D. I.V.O.R.C.E.

Summary: "Malfoy," Hermione started, "I want a DIVORCE—a D.I.V.O.-MMHPH!" DMHG. AN: will start off leisurely but WILL get to the point! STRONG M for adult-themes.

AN: Eek! Has it really been over two years? I'm sorry. Fan writing was something I did as a child, and now here it is, presenting itself to me again at an indulgent time in my life. I hope you all will stick with me as I try to finish this story, and a few others, before I am swept away into another crazy two year hiatus.

Additional Notes: Stay with me.

Hermione visibly paled and felt a chill pass through her, despite the humid confinement that was the private conference room. She immediately took a seat, the images bringing forth memories she had made peace with. The unearthing of them made her feel unsettled. "Your father?" she repeated, tearing her eyes away from the roaring Dark Mark hovering in the sky. He nodded as he swallowed what appeared to be a knot in his throat. "Malfoy, let me be clear right now: you are accusing your father, Lucius Malfoy, of murdering your mother, Narcissa Malfoy?" Again, he nodded. "Do you have any proof?"

He shoved his hands into the pockets of his finely tailored trousers. "Of course not, but I'm certain of this." At his revelation, Hermione grew cross, turning the images over.

"Malfoy! You can't go around making such statements. And without evidence or even probable cause, you can't bring your father in for questioning by the Aurors or me. With all the errors that have happened within the Wizengamot throughout history, I just can't take any chances on hunches…not in this generation of Wizarding Law, at least."

"Always the honest and noble one, aren't you, Hermione?" she twitched as he drew closer to her from his initial stance by the doorframe. She felt uncomfortable having Malfoy so near her, and in a secluded room, as well. She didn't trust him or herself for that matter. How could she, after letting such a slip happen between them before? He shook his head and released an infuriated snort, choosing to perch himself at the edge of the conference table about an arm's length away. He loosened his tie and ran a hand through his fine hair. He looked tired. Hermione took notice of unshaven hair growing on his face, and the slight bags under his eyes. She was suddenly worried for him. She simply did not know how to act around him anymore.

"What's wrong with you, eh, Malfoy? You look like death on legs," she said, ignoring his bait for a comeback.

He huffed, "Well, thank you for your grand honesty. Anyways, my new mother, Neharra, is—"

"—I know of her," Hermione interrupted, her eyes still subtly searching his form. "Who doesn't know of her? Her beauty, the mystery behind her age, her marriage to your father…well…She's even…she's even thought to be a reincarnation of Nefertiti…she's a celebrity."

"Yes, her marriage to Father caused quite a bit of raucous." He paused, as if in a thoughtful moment, and smiled. "She's actually such a sweet woman, really. The media makes her out to be this mysterious, potentially dangerous protégé of my Father's. She really did take care of me when Mother passed, she soothed me. And believe me, despite her beauty, my Father hasn't changed a bit as a frivolous man, still sullen with mistresses, drinking, and futile partying. I might not have solid proof now, Hermione, but I assure you, I am working on it, and I need your help."

"I don't know what exactly you want from me," she said, folding her hands in her lap. She really did not know, and that very fact was causing her stomach to flip flop. Could she help him? To her, it wasn't a matter of could she help him, but would she? What would Blaise say?

She squirmed in her seat, noticing the expectant and intense look he was giving her, sitting close enough to feel above her. She waited.

"I need to enter the Manor."

She was confused. "Well, Malfoy, you're free to do that whenever without my help, as it is your home."

"Forgotten so soon, Hermione? Did you forget the fire? Or your worried self coming to look for me and inviting me back to your home and ultimately into your warm bed?"

She allowed the comment to linger in the air for a bit. She was reminded on his hands on her body, and his kisses on her face and neck. She hated him for knowing her body and its reactions. But at the same time, she was also to be blamed. She was all at once flooded with the angry exchange of words they had after their night together. She grimaced and stood from her seat. "Well, I see you've called off this rendezvous, Malfoy, thank you so kindly for wasting my bloody time!" She made for the door, but he reached out and grabbed her arm. "Malfoy!" she shouted, but his voice outweighed her own.

