Getting Ready

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Story Notes:

For _shallowchilde and zaralya who both wanted Adrian/Hermione romantic fluff with a happy ending.

Originally Published: December 18, 2004

“I can’t do this.”

Adrian looked up from the presents he was gathering, a tender smile crossing his lips as he looked at the nervous brunette pacing around the sitting room. “Can’t do what, kitten?”

“Don’t ’kitten’ me, Adrian Pucey,” Hermione glared at her boyfriend. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about this sooner.”

“I told you last month that my Mum asked us to visit for the hols,” Adrian reminded her as he stood and walked towards her. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Everything. I don’t know,” Hermione sighed as she looked into his green eyes. “Don’t you think it’s too soon for me to be meeting your family?”

“You have all ready met my parents and my siblings. They all adore you. Why are you so nervous?” he asked as he took her hands in his, squeezing them gently.

“It’s your entire family. I can’t even remember the names of all your aunts and uncles and cousins because there are so many! It is going to make holidays at the Weasleys seem quiet,” she muttered.

“I promise that they don’t bite,” Adrian teased, earning him a hint of a smile from his frazzled girlfriend. Leaning his head down, he nibbled her neck before purring, “I’m the only one that gets to bite this delectable neck.”

“You’re not going to distract me by being all charming and sexy,” she informed him primly. Pushing him back, albeit reluctantly, she asked, “What if they don’t think I’m good enough for you? What if they think I’m a bossy shrew?”

“I don’t care what they think, Hermione. You’re *my* bossy shrew and that‘s all that matters,” Adrian said solemnly, his eyes twinkling with mischief as she tried to free her hand to smack him. “Uh uh, kitten. I’ve got you and I’m never letting you go.”


The smile faded when he saw the vulnerability in her gaze. “I promise,” he said softly. “I love you, Hermione Jane Granger. My whole family could hate you and that wouldn’t change my feelings for you. You worry too much. They’re going to love you.” He gave her a gentle kiss before whispering, “You know that I find your domineering attitude incredibly sexy.”

“Adrian!” she blushed at the leer he gave her, laughing when he started wiggling his eyebrows in a suggestive manner.

“You know, we could always owl Mum and tell her we got tied up and can’t make it to the party,” he mused. “I can even tie you to the bed with that red ribbon we had left over from wrapping the gifts just so I’m not actually lying to her.”

“We are not canceling on your parents!” Hermione exclaimed. “We can experiment with the ribbon when we get home tonight, but only if you’re good at the party!”

“I’m always good, love,” he drawled lazily.

“Adrian, I’m being serious. There will be no snogging in dark corners or discussions involving the details of our private life with your crude Slytherin friends,” she warned, recalling the other parties they had attended during the last year that they had been dating. They had met at Pansy’s New Year’s Eve party, set up by her best friend and his wife, and they had kissed at midnight as was tradition. They were not overly social, but she had a lot of close friends and he had close friends, so they were often invited to birthday celebrations, anniversary parties, weddings, and any number of events that they attended together.

Adrian preferred to spend the parties with his arms around her, having no problem with demonstrating his love and affection for her in public. She was not quite so relaxed in public displays of affection and he respected that she was uncomfortable with anything too improper even around their closest friends so he kept his attentions casual and rarely went above holding her or the occasional kiss when they were not alone. However that did not prevent him from kidnapping her at the various functions and sneaking into corners to snog.

They had even gone into empty rooms on a few occasions and shagging urgently with the thrill of being caught exciting them both. Since becoming involved with him, she had become far more confident in her attractiveness than she had ever been with her previous boyfriends. With him, she felt sexy and daring. Their relationship was passionate and fulfilling both in and out of the bedroom. They had arguments like any couple and it was far from perfect all the time, but they loved each other and he made her very happy. It was thrilling to know that she aroused him whether she was wearing fancy robes or her old jumper and blue jeans with her hair in disarray. She also had to admit that really enjoyed the change to be naughty some times.

