DISCLAIMER: The lyrics found in this fic are from "If You Want it to be Good, Girl (Get yourself a Bad Boy)" by Backstreet Boys. I don't own the lyrics or Harry Potter.

When Hermione first heard of the marriage law, she leapt to her feet and a curse passed her lips at quite a high volume.

'Miss Granger, Hermione,' McGonagall said, looking nearly as distraught as the younger witch. 'We would, of course, be willing to hide you away, but your wand would need to be confiscated if we were to stage your death. I know you would not wish to loose the means of defending yourself against attack.'

Hermione took a deep breath and took a seat again. 'So, the Ministry has decided that all Muggleborn witches must marry Pure- or Half-Bloods, within a fortnight of their graduation from Hogwarts?'

McGonagall nodded.

'So, someone will send in a bid, essentially, for my hand in marriage, and I'll have to marry him?'

'Yes. I'm sorry,' McGonagall said.

'Can you make sure it isn't anyone horrible?' Hermione asked calmly.

'The rest of your friends and I will do everything we can to look after you. I hope you will get a kind man, but if only one person were to apply, we could do nothing to stop him.'

'May I go now, Professor?' Hermione asked. McGonagall nodded. Hermione turned once more before reaching for the doorknob. 'Thank you for telling me all this before the Prophet tells everyone.'

Once outside, Hermione clenched and unclenched her fists and took a deep breath.

Harry and Ginny are in love, so he can't save me. Part of the reason he returned to school was to be with her. Fred and George both married already. Ron and Lavender are together, so he has got to save her. Charlie's in Romania still, and I've heard rumours about a girlfriend. No one in the Order who's free is young enough.

Well, I'm not going to my wedding night a virgin that's for sure. They can force me to marry someone, thinking they own my body, but my virginity is going to be lost on my own terms. But to whom?

If you want it to be good girl

Get yourself a bad boy

Draco Malfoy would be the obvious choice, if he hadn't been out to get me for years.

Robes rustled down the corridor.

Speak of the devil. Hermione glared at Malfoy as he passed her. All he did was smirk, and give her a jerk of the head in acknowledgement of her presence.

If you want it to be wild

Gotta know just who to dial, baby

And that's me

If you really like it hot

Get someone who hits the spot,


Oh, yes

He knows about the law. Damn that smirk.

But he didn't make any rude comments. Didn't even sneer. She abandoned these thoughts and returned to Gryffindor Tower.

Harry hugged her as soon as she came in and so did Ron.

'A letter just came from Dad,' Ron told her. 'I'm sorry, Hermione. And there's nothing you can do?'

Nothing I'll tell you about. 'No, nothing,' Hermione said aloud. Ginny slipped her arm through Hermione's and led her over to the window.

'They want us to be less inbred,' Ginny said. 'If you want to stick it to the Ministry, don't have any kids. There are charms - Mum can tell you what they are. Usually the effects aren't permanent, so if your husband ever died, you could still have children later.'

'Thanks, Gin,' Hermione said. 'I think right now I just need to go upstairs and rest before bed.'

The following afternoon, Hermione decided to visit McGonagall in the Headmistress' office to attain permission to visit Mrs. Weasley. Her hand paused before knocking on the door, as she heard voices inside.

'He has given names as Karkaroff did, to earn his freedom,' Mr. Weasley said wearily. 'He has been released. The Ministry has placed him under their protection, so the other Death Eaters can't harm him.'

'And Narcissa didn't live to see her husband return,' said Mrs. Weasley. 'I can't abide the woman, but that must have been painful, to die without seeing her husband one last time.'

'Mr. Malfoy is the only wizard who has submitted a marriage application for Hermione,' McGonagall said a moment later, sounding concerned.

No. Scrimgeour can't have... I can't be forced to marry a convicted Death Eater whose wife's been dead only since the start of summer holidays, and by his old buddy, Voldemort... Why has no one else written? Because Lucius Malfoy threatens people to get them to do his bidding. Of course. So I have to marry one of the most vile and cruel wizards in Britain.

Mrs. Weasley spoke again, 'But how will we tell Hermione? After all that's happened...'

