Hermione used to look at her life and wonder where it went wrong.
Was it her determination to be the best at everything, no matter the cost? To be the best person in her Muggle school. Then, to be the most proficient witch at Hogwarts. And finally, in a sea of talented wizards and witches, to be the best… period. Maybe it was when she decided to befriend Harry Potter, knowing full well who he was before she plunked herself down in front of him. Trying in her swotty fashion to impress him with her display of simple magic, seeking his attention if not his regard. It could’ve been when she came to the realisation that was she’d been quite insular and lonely throughout her whole life, cherishing the smell of parchment and ink more than the scent of a lover fresh from her bed.
But, looking across their dining room table at her husband that night, she knew in the deepest part of her that tells no lies, that it was the moment she said ‘I do’, and married Ronald Weasley.
She should have said, ‘Let me think on it for a few more months.’ Or even, ‘Will someone please stand up and say this is an extremely bad idea?’ would have sufficed. So desperate for someone to say they loved or cared for her, she’d accepted the first proposal presented to her, regardless of the fact that it came from someone who had turned out to be petty, jealous, temperamental, and cruel with his snide remarks.
After twelve years of marriage to this man, she couldn’t see herself anymore when she looked into the mirror of a morning. There was supposed to be a woman named Hermione Jean Granger staring back at her, full of life, purpose, determination and happiness. She was supposed to be married to a man that loved her and her intellect, that came up behind her of a morning and hugged her from behind, ready for a quick shag against the vanity sink. She was supposed to moan about lost sleep when children wheedled their way into the bed at seven in the morning and wanted daddy and mummy to play tickle. She was supposed to be in the highest position a person like her could achieve within her chosen profession… and then striving to reach even higher.
Instead, Hermione Jean Weasley returned her glare. Perpetual dark circles under her eyes and flat, lifeless hair where there had been a mound of frizzy, untamed curls. This woman was not loved for her mind or even for whom she was, but for what her fame had garnered in the way of prestige, money and power. For the witch in the mirror, sex resembled nothing more than a quick, passionless fuck, which often left her wanting, while the man who was soon sleeping next her hadn’t even bothered to see if she were interested. There were no children to bother this woman -- Dolohov’s mystery spells had done more damage than initially thought. And when the husband of this empty woman now peering back at her realised the extent of this damage, he began treating her as something less worthy, less… humane, as if she were a possession that he had been forced to acquire, and now had no use for it. Gone were the hopes and aspirations of Hermione Jean Weasley, for they had been brutally sacrificed on the altar of her husband’s ferocious ambitions, and bled dry for her own short-comings.
“Are you ready to go?”
She glanced at the blurry reflection of her husband in the damp-fogged mirror. “Not yet,” she replied.
Ron grimaced. “I’ll go on ahead then. We’re late as it is, even though it’s an exhibition game for Halloween. Coach Winthorpe said the Minister would be there tonight. If we want that contract, we have to win.”
Hermione watched him leave, a deep-rooted urge to fling something at the back of his head swelling in her chest. It had been this way for the past two years, this ‘I need to be at the Quidditch pitch early’ for any number of flimsy reasons. She knew the real reason: to shag some of the groupies. She had accidently caught him one night before a game, resulting in an emotional rebellion which mortified her husband during a crucial point in his career, causing him a setback. Of course he begged and pleaded, saying it was a moment of weakness. How ironic that when they tried to have sex, he couldn’t achieve an erection lasting longer than two minutes; apparently it lasted longer if it was anyone but Hermione.
Where was her spine? Where was her confidence? As she wiped away the condensation on the mirror, she wondered where was the Hermione Granger she knew existed somewhere in the person looking back at her.
So what was stopping her? Even if she showed up to the game, Ron wouldn’t know she was there until maybe an hour after the game had ended. Would she really be missed? Doubtful.
She rummaged through her closet until she found the dress she was looking for, buried in the back. She carefully took it off the padded hanger and freshened it up with a spell. The black Zuhair Murad dress featured multi-coloured jewels at the neck and in strategic places on the fitted sheer tulle bodice as to cover her nipples… and not much else. Long sleeves, a pleated A-line miniskirt and a hidden zip in the back, gave the dress an edgy look, inviting danger.
