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"So, eh…" Draco began, the moment the bell rang. I jumped, not prepared for the sound of his I-just-swallowed-a-bowl-of-melted-chocolate voice. There had been no more
communication for the rest of the class, and I fully expected him to just shuffle away and ignore me, like he always did.

I looked up at him, and he was fiddling with the end of his shirt, staring down at the floor. He glanced up at me, but didn't hold my gaze for long.

"Do you want to come to my house on Saturday?" he asked, still pulling at the end of his shirt.


Hell, yes.

"Uh, sure?" I said, not meaning it to sound like a question, but convinced I had somehow fallen into a coma during the ultra-boring Biology lectures and was now
having a rather pleasant dream.

Did he just ask me to his house?

"There's a kind of… woods, behind our house, and we could use that for the ecology thing…" he muttered, scratching at his head again, his cheeks a little pink. He was
embarrassed. I swooned, just a little.

I actually had no idea what we needed to do for the ecology project and why the woods behind Draco's house would be necessary, but I nodded and agreed like I knew
what he was talking about.

"Cool," he said, and off he went, in his tight little jeans.

I shook my head a few times, trying to clear it.

Me. Draco. In a woods. Alone. Experimenting.

Oh God, that sounded all wrong when I put it like that. Now I was having thoughts that I should not be having.

Right. Next class. Whatever it is. Shut up, brain.


It was lashing rain. I stood there in swampy grass, my hair soaked and straggly despite the useless excuse for a hood, my jeans saturated and clinging to my skin
uncomfortably, watching Draco marching around looking for stuff in his black army boots.

He still managed to look like a God in the rain, while I managed to look like a drowned cat.

Yes, I had been ogling him, more than I probably should have been. Today, he was wearing a black hoodie, and the hood was hiding half his gorgeous face, along with
the black cap he had stuck on his head over it.

He had barely said five words to me since I arrived.

I could list them to you.

"Hi", "well", "OK", "right" and "er".

He had also been acting all awkward and jumpy, which led me to think that my presence made him slightly uncomfortable. I hated that. I didn't obviously want him to
be all uptight and whatever around me. I wished there was something I could do or say that would just make him… relax. Let me see the person behind the emo front.

God, I had turned into such a sap.

Well, this ecology project was a bust, anyway. I was totally useless, and judging by the way Draco kept huffing and throwing his eyes up to heaven, he was not making
much progress in the finding-whatever-we're-supposed-to-be-finding mission.

I would have loved to help him, but I really had not been paying attention in class all week.

He kept passing me notes. Every day. One of us would pass the notes first, and then we'd talk for most of the class. Sometimes he wouldn't answer one of my questions,
and I'd get frustrated. Sometimes I'd make a joke or be sarcastic instead of answering one of his, and he'd get all eye-roll-y.

But we were talking. I got tingles every time he passed me another note. I laughed when he went on yet another rant about my pencil case.

This guy was something else. He made me laugh, cry, smile, frown, frustrated, excited, happy, sad, devastated, annoyed and tingly, all at the same time. This resulted
in very erratic Mia behaviour, of course.

And now I was standing in the rain, cold and shaking and soaking, but it was worth it, because he was there with me, and it didn't seem so bad.

"Mia," Draco said suddenly, and I snapped out of my trance.

A new word!

"Yeah?" I said, trying to make it look like I was doing something. I actually hadn't a clue what I was supposed to be doing.

"Shouldn't you be helping?" he demanded.

"I am," I huffed, even though it was a complete lie.

He snorted. "Could've fooled me," I heard him mutter.

I rolled my eyes and started making my way through the grass. Stupid, pushy idiot…

And then I tripped.

"Oof!" I gasped, when I landed hard straight into some kind of swampy, disgusting puddle. I struggled upright, hoping he hadn't seen, but those hopes fell pretty
quickly when he was suddenly there, helping me up.

"You OK?" he asked, and his voice sounded awfully strained, like he was holding back laughter.

"Do you think this is funny?" I demanded, brushing leaves and bits of grass from my shoulders, wiping the horrible slimy crap from my fingers discreetly on my jeans.

"No," he said, a suppressed laugh in the syllable.

"You are," I huffed.

