Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters in the series.

Just a short little story that entered my head at three in the morning about one of my more recent favourite pairings.


The Stuff of Reality.

Our story wasn't the stuff of the fairytales that were spun for me when I was a child. When we met there was no fanfare, no stars bursting into life in the heavens, no sudden sweeping sense of realisation. It wasn't anything like the meetings in romance novels. You didn't save my life, there were no hilarious misunderstandings, and there was no catching each other's eyes across a crowded room. It was simple.

"Draco, this is my sister Astoria."

"Hello." You said, nodding a greeting but your eyes were uninterested as they glanced over my face.

"Hi. Daphne, can I go now?" I wasn't interested either.

She nodded and I left. I can't pretend I thought of you for the rest of the day. I didn't spare you a thought. You were just some guy I met; another acquaintance of my sister's who I was introduced to out of the need to make connections with the right families. And the Malfoys were definitely what my parents would consider a 'right' family.

I don't think I spoke more than eight words to you over the next three years. Life went on. I didn't think about you. I had boyfriends, I know you had girlfriends. I was content with these boyfriends. I didn't compare them to you. They never lasted long but it didn't enter my head that it was because of the thought of you because it wasn't. If you and I happened to pass each other in the corridor, we'd acknowledge each other but usually wordlessly, with eye contact or a polite, if distant, nod.

I can't even pinpoint when it began to change to be honest. I can't remember when we had our first conversation, what made those nods in the hallways turn into more friendly words. It must have been sometime in my fourth year. By the time you became important enough to me for me to wish I could remember that first conversation, it was long since gone.

I know it started small. A few words exchanged in the corridor as we passed on our individual paths, nothing substantial and the content wasn't important. Gradually, the length of those interactions increased. Five minutes of casual conversation in the hallway replaced those few polite words. Half an hour discussions of anything and nothing in the common room were added to those brief hallway chats. Step by step, our relationship progressed from strangers, to acquaintances, to friends.

Towards the end of my fourth year; your sixth year, I began to realise I had more-than- friendly feelings towards you. Naturally, as a proper young lady, brought up to hide emotions that could be held against me, I hid them away, horrified with myself for even thinking them. Mother would be appalled if she had known how many times my eyes strayed across to you in the Great Hall at meal times. I felt as though I was suffocating with those rules pressing down on me. Sometimes I daydreamed about getting out, behaving how I wanted for a change rather than being everything my parents expected.

Something was going on with you that year. You didn't know me well enough to confide in me (and I doubt you would even if you did. You never struck me as the sort of person who would need a confidante, never mind want one) and I didn't know you well enough to be able to discern by sight alone what the problem was. Nevertheless I knew, I knew, that there was something. It was none of my business, and as a Greengrass, a member of a noble pureblood family, it was hammered into me from a very young age that I should mind my business. It didn't stop me from wondering though. Just a little bit.

At the end of my fourth year it happened. Death Eaters in the castle, Dumbledore's death (the pureblood in me told me I had to act pleased, but inside I was revolted at the thought that you could have been planning this.) At home you were praised as a hero. In my mind I didn't believe you could have done it. You never seemed like the killing type in our conversations in the hallways and in the common room. And if you had felt comfortable with your task, I wouldn't have sensed something was wrong in that year before Dumbledore's death.

It was a long time before I saw you again. You didn't return to Hogwarts in my fifth year and it was six months after the final battle; six months after the fall of the Dark Lord, that we met again.

"Draco, you remember my sister?"

"Of course. Hello, Astoria."

"Hi." I didn't ask permission to leave and your eyes were no longer uninterested as they looked at me. We didn't break our eye contact when Daphne left. We didn't break our eye contact when you stepped closer. I only closed my eyes when you leaned down and kissed me.

Our story was simple.

We weren't the heroes of the story, falling head over heels in love after saving the world.

We didn't think we were destined for each other.

It wasn't love at first sight, nor did it hit us years after we met that we loved each other.

It dawned slowly. It was real.