Disclaimer: Not mine, of course, it all belongs to the wonderful JK Rowling.

Author's Note: Yeah, I know. You thought this story was abandoned. So did I, to tell you the truth. I wanted to write more but just… it wasn't flowing at all. I couldn't write the next scene, though I tried about a dozen times. Then… something clicked. I changed the scene, and all of the sudden it started to flow better. It's been long enough that I don't know if I'll keep writing or be able to focus on it, but I know that I have people out there that want to read more. So… whenever I get something done, I'll post it, even if it's just a scene, even if it's very short. Later I can go back and organize it more coherently and cohesively and revise it, if I do finish it (and right now that is an if, honestly). I'm completely abandoning trying to switch viewpoints evenly – it'll switch when the story wants it. It might not switch at all. I don't know. I might have more up in a week. It might be months before anything else gets put up. I'm sorry about that. But I wanted to get you something, at least, because you people have been crazy enough to stay with the story this long (and even yell at me for not posting!).

Draco sprinted down the hallway, glad that most people were in class by then so he wouldn't have to look at them or worry about them seeing him so upset. Adrian. He'll fix this, I know he will, he knows everything... Even as the blood pounded in Draco's ears and his heart raced with panic, however, he couldn't keep his mind from drifting back to Hermione. Of course she's my mate, he thought. She's so beautiful, and her voice is better than a song, and her radiant eyes, especially when she smiles... He was jolted back to reality when he realized that she'd never smiled at him before. And she probably never will... not me... His heart plummeted, and he was in the middle of a crushing depression. He slowed to a walk, fighting off tears.

She hates me, it's obvious, and of course she likes Adrian because he's so smart and he's nice, unlike me... Suddenly, Draco realized that he couldn't tell Adrian what was going on, and that he knew who their mate was. As soon as I tell him, he's going to get her and leave me behind. I know we made a pact, but that's not going to matter - who wouldn't give up me in a heartbeat, especially if they were to get someone as incredible as her? And he should get her, he's much more deserving of her, and I know that she hates me. A surge of jealousy rose in Draco, and he clenched his fists. It doesn't matter that he deserves her, he can't have her! She's MINE!

He almost stumbled into the wall, so blinded by his anger and jealousy and depression that he wasn't watching where he was going. Furious - at himself, at Adrian, at the professors for not knowing how to fix the situation - Draco whirled and slammed his fist into the wall, ignoring the crack and the spike of pain as one of his knuckles broke and the skin scraped off his hand. He paused, panting, before slumping down against the wall and putting his head in his hands. I can't tell Adrian. As soon as he knows, he'll get her and I won't have her, I won't have my beautiful Hermione, and he'll be gone - he'll hate me, won't want me around anymore, he'll let Father do whatever he wants because Adrian won't care, and why should he? I can't tell him. I won't!

The decision made, Draco stood back up. He pulled his wand out and cast a quick healing spell on his hand - he was almost good enough to be a healer's assistant, he'd had so much practice with healing - and then headed back to the Potions classroom to grab his school books.

Inside the classroom, Draco avoided Professor Snape's questioning gaze, snatching up his things and then heading back to the room that he and Adrian now shared. He didn't feel like attending classes the rest of the day.

Adrian came in after classes were over, looking puzzled. "Draco?" he asked. "What's going on? Professor Snape told me that you said that you thought you knew who our mate was, and then you ran off, and since then you haven't been at any classes..."

"I don't know who our mate is," Draco said roughly, avoiding Adrian's gaze. I have to lie. I have to lie to him. It's okay, it'll be okay, it'll make things alright between us... and then HE can't have her! He can't have MY Hermione!

"But then..." Adrian sat down next to Draco and put his arm around Draco. Draco shrugged it off and shoved himself to the other side of the bed. He curled up in a ball, his face covered by his arms.

"Draco, don't lie to me. I can tell when something's wrong. And I can tell that you're lying about our mate. Who is she?"

Draco didn't say anything. Go away, go away, go away, he thought, torn between wanting nothing more than to curl up against Adrian for comfort and wanting to hex him so that he'd stay away from Hermione. Just leave me alone. I have to get control of this.

"Or is it not a she? Is it a he?" Adrian sounded skeptical and worried, and gave a sharp laugh. "Boy, I'd have a lot of fun explaining that one to Mandy, now wouldn't I? Gee, Mandy, I really do love you, it's just that I'm a Veela and actually in love with... oh, I don't know... Crabbe or someone. It's going to be hard enough to explain to her now, but if..."

"I said, I don't know who our mate is!" Draco sat straight up, glaring at Adrian. "Now go away!"

Silence hung between them for a moment. Adrian's eyes were blank, revealing nothing. Oh Merlin, I just yelled at him, he's going to hate me hate me hate me and it's my fault, definitely my fault this time, I couldn't control myself, just like Father always said, weak, always letting me emotions rule me, unlike a true Malfoy, oh Merlin...

"So that's what you want, is it?" Adrian stood up, mouth tight. He turned away, his shoulders hunched slightly. "Wait a minute..." Adrian turned back around, and this time his eyes were glinting and his lips were pressed into a thin white line. "You know who our mate is. You know who she is! You know who my mate is, and you're trying to keep her from me! You want her all to yourself!"
"No," Draco protested, scooching backwards away from Adrian. He looked up at Adrian, eyes wide. "That's not it, I promise!" A tiny voice in the back of his head protested. But it is, isn't it? That's part of the reason you aren't telling him - probably more of the reason than you want to admit, isn't it? Adrian wouldn't do that, but you would, wouldn't you? Some brother you are - all Adrian's ever done is be kind to you, even when you didn't deserve it, and now you repay him by-

"Liar!" Fists clenched, Adrian advanced on Draco. "You want my mate all to yourself, you selfish, greedy bastard! You're trying to steal her from me!"

Draco whimpered, frozen with fear from the pure rage flashing in Adrian's eyes.

"You know, maybe Father's right about everything! I bet you do this all on purpose - trying to play on my feelings and make me feel sorry for you just so you can manipulate me to get what you want! Well, you won't this time! You won't!"

Paralyzed, Draco watched Adrian draw closer. No no no, please no, don't say that, please, Adrian no...

"She'll never love you! Never!" Adrian punctuated his last word with a slap, knocking Draco's head into the wall with a thud. "You make me sick," he said, stalking back over to his desk. "Get away from me."

Head down, Draco moved slowly, whole body shaking, to the door.

"I - I'm sorry, Adrian," he whispered. When there was no response, he, for the second time in a day, fled.

Author's note two: Pleasedon't hate Adrian? What did you think? Have I lost my touch on the story? Did I mix up some details (because I've forgotten some of how the story was supposed to go, and my notes got lost in a computer crash)? Hate it? Love it? Tell me what you think – and feel free to yell at me for not posting. I am sorry.