Hermione always knew what she wanted in life. From the time she was young, she knew she wanted to be a lawyer. She knew she wanted to own a house by the age of twenty five and wanted to be married by twenty eight. She would have her first child at thirty, the second at thirty two and would become a partner at a firm by thirty eight. She worked hard at her studies through secondary school to get into a good university, worked even harder through Uni to get accepted into the law program. She met the man she thought she would marry at the age of twenty-two. They bought a home together at twenty-four, and now- six years later, she was unwed at the age of twenty-eight, and her boyfriend was shagging a man in their bed.

Safe to say, Hermione's plans had been upended.

Hermione dropped her keys twice as she fumbled with them, trying to find the right one to slip into the lock of her best friend's house. She should have just texted, Harry would have left the door unlocked for her if he would have known she would be coming. She took a slow, shaky breath as she tried to calm her nerves, trying to keep the tears at bay. Her eyes burned from the crying she had already done today.

She didn't cry over Draco, or the fact that it was Blaise, someone she thought was her friend, that she had caught in their bed. She had had her suspicions about Draco's fidelity and preferences for a while now, and she had honestly expected it to happen while she was on holiday with her parents in Greece.

No, Draco wasn't the problem.

It was the complete obliteration of her life's plan. The year after they purchased their home, Hermione began hinting that she was ready for marriage. That same year, she had heard from a guy in her office that Draco was using Grindr. She had let it go, thinking that there was no possible way she could miss something so glaringly obvious as the love of her life's sexual preferences.

She was wrong.

And now, six years after they started dating. Her life was in ruins and she had nowhere to go. The thought of even approaching her parents in the half drunk state she was in as the fat tears rolled down her cheeks was unfathomable.

"Shit," Hermione mumbled as she dropped her keys again. She groaned, bending over to pick them up off the step, finally finding the right key to shove into the lock on the doorknob.

She pushed the door open, taking extra care to be as quiet as possible. Slipping her shoes off at the door and pulling her bag from her shoulder, setting it on the occasional table in the foyer, she quietly made her way up the stairs. Turning at the top of the stairs to sneak down the hallway, she pushed open the second door on the right, the room she had always used when she stayed at Harry's place.

Hermione left the light off as she entered the room, knowing the layout like the back of her hand. She had stayed with Harry on more than one occasion over the years. Often, a party at his house that she had too much to drink or an argument with Draco that left her angry and unwilling to share a space with the man for a few days. When Harry purchased the house four years back, Hermione had been given a key the same day. He even kept her favorite scented candles in the room and made sure the blankets were always clean, should she need a place to stay.

Harry was caring in that way, always doing for others to make sure they were taken care of. He often griped at Hermione about her lack of care for herself, telling her that she spent too much time focused on everyone around her, focused on her academics and her career. He told her more than once that she needed to make time in her plans for herself. But Harry knew better and always made sure she had the things she needed.

Hermione slipped her jeans off her legs, picking them up to fold them haphazardly and set them on the top of the dresser. She pulled her hair into a pile on the top of her head, securing it with the elastic she wore around her wrist and pulled back the heavy blanket to sink into the mattress, happy to just sleep this godawful night away and deal with it in the morning. As she stretched out across the bed her foot hit something and she jumped, scrambling to sit up. At the same time, the person her foot hit, bolted upright.

"Arrgh!" Hermione shouted, falling backward out of the bed and onto her bottom on the floor. Her back hit the dresser and it sent a heavy, three-wick candle tumbling down, hitting her in the forehead right above her right eye.

"Shit! Are you okay?!" A familiar voice called out.

She heard the shuffling of feet around the opposite side of the bed before the overhead light turned on, blinding her momentarily.


Hermione blinked several times before the source of the voice came into focus. "James?"

James Potter stood towering over her, wearing nothing but his boxers and an old band t-shirt that had certainly seen better days. Her eyes lingered on the muscles of his chest, his shirt stretched right across it. Hermione felt her cheeks go warm and suddenly became aware that she was dressed in just as little and moved to pull the hem of her shirt over her exposed knickers.

"Hermione, what are you doing here? It's the middle of the night!"

"I have a key! I needed a place for the night until I can get a few things sorted… What are you doing here?"

