As it turned out, there was nothing like the fear of one’s imminent death to banish all thoughts of past trauma. More specifically, the fear of death due to the driving of a nervous, inexperienced driver trying to navigate an unfamiliar neighborhood on the day after a record snowball.
Draco didn’t blame her— he really didn’t— but Hermione’s driving had his heart thumping as wildly as it had during some of his deadliest battles. Although the roads had been cleared overnight, they were still coated in a thin layer of snow, and their rickety car seemed to skid dangerously each time Hermione moved the blasted stick. Her jerky driving was further exacerbated by the fact that neither of them had a clue where they were going.
“I swear my Dad said the plaza was just a mile past the four way stop,” Hermione said helplessly. “Is there any way—”
“I’m doing my best. You should try reading this damn thing,” Draco snapped, studying the Muggle map Jean had given them. “It’s the most useless—”
“There!” Hermione cried. “On the left!” They nearly missed the entrance to the shopping center, but she caught it at the last second. She yanked the wheel into a sharp turn.
Their car swerved violently to the left, tires squealing, and they sailed into the plaza with what could only be described as a crash landing. Draco let out a string of curses as the car overcorrected and wobbled straight.
Hermione was gripping the wheel as tightly as one might cling to a life raft while stranded in the middle of the ocean. “Sorry— sorry— urgh!"
They shuddered into the nearest parking spot, a good 20 yards away from the entrance of the store, before the engine promptly died. Hermione ripped the key out of the ignition, clearly as relieved to have survived as Draco was. Her parking job was so crooked it was nearly diagonal.
They both sat there in silence for a few moments. “Sorry about that,” Hermione said shakily. “Well, we made it, at least.”
Draco mumbled something unintelligible in reply and ungracefully rolled out of the car, anxious to put as much space between him and the metal Muggle death trap as possible.
Rana’s Grocer seemed nice enough, he thought, taking in the rows of colorful goods. He had never been inside a Muggle grocer before. In fact, grocery stores were a new thing for him in general. He had barely grown accustomed to the wizarding ones in Diagon Alley.
He watched the few harried Muggle shoppers rush about the store with faint amusement, thinking about how grateful they would be if they could perform his trick of summoning every item he needed to fly into his basket at once.
“Goodness, it’s warm in here,” said Hermione. She shrugged out of her black peacoat and tossed it in the trolley. Draco took off his own coat as well, but he held onto it. He couldn’t bear to part with his wand whenever they were out in public. Or in general, really. He still didn’t understand how Hermione could calmly stow hers away in her luggage for two entire days.
Hermione hadn’t noticed. She was slowly pushing the trolley forward, engrossed in the grocery list Jean had given her. Draco caught the trolley when she nearly rolled it into a table full of plastic-enclosed desserts.
“This is about a mile long,” she groused. “Short errand my arse!”
Draco grunted his sympathy. A brightly colored sign on the opposite wall had just caught his attention. “100% British Milk,” it screamed. He stared at it. What would possess a British Muggle to drink non-British milk?
“I’d have us divide and conquer, but...” Hermione broke off, sighing. “Draco?”
“I heard you,” he drawled, tearing his gaze away from the sign. “I’m useless, I know. Come and find me when you’re finished.”
She looked amused. “A lot to take in, isn’t it? It’s quite big for an independent grocer. I’ll never forget the first time I walked into a wizarding grocery store.”
Draco shrugged in reply. He wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with the Muggle world, especially given their new neighborhood in Greenwich. They had even gone clothes shopping at Muggle stores just before their visit. But Hermione was right: this was like stepping into an alternative universe. Not that he was about to admit it.
“I’ll try to knock this out quickly, but no guarantees. Have fun exploring.” She grinned at him before walking away.
Draco grabbed a basket and casually strolled down one of the nearest aisles, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible. Some of the food items he recognized. Crisps. Biscuits. Chocolates. Although he wondered why Muggles needed ten different varieties of them or such garish packaging.
He paused when he reached the end of the aisle. There was a small stand of pre-prepared salads and sandwiches wrapped in a shiny, see-through plastic material. But who wouldn’t want their sandwiches made fresh? He shook his head and headed down the next one.
This aisle was full of soaps and washes. He snorted at a men’s shampoo with a grinning Muggle man that specified itself as “anti hair loss.” Luckily, the men in his family had always maintained an impressive head of hair as they aged. But if he ever did begin balding, he wasn’t above conducting a hair-regrowing spell. He pitied Muggle men for not having that option, really.
