Playing with Fire

Chapter 62: Lure

Song: Eyes on Fire - Blue Foundation

Daylight streamed in through Hermione’s window. She stretched out, almost forgetting about the fur ball that was curled up under the covers at her feet. Amity climbed up towards Hermione, stretching and purring against her hand.

“Good morning love, what shall we do this fine morning?“, she asked playfully. Amity walked over to the breakfast on the table in response. Hermione smiled, placing a kiss on the cat’s head. She picked up the fork, ready to cut into her pancakes when she heard the sound of the floo. Her heart raced.

Lucius had already left for the day, meaning...

Hermione didn’t even bother changing out of her pajamas - she had slept in his shirt and her knickers every night since he left - before rushing into the hall and jerking the door open quickly.

And there he was, stepping into his office, wearing his black suit. She followed after him quickly, heart beating heavily in her chest. “You’re back”, she stated plainly.

Draco froze where he stood facing away from her before slowly pivoting on his heel to meet her eyes. He looked exhausted. Bags formed under his eyes and his cheeks were slightly sunken in. Amity circled Hermione’s feet protectively, having followed her from her room.

He nodded slightly before turning away to sit at his desk and direct his attention to the papers there. Are you serious?

“You left“, she stated, voice growing more irritated now. He didn’t even react. Instead, scribbled on the paper but she was almost certain he wasn’t actually writing anything.

Hermione marched forward quickly, slapping his arm, heat filling her body. “You didn’t even say goodbye”, she said, voice raised and eyes on fire. His hand froze on the paper, quill still between his fingers. She huffed, feeling her skin prickle with anger, and turned to pace away.

“Granger wait!“, he said, and she had no choice. She froze on the spot, her feet halting without permission. She was furious now.

“How DARE you!“, she shouted, turning to face him. “After all that you’ve done, that we’ve been through, that’s been said, and you leave without a word? I understand you have priorities and there was never any clear distinction as to what this is”, she said gesturing between the two of them, “but that doesn’t give you the right to regress into the same complete arsehole you were at Hogwarts!” Her face was aflame, she could feel it. And judging by the expression on his face, his lips parted in shock, she had made her point. But she wasn’t done.

"and how DARE you command me. Back to Granger again? I suppose ‘always’ meant about a week in your book. I want to leave now”, she demanded.

“No”, he responded from his chair, expression unreadable now.

“Draco, I swear to-“, she began again but he cut in.

“No Hermione! I meant, no...I’m sorry Hermione”, he rose from his chair, striding towards her.

“Yes, I’m sure you are. The second you’re home and lonely again I’m a bloody convenience to you!“, she shouted, fists balling at her sides.

Two large hands grabbed her face firmly, cold rings pressed against her heated cheeks, and his silver eyes pierced hers. “Listen to me”, he practically growled, “you, Hermione Granger, are many things, but convenient is not one of them”.

He stared at her lips as if entranced, watching them move as she spoke quietly, “then what am I?“, her breath felt heavy slipping past her lips.

“Fucking trascendent. Beautiful. Intelligent.“, he attacked her lips with fervor, swiftly claiming them. ”Mine“, he whispered heatedly against her lips.

She gasped as he scooped her up, carrying her to his desk. He swiped all the contents to the floor and spread her knees, allowing him to step between them. He gripped her hips, pulling her towards him, and captured her lips again.

“You’re wearing my clothes”, he said with a smirk between sweeps of his tongue.

“Your shirt”, Hermione corrected, gasping heavily, “there’s a difference”

He captured her bottom lip between his teeth before releasing it and moving to suck along the sensitive skin at her jaw. She moaned in response. “Whatever you say love”, he chuckled. Her body heated with need, moisture pooling between her legs already.

Suddenly Draco jerked back from her, “FUCK! What the-“, they both looked down to see a mischievous tabby cat there.

“Amity no!“, Hermione shouted at the cat after noticing the blood seeping through Draco’s pant leg.

"WHO?“, Draco asked incredulously.

“This is my cat - Amity”, she told him as she scooped up the cat who gave her an apologetic glance but hissed at Draco.

“Where the fuck did you get a cat?“, his jaw was on the floor, his eyebrows to the ceiling.

She didn’t respond. Lucius didn’t tell him?

“Um...Lucius got her for me...so I wouldn’t be alone when you’re both gone”, she said awkwardly. The whole moment had quickly gone south, and not in the way she thought it would.

