Someone was staring at her. Her eyes were closed, but she could feel the gaze as if it was physically pressing down on her. Cocking one bleary eye open, she found herself face-to-face with a hungry half-Kneazle.
Quickly, she closed her eye hoping in vain that the he hadn’t noticed that she was now awake, but Hermione learned long ago that Crookshanks was no fool. Softly, he butted his head against hers and meowed.
“Just five more minutes, Crooks,” she mumbled as snuggled deeper into her pillow; the weight of the bare arm around her naked waist tightened.
Wait a minute.
Bare arm? Naked waist?
This time, both of Hermione’s eyes popped open, and her heart started pounding.
Oh, God. Please let this be a dream.
But the tell-tale soreness of her body, and the heat of the very naked and very male body pressed against her back was quite the reality.
Covering her eyes with her hand, Hermione had to bite her lip to keep from groaning. What had she done?
How it began:
It had started like any other Sunday. Hermione awoke to pale, blue light creeping around the drapes of her bedroom window, and the sound of Crookshanks’ lazily purring on the pillow next to her. Shivering as she slipped out of bed, she grabbed her fuzzy dressing gown and padded down the stairs of her cosy little cottage.
It was chilly in the lounge, so she flicked her wand toward the fireplace to warm the place up before heading to the kitchen to set about making breakfast. As she put the kettle on, she noticed an owl at the window over the sink. Opening the sash, she let the bird in and took her Sunday newspaper from him. In return, she gave the owl a treat and dropped a couple coins in the leather pouch tied to his leg. After he flew away, Hermione took a moment to smell the crisp autumn air before closing the window. It looked like rain was on the horizon. A perfect day for reading!
Once her breakfast was prepared, she placed it all on a tray and carried it to the lounge and settled into her favourite armchair. Taking a sip of her tea, Hermione unrolled The Daily Prophet and nearly choked when she read the front page.
WIN A DATE WITH HERMIONE GRANGER
Dribbling her tea down her front, she set the cup down and coughed harshly until her eyes watered and the words on the page became distorted.
Maybe it didn’t say what she thought it said.
Rubbing the heels of her hands into her eyelids, she looked again.
Nope. Still said the same thing.
What the hell? What kind of joke was this?
Hermione glared at the paper. There went her lazy Sunday.
“What do you mean I submitted my name?!” Hermione cried indignantly.
Parvati Patil shook her head. “I mean, Hermione, that we advertised for submissions and you sent in your name.”
“But I would never send in my name for a dating contest!” she protested.
“Didn’t you read the article?” Parvati huffed in annoyance. “It’s not a dating contest. It’s a charity auction to benefit the War Orphans Fund.”
Hermione was taken aback. “War orphans..?”
“Yes! It’s a very important cause, and you’re our pièce de résistance. Your name carries a lot of weight after the war, and the public is very interested in you. Your participation could mean hundreds, maybe even thousands of Galleons.”
“Well, I guess I…”
“Think of the children, Hermione,” Parvati pleaded.
Biting the inside of her cheek, Hermione sighed. “What exactly would I have to do?”
Parvati beamed. “Just get dressed up and let some rich guy take you out. The Prophet will send along a photographer to chronicle the evening, and that will be that. One evening, just a few hours of your time, really.”
Hermione hoped she wouldn’t regret this.
A week later, she received an excited Floo call from Parvati saying that the evening with Hermione went for several thousand Galleons to an anonymous bidder.
“Anonymous?” she questioned. “Why on earth would someone bid anonymously? I‘m going to have to meet them eventually.”
“I don’t know,” Parvati said nonchalantly. “Perhaps, he’s a secret admirer and wants his identity to be a surprise. How romantic would that be?” She giggled girlishly at the thought.
Hermione wasn’t as enchanted with silly notions of romance. “I don’t like surprises,” she said flatly.
“Oh, Hermione, if anyone needs a surprise in their life, it’s you,” Parvati said.
Ignoring the implication that she was dull, Hermione just glared at the girl’s face in the fireplace and asked for the details of her upcoming date with Mr. Anonymous.
“You’ll meet up with the bidder and the photographer at the Daily Prophet offices in Diagon Alley on Saturday evening at seven. We’ll take a few photos, then you’ll be off to dinner at the White Unicorn. The Prophet has secured reservations for the two of you there, as well as permission for photographs. You’ll dine, you’ll dance, etcetera, and then you’ll be done.”
