After over five years since I wrote my first story, I have finally written my second. Considerably more mature (and better, in my opinion) and somewhat shorter than my last work, the following is the tale of a foolish boy, a well-meaning girl and a pair of Slytherins who know to seize their opportunities where they can find them.

Also featuring are a couple of lovebirds, dear friends and a dinner party that entertains almost everyone and brings out several secrets.

If you would like to leave a review, I would greatly appreciate it. Feedback and helpful critique is always appreciated.

Without further ado, here is...

A Game, A Bet and A Dinner Party.


19:22 pm.

Hermione had never wanted to kill anyone more cruelly and viciously than right at that very moment. Forget about the fourteen potential witnesses or the fact that she would surely be handed a life sentence in Azkaban as a reward; Harry Potter, saviour of the wizarding world and her best friend of almost fifteen years, had to go.

At the head of the dining table, covered in twinkling pillar-candles and china plates, Harry laughed with Fred Weasley over the latest mishap over at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, blissfully unaware of his best friend's homicidal intentions. Beside him, Pansy Parkinson rose from her seat and left the room, still mid-conversation with the flame-haired Ginny Weasley. The room was alive with laughter and merriment, food and good conversation, and yet Hermione couldn't enjoy it. All because of the two men seated directly across from her.

When Harry Potter had first started dating former Slytherin Princess and former enemy (admittedly almost entirely by association) Pansy Parkinson after the two had been forced to work together on a interdepartmental project, no one had thought it would last. Not the media, not their colleagues at the Ministry of Magic, and certainly not his two closest friends, Hermione and Ron Weasley. Harry had received countless letters from fans and haters alike, pleading with him to end the relationship before 'that awful woman' abandoned him, took all his money (of which he had plenty) and ran off with the next celebrity to glance her way. One particularly ardent supporter had gone so far as to send Bubotuber pus to Pansy's office, in the hopes of deterring her from pursuing a romantic entanglement with the 'adored saviour' any longer.

But a year passed and they were still together. Another year; and they continued to hold strong. It had now been three years and, at the ripe old age of twenty-five, the two love birds had decided it was about time they moved in together. Having decided to host a sumptuous dinner party for their nearest and dearest to celebrate their good fortune, Harry and Pansy had decorated their new Chelsea apartment in discreet, yet complimentary, cream and burgundy and cooked a lavish meal for fifteen.

Hermione, having become quite good friends with the former Slytherin over the years (after a somewhat shaky start), had been greatly looking forward to the evening. She relished the opportunity to meet up with those she loved; particularly because her lucrative career as a lawyer came with ridiculously long hours and clients who believed that their cheques entitled them to request Hermione's services at any time of the day (or night). Indeed, she had only seen Harry and Ron once in the last fortnight, and several of the others seated around the rectangular oak dining table not since George and Angelina's wedding almost six months ago.

Her evening had taken a sudden turn for the worse, however, when two gentlemen had turned up; neither of whom Hermione had had any particular desire to ever see again. To be fair, she should have expected them to be present. After all, they were two of Pansy's closest friends and, as such, had every right to attend the intimate gathering. But did they have to be seated directly across from Hermione? And had they truly had to spend the entirety of the evening thus far staring intently at someone they so publically claimed to hate?

"Hermione?" A husky drawl interrupted the brunette's musings, sending an unwanted shiver down her spine. Hermione looked up to find pewter eyes gazing at her, steadily. Draco Malfoy, heir to the foremost wizarding fortune in Britain, pride of Slytherin and reformed Death Eater; was watching her, his roasted pepper Bruschetta untouched.

"Yes?" Hermione was aware that her tone was curt, but it was truly the least that the snake deserved. Draco's only outward response was a sardonically arched brow and brief glance at her own starter.

"You haven't touched your food and we haven't heard a peep from you since we sat down,' the platinum-haired man observed, his grave eyes once again fixed firmly on Hermione's. "Something is clearly the matter." The former Gryffindor Princess glanced around the table, sure that the confrontational nature of the pair's conversation must have drawn the attention of the other diners, but the only one paying them any heed was Draco's Italian counterpart, the notoriously (and almost cruelly) gorgeous Blaise Zabini.

"That is utter nonsense and, even if it weren't, I don't believe that it is any of your concern, Malfoy. Nor is it any of yours, Zabini," Hermione continued, her eyes turning to the dark-haired former Slytherin. "So I would thank you both to return to your own affairs and leave me to mine." The brunette sniffed, haughtily, picked up her fork and poked at her starter, irritated. After the events of last month, the last thing she needed (or wanted, for that matter) was to speak to either Malfoy or Zabini. Hopefully, they would get the message, along with its double entendre, and leave well enough alone.

