The Dark Arts
Harry Potter Hermione Granger Ron Weasley Nymphadora Tonks
Angst Romance
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 10/31/2004
Updated: 10/31/2004
Words: 14,863
Chapters: 1
Hits: 1,698

The Attic People


Story Summary:
Five years since Voldemort rose again and the war still rages. The male occupants of the Attic rooms at number twelve, Grimmauld Place muse on the effects the war is having on their lives and relationships. Lots of jealousy, secrets and angst. POVs include Bill, Harry, Ron and someone else...``Contains some usual and some unusual pairings. WARNING: may squick you. No slash.

Chapter Summary:
Five years since Voldemort rose again and the war still rages. The male occupants of the Attic rooms at number twelve Grimmauld Place muse on the effects the war is having on their lives and relationships. Lots of jealousy, secrets and angst. POVs include Bill, Harry, Ron and someone else...
Author's Note:
Well... I don't want to give anything away really because you're supposed to find things out gradually as the story progresses. This means I especially don't want to give the pairings away. BUT if you're squicked by weirdness don't read this, or stop reading when you start to guess what's coming.

The Attic People

Bill didn't really know why it was them.

The attic of number twelve Grimmauld Place had been enlarged and renovated so there were plenty of rooms and lots of space, but at the time it had seemed to him random who had decided to live up here.

Harry had called first, he wanted to get away from everyone at times and the attic seemed the perfect place to do it. Of course Ron and Hermione claimed their places immediately after, his mother had hinted subtly that it would be useful if the two shared the largest room, and neither complained. Then Tonks had asked if she could have a room to herself too, she wanted some peace now and then, and that was agreed to. After Tonks came Ginny, who obviously wanted to be upstairs with the girls (and her favourite brothers), and she was allocated her space, despite the fact that she would be going back to school in a few days.

So... one more room going?

Everyone sitting around the dinner table had looked at him. It was obvious. His parents liked their room, the master bedroom, at the centre of the house so they always knew what was going on. The twins were happy with their room, close to the kitchen and to where their girlfriends slept. Remus had a perfect room, with its own desk and bookcase, and Moody, since he'd moved in, would sleep nowhere but in the broom cupboard close to the front door. There were a few guest rooms, kept empty for any members of the Order who were passing through (or injured), and then there was his and Charlie's room. Or rather his and Charlie and Tim's room. It wasn't that he didn't like Tim, but it was naturally very awkward. He had to wait at least an hour before going to bed after Charlie and Tim had gone up. And it was fair enough that they now wanted more complete privacy.


And so the next day he'd found himself clearing out his stuff to take upstairs. He'd thought that Charlie and Tim could look a little less pleased.

At first he'd been happy up there. The small bedrooms were no more than rooms with beds in, but they were grouped around a nice sitting room type area. At night they would all sit around the table and discuss the war, what they'd done that day, what needed done tomorrow and sometimes they'd even talk about old times, or something entirely unrelated to the war. Few of them had jobs. Ron and Harry and Hermione had left school and plunged straight into full-time work with the Order, and Ginny had done the same a year later. Tonks was still an Auror, but with the war on it was less paperwork and more freelance, so she was pretty much allowed to do what she wanted, and he'd given up work to look after his family and was now in the same position his brother and sister were. He often wondered how the wizard world was still functioning.

Of course he'd been lonely. After Fleur left him that was that. He'd decided he never wanted another woman, no-one could be as perfect as her, but after a while he knew that wasn't true. If she was perfect how could she have been so annoying? How could she have been so vain? How could she have been so demanding? How could she have slept with another man?

So he'd moved on. He'd had slight hopes of Tonks when he realised they'd be living in such close proximity, but that had come to nothing as it always had. She'd been one of the few girls at school who'd always turned him down, and she'd continued to turn him down as they got older. At the time he'd wondered if maybe it was because she'd been with Charlie, but now he knew that was a ridiculous idea. It annoyed him that she didn't want him. He knew one of the reasons he wanted her so much was the Metamorphmagus thing. Any man would like that, maybe that was why she turned him down. But it wasn't just that, she was interesting and clever too. Bill loved intelligent women, that was why he'd thought Fleur was perfect for him; stunningly beautiful and the cleverest person in her school. She always been able to hold her own in a good fight with him, always knew too much.

And that was how his most recent crush had started. She was all the things Fleur was, and more. Good-looking, but not overtly, and she didn't show it off. She didn't flirt with other men like Fleur had, she had nothing to prove. She was modest and loyal. Sadly...

To begin with he'd felt disgusting; there was something so pathetic about fancying your brother's girlfriend. He'd noticed her a few times previously, noticed she was turning into a very lovely young woman, but he'd just thought 'well done Ron!' he hadn't wanted her himself. She was far too young for him, Fleur had been young enough.

So it was pervy and repulsive, lusting after beautiful young girls he couldn't have. He was disgusted at himself, he really was.

And then one night, very late, she'd wandered into his room. He was surprised to say the least. He knew she'd just finished being with Ron, their room was next door and the walls were thin. She'd been dressed in nothing but a vest and knickers, far too small for her, and her skin flushed and her hair all over the place.

'What you doing here?' he had forced himself to say lightly.

'Ron's fallen asleep and I'm bored.'

Bill's chest was suddenly very tight, she couldn't have realised what she was implying. 'Oh?' He couldn't think of anything to say. What was he supposed to do, suggest a game of chess?

She sat close to him on the bed. 'You tired?'

'Not very,' he managed to croak.

'Oh good.' She'd kissed him violently on the lips. Of course he should have thrown her off, especially seeing as she was so ill, but he didn't, and soon she was under his covers, her hands all over him.

He'd been able to smell Ron on her skin still, and when he was finally inside her he realised that he was where Ron had been barely half-an-hour earlier. He knew it should have put him off, but he liked it, it drove him on. He'd been so jealous, listening to them every night.

Afterwards he'd quite wanted to go to sleep, but he knew this might be his only chance to prove to her that he was better than Ron, and he'd hardly done that so far. He'd got a bit carried away at finally getting her. So he stayed awake and took her again, and after that she was very pleased, and murmured his name and fell asleep in his arms.

When he woke up she was gone.

After that she'd come to him regularly. They showed no sign in their everyday lives and Hermione at least seemed to hold no guilt. He wondered at that. He'd always seen her as serious, clever, eager, earnest and very moral. When she believed in something she would stand up for it. He'd always enjoy her arguments during the Order meetings, she'd make her point so clearly that several times she'd managed to make him change his mind. She was amazing. He just couldn't equate her outer personality, the organised, controlled, bossy person, with the sexy young woman who came to him at night. At night she was vicious, cold and desperate. Very dominant, she would control him with her touch, and she definitely preferred to be on top of him, pushing him down into the bed.

He knew this was her way of dealing with her pain, with the war. None of them drank very much; they had other ways of blocking out the world. He knew he wasn't just a distraction, he knew she loved sex for its own sake too. He knew from the way she moaned when he touched her and he knew it annoyed her. He wouldn't have thought someone who seemed so prim could be so sexual, it made him wonder if he'd been going after the wrong girls all these years, going for the overtly attractive ones when he should have been going for the quiet, conservatively dressed ones. He loved the way she would be so calm during the day, then when the night came she would devour him.

He loved it. He knew he was falling bad and he knew he had to stop himself. He knew she didn't want him like that. She would never love him back.

And he knew she didn't love Ron either. It was strange. Ron knew about the two of them. He must have. Neither of them bothered to keep quiet anymore and he knew all too well how easy it must be to hear them. But it didn't matter if Ron knew, Ron never said anything to him, and it didn't matter because she didn't love either of them anyway.

One day he'd dared to ask her to remove it.

It. The ring. She was perfectly happy removing all her clothes, but never the ring. It would dangle on that chain around her neck and hit him on the chin as she moved on top of him, as she leaned in for a kiss.

He'd reached his hands up to take it but she'd calmly got off him and walked out, stark naked, and slammed the door of the next-door room. He'd heard no voices so presumably Ron had been asleep.

The next day he'd asked her what it was. He reasoned with himself that it could have been anything, not necessarily from another man. It could be a family heirloom, her grandmother's engagement ring. Well it could have been if it wasn't so clearly a magical object. So it could have been a coming-of-age present from her parents. Except her parents weren't that rich and the ring was so expensive looking. Fleur would have loved it, he often thought bitterly.

When he'd asked her, 'One ring to rule them all,' was all she would tell him and she'd laughed as if it was really funny, though he didn't get the joke.