“I’ll see you on Saturday, then.”
“Oh, and Hermione! Please do try to look nice.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “Good-bye, Parvati,” she said as the closed the Floo connection.
This whole thing was becoming more trouble than it was worth. Closing her eyes, she took a few calming breaths and thought of the war orphans. She was doing this for them.
Despite her aggravation at Parvati’s jibe at her appearance, Hermione did make an effort to look her best. She chose to wear a dress that was both flattering in cut and colour, and she used nearly half a bottle of Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion to get her hair to fall into pretty waves instead of its usual frizzy mess. Slipping on a pair of not-too-tall heels, she grabbed her wrap, purse, and wand, then disapparated.
When she walked into the Daily Prophet’s office, she found Parvati staring up at a man with wide eyes and open mouth. She looked downright gobsmacked. The man had his back to Hermione, but he was tall, thin, and wearing what looked like an expensive set of charcoal grey robes. His hair was silvery blond and something about the way he held himself was startlingly familiar.
Oh, no. It couldn’t be… could it?
The man turned, and she found herself staring at the sharp features of a boy she once knew.
“Malfoy?” It almost came out as a whisper.
“Granger,” he greeted far more assuredly than she.
Finding her voice, she asked, “What are you doing here?”
“Well, it seems like I bought your services for the night,” he drawled.
Hermione furrowed her brows. “Excuse me,” she said dangerously.
“I’m the winning bidder, Granger.” He looked her up and down. “You’re mine for the night.”
“The hell I am!”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Parvati interjected. “Everyone just calm down.” She smiled unconvincingly and whispered to Hermione through her teeth, “Think of the orphans.”
Hermione could feel her eye twitching and an impending headache developing. This night was bound to give her an aneurism.
Reluctantly, she sidled up next to him to be photographed and felt genuinely annoyed that he smelled quite nice. He was wearing some kind of cologne, undoubtedly expensive, and there was just a hint of mint in there somewhere -- perhaps from a piece of candy. Whatever it was, it was delightful and made her hate him even more.
“Miss Granger, if you could smile please,” the photographer requested.
She tried her best, but she had a feeling that it looked more like a pained grimace.
“Now, Mr. Malfoy, if you could put your arm around Miss Granger.”
Malfoy followed the photographer’s instructions, and Hermione found herself flush against the side of Malfoy’s warm body.
“Think of the orphans, think of the orphans, think of the orphans,” she chanted under her breath.
“Oh, is that why you whored yourself out?” Malfoy asked casually.
“You are utterly foul,” Hermione responded, still smiling for the camera.
“I’m not the one so desperate for a date that I have to auction myself off under the guise of charity.”
“Says the man who bid on said date.”
“I didn’t bid on you.”
Hermione jerked back and looked at him with a confused stare. “What?”
“I think that’s enough pictures for now,” Parvati interrupted. “Now off you go! I don’t want you to miss your reservation!”
The White Unicorn was a classy establishment on the north end of Diagon Alley. The décor was primarily white -- from the drapes to the tablecloths -- with hints of gold in the chandeliers and other accents. The atmosphere was romantic with the lights kept low and candles on each table.
But for one couple, it was mainly awkward.
Since the dinner was part of the charity date, the food and wine were complimentary. The photographer snapped a few posed pictures of them pretending to smile at each other over the filet mignon before finally leaving them in peace to take some stock shots of the restaurant.
Hermione concentrated on her plate and avoided looking at Malfoy. The sooner this date was over with, the better. Although, she was wondering…
“Malfoy?” she asked hesitantly, “What did you mean when you said you didn’t bid on this date?”
He shrugged and continued eating. “I mean that I didn’t bid on it.”
“Then, who did?”
“My mother,” he said. The aggravation was clear in his voice. “I didn’t even know about it until an hour before I was supposed to meet you.”
“Your mother?!” To say she was shocked was an understatement. “But, why?”
Malfoy sighed and gave her a look that almost seemed contrite. “She thought it would be a good way to improve my reputation.”
Hermione frowned. “What? Donating to charity or being seen with me?”
“Both,” he said.
“So glad I could be of service,” she replied dully.
“Look, what do you want me to say? I’m sorry?”
