Bathwater

Two things Snakes dont feel: Hope & Love

Boom.

"What in Rowena's—" Cho Chang gave a high jump on her seat on the couch. Her books and parchment of notes spilled to the side as the door to her chamber burst open. "Zabini, you foul git, what in Ravenclaw's name do you think you're doing?" She snapped, reaching for her wand that was tucked in under the cushions.

She stared at the figure of her fiancée—by Merlin's cruel, cruel joke—with aggressive eyes. Her eyebrow couldn't help to raise itself as she noticed his lack of robes, shirt, and pants. The ruddy Slytherin was just in emerald boxers with bright white socks on—items that could be interpreted as stockings.

"Don't you 'foul git' me, Chang!" Blaise shouted, slamming the door behind him with a swift back-kick of his leg. "I've come to talk!" (Whoever told Blaise that yelling was the means in 'getting back his woman' were surely ruddy trolls.)

"I don't want to talk to you, Zabini," Cho retorted, folding her arms across her chest in a way that she prayed looked intimidating. (She wasn't a Gryffindor or a Slytherin to be pulling off those stares and furious stands like Ginny or those terrifying ones like Pansy Parkinson. She had to work with what she had, and Merlin knew that Ravenclaws were not horrifying at all. They were just a pack of birds.)

"Well, you're going to have to listen because I'm tired of this," Blaise took a furious step towards his fiancée, his slippers practically sliding on the marbled ground. "We need to establish a truce, alright? I cannot be getting kicked out of our bloody chamber every other day! Now, my mummy taught me better than that, but if it comes to violence, don't think I won't hesitate to unleash Pansy on you," he threatened, his green eyes on her wand.

Cho glared, her wand a little higher on his face. "A truce," she repeated with a loud scoff, feeling a bit of pride as his eyes looked momentarily panicked as they focused on the illuminating tip and her firm grip. "I can't create a truce with an imbecile like you! You ruin everything. Not a day goes by in which your stupid actions don't urge me on to give up my magic."

Blaise exhaled through his nostrils, trying to regain that calmness that comes naturally to every Italian he knew. (And if it worked, maybe she would end up kissing his knuckles like the Muggles did to the Pope.) "Look Cho," his voice dropped several levels of volume as he spoke to her once again, "I'm aware that I'm a sodding idiot, and I will probably do more idiotic things when we do get married, but that's just the way I am. I'm this eccentric handsome, handsome, boy—" (no, it's not a typo. Blaise is aware that he is really handsome)",who can charm the entire planet, but will most likely end up getting himself murdered because he's an uncontrollable, outspoken, energetic prat." He took another cautious step towards her, slowly moving his palm to circle around her exposed forearm. "But one thing is certain: when I care about someone I'm more of an idiot than I naturally am in public. "

Cho took in a ragged breath, letting his dark fingers clutch on to her arm as she lowered her wand. "Have you noticed that you called yourself an idiot loads of times? Not that I disagree, mind you, but you keep going around in circles." And if she had been a Slytherin or a Gryffindor, chances are she wouldn't have understood what her fiancée was trying to say.

And that was that he cared for her. She knew he did. It was something that she couldn't deny.

"Because I'm cute that way!" He stated loudly. (Was his adorableness not noticeable? He can't even stare at his own reflection without blushing for Salazar's sake! How can the witch be immune to it?)

But he sighed, taking a moment to breathe and compose himself before the witch changed her mind and he got cursed. "Listen Cho," he began with his new maturity, "what I'm basically trying to say is that I'm always going to do the thickest things imaginable and that's never going to change in time. In fact, I will probably end up blasting half of our home apart just for the fun of it. But the point is...I do love you.

"And the reason why I take the liberty to joke around with you— in such an impolite manner, according to you—is because I've gotten accustom to you. And I don't need to impress you...because I want you to care for me for who I am...just like I do with you."

Cho cleared her throat after a moment of silence as she let this words linger in the air. "Well," she murmured, "in these past months that we've been engaged...I have experienced more genuine emotions than I've done for the past four years." She swallowed, looking down at the marbled floor. "Emotions that aren't always centered on me breaking down to tears, and I greatly appreciate that, Blaise. And I've learned to love that about you, but you can't expect for someone like me not to react the way I do."

