The Lord of Misrule, sometimes called the King of Fools is a winter holiday tradition that has its roots in the ancient Roman celebration of Saturnalia. The Lord himself is most usually a peasant appointed to oversee Christmas revelries consisting of wild partying and lots of drunken shenanigans often called The Feast of Fools. It’s commonly accepted among many folklorists that that this tradition began as a way for a Christian society to keep the faith with their pagan histories and traditions. Especially considering that the practice was condemned by the Church, although, being unable to eradicate the celebration, it morphed in the celebration of Twelfth Night, which is the day after Christmas and was adopted by the lowborn and highborn alike.
Doesn’t it just sound like an opportunity for so much mischief? A fantastic chance for our fae friends to work their machinations. This is one of my favorite plot devices. So we’re holding a fanfiction contest based on the above theme. How do the fae and the Lord of Misrule throw our favorite paranormal couples together?
Try your hand at anything from a drabble (100 words) to a multi-chapter fic to win any title from my backlist and a $10 Amazon gift card. The only rules are it has to be a paranormal couple and include the fae, and the Lord of Misrule. For your submissions, post them in the comments with the title of the fic, the word count, and the fandom you’re writing in.
I’m so looking forward to your submissions!
Please enjoy A Christmas Recipe, a Harry Potter Fandom Hermione/Draco fanfic which includes a meddling Cupid. 6595 words (But no Lord of Misrule. So I would be disqualified. Make sure you have your fae, and your Lord!)
A Christmas Recipe
Cupid thought for sure they’d do as they were supposed to when he’d snatched the belt to Hermione’s robe, but of course, things wouldn’t have progressed to those drastic measures if the git had just given her CPR when she’d choked. Damsel in Distress, Knight in Slightly Tarnished Silver Armor…
Hermione Granger sat straight up from a dead sleep, her hair clinging in sticky chocolate tendrils to her forehead, her mouth hanging open like a whale caught in twenty-four schools of plankton.
It seemed to be hanging precariously, as if it were possible for it to drop farther. Maybe as if the bottom of her jaw would detach like that of a snake and hit the floor, perhaps to roll under the bed and be kidnapped by the hated and ever-feared sock trolls.
But unlike those animals in the wild kingdom, this gaping, toothy maw was not to allow things to get in, but to let something out.
The milk-curdling shriek took a few breathy seconds to make its way from the pit of her stomach beneath that brick to her mouth. In fact, it might have been that extra push from curling her fists around the duvet so tightly that it ripped. As if that sound, that satisfying sound of inanimate destruction, were a precursor, a butler to hold the door for that eardrum rupturing guest that was flying through walls and shadow to echo ominously throughout the house.
It was the sound of death.
Pansy “soon to be Potter” Parkinson flew on wings of righteous fury; an avenging goddess, through her door to pounce on the bed and unleash herself like a storm of hell on whatever had dared invade her home and kill her new friend.
After she saw that there was no such danger and had retracted her claws like a good kitty, she said, “What in the name of Cerridwyn is wrong with you? I thought you were dying.”
Hermione flopped back on the bed as soon as she was able to close her mouth, though she opened it again to answer Pansy. “It’s worse than death.”
“What’s wrong?” Pansy was genuinely concerned. “Did you start you witches’ time? I can get you a potion…”
“No, I had a dream.”
“Was it a portent?”
“Oh, fuck! I hope not.”
“You say fuck?” Pansy said, startled.
“Not usually. Oh, Merlin help me!” she cried dramatically.
“Just tell me!”
“I dreamt about Malfoy.”
“He was naked.”
“Why is that bad?” Pansy raised a brow. “Granted, our engagement is off, but he’s not so bad in the sack. Not bad to look at naked either.”
Hermione opened her mouth to scream again and Pansy promptly clamped a hand over her mouth.
“No more of that, my dear.”
“We wuf in my med.”
Pansy moved her hand. “What?”
“He was in my bed!”
“And?” Pansy looked at her for a moment. “Oh.” Then more loudly, “Oh!”
“What do I do? Can you Obliviate me?”
“From a dream?”
“Yes, from a dream! Every time
I see him I will remember what he looked like, what he was doing, what he oh-my-fucking-hell, felt like! Felt like, do you hear me?”
“I hear you. I bet Merlin can hear you too. And wow, do you have a foul mouth in the morning.”
