Title: I was his.
Hermione's P.O.V One shot
Companion piece to She was mine.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. I'm just using them for my own perverted sense of fun.
Feed back: Sure thing! Feedback is always helpful.
Big thanks to Karen for beta-ing this piece for me, and for beta-ing She was mine too. Greatly appreciate it babe. ;)
Summary: Hermione's thoughts as she thinks back over the past.
"Malfoy's watching you again, Hermione."
It become a common phrase at the Gryffindor table, along with "Please pass the salt" and "Ron! Ewww! Close your mouth while you chew!" The first dozen times that it was uttered, the table would fall silent, and all eyes would turn towards the Slytherin table.
There, Draco Malfoy would be staring at me, and upon finding the eyes of all of Gryffindor upon him, he would smirk and then look away. It was unnerving, to say the least. It had been happening since the end of fifth year, and now we were commencing term after our Christmas holidays in sixth year.
My first classes after breakfast were double Potions, and to say I wasn't looking forward to it would be an understatement. Professor Snape always bullied those who were not in Slytherin, and he seemed to focus on Harry, Ron and myself more so than not. We had just sat down in our usual seats when Snape stalked into the room with a billow of robes.
"Do not get comfortable. I am assigning new seats, as you will be working with a partner for the next assignment. Each partnership will have a potion to make that is different from their classmates, so do not think you can go to your…friends…for help" he finished, levelling Ron with a stare.
My heart leapt into my throat, and I began to pray silently that I would not be partnered with Draco Malfoy. But luck didn't smile my way, and Snape almost sneered as he motioned for me to leave my seat and make my way to the back of the class and sit with Malfoy. I expected to be greeted with a snide comment or a statement that I could do all the work, but he never said anything.
We listened to Snape talk about the potions he wanted us to complete, and his eyes were almost twinkling when he looked towards us; he told us that Malfoy and I would be researching the Amortentia Potion, and that we had a month to not only prepare the potion successfully, but to make sure that the assignment was completely detailed for each day we worked together.
Malfoy still didn't say anything. He just reached for his quill, and started taking notes. I stared at him for a good five minutes before he finally looked over at me, and spoke quietly. There was no trace of venom or rudeness in his voice either, so it took me a few moments to process what he actually said.
"I have Quidditch practise most afternoons while there is still light, but most of my evenings are free, except for Tuesdays and Thursdays, as I have tutoring sessions with some of the Slytherins. What days work best for you?"
That began our strange little study sessions in the library. He was quiet and courteous; not at all like the Draco Malfoy with whom I had attended school for the last five years. The arrogance was still there, but not in the usual sense. We had been discussing the Love Potion and the best way to gather early morning dew when he shook his head and said it.
"No, I'll go. You're better at Herbology than I am, so you would be better off getting the Moonstone flowers. I'll get the dew."
My whole world tilted on its axis, and I knew my mouth had dropped at his off-handed compliment, but I couldn't help it. Shrugging out of my stupor, I bent my head over our books and parchments once more.
We had been researching this potion and preparing the ingredients for about two weeks when he began to watch me during the study sessions. I would feel his gaze on me, but when I looked up he would look away, and continue on with his work.
I would find myself watching the top of that platinum head as he took notes, before clamping his quill between his teeth as he flicked through the books and scrolls that would litter our table as we studied. And when those icy eyes would flick up towards me, I would drop my gaze, and go back to what I had been doing.
It was funny in a way: We began to seek each other out in class. While eating our meals. If we crossed paths in the halls. Our eyes would meet and hold, and, to me, the whole world faded away as I watched his normally icy gaze turn warm, and then heat to molten silver. And all I could think about was guarding my heart against him.
When we handed our essays back in to Professor Snape, I was nervous. Malfoy sat at my side, his knee bouncing as he waited for our marks. When we got them and I saw the big red O on the top, I couldn't help the smile that broke across my face. I turned to face him, and he returned my smile with a genuine one of his own, and I was startled to feel my heart give one big thud in my chest at the sheer beauty of him.
