Chapter Title: 1/1
Characters: Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley
Genres: Romance, Drama
Warnings: Sexual References
Summary: Draco and Hermione try and figure out their relationship. A post-war fic.
Hermione Granger opened to the door to her flat. Standing there looking apologetic was the manager of the building.
"Um… good afternoon, Ms. Granger. I'm sorry to bother you today, but we have had a few complaints from your downstairs neighbors. It seems there are some loud noises coming from this flat at night, making it difficult for the couple in 12B to sleep."
Before Hermione could answer a man shouted from the living room, "What can we say, our bed is on fire with passionate love!"
The manager blushed a deep red and Hermione gave him a weak, embarrassed smile in return. "We'll try to remember to put some silencing charms up in the future."
Nodding, the manager turned to leave, but stopped when a tall blond man appeared behind Hermione. "You see mate, the problem is that the little lady here only comes when she's on top. Makes for some pretty wild nights, you know?"
The manager's eyes got wide, but before he was forced to say anything, Hermione turned around, shoved the blond man in the chest, and shouted, "Shut the fuck up, Malfoy!" The door to 13B then slammed shut.
Hermione's and Draco's legs were tangled together as they lay naked on the bed. She walked her fingers along his ribs and he rested his hand on her belly. "My therapist told me that I should stop seeing you."
She looked up into his pale face to see his reaction, but he just quirked an eyebrow at her. Hermione had started to see a muggle therapist after the war to try and deal with what she assumed was post-tramatic stress. However, she spent at least 3/4 of her time on the 'analytical couch' discussing Malfoy. She shifted beside him a bit uncomfortably, "She said you are like a disease that no one has yet discovered how to cure."
"That almost sounds like a compliment," he smirked, running his hand up from her belly to cup her breast.
She whimpered softly as his thumb began to stroke her nipple. "She said I'm so obsessed with you that I'm becoming a bore."
Draco suckled at her neck and then planted kisses along Hermione's jaw line. "That just shows how little your therapist knows, Granger. You were a huge bore, long before me."
Hermione might have protested, but she could no longer think clearly with Draco's mouth on her breast and his hand between her legs. She arched her hips and ran her hands down his taunt back. "Just accept this for what it is, Granger," he told her with a growl.
"But what is it?" Hermione gasped, as Malfoy plunged his cock into her.
Twenty minutes later, Hermione lay on Draco's chest both of them sweaty and out of breath. "Granger, you need to tell your therapist that if I were in any type of contest against Weasley or Finnigan, I'd come out the winner." Draco always used Ron and Seamus as examples – no matter what the situation, since he knew those were the only two men that Hermione had ever been intimate with before him.
"If you say so," she whispered, too sated to fight with him. Besides she didn't really like insecure Draco.
"I'm serious, trivia, footrace, beauty contest… I'd win them all."
"Ah, you think you're so pretty," Hermione mocked before pressing her lips against his, effectively shutting him up.
Draco opened the register at One of the Three bookstore, but before he could rifle through the receipts, Hermione slammed the door shut on his fingers.
"Fuck, Granger. What was that for?"
"Stay out of the till."
"Sod off, it's my store."
"No it is not, it's mine. You only loaned me the galleons to start it," she reminded him.
"Same difference, you silly swot," he replied. However, he didn't push the issue any farther. Instead, he headed over to the coffee counter to chat up the pretty witch who was working there.
Hermione glared at his back. Draco hadn't been very anxious to invest in a bookstore/coffee shop when she had first approached him. He'd declared that it was 'too muggle' ever to succeed on Diagon Alley. In fact, she suspected that he'd only agreed to help in the end, because it would be harder for her to completely cut him out of her life if she was literally in his debt. Now that the store was booming, however, he was always underfoot and wanting to take credit for its success. She wondered if her achievement somehow threatened his masculinity.
That evening, Vincent Crabbe, Millicent Bulstrode, Theodore Nott, and Daphne Greengrass sat nervously in Draco's and Hermione's living room as their hosts shouts of anger echoed from the kitchen.
"Perhaps, someone should go check on them," Daphne offered hesitantly.
"Crabbe, you go," Theodore ordered. "You are one of his best mates, he won't mind if you interrupt them."
"Screw you Nott," Crabbe replied. "I don't have a death wish."
