"Come on, Draco."
Blaise tried again, only to have one of Draco's usual death glares shot at him. He sighed, backing off. Draco could be really stubborn when it suited him, proven by his many failed attempts at persuasion over this past week. They had known each other practically since they were born, and it hurt to see his best friend mope around like this, cooping himself up in the common room. It was so different from his normal headstrong way of dealing with problems. And whether Draco himself realised it or not, he sensed that Draco's feelings for her were much stronger than he claimed or would have cared to admit, even to himself. Perhaps he would have better luck pestering Granger instead, not that he was about to try though. Draco had specifically told him to stay out of the matter, so if he tried and somehow made it worse, he would be dead meat when Draco found out that he had a hand in it.
It had been a week since he had seen her kissing Weasley. He didn't know why it hurt this much - she had told him she was single. But on the other hand, what right did he have to complain about her lying to him? He knew well enough that he didn't deserve her trust, though she had said that she regarded him as a friend now. It was probably just to make him feel better. He had tormented her for six years after all, and it wasn't that easy to forgive everything he had done that easily. Still, it hurt, worse than any other pain he had ever known, and he knew more than his fair share. So he kept away from her, lest the Malfoy mask fall. He wasn't sure if he could conceal all his pain, and it was better not to risk it. He doubted that she would want to see him now anyway; Weasley would keep her well-occupied.
"Malfoy, I want to talk to you after class."
She knew her voice was cold, but otherwise it would have been frustrated, though it was already showing through anyway with the use of his last name. She still slipped into it whenever she was upset with him. Well, old habits died hard after all. He had been distant for the past week, appearing to shy away from any contact from her other than the strictly necessary conversations about their duties. He never seemed to be in their common room either. She had a feeling he was trying to avoid her, but had no idea what could have brought it on. He wasn't meeting her gaze, his hair falling in silvery waves around his face.
"Why have you been avoiding me?"
She would have protested if she hadn't suddenly noticed how tired he looked. It wasn't obvious, but this close up, he looked worn out, weariness radiating from his stance. A wave of concern overwhelmed her. He hadn't been sleeping well? However, before she could say anything about it, she was distracted by his next statement.
"I simply didn't want to disturb you two."
"What? Who are you talking about?"
"Weasley, who else."
"Why would you think we were together? I told you we were just friends!"
"Yeah, sure," he muttered under his breath.
She glared at him, though he obviously hadn't meant for her to hear that. Why wouldn't he believe her? She and Ron hadn't even done anything misleading recently! Unless...wait. Could he have seen them kissing? She tipped his chin up so that she could look straight into his eyes, wanting to see his reaction to her words. Not that she knew Legilimency, but she knew him well enough now to be able to see through the small cracks in his mask and get a hint of his true feelings.
"It didn't mean what you think. We were just experimenting to know for sure that we didn't have any more feelings for each other." The disbelief faded, to be replaced by a flicker of hope which quickly disappeared. There was pain too, hidden deep inside. Hope? Could he...?
She pressed her lips against his firmly and then drew back to stare at him wide-eyed. It had only been about half a second, but she could feel the electricity there, which certainly didn't appear when she was with Ron. But had he felt it too? He answered her unspoken question by pulling her in for another kiss.
When they finally broke apart breathless, he grinned and asked her, "So, will you go out with me?"
"Sure. You should go to bed now though, you look exhausted. You don't look at me like that, Draco Malfoy, you know I didn't mean it that way!"