"Harry, why in bloody hell did you drag us over here tonight?" Ron griped, looking supremely uncomfortable as he slipped one finger into the snug collar of his dress shirt, attempting to loosen it.
"Because," Harry replied, "Draco and I have something that we'd like to share with our friends and family, the reason that you and Hermione are here."
"Couldn't you have sorted this out with an owl, mate?" the redhead continued to complain. "You know I hate dressing up."
"Oh shut it, Ronald!" Hermione snapped, tired of her best friend's grumbling. She was also dressed in a slightly form-fitting cream silk sheath dress, and high heels. She had managed to wrestle her wayward curls back into some semblance of a French roll, securing it with her wand as well as half a dozen hairpins. Of course, Hermione would have preferred staying at home, curled up on the sofa with her book and bathrobe, just as she'd done nearly every weekend for the past year since breaking up with her fiancé.
Henry, her ex-fiancé, was a young man that she'd met through a friend of the family. They'd known each other as children, only seeing one another over the summer hols when Hermione had come home from Hogwarts. Things hadn't panned out between her and Ron, which was fine by Hermione, as they parted on mutual terms. It was when she was back at her parents' that her mum especially kept fussing about her daughter only leaving to go to work and perhaps the odd outing with Harry, as she preferred to stay cooped up in her bedroom during her free time.
It was only when her mum began delicately hinting every other day that it would be nice to have grandchildren while she was still alive to see them that Hermione relented to go out with Henry. She was positive that her mum had deliberately sent the young man to her house, beneath some guise that he'd come to visit her parents, as his light brown eyes were clearly set on their daughter.
Even though she was Muggle-born herself, Hermione found it strange going out with someone that she was unable to discuss anything remotely magical with. Still, he'd proved to be quite affable, and she actually grew to enjoy his company. They'd steadily dated for a couple of years, and when Hermione was twenty-eight, he proposed to her.
By then, Hermione had moved out of her parents' home, buying her own house a few neighborhoods away. She had told Henry yes, even though inwardly she wasn't sure if she was ready to be married. Of course, her mum was thrilled, and had taken to sending away for all sorts of wedding catalogues, asking Hermione every other day when they were going to pick out her gown.
Hermione kept dithering about, never giving her mum an exact answer. She kept being mentally bombarded with a barrage of distressing thoughts. When Harry, Ron and the others had seen her ring, they all asked how she planned on breaking the news to Henry that she was a witch. That had been one topic to bring her up short, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Henry still lived with his parents, and had a mum that doted upon her son at every chance. It might have been tolerable, but unlike her, Henry was an only child that was used to being spoilt. He thought nothing of crashing at her place at a whim, even when Hermione really wanted some time for herself. Then, there was the issue of him being an outright slob. She thought she'd die when Henry propped his feet, dirty trainers and all, up on her coffee table next to her stack of books. On top of it all, he complained about her wanting to read in her spare time, suggesting that they go to the pub on the weekend.
Admittedly, Hermione was tired after working long hours at the Ministry, at the end of her days wanting nothing more than her ratty carpet slippers and a cup of tea. Yet, each Friday night, Henry would coax and wheedle, trying to convince Hermione to come out with him, until she finally relented.
It wasn't as if Hermione had anything against pubs, or going to see a film, or dancing; yet it seemed that each time they'd go out, the night would end with them meeting up with Henry's mates, all of whom seemed to have the affinity for sucking down large amounts of lager or whiskey. At first she'd been impressed by the fact that Henry and his friends had all gone to Eton, thinking that they would be at similar intellectual levels as her. However, she'd soon found out that the only thing they had in common was their shared species. There were more times than she cared to count that they had to load one of his completely bladdered mates into a taxi, another time actually having to bring one back to her house.
Aaron was a mate of Henry's from Uni, and Hermione merely tolerated the bawdy young man. But when he'd become sick all over her couch and living room floor, proceeding to crawl to a clean stretch of the wooden parquet before passing out, did she put her foot down.
Henry had disappeared off to the bedroom when Hermione began her tirade, knowing that she was at the end of an already short tether. She'd surreptitiously used her wand to clean the entire area, accidentally-on-purpose kicked the deeply sleeping and loudly snoring Aaron in the head, before making her way to her own room.