“You would, too—if you were having naughty dreams about the enemy.”
“Hermione, I started having naughty dreams about the enemy and now I’m going to marry him.”
“Harry’s not so bad.”
“Neither is Draco.”
“Harry never called you a Mudblood.”
“He would if I asked him to.”
Hermione’s curiosity got the better of her embarrassment for the span of exactly one second, before she realized just how intimate the matter of discussion was.
Pansy grinned when Hermione trailed off. “Sod it. Who cares? So you had a wet dream about Draco. Store it in the spank bank and get on with it. It’s natural. Especially with Draco “Long Wand” Malfoy. It’s not like he’ll ever know.” She paused to look at the horrified woman. “Unless you tell him. You could, you know. I bet that would knock him for a shiny loop. He’d be speechless.”
“He’d be mortified.” Hermione said softly.
“He’d fall over dead. Or he might shag you silly right there. You never know.”
“Which do I want him to do?”
“I wouldn’t begin to know how to answer that question, darling. You’re the one with the brain.”
“I don’t use it for that kind of thing.”
“What? Why the hell not?”
“Well, I’m just not an erotic kind of witch, I suppose. I’ve worked with him every day for a year and never had problems with these sorts of dreams.”
“Stuff that. The brain is the largest and most developed sex organ. As smart as you are, I’m surprised you’re not the wickedest kind of strumpet.”
“I am, I am. Look, Draco isn’t so bad. If you can find his heart, it’s not all black. He just hides it very well. I couldn’t find it, but it wasn’t meant for me. Then again, he is the shag ‘em and leave ‘em type.”
“Which is he? Is he a good man, or is he the hit it and quit it type of wizard?”
“He’s both. It’s complicated. For the right witch, he’d be devoted and caring. He just hasn’t found her yet. So, if you decide to go after him, guard your heart. If you give him your cunny and nothing else, you’ll be fine.”
“Even if I did want him, just to, you know, test drive him and take him back to the lot, why would he want me?”
“Saint Sorcha’s Wand! Why ever, indeed! You’re beautiful, you’re powerful, and you might be the only witch in all of the world that he hasn’t shagged senseless.”
“Uh, hello? Mudblood?” Hermione sneered the last word as if it was poison on her tongue.
“I’m sure that was more company line rhetoric, spouted when we were children. During the war, did you know that he paid for several squib safehouses and secret Muggle evacuations? And where is that irritatingly raging confidence of yours?”
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bemoaning anything. I still love me to pieces. I like who I am. I like what I am. I just don’t think that you can change someone’s core beliefs with a flash of tit and leg. Or, ‘wonderful personality’.”
“No, I agree. Sometimes people aren’t who you thought they were. You have to give them a chance. You gave me one.” Pansy smiled.
“Right, but Harry was already madly in love with you. I didn’t have a choice.” Hermione smirked.
“I still can’t believe our engagement party is tonight.” She bit her bottom lip. “Thanks for coming and staying over. It was nice to have a girl’s night. I understand why Tracy didn’t come. What do you think the night was like for the guys?”
The door flew open again and slammed the doorknob into the wall with such force that the knob would be imbedded until shite stuck to the moon.
“What the hell was that ruckus? Are you okay?” None other than the topic of previous conversation stood bare-chested and sleep-tousled in black silk pajama bottoms with his wand at the ready.
Both of them.
“I see the wand fairy has been busy.”
“What?” Draco looked at Pansy and Hermione both.
Pansy raised a brow and Hermione couldn’t keep her eyes from flashing between the wand in his hand and well, for lack of better terminology and a description that she would hate herself later for, his straining, engorged man-wand. Which she promptly mouthed silently to Pansy.
“I thought someone was under attack.” He frowned at them, still not catching on to what they were talking about.
“Wow, he’s thick.” Hermione sputtered.
“Don’t you know it, girly, in more ways than one!” Pansy tittered and they both fell over laughing.
Hermione’s eyes bulged and she laughed harder. She laughed so hard, she forgot to breathe. When she remembered, she choked on her own spit.
Harry was suddenly behind Draco.
“Why do women always seem to choke around you, Potter?” Draco said, referring to the day that Pansy had discovered that Harry was going to be her parole officer and he’d had to give her CPR when she’d fallen over in a dead faint after she’d stopped breathing.
