The characters of this story belong to JK Rowling the plot, situations, and characterisations are all MINE so don't steal them without permission or I'll be very very ANGRY :D

'I trust the terms are satisfactory, Miss Granger?'

Hermione swallowed hard, her eyes blurring with fury. 'I find this entire situation completely unsatisfactory, Mr. Malfoy.'

'Is that so?' She looked up from the parchment and scowled at his smirking face. She wanted nothing more than to smack him hard and see the lovely red welt that would mar his pretty pale skin.

'Yes, that is so!' she hissed and slammed her hands down on the desk. 'You are a gutless wanker, Malfoy and if I didn't owe you...'

'Your life?' He rose quickly from the hard, leather wing back chair that dominated his office. 'You do recall why you are here, Miss Granger?'

Her nostrils flared as he stalked around the desk, grasping her forearms and pulling the witch into the air. 'I saved your worthless little life,' he snarled. 'I ensured you could live another day, sullying our world with your filthy Muggle clothes, your opinions on how backward Pureblood's are and infatuating my only child to distraction!'

Lucius Malfoy wouldn't raise his voice, he didn't need to. The power behind his words could cause the most severe witch to crumble into a whimpering mess of fear. 'Tell me, Miss Granger; are the terms of repayment so incredibly repulsive to you, that Azkaban is a favourable alternative?'

'I think you know they are not.' she spoke quietly and lowered her gaze as a flush stole up her cheeks.

'Ahh, I see,' he whispered and lowered the witch to the ground. 'You do not appreciate being forced?'

'It's akin to rape.'

'Is it really?' Amusement replaced his anger and Hermione shook as he gently raked his fingers across her arms. 'Rape is unwilling. Rape is violent and cruel. Rape is one sided. Do you truly believe a dalliance with Draco would be one sided?'

'I'm engaged to be married, Mr Malfoy.'

He leaned down slightly, his lips, cold and hard, touched the shell of her ear as he whispered, 'Yes that is unfortunate. However, I find myself hardly caring about the sensibilities of a Weasley; after all they find comfort in second hand- do they not?'

'This is illegal.'

Lucius laughed and nibbled at her ear lobe, she shuddered in revulsion and tried to pull back but his fingers dug into her arms, holding her tightly against his body. 'I would like to see you fight my repayment before the Wizengamot, Miss Granger. Shall you risk the ire of the Wizarding world by, once again, denouncing another of our customs, a bond older than Hogwarts itself?'

She bit down hard on her lip as tears pricked her eyes. 'Why the sudden interest in me, Mr. Malfoy? You knew of my feelings for Draco in fifth year. I know you stole my memories, I felt you breaching my mind.'

He smirked against her neck. 'It was a delightful surprise, Miss Granger- to learn of your fondness for Draco, imagine my horror to learn he was equally enamoured of you?'

'Draco hadn't a clue of my feelings,' Hermione whispered. 'They were the product of a hormonal child who didn't know better.'

'A hormonal child?' Lucius laughed again. 'You were anything but a hormonal child.'

Hermione jumped as his hand snaked under her jumper and caressed her back, ever so gently. 'I will not betray my fiancé.'

'You haven't a choice.'

'There is always a choice!' she snarled and gave his chest a hard shove, dislodging his wandering hands and curious lips. 'Surely there is something else you require?'

His answering leer brought Hermione's wand to his throat. 'You are disgusting.'

'Disgusting, or am I simply a Father who wants the best for his son?'

'Draco is getting married!'

Lucius shrugged. 'I said you were for his birthday, not a wedding present.'

'How does Draco feel about this?' Hermione asked and eyed the contract that lay upon the desk, appearing to be so harmless and innocent but, with one swish of the quill, would ruin the witch's life.

'I would expect him to feel pleasure and be grateful for my gift.'

Hermione sighed and slumped back into the chair. 'May I take this with me?'

'I think not, Miss Granger. One would not like the contract to fall into the wrong hands- say, a certain Auror, for example?' His smirk returned as her hands clenched around his peacock feather quill.

'The contract provides for my silence?'

'Of course, we do not want to alert Draco to the true nature of your eagerness.'

'I don't want to trick him. It isn't right!'

'Ever the Gryffindor,' he chuckled. 'I am contracting you to have sex with my son and you are concerned over his feelings?'

'I want him to know,' Hermione murmured and dipped the quill into the expensive, thick royal blue ink.

'He will not be told, however should he arrive at the conclusion that you are being magically compelled to seduce him, and then I will allow the contract to be spoken of.'

'All I have to do is seduce him?'

Lucius smirked and leaned over her chair, pressing his lips to the delicate curve of her neck. 'Should he be averse to fucking you, Miss Granger – I would be more than happy to fulfil the entirety of the contract.'

'Get off me!' Hermione snarled and pushed her chair back, grinning when he grunted and stumbled backwards. 'Amend the contract,' she demanded and kept her wand trained on the older wizard. 'If Draco does not respond to my attempts at seduction, then the contract is fulfilled, regardless of penetration.'

Lucius Malfoy's eyes narrowed. 'And how does that compensate me for saving your life?'

Hermione sighed. 'Your son would be happy with Astoria and I would forever be grateful to you.'

'Hardly worth my sacrifice, however, I could not sit idly by and allow Antonin Dolohov to ruin you.'

She spun around and gasped, Lucius Malfoy's head was lowered and his fists clenched tightly at his sides. 'What do you mean? You told the Wizengamot that he said the killing curse, that you deflected it and saved me. Are you saying that is not true?' Panic rose in the witch and her hands shook so badly she needed to sheath her wand, lest unrestrained emotional magic destroy the lovely little office.

'He had planned to kill you Miss Granger but not before using your body like a toy. You were unconscious, he was very, very angry that you had escaped him.'

'Bellatrix used the Cruciatus,' Hermione said and clenched the desk. 'I saw him just before I passed out, he was so smug and his pants were- oh gods!'

'Regardless of Draco's affections for you, I could not allow a school girl to be defiled in my home.' The words fell from his lips in a disgusted snarl. 'I may have been a Death Eater but I wasn't a monster. You were a child, innocent and broken. My wife was beside herself- even a Mudblood didn't deserve that kind of punishment.'

'So you saved me?'

Lucius raised his head and nodded. 'I waited until Antonin's back was turned and used a lovely little spell that he was immensely fond of, the magic dissolved his organs,' Lucius' eyes glittered darkly. 'Then Draco helped Messers Potter and Weasley to escape and you were rescued.'

Hermione expelled a rather large breath and sunk wearily to the floor with a soft thud. 'I don't know what to say.'

'Thank you, Mr. Malfoy, perhaps?' he sneered and pointed to the contract. 'Just sign it, Miss Granger. I will not allow harm to come to you in my home. But I will give my son a gift he has yearned for.'

'I trust the dress was-' Lucius paused, his eyes lazily perusing her violet satin clad body, as she handed her cloak to the waiting elf. 'Acceptable?

'It's lovely, Mr. Malfoy. Thank you.' In truth, she felt utterly exposed and naked. The dress was one she'd never have bought for herself, the back positively scandalous, satin dipping to just above the crease of her bottom and the front, Morgana, if she bent over, even slightly you could see every inch of her body.

'Being polite was not part of our agreement.' He smirked and bowed over her hand, kissing the inside of her wrist.

'I am polite to my elders, Mr. Malfoy,' Hermione answered, smiling slightly when he scowled.

'Be that as it may, I appreciate your cooperation.'

'I do not wish to spend my life in Azkaban, when this debt can be escaped so easily.'

'Draco does not love Miss Greengrass,' Lucius informed her as they walked slowly down the vast hallway of Malfoy Manor. 'Believing he will not fall for your charms is foolish.'

'I believe Draco has more respect for his fiancé than you credit him for. I doubt he would risk upsetting a witch he will spend the rest of his life with, simply for sex.'

'There will be many influential people here tonight,' Lucius smirked again and pulled the witch closer to his body. 'They are under the assumption that you are my guest and as such, will not harm you.'

'What? I thought it was just Draco and I?'

'Hardly my dear, Draco is turning 25, this is a celebration. I am pleased you did not transfigure the colour of your dress to your Gryffindor persuasions, although it would have been amusing to watch them destroy you.'

'I look forward to proving you wrong,' Hermione smiled and smoothed down the front of her violet evening gown.

'I do not,' Lucius murmured in her ear and waved his hand, pushing the doors open with magic. 'Ahh, it appears all our guests have arrived.'

'Mr. Malfoy!'

Pansy Parkinson.

