Chapter Thirty-Two

Don't Doubt or Fear For Me

"That was daunting!" Hermione exclaimed as she and Draco took the slow way back to their common room.

Draco remained silent, not liking the rapid change of events this evening. Why did it feel like he had no control over anything anymore?

Falling silent again, Hermione perceived Draco to be in a more solemn mood than she'd originally thought. All humor and anecdotes would fall flat, so she didn't even bother. Instead she let him have his silence, but made a gesture in its place.

Stepping slightly closer, Hermione found Draco's hand and entwined her fingers with his. Draco faltered in his step and stopped abruptly. A pained expression coming across his face as he looked down at her.

Still, not saying anything, Hermione just smiled at him and gently squeezed his hand. It was then that something seemed to shatter, his mask fell entirely, and a raw emotion the likes of which she'd only seen Harry display, graced his features. Draco appeared terribly sad. It made Hermione want to cry, and while she wanted to speak up and ask what was wrong, she didn't.

Presently, she found herself pulled into a tight embrace. Draco was holding her, clinging desperately as though she'd disappear with the next breeze from an open window. She wanted to hug him back, but her arms were pinned to her and she could only remain still against him.

"Hey" she whispered softly, breaking the silence finally. "Mind telling me what's wrong?"

Draco broke away, as he'd been doing so often lately, and strode brusquely ahead. For his momentary lapse, he felt foolish. He let his guard down so completely in just that moment, because his heart felt so torn. 'Dammit!' he thought, wondering if it would be worth it to use magic and strip himself of all emotion. Lately his iron handed control over his feelings had slipped. Now, he was becoming as angst ridden as bloody Potter.

In Hermione's opinion she put up fairly well with all the moody antics. Being around Harry for six years had given her good practice, however she still didn't think it fitting for Malfoy to be the one with fluctuating emotions. Part of her now believe that it was because he was in love with her. From books to friends, Hermione had been told that love made people do crazy things and act differently. That was the case with them. For Hermione's part, she knew she had grown more bold and become more confident since being around Draco. And, for Draco's part, he had become less rough around the edges and on occasion, though only in her presence, shown a depth of his soul which no one else knew existed.

Again, inside their dormitory, where it seemed they spent so much of their time, Draco sat on the couch. Hermione was right in tow, and didn't hesitate evening upon flashing back to their little snog from earlier that day.

"What's wrong?" she asked, again, though determined this would be the final time, since she refused to make this an interrogation.

"You know damn well what's wrong." Draco snapped.

At this Hermione crossed her arms at her chest and gave him her most stubborn glare. "While I am said to know everything, I do not know what's got your panties in a twist." she stated flatly.

"I should think you would know by now that I wear boxers!" he retorted mindlessly. They were back to their banter, something they hadn't done for a while.

"Draco, what's the big deal? This is what we do now. We have a chance to end this." she reasoned.

"No!" he said firmly, "Things are different now." his voice had taken a deeper tone, almost a growl.

"What's changed?" she asked incredulously, "We've got training tomorrow morning. This new job is just like any other. Nothing is different, except the difficulty."

"It's not the same as before. This is more dangerous, and we've got more to lose." there was a desperate anger in him which he fought to hide. Bowing his head for a moment, he pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a headache forming. He had to make her understand, "Hermione, things are different now, because I'm in love with you. This crack pot idea which is now a full scale operation, is too risky. This isn't some school house mystery off in Italy. This is Voldemort, who is now a desperate madman." Standing up swiftly, Draco paced closer to the empty hearth. With a wave of his hand flames erupted, a bit too strong at first, but they settled down. Turning back to an enraptured Hermione he almost pleaded, "Why can't you see how scared I am?"

During the pause which followed, Hermione didn't quite register his words right away. Once, she did though, she thought she ought to speak.

Was it true? Was, he, Draco Malfoy scared? Never in all that had happened before, was he scared. Why now? Was this love such an emotion to make a fierce and brave man cower? Sighing, Draco glance at her again, halting whatever reply she had coming. It was time he got a weight off his chest, a chain he'd been dragging for some time.

