As she was checking to see whether or not she had everything in her bag, she unintentionally bumped into someone, sending everything out of her hands and onto the wood floor.
"Hey! Watch where you are going!"
She berated herself for not paying attention and apologized profusely, while picking up the spilled contents on the floor.
"Kidding Mione. Well not really. I might just find a bruise on my shoulder tomorrow morning."
She looked up from the floor. Her eyes traveled up the tall, lanky figure until they stopped at a mess of red hair staring down at her.
"Ron!" she exclaimed and rose from the floor to greet him with a hug.
He wrapped his arms around her. "Yeah, yeah I know you miss me."
Despite the number of years that had gone by, he still smelt like a mixture of sandalwood and mint. She almost forgot what he smelled like, so she greedily inhaled his scent to reacquaint herself with it.
After Ron took the position of Keeper for the Chudley Cannons, she rarely saw her best friend anymore. He was a Quidditch star, always training with the team or doing press conferences. When he first told her the news, she wanted to burst out and tell him to turn down the offer. The reason was more for her benefit, rather than his. At the time, she was a small-time dancer struggling to break into the business. Since Harry and Ginny were inseparable, she really had one person to turn to confide in. Ron. He was always there to pick up the pieces. She would spend nights crying on his shoulder while recounting her days of vigorous training and endless auditions. He would hold her in his arms and console her, telling her that the next day was a new beginning. He had seen her at her worst, yet he never deserted her. She was grateful to have such wonderful, loving friend. So when he asked her about whether or not he should take the job, panic set in. Accepting the position meant that he would be moving away and training most of the year. She would lose him. She knew that she was being selfish for putting her needs over Ron's, but it was her greatest fear to be left alone. As she looked at his face, she knew what she had to do. His eyes were filled with such hope and joy that she did not dare be the one that ruined his dream. She grinned and told him that it was an amazing opportunity and that he should accept it. He lit up the moment he heard her response and went to tell the others the good news. There was a huge celebration that night at the Burrow, one she still remembered. The long dining table was covered with all of Ron's favorite foods. Known for his voracious appetite, he surprised everyone by finishing only half of the food. At the end of the night, everyone congratulated Ron for his accomplishments. His father raised a toast, which the others joined in, to Ron, wishing him a successful career. The next day he signed a contract with the Chudley Cannons for eight years.
"Ah! Woman, do you want to bruise my whole body?"
She loosened her embrace. "How long are you staying?" she asked, scared of his answer.
"Longer than usual. One week." He said, giving her a small smile.
Contemplating the small amount of time he would have with her and Harry, she looked into his blue eyes, one of her favorite physical traits about him, and silently nodded.
She shrieked suddenly when he gathered her in his muscular arms and started to twirl her around.
"Ronald Weasley! Put me down this instant before I vomit on you! I am getting dizzy."
He gingerly placed her back on the ground. "And to think that you would be used to spinning around by now," he laughed.
She glared at him for a few seconds before she joined in too. She just could not stay mad at him. His laughter was infectious. When she finally stopped to catch her breath, she took the time to study the man in front of her. Noticing how healthy and happy he looked, she knew that she made the right decision to let him go several years prior. Now the two had gotten what they wanted the most in the world.
The happy moment burst when she heard him speak again.
"What is he doing here?" Ron hissed. Looking at her friend's face, she saw it shift from a look of joviality to one of annoyance. He pushed her behind him as if to protect her. She merely rolled her eyes even though he could not see them.
"Just my luck. I have not seen him since Hogwarts and I planned to keep it like that. Now he is here of all places!" he ranted.
Who was he talking about? She could not see past his large frame, so she placed her right hand on his left shoulder to get a better view. She traced his line of vision until her eyes connected with a pair of gray ones.
It was Draco Malfoy. He was standing on the other side of the room with his hands in his robes. Despite the large distance, she knew it was him. She had never seen anyone other than him with that shade of blonde before. She thought he had left a while ago, yet he was still here. Did he still want to talk to her? She told herself no. Why would Draco Malfoy waste his time talking to me? After all, he could have any woman he wanted. She wasn't special. She studied him and saw a frown appear on his flawless face for a brief second before he recovered. If she had blinked, she would have missed it.
She stared at him, not knowing what to do. Should I go over there? She saw him smirk and wink at her before exiting the backstage. She gasped, but Ron was so busy fuming to himself that he did not notice the exchange. Did he know something about Draco? From his reaction, he obviously hated the guy. It was so unusual. Ron and Harry always reacted this way when a guy dared look at her. However, this time was different. Ron looked like he was going to murder Draco. She needed to know the connection between her friends and him.
Turning back to her friend, she noticed his face turning a light shade of red, almost matching his hair.
She shook him out of his reverie. "Ron! He is gone now."
"Oh. Well um ok then." he said, clearly embarrassed. "Read for dinner?"
"Yes. I told Harry that I would meet him in the front of the lobby."
"Great." He picked up her bag with one arm and draped his other arm over her shoulder. The two walked to the exit, looking like a couple. She knew people thought Ron Weasley, the great Keeper for the Chudley Cannons, was her boyfriend. She heard the whispers and read the gossip column, which she considered rubbish, in the newspaper every once in a while. The media assumed that someone like her would date someone else who was in the spotlight. However, they were wrong because they did not know the real story. She and Ron were just friends and always would be. They briefly dated, but discovered that there was not any chemistry. The two departed on good terms and even joked about their failed relationship. One day she asked him for a large favor: to pretend to be in a relationship with her. She knew it was a lot to ask of him, but he accepted without hesitation. Ron was always someone she could count on. From that moment on, he agreed to be her cover, her fake boyfriend, so that she would not have to deal with men throwing themselves at her. They still did, but not as much anymore. She was able to keep up this charade and trick everyone for years until today. As soon as she looked into Draco's eyes, she felt that he could see through her and her lies.
Could he see though her façade, the one she worked so hard to put up?