When we found out that we were staying partnered with the person from our previous project, my heart gave another strange thud. Malfoy seemed happy enough about it, so I shrugged and gave him another small smile as we waited for our next assignment.
"Tonight?" was all he said as we gathered our supplies at the end of class, and I simply nodded.
Harry and Ron were worried, though.
"I know he was well behaved during the last essay Hermione, but I can't help but worry," Harry explained.
I asked what he meant, and he admitted to hiding beneath the invisibility cloak and watching us for the first two weeks. I could only smile, and I told him I loved him for looking out for me, but that I would be ok. Malfoy seemed to finally be growing up. And Harry agreed.
It was that conversation with Harry that made me look at Malfoy in a different light. I began to relax around him, and while we still dedicated two hours every second night to studying together, the time we spent together afterwards began to grow longer.
We started to talk. Not just about school. I was startled to find he was a passionate debater, and we would find ourselves talking late into the night. Books, music, food, art…life in general. His world and mine, and the world that emerged between the two.
It was during a particularly stimulating debate about fruit, of all things, that one of the carefully built walls between us cracked and tumbled down into dust. He sighed, yanked his tie free from his shirt collar and opened the first few buttons on his shirt, and then dropped his bombshell as I sat primly with my arms folded.
"I don't care, Hermione! Apples are better than bananas…by far. You aren't left with that furry taste on your tongue."
He hadn't even thought about it. My name left his mouth as if it was the most natural thing in the world, and I lowered my eyes slightly as I mumbled something about peaches and strawberries. He twisted my words, and in a fit of temper, I called him Draco. And we rarely used one another's family names again.
Our study sessions changed after that. I got to the library first one night, and set myself up at our usual table. Draco came running in ten minutes later, and collapsed into the chair next to mine. He was out of breath, and his hair was damp and tousled.
"Quidditch practise," he said by way of an explanation, and I just nodded.
We sat side by side, and things were fine; Draco left to get a new book, and when he returned with it, he leant over my shoulder from where he was standing behind me, and pointed something out to me. And while I outwardly appeared calm, inside I had frozen at his closeness.
I felt overwhelmed. I could smell the soap he had used in the showers, and when he turned his face to look at me, I saw his eyes up close for the first time. Not so cold, when trapped under that intimate gaze. Silvery grey, and lined thickly with dark lashes. Odd eyes; eyes you could drown in.
He kept invading my personal space after that. Sitting in class with his legs spread, our thighs brushing every time one of us shifted. His fingers brushing mine as we reached for the same book or ingredient. He would always be the one to get a new book off the shelf, and the way he would read it over my shoulder.
Then we got stuck in the potions cupboard. I was up the ladder, and he was facing the other way, looking at the lower shelves. When I came down the ladder to leave, he turned at the last second, trapping me between his body and the ladder.
We both froze, overwhelmed by the sheer proximity of each other. I could feel each and every inch of that toned body pressed against me. The way his breathing stirred the hair by my ear. I tried to wiggle past him, but his hands on my hips stayed my movements, and he spoke gruffly.
"Unless you want to feel even more of me, Granger, I suggest you stop wiggling."
I blushed at his words, his soft chuckle teasing my skin as he reached past me, and moved the ladder an inch or so, so that we had room to move again. But in the moments that it took to move the ladder, I did feel more of him, and I was shaking by the time he let me go.
I fretted the night away that night. My feelings were changing, and I was helpless to stop them. I was worried about what my friends would think. How Draco felt. Did he feel the same way? Was I alone in this strangeness? Or was it just a game to him?
When we got together the following night to research our next potion, I was tired. Students left the library slowly as the hour grew late, and still we studied. Researching the Draught of Living Death was important, as it counted towards nearly half of our marks.
Draco was in the stacks looking for a book, so I laid my head on my arms for a second. I just needed to close my eyes. I'm not sure how long I slept for, but I opened my eyes when I felt my hair grow taut.