"I was never scared before. I don't think I even knew such an emotion." he admitted. "All my life, it's been 'mudblood' this and 'The Dark Lord' that. My father was a cold hearted bastard from day one!" he spat venomously. "I'm not sure which he put first in his life, Voldemort or himself… but it certainly wasn't myself or my mother." Again his eyes met hers, they were cold and distant, as if reliving the memories attached to his words, "I sometimes wonder where I would be if I never learned to think for myself. Would I still be spouting off outdated prejudices? Would I be bowing low and kissing the feet of his Dark Eminence? I try not to think about that, since it only reminds me how one event lead me down a different path."

Draco held his hands in front of himself, staring down at them, turning them over, "Do you know how it feels to have blood on your hands?"

While his meaning was quite clear, Hermione couldn't seem to accept what he was implying. Surely Draco had never killed someone before.

"His last words were, 'Truly my son.'." dropping his hands to his sides, he implored again with his eyes, for some understanding, "I thought it would be better, if I didn't use a wand… more fitting in an ironic justice sort of way, if I killed him in a more Muggle fashion. But, there was so much blood. I didn't think someone could have that much blood in them. Damn sword, it felt so heavy when I pulled it out of him, and the noise it made, I felt so sick."

She wanted to stop him, tell him she didn't need to know anything, that it was okay. But, she also knew that she was probably the first person he'd told willingly, and he needed to get this out there.

"I think the Malfoy name never burdened me so much as when I tried to hold that bloodied sword, it was from our family's coat of arms. He hadn't even given me the choice to take the Dark Mark. Gods he was furious when I refused him. I think it was when I gave him my refusal, that I signed my life over to Dumbledore. Where else could I go? What else could I have done?"

In a sudden fit, Draco reached for the nearest object and hurled it across the room, the vase from the mantle shattered as it hit the far wall. "For all his bloody worth!" Draco shouted, face darkening with anger, "He was still my FUCKING father! And I killed the bastard!"

"But you know what?" he asked, suddenly more calm, and looking at Hermione, "Not once, did I feel fear. Once he'd let out his last breath and I knew I had become hunted, I didn't feel a shred of worry." Eyes darting, as if searching for something before him to give him some answers, he asked her, "Why? Why am I so scared now?"

"Draco…" Hermione forced out, tears streaming down her face.

"If I lose you, I'll lose myself! I don't understand it, but at this point I don't care to. Hermione, I'm scared as hell that I might lose you! You can't do this, I need you here with me." he pleaded kneeling before her and taking her hands in his as she cried silently.

For as much as she wanted to console him, there was nothing she could say. She couldn't even begin to sympathize with him, though she suspected that would make things worse if she tried. He'd murdered his own father. In all her years of animosity, she never once thought the Slytherin capable of murder. That was her ignorance, something his confession was helping her quickly over come.

Knowing she couldn't offer comfort, but hoping his confession gave him some relief, she did the only thing which felt right. Hermione leaned down and kissed him, sniffing as she pulled back, "As long as you love me, you won't lose me." she whispered.

"Bullocks!" he cried, pulling her back to him and kissing her fiercely. "I want you here with me, where I can hold you and touch you!"

"I agreed to make the objective of this mission my focus, and not run off after Lestrange. But, I won't agree to now do nothing. If you won't give me my revenge, give me the satisfaction of doing my part and ending this war." she asked of him.

"And if I lose you?" he questioned.

"Are you doubting our ability? We'll be working together on this, and together we tend to kick some serious arse." she reminded him.

Each of their responses seemed to come between their kisses, which were lasting longer each time.

"That doesn't mean we won't fail." he reminded her, slowly losing his grasp on any controlled debating. Damn hormonal needs!

"Oh? Then I suppose it wasn't you there with me in that clearing, fending off a group of vampires. You can't be the Draco Malfoy I know, because he's such a cocky-self-righteous-thinks-he's-better-than-everybody-else-" her next stream was cut off by his mouth pressed to hers, but she grinned and managed to mumble in continuance, "arrogant-sexy-git that he'd never doubt his own ability." she finished.

Chuckling, amazed at how she managed to soothe anything over, he provoked, "So you think I'm sexy?"

