This is another Draco/Hermione one-shot - I really love that pairing, but damn they're really difficult to handle.

Well I'd say this is AU because I don't really talk about the background - they're in their sixth year and Draco isn't a Death Eater. I hope they're not too OOC even if I know they are. To those who will think what happens between them is strange I want to tell them than the day teenagers' relationships will become clear and logical, then they won't be teenagers' relationships any more =) Everything can't be explain, sometimes you only send your fears and doubts to hell and choose to follow your heart.

It's rated M but there is no lemon.

I'm not an English native so please be indulgent and if my mistakes are really disturbing you then please tell me, gently, because telling me my English is bad without indicating where are my mistakes won't help me improve ^^"

I hope you'll enjoy your reading !

Elie


Delicious Exhaustion

She raised her arms above her head, thus allowing him to remove her sweater, under which she wore nothing else than a black lace bra. His eyes lighted up when he caught sight of the cloth. He got rid of his shirt as quickly as the shivers his desire was rousing allowed him to do. Her legs were straddling his waist as they both laid on the couch of Gryffindor common room. He licked the skin between her breasts, up to her neck, then gently nibbled the sensitive skin above her collarbone.

She moaned, she wanted more, more of him, more of that pleasure he was the only one able to rouse in her.

"Please," she pleaded. "Please, stop teasing."

A roguish smirk graced his features.

"What do you want?" His hot breath on her skin sent shivers down her spine.

"You," she whispered.

His hands suddenly grabbed her bottom. "Didn't hear well," he growled against her breasts.

"You Draco!" she cried as he cruelly teased her smooth flesh.

Hermione woke up with a start, panting the same way she'd just pictured herself doing in her dream, in his arms... She violently shook her head. Why? Oh why had she again imagined herself with him! Why had she again dreamt of him, of his body, of their bodies, both half-naked, laying where they shouldn't be... Night after night, his face, his voice, him, him and nobody else, Draco Malfoy, Slytherin Prince, had haunted her sleep for days, no weeks, she sighed, months to be honest.

The least Hermione could say was that she was exhausted. The scenes in her dreams often changed – they weren't always as steamy, the tenderness emanating from some of them had brought tears to her eyes more than once already, and had also made her heart cruelly crave for something it was unlikely to know. Agitated or moving, her dreams would never allow her to have a peaceful sleep.

If nights weren't doing her any good, days were actually worsening her state. Indeed, days were worse than nights, worse because she'd search for his silvery blond hair, worse because her eyes'd continually drift to the Slytherin table, worse because she couldn't prevent her heart rate from increasing as soon as she caught sight of him.

At night, she could at least claim she'd eaten too much before going to sleep, and that it was the cause of her disturbed slumber, or that the stress studies forced on her was bigger than she thought, her body then telling her it was time to slow down by means of odd dreams.

But which excuses did she have once the sun was high in the sky? None.

Today wouldn't make exception to the rule. Even thought Hermione was sitting between her two best friends for breakfast, her eyes were solely focused on the entrance of the Great Hall - she couldn't even tell what her hands were bringing to her mouth – by now, he could walk through the doors at any moment.

She tried, really hard, to concentrate on something else than that damned spot, but her eyes wouldn't turn away from it.

She sighed. Her health – physical and mental – wouldn't last long if that schema didn't stop soon.

"Merlin Hermione! You need a break!" Ron exclaimed as her spoon met her cheek instead of her mouth. "Plus, you're really pale!"

Harry didn't make any comment, but, when their eyes met, Hermione knew his worry was as important as Ron's. She held back a grimace. She needed to do something before her friends brought her by force to the infirmary. Perhaps she should go by herself, some sleeping pills could reveal themselves useful. She wasn't usually fond of those things, but such a situation obviously required unusual methods. She had already waited too long.

Hermione successfully lost her friends after their last lesson. They didn't need to be aware of her trip to the infirmary, for it'd only increase their worry and she wouldn't hear the end of it. "We told you!", "You work too much!", "Just drop your damned books!" and so on.

Her exhaustion had to be really terrible, and obvious, because the pills were handed to her with no question, no hesitation.

As soon as she got the chance to look at herself in a mirror, Hermione winced. Indeed, she looked terrible.

