A Dragon and a Phoenix

Chapter 9

"Hey, I thought you'd already be asleep. You didn't come down for supper," she said.

"Well, I was just really tired so I came up here and had a nice long bath instead."

"I see you had someone bring you something anyway. Did Malfoy actually turn into a decent human being?" she asked as she reached for the note that I had left lying on the table. I tried to get it before she could but it was too late. She had already seen the name on it and was looking at me with a mixture of excitement and surprise.

"Oooh! Isn't he the really cute guy that usually sits in the back of our potions class? He doesn't usually say much. So what's going on with the two of you? Are you going to ditch Malfoy for him? You guys would make such a cute couple!"

Laughing, I held up my hands in mock surrender. "Are you going to ask all twenty questions at once or are you going to let me catch up?"

Kat laughed at her own exuberance. "Yes you can catch up, but there are so many other questions that I want to ask!"

"Okay, to answer your first questions. Yes, He's the really cute one that sits in the back of potions. No he doesn't really say a lot usually. Nothing's going on with us. We're just friends. I'm not ditching anyone. I'm glad you think we'd make a cute couple, but seeing as how I have a boyfriend that's totally irrelevant. Now you can ask more questions if you want."

"But this is one of those thoughtful little things that guys do for girls they like! You know I'm right. And besides, you'd be way better off with him than Malfoy. You know he's a git. I still don't understand why you're dating him."

"Okay. It is one of those thoughtful little things that most guys do for girls they like, but it's also something that a friend would do for you. And I know you guys don't understand why I'm dating Malfoy, I just am. But it would be better if he didn't know that I'm friends with Blake. I doubt very seriously that he would like the idea of me spending time with another guy even if he was my long lost twin brother," I said.

"Of course I won't say anything, but how do you expect to keep it from him? I mean, won't you guys be hanging out together? Or does he know about Malfoy?" she queried.

"He knows the situation. And he understands. He won't say anything. Besides, Draco has been distracted lately. He won't notice if I'm not always with him. I'll have more time to spend with you and Sara too."

We continued our discussion late into the night with Sara eventually joining us. It was great to get some form of normalcy back. I was overcome with a feeling of relaxation that I hadn't experienced in a long time. It was like I knew that things would all of a sudden turn right. Something told me that it was because Blake was there now. My practical side said that was ridiculous, but I couldn't shake the feeling.

The next moment when I woke up I got up and got dressed as usual. I went down to the common room. It was still early so I didn't have to worry about anyone else bothering me. I sat down and wrote a hurried note to Blake. Once finished, I went up to the boys' dormitories as quietly as possible. When I opened the door I could see that everyone was still asleep. I crept over to Blake and slipped the note into his hand and started to leave. But before I could get to the door a mischievous inspiration overcame me. So of course, I went with it. I walked over to Draco's bed and jumped on top of him. He woke with a yell as I laughed.

"What the bloody hell are you doing?!" he yelled.

"Waking you up, love. What does it look like I'm doing?" I asked with a smile.

He looked at me like I had lost my mind. Granted, I felt like I had, but it was worth it to hear him yell like a banshee.

"Well since you've decided to be my wake-up call, are you at least going to get your arse off of me so I can get dressed?" he asked.

"Of course I'll let you get dressed. Are you going to breakfast with me or with your goons?" I asked, motioning to Crabbe and Goyle who had woken at Draco's yelling. The rest of the boys were getting up too with some grumbling at the manner of their waking and others muttering about breakfast.

"I suppose I'll go with you if that's what you want," he replied with a confused look in his eyes.

"Alright, I'll meet you in the common room then, "I said, with a smile.

I caught the look Blake flashed me as I walked by and with a sly smile I shook my head slightly so that he would understand that I would explain things later.

Grabbing my books, I sat down on the couch by the fire. This was going to be interesting.

Sara and Kat came down the stairs and saw me. They sat down to chat, and we were in the middle of talking about charms when Draco walked up. I stood up and they followed suit. "Everyone ready to go?" I asked, looking around at the group.

"Sure. I'm starved," answered Kat.