Her lips curled into a sultry grin. “Yes, this will do nicely.”
Set under the Arches at London Bridge, the Cable nightclub had promise. It was a Muggle club, a progressive venue that took cues from the environment, with exposed textures and vents, minimal design and a good lighting system spread over 3 rooms. There were also tonnes of hidden spaces and alcoves that created a similar feeling to a cavern, allowing the music to resonate throughout the club. Tonight, they were featuring Electronica at the All Hallow’s Eve fest, and even before Hermione entered the nightclub she could barely hear over the deafening music.
She had added a glamour of sorts—one that would confuse people if they tried to figure out who she was, but allowed her to keep her basic appearance. Even though the club was full of Muggles, she didn’t want to risk anyone from the wizarding world identifying her, at least not yet. After tonight, who knew? This was the brand new Hermione, one who was on track to regain her sense of self. After earning a lascivious look from the doorman, she was quickly ushered inside. The steady throb of the bass notes pulsed through her body as she was pulled into the teeming crowd.
Flashing lights illuminated the isolated nooks and niches along the walls where several couples, and in some cases larger groups, writhed to the beat of the music. Hermione glanced towards the stage to see a man dressed in ragged clothing, emulating a Bedouin tribesman’s keffiyeh and robes, with a ghost girl next to him helping him sing vocals. The man’s pale eyes were piercing, as if he were looking into the soul of everyone he surveyed, and Hermione wondered briefly if he was a Siren, though if so, he wasn’t being very subtle about it.
Taking a deep breath, she slipped in between a couple that swayed next to her, meaning to move past them, but the couple had other ideas. They both pressed into her, one in front, the other in back, hands on her hips. It was different from anything she’d had the courage to do before, and while she let the man guide her movements to the rhythm of the song, she tried to wrap her mind around how she was feeling.
They danced for the duration of the song and into another when the woman behind her leaned forward and pressed her lips just under Hermione’s ear. “There’s a man in one of the alcoves that has been staring at you ever since you came in.”
Hermione tried to search the shadows for said man, but she was spun around and pressed into the man’s chest with the woman’s arms hanging around her neck. The woman quirked a smile and nodded to the left of the crowd. Hermione let her head loll onto the man’s shoulder so she could scan the area. She spotted him immediately, a sliver of light surrounded by darkness. He was leaning against the curved brick archway, dressed in a black jacket, a silver and black tee and dark jeans. Her gaze darted around the club to see if anyone had noticed him—he was hard to miss, to be honest—but people seemed to be more concerned with dancing and drinking than they were about a man standing off to the side. When she focused on his face, however, what little breath she had in her lungs left instantly. She knew this man… this wizard.
It was none other than Draco Malfoy.
A smirk tugged at the corner of his mouth. His hair was still that platinum blond that all Malfoys were born with, and he had made no effort to conceal his identity. It didn’t matter, though. She would know him from a mile away. And apparently he knew her, even with the glamour in place, for he beckoned her over to him.
The woman pressed her cheek to Hermione’s. “You should go dance with him. He looks like he could eat you alive.”
“He probably would,” Hermione admitted breathlessly as she disengaged from the couple and flashed them a grateful smile.
She straightened her spine and made her way over, curiosity and trepidation waring within her. The environment didn’t lend itself to casual talk without yelling, so when she stopped in front of him, she arched her brow.
Granger, he mouthed.
A slight nod from her and he held out his hand for her to take. She hesitated only a moment before she accepted it and allowed herself to be led off into the swarm of gyrating bodies in the middle of the dance floor.
She didn’t question why Draco Malfoy was in a Muggle club. His presence within the wizarding world after the war was rare, and had become more so after his father died. It could very well be that he had left it all behind. She didn’t think he had totally abandoned the wizarding world, but stranger things had happened.
The musician on stage began a new song, the gritty chords morphing into a sleek automated beat with textured synth.
Draco spun her until her back was pressed to his front, his hands sliding down her arms until they interlaced with her fingers. Then he crossed their arms and started to move their bodies to the beat of the song.
