Disclaimer: I own none of the characters in this story. They all belong to JK Rowling. I merely thank her for writing such a compelling series that it sparks my imagination. No copyright infringement is intended. I make no money from this, I just use it to live out my fantasies.

He staked out her apartment building for three days and she never went outside. Not unless she was leaving in the middle of the night. But then he realized she was probably going to work using the Floo Network. That's why she'd never come outside. He felt slightly defeated and also annoyed because he wasted three days loitering around and actually had people throw money at him thinking he was homeless and begging on the streets. If only they knew how much money he did have. But he was tired of giving off the impression of a penniless beggar on the streets. It was a pointless endeavor. He didn't know why he was even bothering at all. But just when he was about to give up and go to the bar, luck was on his side. She came walking out of the building and down the steps. He quickly hid behind a parked car and watched her walk right past him. Once she was far enough ahead, he stood up and walked after her, curious to where she was going. He just hoped she didn't duck into an alley and apparate away from him. But he watched her go into a liquor store and he smiled. She was apparently ready to get her drink on again, but wouldn't risk going back to the same bar. She was likely going to get something and take it back to her flat where she could sulk and drown her sorrows in peace. But not if he had anything to say about it. He walked into the liquor store and spied her on the wine aisle. He ducked behind a display of vodka and just watched her perusing her selections.

She picked up a large bottle and examined it. He went over to another aisle and picked up a bottle of his favorite whiskey so he could pretend it was just a chance encounter. He watched her take her bottle and head up to the front of the store and he rushed over to accidentally run into her.

"Drinking wine tonight, Granger?" he asked casually as he came up behind her.

She whirled around and clutched the bottle to her chest.

"What are you doing here?" she asked completely caught off guard.

He held up his whiskey. "Just popping in to pick up a little medicine."

"Well good for you. Enjoy it," she said as she turned around and attempted to walk away from him.

He followed after her. "That's a pretty big bottle. Are you having company over?" he asked curiously.

She turned and looked at him again with annoyance. "No, this is all for me. It tastes much better than that lighter fluid you drink."

"It's not lighter fluid. It's good stuff.

"Well I think it tastes like shit," she said turning away from him again.

"I've never tried that wine before. Is it good?"

"Yes it's good," she said not turning around this time.

"Can I join you then? Surely you don't want to drink all of that by yourself? No telling what you might do if you get that much drink in you again," he said to her slyly.

She faced him once more. "Look Draco, I don't know what kind of game you're playing, but stop it. I don't want to share my wine with you. Or anything else with you. I just want to be alone."

"But being alone is so lonely. Wouldn't you rather have company?" he said somewhat desperately. He knew he was making a fool of himself but he didn't care. He was tenacious.

"Just because you're lonely when you're alone, doesn't mean I am."

"You said you were lonely the other night at the bar," he pointed out.

"Well I'm not lonely now. I'm fine."

"I'll buy that for you if you let me have a taste of it," he offered.

She laughed. "Buy it for me? It's only seven pounds. That's not much of a bribe. Not when you've got millions stashed away somewhere."

"Then go pick out an expensive bottle and I'll buy that for you instead," he told her with exasperation.

She eyed him warily. What on earth was his deal? Why did he want to spend time with her? He was crazy to think she'd ever get that drunk again and invite him into her bed.

"What are you doing? If you think you'll get me drunk again and we'll fall into bed again, you're insane."

"We didn't actually fall into bed. It was mostly the couch and the floor," he pointed out.

"Whatever. You know what I mean. If that's what you think will happen, you're living in a dream world."

"Nothing has to happen. In fact, I expressly remember telling you I wasn't going to do anything with you and the next thing I knew you were all over me."

"Call it temporary insanity. I've gotten you out of my system now and I'm over it," she told him seriously.

"Over it huh? Alright. So then what's the harm in inviting me over to help you drink your wine?"

"What has gotten into you? Seriously Draco, you're acting bizarre. Do you not remember that we loathed each other all throughout school? You wouldn't even deem to allow me to walk near you without hurling an insult and now you want to be my drinking buddy? Are you mental? Did your dad hit you over the head with his cane one too many times and give you brain damage?"

"I'm not fucking brain damaged. I just know that when I was with you, life didn't feel so bleak anymore. I guess I just wanted to see if that's because I was really drunk or if it was you that made me feel that way," he told her honestly.