It was nights like so that were becoming increasingly common. She'd begun yearning for the silly antics of Ron and Harry, and even Draco, whom Harry had begun spending a lot of time with. At least she wouldn't have to hide her magic, or deal with loud, drunken jackasses that Henry's group of friends seemed to always consist of.
She'd finally got away that next morning, telling a grumbling Henry that complained about being woken at an early hour-even though it was past noon-that she was going out. Hermione met up with Ron, Harry, Draco and Ginny, and the five had lunch in Hogsmeade. She'd explained the situation to her friends, and Ron was the first to suggest that perhaps Henry wasn't ready to get married, hence the reason for the immature antics. Draco, in his blunt way, pointed out that Hermione was wasting her time and should just be done with it. By the time their meal was through, Hermione felt marginally lighthearted, and told her friends that they needed to meet up again.
A few weeks later, Hermione flatly refused to go to the pub with Henry, telling him that she was utterly knackered and just wanted to stay home. He'd sulked, yet still continued on his way, leaving behind a secretly pleased Hermione, perched on her couch with a book in hand. He didn't show up until nearly sunrise, reeking of whiskey and cheap perfume. Hermione's sharp eyes also caught a hint of lipstick that lingered about near his mouth, the faint pink streaked appearance suggesting that it had been hastily wiped off. She'd stayed quiet, not even mentioning it after he'd woken up much later that afternoon.
If fighting in a notorious Wizarding war had taught her anything, it was that stealth was her forte. Hermione went on behaving as if everything was normal, politely suggesting that Henry go out with his friends, casually mentioning that she was going to stay in that next weekend. Little did he know that she was planning on showing up at his usual hangout after he'd left.
Predictable as possible, Henry was with his usual group of uncouth mates- each of them louder and more scurrilous than the next. Her brown eyes instantly honed in on a curvy young woman with short, dyed red hair, whom was draped over Henry as if she had papers on him. His hand was perched atop of her scantily clad behind, seeming as if it was a common occurrence between the two. Only when they began a less appropriate public snogging, did Hermione turn on her heel and walk away.
She wasn't upset, or even sad in the least she was livid. Things hadn't been going well between the two, but he could have at least had the decency to be a man and tell her that he didn't want to marry her, instead of making her look like a fool. Hermione had gone to that very pub with Henry, many times in fact that she'd grown to be on a first name basis with some of the bartenders, particularly a girl younger than her that was still in Uni. She was bartending to pay her way through school and the two often had a nice chat whilst Henry was off getting pissed with his friends. Everyone knew that they were engaged, and for him to publicly snog and grope another female was completely disrespectful.
Hermione returned home, promptly packing up Henry's belongings in a box, stuffing her engagement ring beneath the pile of clothes, and left everything in front of her door. Henry had a key to her house, yet she warded it with her wand so that only she would be able to enter. Scribbling a hasty note and leaving it on top of the box, she thought about going to her parents' but knew that her mother would have a fit. Doing the next best thing, she Apparated to Grimmauld Place, asking a shocked Harry if he minded her staying for a night or two.
Knowing his best friend, as well as the livid visage on her face, Harry didn't ask questions, merely telling Hermione to make herself at home, and to let him know if she needed anything. She'd sought refuge in the old bedroom she'd used as a teenager, finding an old book to read whilst relishing the silence, shortly thereafter falling asleep.
That following Monday, Hermione borrowed Harry's owl, sending a note to work stating that she'd be taking a personal day. Harry explained that he'd also taken the day off to help Hermione get things sorted at her house. She hadn't batted so much as an eyelash when Draco appeared, saying that he was going to come along as well.
The three covertly Apparated to her house, where Hermione promptly offered them tea before looking up a locksmith. Harry and Draco were lounging about her living room, Draco touching bits and bobs lying about, asking Harry what each item was. Harry patiently explained the function of everything, going so far as to laugh when Draco asked what the purpose of the pink and white ceramic figurine that Hermione had on her mantel was. Harry told him that it served no functional purpose-it was just decorative-continuing to laugh at the sneer on his face, when a loud banging suddenly issued from the front door.
The two wizards promptly opened the door, revealing a disheveled-looking Henry. He had the audacity to sneeringly look Harry and Draco up and down, before attempting to push his way past them and into the house.
Although both wizards had slight builds, they were stronger than they looked and easily impeded his progress. It was when Henry began yelling into the house that Hermione hung up her phone, and came running out of the kitchen, coolly eyeing her ex-fiancé that her friends refused to allow entry.