"My house is being remodeled, remember?" James said, offering her a hand to pull her off the floor. "You took a good hit to the head there, sit down, I'll check you over."

Hermione sat on the edge of the bed, her legs dangling off the sides, painted toes barely scraping the floor. She did recall James asking Harry if he could stay until his remodel was finished, now that she thought about it. But that had been well over a week ago!

"That's gonna leave a bruise," James said, pressing the area around the growing bump on her forehead. Hermione winced in response. "Sorry," he muttered. "I'll go grab some ice. I'll be right back."

Hermione nodded as James stepped away from her, watching as he walked from the room, leaving the door open. She slid off the bed and opened the top drawer of the dresser, pulling out a pair of white pajama shorts adorned with black and red Mickey Mouse ears. She slipped them on, quickly pulling them over her legs and hopping back up to the bed to wait for James to return.

"The ice machine on the freezer doesn't work," James said, walking into the room with what looked like a bag of frozen vegetables. "But he had a bag of frozen peas buried under all the vodka and rum in the freezer."

Hermione chuckled as the mattress dipped next to her, James turning to face her and pressing the frozen peas against her forehead.

"You feel okay? Not dizzy or nauseous or anything?"

"Honestly, I'm fine." Hermione promised, "Thank you."

James hummed in return, looking behind him at the digital clock Hermione knew to be sitting on the bedside table, "It's three in the morning. Why are you coming over here this late? Did something happen?"

Hermione sighed, "You remember my parents and I went to Greece on holiday for the last two weeks?"

James nodded, "Yeah, of course. Harry showed me the pictures you posted on Instagram. It looked like you were having a good time."

"I had an amazing time, it's beautiful there," Hermione smiled. "We got in from the airport around four this afternoon. I stayed with my parents for a bit, helping them get settled before going home. Apparently, Draco forgot I was coming home today."

"Oh, I'm sorry. Was he supposed to come get you?" James asked, his tone suggesting that perhaps they had gotten into yet another argument that Hermione had stormed away from.

"No, I had left my car at my parents while we were in Greece. But when I got home he was in bed with Blaise Zabini."

James' face fell and his arms snaked around her shoulders, pulling her into a warm hug. "I'm sorry, love."

Hermione sighed, dropping the bag of peas into her lap and swiping angrily at the tears that spilled down her face, "I just feel so stupid, you know? The signs were there, they had always been there. And I just… I ignored them!"

"You are not stupid," James said.

Hermione sniffled, "I've built my entire life around an idea and now it's fizzled out completely in the matter of a few hours."

"Hermione, your life is not over because some stupid man was unfaithful. Come on, lets get something warm to drink."

James stood from the bed, offering his hand to Hermione. She took it, allowing him to pull her down from the tall bed frame. They walked side by side down the dark hallway and into the kitchen. James flipped the switch for the light above the sink, giving a soft orange glow to the room as Hermione took a seat at the table and James began looking through the cabinets. He pulled out a small sauce pot and set it on one of the burners, switching it on as he poured some milk into the pot.

Hermione watched the older man as he moved around the kitchen, swatting away the thoughts of how fit he was. That was the alcohol talking, she surmised. But somewhere in a corner of her mind that she left behind closed doors, she knew that was a lie. Hermione Granger always knew what she wanted, and for as long as she could remember, she had wanted James.

She could recall the summer she started looking at her best friend's father with different eyes. They had been seventeen, the summer before their senior year of high school. She had begged her father to teach her to drive, but he was apprehensive, the car he had was purchased only a few months prior and he was worried that Hermione may get into an accident and put a blemish on his otherwise beautiful new car.

James had offered to teach her, letting her drive the car he had bought for Harry. The car was small and several years old, a red Honda Civic with a hatchback and not a lot of space in the back seat. The air conditioning didn't work, and the windows were manual, but the engine was strong and it was reliable enough to get them back and forth from school and any extra-curricular activities.

The entire summer was spent cramped in that tiny vehicle, James laughing and making jokes at her 'terrible taste in music', complimenting her parallel parking and telling her about his life before Harry, the trouble he and his friends got into at school. When she passed her test to get her driver's license, James had nearly hollered with excitement for her. At seventeen, Hermione realized she had a crush on the older Potter. Something she swore she would never tell Harry.

Now, over ten years later, she found herself still attracted to the man.

