THIS IS A REPOST. I originally posted this fic a while back, pulled it because all my Dramione-inclusive plunnies died on me. But now they've been stirring back to life, so I decided to give them second chance.
Those who read these works before my mass Dramione Deletion (or who read these works in my Unfinished Dramione PDF), please note that aside from minor changes and editing fixes, the content of the previously posted chapters has not changed. All returning Dramiones will be update weekly until all previously-available chapters are posted. At that point, the fics will continue until completion, but will fall under my 'sporadic updates' label.
*Tourniquet-specific Note: Portions of chapters 6, 7, & 8 will differ from their original content. My happy ass did not check that I had the complete version of all chapters saved before deleting this fic, so while I have notes on what occurs during those missing portions, I have to rewrite them, so they will naturally deviate some from their initial posting, but the overall story will not change.
Lucius Malfoy Fancast: Alexander Skarsgard
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter, or any affiliated characters, and make no profit, in any form, from this story.
She was the last person he expected to see within the walls of Malfoy Manor.
After the dust settled, and the dead were tallied—deciding which missing bodies were truly missing, and which were actually dead, was possibly the most difficult thing—the Ministry had convinced him, as a show of unity within Wizarding Britain, to allow the use of his suddenly so-vacant home to host a memorial gathering.
Narcissa's deception turned the tide of the War, Draco had fought against the Death Eaters charging Hogwarts, after all. Their images hung, beside the Weasley clan, and Severus, and dozens of other faces for which he had no names. To think, his wife and son, hailed as heroes.
Yet gone, unable to receive their accolades. Never knowing they'd redeemed the honor of the Malfoy family.
And what had he done, really? Biting hard into his lip, he swirled what was left in his glass before knocking back the last of the sharp, amber liquid.
Nothing, he answered himself. Each time he asked, the reply was the same.
A month had come and gone, and he felt nothing, still. Not even when he thought back on holding Narcissa's motionless, ice-cold hand; nor when he recalled hearing Draco's name announced among the missing-declared-dead.
And now, here he stood, in his own parlor, chattering voices and life filling the enormous house. Glasses clinking, toasts being raised to those who'd fallen.
If not that he was aware of his own pulse beating in his ears, he wasn't even certain he could prove he was still alive.
He spent a long while staring at Narcissa's face on the banner, inspecting Draco's features. For years he'd been told his son looked like him, yet he never truly noticed until now.
The young man was nearly the spitting image of himself, twenty years ago.
Occasionally, some mourner bumped into him. Whether he wanted them to, or not, they'd pull him into some vapid conversation—likely designed to distract everyone from their pain, rather than to actually celebrate the lives of those passed—and he'd nod politely. The slight smile that tugged the corners of his mouth upward was utterly lifeless, yet the guests let it appease them. They pretended it more than a show, more than a sad mimicry of emotions he might've once felt, and he allowed them to view it so.
Slowly, after several agonizing hours of playing at feeling anything, the crowd thinned, the noise lessened. And then, once more, the Manor stood empty.
Or, at least he thought. Until he turned to exit the parlor and he heard a sound. A sniffle, perhaps? Followed by the clinking of ice cubes against glass.
Frowning, he turned on his heel, expecting to find one of the few remaining house elves partaking. Yet, he saw no one.
Tilting his head, he stepped back into the parlor, gaze scanning the room. For the barest second, he wondered if he wasn't beginning to imagine things.
Dear Merlin, what a relief it would be to simply wake up in St. Mungo's and find out this had all been some atrocious dream!
There, tucked between an armchair and the wall, she sat on the floor. Her legs pulled in beneath her, and a glass clutched in her hand.
For the first time since the War ended, he felt something. Surprise.
"Miss Granger?" After that horrific ordeal with Bellatrix, he truly expected the young woman to never set foot in the Manor, again.
Hermione looked up from her strangely empty glass. She could've sworn someone kept coming by and drinking it when she wasn't paying attention! She'd take a few sips, and suddenly the alcohol would be drained. How very odd.
And her gums felt fuzzy.
"Mr. Malfoy?" She pursed her lips, puzzling, still, over her mysteriously empty glass.
"Everyone else has left. Why are you still here?"
The young woman sighed, her enormous brown eyes—turned up so very prettily at the corners, he noticed—rolled toward the ceiling. He amused himself with wondering if perhaps those eyes were the real reason Draco always tore about the house, bellowing over how insufferable she was.