Hermione groaned softly, biting down hard on her tongue when Lucius pinched her arse. 'Be silent, Miss Granger- lest my son's friends think you do not like them.'

'Granger?' Pansy snarled and gave the witch a quick once over. 'Who invited you?'

'Pansy, don't be a moron,' Hermione bit down harder. Blaise Zabini. 'Granger would never get through the wards, her blood would be-' the dark skinned wizard choked on his mulled mead. 'Granger?'

'Hello Blaise,' she smiled and allowed Lucius to lead her further into the room. 'It's lovely to see you again.'

'It's been...what, eight- nine years?'

Hermione nodded. 'Yes, you were being led away by Aurors the last time I saw you. And Pansy?' Smiling, she turned her amused brown eyes to the blonde witch. 'Weren't you being restrained by Flitwick?'

Pansy snarled and lunged forward, her pug nose red with anger. 'Why, you worthless little Mudblood! How dare you...'

'Miss Parkinson!' Lucius drawled softly. 'You would do well to remember that it was my family's generosity that allows you to be present tonight. Miss Granger is my guest and brings quite the present for Draco. You will watch your tongue.' Peering down at her, Hermione swallowed hard. 'And you, Miss Granger,' he said softly, 'will refrain from ruining Draco's party with your need to remind the world that your merry band of do gooders won the war.'


She grinned as a familiar, friendly face, neatly shoved Pansy out of the way and bowed before her. 'And here was I thinking I'd spend the entire night reliving why Slytherin didn't win the house cup.'

'Adrian.' Hermione breathed and allowed the wizard to pull her into his arms. 'Merlin, I'm pleased to see you.'

'I'm happy to see you as well.' He kissed both her cheeks and grinned cheekily. 'You are looking like a delectable treat, Kitten. Did Draco invite you?'

Hermione's eyes flicked to Lucius and Adrian nodded his understanding. 'Ahh, the machinations of the Lord Malfoy.'

Sighing, she nodded, unable to speak of her contract. 'I am honoured to join Draco for his birthday.'

'I'm sure you are, Granger,' Daphne Greengrass swanned into view, her hair pulled tightly into a high ponytail and dressed as though she'd just stepped out of pride and prejudice. 'Mr. Malfoy invited you?' Her piercing hazel eyes set Hermione on edge as she looked to the older wizard then back to the witch. 'You weren't in Slytherin.'

'Oh well done, Greengrass. Any other pearls of wisdom you wish to share with us?'

'Draco!' the witch simpered and smiled adoringly. 'You must sit with Mother and Astoria. I know my sister is just beside herself with excitement.'

Hermione wanted to turn away. Truly she did, but like so many other times caught alone with Draco Malfoy, it was his eyes that captured her, grey and flecked with blue, they were the windows to his damaged soul. 'Granger,' he murmured, his lips parting as his gaze travelled down her neck to her breasts where he lingered. Twin pink stains appeared on his cheeks but his arrogance held, as did his eagerness to see what lay beneath the satin of her robes. 'What a lovely surprise.' He captured her hand in his. His fingers were so warm and gentle as they caressed her wrist and when he brought her fingers to his lips and kissed them ever so softly, the tremble in her body refused to be ignored. 'I'm glad you're here,' he was leaning over her now, his lips only a mere inch from hers. 'Did I hear Father say you'd brought a present?' Draco grinned and, not for the first time, Hermione noticed the complete and utter lack of any malice in the wizard.

'I-I did,' Hermione answered and gave his hand a squeeze. 'Although I am sure you'll prefer to open it in the privacy of your room.' Their eyes met again and Hermione felt the pull of the Life Debt magic, urging her forward. 'Unwrapping presents can be such fun, don't you agree?' He was watching her carefully now, his eyes wary as they swept across her body.

'I agree. Privacy when opening gifts is necessary.' He smirked and leaned even closer, brushing his lips across her cheek. 'Especially when the gift is so-' he paused; head tilted to the side and slowly licked his lips, 'awe inspiring.'

A deep, red flush warmed her cheeks and she was loath to tear her eyes from the handsome Pureblood, especially when his eyes flicked to her breasts and she could see that he, too, felt the warmth of a delightful blush colouring the tips of his ears.

'Awe inspiring?' Adrian whispered, as Draco took one final look at the witch before being swamped by well wishers.

'Hermione Granger, inspirer of awe.' She rolled her eyes. 'Honestly, that wizard is a complete-'

'Meal for one?' Adrian supplied with a grin.

'No a...'

'Worthwhile experiment?'


'A snake you'd like in your pants?'

Hermione choked on the wonderful cocktail that had been pressed into her hands. 'Adrian!'

The wizard laughed softly. 'Come now, Kitten. You'd be blind not to notice how much that prat adores you.'

'He doesn't adore me. He sees me as a conquest, a mountain to be climbed.'

'And what a lovely mountain it is.' Lucius drawled and spun her into his arms, placing gentle kisses on both her cheeks. 'Draco is smitten already, Miss Granger. I commend your ability entice him.'

'I live to serve, Lord Malfoy.' Hermione curtsied and smiled condescendingly.

'A better house-elf one would struggle to find.' He laughed when she scowled. 'Come my dear, dinner is about to be served and I wish to seat you near the birthday boy.'

The dining room was nothing short of magnificent and reminiscent of a grand, opulent experience fit for a king or queen. Hermione felt overwhelmed by the sheer extravagance that Lucius Malfoy lavished upon his only child. It was nice actually that even with the amount of Galleons spent, she could tell the older wizard loved his son very much.

'They never do anything by halves.' Adrian whispered as Lucius seated her across from Draco. 'He might fool a lot of people with his views on blood, but Lucius always puts Draco first and spares no Galleon to make him happy. This little soiree has been months in the making.'

'Mr. Malfoy has done a wonderful job.' Hermione said, her gaze lingering on Lucius, who merely smiled and rose from his seat.

'I would like to thank you all for joining me today in celebrating Draco's birthday,' he drawled. 'There is no greater gift than seeing ones child prosper into adulthood and although I have made many mistakes in my past-' The dining room was deathly silent and Hermione felt a chill shudder along her spine as his voice grew low and his eyes filled with remorse- wonders would never cease, Lucius Malfoy was dropping his carefully crafted guard and allowing himself to appear humble, 'I am pleased that the sins of the father were not inherited by my Draco.'

Hermione's throat constricted and although the wizard made her wand twitch with unspent Unforgivables, she wanted nothing more in that moment than to hug him.

'My only regret is that my beautiful Narcissa could not be present to witness this glorious event.'

Tears sprung to her eyes and Hermione's heart broke for the wizard. Narcissa Malfoy had perished two years after Voldemort had been vanquished. The Death Eater Mulciber had been stalking her for months, and the Aurorey was powerless to help or, in Hermione's opinion, completely unwilling to help the witch and she'd been murdered on a trip to Diagon Alley. The funeral had been a grand affair and she remembered Draco, silent, stoic and proud, as his mother was lowered into the family crypt. It also heralded the end of the Malfoy family's association with the Ministry. They cut all ties, all financial support and retreated to France, where if you believed Harry Potter, lived in shame, whilst rebuilding their businesses from the ground up.

Hermione hadn't actually seen either Malfoy in public since, but considering the years spent in the spotlight and the reputation their name had garnered with the fickle press, she hardly blamed them. Although she missed seeing their arrogant swagger through Diagon Alley and how their simple presence made her magic thrum with appreciation.

'Thank you, Father,' Hermione's mind was forced back to the present by Draco's chair, scraping across the stone floor. 'Mother would have been proud of the intimate details you've included tonight,' he smirked and saluted his father with a deep red wine. 'Ladies and gentlemen,' Draco's eyes swept the lavish dining room, his eyes shining with glee as his guests hung onto his every word. 'Tonight we will be dining on a selection of my past; meals that hold a special place in my heart. My mother's favourite thing in the world was to bring joy to her friends and family through the gift of love and food.' He lowered his head and Hermione could see his throat moving quickly as he swallowed hard. 'Invitations to her parties were sought after, the experience one that could last a lifetime. And in her honour-' He waved his hands and nosegay's appeared in front of the witches with potion bottles for the wizards. 'To Narcissa Malfoy,' he spoke as he raised his glass and his eyes locked with Hermione's, 'a formidable witch with a heart of gold.' His smile was sad yet genuine and he brought the glass to his lips and drank slowly. 'And the only one to put me in my place.'

'Not the only one, Malfoy.' Adrian murmured and grinned wickedly when Hermione elbowed him in the ribs.

