Blood Bound

Chapter 9 - Savium

Taking a full course load of N.E.W.T. classes and being Head Girl was a lot more than she thought she’d signed up for. Coupled with the fact that her headaches were getting more intense and frequent meant that Hermione constantly felt like she was walking on a knife-edge.

She had known that the pain potions would get less effective over time, but she had thought it would take years before she needed a new solution, not months. Hermione was already having to re-dose herself at least every hour, whereas at the beginning of the school year she would never need to take it more frequently than four or five hours apart. She found herself brewing every single morning instead of twice a week and it was eating up more of her time that she didn’t have.

The inefficiency of her pain potions meant that she depended heavier on her never-empty flask of tequila. She had also taken a page out of Harry’s book and made a trip into the muggle world the previous weekend to pick up a few packs of cigarettes, she was finding that she quite enjoyed how they temporarily made her brain feel like it had been filled with candyfloss.

These were her thoughts as she got ready for prefect patrol with Malfoy. As a general rule Head’s don’t patrol regularly like the rest of the prefects do, mainly because of the extensive extra responsibilities expected of them such as planning events, supervising detentions - a new role thanks to many students having been traumatized by the Carrows -, tracking point deductions, paperwork, prefect supervision, patrol schedules and basically everything else. Tonight however; Professor Sinistra had requested that all sixth, seventh, and eighth year students enrolled in astronomy attend a midnight lesson in the tower in order to witness a rare triple eclipse on Jupiter or something. Her and Malfoy were both unfortunately not taking astronomy.

Hence why Hermione was going to be spending her evening patrolling the castle with Malfoy instead of getting ahead on assignments or brewing extra pain potion for the week as she had originally planned. At least it’s Malfoy, she thought to herself. If she had to spend time with someone, she was weirdly happy for it to be him. Not because she enjoyed his company, but because she was consistently unable to hear his thoughts. They could just walk in silence.

Evidently, Malfoy did not want to walk in silence. He had started sending condescending or insulting statements her way the second she walked out of her bedroom to meet him in the sitting area. He’d made digs at her hair, her dreadfully boring shoes, how loud she walked, the fact that she held her wand too close to the bottom, and so many other things she lost count.

Her breaking point was when he commented on how annoying her voice is.

“You do realize Malfoy that you have been talking this entire time and I have not said a single word. If you want to talk about annoying, you should try listening to yourself!” Her magic was rolling off of her in waves she was so angry. The torches on the wall flamed brighter as a result and she could feel her sparks cracking off the ends of some of her curls.

He gaped at her for a second after her outburst. He opened his mouth to say something -that would likely encourage her current fantasy of hexing his tongue out- but she spoke again before he could get a word in.

“I have let you talk for the last quarter of an hour straight. Now I find myself without a very patient temper since the end of the war, so either you cut to the chase and tell me what exactly I’ve done now that has you behaving like I kicked your pygmy puff or I swear on the founders I will hex your mouth shut permanently.” She levelled a glare at him that she was certain conveyed the fact that she was extremely serious.

“Fine. If you’re going to whore yourself out again in the future, stay away from my friends, their lives are complicated enough” his voice sounded almost bitter when he said it. She didn’t much care about his tone at the moment however, she was too focused on how her blood boiled furiously at his words.

“Oh that’s rich coming from you of all people Malfoy, we share a wall remember? If either of us is the whore, it most definitely isn’t me. Godric knows it wouldn’t kill you to cast a muffliato, it’s a fucking first year charm so I know you know how.” She spat the words at him angrily. He didn’t seem at all unnerved by the level of loathing in her voice and just continued walking down the hallway, occasionally stopping to check behind tapestries and in the alcoves.

“Never crossed my mind, I try my best not to think about you while I’m shagging” he stuffed his hands into his pockets nonchalantly and shrugged. She saw an opportunity to turn the conversation around and seized it eagerly, her flared temper quickly settling at the promise of riling him up.

“Try? Does that mean you sometimes fail and do think about me?” she asked, raising an eyebrow at him questioningly.

“That’s not what I said Granger” he growled turning his face to stare blankly ahead, but even in the darkness of the dimly lit castle, she could see the embarrassed pink staining the hollows of his cheeks. The sight of it was extremely satisfying, knowing she was getting to him.

“Ah but you’re also not denying it” she taunted. She couldn’t help herself; with him being literally the only person in the castle she could look in the eye without wanting to rip her hair out, she was determined to get as much entertainment out of the ability to have a real conversation with someone other than Ginny, even if it was an extremely disagreeable one.

“Shut the fuck up” he snapped, picking up his pace and forcing her to jog to catch up with him on her significantly shorter legs. This conversation is getting more and more fun.

“Hmm no, I think I’d like to know your answer” she flashed him a knowing smirk as she spoke. His evasion of the question was answer enough, but she wanted to force him to say it.

“I said, shut your bloody mouth before I make you” he snarled at her as he stopped walking and turned to walk towards her in anger. She took an involuntary step away from him when he took a menacing one forward, causing her to bump into the wall behind her in the process.

“No.” She lifted her chin defiantly at him as she spoke, intent to make it clear to him that he didn’t intimidate her, even if truthfully, he did.

His only response to her was a low growl from his throat that Hermione was almost positive he didn’t even know he’d made. He took another step towards her until she was effectively trapped between him and the cold brick behind her. How does he always manage to corner me? She wondered to herself angrily, she fought in a bloody war she should be better at not getting trapped by now.

