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Chapter 2: The Truth
A/N: Part two :)
Draco, Blaise and Theo were stood in the corner of the Slytherin common room watching a petite, brunette talking to her friends. Amy, Draco’s girlfriend, soon to be ex, was completely oblivious to the stares she was getting from the boys.
Theo turned back to his blonde friend, “so you remember what you’re going to say?” Draco nodded, “she’s a nice girl and you’ve had a great time but you’re just not ready for a relationship,” again, the blonde nodded.
Blaise and Theo shared a look, “you don’t sound sure,” Blaise told him.
“You don’t sound like yourself,” Theo finished.
“I feel a little strange,” he admitted.
“Maybe you should break up with…her tomorrow,” Blaise could never remember her name.
Draco shook his head, “no, I’m fine. I know what I’m going to say. I’ll just break things off and go to bed.” The boys reluctantly agreed with him and he walked over to Amy, “we need to talk,” he interrupted her conversation.
Amy nodded, “sure,” she looked to the girls and they left quietly. She turned back to Draco, “what’s up?”
Draco took a deep breath, “it’s over.”
Amy’s eyes widened, “what?” her voice was a whisper.
“It’s over,” he repeated.
Draco remembered everything him and his friends came up with, everything he had rehearsed and planned to say. But that wasn’t what came out, “I can’t take it. Your needy, your too emotional, you want to know where I am all the time and your very boring. I don’t want to be with you.” By the time Draco had finished his speech, he was whispering. He had no idea what was happening.
Amy nodded slowly. Tears were forming in her eyes but she refused to cry, “I should be grateful for the fact that you were honest, at least. You didn’t tell me a bunch of lies to ‘spare my feelings’” her voice was barely audible, “but that doesn’t stop you from been a complete jerk,” she slapped him right across his right cheek and left.
Blaise and Theo came running to the couch and sat next to him. Theo grabbed his face and moved it to the side, examining his cheek, “that has got to hurt.”
Draco moved Theo’s hand away roughly, “you think?”
“What happened?” Blaise asked, “did she see right through your lie? Or did she love you so much that she’d hate you no matter what you said?”
“Neither?” Draco shook his head, “then what happened?”
“I told her the truth!”
“What?!” they shouted in unison, causing everyone else in the common room to stare at them.
“I don’t know why,” Draco was confused, “I’m gonna go to bed. I need to lie down.” Draco ran out of the common room and all the way to the Head’s common room. He didn’t stop till he got to his bed. He covered his face in his pillow and squeezed his eyes shut. Something was definitely wrong with him.
Draco hardly slept that night, he spent the time going over the break-up in his head, wondering why he had said what he said and cursing himself with every swear word he could think of, in every language he knew. He never told girls the real reasons he was breaking up with them.
I never tell the truth! Why now?
Draco had to get up. Staying in bed would cause him to do nothing but think about last night and if he did that any longer, he would surely go insane. He got up to take a shower and got dressed, all not too fast but not too slow. Draco needed a distraction, he needed to keep his brain occupied, and so far it was working.
When Draco knew he couldn’t do anything else in his room, he went down stairs to the Head’s kitchen, making my own breakfast will keep me occupied. And it did, for the two minutes it took to pour cereal and milk into a bowl. He sat down at the table and counted the crunches he made eating. It was then that he realised he didn’t need to obsess over last night to go crazy, it seemed to be inevitable no matter what he did.
Draco looked up at the sound of a chair moving opposite him and saw Hermione sit down next to him with her own bowl of cereal. He had been so wrapped up in his thoughts that he hadn’t noticed her come in, let alone make breakfast. Please don’t
talk to me. Don’t talk to me. Don’t talk to me, he repeated over and over in his head.
“How are you, Draco?” she asked.
Draco closed his eyes; someone up there must really hate me. Maybe this is karma for when I was younger… “Very confused,” he told her…honestly.
“Confused about what?”
Draco tried to tell her it was nothing and change the subject, but he just couldn’t, “my inability to lie.”
“Really?” her eyebrows lifted in surprise but Draco thought that, just for a second, he saw a small smile, “you’re honestly telling me you can’t lie? How very…honest of you.”
“It’s not funny.”
“I’m not laughing,” And she wasn’t. Draco had expected her to laugh when the truth came out. Anyone else would have. Why didn’t she?
“When did this start?” she asked curiously, innocently.