Draco opened his mouth- no doubt to let loose a few rather creative curse words when a squeal of delight could be heard and an elderly, chubby witch ran up to the wizard and gathered him into her arms. 'Oh you lovely lovely boy!' she gushed and peppered his face with kisses before shoving the nosegay into his arms. 'Beauty and lust! You are quite the cad, young Draco!'

'Madam Flint!' he protested but that only caused the witch to kiss him more.

'I adored your Mother, young man, and now I shall adore you also. You must join me for tea on Tuesday.'

Hermione snickered behind her hand as Draco's face once again flushed but he was too polite to refuse the old witch.

'I would be delighted.'

'And bring your young lady, won't you?'

His eyes met Hermione's and he smirked. 'I'm sure she'd love to meet the alliance wives, Madam Flint.'

'Miss Granger, do you appreciate the sentiment behind your posy?'

Hermione glanced down to the nosegay clutched between her fingertips. Thanks to the course insisted upon by her Grandmother, she was well versed in the varieties and meanings of flowers. Plus, the weekends spent with her at the Country Women's Association had extended that knowledge considerably.

'The purple daisy,' Lucius murmured and allowed one long, elegant finger to stroke the petal. 'For loyalty, the Camellia – red, for fire in your heart and-'

'Jonquil,' Hermione said softly, her gaze drifting back to Draco, who was watching their interplay with considerable interest, 'a desire to be loved.'

'A most telling array,' Lucius spoke softly, so only Hermione could hear, 'and you believed your efforts would be wasted?'

Her breath caught as Draco ran his finger along his bottom lip. 'I fear they will not be in vain.'

'And I fear you do not accept the consequences of your actions tonight. My son is very possessive. Do you truly believe, once this night is over, he will relinquish you back to Weasley? Or perhaps...' he paused and flicked his eyes to Draco who was leaning closer, eager to hear just what had the young witch enthralled, 'you wish to be possessed?'

Her lips parted and gave a startled gasp as the piercing desire in Draco's gaze intensified. 'I wish for this night to be over.'

Lucius chuckled deeply. 'What a little liar you are.'


'Nothing you ask of me tonight shall be refused.' Lucius told Draco with an indulgent smile. 'I will stop at nothing for your happiness.'

Draco schooled his shock the instant it appeared and as he opened his mouth to reply, the first course appeared in front of them and the guests began to eat.

'Is the meal to your liking?' Adrian whispered, as he swirled his honey mead before savouring the delightfully warm brew on his tongue.

'Exquisite,' Hermione said back, just as quietly. Having grown up in the upper class, she was well versed with how decadent and rich food could be; still, Draco's choices were not only delicious but unassuming and less ostentatious than she first assumed. 'The food is quite Mug-'

'Muggle?' Draco drawled and she smiled whilst nodding. 'The others haven't a clue, of course, and we wouldn't want to bring attention to the fact that most of them would rather pull out their eyelashes one by one, than eat fare produced by a Muggle. However, it is thanks to Father that I owe my appreciation of all things Muggle made,' he smirked and she flushed, 'It is my understanding that they should not only be enjoyed but savoured and revered.'

'All this from your little jaunt in the country?' enquired Adrian and both Malfoy's hissed.

'Jaunt in the country?' Hermione shivered as Draco's cold, calculating tone met her ears and she was terrified to look at him but quite unable not to. The pain etched on his face almost tore her heart in two. He was open and showing more emotion in that one moment than she'd seen in the years since they'd met.

'As you so eloquently and euphemistically referred to our exile, Mr Pucey, might I remind you that your Father is still in Azkaban and in his stead, I continue to support your childish endeavour to become the next Viktor Krum?'

Adrian stiffened beside her. 'I thank you, of course, Mr. Malfoy, for your continued loyalty and support.'

Lucius inclined his head. 'Apology accepted, Mr. Pucey.'

'I beg your pardon,' Hermione said softly to Lucius. 'You were never exiled. I recall you denouncing Wizarding Britain and disappearing after your wife's death but it was not an exile.'

Laughter rained down onto the table and those closest to Hermione, who had been leaning in, listening with interest, instantly went back to their food. 'You foolish girl, did you not wonder where my family had vanished to?'

'Harry said you'd move to France. That the shame-'

'Enough,' Lucius muttered darkly and covered her hand with his own. 'Mr. Potter's sins shall not be discussed this night; it is Draco's birthday, a cause for celebration, not a reflection on our sordid past.'

'But he's-'

'Be quiet, Miss Granger,' Lucius' voice held a terribly frightening quality, one she remembered quite well from the battle in the Department of Mysteries. 'And eat your fish.'

'Father, I-'

'You, as well Draco.' His tone allowed no argument from either of them. Suddenly feeling like a thoroughly chastised child, she ate her fluke and prayed to Merlin to give her strength.

'This is the fun part,' Adrian murmured and pointed to the place cards as they rose from the table and began reorganising themselves.

'What are they doing?'

'Seat switching,' he remarked, grinning. 'One of Mrs. Malfoy's more exciting spells- she hated a stifled dinner party so would charm the place cards to dance and move about. In her way she ensured that you weren't stuck with the same stuffy old companion all night.'

'I'm not stuffy nor am I old,' Hermione huffed but laughed as her little blue name card flew about the dining table.

'Merlin's bruised knob, I'm stuck with Greengrass,' he groaned as mockingly slapped his palm to his forehead. 'Oh and you lucky witch-' Hermione followed his gaze and swallowed hard. Her place card had fallen directly next to Draco's and whilst she wouldn't be able to stare longingly across the table at him, this presented a far more troubling scenario- now she would be inches away from touching him.

'Let's move, shall we?' Lucius called out in glee and rose with a flourish of expensive robes and spice cologne. His seat was quickly filled by Blaise Zabini who played the charming aristocrat to a tea and Hermione's chair was now holding a rather sour looking witch with dark blonde hair and deep frown lines creasing her brow, she had slumped most ungracefully to the left and appeared intoxicated. 'Come along, Miss Granger!' He tugged on her hand. 'You have pride of place next to my Aunt Imogen. She hates Mudbloods you know.' Lucius laughed softly in her ear and guided the witch to the remaining empty seat between Draco and his Aunt. 'Much easier to seduce when you are practically in his lap, don't you agree?'

Hermione fought the scowl that ached to present itself to the cream of society and sat down quickly much to the disapproval of the old witch next to her.

'Napkin, Granger,' Draco murmured and kept his eyes forward as his hand gently draped the napkin across her legs.

'Young Draco, I am impressed with all the delicious selections you have provided us tonight,' murmured an elderly man from across the table. 'Might I assume you came across these delicacies whilst in the Muggle world?'

'You may assume that, Professor Tofty,' Draco answered and speared a vibrant green broccoli stalk. 'Father wanted to broaden my horizons.'

'He did a fabulous job.' Aunt Imogen spoke fondly to her nephew. 'It's a pity Potter and his cronies had you exiled. Miss Granger, aren't you dear to Mr. Potter?'

'Harry and I are close- yes.'

'Yet you didn't speak for Draco after his probation was revoked?' Her tone was light but there was a biting accusation rife with bitterness.

'Auntie...' Draco murmured warningly.

'No, it's fine. I was unaware of the revocation regarding his probation and it will require further investigation on my part...' Hermione smiled then turned her attention and anger towards the elderly Malfoy Aunt. 'However, Madam Malfoy, I understand your concerns and I promise you my voice was heard at both Draco's and Lucius' trials. I did not disappear into the family fold, only to surface when the world no longer needed Galleons or magic to rebuild it. I assure you, Madam, even if Draco had been a detested enemy, I still would have stood for him. '

Aunt Imogen broke out into a delighted grin. 'Such passion, Miss Granger. I can see now why our world is so taken with you.'

A flush stole up Hermione's visage and she turned her attention back to the buttery platter of vegetables before her. 'Not the whole world,' she muttered and heard Draco snicker beside her.

'The whole world doesn't matter, Granger,' She felt his hand creep along her thigh and she jumped, her knees knocking against the table, 'only those that love you matter.'

Swallowing thickly, she looked at him from the corner of her eye. 'Even those are few and far between, Draco.'

He smirked and bit into a long juicy green bean. 'Wait until dessert. I think you'll throw your knickers at Tofty just for a bite.'

Warmth spread through her body as his fingers gently caressed her thigh. 'Malfoy,' Hermione whispered and he tilted his head slightly towards her. 'I'm not wearing any knickers.'

