Characters: Hermione Granger x Draco Malfoy (main pairing), Ginny Weasley, Blaise Zabini, Ron Weasley
Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Word Count: 4823 (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
Festival of Sins
The Den and Centro, London, England
December 13, 2003 – Saturday Night (Special Event: Carnival of Naughty Fun – A Celebration of ‘Superbia - Pride’)
Before we stepped up to turn over our tickets to the club’s doorman, I asked Gin for a last minute perusal. “You’re beautiful,” my friend loyally reassured me. “He’d be stupid not to notice.”
Yes, well, Malfoy was known for being quite stupid on occasion, and I was as nervous as a virgin tonight, my palms actually sweating. I couldn’t help it. This last year I’d been tossed around the chaotic seas of emotion worse than Viola De Lesseps (a favorite deuteragonist of mine), and just then, I was almost expecting the cliché tragic dénouement to Draco’s and my story. It was because my confidence was a little shaken (if not stirred) by that creeping voice of doubt that had often plagued me since Ron’s infidelity. What if Malfoy had only agreed to meet me to inform me that ‘Angelique’ was expecting his child and that was why he’d so spectacularly dumped that bitch-slag, Astoria? And oh, yes: he wanted one last shag-off with me for old time’s sake – was I up for it?
I know – simply ridiculous, right?
Still, I’d allowed such misgivings to dictate my formal wear for tonight’s meeting, so I was covered either way. I’d gone in for a mix of sexy, yet elegant to make it clear that I wasn’t here for an easy, dirty ride against the wall, but for a long, hungry seduction of the heart - so long as there was no other woman in the picture to fuss it up. The white, taffeta dress fell tastefully to mid-thigh, and sported three-quarter sleeves. The gathered neckline dipped low, yes, and was quite daring, as was the way the outfit tightly fitted my curves like a glove about my waist and hips, but the overall look was classy, not cheap. I partnered it with a pair of elegant silver sandals with an ankle strap, the three inch heel made of clear resin (that small vanity is what had sold me on the shoe, honestly). My toes were painted crimson, same as my nails and my lips – the only ‘wantonness’ about me, as my jewelry and the rest of my makeup was really understated. Overall, I was hoping my date would like the package, as the effort had been partially for him, too, not just for my own gratification.
We passed our tickets over, were hand-stamped, and shuffled inside the club as the line behind us pushed forward, patrons eager to participate in the sins of alcohol and flesh as the holiday season and the end of the year drew close.
The place was throbbing with the press of bodies as the last Carnival of the year packed the house. The music was loud with heavy booty-bass, and the lighting had been change to reflect the season: red flashed with green, silver with blue, purple with gold. It was an amazing synchronization of visual and auditory stimuli that must have taken the club’s entertainment engineers weeks in advance to work out.
Gin and I headed towards our usual table. Zabini was already there, and he instantly focused on my best friend, moving to intercept her with quick stride. As soon as she was in his arms, he dragged her against the wall and started ravishing her mouth, his hands sliding over her body as if he was E’d up and needed to touch and pet every inch of her. My friend was clearly in her own little Heaven from the attention.
To my immediate disappointment, I didn’t see my date, however. Maybe he was in the loo, or at the bar, or… Wait, what if he’d backed out at the last minute?
No, that was just me choking. He’d come tonight, otherwise Zabini would have said something (at least, I’d hoped he’d be man enough to do so). Maybe Malfoy was nutting up before stepping forward? I’d just have to wait a bit for him to show. I moved out of the pedestrian path and closer to the table, scanning the crowd for a familiar head of platinum hair, trying not to pay attention to the fact that Gin’s tongue was currently rammed down Blaise’s throat and he had a hand up her skirt. I was on sensory overload as the seconds ticked by and my search found no match.
Between one beat and the next, I felt him as a wall of heat behind me, pressing in. His arms came around, clad in dark blue silk, one wrapping about my waist, the other holding up a red rose and the torn end of his admissions ticket with the imprint of my lips in bright red gloss still frozen over the lettering. It was definitely the one I’d sent him, and he was letting me know he’d come specifically because I’d asked it of him. He tucked the stub into my cleavage, wedging it against the lace of my bra through the neckline of my dress, suggestively rubbing it against the mound of one breast and then used the satiny petals of the rose to stroke across the same sensitive flesh before handing it off to me.
