Draco was just thinking about closing his book and settling down for the night, when Hermione entered the bedroom they were sharing in the penthouse suite. Upon arriving back at the hotel, Draco had left Hermione and Harry to reconnect while he had a relaxing evening with his book. He knew that their reunion that afternoon had gone well despite his presence, however he suspected that Harry might be more comfortable alone with Hermione, hence his decision to spend the evening alone and give the two old friends some space to talk.
"How did it go?" Draco asked as Hermione shut the bedroom door behind her.
"Good," Hermione replied with a nod of her head. "We had a good talk, and I really think Harry will consider any offer Father makes him."
"But will he accept, or will you be saying goodbye to him again tomorrow?" Draco asked.
"I hope he accepts and we get to spend more time together," Hermione answered. "He certainly hates the Order enough to stand against them. Especially now he knows the full story of everything the Order took from me."
"But does he hate them enough to align himself with The Dark Lord?" Draco countered.
"I guess we'll find out tomorrow," Hermione replied with a shrug. "But even if he chooses to walk away, I do know he won't be fighting for the Order. He was very clear on the fact he wants nothing more to do with them."
"So the Order are without their saviour. Your father will be thrilled," Draco mused. "It gives him the advantage."
"We've had the advantage for a long time, Father is just choosing not to press it until I can be by his side," Hermione replied as she rummaged in her bag for her nightwear.
Truth be told, Hermione felt as though she was already prepared to face the Order, but Voldemort was adamant that there would be no fighting for her or Draco until they'd finished their education and he was personally satisfied they could handle themselves in any dangerous situation.
"I won't be a minute," Hermione said as she darted into the bathroom.
Draco used the opportunity to quickly finish his chapter, before placing the book on the bedside table. However, before he could get totally settled and ready for sleep, Hermione emerged from the bathroom wearing a tiny pair of silky emerald green shorts and a matching strappy top. Draco merely stared at the sight of his girlfriend in her skimpy pyjamas, wondering where they had come from and what she was up to. The previous evening she'd worn a pair of lilac and white pyjamas, which did have a vest top, but weren't too revealing.
"Don't you like?" Hermione asked with a pout, giving Draco a slow twirl which revealed that the shorts were so short that he could see the curve of her buttocks. "I bought them especially for you."
"For what? To torment me?" Draco asked in a hoarse voice, unable to tear his eyes away from Hermione's long, exposed legs.
"It was supposed to be a treat," Hermione replied as she approached the bed. "I thought they were sexy."
"They are," Draco agreed. "Very sexy."
"But?" Hermione asked with a sigh.
"But we both gave our word not to take things further while we were away," Draco answered.
"No-one would know," Hermione whispered seductively as she climbed onto the bed next to Draco.
"We would know," Draco countered, unable to stop himself from reaching out and running his hand up Hermione's bare thigh. "Besides, I was warned by the three fathers that they would be checking we'd kept our promise when we returned."
"We could hide our thoughts from them," Hermione said.
"You know as well as I do that I don't have the same control as you do," Draco replied with a sigh. "When Severus really pushes at my defences, I can't hold him back. But even if I could, I wouldn't put it past the three fathers to test our virginity or something like that."
"I guess you're right," Hermione conceded with a sigh as she flopped down on the bed beside Draco. "We did promise, and I would feel bad for breaking that promise."
"Now isn't the right time, but it'll come soon enough," Draco said.
"Do you think we'll know when the time is right?" Hermione asked, turning to lie on her side so she was facing Draco.
"I think so," Draco replied. "Although I don't suppose any-time is the right time if we've been asked to refrain from sex."
"We're not going to wait for permission, are we?" Hermione checked with a frown. "Because you know how protective everyone is of me. If father had his way, I would die a virgin."
"I promise I won't let that happen," Draco grinned, leaning over to Hermione and gently connecting their lips. "We were meant to be together, Hermione."
"Do you swear?" Hermione whispered against his lips.
"I swear," Draco promised. "Not stop being a tease, get into bed properly and go to sleep."
"Yes, Sir," Hermione laughed.
Darting under the covers, Hermione settled herself in Draco's arms, and despite being the one to trying to seduce him, she drifted off to sleep almost immediately. It took Draco a bit longer to really settle down as the sight of Hermione in her skimpy nightwear had affected him rather a lot. However, he did eventually drift off to sleep with Hermione wrapped securely in his embrace.
Despite the luxurious hotel Hermione and Draco had booked, and stunning penthouse suite they were residing in, Harry barely slept a wink all night. Part of him was worried about what sort of noises he might hear from the second bedroom, as it was clear that Draco and Hermione were sharing a room. Luckily, he heard nothing all evening, so either the rooms were really well soundproofed or the two teenagers hadn't gotten up to anything untoward in the night. Although to be honest, his concerns about overhearing something he shouldn't were only a minor reason why he didn't sleep. The main reason he couldn't sleep was because he was dreading the upcoming meeting with Voldemort.
