Author's Note: Hey everyone and welcome to a new fic! This one has been in the works a little while now and have decided to start posting it while I'm a bit stuck on Adaptation. I hope you like it and if so, please drop a review :)

Rated M for language, adult content and lemons.

Please NOTE: There are some elements of canon, and references to past occurrences that are canon, within. If this isn't your thing, you may want to proceed with caution or read something else. Please consider this as warning for the entirety of this fic. Thank you.

Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Harry Potter franchise.

Proximate – close; very near; imminent

Hermione Granger sipped her drink, miserably, wishing she was somewhere else.

Literally, anywhere else.

This club was far too obnoxious for Hermione's liking – the music was too loud, the lights too erratic – but she wasn't ready to go home yet. The thought of facing her new silent, white flat, boxes still full of her possessions piled everywhere, wasn't ideal. Especially after a few too many drinks.

Anywhere else except her new flat.

She hadn't seen Mandy in a while. Her friend and co-worker had meant well, dragging Hermione out, hoping to distract her. But she had been carted away to dance with some fellow ages ago and Hermione did not feel like dancing.

To be frank, Hermione wasn't sure she would have had the co-ordination for dancing if she had tried. The waitress kept coming by with fresh drinks because Hermione, attempting to block the rampant thoughts, the mental images, kept ordering them.

So it had come to be that Hermione was in quite a state of inebriation. She rarely drank and most certainly not to excess.

"Look who it is," a voice drawled. Hermione glanced up to see the owner of the voice, brows raised and mouth ajar.

"Malfoy," she muttered. "You're still alive."

"Still as friendly as ever," the blond ex-Slytherin teased. "It has been a very long time, Granger."

Despite herself, Hermione considered his words. She hadn't seen Draco Malfoy in person since the Battle of Hogwarts. She had followed his trial shortly after, of course, but had never seen or spoken to him directly.

"Eight years?" she asked.

"Something like that," he responded after a pause.

Without asking, the blond took a seat across from Hermione, setting his drink down and leaning towards her. He stared closely at her for a moment.

"You look different," he commented, casually sipping his drink as if this was a common occurrence. "Not in a bad way."

"That seat is taken," she scoffed, rolling her eyes. He looked different too – in far too good of a way. Hermione was certainly not going to tell him that. His blond hair was longer than it had been at Hogwarts – loose and a bit scruffy though she suspected that was by design. He had a thin layer of stubble that defined his jaw in a very appealing way.

"Oh – a date?" he asked, looking mildly shocked.

"No," she admitted, rather lamely. Almost immediately she wished she had said that yes, she was on a date. "I'm here with Mandy. She's – somewhere."

Malfoy simply raised an eyebrow, a trace of his old smirk from school on his features. It made her stomach flip.

"I must say, Granger, I'm surprised to see you here. Doesn't strike me as your sort of place," he said conversationally, as if he knew anything about her life.

"It isn't," she replied, shortly. "I was brought here against my will. You? Seems you're right at home."

"Not me either," he said thoughtfully. "Not for a number of years anyway. An old friend from school is celebrating her birthday and wouldn't take no for an answer."

After a moment he smiled, briefly.

Hermione wondered what he was still doing at her table.

"Is there a reason you're bothering me?" she asked, finishing her drink, gesturing for another as the waitress walked by. Malfoy raised an eyebrow again, grinning.

"Would you rather I leave you to continue getting sloshed on your own, Granger?"

"Yes," she replied, giving him a pointed look. He laughed sharply.

"I'd much rather witness this. Why on earth are you drinking so much?" If Hermione didn't know any better, she might have thought he looked genuinely interested. Clearly, he wasn't the same immature brat he had been in school.

That didn't mean she wanted to get to know him.

"That's personal," she said.

"I see," Malfoy responded, finishing his own drink. "Well, good to have seen you. I'll leave you to your drinking."

With that he stood up, looked around for his friends and began to walk off.

He was dressed in Muggle clothing, Hermione couldn't help but notice. Jeans and a collared shirt, with the sleeves rolled up. Her fuzzy brain appreciated the way he looked in jeans and the way the sleeves of his shirt hugged his biceps.

She suddenly felt very alone, as the waitress brought her another drink.

"Wait," she called and he turned, mildly shocked. "You can stay, if you like."

What was the harm in a bit of conversation? It seemed pretty obvious Mandy wasn't coming back any time soon. Mandy Brocklehurst was one of Hermione's good friends, despite not knowing each other well at school, but she was a bit – loose – when it came to men.

"I will stay," he responded, taking his seat once more, ordering a new drink. "So what do you do for work, Granger?"

Hermione stared blankly for a moment, surprised that he had gone to such an ordinary topic.

"I'm a healer," she informed him, "and you?"

"Always found healing to be fascinating," he said, nodding. "I chase for the Falcons."

"Er, you do what?" She had no idea what he had just said. Malfoy laughed.

"I'm a chaser, for the Falmouth Falcons," he elaborated.

"Oh, right," Hermione said, still feeling slightly confused. "Quidditch."

"You don't follow Quidditch at all, do you?" he asked, grinning.

