Happy VD, Dramione lovers!

This was written for the Strictly Dramione smut challenge. My prompt was "Clip and mail him a funny cartoon that means something to both of you."

Alpha love to In Dreams

Beta hearts to LightofEvolution

Cheerleader cred (and aestetic!) to MH Calamas

I do not own Harry Potter... you know, in case you were confused :P


There she is, right where he always knows he will find her. Hermione Granger, the swottiest of swots, sitting in her cushy private office, while Draco Death Eater Malfoy has to make due with a… he shudders in his own head… cubicle.

Not only does he have to suffer the indignities of judgment from the rest of the Ministry, but then he has Granger, her mere presence a constant reminder of his checkered past. The war may be four years behind them, but all he has to do is glance at her face to remember the look of hurt in her eyes when he called her a Mudblood or the anguish as she lay on his parlour floor.

Alright, so maybe that's not entirely her fault, unless you count her existence as something for which she can be blamed, but it's a statement of fact nonetheless. Compounded by the reality that it seems she is always in his vicinity. A more paranoid part of him has always wondered if she is watching him, much as Potter has admitted he had done did during their school years. Did she come out of the war with even more mistrust than her fellows of her trio?

This afternoon, he returned to his desk at the Ministry for the fifth day running to find a Muggle comic waiting for him. He knows it's her…

First, she's one of the few people in this Gods forsaken department who even acknowledges him without being forced by the higher ups, far too professional not to play nice. Second, she's one of only two Muggleborns, and the other is a ninety year old wizard who keeps forgetting Draco's name.

This time, though, he's had enough. Every day this week has been an image of some toe-headed Muggle boy getting up to mischief with a personified tiger, Draco's name always scrawled above the little boy. Oh, that seems innocent enough, but Hermione Granger happens to be one of only four other people who knows that when Draco was a child, his father indulged him with a pet tiger of his own. It's long since been relocated to a better home, a reserve that takes care of his aging old friend. He still visits when he can.

It took a lot of firewhisky and some quid pro quo about Gryffindor shenanigans for Potter to drag that bit of trivia out of him, and he is horrified to know that apparently Granger had heard the entire thing.

So, she thinks that it is somehow funny, the affection a young Draco had for his only companion in an over sized manor? He doesn't appreciate her quiet ridicule. He had been a lonely little boy on most days, and that tiger was a gentle and affectionate beast, magical warding ensuring it could never turn feral and maul him. The wards had never been needed, and even now the creature will nuzzle Draco's palm whenever he visits.

Picking up the parchment, sneering down at the blond boy with his silly tiger, Draco is marching across the Auror department, intent to put a stop to whatever game she's trying to play.

When he reaches her door, she looks up, eyes widening. He probably looks a bit intimidating, stomping across the floor. Good. He hopes so.

Shutting the door hard enough to seem emphatic but not enough to be considered a slam, he wards it against intruders and then turns to face her.

Looking at her makes him angry all over again. He had thought, when they started working in the same department, especially once he had come to a relatively friendly understanding with Potter, that he might be able to have at least a civil relationship with Hermione. He would suppose she's civil enough in that she's not hostile, but more often than not, their interactions include her ducking out of the room when he enters, yet oddly popping up when he least expects it. She eyes him when she thinks he's not looking, and makes a point to sit on the far side of the table in the conference room. Does she expect an attack? It's ridiculous and upsetting, and he felt foolish within a month of his time at the Ministry. The very idea that Hermione Granger might have had anything but distrust and contempt for someone like him…

To make matters worse, he has a begrudging respect for the witch. Her confidence is very alluring. Many of her features are alluring if he's honest, but Draco doesn't allow himself the luxury of honestly. He's kept her hair and her breasts and various other assets firmly in his fantasies for a few years, and he is long resigned that is where she will stay.

"Draco?" She looks down at his hand and spies the paper. "Oh, so you did get them," she notes, a small smile trying to form. Her amusement only increases his irritation, and he scowls at her.