But, in accordance with the thoroughly shitty luck she'd been having all month, it was just too much to ask.

"We thought we were your affair," Malfoy murmured, clearly intended for Hermione and Zabini's ears only. Heart giving a sudden thump, Hermione fumbled with her fork before dropping it. Swallowing hard, she looked back up to find Malfoy and Zabini gazing back, eyes like glowing coals in the dim room. Hermione eyed both of them, feeling like a gazelle in the sights of stalking predators.

Before she could even consider replying, however, the door swung open and Pansy swept in, holding a laden tray.

"Tagliatelle with sausage, anyone?"

.. . .. .

"You did what?" Hermione couldn't believe her ears. Anthony Goldstein, her boyfriend of nine months, visibly swallowed hard and took a small step back. A wise move on his part, considering what he had just told her.

"It's just one night," Anthony tried to reason, his hands clasped together, pleadingly. "It's not that big of a deal, surely?" Hermione was still having trouble believing what he was telling her. How could he have done something like this? How could he have been so stupid?

"Just one night? Just one night?" She was almost shouting now, fists clenched in anger. "You had the nerve to offer me up as collateral in a poker game against those two, and then you have theaudacity to act as if I am the one being unreasonable? I cannot believe you." Hermione's chest was tightening, something that hadn't afflicted her since the days after her torture at Bellatrix Lestrange's hands over seven years before. Taking a deep, calming breath, she raised a hand from the marble kitchen countertop to her forehead to try and regain some long-lost composure, hoping that her following words will bring the awful reality of the situation to her block-headed boyfriend.

But before she can think of anything to say, the obviously suicidal idiot interrupts.

"I'm sorry, Hermione. You know I am." Anthony's face is a distinctly unattractive puce. "I really thought I had them over a barrel, kings all round! Four kings!" He pauses, gaze now on the ceiling, clearly reminiscing about his would-be winning hand. At Hermione's warning growl, Anthony starts and rushes on. "But Zabini whipped out four aces and there was nothing I could do. We took awizarding vow, Hermione. You know what that means."

And indeed Hermione did know what that meant. Thanks to her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend's thoughtless actions, she had to spend the night with the two people she hated most: Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini.

.. . .. .

First Course

20:58 pm.

'And that's really where everything went south', Hermione thought, picking through her tagliatelle, dispassionately. She should have never gone on that dreaded trip to Las Vegas with Anthony. Intended as a brief respite from her intense work schedule ('Baby, we never spend any time together any more' – Anthony had always persisted in calling her that awful name, completely ignoring the many times she had told him that she would 'much prefer another'), the holiday had fast descended into attempts at debauchery, non-stop partying and hours spent at the roulette and craps tables, regardless of the fact that, to save his life, Anthony couldn't win even a coin-toss.

Hermione had been reading an old favourite, enjoying the few solitary hours she'd had in quite some time, when Anthony had hurried into their hotel room at the Palms with news of what he had just done. On discovering that she had to sleep with her two former enemies as the result of Anthony's loss of a poker game, Hermione had stormed out in a fury after dumping said man unceremoniously. Once again, however, her good heart had gotten the best of her. Though she may have hated him almost as much as Zabini and Malfoy at that point in time, and as foolish as he might have been, Anthony did not deserve the infamously dire consequences that an unfulfilled wizarding vow would have brought upon him.

If anything, it was Hermione's fault that this had happened. Truly. If she had dumped Anthony months ago, the way she had wanted to, it would never have happened. Anthony was always getting himself into scrapes; always having mishaps of one kind or another, and, although in the past they had only ever affected him, Hermione had always gone out of her way to help him. Always gone above and beyond to ensure that his life went as smoothly as possible. And this was the thanks she had received.

Shaking her head to rid herself of the unwanted memory, Hermione ate a bite from her largely-untouched meal, vowing to ignore Malfoy and Zabini's presence from here on and enjoy herself. She was among friends (mostly), eating good food (well, in theory) and she was supposed to be here to celebrate Harry and Pansy taking the next step in their relationship. Not pondering a fateful holiday that saw her dump a long-term boyfriend and take a roll in the metaphorical hay with two of the worst people to ever walk the Earth.

Joining in with the laughter ringing around the table, Hermione adamantly told herself that, tonight, she was going to have fun.

Even if it killed her.

.. . .. .