Draco merely gave a curt nod and turned toward the portrait hole. I grabbed his hand and kissed him on the cheek as we walked out. Since we were a few steps ahead of my friends he looked at me and said, "I don't know what you're doing but I'm no fool. I'm keeping an eye on you."

Coolly, I returned his stare and replied, "What makes you think I'm doing anything wrong? Maybe I've just realized that I've been fighting like hell against a natural attraction to you, and now I'm just going to give in and let you have what you want. I know you like me or you wouldn't have gone through the trouble to get me. You can say that it was all to make me publicly eat my words and to humiliate me with the control, but we both know it's more than that. So why don't you just enjoy having a willing girlfriend instead of one that wants nothing more than to see your head on a platter? I've just decided that I want you to keep your eyes on me."

Although there was some hesitation in his expression, he nodded his approval with a ghost of his usual smirk. Together, we made the rest of the trip to the Great Hall in silence. Kat and Sara were talking about Sara's new romantic interest and trying to decide how to find more time for her to spend with him.

After breakfast it was business as usual as far as classes were concerned but everything else was completely different. I made sure to glue myself to Draco. I didn't act like Pansy and simper over everything he did, but I simply made sure that my presence was known. He seemed to enjoy the attention and reciprocated it in full. It wasn't quite sure if he was being sincere or if he was just playing along in hopes of calling my bluff.

Okay, so it's finally Friday. It's been a long week of performing. I'm so glad that I'm a good actress. All of that practice as the leading female in most of the school plays has paid off.

As I was getting out of bed to get ready for a fun filled day of shopping in Hogsmeade, I realized that I had a piece of parchment in my hand. I unfolded it to find another note from Blake.

I still don't fully understand this plan of yours, but maybe it will make more sense when you can explain it to me better. If you can find a chance to get away from him, meet me in the Three Broomsticks at one o'clock. Hope to see you there.

I smiled and put the note away. It shouldn't be a problem getting away from Draco. He had already hinted that he wouldn't be spending the whole day with me anyway. This, of course, suited me just fine. Now I really had something to look forward to. Blake and I had been passing notes in this manner all week. It was easier for me to get one to him since I could go into his dormitory, but somehow he'd been managing. I had the sneaking suspicion that he'd been using a house elf.

At the bottom of the stairs I found Draco waiting on me. He didn't look thrilled that Kat and Sara were with me, but didn't say anything about it.

"I've decided that I want a new dress for the Halloween feast," I said with a smile.

"Well I suppose we can get that first. We only have a couple of hours, though. I have something else that I have to see to at noon. Then I'll meet you at the castle at three," he replied.

I knew better than to even bother asking what it was that he had to do that was so important. There was no way he was going to tell me. So I contented myself with the fact that I wouldn't have to worry about trying to shake him off so I could go and meet Blake at one o'clock. I looped my arm around his and said, "Alright. That will give me plenty of time to get changed for the feast.

We went to one of our favorite shops, and Kat, Sara and I immediately dove into the dresses. There were so many that I liked that I spent an hour and a half trying them on until I had found the perfect one. The dress was emerald green with silver trimming. It was a backless halter dress made of silk that draped like a second skin over ever curve of my body. I knew it was the right one when I walked out of the dressing room.

"What do all of you think?" I asked. Two gasps from Sara and Kat told me that it had their approval, but most importantly Draco was speechless. That was a sure sign that every male in the room would think the same thing tonight. He was only ever truly interested in the most attractive girls and from the looks of his expression he was very interested in me.

I purchased the dress and Sara bought new shoes. Kat wanted to look at another place for jewelry to match the dress she'd brought with her. So we left and started down the street in search of the perfect accessories.

Before I had gone two steps Draco grabbed my hand and pulled me around to face him.

"I've got somewhere to be. You finish up here and I'll meet you back at the castle," he said.

"Alright we'll see you later then," I replied before kissing him lightly and turning to rejoin my friends.

I noticed with some pleasure that he seemed wrong footed by the kiss and it amused me.

He seemed wholly unaccustomed to such gestures of affection.

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