The years had been kind to James. He cared about his physique, keeping active and often going running with Harry. His hair, though it now had a few strands of grey flecked through it, was thick and still stood up in every direction, mussed and tousled of its own accord. His broad shoulders tightened the t-shirt against his back and Hermione found her eyes wandering over his thighs. Was it normal to find a man's thighs so attractive?

When James turned around, sporting two steaming mugs, Hermione's eyes snapped up. She gave her head a small shake, trying to banish the ridiculous thoughts from her mind as she accepted the mug of hot chocolate with a small smile.

"You put cinnamon in it!" Hermione smiled, taking another sip of the beverage.

"Of course I did, you act as if I've never made hot chocolate for you before," James responded, his smiling widening.

Maybe it was the alcohol still coursing through her bloodstream, the bump to the head, or the need to feel close to someone being met after the less than igniting past few years with Draco, but Hermione moved forward, pushing up out of her chair and before she could even make sense of what she was doing, her lips landed on James.

The second she felt his stubble against her chin, she knew she had fucked up. But the girl inside of her who had spent one too many times staring at the man in front of her with want over the years, was cheering loudly in her mind, jumping up and down for joy at the heat of his breath against her lips. James sat completely still, and just as Hermione went to pull away to apologize and possibly call an uber or lyft to take her literally anywhere else, his lips moved against hers.

Hermione's mind came to a completely halt when she felt his tongue run against her bottom lip, his hand snaking up to hold her face to his, fingers sank into the hair at the nape of her neck. She knew she should pull away, apologize for the brash moment and find another place to stay for the night. Perhaps Ron or Ginny would be willing to let her sleep on their couch?

Instead, she felt her lips part, a small keening sigh pushing from her throat as James' tongue sank past her lips, mapping the inside of her mouth with cinnamon flavored silk. It wasn't until her nails scraped against his scalp- when had her hands even moved?- and twisted into the thick, black hair on the back of his head, did James abruptly pull away, standing up so fast that his chair toppled backward, clattering loudly against the tiled floor.

"Fuck," James breathed, his eyes going wide.

Hermione stood up, her hand coming up to cover her mouth, "I am so sorry, James."

James jammed his fingers into his hair, running his hand into it before splaying the same hand over his face, resting his fingers against his jaw. "It's… It's okay. You've had an emotional day, had a bit to drink… You have nothing to be sorry for. I shouldn't have…"

Before Hermione could say anything else, James walked out of the room, heading down the hall and back into the room he had been in when she arrived. Hermione stood, speechless in the center of the kitchen. Was it a colossal mistake that she kissed James? Probably. Was her heart thrumming in her chest while heat pooled between her thighs at the way he kissed her back? Definitely. She groaned at the thought and scrubbed her face with both hands. This was not good. This was decidedly not good. Regardless of the strange attraction she had for the man, getting involved with her best friend's father was not a good decision.

You've done nothing but what you thought were 'good decisions' your entire life, and look where that's got you.

Hermione puffed out an angry breath, shoving the traitorous thoughts from her head and walked down the hall, opening the last door on the left and stepping into Harry's room. She silently thanked her lucky stars that her friend slept like a rock, nothing short of a freight train tearing through his split level home would wake him. She pulled back the covers on the side of the bed Harry wasn't on and lightly shoved at his knee.

"Budge over," she whispered, shoving at him again.

"Huh?" Harry said, lifting his head off the pillow and blinking heavily at her. "Mione? Wha'sappened? You okay?"

"We'll talk about it in the morning, scoot."

"Mm, okay," Harry mumbled, holding his arm out to her. When she laid down, he pulled her into his side, kissing the top of her head. "Love you, 'Mione."

"Love you too, Harry. Go back to sleep."

Within seconds, Harry's soft snores filled the air again and Hermione laid curled into his side, her head under his shoulder, pressed against his bare chest. She sighed heavily, trying to organize her thoughts in her mind, but as she drifted off to sleep the only thing she could focus on was the feel of James' lips pressed against hers.

"That fucking arsehole!" Harry said, angrily shoving his glasses up the bridge of his nose and slamming his plate into the sink. "I knew he was up to something! After the last fight you got into, I knew he was stepping out, and I didn't do anything! I should… I'm going over there."