"How do you want him to look at you when you're so ugly!" The last word had just left her mouth – in a very low whisper hopefully – than a frown appeared on her face. She hadn't said what she thought she'd said, had she? She gritted her teeth. Sleep, she desperately needed to sleep.

At that point, all she desired was a peaceful night. A night with no dream, a night which would allow her to have an equally peaceful day – she was sure that a good rest would settle everything, if it wasn't for her exhaustion, she wouldn't focus so much on him.

With that certainty in mind, she swallowed the pill and buried herself under her covers.

His hands were everywhere, squeezing her bottom, caressing her thighs, brushing her breasts, tangling through her hair... She could feel him licking and nibbling the tender flesh of her neck. She arched her back, leaning even more against his bare chest. Her hands slowly traced his muscles, she loved the way they tensed under her touch, it made her believe she had some sort of control over him when, obviously, she was totally under his. When she was in his arms, her body, her mind, her-

He suddenly lifted her from the couch on which they were resting, she instinctively wound her arms around his neck, her legs already circling his waist. He made his way towards the bed with no difficulty. Were they in her or his bedroom? She didn't know. Once his lips had crashed upon hers, in a corridor, he'd become her sole clear memory.

He delicately laid her on green silk sheets – his room then, there was no doubt.

"Hermione?" his voice, his husky tone, sent shivers of pleasure down her spine.

"Yes?" she whispered back.

He shook his head, a small smile on his lips. He didn't speak but she understood. She hadn't given him the proper answer.

"Yes, Draco?" she repeated. His face immediately-

"No way!" Hermione shouted while jerking up. "No way," she repeated in a weaker tone.

She put her head in her hands. A failure, those pills, a total failure! Worse than a failure in fact, the dreams had never been so vivid, so intense.

Her fingers lightly dug into her skin. Her clothes were stuck to her skin by sweat.

Worse, worse and worse. She glared at the medicines, they seemed to mock her from her bedside table. Never would she be taken again swallowing one of those damned things!

His hands on her bottom...

Hermione squeezed her eyes shut.

on her thighs...

She pressed her hands harder against her head.

His well-toned chest, his mesmerizing paleness...

Her eyes shot open. "Enough!" she growled.

She got up from her bed, well decided to have a normal day, she'd not let these images gain the upper hand. She'd dress up, meet her friends for breakfast, assist to her classes and no image, no disturbing fantasy or thought about Draco Malfoy would prevent her from doing so.

Not until she reached the Great Hall at least...

As soon as she walked through the doors, her eyes went to his table – where he wasn't seated yet.

In fact, there weren't many people around the Slytherin table, observing her surroundings, Hermione realised it was the same thing for the other houses. She sighed. In her hurry to chase the embarrassing thoughts away, she'd failed to notice how early it was.

Her friends wouldn't be up before a long time, and waiting for them wasn't really an attracting idea. She needed to keep her mind as busy as possible before the start of the first lesson.

Month after month, she'd become used to the idea of herself fancying Draco Malfoy, however that didn't mean she was glad to continually have him on her mind. To fancy was normal, and the Slytherin student was brilliant – he had great marks – attractive and not quite as much irking as he used to be during their first year. To be honest, she'd stopped abhorring his behaviour a long time ago. In fact, she wouldn't mind fancying him if her fantasies were only that, fantasies, products of her imagination, but, as time went by, they seemed to have a growing influence on her heart which had been worrying her. To have a crush on Draco Malfoy wasn't impossible, but it was an idea which made her really uneasy and felt bad, bad because she knew she would never be able to make it a reality.

He would never hug her, kiss her, elsewhere than in her dreams, because of that, she wanted them to stop before her heart grew too much attached to someone her feelings would never reach.

His tongue ran along her jawline...

Hermione immediately put down her unfinished bowl, breakfast had done its time. She promptly left her seat, ignoring the curious looks set on her, grabbed an apple and hurried to the library.

A book, hundreds of pages to immerse herself in, one she hadn't read yet if possible – there might be one! - one which would captivate her attention until classes began.

His hands were firmly holding her hips, pressing her closer to him like...

Like he was doing – well not literally of course – with the book currently resting against his chest.

"What-" The words died in her throat as he fully turned towards her.

Hermione swallowed hard. What was he doing here? Wasn't it way too early? - even she seldom went to the library at such an hour!