Then she'd looked at him with a completely unreadable expression and said, 'I never take this ring off.' And he had understood that she meant it.

It was the expensive ring that made him start worrying about Harry. The Potters were an old pure-blooded family; it could have been Harry's grandmother's engagement ring. Maybe it was Harry she was in love with. It would certainly explain the strange sad look he sometimes saw on Ron's face. They were both in this together, the oldest and the youngest Weasley boys, both desperately, unrequitedly in love with the same woman. Pathetic.

Bill didn't understand how Ron could take it so easily, take it lying down, as the expression went, though Ron wasn't taking it lying down very often anymore, she was more often with Bill, and when she was with Ron it was usually quiet. Bill was fuming, that Hermione could be doing that to all three of them, it made him angry. He tried to hurt her sometimes, when they made love, but she liked that, she liked it a lot. Whenever he thrust too hard, or threw her about, or scratched her, or bit her, she liked it. But it wasn't him she liked, she called him names, sweet, loving names that weren't for him. They weren't for him, and they weren't for Ron; they were for Harry.

He couldn't work out why she wasn't with Harry all the time if she loved him like that. Loved him so much she wouldn't take his ring off, so much that she thought about him while she made love to other men. If that was true why did she make love to other men at all? To make him jealous? Or because he didn't love her back?

Neither of those options made sense to Bill, though. Because Harry was happy. Everyone could see it, every day. Most of the Order thought it was because he had finally left school, that he could finally do something to help. He was as happy as anyone could be with a death sentence looming over them. How could anyone be happy if someone they loved was cheating on them? How could he be that happy if he wasn't in love?

Maybe he just wasn't enough for her right now, with all his problems, but if so why was he happy and she not?

And it was possible that she was just screwing him around as well and Harry was simply not stupid enough to take it seriously, was pleased enough to have a sex goddess in his bed once or twice a week.


Bill's jealousy grew and grew. It should have eased really; he was rarely alone at night now. Ron had done the sensible thing and stopped it. One night she'd been in her's and Ron's room, but had appeared in his room soon after. She'd had a very final look on her face, and without any words he'd known what had happened. If only he could be that strong. But then it wasn't about mental strength, Ron clearly didn't love her as much as he did.

But she still wasn't in his room every night, so she must have been with Harry. He would have heard her if she'd gone downstairs, so she was with Harry.

He hated those nights. Lying in bed, wondering what they were doing, unable even to hear...

And as he lay there that night it was too much, he had to know. He jumped out of bed, strode purposefully into the open sitting room and moved closer to Harry's door. All quiet. Maybe they'd finished, were now sleeping...?

And then there was a moan, a soft one, a male one. Bill shuddered with pain. He strained to hear more, but all was silent. He knew he couldn't be sure until he did it. He turned the door handle.

It was possibly the last thing he'd been expecting.

He'd surprised them when he walked in. They were obviously busy. He could tell by the position their bodies were in, by the way Harry turned carefully to look at him.

She had a moustache. Of the large, bushy handlebar type. He could do nothing but gawk at her.

Harry frowned at Bill's expression, then turned back to his lover, realising, and laughed.

'Sorry,' she whispered to him. She shook her head and the moustache disappeared. Harry sniggered again.

'I think that's satisfied your curiosity, Bill, you can go now,' she said, an amused note in her voice.

He jumped with surprise and quickly left. As he closed the door Harry yelled out 'she didn't have that 'tache earlier, I swear!'

Bill smiled, but mainly with relief. He knew the point Tonks had been trying to get across; he'd always wanted to know if she could morph while making love, and now he knew she could. She often did it spontaneously as well, if you could give her enough of a shock, and even in her sleep as she dreamt, a fact he'd only found out by asking her dorm-mates, sadly.

He couldn't believe how relieved he felt. Hermione wasn't with Harry, never had been, Harry was so blatantly in love, and it was Tonks he was in love with.

All he had to worry about now was that fact that she was back with Ron. And the fact that they were hiding it from him this time. But it didn't matter; she would know now that Ron didn't love her as much as he did, seeing that he could give her up for a time whereas Bill could never do that.


Harry didn't know how they'd all ended up like this either.

He knew he'd wanted some space and even as they helped renovate the attic, the summer he'd left school, he'd picked out this room to be his. His little haven. And his friends had all followed. He'd known Tonks would find a subtle way of obtaining the room next-door to his.

He didn't really like sharing this place with so many people though. It was hard seeing them all so depressed sometimes when he was so happy. The war had done such tragic things to the people he loved, yet he still managed to be happy. Sometimes it made him feel horrible that he could be so happy, especially when he didn't deserve it. He knew he'd had a hard and sometimes loveless life, but even so, no-one was so wonderful they deserved to be this happy.

It didn't matter that one day Voldemort would probably get him, or that he'd lose more people along the way. That was life, and he hoped one day he would be with them again. So long as he didn't lose his two best friends, or his wonderful girlfriend, he could cope.

He didn't like to believe in fate, because then it would mean that it was fate that made Voldemort chose him as his enemy, but he liked to believe fate brought him and Tonks together because they were so perfect and he didn't like to imagine that it would have been at all possible for them not to be together.

But then maybe it hadn't been fate, maybe it had been Dumbledore.

In his sixth year at Hogwarts it was decided that he needed protecting even more. They hadn't told him, of course, they'd just done it anyway.

One day he'd got sick of it.

He'd worked out it had been going on all term. Strange people he saw in the corridors that didn't look quite right, that strange feeling you were being watched yet turning round to find no-one there, Malfoy being really nice to him one time, and he'd had some really bizarrely out of character conversations with Ron and Hermione.

He got angry. He kicked over the empty chair next to him as he sat at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall, and as he picked the chair up he grabbed the invisible arm and dragged the invisible person out of the room with him.

She'd told him it was her duty to look after him and he had no choice in the matter, so he agreed to let her stalk him (if she could manage it more subtly) if she would help teach him things he'd need to know to become an Auror. He knew he'd need all the help he could get to get accepted into the Auror training program. He also mentioned that he'd rather she simply disillusioned herself or borrowed his invisibility cloak, instead of impersonating his friends or people he knew.

So they practiced Defence Against the Dark Arts together. It wasn't long before he developed a terrible crush on her; how could he not? She was amazing; clever, funny, talented and so cute. He got a deep ache in his chest every time she scrunched up her face to transform. Ohhhh. And it made him terrible at training. He got the feeling she was genuinely worried about how bad he was at defensive and attacking spells. He couldn't bear to hurt her, and when she was supposed to be attacking him he was too distracted by her beauty and too nervous in front of her to defend himself.

He knew then that his feelings for Cho were nothing compared to his feelings for Tonks. He'd managed to perform spells perfectly in front of Cho at their DA meetings, but he could barely even disarm Tonks. And when she tried to teach him stealth and tracking techniques he was clumsier than she was.

Eventually she'd sat him down and asked him what the problem was, asked him so seriously, in a voice so full of concern...

He'd frowned, wondering what to say, and she'd smiled, put her arm around him and promised him that he could tell her anything.

So he said it. 'I have a terrible crush on you and it makes me too nervous to do the spells properly in front of you.'

She was so shocked that when he'd finally dared look at her, her hair was a bushy green afro and her facial features had jumped to partly resemble his own. He'd wished she'd say something, but she hadn't even noticed him looking. She eventually noticed the slight smile on his face.

'What?' Her hand went up to her hair and she looked rather embarrassed. 'Oh.' It took her a while to force herself to change back, and even then it wasn't quite right. She'd also rather self-consciously removed her other arm from his shoulder.

'I'm normally really good at Defence Against the Dark Arts. I got a higher mark than Hermione in my OWLs.'


It made things awkward between them for a while, making them both more clumsy. Harry hadn't been prepared to give up his best chance of becoming an Auror, and despite the embarrassment he found he couldn't give up the time her spent with her either. And she obviously was still under orders to protect him. At the time he'd been a little worried she might have told someone how he felt and they'd send someone else to guard him, but that never happened.

During the Easter holiday that year they'd been out in the school grounds and were attacked. They'd managed to deal with the situation very effectively together. Harry was very pleased that he still had his skills at Defence Against the Dark Arts when he needed them, and especially because he'd needed them to protect her, though obviously she was very capable of protecting herself. She was very proud of him, she'd told him, as they lay in the mud and the rain, waiting for someone from the Order to come for them, and trying to avoid looking at the prone forms of the well-hexed Death Eaters that lay around them. He'd just been so pleased she was safe and before he knew it they'd been kissing. Heaven. Her lips were soft and warm and sweet. He'd never realised that kissing could be so easy.

