And here we are at the end... One last huge 'thank you' to In Dreams, LightofEvolution, and Mcal. I can't imagine doing this without you. And so much appreciation to all of you who are reading this. Until next time!

Hermione looks at Harry, wondering what exactly to do next. Unsure herself what to say, she's fortunate that he speaks first.

Rubbing the back of his neck, he's looking at his fellow Gryffindor while sneaking glances out of the corner of his eye. "I suppose I'll head up the tower and let Ron and everyone know we're alright."

She nods at him, glad he is willing to make that trip. Hermione is distracted by a different relationship at the moment. She would much rather stay and figure out what happens with Draco from here than play 20 questions with Ron about the food they ate or the endowment of the story wenches.

Hey, she's known him for almost a decade. It can't be said she doesn't know what makes the man tick.

"Excellent." Nott's eyes are gleaming, and he is rubbing his hands together in gleeful anticipation. "Then you can come with me down to the dungeons. I'm sure they are in a right state, wondering after my health."

"Err…" Harry seems to have short-circuited. "You're coming up with me?"

Accepting no argument, Nott links his arm through Harry's and starts to lead him away. "Of course! Don't you want to introduce me to your friends? Plus…" He adds in a stage whisper, looking back over his shoulder at Draco, "...I think these two might like a little alone time, if you catch my meaning."

Harry looks back as well, grimacing a little, and Hermione waggles her fingertips at him, slightly embarrassed, but mostly quite thrilled to have Draco alone.

Once they are out of sight, she looks at her companion to find him grinning down at her. "Well then," he begins, offering his own arm for her to take. She does, slipping her elbow around the crook of his and laying her hand on his arm. "I believe you promised me Hogsmeade, but it seems it might be a bit close to dinner for that. I would settle, perhaps, for you joining me at the Slytherin table this evening? It looks like we might even have another lion in the pit from now on." He tips his head a bit closer, as if to impart a secret. "Theo, you'd never know it, but he's quite tenacious when he sets his mind to something. Looks all weedy and unassuming, but that fuck lays claim and holds tight. Not unlike me, come to think of it…"

He's droning a bit. It's cute, but Hermione has one goal at the moment, and it's not to wax philosophic about Theodore Nott, even if he is currently having relations with her best friend. Draco is still mid sentence when she finds what she is looking for: an alcove off the main corridor with a heavy tapestry hiding the small stone enclosure behind.

She shoves him through the weaving, and, with an 'oof', his back connects with the wall.

"Talking later," she says, bossy as you please, and has no regrets about that. With a quick flick of her wand, she silences the space around them then drops her wand to the stone.

Hermione steps up onto her toes, nose to nose with a rather shocked Draco. His grey eyes are drinking her in. Not breaking the gaze, she pillows his bottom lip with her own then flicks her tongue lightly against it.

He's so passive, it's concerning. Leaning in again, she applies more pressure with her lips, licking along the seam of his. Draco isn't precisely unresponsive, but it's not the passionate collision she had expected, hoped for. It's nothing like she'd lain awake imagining either. Disappointed, she pulls back and tilts her face to look at his.

"Do you not….? Should I stop?"

He shakes his head, but she isn't quite sure what he's answering. With deliberate movement, he turns them so that Hermione has her back to the wall. "Are you sure?"

Well, that's the most ridiculous question she's ever heard. She practically threw herself at the man! A bit numb, ironically unsure, she nods.

Draco leans in closer, eyes searching hers. "I need to hear you say it. Is this what you want? This is the real world now, Granger. No forgetting what happens here. No pretending it wasn't real."

Her lips feel dry, so she wets them slowly. Draco tracks the motion, his hand flexing at her hip, and she is no longer concerned he is uninterested. Nervous, but definitely not uninterested.

"It's already real, Draco." She lifts a hand to his face, brushing her fingertips down the bone of his jaw. "This is what I want."

"Oh, thank fuck." He kisses her so hard this time she feels pressed into the stone wall, his hands digging into her, looking for purchase. He grips her hip and her neck and slides his hand from her waist up to her breast, cupping it then running his palm over the hardened tip. She whimpers and he groans; they sigh into each other's mouth. Hermione had started as the aggressor, then relaxed under his touch, enjoying whatever friction he seeks.

Eventually, that's not enough anymore, and she pushes him slightly away so she can shimmy her knickers down her legs and toss her robes from her shoulders.

He doesn't give her more time than that. As soon as she is down to her skirt and oxford, he growls and moves back in. Hands frantic, they are both hurried now, unlooping buttons and reaching over one another's busy hands.

Hermione makes first contact with intimate skin, pulling his shirt from where it's tucked in and grazing the tops of his hip bones in the process. She moves to his trousers just as he pushes the sleeves from her shoulders. He reaches behind her to find the clasp, the last barrier, stopping her from being nearly nude, and unhooks it deftly.

