Chapter Seventy-Seven: Sunday Morning

The characters and canon situations in the following story belong solely to JK Rowling, Scholastic and WB. I am not making any money from the publishing or writing of this story.

Beta credit: Brightki and CoquetteKitten.

 

 

Desire and destiny preoccupied Hermione’s dreams that night while she slept between two large, warm bodies. She dreamed she was a princess, caught in a magical snare set by a wizard king and his princely brother; she dreamed of their dark manor, which awoke at her touch and transformed into a place of light and life; she dreamed of a redheaded queen who kissed her forehead tenderly and smothered her in fierce hugs; she dreamed of the beautiful, evil witch whose duty it was to guard her virtue at any cost; mostly, though, she dreamed of that king and his brother and the wicked, wicked things they murmured in her ear.

 

She woke early, as was her wont, a smile on her lips. If I were to write the past three weeks of my life down in story-form, it would make the most outlandish reading material. Muggles would eat this up on toast.

 

Her brain turned to more practical thoughts and began cataloguing the sensory input of her current environment. There was a warm, hard chest rising and falling in sleep against her lower back, its corresponding face smooshed between her shoulders and hand curled around her hip. Draco. He’d fallen asleep in that position hours before and hadn’t stirred since. It was such a change from the way he’d first slept in her presence; she smiled and laid her hand over his. I don’t think nightmares stand a chance in this room, she thought with satisfaction. Perhaps we should sleep in here regularly.

 

Her smile broadened at that idea, probably because sleep was only one of several reasons to do so. The pervasive magic had kept them aroused and physically refreshed, resulting in hours of vigorous lovemaking followed by unparalleled rest. Even now she felt no residual soreness. Draco had fallen asleep first, but she and Lucius fought sleep a while longer, talking quietly about everything and nothing. Hermione reached a hand to where he’d slept slightly apart from her and Draco, only to find cool empty sheets. Her head popped up off her pillow, eyes opening to the candlelit, windowless room.

 

A brief visual search found him dressing by the flickering hearth, his long pale hair gleaming wet in the firelight. He was bare-chested, facing her direction as he pulled on his trousers, and he looked up at her movement. Spellbound, Hermione paused to admire her elder husband in the room’s low, warm light. Wall torches, candelabra, and the flame of the hearth behind him recreated Lucius as a god of Muggle myth; he was incandescent, as if lit from within by fire. For one brief moment it was as though she were seeing the embodiment of his passionate spirit and she marveled at the sight. Then, with the flick of one elegant eyebrow and the crook of one long finger he broke the spell and drew her out of bed as easily as if he’d Summoned her with magic.

 

Hermione slid out from under the weight of Draco’s hand, which dropped heavily to the bed in evidence of his deep slumber. She paused only to draw the coverlet up over his bare shoulders before easing gently off the high mattress and padding over the thick rug to her elder husband. Draco’s Quidditch jersey, which had been her makeshift nightgown, was nowhere in sight. Then again, there was no need for it; the heat of her husband’s gaze and the thick fragrant air of the room felt like covering enough.

 

Lucius wore a pleased expression as he raked his eyes over her bare form, beckoning her into his arms. “Good morning, my prize.” His voice was still rough from sleep, adding yet another layer of sensuality to his normally silky tones. “Did you sleep well?”

 

“Hmmmmm.” She hummed against his chest, enjoying the feel of his hands against her skin as she remembered her dreams. “I did; and you?” She looked up into his face, running her fingertips under the sagging waistband of his as-yet unbuttoned trousers. A small detail of her tactile exploration caught her attention, and she pushed away just enough to look down. “Lucius, you’re not wearing any boxers.”

 

He pulled her hands away from his hips with a quiet laugh. “It would seem that in my haste to see you before I left, I forgot a layer of clothing. Now mind your naughty fingers, pet, and kiss me good-morning.”

 

Hermione tipped her head back as far as she could, meeting his well-shaped mouth eagerly. If he was bothered by the fact that she hadn’t yet brushed her teeth he hid it well. For his part Lucius tasted of mint and man, and he kissed those flavors into her lips and tongue thoroughly. His free hand cupped her backside, pulling her against him firmly. He pushed his hips into her smaller form, breaking their kiss with a mock frown. “Now see what you’ve done, pet.”

 

She bit back her smirk and tugged a hand from his grasp, running it down his thick, strong torso to the steel rod now holding up his trousers. She wrapped her hand around it and gave it an experimental squeeze. “This is my fault?”

 

He gave a satisfying grunt and removed her hand from his trousered shaft. “I can assure you, I was not in this state before you left our bed.”

 

Hermione began turning away from him. “In that case, I’ll just-” She broke off with a quiet yelp as she was yanked backward into his chest.

 

“What a wicked witch you are to tease me so early in the morning,” he chuckled into the curls covering her left ear. His breath separated the individual hairs, causing them to tickle against her skin in a thoroughly fantastic way. His fingers were rubbing over her ribs in a familiar pattern, inching higher with each sweep. “Was that your intent, my lovely?”

 

She shivered at the sensations and glanced up at him over her shoulder. Lucius’ eyes were half-closed, his mouth curved into the hint of a soft smile, and he looked younger and happier than she’d yet seen him. He’s leaving to take care of business for our House without any complaint or thought for himself. Here is a man who deserves so much more than teasing, she thought. “I’d rather please you.”

 

When his only response was to pull her even more firmly back into his chest, Hermione wriggled around until she was once again facing him. She shivered with the anticipation of pleasure and stretched on tiptoe to wrap her arms around his neck. He likes that idea. “Let me please you this morning,” she reiterated.

