Secret Admirer

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"And then he said that I was just a stupid muggle born whose opinion doesn't matter at all!"

Hermione Granger Wood looked at her best friend and tried to keep the amused smile off her face. She'd known Willow for nearly four years now, ever since the redhead had come to Hogwarts, where she was the librarian, to teach Muggle Studies, and she had never seen the American witch as flustered as she had been for the past eight months. Since Draco Malfoy had come to Hogwarts to teach Potions. From their initial meeting, sparks had flown between the fiery redhead and the arrogant blond. There was a running bet between her and her husband, Oliver, who taught Charms, how long it was going to take for those two to quit arguing long enough to realize that they cared about each other. Oliver had already lost twice, putting much more faith in Draco Malfoy than he deserved. Hermione knew Draco, had worked with him during their final two terms against Voldemort, and she knew that he wasn't about to admit he cared about anyone, much less a muggle-born witch from America, until he was past the point of denial. So, she had wagered that it would be near the end of term before either her best friend or her former enemy recognized the passion and desire that fueled their silly debates.

"Mione, are you listening to me?" Willow paused in her rundown of Draco Malfoy's rude response and studied her best friend. The brunette witch was smiling slightly, like she had a secret, and hadn't been listening at all. Willow couldn't really blame her. The twenty-six year old witch ran her hand through her long red hair and made a guilty face, "Sorry, I was rambling a bit, wasn't I?"

"It's okay, Willow. I know how infuriating Malfoy can be. He's an obnoxious, arrogant, haughty, conceited prat with a holier than thou attitude that makes you want to slap the smirk off his face," Hermione smiled.

"Hmph, and yet you call him friend," Willow paused to glare at her best friend, still not able to believe that sweet Hermione actually considered that exasperating wizard a friend. He had been rude to her since they first met, his lips twisting into a pompous smirk as he'd declared her too thin and pale and said something rude about her parents. While she could care less about her parents and any insults directed their way, she'd been pretty irate that this gorgeous blond man with the pretty gray eyes had dismissed her as not worthy of his time just because her parents weren't purebloods. She'd snapped back at him, causing him to arch a golden brow and ever since, they'd been enemies. Okay, enemies was a strong word. They were colleagues who did not get along. Oliver liked to tease that they were like oil and vinegar and any number of suitable comparisons that seemed to describe her relationship with Draco.

"Yes, I do," Hermione nodded, not able to stop from smiling at Willow's look of betrayal, "C'mon, Willow. Stop being so childish. I've known Malfoy for over a decade, even if we've never been particularly close, and I'm not going to ignore him just because he knows how to get under your skin!"

"I am not childish!" Willow denied, seeing Hermione's pointed look and smiling sheepishly, "So there might be just a smidgeon of child but he's as bad! He seizes every opportunity to pick a fight, from the exact color of the sky to the way breakfast smells. He always starts it!"

"Except when you do," Hermione laughed, "What started today's battle?"

"I don't know! Malfoy doesn't need an excuse to be a bastard to me. He wakes up and looks in his mirror and smiles that wicked smirk of his and plans out his day with his only goal to make me mad and ruin my day!" Willow muttered, knowing she was acting rather immature but deciding that even a saint would have their patience tested by Draco Malfoy. For eight months he had been the bane of existence. Every so often, there would be a good day. He'd be polite and surprise her by seeming to genuinely want to talk about various topics, those being the days when she forgot what a total prick he was and thought about her first impression of him. He was, simply, one of the most beautiful men she'd ever seen. When she'd first seen him during the welcoming staff dinner, she'd felt a spark of attraction that she hadn't felt since Tara had died. He'd smiled at Hermione, his gray eyes unbelievable as he'd hugged her best friend and shaken Oliver's hand with words of congratulations regarding their marriage. Then, he'd looked at her and his smile had faded. He'd opened his mouth, insulted her and that was that. Most the time, he seemed to delight in getting her angry and causing her to loose her famous cool, amused by her insults and enjoying the knowledge that he'd gotten her irritated. Stupid damn wizard.

"I sincerely doubt he does that," Hermione teased, "he wouldn't look in his mirror until after he'd showered and looked his best. After showering, then he begins plotting his evil plans to ruin your day!"