From the second Harry had discovered what had been done to Hermione, he'd wanted to be away from the Order. However, it had never occurred to him to join forces with Voldemort, even once he was able to correspond with Hermione again and it was clear that with each passing month she was becoming more and more loyal to her father. It was only when he was planning his escape that Hermione offered him the chance to meet Voldemort, settle their differences and join them in the safety of wherever they had found themselves upon leaving Britain two summers ago.
Harry had accepted Hermione's offer, but even now he was back with his best friend, he still couldn't say for sure that he would be able to bring himself to join forces with the wizard who'd killed his parents. After all, as much as he hated the Order for what they'd done to Hermione, Voldemort himself wasn't innocent of doing nothing wrong and he'd still killed Harry's parents and tried to kill him as a baby. Even Harry's discovery that his parents had known and approved of the plan to kidnap Hermione as a baby didn't lessen the grief he felt at their deaths. Granted, it had changed his opinions of his parents and he was no longer sure if they were the good people he'd always thought they were, but they were still his parents and they'd still been killed before he'd had the chance to get to know them.
Hermione had assured him that if he chose not to align himself with them, he would be free to leave and no harm would come to him. And even though Harry didn't trust Voldemort, he did trust Hermione, and he knew that she'd promised him his safety and he could rely on her word. So even though he had no idea what the future was going to hold, he was sure that no matter what happened, he would be safe and Voldemort wouldn't try and kill him again.
With so much on his mind and unable to sleep more than a few minutes at a time, Harry was up and out of bed before the sun even rose. By the time he'd showered and dressed for the day, the sun was just starting to shine in through the window of the bedroom he was sleeping in. After making sure he had everything safely back in his backpack, Harry emerged into the adjoined living area, as he began to hear sounds in the second bedroom.
Hermione was the first to emerge from the bedroom, and after greeting Harry with a firm hug, she ordered breakfast from room service. As they waited for the food to arrive, she made sure that all her belongings were packed in her bag. Once breakfast had arrived, she then settled down next to Harry and dove into the food.
"Is Malfoy not joining us?" Harry asked as he spread a small pot of redcurrant jam onto his toast.
"He better be getting his lazy arse out of bed," she replied in a loud voice. "Seriously though, he's not a morning person," she added in her normal tone. "Most of the time he's like a zombie until after breakfast."
"I heard that," Draco muttered as he shuffled into the room, dressed but with dishevelled hair and looking half asleep.
"Sorry, I was wrong, you're as bright as a button on a morning," Hermione remarked sarcastically as her boyfriend settled down on the chair opposite and poured himself a large glass of juice.
"This is so surreal," Harry muttered, shaking his head at the sight of his best friend teasing Draco as though they'd known each other forever.
"It's about to get more surreal," Hermione remarked. "Once we've finished breakfast, we're heading to join up with the adults."
"Are we leaving the country?" Harry asked.
"Yes, we're meeting at one of the Malfoy properties in Europe," Hermione answered.
"That's not where you've been for the last two years though, is it?" Harry checked. "After you left, Dumbledore tried to find you and he was confident you hadn't stayed in Europe. Or at least if you had, you were well hidden."
"We are well hidden, but you're right, we didn't stay in Europe," Hermione said. "I would like to tell you where we do live, Harry, but I promised my father that I wouldn't."
"I understand," Harry said with a nod. "He doesn't want your safety compromised. Until we know where we all stand, it's probably not wise to tell anyone where you've been staying."
"That's very rational Potter," Draco remarked, looking more perky now he'd had something to eat and drink.
"There's no need to sound so shocked, Malfoy, I can do rational," Harry said with a slight chuckle.
"You could have fooled me," Draco snorted. "The Harry Potter I went to school with wasn't rational. In fact he was rather partial to acting rashly."
"Times have changed. I've changed," Harry replied. "And I could say something similar about you. The Draco Malfoy I went to school with wasn't considerate to anyone but his friends. Yet here you are, clearly besotted with Hermione, and acting civil towards me."
"Touché," Draco chuckled as he rose to his feet. "I'm going to finish packing, then I'll go and check us out."
While Draco made sure he'd packed and they hadn't left anything behind, Hermione explained to Harry that Draco would check them out of the hotel and make it look as though they'd left, before they used a port key to get to their next destination. Once Draco was sorted, he gathered up the keys to the suite and headed down to reception to check them out. While Draco was sorting the hotel, Hermione had pulled a jug from her bag and placed it on the coffee table.
When Draco returned, Hermione let him into the room and they returned to where Harry was waiting with the port key. All three of them made sure they had their bags on their possession as they grabbed hold of the jug and with a bright swirl of yellow light they vanished from the hotel room, leaving behind no trace that they'd ever been there.
Harry didn't have a lot of experience of travelling by port key, having only done so once before when attending the Quidditch World Cup the summer before fourth year. Which was why when they had to let go of the jug, he found himself falling through the air and landing on a plush carpet with a thump, while Hermione and Draco landed elegantly beside him upright on their feet.
