Disclaimer: © 2009 Mundungus42. All rights reserved. This work may not be archived, reproduced, or distributed in any format without prior written permission from the author. This is an amateur non-profit work, and is not intended to infringe on copyrights held by JKR or any other lawful holder. Permission may be obtained by e-mailing the author at mundungus42 at yahoo dot com
Over the next few weeks, there were a number of marginally interesting items in The Daily Prophet. One was the announcement of S. Snape's marriage to G. Ling of Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA, unaccompanied by any photograph and written in such tiny type that a magnifying glass had to be utilised in order to read it.
Another such item was a splashy photo spread of a charity function hosted at Malfoy Manor to benefit Magic Steps, a non-profit organisation that helped send impoverished Muggle-borns to Hogwarts. One photograph featured the host with one arm around his grandson's shoulder and shaking Dean Thomas's hand. According to the write-up, Lucius Malfoy was at his most charming, the food and champagne were excellent, and a lovely time was had by one and all, even the former Mrs. Malfoy, whose green vintage Engelbert Proberto didn't do her complexion any favours.
The items were insignificant, one in size and the other in importance, but when combined with the delivery of an invitation to Hermione Weasley announcing an intimate dinner party at Malfoy Manor to celebrate Severus and Grace's nuptials, they were enough to make Hermione take notice.
She might have to spring for a new pair of shoes for the occasion.
The evening of the party was clear, and a handful of stars had appeared in the sky by the time Hermione stepped through Lucius's Floo into the entrance hall by the terrace. The French doors were open wide, and the warm air was touched with the least bit of cool evening moisture. There were more people on the terrace sipping cocktails than Hermione had expected. Draco and his wife Daphne were there, and she quickly spotted the platinum-haired heads of their three sons, who had brought female companions as well.
Severus and Grace were in animated conversation with Grace's parents, who were every bit as lithe-looking as their daughter, and even tinier in stature. Pansy Parkinson, who had once been Severus's apprentice, was there with her husband, Emil, and their three eldest children, as well as a number of Hermione's other former clients. Hermione felt a swell of satisfaction looking at the group, knowing how many of these smiling couples she'd had a hand in creating. While she certainly hadn't gone into matchmaking for the satisfaction of a job well done, it was certainly a nice benefit.
"Disgusting, isn't it?" asked a conspiratorial voice in her ear.
She wasn't surprised to find her host at her side. "You would think so," she said wryly, turning to face him.
"Of course," he said, taking her proffered hand and shaking it in his surprisingly warm ones. "How can I be expected to maintain my reputation if all the people who come to my parties are so affable and utterly lacking in ostentation? You look lovely, by the way."
Hermione was far too self-possessed to blush, but even she wasn't immune to compliments, especially when she had made a special trip to the shoemaker for the champagne silk mules she'd commissioned the day she received Lucius's invitation. She forewent her customary disdain of old-fashioned customs and took his proffered arm without protest. "Thank you, that's very kind."
He steered her through the crowd, making polite talk that didn't even feel small, leaving her side only to greet new arrivals. Perhaps it was the excellent quality and quantity of the bubbly, but Hermione felt none of the awkwardness she expected to feel at Lucius's side, especially given their conversation the last time they had spoken. Grace and Severus looked blissful together, and their contentedness was reflected in the faces of those that surrounded them. Even Ganymede, Draco's youngest son, had met a spirited girl during his year abroad at Durmstrang who reminded her somewhat of her own daughter. He seemed almost apologetic that he had found someone without using her services, but Hermione laughingly assured him that she did not feel slighted at the least.
The sun had set entirely by the time the bell for dinner rang. The sky was filled with stars, and the air was thick with the fragrance of the lilac bushes that lined the terrace. The evening had cooled, but Lucius's hand on the small of her back remained warm. It was only when they crossed the threshold into the house that Hermione finally noticed that the champagne and hors d'oeuvres had been served by liveried servers and not by house elves. She turned to comment on this to Lucius, but he had vanished from her side to usher his guests into the dining room, whose chandeliers blazed with what Hermione was shocked to realise were electric lights. None of the other guests seemed to have noticed.