When they were found they'd ended up back at Grimmauld Place, passing out with exhaustion. But in the morning he'd woken up to find her still lying on his bed, watching him sleep, and they'd got carried away then. Her body was so much softer than he'd expected and he couldn't believe that she actually wanted to touch him.

She hadn't minded that he was so young, and that he didn't know what he was doing at all, and she'd certainly seemed happy enough. He could tell she hadn't meant to go so far, and he even had time to notice that she was nervous; her face would change, subtly, every so often. And when she came she moaned very deeply, but looked right into his eyes, so beautifully that he'd come too.

Afterwards he'd told her he was in love with her and she hadn't minded because, she said, she was pretty fond of him too. And he'd been blissfully happy ever since.

Okay not exactly. He'd often wished he could tell people about their relationship, but he was scared to put her in danger. Hermione and Ron both knew, but not because he'd told them outright, and it was possible they thought there'd been nothing going on until he'd left school, meaning they thought the relationship was only two years old, when actually it was three-and-a-half now, nearly.

It had been very awkward trying to meet up while he was still at school. Back at Grimmauld Place for the holidays it was always easy enough to sneak away for an hour or so, she would lock the door of his room and they would undress each other quickly, interspersing each item of clothing removed with a kiss, and they'd fall quickly to the bed. But it was more difficult during term time. She was allowed on school property whenever she wanted, to protect him, naturally. So they often found themselves out in the grounds, up against a tree, or something. It got easier when he became Head Boy, having the Head Prefects' room just for him and Hermione; the only problem being getting rid of the Head Girl frequently enough.

Another problem was keeping it secret, sneaking away from his friends, lying to them. And there was the age gap. He loved her, so it didn't matter, but he knew it bothered her sometimes. He knew she loved him, she just wished he was a few years older because it would make everything so much easier. Sometimes he couldn't believe his luck; that such a woman would put up with all his problems, the danger, the age gap, the embarrassment of secretly dating a schoolboy.

And there had been other problems. Like his jealousy. He hadn't realised quite how jealous he could be, but it all came out when he had to be apart from her and he blew up when he saw her talking to any other man. He hated the way Snape leered at her, the way Remus was so friendly, the way Charlie joked about their schooldays together, and the dirty jokes the twins made about her morphing. He especially hated the way Bill hit on her. He knew there wasn't anything going on but he still hated it, especially as Bill clearly had no idea that they were together.

So he was pleased that Bill had walked in on them last night. Very pleased. So long as he didn't tell anyone about the moustache thing.

Actually he didn't mind about the moustache. He didn't mind any of her changes. He knew that was one of the things she liked about him. He got the impression that the whole of her adult life she'd had to put up with men who only wanted her for one thing, but he loved her and not simply the way she looked. What Harry liked was the way her facial expressions still continued the same, however her face looked (unless she was purposely trying to change them), he liked that her eyes, if sometimes different colours, were always the same shape, or at least held the same expression, and that he always knew they were her eyes. He was the only one who always knew it was her.

He didn't mind what form she took while they made love as long as she had her eyes.

One time she'd killed a man by accident. Sure he was a Death Eater, but he was a young one, and she'd felt sorry for him. She'd disarmed him hard and it had blasted him into the path of an Avada Kedavra that one of his friends had been trying to cast. She'd been so distraught she'd taken on his appearance for nearly a week and been unable to change herself back. Harry hadn't minded at all. He loved her, even if she did look like a gawky young Dark wizard called Nigel. They hadn't made love during that week, but mainly because she was so depressed, not because it bothered him to make love to her as a man. He wanted to make her happy whatever she looked like, and it didn't make that much of a difference what body parts she had. It made the experience even more interesting.

She was perfect for him. He needed her, and needed her desperately. It felt strange for him, this being happy, and he knew it was solely down to her. He knew he wouldn't have coped with any of the things that the war brought if it hadn't been for her, if he didn't have her to come home to every night. Without her he'd have been a bigger gibbering wreck than Hermione. He needed her body, her kisses, her hugs. And more important than that he needed her self. Whenever he felt down she could always cheer him up; they both had the same sense of humour and could laugh together for hours. Her personality was just so perfectly suited to his, who could mind a small age gap; it was no problem when they were alone. She was still childish enough to enjoy being silly, but she knew when to be serious, and he knew he often seemed older than he was because of the life he'd had, so it made them almost exactly the same age.

Seven years is nothing, and the last three and a half had been the best of his life.

Harry sighed. He flopped down on his bed and breathed in deeply. He could still smell her skin on his pillow. This was the only time he was unhappy. When she was on a mission, without him. He liked working with her, they were good together. He knew if other members of the Order knew about their relationship they wouldn't be allowed out together. One of the many reasons they didn't tell them, another being that Tonks was rather embarrassed that the physical side of their relationship had began before he was of age.

What if she didn't come back this time?

The door opened. Harry jumped up nervously, embarrassed at having been caught sniffing the pillow.


'Hey.' He smiled at Ron, who came and sat on the bed.

'Smelling the sheets, huh?'

'Not necessarily,' he answered defensively.

'Hmm. Why did you tell Bill about you and Tonks? I thought you didn't want to tell anyone who didn't need to know. You weren't jealous were you?'

'What did he say?'

'Just said he was surprised that's all. He was a bit weird, actually.'

'No kidding, he walked in on us last night.'

'Bloody hell, poor him.'

'Hey poor us! He gave us such a shock when I turned round she'd morphed.'


'Well just herself.' Ron raised his eyebrows. 'But with a really big moustache. He must think I'm some sort of disgusting pervert.'

'Probably. But I'm sure he is too, so I wouldn't worry about it.'

'What was he doing wandering about at night anyway?' Harry asked, making the real question obvious in his voice.

'We didn't do anything.'


'We don't do that anymore.'

'I believe you.'

'She just wanted to talk, we didn't do anything but hug and stuff, it was really nice.'

'I've been too scared to hug her recently, in case she tries to have sex with me.' They both smiled but there was no mirth in it.

'Has she ever tried?'

'Not really. Kissed me with tongues a couple of times, but Tonks didn't mind, she knows how bad she is.'

'Yeah. I never thought our lives would get like this.'

Harry felt guilty for being so happy.

'She told me that she still loves us, that we're still her best friends,' Ron said, managing a genuine smile.

'That's good.'


Harry sighed. 'She's the last person I thought would take this route out of her problems. I mean, we all have our different ways of coping with our losses, but she's definitely gone for the most out of character one.'

'Least she isn't drinking.'

'True, but I think I'd be able to deal with that better. We have to remind her how much we love her, and that love is more important than sex.'

'Yeah. How?'

'Don't have a clue.'

'Well you'd be the best one to do it; you're the one that's in love.' Harry gave Ron a sharp look while Ron tried not to meet his eyes. 'What's it like?'

'What do you think it's like?'

'How would I know?' Ron spat back viciously.

'It's wonderful.' Harry replied briefly, then abruptly changed the subject. 'What on earth happened to mess her up this much? Promise me that no-one hurt her...' He'd asked Ron this many times before and he hoped Ron had always been truthful with him.

'Not like that. It must just be her parents.' It was Ron's turn to look guilty; he was the only one of the trio that still had parents. And he still had nearly all of his brothers. 'And what's with that damn ring? Bill hates it, she says. He's jealous of it. I don't have a clue where she got it.'

'Bill shouldn't be getting jealous at all,' Harry noted.

'I know, it's ridiculous, at his age he should have more sense.'

Harry really didn't want to get into another discussion about Bill's silly infatuation with Hermione. 'Mmm. So how are you?'

'I'm fine.'

'We don't seem to spend much time together at the moment,' Harry accused Ron.

'That's hardly my fault.'

'Actually it is your fault, you've been avoiding me, more and more, for quite a while now.'

'No I haven't.' Ron didn't even bother to put any feeling into his voice.

Harry found himself repeating something that Tonks had said to him over three and a half years ago.

'You know you can tell me anything...?' He let the question hang in the air.

Ron ignored it and Harry sighed.

'How about I start, I tell you some secret of mine first?'

'I'm not stopping you.'

Harry sighed again. He wasn't good at this sort of thing; he needed the old Hermione back to have this talk with him. He wondered if Hermione knew. Of course she would, even with the change in her she still knew everything, just in the state she was frequently in at the moment she wouldn't see what the problem was.

