Snape had caught up with Alice in the corridor.
"Alice, wait! I didn't mean -- you know that I love you -- I-I didn't know you were -- "
"That I was what?" said Alice. "That I was listening to ou the whole time?"
"How much did you hear?"
"I heard enough."
"Alice I'm sorry, I just -- "
"No, you know what? I'm sorry. But I can't be your seccond choice. It's over, we're done."
She wiped the tears from her cheek and walked to the Great Hall. She sat down next to Draco. Pansy, Crabble and Goyle were nowhere to be seen.
"You look sad, what's wrong?"
"I broke up with Severus," she said quietly.
"Oh," said Draco. She sniffled. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine I just . . . " Suddenly, she started sobbing. Draco held her in his arms.
"Shh . . . " He stroked her hair. She started to push away from him, not crying as hard as she had been.
"I'm-I'm getting your robes all wet," she sniffed.
"It's fine," he said. "I don't mind."
Something about his words was so comforting, so knowing. It was as if his words alone could make all of her problems go away. She'd never realised this before. This whole other side of Draco was showing. One that was more caring and mature; she looked into his grey eyes and a powerful feeling overwhelmed her. She'd never felt anything like it before. It made her begin to sob again.
"Shh . . . " said Draco. "It's gonna be okay." But Alice smiled a little.