Author's Notes: Thank you for all the lovely reviews! You all have been so incredibly kind and I thank you immensely for it! Your reviews, comments, and messages really do make me smile like a silly little dork all day, no lie.

I was a little unsure about this chapter. I won't say much but let's just say, if the M-rating somehow wasn't warranted before now, it most certainly is now! Enjoy!

Chapter 32

Just as Kingsley had promised her, the following morning Hermione was allowed to leave the wizarding hospital. Her bruises had nearly healed, though there were still small traces of discoloration where Carrow's fingertips dug in the deepest. In the right light though, they were practically invisible. Harry met her at the hospital first thing in the morning and offered his assistance as somewhat of an escort for the morning. "Seriously, Hermione. I feel really bad. Anywhere you want to go, I'll come with you and keep you company."

"Thanks Harry but I think I'd really just rather get back to some sense of normalcy." Hermione refused politely as they walked out of the wing Hermione had been confined to and started walking towards the floo exits. "To be honest, I feel like with these last few days wasted here, I've fallen behind in my studies."

"Aw, come on, Hermione. I don't think you could ever do bad when it comes to learning. You're the smartest person I know." Harry replied, trying to cheer her up with a nudge of her arm with his elbow and a friendly smile. "How about some brunch? I'll take you anywhere you want to go."

Hermione eyed him curiously as a thought came to her. She grinned sneakily and asked, "You just don't want to be stuck in your office any more. Is that it?"

Harry blushed with another telling smile and looked away. "No, of course not. I'm just being a good friend, you know? You're like a sister to me." He draped his arm over her shoulders and Hermione wrapped hers around the back of his waist.

She laughed and nodded sarcastically. "Oh, right. Of course. It couldn't possibly be because you hate doing paperwork!" Harry laughed with her and shook his head but Hermione knew how much Harry hated being cooped up in his office all day. They reached an open floo exit and stopped. "How about this? You let me spend today studying at the library and tomorrow I'll spend the whole day in your office helping you sort through those files. Deal?"

"I don't know. I mean, they're kind of supposed to be confidential." Harry reached a hand up to the back of his head and messed with his hair uncomfortably. He hated telling any of his friends that they weren't allowed to do the things that he could as a Ministry worker, but after their stunt with Carrow days ago, Kingsley was keeping an incredibly close eye on the 'boy-who-lived.'

Giving him a nonchalant shrug, Hermione accepted it. "That's okay. I can do whatever work you have that isn't confidential. Surely there's something I can help you with."

"I'll find something. Thanks Hermione." Harry replied and with a quick hug, Hermione took the floo network out of the hospital. Once safely away from Harry and any other prying eyes and ear, she pulled out her wand and apparated to her true destination. Malfoy Manor.

Mimbi met her at the door, if only to let her in and show her to where Malfoy was located in the enormous house, but after that, she made herself scarce. Hermione was still cross with her over the whole kidnapping incident from the previous night and the nervous little house elf picked up on the witch's poor attitude straight away. Malfoy was in the dinning room, sitting at the end of an exceptionally long table, and appeared to be reading a page from the Daily Prophet after breakfast. Hermione walked up to the table and rested her hands on the back of the chair to Malfoy's right. When he saw her approaching the table, he folded the wizard newspaper up and laid it down in front of him. "You came back." His voice seemed almost doubtful.

"I said I would, didn't I?" Hermione frowned down at him, unsure if she should join him at the table in a chair or remain standing. She stayed on her feet and crossed her arms over the top of the chair casually. "Anything good?" Hermione asked, motioning towards the Daily Prophet copy he had been reading before she came in.

Lucius glanced down at it with disinterest before standing from his chair to approach her. "Nothing that explains why you had bruises all over your neck. Care to enlighten me?" The fingers of his right hand lifted gently underneath her chin, urging her to lift and extend her neck so he could see the faded injuries more clearly.

