Recklessness and Water

Draco fell out of bed, disturbed by the incessant ringing of his loft flat’s doorbell. Grumbling and rubbing at his eyes, he crossed the living area (not forgetting to stub various appendages on various types of furniture) and made his way to the door.

"For bloody’s fuck sake," he slurred, moving aside the metal plate which hid the hallway spy-hole. The very top of a curly brown head could be seen, given a strange halo appearance by the yellow emergency lights. Draco rolled his eyes and removed the charm around the door, opening it to reveal the exact specimen he had anticipated. "Oh, look," he said in sleepy bitterness. "A midget's come to give me a Christmas present."

Hermione, who was standing in the doorway with a large cardboard box, tried very hard to glare at him, but only managed to do so with one half of her face, making the gesture not very intimidating at all. She gave up after two more tries and shoved her box at him.

"Here!" she shouted and Draco jumped, not having anticipated such a burst of sound.

"Shh, Hermione-- hell, you're going to wake up the whole floor," he hissed at her, taking her arm to pull her inside, but she resisted.

"No, I'm not going in there!" she shouted, "If I go in, I know what'll happen! You'll make me think I'm wrong! Then you'll make me do that thing with my tongue, like this!" Hermione imitated the act she had described, and Draco looked around in horror, hoping that none of his neighbors had been startled awake by her tactlessness.

"Hermione... are you drunk?"

"What do you care! I brought you your rubbish! I'm leaving you!" she bellowed and shoved the box at him. Draco took it by impulse and she spun on her heel, tromping down the hall. It was then that Draco noticed that her particular lack of altitude that evening was due to the fact that she wasn't wearing shoes. In fact, she wasn't wearing very much at all.

Draco sighed and set the box on the floor before returning to his room to dress quickly and slip on some shoes of his own. When he returned to the doorway, Hermione was standing there tapping her bare foot against his threshold.

"I can't believe you!" she cursed at him, pushing hard against his chest. "I said I was leaving you and you didn't even come after me! What is wrong with you?"

"Hermione, please stop yelling?" Draco asked desperately.

"Why didn't you come after me?"

"I was coming- I wanted shoes. And pants. It's almost September--"

"I don't care! I don't care! La, la, la, la!" she interrupted childishly, jamming index fingers into her ears. She dropped her hands to her sides and glared at his nose. "I hate you, Draco Malfoy. I don't know what I ever saw in you." She turned and walked away again, and Draco was set off-guard. She hadn't screamed the final two sentences, and it bothered him how serious she had sounded. He went after her immediately, closing the door quietly and sprinting down the hall.

When Draco found Hermione she was walking down the street in her limited attire with arms crossed over her chest. He ran up to her and touched her arm.

"Hermione, what are you doing? How much did you have to drink?"

"Shut up. I don't love you anymore. Go away."


"You don't care what happens to me. I could die and you wouldn't notice for days. You wouldn't care," she rambled, her bottom lip beginning to tremble with the crisp new autumn air. The sidewalk was wet and her feet were numb with cold.

"Hey," Draco said forcefully, eyebrows drawn together, and stopped her. She turned to look at him, her resolve unruffled. "Don't you ever say that again. Do you understand me? That is not funny."

"I wasn't trying to be funny," she spat. "I'm just being honest." He squeezed her shoulders and she squirmed slightly under the pressure.

"Look, Hermione. You can yell at me. You can scream, you can hit me, you can claim you don't love me... you can come to my house at three o'clock in the fucking morning with a box of junk and probably get me evicted with your domestic disturbances, but don't you dare imply that I don't care about you. I love you, dammit." He released her and Hermione was thrown slightly off-balance, grabbing at a nearby lamppost to keep from falling. "God, you really are hammered, aren't you? What were you thinking, Hermione?" He took a step toward her and she shied away, hugging the lamppost and shivering against it. Draco felt instantly guilty and placed a soft palm against her back. "I'm sorry. Come on- I'll take you home."