"Hermione, isn't this the bloke that you caught with some tart in the pub?" Draco asked, giving Henry the dirty eye.
"What are you playing at?" Harry chimed in, looking just as disgusted, "Did you think you'd screw around on our friend and we wouldn't find out about it?"
Henry had met the two once before, and they'd instantly taken a dislike towards him, even though they maintained an affable front. After that occurrence, and once he was no longer in their company, did Draco tell Hermione that he didn't like her fiancé. "I don't trust him," he commented, refusing to elaborate further.
"Why? He's nice!" Hermione had vehemently replied. "Don't you agree, Harry?" she asked, turning to her messy dark-haired friend, only for him to turn around and feign interest at something across the room. "Well, I don't know what you two are on about," she'd self-convincingly gone on. "I've known him since I was young; he's all right." Draco and Harry both harrumphed, yet remained silent.
Later that night, Henry, in his own brutish way, had told Hermione that he would have been able to take on both Draco and Harry in a fight. She'd looked at him as if he sprouted two extra heads, both eyebrows quirked and nearly lost in her mop of curls. He'd fallen silent at the dumbfounded expression on her face, and never mentioned her best friends again.
Now he was standing face to face with them, and found that they housed more strength in one of their hands than he did in his entire body. On his second attempt into the house, Draco easily overpowered the young man, rendering him helpless by pinning both arms behind his back, with Harry at his throat.
Harry and Draco then quietly told Henry in no uncertain terms what he could go and to do himself, and to get the hell away from Hermione's house. She strongly suspected that they'd also said something else, but purposely used hushed tones to keep her ignorant. Henry's face bore a frightened look, to the point that Hermione thought he was going to wet himself. He finally relented, promising that he would leave her alone and wouldn't tell anyone anything, before scampering out the door.
The two then laughed uproariously, falling over one another onto Hermione's couch. Draco suggested that the next man she chose be a wizard- one that had a constitution that didn't resemble a wet noodle. Hermione didn't want to laugh, but was unable to help herself, and collapsed onto the floor next to the couch, shrieking hysterically until her eyes were flooded with tears. To say that she felt a weight off her chest was an understatement. Of course, she'd have to deal with her parents, as well as Henry's parents, but she looked at it as water under the bridge.
Later that week, she'd told her mum what transpired, and she promptly stood up for her daughter, calling Henry a no good so-and-so, ranting and raving to her husband, seated in his armchair, merely peeking over his glasses, offering a brief, "You're absolutely right, love." Somewhat mollified, Hermione's mum then went off to the kitchen to put on the kettle for tea, still muttering to herself under her breath. Mr. Granger then asked what happened after Hermione caught Henry cheating. She went into the whole story about the box and warding her house, as well as Harry and Draco scaring him off. He laughed and calmly replied, "Good on you, love. Never let anyone use you as their doormat," before resuming his evening paper without another word.
Hermione had no trouble after that. Henry, nor his parents, had so much as contacted her, which suited her just fine. During her free time, Hermione sometimes went to her parents, the Burrow or Grimmauld Place, enjoying her leisure time with her friends. But mostly, she enjoyed reveling in the silence of her empty and once again, immaculate home. There were no dirty boots for her to trip over, and no biscuit crumbs littering the counter or hidden in the folds of her duvet, even after she'd asked Henry to not eat in her bed.
The tranquility was heaven. Of course, there was still the issue of being alone at night. Masturbation only served to act as a plaster would to a large, continuously bleeding wound. A one-night stand was out of the question, as Hermione found the thought of bedding someone she barely knew distasteful. The sex with Henry had been merely passable, as his heavy drinking affected his erections. When he did manage to get one, he'd roll over on top of her, perfunctorily thrusting before quickly erupting, afterwards rolling back over and promptly falling asleep. The few times she'd tried to take control, he'd bitched and moaned until she finally relented, and lie flat on her back. Like always, their coupling was over before it was able to fully start, and Hermione would always end feeling more wound up than she'd been in the first place.
Her friends merely laughed at Hermione when they noticed her state of anxiety. There was a non-ending barrage of jokes from Draco, who never failed to point out that she needed a proper shag. Hermione silently agreed with the reckless-mouth blond wizard, even though she cuffed him round the ear for his tactless remarks. Still, Draco had a point.