He nuzzled against her temple and spoke the words that were being sung. “When they called me broken, I knew.” His hot breath made chills break out across her skin. “When they called me evil, I knew.” He pulled her tighter against his chest. “When they called me ruin, I knew.” His right hand made its way down her side to grip her waist. “I would always find my way to you.”
He turned her in his arms again until she was facing him, pinning her left arm behind her and pulling her closer to his body. The music took a turn that invited the crowd to sway with horizontal hip rocking, lifts and twists. He flashed her an impish grin at the escalating tension between them when he pinned her other arm behind her, leaving her at his mercy.
Then his face took a darker turn, as he tightened his grip to almost bruising intensity. “When I begged forgiveness, they knew,” he whispered harshly. He pressed his forehead against hers. “When I begged for mercy, they knew.” She could clearly hear the anguish in his tone. “When I begged for nothing, they knew.” His lips drifted across her cheek. “I would always find my way to you.”
He suddenly pushed her away, still holding onto her wrists, only to pull her back into him, never relinquishing his grip. Before she had a chance to question his behaviour, he leaned down and pressed his lips to hers. Her first thought was to recoil; this was Draco Malfoy, for Merlin’s sake! It was one thing to dance with him, it was totally another to kiss him!
He was insistent, though, nipping at her bottom lip and sliding his tongue into her mouth when she gasped in surprise. And... she didn’t dislike it. The only comparison she had was to Viktor Krum, for Ron had never been handsy, and Draco soon vanquished thoughts of either of them. He released her wrists to grab at her hips, and her hands rose to tangle in his hair. His hands roamed across her back, one descending to squeeze her arse, the other threading its way into her curls to wrap them around his fist.
He tilted her head back and stared at her, his gaze so intense it left her lightheaded. “My name is ruin,” he practically spat at her. “My name is vengeance.” Fear and seduction had an equal foothold within her chest. “My name is no one, and no one is calling.”
Draco eased the pressure on her hair, and a dizzying sense of elation filled her brain. She didn’t care that she was confused. With the way he was looking at her, with those pale irises boring deep into her soul, she couldn’t tell if he genuinely liked looking at her or if he thought she was the easiest target in the whole club. But she liked the attention, either way.
His grip shifted to her neck and he pressed a thumb under her jaw to angle her face up. “My name is ruin,” he repeated, though not as severely. “My name is heartbreak.” She searched his eyes, noting the truth of the words. “My name is lonely, a sorrow and darkness.”
Unable to help herself, she leaned up and brought their lips together once again. She could feel how hard he was, could feel the thickness straining against his jeans, begging to be freed. With courage she couldn’t fully own, she slipped her hand down to press against his hardness.
His reaction was immediate. He pulled her towards an isolated alcove and shoved her up against the brick. “My name is ruin,” he ground out, his lips curled in a sneer. “My name is evil,” he hissed. “My name's a war song, I’ll sing you a new one.”
Draco didn’t give her a chance to respond, as his mouth latched onto the tender skin behind her ear. His breath sent a scorching trail up her spine and she could just about hear his ragged intakes of breath as he kissed her neck and shoulders. Then he pressed his full body against her and she could feel everything.
“My name is ruin,” he reiterated with a snarl. “My name is broken.” His voice faltered. “My name is shameless, I’ll tear your world open!”
She could feel his erection pressed up against her thigh and experimentally ground her hips into it, just to see if she’d get the same reaction as when she touched him earlier. This time was different. He growled, and his hands flew to her hips, holding her close. She did it again, and this time he buried his face into the crook of her neck and moaned, the vibrations travelling across her skin.
There was a lull in the music, so Hermione arched her hips to the beat, causing Draco to spin her and press her roughly against the wall. She backed into him immediately, feeling his cock harden further with each shift of her hips.
His hands trailed down her sides, to her thighs, skimming over the lace at the top of her stockings, fingers brushing against the bare skin there. He moved his hands down her legs, and paused for a moment at the hem of her miniskirt. Then, his thumbs darted under the black fabric and he moved his hands a little further, gathering up the skirt as he pulled it higher.
