Disclaimer: All characters and canon situations belong to JK Rowlings and I make no money from the writing or publishing of this story.

A Marriage Most Convenient


Anne M. Oliver

Summary: Hermione Granger already had one bad marriage, and she wasn't looking for another, however, when her husband left her, he also left her with a lot of debt. If she wants to keep her business and her home, she has to come up with some money, fast.

Playboy Draco Malfoy didn't care if he ever married, however, he was fast approaching his 30th birthday, and along with that approaching birthday was the awful truth staring him in the face…he had to marry, and soon, if he wanted to inherit his family's fortunate and his father's business.

Therefore, Hermione Granger and DracoMalfoy decided to enter into a business arrangement, or in other words, a marriage most convenient. She would marry him so he could inherit his fortune. He would marry her so that she could keep her business, her house…and her daughter? Wait? Did Draco know that she had a daughter? And why did she have grey eyes, blond hair, and look an awful lot like him?

Chapter 1: Prologue: Four years and nine months earlier:

"Pardon me, I didn't know anyone was in here," Draco Malfoy said as he walked into what he had assumed was an empty room in Marcus Flint's home. The room was dark, with the only light coming from the moon shining through the window from the opened drapes, which a woman was holding opened with her hand. She let the drapes drop from her grasp when she heard him speak.

"No, that's alright, I'll leave," she said. She started around the large billiards table when Draco threw himself into an empty chair by the fireplace.

"You can stay. You were here first, but if you don't mind, I'm staying for a while as well." He pulled the black mask off his eyes, and let it drop without ceremony from his hand. He had a drink in his other hand and he took a large swig, and said, "I hate these things, don't you?"

"What, masked balls?" she asked.

"Yeah, sure, that's what I meant," he said. He downed the rest of his drink. He crossed his legs at the ankles and watched as the woman in the white ball gown crossed over toward the other side of the room. She fingered the pool sticks on the wall. "I saw you across the ballroom earlier, you know," he told her.

She shot him a glance over her shoulder and said, "What?"

"I was just saying that I noticed you earlier. You seemed familiar. I told my friend that you seemed familiar." What he really told his friend Marcus Flint was that the woman in the white ball gown, the white mask, and the long, dark, curly hair, was the most beautiful woman in the whole mansion, and he couldn't even see most of her face. He was hoping for a few moments alone with her. When he walked into the billiards room of his friend's mansion, he was merely trying to escape his mother's matchmaking, but he got lucky instead, because the woman in white was waiting for him.

This masked ball was a charade, in many ways. His mother convinced her friend to host this event, inviting all the purest of the purebloods, so that their wonderful single sons, Draco and Marcus, might find brides. He was only 25 years old, but his mother was worried. She kept reminding him that if he didn't marry by the time he was thirty, he would lose his entire inheritance. The Manor, the money, the business, it would all convert over to Draco's dreadful cousin Talbert Malfoy, due to some nasty piece of ancient magic that his dear old, great, great, (how many greats?) grandfather put in his will, so many centuries ago.

It seemed that if Malfoy men didn't marry by age thirty, and produce an heir three years after, they lose everything to their next youngest male cousin. Draco already had his solicitors look into the will, and it seemed it was ironclad, but Draco was nonplussed. He still had plenty of time. He wasn't going to be forced to marry before his time.

That didn't mean he couldn't have some fun, though. "So, what's your name?" he asked.

"This is a masked ball," she said, although she didn't say it coyly, or even with a hint of reserved. "Our identities are meant to remain secret, Draco Malfoy."

"See, I'm at a disadvantage," he said. He stood up and walked up to the pool table. He threw one of the balls into one of the pockets. "I took off my mask, so now you know who I am."

"I would have known anyway," she said. "Your hair is very distinctive."