Which was why she was currently eyeing Ron when he wasn't looking. Hermione, Ron, Harry and Draco were in the parlor of Malfoy Manor, having a few drinks before dinner would be served. Hermione was briefly musing over which was worse: a bout of bad sex or a year with no sex at all. She knew that Ron was still single, and couldn't believe that she was actually hard up enough to consider asking him if he wanted to come back home with her. Yet, when she remembered their last sexual encounter, it was enough to put her off.
Ronald had been slightly better in bed, yet just like Henry, he'd enjoyed Hermione going down on him, yet balked when it came time to return the favor. After giving a few unreciprocated blow jobs, Hermione flat out refused to do so.
Only after her refusal, did Henry grudgingly attempt to go down on her, yet he'd pressed his face into her mound so roughly, his teeth scraping her clitoris that she'd nearly snapped his head, grabbing onto his hair and yanking him up from between her legs. He'd suggested that perhaps if she shaved herself completely bare that he'd be more inclined to go down on her. Hermione took his offered suggestion, yet when his tongue-work was still less than satisfactory, even after she asked him to touch her more gently, she gave up the whole institution.
It was no wonder that she was covertly eyeing her old, freckled-face boyfriend.
Ron was still fussing with his shirt collar when Narcissa came into the parlor, announcing that dinner was ready. Hermione had been apprehensive about coming to Malfoy Manor; despite her burgeoning friendship with Draco, she hadn't actually expected his parents to greet her with the same enthusiasm. She was surprised to find that they were quite affable towards her and Harry, going so far as to leave an open invitation to the manor at their convenience.
Of course, the elder Malfoys were usually out and about, mostly on their own, but the gesture had still been appreciated. The few times that Hermione visited the manor were when she tagged along behind Harry and Draco, once in a while Ron coming along.
The odd time that Lucius made his appearance, Hermione noticed him eyeing her with a somewhat amused attention, yet he never said a word. Even though he was married, his obvious appraisal made her blush, although it didn't completely put Hermione off. Still, she knew better than to mention a word, especially since he'd never actually said or did anything that could be misconstrued as improper.
The four were now trailing behind Narcissa, making their way into a vast dining room. Lucius was already seated at the head of the table, sartorially elegant as ever in his custom-tailored jacket, brocade waistcoat and trousers. Hermione was surprised to find that Severus Snape was also at the table, clad in his proverbial black suit. He nodded curtly at the entering group, yet remained silent. Another attractive witch in an ice blue silk dress that looked to be Narcissa's age sat across from her, and was introduced as Claudette.
Once everyone was seated, a slew of dishes appeared on the table. Dinner proved to be quite enjoyable; Hermione was flummoxed enough at the idea of dining at Malfoy Manor, never mind whilst being in the company of said Malfoys, along with the notoriously antisocial Headmaster. Surprisingly enough, Severus had joined in on the conversation, maintaining the utmost decorum, even when speaking to Harry and Ron.
Right before dessert was to be served, Harry and Draco chose to make their announcement. They'd both stood up by one another, and proceeded to announce that they'd been lovers for the past year, and were planning on living together.
Ron nearly choked on his wine, whilst Severus and Claudette quirked an eyebrow. Hermione, Lucius and Narcissa were the only ones who went on drinking their wine, apparently unfazed by their announcement.
"Is this why you wanted to get us together, Draco?" Lucius drawled, his wineglass still in hand. "Because you could have told us this over breakfast, or perhaps, sent an owl from the office."
"That's what I said!" Ron exclaimed once he stopped coughing, causing the elder Malfoy to arch one pale eyebrow. Ron immediately reddened under his direct stare, and picked up his wineglass, draining its remains.
"As I was saying," Lucius continued, "your mother and I have known about you and Mr. Potter for some time now. All of the fanfare wasn't necessary, although, admittedly, this was quite a pleasant gathering."
Draco and Harry were standing at the other end of the table, their eyes widened and expressions agog as they stared across at Lucius. "Are you serious?" Draco sputtered. "Do you know how damned nervous I've been, knowing that I'd have to tell you, and you knew all along?"
"Draco, why would you be nervous?" Narcissa asked, delicately sipping her own wine.
Draco gave his mother a skeptical look. "Why else, Mum?" he retorted.
