In Her Dreams.

AN: This was a drabble that got out of hand. Ignore the run-on sentences and fragments, sil vous plait. Most of this piece is Hermione's thoughts so I'm allowing it because who really uses proper grammar in their mind? Hm?

Also, a wee bit of Ron-bashing, fyi.

Thanks for reading and reviewing. (Hint.)


"Are you...sweating?" The final word sounded like a joke. He was mocking her.

Yes.

"No." Hermione spit out, looking flushed.

"And you're blushing…?" He whispered.

Yes. "No."

"Don't lie to me," he growled out.

"I-I'm not." Since when did Malfoy make me so nervous?

"Sure," he drawled, "You're a great liar, Granger." He smirked, letting the sarcasm roll off of every word.

"I'm not lying, yo-you-you ferret!"

Note to self: come up with better comebacks. I'm not going to be able to keep cursing him as a rodent forever.

He was incensed and mirrored her thoughts, "Yes, wonderful comeback. We've already determined that I'm a ferret and you're a dirty Mudblood…"

She let out an audible sigh.

"…But can we just go ahead and fuck?"

-oOo-

Whatthehell?

Hermione tried to breathe in deeply and figure out where she was. Instead of some much-needed cool air, her mouth was unpleasantly filled with small downy feathers. That's odd.

She wriggled her face around and came to the astute decision that she was having odd dreams again and had, in fact, thrown herself out of her bed. Probably to prevent the next part of the dream, she thought sourly.

Hermione had met this exact same fate during her stay in the woods during the war. She was consistently having strange dreams and tossing herself out of her bed-well, cot. She had deemed them part of the struggles of war. It was her way of processing all of the fear and uncertainties of her life. And she was growing into womanhood. This was normal, right? Surely, other girls had passionate dreams featuring strange lovers, right? Not that she had anyone to ask at the time. And soon enough they were at Hogwarts fighting and there were other bigger worries to flutter over. And then the dreams had stopped.

But before they had, she had struggled in her cot, tossing and turning, never getting a truly fulfilling night of sleep. She was vexed as to why it was happening then and she met the same thoughts now. What brought on these dreams? Would she have to suffer again through another round of dreams-and throwing herself out of her bed-before they desisted? Well, not suffer, per se, but…

The first dream had been shocking. She had drifted blissfully off to sleep in tent she shared with Harry and Ron. She had been reading in the sanctuary of her cot. Her cot was covered by a thin, khaki curtain, her only means of privacy from the boys. It almost felt like a bedroom. Almost. It was still their first full week in the woods and the adventurous excitement was already wearing off. She need that this would be a tedious war, but she wished she had more interesting, less deadly things to think about at times.

To ease her mind, she had been pouring over a book she had acquired during one of an outing into some no-name town. While she had been stealing some food and supplies, Harry had graciously snatched her a few books. They weren't particularly good, but reading something unrelated to magic or the war was a very welcomed treat for her. She had ripped through a book on pottery. She had drank up a tome on otters. She studied a text on home remedies. She had read-somewhat reluctantly-a tedious biography of a famous fashion designer. And now she was reading the final book, some French novel written for women in their twenties. If you could ever judge a book by its cover, it was this one: bright pink, with bubbly lettering, and two sets of legs tangled together like lovers, with an insanely high heel hanging off of one foot. The entire book was written in French, a language that Hermione could barely read, nevertheless, Hermione was already solidly into the story.

In that first dream, she was sitting very comfortable chair in a small room that looked like a household library, working through that pink-bound book, when she heard the distinctive 'pop' of someone coming to visit at the door. She called out for the person to enter the room and she was met with flowers and a warm hug from Ron-those combined actions of romance had given it away as a dream, but alas, a girl can dream, can't she? Who was she not to play along? Dream Hermione led Ron into the kitchen-her kitchen?-to put the flowers in a vase and asked him how his day was.

His answers were short and succinct.

His questions-on the other hand-were very plentiful and detailed.

"So you're still working on that fluffy, French book?"

