Continuing Tales

The Catfish

A Harry Potter Story
by Miss Dasti

Part 13 of 25

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Motus Mysticae, by Absolon de Garmeaux. That was the book Lucius Malfoy had chosen to peruse out of Hermione's bedside collection. It was a very old tome, and quite revolutionary for its time, too, being the first printed book to explain the importance of movement in spellwork. Prior to its publication, spellticians had focused on vocalizations and the syntax of the spells themselves rather than how magic was expressed through the body; Motus had reformed the way wizards approached magic and had opened up the then-mysterious realm of nonverbal casting.

Hermione had purchased her copy of the book when she'd still been at Hogwarts, and it had given her a profound new appreciation for her body and its connection with her powers. She must've read it dozens of times; the pages were frail and dog-eared and here and there she'd highlighted and scrawled in the margins.

And now he was reading it.

For an inappropriate amount of time Hermione stood there in her towel gaping at him while he read. He was positioned such that the blankets were pooled in his lap, and she had a clear view of his torso; if that hadn't been enough to stall her brain, the absurdity of the situation did the trick.

She tried to think of something to say, but all that came to mind was 'what the fuck' and that didn't seem terribly helpful. After what must've been at least a few minutes Lucius took pity on her and cast her a sideways glance.

"May I help you?" he drawled.

Her jaw dropped further. He'd already gone back to reading but the set of his eyebrows indicated that he was still paying just a sliver of attention to her. She might've laughed, except she was so outraged.

"Um, no, sir," she said, her voice leaden with sarcasm, "can I help you?"

"No, thank you," he responded, turning another page, "I'm adequately comfortable. You're dismissed." He flicked his fingers at the door.

This time she did laugh, but it came out loud and hysterical and she actually startled herself into silence. Lucius glanced up; he looked a little surprised, and thank god she managed to regain control of her tongue just then because she was just able to cut him off before he started talking, and she didn't want to think about what he might've said.

"You're in my bed."

"That is accurate."

"That's my bed."

"We have established this fact."

She almost choked on her indignation. "Get out!"

He raised an eyebrow, then refocused his attention on her book. "No."

There was a beat of silence. "What?"


"I—what—this—this is my home!" She was finally marshaling up a little anger. "You can't just come in here and take my bed! I'm not going to sleep in the guest bedroom—"

"You're right," Lucius said, still not looking at her, "Fergus is sleeping in there."

Hermione spluttered. "What—so you expect me to sleep on the couch—?"

"Belgium is sleeping on the couch." A rustle of pages. "You will have to sleep on the floor."

He let that stew for a second before checking her expression, at which he laughed aloud and finally set the book aside. "Calm down. You look as if you're having an aneurysm." He picked up his wand and flicked it; a heavy black curtain materialized between them. Malfoy's voice came drifting out from behind it, still light with humor. "Go on, put on your night things."

Hermione glared at the curtain. "This really isn't funny, Mr. Malfoy."

"Don't be tetchy. And enough with the formalities; my name is Lucius, call me that."

"I—" She blushed furiously, struck again by the incongruous fact that he was lying there naked on the other side of that curtain like some pompous exhibitionist. Against her will the image of him back in Shorecliff sprung up in front of her eyes: she remembered his body in crystal-clear detail, every hard, smooth inch of it, and the thought of him teasing her like this, deliberately climbing into her bed without a stitch on him just to rile her up

It was uncalled for.

Keeping her eyes on the curtain, half-convinced he might suddenly peek out from behind it, Hermione over to her bureau to rummage for clothes. Someone had wear them.

Her immediate thought was to don a buried chemise she'd once worn for Ron. It was gauzy and sexy and she'd felt terribly awkward in it, but perhaps it would jar Malfoy enough that she could regain some control of the situation. Tit for tat, right? But as she made a grab for it she stopped, and rethought the decision. She'd only be playing into his hands if she tried to fight on the same dirty turf as him. What she needed to do was let him know that she was not fazed by his little power play—because that's what this was, this little escapade into her bed. He was trying to establish some control over her, intimidate her a little, and she couldn't let him get away with it. Pulling on some frilly outfit was not the way to go about it.

