Title: To Have & To Hold
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger, Blaise Zabini, Astoria Greengrass.
Summary: Draco is getting married. The problem is, Astoria is not a virgin, and he's in love with someone else.
Total Word Count: ca. 13 800
Author's Note:Thanks to my beta shag_me_draco.
Distribution: Link only please.
Written: August 2011 - For the Prompt Challenge at deflower_draco (at LiveJournal). Prompt used is at the end.
To Have & To Hold (1/4)
Draco stared at himself in the mirror for a moment before he reached up and corrected the knot on his tie for the fifth time in as many minutes; this time moving it a centimetre to the left.
He wasn't nervous; nor was he ambivalent in regards to his impending marriage any longer, and the reason for the change made him unable to look away from the tragic image his reflection presented.
He was alone in the room, his groomsmen having escaped at the wave of his hand and Blaise having gone to check up on the guests, as per Draco's request. Lucius had never even entered the groom's domain, preferring instead to remain by his wife's side and mingle with the multitude of important guests Draco wouldn't have invited if he'd been in charge of anything concerning the wedding.
Draco sighed, moving the tie a centimetre to the right as he stared morosely at himself. "You are pathetic," he told his image; but the reflection didn't react, merely stared right back at him.
He wished Hermione was there; she'd snark at him as she fixed his tie to perfection, forbidding him to touch it again. Then she'd kick his arse to get him going to the altar.
But she wasn't there, so Draco had to do without her.
He tried to smile, needing to practise for the guests expectations of a happy groom, but he only managed a grimace.
The door opened just as Draco was about to tighten the knot on his tie, strangling himself, and his hands dropped back to his sides as he turned to face Blaise, glad for the intrusion.
Blaise's smile fell away as he saw the blank look on Draco's face, and he frowned as he closed the door behind him and came closer. "You all right, mate?"
Draco grimaced, hoping it looked enough like one of his smiles that he'd get away with it. "Of course. Just... nervous."
Blaise smiled again, clapping a hand on Draco's shoulder. "I don't see why you should be; you're marrying the love of your life, aren't you?" Blaise asked sarcastically, missing Draco's flinch as he turned them both towards the mirror. "And you have the luxury of knowing that your woman won't desert you at the altar!" he ribbed, his smile dropping when he saw Draco's lack of one. "Come on, buckle up, man! You've got a bride to claim. And hey," Blaise elbowed him gently, "even if you're worried about the wedding or the reception, at least you've got the wedding night to look forward to, huh? Must be nice to finally get laid after all these years!"
Draco grimaced again, sighing as he studied his tie and ignored his Best Man. Blaise frowned, looking concerned at Draco's lack of response.
"Are you seriously all right, mate?" he asked, moving to face Draco. "Because if you don't want to do this, we can just leave."
Draco scoffed. "Yeah, that'd go over well. She'd hex me blue, not to mention what her friends would do to me!"
"Screw her friends! If you're unhappy-"
"She has a lot of influential friends, Blaise," Draco reminded him. "And although they are technically her father's friends, they could- and would - still put a world of hurt on me for jilting her." He sighed heavily, squaring his shoulders and nodding with determination. "I have to marry Astoria," he said resolutely, "even if-"
"Even if what?" Blaise asked when he realised Draco wasn't going to finish.
Draco sighed heavily. "Nothing, it's nothing." He waved off Blaise's continued inquiries and moved towards the door. "They ready to start yet?" he deflected.
Draco turned and shook his head as he saw the look on Blaise's face, and his hand dropped from the door knob. "I'm in love with someone else."
Blaise nodded, not wholly surprised. "Who?"
Draco swallowed. "Hermione Granger."
– – – – –
Draco smiled politely as Astoria as he handed her the cup of tea he'd just replenished. She smiled sweetly back at him, as polite as could be, and thanked him in a quiet voice. As Draco sat down beside her with his own cup of fresh tea, he glanced up at his parents; his mother smiled at him in encouragement while his father merely nodded in acknowledgement before looking away.
He turned back to his intended bride, unsure of what to say. Early in their acquaintance, he'd realised they had nothing in common aside of both having gone to Hogwarts - just like every other wizarding child in Great Britain - and been sorted into Slytherin. There was Daphne too, Astoria's elder sister, but as Draco's conversations with her had consisted of "pass the salt, don't you just hate the Gryffindors, McGonagall is a prickly old witch and how about them Death Eaters anyway", Draco felt ill at ease faking an interest in her life.
He'd much rather be at the Burrow for their usual Sunday lunch, surrounded by friends and warmth, not to mention the customary Quidditch game that always followed, than here, with his real family and the politeness of high society niceties.
When the silence between them had stretched on far too long, he plastered a fake smile on his face and turned to Astoria, to ask her about Daphne in as a polite way he could.
Instead, he found himself blinking like a fish, as Astoria winked at him over her tea cup. Draco looked away uncomfortably, not knowing what to think. He looked back at her again after a moment, sure he'd imagined it. She winked at him again, this time adding a flirtatious smile.
