Chapter Seventy-Five: Saturday Night

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.

 

Hermione pushed playfully at her husband’s chest even as her legs wrapped around him yet tighter. A familiar shape was already returning to its long, hard glory against her thigh. “Oh, really?” She raised a challenging eyebrow and just barely managed to swallow her smirk. He really is a superior wizard. It must be a family trait.

 

Draco regarded her smugly and rolled sideways, pulling Hermione with him so that she ended up straddling his hips with a small yelp of surprise. He looked up at her with an admiring expression and then dropped his eyes to her bare chest. “Of course.” He raised his hands to stroke the curves of her breasts, cupping their slight weight in his palms as he pushed his hips up to hers. “Merlin, but you’re gorgeous.”

 

Hermione looked down at the wizard beneath her. Even with only the moonlight to illuminate the room, she could see his face was lightly flushed and still damp with sweat from their previous exertions. Draco’s pale hair was mussed, his lips were swollen, and his eyes regarded her with heavy-lidded appreciation. Her heart sped up at the sight. So are you, she thought possessively. And you’re entirely too cocky sometimes. “I wish I could say the same about you; you’re a mess.” She flicked his ear gently. “And who’s to say I want more than a practice round?” I like it.

 

Draco flexed his large hands over the lush orbs of flesh he was holding and began stroking his thumbs over their tight peaks. He was watching her closely with a small, knowing smirk on his face that spread as she arched into his touch and gasped involuntarily. He released one breast and took hold of a handful of her hair, pulling her down for a voracious kiss. “You’re in my bed, and I plan to take full advantage of the fact. I’ll accept my grade after this round.” His hand stayed tangled in her curls, holding her close. “Perhaps I’ll give you one, too.”

 

She pushed away as much as she could against his strong hold, one hand splayed against the muscles of his broad, pale chest. “You know,” she teased, “You’re entirely too self-assured at times, you troll.”

 

Draco moved so quickly that Hermione had no time to react. In the space of a second he caught both of her wrists in a tight grip and rolled them back over. Now he loomed over her again, this time holding her hands firmly above her head. He grinned down at her. “So far tonight you’ve called me an idiot, a troll, and said I had a thick skull. Your romantic vocabulary needs work, sweetheart.” Left hand still holding hers firmly in place, he slid his right slowly down so that his long fingers spanned between her breasts. Seconds later he resumed his attention to them. Then, dipping his mouth down to hers, he murmured, “Shall I tutor you in how to speak to your husband?” He settled his hips between hers.

 

She arched automatically into his touch.Absolutely not,” she giggled. The combination of the attention to what Hermione was now internally calling his rune and the reemergence of his sexy, cocky side was deadly, but she resisted the urge to surrender immediately. She liked this dominant Draco who was staring down at her lustfully, and she wanted their game to continue as long as possible. And if I’m lucky, filthy-mouthed Draco will come out to play. That last thought sent a shiver of pure anticipation running down her spine. “Drac-o-o-o-o-h,” she moaned even as she bucked against his hold. The movement intensified the feel of his erection pressed along her seam, and she moaned again.

 

He had begun plucking at her nipples, and now he slid down her body enough to nip at one with his lips. “Mmmm-mmm. You can do better than that, little witch.” He glanced up at her, eyes shining in the moonlight. “I think I’ll keep you just like this until you say something nice to me.”

 

Hermione struggled to free her hands, trying desperately to keep her expression clear of the arousal now coursing through her system. It thrummed low in her gut, radiating to every nerve ending. “Oh, no! Your head is far too big already,” she laughed shakily. “And that’s extortion!”

 

Draco looked at her speculatively for a moment. Suddenly his gaze shot sideways, and then he turned back to grin at her wolfishly. “Oh, little witch,” he chuckled as he reached for something beside them on the bed with his free hand. He held up his discarded tie and made a show of bringing it slowly up to where he held her hands above her head. “That’s what happens when you lie down with snakes.” He knotted one end of the long piece of silk around her wrists and then attached the other end to the headboard with a wandless Sticking Charm. He looked at her closely, pausing as if seeking her approval to continue. When she unsuccessfully tried to bite back a grin, he seemed satisfied.

 

As Hermione gave a few experimental tugs against her bonds, Draco pushed up and moved to sit on his calves between her legs, and when she returned her attention to him she found him looking down at her triumphantly.

 

Pinned under his appraising gaze and separated from him by more distance than was comfortable, Hermione was suddenly aware of the vulnerability of her naked, relatively immobile situation, regardless of the current atmosphere. Trapped thus, it didn’t matter that they’d already been intimate, and that he’d seen every inch of her. She squirmed uncomfortably and looked away from her husband.

 

He seemed to understand immediately. Returning to his previous position hovering inches above her, he released the tie and gathered her in his arms, tipping her chin so that their eyes met. His were ablaze with remorse. “I’m sorry, Hermione,” he whispered. “I wasn’t thinking clearly.”

 

My sweet, sensitive Draco. You’re every bit as vulnerable as I was just a few seconds ago. The awkward moment was gone as quickly as it had reared its head, and she wrapped her limbs around him in a reassuring squeeze. “Oh, Draco,” she whispered back. “Don’t apologize. I . . . I liked what we were doing.” She hesitated, feeling foolish for ruining their game. “And I’d very much like to do it again.” And hand of Merlin, it’s true: I want to be tied up, spanked, and whatever else you and Lucius can think up. Unbidden erotic images flooded her mind suddenly, causing her core to throb almost painfully.

 

“Just not tonight,” he clarified, relief washing over his handsome face. He brushed his lips against hers several times in a row.

 

The sweetness of the gesture pierced Hermione’s heart, and she ran her fingers through his hair in an attempt to convey the feeling of deep tenderness welling up within her. “Just not right this second. If it’s all the same to you, I’d like to keep my options as open as possible,” she quipped after a moment, pulling him down for an eye-crossing kiss in an attempt to restore their previous mood. When they broke apart to breathe, she ventured, “I’ll say something nice about you, but only if you do that thing again.” When he looked at her blankly she took one of his hands and brought it with both of hers above her head. She gave him a lustful look. “Hold tight with your hand; I want to be able to struggle.”

 

Draco gave a deep groan. “You’re going to be the death of me, sweetheart.” He tightened his fingers around her wrists, never taking his eyes from hers. “Where were we?”

 

“I was lying down with a snake.” She hummed in satisfaction, pulling against his grip and arching up against his larger, broader body. “And I believe I was promised tutoring.”

