Toxic @rubberduckiez
Fighting

I can’t wait…

Liv stood in her office, looking over more paperwork. It seemed there was an unending amount of paperwork to do in this job, which she knew before she took it. Though she hadn’t realized just how much or how it would keep her from doing what she really wanted - overseeing projects and working on her own.

Specifically, overseeing Draco’s research.

It would be ground-breaking once he got it right and could be adapted for a number of applications in various fields. But it was taking a long time, which was to be expected. Potions that had anything to do with the brain were complicated and had to be worked on carefully, lest they do some sort of permanent damage. If anyone knew that, she did.

“Do you realize just how vexing you are?”

Liv’s eyebrows rose as she turned, seeing Draco leaning against the frame of her door, his grey eyes lit up with mischief as a small smirk graced his face. God, why did he always have to smirk? It made it that much harder to forget about that night.

“Excuse me?” she replied, glancing out behind him. What would the others say if they overheard him? She thought she had made it clear their relationship was now professional and nothing more. She certainly hadn’t done anything to encourage him. “I thought I told you we’re supposed to be professional,” she then hissed, stepping closer to him.

“And you’re telling me that right now - in this moment - you aren’t thinking of anything decidedly unprofessional that we could do?” he asked, pushing off the frame and stepping into her office.

“Draco!” she hissed again, backing away from him as her office door flew shut. “I told you - it was one night.”

“We both know that we want more than just one night,” he said, still slowly walking towards her. “Merlin, whenever we’re working together in my small office, all I can think about is slamming the door shut and then taking you on my desk.”

Liv came to a stop, now backed up against her desk as Draco rested a hand on either side of her, boxing her in. As if she could move anyway. Her legs felt as though they were glued to the ground and her eyes were trained on his, his face mere inches from hers. And yes - every time she was in there, the thought of him ripping her clothes off and taking her on his desk had gone through her head at least once.

But that didn’t make it any less wrong.

“We… we can’t,” she said, willing her voice to be stronger. “It’s against policy-”

“There are no rules here,” Draco said softly, his breath warm on her face. The sound nearly made her buckle as it sent shivers running up and down her spine, heat beginning to pool in her core. Fuck, she was already wet and he hadn’t even touched her. “I can see it in your eyes, you know. You want me just as much as I want you.”

He didn’t move any closer, just hovered there as he stared into her eyes, waiting for her to make the next move. Liv gulped, sizing up her options. The door was shut. No one was here but the two of them anyway. No one would have to know.

“Fuck it,” she said, reaching up to grab him by his collar and pull him down to her, their lips crashing together. Immediately, she moaned, her body thanking her for giving in.

Draco gripped her waist roughly as he easily lifted her, plopping her down on the desk’s edge as he ran his tongue along her bottom lip. Liv obliged, allowing him in as he deepened the kiss. Without thinking, her legs spread and soon he was standing in between them, pressing his toned body up against hers. Another moan ran through her body as Draco’s lips left hers, leaving a hot trail across her cheek to the sensitive spot just behind her ear.

Somewhere in the back of her mind was a voice screaming to stop. That they could get caught. That she wasn’t supposed to be doing this. But it was too late. Now that things had started, Liv found that she couldn’t and didn’t want to stop them. She had been yearning for this from the first day she walked in and saw Draco in the office, her mind immediately going back to that steamy night over the weekend.

Her body had been begging her for release and there was only so much she could do for herself or even that toys could do. She needed to feel him .

“Draco,” she moaned softly, pulling him closer. She needed to feel all of him against her.

“Tell me what you want me to do,” he whispered before taking her earlobe between his lips, sucking on it. Her eyes nearly rolled back in her head. “I won’t do it until you tell me.”

Liv pushed him back slightly, meeting his eyes.

“I want you to fuck me right now,” she said. A grin filled his face as he leaned towards her.

