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          Everything started out going Hermione’s way. The look on Ron’s face as he unsucktioned from lavender was absolutely priceless.  Severus was so mad when McLagen arrived with his arm around Hermione that he actually cornered her near the punch to secretly scold her. It was the first time he’d spoken to her in weeks. And Harry spent the whole night hovering around her like a big brother, paying her more attention than he had, possibly all year without shouting. But what Hermione hadn’t counted on was just how clingy McLagen would get. Even with Harry watching, he kept trying to hold her hand, lead her around with his arm around her, catch her under the mistle toe. Finally, she began ducking in and out of the curtains, drumming up conversations with everyone, including the vampire, and still he kept on coming.

         “I was thinking,” He kept inching closer, “We could find a quiet corner and-“

         “I have to go to the bathroom.” Hermione declared, much too loudly.

         She pulled her body away from his and swept out of the room, glancing over her shoulder to make sure he wouldn’t follow. She went into the hall, toward the bathroom, around a corner, and sighed against the wall. The night was becoming more of a hastle than it was probably worth. Maybe Draco had been right, she could have gone with him, created an uproar, and probably had managed to have a good time too. But he was right, as usual, it was too dangerous. Someone grabbed Hermione’s arm from behind and she instinctively reeled back.

         “I just came out to – oh, Draco, it’s you. I thought you were McLagen.”

         Draco had sneaked down the hall out of nowhere, not making a sound. “Is he bothering you?” Draco’s eyebrows raised, real concern behind his smirk.

         “Don’t worry, as you can see I’ve already escaped. Harry will probably be out here soon though. He’s been lurking around me more than you.”

         “I’m not lurking.” Draco mumbled. He leaned in and whispered into Hermione’s ear “Meet me tomorrow morning before the train, day break, room of requirements. That’s all I came to say.”

         “Alright, is that all?” Hermione smiled up at Draco.

         “And you look beautiful.”

         Hermione blushed and looked down at her shoes. When she looked up, Draco had drifted back into the shadows of the corridor, his footfalls barely audible.

         Hermione made it back to the party quickly, hushing Harry’s questions up with the same excuse of the bathroom. She tried to look busy and uninterested when minutes later Filch dragged Draco into the party by his collar, and the boy was dragged out again by her father. Snape made several glowering looks in her direction as he did so, but Hermione tried her best to ignore these too. Luckily Harry’s brain was jetting in a completely different direction that had nothing to do with her. He sneaked out shortly after Snape and slid down the dark hallway after the men.

         “You’re acting foolishly, Draco. You’re acting like a child. You’ll be caught if you keep it up, you’ve gotten close to being caught already.”

         Draco snorted. “What’s it to you? You don’t care about me. You don’t care about anyone.”

         Snape pressed his arm against the wall, pinning draco.

         “Hold your tongue, you know that isn’t true. I made the unbreakable vow for you.”

         “And a lot of good that did for the two of us, wasn’t it?”

         “Is that why you were here tonight? You two-”

         “It’s none of your business what I was doing.”

         “It damned well is, I told you to stay away.”

         “You think you get a say in this? After what you’ve done – the lies? You abandoned –“ Draco’s face scrunched up in anger. “You are nothing anymore. You’re just one of my father’s lackeys now. You don’t get to judge us, you don’t get to tell me what to do, and you don’t get to go anywhere near her!”

         Snape grabbed at Draco’s wrist as he stormed off, but Draco pulled his arm away.

         “Insolent boy!” Snape shouted.

         “Piss off!”

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