"Get your ass in there Vincent," Millicent told him. "Prove to me that I didn't just become engaged to a fucking coward."
Crabbe got to his feet reluctantly and came to a dead stop in the doorway of the kitchen. He rubbed his eyes – twice – because he could not believe what he was seeing. Backed up in the corner of the kitchen, brandishing two skewers, and wearing a muggle dress with heels was Draco 'the prince of the Slytherins' Malfoy. Standing in front of Draco, with two wands in her back pocket and a butcher knife in her right hand, stood Hermione Granger.
"You think it is easy being a woman? You think we are just brainless, baby machines, made to cook and clean for 'the man of the house'? Let's see how well you do as a woman, sweet-ums."
"Back off you crazy bitch," Draco shouted at her. "What the hell got into you today? All I wanted to know was what we were having for dinner and you freaked out."
"How the hell should I know what's for dinner, you arsehole? I worked all day. They are your friends. If you want dinner, then you make it. Don't assume that just because I'm a female, I give a flying fuck about what's on the menu."
"Ur… mate?" Crabbe broke in, quivering a bit as the full wrath of both Draco and Hermione were directed momentarily at him. "The girls wanted to know if they could help get dinner on the table."
"There is no need, Vincent," Hermione answered before Draco had a chance. "Draco has vowed to wandlessly cook dinner all by himself."
Crabbe could hear Draco grinding his teeth all the way across the room.
Putting down the knife on the counter, Hermione turned around and linked arms with Crabbe. "I think it is best if we don't distract him any longer." Looking back over her shoulder at Draco, Hermione smiled evilly, "Yell if you need anything, darling."
Two and a half hours later, Draco stalked out of the kitchen and threw a pot down on the dining room table.
Hermione looked into the pot and then back up at Draco "Rice?" she asked a bit skeptically.
As she started to put her fork into the rice, Draco jerked it away from her. "Don't touch it," he warned. "It is all stuck to the bottom of the fucking pot."
Hermione nodded gently and gave him a compassionate smile.
"Where is everyone?" he asked.
"Oh, they left about an hour ago. Apparently Daphne can go into a coma if her blood-sugar falls too low," Hermione replied with a slight roll of her eyes.
Draco sat down next to her and she handed him his wand back. "Next time you decide to mess around with gender roles, Granger, I want a more flattering dress."
"Are you kidding me? That dress makes your ass look so hot that I've been wanting to shag you all night."
Draco grinned at her and batted his eyelashes, "Well dye my eyes and call me pretty."
Harry placed a box on the coffee table of Hermione's new flat. "That's the last of them," he told her.
"Thanks so much guys," she told Harry and Ron. "I know this move was kind of abrupt, but I just needed to get away from him. I think our entire relationship just became too bizarre."
"I believe that is what I've been telling you since you started seeing the git," Ron grumbled.
"Are you going to be alright by yourself, Hermione?" Harry asked in concern.
"I'll be fine. I need time alone, time to think and just figure out what the hell I've been doing."
Her friends nodded, wished her good luck, and then apparated away. As Hermione went to close her front door, she noticed that boxes were stacked up outside of the apartment next to hers. It looked like someone else was also going to be new in the complex.
Deciding to be impulsive for once in her life, Hermione knocked on her neighbor's door, intent on introducing herself and perhaps making a friend in the building.
She was never more shocked in her life than when a bare-chested and barefooted Draco Malfoy answered her knock.
"Granger," he acknowledged with a smirk. "And here I thought the landlord assured me this building was exclusive."
Hermione was speechless – for about three seconds. "Draco Malfoy," she hissed, "You are a stalker."
"Stop being paranoid, it is a perfectly innocent coincidence that I moved in next door to you."
Shaking with rage, Hermione spat at him, "I'd better never see you, or hear you, or feel you, or …."
"Yes, yes," Draco cut her off, "I think you made yourself perfectly clear last night, when you told me that you'd rather be eaten alive by fire ants than spend one more day in my company. Don't worry, Granger, I have no desire to inflict my presence on you ever again."
"Good," she ground out, before turning sharply and returning to her flat.
During the next two weeks, Hermione saw more of Draco than she had when they were living together. When she left for work in the mornings, he always seemed to be on the same lift. If she went down to check her mail, he was already at the boxes. When she used the building's fitness center, he was there, looking trim and sexy. Perhaps most disturbing of all, was that upon returning from work, she often found him sitting in her flat eating her junk food.