'I feel we should spare her the agony of knowing who she is to marry until the actual wedding ceremony,' McGonagall said.

'But she will find out somehow, and she will feel hurt and betrayed,' Mrs. Weasley protested. Hermione left. She had heard enough.

Damned if I ever learn to enjoy that foul man's company. Then a splendid idea entered her head. She smiled smugly to herself. What an insult it would be to him if I were to sleep with his son. Hermione started down the corridor once she reached the bottom of the spiral staircase. Harry vouched for the fact that Malfoy couldn't have killed Dumbledore, even if he vouched such in private and it had nothing to do with the Ministry letting Malfoy off. They just determined he had been under the Imperius Curse.

She found herself stealing glances over at the Slytherin table during dinner. He has always been quite attractive... Hermione quickly looked away from Malfoy. He had almost caught her staring at him. Her brain was formulating a plan, right under the noses of her friends.

Slytherin sex-god that he is, he won't turn down an offer like this, even if it's from me. Will he?

'I'll see you all later. I'll be in the library,' she told Harry, Ron, and Ginny, who barely noticed.

And if you wanna get it done

Babe you gotta get the one

The one who's got it goin' on

If you wanna make it last

Gotta know just who to ask

Babe he's gotta be the best (tonight it's me)

Hermione knew that Malfoy went to the library almost every night. He took down a book from the Potions section and sat at a table in the back, where most people didn't go, so she hid a row ahead of this location. When Malfoy was seated, Hermione came to stand in front of his table.

'Granger,' he greeted her. 'What are you doing here?'

'I'm sure you've heard of the marriage law,' she said, leaning towards him.

'Of course have,' he told her.

'Well, I inadvertently discovered who I'm marrying,' she continued.

He raised an eyebrow at her. 'Go on,' he prodded.

'Malfoy, I refuse to be married while still a virgin. The Ministry can't control that, so I'll do as I wish,' she said in a rush.

'Oh?' he said, rather surprised. Hermione flushed as he looked at her approvingly.

'That's where you can help me,' she told him. 'You help me out of my predicament, and I'll owe you one.' Why do I always need to explain? Why couldn't I have seduced him the old-fashioned way?

'Why do you want, as you so put it, my "help?"' Malfoy asked quietly.

'Considering who I'm marrying, you are the obvious choice,' Hermione said smirking. Let him wonder who it is.

'Really?' he drawled, raising an eyebrow.

'Truly,' she said, lowering her voice.

'Alright then,' he said, carefully placing his books in his bag. He then slung the bag over his shoulder. He snaked an arm around her waist when he met up with her on the other side of the table. 'You're naughtier than I thought,' he whispered in her ear, sending shivers down her spine.

'Does that imply you already thought I'm naughty?' Hermione asked, throwing caution to the wind and flirting back, not caring how many people were staring wide-eyed after the strange couple.

'Yeah,' Malfoy said, smirking. They continued in silence down to the dungeons, Hermione remaining perfectly calm and as nonchalant as she could manage with Malfoy holding her so close. They stopped before a blank stretch of wall and he muttered something. The wall revealed a door and Malfoy pulled her inside.

'You get a bedroom all to yourself?' Hermione asked, looking around her as he tossed his bag into the corner. There was an immense four poster bed, made up with green sheets and comforters. 'You aren't Head Boy.'

'But I'm a Malfoy,' he said, coming to stand in front of her. 'And McGonagall doesn't want me consorting with the rest of the Slytherins so much.'

'Why didn't' you say "no" to me?' she asked suddenly, changing tack.

'And let someone else have the pleasure?' he questioned in reply, pulling her to him.

'But you hate me,' she said, pointing out the obvious objection.

He stopped her mouth with a kiss and then drew back to see how she was taking it. 'Are you sure about all this?' he asked.

'Positive,' Hermione said, kissing him back. It wasn't long at all before he slid his tongue into her mouth and they were snogging madly. He gently caressed her waist down to her hips and guided her closer. Hermione responded by arching her body against him and dropped an arm from around his neck to run her hand down his chest.

