A/N: Well, I'm back:Ducks as readers chuck vegetable peelings at her: I know it's been a terribly long time since I updated any of my stories, especially this one, but please forgive me! It might appease you to see that this chapter is rather long – I wrote most of it in one day, too, now that's a real record! – and I hope it's to your liking! I did say that updates would not be happening for another two weeks, but I was bored, trying to avoid doing my chemistry homework, and feeling decidedly guilty for leaving you guys hanging for so long. This chapter is more like a really drawn-out scene, and forgive me for any typing mistakes or ridiculously short parts, as I was pressed for time because I wanted to get this out by tonight. This chapter is a bit of a filler, so to speak, as I didn't want to start the actual spin-the-bottle section until the holidays. Otherwise, I wouldn't do the scene(s) justice, and I really hate rushing things even slightly, especially important parts.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.
Who Wants To Play Spin-The-Bottle?
Chapter Five: Testing The Limits
Hermione and Ginny settled into place at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall. Wrinkling her nose as Ron chewed with his mouth open, Ginny reached over and deftly seized the platter of eggs and bacon. The two girls served themselves and dug in, sharing a meaningful look, before staring at their plates, studiously ignoring the Slytherin section of the hall.
"My, my, Blaise, but I do believe we're being avoided." Draco drawled out, flicking an amused look at his best friend.
Blaise leaned back in his chair, his eyes sliding over the pair of girls. His grin widened when Ginny glanced up and blushed furiously at his look, ducking her head down again immediately.
Draco raised an eyebrow at Blaise. "I thought you only kissed her. Surely she's not that shy."
"Have you forgotten already, Draco, that we play havoc on their emotions whenever we touch them?"
"I still say yours is far too timid. It'll take you forever to get her to let you kiss her again."
Blaise shot Malfoy an annoyed look. "At least I didn't kiss mine in public. You know very well that Granger will never forgive you for that little stunt."
Draco grinned wolfishly, surveying Hermione carefully over the rim of his glass. "Forgiveness comes easily when the art of seduction is brought into the playing field, my friend."
Blaise's curious look turned into a knowing grin as Draco reached for the chocolate croissants.
Ginny felt eyes burning into her, and promptly regretted her decision to look up when her eyes met deep azure ones across the hall. Feeling the blood flood her cheeks as a recent incident in the corridors arose in her mind, she looked back down.
"Ginny?" Hermione was looking at her now, concern moulding her features.
"What? Oh," Ginny raised her head an inch, giving Hermione a slightly bewildered smile. "I'm fine. It's just – " She broke off distractedly, tilting her head in the direction of the Slytherin table.
Hermione flicked her eyes towards Malfoy and Zabini, prepared to send them a deadly glare. Hermione jerked when silver eyes caught her own, holding her immobile. Malfoy leisurely raised a chocolate croissant to his lips, white teeth flashing as he tore some off. A wide smile curled his lips when Hermione's eyes involuntarily followed the path his tongue made across his lips.
Giving her another lazy, indulgent smile, the blonde Slytherin slowly raised his hand, chocolate liquid dripping from his fingers. His eyes, now deep pits of silver-grey lava, focused unerringly on her as he gradually lifted his fingers to his lips. Hermione's jaw dropped when he curled his tongue around a finger, licking off the chocolate.
Feeling warmth coil deep in her stomach, Hermione squirmed uncomfortably on her chair, feeling her cheeks heat when he gave her a knowing smirk. The second finger slid into his mouth, and Malfoy took his time as he sucked it clean, his eyes never wavering from her face. By the time he finished, Hermione had lost all coherent thought, her wide eyes devouring the sight of the handsome blonde. A full-blown smirk spread across his face, and he blew her a flirty kiss, looking supremely satisfied with himself. With a furious gasp, Hermione tore her gaze from his.
Hermione narrowed her eyesat his rather smug look at her flustered appearance, and made as if to stomp towards the Slytherins and give them a piece of her mind when she saw Blaise smirk at Ginny, his eyes roving blatantly over the girl's form. Ginny's hand on her arm stopped her in her tracks.
