Title: That Doesn't Mean
Summary: He calls her the most horrible thing he can ever think of …But that doesn't mean he doesn't like her.
Author's Note: Okay, just to clarify some things: Erm, I know this is something similar to what Rana Eressea wrote – I did not mean to copy her idea or anything like that, and I certainly did not plagiarise! I didn't mean to, I swear; the idea really did just come to me and I just wanted to use the line 'But that didn't mean he didn't love her'… (laughs sheepishly) The idea's not original, I know, but I did not intend it in any way to appear like I'm nearly plagiarizing someone else's work because I did not. :)
That Doesn't Mean
He calls her the most horrible thing he can ever think of, insulting her with the word Mudblood, and he sneers meanly, his lips curled upwards in what seems to be a disgustingly handsome smirk. He watches her writhe in anger and irritation as she bites back a reply and stomps away, eager to be away from him. He scowls and yells back that she is nothing but 'a bloody Muggle' who's very much below him and she simply glares back at him over her shoulder and disappears round a bend in the corridor.
But that doesn't mean he doesn't like her.
He watches her across the Great Hall laughing gaily with her two friends, looking very much carefree and bubbly with mirth – he's done this many times before already, and he's quite surprised no one's noticed. It's actually been a habit of his, a favorite one, watching her like this from his own table and scrutinizing her in every way possible.
He's realized that he really likes the color brown now, chiefly because of her hair, and every other brown he sees is ugly compared to the honey brown hue of her curls. And he's realized that he likes seeing her with that smile she always wears whenever she's with Potter and Weasley; it really makes her look prettier, and he doesn't know how that could ever be, because every time she frowns irately when she spots him, he already thinks absent-mindedly that she looks very pretty indeed. He knows now when she is very happy or sad—he can tell with the way her eyes seem to brighten or darken depending on her mood. Right now, she's undoubtedly cheerful, with the way the light gets caught in her eyes, and they seem brilliant with delight.
He sighs silently, wishing that her eyes would dance the way it did now whenever she'd see him. All he ever gets from her is a dark, brooding glare and he's grown tired of that. He hates it.
But that doesn't mean he hates her.
He sits moodily beside her in Arithmancy, not knowing whether he should be overjoyed or infuriated that he's been partnered up with her, so instead he looks at her coolly, despite the fact that his heart's beating rather painfully in his chest. She sighs, props open her book and asks him which questions he'd like to answer. He replies with the same indifference and soon enough, they're both working diligently on whatever work Professor Vector gave them to do—after all, they're not the top two students in this class for nothing.
Somewhere along the way, he peers over her work and realizes that she's committed a minor mistake in one of the solutions; he points this out (he doesn't know why he did, though) and she looks up at him, surprised, and she examines the error he's told her about. Soon, she fixes it and glances up at him—he can't seem to grasp how lovely her eyes are up close and he figures out that he was wrong about other browns being incomparable to the brown of her hair; her eyes are a striking shade of the exact same color, only more… beautiful, if such a thing was possible. She thanks him rather shyly, and he doesn't reply right away, because he's still enraptured by her.
By the time he recovers, he's looking flushed and she inquires on why his cheeks are pink—he silently curses his being pale, but replies that it's nothing. For a second, he thinks she's smiling at him, and he almost smiles back himself, but the moment is gone and she's back doing her work, and he wonders if such a thing actually happened between them. His mood readily drops down a notch or two and he feels dejected. He goes back to his share of the work, wearing a complacent, expressionless face as if he couldn't care less if his partner disappeared into thin air beside him.
But that doesn't mean he doesn't feel anything for her.
He's trailing right behind her, watching the way her hips sway right in front of his line of vision and he tries in vain to look at anything but her. They're partnered up for patrols this week and he can't help but hate the stupid idea that the two Heads issued that involved inter-House prefect pairs on patrols. He could've been partnered up with some Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, but by some random luck, he's been partnered up with her. Not that he minds, though, but still—it would've gone better for each of them if they'd been assigned to other people. It's been an hour and a half already and he wants nothing more than to go back to his dorm and slip into a dreamless sleep; but here he is instead and even if he had said that, he wouldn't trade places with anyone else to be with her. Neither of them has talked, and he sees her fidgeting in discomfort—she's used to talking, he knows, and she can't stand being silent, even if that silence were with him.
Finally, she turns around, rolls her eyes and grins, asking him if he wouldn't mind if she talks while they're patrolling. Of course he minds, but he doesn't say anything. She begins to chat, obviously about classes, telling him this and that, and he's trying his best to listen but he can't; he's much too distracted by the sound of her voice and the way the light from the enchanted torches seem to bounce off her in a most dramatic way—right now, she's very exquisite, but that comes as no surprise, because he's thought of her like this before anyway. A stray curl escapes from her loose half-ponytail, falling to the side of her face, and by impulse, he reaches out and tucks it behind her ear, and both of them stop walking, both surprised and quite embarrassed about what had just transpired.
They continue on once again, and she resumes talking, but he notices that her voice sounds a pitch higher than before and she's continually playing with the hem of her sweater. Nothing seems to have changed.
But that doesn't mean that things are still the way they were between them.