 

He kissed her thoroughly again and murmured against the corner of her mouth, “I don’t wish to make you uncomfortable, but my idea of tutoring involves saying inappropriate things and bringing you to orgasm with my fingers.” He drew back slightly, evidently gauging her response. When all she could manage was a thick, throaty moan, he smirked. “Shall we begin?”

 

“Yes, please,” Hermione moaned.

 

Draco’s confidence seemed to be restored by her response, because the cocky edge returned to his husky, cultured tones. “I believe you have something to say to me first.” He ran his free hand down her shoulder and over her breast to tease its peak with the lightest of touches. When all she could do was push into his touch and gasp, he offered, “I’ll tell you what; I’ll give an example, and then you try.” At her frantic nod, he moved down her body and spoke against his rune. “Mrs. Malfoy, you have the prettiest breasts. I’ve been fantasizing about them for years.” He leaned down and pressed a lingering wet kiss to the tight nub he’d been teasing.

 

Hermione made a strangled sound and tried to pull him closer with the grip of her legs around his hips. She tugged at his hold and rocked her pelvis, seeking relief from the heavy pressure between her legs, but he had shifted down enough that there was none to be found at this angle. Her brain tried its best to perform the task she’d been given, but her mouth seemed to have forgotten how to articulate speech. Finally she managed, “Errrr . . . your hands.”

 

He lifted his head and shook it in a disapproving manner. “You can do better than that, Mrs. Malfoy.” His fingers drifted back to her tight peak and gave it a firm tug and twist. “Perhaps you need more help than I originally thought.” He began a steady rhythm of the same motions and alternated between breasts, all the while pinning her with his gaze. “Tits like yours were never meant to be covered. I want to find you topless in the library, reading some ancient tome by candlelight.” He groaned at his own words and thrust against her thigh.

 

“For the love of all that’s magic, please don’t stop,” she begged unashamedly.

 

He leaned down and ran his tongue over her nipple and then breathed, “I get hard just thinking about touching them. I could come just from sucking at them.”

 

His breath hit the wet flesh, drawing another agonized sound from Hermione, and then he lifted his head and shifted farther up her body so that their faces were aligned once more. “Your turn.” His hand drifted down her side, tracing intricate patterns in her skin.

 

She took a deep, shaky breath and tried to ignore the fact that her husband’s fingers were slowly making their way over her hip. She closed her eyes to shut out the vision of handsome, cocky Draco directly above her and stammered, “I love your hands. They’re . . .” She paused, thinking of what those hands were capable of. “Big, and beautiful, and gentle; I like the feel of your Quidditch callouses when you touch me.” The compliment was far easier to give that she’d imagined, given the blush-worthy images that were running through her head as she spoke those words.

 

They seemed to appease Draco, who dragged his fingertips through the trimmed curls covering her mound and dipped them between her lower lips. “Do you mean when I touch you like this?” His voice was hoarse, and he moved his mouth to speak against the skin beneath her ear. “I used to dream of doing this to you in the school library.”

 

“Sweet Mother of . . . Dra- . . . !” She babbled, moving her mouth restlessly over the fragrant skin of his jaw. It was something she enjoyed; surely Draco would enjoy it, too, she reasoned.

 

The occasional grunt he gave seemed linked directly to the actions of her lips and teeth. “Would you have liked that? I would imagine sitting down beside you as you studied at school; preferably in a corner where we wouldn’t be disturbed. Whispering in your ear. Unh. One arm wrapped around you, my hand up your jumper playing with your breasts, the other up your skirt with my fingers sliding through the wet folds between your legs. Mmmm.” His fingers were now doing just that at a slow, maddening tempo.

 

Hermione whimpered at the scenario he described and tried to move against his hand. “For Merlin’s sake, Draco. Don’t tease!” She jerked at his restraining hand several times and then asked out of lustful curiosity, “What would you have whispered?”

 

Draco teased her mouth with his, nipping at her lips and mimicking the movements of his fingers with his tongue, only to retreat too soon for her liking. He growled, “Every dirty thing you can imagine.” Then he moved his hand in such a way that his forefinger now circled the opening of her channel at the same time that his thumb made a similar path around her swollen clitoris.

 

She writhed beneath him as pleasure radiated outward from his touch and threatened to short-circuit her brain. Was she drooling? She swallowed thickly, tipping her head back and releasing a primal sound that somehow conveyed every remaining thought she possessed. He’s going to kill me. I’m going to die of teasing.

 

Draco’s answering chuckle was dark, and as thick as her audible swallow. “You’re so wet Princess; you’re running down my fingers.” He brought his hand up between their faces. “Do you see?” He inhaled deeply and ran his tongue up his glistening forefinger. “This is the sweetest compliment you can give me. I do this to you.”

 

Hermione nodded, aroused beyond reason at the simple act. “Yes!” Now get back to work!

 

Draco looked at her for a moment with heavy-lidded eyes, and then he wiped his wet fingers over her mouth. No sooner had he finished the quick, unexpected gesture than his lips and tongue were removing it with desperate little laps and sucks, and when he was done he groaned, “That’s the best-tasting lip gloss of all.”

 

He was so distracted that Hermione finally managed to break free of his hold. She took hold of his hand and directed it back to its previous place between her legs, practically snarling in her impatience. “Draco, touch me!”

 

Her husband smirked down at her. “Bossy little thing, aren’t you?” Resuming his former torturously slow ministrations he surmised, “But I’m beginning to realize you like being bossed around even more at times like this. Now keep your hands above your head, and ask me nicely.”

 

Hermione obeyed instantly, shivering at his dominant tone. How many layers did her younger husband have? This particular one needed to be bookmarked for much, much further study! “Please touch me, Draco,” she said in a much nicer tone. Or I’ll hex you into next week.

 

He ran his fingers through her slick outer folds a few times and then settled his fingers back into those two magical places. His forefinger circling the opening of her channel he murmured, “I’m going to fuck you with my fingers now.”

 

And he did just that, but in the most maddening way possible. It started with just the tip of his forefinger dipping barely inside her, Hermione begging for more. Draco moved his hand so that now he cupped her mound and pushed the heel of his palm firmly against her clit. With motions that were still agonizingly slow, he physically began winding that coil of want and ache and need within Hermione’s gut. And he talked – oh, but he talked! Despite the tremble of his limbs and his own obvious arousal, Draco never ceased his filthy seduction.

