Show me your legs, she heard in her mind, with that familiar touch of risque mischief. Draco sat at the table to her left, using his ever-improving Legilimens talents to flirt in class.
Hermione bit the inside of her mouth to control her smile and shook her head in a subtle negative.
You're wearing those cute socks, aren't you? Not everyone can look as sexy in them as you do. Let me see.
She turned her head in his direction and, with raised eyebrows, mouthed the word, "No". She noticed that his smile, bright eyes and hair made him the most dazzling thing on his side of the rather drab classroom, with its old stone walls and floors and light provided only from the windows.
Undeterred, he continued his telepathic teasing. It's been hours since I've seen them, remember? You had them wrapped around me with your ankles locked on my back.
She swallowed hard and tried to concentrate on the lecture, but could feel her body reacting to his commentary. She just hoped it wasn't obvious.
Oooh, is there a draft in here or are you just happy to hear me?
So apparently, it was obvious, even through her school robe. She put her arm on the table top to block Draco's view.
Don't do that. I can make you fidget more, you know. Just throw back the bottom of your robe and cross your legs...no, the other way. That's right, now, just a little higher...
She lifted the hem of her robe to about mid-thigh. Satisfied? she asked silently. He'd been instructing her in the mental techniques since she'd returned to school a few weeks ago.
As much as I can be in here.
She turned her head and answered his smirk with her own smile.
"Miss Granger," barked Professor McGonagall, substituting for an ill Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
"Yes, Professor," she responded quickly, jerking her head back in the speaker's direction.
"Can you tell me, Miss Granger, what is the primary difference between the Imperio Curse and other forms of mental intrusion?"
Hermione stammered. "Well, uh, the Imperio Curse is one of the three Unforgivable Curses."
"Yes," Professor McGonagall snapped, the sharp planes of her face showing disappointment in her favorite student, "as was explained moments ago by your younger classmate. I had hoped that you might give us a more thorough analysis."
"Of course," Hermione said, swallowing her humiliation. "The reason Imperio is one of the unforgivable curses is that it overrides an individual's will, so that he or she can be completely manipulated by the witch or wizard who placed the curse. Other forms of mind control, by comparison, can only offer suggestions to the person under the influence, so that someone will not perform an action in total opposition to his or her conscience or desires."
The professor's look gradually softened from its disapproving lines as Hermione concluded her explanation. "Acceptable," she said, then resumed her lecture.
Hermione gripped her quill in a fist and looked down at her page of abnormally scant class notes, her lips pressed tightly together in self-disappointment.
I'm sorry, Draco communicated to her. She turned away from him and propped the side of her head on her upraised arm so he couldn't see her. Her attention was riveted to the lesson for its duration.
At the end of class, Draco jumped from his seat to stand over her. "Hermione, I'm so sorry."
She stood and he saw her cheeks were still red with embarrassment. "You can never do that to me again, Draco. I'm not here for your entertainment."
He looked down shamefaced. "You know you mean more to me than that. I promise I'll never do anything like that during class again. I know how important your school performance is to you." He raised his head and she saw the contrition in his down-turned mouth. "I'm very proud that you've already risen to the top of our class since your return." He dared a touch on her arm. "Do you forgive me?"
She turned her almond eyes up to him. "And you'll never tease me like that again?"
"During class, no. You have my word on it. Now, hurry up and forgive me, because I can't wait any longer to kiss you."
Hermione watched his lips while he was speaking. She really loved that mouth too much to stay angry, just because something inappropriate was usually coming out of it. She put her arms around his neck and pulled his head down to claim the mouth before he could say anything else.
He gripped her tightly, eagerly accepting her tongue's invitation to play. Their kiss became hungry in the empty classroom until...
"Out!" ordered McGonagall, returning for a forgotten book. She shooed the leaders of their houses from the room with a stern voice and twinkly eye.
"Draco," Hermione growled outside the classroom, frowning at his laughing face.
"What? You kissed me," he pointed out, poking his fingers first at her, then over his pure, innocent heart. Her face slowly grew from a frown to Draco's favorite seductive smile.
"We need some time alone," he said softly. "It's a beautiful, sunny day. Do you really want lunch in the Great Hall, watching third years eating their pot pies with open mouths? Why don't we ask (he knew to emphasize) a house elf to bring us something out on the grounds?"
