Within This Room

It all started this way, with no words being said between them. In seclusion, they will meet. In darkness, they will seek. In secrecy, they will devour. Eyes flickering hungrily over the other, hands reaching eagerly to touch, mouths kissing fervently to consume. It was almost an outrage, a sacrilege even, to have them this ardent, this fiery, in the moment that they can be given what they crave the most. But can they be blamed? Outside this room, there was nothing between them, except the hate, the animosity, the angry glares and stares thrown haphazardly towards the other. Outside this room, she belonged to her world, and he in his, and nothing should ever be done to have these worlds collide. Outside this room, she was a lion, brave and courageous, and he was a serpent, sly and cunning. Outside this room, nothing ever changed between them.

But inside this room, there were nothing between them, except the devotion, the feelings, the passion. Inside this room, as his wandering hand touched her innermost secrets, as her lips sought his hidden mysteries, they belonged in one world, a world that existed if only for the briefest of moments, a world that breathed only for them. Inside this room, she was a woman, beautiful and soft, and he was a man, handsome and firm. Inside this room, everything changes between them.

It all began from an innocent, and almost shameful, game that occurred out of childish impudence. It was, admittedly, a trite beginning. He saw her as a challenge, a trophy to win and to add to his collection. He saw her as something to conquer, something to gain. He saw her as a thing to manipulate and control, to play with and do away with in his own time. Of course, she saw his intentions for what they truly were. So, she was only a conquest, eh? Some thing he could use for his own sick, demented pleasure? Her pride and dignity quite insulted, she made sure that he got what he deserved, and that was a stinging cheek from several well-delivered, and well-earned, slaps.

But there were just some things that were too insistent to disregard, too stubborn to ignore. And there were also those things that were too tempting to leave alone, too different to abandon. Eventually, views changed, emotions evolved. Through time, she was no longer seen as a prize, as some toy that should be owned. Through time, he was no longer seen as a bastard, as some characteristically evil being that should be taught some valuable lesson. Eventually, perspectives grew, and feelings got involved.

And then, the midnight trysts began.

It all began with a simple kiss, a simple touch, that steadily grew in intensity. The feeling of skin to skin, body to body, was so exquisitely pure and unadulterated that it was freedom in its own, liberation and escape towards ecstasy. She was warm and supple, he was hard and lithe. The feeling of belonging together, of owning each other, was addicting, and thoroughly intoxicating. The touches, the kisses, the union was entirely too perfect, too delicious to let go of.

It was the night before their graduation when they met again in this room. The ambiance was serene, calm, but they both knew that something else belied the quiet stillness that surrounded them. The kisses were too subtle, the touches too gentle, the union too tender. It almost brought tears to her eyes, when she felt him quiver against her, when he finally found his release within her. It was almost as if she was grieving when he claimed her body. But of course she was. This was their last time in this room, the last night wherein they could express what they cannot, where they can indulge themselves in the forbidden. And so, when she raised her hand to touch his face, when she ran her fingers over his body, it was to memorize every detail of him, to engrave in her memory the beauty that was uniquely his.    

He caught that wandering hand of hers, and brought it to his lips, where he bestowed upon it the muted whispers of his lips. The tears he found in her eyes were almost gems in his palm, for he knew that she was as saddened at their future as he was. Moonlit eyes hard with emotion, he studied her face, and the expression there only strengthened his resolve. He traced the trails in her cheeks with one finger and whispered, "Marry me."

She gasped at his audacity, but her heart soared. He was offering her a future together, something she only dreamed about but never voiced aloud, because of the sheer impossibility of it. But now, here he was, giving her the opportunity to be with him. It was too perfect. Her lips began to part in a smile, the light in her eyes began to dance with glee, but the answer that came from her was…

"No."