"I was told," she said, shaking a finger at him, "that I should come to this—this . . . ."
"Whatever. This thing that's meant to commemorate their lives, but really it's only to make us think we're doing something. I mean, honestly! They're dead, they don't care!"
She drew a breath, seeming to collect herself. "I was told by the Minister, and Professor McGonagall, and loads of other people that if I came here, if I came out and was around others, I'd feel better."
"Load of codswallop, certainly."
"Exactly!" Hermione frowned. For Heaven's sake, if Lucius Malfoy could understand what a bit of rubbish that idea was, why couldn't anyone else?
Lucius blinked rapidly a few times, tucking a wayward lock of his long, platinum hair behind his ear. "Codswallop notwithstanding, that still doesn't answer why you haven't left."
She held his gaze for a long moment, blinking hard, as though attempting to recall something. "I was told that if I came here, I'd feel better. So, since I don't feel better yet, I'm not leaving."
He refrained from rolling his eyes. Ah, drunkard logic. "Am I to take it that's also why you're so very inebriated?"
"Yes!" She leaned close, as though to tell him a secret. "This is supposed to make me feel better. But it doesn't!"
"How much have you had?"
Hermione wondered over this, staring back into her empty glass. "I'm not sure. I would take a sip, and next thing I know, boop, gone. Hey!" She looked up suddenly, clamping her free hand over his arm and startling him. "Do you think someone spelled my glass so that I wouldn't be able to drink the entire thing?"
"And that's the cue you've had enough." Lucius' eyebrows shot up as he reached for the glass.
She pulled it away from him. "No, I haven't," she said, her voice suddenly, surprisingly, matter-of-fact. "Not until I feel better. Or stop feeling anything, at all."
Eyes drifting closed, he sat down on the floor, facing her. "You don't want that, Miss Granger."
Her eyes gleamed as she folded her lips inward for a moment. "You have no idea what I want. This all . . . hurts so much. They're all gone, and my best friend, he's off doing God knows what, just to get his mind off things. I haven't heard from him in weeks. And I'm left here, all on my own, because everyone thinks 'Oh, that's Hermione Granger, war hero, don't you know? She can handle anything!' Well, you know what? I can't!"
He thought he felt the vaguest stirrings of sympathy, yet as soon as he acknowledged it, the emotion settled back into place. "Not feeling anything," he said softly, setting his glass down on the floor, "is its own sort of misery, Miss Granger."
"Oh, how would you even . . . ?" Her voice trailed off as she studied his face. "That's what the War did to you, isn't it? It killed you inside?"
"The War? No." He smiled weakly, but didn't meet her gaze. "The loss? Yes."
She set down her own glass, appearing truly fascinated by this. "Really? You feel nothing?"
Lucius shrugged, clasping his hands in front of him as he let out a breath and darted his gaze about the floor. "Not since their names were counted among the dead. Though, I will admit for brief moment, I felt what might have been shock to find you had returned here of your own volition."
Hermione lifted his glass, examining it and then setting it back down, disappointed to find his as empty as hers. "I thought if there was a chance that everyone was right, and I would feel better, then I needed to try."
He watched her for a moment before speaking. "That actually makes perfect sense. Some prefer to wallow in their misery, after all."
"Yes, well . . . ." She smirked. "Wallowing sucks."
"And I see you've devolved to charming Muggle turns of phrase."
Hermione nodded, offering a small smile. "Right, Muggle talk in a Wizarding house. Perhaps that's a sign I should go, now."
Nodding, he stood and held down his hand to help her to her feet. She wobbled a bit and he caught her, his arm circling her waist to steady her.
"Thank you," she said, the smile widening.
His brow furrowed. "I should have let you fall over?"
"I meant for talking to me." Her smile faded. "No one else has."
"Perhaps we could exchange problems. I can't remember a time when people wanted to speak to me, more."
Hermione laughed. Strange, she couldn't recall the last time she'd laughed. And because Lucius Malfoy had cracked a joke, no less. Would wonders never cease?
As though he understood her thoughts, he nodded, offering that strange, tight-lipped little Malfoy smile.
"Again, thank you, Mr. Malfoy."
He realized only now that he still held her hand in his. Lifting it, he placed his other hand over the top. How strange that he wished he could switch her pain for his nothingness.
"You're welcome, Miss Granger."
Hermione gave into a bizarre urge, then, standing on her toes to kiss his cheek. She blinked drowsily and pulled back to look at him, thinking she felt—more than heard—the breath catch in his throat. The notice of which produced a warm, distracting, stirring in her body.