She just stared at him and didn't know what to say to him. He looked kind of pathetic and was acting completely different than she'd ever seen him act. It was unsettling and she didn't trust him. But she finally relented against her better judgment. Mostly because she was just curious what his deal really was.

"Fine. Buy me a bottle of something really expensive and good and I'll let you share it with me," she told him with a small smirk.

"Something really expensive huh? Okay. Let's go peruse the selections, shall we?" He offered her his arm and she just shook her head and quickly grabbed it. She didn't know why she was doing this.

"How about this bottle?" she asked holding up one in front of him.

"How much is it?"

"Three hundred."

"Three hundred? It's fucking small for three hundred. I'd need four of these bottles to get a buzz," he complained.

"That's because you're used to drinking that God awful whiskey crap. But if you need four bottles, then by all means, please do buy four of them," she said with an amused grin.

"You expect me to pay twelve hundred for some fucking wine? What is it made of anyway? Gold?"

"I'm pretty sure they make it with grapes."

"Right, grapes that the queen must have knighted herself or something."

"I thought you had plenty of money?" she asked him.

"I do. But for this price do you know how many smokes and bottles of whiskey I could buy?"

"So then don't buy it. I'm perfectly happy with my cheap bottle. And you can run along home and drink whatever you have in your hand."

"No, I said I'd buy you the good stuff and I will. But let's be honest here. This is the most expensive non date I've ever been on and I'm not even getting laid after it. Maybe I am brain damaged?"

"That would explain a lot," she smiled at him.

He just sighed and grabbed the bottles off the shelf and handed two of them to her and he took the other two along with his whiskey. They walked back up to the front of the store and they put the items down on the counter. The man looked at them curiously.

"Big party planned? This is some expensive wine," the man said shaking his head.

"No, not a party unfortunately. It's just that this little lady here has expensive taste apparently," Draco explained.

"I think I'm worth it," Hermione smiled.

"I'm sure you are," the man smiled back at her. "That will be twelve hundred and twenty six pounds."

Draco fumbled in his pants for his wallet and Hermione leaned over and asked him softly, "Do you carry that much Muggle cash on you normally?"

He whipped out a credit card and plunked it down on the counter. He looked at her. "Nope, I use plastic. It's much more convenient."

"I didn't even know you knew about credit cards."

"I'm not daft. How do you think I've been surviving out here all this time? I do know how Muggles operate."

"What's a Muggle?" the man asked, handing the credit slip over to be signed.

"Uh, it's nothing. It's just a slang term for something," Draco said quickly, not realizing he was talking so loudly.

The man just shrugged and put the items in a big bag for them and handed it over. Draco lifted it up and carefully carried it out so that the bottles didn't break clanging up against each other.

"Back to your place then?" he asked her with a satisfied smile.

"I guess so," she sighed realizing she was probably making another huge mistake by inviting him to her place. But she would not get drunk this time. No way. She wasn't drinking four bottles of wine. That was his idea. She was going to stay sane this time.

He started walking back towards where she lived and she looked over at him. "How do you know what direction to go in?"

"I, uh, sort of followed you home the other day," he admitted sheepishly.

"You followed me?"

"Yes."

"You really are crazy and kind of creepy, you know that right?" she asked him, giving him a look.

"I do believe you are correct there. Now just shut up and let's go to your place before I drop this bloody bag and break everything," he muttered feeling like a fool for his behavior.

They made it to her building and they walked up the steps and inside. She pushed the elevator button and they waited there silently until it came. They stepped inside and she pushed the number four. Once the doors opened, he followed her down a long hallway and she was the last door at the end. She opened it up and let him follow her inside.

"Where do you want me to put this shit?" he asked her, feeling the weight of the bag straining his arm.

"Anywhere I guess. The kitchen is right over there," she told him as she tossed off her shoes and threw her purse down on the floor.

He walked into the kitchen and put the bag down. He set all the bottles on the counter and he looked around curiously. The place was tidy and well kept, unlike his own flat. It almost didn't even looked lived in except that there were photos around and plants and he noticed an orange cat sleeping in an armchair.

"That your cat?" he asked curiously, trying to make conversation.

"No, it's somebody else's," she said sarcastically. "Of course it's mine, you halfwit."

"Hey now, who pissed in your cereal bowl? I just spent a bloody fortune on wine for you and you're calling me names already?" he said defensively.

"Well it was a stupid question."