"Stop laughing at me!" Willow hit Hermione on the shoulder, rolling her eyes as the brunette witch laughed.

"But it's just so much fun! Seriously, Willow, what happened today?" Hermione asked as she took notes to tell Oliver later. He enjoyed the continuing saga of Willow and Draco as much as she did. Her smile softened when she thought of her husband of two years, knowing that she owed the redhead in front of her for giving her the extra push, okay more like a shove, to actually take a chance and flirt with Oliver when he'd joined the teaching staff at Hogwarts three years before. She'd had a bit of a crush on him during her first few terms, one of many girls that idolized the gorgeous Quidditch Captain, and always reverted back to a silly schoolgirl whenever she was around him. He was a lot like her, determined and intelligent and focused, though he was obsessed with Quidditch while she was obsessed with her studies. She'd never imagined that he'd ever give her a second look, much less flirt with her. With Willow's help, she'd gained a little confidence and soon they were dating. A year later, they were married. She wanted Willow to find the kind of happiness that she had with Oliver, knowing that the redhead had loved and lost in the past, but that it was more than time for her best friend to try to love again.

"I told you that I don't know," Willow grumbled, "I was sitting with Severus in the lounge discussing his upcoming lecture on vampires for his DADA classes and I'd just agreed to his request that I give a special lecture when Malfoy came in, glared and immediately started a fight. Sev left us arguing and the next thing I know, Draco's making the muggle-born comments and storming out. Didn't even give me a chance to yell back!"

"That is rather unlike Malfoy," Hermione said thoughtfully, wondering how someone as intelligent as Willow could be so darn oblivious when it came to matters regarding her own life. She knew that Malfoy felt threatened by Willow's friendship with Snape, could recognize jealousy, no matter how ridiculous and unfounded, and knew that Draco hated how comfortable Willow was around the head of Slytherin. She, herself, didn't quite understand their friendship, but she thought it was nice that Snape had someone to talk to. She knew that Snape and Willow had bonded over dark deeds they'd both committed in their past, and Willow said that Snape reminded her of Sunnydale in a nice, nostalgic kind of way. Draco, on the other hand, didn't seem to find their friendship nice. He acted like a spoiled child who had his favorite toy taken away whenever Snape talked to Willow. Definitely jealous. Something she'd never expected to see in Malfoy, but something that made him seem more human to her eyes.

"He's such a pain in the ass," Willow said, "but, thankfully, it's Friday. Two days in which I can hopefully avoid Malfoy and have some peace and quiet."

"And be bored out of your mind in five minutes without having him around to argue with," Hermione smiled as they neared Willow's classroom.

"Quit trying to analyze me, Wood," Willow warned with a slight smile, "or else I'm gonna tell your gorgeous hubby about your fantasy of doing it while flying!"

"Willow Rosenberg!" Hermione yelped, her face flushing as she looked at her deceptively evil friend. Yes, Willow was definitely a match for Draco when it came to cunning and intelligence. Had she not been muggle-born, there was little doubt that the redhead would have been sorted into Slytherin when first arriving at Hogwarts, having the clever resourcefulness and sly intelligence that Slytherin was known for, though she also had courage and loyalty which earned her a spot in Gryffindor. She hissed, "I told you about that bloody dream in confidence not to have it tossed back at me as a threat. You don't hear me threatening you with exposing any of your fantasies, do you?"

"That's because you don't know any of my fantasies," Willow gleefully pointed out, laughing wickedly as she said, "Okay, I won't tell Ollie that you want to do it on his broom cause, really, that's just gotta be awkward! I mean, how on Earth would you balance on the blasted thing while shagging?"

"I am so never telling you another fantasy, Willow," Hermione said as they reached the door to Willow's class. She suddenly smiled brightly as she added, "Well, at least, not until our next girl's night on Tuesday! But you did bring up an interesting point, my dear friend. You know way too much about my fantasies and such but I don't know any of yours so prepare to tell me something juicy and worthy of a threat when we get together next week."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Willow rolled her eyes as she entered her classroom. The smile faded from her face as she saw a large vase of the prettiest flowers on her desk. "Wow."

"Those are gorgeous," Hermione said as she saw the flowers. She looked at the surprised redhead and asked, "Who sent you flowers? It isn't your birthday or anything."

