Dear God I am so sorry for my lack of bad. Eventually I'll get to the whole writing thing again. Maybe. Working on it.

Mia's eyes slowly fluttered open as the sunbeams hit her eyelids.

She groaned and rolled over to block the sun, barely conscious. She hit something.

Her eyes flashed open. What the fuck...?

She registered the sandy hair, the thick eyelashes, the long, thin scar running diagonally across his cheek. Alex.

And she was naked. They were naked.

In Alex's bed in the seventh year Gryffindor boys' dormitory.

Holy fuck.

She screamed. Then clapped a hand over her mouth. She could've woken up Patrick. But by the looks of things, Patrick wasn't in his bed, either.

Alex was shifting around next to her. He sat up and yawned, rubbing a hand through his hair and shaking his head. He rubbed his fists in his eyes, making himself look like a small child.

Mia didn't move. She couldn't. It felt like lead was fused into her extremities. She watched, frozen, as Alex turned and looked down at her. She watched as his eyes widened to the size of dinner plates, as he took in their surroundings, her mussy hair, the love bites on her neck and chest and his.

"So, we drink a little too much last night?" Alex weakly attempted a joke.

Mia closed her eyes and tried to let her body relax. She couldn't let herself go off on a tearing rampage. She had to learn not to be so impulsive. She had to. But she couldn't. She couldn't, she couldn't, she couldn't.

She couldn't yell at him, so instead she tore out of the bed, pulled one of Alex's uniform oxford shirts on and sprinted out of the room, ignoring Alex's cry of "Mia!"

She raced through the castle, her bare feet slapping the cold stones. She ran all the way down to the Black Lake, abandoned in the half-gray light of early morning. There, Mia collapsed underneath a tree on the far bank, out of sight from most everyone.

Mia dropped her head into her hands and forced herself to take calming breaths. Oh God, oh Merlin, she'd slept with Alex. She'd had sex with Alex. Sure, they'd been fooling around since the end of fifth year, but they'd never actually slept together.

She'd been a virgin until last night. And she could barely remember losing her virginity. After all, Gryffindor had won the Quidditch game and there'd been a big party with lots of alcohol. She'd supplied it, too. Just as much of a troublemaker as she could be, corrupting the kids who hadn't yet been corrupted.

And how hypocritical of her it was that she'd never been completely corrupted, herself, until last night. She wasn't innocent in any sense of the word, now, and her last bit of innocence had vanished only a few hours ago.

Mia could remember drinking the firewhiskey, kissing Alex, letting him pull her upstairs, tumbling onto his bed. She could remember it all, though a bit fuzzily. That wasn't how she'd wanted it to go, how she'd wanted to lose her virginity. It was one of those things that she'd known, had a clear picture of, since she'd found out her parents had had her as teenagers. She'd never wanted that to happen to her. She'd wanted to be in a relationship, in love with the guy, out of Hogwarts, even.

But it was arguable that she was in love with Alex. Alex, who she could see jogging down the path to where she was, holding a pile of her clothing and now dressed, himself. He'd come to bring clothes to her because of the cold outside. He'd come because he knew they had to talk now or she'd hold a grudge for the rest of her life. Because even if she didn't want to see the guy she'd had sex with last night, she wanted her best friend.

He slowed down when he spotted her, knowing that she always went to the same spot when she was upset. He walked over and dropped down beside her, wrapping an arm around her shoulder.

She looked up at him and studied his face. He looked so different. He had no baby fat, now. His facial features were chiseled, strong, contoured. He had stubble on his jawline and his shoulders were broad. He'd filled out. He was no longer scrawny and Mia loved to run her hands all over him when they were kissing. And apparently, when they were doing more than kissing.

The hand that wasn't attached to the arm wrapped around her shoulder came up to brush hair away from her face. But as much of a best friend he was, as well as he knew her, he couldn't stop the tears from coming.

He did his best to comfort her, pulling her into a hug and rocking her back and forth.

When her tears finally stopped, all he said was, "I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry, too," Mia sniffled. "Though I'm apologizing for getting snot all over your shirt and bolting out of the room. Not sure what you're sorry for."

Alex shrugged. "We slept together. I feel kind of responsible."

"Takes two to tango."

Mia sighed and rested her head on Alex's chest.

"I know you never wanted it to happen that way," Alex said. "That's what I'm sorry for. That I took that away from you."

"I'll get over it."

"I might not," Alex admitted. "I always wanted you to be my first. I just kept thinking how right it felt, how good it was to be kissing you."

"Then how come you don't just ask me out?" The words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. Well, she'd already started, so she might as well finish. "Why do we keep hooking up, fucking sleep with each other, if there is nothing between us? Do you just not like me? Is that it?"

"Mia, no," Alex said, flabbergasted. "Of course not."

"Then why do you do this?" she begged. She hated the sound of her voice, but she was too upset, too frustrated, too completely sick of all of this, to actually get mad at Alex. "Am I just easy to you? Just conveniently there?"

"Mia, stop it." Alex's voice was deadly and low, the lethal combination that made Mia's mouth close immediately. When that voice came out, and it so rarely did, you knew it was time to shut up. "Of course I like you. I wouldn't do anything with you if I didn't. I told you last night, I love you."

Mia stared at him. "What did you just say?"

"I love you. I. Love. You. Get it now?"

Mia felt like her eyes were bugging out of her head. "Wha-?"

Alex laughed deliriously, like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. It was a laugh of freedom. "I love you, okay? I have loved you since fourth year, and I'm pretty damn sure I'm always going to love you."

Mia stared before she whispered, "I love you, too."

"Good. So is this where I ask you to be my girlfriend?"

Review, please? [begs]