That done, he slows, looking back at her face before pulling the straps from her shoulders. He watches with reverence as he reveals her, peeling the skin-toned satin and lace down, and sucks in a harsh, affected breath when he finally drops the undergarment to the floor. "Fuck, Granger…" Anything else he might have said or she might have replied is silenced when he leans in to take first one then the other nipple into his mouth, tongue flicking and breath hot and wet.

She holds his head, fingers threading into his hair, and lets the wall do the work of holding her up.

When his hand snakes beneath her skirt, she squeals in delighted surprise. So wrapped up in what his beautiful mouth was doing, she had nearly forgotten all the other things they could do. Feeling his hand cup her, then one finger slide along her slit, she's jarred into action and reaches for his erection, straining against his half-undone trousers. Her hand massages his length before she finds the fabric in her way and yanks it down hard to his knees, cock springing free.

Her mind starts reeling. What next…? She could transfigure their cloaks into bedding so she could ride him on the floor. Or perhaps he'd prefer to lay her down, bend her knees back and pound into her. So many choices, and she's lamenting not thinking this through. Perhaps they should have waited. Tonight, after dinner, they could have had more time, found more options.

Getting stuck in her own head, over thinking, Hermione knows is one of her… personality quirks. Luckily for her, it's not one of the traits Draco shares.

Without a word, he turns her to face the wall and presses down on her back. "Lean into the wall, Granger. I'm going to fuck you now."

Right. That's an option as well.

She complies eagerly, feeling anticipation, giddy and warm. He lifts her skirt from her bum, the last scrap of fabric on her body, and traces the tip of his cock down the center of her lips. A shiver runs her spine and she whispers against the stone, "Oh, Gods, yes."

"Wish you could see this," he laments. "What a fucking pretty sight you make." He feeds his length into her slowly after that until he is fitted snugly within her, the fronts of his thighs pressed against the backs of hers. She hears his breathing, raspy and affected, as he pets one palm down her spine.

It's sweet torture, his slow and careful movements. He withdraws, then slides back in, repeating the motion, languid and infuriating. He's savoring, she's sure, reverent, and Hermione remembers he's not actually been with anyone in this way.

Just when she thinks she will have to beg, or throw him to the ground and mount him, he snaps his hips faster and increases his pace, finding a more confident rhythm. She wants him to know she approves, so she praises, "Yes, oh fuck, yes, just like that."

His hand reaches beneath her, searching, until he has placed the rough pad of one finger against her clit, and she keens. This part, he must have done before; he's too bloody good.

She hadn't thought it could get any better, hadn't expected to be fucked so thoroughly, but with the pace he has set, perfect, thoughtfully even and steady, and the additional stimulation, Hermione feels herself begin to build toward completion. She is shocked by it, almost never able to come during the act, but here we are. Praise and pleas begin to cascade from her mouth, begging him to keep going, don't stop, please, please don't stop, just like that, please…

"Fucking Gods…" he sounds awed, overwhelmed, and it spurs her forward until her orgasm crashes over her in waves, making her legs shake and her body shudder as she cries out. He follows almost immediately, like something out of a story, erotica come to life, then pulls her upper body up flush with his.

Draco's mouth searches for hers, turning her head with his hand to look over her shoulder and kisses her hard; still connected, cock still throbbing.

His arms wrap around her, and he pulls his lips away from hers in favor of breathing hard onto the back of her neck, his forehead resting against her curls. "Merlin, Granger, you're a fucking miracle."

She grips his arms, holding him tight around her, and chuckles a little at the reverence in his tone. "I've never…" she tries, almost unable to catch her breath. "That was the best… I can't…"

He chuckles in turn, and then they just stand a moment longer, breathing and holding each other tight. Finally, he pulls away and she reaches for her wand at his feet, casting a quick charm to clean them up as Draco lifts the trousers from where they have pooled at his feet.

"I think I'd like to change before dinner," she finally says, feeling her heart slow back down from a race to more of a trot. "Meet you in the Great Hall?"

She doesn't expect awkwardness between them, but is somehow still relieved when he steps into her space and runs his hands up her arms. "I'll meet you there," he says softly, then places a gentle kiss to her lips.

Of course she doesn't let him get away with gentle, and has him panting and trying to devour her within moments. When he pulls back this time, he steps away and gives her an amused and adoring smile. "I'll need a bit more time than that before another round, Princess."

Hermione waves away the comment with a grin and concedes, "Fine, yes. If you must. I'll see you soon."

Always leave them wanting more, she sneaks away from his grasp and into the corridor, careful to glance both directions before taking off to Gryffindor, humming slightly to herself.

Draco arrives in the Hall before most of the other students and takes his usual seat at the far side of the Slytherin table. He wonders if she will know where to look for him. Has she noticed him before?