 

Lucius’ expression became slightly calculating, although he still regarded her with a playful gleam in his eye. “And how do you propose to accomplish such a thing?” He leaned low and pressed a lingering kiss to her mouth, squeezing her backside with one large hand. “I fear my time is limited.”

 

She pulled away. I’m going to go down on my knees and suck that great big cock of yours like a lolly. After all she’d done with this man, surely she could utter a few daring words! Hermione licked her lips and began, “I want to-” only to find her tongue had stuck to the roof of her mouth. She flushed and tried again. “I-”

 

Lucius grinned wolfishly. “There is my ingénue, with her virginal blush and pure mouth. I wonder, pet, what kind of thought has stained your cheeks such a dark hue.” He took hold of her chin and tipped her face upward, peering intently into her eyes. “What form of pleasure has you so shy?”

 

For one brief moment it occurred to Hermione that Lucius was almost certainly capable of Legilimency. Even as she quickly dropped her eyes, though, she knew he wouldn’t use such a thing on her. That restored enough confidence for her to counter in a small but brave voice, “I’d rather show you. Sit down and find out.” She pushed against his broad, warm chest.

 

A shadow of some indefinable emotion flitted across Lucius’ aristocratic features. He quirked an eyebrow and didn’t budge from his spot. Within her, the covenant seemed to sit up and wait for her response. How does one dominate a dominant wizard?

 

She thought for a second and then looked up at him through her lashes, allowing her face to relax into utter innocence. “Please, Lucius?” While she spoke, she trailed her fingers down his chest.

 

His gaze softened once again and he seemed to relent, because he allowed her to back him up to the couch and push him down to sit on it.

 

I wonder which of us is actually in control right now. Oh. Hermione stepped back as she processed the sight before her: her elder husband sat sprawled back on the comfortable leather couch, arms spread along its back and well-cut wool trousers still unfastened and riding low on his hips. Hello, handsome.

 

He was gazing up at her with heavy-lidded eyes and his signature smirk. Making a kissing noise as one would to call a cat he murmured, “Here, kitty, kitty.”

 

Hermione had always been a quick study and recognized a perfect lead-in when she saw one. She dropped on all fours and prowled toward her elder husband, grinning impishly at him as she covered the short distance between them. When she reached his widespread knees she nuzzled her face up one long, strong inner thigh. A quick glance upward proved her unexpected move had knocked his smug demeanor down a peg or two, especially when she added a mischievous, “Meow.”

 

Some slight shift in mood altered the atmosphere around them at that point. Lucius sat in the same confident manner as before, but now his expression was one of trepidation and his tone was cautionary. “What are you doing, my prize?”

 

The mood of the covenant within the curly-haired Wife was shifting as well, but it, too, was subtle. By that point Hermione had reached the top of his thigh, and she looked at him again as she ran her nose over the hard length rising from between his legs and resting slightly to the left of the placket of his trousers. “I should think it would be fairly obvious.”

 

A bunch of her wild hair was caught in a large, gentle hand, arresting her movement. “Climb into my lap like a good kitten.”

 

Leaning into his touch, she quirked an eyebrow in parody of her elder husband. “I’d rather stay here.” With her fingers she traced the long, thick outline of his erection down to where his bollocks hung heavy beneath. Then, in a burst of confidence she added, “Your kitten wants a mouthful of cream.”

 

Hermione.” Lucius groaned her name in a tortured way and at the same time pressed her face into his groin. Just as quickly, though, he moved her away and guided her up off her knees using his handful of hair as leverage. “No.” He pulled her down to straddle his lap, until she sat flush with his groin, the zipper of his trousers laying in the sensitive crease of her leg. His eyes flashed in the candlelight.

 

Behind them in the House bed, Draco stirred.

 

Hermione had followed his physical direction without thinking, but the feel of that cool metal fastener against her skin snapped her out of her Malfoy-induced stupor. His last word had been like a slap, and her feminine ego was wounded. She asked in a defensive tone, “Why not?” And why is it that whenever I try to do this, you push me away? The family magic began restlessly prowling the edge of her awareness.

 

Draco was now sitting up and stretching lazily.

 

It was obvious that Lucius was intent on taking control. His posture was less casual, his arrogant mask had slipped into place, and his hands tightened their grip on her hips ever so slightly. “There are countless other ways for you to please me; for instance, I would far rather lay you down on this couch and cover your body with mine.”

 

The ultimate act of dominance. His words were incendiary in more than one way, and she poked her finger into his broad chest and growled loudly, “I’m trying to please you, Lucius. You’re being ridiculous.” What had started out as a flirtatious game was quickly becoming a somewhat embarrassing power struggle that Hermione was determined to win. The covenant twitched its metaphorical tail in agitation, but she brushed the sensation off. Oh, yes; you would take his side!

 

The younger Malfoy wizard seemed to become aware of the fireside drama. “Are you two arguing already?” He was completely ignored as he began hunting for something on the floor, presumably his pajama bottoms.

 

“Mind your temper, Hermione.” Her elder wizard’s tone was one of warning.

 

“Well, you seemed to enjoy it well enough at our second rune ceremony!”

 

“That was a mistake made under the influence of alcohol.” Lucius narrowed his eyes. “And I do not wish to repeat it.”

 

In the corner of her eye she was aware of Draco approaching them, tightening the drawstring of his trousers. “What’s going on?”

 

Mistake? That stung deeply. “Oh, really!” Sparks of magic played along the ends of her hair even as traitorous tears of humiliation pooled in her eyes. She pushed away from his chest and struggled to climb off his lap. She batted at his hands, which had tightened yet again around her hips. “Just let go of me!”

 

Lucius growled his frustration loudly but didn’t let go. Instead he pulled her tightly against his chest and kissed her forehead tenderly. He sighed heavily. “Now is not the best time for this conversation, my love, but I fear it is the right one.”

