A Quick One While He’s Away
" Her man’s been gone, for a night on a year—he was due home yesterday, but he ain’t here."
--The Who, (‘ A Quick One While He’s Away’)
Draco Malfoy spit on his hand and tried to rub his troublesome cowlick down. He straightened the medals on his uniform carefully and gave himself one last look in the mirror. Ah, his day in the sun had finally arrived.
Feeling quite devonaire, he strutted out of his bungalow and over to the nurse’s encampment. All around him were the sounds of war—armored broom brigades flying past overhead, blasts from wands echoing through the surrounding woods—but Draco had other things on his mind. Yesterday he’d been wounded, fighting in the south sector, and yesterday they’d brought him to the hospital to treat his arm. And yesterday, for the first time in his life of eighteen years, Draco Malfoy had fallen in love.
He found the little bunker he was looking for and knocked on the door. There was no answer, but he could hear sniffling inside, so he pulled open the door and walked in.
" Hermione?" he called, and saw her sitting on her bed with her head in her hands. She looked up at him with watery eyes.
" Oh, GOD," she moaned, "What do you want?"
Draco was taken aback! " No, ‘ How’s your arm, Drac?’," he asked, hurt. Well, as close to hurt as Draco Malfoy can be.
" Oh, please," she said, choking out another sob, " Don’t you know why I’m upset?"
Well…yes… He had some idea. Hermione’s man, General Harry Potter had been missing for almost a month now. Yes….. Draco knew that quite well.
" Yeah, gee, I’m sorry," he tried to sound sympathetic, but he was DRACO, and this was HARRY, and of course she didn’t buy it.
" Just go," she said weakly. She was playing with the ring she wore on a chain around her neck—Harry’s silly childhood promise to wed her. Ha, Draco thought, with a bit of charm and a lot of bullshit I’ll have her throwing that thing out the window in no time.
" Hermione," he said, checking his reflection in the mirror across the room and sitting down next to her, " I wanted to thank you for your services yesterday."
" My services?" Somehow she sounded offended.
" Yes," Draco said, patting his arm, " The bandages are holding up nicely." Hermione rolled her eyes.
" That doesn’t take any amount of talent," she said.
" On the part of the bandages?" Draco asked, " Well, no, probably not…"
" On the part of ME," Hermione said, rubbing her temples.
" Really, I’d just like to be—"
" Now, now, you’re selling yourself short!" Draco proclaimed, resting a hand behind her on the bed. So smooth! He deserved another medal just for his skills with the ladies. For Draco Malfoy, Bravery in the Line of Furthering the Species.
Hermione gave him a look. Oh, she’s on to me, Draco thought. But that was okay. He’d seen in her eyes yesterday, when he was peering up at her from his hospital bed, that she was lonely and ready to move on.
" You’re getting libidinous," she said, standing and walking to her dresser. " They haven’t let you on leave for a couple of months, have they?"
" No," Draco said with a sigh, being heartily reminded of his dry spell, " Not after that incident with the troll in Neville’s bunker… I tell you that wasn’t my fault!"
" Well," Hermione said, " Maybe I can pull some strings." She smiled at him kindly. " We don’t want you getting….cabin fever, now do we?"
" Hermione," he said, jumping up, " I’ve had it with those girls! They’re a dime a dozen."
" Literally," Hermione said with a laugh, but Draco didn’t get it. He rested a hand on the dresser she was leaning against.
" I’m ready to move on to bigger and better things," Draco said, with a growl in this throat. Positively alluring, he thought, smiling to himself.
" Bigger?" Hermione said, looking down at herself.
" Well, not literally." She laughed.
" Quit kidding around, Draco," she said, shoving him off and walking away again—Curses!—now to the window. " You know I’m with…Harry."
" If you can’t be with the one you love…"
" Don’t you dare finish that song lyric!" she snapped.
" Love the one you’re with!" he sang.
She picked up a throw pillow and… threw it at him. Draco admired the irony for a moment. Man, he needed a piece of…. even when she’d shoved him he felt a stirring in his "stomach region". And it wasn’t his nerves, no sir.
" Look," he said, " There’s always been something between us, Hermione."
" Don’t talk rubbish!" she shouted, " You’re embarrassing me." She looked out the window.
" Why? Because you felt it, too?"
" You’ve always hated me!" Hermione reminded him with a glare, " And the feeling was certainly mutual, my dear. Remember when I slapped you?"
" Hell, yeah," Draco said, " I was really turned on." Oh, crap—he bit his tongue. That wasn’t very smooth on his part. But Hermione did laugh.
" You’re ridiculous," she said, " You’re just desperate for female attention. Go bug one of the other nurses—or better yet, one of the female soldiers! I’m sure they’ll enjoy your advances," she said sarcastically, with a scoff.
" But it’s you I want!" he said, giving up the cool and collected act. Sometimes girls liked boys to act like whimpering babies. Sure.
