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The visit was shorter than previous ones. Lucius was obviously exhausted, although he treated Hermione with the same lavish courtesy as always. When he led her to their chair in the alcove, she climbed into his lap before he even was fully seated. She leaned forward to kiss his cheek, but her beautiful gown worked against her efforts. The glassy texture of the heavy silk caused her to slip from her perch on his thigh and slide down into his lap further, her bum firmly wedged against his groin and her back arched over his arm. He shifted so that her head was in the crook of his arm, which rested on the arm of the chair.   She found herself looking directly up into the handsome face of Lucius Malfoy.


“Oh,” was all she could manage.


The weariness fell from Lucius’ face, and he held her in this awkward position with obvious enjoyment. She watched him run his eyes from her face down to her breasts, which were even more exposed in this position, and her breath sped up when he held his gaze there. Leaning down toward her, he removed the hand that secured her and used it to trace the strap of her dress from her shoulder to the top of her breast. She could feel the slight pressure of his fingertip against her skin. He leaned down even further.


“Lady, the things I will do to you I am planning even now,” he murmured. His finger traced the strap back up to her shoulder.


Hermione was frozen in place. She could only watch him as he raised his eyes to hers. Then her curiosity kicked in. “What about Rule Number One?”


He smiled indulgently at her. “And how does that apply, my prize?”


“You can’t think something in my presence unless you can say it out loud to me.”


“That is Draco’s first rule, and as such does not apply to me. I am more than willing to share my desires if you are ready to hear them.” Lucius’ finger was tracing the strap of her gown again, shoulder to breast and back up, repeatedly.


“What do you think, my lovely? Would you like to hear how I plan to take your innocence, how I will corrupt you? I could start with my thoughts of you in this intoxicating gown.” Lucius’ forefinger had strayed from the silk strap and ghosted over the small swell of her breast that, at this ridiculous angle, threatened to spill from the neckline.


“I . . .” A very small part of her wanted to say yes, tell me. However, the greater part of Hermione was suddenly terrified, and her heart began racing under Lucius’ fingertip.


He chuckled. “I have my answer. Otherwise I would enjoy nothing more than to have you squirm in my lap.”


He lifted her back to her usual spot, tucked under his chin, and she filled her lungs with his scent. “Do you have rules, sir?”


His hand was tracing circles in the silk along her back. “Indeed. The most important of which is never to frighten you. Do you understand, now?”


“Oh – before, yes. You knew I wasn’t ready to hear your . . . “


Lucius chuckled again. He raised his hand to catch her chin gently, and he pulled it up so that she was forced to look at him. “Truly I have won an ingénue. My fantasies, pet. That’s the word, isn’t it? Say it.”


She blushed deeply and repeated the word in a whisper as he ran his thumb back and forth over her bottom lip.


Even her embarrassment couldn’t quell her curiosity, and soon (from the safe hiding place between his jaw and shoulder) she asked, “Who made the rules for us, and why are they all different?”


“Draco and I set them. He knows me better than anyone else, and so he chose rules for me which are in keeping with my temperament. I did the same for him.”


“So, you aren’t to frighten me, and he isn’t to be disrespectful.”


Lucius gave a rich laugh. “That young man needs to be kept on his toes. He’s spent far too much time fantasizing about you. He should be talking with you, not hiding in his head.”


The explanation so far made sense to Hermione. She continued, “Who set the rules for me?”


“We both did, of course.”


“So your priority was to . . . “


“To preserve your virtue until the eve of our wedding. It remains our priority, which is why we suffer through meeting in this infernal office.”


“And why Harry has to be with me all the time. I want to give him something, a gift in gratitude of his time, only I can’t think of anything.”


Lucius kissed the top of her head. “Allow me to do this for you. I will talk with Draco to see if he can help think of something fitting.”


She lifted her head to protest, but Lucius was unbending. “Consider it done.”


After that, they fell into comfortable silence. He ran his fingers through her curls and then traced patterns on her back. Astoria was right – I think I might actually purr, it feels sooo good. I wonder if he would like to be touched like this. That last thought wasn’t as daunting as it could have been, and for the first time she reached to touch his pale blonde hair. As usual, it was pulled away from his face, bound with a black leather cord, and fell over his shoulder in a long queue.


Hermione stroked the length of it and then twirled it around her finger experimentally. It’s as silky as my dress. Lucius closed his eyes in appreciation as she gently played with his hair. On impulse, she stretched up and pressed a kiss to his chin. Eyes still closed, he smiled. “If you were aiming for my cheek you’ve missed your mark, pet.”


“My aim seems to be getting worse every day.”


“Perhaps you should try again.”


“Tomorrow. Come to me tomorrow morning, and I will,” she whispered, with her mouth still close to his jaw. It sounded very much like a promise even to her ears. Not long after he bade her goodnight, trailing a line of lingering kisses along the length of her handmark.