“Last night,” he answered, “I started feeling funny while I was going for my shower and it didn’t go away. I thought it was because I had played Quidditch just after dinner - stupid thing to do by the way - but I still feel kinda funny.”
“What time was that?”
He shrugged, “about seven-thirty,” he looked at her, “why?”
It was Hermione’s turn to shrug, “maybe it’s one of those twenty-four hour things, like a bug.”
She nodded, “you know the flu. A cold.”
“You think so?”
“I have no idea,” she answered, unlike Draco, not honestly, “but I bet you hope so?”
“You have no idea.”
Hermione magically washed her bowl and spoon and put them away. She walked out muttering, “I have more of an idea than you think.” She still felt guilty about doing it and wanted seven-thirty to come quickly. She realised that moment was a perfect time to ask Draco if he liked her. But she just couldn’t. Her mind was filled with scenarios; him giving her an answer she didn’t want to hear, him finding out that it was her who did this to him. She went to see Ginny.
“I don’t know what to do!” Hermione exclaimed, “I had the chance to ask him and I didn’t. And with the way he’s taking not being able to lie, I’ll be lucky if I see him again today. He’ll probably hide himself somewhere till he can lie again.” Hermione stopped pacing and fell on Ginny’s bed.
Ginny sighed, “all I could do was get the potion. I’m sorry Hermione put the rest was up to you to figure out; I don’t know how to help you.”
The distressed witch looked at her best friend, “can’t Blaise help? He is Draco’s best friend and I’m sure with him being your boyfriend, he’d be happy to help,” she said, sounding hopeful.
“What do you expect Blaise to do?” Ginny asked.
“Yeah, Granger, what do you expect me to do?” came a voice from behind them. They both looked up to see Blaise Zabini standing in the doorway of the Gryffindor girl’s dorm.
Hermione looked at Ginny for an explanation. “Blaise gave me the password for Slytherin so I could see him. It was only fair for me to give him Gryffindor’s,” she reasoned.
“If Ron finds out, he’ll kill you both.”
“Then we just won’t tell him will we?”
Blaise came over and sat on the bed, “what did you do to Draco that I have to help with? I take it you two are the reason he can’t lie.”
Ginny looked to Blaise, surprised, “you know about that?”
“Of course I do,” Blaise nodded, “he came to Slytherin last night,” he looked at Hermione, “remember?” She nodded slowly.
“But why would you know because of that?”
“He went to Slytherin to break up with his girlfriend, What’s-Her-Name.”
“Amy,” Hermione told him grudgingly, then repeated what he had said in her head, “he dumped her?”
“Yeah and instead of letting her down gently, he told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” he told them, “and got a slap in the face.”
Ginny started laughing hysterically, mumbling something about wishing she had been there to see it. Hermione cover her hand with her mouth.
“Why did you do it?” Blaise asked.
Hermione sighed, “I want to know how he honestly feels about me, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
Blaise narrowed his eyes in confusion, “why didn’t you just ask him?”
Hermione kept her gaze to the floor, “I don’t want him to lie to me,” she whispered.
Now Blaise understood. Draco had a horrible habit of lying for multiple reasons; to get something he wanted, he get out of a sticky or uncomfortable situation (a break-up…or telling a girl he has a crush on how he feels for example). Blaise had seen them all. He even lied to Blaise and Theo sometimes. Though he knew they were only small white lies that were so mediocre they meant nothing to them anyway. They had better be anyway.
“Well go find him now and ask him, you’ve started this now, you might as well finish.”
Hermione nodded and went to leave, but stopped at the door, “find him?”
“Yeah, he walked past me on the stairs, I have no idea where he is,” Blaise explained. Hermione nodded again and left. Blaise turned to Ginny, “why are you meddling?”
Ginny gasped, then glared, “and what makes you think it was my idea?”
“Please,” Blaise scoffed, “Hermione Granger deciding to use Veritaserum…on a student…of her own accord? Yeah right!”
“OK, so maybe it was my idea,” Ginny kind of admitted, “but she’s my best friend and she needed my help. I had honourable intentions,” she defended. She was about to say more but Blaise kissed her to shut her up.
All day Hermione had searched for Draco but she couldn’t find him anywhere. Maybe she was correct in her assumption that Draco would hide where no one could find him till he could lie again. She groaned sighed and continued her search.