"I started the fire!"

Her eyes narrowed and she pulled her arm free. "What for? Insurance money?"

"Please Granger, the Malfoy line is very fortunate, we don't need to squabble at petty white crimes for money."

She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. Malfoy motioned for the chair behind her and she reluctantly reclaimed her seat. "Well?"

"I had an accident with a lit cigar and a mattress?"

"Malfoy," she warned, "I refuse to waste anymore time. Either tell me what I need to know or you can shove off."

He glared at her for a moment and began to talk, "Do you ever wonder about your parents, Hermione? Perhaps you wonder how they were like when kids, right. Maybe you didn't have to, if your parents were forthcoming people. I only knew what I heard from other families about my Father, and of course he would speak of the wrath of which he placed upon people during Hogwarts, and now, but he never spoke of his childhood. Mother would, sometimes, if you caught her off guard and reminiscing, but Father? Never. It's quite upsetting, when you realize that the one person you are constantly trying to strive for, you know next to nothing about."

"I wondered a lot of things about him, like, why even now when referring to Voldemort, he calls him His Lord? The man murdered his wife, did he not? And then there is Neharra. Bless her soul, but where the Hell did she come from? How long was Father shagging her before my Mother was killed?"

"And on matters of fidelity— I was raised that a Malfoy man should respect his wife, for of course if respect comes from the relationship, the surety of an heir would. Of course, Father also explained that one woman can hardly quench a man's lust, but I saw my Father's whores, and none of them compared to Mother." He paused, his eyes closed for a moment as his feet dangled from the table. Hermione had a horrid urge to run a soothing hand down the arm of this obviously troubled man. He took a breath,

"Father and Neharra have been on vacation these last couple of months. He likes to travel before peak season, you know, to avoid touristy wizards. They're headed to North Africa now and I just love to wander the Manor when they're away. That night I wandered into his office, quite smashed." He gave her a hard look up and down, "I wasn't in the right mood based on the events that happened earlier in the day." The color rose to her cheeks at the memory. She was reminded of their passionate snog, and the proclamation from him that followed. She was feeling lightheaded. "I found out some information, just rummaging through his files. Father was going to divorce her. He filed the paperwork just mere days before her death. And during a war, to boot. The man is ruthless. So out of my drunken fury, I started a magical fire completely out my wits end. I fled the scene, to say the least. I couldn't risk having my Father know I was there, and rummaging through his personal files. I acted as if I were never there."

"But it doesn't explain murder, Malfoy." She tried to picture an emotionally drunk Malfoy, hurling objects at the wall upon finding the divorce papers. It seemed so overwhelming. "If he filed for divorce then what motive did he have for murdering your mum?"

"There was something else! Some more files I couldn't get to. He's a tricky old bastard, Father. I need to get into those files, and they've got a good charm on them to prevent people from viewing, but with some time, I know I can get them open, Hermione. This is where you come in."

"Why now, Malfoy?" She wasn't a lawyer for nothing. She couldn't take a huge risk on this matter if she did not have something solid to hold them up. "Your story will go all to pot if you don't have a foundation to go off of. Go on, what is it?"

"I made peace with my Mother's death years ago, but someone wants me to re-evaluate her death, and honestly Granger, this has opened up wounds for me. Wounds that I think you can understand."



"What do you mean?"

He seemed uneasy to her, "I got left this down at security this morning."

He produced from behind him a thick, 11x18 envelope of which her threw into her lap. She caught it angrily before it could fall off. With numb fingers she fumbled with the flap, a sea of photographs falling from within and onto the floor. Malfoy had pulled his wand out and flicked it, causing the photos to collect themselves and land in a neat stack onto the table beside her. She bit back a huff at his gaudy wand work as the images began to register in her head. They were images of the Malfoy family—images of them working, eating, running errands, and even sleeping. There we also images of the night Narcissa died, similar to the gruesome images Malfoy had shown her earlier, no doubt taken from the envelope. She noticed that the more intimate images of the Malfoy family were of Lucius and his surroundings, but the ones of Draco were also alarming, coming as close to the general entrance of the Ministry. Hermione was stiff with fear when she found an image of herself with Malfoy standing in her flat's doorway. The image appeared to have been taken as close as across the street. Whoever this was, definitely knew where she lived.