 

“You’d like more what, sweetheart?” He asked when her incoherent babbling began. “Would you like more of this finger? Or perhaps you’d like more than one?” And when she simply nodded he did both, increasing the speed with which he moved his hand. He was stretched out beside her now, and his eyes were glued to where his hand rocked against her at a fast, jerky pace. “Such a greedy little pussy you have, Princess. It’s sucking my fingers deeper with each stroke. Let’s add another, shall I?”

 

She was so close. For her part, Hermione thrashed on the bed as she bucked into the undulating pressure between her legs. Her heart thundered, her lungs heaved, and the sound of someone chanting Draco’s name fell on her ears. That’s me, she thought in a split second of clarity. Then she was drawn back under the haze of lust her husband had created. The coil within her gut slowly reached its maximum tension, and she arched her body in preparation for the increasingly familiar sensation of euphoric free-fall.

 

Draco’s voice was now shaking with his efforts, but he continued relentlessly. “Come on my fingers, little witch, and I’ll catch every drop with my tongue.”

 

Fingers tearing at the pillowcase beneath her head, Hermione teetered on the edge of her climax for the span of two crashing heartbeats and then fell over its edge with an agonized cry relief and delight. Her muscles, which had been strung tense as wires for the duration of Draco’s game, relaxed as she sank into the mattress, a noodle-limbed, sated witch. “Merlin.”

 

Her eyes had dropped shut, so she gave a startled jump when she felt Draco move quickly from beside her. The next second she felt his arms wrap around her thighs, and then his tongue began moving over her inner thighs and outer folds. She jumped again when he lapped a bit too roughly against her over-stimulated nub. “Gently.” She slid a hand to his head and stroked her fingers through his damp hair.

 

A minute later he crawled back up to look down at her, an indefinable look in his eyes. He settled between her legs, thrusting several times against her leg. “I’m Draco, by the way,” he rumbled in her ear. He let his full weight land on top of her briefly and added, “Merlin’s about a thousand years older than me.”

 

Hermione gave a tired laugh with the last breath in her lungs and pushed at his chest. “Off!”

 

Still moving against her, Draco rolled them over so that Hermione lay draped over his broad chest. She rested her chin on her folded arms and looked down at him with a soft smile. “That was lovely; thank you.”

 

He returned the look with heavy-lidded eyes and reached up to trace the outline of her lips. “It certainly was. You look radiant when you fall apart.” His other large, warm hand stroked down her back and over her rump, coming to rest there with a flex of his long fingers.

 

Hermione ran a lazy finger over his cheek, opening her mouth when he briefly pressed his thumb between her lips. “I might need just a minute to recuperate,” she said apologetically at the same time as an obscure expression passed over Draco’s moonlit face. “What?”

 

He had been staring at her mouth, and now gave her a slightly guilty look. “Nothing at all.”

 

Hermione’s body was tired, but her brain had recovered quickly in the past ten seconds. It lined up the clues scattered across her husband’s face and body and came to a lightning bolt conclusion. He’d like me to reciprocate, but he won’t ask. She smirked self-consciously but pushed off his chest with confidence and began slowly moving down his torso. As she went, she pressed soft, lingering kisses to his skin.

 

“What are you doing, sweetheart?” He caught a handful of her hair, holding her in place by his navel.

 

Hermione rubbed her nose back and forth in the trail of dark blonde hair on his lower abdomen. “Studying.” She looked up at him through her lashes and pulled against his grip. “I might need a tutor.”

 

Draco groaned, and the hand in her hair tightened before it released its handful of curls. “Then I offer my services in the name of education. What are you studying, exactly?” His voice was once again deep and hoarse.

 

She grinned against his skin and continued her downward path. “The refractory period of superior nineteen-year-old wizards,” she hummed. “Scientifically speaking, you really shouldn’t be able to . . . errrrrr, you know what I mean.” To cover her verbal hesitancy Hermione ran her fingers through his thatch of pale curls and wrapped them as best she could around his long, hard shaft.

 

He looked incredibly pleased with her unfinished compliment, which for some reason slightly irritated her. Wanting nothing more than to reduce him to her own previously gibbering state, she lowered her head to the tip of his erection and looked up at him, saying in a tone she hoped was sexy, “I’m going to suck your cock now, Draco.”

 

Draco was unable to do anything but make a gratifying choking noise.

 

It turned out Hermione needed little to no tutoring after all. She paid careful attention to her husband’s reactions and followed his precedent of teasing and naughty talk to great effect. In fact, it took only five minutes of licking and sucking and describing what she was doing for Draco to lose all control.

 

Suddenly his hands, which had been threaded loosely in her hair to that point, closed on great handfuls, and he began thrusting into her mouth with tortured grunts and groans. An early conversation she’d tried her best to avoid with Molly, Minerva, and Astoria suddenly came to mind, and the mental distraction helped as she tried to time her breathing around the thrusting of such a large object into the back of her mouth.

 

Sweet Circe, she thought as she inhaled quickly, this is precisely why Molly said it was better to learn this from the eldest husband! Draco was murmuring her name repeatedly, now, along with a litany of filthy compliments regarding her mouth and hands, and despite her minor discomfort Hermione had never heard such a rewarding sound. He’d better have been serious about grading, because I plan to get an ‘O’.

 

At that moment his entire body tensed. “Watch out, sweetheart,” he gritted out through clenched teeth. He pushed gently at her head.

 

Hermione resisted his efforts. Oh, no you don’t! Her metaphorical grade hovered just seconds away, and she was determined to achieve a perfect score. When she felt the odd, salty-bitter taste of ejaculate flood the back of her mouth she began swallowing quickly, eyes closed in concentration. Finally she released him from her mouth, giving a final onceover with her tongue before she looked up.

 

Draco was looking down at her with an adorable expression of drowsy bliss. He limply gestured for her to come closer, and when she did he slung one arm around her torso. “Hmmmmm,” he hummed into her hair, echoing her own post-orgasmic statement. “That was fantastic; thank you.”

 

She twisted in his arms so that she could see his face. He looked as though he was drifting off to sleep, so she poked him gently. “That’s a bit nebulous; what’s my actual grade?”

 

Draco raised one heavy eyelid to look at her incredulously. “You’re serious?” When it became obvious that she was, he sighed, “A perfect ‘O’.” His eye fell shut, his head fell even deeper into the pillow, and his breathing evened out almost right away.

 

She chewed on her lip for a second and poked him again, this time impishly. As soon as he managed to rouse himself she pressed, “Formative or summative?”

 

He seemed to realize her mischievous intent at that point, because his mouth formed a lazy smile. “Both. I just need to close my eyes for a few minutes, and then we have more studying to do.”

