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Chapter 1: chapter one
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It’s crazy how much can change in one day, let alone one hour, one minute, or even one second. Everything is constantly changing around us, but we don’t always notice it. But this, this was something that I couldn’t help but notice, no one could. Everyone’s eyes were transfixed on the couple in the center of the room, it’s not like Ron and Lavender were trying to be subtle about it, as they kissed passionately in front of everyone. Just like that things had changed. I could feel the sting of tears prickle at my eyes and I turned sharply from the scene, not wanting to take in another second of the horrendous display of affection, if you could call it that. It wasn’t like Lavender had given Ron the time of day before his win, and would probably dump him by the wayside for the next biggest thing. I quickly fled from the Gryffindor common room and went to the one place that I knew I would be alone, the room of requirement.
I wasn’t even sure what Ron saw in Lavender. As her roommate, I had learned throughout the years that Lavender was what one would consider a mess. Not just in the way she kept her clothes, in what couldn’t even be considered as an organized mess, but also in her life. Just the fact that her favorite class was Divination spoke volumes about her. Of course she would enjoy a class that didn’t mean anything in life and fell for the sporadic words, or prophesies as she liked to call them, of Professor Trewlany. Lavender may be a pretty girl but I was sure that she wasn’t worth the headache that she would soon become.
The castle was cold, as could only be expected of November, and I almost wished that I had stayed in the Gryffindor common room where the giant fireplace had been blazing. Or at the very least, I wished that I had grabbed a robe to keep me warm. I wiped at the tears that were beginning to fall, trying to convince myself that I was being silly; there was no reason to cry or be upset at Ron’s actions. After all, it wasn’t like I had any claim over him, even if I had once thought that something would become of us. But it didn’t seem to matter how much I told myself this, as my tears continued to betray me. It may have been two years since the Yule Ball, but there was still a part of me that hoped that Ron would buck up the courage and ask me out. Maybe I had read too much into the situation, or maybe he did like me. Either way, it didn’t matter now; he had Lavender Brown to keep him busy.
By the time I made it to the room of requirement, my tears had become a steady stream, and my nose was running just as much. I quickly paced in front of the entrance, not wanting anyone else to come across me while I was like this, and slipped inside its doors once they appeared. The room was unlit and empty, just the way that I wanted it to be. Of course the room knew exactly what I wanted, that was why it was called the room of requirement, whatever you required it would become. And I had just wanted a place of solitude, somewhere that I could be alone in my misery.
Alone, I thought as I wandered around the room, my hand dragging across the rough stone walls. Was I destined to always be alone? No one ever quite understood me and my passion for knowledge. Most of the time, I was mocked. Snickers behind my back as I raised my hand to answer a question in class, or sighs as I was once more praised in class. I had pushed them all behind me and kept on, knowing that I would have a better life than them. But would I really? Would any of this be worth it if there wasn’t anyone to share in my passion with? Books and cleverness was one thing, but in the end, that’s all that they were, just a thing that held no meaning. There was no companionship in them, no comfort, just words.
A sound, like someone shuffling their feet, broke me out of my thoughts. My head darted around the room, looking for the source of the noise, but I found none. The room was as empty as it had been when I entered it, which meant only one thing. Maybe the room hadn’t been as empty as I’d thought.
“Hello,” I called out.
Nothing, the room as eerily quiet. I continued walking, headed in the direction I had thought that I had heard the noise come from. At first, there was nothing but the sound of my shoes clicking on the stone floor. But just when I was about to give up and resolve that the noise had probably originated from me, I heard it again.
“Listen, I know you’re there. Just reveal yourself now, or I’ll do it myself,” I said, grabbing for my wand.
Still nothing happened. I raised my wand up, the spell on the tip of my tongue when another noise distracted me. This one however, came from the doorway. I lowered my wand back down to my side and watched as the door slid open to reveal the very couple that I had come here to escape. Lavender clung to Ron’s arm as she giggled at something he had just said, but I didn’t hear it. I watched as they began kissing feverishly, their hands both wandering each other’s bodies, as they fumbled the rest of their way into the room. What were they doing here? This was supposed to be my refuge from them, a place where I didn’t have to witness whatever it was that they were. How could he bring her here?