"Malfoy…" she started, the edging of shock making her voice sound sharper. "They've been, everywhere."

"I know," his voice was barely above a whisper. "He left this as well," he said, handing her a small piece of parchment.

"Murderer," was cleanly written across this small scrap. Hermione shook her head, as if in disbelief.

"You have to alert the Aurors immediately," she said, her blood beginning to pump through her body again, "This is not safe, Malfoy. This person could be…trying to hurt you or your Father, or worse, the people who are around you!" She stood from her chair, about ready to bolt through the door and to the floo, but he stopped her. In a flash his hands were wrapped around her upper arms, and he was shaking her.

"Relax, will you, Hermione! Merlin, you act as if you've never been exposed to a bit of danger before!" he looked as if he wanted to have a crazed laugh, but also felt the fear that she felt. She had survived a war, and had gotten a taste of normalcy. She did not want to feel threatened anymore. She could sense that Malfoy, too, felt this way.

"Are you mental?" he asked. "I can't, Hermione. Whoever this is wants to help me. And I won't spoil that by taking this to the Aurors—for fuck's sake I can't imagine Weasley handling this for me!"

"Why send the package to you, though?" she asked, taking deep breaths to calm down. She noticed that Malfoy was slowly pumping her arms, as if trying to soothe her. She jerked from his grasp and rigidly took her seat once more.

Draco crossed his arms against his chest. "Like I said, I think this person sending the images to me wants to help."

"But Malfoy, this person is watching you. Even now, I have to ask, how is this person at all a clue in this? Let's not pretend your Father isn't a murderer! He's killed countless people; perhaps someone is exacting a revenge plot against your father. What if this person actually intends to harm you rather than help you?"

He shook his head. "It's a chance I'm willing to take, and right now, it's all I have driving me forward, Hermione." She figured that it was this shaky start that stirred him away from getting Aurors involved. So he had brought this secret to her, certainly to tie her hands behind her own back to help him.

"Fine," she strangled out. "You'll get your lift, but for only 72 hours, Malfoy. After that it goes back into the Ministry's processing pool."

"Excellent," he said, chipper, "but one more thing."

"Merlin, Malfoy, what?"

"You have to help me."

"I believe I've already covered that demand?" she asked, becoming cross.

"No, Hermione. I've shared this with you so you may be of assistance to me throughout. I need you…I…I trust you, alright? Not only as a lawyer…but…a confidante, as well."

She knew it, but did not want to accept it. She fought, but she found her head nodded sharply twice. She stared down at her folded hands. What had she done?

"Thank you, Hermione." He was stepping away from her. "You don't know how much I am in your debt."

"Malfoy," they made eye contact, "I don't want any funny business. I'm strictly helping you as a colleague, do you understand?" Anger filled her voice. "I'm with Blaise, and I don't want you to be confused with where my loyalties lie, in any aspect! I made a horrid mistake with you, just on the basis of words and I'm not foolish enough to be taken advantage of again."

He looked as if he wanted to say something heavy, his lips twitching painfully, his hands balling at his sides. He restrained himself though, and instead responded, "I'll be in touch," before leaving her alone in the conference room.

Chapter 6

"Are you OK, Hermione?"

"Yeah, you look a little worse for wear, darling, what is it?"

"Oh!" she started, "nothing at all, I'm sorry. Yes. Do you need help with the pot roast?" Hermione shook herself slightly, having zoned out at the table of Mrs. Weasley's. Ginny sat beside her and placed a hand onto her forehead.

"You feel just fine," she said, confused. Hermione swatted at her hand.

"Of course I feel fine, nothing is wrong. I'm just a bit tired, is all. Long week at work," she sighed. She enjoyed her weekends, they always allowed her to kick back and spend time thinking away from the office. But here she was, her mind falling onto Malfoy and his heavy task. She wanted to scream, no, she wanted to take back her agreement to help him. That's what.

