Chapter Seventy-Four: Saturday 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: Brightki and CoquetteKitten.

 

The beauty of the magnificent old house quickly captivated her attention. Hermione wandered through cavernous, dark-paneled corridors and grand rooms as she navigated her way across the Manor. At times it felt as though the house itself was guiding her steps; floorboards creaked, doors swung open, inquisitive figures in paintings followed her from room to room, and she allowed her innate curiosity to take over completely. What does it want me to see, she wondered. And what’s as important as Draco?

 

She’d crossed through several rooms and traversed two staircases before coming on a reflection of herself in a magnificently wrought mirror. The image was so disparate to the mental one she carried of herself that she drew her wand defensively, thinking for a moment there was yet another stranger in the house. Then, recognizing the shimmering, transparent wedding gown and her own features, she stared for several spellbound seconds. How is it I no longer recognize myself in a mirror? The witch staring back at her was a siren, her eyes full of secrets and her kiss-swollen mouth set in a confident curve. Her curls were wild, her dress sweetly seductive, and her neck liberally marked with faint, mouth-shaped bruises. Sweet Circe, Lucius was right; I look like a freshly plucked rose. That thought, combined with the memories of said plucking, only increased the confidence exuded by the witch in the mirror. Go, she seemed to say, and fear nothing.

 

When she’d had her fill of ego-boosting, she continued on through another set of doors and then stopped abruptly. She found herself in a room she’d passed through once before: the portrait gallery of Malfoy Manor. Hundreds of ornate frames hung in neat lines along the walls, and their inhabitants seemed to have crowded into the two rows closest to the floor. They were all looking her way and whispering quietly to each other.

 

For a brief moment Hermione’s self-assurance floundered. Sweet Circe, these perverted paintings can tell exactly what I’ve been doing! Then she called to mind her brazen mirror image and the message it had imparted. The covenant sent a push of its own smug confidence from where it was curled along the edge of her awareness. Her chin came up, her shoulders squared, and the young Wife reanalyzed her words. Of course they can; and why should I care? Each Wife here has stood in my shoes, and each Malfoy was made a man on his wedding night. These are the ancestors of my House, and I have no reason to be ashamed that I’ve become one of them.

 

The young witch walked to the middle of the long, high-ceilinged room and turned in a slow circle, making eye contact with as many painted figures as she could. The whispering continued until a throat was cleared somewhere in the room, and then it became silent. She sought out the source of the sound and found a large painting in the far corner, its sole female figure looking at her with a regal expression. “You are the new Wife?” The voice was both musical and cultured.

 

Hermione walked slowly toward her. “I’m Hermione, Wife to Lucius and Draco,” she replied politely. Out of the corner of her eye, she recognized Grandpère Louis watching from a nearby frame with a few other wizards.

 

The female figure looked at her closely, her expression one of respect and fascination. The painting was obviously very old; the oils had darkened over time, leaving its subject slightly shadowed and mysterious. The lady wore a long, richly hued gown with slashed sleeves and full, belted skirts, and her head was covered in an elaborate headpiece with a fine veil, her eyebrows and forehead shaved in the fashion of her time. Finally the painting said with a dignified nod of her head, “And I am Peronelle, Wife to Auguste, Mellin, and Ambroise. Welcome, Hermione. We have anticipated your coming for some years.”

 

There was more murmuring from the filled frames, but Hermione stood transfixed by the regal lady before her. “How is it you speak English?” she finally asked.

 

Peronelle’s lips quirked in a very familiar expression of amused confidence. “As if I would speak such a common tongue! But does not the covenant reside in us both? There are few problems it cannot solve.”

 

Mother of magic, there have been Malfoys making that same smug face for over five hundred years. She processed the ancient Wife’s words. And they’re all as self-assured as Lucius. “I see.” Hermione glanced around again. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I can’t stay. It was very nice to meet you.”

 

Again Peronelle’s mouth quirked, but her blue eyes were kind. “Your younger husband is waiting for you,” the painting’s understanding gaze traveled over the young Wife slowly, “and you wish to return to your rooms first. Although, Hermione,” she said in a low, confiding tone, “You look radiant. Clearly my descendant found you most pleasing.”

 

Perhaps it was the lady’s kind manner, or the way she reminded Hermione of Lucius, but it was impossible to take offense at what was so obviously given as a compliment. The young witch blushed and smiled. “Thank you, Peronelle. I was pleased with him as well. And you’re right; I’m on my way to my suite before I go to Draco.” She paused and added, “I have the strangest feeling that I was led here for a specific reason, only I can’t think what it is.”

 

There was a hushed murmur from the portraits, and Peronelle’s eyes slipped sideways momentarily.

 

Hermione looked in the same direction inquisitively, to find that on the opposing wall in this corner of the room was a large, curtained rectangle; ostensibly a covered picture frame. “Who is that?” She asked her new friend.

 

The ancient Wife seemed to be considering her words carefully. “A vile creature contained within an enchanted frame. She cannot leave it, and we do not wish to visit her. Her curtain must block all sound, for she can only be heard when it is raised.”

 

Realization dawned on the young witch, and she stared at the covered painting with a sickening feeling in her gut. Narcissa. “And the covenant has brought me here to speak with her.” Can I really trust you? Why do I need to meet the witch who was so amazing in bed she got Lucius to do whatever she wanted? And who would have raised the curtain? Her helpful brain supplied the answer: Lucius. After all, Draco seemed to know nothing of his mother, save for the little he’d been told by his brother. Lucius has visited Narcissa’s portrait at least once since she died.

 

“I was led in the same way to the one who came before me, but she was a great lady, and very kind,” admitted Peronelle softly. “Hermione, no portrait is so cursed without reason. Some things should be left as they are.”

 

The warning only magnified her resurfacing fears of inadequacy, but Hermione immediately argued, “If the covenant works only to further this House, then who are we to question where it leads?” Within her, she felt the family magic burst into nearly palpable laughter over those words and gave a reflexive eye roll. “Oh, bother,” she muttered aloud, “I am never going to live that down.” For a moment she wavered, torn between the opposing desires of confrontation and avoidance, but then felt resolution settle over her like a cloak in shades of maroon and gold. For Gryffindor, she thought as she raised her wand and sent the curtain whizzing back on its rod. The family magic sent a pleased feeling her way. For the Malfoy covenant. The gallery fell silent, and Hermione knew this was another one of those defining moments from which she couldn’t step away. And for me.

 

Her eyes met with the back of a platinum-haired head. The occupant of the frame stood facing away, hip cocked and arms crossed in a petulant manner. “Have l come to brag about your little Mudblood whore, Lucius?”

 

The words were met with hundreds of gasps but Hermione remained silent. Part of her was unprepared for the pure venom in the sweet voice, and another was already formulating a response.

