Chapter Forty-One: Tuesday Afternoon

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

 

 

They stayed at the base of the column for some time, wrapped around each other. Draco’s mouth tormented Hermione’s with little kisses that tasted of want and need. His hands pulled at the waist of her dress, urging her to melt against him, and his erection pressed against the apex of her legs, that place where every nerve in her body seemed to originate. Her wizard wanted more, it seemed. So do I. I want much, much more.

 

The soft glimmer of the covenant shimmered along the outer rim of her awareness, only somewhat distracting her from what Draco’s tongue was presently doing to hers. Its emotions brushed against her consciousness – first satisfaction, and then amusement, and finally a vague feeling of caution.

 

Mmmmm. We’ll stop. Soon. Draco’s lips traveled across her cheek to the lobe of her ear, where he nibbled and sucked and tugged until she whispered his name mid-gasp. She brought her hands between their bodies, tracing the dips and swells of his well-muscled chest and shoulders. I want to see all this without clothes in the way. Her fingers traveled down his abdominal muscles, feeling as they flexed beneath her touch.

 

Draco devoted his attention to her neck now, laving it with his tongue between open-mouthed kisses and gentle bites. His hands seemed restless, pulling at her dress and then moving to clutch her backside, until Hermione realized he was working the skirt of her dress up and out of his way. All at once it was around her waist, her wizard was running his hands over her bare arse, and she felt the soft fabric of his trousers pressed against her most sensitive flesh.

 

Hermione’s hands traveled back up Draco’s torso to his pectorals, fingers tensed with the sudden sensory feedback. They inadvertently ran over his nipples, causing them to tighten and a shiver to run through his body. The young witch catalogued the apparent cause and effect, repeating her actions several times until it the experiment proved itself.

 

He pulled away from her neck, groaning. “Gods, Hermione – your skin is so soft . . . I want to take this dress off you right here and now.”

 

The covenant reached out to her again, still satisfied but strongly cautioning. “Gaaaah. Not here. Not now. We should stop.”

 

At that same moment Draco’s large hands found purchase on her hips and he ground her against his erection. The ensuing pleasure was so intense that she cried out his name softly. He watched her with heated eyes as he repeated the motion. “Say my name again.”

 

“Draco! It feels so good. Please.” She felt a familiar prickling sensation run over her physical brain. “I mean, no!” Her hands seemed to act of their own accord, scratching down over his shirt-clad abdomen.

 

He moaned and moved her in another pass over his hard shaft. “I want you. Do you want me, Hermione?”

 

His words sent a frisson of acute desire through her system. “Oh, yes! But we need to stop!” She pressed her lips against his hungrily but pulled away and added, “The covenant says we need to stop!”

 

No, no stopping.” His tone was frustrated as he leaned forward and captured her mouth with his, but his hands left her hips and smoothed down her dress.

 

The prickling sensation returned, and with it vivid memories of the recent warnings given by the covenant. Draco’s lips moved against hers sensuously as if to sway her decision. Must stop. Now. She broke their kiss abruptly, drawing her hand out from between them as she gave her head a shake to clear it. “As much as I’d really like to continue . . .”

 

“For Merlin’s sake, don’t stop,” Draco half-begged, half-demanded. His soft, husky voice falling directly into her ear was almost her undoing. Their renewed activity had aroused her beyond want, and she felt the pulse of need coursing through her nerves again. We could be quick . . . She resisted the temptation to continue on for just a bit longer, though, when the covenant once again made its feelings known.

 

She sighed in her own frustration and kissed him tenderly on the cheek. He made a whining noise. Draco was actually pouting as she climbed off his lap and then dragged him up by a hand to stand as well. Even in her current state Hermione couldn’t help but be amused. “I don’t know why you’re sulking, Draco. We’ve had our fun, and in a few days we won’t ever have to say ‘we should stop’ again.” To herself she added sotto voce, “hopefully.”

 

He gave her a tortured look, pulling her against him once more. “I may not last a few days, Hermione. I want you here and now.”

 

He sounds like Harry! “Well I, for one, am glad my first time with you won’t be against a stone column with a potential audience of two hundred familiar faces,” she teased, trying to lighten his mood and ignore the way her body was thrumming. She forced her limbs to refrain from wrapping around him. I’m doing this for our own good, Draco. Hermione escaped his clutches and moved closer to the opening of the portico. Glancing up as she sat down on a step, she motioned self-consciously to the front of her wizard’s trousers. That’s what comes from not wearing knickers. “You might want to . . . you know.”

