Tipping back the drink in her hands until the two fingers of Firewiskey that rested inside are burning down her throat, mirroring the burning she’d been swallowing down all night at the sight of them, and Hermione thanks whichever gods that’ve listened that she’s almost to the point of numbness. She’s unsure why she’s still torturing herself, but then, she supposed, Harry had no idea what it would do to her when he’d begged her to come with.
‘Tell me, Hermione. I wanna hear you say it.’ He whispered into her ear. His nose and lips grazing her cheek as he turned his face towards the side of hers, it sends shivers through her body. ‘Please.’
They’d decided to have the party outside, enjoying the warm fall weather before it fell as well, she guessed. Ignoring the glare of the elder blond and the pitying eyes of his wife, Hermione motions for the tender of their open-bar to pour her another drink—something different each time, when someone sits in the seat next to her.
“Might wanna take it easy there, Princess.” Harry’s date remarked flippantly. “If you get much worse Harry will decide to take you home and we both know he’ll be too worried to leave you alone, which leaves me without my own excuse to leave at a decent hour.”
Uncaring of his reasons as she revels in her misery for a bit, Hermione turns bright eyes to the man next to her. “As you say-“ lifting the drink the bartender just set down for her, she takes a large mouthful of the sickly sweet concoction and smiles with just her mouth after swallowing, “except I don’t need a fucking babysitter.”
His eyes widen at her cursing, but she’s been past caring for an hour. Turning away she’s unfortunately turned at just the right time (or wrong time) and catches the happy couple they’d come to celebrate share a quick kiss and her mouth is suddenly as dry as the Sahara. Pain.
It lances through her core like the cruciatus curse Bellatrix tortured her with years ago.
She needs to leave. Now.
“Tell Harry I grew tired and headed home by floo, will you?” She choked on the ash that seemed to be coating her lungs.
Not waiting for a reply, leaving her half-finished drink, her eyes don’t leave him until silver meets brown and she’s grabbing her shoes from the ground and rushing to the nearest apparition point. Ignoring the calls of her name, she does what she berates Ron and Harry for and apparates home.
Giving herself a moment to breath once she’s settled, happy that she’d not splinched herself, she takes the second moment to reset the wards to her flat and blocks her fireplace from floo entry before releasing the scream that had been building in her chest. Doesn’t flinch as her magic causes every piece of glass to shatter and spray across her floor. Just like her heart.
She thinks she might be sick.
‘I need to hear you say it.’ He growls, thrusting into her to punctuate. Pulling out, only to thrust in again while his teeth claim the skin at the juncture of her neck and throat. Unnecessary. She’d belonged to him for months. Even now she did.
Too drunk to care, Hermione walks through the glass littering her floor and just makes it to the loo before her night heaves back out of her. All tasting the same coming back up as when they’d gone down the first time.
She wonders if some ginger tea might be wise before she passes out.
Instead she finds herself in her room, opening the top drawer of her armoire, and pulls free a small bundle of magical photos. Moving to her bed, and ridding herself of her blasted dress, there’s pain near her feet, but she ignores it and quickly moves to lie on her back against her pillows, and once more berates herself for not having burned the photos yet. Burned them like she’d threatened she was going to.
Watching the couple featured in all of them, she chokes on a rogue sob as the first image plays before her. The eskimo kisses she’d taught him.
The smiling witch taking the photo is ignored by her now (not having seen that naïve girl in weeks, Hermione doesn’t recognize her anymore), she watches familiar lips meet the forehead of the sleeping wizard resting next to that witch before that smile faces the camera once more.
It’s shaky and all over the place, but the hands buried in the witch’s unruly hair as the wizard moves in closer stay in frame as jaws, lips, and tongues flit back into the frame.
Another, and another, and another…
The last three follow a succession of the same night. The night she’d dubbed the best of her young life, though she’d expected it to only get better as their imagined future together passed year after blessed year.
Falling back onto her bed, drunk on the man standing between her spread knees as they bend over the edge, she bites her lip and admires his silhouette against the shadowed wall behind him. So devastatingly handsome, she’d hated her instant reaction when he’d swaggered into Flourish & Blotts as she worked the register a year ago. Exactly a year ago.
‘You’re so fucking gorgeous.’ He growls, unbuttoning his dress shirt as his gaze slowly rakes over her supine form.
“You’re not too bad looking yourself.” She breathes, raising a leg to run her foot up the side of his trousers, the slit of her dress allowing her to continue lifting her foot until it rests along his chest. Just between the part of his half-unbuttoned shirt, skin resting against skin. Her dress only just covers the apex of her thighs.
