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Chapter 4 : To Kill Or To Kiss, That Is The Question
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He. Was. Driving. Me. Crazy.
I wanted to kill him.
I wanted to kiss him.
As much as I shouldn't, and as pointless as it was, I liked him. A lot, clearly. He was bringing out a whole new Mia, one who whipped people in the face with her
I had wanted to be invisible. I had wanted to start this new school with as little attention and fuss as I could, and eventually become the wallflower I was so used
But now I wanted flashing neon clothes and a big sign on my forehead saying 'LOOK AT ME'.
I wanted him to notice me.
I wanted him to be interested in me.
But the problem was, he just brought out the worst in me; the sarcasm, the eye-rolling, the glaring, the stupid and random stuff that he said, and even the way he
insisted on dragging his feet when he walked… they all irritated me so much.
I didn't know who this Mia was, the one who yelled at people she barely knew, and the one who was so absolutely crazy over a guy, even though he was driving her
Jerk Boy. That was my own private name for him. It helped me deal with the sour taste in my mouth over the fact that he clearly hated me for no real reason. It was
easier to call him names than to admit to myself that I liked him all the time.
I sighed at the ceiling. The room was semi-dark, and I couldn't be bothered getting up to turn on a light. I had homework to do, but I couldn't be bothered with that,
I just lay there, and thought about Draco Malfoy, until it hurt.
Oh, this was ridiculous.
My parents didn't bring me up the way they did only for me to act eight kinds of stupid over a boy.
They lectured me on the right guy. I wasn't to fall for the first one, or the second one, but the right one. He had to respect me. He had to treat me good. He had to
be everything I wanted.
I wasn't falling for Draco. None of the above applied to him. He was just the emo guy I sat next to in Biology, who was for some reason occupying my mind.
I did like him. I hated saying that, but I did.
He was sexy when he was moody. He was like a rock god… the hair, the eyes, the jeans…
But he was arrogant and mean and horrible and grouchy and probably high maintenance… and he wore makeup, for heaven's sake.
Pansy's makeup, to be more precise.
And he hated me and insulted me and ignored me, and shouldn't be worth my time. I should ignore him too. I should just not think about him. I should maybe even
But I couldn't.
I wanted him to hold me and kiss me and smile at me.
And ugh, I hated feeling like this, because nothing was ever going to change. We had nothing.
We had no start, no beginning. Without that, there could never be a happy ending.
I was glad to be jerked out of my depressing thoughts. It was beginning to hurt again.
"Yeah, Dad?" I mumbled, and light flooded the room as he opened the door.
"Why are you lying in the dark?"
"No reason," I said, shrugging.
"OK. Er, well, are you alright?"
I felt guilty. I hadn't really been spending that much time with my dad since I got here. Everything was so new and different and I was kind of stressed trying to
get used to it all. But that was no excuse at all.
Plus I had kind of been moping lately, and my dad had never been really good at the whole let's-discuss-our-feelings thing.
"I'm fine," I said, making an effort to sound cheerful. "I'm just a little tired."
"OK," he said, and hesitated. I waited, but he didn't say anything else, and closed the door on his way out.
The darkness blinded me, and I wondered when everything had gotten so complicated. I fully expected to live in a monotonous routine of school and study and housework
and Charlie, looking forward to college and my future. And now, everything was weird.
I wanted what I couldn't have.
I wanted the monotony.
I wanted to be invisible.
I wanted to stop thinking about him.
I wanted him.
I was confused, and irritated, and hormonal, and irrational, and I honestly had no idea how I had managed to get here.
I needed to get the hell out of this headspace. I was driving myself crazy.
And I blamed Draco, because he was the one I was crazy about.
"Dudes!" Harry announced at lunch the next day. "I am having a party. And you're all going."
My heart sank. I was so not the partying type.
But judging by the way Pansy lit up, I was probably going to get dragged there one way or another.
I could definitely consider Pansy a friend, now, even though I had only really known her for barely a week. She was just the type of person who could be friends with
anybody, who fitted in with any group of people. She was easy to be around.
Other people talked to me, but I couldn't exactly say I was the most popular person ever. The curiosity had died down, and the stares were less and less frequent. I
was grateful for this, of course, but I was also grateful for the fact that I had Pansy… I didn't want to feel completely alone, and I didn't.
I hadn't gotten to know her friends that well; Jasper was quiet and kept to himself mostly, and he and Pansy were a really cute couple. Ginny didn't speak to me,
and I was too intimidated by her to go near her. I was slightly scared of Harry, as he was a little much at times, but he was OK.
I did still feel a little out of place, surrounded by faces I was yet to recognise. But it was getting better, slowly. I knew it would take time before I could
actually consider this town to be my home; everything was still so new.
Pansy, unsurprisingly, caught up with me before class at the end of lunch.
"So, are you going to the party?" she asked.
I shrugged. "I don't know," I said. "Partying isn't really my thing…"
Pansy feigned a scandalised expression. "Partying is everybody's thing. Come on, Mia, you'll have a great time," she wheedled. "Harry's parties are always
legendary, and plus, I think you need a night out. Badly."