Grace was seated at Lucius's right, and Hermione sat on his left, next to Draco. If Draco was surprised that his father had given two Muggleborn women such prominent places at the table, he showed none of it. Lucius presided with ease over the conversation that flowed and ebbed with the arrival of the courses, each more delicious than the next. Hermione found herself laughing unguardedly at Lucius and Severus's good-natured bickering, and even Grace's parents, whose English had been learnt in Boston, were getting into the spirit of things.
When the dessert arrived, fresh strawberries and cream with (properly cooked) brandy sauce, Hermione felt a pang of nostalgia. Strawberries had been a favourite of Ron's, though, bless him, he wouldn't have enjoyed it much. He had never had any patience with formal dinner parties like this one. She was familiar with the residual guilt that occasionally struck her when she found herself enjoying something he would have hated or spending what he would have thought to be too much money on shoes, and she firmly set it aside. Ron's greatest gift to her had been his inability to brood over things, and on occasion she still heard his exasperated voice in her ear telling her to get on with it and stop being so bloody serious all the time.
"Are you well, Hermione?" asked Lucius in voice that was low enough not to be overheard, since Pansy's husband was in the middle of a riveting anecdote. "You looked quite sad for a moment."
She resisted the temptation to compare Lucius's polite solicitude to Ron's utter cluelessness about feelings. "I'll be all right," she said, giving him a small smile. "Thanks for asking."
"After coffee, liqueurs, and Severus's obligatory patter song, I would like to speak to you privately on a matter of some importance."
"Of course," she said, feeling an unexpected bit of warmth spread through her belly.
Clearly the man had been trying to make amends. Even Grace, who looked marvellously at ease amidst the purebloods, had forgiven Lucius for his horrid behaviour, at least the behaviour she knew about. Hermione had harboured grave concerns about not revealing to Grace and Severus who had been behind Grace's imprisonment, but if all it took to encourage Lucius Malfoy to play nicely with Muggles was a bit of leverage, she didn't need to worry about a relapse. Having any sort of upper hand where Lucius Malfoy was gave her a heady feeling. The entire table burst into laughter at the end of Emil's story, and Hermione found herself smiling in the face of universal good humour. It was like a champagne dream: sweet, soft around the edges, and warm.
She and Draco caught up on the doings of mutual acquaintances until everyone had finished their coffee, which was served in charmingly outlandish cloisonné cups, and she allowed Lucius to escort her and the other guests to the drawing room, where Draco showed Grace how to work a magical piano and Severus betrayed a near-encyclopaedic knowledge of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Games were played (the Slytherins cheated outrageously), fine spirits were consumed, and before Hermione knew it, the guests were congratulating Severus and Grace and thanking Lucius for a lovely evening.
When Lucius and Hermione were the only ones left, Hermione couldn't blame Lucius's excellent Port entirely for the warm, slightly unsettled way her stomach was feeling. For his part, Lucius was doing a marvellous job of covering his nervousness, if Hermione's suspicion was correct and he was indeed feeling nervous.
"May I offer you a glass, Hermione?" he said, pouring himself a small dram of the single-malt that he had hidden in the back of the cabinet.
"That would be lovely, thanks," she said, leaning against the arm of the chaise she had occupied since the card game had broken up. When he handed her the glass, she couldn't decide if he'd always been that tall or if the chaise simply had short legs. He'd released his hair from the ribbon he'd worn earlier, and there was a small wave across the spill of pale blond tresses from where it had been held by its binding.
"Feel free to make yourself comfortable," he said, noticing her scrutiny with the calm mien of one who has always been beautiful and expects to be looked at. She detected something else as his gaze swept down her modest but tailored dress robes to her new shoes.
"Thank you, Lucius," she said, crossing her ankles and taking a sip of the peaty whisky. "Now, what was it you wanted to discuss?"