"Why the bloody hell not? I need to give Malfoy a good belting, too, for his audacity yesterday. And for the little stunt he just pulled."
"Since when do you swear?"
"Since I realized those utter prats are up to no good." Hermione snapped irritably. "Give me one good reason as to why I shouldn't march over there and slap them both silly."
"Blaise didn't do anything else to me after that one kiss, Hermione. And, yes, I saw the way he was looking at me then. And I need to talk to you about that kiss yesterday. About all of this funny business, actually."
"Go on, then. I'll try to curb my bloodlust for the moment."
"That's not even funny, Hermione."
Hermione glared. "I'm starting to rethink my decision to stay here."
"Sorry." Ginny's tone morphed into something more serious. "Yesterday was…strange. Blaise was so possessive. And as soon as he touched my hand, everything went hazy, almost dream-like. I couldn't seem to keep a clear mind around him."
Hermione's eyes swung to face Ginny, and the bulk of Hermione's formidable attention was now on the redheaded witch. "I got the same experience when Malfoy kissed me." Her eyes narrowed. "Have you ever had that happen with any other boy, or had them treat you like treasure that they irrevocably owned?"
"No. Never." Ginny looked thoughtful. "Is it just me, or does this seem strange?"
"Very strange. It positively reeks of Slytherin underhandedness. There's no way the top two Slytherins would suddenly turn around and decide they want two previous enemies from Gryffindor. Things don't work like that normally."
"Do you think someone might've cursed them, then?"
Hermione snorted. "I doubt it. A love potion, though…"
The two girls shared a look, and then broke off into laughter. "Could you imagine," Ginny managed to get out, tears of laughter streaming down her face, "Ferret-boy's reaction if he knew someone had dosed him with a love potion?"
"I think we're going to have to rule out those options. Both are competent duellers; no one who would want to do that to them would be able to curse them. And I can't see any of the normal side effects of a love potion, and besides, I don't think those two are foolish enough to drink anything that could be poisoned. Slytherins, remember?"
"True. Then how do you explain their sudden changes?"
"I've never read about anything like it before."
Hermione sent Ginny a hard look. "Like that would work."
Ginny grinned. "I suppose thinking like Slytherins would help us."
The girls shared a moment of contemplative silence.
"We have to be subtle."
"We really need a plan, you know. The finer details come later." Hermione said dryly.
"And have you got one? No."
Hermione gave Ginny a nasty look. "Do you?"
"You have a point."
Hermione looked thoughtful. "You've seen firsthand how…possessive…they appear to be of us, respectably."
"If we were to test their patience, by, say, paying attention to other boys…they might be so frustrated at our refusal to notice them that they might agree to give us a good reason as to why we should be with them. We can ignore their attempts to seduce us until they admit the reason behind their sudden changes of heart."
Ginny grinned. "The powers of a girl who has a guy after her."
"Exactly. Refuse to give to give them what they want till we get some answers."
"Michael Corner will be willing to play along." Ginny said.
Hermione carefully searched amongst the male seventh years. "Seamus will be only too happy to help, too. He'll jump at the opportunity to piss Ferret-boy off."
"Right," Ginny grinned mischievously. "Let me go get Michael, while you explain the plan to Seamus."
"We're doing it now?"
"Of course, Hermione." Ginny made to saunter off, but paused to glance back at her friend. "Oh, and Hermione? Kiss him, or Malfoy won't get jealous."
Hermione sputtered indignantly. "You're not serious!"
Ginny ignored her friend's protest, flouncing off in the direction of the Ravenclaw table.
Hermione sighed, and turned towards Seamus.
A few minutes later, after a hurried explanation to Seamus, Ginny came waltzing back to the table, sending Hermione a wink.
"Hurry up and do something," Ginny muttered to Seamus and Hermione. "Michael will be here in a minute."
