Chapter Nine: Friday

The characters and canon situations in the following story belong solely to JK Rowling, Scholastic and WB. I am not making any money from the publishing or writing of this story.

Beta cred: Palmetto Blue

 

Luna pondered her quandary as she rubbed her breasts against his chest. To fuck, or not to fuck — that was the question. She wanted that ring on her finger, but Circe help her, she was so horny! “Quick and rough against the shower wall?”

 

Draco whimpered but stood fast. “Not right now.”

 

She moaned with pleasure as her damp skin caught against his in all the right places. “Tie me up and spank me to orgasm?”

 

“No, thank you,” he replied through clenched teeth. He reached for a towel. “Let’s cover you up, shall we?”

 

She submitted to his ministrations. “I could come on your tongue?”

 

“How about you get dressed,” he commanded. “I have something for you.”

 

Oh, but that tone made her shiver! “Is it thick and long and-”

 

Enough, Luna. And stop pouting. Damnitall, how am I supposed to resist that pout!” He grabbed her by the hips and stole a quick, hungry kiss. “It makes me want to- Aagh!” He released his hold and spun away, dragging a hand through his hair. “Please go put something on.”

 

She complied with an impish smile, wandering out from the closet five minutes later in a lace nightie comprised more of holes than thread. It was so much fun to make Draco squirm!

 

*          *          *

 

Hermione closed her eyes and tipped back her head, arrested by the heady scent of Neville’s cologne – bergamot, cedarwood, musk, and was that- Her analysis was cut short by a vague awareness of swooping arms, and suddenly there was a warm, firm mouth pressed to hers and goosebump-inducing scruff tickling her skin. She reacted with a gasp, twining her arms about his neck and closing the gap between them. A pair of large hands grasped her backside and lifted her up, but Hermione was lost to everything except the teasing swipe of a practiced tongue over her bottom lip and the sure rhythm of the most perfect kiss she’d ever imagined. And that scruff! She may have moaned aloud.

 

For the span of three heartbeats, their mouths moved together, and then Neville broke the kiss. His eyes were dark and heavy-lidded. “Hermione.”

 

She became aware of their embrace; he held her in his arms, hands wrapped around her arse, her legs wrapped around his waist, and there was a steel rod of epic proportions wedged between them in exactly the right place. She moved against it shamelessly. “Yessssssss.”

 

But he was shaking his head and disentangling their bodies. “No.” He set her down and stepped back, scrubbing a hand over his face. “No, no, no. This is all wrong.”

 

“Neville?” Her heart stuttered.

 

*          *          *

 

Draco dressed with painstaking care. It would be disrespectful to the woman he loved to bare his heart while wearing pajamas, he reasoned; he carefully shaved, arranged his hair, and put on his formal robes. Half an hour later as he fiddled with his handkerchief, it occurred to him that he might be stalling. He peeked out from the closet, his fingers curling around the ring in his pocket. It had arrived: the perfect time. He pondered the steady beat of his heart and his composure at this significant moment and then accepted such serenity as the gift it was. He approached Luna, who stood at the window gazing out at the night sky. She turned, eyes shining with delight. “The stars have aligned, Draco. It’s time for you to-” He silenced her with a kiss.

 

*          *          *

 

Neville wanted nothing more than to return to what they’d been doing, but his code of honor demanded honesty. Complete honesty, countered his cock. He settled for a compromise. “I want you.”

 

She looked confused. “How is that wrong?”

 

“Hear me out.” He sighed and closed the small distance between them, taking her small hand in his and bringing it to his groin. “When you say my name it goes straight here. Always has.” He focused on the lace edging the curve of her breast for a moment, gathering his courage. “But it’s so much more than that,” he admitted, looking her straight in the eye. “I’ve loved you since fourth year.”

 

She regarded him steadily, a deep blush spreading up from her chest to her forehead. “You make me feel like a fourth year most of the time.”

 

He raised a hand to her cheek. “This won’t be a fling.”

 

“You know me better than that.” She nestled into his touch. “You know I don’t do flings.”

 

Neville leaned low, tilting his head just before his nose brushed hers. “I mean it, Hermione; you’re my one.”

 

She looked extraordinarily pleased with that idea and breathed a happy sigh against his lips. “I like the sound of that.”

