When she first meets Kingsley Shacklebolt, Hermione knows he is a dangerous man.
He is tall, muscular, and looks as if he doesn’t need magic to subdue his prisoners. His hands are large and strong, his shoulders are broad, and he still manages to walk with a predatory grace that makes her think of a dangerous animal just waiting to strike.
After she knows him better, or knows what little he allows others to see, she adds cunning, intelligence, and focus to the list of traits she mentally keeps for everyone she meets. There isn’t much to learn about Kingsley, and she has little opportunity at that time to observe on her own. What she does see confirms her belief that he’s a dangerous man.
He intrigues her, though, even then.
She doesn’t see him much in the following years. She has school and then research about horcruxes. The war starts and everything changes. With Dumbledore gone, Moody takes over the Order at a time when his reminders of constant vigilance are appreciated. Hermione is seventeen when she runs into Kingsley again. Her life is full of research, planning, and trying to stay alive. She finds herself watching him again, wanting to understand him in much the same way she likes to study any subject, but he remains an enigma during those brief meetings as the war rages around them.
While she hunts for horcruxes, she forgets intriguing, dangerous aurors and focuses on helping Harry win the war. There are brief interludes in the hunt when she and Ron explore the tension and emotions that have developed between them, but her attention remains focused on supporting Harry. By the time the war is over, she and Ron have had their time. They part with the knowledge that it was good while it lasted but simply wasn’t meant to be.
It isn’t until she accepts a job at the Ministry that her path crosses with Kingley’s once again. She has seen him during the war, but hasn’t given him much thought during that time. When he takes her hand and shakes it upon an introduction from her new boss, she shivers and looks at him not as a curious young girl but as a woman who suddenly understands what this sense of danger she’s felt for years really means. He doesn’t notice her reaction, thankfully, and walks away without realizing her gaze follows him until he disappears from sight.
Hermione is now twenty-two. For nearly three years, she has worked quietly in the Department of Mysteries. She loves arithmancy and runes so her job pleases her. She spends her free time reading texts on the history of magic and the history of the wizarding world while thinking of possible spells and charms that might be beneficial now that time has forgotten. She lives alone since Crookshanks died a couple of years ago, unable to buy another pet to replace him yet, but sees her friends fairly often.
She doesn’t date, regardless of how often her friends try to set her up with this bloke or that one or even, as Ginny attempted once, a witch. She is happy with her life as it is and has no reason to change things simply because her friends think she must be lonely and needs a companion. She does get lonely sometimes and she does occasionally miss sex, but she has no interest in anyone they try to set her up with so she refuses.
There is only one person who has interested her at all in the last few years, and she is content, at the moment, with her infatuation. Sometimes she feels foolish for having a crush on a man who doesn’t seem to see her as anything more than a child, but Kingsley intrigues her. He is complex and layered in a way that appeals to her.
She can’t quite figure him out, only sees the things he allows others to see, but watches him and catches glimpses of the man he really is beneath the professional façade he always displays at work. He is what they all see, but there is so much more to him than that. She knows there is and yearns to learn who he is, wants to know more about him.
Of course, it isn’t just a desire to really get to know him that keeps her interest. When she lies in bed at night, it’s thoughts of his hands, of his body, of his deep low voice, of his eyes, of his lips, of him moving against her that are in her mind as she touches herself and brings herself pleasure. She wants him, a lust that she’s surprised he can’t see when she looks at him unguarded, and she wants to feel him touching her everywhere, moving inside her, holding her as she falls apart.
Hermione knows it is hopeless. She isn’t a flirt and has no idea how to play those sorts of games. Besides, Kingsley isn’t the type to play them. He’s too blunt and honest to bother with all that nonsense. She doesn’t know of any relationships he’s had, not even rumors or gossip following him about the Ministry, but she’s heard that he has a habit of picking up women for one night stands, no strings or commitment, just a night of physical release. She tries to tell herself she’d be happy with that but knows it’s a lie. She isn’t a one night stand type of woman, and her bravery doesn’t extend to going to pubs to pick up the man that intrigues her.
He’s friendly when he comes to her department to give her an assignment. He’s polite when she is sent to work with him on cases and never gives any indication that he’s noticed her reaction to him or is aware that she watches him subtly when the opportunity presents itself. He’s not one for casual conversation but they are able to discuss a variety of subjects with ease and debate certain issues in a way that excites her even more than her lust for him. She thinks they’ve become friends over the years, as much of a friend he ever seems to have, and that’s enough for her since it’s all he’ll ever give.
When she notices him staring at her, she dismisses it as an overactive imagination. The look of curiosity, fascination, and desire is just wishful thinking after years of wanting more than she’ll ever have. Casual touches begin to linger in a way that makes her unable to ignore her lust, but she can’t see any signs of arousal in his impassive face. There are times in the last few months when she feels as if she’s the one being studied and that he’s trying to figure her out, which is silly because she’s not intriguing or a puzzle of any sort.
It takes something obvious that happens when they are working late one night for her to see, which makes her feel stupid for never noticing. The smartest witch of her generation, as some seem to love to say about her, is oblivious and completely unaware, not at all smart when it comes to subjects that aren’t taught in books. He reaches across the small table and brushes her hair away from her face, and she stares at him, a feeling of anticipation making it difficult to breathe but still she thinks she's imagining it. It’s only after his lips are against hers, his tongue curled around her own, and his long fingers in her hair that she realizes it might not be hopeless after all.
Kingsley pulls back from the kiss and looks as shaken as she feels. There is surprise, desire, fear, and uncertainty in the look he gives her, which is a mirror of how she is feeling at the moment. She feels vulnerable as he stares at her and she wonders if it was a mistake, hopes he doesn’t think she’s the type who kisses just anyone, and wishes he’d say something, anything, to help her relax.
No words are spoken, however. Instead, Kingsley smiles, a small smile that she only ever sees when he’s very pleased about something, and gives her a look that makes her lick her lips as her body heats up. Hermione smiles shyly, still somewhat uncertain about this sort of thing, and then he kisses her again. This kiss is different, passionate and thorough, and she whimpers before she returns his kiss.
When his hand lightly caresses her body, she remembers her initial opinion of him and realizes how right she was, though in ways she never considered back then. Kingsley is a dangerous man. It’s very fortunate, she decides as she pulls him closer, that she has always liked danger.
ABC Challenge #28: Y - Yearning for aelyaniara
Originally Posted: March 21, 2006
When she first meets Kingsley Shacklebolt, Hermione knows he is a dangerous man.