Normally if they were attending a party, she would have worn skimpy lace knickers beneath her robe, if any at all, and she would have made sure to let him see exactly what she was not wearing right before they left for the party. Adrian would have spent the night trying to get beneath her robes until they were so aroused they either found somewhere for a quick, desperate shag or they left early for the home they had shared for the past six months. Tonight, however, was a party thrown by his parents and all of his family would be there. She wanted to make a good impression, even if it meant resisting the urge to kiss him because he looked so handsome in his holiday robes.

“Hermione?” Adrian called her name again, smiling when she looked at him and he saw the lust in her eyes. “I promise to be on my best behavior tonight.”

“Really?” she arched a brow, not trusting the deceptively innocent smile on his face. After a year, she had learned that he was stubborn as Hell and rather spoiled to getting to his way. Never had he agreed so easily so she had a sneaky suspicion that he was up to no good.

“I promise that there will be snogging in dark corners,” he vowed before kissing her soundly. Turning around, he slipped his camera into the pocket of his robe and picked up the large bag filled with the presents they were giving his family.

“Oh, good then,” she said, slightly disappointed that he had not at least protested her decree.

“Are you ready to go, Hermione?” he asked as he made sure he was not missing anything. Presents, camera, overnight bag packed when Hermione was pacing nervously resting in his pocket. Yes, he had all the necessities now except for his witch.

“As I’ll ever be.” She could feel the nervous apprehension beginning again. “Wait, who am I?”

“Hermione Granger, former Gryffindor, current love of my life,” Adrian replied smoothly.

“Am I to be introduced as your girlfriend? That sounds rather immature considering we are in our mid-twenties. Lover sounds rather lurid, though. Perhaps friend?”

“You just find things to worry about,” he laughed. “If you feel comfortable finally announcing our engagement, they can call you Hermione, Adrian’s beautiful fiance.”

“Finally? You just asked me last night,” she reminded with a tender smile, her fingers moving over the ring that she had accepted the previous evening. “And, yes, we can announce it tonight, though I would like to find Pansy and Harry and tell them first since they are somewhat responsible for our being together.”

“I have wanted you since I saw you at their wedding, long before Pansy tried her hand at matchmaking. She was just bored and decided to finally introduce me to you after months of my casual attempts to bring your name into our conversations and practically begging her to stop saying you were too good for a rascal like me. I plan on telling everyone that you have succumbed to my charming good looks and agreed to marry me so Pansy and Potter can just be the first of many.”

“Well, it wasn’t just your looks that convinced me to say yes. I also agreed because the sex is amazing,” she confided with a impish smile.

“I love it when you talk dirty, kitten,” he leered playfully, pulling her against him as he prepared to apparate to his parents’ house.

“Now remember, Adrian. Best behavior. You’ve promised,” Hermione reminded him sternly as she pulled back to let him know she was serious.

“No snogging in dark corners. I remember,” he said. Suddenly remembering what he had forgotten, he lifted his wand and said, “Accio, Christmas ribbon.”

“Why are you getting the ribbon?” she asked suspiciously, knowing that the many, many gifts for his family had been wrapped for days.

“My holiday inspired fantasy happens to be you wearing nothing but this ribbon while I lick and caress every bit of your gorgeous flesh while I unwrap the best Christmas present I will ever receive: you.” He put the ribbon in his pocket beside the camera, which also played a part in this particular fantasy. Seeing that she was about to protest despite the flush of arousal in her cheeks, he put his finger against her lips. “I promised no snogging in dark corners, Hermione. It just so happens that I have a room at the family home with a very large bed perfect for an evening of ravishment and holiday fantasies.”

“You sneaky prat! You intended for us to stay the night all along, didn’t you?”

“You are always telling me I should make plans and set goals,” he reminded her smugly. “I thought you would be proud of my initiative. Now quit acting so outraged when I know you‘re dying to get to the party so you can tease and seduce me until I‘m forced to toss you over my shoulder to take you upstairs so I can have my wicked way with you.”

“I do believe, Mister Pucey, that *I* will be the one having my wicked way with *you* before the evening ends,” she said as she let her hand drift down his chest and lower.

“Promise?” he grinned before moving his arms around her and apparating them to his parents’ house and the holiday party.

The End