She had no qualms about attending a wedding alone. And even if she did, she certainly wouldn't want to bring her boss—her attractive, intelligent, employer who also happened to be some sort of mafioso. Tomione. M for a reason. Long one-shot. In which Tom is a part of the mafia, and Hermione knows.

Hermione had never been one of any notable connections. Unlike people such as Draco Malfoy, who could enroll in any school or secure any job he ever wanted merely on the name of his father, she has always had to rely on her accomplishments above anything else. It was something that she was proud of, if she were honest. All of her accomplishments were entirely her own. Everything she had now—her enrollment in law school, her job at a notable law firm in New York—it had all been thanks to her own hard work and ambition and the fact that she put all of herself into everything she did.

But she thinks, perhaps, she didn't put all of herself into everything.

She was alone, for instance. And she knew logically that a life without romantic love was hardly a life alone, but here she remained—in an overpriced studio apartment with only her vicious cat Crookshanks for company. She had never had a lot of friends. She had Harry, of course, whom she had met when he spent a semester in London and fell in love with Ginny Weasley. They had both moved back to New York together two years ago, but even living close to them, Hermione didn't see them often. And then of course, she hadn't spoken to Ron in months…

And yes, life without romantic life was still a life, and wasn't to be taken for granted, but it hurt. It still hurt, even months after her abysmal break up with the person who she had always thought to be the love of her life.

And it was her fault, mostly. She was so focused on work and school and living out her dream of moving to America and becoming a lawyer that—in the midst of everything—she lost sight of what may actually be more important.

More important, she scoffed. If it was so important it would have stayed.

Nevertheless, she missed him so much that sometimes a physical ache settled in her chest. It was worst at night. Very late into the night when she didn't pull out her laptop or her phone or her studies for distraction because she knew she had to sleep, and then she had no way out of the thoughts that took hold of her mind and tormented her until she finally woke to the blaring of her alarm clock.

She wasn't miserable, in her tiny flat in New York City, but she wasn't happy either.

But she was successful. She was reaching her dream. She was top of her class at University and had secured a spot in one of the top Law Firms in the state purely on her own merit and ambition. A secretary job, of course—but a secretary to the Firm's CEO, so she saw it more as an opportunity to learn than anything else.

Of course…there was the issue of her Boss's…questionable morality.

It was hard for her to consider, honestly. Tom Riddle was so dreadfully intelligent, so articulate and quick witted that she actually found herself struggling to keep up with his train of thought—only on occasion and very rarely, but still such a strange occurrence for her. And on top of that, he was handsome. Mid-to-late thirties with a strong jaw and pale complexion, always clean shaven and dressed in expensive, Italian suits, with his hair perfectly styled. But what Hermione always thought was so much more than his presentation was his expression—so serious and severe and arrogant, the way his eyes could flicker toward you and just make you feel so small without saying a word.

He was all together very intimidating.

And, there was the issue of his…guests.

Each were more vicious and more crass than the last. Men with just as carefully picked appearances as Mr. Riddle's, but with a countenance that was less educated and impressive and more…violent and edgy. They always came in with slick smiles and would flirt with her—the pretty grad student from London, with no understanding of New York other than what she's seen on television. They looked down on her, she knew—like she was naive, like she wasn't aware of what was going on around her.

And for a little while, they were right. She didn't know what was going on. The men who came to visit her boss were unpleasant and not at all the type she believed Mr. Riddle needed to be wasting his time on. They were usually rich, of course, but likely from questionable means that Hermione didn't care to think on. She didn't understand why they came here, but of course it was a law firm, she considered. Perhaps they were…cases. Witnesses. Something.

It was useless to try to convince herself of anything, really. She had a feeling that Mr. Riddle had some nefarious hobbies. She just didn't want to admit that she was working for someone who calls people like this his friends—or colleagues, or whatever he calls them.

Inevitably, she finds, he calls them family.

"Working late?" A voice startled her as she was bent over the photocopier on the ground floor of the building. She turned to the doorway to see Cormac McLaggen—a lawyer at the firm who was close to her age and flirted with her incessantly. She smiled benignly at him.

"Just finishing up some work for Mr. Riddle," She answered, turning back to the copier as it spat out papers.

"I think he's already out," He commented, walking toward her and placing a hand beside hers on the machine, leaning over her in a way she was sure was supposed to be endearing. It wasn't.

She very much doubted Mr. Riddle had left. He often worked late in his office, with the lights out except for his desk lamp to give the appearance that he wasn't in. She knew only because of the countless times she had barged in only to find him watching her with a perfectly arched brow and—usually—a cutting remark waiting for her.

"Nonetheless," She sighed, deciding not to argue with McLaggen's assumption. "I have work to do."

"Well, seems a shame to send you out so late on your own. How about I walk you home? Maybe come in for drinks?" He asked.

How like him, she thought, to invite himself into her apartment without preamble. While she had her back to him retrieving her papers she allowed herself an eye-roll, but when she faced him she forced a laugh.

"I have classes to study for, I'm afraid." She brushed past him to head back up to her desk outside of Riddle's office.

"Raincheck then?" McLaggen called from behind her. She waved vaguely as she boarded the lift. When the doors shut and McLaggen was out of earshot she grumbled a few expletives, but otherwise let the experience roll off her back.

It wasn't uncommon for men to flirt if they were near her age. While not the most beautiful girl, she wasn't ugly—and the fact that her accent was practically an aphrodisiac here didn't do her any favors when trying to avoid the opposite sex.

It wasn't even that she was necessarily unready for a relationship. Of course she still pined for Ron, but all in all she had accepted that it wouldn't work. She loved him still—she wasn't sure she would ever stop—but the way everything turned out…She couldn't just change everything she was in order to stay with him. She couldn't change the way she faced work, the way she was so fully immersed in everything she pursued, the way it often times took priority over relationships—both platonic and otherwise.

She didn't want to.

That's not to say it didn't hurt like hell when she would stalk him on Facebook and see he had a new girlfriend. Beautiful, perfect, bubbly Lavender Brown—a Youtube Beauty Guru with over four million subscribers—who seemed to be everything Ron had ever wanted Hermione to be if their profile pictures were anything to go by. And the fact that they had a beautiful flat in London overlooking the Thames did not drive her to drink herself into such a stupor that she had to skip her morning classes the next day.

So, perhaps, she wasn't entirely ready for a relationship. Perhaps the smart choice would be to avoid one—which is what she did anyway—but it was more than that. She didn't want just anyone anymore, she didn't even particularly want someone who she loved like she did Ron.

