What Now?

By Rita Skeeter

The Wizarding World is saved and time has ticked on by, week after week, day after day. Now that all is safe again, the question on everyone's mind? What now? What now for our golden trio, brave Harry Potter, sidekick Ronald Weasley and let's not forget that little temptress Hermione Granger. Where are they now? What does the future hold?...

Hermione tossed the paper aside, disgusted as usual at the so called reporter Rita Skeeter. She did not even want to know what the rest of the story said. The question was valid though. What now? The war had ended a few long months ago. Once the dark lord was defeated and the smoke had settled on the battle field, life, as was expected had been forced to continue. Though for many young witches and wizards each breath seemed strained. Each morning found them with more exhaustion than the dawn before. This was the part that Hermione hated the most. At least, that is what she told herself. Before Hogwarts she had been at peace, engrossed in her books and loved by her family. When she had gotten her letter she had been happy, finally feeling as though she was good at something. She had met Harry Potter the boy who lived and found fast friendship there. She had found her first love in Ron Weasley and a second home with his family. When Voldemort returned she had been determined. Determined to fight for what she believed in. Friendship, family, happiness, goodness. The list went on and on. She had fought fiercely. She had found a strength in herself that she had not known she possessed. She was Hermione Granger, a third of the Golden Trio that saved the wizarding world. Funny. She did not feel like a war hero because now? Now there was devastation. The aftermath of a long and brutal war. Death and a lingering fear of the recently subdued darkness. She had nothing to focus on now. Nothing but the sadness and pain. She felt it in her gut each day like a festering wound. It would ebb and flow but never fully desert her. She and Ron had lost the spark that brought them together, that in and of itself would have been heart-breaking for a normal teenager and normal she was not. She had taken it in stride of course, promising her friendship and sisterly love and she had meant it. It was still hard. Watching him from afar, unable to comfort him in the way a sweetheart could. She could hug him but she could not embrace him. She could kiss his cheek to ease his pain but she could not let him escape in it. It was better this way, she knew it but it was still difficult. The loss of his brother had taken such a toll. A tear gathered in the corner of her eye but she squeezed her eyes shut to banish it, angry at its very existence. She could cry no longer. She needed to move on.

It was in that mindset that she had made her decision. She glanced down at the letter in her hand, her finger absently tracing the Hogwarts seal and crest. She was going to return. She was going to finish her schooling at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She had received the letter weeks ago, surprised at the offer. Complete her 7th year, penalty free. The year of the Dark Lord's defeat had been hard on everyone directly or indirectly involved. So this was her chance. Her step in the right direction.

Hermione took a deep calming breath as she re-read the letter. It helped too that she was being offered the position of Head Girl. Honestly she was still Hermione, academic extraordinaire. The idea appealed to the simple school girl she once was. Perhaps she could find that girl again? When her greatest concern was getting the best grade and arriving to class on time. She nodded to herself. This would be good for her.




Hermione had arrived at Platform 9 and ¾ early and what she saw made her lips part in a long absent smile. Harry, Ron and Ginny stood in a small circle their soft voices barely above whispers as they waited. She gripped her trolley harder and quickened her pace. "Harry!" She called, abandoning the cart the instant she was within arm reach of the grinning boy. She threw herself in his open arms, hugging him for all she was worth. "I missed you." She whispered squeezing one last time before releasing him.

"Me too, Mione."

Hermione spun around to face the familiar red headed siblings. "Ron! Ginny!" She managed to hug them simultaneously if not a bit awkwardly. They both laughed, wrapping their arms around her. "How was your trip?" She asked when she finally let go of them, backing up until she stood next to Harry.

"It was good. Sad but good." Ginny supplied, her tone revealing just how sad it had been and her brow furrowed to prove it.

"Yeah, much needed though I think." Ron added, shoving his hands in his pockets.

Hermione nodded. They had gone back to Egypt, their whole family getting away to attempt to mend and heal from their loss. "I'm glad."

Harry ran a hand through his ever messy mop of hair atop his head. "We should get going. Wouldn't want the new Head girl to be late and miss the train."

