A/N: This is a Christmas Challenge by Mistress Malfoy at Granger Enchanted, but I can't seem to upload it there for whatever reason and it's annoying the hell out of me. I had plans of uploading here anyway, so you guys get it first. The Prompt: Polyjuice- she liked to play, but there's no harm in that, is there? Well until she was caught retrieving a hair from a certain Blond Pure-blood. This is the first challenge I've ever tried taking and let me tell you, it's harder than I thought it was. Deadlines suck.

Still getting to my reviews on Tabby's and Snakes, but I promise I'll get to them all very soon. As always, Please Read and Review. Merry Christmas Everyone!

Special thanks to DirtyThings for getting this looked over before the deadline. You did a fantastic job and I appreciate it, love.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything Pertaining to the HP universe. I write for fun, for free, and subject others to my pervy nature. lol.


Chapter 1

This is wrong. I can't do this again. I'm going to get caught one day, and it's going to be awful when it happens, she kept thinking to herself as she stirred the simmering cauldron she'd been working at for almost a month now. The soft twinkling lights of the winter holiday added a touch of cheer to the room as she worked.

It was one thing when it was just once to get over a teenage crush. It is another with what you've been planning as of late, her brain told her as she added in a counterclockwise turn to the potion.

Setting her stirring rod down, Hermione sighed in her now silent flat. Glancing at the pretty Christmas tree that sat in the corner, she shook her head at herself. What are you doing? she asked herself for the umpteenth time. This is insane. If anyone finds out...you'll be ruined.

She barely remembered how it started all those months ago. She'd been fed up, that part she remembered for sure. She'd been having a bad day at work-well, bad week really, and then to top it off, Ron was trying to start things up between them again.

He didn't seem to understand that she didn't want to date him any longer. They'd tried it and it didn't work. She wasn't even sure why she'd once thought she was attracted to him. He annoyed the living piss out of her on a regular basis and had for years.

She'd been staying at Grimmauld Place while her flat was being fumigated, and the whole complex had to be tented off while it happened. Something about...termites? She thought she remembered hearing that.

It was a Saturday when the idea first hit her. Harry was off with Ron doing something she knew she cared nothing about. Remus was out running errands down in Diagon Alley, Sirius was out doing Lord knew what, and that had left her in a large house, all alone. She was bored out of her mind, sick of reading for once in her life. Mainly it was sound of her own inner monologue as she read that made her put her book down, so she'd started wandering about the place.

Touring all of downstairs, though tour might not have been the right word, she slowly made her way up the steps instead. She passed Harry's room, the door closed, so she moved on. She didn't bother seeing if it was unlocked. Passing Ron's room, she'd sighed at the mess that was inside it, but moved on again.

Remus had his door shut, but she gave the knob a turn. She didn't go in simply because she knew with his werewolf senses, he'd notice her scent that would undoubtedly linger. Glancing about, she quickly shut the door again.

Coming across Sirius' room, she saw that his door was open as well. Knowing she was alone, a quick spell on the stairs to alert her if anyone came home, she went inside.

She'd had a terrible crush on him as a teenager. He'd always flirted with her, harmlessly of course, but it had made her day every time he did it. Calling her Kitten, sending her a wink and a smile, a wiggle of his eyebrows as he teased her about her books. It was a crush she'd never fully gotten over.

These days, he still called her "Kitten" now and again if he teased her, but he didn't flirt nearly as much as he used to. Though, honestly, she wasn't around much these days either. Plus, even though she was older now, twenty-seven years old to be exact, he still saw her as his godson's best friend. Saw her as that fifteen year old he'd met, or maybe he did see her as twenty-seven, but just didn't see her as someone worth his time, though she wasn't sure that was a fair assessment either.

Either way, he didn't look at her like she was someone that he could do more than be friendly to, even though some days she really wished that he would wake up and really notice her.

She always wondered what might have happened had she been older when they met. Would he have looked at her and not seen his godson's best friend? Looked at her as something other than a child that he liked to tease and pick at gently while smiling at her in an adorable way? Someone attractive and worth his time and effort in seducing, even if only for a one-time affair?

She didn't know, but it didn't matter. She had been a child then, and now that she wasn't, he didn't look at her that way. Or if he did, he sure as hell did a great job at hiding it.

