Yes, this chapter's name is inspired by the 30 Seconds to Mars song of the same title.


Chapter Five

A Dangerous Night

She felt like he was stealing her very breath as he leaned closer, still . . . as his eyelids drifted downward and his lips brushed over hers. Swallowing hard, she let her own eyes close as she pressed against him, meeting his kiss.

There was something strangely primal in tasting her blood on his tongue. Snapping back from him, she stared into his startled face for a few strained, silent heartbeats.

His gaze, perhaps predictably, dropped down to trace over her mouth as she asked in a breathless whisper, "Draco? what're we doing?"

He returned his attention to her eyes as he shook his head. Seeming unable to work up a reply, he slipped his arms around her. Sinking his fingers into her hair, he pulled back her head. Though she uttered a shocked whimper in response, he waited for her to protest. Yet, she only stared up at him, expectant.

There was that delicious scent winding off her and the way those big, brown eyes of hers bore into his . . . .

"God, Granger," he said in a barely audible whisper before dropping his mouth down to the side of her throat.

She shuddered at the feel of his lips and teeth dragging along her skin. He was right, words like those, spoken exactly that way, did bear repeating.

Her body seemed to have a mind of its own, her hands slipping up to grip the front of his nightshirt like she trying to tear through the material with her nails, alone. When he made a little rumbling sound in the back of his throat at the press of her nails against his chest, she dragged her fingers down along his sides and then circled his waist.

She pulled on him, dragging his body tight against hers. Again, he made that wonderful sound as he raked his teeth upward, along the pulse in her throat. What was wrong with her? She couldn't seem to control herself.

He caught her earlobe between his lips, nibbling playfully at the sensitive skin. One hand slipped from her hair to drift lower, down over her shoulder, along the small of her back. Cupping her arse with splayed fingers, he tried to press her more closely to him, still.

God, she thought with a giddy, breathless laugh, if they got any closer, they'd be—

"No, no . . . ." She shook her head, wincing. "Please stop."

Though she heard a definite growl from him then, it was more a sound of confusion than anger. Pulling away enough to meet her gaze, he frowned.

"I thought you . . . ." Draco shook his head, seeming unsure of his own voice. "I thought you wanted this."

At his tone, she felt tears clog her throat. Well, that was stupid, wasn't it? This was only a physical thing, why on earth should her response to denying him be emotional?

"I—" She cut herself off, having to touch her fingers to the tip of her stinging nose for a moment to keep her own voice steady. "I don't 'not' want it, but . . . this isn't us. If I'm going to be with someone, I want it to be because it's what I want and what you want, not because we can't stop ourselves from acting like a couple of wolves!"

To her dismay, he sounded hurt, speaking as he took a backward step. "But we are wolves."

Refusing to let her ability to reason be sidetracked by emotion, Hermione furrowed her brow, hating that she wanted to grab him and pull him back to her as he retreated. "What?"

He glanced around the potions lab, scowling as he seemed in search of precisely how to phrase what he wanted to say. Dear Lord, it was hard to collect his thoughts, not simply in the wake of what had just happened—or almost happened—but that combined with the full moon's arrival tomorrow evening made thinking about anything human a struggle.

"I've accepted that this is part of me, Granger." He shook his head once more, speaking through clenched teeth. "I have to, there's no cure for this. My 'wolf' is part of who, and what, I am, now. Just like yours is part of you, difference is yours has always been part of you."

She shrank back from him, stopped from backpedaling, herself, by the workstation table behind her. "What are you talking about?"

"Don't you get it?" With a weighted sigh, he tried to rein in his sudden agitation with her, but she was being deliberately thick just now, and it wasn't helping his state. "It's not just me responding to you . . . you've been responding to me, too. Why would that happen unless it's the same? Unless both of us are at the mercy of that wolf part of ourselves?"

"Because I'm not like you!" The moment the words left her lips, she clamped her hands over her mouth, her eyes wide. How? How could she, of all people, say something like that? How could see even think it?

Swallowing hard, he nodded. "I see. That's how it is, then? I'm some thing you wouldn't want to be like?"

Heaven's sake, this was escalating quickly! Letting her hands slip down, she shook her head. "No, Draco. I really didn't mean it like—"

"Is it because of Greyback? Because you hate him and he's the one who bit me?" He could feel the words coming, vicious, barbed . . . . and he couldn't be sure if he even wanted to say them or not as he said, "Did you see your dear friend Remus Lupin as a thing, too?"

Neither of them seemed prepared for the impact as Hermione's palm connected hard with Draco's cheek. His head tilted to one side with the force of it, and her skin stung and throbbed instantly.

Blinking back tears, she looked from her aching hand to his face. He wouldn't meet her eyes, his attention on the floor as he blinked, as well, several times in rapid succession.

For the second time that night, she asked, her voice barely a whisper against the suddenly too-quiet air, "Draco, what're we doing?"

He forced a sniffle as he finally dragged his gaze up to capture hers. Confusion was written across his features, as she was sure must be across hers, too.

"I've no idea, Granger."

His cheek was so red! Gasping, she couldn't seem to stop herself as closed the distance between them to throw her arms around his neck and hug him tight. "I'm sorry, I couldn't help it."

Returning her embrace, he sighed. She was being too gracious, they both knew he shouldn't have brought up Lupin. "I deserved it. I . . . I don't understand what the hell just happened."

