Chapter Ten

Hermione sat cross legged on the couch waiting for Draco to get ready. Weren't the men supposed to be ready in five minutes and the women the ones who took five hours?

Ten minutes later Hermione got impatient. She wanted to make sure she got her picture put in the newspaper tomorrow and she wasn't waiting around.

"Hurry up Malfoy! You're taking forever!" she banged on his door and then went back into the sitting room.

"Jeeze Granger what's your-," Draco stopped mid-sentence and let his eyes wander up and down her body several times.

Hermione let out a cough and his eyes snapped up to hers, "If you're done checking me out, could we get a move on?" she didn't blush but just rolled her eyes. She wanted to get tonight over with but she wanted to do it right.

Draco grabbed the invitation and his coat while mumbling something along the lines of 'I wasn't checking you out.'

Hermione just scoffed and grabbed hold of his arm.

"Oh wow," Hermione let out as she looked at the mansion. It wasn't as big as Malfoy Manor but it was up there. What made it better was that it actually looked inviting with white marble and pretty features. Hermione found herself wishing she'd asked Marcus to help her get back at Ron.

Hermione kept hold of Draco's arm and they walked up the path to the positively gorgeous estate.

"Draco, Ms. Granger," Marcus grinned from the doorway as they walked through giving the invitations to the gaping young man that checked the guest list. Whether he was gaping at Hermione's beauty or the fact that Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger had just shown up together, they didn't know. They suspected it was little bit of both.

"Hello Mr. Flint," Hermione smiled.

"Call me Marcus; Mr. Flint makes me sound old," Marcus grinned.

Hermione chuckled since she knew he was only 26, "You can call me Hermione then."

"Hermione then, I must say you look divine tonight," Marcus commented.

"Thank you, you don't look too bad yourself," Hermione smiled.

"Okay, okay, Marcus stop hitting on my girlfriend," Draco said good heartily and pulled her towards the ball room doors.

Marcus just chuckled and went back to greet more guests.

"He's erm….different," Hermione said when they were out of ear shot.

"The war did it to him. The Dark Lord killed his little sister and his views changed dramatically. He can still be a convincing bastard but only when need be. On top of that you're pretty so he has no reason to be mean to you, he left blood prejudice behind on the day he lost his sister," Draco said calmly.

Hermione was about to point out that he had just called her pretty but a voice called his name from across the crowded room.

"Hello Theo," Draco greeted as they got there.

"Hello Draco and….Granger?" Theo looked her up and down hardly able to believe that this was really the know-it-all bookworm from Hogwarts. She made the Yule Ball look like nothing.

"Hello Nott," Theo kissed her hand and tilted his head.

"Years have been good to you," Theo said politely.

"Thank you, years haven't been bad to you either," Hermione smiled.

"Hello Draco, and who is this?" a female appeared over Theo's shoulder wearing a dark knee length green dress and more jewellery then the entire Muggle Kay Jewellery store had in stock.

"Daphne this Hermione Granger, Hermione, Daphne Greengrass," Theo introduced.

"Granger?" Daphne looked her up and down, "Yes, now I remember you," she sneered then turned walked away.

"You'll have to excuse her she's…prejudice," Theo explained.

"So I see," Hermione chuckled.

"I'm going to go talk to Marcus about a few things, Hermione why don't you go with Theo; he'll take care of you," Draco said reassuringly.

Hermione shot him a glare, she didn't like going off with someone she hadn't known for five years, and even then they never really knew each other. Thinking back she can't remember talking to Nott more then once or twice however and they were actually civil words that were exchanged.

So, as Draco walked off to find Marcus, Hermione took Theo's offered arm and followed him to another part of the room.

He tapped a young woman on the shoulder with shoulder length brown hair who was talking to a strong built girl. She turned towards him and smiled at him, then looked curiously at Hermione. After a moment Hermione recognized her from Hogwarts, and they women recognized her at the same time.

