A/N: This one-shot is written for Kim (Boogum), who wrote me a very special birthday fic that I am thanking her for with this humble little attempt at humour (or crack, rather). She called for romance and humour. Well, Kim, I hope you like your romance served hot and your humour dry. ;P
The epigram is lyrics to the song Conquest by White Stripes.
He was out to make a conquest
Didn't care what harm was done
Just as long as he won
She was just another conquest
Didn't care whose heart was broke
Love to him was a joke
'Til he looked into her eyes
And then in the strange way things happen
The roles were reversed from that day
The hunted became the huntress
The hunter became the prey
White-blond hair tousled in a roguish manner? Check.
Steel-grey eyes subtly highlighted with the narrowest sliver of charcoal beneath them? Check.
Cheek bones high and softly tinted with a manly shade of rouge? Check.
Hand-stitched Oxford pressed, coupled with Egyptian cotton silver-green tie hanging loosely about the neck? Check.
Dress shoes polished and ready to saunter with calculated swagger and grace? Check.
Patented Malfoy-smirk? Mmm, yes, love—wink, wink—you know that's a definite 'check'.
Draco Malfoy was the dripping epitome of sex and he knew it. The way he walked, the way he talked, the way his eyes would focus on something or someone oozed smouldering masculinity and power. He was a Slytherin prince, after all, and he'd be damned not to let anyone forget it.
His reputation as a player was well known at Hogwarts. He never referred to himself as such, as the term 'player' was so plebeian, and a Malfoy was anything but. He was a Conquistador. What the ladies called him in the heat of passion was less imaginative—often breathless and elated moans and screams of 'Oh Merlin'.
Yeah, right. Merlin had nothing on him.
He sauntered about the halls; his hands firmly entrenched in the pockets of his tailored trousers. He still had to wear the same sort of uniform as the rest of the riff-raff, but it was a burden he bore and wore well. It was the least he could do for the females of Hogwarts.
Leisurely reaching for his tie, he deftly tugged at the knot until the fold neatly slid out. He then grabbed the other end of the tie and slung it around his shoulders, holding onto both ends as he strolled past the girls who smiled and blushed in his presence. He let his right hand travel downwards, surreptitiously pulling at his collar to pop open three buttons. Only three left undone, mind you. It was a rule. You show them three and they beg you for four. Women were creatures of habit and observation. They noticed, and he rewarded.
He shoved his hands back in his pockets and hunched forward slightly—not in an oafish manner, mind you—like someone devoid of poise and grace—but like a prowler on the hunt. Though the pickings were slim and even a hunter grew weary of the same game day in day out. He was restless, and he wandered the halls in search of that elusive target, his next conquest.
Draco had already gone through all the girls in his house and quite a fair number of Ravenclaws for that matter. He was getting rather bored with the same flavours and their predictable natures. It was time to dig his well-manicured fingers into the warm pie of something a bit spicier. Of course, due to past experience, Hufflepuffs were completely out of the question—right out the door. They were far too sensitive and clingy afterwards. After a few owls to his parents and some derisive comments from his Head of House, Draco had quickly come to realise that Hufflepuffs were far more hassle than what they were worth, which was very little in his sensible opinion.
Draco wanted his prey to be ashamed and withdrawn after the fact, not during. Oh, yes, he would rather have her be flattered and honoured at the opportunity of having a go with the Greek god that he was, but then pride and honour usually led to possessiveness and dependence. He didn't want any of that. Neediness was a turn off.
The only house left to him now was Gryffindor, and a Gryffindor wasn't going to write home to Mum or complain to her housemates about how he used and abused her, or some such trifling of the sort. She would keep her moralistic gob shut. She wouldn't want the others to know that she had been rooting in the nest of a snake.
He had to admit that he had been toying with the idea of ensnaring a lioness for quite some time. They were obstinate creatures—proud and determined. Draco figured that it would be nice to catch one and knock her down a few pegs, to make her beg a little and then get what he wanted and leave. It was all about the hunt, the chase; the first bite and then the quick release. Well, not too quick, mind you. He wasn't known for his stamina due to his circling of the Quidditch pitch, if you catch the drift.
The whole wish-wash notion of love outside sex was plain ridiculous. Love or sex—it was all just a game. He didn't believe in such rubbish as finding one's soul mate. Humans were meant to shag, eat, and sleep. Rinse and repeat. What more was there to be had? Any woman who had such a notion that there was something beyond la petite mort was a sentimental fool. She was especially misguided if she thought that something could come of an affair with a Malfoy. For him, it was all about the prize.