"No!" she said, her stubbornness suddenly resurfacing. "I'm perfectly capable of getting home on my own, thank you very much. Not that you would notice if I didn't." Draco set his jaw.


"Leave me alone. What do you want? You want to shake me some more? Make fashionable little hand-shaped bruises on my arms? No, thank you."

"That's not fair."

"A lot of things aren't fair, Draco!" her voice rose again, sharp and biting, and she pushed off the lamppost and started down the street again. Draco was feeling as if something had stabbed him and was having a difficult time finding words.

"Where are you going?" he asked, his voice small and muted by the sounds of city nightlife.

"Home. Away from you."

"Did you drive?" he asked, louder now as he walked in step by her side.

"No," she said. "Not that that matters to you." Draco reached out to gently stop her, and felt her tremble against the warmth of his hand.

"I can't let you apparate like this. You'll splice yourself," he said and she opened her mouth to counter him, but he cut her off. "And it does matter to me. I'll drive you." She pulled away from him and crossed her arms, entertaining her stubbornness. Draco tried his best to stay calm. "Please, Hermione? You're going to freeze to death. You're hardly wearing anything." Hermione looked down at herself, as if his observation had come as new knowledge to her as well. Her eyebrows drew close to one another and her lips pursed.

"Oh yeah," she said and removed the shirt she was wearing. "This is yours too," she said and shoved it at him. Draco stared open-mouthed as she stood before him in a black sports bra and a pair of grey boxer shorts. He decided not to mention the fact that the shorts also belonged to him. Immediately, Draco removed his coat and sweater and forced them onto his scantily clad girlfriend. She struggled, but their softness and extra warmth from his body heat proved too tempting for her tenacity to withstand. The heat was like a drug, and she swam in the soft folds of Draco's sweater while he put her vacated t-shirt on over his undershirt. He moved to embrace her and Hermione allowed him, cuddling into his chest and absorbing his heat as he held her to him.

"Come on, love," he coaxed softly, and she did not argue as he led her to his auto, which was parked illegally in front of his apartment building. He deposited her in the passenger seat and she shivered against the leather upholstery as he rounded the front of the car and sat on the driver's side. After starting the engine, Draco turned the heat up as far as it would go and held Hermione until her shivering was slightly less shattering. "Better?" he asked and she nodded softly, pulling away and moving to latch her seatbelt. Draco shook his head and did the same, before preparing the car to make the long journey to her home. Hermione lived in Newcastle upon Tyne, which was about as bloody far from London as one could get and still be in England. He frequently complained about the distance between them, but their work separated them and the ingenious invention of apparition made it only a mild inconvenience. It was times like this that Draco wished he had pushed the subject.

Hermione kept her arms crossed and stared out the window as they traveled, looking very upset and weary. Draco also noted that it looked like she had been crying.

"Hey," he said softly, and she turned to him habitually before forcing her eyes back to the swiftly passing guard rails. "What did I do, anyway?" Her lip trembled, and she looked even angrier than she had before.

"I can't believe you even have to ask. I can't believe I put up with this..." she lamented to the roof of the car, throwing her hands up and allowing the seatbelt to slap the bottom of her chin. "Dammit!" she yelled as she pulled it away from her. "I hate being short!" Her hand unconsciously made its way to her chest, to massage the imperceptible pain away. "Oh," she said softly. "I guess I don't need this anymore either." Hermione reached into her bra and extracted a wrinkled and tattered photograph. She looked inconsolable as she held it, running her thumb over the faces. Draco leaned over slightly to see, and smiled softly before his frown mirrored her own.

"You still have that picture?" he asked, turning back to watch the road, and Hermione nodded.

"Of course I do. I loved you so much."

"Oh," Draco said, unable to ignore the fact that even though she probably didn't mean it, and she was drunk and not thinking clearly, the past tense of her statement bit at him. "And do you always keep it in your bra?" He had expected her to glare at him, but she continued to sadly stare at the picture and nodded softly.