His sharp intake of breath and his fierce grip on her thigh had her gripping her fork so tightly the silver bit into her sensitive palm. 'Granger!' he hissed.

Hermione laughed. 'Fair's fair, Malfoy.'

'Is that so?' He turned towards her then and the full force of her whispered words hit the witch like a startled Hippogriff. Draco's lips were parted and held a slight sheen from their buttery third course, his grey eyes, normally light and pale had darkened and twin pink flushes sat high upon his cheeks. A charm of magic slid across her skin and she bit down hard on her lip as the silk skirt of her dress raked slowly up her legs. 'Did you forget your knickers, Granger, or did you purposefully leave them off so Father could fuck you easily?'

Hermione swallowed hard and trembled as his warm, soft fingertips drew slow, maddening circles across her bare thighs. 'I'm not here for Lucius.'

One elegantly shaped brow rose and his smirk grew wide. 'Are you admitting that you're here for me, Granger? My own personal Muggleborn...witch?'

Words failed the witch as his hand drifted higher and she felt every shuddering breath squeeze from her lungs like a vice.

'How quickly do you think I could clear this room, Granger? Do you think they'd stay for dessert after I fuck you on the table?'


He laughed then, a soft musical sound that sent shivers down her spine. 'Don't worry, Granger, I'll wait until we're alone to fuck you, because I'd planned to, you know?'

'Did you now?'

'As soon as I saw you on Father's arm, I began plotting to take you away from him. Being inside you Granger, it's all I've thought of for a while now.' He admitted and leaned back in his chair, casually wiping the corner of his mouth with a napkin. 'Ahh, and now it's time to move again,' he pushed back his chair and drew Hermione against his chest on the pretext of helping her stand. 'Honeycomb Fudge,' Draco murmured. 'With a dark chocolate sauce, trust me.' With a quick look around to make sure no one was watching, the tall, haughty Pureblood pressed a kiss to his fingertips then dragged them across her bottom lip. 'Save me a dance, won't you?'

Hermione settled in for the main course of slow cooked lamb shanks with red wine jus and savoured the rich, encompassing flavours of the seasonal dish.

'Hello there, my delightful little Mudblood.' Hermione groaned and wanted nothing more than to forcibly slam her head down on the table.

'Theodore Nott, what a pleasure it is to see you again.'

The wizard rolled his eyes and leaned towards her. 'I would hate to cause a scene and tell the world your muddy little cunt is ruining the party for me.'

'You didn't think it so muddy last month, Theo, when you thought to have it for yourself,' she intoned, smirking as his eyes widened, 'or have you forgotten your drunken little attempt in seduction at the Hog's Head?'

His lips pursed and knuckles whitened around his glass. 'Tell a soul, Mudblood, and I'll...'

'You'll what?' Came a new voice and Hermione breathed a sigh of relief as Blaise Zabini sank gracefully into the seat across from her. 'You know, Granger is here for Draco, his special guest. Would you like to repeat what you just said to her, perhaps a little louder so the birthday boy can hear every word?'

'I think not.' Theo hissed and roughly pushed his plate away.

'I think not, indeed.' Blaise returned and sent Hermione a winning smile. 'Granger, as always you're looking delightfully edible tonight.'

'Don't be so crass, Blaise darling!'

Taking a small bite of her lamb, Hermione's attention was drawn to the stunningly horse like features of Astoria Greengrass. She looked every bit a Malfoy bride, pale blonde hair, piercing blue eyes and her body- well it could only be described as waif life.

'Darling?' Blaise's brow rose. 'Such familiarity, Miss Greengrass. I'm afraid you'll have to earn that right.'

'I hardly doubt I'll have time to honour such a request, Mister Zabini. Once I become Lady Malfoy my life is going to change drastically. I suppose my Draco will find time to pander to you, I, however will be a much sought after witch and often busy with charity.'

'Which charities?' Hermione asked and dared not look at Blaise, who was smirking proudly.

'I beg your pardon, Miss...?'

'Granger,' she smiled as the girl's eyes widened comically. 'What charities will you help?'

'Well, I- I don't know. Whichever charities Draco supports, of course. A wife must do her duty to her husband.' She was flippant and Hermione felt an instant dislike for the witch, and not just because she was betrothed to Malfoy.

'How utterly...charming,' Hermione murmured. 'Surely you have your own interests?'

The witch laughed. 'Miss Granger, dear,' the voice purred so condescendingly Hermione wanted to reach across and slap the witch. 'When one is as fortunate as I am, to snag a wizard as powerful as Draco, then one doesn't need to have interests. Simply put, I will be his wife and that is all I need.'

Blaise snorted into his wine. 'I detest transparent witches.'

'I beg your pardon?' The witch was offended, her pale, horse like face reddening with every breath.

'Greengrass, you are the most superficial, materialistic creature on this fine earth. We all know your contract with Draco stipulates a rather generous allowance that you have neither earned nor deserve. Your family are paupers and with only your name to negotiate, Lucius was more than happy to provide, just so the Malfoy's could gain back a little respect.'

'Why, I never!' She spluttered and in her haste to get up from the table, knocked over several glasses of wine.

'Oh, I'm sure you have Greengrass,' Theo muttered and smirked to Blaise before raising his glass in silent salute. 'Being the house broom tends to give one ample time to endure ridicule. I wonder- do you think Draco would adhere to that contract if he knew what a whore you truly were?'

Astoria Greengrass stumbled back from the table, but the Slytherin's made no point to help her, in fact they seemed to enjoy her pain.

'I thought you looked after your own? Union of Snakes?' Hermione asked quietly and she felt Theo tense beside her.

'We do look after our own, Granger,' he whispered and drank deeply from his pint glass.

'What about Greengrass, then?'

He snorted and leaned casually back in his chair. 'She didn't care a whit for Draco until he had enough Galleons to satisfy her shrewd little heart. Only then did she beg her darling Daddy for a contract and he delivered.'

'Can a person break the contract?' Hermione asked and ran her finger along the rim of her goblet.

'Malfoy holds all the power, but she holds some of the strings, mostly Lucius' need for respect. Draco has this insane notion that no other witch would ever look twice at him for a permanent basis.'

Hermione's gaze drifted to the head of the table where Draco sipped a goblet of blood red wine and leaned in to an older gentleman, talking to him quietly. As if sensing her gaze, he looked up, down at her breasts then back up again, a wicked smirk forming on his lips.

'I don't know why he would think that.'

Theo smirked at Blaise who shared his amusement. 'Perhaps the witch he truly wanted to make a contract with never showed an iota of interest, other than to hex him.'

'Perhaps,' Hermione murmured, keeping her eyes locked to her future lover, 'he should remember history can play a part in misunderstandings and that he's never been denied before.'

Theo's eyebrows rose quickly. 'Is that so?'

She blinked quickly as Draco licked his lips, just who was seducing whom here? 'Don't fish for answers, Theo. I won't supply them.'

He scowled and was about to speak when the place cards rose in the air again and exploded in a bright show of sparkling fireworks. 'The charm work is...'

'Awe inspiring?' She squeaked as Draco murmured in her ear.

'How did you get- oh never mind, is it dessert now?'

'Hmm yes, my favourite part of any meal. Sometimes I wish we could eat dessert first just to stop the anticipation.'

'Your mother used to Owl you sweets at Hogwarts, didn't she?'

Draco smiled wistfully at the memory. 'She loved to spoil me.'

'I wish I had known her, Draco.' Hermione said sincerely and didn't miss the shocked look that registered on his face.

'She would have loved you,' he said softly and spread his large, warm hand across her lower back. 'She appreciated independence and fire.'

'And you think I represent that?'

As the guests milled around searching for their names, Draco drew her into a darkened corner and cupped her bottom possessively. 'Fuck it all, Granger- I thought you'd be married off to Weasley by now and popping out baby after baby. Why did you come tonight?'

'I needed to see you,' she whispered and fisted his shirt in her hands.

'Is that the only reason?' His lips met hers with a gentle caress. 'I stand by my earlier promise.'

'Which was?' she asked breathlessly as her hands reached up to thread through his blond hair.

'To fuck you, Granger. Merlin knows I haven't stopped thinking about you in years...tell me you've thought of me.'

'Every time I closed my eyes,' she whispered and rose up on her toes to kiss the side of his mouth. 'Every time I touched myself, every time, I dreamed it was you.' Their lips met again but this time the full extent of their desperation was evidenced by their mouths, as tongues explored and hands delved under clothing. 'I don't know if I can let you go,' she admitted when they finally broke for air. 'I don't know if I want to.'

