Author's Note: Did you miss me? No? Oh, okay. That's cool. I'm cool. It's cool. *sniffles*

My odd intros aside; I just wanted to give a thanks to all of my lovely, account-less reviewers. It's really annoying not being able to thank you guys for the all the wonderful feedback. If you're like I was, and kind of stalked the website for a while, which involved constant visits to the stories I read in case of an update, any update in fact, then trust me when I say: give in. Give in to the fandoms. Make an account, if you can. It'll really pay off. You might even start writing your own stories. I'll be able to thank you personally, as well.

And of course, there are my amazing reviewers who do have an account — thank heavens for that. I don't know what I'd do if I wouldn't be able to talk to you amazing people. I may seem distant at times, but please remember that I read everything you say and appreciate every word thoroughly.

I have so many Dramione scenes planned, and trust me when I say I want to put them all into one chapter. Sadly, I can't. I'm actually confused as to when they will appear, bearing in mind the seriousness of their relationship will obviously change over time.

Thank you ever so much, SerpentofDarkness, for Beta-ing.

Disclaimer: Nothing, but the plot of this story belongs to me. All characters and such, are owned by JKR.

Word Count: 3, 427.

Warnings: Bad Language, Innuendoes, Slytherin Sex God Malfoy and all that implies - figure it out?

Chapter: (17) Labels.

— LiveLoveLaugh.

Hermione made her way down the corridor, softly humming to herself as a sense of serenity overwhelmed her.

Just then, someone chose to clamp smooth, long fingers on her wrist. She had one moment, maybe less, of registering the sudden sensation prickling over her skin; and then the sunlight streaming through the large windows were replaced by partial darkness. Strong arms wrapped around her waist, and she found her back against a wall.

"What—?" She caught a glimpse of tousled, silvery blond hair and her heart rate calmed for a split second before springing back up again; though not due to surprise. "Malfoy! Godric, you scared the life out of me."

He smirked, and she only just noticed the curtain wrapping them both into their own little world.

"I missed you too, Granger."

Her eyes searched for intruders, and she tried to push out of his grasp. "Draco. Someone might see us."

His strong arms were unmoving, warm and comforting on her small body. He ran the tip of his nose over her cheek, letting the sweet scent of her hair overwhelm his senses. She sighed, her eyes fluttering closed without notice. Taking advantage, he brushed warm lips over her blushing skin, so she could feel his hot breath on her cheek.

"Let them." He whispered into her ear, before pulling back and ever-so-gently touching their lips together. As a man of pride, he wanted her to surrender to him. It almost wasn't fair how much of an impact she had on him. He needed to see her crave, for once.

Her shaky breath mingled in the small gap between them, and she let her hands travel up his shirt, coming to grip his tie tightly and pull him as close as possible. Her words were barely a whisper, but it was loud enough for someone so close to hear.

"Damn you."

Draco grinned against her mouth, pulling back a millimeter. She was getting impatient with his teasing. He saw it in the furrow of her eyebrows, and only grinned deeper, before moulding their lips together, much firmer this time. Surrendering completely, Hermione tugged on his tie, one hand sliding up to entangle its fingers in his hair. A stroke of his tongue against her bottom lip and she was instantaneously liquid in his hands. His hands rested on her hips, large and warm and safe; her support. The way he held her, with a mixture of protectiveness and possessiveness made the beating of her heart rapid and irregular. With her hands reaching above her height to reach him, her shirt came undone from its previous position as tucked inside her skirt. His thumb, therefore, brushed the smooth skin of her hip, as the oxford rode up her torso slightly. Unable to hold it, she gasped from the contact, pressing herself to every inch of him as the need for more coursed through her body. Everywhere he touched, he lit an inferno beneath her skin.

She had never been kissed like this. Her first kiss, admittedly, was a fumbling of lips and limbs, resulting in displeasure from her part, at least. This, well, it was nothing like that.

Draco unlatched himself abruptly, opening his eyes to see the bliss on her face morph into one of annoyance. She glared at him, about to pull him back when he stopped whatever words in her mouth from reaching her lips with a swipe of his forefinger against her hip under her shirt.

"Take it easy, Granger." He leaned very close, though not close enough for her liking. "Someone might see us."

Her glare was taken a step further, and soon, daggers were shooting through his eyes. He promptly burst into laughter, real and free. Her almost-anger crumbled at the sound, at the sight of him chuckling so heartily, and she found herself smiling along.

"I hate you." She told him.

Draco smiled, pressing their foreheads together and closing his eyes. She loved seeing him like this, with all his walls down in front of her. "You do it terribly."