I didn't ask her what she meant; I was afraid of the answer.
"Fine," I sighed, giving in.
"Yay," she said, chirpy now that she had gotten her way. Chirpier, I mean. "Do you know what you're wearing yet, have you decided?"
"Clothes?" I suggested.
Ha ha. There was nothing in my wardrobe I could wear to a party. Good one, Pansy.
She rolled her eyes impatiently. "Mia."
"Pansy, my wardrobe consists of hoodies and jeans."
"Well, that won't do. You can borrow something of mine! We'll get ready together at my house, and I'll get Ginny to come over too - it'll be fun!"
I smiled and nodded, secretly dreading the look on Ginny's face when Pansy mentioned this to her. Ginny did not like me very much. I didn't understand why, but to
be honest, I wasn't bothered. I couldn't please everybody.
It was just a pity I didn't have the same attitude towards Draco.
"Fine," I said, agreeing to Pansy's insane plan to no doubt Barbie me up for the night.
"Good," Pansy said, satisfied.
Saturday arrived much too quickly for my liking, and before I knew it, I was at Pansy's house, sitting in front of a mirror, while she ripped chunks out of my skin
with a tweezers. Ginny, as I had expected, was not there.
"Hold still, would you -" Pansy demanded.
"Maybe I would if you weren't torturing me, you sadist," I retorted, my eyes watering with considerable pain. This was ridiculous. My eyebrows were not that bad.
"Well, maybe this wouldn't be as painful if you weren't growing a national forest on your forehead," Pansy huffed.
"Shut up," I scowled.
I poked her in the sides, and she jumped, squealing.
"I have tickles there, stop! Unless you seriously want to look permanently surprised, I would advise you to stop!"
I laughed, and behaved, wincing as she pulled repeatedly at my skin.
"There!" Pansy sang, to my relief, a short time later. "Perfection. I am so good…"
"The best," I said, examining my face in the mirror. I honestly couldn't see much a difference, but arguing with Pansy was totally futile.
"Now for your makeup…"
"Pansy…?" I asked, terrified, to be honest. "Please don't cover me with pink glitter, will you?"
"Give me a little credit," Pansy scoffed. "Pink glitter would not suit your complexion, and anyway, you can't wear pink glitter with that dress - you'd look a fright!"
I looked down at my outfit. I had doubted Pansy's ability to find me anything in her wardrobe that a) fitted me and b) suited me. I wasn't really the kind of girl who
liked skirts and dresses.
But I had been pleasantly surprised. My dress was quite simple - black, halter neck, the hemline stopping just above my knees, a large, purple silk bow tied
delicately around my waist. It was gorgeous. Pansy had lent me purple heels too, which I really was not sure about - I couldn't even walk in my trainers.
I stayed perfectly still while Pansy worked her magic, feeling the beginning of nerves. I had no idea if Draco was going to the party or not - nobody had mentioned
anything - and I was planning various ways in which I could get him to see me in this outfit. If I looked my best tonight, of course I wanted to show that off.
I hated feeling ugly and plain next to him, when he was so obviously a gorgeous emo God. If I saw him at all tonight, it might be nice to feel like I was good enough
for him, for once.
He had made it abundantly clear to me that he didn't think I was good enough for him, already.
"OK, you are officially ready to go," Pansy said, and I opened my eyes.
"Thank God," I muttered, and examined my reflection. Huh. I looked so different with makeup on. My skin had a soft glow to it, and my eyelids were purple and black,
the colours blending together nicely to give me a mysterious, smoky-eyed look.
"Huh," I said aloud.
"You're welcome," Pansy said smugly. "Now, just give me ten minutes and then we can leave."
I practised walking in the shoes while I waited, following a route around her bedroom, changing up my pace. I did wobble a few times, but maybe if I tried positive
thinking, I could stay upright.
I will not fall down. I will not fall down.
Positive thinking, you see.
Oh God. I nearly did a cartwheel there. I cannot walk in these shoes. I opened my mouth to ask Pansy if she had anything flat that I could wear on my feet, but I
didn't get a chance.
"Let's go, let's go!" she trilled, and I was practically frogmarched out of her room.
Walking down the stairs was an ordeal, and I almost killed myself, but I made it to the bottom with all limbs intact.
I inhaled sharply.
Draco was in the hall, leaning against the wall with his hands behind his back, drumming his fingers against it. I swallowed nervously. His party attire consisted
of his usual black jeans, a barely buttoned black shirt over a white vest, with a loose, bright red tie and red Converse to match.
Hot. Hot. Gahuh. He's hot.
"Oh good, Draco, you're ready," Alice said, and I glared at her. She could have told me he was going! Gah.
"I've been ready for three hours," he muttered, rolling his eyes.
"Shut up. Beauty takes time," Pansy sang. "And doesn't Mia look great?" she added, and I froze.
Draco's head turned towards me, and my heart began to thump loudly when his eyes looked me up and down, slowly.
He did a weird jerk of his head, and walked out the front door.
"Was that supposed to be a yes?" Pansy asked, amused.