“Granger, you okay?” Draco asked, peering over Pansy.
She inhaled a great gulp of air and promptly choked again. Pansy was struggling to help her sit up when Draco nudged her out of the way. “Do move over.”
“It took you long enough to get here. If we’d been attacked, we’d be dead.”
“It’s a big house.” Draco muttered as he helped Hermione sit up and whacked her on the back so hard her mouth fell open again and her tongue lagged in an indelicate impersonation of a half-witted dog.
Hermione wished she’d been lucky enough to get CPR. No, all she got was a cheap feel of his, uh, wand against her side when he’d propped her up.
He was very close to her face, his mouth so very close to hers, just like in her dream. He was so near that his hair brushed her forehead.
“Can you breathe? Granger?”
She tilted her mouth up to his in a lust induced haze, then to her absolute horror, all of the air that she’d been sucking in while she was choking came back out. In one echoing, bass-filled, percussive, atomic bomb of a lumberjack burp.
She could see the mushroom cloud gathering around his head like a halo.
Draco turned his head as he blinked owlishly, his patrician nose wrinkled with the indignity of it all. Though, to his credit, he didn’t drop her. Not to say it wasn’t his probably his first instinct.
“George Dickel Bourbon. ’83. Not a good year.” he commented, referring to the smell of the aforementioned mushroom cloud. He eased her into Pansy’s arms and left the room.
If it was possible to die of mortification, Hermione wasn’t going to make it to the engagement party.
* * * *
“YES!” Pansy stuck out her lip and her cleavage at the same time.
“She was already so embarrassed, I’m not going to pair her with Malfoy for the games tonight.”
She undid a button. “Yes,” she undid another one. “You are.”
“She…” Harry began, trailing off as Pansy bared a nipple.
“Is made of sterner stuff. They’re perfect for each other.”
“You’re perfect for me.”
“I know this.” Pansy said as she pulled her skirt up so he could see the edge of her lacy knickers.
“What were we talking about?”
Pansy turned so that he could see her bum, and the “Potter’s” that was embroidered there.
“Just say yes, Harry.”
“Yes.” He grabbed for her, but she shifted again, worming just out of his reach.
“Do it right now. Fix the cards.” Pansy said as she slipped her hand down the front of those lacy knickers for Harry to see.
“Don’t think you can do this every time you don’t get your way.” Harry said as he went to do as she demanded.
She spread her thighs for him just a little wider. “I’ve started without you. Hurry up before I finish without you.” Pansy said sweetly.
“Like hell. Damn the cards!”
“I’ll do it, but after!” He grabbed her wrists and put them above her head with one hand, while the other set about to finish what she’d started.
And Pansy found she couldn’t argue.
* * * *
Hermione was standing in the loo, debating what to do with her riot of curls when she heard a pounding on the bedroom door.
Oh, shite on wheels! It was him. Hermione took a deep breath.
“Don’t choke again, you lackwit!” she mumbled to herself. Then, “Who cares? You’ve never cared what he thought before. Why now?”
Because he’s hotter than sin, now. That’s why.
She opened the door before she could think better of it. And she really should have. She’d forgotten to belt her robe.
Well, nothing to do but forge ahead. She’d already humiliated herself; maybe if she acted like she didn’t notice, or she didn’t care, he wouldn’t either.
After all, Hermione Granger had studied herself just as she had everything else. She knew without a shadow of doubt that she had a great set of knockers. Thank Merlin she’d put on knickers.
And the robe covered her, mostly. Even without the tie.
Draco’s eyes were drawn straight to her breasts. He licked his lips before he spoke.
“Yes, Malfoy?” Hermione managed politely.
He held out a box in front of him. “This is from Pansy.” Draco managed to bring his eyes up to meet hers. “She thought you might like to wear it tonight.”
Hermione Granger may have been a brain, but she was still a girl. She loved presents. She especially loved surprises.
And it wasn’t that she didn’t love books as well, but that was all anyone ever thought to buy her. This was something different. This was something feminine.
In her excitement, she forgot about her robe and sat down on the bed as she tore at the wrapping.
The box was filled with small, delicate crystal snowflakes. She gasped. “They’re so beautiful.”
“I, uh, think they’re for your hair.”
* * * *
“Will you help me put it in?”