 

Hermione wriggled out of an unconscious Draco’s arms a few minutes later and slipped out of bed, donning his discarded shirt. She made her way to the bathroom, where she found her toothbrush and toiletries laid out exactly as they’d been in Lucius’ suite. She gave a deep sigh of relief and set to scrubbing every inch of her mouth; the aftertaste of her perfect grade was slightly less than Outstanding, in her opinion.

 

(Page break thingie)

 

She returned to find her younger husband sprawled on his back in the very center of the mattress, arms thrown up to curl backward around his pillow and legs tangled in roughly nine-tenths of the covers. Draco, it seemed, was not an accommodating bedfellow. She paused at the side of the bed, much more interested in admiring his form, though, than in criticizing his preferred sleeping position.

 

Yesterday she’d observed a slumbering Draco, but in the soft glow of shuttered daylight. Now the moon’s honest light stripped him down to an equation of elegant proportions. He was long bone and subtly curving muscle, the lean beauty of his youth balancing the promise of one day attaining his brother’s imposingly solid form. Hermione let her eyes wander slowly down his bare torso to where the covers rode low across his hips, once again shocked at the idea that this being was her husband. And yet, how natural – how right – it seems now. As if I’ve been moving toward this my entire life. Her appreciative gaze deepened as she dwelled on Draco’s character. As if I’ve been moving toward HIM. Time slipped by as she stood transfixed in the moonlight, until the covenant within her gave an uneasy roll and Hermione looked at the sleeping wizard more closely.

 

This time there was no pain potion to suspend him in peaceful stasis, and she became aware that his body twitched in an almost nervous way. His face, too, was far from serene. A small crease furrowed his brow, and he grimaced intermittently as if in pain. The covenant gave another anxious sensation of movement, and Hermione climbed up onto the mattress and crawled closer, leaning to smooth Draco’s forehead.

 

At her light touch Draco woke with a frenzied start, swinging one arm defensively in a strong, wild gesture. “No!” He cried the word at the same time the back of his hand caught the side of Hermione’s face in a stunning blow, knocking her backward and off the bed.

 

“Ooof!” The breath was knocked out of her lungs, and it took her longer than a moment to shake off the force of both the hit and the fall. Her eyes ran with tears from the force of his strike, and she held her breath to keep back a noise of pain. I cannot believe I did that, not after traveling all those months with Harry . . . Hermione thought back to the many nights she and her brother-figure had tried to wake each other from nightmares, and of the resultant black eyes and bloodied lips earned by such foolish actions. It was such a natural response, though, to comfort such suffering. Rubbing her cheek, she raised herself to her knees. Then she caught sight of Draco.

 

He sat, bare chest heaving, a look of bewildered terror on his handsome face. His expression morphed into one of horror when their eyes met, and it was clear he realized what had happened. “Hermione.” He breathed her name, moving toward her as quickly as he could with his legs trapped in the sheets. Falling to his elbows at the edge of the high bed, he leaned down and reached toward her uncertainly. He repeated her name softly, looking at her intently in the moonlight.

 

Hermione took his hand in hers, squeezing it reassuringly as she tried to joke, “You’re usually there to catch me when I fall.” With her free hand she held her cheek, wincing a bit. “That’s quite the backhand you have, Mr. Malfoy.”

 

Draco drew her up onto the mattress and pulled her onto his lap, wrapping his long arms around her tightly. His lips brushed against her throbbing cheek. “I struck you.” A light tremor was still running through his body. “I’m so sorry, Hermione.”

 

“You aren’t responsible for what your body does when you’re asleep,” she argued, leaning away to catch his gaze. When his eyes regarded her despondently, she added, “I have enough experience with bad dreams to know how foolish it was to touch you. I just wasn’t thinking at the moment.” She ran one hand over his shoulder and around to the back of his neck, cupping it tenderly. “Are you all right?”

 

Draco lit the nearest candelabrum with a murmured spell. He took her face in gentle hands and tipped it toward the light. “Am I all right? I’m not the one with the bruising cheek. Can you forgive me, sweetheart?” The words were no sooner out of his mouth than he was murmuring again, this time a healing charm judging by the tingling sensation in Hermione’s face.

 

She placed a hand over his where it rested on the quickly cured skin tissue. “Absolutely not!” Her loving touch belied the harshness of her tone, and she added softly. “There’s nothing to forgive, you idiot.”

 

Draco’s agonized expression wavered, and a ghost of a smile broke through. “Whatever happened to you calling me ‘silly snake’?”

 

The feeling of unease was abating from her consciousness now. “You’ve been promoted,” she deadpanned. “And if you’re really lucky, someday maybe you’ll earn the title ‘ass’.”

 

He breathed an almost soundless laugh and pulled her closer against his torso. “I like the sound of that.”

 

“Oh, really.” Hermione spoke into his neck, letting her lips move against the fragrant skin. With her hands she continued to sooth him as one would a frightened animal, running them over his trembling shoulders and down his arms in soft strokes.

 

“I meant the ‘someday’ part. I like the idea of spending it with you,” he said quietly. The shaking in his limbs and torso was lessening now. “Please promise you won’t get that close to me again when I’m . . . you know.”

 

Her skin was finally reacting to the cool night air, and she wrapped Draco’s shirt more tightly around her. Curling more deeply into his lap, she laid her head over his racing heart. “Do you have bad dreams often?”

 

Draco sighed heavily into her hair. “Let’s talk about something else.”

 

Oh, no; you don’t get to whack me like that and then go into strong, silent mode!” She poked him for emphasis. “You owe me.” At her words there was a new wave of emotion from the covenant, primarily one of caution.

 

His chuckle rumbled through her body, and when he answered his voice had a distinctly awkward, resigned tone. “Such a Slytherin under that Gryffindor skin. I nap regularly during the day, usually; that way I don’t have to sleep when it’s . . .”

 

Hermione continued running her hands down his arms. When it’s dark, her brain supplied. “That’s why you’re such a night owl.” She craned her neck to look him in the eye. “I have them too, you know.” His look of discomfort morphed into one of concern but he said nothing, so she continued, “It helps to talk about them.” And to have someone to hold you when you wake. At that thought she wrapped her arms around him and squeezed as tightly as she could.

 

He returned the gesture. “And I will, Hermione. Tell you about them, that is; just not right now.”