"Yes, I am. I can't put something down once I begin it. You know that, Ron." Hermione folded the edge of the page she was reading down and put the book down on the countertop. The neon pink cover looked foreign against her smooth, oiled wood countertops.

"You can take a break, perhaps?"

She met his eyes, "Sure."

She removed the flowers from their plastic green wrappings and slipped them into the vase. She fidgeted with the flower stems, forcing them into submission within the vessel.

He leaned in over her shoulder, looking at the book below her. She had slightly zoned into her work and only caught the end of his words.

"…a bath and then we can go out for dinner and dancing, if you'd like that?"

She was overwhelmed. He was taking her out? On a real date? Not a going to the Burrow, out with friends, or being in each other's company type date, but a true, old fashioned dinner-dancing date. She smiled at her own words and nodded. She hadn't ever been out with Ron in real life, but she thought about it endlessly and dreamed about it constantly. In her dreamland they could date. In her dreamland they had been on many dates, had shared many first kisses. In her dreamland, Ron wooed her. In her dreamland, maybe they were seriously dating, sleeping together, working on wedding plans? Maybe they were already married? In this dream she wasn't certain, but she felt like they were at least together. Call it dream intuition or some nonsense.

And if Ronald wanted to take her out-in her dreamland or not-who was she to deny him?

Yes, she was always more of a homebody, but every teenage girl liked to be dolled up and shown a nice night out every once in a while. She wanted to be wined and dined just like the lot of them. And if dreamland Ron could woo her, maybe real world Ron could too? Maybe they really could work out, she mused. Maybe when she woke up, she'd find him sitting outside their tent and she'd ask him how he felt. She had been having her doubts recently. They acted more like friends than possible lovers. He wasn't at all what she expected and not in an entirely good way. But he was in her dreams always. No other man was ever featured at the star; this had to mean something. Yes, she would ask him once she woke up.

Ron's eyes were trailing on the cover of her book.

"La Douleur Exquise…? What does that mean?" he asked. His finger edged the worn cover of the book.

In this dreamland, Ron had a perfect French accent and the phrase sounded silky coming out of his mouth. It made him seem more dignified and intelligent. He was using his other hand to make exquisite little patterns dance across her back. Chills went up Hermione's spine and she was certain that in the real world, she was beginning to break out in a sweat in her makeshift bed.

Ron was always more-er, awkward than sensual. Even in her dreams. She had never messed with his personality or traits much, but this dreamland Ron was much more hauteur than real life Ron. And he seemed more in tune with Hermione than ever before. It wasn't that Ron didn't care-at least, she didn't think he didn't care-but real life Ron wasn't the sweet, cuddly, let's-take-care-of-you-first-sweetheart type. He was just…Ron.

"It is the pain of being in love with someone you can't be. Unrequited love. Not being able to have what you want so badly that it hurts in your chest, as if your heart was missing," she answered, somewhat poetically if she could say so herself.

His breath was warm against her neck, tracing over her pulse point. He placed a gentle kiss at the edge of her blouse on her shoulder. She brought her hands up to encircle his neck above her. She ruffled the hair at the nape of his neck with her fingers, delighting in the throaty noise it elicited from him.

"You can have whatever you want, Hermione," said-wait, this voice wasn't Ron's!

Hermione's hands moved away from him so quickly that it seemed just a blur. At the same time, she stood and turned to face an annoyingly handsome Draco Malfoy.

Then she had woken up in much of the same daze she was experiencing now. It was dreadful. Fear seemed to spread down her spine and pooled along the floor. Before that day she had never dreamed of anyone other than Ron. A million dreams about red hair, deep blue eyes, and golden freckles. A million dreams of a wedding at the Burrow and a gaggle of children pulling on skirts. A million dreams of candlelit dinners and whispered promises. Yet for the many months spent in the wilderness during the war, she didn't dream of Ron's blue eyes once.