"If I didn't know you were a pureblood, I would say that I know your identity too, because your hair seems distinctive, as well," he said with a slight smile. He had thought, for a brief moment, when he first saw her from behind that it might be his old childhood foe, Hermione Granger. He had never revealed his secret crush for her to anyone while they were in school. There was no reason to believe that she would have been invited here tonight, especially since he knew his mother had only invited purebloods.

She smiled and she stood opposite him, on the other side of the pool table, and she took the cue ball and she tossed it in the air. She said, "Yes, only purebloods are in attendance tonight, right?"

"Right, which means we're all friends here, so tell me your name," he beseeched, walking closer to her. She smelled wonderful.

She smiled and said, "It probably makes us all family as well." He laughed. She still had the cue ball in her hand, but he reached over and took it from her grasp, his fingers slowly skimming her hand. She looked down at his hand, and then up into his grey eyes.

"Tell you what, mystery woman," he began, "if I hit the eight ball with the cue ball, and knock it in that pocket over there," he pointed to the far corner pocket, "you have to take off your mask. I'm no longer content just to know your name."

"If you don't make it, what do I get?" she asked. She stepped closer. He looked down at her body briefly. Her dress was tight across her breasts, pressing them tightly together, so that her cleavage was ample and overflowing with each breath that she took, and he felt mesmerized. He touched her shoulder with one finger, his hand still holding the white cue ball. His finger ran down the length of her arm.

He looked back in her eyes, stepped even closer, and said, "What do you want, Love? Name your price. You already know my name. You already know what I look like. What else is there?"

"How about a kiss?" she said boldly.

He smirked, one side of his mouth higher than the other side, and then he laughed. He said, "Bugger that, love. You win, then." He took the cue ball and threw it over his shoulder where it landed hard on the floor with a thud. "I missed the eight ball. You win. You get your kiss."

Hermione Granger couldn't believe she was being so brazen, and with Draco Malfoy of all people. However, it was apparent he didn't know who she was, and what was the harm of one kiss? She had always wanted to know what it was like to kiss him, and when would she ever get this chance again?

She came here with her friend Kelly, who was indeed every bit a pureblood. She also came because she needed a night away from her husband. She had only been married six months and she was already unhappy, and she didn't know what to do about it. She married a fraud. He claimed so many things to get her to marry him, and she blindly believed every single lie…especially the one where he said that he wanted a house full of kids, just as she did. So for the last four months, they had been trying and trying and trying to get pregnant, and every month when her period came she cried, and he comforted her, bought her a present, and told her they would try again next month.

The lying sack of shite.

She called him at work this morning to tell him that she was ovulating, and that he needed to come home right away so they could work on what she called, 'project baby'. He told her he would be home shortly, for lunch and 'dessert'. She decided to surprise him, by going into his home office, and stripping naked, (something she normally would never do) and so there she was, sitting on his desk, completely naked, and a bit cold, when his mobile phone rang. He must have left it in his desk. She opened the drawer to answer the phone when she saw it. 'It' being a medical bill, from a Muggle doctor's office, for a procedure that he had, had over six months ago, but had yet to pay for...for a vasectomy.

Hermione started to shake with fury, fear, and confusion. She looked at the bill again, looked at the date, and saw that the procedure date was for two weeks before they married. For six months, he had been lying to her, holding her when she cried, telling her that they would have a baby soon, don't worry, don't fear. She crumpled the bill in a ball, threw the still ringing phone against the wall, ran from the room, and went to her friend's house.

Her friend asked her to come with her to this ball, and by all that was holy, she decided she was going to go out and have fun tonight, and let Kevin come home and wonder where she was, and worry, and wait. He had lied to her for six months, so what if she lied to him now.

Hermione turned slightly so that her bum was against the pool table. She pushed herself away from the table with both hands, and circled him, with an almost predatory gleam in her eye. Draco Malfoy was a very handsome man. He had good bone structure, beautiful eyes, he was tall, and he was very smart. He would probably make beautiful babies, and Hermione wondered what her husband would think if she came to him and said, "Darling, guess what, I'm finally pregnant!"

