Honestly, he couldn't remember much of their outing other than the fact that he was still generally disliked among the masses. It mattered very little however, when he had such interesting company by his side. In some ways she was exactly like his imagination had conjured up...in other ways she was a complete enigma. The lines of her face were more familiar than his own, and at this point, he was already dreading the coming night because it meant she would leave.

"Well, that was certainly enlightening," Hermione mumbled. He observed her as she set her newly purchased books just a little too firmly on the dining room table.

"Is something wrong?" He knew her rough treatment of her books meant that she was upset.

Spinning around to gawk at him, she shook her head as if he was an alien. "Did you not feel everyone's censor burning a hole in the back of your head all day?" Huffing, she spun back around to march in the direction of the kitchen.

Having no idea what to do, he simply did want he desired to do, which was follow her. "Well, it is to be expected," he replied quietly, not intending to frustrate her further. "I am after all a traitor who has done despicable things."

"And you've suffered the consequences," she snapped back. "Who are they to keep punishing you when you've already paid your dues?"

"It hardly matters." He swallowed the lump in his throat, hoping that he hadn't just started something. "I don't care what others might think of me," he thought to add.

"Well I care." Her dark eyes connected with his, allowing him to see that she was bothered by what had happened during the course of the day. It was difficult not to find her anger endearing. It soothed him that she cared enough to try and protect him, and yet he would rather her be in a better state of mind. After all, she would be leaving soon and he would much rather spend the rest of their time in happy conversation.

"I mean I care about the injustice of it all," she clarified. Her gorgeous eyes seemed intent on looking everywhere but where he was standing.

Fascinated, he took a step in her general direction. It was as if a magnet was pulling him to her- a force beyond his control. He was experiencing a magic he had never felt before and nothing had ever felt so good. For once he actually felt alive. 46 years of memories vanished in a blink of an eye and all that existed was him and a war hero who made his heart thump harder than it ever had before. "You're very generous," he said quietly, too afraid to say more.

"Hardly," she scoffed.

"It's true." Without having realized it, he'd closed the distance between them, leaving only a few inches of space. Her warmth penetrated his suit and her breath caressed the sensitive parts of his neck. He couldn't stop his shaking hand from moving to cup her smooth cheek. "Hermione," he begged in a ragged whisper.

Something in her expression changes and it feels like he was being given permission.

He takes that last step.

One second.

He can feel her racing heart.

Two seconds.

She shudders when his chest touches hers.

Three seconds.

The moment his lips touch hers, the world that once was hanging on its axis explodes into a million bright pieces, blinding him with its intensity. The way their mouths meld together is almost too perfect and the tears that he's been holding in for years are finally allowed to fall down his haggard face. And for once it's not enough. He's used to feeling unsatisfied; that was the way he's lived his life- unsatisfied, but not this time. So he doesn't apologize when his palms move from her face to cup her small shoulders. He can't take the time to move his mouth from hers to apologize for how thirsty he is for her. It has to show in the way he tilts her head too press against her more firmly. Or maybe in the way he pushes her into the wall. Either way...he's too far gone and she's not saying anything to stop him.

Need makes his movements jerky and unskilled in a way that is unlike him. It envelops him. Cripples him.

I love you, his soul whispers to hers.

In response, she wraps her arms around his shoulders and jumps to wrap her legs around his waist. It pushes him back a few steps but he's able to recover enough to keep them both upright.

"What am I doing?" she panted when he releases her to start pressing rough kisses down the column of her throat.

Pausing to look at her, he sees a mixture of desire and uncertainty etched in the crevices of her beautiful face. Stopping is the last thing he wants but the knowledge that she isn't quite ready slows him down. The steady throbbing in his pants is crying out for attention and yet the urge to be selfish evaporates in the air. Without hesitating he puts her back on the ground and gently pushes her crazy mane from her face.

He half expects her to move away from him, shut him out on instinct if nothing else, so he finds it shocking when she doesn't automatically put distance between them. "I have no clue what's happening," she stated after a few moments.

Fear is a terrible thing. It's a monster that very few have conquered...Lucius certainly hadn't.

"You make me curious," she continued. "It makes me do things, think things. I tried to stay away and I couldn't. Now I can't think of anything but how soft your lips are and how I want to taste them again." Shy eyes connect with his, searching.

"That can be easily remedied, you know," he jested softly.

"Can it?"

Giving her time to reject him, he lowers his his head to once again connect his mouth to hers and it's just as overwhelming as their last kiss. With being preoccupied he doesn't hear the front door open or close, or the sound of shoes making contact with the wooden floors. He does, however, hear his son's sharp intact of breath.

"Well, well, well," Draco said on an exhale. "This is certainly unexpected."