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Chapter 13: Apologies
The next few days passed by pretty quickly and for a few short days life seemed like it was pretty much back to normal. All the Gryffindors were on a post- win high and everyone seemed to be in a good mood, which was only heightened by some good weather, which given that it was October was extremely unusual. It wasn’t unheard of to have snow here in October so the fact that it was in all probabilities the last nice day that we would have until about next April, everyone was making the most of it.
As for me, it was the happiest that I had been in a while. Things seemed like they were back to normal in many ways. For the first time in weeks I was finally able to spend time with my friends. After a very late breakfast, which should probably have been classified as lunch instead given it was well after 12 before any of us woke after the partying from the night before, Harry, Ginny, Ron and I went outdoors to take a walk by the lake. It felt good to be spending time with them again after so many weeks of feeling slightly left out. Ron was for once Lavender free, although where she was, nobody knew. Believe me we asked. It was so unusual to see Ron without Lavender hanging off of him somewhere, but he just mumbled some excuse about her being busy and swiftly changed the subject, so none of us brought it up again. Whatever the reason was, the selfish part of me was glad that she wasn’t with us so that things could be more like normal and so I wouldn’t have to watch two couples being all loved up whilst feeling incredibly more and more like a spare part.
As it was it felt just like old times- sitting in the sunshine, chatting and laughing like we used to do so often. Everyone in the castle seemed to be outside today, just enjoying the sunshine. Looking around at the smiling, laughing faces, all basking in the shade of the towering castle, you would never have suspected that anything horrific had happened just a few months prior. In actual fact the castle had never looked better; looking almost golden in the glittering sunlight, all evidence of a battle long since repaired.
Life certainly felt like it was back to normal. We found a nice quiet spot by the lake, near to the Whomping Willow where not many other people dared to go, so we were sure to have some peace since Harry was still attracting quite a lot of stares and after the previous days Quidditch match so were both Ron and Ginny, although each attracting attention for entirely different reasons. There seemed to be a shared understanding among us that we should not mention the match. Even the party the night before was a sore point for Ron and so we did all we could to steer the topic in a different direction. We covered everything from school work; Neville and Luna’s blossoming relationship and George’s new plans for his shop. When the conversation turned around to me and Harry asked me how my detentions were going, my mind went quickly back to the previous day; revealing so much to Malfoy and what had nearly happened afterwards, I felt myself immediately colour and it was my turn to swiftly change the topic to a less dangerous subject.
Of course now that it was in my mind, I couldn’t get it out. I simply replayed over and over what I had said to him, what he had said to me and then afterwards when he had held his hand out to me and helped me up, pulling me up so quickly that I had nearly stumbled into his chest. For the briefest of moments I had been sure that he had been going to kiss me and even more confusingly for me, I wasn’t entirely repulsed by the idea.
I was still deep in thought; remembering a pair of grey eyes piercing into mine when a quick movement from Ron brought my attention most annoyingly back to the present.
‘Alright ferret,’ Ron shouted loudly to someone over my shoulder. I didn’t need to turn around to see who would be there. Regardless I gave a quick glance over my shoulder just to check. Sure enough Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini were walking along the shore and by the looks of it, had been minding their own business, but Ron’s idiotic outburst had now brought them heading in our direction. My stomach immediately dropped, plummeting to the ground and I immediately felt on edge, unsure of whether or not I wanted to see him. Part of me wanted him to turn and walk away in any other direction than where I was – that was the part of me that was filled with mortification and embarrassment at what I had said to him and about the thoughts that had been going through my head not two minutes before. Yet there was a another part of me, a very small part that I was trying very hard not to acknowledge that for some unexplained reason actually wanted to see him, to see how he would react after yesterday. As I tried to battle internally with my conflicting emotions, my stomach was fluttered uncontrollably as he came sauntering casually in our direction, calm and composed as always.
‘Weasle,’ Draco replied, his trademark scowl darkening his features, as he looked down at the four of us.
Ron scrambled quickly to his feet, clearly not liking the height advantage that Malfoy currently had. ‘What do you want Malfoy?’ Ron hissed back.
‘Well Weasley, I knew you were a bit slow, but I didn’t think you were quite so idiotic. You called on me not thirty seconds ago and so I thought I would do the decent thing and just come over and congratulate you,’ Malfoy said sounding so sincere that all of us, including Zabini looked at him confusedly.