And, unlike so many things she'd been forced to feel recently, it didn't hurt.
She didn't know quite what was happening. "Are you all right?"
He schooled his features, clearing his throat, and dropped his gaze. "Fine, actually. Relieved. In your closeness, I think I felt something."
"I felt nothing," Hermione said, her tone also relieved—the truth-serum effect of alcohol clearly at work in him, as well.
Lucius arched a brow.
"Oh, no." She laughed, the sound lighter than anything she'd heard bubble from her own lips since the War. "I meant I . . . I think I forgot the pain for a moment."
Before he could respond, she leaned forward again, pressing her mouth to his.
A jolt shot through him, warm and sweet, yet the sensation—the feeling—was also what brought him to his senses. He wrapped his fingers around her upper arms and forced her back.
"Miss Granger," he said, his breath heavy, "what are you doing?"
"Isn't it obvious?" She didn't even try to pry her gaze from his mouth. "You want to feel anything, I want to feel something besides the pain. I'm solving both our problems."
Strangely, he couldn't refute her logic. But then, he wasn't certain he actually wanted to try.
She pressed forward again, and his arms slid around her, holding her to him as she kissed him. Her tongue darted between his lips, and he opened to her eagerly.
Her fingers clawed and pulled at his suit, and he released his hold on her to assist.
He broke the kiss and she tipped her head back expectantly as he dropped his mouth to trail kisses along the side of her throat. She gave up on his shirt buttons, leaving him to finish undressing himself and reached back, tugging at the zipper of her black dress.
The satiny fabric slid down her body, whispering to the floor, and she kicked it aside. As she stepped out of her shoes, she felt his hands cup her cheeks. Eyes opening, she found his dazed grey eyes staring down into hers.
"Miss Granger, are you certain you wish to continue?"
Sinking her teeth into her bottom lip, she reached out, trailing her fingertips down his bared chest. She couldn't help a quick, mildly mean-spirited giggle at his sharp intake of breath.
"Shut up, Mr. Malfoy," she said, nodding.
She stepped closer to him, leaning up on her toes to kiss the hollow of his throat, and delighting in the soft, little groan that rumbled out of him. Letting her eyes drift closed, she blissfully acknowledged that she wasn't thinking through her actions—nor did she care to—as she dragged her mouth lower.
He sank his hands into her hair, bunching them into fists as her lips and tongue teased across his skin, warm and wet. The feel of her fingers scrabbling at his belt buckle sent a rippling thrill of anticipation through him.
She felt a strange sense of triumph as she undid the buckle, and opened his trousers, pushing them down, over his hips. Her cheeks flooded with heat, even as she teasingly raked her teeth over one of his nipples, as she let her hands sink low, grasping him.
He let out a muted gasp, sliding his hands out of her hair and down her back, relieving her of a strapless brassiere and dropping it carelessly to the floor. Holding in another groan, he caught himself rocking his hips, pushing his hardened length through her curious, stroking fingers.
His hands slid lower, dragging down her knickers until they fell to pool around her feet.
Standing bared before him, Hermione couldn't help withdrawing for a moment. She merely stared up at him, wondering, briefly, what he saw when he looked at her.
What did it matter? She realized, the revelation sudden and foreign—she knew what she saw in him at this moment.
Before she could think more on the matter, he reached out, cupping the back of her head with a splayed hand. She allowed him to pull her close, once more, his mouth crashing down on hers as his tongue plunged between her lips.
She leaned her hips forward, pressing herself to him. A delicious, rippling warmth washed over her at the sensation of him so very hard against her. Each time she inhaled, she shivered ever so slightly at the feel of her tightened nipples brushing his chest.
He slid a hand down her body to trail between her thighs. She parted for him, breaking the kiss to let out a moaning gasp as he slid a finger inside her. How funny, she could have sworn he made a purr-like sound at finding her wet, and clenching around his entry.
"Lie on the floor," she said, her voice a breathless whisper.
He regarded her curiously, arching a brow.
"Mr. Malfoy, lie on the floor," she repeated, holding his gaze.
Lucius continued to watch her, cautious, and unfamiliar with being told something so boldly. Yet, he did as she ordered, finding a strange delight in allowing his will taken from him.
She gazed down at him, nervous and yet . . . not. Oddly calm in this moment, as perhaps the most arrogant pure-blood wizard she'd ever met did her biding.
