Nineteen years later
Draco caught sight of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny staring
at him, nodded curtly, and turned away again.
So thats little Scorpius, said Ron under
his breath. Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie.
Thank God you inherited your mothers brains.
Ron, for heavens sake, said Hermione, half-stern,
half-amused. Dont try to turn them against each other
before theyve even started school!
Youre right, sorry, said Ron, but unable
to help himself, he added, dont get too friendly with
him, though, Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you
if you married a pure-blood.
The words turn in Hermiones heart like a blade, releasing
a flood of feelings she had thought shed outgrown.
Instinctively, she seeks out Draco again, and finds that he
is looking back at her. Their eyes meet, andfor several
momentsshe cant tear her gaze away.
One week later
For the past few days shes felt that someone is watching
Its nothing she can really pin down, just a vague mental
image, which fades the moment she tries to focus on it, and one
or two odd shadows, which have proved impervious to disclosing
Shes sure it started the day after Rosie left for Hogwarts
andbecause of the timingshe has certain suspicions,
but she dismisses them as paranoia (or, sometimes, as wishful
Whatever it is, she hasnt told Ron about it.
Shes come to Flourish and Blotts to buy Rosie a copy of
The Clever Girls Guide to Difficult Charms, but she
cant resist slipping into the History section, and consulting
several volumes that she could never afford to buy.
Shes just finished reading a very rare account of the wizarding
presence at the Battle of Hastings when, as her mind returns to
everyday reality, she senses something close by, and she whirls
round andcatching sight of a stray shadowshe aims
her wand, and casts the most powerful disclosing charm she knows.
And, suddenly, hes standing before hertall and lean,
and immaculately dressed in robes of black silk brocade, his long,
platinum hair drawn back and bound with a silver cord.
Malfoy... She knows she should be angryshould
hex him to oblivion and back for stalking her and taking Merlin-only-knows-what
liberties when she couldnt see himbut her heart is
hammering in her chest, and the sight of his facewith the
slightly receding hairline that seems so unbearably intimateis
provoking a flood of moisture between her legs.
At her age!
Its good to see you, he says, without a trace
of embarrassment or apology.
She swallows, unable to reply.
Scorpius tells me that he and your daughter are friends.
Im glad. He moves a little closer, and she
can feel the warmth that radiates from his body, and smell the
scent that always made her his willing slave, enhanced now by
a subtle cologne. Its so good to see you, Granger,
And she steps back, trying to escape his enchantment, but she
stumbles over a pile of The Wizards History of England,
and loses her balance, and Malfoy catches her.
Theres no need for words.
He takes her out into Muggle London, to a ancient hotel that
he has obviously used before. She waits whilst he checks them
into the bridal suite, turning her back on the pretty receptionist
whos looking her up and down and clearly finding her wanting.
Malfoy is the perfect gentleman, ushering her into the ornate
lift, but she knows his blood is boiling, just like hers.
By the time they reach the suite, theyre in a state of
frenzyhe captures her mouth before the door is fully closed,
propels her across the room, groping her hips, her waist, her
bosom, and shoves her against the wall.
She rests her cheek on the cold marble and waits, chest heaving,
arms outstretched, legs shaking and already spread for him, asbehind
herhe dissolves her clothes with a silent charm. Then his
long, hard length pierces her and, oh God, she had almost forgotten
how big he feels inside her! His thrusts make her body
arch and twist, reaching some part of her that cannot withstand
the pleasure, andwithin momentsshes coming hard,
crying out in near-desperation as something shatters inside her
and its splinters rush out from her core.
Then her arms give way, and she collapses against the smooth,
white stone, and Malfoy, wrapping his arms around her, rests his
head beside hers.
He carries her to the bed and, now, hes gentle, reclaiming
her body with a long, deep thrust.
Lets take it slowly this time, Granger, he
murmurs. Lets get to know each other again.
He grinds himself against her, rocking them back and forth and,
at first, she feels nothingnothing but the glorious weight
of him, pressing down upon her, and the wonderful length and thickness
of his cock, and the soft caress of his mouth, exploring her face
and her throatbut, gradually, a whisper of release begins
to stir inside her, and she arches her back, and tries to push
herself towards it.
No, dont chase it, Granger, he whispers, just
let it happen...