 

Narcissa Malfoy tapped her toe impatiently on the stone floor of the painting. “Let me guess: she makes you feel adequate? Like a real man?” Her scornful laugh was like liquid silver. “But you’re not, are you, Lucius? You’re just a weak, pathetic excuse for a wizard who needs to be held like a pathetic little boy.” She turned, finally, and said in a different tone, “Oh. Who are you?”

 

Hermione gaped, unprepared for the utter perfection that was Narcissa Black Malfoy.   A face of exotic beauty looked down at her, flawless lines somehow unmarred by an expression of intense and haughty loathing. Her skin was pale, her hair almost white, her wide-set eyes were deep brown, and she wore an incredibly revealing gown that displayed a body of daunting curves and angles. She was everything, in fact, that Hermione felt she herself lacked. Sweet Circe, she makes Fleur look like a cute kid. “I’m Hermione,” she managed in a small but firm voice.

 

Narcissa flicked those incredible, bottomless eyes over the young witch, and it was obvious she found her deficient in every way. “A regrettable name for a regrettable face. But who are you?”

 

The young witch shifted self-consciously, mindful of the disparity between them. Lucius had wedded the gorgeous witch now staring at Hermione as though she were a cockroach. He’d hated her, but in the end he’d succumbed to those ripe breasts and full lips, and he’d bedded her. Repeatedly. Then, long after she’d died, he’d taken a second Wife; one that was as far removed from his first as possible: innocent to a fault, demure to the point of awkward, and unconcerned with the fact that she was no great beauty. Those facts looped through her brain in painful clarity until a lightning bolt of realization struck Hermione with force. Yes, I’m her polar opposite, and everything that Lucius has ever desired in a woman. His list came to mind, and she began reciting it internally even as she replied in a tone of growing confidence, “I’m the witch Lucius bragged about.”

 

“Plain and common.” Narcissa made a delicate noise of derision. “He must be so pleased.”

 

‘You are so sweet that you drive the air from my lungs’, he had said as he knelt at her feet. The words and accompanying action had been branded onto her very soul, marking her forever as a being of beauty and infinite value. Hermione’s chin jutted out as she countered, “He must be, because he married me last night. I’m on my way to your son now.”

 

Narcissa ignored the mention of Draco completely. “You left the bed of your elder wizard after only a night?” The portrait raised one eyebrow in disapproval. “I kept Abraxas’ bones warm for weeks before I even thought of Lucius. Of course, he has always had such low expectations; it shouldn’t surprise me that he would be happy with so little.” She looked over Hermione’s figure again as she let that last word drip disdainfully from her voluptuous mouth.

 

‘Your kindness exceeds all expectation’. Hermione thought of Lucius’ regard for Draco, for his unselfish care and concern for those around him, and she guessed that he had cultivated that virtue because he craved it himself. This will be a House built on kindness, she vowed, feeling the covenant purr within her. And Merlin help anyone who gets in the way of that. She stepped closer to the portrait of the previous Malfoy Wife. “Say what you wish about me; I couldn’t care less what you think. But don’t you dare speak that way about my husband again.” ‘You are generous and true of heart, brave and loyal as a warrior, and pure in mind and body. Your beauty is incomparable’, that magnificent wizard had said to her. She caught a glimpse of herself through his eyes, and liked what she saw. “In fact, don’t speak of him again. Ever.

 

Narcissa blinked, and then a cruel smirk began spreading across her face. She parted her sensual lips as if to speak.

 

Hermione cut her off. “No,” she said with authority far beyond her nineteen years, “It’s time for you to go back under your drape and think about the fact that the Malfoy covenant only wanted you for Draco.” She raised her wand and added reflectively, “I’m tempted to come back with a bottle of turpentine and touch up your face (she paused as Narcissa gasped in horror), but it’s obvious the very best punishment you could ever receive is to watch Lucius enjoy the rest of his long, happy life. I look forward to keeping you updated.” And with that, she snapped the drape shut, effectively sealing Narcissa back into her solitary confinement.

 

‘Your fiery temper is arousing, and you challenge me’. Hermione smirked as she remembered the last of her elder husband’s list. I think that would have pitched a tent in Lucius’ trousers, she thought to herself with satisfaction. Slowly the gallery was filling with the sound of whispers, and she turned to see a beaming Grand-père Louis standing arm in arm with a dark-haired, blue-eyed witch in a large frame directly across the long, narrow hall.

 

That’s his comely little Danish Wife, Yolande’s mother in law. Adrenaline was shooting through her system now that she’d faced down her predecessor. I want to meet every Wife in this gallery. Hermione was pulled from that train of thought when Louis murmured something to his Wife that made the pretty Danish witch grin and say loudly, “My husband has paid you the highest compliment possible: he says you are almost as magnificent as me.   We bid you welcome to this noble House, Hermione Malfoy.”

 

The sentiment was taken up as a sort of chorus that rang out from the crowded lower picture frames, filling Hermione’s ears and heart with a deep sense of belonging. “Thank you.” The words seemed inadequate, but at the moment she was overwhelmed by the knowledge that she had passed some kind of test, and that the covenant had been behind the entire thing. You really do seem to know what’s best, she thought, wishing no more than to cuddle the family magic in her lap and scratch it behind the ears. She walked to the middle of the enormous room. “I need to go now,” she said to her new family, “But I’ll be back soon.” With that, she visualized the outer room of her lovely bedroom suite and Disapparated with a confident crack.

 

A happy, tuneless voice, which could only belong to Trinket, was belting out a popular Weird Sisters song from the bathroom. She was drawing a steaming, fragrant bath and seemed unsurprised to see Hermione. “Good day, Mistress! Will you soak before you nap?”

 

Hermione was still reveling in her newly acquired freedom and gave only partial attention to the elf’s words. I could Apparate to the library for a book and then go read in the rose garden, and no one would even blink! Trinket was looking at her expectantly, breaking the young witch from her thoughts. “Errrr, sorry. What was that?”

 

The housekeeper repeated her question, adding, “Mistress looks tired. Rest first, and Trinket will keep your bath hot.”

 

“No nap,” argued Hermione. “Draco is waiting for me.” She took a step into the lovely bathroom, tugging at the stays of her gown.

 

The transformation in Trinket from servant to superior was as unexpected as the last time. She glared at Hermione. “Mistress is a precious gift! She is cared for by all, including herself.” Here she wagged a finger in Hermione’s direction. “You will rest, you will eat a good meal, and you will enjoy a hot bath. You will not leave these rooms until Trinket decides you are ready to leave these rooms.”

