Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling and probably also Warner Bros. for the time being, though I'm not sure entirely how that works…
WARNING: This is not the last chapter. This is the second to the last chapter. If you are going to lose your shit and yell at me if you get to the 'To Be Concluded…' please just wait. Seriously. It's totally okay with me. I'm already aware that I suck. Cross my heart. We can just agree to agree.
Okay, so for those that really like Author's Notes: (Everyone else can feel free to skip on to the story because I really don't say anything else of particular importance.)
A/N #1: About the names in the last chapter. You may have noticed that they changed. Like, a lot. I kind of thought it was funny, but I'm sure there's at least one person that wants to murder me in my sleep. (Probably one of the people that's really out of sorts about the spacing.) I'm currently editing out all instances of Harold, Richard, Ted, Sarah and Lydia in this chapter… So hey, fingers crossed.
A/N #2: Big thank you to those who have taken the time to give me feedback on this story. I absolutely love the vast majority of you.
A/N #3: So… funny story. It's been awhile, as you know… and in that time… I read the books. Heh. They're kind of awesome, right? Who knew?
Hermione Malfoy, Chapter Nineteen
by scarlet (superscar)
Hermione barely noticed the pain as her back slammed into the wall. All she felt was heat, building inside of her body and clawing its way out. She wanted to follow the scorching trail into the abyss, but Draco's lips anchored her to the earth.
It wasn't like the first time, when his body begged her to stay with him. There were no requests, just demands.
She couldn't think and didn't care.
When Draco's brain returned to regular function, Hermione gave him a lazy smile, like she wasn't quite ready to re-enter the world and deal with their problems. He couldn't agree with her more.
"Go again?" he asked, eager to get back to the thought-blocking pleasure.
It was the wrong move and he could tell immediately as her smile froze. Fuck.
"Please?" he asked politely, hoping she'd fall for it.
She not only ignored the question, but began pulling her pants back on in blatant defiance. Frigid bitch. Fine. He didn't really want to anyway.
"Well, if this isn't proof the nice guy never wins."
"What? Are you the nice guy in this scenario?"
"Did I not say please?"
Hermione threw his pants at him.
"When you said please, I went along with what you wanted," he pointed out, waiting eagerly for Hermione to explode.
"Malfoy, I'm pretty sure you were ready to 'fuck me harder' whether I said please or not."
Draco smiled. So true. But, "Hardly the point. I thought you were a woman of principle."
Hermione slid her shirt back over her head with a sigh, "I suppose you're headed toward a point with all this?"
"You don't like it when I'm nice to you."
Her head whirled toward him. That's right, he said it.
"That's completely absurd."
"Really?" he slid into his trousers slowly, making sure she got an eyeful as he got dressed. "Because whenever we're getting along, you bloody ruin everything."
"There's nothing to ruin!"
"Nothing! We could, at this very moment, be passed out from too much orgasm. Who had to put on her clothes and ruin it? Not me!"
"There's no point in us having sex!"
Flabbergasted, Draco could barely stutter the only obvious response to her bat shit insanity. "The... sex! ...is... its own point!"
"See, this is the difference between men and women."
"Gods, please do not hit me with that feminist bull shit about how we are all equal because women are secretly superior."
"It's really not a secret, Malfoy."
"There's no such thing as innate superiority of a certain group. Surely that's common knowledge in the mudblood community."
"There is such thing as personal superiority," she assured him.
"Hah! You admitted it! Merlin. Finally! You think you're superior to me."
"I know I am."
Righteous glee clambered through his body. "And if you think you're superior to me, you think you're superior to everybody! Don't you see how much we have in common?"
Hermione's head fell into her hands as she realized what she'd walked into. "Malfoy, arrogance is nothing to be proud of!" So what if they had a similar weakness for ignoring the strengths of others?
"Of course not, Hermione, that's ridiculous," he said, as though he was talking to a child. "My intelligence, keen wit, sexual prowess and devastating attractiveness... those are things to be proud of. Arrogance is just a natural byproduct."
"Oh! I'm also really good with people. Don't forget that one."
Hermione recognized that for what it was... bait. He'd lure her into knocking his people skills, which were clearly lacking, thank you very much! Then he'd find a way to bring up her sexual response to him as insufficient, but highly embarrassing evidence of his point.
"I really hate you."
Draco scoffed. "You love me."
Hermione sputtered. "You're getting that from what, exactly?"
"Don't be obtuse. If you weren't in love with me, we'd be shagging against the wall right now."
