one to dance to the rhythm of rain (willfully) wrote in hp_traditions,
one to dance to the rhythm of rain

Happy traditions, nikkilicious377!

Title: Spontaneous Desires
Author: ???
Gift For: nikkilicious377
Pairing(s): Draco/Hermione, side-pairing Harry/Pansy
Summary: There was a reason why Hermione preferred to think everything through before acting. Spontaneity just gets you into all kinds of trouble. Same goes for Slytherins.
Rating: R
Warnings: Just a bit of smut, is all. Post-DH, EWE
Author's notes: Nikki, I loved working on your prompt even though it was driving me crazy at times. :) I hope you enjoy reading the story.
Thanks go to my awesome beta for her excellent suggestions.

Mod note: You can also read this story on Insanejournal. And as always, please leave lots of comments for the talented writers!

"I hereby declare you bonded for life!"

Hermione watched as the Ministry official raised his wand and the bride and groom were engulfed in a shower of silver stars. As the beaming groom bent down to kiss his lovely bride, the whole room erupted into thunderous applause.

Hermione, too, clapped until her hands were tingling, her eyes full of tears. She was happy for her best friend, knowing that Harry had wanted nothing more than to have a family of his own. In marrying Pansy, it seemed, he had gotten his wish.

Seeing the enormous smile on Harry's face, Hermione could even forget that just a few short years ago, Pansy Parkinson would have been the last girl she would have ever pictured as Harry's wife. And while Hermione still couldn't quite say that Pansy was one of her favourite people, she knew that they had all come far since the defeat of Lord Voldemort six years ago. If nothing else, Pansy made Harry happy and that was all that mattered after all.

As the balloons that had been floating near the ceiling burst and hundred of tiny bells chimed, the wedding guests stood. The Ministry official once more raised his wand and the golden chairs on which the guests had sat, rose into the air and floated towards the edges of the hall where they grouped around small, round tables. In the middle of the room a large golden dance floor appeared, a band began to play and Harry led his glowing bride in their first dance as husband and wife. Not soon after, other guests joined the newlyweds.

Hermione slowly circled the dance floor, staying close to the wall of the ballroom, both to ensure that she wouldn't get in the way of the dancing couples and to avoid anyone noticing her and asking her to dance. As far as Hermione was concerned, she had done everything Harry had asked of her for this wedding—namely be present—and now she was only waiting until it was late enough for her to leave the reception without being impolite.

Armed with a bottle of wine and a glass, Hermione found herself a table that was half covered by one of the huge flower bouquets, which were placed everywhere as part of the elaborate decoration, and sat down. Satisfied that she wouldn't be able to find a more secluded place, Hermione used her wand to uncork the bottle.

Taking the first sip of the quite excellent wine, Hermione watched the dancing couples through the leaves of the flower bouquet. Harry and Pansy, the happy couple, were pressed close together in the middle of the dance floor. Judging by the way they looked deeply into each others eyes, swaying slowly even though the song which was currently playing was rather upbeat, it was clear that they were deeply in love.

Still, as happy as Hermione was for Harry, she would have given everything for this wedding to be over already. Half the guests were Pansy's friends and family. Needless to say, Hermione wasn't exactly keen on socialising with them.

The other half of the guests were Harry's friends—and Hermione's too, of course—but this was actually the group Hermione was trying so hard to avoid. Her break-up with Ron had occurred only two months prior to the wedding and things between Hermione and the Weasleys were still strained. Ron, who hadn't wanted to end their relationship, was especially sore, and the few times Hermione had met him since the break up had always led to a fight.

Knowing that it was inevitable that she would run into Ron, who was the best man, and not wanting to cause a scene at Harry's wedding, Hermione would have preferred to skip the reception altogether. Harry, however, had insisted beforehand that she stay. Of course, Hermione hadn't been able to say no, although she already regretted her own weakness.

"You are taking the term wallflower quite literally, I see," a familiar voice drawled, interrupting her solitude.

Hermione rolled her eyes, not bothering to hide her annoyance.

"I'm really not in the mood to deal with you right now, Malfoy," Hermione said. Draco completely ignored her obvious desire to be alone and took a seat nonetheless.

"Can't you harass someone else?" Hermione asked.

