A/N: After much deliberation I have decided to add this note in order to let those who read this story understand that there is a reason for Hermione and Draco being OOC. It is all slowly revealed throughout so please do not lot that aspect discourage you. I also want to let you know that while the first few chapters may contain a bit too much sexual activity that the story is not based on that and it will peter out after three or four chapters, there is again, another very good reason why I have displayed it this way. So please bear with me and enjoy.
The pub was crowded that night as a twenty something girl fought her way to the bar. Her thick chestnut hair was falling in waves around her face while her chocolate eyes scanned the patrons at the bar. There was a group of three guys standing near the far corner and she received a flirtatious glance from the tallest of the three. Upon noticing his gaze the girl headed in his direction.
Once she reached the group the pick-up lines began. She would be having none of that. She brushed her hand lightly down the taller ones chest and stood on her tip toes to whisper in his ear. He bent his head lower to hear her and when she spoke his eyes seemed to light up with pride.
The girl quickly moved away with a flick of her hair and headed towards the loo, the tallest one following her only a few moments behind. When the tall man entered the hallway to the restrooms a hand grabbed the front of his shirt and dragged him into the ladies washroom.
She locked the door behind them and proceeded to unbuckle his belt with a practiced skill. His trousers fell to his ankles and she pushed him on the toilet, he could do nothing but obey as she lifted her skirt and straddled him. The next five minutes was pleasure like he had never felt before and he got lost in the glory of it all. He was going to have a great story to tell his friends tonight.
The girl on the other hand felt nothing, her body was there but her mind was absent. The only thing that she felt was the relief of numbness wash through her, it pushed the pain that was her constant companion away, if only for that five minutes. When it was all said and done she knew it would come rushing back as strong as ever, but those five minutes of numbness were the only moments that she had to look forward to, the only moments when she felt she had some semblance of inner peace.
After it was all over the girl collected herself, took one look in the mirror as she applied a fresh coat of gloss to her lips and left, the young man still sitting a little stupefied but content on the toilet. She did not glance back; she did not even remember what he looked like. It didn't matter; he was nothing just as she was nothing. She walked out of the pub and with a loud pop disappeared.
It wasn't how she thought it would be; the fumbling and the pain. After the initial breakthrough, though it got better and she was able to start to enjoy herself. It didn't last for very long, which was the one thing that she had expected knowing that it was his first time as well. Even through all of the awkwardness she couldn't help but feel glorious afterward. She had just made love for the first time and even though it wasn't anything like the stories she had read, it was amazing because it was with the man that she loved more than anything. She laid there in his arms his cheek rested on her head, she could feel the grin on his face and she knew that it mirrored her own. They had waited two years for this moment, taking their time to really get to know each other as more than just friends. Through their petty squabbles there was always love and this act cemented it just as much as getting married would have. Hermione couldn't remember ever being as happy as she was right now.
The ache consumed her, she worked very hard to not let it show, and after two years her act had become second nature to her. It wasn't hard anymore to pretend that she was content with her life, the false smile came to her as easily as the tears used to. There was a coldness in her manner, no longer the warm compassionate speaker for the rights of house elves that she had been in her younger years.
She had grown very attractive and she knew it. She felt a sense of power whenever she felt a man's stare on her. It was the one thing that she felt that she had some control over. That is what she wanted, control. The insecure girl that she once had been was no more and she strutted down the halls of her office, head held high smile plastered on her face.
Though she knew that she was desired, she never took anyone up on their offers to go out. That was not what she wanted, and the men in the office though still wishing that she would look their way, stopped asking.
Everyone was kept at a distance, even her once best friends Harry and Ginny. They would try to keep in touch and occasionally would be able to get her to come over, but the visits were few and far between and it became hard to watch as the person that they had once known became a stranger.
Tonight was to be one of their rare meetings; Hermione was to have dinner at Grimmauld Place. It had been over a month since she last saw either one of them and knew that she had to at least show up so they wouldn't worry. She hated these dinners, hated seeing the sorrow in her friends eyes at they looked upon the woman that she had become, hated being in that house.
After the war Harry, Ron and Hermione had moved into Grimmauld Place together and she had stayed there with them for almost five years. Ginny was added to the household shortly after she graduated from Hogwarts and the place held some very happy memories, memories which she tried every day to forget.
She knocked hesitantly on the large oak front door, wishing that she had not agreed to come. She heard the sound of the locks being unlatched and the door opened to show Ginny standing there with her swollen belly. Immediately she felt sick to her stomach, but instead of choking up the bile that was now rising in her throat she put on one of her many plastic smiles and entered the house barely giving her old friend a second glance.
Hermione wasn't much of a drinker, whenever she did partake in it she found that she usually regretted either something that she said or the way that she would feel while she was drunk. Unlike with most people that drank their sorrows away Hermione's sorrows would come back ten-fold to haunt her. So it was odd when she headed straight into the parlor and poured herself a rather large glass of fire whiskey.
Ginny looked at Hermione with concern, Hermione returned the look with one of scorn. Then Harry entered the room.
"I thought I heard you two…" He took in the scene in front of him, Hermione with now half of a glass of fire whiskey and the evident tension in the room. He tried to cover up his observations and went to Hermione to wrap her in an awkward hug. She hugged him tentatively, as if it pained her to touch him, while he tried not to break her. He knew that this strong woman that she was showing to the world was just an act, but how was he supposed to break her out of it. It had been two years and nothing that he said or did ever seemed to help; all it did was drive a wedge between the two of them.
The three of them sat in the parlor in complete silence, Harry and Ginny not knowing what to say and Hermione not wanting to say anything. Her eyes bounced around the room, afraid to fix on one thing. She hated how Harry and Ginny had never tried to change anything, how it all looked exactly the same as when she had lived here. She did not need reminders, and this house was nothing but one big reminder to her of everything that she had lost.