Defiantly, she yanked on her usual sleepwear: a plain blue tank-top and matching cotton pajama pants. Entirely unsexy. She flicked her wand to dry her unruly hair and sent her towel soaring into the hamper. "So I'm guessing you're going to be compliant and move to the guest room?"

"I must say, you're quite a terrible hostess, forcing your guests to share the same stone slab on a boxspring," came Malfoy's purring response.

She flushed and balled her fists. "Well I'm sorry that the accommodations aren't up to your standards, but it's not as if I had any time to prepare! And if you've really got something against putting Fergus out of the spare room, then take the couch. I made a bed for Belgium. She shouldn't be up there in the first place."

"I saw you had done that," came the hated voice, although now she could detect something new there. Something softer. She dared, for a moment, to think that perhaps he'd been moved by her treatment of the dog, but a moment later she decided she must've imagined it because he followed it up with: "She has decided your handiwork was shoddy and has moved herself and the cat on the couch. You aren't seriouslygoing to make her sleep in that thing you made on the floor?"

Hermione could practically feel the steam whistling out of her ears. "This is my home! Your dog should not be on the furniture! And that's my bed! Why should I have to relocate? What would you think of someone showing up at your place and demanding the same?"

The barrier suddenly vanished and Hermione, despite being fully dressed, caved in on herself in panic, her hands jumping up reflexively to cover her. Lucius was lying in the exact same spot, his eyes still on Motus. Nothing in his demeanor suggested he'd heard a word of what she was saying, or that was going to budge.

"This marginal note you made?" he said, pointing to the page. "On the intention of the body verses the intention of the mind? It is incorrect."

He might as well have set a bomb off in her face. Indignation, propriety, fear—all were forgotten as Hermione sprang across the room in record time and made a violent grab for the book. She didn't notice the proximity, didn't recall his nudity, and missed the way his eyes darted up just before she reached him, and the tensioning of his muscles as he prepared for impact.

"What—how—what's incorrect?" she shrieked, but her first attempt to get the book back was in vain: Lucius had shut it and was holding it at arm's length away from her, and his other arm was thrown up between them, barring her path. He was a little shocked by her reaction, she could tell, but mostly he seemed amused. And that was infuriating.

With an angry shriek she threw herself over his arm and launched another bid for the book. She realized a moment later that this was the wrong move: her feet were off the ground now and she was practically in his lap, reaching for Motus, and he was laughing, his free arm curling around her waist to keep her back, his other still holding the book aloft, just barely out of reach of her flailing fingertips.

"You give me that book!" she howled, trying at first to drag his arm down with her weight, but he was stronger than her, and this was a game to him now. He was grinning, chuckling a little, and all at once it was too much: her frustration with the situation, her indignation, her shame, it all seemed to coalesce into this moment. He was holding the book away from her and enjoying watching her jump for it—just like the schoolyard bullies used to do before she went to Hogwarts. He'd always bullied her, this wretched man. He'd spent his whole life bullying her and people like her. He thought it was funny.

Hermione's fingers curled, her hands becoming clawlike; she grabbed at his wrist again but now she was digging her fingernails into the pristine white flesh and ripping at him. "Give it to me, you son of a bitch!" she screamed, and nearly jumped out of her skin when he replied "No," in the same low, controlled voice as ever, directly into her ear. She turned; they locked eyes, their noses an inch apart; his lips curled up, just a fraction of an inch, in the most viciously taunting smile she'd ever seen, and it was like a rubberband snapped somewhere in her brain and all hell broke loose.

For the first time in her life, Hermione was going at someone with everything she had, writhing in his grasp to kick, scratch, and punch every inch of him she could get at. She saw his expression change, the amusement transitioning to a cold fury. Within moments the book was lying forgotten near the edge of the bed and they were fighting.