 

She was effectively confused and temporarily distracted from her fit of pique. “What conversation?”

 

Draco sank down onto the couch beside them, solemn-faced. “Shall I leave?”

 

Lucius’ glacial eyes were guarded for one brief moment before they softened. “No, Draco. That is not the way of a Pureblood marriage. Stay.”

 

There will be no secrets between the three of us, Lucius had said on the evening they’d left Hogwarts. The covenant seemed to relax within her; at least, it was no longer pacing her consciousness with a bottlebrush tail. Hermione’s response was to reach out and grab her younger husband’s nearest hand and regard her elder husband with nervous curiosity. What in Merlin’s name . . .

 

Lucius closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and then cast a Patronus. “Kingsley, I shall be late for our meeting.” When the spectral fox had leapt from the room, he kept his eyes fixed on the bright hearth behind Hermione and spoke in a quiet voice. “There is so much of my life worth forgetting, Draco; so much I have wanted to keep from you . . . ”

 

Then Hermione knew; she knew. It had been a power-struggle, but not one that had anything to with her personally. This is about Abraxas, and most certainly about Narcissa. She pressed her lips against his fragrant skin and snuggled down into the nook between his strong jaw and even stronger shoulder. Oh, my love.

 

He spoke in clumsy phrases and groups of inelegant words; the fact that they were so unlike his usual graceful pattern of speech only emphasized his discomfort. He began by telling Draco what little he’d already told Hermione about Narcissa Malfoy. His fingers dug into her waist as he spoke, but it was obvious he was unconscious of the action. Draco listened quietly, a grave look on his handsome young face and his free hand on Lucius’ shoulder. For her part, she stroked her fingers through his hair and nestled as close as she could to him.

 

He pushed out the words as if they burned his lips, concluding, “As a child I learned never to let down my guard around my father; that rule applied doubly when we wedded Narcissa, but I lowered it when she came to my bed. Then later, in here . . . she was . . . cruel, to say the very least. This room,” here he glanced around them with emotionless eyes, “was a playground of pain for both her and Abraxas. I came here willingly only once. After that . . . ” He trailed off, eyes still on the fireplace.

 

He said ‘willingly’. Circe’s heart; what did that vile creature do to him? “No more suffering or pain, Lucius; never again,” she murmured, resting her head once again in her nook. “I’ll spend the rest of our life together ensuring that.” Her brain was trying desperately to translate the puzzle that was Lucius Malfoy within the context of this new understanding. So many layers of allure and wit and command, all distracting from what lies at the very middle: a nineteen-year-old boy who is still afraid.

 

She took the act you offered and used it as a means of torture.” His voice was less tense, and he had dropped his head to lean it against the top of hers.

 

“What act?” Draco’s face was pale, and his large hand squeezed the curly-haired Wife’s small one tightly.

 

When Lucius’ only response was another heavy sigh Hermione blurted, “I wanted to suck his cock like a lolly.” When a wide-eyed silence ensued she blushingly argued, “Oh, it’s not as though you two don’t say far more shocking things on a regular basis!”

 

Her retort marked the beginning of a slow ascent from the deeply troubled topic of conversation. Some thirty minutes later a yawning, somewhat reassured Draco returned to bed after exchanging a manly hug with Lucius and securing a promise from Hermione that she would join him soon. Lucius watched him go with a protective look in his eye. “He hasn’t slept like that in years.”

 

The air thickened palpably, blanketing the House of Malfoy in an emotional blend of peace, comfort, and the slightest hint of smugness. Hermione wrapped herself even tighter around her elder husband’s torso. “It’s this room, Lucius. This is where our covenant resides outside of us; it’s only natural for us to feel safe here.” She pressed a kiss to his cheek, smiling as she remembered the first time she’d dared to do such a thing. We’ve come so far in such a short amount of time.

 

“That has not always been so; this place has changed since you entered it.” He stroked a finger over her cheek.

 

She caught his gaze again and held it steadily as goose bumps spread over her skin from his simple touch. “Maybe that’s because of what the Unspeakable said at our wedding about me being a strong conduit of Dark magic.”

 

“It has nothing to do with that, pet,” he said dismissively, his normal silky tone winning over its earlier roughness. “You fill every room you enter with safety for me, if only I choose to let down my guard.”

 

The young Wife kissed her husband tenderly, telling him with every brush of her lips and flick of her tongue all the things mere words can only begin to describe. Hands ran worshipfully over bare skin, breath mingled, and the atmosphere shifted once more. Within her the covenant commenced its contented purr.

 

When they broke apart minutes later, she bit back her grin. A familiar rod was once again lodged in the crease of her thigh. “If you’re not going to let me . . . errrrrr . . . ”

 

Lucius, mercurial as ever, had already returned to his customary confident demeanor. He gave an amused hum and applied his teeth to her neck. “Where is my brazen kitten now?” Her response was to wriggle against him until he chuckled and groaned, “You will undoubtedly be the death of me, pet.”

 

The feel of his teeth against her skin sent a frisson of pure delight running along her spine. Taking compassion on him she offered generously, “I won’t try to control you again, Lucius. Now lay me down and cover my body with yours. I’m wet and wanting, don’t you know.” And it was true; she’d been that way since he had beckoned her from their bed.

 

Lucius gave a boyish laugh and proceeded to do just that. He looked down at her covetously. “Such a perfect prize you are.”

 

Hermione pushed her toes into the waistband of his trousers and managed to shimmy them further down his hips as he knelt between her spread thighs. “I’m glad you think so.” Now stop teasing. She brushed her hands along his warm sides, trying to pull him closer.

