Title: A Friendly Wager
Summary: Draco wants Hermione and lets nothing get in his way.
A/N: I initially started this as a smutlet, but it didn't want to be a
smutlet, so it's fluffy instead. I'm glad - I think it works better
Crossposted to bunney
“Do you trust me?” he asked, his voice bubbling with insolent laughter.
Hermione gave him a look that said she didn’t. “You are joking, right?”
“I’ve never been more serious.”
Hermione carefully marked her place with a bit of torn parchment and lay her book aside. She leveled a wary gaze on her suitemate, Draco Malfoy. He was sitting in his favorite chair which he’d pulled near the fire, a forgotten glass of firewhiskey dangling from his long fingers. “What do you want, then?”
He blinked slowly, looking as contented as Crookshanks after a nice, fat mouse. “A friendly wager. Nothing more.”
“You aren’t friendly.” Hermione picked up her book again, but left it unopened on her lap. She raised her eyebrows when he glared.
“I could be, if you’d let me,” he whispered, trying and failing for a seductive tone. Hermione laughed outright.
“Oh please. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times. You’re never getting in my knickers, Malfoy.”
Draco scowled, his grey eyes flashing dangerously. “Why do you have to be so difficult all the time?”
“I’m being difficult? Malfoy, you should count your blessings that I’ve been as pleasant to you as I’ve been this year,” Hermione said, shaking her head, amused at his petulance. “I’ve been nice, I’ve put up with your friends cluttering up the place, I pick up your dirty socks, I even brought you tea when you were sick. Remember?”
“The house elves brought the tea.”
“I poured it, didn’t I? And propped you up so you wouldn’t spill it, like an infant in nappies. Face it, Malfoy, I’ve practically been your wife all year.”
“Wives have sex with their husbands,” he smirked triumphantly.
“I don’t see a ring on my finger, Malfoy.” Hermione wiggled her left ring finger in the air, to prove her point.
Draco raised an eyebrow. “I knew it. Gold-digger.”
Hermione got up and turned off the study lamp on the table next to her chair. “On that note, I’m off to bed.”
“Don’t you even want to hear my wager?” he said, tauntingly.
“Fine...” She folded her arms and waited impatiently, even giving her foot a couple of taps.
Draco gulped down the remainder of his drink and leaned forward. He had a look of childish excitement on his face. “Quidditch. Slytherin versus Gryffindor. I say Slytherin will win by 90 points *plus* I’ll catch the snitch.”
“Within two hours.”
“No way, Malfoy! Harry will have the snitch in less than an hour, plus beat Slytherin by 120 points,” Hermione predicted.
“That’s what you think. We’ve been practicing every night for two weeks. Slytherin’s going to have that Quidditch Cup this year, you mark my words, Granger.” He was grinning now, a feral baring of his teeth that never failed to set Hermione’s nerves on edge.
“Fine! You’re on. Terms?” Hermione snapped, more irritated at herself for letting the Head Boy goad her into the bet.
“If I win, from eight o’clock Saturday night until noon Sunday, you’ll be in my bed, obedient to my every desire.” He lifted both eyebrows in a smug expression.
Hermione flushed. The odds of Slytherin winning the game Saturday were slim – Gryffindor was unbeaten for the season – but there was always a chance. When Malfoy was intent on a goal, he could be frighteningly single-minded.
Still, Harry had never failed to catch the snitch in a match against Slytherin. And the enticing thought of slipping right through Malfoy’s greedy little mitts was tempting.
“Fine,” she said again. Draco grinned, looking entirely too pleased with himself.
“And your terms, Granger?”
It was on the tip of Hermione’s tongue to request something outrageously sexual, but she was still an innocent and shy about voicing anything so blatant, especially to the infuriating Slytherin. Even though sharing quarters with Malfoy had been an education in and of itself. He had no qualms about walking through their common room completely starkers and on more than one occasion, Hermione had returned from the library or patrol to find him shagging any one of a revolving number of Hufflepuffs or Ravenclaws on the sofa. Against the wall. Once, even in her own bed.
That had cost him dearly – a brand new robe from Madam Malkin’s - and he’d been nice to her for a month afterwards.
