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Chapter 24 : Of Friends and Friendships
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“You are a sick bastard, you know that, don’t you?” she bit out.
Draco seemed to give due thought to her remark, then shook his head, his smirk mocking her yet again.
“As I have already mentioned once before, I was born three years after my parents got married, so not a bastard. And as you can obviously see, I’m very healthy, so not sick either.” Sia bristled at the note of amusement running through his words. Fortunately, her anger prevented her eyes from straying from his face to his ‘obviously healthy’ body, clad in emerald green sweat pants and a matching vest that showed off his muscular arms glistening with sweat. The vest was a bit damp by now, clinging to his flat abdomen. His hair too was slicked with sweat, and if he had been out in the corridors instead of being cooped up in the Room of Requirements, he would’ve run the risk of being mauled by a horde of excited females. But the only female with him right now was less than impressed with him; he wondered why.
“Oh, you are sick alright…a sick serpent!” Sia hissed, and Draco raised his eyebrows in mock alarm.
“Then Madam Pomfrey wouldn’t be able to help me; hope you are not suggesting I go see that big hairy oaf, Hagrid!” As Sia’s eyebrows knitted in confusion, he laughed softly.
“Sick serpent…care of magical creatures…Hagrid the oaf taking care…get it? The connection?” he tried to elucidate, and Sia’s temper rose.
“You are an evil, perverted, slimy…” she started grounding out, but Draco cut her off.
“You know, all this name-calling business from girls comes only at the end of our…er…relationship, when I’m breaking things off. At the start its only terms of endearment, if at all they can speak, of course”, Draco added thoughtfully, and then looked at Sia with a wicked smile. “Of course, our relationship seems to be going all-backwards, so its alright really. The terms of endearment can come later.”
“Believe me, Malfoy, we are never going to be in any kind of relationship. Never.” Sia stated emphatically, and the smile was wiped from Draco’s face.
“That very well may turn out to be true…” he sighed softly and Sia’s eyebrows rose in disbelief, and then he looked at her slyly and added, “…if I believed you.”
Her shoulders slumped and she shook her head in resignation when he laughed. He was incorrigible. They had been working out for over an hour now and were taking a break. Sia had shown him some advanced stretching exercises, and he had stretched her patience thin with his smirks and mocking glances. She had been expecting him to taunt her with her defense of him in front of her friends, specially Ginny, but he had chosen to let his eyes do the talking. And with no active aggression from him to confront coupled with those subtle glances, she had been driven up the wall. And she had been embarrassed as hell at the way she had defended him, calling him a ‘friend’, among other things. It had been extremely uncomfortable facing him today, even after a week had passed. And his not saying anything had compounded her misery; there was nothing like a good confrontation to clear her head.
“Don’t you understand the meaning of the word ‘no’, Malfoy?” she asked exasperatedly as he walked away from her to where his jacket was lying on the ground where he had discarded it once he had got too hot. Instead of picking it up, however, he picked up the jug of water sitting on a stool near it and threw his head back to drink from it, his back to her. Sia watched him, with frustration at first and then with growing fascination as he then poured the water on himself, shaking his head from side to side gracefully.
“Of course I do, Raisingh, relax! I was just joking”, he told her as he put the jug down.
“You were?” Sia asked a bit uncertainly, half her mind on his now fully soaked vest that clung to his back alluringly.
“Indeed yes, and in any case,” he paused in his sentence as he crossed his arms to take hold of the edges of his vest and in one infinitely sensual movement peeled it off him. Sia stared at his sculpted back mesmerized, almost willing him to turn around while a distant, rational part of her told her to close her mouth and look away in case he did turn around.
“In any case”, he continued, bending down to pick up his jacket while Sia ogled as his muscles rippled with his movements, “there are many girls in this school who would give anything if I paid half of attention to them. So,” he paused again as he put on his jacket and zipped it up, “I’ve decided to favour them with my attention, once again.”
“Huh?” Sia was disoriented, only vaguely following his words.
“I mean whats the use of wasting time around a girl who only says no when there are plenty of them who are screaming yes with their eyes all around me!” he ran his hands through his wet hair and slowly turned around to face her. “I don’t have to wait for anyone to get laid, right?” he asked pleasantly, and Sia closed her dry mouth deliberately, slowly coming to her senses and thinking over what he had said.