Relieved that he didn't have better reason, Hermione pointed out what she felt was the obvious flaw with the argument. "I'm not in love with a lot of people, Malfoy, am I shagging them?"
"Well, you can't shag anyone else when you're in love with me. You're just not that kind of girl, Mrs. Malfoy."
"Does love make you want to bash someone's head against the wall?" she asked.
Draco laughed. "You feel it too?"
He'd started out just trying to piss her off, but his reasoning actually made a lot of sense. How had he not seen it before? Granted, she was an absolute nutter about the whole thing, but birds in love could be like that. She'd never be this pissed about it if she didn't have feelings for him.
"Draco, this isn't healthy!"
She could really get stuck on the most pointless subjects. "Love isn't salad, Hermione. Pretty fucking boring if it was."
"We don't even like each other!"
"That's bollocks. Can't think of anyone I like more."
"Even if that were true, it's just because you hate people."
"Not people, just Gryffindors."
"How can we possibly have a relationship if you hate my friends?"
"Oh, what, like you love mine?"
"That's only exactly my point!"
"Well, do you see any of them here now?"
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Sever the umbilical, Granger, Merlin! Not like you can't get along without them for a few seconds."
"Oh, and it's working out just splendidly too."
Draco was beginning to question whether the ends justified him strangling her into submission. "Is there something you have against being happy?"
"I'm not happy!"
"Right, but you could be if you just admit that you wanted this. You were happy before we got expelled, it can be that way again."
"We were EXPELLED, Malfoy! My worst nightmare came to fruition because of our relationship!"
"You say that like it's already happened."
"You just... you throw books! You smoke pot! You got me expelled! You may have gotten me pregnant! How can I live like that?"
He'd completely forgotten the pregnancy issue, the whole start to this walk down insanity lane. Shit. At least pregnancy would account for her obvious hormonal imbalance. "You have named absolutely nothing that makes shit-all difference in the grand scheme."
"Getting expelled hardly recommends a great future!"
"Where's your faith? You think I'm going to let that happen? You think Potter and Redface will just wank off and let that happen? They're probably giving their lonely brain cells a workout right now with just that issue. And side note, I'm sure they do a lot more book throwing and pot smoking than I do."
There was something else he'd meant to mention. Oh, right. "When is that potion going to be done?"
"It was done. Then we were... busy. Now I have to do it over."
"So you should do that, then."
Hermione yanked out a chunk of his hair from the follicle. "Love to."
"...and that's the plan. Pansy will just tell the truth."
Blaise laughed, but no one else did. Apparently, wild fits of ludicrous honesty were just commonplace happenings at the Burrow. "Sorry, was that not a joke?" Potter was clearly insane if he thought that was going to work.
"It's not like I've never told the truth before, he-bitch," Pansy pouted, which wasn't exactly the same as agreeing with the plan.
"So you're going to?" Harry asked.
"To save Granger and Malfoy? Or wait, sorry, Malfoy and Malfoy?" Pansy asked, "Are you mental?"
Potter actually seemed surprised with the answer, as though no one had thought to question him before.
"You know, it wouldn't be too hard for him to turn you back into that gold watch you liked so much," Ron pointed out.
"He can't do that. He's a good guy. Truth will set you free sort of rot."
"Lucky I decided to show up, then."
Every head swung to the doorway, where Draco Malfoy leaned casually against the door jam as though he often graced the Burrow with his presence. "Parkinson. Glad you're here. Just the bitch I've been wanting to dismember."
Pansy tried to subtly reach for her wand only to find four others trained on her immediately.
Draco hadn't bothered, just smiled at the others. "Let's chat, shall we?"
Maybe she could live with the pot smoking. Apparently, Harry and Ron did it and she'd never noticed a serious dip in their behavior or IQ. The thought that they had nowhere to go but up seemed a little disloyal and she dismissed it.
She'd have to make it very clear that books were to be treated with respect. There was just really no excuse...
Gods, what was she doing? Getting onto his 'this can work' train of ridiculous?
So she had feelings for him. Feelings faded. Better they did so now before they actually started to believe they were really married. What were they going to do? Not graduate Hogwarts and just live with Malfoy's mother? If rumors were to be believed, Hermione would spend the formative months of her possible pregnancy being yelled at by the Malfoys' racist family portraits.
There was a bloody brilliant picture.
Or she could dump Malfoy on his arse, never step foot near his dead relations and go on to lead a relatively happy life, providing she could still get her damned N.E.W.T.S. If she had to go back to the muggle world and pretend to be an Illusionist she was going to murder Draco Malfoy.