 

Hermione drew back to look at him again, and the pleading in his eyes somehow gave meaning to the reactions of the family magic. He’s not ready, and besides that it’s our wedding night. Who talks on their wedding night? In a considering tone she agreed, “Everything in its right time.” Furthermore, I’ve heard that sex can be very therapeutic. She pressed her lips to his in a tender, passionate kiss. The presence of the covenant faded to the edges of her awareness once more, leaving behind the sensation of spoken words in her mind. ‘Everything in its right time’, it echoed happily. The words seemed to flow over her like a lover’s hands, until she realized the sensation was that of her husband touching her. His fingers trailed along her sides, thumbs brushing over the curves of her breasts as his body reacted to her kiss, and beneath her thigh another part of his anatomy responded as well.

 

Hermione pulled away to clarify breathlessly, “Take light bondage, for instance.” When Draco’s entire being came to immediate attention she bit back her smile and ran a hand down his torso. “An hour ago wasn’t the right time, but now . . . ” She shifted clumsily to straddle his lap, his shirt falling open so that the bare skin of their torsos met in a gratifying meld of shirt-warmed and air-cooled. “Would you care to tie me up, Mr. Malfoy?” Confidence from his reaction brewing in her like a storm, she leaned in and whispered saucily in his ear, “Would you like to spank me?”

 

“No.” The word would have been like a bucket of ice water had it not been for the dark tone Draco used in delivering it, nor the way his fingers were curling around her waist under her borrowed shirt.

 

She dropped her head to his shoulder at the realization that she was more turned on by that tone than anything else at the moment. It had her rubbing against him shamelessly and moaning his name. Merlin above, Ginny was right. I like being dominated. Their mouths met in a deep, hungry kiss as the mood shifted, and all thoughts of talking and therapy fled from her brain.

 

He continued in that wicked voice that sent desire zinging along every nerve in Hermione’s body, “I care to have you like this.” A large hand on her hip urged her upward and she obeyed the prompt blindly. When she was on her knees, her head slightly above his eye level, the hand clamped down, holding her in place, and the other came to rest on her corresponding hip. “I would like for you to ride my cock, Princess.” He was looking her in the eye with a confident heat, all his former angst gone in the rush of their combined hormones. “Put your hands on my shoulders and lean forward, please.”

 

She couldn’t help but smile as Draco’s immaculate manners fought through his controlling mask, but it was wiped off quickly as he slowly but relentlessly pushed her down onto his erect shaft. She gasped at the new sensation of being filled at this angle, and then again as her husband’s mouth closed around one rune-marked nipple. “Draco-o-o!”

 

When he was fully seated within her, he growled with apparent pleasure and smacked her lightly across the backside. “Move, little witch.”

 

The shift to cocky Draco had her on the edge of orgasm within the span of a heartbeat. If her first movement was tentative, her second was less so as she discovered the advantage of this position. By her third, she lost any reservations she might have had in the advance of his hips against hers. Less than a minute later she cried out her release and Draco swallowed the sound with an aggressive kiss.

 

When she sagged against his larger torso, he pulled her head back by a gentle handful of hair and gave a wolfish smile. “Do you know, I think it’s my turn to decide what we’re studying this time. I say we research the premise that witches are capable of multiple orgasms.” And when her mouth dropped open slightly, he tipped it shut with a finger under her chin and swatted her bum once more. “Again.”

 

It was hard to resist such a logical argument, and another flight of ecstasy later Hermione was a sweating, heaving, highly gratified witch. One look at Draco’s calculating expression, however, and she pleaded, “Enough fun! Time to enjoy the bliss!”

 

He smirked triumphantly and rolled them over as one. “Two isn’t bad, Mrs. Malfoy.” Now he lay over her, long arms holding him slightly above and large hands bracketing her face. “But I’d like to try for three. What do you say; will you come for me one more time, Princess?”

 

She hooked her legs over his hips and ran her hands over the muscles of his shoulders. Had anyone ever been able to deny Draco anything? If so, she’d very much like to meet the person and learn that secret art. In an attempt to maintain some semblance of control she countered softly, “Say something filthy to me.”

 

He closed his eyes tightly and began thrusting in earnest. “With pleasure.” He leaned down and kissed her, the action made sloppy by the movement of his hips. “Do you remember two Mondays ago when Harry and his girls put on that show at lunch?”

 

Hermione did, and in vivid detail. She looked up at her husband expectantly. Do I ever. I wanted to lick pudding from your face and . . . She gave a pleasurable moan as her tired body began thrumming at the pictures running through her mind. And I want to hear you make it even filthier.

 

He was barely out of breath from his current exertions, but his voice was rough with adrenalin. “All I could think about was doing that with you.” He winced and stilled within her, face set in a look of grim determination. After several seconds of motionless silence he began moving again. “I wanted to sit you down in front of me on the Slytherin table and suck pudding from your fingers. Push my hands up under your school sweater to tug and pinch your nipples until they were hard and poked into my palms.”

 

She arched her hips up to meet his, feeling the rhythm of his words and the darkness of his voice establish a throbbing beat deep in her gut. Her channel gave a reflexive pulse around his invading shaft, and Draco gave a low groan. “I felt that, Princess. Do you want to hear more?”

 

“Don’t you dare stop,” she managed between gritted teeth as she strained to keep up with his unyielding pace.

 

“I wanted you under the table, too, to see you with your mouth full of my cock. I was so hard walking to the Headmaster’s office with you after that meal, I thought I was going to come every time my pants rubbed against me.” He stilled again, this time only momentarily before he was off and thrusting again. “Then again, I’m always hard when I’m around you.”

 

Hermione felt the first flutters of pleasure begin in her lower abdomen. “Why- Ooooh! Why do you call me Princess?” Her toes curled in her effort to climb the imaginary cliff she had begun to visualize when she struggled toward orgasm. “So close!”

 

Draco had dropped low over her so that their perspiring torsos slipped against each other with every push and pull. He hummed in her ear. “You’ve been my Princess for years, sweetheart; such a pure, pretty witch.” His hands slid under her shoulders, locking her in place as his movements became frenzied. “Untouchable in every way; ours alone to worship and corrupt. Oh, the things I want to do to you, Hermione.”

 

Those words were enough to send Hermione up the last few feet of her metaphorical cliff and then falling off its edge just as Draco’s face twisted in a grimace. He gave one last thrust and then dropped his head heavily to the bed, pinning her momentarily with his weight.

 

Hermione welcomed the sensation until she could no longer breathe, at which point she slapped him several times on one shoulder. “Up, big boy. Up!” She wheezed.

 

Draco lifted himself with a smug look, sliding out of her and plopping down at her side. “Big boy?”

