Chapter Twenty-Three: Friday Evening

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 credit: bunnyhops and CoquetteKitten.

 

Hermione and Harry walked back to Gryffindor tower in companionable silence. She spent the time thinking back over the very last part of her visit with Draco, and wondered if Harry would be a willing source of information. It would be embarrassing, of course, but she could get through it. When they got to the Fat Lady’s portrait, Hermione stopped Harry. “Errr, Harry? Could I ask you a question? About . . . guy stuff?”

 

She had prepared herself for smirking and teasing, but Harry just nodded his head. “Sure, ‘Mione. What do you want to know?”

 

“Ummm, when you’re . . . I mean, if . . .” She could feel the heat in her cheeks. She took a deep breath and began again. “Okay. Draco and I were . . . I was sitting on his lap, and we were kissing, and he was . . . um, you know – he was touching me . . .”

 

When Hermione trailed off uncertainly, Harry took the opportunity to say, “Wow, I wouldn’t have thought you’d have got there quite yet, especially with Draco. You’re saying he was . . .” Harry hesitated and looked apologetic, “Sorry, ‘Mione, but I don’t do girly euphemisms. He was fingering you?”

 

Her face flamed. She said in a mortified tone, “No! He wasn’t . . .! We haven’t . . .!”

 

“Okay, by the look on your face I’m going to back way up and assume he was touching you in a very general way over your clothes. Am I right?”

 

She let out a breath of relief. “Yes! Thank you! He was . . . doing that, and he suddenly said we should stop, and moved me away from him a bit, and then we got up and he looked embarrassed and pulled his robes around him . . . you know . . . and I just wanted to know why he was . . . if that feels . . . um, why would that be bad?”

 

Harry raised his eyebrow and smiled at her. “Sounds like you gave him a little problem. It’s-”

 

He was interrupted by the Fat Lady herself, who had apparently been eavesdropping. “Oh, if you’re referring to either of the Malfoys I wouldn’t call it a little problem at all! We portraits see everything, let me tell you!”

 

Hermione wanted to sink through the floor. Now I won’t be able to look at any portrait in this entire castle ever again. The Fat Lady continued, “Oh, my dear, don’t be embarrassed. It’s all very natural. Do go on!”

 

She closed her eyes in shame-faced defeat. Now was not the time to get her answers from Harry. “That’s- Never mind.” She stepped through the portal and began walking towards the stairs to the girls’ dorm.

 

“Hermione, wait!” Ginny was calling to her from the couches by the fireplace. The common room was occupied by nearly all the witches of Gryffindor as well as few from the other houses, and they looked like they had been waiting for her arrival. It was suddenly quiet, and Hermione felt self-conscious as she realized that now everyone knew of her binding with the Malfoys. What are they all thinking? Where’s Ron? Ginny continued, “All we can talk about is your big news! Congratulations, you lucky, lucky witch!”

 

Students started clapping and a few whistled. Hermione smiled and glanced around at what she now realized were pleased faces. “Thank you. It’s nice not having it be a secret anymore.”

 

She meant it, too. It would be nice to acknowledge her relationship with Draco publicly. Now we can hold hands in the halls. Among other things . . . Meanwhile, Hermione had thoroughly searched the room by this point and was relieved not to see Ron.

 

Ginny came up and hugged her. Her friend must have known exactly what Hermione had been doing, because she whispered, “He’s not here. My dad sent a Portkey with instructions to leave for home right after dinner.”

 

Out loud she exclaimed, “You look amazing tonight – is this dress from Draco and Lucius? Tell us all about it!”

 

For the next twenty minutes Hermione was surrounded by well-wishers, being hugged and asked about her courtship and the upcoming wedding. She skirted specific questions, not knowing what was appropriate to share, and was relieved that no one pressed her for more information. In fact, she noticed that the attitudes of her fellow Gryffindors were now tinged with a new respect. For what, though – the fact that I stood up to Ron, or that I’m engaged to the Malfoys? Whichever it was, it felt nice in a small dose.