He approached the middle of the aisle and noticed a section with rows of products in bright purples and pinks. Draco plucked a box off the shelf. “Lillet Smartfit Nonapplicator Tampons,” it read. A small, cylindrical white object was depicted on the front. Was it supposed to help Muggles with nosebleeds, perhaps? Draco returned it to the shelf, making a mental note to ask Hermione about it later.
He neared the front of the store. There were two separate checkout lanes spaced fairly far apart. A tall young man with olive skin and black hair was stationed at one of them. He was lost in conversation with an elderly woman, who was apparently a repeat customer.
Draco moved through the empty checkout lane, eyeing the strange candies and treats. He picked up a small plastic object that was sandwiched in a box with similar objects of different colors. On the top of it was a red button, which was attached to a small silver wheel. He fiddled with it a few times before his thumb caught, and a flame sprang to life. He dropped it in surprise. When he snatched it off the ground, a magazine on the bottom rung of the aisle caught his eye.
He recognized the Muggle man on the cover. “You should know about the British Royal family,” Hermione had insisted a few weeks ago. “And the Muggle Prime Minister. Just in case they show up on the television.” She had then forced him to review picture after picture of important Muggles, one of whom was the same handsome blonde man staring back at him, frozen.
“Prince William: We Name the Girls Linked to the World’s Most Eligible Young Man!” the headline screeched. In the upper right hand corner, there was a picture of a pretty Muggle woman with dark, overlarge eyes. Coupled with her expression, she looked like a surprised doe. “Winona Stands Trial!” proclaimed the caption beneath her.
The bottom of the cover featured a violently blonde couple dressed in truly hideous matching denim outfits. They looked like they belonged at the Muggle circus, Draco thought. A jagged line had been cut through their frozen image, giving it the appearance of a photograph ripped in two. “Britney’s Tough Year,” the caption lamented.
Hello!, the name of the magazine, was clearly a gossip rag— the Muggle version of Witch’s Weekly. Although Draco had zero interest in wizarding tabloids, his interest was piqued by a Muggle one. What kind of rubbish made it into in a Muggle rag?
Draco glanced over at the Muggle employee, who was still preoccupied with the elderly customer. He considered for a moment, and then yanked it from the stand. He tossed it in his basket and walked away in search of more privacy.
He caught sight of his fiancée in the produce section. She was staring at her list with a furrowed brow, looking thoroughly annoyed. Her expression could only mean one thing: he still had time. He slunk into a nearby aisle, set his basket on the ground, and flipped the rag open.
The first dozen pages or so contained photo after photo of Muggle celebrities. Draco grimaced at the revolting “trends” in Muggle women’s jeans. Some of them had rips and tears; others had garish back pockets decorated with cheap-looking embellishments. Yet others were cut so low across the woman’s hips that his mother’s eyes would have popped out if she ever saw them.
Muggle clothing was far more risqué than traditional wizarding attire, generally speaking. In fact, Draco had a special appreciation for the snugness of Hermione’s Muggle clothing. But she always found a way to make it look elegant somehow.
He peered around the corner to check on her. She had just rolled her trolley in front of a large display of cranberries. She was wearing dark, slim cut jeans, which were tucked into her black leather riding boots. He eyed the way they clung to her body with a newfound appreciation.
She leaned over the display and began filling a small plastic bag with cranberries. Her red knit jumper rode up slightly as she worked, exposing the smallest flashes of skin. She held the cranberries far away from her, wrinkling her nose as if they were a batch of dragon dung. Draco smirked to himself and returned to his alcove.
He quickly became engrossed in the lurid tales of Winona the Shoplifter, and Why Paul Burrell the Butler Didn’t Do It. As it turned out, Muggle scandals were just as ridiculous as Wizarding ones. He was almost halfway through the magazine when he was startled by the ringing sound of Hermione’s laughter. He tossed Hello! on the shelf and headed up front to investigate.
Hermione was chatting animatedly with the same young man he had seen earlier-- the store employee. Draco sized him up on instinct, instantly bristling at the fact that the man was quite good-looking. He didn’t appreciate the playful yet attentive way he was chatting with Hermione, either. Draco approached her from behind and placed his hand on the small of her back.
