So this is where Draco finally finds his feet; in the backroom of a small potions shop in Melbourne, with his sleeves rolled up to the elbows and fingertips stained with the ingredients of dozens and dozens of spells; with a girl who has Charmed hair and is kissing him slowly. Charmed red, crimson and unnaturally so, red enough that the highlights are pink. Astoria's hair is nothing like the red of the Weasleys, more than a little like the red of blood. But wizarding war has never favoured blood as the colour spilled, and so her curls carry no connotations of death or school-related humiliation.
(and it helps, oh does it help, that Astoria never went to Hogwarts at all, never wore a uniform with a coloured tie that broadcast her allegiance to the world. That was her English cousin, and even if she wasn't madly in love with Pansy Parkinson, he'd never be doing this with Daphne Greengrass.)
“The trouble with you,” Astoria says, dropping her mouth to his jaw, then his neck, “is that you always want to have control.”
“That's a problem?” Draco drawls, closing his eyes and tilting his head back slightly.
“Yes, let me finish,” she says, nipping his skin just because he interrupted her. Or maybe just because she felt like it, but either way, the brief flare of painpleasure makes him twist his fingers in her hair. “It's a problem,” Astoria continues, “because you turn into a bully when you get it.”
“And what's your solution to this...problem?” He trusts that she has one. No one who can invent potions like she can lacks for solutions, and she's not the kind to mention a perceived problem if she doesn't have a possible way of fixing it.
“Make sure you never get complete control.” Astoria says that with a wicked little smile, almost a smirk, as she slides her knee up his leg. “Be difficult,” she says, the Australian twang to her voice somehow ridiculously sexy. Astoria kisses him before he points out that she's not being difficult, not in the slightest. Draco moves his legs apart for balance, runs his hand down her thigh to help her hook her right leg around his hips.
“Difficult,” he murmurs as she shifts against him, gripping his arm tightly as she moves and finds her own balance with just one of her high heeled boots still on the ground. “Yes. Very difficult, Greengrass. How do I put up with you. It's such a chore-”
“Shut up,” Astoria says, swaying forward with a short laugh, kissing his neck and then laughing again as he tries not to groan at the pressure of her thigh against his groin. Her hands are bunching his shirt, running her nails lightly up his arm, touching the Dark Mark scarring his skin as if it isn't there at all. Draco fists his hand in her curls, drags her head back to look at her face. Her face is flushed, lips parted as she breathes heavily, and she meets his eyes with a straight-forward, searing honesty that occasionally makes him want to shake her. Shake her, grab her and demand to know how she can be so unflinching as she opens her eyes, her mouth, her blouse, her mind. She dropped her defences long before she dropped her skirt, and he wants to take her and twist something so that she'll close back up, withdraw, protect herself.
(he tells himself that the main reason he resists is that he also has a good deal of respect for her philosophy that there isn't a problem that can't be solved by well-aimed hex or a well-aimed shoe, and those heels of hers look lethal)
Her eyes are grey, but unlike his, they are the kind of grey that absorb colour, the kind of grey that lights up with blue and green. Those eyes had met his the first time she had walked into her uncle's shop and found Draco there instead, but the look in them as the pair talked potions was more who are you, you amazingly interesting person than the normal disdain or suspicion. Even if she hadn't been this delicate-faced girl with a long nose that saved her from prettiness, with a heavy bust and a skirt that was a swirl of life and colour, that look alone would have hooked his interest. Now her skirts are pushed up around her waist, now those grey eyes are wide with dilated pupils, now she is saying his name in a voice husky with desire.
So Draco kisses her and slides his hand along the smooth skin of her inner thigh, and as he fumbles with her skirts and petticoats (because, yes, it is fumbling, clothes in reality are always so much difficult than her skirts in his fantasies), he has his other arm around her waist to hold her close. Astoria is kissing him back, one arm around his shoulders and the other hand sliding this way and that, twisting his shirt and teasing his skin. She knows what she is doing, this honest-eyed girl, and isn't that both reassuring and frightening in equal measure. Draco's learning, still learning, but he's always been a quick student. His hand finally finds her knickers, thanks to following the strap of her garter-belt, and he slides his fingers under the scrappy piece of silk to the wet folds hidden beneath. Astoria whimpers against his mouth, and he brushes his knuckle against her clit to get her to whimper again.
He knows all too well how people react to torture, how they writhe and beg for release from the pain. He remembers it, and he remembers it with Aunt Bella's high-pitched, sickeningly girlish giggles, and he remembers it with the Dark Lord's pleasure and unpredictability. He remembers the first time Astoria begged please, Draco how he had snapped back away from her with fear and self-disgust and Granger screaming please, stop echoing in his mind.
It had taken a while to sort that particularly misunderstanding out (they hadn't been aided by his wounded pride once the panic had abated), but by now, the pair have learnt while making the other writhe and beg is a pleasure, Astoria has to be specific. She can't just say 'please', can't just say his name. She has tell him exactly what she wants, even if he has no intention of doing it. The action isn't the point, the torrent of sentences starting with 'I want you to do this' is.
So Astoria rocks against him, and moans with want. She grinds herself down against his hand, and begs in a ragged voice that she wants him, all of him, that she wants him in her, that she needs him to fuck her with his hand, that if he doesn't touch her clit she's going to hex him into next year, that fuck, yes-
He never watches her face when she comes; he's seen too many faces go slack in death to ever view faces going slack in pleasure with anything other than unease. He knows the tempo of her body, and when her breath comes faster and more high-pitched, when she tightens around his fingers and digs her nails into his shoulder, he drops his head, closes his eyes. Astoria cries out softly and slumps against him, body shaking as he runs a gentle hand down her back. Should he open his eyes, all he'll be able to see is her too-red hair, and that suits him just fine. She twists her head, kisses his hair and then slides down, all the way down, so that she's sitting on her heels, on the ground, in front of him. Her hair is a mess, her mouth swollen from kissing, her eyes heavily lidded, and as he braces himself, leans back against the workbench, he has to laugh.
“What?” Astoria asks, a smile chasing itself around her own mouth.
“Difficult,” he says, half-grinning at her. “That was your idea of difficult.”
(it wasn't his first thought; his first thought was that if she ever invited him home, ever invited him into her bed instead of just fucking him in her uncle's backroom, he'd marry this girl.)
“Oh, well, um,” she says, pushing herself up so she's on her knees. Slowly, she glides her hands up his legs, slow enough that his breath hitches. Slowly, her fingers slide over his groin – making him groan – up to his belt. There, his breath isn't hitched, but caught.
“Well, darling,” Astoria says as she starts to work on his belt, smirking a little as she speaks, “if I'm on my knees, just remember where my teeth are going to be.”