Granger handed me a potion and I forced myself to nod at her as if I was grateful. I was to a degree. Right now, however, being sober sounded like a bad idea.
Still, under her watchful eyes, I tipped back the drink.
The potion burned worse than that shot of tequila I'd had when I first turned eighteen. I took it like a man and set the glass down, meeting Granger's eyes.
She nodded with approval and took the glass from me.
Sobriety hit me like a brick between the eyes. I kept a gasp from my lips but only with effort. Blaise seemed to be enjoying this quite thoroughly.
"Shut the hell up," I snapped at him.
"I didn't say anything," he sang.
"Behave, both of you or I'll make you sorry," Granger commanded.
If I had been drunk I would have mistaken the look in her eyes for a challenge and responded in kind. Fortunately, for me, I was sober and so kept my mouth shut.
"Thanks for doing this," Blaise said.
She nodded but even I could see the pain in her eyes. Damnit. I thought I was done seeing pain in a girl's eyes…
I was not at all happy with Ginny Weasley. How dare she look at me like that? Like I was at fault here. I wasn't. This wasn't my fault. I knew it wasn't.
No, it was her fault and I was going to make sure she knew that.
She was in the library, or so her nerdy little friend told me. (What was his name? Norman? Nigel? That sounded right. Oh, why the fuck did I care?)
In any case, she spent nearly the entire morning in the damn place. Since I was pretty sure I was going to have to raise my voice in this altercation, I didn't want to have it in the library.
And do you know what happened? I missed her.
Why? Because as she was leaving, Blaise decided to come over and bug the crap out of me.
"Hey, Drakey. You're not still mad about the other day, are you?"
"Blaise, this is not a good time," I snapped, trying to look past him.
"Oh, so you're not mad about that? That's good."
"Will you leave?" I asked.
"We just want you happy, Draco. And frankly, we don't think you're happy with Ehnola."
"That's great, Blaise. Can you please get away?"
"And if you ever need help, we're gonna be there for you."
"Lovely. Can we please continue this conversation in the common room? Later? Much later?"
"Sure. Oh, and she's in the bathroom."
I looked at Blaise sharply but he just danced off, giving me a little finger wave.
I hesitated a moment then walked to the bathroom to wait again. This time didn't take as long.
She came out. Her head was down, looking at something in her bag. I cleared my throat. She looked up at me. For a moment surprise and delight warred on her face then she glared at me.
"What is your problem?" I asked, thinking aloud more than anything.
"My problem?" she repeated blankly and I realized I had actually voiced that thought. My mind scrambled for an appropriate response. Clearly she had no clue what her face had looked like just now. That delight that twisted me up inside. How the hell could she be so happy just to see me?
"Yeah," I finally managed. "What was that this morning?" I demanded.
Something flickered in her eyes but she merely sent me a smoldering look that made me want to snog her to within an inch of her life. "Do you mean where darling Theo demonstrated his affections for me?" she drawled.
Damn that girl. She made that drawl sexier than any girl had a right to be. Still, it was that superlative that had my lip curling up in dislike. "We both know you don't like Theo," I managed in a semi reasonable tone.
She looked at me with those cruelly warm brown eyes. "Don't I?" she said. Inside I felt something break and it shattered further with her next words. "You don't know what or who I like."
I pulled myself together and smirked down at her. "Don't I?" I bluffed wildly. I gathered all my capacity for arrogance and donned it like a cloak, moving closer to her. I can't remember half of what I said but I can tell you why I said it. I wanted her to hurt. I wanted her to feel like I felt. I wanted her broken. I wanted to be the one to fix her. So I talked shit. Even as I spoke, I knew my words were finding roots. Her eyes took on a haunted glaze during my short speech. And I hated myself.
Finally I was finished. She pulled herself together with an effort and grabbed my shirt. I can't tell you a damn thing she said next. Her fist curled around my shirt and her knuckles brushed my chest through the soft silk. This close, I could smell the soft smell of her hair. She smelled like wine.
She stopped talking and I managed to pull a response out that I hoped was cutting. "And what does Theo know of all this?"
Brilliant Draco. Fucking brilliant. You should be the next Shakespeare.
She pushed me away. "My darling Theo knows enough," she snapped. Ah, so I had gotten to her. However, her endearments were getting to me.
"I don't like it when you call him that," I snapped right back.
"Why should you care?" she demanded. "It's not like you like me."
And then I did the stupidest thing I'd done in several days. Unfortunately it wasn't the stupidest thing I'd ever do.
"You're right," I said spitefully. I wanted to hurt her and so I did. "I love Ehnola."
Flash. It was there in a second and gone in the next. Her eyes flashed at me and for a moment I recognized the pain in them.
"Well," she finally said. "You have your Ebola."
"Her name is Ehnola," I corrected absently. I wanted to look in those beautiful brown eyes but she moved past me.
"Whatever," she said. "You have her. I have darling Theo."
I reacted instinctively and like the spoiled little brat that I was. I reached out and grabbed her, pulling her to me. She landed against my chest and for a second I let myself believe she would never leave me. That she really did love me and that I loved her.
And somewhere deep inside I realized that I wasn't pretending.
"Stop calling him that," I whispered, looking down into her beautiful eyes.
She nearly melted. I could see it in her. She wanted to melt. She wanted to be here with me, in this moment alone. Just us. I wanted it too.
Then her eyes hardened and she pushed away from me. "Make me," she snapped, and spun, running away from me.
I watched her leave but couldn't make myself follow her. She was right. I loved Ehnola. Didn't I?
(A/N: I forgot what a pain in the neck it is to have roommates. Someone remind me the next time I decide to move in with other people.