Title: The Dragon and His Lion
Music: I Want You – Fefe Dobson
Rating: T (PG13)
Warning(s): EWE, Sexual Innuendo
Word Count: 2,295
Summary: Hermione has spent entirely too long questioning what they have, but with a little push, she might finally let them truly be.
The Dragon and His Lion
The fall leaves crackled under her feet as she paced back and forth, crossing her arms around her waist and then letting them fall abruptly to her sides. What was she doing? She'd asked this question of herself so many times it seemed clichéd by now. There was no answer that would benefit her. No reply she could give herself that would take the burden from her shoulders.
It was wrong.
Oh how it was so, so wrong.
And yet here she was, again. Like always.
She wanted to hate herself for it, but was simply unable.
Somehow, he'd approached her without her hearing. Then again, her thoughts were on high volume and really, Buckbeak could've come tearing in behind her and she wouldn't have flinched. His arms slid around her waist, held tight, unwilling to let her flee from him and spout her self-righteous claims, once more, that what they were doing must stop. And instead of fighting him on it, she stayed still, let him embrace her, let herself enjoy it and simply sighed.
Why was it that loving the enemy felt so right?
"Still thinking too much for the both of us?" he murmured against her ear.
She should frown at him; remind him that thinking was exactly what they should be doing.
Instead, she bit her lip. His voice had taken on a seductive lilt to it that never stopped making her heart trip over itself. Once upon a time, she would've equated it to sneering and a too-high sense of one's self. Now, however, she'd seen a side of him so rare few had and she couldn't stave off the exquisite shiver that ran up her spine as he pressed his lips to base of her neck.
"As always, you've tried to talk yourself out of this, us…" He paused, licked his lips and added, "Me."
She turned in his arms, her brows furrowed as if she meant to reason with him. "You have to understand—"
So sincere, as if for a moment his façade of uncaring had slipped and fallen, waiting to be picked back up whenever he felt the desire.
He laughed, shook his head as he stared down at the ground. "In fact, I'm fairly certain you've hit your head a few times and despite trying to think yourself out of this, you're simply unable to." He stroked her face, fingered a lock of unruly hair and half-smiled affectionately. "Fact is, I wouldn't blame you if you did."
She frowned. For all his bravado, he was still so certain that one day it would end and he wouldn't allow himself to be surprised by it.
Her hands slid up his sides, bunched in the soft sweater he wore. Years ago, she would've imagined another man here, one who wore a knit sweater made by his mother with a giant misshapen R on it. The one she held onto so desperately now was made of the finest fabric, a deep green that nearly looked black. He wore it regally, as though it weren't just something to stave off the cold but rather akin to a crown that spoke of his heritage.
Her thoughts were muddled. Shouldn't she want the other sweater? Made by a loving mother and worn by a respectful son. Shouldn't she want to be in his arms now rather than those that held her? But she didn't, she hadn't in so long that the idea rather turned her stomach. Yes, he was her friend, always would be, but to have him stand here and hold her like she was being held, it simply wasn't right.
"You're wondering about him again, aren't you?" He didn't sound angry, instead rather curious. "What d'you think he'd do if he were out here right now?"
Her lips curled. "Blast you away of course."
He smirked. "You really think he could get the upper hand on me?"
She didn't bother to stifle a snort at his arrogance. "You wouldn't hurt him," she told him though with a nonchalant shrug.
He quirked a brow, looking all the more intrigued. "Really? And why is that?" He traced the line of her jaw with his thumb. "Seemed the last time I checked I royally hated the git."
She smiled. "Yes… And you still do," she assured. "However, I don't and despite your never-ending dislike for him, you wouldn't hurt him… Because you know it would hurt me."
He paused, lips pursing as he stared down at her. "If you're so sure then why don't you trust me to handle you with such care?"
She frowned. "Could be the late-night rendezvous' in creepy woods."
He smirked. "It has an appealing mysteriousness to it." Shrugging, he buried his fingers into her rebellious hair and tipped her head back so she was looking at him. "Did you ever think that maybe the reason I didn't parade you around in front of flocks of people was not because I didn't want to, but because I didn't think you wanted me to?" He stared at her searchingly. "I've been prepared to marry you for over a year… Despite your fears and your insecurities and the bossy way you continue to tell me what I should be doing even knowing I won't…" He smiled, genuinely. "It's you who's out here pacing and questioning what we have, Granger. Not me." He kissed her forehead lingeringly.
"And what would change?" she wondered, biting her lip. "If I said something, if I told them, could we really be together?"
"We're twenty-four, we can do whatever we damn well please." He shook his head as she tried to interrupt him. "Listen to me, for once in your life, Granger. Shut up and just listen." She pursed her lips, but she didn't say a word. "I know how much they mean to you and you know how little they mean to me… However, you mean a lot to me." In a soft, almost silent whisper, he murmured, "More than you'll ever know." With a sigh, he continued, "And when, not if but when, you're ready to tell them I'll be there… They won't like it and they sure as hell won't let it happen without a fight, but what matters is that eventually if this is what you really want, if they care about you half as much as I do, they'll understand."
She stared, mouth slowly relaxing as she took his words in.
How many times had she considered ending this on the simple reminder that her friends would never expect or accept it? She'd convinced herself so thoroughly that she'd never allowed any miniscule possibility that maybe, eventually, they would see that her relationship was something real. Had she been underestimating their friendship all this time? Sure, Ron could be bullheaded and Harry had his rash moments too, but would they desert her entirely because of—Of what? Love? A relationship? Consorting with the enemy?