"For five years?"

"For five years."

To be frank, Draco had absolutely no idea what to say. She looked so devastated, and her hands shook as she let the picture slide from her fingertips and fit itself between the windshield and dashboard. It was still dark, and as they passed under streetlights the haunted image of their faces shown washed-out and upside down on the windshield. Hermione fought silently with her seatbelt for a moment, attempting to get comfortable, before mumbling something about statistics showing that more people had died from seatbelts than from car-ejections and un-hooking it, leaving her free to curl up against the door and nuzzle the soft brown interior fabric. She sniffled and it only took Draco a glance to realize that she was crying freely into the arm of his sweater. He sacrificed some of his control on the steering wheel to place a hand on her thigh, but Hermione pushed him away.

"Hermione," he said softly, reluctantly putting his hand back on the wheel. "You're serious about this, aren't you? You're drunk, but you mean it. You're... you're leaving me."

"You're just figuring this out now, Draco?" Hermione said softly, crying harder now and shuddering against her sobs. A thousand memories of their relationship ran on a reel through Draco's mind, like one's life flashes before their eyes just before they die. He could feel his heart breaking as he jumped between memories of their dates and nights on his couch in front of the tele, or on the floor of her bedroom wrapped in sheets and memories of bickering at Hogwarts and kisses after Quidditch and snogging in closets. Finally, his thoughts settled on the night immortalized on a piece of muggle Polaroid paper and flashing mocking grins at him each time his car passed under a streetlight.

"But... why? Just tell me what I did, Hermione. I'll fix it. I'm sorry," he pleaded, squeezing the padded cover on the wheel. She shook her head.

"You don't even know what you've done and you're sorry. You're just sorry because I'm mad at you. You don't care what's wrong."

"That's not true, dammit. You're being so stubborn. You're being so... like you."

"Would you love me if I wasn't?" she asked, evidently before she could stop herself, because his hesitance to answer made her sob harder. "Forget it." Draco sighed.

"Please, just tell me what I did. If I can't fix it, then you can rant and rave and haul off if you want to."

"Draco, what day is it?" she asked, wiping at her eyes and looking over her shoulder at him. Draco glanced at her a few times, confused.

"I... I don't know. August something. The thirtieth?"

"It's September, Draco," she corrected, yelling at him as a fresh new batch of tears began spilling over her cheeks. Draco looked taken completely off-guard.

"Really? I don't know, then. The third?"

"The nineteenth."

"No it isn't," he said simply.

"Yes it is!"

"No, it isn't, because that's your... your... oh bloody hell."

"My what?" Hermione prompted. "My birthday, is it? Draco I waited at home all day for you... for you to call or apparate or for your owl to show up with one of those pre-made sappy stupid fucking department store birthday cards with puppies and bad jokes about how old I am and love, Draco scribbled at the bottom. But it didn't come. You never came. I spent my whole twenty-second birthday by myself at home in my flat waiting for you and drinking the champagne Harry sent me. How many more twenty-second birthdays am I going to get, Draco? None. And I wasted this one."

"God, Hermione, I'm so sorry-- I didn't even realize, the- the stupid leaves."

"Don't bother making excuses, Draco. I've made up my mind. Just take me home, if you must, and go away."

"Okay, so I shouldn't try to talk my way out of it. I screwed up... quite badly this time. I'm sorry, Hermione. I truly am. I didn't mean to forget, the time just snuck up on me. I bought you a present and everything. It's in the glove box."

"I don't want your stupid gift. You can't buy me, Draco."

"I know that!" he shouted in his own defense. "I... I know. It's one of the things I love so much about you. Please, Hermione. You can't tell me you want to throw us away on a whim like this. Don't you remember how in love we are? How happy we are together?"