 

She was very aware that Ginny had manipulated the situation completely in her favor and gratefully hugged her. “Thank you, Gin. What would I do without you?”

 

Ginny rolled her eyes. “I thought we already established that you’d be a wreck. By the way, that was a very dramatic reveal at dinner. Between Draco walking across the tables to defend you and your beautiful gown, the entire school thinks it was the most romantic thing ever to happen here. Oh, I brought your robes to your room. Just think – you don’t need to hide under them any more!”

 

Finally Hermione said to the roomful of witches, “Well, as nice as this has been, I need to go to bed.”

 

She exchanged goodnights with the crowd in general and once again turned toward the dorms. Harry was waiting for her at the base of the stairs. “We never got to finish.”

 

Hermione blushed. “That’s okay – just forget it, Harry. I shouldn’t have-”

 

“Yes, you should. Don’t ever be afraid to ask me anything, ‘Mione. You really are a sister to me. We’re family. I will always help you.”

 

I don’t think most brothers perform sex acts in front of their sisters, but that’s probably nit picking on my part. And I do love Harry like a brother. “Thanks. That’s how I feel about you, too.”

 

He stood beside her, speaking in a very quiet voice. “In answer to your question, Draco stopped because he wanted to keep going, and then found himself with a problem he couldn’t take care of . . . errrr, you obviously prefer when I spell things out. What you two were doing turned him on, but he knew that if he didn’t stop at that point, he would have pushed you too far. Basically, it felt incredibly good and the consequence of that was an erection he wanted to hide from you. It’s not something guys want girls like you to know about just seven days into the relationship.”

 

“Girls like me?”

 

“Nice girls. Innocent girls, who might be unprepared for the fact that their boyfriend has suddenly pitched a tent in his pants – and that tent is actually a skin-covered steel rod they plan to push into their girl’s pussy. Is that spelled out enough for you?”

 

“Yes. I was unprepared, and it was awkward after that. Do you think he was . . . really uncomfortable?”

 

“Yeah, but I’m sure he took care of the problem when he got back to his room. And even if he didn’t, I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve given him blue balls. You have even more questions now, don’t you?”

 

She nodded, blushing again. Harry gave her a one-armed hug and said, “This isn’t the best situation for us to talk freely. How about we take this up another time?”

 

She gave him a grateful squeeze and called out one last general goodnight as she climbed the stairs. In her room, she stood in front of her mirror for a few minutes, remembering the looks she had received while wearing the dress. Her friends in the commons had been full of admiration and good-natured covetousness. Lucius and Draco had looked at her with blatant desire, trailing their gazes all over her body. She remembered the way Lucius had toyed with the strap and then stroked her bottom lip. Now that she was able to process that moment of seduction away from his burning gaze, she wondered how she hadn’t combusted spontaneously as he touched her. His intensity is always smoldering right under the surface. That’s what he’s tried to hide from me – but now that I’ve recognized it, I don’t think he can completely do that anymore. He’s right, though; if he fully revealed that side of himself to me right now, I’d be terrified. And I’ve all but promised that I’ll kiss him in the morning.

 

Soon, she knew she’d be ready for Lucius unleashed. The disparity between the passion in his eyes and the gentleness of his hands came to mind. No matter how intense he might be, he will never hurt me. We were meant for each other. The thought of his hands moving over her body as he voiced his fantasies made the inner muscles of her pelvis clench pleasurably, and she felt that increasingly familiar ache of physical desire fill her. I’m going to kiss Lucius in the morning. She physically shook herself. I need to think about something else.

 

She willed her mind elsewhere as she washed her face and brushed her teeth, and then got into bed. They’re going to give me another beautiful dress. The thought made her smile into her pillow with delight. She remembered the conversation. Hermione had been resistant to another extravagant gift, but Draco had brooked no argument. As she was falling asleep, two things occurred to her.