Draco was waiting impatiently for her by the Headmaster’s desk. He took her hand after she had walked Lucius out, and dragged her back to the alcove. He didn’t bother to transfigure the chair, but sank into it and pulled her down into his lap impatiently.


Hermione laughed. “You act like we didn’t just have dinner together!”


He kissed her several times in answer. “That was at least half an hour ago.”


The young witch raised her hand to his fair hair and ran her fingers through it. “Draco, it was only a half hour ago.”


Draco leaned into the hand massaging his scalp. “You look stunning tonight. When you took off your school robes in the great hall, I suddenly had a need for everyone to know you were mine.”


“How did you get to my side so quickly? You couldn’t have gone all the way around the tables.”


“I stood on the benches and walked across the tables.”


He had leaned his mouth down to her shoulder and was now kissing it. Hermione hummed in pleasure and continued to stroke her fingers through his hair.


“Your skin looks radiant in this color, Hermione.”


She would have answered him in thanks, but he had moved back to kissing her mouth. “I’ve decided to tell you something I’m thinking tonight so I don’t have to stop thinking it.”


“That’s a good – mmmmmm – a good idea.” He was kissing her ear now.


“I want to run my hands over you in this dress, to feel your shape through the silk.”


“Oh, Draco . . . yes, please,” she whispered as he said that last bit against the corner of her mouth. It had become a habit of his, and it drove her crazy in the best of ways. Put your hands on me.


Draco’s hand came to rest on her leg and haltingly traced its shape up to her hip. He pulled away from her to look at her questioningly. Hermione nodded in reassurance and lifted her face for another kiss.


One kiss became two, became three, and soon the hand that touched her leg moved more confidently. Draco’s long fingers wrapped around the small circumference of her ankle and slowly opened as he drew them up the length of her slender calf and thigh. He stopped when his thumb came within inches of the junction of her legs, and slid his hand to her hip. Then it curved around her backside, squeezing the flesh there before running up her back.


Now it was brushing across her stomach, then her ribs, and Hermione’s heart began thudding even as she arched into his touch. He ran his hand up her side and then along the length of her bare arm. “Hermione.”


Hermione’s body was humming with sensory input. Between the feel of the silk flowing over her skin and Draco’s hands awakening every nerve, she was trembling with pleasure. That hungry, pulling sensation had started again in her gut, and she shifted restlessly in his lap. His fingers were running along her collarbones, now tracing the neckline of her gown, pressing slightly into the soft swell of flesh there. “Draco . . .”


She pulled him down to kiss her again just as his large hand gently cupped her breast. She sighed against his lips. His fingers flexed and she arched against him again. He pulled back, looking down at his full palm with heavy-lidded eyes. She watched him close his eyes and swallow as he drew his hand back down to her waist.


“We should stop.” Draco’s voice sounded rough.


No! Disappointment flooded her. She was familiar with the resolute look on Draco’s face. It was the same one he’d worn in the past when he was keeping her from trouble. Hermione tried to reason with herself. Maybe he’s trying not to break a rule. I wish I could ask him. She sighed and smiled ruefully. “Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to wear this dress after all.”


Draco shifted awkwardly and moved her to sit a bit farther down on his lap, away from him. He was blushing. “The dress was an excellent idea.”


“It was a very generous gift, and I think you probably spent far too much, but I love it. Thank you.”


“Tonight I’m sending an owl to the witch who made it. She can send the next one right away.”


“Next one? Draco, you don’t need-”


She stopped because he was shaking his head and looking quite serious. “Lucius put her on retainer when you accepted. She’s been working all week, I’m sure. Besides, soon we’ll dress you like this every day.”


His choice of words caused her to shiver. They’re going to dress me. That could be interpreted two different ways. Visions of Draco and Lucius sliding clothes on and off her body rose to mind, and Hermione was even more aroused than she’d been when his hands were running over her. She shifted her position on his thighs, trying to quell the feeling.


Draco raised her hand to his lips and pressed a kiss to it. “I think it’s time to say goodnight.” At her sound of protest, he grinned and firmly slid her off his lap. “Harry will be here soon.”


Draco pulled his robes fully around him as he stood. He was blushing and turned away briefly. Hermione was puzzled for a moment before realization struck. Oh. OH. He’s . . . He was moving me away from his . . . he’s done that before, hide . . .it . . . with his robes. Lucius is right – I’m an ingénue. Now Hermione was blushing fiercely as well.


The two did their best to fight through the awkwardness, and spent the next ten minutes talking about the upcoming Ravenclaw party. Draco reminded her to ask Harry, and she agreed happily. When Harry showed up breathless and with his sweater inside out, Draco dropped a kiss on the top of her head and thanked Harry for his trouble, then left quickly.


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