“Er…what?” she asked, scandalized and even slightly miffed that he was giving up courting her in favour of easy girls.
“I said, I don’t have to…” he began again, but she cut him off.
“I know what you said. Whatever. You are despicable, in any case” she tried to get some of the anger from a few minutes ago back into her voice, but her statement came out sounding something like Luna-speak.
Draco’s eyebrows rose in disbelief. “Despicable? Even when I’m saying that I’ll stop pestering you from now on, you call me despicable? I cant renounce my worldly pleasures to win your approval.”
“Oh, please don’t put yourself through any pains on my account”, Sia replied waspishly, getting the sting in her voice back. She was suddenly angry that he no longer wanted to pursue her. Sure, she wouldn’t have changed her mind, but still, it was nice to have a guy like Draco Malfoy try to woo her into going out with him. And now he was going to ‘get laid’ with other girls. Right after she had gone all cross-eyed staring at his made-to-be-touched back. Well, she had touched his back, but never seen it like this, and she could still feel the tingling sensation in her fingertips from wanting to touch him. But now it seemed he was no longer interested! And why was that? Was she no longer attractive enough…
“Earth to Raisingh!” she snapped back to reality and blinked smartly to find him almost nose-to-nose with her. She took a step back almost instinctively and he smirked at her.
“Did you hear what I just said?” he asked almost teasingly and Sia frowned, trying to remember.
“Never mind. I just said that there are plenty of girls to mess around with, but your words that day set me thinking.” He looked into her eyes directly, and Sia willed herself not to drown into the silver pools of light. “I want you to be my friend, Raisingh.”
Sia stared at him, waiting for him to start laughing or for a belated punchline, but none came. Instead he continued to look at her, and with a start she realized that he seemed to be serious.
“What?” she blurted out, unable to help herself.
“Well, that day with you Gryffindors, it made me realize that it’d be nice to have friends, and its been quite a while since I had friends like that. So…” and he shrugged, letting a small smile grace his lips.
“Oh”, she exclaimed softly, unable to kickstart her mind after this latest shock. “Why me?” she managed to ask.
“We are very much alike in many ways, Raisingh. You know the real me, and I don’t have to act nice around you. I know you wont judge me, and I think it’ll be fun to hang out with you. So, what do you say?”
Sia was now slowly recovering her wits.
“And what are your Slytherin mates going to say to that?” she wondered aloud.
Draco gave an elegant shrug, “The boys? I couldn’t care less.”
“You do realize, Malfoy, that because a girl is your friend that does not automatically make her your girlfriend?” she asked, raising her eyebrows, and he smiled.
“Sadly enough, yes.”
“And that you cant snog your friend, ever?”
“What nonsense! Weasley and Granger are friends, aren’t they? And I bet they snog each other all over the castle.”
“They were friends, they are a couple now. Theres a difference.” Sia told him calmly; this was beginning to amuse her.
“So does that mean they are no longer friends?”
“You are splitting hairs here! Friends are not to be considered like that; they are sacred, without sex.”
At that, a truly wicked smile crept up on Draco’s lips. “Does that mean Potter is not a man? No wonder his girl goes around with so much frustrated sexual energy!” And then he started laughing outright; doubling over with mirth while Sia’s mood took a decided nosedive.
“That’s not even remotely funny” she snapped, but he just laughed harder, moving around like a drunk and then grabbing hold of her waist to steady himself. She swayed a bit with him before bracing herself by holding her feet wide apart, her hands on his arms.
Finally, Draco steadied himself and slowly straightened up, placing his hands on her shoulders and looking at her with eyes that still twinkled with amusement. Sia’s breath hitched in her throat at their proximity, her skin tingling at his touch and she felt sure that Draco could hear her escalated heartbeat.
Draco, it seemed, was oblivious to her awareness of him. “Ah, Raisingh, you make me laugh like nobody else I know. I really do like hanging out with you. So what do you say to giving it a shot?” he asked seriously now.
“Friendship is not something you just take a shot at, Malfoy! Its serious, meant to be for life” she replied sullenly seeing that their nearness hadn’t affected him as it had her. Pushing him away, she went on, a bit more calmly than before, “And if we are to be friends, you cannot make crude jokes about my other friends.”
