Draco checked the time on the ornate clock sitting on his desk. It was only eight, but he felt exhausted. It was not surprising, as he had relived the past half-hour seven times already. Time-Turning could drain a person if one was not careful; it was more tiring than the simple accumulation of extra hours could account for. With these new Time-Turners, the danger was even greater. They had all been recently manufactured or, in some cases, repaired after being broken for a long time. None had been tested yet—this was Draco’s job.
Unspeakables were rarely allowed to bring work home, but the particular nature of this one had allowed Draco to make an exception. He needed to work in a familiar environment, one he was in complete control of, and he needed to be able to stop and rest whenever required. Just then, he felt a great urge to put all the devices back into his safe and go to sleep. But he had so much still to do. It would take him days to finish if he could not work faster.
One more, he thought. One last test, and then I’ll go to sleep. He took another of the Time-Turners out of the box and read the notes attached to it. This one had been found by a witch in her attic and brought to the Ministry some time later. She claimed not to have used it, but it was clear in the note’s tone that the employee who had written it did not believe her. The charms on it had almost completely worn off, and the Department of Mysteries had restored them before adding them to this stash for Draco to test out.
Draco tapped his wand on the Time-Turner and cast a few spells to check that it was in good condition. Nothing seemed amiss. He then put the cord around his neck and turned the hourglass.
As soon as Draco activated the Time-Turner, he knew that something was wrong. He had the sudden sensation of being pulled in three directions at once, as if he was trying to move forwards and backwards while being thrust up from the ground. And then something seemed to twist, and he was lying on his back on his study’s carpeted floor, his body aching as if he had dropped from a height, though he had no memory of falling. He got up painfully and looked around. What had happened? He was still in the same place as before, but the layout of the room was not exactly the same. The desk was pushed further to the side, the books were ordered differently on the shelf, and the chair was brown instead of dark green. Draco could not remember ever owning a brown chair. He was starting to suspect that he knew what had happened, and he did not like it at all.
He quickly pulled the desk drawers open and rummaged through them, trying to find a hint. It only took him seconds to uncover the unfinished draft of a letter written in his own hand. The date said October 11, 2006. Draco felt his heart skip a beat. He had travelled two years into the future.
He sat down on the chair—more comfortable than the one he owned in 2004, he noted absently—and took a deep breath, giving himself time to think. Future Time-Turners were very rare. The Ministry of Magic had banned them two decades prior and had actively tracked down any remaining ones to destroy them. The reason was simple: travelling to the future was dangerous. One could never change the past without potentially dire consequences but one could potentially do anything one desired if one travelled to the future. There was no way of foreseeing any ramifications of one’s actions. And worse, if one managed to see oneself in the future, then that person had the certitude that he or she would not die until that point in time. Such an assurance could lead to reckless behaviour: wizards endangering their lives and others’ after coming back because they thought they knew that they were safe. Of course, they were usually wrong.
In this case, the situation was doubly dangerous because the Time-Turner seemed unpredictable. It was clearly not functioning the way it should, and Draco would have to make very careful calculations to be able to get back to the present without endangering himself even more. For that, he needed to know the exact date he was at, preferably up to the precise hour and minute.
He looked through the desk again but did not find anything that could give him the date without possible doubt. An edition of the Daily Prophet was dated October 12 (he quickly averted his eyes to avoid reading the headlines, as knowing the future could have very unpleasant consequences), and he found another letter from October 8, but he still could not be sure. He knew where to look, though. If it had not changed in the intervening years, there was a charmed clock in his bedroom that showed the exact date and time to the second, along with the ambient temperature, the environmental magical saturation, and the volcanic eruption forecast. Draco did not know why that last measurement had been included. It had read “all clear” for as long as he had owned the device.
Draco had been putting off leaving the room, however, because he remembered from his training that, when travelling to the future—which, he had been repeatedly told, was never to be done except under absolutely extraordinary circumstances—the first rule was to experience as little of it as possible. He had no idea what he would find if he opened the study’s closed door. Most likely, there would be nothing out of the ordinary: the Manor would be empty, as usual, with maybe his future self somewhere in it, unless he was at work still. It was dark outside, but he could not tell the time because the clock he had been using while experimenting with the Time-Turners was nowhere to be found. Increasingly, however, Draco became convinced that he would need to go out. The first rule might be to avoid experiencing too much of the future, but the second was to spend as little time in it as possible, and he had already been here too long. So, he got up and, with a calming breath, went to open the door.
The hallway outside was quiet, lit by glowing orbs encased in the walls. Draco looked around quickly and saw no one. Feeling some of the tension leave him, he took a step down the corridor. And then he heard something that made him stop.
