He had always known the youngest Weasley was a force to be reckoned with. Everybody else around her – including those who claimed to be her friends – couldn't and wouldn't see it. But he did. Frankly, sometimes he wondered at their idiocy. One had only to look into her eyes to see the fire burning there.
She had mostly stayed in the shadows, at first. Others assumed she was merely the shy, timid, pining sort of girl – and she never seemed to feel the need to correct them. But he knew. One piercing glance and he could feel, rather than see, her fašade falter. She fought stubbornly against it, but they both knew it was a hopeless battle. And so she would raise her head defiantly, level some biting insult, and haughtily walk away.
For the life of him, he could not understand what a girl like that saw in Potter. What could she? The git never realized what was under his nose the entire time. Potter never truly saw her. But he saw, and he knew.
Admittedly, he eventually grew jealous – although he denied it firmly. He resorted to taunting her about her one-sided crush. It was with some sadistic pleasure that he watched her cry – because he knew his words, true as they were, had touched a nerve. Potter saw how upset she was, but did Potter, the great hero, go and comfort her? No. Did Potter know just how upset she was? Probably not. But he knew. And strangely, he grew possessive of her.
Then fifth year rolled around, and he was delighted to see her truly come into her own. Indeed, he felt like laughing when she hit him with her Bat Bogey Hex, instead of showing the cold fury his brainless goons expected.
The next year, rumors were starting to fly – and quite a few were about her. Blaise Zabini, the one Slytherin aside from him who had always stubbornly maintained feelings of utter loathing and nothing else for her, confessed to finding her attractive. He had been profoundly disturbed by Zabini's declaration. She was his, and nobody else's.
Later, he passed by Dean Thomas gleefully prattling away to some fool from Gryffindor about what a catch she was – as if she were an idiotic fish who could be caught on a line! He had wanted to throttle Thomas on the spot. But he had controlled himself, and walked away even as his blood was boiling.
Then Potter had finally noticed her – the ponce. He had felt quite assured, however, that she would not fall for Potter after all the years the Boy-Who-Would-Not-Die had ignored her. When she did, he found it oddly difficult to feel anything so much as disappointment in her. It was as if he was a Master, and his star pupil had failed him.
It was not that he necessarily wanted her to turn around and fall into his arms. No, he knew he would never be good for her. Not him – not the Death Eater her family had loathed for at least a decade. He told himself firmly, many times, to forget her, to banish her completely from his thoughts and from his very soul. But he knew it was to no avail.
When he completed his task, when he had sealed himself forever as a hated enemy in her eyes, when he found himself running into the night as a fugitive – he also found that at that moment, he would have given anything just to be on the end of one of her Bat Bogey Hexes again. He'd have given anything to see the fire raging in her eyes again.
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