Playing with Fire

Chapter 41: Excuse

Song: Edge of Midnight - Miley Cyrus & Stevie Nicks

Hermione struggled to comprehend what she was feeling. No matter how hard she tried, she knew in her bones that it was more than human attraction.

And she wasn’t the type to not address it head on. She waited a bit longer that day, taking her time eating her pancakes. She even decided to take a long bath, shave her legs with the spare razor under the sink because why not, and got dressed in a pair of jeans and a cream colored sweater.

She kept getting distracted by the ghost of Malfoy’s fingers on her body, shaking her head to rid the thoughts, but they always came right back.

She even put on the record player for a while, losing herself in the music and trying to focus on positive thoughts of her parents, praying they were okay. Anything with Stevie Nicks made her think of them.

Although she tried to convince herself she was just enjoying the music and alone time - as if she hadn’t had enough of that already - but she was just avoiding what she needed to do.

She even sat and read two books before deciding she had put it off for long enough. When did the sun go down? Merlin, stop being such a wimp Hermione.

Finally she took a deep breath and forced her feet to march straight out the door and across the hall to Malfoy’s door, knocking a little louder than she meant to.

There was no response, and even though it was a Sunday, she decided to check his study. She knocked, no response came, but she opened the door anyway to find Malfoy with his feet up on the desk, button-up hanging completely open with moonlight shining on his pale chest. His cheeks were pink from drinking, the glass in his hand supporting this.

“Evening, Granger”, he nodded at her, raising his glass and then tipping it back. Great, he’s drunk.

“I think we should talk”, she stated, fiddling nervously with her fingers.

“About?“, he asked, forgoing the glass this time and drinking straight from the bottle.

“About last night”, she stated, trying her best to appear mature and unflustered.

“I told you it was fine, you didn’t know it was my mother’s dress”, he said, leaning back in his chair and looking out the window.

Her breath caught, “not that”, she told him, looking down at her shoes. Can he not be like this right now?

“Then what?“, he asked teasingly, turning his head to stare her down. You’re really going to play dumb right now? Why couldn’t he ever grow up?

“ know”, she hesitated, quickly losing her last ounce of confidence.

“I’m afraid I don’t”, he said, sounding cold this time. His gaze had turned sharp and it caught Hermione off guard.

“Draco Malfoy, can you not be so impossible for just once in your life?“, she shouted at him angrily now. He knows exactly what I’m referring to. This is ridiculously childish.

“What? You want to discuss how easy it was for me to steal the air from your lungs? To make you wet with barely any effort? Imagine what I could do if I really tried”, he asked her, removing his feet from atop the desk and standing, clearly looking down at her even from across the room.

Her face went red, although she wasn’t sure if it was from embarrassment or anger - probably both. ”Excuse me?"

His long legs strode over to her casually, his eyes looking at her like he was a predator and she was his prey. She couldn’t breathe.

“Bet Weaselbee couldn’t do that for you. Bet he never did, am I right?“, he said, backing her into the wall. She was dead silent. Hermione hadn’t seen him act like this in what felt like years. He continued when she didn’t respond, getting closer to her face, “Tell me.”

“No, he didn’t”, she said before slapping her hand over her mouth. Oh my God why did I say that? Oh my God. Ron. Ron is dead and I...Oh my God. She felt sick.

“And I did? Tell me that, Granger”, he said with a growl.

“Yes”, she squeaked through her fingers. What the fuck oh God. His eyes darkened intimidatingly.

Suddenly full of fresh indignation, she shoved him in the chest as hard as she could, causing him to stagger back a few steps, his expression shifted but it didn’t stop her.

“On second thought, forget it. There’s nothing to discuss. I suppose I was lonely. Although I’m not sure what your excuse is”, she said boldly, turning to leave and slamming the door behind her.

Hermione’s emotions were all over the place. She felt sick about her admission in regard to Ron - her poor, dead boyfriend. She hated herself for it. How could she just admit something like that to Malfoy? How could she admit what he did to her physically? It was absolutely mortifying.

And the worst part? Even after all that, it still stirred feelings in her when he had gotten so close to her face. When she shoved his chest with her hands, skin on skin. She was repulsed by her own physical reactions.

Even her dreams were infested with him. Touching her. Kissing her. More than...

And she couldn’t escape it. She told herself she wanted to, that she didn’t want any of this and that she hated it. But in spite of it all, he made her feel more than she had ever felt in her life. Despite what she told him, there was no excuse. She had none.

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