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A/N: Anorexiais not as glamorous as it sounds, being healthy is the real way to lose weight and be happy. When it is called a disorder it really is, your entire life becomes disordered. All the tales of ill health are not scare tactics they are true. Unless you want to be depressed, tired, anti-social and completely warped in the head please stay healthy. For anyone who does suffer, please strive for recovery.
I also have another account on here but this is a very touchy subject and I wanted to see what people thought of it before I put it on my other authors page. People that I know also read stories from my other account so I'm a bit paranoid.
I hope you find this story enjoyable and enlightening.
Thank you thank you so much hpaddicted_09 for the chapter art!! (chapter 21 will be dedicated to you!)
It started in her fourth year.
Not yet at the full scale it would eventually blow out to be, but when she looked back she realised that this was when the seeds had started to be sowed within her mind.
Hermione always considered herself well above such silly little things as cosmetics, hairspray and being thin. All that mattered was a sharp brain and a kind heart. She never understood why weight was so important. Why did girls put themselves through it all?
Unfortunately she underestimated how satisfying starvation could be or how twisted a brain can become.
It wasn't often she skipped meals. Although on these few occasions she had always experienced a surge of triumph from her self-control when she said, “No”.
She didn’t know where the rush of accomplishment came from and she never tried to delve deeper.
That night at the feast in fourth year, when she was protesting against the elves, I guess you could say that’s when it started, but its progress was very slow.
Before the ball, she'd wanted to look great so she began exercising in the dorms and eating slightly less.
She'd looked amazing as far as all the boys were concerned. She was a complete transformation.
Now, Hermione wasn't a girly girl by any means. She didn't really care most of the time, but because she spent so much time sitting down with books, she decided it was in her best interest to exercise a little more.
Right after sixth year, that’s when it really got bad. She'd gone on holiday and witnessed fat people laying on the beach one day and the next super thin models posing in front of palm trees.
Making a vow that she would never be unhealthily overweight, for the health of her body, it began.
She’d sat in awe at the opening feast watching Ron and Harry stuff their mouths as they they’d never tasted food before. An unexplainable feeling of ill-ease tugged at the back of her mind. The feast was delicious, however and she savoured it along with everyone else.
The following day Ron and Lavender began going out.
This had infuriated Hermione to no end.
Lavender was blonde (not that Hermione had anything against blondes) but the fact remained that she was a tactless bimbo.
She was also skinny, slim as a model with small perky breasts. When Hermione looked down she noticed just how large hers really had grown to be as she had matured.
Not that she cared about that sort of thing of course.
It was a Friday morning when her skirt wouldn't fit; she’d brushed the subject aside and assumed she'd just grown.
That day she overheard a Hufflepuff in the girls bathroom stating that; "Granger could do to lose a bit of weight from that fat."
Unfortunately she’d left in such an angry huff that didn’t catch the end of the sentence; "Granger could do to lose some weight from that fat head of hers."
The thing that really pushed her over the edge was Malfoy. She generally didn’t care (or pretended not to care) what Malfoy said but it did hurt a little when it wasn’t even said directly to her face.
Pansy had been clinging to him as they walked down the halls and Hermione had heard snippet of conversation.
"You really are stupid sometimes Pansy."
"Oh, you'd like me to be smarter like Granger would you? Are you telling me you'd prefer a smart Mudblood over me?"
'What? Granger? No, way! She's a Mudblood Pans.'
'And she ugly and fat.'
'Of course darling...'
This had driven Hermione crazy. Looks didn't matter did they? When she thought about it though she realised she wasn't very fit either.
From that moment on she began going in a downward spiral. All the girls seemed just that bit smaller, just that bit flatter.
Hermione had generally been fine with her image, but as she looked in the mirror she began to notice imperfections that her eye had never caught onto before.
Not that it mattered.
And she went on with life for a while.
A month later she went down to the Great to find Ron and Lavender snogging particularly hard. She lost her appetite.
At lunch she studied her potions work and although she knew it wasn’t a good idea, she skipped lunch.
At dinner as she reached for a steak, without warning her mind scolded her.
You know what? I’ll just skip this one meal. I mean it won't do much harm to not eat for just one day. Will it?
She couldn't deny that she was hungry but for reasons unknown to even her she decided she’d test her willpower.
She skipped dinner.
When Ron and Harry asked what was up, she replied she wasn't hungry.
Surely she had enough fat in her body to give her enough energy to last one day without eating?
That night Harry woke up screaming. Hermione overslept in the morning because she had spent all night worrying about him; as a result she missed breakfast.
Again she spent lunch in the library. Once again dinner came around. Her stomach had begun to hurt.
It’s most definitely time to eat, no doubt about it.
On the way into the hall Pansy slipped past her smirking in a vile way.
'Better not eat any beef, Mudblood, you'll look even more like a fat cow, its called cannibalism...'
She sat down and eyed the shepherd’s pie in front of her.
She felt upset about the whole thing and left dinner early without even touching her plate.
Am I really a fat cow? It doesn’t matter does it?
It does. Compared to all the other petite girls, I’m just a big lumbering tub of lard.
And why the heck am I so worried about it?
She tossed and turned all night, barely able to sleep, her stomach had been growling loudly and she felt sleep almost impossible. When she woke up in the morning, she found that Harry looked just as tired.
Hermione's stomach grumbled loudly as she sat down at breakfast, shooting pains were stabbing at her ribs and stomach.
Why was it that she was only feeling really hungry now? She thought that the pain would have kicked in much this bad much sooner.
She guessed that her body was OK with not eating because of all the fat hanging off of her bones. Her body had plenty to eat.
The pain became unbearable, but she just wanted to see how long she could last.
By lunch she was starting to feel extremely tired and very drained.
That lunch she happily tucked into a lovely meal of sandwiches and fruit.
There was no way she could fast again; it was unhealthy and painful.
She decided she'd lose weight by exercising to Weird Sisters and eating healthy.
And she did exactly that for a few months, thinking to herself:
I'll never do that again.
Thank you, thank you hpaddicted_09 for the chapter art!
It is a well-known fact that Gryffindor and Slytherin don't get along; it is also a well-known fact that Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter would do anything to get to each other, or to each other’s friends.
'Enjoy breakfast Mudfuck.' Pansy hissed at the trio as they entered the Great Hall.
Ron scowled. ‘I bet she’s put a Gurdyroot or Buttobur pus in your pumpkin juice, Hermione.’ He grinned. ‘Lets do the same to her.’
Hermione smiled. ‘That’s ridiculous Ron, if you’d read Hogwarts A History you’d know very well that the plates in the Great Hall deflect any life threatening poisons.’
‘Yeah but a Gurdyroot’s not exactly poisonous is it? It’d just make everything taste foul.’
Hermione pondered this for a moment. What had Pansy meant? She contemplated for a split second that Pansy had found a way around the poison deflecting plates. Seconds later she laughed, then shook her head.
After a paranoid few minutes she reasoned that Pansy was too thick to think of anything like Gurdyroot. That’s was more Fred and George’s realm.
Owls screeched overheard. The post had arrived. An owl swooped down with her usual delivery of The Daily Prophet; there was also a small blue envelope.
She opened it curiously. There was only one sentence:
I wouldn't eat that muffin if I were you fatty.
She opened her mouth in shock.
What the hell?
'Um, Hermione?' asked Ron timidly.
'What?' She snapped, 'Are you going to call me a fatty too?'
Hermione's mouth widened further in indignation.
What the hell?
And then she looked down. At first she thought she was seeing things. Her body was rapidly swelling, gaining weight at an uncanny speed.
The Slytherins began to laugh loudly.
'Makes no difference!’ One called out loudly.
She gasped, her face turned red.
Hermione ran from the hall, covering her face in her hands, feeling incredibly embarrassed.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. There was a curse in the envelope. A horrible and cruel curse.
How could I be so stupid?
Madame Pomfrey fixed her in a jiffy but there was no way of fixing the scar that was left behind. Not on her body, on her emotions.
There was no difference.
I am fat.
I have a fat waist, fat thighs, and a fat back and why did my breasts have to develop so big?
She found herself observing others all day still in complete embarrassment; she kept looking at the girls who had just the right arm size or the perfect stomach.
Her appetite was low and she ate very little, Ron and Harry didn't question.
She often wondered, if they had asked what was wrong that day, if somehow it would have stopped her illness from taking a grasp on her.
Every meal she would sit down and tell herself, she was only skimping on food for the one day. She just stared at the food, not touching a single bite.
Just like the first time she tested the waters of starvation, she hit the three-day mark and her stomach began to hurt tremendously.
She felt sick and elated at the same.
How can I do this to myself?
She was proud of her will power.
On the night of the third day, she examined herself in the mirror and saw with unexplainable glee, that she had lost weight, her collarbones were more pronounced and her hips appeared slimmer.
I'm still fatter than everyone else.
She did forty crunches before bed.
When she woke up 12 hours later it was Friday and she felt woozy.
As Ron and Harry began shovelling food into their mouths, Hermione looked at an omelette nearby and the smell drifted to her nose.
It was the most fantastic scent.
Just a bite.
As the food passed her mouth she felt a strange rush of emotions she'd never before experienced just from something as simple as eating.
She regretted that she hadn't eaten for three days. She felt simultaneously guilty and happy that she was eating, the food tasted fantastic and her body sighed in relief. That didn’t stop her for feeling bad that she'd broken her fast.
She couldn't stop at one mouthful, her mind screaming no but her hands kept moving on automatic, spooning it into her mouth. After three spoonfuls, her chest began to hurt and her stomach wailed simultaneously in pain and in relief.
She was full after four mouthfuls. Her stomach felt as if it had shrunk, but still she could not stop.
Ron and Harry stared at her like she was mad.
'The library?' Ron asked knowingly after a moment.
Hermione stopped, looking at her empty plate in disgust; she pushed it away from herself.
'Er, yeah, Library. Excuse me.' She ran from the hall leaving Harry and Ron shaking their heads.
Hermione felt disgusted at herself as she walked into the closest girls bathroom and leant against the sink.
I can't believe I just did that! The way I pigged that down, even after I was full!
She felt sick.
I'm smarter than that aren't I? You should never break a fast with lots of food. The system just can't take it.
She walked slowly over to a stall and knelt beside the toilet trying to steady her breath. She barely had time to register what she was doing before she jabbed her fingers down her throat in anger.
She gagged as her eyes began to water, her legs shook and in a rush the contents of her breakfast left her trembling body, burning the back of her throat at the same time.
She didn’t move, frozen in shock. She was surprised at how easy it had been, she’d never expected she’d ever be able to make herself purge like that.
She rinsed her mouth in the sink and stared into the mirror, breathing hard.
Oh, my god what did I just do?
What’s happening to me?
Why am I becoming obsessed with food?
That was such a waste! I can't do that again. There’s no point eating food, and then throwing it up anyway!
Hermione Granger you’ve just experienced you first bulimic episode.
Argh! That’s stupid! I’m not bulimic, I’m not doing that again.
Repulsed by her idiotic episode, Hermione tried to regain her normal eating within the next few days.
She'd eat a muffin; a piece of chocolate or a celery stick but found that she felt guilty afterwards, she felt bloated and impure. She couldn't purge it later, even if she'd wanted to simply because there was hardly enough food to escape back up.
However much she hated to admit it, every time she ate and the pain in her stomach receded, she missed it.
At times she felt clear headed and light, although it became harder to concentrate. Her stomach was flatter, she felt delightfully empty and the pain seemed to be filling a hole inside of her.
Her thoughts seemed to always be on her size, not her numeral weight of course, Hermione Granger was smart enough to know that weight wasn’t everything. She trusted what the tape measure told her, what her hands felt and what her eyes saw.
She wasn’t aware of course that what her eyes saw was completely different to what her brain perceived.
Her thoughts were constantly on when she had eaten last and the total sum of food from the last few days.
She often had moments when she wanted to feed herself badly, eyeing off other peoples meals during dinner. She however couldn't indulge in such a pleasure; it was a furious battle between her will and her hunger.
Occasionally she’d have strange slips, not caring for one whole day and eat like a regular person. Eating what she considered a lot for one day, a bowl of rice, a bowl of cereal and a piece of toast. This is more than what most people ate per day surely?
She would regret these days.
She began to write things down in a little black book, she confided in parchment like she always did, writing down every item of food that passed her lips, how many calories these foods contained, every minute of exercise and every shameful binge.
She felt urges to tell Ron and Harry what was happening, ask them things, check with them if her perception really was warped, if what she thought was lots of food really was lots of food, if she really was incredibly fat and if they found skinny girls attractive.
Ask if it was normal to feel so hungry?
But there isn’t anything wrong really is there? It’s just a phase. It will pass.
One piece of fruit…
One piece of chocolate…
One piece of celery…
One piece of toast…
One hash brown…
One bite of a muffin…
Her mind was obsessed with food, she was becoming addicted to her body’s natural painkillers, she was having trouble eating normal amounts now.
She had a disease that she wasn't aware of.
Hermione had developed anorexia...
‘We've got a prefects meeting in 10 minutes are you sure your not hungry?’
Hermione smiled at Ron not trusting herself to nod, she was dizzy enough as it was.
I hate prefects meetings.
The prefects met in a small blue room, once a week, for meetings, as well as performing other duties.
Hermione rolled her eyes as Malfoy strutted into the room and she glared at him as he sneered at her.
'Mudblood.' He mouthed nastily.
'Ferret.' she hissed,
'Cow.' he said menacingly as he sat across from her.
Fuck. I said that didn't I? Where the hell did that come from?
Malfoy was taken aback.