She licked her lips and tilted her head and allowed herself to be led from the castle and down to the Black Lake.
Away from public, she became the love partner he'd come to know the last couple of weeks, straddling his lap and deluging him with kisses.
Their school robes effectively prevented them from going further. Whoever designed them didn't have the beating heart of a romantic or the libido of a young man with a hot girlfriend.
"Can we sneak away tonight?" he asked in a voice low with desire.
"Not tonight—I have a meeting. "
He grunted. "I wish I'd not given you the idea for that group. I never realized how many more Muggle-born and Halfblood males than females there were at Hogwarts, until you started meeting with them."
Just then a young house elf appeared with a tray of food. Hermione thanked him, pulling out one of the knitted caps that she had in her satchel, but he disappeared with an anxious crack before she could present it to him.
Draco chuckled at another thwarted liberation, though he loved that Hermione always tried. He moved behind her to nibble the back of her neck while she dug into the food. "Frankly, I question the pedigree of some of the members of your group."
"You think people are claiming to be less than Pureblood when they are?" she asked, her concentration divided between eating, conversation and maintaining some control while Draco continued his (ahem) attentions to her.
"Who could blame them?" he murmured against her neck. "You approach lads and ask, 'Would you like to come to SUPME?' I'd be willing to claim giant heritage if you did that to me."
She whipped her head around to protest. "I never said that to anyone."
He kissed her cheek and smiled. "Well, it certainly looks like more blokes were enticed to join. But I've been doing some recruiting of my own."
"Oh, you have, have you?" she asked with a giggle, returning to her salad.
She felt his nod against her neck then his hands on her back, rubbing in slow circles. "I'll bring three girls to the meeting tonight," he promised her.
"I missed three girls?" Hermione said with shock and a little disappointment in herself. She then felt his hand slide from her back to under her waistband.
"What did you say this is called...lastic?" he asked.
"Close enough," she answered.
"Hmm, well the Muggle who invented it is a genius," he said, pushing his hand further down.
"I said 'close enough,'" she stated in a warning tone.
The hand came out of her skirt and his arms went around her middle, just as her pre-set alarm sounded to let her know it was time to return to the school. Draco had a free period.
He turned her toward him for a slow kiss. "Pretty Mudblood," he purred, "I love you."
"Oh dear, I have to go," she said jumping up quickly. "I'll see you later."
She ran up the hill toward the school, while Draco lay down on the warm grass. "Easy, Ralph," he said contentedly. He looked down and saw he was well-camouflaged under his voluminous robe. Maybe the designer knew what he was doing after all.
The Society for Un-Pure Magical Endeavors met in a ground floor classroom after dinner. Hermione used her wand to shove the tables and chairs out of the way and produce some plush couches and chairs for the comfort of the members. Maybe Draco had a point, she realized, as 10 young men and one girl came in for the meeting.
"I call this meeting of S-U-P-M-E to order, she said. "Does anyone have any new business?"
"I do," chimed Draco, entering the room with his arms around three young Slytherin girls. "I have some new members for you."
Hermione rose to greet the girls and suggested they introduce themselves to the group. She took Draco's arm and led him to a corner of the room. "What are you playing at? Those girls are from your House and they come from magical families."
Draco crossed his arms, ready to defend his position. "Their parents are wizards, yes, but none of their grandparents were. Speaking as a Pureblood, I can assure you that we don't count them. They have the same issues as the fraternity you have here."
She looked over at the group then back up at him and grinned. "Perhaps you're right. I'll have to expand my own recruiting efforts to second-generation witches and wizards."
His triumphant smile dropped.
"Thank you for bringing them. I'll see you after the meeting."
"Hermione," called Bradley Griffin, a fifth year from Hufflepuff. "Professor McGonagall's lecture today about different forms of mind control made me curious about hypnosis. As wizards, I'm sure we can all hypnotize each other, but while Malfoy's here, I'd like to see if I can put a Pureblood under a trance. What do you say? Are you game?" he asked Draco.
The triumphant smile returned, as he walked over to the younger boy. "Of course. I doubt that you can, but it will be amusing to see you try."