He was chasing her around the parlor, "I'm going to get you…" he said as he jumped over the couch and tried to grab a t her arm. She had managed to evade his grasp and moved quickly to behind the chair, giggling the entire time. He came to the front of the chair and mirrored her movements left then right until he dove to the right side of the chair and finally caught her up in his arms. They laughed together as he wrapped his big strong arms around her waist and he lifted her off the ground. Her feet dangling as she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him with all her might. His mouth tasted like the butterscotch candy that he had been sucking on moments before they started their game of 'tag'. He always seemed to taste of one candy or another and she loved that every time she kissed him it would be something new. She pulled away and licked her lips, "Mmm…butterscotch." She giggled and kissed him again.
After she had finished her glass of fire whiskey Harry had vanished the rest of the bottle. She rolled her eyes at him and tried to behave herself. It wasn't their fault that she felt the way that she did, and she really did not want to get drunk tonight it would make it harder for her later. So without a trace of resentment she let Ginny fill her glass with pumpkin juice.
They ate their dinner in the kitchen, Ginny and Harry trying to make small talk.
"How is work going?" Ginny asked.
"What have you been up to?" Harry would continue.
"We miss you…" They would both say.
To each of these Hermione would give as short an answer as possible while trying to not seem rude. Meanwhile she was counting down until she was able to leave this house of regret.
Hermione tried not to let herself go out two nights in a row, she knew that what she was doing was unhealthy, but it was the only thing that helped. It was the only thing that overcame the pain. After the night that she had just had she could not control herself. She had to get her 'fix'. She stuck with muggle places, one, it seemed that muggle men were so much easier to control and, two, that the likeliness of her running into someone that she knew was pretty much impossible.
It was getting late by the time that she was finally able to escape from the clutches of her ever supportive friends so she made an exception. There was a wizard's pub not too far down from where Harry and Ginny lived so she went in there. It was not as crowded as the one last night which would cut her options down considerably. She took a cursory look around and sighed in relief that she did not seem to recognize anyone there. She could only hope that no one recognized her, after all she was a part of the "Golden Trio" and after the fall their pictures had been plastered everywhere.
She stood back in the corner, taking a more leisurely look about the room. There were quite a few wizards about but a lot of them seemed to already be engaging in conversation with a witch or two. Just my luck that I find the one pub where the females outnumber the males, she thought. She was about to give up when she saw a shock of blond hair sitting alone at the bar. His figure had been hidden by a group of laughing witches which is why she hadn't seen him during her initial perusal.
Maybe it was the large glass of whiskey that she had earlier, though she did not feel it's effects in the slightest, but something in her decided to approach the lone figure. It had been years since she had seen him but there was no mistaking those blond locks. She sidled into the stool next to him and peeked over. He turned his head in her direction and their eyes met.
"Hey." He said nonchalantly, as if seeing one of his old enemies happened every day. "So, what's a pretty girl like you doing alone in a place like this?" It was one of the cheesier lines that she had come across, but she ignored that and instead fixated on the fact that he didn't seem to know who she was. She looked at him harder, willing him to remember her, but not a glimmer of recognition was on his face. The idea that popped into her head next shocked her. Could she really even be thinking about that with Draco Malfoy? Yes, she could, and she was.
What did it matter? He didn't know who she was, it would be like all of her other evenings out, hell it would even be a little funny. She could just picture what he would do if he realized that it was a mud blood that he was hitting on. With that thought she made up her mind. She was going to seduce Malfoy tonight.
She batted her lashes slightly, not enough to make her look like one of those simpering twits that she always ran into, but just enough to make him focus on her gaze. He blinked at her in confusion, obviously not really thinking that his line would work, a reaction that surprised her as he had been one of the cockiest guys at school. She shrugged it off and made her move. She could see the goose bumps raise themselves on his neck as she whispered ever so lightly in his ear. He sat up stiffly as she strode away towards the front door, seductively swishing her hips. She didn't want to risk using the loo tonight as her place of refuge, not in a wizards bar. She waited in the alley that was on the side of the building when she saw his lean figure coming closer.
Her hand stuck out form the dark recess and grabbed at his robes. She pulled him into the ally and immediately her mouth was on his. She kissed him feverishly, tongues colliding and racing around each other's mouths as she pushed his body against the wall and removed her knickers from under her robes; she lifted her leg and wrapped it around his upper thigh. She deftly removed his outer robes and snaked her hands to the front to remove his drawers.
It wasn't much different than any other time, the numbness washed over her as she let him inside. She was starting to feel it come to an end when Malfoy grabbed her hair and shouted, "Oh, Granger!"
Hermione pushed off of him immediately. The ache in her heart came rushing back but she was so consumed with anger that it didn't feel as strong as it usually did.
"Excuse me?" She said in an eerily calm voice. "What did you just call me?"
Malfoy looked at her, bewildered. "I called you Granger," his bleary eyes looked on her with confusion, "that is your name isn't it?" He asked, though he seemed to be asking himself just as much as her.
She didn't know what to say, she was enraged, at him and at herself. How could she have been so stupid, of course he had recognized her, she couldn't look that different. Instead of responding she disappeared on the spot.
As soon as she got home she curled up on her bed and let the pain consume her. She had always been so careful, never let on to anyone, never letting anyone know about what she had been really up to these past couple of years and now that was all blown. Knowing Malfoy he would have this juicy bit of information in the Daily Prophet in no time. She could see it now "Back Ally Bimbo: How our Golden Girl turned to Brass". Now Ginny and Harry would never leave her alone. With that thought she finally fell into a fitful sleep.
A/N: This story is much darker than my normal writing, I hope it is conveyed well. Thanks for reading.