"Harry, no!" Hermione said, looking up frantically from her breakfast. "You can't! I don't even know if he saw me walk in!"

"Well he's gonna see me!" Harry argued, "See my fist sink right into that pretty face of his! I can't believe he would do that to you! You've always deserved better than that arsehole!"

Hermione sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose as Harry continued his rant of his disdain for Draco and how he was never good enough for her. It was an argument she and Harry had many times in the six years she and Draco spent together. The two never got along, always competing for her attention and arguing any time they were in the same room together. One New Year's Eve, after several shots of tequila and a few choice words, they had even gotten into a fist fight outside. Harry had broken Draco's nose and Draco had left the house in a rage, leaving Hermione behind.

"...and I swear on my life if he even tries to talk his way out of yet another fuck up, I will kill him. Do you hear me, Hermione? I will strangle him with my bare hands and watch the light leave his stupid grey eyes!"

"That's a bit much, Harry." Hermione said, setting her fork onto her plate. "And he isn't going to talk his way out of anything. I'm done, I don't want anything more from him."

"You can stay here," Harry said. "You know your room is always ready for you."

"Your dad-

Harry swore, roughly pulling the pot from the coffee machine and refilling his mug. "I forgot about him! It's fine, you can sleep in my room. Not like we haven't slept in the same bed our entire lives anyway."

"No, Harry. It's fine. I don't want to put you out-

"Put me out?" Harry laughed. "Did you really just say that?"


"Shut up, would you? You're staying here, and I don't want to hear another thing about it. We'll go to the house tomorrow and get some of your things, yeah?"

Hermione nodded, knowing her attempt to fight him off would be futile. "Yeah, okay."

Harry smiled, clapping his hands together. "Good. Let's go to that little bookshop you like, the one that has all of those old books… And then we'll go get milkshakes and you can tell me about your holiday."

Hermione returned her smile, "Thanks, Harry."

Hermione found it hard to concentrate as she sat in the front seat of James' SUV. Harry ended up getting called into work early that morning, one of his colleagues out sick, and he had talked James into helping Hermione gather some of her belongings from her house before he left.

"Thanks again," Hermione murmured. "You didn't have to do this."

James tilted his face toward her, offering a kind smile. "It's not a problem, honestly. I wouldn't want you going by yourself anyway."

"Hopefully he'll be at work and I can just get my things in peace," Hermione sighed.

"Can I ask you something personal?"

Hermione pulled her gaze from the passing landscape and looked at him, an eyebrow pulled up, "I suppose."

"What did you see in him? Between the things I've heard from Harry and meeting him for myself a few times, I never understood what you had with him."

Hermione took in a deep breath, "On paper he looked good. Attractive, intelligent, from a well connected family, we work in similar fields… I thought we wanted all the same things. Two kids, a nice home, solid careers… We worked well together at first."


"He's got a temper, much like Harry, explosive at times. It was perfect the first couple of years, we never really argued. Disagreed on things, sure, but never argued. And then all of the sudden, we just fought constantly, about everything! I should have left ages ago, I knew this was coming, but I was just so set in what I had planned for my life."

"Life plans rarely go the way we want them to," James said. "If you would have told me I would be a single father at the age of twenty, I would have called you a liar."

Hermione frowned, "That was out of your control."

James lifted his shoulders in a shrug, "Still. When Lily died, it completely upended my plans. I had this baby and a house to take care of. Both my parents had been dead for years, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. It took some figuring out, and I probably fucked up a lot, but Harry turned out all right. My life's been pretty good thus far."

"Harry's better than just all right, James. You know that!"

He chuckled and nodded, "Yeah, he's a sight better than I was, that's for sure."

They continued talking during the short drive from Harry's place to her own house. When they pulled into the driveway, Hermione groaned at the sight of the white BMW parked in the driveway next to her red Mini Cooper.

"Great," Hermione said, rolling her eyes. "He's home."

James grimaced, "It'll be fine. We'll just go in and get some necessities and then you can work out the bigger things with him later."

Hermione nodded, taking a deep breath. The breath stilled in her chest as James's hand wrapped around hers, giving it a light squeeze before returning to the gear shift to put the vehicle in park. Hermione got out and stood up straight, squaring her shoulders and lifting her chin. This has been a long time coming, she reminded herself.