She knew that he knew that she wasn't a virgin by any means. She'd been with men before and even had...what was the proper term? A man might deem the odd relationship as a piece of fluff if they were sleeping with a woman and it was only about sex. But did women have men that were pieces of fluff?

She didn't see her "fluff" often. Only when she had an itch, as it were. They both knew what it was and were both fine with it. He was a wizard she'd met while at University, one that she'd started sleeping with now and then during their last two years there, mainly to ease the stress for them both with the hard course work they'd been taking.

But as she wandered about Sirius' room, breathing in the scent that lingered, she'd trailed her hand over the short stack of books he'd left on a small table. Picking up a shirt the man had discarded earlier that rested on a chair, she brought it to her face, letting it caress her cheeks as she breathed in his scent again, now stronger with the material pressed against her nose.

I really need to get over this stupid crush, she thought as she set the shirt down. With a sigh of annoyance at herself, she moved onto his dresser, and she spied his brush. Reaching out a hand, she trailed her fingers over the thing that sifted through the man's shaggy black hair, but a few hairs had gotten tangled in her finger as she pulled away, the black strands dangling from her fingers.

She stared at the strands as the most insane idea ever hit her. He might never look at her or try to seduce her, but there were still a way to have him. A way of being with him, even if only once. She honestly had no clue where the idea came from as she pulled the hairs that were wrapped around her fingertips free.

But when the idea hit, she dismissed it, shaking it off and rolling her eyes. It was many things, but most of all it was wrong. Wasn't it? To use those hairs, to slip it into a potion she knew she could brew. The use that same brew on her "fluff." To make him become Sirius Black just for a night, a night on which she knew she'd shag the utter hell out of the transformed man that had haunted her dreams so much as a teen, and occasionally as an adult.

Instead of dropping the hairs like she should have, or even putting them back on the brush as she could have, she pulled out her wand and conjured a tiny plastic bag to slip the few strands into.

She debated it long and hard, looking at the situation from every angle. The thing that finally tipped the scales was when her every-now-and-again lover mentioned that he'd always fantasized about shagging a certain witch that he knew. One that didn't look at him at all. He sighed as he said that it was too bad, because he'd really wanted the witch.

That's what started their arrangement. She'd take a potion one night, becoming the witch he wanted and couldn't get. Then, on another night, he'd take a potion and become Sirius for her.

Hermione wondered if she should get her head examined for doing this. But really, where was the harm? She got to fulfill some rather interesting fantasies and no one knew her little secret but her lover, Brian. She knew he'd never breath a word of it. It would come out about what he'd done too and she knew he didn't want that to happen either.

She had shagged her Sirius doppelganger again and again until she was over her silly crush, which was what she'd hoped for to begin with. Only, she'd found a new person to lust after. A new fantasy that teased her mind and senses. But who she wanted now was impossible.

Now with Christmas almost upon them, she thought she should be committed for even thinking about what she was planning. But really, who didn't look at the platinum-haired wizard and drool at least a tiny bit. He was sexy as hell.

His pale skin, silver eyes, and long blond hair drew her eyes. The intensity of his gaze as he looked at someone was hypnotizing. She already knew that under all his finely tailored clothes, he had a sexy body that just begged to be touched and stroked.

She knew what had started her even thinking about him, too. She'd been to see Ginny at Malfoy Manor and the two had wandered about while talking, Ginny having married Draco two years ago. Their wandering had ended up in the room that held the indoor pool, and as they just chatted back and forth, the sound of a splash drew their gaze.

Ginny was used to seeing the elder Malfoy swimming, but Hermione wasn't. Seeing the sculpted muscles of his chest, dripping with water as he stood and slicked his hair back, Hermione's lips parted in shock.

Eyes on his chest, her gaze landed on the single line of pale blond hair that traveled down his flat belly and toned abdomen until it disappeared into his swimming trunks. Tracing the line with her eyes, she swallowed the lump that formed at the sight as the man wiped the water from his face, not paying them any mind.

Luckily, she'd stopped ogling the man before he saw her doing it, and Ginny had pulled her along to finish their conversation. But that's what started her thinking about her newest fantasy. She wanted Lucius Malfoy and with just a single hair, she could get him.

