Chapter Forty-Eight: Wednesday Morning

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.

 

When they finally arrived at his study, Lucius was scowling over some parchment at his desk, and a familiar-looking eagle owl perched on a roost nearby. He stood at their entrance. “Good morning, my prize. Mademoiselle Delacour.” His long strides crossed the room quickly, and then he was executing a shallow bow over Hermione’s left hand and directing a deferential nod of his head toward Fleur. He pressed his lips to the sensitive skin of her inner wrist.

 

“Good morning, Lucius.”

 

He led her back towards his desk, gesturing for Fleur to follow them, and pulled her down to sit in his lap. Hermione curled up into her nook and breathed in the intoxicating scent of him. The chaperone sank into a chair facing the desk, ignored for the moment. In her abrupt manner she asked, “What is it that drags us from our slumber, Mister Malfoy?”

 

It occurred to Hermione that Lucius’ French must be quite good, because he hadn’t been stymied by the Interpretor charm at all. In fact, he seemed perfectly at home speaking English and listening to Fleur’s native tongue. Nevertheless, the curly-haired offered to perform the spell once again. Lucius thanked her but declined. He turned the conversation back to Fleur’s question, stroking Hermione’s face and neck as he did so. “The next two days will be filled with activity, and I think it wise to make a schedule of sorts.” He added in a dark tone, “Otherwise, Molly will do so for us.”

 

Hermione nodded into the collar of his shirt. “That’s for certain. Have you begun it already?”

 

“Indeed I have, pet.” He drew her attention to the large piece of parchment lying across his desk, pointing at various parts. “You see, we will all be quite busy. I must portkey to Paris this afternoon, and then to Rome for most of tomorrow. This means that the bulk of the work in the next two days falls on Draco’s shoulders. In the meantime, you will undoubtedly be dragged into some part of Molly’s plans. Therefore, this morning will be doubly booked.”

 

“How do you mean?”

 

“You have guests coming for a late breakfast, and I would like for you to be marked with the Malfoy rune as soon as possible.”

 

“Surely we can wait until you get back tonight for that?”

 

Lucius actually growled. “There are Weasley men on the premises. Molly insists that she needs her eldest boys’ help today to prepare for the reception. She has promised me that they will spend their time helping with deliveries and running errands for her, but I am unhappy with the situation. I will not have your choice contested again.” He cast a calculating glance at Fleur and said, “Would you ladies please join me in the rose garden? It seems a shame to miss the blossoms unfurling in the morning light.”

 

The chaperone stood almost eagerly. “That’s an excellent idea.” She walked ahead of them to the French windows and stepped out into the garden.

 

Hermione hadn’t missed Lucius’ expression. “What are you doing?” She asked quietly.

 

He shook his head with a smirk and raised a finger to his lips. “Come,” he mouthed. As they joined Fleur outside, he said, “Mademoiselle, you must pay close attention to the golden flowers you admired so much last night. They are particularly stunning when they first open.” His face was unreadable as he led Hermione to the side and down one path.

 

The young witch looked over her shoulder to see the chaperone once again standing before the glowing blooms with a dazed expression on her face. “How long will they affect her like that?”

 

As they rounded the first corner, Lucius answered, “As long as no one distracts her from them, she will remain in that spot. Quickly now, before the Bespoken wakes up.” He pulled her along until they came to alcove of blue roses. Sure enough, the pale morning light was coaxing the buds open, and Hermione watched in awe as all the plants seemed to yawn and stretch as one living thing. Slowly, slowly the blooms lifted their dew-laden heads and spread their petals, until the entire alcove was abloom.

 

“The plants here, Lucius – they seem more than just alive.” She looked up at him questioningly.

 

“The Malfoy land sits over multiple convergences of ley lines. The magic here is strong, and has taken on a life of its own. Perhaps because of our long obsession with it, the flora has been affected most of all.” He paused to pull her against him, leaning down to murmur against her earlobe, “I did not lead you out here to discuss the roses.”

 

She shivered in pleasure. “But what about when your plant varieties are grown elsewhere? Do they retain—“

 

Lucius silenced her with a kiss. “No talking.” Hermione lost her train of thought completely as he moved his mouth against hers. She forgot where they were when he gently sucked her bottom lip between his and then did the same to the top one. She forgot about their chaperone, held captive by the golden roses, when his tongue teased the seam of her lips. And then, when he pushed it into her mouth to tease her own tongue, and gave a low groan of approval, she forgot how to stand upright.

 

They kissed each other hungrily, holding each other as close as possible until they broke apart briefly to breathe. Hermione whispered, “Let’s just stay here like this until breakfast, Lucius. You can put the rune on my skin when you get home tonight.”

 

He was moving his mouth over her neck now, leaving the skin wet and sensitized to the cool morning air. “Unacceptable. We will mark you this morning.”

 

Hermione unbound his hair and ran her fingernails over his scalp. He bent her backward over one arm and kissed along her collarbones, holding her firmly against his torso with the other. She felt the increasingly familiar urge to tease her wizard. “Tell me why this rune is so important, anyway. It seems a bit overkill.”

