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[Hermione Fanon Ships Fest] FIC: Switch - Chapter 08/17
Hermione Fanon Ships Fest 02
mionevillemods wrote in hermioneville
Title: SWITCH (Chapter 08/17)
Author: rzzmg
Characters: Hermione Granger x Draco Malfoy (main pairing), Ginny Weasley, Blaise Zabini, Ron Weasley
Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 4100 (this chapter)
Summary: Post-Hogwarts. Novel compliant, but discards Epilogue (EWE format). It was only supposed to be one night - a set-up with a hot guy at a fetish club in Muggle London for some mind-blowing, no-strings-attached sex where Hermione would play the submissive role. However, when her amazingly skilled and sensual partner, Draco Malfoy, kept sending her tickets and roses to return to the club to meet again and again, how could a single, sexually-experimental girl say 'no'? Hermione's about to learn the hard way that the sins of the flesh can prove to be too tempting for the body - and the heart - to resist.
Warnings: Very explicit sexual situations, alcohol consumption, profanity.
Disclaimer: I do not own “Harry Potter,” nor any of its characters, nor do I profit in any way from the use of said characters and situations in this writing.

Chapter 01 | Chapter 02 | Chapter 03 | Chapter 04 | Chapter 05 | Chapter 06 | Chapter 07 | Chapter 08 | Chapter 09 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17





CHAPTER EIGHT



The Ministry of Magic


London, England


October 13, 2003 – Monday morning




I stared at the red rose lying in the dead center of my desk with the linen note underneath and felt my stomach plummet. Should I even bother reading or just save myself the heartache and toss it?



I always was too inquisitive for my own good health.




Agree to dinner with me this Friday night so we can discuss everything?


P.S. In Rome.





It took me throwing myself full-tilt into my work until I crawled home at six that night, exhausted, eating a warm-up of curry over rice, and watching my videotaped episode of The Edwardian Country House with no one but Crooks for company to make my decision.



X~~~X



Hermione Granger’s Flat


Camden, London, England


October 17, 2003 – Friday Night




I coerced Gin into helping me hunt down all week the most elegant, sultry dress in history for tonight’s date. Malfoy’s return owl on Tuesday to my acceptance note indicated it was an upscale restaurant he wanted to take me to in Italy – a country I was excited to visit for the first time. France may corner the market on good wine, but if anyone knew how to make a meal you wouldn’t forget, it was the Italians.



With my best girl friend’s help, I ended up acquiring for free the dress I desperately wanted rather than purchasing it (because the price of the Carlos Miele original, one-of-a-kind was way out of my price range). Thank goodness the shop owner was a relative of Molly’s extended kin who married into the Muggle Miele family, so there was a loyalty that existed there which allowed me to borrow the dress with a promise to return it next week – and not to damage it in any way.



Dressed to the nines, I gave a final look in the mirror at my outfit, hair, nails, jewelry and make-up. Was that really me? I looked like some runway model, wearing the form-fitting, floor-length, silken dress with the brown-grey-peach snake-skin/leopard spot print (an homage to the Slytherin in him and the Gryffindor in me melding into one), and the plunging vee-neckline. The strappy heels were a tasteful shimmering pink-bronze, and the matching pinky-bronze zirconia jewelry (necklace, earrings, ring, bracelet) went well with them. My make-up was tasteful – shimmery pinky-bronze shadow and cheeks, a little bolder bronze on the lips, black mascara and liner that had been toned down – and glamour charmed to stay perfect all night, regardless of efforts to smudge or sweat it off. My crowning glory of curls I left down in the back, allowing it to fall as it may, as he’d told me he liked my curly hair over the straightened look, but I’d put the sides and bangs up in subdued, heavy-duty pins to keep them out of my face (the rose was placed between one of the pins). The whole thing was charmed and potioned within an inch of perfection to avoid frizz.



Gin came up behind me and spritzed a lovely, light jasmine-oriental spice perfume about me (not too heavy), and finished me off by wrapping the coordinated Pashmina scarf about my shoulders. She kissed my cheek. “You’re positively gorgeous! He’ll fall in love the moment he sees you, and will get on his knees to apologize for being an arse.”