With flushed cheeks, he stepped back from her, eyes shuttered from any emotion as he cancelled the Notice-Me-Not spell she hadn't realised he'd cast. 'I'm to be married, Granger. All I can give you is tonight.'

'Then I'll take it,' she whispered to his retreating form. 'And then maybe I'll be free of my addiction to you.'

'How do our plans progress, Miss Granger?' Lucius murmured softly as he slid into the chair next to her. Dessert was about to be served and then the guests would move into the ballroom for dancing until the wee hours of the morning.

'They progress well, Mr. Malfoy, although I confess that misleading Draco does not make me feel any more comfortable about the situation.'

'You do not give my son enough credit. He would give you the moon and stars if he thought you'd lay with him one final time before his marriage. He cares not for the circumstances, just the act.'

'Draco has already confessed that he will only give me tonight and I am willing to take it. I won't force him into breaking his contract.'

Lucius sighed softly. 'Miss Granger, my son means everything to me- after we lost Cissy,' He closed his eyes briefly and breathed in deeply. 'He was broken and his love for life...damaged. Our exile came one week after Cissy's death. Draco unfortunately used his wand for less than savoury means...'

'What did he do?' Hermione asked quietly as empty plates appeared before them.

'It was most unfortunate,' Lucius leaned towards her, his eyes holding a distinct sadness. And it was then Hermione realised that this wizard for all him pomp, ceremony and prejudice, truly loved Draco and that knowledge alone made her heart clench. 'Miss Weasley believed her opinions on Cissy should be heard in the loudest voice possible.'

Hermione felt shamed at the thought of Ginny being cruel about Narcissa Malfoy so close to her death.

'I heard your whore of a Mother died, Malfoy...' Lucius quoted through clenched teeth. 'No more than she deserved after slagging herself off to Voldemort in a pathetic attempt to get your Death Eater father out of Azkaban.'

Hermione gasped, her hand instinctively wrapping around Lucius'. 'My goddess, what an utterly cruel and...'

'Weasley thing to say.' Lucius murmured and surprised the witch by squeezing her hand. 'Draco's one failing was the inability to retain his temper against the Weasley family. He stunned Miss Weasley and had his wand confiscated. Mr Potter did not want to bring attention to the events surrounding Draco's exile, so we were quietly shipped off and allowed the world to believe we had tired of Britain.'

'I am truly sorry, Mr. Malfoy- Lucius, for what Ginny said. I am equally sorry that her actions were not punished.'

'You cannot punish words, however vile and hurtful they may be.'

'It is simply a matter of jealousy,' Hermione said softly. 'She has always wanted the prestige and respect that comes with being a Malfoy. The Weasley name will never hold such honour.'

'And yet you choose to marry one willingly?'

'Yes, well, about that...'

'Friends,' Draco rose and smiled down at his guests. 'Dessert has always been my favourite part of life. Mother took great pride in constructing desserts fit for a king and tonight I present you- as a family- our favourite.'

'You are in for a treat, Miss Granger.' Lucius smirked wickedly.

'Boite du Souhaite de la Coeur,' Draco drawled and waved his hands, magic rippled down the table like a trickle of warm water dripping over her skin. 'Enjoy and thank you for your attendance tonight.'

'It's just a box.' Hermione said and felt incredibly foolish that she hadn't paid more attention in her French classes.

'Boite du Souhaite de la Coeur,' Lucius whispered and touched the small box upon his plate. It rippled and shuddered, then the most wonderful smell erupted from the plate, a shimmer of magic and where the box lay so innocently, in its place sat the juiciest, largest red strawberries and Hermione licked her lips. 'Strawberries and cream, my favourite. Box of wishes...of the heart. Miss Granger, whatever you desire shall be yours.'

Swallowing thickly, Hermione touched her fingertips to the box and struggled to keep her mind blank so the box could determine her choice, but all she could think of was Draco.

'Interesting...' Lucius peered down at her plate, smirking when her cheeks flushed. 'Honeycomb Fudge with dark chocolate sauce? Could it be my dear that your thoughts of my son run deeper than you care to admit?'

'I never said I didn't care for Draco,' she reminded him, digging her spoon into the fudge. Hermione's taste buds went into overdrive as the rich, delicate fudge melted on her tongue. 'Oh my goddess...this is divine.'

'It appears you are not the only one to think so.' Hermione wanted to look away, truly she did but he was incredibly enticing, his pink tongue swirled around his spoon, his dessert, mirroring her own. 'My utterly sinful.'

'You sound so proud.'

Lucius chuckled. 'You have no idea.'

Her throat felt dry as the air she desperately wanted in her lungs, clung to her lips and refused to move. She wanted to drown in him, to feel their bodies touch, to have that mouth which had caused so many sleepless nights and tears, to caress every inch of her.

'Miss Granger...' Lucius murmured. 'Dessert is finished.'

She blinked lazily and tore her gaze from Draco. 'What?'

'Your mind drifted, it would appear. Everyone is leaving.' Lucius stood and helped Hermione from her seat. 'Come along, my dear. The dancing is about to start.'

'Isn't it funny...' Pansy murmured and moved to stand beside her childhood enemy. 'That not eight years ago, I was trying to give Potter to the Dark Lord and you were fighting for your life.'

'The only thing amusing about that situation, Pansy, was when Ronald stunned you and you were bound.'

Pansy hissed angrily and rapidly turned to the witch. 'I was a product of my family. How could I change?'

'You have changed, haven't you? Look Pansy, I know we've never been friends but honestly, I always admired your intelligence. It took courage during the fight at Hogwarts to stand up to the world and declare them enemies. I may not have appreciated your sentiments but had I been in your position...'

Pansy laughed and tucked her arm within Hermione's. 'Don't fool yourself, Granger, if you'd had the opportunity to hand Draco over to the Dementors, you would have fled to New Zealand rather than sacrifice him.'

'What does Draco have to do with this?'

Both witches were drawn to the centre of the ballroom where Draco Malfoy danced stiffly with his affianced witch.

'Everything.' Pansy sipped slowly at an awful pink concoction then smiled slyly up at Hermione. 'Blaise told me.'

'If Blaise isn't careful, I'm going to permanently sew his lips together.'

Snickering, Pansy gave her forearm a squeeze. 'Don't be cruel. Flint would never forgive you if his favourite mouth was unavailable for broom servicing.'

'Pansy!' Hermione was scandalised but laughed all the same. Harry had always said that Flint liked to polish his broom a bit too rigorously. 'I don't know what Blaise told you,' she continued seriously. 'But that life is over and I can never recapture it.'

'I never pegged you for an idiot, Granger. You're more in tune with Slytherin than you care to admit. Draco...Theo...Adrian, oh and of course Severus.'

'Professor Snape and I have only ever been friends, Pansy. I am disturbed and a little insulted that you would debase that with your lewd opinions.'

'Calm down, Granger,' Pansy was still smiling and hadn't relinquished her hold on the older witch's arm. 'We appreciate it, the Slytherin Alumni, knowing that you care about him so much. We hate to leave him alone even for a second in case he decides this world is not for him. When I found out you were one of his more frequent visitors, I confess to being quite shocked.'

'He is my friend,' Hermione explained. 'I went back for him.' Her voice grew quiet and Pansy leaned in closely, having only heard this story from second hand accounts. 'I thought him to be dead, so I transfigured my jumper into a blanket and was about to close his eyes when he grabbed my hand, I've never been so afraid. He used Legilimency on me to explain he needed Dittany, Blood Replenisher and a tiny vial of Anti Venin that had been charmed to his shoe. Merlin knows, that wizard was a walking Apothecary.'

Pansy was enthralled and shook her head slightly at Blaise Zabini, as he approached them silently.

'I healed him and stayed for hours until Lucius found us. He and Draco had heard Severus' tale and didn't want his body-' She swallowed thickly and gratefully accepted the drink pressed into her hand. 'They didn't want his body to be damaged by unsuspecting Aurors or- anyone else. They were shocked to find me there, I can tell you. I thought they might stun me until they realised I was helping him. I must have looked a sight, cradling my former Potions Professor on my lap, covered in blood and dirt,' she paused to take a long drink, grimacing when she realised, belatedly, it was Ogden's Whiskey. 'I didn't want to leave him. I just couldn't. I felt responsible...'

'Granger, no one thought you responsible,' Blaise wrapped his arm around her waist and with a gentle tug pulled the witch into his arms. 'He's a changed man. You opened his eyes to a loyalty he'd never been afforded, and it was your sacrifice that made him what he is today.'