It didn't surprise her that Draco Malfoy didn't smirk at her, didn't spit hurting words to her either, those actions were now rare from his part, as if he had grown tired of mocking her. Instead he remained where he was, his face emotionless, except for his eyes – fixed on her – which reflected many different emotions. Hermione easily pointed out his doubt, his exhaustion, but she didn't risk herself to name the other things she thought she was seeing. They seemed far too dangerous to her, as much dangerous as keeping her eyes on Draco when flashes of her previous dreams were flooding her mind was.

She had to get away from before she did something stupid.

Discreetly, she pinched her wrist and walked past him. That was a stupid thing to do as his cologne, a scent he was the only one to wear in their school, immediately assaulted her nose.

Her defences dropped and she found herself back in his arms, pressed against his chest, one of his hands grabbing her thigh, the other on her hip, his lips on hers, it... It wasn't a dream!

His tongue was gently – gently? - licking her lips. Without thinking much about it, she granted him the desired access, slightly parting her lips.

A loud noise was heard. Hermione guessed Draco'd dropped his book for his arms were now circling her waist, pulling her to him like she'd dreamt him doing so many times.

Was it really happening? Or had she fallen asleep while eating her breakfast? Was her face buried in her bowl? Never mind. Right now, Hermione decided that only his lips, travelling down to her collarbone, had an importance.

When the door suddenly opened, Draco was the first to react, moving away from her in order not to arouse any suspicion. Hermione didn't dare look at him, fearing the reaction she might have depending on what she'd see on his face, and chose to walk to the back of the library instead, as if nothing had happened and perhaps, perhaps nothing had happened in reality. The book she thought he'd dropped wasn't on the floor, but back in his arms which, it was a possibility, it might have never left.

As she came closer to the shelves, her doubt increased. Had he really kissed her, hugged her? She had no evidence, not even the smallest, that it hadn't been another dream, the thought broke her heart. It had seemed so real...

"To sleep becomes urgent," she murmured to herself.

She spent her day fighting against her fantasies, meanwhile trying not to rouse any suspicion from her friends, as well as from the other occupants of Hogwarts.

But, in spite of all her efforts, she knew it was a battle she was obviously losing. Each time her thoughts drifted from what she was supposed to be reading, from her professor's words, images of them, of him, instantly invaded her mind.

The episode of the library, whether it was real or not, made her have a hell of a day.

Once safely back in her room, Hermione realised that if images of Draco had occupied her mind all day, she hadn't actually caught a real glimpse of him since the morning.

She swiftly drew the heavy curtains around her bed, thus assuring herself more privacy to ponder on the situation.

Perhaps his absence was a sign. A sign everything had been a dream, a sign that their kiss had only been another product of her imagination. If the real man wasn't around, how could he have been hugging her? He might have been sick, spending his day in his bed, she'd have to verify.

She jumped in surprise when she felt a hand sneak around her waist. Her mouth opened but no word left it as a hand covered her lips.

Immersed in her thoughts, Hermione had, once again, taken no notice of her surroundings. She'd dropped her guard without being sure it was safe to do so.

If panic had shot through her veins when she'd first been touched, the feeling quickly died down for she knew the scent which was teasing her nostrils, liked it. Although her dreams used to be realistic, his scent had always been the lacking part, never being as vivid, as pleasant, as it was now.

"Is that real?" she weakly asked when his hand freed her mouth.

No answer, but she felt his breath on her neck. It wasn't her imagination – except if it had really improved in the last hours. He was there, right behind her, how had he been able to avoid all the other girls' eyes before the curtains had been drawn?

She tensed, he was leaving kisses at the birth of her hair.

"Do you want it to be real?" he whispered in her ear.

Her eyes widened a little. Was it fear she could hear in his voice? Yes it was, she was sure she'd heard it. What could he be fearing?

"I-" she tried to move away from his hold but his arms automatically tightened around her.

Rejection, she answered to her own question.

"The library?" she breathed, the words barely audible.

She needed to be sure her mind wasn't playing with her again. His scent, his voice, sure her dreams had never been of such a quality but... it wasn't sufficient to get rid of all her doubts.

He pulled her closer to him, her back against his chest, and buried his face in the crook of her neck.

"Wanted to continue," he confessed," but you'd not have wanted anyone to see us, am I wrong?"