‘Congratulate me? For what?’ Ron asked, sounding completely bewildered.
‘I thought I would congratulate you for what I hear was quite a spectacularly stunning display of Quidditch skills,’ Malfoy said smirking, as Zabini scoffed loudly at the obvious sarcasm. Ron’s entire body visibly stiffened and his hand moved fractionally closer to the wand that was sticking out of his pocket. Harry seemed to sense the danger in the situation and slowly got to his feet beside Ron, exchanging a worried glance with me and Ginny as he did. We all knew where this would end. Making fun of Ron because of his Quidditch skills had only one sure ending and it wasn’t going to be pretty.
‘Go to hell Malfoy,’ Ron spat, his colour rising rapidly with his anger. ‘Besides in case you’ve forgotten, Gryffindor actually won.’
‘Yeah no thanks to you and your complete inability to fly a broomstick or catch a ball, or throw a ball. Or basically any skill that is actually required to be a decent Quidditch player.’
‘What the hell would you know about it Malfoy. You weren’t even at the match. You were far too busy doing your little detention, missing out on all the action and being bored out of your little mind in the library,’ Ron said with a smirk that could rival Malfoy’s.
‘Oh it was far from boring Weasley, I assure you,’ Malfoy drawled, his voice full of such arrogance that it immediately set me on edge, wondering where he was going with this. ‘And besides I wouldn’t say that I missed out all of the action. You’d be amazed at the things that happen in a library, when there’s no one else about.’
In that moment I would swear that my heart stopped as I gasped audibly in shock. He was going to tell everyone what had happened, what I had said to him and worse he knew that I had thought about him kissing me and he had clearly found the whole thing laughable.
I looked worriedly about to see everyone’s reactions to see if they had understood that Malfoy’s comments were about me, but luckliy Ron just looked at Malfoy with confusion, sheer bewilderment etched onto his face, wondering if Malfoy was somehow insulting him again. Malfoy just looked on with a satisfied smirk, enjoying the fact that Ron didn’t understand his little joke. As he shook his head in amusement, his gaze settled on me and for the briefest second our eyes locked.
I knew that my eyes were betraying all the hurt and anger that I felt and through my eyes I almost begged him not to say anymore. Not to reveal my secrets.
He furrowed his brows as if in confusion and with a slight shake of the head, broke my gaze to turn back to Ron, eyeing him with a steely glare. With his eyes no longer on me, I felt my breath return. Anger and shame bubbled up in my chest at the fact that I was at the mercy of Draco Malfoy. That he knew things about me that no one else knew. One moment of weakness and he wasn’t going to let me forget it. I tried to keep calm and I looked around nervously to see if anyone had noticed our brief encounter, but everyone’s eyes were still on the two boys squaring up to each other.
‘And anyway Weasley,’ Malfoy continued, ‘you forget that I have seen you play Quidditch before, although I’m quite sure I will have the pleasure of seeing you make a fool of yourself at the next game. That is unless of course Potter finally does the decent thing and kicks your pathetic arse off of the team.’
I felt my breath return. I was apparently safe for now. However I had just relaxed, when at Malfoy’s words, Ron yanked his wand out and pointed it directly as Malfoy’s chest, causing all the tension to immediately return. ‘Right that’s it Malfoy, you asked for it,’ Ron yelled raising his wand, ready to strike. Harry immediately stepped closer to Ron, wand at the ready as always, placing a hand on his arm in restraint.
‘Ooh careful Weasley,’ Malfoy said, withdrawing his wand lazily, almost as if he couldn’t be bothered. ‘Don’t forget what happened the last time you tried to curse me,’ Malfoy said smirking at the memory.
Ron coloured even more, turning a rather interesting shade of puce that clashed horrendously with his hair. Ron pushed Harry off him, causing him to stumble backwards, tripping over Ginny who was still crouched on the ground, giving Ron a chance to raise his wand arm, opening his mouth ready to cast his curse.
Before I knew what I was doing and without even thinking, I jumped to my feet and stood directly in front of Ron, blocking his view of Malfoy.
‘Hermione, what the hell do you think you’re doing?’ Ron yelled, trying to push past me, but I stood my ground and put both of my hands on his chest to keep him firmly back.