Instead, all of those nights in their tent, she had dreamed a million dreams about Draco Malfoy. A million dreams of his high cheekbones and storm-colored eyes. A million dreams of his timbre voice whispering into her ear, sending shivers up her spine. A million dreams of his walking up to their wards in the woods and finding her. A million dreams of his glowing, pale hands tracing over her body.

And when she woke up from her dream affairs, she was thankful for her privacy curtain. She was happy that Harry and Ron didn't see the blush she woke up with or the way she worked her sheets into tangled puddles at the end of her bed. She was obsessed with her dreamland Draco Malfoy, she'd admit to that much. She thought of him when she sat guard of their tent. She though of him when they traveled the woods. She imagined seeking him out after war. But she knew that it would never matter. Not really. Even if he came out of the war in any positive way, her Draco-the one that came to her at night-wasn't the real Draco Malfoy and it would never matter.

When the war ended and she began to sleep in a normal, padded bed again in her new little flat, dreamland Draco stopped visiting her. His silvery eyes were replaced once again by bright blue ones once she began dating Ron. They weren't perfect together, but life was fragile after the war and they needed each other. She never doubted her feelings for him, he was her very best friend, and she expected a happy, if predictable life with him.

Yet here she was, laying on her hardwood floor, diamond ring sparkling on her left hand while her right hand remained trapped in her mess of sheets and quilts, panting because Draco Malfoy was in her dreams. Again. She decided to ignore the dreams. Again.

She climbed back into bed after making her bed up again and turning her ceiling fan on. She watched the blades twirl around in circles, cooling her body and her libido.

-oOo-

He pulled her to his body, his arms coming to loop around her slight waist. He shouldn't be here. They shouldn't be meeting like this.

"Anyone could see!" She stage whispered at Draco.

His lips were occupied currently on her neck and although her words protested, her body did not. Her head lopped to the side to grant him better access. He peppered her with kisses and nips. She arched under his hands. Yes, anyone might walk up to the side of the house at any moment. Any Weasley or in-law could see them and tell her fiancé, but somehow it didn't matter to her. In this moment-hell, in all moments with Draco, she was too muddled by lust to decide anything practical or logical.

"We…we can't, Draco." She moaned. His hands were dragging down her hips, pivoting her between the wall and him. Her hips slid along his, creating the most beautiful friction. Oh. My God.

She hissed as his thigh compromised between her legs. She rocked her body against his. She took a deep gulp of air in. She felt like she was falling and flying all at once and it was heavenly. He was possessive and dominating…And so. Damn. Good.

His hands made their way to the front of her dress, pushing it up, slipping between her soft knickers and her skin, tracing over her body in ways that she hadn't ever felt before. His hands moved lower, trailing over her…

Oh no. Two dreams in one night. No. No. No. And she hadn't even thrown herself out of her bed for this one. Her heart was racing and her sheets stuck to her body in an entirely unpleasant way. After dislodging herself from the mess, she walked to her library, drawing out a slim tattered book with a pink cover. Throwing herself in a overstuffed chair, she opened up the tome and began reading. Half reading to ease her rattled mind, half hoping for the notable 'pop' of a man with flowers appariting in at her front door.

-oOo-

"So, Granger, why did you finally leave the prat, hm?"

Because he wasn't you!

"Um." Her responses were getting more intelligent by the moment. She could blame it on the alcohol, right? She was started on her forth butterbeer and while that was far from going off of the deep end, Hermione rarely drank anything stronger than tea and even that she took with milk.

"Finally figure out he was poor?"

She shook her head.

"Couldn't watch him eat anymore?"

She smiled and shook her head again.

"Didn't want to risk the gingerhaired children? There are already so many of those in that family."

She thought for a moment about little Freddy. He was the only redheaded, dark-skinned child she had ever seen.

"No."

He leaned it over the table a bit, "What is it? He didn't do it for you in bed?"

She blushed scarlet, thinking of the previous night's dream. That's why she was here anyway, sitting in a seedy bar with Draco Malfoy.

"Well?"

"No."

He laughed loudly from deep inside his chest. "I knew it…"

She interrupted him, "Not 'no, he didn't,' but 'no, we didn't.'"