He had certainly noticed her. More perhaps than he had admitted to himself. He knows she always sits facing the Ravenclaw table and relatively close to the dais. Presumably, she wants to be sure to hear any announcement made by their professors. He has a pretty clear view of her seat from his own on most days. Typically, Potter sits across from her, and Weasley right beside. He wonders if that should bother him now, her former flame sharing her space so closely. It could, perhaps, but he's not terribly bothered by anything right now. Hermione had made her intentions pretty clear when she shoved him from the corridor and into a hidden corner of the castle. She certainly doesn't seem the type to use him to get off, so any fear that she would return to Hogwarts and want to distance herself from whatever it was they had become had dissipated rather quickly.

The table slowly fills around him, Daphne taking up the seat across from him, and some fifth year he doesn't know on his left. He makes idle chatter with Daphne until she becomes distracted by the girl to her left and something about a Witch Weekly article just printed.

Not hide nor hair of Theo or Potter yet. Draco wonders if they found an alcove of their own.

Gryffindor, likewise, starts to populate, Weasley being one of the first. A bit of anticipation starts to fester into something a bit more like fear: Hermione is never this late.

Millie enters and makes a beeline to Draco's side. "Are you alright?" She slips into the seat beside him and looks him over with concern. "I can't believe you were trapped so long! We were all worried."

He shrugs. "It wasn't so terrible, really. Except the food," he throws in as an afterthought. "I could do without peasant swill and shepherd's pie for a long time." She giggles at him and starts to say something, when a commotion starts just to his left at the end of the Slytherin table.

"... think you're going, Muggle? No room here for lions or filthy Mudbloods."

It's said in a harsh whisper, and Draco is sure no professor heard it… but he did. He looks up to find Hermione glaring at a sixth year, distant relation to the Carrows. He also finds that the meat of the comment is true, and the benches on Draco's end of the table have filled up. When he meets her gaze, she looks angry, but also a bit sad.

He stands, ready to accept whatever punishment is handed down when he feeds the little prick his own intestines. No one insults his witch.

A hand lays firmly on his shoulder, and he thinks to shrug it off, expecting it to be someone telling him it's not worth it. Or, worse yet, a warning to leave the other Slytherin alone. But when he turns, it's Ron Weasley with an easy grin on his face.

"Oi, Malfoy, you moving over? Because if you want to sit with 'Mione, I'll swap you."

Draco watches as the redhead looks down and finds Millie blushing up at him.


He nods, removing himself and letting the gangly wizard take his spot. Immediately, Millie shifts her body into him, and he reaches to snag a bite from her plate. Completely familiar and intimate… it seems Draco missed a few things.

In the meantime, Hermione is about to get herself detention.

"...disgusting, ill-bred, close-minded-"

"My love?"

She stops her diatribe and looks at him.

"Let's pop over to Gryffindor today. Theo can join us if he can climb off Potter long enough to eat." He flashes her a grin and absorbs the sound of absolute stillness all around them, the Hogwarts rumor mill gearing up for a massive gossip influx.

She smiles at him, and it lights the room. Gods, she's so pretty.

"Right. I'd love that."

Draco takes her hand and leads her over, finding the spot where Granger and her friends usually resides, and pulls her down beside him. Across the room, a glass is raised in his direction. Draco picks up the pumpkin juice in front of him and toasts Weasley back.

"There you two are."

He looks up, and Theo has just plopped down across from him, bumping hips with Patil. "Apologies, beautiful." She titters and looks away. Maybe the Room had her personality down a bit better than he'd thought. He hopes that doesn't say anything for Hermione's father.

Potter is next, sitting down more gently as not to jostle the person to his left.

Theo turns to question Draco. "I thought we were sitting in the snake pit?"

Draco shrugs. "Weasley offered himself as tribute when that little shit, Selwyn, thought to be clever about Hermione's heritage." He feels the witch reach for his hand beneath the table and squeeze. Her face is happy and affectionate, so he leans in to nuzzle her cheek and land a soft kiss there. It feels like the most natural thing in the world.

Theo grins and looks at his… lover? They certainly seem more than a passing fancy. "That cloak you told me about. Think we might use that to extract a little revenge for your friend's honor?"

The wicked smile Harry returns tells Draco he won't need to lift a finger in Hermione's defense if he doesn't want to, but, matter of fact, he does.

"Count me in," he offers.

Hermione rolls her eyes at the lot of them. "Please don't get yourselves expelled on my account. I've already cast a silent hex on his dinner."

On cue, the boy pushes his plate off the table and flees the room, looking ill.

Draco, Theo, and Potter all turn her way, watching as she dabs at the corner of her mouth with her napkin, innocent and unassuming.

Potter smiles and asks, "Leeches?"

She grins, and Draco is pretty certain he's officially in love.