“Oh, there you are!” said Hermione. “I’m all checked out, but we were just chatting. Draco, meet Vish. His mum and dad are the owners of Rana’s. Vish, this is Draco, my— boyfriend.”
She fumbled over the word for just a microsecond, but Vish seemed to notice. Draco’s darkened expression probably didn’t help matters, either.
“Nice to meet you, Draco,” said Vish, offering his hand with a cocksure smile.
Draco shook his hand more firmly than was necessary. “And you,” he replied coolly.
“Vish is a graduate student in archaeology at UCL. He only moved back a few months ago to help his parents out. His grandmother is ill and they’ve been quite preoccupied with her.”
“Oh?” said Draco. A likely story.
“He was just telling me about an excavation they have planned in the Highlands next month. They think they’ve found a Viking burial site!”
“Fascinating,” said Draco, in a tone that suggested precisely the opposite.
“Hermione said you study insects.” Vish’s tone was friendly enough, but Draco didn’t miss the appraising look in his eye. “Wireworms, right?”
Draco clenched his jaw before replying. “That’s right.”
Hermione cut in before he could ask further questions. “Well, I hate to be rude, but we should probably get going, or my mum will kill us.” She laughed nervously. “It was nice to meet you, Vish. I’m sure I’ll see you the next time I’m in town. My parents love Rana’s. Really, you guys put Sainsburys to shame.”
“I’ll pass on your compliments,” said Vish with a smile. “When will you be in town next?” Draco narrowed his eyes at him. “So I can keep pictures on hand of the excavation,” he added. “It may be months before they’re released to the public.”
“Oh— that would be great!” said Hermione. “I really do find this stuff fascinating. The Vikings were always one of my favorite topics in Mug— medieval history. I’m coming back for Easter, so I’m sure we’ll end up here sometime that weekend.”
“I’ll be coming with her, so I’m looking forward to seeing them as well. Excuse us, but we really must be going.” He steered them both away, relishing the subtle but unmistakable look of disappointment on Vish’s face.
Hermione’s coat was buried under the piles of groceries, so they both elected to brave the cold outside. They rushed across the car park and quickly unloaded their groceries in the trunk. Draco insisted on returning the cart so Hermione could get out of the cold. He flipped it the wrong direction at the port so as to cause Vish a bit of extra work, and then headed back to the car.
“Were you serious about coming back with me for Easter?” Hermione asked as soon as he was settled inside.
She beamed at him. “I can’t wait to tell my parents. My mum actually mentioned it last night, you know. I think they understand how serious we are.”
“Wouldn’t miss it.” Especially with that Muggle bastard nosing around, he added mentally.
A surge of irritation washed over him. He completely trusted Hermione, and it wasn’t like she did anything wrong. The woman would chat with a brick wall if it quoted interesting facts at her. Still: what was his was his . And nothing brought out his possessive side like another man making blatant advances towards her.
She slipped the key in the ignition and turned it halfway. “Oh good,” she said, glancing at the clock. We still have an hour before my mum wanted us home. Plenty of time.”
It was precisely the opportunity he had been looking for. She began to put on her seatbelt, but he put his hand on hers, halting her movement.
He pulled out his wand. Hermione watched him, mouth slightly open, while he cast a warming charm, a silencing charm, and a concealment charm so their car and the parking space were hidden from view.
Her breath hitched once he had finished. “Draco, we agreed no magic—”
“While staying under your parents’ roof. We’re not under their roof right now, are we?”
She licked her lips.
“Back of the car, Granger. Now.” She stared at him, eyes wide.
He hesitated. Hermione was more than capable of turning him down anytime she pleased, but sometimes, when he was in a particularly authoritative mood, he felt compelled to remind her. “We don’t have to if you don’t want—”
She scuttled over the armrest without another word. He grinned and followed her, choosing to apparate in the back seat instead.
He frowned the moment he materialized. This space was far too small for his purposes. He flicked his wand, raising the ceiling of the car by several feet, and then elongated the distance between the back and front seats by the same amount. With a final flourish, he extended the cushion of the back seat by about a foot.
Hermione watched him with an amused look on her face, her legs tucked underneath her. “You do realize that this qualifies as a textbook case of abusing magic—”
He pounced, pinning her against the window and claiming her lips with his own. She tasted like vanilla cappuccino, and he had never found the Muggle drink more appealing. He threaded his fingers through her hair as he chased the flavor, hard and relentless, until she was gasping and breathless beneath him.
