A Hundred Storms

Chapter Thirty-Seven: Fall Down on Me

Won't you fall down on me
So close I can feel you breathe
Tonight in the darkness with nothing to lose
If the truth is all we can see
If I fall for you, could you fall for me
- Nothing to Lose, by Bret Michaels

Hermione registered the empty wineglass falling to the floor. She heard it make a hollow sound against the dark wood as it crashed to the surface but magically didn't break. She felt his hand make its way to the place where the back of her neck met her skull and she reflected for a moment that Draco was probably used to being the dominant one with the girls he loved.

Hermione was more than happy to relinquish control.

Draco was busy memorizing the shape of her jawline as easily as she could trace the scar on the back of his hand. His fingers carelessly found themselves trapped in the tangles of her hair at the nape of her neck and she wished for once her hair would lay straight and compliant but it didn't seem to matter to Draco.

Show her. Show her. Show her.

Draco understood the memories and what they cost Hermione and in turn, Harry. He hated that self-sacrificing Gryffindor mentality and at the same time loved her for showing him everything. There would always be that undercurrent of competition between Draco and Harry, but in this moment he knew that it was Harry that hadn't tried to talk Hermione out of this, it had been Harry who armed Hermione with the memories she needed to take this leap of faith and Draco couldn't feel anything but gratitude. He knew after tonight the relationship he had with Harry Potter was as changed as his relationship with Hermione. Hermione felt warm and welcoming as he deepened the kiss to explore her mouth, and he felt the gradual shift as she laid back on the firm couch.

Hermione felt Draco's body move over hers like they had practiced it. Maybe he had practiced it but that was a notion Hermione was not entertaining at the moment. Wasn't this what she wanted? Her mind was cruel with the questions when all she really wanted to do was bask in the affection and revel in the feel of another body atop of hers. She remembered her mental struggle with her underthings and smiled to herself under his attentions that she was ready for him to see them. She still felt that insecurity pecking away at the back of her busy mind, but the way Draco was kissing her was melting that insecurity into a need. If this truly was nothing more than an act then Draco Malfoy deserved an award and an encore. Hermione furiously hoped for the latter.

"Draco," Hermione breathed in his ear as he was focusing intently on her neck.

"Yes?" Draco answered as he slid kisses from her earlobe to her collarbone.

"Help me out of this," Hermione whispered as she squirmed in the boatneck blouse that was gloriously free of anything remotely complicated to unclasp or button.

Draco was more than happy to oblige as Hermione sat up straight with her arms raised above her head and let him peel the garment off of her.

Hermione shivered both with anticipation and chill when the cool air hit her exposed skin as she looked up expectantly at him.

"Your turn."

With a quick grin Draco was eager to return the favor, both his white dress shirt and under shirt were discarded with haste, leaving them puddled on the floor along with Hermione's blouse. He resumed his place at her neck and continued exploring the contours that were always just beyond his reach before. Here they were safe. Here they were home.

This was his home. Draco didn't have to pause to revel in the ecstasy that was his father's death. Draco loved his father. Draco hated his father. For the past three years Draco wondered what it would have been like to be raised a Longbottom or a Weasley. Would it have really been so awful to be so poor? What if he didn't have to worry about anything other than the fact that Muggle-Born Hermione Granger was beneath him right now and his pants were strained with how she made him feel? He would have been free to love her years ago. He was sure now he would have made his claim on her before Weasley managed to fumble his way into her bed if not for the poison he ingested from the hand of his father. Draco felt his body ache as well as his mind for the comfort her brilliant brain possessed. Draco had not felt so free in- was it only two years? Three? It felt like an eternity since he faced off in the Astronomy tower. Draco grew dizzy as he began exploring the area around Hermione's bra, he found himself frustrated with the garment and reached around her back to twist it open. He never would have thought she would take the opportunity to bite at his ear.

Draco gasped as Hermione grazed her teeth down his earlobe and shuddered, forgetting his mission with the aggravating garment. Instead he put his hand against the cloth separating him from her breast and grasped at her like nothing else in the world mattered more.

Hermione responded in turn as she felt his frustration. His enthusiastic and perturbed response to her selection of undergarments amused her before she felt his compromise through the thin fabric and she gasped at the sensation. Draco manged to work her through the lace overlay and she threw her head back, basking in the feel of his hands across her body.

"Hold tight," Draco whispered against her ear.

In a moment Hermione felt herself being Apparated and realized Draco had moved them from the library to a bedroom, his bedroom?

Draco landed with a playful bounce on top of Hermione, a wicked grin playing against his lips. Hermione didn't have time to think about how he was able to move like that within the house when he reached back and finally defeated the clasp that separated him from the prize he was after and rewarded himself with a deep kiss.

He wasn't disappointed when Hermione moaned into his affection. The demure black bra she had so carefully selected back in her private dorm room now found itself littering the bedroom floor.