Her words had come out a little muffled and confused. She sat her bottle back down on the gritty table and pushed it away. She motioned for the waiter and ordered an ice water and some coffee. Her mind was addled by the booze and she needed to stop before she became maudlin or, worse, reckless.

"What? Are you speaking in riddles?" He had ordered another whisky-this had to be his forth or fifth, yet he sat there perfectly straight-backed and at ease. How could he be drinking so much and still maintain so much of his upper crust upbringing? He was all sleek lines and edges. Always so debonair. And even in this small, dark corner of this shady Muggle pub, he glowed like the crown jewels. His tailored suit, shirt, and tie were pristine, the pieces matched perfectly in color and print, something that only he could make look effortless. His hair was coiffed perfectly and not a scar or wrinkle attempted to ruin his face. He is a fairly handsome man, she thought, staring at him across the booth. No, she rescinded, he is beautiful. He was probably wonderful at nearly everything he did. He had always gotten high marks-next only to her-and had came into a good job even with a soiled last name like his. He was agile and graceful and probably could do things with that sharp-witted tongue that she could only imagine.

She blushed and shook that thought clear of her head.

"Ron and I…we, uh…we never…" She motioned with her hands between the two of them. Her hand felt so much lighter without Ron's engagement ring on it. Weird.

The waiter arrived with her new drinks, putting her out of her misery momentarily. While the waiter bustled around picking up her discarded bottles and setting out her cup, saucer, pot, cream dish, and sugar bowl, Draco raised up a single aristocratic eyebrow at her. Meanwhile, she avoided his eyes, choosing instead to focus on the spread in front of her. She was expecting a single, dirty cup with brown liquid that could have possibly been dirty water. Instead she received a nice spread. She smiled a little inwardly and then remembered who she was with.

"Never what, Granger? Had sex?" he said, disbelievingly.

"Uh." Fabulous answer.

"Seriously?" He laughed at her.

"Uh."

"Oh. God. That's rich. Weasel never fucked you." Still laughing.

"You dated that imbecile for seven years and got engaged," he laughed, "And he never took you to bed?"

Hermione was flustered and annoyed. She should have guessed his response would be such. Of course it was her fault, wasn't it. She wasn't sitting here across from dream land Draco Malfoy. This was real, annoying Malfoy. What was she doing? Spilling her secrets to this cad? Had she lost her mind? She rustled through her purse, grabbing some pound notes and slamming them onto the table.

"This was nice, Malfoy. Thanks." Her voice said the exact opposite of her words. This was not fun, enjoyable, or any variation of the word. Nor was she thankful. Because instead of comforting her in her loss, he was mocking her for her choices. She knew he would do this. But she had wanted so desperately for him to be much more like dream land Draco that she put aside her better judgment when she saw him in the street earlier.

She stood to get up from the booth, her hand pressing down on the money, when his sinewy fingers latched onto her wrist.

"Sit down."

"Yes, cause I am so likely to take orders from you." She rolled her eyes.

"You're drunk."

"Shut up." She wriggled her arm, trying to remove his hand.

"I'll walk you home." He suddenly produced his own money for the cheque. She hadn't really even expected him to have Muggle money as she had suggested the place.

They rose out of their booth and poured out into the dark, sparkling streets of the city.

-oOo-

"Why do you have to make fun of everything?" She broke their silent walk once they had reached her doorstep. He leaned back against her front door, not letting her key in. His hair looked wicked against the peeling crimson paint.

"It's what I do." Yes, she decided, this Draco Malfoy was very different from the angelic dreamland Draco. He was the devil. Mean spirited and blunt. His tongue was made of razor blades and he never thought of anyone but himself. But for all the mean things she could come up with, he had redeeming qualities too. He sat with her for hours tonight listening to her drone on about Ron nonsense. He had even made a witty joke about it being 'Ronsense,' because nothing that man did ever made sense to him. Maybe she shouldn't have ever agreed to be with Ronald. Maybe once her dreams became about Draco, she should have approached him. Maybe he was really like dreamland Draco, under the layers of angst?