She wanted someone who understood. She wanted someone who could appreciate her as both a partner and a formidable lawyer—if all goes according to plan. Someone who could stand it when she got buried in work. Maybe even someone who was the same way.

Whatever. She was fine on her own anyway.

The lights were all out where her desk was, and from what she could see Riddle's lights were out, too. That didn't mean anything, of course, except that he wouldn't be coming out demanding anything of her. She filed the copies into their appropriate folders, put a pile to the side of what Mr. Riddle needed, and was squatting under her desk to retrieve her purse when she heard voices emerge from his office.

What she should have done, really, is immediately stand and let her presence be known. If she acted quickly, she wouldn't have been able to overhear anything. But she gave only a moment's hesitation, enough to hear Mr. Riddle snarl in a voice entirely unlike his, "You tell Grindelwald if he has any goddamn sense he'll keep his fucking hands to himself if he doesn't want this shit to get out of hand."

She stayed where she was crouched under her desk. She held her breath and listened to the other man speak—someone's voice who she did not recognize. "If you honestly think this doesn't require retribution—" There was a loud thud and the sound of someone choking that had Hermione pressing her hand over her mouth to stop from making any noise.

"I'm telling you that if he does this, there will be retribution on Cosa Nostra, not on the detective." Hermione's heart skipped a beat. She knew that term, she had heard it before—God, she heard it all the time. She—

The other man choked, "Understood." And began coughing wildly right after. God, what was she doing cowering under her desk? What if they caught her, listening into their obviously secret conversation like some sort of spy?

"Tell Grindelwald I said to wait." Mr. Riddle snapped, and she heard the hurried footsteps down the hall toward the elevator and heard the slam of Riddle's office door.

She didn't wait to see if he would notice her. She grabbed her purse and sprinted to the stairs—which were on the opposite side of the building to the elevators. She sprinted down the first few flights, her heels clacking furiously on the tile, before she forced herself to slow down. She lowered them carefully, cautiously, allowing herself to catch her breath and forcing her heartbeat back into its natural pattern.

She knew that term. Cosa Nostra. It was not unfamiliar.

She smoothed the skirt of her suit and lowered the numerous flights until she made it to the ground floor. She laid a clammy hand over her forehead for a moment before collecting herself and opening the door. She had almost made it out the front, as well, until a voice stopped her.

"Miss Granger" Someone addressed, and she knew exactly who it was without even turning around. But turn around she did, and she saw Riddle with his briefcase and his coat, watching her with a wary gaze. "I didn't know you worked late tonight."

"I got caught up with all of your paperwork," She teased, smiling despite her heart beating wildly in her chest. Did he know she was there? Did he know she overheard?

He smiled amicably back at her, "Maybe you shouldn't have begged me for work when you first arrived." He commented, approaching her and walking beside her as they made their way out.

"Well, I am happy to be worth more than coffee runs and eye candy," She commented sourly. He laughed beside her, and she found it an odd sound coming from someone who—if she wasn't mistaken by what she heard—had choked someone against the wall only a moment ago.

"Did you happen to see someone on your way out?" He asked, and her blood ran cold suddenly.

"See someone, sir?" She echoed, and he nodded, smiling a type of smile that he usually reserved for visiting CEO's and rivals of the company.

"Yes," He affirmed, "I was meeting with someone and I forgot to mention something. I was hoping to catch them on the way out."

He was digging, she realized. Trying to figure out if she knew he had a visitor—if she knew who the visitor was. She willed herself to stay calm, not to give anything away because if she was right about what Cosa Nostra was then this man could have her killed in a heartbeat— "I don't think so, sir," She pulled her eyebrows together in what she hoped was confusion, "I wasn't even sure if you were in. McLaggen said you had already gone out." He still eyed her like she hadn't said what he was waiting for, so she added, "Not that he knows much of anything."

He smiled tightly—not a fake laugh or a endearing grin, nothing to make her believe he was sincere—and said, "Ah, that's alright. I'll catch him later. Have a good night Miss Granger."

She watched him walk away for a moment, before forcing herself to turn the opposite direction and make her way home. Her mind was spinning—was he suspicious? Surely he wouldn't let her go if she was? Because she had certainly overheard something she was not intended to overhear.

Her boss—the man that, when she had joked with Ginny, she said could fuel her wet dreams for years, the man who single handedly climbed his way up the law firm in two years to CEO, the man with an intellect that rivaled even hers, the man who hired her fresh out of undergrad with no credentials other than her perfect grades—

Was a mafioso.

And, from the sounds of it, one with a lot of influence.

And then, as if her night could not possibly get any worse, she received an invitation in the mail for a wedding.

Hermione Granger,

You are formally invited to the union of

Ginevra Weasley


Harry Potter

She felt like she was going to throw up.

She didn't respond to the invitation just yet.

It wasn't even that she was upset they were getting married. She was so happy for them, so happy she felt like her heart might explode. They were so in love for so long, and they lived such a beautiful life together and now they would have a beautiful wedding, it's just—

She knew Ron would be there with Lavender, looking beautiful and perfect together. And, if she had her life in order, she wouldn't mind. She may not have a hot date, but she has the success of her career, her life an University, her job—

But then her boss turns out to be a Mafioso and she just—she doesn't know what to do.

So she drinks through her entire wine cabinet that night and wakes up five minutes before she's supposed to be into work—completely missing her class for the morning. So she throws on her trousers and her suit jacket and her boots, slaps some makeup to attempt to cover the bags under her eyes, completely gives up on her hair because its helpless, and she swallows aspirin as she rushes out the door and practically sprints the entire way to work.

She doesn't even know why she's there, to be honest. She discovers her boss is s part of a large, underground organization—and illegal organization—that deals with drugs and hitmen and all sorts of terrible—illegal—activities and she is returning to this boss and she doesn't know why.

Absolutely ridiculous. She's crazy. She should be turning him in, talking to Harry—who was a goddamn detective that worked on these types of cases—but she wasn't. She was returning to work hungover as fuck—like such a typical college student. Who was she becoming?

She threw herself into her work as she did every other day—she would not let herself become slave to her hangover and allow the office to judge her for it. You had to be perfect here—any err and suddenly everyone's opinion of you could change for the worst.

It was lucky that everyone was a bit afraid of Mr. Riddle. Not many people approached her once she made it to her desk. It was strange now, contemplating their fear in the face of what she'd just learned.

"Miss Granger?" His voice called out, and she saw him watching her from the doorway to his office. She cleared her throat.


"Join me for a moment." He ordered, and she watched him in shock at her desk. He never asked her into his office. He would just bark orders from where he sat at his desk and trust she heard him. She could scarcely breathe.