Hermione chuckled and turned to find her trolley, one of her hands snaking out to grip the handle. "Right you are Harry. Let's go."

All four of them moved to follow her. She glanced to the right and then left to determine just how many eyes were watching. When she was satisfied that the coast was clear she took a deep breath and broke into a run, bursting through the brick wall and onto the other side. Platform 9 and ¾. She smiled. It was good to be back. It seemed so long since her last visit.

Ginny came through next, "Do you get to sit with us?"

Hermione shook her head no, "I have to report to McGonagall."

Ron appeared beside them, "Do you know who the Head boy is yet?"

"Not yet." She had been so sure it was going to be Harry. Honestly who was better suited for it than him? Of course, he did not have the best of grades and then there was the fact that he did not WANT it. She had been disappointed though, now she would have share her common room with someone else.

"You'll find out soon enough. Come on." Harry said from behind them all.

Hermione smiled at him and then pushed on.

When they were finally boarded, Hermione said her quick goodbyes to her friends and started toward the Head compartment, butterflies growing at an alarming pace in her stomach. Soon she found herself but a few paces away from the door and she forced a smile onto her face.

It faltered for only an instant when she saw him. His blonde hair impeccable and his familiar smirk firmly in place. "Malfoy." She said simply, knowing full well that no words were required here. Not to him.

"Granger. Surprise, surprise." He replied through clenched teeth.


Malfoy's nostrils flared slightly and it seemed to Hermione that he was fighting to keep his composure. Now that she thought about it, she should have known who Head Boy would be. His grades were perfect and his leadership skills well honed. After Voldemort had fallen his father Lucius had been sent to Azkaban and his mother had retired to the Manor. Draco was acquitted for his actions in the war, the veritaserum potion he had taken proving his relative innocence. According to the Daily Prophet he was simply a victim of his surroundings.

Surprising even to herself she believed that. How would she have ended up if she had been raised the way he had been? Surely she would not be the same Hermione. She would be arrogant and guarded, angry and spiteful. He had not killed Dumbledore and she was among the few that believed that even had Snape not stepped in, he never would have. Secretly she believed that he was not truly evil. Cruel and unfeeling maybe. But not evil.

Apparently McGonagall shared her feelings and now here they were. Head boy and Head girl of Hogwarts. Roommates. She snorted at that. Merlin save her.

"Ah, you are both here. Good." McGonagall appeared behind her and Hermione started slightly as she twisted to greet the older woman.

"Hello, Pro-…Head Mistress." She smiled.

McGonagall returned the gesture with a small twist of her lips, "Hello Miss Granger. It is good to see you." She cast her eyes on Malfoy, "You as well Mr. Malfoy."

"I'm sure."

McGonagall frowned only slightly before she returned her attention to the task at hand. "As you are both aware now, you are this years Head boy and Head girl. Congratulations." She reached her hand out in invitation and Hermione grasped it tightly before releasing and Draco followed suit. "You both deserve it. Over the years you have proven yourselves to be above the rest. I expect this to continue, this year is important for everyone, returning students and newcomers alike. You must set an example, you must be above reproach. Do you understand me? I'll tolerate nothing but the best behavior."

They both nodded.

"Good. When we arrive at Hogwarts you will first help organize the first years and then attend the sorting. After the feast I wish to see you both in my office. I will give you your password and a rough itinerary for the year. I warn you now, you will be spending much time together. I hope that whatever differences you may have had in the past are just that. In the past."

"Of course, Head Mistress." Hermione said, more out of habit then actual agreement. Noticing that Malfoy held his tongue. Never a good thing.

McGonagall nodded and attempted a smile once more, managing better this time. "I'll be off then. Good luck."

With that she was gone and Hermione was alone…with Malfoy. She squeezed her eyes shut and forced herself to inhale through her nose and exhale through her mouth. When she moved to face him, her features were relaxed. "So. I suppose congratulations are in order."

Malfoy shrugged and stared at her expectantly. When she did not continue he rolled his eyes, "Well?"

Hermione frowned, "Well. Congratulations."

