Draco, Darling
by Seagull "Rabies" Laridae

A/N: How about points for writing my first challenge response in two months because I've had exams? OK, Gred, you asked for it, you got it! Set in the "Sea Mist" universe, all you need to know is that Malfoy and Hermione are in LURVE and that Snape, Pansy Parkinson and Draco's Dad are all anti-D/Hr (so is Mandy, but what the hey). This is not a part of the "normal" story arc of my METMA challenge responses, so don't panic!

Whoops! Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling! Guess I nearly forgot, since we've all written more about them than SHE has...

The front hall was freezing, and Draco Malfoy huddled in a corner, wrapped in his green satin Slytherin-emblem-embroidered dressing gown, wishing his girlfriend would hurry up and come down to meet him.

As it happened, Hermione Granger was on her way, and was going to be arriving rather faster than expected.

"Ow! Ow! Ow!"

It sounded like someone was falling down the stairs from the first floor.

In fact, someone WAS falling down the stairs from the first floor.

"Can we have a romantic rendezvous WITHOUT you hurting yourself?" Draco ran over and helped Hermione up.

"It's not my fault, Peeves was throwing rotten apples at me," Hermione grumbled.

"And you fell."

"Yes."

"Are you all right?"

"You look awfully good in green satin," Hermione said instead of answering, which was all the answer Draco needed. He KNEW he looked good in the forest green dressing gown.

Well, he definitely looked better in it than he had in his old pink velvet one.

"Where are we going? We'd better go soon," Hermione said, looking around nervously.

"The library? We can get in there with a charm, and nobody will be there as long as we don't go near the restricted section, we should be all right," Draco said confidently.

They started for the library, hand in hand, and were almost there when they were stopped by a very strange procession.

Peeves the Poltergeist was first, wearing orange trousers held up by blue braces, and a fluorescent green shirt. He was followed by Nearly Headless Nick, who was wearing a brightly flowered Hawaiian shirt and bell-bottom jeans, and kept trying to juggle his own head (which didn't work very well). The two of them were followed by a third, female, ghost, who Draco didn't recognise. All three of them were carrying bottles.

"WHO is THAT?" Draco whispered to Hermione.

"Juanita," Hermione whispered back. "She's another ghost, but she's been on an exchange program in Mexico, which is where she's from."

Just then, the female ghost, who had long black hair and a perpetual smile, spilled an entire ghostly bottle of tequila all over herself.

"Hay una fiesta en mis pantalones!" she cried, and Peeves stopped, grabbed her arm, and dragged her hastily through the wall. The strange trio vanished, Juanita singing "They're coming to take me away..." as they went.

"Weird," Draco said.

"This is Hogwarts, Draco. Three drunken ghosts wandering the hallway at midnight is NORMAL."

They finally made it to the library, even after a second scare involving both of them nearly falling over Mrs. Norris, but once they were safely locked into the library, they could breathe easily.

"I really hate sneaking around like this, Draco," Hermione said.

Draco kissed her lightly on the tip of her nose. "One day soon we won't have to."

"That would be good." Hermione tilted her face up to his...

Their kiss was broken off by the sounds of someone else entering the room.

"Oh no, busted," Draco moaned.

"Quiet, I don't think they know we're here." Hermione quietly mumbled a few words and cast a Cone of Silence around the two of them.

The two people who had come in were sitting across the library from Draco and Hermione, and started talking.

"I really hate sneaking around like this, Severus," said a feminine voice.

"One day soon we won't have to," Snape replied. There was the sound of a kiss. Draco grimaced. Hermione rolled her eyes.

"That would be good," the first voice said.

"I think I'm going to be sick," Draco said, sotto voce.

"What, like it's OK for us and not for Snape... you're right," Hermione amended.

"Do you think we can get out of here without them seeing us?"

"Not unless you happen to have Harry's Invisibility Cloak in your pocket."

"Well, we could just sit here and cover our ears," Draco suggested.

"Who is he with, anyway?"

"Sinistra, silly. You know he likes her."

"Good point. How about an Invisibility Charm? We'll just have to be very careful not to touch anything on the way out, because that negates it."

Draco grimaced again. "Can't we just put our fingers in our ears?"

Hermione cast the spell. "Get up."