 

*          *          *

 

Luna felt alive. The loosely strung warp on the universal loom snapped tight, and now the shuttle flew, the treadles danced, and the weft continued the pattern long promised by the stars. She felt the hum resonate through her body and suddenly wanted nothing more than to shed her clothes and dance under the night sky. In fact, so entranced was she by the inner workings of the universe that she forgot what it was working on. She broke Draco’s kiss with a noise of unadulterated joy. “Come outside and dance naked with me, Draco!”

 

Draco realized he was going to have to take charge, even if that meant a lapse of caution. “No.” He heaved a sigh. “Enough, love! We . . . this . . . no!” He took her by the shoulders and, for the first time in his life, spoke without weighing his words. “Luna, I’ve loved you so long, I can’t remember when I didn’t. I love you so damn much I can’t think straight half the time.” He paused to brush her hair from her eyes. “But for Salazar’s sake, the madness has to stop! No more walking up staircases backward, no more collecting unicorn droppings, and no more oily sex. Ever.”

 

“What about mudbath rituals?” She was pouting again. “I like those.”

 

He pressed a kiss to that adorable mouth. “I’ll agree to those on one condition.”

 

Luna beamed up at him. At last. “Yes!”

 

“You have no idea what you’re agreeing to,” he chuckled.

 

She nodded energetically. “I will!”

 

“Marry me, Lu.” He paused as realization dawned; then he made a sound halfway between a laugh and a sigh. “I see how it is.” And he did; he saw a future of being led on a merry Snorkack chase by the wisest, most beautiful woman in the world: his soon-to-be wife. At last.

 

Luna looked down at the ring he’d slipped on her finger. Ornate and old-fashioned, the heavy band held an enormous, adularescent stone that shimmered in the moonlight. “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

 

“It reminds me of you,” he said solemnly, lifting her hand to his mouth and pressing a kiss to the moonstone. “Unique in all the universe. And now you’re mine.”

 

She tugged him down and murmured against his lips, “Can we please have sex now?”

 

*          *          *

 

Their smiling mouths met chastely this time. At last, they both crowed inwardly, at long last. The worshipful moment segued into something far more primal within seconds, however, as long-denied hands sought out long-imagined skin. Hermione’s dress – what little was left after Neville tore it from her body – dropped to the floor in a puddle of sopping red silk, and as it did she jumped and gave a quiet shriek. “Oh, gods, there it is again- Get it off me!”

 

Neville chuckled and plucked free the thing caught in her garter strap. “Allow me to rescue you from your wand, sweetheart.”

 

Hermione blinked, more intrigued by the natural way he used that sobriquet than the discovery of the missing item. It was the second time he’d done so, and it made her knees go wobbly. “My hero.”

 

He caught her again in his strong, warm arms. “Now, where were we?”

 

She laughed softly. “The part where you admit you put a bed in the storeroom earlier today, and I tell you how clever you are.”

 

*          *          *

 

Draco laid her down on their bed, exulting at the sight of Luna wearing his ring. Slipped off the nightgown he’d ordered her to don not an hour before. Traced reverent fingertips from her shoulder down to her hip, which he held as tightly as a man who suddenly finds the entire universe in his grasp. “Not sex, Lu,” he murmured, gently sinking his teeth into the soft pale curve of her shoulder. He smiled around his mouthful and then pulled back to look into her starry eyes. “Love. Now we’ll make love.”

 

She stripped him of his clothes and pulled him down to cover her with his weight, sighing with pleasure when he began his reverent worship at her breasts. “Love,” she echoed. “I love you, Draco.”

 

The rhythm of the cosmic loom intensified within her being; Draco seemed to sense it, too, because when he began to move within her, he matched its slow, compelling cadence. “I love you,” he murmured against her mouth, her temple, her ear. “I love you, Luna.”

 

Had they never made love before? It seemed not, for they found their mutual satisfaction far too quickly and profoundly for such experienced lovers as they. Afterward, they lay in each other’s arms silent, sated, and wonderstruck.

 

“No more madness,” Draco said after a long time. “I’ll follow you willingly without it.”

 

Luna bit back a grin. Now where would be the fun in that! She drew his attention to the nearest window. “Look, Draco – Venus has taken her throne.”