"You didn't have to be such a bitch about it."

"I'm not a bitch."

"Really? I've met Death Eaters who are nicer than you are," he muttered.

"Maybe they were nice to you because you were one of them?" she shot back.

"Whatever. Do you want me to open up one of these bottles, or what?" he asked not wanting to argue or discuss his past.

"Yes, please do open one. I need a drink."

She plopped down on the couch and put her feet up on it.

He opened up her drawers looking for a corkscrew but he couldn't find anything. So he just took out his wand and used magic to open it. It was much easier that way.

"You want a glass or you want the bottle?" he asked.

"A glass. I'm not chugging it out of the bottle with you like last time."

"Where do you keep glasses?"

"Over the stove."

He reached up to the cupboard and got her down a glass. Then he poured it for her and took the bottle with him. He had no need of a glass. He walked to the couch and handed her the glass and he proceeded to take a big chug out of the bottle.

"You're drinking it from the bottle? I have more than one glass. That's gross," she complained.

"Gross? You've kissed me. And you had your mouth somewhere much more interesting than that. So don't get all delicate and dainty on me now," he told her.

"Do you really have to bring that up? I just want to erase the entire night from my brain. I don't even want to think about where my mouth was," she said making a yucky face.

"You seemed to enjoy it at the time."

"Yeah well I was completely hammered. It doesn't count," she protested.

He just stood there and looked at her for a moment. She was sprawled on the couch and the only chair had her cat in it. There was no place to sit down. So he just sat down on the floor beside her.

"I think you're just embarrassed to admit how much you wanted me that night. The drink is just an excuse. Girls love using that as an excuse for everything. They do something supposedly bad and suddenly it's 'the drink made me do it!' when really it's just what they wanted all along and were too ashamed to admit."

"Really now? So you have me all figured out then?"

"You're not that hard to figure out. Good girl wants to be bad but doesn't want to take responsibility for her actions. So she just blames the alcohol. It's not like you're the first girl to do it," he explained.

She hated to admit he was actually right. She had wanted him. She just didn't know why. Sure, he was handsome and sexy but so were a lot of other men who she didn't actually hate with a fiery passion. What would have possessed her to want him of all people? She couldn't figure it out and didn't want to.

"Let's just stop talking about the other night, shall we? I don't want to relive the nightmare," she told him finally.

"The nightmare? Is that what you're calling it?"

"Yes."

He put the bottle of wine on the coffee table and leaned up to her and got in her face.

"If it was such a nightmare then why did you come so many times?" he whispered with a sly smirk.

She shoved him back away from her.

"I faked it."

"Oh please. You did not. I know when someone is faking it."

"How do you know? Maybe I'm a really good actress?"

"You're exceptional then because you had me fooled. It must have been all the screaming and moaning out my name that confused me."

"Anyone can do that. I could do it right now if I wanted to," she protested.

"Give it up, Granger. We both know the truth. So just get over it and drink your fancy wine."

She wanted to argue more, but she decided against it. He was reading her like a book and she hated it. She hated everything about him. And most of all she hated the way she didn't quite hate him enough to make him leave her apartment. Instead she just sat back and watched him drinking wine out of the bottle and wishing that his lips were on hers again. She tried to shake the thoughts out of her mind but they refused to go. She felt like she might be going crazy or something.

Neither one of them spoke for awhile but he finally looked up at her and noticed her glass was almost empty. He refilled it for her and then turned around and just stared at her sleeping cat some more while they drank in silence. He couldn't stand the quiet any longer.

"You know, your cat is really ugly. What's wrong with his face? Did you hit it with a frying pan?" he asked her.

"No, I did not. That's just how he looks. I think he's cute."

"Cute eh? What's it's name?"

"Crookshanks."

"Crookshanks? What kind of name is that?"

"I like it. It suits him."

"Does he bite?"

"He might. If he doesn't like you anyway. He's a very good judge of character so you might not want to pet him," she warned him.

"You think he won't like me? Well let's see about that," he said getting up and walking over to the cat. He bent down and scratched his head between his ears. Crookshanks opened his sleepy eyes and stared at Draco. Draco smiled and held out his hand for the cat to sniff and Crookshanks just sniffed him and licked his hand and then went back to sleep. "See that? He likes me."

"He must be broken or something," she shrugged.

"I think he just sees the real me."

"Who is the real you, Draco?" she wondered curiously.