"Good," said Bradley. "Just sit in the chair here and concentrate on this," he instructed, pulling out a large locket on a chain. The club members gathered round as he suspended the shiny object in front of Draco's face and spoke in a sing-song voice. "Watch the chain. See how it catches the light. Follow its movements. Your eyes are getting heavy..."
Draco had smirked when he first sat down, happy to have an excuse for staying at the meeting, but now, he was beginning to feel very drowsy, his blue-grey eyes shuttering, harder with each second to keep open, until they closed and his head lolled forward.
Bradley's housemate Matt Logan, a chubby sixth year from America, patted him on the shoulder, acknowledging his success. "What are you going to make him do?" he asked in a low voice.
Several suggestions drifted around the room, such as making him strip or sing or combinations of embarrassing acts.
"No," said Lynette Pierce, a sixth-year Ravenclaw and the only girl to originally join the group with Hermione. "Let's make him confess something. Malfoy, how do you really feel about Hermione?"
Hermione stepped forward. "I really don't think..."
"I love her," Draco said in a sleepy voice, his eyes still closed. "She's ideal for me." Hermione stopped, her mouth hanging open, as the proclamation continued. "She's the perfect combination of beauty and brains, sass and..." The seductive smile that she knew so well crept onto his face. "Let's just say she knows how to make me happy."
The four other girls in the room sighed, wishing someone would say such things about them. Hermione felt her blush. "Bring him out now," she ordered Bradley. The boy started to protest, then saw the firm set to her jaw and complied.
Draco came out of his trance with the same smirk. "Sorry, Griffin," he said, rising from the chair and stretching his arms, "nice try though." The room tittered.
"Why don't you try, Granger?" he suggested, holding the chair for her. "It would be interesting to see if your superior brain can be controlled."
She shook her head. "I don't think that's..."
"Come on, Hermione," coaxed Logan. "You're not afraid, are you?"
"No, I just..." she began.
"Go on, Hermione," Lynette said. "Draco has a point. I am curious to see if any of us could put you under."
A chorus of dares and cajoling broke her resistance and led her to take the seat in front of Bradley. He began the same lulling tactics he'd used on Draco. Hermione's head rolled slightly as she followed the movements of the chain until her eyes closed. The trance awakened her ancestor witches.
Draco watched the process in disbelief. Since he didn't think he'd been hypnotized, he was surprised that Hermione could succumb so easily.
"Shall I ask her the same thing?" Bradley asked his audience.
"No," Lynette said. "I know what to ask her." She stood behind Bradley's chair. "Hermione, if the person you love is in the room, go and show him how you feel."
Draco sighed. If they wanted to humiliate him, this was their chance. Hermione had never said she loved him. He knew he hadn't convinced her yet that he was worthy of it.
"Go to him, darlin'," trilled Finola. "We know ya want to."
Jean seconded the Irish spirit. "Yes, Hermione, we're all in agreement now, even Clothilde."
"That's right," said the senior witch. "Ronald needs something besides you...possibly someone more experienced."
Hester huffed. "I don't understand why these children want a public demonstration. Does this generation have nothing but un-pure thoughts?"
"I never did," said Finola with a wink in her voice.
Smiling and eyes still closed, Hermione rose and slowly glided to where Draco was standing, a curious look on his face. She jumped into his arms, wrapping her denim-clad legs around his waist
The group gaped as its leader and the tall blond man gave a master class in kissing, breaking one liplock only to begin another. Draco held her as if she were an answer to a prayer, then breathed her name.
"Draco," she responded with a whisper.
He finally noticed the stares of the others in the room and carried her back to the chair.
"Okay, I'll bring her out now," Bradley said, running a finger under his shirt collar.
"Wait. Is it possible to have her remember something later?" asked Draco.
The younger boy nodded. "Yeah, it's called a post-hypnotic suggestion."
Draco leaned down to whisper in her ear. "Hermione, the next time I make you want to cry out in pleasure, you'll tell me if you love me." He stooped in front of her. "Say that you understand."
Her eyelids were still closed, her mouth slightly opened, as it was when she slept. She slowly raised an arm and touched the side of his face. "Yes, Draco."
His passion for her had never been stronger. Where was that robe when he needed it?