"Why would I?" Draco shot back, taking a sip from her glass of wine. "You're so easy."

Hermione sighed, resigning herself to the fact that she wouldn't get rid of him anytime soon. Of course, she could have walked away, but that would have meant leaving her cover and possibly running into Ron—a fate she wasn't willing to chance.

"At least get your own glass," she grumbled, when Draco continued to drink her wine.

"More wine, excellent idea," Draco replied, using his wand to summon another bottle of wine, but no second glass. Hermione barely resisted the urge to roll her eyes again. Protesting would only encourage him to be more annoying.

"Care to explain why you suddenly want to have a drink with me?" she asked while Draco uncorked the wine. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you think people like me should be wiped out?"

"People like you?" Draco asked, expertly swinging the glass and sniffing the wine.

"Muggle-borns," Hermione clarified. "Don't play dumb. It doesn't suit you."

"Actually, "Draco said, sipping the wine, "I changed my mind about that during the war."

"You did?" Hermione asked, raising her eyebrows in shock. "Don't tell me you have seen the error of your ways."

"In a manner of speaking," Draco said, although his smirk revealed that he wasn't being all that serious.

Hermione eyed him carefully. "You don't expect me to believe that you suddenly stopped believing that purebloods are better then Muggle-borns, do you?" she asked sceptically.

"That depends on the purebloods, actually," Draco replied, lazily taking another sip of wine. Hermione snatched her glass back, narrowly avoiding spilling the wine in the process.

"I happen to think that some people, like me for example, are just better than others. Period. No matter what blood status the others might have," Draco explained.

"Nice to hear that your arrogance doesn't discriminate," Hermione commented dryly.

They lapsed into silence, both of them watching the couples on the dance floor, Hermione slowly sipping her wine and Draco stealing her glass more often than not.

"You still haven't told me why you suddenly fancy drinking with me," Hermione said after a while.

"Mostly because this is the best table if one wants to avoid being seen," Draco said truthfully, refilling the glass. "I would have tried to get rid of you, but I was afraid that would have drawn too much attention."

Hermione once more rolled her eyes, taking the full glass from Draco.

Once they had emptied the second bottle of wine, Hermione looked hopefully at her watch, only to realise that it was still too early to leave her best friends wedding. She cursed under her breath.

"Eager to leave?" Draco asked mockingly.

"Not that it is any of your business, but yes," Hermione replied curtly.

"I'm assuming you are trying not to run into the Weasel." Draco obviously enjoyed Hermione's discomfort. "If the Daily Prophet is to be believed, you two had a rather nasty break-up."

"And whom are you trying to avoid?" Hermione asked angrily. "Or are you just hiding here with me for fun?"

"Hardly," Draco replied. "I'm avoiding my parents actually. Now that Pansy is married, my mother has got it into her head that it's time for me to settle down as well. She's trying to set me up."

"If you ask me, twenty-three is way too young to settle down and get married," Hermione agreed vehemently.

"So that is the reason you and the Weasel broke up," Draco said slyly. "I suspected the Prophet didn't get it right when they wrote that you two broke up because Weasley was secretly in love with Potter. What happened? Did he propose and you refused to become the next Weasel breeding machine?"

"As I said, none of your bloody business," Hermione snapped.

"Language, Granger," Draco mocked, summoning more wine.

After another shared glass of wine, Hermione was beginning to think that Draco made quite good company—as long as he didn't talk so much. She hadn't consumed enough wine, however, to be tempted to voice this particular opinion.

Draco for his part seemed to be content sitting next to her, sipping wine and making the occasional snide remark about the other wedding guests. Hermione had just thought that the reception wasn't turning out as bad as she had feared when Ron spotted them and made a beeline for their table. Hermione gave an involuntary sigh.

Draco had been spot on when he had guessed the reason for her and Ron's break-up. Ron had been ready to get married and have children, but Hermione wanted to have a career first. They had fought about the topic long and often, until Hermione had finally reached the conclusion that they wanted completely different things out of their relationship and that it would be better for them to go their separate ways sooner rather than later if they wanted to save their friendship.

Ron, however, wasn't ready to accept that and tried to talk Hermione into getting back together whenever he got the chance. It usually ended with the two of them arguing loudly and it certainly looked like it might already be too late to salvage their friendship.