Was this really happening to him? Really? Hermione Granger had just asked him to put it in. No, no. She couldn’t have said that. Could she?
Oh, no. She wanted him to put them in. The snowflakes. Right.
He was afraid to touch her hair. That was intimate. Worse, that was something he’d always wanted to do. Even when he was calling her names, and bullying her, he’d wanted to see if all that wildness would be soft or coarse, if it would curl around his finger after he tamed it like an animal, after he tamed her.
He wanted to know what was beneath that proper exterior.
Well, he was finding out. Right now.
Did she know her robe was open? Was she taunting him?
Her tits were perfect, from what he could see. That damn robe was only allowing glimpses, taunts. He wanted them bare. They looked heavy, but they were high and he knew they would be firm. They had perfect lines, as if they were formed for his hands. He wanted to touch them, to take the peaks in his mouth… He wondered if she liked that. If his mouth suckling her breast would make her wet.
The robe gaped as she shifted, giving him a glimpse of the soft line of her belly and her proper white knickers. They way they clung to the roundness of her hip made him want to take them off with his teeth.
“I can’t reach.” She smiled innocently.
If it had been Pansy, he would have known her artifice immediately. There was something innocent about Hermione, even know after the war. After all she’d been through.
He slid on the bed behind her, crossing one leg beneath him to keep her softness away from his aching cock.
“Are you wearing your hair down?”
“I thought about it. It never wants to do anything else, anyway. Maybe just clip them in here and there?”
“Sure.” It didn’t occur to him to tell her that Pansy would be along to help her. If he’d been honest with himself, which he refused to be, he would acknowledge that he liked this awkward pain, that he liked this tension that he felt.
Draco slid his fingers through her hair, as if gauging exactly where to put each snowflake. With the first touch, Hermione shivered.
“Are you cold?”
“A little.” she answered, breathless.
He allowed his finger to slip down the swan arch of her neck as he clipped the next snowflake.
Turn about, after all, was fair play. Not that he gave a rat’s ass about being fair. Not now that he knew that she was just as affected as he was.
Draco leaned in and whispered against her ear, “How many would like me to put in?”
“All of them.”
“Tight or a little loose for movement?”
“Tight, or they’ll fall out.”
“Oh no, sweet. I won’t let them. Nothing that I put in will fall out.”
* * * *
Hermione was having a hard time not falling on her back like a turtle and begging him to pound her senseless right there.
All because of that stupid dream. Stupid Draco. Stupid cunny! Damn thing had a mind of its own.
Hermione needed to be in control again. She needed to prove to her body that her brain was really in charge. “I wanted to apologize for earlier and thank you for coming to my rescue.”
“I was going to be gallant, but I have to ask.”
She could even hear the smirk on his face.
“That bourbon is just nasty. How did you manage to get it down?”
“My tongue was numb.”
“I’ll have to remember that.”
Was he referring to fellatio? Was he referring to her and fellatio? Was this actually happening? With Draco Malfoy?
oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god SHUT UP. Hermione gave herself a mental slap. Twice.
“For what? Do you need to numb your tongue to get something particularly unpleasant down your throat?”
He laughed this time. “No. Nothing particularly nasty. An acquired taste, though.”
“Really?” Hermione quipped and then froze. She didn’t want to move away from him, but she couldn’t lean back either. What to do?
“Yes, really. If it’s numb, I could get more use out of it.”
Hermione was practically dead from the effort it took not to ask what he’d be using it for. Worse, he probably knew it.
The heat of his hands moved to her shoulders; she could feel his breath on her neck. “You’re robe seems to have slipped agape, Miss Granger. Perhaps that is why you’re cold?
Instead of giving her time to react, he reached around her and pulled it tight, his fingers brushed the edges of her breasts, which sent an electric shock straight through to her core.
“I hadn’t realized.” She managed in a small voice. “Though perhaps I should document for the scientific community that it is truly impossible to die from humiliation.”
“Ah, Granger. I could have told you when you opened the door; I could have not mentioned it at all to save your feelings. But I did not. I looked and I enjoyed myself in the looking. I brought it to your attention to watch your cheeks flush that same delicious pink as the tips of your nipples. I’m no gentleman.”
Hermione didn’t know what to say, she didn’t know what to do. She thought about slapping him, but why? She was the one who forgot to tie her damn robe. It made her feel so naughty that he’d been looking down over her shoulders at her body while he was pinning those crystal snowflakes in her hair.
