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Chapter 1, Feeling Lost

She sat in the abandoned classroom crying, her body shaking violently with sobs. Sometimes she wondered if there was some sort of limit, or if she'd be able to go on crying over him every other day forever and ever. This was all his fault, anyway, for being such a git. God, how she should hate him. Her lip trembled with that thought, and she found herself announcing, voice cracking, to the empty room, "God, how I love him."

She heard a sound come from behind her. For a second her heart skipped. Was it Ron? No, no, that was a stupid thought, he'd never come looking for her after she'd walked out of dinner, he'd never be smart enough to figure out how to unlock the door, he didn't care. She sniffed and stood up, turning around to face the door and expecting to see Harry.

She saw instead a lanky, pale figure, with slick, white-blond hair and a trademark smirk. He looked back at her quietly, an almost hopeful look in his eyes. After a second's delay, she felt her cheeks flush. He'd heard her pained confession. Was he expecting her to continue now that she could see him? The git.

"Why the long face, Granger? Potty and Weasel finally decide to leave you and run off together to have dirty, scar-covered brats?" He leaned against the door frame, arms crossed. He probably thought it made him look rakish. Lazy, more like.

"Shove off, Malfoy," Hermione hissed, wiping her eyes furiously with her robes.

"You know, I would, but I think the longer I watch you cry the better I'll be able to remember this happy scene the next time I'm feeling low," he gestured to her with a sneer and took a step forward.

"You really are worthless, you know that, Malfoy?" Hermione shouted at him. She normally wouldn't have reacted in such a way, but he brought it upon himself. Right now, her stomach was churning with raw emotions, her eyes wild. She was feeling the sort of despair that causes one to strike at anyone in their path. "The most you can think of that's wrong with me," she continued before he could reply, "Are things like my looks, my family and my intelligence—things I'll never be ashamed of—but then there's just so much wrong with you. You're cruel, ignorant, completely self-centered, it's no wonder you haven't got any real friends, I can't imagine anyone ever liking you."

"You really think that highly of yourself, Granger? Maybe you are smart, maybe you are relatively good looking, maybe to some people your muddiness doesn't even matter, maybe you're a million good things, but at the end of the day you're still just some dumb girl willing to cry her eyes out over a boy who'll never be worthy of her," he paused, a look of disgust on his face as he took another step forward, "At the end of the day, for all you're good traits, you're still just pathetic, Granger."

"You know what I think is pathetic, Malfoy?" Hermione walked toward him until there was an uncomfortable lack of space between them, but, finally stopping, she seemed to take little notice of that fact. Her mind was racing with all of the pathetic things Draco Malfoy had ever done, how his whole existence was pathetic. She leaned her head up, glared straight into his eyes, and finished, with as much venom as she could muster, "You."

"Who," he replied, a smirk tugging at his lips as a look of amusement crossed his face.

"You, Malfoy," Hermione repeated, a little confused but mostly peeved by his response.

"No, no, it's 'You know who I think is pathetic,' not what," he explained. Hermione looked at him dumbly for a moment, and a smile came over his face. Hermione Granger, speechless.

As Hermione searched for a response, it occurred to her how close their faces were, exactly. Malfoy wasn't tall, like Ron, he was sort of average, like Harry. Not as short as her, no, but short enough to be a speedy seeker. It was a shame, really, for if she had been talking to Ron, their faces certainly wouldn't have been that painfully close... but they were.

Hermione blinked, watching Malfoy with a rather blank expression. The silence was becoming increasingly awkward, but Malfoy didn't seem to know quite what to say either. Or, perhaps, he was enjoying her struggle for words. Suddenly but slowly, he brought his face closer to her, so that their lips were almost touching, and he murmured, "Lost in my eyes, Granger?"

She pulled back, nearly stumbling over, her face bright red. Seeing the look of shock and embarrassment on her face, Malfoy snickered with glee.

"I hate you, Malfoy!" she shouted at him, picking her bag up off the ground and shoving a few stray papers violently inside.

"Hate's a strong word, Granger," he pointed out, still amused. He'd moved back to his place in the frame of the door.

"Glad you recognize that," Hermione growled as she shoved past him and out the door.


Note: Thanks for reading, I hope you like it so far. :)