"It's…" She hesitated as his dark brow arched, "It's actually my break, sir." She protested. And that was the truth—it should be her break, she just wasn't taking it.

"You're still working," He pointed out.

"Yes, well…"

"Pick up your work and come into my office, please." He didn't give her the chance to refuse—could she even refuse? He was her boss—as he had already turned around and retreated into his office. She took a deep breath, picking up the papers she had been reading through and marching into his office.

He was already sitting at his desk. He didn't look at her as she came in, but instead looked at something on his laptop. She tentatively took a seat across from him, holding her paperwork in her lap. He didn't look at her when he first spoke.

"You're hungover." He pointed out, and more than any fear, she felt embarrassment. Of course of all people to notice her state, it would be the boss whom she admired so much.

You shouldn't admire him, she reminded herself. He's horrible.

"I…" In her shock at his nonchalant observation, she found herself lost for words. She cleared her throat. "I am, sir."

He lifted his eyes from his screen to meet hers and waited. "I may have…drank too much last night, sir." She clarified, inwardly wincing at how stupid she sounded.

His body language changed then. He leaned over his desk, resting his chin in his palm and watching her with concerned eyes. His brows knitted together and his mouth pinched in a frown, and she realized he had never looked at her like this. Like she was a friend. Like he cared about her in any way past professionally. And somehow feeling both afraid and disgusted at the same time, she realized he was trying to manipulate her. "I don't mean to overstep my boundaries," He began, his eyes flitting down to the desk and back to hers in the perfect imitation of nervous concern she had ever seen, "But if something is wrong…you can tell me."

He was still digging. He still didn't believe that she hadn't heard something. He thought her a liar and likely a liability, and she knew the only way to assuage his fears about her drinking having to do with him was to—but that was too embarrassing. She couldn't possibly admit to her boss that she drank herself into a stupor over her ex-boyfriend, that would be too—

"My friends are getting married," She explained, her voice shaking mostly in mortification, but she supposed if it was taken as her being upset that would not be a terrible thing—given the situation. "And my…ex-boyfriend and his girlfriend will be there."

He didn't look concerned now. He didn't exactly look unconcerned either, she realized. His face was perfectly held in the in-between area, in the area that can be interpreted any way you want it to. He was very good at that, at portraying himself exactly the way he needs to. She had realized that before as well, before the realization, but she had always found it to be admirable.

Her phone rang.

She jumped in her seat. His countenance had no real change except to glance down at where she was pulling her phone out of her trouser pocket with disdain. Ginny's name popped up on the screen, and she met his eyes.

"It's…she's getting married." She offered weakly, not entirely knowing why she was offering that information. His jaw clenched.

"Answer it." He said, and she felt so relieved to know that he was done with her that she immediately jumped to her feet, her thumb hovering over the answer button.

"Stay." He ordered, and she turned back to meet his eyes. "Answer it here." He demanded.

He was testing her, she realized. He wanted to make sure she didn't mention him.

What a fucking paranoid snake.

She obediently sat back down and answered the call, not pulling her eyes away from his as she did, "Hey, Ginny." She greeted.

"Hermione!" Ginny cheered on the other end, "Did you get the card? It should have arrived by now."

God, perfect timing, she thought tiredly, still refusing to pull her gaze away from Tom Riddles out of sheer pride and spite. What was he doing meeting with people from his Cosa Nostra at his place of work anyway? How many other secretaries had unfortunately overheard and been interrogated and inevitably disposed of because of this?

"Hermione?" Ginny called, and she realized she had been silently glaring at Riddle instead of answering.

"Yes, yes I did!" She answered, finally staring down at her feet to focus on her call. "I did, congratulations! You never told me."

"I kind of wanted it to be a surprise," Ginny laughed, "Was that bad?"

"No," Hermione assuaged, "No, just…it was a surprise."

"So you are coming?" She asked, and Hermione felt apprehension settle into her chest. God, was she coming? Did she have a choice? "Hermione? God, are you cutting out, or—?"

"No!" She said with far too much volume and conviction, "I mean, no, I'm not cutting out, I'm here. Of course I'm coming."

There was a pause and Hermione knew exactly what was coming.

"I know it'll be hard with Ron and Lavender, but—"

"Ginny, I'm hardly going to let Ron and Lavender get in the way of watching you become Ginny Potter—"

"I know, I just—do you have a plus one?"

Hermione hesitated. She absolutely did not have a plus one, she absolutely would be attending alone. She should have spoken immediately to avoid any confusion, but as is her nature, she always thinks through things far too much before speaking them when it comes to these situations, so she remained silent.

"Oh, my God!" Ginny bellowed, "You do?"

"No, Ginny—I—"

Her phone was unceremoniously plucked out of her hands. She watched in unveiled horror as Tom Riddle held her phone against his ear—he was crouched beside her while he spoke—and greeted her friend.

"Hello," He said, and Hermione tried to protest but he laid two fingers of his free hand over her lips and ignored her, and she thought—I could sue him for this, he shouldn't be touching me—but she only watched in confusion and terror and curiosity.

She could hear Ginny, faintly, on the line and realized that meant Riddle could hear her while Hermione had been speaking to her as well.

"Oh, yes, um—who is this?"

"This is Tom Riddle," He introduced, "I hear you're getting married?"

"Tom Rid—" there was a crash as if she dropped something, and Hermione knew Ginny knew who he was, "Tom Riddle? Er—yes, I am—well, yeah. I am."

"Congratulations," He smiled, as if the expression helped him shape the words correctly, "I suppose I'll get to meet you at the wedding then?"

Hermione wrapped her fingers around his and pulled them away from her lips, nearly flinching at how sharply his eyes snapped to the motion. He stared intently at the point where their hands met, only flickering to her mouth when she hissed, "What are you doing?"

"Oh! Are you her plus one?" Ginny asked excitedly, and as Tom Riddle spoke he kept his gaze fixed on her mouth—almost like he had zoned out on the spot.

"Yes," he agreed robotically.

"Oh, fabulous!" Ginny cheered, "I'll add you to the guestbook!"

"Perfect," He agreed, his smile fitting his features again as he looked away from Hermione. he pulled his hand away and she was frozen, watching this play out and wondering if she was dreaming—if she was still passed out on her couch from too much alcohol, "I must go, we were actually quite busy."

"Oh, busy, were you?" Ginny leered, and Tom actually laughed.

"Yes, I look forward to meeting you," He hung up without waiting for Ginny's response and wordlessly held the phone out for Hermione to retrieve.

She didn't reach for it.

