Author's note: So this is kind of embarrassing. I said over and over again I wouldn't do a sequel to "Blindsided". I really like that story and the effect I managed to pull off and I didn't want to ruin it. I was certain I would never think of anything that would fit.

And then completely out of the freaking blue, to sound just like Stephanie Meyer, I had a Draco&Hermione dream, (actually in the dream it was my boss, who looks just like Mena Suvari, and Draco, but when I woke up I knew I meant Hermione! Dreams can just be a little crazy…)

Anyways… I was in the middle of writing a pretty edgy fic (for me anyway) called "Everything I Need To Know I Learned at Hogwart's" when my cat spilled my cousin's (who was freeloading on my couch) beer onto my keyboard, trashing my entire laptop.

That was the third time I'd had a computer crap out on me in the middle of posting a story. A few weeks later my job bought me a mac anyway, but, not only was I totally discouraged and depressed by the set back, I didn't really feel like it was a good idea to write borderline porn on company property. So that poor story is totally abandoned.

Meanwhile, I've got this dream, this broken ankle, and my Fiancé's neglected Toshiba….

I kind of sort of maybe wrote a sequel….

I know it's probably years too late for anyone who liked it and wanted more to still be around to read it, but if you're out there maybe you'll take a look for me? I'm super nervous about it and need some honesty.

There's no Voldemort, no epic battle, in my world Rowling didn't murderer everyone who mattered to me (not that they're even in this story…) Draco never tried to kill anyone, Harry never dropped out… You'll have to do a lot of pretending, a lot of ignoring canon. Let' just say they all go on to 7th year in the way we all so innocently imagined they would when we were at chapter 8 of book 1, before all hell broke loose, mmk?

Oh yeah… it was just going to be another oneshot, but as always, it ended up about 50 times long than I anticipated, so I think I'll break it into 3 parts.

Oh, AND, it will be smutty. Just a warning.

Ok. So here we go… please let me know what you think.

… … …

Illuminate: (verb)

1. To supply or brighten with light; light up.

2. To make clear; throw light on (a subject)

3. To enlighten, as with knowledge.

… … …

A long, nervous groan came rumbling involuntarily from Hermione's throat. Had she not been completely alone in the cold, dim halls of Hogwart's dungeons surely passersby would've turned their heads to see what was wrong with her. Thank goodness it was too late for students to be up and about, but, nevertheless, her panicked eyes darted around, desperate to make sure she was in fact still alone.

She was a tightly wound bundle of nerves. The Head Girl badge that was so ceremoniously pinned to her robes less than an hour before was burning a hole in her already lead chest. But the recent downpour of new responsibilities and assignments were the least of her problems.

She was utterly consumed with worry that by stalling at the entrance of the Potion Master's office she was just begging for an encounter with him. This was his turf after all, and she could not bear to run into him right now, not when she was about to ask the second biggest gnome in her garden for a ridiculous favor.

It wasn't that she was afraid! She was convinced she was more than prepared to handle that little git. She painstakingly rehearsed for days, weeks even, exactly what she would say when she saw him again, as certain she would, him being head boy and all.

She had to clear the air, regain her dignity and warrant him to respect her as Head Girl. They had to supervise the student body together after all! But, seeing how she froze like solid ice just making a completely regrettable millisecond of eye contact with him at the welcoming feast ("He was just so shamelessly staring at me!" she recalled with a shiver, his god damn smirk clearly visible from across the hall burned into her retinas) she was just a tad bit discouraged with her ability to speak actual words to him…

"Enough!" she hissed to herself, growing more nervous with each passing second she wasted standing there in the Devil's territory and ruffling the lengthy roll of parchment in her hand, trying to refocus her eyes.

She was staring at the application for the Ministry of Magic's Internship at the Department of Misinformation. Needless to say it was an honor to even receive an opportunity to apply; only the top students from the three leading Wizarding Academies were invited to.