 

When he had performed a quick cleaning spell to the fabric and joined her on the step, she added, “Besides, the covenant is trying to tell me something. I’m . . . I’m trying to do a better job of listening to it.”

 

He slumped down at her side, managing to make even that movement graceful. Draco looked at her mournfully. “So you and the covenant are conspiring against me.”

 

“Yes, you silly snake. We want you to suffer horribly for all the sweet, romantic, naughty things you’ve been inflicting on me!” She reached out and took his hand in hers, weaving their fingers together. “Draco, I don’t want to stop, either. But your family magic has taken residence in my mind, and it seems to want to keep me from trouble. I made a mess of things the first time it tried to stop me from doing what I wanted. That won’t happen again. If the covenant says ‘stop’, we stop.”

 

The words, spoken with more conviction than she actually felt, seemed to convince her own body and she felt the painful ache of desire abate just a bit. The cold stone step beneath her helped, too, as it chilled her lower half. Brrrrr.

 

He sighed heavily. “And I stop when you say so.”

 

Hermione leaned against his shoulder. “For the record, I wanted to continue what we were doing.”

 

Draco gave another self-pitying sound. “Perhaps we should talk about something else.”

 

“Arithmancy?” She quipped lightly. “Because I have the funniest story to tell you. It all started when I tried to run an equation with a predetermined outcome in mind . . .”

 

Hermione prattled away with determination.   Many minutes later, Draco finally spoke. “I was sure, at first, that Luna was giving a prophecy, but no one else seemed to notice. It gave me pause enough to doubt. And you! You will listen to the covenant immediately and at all times!”

 

The role reversal was so sudden that Hermione laughed outright. “Oh, all right, ‘pot’!”

 

Realization dawned across his handsome face, and he offered an abashed grimace. “Point taken. Oh, and,” he added in an obvious attempt to regain the upper hand in the conversation, “No more skewed Arithmancy, either.”

 

“Believe me – I know. No need to rub it in.” The cold step was numbing her backside, and she needed to move. “Want to walk back out to the courtyard?”

 

“Well, I would, only I’m having some difficulty with blood flow at the moment.” Draco shifted uncomfortably.

 

She winced apologetically. “Still all in one spot?”

 

“Yes.” He jutted his lower lip out and scowled.

 

He’s adorable. “Oh, my poor Draco. I’ll make it up to you soon.”

 

This seemed to appease him somewhat. He leaned over and pressed his lips against hers in a sweet kiss. “Promise?”

 

“Cross my heart with a pair of naughty knickers.” She bit her lip, fighting the evil smile that threatened to break through.

 

Draco gave a groan. “Have mercy, little witch.” He pulled her into his arms for another tender kiss, and she wrapped her arms around his neck lovingly.

 

Finally she drew away and stood, rubbing her thighs and bottom with brisk strokes of her hands. Draco looked amused until she said somewhat crossly, “These stones are cold, and I happen to have one less layer on than you, Draco. My bum is frozen! And, no – I don’t need you to help warm it.” She added the last part when he held out his hands and opened his mouth to speak around a smirk.

 

The covenant, which had curled around her consciousness, seemed to stretch and give itself a flickering shake. Hermione focused. This time there was a particular alertness to the sentience, as if it had pricked up its ears at something she couldn’t see or hear. I’m listening. Another flicker accompanied by excitement and anticipation. Comprehension flooded Hermione’s mind. Lucius! Her attention returned to her physical body in a rush, and she found Draco looking at her curiously.

 

“I think Lucius has arrived.” She set off toward the opening of the portico, gesturing for him to follow her.

 

Draco rose and followed her, complaining bitterly. “I should have known he’d be in on it, too. I need to have a word with that cock-blocking son of a—“ He paused and added contritely, “Please forgive me.”

 

“Oh, Draco!” She laughed. “Better to be interrupted by family magic and Lucius than someone else – or getting one of those awful zaps for breaking that all-seeing oath we took! Come on.”

 

They reached the entrance of the portico together, scanning the courtyard for signs of the elder Malfoy. He wasn’t in sight. Draco turned to Hermione. “I’m not really mad at him, you know.”

 

“I know. I’ve felt the same way about Harry and Ginny, and they’re the closest thing I have to family. I guess you could say they are my family. Molly and Arthur, too.”

 

He looked troubled. “I’d forgotten about that. I assume they’ll all be at the reception?”

 

“Well, yes – of course. Molly’s planning it all, remember, and I suppose Arthur will accompany her. And of course Harry and Ginny will be there. Is that . . . does that bother you, because of Ron?”