 

The young witch weighed the probable outcomes of arguing with the little creature. Finally she blurted, “But Draco-”

 

Trinket interrupted sternly, “Is asleep. His friends kept him up all night.” She shooed Hermione back through the dressing room and into the bedroom. “To bed, Mistress.” Gesturing imperiously at the fairy-wing gown, she snapped her fingers as if Summoning something.

 

The lovely turned-down bedding beckoned invitingly. In truth Hermione was tired, and her body was sore regardless of how pleasurable her recent workouts had been. She changed into the pretty silk slip laid out at the end of her bed and clambered in with a loud sigh. “You’re quite sure? Have you been checking in on him?” Her stomach growled loudly at the same moment a lunch tray materialized over her lap.

 

Trinket narrowed her eyes slightly and gathered up the dress. “Trinket has no need to check on anyone. The manor speaks endlessly of the House of Malfoy, and the housekeeper listens.”

 

Hermione was already tucking in to the generous serving of heaven on her tray: chicken and vegetables cooked in thick gravy, topped with a buttery crust. “Mmmm,” she moaned around an unladylike mouthful, “Whufffooomeen?” Hermione swallowed and added apologetically, “I’m so sorry. What I meant to say is, what do you mean by that?” She shoveled in another forkful and looked at the housekeeper expectantly.

 

Trinket answered in a low, secretive tone. “The Lines of Ley converge beneath this place, and all magics of this world pass through its foundations. They have made Malfoy Manor a living thing. I am its keeper.”

 

Her fork paused in midair as Hermione finally processed everything that Trinket had said. “Sweet Circe on a broom, the house . . . and you . . .” She realized her suspicions of the Manor guiding her earlier that day hadn’t been far off, and that the covenant was undoubtedly tapping in to all that magic. I could spend the rest of my life studying all of this. And you knew how perfect we were for each other! In between all my research, I might have time to fit in that great destiny you mentioned last night. The covenant rolled in amusement.

 

“Yes, Trinket keeps the Manor,” the creature confirmed in a pleased voice. “And makes trifle!”

 

Hermione pushed her tray back and snuggled down, suddenly very drowsy. “Don’t forget, you also take excellent care of the Malfoys.” She yawned. “You were right; I’m exhausted.”

 

Trinket sent the tray back to the kitchens with another snap. She drew the covers up over Hermione’s shoulders with a wave of her hand and patted the coverlet lovingly. “That is not a job but a privilege, Mistress.”

 

The young witch fought the waves of sleep washing over her. “I was sure I could stay awake. How did you know?” she asked sleepily.

 

The Malfoy housekeeper gave her a look that was seven kinds of motherly. “If you will not take care of yourself, the elves will. You were tired! Trinket had Topsy put a mild Sleeping Draught in your meal.” At Hermione’s faint sound of outrage, Trinket continued, “The young Master requires little rest, and since he is asleep now he will be up all night. This way the two of you will be awake together.”

 

It was a sneaky yet logical tactic, and the young witch mumbled as her eyes dropped shut heavily, “Oh, well done.” She fell deeply into a web of vivid dreams in which house elves secretly ruled the wizarding world, the manor told her an urgent secret, and she and Draco studied mutual orgasms by way of quantitative research.

 

Hermione awoke in the early evening refreshed, her mind whirring busily. There was something she was supposed to remember from one of her dreams, she was sure of it . . . Then she thought of Draco, and opened her eyes in panic. Above her head a heavy piece of vellum hung, magically suspended. She plucked it from the air and read:

 

Little witch,

I’ve planned an honest-to-goodness first date for us tonight. Meet me in the library for dinner at eight o’clock; third floor, back of the philosophy of magic section.

Draco

 

With those simple words Hermione was inundated by the sweet, wild, mostly innocent concoction of emotions Draco alone seemed capable of generating. I’m going on a date with Draco Malfoy! Glancing at the bedside clock, Hermione decided she had just enough time to indulge in a lengthy, Draco-induced fantasy before anything else. She plopped back onto her pillows and conjured a mental image of her younger husband, who for some odd reason insisted on appearing in his Quidditch uniform. Her body quickly warmed to a state of desire as she daydreamed all kinds of romantic scenarios, and now all she could think was that they were both now very well rested. We’re going to have a real date with no chaperone or rules, and at the end of it we won’t just kiss and say goodnight . . .

 

She gave herself a good shake and made her way to the still steamy bathroom, where all-consuming visions of a swoon-worthy Draco persisted and her luxurious bathing routine was performed purely by muscle memory. It was only as she stood rubbing scented oil into her smooth, water-softened skin that she even realized she’d taken a bath! In the dressing room, a large white box now sat on one of the couches. Curiosity temporarily overriding the mental image of Draco (who had been twinkling down at her with a knickers-dropping smile), she read the note attached to it:

 

Hair first. Honestly, I’m not even there and I know what you’re thinking. What are you, five years old? Curiosity killed the cat and caused the Malfoy Wife to have horrid, frizzy hair!

 

Hermione rolled her eyes and smirked. Only one witch could manage to boss me around long distance, and she’s obviously in cahoots with Trinket. The idea of those two conspiring against her was enough to send her scurrying to her dressing table. When her hair had finally been coaxed into soft ringlets Hermione opened the large box to find something she’d forgotten she still owned: her Yule Ball gown. She touched the lovely orchid material with reverent fingers, finding another note amongst the ruffles:

 

Last Saturday in Hogsmeade, Draco told Harry he was planning a date for the two of you after the wedding. The dress was all Harry’s idea, and Draco has no clue.   Good thing I had a whole week to find it and have it altered. Honestly, the things I do for you. You’re welcome. Now go have fun with that romantic husband of yours.

 

She sat for a moment, the enormity of the gesture overwhelming her emotions. ‘It’ll be the Yule Ball all over again,’ Harry had said on their way to the Slytherin party. ‘You wore that beautiful gown . . . and Draco just stood by the punch bowl and drooled . . . You didn’t know? He’s liked you for ages, ‘Mione. Really liked you.’

 

And now I’m wearing it for him. She imagined Draco’s face when she arrived tonight and grinned happily. I’m going to knock his socks off. And then every other article of his clothing. It took a few tries, but finally her hair was pinned up in a semblance of the style she’d worn to that dance. Rune shields in place, she stepped into the dress and a pair of pretty heels and surveyed herself critically in the mirror. That snake won’t know what hit him, she thought smugly. The gown, which had been so demure four years ago, now hugged the slender curves she’d since developed and dipped low over her rounder, rune-marked breasts.

 

I’m going to make Draco Malfoy drool and act like the nineteen-year-old man he is. Turning to leave, she realized she had completely forgotten undergarments of any kind and paused, torn between the pleasing possibilities of either choice. In the end she compromised, blushing as she slipped into a dark green thong that made her yelp in surprise as it snugged into place.