So she trusts him, and lets him set the pace, and its so
slow, and so beautiful; and when it does happen, and they
both comeeach gasping the others nameshes
gazing into his pale grey eyes, and its the most profound
and intimate thing shes ever known.
Its when he eases himself out of her that the full horror
of what theyve done hits her like a curse.
Shes betrayed Ronshes betrayed her childrenall
because of some foolish memories of a first love, and a selfish
hankering after some fabulous sex. And now its over,
and Malfoys reaching for the telephone!
Im just your latest shag, arent I? she
My latest...? No!
Yes I am! You have your elegant pure-blood wife, your beautiful
pure-blood son, and now,she knocks the receiver from
his handwho are you calling, Malfoy?
Granger? Whats wrong with you? I was going
to call room serviceI thought you might like champagne and
strawberries. He sighs. Please dont pretend
you didnt want me, Grangernot nowbecause I felt
the truth. He moves in closer and, using his strength to
overcome her slight resistance, he wraps his arms around her.
Please dont, Granger...
Then hes cradling her head against his shoulder, and his
voice is soft. Please dont spoil it... He sounds
young and uncertain, and he seems to be making some sort of confession.
I had to marry Astoria, he says. I had
to have an heir
A pure-blood heir, she whispers.
Im not apologising for Scorpius, he
says. Fathering him is the best thing Ive ever done. But,
Merlin, Granger, I wish he was yours.
He draws back from her and, looking down at her, smiles sadly.
Then he lifts his hand, and gently brushes a thick strand of
her frizzy hair back over her shoulder, watching it fall into
place as though its the most beautiful thing hes ever
seen. Its a loving, tender gesture, and it makes her heart
leap, and she realises that, far from seeing her as his latest
conquest, hes hoping that this will be a new beginning.
When you turned me down, he says, kissing her shoulder,
my father pressured me to marry Astoria. I really didnt
carenothing seemed to matter any more. But Astoria...
Astoria isnt a bad woman, GrangerI wouldnt
want you to think thatits just that she was brought
up to think of sex as a womans way of getting what she wants.
She withholds sex,he kisses her neckand
I just cant handle celibacy, Granger, you know thatso
yes, I have other womena lot of other womenbut only
because I cant have the one woman I want...
Ive loved you since that first night in Grimmauld
Place. Youre the only woman Ive ever lovedtheres
you, and Scorpius, and my parents.
Are you happy, Granger? With him?
The question throws her off balance. She knows that she should
say, Of course I am, but Malfoys just told her that
he still loves her.
Ron is decent, and loving, and a good father and, if she sometimes
feels that he takes her for granted, well, thats because
And if shed never loved Malfoy, if Malfoy hadnt been
her first, she would never have known that there could anything
And Malfoys so lean, and sweaty, and he smells of sex...
No one could make a life with you, she says,
bravely. Youre champagne and strawberries for every
You could live with me, Granger, he says.
For a while, when you were broken and needy. But, now,
youd burn me upwed destroy each other in days
But think what those days would be like, Granger!
She doesshe cant help herself.
She remembers how adventurous they were, making love in the attic
at Grimmauld Place; she remembers how happy they were, two intellectual
equals, gazing at the stars through the tiny skylight, talking
of anything and everything...
And she wants to be with him so much, she thinks that she might
die of the pain.
But she closes her eyes, and she forces herself to say, I
should never have done this, Malfoy.
Youve done nothing wrong.
Nothing wrong! Ive betrayed my husband!
No, he insists, crushing her in his arms, you
betrayed me when you left me for him; all youve done
now is come back to me. You belong with me. Marry me, Granger.
Divorce Weasley, and marry me.
I cant. I have children
I would love your children. Id love them,
and youd love Scorpius. They would be our
It doesnt work like that, Malfoy! she cries.
And she thinks of Ron, and Rosie, and Hugo, andtears spilling
from her eyesshe sobs, I cant Draco. I just
cant. I love Ron.
She feels his body stiffen, then feels his arms release her,
and she looks up at him and sees something die inside him, and
her own heart breaks. And she knows that its a measure of
how much hes grown as a man that he doesnt lash out
at her with bitter words, or worse.
But she cant let that sway her. I must go,
She gets out of bed, cleans and dresses herself, and leaves,
pausing at the door for one last, brief glimpse of the man she
loves, but can never have.