Eve


            The next week was the longest of my life.

            I moved from class to class numbly, going through the classwork slowly and often having to start over from making a mistake. On the bright side, I had plenty of time to do my homework and make up the work I'd missed because I still wasn't sleeping well. I was managing to keep it together in front of everyone, even the times when I wanted to be alone in the dormitory but Pansy and Millicent refused to leave.

            Being in Potions, however, was especially difficult.

            Malfoy and Blaise were back on speaking terms, and it was getting harder and harder to ignore Blaise whenever he looked at me from across the table. I was just grateful he hadn't tried talking to me again since the day I returned to classes.

            I even managed to keep Ginny from getting worried about me over the course of the week, acting like nothing was wrong and making sure to not zone out whenever she was talking with me. Most of the time, I was able to distract myself long enough to not even think about what had happened the week before. And for the most part, it was working. I was slowly starting to feel okay again.

            I was in the library studying alone when the strangest thing possible could have happened.

           Malfoy burst in and rounded the corner around the nearest bookshelf, causing me to jump and look up at him. He was absolutely breathless as he stopped by my table and said between gasps for air, "There...you are. I've been—looking everywhere for you."

            "Um...why?" I asked suspiciously, carefully sitting up. I badly wanted to back away from him, because this was the closest he'd ever gotten to me since I last spoke with him a week ago in the common room. And I'd promised myself that was the last time I'd ever talk to Malfoy.

            "Hang on," Malfoy gasped, collapsing into the chair across from me and holding his chest. "I just sprinted all the way from the locker room."

            I rolled my eyes as he took a full minute to catch his breath. My fingernails were dug deep into both of my arms under the table, fighting every urge I had to get up and leave. I didn't want to be near him, I didn't want to even be in the same room as him—

            "Alright," Malfoy said finally. He leaned back in his chair and said as casually as possible, "Something's come up and I need a favor from you."

            For half a second, all I did was stare at him. Since when did the great Draco Malfoy want anything to do with me? Almost in shock, I said slowly, "Sorry...what?"

            This time it was Malfoy's turn to roll his eyes. But he still refused to meet my gaze as he asked with annoyance, "You know the Quidditch match against Gryffindor is this Saturday, right? You must know that."

            "I do," I said coldly, keeping my arms crossed in front of me. Why wouldn't he look at me? If anyone should be avoiding eye contact, it was me.

            "We were practicing today and Flint got knocked off his broom," Malfoy told me, his eyes fixed on the window beside us. "He's in the hospital wing with a concussion. Pomfrey says he's done with playing until next week."

            "Okay..." I said, looking at him across the table and waiting for him to finally make eye contact with me. "What does this have to do with me?"

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