So, in the end, she chickened out. “If I win, which I will, you have to take all of your meals at the Gryffindor table for the rest of the year and tell Ron, in front of everyone, that you’re sorry you’ve treated him badly all these years.”
“Fuck all, Granger! Why don’t you just ask me to dance a waltz on the head table starkers?”
“You would enjoy that.”
His lips twisted in a roguish grin. “Oh yeah. Come on, don’t make me apologize! I’ll never live it down.”
“I thought you were so sure of winning,” Hermione said mockingly.
Draco narrowed his eyes. “Oh, we will win, Granger. You wait. This time, Saturday night, you’re going to have those skinny legs wrapped around me and I’m going to fuck you so hard you won’t be able to walk for three days.”
Hermione leaned forward, smiling coldly. “Don’t bet on it, ferret.”
There was a cold glint in his smoky eyes and he smiled. “You just wait, Granger. You just wait.”
“I’m sorry, Harry. You guys played the better game,” Neville Longbottom said, awkwardly patting a despondent Harry Potter on the shoulder. The entire Gryffindor Quidditch team was in the Great Hall, in the darkest depths of misery at their spectacular loss to Slytherin, 180 to 90. The game had last just under two hours.
Ron agreed with Neville. “He’s right, Harry. It’s not your fault that Malfoy can’t play fair. I can’t believe Hooch didn’t call a foul on that prat!” He jerked off his gloves and slammed them on the table. He looked over at Hermione. “You okay, ‘mione?”
Hermione smiled tightly. “I’m fine. I can’t believe Malfoy cheated either. Just like him, the stupid arse!”
Ron started to grin, but it faded swiftly from his face when the Slytherin team swaggered into the Great Hall, still in their green and grey uniforms with Malfoy in the lead. Even from this distance, Hermione could see the blond wizard’s victorious smirk. A dark, slow blush crawled up Hermione’s chest and she felt dizzy from the heat of it.
“Hermione?” Harry was looking at her now, his despondency gone in the face of her obvious distress. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I’m sorry about the game, Harry.” She leaned over and hugged him, still staring at Malfoy over Harry’s shoulder. “Look, I’ll talk to you guys later. I’m going to go lay down.”
With Harry and Ron staring worriedly after her, Hermione hurried from the room. Malfoy watched her as well, a predatory gleam in his silvered eyes.
Hermione splashed cold water on her face and looked at her pale reflection in the bathroom mirror. She wasn’t going to deny that she was terrified. It wasn’t even really because it was Malfoy – Merlin knew he was gorgeous enough to turn any witch’s head – but she’d had some rather romantic notions about losing her virginity and none of them included a lost wager to her school rival on a fixed Quidditch match.
She closed her eyes, then jerked them open again at the sound of Malfoy’s seductive drawl.
“Aren’t you going to congratulate me, Granger? I played a hard game today.”
Hermione swung around to face him, her eyes as cold as ice. “You cheated! You can forget about any wager, Malfoy!”
His handsome face tightened in fury. “I did not cheat! Slytherin played a fair match and you know it!”
Hermione snatched up a handtowel and rubbed it roughly over her face. She threw it aside and pushed past him. Draco grabbed her arm, but she wrenched free. “Don’t touch me!”
“I didn’t cheat! I can count, you know, Granger! When I saw that they were up 60 points, I knew it was now or never!” He stalked her into the common room, where she was tossing her schoolbooks into her book bag. “I found the snitch first and I caught it!”
Hermione faced him, trembling in fury. “Everyone saw you, Malfoy! You kicked Harry’s broom out from under him! It’s only a small wonder he was close enough to the ground that the fall didn’t kill him!”
“It wasn’t a foul! Even Hooch said it was in play and she hates me!” Draco yelled, his face turning red. He watched her stalk to the door. “Where are you going? You have a bet to settle, Granger.” He moved closer. “And I have some Gryffindor pussy to get acquainted with.”
Hermione looked at him out of tear-filled eyes, shocked at his vulgarity. “It’ll be a cold day in hell before I’ll ever lay a finger on you. I loathe you, Malfoy!”
She stormed out, entirely missing the flicker of pain in his mercurial eyes.