I blushed. Was I that patently manifest in my growing feelings for Draco? “Do you really think we’re a good match?” I hesitantly asked, still unsure how my friends felt about this strange relationship.



My redheaded friend blew a stray hair out of her eyes and grinned at me. “’Mione, I’ve never seen you go to this kind of effort for any man ever. You didn’t even go to these lengths for Viktor at the Yule Ball, although it’s a bloody close race there.” She gave me a narrow-eyed, contemplative look. “I think you’ve been head over heels for Malfoy since he shagged you but good in May, and I think he’s been the same for you. Otherwise, why keep working so hard to look good for each other? And, honest to Jim, you two make a pretty couple. He’s all tall and light and you’re short and dark.” She shook her head and laughed as I elbowed her in the arm and gave her a wry moue. “Hey, it works, so why argue the obvious?”



“Serious, Gin, what do you think about me and Draco?”



Her mischievous joking melted away in an instant. “’Mione, you know Ron will never accept this. He’s still mad for you, even if he is a wanker who can’t get his shite on straight and says the stupidest things. Harry? I think he’s already grudgingly accepted it, since he and Draco have a cats-passing-in-the-night sort of tolerance of each other. Everyone else?” She looked grim. “I think you’re just going to have to do what you advised me about Blaise: determine if what you feel for Malfoy is worth whatever price you need to pay. And keep in mind that your real friends will accept your decision and stand by you. Eventually, the gossip will go away.”



I took a deep breath, considered what she said and nodded, letting the air out slowly. “I’ll just have to feel it out tonight. Wish me luck!”



“Luck!” she called after me as I grabbed the Portkey Malfoy had arranged for me in advance and owl’d over this morning (a kerchief-sized square of intricately crocheted lace, looking to be rather expensive and possibly antique), counting down the seconds until it activated. In that time, I made sure I had everything I needed one more time – beaded bag with Undetectable Extension Charm placed upon it, wand, wizarding and Muggle money, Muggle identification and passport (just in case), a book to read (again, just in case), and writing implements should there be need.



Just as I mentally noted the last object, the Portkey activated and I was off to Rome.



X~~~X



Tête-à-tête Restaurant


Rome, Italy


October 17, 2003 – Friday Night (seconds later)




I arrived on the back patio of a garden and immediately stumbled. Thankfully, Malfoy caught me. “All right there, Granger?” he drawled with some amusement in my ear.



I huffed, straightened and tried not to feel overly embarrassed. After all, Portkey was a rather violent way to travel and I was in heels. “I’ve traveled worse ways,” I snarked back with a grin. “Overall, a nice flight, though.”



My handsomely decked-out date chuckled. “I’ll bet.”



I wasn’t sure if that answer was in response to the first part of my commentary or the second. I let it slide though. Glancing about, I took in the cozy, romantic atmosphere of an open patio, with curtains on three sides that looked out on a well-manicured back garden. A table set for two, complete with candles and flowers, and china and utensils that looked more antique and expensive than anything my grandmother could boast (hers hailed back to the early Victorian Era). “I thought we were going to a restaurant?” I inquired. There were no other patrons or tables about. The setting looked like someone’s private bed and breakfast.



Malfoy led me by the elbow to a seat, held it out for me and tucked me in. As he moved around to his side, he explained. “Tête-à-tête is an exclusive restaurant-villa designed to accommodate only a single couple per night. It takes reservations a year in advance, usually.”



I blinked. “But you only had four days to book this place.” I raised an eyebrow at him. “Dare I ask?”



Draco sat back in his chair and appraised me. I could see approval in his eyes. “You look lovely, Hermione. That dress is stunning.”



I blushed and was about to challenge him for the distraction when our own private maitre d’ walked up and began talking about the meal we would be enjoying tonight, as well as the wines specifically paired with each course. When he went away to bring us our starter, I quickly trained my attention back on my companion. “We really have this whole place to ourselves?”



Malfoy nodded. “Just you and me, Granger.”



I wasn’t sure why I said what I did next, but I know it changed the tone of the evening pretty quickly. “I rather liked it when you called me by my first name that one time.”