"I don't know," Willow leaned over and inhaled the sweet scent. "They smell heavenly. Wait, here's a card."

"Well? Who is it?" Hermione asked eagerly.

"Um, it doesn't say," Willow whispered, her green eyes shining with intrigue and happiness as she looked at Hermione and handed her best friend the card.

Hermione read, "'Flowers for the most beautiful woman I've ever met. Your Secret Admirer.' Oh my God, Willow! You've got a secret admirer! It's like something out of those sappy muggle movies you adore so much!"

"Maybe it's a mistake," Willow said as she frowned, having no idea who'd go to the trouble of sending her flowers and signing the card in such a romantic way. "I mean, really, who would want to send me flowers? It doesn't have my name on the envelope so I bet they were put here by mistake. Or it's a joke from one of the students who was irritated with a test score."

"Or they're from someone that likes you and wants you to know that you're beautiful," Hermione sighed, "That's just so sweet. Who do you think it is? It's got to be someone at the school for them to have access to your class."

"Hermione, just drop it. I'm sure it's some kind of prank or something," Willow mused, her eyes unknowingly wistful as she looked at the flowers.

"Or something is right," Hermione muttered, wondering how anyone as pretty and smart as Willow could dismiss such a tender gesture as a prank. She had a very sneaky suspicion who had sent those flowers, recognizing the broad scrawl of the handwriting from many a term spent as his Potions partner. He'd finally decided to make a move, it seemed. She'd have never considered Draco Malfoy a romantic, but this just proved that she must not know everything. She decided not to say anything to Willow, deciding it was better to sit back and enjoy the show. She was very curious about what Draco's next move was going to be.


"Did someone die?"

Willow tensed as she heard the lazy British drawl from the doorway to her classroom. Her good mood faded away as soon as she heard his voice. Damn him for having such a sexy voice, she cursed mentally as she took a few deep breaths. She was not going to let him ruin her day. Nope, not at all. She finally looked up from the parchments on her desk, arching a brow as she replied, "Not yet, but I can quickly resolve that if you don't leave."

"Ah, Rosenberg, I didn't know you cared!" Draco mocked as he entered the classroom. His gray eyes swept over the beautiful redhead, noting with satisfaction the way her cheeks were flushing and that she was resisting the urge to yell at him. He loved making her angry, enjoying the sparks flying from her pretty green eyes, and the way she was able to always come up with some witty response to whatever he said. He reached her desk, his full lips curving into a smirk as he leaned over and inhaled the scent of the flowers that were placed in a prominent position on her desk. He deliberately grimaced, "Those smell awful!"

"They do not!" Willow denied, her eyes flashing with annoyance. "This is my classroom, Malfoy. So, get out!"

"Make me," he challenged as he moved to lean against a table, crossing his arms in front of him as he waited. He hardened just watching her debate whether or not to attempt to force him to leave or just hope he got bored and went away on his own, loving the intelligent look in her eyes and the way she nibbled on her bottom lip when she was deep in thought.

"Stop being such a child, Malfoy," Willow finally said, knowing that she was no match for him physically. He was six foot two at least, making him eight inches taller than her. Not only was there the height issue, but he had an ideal build from years of playing Quidditch, slender and muscular, and could easily defend himself from her efforts. She wasn't allowed to use magic to make him leave, knowing that Dumbledore would somehow *know* if she tried and she did not wish to receive a scolding from the Headmaster for setting a bad example for the students.

"Is this now the time where I pretend to be insulted and rush off to sulk because some muggle-born witch believes me to be acting juvenile?" Draco asked leisurely, smiling as she glared at him. It was Saturday and there were no classes today, but he had known exactly where Willow would be, having spent the last eight months or so studying the stunning redhead. He knew her routine as well as his own, making it a habit to begin his mornings by finding her and quarrelling with her. It was her fault, really. She was just too damn beautiful when she was infuriated. Of course, she was always exquisite, her beauty natural and real.