"Yes, Granger, I 'got them' and you've made your point. I get it: 'Look at the evil Death Eater and his pet kitty'. Well, fuck you very much, and I apologize if that's not professional," he sneers, "but I don't appreciate being your little laugh all week on behalf of myself or Reginald."

The half smile promptly drops away. "I… I'm sorry, what...wait, who's Reginald?" she asks, her head cocked in confusion, like she's having trouble keeping up, and Draco literally growls at her in his frustration.

"My tiger, you twit, obviously."

"Oh! Oh, right. I-I just thought it was cute. I mean, that the comic was cute… You're blond… he's blond...you had a tiger…"

She trails off, and Draco abandons staring over her head to look at her. She is wringing her hands and looking all out of sorts. He pinches the bridge of his nose, squeezing his eyes shut and wishing he had just ignored the slight. "Look, Granger... let's just forget it. You had your fun; can that just be the end of it, please?"

When he looks again, her face has crumpled a bit into obvious disappointment. "I didn't mean it in fun," she says. Having gone from the very picture of wide-eye innocence to crestfallen, he's wondering if he hasn't missed something.

Unfortunately, Draco is still feeling a bit bristled, and bites back, "And just how else might you have meant it then?" He holds up the paper, pointing at the arrow drawn near the little boy's head and his name in her scrawl just above it. "This one in particular is especially clever. Look at the little wizard idiot who can't figure the Muggle machine. Must be a pureblood, eh?" He taps the paper hard with his finger, just where the little boy is trying to determine why it is that when he puts bread in a machine, and toast comes out, just where the bread has gone. Even pureblood Draco Malfoy gets the fucking idea of a Muggle toaster. It's in the bloody name!

"No, I… don't you remember last August…? You had that bagel and… and, it was cold because the warming charm wasn't working quite right… but you were afraid it might ruin the taste, and so Harry showed you that Muggle toaster in the break room… But then, the bagel didn't fit, so we transfigured the slot size, and then Ronald was confused about it all…and it just… seemed like a memorable day..."

Wow, a Hermione Granger ramble. Draco hasn't been privy to that in some time. He does, however, recall the day she means. "So this was just… are we meant to be laughing at Weasley then?" He furrows his brow, completely confused by just what she was trying to do.

"No, not really…" She pouts a little. "Nevermind, alright. It was… It was just the stupidest thing I've ever done. I won't leave any more of them, don't worry." She looks away, crossing her arms over her chest in a way that looks most decidedly to be protective rather than angry.

For some inexplicable reason, now Draco feels bad. She just looks so dejected. Standing there, arms crossed and face crumpled. Perhaps he didn't have to be quite so sensitive about his first pet. He's just always had such a weakness for that big cub, but she really doesn't seem to be laughing at him…

"No harm done, Granger," he mumbles, offering forgiveness she hadn't really asked for. "I also… I would appreciate if you didn't tell anyone else. About Reginald."

"Oh… right. Well, Harry asked me not to. I know you're very private, Draco. You hadn't wanted me to know, obviously, so I understand why you're cross with me."

Draco lets out a great sigh and counters, "I'm not cross. I don't really get what you were trying to accomplish, but it's fine."

He watches her face flush, cheeks going red, and her eyes drift to a copy of Witch Weekly on the corner of her desk. She starts fiddling with the paraphanalia covering the surface and, with what she must think is subterfuge, shifts some parchment over the magazine.

"Oh, Dear Merlin, Granger, did you think that was subtle?"

"I'm sure I don't know what you mean."

"Oh, please." Stepping forward, he brushes the top layer away and grabs the periodical before she can stop him.

"Hey!"

"I never took you for the Witch Weekly type, I must say," he muses as he flips over the cover. One page is dogeared, so his fingers naturally land there. "One hundred and one ways to catch a wizard." Levelling her with a bemused look, he asks, "Really? This interests someone like you?"