Taking the chance – I’d come this far, so why not? - I fully leaned back into him, and rested my head against his chest, my hips against his, his erection (raging hard already) snuggling into the crack of my backside. Even in heels, he stood several inches taller; I liked the differences in our heights. His lips rested against my temple, and he fully embraced me with what felt to be a deep sigh of relief. We stood that way for several minutes, ignoring the rest of the world, tuning out the crowd and the music, and I felt the rightness of being with him again steal over my very aura.
He slid his mouth down to my ear, pressing over it so he could be heard and spoke to me. “Thank you for coming tonight.”
I nodded and turned my head, mouthing, ‘you, too.’
“Dance with me,” he requested, loosening his hold to take my hand and lead me towards the edge of the floor. It was a sultry beat I didn’t recognize – some remix by the DJ – but it gave us the opportunity to come together, to entwine about each other again. We pressed noses into necklines and held onto each other for all we were worth, swaying to the music.
We danced that way for two songs, and even when the music sped up, we didn’t let go or change styles. I felt his pulse against my lips, and it was hammering the same as mine. He swallowed hard as he trailed his lips up against my ear. “Can we go into the back to talk?”
I agreed with a simple nod, and we separated as he took my hand and led me towards the “Employees Only” door. The bouncer nodded in recognition and let us through. My date purchased a room for us from the cashier – number one, the room we’d originally been assigned in May at the start of all of this. It seemed rather poetic, actually, that we were returning there now to either formally end things or to begin a new chapter in our lives together.
He fit the gold key into the lock and turned the knob, letting me go before him in a gentlemanly fashion. My feet felt like they moved through molasses as I crossed the threshold and entered the familiar room. In a direct reversal of the other six suites, this one had a black carpet with red sheets on the mattress. The walls were painted a muted grey. Everything else was the same, though, even down to the bowl filled with colorful condom choices and the basket filled with naughty goodies.
I sat on the end of the bed, keeping my legs tightly together, and attempting to sit for Business, rather than business. Draco locked the door behind us and came to sit at my left. He fidgeted, clearly uncomfortable, and after thirty seconds, stood up and began pacing. One pale hand ran through his hair, dropped over his eyes and smoothed over his face with clear nervous anxiety. I could feel he was fighting to let go of his pride to say the words we both needed to hear, and since he’d been the one to hurt me, I sat quietly, waiting for him to do the apologizing first.
He stopped, fell to his knees before me and took my hands in his larger ones, pressing kisses to the knuckles. “I was wrong to let you go,” he finally admitted, laying his cheek against my fingers. “I was a scared fool. But I need you to understand what I was thinking – all of it. Will you listen?”
“Of course,” I conceded. It was important to air it all if we were to take the next steps.
His long, dark gold lashes tickled my skin as he turned my hand and pressed a kiss into the palm. “Thank you.” He sat back on his heels and looked up at me. “When we first got together in May, Granger, it was like…” He fumbled for the right words. “Like… like a fucking dream come true. You’re so amazingly beautiful and incredibly sexy, and you were so receptive to my touch. You wanted me to push your boundaries and bend you to my will, and you trusted me with your pleasure despite our… well, our really bad history. Each time after that was better and better. By the fourth time we’d met up, it felt like we were made for each other – you the willing sub, me your obliging Dom.” He glanced down at my knees, his hands still loosely holding onto mine. “But then… things changed that night. I felt it in both of us.”
I conceded with a simple nod, recognizing the truth in his words. By August, I’d begun to seriously shift my thinking about what I wanted from Malfoy, flirting with the idea of taking our meetings out of this nightclub and into the light of day. Apparently, he had, too.
“After that Carnival, it wasn’t all about dominating you anymore.” He faltered, as if admitting this were a difficult endeavor. “I started fantasizing what it would be like for you to top me on occasion - and that scared the hell out of me. I’d sworn never to let anyone control me like that.” He hesitantly peeked up at me. “You remember we talked about it?”
I nodded. It was one of the few times he’d let me see beyond his carefully-constructed façade to the man inside.