Would he finally admit his deception? She bet not. The only thing that would happen was that she might finally have the child that she so desperately wanted. If she passed up this chance, she might never get it again.

She continued to circle him, and he continued to smile and she said, "Maybe I don't want a kiss now."

"Ah…going back on a bargain, are you? That's not very noble." He reached out and pulled on one of her long curls. "What do you want?"

"Oh, Draco Malfoy, you have no idea," she said with a deep husky voice. She decided she needed to begin to hide her identity, starting with her voice. It would serve no purpose if he discovered who she was. Now he circled her, as if he was a large jungle cat and she was his prey. The only problem with that analogy was that she was more than willing to be caught.

She took a finger and moved it across his cheek. He raised his eyebrows. "Well, tell me your terms, love."

Her heart was pounding so hard that she was certain he could hear it. She moved them both so that his back was against the table. She bit her bottom lip, about to give it all up, about to run away and hide, when he reached up, rubbed the pad of his thumb on her lip, pulling it from her teeth, and he said, "Well?"

His thumb was still near her mouth, so she brought her hand up to hold his, and she turned their hands slightly, and kissed his thumb with a silent kiss, then in an act that was pure insanity, and which she would never have done if she hadn't had on a mask, she pulled the tip of his thumb into her mouth, and sucked. He closed his eyes. "I want to make love to you," she finally said, dropping his thumb. She reached up, unzipped her dress in the back, and let it fall away. She wore only knickers underneath.

As the silk and lace white creation pooled around her feet, she fought the urge to wrap her arms around her breasts. She was close to screaming, she was so afraid. He loosened his tie, threw it on the ground, stepped up to her and reached for her mask.

She shook her head no. "That's the thing, Draco. You won't ever know my name, or what I look like. Those are my conditions."

His eyes went up and down her body and he said, "I can see what you look like, love, but it seems as if you hold all the cards, figuratively speaking, of course, since there's absolutely no place for you to hold cards right now. Fine, we do this your way. I'm game if you are."

He took out his wand, and locked the door. He placed his wand on the table, and undressed slowly. Like some sensual, erotic dream, when they were both in nothing but their underwear, they stared at each other, for moments that seemed to go on forever.

Finally, he reached for her again. She pulled back. "I only want to kiss you. You can keep your bloody mask on," he said.

She nodded. He placed his hand behind her head and pulled her slowly toward him. Her chest moved slowly with each deep breath she took. He longed to part her full lips…he longed to devour them, taste them, command them, possess them. He placed his mouth on hers, and it tasted sweeter than he imagined. His mouth fought hers, in a kiss that wasn't gentle, wasn't harsh, but somewhere in-between.

The tips of her rosy breasts touched his chest, and his other hand came around to cup one of her full breasts, before he pinched her nipple. He kept his right hand in her lush, long, curly hair. He couldn't believe this was real. Things like this didn't happen in real life. Hell, he had just come in here because he was bored, and he wanted to be alone, and now he was getting more than he could ever imagine.

Hermione's pulse was beating harder and harder. Draco's hands were everywhere. She didn't feel like herself. She had never felt this sexy, this erotic, and this self-aware before. It felt wonderful. It felt a bit forbidden, but she wouldn't worry about that.

Before she knew what was happening, they were both naked, and he had lowered her onto the plush velvet of the billiards table. He dragged his hands down her body, starting at her neck, to her breasts, to her stomach, lower still. She clenched her legs, and almost told him to stop.

He felt her hesitation and if he was a better man, he would give this mystery woman a chance to back out, but he wasn't a saint. It was too late for that, and if she really said no, he would back off, at least, probably.

As his fingers began to stroke between her legs, his mouth on her breasts, she decided it was too late to turn back, so she reached down and grabbed him with her hand. He was long, full, and thick. She tugged and pulled and he moaned. He lifted his head from her breast and said, "Yes, love, that's nice."

