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Chapter 2: Hurting
At hearing her name, Hermione stood up rather quickly, wiping her face clear of its tears. In her hand was a crumpled piece of odd looking parchment, which she hid behind her back. It was white, and had lines across the width of it, repeating all the way down to the end. Her hair was tied back in a high ponytail that was coming undone. And her eyes, they were shiny and puffy from crying.
"What do you want, Malfoy?" she asked hostilely, crossing her petite arms. She may have appeared pissed off and defensive, but one look in her eyes told that her outside expression was faux, as they were filled sadness. It was an unusual look for the brave girl. A look that Draco hoped he would never witness again in his life.
When he did not answer her, she said, "Just go away Malfoy. I don't have any time for you and your mind games." Hermione settled back down against the bookshelf, wrapping her hands around her knees, waiting for him to leave. But Draco would not have that. Not one teensy bit. He wanted to know what happened, who hurt her, so that they could pay.
"Why should I have to leave? I have as much a right as you, don't I? It is after all, way after curfew."
Hermione huffed, clearly not liking his stubborn answer in the least bit. "Why do you want to willingly be in the same room as a Mudblood?"she hissed.
If only you knew he thought sadly. And then, just to irate her, because she would want to know what he meant, he looked in her brown eyes, and said just that.
Her eyes squinted in a hating glare, a crease forming in the middle of her forehead from the effort she was putting forth from her glaring. It was clear that Draco was getting on her nerves very easily tonight. Then, as if deciding he wasn't worth her time, she grabbed a book nearest her and pretended to read. He only noticed that she wasn't reading because her book was up side down. He smirked and let out a chuckle at her silliness.
"What is so funny, Malfoy?" she practically growled.
He stopped laughing when he noticed the tears rolling down her face. "Was it Weasley?" he asked, no humor left in his voice. Then he added, when he noticed he sounded as if he cared, "Did he tell you that your Mudblood stench was just too much tonight?" From her reaction, he saw his words hit a nerve, but that was not enough. He wanted to hex himself for the next words that he spoke. "Or did he shack up with some girl? Did it watch to hurt him kiss her, Granger? Did you wish it was you he was sucking faces with? If so, I must congratulate him."
He wanted to catch the fresh teats that were sure to fall. She looked so miserable... It tore him up not to be able to comfort her... Perhaps this once? Just to prove to her he wasn't the bastard he pretended to her. It wouldn't hurt, would it? What was he thinking it would destroy everything. Begrudgingly, Draco's hands stayed at his sides, and safely away from her and all the trouble that could ensue from merely holding her while she cried.
He felt guilt, knowing her was part of the reason she was crying. It was sick. He loved her, but he could find the strength to do this to her? Yes, it was sick, but it was necessary. For the first time, his father's last words before he was arrested made some sense to Draco.
He had asked his father if it was worth it, pointing towards his heartbroken mother. Lucius's reply was one of the most emotion filled things Draco had heard his father say. "Sometimes you have to hurt the ones you love in order to protect them."
Hermione tried her best to stop the tears from coming. As she glared with what could only be hatred at him. He was confused by what she said next.
"If... You think this is about Ron... You're wrong." she muttered. The only one he had ever seen, apart from himself, reduce her to tears was the red-haired git. Whom, or what had upset her so?
"It can't be that bad Granger, right?" The only answer he got was a strangled sob as she buried her face in her knees.
She looked after a few moments when she calmed down. "Why don't you just leave me alone? Is it not enough that I have to feel miserable already? Do you get some sick satisfaction from watching me bawl my eyes out?"
"No, I don't particularly enjoy watching your face turn red and teary. I just like annoying the piss out of you." he smirked.
"Job well done. Now can you go?"
"Not until you tell me what happened." He was confusing her, he knew it. One second he was acting as if he might give a shit and then tearing her down... No wonder she hated him.
"Why do you want to know?" she fired back, her nostrils flaring. She looked cute when she did that. Draco wondered if anyone ever told her that.
"Curiosity killed the cat." she said, her lips twitching almost into a victorious grin. You haven't won yet, Granger.
"It's a damn good thing I'm not a cat then, Granger."
"You're not going to leave until I tell you, are you?"
Trying to get her to say anything was like pulling teeth. The muggle way. Tedious and not easy. "I thought we already went over this?"
Granger didn't reply. Her eyes were dazed over, and Draco could almost hear those gears whirling in her head, possibly figuring how how to tell him whatever was wrong. He hoped that it wasn't something to bad. A fight with a friend or something along that nature Draco could deal with. If it was something more... serious, Draco had no idea what he would do.
"I don't really know how to tell you. I don't even know how to tell Harry and Ron, much less you. It's complicated... To tell you the thirty, but perfectly simple." She started, starring down at her lap. She twiddled with her fingers before continuing. "Malfoy, do you know what the term cancer is?"
Draco's heart stopped beating. He could feel the air in the room stand still and grow cold. The hairs on the back of his neck stood at attention and his stomach did millions of flip-flops. She didn't have...have it did she? Shouldn't her magic have stopped it? Or was there too much muggle blood in her?
"Granger...you're not saying you-"
"No!" she cut him off, "No, if course I don't have it."
Draco let out of air he had been holding. Relief settled through his body. But wait... Whom was she crying for then? "Who?" he whispered.
Hermione closed her eyes and took a deep, long breath before letting it out very slowly. Then she looked in his grey stone cold eyes and told him.
I'm sorry it's so short and I haven't updated sooner. My schools out now so I'll be able to update more frequently now. Thank you to luv_me_hate_me, Mischief_managed18, and Andreaa for reviewing the first chapter. You guys are amazing.
June 14, 2012
Just fixing my spelling errors. Reviews are magical instant inspiration so please leave one! :D