Draco was sitting beside me, his hand playing with my hair as he stared at me. He hadn't realised I was awake yet, so I was free to watch him for a moment. He seemed fascinated with my curly hair, and was winding an errant curl around his finger. His face was soft, and his eyes were gentle, and in that moment, I knew my heart was in danger of no longer being my own, and it scared me.
I felt his touch all the way down to my toes when he tucked the curl behind my ear, and it was then that he saw I was awake; his eyes darkened as I lifted my head slowly from my arms. He groaned softly, and ran a gentle hand over my hair, and I couldn't stop the silent gasp that had my lips parting in surprise.
He shook his head as if trying to clear it, and then he reached for me. I had time enough to think "Oh my god!" and then his lips touched mine. And I was lost. I had only kissed Krum before this, and that kiss had been my first. Draco had obviously kissed plenty of witches, though.
His hands were cradling my head, keeping my face tilted the way he wanted it as he kissed me. I started shaking when he sucked my bottom lip between his own, and I know I moaned when he slid his tongue over mine.
Reality came crashing back moments later, when I felt his hand drop from my face to my breast, and I broke free from him. I couldn't breathe properly, and as I panted slightly, I saw the desire burning in his eyes. I couldn't do it. I couldn't become involved with him. I wasn't strong enough to risk my heart.
"We shouldn't have done that."
He went to stand at my whisper, and I fled. It was as simple as that. I grabbed my wand, and left my belongings behind, and fled to the safety of Gryffindor tower, only to fret the night away again. I was walking to class after breakfast the following morning, and wondering what to say to him when I saw him, when a hand reached out and grasped my arm. I was tugged sideways into an alcove, my startled gasp dying when I saw who had caught me.
Draco stood in the shadows, his eyes burning with fevered intention as he started to lower his head towards mine. My heart thudded in my chest hard, and I shook my head silently as I struggled out of his arms and backed away. He smirked slightly and lifted his hand, my belongings from the library neatly tucked into my bag.
I took my bag from him with a shaking hand, but when his eyes darkened once more, I again fled. I cursed my traitorous body and heart for the rest of the day. I locked myself away during my free period, and ate dinner in my room. My final class was a late one, and my defences were lowered with fatigue as I walked back towards Gryffindor tower.
Draco was persistent, I'll give him that. I never saw him coming. An arm looped around my waist and tugged me backwards into the shadows. I dropped my bag as I turned around, a plea to leave me alone hanging on my lips, but I never got the chance to utter it. His lips found mine in the darkness, and once more I was lost.
He kept me drugged with kisses as he drew me into a dark alcove, and pressed me gently against the wall. Trapped between the rough stone, and the hard planes of his body, I was helpless to do anything but give in to him. Draco groaned when I silently surrendered, and he spent the next hour or so kissing me senseless.
Long sweeps of his tongue against mine. His teeth nibbled and his lips caressed, but this time he kept his hands on my waist. The only time he moved his hands, was when he reached down between us to adjust himself, soothing the need to take what he wanted.
It was only when he finally groaned deep in his throat and pressed his hips sharply against my own, that he stopped kissing me. He withdrew from me slowly, lingering over my mouth as I panted weakly against his chest.
He walked me back to the tower, pausing every few steps to tug me back into his arms and kiss me again. He kept his desire on a short leash, and I felt cherished when he pressed swollen lips to the corner of my mouth and bade me goodnight.
The common room was dark, lit only by the fire when I slipped inside. But Harry, being the best friend that he was, was awake and waiting for me. He took one look at me, and then swallowed hard.
"Were you with Malfoy, Hermione?"
I could only nod. Harry stood up and wrapped his arms around me, murmuring into my hair that if Draco hurt me, Harry would introduce him to a whole new concept of pain. It made me cry slightly, because I knew how much Harry loved me. You can't be best friends with someone for six years, and not know it.