 

Her Apparition to the corridor outside the library was successful, but an uncontrollable flutter in the region of her heart had her pausing to lean heavily against the doors as waves of nerves and anticipation inundated her. Sweet Circe, there’s nothing and no one to stop us . . .

Tonight she and Draco would begin as they always did, drawn together by their intense mutual attraction; they would shyly dance around each other, until eventually the heat of their desire burned through their insecurities. And then . . . And then they would be free to do as they wanted. That was all the motivation she needed to wrench open one heavy library door and seek out her young husband.

 

The library was dark save for a few wall-mounted torches and the light of the moon, which streamed through the glass-domed ceiling and illuminated the place in a surreal glow. Hermione walked quickly over the heavy carpets of the main floor to a spiral staircase at the back of the immense chamber, wondering if the click click of her heels on the stone steps had already alerted Draco to her approach. At the top of the stairs she paused, looking around. ‘At the back of third floor’, he’d said, ‘in the philosophy of magic section’. Hermione finally found it, rounding the last occluding bookshelf and stopping short at the moonlit scene before her.

 

He sat sprawled in a low leather chair by the leaded windows, a brilliant-cut crystal glass dangling from his large hand, staring out into the night. His head lay against the back of the chair as he slouched elegantly, long legs stretched out at graceful angles. The moon’s pure light cast his noble features in a study of light and shadow, and Draco could easily have been an angel carved in palest marble. He sat as if frozen by some spell.

 

Heart still aflutter, Hermione tiptoed over the carpets with which the alcove was strewn, eyes fixed on her wizard. He looked as though he’d dressed up and then done something that required the removal of a few layers; his white linen dress shirt was tucked into dark grey wool trousers, but his tie hung loosely around his unbuttoned collar, and his robes and waistcoat were draped over the arm of the chair. His hair was slightly windblown, too. All in all, the effect was quite rakish, but she recognized in Draco the prince of every one of her mother’s fairy tales. Only much, much sexier. Swoon. A familiar tendril of desire unfurled deep in her gut.

 

When she was within ten feet of him, her marble angel came to life, tipping the contents of the glass into his mouth and swallowing it with a grimace. Then he caught sight of her and rose smoothly to his feet, the heavy glass falling to the carpet with a tonal tunnnnnnng. The spell was broken. “Hermione.” The moonlight gleamed on his pale skin and hair and darkened his eyes to flashing quicksilver. Draco paused to rub his palms against the legs of his trousers in a nervous sort of way and then closed the distance between them, bowing over her proffered hand and pressing a gentle kiss to it.

 

Hermione noticed the hand gripping hers was slightly damp, and suddenly his drink had context. Draco’s as nervous as I am. The insight made her gaze up at him tenderly as she squeezed his fingers. Then she left him briefly to retrieve the glass still lying behind him on the carpet. Holding it up, she gently teased, “For courage, Mr. Malfoy?”

 

They had unconsciously moved into each other’s arms at some point, and when Draco leaned down toward her Hermione threw her arms around his neck. Unfortunately, she forgot about the heavy crystal glass in her hand and thumped it against his skull. She drew away in horror, and the object was dropped to the floor once more. “Draco, I’m so sorry!” He was bent over, hands clutching his head and shoulders shaking. Had she made her wizard cry? Oh, sweet Merlin, she’d given him another concussion! “Please, please let me see!” Sweet Circe, don’t let him be brain damaged. She pried at his fingers, looking for signs of her careless assault on his beautiful person.

 

Draco dodged all her attempts and finally stood to his full height, only to expose the fact that he was shaking with laughter. “If you could have seen your face, sweetheart,” he gasped, wiping his eyes.

 

“You idiot! I thought I’d brained you,” she replied with a huff that was both amused and relieved. “Hang on, let me try again.” Laughing, Hermione leaned down to pick up the glass again when a choked sound emanating from her wizard stopped her. She glanced up.

 

“Hermione?” Molten eyes poured over her gown as hands traced the sheer fluttery sleeves. “Is this . . .” Her husband brushed a finger along the low neckline and spoke in a low, husky voice. “Oh, sweetheart-“ He broke off abruptly and kissed her. His mouth moved against hers reverently at first, and when she responded in kind, he pushed his tongue between her lips with a low groan. Push, pull, push, pull. He gripped her hip with one large, warm hand and spanned her bare upper back with the other, tethering her against his hard torso.

 

Hermione wound her arms around Draco’s neck and wove her fingers through his soft hair, holding him in place as best she could. Her body thrummed with pleasure and her imagination began mass-producing incendiary images: of Draco teasing her body, of him bare-chested and sweating and moving above her; of her wrapped around him tightly, arching in pleasure and crying out his name. She moaned into his mouth.

 

When they broke apart to breathe, she opened her eyes to find that during that eye-crossing kiss he’d backed her against a wall, hiked the skirts of her gown, and lifted her in his arms. How on earth didn’t I notice that? At some point her legs had wrapped like vines around his waist, and his erection was now rubbing against every nerve ending between her legs. She gasped at the gratifying pressure.

 

His nose was resting against her cheek, his mouth moving against her jaw. “You just fulfilled about seven of my fantasies.” He moved against her again, glancing up with a smug look when she gasped again. “Suffice to say they involve the Princess of Gryffindor and this dress.   Save for one,” here he tightened his grip of her arse and then smoothed one hand over the bare skin of one buttock. “Which features her in a thong.” Moving his mouth to the corner of her mouth, he murmured, “Have mercy, little witch.”

 

I don’t think he’s nervous any more. Hermione turned her face in an attempt to capture his lips, and they shared one more push-pull of lips and tongues before he disentangled their limbs with obvious reluctance and set her on her feet. “We need to stop before we get carried away.” At her growl of disapproval he continued with a grin, “This is our first real date; you only ever get one of those. No more anything until after dinner.” He seemed to regret his decree almost immediately, though, because he gave a spectacular grimace.

 

 

Hermione opened her mouth to argue that the date would be even better if they added liberal amounts of sex just as the covenant stirred uneasily within her. Pausing to analyze that feeling, she leaned her head against Draco’s chest and thought hard. You don’t think that’s a good idea? Why wouldn’t Draco want that? It’s not like he needs to be careful with me; it’s not my first time- here a feeling of caution prickled over her, and a lightning bolt of realization struck her. But it’s his. And it should be every bit as perfect as mine was; not a quickie up against the wall. I promise not to rush him. Within her, the covenant purred and settled back into its customary quiet, vigilant state. Although I’d like to try that position . . . She lifted her head and smiled at her handsome husband. “Are you going to woo me, Mr. Malfoy?”