 

He ran his nose along the lower edge of her necklace, nudging her Malfoy crest. “Ours to mark as we please.” He turned his heavy-lidded gaze to her runed nipples and ran lazy fingers over them in a teasing touch.

 

“Mmmmmmm, yes!” She pushed into his touch, impatiently waiting for him to join their bodies together. Hers was throbbing almost painfully. Stop. Teasing.

 

He smoothed his hand down her stomach and cupped her mound while speaking against the hollow off her throat. “Ours to take however we desire.”

 

Oh, my . . . that’s the hottest . . . Sweet Circe, but there’s something wrong me. She fought past the urge to moan loudly. “Knock it off! You’re killing me!”

 

He smiled against her collarbone and then sat up abruptly, earning an aggravated snarl. “This is not how I wish to have you this morning.” Standing, he pulled her to her feet and moved in so close that Hermione was forced to take a step backward. He did it again, continuing to back her toward the fireplace as he silently demonstrated his dominance. “Such a pushy little thing. Shall I push back? Hmmmmm?”

 

“Lucius, stop teasing me this instant!”

 

They had reached the open space before the hearth and Lucius turned her to face away from him, leaning down to murmur in her ear as he tipped her head to the side by a handful of curls. “Growl all you like, little kitten. The noise pleases me almost as much as your mewls of pleasure.” He caught her tight nipples between his fingers and began tugging at them at the same time he began using the weight of his torso to bend her forward at the waist. “It would please me to see you down on your hands and knees, pet, with your lovely legs spread wide.”

 

Hermione’s gut clenched at those words and she hastened to obey. Falling to the carpet, she looked over her shoulder to where her elder husband stood shrugging off his trousers as he gazed down on her with a dark expression.

 

Lucius followed her down to the hearthrug, kneeling behind her. He ghosted his hands over the curves and angles of her prone body, and when she pushed into his touch he gave her a firm swat on the backside. The blow landed half-between her legs, causing her to writhe even more. That action earned her another slap. “Be still, Wife.”

 

Hermione was having difficulty remembering the meaning of such basic language, so caught up was she in the sensations of her husband’s hands and his mouth, which was now leaving a trail of wet, open-mouthed kisses along her spine. Every nerve ending between her legs crackled with want and need, and the flesh there felt hot and swollen. “Please,” she begged.

 

He slapped her again. “Please what, pet?” As he smoothed a gentle hand over her bottom he muttered, “Surely there has never been a more perfectly-formed piece of flesh in this world.”

 

“Please Lucius,” she hazarded, not entirely sure of the correct answer. She bit her lip in the hope that a shot of pain might clear at least part of the lust fog in her head. It didn’t in the least.

 

He moved one hand down to her wet seam and the other to her head of wild curls. “Precisely. You wished to please me, and please me you shall.” Then, tugging her head back until she could just see him out of the corner of her eyes, he crooned darkly, “Now tell me what has you squirming and dripping into my hand.”

 

The communication center of her prodigious brain seemed directly connected to the hand between her trembling thighs. Each brush of his fingers along that sensitive skin short-circuited any attempt on her part to speak. This earned her another slap. Finally she managed to croak incoherently, “I want . . . I need . . .”

 

Slap. He chuckled and gently pinched her swollen nub. “Tell me.”

 

“I need to feel your cock inside me, Lucius. Please.” The desperate words were out of her mouth before she could think, and then her head was tugged back as far as it would go.

 

“Such filthy words for so pretty a mouth,” he groaned, tracing the outline of her lips with his slick fingers and then pushing them inside. He watched slack-jawed as she latched on and sucked them clean. Then, all teasing ceased as, with wild eyes, Lucius leaned down and captured her mouth with his and joined them together in the same small space of time.

 

Hermione arched her back at the first thrust, overwhelmed by the different sensations afforded by the new position. Lucius had braced one long arm on the floor by her head, and each time he surged into her body her shoulder knocked against his forearm. “Nnngh! Luc-”

 

He curled his other hand beneath her body, using it both to support her and attend to her throbbing clit. “Come, pet.” The words were bitten out as if with great effort.

 

She strained between the shaft penetrating her and the palm pressing against her bundle of nerves. “Plea-”

 

They fell into a rhythm of thrusts and words, with Lucius repeating the same command and Hermione attempting to form coherent speech. Sweat ran from their pores, heightening the sound of their bodies moving together, and Lucius’ tempo and force increased until Hermione literally bowed to the pressure, temple pressed against the hearthrug and backside tipped into the air to accept the cock for which she’d so shamelessly begged. Time seemed to stop as they heeded nothing but the pleasure building between them until their limbs shook and their breathing became uncoordinated.

 

“Hermione, come,” he practically snarled. There was an underlying plea in his tone.

 

The curly-haired Wife may have only just recently discovered sex and its many variables, but she had applied her extraordinary mind to every possible outcome of her newly acquired information. The entreating pitch to his normally silky voice spoke of impending orgasm, and she realized he was determined she enjoy hers simultaneously. In an instinctual effort to comply, she wrapped one arm around Lucius’ neck for support and brought the other to where his hand gripped her mound. “Do that thing you do,” she begged shamelessly. Then, turning her head as far as she could, she kissed him with equal desperation.

 

He made a low, hungry sound into her mouth and intuitively did as she requested, moving his clever fingers almost roughly over that sensitive spot, and when she was unexpectedly pushed off the edge of her metaphorical cliff of orgasm she fell to the floor in a crumpled heap of relief. Lucius followed with a deep grunt, covering her small body with his larger one. His head came down beside hers, his breath hot and heavy in her ear. “Mmmmmmmph.”

 

The force of her forward fall and the abrasive scrub of the carpet against her nub caused her to freeze in rigor and cry out once more as another, smaller orgasm ripped through her body.