 

“Of course.” She rolled her eyes, fighting the smile that wanted desperately to break forth. That was amazing. I just had amazing sex with Draco. Who happens to be my husband. “I thought we’d established this already; you have an enormous head.”

 

He laughed happily. “Everything about me is enormous; admit it.”

 

“I’ll tell you what’s enormous,” she said with a straight face. “Your ego is enormous.” Draco just grinned and folded his arms under his head, effectively framing his handsome face with the strong muscles of his upper arms.

 

Hermione rolled onto her side and was instantly aware that her body no longer smelled like fragrant bath oil. In fact, she reeked of sweat and sex. “Mother of all magic, I need a shower. Ugh! I stink!” She tugged on her husband’s arm. “Well, come on – there’s more of you; that means you smell even worse!”

 

Draco allowed himself to be tugged to the bathroom, the same irritating smirk stretching across his mouth and twinkling in his eyes. “That’s because I’m enormous.”

 

She dropped her hold and huffed, walking ahead of him so he couldn’t see her corresponding expression. “Oh, just knock it off, you enormous idiot. We’re going to need to change the sheets.”

 

At the door to the shower stall he pressed against her as he adjusted a complicated set of dials and levers, murmuring into her hair, “Well?’ Behind her, the water began to run as Draco continued fussing with the controls.

 

Hermione looked up at him with a furrowed brow, an involuntary smile spreading across her face at the sight of her younger husband. From the sated expression on his face to the relaxed way he now stood, every part of him seemed to shout he’d been thoroughly shagged. “Well what?”

 

He lifted an eyebrow, uncertainty flitting over his features before it was replaced with a charming smile. “I’m waiting for my performance to be graded.” Steam curled around their feet invitingly now.

Hermione’s heart filled with a fierce, wild love for this wizard in front of her. He was equal parts cocky and sensitive, the two disparate halves of his personality seeking control in whiplash succession; and yet at times they merged into the quietly confident boy (here she corrected herself mid-thought) man in front of her. And she liked this version of him; actually, she liked Draco in every one of his variations. Not that he needs me to spell that out for him; gorgeous, enormous-headed EBC that he is . . . She smiled innocently and took a backward step into the shower stall. “E.”

 

He pulled back slightly, shock and disbelief coloring his features. “E?”

 

She nodded, biting back a grin. “Of course. E for Enormous.” She paused and stepped back again, closing her eyes as the hot water poured over her head and body. Wiping her hair and the excess water from her face she peeked at him mischievously through her fingers. When he continued to stand there, a silly grin plastered across his face, she reached out and grabbed his hand, jerking him under the shower head. “Don’t gloat, or I’ll change it to a T for troll.”

Their first shower together was a relatively chaste event, given their shared bubble of post-climactic bliss. The large stall had a bench large enough for the two of them, and for twenty minutes they sat side by side under the hot water, content just to brush against each other as they washed away the evidence of their lovemaking. Afterward, when they’d toweled dry and Draco had pulled one of his old Quidditch jerseys over her unsuspecting head, they collapsed in a tangle of limbs on his couch. He dragged a hand through her wet hair, stopping apologetically when it became tangled in the knotted curls. “I may need help,” he admitted, trying to extricate his fingers gently. Just then his stomach gave a menacing growl, and he clutched his abdomen with his free hand.

 

For a moment, all she could do was stare at him dumbly, caught between the disparity of his refined physique and the noise it emitted. “That sounds positively dangerous.” She propped her head up so that she could see him properly while she freed his ensnared fingers.

 

Draco, who lay beside her wearing only a pair of flannel pajama bottoms, nodded glumly. “Suddenly I’m starving. My body is quite possibly devouring itself at this moment.”

 

Hermione looked between him and the nearest timepiece helplessly for a moment. “Draco, we ate dinner less than three hours ago!”

 

“We ate date food, and I was reading aloud at the time,” he argued politely. “Besides, I usually eat a second dinner.” At her disbelieving expression he added with a twinkle in his eye, “And exercise increases the metabolism, you know.”

 

“Oh, Draco,” she sighed. Hermione unwound one leg from his and gave him a loving kick in the shin. “You’re awfully whiny, you know,” she said with a grin. “But perhaps we should feed that monster, just to be on the safe side.”

 

He beamed down at her and reached toward her hair again, stopping only when she raised a hand in warning. “Please dry your hair, sweetheart,” he murmured, lips quirked impishly. “I want to be able to touch it without fear of entrapment.”

 

Hermione stood from the couch using Draco’s bare chest as leverage. Heading toward his bathroom yet again, she called back over her shoulder, “Don’t forget, Mr. Malfoy: clean sheets.”

 

She found herself smiling madly as she quickly glopped a handful of Sleakeazy’s through her hair and then wand-dried it. Draco’s a lot of fun to tease, and he’s not bad at it himself. He’s such a superior wizard. She returned to find the younger object of her affections sprawled across his bed, which had obviously been made with fresh linens. Something about the scene suggested the intervention of house elves, and the young Wife beckoned him to her with a crooked finger. She brushed a crumb from his chin. “Trinket brought you biscuits when she made the bed.”

 

He had the grace to look slightly embarrassed. “Less than a dozen; I saved some for you, but you took so long.”

 

Hermione looked at the table clock. “Draco, I was only gone ten minutes!” At his guilty expression she quickly amended, “Not that I needed biscuits. Did they fill you up?”

 

“Not in the slightest,” he admitted, adding hopefully, “I don’t suppose you’d like to sneak down to the kitchens with me.” He stretched, the muscles of his abdomen rippling hypnotically in the moonlight.

 

It took Hermione a few seconds to process what he’d said, so distracted was she by the movements of his body’s well-defined muscle groups. Finally managed, “Errrr . . .”

 

Not only did he puff up slightly at her apparent admiration, he seemed to interpret this as victory on his part, because he clapped his hands together once triumphantly and proceeded to throw her over his shoulder unceremoniously.

 

“Oof! Let go of me, you fiend!” She kicked against his undignified hold, giggling all the while, and when he began striding towards the wall with the fireplace she amended, “I take that back; you’re a caveman!” She slapped his toned, pajama-clad buttocks. For one brief moment she was enveloped in the memory of a conversation she’d had with Minerva regarding the possibilities of being hauled off in just such a way. Circe help me, but I was one repressed, uptight witch. Then a firm slap across her own arse caused her to return to the present. She gave a girlish squeal and squirmed in her husband’s tight grip.