Second Course

22:00 pm.

It had been an hour since Hermione had first vowed to turn her evening around for the better and, so far, it was proving successful. She had thought up a sure-fire way to avoid having to look at Malfoy or Zabini directly; choosing instead to either gaze directly above or around them, and it was working. Neither man had spoken to her since their brief discussion over an hour earlier; rather they laughed and joked with almost everyone else.

Not that Hermione had been paying any particular attention to them, of course. It was just rather noticeable, especially as the two men had almost always gone out of their own way to irritate or insult her whenever she ventured over to the Ministry on business. Malfoy and Zabini worked in a supervising capacity in the finance department; a department that Hermione's law firm often had legal issues with. Somewhat unfairly, Robert Cooper (a senior partner and someone Hermione had previously respected) believed that the fact that Hermione had attended school with the two creeps would make for a better working relationship. Something that had proved undoubtedly false.

To say that Malfoy and Zabini were difficult to work with would be an understatement. Condescending, insulting and arrogant, they were no different to their Hogwarts' days and relished antagonising Hermione, seemingly going out of their way to make her job even harder than it had to be. Cases and litigious issues dragged on for weeks longer than necessary thanks to them, ensuring that the former Gryffindor had to spend days at a time working solely at the Ministry – something that appeared to amuse the two men.

Hermione angrily chewed a bite of her stuffed zucchini, mind now firmly back in undesirable territory. It went without saying that Pansy's friendship with Malfoy and Zabini had been a factor in her and Hermione's previously tumultuous relationship. Even before the event, the brunette had often had to put up the two outside of work, encountering them in various social settings. It also didn't help that Harry and Ron now seemed able to tolerate them and, while the four were not exactly friends, friendly Quidditch games were played now and then.

But, no. She wasn't going to think about this anymore. She'd spent more than enough time going over (and over) the events of last month; hours spent late at night unable to sleep because…


Hermione cut and quartered her zucchini, savouring each mouthful and listening to the buzz of conversation going on around her.

"'Mione!" came Ron's deep, excited voice from the other end of the table. He was seated between Luna Lovegood, his girlfriend of fourteen months, and George Weasley who was quietly cooing at his still blushing-bride, Angelina. "How was that trip to Vegas last month?"

Oh crap.

Hermione's eyes shot to Zabini and Malfoy who had frozen at Ron's words. She detected a pulse beating at the side of Zabini's head.

"Yes, Hermione, you never told us," Ginny left her conversation with Theodore Nott and joined in. "Anthony hasn't said a word abour it and I've been asking him for weeks." She paused and glanced around the table, clearly growing confused, before asking, "Where is he, anyway?"

Malfoy visibly tightened his grip on his knife. A drop of condensation ran down Hermione's glass.

"Er, he…" was all Hermione could say. So, she hadn't told her friends what had gone on with her and Anthony. Could anyone really blame her?

"We haven't seen him in a while, actually," Harry frowned, pushing his square-rimmed glasses back up his nose. "Are you two okay?"

Zabini's indigo gaze turned from the raven-haired man, alighting on Hermione with interest. Their eyes clash and Hermione feels her cheeks flush. How could she help but remember the last time he looked at her with such interest?

.. . .. .

The suite was luxuriously decorated. Wide open rooms with polished pine floors, white cushy sofas, a stunning spiral staircase and red embellishments. Floor-to-ceiling windows provided stunning views over the Las Vegas strip, a million lights emblazoning the night sky.

But Hermione couldn't enjoy any of it. Before her stood Malfoy and Zabini: the two boys who had made her Hogwarts' (and now working) life a misery. Expressions grave and clad in black and grey suits, respectively, the two admittedly looked… good. Or as good as vipers ever could, Hermione quickly reminded herself.

Refusing to allow them a glimpse at the utter wreck lying under the surface, she raised her chin, stubbornly, and met their gaze.

"Let's get this over and done with, shall we?" Feigning a confident air, she swept past them, catching the enticing and entirely male scent of sandalwood and warm amber, and up the spiral staircase. Ignoring the internal sirens whirring warning, Hermione continued steadfast down the landing, her feet sinking into the plush white carpet.

