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Chapter eleven:

Desperate for warmth

POV: Draco Malfoy

I woke sometime later, and I was laying on one of the leather couches in the Slytherin common room. I felt something warm and cozy pressed against my back, and for a while, I was reluctant to move. I rolled over, snuggling deeper into the comforting warmth.

I drifted slowly into sleep again, dreaming that I was in my mother's arms, and that she was holding me gently and keeping me safe. I even could swear I felt her lips against my forehead. After a while, I woke up again. I made a small sound of annoyance. I just wanted to sleep. I snuggled closer to the warmth again.

However, when I felt the thing move beside me, I felt like I needed to know who I was snuggling with. I opened my eyes to see who it was, thinking it may be Pansy. I had my face nuzzled warmly into her neck, and her dark hair brushed softly over my cheek. I pulled back slightly to look at her face. My excited smile faded into horror when I realize it wasn't Pansy, it was in fact, Falin! And we were snuggling, ashen face to ashen face, our noses inches apart, our bodies pressed together. EWWW! A disgusted look took over my face as I pulled away from him, shooting off the couch, falling to the floor in my haste to get away from him.

I jumped up, forcing a shudder through my body as I shook myself out of the thought of having slept so close to him.

He hadn't seemed to have been awoken by my hustled moving, and I didn't intend on waking him. I made a face, brushing myself off as I strode around the dark room, pretending it had never happened. It seemed to be night, as no one else was in there. I scratched my head thoughtfully, wondering why no one had woken us to get us to move to the dormitory.

I sighed, sitting down on the couch across from the one Falin was still on. I sat there, my legs dangling from the side as I watched him sleep. I noted with an involuntary shudder, that, even though he was asleep, he seemed to still be watching me. I squirmed in the seat, not liking the feeling. I saw my breath form a cloud in front of me and I shivered again.

I looked away from him, letting my mind go blank for a little while. Not thinking seemed to help me relax. I sighed quietly, letting my mind wander again. My eyes fixed back on Falin, and it took me a moment to realize his eyes were wide open and he was staring back at me.

I jumped slightly, trying to shrink into the couch as he sat up and stretched slightly. He yawned, a cloud forming in front of his face as he breathed, and looked around, his gaze resting on me once again. "What time is it?" he asked, his voice thick with sleep. I shook my head rapidly, not knowing. A curtain of jet black hair covered his face as he looked down at his timepiece.

"It's five thirty. We'll be getting back up in a couple hours, we should go to bed." He murmured, laying back down.

"But, the dormitory-"

He cut me off. "Locked. I already tried going up there last night, they'd already locked the doors." He murmured, using an arm as a pillow.

I sighed, stretching out on the cold leather couch, just realizing why Falin had preferred sleeping next to my warm body. The dungeon walls seemed to suck all the warmth out of the room.

After a while of tossing and turning, shivering and teeth chattering, I sat up, looking around. But of course, no blankets could be found. I stared over at Falin, who seemed to be unbothered by the frigid room. I drew my knees to my chest in an attempt to warm myself. It helped, but not much.

"F-Falin?" I chattered.

"Mm?" Good, he was still awake.

"How can you s-stand the c-cold?" I whimpered. He sat up, staring at me in the darkness.

I saw his shoulders lift in a shrug. "Doesn't bother me. I'm used to it I guess." He murmured, a cloud forming from his breath. I heard his quiet reply perfectly in the silence of the room.

Falin sighed, watching me shiver. "That's why I didn't sleep on the other couch last night, you wouldn't stop shivering and there's no blankets in here." He told me quietly.

I just nodded, rocking back and forth slightly. "W-why's it s-so cold in-n here?" I asked.

"They don't bother heating the common rooms at night." He replied. "What about the firep-place?" I stuttered.

"No firewood. I already tried lighting what's in there, but it's already burnt out from yesterday." He sighed. "Just go back to sleep. Morning will be here soon." He laid back down. I nodded, laying back down too, my knees still drawn to my chest. I felt my fingers freezing, and my face was numb.

After a few minutes, I couldn't take it anymore. Dignity be damned. I needed some warmth.

I stood and made my way over to his couch. Wordlessly, I slid in front, facing away from him. He seemed to silently know what I needed and accommodated me willingly, scooting back to give me room.

