They agreed, and it was a mutual decision.

"What will you do now?"

"My parents have always itched that I marry Pansy. I guess there's no better time than now. You?"

"Well... I plan on... focusing my attention on my work first. Then, if Ron asks me to marry him... I'll probably accept."

Dully, she stared at her steaming cup of tea, while he silently tried to read the ingredients listed on his vodka bottle.

"No one knows about us, anyway."

"Damn good they don't, otherwise we won't have lived this long. Weasley'll probably hack my head off and Pansy... well, she might do something a little more creative than that - to a part of my anatomy that I'm incredibly fond of."

"What do you think would've happened if... we...?"

"Didn't you hear what I said?"

"No... well, yes, of course, but-"

"Our lives would be ruined, to put it mildly."

"Do you really think that?"

"Don't you?"

"I- don't know."

It was dark and dingy where they met, and even if the small house had lights they both preferred to stay bathed in dusk. It was somehow soothing, this darkness.

Besides, they wouldn't want to remember this night, anyway.

"So... we agree, then?"

"Right."

"If we pass by each other at the streets-"

"Ha! Like we ever do."

"But if we did-"

"I'll ignore you, you'll ignore me. Or I'll probably hurl insults at you and your friends, just to stay in character. Which do you prefer?"

"Just... we'll ignore each other. Yes. That's it, exactly."

"Right."

She drained her tea while he moved on to his third bottle of the night.

"I... I guess I should go, then."

"Yes. You really should go."

She hesitated, and he frowned.

"I..."

"What? I thought you were leaving?"

"Well-"

"That is what you want to do, right? Leave?"

"Does it matter?"

"Of course not."

"Of course it doesn't."

She took his hand in hers and shook it, while he just stared numbly at her.

"Thank you."

"For what?"

"The- oh, you know."

"Sex? Fornication? Pure unadulterated lovemaking? What?"

"I just... I-"

"You were in the middle of leaving, right? Don't let me stop you."

"Don't rush me, Malfoy! I'll leave only after-"

She was standing now, and he stepped closer to her until he was invading her space.

"What? Another round, maybe? I can do that. Give me three to four minutes, and then-"

"No, that's not what I want!"

"Liar."

"Stop laughing! What I want to say is that I-oh, blast this darkness. Honestly! Why did you even bring me here?"

"Don't be stupid, you were the one who said to meet somewhere!"

"Yes, but not here! Anywhere but here!"

"Then why didn't you say something?"

"I am! I'm saying something now!"

"I meant before you bloody stupid woman!"

"Would you have listened?"

"Of course! I always listen!"

"Ha! As if! And stop yelling at me!"

"I'm not yelling at you!"

She took three steps back and breathed deeply, while he turned away and cursed.

"You see? This... whatever this is between us, this wouldn't have worked anyway."

"That is, of course, your fault."

"My fault? You dare stand there and tell me-"

"Oh I dare, Granger. Make no mistake, I dare. You and your damned pathetic principles that just-"

"My principles are not at fault here! You're the one ashamed of-of everything about..."

"What? Just what am I ashamed of, Hermione?"

"No. You know what? Let's just pretend we never had this-"

He caught her arm, and she held her breath.

"What am I ashamed of, Hermione?"

"Me. Us. But it doesn't matter. I-"

"Are you certain that I'm the one ashamed, Granger?"

"What? I-"

"Do you feel embarrassed because you're associating yourself with the likes of me? A Malfoy? A Slytherin? An enemy?"

"No. No. We've talked about this-"

"No we bloody haven't. You just assumed that I'd go along with this and let you go."

"You did. You will. You told me you'll marry Pansy."

"And does that matter to you at all?"

"I-"

"Do you want me to marry her?"

"Do you?"

His grip loosened, and her voice dropped.

"No."

"Draco..."

"You want me to wave at you and just smirk while you walk around with Weasley shackled to you? I can't do that. I won't."

"Draco..."

"I'll likely crash your wedding and take you away with me, anyway. Hell, I'll kidnap you and lock you here if necessary, and-"

"Malfoy!"

"What?"

She was smiling now, while he was gritting his teeth.

"What? You have another harebrained scheme to break-up with me? Because I won't agree to that. Ever."

"Then why did you agree to my first one?"

"Because I thought that's what you wanted."

"I only suggested that because I thought that's what you wanted."

"That only proves you're an idiot."

"Shut up."

"And for the record, I'd like to see Weasley try and hack my head off when I tell him you're mine."

"What about Pansy?"

"What about her? Don't tell me you're afraid of her!"

"Of course not. Honestly, I'm more than a match for her, you git. So... we'll tell them?"

"Yes. No more of these stupid plans of yours?"

"Yes."

"Good. Now come here and let me have my way with you."

They agreed, and it was a mutual decision.

end