Hearing heavy footsteps following behind her and, thankful that all the doors had been left open, she only hesitated briefly before entering the nearest bedroom and coming to an immediate standstill. Inside was a bedroom twice as large as her living room. The same plush carpet covered the floor and the bed itself took up almost all of one wall. But that wasn't what had so surprised the former Gryffindor. On almost every surface were lit candles, lighting up the dim room. The coverlet was sprinkled with dusky red rose petals and, over on the side table, was champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Heart in her throat and a sharp pounding in her chest, Hermione turned to see Malfoy and Zabini in the doorway. The blonde's chin was raised, prideful, while the Italian's gaze was almost… hesitant, his hands carefully still at his sides. They appeared to be waiting for her to say something and it suddenly struck Hermione that, since she had first stepped foot into their penthouse, neither had uttered a single word.

At that, nausea settled hard at the pit of Hermione's stomach. It couldn't be clearer what this was. The candles, champagne and rose petals: this facsimile of a romantic setting. It was all another one of their games; another 'let's see how far we can push the mudblood' venture. How could she – even for a second - have fallen for it? This whole thing was clearly a set-up, designed to humiliate and mock her and, if it weren't for Anthony's sake, she would leave immediately, Gryffindor honour be damned.

But she didn't have a choice and that, perhaps more than anything, brought sudden, stinging tears to Hermione's eyes. Throat now uncomfortably gritty, she turned to the side-table, refusing to allow Malfoy and Zabini to see just how low they had brought her. To let them know that, after trying and failing for over ten years, they had finally succeeded.

A black silk blindfold caught her eyes and an idea sprungs instantly to mind. Salvation. She might have to (god) have sex with them, but there was nothing that said she had to look at them while doing so. No, Hermione had never tried anything like it, but at this very moment, the pros far outweighed the cons.

Stalking over to the side-table, the brunette snatched up the blindfold and turned back to the doorway to see that Malfoy and Zabini were now standing by the bed. The blonde, glimpsing what she now had in her hand, frowned.

"That was going to be for later, if you were up to it," he murmured, grey eyes clearly confused. Zabini remained silent, watchful. Gathering the few remaining shreds of her resolve, Hermione clenched her fists, scrunching up the silk in her sweaty palms.

"Listen to me very carefully," she started, doing her best to speak past the sodden lump in her throat. "I may have to be here, but it is only because you two tricked, yes tricked, "her voice rose to cut off Zabini, who had looked about to say something. "Anthony into making a wizarding vow which means that I have no other choice but to sleep with you. But let us get something very straight. I do not have to like it and I most definitely do not have to look at you because, for all intents and purposes, this is little more than glorified rape." Her voice tailed off to an almost whimper at the fierceness of Malfoy's expression. His pewter eyes glowed with a ferocity she had never seen and Hermione couldn't help but take a step back, bumping into the wooden table behind her. Seeing this, Zabini grasped Malfoy's arm and the two exchanged a glance, before the blond visibly recovered himself, closing his eyes briefly and unclenching his fists. Zabini turned back to Hermione, eyeing her carefully.

"You should be aware, Granger, that we did not trick your boyfriend into anything. Far from it," Zabini's tone was sardonic, almost mocking. "In fact, Goldstein is the one that offered you up in the first place. We reminded him of the potential consequences of his actions and he didn't seem to care one whit for what would befall you should he fail. If anyone is to blame here, it is that pathetic excuse of a man you have for yourself who barters you around like chattel on an auction block." A breath caught in Hermione's already weighted throat. Anthony could have changed his mind, could have chosen another route, and instead he decided to put her on the line, knowing how she felt about these two? Despite his now-ex status, the former Gryffindor couldn't help but feel hurt. Even after all she had done for Anthony, he still thought of her as so easily disposable. Dumping him earlier clearly hadn't been soon enough.

Seeing her so downcast, Malfoy cleared his throat, bringing Hermione crashing back to her stark reality. But it was too late to rally the troops, too late to gather any courage that may have stuck around. Her bones were almost heavy with disappointment, her head aching with the knowledge of what she was about to do. For, even though Anthony had mistreated her, she still couldn't allow him to suffer the consequences of his own actions. So, what did that say about her?

"Let's just get this over with," she croaked, her throat drier than ever before. She raised bruised, doe-like eyes to the two men standing before her.


"Now! Let's just get on with it!" She screeched, voice ringing of desperation and stark disappointment even in her own ears. So what must it have sounded like to Malfoy and Zabini, both of whom were now looking at her with the closest thing to pity she had ever seen from them (and another unreadable emotion that she couldn't quite decipher)?

Rushing past the two men with more adrenaline than sense, she frantically tied the blindfold around her eyes and pulled the red mini-dress over her head, sending her curls tumbling onto her slim shoulders. Left only in her green lingerie set, Hermione dropped hard onto the bed, body rigid and her nails pressing into her palms. There was a brief pause before she felt the bed weigh down on either side.