Was it really a problem?

He'd realised fairly soon after he'd found out that it didn't bother him at all, in fact it bothered Ron a lot more. He just needed to communicate that to Ron somehow. Without getting into a big fight.

He took a deep breath. 'Okay Ron. You know I love you, don't you?'

Ron's eyebrows hit the roof. Harry stared right at him and Ron looked mortified. 'You and Hermione and Tonks are the three people I couldn't live without,' Harry continued. Ron was trying desperately not to look at him, Harry knew how embarrassing it must be for him to hear his best friend talk like this, it just wasn't something they did. But it had to be done.

'Look at me, damn you! Mate, look at me, I love you.' Harry pulled Ron closer to him, holding his wrists tightly. 'And you were the first person I ever truly loved and you'll always be very special to me.' Oh god, Harry thought, he was going to make himself cry. 'I will always love you and I'll always need you, whatever happens. I want you to always be there for me, and in return I'll always be there for you. Whatever happens. You understand?'

There were tears in Ron's eyes now.


'No buts. Always. You could stab me through the heart right now and it wouldn't change anything, I would still love you, whatever you told me about yourself.'

'I can't-' Ron sobbed weakly. Harry couldn't hold himself back any longer and he grabbed his friend in a tight hug. Ron's arms quickly found their way around him, and he tightened the hug too.

'It's okay, you don't have to explain, I just wanted you to know how I felt. I mean it, I do, there is nothing you could say, nothing you could do that would make me love you any less.'

Ron sobbed. 'If you knew...'

'I do know, I do, and it doesn't change anything.'


'But nothing. I still love you. I want you to be happy, and if this makes you happy, then I'm happy.'

Ron took a few more shaky breaths, then pulled out of the hug. 'I'm sorry, I- I'm sorry about that.'

'It's fine.'

'You really don't hate me?'

'I really don't.'

Ron smiled a little shyly. 'I love you too, mate,' he said, and quickly left the room.

Harry sighed in relief, dropping face-first onto his pillow again. He was glad he'd finally said it, finally got the words out, finally admitted to Ron that he knew.

He breathed deeply from the pillow. He quite wished Ron had stayed and let him hug him some more, he could have done with the comforting himself.


Ron didn't know how it had happened at all.

He too had been planning on living in the attic as they renovated it. Him and Harry and Hermione and Tonks. One big happy family. He hadn't planned on the extras and he certainly hadn't planned on sharing a room with Hermione.

He couldn't work out when people had started assuming they were a couple.

Harry had always known they weren't, they'd tried it out slightly in their fifth year (without telling anyone) and a bit more over the summer, but it hadn't worked, so they'd given up trying. Hermione had become very preoccupied during their sixth year at Hogwarts, as had Harry, and she'd been lost to him. He really hadn't minded his two best friends being elsewhere sometimes, because when they were together they were just as good friends as they'd always been.

He'd got over his crush on Hermione easily after their disastrous attempts at snogging and other coupley things. He'd adjusted to his friends' distraction by making other friends and spending more time with his family, and also dating several different girls. He'd been happy enough. In fact he'd been very happy; he'd even started to feel quite normal, despite the war going on around him.

He knew that in their seventh year everyone had assumed Hermione was with Harry. It was practically mandatory for the Head Boy and Head Girl to be sleeping together. And with neither of them openly seeing anyone else, it was easy to make that assumption; maybe Ron would have come to the same conclusion himself if he hadn't somehow just known that it was someone else that occupied Hermione's thoughts. Harry had no objection to the imaginary relationship between the two of them, he'd spent most of his school career denying it, and he was just bored of it. It was at that point that Ron had guessed Harry had someone else too.

None of them had dates to the Leavers' Ball but Harry asked Ron specially if he wouldn't mind going with Hermione. Ron knew it was because he was worried that otherwise it would be taken as confirmed that the Head Boy and Head Girl were a couple. Harry was worried that being known as his girlfriend would put her in danger, and also Ron thought maybe he didn't want to spend his last evening at Hogwarts with people believing he was in a relationship that didn't exist. That confirmed to Ron that there was someone Harry loved.

So he'd taken her instead, and people had talked, and neither of them had cared. It had only been when his mother had suggested they share a room back at Grimmauld Place that he'd realised that everyone thought they were together. They'd been too shocked and embarrassed to say no, so they'd said yes and ended up sharing a large double bed.

Hermione hadn't been too bothered. To be honest, she didn't seem too bothered about anything anymore. She'd been quiet for the last couple of months at school, not so much quiet, more... down. Depressed even. The others didn't notice at the time, only him and Harry. And when they'd left school it was only the Attic People that knew what she was really like. Of course they didn't have to sleep in the same room, one of them could have taken the usually empty room next-door, but it seemed wrong to Ron somehow.

Then her parents died. They'd known it was a possibility that the Grangers might be targeted, but Hermione's mum and dad had never taken it seriously. She didn't start grieving, she hardly even blamed herself, she just sank lower into the low mood she already had.

Hermione's character didn't change suddenly and it didn't change completely. She had most of the Order convinced she'd coped splendidly with her parents demise and that she was still the same controlled, capable person she'd always been. He and Harry clung to the moments she seemed normal, trying not to show her how much they needed it. When Hermione was no longer the same who could you trust?

Ron knew Hermione had completely lost it when she told him she didn't know why she'd never liked Luna Lovegood before, she was a lovely girl really. For Hermione Granger to think Luna Lovegood was interesting to be around it would take a serious change of character. Also Luna was gay and Ron couldn't help but wonder if Hermione was sleeping with her too. He didn't think about it that often though.

So when they left school the trio moved into the Attic and he and Hermione had slept in the same bed and one night she'd finally lost it. She completely exploded, screaming and wailing and crying, and he'd held her, all through it, for hours. And when she'd come to, she'd kissed him, and he hadn't resisted because he was so scared for her he'd have done anything. And that was that. Nothing changed during the day, but at night they were a couple, they were lovers.

And of course it was good. To begin with he could hardly believe his luck. She was so beautiful, she felt so good, and he didn't know who she'd been disappearing off with for the last two years but she was bloody good in bed. He was shocked when he first discovered just how much she knew, but he got used to it, though he couldn't help wondering who'd taught her. But it wasn't so much taught, it was more discovered. She'd discovered these things with another man. It had bothered him. Especially when she did things that he'd obviously liked. Strange little ways of kissing him. Touching him in places Ron had rather she wouldn't. In bed, the same as in any other area of her life, she liked to get her own way.

Sometimes she got angry or frustrated, sometimes she cried and cried for hours, and Ron wished desperately that she'd tell him who she wanted him to be, who the man was that'd left her before her parents had.

And what most worried Ron was that he wasn't in love with her. He loved her, a lot, but he wasn't in love with her. He didn't think that was possible, it didn't make sense. How could you love someone and be attracted to them and actually be sleeping with them and not be in love with them. He couldn't see the difference.

He'd wanted to ask Harry. He knew that Harry knew about love. He'd previously assumed it was someone from school that Harry loved, but even someone as un-perceptive as himself had noticed that Tonks had seemed eager to have an attic room and eager to have the room next to Harry's. He'd kind of realised before that anyway. It didn't surprise him as much as it should have.

But he hadn't been able to bring himself to ask Harry about love, Harry was so happy it was quite disturbing. Him and Tonks weren't touchy feely, they didn't flirt, they didn't make it obvious; except for the fact that they were both achingly happy.

Ron was jealous, painfully jealous, but he knew Harry deserved it.

Sometimes he wished he could love Hermione like that, but she was damaged, she didn't want anyone else. He could never see any sort of serious relationship between them.

But while it still comforted them both, he was happy still to have sex with her and it carried on for quite some time.

Worryingly it didn't bother him when she started sleeping with Bill. Certainly it was a bit icky (icky?), the fact that she was sleeping with the oldest and the youngest Weasley brothers, sometimes on the same night, but it wasn't that bad; after all the twins often swapped girlfriends. And it was nice that he frequently got his room to himself, and if the noise got too unbearable he would just go and bother Ginny in the room next to his.

She thought he was mental letting someone like Hermione go so easily. He tried to explain it to her, and after a while she sort of understood.