"What on earth is wrong with you?" She rasped, speaking more freely than she had ever dared with him before, "You cannot simply invite yourself to my friend's wedding, and as my plus one—"

"You were upset because you're still in love with your ex-boyfriend and he's in love with someone else," He pointed out, and Hermione couldn't help the way her face twisted in disgust at his tone—as if he had a right to be messing with her life, "This way you don't have to go alone."

"I don't care if I go alone." She rebutted.

"And that's why you're hungover now?" He asked, looking up at her. He hadn't moved from his place squatting by her side, and it felt odd to have him in such a informal position.

"You have no right to take part in my personal affairs." She argued.

"Would you rather call them back and tell them I'm not coming?" He challenged, and he knew her answer already. Of course she didn't. She didn't want to have to explain why she would be coming alone, she didn't want to avoid the subject of her boss—of all she knew about him—she didn't want to show up alone when she didn't even have the confidence of a solid job and education to boast about.

But why did he want to go? What was in it for him? She remembered the way he glanced at her mouth, the way he zeroed in on it so completely that it even distracted him from his front with Ginny on the phone. Could it be that simple? Was this something he was doing purely for her?

The answer was obvious—of course he bloody wasn't—but if he was it would make this whole situation much less complicated.

"Do you take such interest in all your secretaries, then?" She asked, and a considerably amount of venom lined her words without her permission.

"My other secretaries never lasted as long as you," He parried, and there was something sinister in his tone. Something dark, something that suggested he wasn't referring to how long they lasted in the profession. And it seemed very clear to her now that she was not the first to find out in his long list of secretaries.

So why was she alive now? Was it simply that he did not know for sure? Surely someone like him could kill whoever he wanted, even if he wasn't sure. So why was she still alive?

"May I take my break now, sir, or was there anything else you needed?" She asked, keeping her tone even.

"You can take the day off," He offered, his voice quiet, gentle, barely more than a murmur as he gazed up at her form his place on the ground. "I won't need you today."

It felt to her less like a dismissal and more like a death sentence.

Hermione felt like a liar and a fool showing up to the wedding with a false date.

She comforted herself with the fact that none of this was really her idea. But still, sitting in the pews and watching Harry and Ginny stare into each others eyes, seeing Ron standing beside Harry at the alter and Ginny's best friend Padma at her side—it made the fact that she was sitting next to her boss seem so hideous.

And she still couldn't figure out why the bloody hell he was here.

They met at work before they came, him dressed, as usual, in one of his expensive suits, and her donning some strapless, a-line dress that she hadn't worn in years. He led her to his car—just like everything he owned, sleek, shiny, and far too expensive—and they drove together in silence to Manhattan where the little church was.

He hadn't spoken a word to her all day and she, stubbornly, kept silent as well.

The wedding was a very small affair. Hermione knew it would be. There wasn't a plethora of bridesmaids and groomsmen, only their closest friends. It was mostly populated by the Weasley family who dominated both sides of the church—Harry didn't have much family to speak of, anyway. It was lovely. It was warm.

Hermione loved it, and it made her feel even more ashamed for bringing a sham of a date.

During the service, while Harry and Gin exchanged their vows, she glanced over to Ron and was surprised to find him watching her. He gave her a tentative smile—this was the first time they had seen each other since the break up, and he seemed nervous for her reaction—and she let her eyes slide over to where Lavender sat in the pews, looking gorgeous as she always did.

When she looked to Ron again he was staring determinedly away from her and she realized that, without meaning to, she had sent the message that she wasn't alright with him being here with Lavender. She desperately stared at him, willing him to glance back at her so she could smile back and communicate that she was fine, she wasn't sour, she wasn't still pining for him. Her nails dug into her thigh where they had been folded in her lap.

Something warm settled on her knee and she was startled to see the pale, long-fingered hand of Tom Riddle. She turned to him—he was closer than she thought he was—but he avoided her gaze and instead pressed his lips to her ear to whisper, "He's been staring at you for twenty minutes." He breathed in her ear, and against her will she felt a shiver course through her. She felt his lips curl against the shell of her ear.

"You counted?" She challenged, and he pulled away to match her gaze, and when he faced her he wasn't smiling, only eyeing her with one eyebrow raised. She only shifted her eyes away when she caught the corner of his mouth quirking up into what was almost a half smile. It looked different than how he usually smiled—it was somehow darker and it made something squirm in her stomach.

He began to pull his hand away and—without any forethought—she clasped her hand over his and kept it there. His eyes fixated on the place their hands met. Slowly, hesitantly, she drew her hand away.

He left his there for the rest of the ceremony, leaving her to wonder what the hell was happening.

The ceremony was the easy part. There was very little lying that went into the ceremony, you just had to sit there and cry over the newlyweds. It was the reception that immediately followed that would be torturous.

Tom Riddle led her into the venue with his hand scorching through the fabric of her dress on the small of her back. It was at a bar—a nice bar with a dance floor and a stage with a DJ—but still, Hermione was certain he could do without the temptation of drinks.

It had occurred to her, several times, that she was bringing a mafioso to a wedding. It occurred to her, several times, that not only was she unaware of his intentions, she was unaware of how violent is intentions were. He could be coming to kill me, she thought—or someone else? Was this her punishment for knowing?

But he didn't know for sure that she knew, she reminded herself. Yet.

So she slapped a smile on her face for the Bride and Groom and rejoiced at Tom's hand leaving her back as she gave them both a hug.

"'Mione!" Harry greeted with a bear hug, "God, I haven't seen you in forever! How's everything?"

"You saw me last week, Harry," She laughed, "But everything is…everything is great."As if he heard her hesitation, Tom Riddle was at her side, stretching out his hand to give Harry a firm handshake.

"Tom Riddle," He introduced, "Lovely ceremony. Congratulations."

"Thanks," Harry beamed as he pulled his hand away, smiling wickedly at Hermione, "You never mentioned you were seeing someone."

"It's fairly recent," She mumbled. Ginny had probably already mentioned the phone call.

"We're happy for you," Ginny said quietly when she noticed Hermione's discomfort, and—oh god, did she have to sound so terribly genuine? Did she have to look at her like she was finally comfortable with Hermione's life choices—as if any of this was real?

She could have cried with relief when the music started and Harry and Ginny excused themselves to dance. She could have cried as well when Tom didn't ask her to dance, instead sat next to her at one of the tables—pulled his chair close to hers so their knees touched and she could hardly look anywhere other than at him—but at least she didn't have to perpetuate the lie any more by dancing with him.

"How do you know them?" He asked amicably. She eyed him suspiciously for a moment before remembering exactly why she didn't want to appear suspicious. She averted her eyes to the table while she spoke.

"The Weasley's lived in London. I dated Ron, and Harry studied abroad in London for six months and we became friends—the three of us. That's how he met Ron's younger sister, Ginny."