His eyes trail to where she is during Care of Magical Creatures, and he finds her looking back at him. She turns away so suddenly, though, her cheeks burning pink, her eyes fixed determinedly on Hagrid. He grins slightly, knowing that she's been watching him again. He's caught her about three times already this week, and he's quite pleased that it's not only him anymore who's interested. He's also noticed that she's talking to him more now, especially during Arithmancy and he's happy—no, euphoric—about the change. Everyone's noticed in his House, the sudden lightness of his mood, but no one questions the reason; they couldn't care less, after all. Perhaps they think something great's happened; perhaps they think he's in love. But no, that couldn't be, because he's never supposed to fall in love.
But that doesn't mean their presumptions are always wrong.
It's week number three patrolling with her; apparently, the idea was such a hit that the Head Boy and Girl thought it best to prolong it for more than a week. So here they are once again, out after hours, going on their rounds. She's telling a funny story now and he accordingly laughs, because the story is funny and because he's with her again. They're both traipsing through the Quidditch Pitch now, where it's quite dark, but thankfully the sky's dotted with stars and the moon's out and about; a hopeless romantic would say that it's a perfect night for love, but neither are into that kind of stuff, so nothing romantic actually happens between them…
Until now. It happens so suddenly that he doesn't even know it happens—for some unknown reason, he reaches out for her hand and entwines her fingers with his. Quite shocking really, for both of them, but neither objects to it, because somehow, in some strange and bizarre way, it feels right. And then what takes place right after that is just as expected: he pulls her to him, looks down into those pools of beautiful brown and kisses her with such fire—after all, that fire's been enkindled for so long now that it's just right that he lets it free; one hand runs through her honey brown tresses and the other is wrapped around her waist, pulling her much closer to him. She kisses him with the same passion, her hands running through his pale, blond hair and then traveling down his back with familiar ardor.
He's been wanting to do just that since before, and it's quite obvious she's been wanting it as well.
It's so wrong to be kissing her so desperately like this. It's so wrong to be kissing her at all.
But then again, it doesn't mean it's not so right to do so either.
They've been meeting secretly since that night at the Quidditch Pitch. In the darkest of corners, in the quietest of places, he's been seeing her, kissing her, embracing her, touching her. He loves it—he relishes in the passion they share, the secrets they keep together—and he's feeling smug that she's keeping this from Potter and Weasley. It's not only them who possess a portion of her; he too gets to keep a part of her, and he feels lucky.
Right now they're in the deserted Charms classroom, and he's pressed against her, his lips on hers and her hands unfastening the buttons of his shirt. He pulls away and just… watches her. Her lips are puffy, her cheeks flushed, her hair disheveled—and yet he thinks her the most beautiful creature he's ever laid his eyes on. He captures her tiny hands into his before she unbuttons the rest of his shirt, holds them tightly, and almost says something of importance—but before he can, she stops him, saying that he can't. They can't.
He asks why, and she tells him that they're different. They live in different worlds. They are enemies. She is Gryffindor; he is Slytherin. She tells him that they can never go any further than what they have right now—this. She doesn't want to risk it. But he does. He doesn't care anymore.
But that doesn't mean she shouldn't care anymore, either.
And so now, they're back where they began, him scorning her and calling her the foul word he's secretly using now as a term of endearment, and she ignoring him and walking away with a glare in return. He watches her in the Great Hall every time she's there, scrutinizing her the way he's done in the past. She still looks pretty the way she smiles and the way her eyes glimmer cheerfully; the brown of her hair and her eyes are still incomparable to any other brown—but now he hates it, hates it very much because it belongs to her.
Everyone's noticed he's moodier than usual, snapping at anyone who dares disturb his lonely solitude; perhaps he's gotten a bit of bad luck; perhaps he's fallen out of love. They can never be more wrong—he hasn't at all fallen out of love, quite the contrary actually, because he's still very much in the blasted muck. But then, it's not like it matters to them anyway; they couldn't care less, after all.
He watches her amble out of the Great Hall alone, kissing the bloody Weasley affectionately on the cheek before she does so; there's a fierce emotion going through him and soon, he finds himself following after her. Her brown curls are swaying behind her, her black robes billowing as she moves through the corridors and he follows, silently, furiously. He knows she knows he's following her, but she's not turning back to look at him.
Finally, consumed with much energy, he grabs her arm, pulls her into a dark corner and pushes her against a wall. She looks surprised—her eyes are wide and bright and for a moment he loses himself in them, but before he can plunge into those pools of brown, he turns away and scowls. His grip on her tightens, and he hears her whimper slightly in pain. When he turns back to look at her, she's glaring right back at him in defiance; he glares right back, making it seem to her that he's disgusted by her very being, all the while ignoring the pain that's searing his heart and the uncomfortable lump growing in his throat.
He had wanted so badly to tell her something that night, but she made it so clear that they weren't going towards the same direction. She evidently doesn't feel any different than before and he resents her for that because what he feels for her is so strong; she still hates him, dislikes him, perhaps, but he doesn't. Not anymore.
"I hate you."
And she stares hatefully at him in silence before he lets go of her. He wants her to cry but she doesn't; instead, she scowls and disappears around a corner at the corridor. He is left in the darkness, watching her as she leaves, and he slumps down to the floor, wallowing alone in the pain she should've been feeling as well. He rests his head against the cool wall, repeating to himself how much he despises her, how much he abhors her, detests her—hates her for making him feel so wretched and hurting.
He hates her.
So bloody much.
But then again, that doesn't mean he doesn't love her.