"You know what I remember, Draco? I remember how in love and happy we were," she said, and fished for the picture again. She held it close to her face and closed her eyes. "I remember when you were the most romantic boy of all the ones in school. My girlfriends and I used to gossip for hours about all the things you used to do. And they would say Oh, I wish Harry would do something like that or The last time Seamus said anything like that, he was drunk and talking to his bottle of butterbeer. I remember when you wouldn't forget my birthday if you were being held at wand-point. It hasn't been like that in so long, Draco. I don't even know if you're the same person who did all those things."

"Hermione, we've been busy- I..."

"I don't want to talk about it anymore, Draco. I just want to go home." She threw the picture back on the dashboard as if it had burned her and curled up against the door to sleep. Draco complied with her wishes and turned his full attention back to the road. It didn't take long for the little crumpled picture to catch his eye again and he was forced to relive overwhelming memories every time his eyes flashed to its reflection in the windshield.


"Oh, Draco, thank you so much for doing this for me. I didn't know what I was going to do," Hermione said as she slid into the limo and thanked the chauffer who had opened the door for her. She made sure all of the folds of her large dress were tucked safely inside before she allowed him to close it. Draco brushed at the folds of his tuxedo jacket.

"I still don't see why you have to go. It's not even your school."

"I know," she said. "It's sort of a long story. I apparated to New York, because I wanted some pizza and my friend Tucker from the muggle world told me about somewhere with evidently exceptional pizza. He moved there last year, so I thought that he would know better than anyone. I didn't expect to see him there, but when he asked what I was doing I couldn't just say that I'd 'popped in for a bite' so I told him I was staying for the summer with relatives and he invited me to this formal dance, but then he said that he'd promised someone else that he would take them, but he'd already bought me a ticket so then I just had to go and also to find a date who wouldn't mind spending six boring hours with me." She paused. "You didn't have to rent a limousine. That's rather expensive." Draco was staring at her blankly, as if he had lost the conversation some time back and was simply waiting for her to finish speaking.

"Oh. I didn't rent it, it's my father's. He won't notice that it's missing."

"Wow, you really are rich, aren't you?"

"Slightly. So, you don't want to go to this thing at all?"


"You look nice," he offered, moving from the seat across from her to the one next to her.

"Thank you. I've never been so uncomfortable in my life, but thank you."

"So if you hate it so much, why are we going?" Draco asked and Hermione sighed in frustration, tilting her head back.

"I don't know. Tucker wants me to come; I don't want him to be disappointed."

"He's still got his date. He'll have fun without you."

"Well, I suppose so," she said, lifting her head again. "But you're already here, and we've got these clothes and everything."

"So, we'll do something else. Just us. What do people do in New York?"

"More important than the fact that we're in New York, is the fact that it's almost midnight. What are we going to do? Go bowling?"

"If you want to," Draco said, smiling widely and Hermione laughed at him.

"You're so weird. You don't even know what bowling is," she said and he shook his shoulders, smiling.

"So? I'll find out. It'll be an adventure. If you're there, it'll be fun, I have no doubt about that," he stated. Hermione tried to keep from laughing and shook her head at him, looking through the tinted window. "No bowling? All right, fine. I'll pick something." Draco returned to his former seat and tapped slightly on the window that separated them from the driver. The vinyl curtain lowered to reveal the kind chauffer, and Draco whispered into his ear so that Hermione couldn't hear. The chauffer looked delighted at whatever idea Draco was harboring in his maniacal brain and the vinyl door closed again as Draco retook his seat next to Hermione and threw an arm over her shoulders. The smirk on his face was award-winning.

"What did you tell him?" she asked suspiciously, but Draco mocked an innocent look and shook his shoulders.

"I didn't say a word."

"You're a deceptive bastard!"

"I am an adventurer. It comes with the territory."

After what seemed like hours of driving, the limousine came to a stop and Hermione made for the door handle in anxious excitement, but Draco stopped her.

"Not yet," he said. Take your shoes off. They're lovely, by the way. Now," he took off his tie and tied it like a blindfold to shield her eyes. "No peeking."

