"Honestly Ron, it's just a bloody costume! Just put it on already!"

Hermione Granger stood at the foot of her bed firm, tall and visibly annoyed. For the better part of an hour she had been arguing with her boyfriend, trying to convince him to accompany her to the Dept. Of Mysteries costume ball. As the Director of Ancient and Forgotten Texts, Hermione was obligated to be there. Considering she and her counterpart made up 2/3rds of the Golden Trio, they were both expected to make an appearance. Hermione had been looking forward to this event for weeks and she was not going to let anyone mess up her plans. Least of all the red headed man boy currently taking up residence on her plush oversized bed.

"Blimey, 'Mione! I don't see why I even have to go to this thing," Ron whined. "I don't work for the Dept. Of Mysteries, you do."

"For the fifth time, Ronald," Hermione began, taking calculated breaths "besides the fact that you are one of the lead aurors within the ministry, the Minister of Magic, HIMSELF, asked us DIRECTLY to be in attendance. And I've already accepted. I'll not have you make a liar out of me." Hermione all but screamed. "Now get up and get dressed before I hex your balls off."

Groaning, Ron slowly slid off of the bed and stood up. "Fine! I'll go, but don't expect me to have fun." sounding much like a petulant teenager. "And definitely don't expect me to wear that get up." he concluded, pointing to the outfit Hermione had laid across the foot of the bed.

Exasperated, "You WILL wear it Ronald, or I'll owl your mum." Hermione simply stated as she walked from the room smiling at the look of horror that filled Ron's face at the threat. With any luck, this would be a night she'd never forget.

The buzz of energy floating around the ministry of magic could rival a bee hive. Guest were appearing and disappearing through the floos in pairs at regular intervals. It was widely understood that ministry events were no more than a proverbial fish pond with all the unattached witches and wizards looking for their next spouse. Or at the very least, their next conquest.

Draco Malfoy hated events such as these. He was raised in high society and as such, he had been to his fair share of upper class parties. Tonight's affair was just another on his vast list of responsibilities. Being the sole heir and majority share holder of Malfoy Industries, Draco had become used to having to pop in to events his company had sponsored. He'd say a few words, shake a few hands and pop out before anyone noticed. Tonight would be no different.

"Thank you for joining us this evening Mr. Malfoy." A slim, balding man stood timidly in front of the blonde tycoon and spoke towards the ground, barely making eye contact. "We will be ready for you on stage in just a moment's time." Draco gave a curt nod to acknowledge the gentleman who may or may not have noticed since he retreated immediately from sight.

Exuding confience as though its ran through his veins since birth, Draco was more than used to this behavior. Couple that with the fading dark mark hidden from view under his costume and anyone was sure to have the same reaction. Draco mentally calculated how many more minutes and handshakes he had to endure before it was acceptable for him to slip away.

"Oh Draco, this all looks so spectacular!" A high pitched voice squealed in his ear causing him to wince and lean away ever so slightly. Astoria Greengrass had implanted herself to Draco's left arm and squeezed tightly as she smiled in excitement, barely noticing his actions. Draco fought the strong urge to shake her off and instead gave a small strained smile in response.

Thanks to his mother and father, he and Astoria were to be married the following Spring in accordance to a blood contract that was arranged before he was even born. Initially when he was told, he revolted and went on the lam in protest. But seeing no suitable way around the contract, Draco returned and had slowly resigned himself to his fate. The pair were set make the official announcement in the Daily Prophet the next day. Though rumours of the pairs romance had been speculated and widely dramatized for some time.

In truth, his intended was correct. The ministry lobby looked straight out of a story book. The lanterns and candles were each hung with expert care and illuminated the ministry lobby in a warm glow that made the decor eerily beautiful. Dozens of oversized carved pumpkins lined the walkways, placed every few meters. Each pumpkin was larger than the last, the tallest being roughly the size of a small house. Bright stars gleamed down from the ceiling, mirroring the night sky. Periodically constellations would become outlined in the sky and briefly would become animated.

The golden statues in the center of the fountain no longer showcased a wizard, witch, centur, goblin and house elf. The figures were all in costume. It now held a medi-witch, a quidditch beater, a fairy, a dragon and what one would assume a muggle firefighter would look like. Totally pointless occupation, Draco thought to himself. There was a full ghostly orchestra floating several meters above their heads, playing a perfect waltz.

Draco looked out at the people dancing and noticed there were several beautiful women (and several obvious slags as well) mingling in the crowd. While Draco had decided to return and face his future, he still saw it much the same as a gilded cage. He was not ready to settle down. His wild oats had yet to be sown and though he was a far cry from a virgin, Draco still had a few wild desires he had left unrequited.

