Author's Note: So sorry for not updating sooner. This chapter still hasn't been reviewd by a beta so I really hope that there aren't too many mistakes. Please let me know what you think of this chapter.


Chapter Eight


"Put me down, you bouncing ferret!" Hermione demanded for the umpteenth time. She was still draped over Draco's shoulder when he finally stopped their short journey from castle to the lake.

"Only if you promise to hear me out and not to run," he proposed.


"Listen, Hermione…" Draco sighed once more.

"Oh, now I'm Hermione?" She demanded.

Sighing, Draco decided to finally let her feet touch the ground. "Look," he tried again and took his wand out of his robes. "I'll throw the wand to the side so you could relax a bit for now," than he added. "I won't hurt you." Draco didn't concern himself with her wand because it was in the safe hands of Madam Pomfrey.

"Oh that's rich, coming from a freak who just jumped over the hospital window, that was fifteen feet of the ground, mind you." She stated sarcastically and crossed her arms at her middle making her chest bloom up a little.

Draco had to close his eyes and will himself not to jump on his defenseless chosen one. Taking a few deep breaths he finally said. "We have to come to some sort of an agreement here, Granger. The sooner we do it the better it will be…for everyone."

"I don't have to do anything!" She exclaimed. "I owe you nothing!"

Draco's lips curled into a dry smile. "That fact is regardless. Unfortunately, I have to depend on you whether or not I will see the next sunrise…for the rest of my life."

"Well, I guess you are just out of luck, because there is no way I will willingly agree to tie myself down to my enemy for the rest of my life."

"I don't understand why you're making such a big deal out of this." Draco threw his hands into the air, clearly exasperated. "Being my mate, not to mention a Malfoy later on, will give you everything you ever could dream of," he brought his hands down and finger counted all the pros of becoming a Malfoy wife with his left hand. "Wealth, power, protection, respect, and most importantly, my love."

Scoffing at the last comment she said, "Don't make me laugh, Malfoy. You don't even know the meaning of love." Hermione shook her head. Suddenly her features darkened, "And as for wealth, power, protection and respect, I already have them."

Draco couldn't argue with that point of fact. As far as he knew, Hermione came from a very wealthy muggle family, she was the most powerful witch of their age, she had protection from the two wizards that he couldn't stand, and as far as he was concerned, she was respected by almost everyone in school, the ministry and himself. This realization made him smile. His mate was really something.

"And I am sure, Malfoy, that I could find someone better to love and take care of me." Hermione knew saying that bit of information was a huge mistake as soon as she saw the change in his silver eyes. She backed away unconsciously, but not quick enough. Before she could even blink, Hermione found she was pressed firmly against the trunk of the tree.

"I will only say this once to you Hermione," Draco whispered menacingly, his hot, rapid breath burning her cheeks. "No one will ever love you except me. I won't allow anyone to love you like a man loves a woman or a husband loves his wife, his lover. I am the only one who will love you as such. And if there is a fool out there who does develop these feeling for you, and I find out about it, he won't live to see another day." He said the last part through gritted teeth. "You are mine!"

Hermione couldn't believe this was happening to her. She couldn't move even if she wanted to. She could feel an aura of some sort coming from Draco the moment he grabbed her possessively. She could swear that there was some golden hue around him. Why couldn't she move? She hated when anyone ordered her around and told her what to do; yet she couldn't help but be speechless and emotionless. Whatever was radiating from him was making her dizzy. Hermione began to breath rapidly at his sudden change.

In a mere second, all that malace that was in his eyes and voice was suddenly gone. He regarded her impassively and relaxed his fingers on her shoulders. Ever so gently, he brought up his right hand to her left cheek and carresed it with his knuckles, marveling at how smooth her skin was, and withought another though Draco leaned his head down. Hermione would later swear that her heart nearly jumped out of her chest.

She braced herself for some unknown sort oh physical assult; a whimper of terror lodged in her throat, but the next moment she realized there was nothing to fear. His lips were cool on hers and surprizingly smooth as they brushed lightly against her closed mouth. Stunned into quiescence, with her hands braced on either side of his shoulders, holding her rigid body away from his, or as much as she could seeing how she was pressed against the trunk of a tree, she remained utterly immobile while her pulse began too race and she tried desperatly to savor what it was like to be kissed for the fist time and stll keep her head. She felt hot all over. Hot and sinful. Her body was doing something she was unfamiliar with. She had a strong urge to rub her thighs together but whatever dignity was left in her at that moment prevented her to do so. Finally, after what seemed like an hour, Draco released the pressure of his hands and mouth so she could move.