 

Her husband seemed pleased with this bonus, because he thrust into her several more times and marked the skin at the juncture of her neck and shoulder with what felt to be a rather large love bite. After a few moments of worrying his mouthful of skin, he slipped from her and moved to lie on his back at her side.

 

Hermione gave him a goofy grin. “Mmmmmmmph is right. That was . . . ”

 

Lucius raised an aristocratic eyebrow and smirked. “It was most pleasing.”

 

Their former conversation replayed quickly in her head, and she rolled to her side facing him. Tracing a finger through the sparse blond hair of his chest she ventured, “I like when you’re in charge.”

 

He hummed in agreement, pulling her near and closing one large hand around her buttocks. “I prefer it that way. I am . . . glad you agree.”

 

Her eyes inventoried his noble features – glacial, wide-set eyes; mobile mouth; well-knit bones and arching brows. His was a face meant for politics and intrigue, with its smooth arrogant mask that gave no hint of the real man beneath. Under the surface of that façade, though, was a complex being of deep and varied emotion. A dangerous man, without doubt; but one who prefers to cuddle. She smiled and wriggled in his arms until she was able to cradle his head against her breasts and stroke his damp hair. We just won’t call it cuddling, for his ego’s sake. “How long do you plan to be gone today?”

 

He sighed. When he finally answered, his mouth moved against her skin like kisses. “I would have liked to have been done and home before noon.”

 

“It seems strange that it couldn’t have waited until Monday.” She pushed into the sensation, cooing when his lips passed over her responsive peak.

 

Lucius worried the tight bud with his teeth and tongue. “This is Kingsley’s way of preserving our privacy; this way the Ministry will be comparatively empty of people. Had I visited tomorrow, gossip of my very public absence from our honeymoon would have spread like Fiendfyre. It would have filled the papers, and we are in them enough as it is.” He redoubled his attention to her nipple.

 

Hermione groaned and curled her leg up over his hip in an attempt to pull them even closer together, discovering in the process another impressive erection pressing between her legs. She wanted him again and fought the emotion mentally even as her body surrendered to it. “Is this normal? Oh, do that again! The way I want you almost constantly, I mean. Nnngh.”

 

He ground against her and released her nipple with a slow, wet, toe-curling sound. “This is the covenant’s way of ensuring the survival of its House; we will feel this way until an heir has been conceived.”

 

She directed her elder husband’s mouth back to the tip of her breast. Well, that gives contraceptive charms a whole new purpose, she mused inwardly. The longer I hold out, the more mind-blowing sex I get. The family magic seemed to find humor in the idea, leading Hermione to believe once again it was far stronger than any simple charm. She ran a finger around the curve of Lucius’ ear and flexed her hips. “Since the covenant only wants what’s best for us, we shouldn’t fight it.” It’s all in the name of duty, after all. She smirked at that last thought. I’ll just lie back and think of wizarding England.

 

He chuckled and cast a contraceptive charm at her command, and the two became one yet again. They stayed on their sides, wrapped in each other’s arms as they explored the relative equality of this new position, and when they found their release it was both quiet and profound.

 

When a sweaty, sated Lucius had tenderly kissed her good-bye and returned to his own rooms for another shower and change of clothes, a glowing Hermione crawled back into bed with Draco. She wasn’t the slightest bit tired, unfortunately. After ten minutes of studying the room and memorizing its every detail, she finally gave in to the temptation to wake her younger husband. It took another ten minutes of poking and tickling for him to regain consciousness.

 

“Mmmmmmmph. What do you want, little witch?” He rolled onto his side, facing her, and opened one eye.

 

“Exactly how long do you plan to sleep?” She ran her fingers down his pale, muscular chest until she came to that fascinating trail of dark blond hair below his navel. “Because the daylight is burning away.”

 

His eye drooped shut. “There’s no natural light in this room. How can you be so sure?”

 

With the vaguely malicious humor so often associated with early morning risers she flicked his ear gently. “I can feel it in my bo-o-ones,” she said in a singsong voice.

 

“Tell your bones to go back to sleep, please.” He groaned sleepily as he glanced back over his shoulder at the clock on the bedside table. “For Merlin’s sake, Hermione! It’s only seven o’clock.”

 

It’s like dealing with a pre-breakfast Ginny all over again. Hermione ran her fingers through that soft trail of hair, dipping her fingers below the waistband of his pajama bottoms. With a few considerable differences. “It’s already seven o’clock,” she corrected.

 

She flopped back down, studying her uncooperative bedfellow. I probably shouldn’t push him too far, or our first fight will be over the fact that I tormented him for no other reason than my own amusement. Still, she couldn’t resist one more pinch to his tightly muscled waist. The fact that Draco was not a morning person was driven home by the fact that even the combination of her teasing touches and his impressive morning wood couldn’t keep him awake. Eventually she gave up, pressing a kiss to his pillow-marked cheek and donning his Quidditch jersey before leaving for her own rooms.

 

The manor had been communicating with Trinket, it seemed. The curtains in the outer room were drawn to let in the morning sun, clothing was laid out in her dressing room, and there was a fragrant, steaming bath drawn for her. Hermione enjoyed a soak in the tub but wasted no time in preparing for the new day. Soon she was dried and slipping into delicate underthings and an elegant floral day dress with a wide green satin sash. She was just stepping into the coordinating green heels when a loud knock resounded from the direction of her bedroom door. The last time that happened, she thought, was when- . . . She shook away that particular memory. “I’m coming,” she called as she went through the bedroom to the door.