Only, she had no clue as to how she'd get the hair. She couldn't pull one from his brush; she had no reason to go into his private chambers. She couldn't try to snag one, even with a faked fall in front of him or something, because he was rarely around her to be able to do so.

Honestly, she just needed to stop the whole Polyjuiced lover escapades all together. It was getting ridiculous and she was going to get caught one day. If her secret ever got out, she didn't want to think of the reactions to her friends if they knew of all the times she'd shagged Sirius. Or at least Brian, who looked had like Sirius with the potion he took.

Now, staring at the Christmas tree that was festively lit, she heard a tap at her window. Moving to open it, she smiled as a beautiful eagle owl flew in, landing on the back of one of her dining room chairs. She removed the letter the owl carried and offered it a treat, but the haughty look on the bird's face said that he didn't want her meager offering.

"Take it, or go away. I don't have anything else to offer you right now," She said, annoyed that the bird would give her attitude over a treat.

The bird gave an almost disdained hoot and flew off. With a roll of her eyes, Hermione didn't even have to look at the signature to know who sent it. The owl's manner dripped of Malfoy snobbery. So the letter must be from Ginny.

Tearing the wax seal with the Malfoy emblem on it, she pulled out a thick piece of parchment and read the pretty invitation.

You're cordially invited to join in the Christmas celebratory ball at Malfoy Manor hosted by Lucius Malfoy, his son Draco Malfoy, and his daughter-in-law Ginerva Malfoy.

The more Hermione read, the more her lips started to curve. Maybe it wasn't so impossible after all. If Lucius Malfoy is hosting the party, then I might have a chance to snag a hair, or two, or three, she thought, contemplating a repeat performance with the luscious blond if it was possible.

Seeing that the party was to be held very soon, Hermione nodded to herself. Looks like I need to go shopping for a new evening gown. A smile graced her lips as she went to check on the final stages of her simmering potion.

The day of the party, she left work early, going home to start the long process of getting ready for a formal and elegant ball, like the one she was attending that night.

After taking a shower, she wrapped a towel around herself and quickly dried off. Rubbing her favorite scented lotion into her skin, the smell of honeysuckle and sweet jasmine filled the air around her.

She pulled on her knickers, deep red with black trimmed lace. The dress she'd picked out would leave her back bare, minus the narrow straps that crisscrossed, meaning she couldn't wear a bra. Next came her hair.

With several complicated charms, her hair curled down her back smoothly, the frizz long gone, with the sides pulled up into an elegant knot on the back of her head. The style would keep it out of her face, but still allow a few a tendrils to trail down either cheek. Adding a pair of diamond studs to her ears, she moved on to her make-up.

Finishing up the make-up charms that Ginny had forced her to learn after the war, she headed back into her bedroom to slip on the dress. The black, silky material felt cool and sexy against her skin, the bodice fitted and emphasizing her rounded breasts and slender waist, showing the slight curve of her hip before flowing down to her ankles.

A slit in the side of the dress starting at mid-thigh showed her left leg, but the one thing that drew her to the dress was the zippered front. The zipper looked like a slithering snake that started just between her breasts, curving back down her belly to end at the top of the slit in her dress, allowing the dress to be removed or put on that way.

The top of the zipper split into the straps that held the whole thing up, winding around her neck to drape down her back, only to come together again, just above the base of her spine, where the black material appeared again to cover her bum modestly.

Fully dressed, she slipped on her heels and took a final look in the mirror. She gave herself not only a look over to make sure she was dressed right for a party at Malfoy Manor, but also one last chance to change her mind.

Decision made and looking perfect, she pulled her wand and apparated to the gates of the Manor. She took a deep breath as she made her way up the long and lighted path toward the house. The huge home was lit up brighter than she'd ever seen before, and already there were a few people being greeted at the door by a small elf.

Swallowing down her nervousness, she took the last few steps and smiled at the elf that bid her welcome to Malfoy Manor. Her heels clicked on the marble floors as she stepped inside and followed the few people in front of her, not closely, but sedately, keeping a decent distance between them.

With a small glance behind her, she saw that she was the last in the group of arrivals to join the party. Slowing her steps even more, she watched the people head inside the festive room, but paused and didn't follow.

