It was still very disconcerting. How many hours had he wasted hating Malfoy, suspecting him, fearing him in some cases? How much of his Hogwarts life had been tormented by him? It was hard to say which was worse, Snape or Malfoy, the more recent years had led him leaning towards the former, but his rival was still dangerous.
This entire thing had him thrown for a loop and he didn’t know why the other hadn’t cursed him with his wand on the spot. Maybe they were maturing, although he doubted it, there was just more at stake these days and perhaps neither wanted to risk such an altercation. They weren’t just tossing out jellyleg jinxes any longer, they could do some real damage if they weren’t careful. He took the Snitch and nodded, catching his breath and forcing himself to look at the other a bit longer than he wanted, meeting his eyes and feeling a prickling sensation down his spine.
"Ten, nine…" He started to countdown as requested, feeling nervous and knowing he needed to catch the next point. He wasn’t about to lose to Malfoy and he knew that it would be risky to let him get two in a row, he would never hear the end of it. He closed his eyes as he tossed the Snitch away, the flutter of its metallic wings easy to hear for just a moment before it was off into the growing darkness and he slowly reopened them, looking at the other before shouting, "Go!"
He whirled around on his Firebolt and went streaking off towards the grassy pitch below, not waiting to look around where they were. He was going to find it first, he had to, Harry’s determination not to lose stronger than ever. Why that was the case was hard to say, perhaps it was the desire to return such a smile to the other, to show him that he could be just as pleasant too.
And so they played Quidditch together on semi-friendly terms for the first time in the history of their rivalry. Without a crowd to watch them, without any real pressure, Draco flew as though nothing in the world rested on his shoulders. Harry proved to be one hell of a match, and he flew like he hadn’t in years.
Nothing about the game felt juvenile, nothing at all, and Draco wondered if maybe, just maybe, things turned out okay, if he might like to play professional Quidditch. Harry caught the Snitch the second time around, right out from under Draco’s nose, and they’d laughed as Draco shut his eyes tightly and threw the ball.
He wanted to laugh; she didn’t love, how strange for a teenaged girl. He shrugged his shoulders. “But why not? You want to, don’t you? To love someone?” He wasn’t sure that he ever wanted to, because that was something that made people incredibly vulnerable. He was vulnerable enough without having to worry about someone he’d taken an interest in. He could hardly handle himself as it was.
“Confidence is half the battle, I’ll have you know,” he said, and he stared as she began to swing their hands back and forth like that, feeling twelve all over again. He couldn’t help grinning at her accusation. “A chaser? Not at all. I’m a Seeker, you see,” he said quietly, a playful spark in his eyes. “Everyone else can do as they please, but I’m focused. There’s only one ball I’m interested in. Sure, the spectators might catch a glimmer of gold from the corners of their eyes, but that one’s reserved for me, and it’s the only part of the game that I’m interested in. And if some people admire my flying skills, well, that’s all well and good, but I’ve got a single job to do, and I’ve got to do it right, don’t I?” He was rather proud of that metaphor.
Draco envied Saphira her innocence, he really did. He looked down at her and he wondered why, exactly, she wouldn’t want to romance the hero; he suspected that she had more of a chance than most, despite her lack of freckles and overall ginger-ness. She really was very pretty, and she had class and poise and all those things that a hero should like, so why didn’t she go for it? If he was a girl, he probably would have if only for the publicity; then again, Draco was a notorious whore for a headline.
But Saphira was so innocent and naïve, if she honestly thought that being forced into a role didn’t mean you assumed it. He was scared, he was bloody terrified, and it shone in his eyes so often when he looked in the mirror that he didn’t like to look at very many people at all anymore. He didn’t want them to see just how scared he was.
He glared at Draco. “What is it to you?”
"I don’t actually give a fuck, Weasel. You’re just easy to goad. I suppose most people who are so painfully stupid are.”
“I’ll have you know that I haven’t a single feeling. Ask anyone, Parker; I’m a completely empty husk, meant only for harassment and rule-breaking. That’s the only reason you’ve come out with me tonight—the bad boy mystery.” He gave her a saucy wink; it was a miracle that he was able to say such things with a straight face. Draco Malfoy was not known for his sparkling sense of humour, after all; he was dry and scathing, and that seemed to even apply to insults he applied towards himself. That didn’t mean he wasn’t intriguing, and he knew it. It came off as arrogance.