"Not particularly," she admitted. "So you're a professional Quidditch player? When did you get to be that good?"

"After school, when I started training six hours a day, every day," he told her, still looking amused.

"Wow, that's dedication." Inwardly she was impressed, although she really didn't care for Quidditch. She hadn't paid much attention even when Harry and Ron both played back in school.

"I also used to play for the English national team," he continued, "but it was a bit much."

"I can imagine," she agreed, sipping her drink.

An uncomfortable silence fell over the pair as the waitress brought Malfoy his drink. Hermione wished she hadn't had so many drinks. Malfoy was watching her; there was something in his gaze that made her nervous.

She couldn't look away.

"Do you really want to know why I'm here?" she asked, attempting to break the heavy tension.

"Yes," he said, quietly, leaning in.

"Because," she said, tearing her gaze away. She swirled the last of her drink in the glass before tossing it back. "Yesterday I walked in on Ron with his secretary."

"How cliche," he responded, lips twitching. "You're dating Weasley?"

"Was," she corrected, flushing. "We were engaged. Suffice it to say that seeing that effectively ended our engagement. I moved out today."

"Sounds like the same idiot to me," he shook his head, leaning back. "Here's the good news, Granger: at least you saw his true colours before you married him."

"I suppose so," she said, miserably. "I mean, things weren't perfect but I didn't think they were that bad."

"They probably weren't," he said lightly, sipping his drink. "His problem if he chose to look elsewhere."

For some reason his words made Hermione feel slightly better – though she really had no idea why she was sharing her personal troubles with Draco Malfoy, of all people. Actually, yes, she did. She felt very intoxicated.

How much by the drinks and how much by the company, she wasn't sure.

There was definitely something different about him.

"Seems to me, Granger, you need something a little stronger," he said, eyes lit up. She watched nervously as he ordered something from the waitress.

It briefly occurred to Hermione that she should probably leave before things got out of hand.

Just then he caught her gaze again and there was something in his grey eyes that made Hermione restless, uncomfortable. Something that settled deep in her core. It felt good.

The waitress set two shot glasses of liquid on the table.

Hermione tore her eyes from his, flustered, eyeing the liquid cautiously.

"Cheers Granger," he murmured, holding his glass up.

"Cheers," she responded, softly, clinking her glass with his.

She watched, hesitantly, as he expertly tossed his shot back. At least it wasn't poison. She drank her shot, feeling it burn unpleasantly down her throat.

She coughed, the taste lingering. She wrinkled her nose in distaste.

"What was that?" she asked.

"That was a Muggle delicacy called tequila," he grinned. "Another?"

"No," she responded, too quickly and he laughed.

"It grows on you, I promise," he said.

Hermione's head was starting to spin. The flashing lights were making her dizzy. She wasn't ready to go home yet and face the white silence of her new life.

"Fine, another then," she said, distractedly.

"Two more," he said as the waitress passed. He glanced at Hermione, "actually make that four."

"Malfoy," she scoffed, eyes narrowed. "Are you trying to get me drunk?"

"Course not," he said quickly, "besides, you were doing a good enough job of that long before I even sat down."

"Don't you need to get back to your friend's birthday?" Hermione asked. She couldn't quite piece together why he was willingly spending his time with her.

"No," he waved a hand dismissively. "More like an ex, to be honest. She won't miss me all that badly."

"Interesting," she responded, unsure what else to say to that.

"Is it?"

He was watching her again. The waitress dropped off the shots he had ordered.

"I'm not sure," she said, rubbing her temples. She had forgot what they had been discussing. She didn't think she had ever been so drunk. The fact that she was so drunk while sitting with none other than Draco Malfoy made her extremely out of sorts.

She quickly took the first shot, feeling the uncomfortable burning sensation again. The shot nearly made her stomach roll with an unpleasant twist.

Malfoy watched, clearly amused. He took both of his shots, appearing unaffected.

Hermione set the last shot in front of her, exhaling heavily. Summoning all her Gryffindor bravery, she took the shot. Feeling as if she were about to be sick, she quickly covered her mouth, eyes wide.

He laughed, loudly. Leaned forward, a hand on her arm, head tilted.

"Are you alright?" he asked. He was grinning. Hermione was caught by the fact that he had a very nice, genuine smile. She didn't think she had ever seen it before.

The wave of nausea passed, thankfully. The last thing she needed was to humiliate herself by vomiting. Hermione nodded, removing her hand.

"Malfoy?" she asked.

He was still leaned in, almost uncomfortably close. His hand on her arm was cool but set her skin on fire.

"Yes?" he said, softly.

"Are you drunk?" she asked, almost a whisper.

"Yes," he repeated, "definitely."

"Why are you still here?" She could feel his breath mingled with hers, they were so close. It was a surprisingly intoxicating sensation.

He stared at her for a long moment, through heavily lidded eyes. He seemed slightly blurred at the edges as Hermione gazed at him.

"I don't know," he admitted.

"You hate me," she whispered, unconsciously wetting her lips.

"Eight years ago, I did," he breathed, his brow furrowing attractively, lips parted. He swallowed. "I don't know you anymore."