He suddenly pulled back, much to her disappointment. Quirking an eyebrow, he pulled their lower bodies closer, rubbing patterns into the small of her back, through the scratchy fabric of her shirt. The barrier subconsciously irked her, and she instantly flushed at the thought.

"You're not in class?"

"I've got a free period." She just registered his lack of attendance. "Don't you—"

"I think I can afford to miss one Transfiguration."

She slapped his chest, reeling back and scowling at his actions. He didn't flinch or even bat an eyelash, just took her hand and pulled them both out of hiding."You're skiving off?!"

"Hey, relax." He absently laced their fingers together, making their way through the empty corridor. Her heart skipped at the gesture. "I'll make up for it; if I have to." At her stern look, he sighed. "Fine, I'll make up for it. Christ."

"Yes you will." She said firmly, reaching up to kiss his jaw tenderly and giving him a pleased smile that made everything better.

Draco rolled his eyes, the words spilling out of his mouth before he got a chance to stop them. "Serves me right for having the bookworm extraordinaire for a girlfriend."

He sensed her stop and tense. Turning back, he saw her standing stiffly, her face giving away nothing, with their entwined hands reached out between them. He had the sudden urge to backtrack. Never before had he said something so intimate. What was he thinking? Hell. Bloody hell.

"Girlfriend?" She asked simply, the word echoing through the hallway.

Every muscle in Draco's body tensed. Well, what in the name of Salazar would he do now? Deny, deny, deny, his mind screamed at him.

"I, uh." Stopping before it got worse, he mentally kicked himself for being such an idiot. Malfoys didn't stutter. After a split second, he composed himself, masking his face with a look of indifference. What he said, however, threw all of his hard work to the wind.

"Depends. Do you want me to?" He said slowly, deliberately though quite cautiously.

Hermione stared at him for as painfully long as she could, before her face broke out into a slow, radiant smile. Her teeth snagged on her bottom lip as she stepped forward courageously, eliminating all the distance between them.

"What do you want?" She asked quietly, locking eyes with him.

He knew. He did. He actually did.

"I want you." His eyes were intense, boring into her very soul. "Each and every way I can."

She smiled, heat blossoming in her cheeks. He'd done something right. He kissed her then, in the middle of the hallway, only so their lips touched.

Many minutes later, Draco cupped her face in his soft hands and kissed her forehead.

"Come on. I know a place."

Staring up at the clouds from the sanctuary which was the empty Quidditch pitch, was quite serene.

The sky was perfect this time of the day, a startlingly blue. The clouds, however, were the real showstoppers. White, fluffy and varying in size, shape and beauty as they slowly skid across the pale blue backdrop; they forced an overwhelming sense of peace to fill your mind. The towers aligned across the oval stadium stood tall and proud, the flags billowing in the gentle breeze.

Amongst the peak of morning nature, sat two very different teenagers, on one of the stands that wasn't too high, but not too low. Somewhere in the middle of the rows, where the sky was easily awed at, but the sight of the bright colours and greenery was not obstructed. Sitting beside each other, barely a sliver of a gap between them, they ignored time and all of its consequences.

Draco knew that Hermione had seen the pitch in the evenings, when the games were held. It was only through the morning and afternoon when it was at its most beautiful. It was warm, and their House robes were draped across the seats below theirs, along with their sweaters and Hermione's hair tie. He had insisted on the freedom of her locks, as the image of the brown curls blowing gently across and behind her face in the wind was quite a sight to behold. His hair, almost a honey blond in the sunlight, and tousled with the wind's wispy fingers, was her favourite vision in the whole of the surroundings.

She had been surprised when he'd brought her here, expecting at least one team to be practising at the time. It was huge, so bloody massive, but ironically, it was as if it was a secret, open space for the two of them. Her eyes were focused on her twiddling hands, instead of the sky like his, as a question felt heavy on the tip of her tongue. It was stupid, and probably none of her business, but she just couldn't shake it off.

"Go on." Draco suddenly sighed, rolling his eyes. At her widened, caught eyes, he explained. "There's something on your mind. Out with it."

He nudged her knee with his, and she brushed a strand of hair out of her face only to have it blown back into her vision.

"What do you mean?" Hermione said, trying and failing to sound convincing.

He gestured to her face, smirking. "You can't even act dumb."

Her cheeks reddened. "It's nothing, really—"

"—You know," His lips were against her ear. "I could just drag it out of you."

She sighed, knowing his power all too well. Her Gryffindor courage spoke aloud the words.