She was hyperaware of his body so close to hers, his heat burned her, but she wanted to feel it everywhere.
“Then perhaps I am no lady.”
“No, you’re every inch a lady, Hermione Granger. I have done you a disservice and yet, I can’t bring myself to apologize because I’m not sorry.”
Hermione knew that if she moved, it would require some other consequential action. She would either have to get up or she would have to move into him, initiate what she wanted.
She was afraid of both. Afraid of what would happen. If she got up, maybe this opportunity would never come again. If she moved into him, if she bedded Draco Malfoy, it would be a line that was forever crossed. There would be no going back.
What to say? Make love to me, who said that anymore? Fuck me? Too crude.
Instead, she chose the safe route. “Thank you again for everything today.”
Fate was not to be denied.
They both attempted to stand at the same time, at which time they slammed their foreheads together and fell to the floor.
Of course she ended up on top of him, straddling him, with her rack hanging in his face. Well, more correctly, smothering him.
She was pressed against him most intimately. Dear Saints Above, Pansy hadn’t been lying. Hermione was so wet, she was going to soak right through her knickers.
Hermione scrambled to get off him, before she left incontrovertible proof that she wanted him on his trousers.
“Either you’re trying to kill me, or this is going to happen whether we want it to or not.” Draco said as he calmly straightened himself.
“I’d be more comfortable if we just attribute it to the fact I’m trying to kill you.”
“What a way to go.” Draco winked at her and finally made his exit.
* * * *
Though Hermione had been paired with Draco for the night’s activities, she managed to make it through without spilling anything, tripping over anyone, making any public bodily noises, or choking to death.
She even managed to make it through a game of Pin the Tail On the Reindeer without making a complete arse out of herself. All in all, she was pleased.
Of course, she’d had Draco’s guiding touch to point her in the right direction. He was very gallant. She’d been sure that he would have pointed her toward the punch bowl just to see what would happen.
More surprising, she’d had fun.
He approached her at the punch bowl. “I’ve had enough. How about you?”
Was he asking to go upstairs?
“I’m awfully tired.” That was neutral.
“Too tired to come watch the fairy lights? We’ll take a broom.”
“Oh, I don’t know, Malfoy.” Hermione said as she bit her lip. Not only was she terrified of the broom, but it seemed as if she’d been cursed today. If it was possible for it to go wrong, it had.
“Where’s your sense of adventure?”
“I kind of like breathing. The whole falling off the broom and plunging to a splattery kind of messy death? Not really my thing.”
“I promise I won’t let you fall.”
“Are you remembering any of today? What if I turn wrong and knock you off the broom? Then we’ll both die.”
“Hermione,” he said her name softly, as if his voice were a caress. “They’re going to start playing Spin the Bottle soon like we’re back at Hogwarts. Everyone is sloshed on Fire Cider. Wouldn’t you rather tell our children that we had our first kiss flying through the firmament on an expertly maneuvered broom, watching the fairy lights on a clear winter’s eve than alternatively, awkward, sticky, drunken fumblings in Auntie Pansy’s closet, hmm?
“You’re quite sure of yourself, aren’t you? Arrogant git.” She huffed, but she wasn’t really angry.
“That may be true, but you’re going.”
“I suppose I am.” Hermione said, resigned. “Nothing fancy on the broom, though. I can’t abide them.”
* * * *
Hermione had to admit that once they were airborne and she was clinging to Draco like a terrified fungus, that it really was stunning.
The sky was clear, a velvety blue-black palette splashed with the purpled, glittering ink of the fairy lights swirled through the silver-brushed waterfall of stars.
If she could enchant the ceilings of her flat to do that, or a painting… She wondered if fairy lights would show up in a wizarding picture.
Draco had chosen a green outcropping to land the broom. The edge dropped straight down into the churning, black sea. The air was crisp and burned her nose, but she inhaled deeply.
The night was beautiful.
It had always been something to fear, the dark. Now, she was here in this place with Draco Malfoy.
“You know, rainbows are a trick of the light inside the rods and cones of your eyes. Nothing mystical and fey out in the world. Are fairy lights like that, do you think?”
“Certainly not! I made a sizable donation to the Fey Union to find out where the best place to see the lights would be.”