 

He gave her a smoldering look. “I am, Mrs. Malfoy, and you’re not going to know what hit you.” The statement went straight to the apex of her legs and, strangely enough, her knees, which buckled. Luckily Draco caught her in his arms, a devilish smirk on his handsome face. “Swooning already? But I haven’t yet begun.” At her roll of the eyes he gave a happy, boyish laugh and offered his arm gallantly. “Will you join me for dinner?”

 

He could have asked her if she was ready to take an unscheduled quiz and she would have answered to the affirmative, although she wouldn’t dare admit that given his current smug state. Still, the confidence suited him; it made the corners of his eyes crinkle and caused his mouth to quirk in a way that practically mandated it be kissed. Hermione took his arm with a smirk of her own. “You’re very cocky tonight, Mr. Malfoy.” And I like it. Even if you are a big tease.

 

They rounded a bookshelf to find an indoor picnic, laid out in a cozy sitting area and lit by numerous candelabra floating in the air above their heads. There was a large hamper brimming with food, a silver ice bucket holding an uncorked bottle of champagne, and a portable wizarding wireless set playing soft music. Swoon. She looked between the romantic scene and her husband’s hopeful expression several times, her mouth breaking into a soft smile. “Oh, Draco.”

 

The blond wizard led her to the blanket and guided her to sit, following suit. “I have every reason to be cocky; you’re here, aren’t you?” As she curled into his side, he poured two flutes of the bubbly drink and offered her one. He leaned toward her with glowing eyes, and for a brief second it looked as though Draco was going to kiss her. Then he seemed to catch himself. He straightened, took a sip of his champagne, and turned to the picnic hamper. “Besides, I have Courtenay’s Tretise.”

 

Hermione gave a throaty moan of pleasure and all but crawled into his lap. “You read, and I’ll feed us both.” Then without waiting for him to agree, she began filling a plate with food.

 

They ate their meal in each other’s arms while Draco read aloud from the promised eleventh century translation, squirming each time his Wife’s hand strayed along his inner thigh. In his defense, his voice never wavered and he paused only to eat the morsels she lifted to his mouth.

 

Hermione quickly discovered she was completely disinterested in an academic pursuit for the first time in . . . well, since the last time Draco had distracted her. She tried to focus, but the honeyed tones of his cultivated, husky voice falling on her ear sent desire curling along every nerve ending in her body. And no matter how she moved, the heady, masculine scent of Draco enveloped her. Best – and worst – of all, her gut pulsed in time to the syllables rolling off her husband’s silver tongue. Finally she raised a finger to his well-shaped mouth, effectively silencing him. “Did you bring a bookmark?”

 

If she was expecting him to look disappointed, she was wrong. Draco nipped at her finger and set down the vellum parchment. “Are you having difficulty concentrating, too?”

 

“Just a bit,” she agreed breathlessly. Remembering her promise to the covenant, she added, “Maybe it’s time for dessert.” She turned to the picnic hamper, resolutely ignoring the fact that Draco’s eyes temporarily clouded over at her unfortunate choice of words.

 

Dessert turned out to be a brutal test of will: strawberries and cream. Hermione sat transfixed as Draco swallowed thickly, dipped a large berry in cream and then sugar, and pushed it between her lips. His dark eyes never left her mouth as she chewed and swallowed the sweet mouthful and then quickly licked the sugar from her lips.

 

In an attempt to break the intensity of the moment, she reached for a strawberry and blurted, “My turn.”

 

Draco caught her hand in a firm grip, shaking his head when she stopped to look up at him. “I’m not done,” he said in a hoarse voice.

 

Six strawberries later, Hermione was dying from the sheer sensuality of the act. Especially because I have to behave, she thought wryly. Finally she couldn’t resist giving him a taste of his own, albeit unconscious, medicine: she bit into the strawberry, held the piece of fruit between her lips, and then leaned to press her mouth to Draco’s own, pushing the morsel between his lips with her tongue. She smirked at his momentary confusion, only realizing the extent of her mistake several seconds later when she found herself pinned beneath his bigger, stronger body on the picnic blanket. Oops. Rational thought quickly fled, then, because Draco was kissing her again.

 

Less than a minute later he’d worked her gown up and was running a hand up her inner thigh, when he pulled away to look down at her, evidence of some internal war written all over his face. He sighed and removed his questing hand, using it to scrub his face briskly. “The date isn’t over yet,” he said as if to himself. Then, rising gracefully to his feet and tugging her up with him, he headed back toward the alcove from which they’d started.

 

Hermione’s body was thrumming with want once again, but she smiled up at her husband with understanding. “What’s next?”

 

 

Draco simply released her hand and walked to the window, which he unlatched and opened. Stepping onto the low sill, he turned with a mischievous smirk and grabbed hold of her, pulling her abruptly into his arms and falling backward out of the window.

 

It was her worst nightmare come true, and Hermione shrieked as she kicked and fought against her husband’s hold. Mere seconds after the free-fall had begun, however, it stopped in a muffled, anticlimactic sort of way. Beneath her Draco gave a somewhat gratifying groan of pain, and she pushed out of his arms to look around. “What in Circe’s name . . .?”

 

Her husband was currently curled in a ball, clutching his groin in misery. He managed to groan, “Flying carpet.”

 

Eyes squeezed shut, Hermione wrapped her arms around him comfortingly. “I’m sorry if I hurt you.” She couldn’t help herself and added, “But it’s your own dumb fault for pulling that prank.”

 

Draco laughed feebly. “Worth it.”

 

She started to swat his shoulder and then thought better of it. Instead, she slipped her hand under his, pressing her palm to his now flaccid penis. “I don’t suppose a healing charm would help?”

 

He groaned again and managed to sit up, trapping her hand with his. “I’ll be fine in a few minutes if you leave your hand where it is.”

 

She laughed and leaned against his shoulder, doing just as he suggested. “Oh, Draco! Where are we going?”

 

“Where would you like to go, Princess?” Draco leaned down and pressed a kiss to her mouth. “Your wish is my command.”

 

Hermione had always secretly detested the silly title bestowed on her by her classmates, but now it seemed altogether fitting. After all, I’ve married the prince. She gave a goofy grin. “Errrr.” Really, it would have been ridiculous to attempt more complex syllables than that, because even clutching his testicles Draco Malfoy was slowly killing her brain cells with his sex appeal.

 

Taking her noncommittal sound as an answer, he replied, “Very well, then, the river.”

 

The carpet moved away from the Manor slowly, and it was so unlike the swift, erratic movements of a broom that Hermione began to relax almost at once. “I think I could get used to this mode of travel. It’s wonderful.” And it was; for once, she felt perfectly safe high in the air.