She thought that looking into Draco's face and telling him that it was over, once and for all, would be a lot harder than it was. Draco had seemed to be prepared for it, however. He sat at the breakfast nook, listened to what she had to say, and then he just… nodded. It wasn't an argument, like she had been expecting, there was no anger or bite to his tone. He had just agreed with her and apologized.

And even though it was Draco's name on the deed, he had suggested that he sell the house and would give her half the money from the sale to help her get set up in a new place. He explained that he had been trying to be the man she thought he was when they started dating, but he could no longer pretend to be someone he wasn't. He then gave her a hug, a peck on the cheek, and promised that he would be in touch soon before he grabbed his jacket and left.

To say that Hermione was flabbergasted by the way things had gone would be an understatement. She knew how to handle Draco when he was argumentative, knew how to handle his explosive anger, his smug, cutthroat attitude... But this softer, remorseful side of him? She was at a loss. She remained quiet as she packed some items into a few suitcases, as James waited in the living room, trying to process Draco's reaction.

It took about forty minutes before Hermione decided she had everything she would need, double checked to make sure she had her laptop and all of her items for work organized, any clothing items or toiletries she needed, and even grabbed her favorite pillow. James helped her load the items into the back of his SUV and she followed him back, in her own vehicle, to Harry's house.

"Are you all right?" James asked, opening the door of her car and offering her a hand to help her out.

Hermione nodded, "Yeah, I think so. It was weird, wasn't it?"

James hit the button on the key fob to open the back of his vehicle. "He was a lot quieter than I was expecting."

"Yeah, I thought so too." Hermione admitted.

James pulled the largest of the suitcases from the trunk, handing Hermione her work bag and a small duffle. He slammed the back shut and made his way toward the house, quickly unlocking the door and holding it open for Hermione to go in ahead of him. She stopped at the bottom of the stairs to slip off her shoes and dragged the bags up the flight of steps into the living room, setting them beside the couch.

"Did you have other plans for the day?" James asked.

Hermione shook her head, "I'll need to call my parents and let them know what's going on. But other than that, no."

"I was going to lay down for a kip and then go out to dinner with Sirius and Remus, if you'd like to come? Harry won't be back until late."

Hermione nodded, knowing Harry's usual schedule meant each shift was about twelve hours, sometimes longer if there was an accident or something that required extra help at the hospital. She never understood the need for a paramedic to work such long shifts, it seemed to be counterproductive to have someone so exhausted trying to save someone's life, but alas, it was the schedule Harry had grown used to working.

"Sure," Hermione said. "I'd like that."

James gave a smile before taking leave to the spare room, leaving Hermione alone with her thoughts and the packed bags in the living room. She felt as if she should be taking the time to herself to sort through her feelings, to sit back and go over the things that Draco had said. But she couldn't bring herself to bother with it. It was over. Sure, they had been together six years, but it wasn't as if it were total bliss the entire time. If it had been, she sincerely doubted she would be in this situation. In fact, the more she thought about it, she couldn't even remember the last time she and Draco had a proper shag! Had it been so long? Perhaps that was part of the fuel that led her to act on her very repressed desire to snog James.

Aaand we're back on that. Hermione groaned inwardly, frustrated with herself. She wasn't sure how long James would be staying at the house with herself and Harry, but she certainly hoped it wasn't very long. At the very least, she knew she needed to talk to him about the kiss. If she didn't she was certain it would eat her alive.

Hermione couldn't remember the last time she had laughed so hard, but as Remus and Sirius regaled stories of James from their youth, she found herself bellowing laughs so hard her sides hurt.

"And then, you know what these idiots did?" Remus said, pointing between James and Sirius.

"What'd they do?!" Hermione asked.

"They let loose a flock of geese in the school! I still have no idea where they came from!" Remus laughed, "They got suspended for a week."

"It was worth it," Sirius said. "And it's a secret we'll take to our graves."

Hermione's cheeks hurt as she continued laughing. It felt good to feel so relaxed. She hadn't even been this relaxed in Greece! It was refreshing being around people that made her laugh instead of talking about work or prying into her private life. She loved her parents, more than anything, but they had a habit of getting pushy with her about her plans to marry and have children. Something that with the events over the last couple of days, she no longer had any tentative answer for.