“It would be a good start.”
“Well then, I’m sorry.”
“Apology not accepted.”
“You are the most frustrating girl,” he growled. “You want me to say I’m sorry, and I did, and now you won’t accept it?”
“You’re just saying it, though! You have to mean it!”
“How do you know I don’t?”
“I just do.”
“Oh, I see. You’re a Legilimens. Or maybe a Seer.”
“Excuse me,” the photographer interrupted. “If I could get a few shots of you two on the dance floor before dessert, that would great!”
Hermione stood and angrily tossed her napkin onto the table and marched over to the dance floor and stood with her arms folded over her chest while waiting for Malfoy. He sauntered over to her as slowly as possible and took her in his arms. Once again, she was enveloped in his heady scent.
"I'm so sorry I'm not the man of your charity-giving dreams you were hoping to ensnare with this ruse," he spat.
"Oh, is that what you think?" She snorted softly. "I didn't even donate myself to this so-called 'date!' Someone did on my behalf."
Malfoy looked startled at that. "What?"
"Yes, Malfoy, the old spinster Granger wasn't that desperate and was just as much a victim as you."
"Do you know who did it?" he asked curiously.
"No," she said wrinkling her forehead, "but right now my money's on Parvati Patil. She knew just how to manipulate me and seemed way too happy about the whole thing. I think she should've been a Slytherin."
Malfoy's eyes twinkled with amusement. "Really, now?"
"You know what I mean." She sighed dejectedly. The sooner this night was over, the better.
“You’re too stiff,” he said with a low voice. A bedroom voice, her mind supplied, and she unconsciously shivered at the thought.
She forced herself to relax, and soon, they were elegantly gliding over the floor.
“You can dance,” Malfoy said with surprise.
Looking up at him under her lashes, she gave him a half smile. “Was that a compliment?”
“I believe it was.” He smirked and flicked his eyes to her mouth and back up again.
Was he flirting? Hermione fought the blush that was threatening to flare at any second now.
“For what it’s worth,” he said, “I really am sorry. For this, and well, a lot of things.”
The seriousness of his voice caught her off guard, and she looked up to find him staring at her dead on with those intense grey eyes.
“I don’t say that to just anyone, you know?” he said earnestly.
“I believe you,” Hermione replied. And truly she did.
The rest of the dance was spent in silence, and the physical proximity between the two of them inched closer and closer. When they broke apart to return to their table, Hermione felt chilled by the loss of the warmth of his body.
Dessert was delivered to the table -- a huge chocolate monstrosity meant to be shared between the two of them. They nibbled at it in silence, until Draco pointed out that she had a bit of chocolate sauce on her lip.
“Where? Here?” She wiped at her face with her napkin.
“No, you missed it.” Reaching across the table, he stroked the soft pad of his thumb along her top lip making her skin tingle. “It’s there,” he whispered.
This time, she couldn’t help but flush, especially when he stuck his chocolate covered thumb in his mouth and licked the sauce away. Her face burned even brighter when she realized that the photographer had caught every second of it on wizarding film. It would no doubt be looping ad nauseam in tomorrow’s Daily Prophet.
“Perhaps it’s time to go,” she suggested.
They sent their compliments to the chef and said their goodbyes to the photographer. Finally, outside of the White Unicorn, they stood before each other uncomfortably.
“Well,” Hermione said, “we survived the evening.”
Draco nodded. “We did.”
“It was interesting.” She smiled. “But not completely unpleasant.”
He was looking at her lips again. “Not unpleasant at all.”
“Well, good night.”
“Wait!” He held out his hand like he was going to physically stop her, then dropped it as if he wasn’t sure what he was doing. “I… I… should see you home.”
“Oh, you don’t have to--”
“It’s the proper thing to do. After a date, I mean.”
“Okay,” she said. “You’ll have to side-along, though.”
He nodded and took her hand. It was such a simple thing, a necessity really, but the feeling of his palm pressed against hers gave her a little thrill. It was kind of frightening.
With a turn of her heel, they arrived just outside the little wooden gate of her small cottage. He walked her up the small path and up the steps until the stood on the porch in front of her door.
“Well, this is it,” she said.
“This is it,” he repeated staring at her mouth.
He’s going to kiss me, she thought. Oh my God, he’s going to kiss me.