Her spine stiffens. "And just what is that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing," he snorts at her. "Just-" Whatever he was about to say dies on his tongue when his eyes land on item number seven on the list, a small tick mark in ink beside it. The copy reads, Clip and owl him a funny cartoon that means something to both of you. He glances up to find her looking everywhere but him.

Everything falls into place, her guilty expression tying it all up neatly with a bow. She was trying to woo him? Stunned and confused, he's not even sure what to do with that.

"So…" he tries, failing to find the perfect response. "It wasn't about having a laugh at my expense?"

She whispers, hoarse and agitated, "Of course not," never meeting his eyes.

He studies her while she is quiet. Besides the blush and her stiff demeanor, she looks incredibly put together. He would suppose she always does, as often as he's noticed her... Smart little skirt, fitted blouse. Her hair is completely out of control, of course, but Draco hasn't minded that for years. When he was a child, accustomed to his mother's chilly and perfect facade, sure. But now? If anything, she always looks freshly shagged. It definitely has some appeal…

"Granger, I-"

"Sweet Circe, Draco, at least be kind enough not to 'let me down easy'. Just tell me how far out of my league you are and be on your way."

Draco Malfoy is not one to bark a laugh. Snickering, the occasional chuckle, sure, but the sound that he emits now erupts from him, bold and strong. "Me, out of your league? You can't possibly be serious."

"Oh, just stop it," she snaps. "I knew this was completely ridiculous. But bloody Harry had to stick his nose in-"

"Potter put you up to this?"

"He didn't put me up to anything," she corrects, exasperated. "He just… he was supportive and sweet and completely wrong. Classic Harry. He actually thought you and I-ugh! I'm so stupid."

Draco licks his lips, feeling a buzzing under his skin. Excitement, something he doesn't allow very often in order to save himself from disappointment, is creeping into the cracks of his facade. "Far be it from me to argue when you are bad mouthing Saint Potter, but he must be right once in a while."

"Well not this time, obviously, or you wouldn't have barged in here looking like you wanted to murder me."

"Don't exaggerate, Granger, I'm not that scary."

She cocks her eyebrow at him. "I didn't say I was afraid, just that you looked murderous. I'm pretty sure I could take you in a duel."

He chuckles. There's the fiery witch he knows.

She answers his laughter with a ghost of a smile.

They stand there for a moment, staring at each other, until their smiles fade. Finally, she says softly, "I wasn't sure how to get your attention."

Cocking his head in consideration, he tells her, realizing it for himself, "You always have my attention. You think you're the kind of witch that's easy to miss?"

He watches her huff, obviously misunderstanding his meaning and her eyes rolling to the ceiling. She shifts her weight, jutting one hip and crossing her arms across her chest. "Yes, of course. Fright of hair and teeth wrapped up in a book. I'm fully aware."

"You fixed your teeth. Ages ago."

She growls at him. Feral little minx. Fuck, that's cute.

"And of course the books are accurate, but do I strike you as someone who doesn't appreciate literature?"

"No," she admits, begrudging and pouty.

"As for the hair-"

"I'm well aware of what you and everyone else thinks of it, thanks. You could save me the embarrassment."

His grin spreads. Holy fuck, she has no idea. "Granger, your hair is your best feature."

"Now you're just being cruel," she accuses.

"On the contrary, I'm being uncharacteristically honest. You should hear what the lads have to say about you 'round the tea cart."

"I shudder to think…"

"I won't repeat any of it, of course, because I'm a gentleman," she interrupts him mildly with a snort, "but suffice to say I'm not the only one who has noticed your charms."

"Look, Malfoy…" He frowns that she slips back into his surname. "I appreciate that you are being polite, but this is only serving to make me more uncomfortable. Let's just forget it."

All of Draco's confidence, much of it smashed and frayed during the war, comes flooding back into him, and he feels like the proud heir he once was. So what if the Ministry more than halved his fortune and seized the Manor and put his parents under house arrest at their chalet in the French Alps… Hermione Granger is into him!