They sat in silence for a while. Hermione twisted her neck to watch the dance floor instead of staring straight at him and he openly examined her, stared and stared and stared like he could figure everything out if he just observed her long enough. It was driving her crazy, all these secrets. Secrete upon other secrets—the secret she holds from Riddle and the secret she's holding from her dearest friends.

She could tell Harry, she realized. There wouldn't be much he could do without proof, but she could still tell him. Who better to know of a possible mafioso than the very detective who works on those sort of cases? And she should tell him. She knew she should—she should've told him weeks ago when she found out.

But she hadn't.

And everything was stranger, now. Tom Riddle remained suspicious of her, called her into his office at random points of the day and questioned her, kept her late so that they would be alone—but he never did anything. That alone told her that he wasn't sure that she knew, but…

What she couldn't understand is why had hadn't just offed her yet. If he had even a small reason to believe that she knew something she shouldn't—shouldn't he just kill her and be done with it? She was friends with a goddamn detective, so—

She turned her eyes back on him and he was still staring at her, still watching her with intense eyes and an expression she could never hope to read. He was so good at masking his emotions. She wished she had the ability to hide everything like he did. There were some things she couldn't hide—anger was one and the other, as much as she loathed to admit it, was lust.

And she did lust after him. He certainly knew—he didn't hesitate to attempt to manipulate her with it. Against all logic she was certainly attracted to him and—damn it, it didn't mean she was planning on shagging him until she couldn't bloody see straight, it just meant that she wanted to. She wasn't so far gone in her attraction to him that she would fuck him regardless of the threat he posed to herself and her friends.

She just…dreamed about it sometimes.

And the way he was looking at her now didn't help. He was so intense in everything he did, even simply in the way he regarded her, and it never failed to send a heat between her thighs so intense she could think of scarcely anything else.

But, she had held herself together thus far, she wasn't about to fall prey to her baser urges now. Even still, it filled her with courage—or perhaps stupidity—to ask, "What are you doing here?"

The question came out less demanding than she truly intended, a breathy, tumbling vibrato that spilled passed her lips with little weight or power. His eyes flicked to her lips as she talked—they often did—and he didn't answer right away. "I know you're not here because you care for your secretary," She stated, her voice stronger now, "So what's your motive?"

"Dance with me," He ordered, his eyes meeting hers again.

"I don't dance," She murmured, and she wasn't startled by the weight of his hand on her forearm. It didn't feel like much compared to the weight of his gaze.

"Dance with me, and I'll answer your question," He insisted. She didn't answer at first. She observed him the way he had her, eyed him from the shine of his hair to that of his Italian shoes, but she could never hope to find anything from eyeing him. So she nodded, and his hand slid down the length of her arm to hold her hand and gently guide her to the dance floor.

It was a slow dance, so his hands settled on her waist and hers on his shoulders and they swayed to the overplayed love ballad. He was much closer than he needed to be, enveloping her into him and making it so that all she could feel was him around her—it was suffocating.

"It's a bit tedious," He admitted, his cheek against hers as he spoke, "How desperately we cling to niceties when we both already know the truth."

Her heart beat steadily in her chest, loud—deafening—in her ears. "And what do we know?" She asked.

His nails dug warningly into the side of her waist and he hissed, "Don't deny it." She hadn't heard him sound so angry since she spied on him in the office, "I'm exhausted with the lies."

"So, is this why you came to the wedding?" Hermione asked, training her eyes on the ceiling as his jaw twitched against her cheek, "So you could interrogate me on a dance floor? I never took you as one for theatrics."

He pulled her against him so completely that her back arched to accommodate him, and she slid her hands from his padded shoulders to the skin of his neck so she could return the favor of nails in flesh if she felt so inclined. She was surprised that the feeling that coursed through her wasn't fear, but excitement.

"I could kill you," He reminded her, "I could kill you and take your detective friend with you."

And then there was the fear.

She remembered, with striking clarity, that the conversation she had overheard with him and his…friend, for lack of a better word, was about a detective. And the way he spat the phrase so viciously implied that they had been talking about Harry—or, could it be Harry? Could it be someone else?

She was about to ask why he didn't just kill her, why he had put it off for so long. But she paused and reflected, and when she spoke, instead she asked, "What did you mean, when you said the other secretaries didn't last long?"

"It's a difficult job, most don't last as long as you." He purred into her ear, and she wondered for a moment if he was joking with her.

"If you expect me to stop lying, I ask you try to do the same." She deadpanned. His hands twitched where they were pressed against her back. The barest stretch of the fingers, but she felt it nonetheless.

"You're not the first to find out." He admitted, his voice dropping low enough that she felt it rumble in his chest, felt it echo through her own body. There was something pained about his tone, like there was something he wasn't willing to admit, and she considered he may be just as confused as she was that she was alive today.

"And I suppose I'm the only one you let live," She commented, waiting for his reaction. He inhaled sharply through his nose, almost as if he was struggling to collect himself—his anger, his confusion, his thoughts—he pulled his cheek away from hers to see her face, but kept her otherwise pressed against him, leaving her back to arch almost painfully against his hands.

He observed her for a moment, his eyes flitting about her face and taking in every detail. "You are an open book, Miss Granger." He said.

And, frustrated that he could read her but she could never hope to read him, she snapped, "And you are a whiteboard."

He smiled. The smile came quick and crooked, the curl of his lips and the shine of his teeth, and it seems so sudden and snappish that she knew it had to be genuine. He hadn't expected her to say that, and it amused him.

"Er, sorry, may I…?" Ron Weasley and Lavender Brown stood beside them, with Ron glancing between Tom and Hermione nervously. "May I cut in?" He finally asked, and Lavender smiled at Tom widely. Hermione found herself actually turning to Tom to see his reaction, almost as if she were looking for his permission. Angry at herself, and because she had never asked a man for permission to do anything before, she turned back to Ron and accepted.

Riddle, for his part, allowed his hands to fall from her waist with no argument. He took Lavender's hand and they danced for the next song, while Hermione awkwardly assorted herself in Ron's arms.

"You look well," He commented.

"You too," She breathed, and she found comfort in the fact that she didn't quite fit in his hold anymore. She remembered once it felt like home to her—as natural as any other part of her. His arms had felt like little more than an extension of herself. Now they felt strange and foreign and heavy—and she was glad for that.

"I…" He paused, hesitated, and he didn't meet her eyes, "I'm so happy to see you moved on Hermione, it…it makes it easier. I was worried for this, I thought I would see you and remember…well, everything, but seeing you with someone else is—"

"I feel the same," She interrupted, letting her eyes escape from his flushing face to Tom and Lavender's dance. He was so effortlessly charming, she thought, as Lavender laughed loudly at something he said. She wondered how Lavender would feel knowing those hands had likely taken the life from someone else's.

