"You must be kidding me," Nancy cried, fried egg sitting forgotton on her plate.
"Shush!" Layla hissed at her friend. The stocky Ravenclaw sniffed and prodded her egg moodily. After a moment, she looked up again.
"But how could you-"
"I said shush, Nance!"
"Sorry, sorry," Nancy whispered sarcastically. Nancy Underhay was clever, quick witted and loud, and Layla loved her dearly. They had become friends in Muggle Studies, and now spent all of their time together.
Layla had just revealed her biggest, scariest secret, but Nancy seemed to excited to worry about small matters such as keeping her voice down.
"He might hear you!" Layla reminded her friend.
Draco Malfoy sat only at the table behind them, flagged by his two ugly cronies, Crabb and Goyle. He was frowning at the table, twisting a fork in his left hand as his brow furrowed further.
"Maybe he's busy thinking about you!" Nancy giggled, nudging Layla. When she saw Layla's expression, she sobered up imediatley. "Only kidding, La!"
Layla rolled her eyes, but inside her heart was thumping painfully against her ribs. What if he was thinking about her? What if he- No. Layla shook her head. No.
He only wanted someone to talk to. They just chatted, in a friendly, casual way. In no way did he have feelings for her. He was an aquantance. A mate.
Layla shivered, and Nancy noticed. "Pull yourself together, girl. Your fifteen. You can handle anything!" She waved her spoon above her head.
Raising her eyebrows, Layla sneaked another glance in Malfoy's direction. He was no longer frowning at the table, but looking straight at her, his dark grey eyes boring into hers.
For a split second, no one else in the world existed. It was just two pairs of eyes, staring, unfathomable questions bouncing through the air.
And then Nancy elbowed her in the ribs. "La? What are you staring at?"
"Nothing," Layla mumbled, dropping his gaze. "Nothing important."
Nancy crossed her arms.
Layla sighed, and stood up. "I'm gonna wash before classes," she informed her friend. "See you later."
"See you," said Nancy, eyes narrowed suspiciously.
Layla, carrying a goblet of pumpkin juice headed for the door, eyes fixed on the corridor beyond. I won't look over, I won't look over, I won't-
In an instant, Layla crashed straight into someone who was leaving at the same time. She sprawled on the floor, face flaming red. Pumkin juice had spilt everywhere, all down her, robes, and had completley drenched the person she'd crashed into.
"Sorry, so sorry," Layla mumbled, mopping at the floor and picking up the goblet. "I'm so very-"
The word caught in her throat as she looked at the person she'd crashed into. Suprise, suprise, a pair of amused grey eyes were twinkling before her.
"Oh, I, um-" Layla blustered, trying to get to her feet and regain some dignity.
A hand caught her elbow and steadied her as she stood. "Thanks."
"No problem. I wasn't looking where I was going," Malfoy replied.
"Niether." It was then that Layla realised that he was still holding onto her arm. The second she looked up, he dropped it as if he had been burnt.