Nervously, Hermione added the last ingredient, her own hair, to the potion. If it turned white, all would be well. She could go back to life as she knew it and try to focus on something positive, like finding Pansy Parkinson and beating the slutty out of her. If, however, the potion turned orange, there was the horrid possibility that she might have to actually try to work things out with Draco.
As well as they could be worked out with the miserable git.
The plan was tactically flawed from the outset. Probably because it came from the mind of one Harry Potter, the Boy Who'd Really Just Lay There Gurgling and Took Credit. If it had been Hermione's plan, Draco would have gone into it with a lot more confidence. He'd maintain healthy cynicism, of course, he had an image to think about, but the near certainty of worsening the situation would be pleasantly absent, which would, ideally, lead to the relaxation of certain sphincters.
But unfortunately, Hermione needed to be present to create a plan and was too pissed off to still have that whole 'expulsion' cloud overhead to actually speak to him. Which was mental, given that she was the most likely of their group to actually come up with something that would work. Smart-person stupid really was the most irritating kind.
As it was, he was mostly concentrating on what to do when the whole 'honesty thing' backfired tremendously. Of all the jobs he had to get stuck with, just because his "mother" was the person involved. As Draco dropped the floo powder to the transport himself home to Malfoy Manor, he wondered, not for the first time, if Potter really appreciated his life as an orphan.
Draco was surprised that his mother had left the Manor connected to the Floo network until the moment he stepped past the fireplace. Inches away from his eyeball was the pointy end of a long hair, attached to a massive wart, in the company of a great many friends, all of which sat upon the flaring nostril of Great Uncle Stabilius Malfoy.
Taking into account the fact that Uncle Stabby was probably the most hideous bloke to grace the magical world in the past eight centuries, Draco was actually proud of the fact that he didn't fully ass plant directly back into the fireplace. Minor shrieking was just a natural reaction the portrait was undoubtedly used to.
Though from the way he plugged his ears, one would think Draco was the family embarrassment hidden in the haunted corridor, behind the secret passage, on the way to the dungeons.
The wizarding world really couldn't get any judgier than the artwork at Malfoy Manor.
He straightened up carefully. Gracefully, too, he thought, considering the circumstances. "Mother?" Draco called out, unsurprised when the only reaction in the shrunken room was a low chuckle and quivering wart hair.
The Malfoy Library, normally the size of the great hall at Hogwarts, had been completely contained to what felt like a thimble, was probably actually around the size of a coffin and it was completely impossible to turn around.
He was particularly fond of how every other thing that was usually part of the library was now miniaturized, so even if he was the type to just read a book and wait for her to get done with her hissy fit, even the largest volumes on dark magic from the dawn of time were smaller than his toenails and about as easy to read as Hermione's moods.
His mother sure knew how to make a statement through décor.
Great Great Uncle Stabilius had always been a hideous bloke and rumor within the family had always been that the picture didn't even do justice to the horror of it. If family history was to be believed, Muggles had based much of their magical imagery on Stabilius Malfoy.
The family liked to keep that quiet, of course.
In his youth, the story had only fueled Draco's bigotry, since surely only the stupidest of people could have mistook Stabilius for female.
"Your mother has asked that I entertain you as you wait for her."
Obviously, his mother was far more interested in entertaining herself with the thought of Draco being forced to stare at the portrait that had scared the living shit out of him as a child.
At some point in the future, he would surely appreciate it on some level.
Once the claustrophobia and repulsion abated, perhaps.
"Did my mother ever tell you I got married?"
The vindictively amused expression left Stabilius's face. "What has that to do with anything? You're but a child."
"Might have a child, too. Continue the Malfoy name and all that."
Draco could tell his Uncle was nervous about the choice of topic. Probably because any wizard who half liked women would have glamoured their face so one could kiss them without retching. Or took a potion for a skin condition that made the plague look like acne.
"Great girl, Hermione. Never really noticed her until this year. Since she's muggleborn and everything, but I'm thinking of taking out an ad in the Daily Prophet."
"You're… you can't. She's not…"
"She is. Cutest little teeth. Pretty much thanks to me, by the way, but that's a side issue."
"A Malfoy cannot marry a muggle!"
"Sure, we can. I didn't, as it happens. She's pretty much the most powerful witch alive. I'm talking, within shaggable age range, obviously."
"You're a traitor to your blood."