Glancing around, Draco took notice of the outfits and costumes around him. He could not believe he agreed to let Astoria pick out this costume. If his mother hadn't been in the room when he received it, he was liable to set fire to the entire thing. Didn't the daft bint know he would have never worn red? For Merlin's sake he was a Slytherin, not some bleeding heart lion.

Looking down at his vested chest, Draco smirked. His slacks fitted his slim legs with precision and the red satin and black trimmed waistcoat fit his tone torso with a comfortable ease. Regardless the color, Draco looked every bit of a true prince. A Slytherin Prince. Okay so perhaps not a Slytherin Prince with this blasted vest, he thought to himself, but he figured he could still pull the look off.

Luckily for him his silver face mask hid his identity from view for the most part, but that would soon be all for naught after his speech on stage.

Draco was to accept an award for all of his charitable contributions after the war. In his eyes there was no way to fully absolve his sins, but there was a way to attone for it. So Draco silently, financially backed every war repair effort, project and law that came across his desk. He had intended to remain a silent benefactor and would have maintained his secrecy if not for Astoria. She seemingly accepted the invitation to tonight's ball on his behalf and it would have been in poor taste to just not show.

Draco noticed the timid gentleman approach the stage and head to the podium. The floating orchestra ended their musical selection as the crowd below applauded. The man stepped to the microphone and began what was sure to be a lengthy and well rehearsed introduction for the Malfoy heir.

Draco listened with mild disinterest as the man rattled off some of his most recent noteworthy accomplishments and glazing over his torrid past as a death eater in his youth. In an effort to show sincerity, Draco looked thoughtfully towards the crowd and inclined his head when his eyes met certain individuals. Making eye contact with and acknowledging no less than a dozen people, Draco began to stand. The introduction was nearing completion and he was to make his way to the stage to accept the plaque.

Rising to his full height, Draco glanced down and smoothed a wrinkle out of his vest. Looking towards the crowd one last time, a bit of red caught Draco's eye. Too much red. A jumbled crown of red hair stood behind a silver mask that covered the owners face. Draco, however, didn't need to see the wearer's face to know unequivocally that it belonged to a Weasley. Draco sneered in his direction.

Icy gray eyes met blue and both parties widened in realization. Taking in a sharp breath, Draco's eyes darted to the black slacks, the red and black patterned waistcoat and silver mask of his counterpart. He didn't have to look down to know that he was wearing the exact same outfit.

Turning on his heels and purposefully striding away from the stage, Draco was suddenly ready to leave. He had barely taken 3 steps before he felt the unwanted grip of a hand gasp his arm and stop him in his tracks.

"Drakky, where are you going?!" Astoria asked urgently in a hushed whisper. She looked back to the stage and briefly towards the crowd in front. Draco's sudden movements had gained them an audience. She gave a small smile in an effort to to dispel the awkwardness of the situation.

"Mr. Boxler is almost done giving your introduction. You have to go on stage and accept the award plaque." She said stated plainly.

"I'm not going up there! Of all the people in the world, a Weasley is wearing the same costume as me." Draco seethed, pulling his hand from young woman's grasp.

"I'll not be made a fool of. Especially by the likes of them." He finished.

Astoria took a step back and looked around the crowd. She did not see the source of contention he was referring to. However she had noticed the gentle rumble of applause and several dozen sets of eyes turning to their direction.

"Drakky, listen..." She began. "It's much too late withdraw now. Go on the stage, accept to award and we can talk about what you want to do after." She said through a forced smile.

"Have you completely lost your marbles? I said I'm not going anywhere where I could be seen wearing the same thing as a Weasley." Draco said firmly. "I'm going home straight away. I didn't even want to come to this blasted event in the first place." Draco all but stamped his feet like a child throwing a tantrum.

"Draco Malfoy, you go back to that stage, up the stairs and accept your award right this instant." Astoria said, the smile returning to her face. "Say a couple of kind words, be gracious and pop right back off or so help me, I'll floo your mother faster than you can say quidditch." She concluded with a beaming smile that was so sickly sweet it repulsed him. It reminded him of the last time a female spoke with such a tone and implied harm and he instantly thought of that batshit crazy ministry official Umbridge.

Knowing a losing fight when he saw one, Draco took a last glance at the exit floos longingly. With his head held high, Draco stood tall and gathered his wits. He strode to the stage, ascended the stairs, gave timid Mr. Boxler a firm handshake in appreciation, accepted his award and addressed the crowd. He would keep this as brief as possible and floo to the comfort of his home the first chance he got.