She'd bewitched him from the moment they'd met, her green eyes seeming to see into his soul, and he'd been horrified at his reaction to her. Never had he, Draco Malfoy, felt such an overwhelming desire for anyone, especially a muggle-born witch from America! It had been appalling, his sudden vision of pulling her into his arms and never letting go. He had made some rude comment to her, finding her even more attractive when she'd returned the insult, feeling as if he had finally met his match. That had set the tone for their relationship, arguing and bickering like children, occasionally having a real conversation that would leave him even more smitten. The term was nearly over, the summer approaching, and he hated the idea that he was not going to see her every day. That realization had led to his plan. It was a rather good plan, if he did say so himself, carefully formulated and rather romantic. He'd never considered himself a romantic until he'd met Willow, until he'd imagined wooing her and seducing her and giving her his heart. Now, he was acting like a besotted fool, leaving her flowers and poetic notes, not even signing his name to receive credit for his actions. It would work, though, this secret admirer thing. Soon, she would love him as he loved her.

"You're such an ass, Malfoy," Willow muttered, hating that he could be so smug and superior no matter what the circumstances. She looked at her desk, telling him, "Fine, stay. I don't care. I'm going to ignore you and hope you go away."

"You couldn't ignore me if you tried, Rosenberg," he taunted, knowing that she felt the attraction, too. He'd caught her watching him, when she didn't know he was looking, studying him with confusion and lust in her green eyes. She wanted him, even as he made her angry enough to scream. His pants become tighter as he imagined a variety of ways in which he'd like to make her scream his name, with pleasure and need and desire. He was thankful that his robe concealed his arousal, shifting slightly on the table as he pushed images of Willow naked in his bed out of his mind. He groaned softly, deciding to get to the reason that he had come to her classroom in the first place. Okay, so not the only reason, but definitely one of the primary reasons this morning. He slowly smiled, "I must admit that I am curious about something, Rosenberg. Your birthday was several months ago, and you said that no one died. Why, then, do you have those awful flowers on your desk?"

"They are not awful!" Willow looked up from the parchment that she'd been staring at, unable to read when he was sitting right there and looking so smug and gorgeous and eager to start a fight. How could she concentrate on anything when Draco Malfoy was around? He was looking even sexier than normal this morning, his pale blond hair still wet from a shower and nearly brushing the back of his neck, and it was difficult enough to ignore her attraction for him when he was looking his worst. Even covered in mud following a Quidditch scrimmage, he was still drop dead gorgeous. He was also the most infuriating, aggravating, obnoxious man she'd ever met. She glared at him again, "They are absolutely beautiful! And they smell heavenly. You wouldn't understand, Malfoy. I've never been sent flowers before. They're very special."

"You still haven't said who sent you such a special gift," he said as he stressed the word special, proud of himself for maintaining his smug tone even as he longed to just push her against her desk and shag her senseless beside those sweet smelling flowers. He watched her gently touch one of the flowers, all too easily imagining the feel of her warm fingers against his skin, cursing as he realized he was jealous of the damn flowers. He noticed the blush crossing her cheeks and moved in for the kill. Asking with mock surprise, "You don't know who sent you the flowers, do you?"

"Just shut up, Malfoy," Willow said again, refusing to get pulled into an argument with him, especially for no reason.

"Well, well, well. Rosenberg has an anonymous suitor," Draco smirked, before he said, "Of course, you do realize what this means? We must find out the identity of your admirer."

"What?" Willow's green eyes widened with surprise. "I don't think so. I mean, secret admirer means they want to remain a secret. Besides, I'd never let *you* assist me with something like that."

"Nonsense," Draco dismissed her refusal, "They would never have made their presence known with the flowers if they did not wish to be discovered. As for your ridiculous belief that I should not assist you in this matter, I won't even bother to state the numerous reasons why I am ideal for this task. We both know that I am far more observant and intelligent than you so I must not remind you again of my superiority to you. Besides, I do love a good mystery."

"To be so smart, you don't understand English very well," she glowered, "so I'll make it easy enough for a pureblood moron such as yourself to understand. N. O. No. As in, not gonna happen, as in when hell freezes over. Is that clear enough for you?" "Let me put it to *you* simply, Rosenberg. You can either assist me with identifying your admirer or I can search alone. I fear without your influence, I'd be forced to question every student and professor in depth regarding their opinion of you to determine if they might be the person who sent the flowers. While I do not agree with the opinion, it has been pointed out to me that I lack discretion and tact at times, while you, my dear, are the sole of discretion," Draco watched her narrow her eyes, smiling when he saw the realization in their green depths that he was not giving her much of a choice. She was probably cursing him in every language she knew and imagining all sorts of tortures for him, but he didn't mind.

