Chapter 5 : The Forest
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Today was such a nice day – it was sunny outside but not to hot and the flowers where full and everywhere. And plus Pansy hadn’t even looked at me when she passed me in the hall.
Usually I’d feel bad, but my nose still hurt a little so I let it slide – just this once.
I continued to skip down the hall, a small smile playing across my face.
People stared as usual and moved to get away – as if a touch would give them whatever disease I had caught.
I spotted Draco as I continued up to Arithmancy; I gave a small smile which he quickly looked away from and continued on my way.
Classes weren’t that bad and soon it was time for lunch. I sat by myself at the Ravenclaw table, a good three foot circumference around me, munching on a sandwich.
Harry and the group were no where to be seen and Ginny was cozying up to her newest crush so I didn’t dare intrude.
My eyes moved up slowly as I heard the doors open, Draco walked in with minions. It was strange how I knew when Draco entered a room; it was the same with Harry. I couldn’t explain why I did, but on the other hand I didn’t want too – it would take the magic out of it.
Draco walked by where I sat and looked down at me for a split second before turning his attention back to where he was going.
I looked down and smiled to myself, I could have sworn I saw a hint of a smile in those stormy grays of his.
Lunch continued on and soon Harry, Hermione, and Ron came in and took a seat at my table.
‘Where have you guys been?’ I asked, mixing some of the lettuce leaves in with my water.
Ron turned up his nose as did Hermione; Harry took it as normal and continued to eat.
‘We had to finish up some detention time with Snape because someone put to much Salamander in our potion yesterday.’ Harry said, throwing a playful glare at Ron who turned a bright crimson.
‘Well, it was sort of worth it to see him turn that lovely shade of magenta.’ Ron offered up, laughing awkwardly.
‘Oh, that wasn’t very nice Ron.’ I said, beginning to stir my concoction.
‘What is that?’ Hermione asked, covering her mouth and pointing.
‘Oh, its to help keep the summer Nargles away, they can be found in most Daisies and Tulips.’ I said, tilting my head and smiling.
‘They have different seasons to those pests?’ Harry said, giving a slight laugh.
I nodded and took a sip, ‘Its actually quiet good.’
Before anyone could get another word in a shadow fell over the table, ‘Well, well look what the cat drug in.’
I turned around to see Draco standing with Crabbe and Goyle right behind him.
‘Go away, you’re not wanted hear.’ Harry said, stabbing his form into his food.
Draco leaned over the table to look at Harry, ‘What does that matter with a table of Half-bloods and Mudbloods.’
I let a small gasp escape my lips, which Ron caught instantly and turned to look at me.
I covered my mouth and shook my head looking down as I did. I looked at Draco’s hand, it seemed tense and strained almost…and it clicked. A small piece of paper was in his hand, I could just see the tips of it between his fingers. He was putting on a façade.
I looked up to him but he refused to look at me and kept his eyes strictly on Harry.
‘No one gives a damn Malfoy, just go away.’ Harry snapped. The two locked eyes and held it for just a second before Draco slid his hand off the table and left.
I quickly grabbed the piece of paper and pushed it into my pocket.
‘What an arse.’ Ron mumbled to himself as he stabbed at his food, following suit with Harry.
‘Yeah, what was that even about? Usually he only bugs us when we get in his way, this time he made a point of coming here.’ Hermione said, trying to process everything – per usual.
‘Its Malfoy. He doesn’t need a reason.’ Harry snapped, dropping his fork on his plate, ‘You still think he could have a good side?’
I looked down, not wanting Harry to read me any further. He didn’t need to know the truth – not yet.
‘I have to get to my next class.’ I grabbed my bag and hurried out the door.
‘What’s gotten into her?’ I heard Ron say as I continued down the isle, my head down.
I had Care of Magical Creatures next so I headed outside, thankfully no one was around and I quickly found a quiet corner to hide in while I read my note.