“Your wish is my command…”

~~~

Liv woke with a start, sitting straight up in her bed as she breathed heavily. Even though she knew she was at home alone and it was just a dream, she couldn’t help as tingles went up and down her body, everything fresh in her mind.

Groaning, she flopped back on her bed, kicking at the comforter while staring up at the ceiling in the darkened room. She knew she shouldn’t have left with him that night in the bar. Impulsive decisions always brought trouble, which is why she often fought against them when they threatened to come up. Except in the lab. That was the one place she knew that she could trust her instincts. Though sometimes volatile and unstable, potions were still easier to understand than people. And men.

And Draco Malfoy was proving that he was trouble with a capital T.

When she wasn’t fantasizing about him, he was irritating the crap out of her at work. Why couldn’t he see that she was trying to help him? Men. Their ego was always getting in the way. And she had figured that this might be an issue when she had gone over his work while considering the job. All brilliant minds had a bit of an ego problem - herself included, if she were being truly honest. But Draco seemed to fight her every step of the way, which oddly enough only made her even more attracted to him.

It was one large, clusterfuck, that was for sure. Working with him, Liv went from wanting to rip his clothes off one second to wanting to rip his eyes out next. The man had a talent for getting under her skin, in all of the best and worst ways. Though at this point she could clearly see that he had no idea just what he was doing to her. Otherwise they wouldn’t have made it this long without sleeping with each other. Again.

Sensing she wasn’t going to get back to sleep anytime soon - even now when she closed her eyes, she could see him smirking down at her - Liv untangled herself from her sheets and started down the hall and stairs to the kitchen to make some tea, pulling her robe on as she went.

Her townhouse, while large, was far from ostentatious. She had chosen it specifically for the large library that had massive windows looking over the back garden. It was perfect for working on potions and she had fallen in love with the space immediately. Though if her father had had any say, he’d probably put her in some large manor out in the countryside. Which was ridiculous because she didn’t need all that space just for herself. Though he had good intentions for the most part, Oliver De Loughrey was still the product of centuries of pureblood society. And enjoyed all the comforts coming from a rich and influential family afforded.

No, she had gotten this place on her own with her own money as she still refused to touch her trust fund. Apparently creating new potions had the side effect of generating decent money. If only she could have done this when it was just her, her mother and her grandparents.

Liv couldn’t get away from the U.S. and that life fast enough. Especially when her dear stepmother and charming half-sister and half-brother made it oh so clear that she wasn’t welcomed. London was meant to be a fresh start where she could focus on her work and her work alone. No well-meaning father butting in to “help” or bitter stepmother to dish out back-handed compliments. No siblings to remind her that she didn’t actually belong in their world. Not that she needed it. Liv was acutely aware of how much she didn’t belong in pureblood society. And to be honest, she didn’t really want to fit in. Not from what she had seen of it in her own home growing up and while at Salem Witches’ Institute.

Most days she wished she could have gone to Hogwarts with her cousin.

Which is why she was frustrated about her current predicament. She was here to finally find the breakthrough she had been searching for in her potion - make significant progress on a project she had been working on for nearly two years. Draco Malfoy seemed as though he could be the key to that.

And then Liv had to go and sleep with him.

In her defense, she hadn’t known that’s who he was that night. Thought he was just another handsome man (with a wicked sense of dry humor) that she could have fun with. And then he happened to be amazing in bed and… no. Liv shook her head as though she could literally shake the thoughts away. She had intentionally left that morning without leaving behind any contact information because she had already sensed herself becoming attached to him - more than just one night anyway - and she couldn’t afford distractions.

Draco most definitely was proving that he was a distraction. Not to mention, he was one of them . Part of the world she was trying to distance herself from.

It had been hard enough getting this job. Hard enough proving herself to, well, everyone, though it helped that she often went by her initials on her work, meaning very few outside of those she worked with directly even knew she was a woman. Yes, even in the 2000s, the wizarding world in both the U.S. and U.K. seemed to trust a man more with advanced or theoretical potions than they did women.

Sighing, Liv waved her wand, watching as the tea kettle poured hot water into a mug that already had a tea bag in it. Once that was done, she picked up the mug, sliding her wand into her robe pocket and made her way to her library. The lights turned on as she walked in and immediately, she went over and sat at the large desk there, her eyes drifting to two photographs.

In one, a beautiful young woman that looked a lot like Liv save for her green eyes held a young girl, the two of them smiling and waving at the camera. In the other, the same girl sat on a couch sandwiched between an older couple, their arms around her.

Liv wished with all her heart that her mother and grandparents were here. She missed her mother every single day of her life since she had died. And then Liv had tried to convince her grandfather that he and her grandmother could move here with her - she had the space and could afford to take care of the both of them, even hire a caretaker to look after Grams. But he had turned her down, saying it was easier for her grandmother to stay somewhere familiar.

A tear snaked down her cheek as Liv reached out and gently touched the photograph.

“Hang in there, Grams. I’ll find it. You know I will,” she whispered.

She then took a drink of her tea and looked towards the large potions and chemistry set she had set up in front of the windows. Sighing yet again, she stood and walked over to it. If she wasn’t going to sleep, she could at least get some work done.

