A Marriage Most Convenient

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Chapter 26: - Love in the Afternoon and Draco the Dragon

One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.” – Jane Austen

I might sometimes play the fool, but underneath the exterior is a deeply disturbed individual. Think about that one.” – Draco Malfoy

People are not always what they appear, but they always appear what they are.” – Hermione Granger


Hermione and Draco held hands and gazed out at the sea. Neither said a word for the longest time. They walked for a while along the rocky shoreline, stumbling over shells and pebbles. They stopped and he pointed upwards toward the cliffs.

“Look at that. That is Whitehall in all its glory,” he expounded.

“It’s breathtaking. It’s beautiful here. I would like to live here,” she commented.

He dropped her hand, picked up a smooth rock, and moved it around his fingers. He threw it out toward the water and said, “You really do want to get married, right? No more fears?” He placed his hand above his brow, closed one eye, and squinting toward the sun, he watched the path of his rock, carefully avoiding eye contact with Hermione.

“I think you might be the one that’s afraid of that one, Malfoy,” she returned. He didn’t dispute that claim, nor did he immediately look at her. He bent down, picked up another rock and threw it beyond the first. It twirled and then skimmed the edge of the water, bouncing on top of the sea, before a wave crashed and took it underneath.

“You just can’t skim rocks along the sea,” he decided. He turned to face her. “When you look at me, Hermione, what do you see?” He held out his hands, as if to say, ‘look at me’.

“I see a handsome, charming, shallow, foolish fellow, whom I really want to marry.” She took one of his hands and pulled him along.

“That’s what I thought. That’s what I see when I look in the mirror, too, for the most part,” he joked. She turned her head slightly toward him and then laughed. He continued, “I had a charmed upbringing, lived a frivolous life, had more money than King Midas, and I’ve pretty much have always gotten what I wanted.”

He stopped walking. He dropped her hand. He grinned and said, “However, love, I’m not a fool.”

“Go on, tell me why you’re not a fool,” she prodded, cocking her head to one side.

“I knew, Hermione Granger, who you were that night. I knew in my heart of hearts that the woman I made love to at that masked ball was none other than my childhood’s foe slash fantasy, Hermione Granger.”

“Did you now?” she asked.

“Yes, and I waited for you. I’m not even sure I knew that’s what I was doing, when I decided not to marry until now, and in many way, whenever I would really think about that night, even I would call myself foolish and say…no, Malfoy, there’s no way that was Granger, yet, it was. It was. So see, I’m not foolish,” he reasoned.

She bowed slightly and said, “Then I take that back. You’re not foolish, and you want to marry me, and you’re not afraid.”

Draco continued to hold her hand, guiding her to a place behind a large formation of rocks. He removed his shirt, and transfigured it into a blanket, then placed it on the sand.

“Whatever are you doing?” she asked, skeptically.

“I’m making us a nice, comfortable place to make love. Did you want to do it standing?” He looked back at her with a smirk.

“I’m really not making love out here in broad daylight, on the sand, where someone might come along!” she protested.

“Oh yes, you really are,” he contradicted. He removed his shoes. He was still smirking.

She pointed at him and said, “Wipe that smirk right off your face, Malfoy!”

“Come wipe it off me,” he leered.

“That wasn’t a very seductive line,” she laughed.

“I’m out of practice,” he whined. He started to unbuckle his belt when he stopped. “Did you and your former husband have sex a lot?”

“What?” she asked, slipping off her shoes. She dropped one shoe to the ground and stood there with her mouth opened, shocked at his question.

“You heard me,” he confirmed.

She bit her bottom lip and then answered. “No, we didn’t. We hardly ever…I mean, after, well, after Alice was born, we didn’t have a sex life anymore. I didn’t want him that way, because for the longest time I couldn’t even bear to look at him, besides, he had girlfriends on the side.”

