Author's note: Hi there! I want to welcome all these new followers and thank you for your attentions! It's fun to see such positive feedback. Now, I want to address the reviews I got and answer them, you can see them at the end of the chapter. Enjoy
Chapter 3 Misunderstandings
"Would you like a drink?"
Hermione watched Malfoy saunter to a very fancy looking cupboard in what looked to be an office. Jeez what was she doing? She had willingly gone with Malfoy somewhere, most likely his home, and no one knew she was there. What if he tried to kill her? Okay, Hermione, calm down. You're freaking out over nothing.
Malfoy came back with two tumblers with a smidge of amber liquid in the bottom, although Hermione couldn't remember agreeing to a drink she took the glass from him anyway.
"Thank you. I was actually wondering if—"
Malfoy's hand touched her cheek and his lips on hers. Hermione froze. Until his tongue tried to caress her lip. She dropped her glass to the floor and pushed him off, hard. A horrible clenching in her gut told her she could puke, a clear sign she did not want to be kissing this man. She really really didn't want to be kissed by Draco Malfoy.
"What are you doing?" She yelled at him.
"I would think you'd know what kissing is."
"That's not what I mean," Hermione said, looking at him. She wiped her mouth on her arm, she couldn't help it. Her mouth was buzzing and felt… wrong somehow. "Why did you do that?"
"What do you mean why?"
Hermione waved her hands out, gesturing she was pretty clueless.
"You gave me the look."
"The look!" Malfoy set his glass down and waved his arm in her direction. "The I-don't-care-about-the-past-let's-fuck look!"
Hermione's eyes widened. "I certainly did NOT give you that look!"
"Then what was all that flirting about?"
"I…" Hermione couldn't really answer that. She had been flirting with him, though hadn't realised this would be the outcome. "That doesn't mean I wanted to come here and… and… do that!"
Malfoy rolled his eyes. "Come on, Granger. You can't tell me you didn't know what I meant by "get out of here". It's very common slang for sex."
"Well… then… I don't go out much so I guess I wouldn't know."
"Apparently not." Malfoy paused, looking at her. "So you… don't want to have sex with me?"
Hermione shook her head firmly. "No. Definitely not." Then she thought better of it. Wasn't that part of it? Or wouldn't it be? She had been blackmailed to marry Malfoy… how would she get away with that without physical contact?
"Wow, that's… actually really bruising my ego right now." Malfoy picked up his drink again and downed it. "Although, maybe this is a sign. Yeah, lay off the women for a bit." He nodded to himself. Then flicked his wand and Hermione's glass flung itself from the floor onto the desk and the mess was cleaned up.
Hermione rubbed at her arm. This really wasn't going very well.
"You're sure?" Malfoy asked, looking at her with a confused expression.
She couldn't help but laugh at him. "Yes, I'm sure." Hermione sighed. "Sorry, I didn't mean to sound so…"
"No no," Malfoy said, waving her off. "It's fine. I've said worse to you."
Hermione nodded. "That you have." She moved over to a chaise and sat down. "What am I doing?" She leaned her head down onto her hands. Gods she could just die right now from humiliation. There was no way she could do this and no way to keep her parents safe without doing it. But she loathed the man… or at least had a hard time leaving the past in the past.
"No need to break down in my house Granger," Malfoy said, his hand appeared in front of her holding a glass with more alcohol in it. "It doesn't suit you."
Hermione scoffed but took the glass all the same. "And you know what suits me?" She took a sip, it burned her tongue and throat. Firewhiskey. The aftertaste was nice though.
He shrugged and leaned against a bookcase she hadn't noticed in the dark room. "I make it my business to read people. I'm good at that you see. But obviously, you seem to be the exception."
"Nice to know I can still best you."
Now Malfoy scoffed into his glass. "Hardly," he said, before drinking from it. He then stared at the half-empty glass for a bit, tilting it to one side and then the other. "I'm sorry about kissing you, I thought—"
"I know," Hermione said quickly. Hearing him apologise was uncomfortable and somehow so wrong to her. "It's alright, I know I probably lead you on."
"Okay, fine. I did lead you on, unwittingly."
"Unwittingly." Malfoy agreed with a smirk and downed his drink.
After a bout of silence Hermione stood up. "I should…"
"Yeah," Malfoy agreed, straightening up.
Hermione looked at him, really looked into his eyes and couldn't get herself to take the step. It was morally wrong to trick Malfoy into liking her so she could save her parents. It was morally right to leave now and try to find a loophole instead. But… although he didn't show her the same malice he used to, he had always been mean. Not only to her but to a lot of people. Obviously to her blackmailer and probably countless others. But who was she to decide how he should pay for his actions? It wasn't theirs to decide. Despite that, she couldn't leave. There was nothing in this entire world she cared more about than her parents.
"Has it really happened that often?" Hermione heard herself say, her tongue taking over while she fought a moral battle with herself.
Malfoy chuckled. "More often than you would think."
He raised an eyebrow. "You want a play-by-play of my sexual trysts?" His lips tugged up into a smirk. "My my Granger, what a naughty girl you are."
Hermione blushed crimson. "That's not… I wasn't…"
"I'm only teasing you. Unless you really do want to know."
"Well maybe not… in detail," Hermione said, abashed. "I'm just wondering how it works. I mean, do you date them or just—"
"Just," Malfoy said in answer.