He stood silently and waited, and soon, he heard it again. It sounded like a moan, muted but recognizable, and clearly made by a woman. It seemed to be coming from a little way down the hallway, from the direction of his bedroom. Where the charmed clock was. Draco cursed his luck. This could not be good.
He tried to think of other options, but none came to mind, and the longer he stayed here waiting, he higher the chances of someone—possibly himself—running into him. So, he resigned himself to continue his progress towards the source of the sound. The bedroom door was only closed halfway, and just as Draco reached it, another moan sounded, louder than the previous ones. There was no mistaking it: it was coming from the bedroom. There was somebody inside.
There had to be a way. He could not enter the room without being seen, but if he just peeked, he might be able to see the clock from the door. It was all he needed. He cast a Disillusionment Charm on himself, and then, hoping that whoever was there would be too busy to notice him, he quickly put his head inside the room. He froze.
He did not see the clock—it was there, where it should be, standing against the far wall–because he could not make himself look at it. Instead, his eyes were helplessly drawn to the figure lying on the bed, the figure of a completely naked woman, her wrists tied to the headboard above her head, the mussed sheets and her disheveled hair hinting that she had probably been writhing on the bed, though she was now still. But what mesmerized Draco more than anything was that, despite the red scarf tied around her eyes, obscuring part of her face, he could have recognized those brown curls anywhere. This was Hermione Granger.
His initial reflex was to turn away, blushing at the sight, but his eyes soon found their way back to the scene against his will, and he told himself that he had a right to look. She was in his bed, after all. Or, two years from the present, she would be. He was just ... getting a sneak peek ahead of time. It went against all the rules he had been taught, of course. He should be checking the date and time and running back into the study before he was noticed. He should be trying to return to the present as fast as he could. But Hermione Granger was lying naked on his bed, and he could not stop looking.
There was the sound of footsteps from inside the room, and then he saw himself—his future self—walking up to the side of the bed. It was a strange sight, like looking into a Pensieve, except the him he was seeing was a version of himself that did not yet exist. Beyond that, though, Draco was shocked to see that his future self was almost fully clothed. It was nothing formal—simple trousers of the kind he normally wore under his robes and a loose white shirt, half-unbuttoned. Still, he was clothed, and Hermione was tied naked to the bed. Suddenly, a horrible thought entered Draco’s mind. Was this against her will? Was his future self coercing her? He could not imagine himself ever doing that—not even to her, no matter how much he wanted her or how cruelly she rejected him. Granted, he had only asked her out twice in the years since they both started working at the Ministry after the war. But the first had been met with such a look of shock that he had walked away before she could answer. The second had ended painfully when she told him that she did not think it was a good idea. From the tone of her voice, she could not understand why he had even bothered to ask. He could not imagine her changing her mind.
His doubts soon disappeared, however. As his future self approached the bed, Hermione’s head turned towards him. “Draco,” she moaned. The mix of frustration and desire in her throaty voice was enough to lift all of Draco’s fears. And make his arousal suddenly painfully clear. He had been aroused as soon as he saw her there, but this… this was better than his wildest fantasies. He still knew that this was dangerous, that he should leave. But he also knew that he would not.
“Draco, you know that I hate it when I can’t see,” Hermione snapped, her impatience breaking through the lust.
Draco smiled. His future self smiled, too, an almost identical smile, and reached out to caress Hermione’s cheek. She shook him away, tossing her head to the side, but his hand kept moving without stopping, travelling down her neck and making her shiver. Then, without warning, his other hand grabbed one of her nipples and pinched it. Hermione inhaled abruptly through her teeth, gasping, and future-Draco’s smile widened as he brought both his hands to massage her nipples gently. “Are you sure that you hate it?” he whispered devilishly.
“I—” Hermione started, but it turned into a moan before she could finish. Her lover had added his tongue to his ministrations, and she was now arching her back towards him, begging for more with her whole body. Draco watched his future self oblige, climbing onto the bed and positioning himself on top of her to cup both her breasts in his hands while he sucked on them in turn. They were the perfect size, he noticed, fitting right into his hands, and the perfect shape. From where he was standing, he could barely see that the nipples had hardened to points. His cock was aching, but he did not dare move.
“I’ll admit … that it’s got … advantages,” Hermione managed to say in a breathy voice.
“Of course it has,” future-Draco replied. “How else would I be able to do this?”
Hermione cried out, this time, as one of Draco’s hands snaked down unexpectedly to find a spot between her legs. She bit her lips, as if she regretted losing control, but her breathing was increasingly quick and her moans closer together. “Take it off, Draco,” she bit out through gritted teeth. “Now.”
Her lover finally complied, extending a hand out to push the blindfold away from her eyes.
