The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
"It starts out that way, until one day you realize you're actually friends."
Hermione had been surreptitiously, or so she thought, watching Malfoy’s long fingers as he separated Queen Anne's Lace into its usable parts, carefully shaking flower umbels, when Neville sidled up to her.
"Or more," he disingenuously added.
A quick glance around proved no one was minding their conversation. She leveled Neville with a stare. “You've lost the plot.”
"I haven't. He talks about you when we're alone. It’s obvious there’s something there.”
The two wizards had forged an unlikely friendship during hours spent together as their group's foragers, guarding each other's back while harvesting plants.
She chose to ignore his statement. "You got plenty of Queen Anne seeds this time, right?"
Whereas a younger Neville would have blushed and stammered, the man beside her simply rolled his eyes. "Nobody's interested in accidental pregnancies."
"Granger," Malfoy called from across the camp, "what do you want to do with all this?"
Before she could move, Neville grabbed her wrist. "We also need to decide what to do with some elderberries hidden in his rucksack."
"We know what Theo will want to do."
She expected Neville to laugh and agree with her, but he frowned, slipping his hands into his pockets. "Maybe making wine isn't a horrible idea. Merlin knows it’s been a while since we had anything to look forward to.”
Sighing, Hermione nodded, conceding his point.
Neville inclined his head at Malfoy, who now stood twirling his wand, staring expectantly at them. "You could give him a chance. You both seem… lonely." He squeezed her shoulder, then walked away to his and Ginny's tent.
"About time. I've got other things to do." Malfoy’s snide tone contradicted Neville's theory.
She crossed her arms, cataloguing the plants arranged on the work-bench. “Leave the asphodel bulbs for bread, but bring their leaves. The bowl of seeds. Half the mint.” She strode towards the potions lab. “Except for what’s in your rucksack, the rest can be eaten.”
“Guess I’ll just carry it all then?” he snapped, but still scooped up everything she'd indicated and followed her.
The tent flap had barely closed before she wrapped her arms around his neck. His pack thunked to the floor. The heat in their kiss and his possessive grip on her hips momentarily seared away her nagging worries.
When Draco began placing a series of nips and licks down her neck, she reluctantly pulled back. “We need to talk.”
“I did what you asked. He seemed open to the idea of us.”
“He urged me to give you a chance."
“So what’s the problem? Our plan’s working." He gave her a searching look. "We agreed it's the right time. He'll tell Ginny, and I already wagered you that they'll both be our allies.”
“And I already said it's not a real bet if either way you win.”
“Trust me, we're both going to win.”