“What are they?”
“The Fey celebrate Yule, but a bit differently. This is the one night of the year when all Fey females are fertile. The lights are sparks of new life.”
In the back of her head, it occurred to the sensible regions that they were watching the aftermath of a Fey orgy, but the soft girlish part of Hermione refused to let that daunt her. It was beautiful and romantic and perfect.
He was right. This was the place for their first kiss. She turned her face to his.
“Are you cold?”
She immediately looked down to the neckline of her dress to make sure nothing was hanging out where it shouldn’t.
He gave her an amused smirk before pulling her against his chest.
Hermione figured that he’d already had her chest in his face, so what did one small touch of lips matter?
She tilted her face up and pressed her lips to his throat.
All the sweetness of the moment was forgotten. That touch of her lips had been pulling the tiger’s tail.
His fingers tangled in her hair, the starlight glinting on the crystal snowflakes making them look like diamonds, but they were nothing compared to fairy lights in his eyes.
His mouth was hard and unforgiving in that first kiss; he ravaged her mouth with his desire. But his hand cupped her cheek gently, his thumb on her chin holding her just so. She could do nothing but melt into him, nothing but take pleasure in submitting to his will for all he demanded were echoes of her own aching need.
In that moment, civilizations rose and fell. It was a second, but it was eternity. It was a single drop of rain colliding with the eternal sea- then it was the sea. It was everything and nothing, one touch, one moment of breath that was all the breath in the world.
As they drew apart, both breathing erratically, the sky split with forked light and thunder echoed. Just then large, fat flakes of snow fell all around them.
Hermione smiled. “Thunder snow. Sounds incongruous doesn’t it?”
“Like the fact that we’re here together?”
Draco drew his wand and a ball of glass formed around a particularly gigantic flake and it hung in suspended animation, like a dragonfly in amber. Forever frozen in forever winter.
Hermione laughed, surprised as lightning crackled around the preserved flake, jumping to her fingertips against the glass as she took it from Draco’s hand.
“I’m going to put it on the top of my Yule tree. It looks like a star.”
“We should get back. It’s getting colder.”
He secured her on the front of the broom this time and she didn’t even notice. She was too caught up in the feel of him, the scent of him, and the sheer reality that this man was really Draco Malfoy.
* * * *
“Draco, Harry and I wanted to invite you to spend tomorrow with us. Since this is your first Christmas without either of your parents.” Pansy let her hand rest on the sleeve of his Armani coat.
“Actually, I have plans.”
“Oh and what are these mysterious plans? You don’t have to put on the unaffected act for me.”
“Hermione invited me to her flat for dinner and cocoa.”
“That sounds positively homey. And too banal for you.” Pansy narrowed her eyes at him.
“I thought you would be pleased. I’ve seen your hand at work here. Not only yours, but Fate.”
Pansy snorted so loud she sounded like a hungry pig. “You don’t believe in Fate.”
“Maybe I’ve seen the error of my ways.”
“Maybe my arse bakes apple crumble pies.”
“It bakes something.” Harry added from the wings.
“You shut your gob! And you, Draco Malfoy, you better not hurt her on purpose. I’ve already warned her, but you be honest about what you want from her. I told her she should just shag you and have done.”
“I’m wounded, Pans. Really, I am.”
“No, Draco. I mean it. She’s a sweet witch who doesn’t deserve a broken heart.”
“Who says I’ll break her heart?”
“No matter what she tells you, Hermione isn’t the kind of girl for casual shagging. She will get attached.”
“Potter, shouldn’t you be the one giving me the ‘I’ll break your legs’ speech?”
“I think you’re more likely to be scared of Pansy than me.”
“Don’t you know it!” Draco pursed his lips. “So it’s taken me twelve years to admit it, but I like her. Sod off, Parkinson.” He said cheerfully as he backed toward the door. “I had a lovely evening–congratulations. And Harry?”
Draco had one foot out of the door
“Yeah?” Harry replied.
“You need to shag her more thoroughly if she’s still such a lippy baggage.” Draco managed to shut the door behind him just as a something, most likely porcelain, shattered against the door. He’d wanted to see the look on her face, but she had a hellish arm with a wicked response time.
Rather than Apparate, Draco chose to walk in the thunder snow. The flakes were still falling.