Hermione fidgeting with the wooden peaks at the top of the chair as she tried to think of a way to avoid the topic of Amycus Carrow all together. She looked away, drawing her neck away from his prying eyes as she looked back down at the table and dragged her focus off of Lucius. "It was nothing. I made a stupid decision and I'd rather not talk about it to be honest."

"No." Lucius replied quickly with a definite shake of his head, catching her off guard. Hermione expected more to follow, but nothing else did.

She glanced at him with uncertainty. "No?" She repeated, questioning his response.

"No," he said again, firmer than before. "I'd like an explanation. You've been hurt and although I don't know how badly yet since you refuse to tell me, I'm going to assume it was more than just a 'stupid decision.'" He crossed his arms over his chest and waited for an appropriate explanation. If simply asking her wouldn't draw out the truth, perhaps a more authoritative approach would do the trick.

Hermione shook her head and moved closer towards the table, trying to again veer off the topic of her bruises. Nothing good would come from Lucius knowing about her little trip to see Carrow. She dismissed him again. "I appreciate the concern but it's honestly not needed. I'm fine now, see?" She lifted her chin, exposing her neck and although the bruises were still faintly there, they had faded and healed with exceptional speed thanks to the aid of magic.

Taking the opportunity as it was presented to him, Lucius stepped towards her again and pinched her chin between his fingers and thumb, holding her in place as he stared down at her dominantly. His piercing blue-grey eyes wouldn't let her look away from him this time and as he finally felt like he had her full attention, he offered quietly, "Give me the name, and I'll take care of it." His voice had gone hard, low and steady as his eyes stilled on hers, pushing the promise in his words to the forefront.

She knew exactly what he meant, how he intended to take care of things. The stiff, cold detachment from his words could be seen in his eyes. Matched with the way his voice had dropped down to an almost growl of a promise, she had no reason to doubt his deadly seriousness. She couldn't accept his offer. She couldn't have someone else's death on her conscience, even if it was someone as vile and as cruel as Amycus Carrow. But even more than that, she wouldn't let Lucius put that death on his conscience either. He was meant to be reformed, a changed man. His death eater days were over now, and even though the V.R.S. believed him to be on their side, Hermione knew that they only had a small part of him, if only because of Draco. She reached up and placed her hand around his wrist, loosening his grip on her chin and lowering both of their hands down to his side. "He's in custody. There isn't anything left to take care of." Hermione assured him calmly and as her words reached his ears, an expression of sudden recognition struck him.

"Amycus Carrow did this?" He asked, the rage suddenly surfacing as he was finally able to put a name to the bruises he had seen only a night ago. His hands clenched tightly down by his sides as he tried to keep his voice level. "I'll kill him." Lucius nodded as his eyes darted away from hers to glance back down at her neck. But as his anger continued to take over, he shook his head and walked around to the other side of the table briskly, no doubt aimlessly pacing in order to prevent himself from doing something more destructive with his quickening temper. "I'll slit his throat and watch him bleed out." Lucius nodded again as his eyes began to seem clouded. He was obviously gone, away from the dinning room and lost in his sadistic plotting. His years as a loyal death eater had hardened him and numbed him to how law-abiding citizens dealt with their troubles. Where as someone would ordinarily ignore the source of their troubles, or choose to deal with them in a legal, non-violent way, a death eater on the other hand might just as easily jump to threats of murder.

Hermione needed to reel him back in, and fast. "You're not going to do anything, Lucius." She rounded the table, letting a single chair stand between them as she tried to talk him down. "That's not how the Order deals with things. That's not how we take care of things. The Order doesn't go around killing people just because they did something we don't approve of." His eyes remained off of her while his fists stayed balled up tight. She tried again. "The Ord-,"

"I'm not a part of the Order," Lucius cut her off, no longer able to control his tongue as his temper still held onto him firmly. "I'm not obligated by their rules." His words felt harsh and bitter between his teeth, causing Hermione to take a short pause in her lecture to recover her original thoughts.