She mentally rubbed at the headache coming on.
It'd been six years since Voldemort and everything involved… She'd looked down her nose at those who still held prejudices but wasn't she then forcing her own best friends into the same position by believing they would never get by their biases? School was long over, the war was in the past, and while the man before her was no saint, he was certainly no Death Eater either. He'd made his mistakes and he'd spent the years since making up for them.
"It won't be easy," she murmured, chewing her lip. "And I can guarantee that as soon as people find out they'll be anything but forgiving. At least… for a little while. Until…" She looked up at him, hopeful. "Things blow over and- and people begin to see that it isn't some sordid affair."
He smiled slowly, one side of his mouth lifting. "This mean you're finally giving in, Granger? Going to lay down with a dragon and let them all know?"
She snorted. "Dragon is putting it a little arrogantly, don't you think?"
He laughed. "We're discussing a lifetime together and you're trying to making implications about my manhood?"
She sniffed. "You started it."
"Very mature," he teased, shaking his head.
With a roll of her eyes, she jutted her chin. "Careful, dragon, or I might just replace you with something less scaly!"
His brow curled with a deceptive calm before his arm tightened around her waist, forcing her so close against him she swore she could feel his heart hammering through her breast. "Think it would be so easy to get rid of me, lion?"
She shivered, body relaxing entirely. "You've stuck around this long, I suppose…"
He smirked, tilting his head until their noses nuzzled together affectionately. "I plan to be around a lot longer."
Lifting her arms, she wrapped them around his neck. "I might just keep you then."
"Mm," he laughed lightly, nibbling and sucking her lower lip. "You have no choice in the matter."
Before she could reply, as she so indignantly would have, he kissed her. Her fingers buried in his hair, nails scoring down the back of his neck, all while each and every muddled thought in her overworked brain drained away. He had a way of making her think of nothing but him, of them. Tongue stroking her own eagerly, his teeth raked along her lips possessively, nibbling them until she was whimpering for more. Years ago, had anybody even hinted at an attraction between them she would've laughed herself blue and then hexed the mental idiot. Now, however, she couldn't imagine not being so desperately attracted to him.
Feverish kisses slowed into lingering slants of their lips and flicks of their tongue until finally she opened her eyes to look up into the silver gaze that watched every emotion crossing her face. Breathless, they broke apart and she held his shoulders to keep herself steady. No doubt he would delight in knowing that her knees were weak and her body felt incapable of holding her up on its own. His hands stroked her back, long and wide they ran to and fro, kneading any leftover tension entirely away. He didn't even warn her as he side-along apparated them to his flat. She stumbled slightly and glared up at him as he smirked knowingly.
Taking her hand, he led her into the bedroom she was so very well acquainted with. With a snap of his fingers, wine appeared on the end table with a couple of tall glasses next to it. "Celebrating," he told her before she could ask. He poured them each a flute before he lifted his in her direction, "To the little lioness finding her courage… and taking on the dragon for good."
With a grin, she shook her head. "Your ego never ceases to amaze me."
Winking devilishly, he said, "As does nothing else equated with me."
Laughing merrily, she sipped her wine before replacing the glass on the table and reaching out to take hold of his sweater. "I want this off and then I want to celebrate for real."
He smirked, tugging his sweater off with an easy arm lifted back behind his shoulders. He tossed it away, revealing pale, unblemished, naked skin beneath. She reached for him, palms sliding up his torso slowly.
"No fair," he murmured, tugging her own top up her body as he kissed the length of her neck.
She licked her lips, shuddering with expectation as her shirt left her and his hands set on the clasp of her bra with renewed purpose.
"Come tomorrow," he said, nipping at her earlobe, "The entire wizarding world is going to know you're mine."
The raw possession in his voice made her quake from the inside out.
Her eyes snapped open as she leaned in close and pushed him back on the bed before straddling his waist. "And vice versa," she promised with a seductive purse of her lips.
He smirked. "I can see the headline now… Trio's Golden Girl Lowers Herself to a Malfoy."
She grinned, working his belt out of his pants as she chuckled softly. "Such a way with words, Draco." She rocked her hips against him, shaking her head. "And lowering will be met with lifting." She narrowed her eyes playfully as she pushed his pants away and reached for her own. "You going to let me do all the work then?"
Crossing his arms behind his head, he quirked a blonde brow. "Just enjoying the show."
Leaning over him, she kissed his lips quickly, pulling away before he even had a chance to reciprocate. "Cooperation is met with rewards."
His hands were quickly helping her divest of any remaining clothing and it was not her but him who was 'lifting and lowering' as he rolled her onto her back and settled between her thighs for a long night of celebration.
Tomorrow, he would finally have what he'd been trying to convince her of since a year and a half ago: her; in all of her complete and sweet glory. She might've given him her body and a good portion of her heart, but it wasn't until she trusted herself with him entirely that he would have what he'd been wanting and needing all along.
No doubt the wizarding world would balk at the match and wait for it to fail. But Draco Malfoy wasn't about to see that happen anytime in this lifetime. He'd spent enough time trying to convince her of what they could really be and now that he really had her he wasn't about to let her go. So the lion finally stopped running and the dragon was able to claim her as his own; a twisted fairytale come true.