"I'm sure you two remember each other. You fought like cats and dogs after all," Theo smiled.

"Hello, Granger. Fancy seeing you here," Pansy Parkinson said civilly.

"Parkinson," Hermione nodded.

"Hermione's dating Draco now, did you know?" Theo asked.

Pansy raised her eye brow at him but when neither of them said anything more she spoke, "No, I didn't know. I was under the impression you were engaged to Weasley."

"We're no longer engaged, since two weeks ago," well it was the half truth.

"What a pity," Pansy said.

"On his part," Hermione smirked.

Pansy actually grinned at her remark, "You're different than I remember."

"It's amazing what a few years can do," Hermione stated simply.

"Indeed it is," Pansy chuckled. "Oh, where are my manners," Pansy turned and motioned with her hand to the women she had been speaking to, that Hermione now recognized as well.

"Granger, Millicent Bulstrode, Millicent, Hermione Granger," Millicent raised a bushy eye brown.

"Granger," She acknowledged.

"Bulstrode," Hermione said.

"Girls," Theo said cautiously.

Pansy giggled, "No need to get worried Theo, and if Granger is dating Draco then we might as well get used to her. Play nice, both of you," she added to Millicent and Hermione.

"Come, I'll show you guys who else is here," Pansy grabbed Hermione and Theo's hand and pulled them to a small group not far away.

"Guys you remember Hermione Granger. She's dating Draco now, apparently," Pansy announced and the group turned towards her.

"I would have thought Draco had better taste," a light brunette sniffed. "Not someone like that."

"Who would you have in mind Astoria, you?" Draco came up behind Hermione and wrapped his arms possessively around her waist.

"I'm five times better then her," Astoria snapped.

"Not the way I remember it. Hermione would never trick someone into marrying her just to use them and their money. You however did just that, and don't try to deny it Greengrass, I caught you in the act," Draco smirked as Astoria looked as if she'd been smacked.

"It's okay Draco, she's just jealous," Hermione gave him a chaste kiss on the lips much to the younger Greengrass's chagrin. If Draco had been surprised he hid it well.

"I am not jealous you filthy little mud-blood," Astoria sneered.

"Astoria, I thought you had better manners," came a voice from behind them and they all turned to see Blaise and Luna Zabini coming up to them. Blaise in the traditional tuxedo and Luna in a gold gown.

"Blaise," Astoria nodded.

"Now, what's all this commotion about?" Blaise asked pecking Hermione on the cheek.

"Are you aware that your best friend is dating a mud-blood?" Astoria asked Blaise.

Blaise stared at her coldly and said, "Yes I'm very well aware that Draco is dating Hermione, and I think it's a brilliant match."

"But how could I be replaced by her?" Astoria screeched shooting Goyle a cold glare who had sniggered from his place beside Theo.

"Because I learned my lesson," Draco said. "I didn't want another controlling, whining, money sucking, witch with a capital B."

Astoria gapped at him for a good few seconds before turning and storming off towards her sister.

Theo, Goyle, and Blaise sniggered at Draco's words.

"That was a bit harsh don't you think?" Hermione asked failing to hide her amusement.

"Nope," Draco grinned. "Hermione this is Tracey Davis by the way."

He motioned to a pretty girl their age with shoulder length chestnut hair and blue eyes. Hermione recognized her from Hogwarts but had never spoken to her or heard her talk as far as she could remember.

"Hello," Tracey smiled warmly shaking Hermione's hand, who also said a polite greeting.

"Would you like to dance, Tracey?" Theo smiled warmly with a hint of admiration that Tracey didn't see, but was obvious to every one else.

"Sure," Tracey put down her glass and followed them onto the dance floor were Goyle and Bulstrode had already started dancing a minute before. Blaise and Luna followed leaving Draco, Hermione, and Pansy.

"Well come on you two, I was practically tied, gagged, and dragged here by Theo on Blaise's orders so I'm not gonna spend the time on my own," Pansy said grabbing them and pulling them to a vacant table.