"Sure, sure. Gods, she's flexible. She'd kill me if you repeated this, so just between us, right, Uncle Stabilius?"
"You will be silent! Utter not her name –"
"Hermione's name, you mean? Hermione Malfoy? That has such a great ring. We could name our first daughter after her. Maybe both her and Mum. Hermione Narcissa Malfoy? Did I tell you she might be expecting? Hermione, I mean, not my mother. Fuck, can you imagine? There's an awful thought. Sorry! Back to Hermione Malfoy…"
But it was too late. Uncle Stabilius had vacated the premises.
Who needed a wand when he had his mouth?
Draco conjured himself a nice little chair with nice plush curtains and sat in front of the fire to wait for his mother to get over her hissy fit.
It didn't take too terribly long before his mother finally showed up. Due to the lack of reading material, he mostly just relived his sexcapades from that morning. He hadn't been lying about the flexibility and time flew right on by.
"Mother," Draco acknowledged as the room returned to normal size.
"Oh, hello Draco, I hadn't realized you'd arrived." She didn't crack anywhere. No sparkle in the eyes or twitch in her smile of welcome. Fuck, he needed her to teach him how she did that. He just had too much fun lying to ever be as completely convincing at it. Maybe if he kept it for more serious topics. Something that mattered. Like money.
"Mother, I'm here to discuss finances."
He wasn't. Not at all.
"Are you concerned my lack of income when you actually manage to get me fired will end up negatively impacting your lifestyle?"
Well, sure. Now. But he couldn't let her sidetrack him. His marriage was on the line. "Negatively impact how?" he asked.
Hermione whispered the last words to the spell over the completed potion, just waiting for the information that would change her life forever.
She held her breath as it turned… white. Huh.
"Would you like some tea, dear?" Helen Granger asked as Hermione walked into the room in a daze. "Have you gotten the results, then?" She asked when it became obvious her daughter wasn't going to answer.
"What was that, mum?"
"Your magical pregnancy. Have you found out yet?"
"It's not a magical pregnancy, it's a magical pregnancy test. A potion."
"So it's fool proof, then, correct?"
Well, no, a fool could mess it up just fine. But Hermione wasn't a fool. "It's negative. I'm not pregnant."
Odd that for some reason, she'd expected to be. Like that might explain how her emotions were all over the place and her strange attachment to Draco in spite of the more than obvious fact that he was a complete prat. Or even the fact that she'd vomited twice in the last twelve hours.
"Aww, honey. There'll be plenty of time for that in the future. After you've graduated and have a good job. That's how it works in that other world too, isn't it?"
"Yeah, mom. Everyone works. Unless you're born rich, like Draco. Who knows what he'll do. Create new ways to torture Hufflepuffs, I guess."
Helen's nose scrunched tightly until she finally shook her head. "Sorry dear, remind me what a Hufflepuff is again? Is it the who-what'sits that fly about?"
"You're thinking of a Hippogriff."
"Right, right. You rescued one of those."
"Right. From Draco, by the way. Still think he's Prince Charming?"
"Oh, love, it's clear you're determined to fight with him today, but wasn't that in your fourth year? He was merely a child."
"Trust me, he still is."
"Alright then," Hermione's mother sighed, pouring herself a tea. "Let's have it, love. What did he do?"
The most annoying thing he'd done, Hermione realized, was to not actually do anything particularly clear cut or easily explainable.
"This is a horrible idea," Ron said as Harry rang the bell at the Granger residence.
"Well, they don't have a floo, idiot, they're muggles," Ginny pointed out.
"That's not what I meant. Why are we even involving Hermione at this stage, shouldn't we just leave her alone until she can't turn us all into beetles?"
"Okay, A, she's never actually turned anyone into a beetle –"
"Just a poodle."
"That was hilarious," Ron insisted. "Is it wrong that I'm kind of enjoying the Hermione and Malfoy pairing now? It's just that sort of totally sick and wrong that's become entertaining, you know?"
"No," Harry said.
"You're just saying that because when they get divorced, you don't want to be heartbroken, right, Potter?" Blaise asked.
Slytherins were difficult to like on their best day, Harry couldn't help but notice.
"How do we even get in the house?" Pansy asked. "This whole muggle scene creeps me out."
The door opened, then, before Pansy could get into anything else. "Hallo, Mr. Granger. Hermione in this morning?"
Draco regretted allowing his mother to get them off track almost immediately. Yes, yes, she was angry and it would cost him in the pocketbook area and be super, super annoying. He got it. But he had a mission, here. He was supposed to say… something.