Ron Weasley stood wide eyed in disbelief. He ripped the silver mask off of his face and threw it to the ground. He had been having a decent time at this stuffy ministry event and was sure he could have gotten the leggy blonde dressed as a bumble bee to go home with him. But now he was not staying around to find out.

Being Harry Potter's BFF and a third of the trio that lead the charge to Voldemort's demise, Ron welcomed the attention and affection of his many admirers. Though he and Hermione were technically still linked together, it was merely a relationship of convenience and not one built on any real emotion. After the war they had tried to pursue something more but both soon realized they were better off friends.

They agreed to allow the Wizarding world to believe they are still together to keep Hermione from being bombarded with marriage proposals and keep Ron from having to explain how he let Gryffindor's Princess get away.

"Hang on mate," Harry said grabbing for Ron's arm as he stormed pass.

"What's happened? Where are you off to?" He inquired.

Barely giving his friend a sideways glance, Ron continued forward and headed straight to the nearest floo grate and promptly apparated on the spot.

"...and again, thank you so much for this honor and I hope we can continue to flourish in this business relationship together. Thank you."

With a final nod of acknowledgement, Draco Malfoy turned and headed directly for the stairs. He'd completed what he came to do and had an important date with a bottle of fire whiskey that was almost as old as he was.

Transcending the stairs, he stepped up to Astoria to notify her of his intentions. This evening was already much too much to deal with and while he didn't really want to add a whiny fiance to be to the mix, she was definitely not invited to join him.

Knowing full well what was about to come out of his mouth, Astoria handed Draco a small vile. He opened his mouth to protest and she took the liberty to gently force the liquid to his lips and tipped it in.

From the instant it touched his tongue, Malfoy felt a wave of warmth wash over his body. He tingled from the top of his head down to his toes.

"Bloody hell Tori what was that?!" He asked slightly bewildered, feeling the edges of his lips turning up and forming an unintentional smile.

"Metamortia." The petite witch replied innocently, batting her eyes.

"Metamortia? That body altering potion!?" Draco all but yelled.

"Yep! That's the one." Astoria smiled widely, feeling proud of herself.

Draco felt the tingling feeling began to ebb away living a slightly euphoric shimmer that begged to take away his disgruntled disposition.

"In fact, it seems to be working already... though, I'm not too sure red is your color." She stated matter of factly while she weighed her thoughts.

"What?!?!" All traces of a jovial tone vanished as Draco snatched the compact mirror he was handed and stared at his reflection.

"You've got to be fucking kidding me! I can't have red hair Tori!" He bellowed startlingly a few guest passing nearby.

"Change it back! Change it back right this instant." Draco appeared frantic, darting his eyes around the venue to see if others had noticed his involuntary transformation.

With a small sigh of disappointment, Astoria knew her fun was over.

"Draco, calm down. You're a potions whiz, Love, you should already knew how this goes. The effects of the metamortia will wear off on their own in about an hour or so."

"There is nothing that can be done about it now," She continued "and besides, with the mask on, no one will even notice you or know, it's YOU."

Draco remained unmoving, thinking.

"So... let's dance." Astoria grabbed Draco's hand and attempted to quite literally drag him to the dance floor, but he did not budge.

"You know what..." Draco began. "I think I'll sit this one out. I'm feeling rather ill." Draco replied feigning sickness. He held his stomach in such a way Astoria took a giant step backward.

"Oh Drakky! I'm so sorry!" Astoria began. "Let me get you--"

"No!" He exclaimed loudly. Startling even himself at his abruptness.

Clearing his throat and willing it to be softer. "No, Tori. Don't worry about me. You shouldn't leave on my account. Stay and enjoy yourself." He said placating the witch. "I can floo myself to the manor. I'll just see you for brunch with my mother tomorrow. "

Not giving her a chance to react, Draco turned on his heels and marched determinedly towards the main gates. He was oddly surprised how easily he was able to get away. Normally 3 or 4 wizards would have approached him and tried to talk him up, giving Astoria time to catch up to him. Yet his path was free of interference. Stealing a quick glance behind him, Draco could see Astoria was already engaged in a conversation with several witches whose names he did not care to know.

Feeling proud of himself and his trademark Malfoy smirk upon his face, Draco stepped up to an open floo. Taking a breath and preparing himself to transport home, Draco was suddenly caught off guard. He felt the breath whoosh out of him as something forceful collided with his body and some thing soft descended upon his lips. Draco's senses were invaded with the vaugley familiar sent of strawberries and honey and something he could never quite put a name to. He knew this scent and only dared to dream about it since he last smelled it in Hogwarts.