It was understood by both of us that I was speaking of that fateful night at his suite last month. The memory of hearing his lust-filled tone calling for me had everything in my body tightening in an instant, and I could see from the way Draco’s jaw clenched, his nostrils flared and the burning in his gaze that he was remembering that exact moment, too.



Our unspoken exchange was interrupted by the return of the maitre d’ with our starter course. Wine was poured, we shared the food, and after he apologized for acting so atrociously the prior weekend, conversation between us flowed easily. We talked of our work, and I finally came to understand what it was Draco Malfoy actually did to earn him such a fantastic body.



“I’m a Curse-Breaking consultant for Gringotts. Over the last two years, underwater detection has been my specialty,” he explained.



My jaw nearly hit the floor. “You swim?”



He smirked as he took a bite of the prosciutto, tomato and mozzarella appetizer. “And run to keep in shape. Bubble-head Charm or not, most wizards like the water - or did you forget the second task during the Tri-Wizard Tournament?”



Actually, I hadn’t, especially since I’d been the bait for Viktor. I looked down into my wine glass, swirling the contents, trying to ignore the rioting in my belly when he’d used my first name again. “No wonder you’re so fit, but have soft hands.”



He took a healthy swig of his wine, finishing it off, licked his lips and gave me a most lascivious leer. “Soft hands for soft parts.”



I could feel the alcohol coupling with my desire heating my cheeks up nice and cherry. “Tell me more about some of the dives you’ve been on.” It was a good distraction.



We spent the rest of the long meal conversing on a variety of topics: from Curse-Breaking to Dark Curses, from cures for such spells to Potions, from apothecary ingredients to tea-leaf reading. We flowed naturally from subject and subject, never bored, challenging each other with opinions and facts. I found Draco Malfoy to be charming, witty, and scarily intelligent. If we’d both stayed in school and the war had never happened, I’m not sure which of us would have ended up Valedictorian, honestly. He was knowledgeable on a variety of topics, not the least of which was sex I realized as I thought about how experienced he seemed.



As we shared dessert – a heart-shaped, mini angel food cake, filled in the middle with fresh strawberries and raspberries and heavy cream, dusted with confectioners sugar and drizzled with strawberry-raspberry sauce – and tipped back our espressos, I felt comfortable enough to ask the big question that had been burning in the back of my head for months now. “Draco, there’s something important I need to ask you. It’s personal, but… well, I suppose it’s just better to get it right out there, so here goes: are you married, affianced, or sexually involved with someone else?”



He started and his spoon paused half-way to his mouth.



“It’s just, well, we’ve never really talked about ourselves… our lives outside… until tonight,” I stammered now, wondering if I’d let the alcohol go to my head and mouth, and would later regret this discussion. I glanced up at him through my lashes, my heart pounding in my chest with anxiety, waiting for his answer. I knew I’d be terribly heartbroken if he said there was someone else, and yet, I just couldn’t let this sort of thing lie any longer. We’d changed something in our relationship last month, and it had made me recognize just how much I’d let slide to avoid this important confrontation.



He sipped his coffee and stared at me. “If there was?”



My stomach plummeted, but I hardened my resolve. “I think the whole world knows from what that rotten Skeeter wrote in the society pages earlier this year that I’ve been on the other end of an affair once. I wouldn’t want to hurt another woman or myself like that. I-It wouldn’t be fair to go any further with… this… if there was someone else in the picture.”



He was quiet a moment longer, watching me as I forked a strawberry and brought it to my mouth to nibble. It was hard to meet his eye, but I forced myself not to look away. He needed to understand that no matter how much the sub I was in our playtime, this was one thing on which I would not back down.



“Define for me what you mean by ‘this,’” he finally said, putting his small demitasse cup on its matching saucer, wiping his mouth politely and sitting back in his chair, his full attention upon me.



Oh, Merlin, I’d stepped in it again, hadn’t I? I was assuming that this date meant something more than…



“You’re not my girlfriend, Granger.”