'Who've you been kissing?' he asked, planting a series of soft kisses on her lips.

'No one,' she admitted.

'You have a natural talent for this then,' he murmured, trailing kisses down her throat as he unclasped her robes. They fell to the floor and Hermione's hands quickly unfastened his, which he shed just as quickly as she had hers.

He made a low, rumbling noise as Hermione tugged his shirt out of his pants. Then she slipped her hands under his shirt, running them up his torso and over his chest. She could feel his muscles tense under her fingertips. Malfoy peeled his shirt off over his head, allowing her to move her hands more freely. She moaned into his mouth as he slid his tongue into her mouth again and slid his hand just under her shirt.

He deftly undid the buttons on her blouse and stripped it off her.

'You've done this before,' she commented, her heaving bosom supported only by a deeply cut, exposing bra.

'You can't possibly think Pansy and I sat discussing Ancient Runes,' he said, smirking as he traced his fingertips over her smooth skin.

'Never thought I'd be compared to her,' Hermione said quietly, embarrassed as she momentarily remembered why they had gotten into such a state of deshabille.

'I never compared you to her,' Malfoy said, and kissed her firmly on the lips, recommencing his ministrations to her.

After her bra had fallen to the ground as well, compliments of Malfoy's nimble fingers, the feel of his hands upon her skin made Hermione's heart beat faster, and the warmth created by her bare skin against his filled her with even more desire.

If you want it to be good, girl

Get yourself a bad boy

If you really want it good, girl

Get yourself a bad boy

Get it like it could be, would be

Yeah, like it should be

If you want it to be good, girl

Get yourself a bad boy

Hermione awoke early the next morning, limbs tangled with Malfoy's. His hair had fallen onto his face, half covering it as he slumbered. She began to pull away and ease herself form under the covers, but he reached for her and put a hand on her hip.

'You can stay,' he murmured, without opening his eyes.

'I have to go,' she whispered, getting out of the bed. She dressed as fast as she could and snuck up to her own dormitory for a shower before classes.

'Late night?' Harry asked at breakfast. Hermione thought for one wild moment that he knew, but he looked too innocent for that.

'I fell asleep in the back so Madam Pince didn't kick me out when she closed up the library,' Hermione said. 'Why do you ask?'

''Cause you look dead tired,' Harry said.

'Oh, well, I didn't actually sleep very much. Who could, with their head on a book?' she replied.

I'm surprised Ginny hasn't suspected what I was really up to. And with whom I was getting up to it.

Malfoy... Besides being absolutely amazing, he was... kind and passionate. And sweet even. I bet that's only because he hasn't shagged anyone in at least a year.

Hermione was determined not to look embarrassed when Malfoy came into the Great Hall, which he did several minutes later, hair slightly tousled. Or maybe that was just Hermione's imagination.

He caught her eye as they crossed paths before their free period, looking quite pleased with himself at the time. She looked back mischievously, eyes dancing and daring him to taunt her. She thought she saw a smile tugging at his lips, but perhaps that too was part of her imagination, as his face slid into an indifferent-to-the-world mask.

So much for getting a rise out of him...

Each time she saw Malfoy, through the rest of that week of classes, he had that same face, set and cold. Hermione was somewhat relieved, as he wasn't holding their night together over her head, but there was a part of her mind that wished he would at least recognise her presence again, in any way.

When she got kicked out of the library on Friday night, two strong arms wrapped around her from behind. Before she could open her mouth to scream, there was a grunt of pain and then the pressure around her fell away. She whirled around to see Blaise Zabini running down the corridor, hand to his nose, and Malfoy was glaring after him.

'Thanks,' Hermione said uncertainly. He nodded to her and swept down the corridor in the direction of the dungeons. This civil, chivalrous behaviour bewildered Hermione, but she tried to push it from her mind.

Saturday night, Hermione left dinner a bit early. As she walked by a tapestry, Malfoy appeared, coming from around the corner, and ran right into her by accident, oblivious to his surroundings. This close contact made Hermione's heart race and she licked her lips nervously, looking up at his face. He let his cold demeanour melt away and kissed her, right in the middle of the corridor. That led to them finding themselves breathless in the passage behind the tapestry.