 

Draco paused in front of the bookshelves to the left of the fireplace, causing Hermione to twist her head curiously in that direction. “I thought we were going to the kitchen.”

 

“We are.” He set her gently on her feet and watched her face hopefully as he asked, “Lucius hasn’t already shown you the passageways?” At her shake of the head he looked positively elated. “Well, then, Mrs. Malfoy, allow me to be your first.” He raised his right palm to a spot on the bookshelf that seemed to shimmer slightly. “Did you see that? There’s one in every room, and they’re only accessible by members of the family.” He dropped his hand and took up hers, putting it in the same spot. “You have only to think of the need to leave this room, and where you wish to go in the manor. Are you ready?”

 

Hermione had no sooner nodded and begun thinking about his explanation than she was pulled through the bookshelf as if into a vacuum. She hung in cool, dark space for only a second before she realized that this was the passageway. Right. And now I want to go to the kitchens. With a loud, forceful whoosh she was expelled from the passageway into a scullery, the enormous main kitchen just visible through a nearby doorway. She stepped in that direction just as Draco entered the small space behind her with a sound like rushing wind. He grinned and enveloped her smaller hand in his. “Excellent, isn’t it! I’ll never forget the first time Lucius allowed me to do that by myself.” He pulled her toward the doorway, pausing with his finger on his lips before peeking surreptitiously around the corner. At her expression of bemusement Draco explained in a conspiratory tone, “It isn’t exactly the best time to raid the icebox. Come on, the coast is clear.”

 

He walked into the kitchen, still pulling Hermione along with him. She tugged against his hold. “Hang on; I have questions!”

 

The room was easily as big as the great hall. It was lit by a roaring fire in the gargantuan hearth, torches ensconced along the walls, and several utilitarian chandeliers; the effect was both warm and bright. A long workspace ran down the center of the kitchen, and at the end nearest them sat three stacked plates.

 

Draco picked up the top plate and looked down at her with a smirk. “Of course you do, little witch.” His attention was drawn to the massive icebox standing along the wall in front of them. “Ask away, only please keep your voice down.” He threw open one of its doors and began dumping out the contents of various bowls and containers onto the plate in his hand.

 

Hermione’s train of thought had been headed toward the family passageway, and she’d already composed two dozen very distinct questions regarding its creation and use. At his short speech, however, her brain jumped the tracks and changed course completely. “Why do we need to be quiet?”

 

He hesitated, hand on the icebox door handle, his expression tinged with what could only be fear of being caught, and whispered, “We don’t want to draw attention ourselves.” Looking back into the icebox and then at his plate he seemed satisfied with his work. He shut the door and turned, setting his loaded plate on the workspace. “This is a private dinner party. Butterbeer or pumpkin juice?”

 

“Errrr . . . butterbeer, please.” Hermione plucked a strawberry from the plate and popped it in her mouth, watching as Draco opened another door in the icebox and extracted two bottles of the beverage. Swallowing the mouthful of cold fruit she prodded, “Whose attention are we avoiding, exactly?”

 

Draco let the bottlenecks hang from between the fingers of one large hand and looked around the kitchen cautiously. “We should really go.” He reached toward the plate.

 

Just then there was a noise, and Draco panicked spectacularly. He snatched Hermione off her feet with one arm around her waist and bolted back to the scullery. From the doorway they watched several shadows fall across one wall before the physical bodies of the interlopers appeared at the far entrance.

 

It was Lucius, and he was accompanied by Castor, Pollux, and a small ball of orange fuzz, which he held in one large hand against his bare chest. He was clad, like Draco, in just a pair of pajama bottoms, and one of his shoulders bore a familiar bite-shaped bruise. Hermione gave a small exhale of relief, but Draco growled quietly into the top of her head. She twisted her neck to look up at him, whispering, “What’s wrong?”

 

He glowered out at the sight of his brother, who was now crossing the room toward the icebox in all his bare-chested, broad-shouldered glory. “I let my stomach rule me, and now I’m going to pay for it.”

 

“What in Merlin’s name are you talking about?” She kept her voice as low as his, standing on her tiptoes to lessen the distance between her lips and his ear.

 

Draco leaned down, wrapping his arms around her possessively. “We’ve left my room and therefore forfeited our right to be left alone. He may join us if he chooses and you so allow.” After a moment’s hesistation he added with obvious reluctance, “Or you may leave with him.”

 

As her mind scrambled to make sense of the information, Hermione curled a hand around her younger husband’s neck in a comforting gesture. “We can step back through the passageway right now if you like.” She shivered as the cold Butterbeer bottles in his hand pressed against her back.

 

“It’s too late,” Draco sighed. In the kitchen, Lucius had discovered the plate of food on the workspace and was now looking around with an expression of smug amusement on his face. “He knows we’re here.”

 

She tugged him down so that his face was closer to her own level. “Tell me what you want.”

 

“On the one hand,” he began, as if working through his options.

 

He was interrupted by his brother, who called to them in his silky voice. “Come out, come out wherever you are.”

 

Hermione looked once more at her younger husband and mentally sought out the covenant’s opinion. It was surprisingly silent. I’m going to interpret that to mean there’s no wrong choice. “I won’t leave you, Draco, but I will follow the rules. If only you’d explained them to me in the first place!”

 

He nodded morosely. “I really am a moron.”

 

She pulled him down for a brief, sweet kiss. “Yes,” she agreed happily, “But you’re my moron. Let’s go, before Lucius eats all the food on that plate.”

 

Lucius regarded them with his usual arrogant mask as they walked back into the kitchen, but his mouth twitched when Draco all but snarled at him. He bowed his head in her direction. “Good evening, my lovely.”

 

“Good evening, Lucius.” Hermione tried not to notice the shape of his chest, nor the way his pajama bottoms hung so low across his hips. She definitely didn’t lick her lips and look away with a flustered blush.

 

The elder Malfoy wizard set the little Kneazle down on the counter and held out the heavily laden plate to his younger brother. “Come now, Draco; don’t be petulant. I have no intention of wooing our prize away from you tonight.” He took the Butterbeers from his brother and set them on the counter.

 

Draco took the plate but set it down again beside the bottles. He eyed his brother warily. “You don’t?”