"Ever since you saved my life yesterday I’ve been in love with you!" Now the cat was out of the bag. And, judging by the look on Hermione’s face, the cat was not only out of the bag, it was tearing around the room, knocking things over and ripping up curtains.
" Draco I put bandages on your ARM," Hermione shot back, " I did not by any means save your life."
" Oh, but you would have!" Draco said, inching closer to the spot where she stood. Approach carefully, so as not to frighten the prey with sudden movements. " You’re such a good person, Hermione. You could…change my life!"
She laughed out loud. " You know you’re full of it. As soon as Harry gets back… well he’d have your head."
" Are you saying you’re actually considering it?"
" Considering, WHAT, exactly, Draco?"
" Just one kiss," he said, sincere, " That’s all I ask."
" Seriously! You mean so much to me… you have no idea. I don’t want to cheapen this by moving too fast." He explained. Now she was practically rolling on the floor. Why wasn’t she taking this seriously?
" What’s so funny?" he demanded. She grinned at him.
" You, you bugger," she said, " You’re unbelievable. There’s a WAR going on outside, my boyfriend is LOST, and you’re trying to COURT me? I should have you killed for frivolousness in a time of national crisis!"
" You would have me killed?" Draco tried to muster up some tears. It was physically impossible. Oh well.
" I’ve considered it," she stood up again. They were closer now… yes… Draco was ready to make his move.
" Come on," he said, trying to make his voice low and sexy, " Just one kiss and I’ll leave you alone… for the rest of the day."
Hermione burst into laughter again, and this time Draco joined her. He could feel the defenses crumbling…
" How bout you leave me alone until Harry gets back?" she asked, looking up at him with those sweet eyes that had cared for him yesterday, " Then you two can duke it out." She giggled.
What if he never comes back? Draco wondered, but didn’t dare say it. If he upset her he’d never have a chance.
" Okay," he said, " Deal. For one kiss."
" Oh, for Chrissake," Hermione put a hand on her forehead,
" How can I kiss you? My enemy."
" I’m not your enemy!" Draco said, almost hurt, " You don’t see me fighting along side those Dark Arts wizards out there, do you?"
" No, Draco," she admitted with a sigh. " But in school we were enemies. You remember."
" Yeah, yeah," he said, " That was eons ago."
Hermione was pensive for a moment. Finally, Draco saw her give in.
" Okay," she said, trying to hide a smile. " Just know that I’m only doing this so you’ll leave me alone, and that I love Harry more than anything in the world, okay?"
" Okay!" Draco was more than happy with that arrangement.
She sighed, and gave him a loopy grin. " Come here," she said, beckoning with her arms. Draco ran over to her and grabbed her waist.
" Oh, calm down! You’re acting like a pre-adolescent maniac." She pulled his hands up onto her hips.
" I’ve never been in love before," he said, not knowing where to begin. A kiss for someone he really cared for? Well this was a first. Hermione just dismissed his proclamation with a roll of her pretty eyes.
" Enough talk of love, okay? You’re giving me a migraine." She rested her hands on Draco’s shoulders. His heart was beating fast now. This was so….forbidden! A stolen kiss from his archenemy’s true love… he could be imprisoned for this, it seemed.
" Ready?" he asked. She shut one eye.
" Keep those eyes shut," she instructed, " No peeking."
" Right," Before he could hear any more ridiculous instructions, Draco swooped down and planted one on her lips. Hmmm… that taste… French Vanilla? But…
" Geez, Hermione, open your mouth you prude!" He couldn’t help himself. A closed mouth kiss would not get him out of this room.
She slapped him.
" Draco, you are a complete ass," she informed him.
" Yeah, well, you’re an old maid! Sitting around here waiting for Potter like a damn fool," he sneered, powerfully becoming his old self. Hermione’s mouth fell open in surprise.
" I can’t believe I felt sorry for you!" she screamed.
" I can’t believe I stooped to trying to get some action from Little Miss Perfect!!" Draco shouted back.
" ACTION?" Hermione screamed, " The only reason I even agreed to kiss you was so you’d GO AWAY!"
" Oh, go to hell!" Draco snapped.
" How DARE you say that to me in MY bunker!" she screamed back, " I should just…"
" You should WHAT, huh, Mrs. Tough Guy?" Draco was so mad, for some reason, he wasn’t even worried about whether or not what he was saying made sense.
" I should…I should…" Hermione looked so angry, Draco thought she might explode. Suddenly she ran at him, and threw him back against the wall, shaking the whole bunker. She pushed his head back, and before he knew what was happening, she was giving him a deep, wet, angry kiss on the lips, tongue and all.
When she was finished, Draco’s heart was pounding so hard and loud that he had trouble getting his eyes open somehow… he sank to the floor, fulfilled.
Hermione let out an exasperated breath.
" Well," she said, remaining calm, " I feel better now."
" Y-yes…" Draco said, staggering to stand. " As do I." She nodded.
" Carry on, then."
" C-Carry on," Draco agreed, stumbling out of the cabin. He needed a nap.