Hello, I'm back! I'm not sure for how long, but I promised I would add to this story after Stopover Two and Treacherous Affairs Two. Both those stories are long since finished, so now I will see what I can create from this two-shot.

My deepest thanks to everyone who left such lovely feedback at the end of Cross my Heart. I've been slack and not replied, but I read every one and I'm incredibly touched.

M for naughty words and naughty scenes. Chapters 1 and 2 have been modified to fit with the extended plot line. AU – no Voldemort.

I own the plot, but JK Rowling owns the Harry Potter universe.


Friday evening

Ministry of Magic

"Did your hair stylist apply too much bleach to your thick head, Malfoy?" Hermione Granger yelled, struggling to keep up with his much longer legs as he strode down the hall to the lifts. Workers leapt out of their paths. "I can't believe that someone supposedly as educated and intelligent as you claim to be could make such a stupid mistake!"

Draco Malfoy skidded to a stop and glared at her, insanely offended. "I do not bleach my hair, woman!" he roared.

He jabbed the 'down' button for the lift so violently it was a surprise that he hadn't punched a hole clear through the wall just with his index finger. Hermione stood next to him, seething and tapping her foot.

"And furthermore," he ground out, "if I had received all the necessary information from your Department – which I clearly didn't – I would have noticed the error before your useless staff ran rough-shod over it!"

Hermione's short scream of frustration was accompanied by a stamp of her foot. "My useless staff, you say?" she yelled, her eyes and curly hair practically giving off sparks. "It was my diligent staff that picked up the error your pathetic minions failed to find, despite the fact it was so obvious a blind man could have seen it!"

Draco looked down his nose at her. "Why are you yelling at me, anyway? I wasn't even there!"

"You approved the documentation!" she shrieked.

Draco clutched his hair in extreme frustration.

Hermione clutched her handbag in extreme frustration.

The lift doors gracefully opened. For all that Draco was so frustrated at the conceited know-it-all practically vibrating by his side, he managed to recall he was a gentleman, so he let her go in first.

She sauntered in, smirking.

"There's no need to gloat because I let you in ahead of me," he snapped.

Her smirk grew bigger.

Draco stuck his head out of the lift door, glaring at the crowd of workers milling around. "Anyone else?" he barked.

They all bolted for the stairs.

The lift doors closed on the two with an ominous clang.


The start of the lift's descent was spent in surprising silence, with wizard and witch leaning against opposite walls. Draco looked at the lift buttons. Hermione looked at her shoes.

Suddenly, the lift jerked to a rough stop. Hermione lost her footing and groped for the handrail before a masculine hand with slender fingers steadied her by her arm. A bolt of… something… shot through her.

"What happened?" she asked.

"We've stopped between floors six and seven."

"Again?"

He shrugged, crossing his arms and looking at her coolly.

She glared back at him.


Eventually…

"People are complaining about us," he said.

"I know that," she snapped. "The complaints have increased, actually."

He gaped at her. "This isn't a competition!"

"I know that!" she repeated. "I just prefer to be accurate."

He rolled his eyes. "I'm sure it hasn't escaped the precious national resource that is your brain that either you, I or both of us may find ourselves in a sticky situation, career-wise, unless we can at least pretend to be civil to each other."

"Yes, I know," she snapped, pacing the small confines of the lift. "But you just make it so bloody hard to do!"

He huffed. "It's not me, sister."

She whirled on him. "I'm not your sister," she snapped.

"You know, I had figured that out for myself," he said lazily. "Before the first time we fucked each other, I believe."

In the blink of an eye, her index finger was almost shoved up his nose. "Don't you ever, ever, bring that up again!" she snarled.

He grabbed her wrist. "Why?" he asked baldly.

She tried to shake free. "Because it was awful!"

He yanked her closer to his body. "Liar," he murmured.

She eyed up the kickability potential of his shins.

"Don't," he whispered in her ear. His lips brushed her ear lobe, and she trembled, despite herself. She relaxed her stance, and he (albeit with a little trepidation) let her go.

She glared straight into his mercurial eyes.

He sighed. "Are you still upset because I won't have a relationship with you?"

She said nothing.

"Granger, come on, that was months ago" –

WHACK!

She punched him.

He staggered back against the wall, swearing and holding his nose.

Meanwhile, Hermione was expounding as to why he deserved to have his nose adjusted. "You turned me into your whore!" she shouted. "I'm not someone that fucks just for the hell of it, you know! I have standards! Morals! Standardised morals!"

Draco gave his nose an experimental tweak. It decided it wasn't broken. "No."

"No, what?"

He slowly advanced upon her with an unreadable expression. She backed away until she was up against the opposite wall, defiance dancing with doubt on her face.

He pressed his lean, hard body up against hers, his hands grasping the handrail on either side of her. "No, you are not a whore," he said evenly. "And you're not someone who fucks just for the hell of it."

Hermione was a little confused by his compliments.

"You're someone who fucks me. Just for the hell of it."

Typical. Bloody man wouldn't a know what a compliment was unless it performed a strip tease for him.

She scowled at him. "I hate you."

"No, you don't," he whispered.

His lips captured hers.

He was right, Salazar damn him.

She opened to him.