He then did the unbelievable.
He winked at her.
Draco fucking Malfoy winked at her.
Hermione blinked, tilted her head and pinched herself.
Not a dream.
How the heck am I supposed to run a prefects meeting with that fucking jerk winking at me?
But of course she still managed.
Even with the extreme oddity that every time she looked at him throughout the meeting, his eyes were fixed on her, firmly blazing.
She still managed, just.
It did make her extremely nervous and she remained jittery throughout the entire meeting.
She was completely unaware of Ron's eyes on her, She was only aware of Draco's unsettling and unblinking gaze.
What the hell is he playing at?
She was immensely relieved when the meeting was over.
People began to file out and she as always, she stayed behind to sort out paperwork and patrol rosters.
She wasn't the only one however. She barely even noticed his presence. That was until, of course, he walked around behind her.
She yelped and jumped in shock. ‘Malfoy! What the hell are you doing?’
'Well, seeing as you’re always the one to stay behind and clean up, I thought I'd give you some company.'
His voice didn't sound very companion like at all. He was up to something, there was no doubt in Hermione’s mind; she’d have to have been as thick as a Flubberworm not to realise it.
She laughed. 'Oh, sure Malfoy and while your at it, why don't you buy me some roses and we can kiss under the mistletoe.'
'Well, if you'd really like-'
She stopped and looked daggers at him. 'I was being sarcastic.'
'Well I just though, seeing as how I got you to admit to being a cow, I could get you to admit to some other things as well.'
'Oh, shove off Malfoy, your not wanted. So, why don't you shut that fat mouth of yours and leave.'
Malfoy began to sort paperwork. 'You know you don't always have to do this?'
'Well, maybe, I want to... Come on, piss off you pig.'
'That is rich, coming from you. I saw the way you scoffed that muffin yesterday. Shoved it right in your mouth you did.'
Hermione breathed in sharply. It had been her first piece of food in forty-eight hours, She'd had a lapse, she'd only meant to have a bit but once the taste of blueberries had brushed her tastebuds…
Why the hell does he have to say something like that?
Out of all the insults he can choose, he insults my most touchy subject, without even realising it.
Just a coincidence, right?
Or does he really think I’m a pig.
Oh, why the hell would I give a rat’s arse what he thinks?
As the word muffin flitted through her brain stomach screamed for food. She'd promised herself a fast as punishment for her terrible binge. She couldn't stand the thought of having to write anything else in her food diary. She hated it when she had to write more than a few items of food in one entry.
Her felt for the small black book in her pocket. He lifeboat.
He’s only stirring me. He isn’t aware that a muffin was all I ate yesterday.
He’s no idea how close to the bone he is.
Of course if he did know, he’d be awfully pleased with himself.
Bony schmuck. Its not fair that’s he’s more slender than me.
'Well, it'd do you good to eat something as well. I'm sure you couldn't even lift a child. I've never met a skinnier boy than you.'
It was true; Malfoy had a very slim build. He was still much bigger than she was.
It was ironic that she was telling him to eat.
Malfoy glared daggers at her.
'Don't insult my athletic abilities, Granger.'
'I just did.'
In Hermione's lightheaded state, her brain was working slower than usual.
Her world became a blur as Malfoy lifted her by her arms and slammed her against the pretty blue wall.
A small gasp escaped her lips.
'I couldn't even lift a child huh Granger? Are you suggesting you are less than a child? Less than the dirt beneath my nails?'
'Ugh, get off me.' She pushed against him with all her weight but it had no effect.
Oh great, what have I done?
For a small moment her perception seemed to change, she felt small and helpless. He was twice her size and so caught up in her own, she’d failed to notice.
He could be a Death Eater and I'm here alone with him!
Without thinking, she moved for her wand but he snagged her wrist.
She gritted her teeth. 'You've proven your point, now fuck off!'
'Temper, temper, Granger.'
This is defying the rules of the universe. What the hell is he up to?
What is he doing? Malfoy's don't touch Granger's. They just don’t. Or even talk to them for that matter.
This is wrong on all accounts.
And he's touching me!
'Oh, it makes you feel powerful doesn't it? Being able to overpower someone as big as me. Shouldn't you be wearing gloves?'
Malfoy raised an eyebrow and laughed mockingly. 'Big? Granger? You amuse me. I'm sure your familiar with the scourgify spell. Besides it’s your blood that’s filthy. As for your warm soft flesh…'
His grip on her wrist tightened and he grinded his hips against hers. Her lips parted and she drew in a sharp breath.
'…That is another story or didn't you notice? Weasley wasn't the only one looking at you today.'
Hermione's heart almost stopped and she began to quiver.
Is the world going mad? Or maybe it’s just me?
She only knew she wasn't dreaming from the pain in her wrist and stomach.
‘Haha, very funny, your trying to freak me out I see. Goodbye. I’m leaving.’
Again she tried to push against him but he only pressed closer. A small squeal emitted from the back of her throat.
‘Malfoy, I’m serious! Stop being a fuckerhead. I could report you for this!’
‘Oh, but you wouldn’t.’
‘Oh, really?’ she enquired feeling now quite incensed.
“Yes, because then you’ll have to explain to Pothead and Weaselbee. I’m sure they’d take it just smashingly and then once they’re expelled for beating up a fellow student –that would be me- then you’ll be stuck with me, without them.’
Hermione knew it was true. That didn’t make the situation any less daunting.
‘I give up. Why are you manhandling me like this, Malfoy?’ Hermione felt even more tired and very uncomfortable now. This was all too weird.
‘Because, I just love getting under your skin. Look your even shaking.’
Hermione’s stomach grumbled. It was true that she was shaking but it had nothing to do with him.
It grumbled again and she felt a sharp, painful jab in her ribs.
She’d eaten six items of food in a total of eight days, which was already way too much, why was her body protesting?
Before she knew what was happening she couldn’t breathe, her limbs went weak, her knees collapsed, she could hardly see, she felt light-headed and the world was fading...
Sorry to do this but if I'm too keep this story I must stress the point!
*Eating this amount is a very horrible way to feel, sick, tired, grumpy, sluggish and depressed. Don't do it!
*She is not really overweight but this is the portrayal of how the disorder makes her body image.
*Where I'm from we use KGs and CM's but I know the Brits use pounds so I'm trying to make it realistic!
*Please be aware that this disorder is in no way glorious, Hermione is only pleased become she is very mentally ill at this point in the story. The point of this story is to try and show just how bad this disease can be and how it can be overcome with enough willpower and support.
* Again I stress the point this is a very bad way to look and she only desires it because she is mentally ill.
I think I'm getting a bit more confidence for my first more than a oneshot story mainly because of all the positive feedback so keep the reviews coming!
I’ve no idea when this is set; I’m thinking about 7th year just edit that a certain old man hasn’t died, Volde is dead, I’m guessing by Harry’s hand but he seems to be over it.
*Cough, cough* Yes, ok its AU. But I think most fanfics are nowadays aren’t they? What with the 7th booth and all.
Anyway I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Blaise was eyeing Ginny off and she knew it.
It’s not like he’s unattractive.
He winked at her from across the Slytherin table.
A small gasp escaped her parted lips and she blushed, her red cheeks clashing horribly with her hair.
Lavender who was sitting next to her seemed completely oblivious.
‘It’s not blue Ron its Aqua. For god sake, its not like I’d wear “blue” on my nails.’ She giggled, playing with her breakfast. ‘Your so clueless sometimes.’ She admired her nails lovingly for a moment and then turned to him.
‘Are you even listening?’
Lavender was in a loud mood.
Ron couldn’t care less.
Realising she was getting no attention from Ron, she turned to Ginny.
‘You do realise that you’re being stared at?’
Ginny glowered at Lavender.
‘Yes I do. I’m quite sure he’s just being absentminded and I suggest you start snogging your boyfriend before he gets on my case.’
But Ron wasn’t listening.
Hermione entered the hall looking tired and worn. Her posture was slouched and she had bags underneath her eyes.
She walked straight past them, avoiding eye contact.
Or at least she tried.
Ginny grabbed her wrist and pulled her down with plonk into the seat next to her.
I never realised how small Hermione's wrists were before.
Ginny smiled as Hermione looked unsure.
She leant close, obviously hoping to be overheard she whispered loudly.
‘Just because my brother is a jerk, doesn’t mean I don’t like you.’
Hermione glanced at Lavender and smiled uncomfortably.
‘Bed.’ Ginny replied happily, her gaze flitting towards Zabini again.
Lavenders attention was on Hermione.
‘Hermione, you’ve lost weight.’ She stated. ‘I mean not that much compared to what you used to look like. What’s your secret?’
Hermione shifted awkwardly in her seat, looking as though she was trying not to blurt something out.
Ginny’s eyes snapped toward Lavender. ‘She doesn't look great she looks sick. And will you shut your trap? Ron shut her trap.'
Ron snorted into his bacon.
Lavender glared at them angrily. ‘Well I was just about to offer to lend Hermione some of my old clothes that are too big but no, I have to shut my trap.’
She got up angrily. Ron eyed at her. ‘Honestly Lav its ok.’
She gave him a fierce look and bend down to pick up her bag.
There was a loud rip. Silence followed. The seam of Lavenders rather tight skirt had split in two.
Ginny burst out laughing. Lavenders face turned red and she rushed out of the hall.
‘Well she may have clothes that are too big but obviously her ass is just as big.’
Hermione smiled as people snickered and laughed at Lavenders retreating pink underwear.
Ginny turned back to Hermione.
‘Are you ok? You have lost weight you know. Are you sick? I mean you have bags under your eyes and...' she stopped suddenly, realising what she was saying.
She changed course.
'Don’t let that slag get to you ok? She never knows what she's saying. I'm suprised she even knows how to talk.'
Hermione smiled again, this time more fully.
'Thanks Gin, your right. I’m gonna go do my Arithmancy homework.’
She got up and left.
She’d already left.
'Does Hermione look sick to you.'
Ron shrugged in a supposedly non caring manner.
Ginny frowned and played with her toast.
A moment later she glanced over at Blaise again.
There's no reason I can't have a little fun, is there?
Of course not. Only a little though.
She smirked and picked up the jam and lathered her toast. Licking the excess jam off her fingers, she slowly raised her eyes to meet his.
Zabini raised an eyebrow and stood up, his eyes still fixed on her.
He grinned and left the hall.
Ginny shook her head.
Curiosity killed the cat...
She found Zabini standing at the foot of a statue, not far from the Great Hall entrance.
Ginny stopped a few metres before him and sized him up. ‘Slytherins don’t talk to Gryffindors.’
Zabini leant against the breasts of the marble statue behind him.
‘True. But we respect purebloods, even if they are blood traitors. Although, I guess all that is fickle now that the Dark Lord is dead, isn’t it?
Ginny frowned and moved forward.
‘And what makes you think you are worthy to stare at me like that during breakfast?’
‘I know a good body when I see one.’
Ginny eyes widened in surprise.
‘You don’t beat around the bush do you?’
‘I can beat around yours if you like.’
His smile was charming. Ginny flushed.
‘Now really Zabini, I can’t hang out with bad people like you, why, I don’t even know anything about you. I’m not just some slut, like you seem to think.’
‘I’m not asking for aomething right now. I’m sure you can keep a secret. I’ll look past the shameful family and dreadful muggle company. You’re not unattractive. If your willing to dabble in a bit of psychical utopia, let me know.’
He pulled her forward and captured her mouth.
Ginny positively melted.
He left before she barely got a taste; he’d just left her there standing in the hall, red in the face with heat rushing downward.
Downright bizarre. Zabini is too upfront.
“What the hell have the Slytherins been taking lately?’
The most bizarre thing was though, was that she was actually considering his offer.
Hermione was so glad it was the weekend. Still fuming at Lavender ten minutes later, she’d decided to sit by the lake and read. Something she’d not done in what felt like an age.
Her morning was positively divine. It was exactly what she’d needed, time by herself.
She was glad to have a book, it was something to distract her, something that without she knew she’d think about food. It was part of her obsession. Something she hated.
Just before midday the news arrived.
An owl flapped down beside her and she jumped, startled. She took the letter with trembling hands.
It was from her mother....
Tears pricked at her eyes as she looked up at Hagrid’s blurry face. She wiped her eyes.
‘What’s wrong?’ Hagrid knelt beside her.
‘Don’t …don’t tell anyone will you?’
He smiled. ‘Course not Hermione.’
Bringing up the courage she told him through many sobs about her fight with Ron and the letters from home.
Hagrid had stopped smiling.
‘Hermione, do Harry and Ron know? About yer' dad an all? I mean, I know they dunno whats wrong with him and he's still alive an' all but you need teh' tell yer' friends.’
She shook her head, wiping away her tears.
‘They don't care.’ She murmured.
‘Oh, that’s not true Hermione, an yeh know it.’
She shrugged on the outside but inside she knew he was right. If it wasn’t for her clouded mind, she might have made peace with Ron right at that instant, instead of promising herself she would later.
She sat and spoke with Hagrid for what seemed like ages, unbelievably glad to finally have someone to talk to.
The sun went behind a cloud.
‘I’m serious Hermione, talk to Ron.’
‘You know what? I will. Thanks for listening Hagrid.’
‘If anything else is wrong you’ll talk to me won’t you?’
Her eyes lowered. ‘Yes, of course.’ She didn't elaborate.
‘I’m going to go find Ron.’
She let Hagrid give her a breath-restricting hug and left the grounds. It was midday now and the sun was beating down on the back of her neck as she headed toward the castle.
She decided to put her book back in her dorm and hopefully run into Ron on the way.