"You poor thing," Mrs. Weasley started, shaking her head as she used her wand to peel potatoes. "You poor thing! It's just not right how they have you lot working so hard in that firm. Arthur tells me quite an earful of the politics your firm plays, and how hard you all have to work to get anywhere out there."

"Yes mum, but Hermione made Partner remember? She should be a bit more at ease, shouldn't she?" Ginny asked, sticking her tongue out at Hermione as Mrs. Weasley agreed heartily in the background.

"Yes, deary, you do work too hard," Mrs. Weasley chastised, turning her back to the two younger women in the kitchen. She started to hum. Immediately, Ginny pounced.

"So out with it, Hermione," a wicked grin took over the fiery woman's face, "I heard about you and Blaise shacking up. Go on now, is he as good as everyone claims him to be?"

Hermione gasped, her eyes growing wide. "Who told you that?"

"What, that he's a great shag or that you're dating him?"

"Both, I guess," Hermione responded with a sigh and a roll of her eyes.

"Well, you know how I told you Pansy Parkinson has become a patient of mine?" Hermione nodded.

"Isn't she fond of cosmetic charms?" she asked.

Ginny gave a fond chuckle, "I swear, if I get one more collagen request from her, I'll combust!" She continued, "Well, just a few days ago she told me that she had just come back from brunch with Blaise Zabini, and that he told her the most entertaining news. He announced that he was dating you, and she congratulated your choice in men as Blaise is most gifted in his northern and southern regions. So c'mon now, spill, Hermione. Did you sleep with him?"

"No! I mean…not yet. We've hardly spent enough time around each other for that, but Merlin knows I want to," she sighed, thinking about the tall, dark, and handsome man.

"So, you're just starting out? I reckon you're taking him to the black-tie event, then?"

"Oh yes, and that reminds me…will you and Harry be attending this year?"

"Of course, the Boy Who Lived and his lovely wife-to-be must attend the largest firm in the Wizarding Channel's annual gala, now am I right?"

"Damn right," Hermione smiled. She noticed that Ginny's smile seemed frozen, but her eyes widened. The younger woman placed a hand on top of Hermione's, and it was then that her smile grew wider.

"I'm really happy for you, Hermione," she started, "I care so much about you, as do Harry and Ron, and you deserve to feel happy and appreciated. I've noticed that you've had a bit more strut lately," Ginny gave a naughty winked, "and we can all tell something has made you very happy." Hermione's cheeks turned red at Ginny's last observation. All she could do was lean forward and give her friend a tight hug as her mind spiraled.

It was Blaise, was it not, that gave her that extra spunk recently? They went out to dinner a few times since getting together, even adding in a movie and a separate night of Hermione making dinner for him in her flat. Simply put, they haven't spent a night away from each other since the relationship began a week ago, but she did not feel the need to sleep with him. Of course, their goodnight kisses were more of a preview of what was to come if they ever did get to that step. And when they rode in the cab together he liked to rest his hand just above her knee—sometimes she caught herself from sliding his hand further up her leg. His kisses were definitely becoming much more demanding. Yes, they were dangerously skirting towards sleeping together, and Hermione felt…nervous. Would she compare the experience to Malfoy?

"And when you sleep with him, please do not spare any details," Ginny added.

"Blimey," Hermione said, still pink about the cheeks, "he is something, eh?"

"Yes," Ginny nodded, placing an arm around Hermione's shoulders. "He's handsome, intelligent, wealthy, and from what Pansy says, completely adores you!"

"He does," she replied with a smile. "He's just perfect."


When the Weasley family started on their treacle tarts, she had excused herself from the kitchen table. Her excuse was an abundant amount of casework calling her name all the way from home. She couldn't actually bring herself to announce to her second family that she was heading to the Malfoy Manor to break into Lucius Malfoy's files to prove he murdered his wife. Could I? She pondered for a moment, basking in the happy ambience that surrounded her. Right. Scratch that. They would think her mental. Regardless, Molly sent her home with about two dozen miniature treacle tarts.