"Thank you. Now be quite." He sat down heavily and Hermione had to fist her hands to keep from slapping him.

5 minutes down and a whole year to go.

No problem?




Week One

"You're impossible!"

"I am impossible? Take a look in the mirror Granger!"

What were they talking about? It didn't matter. It never mattered. It always ended the same way. What disciplinary action should they take for a rambunctious Ravenclaw student? What policy should they adopt for this year's school events regarding applications and auditions? What time of the day could Hermione shower? What time should they leave for rounds? Could Draco invite a "few" friends over? How many friends constituted a "few"?

"You are surly and rude and you disagree with everything I say just to be antagonistic!"

"Way to jump to conclusions. Did you ever stop to think that maybe I just don't agree with you!"

"Fine! Have it your way you pompous ferret. I don't care anymore!" With that Hermione threw her hands in the air, stomped up the stairs that led to the shared bathroom, took a right and slammed her bedroom door shut behind her. She was furious. Never in her life had she wanted to throttle someone so much. Never.

Moments later Draco moved to follow, his own anger past boiling point. "Real mature, mudblood." His voice came from just outside her door and she screeched, sure that if her ire were to take physical form that steam would be funneling from her ears.

"Shove off!" She shouted, unable to come up with anything more effective.

"I am in the hallway, shared space. So make me." He countered.

She was turned around and opening the door before she could think about her actions. Her left hand on the door handle, her right hand pulling her wand. In seconds she was facing the pale face pureblood with her wand pointing straight at his nose. "I am warning you just this once, Malfoy. Get away from my door, stop talking and stay away from me."

Draco struggled to keep his features calm and collected. He would not show the flash of fear he felt, he would not show a sign of weakness. Not to her. Instead he steeled his nerves and opened his mouth, making sure that his lips were curled into his usual smirk. "I. Dare. You."

The air rushed from her lungs as an image washed over her. Her lips parting only slightly as a curse escaped from them. The tip of her wand sparking as she cast the spell that would knock him to the ground. She would then stand triumphantly above him. Above Malfoy, weaponless, defenseless Malfoy. He stood in front of her with his perfect hair disheveled, his pale cheeks tinted red and his form clad in his usual sleepwear. Green sleep pants and a white tee shirt. She could not do this. She was not this person. Draco Malfoy brought out the very worst in her and she hated him for it.

Her chest heaving with her barely contained rage, she slowly lowered her wand. The look on his face, the smug boastful expression made her stomach churn and her wand hand twitch. "You are not worth it, Malfoy." She hissed, seething with pent up anger. Deliberately she backed away and pushed her door shut in his face. She could only hope it hit him.

Outside Draco exhaled sharply and pinched the bridge of his nose in a vain attempt to reduce the throbbing in his head.

7 days down, far too many to go.

No problem?




Week Three

"Everything is fine. Thank you for asking, Head Mistress."

Draco snorted unattractively and Hermione elbowed him in the ribs while casting him a quick but not unnoticed scathing glare. He rolled his eyes but decided, for the interest of peace and maintaining his position as Head boy he would humor her...for now. "Yup, fine. We are getting along smashingly." He winced, maybe that was too far. McGonagall's eyes were narrowed on him now, her lips pursed.

"I see. Well that is good news. I would hate to find out otherwise."

Was that a threat?

"Make sure you complete your rounds together, Proffessor Flitwick reported hearing footsteps at a time of the night when there should be none."

"Of course. We will keep our eyes open. I believe they are sneaking up from the dungeons and-"

"Why the dungeons? Why automatically a Slytherin?" He could not help himself.

Hermione shifted from one foot to the other uncomfortably, " Because I overheard something from one of the first years. How about we talk about it later?" She whispered angrily, her tone at odds with the serene smile on her face.

Draco forced himself to nod and drop it. They would revisit this conversation later.

McGonagall sighed heavily, "Alright. I will see you both next week. We need to talk about the upcoming fall break."