His current prey—nay, borderline obsession—was the feisty Weasley girl. She was one of the very few purebloods in Gryffindor and one of the marginal few that he would consider shagging. He had pondered the notion a few weeks ago when he had stumbled upon the She-Weasel practising Quidditch. She was flying gracefully in the air and he had noted that while she wasn't especially attractive, she was exceptionally magnetic in a peculiar, hard-to-pinpoint sort of way.
She had red orange-ish hair, which would have been considered unique and beautiful, if her entire clan of a family hadn't sported the exact same colour. She had freckles and pale skin, which could have been labelled as cute, if it didn't seem as though her tanning method was simply lying beneath a screen door. She was small and curvy, he had to begrudgingly concede in her favour. She wasn't extraordinarily petite, but her waif-like mannerisms, lithe form, and cherub-like face belied her long legs and more voluptuous features.
Draco frowned, shaking his head. He had been fantasising about the Weasley girl rather incessantly these past few days. He had made it a habit to follow her when she went outside or mark the occasions when she was out practising. He had meant it to be a type of reconnaissance, a way of observing the mannerisms and habits of his victim. This had, disturbingly, begun to transform into something rather stalker-like.
Of course, this simply would not do. He would have to check his ego lest he adopt obsessive-compulsive behaviourism to combine with his acute narcissism. There were far too many isms and not enough asms for his liking.
He came to an abrupt stop, having unknowingly taken the path to the Quidditch pitch. His hand reached up to shade his eyes from the harsh glare of the sun as he had predictably looked upwards, temporarily blinding himself. Frowning at his momentary lack of awareness, Draco began berating himself for having lost himself in thoughts over a girl.
Suddenly, the sensation of being watched washed over him, and he turned to look left, towards the field. The Weasley girl was standing on the slope, broom in hand. She wasn't looking at him but rather upwards into the sky where his gaze had previously been fixed. Her eyes were closed and she was smiling, breathing in the fresh autumn air.
He watched as her hand went up to her head, pulling the elastic out of her hair and letting her red mane tumble down her back in waves. She slipped the band around her wrist and spread her arms open to the air. He noted that her face was dusted with cinnamon-coloured freckles and her smile was very much akin to a smirk. Then she brought her head back down when someone—a boy—shouted her name and she went running over to join her fellow teammates. Her long, copper locks fluttered behind her as she sprinted her nubile body over to the waiting and impatient males.
Draco watched as the Gryffindor boys clamoured around her, discussing tactics and strategies he figured. Okay, he hoped. She smiled and laughed with them, tossing her silky, smooth-looking hair about, and Draco frowned.
Hmm, well, perhaps her hair wasn't that orange, and maybe he had judged too quickly when he made the comment about her complexion. She had a quaint sort of peasant charm to her that made her somewhat attractive in her own subtle way—for a Weasley, that is.
Blast it! His mind had tumbled back into that those murky waters of—what was it called again?—praise. This non self-admiration kick he was indulging in was utter bollocks. Since when did it serve his purpose to admire a girl before he had even tried to advance on her? He supposed that he was trying to talk himself into the game this time, to make a role for himself. He had to convince himself that the Weasley girl was attractive if he wanted to successfully initiate coitus. He wasn't exactly going to keep it up if he imagined her poor, dirty, and dressed in a burlap sack, was he?
His ire and temptation rose at the thought of the She-Weasel in nothing but a burlap sack, and he cursed. Bloody hell! He seriously needed to stop this nonsense. He would have to have a chat with both his imagination and his libido later on. Attraction was one thing, but infatuation was an entirely different Quidditch pitch that he didn't want to play on.
Draco was still mentally castigating himself when something fell lightly on his shoulder, and a noiseless figure stepped in front of him, blocking both his sun and his path.
"Malfoy, what are you doing here?"
Draco blinked rapidly, stirred from his one-sided mental match of Ping-Pong, and looked down to see that the Weasley girl had stealthily advanced on him. She was holding her broom and looking him up and down with wide brown eyes that were tinted with soft hues of green and flecks of gold. (Weasley hues and Weasley flecks, which were unattractive, of course).
"What?" he asked foolishly, unable to prevent the slack-jawed, knee-jerk response from tumbling past his lips.
The She-Weasel had sneaked up on him... well, much like a weasel. He hadn't mentally prepared himself for this meeting. He had wanted to subtly impress himself upon her once he had her routine and personality down pat. Now that she had noticed him he couldn't very well make a bad impression (well, let's say worse impression). He would have to improvise.
"I said," she repeated, dragging out the verb as she leaned on her broom, "what are you doing here?"
"Why, I am here to watch you, Miss Weasley." He feigned a charming smile as he slowly and subtly licked at his lower lip. His smile turned wolfish, displaying his pearly whites, and of all things he attempted to beguile her with a roguish wink.