He’d summed up our relationship already with those five words, hadn’t he? We were fuck-buddies, sans the buddy part. I wouldn’t doubt that this date was probably meant to get me back into his good graces after his treatment of me so we could continue down the road of no-strings-attached debauchery.



I put my fork down, took a sip from my water glass to wet my drying mouth, dabbed my lips and politely folded and set the napkin down next to my plate to convey I was through with the meal. “Perhaps I misunderstood,” I gave the polite, very-British allowance. “I thought that after what happened between us last month and then coming here tonight-” My voice gave on that last word and I had to look away, feeling suddenly very vulnerable and very stupid. I looked out over the back garden, trying not to give in to tears. “Was coming here just a way to get back into bed with me or another role-play in a different venue for you? Or, are you interested in dating me outside of the club? Have I misconstrued your intentions entirely? Please tell me the truth before I humiliate myself further.”



He stood up, his chair legs scraping against the patio concrete, and walked towards one of the curtained exits to look out in the same direction as I was, one hand shoved in the pocket of his expensive-looking and nicely-tailored trousers. The other hand ran through his hair, stopping on the back of his neck. He sighed heavily.



“I want you,” he resignedly admitted. “More than I’ve ever wanted another witch, Granger. What we’ve been doing… it’s mad, I know.” He rubbed the hand on his neck around over his face. “From the moment I first touched you, I knew you would get to me somehow. You always had the knack – even back in school. I couldn’t think of you then without my blood boiling, but now it’s for an entirely different reason.” He shoved his free hand into the empty pocket of his slacks and leaned against the nearby pillar, his features set to give nothing of his internal emotions away. “No, I’m not committed to anyone right now, but I have been casually seeing two other witches besides you - nothing exclusive.”



I couldn’t breathe for the anger and despair that roared through my body. Every limb quaked with it, voices screamed in my head, taunting, “told you so!” and “should have expected this!” I’d made a very critical error in judgment and ended up just another one of his alternate bed partners, rather than someone special, as I’d naïvely fantasized.



Dummy, dummy, double-super dummy!



The crux of it all was I couldn’t even entirely blame him. I’d never bothered to ask him about other women, or to establish parameters for our bloody tête-à-têtes – whatever you wanted to call them. At twenty-three, why shouldn’t he be out playing the field? Isn’t that what most men this age did? He was handsome, wealthy, stylish, had a solid career with a reputable company, knew how to make ‘dirty talk’ intensely evocative, and was hung like a prize-winning stallion with the stamina and talent to match. He was an overall good catch that could have his pick of any woman.



I retrieved my bag from the back of the chair and silently Accio’d my wand from its black, gaping opening. Standing on shaky legs, I tried to act nonetheless with some decorum and grace in the face of such merciless disenchantment. I didn’t want to be remembered for another screaming match at the end of a relationship. Been there, done that, and it wasn’t pretty. “Thank you for tell me the truth,” I shielded my temper and emotions the best I could, but I could still feel the tears threatening, despite my best efforts. “It couldn’t have been easy to admit that. But Draco, I hope you’ll understand me when I say I can’t hang around hoping you’ll someday decide to pick me over the others. It isn’t fair and quite honestly I think I deserve more respect than to be just one of your rotation of shag-worthy dates. It’s best we call it here and go our separate ways before one of us gets really hurt.” I didn’t mention that the ‘one of us’ in question was me, and that I was already pretty bloody hurt. That seemed rather obvious, I thought.



I raised my wand to Apparate away, but moving with the swiftness of a former Seeker, he clamped down on my wrist and prevented my jump at the last moment. “Don’t say that,” he rebuked. “It isn’t that simple, Hermione. I was seeing them before you ever came into the picture, and you and me… it’s difficult because of who we both are and our pasts. You know that.” He sighed with frustrated disappointment. “Please, don’t go. We can talk about this.”



Turning away to hide the tears that slipped from their prison, I tried to yank my arm out of his hold. “No, I don’t think we can, Draco. I’m getting in too deep with you and its clear you don’t want commitment at this time, especially not with me. If I don’t let go now-” I swallowed the lump of emotion in my throat, working quick mental triage on my heart to keep it from a messy break, reminding myself that I’d survived Ron’s infidelity, so I knew I could endure this, too. “I’m going to move on and keep looking. Maybe there’s a wizard or Muggle man out there for me who will want the same thing I do.”