“Why in the world would someone like you stay with someone like him for almost five years, Granger? You used to be so smart, and that seems so stupid!” As he said this, he had finished unbuckling his belt and he slipped his pants off and folded them on the corner of the blanket.

She glared at him, angry, and she threw her other shoe at him. It hit him on the shoulder. “HEY!” he shouted.

“You might just want to put your trousers back on, Malfoy! I’m not inclined to have sex with you right now!” She started to huff away.

He caught her elbow and spun her around. “I’m sorry to upset you, but it begs to be asked!”

“Well I don’t have to answer! That was insulting!” she shouted.

“Fine, fine, fine, just get undressed and let’s make love,” he said, annoyed. Then he smiled. She wanted to hit him or kiss him, she wasn’t sure which. He took her hand.

“Did I say you could touch me?” she asked, pulling it from him.

“It will be hard to make love without touching, but I’ll give it a go,” he joked.

She laughed in spite of herself and said, “And you said you weren’t a fool? Ha! That’s what I have to say to that.” She turned away from him slightly to look out at the blue green water of the sea. It would be so easy to fall in love with this place, just as she had already fallen in love with him. She wanted him with a passion, but she also wanted him to understand that she wasn’t a fool either.

“You know, I’m not a fool either, Draco. I had my reasons for staying with Kevin, and even if no one else ever understands them, they are my own, and they are valid to me.” She looked back toward him. “Please, try to understand.”

“I can’t understand, if you don’t explain it to me, but there’s time for that.” He didn’t want to talk any longer. There was a whole lifetime ahead of them for talking. If she wanted to have some secrets, some memories to herself, she could have them. She was apparently protecting herself from some sort of terrible pain, and he wouldn’t cause her more pain by having her reveal that to him until she was ready.

He sat down on the blanket, in only his boxers, his knees bent, his hands clasped around his knees. He would leave the rest up to her. She sat down next to him, her body mirroring his, and without looking at him, she said, “I want to make love to you now, Draco.”

“Oh do you now?” he said with a lilt in his voice. He turned to her; she was still looking at the sea. He turned away and then he looked at her. She turned to him as he turned back away. She stood back up, removed her jeans and blouse, and then she reclined next to him, one arm under her head, one arm over her eyes, to block the sun. Then she waited.

She barely had time to gather her thoughts when he filled her vision. She saw his beautiful face, his blond hair blowing in the wind, his broad shoulders looming over her, his sculptured chest pressing against breasts, the feel of his long, muscled legs against hers. His head descended and he kissed her. His lips brushed slowly back and forth over hers.

One of her arms came up languorously to his shoulders. He placed a leg between hers, a hand on her stomach, and moved his tongue over the outside of her mouth, until she opened it naturally, and then he kissed her deeper.

They removed what little clothing they had left, with tenderness and care. This time they were slow and languid with their lovemaking. Unlike the first time, there wasn’t unbridled passion. Unlike the second time, there was no fear of regret. This time, it was unhurried and tender. She placed her palms on his shoulders as he skimmed around both breasts with his knuckles. He went around the outside of them slowly, came up to the tops, and then skimmed his knuckles across the rosy tip of one, and then he did the same with the other. He leaned down and kissed the space between her breasts and she moaned his name.

He knew just what she liked, or so it seemed. His fingertips moved over her lightly, but with expert care. His mouth moved, also, over the planes and hills of her hips and stomach, the curve of her waist, her slender legs, over and around both breasts. His tongue swirled around her navel and moved to her inner thighs. He was going so slowly that she thought she might die from either anticipation or from the brightness of the sun.

He moved so that he was lower on the blanket, between her legs. He was still touching her gently, lightly, mostly with his hands, sometimes with his mouth. It was as if he was trying to memorize her. She watched his face the whole time. He seemed to be in awe. She knew that she was. He opened her legs wider, and moved his hand up her thighs, finally touching her with his fingers, again, lightly, teasingly, carefully, with the utmost control.

