Conquest

It started out innocently enough, just a few small smiles sent both ways, and brief glances of the eye from across the room. Green and Brown meeting together in a silent duel – to see who would give into the lingering desire to look away. It was usually him, yet he still held that famous smirk which never failed to bring short her victory. It's as if he does it for amusement, something to kill the time in those long meetings. She hated that he had such a huge effect on her, a huge one.

She wasn't proud of herself, this deep, very fast-growing fascination with the mysterious Harry Potter. It kind of unnerved her sometimes, mainly down to the fact that she was married – and not free to go around ogling handsome wizards. With a moderately expensive ring glinting off her pale skin, and an even more pale arm wrapped tightly around her waist – Ron never liked anyone staring at her, even more so when it was someone who thinks he's beneath.

Harry Potter hadn't attended Hogwarts when Hermione was there. It was all in the news in her Hogwarts years – Where was he? What was he doing? Is he alive? It was complicated, really. He wasn't even in wizarding Britain, he'd left on the day of his parent's murder – whisked away by Sirius Black in the dead of night to get a proper upbringing. There are stories of him receiving personal training by Dumbledore himself, maybe even access to long and forgotten knowledge from past wizards and witches. But when he finally returned to Britain, with Voldemort's corpse in tow – he was immediately thrust into the spotlight. Balls, parties, social events – Harry Potter was everywhere, even now with his latest line of work – a specialized Hit-Wizard that worked in liaison with the muggle British Government, a job that placed him above the majority of Aurors.

Ron and Harry weren't exactly friends, always clashing with words – whether it be in the weekly meetings, or just a simple face-to-face in a hallway. But Harry always looked at her differently when Ron was with Hermione, like something he'd want to prey on – even go as far to enjoy the annoyance radiating from Ron.

The stares and glances continued from a distance though, surely it couldn't all be blamed on her? It would be impossible to ignore the gleam in his eyes, and the way he we weaved a hand through his unruly hair – which she found to be terribly endearing. There were times where she couldn't stop her eyes from following his movement, also times where she ended up scowling in his direction. Usually when he was in the company of another woman, which was normally every week – she could tell that he wasn't serious about any of them, but it still annoyed her to no end.

The funny thing was that she hadn't even had a real conversation with him, only the brief exchanges of words ever since he got positioned near her office. For the most part she had been trying to distance herself, can't exactly go onto other men when your married, can you? But it finally happened, at a late night in the ministry – they had come face-to-face, without the distance between them from the weekly meetings. She had stammered and flushed terribly, struggling to get her words out – much like a love-sick girl in the presence of her first crush. She honestly thought she was a head-strong woman, yet there she was, stressing herself over the fact that she couldn't get a word out.

The problem was how close he had gotten to her. It's one thing to admire the man from a distance – promising yourself that you'd always be faithful to Ron, but to then only be a breath away from Harry Potter of all people.

Hermione was sure that he knew what he was doing, when he did it. Gently laying his hand on her lower back at times, and even looking down at her through his glasses – eyes that seemed to pierce through her, as if telling her that it's okay to do what she's doing. Her chest would instantly feel constricted as he asked her the simplest of questions, anything from her work to her current life, to what work she was doing – not attempting to flirt with words, but with his body. He even had the nerve to place her hand across his hard stomach, lingering in a manner which was far too inappropriate for a married woman. Even going as far to talk about her relationship with Ron whilst he done it.

Of course, she tried to stop him at times, slaps to the face and shoves only seemed to encourage him more. When his gaze sharpened and his eyes darkened, she felt a deep warmth between her legs that screamed for attention. She'd ended up saying multiple apologies and rushed away as fast as possible on numerous occasions.

It hadn't gotten better following that incident. They were always coming together, pretending that it was purely accidental. She would be a terrible liar if she said to someone that she didn't purposely go in his direction, he did the same thing as well, so she can't feel too bad about doing it, right? At least that's what she told herself when she laid next to Ron in bed at night.

She even went out of her way to make their conversations more natural, like two friends talking about their mundane life. Even going as far to approach and talk to him in his personal office, receiving glares and snide comments from women in his office. The problem was when they were both alone, he was a more of hands-on person – persuading her until he returned the favour in small touches, and caresses. She honestly couldn't find out why he had chosen her to show an interest in, she knew that he's always getting sidelong glances and gropes from other women. But she isn't complaining at all, most women she knew would kill to be in her position – married or not.

Yet their odd relationship carried on between them. Each time she looked over at him, she would find him looking back at her, and it'd send jolts through her body – stirring up her desire for him even more.

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"How've you been?" Harry asked, his smile inviting as he made his way over to her.

They were both currently attending the Ministry's yearly gathering, all departments gathered in a private location for drinks and food. Ron was currently off talking to his colleagues, leaving Hermione all alone at their table.

Hermione returned the smile as he reached out, grazing her hand in greeting. He looked rather handsome in his muggle suit which hugged the correct areas of his body, leaving little to her imagination of what he looked like under it.