"God only knows," I muttered, trying to calm myself down. "It was probably meant as some sort of an insult."
She didn't hear me, for which I was grateful for. I followed her outside, chewing on my lip. I couldn't see myself having much fun tonight. I didn't dance, or flirt,
or drink, and I didn't know enough people to mingle and chat all night. I was just going to have to hover awkwardly by Alice and hope something unexpected
We were taking Draco's car tonight, it seemed, and I climbed into the backseat of a black Volvo with Pansy. The car was clean and it smelled like the red air
freshener hanging from the rear view mirror. I fidgeted, only half listening to Pansy's babbling next to me. Draco drove, silent in the front seat, and I tried not
to stare at the back of his head like an obsessed idiot.
Once we arrived at Harry's house and the car was parked, Draco didn't hang around; he went straight inside, refusing to look at either of us. He seemed to have a
habit of doing that - just storming away without a word.
Why wouldn't he look at me? Did he really not see me?
Pansy took my hand and pulled me towards the party.
Harry was loud and funny and entertaining. Ginny hung off of his arm, looking like a beauty queen. Pansy located Ron early on, and my
hovering-awkwardly-by-Pansy-all-night plan was scrapped when they started making out, so I wandered off by myself. I didn't know anyone, and wasn't confident enough
to introduce myself. I felt incredibly out of place and self-conscious.
And there was no sign of Draco anywhere.
After an hour of boredom and pretence - I had to seem like I was having a good time, right? - I was seriously considering just going home. I wasn't really enjoying
myself, and my heels were starting to kill me. I also had a very bad case of wallflower-itis, and couldn't seem to break away from the wall. I was in the middle of
thinking of the various excuses I could tell Pansy, and actually get away with, when somebody walked up to me.
A guy. He was cute, in an ordinary sort of way. Nothing mind-blowing, like Draco, but I definitely wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crisps.
"What's a beautiful girl like you doing over here by herself?" he asked, leaning against the wall next to me, his words slurring a little.
He was drunk. His hands were in his pockets, and I had done a study on body language - that meant he was thinking about sex. Great. I had a drunk, randy teenage boy
attempting to chat me up. Oh, the joys of adolescence.
Jeez, I sounded like a forty-year-old.
Worse. I sounded like my mother.
Gah! I was going to have to talk to him now, and prove myself wrong. And plus, even though it was stupid, I kind of wanted to feel… wanted. I mean, the guy I
liked-but-didn't-want-to-like-but-still-liked-all-the-same was showing absolutely no interest in me, so why not? I couldn't wait around for a miracle, could I?
"I'm observing," I replied, lamely. I couldn't flirt, OK? I just couldn't.
"I hope you were observing me," he grinned. "'Cause I was observing you…"
Oh, give me a break.
"That's great," I said, unable to think of anything better, and if I waited too long to say something, he'd think I was some kind of mute freak.
"I'm Cormac," he introduced himself, and moved closer to me. Hah. I saw that, buddy.
Oh God, I was actually talking to him inside of my own head. What was I doing…?
I think I needed alcohol now. I was going mad.
"I'm Hermione," I said, throwing him a polite smile.
"Hermione? The new chick?" James asked incredulously, actually squinting at me.
I nodded, uncomfortable.
"Huh," he said. "You look different. You look pretty."
Well, that was a backhanded comment if I had ever heard one.
I suddenly felt like a big pile of crap. I wanted to go home. I wanted to get away from this enormous idiot. I wanted a hug.
"Thanks," I muttered, struggling with the hurt rising up inside me. I wouldn't let this drunk jerk get to me. It just really hurt, you know - I had already been
feeling self-conscious enough, and I was out of my comfort zone, almost literally, in this dress and these heels, and ugh… I just really wasn't in a party mood right
"You're welcome," Cormac grinned, and he was leaning towards me, and he looked like he wanted to kiss me.
He was cute, but… he wasn't Draco.
I didn't want to kiss Cormac.
But like I said, why not? It's not like Draco wanted to kiss me, or pretty much have anything to do with me, after all.
Ugh. Why do I always want the things I can't have?
I was distracted by someone clearing their throat loudly, and my head turned, as did Cormac's.
And there stood Draco, arms folded, tapping one foot.
"Yes?" Cormac asked.
"Can I have a word with you?" Draco asked me, completely ignoring him. I frowned, confused.
"Sure?" I said uncertainly.
What the hell?
"I'll wait for you, Hermione," Cormac said, and wandered off somewhere. Draco threw his trademark glare after him.
"What do you want?" I asked him, folding my own arms to match his stance.
He glared at me instead. "What are you doing?" he demanded.
"What do you mean, what am I doing?"
"You're -" he flailed one hand in Cormac's general direction, raising his eyebrows.
What the hell was he implying, and how was it any of his business?
"And?" I shrugged, and he scowled.
"Well, I mean -"
"Draco," I cut him off, "what are you doing?"
His glare faded unexpectedly, and for a split second, he looked entirely lost.
"I have no idea," he muttered, and began to walk away.
I followed him.
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