"Mother, please shut up a moment."
Narcissa's mouth dropped. This probably wasn't the ideal way to butter her up to do him a favor, but he was losing his shit with her constant dramatics.
"Look, we need your help."
"My help? After your attempt to get me fired from a job I enjoyed?"
"After your attempt to give the entire student population a nice visual of my most embarrassing baby habits, what the fuck option did I have?"
"Mother. I'm of age. I'm married. I may or may not be a father soon, fates depending."
Narcissa brightened up immediately. "A baby?" she asked.
Obviously, he should have just led with that.
Hermione and her mother followed the sound of her father's voice into the living room, where a few people she loved, one person she was open to liking and another that she wanted to stuff with tiny feathers and drop kick repeatedly, stood waiting.
"…Hi?" she didn't really know what else to say.
"Hey Hermione!" Ron came over to give her a hug. "How's the holiday going?"
It was pretty awful, but getting into that in front of her parents wasn't exactly her first choice. "Umm… it's alright. What's going on?"
"We're supposed to get everyone to sign this. Right?" Ron looked to Harry to confirm what he was saying, which didn't bolster a lot of Hermione's confidence in whatever insane plan they'd come up with to get her out of this expulsion mess. Then again, it was the same look Ron would give Hermione in transfiguration and he'd eventually managed that one.
"Too right," Harry agreed. "Your place is on the way to the Creeveys."
"Wait. The Creeveys? You're having everyone everyone sign this? Every student at Hogwarts? What is this?"
She started reading the fine print at the top of the petition. "You can't be serious, Harry. You want every student to admit to the exact thing that they want to expel Draco and me for?"
"Well, they can't expel all of us."
"They can certainly expel anyone who is stupid enough to put their names on this list," Hermione muttered.
Pansy laughed, "That's what I said!"
"Oh, brilliant. So whose plan was this, then?"
There was a whooshing of green dust to announce the next visitor to the Malfoy Library and Draco was easily distracted from whatever his mother was babbling on about.
"Draco Malf-oh, shite!" Hermione's voice cut off immediately and Draco bounded from his chair to find his wife, as expected, staring in mute horror at the new library decoration.
"Hermione, Uncle Stabilius. Stabby, my wife, Hermione Malfoy."
"You are a pox upon the House of Malfoy!"
Hermione went from shocked fascination to annoyance very quickly. "Nice welcome mat, Malfoy. Thanks a bunch."
"Blame mother. Was her brilliant plan to dig him out of the back hall in the first place."
"You dirty the purity of our line with the blood of your loins!"
"Just the blood from my loins?" Hermione asked, "The rest of my blood is fine?"
Loins was such an odd word for an incongruously arousing part of the body. Really, wasn't that whole area considered dirty on some level? Ideally, at any rate? He supposed its every day functions were more or less boring. "I think it's probably just the epicenter of contamination," Draco reasoned. "Then it moves up and out, counterclockwise until it affects the whole family."
"Counterclockwise?" Hermione asked.
He knew she'd like that part. "Obviously. Common knowledge."
"So sexual relations aren't required with everyone, then?" Hermione asked, stepping bravely close to the portrait in front of her. Plucky little Gryffindor bitch.
"Fuck, you're turning me on," Draco told her and in principle, it couldn't be truer. In practice, she was standing right next to Uncle Stab-your-eyes and it was really killing all physical reaction from the neck down. Not like lying wasn't fun enough on its own, though. "Contaminate me right here, right now." He whirled her around, pulled her into him and kissed her, slamming her right up against the portrait. She moaned loudly, rubbing herself against the wall like the evil genius she was.
The sounds of gagging as his Uncle stumbled away was like a reward to his very soul and blood rushed back to every area of his body.
Really, it wasn't necessary for him to continue dry humping his wife into the wall, but it was clearly stated in their relationship manifesto that it was his job to transition wildly inappropriate moments into sex and hers to put on the breaks.
Plus, with the ugly out of the picture, she was creating some serious wood.
When she tilted her head, banging her head rapturously against the empty canvas, he took the opportunity, kissing down her neck as she breathed heavily in his ear.
"Yes, Draco! Counterclockwise!" she cried out.
He burst into laughter, laying his forehead against her clavicle to catch his breath before looking into her great big dancing eyes. "Gods, I love you." He heard the words and saw the way her eyes widened and smile froze.
It just took him a second longer to realize that he was the one who had spoken.
Shit, she really was contaminating him.
To Be Concluded…