He watched as she stepped closer, lowering herself slowly until she knelt over him. On impulse, he reached out to touch her, but she caught his wrists.
Raising an eyebrow at him, she shook her head and leaned up, over him. She tugged his arms up, linking his hands behind his neck.
Unable to help himself, his dipped his head, catching one of her nipples between his lips and suckling at her.
She moaned, shuddering against him. As quickly as she gave in, she retreated, shifting to pull her breast from his mouth.
Tapping her finger against his lips, she whispered, "I didn't tell you to move, Mr. Malfoy."
Grey eyes drifting closed, he lapped at her finger. This time, he stopped before she pulled away. "You didn't tell me not to, either, Miss Granger."
She smirked, a quiet giggle spilling out. "Well, then . . . don't move."
He chuckled, but nodded, his expression calm and curious as he watched her face.
Offering a sharp nod in response, she leaned close, sliding her body along his as she trailed warm, wet kisses over his chest and down his abdomen. Reaching further down, still, she took him in her hand, stroking with her fingers, aroused by the feel of the heated skin against her palm.
He inhaled sharply, and she thought she quite liked that sound as she brought her mouth to him, playfully sucking at the tip. His hips twitched under her in response and she withdrew to make a tsking noise.
"You're moving, Mr. Malfoy," she murmured as she rose over him.
"Involuntary reaction, Miss Granger," he replied, biting into his bottom lip as he observed her above him.
She held him so carefully, positioning him before she lowered herself. Her body clenched tight for a few heartbeats, a sweet shock washing across her skin at the feel of him entering her.
Groaning, she leaned forward. Bracing her palms on his chest, she started rocking her pelvis against him. As before, his breath tore out of him in sharp, quick sounds, and she leaned down further, lapping at his skin as she ground her hips, trying to make him sink deeper, still.
She trembled slightly, her muscles shuddering. His hips jerked beneath her, and she pulled back enough to meet his gaze. She wanted to admonish him, yet, the movements pushed against her at just the right moment, at just the right angle, causing her to tremble, once more.
She knew he probably did that on purpose, but she didn't care. "You can move now, Mr. Malfoy."
He gave that smarmy Malfoy smirk and shot up, holding her to him as the change in position forced her to wrap her legs around him. Lucius thrust his hips, pushing into her hard and deep, over and over.
Hermione bit hard into her lip to keep from crying out as she slid her arms around him, her nails digging into his shoulders. She arched her back, lifting her pelvis against his thrusts. A tiny, hiccupping gasp sounded from her and as she stilled over him.
He held her tight, the thrusting of his hips turning jerking and unsteady as she clenched, warm and wet, around him. The shivering of her muscles around him as her orgasm tore through her pushed him over the edge.
She held her body taut as long as she could, wanting to make it last longer, but he must've known as soon as it ebbed, she thought. His hands slid over her hips, rocking her, working her over his length again and again until he was spent.
Neither of them moved as they caught their breath. Longer than that, maybe. After time, she couldn't be certain quite how long they stayed there, wrapped around one another.
When she realized silence filled the room, their bodies had wound down. Yet neither of them seemed inclined to budge.
"Should I . . . should I go now, or something?"
He used his arms around her to pull her back so that he might meet her gaze as he spoke. "You could." He arched a brow, his eyes flicking upward briefly, "Or we could retire upstairs, and see if this notion of you feeling, and myself not, works a second time."
The next morning, Hermione awoke to find herself part of the most peculiar conversation. Not only had Lucius Malfoy not kicked her out of his bed, rather, he seemed to want to discuss the . . . merits of what had occurred.
She blinked hard, shaking her head as she sat up, the sheet pulled up modestly over herself. She didn't feel ashamed, quite the opposite, she found she didn't really mind what had happened last night, at all.
"So . . . wait, you're . . . asking me to stay? Because we had sex?"
Lucius' eyebrows pinched together as he frowned. "No. I was suggesting you needn't leave, unless you wish."
"So that we can repeat last night as deemed necessary by my emotions, or your lack thereof?"
"Essentially, yes," he said, his tone level, matter-of-fact.
She pouted in thought, watching as he rose from the bed—apparently not minding that he was strolling about in front of her, bare as the day he was born, after last night's escapade—and fetched a dressing gown from the wardrobe.
"Then," she tried to clarify as he returned to her with the dressing gown, "we'd sort of be like . . . medicine for one another, yes?"
