My deepest thanks to those who have kept me sane these last few weeks. You know who you are and why. Happy Valentine's Day!

The biggest of love to LondonsLegend for beta'ing this for me. SHE'S COMING TO SEE ME! I'M SO EXCITED! Now if only we could get LightofEvolution a plane ticket...


Draco could feel it - the tightening in his gut which meant he was either about to do something very brave or extremely foolish. The word "both" came to mind as he accompanied (dragged) Hermione onto the dance floor riddled with aristocratic, opinionated schmucks.

He was nervous - boy, was he ever. It was true that he was a performer of sorts, always searching for a way to be in the limelight, but this...dancing...there were reasons he'd barely accompanied Pansy to the dance floor back during the Yule Ball, instead making excuses to spike the punch bowl and goof off with Crabbe and Goyle. At least Crabbe, Merlin rest his soul, would never have to see this specticle about to unfold.

"Breathe," Hermione reminded him. And he did. In. Out. Repeated it until he gave her a small nod of the head.

The music sounded distorted, like being encased in glass. His heart slammed in his ears, but one look in Hermione's eyes put his fears to rest. The ballroom melted and sizzled into nothingness. A lone spotlight shone over Hermione's face, beckoning him to pull her even closer to him. Okay, maybe there wasn't really a spotlight, but she was really all he could see. His hand brushed down the back of her dress as his tongue wet his lips.

One step. That's all it took to fall into place, and in an instant, they were dancing. Their bodies acted on impulse and muscle memory, gliding them across the dance floor. Draco had nearly forgotten why he was dancing - having a beautiful woman in his arms move with him in sensual ways in time with the beat was distracting.

"Draco," she whispered, and it reminded him to pull himself back to reality.

"Yes?" he managed out.

"You you're somewhere else," she whispered just before their legs moved in a series of practiced kicks and steps.

Suddenly aware of the blood flowing down into his groin, he cleared his throat and whispered back, "I might be. Just a tad."

Luckily, she didn't catch on. "You're the one who wanted to-" He dipped her suddenly, causing her to pause. Noses touching and his hand against the small of her back, Draco smirked at her flustered blush. "...To show up your mother."

"Hmm…" He brushed the tip of his nose against hers, reveling in the way her breath ghosted his lips. "But now my mind is on other things."

Before Hermione could ask what the 'other things' were, he jerked her back upright, placed her delicately on her feet, and continued the Tango, this time with more drive behind his movements. And he wasn't the only one giving it their all - Hermione looked as graceful as she did while falling off the pedestal during the trust fall: like an angel carved out of heaven. Not that he believed in that sort of stuff, but…

"Do you trust me?" he asked, a seriousness etched in his voice.

Hermione blinked thoughtfully back at him. "I can't believe I'm going to say this, but yes. Completely, and with my life."

As his chest swelled with pride, the corners of Draco's lips pried back in a handsome smirk. "On my mark, jump."

He waited with a keen ear for the right musical cue, and when he heard it, he nodded and Hermione jumped. Wordlessly, Draco used his magic to levitate her higher, using his arms as levies and hoisting her over his head. They spun in a circle, joined only by their fingertips now, as Hermione floated in the air, laughing at the sheer surprise of it all. The way her teeth glistened underneath the chandelier light made Draco dizzy with delight. Carefully, he brought her back down to the floor, where she landed with grace well beyond the prudish bookworm he'd originally thought her to be.

Applause rang out, but Draco didn't hear it. His pulse was thrumming in his ears as he grinned to Hermione.

His thoughts were interrupted when couples began to accompany them on the dance floor. It was a sight to see, especially considering his mother watched on from the far end of the room, bolts of lightning dancing across her irises and arms crossed across her middle in displeasure.

"You certainly know how to put on quite the show," Hermione muttered, grinning. She did a few kicks and turns with her legs, precise and unforgiving - just as the Tango beckoned her to be. Draco matched her with long glides and sharply turning her in place. In hindsight, Diggle (older or younger) would be proud of their accomplishments.