This is insane, she thought again. I'm going to get caught. They're going to know why I'm here. Panic starting to seep into her, before logic kicked in. Wait, I can attend a party and not have any nefarious plans along with it. I was invited, so it's not like I'm crashing the party. Just stay calm and if you get the hair, then wonderful. If not, then no one will ever know the real reason why you showed up to begin with.

"Are you planning on going in, or just watching the party from here?" A silky and smooth voice asked from behind her.

Turning quickly, Hermione swallowed nervously as she came face to face with the one and only Lucius Malfoy. She saw his eyes slip down over her frame, taking in her dress, or at least she thought that was what he was looking at. Taking in how good he looked in his hand tailored, black dress robes as well, she hoped she didn't let the drool pooling in her mouth run down her chin.

When his eyes met hers again, his brow rose. "Cat got your tongue?" he asked, lips curving ever so slightly.

Mentally shaking herself from her stupor and swallowing the excess saliva, Hermione gave him a small smile. "Sorry, you startled me. I was simply wondering if Ginny would strangle me tomorrow or wait until next week to do it if I did end up escaping and not joining in her party." It was a complete lie, but one that came out smoothly.

His brow rose a bit more at that. "Her party?"

Hermione shrugged lightly, forcing her gaze to stay on his face and not to slip down to look him over a second time, like he did almost nonchalantly to her. "While you might be hosting tonight's events, I can assure you that she's got it in her head that this is her party that everyone is attending. Which means she has had her hand in every aspect of it. D├ęcor, catering, music, all of it. To the point of...taking over in some ways. Am I right?"

His lips curved even more. "You are, though I'm curious how you know this. Did she tell you?"

Hermione laughed softly. "No, I've just met her mother. Ginny is certainly Molly Weasley's daughter in that regard." She was keeping to her lie easily, though she wasn't fully sure how she managed it.

He hummed softly as his head tilted slightly as he considered her. "So tell me, my dear, why go to all the trouble of dressing up and looking so very lovely, if you're going to run off when you're only a few steps away from the festivities?"

Hermione laughed again, just as softly as the first time, though her mind was somewhat stunned that he said she looked lovely. Very lovely, in fact. "I never said I wasn't going to join the party. I had every intention of going in; I just thought I'd take a moment to find amusement in her potential reaction had I not shown up tonight."

He chuckled softly. "In answer to that, I doubt you'd get but a day or two of respite before she did indeed...strangle you, as you put it. She's been asking the elves for the last hour if you'd shown up yet."

Her brow knitted, not sure why her appearance was so important. "She has? Hmm... I guess I should stop dawdling and go inside then."

He held out his arm for her and smiled at her curious look. "It would be rather impolite to not escort my daughter-in-law's friend inside after seeing that she didn't have anyone to lead her in already."

Hermione nodded, already wondering if she dared try to snag a golden strand of his just yet. It would be obvious this way, so she refrained for now and instead simply took his arm. "Thank you, Mr. Malfoy."

He started to lead her inside. "Lucius, please. With as often as you've visited Ginerva here, it seems silly to keep such formalities. Don't you think?"

Hermione felt her pulse fluttering at that. "It would be silly. So I guess that means you'll have to call me Hermione in return."

His eyes met hers, intense as always, but still unreadable as usual. "I suppose it does, my dear."

He led her inside without another word, pausing to speak with a few people here and there, though he never tried to remove her hand from his arm. He introduced Hermione to them all, giving them a small smile before he excused himself and Hermione from those still seeking his attention.

"If you've guests to see to, I can find Ginny on my own." She said softly after the third person had stopped him along the way.

"Hermione, I am seeing to my guests. You are a guest, are you not?" At her nod, he smirked. "See? I am seeing to you, so I am not neglecting my duties." His smirk growing as he they moved through the crowded ballroom.

A new group calling out to Lucius saved her from having to respond, though she had no clue what she might have said. Hermione thought the man speaking to them was rather pompous as she listened as well, but Lucius stayed gracious, giving him his full attention.

Lucius shifted slightly out of her grasp, moving his hand to rest on the middle of her back instead as he continued to listen to the man. Not seeming to pause in his attentions at all while he did so.

Hermione forced her face to remain neutral, though she was very aware of his hand touching her bare skin now. The narrow straps that crossed at her back didn't offer much cover from his warm flesh touching her, not that she really wanted anything to block his touch, but it was slightly distracting and it took more focus to pay attention to the gentleman speaking.

