Now They Know

With his rough pale skin and absence of guilt, Draco received looks from everyone while he walked down the corridors. He had always been used to glances and stares and even the occasional grimace, but no one would want to touch him in fear of disturbing his mindless self-importance. Now, the glances were accompanied with secret thoughts of twisted shame and misunderstood authority.

He was the expert of superiority; the core of blood-purity.

However, those thoughts and ideals had come to change. As of late, those glances and stares were formed from a growing curiosity towards the man whose family turned against their old principles and made a name for themselves on the same side of those that killed Voldemort. Long gone were the looks of hatred and loathing for the boy. Far away were the people who would cower in his presence.

Despite the change of heart and sides, no one thought that the Slytherin would be capable of drastically changing the spirit of a single person, enough to spend nights behind locked doors with none other than their own female savior.

Regardless of what everyone thought they knew about him, there would be plenty more to discover.

Days would pass quickly and then sometimes they would slow down, offering him the opportunity to finally enjoy the act he was engaged in. Some nights would offer him pleasure and most days would offer him convenience with sly looks and fulfilling slight touches.

He still managed to gain access to many hidden rooms in the ancient castle, find more hidden alcoves, and by chance hit upon the Room of Requirement once more. With secrets locked inside of his core, his rough hands would push her against a wall, crash his lips onto hers, and forget any details of how his path in life got him in tangled up in her legs.

Only one detail would stick out in his mind as he took her with passionate friction; she was the only person that could make him lose his mind. Whether it was in the Restricted Section of the library, in the abandoned sixth floor hallway, or in the Astronomy tower, she was the one that was able to take every last ounce of his incorruptibility and yet make him feel tainted again.

He knew it wasn't just in their hidden corners, but also in front of the entire school as well. Just one secretive glance from her across the Great Hall during dinner would make him feel corrupt again. Certain things they would do added fuel to the fire in his chest, knowing that the thrill of being caught added sweltering sparks to it.

Some days, she would bump into him through the crowded hall, blame it on her heavy bag, scowl at him, and then brush it off with a secretive smile and a hidden blush on her cheeks. If her friends would notice it, she would blame it on how frustrated she was with the upcoming exams. Lucky for them it was a single occurrence.

Other times, her fingertips would purposely brush his hand as they would both reach for needed ingredients in the potions closet. No one took note of the slight change in the shape of her lips when he would peek at her through covered eyes. Normally, their secret open encounters would pass unnoticed by everyone.

Thinking that they'll never know, happened to be their biggest mistake.

...

She was there, sitting ever so silently, her eyes inventing a form of concentration. There he was, on the complete opposite side of the room, fidgeting his quill in between his fingers. They were both there, trying desperately to avoid each other's gazes. Thick tension filled up the classroom, but it appeared that only two students were paying attention. How deceiving.

Quill in hand, she was scratching away at the parchment, inscribing notes for her keeping. Yet again, that was deceitful.

Anyone who's anyone at all knows Hermione Granger. Everybody who's anyone thinks they know her inside and out. To everyone else in that room it appeared that her hands were taking notes, but there were definitely things that not everyone knew about her. Did anyone ever stop to imagine that there was something else important in her life other than school work?

Of course not, because remember, this is Hermione Granger: top student to both groups of seventh years, Hogwarts Head Girl, one third of the undefeated Golden Trio, and still the smartest witch to grace the halls of Hogwarts in well over a century. Her name and picture have been printed in every type of media since the fall of Voldemort; because of those things, they all believe to know all the facts.

Her scribbling stopped for a moment and it appeared to everyone that she was pondering how to organize her professor's teachings onto the parchment. If anyone would ever look at her notes, they would see that a message appeared, faded in the center, and then disappeared in two blinks of her eyes. A secretive smile crept upon her lips as she continued to write.

Draco Malfoy sat there, his eyes shifting in every direction, unable to keep his eagle feather quill still in his hand. He'd stop only every so often, scribble something on his parchment, move the corners of his mouth a bit, and then continue with his fidgeting.

There quite possibly could have been a few others that wondered curiously about this version of Malfoy, but it was also quite possible that no one bothered to pay him any attention.

Finally, Professor Flitwick had stopped his lesson for the day and footsteps were heard as the students shuffled out of the room. He tossed his now bare piece of parchment and quill into his bag and walked out after giving an invisible greeting of departure towards someone's direction.

The last student out of the room was the one who had been secretly the most distracted despite anyone's thoughts.

Her book bag weighed heavy with school books and her collection of quills and parchment, nothing more. Why would she ever bother to have anything else in her bag, anything frivolous enough that wouldn't be used in her classes?

They'll never know that this would be the exact question everyone would soon whisper.

...