~~~

“Good morning,” Liv said cheerfully as she walked through the office a few hours later despite the fact she was tired. She really was going to need a dreamless sleep potion at this rate.

A few of the others that were out and about murmured greetings to her as she walked through the main communal space where they held meetings and a coffee and tea station had been set up. Her eyes drifted over as she saw Draco standing in the doorway to his office, his expression unreadable as his grey eyes followed her progress. Liv snapped her attention forward to her office as she walked in and sat her purse down on her desk, then removed her outer robe.

There were piles of paperwork that she had been putting off in order to oversee all the various projects that were underway and assess their value. She would need to lay off on that if she wanted to get any of the administrative duties she was tasked with done. This was the side of the job she wasn’t so fond of, but someone had to do it.

Sitting down, she started sifting through the parchments, dividing them into piles based on priority. Looked like she would be spending the morning on paperwork alone, though she supposed that was for the best. It would keep her occupied and away from Draco, though she was curious about his progress.

Liv then stopped, her eyes falling on a thick envelope from the trade regulation committee in her hands. She glanced up, her eyes going over to the window that looked out into the room, seeing Draco standing at the tea station with Blaise. He looked over, meeting her eyes as though he knew that she was looking at him. Liv looked back down at the letter, quickly opening it.

She had thought she made a fairly good argument to them about getting a small amount of Night Heather for the lab and hoped they had agreed to let her procure some. After thinking it over, she realized that Draco was onto something and she was determined to try and get the extremely rare, extremely dangerous plant. Pulling the letter out, her eyes quickly traveled down it, her brow furrowing the more she read.

They weren’t going to let her have it.

Tossing the letter away, she ran her fingers through her hair, wondering what her next option would be. She wasn’t about to stoop to buying it on the black market - she wasn’t even sure how - but at the same time, if she did, wouldn’t it be less of the dangerous plant out there for more nefarious types to get their hands on?

And though she loathed to admit it, part of her thought to her father. He would drop anything and everything to help her and did run an import-export empire in rare plants and magical substances. He might know how to (legally and safely) get some for her.

“Ehm, Ms. De Loughrey?” a timid voice said from her open door. Liv looked up, seeing a mousy woman standing here. Right, Susan. Susan Bones. She had been working on a potion that Liv herself had already perfected so the project was cut and she was now struggling to find something else to work on.

“Yes, what can I do for you, Susan?” Liv asked, unsure of why the woman insisted on calling her Ms. De Loughrey. Besides the fact she hated her family name, she was only a couple years older. Though from the pinched look on Susan’s face, she wasn’t used to being referred to by her given name in this setting.

Some things about British culture, Liv couldn’t understand.

“I was just wondering if I could bounce some ideas off you. I took your advice and I think I have some interesting leads,” Susan said.

Liv smiled and motioned for her to take a seat. Susan bustled in and sat, a notebook in her hand and a pleased look on her face.