Hagrid’s right, it’s silly to fight with him and god’s, I need my two best friends, now, more than ever.
The common room was mainly empty; everyone was obviously studying in the library or lazing about the grounds.
‘Oh,’ she exclaimed a minute later as she departed Gryffindor tower. She’d been so caught up in things that she’d completely forgotten that most people ate lunch around midday.
How horrible. I’m forgetting about things even as normal as lunch…
Losing touch of reality....
She shook her head in disbelief.
Lunch had just ended when she found Ron. He looked grumpy.
‘Can I talk to you?’
He looked her up and down.
‘Why the bloody hell should I say yes?’
She stared angrily at him. ‘Ronald Weasley, don’t be a jerk. That’s why I’m here. If your willing to behave your age I’m willing to behave civil.’
‘Why don’t you go be civil with on of those Ravenclaw boys?’
Ron had the amazing ability to be as bitchy as a girl sometimes.
She turned red. ‘Look, I’m sorry for snapping at you, why are we fighting over it? I’d just had a bad day that’s all.’
‘Well, I had bad day today, mainly due to the fact that I got a fail for my potions homework and my girlfriend is irritable because someone wasn’t very nice to her this morning.’
‘Yeah, well, she isn’t exactly Miss Nice, herself.’
‘Compared to you, Miss-Dragon-Lady, she's pretty damn nice.’
‘Ugh!’ Hermione turned around. ‘Right then, I tried. Apparently your intent on behaving like an eight year old!’
‘Lavender’s right you know, you are just a big fat, bushy haired know-it-all... I mean that in the worst way possible.’
She rounded on him. ‘Oh and that’s better than being a brainless bimbo is it?’
Hermione felt hurt. ‘I never realised you were so shallow. You know what? Fuck you. I’m-I’m going to lunch.’
Ron hesitated for moment before scowling ridiculously at her.
‘Have fun fatty.’ And he left.
She stood there stunned, tears threatening to well again.
They were just randomly chosen words to hurt me; there is no truth in them.
I will not cry. Not again. I refuse to cry over that git.
Twenty minutes later she found herself sitting on the prefect bathroom floor. She had a bag of food from the kitchen.
She was chewing on a chocolate éclair, tears threatening to glide down her face again, guilt and sorrow filling her up.
She knew she shouldn’t be eating but Ron was right, she was a big fat know-it-all and eating wouldn’t make any difference, she’d never reach her goals.
She barely tasted the food as it brushed the buds of her tongue. She was distressed. Her limbs were shaking.
She’d always hated people eating when they were sad, herself included. Something about it disturbed her greatly, made her want to shake someone.
But this? She pigged out, barely enjoying it, while people starved?
She sobbed again and a new wave of desperation rushed over her.
What have I done to my body?
What’s worse? Starving? Or eating?
She felt as though she had blacked out, lost control in exactly the same way that she hated.
It scared her.
She didn’t know how long she was there weeping for. She didn’t know when the tears had ceased. She relished the taste and feel of the energy filled food and loathed it at the same time.
Pork passed her lips, grapes, bread, lollies, ham; she hadn’t paid any attention to what the elves had given her, how many calories she taken in….
Her mind began to clear and she stood up quivering. Reality was kicking in and she dreaded to face it. With a deep breath she looked in the mirror.
She had cream on her face and she could swear she imagined that she could already see the effects of the sugar on her body.
She was a mess, a complete and utter mess. She had lost control and worst of all, she was losing herself.
I will not purge. I have done wrong. This is punishment.
And for the first time that day she stuck by her own words.
She liked her teeth and she’d much prefer have an unused stomach lining than a ripped one.
Although her choice didn’t stop her from feeling terrible. She felt sick. Sick, bloated, fat and overly emotional.
She trembled as she left the room.
Her eyes were red but no longer wet. Hopefully he wouldn’t notice.
It was Malfoy and he looked fierce. ‘What the fuck did you do to my potion?’
‘What?’ That had not been what she’d expected.
‘I know you did it! Why else would I have dreams like that? I don’t know what sick game your playing but you won’t get away with this!’
He advanced menacingly.
‘Stop talking gibberish.’ Her voice was dull and cracked.
‘Don’t fuck with me Granger. Those dreams weren’t “truth revealing”, they weren’t even pleasant. Or do you have some sick crush on me? Don’t be fooled. I didn’t enjoy dreaming about you.’
She blinked blankly. Draco eyed her carefully.
He then did the unbelievable, he blushed.
‘You’ve no idea what I’m talking about do you?’
‘None whatsoever Malfoy.’
‘Right,’ he looked ill at ease for a moment before regaining his usual composure and sneering at her.
Hermione sighed. ‘Would you care to tell me what the unconscious truth potion showed you, seeing as you’ve decided to randomly rant about it to me?’
He laughed mockingly. ‘Trust me, none of the things it showed were or ever will be true.’
‘That’s the point of the potion you idiot!’
‘You can fuck your fat ass off now Mudblood.’
‘Screw you pinprick.’
But he didn't hear.
Confused by Malfoy’s words, her mind returned once again to her terrible binge. She had to do something about it.
When she arrived at the Quidditch pitch it was empty.
She began to run.
She ran to burn off what she’d just eaten. She felt contaminated. She wanted to exercise, feel empty, feel endorphins course through her.
She ran around the pitch once.
Her breath was laboured. She had a stitch, her chest hurt, the air was like icicles when she breathed.
Nevertheless she pushed on. She developed a chant between breaths, between thudding footfalls.
‘Run, run, until my body starts to fail
Run, run, until my legs start to quail,
Run, run, increase my heart rate,
Run, run, I’ll reach the perfect weight.’
She ran until her run turned into a limp jog, each time promising herself another lap.
Feeling miserable and sick, tears streamed down her face
What am I doing to myself?
Her vision clouded, her calves ached. The endorphins began to kick in.
She knew she must look terrible, like an ungraceful swan.
Just one more.
Run, run, until my legs start to quail.
You brought this upon yourself.
Run, run, reach the perfect weight.
Oh, god. It hurts.
AN;/ Sorry to keep stressing it but if this story is to continue I must press the point to anyone who can't already see what I'm trying to say. (I'm sure most of you get the point).
Anorexia is not fun. It is not glorious. It is in no way rewarding or worthwhile. Being overly skinny doesn't look good at all. Anorexia is just a slow and deceitful suicide.
Excercising is great but don't tire out your body!
I'm happy to say I feel my writing is improving. I have more chapters already written, its just a case of typing and validating (which is proving to be quite difficult...)
Please review and keep me inspired!
I fell asleep on the Quidditch pitch…
My night is so ruined… If Lavender so much as speak to me…
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Now I’ve done it. Now I’m going out with him! I bet he doesn’t even like me! Why did I say yes?
Nothing to do with Ron…
What the hell? Are the Slytherins on drugs or something lately?
She smiled serenely.
‘Oh yes.’ She mouthed back crossing her legs under the table, deciding to have some fun. ‘I’m joining them after.’
Draco slammed down his potions book, knocking over his jar of Bowtruckle nails which shattered on the floor loudly.
She laughed to herself, Ron threw he a dirty look.
Hermione was happy to see that at least Ron was walking with her and Harry, it gave her at least some sense of normality.
Harry was in a good mood now. ‘Did you see Draco shatter his jar of Bowtruckle nails? Classic. Snape couldn’t give him a good mark even if he’d wanted to.’
Hermione smirked as Harry glanced at her. ‘You had something to do with it Hermione?’
She waved her hand. ‘Maybe.’
Dinner tonight was a delicious assortment of roasts and puddings.
Hermione felt her resolve loosening. Harry was looking at her as she took a single bite of her roast pork swallowed it guiltily and put her fork down.
When she still hadn’t touched anything after 10 minutes she felt Harry lean towards and he spoke quietly into he ear.
‘Hermione, why haven’t you been eating?’
She jumped completely caught by surprise, she made a strangled noise, composed herself and replied in a calm voice.
‘You know what Harry? I think I’m going to become vegetarian.’
He laughed. ‘Oh yeah?’ She nodded. He frowned once again. ‘Just eat lots of vegies to make up for it ok? Your already looking a bit thinner.’
Her heart skipped a beat. A bit thinner?
So it was noticeable? She was becoming less of a fat lard.
She smiled excitedly.
There was a smack from the Slytherin table.
‘It’s a simple question Zabini!’
‘No Malfoy , I swear to fucking Merlin, calm down you great ass! Why does it even matter?’
‘I swear to Salazar, if your lying…’
‘Ask her yourself then!’
People were beginning to look at Malfoy and Zabini. Malfoy sent them a red faced glare and they turned away.
Ginny plonked down beside them. ‘What was that about?’
Hermione shrugged. ‘No idea. Where have you been ?’
She knew very well the answer.
Ginny’s mind was racing. Blaise was such a good kisser. It was no surprise that she was craving him again.
Unfortunately he was a Slytherin, he’d gotten her out of her system, she wasn’t about to get a place on his rotating schedule.
What they had was well worth it however, it almost irked her that the only person she could really trust with it all was Hermione and she had a feeling she wasn’t being fully trusted in return.
She wanted dearly to gossip with other girls as well, she loved Hermione but it wasn’t the same.
Blaise was exceptional in the kissing department. Much smoother than any boy she’d met so far, much less loving than Harry had ever been (Harry was strictly a friend now). Herself and Blaise were definitely love free, they’d both had an itch and they’d scratched it.
End of story.
But one hell of a memory.
She sighed as she headed towards charms. Blaise would be in potions, possibly reminiscing the night before.
There was wolf whistle from her left. She blinked and without looking back she flipped whomever it was off.
A hand grabbed her shoulder and spun her around, lips came crashing down on her own.
Within seconds Ginny had them pushed against the wall, wand at their throat.
Blaise grinned at her.
‘Your temper matches your hair Weasley. Now kiss me before I change my mind.’
She lowered her wand, her lips and her hands.
‘I thought I was out of your system?’
His voice was breathless. ‘I want you buried much deeper before I get you out.’
The corner of her lip curved up.
‘I’d like you buried deeper as well Mr. Zabini. I’ve got plans for you yet… Shouldn’t you be in potions anyway?’
‘Of course, I’m sure you too have a lesson right now? But you know what? They really don’t teach us enough sex education at this school…’
She laughed. ‘Ever heard of the room of requirement?’
AN/: Sorry about the line. Editing errors and I didn't have time to fix.
Read and review (hopefully I won't start suddenly getting flamers...)
Hermione used to love Easter, it meant hanging out with friends and as much chocolate as she liked.
Now however? The idea was scary, made her squirm both from the idea of all the gross calories and how they would tempt her.
Harry and Ron were staying for Easter this time around, deciding Mrs. Weasley needed a break. Besides the workload this year was huge.
She however didn't hear a word from her parents until Dumbledore had pulled her aside quietly the day before the holidays began.
He had been informed what was going on with her father.
Dumbledore explained that the hospital wasn't allowing any visitors for a few days.
He'd given her a letter from her parents that told her that she'd hear from her them again in a few days and not to worry.
She didn't know how to respond to this news and reasoned that at least she might be able to catch up on some work.
She'd most certainly started to feel behind in her work, it didn't help that she couldn't concentrate in class.
Although the talk of Easter eggs almost made her have a nervous breakdown.
How the hell will I be able to resist it all?
At one point she found she couldn't breathe.
Easter came far sooner than she'd hoped. She managed to wake up early and put all her eggs in Parvati's pile. After one guilt filled moment of eating a miniature egg, she realised that Parvati would appreciate them much more.
She came down to the common room to find Ron sitting on the couch holding a large white Easter egg. He glanced at her nervously.
'Look Hermione, I'm sorry about everything. Here have an egg.' He held it out for her looking apprehensively.
Perhaps I can forgive him, heck why are we even fighting anymore?
It doesn’t matter does it?
‘No thanks,’ she gestured at the egg. ‘But apology accepted.’
He sighed in relief, ‘I promise, I didn’t put Gurdyroot in it.’
Her heart jolted.
Did he have to bring that day up?
That's what he said before Pansy cursed me with that envelope.
Is he calling me fat?
‘No thanks Ron, you eat it.’
Ron frowned. ‘You don’t believe me do you?’
‘Of course I do, I just don’t feel like it.’
He is so aggravating.
‘You don’t have to get angry about it!’
‘I’m not getting angry! And you don’t have to force that shit down my throat.’
‘It’s just a fucking egg!’
‘Exactly! I don’t want it.’
She waved her hand. ‘I hate eggs.’
‘Since when? You love chocolate.’
She clenched her fist. He didn’t care. He really didn’t fucking care did he?
‘You don’t notice anything do you?’
‘I’ve noticed that you’re a nut case.’
‘Ugh! Right, apology not accepted. Your not really sorry Ron. You couldn’t care less.’ She grabbed the egg and smushed it into his face.
Ron wiped the chocolate out of his eyes. ‘Why you little fucking…’
‘What's going on?’ Harry was standing on the staircase looking at them with eyebrows raised.
‘Ron’s an idiot that’s what!’
‘You’re the one that's barking!’
Harry rolled his eyes. ‘Here Hermione, Happy Easter.’ He threw her an egg.
She screamed angrily, caught the egg, and threw it at Ron’s already chocolate covered face and stormed out of the room shouting;
‘I hate eggs!’
‘No need to scream!’ Shouted the fat lady behind her.
Ron vaulted out behind her. ‘Yeah, well I hate you!’
‘Argh!’ She left Ron standing in the doorway and disappeared behind the corner. She could imagine him shaking his head as she caught the words. ‘Blooming mental.’