Twenty minutes later, after saying many goodbyes, she found herself at the front door of the heavily warded grounds of Malfoy Manor, box of delectable treats in hand. She slipped by these charms easily due to the lift she had placed on it nearly 24 hours ago. She knocked a few times, and a small house elf appeared to open the door. She smiled warmly at the small elf as she took in his children-sized pants and potato sack for a shirt. He bowed deeply at Hermione, but said no words as he stepped back to allow her in. The door closed behind her, the noise echoing in the wide, dark foyer. From her eyes sight, she could see that the majority of the first floor was lit by candle and torch, no doubt possibly lit this way to freak her out. The elf motioned for her to follow him up the grand staircase two flights, and over until they reached large, black double doors. He bowed again and left her with a quiet pop.

She pushed the door open and took in the dark room before her. A fire crackled in the depths of the majestic, marble fireplace. In the center of the room, a large, foreboding table sat, and in the chair, Draco Malfoy.

He looked up from whatever he had in his hands, a genuinely surprised expression on his face, "Ahh! Hermione, you've arrived. I wasn't sure if you were actually coming or not. I'm glad you did."

Hermione gave a sheepish shrug and approached the table, dropping the box of tarts onto it and flopping onto the squishy armchair that was conveniently placed near Lucius Malfoy's desk. She wanted to laugh at the audacity of the situation. Malfoy's almost warm regard of her contradicted so fiercely his environment. "So this is where Satan plots his dirty work?" Hermione sneered, Malfoy smirked.

"Not going to stick with the innocent until proven guilty notion, then?"

"Not a chance in Hell," she retorted, squinting about the room. "Is this all the light available? There's no way I'll be able to read anything in such a poor setting."

"Silence, woman. I'll charm more candles if you'd like. I want to limit the amount of spell usage in the Manor, in case the Ministry feels a bit curious and wants to peak in after noticing a 72 hour hold."

"Bullocks, they won't notice," Hermione said, catching a snort from emitting from her. She straightened herself up on the seat and smirked. He gave her a piercing, but curious look that almost dissolved her whole amusing gaze.

"Why do I have the feeling you're about to tell me you did something rather naughty to ensure this lift goes smoothly?"

Hermione blushed. He was right; she did do something rather bad. "I stole your file from the Ministry's pool. So, there will be no way for them to check on your home these next three days. The file does not even exist."

He gave her a wicked smile and an approving nod, "Smart girl." Oddly enough, the combination of the smile and the compliment made her feel warm all over. She noticed that his focus was back on the documents before him.

"So, what do you have so far?"

Again, he smiled the same wicked smile. "Wouldn't you like to know?"

"Malfoy," she started, already exasperated, "I will not arse around tonight. Tell me what information you have or risk this little operation you've got going."

"I've unlocked a couple of folders already, and I'm just glancing through documents right now." With a flick of his wand, the candles disappeared and what Hermione assumed to be the room's normal light came on. It was still rather dark, but a definite improvement from before.

A couple of hours into reviewing the already unlocked files, Hermione found that Lucius was a very busy man. The companies that he invested in she couldn't count on fingers and toes, and he was thoroughly involved in each companies' success and profit. Upon searching further, she also realized that Lucius was constantly moving large amounts of sums from one offshore bank to another. She had so far uncovered 65 offshore accounts. A small bank in Switzerland held deeds to nearly a billion galleons worth of real estate the family owned. It was ridiculous! She couldn't stop herself from formulating possibilities of intent from these documents. Perhaps by killing Narcissa, he saved himself from parting with half of everything. She sat the papers down. "Malfoy," she called, "would your father murder to keep his money?"

Draco snorted. "Yes, and along with muggles, muggleborns, anyone on the Light, and rogue house elves. You know Father, constantly killing to make a point."

She huffed and folded her arms, "you're a right bastard, do you know that Malfoy? But seriously, do you think that could be a motive?"

He shrugged. "I suppose so. Without his money, Lucius is ineffective in society." He shook his head. "This is all very…difficult…for me, if you haven't noticed. It's not fun, imagining that Lucius could've killed my Mother over money. Or any other matter."

She softened, her heart tugging just a bit as she took in Malfoy. He was dressed quite strangely to her. He wore jean trousers and a plain black t-shirt and it seemed all too simple for the Glorious Draco Malfoy.