I pulled it from my pocket and with one last quick look around I opened it.
Sorry about what I said, but I couldn’t think of any other way to get this note to you. Go for a walk with me though, right after your last class. Meet me behind Hagrid’s cabin – I want to show you something.
I smiled and held the note close to my chest – I didn’t know why but I felt the nerves in my stomach, but I was excited too. Draco wanted to hangout with me. It was nice to be wanted.
With my new found joy I continued down the hill to class, a new bounce to my skip.
I was impatient for class to end. I placed the last leaf of lettuce down for the worms just in time for the bell to ring.
‘Aye, that be all for this class. Remember the paper I gave ye, due next Tuesday.’ Hagrid said, most didn’t listen though and where already half way across the lawn.
I smiled as Hagrid gave some advice to one of the girls who seemed deathly afraid of the small worms. I packed up my things quickly and tiptoed towards the back of the cabin – thankful for the girls fear for being a distraction.
‘Draco?’ I was just at the edge of the Forbidden Forest, and didn’t really want to go any farther, ‘Draco? Are you here?’
‘Over here.’ Draco stepped out from behind the trunk of one of the large trees with a smirk and his hands dug into his pockets, ‘You scared of the woods Lovegood?’
I pursed my lips and started towards him, ‘No, are you?’
He huffed – his bravado as strong as ever.
‘Then what are you waiting for?’ I shifted my pack and started into the woods, waiting for him to catch up with me.
I smiled slightly to myself as I heard his feet running to catch up to me, apparently I had stunned him into silence for a while.
‘You know, most people won’t trust me enough to go into the woods with me alone.’ Draco said, coming up to my side. He relaxed more, his pompous Slytherin attitude diminishing with each step.
‘Well, if you haven’t noticed Draco – I’m anything but ordinary.’ I turned and gave him a quick smile which he nodded too and we continued on for a while in silence.
‘So what was it you wanted to show me?’ I asked, chewing on my lower lip in curiosity.
‘Just be patient. Here, follow me.’ Draco stepped in front of me as the way grew smaller. He held branches out of the way, waiting for me to follow.
‘So you couldn’t find any other way then to just insult everyone at the table to pass me a note?’ I asked after we had gone some way.
Draco sighed and I saw him blow his bangs out of his eyes, ‘Well, I couldn’t just want up to you or not. I’m sorry for doing that, but do you want another Slytherin to hit you in the nose again? I know I don’t want that happen again, not to you.’ I barley caught the last sentence because he whispered it more so to himself then me, but I heard it and a small smile danced across my face.
Draco suddenly stopped in front of me, and I ran straight into him, ‘Draco what’s up—’
‘Shh….’ Draco held his finger up to his lip and turned around to face me, ‘Stay quiet, they might spook otherwise.’
‘What are you talking—’
‘Shh!’ Draco whispered again and continued on, his steps even quieter then before.
I huffed and blew my bangs out of my eyes; I had never cared to be shh-ed.
Draco walked up to a tree and gently move some branches away, a slight smile started to creep into his eyes, ‘Come here, but stay quiet.’
I walked up to his side and leaned my head to where I could see through the hole, there just a couple yards from me was a Unicorn with her colt.
‘Wow.’ I whispered, the mother was so beautiful, her snow white hair and long mane made her look even more majestic as she played around with her colt.
I smiled and turned to Draco, ‘How did you find them?’
Draco shrugged, ‘I got bored and came out here one day and noticed them playing around – I spooked them though and they took off. But next time I came they were here again – as long as I stayed hidden they seemed to be fine where they were.’
‘Well, unicorns usually are fond of girls – maidens to be more precise.’ I said, looking back at the colt who was jumping around the small meadow.
‘What’s the difference?’ Draco asked.
I turned to him and gave a slight blush – he was only inches from my face. I could practically feel his breath, and his eyes sparkled with the sun.