But that was only an assumption, of course.

"It's strange," She admitted, "Living without you, but it's good. I'm glad you found Lavender. She seems…she's good for you."

"You think?" He beamed, "She's wonderful. She's so easy going and—well, you know she's bloody incredible with her business—she's on youtube, you know, and she does all sorts of other stuff…"

He rambled on about her and it made Hermione's chest feel tight with jealousy. When had he ever called any of her accomplishments incredible? Brilliant, surely, but he had always said that with a bit of a scoff, like he was making fun of her.

"But," He changed the subject, seeing her scowl, and Hermione hoped he didn't misconstrue it as jealousy for his love to Lavender—it was only bitterness. "Tom Riddle, he seems…well isn't he…did Gin say he was your boss?"

She exhaled sharply. "Yes," she said, and then murmured, "Among other things."

"Bit odd," He commented offhandedly, "To be involved with your boss."

"We both understand the limitations of a work relationship." She lied.

"Good." Ron said. He got that look on his face as he always did before he said something stupid or offensive—as if he was weighing the options in his head on how to phrase it without sounding like a total twat. She braced herself. "It's just…well, maybe the two of you couldn't be so frisky, I mean—this is Harry and Gin's wedding reception, and seeing as he's a bit older than you and your boss—"

"Frisky?" She sneered, and he rolled his eyes at the expression.

"Oh, don't sneer like that, you look like bloody Malfoy—"

"Malfoy?" She pushed away from him, and she suddenly remembered exactly why they had never worked out. He had a way of needling under her skin, of saying exactly the right thing to make her feel uncomfortable—but more than that, to make her feel foolish.

He laid a heavy hand on her shoulder, nearing her so he could whisper, "Look, I'm just saying you're smart, alright? You don't need to…you know, with your boss? I mean, come on Hermione—"

"How dare you," She seethed, and he tried to defend himself, say something like "—I mean, if that's what's happening—" as if he wasn't already convinced that the only way Hermione could reach this point in her life was by sleeping around with men in positions of power. She slapped his hand off her arm and took a step back from him. His face was red now, but it wasn't anger—it was embarrassment, he didn't mean to upset her. But she was so furious with this whole situation and the fact that he could be such a raging prick

"I'm glad you found Lavender," She finally said, "It means I don't have to put up with your shit anymore."

"Hermione—" But she was already rushing toward the door of the bar, slamming it open and storming down the sidewalk only a few steps before halting. She heard the door open after her and was actually relieved to see Tom because at least it wasn't Ron.

"Do you have a cigarette?" She found herself asking before realizing what a stupid question that was—he never smoked. "Never mind," she said, reaching down into her chelsea boot and pulling one of the cigarettes she kept hidden.

"You keep cigarettes in your boot?" He deadpanned.

"Well, you don't allow us to smoke them in the office," She pointed out, as if that explained anything, "Do you have a lighter?" He raised an eyebrow—she realized he did that quite a lot, like it was his default expression for everything—and didn't answer. "I've seen the smoke stains on your ceiling," She pressed, "You might not smoke but I'm sure your guests do. You can air out your office but the scent remains, now could you please lend me your lighter?"

He sighed, reached in the inner pocket of his suit jacket and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it open, held it out for her to lean over and light her cigarette as it danged from her lips. She breathed in deep, closed her eyes, and held the burning smoke in her lungs for as long as she could before letting it out. By the time she opened her eyes again, he had already pocketed the lighter and was examining her again.

"How was Lavender?" She asked.

"Kind," He commented, "Ordinary."

She scoffed, took an angry drag and said, "I'm kind."

"You," He corrected, "Are a bleeding heart. You are not kind."

"Aren't I?" She asked, leveling him with a glare, "I've kept your secret. Is that not kind?"

He didn't answer, only cocked his head to the side and regarded her. In the sudden silence and the depletion of her anger, she realized how freezing it was outside. She had stormed out without her coat, in only her dress that was truly intended for summer and her boots. Her hands shook.

Riddle gave her his coat. It was something that ordinarily might have been sweet—even romantic—but in the current circumstances only surrounded her with his scent and made her feel dizzy. She was certain it was some sort of manipulation tactic.

"Do you think it's kind," He asked quietly, leaning against the wall as he regarded her, "To hide the secrets of a murderer?"

She lifted her cigarette back to her mouth to hide her shaky breath. When the smoke came tumbling from her lips he watched it fade into the air around her. "So you are one, then?" She asked, and because she didn't want him to think she was afraid of the word, she clarified, "A murderer."

He smiled condescendingly at her, "I give the orders."

She flicked ashes to the pavement and laid the back of her hand over her forehead, shutting her eyes, "So…you're the boss, then?"

"I'm more of an advisor," He admitted.

"Like a consigliere?" She asked, and she felt his hand settle on her wrist and draw her closer to him until there was scarcely any room between them. He hadn't moved from where he was leaning against the wall, only drew her nearer to him and he was smiling, almost laughing.

"I believe that is the term you would find if you were to google it, yes." He agreed. She scowled at him, unwilling to admit that she had googled anything to do with him.

"Why are you telling me this?" She asked, "I could go in there right now and tell Harry everything—"

"There's nothing he could do on hearsay—"

"But I could still tell him." She insisted, allowing his hands to slide under her borrowed jacked and settle on her waist.

"You won't." He said, and his gaze settled on her mouth so intently that she was afraid he might kiss her, so she raised her cigarette to her lips and left it there, dangling between her teeth. "You don't have to admit it to me," He said, "But you know you won't."

She did know, but she didn't know why. There was a plethora of selfish reasons of course—keeping her job was one of them and keeping her standing with Riddle was another. She wanted a lot of things she knew she shouldn't want. She wanted to keep her position at the law firm, she wanted to graduate and make her mark in the world of law, she wanted his hands to move from where they had secured themselves on her waist to somewhere lower, she wanted him so lost in the feel of her that he couldn't even articulate a single sentence, she wanted his head buried between her legs and her fingers tangled in his hair and—

His hand slipped underneath her dress, his freezing cold fingers finding purchase on the bare skin of her waist. Her hands gripped his suit jacket, her breath shuddering past her lips as his thumb moved in gentle circles on her hipbone. His hand was ice cold on her heated skin but it still burned through her. Her eyes raised to meet his but his gaze was still transfixed on her mouth.

