Midnight Stroll (ASAHR Third Person)

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"I missed this place," Andy said. Tammy and Kasey nodded in agreement, looking up at the grand ceiling of the entrance hall. Magic dripped from every inch of the castle walls. The occupants of portraits followed along, pointing out at all the children, some miffed that the peace and quiet had come to an end but most others seemingly excited about the start of the new term. Ghosts floated above. Staircases moved. It all worked together as an ever-present reminder of how truly spectacular Hogwarts was. First year's eyes ignited with wonder and excitement as they were herded toward the Great Hall. Andy chanced a glance behind her. Draco strolled toward the back of the pack with his group of morons, Pansy clutching onto his arm for dear life. He had been watching her, his eyes in tune with hers the moment she turned around. She snapped her head back, embarrassed at being caught seeking him out.

"Why are you blushing?" Tammy asked.

"I'm not blushing. Why would I blush?" Andy said. She felt her face only get hotter, but refused to acknowledge it. Tammy narrowed her eyes but continued walking and didn't say another word about it. Entering the Great Hall, the girls snagged their usual seats in the middle of the Slytherin table. Unable to help herself, Andy looked out to the crowd again. Draco approached, clearly miserable as Pansy hung onto him for dear life. Feeling charitable, Andy waved him over. He looked surprised, but did not hesitate to take her up on the offer. She scooted a bit so that there was only room for one person beside her and Draco slid in.

"Drakie! What about me?!" Pansy asked, hands on her hips. Draco pretended to look around in shock at the lack of seating.

"Oh, I didn't notice there weren't any more seats. Sorry, Pansy. Maybe you can go sit with Flint?" Pansy shot Andy a venomous look before walking away towards Flint at the other end of the table.

"Thank you so much," he said.

"You owe me," Andy said, and turned back toward the front to watch the sorting. Every couple of kids that were sorted, Draco leaned in and whispered a joke in her ear, their laughter earning some stern looks from the Professor's table at the front, until finally there weren't any more new students to sort. Professor McGonagall took the stool and the hat from the front and Professor Dumbledore stood. The Hall silenced at once.

"Well, we'll leave all the announcements until after the feast as I'm sure you all are starving," he said. A small murmur of agreement came from the students seated before him, and he chuckled, stroking his long white beard. "Let the feast begin!"

The table filled with food. Orange liquid came from nowhere and filled the golden chalices lining the table. Feeling parched, Andy reached for hers and took a sip, mentally sighing in delight at her first taste of Hogwarts' pumpkin juice in months. Her mother tried making it for her but it never turned out quite like this. Satisfied, she began serving herself some salad.

"Honestly. Out of all this food you head straight for the salad?" Draco asked, staring at your plate.

"Well, I can't look this fabulous eating whatever that is." She held out her knife, poking at a bit of fat hanging off the leg of an unidentified type of animal. A heavy-set boy with a thick brow sitting across from them suddenly grabbed for the leg, pulling it clear off the meat carcass and tearing a bite from it in a disturbingly animalistic fashion. It was very caveman-esque. She shook her head, turning her attention back to her fresh, clean salad. "Plus, most of this is meat."

"So?" Draco asked.

"So? I'm a vegetarian," she said, taking a bite of lettuce and tomato.

"I didn't know that."

"Shocker," she said. He smirked and continued eating his food. Andy finished up within 5 minutes, and got up.

"Where are you going?" Kasey asked.

"The bathroom. Do I need permission now?" Andy said. Kasey shook her head, her eyes cast down in apology. She left them and walked out of the Great Hall.

She took her time when she entered the empty lavatory, meandering up to the grand vanity sinks. She turned the knob, letting the water run a few moments before washing her hands, delighting in the warmth of the water. After drying them, she simply stood and examined herself in the mirror, shifting her robes but unable to settle them comfortably. The top button of her shirt was already undone, but she undid the second one, revealing the top of her tank top and a bit of cleavage. It was against dress policy, but she cared more about her own comfort at the moment. And she never was good at following rules. She smirked at her own reflection as the thought ran through her head, wondering how her father might react to that statement. By the time she finally left the bathroom, she somehow wasn't surprised to see Draco leaning against the wall.

"You stalking me now?" she asked.

"I'm just interested, that's all." he said, standing from the wall.