"You are a part of the Order. Whether you like it or not, whether they acknowledge you as one of us or not, I'm in the Order and by association, you are too." Hermione explained, trying to get him to look back at her. If only he could see her instead of this cloud of anger and revenge that seemed to shield over him like a stone, then maybe she could get him to see the truth.

He chuckled. "It doesn't work like that, Miss Granger. I think you and I both know that if I decided to walk right up to your precious comrades, they'd sooner strike me where I stand than see me as one of their own."

"It doesn't matter." She shook her head and took a step towards him. Her hand fell softly on his forearm and waited for his fist to loosen. "None of that matters. But if we're going to be working together, you're going to follow the Order's rules."

The tall wizard's other hand finally loosened as he dragged his eyes back onto her. As much as he tried to ignore it, focusing instead on her eyes and the curves of her lips, he couldn't help but glance back down at the faint bruises on her neck. "The Order won't do anything about this. They'll let this go and act as if it never happened." Lucius shook his head and looked away again as he felt his temper begin to return. "He shouldn't be allowed to get away with this. Not without some sort of punishment."

"Lucius, he's in custody. It's not as if he's been set free after attacking me. He's not getting away with anything." Hermione let her hand move down his arm, past his wrist, and rested comfortably in his palm. If her words only couldn't calm him, perhaps the simple feeling of her closeness to him could prove effective.

Though he was still uneasy with her words and even more unhappy with his inability to strike back against Carrow, Lucius gave her hand a warm squeeze in response. "If he's so secure in custody, how did this happen? You might have absolute trust in the Ministry and the Order, but I don't. They let this happen once. They'll let this happen again."

Hermione's eyes began to wander as she searched for an explanation. "Actually…they didn't exactly let it happen. That is to say, they didn't really know I was there." With a shameful sigh and a soft blush of embarrassment, Hermione explained how she had convinced Harry to sneak her into the interrogation room with Carrow, unknown to Kingsley or any of the other ministry members.

He listened intently and waited until she was finished before shaking his head disapprovingly. "Considering how intelligent you are, I find it hard to believe you could possibly think to do something so stupid. Do you have any idea what he could have done to you? What he would have done to you if he hadn't been stopped?" Malfoy's mouth pulled into a stiff scowl as he scanned over her face. "You need to be more careful."

"I needed to be certain he wasn't going to tell Kingsley or Harry about us." Hermione sighed and shook her head weakly. "Even now, I'm still not positive that he won't say too much."

Lucius lifted an eyebrow and smirked. "If he were dead, he wouldn't say a word."

Hermione shot him a warning look. "What did we just discuss? Did you forget the rules already?"

He chuckled and let his freehand lift up from his side to rest on the curve of her waist. "It was a joke. If he says anything about our seemingly close association, we'll deal with it then. We'll say he's gone mad or that he simply read the old newspapers and got confused on the timeline." Malfoy's other hand split from hers and went to the other side of her waist. "We'll say whatever we need to say to keep prying eyes off of us."

Following Lucius's lead, Hermione shifted closer towards him and draped her arms over his shoulders. Her fingers found his long blonde hair and began to softly play with the enticing locks pulled back behind his neck with a neatly knotted black ribbon. A sudden thought crept into Hermione's mind as she felt his hands guiding her purposely back against the edge of the massive, darkly-tinted dinning room table. His face dipped down to the crook of her neck as Hermione felt the sleek surface of the table finally touch her backside. It felt cold, even through the fabric of her pants, but the heat of his palms on her hips and the steady breath lingering over her collarbone kept her warm. She closed her eyes and lifted her chin as his mouth claimed the smooth, fair skin of her neck beneath his lips. He was making his way up the side of her neck, lingering seductively just below her jaw line when she made her thought known. "He called me yours." Surrounded by a few, much less polite words, one of which starting with 'mud' and ending in 'blood' but still, the meaning had been there.