"You haven't killed me," she pointed out, her words somewhat muffled by her cigarette, her voice raspy. He didn't answer. "You haven't killed me when I am clearly a threat." His thumb halted its hypnotic movement and his jaw twitched. "You don't have to admit it to me," she mocked, and he inhaled deep and exhaled through his nose, his jaw still clenched.

"Remove your cigarette from your mouth," He ordered, and she did. She withdrew it from her lips, let it fall forgotten to the pavement. His hand drifted from her waist until his knuckles brushed against the waistline of her knickers. Her breath hitched and something heavy settled in her stomach, and he returned his hand to her waist for leverage as his lips neared hers.

"Oi! Love Birds!" Gin's voice called from the bar door, and Tom's hand tightened so harshly on her hip that she thought his nails might've drawn blood, and she moaned—low and groaning and needy, deep in her throat. It was quiet enough that Ginny didn't notice—and she thanked God for Tom's long coat covering up what he was doing under her dress.

He let out a shaky breath against her lips in response to her moan, the only indication she was given that he was affected just as much as she was, before he withdrew his hand and grinned at Ginny who was laughing in the doorway, "We'll be right in!" He called, as if he hadn't bruised her a moment ago—as if she hadn't liked it when he had.

"Come on!" Ginny rushed, and Tom offered Hermione only a brief, dark gaze before leading her inside.

Ron apologized by the end of the night. Hermione and Tom didn't dance for the rest of the party, in fact, didn't touch each other at all. Hermione was swept away by Mrs. Weasley who asked her all sorts of questions about her life. It was odd, speaking to the woman she—at one point—had thought would be her future mother in law. But Mrs. Weasley was warm and welcoming and still loved Hermione as if she were her own, so it was a lovely distraction to reconnect.

"You've got yourself quite a handsome young man over there, don't you?" She teased at some point, and Hermione paled before she blushed. She wasn't sure if she could consider him hers, if she could technically say that she had him. It seemed to her, at the moment, he had her more than she had him.

The thought unsettled her, and she allowed her gaze to drift back to where he was sitting—to where Molly Weasley had pointed him out—and as always he had his gaze fixed on hers. He was so impossible to read, so impossible to understand, but she remembered the way his breath had shook as it fanned out across her lips, and she wondered—

"Well," Hermione finally responded, "I suppose I'm lucky." And she quickly changed the subject to Ron and Lavender and Harry and Ginny, anything other than herself and Tom because she was still so lost as to what was going on with that.

Mostly she was confused at the fact that she wanted him. Desperately. Of course she had always found him attractive, she had always had a bit of a thing for him—after all, he was attractive, intelligent, and successful, so why wouldn't she? But now, of course, there was the complication that he may also be a bit evil, and she was mildly disgusted to find that she still wanted him.

And, in fact, wanted him more.

"Jesus Christ," Ginny heaved as she hugged her goodbye, "Never took you for the exhibitionist type Hermione. You and Tom—"

Hermione brushed her off and Ginny laughed at her discomfort.

"He seems perfect for you," Harry said. She nodded and smiled and thought of thirty minutes ago when Tom had threatened Harry's life.

And by the time it was time to go, it was dark outside and people were teeming out of the bar and finding their cars and saying goodbye.

She hadn't had time to think about anything that had happened, not really. As soon as she was brought back into the party, teeming with unresolved arousal, she was sucked into socializing with old friends. She hadn't had a single moment to step back and analyze what happened and now she was going to be alone with him and she had no idea what to expect.

He crowded her against his car before she could open the door, and she thought she should probably be ashamed at how quickly her thoughts turned. She was hyperaware of every part of him that touched her—his hands at her arms, his knees bumping into hers, his hipbone digging into her stomach. And she wanted him, of course, but more than anything, she was angry at him.

"So we can't just have a calm conversation in the car? You have to physically intimidate me as well?" She snarked. He smirked.

"Do I intimidate you, Hermione?" He asked, and she was pretty sure that was the first time he had ever said her name. Pity, he had to say it while he was being such a prick, because any effect it may have had on her was nothing compared to her annoyance.

"We've already established you won't kill me." She reminded him, and he leaned in close, running his nose up the column of her throat.

"I can do plenty of things other than kill you," He promised, and though she knew it to be a threat, she couldn't help the heat that pooled in her belly at the thought of all he could do to her.

Her voice dropped an octave and she rasped, "Will you?"

"Goodbye Hermione, dear! Nice to meet you Tom!" A voice called out, and Tom pulled his face away from the crook of her neck to smile at Mr. and Mrs. Weasley as they made their way to their taxi. Hermione waved.

"Goodbye Molly and Arthur!" She called, "Nice to see you again!"

"You too, dear, have a good night!" Arthur called, and they got in their taxi and left.

Tom's fingers danced along her sides now, and when they brushed the still sore curve of her waist her breath caught in her throat. "You would like it if I did, wouldn't you?" He asked, jumping straight back into their conversation as his hand settled over the bruises on her waist—and she had checked in the bathroom, there were bruises forming.

"You mentioned a detective," She said, her brief distraction with Molly and Arthur clearing her head momentarily, "When I overheard."

"When you eavesdropped?" He corrected, pressing chaste kisses to her cheek and her jaw, slowly tracing the curve of her throat.

"Did you mean Harry?" She gasped, her hands gripping his forearms as his tongue slid out of his mouth and dragged up her throat.

"No," He said, his breathing as uneven as hers while she hooked her ankle around his leg and dragged his knee in between hers. He didn't seem keen to elaborate, so she ground herself against his leg and moaned at the feeling of his fingers digging into her back.

"Who?" She demanded, and though her tone was weak with heaving breaths and shaky moans, he complied with an answer.

"His superior," he said, his hand drawing up her dress and his hand slipping past the waistband of her knickers. She whimpered when he hesitated. "Dumbledore is…involved with us."

She nearly sobbed when his fingers finally dove in, and he groaned against her throat when he felt how wet she was.

"Have a good night, you two!" Hermione felt like screaming when she turned her head and saw Ron and Lavender waving in the distance. She waved back.

"Goodbye!" She said, forcing her tone to be steady as Tom continued his ministrations, sliding a finger into her and pressing his thumb against her clit. "Nice meeting you Lavender!"

"Nice meeting the both of you!" She called back, and the two of them joined hands and walked further away toward their car. Hermione collapsed back against the car as he pumped another finger into her. With one hand he still held her against him, and with his mouth he drew her earlobe between his teeth and trailed wet kisses down her throat, scraping his teeth along the sensitive skin. She choked out a quiet moan, afraid of who else would walk by or call out to them.