When she finally conveyed to her parents that it was equivalent to, if not more prestigious than, a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, they're pride and excitement only added to her own elation. The Department of Misinformation, in charge of dealing with (and often befuddling) muggles when the Statute of Secrecy was breached, collaborated with every other department. Especially with the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures… or, what she would have it renamed by the time she was thirty, "Department of Magical Creature Relations". She would use this internship as a jumping off point to take over magical creature relationships for the Ministry.

But she was getting dangerously too far ahead of herself. She didn't have the internship yet. First and foremost she had to be certain she could acquire every piece of criteria needed for her application to be complete: the grade point average and test scores, the essay, and most importantly; letters of recommendation. Letters not only from a ministry official, but all four heads of house.

Arthur Weasley, newly appointed Co-director of the Muggle Liaison Office (on top of running the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office), nearly fell all over himself with pride when she asked him to be her Ministry Official at the train station. She was honored to learn at the welcome feast that McGonagall had already written hers for her 6th year, unsurprised when Sprout agreed most graciously and kindly and relieved when Flitwick, who had always been a little sore she wasn't sorted into his house, simply asked if there was a requirement on the number of scrolls. Not a bad bout of hobnobbing for only the first night back!

And yet, it didn't seem like the accomplishment it should considering who was left… Snape.

She inhaled deeply, "Best get this over with," she thought, "before Malfoy shows up," she added, ignoring the rush that fired through her body at the thought of his name and knocked deftly on the thick, oak door.

"Important I presume? Given the hour?" came a drawling, deep voice, already rich with sarcasm.

Desperate to relieve herself from her current anxiety, she boldly opened the door and without specific permission, entered, praying he'd let her skip over his tedious battle of wits and let her get straight to the point.

Sitting in what was probably once a handsome armchair, his eyes looked up from his scroll. If he was impressed by her boldness it was hidden in a flash and masked with unquestionable boredom.

"Professor Snape, I apologize about the time, but the business I'm here inquiring about involves a deadline-"

"Is it safe to assume you understand the embarrassment I would endure should you not earn an O in N.E.W.T. Potions this year after having written you a letter of recommendation?" he asked, his eyes back on his scroll and showing no sign of leaving again.

"I-" she stuttered, surprised he was already aware of her intentions, "Of course," she recovered, "…I received an O on my O.W.L. 5th year" she added, bitterness cloaking the hurt of his implications.

"Indeed, you did manage an O," he replied, not even pretending to give her full attention, "…most narrowly…"

Hermione did not know what to say, dread clutched her throat. An O was an O damn it, who cares if she was on the cusp? And was he really not going to recommend her for a grade he didn't even know she earned yet?

The suspense was killing her. Whether or not she got the internship could very well be in his cold, heartless hands, but she couldn't think of one single thing to say that would impress the one teacher who had always been simply unimpressed with her. He already knew why she was there, was it possible he already knew he was going to say no?

"Professor Snape?" spoke a deep voice behind her.

Hermione jumped. She did not notice the Bloody Baron enter his office.

"Yes Bruce?" asked Snape, indicating a combination of superiority and mutual respect.

"The common room, Professor."

Snape appeared not to need to hear anything more. "Thank you, Bruce."

And the Baron glided away as silently as he came.

Snape took a long, slow sip of his tea, leaving Hermione standing there foolishly, trying to get her heart rate to slow.

Finally with a sigh he said," See to my house, Ms. Granger, be a Head Girl I would honestly recommend, and I can write you your letter."

Hermione was uncharacteristically slow to catch on, "…Your house?" she repeated in disbelief.

"Yes," he confirmed condescendingly, reluctantly granting her another look up from his reading, "Sometimes they have trouble finding their beds."

Mouthy, insufferable brats, the whole lot of them!

It was over an hour since lights out and yet every single Slytherin appeared to be awake. The room was total chaos. She found herself standing on an ottoman, waving her arms about like a mad Maestro, screaming the older students to order, who were encouraging and goading on the 1st years, while simultaneously trying to get said 1st years down from the ceiling of which they were floating.

"Ridiculous," she muttered, charming the students down with her wand, "Unheard of!"

Half the crowd booed as she returned them to their feet one by one, the other half ignoring her efforts and still laughing at those left levitated.

"You there," she shouted to one she just rescued, "What is your name?"