 

“No, but if you consider them family, the rest of the Weasley men can’t be excluded. I suppose they’ll have to be invited.”

 

There was a crease between his brows, and Hermione reached up to rub it away with her thumb. “Stop worrying. Those boys are like brothers to me, and that’s all.” Suddenly he looked very insecure. Oh, my love! My Draco. She pulled him down by his shoulders for a kiss and continued softly, “You’re the one I chose. You and Lucius are mine.”

 

Brooding Draco remained, despite her efforts. She redoubled them, snaking an arm around his waist to hold him close and tipping her head back so that her chin rested against his chest. She looked up at his beautiful features. “Where will you mark me with the Malfoy rune?”

 

This caused a shift in his mood. He blinked at her several times. “What?”

 

“You heard me. Where?”

 

“We wouldn’t—“ He cleared his throat. “We wouldn’t make that decision without you. Do you have a preference?” His arms wrapped around her, fingers rubbing along her sides.

 

“I assumed, because of the binding vows . . .” She trailed off uncertainly.

 

Adorably moody Draco had completely vanished, and in his place was the confident, quiet Draco she was learning to love with all her heart. He’s as mercurial as Lucius. I like it. She shivered when he gave her a solemn almost-smile and blushed, tightening his hold around her. “The three of us will decide together. A few days ago, I would have suggested the skin above your left breast, however, after seeing your thighs . . .”

 

How can we still be blushing around each other? Somehow it was endearing. It certainly gave her confidence, reminding her that he was as inexperienced as she, and his words bolstered her feminine ego. “You . . . like my legs?”

 

He nodded slowly. “I am becoming increasingly enamored of your body with each new part bared to me.”

 

Hermione’s breath caught in her throat at his words. They were sensual, but delivered in the romantic way that Draco so often used. It made her swoon, and her body sagged in his arms as her knees buckled. I want to show him more parts of me. The desire she had fought so hard to control broke free again, coursing through her veins like Fiendfyre. She whispered his name, raising her hands up and around his neck to drag him down for a kiss.

 

It was Draco’s turn to pull away, saying in a teasing tone, “You said we’re supposed to stop.”

 

She wrinkled her nose. “You’re right. What I need is a distraction from you.”

 

“Perhaps we should go find your ‘brother’ and search out Lucius. He’ll probably have been given permission to Portkey to the Headmaster’s office.”

 

Hermione nodded and began to disentangle herself from Draco’s arms. He stopped her, though, and concluded their original conversation first. “You’re right, you know – I’m yours. It won’t matter who’s at the reception, because when you take the Malfoy rune,” here he cupped her breast, watching as his hand closed around the small, lush mound of flesh, “everyone will know you’ve claimed the Malfoy House as your own. They’ll know that you’ve claimed me.

 

He cradled her cheek and kissed her tenderly, imbuing the action with a depth of feeling that made Hermione’s heart feel as though it would physically burst. Mine. When they pulled apart, they were both grinning like madmen. They set off across the courtyard hand in hand, talking as they went.

 

“I’ll miss my handmark.” She pulled her hand out of his to hold it up in front of her, watching the shining silver dragon almost glow in the bright sunlight.

 

Draco reached for her hand again. He pushed up the sleeve of her cardigan, running his fingers along the length of the mark. “As will I, but it’s only meant to last until the rune is taken. We can have a picture taken of it, if you like. That’s sometimes done.”

 

“I would like that, very much so. And, you should know . . .”

 

He looked down at her with eyes the color of the clearest, calmest sea, waiting for her question. She shook herself out of her Draco-induced haze. “I’m completely yours.”

 

They walked slowly, and reached the crowded end of the courtyard a few minutes later. Vince and Greg seemed to have spent their time with an eye towards the portico, because they both stood as soon as Draco and Hermione came into sight and nodded their heads in greeting. The blond wizard acknowledged them both with a nod of his own, but led the young witch on past them in search of Harry.

 

They walked through the groups of gathered students, working their way around the outdoor area. Everyone wanted to say hello and ask if they had any new information about the current situation, and Draco surprised Hermione by pausing to converse briefly but pleasantly with many of their peers. She herself would have blown them off with a quick wave of greeting, but her wizard was obviously of a different mind. The young witch was puzzled at first, but finally realized that Draco was talking mainly to wizards with whom they shared classes or were in Gryffindor. He stood with his arm around her shoulders, holding her close to his side, and in his fingers he played with her dragon charm. Her eyes narrowed and her frame stiffened momentarily as a lightning bolt of comprehension hit her. He’s marking his territory. She craned her head to aim a withering glare at him, but the happy look on his face reduced it to a condescending eye roll at the last minute. Draco’s answering smirk told her he knew exactly what he was doing.