Still, she cried out at the first initial touch. That made him smile. He placed one hand on her breast and his other hand stayed where it was and he continued to stroke and prod until she began to climax, with only his hand to guide her. He thought that was amazing.

He crawled up her body, his legs between hers, and as she was still climaxing, he entered her in a quick motion. He inhaled quickly, placed one hand under one of her knees, pulled it upward, then he held himself slightly above her, on one elbow, his other hand in her hair. He still moved slowly, still in control, and when she clenched her inner walls, he opened his eyes slightly and said, “Watch it, Granger. You’ll make me lose control.”

“Good, I want you to lose control,” she said. She did it again. He moved quicker. Then he withdrew completely, moved so that he was almost on his knees, pulled her by her waist so that her hips were inclined, and he plunged in her again. His hands went down to her breasts. Her hands went to the blanket beside them, then to his legs, and she rocked her hips back and forth.

They watched each other from that point on, but they didn’t utter another word. They made mutual sounds of pleasure, but neither spoke. She cried out before he did, but he followed shortly after her. He fell down on her, hard, and then lifted his head and said, “Pardon.”

That made her smile. He didn’t withdraw from her, instead, with her hands on his back, his full weight on her body, he found her mouth, and his lips began to play with hers with incredible care and sweetness. She realized that he was soon hard again, without withdrawing from her. He began to move, hard, deep, and long strokes. She wanted to capture this moment and hold it forever. She couldn’t even describe what she was feeling. She was spent, she was tired, she was languid, yet she felt incredible happiness, incredible love, and strangely, she felt cherished and protected. After a few more strokes, he shuddered over her again, then stilled.

He dropped his head to the crook on her neck, kissed her chin and then her jaw, and then he fell to her side. He kept his hand on her face, turned her to look at him, and he said, “Maybe we just made a little brother or sister for Alice.”

She couldn’t help but to smile. “We said that the last time, and who knows, maybe,” she concurred.

He wrapped her in his arms and moved to his back. He asked, “Tell me about Alice. What type of baby was she?”

“She was a difficult baby,” Hermione said truthfully. “She cried often. She didn’t sleep well. She was also a bit sickly as an infant, with ear infections and colds. She loved bath time. Sometimes I would bathe her even when she was clean, just to entertain her.”

They both laughed. “I wish I could have seen her,” he said with a sigh. “I’m not criticizing, I’m just being wishful,” he added quickly.

She leaned her head on his shoulder and said, “I know, and I’m sorry.”

“Tell me more,” he asked.

“She loved to be read to, even when she was a baby. She loved the sound of my voice. I would even make up stories for her. Sometimes that was the only thing that would put her to sleep; I would stroke her hair and tell her stories. She found the sound of my voice calming and relaxing.”

“Really, I used to equate the sound of your voice to the sound of a hippogriff dying,” he said with a laugh. “You know, back in school, you would drone on and on and on. Come to think of it, it used to put me to sleep, too.”

She punched his arm. Then she turned on the blanket slightly to face him. “I know something we could do. Would you like to see her, when she was a baby?”

He propped up on his elbow, on his side, and with a look of total confusion, he asked, “How?”

“Use Legilimency on me. Normally, I would be too strong a foe for you, but I’ll let you in, just this once,” she laughed.

He knocked her on her back, leaned over, kissed her hard and said, “Too strong a foe, my foot. My mind could take your mind any day, oh, hell, who am I kidding? Your mind is stronger. Hand me my wand.” He pointed to his wand, which was in his trousers on the blanket behind her. They both sat up, and she told him to give her a minute to think of something strong. Then, she told him to begin.

He pointed his wand toward her head, and said, “Legilimence.”

What colour is that, Alice?” Hermione asked her newly two-year-old daughter. She was pointing to a yellow bear that the little girl had just unwrapped for her birthday.

Walldow,” she said.