"That's blackmail!" Willow sputtered, wishing she could smack the smug smile from his handsome face. Why did he have to come in this morning? Why hadn't she taken the flowers to her room the previous evening? If she had, he'd have never seen them and realized she had a secret admirer. She was still of the belief that it was some prank by her students, knowing that it would be even more embarrassing to learn that truth with Draco as a witness than to be disappointed on her own. He'd use this entire experience as a means to tease her and insult her, she just knew it, but she had little choice. The arrogant bastard would follow through with his threat to talk to everyone at the school if she refused, that being even more humiliating than the teasing he was sure to be doing.

"That's such an ugly word," Draco smirked, "I prefer to think of it as motivational persuasion."

"Since I don't really have much of a choice, fine. You can help me look for my secret admirer, though I'm sure it is just some silly prank from the students," Willow muttered, "There will be some ground rules though! Got it?"

"I hope that they have ice skates in Hell, since it apparently just froze over," he declared with a triumphant smile as he stood and started to walk towards the door. "As for your rules, we can discuss the matter after breakfast. I'm sure that I will need a laugh by that time. Come along, Rosenberg. If we do not hurry, we'll be late for the meal."

"I think I've lost my appetite," Willow snarled as she stood and walked past him, wishing she'd just stayed in bed that morning. Her good mood was properly ruined because of Draco and now she was being blackmailed into finding the identity of the person who had sent her flowers, something she had decided she might be better off not doing, and, even worse, Draco Malfoy was going to be the one helping her.


"Remember, do not under any circumstances tell Willow that Draco is the one that sent her the flowers."

Oliver Wood looked at his wife and smiled, "You have told me a dozen times since waking this morning. Contrary to your opinion, years of Quidditch have not affected my memory. But, please continue telling me. You know that I think you're absolutely beautiful when you're being bossy."

"Oliver!" Hermione blushed under the sexy stare of her husband, not even able to scold him for calling her bossy when he accompanied the insult with desire in his eyes.

"Hermione!" he laughed, winking at the brunette as he said, "Don't hex me, I was just teasing. I promise not to say a word to our lovely redhead friend regarding the flowers."

"Thank you," she leaned over and brushed her lips against his cheek, whispering, "I'll be certain to thank you more appropriately this evening."

"I shall be counting the moments until the sun disappears over the horizon," he smiled as he brushed his lips gently against hers, his eyes flashing with love and adoration as he looked at the beautiful witch that had reentered his life only three years before.

"If you keeping being poetic and looking at me like that, we might just skip breakfast," Hermione whispered, her brown eyes flashing with affection as she kissed him back.

"Such a tempting offer," Oliver murmured, his eyes noticing movement and widening slightly as he whispered, "but then we would not be here to find out why Willow just entered the dining hall with Malfoy."

"What?" Hermione turned to look, telling Oliver, "As much as I'd love to return to our rooms and spend the entire day in bed, I must postpone such a romantic proposition until a later date. Right now, I want to know why Draco looks so smug and why Willow is glaring daggers at him even as I notice her eyes straying to look at his arse."

"Malfoy always looks smug," Oliver remarked casually, "though I admit he appears even more so this morning."

"Good morning Wood and Wood," Draco greeted the married couple as he took a seat, leaving an empty chair between himself and Hermione for Willow. He arched his brow as she glared at him and sat beside Oliver, his lips curving into a smile as he shifted over a chair, sitting beside the brunette witch.

"Good morning, Draco," Hermione said with a curious gleam in her eyes. She had not failed to notice that Willow had refused her usual seat between her and Draco, knowing that the redhead always grumbled about Draco sitting next to her but also aware that her best friend seemed to enjoy the verbal sparring in the morning. Today, however, Willow had glared at the handsome blond wizard and deliberately sat several seats away. Oh, yes, she was definitely curious.

"How are you this morning, Willow?" Oliver asked the redhead, sharing his wife's curiosity and interest in this couple. He owed Willow greatly for her assistance during his pursuit of Hermione, and considered the pretty American a dear friend.

"Well, it *was* a beautiful morning," Willow scowled, "and then Malfoy showed up and ruined it, as usual."

Oliver leaned over and whispered, "Mione told me about the flowers. Do you have any idea who could have sent them?"