I went to the bathroom before I went to bed, and I could only stare at the young woman reflected back at me. Eyes that were hazy with pent-up emotions. Swollen lips, that were a deep red from the pressure of his. A small scattering of love bites across my collarbone. And hair that was wild from his hands. I looked thoroughly kissed, and there was no hiding it.
I kept my back to him during breakfast that next morning, afraid to meet his eyes. Afraid that he wanted to keep me a secret in the dark. Plain afraid. I went through the motions in class, but my mind was elsewhere. The halls were packed with students going to lunch, when a hand reached out of an alcove, and pulled me inside of it. In plain view of half of Hogwarts, Draco caught my mouth with his.
We were side on to them, and there was no mistaking that head of hair. Draco wasn't hiding this. Us. What ever it was. In front of Harry and Ron. In front of Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil, the two biggest gossips in school. In front of Pansy Parkinson, Theodore Nott and Blaise Zabini.
"It's about damn time" I heard Zabini mutter to the other Slytherins, who all agreed.
But then I heard nothing. All I could do was feel. He kissed me for a long moment, and then lifted his head slowly. Looking down at me through his eyelashes he spoke against my lips.
"Don't be scared of me…of what is happening between us. I can't promise that I'll never hurt you, but I do promise that I'll try not to."
Then he led me to lunch, where in the ten minutes we had been in that alcove, the news that Draco Malfoy had kissed Hermione Granger had spread like wildfire. Draco simply smirked and we parted ways to go to our respective tables. I didn't see Draco for the rest of the day, until I left my last class, and found him leaning against the wall outside the classroom.
His arms were crossed, and he lounged with the familiar arrogance that was his alone. When I left the classroom, he simply took my bag in one hand, and rested his other hand against the small of my back as he walked with me to the library.
We finished up the final notes of our potion, having completed it in class two days earlier. I was putting the reference books away, when he tugged me further into the shadows, and we spent the next hour or so kissing again.
Once again, he kept his hands gentle. Roaming my waist, and cupping my face. Tangling in my hair to tilt my face back, so he could trail his lips down my throat. He tugged my shirt free of my skirt, his fingers warm as they drew intricate patterns on the bare skin he had exposed at the small of my back.
And once more, the only time his hands left my body, was when he reached between us to soothe himself. It was only when he began to unconsciously rock his hips against mine, did he slowly draw away. His eyes were dark with desire, and his lips were swollen. I was pleased to see he looked as thoroughly kissed as I had the night before.
It must have shown on my face, because he growled slightly and hauled me tightly against him, kissing me to the point that black dots swam before my closed eyes, and I was left trembling. It had doubled his own desire, and he couldn't help but chuckle softly in my hair as he pressed his lips to my bent head.
He returned me to Gryffindor tower, and once again, Harry was waiting for me. Harry's eyes boggled at the sight of me, and I was unable to wipe the silly smile off of my face as he simply chuckled, and waved me towards the girls dormitories.
I turned to face him, and Harry gave me a sad sort of smile.
"I trust him, Hermione. With you…I never thought I'd say that, but I do trust him. I hope this works out between you."
And the school year was over. We Owled one another during the school holidays, and met in Diagon Alley a few times to spend the day together. He was surprised when I handed him his birthday gift in the first early days of the holidays.
"I didn't think you knew…thank you, Hermione."
I shrugged, and couldn't contain my happy reaction when he was pleased with the dragon hide Quidditch gloves I had picked out for him. We were careful, meeting in public this way; the war was looming on the horizon, and Draco and I had been talking about it with growing frequency.
When his owl arrived late one evening, with the invitation from Lucius to visit for a few days, it was almost like he had been expecting my answer to be no. Lucius also extended the invitation to an Auror of my choosing.
I talked it over with Harry and Ron, and with their blessing I went with Tonks. It helped to know she was related to Draco on his mother's side, and it was funny to watch her saunter into Malfoy Manor, and call out her greetings.