“Even then, I couldn’t seem to help myself. My every waking and sleeping thought was about us together in a variety of ways – mostly sexual, but sometimes it was just about us doing things that normal couples did, too. When I brought you to my suite at Hyde Park, it wasn’t intended, but it didn’t feel wrong either.” He looked up at me with vulnerability reflecting in those mercurial eyes of his. “Until you, I’ve never brought any woman there, Hermione. That’s my private sanctuary away from the world, where I go when I need solitude. I’m usually very protective of it, but I didn’t think twice about taking you to there or to my bed. It felt so bloody right to make love to you like we did and in that place.”
He’d brought me to his private man-cave, and not his common shag nest? I felt strangely honored by that.
“When I saw that drunken Muggle grab you in the club that time-” The change in his expression was night and day; darkness clouded his expression and his eyes shuttered to half-mast. He looked very much like the boy I’d known back in our sixth year at school – closed off, angry, a menacing violence simmering under the surface. “I’ll admit I wanted to kill him, Hermione. I wanted to hurt him for daring to touch what I was beginning to think of as mine. I’d become possessive of you, even though we hadn’t formally changed the nature of our relationship. The only thing that stopped me was the thought that you’d never forgive me if I Avada’d him.”
My disapproval alone had stayed his hand? Not the fear of Azkaban, but of me? Seriously? The thought made me realize just how much power I actually had in our relationship – and without me even recognizing it.
“Later, when we were sitting in the Hit Wizards Office and giving our statements, my recorder was Kevin Entwhistle,” he explained. “Remember him from school? He didn’t believe me when I said I was out at the club that night with you. In fact, he almost became belligerent in his assertion that there was no way that you – Gryffindor’s shining princess and war heroine - would be seen with the likes of me – a scumbag Death Eater.” He paused, and I could see him trying to fence the pain such a thought brought up.
“Former Death Eater,” I firmly rebuked, immediately putting an end to that self-deprecating charge. “Honest Curse-Breaker now for Gringotts.”
He nodded in reluctant agreement, not fully convinced of my benign vision for him, but unwilling to fight about it. “Still, you understand? That’s when it hit me: we’re from two different… background customs… and our reputations are as opposite from each other as north and south. Being together – no one would ever accept it, except maybe our closest friends. I couldn’t reconcile my need to have you with the reality of such a hopeless situation. It became too much all at once. When I saw Freckle Face professing his undying love for you and begging you to give him another chance, I was… hurt… seeing him touch you, knowing that even though he’d been a complete wanker arsehole in cheating on you, people would still choose to overlook that and approve if you went back to him. He could offer you the one thing I couldn’t: being in an acceptable relationship.” He sounded terribly resentful, and I found I didn’t like that sulky tone coming from such a beautiful mouth. “By the time I’d made it to the elevator,” he continued, not perceiving my eyes straying to his lips, watching them form words and wondering what they’d taste like right that second, “I’d convinced myself that Weasley was the bloke you were supposed to be with, not me. It seemed the right conclusion. I mean, you grew up together, you were friends, and face it, he’s almost as loved as you by the world, seeing as he’s Potter’s best friend and an Auror - a righteous protector of all wizard-kind.” He mockingly rolled his eyes and shook his head, and I couldn’t help but giggle. He met my eyes and a slow smirk crawled up his cheek.
Just as suddenly as his humor appeared, though, it was gone, the gravity of the situation weighing heavily upon him. Gripping his hands tightly, I made to speak up, to debate his assertion about Ron and me, but he shook his head. “Let me finish, please.” I sealed my lips and let him speak his piece, saving my rebuttal for later.
He let out a heavy breath. “I snapped at you that night because I was bitter at those thoughts, and said something cruel to intentionally drive you away. I shouldn’t have done that. I’m sorry,” he sincerely apologized. “I knew the minute the elevator doors closed I’d been an idiot, and wanted to make it up to you, which is why I invited you to Rome for dinner. I thought we could take it slow and try to see if it were possible to enjoy an evening together without sex involved, to see if maybe we could make it work, despite my misgivings. It was going so well…” His lips tightened, and he looked a bit vexed. “But you threw off my plans when you bluntly asked about where we stood and if there was anyone else. I hadn’t expected that question, but I tried to be honest with you. I could tell it only made you angry, though, and when I went to explain my side of things, it made it worse. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings again, but… let’s be honest, Granger: you never really did tell me in plain-speak until that night that things had changed for you. Sure, I’d wished, and a part of me was beginning to believe that maybe you wanted the same thing I did, but I couldn’t read your mind to absolutely know.”