"That's a good question. I haven't a clue right now, to be honest."

He fished in his pocket for his cigarettes and pulled them out.

"No, no way. You are not smoking those in here," she sat up and protested.

He sighed. "Why not?"

"Because they stink."

"Fine I'll go out on the fire escape."

"The fire escape? Why not just stop smoking?" she asked.

"Because I don't want to stop. What are you? My bloody mum?"

"No I'm not your mum. But if she knew you were smoking those she'd probably murder you."

He laughed. "You're probably right. Good thing she has no idea where I am."

He went over and opened her window and climbed out onto the fire escape. It was just a small space, barely enough room to stand in, and it was rather rickety. He hoped he wouldn't fall to his death out there. But he lit up and sat down on the windowsill.

"I can still smell the smoke. Close the window," she told him.

"Oh come on. I'm half outside. Isn't that good enough?"

"No."

"Fine."

He climbed out the window again and stood there and shut it behind him. He took a long drag on the cigarette and blew the smoke out in little rings, amusing himself. He didn't really know why he started smoking these things except someone gave him one at a bar and he liked it. So he kept it up. Plus anything that was self destructive seemed appealing to him right now. Including this little business with Granger. He knew she didn't like him, but he pursued her anyway. It was almost like he got off on the rejection, he realized. Then he remembered a lyric from a song he'd heard once. It said, 'rejection is the greatest aphrodisiac'. That's kind of how this was. Plus some part of him refused to believe she actually hated him. You don't do the things she did with a person you hate. Maybe she was indifferent, but it wasn't hatred she felt. He was sure of that much. The lady doth protest too much, he thought. He finished his cigarette and tossed it over the railing and watched it sail down the four floors until it hit the ground and sparks flew up as it rolled into a gutter. Then he turned around and opened up the window again and climbed inside. Hermione had turned on music and had also refilled her glass from the bottle he'd left on the table. She was lost in her own mind and he startled her when he sat back down on the floor next to her.

"Your clothes smell bad now," she told him offhandedly.

"So spray me with air freshener or something."

She looked at him for a moment then she got up off the couch and disappeared down the hallway. He watched after her, looking puzzled. She came back out with her hand behind her back and then she walked over to him and suddenly sprayed him with a can of cinnamon scented air freshener. He jumped up and started waving his hands in front of his face.

"Bloody hell! You got that shit in my eyes. What are you doing?"

"You said to spray you with air freshener."

"I wasn't being serious!" he exclaimed grabbing the can out of her hand. He turned it on her and sprayed her. She screamed out and began to run away from him but he caught her quickly and whirled her around.

"Don't spray me again! That's awful!" she shouted through her laughter.

"Now we both smell like a cinnamon roll," he smirked at her.

She grabbed the can back forcefully. "Give me that."

"If you spray me again I'm tackling you to the floor and throwing that thing out the window," he warned her.

"I'm not gonna spray you again. Promise." She put the can on the kitchen counter and sat back down on the couch, but this time he sat next to her. He grabbed the wine bottle and chugged it while he thought of something interesting to say, but he was coming up empty. Finally it was her that spoke.

"So tell me, your parents really don't know where you are?" she asked him curiously.

He shook his head. "They have no idea. They wouldn't exactly approve of the life I've been leading lately. Especially with all the Muggles around me. I blend in pretty good, don't you think?"

"Yeah, you blend. I would never know you weren't a Muggle. But don't you care that your parents are probably worried about you?"

He laughed somewhat bitterly. "Worried about me? I don't really care. They tried to act like nothing happened after the hearings were over and they let us go. My father just expected me to be the same person I always was. He even talked about me finishing school. As if I wanted to go back there. I couldn't take it. And my mother was constantly hovering over me trying to make sure I was alright. It drove me crazy, so I just left."

"Did you even tell them you were going?"

"No. I just packed a bag one day and I left. I had no idea where I was even going at first. I just knew that they wanted me to be something I couldn't be anymore. I had to go."

"What did they want you to be exactly?"

"They wanted me to be a proper high society gentleman and resume our snobbish ways and act like the last year and half didn't occur. But I was different. I was depressed and broken inside. They couldn't seem to understand that. That I didn't want to live by their stupid standards anymore because I didn't believe in them. Plus I blamed my father for getting us into such a mess. It was his fault. But he refused to take responsibility for his role in what happened. I was just told we weren't supposed to talk about it anymore."