What was he doing? He didn’t want anything serious. Did he? Perhaps it was just because Hermione was something new, an unknown quantity.
He remembered the radiant smile on her face when he’d given her the ornament he’d made out of the snowflake. If he wasn’t completely honest with her and himself, he’d never see that again. The thought made an oddly hollow feeling in his gut.
Draco had come to the party with the intent to seduce Hermione Granger. Not because she was the only witch in the wizarding world that he hadn’t shagged. Not because he thought that she’d be the ultimate prey, the best challenge.
But because he’d always wanted her.
When he was a boy, he’d been so cruel to her because when she was angry, her eyes sparkled and her cheeks flushed. With her hair all wild around her innocent face… She’d always been beautiful. Even when her teeth were crooked.
In a sense, she’d been his redemption. How could he ever tell her that? That it had been his near obsession with her in school that made him realize that his father, Merlin rest his soul, was wrong. That he, himself, was wrong.
Any way that he put it, it just sounded creepy. Uh, yeah, Hermione, back in school I wanked to you and that made me realize genocide is bad.
Granted, it was more complicated than that, but…
Draco had never been comfortable with his feelings. Not when he was happy, not when he was hurt. Especially not when someone meant something to him.
What exactly Hermione Granger meant to him, he didn’t know.
* * * *
Her closet was a mess. She’d been trying on clothes for three hours and it was down to the wire. He was going to be there any minute.
She’d tried dresses.
She’d tried skirts.
She’d tried slacks.
She’d tried nothing at all. (But she wasn’t that brave.)
Hermione finally settled on a vintage dress, simple and pink. It was sleeveless and had more of a summer feel than Christmas. With an empire waist and a low neckline, it made her feel pretty. It was lacy and trimmed with rosebuds. It could have been a slip; for all that it looked like lingerie.
She’d charmed her hair into soft waves, though who knew how long it would hold? She likened her hair to a nuclear reactor with a perpetual leak. It was likely to blow at any time.
Hermione was afraid, excited, and curious all at the same time. She was afraid that last night had been a fluke. That he would change his mind, or that he’d just been coming on to her to be cruel. That was the little girl on the inside that still got the better of the grown woman on the outside.
She wondered if they would shag and then that would be it. Was that something she could live with? Hermione did not commit her resources easily and that included her body.
Though the body was currently at odds with the brain. Big time. In fact, their chemistry screamed like a Quidditch crowd on Sunday, whereas her brain didn’t seem to be able to project above a whisper.
Hermione checked the stove. She was making butterflied Cornish hens with sage butter and there was Espresso Cake with chocolate whip frosting.
Everything was perfect. The hens were crisping nicely, she’d enchanted them to rotisserie themselves so it carmelized all around. The fire was crackling softly in the fireplace, and a cauldron hung above with Fire cider. She’d lit dozens of candles, yet, she’d managed for it to appear homey and comfortable as opposed to romance with two parts pressure.
A knock sounded promptly at six and she smoothed imaginary wrinkles from her dress before opening the door.
“Happy Christmas.” Hermione said with a smile.
Draco smiled back, a flashing of white teeth. He looked different. His hair hung almost in defiance over his brow, his face more relaxed. He was wearing denims and a black sweater that seemed to accentuate his delicious shoulders.
She couldn’t help a glance at his bum when walked past. Hermione decided then and there that it should be illegal for Malfoy to wear denims. Ever. They hugged his arse in just such a way that tempted her to smack it.
The gym had definitely been good to him. So had his genes, of course.
“That smells divine. You’re actually cooking?”
“I invited you over for dinner, what else would I do?”
“I just have never known a woman who cooked.”
“Pansy made everything for last night’s party.”
“I wouldn’t have touched a morsel if I’d known that.”
“I thought it was very good.” Hermione rushed to Pansy’s defense.
“You two seem to have gotten awfully chummy in the last week.” Draco sounded suspicious.
“I never would have thought it would happen, but yes, we have. She’s wonderful. She makes Harry so happy.”
“I always thought you would have ended up with Harry.” Draco said lightly. “Or Merlin forbid, Ron.”
“When we were younger, that was the plan.”
“Both of them? My, my. What a little libertine I’ve caught.”
Hermione blushed. “No, you prat.”
“I like it when you blush.”
“I suppose you would. You make me do it often enough.” Hermione replied.