His mouth stilled for a moment before Hermione felt what seemed to be a smile brushing lightly over the arch of her jaw. "Would that really be such a horrible insult?" He asked quietly. Lucius's hands slid down from her waist to cup her bottom and lifted her up just enough to reposition her on top of the table in front of him. Taking a step towards her, he settled between her legs, brushing past her knees with his waist as his lips finally found hers.

The taste of him and the feel of his fingertips rolling slowly down her hips to her thighs made her melt against him, drawing in a shallow breath when their kiss hesitantly broke. He hadn't planned on ending up the way they were, certainly not on the dinning room table out of all places, but as her lips brushed temptingly back over his, Lucius drew his hands back up her thighs to collect at the center of her waist. His fingers twisted at the button and zipper combo that most muggle jeans tended to have, as obnoxious as they were, and tore them down to her knees with an unbridled fervor.

As the direct cold of the thick table's surface touched the backsides of her thighs, Hermione felt a shiver roll up his spine, but the heat coming off of their bodies made it impossible to interrupt the way his hands roamed over her bare skin. They lingered over her thighs, caressing at the softer, less often exposed inner sides as his mouth fell back down to her neck. Her pulse had quickened, beating stronger against his tongue and his lips as he drew his fingers to the edge of her undergarments.

"It doesn't matter whether you're mine or not, witch." Lucius drawled lustfully. His fingers pushed past the bit of thin fabric separating them and felt the warmth tucked safely beneath. Hermione drew in a sharp breath as the length of his digits filled her. Lucius trailed his suckling kisses up the stretch of her neck and hovered teasingly beside her ear as he listened to her respond to the different movements that his fingers performed inside her. "You'll remember me all the same." His words hummed at her like a promise as he slowly slipped his hand away from her center and gripped instead at her inner thigh possessively. "Lay back."

Her cheeks had gone red with his fingers' taunting but the way his eyes seemed to devour her as she sat atop his massive, black dinning room table made her crave more. Carefully, she lowered herself back down on the table's sleek top, lying her back flat across the width of its surface and breathing in a heavy breath as she felt his hands pulling her jeans down the rest of the way until they hit the floor.

Lucius took hold of her hands and placed them purposefully down by her sides. He laid them out flat on the table just beside her hips and smirked down at her. "Let's see how long you can keep those there." With another just as satisfied smirk and an especially long kiss between them, Lucius straightened up and looked down at her. If he had known only a year ago that he would have this particular muggle-born Gryffindor not only stretched out on the table in front of him, but looking up at him with such an untamed flame of desire and need, he would have laughed and called it a lie.

And yet, there she was. His eyes slid down her still clothed torso until they reached her exposed lower half. Her skin was pale but held home to a mixture of light brown curls, stray beauty marks scattered delicately over her otherwise unmarked flesh, and the deep pink colorings of her northern lips. They still glistened enticingly from where his fingers had previously been. He took one last look down at her face, still flushed with heat, before pulling a chair out from the table beside her leg and repositioning it firmly between them.

The tall blonde wizard sat down slowly and wrapped his arms around her legs, hooking them by the base of her bottom and pulling her forward towards the edge of the table. She stifled back a startled breath but as his head confidently lowered down and disappeared between her legs, the soft, sensual noises that escaped her began to echo throughout the massive, almost empty dinning room around them.

She tasted sweet and as he dipped further into her with his tongue, the more he felt her wriggle and squirm against him with her body. He brought his hands up to rest on her thighs in an effort to steady her but the feeling of his hot hands so close to her core gave her the opposite response. Her hands remained firmly pressed down on the table around her but the pleasure of his mouth made it almost impossible to lie still.

"Lucius," she breathed out midway through a strained moan. His lips curled into a pleased grin as he heard his name for the first time since their activities had begun for the day. He wanted to hear it again.

He growled in response, loving the way her thighs trembled along the stubble of his cheeks when he let his vocals vibrate against her sex. "That's a good witch... Let me hear you." His mouth returned back to her opening as his teeth grazed greedily over her lips. She squirmed against him, her fingers curling into fists as his affections were beginning to push her over the edge. "Keep your hands on the table and I'll give you what you need."