‘I’m trying to stop you from making a stupid mistake,’ I yelled back at him. ‘Be the bigger man for once and just walk away.’
‘I can’t Hermione,’ Ron said through gritted teeth, trying to push past me once more.
‘For god’s sake Ronald, grow up. Get over your stupid pride.’
‘Yes, Ronald,’ Malfoy sneered in a mocking tone, ‘why don’t you be a good little boy and do as she says.’
‘Oh why don’t you just do us all a favour and piss off Malfoy,’ I practically hissed at him, even angrier than before, not appreciating the mocking in his voice.
Malfoy turned his head slowly in my direction, one eyebrow perfectly arched as his cool eyes met mine. I stared back at him, determined not to be the one to look away first; determined not to be the intimidated by him.
‘Yeah Malfoy, you heard her, piss off,’ Ron said with a smirk on his face, standing beside me and putting his hand firmly around my waist, something that did not go unnoticed by the others. Malfoy tore his eyes from mine, his expression turning dark and his eyes once again menacingly cold, as his gaze lingered on Ron’s hand.
‘Fine, let’s go Blaise,’ he said eventually, much to everyone’s surprise, ‘but be careful Weasley, next time your little girlfriend won’t be around to stand up for you.’
With a final dark look at Ron’s hand on my waist, he turned away from us and headed back towards the lake.
‘Well thank Merlin that the ferrets gone. I don’t know why you both stopped me from cursing him. I still say he deserved it,’ Ron said smiling, as always trying to make a joke out everything. But my good mood had vanished.
‘Oh for goodness sake Ron,’ I snarled, pushing his hand away from my waist, ‘you are pathetic,’ I said as Ron recoiled in shock from me. ‘I meant it before when I said that you need to grow up. You can’t go around picking fights with people just because you feel like. Did the war teach you nothing?’
‘Oh, come on Hermione. It’s Malfoy. He hardly counts as people,’ Ron said, still with a hint of humour in his voice.
‘Yeah you’re right, he is an arsehole,’ I said, watching as Ron’s grin started to reappear on his face, ‘but you now what? You’re just as bad.’ With that his grin slowly vanished to be replaced by confusion and hurt.
‘Now if you don’t mind, I’ve had enough and besides I’ve got homework to do,’ I said picking up my bag and stalking angrily passed a visibly hurt Ron and a shocked Harry and Ginny.
I stormed all the way back to the castle feeling more angry with myself than anyone else. Angry that I had let my emotions get the better of me the day before and revealed so much to the one person who would most likely use it against me. And then not only that, I had now gone and alienated myself from my friends once again. Just another perfect day I thought bitterly and I only had myself to blame. And Malfoy. Yeah I could blame him too. I should be blaming him too I realised. If he hadn’t shown up acting like a arse, then I wouldn’t have had to step in and then end up annoyed with Ron and if hadn’t made me angry yesterday then I wouldn’t have broken down and revealed so much during detention, in fact if he hadn’t pissed me off so much in potions class in the first place, then I wouldn’t even have ended up in detention and everything would have been normal. Everything would have been as it should. So basically everything was Malfoy’s fault, of that much I was definitely sure.
I walked into the library and settled down at my usual spot near the back of the library, next to the window with the view overlooking the lake. As I unpacked my bag, spreading my books and parchment across the table, I felt the familiar feeling of calm wash over me. Everything became clearer when I was in the library. It was like a cloud being lifted from my brain, leaving all of my thoughts perfectly clear. Yes I was still angry with Ron, but that anger was diminishing, being replaced by an even stronger emotion; an even stronger and more potent anger mixed with 8 years of dislike and hate was brewing up inside me and it was all directed at Draco bloody Malfoy. For the briefest of moments during detention I had thought I had seen a glimmer of a different person from the one that I used to know, someone that I could have even possibly if not liked, then tolerated. But no, ever the master of deceit, he had no doubt been lying about it all, saying that he cared about me, that he didn’t want to be a death eater. Whatever game he had been playing, it had worked. He had gotten what he wanted. He knew everything about me. He had seen that I had been changing my opinion of him and worse he knew that I would have kissed him. And now he had even more ammunition to hurt me with. He knew exactly how to break me if he wanted to and once again I found myself fearful of Draco Malfoy.