"Maybe in their own way, they thought that would help? You know, just forget about the bad stuff and move on? I know that's what I tried to do," she told him quietly.

"Yeah, well I couldn't just move on from it. I know you hated me back in school and I deserved your hatred. I was a total bastard to you and your friends. I don't expect you to feel sorry for me or anything. But you have no idea the hell I went through. The things I was forced to do. I watched people die, and I don't mean in the battle. I mean in my own fucking house right in front of me. I watched Voldemort kill a woman and feed her to his fucking snake. And all I could do was just sit there and watch. I was utterly helpless. How do you forget something like that?" he asked as he felt tears forming in his eyes that he really did not want her to see.

"That's horrible, Draco. I-I don't even know what to say," she admitted quietly.

"And that doesn't even include the things he made me do myself. Torturing people. Trying to kill Dumbledore. What was I supposed to do? I had to do what he said or else he'd kill me and my family," he said despondently as the tears he was holding back rolled out of his eyes and down his cheeks. He wiped them away quickly and chugged more wine, hoping to chase the demons away.

Hermione felt sorry for him. More than she realized she could. But something about the way he spoke just broke her heart. He wasn't the boy who used to taunt her and make slurs about her heritage. He was a very lost and broken man. She reached out and touched his shoulder.

"I'm sorry for what you went through. I didn't know. I thought I had it bad," she said softly.

"I'm sure it was bad for you too. Believe me. I'm not saying I'm the only one who's scarred by what happened. I know you lost people you cared for."

"I did. I lost several people. And I lost my parents too," she admitted feeling her own eyes prick with tears.

He turned to face her. "You lost your parents? Voldemort killed them?" he was aghast and in shock because he'd not heard about such a thing happening.

She shook her head. "No, it wasn't Voldemort. It was actually me. I didn't kill them, but I obliviated them and sent them away. I-I thought they'd be safer that way. But I didn't know I wouldn't be able to get them back. They're gone now. They don't know me anymore."

"You obliviated them?"

"Yes."

"You could have just sent them away somewhere and not gone so far as obliterating their memories. Why did you feel that was necessary?" he wondered.

"I thought it was better if they didn't know who I was so they would be safer. And also, in case I never came back again I didn't want them to suffer my loss," she said quietly.

"I'm sorry that they're gone now. I had no idea. Were you close to them?"

She shrugged. "I loved them. And they loved me. But the last time I saw them they were scared of me and angry and just wanted me to leave them alone. They didn't believe my story, of course, because who would? They were Muggles. They thought I was off my rocker and accused me of kidnapping them when I tried to have the healers work on them. They wanted to call the police on me."

"That's really rough. So I guess we're both a little parent-less right now."

"Yeah, except your parents still love you and probably want you back. Mine don't even know who I am. You still have the option of going back to them," she pointed out.

"I suppose so. But I'm not sure I'll ever want to go back to them.

"Never say never."

"You want more wine? This bottle is done for," he said shaking it to show her it was empty.

"Sure. Open another bottle."

He did as instructed and came over to pour more wine for her and he took the bottle for himself again. He looked at her curiously.

"So tell me the truth. You're with me now because you know that no one else would approve of it right?"

"Why would that be the reason?" she asked him shaking her head.

"Because I suspect you're tired of always doing what's expected of you. You have these people around you that only see you a certain way and it's a lot to live up to. You're tired of it because you don't feel like they really know you," he explained.

She didn't know what to say to him at first. He was right. At least on some level, she wanted to rebel against her former self and be something else. After the war she had immediately started working for the Ministry alongside Harry and Ron. She and Ron began their romantic relationship and it was disastrous, which was something she wasn't expecting. She thought they were suited to one another and had known each other since they were kids, but something about adding the romance in ruined it. He was controlling and needy and she was independent and bossy. They clashed all the time over every little thing. She had tried to be what he wanted and needed but she just was too distant inside to really feel much of anything. She had put up walls with him and with everyone else and no one could really break through them. She didn't blame Ron for the break up, she blamed herself. Even though some of his behaviors certainly left a lot to be desired, she knew that she was the ultimate destructor. And now she was free and just wanted to shed her old skin and be something new. And for some reason she was incredibly drawn to Draco, the man who didn't give a shit about anything anymore. It sounded ridiculous but she almost admired him for his apathy because it matched her own. She just did a better job of hiding it than he did. He wore it like a badge of honor and she dutifully tried to pretend to the world that she was still the same girl she always was. But it wasn't true. She'd never done a single bad thing in her life. She was labeled a hero. But she didn't feel like a hero. In the end, she was just a girl. And she didn't want the responsibility of being a hero because that meant being perfect and dutiful and above reproach. But that was not her. Not anymore. And maybe not ever.