"Hi, Hermione. Can I talk to you, please?" Ron said as soon as he reached her. He completely ignored Draco, who stayed uncharacteristically quiet and watched the couple with obvious amusement.

"I really don't think there's anything left to say," Hermione said uncomfortably.

"What, you'd rather sit here with Malfoy than talk to me?" Ron asked, getting angry quickly.

"As a matter of fact, yes," Hermione replied derisively. Draco quirked one eyebrow at her and didn't seem inclined to leave to give the fighting couple some privacy.

"I just want to talk to you," Ron pleaded, not being discouraged that easily.

"Sorry, Draco and I are rather busy," Hermione rebuffed his request, kicking Malfoy under the table so he wouldn't think to speak up and contradict her.

"What on earth can you and the ferret possibly have to talk about?" Ron asked irritably, looking from Hermione to Draco, his ears turning red with anger.

Draco, for his part, seemed to enjoy the fight immensely. He winked at Ron "Oh, we were just discussing if we should have sex in one of the upstairs rooms of the hotel or if it would be more polite to wait until after the reception and go to my flat," he said sarcastically. Both Ron and Hermione stared at him open-mouthed.

"Hermione would never cheat on me and definitely not with someone like you," Ron finally said, his voice shaking in anger and his fist clenched at his sides.

"Funny, I was under the impression the two of you had broken up," Draco said.

"We're just temporarily separated," Ron immediately explained, obviously in denial.

"Ron, for the hundredth time—" Hermione hissed, but interrupted herself when she realised that any attempts to verbally convince Ron that their relationship was over would be fruitless. Before Ron had the chance to say anything else on the subject, Hermione resolutely grabbed the collar of Draco's dark green dress robes and pulled the surprised man towards her, crashing their lips together. The kiss was more awkward than sensual, with Draco leaning uncomfortable over the armrest of his chair and their faces meeting at an unnatural angle, but it certainly served to shut Ron up.

When they broke apart, Draco turned to Ron, smirking. "As you can see, Weasel, we have a lot to talk about," he drawled.

Ron, it seemed, was so furious he couldn't even answer. He stood before them, his fists clenched so tightly his knuckles had turned white and his whole body actually shook in anger.

Hermione had only wanted to shut him up by kissing Draco, but now that she saw Ron's reaction, she realised that this was her one chance to make Ron finally accept that they were over for good. She loathed having to hurt him this badly, but felt that there weren't any other options. If Ron continued to hope they would get back together, he'd only hurt so much more in the long run.

Hermione had tried explaining her reasons to him rationally, and they had had many heated arguments, but still Ron refused to accept that their relationship had come to an end. If pretending to have a fling with Draco Malfoy didn't get the massage across, Hermione didn't know what would.

"Let's go somewhere more private," Hermione said to Draco, in a voice she hoped sounded seductive to Ron. She took Draco's arm and together they both stood up. Ron was still staring at them angrily, but didn't do anything to stop them.

Draco let Hermione pull him from their table and through the ballroom. Why he was being so cooperative and going along with her scheme Hermione had no idea. She wasn't naïve enough to presume he did it out of the goodness of his heart to help her resolve the situation with her ex-boyfriend. She rather suspected he enjoyed the opportunity to make Ron suffer. But whatever reason he might have had, Hermione was just glad that he was playing along for the time being.

They walked hand in hand out of the ballroom. The wedding reception was being held at a five star wizarding hotel and Hermione just hoped that Ron would assume that she and Draco were heading for one of the upstairs hotel rooms. As soon as they had left the ballroom and were out of sight from everyone, Hermione dropped Draco's hand and stopped.

"I think he bought it," she muttered, more to herself than to Draco.

"You mean you don't really want to make sweet love to me?" Draco asked, his trademark smirk firmly in place.

"Don't be ridiculous, Malfoy," Hermione said absentmindedly. Now that her impromptu plan seemed to have worked, she stood in the lobby of the hotel, at a lost of what to do next. That's why she hated to be spontaneous.

"You do realise that you and I will actually have to disappear for an hour or so if the Weasel is to truly believe that we're screwing each other?" Draco asked amusedly.