'My room?' he murmured between kisses.

'Good idea,' she replied, fingertips sliding off his body.

If you like it innovative

Better get someone creative, honey


And if you want it to be jammin'

Gotta get somebody slammin', baby

Oh yes

And if you wanna get it done

Babe you gotta get the one

The one who's got it goin' on

And if you wanna make it last

Gotta know just who to ask

Babe he's got to be the best (tonight it's me)

When she opened her eyes the next morning, Hermione's head was resting on Malfoy's chest, their arms curled around each other.

This wasn't supposed to happen again.

But why not? If I'm going to have to marry that bastard against my will, I'm going to enjoy this while I can. Whatever this is...

No matter how much she pretended she didn't care, a voice nagged in the back of her mind, saying two wrongs don't make a right and that Malfoy could blackmail her for this later. But then he tightened his arm around her and she felt he could never do that.

The clock read 12:00. Hermione sat up.

'What time's it?' Malfoy mumbled.

'Noon' Hermione answered.

'Guess you'd better go, then,' he said, opening his eyes and raking them over her form unabashedly.

She let her eyes linger on him a moment longer and nodded. She dressed and left without a backward glance.

'Where've you been?' Ginny demanded when Hermione joined her in the corridor on the way to lunch.

Hermione tried to appear confused. 'What do you mean? I was sleeping,' she said, which wasn't a lie.

'Lavender said she didn't see you go to your room last night,' Ginny told her accusingly.

'Lavender hasn't been to the dormitories before two in the morning for quite a while,' Hermione disclosed. And that wasn't a lie either.

Ginny shuddered, obviously the victim of disturbing mental images involving Lavender and Ron.

Ginny nudged Hermione when Malfoy came into the Great Hall halfway through lunch, and leaned over to whisper to her. 'Think he's got a new girl?' she asked, giggling.

What?!! Oh... That would be me. Sort of.

'He's beginning to look slightly ruffled in the mornings,' Ginny said softly, smirking. 'Whoever she is, she's getting under his skin. Hasn't he been rather remiss in insulting you this past week?'

Hermione desperately hoped her face didn't betray anything. 'Oh, Yes. It is rather out of character for him. He has probably got a new girl, as you say.'

'Or he's getting into trouble like last year.'

Not at all like last year, actually.

'Only a week of revising until you've got NEWTs. Is that why you're getting so quiet?' Ginny asked, concerned.

'Yes,' Hermione said. 'And the ever present knowledge that I'll be sold off to a random man in a little over a month, or sooner.'

'Have you written to Mum?' Ginny asked.

Hermione patted her pocket. 'I'm posting it soon.' Like when I get the nerve. Try me again in a week or so. Or after NEWTs. I've got enough nerve to shag Draco Malfoy, but not to do anything else regarding this marriage law rubbish.

Hermione lost herself in revising that week, reading and rereading notes and books every waking moment she wasn't in class. NEWTs went on without a hitch and Harry and Ron actually let her go over them afterwards. Then the boys went to Hogsmeade to get Butterbeer to celebrate, and Hermione stayed behind to post her letter to Mrs. Weasley, finally, two weeks after having written it.

Hermione stood at the arched window, watching the owl as it flew off toward the horizon. Tears started trickling down her face. She only had a couple of weeks now until she had to marry Lucius.


Hermione hastily wiped her face with the ends of her sleeves. 'Malfoy,' she greeted carelessly.

'Why are you crying?' he asked, tying a letter to the leg of his owl.

'Marriage law business,' she said, figuring she might as well tell him the truth.

'What about it?' he inquired, releasing the owl.

'Just about everything,' she said, turning to fully face him. 'And on top of it all, I have to go get new dress robes for the occasion.'

'So why don't you go?' Malfoy asked, lingering in the Owlery with her.

She shrugged. 'I haven't been able to face going alone. And I don't want to go with Ginny. It would be too...' She trailed off.

'I'll go with you,' he volunteered, avoiding her eyes.

'That would be awkward,' she said.

