Well some of you certainly seemed to enjoy it, so ta very much for that :-)
AN - Distinct lack of ownership here people.
It was daylight by the time I woke up, and surprisingly warm…in this little cocoon of bodies, limbs and cloak we had created. I had obviously turned over in my sleep, completely wrapping myself around Malfoy, whose legs had become entwined with my own.
My face was pressed into his collar bone, and the rhythmic up and down of his chest as he breathed was lulling me back to sleep, he was clearly not awake yet, so why shouldn't I close my eyes? Just as I was resolving with myself to go back to sleep, I heard words being muttered above me. "What the fuck? Granger, why is your bloody hair attacking me?" He pulled away a little, but not fully releasing himself from my hold as he spat out stray strands of my hair.
"Uhm, sorry." I smiled sheepishly, removing my hands from his back.
Eventually we managed to untangle ourselves and stood up facing one another. There was an awkward silence as we observed each other; what exactly do you say to a ridiculously handsome former enemy who you've just found yourself snuggled up with? Thankfully it was broken by Malfoy as he stretched out his lean body, yawning as he did so. His stretching also revealed to me a sliver of his pale abdomen, where I caught a glimpse of muscle definition disappearing into his trousers that would set any girl off drooling.
Even after sharing a common room with the boy for the last three months, a boy who refused to get changed in the bathroom after a shower, but who instead chose to parade around topless wearing nought but a towel - I couldn't get used to seeing such perfection, especially in someone so young.
I quickly averted my eyes as his gaze slid back to me, I wasn't quick enough though I realised when I saw his smirk. "Enjoying the view were you?"
"What? No, of course I wasn't." Even I could hear the lie within my words.
"Whatever you say…anyway, you wound me Granger." He slapped a hand theatrically to his stomach. "How could you not be enjoying this…?" He laughed, taunting me further by lifting the edge of his jumper, flashing me with a view of his toned stomach once again. I had to forcibly remind my mouth to remain shut…this boy was just so bloody infuriating. "Too easy."
Shaking the image from my head, I crouched down by the now glowing embers of last night's fire, casting an Aguamenti to fully douse it, as it was probably a good idea to not set fire to a forest that we were being forced to inhabit.
"Malfoy, will you be ready to go in a minute, we can…" I'd turned around, and found myself completely alone; had the prat finally got around to leaving me here? "Malfoy? Where are you?" I shouted…there was no response. Fantastic, I was all alone, no-one knew where I was, I hadn't seen any inkling that there was life here, and Malfoy had the only cloak. "Malfoy?" I shouted again.
I stood up, straightening my legs, as I resigned myself to a long day of potentially pointless trekking and a chance to practice my (non-existent) shelter building skills, when the head boy emerged. "Was that you hollering a moment ago?"
"Who else would it be?" I asked, throwing my arms up to indicate that I was clearly the only one here.
"I dunno, some hot woman perhaps, who has seen fit to rescue me."
"A hot woman you've never met, who just happened to know your name?"
"I admit that it was a long shot, but a man has to have hopes and dreams…it's how we survive."
I shook my head at him, deciding to change the subject "Right, well we need to see if we can find some food to keep our energy up, or we're not going to get as far as we did yesterday. It's probably a good idea to come up with a better plan as well, for all we know, this path could actually be leading us further into the trees rather than to a village or town…" I was rambling, and I hate to admit it, especially after everything we all went through during the war, but I was ridiculously relieved that he hadn't left me on my own, I'm not sure how well I would have coped.
"That sounds like a plan Granger; I'm ready when you are." His hand squeezed my shoulder and I nearly shot up into the air, was Malfoy actually offering me some level of comfort? We looked at each other for a moment, his face changing from wary concern to expressionless before he nodded his head and tuned back to the path we'd spent all of yesterday following.
We walked along the dusty footpath in silence again, me following Malfoy who was always at least fifteen feet in front of me. I took a look around, pointing my lit wand into the shadowed areas surrounding us. There were a lot of deciduous trees here, whose leaves were in various shades of red and gold, but these were outnumbered by the pine and fern trees, their dark green foliage creating a dense, ominously dark atmosphere to the whole forest. It was an odd combination that unsettled me.
The head boy's voice broke my meandering thoughts at least an hour into our trek. "You thought I'd left you out here alone didn't you?" I didn't want to answer that, and reveal quite how nervous this forest made me. "Come on Granger, I saw the look of utter relief on your face when I came out of the trees."
"Well what did you expect; you did try Apparating yesterday without telling me. It would be just like you to leave me out here, almost completely defenceless; bar my wand, if it meant that you could save yourself."
"Is that what you truly think of me?" He almost sounded amused.