Seamus mock-saluted Ginny. "Yes, ma'am." He cocked an eyebrow at Hermione. "Ready to send Malfoy nutty?"
"As ready as I'll ever be," Hermione sighed.
Seamus reached out and gently pulled Hermione over. "Don't worry, I won't suddenly fall in love with you."
"Oh? And why is that?"
Ginny smacked Hermione on the head, groaning at her lack of tact. "Hermione!"
Seamus grinned easily at the two witches. "It's alright, Ginny." He gave Hermione a sheepish smile. "I won't take advantage of you, or anything. I like Justin too much to do that to him."
"Like Justin…?" Hermione asked faintly.
Seamus grinned at Hermione's naïvety. "I don't go for girls, Hermione. Justin is my boyfriend," he added, watching understanding dawn in her eyes.
"Won't he be angry, then?"
"I'll explain it to him later."
"Oh," Hermione muttered, feeling embarrassed. Her blush deepened when Seamus pulled her forwards and kissed her firmly, one hand in her hair.
Ginny grinned at them, and then was promptly distracted when Michael Corner took a seat beside her.
Michael grinned at the sixth year witch. "I hear that you've been having trouble with a guy friend, Ginny. About time you called me in to help you out. Nothing like a nice show to piss off a clingy guy."
Ginny laughed, letting her ex-boyfriend pull her closer for a gentle kiss.
Blaise stiffened beside his best friend, his eyes trained on something across the hall. Malfoy gave him a strange look, and then followed his gaze, all the way to the Gryffindor table. Malfoy, mouth agape, promptly dropped his fork with a loud clatter.
"Fuck!" Both boys swore, their disbelieving eyes taking in the sight of their respective girls being thoroughly kissed by two boys.
Draco narrowed his eyes, unconsciously clenching his jaw. "What the fuck do they think they're doing, kissing those filthy plebeians?"
Blaise's lip curled as he surveyed Michael Corner. "Yes," He muttered softly. "Something tells me it was the girls who started this, not those two." He arched an eyebrow at Draco. "And doesn't Finnegan bat for the other team?"
"Gay my arse!" Draco hissed venomously. "Wait till I get my hands on the arse. No one touches my girl!"
Blaise turned, blue eyes darkening at the sight of Corner's hand at Ginny's waist. "I believe this is one of the rare times I actually agree with you, Draco," Blaise said, eyes hardening slightly. "No one is allowed to go near my girl, either."
"Shall we teach them a lesson, then, my friend?" Draco drawled.
Blaise smirked. "After you, Draco."
As one, the two rose fluidly from their seats, striding towards the Gryffindor table.
Draco groaned. "Potter and Weasley are going to be a problem, you realize."
"We'll work that out later. For now, I really need to get Ginny away from Corner before I rip his throat out."
"Think Dumbledore would forgive us if we 'accidentally' let slip on our hormones and something happened to the arses?"
Blaise shot Malfoy a warning look. "Keep a tight hold on your instincts. Dumbledore might forgive you for a momentary lapse in concentration, but you'll scare Hermione badly." A cloud passed over his eyes. "Once, someone lost control of their instincts in front of their mate. The results were…not pretty. He died, pining away for her, because she was so terrified of what he'd done to her boyfriend that she wouldn't go near him."
Draco shuddered, casting an agonised look at his best friend. "I can't lose her, Blaise."
"I know." Blaise gripped his shoulder briefly, and then lowered his hand. "Come on, before those two decide kissing our girls isn't enough for them."
Ginny was startled when Michael was roughly jerked away from her. Confused, thinking that Ron had gone against his promise not to interfere, she looked up, ready to spit fire at her sibling. Her mouth dropped open at the sight of a furious Blaise Zabini, blue eyes crackling in their intensity, glaring as he shoved Michael away.
Ginny gasped, feeling fear course through her at the look in his eyes. When he turned to her, she shrank back slightly, eyes widening. Blaise reached out to her, and then heard her small noise of fear. Guilt washed over him, and he breathed deeply, reaching with his magic to subdue his instincts, letting the calm force of his magic infuse him, before he reached out a soothing hand to Ginny.
