"What's up, Granger?" he questioned cockily, a smirk pulling his mouth. "Don't tell me one of the fearless Gryffindors is scared of a little storm."

He expected defiance and irritation, but she simply pulled her blanket a little tighter around herself. "Not storms," she mumbled after a moment. "I just...I don't like the sound of the wind."

His expression scrunched up with confusion. She was actually owning up to her fear? Admitting to phobias was simply not done in his circles, and especially wouldn't be mentioned in front of an enemy. Broadcasting any form of weakness was just plain foolish, and yet she'd done it so easily.

Trusting and naïve idiot.

But she was suddenly more real...more human, and it sobered him like a blast of winter. She was a personality and less...No, she was definitely still a Mudblood...But she was a Mudblood with a character...Kind of. Possibly.

He observed her with more attention than was probably appropriate as her shoulders relaxed when the wind died. Back was the rational Granger with seemingly no issues with weather conditions, but it was there behind her amber gaze. She lifted her hot chocolate from the table and brought it to those rosy lips of hers, forming her mouth into a small ring to blow the steam away. It shouldn't have held his attention. But it did.

"Your drink will get cold," she murmured, regarding him quietly as she took a sip.

He inhaled sharply before he climbed over the back of the couch and collapsed into the cushions, eyeing her impatiently. "How can you be scared of the wind?"

"It's not so much the wind itself," she answered evenly. "I just don't like the noise."

"That's just stupid," he scoffed.

"Everyone's scared of something," she reasoned carefully. "Aren't you? It's human nature."

He scowled like the suggestion was absolutely ridiculous, but he couldn't help but consider her words. The idea of disappointing his family, or more specifically his father came to mind, but he was guessing she meant something more specific and clinical. Either he simply didn't have one, or he was subconsciously choosing to to ignore it. Still, he hated her for making him think.

"No," he stated simply, leaning forward to grab the mug.

"Maybe you just haven't realised yours yet," Hermione offered with a non-committal shrug. "Will you answer my question? About the other day? When I...you know."

His eyes narrowed. "I doubt it would be possible for me to hate you any more than I already do," Draco told her calmly, his lips twitching. She looked slightly troubled by his words, and the need for him to say something else buzzed around his tongue. He clenched his eyes shut and scorned himself for what he rushed out next. "Consider it dealt with, Granger."

A fascinating mixture of relief and surprise stole Hermione's face. "Really?"

"It would serve you well to just not mention it," he said squarely, having long decided that the incident was best tucked away at the back of beyond. "Unless you would have me bring it up-

"No," she shook her head hastily. "No, I'd like to forget it."

He gave her a brief nod and swallowed a soothing gulp of the hot chocolate, and Hermione resisted the urge to say thank you for agreeing to forget the topic. If she remembered correctly, she had apologised and said please more than she should have on that awful day. If she started spewing out words of gratitude to the arsehole then it would be a step too far.

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