Blaise sighed, nodding his head in understanding. "….I know that if the events that happened our Fourth Year," he felt her flinch and he placed his left palm on her other arm. Giving her a supporting squeeze as flashbacks of that year started replaying in back of her head. "If the Tri-Wizard Tournament would've never happened, the entire school is not oblivious that you and Diggory would've ended up getting married and having the perfect life." He waited a few seconds and then said, "Nor Potter, Michael Corner, or I could ever replace what Diggory meant to you. And I'm well aware of that...but I'm just trying to humor your life up a bit...You can't keep living in the past where your dead boyfriend is buried..."

The Ravenclaw's bottom lip quivered and she had to sink her front teeth into it just to stop the powerful feelings from flooding out and breaking down the barriers that had taken her years to build. "….I have been a l-little harsh, haven't I?"

Blaise's serious face faded into a light smile. One that Cho couldn't even deny that brightened up his entire expression immensely. "A little? Oh, Chang, you've made me look like a bloody fool! I think I have lost respect among my fellow house-mates. And, apparently, Goyle is second in command now." He gave her arms another squeeze and then pushed his body to press up onto hers. Placing his chin on her dark hair. He began to rub circles on her back with one palm, and the other securely on her waist.

Cho tried not to recoil, tried not to step back from the human contact she felt the need to deprive herself from.

"…We might not be the traditional couple, Cho, but I do believe that there's a strong motive why we were placed together," Zabini said in a whisper, "and it might take us a while to figure it out—"

"In between fights and you sleeping on the couch?" She gave a shaky laugh, her face buried in his chest as she interrupted him. A strange feeling of comfort and warmth spreading throughout her soul. Almost like if this was actually right and things would turn out for the better; that feeling invading her being.

She knew that Zabini was tossed to her to show her the meaning of life once again. So she could be able to smile and laugh the way she used to. And once she achieved that, it would be because of him. And the day would come when she would be in love with him and that—that would be the proudest moment of her life.

"But we can make it work," he finished, pulling her back two inches.

She blinked her brown eyes at him. "I know. We will make it out." Cho let the smile that was tugging on the ends of her lips to emerge out. "Blaise, why are you in your boxers?" She asked, still very aware that he was half undressed and his tone chest was sending tingles in her stomach; the need to giggle at the sight of him tickled her throat.

"Long story." He waved his hand, disregarding the confused expression on his fiancée's face. "I was with Malfoy—"

Cho's eyes widened.

"No, not like that, Chang! I mean, Hermione was there—"

Her dark eyebrow rose up.

"No, you perverted witch! I was in their room and they were in their living room, then Mrs. Malfoy showed up— don't look at me like that!" He shouted, frowning at her as she stared at him with mocking shock.

"Shut up." Cho laughed, closing the distance between her and Blaise.

And before Zabini could protest, the Ravenclaw placed her mouth over his. Her lips gently and unfamiliar graced his with a smooth touch. A kiss that wasn't mean to be passionate or needy, but just to discover what it was like. A kiss that would break the walls between the two and allow them to make progress in their relationship.

It was a much needed kiss. One that filled them with hope for the future.

Blaise gulped, looking into Cho's dark eyes with a fluttery feeling in his chest as she pulled away from him. "Wow. Well, if I must say, that was surely different from Lovegood's."

Instead of raising her hand to smack him across the face, like he was expecting the second he let that slip, Cho pressed it on her lips. Covering the laughter that was spewing out of her at the comment her fiancée had made like it was the funniest thing he had ever said in her presence.

And taking her sudden joy as a good sign, Blaise wrapped his arms around her waist and proceeded to lift the witch from her feet. "To the bed!"

"Not happening, Zabini." Cho squeaked as she kept her eyes on the moving marbled-floor below her; allowing him to rush them to their room.

"Come on, Cho! I was eye-raped by the Head Boy before coming here!" The Slytherin grunted, shuddering at the memory of the lingering eyes of that Hufflepuff had on his oh-so muscular and godly chest. "Head Boy! Make me feel manly again! I have detention and ten points taken from Slytherin, that must be worth something!"

And it oh, it was.