Draco was hiding. Trying to anyway. Everywhere he went; someone would eventually come up to him and ask him something or talk to him. He was fine if someone asked him a question to do with school - prefect duties, tutoring schedules etc - but when a girl came over to flirt with him, he usually left them fuming and himself with a red handprint mark on his left cheek.
The only place he could go were people knew not to talk to him was the Slytherin common room but he didn’t want to go there because of Amy. He knew he had no choice though. So that was where he was right now; in Slytherin, all alone, lying on the couch with a pillow covering his face. That could have been to make sure everyone knew not to talk to him. Or it could be to hide the handprint marks. You never know. He was left alone for a whole hour until Blaise and Theo came in. They walked right up to him and Theo tapped his legs till Draco got the message and moved. Theo had stated many times that if Draco didn’t move, he would sit on him. And he meant it. It was now an unspoken agreement to just move.
“Are you all right?” Theo asked.
Draco shook his head.
“Do you wanna talk about it?” Blaise voice came from behind Theo.
Draco shook his head. Since his face was covered with a pillow, Draco didn’t see the look his two friends had given each other; Blaise had already told Theo about Draco’s situation’.
“Have you seen Granger today?” Blaise asked nonchalantly.
“Not since breakfast,” came Draco’s muffled reply, “why?”
“It’s nothing,” Theo dismissed, “I just wanted to talk to her about our potions homework but I haven’t seen her all day. It doesn’t matter; it doesn’t have to be in till next week so I can talk to her tomorrow or something.”
“Are you sure you’re alright, Draco?”
Draco snapped, he couldn’t take it anymore. If someone wanted him to tell the truth then he would go ahead and tell the truth. He flung the pillow to the floor and stood up, “no Blaise I am not alright. I am far from alright. I seem to have this uncontrollable need to be perfect for some reason, for my family, for you two, for this lot,” he pointed to everyone in the common room who were now listening to his every word, “everyone expects me to be this person. A person who most of the time I am not! And I can’t keep it up anymore. It’s too much hard work and I am just a kid. I’m seventeen years old! Newsflash, I’m still only a teenager. But people expect me to grow up and I don’t want to! I don’t! And the pressure builds up and up until, half the time, I don’t know whether I want to scream or cry. I’m sick of it, absolutely sick of it. And what makes it worse is that I grew so accustomed to doing what everyone else wanted me to do that I actually forgot that I can do things for myself, to the point where I can’t even tell one girl that I like her.” Draco finished his speech in one breath and, for the second time, ran out of the common room before he or anyone could say anything else.
Everyone sat there in a stunned silence for what felt like forever before Theo broke the silence with, “I knew it! I knew he liked Granger!”
Blaise smacked him across the head.
Hermione looked at her watch; it was almost seven and she still hadn’t found Draco. She had just over half an hour left to ask him and if she didn’t find him now, she would never get her chance. She put her hands on her hips and thought of all the places Draco would be most likely to go. Then she cursed and mentally slapped herself. Of course! How could I not have thought of that before? She ran to Gryffindor.
She practically shouted the password and didn’t stop running, the Fat Lady opened just in time. Hermione found the person she was looking for. Harry was sitting on the couch between Ginny and Ron. “Harry can I borrow you Marauders’ Map?” she asked breathless.
“Sure,” Harry replied, confused. He acciod the map and handed it to her. She muttered the spell to reveal the map and opened it. She eventually found Draco’s name alone in the charms corridor. She thanked Harry and ran again. Harry took the map and looked where Hermione had been just moments before, “why is she looking for Malfoy?”
Ginny smiled, “who knows?”
Hermione was so out of breath by the time she stopped in front of Draco, that she had to sit down while clutching her sides.
“Are you OK?” Draco asked her.
Hermione nodded, “me? I’m fine. I’m just a very unfit person,” she whispered, not having the energy to speak normally. “I need to - “ she looked up at Draco, “are you alright?”
Draco scoffed and shook his head, “I have no idea what is wrong with me today. I’m saying things I would never say. You should have seen me in Slytherin. I have never said what I’ve really felt before. Well, I still haven’t said it, I screamed it. And, honestly, it scared me,” he looked to Hermione, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what’s happening and it’s scaring me,” he whispered.
Hermione couldn’t help the tears that were falling. She had caused this, her and Ginny, and she knew she shouldn’t have, but she did it anyway. And it did nothing but hurt them both.
