2. "What the fuck am I doing naked in the woods?"
3. A wedding ring
4. "Fermented pumpkin juice can suck my great big..."
Death Eater Express Halloween prompt #21 (This is a side story that could take place in the AU I've created for Levitate. It doesn't, but it could ;) )
It wasn't so much the birds, or the wind blowing through the trees, or the dappled light that was flickering over her. It wasn't really the warm smell of a fireplace, or the damp leaves under her back, or even the intense pounding in her head that concerned Hermione. It was, in fact, the combination of all the above that tipped her internal alarms from "hm, that's strange" straight into "what the fuck did I do?".
She blinked her eyes several times, trying to clear the sleep out of them as she stared at the gold and red hued foliage overhead. She was chilled, but not freezing, which was odd given how cold it had been getting at night lately. It gave her some hope that she either hadn't been passed out very long, or that someone had performed a warming charm over her body. And given that the vast majority of her was au naturel, she very much hoped that it was the former and not the latter.
There was the crunching of leaves under boots, and Hermione closed her eyes again, not bothering to look at the interloper. Her humiliation was coming close to being complete. Fermented pumpkin juice could suck her great big toe. She was pretty sure the last time she got black out drunk was during those weird few days that Rodolphus had decided he was in love with her, and she just needed to escape that mess. Of course, that time she'd woken up with a very satisfied looking Theo Nott in her bed, which she kind of wish she did remember.
There was a familiar throat clearing overhead, and she winced and grinned simultaneously. Opening her eyes she gazed up into the familiar blues of Rabastan, who had a faintly amused smirk on his lips. He was, of course, fully dressed, and fully pulled together, and looking like every sinful fantasy she'd had over the past 6 months since his arrival into the manor. She didn't even want to hazard a guess at what her hair looked like. Or her face. Or her boobs. And for that matter...was she wearing sexy underwear? She shifted her eyes down to look at her bottom half – nope. Pink polka dots. Definitely not sexy.
"So..." she croaked, "Any idea what the fuck I'm doing naked in the woods?"
Rabastan grinned before sitting down next to her, eyes crinkling around the corners, dimple on his left cheek – and only the left cheek- deepening. He reached a hand out and she grasped it into her own, allowing him to pull her up to a sitting position. She groaned at the intensified throbbing in her brain, pressing her left hand against her forehead. Light glinted off a silver band on her left ring finger and she balked, lowering it into view. The band was simple, with no design, gems, or other color, but it was clearly a wedding band.
"I have some ideas," replied Rabastan, lifting his own left hand. A matching silver band hugged his own ring finger and she favored him with a horrified look.
"What did we do?" she whimpered. Rabastan raised an eyebrow at her.
"I think I'm a little insulted," he replied, though there was a vulnerable edge to his voice she had only heard a few times in the past. It touched on the edge of truth, and a bit of exposure that he rarely showed anyone.
"I didn't mean...I mean...I'm not upset it was YOU," she fumbled, "I would be just as upset with anyone else" Ah, excellent use of words Granger. That completely cleared it up, she chastised herself.
Fortunately, she had spent enough time around Rabastan for him to understand what she meant and he shook his head at her fumbling, "Oh good. I thought maybe you didn't like me"
She blushed abruptly at his words, suddenly crossing an arm over her exposed breasts. She had been physically attracted to the younger Lestrange brother since he'd first been released from Azkaban, though it had taken several months for them to get along mentally as well. But his sharp wit, and intelligence coupled with his exquisitely attractive good looks had played a role in more than one of her personal fantasies over time. She just didn't know if the feeling was mutual, or why it might be.
It interested her now, then, to see his own expression to reflect surprise and look a little pleased before he schooled it closed again. He reached into his pocket, pulling out small piece of fabric that he enlarged into a cloak before handing it to her. She shivered, finally feeling the cold air against her bare skin, wrapping it around her shoulders, "Thanks"
He nodded quietly, thoughtfully, before standing again and extending his hand towards her. She grasped it, and he pulled her up, more forcefully than specifically needed, propelling her hard enough that she stumbled into his tall frame. He was warm against her, and he grasped her shoulders with his hands, rubbing them with his thumbs as he stared into her eyes, inscrutable emotion on his face.
She braced herself against his waist with her own hands, tilting back to meet his look, not moving away from him immediately. As he leaned down towards her she parted her lips, stretching up to meet him. Her heart fluttered with excitement, and she pressed closer, fingers closing around the starched fabric of his shirt. She could feel his own heart pounding under the cage of his chest, and his muscles tensed beneath her.
About half way to her, she watched him lose his courage, and he cleared his throat again, straightening up abruptly. She sighed and tilted her head, inviting her own fearlessness out, "You know, if we're married, there's a good chance we've already done a great deal more than kiss"
He had the good graces to look a little embarrassed, small grin peaking around the edges of his lips. A small chuckle slipped out and he released one shoulder, rubbing the back of his head, "We're, a...We're not married. These were party favors from last night"
As the words sunk in she gaped at him, before reaching up to slap his arm, "You jerk!"
He flinched, laughing a full, rich sound as he pulled back and danced away and she huffed, turning to stalk back towards the manor. She heard him jog to catch up with her, felt his arm as he settled it across her shoulders, pulling her towards him, "So. You want to kiss me, Granger?"
The tone was teasing, but Rabastan never asked questions he didn't want to know the answer to. He might cage them as a joke, or might bury them in the middle of other concerns, but he would ask until he got a reply. She knew the answer she wanted to give him, but she wasn't sure if he was ready to hear it.
"That depends," she replied, "How much Gryffindor do you think you can really handle?"
She felt his arm tighten around her, and heard the smile in his voice as he answered, "As much as you're willing to let me have"
She really wished she was wearing sexy underwear today.