I sat engrossed in my transfiguration homework, concentrating so intensely on the words before me that there was no room for any other thoughts in my head. I was completely oblivious to everything around me so that the only noise registering in my head was the constant scratching on the quill against the large piece of parchment in front of me. I was coming to the end of my fourteen foot essay (it was only supposed to be ten, but I got a little carried away) when a single voice found its way into my subconscious. My hand immediately stilled causing a large blot of ink to mark the parchment, but I couldn’t be annoyed about that just now. I was too busy feeling all the anger surge through my veins as I heard his voice, the voice I never again wanted to hear. The library was my place; my place of peace and my place of solitude and him being here now was only ruining that for me. The calm and peace that I had felt was long gone, leaving me tense and on edge. I had to leave. I had to get out of this place- away from him.
I quickly gathered together my things, stuffing the books and parchment back into my bag, before rushing out of the library, head down determined not to be seen, determined to get as far away from him as I possibly could. I was close to the exit, only a few short steps away, when a tall blonde figure stepped out in front of me, blocking my way. I didn’t stop as his eyes flashed in recognition or when he opened his mouth to speak. I simply pushed my way past him, not even making eye contact before rushing out of the library to the safety of the common room. I had a feeling I would be spending a lot more time there in the future, determined to avoid him at all costs, determined not to give him another opportunity to break me.
Waking up on Monday morning, the first thought that entered my head was Malfoy, with the second thought being that we both had double potions class first thing that morning. My plan to avoid him was clearly not going to be easy. My initial instinct was to skip class, but of course I quickly dismissed that idea. What good would it do? I would only be further behind in my school work and I would only have to see him again the next day. After all we had classes together every day and detention together twice a week. And besides, I would not give him the satisfaction of thinking that I was avoiding him, of thinking that he had somehow won. So no, avoiding him was not going to be an option. I was just going to have to grin and bear it and not let him get to me. I would ignore him completely. Blank him, let him know that I didn’t care about him at all and then try to let things get back to how they used to be.
Although in order for that to happen, I had to make amends with Ron. I joined both Ron and Harry at the breakfast table in the great hall, Ron stopping mid chew of his mouthful of bacon to watch me sit down with apprehensive eyes, clearly fearing that I was about to launch into another attack and start yelling at him again. I merely smiled and said ‘good morning’ in my cheeriest voice and did my best to pretend to try and not see Ron and Harry exchange questioning glances at each other over my apparent mood change. But after 8 years of knowing each other, Ron knew better than to question my apparent forgiveness and to just accept it, which suited me just fine. I was really not in the mood for apologies this morning. Ron clearly sensing his forgiveness, chatted away quite happily, keeping the conversation going between the three of us and being overly polite to me in particular, offering to pass me pretty much any plate from the table and even going to fetch extra toast from the Ravenclaw table when we had run out, something which Ginny found all too funny when she finally came down to join us for breakfast.
However as much as I was enjoying watching Ron and his over eagerness to please, the time passed too quickly and before I knew it, it was time to head to class. The feelings were all too familiar. Dreading going to class, wondering what he would do and what he would say, but with one major difference. Instead of wondering how to act around him like the last time and ending up making a fool of myself by turning into a major clutz, I would ignore him completely. I wouldn’t look at him, I wouldn’t speak to him and I sure as hell would not take any more crap from him. I would leave him in no doubt as to how I felt about him.
Entering into potions class, I was glad that I was the first one to arrive. I pulled out my books and parchment and angled my body away from Malfoy’s seat, so that I wouldn’t have to even look at him. When he eventually arrived, I felt my body stiffen in anticipation, but still I refused to even look at him, keeping my eyes firmly on the board at the front of the class or on the parchment in front of me, but never to the left where he was sitting.
Everything was going absolutely perfectly until Professor Haven asked us to work with our partners to make the potion that we were studying in today’s class- a complex sleeping draught. Before I even gave Malfoy the chance to open his mouth, I jumped out of my seat and headed to the store cupboard, where I was soon met by Ron.
‘What’s up with Malfoy today?’ he asked searching through the shelves for the unicorn horn that was right in front of his nose.
‘Don’t know and don’t particularly care,’ I answered, taking the jar off of the shelf and handing it to him.
‘Oh right. It’s just he keeps looking over at you and he does not look happy. I figured the two of you must have had another bust up.’