Hermione was in such a huff that she didn’t notice where she was going and ran straight into a rather large solid figure.
Arms wrapped around her unsteady form, stopping her from falling.
‘Whoa, lovely. What’s up?’ Dean swooped down for a kiss.
‘Ugh Ronald Weasley is what’s up. So I decided to go do homework.’
Dean opened his mouth. ‘But it’s Easter!’
‘At least come for a hot chocolate and an egg.’ Dean smiled smoothly and stole another kiss.
Hermione gritted her teeth. ‘No thanks. I hate eggs.’ She stopped for an awkward moment summoning her confidence. ‘I’ll certainly have another kiss.’
A few people in the hall whistled before Hermione departed red cheeked but smiling,’
Why not? Why not one chocolate? After all it is Easter.
Hermione smiled timidly, she could always work it off.
With this sudden change of mind Hermione rushed back down the hall hoping Dean hadn’t gone too far.
Once again she ran into the same solid chest. She lowered her lashes and put her arm around his neck and whispered happily.
‘I changed my mind.’
Draco Malfoy was blinking rapidly at her.
‘Oh yeah Granger?’
Hermione let out a tiny gasp and removed her arms as though he was made of poison, Malfoy however had her waist in a cinch like grip.
‘I haven’t Granger,’ He leaned in close, his lips touching her earlobe at the same time as his fingers ran along her waist.
‘You’re still a mudblood.’
I will not let him get to me.
‘Well, your still a prig!’
His hands tightened and Hermione found her breath became restricted. His Pureblood cologne filled her senses.
‘Let go.’ She rasped.
‘What was that?’
‘Malfoy there are people everywhere.’
‘They think we are embracing. We are embracing aren’t we.’
Hermione knee’s felt strangely weak.
A growl emitted deep in her throat.
Draco released her. He was smiling serenely.
Hermione glared at him as he turned around.
The people in the hall seemed not to notice.
Hermione felt shaky and walked to the nearest bathroom realising with annoyance that she’d missed her chance to meet up with Dean.
What the fuck is Malfoy’s problem?
At least now Dean can’t offer me chocolate.
She leant heavily against the sink staring hard at the red bracelet on her wrist.
Why did that shake me up so much?
His hungry eyes...
She stared at her reflection.
The bathroom door slammed.
Hermione span around. Millicent Bulstrode was standing in the doorway looking agitated.
Hermione blinked. ‘I was just leaving.’
Bulstrode pushed her back roughly.
‘I just got back chatted by some kid not to mentions low marks in Charms and then I see you just then, sucking up to that Mudblood and then moments later, Draco Malfoy.’
Why is this girl always so angry?
Not to mention probably three times my strength.
‘Look Bulstrode, I ran into Malfoy- do you really think I’d suck up to that git let alone talk to him?’
‘Don’t insult him Granger! He is better than you’ll ever be.’
‘That's poppycock. Malfoy is a selfish, arrogant, complete and utter-’
Hermione fell back against the wall holding her jaw where Bulstrode had hit it incredibly hard.
‘Are you insane? I could put you on detention for this!’
Within seconds Bulstrode had her by her collar and punched her in the gut.
She felt two more painful jabs in the ribs before she blacked out...
Read it? Review it.
An/: Thank you so much all of you who have been faithful readers and reviewers, its overwhelming in a nice way. I can't believe this is my 10th chapter! I'd never done more than a 3 chapters story before!
For most of this process I've always had a few more chapters written on paper than I had gotten around to type but now I have caught up. Chapters may be a bit further apart as I'll be writing and typing in one go.
Things aren't quite as edited as I would have liked because I've been updating whenever I can get my hands on internet.
Hopefully I can continue as quickly as I have been and not keep you guys waiting!
Hermione opened her eyes to see something floating above her.
‘I think she’s awake!’
Hermione blinked as a blur of red came into her vision.
‘Hermione? Can you hear me?’
She blinked again. Harry and Ginny came into focus.
She whimpered. She seemed to be lying on a bruise.
‘Hermione what happened?’ Ginny was at her side in a flash, her voice was squeaky and strained. ‘What did Malfoy do to you?’
‘Malfoy? How long have I been here?’ The name almost gave her a headache.
‘Malfoy brought you in here about half an hour ago. Don’t you remember? Apparently your lip was bleeding and you were covered in even more bruises.
'He just left you on this bed according to John over there.’
She pointed to a pale boy sitting on a bed in the corner.
Hermione laid down again, her vision felt clouded.
‘Malfoy? It wasn’t Malfoy. He didn’t do anything. It was someone else. I fought with them in the girls bathroom. Well they fought with me.’
‘If it wasn’t Malfoy then who? Are you sure you’re ok?’’
Hermione blinked. ‘I’m ok. I just…I can’t remember…’
Harry looked at her.
‘Then how do you know it wasn’t him?’
‘It happened in a girls bathroom didn’t it?’
Harry made a funny face. ‘Oh.’
Ginny gave Harry an annoyed push. ‘Then why was he there?’
Hermione paused thoughtfully. ‘Good question. And why did he bother to bring me in?’
‘Who knows. You’re ok now though aren’t you? You had the three of us so worried.’
Ginny beamed. ‘That idiot has finally come to his senses.’
‘Ron?’ Hermione caught her breath.
‘Well, he still thinks Dean is a git and he’s still going out with Lavender but you gave us a scare, I think he’s realised he doesn’t want you dead.’
‘I’m so glad you’re ok. If only I knew who did it, I’d beat them to a pulp.’ Ginny punched her palm before checking her watch.
‘I’ve er, got to go.” Ginny winked at Hermione.
Harry looked at Hermione questionably as their red headed friend left in a hurry.
Hermione shrugged although she knew very well what was going on.
Harry sat on the side of her bed.
‘Are you hungry?’
For a split second she was going to reply yes but she swallowed her hunger causing rippling pains below her bruised stomach. She lowered her eyes.
‘No, I’m fine. I still feel a bit unwell.’
Harry’s eyes searched hers.
‘Right, well, when you feel better you’ll have something won’t you? It’s just that Pomfrey thinks your nutrition seems a bit low-’
‘Harry,’ she cut in, her nerves feeling rattled. ‘I’m fine.’
‘It’s not just your nutrition your-’
There was an inconspicuous cough and they both looked up. Ron was standing there fiddling with his robes as his ears turned red.
Harry looked at Hermione thoughtfully.
‘Right I’ve got a Divinations assignment I better start on.’ He touched Hermione’s hand reassuringly. ‘Get better ok?’
Hermione assumed he was talking about her bruises but somehow it seemed he wasn’t just referring to them.
She watched Harry leave before slowly turning to face Ron.
She fiddled with her wrist as Ron came closer.
He looked unsure for a moment and then burst out.
‘Hermione, I’m sorry. I’ve been a git, I really have.
‘I just hate not knowing what’s wrong with you, whenever you go all mysterious on us. I’ve said pretty awful things in the last few weeks. I’m sorry, I just didn’t want to apologise but with you getting hurt and all, it made me realise what an imbecile I’ve been… I’m sorry...’
Hermione wanted to insult him turn his apology down, she wanted to swear at him, tell him to fuck off however the sincerity in his voice stopped her.
She raised her eyes to meet his coldly.
‘Fine. I’ll give you another chance.’
He still had a look of apprehension on his face and she began to laugh.
He sighed in relief.
‘So can I get some help on my-’
His lips raised into a smile. ‘Joking, Hermione, joking.’
She spent the night in hospital wing which she thought was absurd but Pomfrey insisted she take a special potion to help her memory of the attacker and sleep on it.
Pomfrey’s debate was that she wasn’t missing out on any classes anyway.
Her stomach grumbled so loudly that she had no choice but to let Pomfrey give her a big plate of vegetables.
She had already eaten half of it without realising, when the nurse went into her office.
She debated in her mind on wether to eat it or not, her body probably needed the help at this point.
She was intent to get rid of it but ended up only throwing half a measly carrot out of the window.
With the help of two potions she had the best sleep she’d had weeks.
In the morning the nurse checked in on her.
‘Do you remember anything this morning Miss Granger?’
Hermione shook her head. She had a memory of being punched but the face just kept eluding her.
Madame Pomfrey looked drained. ‘I’d just like to weigh you and then you can leave.’
Hermione screamed inwardly. At least it wouldn’t be to bad as she’d been weighed not too long ago during that horrible potions lesson.
She stood on the scales in her hospital pyjamas and held her breath.
Hermione grinned. Weight didn’t matter but ishe couldn't help that it still gave her a buzz.. Pomfrey frowned in troubled way.
‘You are eating well aren’t you?’
Hermione forced a blank look onto her face; her nerves were suddenly jittering madly.
I can't be found out, my life will fall to peices.
Even more so.
‘Of course, I can’t be top in my class without food to keep my brain working.’ She tapped her head smartly feeling the shame of lying fill through her.
I guess that explains my grades slipping.
The nurse didn’t quite seem satisfied but didn’t press further.
‘I guess carrying all those heavy books must be what’s keeping you fit then? Very well, you may go.’
Hermione’s body relaxed.
Too close for comfort.
She was just at the door when Dumbledore entered the room.
Hermione’s eyes widened. ‘Oh, hello Professor!’ She plastered on a smile.
He smiled his big half moon smile. ‘Miss Granger! I hear that you got into a fight. I do hope that you’re ok?
‘We are trying very hard to find the culprit. I’m very disappointed that something like this happened to one of my students but it has been known to happen with angry teenagers. You don’t happen to remember him or her do you?’
Hermione shook her head. ‘I just can’t seem to remember sir.’
‘Well that’s a shame. There isn’t anything else wrong is there?’
His eyes searched hers the way Harry’s had.
She gulped. ‘Nor sir. Nothing but lots of work!’
Dumbledore sighed. ‘Very well, Miss Granger, you had better head to breakfast. Don’t forget to thank Mr. Malfoy for bringing you in.’
She nodded and left.
She felt shaken.
Too many close calls, too close together.
People might not be noticing the results of my hard work but my body is beginning to betray the signs despite my whale-like physique.
The hospital wing is a dangerous place, one that I’ll need to avoid.
And Dumbledore, why did he bother coming all the way to the hospital wing?
She cringed, her entire body tensing up.
I do not want to see you!
‘I do not want to see you.’
‘Granger.’ Malfoy repeated more firmly, blocking her path. ‘Stop.’
She looked up at him and glared.
‘Move Malfoy or I swear to god-’
‘So that's how you thank me is it? Come on Granger. I know you, the whole Gryffindor honesty and respect thing. I need to talk to you.’
She rolled her eyes and pushed past.
‘I know who did it.’
‘I fucking hate you Malfoy.’ She grabbed him by the collar and dragged him into the closest classroom although he didn’t really resist.
‘Granger! Watch it. You’ve got no right to touch me.’
‘Who was it?’ she demanded. ‘And why the hell are you even bothering?’
His lip quirked. ‘We Slytherins have our own form of loyalty. I just wanted to let you know that she’s been taken care of.’
Hermione clicked her tongue.
‘Will you stop it Malfoy! What have you really come to taunt me about? You don’t care that I got beaten up. Why would you bother to get revenge for me? And most of all, why the fuck did you bother bringing me into the hospital wing?’
Malfoy shrugged non-committing. ‘I didn’t want them to suspect me did I?’
‘You’re the one that brought me in! The hell they don’t suspect you!’
Malfoy transferred his weight. ‘So your not grateful I didn’t leave you there bleeding?’
‘Well, I guess… look Malfoy, what are you playing at?’
He smirked infuriatingly. ‘You really want to know the truth?’
She gave him a look that spoke murder.
‘I’m a curious boy Granger, I wanna know what’s going on, who knows, it might give me an advantage against you.’
He smirked again.
‘Oh and you dropped this.’
He held out her red bracelet.
Hermione snatched it from him.
‘Great. Thanks. Goodbye.’
He didn’t have time to say another word. She was gone.
When Hermione found Harry and Ron at the breakfast table they jumped up and greeted her happily.
‘How are you feeling now?’
She smiled. ‘You know Pomfrey. I was perfectly fine to go last night.’
As Hermione sat, Harry pushed a plate of pancakes in front of her.
Hermione looked at him and then back at the plate, his tone had been neutral but he was looking at her expectantly.
Not knowing what else to do, she plastered a smile on her face and began to cut them up in a perfectionist manner.
She couldn’t deny she was hungry, especially after such a big amount of food the day before.
She placed a few forkfuls in her mouth, she tried to imagine they were made of rubber, except that they tasted divine, She felt a binge coming on. Her hands were working against her brain once again.
Its ok I’ll just eat normally, I’ll getter better. Starting with this pancake…
Harry looked pleased an turned away.
Hermione began to feel weight in her stomach.
Oh my god.
Determined to gain back her feeling of emptiness she grabbed her wand and began to inconspicuously vanish the pancakes from beneath the table.
They tasted so good.
‘Er, Hermione? Your pancakes are disappearing?’
Dean plonked down next to her.
‘Oh,’ she glanced at her plate her heart beating quickly. ‘I’m practising for charms.’
Dean was fiddling with her hair. ‘Where were you last night?’
Hermione looked at him.
‘Hospital wing. Didn’t you know?’
Dean looked annoyed and peered around at Ron who was avoiding eye contact with Lavender.
‘No. Apparently no one bothered to tell me. I guess my girlfriend in the hospital wing isn’t worth mentioning! What happened? You don’t look sick?’
Hermione half smiled.
‘I got into a bit of a fight.’
Dean raised his eyebrows.