There was an awkward silence and Hermione began to fidget with her hands.
“So, are you going to give me the grand tour?”
“Oh, sure.” She gave a nervous titter. “It’s small so really, the only things I can show you are the loo and the bedroom. And you probably have some sort of crazy GPS with bedrooms in witches’ flats.”
“Right. Muggle technology is fascinating. I was thinking that maybe that might be the future for my family’s company, integration for the modern wizard.”
“That’s a brilliant idea.”
Hermione just realized that she’d been maneuvered not only into showing him the bedroom, but out of it as well.
Dinner progressed with the same sort of casual chit-chat. It was interesting, but Hermione was ready to get to the good stuff.
“So are you ready for some cider or cocoa?”
“Cocoa, thank you.”
He was so polite. Where had the wizard gone from last night who tangled his hands in her hair and crushed her mouth to his, all knee-collapsing and yummy?
She sat next to him on the couch and offered him a snowman cup with cocoa.
“You should know that Pansy gave me the speech.”
“What speech?” She could feel that hated blush creeping up into her cheeks because she had a feeling that she knew exactly what speech.
“The one where she’s going to make a purse out of my bollocks if I mistreat you.”
“Did you plan on mistreating me, Draco?” Hermione turned to look at him, her eyes wide.
“Maybe. I’m not really a good guy, Hermione. I didn’t think it was possible, but I actually like you. I don’t know what to do with that.”
“That’s very honest. You know where that kind of honesty will get you with most witches?”
“You’re not most witches.”
“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.” Hermione said, looking down at her cocoa as if her marshmallows had just spelled out a Nobel Prize winning haiku.
“I’m not good with either.”
“Then what are you doing here?”
“I couldn’t stay away.”
“Look, now you’re just confusing me. Either you want to shag me, or not. Either you want this to be more than a shag, or you don’t. It’s really very simple. Yes. No. In. Out. Clap on. Clap off. Simple.”
Draco didn’t say anything.
“Look, big bad man. I can handle myself. I’m a witch full-grown. I never gave you a second thought until I had that full-monty dream about you in my bed. So—”
“Really?” he interrupted.
“Well, I thought about you a lot. All the time. If you only knew the things I’ve already done to you.” His eyes narrowed with a fire that burned her skin wherever his gaze traveled.
The thought made Hermione’s breath catch in her chest and her heart beat erratically. “Do you want to show me?” she whispered.
The cocoa was quickly forgotten, abandoned one could even say.
By everyone except for Cupid, that is. And as he guzzled the creamy, chocolaty treat, he figured he deserved it.
Whispering that dream to Hermione had been a pain in his diapered arse! Draco was deaf as a post in one ear and couldn’t hear the clanging bells of providence in the other.
He’d thought for sure they’d do as they were supposed to when he’d snatched the belt to Hermione’s robe, but of course, things wouldn’t have progressed to those drastic measures if the git had just given her CPR when she’d choked. Damsel in Distress, Knight in Slightly Tarnished Silver Armor…
They didn’t deserve to keep swimming in the deep end of the gene pool, what with all of their stubborn defiance to his will. But Aphrodite always had the final say, that hag!
Cupid felt the “thunk” against the back of his head, even though there was no one there. His mother was very vain.
Yes, you’re pretty! Stop hitting me. Cupid thought churlishly. He’d accomplished all this without managing to get caught. Nothing like last time, thank Zeus.
Cupid peered down at the results of his handiwork. That was more than a kiss going on there in front of the fire.
He didn’t feel the least bit guilty for drinking their cocoa- both cups, or getting an eyeful. Cupid had worked very hard and he deserved the show.
That is until he felt that presence at the back of his head. He still had work to do here. Apparently, Ron and Tracy were next on his “to do” list. Damn thing could go hang for all he cared.
He cringed and whisper-growled. “Going!”
It was a hard thing when one was still umbilicalled to one’s mother. Especially when she was Aphrodite. What was it mortals said? All is fair in love and war? Eternity certainly had its downside.
He was going to have to keep this recipe from Aphrodite’s recipe box, though. It’d worked so well.
A snowflake. Check.
Fairy lights. Check.
An ornament. Check.
And a kiss. Check. Definitely check. More than check. Super, ultra, mega check!
Fold all ingredients together softly, until blended.