Hermione looked at him, quirking an eyebrow. "One hour? My, my, somebody is sure aiming high," she replied without thinking. She blamed the wine. Alcohol always made her say everything out loud that came to her mind. It was one of the many reasons why she rarely overindulged.

Draco's grin widened. "Hey, I've got a reputation to uphold."

"I'm sure you do," Hermione said, slightly embarrassed. She was beginning to wonder how she had gotten herself into a situation where she was discussing Draco's stamina with him.

"Since it is obvious you didn't plan this all the way through, might I remind you that you still need to figure out how to keep me playing along," Draco said suddenly, turning back to the ballroom for emphasis.

Hermione grabbed his arm to stop him. "You can't go back in there," she hissed. "Ron will figure out we were just pretending and he'll pester me all night to get back together with him. I can't leave before Pansy throws the bouquet. I promised Harry."

"That's just too bad for you," Draco said, walking a few steps towards the double doors, dragging Hermione behind him.

"Please, Malfoy," Hermione begged.

Draco suddenly changed his course, backing Hermione against the nearest wall, before the surprised witch had quite figured out what was happening. Damn wine. While she hadn't drunken so much that she couldn't control what she was doing, her movements were a bit more sluggish. Or maybe Draco just had better reflexes than her.

"Do you really think I'm going to agree to just sit in one of the hotel rooms with you? That just sounds incredibly boring," Draco said. Hermione couldn't decide if his voice had somehow changed. It sounded lower, more husky, but maybe she was imagining things.

"Of course, you could make sure that I'm entertained," Draco continued suggestively.

"You don't really think that I'm actually going to have sex with you, do you?" Hermione stared at him open-mouthed, suddenly becoming aware that his whole body was pressed against hers. Just when had that happened?

"I think…" Draco said slowly, leaning towards her. "…you want to."

Using the fact that Hermione was still staring at him open-mouthed to his advantage, Draco pressed his lips to hers, slipping his tongue inside Hermione's mouth.

Hermione's first thought was that their second kiss was nothing like the first. When she had kissed Draco back in the ballroom, it had only been for show. Not for a second had she paused to analyse what it was like to kiss him, and she certainly hadn't put much effort into it. It had been quick and efficient, as sensual as a tax report.

This kiss certainly didn't make Hermione think of tax reports. In fact, he made thinking straight quite difficult altogether. When her mind did finally catch up with her actions, Hermione realised that she was kissing Draco back and that his hands were in places they had no business touching. That it felt good was completely beside the point.

Oh how she wished she could blame it all on the wine. She pushed Draco away.

"Are you insane?" she asked, ignoring the breathless quality of her own voice. "What has gotten into you?"

"Nothing, I just want to get in your knickers," Draco replied and for once Hermione was sure that he was being completely serious. It scared Hermione because if he was honest now, not playing any games, she feared other barriers between them would be dropped as well soon. She couldn't decide how she felt about that. She certainly was abandoning all rational thought rather quickly, and Hermione struggled to make sense of their situation.

"Don't over-think it, Granger," Draco said, rolling her eyes. "It really isn't Arithmancy. We're two adults attracted to each other, who, as it so happens, have to spend the next hour locked away in some hotel room anyway."

Hermione bit her lip. It sounded all so easy when he said it.

"Since when are we attracted to each other?" she asked, not quite ready to give in. "Last time I checked you couldn't stand me, and let me assure you, the feeling is completely mutual."

"Well, last time I checked you were an annoying little bookworm, and I was supposed to despise you by default," Draco said. "Times change."

Hermione was still undecided when Draco pulled her towards him once more. "Stop thinking, Granger," he repeated before he searched out her lips once more. Their third kiss was even slower than the one before. Draco seemed to be taking his time devouring her and Hermione couldn't stop her body from responding. This time they only broke apart when the need for oxygen forced them to.

"This is insane," Hermione whispered. Draco was still so close she could feel his breath on her face. He grinned at her words.

"No argument there," he agreed. He leaned forward again and Hermione, expecting another kiss, let her eyes fall shut. But Draco stopped mere millimetres from her face, and Hermione opened her eyes again, confused.

"So what's it going to be, Granger?" Draco asked.