Lucius was as tall and as intimidating as ever. Pure-blood. And the man who scared me almost as much as Voldemort. But when we sat down in the lounge room that night, and he asked me to explain some of the things Draco and I had discussed, I was pleasantly surprised to see that he genuinely wanted to know. I could now see where Draco had inherited his curiosity.
Our talks became more personal, and I was surprised to see that he was thinking for himself. He was fascinated with my mobile phone, and I actually made a dozen calls for him, so that he could see how it worked. He spent a long time talking to me those first couple of days, and then calmly told us he would be out the following day, and we would have the Manor to ourselves.
Draco suggested we go swimming the following morning, and when he saw me in my bathers, his eyes shot open. He had never seen a bikini before, but he obviously liked it, because his eyes heated to silver almost immediately.
Once in the lake, a water fight broke out between us. Our laughter intermingled for a long while, until it died away when Draco's arms snaked around my waist and he bought towards him. This kiss changed everything.
There was no need to worry about being caught by teachers or our peers. I floated in his arms, my mind hazy as he took his time kissing me. I shivered slightly when his hands ran down my thighs, his movements coaxing me closer and also bringing my legs around his waist. He groaned loudly, and kept me still as he continued to kiss me, even as the evidence of his arousal throbbed solidly between us in a way I had never felt before.
His hands were firm on my back as he ran them over my skin, and his intentions were not lost on me when I felt my bikini top loosen and the cool water rush across my naked skin. I knew my eyes were wide as he stared at me. He had never taken such liberties before, but I knew he wouldn't push me any further, so I slowly relaxed as he lowered his head to kiss me once more.
I was so drugged by his kisses that I never felt us moving, until he lowered me to the bank of the lake, and stretched out over me. He kept his movements slow, drawing away the scrap of black material from my breasts, and baring me to his gaze.
I was embarrassed to be laying half in and half out of the water, with him lying between my thighs, and his gaze centred on my breasts. But when he moaned softly and ran his hand up my ribs and palmed me gently, I could only sigh and bring his mouth back down to mine. And then, I knew; he owned my heart.
It was late when Lucius returned, and he was still with Tonks. Tonks looked as pleased as punch about something, and I got the strangest feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something big had happened; something that would change us all.
Lucius looked tired, and he sat slumped in an armchair. Fatigue lined his face, and he simply swirled the brandy in his glass, rather than drink it. Draco asked him what was wrong, and that's when he told us he had just joined the Order of the Phoenix. He would fight for the Light.
I asked him why. He had been a supporter of Voldemort for as long as I had known him, and I couldn't understand why he had swapped sides. Why he had become a double agent like Snape? Did he not understand the risk? Lucius simply chuckled, and then blew my world off of its axis.
"You are meant to be the brightest witch of your age, Hermione. Now, look at my son, and ask me again."
I didn't need to look. I could now see what Draco had felt all along. It mirrored my own feelings. He loved me. His father saw that, and put his son's happiness before anything else. Lucius knew that if forced to choose sides, Draco would fight by mine, rather than Voldemort's, so he had taken Draco's choice, and made it for him.
We resumed seventh year a month later, and I was elated when I was made Head Girl. Even more so, when I found out that Draco had been made Head Boy. The first year students were gathered in two rows behind us, when we heard Professor Dumbledore announce our names to the other students as their current heads.
The doors opened, and we walked in with redounding applause ringing in our ears. We had walked half way down the hall towards the Headmaster, when Draco reached out and took my hand in his own. He laced our fingers together, and flashed me a small smirk. His meaning was clear to everyone; I was his.
Draco was now more restrained in simply snatching me into an alcove than the previous year. He wanted everyone to know we were together, but once they did, he kept our relationship descreet out of respect to the Professors. We were sharing the Head Rooms after all.
He walked me to nearly all of my classes, with his hand pressed lightly against my lower back, and both of our bags in his other hand. If one of us missed the other in the morning, he would wait for me after breakfast, and then steal his morning kiss in an alcove. Or he would pass me a note letting me know he had Quidditch practise or a tutoring session, and would see me later that night.