Within minutes, the gentleman who was currently speaking, had her bored to tears and it took everything in her remaining power to keep her eyes from glazing over. Her eyes quickly scanned the crowd for a familiar face so that she could attempt to excuse herself before he put her to sleep.

"Oh, how rude of me." Lucius said suddenly, interrupting the man mid-word as he glanced at Hermione, who looked up at him with a mild frown at his sudden words. "I didn't even get you a drink yet, my dear. That is completely unforgivable of me. If you'll excuse us, Reginald, I really should see to correcting my error."

"Oh, yes. We'll continue this later, Lucius. Miss Granger, it was a pleasure to meet you." The pompous wizard said, holding out his hand for hers.

Not wanting to seem rude, Hermione met his hand, but instead of shaking it, he brought it to his lips to give it a kiss. It took everything in her not to curl her lip in displeasure and jerk her hand away, or wipe the excess moisture away when he did finally release her. "Likewise," she said politely.

She heard Lucius chuckle again after they moved away, his hand still at her back. "I'm sorry, my dear. I couldn't seem to find a way out of that dreadful conversation any sooner without seeming rude. Do you need my handkerchief for your hand, or did he manage to not slobber on it too badly?"

Hermione's lips twitched. "It's fine. Nothing a good, thick towel couldn't mop up. So I need a drink, hmm?"

"That you do, and I'd hate to be remiss in my hosting duties." He told her, already moving her towards the full stocked bar with his hand still on her back, where he had someone staffed to keep the drinks flowing smoothly. He could have caught the eye of a passing waiter, but chose not to.

When they reached the bar, he turned to look at her. "What exactly would you like this evening, Hermione?"

Hermione felt her breath almost hitch in her throat at his question. She could have answered it so many different ways, but knowing that he hadn't meant it as it sounded, she smiled softly. "White wine, please."

Lucius leaned in and spoke quietly in the ear of the man behind the bar. With a quick nod, the bartender moved away out of sight. It wasn't long before he was back with glasses of wine and handed them to Lucius directly, who in turn gave one to Hermione.

"Here we are, my dear. What shall we toast to?" He asked her softly as he looked at her.

Hermione paused before her lips curved. "How about to all of us getting what we want for Christmas?" She was hoping she did get what she wanted, at least one of his platinum blond hairs.

He nodded and clinked his glass with hers, both taking a sip of their wine. Hermione smiled as the flavor hit her tongue and eased its way down. "This is delicious," she said softly.

He smiled in return. "I'm glad you like it. It's from my private stocks."

"Oh? I thought they were serving wine that the company you hired brought with them." She said.

His smile grew. "They are, but this is from my private stocks. Only a select few are served from these bottles I had brought out."

Hermione found herself curious as to why he'd give her a glass from his private stocks, but again was saved from answering as Ginny spotted her and came over towards them. The redheads silver dress clung to her frame in a very pretty way.

"Hermione, I've been looking everywhere for you," Ginny said, a smile on her lips. "When did you get here?" She moved in to hug her friend.

Hermione smiled and returned the hug before pulling back again. "Not long ago. Mr..." she started but paused at the raised brow that Lucius sent her way. "Er... Lucius was kind enough to escort me inside and make sure I had a drink in hand."

Ginny looked over at Lucius, a hint of amusement in her eyes. "She was trying to escape, wasn't she?"

Lucius smirked. "No, she was just admiring the Christmas decorations you had arranged so beautifully, when I came upon her."

Hermione gave him a small smile at that, but Ginny went on speaking. "Well, now that you're here, there is someone you I want you to meet." Shifting her gaze her to Lucius, she took Hermione's free hand as a smile curved the redhead's lips. "Please excuse us, Lucius."

Hermione frowned at Ginny, but before she could say a word, Ginny was tugging her away from Lucius. Hermione sent a quick glance at the man and saw him watching her being pulled away, but his face was closed off to his thoughts.

Ginny all but dragged her towards Draco, who was talking to a young man around their age. Draco turned when he saw his wife approaching them. Draco looked Hermione up and down and smirked at her. "My, my, Granger. I didn't know you could clean up so nicely. I don't think I've ever seen you look so...dare I say, somewhat pretty?"