Hermione suddenly felt as if she didn't know him, either. This man was so far removed from the arrogant child she had known at Hogwarts. Her brain tried to rationalize the moment but was too fuzzy.

"Then, what –" she began but those grey eyes were smoldering into hers and she lost the thought.

"Shut up, Granger," he murmured, smirking a little.

Then he closed the gap between them, leaning across the table, pressing his lips to hers, gently at first, then more aggressively, digging a hand into her hair.

Hermione, forgetting to feel shocked, kissed him back because it felt amazing and she could hardly think straight and this felt like a good idea. His tongue met hers, the kiss thorough and passionate. She leaned closer still, clutching a handful of his blond hair, cursing the table between them.

He pulled back, slightly, meeting her gaze. His grey eyes burnt hot into her soul. She stared back, feeling flushed, lips parted.

The blond dropped a stack of galleons on the table, grabbed Hermione by the hand and Apparated them both from the club. Hermione barely had time to register that they were in a flat – presumably his – before he was kissing her again, one hand in her hair and the other on her back, crushing her body against his. Her eyes slid shut, overcome with the exquisite sensation of his hands on her body.

Her hands made quick work of the buttons on his shirt – he was in amazing shape. She felt her way across his chest, down to his stomach and abdomen. He groaned into her mouth and she felt it deep in her core.

He stumbled kicking off his jeans, laughing, and Hermione laughed, drunkenly, as well, clutching at his bare chest, running her hands down the defined muscles.

"Come here," he murmured, grabbing her once more, picking her up and carrying her into his bedroom.

He tossed her down onto the bed, on top of her in an instant, kissing her, touching and Hermione's brain nearly exploded from the overwhelming feel of it all.

Then the last coherent through that passed her mind was that Draco Malfoy was very good at this.

Hermione awoke the next morning, head pounding. It took a minute for her to realize that she wasn't anywhere she recognized. This certainly wasn't her new flat, though it was similar. She simply knew because she hadn't unpacked the day before Mandy had dragged her to that blasted club.

Another moment to realize there was an arm tossed over her that was not her own. Carefully, she moved the arm and rolled over.

She quickly covered her mouth to muffle a soft scream.

She had not slept with Draco Malfoy last night?

"No, no no," she whispered to herself, stopping as the blond beside her stirred slightly.

A quick check determined she was in fact naked. No. She felt sick, but wasn't entirely sure if that was from all the alcohol she had drank or the circumstances she found herself in. Probably a mixture of both.

She recalled certain portions of the night, but it was, for the most part, blurry and inconsistent.

As quietly and unobtrusively as she could manage, Hermione slid out of his bed. She located her underwear easily enough and after some searching she found her skirt and top. Carrying her heels, she attempted to Apparate home, finding that his wards would not allow that.

She located the front door and as quietly as possible, unlocked it and left his flat, finding herself in a corridor.

She exhaled, heavily, beyond relieved that he hadn't woken up. That was not a conversation she ever wanted to have.

As far as Hermione could see, the only good thing about this situation was the fact that it had been eight years since she had seen Malfoy, and could very well be another eight before she saw him again. Although the rest of her life would be preferable.

She glanced down the corridor to locate an exit and froze. This corridor was painted a familiar shade of green.

The blood drained from Hermione's face.

Her new flat was in a corridor this same shade of green. Slowly, she glanced back at the wall behind her, outside of his flat. The unit number read 11.

Her new flat was unit number 12.

Perhaps there were lots of buildings that were painted the same. She attempted to Apparate to her own building.

Nothing happened.

Her head was pounding. She walked down the hall to 12, attempted to unlock the door. It clicked open.

"No," she whispered to herself, rubbing her temples. This couldn't be happening.

Draco Malfoy, of all people, was her new bloody neighbour. Malfoy, who she had stupidly slept with last night.

She was struck with a particularly vivid recollection of the night before that she hadn't remembered immediately upon waking, feeling the bile rise in her throat, threatening the meagre contents of her stomach.

He slammed into her, merciless, groaning, his closed eyelids fluttering at the sensation, his brow furrowed.

She arched into him, accommodating him further as she bit her lip to keep from moaning out loud. It was very nearly more than she could bear.

"Fuck, Granger," he murmured, pounding her relentlessly even as he captured her lips, his tongue demanding access to her mouth once more.

Hermione whimpered at the sensation as he pulled away, thrusting with renewed persistence and her body felt each as an oath – a promise – of pleasure, mingled with the slightest pain as her sensitive nerve endings lit up, her body tensing and coiling as a spring.

She felt herself break, pulses of immeasurable feeling crashing over her, wave after wave, felt herself clench around him and with a few more thrusts he came, cursing, undone along with her, burying his face in her neck as his own orgasm raced through him.

He hadn't been gentle – she didn't need the memories to remind her of that when she felt it in every muscle.

She quickly cast a contraception charm on herself, one that worked after the fact, not recalling whether either of them had in such a state of inebriation.

Walking into the white, unadorned flat, filled with boxes of her things, Hermione felt dread wash over her once more.

She would have to move. It was the only option.

She closed the door quietly behind her. Leaned back against the door, sliding to the ground. She sat there for several minutes, head in her hands.