"I promise you, Hermione," he teases with a grin, "wild hippogriffs couldn't make me forget this moment."

She groans and drops her face into her hands. Draco takes the opportunity to approach, boldly stepping around her desk and into her personal space. He lays his palms against her wrists, wrenching them away, firm but gently, from her face and clasping her hands into his.

He revisits some of his previous assumptions, memories of her always there, always hovering. Odd behaviors that he took for her eyeing him with mistrust or searching for the darkness he assumed she believed to live beneath his surface. He removes the teasing from his tone, his smile turned to a look of sincerity. "How long have you had that magazine?"

"It was… it's the May last year issue. Harry gave it to me in June."

"Is that how long you've…" He cuts off, willing her to understand and needing to know if what she's implied is true. Has she been interested in him, forgiven him, for so long?

"Longer," she whispers back, looking down and away.

Eventually, Hermione looks up at him, her eyes glancing between his, a question in her gaze.

Draco lifts one hand and brushes a thumb over her cheekbone. "What now, Hermione Granger? What did you plan to do with my attention once you knew you had it?"

"Would you… I thought maybe we could have dinner."

He smiles at the response, intrigued by a witch who would ask him rather than playing the coquette to secure an invitation. She's certainly not like the pureblood women with which he was raised. It's refreshing.

"How bold of you. I couldn't possibly say no."

"You could," she says, and he recognizes it's meant as a small joke.

"But I'm not going to," he assures her. "When?"

"Tonight? I mean…it's Valentine's Day…"

Well, he supposes that explains the massive increase in her little attempts to gain his attention all week. Having no one with whom to share the tradition, he had been doing a fine job of ignoring the holiday.

"Tonight," he agrees. It's nearly five, anyway. Their day is at its end. He could take her out of here right now.

His mind wanders. He could escort her home, wait for her to change into something more comfortable. Would he wait patiently? Could he sneak a bit of a look? Would she emerge, inappropriate and scantily dressed? As daring as she's been, what would she do behind closed doors?

His little fantasy montage makes him lose focus, and he spirals from there. He's never been to her flat, so it's hard to picture, but he extrapolates from what he knows. It will be small because she would value location over size. Comfort over ostentatious decor. Bookshelves would be prominent and well organized, but not necessarily stately. Perhaps they are mismatched, furnishings collected over the years as her personal library grew, and more shelves were required. She might leave him sitting on a chesterfield while she excuses herself from the room. A drink? She would offer one. He's always known her to have rather well polished manners. What would she drink? He's seen her nurse a glass of red at Ministry dinners. Would she offer wine then? Something Muggle? She can be a cheeky witch, liking to see him wrong-footed. He finds he wouldn't even mind so much, drinking a Muggle drink in her flat, knowing he is merely three inches of a wooden door away from an unclothed Hermione.

"Draco?"

He looks back down, his gaze having wandered over her head. "Hmm? Sorry, just thinking."

"I just thought I might like to change. Do you need to go home? You're welcome to wait at my flat if not."

His grin must be wolfish, because she blushes again, but smiles and quips, "It was an honest question, not a chat up line."

"You're adorable," he says quite inelegantly, not even meaning to. "What on earth made you want to waste your time on me?"

"Yes, right, because you're not devastatingly handsome or quick witted or brilliant or anything. What, indeed?"

He probably could stop himself, he would suppose, but Draco leans in without preamble to press his lips against hers.

He doesn't even hesitate long enough to wonder if she will allow it, if she will push him away or tell him it's too fast. Instead, very much not in his usual Slytherin character, he tests the waters between them by plunging into the deep, and fuck, if she doesn't taste divine.

He finds very quickly that he needn't have worried. Not only does Hermione not push him away, but she fists his robes into her hands and pulls him flush against her, tilting her head to one side and deepening the kiss into something nearly obscene. Certainly not the delicate and chaste flower he might have suspected, it's not long before one hand has trailed from his chest to his trousers, searching for proof of his interest.