"You kissed me…" she managed to whimper the obvious.

"Yes." He confirmed with a sleek smile. "You better get used to it because I plan on doing that a lot from now on."

Shaking her foggy head she breathed, "Harry and Ron are going to kill you for touching me."

It was as though a light bulb appeared over his blond head. "They are very important to you – Potter and Weasley – aren't they?" He asked her as he took a step back. Before she could answer his ridiculous question Draco continued. "I'll make you a deal, Granger." As one of her eyebrows rose, he continued. "You agree to let me mark you and I'll agree not to kill them." He stated nonchalantly.

At than proposition, whatever fog she was in, Hermione seemed to snap out of it. "How dare you even ask of me this? I will never…"

"If you value their lives, you will." He stated. "You see, if I don't get to mark you soon, I will parish. The only thing is I still have a few hours to breathe. And in those few hours, I guarantee you that I could do a number of damages, including killing the boy who just refuses to die and his pathetic sidekick."

"You wouldn't…"


"You couldn't…"


"There is no way…"

"Try me…"

"So much for never hurt me." She mumbled.

"Never hurt you as long as I breathe air, Granger." He sighed, lowered his head and said in defeat. He knew that he could never kill someone, no matter what everyone else thought of him. "Name your terms, Granger. I'll do anything you ask of me."

Hermione regarded him thoughtfully and then proposed, "Switch sides, Malfoy." At that, Draco straightened to look at her as she continued. "Aid the light side and help us to defeat the Dark Lord."

"Is that all you want?" He asked in awe.

"The same goes for your father, Malfoy." She added.

"I have no father." Draco stated darkly.

"No matter, I still want the two of you to aid our side."

"Why is it so important for you that Lucius and I switch sides?" He couldn't help but ask. "It can't be the fear of being with the death eater. We protect our own."

"I am thinking of the future, Malfoy." She was beginning to lose her temper again. "I just don't want to wake up in the middle of the night and wonder whether you are dead or alive or explain to our children, if we'll have any that is, why their father is locked up in Azkaban with their grand-father on Christmas morning when they should be with their family opening new presents."

Draco's heart swelled with happiness. "Done," he answered without any hesitation. "Is there anything else?" He asked with a smile.

"As a matter of fact there is." Hermione answered in that know-it-all voice that he loved to hate, but now only loves, so much. "You will try to get along with Harry and Ron," at this Draco's features fell. "Because like it or not they will be around me." At that his eyes darkened. "They are my best friends, Malfoy, and not you nor anyone else in the world could change that. And no more threats!"

"Fine." He barked. "Anything else?"

"Yes. Stop calling me Mudblood."

Draco looked confused and said in his defense; "I haven't called you that in a while anyway."

"Well, make sure you keep it that way." She admonished him.

"I promise." He said. "Happy?"

"As one could be considering this situation." After a while Hermione asked. "How long do we have?"

"Before the sundown tomorrow night." He answered seriously.

"Ho…how is it done?" She looked down, feeling shy all of a sudden. "Will it be painful?"

Draco placed his fingers under her chin and gently nudged her head up so he could look into her caramel colored orbs. "What?"

"The marking." She answered and felt her cheeks turn scarlet.

"I am not sure." He replied honestly. "But from what I saw, the act should be…uh…pleasurable."

"What you saw?" She asked confused.

"A dream."

"A dream?" she echoed.

"Yes, last night." Draco elaborated. "I had a dream that we were in a field and that you were saying…" he paused, not sure if it was a good idea to quote her.

"Mark me, Dragon…Love me…Make me yours for all eternity, Dragon…" Hermione provided in a husky whisper.

"Ye…Yes." Draco choked. "But how did you…"

Blushing about three shades darker, she answered, "I believe I had the same dream last night." They were silent again.

"So you know how I'll have to mark you."

"Yes." She shivered.

Bringing his hand to he shoulders, Draco rubbed the length of her upper arm. "What's wrong?"

"Just chilly, I guess," she paused. "And a little frightened."

Draco pulled her into a hug, surprised that she didn't pull away. "Me too."


Olga LaLa Out...

I will try to update before school begins.