"I don't know why I'm with you, Draco. Part of me feels bad for you and part of me just doesn't care anymore about what other people think. So it's not that I invited you here because people wouldn't approve. I don't need their approval anymore and I don't want it," she told him finally.

"You feel bad for me? Well don't. I don't need your pity. But if you want to take a ride through my world and see how it is to be on the other side, then by all means take my hand and let me show you," he said with a smirk.

"A ride through your world? And what exactly is your world now? Darkness and despair? Dirty apartments and seedy bars?"

"Something like that. I'm not one of the good guys. I'm the bad guy, remember? Life is different for people like me. We don't have this need to be selfless and heroic. We just want to bloody survive and save our own asses. That's what life really is. Just surviving."

"Being good is a bit overrated, to be honest. I mean, I always thought I was happy to be a good little girl and do all these great acts of bravery and heroics. I thought I was doing something worthwhile. And I guess I was. But why did it leave me feeling so empty inside?"

"Maybe because the fight is over and there's nothing left to focus on except yourself and who you really are?"

She thought on that for a moment. It made some sense. Ever since she was eleven she'd been embroiled in this fight of good against evil. And now it was over. There was nothing left to fight anymore. Except herself.

"I just want to feel alive again," she whispered softly.

"Did you feel alive with me the other night?" he asked scooting closer to her.

She nodded her head. "Yes. Why is it that being with someone who claims to be dead inside is the only way I feel alive?"

"One of life's little mysteries."

She reached over and put her wine glass on the table and then she looked at Draco who was just watching her every move.

"Kiss me," she told him breathlessly.

"You sure about that, love?"

"Just do it."

He leaned up and grabbed her shoulders and pulled her down into a kiss. It soon grew heated and very passionate. And this time Hermione was not drunk. Slightly tipsy, yes, but not drunk. She was doing this of her own free will and she knew it. They were all over each other and she had fallen to the floor with him and lie on top of him, greedily kissing him and pulling at his shirt. He stopped kissing her long enough to rip it over his head and throw it away and then he began pulling her shirt off. She let him. And soon they were lost in each other again. And neither one of them wanted to be found. The whole world melted away when they were together like this. Nothing else mattered but the two of them, touching and kissing and grabbing and moaning. Once they were spent, they lay in a heap on the floor breathlessly staring at each other. They had no words at first. But Draco finally spoke up.

"Missed the bed again," he smiled down at her.

She laughed slightly. "I told you I wouldn't fall into bed with you."

"You were right. But the floor works just as well."

She just stared at him for a moment and ran her hands through his messy hair. "What am I doing?" she asked hopelessly.

"Living?" he offered.

"But this is so wrong. I don't even like you," she told him with a sigh.

"Could have fooled me," he said, kissing her shoulder and moving his way to her neck.

She closed her eyes and relished the feel of his lips on her flesh, but then she pushed him back.

"No, we can't keep doing this. It's crazy. I'm crazy. Just get off me, will you?" she said, struggling to get up from underneath him.

"Not this again," he muttered unhappily.

She just ignored him and tried to find her clothes again. He sat there watching her gather items up wordlessly. She picked up his boxers and threw them at him.

"Put these on. You need to get dressed and go home," she told him.

"Why? Why are you throwing me out?"

"Because this is just too weird for me. You have to leave."

She gave up on gathering her clothes and just headed down the hallway and got her bathrobe out of the bathroom. She pulled it on hastily and cursed herself for not having better self control. She didn't know what she was doing. She was intentionally doing something she knew was a mistake and she couldn't seem to stop herself because it felt so good in the moment. But then when it was over, guilt would overtake her. She walked back into the living room and found Draco sitting on her couch in his underwear drinking more wine out of the bottle.

"Why aren't you dressed? Why are you still on my couch? I told you to leave."

"I wasn't finished with this," he said holding up the bottle. "Plus, you don't really want me to go."

"Yes, I do. I want you to. Take the bottle with you. In fact, take all of them with you. Just leave."