‘Nope, I guess he just still doesn’t like me.’
‘Okay, well just as long as you don’t end up getting into trouble because of him again. I feel like we don’t see enough of you anymore.’
‘Don’t worry, it will take a lot more than Malfoy to get to me,’ I said lightly, wishing above all things that what I was saying was true. I continued trying to change the subject, ‘besides, you can’t be missing me that much. You’ve got Quidditch and Lavender to keep you more than busy,’ I answered, moving out of the way to let other people into the shelf.
Ron waited until everyone had left before closing the gap between us and continuing. ‘Yeah well I’m not sure that I’ll be playing Quidditch for much longer after Saturday. It was awful Hermione. Malfoy was right, Harry should kick me off the team.’
‘I’m sure it wasn’t that bad and besides, Harry would never do that to you. You earned your place on that team. You’re probably just a bit rusty. A few extra practices and I’m sure you’ll be great. I just hope Lavender doesn’t mind you being at practices more often.’
‘I really don’t think she’d care either way,’ Ron said looking away from me, ‘she dumped me.’
‘Oh Ron I’m so sorry,’ I said placing my hand on his shoulder. ‘What happened? I thought you were going to find at her at the party?’
‘Yeah I was and I did,’ he said with a bitter edge to his voice. ‘I found her with her tongue down that idiot McLaggen’s throat.’
‘Oh,’ was all that I could manage to say, as certain unwelcome memories flashed through my mind. ‘Ron I’m so sorry.’
‘It’s alright,’ he said with a small smile appearing on his lips again. ‘Besides it gives me more time to spend with you. And Harry and Ginny of course.’
‘Yeah that will be good, I’ve missed spending time with you all,’ I replied smiling back at him. After a moment of silence in which Ron continued to look me, I took a step back feeling a little uncomfortable. Clearing my throat I finally spoke, ‘anyway, we had better get back, we have a potion to make.’
‘Yeah I suppose. Here let me take them for you,’ Ron said, taking some of the many jars out of my overflowing hands.
As we emerged from the store cupboard, I was immediately met with daggers from Malfoy, who was sitting rigidly at his desk, his fists clenched tight and a thunderous look on his face. I guess he really didn’t like to be kept waiting.
His cold stare followed us the entire way back to our table until Ron stopped to put some of the ingredients on my table. He then turned to me and with a small smile and said ‘thanks Hermione, so I’ll see you later then,’ before walking back to his own table.
A bang to my left made me turn to see Malfoy angrily banging the ingredients about and throwing some of them into the steaming cauldron, with a look of complete fury in his dark eyes. After that we worked in complete silence, a tense atmosphere hanging in the air between us, neither of us so much as glancing at the other.
The rest of the week passed in pretty much the same way, with both of us sitting in stony silence. Malfoy had soon given up in even trying to speak to me after his initial request for me to pass him ingredients was met with silence. Although luckily for us, all potions classes for the rest of the week had been either theory based or simple enough that we were to complete them individually and so we weren’t actually required to speak to each other. I was still angry with him and I could tell that he was becoming increasingly frustrated by my silence. His steely glare was matched only by mine and it felt for a moment as if the tables had turned. A few times during the week I was sure that I saw him looking in my direction, only to quickly look away.
It was our mid- week detention that I was particularly dreading, as it would be the first time that we would be completely alone. However as I entered the library, I was determined that nothing would change. Although my resolve was tested sooner than I had anticipated. Malfoy came into the library a short time after me, but I didn’t even lift my head and kept on working.
‘Hello,’ came a pointed voice from me, although I kept my head firmly down.
‘So I take it by your silence that you are not speaking to me.’ Before I could stop myself, my head darted in his direction and I found him looking directly at me. I gave him my best glare before turning away from him again.
‘I’ll take that as a yes then. And what exactly have I done?’
‘Are you seriously asking me that?’ I snapped at him, my anger finally getting the best of me. ‘You know full bloody well what you’ve done.’
‘No I don’t actually,’ he replied slowly, trying hard to keep his voice calm and steady, ‘You’ll have to enlighten me.’
‘After all the stupid little remarks you’ve been making about me and about Ron and then going and picking a fight with him.’
‘Oh and what little remarks would those be?’
‘Are you kidding me?’ I asked incredulously, ‘being a complete arse to him about the Quidditch match for starters.’
