Title: Elevated Enchantments

Rating: M

Genre: Romance/Humour/Post Hogwarts

Warnings: Coarse Language, UST, AU

Part of the 'Modal Realism in Practise' series

A/N: Written for week three of the GE Malfoy Manor fic war. Awesome beta work by lwatlers5! Also, Thanks to Mistress Malfoy for the help with the title on this one, and to Nathaniel Cardeau and Shinigamioni for cheering me up when I was in a funk about something unpleasant, and again to NC for coming up with the idea of the unhelpful disembodied voice!

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respecitve owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended

Elevated Enchantments

......

She could hear the click of a pair of sharp heeled men's shoes approaching her at a rapid pace, the staccato beat echoing across the mid afternoon emptiness of the Ministry atrium.

"Granger!"

She ignored the voice, instead making a beeline for the elevator which had, fortuitously, begun sliding open as she dashed past the rather large and ostentatious statue that was the only outstanding feature the cavernous space.

A small group of witches and wizards exited the lift car, and she negotiated her way around them as quickly as she could, their loud and boisterous Friday afternoon conversation distracting enough for them to be largely unaware that another was waiting for entry.

She squeezed around the last couple of wizards who were ignorantly standing between the doors, and jabbed at the button for sub level five.

"Gentlemen, if you don't wish to be sliced in half by these, at times rather vindictive doors, I suggest you get the fuck out of the way." She was glaring, eyebrows raised and voice a tone she had dubbed supreme priss. The unexpected addition of vulgarity to the pompous inflection generally elicited an immediate response from the recipient of the command, and this occasion was no different than usual.

Unfortunately for her, the delay of waiting for the slow and clearly already tipsy group meant that her pursuer had managed to catch up, and she frowned as the blond haired wizard squeezed through the doors just before they finished closing.

"Why didn't you wait up?"

She looked at him in incredulity, mouth slightly open and hands on hips. "Excuse me? Since when are we on any kind of speaking terms?"

"Well..." his pause was lengthy and he scratched the side of his chin, fingernails audibly scraping on a couple of days worth of beard. "I figured since we're... you know... talking at work and shit then we were... talking?"

"We aren't."

"Oh. Right-o then." He ran his hand over his chin and stroked his stubble, mouth hanging open a little. Hermione watched him curiously as he seemed to have some kind of internal struggle, culminating in flicking his lip between his thumb and forefinger at the end of a final rough pass. He turned to her huffily and mirrored her hands on hips stance. "Why aren't we talking?"

Her expression went from incredulous to bewildered, features contorting into the face of one whose mind was struggling to comprehend another's ignorance. He continued to look at her expectantly until she rolled her eyes and turned back to face what was, on a good day, the front of the lift.

She heard him suck in a sharp breath, but before he could continue his volley of queries the lift ground to a noisy and rather sudden halt, throwing them both forwards into the ornate embossing of the steel doors.

"Ow, fuck!" Her reactions were quick enough to catch herself with her left hand, but the force of impact jarred her wrist and she cradled it momentarily, feeling around for any damage. Draco hadn't been as lucky and was currently slumped against the door, clutching at his shoulder in agony.

"We regret to inform you that the Ministry of Magic elevator network is experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by for assistance." The disembodied voice came from somewhere near Hermione's left ear and she slammed her uninjured fist into the doors.

"You okay?" she asked, pulling her wand out of her arm holster.

"Yeah, just think I might have dislocated something. You okay to pop it back in?"

"Sure." She moved closer to him and glared expectantly. "You might want to sit down for this."

"Oh, right." He slid down the door, coming to rest on the plush black carpet. Hermione crouched down and started tugging at his silver tie. Draco looked at her curiously. "What are you doing?"

"I need to check on it, see what kind of dislocation it is." She stopped, fingers tangled in the knot of the tie.

"Can't you just cast a healing charm or something?"

"Yeah, I could... if you want to be dealing with your joint randomly popping out of place for the rest of your life."

He opened his mouth to reply, but clearly thought better of his response as it snapped shut quickly. Her hands had started work on the fabric again and before long his shirt was unbuttoned and she was coaxing him forward, far enough to get him out of his right sleeve and begin work on the more difficult left.

"I'm surprised you're not taking this opportunity to cause me as much pain as possible, Granger." He was smirking watching her fingers slide across his skin as she pushed the fabric gently over his injured elbow.