Finishing with the buttons of his shirt, Hermione enjoys the sculpted chest of her lover, counting each scar darkening his fine alabaster skin as he begins kissing his way down her raised leg. Biting the tender flesh of her inner thigh, he gasps as soon as his free hand moves her dress from where she wants him most.
‘Hermione. Did you go through that whole party sans knickers?’ His eyes are practically glowing, mercury on fire, and she can’t help abusing her lip again.
‘You’re always stealing them!’ She whinges.
He smirks devilishly.
‘Of course I do. They smell like you and you smell fucking divine… and I will continue to do so, witch,’ licking one thick swipe up her slit, she whimpers as the tip of his tongue just flicks against her clit and looks down to see him smirking still, ‘until I. Own. Every. Pair.’
Opening her mouth to disagree, it turns into a long moan as an expert tongue paints ecstasy all around her thrumming bundle of nerves. Sliding a single finger inside of her, she undulates against his hand to let him know she wants more.
‘So greedy.’ He moans against her slickness, but gives her what she needs and slides in another finger before curving them in. Running the pads of his long fingers against the spot inside her that makes stars dance along the edges of her vision, she grinds herself harder against his mouth as he begins rubbing deep circles against her g-spot.
Opening her legs as far as she can, her right hand slides into his silken hair and she grips his head as her core clenches and she’s flying into an orgasm before she even knows she’s there.
Breathing heavily, she huffs as he lifts his released head and kisses her thigh as he slips his fingers free.
Closing her eyes for a moment, she hears him whisper a spell and opens her eyes to see that they’re both completely naked. His cock already weeping, she slowly crawls backwards onto her bed as he prowls after her.
‘I’m going to fuck you now. Is that alright?’ He asks, leaning down until his face is only inches from her own. Even knowing the answer, he waits for her to reply.
‘No.’ She deadpans.
His smirk slowly turns into furrowed brows as her answer registers.
‘No.’ He repeats slowly.
Hooking one of her feet over his calf as he begins to pull away, she waits until his mouth opens to say something else and pushes with a hand to flip them. Huffing with the force of it, his eyes are surprised, then hopeful, and then filled with fire (and deeper things) as Hermione lowers herself down to eskimo kiss him. Thinks about the first time she’d done that, and her breath catches for a second.
‘I think I’m going to fuck you now.’ She grins as his hands squeeze her hips, ‘Is that alright?’
‘Do your worst, love.’ He hums from deep in his chest. The endearment is still new, but her heart can’t seem to stop itself from hoping.
Hoping that he’s feeling what she’s been feeling.
Looking at the first of the last three photos, when he’d had her accio her camera to them, she slips her hand beneath the knickers she’d hoped he might steal at some point and pushes her fingers into her slick heated core. Moves her fingers to her tingling clit as the image replays the moment she’d impaled herself on him and begins circling her fingers as image her begins fucking her wizard.
Not anymore—she thinks.
Sitting up as she continues to ride him through her second orgasm, he holds an arm around her hips and grinds himself against her slowly as he swallows her broken whimpers and moans, he licks into her mouth and sucks on her lips as he languidly fucks into her.
Camera having been forgotten for the few minutes after Hermione had leaned down and sucked a trail down the neck of the man she loves while he brought her to climax, she rests her forehead against his as he slowly grabs it up again and kisses her deeply before speaking.
‘Hermione,’ He whispers, pushing deep into her and pulling down on her hips at the same time, he holds the position as the heat builds again. ‘this year… this year has been the best… the best EVERYthing and… seeing you again so long after-after my… you… you were-‘
Warring between her desire to move and her need to hear what he has to say, Hermione holds him just below his ears, her thumbs rubbing back and forth along the curve of his stubbled jaw, she kisses him slowly and smiles for him to keep going. To keep speaking. To keep opening up to her.
He doesn’t disappoint.
‘you were so guarded. So wary of speaking to me that I worried I’d have to go back home with my proverbial tail between my legs or with my bollocks hexed off and beg my mother to just go and get her book herself. Though now that I think about it, I’m sure she could have just had it brought to the house by owl, which really solidifies my theory that she sent me there to see you on purpose, but that would mean she’d have had to know that-uhnnn, shiiiit, Hermione!’
Having felt him start to soften inside her as he began to ramble, Hermione thought she’d just give him a few squeezes to remind him of the position they were still in and that he’d not yet found his own release, she wasn’t expecting that it’d work so well until he hardened again inside her and thrust deeply a few times for good measure.
It pushed him to get straight to the point she guessed he’d been heading to all along.