He looked away.
This was to be his wife, the woman he would one day sleep with. Draco frowned, glancing back at her once more. She now seemed bored as she looked into her tea cup, then up at their parents seated some distance away to give the two of the privacy. Then, with a seductive bite of her lip, she moved closer to Draco on the settee.
She smiled coquettishly up at him as she leaned over to show off her magically enhanced cleavage.
"Have you thought any of the honeymoon?" she asked quietly so they wouldn't be overheard, leaning even closer.
Draco shook his head, bewildered and uncomfortable at her behaviour.
"I would need to know in advance where you are taking me," she smirked, "not that I will be... packing much."
She winked at him, seemingly uncaring at his lack of response.
Draco smiled back stiffly, wishing their conversation was over. Fortune came in the form of a house-elf, who announced supper was served.
When the evening eventually came to an end and Astoria and her parents left the Manor, following a long and rather awkward - for Draco at least - supper, Draco rose to retire to his room.
"Draco," Lucius called, stopping his son in his tracks.
Draco turned, ever the dutiful son. "Yes, Father?"
"I am very proud of you. Astoria, though a bit simpleminded, is the epitome of a pure-blood witch of good breeding; she has grace, she has power, she has a lineage good enough to be joined with ours and she has money. She'll make you a fine wife," Lucius said, nodding along with his words.
Draco faked a smile and nodded. "Thank you, Father. I quite agree about her. She'll make a fine wife," he said, adding silently to himself, I just wish she could be someone else's fine wife.
Walking up the stairs, Draco amused himself with imagining what his father would've said had he known the deplorable behavior Astoria had shown for someone of her station and place in society. Even if she was to be his wife, Draco shuddered; she shouldn't have acted so brazenly and tried to put her hand on his knee under the table while they ate.
It almost made him question whether or not she was still a virgin.
Once in his room, Draco sat down heavily on his bed with a sigh. He lay back, spreading his arms across the duvet and closing his eyes as he let the polite mask he'd worn all day slip from his face. The room was quiet but for his breathing and Draco felt himself calm from the events of the day - and the reminder of what was to come, far too soon.
After a few moments of calm breathing, he sat up on the edge on his bed. After removing his outer robe and tie, loosening the buttons on the stiff shirt he wore underneath, Draco grabbed the photo resting on his bedside table.
It was a photo of several young men and women; Dumbledore's Army, such as it'd been after the great wizard's death. Draco stood to the left, in the second row with an arm around Blaise and a hand on Neville's shoulder; once in a while, the hand moved as he poked photo-Neville in the ribs, making the other man dissolve in laughter. The photo had been taken a week before everyone split up into teams, the Trio going off to search for Horcruxes, and everyone else assisting where they could. At the time, Draco hadn't known what Hermione would be off doing, and only that accounted for the easy smile and relaxed posture he carried in the photo.
Draco didn't look at the antics of his seventeen-year-old self; instead, his eyes focused centre stage, and on the girl - the woman - who stood with her arms around Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley.
Hermione Granger, her bushy long hair made up in a tight braid that curved over her shoulder and fell down across a breast. Her smile wide, Draco watched as she turned first to Harry to say something, then back to look at the camera. Draco smiled gently, caressing her miniature face with the pad of his fingers, smiling as Hermione waved at him.
He wondered sometimes what Hermione saw when she looked at this photo; if the Draco in her frame ever waved at her, ever made it as obvious to her as it was to him looking at the photo now that he'd been smitten with her at the time the photo was taken; that he still was. He wondered if she ever looked at it, ever noticed him standing there gazing at her over the top of Terry's head. No one had ever said anything, though Neville sometimes looked at him oddly and that made Draco suspect he knew.
Draco sighed and fell back against the covers again, this time bringing the framed photo with him; he held it above him as he continued to stare at Hermione.
Without fully realising it, his hand drifted down to his trousers and unfastened them in a leisurely manner. Slipping the hand inside, Draco began stroking his rapidly hardening cock. As pre-come gathered at the head, he used it as lubrication and his strokes became both faster and harder.
He threw his head back and moaned quietly as he thumbed just under the ridge, closing his eyes for a moment, imagining that it was someone else's, far more delicate, hands touching him.
His breathing sped up along with his movements, and unable to prevent his hips from rising, Draco started to thrust into his hand as it came down on him. He opened his eyes once more to look at the innocent and smiling face of Hermione.
Draco, she would whisper over and over as she touched him. And she would kiss his neck, drag her teeth down the sensitive skin as he palmed the naked flesh of her delectable bum and her hair would be in his face and all he could smell and-
He came quickly then, with a strangled groan as he bit down on his lips to prevent himself from crying out her name, his eyes still firmly locked on her image.
As his breathing calmed, he turned to his side; grimacing at the wet strands of his come covering his still clothed chest and his hand. It had been a fleeting release, and now he was left feeling even more pathetic and cold than before.
He spelled himself clean, removed his clothes and got under the covers. The frame he placed back on his bedside table, and as the lights dimmed around him, he couldn't help but keep staring at it.