X

Through the darkness falling from the night sky and pouring in through the open window of the quiet chamber, Hermione Granger tiptoed her way inside of her room. Squinting her eyes as she walked in the engulfing darkness with an overly large bag clutched on to her hands; being extra careful not to stumble on anything and create a racket.

She had spent the evening being tortured by her new friend, Pansy Parkinson, and her soon-to-be mother-in-law until she found what they were all looking for.

And Merlin, she had. Hermione had found the perfect wedding dress.

Biting her lip as a sudden tingly sensation spread throughout her chest, her head rushing with imagination as she pictured that her blonde wizard was waiting for her at the end of the alter, watching with captivated eyes as she gleamed and sparkled like the diamond on her finger, the end of her wedding dress dragging lightly on her way towards him.

She had to let out a content sigh as she placed the bag on a conjured-chair and let her imagination take its own course. (Which was fairly unusual for the Brightest Witch of the Age.)

She kicked her shoes off when a ridiculous smile was placed on her face as she began to slip off her pants. (Merlin, who would've thought that a Gryffindor would be so enlightened about the idea of joining her soul with Slytherin's bouncing ferret?)

"You know—" A bolt of fear ran its way down Hermione's spine as her fantasies were interrupted by a velvety voice. "If you need help with that, you could've just asked."

The brunette turned a furious shade of pink that was thankfully covered by the lack of light in the chamber as she stood in nothing but her unbuttoned blouse and her— ehem—undergarments contrasting with the whiteness of it.

"You know, Malfoy, that is a terrible, ill-mannered thing to do," Hermione snapped in a scolding manner, "watching a girl undress herself." She turned on her feet , giving him her back as she threw off her shirt. (What a tease.)

"I wasn't watching, Hermione, I was rudely awakened by the bloody noise you make. I just happened to stubble on you shedding your clothing items." Draco scoffed, sitting himself up from his comfortable position on the bed. "Either you were planning on giving me a very brilliant show or you suck at sneaking yourself about."

"I was doing neither, dear," Hermione said, growing angry as she couldn't find her pajamas in the darkness and would not lower herself to cast the Lumos spell and have her fiancée stare at her in her ruby-red unmentionables. "I was trying to be considerate that you were sleeping merely because your mother asked me not to disturb her baby boy's precious dreams or else I would've barged in here like the uncivilized Muggle-Born that I am."

Draco glared in the darkness of the room. "I was just joking with you, Granger," he muttered in a tone so thick that he mind as well have insulted her.

Hermione grimaced, catching her mistake a moment after she did it. "…I know," she turned to face the blonde wizard. "I'm sorry. I'm just a bit tired and I tend to get cranky when I haven't gotten my sleep."

With the frown still upon his pale face, Draco responded, "then I expect that the anguish you had to endure with my mother and Pansy has placed you in an even worse mood."

"Yeah, well, shopping really isn't my thing, Malfoy," Hermione replied, trying her hardest to let a casual tone slither through her words. (She did not want to get into a row with Malfoy so late at night, especially when her peaceful sleep depended on it.) "I've always been more of an inside kind of girl." She gave him a smile in the light washing in from the moon outside.

"Don't worry, Granger." The brunette gave another internal groan at the sound of her last name coming from his lips. Great. She had managed to get into the first-name bases with him days ago and now they were back to the beginning. (Why must their tempers be absolute rubbish?) "I assume mother will be more than happy to show you the ways now that you won't have a need to be chasing down Death Eaters."

"Brilliant." She let out a forced chuckle. "Maybe I won't look like I've been living in the streets without my school-robes from now on."

"Mhm." Malfoy exhaled, his eyes no longer looking at her but at the shiny bag that was sitting next to her. "You found the dress?"

She smiled dimly, nodding slowly. "It took four hours less than it did to find Pansy's, but yes. I did find the dress."

"Can I see it?"

"No," she scoffed, taking that as an excuse to step away from the chair and head towards him. "I don't know how you do it in the wizarding world, Draco, but in my world the groom has to wait until the wedding day to see the bride in the dress."