"Holy fucking Circe," he chokes out as her palm finds his length. He feels her grin against his mouth, a soft snicker accompanying more delicious pressure to his shaft. "I thou-hngh… I thought you wanted dinner?" It's all he can do to form words at this point, the back of his mind asking why the fuck he is even trying.

She stops for a moment, trailing her hand back to lay on his chest. "Oh, were you actually hungry? Sorry, I seem to have jumped ahead to the obvious conclusion." Her smile is cheeky and feral and all sorts of intimidating, beautiful things.

Draco takes exactly one second to make a decision, lost in her dark eyes as he does. Swooping down to recapture her mouth, he mumbles, "Right, no; not hungry," before attacking her mouth with every bit as much desperation as she had met his first kiss.

Suddenly very grateful he had the forethought to lock and ward her door, Draco backs Hermione up to her desk until her thighs hit the wood. His intention is to set her atop it, but she stops him with a quiet order, "Unzip my skirt," breathes against his skin. He doesn't hesitate, searching for the placard first in the back, then locating it on the side. He loves a side zip. So fucking ladylike. Once he has it lowered, it is easy to slide the skirt from her waist, his hands following over the curve of her arse, pushing the material down until it puddles at her feet. He feels texture, lace, her knickers tantalizing against his fingertips.

He feels her start to back away which leaves him momentarily confused, his hands sliding around to her waist. When he looks down, her hands are on the buttons of her blouse, her eyes fixed on his face. Draco takes the cue and slides of his robes to begin work on his own buttons.

She finishes first, shrugging the blue silk from her shoulders and leaving her standing in black lace with pale pink stitching. His hands still, torn between continuing to undress and abandoning the task so he can touch her.

"Let me." She reaches, pushing his hands gently away, and finishes opening his buttons until he can also remove his shirt. He studies her for a moment, feeling a little foolish by his ire from moments ago. If this was her foregone conclusion, she can send any silly little messages she'd like. She can announce to the entire Auror department that Draco Malfoy has a soft spot for furry animals. She can do anything she wants…

This kiss is softer, his lips nibbling and coaxing hers. Hermione is also more gentle, running her hands over his shoulders and lightly scratching at the back of his neck, playing with the short hair at the nape. He could stay here forever, exploring her and learning her curves. One hand trails to her front, cupping the weight of her breast in his hand. He feels the vibration as she moans into his mouth. Encouraged, he swipes his thumb across the peak. She shudders in his hold, suddenly feeling more feminine, more fragile, than he's ever thought her to be.

Feeling more confident, Draco wraps his arms around Hermione and lifts her slight frame. Almost on instinct, he deposits her on the edge of her desk, settling himself between her thighs. She spreads her legs without hesitation, pulling him toward her and grinding herself against him as he pushes against her.

She throws her head back, and she's fucking glorious. Draco reaches forward and nearly tears the lace cups off her body. What has started as slow, Draco himself almost unsure, turns to frenzy in one beat of his heart. He lowers his head to take one tight peak in his mouth, tonguing over the top and breathing warm against her skin. She whimpers at him and clings to his back and neck, frantically searching for purchase and grinding herself harder where they are pressed together.

"Fuck, Hermione…" he trails off, not really having anything to say, just mired in the shock of it, in how quickly he was lost in her. She groans in response, obviously at a loss for words herself.

Reaching between them and returning his mouth to her breast, Draco slides two fingers beneath her knickers, pushing the lace to the side and running his fingertips down the edges of her lower lips. She squirms, pulling his head down so she can kiss his neck and bite at his ear. He answers by dipping his fingers into her channel, trying to give her what she wants. Hermione doesn't seem disappointed, whimpering and whispering pleas and burying her nose against his throat.

He explores her for awhile, aware that she is likewise mapping his body with her delicate hands and her warm mouth. Eventually, she reaches to his trousers and begins to work on the button before slipping his trousers and pants down his hips. She wastes no time once he is freed, his cock standing at attention and twitching under the barest hint of her touch. Her hand wraps around him, and it is his turn to groan and beg.