The nights, though…the nights were ours. No more hiding in darkened hallways or alcoves to kiss me senseless. Not when he had our own common room in which to do so. During our second night at school, once our homework was finished, I found myself trapped between the couch and his body, his legs tangled with mine, and his hands on my body.
He never pushed me for more than I was willing to give. But having tasted and touched my breasts at Malfoy Manor already, he spent a lot of his time tasting and touching again. Flexing his hips unconsciously into mine, and burying his face in my throat as soft moans bubbled up between us when I returned the intimate gesture.
We were sitting on the couch three weeks into school, and Draco had me almost moaning with desire as he kissed me. One would assume he was a starving man, the way he feasted on my lips. He spent long moments exploring my mouth, sipping from me, only to try and devour me whole. Soul shaking, breath stealing kisses.
Someone cleared their throat and we looked up, only to have Draco suddenly press my face against his bare chest to shield me. I clutched my shirt together with my hand, Draco having been in the middle of unbuttoning it when Professor Snape and Professor McGonagall made their presence known to us.
We were told that we were doing a very good job as head students, and that the fact we were not flaunting our relationship, showed an admirable level of maturity. Then Snape embarrassed all four of us by handing us a piece of parchment, and telling us that it was a long lasting contraceptive charm, and that we were to cast it that night.
"You are of age. We could easily separate you back into your dorms, but I have the feeling that this wouldn't stop you. You may not head into that aspect of your relationship for some time, but things have a habit of being uncontrollable, and it would be better to be prepared, than not."
As soon as the Professors left, I fled to my room. I had never been as embarrassed as I was then. I knew in the back of my head, though, that what they had done was a responsible thing. I loved Draco, and I knew where our relationship was headed. It was only a matter of when.
When I heard the shower start between our rooms, I crept out to the common room again. Draco had left the parchment on the table, and I didn't hesitate to pick it up and return to my room. Once inside, I read the charm over, and with a deep breath, cast it over myself. I felt the warmth that infused my abdomen, and felt at ease with my decision.
It was the following night that Draco realised I was a virgin. His hands slid down my thighs which were cradling his hips. His hands slid under my skirt, and then smoothed the material further up my thighs, but he opened his eyes to look down at me when I stiffened under him.
A small smile crossed his face after he had searched my eyes, and he bent his head to press a lingering kiss against my forehead. Even as he spoke, he was smoothing my skirt back into place, and returning his hands to my hair.
"I won't push… when you're ready to take that step with me, I'll be waiting."
He was true to his word. He let me set the pace. Our days were spent with our friends. It became normal to find Crabbe, Goyle and Ron in a heated debate about Quidditch, or Harry and Blaise Zabini quietly discussing the Dark Arts.
And when Gregory Goyle and Luna Lovegood started dating, no one raised an eyebrow. Only a few went up when Pansy Parkinson and Ron were caught kissing between classes, but that was mainly surprise at how well suited they were.
At the annual Christmas ball, Professor Dumbledore gave an impressive speech, and then he thanked Draco and me for bringing about what he had been trying to do for years. Inner-House Unity. That by uniting two of the most influentual houses, we had shown the othet studants a new way of life.
And in that one evening, the whole school saw what they had been wondering about. Draco and I together, wrapped tightly in each others arms as we danced, unable to hide the love we felt for each other, but had yet to say. There was no need. Not when we showed each other every day with our actions.
I would find out later that money exchanged hands due to Blaise Zabini, who had set up a betting pool regarding when Draco would propose. It wasn't a question of if, it was a question of when with our friends.
The night ended earlier than anticipated with Lucius appearing at the doors and announcing that Voldemort planned on striking the school the following evening. The younger students were immediately evacuated and hidden in a safe location, leaving behind those who wanted to fight.
Those who wanted to stand against Voldemort turned out to be all of the sixth and seventh year students. And fight we did. They burst into the school during dinner, and there was a horrified pause when Voldemort found us all waiting, with our wands trained on them.