 

Draco chuckled in her ear and pulled her closer. He seemed to be recovering quickly from his mishap. “This one has been in the family for a thousand years,” Draco said in an amused tone. “An ancestor of ours acquired it. I think Muggles tell part of the tale, actually; have you heard of Baba Yaga and foolish Ivan?”

 

“It’s Russian folklore; go on.” Hermione relaxed yet further, stretching out her legs in front of her on the large carpet. They had rounded the side of the Manor and were passing over the formal garden now, where Albus and his peahens were roosting on the stone balustrade overlooking the lower fields.

 

He smirked. “Actually, his name was Vivian Malfoy, and he was the only Malfoy wizard ever to be sorted into a House other than Slytherin.” Leaning low, he muttered, “Gryffindor.” At her indelicate snort, he continued in a normal tone of voice, “He liked adventure and taking things that didn’t belong to him. He stole this rug, among other things, and Malfoys weren’t welcome in Russia until the fifteenth century.”

 

Under her hand, Draco seemed to be returning to his usual aroused state, so she slipped her fingers out from under his and wrapped them around his arm. It was difficult enough to ignore her own growing physical desire, and she was trying desperately to let this evening play out as Draco had so carefully planned it.

 

Draco made an unhappy noise, but the effect was ruined by his grin. “You seem to have a magic touch, little witch.”

 

Below them the world glittered in shades of moonlit silver. Hermione scooted bravely over to carpet’s edge to look at the fields beneath them, soaking in the dream-like ambiance. My first real date, and it’s been perfect. For me at least; Draco might have a few bruises.

 

They were approaching their destination now. It lay before them, a rippling ribbon of moonbeam. Slowly, slowly the carpet sank through the air until it was flying inches from the water, which became louder the closer they came to it. Now the river babbled its secrets in its strange, wet, tongue as if wanting nothing more than to be understood; and for one brief instant, Hermione wondered if even the water on this estate might be sentient. Then she was distracted by the blond wizard beside her, and the thought was gone as swiftly as the river running beneath them.

 

Draco twined his fingers with Hermione’s and urged her lie down on her stomach beside him, face hanging over the edge of the carpet. He turned expectantly as he dropped his fingers into the water.

 

The Malfoy Wife followed suit, laughing in delight at the fine spray thrown up into her face. Leaning her head on her husband’s shoulder, she confided, “I love water.” She felt more than saw her husband nod.

 

Her murmured into her curls, “That’s the Slytherin in you.”

 

I don’t have a Slytherin in me. Yet. She turned with a grin, tipping up her chin to offer him her mouth in silent supplication.

 

Draco let go of her hand to wrap his around her shoulders, and he lifted his other from the water to cup her cheek lovingly. When his lips met hers, they were warm, soft, and worshipful. It was without doubt the most romantic kiss they’d ever shared and Hermione was in danger of melting into a puddle of goo and sliding right off the carpet into the river, when Draco broke away and spoke against her mouth. “I want to be with you, Hermione. Will you come to my bed tonight?”

 

“Yes, Draco” she sighed against his lips, and the words morphed into more kisses as her mouth formed them. The moon continued gilding the world in silver light, the river murmured its wet secrets, and the flying carpet glided on, but these trivial details were lost to the two lovers. When they returned to the Manor, and how they made it to Draco’s room unSplinched would remain mysteries for all but the magic carpet and the covenant, but that is exactly where they found themselves a short time later.

 

When Hermione realized they were no longer floating above the river in a spectacular lip-lock, she stepped away from Draco and looked around at what was obviously his bedroom.

 

The room was every bit as colossal and windowed as Lucius’ had been, but bore no resemblance to it apart from that. There were no drapes to block the bright moon, and every inch of the space was illuminated in that surreal light. A colossal bed of heavy, dark wood dominated one long wall, and an equally imposing fireplace bracketed by towering bookshelves took up the one opposite. Between them was a seating area with a couch and long, low table, which was piled high with books.

 

The details of the room became irrelevant, however, when Draco slipped his arms around her from behind and pressed his lips to her shoulder. “Hermione,” he breathed against the skin of her neck.

 

The young Wife made a quiet noise of pleasure as she stroked her fingers over the arms holding her so tightly. This is it. A pleasant buzz of anticipation began spreading through her body.

 

He kissed her cheek. “I want to give you something before I forget.”

 

Hermione grimaced before she turned to look up at her husband. I only want you. Preferably now. She opened her mouth to say just that when she saw the expression of boyish excitement on his face. “All right,” she laughed. But I’ll wait.

 

He took her by the hand, leading her across the room to a door. There he paused nervously. “If you don’t like it, I’ll understand-” He opened the door and led her into a very masculine version of her own dressing room, where two familiar, shaggy faces greeted her.

 

Hermione gave a small, startled jump. “Sweet Circe! What in Merlin’s name are Castor and Pollux doing in your dressing room, Draco?” The two gigantic dogs lounged by a couch, tongues hanging out of their mouths, and seemed to be laughing at her in the very nicest of ways.

 

“They’ve been keeping your present company since he arrived Wednesday morning.” Just then there was a tiny sound from somewhere between the hounds and an accompanying orange flash of movement. “That’s him now.”

 

“What on earth was that?” She walked toward Castor and Pollux and sank down to her knees near their huge heads. “What are you two hiding?” She asked, looking between their intelligent faces. The dogs still looked amused, so Hermione cautiously leaned closer, searching through their sprawl of shaggy limbs and bodies. From the corner of her eye, she saw Draco come and kneel down beside her.

 

There was another mewl from somewhere near by, and it jarred an old memory loose: one of a bandy-legged, smooshed-face familiar who had warmed her feet and kept her company through years of lonely nights. Suddenly a small orange thing popped out from under a large canine leg and pinned her with its yellow gaze.

 

“It’s a-” Hermione couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence as the fuzzy little creature mewled again. She scooped it up, alternating her intense gaze between Draco and the tiny Kneazle. Tears pricked at her eyes. “What . . . what did you . . . what is this?”

 

Draco was looking at her in that solemn way of his that made her heart pause before the next beat. “It’s a Kneazle. For you.”

 

“Well, obviously! Nevertheless, what were you . . .” She was distracted by a string of thoughts. Draco had this all planned out, just like Harry said. What was it like for him, she wondered, to have watched her from afar for so long, wanting to show his feelings in ways just like this? Even now, he was trying desperately not to chase her away with his attentions. As if that would be possible. The little ball of fur bit down on her thumb with vigor.