“I’d wager that friendship is not about setting conditions either” Draco retorted, all traces of amusement gone from his face. “Did Potter or Granger set you conditions before accepting you into their charmed circle? Or are you just playing around before turning me down? You do seem to excel at that.”
Sia felt a sense of guilt pass through her; time and again she had spurned him when he had asked her to go out with him, and yet she couldn’t seem to keep her hands to herself whenever he came near. No wonder he was calling her a tease! And he was only asking her for friendship this time…why was she not saying yes? Probably because the idea was downright weird, being the friend of Hogwarts’ resident Adonis. And it was a blow to her vanity that he no longer seemed interested in trying to get her to change her mind. And inspite of everything, she still didn’t fully trust him.
“Its…its not that. I just don’t know if you’ll be able to, you know…be a friend.” At his raised eyebrows, she added softly, “just a friend. Without the kissing and all…”
“The school is full of girls with kissable mouths and disposition, Raisingh. And I’m not exactly starved in that department to pounce on you without your permission. I’ve never forced my attentions on a girl, and I never will.” He smirked slightly, “Don’t worry, I’ll treat you just the way I treat the boys, but I must warn you, I sometimes take shower with them.”
Sia groaned aloud. “And for just a moment there, I thought you were serious.”
Draco smiled devilishly. “Oh, but I am. About everything. And oh, I sometimes whack the boys in the back after sharing a particularly risqué joke.”
“Puhlease! I don’t want to be treated like the boys!” Sia rolled her eyes. “I just meant that it’d be nice if you kept your hands to yourself and stopped trying to look up my skirt everytime I crossed my legs.”
“Deal!” Draco grinned at her, “I want us to be real friends, Raisingh, like Potter and Granger. But are you sure he doesn’t try to look up her skirt?” At her frown, he added hastily, “Of course he doesn’t, how could I forget? He is not a man!”
He fell to laughing again but sobered up rather quickly this time and held up his hands, palms facing her to show he meant no offence.
“Okay, Raisingh, so when we shake hands now, we’ll be friends, right?”
Sia nodded her head slowly, wondering what she was getting herself into. One thing was certain; there’d never be a dearth for excitement! She managed a smile and extended her hand, and Draco extended his own.
“Once we shake hands, we’ll be friends and you’ll be without sex, so to speak. So before that…” and before Sia could comprehend what he was getting at, he pulled her into him with his extended hand behind her neck and crashed his lips on hers. Instinctively, her arms went around his neck.
It was a very selfish kiss; his tongue sought the crevices in her mouth more to pleasure himself than her, and yet it took her breath away. Her tongue battled his, letting him know she wanted as much from this kiss as he did, and finally he relented. His lips gentled, his tongue slowed down, and his hands caressed her body softly, one hand tangled in her hair and the other rubbing circles on her back, progressively going down till he reached her hip. More than anything Sia wanted at that moment was for him to grasp her butt firmly in his hand and mould her body to his while his mouth continued to pleasure hers, but he stopped right there.
The next thing she knew, he had broken the kiss and had pulled away from her, putting a proper distance between them. He had a pink tinge to his cheeks and his quicksilver eyes were a dark gray, but otherwise his expression was inscrutable. Sia’s mind was in a swirl; her hand itched to touch her throbbing lips but she resisted the urge, trying to get her breathing back to normal.
They stared at each other for a few seconds, Draco’s gaze slipping to her lips. Sia thought he’d kiss her again, but he bit down on his own lip, and then looking at her in the eyes once again, extended his hand. Feeling surreal, Sia extended hers. They shook hands, and Draco gave a small smile and said “Friends?”
Sia swallowed and nodded, then added, “Friends.”
Draco gave her a nod and then walked out of the room.
Later in the Gryffindor tower, Sia checked her reflection closely in the mirror, noticing a small lovebite on her lower lip. She sighed, and wondered whether she had just made a colossal mistake. There was no getting around the alchemy between them. How would they stay ‘friends’? Or more importantly, would she want to be only his friend? It seemed she would find out, whether she wanted to or not.
Going into the showers, she mulled over why he would want her friendship, and not for the first time came to the conclusion that he was up to something. Well, she would wait and watch.