‘That's not like you at all.’
Hermione was glad he didn’t press on.
Chapter 9 and 10 were originally one but I split them in 2.
Please review feedback helps me write. Reviews inspire me!
An/: Guess what? I got my internet back and I am very happy because that allows me to update at my own leisure, I plan to go back and edit all my chpaters but it may take awhile as there are quite a few now.
This is probably going to be my last chapter until after the new year unless you are very very lucky.
I hope you guys hold out until then.
I can't thank you all enough for your continueing support and reviews! I can't beleive I've written this many chapters and stayed motivated to keep writing.
ts all because of the encouragement I get from you all.A story is not a story if it is not read!
The chapter title is property of the band Cake.
Four days into the Easter holidays and there hadn’t been any rest. She also hadn’t heard any more news from her parents.
She had no problem finding things to do, to distract herself from the thought of her father.
She spent most of the time studying.
At ten thirty in the morning Neville entered breakfast with bags under his eyes followed by Dean, Harry and Ron who looked like they hadn’t slept all night.
Hermione turned and faced them, the corner of her lip quirking up.
‘Sandman didn’t visit last night?’
Dean sat next to her and laid his head on her shoulder. Ron seemed to glare for a moment before his eyes drooped.
Dean mumbled into her arm. ‘No, I think he visited Harry a bit too much.’
Harry’s head fell on the table making his eggs jump.
Hermione frowned. ‘What does that mean?’
Ron’s eyes opened droopily and he leant toward her. ‘Harry had another nightmare; I mean he almost suffocated himself. He doesn’t seem to remember much but we spent half the bloody night trying to wake him.’
‘And on top of that he spent half an hour apologising.’
Hermione was sure Dean had fallen asleep on her.
‘Did he say anything while he was having the nightmare.’
Ron shook his head. ‘That’s the weird bit, usually he’d shout or moan or something. I think his nightmares might just be that; nightmares.’
Hermione puckered her brow. ‘I don’t know if he said anything but he had a dream like that before the holidays, he sort of tried to strangle me in his sleep.’
Ron looked concerned. ‘And I thought he was dealing with everything well.’
Hermione laid her head on top of Dean’s.
‘Well I’m pretty sure he just fell asleep in his pancakes.’
Ron nudged Harry who grunted.
‘News is here.’
‘Hermione?’ Dean was awake. ‘I’m eating your toast ok?’
She laughed as Dean pretended to be unable to lift his arm.
A barn owl landed on Hermione’s other shoulder carrying a heavy envelope and an awkward package. She took them both absentmindedly until she caught sight of the sender.
‘Who’s it from?’ Dean asked lifting his head.
‘Um, I’m just going to go read it…’
Yet again she left the hall before anyone could say a word. Within moments she was sitting on a bench somewhere near the great hall away from prying eyes.
I’m sorry you didn’t hear from us sooner. I know I said I’d try and organise for you to come home sometimes during the holidays but unfortunately no visitors are allowed at the moment.
Your father is going into surgery in a few days and we think it would be best for you to stay with friends. Don’t worry, it’s not any sort of dangerous surgery, he’ll be fine but hopefully it’ll make him better.
We are going to make sure to keep you posted, your father has enclosed his own letter.
Love you, Mum.
She slipped a second piece of paper out of the envelope.
Don’t let your mother’s words scare you; we all know she can overreact sometimes. I don’t deny that I don’t feel well but I’m not quite ready to drop dead yet. You haven’t even finished school!
The hospital food is pretty bad; I’d much prefer a steak. I miss work; poor Jill Anderson was supposed to get her braces off this week!
I’m not too worried about my operation, I trust the doctors, I’m just interested to know how it all works.
I’m sorry to keep you at school but I think its for the best, the family spends most of the time at the hospital anyway, you should be having fun, I’ll be fine.
Make sure to enjoy the real food they serve you on my behalf. Enjoy your eggs.
Love you so much, Dad.
Hermione looked at the round red package in her hands and grimaced.
It was nice to hear directly from her father.
If he is being strong than I can be strong too.
I should enjoy his gift, if he is eating crappy Hospital food, he’d want me to take pleasure in eating good food.
‘Skipping breakfast Granger?’
Her insides screamed. ‘Fuck off.’
‘Come on Ganger, don’t we do this every time? An endless spar of words? I insult you, you insult me, I insult your family and tell me to shove-’
‘Off? We can avoid it if you like. All you have to do is walk away.’
She looked back at her note.
‘Aren’t you going to ask me what I want?’
She remained silent.
‘Ganger stop ignoring me.’
She rolled her eyes and stood up.
She turned to him in an annoyed fashion and remained silent.
‘Come on Ganger what’s wrong with you?’
‘You are what’s wrong with me.’
‘So you do speak?’
‘Arggh! Malfoy you’ve no idea how incredibly not in the mood I am.’
‘Then ask me what I want?’
‘Prefect duties have been changed tonight, your taking Ernie’s spot.’
‘Ugh! You could have just said that out.’
‘You didn’t ask. What’s that in your hand?’
He pointed to her letter and package.
‘Fuck off. I’m leaving.’
Draco reached for the note as Hermione punched him in the gut. Malfoy gasped in pain and grabbed his wand just as Flitwick walked up.
‘Miss Granger! Mr. Malfoy! What on earth is going on?’
Hermione and Malfoy pointed at each other.
‘He tried to steal my-’
‘She punched me in the-’
Flitwick held up his tiny hand.
‘I think a detention is in order, you can dust my classroom as six o’clock tomorrow evening.’
Hermione hissed at Malfoy as Professor Flitwick’s back faded from view. ‘This is all your fucking fault Malfoy.’
‘Right, good idea.’ Hermione turned and left.
Saddened by the news of her father she sat in the common room listening to the wizarding wireless for a good hour.
She barely heard the music.
The door swung open and Ginny walked in with one of her friends.
They seemed to be arguing about something.
‘No Tania, I don’t think that’s possible-’
‘But Ginny surely they can?’
‘No, there is some law or something.’
‘I could still try couldn’t I?’
‘Sure, and blow your face off at the same time.’
Ginny caught sight of Hermione.
‘Hermione, you’re smart, you’d know.’
Ginny’s friend rolled her eyes as Ginny continued.
‘Is it possible to change appearance or personality permanently with magic?’
Hermione stared into the fire.
‘I think I read about it somewhere; you can’t permanently change your appearance with potions unless they are made wrong. As for wands… the wand chooses the wizard…why would it bother to change the wizard it chose?’
Tania nodded non-committing urging her to continue.
‘It’s kinda like you can’t perform the killing curse on yourself with your own wand. Anyway I don’t think too many people have tried anyway. I know its illegal in some countries to change yourself permanently with magic, except for very small details.’
Hermione stopped and looked at her wrists.
‘But why wouldn’t anyone want to try.’ Tania smiled dreamily. ‘Wouldn’t it be nice?’
Ginny laughed. ‘Tania thinks her butt is too big.’
Hermione alternated her eyebrows. ‘In all honesty it’s not.’ And she meant it.
Ginny stared intently at Hermione.
‘Hypothetically if you could change yourself magically would you?’
Hermione shrugged and acted indifferent although inside her brain began to work overload.
‘My brain is enough.’
Tania laughed. ‘No point asking her that question Ginny. She’s smart, skinny and beautiful, she doesn’t have anything to change.’
The pair went upstairs while Hermione gazed in the fire feeling disturbed by Ginny’s question.
If I could change something?
The idea sounds so appealing.
I could be as skinny as I wanted, reach the level of perfection I want.
Even if I reached my psychical goals…
I’d still starve…
It wouldn’t be the same to look the way I want, without the hard work.
I’d feel no accomplishment.
I just want to disappear. Skinny would never be enough.
I’m so fucked.
She grimaced and placed a hand on her grumbling stomach feeling tired and grumpy but somehow sickly satisfied by the pain.
It wasn’t long before Dean, Harry and Ron heard about her detention with Draco, he’d been moaning about it loudly for the rest of the day.
It was his damn fault.
She managed to write two, four-foot essays by the evening although they didn’t feel up to scratch. She was beginning to lag behind in her work and she knew it.
The only way she knew how to deal with the news from her father was to eat as little as possible.
Even that is starting to fail…
Ron was glaring at Hermione.
‘I hate you.’
Hermione smiled back grimly, her eyes full of mischievousness.
‘Eat slugs Ron.’
Ron’s cheeks began to bulge, slime dribbled down his chin.
‘I hope you choke.’
Ron began to cough and turn red.
Hermione’s eyes widened.
‘Ron, I’m sorry I didn’t really mean it!’
Within seconds the slugs coming out of Ron’s mouth had turned into snakes, slithering around Hermione, coiling their tails around her legs, tightening their bodies around her frame, squeezing so hard that she began to shrink.
‘Hermione!’ Ron was shouting and trying to tear them off her.
Harry stood transfixed. It was all so familiar, almost like a dream.
‘Stop!’ he cried. He tried to rush forward but something was stopping him, a hand on his arm.
‘Get off me!’ The figure had no features, its face was there but it seemed to shimmer and change, always out of reach of Harry’s memory.
Terror began to fill him as the snakes began started to circle Ron as well. His two best friends were covered in red-eyed snakes.
‘Arggh!’ he screamed turning around and placing his hands on the figures neck.
The face was Seamus’.
He dropped his hands in surprise.
‘Turn around Harry.’
Harry turned. The snakes were leaving. Ron and Hermione were hugging.
Their three voices murmured to him through the darkness; ‘It’s ok, you can wake up now Harry.’
His eyes snapped open. He seemed to be lying in someone’s arms awkwardly, the person was sitting up with Harry sprawled in their lap.
Seamus’ big brown eyes were staring at him in surprise.
‘Am I safe?’ Harry mumbled sleepily, the adrenaline draining out of him.
‘Good.’ Too tired and confused to know what was going on or even how he’d managed to wake him up, Harry he huddled in Seamus’ arms and drifted back into a nightmare free sleep.
Hermione woke up feeling drained.
She had dreamt about one thing the entire night. It hadn’t even been a dream really. It had been like on word, one concept floating around her head.
It felt like she hadn’t slept at all.
She lay there dazed. Her ribs seemed to be sticking up, her stomach flattened by gravity. Without a mirror there to ruin it she felt smaller.
Her stomach grumbled.
When she put on her bra she found a gap, it was too loose, almost uncomfortable.
I’ve gone down a cup size. From the side I’ll look smaller.
In the bottom of her trunk she found an old green bra from when she was in third year.
When Hermione put on her jeans she found them loose and had to dig further into her trunk for a belt.
Good thing we have a Hogsmeade trip tomorrow.
I need new clothes. Smaller ones.
Hermione entered the common room to find Harry, Dean and Seamus sitting on the couches with clear bright eyes.
She sat between Harry and Dean. ‘Sleep well?’
Dean pulled Hermione into his lap.
‘Harry actually slept therefore we did.’
Dean moved in for a kiss, Hermione responded unenthusiastically. It didn’t feel very special or nice.
What’s wrong with me? Dean is your boyfriend, attractive and sweet, and yet I have no patience for kissing.
I’m too tired.
Seamus was looking at the pair frowning.
‘I’m hungry.’ he declared suddenly.
Dean nodded and followed Seamus. He stopped at the door.
‘Almost forgot, wanna come to Puddyfoots tomorrow Hermione?’
Hermione tried to look exited. ‘Of course! I’ll see you later.’
As soon as the two boys had left Harry turned to her and Hermione knew the face.
‘Out with it Harry.’
Harry smiled half amused. ‘Hermione, do you think its possible to start liking someone over night?’
Hermione’s expression changed.
‘I don’t know, I mean I guess it depends if you’ve only just met them…or… maybe you’ve always been slightly attracted but it hasn’t been apparent …or…well I guess so.’
Usually I give great advice on emotions and now I’m a wreck myself.
She paused for a moment.
Harry waved his hand. ‘No one, it was just a question.’
Hermione knew that wasn’t true but didn’t question further.
She checked her watch. ‘Right, I have approximately six hours until I have to serve detention with Malfoy. Some holiday…’
‘Hold on, Malfoy? What’s that git done? You didn’t mention anything about a detention.’
Hermione bit her lip, ‘Didn’t I?’
Harry’s expression was suspicious. ‘No. Which is surprising because I can’t even remember the last time you had a detention, must have been first year. Usually you’d be mortally afraid of the mark on your record.’’
I’m going to fail school…
She shifted uncomfortably. ‘Well, you’ve had lots of detentions haven’t you? Yours marks are good aren’t they?’
Harry looked gob smacked. ‘Good, Hermione? Your definition of good is an A++’
Hermione opened her mouth to retort but a painful stab in her ribs stopped her.
A second later she felt two painful twitches in her arm.
She gasped and doubled over, her face contorting in pain.
‘Hermione!’ Harry steadied her with one hand. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘Not sure.’ She grimaced.
It hurts so much! Much more than I regularly put up with.
Her stomach rumbled loudly.
‘Wanna head to breakfast?’
Harry nodded. ‘Sure.’
I’ll just have some juice.
Unsure what had overcome her, she sat at the breakfast table with a sense of Deja vu.
Her stomach hurt so badly.
I don’t think my willpower can overcome this; it’s the same as trying to hold your breath for too long.
She began with only a few fried mushrooms, which turned into 3 eggs, 1 pancake and 2 vegetable pasties.
The pain had receded but the guilt rushed in to fill its place.
Harry and Ginny had their heads together, whispering in hushed voices.
Hermione searched the table for something spicy to at least aid her digestion but found nothing. She tried to pull in her stomach muscles.