Draco got to his feet, still grumbling, and together they edged towards the door, hanging on tightly to each other's hands, for fear of losing one another.

They were almost at the door, keeping their eyes prudently averted from the two teachers sitting at one of the reading tables, when Draco stumbled over the cord of his dressing gown and knocked into a chair. They were both instantly visible, Hermione with a shocked look on her face, tugging at the hand of a Draco wearing boxers with little bunny rabbits on them.

"What was that?"

Hermione cast the spell again and yelled at Draco, "RUN!" Fortunately the Cone of Silence charm was still in place, so as Snape got up and started towards them, he couldn't track them by their voices.

But he was still after them...

***


Draco and Hermione ran like hell. Out of the library, turning hard left, down a short flight of stairs, Hermione almost falling again but Draco catching her and dragging her along, both of them almost running into a dozen things. Somewhere along the line the Invisibility Charm wore off and they were visible again, Draco's dressing gown streaming out behind him like a cape. Hermione had trouble running after that she was too busy trying not to laugh at his boxer shorts.

Fortunately, the stairs that Hermione had NEARLY fallen down proved too big an obstacle for Snape, who went flying. They heard Sinistra come out of the library, calling his name like an anxious bird, and kept going.

"Severus!"

"Oh no, it's McGonagall!" Draco yipped.

Hermione desperately cast the charm for the third time and dove into a curtained alcove, taking Draco with her. Touching the curtains negated the spell again, but she felt safer, hidden like this.

"Severus, what is going on here?"

"Nothing, Minerva, nothing..." Peeking through the curtains, Hermione could see McGonagall striding down the hall, hot pink robes flapping. Hermione felt Draco shaking with laughter, and clapped her hand over his mouth, just in case the silence spell chose a bad moment to wear off.

"Well, if it's nothing, kindly... Stella? You too?"

"Hello, Minerva," the Astronomy teacher blushed. "I was just getting a book from the library..."

"At midnight?"

"When do you THINK stars come out?"

"Sorry."

"Minerva, what ARE you wearing?" Snape sounded on the verge of laughter himself. Hermione saw Sinistra disappear, leaving Snape to face the music, and wondered if that was a good basis for a lasting relationship.

"These? A gift... a friend..." McGonagall was blushing violently, and Hermione would've had her buck teeth back at that moment to know who the robes had been a present from. "Look, Severus, I know you're not a student, but you're setting a bad example, wandering around at midnight..."

This jogged Snape's memory, unfortunately. "Minerva, there were two students out here somewhere... I saw them, I was chasing them... they were in the library!"

"Really?" McGonagall said dryly. "Just as you were... no doubt helping Stella with her research..."

"Minerva..."

Whatever argument Snape had been about to make, it was cut off by the reappearance of Peeves, Nick and Juanita. The latter was singing. Loudly.

"Her lips are devil red/But her skin's the colour mocha/She will wear you out/Livin' la vida loca..."

"Peeves! Nicholas! Juanita! What ARE you doing?" It was all too much for McGonagall. "Oh, I'll deal with you in the morning!" She span on one bunny-slippered heel and stormed off the way she had come. The ghosts, utterly oblivious to everything, disappeared through the opposite wall. Snape muttered something and walked off the other way.

"Oh Lord..." Hermione leant against the wall.

"Look, 'Mione." Draco pointed to the back of the alcove, where a window-seat ran under a wide pane of glass. "Look at the stars... aren't they pretty?" He drew her towards the seat and sat down, pulling her against him. "There's the Wand, and the Cauldron, and the Phoenix..."

"Pretty," Hermione murmured, snuggling against him.

"Like you." His breath stirred the wisp of hair hanging over her forehead. "You know, there WAS a reason I came out here to meet you..."

Hermione looked up at him adoringly. Their eyes met and locked. Draco leant down, blowing the hair gently out of her eyes before his lips just brushed against hers...

"Granger! Malfoy!" "Holy fruitbats!" Draco yelped, straightening up very quickly.

Snape was back...

The End
(suffer!)

A/N: All I can say is, Gred, be careful what you challenge... it might just come true!

And to everyone else, if Mandy gives me some good plot elements, I might even write a sequel... howzabout that?

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