Playing with Fire

Chapter 35: Proper Manners

Song: Human - Maggie Lindemann

Hermione had just gotten out of the shower and was still in a towel when she walked into the room to find Bopsy waiting for her there. “Mudblood!“, she chirped and Hermione practically fell backwards.

“Merlin, Bopsy you scared me”, she said, still catching her breath, holding her hand to her chest.

“Bopsy is sorry! Bopsy isn’t meaning to!“, she told her with worried eyes, wringing her hands together.

“It’s okay”, Hermione chuckled, walking over to the dresser to grab a pair of pajamas. She decided on the lavender colored ones that night.

“Prisoner is to have dinner with Master Malfoy on Saturday!“, she told her and Hermione froze on the spot.

“W-what?“, no, there’s no way. wait...,“Which...which one?“, she hoped for the best.

“Master Lucius!“, Bopsy clarified. Hermione was certain her relief was apparent as Bopsy looked confused by her reaction.

“What for?“, she pushed for more. I suppose he misses me, she joked to herself.

“Bopsy is not knowing! Prisoner is to wear formal clothes and Bopsy is to take her to the dining room at 8pm!“, the elf told her.

“Wait, Bopsy...“, she trailed off, “I don’t have any formal clothes.” Is this some sort of joke?

Despite all the nice clothes in the closet and dresser, none of those included anything formal, or at least the formal that she was sure Lucius meant.

“Master Malfoy is saying he will send something for prisoner to wear! He says formal dress is being proper manners for a dinner guest!“, the elf stated matter-of-factly.

Hermione chuckled at Bopsy referring to her as a “guest” for the first time. As if that was a reasonable description of her stay at the manor. This caused Bopsy to look even more confused, quirking her brows as she stood there, toes pointed towards each other.

She nodded in response to reassure the elf and thanked her. When the elf left, Hermione proceeded to get dressed, but her mind was overflowing with thoughts of both Malfoy men.

Dinner with Lucius on Saturday. I just kissed Draco Malfoy. Malfoy just kissed me. Today. Dear Godric it’s only Monday. Dinner with Lucius. Malfoy kissed me.

Oh Merlin. Malfoy kissed me. And I kissed back.

She told herself it was for the sake of winning, and on the surface level, it was. But deep down, she knew better.

She had burned with desire from his touch. Felt the disappointment from his pulling back. Felt the longing for more...she was horrified by her impulses.

What was she to do now? Keep going. I need to ignore what I feel. Every push is one step closer to reaching my goal. Keep pushing.

It had been over four months since the Battle of Hogwarts. She was painfully aware of this - she read the Daily Prophet with her breakfast each day.

Four months since Harry died, her friends, the Order. All that was left was her. And that wasn’t nothing, regardless of the fact that it felt that way. She had to fight. Her friends and family would want her to. Expect her to. So she would.