"Draco! Where are we?"

"You'll see," he said. "You'll see." Hermione heard the door open, and then felt Draco's hand in hers as he led her out of the car. She grabbed her clutch purse from its place on the seat and allowed him to lead her in blind faith.

"Ow," she said as her feet pressed into the sharp, rocky ground. A moment later she felt him scoop her into his arms and held on desperately to his shoulders. "Draco! Put me down!"

"It's either this, or your hurt your feet. Did you have to get such a big dress? I can't see where I'm going."

"Well I didn't anticipate being carried damsel-style over great distances when I bought it, Draco Malfoy!"

"All right, all right. I'm sorry. We're almost there," he said, and a few steps later Hermione was placed on her feet again. This time the ground was very soft and cool, like sand. Draco took her hand again, and led her a few meters across the soft ground.

"Draco, what's that water sound? We're at the beach, aren't we!" she shouted, and dropped her little purse in surprise.

"Oh," Draco said, sounding very dejected. "You're too smart for your own good sometimes, you know. Come on," he led her forward, and Hermione felt water splash against her feet. She quickly let go of his hand and stepped back.

"Draco, I can't..." she started, but he scooped her up again a moment later and Hermione heard water moving as he waded into it. "Draco, stop! Go back! Don't you dare drop me, or I'll... I'll!" Draco chuckled heartily and dropped her into the water, which was now up to his waist. She came up sputtering, with seaweed stuck in the pretty hair clip she wore. "My mother is going to kill me! This dress cost almost two hundred pounds!"

"I'll reimburse her," he said, and removed the wet blindfold from her eyes. Hermione sat on the sandy ground, wearing a large and very wet dress, watching Draco Malfoy stand in waist deep water and fix his tie like he was getting ready for an important dinner and she couldn't help but start to laugh. Draco smiled at her happiness and helped her stand.

"Oh, it's so heavy," she said of her dress, ringing out a few of the outer ruffles in vain.

"So, take it off," Draco said casually and Hermione looked instantly up at him. He was smirking brilliantly.

"I'm not wearing much underneath," she said, lifting an eyebrow at him, and Draco shrugged.

"I'll turn around, if you want," he said, and did. Hermione stared at his back suspiciously, but decided that her undergarments were no less revealing than a bathing suit and threw caution to the wind, unzipping the dress and stepping out of it. Draco, who had not anticipated her to actually heed his suggestion, felt his eyes grow wide at the realization.

"All right, you can turn around now," she said, gathering her dress in her arms and attempting to heave it onto the beach. She managed halfway and gave up. Draco turned to see her standing on the beach in a full length white slip, which was very wet and allowed her black undergarments to be clearly seen underneath. She stretched at the great loss of heavy fabric and looked around at the crystal clear lake and smooth, sandy beaches before turning around with a smile and starting toward Draco, looking beautiful in the moonlight.

"You look amazing," he said, truly meaning it this time. Her heavy dress had been lovely, but it was not what Hermione would wear. It did not compliment her. The slip was simple and elegant despite its intended purpose, and Draco couldn't help but to stare. Hermione laughed as she approached him.

"I do not. I have seaweed in my hair," she said, and Draco looked as if he were trying very hard to find words. Hermione opened her mouth to comment about this uncharacteristic inability when he pressed his lips to hers and held her wet body close to him. When they broke apart, Hermione was the one left without words.

"Hermione," Draco said, holding her face in his hand and softly brushing her hair with his fingertips. "I'm in love with you. I'm sorry I didn't tell you before... I-" he started, showing signs of an oncoming fit of rambling, and Hermione pressed a finger to his lips.

"I love you too," she said, smiling, and kissed him deeply to punctuate her confession. He was numbed with euphoria as they broke a second time, but Hermione seemed to be reenergized and giddy. "Hey, Draco-- I'll race you," she said and pulled away from him to dive into the water and make for the dark horizon. Draco stripped himself of his excess clothing and followed her.