Hermione blinked, looking disoriented for an instant, and then she focused on Draco’s face. “I want you,” she said.
The tone of her voice, the confident certainty of it, made Draco’s need explode. No longer caring to hide himself—the two lovers in the room were too occupied with each other to notice him anyway—he quickly undid his trousers and freed his arousal, then immediately started stroking it to ease some of the strain. From what he could see, future-Draco was just as affected by Hermione’s words. His eyes locked onto hers, he looked almost hypnotised as he did away with his own trousers and pants, lifting her legs up to place them on either side of him. Then, he entered her in one quick stroke, making her cry out once more as he started pounding into her. His thrusts were quick and energetic, but Hermione’s hips were moving in-sync with his, matching his pace easily. Draco matched his own movements to theirs and closed his eyes, letting Hermione’s cries and moans fill his ears. Her voice made the most erotic sounds he had ever heard. When she screamed her release, it instantly sent him over the edge, and for a second, he forgot where he was and let a groan escape his lips. A moment later, he realised what he had done and his eyes snapped open, searching for a sign that he had been heard.
Hermione seemed too far gone to have noticed anything, but his future self, who was still going strong—Draco supposed he was happy to know that he would have more stamina two years down the road—turned his head towards the door and seemed to look right at him. Horrified, Draco immediately backed away and started down the hallway. It was only halfway to his study that he remembered he hadn’t checked the date and time. So, he reluctantly went back, slowly and carefully, and peeked inside just long enough to read the charmed clock on the wall before quickly walking away again. He did have time to notice that his future self was no longer looking towards the door and that he showed no signs of slowing down. He had, instead, somehow managed to flip Hermione over despite her hands being tied and was pounding into her from behind, all the while teasing her with his hands to wrench more pleasure out of her. They did not seem remotely close to being done.
Draco returned to his study and closed the door, his whole body shaking slightly from what he had just experienced. The future might be incredible, but he was more than happy to wait two years to live it. He could not imagine what would have happened if he’d been seen, or if he’d been caught and forced to stay longer and learn things he was not supposed to know. All of that could still happen, if he wasn’t quick enough to return to the present. He had wasted too much time already.
He busied himself in his calculations, letting the complicated equations fill his mind completely and calm his racing heart. He finished just as he heard a door close somewhere in the building. If he strained his ears, he thought he could hear faint footsteps. He grabbed the Time-Turner and hurriedly tapped it with his wand, reciting the incantation he had puzzled out, hoping with all his being that he hadn’t made any mistakes. The footsteps were getting dangerously closer—he could hear them distinctly now. He finished saying the words, and the horrible tearing feeling swept over him again, taking him back to the present.
Draco got up with an effort from his study’s carpeted floor for the second time that evening. Even if it hadn’t been for the future-travel dysfunctions, he would have recommended the Time-Turner be destroyed just for the discomfort that accompanied its use. He checked the time, and then checked his personal calendar to make sure he was back where he wanted. Then, he let himself drop heavily onto his office chair and poured himself a glass of Firewhiskey. The memories of the night’s events were dancing in his mind, refusing to let him think of anything else. He no longer thought he could go to sleep. He could only think of one thing: Hermione Granger, writhing naked in his bed, screaming her desire for him. Just the thought of it was enough to make him hard again. But how? How could he possibly make it happen?
He downed his glass and breathed deeply. He supposed he would have to find out.
Two years later, Draco opened the door to his study and peeked inside. As he expected, it was empty, though he was certain that the lights had been off when he had left the room earlier in the evening. A small smile brushed his lips as he flicked his wand to put the lights out again. When he turned away from the door, Hermione was standing in the hallway, a red silken dressing gown wrapped around her. Her hair was a mess and her makeup was smeared across her face. She was beautiful.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Oh, nothing,” he replied with a shrug. “I just remembered I had left the lights on in here.”
She did not look entirely convinced, but she did not question him. “Well, I was about to take a bath. Would you like to join me?”
Draco smiled devilishly. “Only an idiot would say no to that. I’m surprised you even had to ask.”
She put on the least convincingly innocent face he had ever seen. “Well, given that you spent a large portion of your life being one, you can understand my hesitation.”
His smile broadened in a dangerous way and he grabbed her by the waist, pulling her close to him. “I would be careful what I say, if I were you,” he whispered in her ear. “You still have plenty of scarves I can use to tie you up with.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t want that to happen, certainly,” Hermione whispered back, just before pulling herself out of his grip to run away down the hall. The dressing gown lifted as she moved, revealing the tops of her creamy thighs and the red mark where his teeth had made her come for the third time that evening. He chased after her, knowing full well that she had him wrapped around her little finger. He did not mind at all.