"Are you okay, Harry?" Hermione asked, dumping her bag and helping her friend to his feet.
"Yeah, just not used to port keys," Harry replied.
Once he was on his feet, Harry took in the luxury of his surroundings. They were in a large living room, decorated in shades of cream with splashes of light purple to offer some colour, and jam packed with expensive looking furniture. Behind him, Virtually a whole wall was made of glass, offering a stunning view of what looked like Paris. Or at least Harry thought the large structure he could see looked like the Eiffel Tower, not that he'd ever seen it in person to be sure.
"Amazing," he whispered, gazing out of the window.
Harry was still entranced by the view when he heard movement over the other side of the room and he turned around in time to see a beautiful, elegant witch he recognised as Narcissa Malfoy enter the room. Narcissa went straight over to her son and greeted him with a peck on the cheek, before turning to Hermione and greeting her the same way. Finally her attention turned to Harry, and he forced himself not to look away from her direct bright blue eyes. He knew that if he let himself be intimidated by Narcissa then he stood no chance of holding his own when the adult wizards arrived.
"Welcome, Mr Potter," Narcissa said coolly, giving Harry a slight nod which he hoped meant he'd impressed her by not flinching away.
"It's very nice of you to have me, Mrs Malfoy," Harry replied politely.
A ghost of a smile flickered over Narcissa's lips before Harry was distracted by yet another presence entering the room. This time it was his former Potions Professor, Severus Snape. Harry was used to seeing Severus in his billowing black robes, so he was slightly taken aback to find the former Professor wearing a dark blue shirt and a pair of dark trousers. Although he was even more taken aback when Severus greeted Hermione with a warm embrace and audibly checked she was okay. Even though it had been mentioned how fond the former Professor was of his best friend, it was still a shock to witness it first hand. And of course it was just as shocking to see Hermione smiling warmly at the former Potions Professor and reassuring him that she was fine.
Once Severus had assured himself that Hermione was okay, he welcomed Draco with a slight smile and a pat on the back. He then turned his dark eyes to Harry, looking him up and down as though he were a specimen in a jar. Harry knew Severus had never liked him, and judging from the looks he was giving him, his dislike hadn't faded over the last two years.
"Professor," Harry greeted with a small incline of his head.
"Potter," Severus returned in a low drawl.
Harry wasn't sure if the former Head of Slytherin was going to say more, but before he got a chance they were interrupted by Lucius Malfoy striding into the room. Lucius was looking just as intimidating as Harry had always remembered him, and even his warm greeting to Hermione, didn't soften the determined look in his eyes.
"I trust it the pair of you behaved yourselves," Lucius remarked, his cool grey eyes darting between his son and his son's girlfriend.
"Don't we always, Lucius?" Hermione returned sweetly.
"No, my dear, you don't," Lucius replied with a fond chuckle. "But this time, I hope you did," he added, focusing more on his son.
"We gave you our word, father, and we didn't break our promise," Draco replied.
"I hope so, because I will be checking," Lucius warned before abruptly turning around and pinning Harry with his firm stare. "Ah Mr Potter, how delightful to see you again."
Harry could sense the sarcasm in Lucius's voice, but before he could formulate a response his attention was well and truly grabbed by yet another person entering the room. For a second, Harry was confused as to who the tall, handsome stranger with short dark hair was. But then he spotted the wizard's unique red eyes and he realised the man was Voldemort, only looking ten times more human than he had done upon his return a little over two years ago.
"Hope," Voldemort called, engulfing Hermione in his arms.
"Hello, Daddy," Hermione replied, smiling up at her father. Even from across the room, Harry could see the bond the pair had made over the last two years.
"Was everything okay? You didn't run into any trouble, did you?" Voldemort checked.
"It all went perfectly," Hermione answered. "I told you it would."
"Yes, you did," Voldemort agreed with an affectionate smile. "And you brought your guest with you," he said, turning from his daughter and losing his smile as his red eyes locked with Harry. "Potter," he hissed, sounding just as scary as Harry remembered.
"Father," Hermione scolded as Harry took a wary step away from Voldemort.
"I do apologise," Voldemort said to Harry, sounding as though he was forcing every word out of his mouth. "Old habits, I'm afraid."
"I quite understand," Harry replied. He was itching to draw his wand in the presence of Voldemort, and it was only the fact he trusted Hermione that had stopped him from doing so.
"Glaring at each other isn't going to get us anywhere," Hermione tutted, shaking her head at the tension in the room. "Let's all sit down and discuss the situation like adults. We all agreed to talk, so let's talk."
One by one, everyone nodded their head and agreed with Hermione. No-one knew what the outcome of the conversation was going to be, or if it would be to everyone's liking, but one thing everyone in the room had in common was the love they had for Hermione. And for Hermione, they were all willing to sit down and talk, and see if maybe there was a chance of old rivals joining forces to bring down their common enemy.