She wanted to have fun for once, without knowing all of the answers. She had spent all of her late teens and early twenties working hard to build up her life, and it had taken all of a few hours for it to come crashing down around her. So instead of picking up all the pieces and trying to make something productive with them, which is what she had always done when something didn't go her way, she decided to just let the pieces fall where they may.

It certainly helped that she had noticed James glancing at her from the corner of his eye from time to time throughout the night.

Slowly, the stories of their past slipped into Hermione's current situation. All three men listened with rapt attention as she explained what had happened, this time not shedding a single tear.

"So you walked in on your boyfriend shagging his best mate and then walked to the bar and got absolutely sozzled?" Sirius asked.

Hermione huffed a laugh, "In a nutshell."

"You're a better person than me. I might've killed them both."

Hermione shook her head, "It's been over for a long time, I think. It just took something like this for me to admit it."

"Well, I'm sorry to hear it Hermione," Remus said. "It's a very stupid man to let go of someone like you."

"Oi!" Sirius said, shoving Remus' shoulder. "You're married! Go say those nice things to your wife!"

"I do," Remus smiled. "Every day. That's why she stays with my sorry arse."

"Flattery goes a long way," Hermione laughed.

"That it does. Also, being home to put my kid to bed helps, too. So as lovely as it's been, I have to call it a night. Dora's been with Teddy all day and as great of a kid he is, I'm sure she needs a break." Remus stood from the table, setting a few bills down at his spot to cover his check. "See you boys later. Hermione, it was good to see you."

"Thanks, Remus. You as well. Tell Dora and Teddy I said hi!"

Remus smiled and shook hands with James and Sirius before taking his leave. Hermione pulled her phone from her bag and checked the time, when she did, she saw a text from Harry sitting in her inbox.

Staying at Ginny's tonight. Text if you need anything. Love you!

Hermione smiled at the message and typed back her reply, Okay, thanks for letting me know. Love you too!

"Sending messages to a new boy already?" Sirius asked, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

Hermione rolled her eyes, shoving her phone back into her bag. "Certainly not. Harry texted, he won't be home tonight. Said he's staying over at Ginny's."

"Just us tonight, then." James mumbled, taking a sip from his beer.

"Looks like it." Hermione agreed.

"I'm sure you can figure out something to do," Sirius laughed, the same eyebrow wiggle on his face as moments before.

It was nearing eleven at night by the time James and Hermione got back to Harry's place. Desperate to get out of the jeans she was wearing, Hermione excused herself to Harry's room to change. She slipped on a pair of comfortable sleep shorts that were adorned with pink and purple polka dots and a purple camisole. She pulled her hair from the elastic it was in, scratching her fingers over her scalp and slipped her feet into a pair of fuzzy socks. When she entered the living room, James was sitting on the couch in a pair of grey lounge pants and a black t-shirt with the Pink Floyd logo on the front.

"Made some tea," James said, motioning to the extra mug on the small table in front of him.

"Thanks," Hermione said, sitting on the far end cushion of the couch, her feet folded under her bottom. She took a few sips of the steaming tea before setting the mug down, gnawing at her bottom lip as she tried to organize her thoughts. She needed to talk to James about the kiss. With Harry being gone for the night, it seemed like the ideal time to have this talk, but she just couldn't bring herself to voice the words. Finally, she mustered up as much courage as she could and took a deep breath. "James, can we talk about the other night?"

James seemed to visibly deflate, he held his mug in his lap, one finger tracing the rim as he slowly exhaled, "Yeah. I reckon we should."

"I shouldn't have kissed you like that," she said.

"But?" James asked, an eyebrow raising at the inflection of her voice.

"But…" Hermione swallowed, her mouth suddenly feeling very dry despite the tea she had just drank. She licked her lips nervously and pulled her eyes up from her hands to look at him, "I'm not sorry that it happened."

James arched an eyebrow at her, "You aren't… What?"

"Jesus, this is embarrassing," Hermione whispered. "I- I'm attracted to you. I have been for years. And maybe it was just the alcohol or the circumstances but… you felt it too. I know you felt it too."

For as nervous as she was to say anything to him about it, she found that she couldn't stop. Soon, she realized she was babbling, going on and on about how she's wanted to kiss him for years. How she's thought about it, how she had always wanted to say something to him but it didn't fit. Being attracted to James didn't fit in her plans, so she had pushed it down, kept it to herself, thought that maybe this silly crush would eventually go away but it never did.