Hermione's eyes narrowed at him. "I still wouldn't dare to use that term with me, Draco. Might find my wand shoved somewhere uncomfortable for you."

Draco's smirk grew, but as he opened his mouth to say more, Ginny nudged him with her elbow. "Now, Draco, be nice. I think Hermione looks gorgeous."

Whoever the young man was gave Hermione an appraising look and smiled at her. "I'd have to agree with your wife, Draco. Your friend here is certainly stunning."

Hermione gave him a polite smile, not sure that she liked how he was looking at her, but Ginny jumped in before she could respond. "Hermione, this is Lyle Prescott. He works with Draco at Gringotts. Lyle, this is my very dear friend, Hermione Granger."

Hermione looked at Ginny, suspicion starting to form in her eyes, before returning her gaze to Lyle. She held out her hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Prescott."

Lyle gave her a charming smile, his dark blue eyes roaming over her face. "Please, call me Lyle." He took her hand and placing a kiss on the top of it.

Hermione smiled politely again, taking him in. He was taller than her, but not quite six feet tall, black hair slicked back neatly like Draco's was, and he had an average build. He was handsome, but she wasn't really interested.

"We were telling Lyle here about your work at the Ministry. How that by working in the Department of Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, you tend to get very wrapped up in your work and don't always have a lot of free time." Ginny said.

Hermione's suspicions grew at Ginny's statement. Oh, I know you didn't invite me here tonight to set me up with one of Draco's cronies, she thought, already planning on giving Ginny a hex or two later if her assumptions were correct.

However, she kept her polite smile in place. "Yes, well, it takes time to help change some of the laws that are more harmful than helpful to many magical creatures. Werewolves, for example, are still shunned, and it's hard for them to find work at times. Not to mention that centaurs are constantly denied service if they try to go into wizarding shops at all. Even St. Mungo's has been known to make the centaurs wait longer than anyone else before they're treated."

Draco chuckled softly. "Always trying to save everyone, Granger."

Hermione's eyes sparked, but Lyle spoke up. "I think it's admirable what you're doing, Hermione. Someone needs to look out for those that are looked down upon simply for being what they are. I just hope they know and appreciate all the hard work it sounds like you put in for their benefit."

Hermione looked at Lyle. She hadn't given him permission to use her forename, but she appreciated his words. "Thank you," she said softly.

Lyle smiled at her. "My pleasure. Can I interest you in a dance, Hermione?" He held out his hand.

Hermione opened her mouth to decline, but Ginny pushed Hermione forward. "She'd love to," the redhead said, smirking at Hermione when she glared mildly at Ginny.

Lyle led her to the dance floor that was already full of couples swaying to music. Hermione fought a sigh of annoyance as Lyle led her into the familiar steps. His movements were graceful, but she was still upset at Ginny for doing this to her.

She was unaware of the silver eyes watching her as she danced, eyes that had seen Ginny all but push her forward when it was obvious that she didn't want to dance with the young man. Those same eyes took in the way the young man was holding her, hands not placed inappropriately, but they still holding Hermione closer than they should, considering they'd apparently just met.

Hermione stayed silent, so Lyle filled in the lack of conversation for her. "So Draco tells me that you're not seeing anyone right now."

Hermione rolled her eyes, sure that he couldn't see her do it anyway. "No, I'm not." Brian didn't count; they weren't actually dating or anything. Just...taking care of each other's itches.

Lyle smiled. "I find it hard to believe that a girl as pretty as yourself isn't bombarded by blokes trying to take you out every night of the week."

Hermione bit her lip to keep a fresh sigh of annoyance at bay. She hated being set up with strangers. "Yes, well, as Ginny said, I've been rather busy with work."

He sent her out into a slow spin before bringing her back. "I think we need to correct that. I'd love to take you to dinner some night soon."

"I don't know," Hermione said. "I really am rather busy these days. The free time I have is usually spent catching up with my friends that I don't see that often."

Lyle smiled, pulling her a small bit closer. "I understand, but you should let me take you out. A girl as lovely as yourself surely has needs."

Hermione frowned, before she understood what he meant and her eyes grew wide. "I'm sorry?"

Lyle smirked. "No need to be coy. Draco told me that its been a while since you've had a bloke and I know that all women need relief occasionally. I think we could have some fun, don't you?"