Hermione didn't register the furious tears streaming down her face, nor the dull pain around her abdomen where his arm was closed on her like an iron ring, nor the alarming sounds she was making; she was fighting as if to kill, and he wasn't being a very pliant victim. Almost immediately he had one of her arms restrained in a grip like a handcuff; she managed to land a fairly solid blow on his eye before he got the other under control. He slammed her onto her back but she was angry enough that the violent motion had almost no impact on her; her legs were still free, she could still lash out and she did. She got a kick into his shin and saw his face flinch in pain; he grabbed her up and shook her like a ragdoll but she lashed out again and kneed him in the inner thigh. Evidently that crossed some sort of line, because he slammed her back down again, this time hard enough to daze her; she felt a heavy weight on her legs and knew that he must be straddling her now, and vaguely she recalled his state of undress, but it seemed to matter a great deal less now that they might actually kill each other. Her eyes were still swimming; as he restrained more and more of her, her cries of rage began to sound more and more like wails of despair.

She sensed him lean close, perhaps to say something; the pressure on her arms lessen an infinitesimal amount, but it was enough. She lunged; he gasped, and objectively she realized it was the most beautiful sound she'd ever heard. And she bit him.

She'd been hoping to get something vulnerable, like his face or ear, but the combination of her tears and her blind lunge had her sinking her teeth into the meat of his neck. She expected him to shake her again, or maybe even strike her, but the atmosphere in the room took another hairpin turn as he tilted his head back and hissed. It was not the sound of a man in distress. The noise made her angry, though her brain hadn't yet caught up enough to know why. She bit harder and he arched his neck a little more, and she realized why she was mad: he was enjoying this. This! She could taste the coppery tang of blood in her mouth, his pure blood, she was biting him hard enough to wound—and he was lapping it up like a cat at a saucer of cream.

With an angry scream she released him and threw her head back, trying and get as far away from him as possible, knocking her temple on the corner of Motus as she did so. But he wouldn't let her off the hook so easily. She felt breath on her cheek and then a ringing pain a little above the joining of her neck and shoulder—the exact spot she'd bit him. Only it wasn't all pain; he was biting her hard, yes, but he was also nuzzling at her, burying his face into the dip of her neck, inhaling, the sharp tip of his tongue stroking a the enflamed flesh, and she could feel every movement, every breath as if each of her senses were flipped on to the highest setting. It was like a surge of electricity burst from the point of contact to every inch of her body; a wave of heat crackled under her skin, and it was terrifying and awful and torturous and unimaginably exquisite all at once.

She made a sound, too. It was not the sound of a woman in distress.

He withdrew; the loss of his touch was like the press of an ice-pack on her burning skin and she writhed, angry again but now for entirely different reasons; he leaned more heavily on her and her movement was restricted to her head. Their noses were millimeters apart; this close up, looking into his eyes was like staring into the sun, but for the first time she had no trouble managing it. There was a red stripe of blood in the center of his lower lip; she zeroed in on it, the splash of color on his otherwise colorless veneer, and breathed out slow as his tongue darted out and swiped it away.

Her blood. Her dirty blood.

"Now," he breathed, and at the low, gravelly word she felt the heat roll through her again like a clap of thunder, "as I was saying. That annotation you made…" He forced her hands above her head and pinned them there, freeing up one of his own, so he could grab Motus. There was a bizarre moment wherein he laid the book open across her breasts and flicked idly to the right page; still in a state of high arousal, every movement he made seemed hyperreal to her, from the dart of his tongue over his teeth to the dry rustle of his rough fingertips over the old parchment pages.

He's reading on me, she thought. Merlin's fucking pants, it should not have been erotic—but she'd be lying if she said it wasn't even a little titillating.

How dare he explore her fetishes without her even knowing they existed first.

She wondered if he was doing it on purpose. He gave her no real clues into the twisted workings of his mind, but there was certainly something roguish about that raised eyebrow. Furious and embarrassed, she screwed her eyes shut and tried to think about unsexy thoughts, which were intermittently interrupted by the unhelpful sound of pages turning and the caress of his breath on her collarbones. Rather than conjuring up images of Dumbledore naked, however, Hermione found herself focusing almost exclusively on a spot in her lower abdomen, where she could feel an unyielding, unmistakable pressure asserting itself on her—almost familiar now. It struck her then that he was getting just as much perverse enjoyment out of this as her. Likely he fancied treating her like a table. Arsehole.