Hermione nodded as she turned around to leave the office. Draco could tell she was angry just by the way she moved. Her usual fluid steps were harsher and more pronounced. Inwardly he groaned, they had managed a whole week of argument free conversations. He knew it could not last forever but he was not so sure he was ready for another spat. It did not matter of course, he was in for one tonight.

Draco was right. The moment they stepped into their common room, Hermione had spun around to face him. "What are you doing? Are you TRYING to get us demoted?"

"Of course not! I didn't mean to say it but it slipped. Speaking of, where do you get off blaming a Slytherin? It is really so impossible for you to think that any of the other houses might be at fault?"

"I told you! I over heard one of the first years! It is not a baseless accusation! Is it really so impossible to for you to think that it is Slytherin?"

"I just think that you are biased."

"Oh and you are not? Try not to make me laugh Malfoy."

"Shut it, Granger. I never pretended I wasn't!"

"You know what? This is pointless! We have no reason to be speaking to one another right now. I am leaving, I will be back tonight for rounds and we will find out for ourselves."

"Leaving? Is it Christmas Granger? Because that is just what I wanted."

Hermione did not give him the benefit of a response. She knew that is what he wanted, what he seemed to thrive on. Reaction. Anger and fury. Her anger and her fury. She would not give it to him this time. She would not let him see it. So squared her shoulders and brushed passed him.

"Don't be late, Mudblood." He called back.

Her step faltered and came to a stop. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, calmly. She would not give it to him. When she was sure that she would be able to take that last step to the door without turning around, she did it and escaped.




"Why do you think he does it? Bait you like that?"

Hermione sighed sadly as she thought about her flawless blonde counterpart. "We both do it. I cannot help myself. When I am around him, I turn into another person. I cannot keep myself in check. It is so frustrating."

Ginny scoffed, "Understatement of the year Mione. You come here almost every night with white knuckles and tears in your eyes."

"Why can't I just stop it? Why can't I just ignore it?"

"Because he is Malfoy. He knows your buttons and he pushes them until they break."

Hermione buried her face in one of her outstretched arms. She was laying on her stomach on the floor of the Griffindor common room, twiddling with a frayed edge of the rug beneath her. "I need to go. I will never hear the end of it if I am late for rounds tonight." She said, her words muffled.

Ginny nodded thoughtfully, "Tonight will be better Mione. It has to be."

Hermione raised her head and smiled sardonically, "Right."




Draco had been waiting for her, ready to go and ready to go now. Hermione had held it together, keeping her mouth shut for fear of the words that would spill from it. She had followed him out and into the dark halls of Hogwarts. Secretly, very secretly she was glad for the company even his company. So much had happened in these halls. Dark and painful things. She shivered and wrapped her arms around her small frame to banish the sudden cold she felt.

"Should have brought a sweater."

"Thank you for stating the obvious Malfoy. How I value your input."

Draco opened his mouth to spit more of the easy flowing insults racing through his mind when she held a hand to his lips. He was too shocked to react. She was touching him. Not only was she touching him but she was touching his lips! The moment he regained control of his higher functions he grabbed her arm and wrenched it away from him. "Don't touch me!"

She shook her head furiously and raised her finger to her own mouth instead. "Listen!"

Draco only obeyed because at that moment he heard it too. Footsteps. Just down the hall and heading…away? They glanced at each other briefly before they took off after the ghostly sound that echoed in the stone halls.

It was too easy of course. No challenge at all. He was almost disappointed. They caught up with their quarry all too quickly.

"Oy! Stop!" He called out, his eyes immediately drawn to the flash of green as the boy spun around on his heels. Damn.

"What are you doing out of your bed? It is well past curfew." Hermione questioned, authority ringing in her tone.

Draco squinted in the darkness trying to get a better look at the student in front of him. He groaned when he recognized the boy. "Corbin? What the hell?"

"Dr- Draco?"

"Of course it is me you great git. What are you doing?"

The boy's eyes suddenly dropped to his feet, apparently his shoes had become absurdly riveting.

Draco's eyes narrowed, "Lucia?"

Corbin nodded morosely as he fidgeted in place.