So he'd curl up in Ginny's bed fairly often. He couldn't satisfy Hermione like Bill could. It was a disturbing thought, yet it didn't bother him, because he didn't really want to be able to satisfy someone by doing those sorts of things. He wanted someone who would be there afterwards, to whisper and kiss with, like he imagined Harry and Tonks did, not someone who expected another shag or they would go next door and wake your brother up. He wanted someone who could be gentle sometimes. And rather selfishly he wanted someone who never burst into tears half-way through, then continued crying non-stop for the next hour until you and Harry had to go and get some Dreamless Sleep potion and force it down their throat.

He hated bothering Harry when he was busy, but Harry said he didn't mind. Ron knew Harry couldn't offer to look after her sometimes, because there was nothing he could do that would help her.

Ginny would tell him that none of it was his fault, he hadn't hurt Hermione, he hadn't killed her parents, he hadn't broken her heart, and that he tried desperately to help her, and at least Bill's intervention often gave him a night off.

And he realised at that point that that was how he felt, sleeping with Hermione was work, a job, a chore. He actually dreaded the nights he would have to spend with her.

It had been a very cold winter, the year Ginny left school. No-one had expected the war to last this long, or at least had hoped it wouldn't. But it was better than Voldemort being in charge.

As November drew in it was already freezing. Whenever Hermione was otherwise occupied he would snuggle in with Ginny. It made him realise how little he knew about her, her life as a woman. He always thought of her as this cute little thing, his baby sister, not a grown-up. She still didn't look very grown up, small, delicate and fairly skinny, dressed half-witch, half-Muggle, but brilliantly clever and very useful to the Order. Ron hated her going out on missions.

And one night, during a viciously cold snap, their snuggling and giggling went a bit too far. They'd always had fun in bed. Joking and tickling, kicking and wriggling. It felt good to regress back to your childhood, to be so carefree, even if it was just for an hour or so every night. And it was nice to really get to know Ginny; he'd neglected her while they were at school, only paying her attention when Harry and Hermione were elsewhere. But now they were elsewhere, so he could give Ginny all the attention she deserved.

He'd decided to blame it on the fact that he'd only been wearing his old tattered pyjamas, holes in the knees and elbows, buttons barely working (damn it, if the buttons had worked, on the pants at least, this might never have happened). And she was only wearing that weird thick white nightdress that gave her such a child-like look as it trailed on the floor, and a pair of those thick wool socks she loved. She always had a pair on; she seemed to have a pair in every colour of the rainbow. And all that tickling and wriggling...

She hadn't minded at all, hadn't minded that his body had reacted to hers in such a way. She'd just pulled up her nightdress (in the process revealing to him under the covers that her socks did indeed go all the way to the top of her thighs, and that she didn't wear knickers, not that he'd ever wondered), slung a leg over his hip and wriggled a bit closer.

He'd gasped in shock as he found himself inside of her, but it was no big deal to her, she just giggled and snuggled some more. Of course he was shocked but not really, she was right, it wasn't actually a big deal.

He couldn't help but enjoy it. He liked the gently gentleness of it, just rocking together, her face pressed into his shoulder and neck as they lay side by side. He knew she was happy not because she screamed, but because she stroked his back, because she nuzzled into his neck. Because she pulled away a little, rather suddenly, closing her eyes and sighing deeply, her eyelashes fluttering. And as he watched her it happened for him too, and he whimpered slightly, pressing his forehead to hers.

After that she pulled away, only just enough, kissed his forehead lightly, then calmly went to sleep in his arms.

Of course in the morning it was a big deal. He was terrified, repulsed. He avoided her all day. That night he'd begged Hermione to stay with him. She'd been surprised but he hadn't dared tell her why; that it was so her body could wash away the shame of what he'd done last night.

That whole week was torment. She must have known he'd react badly if she tried to talk to him, she knew him so well after all, so she let him avoid her.

And then she went on a mission for the Order and he found another type of torment.

He missed her, he was scared for her. He slept in her bed each night, clutching her pillows, crying desperately, knowing, knowing that this would be how it ended, knowing she would never come back. He deserved it, how could he have been so cruel? This was justice; she would die out there, he would never see her again and it would serve him right.

He cried endlessly, suddenly understanding how Hermione felt, night after night after night, crying, until late one evening he walked into the kitchen and she was just standing there. Standing there, hugging his mother. He watched in amazement as she pecked her mother on the cheek and said goodnight, then noticed him. And she calmly said hello and offered to tell him how the mission went and he dumbly followed her back up the stairs.

When she saw her room she tutted and said 'have you been sleeping in here Ronald?' He'd blushed and she'd smiled and they got into to bed together as if nothing had changed. But it had.

As soon as they snuggled together he begged her never to leave again, told her he couldn't bear it, and she said it was okay, she'd never leave him. He desperately had to have her that night, and she didn't mind, even though she must have been tired from her time away, walking all day and camping in forests. They nestled into each other's bodies and he rolled on top, and everything was right again. He hardly moved, he was so scared he would hurt her, and she was happy just hugging, until suddenly her hands slid down to his bottom and her breath became shaky against his shoulder. He pulled away to watch, and her face was all screwed up adorably until it finally relaxed into her release and again he couldn't help himself.

As they lay together afterwards he became desperate again. He knew now that she'd definitely been with another man before. She wouldn't tell him who, but she promised him it hadn't meant anything, that she loved Ron more than she loved anyone else, that any other man had only been practice for him. He knew it was a lie, but the fact that she'd said it meant she loved him most, didn't it?

Of course he felt guilty, he did.

He'd become like Hermione; pretending to be his old self during the day, during Order meetings, meals, missions, then becoming someone else at night.

By the time the weather was warmer his guilt only manifested itself in the mornings at breakfast; when he lay with Ginny nothing was ever wrong. He loved her wearing those long socks, he loved peeling them off her. He loved to feel her naked against him. It wasn't just furtive snuggling anymore, not just hungry little kisses and hurried little fingers, it was everything. They made love. They undressed each other, kissed all over each other's bodies. He wondered when she'd stopped being just a comfort for him, a pleasant convenience like Hermione was, and started being the most wonderful thing in his life.

He wondered when he'd realised his little sister was so beautiful.

The thing with Hermione had already started going downhill a long time before, but he'd continued to sleep with her because at least then he could pretend he was still a bit normal. But eventually he had to admit that he preferred Ginny. Of course he hadn't admitted it to himself, it had taken Hermione realising it to actually change things.

One time he hadn't been able to... you know. That had never happened to him before. Ever. He'd been pretty shocked. Hermione hadn't been shocked, she must have known what the real problem was. She hadn't said anything about it. She'd just straightened his clothes and took him by the hand and led him out the door, ignoring his puzzled expression. She'd kissed his lips gently, chastely, and walked into Bill's room. Her way of saying 'that's the end', leaving him standing in the lounge area, hinting that he was to go to Ginny now. And so he had.

And now it was August and he adored her, and he wished desperately they could be together properly. But they never would. He wished he didn't have to feel like this, he wished he could walk down to breakfast smiling and holding her hand, not dragging his feet, weighed down by guilt.

Harry knew, and still loved him, and Hermione knew, and it was no problem with her, but he doubted there was anyone else that would understand. What would his mother do? His father? He was corrupting their sweet, innocent, only daughter. He was hurting them all every time he took her in his arms at night. He was committing incest; a crime which he'd learned could earn them both two years in Azkaban. It was wrong, it was unnatural, but he couldn't help himself. She was so perfect. He just wished she could be his during the day as well.

Not that there was anything really stopping him right now...

On impulse he got up from his bed, left his room and entered hers. She didn't notice him. She was sitting on the bed, her profile towards him, reading from a book. He knew what she could be like sometimes, even if she'd only meant to read for a minute she would find something interesting and be totally engrossed. She was probably supposed to be downstairs helping mum with the dinner.

Mum... He hated saying that, thinking that, now. They had the same mother... It was strange in some ways, that he knew she was still his sister, yet sometimes she wasn't. He closed the bedroom door carefully, to keep out thoughts of his mother.

Ginny was barefoot, wearing rolled-up jeans, and what could have been short robes or a long shirt, which reached just past her knees. For some reason he always noticed her clothes. Her hair was loose, all dark and shiny and curly, very different from his rough, ginger mop. He'd often thought she looked strangely unlike the rest of the family. My little changeling, he thought, and a part of him hoped it was true, that Tom Riddle had taken his real sister away and left this beautiful, soft, delicate thing in her place.

He walked as silently as he could towards her and reached his hand out to her hair. What if she said no? What if he wasn't allowed to touch her during the daylight hours? His hand slowly reached it's goal.

