Disclaimer: I own no part of the Harry Potter franchise; all characters and ideas belong to J.K. Rowling.
To mofo: Yes, it was a lot to take in. With any luck, the sequel will be just as...robust. Thanks for all your patience and support.
In fact, thanks to everyone. I've sincerely enjoyed writing this- not just for myself, but for you all as well.
With much appreciation and respect,
As Draco stumbled awkwardly down the corridor on the train, he thought of the encounter he'd just had with Pansy. It was funny, almost, how the holidays helped put things in perspective. He'd had a fantastic row with his father over his semester grades; he'd received some lovely presents from his family; he'd even spent some time with Pansy. He flushed lightly, remembering their encounter under the mistletoe in her family's parlor. She'd pouted her lips and looked so damned appealing. He hadn't been able to refuse her anything in that moment. The thought that he and Pansy were back together after so many months of mooning over the Granger girl shocked him a little. If he'd allowed himself to be shocked, that is. After all, Pansy, well- she really wasn't so bad…a light disturbance to his right gave him pause. He peered in the compartment's window and saw Potter and the Weasel. His heart gave a slight lurch which he brutally beat back down. No mudblood. That was interesting. He wondered where she was.
A voice from behind him made him start guiltily.
"Skulking about as usual, Malfoy?"
The light voice shivered its way into his ears and he turned about quickly, catching the brunette unawares. She leapt back from him even as he advanced on her in the narrow space of the corridor. The train gave a great heave and he fell against her, most inconveniently. She tried to shove him away.
"Not again, Malfoy!" she hissed. "Get off, you boorish man!"
"Here? In the middle of the walkway? My, my, Granger, you are a little trollop, aren't you?"
She glared up at him and rolled her eyes. Suddenly, the door to the compartment behind him slid open.
"Malfoy? What are you-?" The voice stopped. Draco stifled a groan. Potter. Always Potter!
He felt hands grab at his robe and swing him around.
"Harry!" Hermione gasped out. Draco grinned evilly at Potter's grim face. Really, she needn't have worried.
"You and she," Harry growled, "are through. If I ever catch you so much as making eyes at my girl again-!" He let the remainder of the threat hang empty in the air and let the other boy go.
Draco dusted himself off and looked back over to Hermione. She was watching the two boys nervously.
"Well, well, mudblood," Draco smirked. "It's nice to see you've moved on, as promised." He bared his teeth at her and she shrunk away, behind a confused Harry. He laughed.
"Don't worry, Granger. So have I." With that, he spun about and started back down the corridor. Back to Pansy. Back to his responsibilities. Yet, even as he walked away, he could feel a pair of bright hazel eyes boring into his back, watching him leave- watching him. And his heart lurched once more.
Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.
Author's Note: I noticed a ridiculous number of people had hit the epilogue more than the previous three chapters, so I decided to post the name of the sequel here as well: Forgotten Things. And if you all are checking out this page to see if Draco and Hermione get together, well, they don't. I'm not really sorry about it, either. :)