Now there was hope in his voice, hope her mind wasn't totally against the idea, against the prospect of them being seen together. Together, why hadn't she pulled him away yet? Why was she staying in his arms? And why did they seem to have a conversation though she was certain they had never started one?

"You hate me. I hate you," she wanted her words to be a statement, but, to tell the truth, they sounded rather ridiculous to her ears. Hatred had disappeared from their exchanges a long time ago, if hatred there had ever been.

"Do you really?"

"You're a Slytherin."

"Is that a valuable reason?"

She felt him smile against her skin. All right, wrong argument.

"You hate Harry, and Ron."

"I didn't know you were them," he laughed, though he didn't deny his dislike of her friends.

"You hate muggle-born," she said, ignoring his previous comment.

It was the truth, he had even called her a mud-blood, but as the words left her mouth, she thought her argument wasn't as strong as it could seem even if, for most of people, it'd be the simplest and purest evidence something was wrong with their actual... position.

Draco Malfoy, pure-blood wizard and proud to be it, couldn't possibly be embracing Hermione Granger, muggle-born with the tendency to defy the supposed-to-be supremacy of blood purity.

"This is a general statement. Don't you think I'm a stupid pure-blood? But isn't Weasley a pure-blood too? Then he is stupid, isn't he? Because he is a pure-blood. Haven't you ever said a generality to save your ass?"

"To save my ass?" she repeated, taken aback by his words.

"Yours, or mine actually. To suppress the strange feelings I have when seeing you, to prevent me from doing something which would certainly shock you - like hugging you in the middle of Hogwarts, I'd save my ass, my Slytherin pride, hiding behind despicable words."

Hermione leaned back, putting her head on his shoulder. She was acting strangely. Why wasn't she chasing him out of her bed? Why was she listening to him? Actually believing him? Why was she leaning into his touch? Perhaps the sleeping pills were acting with delay, thus explaining her inexplicable behaviour.

"Since when?" she heard herself say.

The door of the dormitory opened. His hold around her instinctively tightened again. They waited in silence for the student to leave, then for their footsteps to become distant noises, before deciding it was safe to talk.

"Since when what?"

"You know what I mean, when have you started having those... those strange feelings – whatever they are – for me?"

Hermione wasn't entirely convinced it wasn't a dream, or a bad – very bad – joke yet. By asking more details, she thought she'd be able to figure out if he was lying.

"You'd not believe me if I told you," one of his hands was now gently caressing her stomach.

"Try me."

His laugh made her shake, and she reddened as understanding dawned on her.

"I didn't mean it like that," she sheepishly protested.

"I know, I'd not have minded though."

Her blush deepened. "Well?" As embarrassed as she was, she still wanted an answer.

"A long time," he admitted. "Well, in fact I can't date it. At first I really couldn't stomach your miss know-it-all attitude, and the fact that I can't stand Potter and Weasley didn't help, but I think I've always found you... interesting to say the least. I've grown to like it, that attitude of yours, your defiance, your intelligence, your beauty," Hermione squirmed in his arms, embarrassed by such compliments. He gently laughed and kissed her hair – an action which, oddly, didn't seem to surprise any of them. "I mean it. Hermione," to hear him say her name was actually far better than her imagination had made it be, "it's obvious you're doubting, well I can't blame you, the appearances are against me after all, but I do mean everything I've just said."

Hermione's heart swelled with hope. Hope? What was she hoping for? 'You want your crush to be reciprocal,' a little voice murmured in her head.

"Hatred is closer to... to what I feel for you than friendship. How often did I laugh, thinking that sentence was stupid but look at me now! Look at the situation I'm in! Hugging a woman I'm supposed to – hate isn't the right word, I stopped hating you with the beginning of our second year I think, when my interest in you had won over my irritation, anyway let's say a woman I'm supposed not to appreciate very much." He shook his head. "I'm a fool, aren't I?"

Hermione took his hands in hers. Yes he was a fool, and so was she. Both blinded by what they were supposed to be, prisoner of a show everyone was expecting from them. The Slytherin Prince, The Gryffindor Head, mere names but such strong hindrances which made them so unsure about their feelings, lost, guilty even.

