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The voice is unexpected after hours of quiet. Draco is startled, and he quickly looks up from the box that he’s unpacking. He’s annoyed at being caught off-guard, and his mood doesn’t approve when he feels a splinter enter his index finger. He cringes slightly as the wood pierces his skin but recovers as swiftly as possible. It’s Granger, which is just his luck. “What do you want?” he asks.

She frowns slightly before putting a paper sack on the closed crate beside him. “I brought take-away. Since you’re the only other volunteer who is staying late, I thought you might be hungry.”

He studies her a moment, watching her shift awkwardly from one foot to another as he stares. He’s pleased that she seems uncomfortable since he has no idea how to respond to her. She brought him food. While they have developed a certain level of silent tolerance since the war ended and even worked as partners during Potions class when they returned to school, he doesn’t really think that it extends to bringing him dinner. “Why?”

“Why did I think you’d be hungry?” She looks confused, which isn’t as rewarding as uncomfortable. Draco moves his thumb over his index finger, picking slightly at the splinter with his nail as he keeps staring at her. He wants her to feel awkward again because then he knows that she’s not in control of the situation. When he arches a brow but remains silent, she shifts again. “I was just trying to be polite, Malfoy. Forgive me for forgetting that you don’t know the meaning of the word.”

Her cheeks are becoming flushed, which he finds interesting. Before he can ask anything else, she scowls and walks past him to an area surrounded by books and boxes. He watches her for a moment before he looks down at his hand. Trying to be polite is just so typical of Granger. Despite everything, she’s one of the few people who has even attempted to speak to him since the last battle. It’s probably another reason that he finds her so infuriating. One of many.

The splinter is easily removed with magic, but he keeps looking at his finger even after it’s gone. He can hear Granger opening a sack nearby, and the smell of food makes his stomach growl. He came into the museum after breakfast and hasn’t stopped for lunch, so he’s hungrier than he realized. He looks up and over at Granger, who looks much too comfortable now that she’s surrounded by the books that she’s cataloging as her volunteer work. “How did you know that I’d be hungry?”

She wipes her mouth with a white cloth, and he can’t help but notice the shape of her lips as the fabric moves over them. He looks up sharply when he realizes that he’s staring. “It’s seven in the evening, and I didn’t see you break for lunch,” she says slowly. She’s obviously thinking, though he isn’t sure what about. He can always tell when she’s thinking, though, because her brows furrow and she purses her lips in a certain way.

For a moment, he’s tempted to ask why she’s paying such close attention to him, but that would make him more uncomfortable than it would make her. She watches everything, after all, and is much more alert to her surroundings than Potter and Weasley, which is not a good indication for the state of the Auror program at this time. She is staring at him now, and he frowns before he looks away and reaches for the paper bag. He blinks when he looks inside and sees greasy fish and even greasier chips. It’s an impossible meal to eat neatly, but it’s become a favorite in recent months.

He can feel her staring at him, and he glances up only to see her turn her head quickly. She is very observant, but he finds it difficult to accept that her knowledge of his eating habits is typical. Does she catalog favorite meals for everyone around her? If not, why did she bring him something that his parents don’t even know he enjoys? There are other questions that he wants to ask, but he doubts that he’d get any answers. Or, at least, any answers that are satisfying. Granger has the frustrating habit of saying nothing even after rambling on for hundreds of words. He notices her sneaking a look at him and shifts slightly, not entirely uncomfortable but also not comfortable. It’s something that he’ll think about later, when he’s back home and alone so he can think better.

Right now, it’s too tempting to ask questions that he isn’t sure he wants to know answers to, and he doesn’t want to say anything that he might later regret, so it’s best to continue working silently. He’ll forget she’s there, then he’ll be able to focus back on his work. First, though, he is hungry, and it’s stupid to let the food go to waste just because it was given to him by Granger for reasons he doesn’t fully understand yet. He looks away from her and mutters, “Thanks,” before he reaches into the bag and begins to eat.