"Hermione!" he said as he caught up to her just before the lake dipped too deep for him to reach the bottom with his feet, and she laughed as she turned around to accept him. He held her to him and she wrapped her legs around his waist, allowing the amazing strength of his toes to hold them erect in the water as she was now too short to reach the bottom. "Where are we racing to?" he asked, smirking as he placed his hands firmly on her buttocks. She lifted a suspicious eyebrow at him and he gave her an innocent look.

"I don't know," she said, grinning. "Until we find an adventure." Draco smiled at her and stood to his full height, which brought the top of his shoulders out of the water. Hermione began to laugh. "Draco, you're still wearing your tie," she said amusedly and brought her hand to her own neck. Suddenly, she looked very scared. "Oh, no-- my necklace. It must have fallen off when-- shit." She looked so tremendously sad that Draco felt he had to say something.

"I'll replace that too. Don't worry about it now-- we were having fun and..."

"You can't. It's an antique, a family heirloom. My grandmother would be rolling in her grave."

"You want to know something that would make my grandmother roll in her grave?" Draco asked slyly and Hermione once again felt the need to lift an eyebrow at him. He kissed her again, as deeply as she had kissed before. She shuddered against him. "Are you cold?" he asked, marking small kisses down her neck.

"No," she whispered and her hands disappeared under the water, creeping across his chest and toward the spot where her hips rested against him. Draco paused and looked questioningly up at her. Hermione bit her lip and smiled seductively. "Quite the opposite."

It wasn't until the sun began to peek over the horizon that Draco and Hermione dragged themselves from the clutches of the seductive water. Hermione fished her dress from the sand and attempted to dry it with a spell, but the many layers of fabric outweighed her magic. The dress was still very damp and wrinkled, but decidedly less cumbersome as it once was. Draco put on his clothes, but seemed to be unable to locate his shirt. Hermione assumed that it had floated away with her underwear.

"Draco," she said, lifting the small purse from where it had fallen in the sand. "Come here, I want to take a picture." He came to her and spun her around before kissing her once more and setting her on the ground.

"Anything you want," he said and smiled on command as she lifted the muggle camera above them and shouted Say cheese! over the incoming tide.


It was this picture that mocked the Draco Malfoy of five years later from its place on his windshield. Each time a beam of light passed from above, the image of his grinning face next to Hermione's stared at him, squeezed to one side of the frame at a strange camera angle so that the beach, water, and sunrise were all very visible behind them and the top of Hermione's fancy, sand-covered dress was clearly identifiable next to Draco's similarly conditioned tuxedo jacket and forest green tie. He was bare-chested and the flower corsage on his jacket was peeking into the corner of the frame and looked to have been driven through a wood-chipper.

Draco noticed that the sign for Newcastle claimed that it was only about an hour away. Hermione had appeared at his doorstep at approximately twelve-thirty in the evening (a slightly more manageable hour than the exaggerated three o'clock in the fucking morning he had claimed) and they had been on the road for nearly four hours. The sun would be rising soon.

The image of the picture flashed across the window again and Draco put on a face of determination as he jerked the wheel to the right and nearly ran three other cars off the wide road to take the turn. They honked their horns irritatingly at him, and Hermione stirred in her sleep.

"Draco?" she asked, without opening her eyes. "What's happened?"

"Nothing, love," he said, inwardly savoring the few seconds that he would be on her good graces again. "Go back to sleep." He knew from his rollercoaster of a relationship with her that she was very forgetful in her sleep. "I'm sorry," he said. "I'm sorry things have changed so much. I didn't even realize- you deserve so much better than what I've given you. I'll fix it, Hermione. I won't forget again."

"Draco," she said again, and he turned to her. "Turn off the radio, won't you? I'm so tired." He held in the heartbreaking feeling and turned back to the road.

"Sure, love."