'He is quite successful now, isn't he?' Hermione smiled and hastily wiped away several tears that had slipped down her cheek. Severus Snape, despite all odds had returned to their world a healthy, if not even more sour wizard than before. Opening an advanced Potion's School had been his crowning glory, than and the attached Apothecary, he was now the most wealthy and respected Potion's Master in the Northern Hemisphere.

'He called me an Insufferable dunderhead last week.' Adrian supplied and gifted her with a wicked grin.

'That's because you knocked over an entire shelf of Christmas Beetles that took him-'

'Weeks and weeks to hunt!' they all said together and laughed.

'He wasn't cruel to us,' Pansy said and a gentle affection flitted across her face. 'When I was 12, he held my hand when my turtle died.'

'He helped me with my Transfiguration homework even though it contained more Foolish wand waving than he was comfortable with.'

Hermione laughed again and felt her heart fill with joy at their simple yet emotional memories of her dear friend. 'He called me a know-it-all and that I should shave my head lest any more of those deplorably frizzy hairs disrupt his classroom.'

Blaise snickered and bent slightly to kiss the witch's cheek. 'Our very own Gryffindor Saviour.'

'Don't, Blaise.'

'Why ever not?' he asked innocently, splaying his long, dark fingers across her stomach.

With a cheeky grin to Pansy, she turned to Blaise and looked upon him seriously. 'Because I don't want Marcus Flint to think he has to defend your honour if I take too many liberties.'

Blaise flushed bright red and dropped his hand. 'I think I need a cigar, Pucey?'

'Yes, let's leave the witches to their plotting.' With a formal, deep bow, Adrian sauntered off with Blaise in search of entertainment.

'Should we-'

'No Granger, I'm not finished speaking with you.'

'What more is there to say? I like Slytherins. The end.'

'Theo was just a passing fancy,' the witch said thoughtfully and when Hermione didn't stop her, she continued. 'Adrian - a bit of fun, yeah?'

'Theo wanted in my knickers, I refused him quite publicly and Adrian is fun but I never slept with him.'

'Adrian doesn't sleep with anyone, he fucks them and quite thoroughly I'm told.'

'So I've heard. See, but you've forgotten someone.'

'Oh really, who?'


Pansy snorted. 'Easily forgettable. He is a Weasley, after all.'

Hermione's indignation must have shown because Pansy was quick to soothe her. 'Each to their own, I'm simply trying to point out the obvious.'

'And what would that be?' Hermione asked through gritted teeth.

'That a Gryffindor will never be enough, that Weasley will never be enough, not when you've had the best.'

'And the best would be?'

'Draco, of course,' Pansy grinned. 'He was a virgin when he fucked you, did you know that?'

Hermione's cheek blazed red and she nodded. 'I had an inkling.'

'Were you as well?'

'Pansy Parkinson! I hardly think that is any of your business.'

'So yes, then?'


'I'll forgive you just this once for not understanding the significance of two magical beings bleeding together. Do you know what happens when a witch's virgin blood is spilled?'

'It hurts?' Hermione asked snidely.

'Of course it bloody hurts! There is a spell that collects the magic, Recueillir du sang. The potion vials are sterilised and then the blood is used in some extremely potent healing salves and replenishers.'

'Pansy- I've heard that spell before...'

'Yes, I suspect Draco would have cast it after you had sex.'

'Why didn't he just ask?'

'Really, you have to ask that question?'

'He thought I'd say no.'

'He thought you'd be repulsed by him even wanting to hold your hand. Yet, here we are.'

'I was never repulsed by him,' Hermione said softly and found the wizard again, this time dancing with an elderly witch who looked up at him adoringly. 'It was never about Slytherin or Gryffindor, blood or superiority. We needed each other, but we had to fight our very souls not to regurgitate all our ingrained prejudice.'

'I hate that Greengrass bitch.' Pansy said suddenly as once more Draco was handed off to the tall, willowy blonde witch.

'Are you in love with Malfoy?' Hermione snapped and Pansy looked up at her in alarm.

'What? No- I mean once perhaps but – I- no, I love someone else.'

'Then, why the hatred towards Astoria?'

'She doesn't love Draco. She loves the name Malfoy and all it can bring her. I want to slap that silly little bitch and her sister.'

'I thought you were close to Daphne?'

'Please Granger, like you're close to the Weaslette?'

'Point taken.'

'You love him though, don't you?'

'I do, Merlin help me, I do.' It felt finally as if a weight had vanished from her shoulders and Hermione couldn't tear her eyes from the lithe, Pureblood wizard, dressed in his finest robes, dancing fluidly around the ballroom.

'And what of Weasley?'

'We are no longer together- but that news is not public and I wish it to stay that way.'

'Merlin,' Pansy breathed. 'Greengrass doesn't stand a chance.'

Hermione smiled. 'Neither does Neville.'

'What are you talking about?' Hermione relished in frightening the witch, if only for a moment. 'Relationships between staff at Hogwarts are not forbidden. There isn't even a rule about teachers and students, if you can believe it.'

'You were the one he asked, aren't you?'

'I'm happy for you truly and yes, Neville asked me to research the bylaws before he went public with your engagement.'

'Bloody Gryffindors,' she muttered. 'What else did he say?'

'Other than that he thinks you're ruddy brilliant? He loves you and Neville is my friend. At first I wasn't going to accept your relationship but I rather think that would have been quite selfish of me, given that I now find you more than tolerable.'

'I love the chubby little bastard,' Pansy said. 'I can't wait to marry him.'

'I can't wait for your children to be sorted into Gryffindor,' Hermione said with a sly smile and jumped when Pansy cursed and clicked her fingers.

'I promised Blaise I wouldn't do this but now- sod it all, Granger, you aren't supposed to be nice!'

'Mistress calls Dippy?' A tiny elf winked into the room and bowed before Pansy Parkinson.

'Dippy, do you remember what I asked you to do earlier?' His huge eyes looked upon Hermione before turning back to Pansy where he nodded. 'Would you slip it to her instead?' With a careful nod towards the dancing couple, the elf disappeared quickly.

'You were going to drug me?'

Pansy had the decency to appear mortified as she nodded. 'Not drugged, as such but I had planned to take you out early.'

'With what, exactly?'

'Watch and see,' Pansy replied and pointed to the dance floor where the elf was carefully carrying two flutes of champagne to the couple. Astoria took one and downed it greedily and within seconds of the glass vanishing, the witch was bent over, retching pitifully and sobbing for the entire ballroom to hear.

'Skiving Snackbox?' Hermione was amused and a little insulted that Pansy had been attempting to use it on her.

'Liquid edition.' She giggled and was about to say more when Lucius Malfoy strode over to the witches.

'Miss Granger, might I have this dance?'

'Certainly, Mr. Malfoy.' She curtsied, and then grinned as he spun her effortlessly onto the dance floor.

'Not for me, my dear,' he drawled as they moved closer to Draco. 'My son's fiancé has unfortunately been taken quite ill.'

'You don't sound nearly as upset as you should.'

'Ah, because I am quite pleased. This makes your little plan that much easier.'


'Draco, Miss Granger has yet to dance, would you be so kind...?'

He smirked and spun the witch into his son's arms. 'Malfoy you don't have to...'

'But I want to,' His grin was infectious as he twirled them effortlessly around the dance floor, ensuring their bodies remained close and touching at all times.

'Where did all these people come from?'

'The vultures,' he dipped his head and pressed their temples together. 'Father only invited those close to the family for dinner, the after party is usually less stuffy and more-' he intoned as his lips trailed to her ear and she shivered as they left a hot, tingling trail, 'fun.'

'Are you having fun?'

'How could I not?'

'Well your fiancé is sick...?'

Draco snorted. 'Skiving Snackbox. I'll have to thank Pansy later.'

'You knew?'

'You weren't the only trio at Hogwarts, Granger. We could teach your two golden boys a thing or two about how to treat a witch.'

'Is that so?' She gasped when his warm fingers trailed down her spine, gently caressing her skin as his lips drew closer.

'Can you imagine how extraordinary my life would have been, had you been our third?'

'Draco, I...'

Her eyes fluttered closed as they drifted into a darkened section of the ballroom. As the music picked up pace, and the floor pulsed with party guests, he slowed their tempo until they were simply swaying. 'You gave me your soul, Granger.'

'I hardly think it was my soul I gave you,' Hermione whispered and dared to meet his gaze. 'You took something from me, as well.'

'Did I?' His nose nuzzled her cheek and she whimpered as his teeth grazed towards her ear. 'I took only what was offered.'