Lucius didn't answer. His eyes were still fixed on her feet. She had to admit, her new shoes were exquisite, even by her standards. The delicately coloured silk, studded with tiny crystals, left the tips of her toes bare and swept sinuously upward, revealing the entire arch of the foot. The heel was low so as to prevent fatigue, but it was so slender and shapely that it appeared much higher.
"Magnificent," he said, his voice low. He knelt before her, his loose hair falling over his shoulder, and he took the foot that she extended to him. His fingers were reverent, brushing the silk with the tips of his fingers, exploring the tiny stones and their nearly invisible mounts, running his fingers up and down the heel, memorising their shape, and brushing tantalisingly against the edge of her heel.
Hermione let out a rapid exhalation. "Lucius," she began, her voice lacking the professional command she had hoped to convey.
"You design them," he said in wonderment. "The charm work doesn't feel like yours, but they're your own design."
She smiled wryly. "You have an interest in ladies' shoes?"
"I have an interest in beautiful things," he answered, lowering his face to her foot and pressing his lips against the exposed arch of her foot.
A bolt of lightning shot through Hermione's body, and the sudden shudder that ran through her caused her foot to jerk out of his grasp.
His grey eyes were fixed on hers, seeking her permission even as he lifted her other foot and repeated the tender gesture. This time, there was no jolt, just a smouldering heat that radiated out from the bit of skin that his lips touched, heating her face and hands, and causing coils of pleasure to tighten in her abdomen. She was quite certain that Lucius's two kisses were the most arousing she'd ever received. However, she hadn't quite lost her head enough to note that her longstanding suspicion about him was correct- Lucius Malfoy was a force to be reckoned with because when he set his mind to it, he could do anything he wished. Even her, apparently.
"Lucius?" she tried again, this time able to give an interrogative flip to the final syllable of his name.
He slipped her right shoe from her foot and was ravishing her feet even more ardently than he had her shoes, with warm, firm caresses. He pressed the arch of her foot to his cheek and was nuzzling the ball of her foot with his eyes closed. "Yes, my dear?"
He pressed his thumb into the centre of her arch, and she nearly saw stars from the tension it released. "What, precisely, are you doing?"
"I am worshipping you," he said, rubbing between her toes with practised ease while his other hand worked steadily up her leg beneath her robe.
She shifted in her seat to give him access to the straps of her suspender belt, which his clever fingers released with enviable dexterity. "I see," she said. "Pardon my habitual wariness of your motives, but would you be so good as to explain why?"
He wordlessly rolled her stocking down from her thigh to toe and laid the neat torus of silk gently next to the shoe he had removed. "The last time we spoke," he mused, kneading her calf muscle and caressing the back of her knee, before reaching for her other foot, "you said you would not help me find a wife unless I worked out what I wanted."
Hermione's eyes fluttered shut for a moment as he reached beneath her robes and unfastened her other stocking, this time giving her thigh a playful squeeze as he did so. It would have been entirely too easy to give herself over to his ministrations. "I seem to recall some other conditions," she said, attempting to give him a hard look.
His grey eyes shone with warmth and mischief as he rolled down her second stocking and placed it next to the first. "Do you not feel that those conditions have been satisfied?"
Hermione paused, expecting him to continue his ministrations, when she realised that he was waiting for her permission.
"Yes," she said. "I suppose I am satisfied."
"I'm delighted to hear it," he said with something of a vulpine grin before sliding the shoes back on her feet, ducking beneath the disarrayed skirt of her dress robe, and kissing his way up her leg. He buried his face between her legs, swirling his wicked tongue into her and teasing her clitoris with his talented fingertips.
Hermione gasped as his firm caresses, which sent shockwaves shooting through her synapses, and she was only vaguely aware that he was unfastening her suspender belt with his other hand. She was overwhelmed by the incredible feeling of his tongue on her, in her, its warm breadth lapping rhythmically across her hot flesh. She was surprised that she had the presence of mind to lift her legs and rest the smooth leather soles of her shoes on his thighs.