But the small boy with a triangular face just giggled bubbly at her, making no explanation.

"What is this nonsense?" she exasperated. She could not fathom their boldfaced insubordination, especially in 1st years, Slytherin or not!

And as if in answer to her bafflement, a high buzzing flew by her ear.

Hermione stunned and accioed the insect and studied it in her palm.

"Billywig?!" she gaped. "You're all high off of Billywig stings? What are you idiots thinking!? The effects have the potential to never wear off!"

"Oh don't be such a killjoy, it's the first night back" barked Blaise Zabinni, "You almost make me feel bad for Gryffindors, what with such a square for a Head."

Hermione narrowed her eyes, "I'm not just the Head of Gryffindor," she seethed, "I'm Head of the whole school, and if you don't all settle down right now and go to bed you're all going to get detention for possession of banned items!"

"That's not fair!" cried the triangular faced boy, his toothy grin mismatching the sound of fear in his voice, "A head gave them to us!"

"I did no such thing!" cried Hermione.

"Of course you didn't" droned Blaise, "Draco did."

"Draco?! Well of course," she muttered at her own bad luck, "Of course he gave them to you."

"He didn't give them to us," hiccupped the boy, the giddy effects of the Billywig sting wearing off and leaving a dopey looking expression, "He traded them for a flask of whiskey."

"Bloody marvelous," she groaned, zapping the last student down with a thump, her annoyance and disapproval gargantuan.

… … …

She was exhausted as she walked back to the library, where her own private dormitory was to be located.

"Brown leather book, top shelf, Dragon-hide book, 2nd shelf, green leather book, top shelf again, twice…" she murmured to herself, hoping she memorized the combination to her stairwell accurately.

Perhaps after the insane work load and impossible curriculum, this was the one kind courtesy the teachers bestowed on the Head Boy and Girl; rooms hidden in the library, easy access to study materials. Earlier she had the ridiculous thought that she'd be able to get an hour or so of reading done before heading to bed. She would've laughed at her naivety if she wasn't still so sour.

"This is going to be worse than I thought," she grumbled, still trying to digest that Malfoy was going to be as cliché as winning over his students with dangerous treats and encouraging a laxness with alcohol by his example. "Of course he'd go for popularity over genuine respect…" How was she supposed to do her job if he didn't do his?

Hermione stopped at a row of books, "Maybe just one…" she thought, "To get my mind off things so I can sleep…"

Her eyes darted over to the northwest corner of the library. If the entrance to her room was in the northeast corner, she wondered if his was over there…

She remembered embarrassingly that over the summer holiday she asked Percy Weasley if the rumors were true about the rooms being joined by a co-ed washroom and as annoying as his pretentious snort could be ("Of course not! How preposterous! That would be most indecent…") she was extremely relieved.

She gave a soft laugh at her own gullibility, and decided that she must have been only a few, but lucky, steps behind Draco all evening to not have run into him in the dungeons, but that he surely must be in bed by now and she could take a few moments to find a good, credible book on the history of the Ministry of Magic ("Better to know all I can about where I'll be working…") and hung a left down the row.

He appeared at the end of the aisle just as soon as she walked down it, palming both bookshelves with his arms-width. Casually, yet effectively, blocking her in.

The second his blond headed, tie-loosened, untucked shirt wearing, silver eyed self appeared in her vision Hermione felt paralyzed.

Draco merely smirked, his steely eyes boring into hers.

A thick book fell out of her lifeless fingers, clattering noisily on the ground, but they both ignored it.

"M-m-malfoy," she stuttered, then bit her lips together. She would not continue until she could speak steadily. She closed her eyes and took in a long deep breath. She cleared her throat and began again.

"I'm glad I've run into you," she lied, "I would like to talk to you…"

Malfoy looked unsurprised, unmoved, unchanged. If anything the corner of his smirk only smirked higher.

There was going to be no elephant in the room. She wasn't about to let him make her feel embarrassed and awkward all year! Surely he would see that she meant business if she attacked things head on.

"I want to officially and sincerely apologize for the unfortunate events that transpired last year…"

Malfoy raised his eyebrows, but said nothing.