Quickly, he leaned down and she tilted her head up, but somehow the aim was all wrong, and he ended up just catching the corner of her mouth. The contact was brief, but it was enough to stir the fire deep in her loins.
Just as fast as he had leaned in, he pulled away and muttered a quick goodnight before charging back down the path, out of the gate, and disapparating.
“Goodnight,” she said to the empty air around her. Unlocking her door, she walked into her cottage, shut the door tightly, and leaned up against it. She put her cool fingers on her flushed cheeks.
Had all of that really happened? Had she really gone out with Draco Malfoy? And it wasn’t half-bad? And he sorta-kinda kissed her?
Hermione was startled from her musings by a sudden banging on the door she was leaning against. Opening the door, there stood Malfoy, his once neat hair now falling over his forehead after multiple apparations and his eyes looking wild and hungry.
“Let’s try that again, shall we?” he said before grabbing Hermione’s face in his hands and bringing his mouth down on hers.
Desire began to burn low in her belly again, and she had to hold onto his robes to keep from melting into a puddle on the floor. His tongue flicked across her lips, and she opened her mouth and met him with her own tongue. God, he knew how to kiss!
Draco pulled away and started nibbling and licking down the column of her neck. Hermione gasped out his name whenever he’d hit a particularly sensitive spot.
He pulled back and framed her face in his hands again. His eyes were dark with desire. “I want you,” he said throatily. “Why didn’t I notice you before?”
Before she could even formulate a response, his mouth was covering hers again.
She was the first to start undressing, and it wasn’t long before the floor of the entryway was covered with clothes. Hermione once again found herself with her back against the door, but this time with him driving himself hard and fast into her.
Somewhere in the distance, she heard Crookshanks meow.
Malfoy stopped moving.
“Oh, God, please don’t stop, Draco! Please, I’m almost there!” She didn’t care if she sounded like a wanton, she was so damn close!
“Your cat’s watching.”
“I can’t do this with your cat watching.”
She wanted to cry. “For the love of… Let’s go upstairs!”
They disentangled themselves, and her knees were like jelly. To be honest, she’s not entirely sure how she was able to climb any steps at all. But somehow, they made it upstairs and into her room, and effectively shutting Crookshanks out.
“Now, where were we?” Draco said with a lascivious smile.
Then, she was on her back, bent nearly in half with her legs over his shoulders and his cock pounding into her once again.
“Oh, God, yes!” she cried.
Three orgasms later -- two of hers, and one of his -- Draco pulled her up against him and nuzzled her hair, humming satisfactorily.
“Oh, my God,” Hermione exclaimed. “Draco Malfoy is a cuddler.”
“Tell anyone and I’ll have to kill you,” he replied nipping at her ear.
“Wait! Was that a giggle from the no-nonsense Hermione Granger?” he countered.
“Of course not.”
“Sounded like one to me.”
“Tell anyone and I’ll have to kill you,” she deadpanned.
“One night together, and we already have blackmail on each other. If that’s not the start of something beautiful, I don’t know what is.”
Back to the start:
Now, in her morning panic, those words were coming back to haunt her. Was this the start of something? Or had it been a mistake of monumental proportions?
“Stop it,” Draco muttered sleepily.
“Stop what?” she asked innocently.
“Thinking. I can practically hear your panic.”
She knew it was cowardly, but it was easier to have this conversation with her back to him, so she didn‘t turn over. “Don’t you think we have good reason to panic?”
“No,” he said assuredly.
“The evening turned out to be mutually beneficial for us both, didn’t it?”
“Mutually beneficial,” she repeated flatly. “I got money for the orphans, and you got a boost for your reputation.”
“That’s not what I meant, Granger.”
“Well, what did you mean?”
“I mean, I’d like to see you again. Preferably starting right now. Turn over so I can see you.”
Braving herself, she rolled over to face him. Once he got a good look at her, he smirked. It made her feel self-conscious.
“Your hair,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s always been bushy, but your sex hair is another level entirely. It needs its own postal code.”
Hermione smacked his chest. “Stop it!”
Draco caught her hands in his and rolled over on top of her still grinning. “Don’t start something unless you’re prepared to finish it,” he said rubbing his hardening cock between her legs causing her to moan. He slowly began entering her when Crookshanks meowed next to them.