“No, you’re mine,” he astonished me with his sudden fervor, as he pulled me towards him and wrapped his arms about me, holding me close. He was breathing hard against my throat with an incensed passion.



“If that’s the case, will you date only me then?” I asked, foolishly daring to hope.



I let a solid minute slide by as he considered the option, but when he didn’t reply, I knew that meant he wasn’t going to offer me such a promise. “Right, I didn’t think so,” I huffed in partial ire, partial acceptance, and pushed on his chest to get him to release me. His embrace resisted my attempts.



“I didn’t expect this to happen, Granger,” he murmured, pressing his cheek to mine, tightening his hug. “I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend when we started all of this. You said you wanted a Dom to fulfill a temporary fantasy you had of playing the sexual sub. You didn’t specify any criteria on the man aside from that, or a time limit on the relationship, so I assumed that meant you weren’t looking for a relationship either, just some casual, consensual fun.” He leaned back and unnervingly looked me in the eye, refusing to let me off the hook for my part in our controversial affair. “How was I to know that your feelings on the matter had changed over the last five months? Slytherin’s rod, Hermione, you never indicated you wanted anything more from me but temporary thrills until tonight!” He shook me once to get me to stop squirming against him. “Did you expect me to just cut all of my ties to others and hang around for the last half a year waiting for you to make up your mind about me, too? How fair is that? What would have happened if you’d decided I wasn’t the bloke for you? Would I have gotten the ‘too bad, so sad’ talk?”



He was right, of course. I’d never indicated one way or the other that I wanted him as anything but a shag-partner. Well, until last month, that was to say. I’d thought my feelings for him had been broadcast in high-frequency by my touches during our love making that night. Apparently, I was wrong.



“Last month I all but shouted the roof down with my feelings for you each time we-” I clamped my lips together and stopped that thought from finding voice before I dared to make the suggestion that what we’d done then had been anything more than just sex. I now understood that accusing us of making love, rather than simply fucking would be ridiculous. “Well, now you know that I’m sincere about us trying to make it as a couple, but you’re still unwilling to go exclusive, aren’t you?” I countered, shoving hard enough to break free. Immediately, I took several steps back, bumping into my chair. I gripped the wooden back for support, my heart hammering so hard in my chest that my ears were beginning to ring.



He ran a hand through his pale hair, and I could see him restraining his irritation. “Have you seriously thought this through, Granger? I have and… for fuck’s sake, there’s so much…” He stumbled over words, seeming to have a hard time capturing what he wanted to say. Finally, he just snapped. “You can’t expect me to change my life to suit your switch in mood!”



I reeled like I’d been slapped across the face. In one simple sentence, he’d just reduced my fragile, newly blossoming love for him to little more than a fickle bout of temper, and made it clear that I wasn’t worth the effort of monogamy. “No, I don’t suppose I can,” I detachedly heard the words come from my mouth in an even tone. “Thank you for illuminating your decision for me, though, Draco. At least now we both know where we stand and can walk away with from this… arrangement… with the proper closure.”



With that, I raised my wand and Disapparated home.



X~~~X



Hermione Granger’s Flat


Camden, London, England


October 17-20, 2003 – Friday Night (seconds later) to Monday Morning




After stripping off my dress and jewels and owl-ing them back to Gin’s relative’s shop with a cordial thank you note attached, I spent the rest of the weekend reveling in my misery, eating up all of the ice cream in the house, refusing to shower or get out of my pajamas, and watching sappy love movies on my DVD player, crying my eyes out. I turned away every incoming owl or Floo call and didn’t answer my telephone or door. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I mourned my loss with a distinct lack of moderation or refinement, and on Monday morning, I went to work with puffy, tired eyes and sand between my ears.

To be continued...

Chapter 01 | Chapter 02 | Chapter 03 | Chapter 04 | Chapter 05 | Chapter 06 | Chapter 07 | Chapter 08 | Chapter 09 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17



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