He moved his mouth from her jaw to her neck, trailing kisses along her skin. He then nibbled at a spot on her collarbone and her head fell back against his shoulder as she moaned loudly. Hermione had the passing thought to be grateful for the fact that the loud music muffled their noise. They couldn’t really be seen from the crowd, so at least they had a bit of privacy.
One of his hands fondled her left breast, roughly pinching and tugging at the nipple. The other pushed the edge of the skirt into the elastic of her underwear to keep it out of the way and then pulled aside her thong so that he had access to everything. She felt him unzip his jeans and the sudden press of the head of his cock at her wet quim.
“When I called you poison, you knew,” he intoned in her ear, biting the lobe. Hermione whimpered when he teased her folds with cock, barely dipping into her core, then pulling back out. “When I called you shameful, you knew,” he hissed, rubbing his cock between her wet lips, causing her to arch into him. “When I called you liar, you knew, I would always find my way to you.”
She gasped when he slid fully inside her to the hilt. The music began to crescendo again and he pulled out, only to thrust back in increments, a little further in each time. She had to brace herself against the wall as his strokes became long and deep, fucking her harder with each wave of the music. Just as she was about to cum, Draco pulled up her right thigh so that she had to balance on one leg, sliding his cock back in as soon as he had her pinned to the brick. His thrusts took on a new urgency as he pounded into her, probably hoping to finish before they were caught. It was such a delicious sensation; indecent acts in a public place, their fucking on display for those who took the time to look.
His pants increased as his thrusts became erratic. Her own core started to spasm and she curled her fingertips into the rough brick, scraping her nails and screaming his name.
“Draco, I’m… I’m…”
“Fuck!” he yelled in her ear, griping her hips to the point of bruising.
He pounded into her as she came, and she could feel his cum fill her core and overflow to drip down the inside of her thigh. He released her to let her stand on shaking legs, both of them breathless. The song finally ended and another one started almost immediately.
Once she had gathered her thoughts and righted her clothes, Hermione turned around to stare at Draco, who was tucking himself back into his jeans. A high flush coloured his cheeks and his hair was dishevelled, but those were the only things that gave any indication that something had happened to him.
He held up his hand to silence her, and as she choked back a hasty explanation that she didn’t normally do these sorts of things, he narrowed his gaze and sniffed.
“Every Saturday at nine.” He adjusted his jacket and cracked his neck. “Don’t be late.”
“What?” she spluttered, trying to grasp the implications of his demands. “I’m not going to be at your beck and—”
He grabbed her chin, hard. “I’ll show you ruin, Granger. And I’ll tear your world open.”
She closed her eyes, recalling all that he had told her that evening. He had told her the truth: he truly was ruin, vengeance, sorrow, heartbreak and evil.
His touch gentled, stroking her jaw with his thumb. “Next time, I’ll have you on your knees in front of me.” He leaned forward and kissed just under her ear. “I’ll unzip my trousers and you’ll pull them down, letting my cock slap your face. Then, you’ll lick my balls as you stroke my shaft.” Dear Merlin, her core was starting to throb again. “I’ll grab my cock and put the tip in your mouth, letting you suck only the tip, painting your pretty lips with my pre-cum.” He grabbed her hair and pressed his forehead against hers. “Then, I’ll push your head down and make you swallow me until I hit the back of your throat. I’ll start fucking your mouth, and you’ll gag, I know it, and I’ll hold you there until you struggle to get away. But I won’t let go until your face is red with trying to breathe.” He pushed her away slightly and ran his thumb over her bottom lip. “I’ll fuck your mouth until my cock throbs and I shoot my thick cum down your throat and you’ll swallow all of it, loving it, asking for more, not letting a drop escape.”
“Yes,” Hermione whimpered, licking the tip of his thumb.
Draco dropped his hand and shoved it into his jacket pocket. “That’s what I thought.” He turned to leave, pausing to tuck a stray curl behind her ear. “Good bye, Hermione.”
She watched him walk out the door.
“Bastard,” she growled.
But she knew she would be back. Because even though Draco Malfoy was ruin, vengeance, and darkness, she suddenly knew he was also sorrow and loneliness and pain. Maybe two broken people could be good for each other. Maybe his toxicity was worth the burn.