"Why would I do that?" She supported his forearm as she pulled his hand forward, finally getting the shirt off fully, and focussed her gaze on his unnatural looking shoulder.

"You hate me."

"I don't hate you, I'm indifferent to you." She prodded at his joint and he winced.

"What's the difference?"

"Ever heard of a dictionary?"

"We regret to inform you that the Ministry of Magic elevator network is experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by for assistance."

Hermione tipped her head towards the ceiling and groaned, rolling her head around on her shoulders. After a few moments she licked her lips and went back to work, casting a muscle relaxing charm and poking around some more.

"Okay, you've got three options."

"Go on."

"One, you can wait until we get out of here and deal with the pain for goodness knows how long. It hurts a lot, right?"

"Like a motherfucking Basilisk stuck its fang in there, and then some cunt of a troll stomped on it repeatedly and with great zeal." She chuckled a little and the corner of her mouth turned up in the beginnings of a small smile.

"Right then, your next option is you lay down on the ground and I stick my foot in your armpit and pull on your arm." Draco made a face and glanced down at her rather clunky looking boots.

"I'd take my shoes off first, you berk." He looked at her dubiously and winced.

"Okay so lastly we can sit here for a bit and I'll rotate your arm around in the hopes that we can pop it back into place that way."

"I'll take door number three, please."

"It might take a while. The foot in your armpit is probably going to be more comfortable for you."

"I'd rather not have your stinky socks shoved anywhere near my face thanks."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Fine. Your choice."

She set to work, carefully rotating his arm and tilting his elbow from time to time in the hopes that it would slip back in to the socket. He was uncharacteristically silent, clearly attempting to do the manly thing and not show his pain. "Just for your information, my feet don't smell."

"We regret to inform you that the Ministry of Magic elevator network is experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by for assistance."

"Oh for fucks sake, Shut the hell up you stupid fucking pile of dragon turd!" Vindictively she tugged on his arm a little harder than was absolutely necessary. He had been right with his original assertion that seeing him in pain was at least a little satisfying. The harsh movement worked however, and the joint popped back into place, causing Draco to twitch violently at the sudden sharp pain.

"Ow. Motherfucker."

"Language, Malfoy."

"You can talk." He glared at her, rubbing at his shoulder and moving his arm around in an attempt to test its usefulness. She grabbed his elbow, stopping the movement and picked up her wand with her free hand.

"I'll cast a pain relief charm, but you really shouldn't use it much for the next few days." She muttered a spell under her breath and waved her wand.

"Thanks," His voice was quiet, tone earnest, and she looked at him sharply, their eyes meeting.

"I think that is the first time you have ever thanked me with sincerity, Malfoy. And you're welcome." She patted his shoulder and reached behind her, grabbing his shirt and tossing it in his face. "Now put your shirt on."

......

They had gone past the point of boredom two hours earlier. Draco conceded that the reduction in automated messages to once every ten minutes was a welcome respite, but even so, there was only so much sitting in silence he could take.

Hermione, being Hermione, had a book with her. An enormous, multi volume epic that she had managed to cram full size into her messenger bag.

"Can't be a very good book." He glanced sideways at her where she sat next to him, their backs against the dark wood panelling of the lift wall.

"Why's that?" She didn't look up.

"My family has the best private library in the country and I've never heard of it."

She snorted. "Of course you've never heard of it, Malfoy. It's a Muggle book."

"Muggles read?" His expression was that of mock surprise and she rolled her eyes.

"You are such an arsehole."

"What's it about?"

She ignored him, instead bringing the book closer to her face. He looked up at the lift's control panel, glowering at the sea of useless buttons. Lifting his wand he pointed it and muttered a spell, smiling a little at the sparks that flew out of the button for sublevel 1.

"Stop it, you'll cause a fire."

"Which I will put out with a quick Aguamenti. Chill out." He flicked another reasonably harmless charm in the direction of the panel.

"Chill out?"

"Yeah, chill out."

"We regret to inform you that the Ministry of Magic elevator network is experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by for assistance."

He glanced at her again and grinned. "Just because I make fun of Muggles, Granger, doesn't mean I can't blend in with them when I need to. We're both working on the Ritchie/Madonna wedding tonight, do you really think I haven't done my research?"

She smiled ruefully and pulled out her own wand. "Being the new kids down there sucks pretty hard, huh?" She flicked her wrist and a jet of bright purple flew from the tip, sending slivers of crackling electricity over the buttons and into the ceiling of the elevator. "I'll admit, I'm also a little impressed by your ability to dress yourself appropriately."