"I'm rather well," she replied, daringly leaning forward and running her gaze up and down his body. "How about you? You seem alright."

"I'm doing great, actually."

"Well, that's brilliant, isn't it? Wouldn't want a person such as yourself to be unhappy." Hermione replied, grinning smugly as she continued to admire his physique. Hermione wasn't in the mood to be dancing around the issue right now. She hadn't had the easiest of days lately, arguments with Ron, an over-bearing mother-in-law, everything just seemed to be against her. Well, except Harry Potter.

"Unhappy? Me? You've got to be joking, I'm rather enjoying life lately," Harry said in a low tone, stepping close to Hermione.

"Harry…" She said, looking around frantically in case anyone noticed. They were getting rather close to each other now, too close for people that publicly only knew each other from work.

He seemed to notice her distress and looked around, before putting on another friendly smile. The role of the Hit-Wizard slipping back into place. 'So simple for him, yet here I am dreading the fact that we might get caught.'

"It was nice to see you again, let's talk again some time," he said, bringing Hermione's hand up and brushing her knuckles with his lips – prickly stubble grazing pleasantly against her skin. She normally would've rolled her eyes at something like that. But when Harry did it, it felt divine.

"Y-yes, that'd be good," She replied in a low tone, surprised at the affection from Harry. Raising an eyebrow in confusion, she watched as he stepped back. 'Huh, that's weird, normally he's all over me. Well, given the situation, maybe he's toning things down?'

"Actually, you wouldn't happen to have a tissue on you? Spilt drink and all that," said Harry, straightening his suit, waving a hand in a so-and-so manor.

"Oh, uh, of course. Here, take it," Hermione dug into her pocket, handing it over. 'Is that…?' Confusion flew over Hermione as she felt the rough texture of parchment being pressed into her hand.

"Thanks for that, have a good night," Harry said his final words to Hermione as he flashed her a smile and brushed past her.

Clutching both of her hands together, Hermione turned and watched Harry's retreating back as he disappeared into the crowd. 'I wonder…,' releasing her closed fist, Hermione looked down at the note in her palm.

'My office. Five minutes.'

Her mouth went dry.

Emotions swept through her body as she looked towards the direction Harry went. 'Surely he doesn't mean …that?' It was almost like it was too good to be true. Clearing her throat, she flattened her dress and made her way through the crowd, intent on arriving at Harry's office.

Arriving at Harry's office, Hermione composed herself, still in utter surprise that this was happening – her husband a distant thought in her mind.

Hermione leaned forward, hand gently grabbing the doorknob, twisting it slightly – the door gave out a satisfying click as Hermione pushed the door open. Her breath hitched in her throat at what she saw. Harry Potter undressing, she watched silently as he removed his suit jacket, draping it over his desk. Hermione couldn't hide her impatience any longer, pushing the door back further, she forced it to collide with the inside wall.

Hermione could have laughed aloud at the situation, here she was looking at Harry Potter with his shirt halfway open, and she's just standing there, not knowing what to do next.

"Hey," Harry said, his lips quirking into his traditional smirk.

"Hey," Hermione whispered, unsure of what to do next.

Her pulse quickened as Harry closed the distance between them, close enough that she could feel the heat radiating from his body. Harry's confidence oozed out of him as he gently brought Hermione's hand to his chest. She silently hated the fact that he had such easy control over her, all she had to do was cop a feel of him and she was ready and waiting.

"I've been waiting for this," he said, drawing her eyes away from his chest – to his kissable lips.

"You're not the only one…" Hermione laughed under her breath, nerves getting the better of her. Her hand unconsciously went to his face, grazing across his jaw, reveling in the feeling of her soft palm against him.

'Please, please, take the next step. I don't think I have the courage to do it…' Hermione silently pleaded, waiting for Harry to take the initiative.

Her wish was granted when Harry finally broke the space of what was left between them, coming chest-to-chest, he leant down to taste her neck. Hermione's need for Harry shot through the ceiling, her hands instantly went under his shirt, gripping at his back.

It was Hermione who finally gripped Harry's hair and brought his lips to her own. The kiss was far from tender – more like an explosion of need, desire, and lust – all working well with tongue and teeth. Her arms looped around his neck, wanting to bring him closer, just to feel his body against hers even more. He held her firm against him, one hand behind her neck, the other reaching down to grasp her waist tightly.

It didn't take long after that, Hermione soon found out that her love-life with Ron paled in what she and Harry had done. 'Who knew that someone could be so good with their tongue,' flashes of Harry roughly bending her over his desk – hiking her dress up. Although it was such a pleasant experience for Hermione, it left her wanting to experience it again and again.

They were both quiet after, tingling pain between her legs and satisfaction on her face as she brushed a sweaty strand of hair from her face. Their breathing evening out as they came back to reality, not caring that her husband was probably looking for her, not even caring for how long she'd spent in his office. 'Has it been an hour? Two Hours?'