Draco changed the subject, “you said you needed something, what is it?”
“I need to tell you something,” it was her turn to tell the truth. Draco nodded for her to continue. “Remember when I offered you the water and you asked if it was poisoned?”
“It wasn’t poisoned; I put a truth potion in it.”
“Why would you put a truth potion in your drink?” he was confused as to where this was going.
“Because it was never going to be my drink,” she explained, “I always planned to give it to you.”
“Why would you wanna give me a truth potion?”
“I wanted to know if you liked me. I wanted to know how you felt about me and it felt like it was the only way because all I’ve seen you do is lie and I didn’t want you to lie to me. I’ve been looking for you all day to ask you and I came here to ask you but after hearing what it’s done to you, I had to tell you the truth instead,” Hermione refused to look him in the eyes, “I regret it even more than I originally did and I didn’t want to do it in the first place but - “ she decided to leave Ginny out of the conversation.
Draco had been sitting there in shock the whole time. She did this to me. Granger! Just to ask me if I like her. His thoughts were surprisingly not angry, that must mean she likes me too. Actually, he was inwardly smiling. But Hermione didn’t know that.
“I’m so sorry Draco. The potion last for twenty-four hours, you have…” she looked at her watch, “twenty-five minutes left to seven thirty. I’ll leave you alone now,” she got up and walked away.
Draco snapped out of his thoughts and saw her go, “Granger!” she never turned around. “Hermione wait!” He thought she had stopped, maybe because of the use of her given name. But she carried on walking, faster this time. Draco didn’t chase after her, she just needed space. But she needed to know that he did like her. He grinned; he knew exactly what he was going to do.
Draco groaned and refused to eat. Blaise had decided to sit at Gryffindor with Ginny today and had made Theo sit with him. Draco joined when he saw them, mainly for Hermione…who wasn’t here yet. It was almost half seven and if she didn’t come soon it would ruin he plan. Every time he heard movement his head went to the door but she never came through. Draco looked at his watch; seven twenty-seven.
A clatter of plates.
The sound of gossiping.
The doors opened. Hermione walked to the Gryffindor table but upon seeing Draco sitting there wondered if she should turn around. But everyone had already seen her, including Draco. She carried on walking, intending to sit as far from him as possible and…oh Merlin, he was walking towards her. He sat down next to her and checked his watch. Hermione opened her mouth to speak but Draco held up a finger, signifying one minute.
Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Seven thirty.
Draco looked up to Hermione, “seven thirty, I can lie again,” Hermione rolled her eyes, “I need to test it; Weasley’s gay…then again, you never know,” Ron glared, “Potter’s a girl…again, it can be questioned. I’m a girl,” he looked down and smirked, causing the people around them to laugh, “definitely not.”
“What was the point in that?” Hermione asked him.
“You gave me a truth potion so I would tell you how I felt about you and I’m going to prove that you didn’t need it. All you had to do was ask,” he explained.
“People keep telling me that,” she mumbled.
“Why didn’t you listen?”
“I had already given you the potion,” she told him.
“Oh. Anyway, I do like you. I like you a lot.”
“How do I know you’re not lying?”
Draco only gave her one word, “proof.” He leaned in and gently touched Hermione’s lips with his own. And he only had to wait a couple of seconds before she kissed him back. It was slow and soft and Hermione loved it.
After a minute, she pulled away, “I think that will satisfy as proof,” she smiled.
Their smiles didn’t last long as a shadow was cast over them; someone was interrupting them, they looked up. Draco got to his feet, “Amy.”
“What’s this Draco? You only dumped me yesterday and you’ve already found someone else! Did I really mean absolutely nothing to you?”
“No…” Draco started to protest. But she wouldn’t hear any of it. She slapped him across the face and glared.
“I never wanna see you again!” she yelled and walked away.
Draco turned to Hermione, “I’ve gotten stuff like that all day because of you. I’m not happy.”
“And I’m suddenly not so hungry,” she got up, “I’m gonna go, I’ll see you all tomorrow…if I live that long.” Hermione walked away, quickly.
“No, you had better run!” Draco called following her. Hermione ran and Draco chased her.
Their friends all looked at each other, “they’re gonna get married,” Theo randomly said.
“If Granger lives,” Blaise countered. The rest of dinner was louder than the others. People had a lot to talk about. And it was centred around our favourite couple.