 

Eventually he worked his way through the relatively small crowd of students, and the two set about checking all the secluded corners of the courtyard. They came upon such a place, and Hermione stopped so quickly that Draco ran into her from behind. He caught her in his arms as she pitched forward gracelessly and then the two froze as if turned to stone, unable to look away from what they’d stumbled upon. There before them in the grass of the quiet spot were her ‘brother’ and his girls, immersed in an act of ménage a trois.

 

The noise alone should have been a cue to stop before they’d rounded that corner – now that she couldn’t move, the heavy sounds of pleasure practically assaulted her ears. The three were moving, writhing, connected to each other in a mass of partially clothed bodies. Harry knelt on the grass, holding Ginny’s hips up to his own as he pounded into her. The redhead’s loud, constant cries were muffled against Luna, who in turn knelt over Ginny’s face, her skirt tucked up in its waistband. The blond witch leaned forward, using Harry’s shoulders for leverage as she ground down against Ginny’s mouth, and the dark-haired wizard’s mouth was glued to one of her naked, pale-skinned breasts as she bobbed before him. The act was laid bare before the unwilling audience so that there was no room for misinterpretation, no chance of misunderstanding, and Hermione’s mouth hung open in shock for as long as she remained unmoving. Her first thought was ‘oh, good – Luna’s been released’ followed quickly by ‘gods damnit, Harry!’

 

Movement returned in a rush to Hermione and Draco mere seconds later, and they scrambled back around the stone wall. They kept their eyes averted from each other in mortification, stumbling in their haste to get away. Even now, as they fled from the spot, they could make out the sounds of Harry crying out his release. Hermione relied on Draco’s guiding hand as they walked, squeezing her eyes shut and shaking her head repeatedly.

 

Finally they stopped near the fountain in the center of the courtyard. Hermione’s face was burning, and she noticed that Draco’s ear were pink. She fought through her embarrassment with determination, giving herself an internal pep talk. I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen far worse. Just not with Draco. Just start talking. Say something – anything. “Well . . . that was a new position for them. Errrrr . . . what I mean is, I’m sorry that you had to see that.”

 

Draco looked at her uncertainly, but said quietly, “I take no issue with the act itself, but it wasn’t meant for an audience.” He looked away briefly. “Let’s sit here while we wait.”

 

It wasn’t very long before Harry and his girls came into view, much to Hermione’s relief. The three of them looked surprisingly put-together, at least from a distance. She called out to them. “Harry! Gin and Lu! Over here – come over here!”

 

On closer examination she discovered they were, in fact, quite rumpled. At least their clothes are on and . . . well, mostly fastened. They collapsed in the grass beside her, and Luna gave her an enthusiastic hug. Hermione reciprocated the gesture warmly, gagging slightly on the competing smells of sweat and sex that seemed to hang over her friend like a fog. “How did you get through screening so quickly – I thought it would be tomorrow at the earliest for you!”

 

The blond witch beamed. “I told them about the baby! Pregnant witches were given priority, of course.”

 

“Errrrr . . . there were others?” Ginny had sat down on Hermione’s other side, and the redhead acknowledged her with a shoulder bump. “Hi, Gin. Your sweater’s buttoned up wrong.”

 

Ginny waved away the information unconcernedly as Luna replied, “Well, no, ‘Mione – this is a school. It would be highly irregular for students to be getting pregnant, now, wouldn’t it?”

 

“But you—never mind. Yes, you’re right. I’m so glad to see you, Lu.” She turned her attention to Harry, who was flopped down on the grass with a euphoric look on his face. “Harry, I hate to ask, but—“

 

He raised his head and grinned. “Where to?”

 

“Headmaster’s office?” She smiled back gratefully, adding, “Might want to zip your fly.”

 

He dragged himself to his feet. “Well, come on, then! Let’s get you where you need to go so I can have a nap . . . or something. You girls want to come?”

 

Ginny hopped up immediately. “I’m in. I haven’t seen ‘Mione in ages. We can catch up on the way.”

 

Luna, however, waved him away with a sweet smile, saying innocently, “You know I love coming with you, Harry, but I think this once I’ll get started on that nap.”

 

Hermione peeked at Draco to find him biting back a smirk as he stood. He crooked a finger at her, and his eyes positively twinkled as he said, “Do you want to come, Miss Granger?”

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