"Did I say sexy?" she asked, wrapping her arms about his neck, "I meant stuck-up-Slytherin-jerk-" Again she was stopped and gave off a surprised yelp as Draco picked her up, throwing her over his shoulder.

"So the Gryffindor wants to play does she?" he asked, spinning about while she dangled upside down. When he finally set her down, she was slightly disoriented, making it all the easier to pin her against the wall and give her a good feel up.

Just when she seemed to regain her senses, Draco sent them reeling again as he touched her. It wasn't long before they were both shirtless, and picking up where they'd left off that morning. Standing up, however, Hermione realized they didn't press against each other as satisfyingly as when they were laying down. Her body wanted that friction, she wanted to feel him pressed against her, she wanted him inside her.

"Draco" she spoke breathlessly, still so unused to the way her body felt around him. Prior to Draco, she'd never done more than a soft kiss. Now, she found herself almost primal in her need to go so much further. She cried out in a moan as he found a particular sensitive spot on her neck. His answer was a lusty growl, not quite able to form coherent words at the moment.

As her legs spread, her knee lifted to his waist. The message was clear, as he hoisted her up, against the wall. Now as both her legs wrapped around him, she received a far more pleasurable angle, which she'd been searching for.

Hips bucking, she whimpered softly as a shudder ran through her. Groaning, Draco hissed, "vixen". Since this wasn't the first time he'd called her that, she picked up on the fact that it was because she'd done something he liked immensely. So, she bucked again, but more so for him than herself.

Pulling away abruptly, which was something Hermione was going to start complaining about if he kept it up, Draco set her down. Grabbing her hand he pulled her to him again, to pick her up. "Your fate is sealed, you're mine for the taking." he whispered in her ear as he carried her to the stairs. On the long shot chance that the first step happened to be jinxed, he skipped it all together, knowing he couldn't stand for any more interruptions.

Though his room was the closest and only a single flight up, he felt as though his door couldn't come into view soon enough. He had Hermione in his arms, and no sooner had he scooped her up than she decided to torture him with gentle nipping at his neck. Merlin, he felt his body losing control. This need he felt, was overpowering. As he approached the door, Hermione made a point to nip his earlobe, and tease him with her tongue. 'Gods above!' his mind cried as he almost lost all patience and took her right on the stairs. 'Where did she learn that from?' His Slytherin and teenage mind could only smirk inwardly as he concluded that she was simply a natural when it came to pleasure. Merlin, the things he would teach her.

While he fought for resistance and to keep some patients, which he always had, he finally reached his door. The door opened easily, though like the flames in the hearth, he was a bit forceful in his magic and it slammed against the wall with a bang.

Hermione found his mouth again, fervently kissing him. That sweet woodsy scent which she had come to find so appealing about Draco seemed to have overwhelmed her and set her body on fire. She wanted him so badly, needed him, to have his hands on her, to have her hands on him. She barely noticed the transition between being carried and laying back on his bed, while he towered above her.

As Draco positioned himself, between her legs, he lowered his head to hers, again claiming her lips. He could get so used to this. These soft plush lips, they were only meant for him to touch, no other man. He had never been one to share anything, being an only child.

His hand caressed its' way down, outlining the ample curve of her breast, causing her to squirm. Lower, to the soft flat surface of her stomach. Just beneath her navel, tracing the band of her pants around the waist. This caused a shudder to run through her, and he grinned, knowing he wasn't the only one losing control.

"Please" she called to him, as he groped her breast and teased her by lightly dipping his hand under the waist line.

"Please what?" he purred in return, unbuttoning her jeans with a practiced movement.

Though it was far too late to be asking, since he doubted he could stop if she refused, he asked her anyway, "Do you want this?"

"Yes." she breathed, never more certain of anything.

Having unbuttoned her pants, he proceeded to move down to the cuffs at her ankles and pull the denim material off, revealing her smooth shapely legs. Seeing her so bared just chopped all the more at his patience, so it was swiftly and with deft hands that he removed her of her only remaining undergarment.