 

Firstly, Draco was very much like Lucius at times. When the two of them decided on something, it would happen. This might cause some friction in their relationship, because eventually Hermione would be back to her usual confident self. Secondly, Draco had probably already fantasized about her in the past hour and, as her ‘brother’ had so eloquently put it only a few nights ago, rubbed one out.

 

*          *          *          *          *

 

The Malfoy owl woke her up again the next morning. This time the note on the beautiful vellum parchment read,

 

I will come to collect on your promise at 7:00 this morning. Yours, L.

 

She didn’t even bother to offer the haughty bird a treat, but shooed it off the window ledge with a very short reply.

 

7:00. Yours, H.

 

Hermione had shivered and her heart had picked up its pace when she’d decided to add that extra word, but she had also smiled in satisfaction. Now she wondered what Lucius’ reaction would be when he saw it. It’s true, though – I’m as much his as he is mine. She sent a Galleon message to Harry Vst at 7am pls and waited for his reply. Only a few minutes later he responded Ok, and she breathed a sigh of relief.

 

Now she began her morning routine in earnest. It would be a busy day – first the visit with Lucius (for the express purpose of kissing him, she reminded herself needlessly), and then the Quidditch match and ensuing celebration. She could worry about the Ravenclaw party later.

 

Hermione tried to plan accordingly. Before the death of her parents and complete immersion in the wizarding world, Hermione would have without doubt worn jeans and a T-shirt. However, now more than ever she was aware that, regardless of the practicality, witches wore skirts or dresses unless flying a broom. Even then, their trousers were quite different from jeans. What can I wear that’s pretty enough for the breakfast visit, functional enough for the match, and a combination of both for the trip to the village? She looked through her wardrobe several times before giving in to the urge to wake Ginny.

 

The redheaded witch wasn’t happy about being awakened early on a Saturday morning, but Hermione offered no apologies. “I need your help, so wake up and meet me in my room in ten minutes.”

 

Ginny dragged herself to Hermione’s bed within the allotted time and flopped down pathetically. The curly-headed witch rolled her eyes and thumped her friend with a pillow as she scolded her. “Wake,” thump, “up!” thump.

 

“Give me one good reason,” Ginny murmured sleepily into the coverlet.

 

“I,” thump, “am meeting Lucius,” thump, “To kiss him,” thump, “because I promised last night!” thump, thump, thum-

 

Ginny grabbed the offending pillow, sitting upright and looking much more alert. “You haven’t kissed him yet?”

 

“Of course I have – on the cheek, on the chin, just never on the mouth. He’s been teasing me about it all week, and last night I asked him to come this morning.”

 

“To claim his kiss,” her friend clarified.

 

“Errrr, yes. So if you wou-” she was interrupted by happy shrieks.

 

“Hermione! That’s the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard! Sweet Circe on a broom – this is the kind of thing you read about in my mum’s romance novels!”

 

“Yes, fine! It’s romantic – either that or pathetic. Now be quiet and listen to me!” She quickly explained her dilemma and requirements.

 

Ginny was a lot of things: bossy, impatient, intolerant . . . however she was also generous, hard working, and, above all, creative. She set to work on her friend’s problem and ransacked her own wardrobe. Fifteen minutes later, Hermione was dressed in a dark brown skirt that was gathered just enough to be pretty, but slim enough so it wouldn’t be caught in a strong breeze. Best of all, it was made of light flannel and would be perfect for sitting in the stands. Ginny’s loan included a satiny, cream-colored button-down shirt. “Now put on your flats, and you’ll be set. Can you manage to find Harry on your own, or do I need to do that, too?”

 

“Thanks, Gin. You’re the best!”

 

“I know. Now go kiss your wizard. And take notes – I want to hear all about it later!”

 

“Got it!” Hermione snatched up a hairbinder and purse, and flew down to meet Harry in the commons.

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