Beside them, a livid Draco Malfoy bodily lifted Seamus Finnegan from his seat. With a growl of rage, Malfoy sent Seamus to the floor. Hermione reared back, panting in fear, as Malfoy turned grey eyes, still burning with a terrible rage, towards her. In her struggle to get away from him, she nearly fell off the seat. But Malfoy was at her side, supporting her trembling frame as she sought for balance. Gently, tenderly, almost, he set her back on the seat, pausing briefly to run a loving finger down her cheek, and across her lips. His eyes had lost their fierce intensity, now, as he looked her over carefully, checking for injuries.
Twin shouts of anger drew his attention away from her, and he stood to his full height, keeping a hand on Hermione's shoulder. His other hand dove into his pockets, and by the time Harry and Ron had drawn their wands, Malfoy's was already levelled at them.
"Zabini, Malfoy, get your filthy hands off them!" Ron commanded angrily, his face contorting into an expression of utmost fury when Blaise slowly, casually, imitated Draco, laying a possessive hand on Ginny's shoulder.
Harry was silent, green eyes watching the scene unfold with an eerily cool gaze. Anger simmered in the depths of his eyes, but Harry reined it in.
"Blaise," Malfoy said quietly. "Take them and go."
Blaise sent him a hard look. "Draco – "
"Go!" Malfoy thundered. "I'll take care of this."
Without another word, Blaise rose to his feet grimly, gently urging the two girls to their feet and firmly pulling them away.
Malfoy turned back to face a bunch of furious Gryffindors. Seeing Dumbledore approaching swiftly, he decided to make the best of it. "So, Potter, your boyfriend wants to join you in detention for the month? Insulting the Head Boy…I'm quite sure that merits detention." Malfoy drawled, an arrogant smirk curving his lips.
"Expelliarmus!" Dumbledore's voice rumbled over the sound of angry muttering, even as Harry and Ron raised their wands, words forming on their lips.
Draco cursed softly as he felt his wand being ripped from his grasp. Distracted, he was only just quick enough to block himself from Ron Weasley's attack. Feeling a sense of anger and helpless urgency overcome him, Draco easily flipped Ron onto his back, sneering down at the other boy.
Draco glanced up at Dumbledore, fighting the urge to break off and head towards where he knew Blaise would have taken the girls. "Headmaster, may I…?"
Dumbledore gave him a measuring look, then nodded once, handing Draco his wand back. "Go, Mr. Malfoy. But I want to see you and Mr. Zabini in my office tonight, though I will refrain from punishing you this time." He looked amused. "I doubt very much that this incident was your fault."
Draco muttered a quick thanks, then sped off, suppressing a snort of derisive laughter when he heard the complaints begin behind him.
Blaise firmly pulled the two girls along with them, and propelled them out through the Great Hall's doorway. Suppressing a sigh as he heard the two girls tugging on his arms and yelling at him vainly, he doggedly continued on down the hall. Passing through the dungeons, Slytherin territory, he stopped in front of a wall, murmured a password, and pulled the girls in after him.
As soon as Hermione felt Blaise let go of her, she leapt towards the spot where they'd just gone through the wall, only to find it solid once more. Sharing a frightened look with Ginny – this wasn't meant to happen! – she turned to face Blaise.
"Why are we here?" Hermione asked him, silently congratulating herself when her voice didn't waver.
"It occurred to Draco and I that we needed to teach you two a lesson." He gave the two girls a firm look. "You need to understand that when a Slytherin publicly declares a girl his, you don't go off with any other hot-blooded young male you can find."
"You don't own us." Hermione hissed.
Blaise looked amused. "Actually, and quite legally, we do."
"Mum never signed those stupid forms, you git," Ginny retorted suddenly, then cringed after she insulted him, remembering all too vividly his prior anger.