I wanted to refute, but kept my mouth shut. I’d promised to hear him out, after all.
He pulled one hand out of mine and ran it through his hair, and I was beginning to realize that this was an anxious tick he’d acquired somewhere along the line. A pit of churning emotion opened up in my belly again, and I worried he was just about to say something that would cut me to the quick.
“I won’t lie, because I know you’d get even angrier with me if I did,” he explained, taking a deep breath and confessing all. “Yes, I continued seeing those two other women I told you about when I wasn’t seeing you.”
See - to the quick.
“But I’m not seeing either of them anymore, and to be fair, you’d made it clear from the start that you were only looking for casual with me,” he quickly justified, and I had to remember that he was technically right before I blew my stack. I was the one who’d initially set the parameters of our interactions. “I didn’t know you’d eventually want more,” he continued, licking his lips nervously, “and frankly, as each month passed, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop – for you to turn to me one night and say, ‘thanks, it’s been fun!’ and never look back.”
Well, I suppose I could have done…
“In October, when you asked me if we could go exclusive, it was like wading through a dream again. I just couldn’t believe that you’d want that with me. All of my insecurities about our different stations in life and about our past rose to the front to mock me,” he admitted, regretfully dropping his gaze to my feet. “And then there were the other issues… Seriously dating you meant some big changes. Like, you said you were a switch, which meant I’d have to give up some of my control to you, allowing you to dominate me on occasion. That scared me. And having to fight everyone’s disapproval of me all over again for daring to ‘corrupt’ you, the world’s Golden Girl – that was quite daunting. And then there was the issue of you maybe realizing later that we were facing impossible odds and that I just wasn’t worth it.” He swallowed and it was loud in the quiet room. “If I’d let you in and you left me to go back to Weasley because being with him would be easier…” He left it unspoken, but I could hear the pain in his voice.
Godric Almighty, I had been contemplating mere months ago ditching Draco and returning to Ron for exactly the reason he’d feared: because it would be less problematic in the long-run. True, it had been a fleeting thought, but I’d definitely had it. My lover’s fears and doubts were certainly founded, weren’t they?
I was starting to understand why he’d been reluctant to commit. I hadn’t exactly been forthcoming with my thoughts until our confrontation in Rome, and I’d knee-jerk reacted that night, my feelings hurt by his perceived rejection. If I’d stayed to actually talk it through, perhaps we could have come to this place two months earlier and avoided all of the drama in between.
He looked as truly ashamed by the same inadequate feelings as I was struggling with just then. “Given everything, Granger, and despite what I’d hoped for, I started to believe that maybe you and I outside of this place just wouldn’t be possible. I started talking myself into the thought that we shouldn’t change what we had going. At least I could have a part of you this way, even for a little while.”
He inhaled deeply and let it out in a rush. “You didn’t seem to understand, and I was really bad at explaining it. When you left Rome, it ripped me in half. I spent that whole next week plotting how to win you back. I enlisted Blaise and we followed you and Red to that club in the church. Getting a costume was easy with transfiguration, but it took us a while to find you two with so many people. When I saw you dancing with that-” He gritted his teeth and stopped himself from getting fancy with the adjectives, as I’d previously requested. “With that Muggle dressed like a doctor, I stepped in. When you slapped me, I lost my cool. I wasn’t thinking when I brought us back to the suite – I just wanted a place that was quiet so we could talk. But that costume…” He shut his eyes and a pinkish tinge highlighted his cheeks. “That fucking sweet costume was so bloody tempting.”
His free hand skimmed up my smoothly-shaved calf, stopping just behind the knee – an erotic spot for me, as he had so rightly pointed out in Diagon Alley the other week. My breath hitched, but I didn’t try to stop him. In truth, I wanted him to touch me right about now. My back teeth ached for that electric current that shot all through me as my arousal was stimulated.
