Hey guys! This is a Dramione one-shot written for the When Love First Grows competition down at the HPFC. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.


She skipped a pebble.

"She was just speaking rubbish as usual," she muttered softly to herself. "Not surprising, considering that it was Pansy…"

She skipped another pebble.

"I mean, I certainly do not care for him in that way." She nodded once, firmly. "We're acquaintances at most."

Another pebble.

"And who can say if he even likes me that way –not that I care," she added hastily.

Because she didn't care.

She didn't.

Did she?

The next pebble didn't really skip; it splashed into the lake at first contact. Hermione sighed, and flung another pebble as far as she could. It didn't go very far, but it produced a loud splashing noise that was extremely satisfying.

"I don't pay extra attention to him," she told herself. "Really, I don't."

And it was true. She didn't give a rat's arse about how sleek and shiny his blonde hair was, or how his gray eyes seemed to pierce into her very soul-

No. She would not entertain thoughts like those. Merlin knew she'd entertained that kind of thoughts for months-

"Okay, so maybe I appreciate how he looks," Hermione grudgingly admitted. "It's not a crime, now, is it?"

Silence, save for the splash of another pebble.

"And maybe once in a while I feel hurt that he doesn't seem to care about me like I care about him," she confessed softly. "But I'd say the same thing about the times Ronald chose Lavender over me in sixth year."

One more pebble skipped.

"And Pansy doesn't speak rubbish all the time," she admitted. "Just, you know, most of it."

A satisfying splash.

"But that doesn't mean that she wasn't speaking rubbish then," she mused. "I mean, how could that not have been rubbish?"

Pansy's words seemed to echo in her mind. "You know, if you can't tell that you love him, you're a lot denser than I gave you credit for being."

"I'm not dense," she snapped at the memory. Realizing she'd essentially just snapped at herself, she let out a tense laugh. "But I don't care for Draco Malfoy, or his shiny blonde hair, or his piercing gray eyes, or his playful sarcasm and incredible wit."

She skipped another pebble.

"I mean, what would Harry and Ron say if they found out?"

Another pebble.

"Not that there's anything to find out, mind you," she hastily added. "I mean, he probably doesn't even think of me as anything more than the bossy mudblood."

Another splash.

"And it doesn't hurt at all," she whispered. "Not one bit."

A splash of a tear onto her palm.

"I don't love him," she said.

But even her eyes knew it was a lie.

Another tear, and another pebble.

It was insane to think that she, Hermione Granger, mudblood, know-it-all war hero, could ever love Draco Malfoy, ex-Death Eater.

One last pebble, and then she wiped the tears from her face.

"I don't love him," she repeated, sniffing.

Her own heart, though, screamed that she was a liar.