"So, how you've been holding up?" Draco asked retrieving three glasses of champagne from a passing waiter.

"Just dandy," Pansy said sarcastically.

"Care to elaborate?" Draco asked.

"Not really," she responded, "So, how was it that you two got together?"

Draco told her the same old 'ministry case' story, although she didn't seem to buy it, she accepted it none the less.

"Well I'm happy for guys, and I'm sorry for being such a bitch in school Granger," Pansy said sipping her champagne.

"I apologize as well," Hermione said doing the same.

Pansy stared absent mindedly into her glass and Draco muttered, "Let's go dance."

"She seems erm…different," Hermione said quietly as they swayed to the music. Why were all the Slytherin's so….un-Slytherin like?

"Her parents are forcing her to marry a man she despises, they've scheduled the wedding for July and she can't seem to find a way out," Draco answered watching Pansy who was still staring at her cup, "She even tried running but they caught her and she's too scared to try it again. She really doesn't want to run away at all; all of her friends, family, and life are rooted here so she really has no where to go unless she hides at one of our houses. She's been thinking of hiding at my parent's manor since they've offered but she'll have to resurface eventually. She can't stay locked up at the manor forever."

Hermione frowned and watched Pansy make her way out onto the balcony.

"Who is she's marrying?" Hermione asked after a moment.

"Lucian Bole."

"Oh, I remember him. Angelina always said he was an idiot," Hermione remarked.

"Didn't Johnson say we were all idiots?" Draco smirked.

Hermione grinned, "Yeah I suppose she did, its Weasley now by the way."

"Oh that's right; she married the twin didn't she," Draco remarked.

"He's not really a twin anymore but yes she married George," Hermione said quietly.

Draco shifted uncomfortable but didn't say anything.

"I'm hungry, let's go eat," Hermione went to the food tables and grabbed a plate, placing some food on top then following Draco who was heading to a table were Blaise, Luna, Goyle and Bulstrode were sitting.

"Draco, so how have you been?" Goyle asked as Draco took a seat next to him. Hermione sitting in between Draco and Blaise, suddenly feeling very small.

"I'm doing well. Business has been going well, with my fathers company and at the ministry," Draco responded, "And you?"

"My fathers being a real arse, but what else is new? How he can be such a nuisance from inside Azkaban beats me, but not entirely surprising," Goyle shrugged, "Your lucky you had Potter to defend you and your parents," for the first time Goyle glanced at Hermione but his eye's averted back to Draco.

"Mmm, yes I was overly thrilled to have Potter defending me. Just bloody brilliant," Draco said sourly.

Goyle again flickered to Hermione then back, "But….don't you have to deal with him more often now? Between work and…dating Granger?"

"Why do we stay on last name basis still?" Blaise spoke and everyone looked at him.

"Because it's what we do Zabini," Bulstrode sneered.

"Oh, it's Zabini now? We've been on first name basis since what…third year?" Blaise raised a questing eye brow.

"What do you want us to do Blaise? Call her Hermione?" Millicent sneered.

It was weird hearing Millicent Bulstrode say her first name. She had never said it before.

"Yes. That's precisely what I want. What's so bad about that?" Blaise asked innocently.

"Wha- but she's a mud-"

"Language Bulstrode," Draco said coldly. Hermione wondered why he cared so much.

Millicent was about say something when, to everyone's great surprise, Goyle interrupted, "What about you Hermione? What have you been up to these past five years?"

Everyone started at him and Hermione and Millicent gapped for a good ten seconds before Hermione gathered her wits, "Erm…I've been uh…okay, not too bad."

"Last I heard you were going to marry the weasel," Millicent cut in.

"Well I'm not," Hermione snapped.

"He no good in the sack?" Millicent smirked.

"You tell me," Hermione smirked back.

"How would I know?" Millicent snapped.