Hermione couldn't help herself as she watched Harry dress himself, it was almost like something out of a muggle romance movie – how he'd squeeze into his tight-fitting pants, creased shirt, and that unruly hair of his being even more unruly now. She reached out, running her hand through his hair – enjoying the feeling of it on her fingers.

"Can I see you again?" her hand left his hair, tracing his lips gently.

All he did was look at her with a blank look, gone was the lust and excitement from before – now it was replaced with a typical look, like he was filing out reports, ordering a cup of coffee. Her lazy smile was instantly replaced with a frown as she reached for his hand to turn him.

His expression was smug and cocky as she finally came face-to-face with him. It reminded her of someone like Draco Malfoy of all people.

"Harry? What's wrong?" she asked him, looking into his eyes.

"I'm fine, Hermione," Harry replied, his tone tracing onto boredom.

Hermione pulled back, her mind in a whirl storm as she straightened out her dress – making sure she looked presentable. The moment she was done, Harry was already reaching for the door.

"Hey, hey! What's going on with you? Did I do something wrong?" she demanded, foot firmly blocking the door. "Can't you at least answer me?"

Harry scowled. "Honestly Hermione, did you really think that this would go any further than this?"

"Well, no... I just-" Hermione honestly couldn't think of what to say, moments before they were fine together – and now they are practically at each other's throats.

"How about we don't add any strings to this fling of ours, ok?" Harry carried on, his tone condescending as he looked down at Hermione.

"Fling?" Hermione repeated, her eyebrows creasing together.

"Yes, a fling. Or did you forget that you are married," Harry said slowly, his final word striking a cord inside of her. "Can't exactly go sleeping about with men when you're married to Weasley of all people."

Hermione just started at Harry, the feeling of anger and embarrassment spiking on her emotions. She should have seen this, she'd seen how he acts around women – always going off with a different one each week. He was just using her all along.

"I-I can't believe this, you were just using me? Why?!" Hermione almost shouted, stepping back as if burnt.

"Using? No. Think of it as a conquest. Yes, a conquest. Sounds about right." Harry said, finally stepping through the door.

'Conquest?! Of all the things-' Hermione is already in front of him before she knows what she's doing. Her hand connects with Harry's face, the stinging evidence already blossoming on his cheek.

"You did this just to get at Ron, didn't you?!" Hermione hisses, already thinking of drawing her wand.

Harry doesn't say anything as he soldiers the blow, a smug smile across his face as he backs away from Hermione, laughing to himself all the way.

She watches Harry's retreating back, her face heating up even more as she watched him turn the corner. She didn't know how long she stood there for, but it didn't matter anymore as she spotted Ron coming towards her, his face a mask of boiling annoyance – her heart now thudding against her chest.

Hermione felt a pang in her stomach as Ron got closer, her mind visualizing possible situations that Ron had somehow found out. 'Did Harry tell him? Has he been listening all this time?'

"Hermione! There you are. I've been looking all over for you, been worried sick that something might have happened – had to ask Potter of all people if he'd saw you, bloody dick wouldn't say anything though," Ron started, bringing Hermione into a crushing hug, all traces of annoyance gone as he now looked relieved.

Guilt washed through her as she felt Ron hug her tight. He'd been looking for her, he'd been worrying about her – and yet she was off shagging Harry Potter in his office. The thought of it made her stomach sink.

"I-I'm fine, Ron - honestly. I was just feeling a little sick, must've been something I ate earlier," she lied, now stepping away from Ron.

Ron didn't seem to catch on to her lie, a satisfied smile now on his lips as he held her hand in his own.

"Let's go home then. We've been here long enough as it is, and I'd rather not have to spend another minute in the same room with Potter and his friends," they were now hastily heading back to the main hall, the guests not even noticing their absence as they squeezed through the heaving crowd of the Ministry employees.

Nearing the exit, Hermione spared a glance towards Potter's usual crowd of friends – and not much to her shock, he's standing there, casually throwing his head back laughing at something Greengrass had whispered in his ear.

The same old jealousy went through her again at the sight of the two of them, how they leant into each other, how they looked together, how Greengrass now had an arm looped through Harry's. She shouldn't be feeling like this, especially just moments before he'd embarrassed her, treated her like dirt – a tool that was used to get a Ron behind his back. Yet here she was, still looking at him as Ron all but dragged her towards the Floo's, still waiting to see if he'd notice her.

Harry did finally notice her as he looked in their direction, to finally lock onto her gaze with his own – Greengrass also found her eyes as well, the two of them watching her movement as she edged closer to the exit. It was as if time had slowed down, as she watched Greengrass say something to Harry, although she couldn't hear what she said, she just knew it was about her – most likely about what she and Harry had just done.

The embarrassment returned as she felt heat creep up her neck, averting her gaze, Hermione stumbled into the Floo with Ron, not even paying attention as he called out their destination – the sound of both Harry's and Greengrass's laughs distinct at her back.