The fight erupted, and it was horrible. It had been raging for nearly an hour, when I was hit with a curse. It sliced through me like a thousand knives, and I immediately crumbled to the ground in agony.
I heard Draco and Harry both cry out my name, and then Draco was there, his fear palpable as he pressed his fingers against my pulse. He gave a sharp nod to Harry, and then he stood up, one foot either side of my hips as he lifted his wand in the direction of the Death Eater who had hurt me.
A flash of green light lit up the room, and the fight paused momentarily as all turned to see who had cast the first killing curse. Draco simply moved his wand on to the next Death Eater in line, and cast it again, his voice echoing coldly in the silence, and then the fight began in earnest. But I knew nothing else after that, and I gave into the darkness that shielded me from the agony I was in.
When I opened my eyes next, I was lying on my back in the infirmary. I turned my head slowly, and felt my heart begin to break when I saw Lucius sitting beside my bed. He was slumped over in sleep, his face lined with grief and fear. His hair was tangled and his clothes were rumpled.
Lucius stared at me for the longest moment, as if he wasn't sure if I was indeed awake and waiting for him to answer me, or if he was only dreaming. I had the most awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I was helpless to stop the tear that slid down my face as I waited for his answer.
It fell from my lips on a sob. Lucius understood what I was asking in a heartbeat, though. I have never seen anyone move so fast before: He was suddenly up and out of his chair, his hands cupping my face as I stared up at him in terror.
"He's alive, Hermione. He's safe. So are Harry and Ron. Draco had to return to class today, as an example to the other students. We won, sweetheart. Voldemort is dead. It's finally over."
I cried then, for a long time. Lucius sat by my side, and gathered me into his arms, and let me cry against his chest as he whispered that I had been unconscious for nearly four weeks, and that all of my friends had taken turns in sitting with me.
When I finally composed myself, Lucius sat by my side in his chair, once more. We looked at each other for the longest moment, and then he reached out and took my hand between his.
"I raised Draco to believe in purity. But you have shown me the very meaning of pure, Hermione. You made my son a man, and if that means changing my thoughts and accepting that my future daughter-in-law is a Muggleborn, who is the smartest witch I know, then change my thoughts I will. You are welcome…I welcome you to my family with open arms, and I look forward to the day you and Draco make Narcissa and me Grandparents."
I felt my eyes well up with tears again, Lucius smiling at me gently as he reached out and smoothed the tears away with his fingertips. I couldn't help returning his smile, my voice husky from lack of use.
"Who are you, and what have you done with the real Lucius Malfoy, who would never show his feelings like this?"
Lucius simply smiled.
"You changed me too, Hermione."
It was then that I heard a noise and looking up, I saw Draco standing in the doorway. Shadows marred the skin under his eyes, and his face was pinched with grief and worry as I looked over at him. But the smile that broke across his face soothed the pinched look away, and he ran across the room to my side, where I promptly burst back into tears.
Lucius slipped away to spread the news that I was awake as Draco cupped my face in his hands and pressed fevered kisses all over my face. I could taste his tears as he gave into his grief, and he climbed onto the bed beside me, and wrapped me up in his arms, and we cried together.
I had a lot of time to think in the following week. I loved him. I knew that. I had nearly died at the tender age of eighteen. But I hadn't. I knew Draco loved me. He wouldn't have cast the killing curse so strongly if he didn't.
I was released a week later, and I was walked back to my dorms by Draco, Harry and Ron. The three most important men in my life. I bade them good night, saying I was tired, and then went to have my shower.
I looked at myself in the mirror for a long moment, staring at the woman I had become. Wrapping my towel around my body, I knew I had made the right decision. I crossed the common room to Draco's door, and pushed it open quietly. He was getting ready for bed himself, and his room was only lit with a few candles.
