A Dragon and a Phoenix

Chapter 10

I walked down the street with Kat and Sara and managed to make conversation through the entire process of shopping for something suitable to match Kat's dress. However, as soon as the opportunity presented itself I made my escape.

"I really think we should just try the smaller store. I know they don't have as much of a selection but they have such nice things and I think it'll be just the place to find the right thing," Kat said to Sara.

Just as she was agreeing I broke in, "You two go ahead and check out the last shop. I'm going to go and grab something to drink in the Three Broomsticks. I just need a break. My feet are killing me from all of this shopping. I'll meet the two of you back at the school in a bit. Okay?"

"Of course; we'll see you back at the castle. To tell you the truth my feet are tired too. But I know that Kat will never rest until she finds the perfect whatever she's looking for so I'll stay and help her with that," replied Sara.

With that I was on my way to the Three Broomsticks to meet up with Blake. When I entered I found it just as noisy and crowded with Hogwarts students as ever it was on any other Hogsmeade weekend. I looked around for a minute before I spotted Blake at the very back of the room in a shadowed corner. He had managed to acquire a table that was positioned behind some potted plants. I made my way over to the table and smiled at him as he stood up to give me a hug. I took the other chair and he passed me the butterbeer that he had waiting on me.

I took it smiling and said, "Very confident I was coming then?"

He laughed and replied, "I just hoped you wouldn't be able to stay away. How did you manage getting away from everyone? I was doubtful that they'd let you out of their sight."

"I have my ways. They just sometimes forget how sneaky I can be," I answered. "So is there any particular reason that you were so keen to get me to meet you here or were you just craving my charming company?" I queried with a smile.

He put on a mock look of deep thought before he finally retorted, "I just wanted to see you smiling and having some fun before I have to spend the night watching you look miserable when Malfoy's not looking. You put on a good act for him though, I will give you that. I just don't see how he can think that blackmailing you is going to make you like him."

On the verge of replying with a scathing comment about the minds of dark wizards I realized what he had just said. "What makes you think that's what's going on?"

With a small sigh he looked up at me and said, "Come on Kim. That's the only reason I can work out that he'd even try pulling all of this off. He's an evil little cockroach and you're a really great girl. You're not the type that I would have thought that he'd have gone after. I mean, muggle torture and violent murders don't really seem to be on your list of interests. Although, you are one of the few females our age that's a pure blood and not already in his family tree, so maybe his parents have 'chosen' you for him or something. I doubt he knows how to go about getting you to date him any other way when from what you tell me you've always avoided him."

I was too stunned to react for a moment. I hadn't considered the possibility that he was doing anything more than making me suffer the most entertaining way he knew how for the humiliation I put him through. This had been much worse than a few rounds with the Cruciatus curse, but to even think that he was considering something more permanent was unbearable. It was true; however, our families had somehow managed not to marry into each other, at least not in the last couple of centuries. And one could bet on the fact that his parents would be expecting him to marry a pure blood witch. Surely he wasn't considering me for the job. I'd always made it very clear that I wasn't interested in him. I knew his family's reputation. My family may be pure bloods but we'd always remained neutral when it came to the war.

"Surely that's not what is on his mind. I've just humiliated him in front of his peers one too many times. This is his way of making me suffer for it without breaking any rules or laws," I said.

Blake snorted, "Maybe he is just trying to get even, but you'd be naïve not to consider the possibility. After all, you come from a very respectable family. But there's always a loophole. We'll get you out of this. I'm here for you Kim."

I smiled at him. He was very charming. It's good to have friends like him. "Well, let's just hope you're not right about your theory. I think I would have to disappear before I let that happen. But I think I may have figured out a way to make him change his mind about being with me. Part of the appeal is the chase. I obviously don't want him so it makes it more of a challenge for him to get me to change my mind. But maybe if I pretend that I've made a complete turn around and get really clingy then he'll be the one running away. You know what they say; you always want what you can't have. So I'll just have to make it more than he bargained for having me around."

Blake considered this for a minute then smiled and replied, "You know, you just might have something there. I had this girlfriend once that took me weeks to get her to go out with me in the first place, but after a couple of months together she was just everywhere. I thought I was going to suffocate under all of the attention so I ended it. You should try it and see how that works out."

"Well then, it seems like I finally have a plan." I said. Then as I reached for my drink I noticed my watch and the time. I realized that I should already be on my way back to the castle. I jumped up saying, "Oh, no! I'm late I've got to run before someone starts wondering what's taking me so long. Thank you for helping me out. I'll see you tonight." Blake nodded in agreement that he would see me tonight and I made my way to the door.

Once I finally managed to make it back to the dormitory I rushed to get a shower before I changed. I gave a little wave of my wand to dry my hair then I curled it perfectly, leaving my long bangs swept to the side. Then, adding a subtle layer of makeup I finished off the look. I stepped back to observe my work in the mirror. "Perfect."

When Kat and Sara looked up and saw me they both squealed with excitement. "You look excellent! You're going to be the most beautiful girl there!" gushed Kat. I smiled at them both and thanked them for their compliments and suggested that we move on to the common room. "Draco is probably already waiting impatiently on me," I said.

As we reached the bottom of the stairs Draco, who had been facing the opposite direction talking with Blaise, turned to see what the other boy was suddenly staring at. As his eyes fell on me he stopped what he had been saying and walked slowly toward me.

He came to a halt mere inches from me and whispered, "Kim, you look amazing."

I was left speechless at what seemed to be a genuine compliment. This was something that just didn't happen when it came to Draco Malfoy. What on earth could he be up to now?!

I took his proffered hand and walked to the portrait hole with Sara, Kat, and Draco's cronies in tow. It was a most interesting trip to the Great Hall. He actually talked to me. Not just the normal 'you-will-obey-me-or-suffer-the-consequences' chatter, but normal conversation, almost like you would have with a friend. For a brief moment I almost forgot who I was with.

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