Draco soaked in Hermione's words, realizing just how comfortable he felt surrounded with all eyes on him. How long had it been since he'd felt this way? Months? Years? Time muddled when one felt anxious, foreboding stares everywhere one turned. But here, with Hermione - none of that mattered except the way their bodies moved with the music and the way she looked at him.

Like he meant something. Like he was someone worth more than just a name.

"I think," he mulled out loud, "a show is only as great as the performers - and having the right partner means everything." Feeling foolish at his words, he ducked his head and pulled her close, cheek to cheek, as to hide his reddening face. "Ignore that."

"You mean you spouting off philosophical proses? No, I think I'll hold it over your head the rest of your days." She giggled in his ear. "Doesn't that sound like fun?"

With the final notes brought forth by a taunting violin, the Tango finished with Hermione's leg wrapped around Draco's hip and her arm around his neck. His hands flexed around her waist, begging to scratch an instinctual itch.

"Why does the thought of you blackmailing me turn me on so damn much?" he muttered softly against her earlobe.

"Probably some unresolved psychological issues," she quipped back, a heaviness laced in her voice.

"Analytical little bookworm…"

"Insufferable twit."

"You're lucky we're in public."

Hermione's lips ghosted the shell of his ear. "We don't have to be."

Their faces drew apart so they could stare at each other properly. Assessing her blown pupils and flushed face, Draco no longer cared about crashing the damn party, impressing his mother, or even how tight his trousers had become. All he cared about was getting the Hell out of there and finding somewhere where the two of them could be alone together.

As if reading his mind, Hermione unwrapped herself from around him and took his hand. "Come on. I have an idea of where to go."

The face his mother made as they breezed past her, hand in hand, was priceless. Draco had only seen that look once before - the day Voldemort was defeated by Harry Potter.

Stage Right: Draco and Hermione
Location: Dimly lit, unknown to audience

With a pop, Draco landed next to Hermione, his body tight and loose all at once from side-Apparating. The air smelled of fresh cleaner and rubber, and the floor was firm beneath his shoes.

"Lumos maxima," Hermione whispered beside him. It was only then Draco noticed she held her wand out, the tip glowing brightly before bursting out and hovering above their heads like a star roped down from the sky just for them.

"Where the devil are we?" Draco asked, squinting his eyes.

"A gymnasium of the secondary school from my hometown," she answered, tucking her wand behind her ear and smiling. Her heels clacked as she strode toward the center of the gym. "It would have been my school, had I been born muggle." When she reached the center, she kicked off her shoes and looked over her shoulder at him.

Draco cleared his throat. "You know, when you said you knew where we could go to be alone, this isn't what I had in mind."

"I know. But this is the only place in the entire building I remembered thoroughly. The real surprise is yet to come." Hermione offered out her hand. "Trust me?"

Relaxing at the fact that this was not, in fact, where Hermione had intended to take him, Draco's shoulder's eased, and he walked to the center of the gym, taking her hand and bringing it to his lips to give it a kiss along her palm. "Have to at this point, don't I?" He watched as Hermione picked up her heels and followed her toward the double doors, out into what appeared to be a Great Hall, similar to Hogwarts in the fact that there were large tables, but altered because they were all round.

"This way," Hermione beckoned, taking an immediate right down a smaller, open corridor. Another set of double doors, smaller this time, met them on their left, and Hermione unlocked them, not an ounce of hesitation in her tone.

"Hermione Granger: breaking and entering. This is already enough to hold over your head for backup blackmail."

"Must be all the alcohol in me," she noted, swinging the door open. "Whatever was in those last shots we did sure packed a punch. - Besides, Harry, Ron, and I used to do this sort of thing all the time." A small hiccup escaped her lips as she pressed a single finger to it in a 'hush' gesture. "Or is the great Draco Malfoy too afraid to bend the rules after all? I thought that's what you (hiccup) Slytherins were known for…"

Rolling his eyes, Draco pushed the door open wider and ushered Hermione inside. "I thought Gryffindors held their alcohol better. Lumos." The tip of his wand (which he had brought forth only seconds before) lit to life, revealing a set of stairs to their right and a row of chairs to their left.