"She didn't need to," Blaise said calmly. "We just thought it would be better for you if it appeared as though you had a choice in the decision." His eyes took in her wary stance, softening considerably. "I won't hurt you, Ginny. Nor you, Hermione," he added.
Both girls relaxed slightly. Blaise groaned, lowering himself onto a couch, and waved his hand at another couch. Both girls chose to remain standing. Blaise shrugged, folding his arms behind his head, watching Ginny closely.
Ginny fidgeted, then glared at him. "Why are you staring at me?"
"I'm trying to decide on an appropriate punishment for you," he sounded out lazily. "I really can't have my girl running around kissing ex-boyfriends."
"And I can't really have my girl trying to convert gay males," A wry voice came from behind them. Draco strode forwards, sending Ginny stumbling over to Blaise with a gentle push, and firmly wrapping an arm around Hermione, drawing her over to the other couch. Blaise sat up, deftly drawing Ginny into his arms.
Malfoy suddenly shifted, pushing Hermione to lie underneath him on the couch. "Never," He growled in her ear, "Ever, do that again, my little witch." Ignoring the others in the room, his lips crashed down upon hers. He drew back, eyes rock hard. "You're mine, and don't you forget it."
One of his hands held Hermione's wrists above her head, and the other was buried in her cascade of brown curls. With another growl, he seized her mouth with his, sliding his tongue in when she gasped. Letting his hand trail down her throat and across her chest, his licked and suck his way down the smooth column of her neck, feeling her arch against him with a moan. A lazy smirk crossed his lips as he raised his head.
Hermione felt her senses leave her when Malfoy's lips crashed down upon hers. Arching under his touch, helpless to do more than feel the intense pleasure, she saw him stop and raise his head. The smirk that spread across his face only made her attraction increase, and soon she was pleading for more, unable to resist having him so close, his scent intoxicating her. An indulgent smile curved his lips upwards as she begged him for more, and he granted her wish.
Blaise saw Malfoy roll suddenly on the couch, bringing Hermione underneath him, and grinned. Turning to Ginny, he suddenly had her leaning back against the arm of the couch. Ginny gasped, struggling to push him away, when he grinned cheekily at her, tipping her head up for a searing kiss. Ginny melted next to him, her mind reeling when he released her lips, only to trail open-mouthed kisses down her neck and across her shoulder. Blaise's hand rubbed soothing circles across her stomach, his lips silencing her when she cried out for more.
Eventually, Draco and Blaise reluctantly tore themselves away from the girls, sharing identically smug looks as the two girls lay, both breathing heavily and staring at their respective kissers.
"Come on," Blaise held out a hand, helping to pull a shaky Ginny to her feet. "You can't stay here, classes start soon, and you're not ready for anything else yet."
Draco, in turn, slid his arms around Hermione, lifting her up and setting her feet on the floor. Pointing his wand at the entrance and muttering a charm, the wall shimmered and disappeared.
"Go, both of you," Malfoy said, running a hand distractedly through his hair. "You'll be late to class otherwise."
Both girls shot the boys confused looks, looking overwhelmed at the whole situation. Starting towards the door, they stopped when Blaise's voice sounded out behind them.
"Just remember: you belong to us."
Hermione and Ginny glanced once at Malfoy and Blaise, and then promptly bolted. Draco and Blaise shared an amused look.
"I'm starting to regret my decision to let her leave," Draco remarked ruefully. "I want her by my side, always."
Blaise sighed. "Tell me about it." He gave his best friend a wicked grin. "Can't be too long, now."
"Dumbledore's actually on our side, too. He let me go, after the fight was stopped. Said he wouldn't punish us." Draco laughed. "He knew it wasn't our fault, and that those two silly girls tried to test our limits." His laughter faded, a more serious tone invading his voice. "He wants to see us in his office tonight, though."
"Probably thinks it's time to tell the girls the truth." Blaise remarked nonchalantly.
"The old coot's probably right, too." Draco grumbled.
The two Slytherins rolled their eyes simultaneously, strolling casually out the room and towards their next class.