The kiss was soft and seductive and he'd be damned if he was going to turn it away. Moaning in satisfaction and feeling his body's response, Draco wrapped his arms around the waist of his surprise guest and pulled her closer to him. He figured he only had a few more seconds before they'd realized they had the wrong guy and he wanted to relish in this sensation for as long as possible.

All too soon his counterpart pulled away and smiled up at him.

"Hey you." She said cupping his face. I've been looking for you everywhere."

Draco, still in a light daze, stood still as a statue. This witch was every bit as beautiful as he remembered, and yet even his memory didn't do her justice.

"All this excitement has become a bit too much for me and these potions are making me the right kind of tinglingly." She said with a smile, whispering the last part. "Let's go back to my place and really end this night with a treat."

Draco felt himself gently pulled in to the empty floo in front of him. The witch's hand grasp firmly around Draco's and he was only vaguely aware that he returned the act. Feeling the familiar tug around his navel and the warm tickle of the flames on his skin, Draco was transported side by side to a location he had never thought he'd see.

Stepping from the fireplace and on to a rug in front of him, Draco brushed the soot off of his jacket and trousers. Glancing around and taking in his surroundings, Draco noticed a collection of photographs lining the walls. Several of the photos had people he did not recognize, a couple of them held a pair whom he assumed were her parents and the last one held a trio who could not be mistaken.

Draco took a deep breath and prepared himself for what was about to unfold. He had to explain to the witch of his dreams that she was sadly mistaken. That it was just by sheer coiencidence that he had happened to be wearing the same costume as the weasel and that it was because of a potion, his hair was red. He knew that once he took off his mask and she saw his face, his fantasy evening would be over before it even began.

Squaring his shoulders, Draco turned to face his counterpart. He had only just noticed that the floo they had traveled through was located in a large bedroom. In the center of the floor sat an over sized bed covered with a deep red, almost burgundy quilt and enough pillows to build a fort. And next the bed stood Hermione Granger, dressed in nothing but her knickers, a bra and a smile.

Taken aback, Draco gaped openly at the brunette before him. He had known or at least assumed she had been hiding something under those school robes all those years ago, but he would have never imagined this. Okay so maybe he had imagined this, except in his dreams, Hermione was wearing emerald green lingerie and not black.

Draco could see Hermione's alcohol induced confidence begin to dwindle the longer he stared. He tried several times to verbally reassure her, but he had only just realized his mouth was still wide open. Composing himself, Draco cleared his throat and took a step toward the young witch.

Please with this action, Hermione smiled.

"Trick or treat?" She inquired with a seductive glint in her eye.

While Draco knew he had to come clean and tell her who he really was, he couldn't help but to be intrigued by the possibilities such a question would bring. Perhaps he could ride this out and see where it goes. He was sure he had at least another hour or so before the effects of the metamortia was to wear off. If he could some how keep this ruse up, Granger would never have to know, he thought.

"Ladies choice." Draco answered, the trademark smirk making a reappearance.

"Hmm..." Hermione cooed as her eyes glancing over his slim frame.

"Then I choose trick." With that, Hermione closed the space between them two of them and grasped the lapel of Draco's jacket. Running her hand along the expanse of his chest and down his biceps, Hermione slid the waistcoat from his shoulders and to the ground with hurried passion. Not stopping, Hermione set to work undoing the buttons of his shirt. Her fingers craved to touch the warmth of his skin underneath.

Raising to her tip toes slightly, they kissed a kiss full of unbridled lust. The need and urgency was conveyed and recieved with each motion. Hermione pulled back to look in to his eyes and she smiled.

Draco felt pang of guilt and stalled.

He needed Granger to know it was him she was kissing and not that dimwitted Weasel. He wanted more of this witch, but he wanted her to want him in return.

"Wait...wait," Draco took a step back in an effort to put some distance between them and clear the fog from his head. He knew if he didn't, there would be no stopping him from taking her right there on the floor in front of the fireplace. "We should talk first. I need to-"

"No." Hermione husked, effectively cutting him off.

"Whatever it is, it has to wait." She stated firmly, reaching out for Draco's hands and effectively enclosing herself within his arms.

Draco stared down at her and felt his resolve weaken once again. Cupping her face in between his hands, Draco kissed Hermione softly. As their passion once again deepened, Draco's fingers threaded through her long locs and gripped the hair at the base of her neck. Pulling back gently, he kissed and nipped down Hermione's neck and along her collar bone and she melted in response.

"You never said what the trick was to be, Love." Draco whispered sensually.

"Oh...You have to keep the mask on," Hermione said shyly. "It turns me on." She concluded.