Hermione's eyes were narrowed now, teeth gritted together. Catching a peek at Draco across the room, she seethed even more when he smirked at her. "I'm not sure what exactly Draco has told you about me, but I don't...sleep with a guy I don't even know." She tried to ease away from him, but he held her firmly in his arms. She couldn't escape without causing a scene.

She heard him chuckle as he pulled her closer, seemingly unaware of her trying to escape him. "So we should get to know each other. We both have things taking up a large portion of our time, but I'm willing to take a few days to get to know each other first before we satisfy both of our needs. We could have quite a lovely arrangement that suits us both when the need arises."

Hermione had enough of his rude insinuations and was ready to say to hell with not making a scene. Already she was thinking that she was going to hex the utter hell out of both Ginny and Draco, but before she could say or do anything, a hand touched Lyle's shoulder.

"Excuse me," a silky voice said. "But I believe, Hermione, that you promised your first dance of the night with me."

Hermione turned her head and found Lucius Malfoy standing a few steps away. She almost sighed in relief, but was able to keep it from slipping out. "I did, didn't I? I'm terribly sorry, but you can have this one and the next to make up for it." She moved away from Lyle instantly. "Excuse me, Lyle."

Lucius gave Lyle an appraising look before taking Hermione's hand and eased her into what was left of the dance. Lyle was frowning as he walked away, and Hermione did let her sigh escape this time. "Thank you," she said, her hand on his shoulder.

Lucius smirked softly. "You're welcome. I've no idea what he was saying, but your discomfort was becoming more and more obvious the longer you danced with him. I figured I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't save you from a horrible dance partner."

Hermione swallowed. "It wasn't his dancing that was the problem." Her gaze landing on Draco, who was frowning at her now dancing with Lucius, seeming slightly confused as to why she wasn't dancing with Lyle...and why his father would step in at all. It only spiked her temper more. Ginny on the other hand, looked even more amused than before, which didn't help her anger a single bit either.

"So what was the problem, then?" Lucius asked her.

"I don't like being propositioned by virtual strangers, no matter who thought it might be fun to introduce us," Hermione said, a touch of anger in her voice.

Lucius' brows rose at hearing that. "Draco sent you off to dance with a young man you didn't know that only intended to try and get you into his bed?" If so, he might have to say a few words to his son later about it.

Hermione breathed deeply. "I'm not sure what exactly Draco said to him, or what Ginny was thinking in pushing me towards the prat, but I doubt they knew exactly what he intended to say to me. If they did...you may find yourself short a son and daughter-in-law soon."

Lucius' lips curved. "Oh?"

Hermione nodded. "Yes, because if they did know what the arse was planning on offering, I will be murdering them both. Slowly and painfully, too."

Lucius chuckled as he sent her out a slow and graceful spin, pulling her back against him as he transitioned back into the smooth steps easily. "I don't blame you for being angry, my dear. I think I would be upset as well at such a thing. I'm curious, though. Had he not been so...ill-mannered in his proposition, would you have continued on with my son and daughter-in-law's apparent plan?"

Hermione frowned. "You mean would I have gone out with him? I don't know. I doubt it, though."

Lucius hummed softly. "I think they only made the introductions since you haven't had any...male company in quite some time."

Hermione's frown grew. "How would you know what company I'm keeping these days?" She was curious now.

Lucius shrugged lightly. "Neither Draco, nor Ginerva, realize how far their voices carry when they're walking down a hallway and speaking to one another."

Hermione sighed again. "Wonderful. It's nice to know my friend and her annoying husband are gossiping about my sex life."

"From the sounds of it, there isn't much of a life to gossip about," he pointed out.

Hermione smirked. "Just because I do not flaunt my personal life, doesn't mean there isn't one that I'm not enjoying."

Lucius regarded the young woman in his arms with something like amusement. "So you are seeing someone. Why keep it a secret, then?"

Hermione laughed softly. "If I tell you, it wouldn't be much of a secret, now would it?"

Lucius chuckled. "There is that, I suppose. However, I'm curious as to who has caught the infamous Hermione Granger's eye, and why that wizard would be a secret from her friends."

Because the wizard that has caught my eye, isn't the one I'm seeing. Or shagging, rather. We don't date, that's for damn sure, she thought to herself, but she knew she'd never repeat that out loud. "I like keeping my secrets to myself, is all. Otherwise, they wouldn't stay a secret for long."