And so her mind was made up.

~~~

The next morning, Hermione ate her breakfast, scanned the front page of the Daily Prophet, and set about her goal once again.

She dressed in a fitted green turtleneck (not for herself), a pair of dark denim jeans, and ankle-height black booties with low heels that she found in the closet. Kind of odd items to be put in a guest room meant for her use...

Regardless, she decided to take advantage of it. Slightly out of her comfort zone, but not too far. A little more revealing than normal, a little dressier. She swept her hair half up loosely in a way that she hopes was appealing without making her look like a try-hard.

She scooped up her book from the day before, walked straight into Malfoy’s study, and took the seat across the desk from him. He looked up. More than that - stared.

Hermione met his eyes briefly, deliberately expressionless, and began reading.

She could feel his gaze still. She knew he must be trying to figure out what to say.

“I think we should-“, he began, but she raised a hand to him.

“It won’t be necessary”, Hermione responded.

Malfoy quirked an eyebrow in confusion and narrowed his eyes at her. Her stomach fluttered briefly. “You don’t even know what I was going to say”, he pushed.

“I did”, she insisted, closing the book and leaning back in the chair slightly in an attempt to mirror his confidence.

“Enlighten me then, Granger”, he teased, the corner of his lips lifting devilishly. When she didn’t respond he demanded, “Tell me.”

The words flooded from her mouth with ease. “You were going to say we should discuss what happened yesterday. You kissing me, me kissing back. But it isn’t necessary, Malfoy.”

Her jaw almost dropped in shock from her own words.. I didn’t mean to be that blunt but I guess that’ll work.

His eyes went wide in surprise, then narrowed confidently once again. “So you kissed back”, he commented.

“Yes, the sky is blue, thestrals can fly, and magic is real. You were there, do you need anything else explained that is quite obvious at this point?“, she told him, once again shocked at herself, but confident in what she said.

He chuckled and didn’t respond.

“Why did you want to talk about it?“, Hermione asked him.

“No reason”, he said nonchalantly, clearly pretending to dive back into his work.

“Please tell me”, she practically begged. His eyes flickered to hers in question. Be brave Hermione. Be brave.

She rose from the chair and walked around the desk and it felt all too familiar. She leaned against the desk, lightly resting on it, and put her hand close to his without touching it. “Please”.

He looked up at her, “I thought you were too good to beg, Granger”, he teased.

“What can I say? I can be an insatiable woman”, she ventured. His eyes darkened.

He touched her fingers lightly with his, using his index finger to draw gentle circles on the top of her hand. “Never thought I’d see the day you and I had something in common”, he responded raspily.

She stepped closer slightly, venturing further. One step at a time.

Her knees touched his and his hands went to her hips, she inhaled sharply. “Why did you want to talk about it?“, she asked again.

“Because I want it to happen again”, he responded, jerking her onto his laps so she straddled him. Hermione gasped from how smoothly he had brought her down on him and the sensation of him against her.

He grasped her chin with his hand, forcing her to look at him. “Do you?“, he asked. She nodded in response but it wasn’t enough. “Say it”, he commanded.

“Yes”, and then his lips were on hers again. The kiss was soft, but burned just as much as their first. But this one was hesitant, unsure, on both of their behalves.

His hands on her hips began to roam, covering her thighs and making her shiver from the slight pressure when he squeezed gently. She was at a loss for words with how it made her feel.

Hermione’s arms circled around his neck, but she couldn’t help it when they found and toyed with his hair. He bit her lip and she moaned, her cheeks turning red with embarrassment.

He grinned and moved to suck on her neck and she gasped. Oh Godric, it felt good. Too good. Her eyes shot open and she pulled away, still on his lap. Malfoy looked puzzled.

“I...I’m sorry I...“, she hesitated.

“What? Too good for this?“, he asked her, looking almost frustrated.

“No! Malfoy I just...“, she trailed off, struggling to find the words.

“Out with it”, he said, removing his hands from her hips. She felt awkward now so she climbed off of his lap to stand, taking a few steps back.

“You’re dating Pansy”, she stated, crossing her arms.

Malfoy laughed loudly, just like he had the first time.

“What? You think cheating on her is funny?“, she demanded. She didn’t care about Pansy, but she couldn’t let it go too far. She knew that. Besides, Pansy was likely to murder her just over being in the same room as her boyfriend.

“Regardless of what you perceive to be true, I’m not cheating on her”, he said, still chuckling. What the...? Perceive?

“Okay well what about your job? I can’t imagine your boss would be thrilled about you moving in on your prisoner. Wouldn’t want to jeopardize what I’m here for, right?“, she was digging. Come on, let something slip.

Malfoy scoffed, “Somehow I doubt he would care if I was ‘moving in’ on his prisoner”, he shook his head condescendingly.

“Then...well, I mean”, she was possibly more confused than before.

“It’s not like I’m going to bend you over the desk and fuck you Granger”, he said bluntly, looking back to his papers. He looked angry. Hermione was mortified. He snickered quietly.

“Is this really funny to you? Snogging your prisoner and just taking what you want without asking?“, she took a step forward this time, now angry herself.

Malfoy stood abruptly and backed her against the wall, boxing her in with his hands pressed against the wall behind her. Her breathing hitched.

“Let’s get something clear. Yes, you are my prisoner - the Dark Lord’s - whatever you want to call it. And yes, I do take what I want, but you are the one who said yes. You told me yourself you wanted it to happen again as well. So tell me Granger, what is it that I’ve taken without asking?“, his eyes dug into hers like daggers. He’s right. He hasn’t ‘taken’ anything without asking. Fuck. I screwed up.

She didn’t respond, because there wasn’t anything.

He scanned her face before smirking. “That’s what I thought.”

“Why do you care?“, she asked, his hands still on either side of her head, his face close but not in a tension filled way. Not like that at least.

“Who said I did?“, he retorted.

“Why did you even ask? If I’m right and you ‘take what you want’ then why did you even bother to ask if I did too?” His expression dropped. Ha. Gotcha.

His jaw ticked in frustration, clearly gritting his teeth.

“Do you take me for a rapist? Is that how low you think of me? Someone who sexually assaults women? Tell me the truth”, he said.

“No, but how would I know? I barely know you really...you barely know me”, she said truthfully.

He sighed, appearing relieved. Clearly agreeing with her statement.

“Well, now you know that much.” He pushed off of the wall and returned his chair.

The air in the room had shifted. It was almost unreadable. Hermione felt like there was some strange understanding there, but she wasn’t sure what to do.

“By all means, don’t halt your reading on my account”, he gestured towards the seat across the desk when he saw she was still standing against the wall awkwardly.

She nodded briefly, walking slowly back to the chair and picking up her abandoned book. Is this his strange way of asking me to stay? Or telling me to at least?

The shift felt like progress. Even if it wasn’t much, she felt closer to getting to a side of Malfoy that would let a few secrets go. If it existed. She could only hope.

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