An expression of guilt spread across Draco’s features. Without another comment on Amity, he pulled his pant leg up to see the damage. Crimson scrapes were across his shin, still bleeding from the cat’s attack. He cast a spell to stop the bleeding and clean the wound.

“I’m sorry...I’m sure she didn’t mean to”, Hermione told him, setting the cat down on the desk.

Draco looked at her sceptically, then to Amity, then back to Hermione. “Right”, he said sarcastically when Amity hissed at him again and narrowed her eyes.

There was an uncomfortable pause before Hermione worked up the courage to get back to what she started. “Why did you leave?“, she asked him nervously.

He sighed before answering, “the Dark Lord called - I had to answer”.

“But you’ve never been gone that long before...and you didn’t say goodbye or tell me you were leaving”, she wanted an answer this time and he could see the genuine hurt in her eyes.

“Hermione I...“, he hesitated, threading his fingers through hers affectionately and placing a kiss there, “I don’t know what to do.”

“About what?“, she asked in confusion.

“Us”, he said simply, meeting her eyes. The fear was evident in him. The worry.

“What is there to do?“, she bit her cheek uncomfortably.

“Hermione, if I don’t hand you over when the Dark Lord is ready, he’ll kill my father and I. If I hand you over, he’ll dispose of you as soon as you no longer serve a purpose. And...I can’t hand you over”

“Why not? Clearly this - whatever it is - doesn’t mean much to you. Not really anyway”, she said spitefully, her anger returning.

“You know that’s not true”, he responded in frustration.

“Oh, do I?“, she asked challengingly, furrowing her eyebrows at him.

“Let me put this simply. I don’t know what this is either. All I know is I can’t - won’t hand you over. Voldemort killed my mother, I won’t let him do the same to you”, he responded, eyes sharp.

“Draco, I would never expect you to risk you and your father’s lives for my own. We’ve known my fate from day one, it’s just a waiting game. Everyone I loved is dead - whatever’s left of the resistance can’t be strong, and it won’t be long until there aren’t any of them left.“, Amity mewed at her and she crossed to scoop up the cat again.

“Hermione, there’s something you should know”, Draco said suddenly, hoping this detail would encourage her to fight - to understand why she couldn’t just be complacent. Whatever it took.

She waited in anticipation, arms frozen around Amity. “The Weasleys are alive. Three of them at least. You know about Weaselbee, then there’s one of those twins, and the oldest. I don’t know all the names they all look the same”, he chuckled.

“George and Charlie are alive too?“, she gasped in shock, “anyone else?”

“That’s all I know, but the death eaters are almost positive they’re leading the resistance along with Mcgonagall and Kingsley, we aren’t sure about anyone else”, he responded, running his hands through his hair. Holy shit. They’re alive. They’re the Incendiaries.

For the first time since May, Hermione felt a seed of hope growing in her heart - Ron, George, Charlie, Mcgonagall, and Kingsley were all alive. Tears formed in her eyes and she wrapped her arms tightly around Draco. “Thank you”, she whispered.

“I know you’re happy Hermione, but this is still a problem. The Death Eaters know all of this just like I do. They’re in danger too...not that I care but...you do”, he said truthfully. Hermione rolled her eyes at this.

Suddenly something clicked. “Draco...how long have you known they’re alive? Well, I suppose I should ask, how long has Voldemort known who the Incendiaries were?“, she asked him seriously, face growing pale.

“I’m not sure...at least since the Ministry bombing but other than that”, he shrugged, searching her eyes for understanding.

He’s known. Voldemort has known, and that’s why he’s kept me here. A shiver crept through her nervous system.

“Draco, is it public knowledge that I am here? That Voldemort ‘has’ me?“, she asked fearfully.

“Yes it was...“, he hesitated, wheels turning in his head now. “It was broadcast on Halloween. Anyone in Europe would have seen it.”

“Including the Incendiaries...including the Weasleys. They know I’m here”, she said fearfully, breath catching. “Voldemort kept me to...to draw them out...oh God”

Hermione felt nauseous. The panic was spreading in her as she realized what exactly her purpose was. To bring in the rest of the resistance in hopes of a rescue and kill her. That had to be it. It was the only explanation. I’m a lure. It’s so obvious, how did I not figure this out?

She swallowed heavily before looking at Amity and finding the Gryffindor courage that was so scarce these days. The courage that she needed more than ever. She met his eyes, no doubt in her mind what had to be done, “I need to speak to Voldemort.”

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