"Not," he protested, but turned away from me, hiding his face.

I wondered if I was ever going to see him smile, or laugh. Why was he so determined to keep his happy face from me?

All emos smile, even once in a while.

I felt nasty; my clothes were now even more destroyed than before, thanks to Disgusting Swamp Puddle. There were no such things as swampy puddles at my mum's.

But then, there was no such thing as beautiful emo Draco there, either.

I found that I didn't have one regret in moving here. It may be full of swampy crappy puddles, but at least Draco was here, helping me out of them.

My God, when had I become so sappy and poetic and crap?

I should become a poet. Why so sullen, Draco Malfoy?

After about an hour of trudging around pretending to look for things, Draco eventually decided to give up, and I agreed, relieved. He seemed to have found some stuff
for the project, and I felt slightly guilty for not contributing, but honestly - who could expect me to pay attention in Biology whilst sitting next to a God?

I followed Draco back to his house, and he held the door open for me. He was dripping water all over the hall floor, but he didn't seem to care. I was pulling leaves
out of my hair, when, right in freaking front of me, he just pulled his hoodie off. The T-shirt he was wearing underneath got stuck to it, and I was given a gorgeous
view of his muscled chest and six-pack…

I clutched the wall for support.


Draco pulled his head out of the hoodie, which left his hair in a beautiful state of disarray, and fixed his T-shirt, which was damp and clinging to him. I don't
think he realised that I had been watching his almost striptease, but if he did, he didn't turn around and start laughing and pointing or teasing me. Thankfully.

I tried not to stare at his muscly arms.

"I'll get you a towel," he muttered, still not looking at me, and shuffled away towards the stairs, his shoes making squelching noises against the wooden floor. I
waited there awkwardly, shivering slightly, hoping this so-called towel had an inbuilt fireplace.

Narcissa appeared out of nowhere, it seemed. I jumped, not thinking there was anyone home. Pansy had regretfully (her, not me) told me that she had plans with Ginny
for Saturday, and that she wouldn't be home. Of course, I convinced her that this was OK - just me and Draco? Yes, please.

I guessed Lucius was at work, and judging by the way Narcissa had a million shopping bags in her arms, she had been out shopping. Clearly.

"Oh, hello, Hermione," she greeted me warmly, not looking at all surprised to see me there.

I wondered briefly if Draco had mentioned that I would be here. Had he said anything else about me? Ooh, I hope so.

My obsession was sad.

"Hi, Mrs Malfoy," I said, my teeth chattering slightly.

"Call me Narcissa," she insisted, and pursed her lips as she took in my drowned-cat appearance. "You're soaked. I'll tumble dry your clothes for you before you go
home," she decided.

"You don't have to-" I began, not wanting to put her out. I would just accept Draco's towel, offer to write up the experiment since he did most of the dirty work,
and then I'd go home and jump in a hot shower. I didn't want to make a big fuss over a bit of rainwater. And swampy water, of course.

"Don't be silly," she cut me off. "Where's Draco?"

"He's getting me a towel."

Narcissa rolled her eyes. "He's a brain box, that one. DRACO!" she yelled in the direction of the stairs.


"GET MIA SOME DRY CLOTHES, WOULD YOU? There now, dear, you'll be warm and dry in no time," she said to me, smiling. "I'll have your clothes dry in about half an
hour too. I'd just feel bad if I left you in those wet things."

"Thanks," I said, gratefully, and was immediately distracted by the thundering footsteps on the stairs.

Draco jumped the last three and shuffled his way down the hall, still wearing that damp and tight T-shirt. His expression was moody and beautiful again, and he
wordlessly handed me a towel, and what looked like black skinny jeans and one of his hoodies.

"Could you not have borrowed some of Pansy's stuff?" Narcissa asked, looking confused.

Draco froze, as though he hadn't even thought of that.

"Well, I don't know!" he exclaimed exasperatedly, flushing a little.

I stepped in hurriedly.

"These are fine," I said quickly.

Yes, I freaking wanted to wear his clothes! Are you kidding?!

Narcissa showed me to the bathroom, where I dried myself off and threw on Draco's clothes. The baggy hoodie smelled just like him. Just like… hair gel and aftershave
and peppermint and…Draco.