"There isn't much interest in that, on either end mind you."
Malfoy shook his head. "You really want to know?"
Hermione shrugged. "Wouldn't have asked if I didn't."
He waved his hand. "Fine, fine. The most common reason is that I'm a fantasy. I was sought after in Hogwarts but because of who I was, and my reputation, girls admired me from afar. I suppose you could say. So, it's appealing to now, play out that 'fantasy', if you will, without any commitment or guilt. On their part." Malfoy lounged down into an armchair and Hermione felt herself lowering back onto the chaise as well to face him.
"That's… actually very interesting. If you look at it from the perspective of human interaction and the effects of nostalgia, how people's minds work—"
"Woah, woah, there Granger. Calm down. It's just sex." He smirked at her.
Hermione huffed. "A lot of feelings and complicated thoughts happen before, during, and after sex Malfoy. Just in case you didn't know that not all people are perverted creeps."
His smirk widened. "Kitty has claws," he said. "I was wondering where you'd run off to."
"What are you talking about Malfoy?"
"You know, the argumentative Granger. The piss-off and I'm-always-right Granger."
"Well I am always right," Hermione said.
"And you should piss off." Hermione couldn't help but smile at how ridiculous this was. She had to admit it wasn't all that bad, conversing with Malfoy.
"Ahh but this is my home, so technically you're the one that would need to, as you so eloquently put it; piss off."
Hermione fiddled with the skirt of her dress. There were at least three things floating around in her head that she could say. Two would continue their little banter, but both might fall into flirtatious territory. The third would kill the mood completely and end up with her leaving, most likely not to speak with him again.
"I would Malfoy, but you're obviously enjoying my company too much. I don't want to deprive you of my wonderfulness."
Malfoy laughed. Actually threw his head back and laughed. Hermione jumped a little in her seat, surprised at his reaction.
"Obviously," he said, looking at her again.
They kept their gazes locked for what Hermione knew was too long and she had to look away, surveying the room. Now that she was looking she saw it was a study. Full bookshelves flush up against the walls, an unlit fireplace next to them, spacious enough to floo through. A desk nearer the darkened window.
"Who were you meeting?"
"What?" Hermione's gaze moved from the window to his face.
"At the Cambridge, you said you were meeting someone. Not Weasley?"
Hermione shook her head. "No not Ron." She took a deep breath and let it out. "It wasn't anyone special. He asked to meet me for drinks and I said yes. Very unlike me really."
"Why is that?"
Hermione huffed out a small laugh. "I don't really know. I'm just not comfortable going out, it's not who I am. It's not what I enjoy doing. Being surrounded by people that will turn into absolute idiots after drinking too much." She shook her head. Then stopped when she noticed the sly smile on his face. "What?"
"Nothing," he said, sitting up and placing his empty tumbler on the coffee table between them. "You're cute when you ramble. Never noticed before."
Hermione scoffed. "Please."
"It's amusing to see you rant about the idiocy of others."
"I didn't mean…"
"No, but it's more fun that way."
Malfoy flicked his wand and the fireplace started up beside them, lighting up his face and a particular red stain on his lips. Hermione laughed, having forgotten about her lipstick.
"You have something, uhm, right here." She pointed to just above her cupid's bow.
Malfoy swiped with the back of his hand over his mouth and huffed a little. "Well what do you know, we match." He smirked. But it only grew when he looked at her face. "Uh Granger, though I do think this might catch on as a new fashion trend, you might want to lower the… smudge area a little."
"What do you mean?" Hermione picked up her clutch, or Ginny's, and took up a compact. She gasped, her whole cheek was smudged with red lipstick and the back of her hand too. After Malfoy kissed her she had wiped her mouth. Oh, gods that was embarrassing. Hermione conjured up a cloth, wet it a little with the tip of her wand and dabbed at her face. Feeling the heat in her cheeks. She then decided to take all the lipstick off.
Malfoy chuckled and leaned back in his chair.
Mortified, Hermione got up, determined to leave this time. "I'm going to head home now."
He nodded and stood as well, waving his wand to snuff out the flames in the fireplace. "Floo powder is on the mantle."
Hermione held tightly to her purse and took a handful of it, stepping in.
"You know, Granger," Malfoy said, standing in front of her with his arms crossed. "Despite the awkward start and all, I actually enjoyed talking with you."
Hermione thought about it. Their conversation had been pleasant enough. "Me too, Malfoy."
"See you around?" He asked.
Hermione nodded, then said her address, threw the floo powder down and was sucked back to her home.
Here are those review responses!
From that1chick98: Good to know you're excited! Hope I can keep that up ^^
From Kennah (guest): Thank you sooo much. Being called an "author" is like the best compliment ever, thank you for that confidence boost ^^
From Black Bishop (guest): Just wow, I appreciate your review so much it was wonderful to read and extremely fun to see your thoughts and predictions for the story. Now, no worries, this was definitely not Draco's doing. I also loathe things as cliché as that in stories. Also, if it had been the story could pretty much end in the next chapter x). I love your ideas of the villain and it definitely got me thinking (it almost seemed like you had thought more about it than I had). Your first comment about the "seeming fondness" was hopefully all explained in this chapter, or at least for the most part. Hope you enjoy, and again, thank you so much for this fantastic review!