I marvelled at the beauty of him, as he turned back his bed coverings, wearing only a pair of black silk pyjama bottoms. Then he turned around and caught sight of me. His jaw dropped, and I didn't need to say anything. He saw my decision in my eyes.
He simply smiled and walked slowly towards me. Standing at my side, he dropped a small kiss on my bare shoulder, and then reached past me to shut his door. As it had been at the lake, his hands were firm as he showed me his intentions.
He slid his hands over my shoulders to the edge of my towel, and then pushed it from my body, leaving me bare to his gaze. Then linking our hands together, he led me to his bed. He gave me a final chance to change my mind as he sat on the edge of his bed. I could only smile, and when he held his hand out, I took it with no hesitation.
He took his time, exploring every inch of skin he found. His fingers were calloused from Quidditch, and each time they moved over my skin, it felt like he was setting off fireworks in my blood. Warm lips, and gentle nips of his teeth. And I had no fear.
He let me touch and explore his body, and when I saw his jaw clench, and his knuckles turn white as he clutched the sheets beneath him, I felt powerful. I blushed the first time he lost control, spilling himself between us as he groaned hoarsely into my neck.
He gained his breath back and chuckled softly, showing me how ready for this he really was. It happened twice after that, but each time he was ready for me within a short time. But still he explored. Touching and tasting and teasing me, until I was shaking within his embrace.
My world exploded for the third time as dawn spilt into his room, and I felt his sudden weight push me down into his bed. I arched my hips instinctively against his, but he had other ideas. The feeling of being completely possessed by him was the most natural feeling in the world. There was no pain, just the feeling of being whole.
I looked up at him briefly, and then down at where we were joined so intimately. When I looked back up at him, I felt a tear slide down my face at the sheer love I felt from him. His lips were parted and his eyes were dark with desire, and as he moved for the first time within me, a single tear slid down his face.
I knew he was feeling what I felt. And when I reached up and wiped that tear away, he bent his head to kiss me. And I was his. Afterwards, he rested his head against my shoulder, his breathing unsteady as it skittered across my damp skin.
"I love you."
It was whispered across my skin, and I could only tighten my arms round him as he slowly relaxed above me. It's one thing to know that you are loved, but there is nothing like the first time it is voiced. When I trusted my voice enough, I finally spoke.
"I love you, too."
I never returned to my own room. I never left Draco's bed again. He wouldn't hear of it. It wasn't a case of having me in his bed for sex. It wasn't always about that. It was simply that he had almost lost me once; he wouldn't lose me again.
Graduation day dawned brightly, and we giggled helplessly together as we hurried to get ready on time. Draco had decided he wanted one last bout of loving me in his bed, the shower, my bed, and our common room before we left Hogwarts forever, and now we were late for our own graduation.
Lucius and Narcissa were waiting with my parents when we ran into the hall, Draco doing his tie up as we found them. They took one look at us, and then shook their heads. My father blushed, Lucius rolled his eyes, and my mother and Narcissa giggled behind their hands.
"You have the rest of your lives for that, Draco. Did it have to be now!" Lucius groaned, only to chuckle when Draco nodded enthusiastically.
I didn't think life could get any better when they named me Valedictorian, but I was wrong. We were giving our speeches as Head Students, when Draco suddenly dropped to his knees in front of everyone, and asked me to marry him. I heard Harry shout out when I nodded, too choked by tears to answer him properly.
"Boo-yah! Told you it would be Graduation day, Zabini! Pay up!"
The hall erupted into cheers and applause, and when I finally looked out over the crowd, I saw Lucius and my father hugging with mile-wide smiles, and my mother and Narcissa talking animatedly together.
"Can we elope?"
Draco simply laughed against my lips at my whisper.
"My mother would hunt us down, kill us both, bring us back to life, and then disown me. Hell no. We are doing this properly."
I could only laugh at him, and the expression that had crossed his face at the thought of his mother's reaction. Linking our hands together, we stepped down towards our family and friends, and as I glanced at my fiancé, I only had one thought.
I was his.