 

Lucius stood to his full height, loosening his grip on her. A storm was brewing in his grey-blue eyes, and electricity crackled in his every move. He loomed directly above her and leaned in so that she was forced to tip her head back to hold his gaze. “Lesson number one: a bespoke witch bears the mark of her husbands on her body not as proof of ownership, but as evidence of commitment.”

 

“I can’t imagine what happened with Ron is a common occurrence. Why does it need to be so permanent? Couldn’t I just wear a ring?” Hermione honestly had no idea why she was even arguing with him, except that they both enjoyed this little game.

 

“It is tradition, and one that pureblood families uphold proudly.”

 

“Can you tell me why?”

 

He lifted a hand to her face, tracing one long finger from her temple down over her cheek as he answered. “A house Wife holds reverent status among the old families of the wizarding world. She is anticipated, protected, and loved by her husbands, who seal a rune into her skin as proof that she has promised to give herself to them unreservedly.”

 

The finger continued a trail along her jaw, around the shell of her ear, and down her neck to the base of her throat. Hermione shivered as Lucius leaned in further to ghost a kiss across her lips. His fingers were tracing the placket of her sundress now, and he brushed his mouth against hers with only slightly more pressure. He pulled back slightly. “Wherever she goes, she bears this mark. It speaks of her love for her husbands and theirs for her.”

 

Hermione stretched to meet his mouth again and reached up to weave her fingers through the silk of his hair. This time she didn’t allow him to tease her; she initiated a sensuous rhythm of lips and tongues until he took control and wrapped one arm around her to bring her against his body once more.

 

Lucius pulled back again. He held her against his torso, letting her feel his body’s reaction to her.   “The meaning of the rune a house Wife bears is a secret shared only between her and her husbands, and it is visible only to those who are looking for it. You will accept our rune, my prize.”

 

“Mmmmmm.” She strained to pull his mouth back to hers. “Of course I will, but it’s just so much fun to wind you up.”

 

He smirked against her lips, murmuring, “You’ve wound something up.”

 

She pushed her hand between their bodies and hesitantly brushed it against the hard length of his penis as he groaned into her mouth. Her hand traced its bulky shape with an almost bold curiosity, encouraged by his reaction. When she paused, Lucius wrapped his hand around hers and pressed it back to his fabric-covered erection. “You will be my undoing.” He exhaled shakily.

 

“I’ll probably undo something at some point,” she joked, biting her lip to control the nervous smile on her mouth. She continued to grip his shaft, watching a succession of subtle expressions wash over his face. He pushed slightly into her hand, and Hermione felt a rush of power. I’m in control of Lucius Malfoy. For the moment. The young witch moved her hand slightly up and down, causing her wizard to push harder. An idea came to her. “Mark me tonight, Lucius. You’ll have all the time in the world.”

 

His large hands were grasping her backside, and he was bending to kiss her again. “Nnnngh.”

 

That’s the sound I usually make. She trailed her tongue along his lower lip. “You can find the most perfect bit of skin and put your mark there, and I can touch you as much as I want, Lucius. We won’t be rushed.” Hermione brushed off the thought of Fleur and what she might have to say about any of this. Maybe we could just have the ceremony here in the garden, and the Captor roses could keep her busy.

 

He groaned into her mouth and pushed into her grip again. “Mmmmmmm.”

 

“Wouldn’t that be better, my love? To take our time and please each other?”

 

He pulled back slightly and shook his head, obviously warring with himself inwardly. His eyes were dark and heavy with desire, and he almost looked confused. “I don’t—“

 

She kissed him again. “Lucius, say you’ll mark me tonight, please.”

 

“Tonight. We’ll mark you tonight.” His hands slowly slid from her arse up towards her back, pulling her dress in his grip. All the while he moved against her hand and kissed her. When the fabric had been gathered at her waist, he traced the edges of her knickers. His voice was deep and hoarse as he said, “Let me take these with me to Paris, Hermione. I beg you.”

 

She managed to gain control of the triumphant smile that threatened to break through. Mission accomplished. The curly-haired witch moved her mouth to kiss along his handsome jaw. “If you like.”

 

His fingers – were they trembling slightly? –threaded through the leg openings of the tiny garment and pushed them down over her hips. Hermione allowed them to fall to her ankles and kicked them off. Without relinquishing her contact with his shaft, she leaned and snatched up the slip of fabric from the ground with her other hand. She dangled them from a finger. “Is this what you want?”

 

Lucius seemed to partially regain his faculties at that point. He took one small step back and rubbed a hand over his face. Then he looked down at her with glazed eyes and said in a rasping voice, “Are you quite done torturing me, minx?”

 

“Is that what I was doing?” Hermione felt a twinge of guilt. I thought we were having fun.

 

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “It is a very good thing that I am a man of principle, else you might find yourself finishing what you just started.”

 

“Oops.” She rose on tiptoe to kiss his chin. “I’m sorry, Lucius. Although you know that I wouldn’t be averse to—“

 

He winced and cut off her sentence with an involuntary groan. “Please, pet. Remove your hand before I am tempted to change my mind.”

 

Only then did Hermione remember that she still held his hard penis in a firm grip. That was the point where she realized she had the proverbial tiger by the tail, and quailed at the thought of what releasing it might bring.

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