Sleep was long in coming.
– – – – –
Hermione knocked briefly on Draco's door before she opened it and stepped into his office. Her hands full and her eyes on her work, it was only when she saw him startle in her peripheral vision that she looked up; just in time to see him straighten in his chair as he replaced a framed photo back onto his desk.
"Oh," she said, "I didn't mean to interrupt..." she trailed off.
"You didn't," Draco quickly assured her shuffling some papers around as she came closer. "Won't you sit down?" he asked politely.
Hermione declined. "I'm just here to drop off some papers; your secretary seems to have gone missing and I don't want to just leave them on her desk," she explained handing over a handful of papers to him.
He took them, a slight frown marring his forehead as he glanced at the timepiece on his desk. "I hate to have to fire her," he said, "but this is not the first time she's left far too early for her lunch hour - and without notifying me too." He scrubbed a hand over his face, suddenly looking tired. "No matter." He smiled up at her. "Lunch?"
Hermione returned his smile. "I have to drop off a few more first," she held up her stack of papers, "but give me half an hour?"
Draco nodded. He moved the folder she'd given him on his desk, his eyes catching sight of the photo again and at once, his face turned pensive.
'"Do you ever think about..." he began softly, hesitatingly, "that night. What could've happened if-?"
Hermione's eyes widened. She knew instantly which night he was referring to; a night neither had brought up nor hinted towards in the two years since it'd happened. She was glad Draco's eyes were on his desk and not on her, as she struggled to compose herself and not blush as she remembered.
Her hesitance lasted a moment too long, but when he looked up at her, she'd managed to pull herself together. "Not really," she lied. "I mean, it was just after the battle, emotions running high - it was just the moment taking over."
"Was it?" Draco asked, studying her.
"Wasn't it?" Hermione returned, hoping he couldn't see how she struggled.
They stared at each other for a long moment; Hermione's heart beating fast, from the look on Draco's face and from the memory of how he'd looked at her that night when he'd found her.
"Hermione-" Draco started, but was interrupted as his door opened and Shelly stepped in, oblivious to the tension that'd formed in the room.
Hermione choose that moment to flee, calling a goodbye over her shoulder.
"Half an hour in the Atrium?" Draco called anxiously after her.
Hermione returned in the affirmative before she sidestepped his secretary and escaped, her heart pounding furiously, wondering why he'd chosen now to bring it up when she thought he'd wanted to pretend it'd never happened at all.
She turned a corner and nearly bowled Neville over. Hit was sudden inspiration, she invited the visiting Professor to lunch with her and Draco, and although Hermione felt guilty about essentially using Neville as a buffer to defuse the tension that might otherwise arise, she justified it by the true desire she had to spend time and catch up with Neville. They often had lunch together when Neville came by the Ministry for bi-monthly Friday morning meetings with the Board, and though those lunches were often planned in advance to make sure as many of their friends were able to make it as possible, Hermione knew the three of them would have a great time on their own.
As they said their temporary goodbyes, Hermione made sure to insist that Neville resumed making the trip from Hogwarts to Molly's Sunday lunches at the Burrow, knowing that the soft-spoken Herbal Master would feel ill at ease joining them again without an invitation.
– – – – –
Hermione turned and was immediately caught up in Draco's arms as he wrapped himself around her and held on tightly.
Hermione sobbed in relief into his shoulder, hugging him closely. "I thought you-" she swallowed the rest, unable to finish.
"I'm okay," he reassured her, stroking her dirty hair as she cried, releasing months of tension and worry now that it was finally over.
Once she'd gotten herself together enough to speak, she pulled back from him; not leaving the comfort of his arms completely, but enough so she could meet his eyes.
He had a nasty cut on his forehead and Hermione caressed away his too long fringe before placing a hand on his cheek.
"Have you seen the others?" she asked carefully. "I've only seen Pansy and Terry, after. I saw Neville too, but that was before the West Wing-" she broke off again, unable to say it out loud for fear that Neville, whom had been on his way towards the West Wing when she'd last seen him, had been caught under the rubble.
Draco squeezed her. "They're in the Great Hall; you were the only one missing," he whispered, pulling her close again. "I thought you-" he too was unable to finish, relief colouring his gravelly voice.
"We should get back then," Hermione said into his chest.
"Yes," Draco agreed against his hair, but didn't let her go.
She could feel his heart pound in his chest against her cheek and she relished the sound; he was alive. She allowed him to hold her for a moment longer, selfishly taking comfort from his embrace. But then she pulled away again. "They must be worried," she said.
Draco nodded, reluctantly letting her go.
Hermione had only taken one step away when he grabbed her arm, turning her back around to him. Hermione's eyes widened at the look on his face and then fell shut as he leaned down and kissed her.
But barely had his lips touched hers, gently and hesitatingly, before her name was called. Hermione turned from him and his kiss, and a moment later was caught up in the embrace of her two best friends, injured but alive.
When she glanced back at Draco over Ron's shoulder, he'd already walked away.
– – – – –