The effect was electric. Lucius gave the suspender belt one final tug, and the last catch sprang open, and he began to lap, nibble, and suck the tender skin until Hermione could only whimper her appreciation. Clearly, he understood what she meant, because he raised one had and threw the suspender belt behind him, where it bounced off the mantelpiece before coming to a rest on one of the overstuffed chairs that filled the room.
Where the hapless undergarment had fallen, Hermione noticed a large mirror, which hung several feet above the floor. In it, she could see herself on the chaise, scarlet-cheeked and hair escaping the army of pins deployed to keep it in place, creamy thighs spread wide to accommodate the man between her legs. The long, pale blond hair that was visible beneath the mantle of her skirt served as an irrefutable reminder that the man whose hands were massaging her buttocks and whose face was buried in her cunt was Lucius Malfoy, who had once epitomised pureblood arrogance and bigotry.
The realisation brought with it a powerful frisson of pleasure. She was thoroughly unprepared for her roiling arousal to come to a head so quickly and let out a surprised cry as her fingers sought purchase in the impossibly soft wool of his dress robes. When the stars in her vision began to clear and her breathing had slowed enough that she did not fear hyperventilating, she realised that he was still lapping at her, teasing her inflamed flesh with his tongue and lips and humming with satisfaction.
Now returned to herself, Hermione pulled her skirt up to her waist so she could see his face. She decided then and there that she had never seen a sight as beautiful as Lucius Malfoy, his loose hair mussed, his lips red and moist from her, and his eyes alight with pride at her pleasure. His eyes never left hers as he kissed the inside of each thigh and proceeded to unbutton the bodice of her robe, pressing his lips to each new vee of flesh that each button revealed.
"I trust that I have been clear in communicating to you exactly what I want, Hermione," he said in a whisper that was thick with arousal. He was now two buttons from the top of her bodice, and the elegant black and silver silk brassiere Hermione was glad she'd had the foresight to wear was nearly completely revealed.
"It certainly makes finding an ideal wife for you much easier," she said, fascinated by the way he avoided touching her breasts, and feeling her nipples tighten imagining what he could do to them.
"Would you be terribly offended if I told you that I had already taken the liberty of finding an ideal wife?" he asked, finally sliding the unfastened robe from her shoulders and planting warm kisses across her collarbone.
"You're asking me to forego my rightful fee?" she asked, reaching for the clasp between her breasts.
He stayed her hand, giving each finger a moment in his hot mouth. "Think of it as an investment in your business," he said. "Once word gets out that you've ensnared me, your number of clients is all but guaranteed to double."
Hermione threw back her head and laughed, "I suppose that's fair. Now, are you going to remove your clothes, or do I need to ask Grace how to throw you on the floor?" she asked, making short work of the knot in Lucius's cravat.
"Really, Hermione," said Lucius, whose calm, slightly reproachful voice was belied by the rapidity with which he toed off his Cordovan leather shoes and shed his cuff links, "one might think you have an axe to grind."
"Something like that," she said, greedily pulling him down on top of her, her hips seeking his. His mouth was hot, his tongue and lips supple and teasing, and he smelled of whisky, fine leather, and something indefinably warm and sweet.
His hands were pressed gently against the sides of her face, cradling it like something rare and precious, letting her go only to pull his arms out of his shirt and robes. Clearly, the man had meant what he said about keeping fit and had expended quite a bit of effort to keep himself so. She quite approved of his efforts, and nipped his nipple to tell him so.
Lucius seemed quite amused by this. "I imagine this is something of a novel experience for both of us," he said, fumbling with the buttons on his trousers.
Hermione released his nipple for long enough to meet his wry smile. "You could say that," she said.
"I've never made love to a war hero before, despite Severus's best efforts."
Hermione felt her mouth water as he stepped out of his trousers, clad only in a pair of diaphanous black underpants. "I must admit that I'm quite keen to try a scoundrel," she said.