Draco shook his head and turned enough so that Hermione would know he was speaking to her. "Wow, so this is the great mystery you were hot on the trail of? Corbin, prowling the night in search of his first shag with a girl so far out of his reach he has to wear his glasses to see her? Nice."

"Quiet Malfoy." She turned attention back to the young Slytherin. "Go back to bed, Corbin. You will receive a letter in reference to your punishment tomorrow."

Corbin took a deep breath and opened his mouth as though to speak but the courage must have left him at the last moment because it snapped shut and he turned to follow her instructions.

"Come on, we've only got the library left and then we can go to bed."

"Fine. Lead the way, Sherlock."

"You stun me with your wit, Malfoy. Truly."

"Just go would you?"

They spent the rest of their rounds in their usual simmering silence. When they finally reached the door to the common room Hermione could actually feel the tension begin to slough off of her shoulders. Only a few more steps and she would be free of him, if only for a little while.

Malfoy surged ahead of her and entered first, throwing the door behind him in a poorly veiled attempt to hit her with it. "Hey!"

"Hey what?"

She closed the door behind her and glared at him, "You tried to hit me!"

"I did not! You're irrational Granger."

A strangled cry surged from her throat, "You are just mad because I was right and you were wrong. Get over yourself Malfoy!"

"Excuse me? Get over myself? This coming from the goody two shoes, know it all Granger? Fuck off mudblood."

"Don't call me that!" She shouted, her anger building with every word that left his mouth.

"Or what? What are you going to do?" He was taunting her. He knew it. She knew it.

Hermione had her wand out a split second later. "I will hex you into oblivion. Yes, that sounds nice."

Draco only smiled his infernally irritating smile. "Don't make threats you don't have any intention of fulfilling, MUDBLOOD, it is pitiful."

Hermione's grip on her want tightened, her knuckles turning white as she fought for control. "I told you not to call me that anymore!"

He shrugged. "And I ignored you."

She lost it. Completely and utterly. She clenched her teeth and tensed her body and her lips began to move. "Stupe-"

He had seen it coming. He had watched it happen. The last chink in her armor disintegrating around her like dust. She came unhinged and all the pent up anger was about to be unleashed. On him. He was faster though, than her befuddled and anger clouded brain. Before she could finish the spell he had closed the distance between them and had her wand hand firmly in his own. "I didn't honestly think you had it in your, Granger." He whispered, their sudden and unexpected proximity making him forget the purpose of it.

"Get your hand off me Malfoy."

The command in her voice made him cringe. Every fiber of his being screamed to do the opposite. He was a Malfoy and he did not take orders. His free hand found her other wrist and he closed what little space had remained between them. He was flush with her now, his chest pressed against hers.

"Let go of me!" She shrieked as she pushed with all of her might against him. He stumbled backwards but managed to maintain his hold on her and therefore maintained his balance.

He growled at her force and twisted her around so that he could shove her back against the nearest wall. "Make me."

Hermione began to struggle, her wand falling to the floor forgotten. She tugged and pushed and writhed. Each movement only a reminder of just how close he was. How he smelled as she breathed deep, how he felt pressed into her.

"Stop moving!" He made it a demand. Unrefutable.

Hermione's lips mimicked his familiar smirk, smug and maddening. "Make me."

He would swear later that she had made the first move by challenging him. She had forced him, as it were. Without thought he crashed his lips against hers and he kissed her, hard. Hard enough to cut her lip on her own teeth. He wanted it to hurt. When she finally managed to break away, they were both breathless and farther beyond sanity than they had ever been before.

"What are you doing?" She hissed, her mouth close enough to his ear that he could feel her hot breath.

"What? Never been kissed before, Granger?" He replied, his voice husky.

"Get off!"

"Can't handle it?"

She wrenched one of her hands free and punched him as hard as she could, reveling in the way his head jerked back before she wrapped her hand around the back of his neck and pulled him back to her, closing her mouth over his. She could taste the blood she had released. She suckled on the broken lip and elicited a groan of pain from Malfoy, smiling cruelly as she bit down.

Draco pulled away, overpowering her. "Bitch!"