His arms hooked back around her legs and pulled her closer towards his mouth, giving him a deeper angle and more control over her restless movements. Her hands flattened back out on the table and Lucius smirked, grumbling a heated, "Good girl," over the sensitive little bundle of nerves at the peak of her slit. His tongue flattened over the width of her sex and slowly spread a heavy lick up the length of her lips before settling on the tight little bud tucked safely between the start of her moistened folds. He teased it with the smoothness of his tongue and lips before taking the tiny sensitive bit into his mouth and forcing out a low growl on top of it. He heard her moan in response as her legs tried to squeeze closed around his head. His hands pinned them open as his mouth dove back onto her, grazing his teeth gently over her clit as his tongue sunk into her.

"Lucius, please," she begged, her hands beginning to lift up off the table to reach for the thick locks of blonde hair buried firmly between her legs.

Another smile pressed against his lips as he felt her growing closer and closer to her breaking point. "Hands," he warned sternly before focusing back on her engorged, reddened core. Her hands hesitated, clenching tightly into frustrated fists before lowering back down onto the table by her sides. Unable to release her built up tension and desire through her own physical touch, Hermione focused on what his mouth was doing to her. He was driving her mad and as his movements within her became more and more of what she craved, her hips began to buck and reach for him.

Lucius gripped at her legs and lifted her backside off the table as her legs rested over his shoulders for support. He buried his face into her, the bridge of his nose tickling and tantalizing her clit as he devoured her. Her legs were quivering around him as the first waves of her desire crashed through her, but he continued on. The freshly sensitized feeling of her womanly bits after the first release sent her into another frenzy as the stubble of his face brushed against her most tender parts.

As her second wave washed over her, Lucius felt his own need become too overpowering to ignore. He placed her back down on the table and quickly tore through the confines of his trousers. She looked exhausted, and rightly so, but the fire in her eyes burnt up at him as she finally was able to see his face come up out from between her legs. His lips shone with a wetness that she could place just as easily as the glistening moisture that she felt on his fingertips as he took hold of her legs and widened them around his waist. Her limbs felt weightless as she came back down from the second sensual rollercoster he had sent her on, but Hermione felt Lucius quickly positioning himself at her opening and knew he wasn't even close to finished.

"Give me one more, darling. Then we can rest." He murmured down to her, leaning forward onto the table with his hands, pressing them down on the firm surface beneath her. Weakly, Hermione reached up to rest her hands on the thick muscles of his biceps. His chest seemed bigger from the angle beneath him and as she felt him enter her, she couldn't tear her eyes away from his. His hair was slightly disheveled as a few thin strands had broken free from the black ribbon while he went down to taste her, and his cheeks appeared flushed from the way her legs had brushed up against them, but his eyes...

They stared down at her with such a burning sense of hunger as he thrust into her with lust-filled movements. She was slick from the previous two sensations but he filled her so perfectly and as the friction began to steadily build between his pelvis and her aroused sensitive flesh, she started to move along with him, reaching for that last final release that they could both share.

Her legs wrapped around his waist and settled loosely in the cuts of his hips. His release was close and as he bent his elbows down to rest on the table with them instead of his palms, he dipped down to capture her lips with his. She tasted herself on him and felt him shift his hips even closer to hers. The thickness of his shaft reached a sweet spot within her and as he repeated his movements, she felt it again. A tender area that made the arousal flutter through her like a swarm of wild butterflies, spreading over her and leaving her skin with a thin layer of goosebumps meant only for him.

"Oh gods, Lucius," She meant to beg him not to stop, to urge him to continue whatever he had just done to her, but as he continued on his own and she felt the sweet spot triggered again, her words turned to incoherent moans of pleasure beneath him.