It was close to nine when Madam Pince finally kicked her out of the library, the normally-reserved witch chiding Hermione for studying so late on a Saturday night.
Hermione gathered her things and thought about going back to the Gryffindor common room and sleeping on the sofa, but the thought rankled. She shouldn’t have to evict herself from her own quarters because of a stupid bet that she should’ve never made in the first place.
Malfoy could be reasonable, sometimes. She’d just have to explain to him why she didn’t want this to happen. She’d have to own up to her virginity; they only had 3 months left in their last year at Hogwarts. How miserable could he make her?
When she stepped into the common room, Hermione first thought that Draco had gone. His quidditch uniform and gear lay in heap on the floor and the only light was the flickering glow of firelight. For a single, disgusted moment, Hermione wondered if he’d gone in search of a more willing witch.
Setting her book bag down, she tiptoed quietly around the sofa, then relaxed.
Malfoy was stretched out on the sofa, sound asleep. A textbook was on the floor, where it had fallen out of his hands. He lay on his back, one arm flung over his head, the smooth expanse of his chest gleaming in the soft light. In the few times Hermione had seen Malfoy sleep, she’d been struck by his sweet, boyish face. Only when he was awake did his vicious temper mar his pretty looks.
Hermione stooped down and picked up the book, closing it and setting it on the table.
“I wasn’t going to hurt you, you know.”
Startled, Hermione looked up to see that he was awake, his grey eyes glittering drowsily. He looked resigned, even kind of sad, and Hermione had to squash down a rising flood of guilt. “I know, but that isn’t it.”
Malfoy sat up, stretching his arms above his head. Hermione tried not to stare at his bare chest and the finely-cut muscles rippling beneath his fair skin. He looked at her and knew she was watching him, but the urge to gloat just wasn’t there. “It’s because you’re a virgin.”
Hermione flushed. “You don’t know that!” she blurted. Malfoy smiled and shook his head.
“Argumentative to the end. So, rather, you’re Hogwarts’ resident slag?”
Hermione stood up and propped her hands on her hips as Malfoy leaned back, utterly unconcerned with his near nudity. “I wouldn’t expect you to understand. You were probably shagging witches in grammar school.”
His smile was slow and infuriating. “I had tutors. Very old ones. I think my mum was imagining the same naughty things you are.”
“I’m not imagining naughty things!” Hermione huffed. “Just typical that you would turn this into something sordid! I came back here to be nice.”
Malfoy’s expression chilled and Hermione could’ve sworn he took the room temperature with him. She shivered. Pushing himself off the sofa, he shoved rudely past.
“Don’t do me any favors, Granger!” He stomped into his bedroom and slammed the door.
Hermione sighed. For the most part, she and Malfoy had gotten along well this year. Had to, really, since they were Head Boy and Girl and thus had to share quarters. Voldemort’s defeat last year followed shortly by his father’s death in Azkaban had gone a long way towards easing Malfoy’s animosity. In one drunken confession last term, he’d told Hermione that he was relieved to be out from under his father’s controlling thumb and would be able to make his own choices in life.
It was the closest Hermione had ever felt to the young aristocrat. And now, she knew that she’d hurt his feelings, but he never took hers into consideration. With a shake of her head, she picked up Malfoy’s discarded Quidditch uniform and put it in the bathroom hamper, for the laundry elves to take care of.
Sunday morning dawned cold and overcast, the low-hanging clouds pregnant with rain. Hermione pulled the quilt up to her neck and turned onto her side, looking at the bedside clock. It was only a little after seven and although she should’ve been rising to start the day, Hermione decided that it was a good day to lay in bed for a little while longer.
Unexpectedly, her thoughts turned back to Malfoy and the bewildered and hurt expression on his face when she’d told him she’d never touch him. Hermione sighed and draped her arm over her eyes. He had been trying, all year, to be not as infuriating as usual and for the most part, he’d succeeded. Hermione had even been somewhat pleased that he was Head Boy. Despite being a little too eager to punish wayward students, he took his duties seriously.
He was intelligent, frighteningly so. He so obviously needed the strong hand that Snape and Dumbledore provided, for knowledge in someone as willful as Draco Malfoy could be very dangerous indeed. Still, she did have to admit to enjoying her regular debates with him and found him to be a stimulating conversationalist.