I hate this.
The rest of the morning they tried to tackle a charms essay.
She couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t work. She felt hungry and tired, not to mention every time she lay a book on her lap she was attacked a minute later by terrible pins and needles in her legs.
Why am I hungry? I mean I ate so much at breakfast. If anything I should be really full.
Harry pulled her half written essay towards him.
‘Hermione?’ he began to read a snippet of her essay. ‘Hold your toast loosely and say the following incantation? Don’t you mean wand?’
Hermione was startled. ‘Yes, I… whoops.’
Where has my brain gone!?
Ron laughed. ‘Someone else correcting you, that's something very rare to see.’
During lunch she ate at least a plate of food. Her stomach felt stretched but she felt much more accepting of Dean’s affection.
It’s just two meals. I’ll eat just for today. It will be ok.
It almost killed her to write it down in her food diary. Her gut wrenched as she wrote in her little black book.
All the calories.
Six’ O’clock came around faster than she would have liked.
Professor Flitwick had a lot more pillows than she had first thought.
‘Why do they insist on making us do our detentions the muggle way? We are never allowed wands.’
Hermione could feel her patience tearing at the sound of Malfoy’s whiny voice. ‘Who cares? Hurry up and be done with it.’
She picked up a musty yellow pillow and put it in its box.
‘Ugh, do you truly do chores at home? Is that it? Is that why your so unbothered by this slave labour?’
‘That’s exactly it Malfoy, you’d be surprised how many people truly do work. Slave labour? Tell that to your house elves.’
‘I just don’t like getting dirt under my fingernails.’
He still hadn’t touched a pillow.
‘Stop being such a spoiled brat.’
Malfoy stared at her incredulously before suddenly snatching up her hand.
‘Well look at your nails, they are preposterous anyway. I mean they’re stubby, your cuticles are shocking and the nails itself is tinged blue. That's unhealthy you know Granger?’
Hermione pulled her hand away. ‘I unlike you use my hands Malfoy. I have much better uses for them than just handling brooms.’
Malfoy clucked his tongue. ‘Being this stressed out all the time can’t be good for you.’
Hermione hands were shaking as she began to stack pillows again. ‘I don’t need health lessons from you.’
It was exactly the type of thing Malfoy wanted to hear. She realised within seconds that she’d just given him something to run with.
‘You know those ridges Granger? That’s caused by vitamin deficiencies.’
‘You know that ugly face Malfoy? That’s caused by inbreeding.’
Malfoy brushed aside her words like cobwebs. ‘I noticed you bruised easily on Easter as well. That’s caused by malnourishment.’
Hermione iced over. ‘I’m perfectly nourished thanks.’
His laughing was a mocking one. ‘Come on Granger, you’re smarter than that.’
Hermione began to move again. ‘Than what?’
Where is getting at? He talks in circles.
‘The dizziness is first. It eventually eats up your insides. Did you know that you will start to grow hair all over your body? It’s to keep out the cold.’
His grin was evil.
‘Except for you head, you start to lose that hair. But I’m sure you already knew that. Perhaps you hate your bushy hair that much?’
Hermione blinked loudly at him.
Relax Hermione. He’s just blabbering.
‘What are you talking about?’
His eyes glinted the way they always did when he was getting under her skin.
‘Didn’t do the research? Now that's unusual for you. Don’t you like to know all the facts? I’m surprised you haven’t rushed off to the library yet, to learn everything in advance. Or are you enjoying the nasty surprises.’
She gritted her teeth. ‘I haven’t got a clue who or what you are rambling about.’
Malfoy grabbed a clean white pillow. ‘They have a term for it in the wizarding world, maybe it’s the same in the muggle one.’
His voice suddenly lowered in a dramatic way.
‘It starts with an A….’
Hermione found herself straining to hear.
She rolled her eyes.
He smirked. ‘But really Granger, your malnourished from too much sugar, you can’t eat just cakes for the rest of your life.’
She threw a pillow at his head. ‘You’ve managed to talk so much and yet say nothing. Get to work.’
He’d obviously just been irritating her when he’d said those things.
He was probably implying something completely different.
He just likes to get me riled and he seems to have realised food is a touchy subject.
He just doesn’t know why.
And he’ll never find out.
Even though he didn’t know what he was talking about perhaps he is right, perhaps I should look up my disorder.
Researching my own brain. No wonder the idea never occurred to me.
Maybe if I know the facts I’ll be able to recover.
If that’s even what I want…
The worst part of the detention was bumping hands with Malfoy continuously and accidentally.
The next morning Hermione awoke in terror.
She had pins and needles in her arms and legs; the signals from her brain weren’t going to her limbs.
She couldn’t move.
She lay there horrified for at least a minute before the pain began to cease.
She climbed gingerly out of bed. Her feet were numb.
It’s cold. Much too cold.
I wonder if my dad’s hospital blankets keep him warm…
She pulled on a jumper and still shivering a minute later she eventually left for the bathroom wearing four layers.
Her morning self-examination didn’t go well.
I ate way too much yesterday.
I’m like a balloon.
This is too hard.
And yesterday I even toyed with the idea of recovery.
She found a big clump of hair in the bottom of the shower.
It was her own.
Is it related to my fasting?
I hate not knowing these things.
She returned an hour later from the library with a heavy heart.
…Sufferers have symptoms such as hair loss, bruising, poor circulation …weak bladder… lack of fibre…people with this disorder tend to have obsessive compulsive habits…be perfectionists…lack of concentration…loss of sex drive…cold easily…depressed…
She was breathing heavily.
I should stop this. My ecstasy at emptiness is just an addiction.
It’s an addiction; it’s a disorder, an obsession, a neurosis…
I’m fucked up.
I don’t want these symptoms.
I’ll stop before it gets too bad… When I’m the skinny, I’ll stop…
If I even know…
It’s a slow suicide…
AN/: Sorry it took so long! Might be a while till the next chapter as well but I'm writing as fast as I can!
Thank you all soo much for all the support and for taking the time to review!
Harry didn’t know wether to be sad for Ron or just happy.
‘Ron don’t you listen?’
'Sure I do.’
‘No you don’t! You’re only interested in Granger!’
‘Lav come on, calm down. I only said that your hair was stiff!’
‘Oh, I can never win can I? If it wasn’t stiff it wouldn’t look have product in it and if it didn’t have product in it wouldn’t look good! And you wouldn’t like that either would you?’
‘Lavender your hair is great!’
'I thought it was stiff?’
‘Arggh! You’re impossible.’
Lavender’s hair was sticking up at odd angles, the result of too much mousse and the effect of pulling at it in anger.
Her face was red as she pointed a finger at her gob smacked boyfriend.
‘You know what’s impossible? This relationship!’
Her skirt whipped her thighs as she stormed out.
‘Lavender!’ Ron’s ears were pink as he followed.
Harry’s suppressed grin sprang out.
He turned to Seamus who was sitting next to him on the lounge.
‘Is it wrong to say that I hope they break up?’
Seamus’ grin was identical to his own.
‘So long as she doesn’t hear you say it. I think now that he has caught up on sleep he is realising how mad he has been. He should’ve grabbed Hermione while he had the chance. Although she did seem standoffish to Dean yesterday…’
Harry frowned. ‘Doesn’t that annoy you?'
Seamus raised an eyebrow. 'If she did something horrible to him then I'd be annoyed but I learnt a while ago not to get personally involved in Dean's relationships. It's too dangerous, he likes feisty girls...'
'And you don't then?' Harry supposed it was good for friends to have different tastes. He was glad Ron didn't like the girls he did...
Seamus bit his lip uncomfortably. ‘Put it this way, Dean and I have very different tastes...'
Harry laughed. 'Oh good, I don't have to worry about Ron getting angry at you then?'
'You definitely don't...Who do you fancy Harry?'
He didn't fancy anyone did he? He was happy being single.
No infatuation could be this sudden.
Seamus was looking at him intensely. 'I guess you'd want a girl who would listen to you?'
Harry stared back at Seamus. He had nice brown eyes. 'Anyone who'd listen would be nice.'
Harry had never noticed the dusting of freckles on Seamus' nose before...
It was kind of cute.
'What about you?'
Seamus seemed to be leaning subconsciously towards him.
'I like one person. It would be hard for me to stop liking him..'
Harry was close to Seamus now, their knees were touching and Harry could feel feel his warm breath on his own cheek.
'And who's that?' he whispered.
Harry and Seamus jumped. Seamus got off the couch quickly.
'What?' Seamus looked anything but innocent.
'Lavender and I are over.' His eyes flitted between them suspicously.
'Nothing.' Harry said quickly. 'What did she say?'
'She said the red hair was a turn off...'
Harry smiled. 'Sit down Ron and welcome back to sanity.'
Dean appeared at the food of the stairs. 'I heard yelling. Anyone seen Hermione? We're supposed to go to Puddyfoots later. I wanted to remind her, she's been very forgetful lately.'
Ron glared at Dean. 'If you knew her like I do you'd know she's probably in the library or it's vicinity.' His voice was like ice.
Ron looked simultaneously glum yet somewhat relieved.
'Have either of you noticed something different about Hermione lately? Something bad but I just can't pinpoint it...'
Harry nodded. 'She hasn't been concentrating; she has bags under her eyes. Took you long enough. She became vegetarian did you know that?'
Ron raised his eyebrows.
'Maybe that's why she looks so gaunt...'
I'm forgetting something but what?
'Coming to Hogsmeade? I'm meeting someone there but I thought you might like to do something first.'
Dean. Puddyfoots. Clothes. Now I remember.
'Sure. I actually wanted to get a few things. I'm meeting Dean.'
A few hours later when they left Hogsmeade’s Clothes for All Occasions Ginny was shaking her head.
'Hermione the size 6 shirts fitted perfectly fine, why did buy three in a 10?'
Hermione shrugged packing the few things she had bought into her bag.
'In case I grow.'
Size 6 I haven't been a size 6 since I was 10years old. I've been a size 12 for soo long.
'Oh come on.'
'They fitted but they looked bad.'
The fact was that she'd felt more comfortable in shirts that were baggy enough to hide everything, than in something that fitted.
They had looked ok in the shop mirror but she knew from experience that she'd start to see flaws.
'The 6 was almost too loose! At least you bought pants that fitted you. Your thighs don't even touch, what's with that?'
Hermione shrugged again. If these things were true it was a shame she couldn't see them.
'Look Ginny it's freezing. I'm going to wait at Puddyfoots till Dean comes.'
Ginny shook her head again. 'It's not freezing but ok, I'll see you later...'
Puddyfoots was much warmer and she felt like her bones were defrosting.
The door bell jingled. Dean spotted Hermione and walked over. He smiled as he sat down.
'I guess this is our first official date.'
He gave her a kiss. The waitress spotted them and pranced over.
'Drinks?' she asked handing them a menu. 'The lunch special is on the board.' She pointed to a flashing chalkboard in the corner enthusiastically writing down meal prices for the diners.
Hermione ordered a black coffee while Dean ordered a double chocolate milkshake. Hermione had always been irked by the overly romantic atmosphere of Puddyfoots but this time she found it much more enjoyable. She was grateful it wasn't decked out for Valentines.
Although she felt no inclination to join in with the other snogging couples.
What is wrong with me?
Two minutes later Dean called over the waitress and ordered himself a hamburger.
He turned to Hermione while the waitress stood there expectantly.
'I'll shout you,' said Dean. 'What would you like?'
'Oh,' Hermione stared at the blackboard. She felt unprepared she had thought they were just getting drinks. 'I'm – I'm not hungry actually.'
Dean turned to the waitress. 'Two hamburgers with salad thanks.'
The waitress glanced at Hermione and then left.
Hermione turned irritably to Dean. 'Why did you do that?'
'I figured once you saw my food you'd start to feel hungry.' seeing the expression on her face he continued. 'Relax, if you don't eat it I will. Besides I'm paying.'
He smiled so charmingly she felt her anger wash away.
Hermione sipped her coffee. Their conversation was dull.
The food came. She smelt it before she saw it.
It smelt delicious. She was angry with Dean all the more for ordering it.
The waitress gave Hermione a strange look.
Dean smiled at Hermione. 'Eat up.'
She eyed the burger and sipped her coffee, feeling the panic rise inside her.
It's just a burger. It won't do any harm will it?
She didn't think she could resist.
Trying to block out the smell she picked up a piece of lettuce from her salad and nibbled it.
Dean raised his eyebrows chewing on a huge mouthful of burger.
He swallowed. 'Hermione will you please just eat it?'
'Girls are so typical. Your not fat, but you are eyeing that burger off so please just eat it.'
Hermione crossed her arms.
'I told you I wasn't hungry.'
Dean rolled his eyes. 'You're never hungry.'
'Ugh, I don't have to do what you tell me!'
People were starting to look at them.
Hermione was never someone to make a scene.
Oh Merlin this is embarassing.
'Hermione this is stupid. Please just eat it. I don't want a twig for a girlfriend.'
She picked up her bag. 'If how much I eat and weigh matters that much to you Dean, I'm sorry – lets just be friends.'
She left Dean with his two burgers.
When Hermione stormed into the common room absolutely freezing but angry as hell, she found Harry there with a content look on his face.
Before she even spoke to him she rushed to the fire to warm up.
Harry gave her a knowing look. 'What happened?'
'We broke up. Well, I guess I stormed out on him really.'
'Oh... sorry to hear. Ron and Lavender broke up as well.'
'Oh. Thank god.'
'That's what he'll be saying about you and Dean...'
There was a moment’s silence as Hermione looked at his face.