"No and I honestly do not want to know. I'm convinced it must be a mistake or a prank," Willow whispered back to the handsome wizard, "I can think of no other explanation. It annoys me greatly that I am now being forced into searching for the sender because Malfoy is bored."

"What?" Oliver asked as he realized he must have missed something. He'd been about to scold the redhead for such negative thoughts regarding herself, knowing she was very beautiful, intelligent, and quite a match for a certain Slytherin whom he could now feel glaring at him when she'd mentioned being forced into searching for her admirer by Draco.

"Long story, Ollie. I'll explain it to you and Hermione after breakfast," Willow smiled softly, "If I think it about right now, I may just scream!"

Draco glared at the whispering couple, not at all caring that Oliver Wood was happily married to the pretty witch beside him, only caring that his redhead was having a private conversation with the boyishly handsome wizard. He nudged Hermione and said, "Ask your husband to trade places with me. I have an important matter to discuss with Rosenberg."

"Draco, we are not going to play musical chairs at the breakfast table," Hermione said, covering her amused smile as she replied to his ridiculous request. She had not missed the deathly glares that he had sent her husband's way when Oliver began to talk to Willow. She also knew that her husband was finding out why the two had come in to breakfast together and why Willow was angry at Malfoy this time, so she did not wish to interrupt the information gathering process so quickly.

"Musical chairs?" Draco frowned, not understanding Hermione's comment.

"It's a muggle thing," Hermione explained.

"Figures," Draco muttered before nudging her again.

"Malfoy!" Hermione groaned, "Stop nudging me!"

"Tell your husband to tell Rosenberg that refusing to sit beside me is childish muggle behavior and not at all effective," he said loftily, his gray eyes flashing with annoyance that contradicted his pompous words.

Hermione leaned over and whispered to Oliver, "Draco wishes for you tell Willow that, quote, her refusing to sit beside him is childish muggle behavior that is not at all effective, unquote, which is a big old lie because he was giving you the jealous glare that is usually reserved for Snape."

"I got the Snape jealous glare? Really?" Oliver smiled, "Don't I feel special? I will pass along this tidbit of gossip to you, dear wife. Willow mentioned that she was being forced into searching for her secret admirer because Malfoy is bored. When I pressed for details, she said she would explain it to us later. Now I will pass along Malfoy's comment to Willow."

"What are you two whispering about?" Willow asked Oliver, feeling strange not sitting beside her best friend. She just hadn't been able to stand the idea of sitting beside Draco, knowing he would be acting smug and egotistical because he'd managed to blackmail her into agreeing to his ridiculous plan to find out the identity of her secret admirer.

"Malfoy wanted you to know that your refusal to sit beside him is childish muggle behavior and has no effect whatsoever on him," Oliver told her with a smile, amusement flashing in his eyes.

"Well, you can tell Draco that immature insults regarding my parentage mean nothing when they come from an arrogant pureblood prat," Willow said sweetly, though her green eyes were flashing with anger.

Oliver nodded and leaned towards Hermione, whispering, "I have a feeling that this is going to be the longest breakfast of our lives, love."


Insults, Willow soon realized, lost a lot of their zing when they were passed along through two people. Unless they were delivered in that sarcastic tone and accompanied with a wicked smirk, well, Malfoy's comments were just words delivered to her in Oliver's Scottish brogue accompanied by an amused smile. It definitely made arguing with Draco a lot less fun. Willow's green eyes widened as she looked at her plate wondering where that thought had come from. She didn't enjoy her disagreements with Draco, no way should she be considering them fun. Yet, breakfast this morning had been rather dull without Draco beside her arguing about various topics. She grudgingly had to acknowledge that she enjoyed the mental stimulation of arguing with him. It wasn't nearly as much fun going through Oliver and Hermione to annoy each other.

Willow frowned as she thought over this newly discovered realization. She couldn't stand Draco Malfoy, had disliked him from the first, okay perhaps the second, moment they'd met, and the feeling was decidedly mutual. He went out of his way daily to find her and make her life miserable, arguing over everything from the exact color of the sky to any number of other mundane subjects. He knew how to get a reaction from her no matter what the topic, delighting in her arguing back at him, seeming to find it amusing to fluster her and begin passionate debates on a daily basis. She had not been exaggerating when she'd told Hermione that she thought Draco planned out his days around bothering her and fighting with her. Damn, if she was being completely honest in this mental discussion, she had to admit that she, too, would sometimes start the debates. If a day had been rather boring or she was feeling restless, she'd seek out Malfoy and start an argument. Within a few minutes, she'd be caught up in a passionate discussion and her cheeks would be flushed and she'd feel alive and excited.