"Yessss…" Hermione grabbed his arm and dragged him toward the stairs. "This way! Pip pip!"

"You are aware that the word 'pip' means goodbye, aren't you?"

"Not the way I'm using it. Quit spoiling the fun." She stopped at the top of the stairs, untucked her wand, and once again produced a bright light to reveal… "Tada!" Hermione gestured around. "It's a performance stage!"

Draco scratched the tip of his nose. "Er...lovely." He eyed the half-painted sheetrock backdrop and fake trees. "...Why?"

"Because….for many reasons." She tucked her arms behind her back and swayed side to side. " you know why I even decided to take Tango lessons in the first place?"

He thought about it. "Can't say it's ever come up."

"Ginny. It was one of the things she wanted to learn on her bucket list."

"You have a list...for a bucket?" Draco knew he had to be missing something. "Muggle customs are stranger and stranger…"

"No, it's not a list for a bucket," Hermione chided. "It's a list of things you want to accomplish before you die. Or, as the muggles say, 'kick the bucket.'"

"What does kicking a bucket have to do with dying?"

"Draco. Focus." She placed her hands on her hips. "The point is, I have a bucket list, too. And, on that's to do something naughty in a place not meant for naughty things."

It took everything within Draco not to laugh out loud at the word 'naughty' coming from Hermione Granger's mouth. "And you chose your not-secondary-school?"

"I think you're missing a crucial piece of the puzzle, Draco Malfoy." With a flick of her wand, Hermione's dress fell to the floor, revealing her taut figure masked only by a strapless bra and thin, lacy knickers. She dropped her wand amongst the pile of clothing and took a step back. "I chose you to do it with."

That caught Draco's attention, but before he could react, she laughed and turned, running off toward the side stage curtains.

"I'm beginning to see the appeal of this 'bucket list'," Draco smirked, removing his blazer and folding it neatly beside Hermione's crumpled dress robes. While reaching for the top of his dress shirt, he headed into the curtains, finding himself backstage. There were weighted sandbags, more obscure props, and even two oversized couches shoved against the wall, but not a Hermione in sight. Following the sound of a giggle, he strolled toward the next source of light - a doorway which led into the stage's dressing room. There he found Hermione seated atop the counter meant for makeup and wigs, her back pressed against a mirror the length of the entire wall, her legs crossed and arms draped loosely at her sides.

"Hello," she whispered.

With a slow raise of the eyebrow, Draco replied, "Hi there." He took a step forward. "Found you."

"So you did."

Another step. "I'm beginning to think you can never fully be trusted with alcohol in your system."

"Guess you'll have to keep a good eye on me," she replied, biting her lower lip and extending one of her slender arms toward him. Her fingers reached just short of his button down. Draco removed the space between them, allowing her graceful fingers to slide down the trail of buttons along his front, her eyes shimmering with what could only be described as concentration shrouded in lust. There wasn't a single expensive broomstick or pair of dragonhide shoes that could distract Draco in this moment; he was too preoccupied with the way her fingers hesitated just short of his trouser belt.

"I couldn't keep my eyes off you if I tried," he muttered, noting her plump lips and bossom wrapped pracariously by her strapless bra. "Which, for the record, I'm making no attempts to do."

"To look at me?"

"To look away." His hand, having always possessed a mind of its own, skimmed across her collarbone delicately. It stopped at the base of her throat, noting the subtle dips and curves there. Up it traveled until he cupped her chin with his hand, turning her face from one side to the other, nearly possessive and entirely observing. Her eyes fluttered shut just as an airy sigh found its way between her teeth.

Her wild curls. Her curvaceous hips. The way her soft, yet flat, stomach folded - just enough cushion to give off a healthy figure. It all overcame him, and his tongue glided over his upper lip. Hungry. Draco was hungry, and only Hermione Granger could sate him.