She continued talking, wanting to rile him up more for some unknown reason. Clearly I’m a masochist because he looks ready to crucio me, part of her brain offered helpfully. Despite the threat that was unspoken on his face, the words continued to fall out of her mouth as she raised her eyes from where they were level with his chest to meet his eyes.

“Now there’s no need to be embarrassed Malfoy. I pinky promise I won’t tell any of your shiny pureblood slags that you fantasize about a muggle-born while you’re inside them, that would ruin your blood-purist reputation and- ”

Whatever she was about to say next was cut off when he reached up faster than she could react and wrapped his hand around her throat to pin her body against the wall, squeezing threateningly but not tight enough to cut off her air supply completely. The way in which he held her there forced her to stand on her toes to keep herself from being lifted completely off the ground.

She opened her mouth to say something but the only sound that managed to escape her lips was a broken wheeze. She noticed he didn’t look angry anymore. His eyes were no longer flashing like steel with fury, but rather they resembled iridescent pools of molten silver.

She raised her hands to his chest with the intent to push him away from her when he leaned forward and aggressively pressed his lips against hers. Hermione gave a startled gasp at the action, causing her lips to part and allow his tongue entrance to her mouth.

Her eyes closed without thought as he nipped at her bottom lip slightly and to her surprise, she kissed him back. Fisting his robes in her hands, she let his tongue explore the inside of her mouth as he crushed her body with his own against the wall. The hand around her neck loosened as his thumb moved to under her chin in order to angle her head up more.

Just as soon as it had started, he was wrenching himself away from her as though he’d been physically burned. He looked at her one last time with an expression that she could only label as horror before he turned away and walked briskly in the opposite direction they had been moments before, leaving her standing against the wall gasping for breath and reeling to understand what had just happened.

--

Fuck. He paced the length of his room, his fingers dragging through his hair as his head spun furiously. He’d kissed Granger, and it was bloody amazing. She smelled like smoke and vanilla he’d noticed as he stood over her in the dark hallway. When he’d kissed her, her lips had been soft and plump and she’d tasted like honey and lemons with a sharp edge of an alcohol he didn’t recognize. Fuck.

He didn’t know why he did it, she had been talking too much and saying things that made no sense but nonetheless made an uncomfortable feeling well up in his stomach. He’d been annoyed and then angry and then he’d looked at her. The second he’d felt her legillemency press against his mind his anger flared up and he’d wrapped his hand around her throat to scare her. What he didn’t count on was how much he’d liked the way his hand had looked squeezing her neck.

The most confusing part was that she’d kissed him back. He wished she had simply shoved him off of her and hexed him or even bloody punched him in the face again. Both of those would have been significantly better outcomes. Why did she kiss him back? She’s supposed to hate me he thought to himself, only adding to his confusion as to why she didn’t bite his tongue off.

Why did she kiss me? The question was running rampant in his brain to the point where he would have probably preferred a crucio. Moments before he’d been berating her non-stop for no less than ten minutes straight -ashamedly because he couldn’t stop seeing that bloody bite mark from Theo even though it had healed a week ago- and then he’d called her a whore.

He walked the same path diagonally across his bedroom an ungodly amount of times as he struggled to push the incident behind his occlumency walls, despite how badly he wanted to solve the enigma that was Granger. By the time he managed to shut up his curiosity and force the incident back, he was actually sweating with the effort. Draco had been occluding as much emotion as possible for the better part of two years now since his aunt and Snape introduced him to the skill in sixth year, and this was the first time he’d ever struggled so much to put a memory or emotion away.

His family has always been naturally proficient in mind charms. It was well known legend in the Sacred 28 circle that the House of Black was believed to be direct descendants of Lachesis -the fate responsible for measuring the thread of life- and that was where their mind talents originated from. It rang true to some degree, his Grandmother had been a seer, his aunt a legilimens, and himself and his mother both occlumens. The talents were consistent throughout their family tree as far back as the records went.

He knew that no matter how good an occlumens he was, it was dangerous to occlude as heavily and as constantly as he did. Eventually, his body was probably going to start shutting down until he occluded himself into a coma, but thanks to his occlumency he couldn’t bring himself to care.

He didn’t feel anything anymore.

Or that had been the case until he started living in such close quarters with Granger. The witch managed to rouse an astonishing amount of annoyance and anger from him with no effort every single time he found himself interacting with her. Now thanks to her he was feeling angry, annoyed, confused and slightly embarrassed. He had felt more emotions in the time between when he’d pulled away from the kiss to when he’d brought his walls back up, than he had in the last two years collectively.

It was fucking unnerving. Granger wanted in his head still, he’d felt it again in the hall before he’d kissed her. Of course, the one person who wants in also happens to be the one who makes my walls unstable enough that she may succeed he thought to himself bitterly. He had no idea why she wanted to get inside his walls so badly, but his instincts of self-preservation were screaming that it would be bad if she succeeded.

He sat in his room for hours after he’d successfully managed to get his walls secure again. Draco had opted to spend the rest of his evening in a firewhiskey-induced haze that ensured he would not be forced to think about Granger. It seemed however that his traitorous mind had other plans, because the more he drank the more he found himself wishing that firewhiskey tasted like honey and lemons too.

An hour later, having finally found the bottom of his bottle completely bereft of the answers to his internal dilemma he found himself drifting off to sleep thinking about the smell of smoke and vanilla and the taste of honey and lemons. Fuck.

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