'Do you ever wish we could go back to that day?' Tilting her head to the side, she fisted her hands into the front of his robes as he placed open mouthed kisses along her neck. 'Go back to when we were innocent...'

Draco chuckled, his hand delving into her robes and grasping her breast. Air shuddered from his lungs and with a small shove she was pushed against the wall, his hard body holding hers in place. 'The only wish I had was to survive,' he paused for a moment, drinking in her flushed cheeks, shivering body and her lips, Merlin, he wanted to devour her, 'and to fuck you, of course.'

'Of course, how could I-' The words died in her throat as he cupped her cheek and kissed her hard, his tongue thrusting between her parted lips, his body, aroused and desperate for her.

'The memory of you, kept me from going insane.' They parted for air, gasping and shuddering against each other. 'I know you thought of me, Granger. Every day I'd check the coin, they kept me sane – your words. Do you still have it?'

With a tiny, needy whimper she nodded and reached for him, dying to feel his lips again. 'I use a sticking charm, it's on me always. You never replied- I thought you were dead.' His hand drifted across her body until it came in contact with the round, hard Galleon.

'My wand was taken; Father was monitoring me carefully, in case I cracked.'

'Cracked?' She kissed his left cheek, then the right, before allowing her lips to linger over his. Her tongue darted out, tasting the flesh that could be so terribly cruel yet beautifully delicious at the same time.

'Traitor...he thought I'd turn traitor.' He groaned as her small hand drifted down his chest and gripped his cock beneath his robes.

'You would never be a traitor, not when you give your loyalty to those you love.'

'You had my loyalty,' he whispered and rested his forehead on hers. 'Do you remember what I told you Granger, that night...?'

She has escaped- her body was trembling, dress torn and heart beating at a rate that she thought would explode her chest. Cormac McClaggen would get a nasty little surprise in his pants tomorrow, attacking your date, especially when your date just happened to be a witch as powerful as Hermione Granger, did not bode well for the future of your loins. Still, she wasn't about to be embarrassed in front of the elite, so she'd fled to a small, long forgotten alcove on the sixth floor with a large window looking out to the lake. It was cold in that space, but she didn't care. It was isolated and quiet and it's what she craved, peace from the magical war and quiet; the sweet temptation of nightfall when most were asleep and the only movement was the creatures of the night.


'Fuck it,' Hermione hissed and whirled around, wand raised. 'What do you want, Malfoy?'

'I could ask you the same question. This is my spot, so fuck off.'

'Sod off Malfoy,' she snapped and turned back to the window. When she didn't hear another sound, she assumed that he'd left. Then she felt him, the warmth emanating off his body, his breath, smelling oddly like fudge and his hands, pressed to either side of her on the windowsill. 'Malfoy, what are you doing?'

His cheek fell to her shoulder and she felt moisture dripping down her arm. He was crying?


'Don't speak,' his voice cracked and Hermione felt her heart break for him,

'But I...'

'Please,' he whispered and gently kissed her shoulder as his hands moved to grip her waist. 'Granger, please...'

'What do you want, Malfoy?' she asked quietly and vaguely recalled her wand hitting the stone floor as he spun her around and covered her lips with his own. 'Malfoy?'

'Fuck,' he murmured against her mouth. 'Fuck it, Granger, don't- just- fuck!'

Hermione would always look back on this day and wonder why, Merlin, why her next move felt so right. Carefully she reached up, her small fingers brushing away his tears and caressing his cheeks. She knew at that moment, Harry was right; Malfoy was in deep- but was it too late to help him?

'Draco.' Her softly whispering of his name was his undoing and with a deep groan he plundered her mouth, his hot tongue destroying what little self control the witch possessed after a trying night.

'I can't do this,' he said and Hermione knew he didn't mean kissing her, but whatever he'd been tasked with.

'We can help you,' she insisted as her hands moved to his neck, stroking and caressing his fevered skin. 'Please, let the Headmaster help you.'

'Beyond help,' he muttered and hoisted up her skirt before shoving the witch onto the windowsill. His hands were brutal as they clenched her shaking thighs and with a whispered spell, she heard the zipper of his pants slowly fall down. 'Granger, I need to fuck you.'

Hermione whimpered but did not refuse him. 'I need you, too.'

His eyes darted to hers in surprise and he touched her then, a simple yet reverent stroke of her cheek. 'You'll never know...'

'Neither will you, Malfoy.'

He struggled to stay upright as her hands grasped him, pulling him towards her with a desperate urgency. 'I need to feel needed.'

'Granger, are you...'

'Do you care?' She smiled and stroked him again, revelling in the smooth hard skin.

'I should...' He smirked but the arrogance didn't quite meet his eyes. 'I can't go into this war an even bigger target, our blood- it's valuable.'

'You're a...?' Her shocked revelation was quickly silenced by his consuming tongue and with a grunt; he pushed her knickers to the side and penetrated her body.

'Oh my gods...' Hermione panted against him and when she looked up to him, he was equally on edge. 'What did you do?' She hissed.

'It's never worked before,' he muttered and caressed her cheek, much like in their mutual memory. 'Severus taught me Legilimency and sharing certain things.'

'That was Legilimency?'

'A branch of- I suppose.' His eyes darted from hers and she had an awful feeling in the pit of her stomach.

'Was that dark magic?'

'The intent wasn't dark.'


Hermione groaned as the wizard was quickly dragged away from her, dozens of faces she recognised from Hogwarts and the Ministry, all excited to wish the Pureblood wizard a happy birthday. She staggered to the balcony, her heart racing, body tingling with anticipated release and all she could think about was that night- that fateful night she had sex with Draco Malfoy.

She slumped against the railing, panting as her mind was pierced with pain. Seduction...she had never been adept at that particular task, but with Draco it'd always been so easy. She could render him speechless with a simple suckle of her quill, a tuck of hair behind her ear or allowing her skirt to ride higher up her thighs. Hermione wasn't stupid when it came to wizards and acquiring the knowledge of Draco Malfoy's somewhat reluctant infatuation with her was heady and powerful. Viktor was the first to notice; when at the Yule Ball the arrogant, smarmy fourteen year old Draco stalked the dance floor perimeter, his eyes never leaving hers. And further on in the year, she would watch him surreptitiously for any sign that he had feelings other than malice. His first genuine smile had come during fifth year in the middle of an Arithmancy test; they had been the only two remaining and fought furiously for top marks- equalling the highest score of Albus Dumbledore.

Hermione sighed. There wasn't any point now to living in the past. Tonight she would sample Draco Malfoy for the first time since Hogwarts and she was scared- not only of her own reaction to him but if he had changed...

'Stop thinking...' Hermione tried to turn around but his hands covered hers, his chest pressing against her back. 'Are you ready for bed, Granger?'

She whimpered and felt the squeeze of Apparition as he stole her away.

'Where are we?'

'My house,' Draco answered and bent his head to place a tender kiss on her lips. 'Amesbury is where the Malfoy family first settled. This is the original Manor house. It's nowhere near as grand as the Wiltshire Manor- but close.'

'Draco...are you sure about this?'

'Planning to run away Granger? Feeling guilty over the Pauper?'

Her eyes narrowed and she took a step away from him. 'Guilty- no, planning on running away- perhaps.'

'Like fuck you are,' he hissed and grabbed the front of her dress, tearing it as he pulled her towards him. 'I'm going to rip your clothes from your body then fuck you until you can no longer walk.'

Hermione whimpered as his warm fingers danced along the neckline of her dress before bunching up the fabric and ripping it with a satisfied smirk. The satin clung to her skin, straps dangling from her elbows as he drank in her near naked body. 'Merlin's wand...' he muttered and scraped his nails across her nipple. 'You're fucking fantastic, Granger.'

'Must you be so crude?' she said softly and toyed with the buttons of his shirt.

'You like me crude.' He licked his lips as her nimble fingers remove his shirt, pushing it off his shoulders.

'Still lovely,' she whispered and tentatively licked his chest. 'Delicious...'

'Granger...I need you.'

Her eyes met his and she was lost, breathless to his desperate arousal. ''Can't make it good...' he muttered and nudged her back towards the bed, shaking hands unclasping his pants and pushing them to the ground. 'Going to fuck you now, witch.'

Hermione gasped when he shoved her down, kicked apart her thighs and roughly penetrated her body. Her eyes went wide as he filled her, the sensation making her heart hammer dangerously against her chest. 'Draco...' she whined and dug her heels into his arse, bringing him even closer. His face dropped to her neck, his lips parted and his breath coming in quick, harsh pants.