"Fuck it to Hell," he swore, throwing down the folders he had not unlocked yet. The abrupt tone startled her. "Fancy a spliff, Hermione?" She nearly choked on her own saliva.

"Ex-excuse me, Malfoy?" she asked, stunned.

"A spliff?" he asked louder. He laughed. "Merlin, don't tell me the All-Knowing Muggleborn Hermione Granger doesn't know what a spliff is?"

"Of course I know what a-a spliff is! The problem is, Malfoy, why would I be interested in smoking one?"

"Because, we're two hours into finding out if my Father killed my mum or not," he paused, his hand reaching into his jean pocket to reveal a cigarette pack. "And I think we deserve a break," he finished, juggling the case around to pull out a perfectly pre-rolled spliff.

"Malfoy," she started to protest, quite unsure of herself. "I can't do this with you…it's…"

"Give me an honest to goodness reason why not, and I'll chuck it out the window." He stuck the tip into his mouth and produced his wand, inching it towards the flared end of the joint. He waited.

"I…don't do drugs," she responded weakly.

"Not good enough," he said, sparking the tip and inhaled. He held the smoke in for a bit, his eyes closing as he exhaled. She sighed and stood from her seat, walking around the table beside Malfoy to perch herself on the edge of the desk.

"I didn't know you smoked cigarettes," she said.

"Just recently," he answered. She plucked the spliff from his hand and took in a drag herself. Upon exhaling she coughed roughly, but still handed the joint back to Malfoy. The grin on his face was rather insane, but she found herself smiling back through her coughing fit.

"Bloody hell," she coughed. "D'you know I haven't smoked a spliff since my sixth year of Hogwarts?" He chuckled as he exhaled again. It was her turn and she pulled another drag before starting again. "Do you remember Seamus Finnegan? He would smuggle dope into the school coming back from every holiday. Not many Hogwarts students knew what this was, and I'd never tried it before until fifth year—Seamus always has a way with words."

Draco burst into laughter, holding his side as Hermione stared at him, somewhat dumbfounded. "What? What is it?" she asked.

"Seamus…ah…sold the spliffs to me," his laughter was met by Hermione's. After several seconds it died down. She smiled a genuine smile at him, a first for the evening.

"Ah yes, I've heard through the grapevine at the Ministry that Seamus is quite the employee over in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office," she said. She took yet another drag and released her hair from the messy knot it was in. She hadn't thought much about her appearance before heading to the Weasley's earlier in the day, choosing some khaki shorts and a white blouse. She felt, however overdressed. She noticed that Malfoy was feasting on her with his eyes. She turned away the spliff, feeling again unsure about herself as the drug began to affect her. What was she doing here? How did she end up smoking a spliff with Draco Malfoy in his father's study? It was beyond her. A thought struck her. "Tell me, Malfoy, how is it that you came about spliffs?"

He took a drag, "It's a funny story. See, it involved Ginny Weasley."

"Ginny?" Hermione asked, surprised.

"Yeah, it was around Seventh Year, and I caught her smoking this in an alcove in the dungeons with what's his name? Dean Thomas? Regardless, I inquired what exactly they were smoking, and they explained it all to me—"

"And curiosity killed the cat, right?" Hermione injected, laughing.

"Yes, but satisfaction definitely brought it back," he said with a cough. "They ended up sharing the rest of their spliff with me."

She was surprised, "Ginny has never mentioned that to me."

"Well, she wouldn't, would she? You all hate me."

"I don't hate you Malfoy…" she trailed off. I just can't be with you, she thought. I can't. She realized that Malfoy was still staring at her as if she were something to eat. "Stop that, Malfoy. You're freaking me out."

"Stop what?"

"Stop staring at me like that!"

"You look rather pretty tonight, Granger, so I can't help myself. Where'd you come from, before coming here?"

"The Burrow," she chose not to address his compliment but she could tell that her red cheeks gave how she felt away, "that reminds me, Molly sent me home with many treacle tart minis to last me for possibly a month! You're more than welcome to a much as you want," she laughed, gesturing towards the box. Malfoy finished the spliff and turned it off.