Meanwhile in the Head’s bathroom, Draco was taking a luxurious bath, covered in green, white and purple foam. He sank in further in the bathtub, putting his hands behind his head and smiled. His plan had gone perfectly, not counting his impulse to kiss her. But that was ok, that would just give her something to think about. Thank Merlin he had had the sense to stop before it got any further, though. Then she would’ve run away, rejecting his friendship and he’d be back to where he started. But could he be blamed? She’d been staring at him lustfully ever since he had taken off his vest. He had been expecting that reaction from her, that was the reason for him putting on that show, but what he had not expected was to get turned on by watching her get turned on. And then when he had seen that mark he had left on her lips, he had nearly kissed her again.
He shook his head and tried to clear his mind of images of him kissing her. It would be interesting to see how long this charade continued. After all, it would only be a matter of time before she snapped, shouted ‘the hell with friendship’ and pounced on him. The thought brought a smile to his lips.
“You’ll never know what hit you, my little Gryffindor kitten”, he whispered to himself and then laughed.
“…and I said, if she had any fashion sense at all she would stop putting on that garish pink lipstick that clashes horribly with her red nail paint and that hideous orange skirt that she so favours. I mean after all that, she considers herself a fashion guru, imagine!” Ginny flicked her long red hair over her back nonchalantly and looked at Hermione for a reply, who seemed to be lost in thought.
They were sitting on a stone bench by a fountain in a lovely, small garden on the grounds, gossiping and enjoying a rare calm and sunny day. Ginny had dragged Hermione out as she had been more inclined towards going to the library and finishing her Herbology essay that was due in a week’s time. After coming out though, Hermione had to agree that the day was simply too good to be wasted as the wind and chill was increasing day by day.
“Hello! Are you even here?” Ginny nearly shouted in Hermione’s ear, making her jump.
“Wha..! ah, Ginny, I’m sorry, I was just…”
“Thinking about snogging the living daylights out of my brother?” Ginny smirked, and Hermione turned a little pink, but shook her head.
“No, not exactly, but talking about relationships…how are you and Harry getting along?” Hermione asked carefully; she wasn’t the one to pry or gossip, but she had to talk to Ginny about her insecurity before it eventually blew their little circle apart.
“Famously, if you get the pun. But not as fast as I’d like. He seems strangely reluctant to…experiment with some new stuff” Ginny pulled a face, and Hermione had to smile.
“If by experiment you mean having sex then thank Merlin for Harry’s reluctance!”
“Now you are sounding like my mother, and believe me, one of her is more than enough!” Ginny rolled her eyes.
“Ginny, you know what I mean! It’s a very big step to take, and once taken, you cannot go back. So unless you both are totally sure…”
“I am totally sure”, Ginny stated emphatically.
“But Harry isn’t, and that’s why he’s reluctant” Hermione said gently, but Ginny’s face fell. Hermione knew instinctively that she thought Harry’s reluctance had something to do with Sia. She put her hand comfortingly on Ginny’s shoulder. “Have you two talked about it?”
Ginny shook her head. “Its just that when we are…you know, getting all warmed up, he just stops. And then theres no swaying him.”
“Ginny, he really loves you. He just…”
“…Has a funny way of showing it.” Ginny finished bitterly, and Hermione sighed. This was getting more and more complicated.
“He’s showing it by caring for you, Ginny. He’s holding himself back because he loves you and doesn’t want to rush you into something that you might regret later. It takes a lot of willpower and maturity to do that, you know.”
Ginny shrugged Hermione’s hand off and stared at her a bit coldly. “Are you trying to say that I’m being immature in wanting intimacy in our relationship? Because I’m really tired of hearing the ‘little-baby-Ginny-doesn’t-know-whats-good-for-her’ routine. I’m sixteen years old and I know exactly what I want, and I’ve known that I want Harry for a long time now.”
“Ginny, there’s a lot of time for being intimate in your relationship. You are young and right now you should focus on studies and just having fun with each other.” Hermione tried to reason, but Ginny’s eyes flared up with anger.
“Just because I’m young, as you put it, is no reason to negate my feelings, Hermione. Harry is the only one for me; you should know it more than anybody else, you’ve always been right there.” Ginny stated accusingly.
“I’m not trying to negate your feelings, Ginny. I’m just trying to make you realize that Harry feels the same way about you, but you don’t have to prove your love for each other by having sex. He realizes that. There is so much on his plate right now, and I’m not just talking about studies and Quidditch, though theres that too. There is Voldemort, and a war looming on the horizon, where we both know he’s going to play the central role. This is no time to pressure him into making a commitment that he might be afraid of not…not…” but Hermione couldn’t go on as her eyes filled with tears at the thought of Harry not being able to keep his commitment to Ginny, as there was only one way that could ever happen.