He felt her tighten around him, both with her legs and the grip on his arms, and as he felt her quickly approaching her third release, he found himself trailing closely behind her with his own. The sweet little sensations as her muscles spasm and released around his manhood sent forth his own climax and left him to collapse weakly beside her on the surface of the dinning room table moments later. Lucius grabbed hold of her hand in his and pulled it up to his lips lovingly before apparating them both to the more appropriate surroundings of his own bedrooms.

It was quarter past one o'clock when Hermione finally woke. She stretched her arms out wide and realized immediately that the bed was empty except for her. She thought of going back to sleep. No doubt this king-sized bed fixed with extra fluffy blankets and covers, not to mention the unlimited amount of privacy that it came with, were all ten times better than she knew any rest that she'd get at the Burrow would be. The hand-me-down beds were old and rickety, and as far as privacy went, if you managed to get ten minutes of alone time in the loo during the mornings, you were lucky. Hermione rubbed at her eyes and gave her arms another refreshing stretch before she heard a knock on the door.

"Are you decent?" Malfoy's voice came calling through the door and Hermione was almost taken aback by his question. Apparently he had remembered her previous response to him walking in on her nude and learned a lesson or two in the process.

She grabbed her shirt off the bedside table where it sat neatly folded, possibly even freshly laundered by a certain little house elf, and threw it on. "Come in."

He looked just as neatly and in order as he always managed to appear. Not a hair out of place and not a loose thread in sight. In his hands, he held a book. "You slept a while. I hope you're not still too exhausted."

"No, I'm fine. Just needed the rest I suppose." Hermione eyed him playfully as he walked over to the bed and sat down on its edge. "Why? Were you planning on tiring me out again?"

A wicked smile crept over his face as he leaned towards her and pressed a kiss to her lips. "Later, if the offer still stands."

Her eyes narrowed as she dissected his words carefully. "Why wouldn't the offer stand?"

Lucius looked down at the bed sheets and dropped his eyebrows harshly as he finally admitted to her his plans for the day. "I have a meeting to attend, with the V.R.S."

"Now?" Hermione asked. "It's the middle of the day on a Thursday. What could possibly be so important to draw death eaters out before nightfall?" She glanced at his stone expression and added, "No offense, but they seem to be a bit nocturnal in their dealings, don't they?"

He ignored her last suggestion and made one of his own. "You're intelligent, Miss Granger. Use your best judgment. Which very public, very populated event is set to occur in only a few days time?"

Hermione frowned as it suddenly hit her. "The wedding," She breathed out softly, darting her eyes over to his to make sure she was right in her suspicions.

Lucius nodded and continued. "If my intentions pay off, nothing will happen. I'll try to steer them away from the wedding entirely." He shrugged and shook his head. "I'll say that I overheard some ministry workers discussing how intense the security measures are going to be. I'll tell them that I've heard rumors of foreign Aurors coming in from out of country just to ensure the wedding goes flawlessly." He shook his head again and admitted. "I don't know if any of that will work, but I don't really have any other options." His eyes fell back on hers as he took one of her hands in his. "Will you be here when I return? It shouldn't take long."

"Every time you say that, you come back hours later, practically unconscious and soaking blood all over the floors."

"It's just a meeting. I'll return in one piece. Then we can start discussing your part in all this." He lifted her hand and kissed the back of it much like the gentleman he still claimed to be, despite his scandalous past and what they had just done hours ago. He passed her the book he had brought in and got up to leave.

"Wait," Hermione stopped him. "Why are you doing this? You've never tried to change their plans before. You've always just warned me about them beforehand and hoped they turn out for the best. Why change now?"

Lucius smirked as he looked back at her and chose to use her own words from just that morning. "I'm a part of the Order now. I might as well start acting like it."

ANs: I'm really, really not experienced with writing oral scenes like this, so I have no idea whether this turned out good or not. It's not really my thing, but hopefully it wasn't half bad and if it was, well...we can just move on and never mention it again, agreed? :) I'm excited for the next chapter (I know, I write this about nearly every chapter but it's been a fun story to write!) so if you haven't lost interest yet, stay tuned and let me know what you think! :)

WildBubblesRoam xoxo