'It would be better than going alone,' he pointed out. 'And you know I'll give you an honest opinion on how you look,' he added, smirking.

Like hell you will, Hermione thought, remembering the way he had looked at her when she woke up in his bed for the second time, two weeks ago.

'I'll get permission from McGonagall to go to Hogsmeade tomorrow,' she said. 'Be at the gate at one.'

He nodded and Hermione left.

Malfoy met up with her by the gate, but walked behind her the whole way to Hogsmeade after McGonagall let them out. Hermione chose a modestly priced robes shop and went in. She heard the bell on the door tinkle for a second time when Malfoy entered.

'May I help you?' asked the grey haired shopkeeper.

'I'd like to look around for a bit, but I'll let you know,' Hermione declined.

She made her way to the wedding robes at the back and selected a wide variety. The first robes she tried on were ivory silk and felt smooth and cool against her skin.

'Let's see them,' the shopkeeper squeaked. Hermione stepped out into the shop. Malfoy was leaning against a wall, arms crossed, but he couldn't hide the fact that he thought she looked good.

'Try the next set,' the shopkeeper said after deciding if the robes would need many alterations. 'Those could be quickly fixed.'

Hermione tried in at least a dozen more, becoming increasingly self-conscious when she came out of the dressing room.

'I like the first ones,' Malfoy said quietly the last time she came out. Those were the only words he had spoken all day and Hermione glanced over at him in surprise.

'We're closing soon,' the shopkeeper said patiently. 'I can alter the ivory robes for you if you put them on again now.'

Malfoy followed Hermione to the dressing room door when the alterations were finished.

'Hand me the robes and your money through the door and I'll pay while you get back into your clothes,' he said.

'Thanks,' she told him, and passed him the ivory coloured robes and her money bag through the door once she had pulled the robes off, over her head.

She shivered when they got outside. It was nearly dusk and fog had fallen already. She let her Patronus go, up to the school to alert McGonagall that they were coming back now.

'Better get back to school before dark,' she said unnecessarily, hoping he wouldn't walk behind her the whole way again. He didn't. But he didn't speak either, until they had almost reached the gates.

'I've never told you, but you're quite beautiful, you know,' he told her earnestly.

She smiled. 'Thank you,' she said.

'You're quite gorgeous yourself,' she added a minute later.

He smiled back at her and threaded his fingers through hers when McGonagall had disappeared back into the school, once they were inside the gates once more.

She withdrew her hand when they got into the Entrance Hall. It sounded as if everyone else was in the corridors further in, on their way to dinner. Hermione kissed him softly on the cheek.

'Thanks for coming with me today, Draco,' she said, addressing him by his first name.

'You're welcome,' he replied, 'Hermione.'

She began to walk away.

'Wait,' he said softly. He tapped with his wand a scrap of parchment that he took from his pocket and pressed it into her hand. 'In case you don't want to be alone,' he whispered in her ear. He kissed her forehead and went away.

After putting her wedding robes away in her trunk, she unfolded the scrap of parchment Draco had given to her. Twisted Destiny. It's the password to his room. She committed the words to memory and then used Evanesco to get rid of the evidence. Hermione sat on the edge of her bed and sighed.

Today it was almost like we're in a real relationship...

But he's a Death Eater... She shook her head. He's not like them anymore, though, if he ever was. He's too human. And if he were like them, he would have slept with me and then killed me for being Muggleborn filth.

Hermione's worrying was interrupted by Ginny bursting into the room.

'Come on, then,' she said. 'Lav said she saw you run up the stairs with a parcel. I know you must've got your wedding robes.'

Hermione took them out of the trunk and laid them on the bed for Ginny to critique.

'Try them on,' Ginny said. 'I want to see how they fit you.'

Hermione put them on and twirled around.

'You look absolutely lovely,' Ginny admired.

'Ginny,' Hermione said, re-donning her uniform and robes. 'Do you know who I'm marrying?'

'No,' replied Ginny. 'Who?'

'No one has told me,' Hermione reported.