Had she always hated Draco Malfoy? No. It'd been more complex than like or dislike. The dreams might have start only months ago, but she'd been interested in him for a longer time. His personality, the defy he was representing, indeed Hermione had always felt something for him. Not love, and she could tell it wasn't it for him either, not yet at least. But they were obviously attracted to each other, they did have feelings for each other – although love wasn't one of them yet. It'd only grow if they wished to give it a try.

However, were they ready to put aside their reputations? To ignore everybody's shock and bewilderment? To forget their doubts and overcome their fear?

"The library, why did you... why did you hug me? You could have ignored me, and we'd have continued to be... to avoid each other."

He nuzzled his nose in her hair, kissed his way down her throat before answering. "Too much temptation. I was there to forget about you, for as long as the book I had chosen would have held my attention, and suddenly you appeared in front of me, looking as lost as I was also feeling. I often observe you," she tensed, had he caught her staring at him? He laughed a little at her reaction. "I guess you've done the same thing quite often, haven't you? Well, by observing you I recognised your attitude to be the same I was displaying. You had strong feelings for someone, feelings which disturbed you, however I couldn't tell who they were meant to, and I thought it was unlikely to be me. It was... hard."

Led by the inexplicable need to reassure him, Hermione's hands moved to his arms, gently caressing them.

How many times had she imagined him with another girl? How many times had jealousy taken control of her? How many times had she refused to acknowledge that same jealousy? Too many. Again, blinded by what she thought was the truth – Draco and her being enemies – she had simply decided her fantasies, her crush on him, would disappear, being solely a product of her teenage hormones when, in fact, they represented the truth which nobody seemed willing to see.

Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger were interested in one another.

"But in the library," Draco continued, "when I saw you, when I saw the way you froze on seeing me, I started to hope, yeah I hoped I could be the guy you had feelings for because, if you hated me, or didn't care a bit 'bout me, you wouldn't have looked so tormented. It was now or never. I had to give it a try."

Flashes of what had happened came back to Hermione's mind.

"I chose not to be a coward well, not a total coward, because finally, I left you without an explanation, I did act like a coward, but the door-"

"You did well," she cut him off.

A light chuckle shook his chest. "Perhaps, things would have become difficult if we'd remained in such a position. What could have we said? Well, never mind, there's no need to waste time on that."

Hermione turned in his arms. She loved his voice but craved to see his face. The more she listened to him, the more she became convinced that her feelings weren't so crazy, could be right and, above all, were shared.

She needed to see his face, to look in his eyes because, at such a time, his feelings would undoubtedly spark in them. And if it was only a joke, if he was only playing with her, she'd definitely be able to tell – how she would react she didn't know – but she'd immediately put an end to it.

"I know what you're thinking," he said.

"Sorry?"

He raised a hand to cup her cheek.

"You're wondering whether I'm putting on a show or not, whether I'm joking or telling the truth." She gave him a sheepish smile. He read her very well.

All of a sudden, Draco locked their lips in a fiery kiss. Surprised at first, Hermione didn't take long before responding to him with an equal passion.

No need for words, she'd understood. Draco's words weren't the true reflection of his mind, much less of his heart. Worlds would never be strong, or sound right, enough to prove her his sincerity. Because his words had already been so despicable to her, Draco had chosen to bet on his actions, thus wholly putting his heart into this kiss, a kiss Hermione'd never forget – and also make sure to experience again in the future.

His choice had been right. Words wouldn't have convinced her as quickly as their kiss had.

They only broke apart when air started to lack and remained forehead against forehead, staring into each other's eyes.

"Do you know now?"

Hermione chose to do it his way. She cupped his face between her hands before firmly pressing her lips to his.

Of course she knew, and she hoped he, too, knew that what was happening was far from being a joke. By kissing him, she was agreeing to give them a chance, to see how far their feelings could go, would go, to see if they were right to bet there was more than a mere attraction between them.

Once again, air forced them apart.

"Hell will break loose, won't it?" he whispered, his tone hoarse because of their intense exchanges.

She grimaced. Indeed, hell would break loose. It was evident none of them was willing to keep their newly started relationship secret – it wasn't in their habits, but how would she explain it to her friends? How would she convince them that lust wasn't the only thing between them? Words wouldn't be sufficient. Perhaps a direct approach would prove to be more efficient. She was sure Draco wouldn't mind, for it was also his way of handling important matters.