It wasn't that she liked him or anything. Draco Malfoy was conceited, arrogant, snobby, holier than thou, sneaky, conniving, argumentative, and he annoyed the hell out of her. She refused to listen to the voice in her head that reminded her that he was also highly intelligent, funny, gorgeous, witty, passionate, and had a great ass. Not to mention his hands and his beautiful gray eyes and that voice that was sexy even when he was reading a list of ingredients to his class. Nope, Willow refused to listen to that voice, instead focusing on the annoying traits of the handsome blond wizard and wondering why he seemed to always be around trying to get a reaction from her, whether by arguing or simply looking at her and smirking or smiling that I've gotta a secret smile as his gray eyes would move heatedly over her body and cause reactions she thought it best to ignore.

She'd never told Hermione about those moments, figuring she was imagining them or that it was just wishful thinking. Wouldn't he just find it hilarious if he knew that she was attracted to him? She'd thought he was gorgeous when she'd first seen him, the idea of perhaps getting to know him and possibly having a relationship of some sort ruined the moment he opened his mouth and insulted her, but that hadn't stopped the desire. In fact, the arguing, well, it was rather arousing. She'd had so many erotic dreams about the arrogant bastard, waking up aching for him, touching herself with his face in her mind, fantasies that would curl Hermione's hair if Willow ever dared share them. She was so pathetic, wanting him even as she loathed him. He'd never find that out, though. She was good at hiding her emotions, giving every impression that she couldn't stand him and hated being around him. Maybe she should have gone to Hollywood with Cordelia after graduation, being such a convincing actress and all.

And now, now she was stuck working with him closely because he was bored and seemed to find it amusing that she had a secret admirer. Just another plot of his to make her miserable, having no idea that just being around him and wanting nothing more than to just kiss him during the middle of one of his insults made her unhappy enough. Thank God it was nearly summer and she'd be away from him for a few months. She was spending the break with Hermione and Oliver, the three of them planning a trip to France, time for her to forget about Draco Malfoy and the weird emotions he caused.

She didn't like him, but she wanted him. Fuck, she couldn't even think that she disliked him without that annoying voice in the back of her mind calling her a liar. It was pointless to even start thinking this way, knowing that he couldn't stand her and would never consider beginning a relationship with her. Unrequited love, part two. Only, what she was feeling for Draco, well, it wasn't merely the crush she'd had on Xander all those years. It was just as hopeless, even more so, and Willow was reminded why she tried to avoid mental discussions concerning Draco Malfoy. She ended up angry and confused and somewhat depressed.

"Willow, you feeling okay?" Oliver asked softly, concern in his dark eyes as he looked at the face of his friend. She was frowning and glaring at her plate, lost in thought. She looked up at him, flashing him a familiar smile.

"Just started thinking. Dangerous business, that," Willow smiled at Oliver, "Ask Hermione if she wants to walk down to Hogsmeade after breakfast. I feel like getting some air and wouldn't mind seeing the new arrivals at the book store."

"Ah, love, you just said the magic words where my wife is concerned," Oliver grinned, "book store."


Draco's eyes narrowed when he heard Willow laughing, moving forward to looking down the table. She was smiling at Wood as if he had just said the funniest thing in the world. He nudged Hermione who groaned and glared at him, the blond wizard smiling smugly at her annoyance as he whispered, "Why is she smiling at your husband? When did he become such a funny guy?"

"Would you stop nudging me!" Hermione told him for what had to be twentieth time since breakfast started before defending, "Ollie has a great sense of humor. He's just not sarcastic like you."

"The guy is as funny as watching paint dry the muggle way," Draco sneered, glaring at the dark haired wizard that was causing Willow to laugh. "Shouldn't you be jealous that your husband is chatting up a pretty colleague instead of worshiping you?"

"You think Willow's pretty?" Hermione smiled, not at all jealous that Oliver and Willow were friends, finding Draco's jealousy amusing.