Hermione grasped Draco's face with both hands and held him sternly against her lips while she took the opportunity to explore his mouth with hers just a bit more. They were both bare chested now and Hermione reveled in the feeling of his naked torso pressed against hers. Hermione wiggled beneath him and couldn't help but feel gratified when she heard his breath hitch.

"Hermione," Draco gasped as he continued kissing every inch of exposed flesh.

"Draco, if you have to ask permission you are not paying attention," Hermione breathed irritably as she continued kissing his face.

"I'm trying to be a gentleman, you know," Draco said in a tone that would have been annoyed in any other situation.

"While I appreciate the sentiment, I do believe we are past decorum." Hermione replied brazenly as her hands began to make their play to the button of his dress slacks. Draco shivered as her hand grazed his bulge but he remained still as she worked the button and then the zipper. Before he knew it Hermione was sliding the pants over and down his arse and yanked impatiently when the bend in his legs deterred her progress.

"Off," Hermione demanded.

"Impatient, Granger?"

"Yes."

Draco grinned and shimmied the legs of the pants down and removed them entirely before looking down at Hermione expectantly. Without a word from either, her well-worn jeans quickly found a place beside Draco's discarded trousers.

Draco leaned down again to kiss her, propped up on his elbows he exerted more control than he had been previously. Hermione took this opportunity to rake her nails gently up and down his back, leaving tiny bumps of raised flesh in her wake. She felt gratified that she was able to provoke such a physical response from him, and in that moment the last of her insecurity came falling down around her. Suddenly she was furiously possessive of every inch of him, and knew then in her heart of hearts this wasn't an elaborate act, this wasn't a manipulation. She would get her encore and then some because they belonged together, they belonged to each other.

Hermione felt a hysterical but relieved giggle fight to break out of her chest and reached up behind Draco's head and pulled him down hard on her, forcibly brushing aside Draco's careful control.

"Now, Draco."

In a movement so fast she wasn't sure who accomplished it, but the last of their clothing was gone and he was deep inside, her body offering no resistance at all.

All at once the tragic history between them fell apart and came back together again, not neatly, not perfectly, but together all the same. In their desperate embrace Draco and Hermione felt their broken pieces shift and find a new home, settled snugly within the other.

Hermione let herself fall into the sensation. The rhythm of their bodies and Draco whispering her name in the dim light felt like a dream and it wasn't long before she felt the tightening in her abdomen that left her grasping at Draco, her legs hooking behind his thighs and urging him to go faster.

Draco eagerly complied and soon they were flying and falling. Short of seeing stars, Hermione finally saw a future she wasn't terrified of anymore.

Moments or hours later, Hermione had her arm over Draco's chest and her head resting in the nook of his shoulder. She sighed happily, enjoying the intimacy that still coursed between the two of them and felt as though she would never need another Dreamless Sleep Potion again. She delighted in how well she fit right here, beyond how he fit inside her, like they were two puzzle pieces that finally came together. It was a strange sensation to her normally pacifist nature, but she knew it would come to curses and hexes if someone, man or woman, tried to encroach on this new territory Hermione was exploring.

The comfort was incredible. Hermione threw her right leg over Draco's lower torso and it felt like Hermione's leg was built for this specific shape. She didn't think about Ron now, how he needed to shower immediately after being intimate rather than choosing to continue the closeness. She didn't mind that they were both still panting slightly, sweaty bodies tangled up in one another with no desire from either to move.

Draco, on the other hand, was wondering when the other shoe was going to drop. He entertained the idea that perhaps this was a torture curse of some sort, set forth by the Ministry to punish him for his transgressions in the past. Surely he would be snapped out of this dream and back in the dungeon before long, the last few months of his life simply an elaborate hoax to add to his list of retribution to be paid.

Draco would give all the Galleons in his vault for this to be real, and his heart beat sped up ever so slightly at the thought that this might be his only opportunity at happiness. Ever the opportunist, he closed his eyes and held her closer.
"Granger?" Draco whispered in the dark, unsure if she had given in to sleep.

"Mmmm?"

"I think I love you, too."

(A/N) I want to apologize first that it has been so long. To say the past six months have been Hell is a supreme understatement. To make a long sob story short, my mother was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, which is a genetic disease that that is a cross between Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and there is currently no cure for it. A month later I tested positive for the gene, meaning I'll without a doubt develop it sometime in my life, and that "sometime" could be anytime. I have a lot of faith in modern medicine, but it's still such an uncertain future and I lost a little bit of myself after the news. That said, there's nothing to do but learn to live with the knowledge and try to use it to appreciate life as much as humanly possible. This chapter is a reflection of trying to get back to where I was before The News, not to mention wonderful therapy. I appreciate the kind notes on Tumblr and the reviews that keep rolling in, even 7 months after the last update. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and I'll try to keep my mojo running 3