 

It was Draco. He must have been unable to fall back asleep after her departure from the House bed, because it was obvious he’d been to his rooms for a shower as well. He lounged against her doorframe in a dark grey flannel suit, starched white shirt, and dark green silk tie. A subdued paisley handkerchief peeked from his breast pocket, completing the overall swoon-worthy effect. Hermione may have drooled a little. He seemed to notice, because his expression turned smug.

 

She dialed back her admiration and glanced at the nearest timepiece. “It’s only eight o’clock, Draco. I thought you wanted to sleep in.”

 

He remained where he was as he ran his eyes over her figure. “A little witch told me daylight was burning, and then she left me all alone in our bed.” He pouted.

 

It was Hermione’s turn to smile. “Did you get lonely, Draco?” She blushed faintly under his admiring gaze, glad to be wearing the lovely gown. Its wide, somewhat low neckline and off-the-shoulder capped sleeves left plenty of bare skin visible to his roaming eyes. She turned and motioned for him to follow her. When he didn’t she looked over her shoulder. “Aren’t you coming in?”

 

A shade of cunning seemed to pass over his handsome face but then it was gone, replaced by a look of boyish innocence. “I was waiting for a formal invitation.”

 

A previous conversation came to mind, one in which she’d learned her husbands were forbidden to enter her rooms. Had that changed now they were married? Why on earth does he want a formal invitation in his own home? She opened her mouth to ask just that but was instantly distracted by the glory of Draco Malfoy as he aimed a slow, knickers-dropping smirk directly at her. She swallowed thickly. “Won’t you come in?”

 

That same sly expression crossed his features again. “I will. Thank you.” He followed her, looking around the space curiously. “I’ve never actually been in here before.”

 

“Would you like a tour?” She laughed to think he hadn’t been in a room of his own house.

 

Draco shook his head and took her small hand in his. “Let’s see how well I navigate on my own. He drew her across the large space to the French windows and then out onto the balcony, where he stood behind her, his fingers rubbing along her bare arms. “This must be where you met your fiancé for that early-morning assignation.”

 

The reference to his visit on the flying carpet caused her to grin with delight even as she argued, “That was hardly an assignation, Draco! There was a ward separating us the entire time!”

 

He gave her a disappointed look. “That’s not how I remember it at all, sweetheart. You stood,” he moved her to stand at the rail of the balcony, running his hands up to her bare shoulders, “right about here. You wore a blue negligee that showed just a hint of every one of my favorite parts of you. At the end you promised to avail yourself of my services at breakfast.” He skated his forefingers along the neckline of her dress until they met in the middle, caressing the slight swells of her breasts. “I was so turned on I almost had to crash-land the flying carpet.”

 

Hermione leaned into his touch, fighting to keep her eyes from crossing in pleasure. It’s never going to be enough, she thought with a spine-tingling shiver. I’m going to crave my husbands constantly until . . . She forced her thoughts in another direction when the mental image of that tiny blond curly-haired witch came once again to mind. “I like your idea of a tour. Let’s keep going.”

 

He pulled her back through her bedroom, ignoring the outer space in favor of her dressing room. From there he walked to the bathroom. “And this must be where you soaked your lovely body in scented oil and water before your rune ceremonies.” He stepped behind her, pushing his face into her curls and pulling her against him. “I will never forget the way you smelled that second night, little witch.” Now his hands tickled down her arms, across her stomach, and up to cup her breasts. “I ran my nose from your pretty mouth all the way down to your sweet cunt, memorizing the scent of you.”

 

Hermione might have been leaning back into Draco’s chest and pushing into his touch, but her wondrous brain was already three steps ahead in this walking tour of her personal living space. Walking tour, my sainted Aunt Gert! This is a seduction game! It was a game she decided to win. “You should see my dressing room.”

 

Draco needed no further invitation. He pushed her into the dressing room from behind, his hands still attached to her breasts. Their pace was somewhat hampered by the fact that he was pressed flush against her back while she tried to wiggle her hips against his groin just enough to make him groan as they walked. They stopped in front of the wall of closet doors. He seemed lost for words; although he quickly found her neck and began nipping and sucking at it like a professional torturer.

 

When a rush of wetness flooded her knickers she fought back against the fog of lust and decided to hijack the tour. Escaping his clutches, she spun on her heel and backed away from him until she stood against the wall, her hand resting on a door handle. “This is the room where I dress for my husbands,” she offered with a straight face. “I come in from my shower or bath and let my robe fall to the floor, and then I go through this door to pick out a set of underthings.” She opened the door and stepped back into the closet, beckoning for him to follow.

 

He all but fell in to the small space, so quickly did he obey her summons.

 

She continued, “I have so many now that I had to set up an elaborate subcategorized organizational system. See?” She opened different drawers and pulled out examples of each division as she rattled off, “Silk on the left and lace on the right; then a drawer each for French, ouvert, thong, and crotchless.” She watched with satisfaction as her young husband’s mouth dropped open and his eyes glazed over. When he stretched a hand toward a half-opened drawer she snapped it shut. “Those are the really naughty ones.”

 

“Hermione . . . sweetheart . . . little witch,” he moaned as he reached for a scrap of black lace that dangled from her forefinger. “Oh, Princess.”

 

She pretended not to notice, whipping the examples of her subcategories back into their designated storage spots. “And those are just the knickers, Draco! Just look what I’ve done with all the bras and corsets.” She smiled brightly, opening one drawer to display an example of her tidiness. When he reached a trembling hand toward the particularly sexy basque on display she quickly closed it.

 

“It’s a shame, really,” she said in a thoughtful tone, “because if I’d known you were coming, we could have picked out my underthings for today together.” At a choked sound from him she quickly ducked her head to hide the evil grin plastered across her face. “Would you like to see what I’m wearing, Draco?”