His little Gryffindor was throwing all his plans out the window as he found himself unable to tear his eyes away, and in the next moment he felt like he'd go insane if he didn't have her in his arms right then. So, he moved to her side quickly and pulled her to him, relishing the feel of her chest against his. Breathing in the lavender scent of her hair, he claimed her mouth, tasting her sweet lips. What he wouldn't give to freeze this moment and simply live in the feel of her naked body pressed to him.

"I hardly think this fair." she purred, so seductively in his ear, while her hand mimicked his and teased him softly just above his pants, slowly dipping and nearly causing him to appear as inexperienced as he was beginning to feel. He might cum right there if she didn't stop.

Crushing his mouth to hers, he explored her mouth with a renewed vigor, not relenting until she was breathless, with her pert breasts heaving. In that time he'd kept her consumed enough to not notice him undress himself. Gently he stroked her with his fingers. It was he who moaned as he felt how wet and ready she was, which was only a reflection of his own leaking member, telling him he needed to take her now. He knew there was little preparation he could do for her, as a virgin he could spend all night gently and slowly stretching her, but it would still hurt just as much when he entered her.

Now as he knew neither of them wanted to prolong this, he sat up between her legs and looked down at her. Soft golden brown curls spread about out beneath her head, on his pillow. It was perhaps each and every time they'd fallen asleep next to each other that he'd fallen harder and harder for her.

As she lift her legs, bending her knees and spreading in anticipation, Draco leaned down and softly, almost chastely touched his lips to hers. "I love you." he whispered. It was then he directed his throbbing member into her. She was wet and so ready as he eased in. Her eyes widened and she winced as he met resistance. So ready, yet so tight. Pushing further, he broke through, and just waited while she adjusted to him.

After a moment, her body relaxed again, becoming more comfortable, though entirely senseless at the knowledge that Draco's cock was now inside her. "I love you too." she whispered. The mere thought sent trills of pleasure through her, and as the trills became shudders she realized Draco was now thrusting into her.

Shallow at first, it didn't take long for the feel to become so pleasurable she didn't care if there was a dull throbbing pain. Longer, thrusts, she began to meet him half way, lifting her hips off the bed.

Though they really had no one to hide from, since no one could hear them while they were in their dorm room, Hermione was afraid to cry out and express aloud just how she felt. So, she brought a hand to her mouth, and stifled her cries by biting down on her fingers.

"No." Draco said, pulling her hand away from her mouth, "Let me hear you." he commanded.

What did it matter if she called out, at this point, she just wanted… "Ahh.." she moaned as Draco dropped a hand to massage her clit. "Harder! Please!"

Draco had been using all of what little control was left, to not go too hard, but once he heard her half dazed plea, that single word spilling with lust from those red lips, he couldn't stop. He gave it to her, thrusting harder and faster, delving as deep as he could possibly go. It didn't take long before Hermione clenched around him, as he pump furiously, driving deeper.

A small whimper escaped her mouth as she rode the orgasm out. It was then she felt a warm juices fill her, as Draco came inside her. Slowly they came to a halt, riding out their orgasms till the very end.

Swallowing hard, Draco gazed down at his alluring lioness, her skin glowing with her sweaty antics. "You're beautiful" he thought aloud.

"And that was amazing." she replied.

Chuckling at the unexpected sex drive of this Gryffindor princess, he pulled out of her and lay down beside her. Again, he pulled her up against him, this time her back to him. With his arms wrapped around her middle, he held her close, leaving a few final kissing against the back of her neck before nuzzling it. Drained, they drifted off to sleep, more soundly than ever, listening to each other's breathing, and depending on the position, each other's heartbeat.

Hot water blast forth, pelting a soothing warmth over Hermione's skin as she stood under the showerhead. With her eyes closed, she let the water splash against her face, as her hair became sodden and lengthened in to dark auburn strands. It had been with a flushing cringe that she slowly made her way out of Draco's bedroom, where he lay sleeping. The soreness she felt was her cause for her blushing and pained cringe. Though, she not embarrassed, more elated really.

It had been with some reluctance she left the blonde Auror, laying there in all his well toned Slytherin-Sex-God glory. Oddly enough, one of the many muscle relieving potions she'd been taking since the start of her physically demanding training with Moody had been just what she needed for a similar, but all together different soreness issue.