There was silence again until the car pulled off the road and came to a stop. Hermione was unbothered by this action and slumbered on while Draco went about his own business, opening the glove box and retrieving an item which he placed in his pocket before closing it softly and exiting the car. It was easy to keep Hermione sleeping as he lifted her from the seat and held her closely in his arms. She hugged him tightly in her sleep and sighed softly into his ear.

Draco walked across the beach of sand and left his shoes in his wake, continuing into the water until it was up to his waist. He shivered at the cold of it and shook Hermione.

"Hermione, sweetheart. Wake up, I have a surprise for you."

"What? Draco... oh, Draco. Put me down right now! What do you think you're doing? Didn't you hear what I said? Don't you think I'm serious?" she asked, some of her drunkenness worn off in sleep. It took a moment for Hermione to realize the exact situation she was in. The moon was low in the sky, but it was still dark. She was being carried by the only boy she had ever loved, held over what must be a stabbing cold body of water in the moonlit night. Just out of eye-range, the busy sounds of congested traffic could be heard, mixed with honking motorists and the shudder of large cargo trucks. She held Draco tighter. "Oh, Draco," she said, touched by the trouble he had gone to. A moment later, she realized the sort of danger she was in. "Please don't drop me." Draco kissed her forehead softly, as it was the closest patch of skin to his lips.

"Don't worry about your dress, I'll reimburse you," he said and dropped her into the freezing water. Hermione held fast to his neck and managed to stay standing so that she was only wet up to her waist.

"Oh!" she cried in outrage. "It's freezing!" Hermione tried to be angry with Draco, but he was standing in front of her wearing a shirt that hadn't fit him since his last year of Hogwarts and the high waist and petite shoulders made his appearance so comical that she couldn't help but start to laugh. She held him around his chest and he pressed her closer, reveling in her embrace. "You're so sweet. I love this."

"I knew you would. I'm sorry, Hermione. Really."

"Yes, well. I'm not sure I forgive you. It really was a terrible thing to do," she said and he nodded guiltily.

"I know it was." He paused for a moment, holding her close, then suddenly pulled back. "Hey- what's that?" he asked, pointing into the water. Hermione followed the arrow of his arm with her eyes.

"What's what? I don't see anything."

"I'll see," he said, and dived into the water. Hermione shuddered at the thought of how cold it must be. Draco resurfaced a moment later with something stringy and beautiful.

"L-look what I found," he said, his teeth chattering and skin taught with cold. He opened his hand to reveal a beautiful opal amulet on a silver chain, studded with tiny diamonds and sparkling in the moonlight. Hermione gasped and covered her mouth, as it was an exact replica of the family necklace she had lost five years before.

"Oh, Draco," she said, taking it in her hands and marveling at its beauty. "Where did you get this?"

"D-D-Didn't you see? I just... f-found it."

"Don't be coy. How long did it take you to track it down?" she asked, pushing at his shoulder and ignoring the hypothermic tint to his lips. She wasn't exactly warm-and-toasty herself.

"Five years," he said, and she looked up at him. "Happy birthday."

"Draco, I love you. I don't want to leave you anymore," she said, and he laughed, hugging her to him more tightly than ever before.

"You have no idea how good it feels to hear you say that," he said and she shuddered violently.

"God, this water is freezing," she said. "Are you trying to kill me?"

"It isn't my fault," Draco said, warmer now that she was holding him. "I thought it was August."


A/N: I do not own Harry Potter or:

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night

The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago

Turned around backward so the windshield shows

Every streetlight reveals this picture in reverse

And still it’s so much clearer

I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge

The moon is low tonight

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night

I’m not sure all these people understand, it’s not like years ago

The fear of getting caught, of recklessness and water, they cannot see me naked

These things they go away, replaced by everyday

Nightswimming, remembering that night

September’s coming soon, I'm pining for the moon

The photograph reflects, every streetlight a reminder

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night

Nightswimming by REM.

For Tucker.