It seemed to her that everything was moving too fast, but then again, this wasn't a bloody date, this wasn't a night with a lover. There wasn't foreplay to be had when two 'supposed' strangers made love on top of a pool table. She pulled on his silky hair with her hands, and kissed his mouth again, harder, with hunger.

He cupped the back of her head with one hand, and plunged his tongue into her mouth harder, exploring every nook and cranny. She tasted so good, so sweet, like chocolate and mint. He lifted his mouth from hers, and let it travel back down her chest. He claimed her breasts again, sucking deeply on one nipple, and she arched her back and moaned.

He looked up at her and begged, "Tell me your name."

She could only shake her head no. He propped a knee between her legs. He began to talk dirty to her. She usually hated that sort of thing, but there was something liberating having Draco Malfoy say 'dirty' crude things to her while they were having sex. Sex. It wasn't love. It wasn't making love. It was having sex, it was primitive, basic, and natural, and if she was lucky, she might get pregnant.

Except, when he said, "Merlin, I don't have protection. Let me get my wand." He reached by her hip for his wand. Hermione panicked, picked up his wand, and threw it across the room.

Then, she took a page out of her husband's book and lied. She said, "It's fine, it's taken care of, nothing will happen." She pushed him to his back, kissed her way down his chest, and then threw one leg over his hip, straddled his body, and engulfed him fully. She pressed her hands against his shoulders and began to move up and down on top of him. She was in control. He arched his entire body underneath her, and he actually groaned in pleasure.

Hermione's head fell back, and then went forward. His hands were on her hips, but they moved to her breasts. She thought she might die from the pleasure of it. She continued to move, twist and turn. She slid forward, to lie against him, her breasts crushing against his chest.

His hands went up and down her back, to her hips, to her legs. She lifted her upper body again, and sat upright, this time, her head fell backwards. His hands went from her breasts, down to her flat stomach. The room was so dark, that he could barely make out her body, but it felt wonderful. It felt beautiful.

She barely made a sound while he continued to moan and make guttural sounds underneath her. He didn't care. Chances were he would never see this woman again…wait; he wanted to see her again. He wanted to 'see' her now.

He opened his eyes. Hers were closed, and she continued to move up and down on him, one hand behind her, and one hand on his stomach. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, even with a mask on her face. Her lips parted, her breathing came out in short, little bursts, and she finally made her first sound, and it was one word… "Yes."

Her hips ground against him, moving in a circular pattern, and when her hands went to her own breasts, he bucked underneath her, upwards, out of control. He felt so close. He placed one hand at her juncture, to help her along. He didn't need to, because as soon as he came, she climaxed too.

The force of his climax was so strong that his hips lifted off the table, lifting her. She fell forward, on top of him. When it was over, neither could move. He remained inside her, and she on top of him. Then in an act that was almost unbearably sweet, he reached up, moved his hands up and down her hair, then her back, then he cupped her face, forced her to look at him, and he kissed her lips sweetly.

He moved her so that she was beside him. He held her in his arms. That surprised her. She didn't know what to say, or to do. He finally spoke first. He said, "I'm going to have to buy Flint a new pool table."

Hermione couldn't help it. She laughed. She sat up, her hand on his stomach, and she laughed. He rubbed his finger down her face and he said, "Let me see what you look like, please."

She nodded and said, "Fine, but let's get cleaned up and dressed first." She moved from the top of the pool table before he did. He was right after. She dressed much quicker than he did, but she had less to put on. She turned away from him, but he came up behind her and zipped up her dress in the back. He kissed her bare shoulder. He reached for her mask, but she turned to face him quickly.

"Not yet, just a moment still," she said. "I think I left my purse and wand by the window, when you first came in. Will you get them for me?"

He nodded. He put on his jacket as he walked over to the window. He pulled back the drapes, but he didn't see a purse, or a wand. He said, "Sorry, love, but I don't see them." He turned back toward the room. He was all alone.

*So here's the new story, and I did decide to post here after all, because most everyone is wonderful here! Enjoy, and tell me what you think!