That was fine with her, because she was already sputtering on, "It was inappropriate, immature and a complete violation of your rights…"

Malfoy took a silent, smooth step towards her. Instinctively Hermione took a step backward.

"I… I regret my decision to participate in such childish games," she stammered, fear clutching her stomach, his ambiguity, his smug smile, disturbing her greatly, "and for any damages or inconveniences you suffered…"

Unaffected, Draco continued with his slow methodical steps toward her, she in turn slowly walked backwards as if in some bizarre choreographed dance. Her throat was thick and heavy, so much for coming off natural and confident… What was he doing? Was he going to slap her? Jinx her? It occurred to her fleetingly that none of the Slytherins she just reprimanded said anything about the little incident they had together, did they not know about it? Was he going to blackmail her with the information?

After gulping for air she continued to try and finish, desperate to show him the whole ordeal did not concern her beyond the point of working side by side indifferently, "I can promise you, you need not worry about any such unnecessary trouble for me again, I plan to forget all about it and put forth-"

At this point Hermione found herself backed into the wall at the end of the aisle, nowhere else to go. As if from the autopilot of shock, she feebly continued despite Draco looming ever nearer, "-put forth my best effort as a Head Girl of this school and hope that you'll be-be ab-able to do the, the, the…"

His body was inches from hers; she could feel power radiating off him. He had scrutinizing eyes and an amused smile that she could not decipher…

"…S-same…" she whispered.

He was looking right into her face when he finally spoke, "Shut up."

Then she was pinned between him and the wall, one of his hands on the small of her back, the other cradling the back of her head. Their kiss burned with heat and smothered against her lips. The humming bird that had been trapped in her chest finally flew away and she melted into his support.

She parted her lips and savored the taste of him as he kneaded her tongue with his. He pulled her tighter into him. She wrapped her arms around his neck, deepening their kiss and inhaled his rich, delicious scent.

"Mmmm…" he moaned, "I missed you, Granger."

The irony of that statement snapped Hermione back into reality.

"Stop," she proclaimed, slipping her hands between their bodies and pushing him away. "Get away from me!"

Draco sighed as if bored, "Yes, yes, I know, you're the prissy little goodie good and I'm the big, bad boy… could we please skip all that tonight? And just get to where we both know this is going to end up? I thought this summer was bad enough, but ever since seeing you announced at dinner this evening I've been going mad!" and he reached out to pull her into him again.

"What?" she puzzled, blocking his hands, "Tonight? We both know?" she repeated incredulously, "I think there's been a misunderstanding Malfoy-"

He groaned impatiently, but then spoke playfully, "Listen, I'll lay off trying to shag you until you're ready to descend gracefully, alright? Let's just pick up where we left off and see where we can go from there okay?"

He engulfed her before she could block him again and had her lips captured once more. But she hurriedly wiggled free before she got swept away in the undertow of his power.

"No you listen," she demanded, "You've lost all respect for me, I understand that… that's my fault, I realize that. I take full responsibility. I acted like a slut and now, well, now you think I am one. But I can't allow it to continue. I'm not a bloody buffet table! What happened last year was a mistake, and like I said, I plan on forgetting all about it. You need to too. And if you don't, well then, I could care less. Tell whoever you want, I don't care! No one would believe you anyway!"

Draco glowered at her, still clutching her to his chest, "Hmm, you kind of tremble when you lie," he observed, "People knowing is the last thing you want."

Hermione was lost for words, flabbergasted and unnerved by his ability to read her so accurately.

"But no matter," he went on, "I don't care to tell anyone. I just want you. And I want you to quit pretending you don't want me."

His tongue was in her mouth again, and electricity coursed through her body, tantalizing and tingly. She broke away with a strained gasp, "But I don't want you!" she insisted.

Draco chuckled at her, "Then why are you blushing so beautifully?" he asked as he stroked her face, "and why are your lips so swollen?" he traced them with his fingertips, "and why…" he leaned to whisper huskily in her ear, "can I feel how hard your nipples are through your blouse?"