Even worse were the thoughts of wanting to be Lavender that entered my head as I watched them. For just a split second, I let my mind wander and wonder what it would be like to be in her place. To know how it felt to have a guy pushed up against me, hands roaming my body, and tongue seeking dominance against my own. Can you really feel the heat of a man’s hand through your clothes? Or was that just a wives tale that each person imagined merely because they knew that his hand was there? My face flushed a light pink color, and I shook myself from my thoughts.
They still didn’t seem to notice me in the room and I cleared my throat to let them know that they weren’t as alone as they thought they were. I didn’t want to wait any longer to get their attention, in case they started taking each other’s clothes off, and I was already scarred enough. Lavender jumped back from Ron, her face flushed, and caught sight of me. I had to give her credit, at first she seemed really embarrassed to be caught in the position she had just been in with Ron, but I knew that she was probably anything but embarrassed. She was probably gloating that she got to shove her relationship with Ron in my face for a second time this evening.
Ron finally looked at me, and I glared at him; the scene of Lavender jumping onto him replayed itself in my mind. We all stood there, not saying anything. And the more that we stood there in silence, the more that it fed my pain and anger to my aching heart, and the more that I wanted to curse them. Why didn’t he just say something, anything? Or better yet, why didn’t they just leave? I was here first, I thought childishly, that meant I had every right to this room and they had to find another one.
“Ronny, it looks like this room is already taken,” Lavender said finally.
Ron nodded his head, but made no effort to move.
“Come on Ron, let’s find a different room,” Lavender tried again, grabbing Ron’s hand and pulling him in the direction of the door.
Ron shook her hand off and continued to look at me. His eyes held a bit of softness to them that I had never noticed before and slowly he took a step towards me. I could feel another tear escape from my eyes and stood transfixed as Ron reached his hand out towards me and then slowly took it back. That motion had hurt worse than watching him with Lavender. It was as if he was almost mine, and then he realized what he was doing, and who I was and remembered that I wasn’t what he had wanted. I turned from him as the tears began flowing anew.
“Hermione,” he said my name like a question.
That was all it took, I had snapped. I turned to him, anger flashing in my eyes, and raised my wand, gripping it with an intensity that scared me. I could do it, I knew I could and I could tell that Ron knew I could do it as well as he stared at my wand. Spells flashed through my mind and I gripped my wand tighter in my sweaty hand. I just had to say the spell, that’s all that I had to do, and then Ron would leave, and I could be on my own again. Alone, that’s all that I wanted.
I held my gaze as Ron took a step back towards the door, and then another. He looked like he wanted to say something, but didn’t. I let my wand arm fall numbly back to my side, exhaustion set in and I didn’t want to fight with Ron any more. All I wanted was for him and Lavender to go away, for the pain to go away, but I knew that they, and it, wouldn’t.
“Ron,” Lavender called from her place in the doorway, “just leave her.”
He started to turn towards Lavender but stopped mid turn and stared in the far left corner, my right, the same area I had thought that I had heard the shuffling noise come from earlier. I chanced a glance over to the corner, hoping that whoever or whatever was hiding out would show itself. My eyes searched the dark, taking in every detail I could make out but nothing stood out. It wasn’t until my head turned at the sound of the door closing, that I noticed a slight shimmer from the corner of the room.
Ron and Lavender were gone, leaving me alone in the room, or at least as alone as I had been when I first got here. Someone else had beaten me to this room and had watched me fall apart. They had seen everything that had transpired between me and Ron and I didn’t like that feeling. I gripped my wand tighter in my hand and lit the tip of it, pointing the light ahead of me and took a step forward.
“Who’s there?” I called out. I heard some rustling but nothing else. “Listen, I know you’re there. Just show yourself to me.” And then there was a light murmur, and after a moment’s pause a shadowed figure appeared where the shimmer had come from. He was too far away to know who it was for sure, though I could tell one thing, he had short blonde hair. I lifted my wand higher, trying to make out who it was and gasped as he came closer, his appearance finally coming to light.
“Hello, Granger.” Malfoy smirked staring at me, the glee at having witnessed my humiliation apparent on his face.
AN: Hello everyone! I'm currently working on revising this story and have finished the update for chapter one. Thank you so much to Dee (HeyMrsPotter) for looking over this story and helping me with the update! I hope that you enjoyed this update and that it makes the story even better. I also hope to have chapter sixteen up on Friday so keep your eyes out for that! Don't forget to leave a review!