"I have no other way I can view you, last night when you shared your cloak was the first time I've ever seen a caring, non-selfish side of you, and even then it was only because you couldn't stand to hear my teeth chattering." He raised an eyebrow and nodded his head slowly, seemingly accepting my answer. "How did you manage it anyway, to survive a whole night so close to me…to someone you hate?"
He turned to face me again, his face unreadable, but his eyes swirled with a simmering anger. "Because you're a girl…I like girls, and if I block out the incessant whining, the know-it-all-ism and the nest of hair, I can pretend that you're someone else, someone better. But what about you princess, you seemed pretty content snuggled up against someone you apparently detest so much." His last words were spat at me, but his face was once again expressionless when I looked up.
Those last words hit me hard, like a slap to the face; it actually stung. I know we weren't friends, but I hadn't seen such a level of anger from him, especially aimed solely at me in a very long time. He had basically just told me that anyone was better than me, that he'd prefer any girl over me…not that I wanted him to want me.
Annoyance spread a red hot heat across my cheeks as I glared at him. He stared back, his neutral appearance not faltering once. I'm not sure what I had been expecting really, a hint of remorse on his aristocratic face perhaps? That was the last straw; I needed to get away from ferret boy, even if it was only for a few minutes.
Resisting the urge to slap him, I calmly stepped off the path and wound my way through the first few layers of trees. It was much more densely packed the further in I got, the only sound that could be heard was a low murmuring as a breeze picked its way through branches and leaves.
I inhaled sharply, attempting deep breaths to calm my simmering anger, reminding myself that it was only Malfoy, the git I'd been putting up with for the last seven years; I must have gotten too used to his recent less spiteful and hurtful demeanour.
The air filling my lungs wasn't doing the trick; in fact it was having the opposite effect. Instead of calming me down, it seemed too thick, like it was clogging my lungs when the realisation that I'd lost my bearings came crashing down on me. I had no clue as to which direction I had come from.
I instantly stopped moving, trying to work my way back; there were trees on every side of me, their branches seeming to reach menacingly towards me. I had to sever those closest to me with my wand.
"Granger…" The yell sounded a lot closer than I would have thought possible, and I was filled with equal parts relief, and fear. God knows what Malfoy would do to me when he caught me up. "Where the fucking hell are you woman?" I could hear branches and twigs snapping as he fought his way through the undergrowth.
He came crashing through a tree behind me, grabbing my arm as I spun round to face him. "For fucks sake Granger, you had a fit when I left you alone for two minutes and then you run off into the wilderness, have you got a death-wish or something?" He glared at me for several long seconds where neither of us spoke. "Women, you're all the bloody same, you over react to the smallest things." His mumbling broke me out of my shock at being grabbed so harshly.
"Get your hands off me Malfoy, if you weren't such an arse hole all the time, then I might actually give a damn what you thought, but right this second, I couldn't care less." Little did he know that I'd recently been finding myself caring too much.
"Shut up for a second will you…"
"Why should I?"
His eyes, which had been roaming over the trees surrounding us slid minutely down to mine. "Because, if you had kept your mouth shut and your eyes focused, then you might have fucking realised that there was some actual daylight over there."
"What?" I hadn't seen anything.
He stooped down, his eyes level with mine. His breath fanned across my face; he was so close I could see flecks of blue swimming in his irises. I found myself staring, so regaining my senses I pressed my hands against his chest, trying to push him away. He remained rooted to the spot, merely rolling his eyes. "Look over there." He pointed over my shoulder, turning me around at the same time.
I yanked my arm free of his grasp and stumbled forward. I stared intently in the direction he had indicated, and though I loath to admit it, he was right. About seventy yards ahead of us, there was a distinct patch of brightness, sunlight illuminating the trees. Perhaps we had finally reached the edge of this forest.
Malfoy stopped beside me for a moment, before resuming the walk down my hastily created path, using his wand efficiently to clear a much neater and wider path to follow.
"Are you coming as well Granger, or are you just going to stand there all day?"
"I don't really have much of a choice do I?"
He turned, smirking at me again. "Nope."
A torn robe and scratched limbs later we reached the area bathed in sunlight. The sun itself was very low in the sky, indicating the last hour or so of another winter's day. The air here was clearer too and we both gave ourselves a moment to bask in our new surroundings.
Eventually I opened my eyes, looking in front of me. We weren't at the edge of the forest at all, in fact there was still an awful lot of trees, but they had opened up into another wide paddock like clearing, short, mossy grass and small boulders littered the ground, and in the centre…well let's just say it was something that neither of us was expecting, especially after two days of seeing no other signs of life; besides each other.
I was probably even more surprised than the boy next to me, having grown up with muggle stories and books, the scene in front of me, was like stepping directly into a fairy-tale.
And that's that guys. Please let me know what you thought, t'is very much appreciated. :-D