"I don't, either, I—wait." She pulled back enough to look into his face. "Your eyes. I can't believe I didn't think of it when it happened, but when we were, well, you know, they looked like wolf's eyes." Like she'd dreamed about, literally. Shaking her head, she went on. "I think you were right. Well, no. I was right. Suppose technically, we both were."

Aware they were continuing this conversation holding one another—like an actual couple, or something—he furrowed his brow in question. "What?"

"Our wolves . . . it was a bit much for me to hear at first, because I've never had to think about it before. I mean, what you said makes so much sense given certain aspects of my personality, but it's who I've always been, so I never had reason to question where it came from. But they are part of who we are. And if it's our wolves driving us to be together, maybe that part of ourselves got angry we didn't, um, continue, you know?"

"So, we turned that anger on each other is what you're saying?"

"Given how fast we devolved from being all over each other to being in each other's faces? I'd have to say so." She shrugged, her mouth running off on its own. "I mean, if I hadn't stopped us, right this very minute we'd probably be shagging right on the . . . ." Her voice trailed off as she noticed his brows climbing his forehead.

A smirk curved his lips slowly. "Would we, now?"

Hermione laughed in spite of herself. Why were they still in each other's arms, as though it was the most natural thing in the world? "As I said, it's not that I don't want to, it's just . . . wolf or no wolf, I don't want to rush into anything I'm not ready for. And, sorry to disappoint, but rabid shagging on a potions workstation table, though probably very fun, isn't how I want my first time with someone to be."

He tried to keep his mirthful expression from widening as he flicked a brow upward. "First time? Is that to say that you're already imagining we'd do it a second and third time? Maybe a forth?"

A surprised giggle bubbling out of her, she dropped her arms from him and tried to pull away—though it was hardly a serious effort. "That's not what I said, Malfoy."

Snickering, he refused to relinquish his hold on her. "C'mon Granger," he said, dropping his forehead to touch hers as he inhaled deep. "Just tell me what it is you do want."

"Okay, okay." She nodded, her eyes drifting closed as she breathed in, as well. Odd, she felt like she was trying to catch his scent. "You know, I was so convinced this entire last month that I don't even like you."

"Ouch," he said with a laugh, "but understandable, I suppose."

She continued, as though he'd not interrupted, no matter how humorously. "I think . . . I do want this. It seems a bit mad, actually, that I'm even considering anything like this with you. But . . . I think I want to avoid it so close to the full moon. It's clear you're not in full control of your wolf, and though I—apparently—have a teeny, tiny wolf inside, of my own, that part of me seems to respond to yours. Like we're playing off each other, or something. After seeing what happened after just a bit of snogging and touching, I'm afraid to see what we could get up to with the moon pulling at us, too."

"That sounds reasonable," Draco said in a breathy tone. "So, then . . . slow would be okay?"

Hermione nodded, smiling. "Slow would definitely be okay."

She yelped as he spun her in his arms and started walking her toward the table. "What . . . ? What're you doing?"

Sweeping her hair away from her neck, he brought his mouth to her ear, speaking with a hint of amusement edging his tone. "Going slow, but . . . I said I wanted to make you say, 'Oh, God, Draco,' again, didn't I? Seems I still have some work to do."

Before she knew it, she stood with her palms braced on the tabletop. His teeth raked and nipped at the side of her throat, and rather than working up a single word of argument, she let her head fall back against his shoulder as she let out an airy little sound of satisfaction.

He circled her with his arms, cupping her breasts through her nightshirt. The way she shivered as he teased her nipples into tight little points through the fabric set off a rumbling noise in the back of his throat.

She bit her lip to hold in another sound as he drew one hand down, along her side, like she'd done to him just minutes earlier. Now, she found she was leaning into his touch as his fingers drifted along her hip and lower. As though she couldn't stop herself, she dropped her head and opened her eyes, watching as he slid his hand between her thighs.

"You'll have to tell me if I'm doing something wrong," he said, his voice barely a thread of sound in her ear as he started working his fingers against her.

Nodding, she slipped her hand over his, guiding his motions. "Hasn't happened, yet, but I'll let you know."

He followed the direction of her gaze without realizing, looking over her shoulder. Down, along her body, watching their combined movements.

Uttering a strained, pleading whimper, she started rocking against his fingers. She trembled in his arms, giving herself over to instinct as she felt her muscles trying to tense. She pressed his hand to her harder, trying to feel his touch more through the fabric of her clothing.

"Just a little faster, please," she said in a shaky whisper.

Nodding, he quickened his pace as her hand fell away to grip the edge of table. He used the arm around her to pull her tight against him, helping her body go taut.

She had to force herself not to cry out as she came, instead letting out that same breath in a simple, tumbling whisper of sound. "Oh, God, Draco!"

He snickered, still slightly in awe of watching his hand working between her thighs as she gasped and shivered against him. "That's more like it."

As it ebbed, she nearly collapsed forward against the workstation. Clamping her hand over his once more, she guided him into slower strokes, easing her body down from the orgasm gradually. The little aftershocks were wonderful, but they made her want to rock against him, and she knew that would lead to trouble.

When she finally stopped him, entirely, he simply stood there, holding her as she caught her breath.

"So," he said, his tone oddly conversational as he listened to her slowly steadying inhalations. "If you don't want to do it so close to the full moon, does that mean we can shag after it's passed?"

Hermione wasn't quite sure how she did it just then, but she managed to turn in his arms. Clasping her hands behind his neck, she kissed him before shaking her head at him. "Oh, shut up, Draco."

He bit back a laugh as he lowered his head for another kiss.