"Did you just miss the part about your husband flirting with another woman?" Draco glared at her.

"Nope, and you did not answer my question," Hermione pointed out gleefully.

"She's bloody beautiful," Draco muttered, his gray eyes softening slightly as he glanced at Willow, who was still laughing with Oliver. Looking at Hermione, he frowned, "Tell him to stop making her laugh!"

Before Hermione could respond to the distinct whining in Draco's voice, she was nudged from the other side, turning her brown eyes to look at her handsome husband. She smiled tenderly as she brushed her lips against his cheek, whispering, "I love you, Oliver Wood."

"And I love you, Hermione Wood," Oliver kissed her softly before asking, "Why is Malfoy sneering at me?"

"The silly man is quite jealous that you were making Willow laugh. Oh, and he admitted that he found her 'bloody beautiful'," Hermione smiled, "He was telling me I should scold you for flirting with another woman."

"Why would I flirt with someone else when I'm already married to my soulmate?" Oliver asked with a loving smile, "He's got it bad, even worse than I imagined."

"It's all rather amusing," Hermione confessed, "Watching them dance around their feelings by arguing for months instead of getting with the snogging."

"With the heated and passionate looks they exchange, I believe it is more appropriate to discuss shagging," Oliver smirked, winking at his wife as she laughed.

"You, Oliver Wood, are a very naughty man," Hermione said loftily, her brown eyes twinkling with happiness as he grinned at her.

"Perhaps I need to be punished," he teased, moving his tongue along his lip as he gave her a smoldering look, thankful that no one was in a position to hear their conversation or see the looks they were exchanging.

"Stop that," Hermione scolded as she felt her body react, visions of various punishments flashing through her mind, each one causing the temperature in the room to increase until she was feeling quite warm. She saw the knowing smile crossing her husband's handsome face, slapping his arm as she said, "Quit teasing, Ollie! I may have to tie you to the bed and keep you there for several hours."

"I do love your punishments, darlin'," Oliver drawled, his hand moving along her leg.

"We were discussing Willow and Draco," Hermione informed him as she caught his hand, linking her fingers through his, "we shall finish this discussion tonight, in our room, when I am in a position to punish you for hours upon hours for teasing me and giving me that sexy look that you know makes me melt."

"Promises, promises," Oliver whispered, brushing his lips against her cheek before sighing and catching her eyes, "Fine, we're discussing Willow and Malfoy and the fact that they desperately want to shag each other senseless but seem determined to fight said desire and attraction and each other. Willow wanted to know if you would like to go to Hogsmeade with her after breakfast. Something about needing air and looking for a book, she did invite me along as well, but I may decline to give the two of you some private girly time to discuss whatever Malfoy did this morning to cause her to be so glaring."

"Tell her I'd love to go for a walk to town," Hermione smiled, eager to get the redhead alone so she could find out the details of Willow's talk with Draco before breakfast. She turned back towards Draco who was doing his best to covertly look at Willow, which wasn't very easy considering two people sat between him and the redhead, but Malfoy managed to make it seem effortless. A somewhat evil smile crossed her face as she nudged him hard, blinking innocently when he cursed and drew his gray eyes away from Willow to glare at her, "I spoke to Oliver and told him to try to be less amusing."

"Good," Draco smirked, his eyes moving back to Willow, watching the redhead smile at Oliver before she leaned forward and told Hermione something about Hogsmeade. He frowned, realizing that she'd made plans after breakfast seemingly forgetting that she wanted to discuss rules with him regarding their hunt for her secret admirer. He moved to nudge Hermione, the brunette witch catching his arm before it made contact and glaring at him. He gave her his most charming smile, asking, "Did I hear you discussing going to Hogsmeade? What an amazing coincidence, I had plans to go into town this morning, too. I shall join you, of course."

"Of course," Hermione rolled her eyes before leaning over and whispering in Oliver's ear, "You're going to Hogsmeade with us, honey. Be sure to tell Willow that Draco has invited himself on our trip to town. And here I thought it was going to be a calm, peaceful day and we find ourselves caught in the middle of Willow and Draco's latest battle of denial regarding their desire and affection for each other. If we survive today, we aren't leaving our room tomorrow!"


End of Part 5