Several weeks passed, as Umbridge continued to make changes to Hogwarts. Hagrid was sacked and ran away into the forest. McGonagall was injured and had to be taken away to St. Mungos. Life for Gryffindors was completely miserable.
Sofia spent all of her free time now with Luke and Natalie. Neither of them brought up the fight on the staircase, for which Sofia was thankful. She had not spoken to Draco since. Several times she caught him headed in her direction whenever he could shake his Inquisitorial Squad, but every time she hurried off in another direction and used her knowledge of every secret passage in the ancient school to get away.
One day, however, she could not escape. It was just after the fifth years took their potions OWL exams. She was headed down to potions class when he came out of Snape's office. Silently she cursed herself for not letting Natalie wait for her.
"Sof, please let me talk to you."
"Why should I, Draco?"
"Because you care about me, and you know I care about you."
"Move out of my way. I have to get to class."
Draco crossed his arms in front of his chest and stepped in front of the potions door, blocking her way to class.
"No. Not until you hear me out."
"Fine!" She growled.
"Sofia you're like a sister to me. Yes, I hate Potter and his friends, but that has nothing to do with the way I feel about you. Yeah, I'm cruel and evil towards them, but that's the way I was taught to be. That's the way it's always been. Gryffindors and Slytherins hate each other. Even if they don't alway, that's the stereotype people see. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. You tell someone they are going to hate someone else and then they do."
"I'm a Gryffindor. Why don't you hate me?" Sofia snapped.
"Because I never looked at your as a Gryffindor. I have always looked at you as someone I care about. You're different from other Gryffindors. They're always trying to be the hero, trying to save the world. But you, all you have ever wanted is to live a normal life and to keep your brothers safe. You looking to save a world that is already doomed. You're looking to save yourself and your family from that world."
Sofia didn't say anything. She couldn't say anything. It was as if her voice had been sucked out of her. She stared ahead motionlessly, not looking at Draco, just staring off into space.
He stepped towards her and wrapped his arms around her. She did not protest, just stood their silently. Then he took a hand and lifted her chin so she was forced to look at him.
His eyes were soft and sincere. They were honest, sorry and desperate. He leaned forward and softly kissed her forehead.
"Please, Sofia. Don't shut me out."
Sofia stared at him as he dropped his hand, and then looked away.
"I have to get to class."
She stepped around him and opened the door to potions, leaving him standing alone as the door closed behind her.
"Don't shut me out."
The words rang Sofia's eat the entire lesson. She couldn't focus on anything Snape was saying. She accidentally knocked over a glass vial on his desk when she got up to get potions supplies, shattering the vial and sending it's contents splashing onto the floor.
"Miss Adema," Snape growled. "Since you seem unable to pay attention today, you can make that up by attending detention tonight."
"Sorry, Professor," Sofia muttered.
She wandered back to her table where Natalie was standing.
"What a jerk!" Natalie exclaimed. "What's wrong with you?" She added, looking at Sofia.
"I'm not feeling too well," Sofia lied. "I'll be fine after lunch though."
Sofia knocked on Snape's office that night for her detention. She heard him call for her to come in, and opened the door.
She was shocked to find Draco inside, looking absolutely miserable.
"Miss Adema," Snape said. "I am willing to overlook your lapse today and excuse you from detention on one account. You and Mr. Malfoy must work out whatever is going on between you two."
"I told you, Professor," Draco began, "leave it alone. She's made up her mind so just forget it."
He turned to leave but Snape locked the door with a flick of his wand.
Sofia turned on Draco.
"If I have made up my mind, why do you pretend to know what my decision is?"
He looked shocked.
"You didn't say anything today. I thought you were finished with me."
"I was," Sofia said. "But when you told me not to shut you out, I realized you were right. If I shut you out, I'm shutting out the one person who has been here for me since the beginning, the one person who has helped me to not be afraid."
Draco smiled, looking hopeful.
"Sofia, I'll be here for you. Always. I promise."
Sofia smiled back at him.
"I believe you."