'Not you either?!' Ginny exclaimed. 'I keep pestering Dad, but he won't tell me. I just figured you didn't want to talk about it. How dare they not tell you, though?'

Hermione shrugged. 'McGonagall asked me yesterday if I'd like to be married as soon as I'm out of here or to wait till the legal deadline,' she said quietly, a moment later.

'What did you decide?'

'Sooner rather than later,' Hermione answered. 'Besides - ' she took the other girl's hand. 'Ginny, you know that the end of the war is coming. We - we're going to fight Voldemort and the Death Eaters this week. We will be leaving Tuesday morning.'

Ginny didn't look the least bit unnerved by this information and nodded. 'I overheard you guys talking. Well, to be quite accurate, I was using the Extendable Ears. Anyhow... I'm coming with you.'

'Ginny, I know you want to, but - '

'I'm coming,' Ginny told her firmly. 'So are Luna and Neville. I told them about it.'

'Alright,' Hermione conceded at length. 'But remember, it won't be like the Department of Mysteries. We're going to be in Voldemort's territory, at the Riddle house. There will be all sorts of traps, I'm sure.'

'Voldemort's at the Riddle House?' Ginny asked, stiffening. 'But - how do you - '

'Our spies,' Hermione said simply.

'But Snape betrayed us. How - '

'I don't know who they are,' Hermione said, 'but there are at least two, because McGonagall referred to them in the plural.'

'Is all of the Order going?' Ginny inquired.

'Yes. We're arriving via Apparition to the woods near the house. Our inside people are putting up anti-Apparition wards on the house, on our signal, so we can get in without Death Eaters escaping instantaneously. They will also remove the ward that allows only Death Eaters to come in and out, so we can actually enter the building. There's more to it than that, but it's too confidential. McGonagall wouldn't tell us because we're not officially in the Order, and the fewer people who know the exact details, the better.'

'So you told her sooner because it doesn't really matter, because you night die before then anyway?'

'Yes. But if I do live, I'll be married before this time next Saturday.'

'Ron's getting married the Saturday after,' Ginny told her. 'Mum owled me to let me know because he's too daft to do so himself.' She paused. 'Have you got that letter sent, by the way? Time's running out.'

'Yesterday,' Hermione said. 'I should hear back tomorrow morning, I think.'

After dinner, Hermione played a marathon of Exploding Snap with Harry and Ron then went to bed. She lay awake, turning over onto one side and then to the other. Her watch, glowing in the moonlight, read a little after midnight. She remembered Draco's words, 'In case you don't want to be alone.' She bit her lip, considering it, then rose and pulled on normal clothes and her school robes over them.

There wasn't anyone in the common room. Should have thought to borrow Harry's cloak, she mused as she pushed open the portrait. Mr. Filch will be on to me in about two minutes.

Hermione made her way down to the dungeons, making as little noise as possible, but her shoes against the stones sounded deafening to her ears just the same. 'Twisted Destiny,' she whispered to the stretch of wall she had been to twice before. When the door appeared, she turned the handle and let herself in. The door clicked shut behind her.

The candles were out and Draco was sleeping, his head on his pillow. Hermione slid her feet out of her shoes and left her robes on the back of the chair to the desk. She climbed onto the bed and straddled Draco, kissing him softly on the lips to wake him.

'I couldn't sleep,' she said quietly when he awoke and returned her kiss.

'We can fix that,' Draco said, sitting up to kiss her again.

Now listen

These are things

Your mama shouldn't know

These are things

I really wanna show

These are things

I wanna show you how

So won't you let me show you right


Oooh, baby

The next morning, Hermione awoke to Draco's gentle kisses.

'It's breakfast soon,' he said, hot breath tickling her throat.

'I'd better leave then,' she said, sliding off the bed. Draco's eyes followed her as she picked up various articles of clothing from the floor. 'Don't watch me like that, you're making me nervous.'

'How do you know that isn't my intention?' he replied, smirking.

'Why don't you just get dressed yourself,' Hermione suggested, eyes twinkling.

'You are, most certainly, much naughtier than I previously thought,' he said, placing his feet on the floor to comply with her suggestion.