Her fists curled on his jumper as they sank down on the cushion together, her body pliant but demanding. She yanked and pulled at him as they frantically ground against one another, chasing the friction between his aching cock and the apex of her thighs. He finally broke away to wrestle her jumper off and she growled with displeasure, nipping his bottom lip and squeezing her legs around him like a vice.
He paused, tearing his gaze from her swollen, slightly parted lips to stare at the glittering ring around her neck. He had half a mind to make her put it on and remind her just exactly who he was to her, but he was too impatient, consumed by the overwhelming need to keep touching her. Tasting her.
He tugged the cups of her bra down. He palmed her right breast, circling and teasing her nipple into a stiff peak, and traced it with his tongue while she moaned and writhed beneath him. He moved to her left breast and gave it the same attention, undeterred by her insistent tugs on his hair.
“Please—” she begged, her voice no louder than a whisper, and it was exactly what he had been waiting to hear. He relented, releasing her nipple from his mouth and scattering kisses up her neck as he hovered above her. He latched on to the juncture between her neck and collarbone, sucking and nibbling at the delicate skin while she frantically worked to free him from his trousers.
She unzipped his pants and tried yank them down, but they were slung too tight around his hips. After a few tries, her clever fingers finally pulled his cock through the opening of his boxers. He hissed as it sprang to full attention, throbbing and rock-hard.
She began to stroke him, but he grabbed her hand and pinned it above her head. He nibbled on her earlobe, unmoved by her frustrated whines.
“Pants off, Granger,” he said, voice low. He pulled away.
He stroked himself as he watched her unzip her boots and shimmy out of her jeans and knickers. His mouth went dry at the sight. The only thing more glorious than Hermione Granger naked was Hermione Granger naked in broad daylight.
“But I’ll be completely naked, and you still have all your clothes on.”
He cocked his head at her. “That’s the idea.” It actually hadn’t been his original intention, but the thought made him even harder.
She bit her lip. “Can you dim the light a little? It’s so bright out.”
He snatched his wand from the floor and cast a mild dimming charm before tossing it aside. “Off,” he repeated.
She complied, watching him through lidded eyes as she slipped off her bra.
“On my lap.” His voice was so deep he felt it rumble in his chest.
She straddled him slowly, still biting her lip, her hands on his shoulders. He held her hips tightly as he stared up at her.
“So beautiful,” he whispered, and she flushed prettily, like she always did from his compliments. “You never need to hide from me.”
He skated a hand down from her hip until he found her clit. He rubbed it with the pad of his thumb while she gasped and thrust her hips to meet him. “Who does this belong to?”
He leaned forward to suck on her nipples, one at a time, still rubbing her clit in tiny circles. “What about these?”
“Yours,” she breathed.
He released her clit and grabbed both of her hips to help her slide closer, her knees splayed wide on either side of him, her feet tucked beneath her thighs. He stopped her when she was poised just above him.
He grabbed the base of his cock and guided it to her opening, circling her entrance with the head. “So wet and ready for me,” he said huskily. “Who does this sweet pussy belong to?”
“You.” Her gaze was dark and bottomless.
“Full marks, Granger.”
He helped her sink onto his cock, and they both groaned in pleasure when he was fully buried inside. Her cunt was warm and wet and he’d never tire of the way she felt, like a tight glove lined with velvet. He swore he nearly lost it every time.
She tried to begin moving, but he held her in place. “Who gets to see you spread out like this?”
“You,” she moaned, squirming in his lap. He gently tweaked her nipple and she clamped down on him so hard he hissed through his teeth. “Only you!” she huffed.
“Good girl. Now, move. I want to see you take it.”
She did— awkwardly, at first— but she quickly seemed to realize the position was no different than the many times she had straddled him on their couch at home. She soon began moving with a practice ease, digging her fingers into his shoulders with each swivel of her hips. He helped her fuck herself onto him properly, both hands gripping her waist, his breath hitching with each push and drag of his cock against her slick inner walls.
He stared at her eyes, drunk with pleasure. His cock disappearing inside her swollen pink folds. The way her hair tumbled over her shoulders, her ring bobbing against her breasts. The car was silent apart from the sounds of their panting and the slapping of flesh against flesh.
He could already feel the pressure loading deep in his groin, hot and insistent. He began rubbing her clit with ferocious determination, the need to make her come burning away everything else. Hermione moaned and arched into his touch, her head falling backward, bracing her weight on his upper back and shoulders.