'Granger, don't leave me. I love you, witch.' he whispered into her ear and she felt him shatter inside her, the memory of their first encounter vanishing in the instant he murmured his long held feelings.

'Wh-what?' she said softly, moaning as his fingers reached between them and stroked her until her thighs began to shake. 'D-Draco?'

'Hush,' he commanded and kissed along her neck, drifting hot, wet kisses until he reached her mouth. 'I gave you my loyalty Granger and I've wanted all of you, body, heart and soul. I've waited so long to have you again- I don't know if I can let you leave.'

'I don't want to leave,' Hermione replied and kissed him hard as her entire body began to tremble with her orgasm. 'But you have obligations.'

'As do you with Weaslebee.'

'I haven't been with Ron for months.' Hermione confessed and stroked Draco's back as he rolled them to the side. 'He cheated on me, and then had the nerve to beg that I didn't tell a soul.'

'How noble,' Draco sneered against her shoulder. 'And yet you'll be reviled once news of our relationship comes to light.'

'Relationship, Draco?' Hermione laughed. 'I won't be your whore to call on when your cock needs relief.'

'I would never lower you to the position of whore, Granger.'

'Then what?' Hermione asked and turned in his arms, bringing him closer by throwing her leg over his hip.

'The contract can be over should I wish it- and I wish it.'

'So that's it then, you break it off with Astoria, then you and I go public?' Hermione sighed in frustration. 'Merlin knows, I love you, Draco...' She yelped as his fingers dug into her hip painfully. 'Oh please, like I'd give my virginity to just anyone. Did you use the blood?'

Draco nodded slowly, reaching up to cup her face, his thumb caressing her plump, kiss swollen lips. 'Did you ever wonder how you healed so quickly after the Cruciatus?'

Hermione gasped. 'Our blood?'

Draco smirked and moved closer to nuzzle her neck. 'Severus was quite smitten with you. I think had I not warned him off quite thoroughly, that he would have courted you.'

'Severus does not have feelings for me.'

He laughed. 'Just as I don't. He risked his position with the Dark Lord to give a potion to Minerva, it was created using our blood and it saved your life. Those Order morons hadn't even removed the splinters Auntie Bella charmed into your skin. They were festering when McGonagall found you.'

'I never knew...' Hermione breathed and tenderly stroked Draco's upper thigh. 'I need to thank him.'

'You need to thank me, witch,' he murmured roughly and gripped her arse, pushing his arousal between her thighs. 'Thank me for begging Father for tonight.'

'What do you mean?' Hermione could barely think as his cock pushed inside her, this new angle terribly delicious and maddening to her rational mind.

'The life debt, Granger,' Magic swirled around them and Hermione started. 'Was to seduce I correct?'

Far from being angry, Hermione laughed and mirrored Draco's hold on her arse. 'You used his life debt to get me here?'

He snorted. 'Hardly, I just begged for you to be invited. I found out about the debt later when I saw you leaving in a huff and Father breaking things...he left the contract sitting out for anyone to find.'

'I may have insinuated that your feelings were important to me and keeping you in the dark was hardly beneficial. Plus I lied to him, led him to believe I was engaged so we could go about things honestly.'

Draco smirked. 'A bleeding heart Gryffindor,' he said and settled inside her, the vice like grip of her body causing a sweat to break out over his brow. 'Don't worry, Granger, we'll give you lessons on how to be cunning and manipulative. You'll be one of us soon.'

'Is that what you want, Draco?' she asked, breathless as he pulled out, only to thrust back inside her.

'To have my name branded on your soul?'

'Branding?' she laughed. 'Perhaps I'll tattoo Property of Draco Malfoy on my arse?'

His eyes darkened and his lips parted. 'Hmm, I'll brand our crest on every inch of your delectable little body Granger, so no one will question my love for you.'

'Only if I get to brand you in return.'

He gasped as their lips touched, barely for a second before they shuddered together in mutual completion. 'You turn me into a sodding Hufflepuff, Granger. I think I may need to visit with Severus for some conditioning.'

'I might join you and snog him in the corner...'

'Silly witch,' he murmured and kissed her again. 'These lips are mine...' His fingers stroked her lips. 'This body is mine...' His nails dug into her arse. 'This mind...' He kissed her temples. 'Belongs to me and your magic, Granger, will be forever mixed with a family older than Merlin himself.'

'Aren't we rushing things?'

Please say no, please say no...

'We've been dancing around each other for years. Had I not been exiled, then you would already be a Malfoy and swollen with my child.'

She moaned softly as his hand splayed across her stomach and stroked eagerly.

'We're going to cause a scandal.'

'Only if I fuck you in public, love,' He smirked wickedly. 'And trust me when I say I will never share that side of you with anyone. This here,' he gestured between them, 'is for our eyes only. You are the only witch to hold my heart- be gentle with it, witch.'

Her body spread with warmth and she couldn't help but kiss him, slanting her lips across his and pressing her tongue into his mouth. 'Damn you for being so wonderful. How could I ever refuse you?'

The arrogance returned with his simply replied, 'I doubt you ever could. I was going to wear you down with gifts and seduction but you just had to be a minx, didn't you?'

'A minx?' She laughed. 'You are too much.'

'I'll show you too much,' he growled and rolled on top of her. 'You won't leave my bed this week, Granger. I plan on showing you just how a Malfoy seduces his witch.'

Hermione grinned widely and wrapped her arms around him. 'I look forward to your attempts.'

'And I look forward to making you mine.'

Lucius Malfoy sat in his study, smirking nastily at the wizard opposite him. 'Truly, did you think she would deny him? Hmmm, oh you did, how unfortunate.'

The wizard scowled, his head lowered as the vision of Hermione Granger being shagged quite roughly by Draco Malfoy vanished before their eyes.

'I will not stand by and let you or your little friends ruin my son's only chance at happiness.'

'You're a sodding bastard!'

'Be that as it may, you owe me and I plan to collect to the fullest extent of the law. Let's start with the debt shall we?'

The wizard's nostrils flared, his fan burning bright red. 'Fulfilled, wouldn't you agree?'

'Hmmm, much less public than I had hoped. Tell me Mr. Weasley, did the terms of our agreement slip your pathetic little mind because you'd dipped your quill into something filthy?'

'Shut your disgusting mouth, Malfoy!' Ronald screamed and rose to his feet, wand brandished and sparking magic. 'I couldn't embarrass her!'

'Well Weasley, now you haven't a choice. Your first order of business is to allow the Prophet and Witch Weekly find out about your indiscretions. Of course, you must absolve Miss Granger of any wrong doing. Should she come out of this smelling like anything other than the most potent and expensive rose, I will ruin your entire family! Do I make myself clear?'

Ron gulped, his hand falling limply to his side. 'Perfectly.'

'Wonderful!' Lucius clasped his hands together in satisfaction. 'Now, as to the remaining part to our agreement.' He pushed a scroll of parchment across the table and leaned back in his chair, his fingers steepled beneath his chin. 'Well, go on boy, open it.'

Nervously, Ron unfurled the parchment, his eyes going comically wide. 'You want me to...'

'She is yours, Weasley. I haven't a need for the Greengrass family and I have every right to sell her contract to the highest bidder. So shall a sickle be enough?'

'But she's...I mean she would never...'

'Draco's heart lay elsewhere, Weasley, as you just witnessed for yourself. The Mudblood shall make him happy and I will not have that disgusting little social climber tainting my family line.'

'But a Mudblood will do?'

Lucius smirked. 'Only the best for my Draco.'

Ron swallowed thickly, his gaze lingering over the mirror that Hermione had just been in. 'Will she know of my involvement.'

'I am not a foolish man Weasley, a privacy clause is written into your contract- lest you think Miss Granger needs to hear you spouting nonsense.'

'Is that all, Malfoy?'

'You will be invited to the wedding of course and you will decline to attend, I will not have a Weasley in my home any longer than necessary.'

Still smirking, Lucius summoned his elf to escort Ronald Weasley from the Manor and restarted the charmed mirror, watching in delight as Hermione Granger murmured her love for Draco and his son returned the sentiments. Slytherin had taught him to be cunning and being a Malfoy had given him access to the spoils of their world. His son would never see darkness again, never raise his wand in anger or be forced to murder as long as he lived and breathed. His prejudice took a minor backseat to Draco's happiness and if he loved a Mudblood, then so be it.

Lucius Malfoy always said his son would bring light to the name Malfoy and with Granger by his side- their family would once again regain their proper place in Wizarding society.

Life was good.