She looked up. 'Hey, Ron,' then looked quickly down again.

'Hey,' he murmured, hand paused a couple of millimetres from touching her head.

'What d'you want?' she mumbled distractedly. Her book was obviously very interesting indeed.

'You,' he whispered, as softly as he could.

She looked back up at him in surprise. 'Me?'

'Yes.' He slid down next to her and pressed his lips to her temple as his fingers got lost in her hair.

She didn't move, just sat there staring at her book, as his lips trailed down her cheek to her neck. It felt very new to him, simply because it was light outside.

She shuddered gently as his lips touched her shoulder while his fingers attempted to loosen the neck of her top a little more. She wasn't trying to stop him.

Ron hadn't realised how excited he was, he was about to have her, right now, sunlight shining through the small slanted window. He grabbed the book from her hands and threw it hard across the room. He shoved her backwards and rolled on top of her, his hands working their way under her robes, his lips still on her neck.

'Oh...' she moaned, 'oh Ron...'

Her words made him cease caring about her robes, making his fingers fly to the buttons of her jeans as he lay between her legs. He ripped the zip open and tugged them down along with her knickers.

'What has got into you?' she asked lazily, running her fingers down his front and hooking them into the waistband of his trousers.

'I don't know,' he muttered, helping her to unbutton his jeans.

'I like it,' she whispered, pulling his face to hers.

Ron had wanted to take his time with this, but he hadn't planned on being this desperate, he had one hand in her knickers and the other trying to pull her trousers further down.

Barely five minutes later it was all over and they lay, exhausted, still mostly in their clothes.

'We don't normally do that,' she said, 'what came over you?'

'I don't know, I'm sorry.'

'Don't be.'

Their loving kisses were interrupted by a knock on the door.

'Shit!' Ron scrambled to get his clothing in order, though Ginny just calmly pulled her jeans over her hips and smoothed her long green shirt down.

Tonks stuck her head around the door.

'Hey kids, just to let you know, I've just put a couple of prisoners in my room.'

'What?!' Ron exclaimed, less from what she'd told him, more form panic. Tonks hadn't seemed to notice anything odd about them. He couldn't believe he'd got so carried away he hadn't even cast a locking charm. Bill could have just walked right in while...

'Molly was a bit annoyed about my having brought them here in the first place, so I thought it was best.'

'You brought strangers into our attic?' He asked incredulously, suddenly understanding her words.

'They aren't strangers, they're my relatives,' she sounded offended, but also like she was joking.

'But they're Death Eaters?' He commented.

'Sort of, there ain't many nice ones on my family tree. Not living anyway. These two won't do us any harm, and they're well tied up.'

'I suppose.'

'Is Harry about?' Tonk's eyes lit up eagerly as she remembered her boyfriend.

'Sulking in his room last time I saw him,' Ron replied moodily.


'Not exactly, more... pining,' he told her. Ginny sniggered.

Tonks looked rather pleased, and for once Ron hardly felt jealous at all. He did have Ginny, after all.


Draco had certainly not ever planned on being here.

He didn't actually know where 'here' was yet, but he was sure he'd soon find out. He would come up with a devilishly dangerous and cunning escape plan. Okay he wouldn't, but Em would.

'Wake up Em, you lazy bint.'

'I'm not a-fucking-sleep, you arse-wipe.'

'Escape plan?'

'Your fucking too-clever-for-her-own-good cousin saw through my clever plot to stop her tying me up too tight.'

'So we're fucking screwed, basically. Any minute now ol' Dumbles is going to burst through the door and try and convert us to the happy-happy side by singing kumbaya and burning incense.'

'It's a heck of a lot better than dead.'

'We weren't nearly dead.'

'Yeah, right!'

Draco lapsed into silence. He was lying on some sort of bed; soft, clean sheets, presumably he was in his cousin's flat, she'd certainly banged his feet off a lot of stairs as she floated him up to the right floor. The bitch had insisted on putting a Silencing charm on the room after she'd taken their gags off, but she hadn't removed the blindfolds.

How did his life ever start going this wrong? How did he end up lying on his freak cousin's bed, tied up, on the run permanently from the Ministry and the Death Eaters, and married to this awful bi-

'Shut up Draco.'

'I didn't say anything, you bitch, stop fucking using Occlumency!' He was sure you weren't supposed to be able to when you had no eye contact.

'Fuck off.'

'You use the f-word far too often.'

'So do you.'

'Cos I spend too much time with you!'

He heard her huff loudly close to his ear, then roll over. He liked fighting with Em, he really did, but somehow it just didn't satisfy him. Not like it should... To be completely honest, he was actually quite fond of her (he hoped to god she'd never found this out while secretly reading his mind, but she probably would have already used it to taunt him if she had), she was clever, useful, nice to look at, yet just traditional enough to be loyal to him over The Family.

Which had come in useful once he'd had to do a runner. He'd been rather disappointed that both Voldemort and his father hadn't even considered him enough of a threat to bother looking for him. He bloody should turn traitor, serve them bloody right. Though it wasn't like they didn't already spy for anyone who'd give them money anyway, and he assumed it wasn't the Dark side he was spying for, because anyone from the Dark side would have realised it would have been much more worth their while to put his head on a stick and hand it to the big V. Or Lucius. Either of them would be extremely pleased with the gift.

So... a year and a half on the run, as much of the family jewels as he could carry stuffed in his robes, and the bloody wife in tow. She was a bit useful though. Okay very useful. Alright, she was the clever one, she made all the plans, and she was the only damn reason he was still alive now. He was grateful, a bit, he really was. When his father had told him it was time to get married he'd thought he'd be marrying eleven year old Asteria Marchmont, only female heir of the extremely important Marchmont family. He should have known his father thought he was a useless waste of space when he'd ended up marrying his illegitimate bastarding cousin. It could have been worse, he could have made him marry his other cousin, disgusting morphing freak of nature that she was. So he was grateful because at least he didn't have to drag around some brat of a child-bride, or pretend to be in love with a mad, pink-haired freak. And Em may just have saved his life the odd couple of times.

And he did know the point where his life went so wrong. Not the exact point, but near enough.

His fifth year at Hogwarts. He liked to pretend it was his sixth, because that was slightly less humiliating, but no. Definitely fifth.

It was just little things, while they worked together. How goooood she looked when her hair was all messy. How erotic it was when she got all flushed and angry. How much he wanted to ravish her when she chewed on her lip in concentration. How very brown her eyes were when they were narrowed in hatred. That sort of thing. It wasn't a crush or anything.

So one bright October day he'd got sick of the bickering, he'd grabbed her and pushed her up against the wall, holding her tight, his wand at her temple. He'd caught her off guard, he was quite proud really, she hadn't seen it coming, no, not at all. She was terrified; she thought he would hurt her or kill her. He actually considered it for a minute, but realised he was too pathetic to manage it anyway, even if he'd wanted to.

If only he bloody had, he'd be sitting at Voldemort's right hand by now, not tied up on a bed. Actually, probably not. If he'd stayed a faithful Death Eater he'd have been long dead from his own incompetence.

So he pressed against her and kissed her, hard, until he heard a funny snorting noise that definitely hadn't been made by him, and pulled away. She was laughing. He'd been quite prepared for the fact that she might think it was disgusting, but to think it was funny.

He was very angry. 'Is that how you get girls to kiss you?' she'd asked. Oh, he'd been angry. Before he knew what was happening she'd pulled herself out of his arms and was walking off, still chuckling to herself.

He'd yelled at her to stop, pointing out she needed a Memory charm. She'd told him she didn't trust him with Memory charms, and she'd just have to try and come to terms with it herself.

'What if you tell someone?' he'd blurted out.

'Yeah,' she'd laughed, 'what would I say? Who would believe me?' He was quite pleased. She had made a good point. But he was still angry. She was in control. He'd pinned her down and pulled his wand on her (more than one wand actually, ahem) and she'd somehow still been in control.

Well he'd bloody well be in control next time.

Next time... He'd grabbed her when she was on her own, dragged her into a small dark cupboard as she'd been walking past, and kissed her again.

'Mmm, Harry...' she'd moaned against his lips, making him throw her away from him. 'Oh, sorry, thought you were someone else,' she had said smartly, walking out of the cupboard, and leaving him standing there, barely controlling his rage. He was sooooooo angry after that he ignored her for ages. Okay not that long. Okay it was only three days and she probably didn't even notice, but still. There was a point to it. Okay, there wasn't a point to it, but when he'd pulled her into the same cupboard the next time...