"I wish…" her voice cracked and trailed off. She shoved him out of the way and unlocked her door, pushing past him and into her foyer.

She wished what? That this was a dream instead of reality? That she could just shag him and get it out of her mind-wait, that wasn't such a bad idea, was it?

She shouted a bit, pulling at her hair, yanking out some of her spirally curls down from her bun. She wasn't mad at him, per se, but instead dreamland Draco. He had spoiled her relationship with Ron, which was probably her only hope at normalcy. She felt her eyes sting and her cheeks grow wet as she moved towards her library. He followed her into the room. She looked up at him with diamond eyelashes.

"What?" His voice edged on awkward. He probably had no idea why she was crying. She hadn't shed a tear over Ron yet, deciding that she wasn't very sad at all about their broken engagement. Honestly, she was relieved.

She stared at him. For so long that the silence between them grew uncomfortable.

She knew from the beginning of the dreams that she would want him forever. She knew it. She couldn't explain how she knew, but it was there, gnawing at her stomach. It wasn't just some passing fancy. She wanted him: dreamland Draco and this real one. She wanted Draco Malfoy. How insane was that? And in the end, she knew, that this was the reason she never slept with Ron. He had pressed for it. He reasoned that they knew each other in every other way. 'We will be married within the year, so what's the point in waiting,' and that 'it isn't a big deal,' he had said. She countered that if that was his reasoning that if it wasn't a big deal then what was the big deal in waiting. Ron had assumed that she wanted to remain a virgin until marriage. But she knew deep in her heart that she was waiting for someone else to proposition her. That's sick, isn't it? She was staying engaged to one man, dreaming of sex with another. If Draco Malfoy had told her he wanted her, she would give herself to him in every way. She was broken and unhappy with Ron, but the prospect of loosing it all by telling Ron had always been less than savory until today. Especially when Draco Malfoy would most likely laugh in her face or shag her and toss her out to the street with the bins.

Yet, impossibly, she was still completely undone by him. She felt her heart swell and break again as her mind caught up to the events of today and her recent confession to Ron. She wasn't sure what finally broke her. Maybe the fates knew she'd cross paths with Malfoy today? She had no idea. But she wasn't going to be Mrs. Ronald Weasley anymore and that was a weight off of her shoulders. She had never really liked a 'W' in the center of her monogram anyway.

"Alcohol scrambles my every thought." Hermione said. What? I'm going to leave him hanging in silence for minutes and then say that?

"Really?" he drawled, seemingly completely unaffected by his drinks. She figured this was a joke in her expense. Of course alcohol would meddle her mind. But it was more than just that. Whenever she saw him-at the Ministry, at parties, in Flourish and Blotts, wherever-she lost her bearings, started rambling like some schoolgirl with a…with a…with a schoolgirl crush. Friends or not, it never got easier for her to see him. He completely beguiled her.

"You scramble my every thought."

What? Who said that? Did I say that? Hermione's thoughts were reeling.

"Granger?"

-oOo-

She woke up in her library, laying in her fluffed armchair. When she lifted her head she was amazed to find no hazy pain there. She must have fallen asleep after her night out.

Sitting up, she shook the afghan off of her shoulders, and started a small fire in her hearth.

"Oh, you're up." Malfoy pushed the door of the library open, leading with his back, holding a tea tray in his arms.

"Hullo."

He smiled at her and put the tray down on an ottoman.

"Feeling better?" he asked.

"Yes…?" She reasoned that she was sick in this dream. Maybe Draco was nursing her back to health? Her mind shot through the possibilities: he was taking care of her because he feared he had gotten her sick after he was ill last week, he was nursing her back to health after she accidentally fell down the stairs, he was taking care of her after a long night of dancing…Whatever the reason, dream land Draco was smiling at her and that was all that mattered.

He fixed her some tea and handed the saucer over to her. She drank it happily.