 

“I remembered the one who kept you company at school, and thought . . .” He trailed off earnestly and looked down at his hands, which were clamped into white-knuckled fists. “Hermione, I’m so sorry if I’ve upset you. At the time it seemed like a very good idea, and-“

 

Halfway through his explanation, Hermione set the Kneazle back down on the floor and flung herself at her younger husband, who toppled backward under the assault. Sprawled across his body, she pressed her mouth to his with a sob, and the proceeded to cover the rest of his face with similar kisses. “Draco,” she breathed against the pale skin of his cheek. “My sweet, thoughtful, wonderful wizard. Thank you.” She repeated that last part over and over again as she dried a few tears on the unbuttoned collar of his shirt. Draco bought me a little Kneazle simply because he wanted to make me happy.

 

He looked up at her with a look of utter bewilderment. “I am . . . confused. Are you upset or happy?”

 

“Very, very happy.” Hermione gave a gasping laugh against his shoulder.

 

Draco looked tremendously relieved. “I did well?”

 

Hermione hummed in happiness and nodded, leaning down for a lingering kiss. “You did very well.” She propped herself up on his chest and stared down at her thoughtful young husband admiringly. “He’s lovely.” So are you.

 

His happy smile morphed into a smug smirk, and he trailed his large hands up and down her sides several times, each time lengthening the stroke until his thumbs were brushing the shields covering her rune-marked breasts. He turned his head and addressed the hounds, never taking his eyes from his Wife. “I don’t suppose you fellows have somewhere better to be.”

 

Out of the corner of her eye she saw Castor and Pollux heave themselves up to stand, one with the Kneazle dangling from its huge maw by the nape of its neck. As they passed through to the outer room, Hermione could have sworn she heard them snicker. Then she was distracted by her husband, who had pulled her down to kiss her senseless.

 

Time slowed in the dressing room as a sweet, aching desire thickened the very air. Eventually their hungry mouths broke apart for air, and beneath her palm Draco’s heart stuttered. He was looking up at her with an odd expression, hands wrapped tightly around her waist. “You’re here.”

 

Hermione raised a hand to his face and traced its beautiful lines. “Where else would I be?”

 

In a swift movement, he rolled them over so that it was he who was looking down at her, and his expression was one of wonder. “I hoped, and I remained faithful to that hope, but it seemed like an impossible dream, Hermione. And now you’re here, in my room. You’re my Wife.” His voice had dropped to a reverent whisper that matched the soft light in his eyes. Draco suddenly blinked rapidly and looked away, swallowing audibly. When he turned back to her concerned gaze, his eyes were wet and his smiling lips trembled. “This must be a dream.”

 

“If this were a dream I’d undoubtedly be naked,” Hermione quipped, drawing him down into her arms, “but just to make sure, I’ll pinch you.” She attempted to do just that, but the skin of his side was stretched tight over lean muscle and in the end all she managed was to make him flinch. Draco’s ticklish. She filed that piece information away for later and kissed the tip of his nose.

 

The curly-haired witch stroked her fingers through her sweetheart’s hair, waiting for him to master the powerful emotions he was experiencing. So many layers to both of my wizards, she mused, and at their very core they’re both the most sensitive men I’ve ever met. The idea made her smile happily. What a lucky witch am I, to be loved and wooed by the Malfoy men. That thought was accompanied by a lightning bolt of realization, and she sat up abruptly. And now it’s my turn to do the wooing.

 

Draco was looking at her in worry. “Is there something wrong?” It seemed to overcome his other emotions, and he sat up with a frown. “Are you all right, little witch?”

 

“Absolutely not,” she grinned, clambering to her feet. “I believe we agreed to dance on our wedding day, and since you went and broke your thick skull that didn’t happen.” She offered him her hand, marveling once again at the difference in their sizes when he rose to his full height and loomed above her. “You owe me a dance, husband.”

 

Draco’s eyes shone in comprehension. “In that case, I’d like to settle my debt.”   He tightened his grip of her hand and yanked her all the way to his bedroom, pausing only long enough to turn on a wizarding wireless set on one bookshelf. He led her to the wall of windows, turning to her with an elated smile stretching his well-shaped mouth. Then, drawing her against him and wrapping one arm around her waist, he led her in their first dance.

 

The popular wizarding love song playing could have been written exactly for this moment; words of tender longing and a lovely melody floated around them, intensifying the romantic mood. Hermione leaned her head against Draco’s chest, inhaling her favorite scent as their bodies moved in the ebb and flow of the dance. Why was I in such a rush for sex tonight? Every part of this evening has been like a piece of a slowly built puzzle, and now they’ve all fit together to make this perfect moment. “This was the best first date I could ever have imagined, Draco. Thank you.” She felt his fingers tugging gently at her hair and guessed he was unpinning it.

 

“I’ve had a long time to plan it,” he answered quietly. “Years, in fact.” Now he was combing through her unbound curls as he spoke against the top of her head. “I still can’t believe you’re wearing this gown. It’s my favorite dream come true.”

 

The tender words, spoken in that soft, husky voice of his caused her heartstrings to flutter once more. This is first love, she thought. Uncertainty on both our parts, but so much sweetness. And desire. They’d stopped dancing at the end of that first song, and now she flung her arms around his neck, balancing on tiptoe to maintain her hold. It caused her head to tip back, bringing her eyes to meet his, and she gave him a goofy grin. “Hmmmm.” Woo accomplished.

 

Draco didn’t smile back; he smoldered. His eyes burned down on her, scorching her skin wherever they glanced. “You’re so lovely, Hermione.” His voice flowed over her warm and low. So did his hands, which traced the lines and curves of her torso and pulled her impossibly closer to him. “Have you any idea how much I want you?” His clever fingers found the fastener of her gown, and he looked down at her as if asking permission to continue.

 

This is it. Finally! She exhaled in relief. “I want you, too.” And now I’m going to spontaneously combust. The want that had hummed throughout her body all evening was beginning to pulse in her core, and she squirmed against him in pleasant agony.

 

Was she on fire? As Draco lowered the zipper on her gown Hermione felt tiny flames erupt wherever he touched, rising in heat and intensity until they burned below the surface and spread through her body like Fiendfyre. With each kiss they shared, his lips and tongue burned against hers until she was sure smoke was pouring from her ears.

 

He ran his mouth across her cheek to the sensitive spot below her ear as his fingers moved along the newly bared skin of her back. “Merlin, you smell good. It’s been driving me crazy all night. You’re all soft, warm girl and bubbles. Did you take a bath this evening?”

 

Hermione moaned at the combined sensations of his hands and mouth and pushed into his chest. “Mmhmmm.”   She scrabbled at the buttons of his shirt, impatiently pushing it off his shoulders. When he stood before her, bared to the waist except for his tie, she pulled away to watch as she ran her fingers over the muscles of his upper torso in fascination. And spent the entire time imagining you in your Quidditch trousers.

 

“That’s something I’ve imagined regularly.” He caught her mouth in a brief, hungry kiss, “You’re not leaving here until I see you in my tub.”