His fingers brushed past her blushing cheek and slipped into her wavy locks until they found the base of her skull. His other hand slipped around, gathering her hair until he had it fashioned in his fist like a bun. Smirking, Draco whispered, "You'll tell me if I push your limits, yes?"

Her reply was a breathy moan, leaning her head back, encouraging him.

The next moment, he pulled her hair and arched her back until her breasts looked as if they were on display for him; in a way, they were. Hermione's thin fingers dug into the wooden table beneath her, scrambling for purchase and toes curling. On instinct, her legs parted, baring the sweetest of treats to him.

"What a naughty girl you are," he teased, realizing perhaps the alcohol within him had lifted his inhibitions slightly. He could hardly believe the Casanova-like way he spoke - could the clumsy, nervous dolt he was inside really feel this confident? "You really bring out another side of me…"

" do you," she hissed out, "And yet your mother seems to still think we're worlds apart."



"Perhaps bringing up my mother right now isn't the best time?" he suggested, gesturing between them. "Given the state of things."

"Right. No. You're completely right." Hermione's eyes popped open, and a thin veil of pink dusted her cheeks. "Sorry about that." Her arm reached up, grabbed him by the shirt, and yanked him forward until their lips crashed violently against each other. It was less romantic and more awkward than the way films and books made it out to be, and yet Draco found himself with a throbbing cock - after all, he was still a man, having been able to push aside the mentioning of his mother and nearly busted lip because sex. No male in their right mind would be pulled out of the moment. No. For the dignity of all men, he would push through.

He released Hermione's hair and set to work on her bra, giving it a quick pinch in the back (no magic needed - it was all technique.) The garment slipped down between them, and Draco wasted no time in cupping what were rightfully his now. Warm, supple, entirely fun to play with - breasts were the real bees knees. As he did so, his tongue skirted across Hermione's lower lip, not to ask for access, but simply as a courtesy. He claimed her mouth with ferocity the next moment, fingers flicking her budding nipples for effect. He rolled the nubs between his fingers, eliciting a sharp gasp from the woman beneath him.

Hermione's leg curled around his hip, jerking him forward. His knees knocked against the counter's edge, but it didn't deter him. He simply let his fingers dance down her breasts, stomach, and finally her hips before he scooped his thumbs underneath the material of her panties and slipped over the curves of her thighs. The way she held her legs straddled in the air so he could do so caused a malfunction in his brain, and he reminded himself to breathe. Breathing was key if he was going to satisfy her. No oxygen? No sexy time.

"Draco," Hermione whispered, hands gripping the edge of the counter and legs splayed, baring herself to him. "In me. I need you in me. Now."

Draco didn't hesitate, hastily grasping at the belt buckle around his hips and unfastening it. He didn't care if he looked anxious. Damn it all, he was. In a matter of seconds, his pants were loose around his hips, and he was lining himself up, preparing to take her. The slickness against the head of his cock had him leaking pre, and he prayed to whomever would listen that he wouldn't come here and now.

He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror when he pushed into her: cheeks flushed, hair disheveled, shirt half-buttoned and her ankles across his shoulders. He didn't recognize himself; he looked so content.

Hermione's moan made his eyes flicker back to her gorgeous face, taking in the way her mouth made a pretty 'O' as he fit inside her to the hilt. Her golden skin against his ivory, the way she pulsed around his cock, how her breasts bounced up and down with each shaky breath as she waited for him to move - Merlin, this was exquisite.

"Fuck me," she muttered.

Draco smirked as he slid himself out to the head of his cock before slipping slowly back into her, putting effort into driving deeper within her.

"I said...fuck me." Hermione rolled her hips -ohhh, fuck. Yeah, that was the ticket.

"Fuck you, Granger?" he teased, refusing to be outdone as he worked his hips in and out at a gruelingly sluggish speed. "Is that what you want me to do?"

"Mmmf...quit playing with me." She fisted his shirt with one of her hands, using the other for balance as he rocked leisurely into her.