"Prick." She said, breathless and disturbingly…aroused.

He moved his hands to slam her shoulders back against the wall and the force of it threw her head back with a loud crack on impact. She cried out in pain and shock. "Tell me to stop. Tell me you stand down."

She brought her knee up with as much strength as her weakened legs could muster and connected with his groin. "You first."

Draco doubled over as he saw stars. "Never." The sound was guttural and angry. He straightened up and stared into her eyes. Chocolate brown eyes that glared at him with equal potency.

Her hands found the collar of his button-down shirt and she grasped the edges. "Likewise." She tore it open and laughed wickedly as the buttons showered down around them. She placed each of her palms on the newly revealed skin of his firm and muscled torso. He knew then, an instant too late what she was doing but before he could stop her she curled her fingertips and dragged her hands down his chest, scratching hard enough to form angry red welts on his unblemished pale skin.

He pulled away only long enough to escape her claws before he returned to her, his hands grasping for the edges of her own shirt. She tried to fight him but he was stronger than her and in the end, that strength won out. He ripped her shirt open and pulled the cups of her bra down until each of her breasts were bared to him. He smiled evilly at her and then ducked his head to capture one of her nipples in his mouth, nipping harder than he should.

Hermione cried out in the oddest mixture of pleasure and pain. In response she threaded her hand through his hair and pulled firmly, making sure that if he was going to continue what he was doing than he was going to hurt with her.

When he pulled away to move to her other breast, Hermione took his chin and pulled him upwards. "Back down." She urged him.

Malfoy shook his head slowly, deliberately.

Her fingers were at the buckle of his belt before he finished his reply. She tugged roughly, yanking it open and then set to work on the button of his trousers, then his zipper. Soon, her hand had snaked its way in and found his engorged flesh with a quick squeeze. His head dropped onto her shoulder as he groaned at the sensation and she wanted more. So much more.

She trailed a finger down his shaft and circled beneath before she pulled it free from the slit in his boxers. She pumped him once, compressing too tight. Enough for him to reach down and stop her movement. "Damn it, st-"

Her eyebrows shot up and into her hairline. "What was that? Finish your sentence Malfoy."

His teeth ground together. "Not a chance." He used his free hand to skim over her bare stomach and then lower until he arrived at the hem of her skirt. Without waiting for her reaction he reached up and pushed her panties aside, plunging one of his fingers in without permission. Reveling in the sounds that rushed from her lips and the way her body clenched around him as though begging him to stay.

Hermione moaned involuntarily and resumed the motion of her hand, pumping his cock until he gave her what she wanted. His voice. Proof of what she was doing to him. He groaned, softly and encouragingly.

Not to be outdone, Draco adjusted his hand so that his thumb could search out the bundle of nerves that he knew would make her scream for him. He pressed down on it and smiled at the way she squirmed. He wanted more of that. He added a second finger and curled the tips inside of her as his thumb continued it leisurely exploration.

Hermione beat her free hand against his chest, too lightly to mean it. Against all coherent thought she did not really want this to stop. Whatever this was, she would not be the one to end it. She leaned forward and ran her tongue along one of the welts of her creation. She kissed his chest, his collarbone. She let her tongue make lazy circles on his neck and his jawline until he jerked suddenly and captured her mouth with his.

This kiss was different. It was still hard and all encompassing but the element of hate had been lost, somewhere, somehow. She kissed him back with equal fervor as he played her body until she was ready to explode. She increased the speed of her hand until he was shaking against her.

Hermione fell off the edge first, her climax erupting from her in waves and waves of unrelenting pleasure. Only moments later, Draco followed suit, spurting his release onto her hand and belly.

In the daze after their passionate battle they stood, locked together. Tangled and connected, hearts racing and lungs laboring. When finally their actions sank in, they began to pull apart, each at a loss for the usual scathing insults. Speechless, they separated.

Hermione disappeared into the bathroom without a word, her clothes wrapped around her haphazardly and Draco locked himself into his bedroom.

What the hell?

They both closed their eyes and thought.

Three weeks down, so many to go.

No problem…