"Interested in what?"

"Well, I've overlooked the fact that you're a dancer and a vegetarian. Who knows what else I'm overlooking?" he said, holding out his arm. Hesitant, she stepped forward, staring at his arm. It was the genuine earnestness in his eyes that finally spurred her to take his arm in hers, and he led her down the Entrance Hall and out toward the grounds.

* * * *

"You know, you're right, Draco. I don't know how I've managed to resist you for so long," Andy said, holding back her laughter. Draco straightened up, kicking away the stick that he just nearly tripped over.

"Funny," he said. She locked arms with him again and kept walking, head resting on his shoulder. "It was your turn," he added.

"I don't think there's anything else," she said.

"Sure there is."

"Well... I'm left handed!" she said. He laughed.

"Something a little more important maybe."

"Well, my parents are trying to get me to work at the ministry with my father," she said.

"And from the tone of your voice I'm guessing you don't want to."

"Correct. I want to be a dancer!" she said, leaping away from him and landing gracefully, rolling down to lay in the grass. He followed and sat next to her.

"So be one," he said.

"God I wish it were that simple," she said, looking up to the sky. She truly did. Nothing else sounded more freeing than leaving everything behind and dancing. Only worrying about dancing and nothing else. She watched the stars flickering above her, and imagined dancing alongside them. The thought elated her. She felt as though she could float up and reach them if only she weren't so weighed down. Suddenly, she felt heavy. Suffocated. She sat up, unhooking the clasp of her robes and letting them fall down behind her. Then she began unbuttoning her shirt.

"Woah." Draco said, although he didn't seem to mind.

"Okay Mr. Dirty Mind! I have my shorts and a tank top on under these. Don't get any ideas!" She laughed as his face fell in disappointment. She threw her robes to the side and lay back down.

"I got an offer from a dance company. They want to see me in a showcase next summer."

"That's great. Why don't you?" Draco asked.

"Because," she said, but decided not to elaborate.

"Okay. Well, if it makes you feel any better, my father also wants me to do something I don't want to do," he said. She looked to the side at him and saw a completely different person from the Slytherin Sex-God she knew. Darkness seemed to encroach upon his features at the mention of his father. He was no long the carefree, arrogant prat she knew too well.

"You almost seem normal," she said, then blushed in embarrassment as having said it out loud. He looked at her questioningly. "It's just, you know. You're having a conversation without trying to secretly undo my bra," she said. Whatever tension there was, it disappeared when Draco smiled, both of them falling into laughter together.

"I'm not that bad," he said. Andy doubled over in laughter even harder. "Okay, fine! I bet you 10 galleons that I don't try anything tonight."

"Deal," she said, shaking his hand. A cool breeze blew, the air hitting her bare legs. She hugged them to her chest and watched the sway of the trees. She always loved the way they moved. Like a dance.

* * * *

"What do you mean you didn't get the password?" Andy asked. Draco just shrugged and leaned against the wall. It was almost midnight before the two of them made their way back to the Slytherin common room. She sighed and slid down the wall to wait for someone to come and let them in. He sat down next to her and took her hand in his, his thumb tracing little circles on her skin.

"You said you wouldn't try anything."

"I'm not. Your hands looked soft, is all. Just feeling." She shook her head, pulling her hand away.

"My lip gloss is watermelon, why don't you taste it?" she asked sarcastically. He raised an eyebrow and they both laughed. She shifted, trying to get comfortable, since there was no sign of anyone coming. She began to drift, her head and body leaning slightly before coming to a rest on Draco's shoulder. Not conscious enough to care about the message being sent by this action, she cuddled in closer for comfort. His shirt smelled nice, like fresh laundry detergent. She found herself wondering what detergent his mother used. It wandered to other random things, as the mind often does before sleep takes over. It was then that Draco's fingers touched the bottom of her chin, lifting up her groggy head. She opened her eyes just as he planted a soft kiss on her lips. Then he leaned his head back against the wall again and closed his eyes. Andy hesitantly put her head back on his shoulder and closed her eyes. A small thought came to her and she smiled.

"You owe me 10 gallons," she said quietly.

"You're worth it," he replied, not moving. She couldn't help but smile as she fell back asleep on his shoulder.

tc0~Y#


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