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Hermione lay in bed that night thinking about the strange conversation she and Malfoy had shared over dinner. For one thing, he had sounded halfway serious. There hadn’t been the slightest trace of a sneer on his face once they stopped insulting each other and began to really talk. His face was one that made her want to trust him, to believe. But she couldn’t bring herself to. It was Malfoy, after all. She was so confused. What was going on? Her head was spinning and she couldn’t slow it down, and thinking only made it worse. She sighed and climbed out of bed. There was no way she could sleep now; she had way too much on her mind.

“Lumos,” she muttered as she grabbed her wand off the nightstand and searched for her robe. Finally she spotted the pale blue satin robe on the back of a chair where she had carelessly tossed it earlier. She threw it on and headed down to the common room. Luckily Hermione found it deserted at this late hour. She curled up in a comfortable red armchair near a window and stared out into the inky blackness. It was a clear night and the stars were twinkling merrily. For some reason she felt the sudden urge to go outside.

She toyed with this idea for a few moments, before resolutely climbing out of the portrait hole. After all, Voldemort was gone and Hogwarts was under so many spells and charms that she would be perfectly safe. Besides, she was an Auror for goodness sake. She was perfectly capable of looking after herself, even if some people, (like Ron) didn’t believe so.

Navigating her way through the dark halls was no problem since she, Harry, and Ron had snuck around in the dark countless times in the past years. She smiled as she remembered her friends and the trouble they always seemed to find. Hermione opened the doors and stepped out into the cool night air. The stars looked even brighter than they did from inside the castle. She walked away from the door a bit and sat down in the damp grass. She sighed contentedly. Taking this job was the best thing she could have done for herself. Being an Auror was just so…stressful. And Ron, well, she didn’t even want to think about him. Lately, she always felt like breaking something when she thought about the red haired boy.

If only Malfoy weren’t here, then everything would be perfect. He seemed to make her stress level skyrocket whenever she saw him. Hermione knew quite a bit of magic, but she couldn’t think of any legal way to dispose of him, and she wasn’t about to break any rules, oh heavens no. She laughed out loud as she tried to imagine herself drowning Malfoy in the lake, or better yet, in Moaning Myrtle’s toilet. At least he would have Myrtle to keep him company, she thought with a smirk.

Draco had fallen asleep while reading in the window seat in his bedroom. He woke up with a start when the book slid off his lap and onto the floor with a loud clump. Yawning, he glanced out the window and looked up at the brilliant night sky.

What had ever possessed him to take this job anyway? If he had known Granger was here, he would have never come. Or would he? What was wrong with him? Why couldn’t he get her out of his mind? This had happened to him before. He had numerous girls on his mind most days, but this was completely different. After all, this was Granger he was dealing with. They yelled at each other every chance they got and she obviously wasn’t interested in him. Frankly, Draco didn’t think she was good enough for him. No, he knew without a doubt she wasn’t good enough. And yet, here he was, thinking about her. This was weird, really weird. Maybe she had put a spell on him. He almost smiled at the thought of that, but remembered that Malfoys never smile, so he smirked instead.

He looked out his window again. Suddenly a small glimmer of light caught Draco’s eye. As he stared out into the black night, he could just barely make out a faint silhouette. He was immediately wide-awake. After months of being an Auror, he could tell when something fishy was up. Quickly he grabbed his wand, threw on his dark green bathrobe, and rushed out of his room. After all, this was the whole reason McGonagall had hired him, to keep an eye on things.

He made his way as quickly and quietly as possible through the dark castle. The cool night breeze hit his face as he opened the doors and hurried out into the damp grass. Good, whoever was out there hadn’t left yet, he could still see the light glowing from the tip of their wand.

Draco strode up to the person, who was sitting peacefully in the grass, arms wrapped around their knees. For some reason they didn’t appear half as menacing as they had a few moments ago. He stood silently behind them, wand steady, staring at their long, curly hair. It looked an awful lot like…



“What the bloody hell are you doing out here?” Draco yelled. “I was about to curse you! It isn’t safe out here all alone,” he said angrily.

“The last time I checked, I was perfectly capable of defending myself. You aren’t the only Auror here you know,” she said furiously. “And since when do you care what happens to me?” she added as she quickly stood up.

Why did he have to look so hot when he was angry? Trust Malfoy to be able to look good no matter what he was wearing, even if it was just an old bathrobe. A bathrobe that was a bit too short, she noticed with a smirk. Hermione felt her anger rising as she stared at him.

“You think I care what you do? Well you’re wrong. If I’d known that you were the only one I’d find out here I wouldn’t have wasted my time coming down,” Draco shot back coldly. Wow, that smirk on her face, it looked oddly familiar. If she had been any other girl, he would have been tempted to stay out here with her. Furious for even thinking like that, he spun around and stormed back towards the castle doors.

“Yeah, well you’re a pig Malfoy, a bloody pig. Why don’t you do the world a favor and go jump in the lake?” Hermione yelled after him in an angry voice.

“Well at least I’m not a good for nothing know-it-all like you!” Draco shot back. “Always sticking your bushy head into somebody else’s business!”

Hermione strode to catch up to him. “I always knew you were arrogant, but I hadn’t realized that you were blind as well. Because my hair is most certainly no longer bushy,” she shot back and flounced off towards the door.

Draco hurried to catch up with her and beat her to the door, slamming it in her face as he went inside. He smirked and headed back towards the common room as Hermione angrily yanked the heavy door open and followed after him.

“Didn’t your mother teach you that the gentleman should hold the door open for the lady?” she asked angrily.

Draco stopped walking and turned around to sneer at her. “Yes, but I don’t see any ladies here,” he said and continued on down the hall.

Hermione stood in the hallway, silently fuming as she watched Draco disappear around a corner. It annoyed her that she couldn’t keep her cool around him. After all, she was twenty now. Surely they should be able to put the past behind them. Everyone else had certainly accepted him, everyone except herself. There it was again, the fact that everyone else trusted him. It just didn’t make sense. Could Draco be right after all? Was there something about him that her friends hadn’t told her?

Another part of the problem was the fact that she had become leery of putting her trust in men ever since Ron had called off the engagement. She wasn’t sure if she could handle another broken heart. Although, surprisingly enough, she had been thinking less and less about Ron with every passing hour. It just wasn’t worth the trouble to stay mad at him when she needed every ounce of anger to direct towards Malfoy. Nevertheless, Hermione just couldn’t ignore the little voice in the back of her head telling her that Draco Malfoy was not to be trusted.

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