Briefly she wondered if she would be constituted as a slut for enjoying their escapades last night as much as she did. But, reason told her that wasn't true. In fact, she concluded, it would be odd if she didn't enjoy it as much, since Draco was undeniably hot and she was totally in love with him.

A familiar arm snaked around her waist, pulling her back slightly.

"Morning" she greeted, as a very much naked Slytherin trailed kissed over her neck and down her shoulders.

Feeling him pressed against her from behind, she knew just how this rest of this shower was going to play out.

Draco seemed to make good on his earlier promise, that is of screwing her into the pristine tiling of the bathroom floor.

Sometime later, a very much satiated couple emerged from the bathroom, not at all looking forward the a renewed training session with Moody, but content nonetheless.

Moody seemed to have an urgent atmosphere as he barked orders at them left and right. They'd started with the basics again, a review of what should be automatic. Half the day carried on with flying brooms and duels danced in flash step. And, while Moody was rather pleased that these basic skills were imprinted deeply, he pushed on.

In a four days time, just before Hogwarts opened for school, they were to set their plan in motion. So, while Draco was sent to run laps, Hermione was made to hone her abilities more. The shield was simple, so was healing. The release of her wings, still proved most difficult and this time there was no kitten in her head to guide her along or give her a jump start. But, she eventually managed it, and when she felt she needed a break, Moody didn't relent. Instead he began an attack, not giving her a moment's notice or rest.

The day wore on in the same manner. Exercise after exercise. Attack after attack. Only, every time Hermione thought she might falter and stop for lack of breath, Draco was there to fend Moody off, much to the old Auror's dislike. He kept barking at Draco to do more laps, adding more on every time he came to Hermione's side.

It was dusk when they finally took a break. Dripping with sweat and breathing heavily, Hermione and Draco sprawled out on the grass, while Dobby tended to various scrapes and bruises and offered water.

Someone… no a couple of someone's were approaching. As they drew nearer, Hermione didn't even have to lift her head to know who it was. Harry and Ron stood before them, casting elongated shadows over them. The sun was still bright, barely touching the horizon, so even with their shadows, Hermione had to squint as she looked up at them.

A tired wave of her hand was most the greeting she could muster, before dropping her hand down and taking another deep breath.

Ron bent down, looking concerned, "Are you alright?"

Before she could force herself to reply, Draco answered for her, "She's fine Weasley." it would seem even after all those laps, he still had energy left to be his old Slytherin self.

"Sleep" Hermione mumbled as she rolled to her side, not even caring she was in the middle of the Quidditch pitch.

Smirking to himself, Draco sat up, hardly able to control all his suppressed devilish urges, "Come on love, there is no rest for the wicked." he said endearingly, as he stood and offered her a hand.

Hermione's eyes shot open and she suddenly found the energy needed to get moving. Throwing Draco a reprimanding glare, she stood and smiled at Harry and Ron, who both now regarded Malfoy with suspicion.

"Harry, how were your lessons today?" she asked, crossing her fingers in hopes they didn't take Draco seriously.

"Rather productive actually." Harry sighed, giving her a weary smile of his own. It was hard playing mental games with Dumbledore all day long.

"Let's go eat, I'm starving." Ron complained, choosing to ignore that when he included them as a group, Malfoy was invariably a part of that.

As they walked back, Hermione made the small talk, afraid that if she didn't fill the silence, Draco would, and he wouldn't do it with any appropriate means. "Was your mom okay with you and Ginny being gone so long?"

Ron shrugged his shoulders, "She threw a fit at first, but when we reminded her that we were at Hogwarts the whole time, she eased up."

"Are you really going to go through with this?" Harry blurted out, apparently it had been nagging him since the meeting the other day.

"Yes." Hermione answered simply.

With a fierce and concerned stare from Harry, she waited until he found what he wanted within her eyes. The obvious determination and confidence must have been enough reassurance, for he simply nodded and dropped it all together. Ron and Harry had been the most difficult to convince at the meeting. In fact, they hadn't actually convinced them, but rather excluded their arguments and moved on.

The four of them entered the Great Hall to eat what ominously felt like one of few meals they had left to eat together.