 

Two seconds: that’s all it took for Hermione to be whirled around and restrained against the wall of the large lingerie closet by two large, pale, shapely hands. It took an additional three seconds for Draco to navigate the long, full skirts and petticoat of her gown and hoist them up around her waist. Then he knelt in front of her and stared covetously at the barely-there white lace ouvert knickers.

 

“Good, sweet Mother of . . . ” He dragged his eyes away for a split second to meet hers.

 

“Don’t pass out quite yet, Draco,” she urged, a victorious gleam in her eye, “you haven’t seen the matching strapless demi-bra.”

 

There was no time to recalculate her next move when her husband skipped the next several steps she’d anticipated in their game. Suddenly he was standing and lifting her up off her feet, pinning her in place with his hips and one arm supporting her arse. Hands tugged at her knickers, at his belt and trouser fastenings, and several loud rips were heard. He covered her mouth with his, pushing his tongue between her lips at the same moment he entered her in one hard thrust.

 

Sex with a wild-eyed Draco Malfoy was beyond good; sex of that nature in a lingerie closet was even better; but said sex in said closet up against the wall was the best of all. It was comprised of his deep, primal grunts of need and her slightly gentler cries of want; of her ankles crossed at the small of his back, and his hand rhythmically squeezing her bum. It was hard and fast and unbelievably rough, and when they had both found release and crumpled to the closet floor in each other’s arms, Hermione decided that, really, they both should be declared the winners.

 

“Now I’m going to need to shower,” she complained against the sweaty skin of his neck. She ran her tongue over it experimentally, savoring the taste of their effort and success.

 

“Nonsense.” Draco picked her up and staggered out of the closet, tripping over his fallen trousers. When he’d pulled them back up to his lean hips he walked through the dressing room to the bedroom, where he threw her down onto her bed. “We’re not done with our tour,” he argued with a grin. “We haven’t done the bedroom yet.”

 

Later, after he’d painstakingly studied the exquisite cut and detail of her white lace demi-bra and proved that sex with Draco Malfoy in her fairytale princess bed was every bit as amazing as sex in her lingerie closet, they laid down their heads on one pillow and talked in quiet tones.

 

“Lucius says this compulsion to have constant sex has to do with the covenant,” Hermione murmured contentedly.

 

Draco, whose forehead rested against hers, gave a silent breath of laughter. “Let Lu speak for himself. I’m a nineteen-year-old wizard; I’m expected to want sex all the time.” He pulled away and looked speculatively at her with drowsy eyes. “I don’t suppose you’d let me take a short nap?”

 

Hermione gave a long-suffering sigh. “I suppose I could do that.” Inwardly she was agreeing with the idea; a nap sounded heavenly. She may have risen early that morning, but she hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before and was beginning to feel the effects of their rigorous activities.

 

Hands caught her wrist and gave a gentle squeeze. “No poking or tickling.”

 

Eyes falling shut, she smiled and snuggled down into their shared pillow. “Witch’s honor. Now be quiet and go to sleep.”

 

They slept soundly. Hermione dreamed of her handsome younger husband, of the Yule Ball, and of dancing in his arms. She awoke several hours later to find they had twisted around each other in a tangle of limbs, and that Draco’s face was pushed firmly between her breasts. He was mostly clothed still, having been far more interested in divesting her of her garments before their two urgent couplings. She smoothed down his shirt collar and combed her fingers through his soft platinum hair, only pulling away when she couldn’t ignore her full bladder any longer.

 

“Don’t go,” he mumbled against the small plump curve of feminine flesh, tightening his arms around her waist.

 

“Oof! Let go, Draco! I have to pee.” She pushed against his hold and finally extricated herself, slipping from the bed.

 

He relinquished his grip with a sigh and must have noticed the disparity in their state of dress because he said plaintively, “Wizard’s clothing has too many buttons. I’m still dressed.”

 

“I noticed that. It hardly seems fair that only one of us is naked.” She paused beside him long enough to flick his ear.

 

His mouth stretched in a sinfully slow smirk. “I didn’t hear you complaining about it earlier.”

 

Hermione turned toward the dressing room door, glorying in her new confidence. She threw a saucy grin over her shoulder. “No, I didn’t. But in the future, if you decide to wear trousers to my bed I’d much prefer the ones from your Quidditch uniform.”

 

As she made her way to her bathroom she cleared the brightly colored storm path leading to her bed: bra, torn knickers, petticoat, dress, and heels. All should have been placed neatly in the last closet per her agreement with Trinket, which stated that Hermione was not allowed to interfere with Beetle’s laundry duties on pain of death. Exactly whose death hadn’t needed to be specified. There had been a clause added to the effect that laundry must be accrued daily.

 

She sighed, torn between the necessity of the rule and the utter impracticality of it. Finally she came to a compromise of sorts and chucked the Quidditch jersey she’d worn last night into the hamper. Then she mended her knickers with a well-aimed Reparo and laid out her former outfit on one of the dressing room couches. One makeshift nightdress can count as today’s laundry, she thought. I’m recycling all of this just as soon as I scrub the reek of sex off me.

 

She went into full efficiency mode this time and was back in her pre-Draco state within half an hour, only to find him in the same sexy, rumpled, half-dressed state and sprawled out across her bed.

 

He leaned back across the bank of pillows, hands tucked behind his head. “I could get used to this bed.”

 

Hermione secretly agreed with that sentiment. She could certainly accustom herself to the sight of a Malfoy wizard in her beautiful room, especially one reclining on her frilly covers in such a masculine way; somehow it made everything more real. She picked up his suit coat, which had ended up draped over her bedside candelabra, and turned it right-side out. “I don’t know; you’re a bit untidy. I might not invite you back again.”