"I have my sources," Hermione smirked and took a bite of food at Millicent's confused face. Of course Hermione didn't really think Ron would sleep with her but it was funny to think about…in a way.

Goyle sniggered and dodged as Millicent went to smack him.

"Twit," She muttered.

"Hello again," Theo sat down next to Luna with a plate of his own food.

"Escaping Daphne?" Luna asked dreamily.

"What would make you think that Luna?" Theo asked with a grin.

"Because she's coming over this way, and does not seem happy," Luna said just as dreamy. She wasn't as weird or airy as she was in school but the girl had her moments.

"Uh-oh," Theo scooted closer to Millicent as Daphne stormed over.

"What are you doing?" she seethed

"Were does it look like?" he asked.

"Really, do you do anything but eat?" she sneered.

"Mmm, sleep," Theo said with a ghost of smirk.

"Exactly! Sleep! And when you say sleep you really do mean sleep!" Daphne screeched.

"Is there something else we're supposed to be doing there then sleeping?" Theo asked looking serious. Goyle sniggered and Millicent smirked while Blaise ducked under the table. Draco and Hermione tried their best to keep their faces impassive.

Daphne opened and closed her mouth a few times before letting out tossing a cup of water at Goyle who was openly sniggering at her. She then threw Theo a death glare, and stormed away again.

"She's become quiet lovely," Hermione commented with a serious face.

"Yep, she's a little flower that one," Theo said just as seriously.

"Hey Trace. Pull up a seat," Blaise said as Tracey drifted over.

"Thanks Blaise," she smiled and conjured a chair. Hermione scooted over to make room.

Conversation carried on and Hermione found that she actually liked Tracey. Tracey didn't have the whole blood prejudice problem being half-blood and openly chatted happily with Hermione.

Half hour later the evening started to wind down when Adrian Pucey came over to the table.

"May I have a dance, Ms. Granger?" Adrian asked smiling showing his pearly white teeth, it reminded her of Lockheart.

"Uh…," She glanced at Draco who was glaring at Adrian but gave a little nod.

"Be careful," he muttered as she stood so only she could hear.

As Adrian led her onto the dance floor she saw Blaise, Theo, and Draco watching intensely. While Tracey was looking worried.

"Your friends are a little _," Adrian said as they danced, standing a little to close for Hermione's comfort.

"There just protective," Hermione defended.

"Mmm," Adrian said pulling her closer.

There was barley any room between her and the jerk she was dancing with and she hated how everyone was brushed against him.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity the song ended.

"Why don't I give you a tour?" Adrian asked pulling her towards the door.

"No, no that's okay, I'd much rather-,"

"Come on, your not scared are you?" he laughed and Hermione didn't like it at all.

"No, really, I don't think-,"

"I think," came a cold voice from behind them, "She said, no." Draco walked over and pulled her away from Adrian.

Adrian looked slightly shocked at Draco's sudden appearance, recovering he strained his robes, "I was just going to show her-,"

"I'll give her the tour, nice of you to offer however. Thanks," Draco said making very clear that he was thankful by no means.

"My pleasure," Adrian gave a small bow to Hermione before turning and walking away.

"Come on. I have to show you around now," Draco sighed pulling her out of the doors.

"Uh, Draco," Hermione watched as Blaise tried to tell her something from the other side of the room. He was waving his hands trying to motion something while mouthing words but Hermione couldn't tell what he was saying in Blaise's frantic state.

"Just come on," Draco almost whined pulling her just as the doors to the noisy ball room closed.

"This is the office. Marcus does all his work in here. He-,"

"Draco," Hermione whispered low.

Draco stopped talking and looked at Hermione who was rigid and staring at two wide doors, one of which was ajar.

"Is there anyone else out there?" she asked very quietly.

"No, I don't think so why?" He asked quietly felling like it was the right thing to do.

"I thought I saw the door move…maybe it was just a house-elf," Hermione wondered if maybe the movement had just been the wind moving the door or perhaps a house elf cleaning.