Ginny was silent for a while, and Hermione looked up to see silent tears trickling down an otherwise resolute face.
“And that’s why”, Ginny spoke so quietly even Hermione could barely hear her. “You think I don’t realize that? You think its easy dating Harry Potter? Merlin’s beard, Hermione, I’ve spent night upon night just lying there in bed, thinking that the kiss that I had just shared with him might very well be the last, that when I wake up Voldemort and his deatheaters will be at the door and…” Ginny shook her head resolutely, trying to dispel the images her mind was conjuring. “The point is, I want us to be as close to each other as possible in the short time that we have left, because once he is directly involved in the war I know he won’t want me around, and I wouldn’t want to distract him either. I want to have something to hold on to…for that time.”
“I see your point”, Hermione said slowly while wiping her eyes, “but all this pressure from you might make him…”
“I am not pressurizing him, Hermione. That’s why I have never talked about any of this to him. What you don’t seem to realize is that once the war officially begins, you are going to be with your boyfriend all the time while I will have to let mine go. And I’m not the clingy type who will pester him with owls all the time; I will just wait for him to come back…for who knows how long…” Ginny wiped carelessly at her own eyes. “Everyone just thinks I am the baby Weasley who needs to be protected all the time, sheltered from everything evil, and that I just know how to take, never giving anything back, but what they fail to realize is that I don’t need to be protected. I’ve fought with deatheaters right beside you while in my fourth year, I am the second-best in my year right after Nott and thanks to DA can duel even better than him, better than even you, Hermione, no offence meant! And as for giving, I am giving up something that’s more precious to me than even my life; I am giving up the love of my life for the good of the world. And let me tell you, its not easy.”
A silence seemed to settle between the two girls as they stared at the tinkling fountain, not really seeing it, lost in their own thoughts. Hermione marveled at the weight the young girl seemed to carry around in her heart all the time, and wondered how she had failed to see it before. They had been so wrapped in their own affairs that they had never really bothered to look past Ginny’s tough exterior. No wonder Ginny appeared to be aloof and apathetic, she had probably been numbed by the realization that once Harry leaves these walls she might never see him again. And Hermione instinctively knew that there would never be anyone else for Ginny; she was more sure of Ginny’s love for Harry than she was of her own love for Ron, and this shocked her a little. For someone who was almost two years younger to her, Ginny’s feelings were certainly more mature and developed than hers. They had both known their respective boyfriends for roughly the same amount of time, Ginny even less, and yet she was surer of her feelings. Hermione wondered why she didn’t feel the same way about Ron! Would she ever? To her, Ron was equally as important as Harry, not more, while for Ginny, Harry was the most important person in the world. Was that because her romantic relationship with Ron was still new while her friendship was both older and stronger? She certainly hoped so. She wanted to feel about her man exactly as Ginny felt for Harry, but probably the time was not right, she smiled bitterly. Voldemort certainly put a dampener on romance, whether he realized it or not.
She turned to look at the younger girl, a bit shaken by her discovery, and conceded she was not yet qualified to lecture Ginny on matters of the heart. But there was one thing she could clear up. But how to bring it up?
“You are itching to say something, Herms, just out with it already” Ginny smiled at Hermione knowingly, and the elder witch bit her lip.
“Erm…you and Sia…you seem to have a bit of a problem with each other…yes?” she asked carefully, reluctant to upset Ginny now that she knew what she was going through.
Ginny looked at Hermione sharply, trying to gauge the reason behind the question, and found only concern and understanding. So she knew, and she sighed; perhaps there was a reason Hermione was called the cleverest witch amongst her peers.
“I suppose you can call it that” she replied eventually, and Hermione smiled kindly.
“You do know Harry loves you, and only you, don’t you?” she asked gently, and Ginny turned to look at the fountain. After a while she nodded.
“But I don’t like the way that girl keeps trying to get close to him” she suddenly blurted and Hermione scooted closer to her, putting an arm around her shoulders comfortingly.
“She has realized that it irks you, so she does it just to tease you. I’m sure its nothing else. And she does have a boyfriend of her own, after all!” Hermione reasoned, and Ginny turned to look at her incredulously.