People would be surprised, shocked, lost, sceptical, disgusted, but facing them wasn't part of Hermione's plans for the time being.

"How did you remain unseen?" she suddenly asked.

"I may not be the brightest student of Hogwarts – we all know who is it – but I do know some useful spells."

She smiled.

"You agree, don't you?"

"About?"

She was surprised by the fear which had returned to his voice.

"About us, about giving it a try and about not keeping it a secret."

"Totally," she acquiesced – did he really need to ask? It was evident secrecy would do them no good. "But right now I'm too exhausted to face the chaos it will create."

A mischievous smile stretched Draco's lips.

"We're both exhausted," he stated. "We need to rest."

All of a sudden, Hermione found herself laying on her side, her face facing his chest, as he was pulling the covers over them.

"Do you mind if I sleep there?" The question was ridiculous she thought, when he had visibly no intention of leaving her bed.

"Not at all but-"

"It doesn't really matter if someone sees us, does it?"

Hermione pondered on the idea a little, before offering him a bright smile. Indeed, it didn't matter for, sooner or later, everybody would know. She wound her arms around his torso while he pulled her closer to him.

The position wasn't really in their favour, people would immediately think they'd done more than sleeping beside each other, but, in fact, the same rumours would run among the students even if they weren't caught in such a place. People always talked more than they knew about.

"There's nothing to worry about."

Hopefully, the darkness surrounding them prevented him from noticing her blush. Being so close to him was making the images of what she'd pictured them doing in that very same bed invade her mind. She doubted she'd be able to fall asleep right away.

Draco moved his legs around hers. They couldn't get any closer, Hermione thought, at least not without crossing the limits of decency. Her blush deepened.

"I bet you're as red as the Weasel's hair," Draco lightly chuckled.

She mumbled unintelligible words before hiding her face further into his chest.

"No need to be embarrassed," he cooed. "I bet our thoughts are the same."

One of his hands slid to her bottom, then gently squeezed it. Hermione couldn't hold back a sigh of pleasure.

It both amazed and scared her how the smallest of his touches roused such feelings in her.

"I'm exhausted," she weakly protested as he started to explore her body.

Exhausted, admittedly, and yet it didn't prevent her hands from imitating his. Lust versus exhaustion, right now the former seemed to have the upper hand. Too much time had already been wasted, but now, now that they were together, they'd have all the time they wanted, needed, to spend embracing one another.

To sleep was something they could afford, although they were very reluctant to do so.

Hermione allowed her hands to wander under his white shirt, all the way tracing his well chiselled muscles. Her touch made his body shiver and his imagination go wild.

"Hermione," he moaned. "Hermione we're not going to sleep if we keep things going like that I-" her fingers brushed the skin above his belt. "It's not that I don't want to – hell knows how much I yearn for it! - but we- "he stopped once again, her hands had moved to his bottom, slowly caressing it through his jeans.

"I know," she murmured in his neck, "but I fear I might not be able to stop myself."

People could think this was too quick, too rushed, but she didn't care. She could deny she wanted him, as much as he obviously wanted her. They weren't children any more, but seventeen year old teenagers who were perfectly sane and certain, in spite of a normal fear, about what they were doing.

Draco's growl reflected his inner torment. To stop her or not to stop her, to keep his hands off of her or to let them wander on her wonderful body, too many dilemmas, too much temptation.

"What 'bout that, we sleep for a while and after," his hands brushed one of her breasts, she immediately leant into his touch. "To hell sleep!" he groaned before moving in order to hover above her.

Their bodies pressed together, there was no doubt sleep would wait.

"Might as well be totally exhausted rather than almost entirely, don't you agree?"

She flashed him a mischievous smile.

As he lowered his head, she raised hers, thus allowing their lips to meet in an explosion of passion, lust, desire and a sheer sincerity which brought tears to Hermione's eyes.

Love wasn't there yet, but she could feel it not far away.

"Still exhausted?" he asked, while leaving a path of kisses along her jawline.

"Yeah," she heavily breathed.

"Want to sleep?"

She shook her head. Being exhausted in the arms of Draco Malfoy was so delicious, she would be crazy to leave his embrace. And she wasn't.

"Draco?"

He groaned in response.

"I definitely love the library."

The End.


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