"Hmm," he said as the dance ended, but he didn't release her. Instead, he simply led her into a new one. "That still doesn't answer the question, my dear. Why keep your wizard a secret at all?"

Hermione debated her answer, knowing what she was thinking of saying could be seen as her playing with fire. "Maybe I've not made the person aware of my interest and don't wish him to find out simply because people gossip while not aware of who all is around to overhear it."

Lucius' brow quirked at that. "If you're worried about him overhearing anything, then logic dictates that it's someone that your friends know. Interesting."

Hermione laughed softly even as she realized that he was smarter than she gave him credit for. "I didn't say that either. I meant that they're not always aware of their surroundings when they speak openly about things. Do you have any idea how many articles have been published about Harry's private life because Ron said something in public that was overheard by a reporter for the Daily Prophet?"

Lucius hummed before speaking again. "May I ask why you've not made your interest known? You've certainly never lacked courage before, from what I've seen."

Hermione didn't know how to answer that without giving herself away. She couldn't very well say that it was because he's almost twice her age, or that it was her friend's father or father-in-law. She didn't really consider Draco much of a friend, though he was more so than he ever had been prior to him marrying Ginny. Nor could she say that the thought of saying anything to him terrified her beyond belief.

When she didn't answer, Lucius' intrigue grew more. "Do you not have an answer to that, or do you just not want to share your answer with me?"

Hermione frowned slightly. "It's complicated," she finally said in a soft voice.

Lucius chuckled. "My dear, things of that nature usually are."

They finished their dance, and as Lucius went to lead her off the dance floor, a couple, not paying attention, stumbled into Hermione. Knocked off balance, her ankle twisted in her high heel, but Lucius caught her before she fell.

The couple quickly apologized and asked if she was alright, and Hermione nodded, but that was all she could manage. Her arm slid around Lucius' shoulder and neck as he shifted her to fully stand again, and she felt his hair brushing her fingertips. Her eyes widened slightly when she felt the silky strands. She'd almost forgotten her reason for being here tonight.

Being as discrete as possible, she curled her fingers and felt a strand wrap around her finger lightly. Praying it worked as she got her feet steady under her again, she let her hand pull away as she eased back from the blond man that had caught her and felt the strand come with her.

Keeping her face as blank as possible, she quickly dropped her arm, trying to close her hand around the hair she'd snagged. Her heart beating wildly in her chest at what had happened. Oh, god, I got it! I got a hair! Her brain was all but screaming at her.

"Thank you." She said to Lucius after the couple had moved on. "For catching me." Giving him a smile and praying it didn't look shaky, though it did feel that way to her.

Lucius frowned slightly at her. "You're welcome, my dear, but are you sure you're alright?" Taking note of the unsure smile.

Hermione nodded quickly. "Yes, I'm fine."

He nodded and went to take her hand to finish leading her off the floor. Only, he grabbed her closed fist instead of the empty one, and she quickly moved it away from him, afraid she'd either lose the hair or that he'd feel it.

But her pulling away had him raising a brow at her. "Are you sure you're alright?"

She nodded again. "Oh...yes."

His eyes searched hers and saw both panic and excitement in them, but didn't understand why he saw either one. His eyes dropped to her closed fist and he quickly figured out that there was something in her hand that she didn't want to let go of, nor did she want anyone knowing about it, if the look in her eyes said anything.

Not wanting to make a scene, and wanting to know what the hell was suddenly in her hand, he gave her a smile. "Good. Let's go get a drink, my dear."

"Well..." she started.

But he cut her off. "I insist. In fact, why don't we go into my office so we can make sure your ankle is alright."

Hermione swallowed nervously, confirming that something was up, and he didn't give her a chance to say anything before he quickly led her out of the room, not even stopping when people called out to him.

What is she holding that is so important? he wondered as he moved towards his office. When did she get it, anyway?


A/N: More coming soon. Hope you all liked that. Anyone interested in seeing what inspired her dress go to : www . elegantmart . com/Fashion/FrontZip-Black-Evening-Dress_ 15451 . aspx

Take care Everyone and Merry Christmas to you all. Please leave me your thoughts.

Also, I did create a banner for this story and its on my profile.