'I fancy Seamus?'
Hermione clapped her hands to her mouth.
'Does he know?'
Harry cringed. 'We almost kissed.'
Hermione smirked and sat down. 'Well, he knew you way before you fought Voldemort.'
Harry tilted his head at her. 'Aren't you surprised?'
She smiled. 'No.'
'Oh.' There was a comfortable silence.
'Something's been going on with you hasn't it?'
'What do you mean?' Her heart began to pump.
Does he suspect my eating habits?
Oh, no, oh, no.
'I dunno, when you got that letter and ran away? You've seemed to down lately? Please tell me?'
There is no way I'm telling him about my eating problems.
But I do need a friend.
She sighed and placed her hands in her lap.
'My dad has cancer.'
Harry's eyes shot open. 'What? How long?'
'A while now. I heard the news just after I started fighting with Ron.'
'Oh Merlin Hermione, I'm so sorry. Why didn't you tell us? Is he ok?'
'He... I don't know. I haven't seen him. My parents think it's best. He is having surgery.'
'Oh Merlin... Does Ron know yet?'
'No, I guess he'd want to.'
'If he'd already known...'
'We are here for you Hermione. You know that....Is everything else ok with you?'
Ginny liked watching Blaise sleep.
His eyelids would flutter occasionally and he would hold her close completely unaware of the affection he was displaying.
The candles in the room of requirement were burning low but the fire they were lying beside was still roaring.
It was well past curfew but she knew she needed to go now before she became too tired to dodge prefects.
She made to get up. Blaise's arm snaked tighter.
His eyes snapped open.
'Where are you going?'
She smiled. 'Bed.'
'Why don't you just sleep here? I had fun today.'
She laughed. 'This isn't bed. I had fun in Hogsmeade too.'
'It's the room of requirement. It'll make a bed.'
Blaise's dark eyes bore into her own.
Ginny rolled out of his arms and turned her back to him.
'This wasn't supposed to happen.'
'What wasn't supposed to happen?'
'Me...Having...feelings.' She blurted out the last word like it was dirt on her tongue.
Blaise was silent. 'Oh.'
Ginny stood up and began putting on her sweater.
'We've got to stop this. It was supposed to be a bit of fun on the side. You're a player. You're only going to hurt me and I'm aware of that. I can't let myself feel anything for you Blaise.'
Blaise stood up. 'Don't go.'
Ginny looked angry. 'Why not?'
'Because... I don't want you to... I need you... Fuck it, I'm having them as well and hell, I don't have a clue what I'm supposed to do with them.'
Ginny laughed in disbelief. 'You? Having feelings? I'm sorry, I'm not buying it.'
Blaise grabbed Ginny by the waist. 'Ginny, would I really admit to having...' he cringed. 'Feelings... If they weren't there?'
'We should end this.'
Blaise nodded. 'We both have our reputations.'
Ginny nodded but didn't move. 'Exactly.'
There was a silence -
'Oh, fuck reputation.' Blaise suddenly burst out. 'These feelings are nice; I haven't had them since I was little. I want to explore them; I want to feel something new. Fuck it I don't care.'
He dived in for a kiss, it was demanding, soft and desperate all at once and she replied just as passionately.
'Ron isn't going to like this...'
'Draco is going to kill me...'
Sorry for the really really really long wait. I've been a bit uninspired lately, I guess you could say I had a slight case of writers block and I've been way way busy with study, actually getting my assignments in on time!
Luckily I brought my writing book on the train instead of my reading book and wrote this chapter!
Hopefully the next wait won't be so long but at least I wrote it!
Hermione was excited but nervous.
Only that morning she’d received news that her father’s surgery had gone well.
Hermione had liked St. Mungo’s, it had a real healing atmosphere, crazy things were going on all the time.
Muggle hospitals were too clean, too bright.
Hermione stopped spinning and found herself in the fireplace of Grimmauld place. Her mother had rushed forward in a flurry of messy hair.
'Hermione? Oh god I missed you. How have you been? You look ill, I’m so glad you’re here.’
Hermione breathed in the familiar smell, glad to be in safe arms again. Tears welled in her eyes.
‘Day visitors? Yes. Follow me please.’
Hermione wasn’t sure what to expect as she followed the pretty nurse. Would her father look as ghastly as she’d imagined?
Her mother squeezed her hand. ‘He’ll be happy to see you!’
Her father was sitting in bed reading a book.
‘Hermione!’ His smile was huge but his limbs looked frail. He still looked ill.
Hermione dashed forward and hugged him. ‘Tell me everything.’
He beamed. ‘Modern medicine, I’m lucky to be alive. Sit down, have some of my dessert, you look starved.’
The two sat in a comfortable silence, each thinking their own thoughts.
‘You and the she-Weasley still going at it?’
‘Oh…oh…I guess so…Draco? What do you think of a real relationship?’
‘You know, like serious…and…stuff.’
‘Oh, I dunno, lots of people are into them they can’t be that bad…Why?’
‘I dunno…’ Blaise fidgeted. ‘I’m just sick of all the bimbo’s I got out with, I mean, I guess they are attractive but a real girl would be a breath of fresh air…’
Draco stared at Blaise. ‘I hate to admit it but bimbos are getting old… I guess that’s why you decided to fuck around with Ginny? She actually has brains doesn’t she?’
‘She does…Can I tell you something without you shunning me? Or at least keep it a secret.’
‘Fine but you’ll owe me.’
Blaise didn’t speak straight away. ‘Things are different now, after the war and stuff, we’ve grown up, we still hate people but it’s less serious… we’ve learnt all that stuff was stupid…Ginny is different from the bimbo’s … I think I might possibly be possibly starting to possibly …care for her.’
Draco blinked. ‘Ginny as in the redhead, blood traitor Weasley, Gryffindor?’
‘Caring? Blaise you’ve lost it.’
Blaise put his head in his knees. ‘I know. I’m fucking bonkers.’
‘You must be getting old.’
Blaise punched him in the arm.
‘You’re a fucker, just because you’re family is loveless-’
‘It’s all just so confusing… Do you hate me?’
Draco paused. ‘I could but no. No, I don’t hate you.’
That was all he said.
‘I love you Harry, I’ve fancied you for ages…’
‘I know it’s crazy but I think I feel the same.’
Seamus’ smile gave Harry butterflies. His kiss was soft and loving.
He loves me for me…
‘Harry!’ Hermione was hugging him. ‘Dad’s getting better!’
‘Hermione that’s great! How did he look?’
She shrugged. ‘He’s still quite skinny…Why are you smiling so much?’
Harry grinned almost embarrassed and pulled down his collar. Hermione laughed as her eyes wondered down to his love bite.
He lowered his eyes still smiling. ‘I really like him Hermione, how the heck do I tell Ron?’
She laughed. ‘I’ve no idea.’
‘Have you told Ron about you’re dad yet?’
She shook her head. ‘No, not yet.’
‘Tell me what about you’re dad? Where were you today Hermione?’
Ron was standing at the portrait hole looking puzzled.
Hermione turned to him. ‘I was visiting my dad. He has cancer.’
Ron eyes widened. ‘He what?’
‘He has cancer Ron, it’s a muggle disease.’
‘No it’s not.’
‘It’s not just a muggle disease. We call it Wand-pox I had it when I was little. It was easy to fix, just like chickenpox, all wizards get it, too much magical exposure makes you’re body cells go mad. Have you sent him to St. Mungo’s?’
Hermione stood up.
‘You’re joking Ron? My dad is really sick! You’re trying to tell me cancer is just like a case of chickenpox? Muggles get cancer and it can be a life threatening illness and all this time wizard kind has had a quick fix?’
Ron fidgeted. ‘Sort of, it’s much worse for Muggles, they have less magic inside them to combat the multiplying cells. St. Mungo’s it trying to figure out a solution…you should send him there, they can probably help a bit better than a Muggle hospital.’
‘How do you know all his?’
He blushed. ‘Aunt Muriel was looking after me when I had wand-pox, she spent the night explaining it to me in detail instead of just sending me to sleep with ‘The beetle and the bard.’
Hermione sat down weakly. ‘I’ve got to send dad a letter. St. Mungo’s, why didn’t I think of that?’
I’ve got to tell Ron and Harry…
She could still feel the whisper of Blaise’ lips on her own.
How do I tell them?
Blaise Zabini for fuck sake?
She could still feel the rumour of his lips on her ear whispering reassurances.
Are you mad Ginny?
I don't love him; I'm just starting to kinda care that's all.
Ginny spotted Hermione, she looked like she’d just come from the owlery, her shirt gave her away, ink stains splattered on the hem.
‘Hey Ginny, what’s up?’
‘I’m trying to figure out how to tell Harry and Ron about Blaise actually. Any idea’s?’
She laughed. ‘No idea. How many people have secrets around here?’
Ginny stared at Hermione. There was something different.
‘It looks less … bushy…’
‘Oh.’ Hermione obviously didn’t know how to respond.
Ginny reached out and ran her fingers through it. She found herself holding a clump of frizzy brown hair.
Hermione looked stressed. ‘Oh… I mustn’t be looking after it properly…’
Ginny raised an eyebrow. ‘No. You mustn’t be. You need more vitamin B. Mum always says “Vitamin B and you’ll have healthy nails and luscious locks”’.
Hermione glanced at her nails. ‘Look Ginny I’ve got to run.’
Ginny stared after he in shock.
When she found him he was all smiles.
'Harry? What the heck is wrong with Hermione and why is her hair falling out?’
‘Her hair’s what?’
‘Falling out. She’s lost a lot of weight too.’
Harry nodded gravely, his smile gone. ‘Her dad’s sick, I think she is just very stressed…’
‘Oh, she didn’t tell me…’
‘She didn’t tell me either.’
‘I hope she gets better. We need to keep an eye on her. I hate seeing her like this.’
‘So do I.’
There was silence.
I’ve got to tell him…
AN/: Not such a long wait this time huh? I very much enjoyed writing this chapter, I dunno, something tells me you might enjoy this chapter.
Thank you all so much for reviewing! Especially those who review after every chapter! It keeps me going.
I own nothing except the plot! Chapter title is the name of a song by the fabulous Goldfrapp (which I listened to while writing this chapter.)
'Hermione wake up!'
Her eyes fluttered open.
'You never fall asleep in Binn's class!'
'Shut up and let me sleep.' she mumbled her head rolling back on the desk.
Ron nudged her again.
'C'mon Hermione, it's the second day back...'
'Ugh, Ron, you're an imbecile.'
He tried to give her puppy dog eyes and failed miserably.
She felt tired and uncomfortable. There was no way she could concentrate, her brain seemed to be working at half speed, and it was like trying to sift through sludge to find her thoughts. Her spine was sticking uncomfortably into the chair, which didn't help.
Hermione, it's about Terbin the Dumb, it's important.'
Harry laughed. 'Ron, you twat, I'll take notes.'
'Oh, ok, sweet dreams Hermione.'
Hermione jolted awake 20 minutes later as the bell screeched.
'What have we got?' she mumbled, rubbing her eyes.
Harry looked taken aback. 'Transfiguration.'
She groaned while Harry frowned at her.
Today they were turning desks into pigs.
As McGonagall began explaining the difficulty of large transformations, Hermione found it hard to keep up.
There's a spider on the ceiling, lunch is next, what will I eat?
This time she found herself being woken by a loud 'Oink!' as the desk beside her gained a snout.
'Miss Granger? Thank you for gracing us with your consciousness. I'd like to see you before lunch please.'
Hermione was blushing.
I'm always her best student!
Her desk was turned successfully into a pig although it was brownish in colour.
As the last student left the room, Hermione approached McGonagall’s cautiously.
'Miss Granger, you are one of my best students but I hate to admit that your grades seem to be slipping. I know that family issues are quite hard for you right now but I had not expected it to effect your education. Is there anything I can do to help?'
'Thank you Professor, I'm going to be working harder this term, don't worry.'
'Very well, I advise you try to get a bit more sleep, you're looking very drained.'
'Thank you Professor.'
As Hermione closed the classroom door Neville rushed up to her.
'Did you see Hermione? My pig only had wooden feet!'
She smiled. 'Well done Neville.'
'Are you hungry Hermione?'
She froze. 'Pardon?'
Of course I'm hungry!
Neville blushed, 'You just look a bit skinny, that's all.'
'No I don't!'
I said that too fast, didn't I?
'Are you sure?'
'If you say Hermione...'
Hermione felt awkward during lunch, Neville seemed to be watching her intently.
Ron sat down beside her, rubbing his hands together. 'Brilliant, I'm starving,' he didn't even glance at her. 'What did Old McGonagall want?'
'Oh, just asking how I was...'
Ron didn't reply, his mouth was too full of pie. She stared at him in fascination.
He is enjoying it so much...
I wish I could too...
'Sure you're not hungry Hermione?'
Hermione nodded at Neville. 'No, I had a huge breakfast.'
'Before you woke up Ron.'
'Right. We've got Charms next Hermione.'
Her brain was barely functioning; she kept turning Harry's hair bright green to match his eyes and at one point even turned her quill into a blueberry muffin.
'This is Charms Miss Granger! Not Transfiguration, If you're hungry you can wait till dinner.'
Hermione whimpered as her stomach grumbled.
Harry leant toward her. 'What's the matter? You're not using the time turner again are you?'
She shook her head, her brown curls bouncing around her face. 'I slept badly that's all.'
Hermione hated all these questions. She felt like she was going to throw up, her limbs felt weak and she kept getting flushes of heat.
The bell rang and she sighed in relief.