When she finally got all of the words out of her mouth and off her mind, James sat in silence. Staring at her with wide eyes, brows brought together in thought.

"Could you… Could you say something? Anything." Hermione practically begged.

"This is… not how I expected this conversation to go," James said, drawing out every word.

"Is that a bad thing?" Hermione asked, "Because that sounds like a bad thing."

"I don't know."

"You don't know?"

James' mouth opened and closed a few times before Hermione saw the tip of his tongue dart out to nervously wet his lips. He seemed to be considering something before he set his mug on the coffee table and muttered, "Fuck it."

Before Hermione could process the statement, James' hands were sunk into her hair, pulling her face to his. His lips slanted over hers as his hands pulled her head closer to him, taking complete control of the kiss. Hermione melted into him immediately, parting her lips to allow his tongue access. Revelling in the taste of him as his lips moved in time with hers, their tongues dancing together.

She let out a small squeak when she felt James grab her hips, one hand gripping her thigh to pull her into his lap. Her knees fell apart, landing on either side of his thighs as her hands worked their way into his hair, twisting into the soft but messy locks. She gasped when his mouth pulled away from hers to land on her throat, his tongue massaging the pulse point before placing gentle nips to her skin. Hermione tugged on his hair, pulling his head backward so that she could claim his mouth again, her lips parting the second his touched, her tongue delving into his mouth, sweeping over the soft tissues of his cheek and the hard ridges of his teeth.

James hands gripped her hips again and as Hermione gound down, a smirk on her face as James let out a low groan, she could feel his length hardening beneath her.

"Do you want to…?"

"Yes!" Hermione said, breathless. "God, yes."

James chuckled as his hands left her hips, shoving up the hem of her shirt and roaming over the skin of her back before landing on her waist, slowly trailing upward to trace the underside of her breasts. Hermione rolled her hips against him, delighting in the hiss that he blew out before he shoved the cotton shirt up, pulling it off her head. His moved down her collar bone, the stubble on his jaw scratching her skin as he moved his way down to her chest. His tongue dragged over the peak of her right breast, flicking against her nipple before moving to the left side to pay it a bit of attention.

As James worshipped her breasts, leaving light, sucking kisses over the tops of them, rolling her nipples with his thumb and forefinger, flicking them with his tongue. Hermione found herself wondering if this would go anywhere past tonight. But as James shifted, his hardened member pressing against her core through layers of thin clothing, she found that she didn't care.

She had been attracted to him for so long that she wanted to just savor the moment as it was happening. They would definitely need to have a talk about it afterward, preferably tomorrow before Harry got home, but tonight? Tonight she would go against everything in her mind and not worry about the plans afterward.

Hermione grabbed the hem of James PInk Floyd t-shirt and pulled it roughtly up his torso, laughing a bit as he pulled his glasses off to yank the shirt up over his head. As he tossed the bundle of fabric to the floor, he shifted them both so that Hermione was on her back, one leg dangling off the couch, her knee drawn up and pressed against the back. He held his weight on his forearms as he wedged himself between her legs, pressing kisses over the flat of her stomach and stopping at the waistband of her shorts.

"Are you sure? We don't have to if you're going to regret this." James said.

"Yes, I'm bloody sure!" Hermione nearly yelled at him, "James, please."

"Well, since you asked so nicely…"

Hermione lifted her hips to assist him as he pulled at her shorts, bringing her knickers down with them. He moved to the side to pull them from her ankles before he continued his trails of kissed further south. Hermione became very suddenly aware of how aroused she was the moment the cool air of the room hit her. She shuddered under James, giddy with excitement and heady with lust as she felt his scratchy chin at the apex of her thighs, his hot breath causing her to gasp when it hit her as he used his fingers to spread her open, the flat of his tongue dragging the length of her slick soaked head before pressing against her clit. Hermione moaned, her breath coming in gasping whines as James pulled her clit between his lips, sucking lightly at it while two of his fingers pushed inside of her, stroking her core and setting her on fire from within.