Her whines grew to a steady pitch and the pace of her hips began to falter as he continued to massage her with his thumb. He leaned forward and grazed her nipple with his teeth until she whipped upright with a strangled cry.
She began fucking him again in earnest and Draco twisted beneath her while she moved, slamming up into her when he could manage it so hard that they both gasped. He wanted to kiss her, but it was either that or watch her take her pleasure from him. He chose the latter.
“You’re mine, Hermione,” he growled, stroking her harder, quicker with his thumb and his cock. She nodded at him vigorously, dazed, like it was the best thing she had ever heard.
“You take it so good,” he panted. “Now come for me. Come on my cock.”
She screwed her eyes shut, overwhelmed. “Draco, I’m close,” she whimpered. “ God, I—”
A few more thrusts, and then— she was lost.
He pounded up into her wildly as she came undone. She nearly screamed while he fucked her through her orgasm, sinking her fingernails into his shoulders as she hovered above him and took it. He was close, so close, and she keened as he slammed into her and chased the pleasure blinding the edges of his vision. He finally came with a strangled groan and she whimpered as he filled her with his come, collapsing bonelessly in his lap as soon as his hips stilled.
He held her in place, his cock still twitching, unwilling to leave the welcoming heat of her cunt just yet. She slipped her arms around her neck as he encircled her waist, his heart still hammering. He leaned them both forward to claim the kisses that had eluded him earlier and she carefully wrapped her legs around him, one at a time.
His cock began to fight gravity as it softened, so he gently turned them over they were lying supine across the seats. They continued kissing slowly, lazily, catching their breath. After a minute or two, Hermione finally pulled away.
“Draco,” she said, still slightly breathless, “this didn’t come about because of Vish, did it?”
He paused. “Perhaps,” he drawled.
She stared incredulously at him for a moment, and then snorted. “You do realize you’re an idiot, right?”
“Mmm,” he said, dipping down to kiss her neck. “That’s your problem. Besides, you enjoy it when I get set off.”
“I did no such thing—”
“I never said you set me off. Another bloke imagining you naked did.” She raised her eyebrows. “Though your choice of jeans did contribute,” he added.
She rolled her eyes, but there was a smile playing about her lips. “You think every man alive wants to shag me.”
“Half marks.” He pressed another slow, open-mouthed kiss on her neck. “I don’t think everyone who wants to shag you is a man.”
“You’re ridiculous,” she said, laughing. “People can strike up a conversation without a hidden agenda, you know.”
“Maybe so,” he whispered in her ear. “But he was far more interested in your bits than brains, my naive little Gryffindor.”
“We’ll just have to agree to disagree, my gutter-minded Slytherin.”
Draco smirked at her and slipped free. He tucked himself back in his trousers, bracing himself with a knee on the cushion and a foot on the floor. He grabbed her knickers. If it were a routine daytime shag, he would have held on to them, but he had something else in mind.
He leaned forward to kiss her again and slid his hand between her thighs. He gathered the come pooling at her entrance and pushed it back inside her. She jolted and gasped against his lips, still sensitive from her orgasm. Once he finished his task, he slipped his fingers in her mouth. She sucked them clean, not breaking eye contact while he watched her.
"Fuck, Granger,” he muttered. She released his fingers and looked up at him innocently, licking her lips.
He stared at her for a few moments. “Unless you want to stay in this parking lot all day, I’d suggest getting dressed,” he said darkly. Hermione looked like she couldn’t decide whether to be embarrassed or pleased with herself, and settled on a bit of both.
He helped her slide on her knickers, and then vanished the mess from his trousers and the upholstery while she pulled on her clothes and boots. When the coast was clear, he lifted the charms he had placed on the car.
Hermione elected not to crawl over the armrest to return to the driver’s seat, going out the rear door of the car instead. He noted the way she wobbled on her feet with no small degree of smugness.
Hermione rubbed her thighs together on the way home, flushed and thoroughly flustered. Draco smirked the entire way, too relaxed from his recent orgasm to care about her driving.
The experience of her riding him fully nude in the broad daylight, unbeknownst to the world around them, had been so mind-blowingly hot that Draco resolved to bottle the memory at the earliest opportunity. He’d have to look into getting a Pensieve.
As far as he was concerned, cranberry tart was one of the most brilliant inventions known to man.