He shakes off the virtual paralysis her touch has brought and finds the edge of her knickers, sitting low on her hips. He works them down, noting that she rocks herself against the desk so he can slide them from beneath her, and pulls them off her legs. Her hand loses contact with him for a moment, but it only serves to motivate him to move faster, to strip her and join them completely. He takes only a moment to glance at her, laid out against the desk, her smart black pumps still on her feet but otherwise left bare, and her chest rising as she pants.

Kissing her again, tasting her and knowing he will never get enough, he buries himself inside of her and grunts as she cries out, both of them clinging to the other as he begins to thrust.

They've hardly spoken since it all began, outside the murmured praise and devotion, pleas and demands. He pulls back, wanting to see her face, and finds she is staring him down with hunger. Her mouth dropped open as she breathes heavily, her eyes dark and hooded, almost vicious with want. She's a fucking vision; the most gorgeous witch in the world. Why did it take him so long to notice her attentions? They could have been doing this for months…

"Draco…" She chokes out his name through hitched breath, and he feels her grip tighten on his shoulder, her other hand holding so tight to the edge of her desk that her knuckles have gone white. He knows what she is saying without the words. She's close. Hermione Granger is close and begging, without saying anything, that he will make her come. Fucking fuck, he intends to deliver.

Steadily, he increases his pace and the force of his thrusts, luxuriating in the sounds from her lips, pants becoming moans, then his name, repeated and broken and desperate. He wills himself not to finish before her, wanting to feel her body shudder when he reaches his own precipice; wanting her to cry out for him in the throes.

Another thrust, a palm on her breast, his mouth laid against her neck and his breath on her throat, she nearly screams when she comes, wrapping her arms around his back, and Draco lets himself fall with her, mired in elation and relief.

He's panting himself, now, his head buried against her beautiful curls. Her best feature, he'd said. They still rank high on the list, but he had been ignorant of just how many amazing features she had. Her voice, husky and soft when she begs; her legs, shapely and strong around his waist; her hands, delicate but firm, stroking his cock.

Yes, Hermione Granger is far more than hair and teeth and books. He chuckles, thinking of that, and smiles into her neck.

"Find something…" she pauses, still catching her breath, "funny, do you?"

"Just you, love. Ridiculous witch… you thought you needed to send me funny post to get me in here? Salazar, you could have just crooked your finger and said 'now'."

She giggles and leans back to look at him.

"So…" he hedges.

"So?"

"Now are you hungry?"

Hermione laughs and kisses the corner of his mouth. "I am a bit now, yes. Seems like I found my appetite."

Standing tall and offering his hand to help her from the desk, Draco asks, "Would you allow me to buy you to dinner?"

"I already said yes," she muses, sliding her knickers back onto her legs. Purple, he notes, his favourite color. He had been curious but too busy ravaging her to look during the act. "Though, I have a better idea."

He hums in question, sliding his arms back into his shirt.

She approaches, wearing nothing but heels and scraps of lace, and begins to draw his shirt together for him, expertly looping the buttons. "Perhaps we go to my flat, after all. Take away and… comfortable clothes?"

He grins slowly down at her. "Conditionally," he answers, and she raises her eyebrows in a pouty question. "Tomorrow, you have to let me take you for breakfast."

Hermione's smile returns. "Acceptable. And after?"

He thinks about that, about what to say. He sees so many possibilities for the future, and he definitely sees this witch as a part of them. Finally, he shrugs. "Want to meet my tiger?"

She laughs and kisses him, nodding as she does. "I'm sure I'll win Reginald's approval. But you have to contend with Crookshanks."

Draco chuckles and assures her that he is equally adept at taming kittens, before kissing her back and wrapping her in his arms.

By the time they leave the Ministry, the corridors are long since dark, the moon shining down on a beautiful London night, and Draco pulls Hermione into his side, fairly sure he has no interest in ever letting her go.


Thank you all so much for reading! Internet flowers and chocolates for you!