"Stop calling me by my last name. It's quite inappropriate considering the situation," Hermione retorted, making the second spontaneous decision of the evening—possibly the most spontaneous of her life. She pulled Draco in for another kiss before he had the chance to reply, but she could feel his lips turn upwards.

Hermione didn't pay much attention to her surroundings as Draco led her upstairs, distracted by his hands running teasingly over her body. She distantly hoped they wouldn't run into any wayward wedding guests or hotel employees, but as the reception was downstairs, staff and guests alike were congregated there.

On the second floor Draco steered them towards a random hotel room, using his wand to open the door.

"What if it's occupied?" Hermione asked, suddenly nervous again, taking a hurried look around the room. "Pansy made sure that the rooms are exclusively reserved for those wedding guests who won't be travelling home tonight and they are all downstairs," Draco explained to Hermione, ushering her inside.

There was a king-sized bed at the right side of the wall with a nightstand at each side. A huge wooden wardrobe took up most of the wall to Hermione's left and the wall opposite the door was adorned with floor to ceiling windows. Moonlight flowed inside through the opened curtains, illuminating the room in dim, silver light.

Draco kicked the door shut and turned the deadbolt. As soon as the door was locked, he pulled Hermione towards him again, running his hands everywhere on her body he could reach and claiming her mouth with his.

Hermione's mind reeled with the onslaught to her senses, but her body responded instinctively to Draco's touch. Bringing her arms up, she ran them over his muscular chest before unfastening the clasp of his dress robes, letting them fall to the floor. Draco was already unfastening the buttons of her own robes. They couldn't seem to get out of their clothing fast enough, dropping garments carelessly onto the floor, before stumbling towards the bed in only their underwear.

Pushing Hermione onto her back and hovering over her, Draco began to nibble her jaw before trailing open-mouthed kisses along her neck and her collarbone. Hermione fisted her hands in his hair when he reached her breasts, licking and biting the sensitive skin through the thin material of her bra. Before long she was writhing under him, rolling her hips against his in a desperate attempt to relieve some of the tension pooling between her legs.

Loud moans filled the hotel room and Hermione strongly suspected she was responsible for at least half of them. She couldn't bring herself to care though, feeling as if her skin was on fire everywhere Draco touched her.

When suddenly Hermione heard someone say Alohomora on the other side of the door, she belatedly realised that while it might have been debatable whether or not it was wise to have sex with Draco Malfoy, it was definitely a mistake to forget to lock the door more securely.

The lust induced fog in her brain had barely allowed her to comprehend that somebody was coming inside when Draco yanked her off the bed and pulled her to the other side of the big wardrobe. Hiding behind the wooden monstrosity with Draco, Hermione desperately hoped that whoever was entering the hotel room, wouldn't switch on the light. There was no way they'd miss the clothes strewn all over the room then.

Luck seemed to be on their side, however, because the people entering didn't bother with the lights. Still, Hermione shrank back further, pressing her back into Draco's body to ensure that they wouldn't be seen behind the wardrobe. She desperately wished for her wand, but had no idea where it was; probably somewhere on the bedroom floor next to her dress robes. Wherever the wand was, it was out of her reach, and since Draco was only wearing his boxers, Hermione was reasonably confident that he didn't have his either.

"I just want to be alone with you for a minute," a male voice whispered, and Hermione almost squeaked in surprise when she recognised Harry's voice.

"Harry, our guests will notice we're missing," Pansy said, giggling. Hermione heard a thud then and the rustling of clothes. She really hoped that Harry and Pansy weren't actually doing what she thought they were. Behind her, Hermione felt Draco's chest vibrating, and she guessed that he was laughing silently. Of course he would find the situation amusing. Hermione was just glad she had her back to him. She was sure even in the dim moonlight he would have been able to see her embarrassed flush.

She could definitely hear some smacking from the direction of the door, and Hermione couldn't pretend any longer that her best friend was not snogging his newlywed wife against the door of the very room in which she had just been about to have a one night stand with her arch nemesis. Hermione was convinced the situation couldn't be any more bizarre.

Until Draco moved his hands to grab her around the waist.