And, add to that the fact that he was exceedingly easy on the eyes, Hermione had to admit that she was mostly happy with sharing Head duties with Malfoy.
She closed her eyes and was just starting to drift off again, when a clatter outside her bedroom door made her sit abruptly up in bed. “Who’s there?” she called. It was far too early for Malfoy to be up and about on a weekend morning, unless Quidditch was involved.
A muffled word reached her ears, seconds before her door swung open. Hermione gasped and jerked the quilt up to her neck, despite being dressed in decidedly unsexy flannel pajamas. A house elf toddled in, balancing a tray laden with teapot and cups and a large plate of fresh fruit and pastries. Draco, actually dressed for once, followed sleepily.
The elf bobbed his head at her with a chirpy, “Good morning, miss!” and set the tray on a small table that he conjured with a snap of his fingers. Tugging on his drooping hat that Hermione recognized as one she’d knitted in fifth year, the elf popped away with another sharp snap of his fingers.
“What...? Malfoy, what is this?” Hermione sputtered.
Draco was crawling up into the middle of her bed, tucking his bare feet into the folds of her quilt. “Merlin, Hermione, it’s cold in here!” He removed his wand from the pocket of his heavy dressing robe. He pointed it at the fireplace and the smoldering ashes burst into merry flame. He grinned.
“I get warm at night, so I let it die down,” Hermione explained.
Malfoy looked for a moment as if he was going to make an offensive comment, but thought better of it. Instead, he maneuvered the table closer and poured tea into a delicate china cup that looked suspiciously like one of Professor Trelawney’s.
With a smile worthy of a cherub, he handed it to her, after adding just the precise amount of sugar and cream she preferred. She took it, bemused by his perfect manners. After piling several pieces of fruit and a gooey pastry on a small plate and placing it on her knee, he lay down on his side and watched her.
Hermione sipped the hot tea, unable to hold back a groan of pleasure. It was one of her favorite morning rituals and of course, Malfoy would know that, having spent many Sunday mornings glaring at her over the top of his copy of The Sunday Prophet.
“You’re certainly in a good mood this morning, Malfoy. Did you sneak a trio of fifth year Hufflepuffs in here after I went to sleep?”
He watched her, a measured look that made her body burn in a way that the tea had nothing to do with. “I wanted to apologize.”
Hermione managed to not spit tea all over her bedclothes. “Really? I’m surprised that you aren’t demanding that I apologize to you for besmirching Malfoy honor or some such.”
Malfoy waved his hand airily. “That would never work. You would only tell me that a Malfoy has no honor and I would get mad, understandably, then you’d get all huffy and puffy and call me a spoiled brat who deserved to rot in Azkaban for the rest of my days. See where I’m going with this?”
Scrutinizing the plate on her lap, Hermione chose a plump, crimson strawberry and bit into it. Licking the juice off her lips, unaware of Malfoy’s gaze on the droplets, she shrugged. “Frankly, Malfoy, no.”
“I’m going to be honest with you.”
Hermione laughed. “You? This late in our relationship? And you were on such a roll.”
Again that brief flash of hurt in his grey eyes sent a bolt of pure guilt through Hermione’s gut, but before she could apologize, he smiled. “I deserved that. I spent a long time tormenting you and your friends and while I wish I could say I was sorry, I really can’t. It’s time past and we all acted dreadfully. But, before school is over and the chance to tell you how I feel is lost, well, I think now is as good a time as any.”
Hermione stared at him, her breakfast forgotten. Panic was coiling in her belly now, as she wondered just what he had to say that warranted breakfast in bed and proclamations of future honesty.
“I’m in love with you, Hermione.”
That certainly was not what Hermione Granger was expecting to hear the morning after rejecting his dubious sexual advances. He was looking at her anxiously, a small hopeful smile quirking the corners of his lips but all Hermione could see was six years of verbal and emotional torment and his smile seemed to resemble that hateful sneer of which she was so accustomed.
Her teacup fell from nerveless fingers, the liquid spreading in an ever-widening stain. Hermione shoved the quilt off of her legs and she scrambled out of bed, turning to give him a look of pure resentment. Draco shot up, staring in shock at the mess she’d just made. “Hermione...”