She seemed entirely unaffected by his charms and pursed her lips together, staring right through him. Draco frowned but quickly recovered, posing himself in a more fetching manner as he brought his hands back down into his pockets and leaned forward. He cocked a pale eyebrow playfully in the air and tilted his head to the side. He was such a poser.
Yet again the Weasley girl was not fazed, which caused a subtle alarm to set off in Draco's mind. He reached up to touch his collar, to feel for the buttons. The three buttons were undone, correct? There were only to be three, you know. How was she not taken in by his efforts? Should he have spiked his hair instead of tousled it? Should he have kept his tie fastened tightly about his neck? No-no, he had done everything right. The problem was with her. What was wrong with this woman?
The Weasley girl now had her head tilted to the side, examining an invisible spot on his shoulder. What the hell was she staring at? Eyes up front, love! Pay attention to the grey-eyed heartthrob here! Why was she not looking at his beautiful face?
"You have bird shit on your shoulder." She subtly eyed him up and down with a look of dismissal and then walked past him.
Draco's mouth fell open in utter disbelief. What she had said to him had not yet registered. It was the look of disinterest she gave him as she scanned the length of his body with her cold, almond-shaped eyes that gave him cause to be horrified.
Did she just look him up and down like a piece of meat and deem him unacceptable?
Draco glanced over at his left shoulder and cursed under his breath. He did have bird shit on him.
Draco finally made his way to the Great Hall from the Slytherin dormitories, after a hot shower and several wardrobes changes later (he had ceremoniously burnt his soiled Oxfords, holding a mock funeral in its honour). He reached the dinner table and unceremoniously plopped down beside Blaise Zabini, letting out a bored sigh. He then began to stack his plate with various fruits and vegetables. He couldn't be arsed to construct a uniformed meal.
The golden-eyed Slytherin greeted him with a curt hello and then abruptly (and diplomatically) elbowed the blond not-so-lightly in his ribs. The action earned Zabini an evil glare from the blond aristocrat.
"So, mate, have you rogered the Weasley girl yet?" He pointed towards the Gryffindor table with his fork.
Draco raised a perfectly plucked eyebrow and glanced over at the Gryffindor section, wondering why, exactly, that phrase had ever left Blaise's lips. When his grey eyes met Ginny Weasley's honey-coloured ones, he discovered why. The Weasley girl was staring shyly at him, looking down her eyelashes that she batted ever-so-innocently (and calculatedly).
She then did something Draco didn't expect. She picked up a plump, ripe strawberry between her middle finger and thumb and brought it to her lips. Making eye contact with Draco, her shy smile morphed into a predator's grin as she sunk her porcelain-white teeth into the blood-red fruit. The juices spilled out onto her bottom lip, dripping down her chin, and Draco could only watch in amazement as she brought a delicate finger to her chin and scooped up the trickle of juice to bring to her lips. Her smile grew wider as she opened her mouth to hungrily receive the finger.
Merlin's beard, what was this woman doing to him?
Hypnotised, Draco continued to stare as she sucked on her finger, looking to be in absolute heaven. Once sated, she grabbed another strawberry and scooped it into some whipped cream. Flicking her tongue at the white cream, she slowly teased him; licking at her lips and fingers, sampling the cream off the strawberry like it was a sport and not a meal to consume. For a seemingly endless amount of time, she taunted him, bringing another cream and sugar-coated finger to her lips to lick, taste, and suck.
The bloody witch was torturing him!
"Draco, you lucky bastard," Blaise breathed, with one part awe and two parts bitterness, as he watched the Weasley girl's performance.
"I have to go." Draco suddenly stood up. He wasn't about to sit there and watch this girl tease him until his gentlemen below fired a twenty-one gun salute in his cashmere Egyptian-cotton trousers.
Blaise didn't even bother to wave or look up at him to watch him go. His eyes were still transfixed on the whipped cream-licking Gryffindor. He figured Draco needed to go brush his hair or change outfits again—something to that effect. After dinner, however, Blaise had attempted to pry some illicit details from the normally willing storyteller. To his dismay, Draco would not divulge and had confined himself to his private quarters, unwilling to come out.
Draco paced the length of his room at an alarming and nauseating speed. He could not stop thinking about that sodding Weasley girl; the way her face lit up when she smiled, the way her chin tilted back when she closed her eyes and lifted her head towards the sky, the way she ate strawberries with whipped cream...
He groaned. Not fair. Not bloody-well fair! He was supposed to be haunting her thoughts, not the other way around. He needed to get some fresh air, clear his head and get a new perspective on things. The hunt was quickly escalating out of his hands, and he'd have to think rationally and plan the proper course of attack if he was going to come out on top.