She sat on the desk chair, crossing and uncrossing her ankles while he perfected his appearance in the mirror. When he was done she stood up and went over to him.

'Goodbye, Draco,' she said, knowing this was the last time she could be with him. He kissed her tenderly.

'Goodbye, Hermione,' he told her.

She kissed him again, swiftly, and then left the room before she could start crying. She blinked back tears all the way to the Great Hall, finally composing herself as she sat down with her friends.

Get a grip. You knew it wasn't going to continue forever. If you cry, even Ron will know something's up.

Errol landed in front of Hermione, knocking over a marmalade jar.

Hermione opened the envelope quickly and the read the contents of the letter thoroughly before pocketing it.

'All set now?' Ginny asked.

'Yes,' Hermione told her. 'If we make it through, you're all to come to the Great Hall for the ceremony next Saturday.'

Hermione, the next Saturday, felt almost unlucky to have survived as she stood nervously in the small chamber off the Great Hall, where Luna, Ginny, and Mrs. Weasley were putting the finishing touches on her hair. Mr. Weasley knocked on the door. It was only a simple wedding, but Mr. Weasley was there to give her away, and the rest of the Weasleys, Harry, and the prominent members of the Order of the Phoenix would be in attendance. Luna and Ginny were the requisite bridesmaids.

'Ginny, Luna, head out now,' he said gruffly when Mrs. Weasley opened the door to him. Mrs. Weasley kissed Hermione on the cheek.

'I do hope you will be alright. We did do our best,' she said softly, tears threatening to spill over. 'You're beautiful, dear, she added kindly, before left the room.

I don't see how you all have done your best. The Order's best has turned out very badly for me in this instance.

'Hermione,' Mr. Weasley said, holding out his arm. Hermione took it, trying hard not to tremble with fear as they entered the Hall. She closed her eyes tightly, not wanting to see Lucius Malfoy's face until the very last moment possible.

Mr. Weasley lifted her veil and stepped away from her. Just be calm. She opened her eyes and nearly fainted when she saw Draco where she had expected his father.

He looked thoroughly happy, though he was trying to conceal that fact from the rest of the room.

The wizarding priest had them clasp right hands and touched his wand tip to then as they said their vows. The two fiery strands wound themselves together and glowed. Hermione felt almost numb until the priest said, 'You may kiss the bride.'

Draco kissed her and she smiled back at him when they drew apart. The priest left immediately thereafter and McGonagall sent the house tables back to their habitual positions. At this point, Hermione left Draco's side and marched over to the Headmistress.

'I overheard a conversation, but I obviously didn't hear enough,' she said. 'I thought I had to marry Lucius. I've been so... I don't even know how to describe my anxiety on the subject properly.'

McGonagall looked guiltily at her, worried. 'No, you see, we meant Draco, here, of course,' she said, motioned to him, as he had followed Hermione. 'He has been spying for us, along with Professor Snape.'

'You were our spy?' Hermione said, gawping at him. He nodded.

'We made sure Draco was the first to submit an application for you so that you would not have to marry someone like his father,' McGonagall finished. 'With your history together, we were unsure of how you would take being bound to him forever by the Unbreakable Vow of marriage. We didn't want you to do anything rash.

Like having a one-night stand that turns into three? That didn't work out as you planed, I'm afraid.

McGonagall patted Hermione in the shoulder and left the Hall, while Hermione's friends lingered in the back.

'I thought you knew it was me,' Draco said when Hermione looked at him reproachfully. 'You said you had found out. Granted, I thought it a bit odd that you wanted to lose your virginity to the same person you were being forced to marry, but I wasn't complaining. The first time or the second, or the third,' he added in a drawl. 'I don't know if I love you yet, but I do care for you and I believe I will love you someday.'

'I feel the same way,' Hermione said.

They walked to the back of the Hall.

'Mind if we have a word?' Harry said to Draco, who of course had to agree to it.

Ginny drew Hermione back into the room in which they had prepared for the ceremony.

'You really are laying it on thick, aren't you?' she said. 'Letting him put his arm around your waist like that. Why?'