Severe stirring occurred low in Hermione's body at his shocking and graphic words.

"Just like last time…" he recalled happily.

"Last time was a joke Malfoy," she insisted pitifully, "I was dared to kiss you!"

"Ah, but you did more than just kiss me Granger, and you had just as much fun as I did," he pointed out as he glided his lips along her jaw line.

Fearing another crippling kiss she pushed against him, "Think whatever you may Malfoy, fun or not it's over! You're awful and I can't stand you!"

Draco turned stony, but unsurprised. Calm even.

"You're certain?" he asked.

"What do you mean?"

"That's how you really feel?"

Hermione scrutinized him, "…Yes."

He gave a curt nod, "Very well then," he responded. And then he spun her around and dipped her, as if they were dancing.

It was so unexpected Hermione almost laughed, but then something was at her lips and warm wetness sprinkled into her mouth. She shook her head and sputtered, but it was no use, liquid had rolled to the back of her throat.

Draco released her and she cowered in defense, lowering herself to her hands and knees, wiping her mouth and choking. She had swallowed some of whatever the hell he had given her and her throat felt warm and her chest tingly.

"What the hell, Malfoy?!" she cried, trying to wipe away the substance that had dribbled onto her neck, "What was that?"

"Love potion," he answered with a smile, "My own special recipe. Just a drop will do."

"You-!" she snarled.

"Here's the thing Granger," he cut her off, silencing her with severe look, "What happened between us, what you did to me… I haven't been the same since I figured out it was you."

"It's not just that I've become obsessed with fucking you…Well that is a big part of it," he stopped to smirk, "but there's more to it than that," he went on, turning intense, almost angry.

"I've thought about you in the dirtiest ways every single day since we parted. You have taken over my mind. I feel absolutely insane. You've bewitched me. You've robbed me of my self-control. And you know what it's become? It's become an obsession over everything about you. The marks you earn, the tie-knot you chose, your ridiculous honesty, the way you raise your hand so pin-fucking-straight in class, how all your little friends turn to you for everything, that you put sugar in your tea until the bloody spoon stands up, the way your eyes look like the ones drawn on the damn deer in those cutesy muggle cartoons, and god damn it, your bloody gorgeous hair," he exasperated, reaching down to stroke a lock of her curls.

She flinched away, utterly confused about all she just heard, "…Deer?!" was the only word she could manage.

"The fucking baby deer with the dead mom and skunks and birdies," he cried, obviously working himself up over what he was trying to tell her, "You know, big and brown with the long thick lashes and the stupid blinking…The way you're looking at me right-fucking-now with all that innocence and surprise."

"The thing is," he said again earnestly, "is that I…" he trailed off, "I am quite fond of you," he finished in a hush.

She gaped at him in disbelief.

"And that is not a sentiment I solicit lightly. But you, my dear, are just so… You're just so smart, and bold, and beautiful… and whimsical and strong and passionate and loyal… and, and… and you are going to fancy me the way I fancy you."

Hermione felt a very different kind of nervous than she had been feeling all night.

After a brief pause to catch his breath, Draco appeared to regain his usual cool and cocky composure, "You'll think of my constantly," he vowed, a flare in his eyes, "you'll lust for me mercilessly and you'll desperately need to be near me. Every day it will grow stronger and stronger. I will haunt you the way you've haunted me. You will repay me every second you took. And the more you fight it, the more it will intensify."

Hermione couldn't quite believe she wasn't dreaming. She blinked. Studied him intently. Then laughed.

"Ha!" she scoffed, "This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. There are only so many herbs that conjure infatuation, only so many salts that create lust. Love potions are a joke Malfoy, why do you think no one uses them anymore? Half of them wear off once the person knows they're on one anyway. You think I can't figure out your little concoction? Counter this? There are antidotes. A little research, a little work, and it's nothing."

Draco just continued with his usual smirk, "I'm not so sure," he challenged, "Brilliant as you are, this one is unique, if I do say so myself."

Hermione finally had enough sense to stand up and brush herself off.

"We'll see about that," she replied.

"Yes," he agreed, "We will. Sweet dreams Granger."

… … …