The duvet rustled as the two men presumably moved closer, a theory confirmed when her nose caught the remembered sandalwood scent from earlier.

Another movement. Still closer.

Her ears strained to catch any noise, any audible indication of just how close Malfoy and Zabini were; but apparently her skin was more effective, for she could feel the heat radiating from them on either side of her.

When a warm, rough hand touched her right shoulder, Hermione leapt almost five feet into the vanilla-scented air.

"Shhh," came a husky murmur from her left, seeking to calm her. "It's okay." Hermione only became aware that she was trembling when another hand, this time on her left, touched her other shoulder.

"We'll look after you, tesoro. We promise," the other voice whispered with the faintest Italian accent. Despite herself, Hermione couldn't help but relax, slightly, her heart slowing just a little. Though she knew what was to inevitably come, this wasn't so bad.

Soft lips brushed her shoulder as gentle fingers stroked away a lock of hair from her cheek and a quiet sigh left her lips. Another hand traced up her back, soothingly.

"It's okay, sweetheart," the huskier tones belonged to Malfoy, she realised now. "Just relax…." For the first time since Hermione had entered the bedroom, she allowed herself to take a deep breath.

"Can we just… can we get right to it?" She asked, quickly, nails once again pressed to her sweaty palms. This whole trip had been a bad idea from the start. The sooner they 'finished', the sooner she could get out of here, get on the next available flight and get the Hell out of Vegas. There was a brief pause during which she could almost feel Malfoy and Zabini having another of their silent conversations.

"Just give us five minutes," came Malfoy's voice, missing any hint of a drawl for the first time. "Five minutes and, if you don't like what we're doing, we'll stop and…"

"And you can leave," Zabini continued where the blond left off, his tone more sure. Now that she'd identified their voices, Hermione couldn't believe that she had ever not known whose was whose. They had their similarities – cultured, sophisticated, with the confident tones of old money – but there were also distinctions. While Malfoy spoke with a husky drawl, every syllable drenched in honey; Zabini had the famous purr she had heard about so often in Rita Skeeter's articles on the two, whiskey poured over gravel. Each was different but almost … painfully seductive in their own way.

"Okay?" Malfoy interrupted Hermione's musings, apparently concerned at her lack of response. But Hermione still hadn't decided what to do. While she didn't really have much of a choice, at least they had asked her, given her the courtesy of pretending as if she did. And it wasn't as if it had been all that bad. Maybe she could get through this a lot easier than she had thought and surely it would be better to keep the two men on her side throughout the entire ordeal. Now was definitely not the time to be making enemies.

Coming to her decision and still in abject darkness, Hermione swallowed before giving a sharp nod.


... ...

Gentle but strong hands brushed every inch of her uncovered skin, leaving goose bumps in their wake. Plump, warm lips stroked briefly across her own before continuing along her jawline and to her pulse. A sharp gasp escaped Hermione's lips followed by a barely suppressed moan.

Oh, God. How could this be… surely this couldn't be Malfoy and Zabini, men who lived to make her miserable, bringing her to this slow, almost unbearable burn?

Rough fingers danced down the nape of her neck, followed swiftly by a moist tongue trailing across her shoulder. An uncontrollable shudder swept from her fingertips to her toes and her eyes flew open behind the still-tied blindfold. Never had her skin felt so sensitive, never before had a touch almost branded her with its intensity. By depriving herself of sight, she had ensured that her other senses would seek to make up for it. A clear benefit in this case!

A giggle burbled up from Hermione's throat before turning fast into a groan as scorching hand stroked up her inner thighs and her knickers instantly dampened.

God, how was she supposed to…

"Can we remove this?" a husky voice asked, hands trailing down to the clasp of her bra. Mind swimming, Hermione nodded, helplessly. The sure grasp easily unfastened the clasp and swept the bra off her shoulder, caressing her arms on the way, seemingly not disturbing Zabini, who was now in front of her. The Italian's hands were so, so close to where she most needed them, surely he wouldn't stop now?

Large, rough hands continued up the soft skin of her inner thighs, sending warm shocks straight to her nerves. Hermione was almost insensible. This slow build up was tortuous, unbearable, almost cruel in its intensity. She heard Blaise kneel on the floor, heavily. Suddenly, a hand brushed right at the front of her knickers and paused right above where she needed it most. Hermione arched up, desperately trying to connect with the intense heat of his hand, needing his touch more than she had ever needed anything. But he simply moved with her, refusing to grant her wish. Hermione groaned, frustrated, and she heard Blaise chuckle, huskily.