‘Oh I’m sorry, did I upset your little boyfriend?’ he asked the sides of his lips curling up into his trademark sneer.
‘Excuse me?’ I asked in shock. What was with all the boyfriend comments? Where on earth had he gotten that idea? ‘Ron is not my boyfriend.’
‘Well it doesn’t look that way to me,’ he scoffed, folding his arms and leaning back against the bookcase.
‘Well then maybe you need to get your eyes checked,’ I retorted quickly. ‘And what the hell does it have to do with you anyway, Malfoy?’ I added feeling even more confused and frustrated as the conversation went on.
My question seemed to throw him slightly and he stood silent for a moment, as if thinking of what he should reply. ‘It has nothing at all to do with me,’ he eventually said in a quiet voice, his arms dropping to his side.
‘Well I’m glad we’re finally agreed on something,’ I replied sarcastically.
‘Well you know it was bound to happen at some point,’ he said with a small smile forming on the edge of his lips- one of the first genuine, non- smirking, smiles that I had ever seen him give. He took a deep sigh and for a brief moment, his calm exterior slipped and he looked slightly uncomfortable.
‘Look Granger, I’m sorry for what I said. You’re right, it is none of my business and I had I had no right to say anything to you.’
‘You’re right, it is none of your business and while we’re on that subject you had no right to say anything to me or anything to anyone else about me.’
Malfoy stepped back, confusion appearing on his face once again. ‘And when did I say anything about you?’
‘You know what you said,’ I yelled in frustration, ‘What you said to Ron about me in the library about it not being boring and about you getting some ‘action’. I didn’t mean to say all those things and believe me when I say that you are the last person in the world that I would want to know all my private business, so if you’re going to tell people then I suggest you just go ahead and do it, instead of making all the little snide comments, because quite frankly I’ve had enough.’
Draco blinked in shock a couple of times, before furrowing his brow, seemingly trying to work out how to answer me.
With a deep sigh he began, ‘look Granger, I am sorry about what I said to Weasley. Really sorry. It was stupid. I was just angry at him, he was winding me up and well after…,’ he trailed off and I wondered what he had been about to say. ‘Anyway as for telling people about what happened- about what you said, I’m not going to tell anyone. I would never tell anyone,’ he finished eventually.
‘Oh yeah right, like I’m going to believe you.’
‘I wish you would,’ he said earnestly, stepping slightly closer to me again, looking directly at me, ‘because I mean it. I won’t tell anyone.’
‘Oh yeah right. And why should I believe you. What possible reason do I have to believe a single word that you say?’
‘I don’t know. I know I haven’t exactly given you reason to, but believe me, I will never tell anyone. Remember I told you things as well. Things no one else knows. You’re not the only one who put themselves on the line. I guess we need to trust each other.’
It was all I could do to stare at him. He was right. He had told me things as well. Pretty intimate and private things that I was pretty sure not many other people knew. And once again I felt my opinion of him change. That was the second time that he had apologised to me and instead of being something that made me feel better it was actually quite unnerving. I was beginning to wonder if he hadn’t had some sort of personality transplant.
‘Are you actually apologising?’ I finally managed to say to which he simply rolled his eyes.
‘Yes Granger I am apologising. Although don’t get used to it. I just figure that we are going to be spending a lot of time together in the next few months and I am fed up of us arguing all the time. So am I forgiven then?’ he asked with no hint of sarcasm in his face or voice and holding his hand out towards me.
I looked at his outstretched hand warily, not sure of what I should do. He seemed to be sincere and what he was saying certainly made sense and yet I couldn’t help but feel unsure. This was Draco Malfoy after all. I looked up his eyes and he was watching me with an almost hopeful expression.
Slowly I extended my hand to meet his and immediately felt the warmth spread through my fingertips, as his firm hand grasped mine. I lifted my eyes to meet his and was jolted by the intensity in his gaze. I pulled my hand away from his and quickly stepped back, feeling suddenly incredibly uncomfortable and awkward. I had no idea what to do or say next. The whole thing just seemed incredibly surreal and I was having a hard time believing that Draco Malfoy actually wanted to call a truce between us.
I risked a quick glance up at him and was thrown even more, to see him standing perfectly calm and composed, looking at me with amusement and just a hint of uncertainty in his deep grey eyes.