She'd said 'Oh, Ron!' as he pulled her to the floor, but he just told her to shut up, and kissed her anyway. It was several minutes before he noticed that not only was she not trying to escape, but she was actually kissing back. God, she felt good. He'd just been in the process of trying to get his hand up her robes when she'd stopped him and said 'you know there's no point in this, you and me, it won't work.'

Draco had been thinking how good it felt had been the whole point, but he was pissed off at having been stopped so he said 'How do you know this isn't a clever plan to seduce you and take you to Voldemort?'

'I was thinking your brain hadn't got past the 'seduce me' part.'

'Well actually you're the bait to lure Potter to the Dark Lord's hideout.'

'Nah, they wouldn't trust you to do that, you'd mess it up.'

'I would not!'

'Unless you're someone else, disguised with Polyjuice,' she'd squinted at him in the dark, 'that would explain how good you are at kissing.'

He hadn't known whether to be flattered or really really annoyed. He decided to be really really annoyed when she said it would be best if they waited an hour to see if he changed back into his real self when the Polyjuice wore off, and she lit her wand and looked him over in great detail. But she got a bit carried away 'looking him over', and so they decided they may as well have some fun while waiting for the fictional Polyjuice to wear off, and later when he tried to put his hand up her robes she didn't stop him.

That was the way things were from then on. Lots of cupboards, quiet corridors, empty classrooms, etc. Draco thought she was wonderful, sod the Mudblood thing, but he hadn't a clue what she wanted him for. She was so clever, so beautiful, so god damn prim, he didn't know what part of her decided it would be a good thing to start an affair with him. Maybe she wanted his money, maybe she wanted to change him, convert him to the light side, or maybe it was because he was just so sexy. Yeah, that was probably it.

He knew he should have a problem with the whole Mudblood thing, but he didn't really. Obviously she was some foul freak of nature, but he was a Malfoy and he wanted her, so it could hardly be wrong.

The first time they slept together was amazing. She'd obviously not known what she was doing, but he was sure he'd showed her a good time because afterwards she was all happy and kind of sleepy, in a gorgeous way. She was so lovely he'd decided she needed a nickname, a nice nickname, and he spent ages saying her name over and over until she giggled and he discovered that the only possible shortening of Hermione was Minny, and it was cheating a bit. He'd asked her why no-one ever shortened her name and she said it was because she didn't let them and smiled at him.

He was pleased that he was so special she let him call her that, though she did add 'not that I like you or anything.'

'Oh yeah?'

'Yeah. You just deserve it because you've been such a good boy.'

She asked if she could call him Drakey, though she'd probably been taking the piss, but he'd shuddered and pointed out that Pansy called him that. 'Yes,' she'd said, 'and we both know that's who you've been practicing this with.' As if he could even compare being in bed with Pansy to lying in the mud next to the Forbidden Forest with her.

Of course their 'relationship', or whatever it was, was hardly peachy. He hated that she always patronised him and that she was always in control. Except when they had sex. To begin with anyway. Well the first time. She'd got the hang of it rather quickly after that. And she never forgot to take ten points from Slytherin for his having the gall to seduce a Gryffindor prefect in a storage cupboard.

They still fought constantly, but he loved it that their fighting was simply foreplay, just another part of the sexual experience. He'd wander up to the Gryffindor table at dinner, insult one of her friends, she'd say something back, and ten minutes later they'd be continuing their disagreement in the Prefect's bathroom, without any clothes.

But after several months it got worrying. He craved her every minute; he couldn't stand it when a day went by without a single kiss from her. One night he couldn't sleep at all because the only words he'd said to her all day were 'drop dead, Mudblood'. It was getting silly; this couldn't be a serious relationship. But it was. He doubted she was really one for no-strings sex and he could feel the strings tugging at him already.

He knew she was getting strong feelings too and he knew by the worried look she got on her face sometimes that it disturbed her just as much.

He got his Dark Mark that Easter, mainly to piss her off and prove to himself that he didn't need her, which was a big lie. Though it did just about stop his father from disowning him for being so pointless. And father hadn't even known he was in love with a Mudblood! The bastard.

She was angry, yet, she forgave him. He was amazed that he'd been able to make someone love him so much, in such a short space of time, that they would actually forgive him that.

Before they left for the summer, they'd confessed their love for each other, scared they wouldn't see each other again. And at the end of the summer his father had brought up the marriage thing.

Draco returned to school in a big cloud of gloom, not only because he was probably going to have to marry some child, but also because he hadn't been made Head Boy, meaning he and his darling Minny couldn't have sex in the Head prefects' room at all hours of the day.

Though on the plus side it did mean they could have sex on Potter's desk. She'd told him off for suggesting that, but she hadn't stopped him.

And he should have known she'd think of a way round the marriage thing. She'd searched through lots of legal documents in the library, asked him lots of questions about his family history and traditions, then come up with the only way round it. Already be married.

'That sucks,' he'd yelled at her.

'Tough, it's the only way, under your family's rules you won't legally be able to divorce her, ever, but if you're already married your marriage to her won't be valid, and you can divorce the spare later.'

'But it doesn't help!' he'd wailed. 'Father will just kill me for having married someone else.'

'So don't tell him.'

Draco had been starting to get pissed off, she was supposed to be the cleverest pupil in the school, and this was the best she could come up with.

'He'll find out when he applies for the marriage licence,' he'd told her through gritted teeth.

'Not my way he won't.'

'And what way is that.'

'You get married in a Registry Office.'

'In a what?'

'It's where Muggles get married if they don't want to get married in a church.'

'How does that help?'

'Births and deaths are always registered with the Ministry and in the Muggle world, but wizard-wizard marriages are only registered in the Muggle world if you specially request it, and Muggle-Muggle marriages won't be registered at all by the Ministry, unless for some reason they feel the need to try and find out.'

'So I have to marry a Muggle.'

'Nope, you just have to have a Muggle wedding, which leaves us with only one small problem.'


'You aren't eighteen yet.'

'I know, I'm still seventeen.' There would be shouting, in the library, he'd thought, very soon.

'Muggles come of age at eighteen; you'd have to be eighteen to marry without your parents' permission.'

'So what you've just told me is COMPLETELY POINTLESS!'

'Not really, so long as daddy isn't planning on marrying you off in the next two weeks.'


'So you just need someone to marry. They'd have to be over eighteen too, or over sixteen but with their parents' permission, though that would make it too complicated.'

'So, you're offering then?'

'Like hell I am, I'm sick of the sight of you.' And she walked out.

At the time he'd thought she was stupid, of course he should marry her, she was his girlfriend, Muggle-born and conversant with all things Muggle, and she was the only person he trusted with this secret. He'd angrily mulled this over for a while before finally coming to the conclusion that she'd meant to marry him all along, but she probably wanted a bit of gratitude and a more romantic proposal than 'so, you're offering then?' Bugger.

The romantic thing had been bloody difficult.

In the end he'd asked Snape for some romance tips. He'd got an evil death-stare for his trouble. He'd begged the Professor, telling him it was life-or-death important.

'It's life-or-death important that you get laid on Saturday night, Mr Malfoy?'

Eventually the man had given in and lent him the book he wanted that contained all the charms and potions he'd need to pull it off. He got Potter out of the way (bludger to the head, a normal enough injury for a house team captain, though not usually sustained whilst walking along a second floor corridor) and in his absence decorated the Head Prefects' room with candles and rose-petals. He presented her with the extremely expensive ring he'd been given as a coming-of-age present, encrusted with jewels (he'd always thought it was a bit gay) and embellished with inscriptions in on old wizarding language, no doubt detailing the wonder that was the family Malfoy. He'd wished he could give her his great-great-great-grandmother's exquisite engagement ring, handed down the generations, but any jewellery like that would be presented to his 'real' wife on the occasion of their marriage.

She'd laughed at him, but he'd known she was secretly pleased, and she accepted him happily. They'd made love on the floor, on a bed of rose petals, which he'd been picking out of his hair and off his clothing, and even coughing up for days afterwards.

So they'd married in an ugly little Registry Office in god-knows-where, and spent the night at a surprisingly nice hotel, paid for by his (unknowing) father. He'd never thought he'd see the day when there would be Muggles at a Malfoy's wedding, but there were, and it was his wedding. And they were strangers dragged off the street to be witnesses. They couldn't allow anyone they knew to be there, it would only put them all in danger.

