He couldn't help but stare at her. It was hardly his fault, her hair took up almost half of his vision, and the other half was filled with a board full of Ancient Runes he'd already transcribed. Or at least, that's what he told himself – if he had admitted the truth he would have to stop.
In her turn, she couldn't stop watching him in Potions. She loved the way his hair curled in the steam – now freed from the slicked back younger self. She had gotten over her qualms about him weeks ago; after all, not liking him would prove his point.
So maybe she was lying to herself as well.
The library was the only time they watched each other – sneaking glances when the other was pretending to read, or do homework. But in reality, his smirk was barely hidden as she peeked at him for the fourth time that minute, and her hair covered the happy blush that his watching her had caused.
When they spoke, it was curt, but without insults. First names were only used in daydreams for her, and fantasies for him (although the contexts differed dramatically).
It was on one such library night, with all the lights out save for the ones at their tables, that real hope grew in both of them. She started it, although she will adamantly deny it.
It started with Peeves, and a blowing out of candles.
"Fuck's sake." He swore, and she heard the slamming of books, and then the movement of a chair. Silence followed.
"Malfoy?" She asked into the dark, nails digging into her own arms as she repeated the mantra 'nothing is going to get you' in her head. She half stood, but a light hand on her shoulder caused her wheel around and punch the nearest thing to her. The crack and resultant swearing told her who she'd hit.
"Merlin, Draco, I'm so sorry. I thought…"
"It doesn't matter what you thought, Hermione, I think you've broken my rib." Draco's breathing was tempered, and Hermione remembered her wand, lighting it nonverbally.
"I'm sorry, honestly. I'm afraid of the dark." Once she had admitted it, she wished she hadn't.
"Next time use your wand, I think I'd rather be immobilized." Draco reached into his pocket, hissing, and fixed his rib, wincing as it cracked back into place.
They both left the library that night, not remembering the words exchanged except for one.
Their first names falling naturally out of the other's lips.