"Well, come on now," he said, nodding at the box.

"What?" she asked.

"Be a doll and get the tarts."

"You must be joking, Malfoy," she rolled her eyes, crossing her legs and leaning back on her arms.

"You offered the tarts to me, it only makes sense that you serve them to me as well," he smiled.

"Mhmm…yes, you must be off your rocker, then," she shook her head in faux disgust. "Get it yourself, Malfoy," she giggled.

"Are you sure you want me to get it myself?" he asked stealthily. He placed his hand on her knee and she flinched.

"Malfoy, I told you that this couldn't happen!" She nearly shouted. He didn't remove his hand, but inched it further up her leg.

"But you said I could have as much as I want," he said in sultry voice. She tried to push his hand off, but he held it there.

"You're…you're vile…and overstepping a line again, Malfoy. I didn't sign up for this." She was feeling warm, too warm. She felt the urge to undo the first few buttons of her blouse. She felt as if her very words were slowly coming from her mouth. She felt as if time, itself, had slowed down and Malfoy was the only focal point keeping her grounded.

Her breaths came out in short pants as he stood before her, his hands softly grasping her upper arms. She tilted her head back to look into his face. He smiled and whispered, "You're brilliant," before catching her lips.

For several moments she stood against him numb. But the blood began to flow through her, and her mind began to pick up speed. She began to feverishly kiss him back. Draco Malfoy was kissing her. Draco Malfoy, who she had stupidly slept with but could never imagine a more fantastic shag, was kissing her. Draco Malfoy, her boyfriend's best friend, was kissing her.

She immediately pulled away, "I'm sorry, I can't," she said. Her legs were apart and he stood in between them, his arms now holding the outer side of her thighs. "I can't do this…not with you."

"Do you really not feel the same spark I feel when I'm near you?" he asked.

"Malfoy, that spark is just your willy in a start, please, piss off," she said, shaking her head, pulling his hands off of her.

"I'm not joking, Hermione. What do I need to do?"

"Nothing! I need you to do nothing because I don't want you, Malfoy!"

"Those weren't the exact words you used when we were shagging, though," he started, a sneer on his face. She blushed and before she could say anything he had his arms around her once more.

"I told you I'm with Blaise."

"I don't care," he said, planting his lips on hers again. She put up a minor struggle but conceded to his needy mouth. She lost all inhibition as they kissed, her fingers thrusting into his hair to painfully grip as he bit her lip. Before she could even figure it, she was on her back on Lucius Malfoy's table, being straddled by his only heir. His hands were everywhere, but Hermione's stayed perfectly gripped in his hair, never breaking the intensity of their kiss. She could feel the hardness of him against her inner thigh and a sure of excitement went through her, making her moan. "Let me do this," he whispered in her ear.

All she could do was moan into his mouth, her legs wrapping around his waist. He wanted her so badly, and it drove her up the wall with self-righteous desire. But even though it stroked her ego that Draco Malfoy found her so intoxicating, she couldn't help but feel as if someone had placed hooks around the edge of her heart, pulling in various directions at once. She felt something for him, and it wasn't just lust. This scared her to her wits end.

But she still continued to feast on his mouth, his hand now in between them, unbuttoning her shorts. When they were finally undone, he broke their kiss, albeit difficultly, and began to trail kisses down her body until he reached the edge of her tummy. He hooked his elegant fingers around her shorts and yanked them with such a force she cried out, her head falling back onto the table. He continued his kissing until he was over her fine, silk knickers. She jumped at the contact, his mouth resting on her. He had slipped a finger to move the fabric to the side so he could run his tongue down her. "Like Heaven," he moaned against her. She didn't stop him when he stimulated to remove her knickers. She had moved her hands in a start to grip something on the table, an edge possibly, before he could make contact with her again. She felt as if she would sky rocket away, however her hand knocked back a small paperweight with a force that should have thrown it from the table. Instead, it tiled slightly back and Hermione felt the table begin to shift underneath her.

"Holy fuck!" she screamed, throwing her body forward, straddling Malfoy as he fell back into his armchair. Malfoy looked up at her with a mixture of shock and confusion, but immediately locked eyes with the table as the top portion opened up to reveal a hidden drawer containing a rectangular, steel box.