“I wanted you to let me seduce you. I wanted you to trust me to be your Dom again. I thought if we could just go back to the way things had been in the beginning then everything would be fine between us again,” he owned up. “But we couldn’t go back because somewhere along the line, you’d gone and switched on me. You didn’t want a Dom anymore – you wanted a partner. Because of all of the ticks against us, I wasn’t sure I could be that for you. Honestly, I was too much a coward to try. Even as you Disapparated from my suite, I knew I’d just made the biggest mistake of my life: I’d let my fear - the greatest sin of all - ruin me. Again.” His fingers traced a circle pattern behind my knee, setting off a detonation of sparks up my thighs.
“The thing with Astoria – it was rash and stupid,” he candidly stated. “I wanted you to think I could move on, too, since it seemed you were determined to leave me behind. I wanted to hurt you for hurting me. Tit-for-tat.”
I had known what that relationship with Miss Greengrass was really all about, yes, but it had still stabbed deep. But, I suppose, I’d done the same to him with Daniel. The tit-for-tat was nothing more than petty foolishness that cost us both so much.
“It was when I saw you in Diagon Alley, with your hair flying everywhere in the wind and your nose in a book, that I knew,” he professed, his fingers inching up one thigh. He freed his other hand from my hold, and it mirrored its mate on the opposite side as he sat up, his chest pressing against my knees. His fingers smoothed up and down my bare legs, stirring my need. My knickers began to moisten with anticipation. “You’re it for me, Granger, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to win you back. Nothing else matters – not my fear, not my parents, not my friends, not anyone in our whole bloody world. I want us more than any of that.” He raised his face to mine, his eyes earnest in their appeal, his hands pausing in their sensual study of my legs. “The question is: do you?”
Quite frankly, there had been a part of me throughout the last year that thought many of the same things my lover had, and for the same reasons. His fear of committing to me given the odds against us was very relevant, and couldn’t be dismissed as simply cold feet. His friends (except for Blaise), my friends (except for Ginny), his family, my family, wizarding society in general – they would all most likely be vehemently against us matching up, because of where we’d stood in the war. There would be fallout from our dating, I was sure.
But, like I’d told Gin once upon a time (not so very long ago): every person has to make an assessment at some point in their life as to whether their love for another was real, and whether that love was worth whatever price was necessary to keep it. I’d made my decision regarding Draco the night we’d had dinner in Rome - somewhere over dinner and before dessert. Despite Astoria, despite Daniel and despite all of the misunderstandings between us in the middle, I still held true to that decision.
We were mere inches apart, he only a bit lower, and I could scent on his breath that he’d had at least one shot of liquid courage before I’d shown up tonight. On his person, he was wearing my favorite aftershave. His hair gleamed with that freshly washed shine. I reached out to touch his chest, and his shirt was silky soft. My crimson-painted fingertips danced up his throat, over his chin to trace his full lips, and I yearned to taste his kiss, to have him touch my sex.
Everything about Draco Malfoy drew me in, made me intensely aware of every breath passing through my lungs, every thud of my pulse, and of how lusciously wet I was between my thighs. I craved him in me, around me, through me. I wanted his cock, his mouth, his touch. I wanted him to recklessly fuck me, but with care. My feelings for him weren’t logical or even rational; there weren’t charts or statistics I could whip out to quantify them, and although there might be books on relationship psychology, astrological compatibilities, or medicinal products that attempted to explain away their existence, those things would never be able to fully capture the real reason. How could I tell him all of that, though? It seemed too great a thing to say – too scary, too powerful.
My heart found the simplest way.
“I love you.”
The tension broke, and he flowed up into me and lay me back onto the bed, settling his body over mine, careful not to crush me by supporting his weight on his elbows. Our mouths met and mated, our tongues stroked, the fringe of his bangs tickled my cheek, and his goatee scratched against my chin with a soft rasp.
“I’ve missed you, sweet thing,” he murmured between pulls of lips.
“I’ve missed you, too,” I confessed, holding him close and not letting go.
We spent the remainder of our allotted time in the room just kissing. When there came a knock on the door to remind us that we needed to vacate, we did without fuss, turning the golden key in for what we both understood would be the last time.
We’d met and weathered our sins here at the Festival, where pride had finally fallen before love. This place had well-served our purposes.
Draco took me back to his private suite overlooking Hyde Park and we made love in his bed. When he asked, I topped him, and on the next round he topped me. We switched like that all night, trusting our emotional safety and pleasure to our partner, whispering, moaning and eventually crying out our love for each other until dawn peeked through the windows and we fell exhausted into each other’s arms.
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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