He nodded, arching a brow as she accepted the garment and slipped it on. He then retreated to the wardrobe, once more, to fetch himself a fresh set of clothes.
"And that's it? We're roommates who'll occasionally happen into each other's beds?"
After showing the grace to dress at least half way, he sat on the edge of the bed, his shirt in his hand. "Miss Granger, allow me to make this perfectly clear. You would not be beholden to this house, or to me, in any way shape, or form, other than to avail yourself to me when my . . . nothingness has become too much to tolerate."
She gave a slow nod, "And the same goes for you when my pain gets too much?"
That sounded . . . strangely not terrible to her. "Wait, would I be expected to . . . ." She looked down suddenly at the bed upon which they sat. "Oh, God, please tell me this isn't the bed you and your wife—"
"No. You needn't worry, I don't use that room, anymore." He chuckled, in spite of the ghastly notion she'd just had. "Merlin's beard, what you must think of pure-bloods. No, you may choose whichever of the guest rooms you wish. It would be yours for as long as we agree this arrangement is of use to us."
"And when it is no longer of use?"
He shrugged, standing from the bed to slip on his shirt. "You are free to leave any time you wish."
Her eyebrows shot up. "You mean if I wake up tomorrow and decide I don't want this anymore, I can just go?"
Again he shrugged. "You can just go if you decide against it five minutes from now, five days, or five weeks."
"And if you're the one to change your mind?"
"Then I will ask you to leave, but if you have become comfortable here, I will grant you the necessary time to leave at your convenience, of course."
Hermione's shoulders drooped as the turned over this idea in her head. Her pain was still dulled, she couldn't remember the last time she'd been able to think so clearly. There was obviously no sort of attachment between them, which helped a great deal. She could live in a Manor . . . the ancestral home of a pure-blood wizard probably had quite an impressive collection of literature. Come and go as she wished, leave when she decided she was ready to move on?
And he kept calling her Miss Granger, rather than finding that odd, she took comfort in the impersonal touch it lent the situation.
"I'm looking for a downside to this, Mr. Malfoy," she said, hoping he'd catch that she'd picked up on the nuance.
He gave that tightlipped Malfoy grin. "And have you found one?"
"No, I haven't." She stood, straightening the dressing gown. "I guess we have a deal, Mr. Malfoy. Now, where's your library?"
By the third week—several times during which she'd woken up in his bed, and a few of Lucius in hers—Hermione hadn't even read through a quarter of the books on the wide, shelved walls. She didn't know if she slacking, or if that was merely a testament to how many books there really were.
Lucius entered the room, going directly to a particular section of the library and skimming over the titles.
He let out a sigh. "Miss Granger, have you seen either of those blasted elves?"
"Those blasted elves have names, Mr. Malfoy."
"Yes, well, that does not much matter when I could do with either one, now does it?"
She sighed, shaking her head as she selected her next bit of reading and turned on a heel. "Such a pure-blood way to look at things," she said over her shoulder.
He only rolled his eyes, shaking his head. "Bloody elves," he muttered, not caring to summon one simply to find a book.
Hermione retreated to the garden. A marble bench that faced the dark stone fountain had quickly become her favorite reading spot. As she settled down, placing the books in a neat stack beside her, she heard something from the front of the Manor.
Frowning curiously, she stood and jogged around the side of the house—Lord knew if she walked, she'd never get there—ducking through an open wrought-iron gate to come up on the front entrance.
The doors of the Manor stood open, and on the floor of the foyer, she could see a crumpled figure. . . . With a fringe of pale hair over a dark shirt collar.
"Oh, God," she whispered, hurrying up the steps.
In her shock, her legs gave out and she found herself sitting suddenly on the floor beside Draco's unconscious, battered-looking from.
"Oh, God, she said again, "Draco, Draco! Where have you . . . ? Oh, Draco, wake up, please!"
Uncertain what to do, she struggled to shift his body on the floor, pillowing his head in her lap in some meager attempt to make him comfortable.
He didn't stir. He was actually still wearing the same clothes he'd been when he'd disappeared during the Battle of Hogwarts! They practically hung from him in tatters, but she recognized them, all the same. His lips were dry and cracked, his closed eyes puffy, and a thick scruff of pale-gold hair had grown out over his jaw and upper lip.
She leaned down, bringing her ear close to his lips.
He was still breathing, but barely.
Hermione was unable to stop herself from screaming, "Lucius!"