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“‘Just one undercover mission,’ they said,” Draco muttered as his teeth clacked together. “‘It will be fun.’ Didn’t bother mentioning it’d feel like the inside of a Dementor’s arsehole.” 

 

Hermione giggled. One corner of Draco’s mouth ticked up, pleased with his own joke. Three hours into a mid-December stakeout and every part of her body was shivering and the tips of her fingers were numb from the cold.

 

“They t-told me it’d be a quick m-mission. I only had fifteen minutes to p-pack ...” Hermione said as her teeth chattered.

Hermione watched Draco’s breaths come out in tiny white puffs that crystallized before dissipating in the night air. Draco pulled a blanket from his coat pocket; likely an Extending Charm. He threw it around Hermione’s shoulders and she said,

 

“You came prepared.”

 

“Surprised you didn’t.”

 

“I’m lucky I remembered socks,” Hermione quipped.

 

Draco laughed. A short, quick chuckle that took more effort than it should’ve. Hermione extended her arm and nodded for Draco to join her beneath the quilt. He slid closer and took one end to wrap around his side. He wrapped his other arm around Hermione’s waist and asked,

 

“Is this okay?”

 

She nodded, “You’re warm.”

 

“Better get closer, then,” he whispered, breath hot against her ear.

 

With Viktor, love began and ended in the stacks of the Hogwarts library. With Ron, it started over summer at the Burrow. Love can begin in the strangest ways, and Hermione’s love for Draco Malfoy began with a stakeout and a blanket.

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