She removed herself quickly from him, searching the ground for her shorts. He produced them from behind his back, and she slipped them on without looking at him. She had let go with him and the results could've been…horrible…logically. Physically, she was sure it would've been perfection.

He did not hesitate in investigating the box, but not without sending her a forlorn look, "This has a language I've never seen before." He produced his wand and tapped the box with it, muttering a charm. Nothing occurred, and he hummed. "A translation charm cannot unlock it."

"Well then, let's get to it," Hermione said, releasing the air she had been holding in and smoothing down her clothes. She didn't want him to bring up or attempt to continue what they could've done minutes ago. He nodded.

Hermione leaned over to view the box. Around the edge of it a fine scroll of twirls and loops stood embossed against an ash gray metal. Hermione shuddered. The font looked to be moving, like a snake. She could swear that the box itself seemed to be admitting soft, hissing sounds.

A thought struck her, "Malfoy…maybe it's Parseltongue!"

He sat upright in his chair, nearly tumbling forward. "I'm totally well caned and still very horny, but somehow, this is all making sense. How did I not think of that before?"

She shook her head, "Because that's all you care for Malfoy, sex and drugs. Are you familiar with written Parseltongue?" He laughed.

"Not at all, but I'm sure we have some books on it," he yawned, checking his watch. She had a different kind of excitement entering her, now. She was dying to know what was in the box. "It's nearly 3am, Hermione. I think we should get some sleep, and tomorrow we can pull down some books from my library and find a way to unlock this."

"Why tomorrow? We can simply do it tonight."

He gave her a flat look. "I wanted to do it tonight, but someone had to go and muck it all up. So, I think the morning will be more appropriate. I can show you to your room."

"I think I'll just floo home, if that's all right," she responded hastily, heading towards her armchair. There was no way in hell she would stay over.

"Hermione, don't be silly. Stay the night, and in the morning we can continue working. You look pretty fucked up to me, and I'd just feel more comfortable if you stayed," he said, sounding sincere. She had made a sound of anger when mentioning her state of being. She felt just fine!

"I can't stay here, Malfoy. You know why."

"You keep saying that, and yet your actions do not match up to your words," he retorted smartly.

"Oh, fuck off Malfoy!" She grabbed the box of tarts and began to head towards the door.

"I promise to be on my best behavior!" He shouted at her. "Come on, Granger. Plus, it's been some time since I've stayed in the Manor without another person being here," he said almost guiltily. Her hand was on the knob and she paused. She couldn't help but feel bad for him, with everything that must be going through his head.

"I don't want to be anywhere near your quarters."

"That's fine with me. I promise no funny business."

She turned back to see that he was smiling at her, the smile aching to turn into a full fledge grin. She wanted to smack it clean off her face, but couldn't help the own smile creeping across her face. Hermione was in deep trouble, and she knew it.

"Then show me to my room," she said with a shrug.


The room was lavishly decorated in warm blue and brown tones. It was pretty and not as cold as she would've thought a room at Malfoy Manor would be. He had produced a shirt and boxers he assured her plenty of times were clean.

"Well, then, I guess goodnight?" she asked awkwardly, as she stood close to him at the doorframe. She was itching to shut the door, not wanting him to prolong his stay.

"Goodnight," he responded, kissing her softly on the lips before disappearing down the dark hallway. She didn't even have enough time to throw a mad remark at him.

Lying in bed, the sleep ready to overcome her, she secretly wished Malfoy had tried to prolong his stay. It was too quiet and the single candle light did not ebb away her panic. She knew that by conceding to him, she would be feeding into whatever ill intentions he may very well be hiding for her. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to wish away the scenes of him burned into the back of her eyelids. She wanted him badly, too, but couldn't have him. At least, she couldn't have him the way he wanted and lusted after her.

She so badly wanted his love to be true, but the possibility that it might not be gave her the ammunition to stay away.

Thanks for reading, everyone! So sorry it's taken me FOREVER to get this out! But don't worry, chapter 7 will be up soon so stay with me on this!