It went well, apart from Hermione every so often bursting into a fit of half-giggling, half-crying, for no reason he could see. It might have been his suit, or the ridiculous situation, or sadness that her family and friends wouldn't be there. But it was probably the suit.

Oh god, he'd got married in a suit! He should have been wearing dress robes and a beautiful flowing silk cloak, not itchy black trousers and a fucking jacket!

Lying in bed on the night of their honeymoon she'd told him she'd discovered what the inscription on their wedding rings said.

'I had thought it was strange you getting the same thing inscribed on mine.'

'What did you think it said?'

'I don't know, 'All Malfoy's are kings, muhahaha'?'

'No, and by the way if that is what you thought I don't think it was a very romantic engagement ring. You see here,' she'd taken his hand, 'You know that there word is Malfoy? And again there?'

'Yeah, it isn't the family motto though.'

'I don't want to know.'

'No, you don't.'

'It says 'Once a Malfoy, Always a Malfoy'.'

He'd laughed. 'Indeed. My father is one sick bastard, reminding me that even when I'm of age I will never escape.'

'That's not the worst bit. On the inside here,' she slid the ring off his finger and he hadn't liked the feeling of not wearing it, even though he knew he'd have to remove it the next day, 'It says 'You are mine, You belong to me'.'

'Fucking hell!'

'I quite like it.' She smiled rather coyly at him. 'You belong to me, and I belong to you. And it's nice to know that even when you divorce me I'll still be a Malfoy.'

Draco had smiled back, he hadn't planned on ever divorcing her. And he'd kissed her again, filled with love, and decided that four times wasn't really excessive, not on your wedding night.

The night in the hotel had been so completely perfect he knew neither of them would ever discuss it with anyone else ever, and the next day they were back at school, covered by their separate excuses.

It was all downhill from there, not their relationship, but their lives in general. They were still in love, they still made love, but the war was dragging them apart. He had to spend less and less time at school to be with the Death Eaters and she was panicking over exams and Dumbledore's Army or whatever the secret organisation she was part of was called. They never voiced it but there was a subconscious decision not to discuss their different paths in life, they couldn't risk accidentally passing information to the other side, but sometimes they found they had nothing they could talk about but their schoolwork.

He still loved her achingly, but finally his father called him home to marry, and told him he wouldn't be coming back, except perhaps to attack someone. Draco prayed he'd never see Hogwarts again.

When he found out about the change of bride he knew how disappointed his father was in him. He wasn't being chosen to be his father's great heir and pillar of wizard society, he was chosen to 'save' the embarrassment of the family, make good of the little bastard Aunt Bella had given birth to at a ridiculously young age.

And it wasn't long after his second wedding that his real problems started. He'd always made it quite clear that he thought killing Muggles for fun was pointless until they'd got all the interfering and inferior wizards out of the way. He'd unfortunately also made it quite clear he thought killing half-bloods and Mudbloods for fun was pointless when there were so many blood-traitorous pure-bloods about.

They were starting to suspect he had something against pure-bloods.

A nineteen year old Death Eater who'd never even killed properly was a bit of a liability. So he'd ran away when they tried to include him on some very important Muggle-murdering spree. He was quite surprised when Em came with him. She said she preferred him to 'that lot', but he could have guessed that no-one had ever been very nice to her, and her mother was one evil homicidal maniac.

It was only three days after he'd run away that Em had mentioned that the Muggles in question had been the parents of one of Harry Potter's friends.

They'd killed her parents, and he knew she wouldn't forgive him that. He wouldn't forgive her if she'd done the same to him. He thought about his uncaring mother and his father who hated his guts, both of whom he still loved desperately. So he left, on the run from both sides, but never able to escape himself.

Now it was just him and Em. His heart was lost and broken, and Em was nothing compared to Minny, but she'd do, for a companion at least. She'd helped him stay alive and she'd helped him keep his sense of humour, and they did love each other, in the strangest of ways.

'In here, no-one else can be arsed with prisoners at the moment.' His vile cousin's voice sounded as the door opened.

'No-one can be arsed with me at the moment?' said Draco. 'Oh boo-hoo.'

'He is nice.' A man's voice replied to his cousin.

'Hey Nympho, you better not be pimping me out to your little goody-goody mates!'

She laughed loudly at him and the man joined in.

'I don't think you're quite Bill's type.'

'Aww, did you bring your boyfriend to show me off to?'

'I doubt very much that there are any members of my family that would impress my friends. Though actually Bill, Draco's one of the least vile. At least I hope so. He did leave the Death Eaters, including his parents, and they didn't bother to have him killed.'

'Surely that isn't a good sign, surely it just means he's useless.' He glowered underneath his blindfold.

'True, but I'm sure we can find a use for him.'

'Look I don't care how pretty you think I am, I don't do men,' Draco interrupted.

'Well you've had me fooled,' Em said, and he could practically see the smirk she wore.

'Can it, bitch. And you!' He pointed wildly towards where he thought his cousin might be. 'Take these damn blindfolds off!'

'In a minute.'

'Why wasn't anyone else interested in you having prisoners in your room, I'd have thought certain people would have had something to say about it.'

'Your two had a lot to say actually, they don't like our attic being invaded. And I haven't seen certain persons yet.'


'He will not be happy. Especially not with this particular prisoner.'

'Why not?'

'You'll soon find out.'

'Stop fucking on and give me my eyes back!'

'Finite Incantatum,' she said with great amusement in her voice and the blindfolds fell to the floor.

He looked around him. 'Wow, look at this dump, you filthy half-bloods really know how to live it up, don't you?'

'I can see him being really useful,' the man said dryly.

Draco turned his eyes to the red-haired man. 'Fuck, a bloody Weasley!'

'A what?' Em asked him in a dreamy voice. He gave her a nasty glare, she may be sex-starved but surely she wasn't desperate enough to be staring moonily at a Weasley.

'Shut up!' he yelled at her.

'If they can't be actually useful at least this side of my family has some money,' Nympho said. 'Money which I'm sure they'd be happy to donate to a good cause...'


'Looks like I do get to grope you after all,' Bill said good-naturedly.

Soon the man's hands were in the pockets of his robes and the cape he still had wrapped around his body. He struggled in his bonds as the Weasley pulled out pouches containing money and jewellery.

'You can't take my precious family heirlooms, they're all I have left!' Draco sobbed.

'Ignore him, he's taking the piss.'

'I am not!' he wailed, trying to keep a straight face.

After a lot of struggling and a very one-sided fight, Bill seemed to have relieved him of most of his possessions. And his dignity. Eventually Bill found the one thing Draco would never give up.

He was pulling the chain slowly out of his robes, then stared in amazement at the ring he wore on it.

'Bet you've never seen that much precious metal in your life before, eh Weasley?' This was an especially good joke Draco thought, as his wedding ring was probably worth less than twenty Galleons.

'What's up Bill?' Nympho asked.

'Don't be impressed by that manky old thing, he never takes that off, his boyfriend gave it to him,' smirked Em.

The Weasley man looked completely shell-shocked.

Draco was started to tremble with excitement, she was here, the man recognised his ring, she was here, but she wouldn't want to see him, but he could at least see her, look at her, touch her... oh. He had to see her.

'I have to see her!'

'It'll probably kill her,' he spat.

'She's okay, she's alive, right? Bring her here, please, you have to.'

'She thinks you're dead, or at least I assumed she did.' Weasley looked miserable. 'What did you think you were doing?'

'Bill what's going on?' Nympho asked.

'That stupid fucking ring,' he replied bitterly.

Draco smiled. He knew it was too much to hope for, that she would be alive and that she would forgive him, but just to see her again... To gaze at her beautiful face, to stare deeply into her eyes, to hear her voice, hear the way she spat Malfoy at him. He told himself he didn't care if she hated him, didn't care if she never touched him, if he could just have the smallest of looks at her he would be happy for the rest of his miserable little life.

But he still had hope. A teeny, tiny bit of hope that had grown and grown ever since his cousin had found him. Because hope was the only thing that kept him living, kept any of them living, and he hoped that when he finally looked into his wife's eyes after two long years there would still be a tiny bit of love left in them.

Author notes: Feel free to insult me over the disgustingness, or whatever you think. I'm trying to write a book at the moment and I needed some practice at writing from a male perspective so I hope I managed that. Reviews would be much appreciated, especially if they help my writing get better.
And if you actually liked this tell me so, then I might actually write a sequel with the females' perspectives... Heck, I'll probably do that anyway. Ta muchly, love love.