He walks briskly out the doors of the castle. He’s running later than he normally does. He wonders if she’ll wait on him and then he wonders why he cares.
Two weeks have passed since their arrangement began and everyday he tells himself that today will be the last day. It is absurd, this…display they have. Running partners, she had labeled them with that smile of hers.
Partners, he sneers. As if he would venture into a partnership of any sort with a Weasley. There is nothing wrong with running, he reasons. Running is perfectly normal, not to mention healthy. He can run without raising suspicion…but not with a Weasley. Someone was bound to notice, and that was unacceptable.
So tonight, he tells himself, will be the very last night that he runs with her. And this time, he means it. He won’t even talk to her when they run, he decides. Well, maybe he will just a little. If it is going to be the last time they run together, a little conversation to soften the blow for her would only be considerate. He nods to himself and notices her by the tree he used to sit under while he watched her.
She is stretching. She is waiting. He smiles. Of course she is. She has become dependant upon him. She wouldn’t dare run without him. Poor girl, he thinks, she will be devastated when he stops showing up.
Maybe he’ll come tomorrow, he thinks. Not to run, but to hide and watch her. See how badly she takes it. He wonders if she’ll cry.
As he nears the tree, though, he stops and the air leaves his lungs. She isn’t alone. A deep scowl comes to his face, Potter is with her. He is smiling at her and they are stretching. Together. How quaint, he muses, the two idealistic Gryffindors, together at last.
She says something to Potter and he nods at her soon after. She lies face down on the ground and Potter sits on her back. He takes his palms and applies pressure to her back. Draco’s expression darkens. He sees Potter on top of her and his resolve snaps.
He walks up to them and wants to make it clear to her that he does need her. Stupid bint probably planned this all out. Thought she could make him jealous or something ridiculous. He would show her.
“See you finally learned what to do with a girl, Potter.” He sneers.
Potter jumps off her back and actually blushes. Draco shakes his head in disbelief, how could any girl, even a desperate Weasley, be attracted to a man—boy—like Potter?
“Shove off, Malfoy,” Potter retorts.
“Oh, touchy. Don’t worry, Potter, I’m sure you haven’t missed your chance, Weasley will undoubtedly put out another time.”
Potter stiffens and makes a jump towards him. Weasley intervenes.
“Harry,” she says gently as she grabs hold of his shoulder, “don’t let him provoke you." She glares at Draco, "I’m sure he’s just jealous.”
“As if I would be jealous of the fact that Potter nailed you, Weasley. They way I hear it; you’re nothing more than Gryffindor’s resident broomstick, anyway. Everyone gets a ride, isn’t that right, Weasley? If you get tired of those boys in Gryffindor, though, Weasley, you can always come over to Slytherin. We’re always looking for a good whore.”
Potter once again makes a move toward Draco, but Weasley places her hand once more one him, and shakes her head. “Remember what happened last year, Harry.”
His features soften as he looks at her. “You’re right, Gin, Malfoy isn’t worth another Quidditch suspension. If I had Pansy Parkinson for my girlfriend, though, I suppose I’d go around making immature remarks as well. How’s it feel, Malfoy, to know that the only girl you can get to so much as look at you is a dog-faced slag who is only after your daddy’s money?”
“I see you’ve found some jokes, have you, Potter? Your godfather always had a joke, too, you know. See where it landed him…”
This time, there was no chance of Weasley stopping him. Potter leaped out of his spot and onto Draco. Potter’s fist effectively connected with Draco’s jaw.
“Harry,” Ginny cried out in exasperation as she helplessly pulled at his arm. “Harry, please stop, you’ll only get in trouble. Please…stop…”
Potter finally seemed to have heard her pleas, because all at once he stilled and he lifted himself off of Draco. He walked over to where Ginny now stood and gave her an apologetic grimace.
She shrugs. “Let’s just continue with our run.”
Potter nods and they start to jog away. Draco strains to hear their conversation.
“Honestly, Harry,” she is telling him, “Malfoy is utter slime. Don’t let him…”
He can’t hear anymore. Slime, he muses as he gently rubs his face. She sits around and watches Potter attack him, and has the nerve to call him slime. “Wench,” he mutters.
He lies back in the grass and curses her some more. He doesn’t feel like moving. He doesn’t feel like running. He wishes that he had been quick enough to get out his wand and give Potter what he deserved. He wishes that she hadn’t brought Potter here to begin with.
He takes out his wand and rids himself of the warming spell as he closes his eyes.
----------------------------------------------------------- They return after approximately half an hour. He knew that Potter wouldn’t be able to keep up with Weasley. He sits and watches from the shadows as they stand in front of the castle doors.
Weasley says something to Potter, waves, and Potter disappears. She stands still for a few moments before walking over to the area where she stretches.
“Malfoy?” she calls out warily. “Are you out here?”
He says nothing. He does not want to give her the satisfaction.
She finds him anyway. “You could have answered me, you know,” she says.
He glares. “Maybe I don’t want to talk to you.”
She sits beside him and her arm accidentally brushes up against his. She quickly pulls away and exclaims, “Jesus, Malfoy! How long have you been sitting here without a warming spell? You’re lucky you haven’t caught your death out here in this cold…” Without thinking, she pulls out her wand and immediately warms him.
“I don’t want to be warm, Weasley. Maybe I prefer the cold.”
“That’s ridiculous. Stop being so stubborn. Besides, I’m the one that should be angry here, anyway.”
“And how do you figure that?”
“Did you not see the same scene as me? You came out here and started a fight with Harry for no reason. Harry saw me leaving in my running clothes and asked if he could join me, I couldn’t very well tell him that I’d rather run with his worst enemy, now could I? So I brought him and I thought that you…that you would understand and that you would just leave it alone because we're fri—”
She stops and swallows the word. Friends, he finishes silently for her. She thought that he would leave it alone because she thought they were friends. He wants to laugh at her. He wants to taunt her, a Malfoy friends with her, a Weasley. Please.
Only, he does nothing. He stares at her and contemplates her words. Friends. What were they, exactly? He doesn’t feel angry toward her as he does her brother, Potter, and the Mudblood. He doesn’t feel indifference toward her. He sneaks away every night to run with her and spends half of his day thinking about her and whatever story she had told him the previous night.
He looks forward to their runs, to her stories of her childhood and the way that she lights up when she tells them. Did that make them friends? He didn’t know, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to for that matter. Friends are a weakness, friends are a vulnerability.
She continues to look at him. He knows that she wants an answer, she wants him to provide her with an explanation of them, and she wants to know that she isn’t alone in thinking that their relationship is more than running. Instead of providing her with any of that, though, he stands and extends a hand to help her up. “Fancy a run, Weasley, or did Potter tire you out?”
She bites her lip and stares at his outstretched hand. “I suppose,” she says finally. She doesn’t take his hand, though. She pushes herself off the ground without assistance and he drops his arm at his side.
----------------------------------------------------------- A/N--Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed last chapter, I really appreciate it! So repeat the process and make a girl happy. Oh, and Happy Friday, all! No one get too intoxicated...ahem, as that leads to bad decisions and overall awkwardness. Er, not that I would know from last weekend or anything...
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