"Wait a minute," Harry cut in. "Hermione, you look strangely accepting of all this."
Hermione eyed her dinner companions before turning back to Harry. "Well, you're my best friend and I love you," she replied with a shrug, setting down her wineglass. "You could marry a Pygmy puff for all I care, as long as you're happy. Besides, I'd had my suspicions a long time ago; you've just proved that I was right. You two aren't exactly conspicuous, if you know what I mean."
Draco's face flushed a light pink, and Hermione smirked, wondering if he'd picked up on the fact that she'd heard his and Harry's morning activities the weekend she'd spent the night at Grimmauld Place. By the sounds of things, it seemed as if the two were having a lot more fun than she was. What was even more shocking was the fact that their mingled, male moans had left her slightly aroused, and she'd had to bury her head beneath a pillow, lest she explode within her own skin.
"Well then," Severus calmly replied, setting his napkin beside his empty dessert plate. "I believe it's time for pudding."
"Oh, right," Narcissa continued. "The elves prepared that chocolate fondant that you adore; shall I have them bring it out?"
Draco and Harry were seated again, Ron and Hermione shooting them amused expressions.
"You know that phrase, 'Much ado about nothing?'" she began. "To say that you two fit it is an understatement," she giggled.
"Oh shush, Hermione," Harry chuckled. "Well, at least the cat's out of the bag, so let's have our dessert."
"Hey, I'm not complaining," Ron replied. "Say, d'you think you two will have house-elves? Because if they can cook like this, then I'm coming over at any given opportunity."
"Damn, Weaselbee, do you think about anything besides your stomach?" Draco asked incredulously.
"No!" came the chorused voices of Harry and Hermione, causing all four of them to break out into uncontrollable laughter.
The chocolate fondant finally appeared on the table, and Hermione swooned when she put the first bite into her mouth. She'd complimented Narcissa, to which the older witch thanked her. Claudette then suggested that Hermione take a bite of the dessert, followed by a swig of the red wine. Fighting back a moan when her taste buds went into overload, Hermione soon cleared her plate. Her wineglass kept refilling itself, until Hermione found herself completely pissed, and raptly eyeing everyone at the dinner table.
Severus was straitlaced as ever, rigidly sitting upright in his chair. Ron was properly appeased, devouring a third helping of dessert at Narcissa's behest, and she was immersed in deep conversation with Claudette. Harry and Draco were off in their own little bubble, leaving Hermione to look at Lucius, who appeared to be furtively glancing across at Severus. He either didn't notice or was merely pretending to do so.
By the time dinner was over with, everyone was tipsy from the good food and wine, and immersed in chatter. Thirty minutes later, Ron was about to fall asleep right at the dinner table, when Draco flicked his wand at him. Ron immediately sprang up, his blue eyes heavy with lassitude. Harry yanked his best friend up after Ron thanked the Malfoys for their hospitality, leading him to the drawing room so that he could Floo back to the Burrow.
Hermione was also in danger of putting her head down on the table, until Draco poked her in the side, suggesting that she go lie down in one of the guest rooms.
"I can't impose on you like that," she replied in a slurred voice, even though her eyes were about to crash shut.
"There are nearly as many rooms in this house as we have Galleons at Gringott's," Draco intoned, before calling for a house-elf. "Besides, you can't Floo home, and if you attempt to Apparate, you'll splinch yourself. Now let Nimsy take you to a room, and mind that you don't fall on your arse."
"Oh shut up, Draco!" Hermione hissed, unsteadily getting up from the table, awkwardly bidding goodnight to everyone else before following the house-elf out of the dining room.
Hermione hadn't kept track of where the minuscule house-elf led her. All she knew was that she was grateful for the large, darkened and completely quiet room. A sliver of moonlight poured in from between the heavy draperies covering tall windows, and Hermione was able to make out the faintest trace of a completely oversized, yet too high bed.
Too knackered to attempt climbing onto the pretty bed, she opted for a comfortable-looking chaise lounge across the room. Toeing off her shoes, she curled up onto the chaise and fell into a deep sleep.
there is more but so errrr well you know...here's the rest, add the dots, and take out the spaces so you can see it in all it's glory :D. I've had requesteds for Hercissa? lmao whatever you want to call it and Drarry, and all chapters will be separate so folks can pick their poison. :D Sorry for the inconvenience!
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