Playing with Fire

Chapter 46: Worse

Song: Pyramids - Frank Ocean

Hermione leaned against her bedroom door, catching her breath and clutching her pajama top to her chest - she hadn’t even taken the time to put it on. Simply grabbed it from his hands and sprinted out the door. She had just had the most blissful moment of her life with Draco Malfoy. And then...

It had become terribly uncomfortable and awkward. She was absolutely mortified.

The things he said to her - did to her had her clenching her thighs together. Her hands were trembling at the thought that he was just a room away. Only a single wall between them.

She glanced at the clock - 11am. Are you fucking kidding me?

How could she even leave her room after that? It was barely midday. And once again, she had absolutely nothing to do. She had given more to him than she had ever given to anyone, but that wasn’t even the most puzzling part of it all.

The way he stroked her hair, stroked her lower. All without taking anything for himself...but why? That certainly didn’t sound like the Malfoy she knew. Especially not him holding her in his arms afterwards so...affectionately?

And oh Godric, she had called him Draco - and he had liked it. He even told her to say it again, and she did without a second thought.

She went straight to the shower, turning the water as hot as it would go, and stayed there until her skin turned red from the burn of it. But even through the steam filling the room, she could hear his voice, feel his touch, and even smell him. Firewhiskey. Peppermint. Teakwood. As if it was inside her and she couldn’t escape it.

Suddenly there was a pounding on her door that she could hear even from the shower. Hermione quickly turned the water off and wrapped a towel around herself, dripping water on the floor as she shuffled across her bedroom. The pounding came again and she quickly opened the door just enough to peek out of it.

Malfoy was standing there. Perfect.

He shoved the door open, causing her to stumble a few steps back from the slippery floor and she wrapped the towel more tightly around herself. She couldn’t even bring herself to make eye contact with him.

Hermione stood there silently, waiting for him to get to whatever was such an urgent matter that he had interrupted her shower. Now was really not the time for this.

His eyes roamed over her before quickly darting back up to her eyes. He turned the other way looking contrite - Hermione was sure this was solely for her benefit.

Malfoy cleared his throat before stating plainly, “I have some news.” She didn’t say a word, just stared at the back of his bright, blonde head as he continued. “The Dark Lord feels the need to show a strong front in light of the attack on Hogwarts, and has insisted there be a ball here at the manor on Halloween.”

There was a painful silence that she knew implied he was waiting on her response, or at least some sign of understanding. “So...I need to stay in my room the entire night. Got it”, she stated in a bored tone. This is really what you came in here for?

He turned slightly, glancing at her over his shoulder. “Unfortunately”, he paused, “it’s not that simple.” His expression was dark and unnerving.

Hermione wrapped the towel more tightly around herself, “what do you mean?“, she asked hesitantly.

“Since it’s been...quite some time since you were seen publicly...the Dark Lord is insisting on your presence at the ball. Most don’t even know you’re still alive...“, he told her, appearing to show no emotion, but his eyes said otherwise.

“M-my presence?“, Hermione asked. Her heart was racing furiously. She was horrified at the thought of this - being thrown into the center of a snake pit. Literally.

He nodded, gaze on the floor now. “They”, he paused, “the Dark Lord and the other Death Eaters are under the impression that you’ve been treated much worse here at the manor...”

Her eyes shot up to him, “What the hell does that mean, Malfoy?“, she demanded. He appeared to cringe when she called him Malfoy...instead of Draco?”

“It means you need to be prepared for...worse. On that night only. Halloween”, he clarified.

His eyes wandered up to meet hers but didn’t linger on her towel-wrapped body. “Define ‘worse’“, she demanded.

Malfoy sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. “I believe the Dark Lord plans to make a mockery of you that night, I’m just not sure how. We need to be prepared for anything. I wouldn’t worry too much, I assume he needs you mentally sound for what he has planned, but it will undoubtedly be worse than the rest of your stay has been.”

And what is it that he has planned then? “Why?“, she asked, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Well as you know, he loves to flaunt his power in any-“, he began before she cut him off.

“No. Why are you bothering to warn me about this?“, Hermione asked him.

He paused, eyes flickering around the room before landing on her again. He took a deep breath, “because I’m worried about you”. Hermione’s heart ached. She was worried about him and admitted it, and he had done the same. Her gaze softened at his admission.

“I need to ‘train’ you so to speak. In a way that you’ll be prepared for that night. You will have dinner with Father and I every night from now on, starting tonight.

Hermione stared at him, jaw on the floor. Every night? For the next month?

She wasn’t sure if she could be anymore mortified at this point. Malfoy had given her her first orgasm barely an hour ago, which she prayed he hadn’t figured out. And now she was standing in a towel as he explained that she would be quite possibly tortured on October 31st for all of Voldemort’s followers to watch. To top it all off, she had to have dinner with Malfoy and Lucius every night for the rest of the month just to prepare for it.

Now, Hermione regretted wishing for something to do. She’d rather read herself to death in the Malfoy library than face Voldemort. 18 days. 18 days until she would be face to face with the snake that murdered her friends and brought down what she knew of the Wizarding world. This was definitely worse.

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