Draco promptly left the dungeons and made his way up to the top of the Astronomy Tower. He took in a deep breath of the cool night air and leaned over the railings to gaze out at the stars. The night sky was blanketed with them, tiny pin-pricks of diamonds shimmering with the full moon winking overhead.
"Beautiful, aren't they?"
Draco turned at the sound of the familiar voice; Ginny Weasley. She draped her arms over the edge of the railing and glanced up at the sky.
"Yes." He turned his attention back to the stars and took in a deep breath before stealing a glance at her through the corner of his eye.
Her hair was down—straight this time instead of its normal curls and waves. It looked longer this way and made her appear older somehow, accentuating the subtle curve of her breasts and the slender slope of her back. She was staring out at the sky, her pointed chin lifting upwards. Her side profile was as breath-taking as it was ordinary and exposed.
"I never saw you as one for star-gazing."
"Who says I was referring to the stars?"
He turned to face her, smirking. Her eyes were soft and round and wide, so innocently big. They were locked onto his, and he knew that this was his moment; it was time to put his power play into motion. Yet he couldn't bring himself to say the words, to give her the rehearsed speech.
Dammit all! What was happening to him?
She suddenly laughed; her eyes twinkling in the moonlight. It was a sweet, mellifluous laugh. "Oh, no, Malfoy—that rubbish isn't going to work on me."
He frowned. Rubbish? He thought it was a rather well-executed, subtly inserted compliment. The blasted woman didn't know charm if it jumped up and bit her in her deliciously well-toned, heart-shaped arse! That same rubbish worked on countless scores of women. What did she know about anything? Nothing! Stupid Weasley.
"I have no idea what you are talking about, Weasley."
"Hmm, well you can feign ignorance if you like, Malfoy," she said nonchalantly. "You are rather gifted at that."
Backhanded compliment. Well, she was in rare form tonight, wasn't she? He briefly looked down to his left shoulder to make sure there was no bird shit on it this time.
"How kind of you, Weasley," he drawled, smacking his lips distastefully. Why exactly was he putting up with her attempt at banter?
"I know that you have been following me."
He glanced over at her, startled. She was still looking up at the moon, but she was grinning.
"Now why would I do such a thing like that?"
"You like how my arse fits in my uniform?" She shrugged indifferently, turning to lean her hip against the railing. "I dunno, Malfoy—" she looked him up and down in a way that infuriated him to no end "—why do you stalk me so?"
"Stalk you?" he repeated. "My dear, now you are spouting verbal manure." He took a threatening step towards her. "I am afraid I have done nothing of the sort."
"No?" She lifted herself off the railing and stepped closer. "You haven't been coming around to watch me practise for the past week?" A playful grin crept onto her lips and she took another step forward. "You haven't been watching me at meal times, observing how I... eat?" She laughed and took one last step so that her lips were only inches from his chin.
"I don't know what you're tal—"
His words were cut off by a set of full, luscious lips. Soft arms reached up to wrap around his neck, bringing him down so that she could crush her mouth against his own. Her tiny hands sought his hair and found purchase on the fine blond tendrils, eliciting a feral growl from his throat. This only ignited her own lust as she hungrily plied at his mouth. Her fingers drifted from his hair to his cheeks, holding his face close as she eagerly attempted to sate her hunger for his kisses. He, in turn, tried desperately to keep up, unable to slake her thirst for more.
Suddenly, she broke off the kiss and stepped back. His eyes were still closed, and he was leaning forward expectantly with his lips swollen and pursed in the shape of one anticipating the kiss to linger, which, unfortunately, it hadn't. His eyes popped open and he quickly stood straight, snapping his mouth shut. He had attempted to clear his throat but found that he had no saliva left in him.
"I'm not one of your conquests, Malfoy," she said, with the veiled hint of a threat lingering in her tone. "And I won't ever be." This time the threat was unmistakable. He looked down at her, perplexed, and she smiled, putting a small hand to his chest. "But I could be something more."
How had it come to this? How had the Weasley girl got him all hot and bothered in the Astronomy Tower, offering him something that he had planned on giving her as a trick, as a means to get her into bed? She had beaten him to the chase.
"How... ?" He paused. His brow was still furrowing in a vain attempt to comprehend the situation at hand. She knew what he had wanted, what he had been angling for, but she had denied him this and was offering him something else, something more. Was he going to agree to it? "How did you know that I was up here?"
"What do you mean?" She tilted her head and brought her fingers to his cheek. "I hunted you."
He watched her full lips twitch into a smirk, seeing the deceptive mirth reflecting in her bright eyes. It was in that moment that he knew that he had been deceived. She, the hunted, had now become the huntress, and he—he had become her prey.