He really was rather arrogant.
"Only if you can piss off, Malfoy."
"Ooooh, look how clever you are. I can tell you’ve been consulting with, what do they call her? The brightest witch of her age? But that’s bollocks—I know you haven’t been spending time with her lately at all. I hear you’re getting quite desperate about it."
Saphira actually let out a laugh. A true, soft laugh that floated out into the air around them. She was having fun. No, No she couldn’t of been having fun. Maybe she was just making the most of the situation? “Oh, that’s definitely not the worst I’ve heard. You used to have some pretty heartbreaking insults for me.” She pressed a hand over her chest and pretended to faint dramatically.
It was so strange that they were walking together. In truth, sometimes she would think about it. Saphira Parker believed that there were no bad people, just bad things that happened to good ones. So, for quite sometime she had wondered if the notorious Draco Malfoy would take a walk on the kind side of life. “Colorful is definitely a nice way to put it. But if it means anything, you don’t exactly seem like the big bad snake of the west anymore.” Her smile grew a bit larger.
For a few days Saphira had tried to tell herself the dance didn’t happen. Now she had come to terms with it, and realized she had actually enjoyed the night a lot. When he called her a sodding Gryffindor she rolled her eyes. “Oh, well that’s very attractive.” A smirk took over her features after the words came out. “And I suppose you think that you’re the best type of man? Well, what if you aren’t the best type for every woman?” It was a counter but Saphira wasn’t being rude. In fact, she was being playful with Malfoy.
When he whirled her around a giggle actually came out. At this point she could see why so many women would fall for him. He was quite charming, but not enough to hook her. “Why Malfoy, I didn’t know that your moves were that good. Don’t make me swoon, that definitely wouldn’t be good for our… encounter.” He wasn’t beating her. She could be sassy and quite snarky when she wanted to be. Because of that most men often found it hard to keep up with her.
"I don’t think it’s about making a difference, I think it’s about wanting it to. It kind of gives people hope, which everyone needs right now." Saphira moved her arm to take his hand with a warm smile. "I’m sure you need hope with something, don’t you?" She looked up. The stars were absolutely gorgeous, but deep down she knew that they were dead. "There’s only coincidence in life. But that doesn’t mean that what you want won’t happen." She closed her eyes while walking him, focusing a bit to remain balance. "Okay now close yours but i’m not telling you what I wish for." She bit her lip.
"I’m sure that I could peruse the extensive catalogue of insults in my mind to come up with something unique and special for you; let’s see that that isn’t a necessary measure, shall we?" Draco’s words were laced with amusement, and he was watching her with something that was more smile than smirk for once. Sometimes it was good to let one’s hair down a bit; if only everyone else could do the same. "And Potter can shove his insults up his arse; they’re more suited there, I think, than hanging about in polite company. Given his grand wit, I can’t see how they’d make an ounce of sense."
Her playful banter made him draw himself to his full height, sticking his chin up in the air, and he sucked in a breath through his nose. “I am very much the big, bad snake of the West, I’ll have you know. I’m terrifying. And very much so the best type of man, for anyone. Anyone who lands such a prize as the heir to the Malfoy fortune will be the luckiest sod on the planet—besides me, of course, because if I marry, I intend to do so well. When I’m the best man for a woman to have, she’ll know it—and so shall I. It’s simple.”
"So yours must be the reason you’re a ruddy git?"
"Do try to make sense when you speak to me, Weasley. Was your family too poor to afford primary school? I suppose I shouldn’t expect more of you; you’re raised in pig shit, you turn out a pig. Can you oink for me, Weasel?"
"Whoever sent the owl to that bloody confession thing can sod off."
"What’s wrong, Weasley? Hard to see the truth? Then again, you’re not just a prat to Granger; you’re a prat all the time. I suppose that comes with the territory of being a blood traitor."
You know, it’s adorable that you think a few small inches, shrunken or not, would harm the Malfoy name. As for stripping, I stick to bra and panties; you aren’t that lucky, love.
"Do you think I’ve never seen a pair of tits and a fanny before, then? Once you’ve seen one, I think you’ve pretty much seen them all.
Small inches? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Clearly you haven’t been peeking in the showers, which begs the question: are you sure you belong in Slytherin?”