Looking into her eyes, lifting the arm that had been holding her against him, he slips his hand into her hair and kisses her deeply and thoroughly for a few moments. When he moves away, tears in his brilliant stormy eyes, he clicks the button for the camera and says, ‘I love you, Hermione.’
Tears streaming down her face, she realizes she can’t finish. Her traitorous mind latching onto his lips as they mouth the words she’d remember until the day she died, words she’d never hear him say to her again, words she could never say back, pulled another woozy sob from her instead.
Grabbing her wand from a hidden pocket of her dress, cleaning her fingers of herself before getting up, she slowly heads to the kitchen. Flicking her wand to instantly boil her water, she readies to pour when a clicking noise at her door pulls her attention. Slow in her drunkenness she’s startled as her door flies open a second later and ends up pouring scalding water all over her hand, her legs, and the tops of her feet.
Barely hearing her name being called out by him, she’s screaming in pain and stumbling away from the mess and slips in the slick on her floor. Crashing to the floor just as tailored pants take up the doorway of her kitchen, and, looking up at the worried eyes of Draco Malfoy as he pulls his wand to erase the water and to begin healing her, she knows the pain from the burns (the pain of glass being removed from her feet) is nowhere near, and will never be, as painful as the thoughts of losing him.
Of losing Draco, the man she loved more than reason—to Astoria Greengrass.
She forgot she’d given him a key for emergencies.
Betrayed by her own body, Hermione realizes she’d been burrowing into Draco’s chest as he worked at healing her hand. Quickly releases him and shuffles away from him dizzily. She knows he shouldn’t be there with her.
“You should be-at… at your—engagement party.” She forces out on broken whispers. Not looking at him as the burns covering her legs and feet sting with the healing. He really was exceptional with healing magic.
If only he could heal her broken heart.
“We were worried about you.” He snips.
Irritation. She could deal with that. Needed it.
“Harry was worried about me. He should be here. Not you.” She says rather clearly.
Bugger. She’s sobering up.
“Does Harry know extensive healing magic, carry a kit with multiple vials of dittany, and have an extra key to your flat?” He sneers. She holds her tongue because talking to him is harder now that she can’t even fight with him properly.
And because she doesn’t want to hear herself speak. She just wants to hear his voice. Even if it’s full of anger.
“That’s what I thought.” He goes back to finishing with her feet, pulling out the dittany he’d just mentioned, her eyes stare unfocused as he gently applies it to each cut she’d received after apparating into her flat and breaking everything. She wonders if she’ll keep from crying until after he leaves. “And I was worried too.”
She supposed not.
“Don’t.” She whispers so quietly she’s not sure if he heard her.
I wish I could un-kiss you—she thinks.
“Don’t what, Hermione? Care?” He asks, and she wonders if he knows he’s taking it all away now. With his words. “That’s never going to happen.”
Mentally grabbing the blanket of numbness that she remembered settling over her mind after the war, like the security blanket she had as a child, she watches him in silent contemplation as he shakes his head and leaves her kitchen.
Blanket pausing for a moment, she wonders if he left.
She needs more blanket.
Getting up slowly, moving to the doorway of her kitchen she realizes he hadn’t left. He was fixing all the broken glass in her living room.
I wish I could un-touch you—she thinks.
He turns to look at her. Open and filled with want. For her. For them. For what they were just weeks ago.
She realizes she’s standing in nothing but her matching bra and knickers.
She can’t do this.
He doesn’t know.
She pulls a bit more. Slips a bit deeper.
Turning away she slowly makes her way to her bedroom. Stands just before her bed. The one where he’d said those words. Where she’d said them back.
His hands turn her before her mind can catch up.
The blanket is so thick now.
He peers into her eyes, rapidly switching from one to the other, and he must see. Panics a bit.
“I love you, Hermione.” Reaching up with both hands, he shakes her just a bit. “I. Love. You.”
So maybe the blanket isn’t so much a blanket, but concrete that’d dried like a tomb around her heart.
“I know you saw the kiss, but it was nothing. Astoria was trying to see… she was trying to see if she could be with me, but she knew. I knew already, but she knows. She’s going to tell her father tomorrow.” He’s still panicking, and now maybe she should, because this needs to happen between them. He kisses her unresponsive lips until a sob wrenches from his lips, “Please… I need to hear you say it.”
So she does.
“I wish I could un-fuck you.” She says. Vacant, cold, hard.
I wish I could un-love you—she thinks instead.
But some things you can’t undo.
There’s pain. Pain, but it isn’t just hers this time.
He doesn’t know.
Lucius has her parents.