"I ought to be hurt that you don't consider me a villain," he replied, grinning and aware of her hungry gaze. He slipped his thumbs into the waistband of his pants and began to pull them down agonisingly slowly. "I tried so very hard to be one."
"I consider myself fortunate that your talents lie in other areas," she said, slipping her shoes back on and leaning back on the chaise, her hands cupping her silk-clad breasts and tweaking her erect nipples through the thin fabric. She was gratified to see his member twitch hard against the sheer black silk, and allowed an indolent smile to spread across her face.
His golden skin was slightly flushed, and his grey eyes were luminous as he watched her tease herself. He had paused a moment in his divestment, but when her gaze fell from his face to his straining cock, he resumed sliding down his waistband until at last his member sprang free, jutting proudly from a nest of dark blond curls. It was reasonably long, but its solid girth and thick glans made her insides squirm, and she involuntarily pressed her legs together.
He allowed his underpants to fall to the floor and stepped out of them with an air of nonchalance that she knew was feigned. She put her hands on her hips and slid them up the sides of her waist until she was cupping her breasts once more, rubbing the clasp between her breasts with one finger.
"Would you be so good as to do the honours, Lucius?" she asked, hardly recognising the breathy voice as hers. Good Gaia, she'd never been so keen for a shag in her life.
He stood over her, eyes ablaze, and the tip of his penis was now as red as his lips had been immediately after pleasuring her.
"I ought to warn you," he said, trailing a finger from the tip of her toe, across her exposed arch, and up her leg with agonising slowness, "that the article of furniture across which you are currently draped is rumoured to possess certain magical properties."
Hermione rubbed her bare arse against the heavy silk upholstery. It didn't feel particularly magical. "What sorts of properties?"
Lucius sat at the foot of the chaise and caressed her ankles and calves. "It belonged to an ancestor of mine who fathered twenty children, both legitimate and less so, upon it."
"I'm not terribly concerned about that," said Hermione, allowing one leg to fall from the side of the chaise to the floor. "I take regular precautions of both the Muggle and Magical variety."
"Pardon, I didn't mean to suggest that the magic causes fecundity," said Lucius, nipping gently at her thigh, "simply that something about seeing a witch upon it is enough to make a wizard stop in his tracks and make love to her. I certainly find myself helpless to resist."
"I might suggest an alternative," said Hermione, sitting up to meet him. She seized his hands and placed them firmly on her breasts. "Perhaps the magic simply allows the needs of the witch seated upon it to penetrate the incredibly thick skull of the man she desires."
Lucius ran his thumbs over her nipples, making gooseflesh ripple across her arms. "A most intriguing theory," he said. "It's one I should be most interested in exploring further."
"Perhaps we can theorise another time, as we have more pressing matters at present."
"Agreed," he said with such amiability that she was taken aback when he quickly unclasped her brassiere and fell upon her breasts, suckling, kneading, and laving with such intensity that it took her breath away. His hands were in her hair, running up and down her sides, and squeezing her buttocks and breasts, and his tumescence was pressed against the crease of her hip and thigh.
Her surprise lasted only a moment before she found herself responding in turn, caressing his warm skin and firmly muscled arms, chest, and legs. His buttocks were a revelation to her, equally firm and soft, as smooth as the silk chaise that they lay upon, but warm, and utterly delicious.
Finally, he kissed her mouth, his lips firm, insistent, and needy, teasing soft moans and sighs from her when he left her mouth for the spot below her ear that made her body arch into his, and he shifted to allow the head of his cock to come into contact with the outermost part of her lips. Her whole body shuddered at the intimate contact, and he raised himself to his elbows to gauge her readiness.
Honestly, did the man have no idea that she'd been ready for nearly fifteen minutes?
Whether it was the impatience of her expression or the magic of the chaise, he immediately understood what she needed. Instead of easing himself into her with the deliberateness he'd shown removing his pants, he drove his thick cock decisively into her, which made her keen in relief and completion.