"How the hell did you get in here?" she had shouted at Draco, the first time she discovered him in her apartment.
He'd only lifted an eyebrow. "Me? How did you get in here?"
"It is my flat, you fucking psycho!"
"Are you sure?" Draco asked with a grin that made her want to cut his balls off.
"Yes, you prat. Didn't the décor and muggle food in the fridge give it away?"
"Now that you mention it," Draco smirked, rising slowly, "this room is a little shabby for my taste. Sorry for the mix-up Granger." He'd walked out her door without looking backwards.
The next three times she'd discovered him in her living room, he claimed that he'd locked himself out of his flat and needed her to help to get back in. "You can break into my place without any problem, but you can't figure out a simple Alohomora spell?"
"You'll have to forgive me," he almost laughed at her, "I've been distracted lately by personal problems."
"Your entire life is a series of personal problems, Malfoy. You thrive on personal problems. You've got so many personal problems that everyone you come in contact with gets fucking personal problems too. Now get the hell out of my flat and don't come back!"
Eventually, Hermione had come up with a series of wards Draco hadn't been able to break through. She'd even gone to the movies with Ginny one Friday night and was able to return home with a slight spring to her step knowing that she wouldn't have to deal with him that evening. She received the second biggest shock of her life when upon unlocking the door she saw Draco sitting on her sofa with a bag of crisps in his hands.
She was about to demand to know how the hell he'd gotten in, when she noticed that a large hole had been cut in the wall between his flat and hers. "I don't believe you," she'd barely choked out. "You are a sick, sick man, who seriously needs to be evaluated by a trained professional and then locked up for the safety of all wizarding kind."
"Granger," Draco replied calmly, "As usual, you exaggerate. What happened tonight was a simple home-improvement project that went awry. I'll call a wizarding contactor in the morning to have it repaired."
Hermione buried her face in her hands and began to take deep, cleansing breaths the way her therapist had taught her to do whenever she felt a tension headache coming on. When her head stopped throbbing, she looked up and saw that Draco had not moved from the sofa.
"You seriously can't enjoy this?" she asked him. "The fights, the high blood pressure, the heartaches and constant feeling that you've been kicked in the stomach, please tell me this isn't your idea of fun? Wouldn't you like to just be with someone who made you feel settled and warm and content?"
"Is that where you were tonight?" Draco asked, looking menacing for the first time since she had left him. "Were you with someone who made you feel settled? Obviously, it wasn't Finnigan, since you don't smell like whiskey or have hickeys all over your neck. It couldn't have been Weasley, since he wouldn't recognize an opportunity if it jumped up and down in front of him naked shouting 'I'm an opportunity!' So who was it? Who makes you feel bored and content?"
"Warm and content," she whispered back, fingering her wand.
"I'll stand by my original statement," he growled. "You know as well as I do, Granger, that you will never be satisfied with content. You'll never by happy with settled. You need the same fire, energy, and conflict that I do."
"You are wrong, Malfoy. I want normal."
"You may want it," he said softly, "but you'll never be satisfied with it." He turned then, and walked back into his flat.
Hermione spent the next two hours casting blocking charms on the hole and transfiguring her furniture into plywood to cover the opening between the two flats. She went to bed alone and exhausted, but woke in the middle of the night to find Draco sleeping next to her.
She couldn't decide what to do. Should she call the authorities? Should she floo Ron and Harry? Maybe, she should just hex him until he begged for death. In the end, Hermione shook him awake. "Malfoy, you are driving me crazy."
Draco propped himself up on one arm and stared at her for a long time. "Granger, some people NEVER go crazy. Just think about what truly horrible lives they must lead."
And just like that, Hermione understood that her and Malfoy didn't have to make sense, they didn't have to be perfect, and they might even be better all fucked up than most couples were who had it all figured out.
She reached over and touched his lips. He kissed her fingers and asked quietly, "When are you coming home?"
"I think maybe we are home," she smiled, as she leaned over and kissed him.
Note: Nods to J.K. Rowlings for the great characters, to James for the lyrics to the song "Laid" and the name "One of the Three" for Hermione's bookstore, and to Charles Bukowski for the quote about some people never going crazy.