"Probably. It's kind of hard to get out of the ball room unnoticed, and you have to have an invitation to get threw a barrier that we passed through when coming onto the property, unless you've been scanned in to the wards," Draco answered.

"Mmm," Hermione nodded. She felt like and idiot but couldn't shake off the felling she had seen something.

"Come on," Draco chuckled moving her towards the doors.

"This is the library," He said pushing the two doors open to reveal an unbelievably large library. It was no match for the Malfoy's however, not that Hermione knew this.

"Wow," Hermione smiled and walked in, her hand trailing the book spines on the self.

"You really do enjoy the books don't you?" Draco smirked from directly behind her.

Hermione rolled her eye's and turned, she was about to resort when she saw on the other end of the library, two figures behind a book shelf watching them.

Her heart skipped a beat before she recognized who they were and she then understood what Blaise had been trying to say when they had left the ball room.

Thinking fast Hermione turned back to Draco.

"Well you know, there is something I like better then books." she said in a seductive voice and over Draco's shoulder behind the book shelf on the other side of the gigantic room she saw a blur of green racing back and forth on a note pad.

"Oh, and what's that?" Draco asked slightly confused at the strange look in Hermione's eyes. It seemed to be amusement and glee. Not to mention her voice, was it just him or did it sound almost… seductive?

"I'll show you," she said in a low voice pulling his tie and bringing his lips down on to hers.

He really didn't know what she was doing or why, but after a few short moments he really didn't care. The explosion of sensations that went through both of them was one he had never experienced with any other women he'd been with, and that was quiet a few.

Before he knew he found himself caring less about the fact that he was kissing a mudblood and he felt her gasp slightly as he pushed her against the wall, his arm going around her waist and the other tangling in her hair.

He felt her arms go around his neck pulling lightly at his blond hair. The moan that came from her lips aroused him to no end and he gently parted her lips with his. She was so willing, so accommodating, and her lips immediately parted under his. He tried to stifle his moan at her enthusiasm, but wasn't entirely successful. Before either of them had a chance to have second thoughts, his tongue darted in to stroke hers.

It was a burst of pleasure as his tongue danced with her, and his right hand trailed up and down her side.

Hermione had completely forgotten about Rita Skeeter and her photographer on the other side of the library as she felt her arousal grow as Draco caressed her mouth with his and the burring sensation that his hand left as it travelled down her ribs, stomach and outer thigh.

She pressed herself up against him and he moaned as her hips rubbed against his, and her tongue darted into his mouth discovering and memorizing every little detail remembering what stroke made him make what noise just as he did to her.

Being with Ron had never made her feel like this, and she thanked Merlin she wasn't marrying that bastard.

The sound of a door closing broke them both from there trance and Hermione got just a glimpse of Rita Skeeter leaving the library before the doors closed again.

There was silence and Hermione could feel him staring at her. After a short pause she broke the silence, "I'm sorry, I couldn't-"

She was cut off as his lips crashed onto hers again and she felt the familiar sensation of apparition.

I'm afraid this is where I say good-bye to some of my reader, there's no NC-17 matieral but R rated stuff will be comming soon. And after now, there will not be a warning. After all, it ruins the surprise no? I'm sorry to those who will have to stop here, thank you for showing interest though. Unfortunately I write mostly for my own enjoyment not to gain internet popularity.

'My own enjoyment' wow slightly perverted there...oh well...

Due to personal problems, a health condion and school starting up again, I can't say when the next chapter will be here but I'll get to you! Till, next time guys! And now, I turn you over to Zoe...

*crouches down away from tomatoes* don't kill me guys, please! I am so, SO sorry that this took long. I was in hospital recently with Gastritis (google it) and now I'm in the middle of three internals and play rehearsals – PLEASE FORGIVE ME! I am so, so sorry. I honestly mean it from the bottom of my heart! Much love and kisses, zzzooe.