Her hands found purchase around his shoulders, gripping his back and tearing at his hair. She rocked her hips into his hand, muttering and moaning with every stroke of his fingers. At some point he pushed his fingers in and curled—

"I've been waiting to do this since I interviewed you," He admitted, his breath coming out hot against her collarbone.

"Then why didn't you?" She keened, rolling her hips into his hand and groaning when he pressed the heel of his palm into her clit.

"Too innocent," He said, trailing kisses back up her throat, nearly making it to her mouth, "Too righteous."

"And what am I now?" She breathed against his mouth, and he curled his fingers inside of her again, dragging them out so slowly it left her shuddering against him.

"Now," He rasped, and as soon as she thought he was going to kiss her, he pulled his fingers out of her slid them into her parted mouth. She mourned the loss of them at her cunt, but still sucked them into her mouth, trapped them between her teeth and savored in the way his eyes fluttered half shut and he swore before dropping to his knees before her.

He hooked his fingers around the waistband of her panties and pulled them to the ground and, after bunching the bottom of her dress up around her waist, hooked one of her legs over his shoulder and buried his tongue in her center.

With one hand she held her dress around her waist so she could see him buried between her thighs, and with the other she jammed two knuckled between her teeth and tried to stifle the noises that spilled out. God, his tongue itself was enough, but just seeing him kneeling before her, clinging to her like a lifeline as he sucked and licked is what drove her over the edge.

She choked on her moans as she came, clasping her hand flat over her mouth to stop from being too loud. He let his tongue slide up her cunt one last time, swirling around her clit and causing her to jerk her hips forward, before he stood back up and lifted her. She wrapped her legs around his waist and let him deposit her on the front of the car. His teeth were harsh at her throat and on her chest, his hands temporarily free of her as he undid the fly of his trousers.

Lost in the haze of her climax she hadn't realized that he had never completed his previous thought. As he hooked his hands under her knees and lined himself up at her entrance, He continued "Now," He rasped sliding his hands under her thighs, "Now, you're mine." She pulled his lips to hers as he slid his length into her. He greedily swallowed her moans with his mouth. She could taste herself on his tongue, and she savored the sounds he made when she drew his lower lip in between her teeth and bit down.

She pulled away only for a second to catch her breath and he desperately sought her mouth out again. She grinned against his mouth, and he frowned in response as he drew his hips back and dove harshly back in. It hurt, but she moaned loudly, without restraint, as her head fell back and hit the hood of the car with a dull thud.

"You're a bit of a masochist," He commented, repeating the action and digging his nails into the underside of her knees as he pulled her harshly against himself. She didn't have the energy to answer—fresh off one orgasm and quickly approaching another, she could do little other than draw herself up against him, wrap her arms around his shoulders and meet his mouth with hers as he roughly thrust into her.

It wasn't long before their breath was too labored to keep their lips locked. Tom buried his head in her shoulder, his breath fanning out across her breastbone while Hermione let her head fall back, her eyes fall shut as she gripped onto his jacket and rolled her hips up to meet his with every thrust. "Tom," She moaned, and he slid his hands under her bottom in response, angling her so he could fuck her even deeper, "Tom, I—" When she came, he was only able to ride out her orgasm for so long before he collapsed against her. She fell back against the hood of the car, her dress piled up around her waist and her underwear abandoned on the pavement. He collapsed on top of her, not bothering to remove himself from her and instead wrapping his arms around her and holding her to him as he breathed in the scent of her hair.

"Oh for God's sake," She heard someone scoff, sounding too far away to see the two of their faces, but certainly close enough to see two figures lying together on a car, "Some people have no decency!"

It was said loudly and clearly meant for them to hear, and Tom shifted as if he was going to stand, but Hermione held him against her, "Don't" She warned, a quiet laugh bubbling past her lips as she whispered, "That sounds like Percy."

His arms tightened around her and he pressed a tender kiss to the column of her throat.

"Come back to my place," He said in her ear.

"You say that like an order," She joked, feeling high off her climax and too tired to feel truly annoyed.

"It is," He affirmed, but she felt his lips curl against her cheek. Suddenly remembering exactly who she had just had mind-blowing sex with, she unhooked her ankles from around him and let her hands slide away from his shoulders. He took the hint, pulling himself away from her and out of her. She didn't remove herself from the hood of the car, just watched him as he zipped up his fly and held his hand out to help her down.

"Why did you come?" She asked before she took his hand, and for once he seemed to answer her honestly and without preamble.

"Dumbledore." He answered simply, and she remembered vaguely seeing Dumbledore attend the ceremony and the reception—him and Harry had become rather close while Harry worked in the force, after all.

"Were you going to kill him?" She asked, taking his hand and sliding off the hood of his car. His hand settled about her waist to steady her in case she stumble. She didn't.

"No," He said, "I don't like to get my hands dirty."

"Send someone to kill him then?" She asked, gripping the lapels of his jacket as he pulled away to go to the drivers seat. He observed her again, his fingers tracing distracting shapes along her back.

"No," He finally answered, "The goal was observation. Unfortunately I found myself…" his eyes trailed to her neck, and she could only imagine the mess he had made of it, "Distracted." She had no way to know if what he said was the truth. No way to know for sure if anything he had told her was true at all. But she was tired of overanalyzing everything, and desperately wanted to drop the subject. There was only so much she could draw out of this man, she knew, and if she wanted to know something, it was quite likely she would have to figure it out herself.

"Well," She hesitated, uncurling her fingers from his jacket, "I'm not sorry for that."

"No," He agreed, and there was something shining in his eyes, something she might think was playful if she could ever decipher any look on his face. "Should we go?"

She nodded, extracting herself from him and climbing in the passenger seat. He rounded the car and climbed in the drivers seat, settling one hand on the wheel and one on the inside of her thigh, his thumb moving back and forth over the soft skin.

She counted the bruises as he drove.

I spend all my free time thinking of different scenarios in which Tom and Hermione can bang, apparently.

So? ? ? Here is this? I know its hella long, I was going to split it up into a two shot or something, but it just kind of…there wasn't a good point to cut it off like ever, so i just kept going.

Anyway, yet another plot set up purely for smut. I'm trash and i have accepted it.

ANY-WAY, I hope you guys liked it! I hope you guys made it through all 11000 words ffs, i need to chill out probably its ok i enjoyed writing this one. This is something that…I could build on into a two-shot? Obviously there's still a lot of room for Hermione to find her place and figure shit out so like, I have some ideas to branch out into a two shot. Idk let me know if that's something you'd be interested in reading I guess?

Let me know what you think? I proof read it a couple times but…it's easy to miss stuff so hopefully there's not something ridiculous in there idk. OK BYE PLS REVIEW AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK