkaban tonight."
"The Death Eaters have been arrested already?" Harry asked hopefully, his eyes lighting up, "That's the best bloody news I've heard all day."
"At least we still have parents, Potter," Theodore Nott sneered at them, curling his lip at Potter.
"For how long though?" Harry retorted, refusing to rise to the bait, "You know I've always wondered, purebloods like your families all seem to go on and on about their own superiority over everyone. Why is it then that they're all so willing to bow down and serve a mad-man? A half-blood, no less. The half-blood son of a blood traitor who had to use Amortentia to even get a muggle man to like her."
"That's a lie!" one of the Slytherins shouted.
"You dare insult the Dark Lord?" Malfoy snarled.
"Oh already 'The Dark Lord' to you, is he Malfoy?" Ron challenged, "Daddy dearest is already priming you to bend over and let that twisted git fuck you too, eh?"
"Don't you dare talk about things you don't understand, you filthy blood traitor," Daphne Greengrass piped up in defence of Malfoy, whose face was now mottled with rage.
"Don't understand?" Harry scoffed, beginning to actually laugh at their fury, "Of everyone here, I'd say I probably understand best what it's like to be in Voldemort's presence."
All the Slytherins hissed and some of the girls shrieked, jerking and shuddering uncomfortably at Harry's use of the name.
"You think you understand what you're getting into?" Harry challenged, advancing towards the furious children of Death Eaters, "You think that just because you fathers all rush out of the house in black robes and face-masks that they're just meeting and wreaking a little havoc? Is that it? It's funny to the likes of you lot right now to torment others. You find it amusing to pick on muggleborns for something they can't help being. You sneer at people you deem as traitors to their own blood. Do you actually believe that's what your parents do too?"
Hermione and Ron advanced alongside Harry as his tone grew more and more deadly, his eyes narrowed hatefully.
"Do you think they put on masks and do something stupid for a bit of a laugh, like levitating unsuspecting muggles over a crowd for a joke? Is that what you think it means to work for Voldemort?" Harry went on, "Well I can tell you, you're wrong. Your fathers don those masks and they go out into the world to murder people. Children. Teenagers. Women. Men. They go out and they slaughter the innocent on the orders of a madman and for what? It's not like it buys them any additional social standing outside of the circle of Death Eaters. It's not as though any of your families need money and are recompensed for their service. They willingly commit murder. They torture. They rape. They brutalise others. And for what?"
Hermione felt sick at the picture Harry was painting for them.
"All because their 'Lord' told them too?" Harry asked, "Do they actually believe that they're going to create a world where families who commit heinous crimes in the name of blood prejudice will come out on top? Do they think they're going to rule the magical world? If they had their way and they could slaughter anyone not of the pure, non-traitorous bloodlines, do you know what would be left of the magical world?"
"Us," Malfoy smirked, "We'd be left."
"For how long, Malfoy?" Harry asked him, "When there are no more targets like muggleborns and half-bloods, when there are no more blood traitors, how long do you think it will take before your precious 'Dark Lord' turns on you?"
"The Dark Lords rewards those in his service, Potter," Malfoy argued.
"Does he?" Harry snorted, "Funny, when your father was on the ground writhing in agony for not searching for Voldemort after his defeat fourteen years ago, it didn't look much like a reward to me, Malfoy. When Crabbe Senior was screaming and messing himself under the influence of the Cruciatus curse, it didn't look like a reward to be in Voldemort's service. When I watched Pettigrew cower and whimper and cry after severing his own hand on Voldemort's orders, made to wait more than an hour while Voldemort chatted and punished the others, do you think he thought he was being rewarded? Was it a privilege, do you think, that he got to cripple himself for the rest of his miserable life just to please his sociopathic boss?"
Hermione shuddered at the very idea, watching Harry stand practically toe-to-toe with Malfoy. Crabbe was eyeballing Ron dangerously and Hermione narrowed her eyes on Nott and Greengrass, her wand aimed at them and ready to attack or to defend herself and her friends if the need arose.
"So rather than stalking us through the halls, why don't you crawl back into your little holes in the floor and think about that? Are you willing to cut your hand off for someone you've never even met? Are you willing to murder innocent people for no reason at all but because someone tells you that you should? When you next go home to see your parents – if they ever get out of prison, that is – you take a long hard look at them. When you're sitting at your dining room tables listening to your mother and father converse, you think about the fact that when he's not there with you, he's out raping some poor woman for sport. He's out slaughtering children; torturing people your age or even young than you. People you go to school with. People you might've been friends with if you weren't all such pompous arseholes. When he touches you, you think about the number of people who have suffered at his hands. And when you're done thinking about all that, if you haven't vomited your dinner all over your fucking plate, then I recommend you do the rest of the world a favour and kill yourself, because we don't want the likes of people who can be alright with that type of thing."
With that said, Harry spun on his heel, turning his back on Malfoy and the other Slytherins before stalking back towards the portrait hole.
Hermione's gaze darted over the shocked and horrified and furious faces of her classmates and her peers. She noted the way Daphne Greengrass's bottom lip trembled ever so slightly. She noticed the way Theodore Nott clenched his fists in an attempt to make them stop shaking. She watched the way Crabbe gritted his teeth so hard that a muscle in his jaw ticked angrily. Most of all, she watch Malfoy. His pale face looked a little paler than usual and he still looked angry. He looked a little bit floored too, by Harry's utter surety of what it was really like to be in Voldemort's presence. Of what his followers endured. Of what they did and what they were expected to do if they wanted to avoid further punishment.
Most of all, he looked like he wanted to hex Harry from behind for continuing to indict his father's character and for challenging everything he'd been raised to believe and everything he'd been taught was the truth.
"Go back to the dungeons, you lot," Angelina Johnston ordered them, "We've had enough of you standing around here."
The rest of the Gryffindors – most of the Common Room seemed to have emptied into the hallway outside the Fat Lady's Portrait to listen to Harry's words and potentially witness a brawl – began to disperse, clearing a path to let Harry through and following him into Gryffindor Tower like he was some kind of pied-piper for Gryffindors. Hermione narrowed her eyes slightly on the Slytherin students when they continued to stand there, shocked and surprised and angry. Hermione met Malfoy's gaze for a minute in silence before raising her eyebrows challengingly and flicking her wand arm in the direction of the staircase at the end of the hall. Some of the younger students began to move off in that direction, recognising that the fight was temporarily over.
Malfoy glared at her in return but Hermione watched the way he raked his grey-eyed gaze over her. To everyone else it undoubtedly looked like the disapproving, disgusted and hateful stare he so often raked over her as he judged her for her blood and called her scum. She didn't think anyone else would have noticed the way his eyes lingered a bit too long on the necklace she wore or on the undone top-button of her blouse. She didn't think even his friends would have noticed the slightly less hostile way he looked at her.
When he jerked his head sharply at his friends and began to walk away, muttering darkly to Theodore Nott and to Crabbe, Hermione found herself wondering how much of Harry's speech might've penetrated his stubborn head. How much of Harry's imagery had played behind his eyes? Would it make any difference in the big scheme of things as to whether Malfoy went on with his hatred of mudbloods and half-bloods and blood traitors? Would he still blindly follow his father's teachings until he too bore the Dark Mark burned into the pale flesh of his forearm? Would he even consider changing his opinions or his allegiance?
She supposed it was rather telling that even despite the number of times she'd snogged him and the fact that she'd been secretly shagging him, she had no idea what the answer to any of her unspoken questions would be.