"Did you ever think about...joining The Order? You know, when you could?"

Draco stared blankly at her for a second, pulling back before his eyes flicked down and then up into the distance. He didn't answer.

She was regretting it instantly, backtracking rapidly. His distance caused her pain. "I didn't mean to sound so—gosh, I'm so sorry—I hadn't realised what I was saying until I actually—"


Hermione stopped mid-apology, her eyebrows furrowing together in confusion. "Yes?"

"Yes. I'd thought about it." He said slowly, lifting his eyes to hers and giving her such a meaningful look her skin throbbed with the need to be closer to him. She wanted to feed that burning hunger in her stomach that wanted nothing but to be as close to him as possible. But she didn't feel like he would approve, not after her nosy, out-of-line question earlier—

Draco pulled her against him, his hand brushing across her back and coming to rest at her waist. The tension around her heart unravelled, leaving behind a trail of want. She turned to him completely, not compromising his touch on her body, but draping her leg over his knees as he tilted his body towards her, tugging her even closer and hitching her leg up closer so it was more comfortable. He placed his other hand on her tights-covered-knee, his thumb brushing against her thigh and sending shivers up her spine that had nothing to do with the cold and pulled his palm back so it rested the hip closest to him.

He dropped his head towards her, and she tilted hers closer until they were the only people in the world.

"You think I'm a coward." He whispered.

On their own accord, her eyes widened. "Why on earth would you say that?" She asked softly, surprise lacing her words together.

His eyes desperately searched hers. "I would."

"Well I don't." Hermione took his face in her hands, pulling her head away slightly to sweep her eyes over his sharp features. He sighed.

"I'd thought about it. Merlin, I'd thought about it more than I can bring myself to admit." He told her, the words flowing out as his mind registered the only person he could really pour his heart out to, was in his arms. His eyes landed on the arm which held his biggest regret."But, honestly, Granger. You're delusional if you think they would have accepted me."

"You don't know that." She argued matter-of-factly, entangling her fingers with his hair lazily. She smirked a little, trying to lighten up the situation. "I've accepted you, countless flaws and all."

He smirked, pulling her shirt out of her skirt in a swift motion she didn't even notice. "Now, that's because you find me so unnervingly sexy, you'd do anything to get in my pants."

Hermione laughed lightly against his neck, the sound reverberating through his bones. "I doubt you could say the same for Harry and Ron."

"Don't rule them out, as yet." Draco perked up, his witty comebacks like music to her ears. The pain in his eyes had disappeared, replaced with a glint of mirth. "I'm a good looking guy. I'm sure I'd get Pothead and Weasel to easily swoon at my handsomeness."

"Oh shut it, you cocky little—"

"—Just stating facts here—"

"—Sometimes I wonder if your ego gets too heavy to carry around—"

"—It would if I wasn't so perfectly able to endure its weight—"

"—You're utterly infuriating, you know that—" She said with a helpless smile, nodding at him. Gently laying a hand on his cheek, she brushed her fingertips over his soft skin.

"—I have you to remind me, don't I?"

She wasn't paying much attention, too focused on his pink, perfectly shaped lips. "Mhm." She pulled his lips down to hers, moulding them together. He responded instantly, without hesitation, pulling her against him and smirking into her mouth once she sighed that way she did whenever he kissed her. His whole posture was smug, and she inwardly rolled her eyes.

"Shut up." Hermione murmured, even though he said nothing, to which he replied by kissing her hungrily. His hands travelled everywhere, as his torso pressed against hers, making her almost implode.

His tongue, sweet and cool against her lips made her chest tighten and mouth tingle. She parted her lips, winding her fingers into his hair, tightening her hold. She dragged her teeth over his bottom lip, igniting his restraint and making him growl against her mouth. Draco, with his hands on her hips, picked up her, and himself to a standing position with ease, setting her on the bench above theirs, not breaking contact. Hermione laughed softly at his urgency as he slipped into the gap between her legs, smiling as she laughed. Her foot inched up his leg, before wrapping around his hip firmly. Around him, her confidence shone, her behaviour quite un-Hermione like. He pulled her lower lip into his mouth, lightly sucking and nipping with his ever so talented teeth. Her hands caught his tie, and soon she was attempting to undo the knot. After a few frustrating struggles, Draco chuckled into her mouth, guiding her fidgeting fingers to pull at the sides.

He pulled back, wondering when the hell kissing became so fun. Never before had he enjoyed kissing a girl so much. Before, it had been all hurried snogging and mindless sex.

"Well, well, well." A slow, amused drawl called out from behind the couple.