Hermione blushed. 'Well, you see, er - when you wondered where I was those nights...'

Ginny mouth fell open. 'You were off shagging Malfoy? Did he seduce you?'

'Er - no,' Hermione said. 'I'm actually the one who approached him. She explained about thinking she was going to marry Lucius.

'So you wanted to get pregnant with his son's child as a joke on him?' Ginny demanded.

'I didn't want to get pregnant,' Hermione said, exasperatedly. 'I wanted the first time I had sex to be because I wanted to do it.'

'So you chose just about the single most gorgeous guy in the school, who turned out to be your fiancé?'

'Yes, it did turn out that way.'

'And you've slept with him three times now? How did that happen? I mean, I can understand it happening the first time...'

'Well, the second time we started snogging in a secret passageway and decided to go to his room and the third time he gave me the password to his room in case I was really lonely. And I think he would've been okay with just keeping me company and not shagging.'

Ginny laughed. 'Well, better go rescue him. Harry and Ron are probably threatening him with all sorts of torture if he so much as lays a hand on you.'

Hermione snuck up behind Draco, who was nearly at wandpoint with Harry and Ron, as they were glaring at each other and arguing. She put her arms around him and smiled at Harry and Ron.

'Are you feeling well?' Ron asked, bewildered by this strange show of affection.

'How did this (Harry gestured between them) happen?'

'She seduced me,' Draco said, thoroughly enjoying the situation now that Hermione was there.

'Hermione wouldn't - ' Harry broke off when he saw Hermione blush and Ginny saunter over, smiling knowingly. 'Or, maybe you would,' he said to Hermione.

'What we said still stands!' Ron yelled after the newlyweds as they headed out of the Great Hall.

'Come with me,' Draco said, leading her out the front doors.

'Where?' Hermione asked, standing just outside the castle, refusing to move another inch until he told her.

'Home,' he said.

'Malfoy Manor?' she inquired, deciding that she would rather live without a wand than live in the same house as Lucius Malfoy.

'No,' he said. He put his arm around her shoulders, seeing the stricken look on her face. 'It's outside the village of Ottery-St. Catchpole. Do you know it?'

'Oh, yes!' Hermione said excitedly. 'That's where the Weasleys live.'

Draco smacked a hand to his forehead. 'That's why McGonagall recommended the neighbourhood.'

'Be nice, Draco,' she said sternly.

'The house isn't very large,' he told her, 'but it's attractive and comfortable. I think you'll like it.'

A teacher was waiting at the gates to let them out.

'Hold onto my arm,' Draco told her. 'Then we can Apparate directly there.'

Once Draco had Apparated them onto location, Hermione opened her eyes. She gawped at the size of the house.

'Not very large, you said. I thought it was a cottage. This is almost a mansion!'

'No, no, it's not big enough to be a mansion,' he said, waving his hand. He made a face. 'And could you really imagine me in a cottage?'

Hermione laughed. 'No. I suppose not.' She opened the gate to the garden and started up the walk. She turned to wait for him.

'You know what I just realised? It's bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her wedding gown before the actual ceremony. And you came with me when I bought it.'

He smirked. 'That is just a silly superstition. It was obviously very good luck, because if I hadn't gone with you, you would've taken much longer to choose your robes, and you might not have got these.' He took her hand before opening the front door. 'Besides, I wouldn't have given you that password...'

'Too true,' she said as they walked over the threshold together. The front rooms were terribly proper and stiff, but the rooms nearer to the back were much more comfortable.

'I had the house furnished shortly before the law was announced, so there's an extra bedroom, a separate one, for you,' he said lightly. 'If you want it.'

'Don't be ridiculous,' Hermione told him. 'I'll be sharing with you.'

Draco grinned. 'I thought you might say that.'

And if you wanna get it done

Babe you gotta get the one

The one who's got in goin' on

And if you wanna make it last

Gotta know just who to ask

Babe he's gotta be the best

And that's me and my little...

If you want it to be good girl

Get yourself a bad boy

Get it like it could be, would be

Yeah, like it should be

If you want it to be good

Gotta be like it should

Yeah, if you really want it good