Trying to be as not-awkward as possible, I sub-consciously slid closer to his warm body. He seemed okay with it. I sighed in relief, already feeling the warmth flowing through me again. After a few minutes of surprisingly comfortable, not-at-all awkward silence, I had stopped shivering and was able to fall back to sleep.

POV: Falin Cerenbus Snape

I woke to the sound of bustling. I opened my steely black eyes to see that my face was buried in soft, flaxen locks of hair. I blinked, moving my head back slightly and spitting some of the hair out of my mouth. I looked around to see that it was morning and the Slytherin students were leaving for breakfast.

Fortunately, the portrait was on the other side of the room, and none of them seemed to notice two sleeping boys, snuggled together for warmth on the leather couches in the common room.

I sat up once they'd all gone. I found that my arm was draped over Draco. I pulled it up so my hand was on his shoulder and shook him carefully.

"Mm." He mumbled, not waking, but instead, moving closer to me.

"Malfoy." I murmured, shaking him again. "Wake up, it's morning." I tried again.

Instead of waking, he rolled over so that he was facing me and pulled me closer, snuggling his face into my chest. I made a face, pushing against him. "Draco!" I hissed, squirming in his grasp.

"Shut up, I'm tired." He murmured, half-awake. I sighed, then slapped his cheek, not hard enough for it to hurt, but hard enough to wake him. His eyes flew open. He stared at me, eyes wide. "Ah!" He cried, pushing away from me with such force he landed on the floor.

I laughed, standing up. "Time to wake up, snuggle-bunny. It's morning." I teased, fixing my disheveled robes. I bent forward, offering him my hand. He took it, letting me help him stand.

"My bottom hurts." He grumbled, rubbing at it.

"It should, you hit the floor pretty hard." I laughed. "Come on, we're going to miss breakfast." I told him, sliding past him and heading for the exit.

"You mean we're going out there?" He asked. I turned and stared at him, then nodded once. "Looking like this?" He gestured our appearances, coming up to stand in front of me.

I gave him a half-smile. "We look like a couple of rebellious children, but that's what half the school looks like, isn't it? It'll be fine." I told him.

"Oh no, I'm at least brushing my hair… and, and changing these clothes…" He looked down at them.

I sighed. "Fine, but hurry up." We headed up to the dorms and I hurriedly changed since he was too.

"Hurry up!" I urged him, brushing my hair for good measure since he was taking so long. "Honestly, you take as long as a girl." I muttered.

"I'm ready! I'm ready." He huffed, pulling a clean robe on.

"Come on." We ran all the way to the great hall, just in time to grab some roles of bread and apples. But it was more than I usually ate at breakfast.

"Okay, so, we have… potions, then… transfiguration class. Charms, and… herbology. Then, D.A.D.A, and after that… History of Magic, then… Astronomy." I listed from memory, taking a bite of my apple as we headed down the hall. He nodded, munching on his bread roll. "Come on, father dislikes it when we're late." We headed for the potions classroom, arriving just as father did.

We took our seats, having double potions, and everyone was already paired up. We opened our books to the page father growled out.

I could tell, just by the waves of nervousness rolling from his mind, that Draco was apprehensive about returning to potions for the first time since he was poisoned. He had been allowed free time the past few weeks during potions since he was too frightened to take it. I nudged him gently with my elbow and offered him a comforting smile when he looked at me. He stared at me for a moment, then smiled back.

I kept a good eye on him throughout the class, making sure he didn't use the wrong potions and making sure none of them spilled or anything. We both got out of class that day, completely unscathed. I smiled as we headed for transfiguration. "Thanks for not poisoning me." I teased. He glared at me and I just laughed. I could tell he was fighting back laughter too.

I finally got him to laugh with me after a few teasing pokes, and we laughed together all the way to transfiguration class.

By the end of the day, I felt, or hoped rather that we had grown closer. I felt the trust building. I needed him to trust me, or else I couldn't help him. "Okay, tonight, let's not get locked out okay? As much as I loved using you as a blanket," He rolled his eyes, sarcasm dripping from his every word. "I really don't want to do that again."

I nodded, agreeing. From that point on, it was as though a silent agreement were passed between us, that we would never speak of that night again. Even though it had simply been the innocence of two friends keeping each other from freezing, it had still been incredibly awkward.

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