She didn't dare acknowledge the burning sensation of eyes tearing into the back of her head, straight through the brown frizzy curls. Quite possibly there were twenty-some-odd pairs of different coloured irises coming from behind and all she wondered is why she always chose to sit at the front of the class.

All the students in the Charms room knew that they were all staring not-so-secretly at her. It's as if they were in it together, a formulated arrangement that she had missed out on the planning of. However, she had no idea that they also knew that she only cared if one certain pair of gray eyes were looking her way. Judging eyes mattered not, only his hunger-filled gaze mattered to her at the end of the day. But they didn't know that many details.

Suddenly, the weight of their stares was beginning to weigh heavily on her shoulders and neck and she wanted desperately to just run out of the room. However, she didn't dare flinch, recoil, or make any movement to acknowledge their blazing presence.

Ignoring her professor's words, she tried replaying her entire day to figure out what she had done terribly wrong to receive such intense death stares. Then she remembered the crazed looks floating around through her peripheral vision as she climbed down the spiral staircase to the Gryffindor Common Room.

It had been the first human interaction she had engaged in that morning, so between dinner the night before and her morning decent, something had gone wrong.

Then she remembered.

Bloody hell!

The night before, she had never returned to the Gryffindor tower before curfew and the one thing she knew about everyone's impression of her, was that she never missed curfew.

Instead she had been walking outside through the early, cold spring air towards the greenhouses. She had been treated unkindly when hard hands had pulled off her jumper, lifted up her skirt, and been taken advantage of right next to the Mandrakes.

However, she was now certain that someone must have seen her sneak back in sometime after midnight had struck.

Frightened, she pulled her secret parchment, scribbled a note with a time and place on it, and waited until it disappeared. Now, she definitely didn't dare move her head towards a blond man's direction in fear that everyone would figure them out ever further.

Luckily, Professor Flitwick shortly dismissed them all.

Hermione was the first to rush out.

...

"They know."

"Who knows what?"

"About us." Her voice was in such a whisper that even the walls close to them never heard her say anything. "Everyone."

He grabbed her shoulders and stared seriously at her, his face void of any expression.

"Are you certain?"

"Positive," she answered, sighing heavily.

"Is it a Hermione-is-bloody-scared-positive or a Hermione-is-always right-positive?"

She thought about it a minute, "a bit of both."

"What makes you think that they know?"

"Last night!" she hissed through her teeth. "We should have never gone outside the castle!"

"Bullocks," he said, his panicked state calming down.

In her own frantic state, she proposed the question of what should be done about the situation, knowing very well how unprepared she would be for everyone's verbal reactions. He, who had been used to death glares and unhidden whispers, had casually mentioned for her to yell out a very Hermionesque "shove off" to anyone who dared raise their eyebrows at her.

Purity talk had never bothered before, he told her, even when she knew they were talking about it when she turned away. Talk of her innocence never concerned her, especially when they both had been secretly running to every corner of Hogwarts, stealing kisses, feeling hot touches, and screaming each others' names.

He asked with a seductive whisper in her ear if the way she left deep marks in his back would change if her sidekicks knew. Her only response was a hushed moan before she shook her head.

When the morning's light was barely noticeable on the horizon behind the Black Lake, Hermione forced her three closest friends to sit still and quiet in the Gryffindor Common Room. Their eyes followed her as she paced back and forth frantically, her gentle hands becoming angry with her uncontrollable hair. She would huff down into her armchair that had been deemed her throne, scratch at the fabric on the ends of the arms, and jump back out again.

Her words finally escaped her lips in such a demanding tone, stating what had been occurring (leaving out practically every single detail) and they would accept the situation or have the guilt crushed upon them when she would be expelled for hexing almost every last breath out of them.

The black haired one simply took his glasses off his face, attempted to clean them with the fabric of his shirt and shrugged as he slid them back on. The slight smile that played on his lips didn't go unnoticed by her, even with the low light in the room.

The red haired one that had her hair in the sloppiest mess atop her head swiftly elbowed her brother beside her, winked at the woman in front of hair, and then tucked her feet under legs.

The aforementioned brother still had the fuming look on his face, despite his sister attempting to distinguish it. He gave a grunt in the direction of the still pacing Hermione, and stormed up the stairs to sulk in his bed.

The other two friends that were left behind waved his actions away and told their friend to ignore him. Without another word, they left Hermione alone in the room, with thoughts swirling in her head.

Confused, disgruntled, and worrisome, Hermione couldn't help but feel something different.

However, a few hours later in a newfound corner of the castle, the never pure Hermione and the completely tainted Draco were testing out their theory. Nothing had changed one bit now that the people that mattered knew.

While his hands roamed over her exposed body, touching every available inch, she wondered why they didn't let their secrets out sooner.