 

Meanwhile Hermione sprang up to sit on the workspace a few feet away from her two wizards, watching their interaction curiously. She smoothed her makeshift nightdress down over her knees and called softly to the orange puff of fur. The Kneazle scampered across the counter to her, crawling up onto her lap without hesitation. Regarding her with its pale orange eyes, it rolled onto its back and commenced a tiny purr. Hermione cooed at the little noise and scratched its stomach with gentle fingers, never taking her eyes from the fine forms of her husbands. A random mental image of the House bed crossed her mind, and she shook it away in surprise. Stop it, she bid the covenant. I won’t hurt Draco’s feelings. Another image popped up, this one of Draco in the throes of ecstasy in that room, on that bed. Unless that’s what he truly wants . . . she shivered.

 

Lucius shook his head and lightly scratched the trail of dark blond hair running down his lower abdomen. “I simply came down here to feed Leo.”

 

Her hand paused mid-scratch, her eyes glued to his action, until her brain processed his words. “Who is ‘Leo’?” She narrowed her eyes at him in warning.

 

Her elder husband gestured gracefully at the creature in her lap, seemingly unaware of her change in mood.

 

Hermione’s eyebrows rose to her hairline. “When did you name my Kneazle?” It was a fitting name, given that it was both a constellation and feline in meaning, but that wasn’t the point. Her hands left the creature in her lap and rose to her hips of their own accord.

 

Lucius raised an eyebrow of his own. “He needed to be called something; the hounds helped me. The name suits him, don’t you agree?” Castor and Pollux looked up at him with cocked heads.

 

She growled at her elder husband. Beside him Draco dropped a buttered roll to his plate and pinched the bridge of his nose. “It’s not set in stone; the name can be cha-”

 

Hermione flung up a cautionary finger to her younger, peaceable husband as her eyelid twitched and a pulse began pounding in her temple. “Oh, no you don’t; you don’t get to blame this on the poor hounds!” Here the dogs, who had been standing by Lucius to this point, moved to her and looked between the humans with amused expressions on their intelligent faces. “You named somebody else’s Kneazle. My Kneazle! You can’t do that!” She set down the object of their argument gently, lest she hurt him unintentionally.

 

He had the nerve to smirk. “I think you’ll find I can, and did.”

 

“Sweetheart,” Draco entreated, “He’s winding you up. Of course you can name your own pet.”

 

His wise words fell on deaf ears. Hermione slid from her perch on the workspace and instantly regretted the action as it reduced her stature by several key inches. “You most certainly did not!” She growled at Lucius. “He . . .” She turned and looked at the adorable little thing. “He doesn’t even look like a Leo!” He actually did, unfortunately, but this was about principle. And perhaps sexual tension. I cannot believe I find him attractive right now! Sweet Circe, help a witch out!I will name him, as is my right as his owner!” She’d advanced on Lucius and was now emphasizing her speech with pokes at his hard solar plexus. Mother of magic, it’s like jabbing my finger into a rock. Ouch! Damnit!

 

Draco had retreated with his heavy plate and a heavier sigh to a table by the fireplace, where he turned his back to them and proceeded to eat his midnight meal.

 

Her posturing only seemed to amuse Lucius further. “What other name could possibly be as fitting, sweetling?” He reached out and caught her hand, rubbing her weaponized index finger “Don’t hurt yourself.”

 

“Whatever name I choose!” It occurred to her that Draco had been right and Lucius was, perhaps, winding her up. He was, after all, as fond of teasing as she herself was. The logical thought was almost immediately quashed by the growing tension within her. In a quiet voice which belied the extent of her anger she growled, “So help me, if I want to, I can name him R-

 

The kitchen fell silent, and Hermione realized what she’d almost said in anger. Lucius’ arrogant mask was back in place, all humor wiped from his features. Draco had swiveled in his chair, a shocked, hurt expression on his face. She thought fast and began backpedaling even faster. “Rigel. And that’s his name.” She turned to the Kneazle, who had followed her along the workspace to sit at her elbow, and picked him up.   “Because he looks like a Rigel. Don’t you, my sweet baby?” She focused her attention fully on the small creature for the moment in the hope that her barely avoided debacle would blow over.

 

When she chanced a casual look up, her wizards were trading glances. Draco appeared to be amused now, and Lucius was the one sporting the scowl.   Her younger husband stood from the table after pressing his napkin to his lips, obviously done with his meal, and returned to the others.

 

Draco addressed Hermione first. “Rigel is a perfect name for a Kneazle,” he offered with a smirk. “Much more fitting than Leo any day. After all, who wouldn’t name a feline creature after the the star comprising Orion’s left foot?”

 

She rolled her eyes and returned her attention to the orange ball of fuzz, holding it to her chest and scratching its stomach.

 

He punched Lucius lightly in the shoulder. “Stop being jealous of her familiar, old man. I’m sure she’ll rub your tummy if you ask nicely.”

 

Lucius only glared at him.

 

Draco shook his head disapprovingly. “You will apologize to each other. Now.” They both turned to him incredulously, and Hermione took the opportunity to study her younger husband. Something was different about him, some subtle shift had occurred since the last time she and Lucius had . . . whatever it was they’d just done. There was a sexy confidence to the younger Malfoy wizard that went beyond the determined set of his shoulders; it was in his eyes, his voice, and the tilt of his head.

 

Draco wasn’t done. He walked the few steps to Hermione’s side and pulled her close, whispering in her ear, “Naughty girls don’t get to come, so be a good girl and do as you’re told, princess.” He took the Kneazle from her and set it back down on the counter, running his hand from the top of her jersey-covered torso all the way down to the split of her legs.

 

If she had been wearing knickers they would have soaked through at his commanding implied offer. As it was, she rubbed her slender legs together in an attempt to catch the arousal fluid now running down her thigh. She nodded, suddenly breathless and obeyed instantly. “I’m sorry for letting my temper get the best of me, Lucius.” She eyed Draco expectantly.

 

He had already turned to his brother. “Your turn.” He leaned in and said something quietly which made Lucius’ eyes widen momentarily. When Draco pulled back, Lucius swallowed audibly. He stepped toward Hermione and took the hand she automatically raised to him. Bowing over it, he pressed his lips to the back. “Forgive me, pet. I went too far.”

 

“Now,” said Draco in a businesslike tone, “I’m going down to the dungeons to find a particular bottle of champagne. When I return I expect to find you both ready to join me in the House bed.” And with that he sauntered out of the kitchen.

 

For a moment they could only watch his retreating form. When he was gone, the elder Malfoy looked down at Hermione. “When I said ‘go make a man of him’, should I have specified what kind, pet?”

 

Lucius’ words regarding his brother came back to her, and suddenly she understood the change in Draco. I did that – I made him a man. She licked her lips in an anticipatory manner. “I like it.”

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