"If you want me to leave, you'll have to come over here and make me," he smirked at her.

She gave him a glare. "If that's the way you want it, then fine." She marched over to her purse and pulled out her wand. She aimed it at him. "Get out of here now before I do something you won't like very much."

"Like what? You gonna hurt me?"

"Maybe."

"You aren't going to hurt me. Just put your wand away."

She got irritated and shot a curse at him that blasted him off the couch. He was startled, to say the least, and picked himself up off the ground.

"Bloody hell, woman! What is wrong with you?" he asked angrily.

"I said to get out."

"Fine. As if I want to be here anyway," he said, grabbing up his clothes and his own wand that had fallen out of his pocket when he'd throw his pants across the room. He stood there holding all his stuff and before he could put the clothes back on she grabbed him and shoved him towards the door. "Hold on a second! Let me get dressed!"

She ignored him and just shoved him out her front door and slammed it in his face. He was standing in her hallway holding his clothes and his wand in his hand, just staring at her door.

"What the fuck is wrong with that bitch?" he muttered angrily to himself.

Just then the door to the apartment adjacent to hers opened up and an older woman stepped out into the hallway. She was startled to see him standing there in his underwear with his wand in his hand.

"Oh hello," he said pleasantly trying to act like he wasn't in a ridiculous predicament.

"Uh, hello. Why are you in the hallway in your underwear holding a stick?" she asked, backing away from him slightly.

"Oh this?" he said waving his wand around. "This is my lucky stick. I take it with me everywhere. And I'm undressed because it's rather warm outside tonight."

"Are you a rapist? Are you trying to break into Miss Granger's apartment? I'm going to call the police," she said not believing his story.

"I'm not a fucking rapist. I'm her boyfriend. Well, that's not true because she hates me. But I'm her something. She just threw me out. I haven't had a chance to get dressed. Lover's quarrel. You know how that goes," he explained desperately.

He quickly pulled his pants on and the woman just eyed him suspiciously.

"I've seen her boyfriend before. Ginger fellow, very polite and nice. And you're not him," she told Draco.

"Look lady, they broke up. Get with the program. And why are you so bloody nosy anyway?"

"We look out for each other in this building. And you don't belong here. So hurry up and leave or I am calling the police."

"Get over yourself, you old bat," Draco muttered as he pulled his shirt over his head and suddenly realized she hadn't given him his shoes. "Bloody hell. No shoes."

He didn't know what to do. Should he knock again and ask for them back? He didn't really fancy going barefoot all the way home. And this lady wouldn't stop staring at him. He sighed and knocked on the door loudly.

"Open up! I need my fucking shoes!" he shouted at Hermione.

He waited a beat and then suddenly the door flew open and his shoes were thrown in his face before the door slammed shut again. He sighed and put them on and then he just strolled past the nosy lady and gave her a dirty look.

"I've got my eye on you!" she called out.

"Don't worry, I won't be coming back. Stupid bint and her fucked up head games. I'm over it," he muttered as he kept walking and got into the elevator and disappeared out of her building. He realized that Hermione was way more of a head case than he even was. And that was saying something. He just wished he could get her out of his head. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw her face now. It was like she was an obsession. But he was sick of her running hot and cold. Pulling him in and then immediately pushing him away. It was ridiculous. She had kissed him tonight and she couldn't claim she was drunk. She had wanted him just as much as he wanted her and now she was blasting him with curses and throwing him into the hallway with no clothes on? Fuck her, Draco thought. There were lots of other girls out there that he could get with if he felt the need for a release. And they didn't come with all the head games. It was simple. You fucked and then you moved on and went home. Why he was trying to make this out to be more, he had no idea. He just thought it was different. That she was different. That she was looking for something he could give her, but the truth was, she was just mental. He didn't even know why he was wasting his time thinking about it anymore, but he couldn't stop himself. But either way he decided to leave her alone. If she wanted him, she could come to him. He was done stalking her around. And the sad thing was, he'd left his brand new bottle of whiskey there. He'd have to buy a new one after he'd just spent a small fortune on wine just to be in the honor of her company. What was he thinking? He could have just paid a hooker fifty pounds for a blow job and then gone home happy and not mentally damaged by the encounter. He hated girls. They were nothing but trouble, he decided. He headed off to the liquor store once more, and then he was going to go home and get wasted and forget he ever laid eyes on Hermione Granger.

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