Once ensheathed in her, he made several experimental thrusts with an intense look of concentration on his face that she nearly missed, being lost in the incredible sensation of being completely filled. Lucius was exquisite in his focus, his lips were pursed in what might have been a smirk but for the blaze in his eyes. His hair had fallen forward on his shoulders, and the tips of his tresses brushed her breasts as he thrust into her, his hips driving hers insistently into the chaise, his hands roaming across her body, pinching a nipple, squeezing a buttock, and caressing her face.
She was similarly occupied attempting to bring her skin in contact with as many parts of his body as possible. She rubbed her legs up and down his body and wrapped them around his waist, which tilted her hips enough to bring her clitoris into contact with the lower part of his shaft. A moment later, his fingers were there as well, tweaking, rubbing, and pinching the bundle of nerves as expertly as she was able to do herself, and she found herself on the verge of another orgasm.
She met his gaze and he gave her a wicked smile before gathering her tightly in his arms and lifting her, her legs still wrapped around his waist, and sliding himself up onto the chaise so that he was upright and she was seated atop him, his cock buried so deeply inside her that she had no idea where she ended and he began.
She was vaguely aware that she was gasping his name, and her insides were already beginning to shudder when she released her ankles, pushed him back on the chaise, and began to ride him in earnest, squeezing his hips between her thighs and tightening herself around him. Her breath shuddered as ripples of pleasure radiated from her centre, and the corners of Lucius's mouth, which had long since ceased smirking, had begun to twitch uncontrollably, until at last he seized her hips and pulled her down upon him, thrusting thrice before emitting a shout and spilling himself into her.
His loss of control quickly sent her over the edge as well, and she threw her head back and keened until the throbbing between her legs ebbed enough to allow her conscious thought.
She collapsed atop him, both of them breathing hard and pressing occasional kisses against one another's moist skin. Lucius tried unsuccessfully to tuck several escaped curls behind her ear before giving up with an affectionate nuzzle.
"I suppose this means you'll expect to come out on top of every philosophical disagreement we have," he said, shifting beneath her, which elicited a gasp.
She gave him an unfocused grin. "Would that be so terrible?'
"Only if it took you an equally long time to accept my surrender."
She gave an apologetic smile. "You must appreciate the delicacy of the situation. Neither of us would have been ready for the other before tonight."
"I was ready weeks ago," he said, tucking his hair beneath his head so that she could rest on her elbow. "However, the anticipation seems to have done you a world of good. It's almost enough to make me resume my callow ways so that you'll have to work equally hard for our next encounter."
Hermione hit him with a cushion.
Not long afterwards, there was an item of enormous interest in The Daily Prophet, detailing the most shocking elopement in recent memory between Lucius and Hermione Malfoy. There was speculation from gauche, ginger-haired quarters that the old rascal had managed to get the widow up the duff, but the following months proved that rumour to be unfounded.
There was also an item of lesser interest, announcing that the doors of Hermione Malfoy's marriage brokerage would be shutting for good. Several of Lucius's acquaintances assumed that this was because Lucius had managed to convince his wife that it was unseemly for her to continue working.
Hermione was perfectly content to let this explanation stand.
Author's Notes: Enormous thanks to Mr. 42, my kind patient beta-reader and to lifeasanamazon for her lightning-fast, laser precise Brit-pick! You would give them both roses if you had to read one of my rough drafts. Also, thanks to Elen I., who let me know I'd misspelled the title. :D Additional thanks to Dreamy_Dragon73 for such marvellous prompts that were an utter delight to write! And last but certainly not least, to the ladies whose hard work made this exchange possible. Well done, and thank you for letting me play!
Plot arcs, syntax, and the occasional line have been appropriated from my favourite comedies of manners by Thornton Wilder, Jane Austen, and Oscar Wilde. Kate Dyson's Dining Room Shop is located at 62-64 White Hart Lane, London SW 13.