"How will I know to coordinate with you?" He asked her, a small smirk playing on his lips. (Curse the girl and her power to get through to him!) "What if I decided to wear orange and we both clashed horribly?" He teased, scooting a few inches away from where he lay, enough for his fiancée to spread herself onto the bed but enough that he could feel his leg touch hers.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "You won't be wearing orange because your mother will murder you if you embarrass her in such a manner. Besides, white goes with everything," she said knowingly as she began to fluff her pillows; trying not to let him see that she inhaled a bit of his scent that lingered on her side of the mattress. (Which he most stubbornly tries to make his every night.)"And you better not attempt to give it a go and see it, Draco, or I will personally hex you."

Malfoy let out a teasing hissing sound, plopping himself on his elbow as he watched her with mesmerized eyes. The moonlight seemed to highlight her beautiful features even more than what he was used to seeing. "Is that a threat, darling?"

"Take it as you want, Malfoy," she huffed, lowering herself and laying her back completely against the mattress.

"Well," he chuckled smugly again, waited a second, and positioned himself on top of her once more in a swift motion. Amused to the greatest extents as her eyes opened widely, still not used to the fact that he had gotten permission to be able to do such an action to her without slapping him; he had to restrain himself from laughing out loudly. "I've always fancied a witch with a bit of aggressiveness."

Breathing in determinedly to keep it together, Hermione said, "Draco, I'm fairly good at nonverbal spells, do not anger me."

"Of course not, my Gryffindor. I'll just sing you a lullaby and rock you to sleep. I've been told that I have a relaxing voice," he replied sarcastically, wiggling his pale eyebrows at her.

Hermione snorted, trying to control her heartbeat. (What was up with the way it banged and swirled and twirled every time that boy is around?) "I doubt you have such powers." Her eyebrows knitted together as he pulled her arms over her head and held them tightly there.

His silver eyes beaming in the moonlight as they lingered on her face.

"Lack of faith?" He whispered, his heart rate racing as he found himself close to the Brightest Witch of the Age once more. Something that was becoming a guilty pleasure of his. An action so intimate that he kept feeling that his old Slytherin-self was slowly fading away from his being and he was suddenly no better than all those boys that fantasized themselves with Granger in years past.

And through that, he had to admit she was such a dazzling sight. And now he was wondering how someone—how he could have hated her for so long. She was everything, everything great in the world.

"No," Hermione snapped, "your lack of brains." She attempted to give his back a kick, but ended with her leg hooked around Malfoy's hip.

"Really?" He smirked at her one last time, and let himself be enthralled to the holy feel of her lips.

Slowly, in the most softness of manners, their lips moved along together.

Their mouths so warm and so gentle upon each others that Hermione had to bite on his lower lip just to feel him. To get rid of the soaring rush she was feeling when he kissed her so gently. She wanted Malfoy to kiss her; kiss her sincerely, not like he was being careful she would break at any given moment.

She was there with him, after all. Her heart pounding so loudly in her ears, that it was drowning out the sound of his own loud beat. She wanted him to express his genuine emotions, his furious side that she was so used to. Not this gentle person that was currently letting his palms roam on the surface of her bare shoulders.

Feeling jolts of bliss run through his veins, Draco let out a silent growl as he felt the Gryffindor's hands slide down his chest to the end of his abdomen; gracing his skin with her warmness. Never in his dreams—or in his wildest insanity—did he ever picture that her touch could feel so heavenly on his flesh. Nor he could ever imagine that his skin would tingle and burn, urging on for more.

Hermione was shocked as a gasp slipped from between her lips when Draco moved his and placed them on the nape of her neck. Sinking his teeth in a harsh manner that instead of sending bolts of pain through her system she found them enticing. Just like she was finding him.

She snaked one hand away from his pale chest to the roots of his blonde hair, tugging at them roughly as she quivered under his body as his teeth continued to scrape her skin.

And as the heat seemed to rush and connect between the two so unexpectedly, and as the flashes and bursts of a blissful sensation ran through every particle in their bodies and hands roamed around everywhere and the items between their complete bare skin started to disappear, the next thing seemed not to cause a great shock among the two former enemies. Both of them, laying on each other with banging hearts and ragged breathes, soon became one in the moonlight.

A step that was bound to cross the level of sane to complete derangement—because the Gryffindor Princess and the Slytherin Prince would have never, years ago, expressed their hidden love for one another. Not like this, not so purely because it had never been there before.

But now it was, and it was a love that should not exist in the first place.

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