She could feel herself getting closer and closer to the edge, her hand grabbed for purchase, finding it in his hair as her heels dug into the cushions on the sofa, and the hardwood of the floor. James' hand left her center briefly as he reached down, hooking his hand behind her knee and pulling it over his shoulder. The change in angle made her squirm furiously, her fingers tightening even more into his hair, tugging at his scalp. When his fingers found their way back inside of her, she keened, screaming out his name as she bucked her hip forward, riding his tongue through her unraveling.

The second she caught her breath and loosed the vice grip on his scalp, James mouth was on hers, lips moving at a furious pace as her tongue pressed against his, tasting herself in his mouth. She grabbed at the waistband of his loungers and yanked hard at them, pushing them down his hips.

"I need you inside of me," Hermione begged. "Please, James. I need it."

"Who could deny you anything when you ask like that?" James whispered into the open mouth kiss he was pressing to her throat.

Hermione felt his hands leave her waist as he pushed his pants further down, over the round of his backside, and pulled his cock from the confines of the cotton. She gave a throaty moan when she felt the length of it rock through her folds, coating himself in her arousal. Finally, one hand held her hip with a bruising grip as the other moved to align the head of his cock with her entrance. His hazel eyes burned into her own chocolate browns as he pushed forward, sheathing himself inside of her slowly.

Hermione gasped at the feel of him, her legs automatically coming up to wrap around his waist, her arms wrapping under his to grip into his shoulders as he slowly moved his hips back and forth. Hermione reveled in the the feel of him inside of her, the way she felt stretched around him alone was almost enough for her to lose herself again.

"James, please!" Hermione whined, wiggling her hips, desperate for friction.

James leaned down, pressing his lips to hers as he slowly pulled out and then snapped his hips forward. She cried out into his mouth as he filled her again, her hips rolling up to meet his. With every thrust against her, Hermione felt all senses leave her mind. There was nothing except the feel of James. His lips on her throat, mouth, jaw, shoulder. His hands roaming her body, kneading her breasts, swiping circles against her clit. His breathy moans and low growling groans of pleasure as their flesh slapped against one another.

She was nearly incoherent by the time she felt the coil that sat low in her belly start to twist. Turning tighter and tighter until she was screaming, begging James to do more. Faster, harder, deeper. She nearly sobbed when he pulled completely out of her, only to grip her hip and flip her onto her stomach, pulling her up to her knees, her face buried into the crook of her arm on the cushions of the couch. He palmed her arse, spreading her open as he pushed into her. The new angle had Hermione's legs shaking almost instantly, her toes curled as she muffled her screams with her elbow, crying out to long forgotten Gods as James pounded into her.

James' hand left her arse and fell between them, his fingers finding her clit with expert precision. The moment the pads of his fingers pressed circles into the aching bundle of nerves, she felt her body go rigid, her walls clamping down around him as galaxies burst behind her eyes, her throat raw from the screams of pleasure tearing through it. Within moments, she felt his pace become jerky as he panted her name, falling forward a bit, his chest to her back as he spilled himself inside of her.

He remained in place for a few minutes, taking a second to catch his breath before he pulled out of her. The feeling of being empty made her ache, already wanting more of him. James stood from the couch, pulling his pants back over himself. Hermione closed her eyes as she caught her breath, disappointed when she heard his footsteps take him out of the room.

Moments later, Hermione nearly jumped from his skin when she felt something warm and damp against her bottom. She pushed up on her elbows, twisting around to see James smiling down at her as he cleaned her up. When he finished, he handed her her shirt and knickers. Hermione sat up, pulling her shirt over herself and slipping into her knickers before standing. Her legs still feeling a bit wobbly and her core nearly pulsing with a delicious ache.

James held her hand as he led her into the room he was staying in, pulling back the covers and curling himself around her body.

"I want to do this again," Hermione said, turning on her side to face James. "I really would like to do this again."

"Well when you ask so nicely," James smirked, placing a kiss on the tip of her nose.

"Harry can never find out."

"Your secret is safe with me."

Hermione always knew what she wanted. Even if it didn't fit in the plan she had created for her life, she got what she wanted. And more than anything, she wanted James and she wanted this secret. I can figure out the plan later, she thought as she drifted off to sleep.



a/n: My amazing friend and alpha Mayghaen17 has had one god awful week, so I wrote this for her to hopefully cheer her up! If you want to read some more Jamione, check out her story Unexpected. It's amazing!

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