 

*          *          *

 

Neville picked up Hermione – not in the romantic way he’d dreamed about for so long, but in the spirit of the moment: like a caveman dragging off his conquest. She was his! And gods damnit, he was done with being timid. “Come, you.”

 

“Ooof!” She sagged happily over his shoulder, admiring the glorious muscles of his broad back and tight bum. “I plan on it.”

 

He strode to the storeroom where he threw open the door and, pausing on the threshold, set her on her feet. As if guided from on high, they looked up to where the universe shone down in all its splendor through the glass roof of Greenhouse 6.

 

“Look,” she said, pointing to the orb of light second only to the moon in brightness, “Venus is ascendant.” Then she kicked an empty lotion bottle out of their path while Neville closed the door. And cast an Imperturbable charm.

 

*          *          *

 

Draco stared at the night sky, eyes drawn to the bright white planet glowing just above the horizon. He contemplated the possibility of constellations and planets influencing his decisions and then was distracted by the heavenly body snuggling him.

 

Suddenly an engagement ring seemed far too nebulous a tether for such a starry-eyed witch as Luna. He wracked his brain for a more permanent way to keep her at his side . . . And realized a baby just might do the trick. Luna might have the advantage of stellar guidance, but he could scheme with the best of them.   A baby . . . His lips quirked into the happiest version of his patented smirk.

 

*          *          *

 

Hermione flopped onto the bed and watched lustfully as Neville slowly doffed his robes with a cocky grin. Gods, she just wanted to lick him! But two could play his game – she raised a leg high in the air and loosed one stocking from its garter.

 

Faster than she’d have thought possible he caught her by the calf and yanked her to the edge of the mattress. “You bought those for me,” he ordered. “They stay on.”

 

Yes, sir! “Then I suggest you hurry up.” She wriggled backward until her head rested against a pillow, squealing when he pounced on her moments later.

 

Had there ever been such joy in a bed before this night? Each kiss was shaped like a smile; each utterance ended in a breath of happy laughter. They mapped each other with hands and mouths, content at first to look and touch. “It’s the most gorgeous cock I’ve ever seen,” she confessed, licking her parted lips and leaning forward.

 

“Easy, witch!” He tugged her up the bed, settling between her long, slender legs with a rumbling groan. “I’d have come in your face if you’d got any closer, and tonight,” he paused to kiss her, savoring the rightness of her body under his and her arms around his neck, “we’ll come together.”

 

*          *          *

 

As her husband-to-be wrapped his arms around her from behind, Luna pondered the perfect time to tell him he was going to be a father. She decided to consult the universe first thing Monday morning. Then she turned back to her stargazing and blew a kiss to the lady of the night sky.

 

*          *          *

 

“Move your things into my rooms this weekend.” Neville stroked a few sweaty curls from Hermione’s neck.

 

How was it possible, she wondered, for so simple a touch to be imbued with such tenderness? How was it possible for a nook under a scruffy jaw to feel like home? Still, there was no reason to rush all their firsts. “Maybe a few things.”

 

He hummed his approval against the top of her head and traced a pattern on her bare shoulder. I L-O-V-E- Y-O-U.

 

“Why doesn’t this feel impulsive?” She yawned and nestled further into his nook – her nook – twining the fingers of her right hand with those of his left where it rested over his heart. “It just feels . . . ” It feels right, she thought as she drifted toward sleep.

 

Neville grinned and pulled her closer still. “Yep.” The events of the day had finally caught up with him, and he needed a nap before he had his witch again. His witch. “Impulsive would be asking you to marry me before I buy the ring. Now hush, sweetheart, and sleep with me.”

 

But Hermione was already dreaming of their future, a contented smile on her kiss-swollen lips.

 

*          *          *          *

 

And now the Queen of the Sky takes her heavenly throne, and now she gazes briefly upon this yearning mortal sphere. To action, she whispers. What do I look like, a fairy godmother? Daydreaming’s not going to get you very far!

 

Love is patient, love is kind; it is is absurd and profound . . . in her fair hand, though, it flares wild and fierce, burns away all fear and subterfuge, and declares its true nature to the world.

 

Venus Ascendant indeed.