“Shut up! Shut up! Get of my room, Malfoy!”
The hurt in his eyes was quickly being swallowed by fury. “What in the fuck is wrong with you, you silly bint?”
“Just when I thought you could sink no lower, Malfoy! Get out!” Hermione screamed, pushing Malfoy in the chest hard enough to propel him out the door. “You’ll literally stop at nothing, will you? You can have any girl you want, so why don’t you waste your breath and your lies on someone who will actually spread her legs for you!”
Malfoy was looking at her as if she’d completely gone mad. “I’m not lying.”
“You’re incapable of telling the truth!” Hermione gripped the door so hard her knuckled whitened from the force. The fight went out of her and she found herself choking back tears. “Just leave me alone, Malfoy. Please.”
She shut the door firmly in his face.
“Are you okay, Hermione?” Ginny asked as they sat down at the long Gryffindor table for dinner. “You look like you’ve been crying.”
What Ginny diplomatically avoided saying was that Hermione looked much worse. She had spent the better part of the day in bed crying, after she’d cleaned up the mess she’d made. Even a shower and a few cosmetic charms couldn’t hide her puffy, reddened eyes and stuffy nose. She’d not even bothered to tame her bushy hair and now it hung down her back in a mass of matted curls.
Ginny poured herself a glass of pumpkin juice, then did the same for Hermione. “You weren’t at lunch today. I came up to see you, but Malfoy said you had a headache.”
Hermione blinked rapidly as fresh tears filled her eyes and her face went blotchy. The youngest Weasley sighed, more aware of the cause of Hermione’s emotional state than Hermione herself probably knew. Draco Malfoy hadn’t looked much better; shirtless and in as foul a temper as Ginny had ever known him to be. He’d glared at her fiercely when she’d knocked at the portrait and asked about Hermione. His icy gaze had thawed for a fraction of a second, long enough for Ginny to see the misery torturing him.
But then, that moment was gone and he’d nearly slammed the door shut on her fingers. Ginny had walked back to Gryffindor Tower, wondering just when the two headstrong students would put aside their animosity and distrust and find each other. It was obvious, to Ginny Weasley at least.
Harry and Ron had tucked right into dinner, sparing Hermione little more than a glance and greeting, before filling up their plates with shepherd’s pie. Ginny started to say something to them about their rudeness when a shadow fell over the table. They all looked up, save Hermione.
“Is this seat taken, Miss Weasley?”
Harry and Ron paused in mid-chew, gaping as Draco Malfoy sat down at the table beside Ginny and directly across from Hermione. A place setting appeared out of thin air and Malfoy began scooping pie onto his plate.
Ron was sputtering in righteous indignation. “What in the hell are you doing? No one invited you to sit here!”
Ginny looked around, aware of the sudden silence that filled the Great Hall. Every pair of eyes in the room, student and teacher alike, was fastened on the platinum-haired wizard. All but one and she was staring down at her empty plate.
Draco took a sip of juice and smiled at the goggling faces around him. Ron still looked murderous and Ginny was just starting to worry that he’d burst something vital in his head when Malfoy held out his hand to her irate brother.
“I’m Draco Malfoy. You must be Ron Weasley. I’ve heard a lot of good things about you,” he said clearly, his voice carrying over
Harry glared at him. “Malfoy, what are you up to?”
But Malfoy ignored him, his curiously candid gaze locked on Ron’s increasingly bewildered one. “I’ve seen you play Quidditch. You’re good. Need a little help on protecting your rear flank, but otherwise, you play a good game,”
Ron couldn’t help but brighten a little at the compliment that even he recognized as such. He reached over and shook Malfoy’s extended hand, searching the Slytherin for any evidence of malice. But there was nothing but friendly interest. “Thanks.”
Ginny caught a movement out of the corner of her eye and she turned her head. Hermione was watching Malfoy, her eyes shining with something that could only be described as bliss. Malfoy lifted his pale head and looked into Hermione’s eyes and Ginny couldn’t help the giddy smile that crossed her face.
Looked like Draco and Hermione had found each other after all.
Feedback always welcome
I Fell: pleased