I stood there hugging myself for a while, inhaling the smell.

The jeans were too long, and they were tight on me like they were on him, but they were so comfortable. No wonder he wore them all the time.

I wrung out my hair the best I could, but I still cringed when I looked in the mirror - I looked like Bob Marley. Dreadlocks, man. Gah.

I left the bathroom and found Narcissa waiting outside to grab my saturated clothes from my arms.

"Draco's in his room," she said. "You can go on up to him."

Aha. That was easier said than done.

However, I bravely climbed the stairs as noisily as I could, so that he knew I was on the way, and wouldn't glare at me for surprising him, or whatever. My stomach
was twisting as I approached his door, which was open, and I was half terrified of interrupting him or annoying him or something. He was just so unpredictable. I
never knew where I stood with him.

He was glaring into his mirror, fixing his hair.

It looked like he was trying to get it to lie flat, but it just kept sticking upwards in all directions. He looked hotter, with his hair all over the place. There was
something incredible sexy about an emo, windswept Draco. Yum.

He saw me reflected in the glass, and looked over his shoulder, and did some kind of spastic double take. He looked me over, and I caught him eyeing my legs. I wanted
to grin, because the jeans were ridiculously tight and I only ever wore baggy trousers to school.

He coughed. "Oh, er, hi," he mumbled, and ran his fingers through his hair, seeming to forget about his attempts to make it lie flat. It now just looked messier than

"Hi," I said, my heart beating too loudly. He made me so nervous.

We stared at each other.

"Er," he said, after a minute. "Do you want to… do something?"

I can think of lots of things we could do, Draco…

"I don't mind," I shrugged, my mind blank, apart from the thoughts that I shouldn't be having, which were back again.

He rolled his eyes, his weight shifting from foot to foot.

"OK," he said, somewhat impatiently. It occurred to me that his T-shirt was still damp and clingy, and my eyes refused to look away and stay away.

He caught me looking, unfortunately, and raised his eyebrows.

"Your T-shirt is wet," I blurted, hoping he wouldn't read too much into my staring. I mean, I would have liked him to know that I liked him, but if he didn't feel the
same… then I didn't want to feel vulnerable.

"What are you going to do about it?" he said, not breaking my gaze.

Rip it off you.

"I'm just saying," I stuttered, blushing. He was so freaking random. "You could catch a cold, or pneumonia…"

"You obsess too much," he cut me off, a faint smirk on his face.

If only you knew, Draco.

He sighed, and pulled the T-shirt over his head.

And then he was topless again, and it had never been so hard to stop myself from staring blatantly at something in my life.

"Happy now?" he asked, throwing the top on the ground.

You have no idea…

I made a weird noise in the back of my throat, and almost collapsed when he started towards me… but he was only heading for the dresser I was standing beside. I
gawped at his muscular back as he rooted inside one of the drawers, and eventually pulled out a black T-shirt and threw that on, and I could breathe again. He turned
to face me, and we stared at each other again.

"You're staring at me," he said, after a moment.

I blushed. "You're staring at me."

"I am not," he said, still staring at me.

"Yes, you are," I argued.

"You stared at me first."

That's because you had no T-shirt on.

"I didn't," I replied, wanting to laugh.

How freaking ridiculous.

He shook his head and folded his arms, sticking one leg out in front of him and leaning all his weight on the other. He was just a few feet away from me.

I could feel the tension and the static and something in the space between us.

It was driving me crazy.

I wanted him closer.

We just continued staring at each other, and that something was building and building, and then it was just intense…

I couldn't quite breathe right.

He was just staring at me, his hair messy and his eyes almost black and his jaw clenching and unclenching…

And then he shifted all his weight onto his other foot, and he was suddenly much closer to me than before.


My breathing was shallow and almost embarrassing, but I couldn't find it in me to care because he was closer than he'd ever been to me, and oh my God, I was about to

He was still staring at me, his eyes moving slightly from left to right, as though he was trying to figure something out…


Aw, crap.

We both jumped about three feet in the air, and immediately started clearing our throats and scratching at our heads and saying "er" and "right" and "well", and I
left the room, crippled with awkwardness and embarrassment and disappointment.

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