"I thought you Gryffindors were all about being playful."

"I thought you Slytherins liked to put on a good show."

The two caught eyes with each other then, competitive as they were. Draco leaned forward, popping his hips as he captured her lips in a biting kiss that made her scream - in a good way. "Oh, I'll give you a show." He guided her legs down to wrap around his hips and gripped onto hers before picking up the pace and rocking with purpose. Her breasts bounced. All of her bounced. It was hot to say the least, and it made Draco's already rigid cock as hard as it could possibly get. Even those cute curls of hers bounced in ways that drove him wild.

No, he didn't have a hair fetish. But a Granger fetish...well, he wasn't taking that card off the table just yet.

"Dra-Draco," she moaned, resting the back of her head against the mirror as their skin slapped together. "Ho-Holy...oh fuck…" Her hand slipped underneath her, and she slid down the counter - but that was alright by Draco. Now that half of her spine rested against the counter and the upper half still against the mirror, he backed up slightly, taking her with him and finding a new, quicker pace as he slammed into her again and again. Her ass hanging precariously off the edge of the counter? That looked delicious as Hell. "Fu-uh-uh-ohhhh...fuck."

"Is that your favorite word?" he chided, pistoning his hips faster, "Fuck?"

"Fuck you."

"You are. And enjoying it a lot, I dare say." With a sly thought, he slowed down until he had her groaning beneath him. That's when he slipped out of her, pried her up to stand, and whipped her around in a flash, holding her around her waist not only because it was seductive, but she looked too flushed to stand straight. "Look at yourself. You're dripping." And she was - down her thighs, a trickle of slickness gave away just how turned on she really was. Once again, Draco bunched her hair up inside his fist, this time bending her over the counter and forcing her to stare at herself. With his free hand, he lined his cock up, slipped back inside of her, and watched the way her eyes faltered shut in bliss.

"No, no," he cooed, gripping her hair tighter and forcing her eyes open. "Watch yourself. I want you to see me pleasure you."

When he began moving his hips again, he followed Hermione's eyes in the mirror - the way she watched her tits bounce, the way a stray curl fell over her right eye, the way her ass rolled like a wave from the force of his thrusts.

"That's it," he encouraged. "Look at how beautiful you are. See you the way I see you."

She obeyed, taking in the scene in front of her, moaning and gasping at each new angle or variation. When Draco was sure she wouldn't look away, he released her hair and felt himself growing closer to the edge as her curls fell over her shoulders and framed her face. He took that free hand now and reached for the wand holster at his hip along his loosened buckle. It was awkward, and his thrusts slowed down noticeably, but after he whispered the spell of his choosing, he saw the cogs in Hermione's head turn. She nodded only once, and then he brought the vibrating hilt of his wand underneath and between her thighs, positioning it against her clit.

She immediately gasped. "Ooh, yesss…"

Draco rocked downtempo now, focusing on the angle instead of the speed, realizing how uncomfortable it was to be hunched over Hermione with his arm forced in a certain position - but the way she sighed in was all worth it.

"Think you can come this way?" he whispered. A nod was her response, and so he continued on, letting his wand become slick with her essence and building her up like a stack of books. Hermione liked books, and Draco liked watching them fall, so it really was the best analogy he could come up with. Almost suddenly, and without warning, Hermione clenched tight enough around him for him to notice at the same time that she slapped an open palm against the mirror and whispered, "Draco…"

His wand collapsed to the floor with a plink. Draco forgot himself, so caught up in the moment that he began to drive his cock into her without hesitation. Faster, faster, with Hermione moaning his name until he felt himself nearing the edge…

He pulled out just in time to watch the pearly droplets of his cum drizzle onto Hermione's round ass cheeks. If the old myth about ancestors watching over him at all times was true, he'd feel slightly vulnerable right now.

In and out. In and out. He struggled to catch breath as he stared down at the stunning, cum-soaked Hermione still bent over the counter.

"I think I rather like bucket lists."

Would love to hear your thoughts!