At first she relished the warmth of his embrace, she was standing around in nothing but her underwear after all, but Hermione's breath caught in her throat when one of Draco's hands travelled from her waist to her stomach, rubbing slow circles there. Then his fingertips grazed the waistband of her knickers. Grabbing his arm, she feebly shook her head no to get Draco to stop, but couldn't do much else out of fear of being heard by Harry and Pansy.

Ignoring her protests, Draco slipped his fingers inside Hermione's knickers, lightly brushing over her heated flesh. Hermione swallowed a moan.

"Harry, we need to get back," Pansy whispered breathlessly, but Hermione could barely hear anything over the sound of blood rushing loudly in her ears. Draco kept stroking her in a maddening slow pace, making Hermione press herself harder into his body, grinding her hips against his hand. She couldn't decide whether she wanted him to stop or go faster.

Draco, however, made that decision for her by quickening his movements. Hermione bit her lip as Draco slipped first one and than a second finger inside her all the while rubbing her clit with his thumb. Heat was spreading through her entire body and she closed her eyes to savour the feeling of absolute desire that washed over her.

Draco worked his fingers in and out of her relentlessly and the pressure in her core built up to the breaking point until hot tremors chased through her whole body. Despite reminding herself over and over again that they were not alone, it was all Hermione could do to keep from screaming her relief out loud.

When her breathing had returned somewhat to normal, Hermione shakily turned in Draco's embrace to face him. Even though the room was lit only by sparse moonlight, she could clearly see him smirking. Slowly, he raised his hand to his lips and licked the fingers that had been inside her knickers.

Wanting to wipe that self-satisfied smirk off his face and forgetting for a moment where they were, Hermione grabbed his hand and pulled it down. Keeping her eyes on Draco's face, she sucked his wet fingers into her mouth, tasting herself. Draco's smirk faded as his eyes darkened.

Hermione placed her free hand on his chest and slowly trailed it downwards. They were standing so close that she couldn't miss feeling the evidence of Draco's arousal. Once she reached the waistband of Draco's boxers, Hermione stopped.

Mindful that they still could be discovered at any moment, Hermione listened carefully. Judging by the sounds coming from the door though, Pansy and Harry were still snogging and weren't paying much attention to anything else. Resolutely, Hermione slipped her hand inside Draco's boxers, pulling him out. She kept her eyes trained on his face, while she moved her hand steadily up and down his length.

There was tension in every line of his face as he struggled to stay silent. He had to grip both her shoulders tightly to steady himself. Hermione continued to pump her hand up and down and eventually Draco lowered his head, hiding the sounds of his laboured breathing in Hermione's hair. Hermione suddenly felt Draco shudder. He bit her shoulder at the same time his warm release coated her hand and stomach.

A sudden knock on the door startled both couples.

Draco and Hermione froze while Pansy and Harry evidently moved away from the door.

"Who is it?" Hermione heard Harry asked.

"It's me, Millicent," came an amused voice through the still closed door. "Open up."

The door was opened, and Hermione watched with trepidation as the light of the hallway filtered into the semi-dark room. Realising that she still had her now sticky hands on Draco, Hermione let them drop to her side, praying that the others wouldn't notice the mussed up bed and the clothes on the floor. But neither Harry and Pansy nor Millicent Bullstrode seemed to be taking a close look at the room.

"I've been looking all over for you," Millicent said. "People are starting to notice that you are missing. I've told them that you were just getting some air. Mind you, a lot of your guests are already speculating that you've started your wedding night early. Although there is also a lot of gossip about Draco having left the ballroom hand in hand with Granger of all people. They are supposedly having sex in one of the hotel rooms, so hopefully no one will believe the grapevine at this point."

Hermione closed her eyes in mortification and felt Draco beside her stiffen while the three people at the door just laughed. If only they knew how true the gossip was.

"We'll be right out, Milly," Pansy assured her bridesmaid once she had stopped giggling. Hermione heard the door close again. She guessed by the rustling of clothes and muttered spells that Pansy and Harry were making themselves presentable again. Hermione waited.

"Ready?" Pansy asked after a minute. Harry didn't answer, so Hermione assumed that he nodded because the couple left the room together. As soon as Pansy and Harry had closed the door behind them, Hermione stepped away from Draco. She quickly searched the floor for her wand. Once she had reclaimed it, Hermione cast a quick Scourgify and then summoned her clothes, hurriedly putting them back on.