"Ah," he said, at last finding the right page; she'd been so focused on other, more pressing matters that the quiet exclamation made her jolt. He smiled as he held up the book and showed her the page. "Here. On the mind verses the body. Motus details how, in the event a spell is cast nonverbally, the needs of the body more frequently outweigh the direction of the mind when they are at odds—that is, magic is channeled more by the unconscious than the conscious. That is why wandless magic is considered arcane: it is so tied to the body that it can seldom be controlled by the mind. And yet, here you wrote that the mind is more powerful than the body, and that if a spell were cast with the mind wanting one thing, but the body another, the magic will always take direction from the mind." He shut the book with a rich thud. "You are wrong."

She considered spitting in his face, he looked so fucking smug. Instead she gritted her teeth and ground out, "No, I'm not. The mind controls the body and the body does not have a final say, as Garmeaux seems to think. That's utter rubbish. In wandless magic, the mind gets what it wants because it's impossible for the body to want something enough to overrule the mind."

"Really?" he drawled, tossing the book aside; the shit-eating little smirk hadn't vanished off his face and it was driving her mad. "So when I do this"—he leaned in fast and nipped her ear; goosebumps broke out on that entire side of her body, and she jerked her head involuntarily to the side, giving him better access—"that is your mind having the final say?" His tongue darted out and stroked up the ridge of her auricle, soothing over the marks. She shuddered. "There is no conflict within you about this? Forgive me, but if you were to perform wandless magic now, I highly doubt even you would know what would happen…" He nuzzled into the delicate flesh around her hairline, kissing her, occasionally biting her, and her breath began to hitch and quake as if she were sobbing. And she was, in a way—sobbing because she hated him, hated everything he was, everything he was doing.

But god, how she wanted him.

Her knee-jerk reaction was to defend her original stance, the one she'd written in the book. But in doing so she'd be claiming that all of the insane things her body was doing in reaction to his ministrations were all fully sanctioned by her mind. Well, there was nothing conscious about the way her spine was curving so she could rub up against him like some starving alley cat. But if she admitted she was wrong, that her mind actually wanted nothing to do with this, and in fact she wanted very much to go back to beating him up and yet there she was, lying quite still beneath him and letting him carry on torturing her because that's what her body wanted… what would happen?

Would he stop if she admitted her brain was very much against this—whatever it was?

Did she want him to stop?

"You're manipulating me," she forced out. It seemed to be the last bit of reality she could cling to in this situation. She expected him to draw back, in fact she'd been banking on it, but he didn't. He was focusing on her ear again, somehow using the innocuous little structure to make her feel things she didn't think humans could feel, and her mind was screaming at her to struggle while her body arced desperately into him, drawing him closer.

"If you want me to leave," he breathed, "ask me. Ask me to leave, and I shall. After all, Miss Granger, it is impossible for the body to want something enough to overrule the mind…"

Oh, god. Holy Merlin. He was going to take her. This was him asking consent. There were so many things wrong with this she could hardly wrap her head around it—

And yet—

And yet…

"Leave, then."

It took both of them a moment to realize she'd spoken. Lucius looked at her, his lips slightly parted, and it seemed to Hermione that he was thinking fast. For the first time she took in the havoc she'd wreaked on him: there was a delicate shadow forming around one eye, a few cuts littered here and there, angry red lines and welts on his shoulder and chest—and a large purple bruise on his neck. Once again, she found herself appalled at the damage she'd inflicted in a moment of thoughtless passion.

She had some inkling, however, that the physical damage didn't hold a candle to the damage she'd just done in two words.

Eventually Lucius shut his mouth with an audible click of teeth. "Well, well. You do enjoy being right more than anything, don't you? My leaving would prove you correct: mind over body in an even conflict… for the both of us." He sighed. "Well, then—enjoy your victory, Miss Granger, and do have a good night."

The weight on her body vanished. By the time Hermione had regained enough wits to sit up, the bedroom door was shut, and Lucius was gone.

The Catfish

A Harry Potter Story
by Miss Dasti

Part 13 of 25

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