"What is it, sweetheart?" Draco purred, hands dancing along her sides, alighting sparks wherever he touched. "What do you want?"

"Please," Hermione could barely speak, her voice more a whimper. "I just… please."

"'Please', what, cara?" Blaise asked, gently, long tapered fingers now dancing along the edge of her knickers. "What do you want us to do?" Hermione swallowed, struggling to moisten her dry throat. How did they expect her to be able to say anything in the state they had put her in?

"The five minutes are up," Draco's breath was warm in her ear, his fingers now edging closer and closer to her tightened nipples, which ached painfully for his touch. "Do you want us to stop?"

Hermione was shaking her head before she even realised it.

"No, no. Please, just, please," she begged, straining upwards, desperate for even the briefest touch where she burned most. But their hands were now painfully still. "I can't, please."

"Where do you want us to touch you, mi amor?" Blaise's whispered, a hitch in his voice. Hermione trembled at his tone, now so far gone she didn't care one whit where they touched her, so long as they did.

"Anywhere. Please," she pleaded, desperately. Almost immediately, sweet relief. Roughened thumbs stroked over her throbbing nipples causing her to arch up at the brief touch. Her knickers were removed without further ceremony and two hands lightly pushed at her inner thighs…

.. .. . .

"Hermione?," Harry's anxious tones brought Hermione out of her reverie. She returned to the present where all fourteen of the dining table's occupants were watching her with varying degrees of concern. But her eyes refused to look away from the two silent men across from her, both of whom were eyeing her with that same unreadable expression from that night in Vegas.

"Hermione?" Ron took up Harry's mission, throwing an unused napkin at the former Gryffindor Princess. The brunette's gaze snapped immediately to her best friend, irritated.

"What, Ron?" Couldn't she be left alone for just five minutes?

"What's going on with you and Goldstein?" For whatever reason, Ron had never quite approved of her ex-boyfriend, always seeking to 'hook' her up with various auror colleagues of his. Yes, that is correct. He whom she had accused of possessing 'the emotional range of a teaspoon' and, more recently, of being 'less intuitive than a blast-ended skrewt', had actually seen right through Anthony months before she had. The irony of the situation was not lost on Hermione.

"He…" Hermione paused, deciding not to spout the lie she had originally intended to. "We broke up." Shoving a mouthful of zucchini into her mouth, she awaited her friends' reactions, knowing that they had all loved the former Ravenclaw.

There was a brief silence before the group broke into chatter, all bemoaning Anthony's various (and, if Ginny were to be believed, considerable) weaknesses. From his awful haircut, to his unhealthy fascination with Crumple-Horned Snorkack's (Luna's insistence), to his unacceptably small penis (though how Pansy knew anything about Anthony's, ahem, personal dimensions was beyond Hermione), Hermione's ex was criticised with a vehemence that only the closest of friends can bring to the table (pun intended). At their obviously kind intentions and automatic defence of her, despite being unaware of the circumstances surrounding the break-up, Hermione felt her eyes prickle. She truly did have great friends.

It was only then that she became unaware of the fact that, throughout the twenty-minute conversation, Malfoy and Zabini had yet to say a word. Instead, like Hermione, they had remained silent, listening to the various criticisms being thrown in Anthony's general direction from everyone else at the table. For the umpteenth time that evening, she found herself inexplicably drawn to the two brooding Slytherins. She had expected them to be merrily telling the Vegas story, getting their shits and giggles at her expense.

'But, Hermione,' her inner voice interrupted, gently, 'when was the last time they did that?' At its truthful words, her eyes shot up to meet the grey and indigo ones across from her.

... ..

Rough fingers traced her outer folds with a gentleness she hadn't known they were capable of. It was her only warning before a warm tongue stroked just below them, soothing and inciting at the same time. Hermione's head fell back onto Draco's shoulder as the blonde tenderly rolled and pinched her tight, unbearably hot nipples. Gasps and whimpers left her lips intermittently and her nails dug painfully into her palms, as soft lips teased and tasted her folds, a moist tongue flickering over her clit…

.. . ..

Hermione reached for her glass of water, the cold a welcome relief to her hot fingertips. She gulped it down, tearing her gaze away from the two Slytherins before her, whose eyes were now heated, as if able to guess just what she had been thinking about. But there was no feasible way they could possibly know; not unless Malfoy was indeed capable of what had long been rumoured. Molten-silver eyes flashed, knowingly, and Hermione almost dropped her glass.