‘Um…well, nothing much – just folklore always says maidens instead of girls. I think the difference is in purity – maybe younger girls…or virgins maybe.’ I said, quickly turning my eyes back to the meadow. Usually I was never nervous with spurting off information, but for some reason Draco did make my stomach tighten with nerves.
‘Oh, well that’s…interesting.’ Draco said, looking back over to the unicorns.
‘Yeah.’ I whispered more so to myself then anything.
Silence came over us for a while before Draco turned to me, ‘Hey, I was wondering something.’
‘Yeah?’ I said, keeping my eyes on the unicorns. I already made a fool of myself once – didn’t need to do it twice.
‘Would you like to find some time to hangout at the next Hogsmeade trip? Snape said they where going to have one this Saturday.’ Draco asked, continuing to look at me.
Slowly I turned my head to look at him and tilted it slightly in thought, ‘There are other people there Draco.’
Draco’s infamous laughing-smirk spread out across his face, ‘I know that.’
‘You don’t need to be seen with me, remember? Who was the one that had to pick at Harry and Hermione and Ron to get a simple not to me?’ I said, darting my eyes down. I didn’t want to chastise him because I really didn’t want to loose his friendship, but I also knew he didn’t want to be seen in public with me.
‘I said I was sorry, and remember it was for safety anyway.’ Draco said, continuing to look at me with soft grey eyes.
I dashed my silvery ones up to look at him – to try and read his emotions. And was I saw was honesty – pure honestly, but even though I was getting to know Draco, I didn’t want to trust that that was all I saw.
‘It would still be hard for you too be seen with me even if there wasn’t a chance of me getting hit.’
And then Draco’s eyes did something I’d never expect, Draco looked down and what I saw next scared me a bit—he was hurt.
I sighed feeling stupid, here he was just trying to be nice an I had to think of a reason to hurt him, it probably was true but he did have a reputation and a father who would hurt him if he saw him with the Looney of Hogwarts.
‘I’m sorry Draco, sincerely. What’s your plan? I’d love to spend some time with you there.’ I smiled, and he returned it with forgiveness in his eyes. It was odd, he could never seem to stay or be annoyed at me anymore – I wonder what the change of heart for him was.
‘I guess you’ll have to wait and see.’ And with the smirk Draco started back towards school.
I smiled to myself and then turned to hurry after him, ‘Oh, please won’t you tell me?’
‘Pretty please with a cherry on top and little rainbow sprinkles?’
Draco stopped and looked at me for a second, ‘No. Patience is a virtue.’
‘Secret’s don’t keep friends Draco Malfoy!’ I said playfully.
Draco smiled and waited for me to catch up to him, we continued on talking about anything and everything until we reached the edge of the forest and we went our separate ways.
Draco sauntered off towards the courtyard and I headed for the clock tower. When I reached the clock tower I turned around to see if I could give Draco one last smile before I had to go, after a few seconds of looking around I saw him standing with a group of his friends but instead of engaging with them he was looking straight at me, I knew I had felt a pair of eyes on me as I walked over to the clock tower.
I smiled, he was waiting for me to go in safely. I gave a small wave which he returned with a curt nod.
It didn’t hurt that the friendship line was drawn – he had a reputation to protect, something his family had passed down to him from generation to generation and his father had instilled in him since he was a boy.
The only thing that hurt was knowing that his heart felt torn, he probably had grown so close to me in such a short time because he knew I could keep a secret and everything in his life was just about to explode inside of him if he didn’t find a way to relax and forgetting about it with a friend other then a placating Slytherin was probably helpful.
It was sad no one else would take the time to get to know him; they would probably learn to love my Draco if they only took the time to see him.
I was just about halfway up the stairs when the thought hit me of what I had just said.
‘My Draco?’ I shook my head and smiled, I meant it in a friendly way, no harm done. And I continued to skip up the stairs, my time spent with Draco running through my head over and over.
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