*

So much happened, in the five years that had passed. But it all happened too quickly that it was almost surreal to say that so much time had already elapsed. It all seemed to have occurred in the span of only one breath. The threat to their existence was now gone, defeated by the wizard that was prophesized from the beginning. No longer was there any menace that loomed before them, for even his followers were eliminated, one by one, until it was blaringly evident that it was her side that won. Not his, never his, but hers.

She was an auror when the final war had happened, but now that it was over, she quickly retired from her profession and switched to another. She went to her old school and applied for the position of a professor, and she was granted one. Now, she was the Transfiguration professor, and Head of House, for the dear teacher that once occupied these positions had found her demise in the midst of the war.

It was before another year of schooling began when she found herself wandering in the great expanse of the castle. And, as though her feet were pulled by some invisible force, she found herself retracing the steps she made five years earlier. Her heart pounding like mad inside her chest, she opened the door, and went inside.

She leisurely walked around the room, her fingers gliding over the furniture that still graced the spacious area. A bittersweet smile was on her face as she moved, as she mused. The last time she was in this room, she was with him, making glorious love. And then he asked the fated question, and she gave the fated answer, and then… 

And then they lost touch.

Their graduation was a painful experience, a painful memory, for her. He did not acknowledge her presence, much less looked at her direction. It was as though she never existed. And when she stood at the stage to deliver some short messages, he deliberately and pointedly stood up and left the room.

It took a lot from her to keep the agony inside, silent and unnoticed. She epitomized the characteristics of her house as she bravely went on with her speech.

He vanished from her life after that. But it was as what she had expected, after all, his disappearance was bound to happen. But it did not mean that the fact that it was meant to happen lessened the pain that was there. It never meant that, because she was expecting it, she was prepared for the loneliness and the hurt that it caused. And the fact that he had offered her a choice, and she had blatantly refused, did nothing but intensify the ache and the emptiness inside her.

Her eyes, misty with tears of sorrow and misery, widened in alarm as she heard a distinct noise coming from behind her. She whirled around to look at the source of that sound, and then… her eyes met ones tainted with silver, and her mouth fell open in surprise.

"What— what are you doing here?" she asked him, her voice rusty and tight to her own ears.

He looked at her, with nothing conveyed in his eyes but the bitter coldness of the gray. His lips shut tight, he opened them to say, "I had a feeling I'd be seeing you here." He told her, obviously ignoring her question with a wave of one hand. He took three steps towards her, his steps large and sure. "We need to talk."

"Damn right we do." She spat at him, and the venom in her voice caused him to stop in his tracks.

His mouth twisted into a derisive grin. "You make it sound like this… all this was my fault."

"Isn't it?" she challenged him.

"Oh, yes, because I was the one who refused a marriage proposal in this very same room. How forgetful of me to have forgotten that fact."

She had to look away from the gray sparks that practically flew from his eyes. "You just left." She whispered. "You never gave me a chance to explain."

Unexpected laughter bubbled from his lips. "Explain what, exactly? It was fucking clear, Hermione. It was obvious you didn't love me."

She met his eyes once again. "We never said anything even remotely related to love, did we, Draco?" she asked him. "I do not remember any moment when you told me that you loved me."

A look of intense annoyance flashed in his face. "Was it necessary that I spell it for you?" he asked. "Weren't my actions enough? I never fucked you, Hermione. I made love to you. But, obviously it wasn't the case for you."

"You don't—"

"What?" In a space of one moment, he was in front of her, and she was seized by her shoulders. "What, you just thought I'd pop that question to all the women I shag?"

She seethed at his implication that there were others beside her. "You don't understand." She told him firmly, as she struggled to free herself from his hold. It was a futile attempt.

"Enlighten me." He commanded, his fingers almost biting into her flesh.

"Did you ever stop to think what could have happened if I said yes?" she asked him, the anger in her eyes replaced by some other emotion altogether. "Did you ever wonder how it would have been to both of us if I accepted your proposal? The others—"

"The others?" He almost shook her at the mention of the word. "Is this what this is all about? You give a damn about what the others think about us that you just—"

"No, you idiot." She told him. "I give a damn about what the others could do to us if I married you."