Right, yellow!” Hermione said, pleased, and smiling at the way her daughter said yellow. She handed the little yellow bear to her daughter who gave it a hug. “That can be his name. His name is Waldo.” Hermione made the bear talk and move around for a moment, making her little girl laugh.

Mummy, milk!” Alice demanded, pointing to the table. Alice and Hermione were sitting on the floor in the kitchen. Hermione got to her knees, and crawled over to the table, grabbed a little red cup with a white lid, and handed it to Alice. The little girl took a big drink and handed it back.

Here, open another present, Alice,” Hermione said, giving her daughter a big box, wrapped in polka-dot paper, and with a big red bow. “This one is from, Mummy.” She helped her daughter unwrap the package, and then stuck the bow on her blonde curls. She opened the box and Alice squealed in delight. “Oh, Alice, it’s a Dragon! A stuffed, green dragon!”

Dragon!” Alice repeated, crystal clear. She held the dragon, which was almost as big as she was.

What shall we name the Dragon, Alice?” Hermione asked.

Dragon!” Alice shouted again.

Hermione smiled, kissed the little girl’s chubby cheeks, and said, “We could name him Draco. Draco is Latin for Dragon. Can you say Draco?”

Draydo,” Alice repeated, incorrectly.

Draco,” Hermione said again.

Drawdo,” Alice said.

Close enough!” Hermione said, delighted. “Now, let’s have your cake!” Hermione crawled over to the table again, and picked up a small, round, chocolate cake with a number two candle in the middle. She lit it with her wand, placed it on the floor with Alice and then Hermione sang Happy Birthday to her toddler.

Alice smiled the whole time. At the end, Hermione said, “Let’s blow out the candle!” She leaned over, showed Alice how to do it, and after Alice blew out the candle, Hermione removed it from the cake, pushed the cake toward the little one, and said, “Okay, it’s all yours, have at it.”

Alice stuck one chubby hand in the cake, and then the other, and then stuffed a handful of cake in her mouth. Mother and daughter both laughed. Then the memory ended.

Draco stared at Hermione for a long time, without words, with a blank expression on his face. She smiled at him. Her smiled soon faded, when his expression didn’t change. “I’m sorry, Draco. I thought you would want to see a happy memory, regarding our daughter. You missed her birthday this year; I thought that would be a good one to see.” She looked embarrassed, and she started to stand from the blanket.

He grabbed her wrist and pulled her back down. He wanted to tell her that he thought it was one of the saddest things he had ever seen. His little girl, spending her second birthday with no one but her mother present, on the middle of the kitchen floor and with only a handful of presents. Nevertheless, she thought it was a happy memory, and she shared it with him, so who was he to refute it. After all, it was already established that he wasn’t a fool.

He merely said, “Thank you, Hermione. Thank you for giving me our daughter, and for that memory.” He cupped her cheek, kissed her again, and pulled her back to him. He fell back down on the blanket, pulled her tightly into his arms, and replayed the memory repeatedly.

Her breathing began to shallow. He wondered if she slept. He would let her sleep for a while, and then he would wake her and they would go up for tea. He fought the urge to wake her sooner, so that they could make love once more. He didn’t want to deny himself one moment with her, but for now he would let her rest.

Was he a fool? A fool to fall in love? A fool not to try to find her earlier, when every fiber of his being told him that the masked woman had to be her? Was he a fool not to take her away and marry her on the spot, so that no one could spoil this for them? Was he a fool?

He refused to think that he was. He nudged her and said, “Hermione, wake up, love. We must get back to the house for tea.” Plus, he wanted to see Alice.

She sat up immediately and for one moment seemed to forget where she was. She looked over at him as he began to clean up with his wand. She smiled as she did the same. They dressed without another word passing between them. When they were cleaned up and dressed, he pointed to the house and said, “Shall we climb back up or apparate?”

“Are you a fool, Malfoy? We’re going to apparate, but of course,” she said, rolling her eyes.

He tried to hide his smile. No, it was already established, he wasn’t a fool.

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