“Hermione, for being the smartest witch I have ever laid my eyes on, you sure can be thick sometimes! Sia doesn’t care for Boot at all! Its so obvious. If she had been, she would have tried to get him close to us as well, don’t you think? And she would’ve rushed off to see him whenever she got the chance, but she only goes to see him when she cant get out of it. She never discusses him, never tries to hang out with his friends, never tries to do whatever it is that those nerds do, I have never heard her say anything about his likes or dislikes, she never does anything special just for him! He is just her boy toy, nothing more.” Ginny shook her head at Hermione’s naiveté.
Hermione processed this unpleasant bit of information and again wondered how all this had escaped her notice. She used to be pretty observant about everything. Maybe she had been too busy with NEWTs, head duties, new boyfriend, new secret friend, researching horcruxes in free time, dealing with a traumatized friend, looking up new spells for Harry to learn, not to mention increased homework and frequent quarrels with Ron, and oh, their snogging sessions as well. She blushed prettily; yes, she had been a bit busy. She looked up at Ginny to see her shaking her head at her.
“No, don’t tell me what you are thinking. Judging by that blush, I’d really rather not know what exactly Ron does to make you go so pink, although it might be nothing at all, seeing as it’s the two of you.”
“Don’t be so sure of that, missy. I think you don’t know your brother all that well” Hermione twinkled mischievously, and Ginny laughed.
“Not know Ron? Tell me, has he got his hands inside your bra yet or not?” at Hermione’s shocked expression, Ginny laughed harder. “I thought so! Really, Hermione, if you are looking for some action, you’ll have to make the first move, otherwise you’ll still be a virgin at the end of the term. I still say take another look at what Hogwarts has to offer; Ron can wait for a year.”
“Ginevra Weasley! I am shocked at you!” Hermione was indeed shocked.
“Oh, don’t say my name like that! It reminds me of aunt Muriel, and Sia, and I don’t know which is worse!” Ginny pouted, and Hermione had to laugh.
“Oh, come on now! Even if Sia doesn’t care for Terry, that doesn’t mean she is going for Harry.”
“Oh? If you ask me, she only cares for Harry in our group, and to a certain extent you, I suppose. Whenever she talks about anything serious, she has eyes only for Harry, and Harry certainly allows her to get away with things he would never allow you or me to do. I mean, if I had ever said I wanted Ferret Boy to join our group, he would’ve had a heart attack. After killing me, of course.” Ginny finished morosely, and Hermione sighed. She couldn’t dispute the veracity of the last part as that was what had kept her from coming in the open about her changed equations with Draco.
“She cares for Harry the most probably because its only Harry who made her feel welcome when she first came here. I mean, I know she was quite horrible and all, but it must’ve been difficult for her changing schools and all, and she was probably just trying to cover up her insecurity with all that sarcasm and attitude. And she had only heard about Harry before coming here, and when she was sorted into Gryffindor, she naturally made a beeline for him. I think she feels the most comfortable around him, that’s all. I am quite sure its nothing romantic.” Hermione reasoned.
“Well I still think she has designs on him. She only speaks with Ron and me because Harry cares about us, otherwise she wouldn’t even bother. Oh, I can feel the snootiness coming off her in waves, Hermione. And if you ask me, there are only two boys in this school whom she considers worthy of her time. Sadly for her though, one won’t have her, and she cant have the other one”, Ginny smirked, and Hermione was intrigued, inspite of herself.
“Who are they?” she couldn’t stop herself from asking, though she didn’t agree with Ginny.
“Harry and Malfoy, of course. Malfoy won’t have her because she isn’t a pureblood, and she can’t have Harry because he’s mine. Wanna go in now? I am starved.”
A/N: Now wasn’t that fast? You could say I’m actually afraid of getting hexed, but the truth is that I’m leaving for a short vacation for the 4th July weekend and wouldn’t be able to write anything while I’m away, so I decided I owe it to you all to give you a chapter before I leave. I know, all this Gryffindor nobility is rubbing off on me too; can you really blame Draco for hearing Hermione’s voice in his head when she practically glared at me to write this! So tell me, love it, hate it? Plz leave a review, and to all Americans, happy Independence day, to everyone else, love you lots. And before you exit this page, do leave a line. Ciao.
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