‘So what is all this? I asked eventually, breaking the silence, unable to keep my doubts to myself. ‘I mean, what does this all mean?’
He however seemed as unfazed as ever, although he pondered his answer for a moment, before replying, ‘I don’t know, but I have to say it is a lot nicer being civil instead of having to argue all of the time.’
‘So what are you saying; that we should be friends?’ I asked questioningly, not sure if being friends with Malfoy was something that I could handle.
‘I wouldn’t go that far Granger,’ Malfoy smirking slightly, ‘I’m not saying that we go walking each other to classes or go for trips to Hogsmeade together. Let’s just try being civil to each other during class and detention. It’s getting a bit boring working in complete silence all the time.’
‘Okay,’ I said slowly, ‘I guess we could try. Although I’m not promising anything. I happen to actually quite like arguing with you,’ I said jokingly.
‘Really I would never have guessed,’ he answered sarcastically, making me roll my eyes back him, making him give me a cheeky smirk before turning back to the pile of books that he was working on.
We worked in silence for a while, the atmosphere no longer hostile, but relatively relaxed and calm. After a while, he eventually broke the silence. ‘So you and Weasley then?’ he asked in a quiet voice. He sounded weird, like he was trying to sound normal, yet there was a distinct strangeness to his tone. I turned around to face him, but his back was to me and I couldn’t help but wonder if the move was deliberate so that I couldn’t see his face. He stood unmoving and for a moment I almost thought that I imagined him saying it. It just seemed like such an odd thing for him to ask.
‘Me and Ron, what?’ I asked uncertainly, not sure what he was actually asking.
‘You’re together?’ he said, glancing slightly in my direction briefly before diverting his eyes again.
‘I thought we just agreed that it was nothing to do with you,’ I said sounding harsher that I had intended.
‘We did, I was just making conversation,’ he said shrugging his shoulders.
‘Well then, no.’
‘No, what?’ he said finally turning around to face me, his eyes questioning.
‘No we’re not together. We’re just friends. Besides he’s going out with Lavender Brown, or he was anyway.’
‘Hmm, well that makes more sense.’
‘Meaning what exactly?’
‘Just that Weasley and Lavender are better suited to each other than you and him.’
‘In what way?’
‘Well they’re both complete idiots. You’re far too smart to go with a twat like Ron Weasley. Although you did go out with McLaggen so I got to say you don’t seem to have the best taste.’
‘Well I have never actually gone out with Ron and for the record I did not go out with McLaggen either, although getting him to understand that was easier said than done. As you well know,’ I snapped. I immediately regretted my words though, as his face immediately hardened with anger at the memory.
‘Yes well,’ he said after a moment of silence, his face impassive once more, ‘maybe next time you’ll need to aim a little higher,’ he said, his eyes displaying just a trace of humour.
‘Oh really,’ I asked out of curiosity, unsure of what game he was playing, ‘and who would you suggest.’
I was prepared for him to ignore me; for an off- hand comment at least. I was even prepared for him to insult me, as was so normal for him. What I wasn’t prepared for, was for his eyes, bright with confusion and uncertainty, to pierce directly into mine once more. He held my gaze for a moment, looking as if he was contemplating saying something, but in the end tore his gaze away and with a slight shrug said in a quiet voice, ‘I don’t know.’
So first of all a huge thank you to everyone who is reading and reviewing. I now have 60 reviews which is like so amazing. Thanks to everyone who is taking the time to review. You have no idea how much it means and how big a smile it gives me. I swear people must think I'm a bit mad when I check on my phone and then my face breaks out in a huge grin.
So anyway I hope you like chapter 13 and the direction it's going. As you can see we are hopefully very close to what we we all want to happen.
But anyway as you can tell I am home from Cyprus and have spent all this week getting this chapter before I go to Florida. However it is the last chapter I have written. I've usually written two or three chapters ahead so I can tweak and alter if I need to, but the last few months have been manic and so I have nothing else written just now and on Saturday I am away on holiday for 2 weeks so it will probably be about a month before my next update. Please don't kill me because I know the chapter ends in a pretty sucky place and you will all be wanting the next chapter, so please bear with me and I promise I will have it written as soon as I can.
Once again please keep reading and I really hope you review so I can grin like an idiot even more. : )