Playing with Fire

Chapter 56: Actress

Song: Bird - Billie Marten

Eventually, Hermione awoke in Draco’s bed to the sound of the shower running in his bathroom, steam coming through the crack in the door.

She checked the clock - 2 in the afternoon. There was a plate of pancakes on the bedside table next to her, but her stomach dropped when she looked at them. They didn’t say “prisoner” or “mudblood” or even “Granger”. They said “Hermione”. She wasn’t sure how to feel about this.

Everything felt like it was intensifying around her so quickly, but she was also relieved to have both her and Draco’s feelings out in the open. Even she had been denying what she knew lied beneath her own mask for a while now. She felt closer to him than ever, in a magical, intangible way.

Her doubts for him began to fade away with how strong she felt, how right it felt. But it did nothing for her concerns about Voldemort, and the side of Draco that she saw in the Daily Prophet. The side of Draco that took life and smiled about it for photos while covered in blood... It was an act, she reminded herself. But a highly believable one...

She rubbed at her eyes softly, throwing the covers off of herself. She considered knocking on the bathroom door that was slightly ajar, but she thought better of it. She had just had her real first time. She could still feel the blush on her cheeks and his lingering touch across her skin. She bit her lip at the memory but felt her nerves kick in when she heard the shower cut off.

Now that the water wasn’t running, she heard something else - humming? A deep, smooth voice like butter drifted through her ears. Draco Malfoy was humming. And it was beautiful. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach and she was harshly reminded that she didn’t know him at all, no matter how connected to him she felt.

She listened intently, recognizing the tune but unable to place it. His footsteps grew closer to the door and she quickly pulled the covers back over herself, shutting her eyes and attempting to appear asleep. Was he expecting her to leave once she woke up?

It wasn’t lost on Hermione that she was still naked lying in Draco’s ridiculously luxurious bed, all rolled up in his green satin sheets. Her curls were strewn about and likely a mess of chocolate frizz atop her head.

A deep chuckle emitted from Draco’s chest, “You aren’t a very good actress”, he remarked. You are, she thought to herself but pushed the thought away, opening her eyes hesitantly and clutching the sheets.

Heat spread across Hermione’s face as she took him in. His damp, blonde hair was towel-dried, falling across his forehead in strands that clung together. Droplets of water landed across his chiseled chest and dripped down, down, down...

He was completely naked, shameless. Hermione yanked the covers over her head in shock, but couldn’t ignore the dampness between her leg. Fuck an angel or a greek statue - he was a God.

“Draco!“, she squealed in embarrassment.

“I fucked a Hermione-shaped dent into my mattress a few hours ago and you still get flustered so easily”, he laughed seductively, throaty-gravel in the sound of his voice.

“Ugh”, Hermione exhaled, feeling even more wound up from his blunt words. They thrilled her. “You are shameless”

“Alright, alright, I’m decent now...although I was exceptional before”, he joked.

Hermione slowly pulled the sheets away from her eyes to find a pair of black boxers sitting low on his hips. He was in the middle of pulling on a pair of dark, grey sweatpants, forgoing a shirt completely. She internally thanked him for that.

“I...um, don’t have any clothes to wear”, she choked out. She wasn’t sure where Harry’s clothes were, but she’d rather walk around Malfoy Manor starkers than put them back on. She could still smell the blood in her nose from them.

Draco turned his silver eyes sharply on her, taking slow steps in her direction before crawling across the bed to lean over her. “And why would you need to wear anything at all?“, he breathed, placing heated kisses on her neck and making his way up to her ear.

Hermione exhaled heavily, “I mean...unless you want Lucius to find me indecent in the library”, she chuckled. Draco scoffed and pulled back. “Need I remind you he’s blind, but thanks for the visual”, he responded. Hermione’s face went pale. Shit. He didn’t seem to care that much, but she had effectively killed the mood.

He rolled his eyes before pulling another pair of sweatpants from his dresser and a Slytherin Quidditch t-shirt. He smirked at her, tossing the clothes her way. Cheeky bugger.

Hermione pulled the shirt over her head, careful to keep the covers over her. She didn’t care that they had had sex now, she still felt much less comfortable with her own body than Draco clearly did.

He rolled his eyes as she pulled on the sweatpants under the covers before climbing out of bed. She had to roll the waist of the sweatpants a few times to fit and she tucked the front of the t-shirt in. Although the clothes were still too big for her, they were quite comfy, and smelled deliciously like him.

They stared at each other silently before Hermione worked up the courage to say something, “Thank you...for, well, cleaning me up and taking care of me...after last night”

Draco shook his head guilty, tensing his jaw, “don’t thank me for doing something I more than owed to you. I put you in that situation.”

“You didn’t, you were protecting me the best you could”, she argued, taking a few steps closer to where he stood, but picking at the gauze around her hand.

“No Hermione!“, he shouted angrily now, causing her to flinch. “I’m sorry I...please...don’t thank me. You should hate me. I’ve done everything possible to make you hate me and I’m convinced I’m just dreaming you don’t.”

“I don’t hate you”, Hermione whispered, placing a hand on his bare chest now, “I...I love you Draco”

Draco squeezed his eyes shut painfully. “It thrills and pains me at the same time to hear you say that. I want it, but that doesn’t mean I deserve it. Please don’t say that if you don’t mean it”

“But I do Draco, look at me”, she begged, softly turning his sharp jaw with her hand. His eyes softened slightly, boring into hers, searching.

Draco pulled her into him, wrapping an arm around her waist and using the other to guide her head forward until their lips met delicately. “I love you Hermione, please don’t ever leave me”, he whispered against her lips, the heat dancing across them.

“Why would I?“, she asked, afraid to set him off again after seeing he was a time bomb. He didn’t answer, just stared back at her with an unreadable expression. Draco could find a million reasons for her to want to leave, even if she physically couldn’t. He almost couldn’t believe she hadn’t tried already.

He coughed into his fist, clearing the air, and stepped back from her. “I erm...need to get some work done today. I’ll be in my study”, Draco told her before pulling a black hoodie over his head and leaving her there alone in his room.

Hermione felt like her insides were knotted up. We need to talk about things. Lots of them. And soon.

She didn’t care if he had work to get done, she’d take every spare minute he had to pick his brain with all the questions she had held back until now, as well as the answers she knew he had been holding back. Surely he would tell her these things now that he so clearly wasn’t fighting his feelings anymore...right?

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