"So what are our plans for tomorrow?" she asked, leaning in to kiss him sweetly on the cheek. He blushed. Who knew that Malfoy could blush? And look so charming while he did it. She pushed that thought aside for the moment instead turning curious to where this dream was going to take her. Surely she wasn't going to just take tea with Malfoy and then wake up back in her bedroom?

"Are you propositioning me already? I thought we would at least talk about your little confession from earlier." He drank his own tea and took a biscuit off of the tray.

Confession? What confession? He glanced at her evenly and raised his eyebrows slightly.

Then it came back to her. She had fainted.

They were talking. She was over thinking everything. She remembered hearing, 'You scramble my every thought.' Or wait, did she say that? Did she hear it or say it?

You scramble my every thought.

Yes, she had definitely said that. Oh no. She was such a fool. She had said that and…

Oh, God. She kissed him when he brought her tea. She was certifiable!

"Granger?"

Oh, Merlin.. He was still here. He was looking at her. Her mind went blank. She broke out into a cold sweat, her hands shaking. She could here her cup and saucer clink together. He took it from her hands and put it on the tea tray.

"Are you sweating?" he asked.

"What? No." Hermione said, obviously sweating. She felt a bead form near her hairline and trail down her neck.

"And you're blushing?" He whispered into her ear, his mouth close to that very same bead of sweat.

"No….Listen, Malfoy…"

"No. Don't lie to me, Hermione." He never called her by her first name and when he had said it, each syllable came out a beautiful melodic noise.

"I-oh…I'm not." Full panic set in. He was using the same wording that dreamland Draco had in her dream yesterday. She had the incredible sense of déjà vu. She knew where this conversation was moving. Or, at the very least, where it had moved in her dream.

"Sure," he drawled, "You're a great liar, Granger." He smirked, eyes glittering.

"I'm not lying…uh, ferret?" She tried to remember the words in her dream. Maybe it had more venom in her dream, but so did the whole air of this conversation. Maybe she was still drunk? Maybe she could faint again and pretend this had never occurred.

His face was so close to hers. "Ferret? Are we back to that? I thought we gave that one up years ago."

She sighed. Okay, so this isn't like your dream. He's not going to take the bait.

"What you said before, did you mean that?"

Her answer was barely a breath, more like a hiss. She was surprised he understood her. "Yes."

"Oh. Good."

"Good?"

"Yes, Granger. I've been waiting for years for you to leave the Weasel."

"What?" He did not just say that.

He nodded and leaned in slightly, asking permission.

She pushed her head towards his, letting her lips brush his lips. She gasped slightly at the electricity found there and he deepened the kiss.

"Wait."

"What?"

She motioned between them, "What's this? What are we doing?"

"I thought that would be fairly obvious, but I guess your last boyfriend was a real ponce."

"No. Seriously."

"Seriously? I was being serious when I said I was waiting years. Since the war."

"Really?" Her eyes were as big as the saucers of their forgotten tea.

"Yes."

"Oh." I wasted so much damn time then.

He leaned into her and kissed her again, his hand coming up to cup the back of her neck. The real life Draco Malfoy was giving her shivers. Better shivers than the dreamland Draco Malfoy had ever given her.

"So can we date?" It took Hermione a moment to realize it was her who had spoken these words. Her voice was breathy and low.

"Please," he said.

She started rattling off about telling people and what they would think because she just broke it off with Ron. All the while, he traced his hand up the curve of her neck and back down again, smiling at her reaction. She returned his smile with a silly grin of her own.

"I am having so much fun talking about our relationship and all of that, but…?" He trailed off his question as if he was going to try to be delicate about something.

"Uh huh?" She noticed that her body leaned into his every move. If he asked her for the world right now, she would find a way to get it for him. He was going to be hers and it was mind boggling.

"…But can we just go ahead and fuck?" Apparently, he had forgone delicacy just as dreamland Draco had done the first time around. Maybe real life Draco and dreamland really are the one and the same, Hermione thought. At the very least I will have a good time finding out.