 

Quidditch had gently sculpted him, dividing his body into pleasing groups of defined muscles. Hermione followed the dips and bumps of his shoulders and chest, cataloguing them in her mind. Deltoids. Pectorals. Abdominals. Obliques. “Whatever you want,” she replied absently. Her fingers ran over his nipples and on down to dip under the waistline of his trousers and when she felt him shudder, she did it again.

 

At those words he went rigid under her touch, transforming before her eyes from sweet, cautious Draco to his cocky, confident alter ego. “Whatever I want?” He caught her hands in one of his. “Oh, little witch.” Draco ran his fingers along the fluttery sleeves of her gown, leaning low to press his mouth against her shoulder as he slid them down her arms. He sank down on his knees in front of her, slowly exposing her to the moonlight. When at last Hermione stood before him in nothing more than a pair of pretty heels and a Slytherin green thong, he groaned. “This. This is what I want.” Then he stood, swung her up in his arms, and strode to his bed.

 

He set her down on her feet and leaned past her to pull down the bedding, stopping her when she started to slip off her shoes. “Those stay on.” Then, with a firm shove, he sent her backward onto his bed and looked down at her with heavy-lidded eyes. “Don’t move a muscle. I’m memorizing every glorious inch of the moment Hermione Jean Malfoy first lay in my bed.”

 

She looked up at him from where she lay sprawled over the grey silk sheets, head and shoulders propped up on the pillows. So many emotions had passed through her in the past few hours, but Hermione’s reaction to this sudden shift in her husband was by far the strongest and most primal. In that moment, as he bent over her oozing pure, undiluted sex, two things happened: first, she felt a gush of arousal flood her knickers, and then she reached up, grabbed hold of Draco’s tie, and yanked him down on top of her.

 

He caught the majority of his weight on his forearms and pressed his mouth to hers with a deep moan as one of his hands cupped a breast. “I’ve spent the last two hours trying not to think about the fact that you were wearing these under that dress.” He traced the filigreed sunburst shield with his fingers. “Circe above, but you look unbelievably hot in them.” He kissed her again, pushing his tongue past her lips aggressively and then pulling back to murmur, “As much as I like them, and I do like them very, very much, they need to come off. Now. They’re keeping me from touching you.”

 

“Oh, mother of all magic, YES.” She wriggled her hands between their torsos and unclipped the shields immediately, gasping in pleasure when his lips closed around one erect peak and his fingers found the other. “Dra-a-a-a-c-o-o-o!”

 

What had been sweet and wanting less than five minutes before morphed into immediate need and demand. Suddenly there was too much space, too much fabric, too much everything between them, and there ensued a frenzy of frantic noise and movement. Hermione’s feet kicked off her shoes as her hands sought out Draco’s tie and belt, shucking them all off with fierce determination.

 

Draco alternated his attention between her two breasts, holding his weight above her with the arm he had wrapped under her hips, his hand palming her backside in a fierce grip. The fingers of his free hand rubbed over the crotch of her satin knickers, causing her to buck into his touch. “Such a sweet, wet witch I have in my bed, and so ready for me.” he moved up to her mouth, nipping at her bottom lip, “You’ve soaked right through these pretty knickers.” He nudged apart her legs and knelt between them, tugging off the tiny garment as he continued to kiss her silly.

 

Hermione took this opportunity to sit up and unfasten his trousers, closing her fingers around his hard shaft where it strained against his boxers. She was gratified to feel her wizard gasp mid-kiss. Then the tables turned on her again as Draco pushed her back to the bed. He settled down in the cradle of her hips eagerly, but she resisted, arguing against his lips, “Clothes off.”

 

Draco, who had been in the process of hiking her leg around his waist, pulled back from her swollen mouth just enough to catch her gaze with his and growl, “No.” He moved his lips to her neck, where he began sucking and biting that tender flesh. “No more rules.” He maneuvered his boxers down with one hand and pushed the tip of his cock against her opening. “No more waiting.” Then he pushed forward, entering her in one smooth, long stroke. “Nnnnnnngh!”

 

Hermione squeezed her eyes shut with a loud groan as every nerve ending along her seam pulsed from the exquisite resistance. Her body was so painfully aroused that every slight movement threatened to send her over the edge. She arched her pelvis up against his and braced one foot at the back of his corresponding knee to keep him exactly where she wanted him.

 

Draco looked as though he were in agony. “Fuck, Hermione! Fuck, fuck, fuck . . . I can’t . . .” Shaking his head and clenching his teeth, he muttered, “McGonagall and Fudge skinny-dipping. Sprout and Flitwick shagging. Dumbledore snogging an even older wizard.” He gave a gasp of relief. “Oh, thank Merlin. That’s better.”

 

Move,” she whispered urgently, pressing her hands against his lower back to bring him in even closer contact with her. “For Circe’s sake, Draco, move!” Already the walls of her channel were fluttering around him, and she bucked her hips in frantic search of more friction.

 

That was all the encouragement he seemed to need, because at her words Draco groaned and began moving in slow, measured thrusts. Push, pull, push, pull. His arms managed to envelop her completely without actually crushing her, and his hands clutched her shoulder and arse respectively. Words dripped from his beautiful mouth, alternately sweet and filthy, crooned in his soft, husky voice. “Spread your legs wider for me, pretty witch. I need to be inside you even deeper.”

 

Beneath his sweating body, Hermione complied with a purr of approval.   “Mother of . . . keep talking!” She clawed at his lower back in an attempt to bring them even closer together.

 

“You feel so good wrapped around my cock, Princess,” he murmured through clenched teeth, pumping in and out of her faster now. “So much better than I ever imagined. So fucking perfect.” Eyes stormy and face flushed, he bent down and pressed his mouth to hers for a brief, uncoordinated kiss that was broken by the force of his next thrust. “Nnnnngh!”

 

 

It was coming; she could feel it beginning even as Draco ground out her name in an anguished tone. And then she was falling off a metaphorical cliff, choking out sounds of pleasure and losing her death-grip on her husband as blinding lights and silent explosions rocked her body.

 

For a brief second Draco lay heavily on top of her, panting in her ear. Then he pushed up onto his forearms and looked down at her in a state of euphoria that seemed equal to her own. He slid out of her, his arms never relinquishing their tight hold. “So that’s what all the fuss is about. That was incredible.”

 

Hermione smiled blissfully. “It was amazing.” She raised a floppy hand to his forehead, wiping at a bead of perspiration. The action drew her attention to their overall sweaty state, and she shifted beneath him. “We should shower before we ruin the sheets.”

 

“Oh, sweetheart,” Draco’s smirk was wicked as he responded in a dark, sinful voice, “That was a practice round; it didn’t even count. We’ve only just begun.”

KeyBackKeyNext