“Let’s hear what you’ve got,” Liv said warmly. While she wasn’t sure just how Susan had made it onto the elite team, she wasn’t about to undo everything her predecessor did. Watkins must have had a reason so Liv was willing to put in the time to figure it out. And while not particularly creative, Susan had a solid work history.

Perhaps Liv could assign her to join up one of the other projects? She had a good work ethic, perhaps she would flourish as support to someone else. Maybe Blaise Zabini. He was certainly creative, though at times lacked the discipline to stay on task. Maybe Susan could keep him focused while he helped her to think outside the box.

“Ms. De Loughrey?”

“Hmm, oh, sorry. I didn’t sleep well last night,” Liv said, realizing she had zoned out and completely missed whatever it was that Susan had just said. “And really, you can call me Olivia. No need to be so formal.” Susan smiled. “Now, what was that last one again?”

As Susan continued talking, Liv sat up, intent on paying attention to her this time. Again, none of her ideas seemed particularly ground-breaking, but at least she was trying. Liv could see that much. As she began to draft a diplomatic response to Susan that would be encouraging, a frazzled post witch barged in through the open door and dropped a pile of envelopes on Liv’s desk and then turned and strode out. She really did need to get an assistant at some point, she realized.

Maybe that’s what Susan could do. Wait, no. She would hate it. Scratch that.

“Sorry, continue,” Liv said, reaching for the envelopes and flipping through them as Susan droned on. She stopped when she got to one with “O. Wood” in the top corner. Her eyes widened slightly as she put the envelope aside and looked back up at Susan.

“I think you’re on the right track, but still not quite there,” she said warmly, tempering the news with an encouraging smile. “I have an idea. Why don’t you take the afternoon off? Go out to a park or somewhere that you find relaxing and just… let your mind wander. See where it takes you.”

Susan stared at her as though she were speaking Goblin.

“Let my mind wander?” she asked. Liv nodded.

“Yes. Some of my best ideas have come to me while I’m daydreaming,” she said. “Go on.”

Susan hesitantly stood and then made her way out of Liv’s office, though she continued to glance back at her, her notebook clutched tight to her chest. Liv sighed as she opened Oliver’s letter, reading it through.

She had thought him charming and handsome when her cousin Katie had introduced them. While she didn’t really know a lot about quidditch, she enjoyed it as much as the next person. And she had to admit, it had done the man wonders. They had hit it off and it seemed he was eager to meet up for a date.

Liv put the letter down, glancing once again out her window towards Draco’s office. There was an odd sort of churning in her stomach that she didn’t understand. She looked back down at the letter, frowning slightly. She liked Oliver, didn’t she? Enough to at least go on one date with him. And Draco was her subordinate. She couldn’t date him - even if that was what she wanted, which it most certainly wasn’t. This was all… well, Liv wasn’t sure what it was, but that didn’t matter. She needed to stop thinking about Draco Malfoy in any context other than work.

Right, wasn’t there a saying about the best way to get over someone was to get under someone else?

Liv reached for a quill and piece of parchment, then wrote out a reply that she would love to meet Oliver for dinner and drinks after work on Friday. She then slid it in an envelope and addressed it. There. She would send it during lunch when she went out.

Nodding, Liv looked at the various other documents and parchments on her desk demanding her attention. Work. That’s what she needed right now. Nothing but work.

1. Meet Cute 2808 0 0 2. Just One Night 3493 0 0 3. Decidedly Not a Meet Cute 3406 0 0 4. Declaring War 2787 0 0 5. Mother Dearest 3286 0 0 6. Fighting 3545 0 0 7. Deep Dive 2944 0 0 8. Jealousy 3143 0 0 9. A (Not So) Good Day 3897 0 0 10. Hot & Cold 2670 0 0 11. The Other Side 2206 0 0 12. Coming Clean 3275 0 0 13. Changes 2572 0 0 14. Floodgates 3591 0 0 15. Awkward Mistakes 3425 0 0 16. Making Decisions 3628 0 0 17. Falling For You 3194 0 0 18. And It All Goes to Hell 3039 0 0 19. To Find a Rat 3312 0 0 20. From Here on Out 4379 0 0