"We should head back down before even more people realise we're missing," she mumbled, not daring to look into Draco's direction.

Draco didn't say a word and he didn't stop her when Hermione went to the door and left the room hastily.

Hermione felt decidedly flushed when she re-entered the ballroom minutes later, hoping that nobody would notice that her hair was slightly mussed. It had taken her two hours in the morning to get her hair to cooperate, and Hermione feared that no spell on earth could have fully restored the neatly up-do after her little tumble with Draco. Looking around the ballroom surreptitiously, Hermione wondered if Millicent had been right and many guests had noticed her leaving with Draco. Did they all know what she had been doing upstairs?

The attention, however, seemed to be mostly on the recently reappeared bride and groom, as Pansy got ready to throw her bouquet. Hermione found herself being pushed to the centre of the room with all the other single women, raising her arms as was expected of her.

Pansy turned around and with the cheers of the wedding guests, threw the flowers high in the air. Hermione couldn't help but marvel at how similar wedding traditions of wizards and Muggles were. Chiming bells, the first dance and throwing the bouquet. They all were part of both worlds.

Of course, at a Muggle wedding one could reasonably say it was faith or maybe athletic abilities when a single woman caught the bridal bouquet. At a wedding reception where more than half the guests were using their wands to manipulate the flight of the flowers, faith had precious little to do with it. When her fingers reflexively closed around the bouquet, Hermione silently vowed to find out who had levitated the flowers into her direction and make them suffer greatly.

Unwillingly claiming the flowers as hers, Hermione had temporarily become the centre of attention and once again feverishly hoped that none of the guests knew of her previous activities. Another look around the room revealed that Draco had re-joined the reception as well. He was standing towards the edge of the crowd, his arms crossed in front of him. He didn't seem to have his wand out, not that Hermione had suspected it had been him who made her catch the flowers.

Ron was suspiciously absent from the room, and Hermione couldn't help but sigh in relief. She felt guilty for having caused him pain, but drew comfort from the thought that their break-up eventually was for the best. Curiously, she already didn't hurt as much as she had before.

Shrugging off those who were commenting on her catch, Hermione slowly made her way to Harry and Pansy, working hard to push aside any thoughts about what had happened in the hotel room. Still, she had trouble looking either one of them in the eye without blushing. She hoped they didn't notice.

"I think I'll be going," she announced as soon as reached the newlyweds. She gave Harry a hug, ignoring Pansy's scrutinizing gaze and suppressing the urge to smooth down her hair again.

"I'm so very happy for you," she whispered into Harry's ear. He squeezed her more tightly. Letting go of Harry, Hermione offered her hand to Pansy.

"Congratulations, again," she said. "You make a beautiful bride."

Pansy took Hermione's hand and shook it, but said, "You screw him over, I'll kill you." Her look into Draco's direction clearly revealed what Pansy was talking about.

"I've got no idea what you mean," Hermione was quick to assure, although she couldn't prevent her blush from deepening.

"Just remember what I said," Pansy said, smiling sweetly. The threat was still obvious.

Hermione sighed. "Same goes for Harry," she said earnestly.

Harry was looking from Hermione to Pansy, clearly confused about whether this was a situation he should defuse or not, but not fully understanding what it was all about.

Hermione just smiled at him reassuringly and turned around to leave. She weaved her way through the wedding guests, saying goodbye to a few of them, dodging everyone with red hair and those she knew would make stupid comments about her catching the bridal bouquet.

Once Hermione reached the double doors, she was beyond relieved. To say that the wedding reception hadn't turned out as she had expected was like saying Voldemort had had a few daddy issues. She had a lot to think about.

Hermione was just leaving the ballroom when someone grabbed her waist from behind.

"You didn't actually think you'd be leaving alone tonight, did you?" Draco said huskily before he Disapparated, taking Hermione with him.

The End
Tags: 2009, draco/hermione, harry/pansy, r

  • thank you!!!

    All of the gifts for the 2009 season of the HP Traditions Fest have been posted! The reveal will be posted on Friday, June 5. Until then, catch up…

  • Happy traditions, pinch-hitters!

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