Merlin's balls.

Draco swore under his breath, knowing the voice of Blaise Zabini all too well. Hermione looked over his shoulder, towards the pitch with a mixture of horror and anxiousness. He turned, to find his 'friends' smirking at them, arms crossed over their chest as if they had achieved something huge.

"I would tell you two to get a room, but I see you've already got that covered." Theo told them, quirking a suggestive eyebrow.

The blond groaned, subconsciously taking a seat beside Hermione as he glared at the two other Slytherins quickly making their way up the stands. "Now? You two just had to find me now?"

They approached them, two steps at a time, as if his comment was some sort of invitation.

"Now, now, Draco." Blaise patronised teasingly, once having reached the caught couple and flopping down on the seats below theirs, sitting backwards to see them. "I think Hermione here would like to be introduced properly."

"It's Granger to you, Blaise." Draco retorted sharply, when Hermione draped her fingers over his upper arm and a string of tinkling laughter left her reddened lips. She untangled her limbs from his, much to his displeasure, and sat the usual way on the stand.

"Honestly, Draco." The Gryffindor said, rolling her eyes affectionately. She took her fingers away from spreading warmth through his being and reached her hand out to shake as Theo sat - more like, sprawled on the bench - next to Blaise.

Theo shook first, an easy smile on his face. "Nott. Theodore Nott. How nice it is to meet you properly, Granger." He finished, casting a glance at Draco, who rolled his eyes and leaned back, annoyed to have lost his girlfriend to the idiots he called friends.

Huh. Girlfriend.

That word seemed to roll off his tongue quite easily, didn't it?

Hermione smiled, tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear as the wind toyed with it again. "Don't be silly, Theodore. Call me Hermione."

Nott tossed his friend a wink, before clarifying things. "Merlin, Hermione. No one calls me that, unless it's my mother and I've broken yet another priceless china pot."

Her eyes were bright in the sun, the only thing Draco could focus on. "I'll remember that." She said with amusement, then turned to Blaise who was waiting patiently.

"Well, finally." He groaned, shoving Theo in the stomach with his elbow. "Theo has a tendency to hog pretty things."

"I don't know whether or be flattered, or offended that you just referred to me as a thing." She raised her eyebrows, and Draco smirked at her, leaning forward and kissing her temple. Theo watched on in satisfaction.

Blaise flushed. "I'd forgotten I was speaking to a witch capable of opinions."

"Nice save." She laughed, scooting closer to Draco as she sensed his frustration. "Blaise?"

"You know it." He winked, then reached into his bag and pulled out a handful of chocolate frog cases.

Theo stepped in to explain. "We brought peace offerings."

Draco, at his point, plucked a box from Blaise's palm, and tore it open. "You prats are going to pay for this later." He muttered.

"You know," Theo smirked, popping one whole into his mouth. "I think it'll be worth it, after meeting the girl you keep ditching us for."

The blond broke the frog in two, offering half to Hermione. He wanted to feed her, but he'd never hear the end of it in front of them. She took it, and soon she was nibbling on it so adorably, Malfoy had to keep himself from mauling her.

"And here I was, under the delusion that I was Draco's only friend." Hermione perked up. "You've heard his attempts at civility, haven't you?"

Laughter spread through the small group. Blaise's shoulders shook with barely contained chuckles. "He's a miserable git, isn't he?"

"I don't do small talk." Theo drawled in a low, slow, dry voice.

"You peasants don't deserve my presence." Blaise waved away imaginary people.

"Psht. I don't care of your trivial matters. Let's talk about how magnificent I am." Hermione joined in, laughing the most she had in a long while.

"Why don't we do just that." Draco cut in, sliding in closer to Hermione, who leaned into him, taking his hand in her lap as she laughed with his friends.

"Because, Drakie." Blaise smirked, opening another chocolate frog box up to his hungry eyes. "We're liking Granger far too much to let her leave now."

Hermione turned to face Draco, their faces inches away at the movement. The other two Slytherins conjured up a little conversation to give them privacy.

He ran a finger down her temple, her cheek, ghosting across her jaw line. "I have idiots as friends." He whispered.

"I like them. Alot." She told him matter-of-factly, kissing him briefly to persuade him smoothly.

"I knew the frogs would work!" Blaise intervened loudly.

"Fuck you, it was my idea."

Draco grinned at Hermione once the two quarreled. "Let's see how long that lasts, Granger."

Oh, Theo and Blaise. You jokers, you.

Reviews are like big chocolate chip cookies. Who wouldn't want those? *Terrible attempt at winking*

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