He stared at her, his hands lightening his grip on her shoulders until finally she was able to break free.

She rubbed her hands against the spots where his fingers callously burned her skin. "You see now the reason I refused?" she asked softly. "It was never a question of love, Draco. It was already a given that I do love you. It was more a question of the consequences of our actions. That was what I was afraid of."

He stared at her still. "You mean my father." He slowly said.

"Among many others. But yes, your father specifically." She softly validated.

"He's dead." He said in a flat, detached tone.

That fact, she already knew, for it was he who did it.

"Damn it, Hermione, all this time—" he raked his hands through his hair. "I thought—"

"That's the problem with you, you know. You never think. If you just asked me why instead of leaving right then and there, we could have saved ourselves a lot of pain."

He glared at her again. "And that's the problem with you. You think too much."

She raised her chin. "With perfectly good reasons."

A ghost of a smile illuminated his face. "In your own opinion."

They stood quietly after that, each basking in the silence of this room. Their breaths the only sound, it was beginning to be a bit tiresome to hear it resound in their ears. And then softly, finally, she summoned the courage to speak again. "This doesn't change things, you know." She told him, a hint of sadness in her eyes and in her tone. "You can't just come in here and expect things to be the same way they were five years ago."

"I don't." He replied, even as he stepped forward to stand closer to her. He then seized her hand and brought it towards his face, where he bestowed upon it the muted whispers of his lips. "But I am going to remedy that."

She caught herself from smiling at his gallant action. "How?" she asked. "You can't just barge in here like that every single time."

He then gave her a full smile. "I could, actually." He said. He then dropped her hand and began to walk away, but before he walked out of this room, he said, "If you don't know it yet, then let me tell you. Since Snape's still recovering, I've just been hired to take his place. I'm the new Potions professor and the Head of House of the Slytherins."

*

It all started this way, with no words being said between them. In seclusion, they will meet. In darkness, they will seek. In secrecy, they will devour. Eyes flickering hungrily over the other, hands reaching eagerly to touch, mouths kissing fervently to consume. It was almost an outrage, a sacrilege even, to have them this ardent, this fiery, in the moment that they can be given what they crave the most. But can they be blamed? Outside this room, they were both respected professors, each one gifted in imparting their knowledge to the younger minds. Outside this room, they were looked up to, and so it would be very disgraceful for both of them to act beyond what was expected. Outside this room, she was the head of the brave and courageous lions, and he was the head of the sly and cunning serpents, and there was nothing they could do in order for these two houses to collide.

But inside this room, that was where everything changes.

She was holding his face now, as she showered it with her kisses. The feeling of his skin against her lips was pure bliss. "Hmm," she moaned. "I could just eat you up."

He grinned at her, his face an expression of satiated desires. "Then by all means, proceed."

She returned his smile, but then she yelped when he flipped them on the bed, and now he was the one on top. "Hey! No fair!" she squealed.

But he wasn't heeding any concept of fairness right now. He looked down at her face, his eyes engraving in his memory the wonderfully seductive beauty that lay below him. The expression of pure, unadulterated delight on her face only strengthened his resolve. "Hermione," he said, speaking these words the second time in his entire life, "marry me."

She gasped at his audacity, but her heart soared. He was offering her a future together, something she only dreamed about but never voiced aloud, because of the sheer impossibility of it. But now that everything was remedied... it was too perfect. Her lips began to part in a smile, the light in her eyes began to dance with glee, and the answer that came from her was…

"Yes."

Fin

Author's Notes: I hoped you liked this one! Consider it a make-up fic from me after I gave you two depressing fics. Oh, and… *insert shameless plugging here* guys, please check out my site… it's currently D/Hr themed, and I thought you might like it! It's at my profile, since ff.net's not linking anything. Thanks! *end shameless plugging*