"Your trick is my treat." Draco replied as he continued his ministration, placing kisses at the apex of her lacey brazzier. Grasping her breast, firmly in his hand, Draco reveled at the feeling. The soft fabric of the bra strained against her supple breast revealing the perfect amount of cleavage. Hermione's pert nipples jutted out and in to his hands yearning to be touched.

Draco's expert fingers teased and pulled the firm nipples as he continued to create love notes with his tongue along the line of her neck. Hermione moaned in appreciation and leaned her body in towards his hands craving more.

Growing tired of the tease and desperate for a release, Hermione turned and faced Draco head on. Without breaking eye contact, she undid the button and zipper to his slacks, slowly sank down to her knees and cradled Draco's pulsating member in her hands.

Hermione flicked her tongue along the tip and tasted the pre-cum. She had never tasted anything sweeter in her life. She allowed her tongue to swirl around Draco's manhood repeatedly, each time making it more difficult for him to stay still.

Swallowing him wholy, Hermione looked as if she was thoroughly enjoying herself. Draco was sure he definitely was. At the rate this was going, he would soon be spent. If he wanted to savor it, and he did, he needed to regain control and slow the momentum down.

With great difficulty and slight regret, Draco took a step away and allowed the still erect shaft to slide from the warm haven that was Hermione's soft lips. He stooped down and scooped the brunette up in to his arms. Taking long strides, Draco crossed the room and placed her upon the bed.

In the warm light of the fire, Hermione looked much like an erethal beauty. A goddess, even. Draco couldn't believe his wildest fantasy was quite literally being laid in front of him to devour. And devour he did.

Draco eased Hermione's bum out of her knickers, kissing down the length of each leg as he went. Wasting no time, he immediately sought and found her hot core.

"Merlin, you smell bloody amazing!" He exclaimed hungrily and set his tongue to become acquainted with the most intimate places of her center.

"Thank you," she purred, "but the name's Hermione." she stuttered with a giggle.

"Oh yeah?" Draco growled haughtily and doubled his efforts. In no time at all Hermione was convulsing beneath him as she rode the highs of a major orgasm.

Needing only a minute to catch her breath, Hermione popped up and smiled at Draco.

"My turn." He heard her say, pulling him from his thoughts. At once she pushed him on to his back, climbed on top and took control.

Hermione needed no instruction or guidance. She prided herself on knowledge and she was very well versed in what it took to get herself off and using Draco Malfoy like a muggle sex object was skyrocketing up the list.

Draco watched mesmorized as his cock slowly plunged in to Hermione's hot cavern and he relished the heat. Biting his tongue to stifle a moan, Draco's eyes rolled back and he exhaled sharply.

Raking her nails across his chest, Hermione whimpered as the angle constantly allowed his cock to glide across her g-spot just right. Craving more, Draco read her mind and arched his hips upward. He competitively matched every thrust and squeeze she threw his way.

Nearing his edge, Draco gripped Hermione's hips and urged her body to move faster. Feeling her walls quiver and sensing she was near as well, Draco slide his hand between them and expertly massaged her clit with his thumb.

"Ahh..." Hermione cried out and gave way to the feeling of bliss. Once again she felt the familar surge of heat flow through her body and down to her toes. At once she was overcome with sensations and became undone. With a few more strong thursts, Draco followed suit. With a strangled cry, he collapsed and gulped for air.

Draco rolled to his side and watched as Hermione's eyes closed and sleep over took her with a smile still on her face.

Placing feather light kisses along her temple, Draco looked down at his sleeping beauty. This evening turned out to be so much better than he'd ever expected. He knew the extent of his actions could never leave this room and Hermione could never know it was him. The implications alone would surely send his father to an early grave.

Fighting the urge to stay and ignoring his growing disappointment, Draco slid from the bed and placed his feet on carpet. He was grateful his mask had remained in place and he hadn't needed to search for it. Muttering a quick charm to clean himself up, he dressed swiftly and quietly as not to wake the witch.

If Draco was honest, he had wanted Hermione to wake up so they could have another go at it, his manhood swelling at the fleeting thought, but he knew all good things must come to an end.

Stepping up to the floo, he located the pot of powder and stepped in to the fireplace. Draco took one last look about the room and at the now dishevled bed and smiled to himself.

"Thank you for a memorable evening Ms. Granger." Draco said in a hushed whisper.

As he spoke aloud his intended destination, Draco made eye contact with the pair of chocolate brown eyes watching his departure. And just as he popped put of sight, Draco heard, clear as day, "The pleasure was all mine Mr. Malfoy."