Draco glanced down at his black shirt and dark grey pinstripe slacks. He wouldn't ever tell her, but the Muggle attire was something that had been in his wardrobe for a few years now, mainly collecting dust but occasionally finding it's way out in the open when he needed to go unnoticed.

"This job is gonna suck, I didn't want to make it any more difficult than it's already bound to be."

"I fuckin' hate it when wizards become Hollywood celebrities."

Draco frowned and shot a jet of yellow light at the opposite wall. "Preaching to the converted, Granger."

The conversation lapsed after that, and their actions instead degenerated into alternately casting harmless yet hopefully effective charms at the mocking panel of buttons. Even Hermione had put her book away, and was instead using her intellect to come up with ridiculous combinations of innocent spells.

"Confundo Immobulus."

"What are you trying to do, get us stuck in here forever?"

"Well I figured... y'know tell it to be stationary but confund it..." He looked at her as if she had grown a second head, shaking his own in wonder.

"I never thought I would see it."

"See what?"

"We regret to inform you that the Ministry of Magic elevator network is experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by for assistance."

"The day the great and all knowing Hermione Granger did something, without first weighing up the probability of every possible outcome."

"Shut up." She poked her tongue out and he chuckled, shoving her in the shoulder.

"Mind you, going out with Weasley for all that time was pretty fucking stupid."

She huffed and let out a long breath. "Oh, here we go with the anti Ron sentiments, I was wondering when that was going to start."

"Well it's not like I'm the only one. Hot chick like you going out with a piece of owl shit like him for eight years."

"I'm not discussing this with you, it's absolutely none of your business." She reached into her bag once again, but paused before pulling anything out. She turned in his direction slowly and deliberately, her lips forming a smirk, an eyebrow raised in curiosity. "Wait... did you just call me hot?"

He froze, mouth open ready for a response but his mind distracted by her teeth biting ever so slightly at her lip. Granger was hot all right; it was pretty hard to miss. He eventually regained his faculties and cleared his throat. "Well, I guess when you were third year and had only just managed to get rid of the beaver teeth things were different. Take what you can get right?"

"Better than being a greasy haired, scrawny, spoiled, evil little daddy's boy." Her tone was teasing and he ran a hand through his now closely cropped hair.

"We were both complete shitheads as kids, weren't we?"

"Uh no, you were a complete shithead."

"Point."

He cast another charm, this time his wand movements listless and lethargic. He would never admit it, but he was finding himself enjoying being trapped in an elevator with Hermione Granger more and more. So much so in fact, that he would happily stay here until dinnertime. He looked down at his wristwatch and winced. Dinnertime had come and gone.

Looking up, he turned to her, eyes meeting hers and mouth set in a serious line. "I have one last idea."

"Do tell."

"This is more of a demonstration kind of plan."

"Go on."

He took in a sharp breath and moved swiftly, straddling her legs and pushing her back up against the wall. Surprise crossed her features, but before she could shove him off her, he had one of his hands buried in her hair and his lips on hers.

He had no idea if it was an automatic reaction on her part, but arms had snaked their way around his back within moments, digging into his muscles and causing him to wince as one came a little too close to his injured shoulder. He ignored the pain though, instead focussing on her lips on his, tongue almost eagerly meeting his own. She gasped into his mouth, but instead of attempting to move away as he expected, she pulled one of her hands back and slid it up his chest around his neck, puling him closer.

"Fuck, Granger. What the hell are we doing?" He nipped at her lip and sucked it into his mouth before trailing a hand down her torso to tug at her shirt.

"Buggered if I know." Her voice cracked and she pulled at his loosened tie for the second time since they had become trapped in the lift. "A bit random though, don't you think?"

He didn't bother answering, instead catching her lips in his again as he slid his hand under her shirt and upwards towards her breasts.

Clang.

The sharp jolt was enough to make them jump and break apart. They were moving.

Draco let out a whoosh of breath and moved away, slumping back against the wall where he had been earlier, heart pounding, willing the blood to rush back to his head before the doors opened. Hermione was pulling her hair back into a ponytail with a Muggle elastic, appearing completely disaffected by the whole scenario.

"Well, that was fun. Guess I can be reasonably charming when I need to be."

She didn't even bother to look at him as she deadpanned a response, eyes focussed on the line that marked the division of the doors that would lead them to freedom.

"Never happened, Malfoy."

End.