 

He smirked and opened his mouth to speak but seemed to think better of it. Instead he slid from the bed and took the coat she was holding out to him.

 

The expression reminded her of that sly look he’d first worn when he’d asked for a formal invitation to enter her room. “What?”

 

The cunning look was immediately replaced with one of complete innocence. “I was just thinking of how much I’d like to be seen with you in that dress. You look radiant today.”

 

She fought past her impending swoon at those romantic words, intent on extracting the real reason from him. Just then her stomach gave a frightening growl.

 

Draco seemed to seize on the distraction with relief. “Great Merlin, that sounds positively dangerous. Perhaps we should feed that monster, just to be on the safe side.”

 

“Shall we sneak down to the kitchens?” She smiled in delight at their ongoing game of repeating past conversations.

 

“Lunch with me in Diagon Alley instead, little witch.”

 

The impulsive suggestion caused her to look up at him in wide-mouthed shock. The little she did know about the wizarding public’s love affair with her new family and the fact that her elder husband had sneaked into the Ministry of Magic on a Sunday morning in order to avoid it seemed to raise rather large red flags. “Errrrrr . . . what? Can we just do that?”

 

“We can do whatever we like, sweetheart.” He leaned down to press a row of kisses onto her bare shoulder. “Come with me to Diagon Alley.”

 

Within her the covenant pricked up its metaphorical ears as if waiting for her reply. Hermione struggled to ignore the sensation of Draco’s soft, wet lips and tongue on her skin. “Shouldn’t we wait for Lucius?” It didn’t seem likely that her elder husband would approve of this idea at all. Then again, Lucius was slightly overprotective. And possessive. Don’t forget possessive. He’ll want to be with us for our first public outing. The covenant began purring its approval. Oh, that was an excellent and very logical argument! She voiced it aloud to Draco.

 

“I’ll send him a message and he can meet us there,” he argued persuasively, running his fingers lightly around the edge of her choker. “Say yes.” He seemed particularly fascinated by the large love bite Lucius had left just below the necklace’s lower edge where her neck and shoulder joined. “I like this.”

 

Visions of Draco’s fanatical admirers and their reactions to seeing him in close proximity came to mind. “I thought you hated public places. You said Hogwarts was your safe place, and that you avoided crowds at all costs.” She removed his fingers from the bruised skin in an attempt to regain his attention.

 

“I can’t hide for the rest of my life. Besides, I’m a married man now.” Draco turned the full power of his beautiful eyes on her, then, and Hermione was lost in their quicksilver depths. “I want to take you out and be seen with you, Princess. I want every witch and wizard who happens to be in Diagon Alley today to see Draco Malfoy with his beautiful Wife, and I want to feast on their jealousy.”

 

Her eyebrow twitched as she fought to bite back her smirk. Sweet Circe, but he’s good. “Now you’re just being melodramatic.” Do go on.

 

“Hermione, it’s only lunch, and if you insist we can take the guards with us. We can Disapparate immediately if you still feel it’s a bad idea.” He paired his words with a kiss obviously designed to erase her qualms, but he succeeded in doing far more than that: he kissed her until she forgot the entire world around them, swallowing her soft sounds of pleasure as though they were an addictive substance.

 

Later she would blame her dereliction of logic on lack of oxygen and a temporary, Draco-induced hypnotic state. For now, though, she could only nod and smile breathlessly. Had anyone ever been able to deny Draco Malfoy anything? “Alright. Summon the guards and send a message to Lucius. But I refuse to use Side-Along and I’m hiding this mark on my neck; I look like I’ve been snogged by a hippogriff.” The covenant stopped purring and seemed to sit up watchfully, but Hermione barely noticed in her altered state of awareness. She floated into her dressing room and stood in front of the nearest mirror, aiming her wand at the kiss-shaped bruise on the inner edge of her shoulder.

 

Draco wandered in and stood behind her, restoring his rumpled clothes to their original crisp state with a quick grooming charm. He frowned his disapproval over her shoulder in the mirror. “You’re quite sure you have to hide this? I like it.”

 

“Of course you do.” She snorted indelicately and performed the Glamour charm. “Because you’re a cave wizard. There.” Satisfied with her altered appearance she caught her husband’s gaze. “I’ve done my part; have you done yours?”

 

“You wound me, little witch; I’m hurt you even asked.” He gave her an anticipatory grin and stole a wicked kiss. “Apparate to the designated spot outside Gringott’s; it’ll be the quietest on a Sunday.” At her nod of agreement he kissed her once more and turned on his heel, Apparating with a strong but quiet crack.

 

She glanced at her reflection once more and grinned. Watch out, wizarding England: here comes Hermione Malfoy. Out of the corner of her eye Hermione caught sight of the disheveled state of her bedroom. Never having been the sort of witch to leave a mess for someone else to clean she decided to set it rights. During those few seconds’ worth of work she allowed herself a brief flight of imagination, in which she and her husbands found a secluded spot in Diagon Alley and indulged in a passionate embrace.

 

Only, that won’t happen, she corrected as she made her bed with a competent flick of her wand, because we’ll have Crabbes and Goyles with us. That crushing realization sent her brain running along a related path. How did Draco have time to contact Lucius and summon the guards, and where are they? She shrugged her shoulders and straightened the tapestry hanging above the headboard of her bed. Maybe he arranged for them to meet us there. He IS a superior wizard, after all.

 

The covenant sent a small wave of some indefinable emotion washing over the surface of Hermione’s awareness. It wasn’t panic, per se, but it was something. I wonder what that’s all about, she thought. Then she moved her feet in the familiar turn of Apparition and turned her concentration to Diagon Alley, the Gringotts’ Apparition spot, and Draco.

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