She followed Harry and Ron on the way to DADA, she could barely climb the stairs, it felt like her legs weren't attached to her, her breath caught as they rounded a corner, her vision blackened and then without knowing how she got there she found herself on the ground.
'Hermione!' Harry and Ron were at her side.
Hermione squeaked. 'I'm fine.'
Harry lifted her up. 'Do you want to go see Pomfrey?'
I can't! No way, the Hospital Wing is too dangerous.
'No!' hastily she added 'I fell over that's all.'
'You look pale.'
Harry grabbed her arm. 'I'm taking you to the Hospital Wing.'
Hermione pushed him away. ''I'm fine, Harry! I just tripped over! Have you felt how heavy my bag is?'
Harry didn't seem convinced. 'Hermione-'
Ginny didn't want to go to History of Magic; it wasn't like Binns would notice anyway.
As she stood near the door of the classroom someone pushed past, discreetly slipping a fold of parchment into her fingers.
She looked up and saw Blaise's dark figure disappear up the corridor. She grinned and unfolded the parchment;
She frowned, glanced at the classroom door before following him down the corridor. The door to the Room of Requirement clicked shut behind her.
Blaise grinned and moved forward pulling her into a kiss.
She melted, 'I'm going to fail Binns’ class you know?'
He beamed, flashing his brilliant teeth. 'No you won't, you're too smart for that.'
'Was there any particular reason for this or did you just want to flatter me?'
'I'm sick of having to sneak around, it would be so much easier to just accost you in the hallway.'
She sighed. 'I tried to tell Harry and Ron but I couldn't...'
Blaise grimaced. 'I sort of told Draco...'
Her eyes widened. 'Oh?'
'I didn't know how to take his reaction, something tells me he has a secret of his own.'
'So does Hermione...'
'Will you tell me?'
She raised her eyebrow. 'Can I trust you?'
He looked hurt. 'Yes.'
She kissed him. 'I'm sorry. I don't know she's just been acting very odd. She looks so ill.'
'I'm sorry. I know you love her. Perhaps I can even convince Draco to stop harassing her.'
Ginny smiled endearingly. 'Good luck,' she held him. ‘I promise I'll try to tell them again.'
Hermione ate an entire bowl of rice at dinner, followed by a handful of chocolate.
How it had gotten to her mouth, she had no idea.
She was conscious of eyes on her, it felt as though everyone was watching her.
They are judging me, just daring me to keep eating, laughing at how fat I'm getting.
She couldn't stop, though she savoured every bite, she barely felt full at the end.
She had patrol tonight and she needed something to keep her going.
I'm sure I'd get myself into fantastic situations if I fainted during patrol...
The first 20 minutes of patrol she caught nobody out of bed.
'Need assistance Granger?' She spun around.
'Why would I need assistance? Especially from a prat like you?'
She had no patience; she was tired, grumpy and despite having dinner she was hungry.
'In case you fall over again and hit your head.' He looked smug.
She went red. 'You saw that?'
Everyone saw it.
'Well, fuck off. I thought you'd be happy if I was just lying there in my own blood.'
The image crossed her mind and she shuddered.
Today was just a one off. I’m not going to faint again.
'Good point Granger.'
'I hate you.'
'So you say.'
'Malfoy! How many times do you want me to say it? Fuck off. You’re a loveless git who's too pale and cowardly to even have friends. Please leave me alone. Your Pureblood is making me sick.'
'I have friends.'
She laughed mockingly.
'No you don't, not friends that love you. I doubt your family doesn't either, how could anyone love you? You're a worthless piece of slime.'
'Hold your tongue.'
'Why do you even bother?'
His fists clenched and he stepped closer. 'I'm intrigued Granger. Why so huffy tonight?'
'Just not in the mood to fraternize with Death Eater scum.' She advanced toward him, her fingernails digging into her palms, her voice rising ‘I hate you so much! Who doesn't? I bet your mother regrets giving birth to you.'
Malfoy's shoulders were shaking furiously. 'Shut your filthy mudblood mouth Granger!'
'I worship the ground that awaits your corpse.' She whispered venomously.
All in one movement Malfoy stepped forward angrily, snatched her waist and crushed her body to his. She looked at him in surprise and anger.
'Go to hell Granger.' He growled, his lips tumbling down on hers.
Lyrics and Chapter title from Goldfrapp's song Cologne Cerrone Houdini
Cologne Cerrone Houdini
Sunlight in your eyes
Sunlight in eyes
Like dirty mud in your hair
Hermione froze, barely registering what was going on.
Logic seemed to flee from her mind. A shudder went through her but it was not unpleasant. Her body seemed to be reacting it never had with Krum or Dean.
His lips were soft and his hand on her waist felt like fire, he tasted pleasantly like chocolate.
Without warning she pushed him away. He wiped his mouth his cheeks flushed pink.
‘Never do that again Granger.’
Her hand shot forward and grabbed his collar, within seconds there lips were locked again, she had her hands in his hair pulling half in anger, his hands slid to her pockets, groping her backside.
She squeaked as he pulled her closer again.
This is wrong.
She pushed him away once more, thoroughly shocked, not only at his actions but her own.
‘That was just…Ugh.’
She shot off down the hall as fast as she could not bothering to even turn around.
WHAT THE FUCK?
Oh, Merlin, I think that’s the most bizarre thing that’s ever happened to me…
She felt like she was in a dream, her mind was slow and everything felt surreal.
She was still shaking as she rushed up the dormitory stairs, she felt weak kneed.
She sat on her bed staring dazedly at the stars behind her window.
She felt too riled up to sleep.
I can’t think about it.
I don’t want to think about it.
As if by habit she reached for her food diary, at least writing down her food’s intake would distract her.
Her book was gone, her food diary, her daily ritual, it was missing. Panic rose in her throat.
Did I leave it somewhere?
Her mind flitted to Malfoy’s wondering hands.
Oh, Merlin, he wasn’t groping me, he was checking my pockets.
Stealing my property.
He only kissed me to get something like evidence, something to blackmail me with.
I’m going to kill him.
Harry had been expecting that exact expression, although he had hoped it would have come later. The yelling would come next he expected.
Ron’s eye flitted between himself and Seamus; who quickly disentangled himself.
‘Are you- Oh Merlin…’
They nodded again.
He received another nod and looked like he was about to faint.
‘So you love each other?’ he looked anxious.
Harry smiled, glancing at Seamus. ‘Yes we do.’
Ron nodded. ‘Well, that’s ok then…’
Draco couldn’t believe what he was reading.
Hermione Granger? Smart, bushy haired, Granger? Intelligent, sensible Granger? The one who didn’t care about her appearance? The one who believed in academic excellence?
He knew he should be pleased, should be laughing and gloating; not only did he have fantastic blackmail material, he had something more personal than he could have imagined in his hands, there she was hurting herself without him lifting a finger.
And yet something is terribly out of place.
Where was the pleasure if it wasn’t he himself inflicting the torment? It wasn’t emotional torment though it was physical; it didn’t have the same appeal.
Of course I could just sit back and watch her self-destruct but where is the fun in that?
What would be in it for me?
This book shows just how flawed Granger really is.
There was such rawness to the writing; he almost wished he didn’t have it.
He couldn’t shake off a nagging feeling.
He disliked it immensely.
And then there was the kiss.
It had been a ploy to search her pockets, pull out what her thought was a diary, something he always seemed to catch her checking her pockets for habitually. The idea had been spontaneous, purely on impulse.
Draco didn’t like that it had happened while she stirred emotion in him.
She felt so fragile but her kiss was so strong.
And her ass was-
He shook his head. Trying to clear his mind of the surfacing thoughts.
She makes me so mad! That’s even more reason to use this against her!
And yet he was disturbed by what he was reading, he could barely imagine what was going through her head.
Tuesday – nothing
Wednesday – bowl of rice, 20g cheese, 4 pieces chocolate, 50g tofu
Thursday – nothing
Sunday – Bowl of grapes
Monday – nothing
Draco wondered what she’d eaten today.
This all explained her demeanour her tiredness, her jumpiness when he had joked about her nutrition, her tenseness when someone mentioned food, her grumpiness and the complete torn look in her eyes every meal.
She’s not eating.
Surely not? She is too sensible for that, too intelligent.
A strike for house elf rights?
At least that’s more plausible…
It just doesn’t make any sense.
How can she do this to herself?
How can she not cave in and eat?
But the diary showed that she had, some of the entries looked like binges, as though she’d gone mad or grown a second stomach.
The nothing days make up for that…
He could barely justify what slipped through his thoughts next.
I don’t truly want her dead. I absolutely hate her but it is just a stupid rivalry…
If I sit back and watch, it would be like killing her myself.
Her oblivious friends will eventually notice won’t they?
If they got their heads out of their arses and noticed, I’d be off the hook.
What would I gain by helping?
There is nothing I could do anyway. *1
Maybe if she stops writing it down it will stop.
He continued to stare at her neat handwriting.
Something was stirring in Draco and he didn’t like it.
Hermione wasn’t going to breakfast.
If I eat something, I’ve got no way to write it down.
I can’t eat. I can’t. *2
Malfoy will laugh. I don’t want to see him. I can’t bear it.
He knows. I’m sure of it.
He probably thinks I’m fat, thinks I have every reason to starve myself.
He’ll laugh at the kiss, laugh that I thought her was really kissing me.
I hate him, I hate him.
I’ll go to my classes only. I won’t see anyone. I’m behind in work anyway.
An owl pecked at her window.
She walked over cautiously, the owl seemed to be struggling with a package.
She pulled the window open, the room was empty, her roommates obviously down at breakfast.
The package was unsigned with only a small message;
Thought this would make you feel better.
Inside she found an assortment of the finest, most expensive Honeydukes chocolates and muffins.
Her fingers shook as she surveyed the nutritional information.
Is this a sick joke?
He’d read her food diary and was taunting her, daring her to eat it.
She’d throw it out. It was probably enchanted. She’d leave it in his bag later.
Hermione’s stomach ached but this was just cramps. Her period had been due a week ago, it was late and giving her grief. *3
Hermione managed to slip to all her classes unnoticed and spent lunch finishing essays on her bed.
Harry and Ron finally caught up with her just before dinner.
‘Where have you been? We’ve barely seen you all day.
‘Library.’ She replied confidently.
‘Right, well, you can’t spend dinner at the library.’
Oh god no.
She squeaked in protest as they grabbed her arm. She tried not to look too stressed as she walked with Harry and Ron.
Just as she had suspected Malfoy was looking at her. She sat stock-still staring at an indent in the table, refusing to meet his eye. He was probably looking for traces of chocolate on her face.
He’ll stand up any minute now and announce to the school ‘Guess what everyone, Granger doesn’t eat!’
She shuddered at the thought. It made her feel even more distressed.
Maybe he doesn’t know what it means…
She glanced up, he was looking at her thoughtfully.
‘Harry, I don’t know how to find stuff out as good as her!’
Hermione turned around. Harry and Ginny were sitting close, heads together again. She noted how close they sat and comfortable they looked. The love was still evident even if they’d decided not to act on it.
Harry whispered in her ear and Ginny nodded seriously before she started laughing, she leant close and gave him a peck on the lips, whispering something to him in return. Harry smiled awkwardly as his eyes darted to Hermione. She smiled back.
‘Want to finish my dinner?’
*1. An eating disorder is something very hard to recover from, help from friends is probably the first major step, if you suspect anyone of having an eating disorder confront them about it or inquire with their family, if nothing is wrong no harm will be done and if there is something wrong you might help save them. (Draco is just a twat not doing anything)
*2. Keep in mind Hermione’s brain is a bit out of order and her decisions aren’t smart at this point. (Not eating can eventually lead to your body eating it’s own insides; including brain tissue and organs.)
*3.Cramping and loss of period (amenorrhoea) are both very real side effects of anorexia, I stress again, it is NOT fun or glamorous. What’s glamorous about losing you’re womanhood?
Chapter Title and lyrics from the song 'Never Be Lonely' by 'The Feeling'
People in love get fast and foolish
People in love get everything wrong At least they're not lonely
Never Be Lonely
He was angry. He’d actually started to care for someone and it turned out she felt for someone else.
So this was love?
He hated to admit it but he’d been beginning to love her.
I’m going to rip his guts out.
Blaise didn’t know how to explain his anger. Jealousy was not something he’d ever had to deal with.
If this is caring then it’s not worth it.
Every fucking day, like she thought I couldn’t see her with her head so close to his.
Familiar red hair caught his eye.
I don’t care if people are watching. Fucking bitch.
He walked up to the Gryffindor table abruptly and tapped her on the shoulder.
She looked up startled.
‘I need to speak to you.’ His voice was cold.
Ron stood up angrily. Ginny grabbed the hem of his shirt. ‘It’s ok Ron.’
Blaise left the hall and waited for her in the very same place they’d first began this whole confusion.
However he didn’t look charming now.
Ginny walked toward him looking around her, a half confused half worried expression on her face. ‘Blaise, what’s the matter? Don’t you think that was a bit suspicious?’
‘There’s nothing to be suspicious about. Didn’t you know?’ His face was impassive.
Ginny’s eyes glossed over. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Us. It’s over. We’re over. You and me.’
She breathed in sharply and her voice shook. ‘What? Why?’
He laughed angrily.
‘You thought I wouldn’t notice?’
Rage overtook Ginny’s face. ‘Notice what?’
Blaise stepped towards her pointing at towards the hall. ‘You! You and Potter. It’s so fucking obvious Ginny!’
Comprehension dawned on her face and she began to laugh. ‘Harry?’ Her laughter was full of relief. ‘Harry’s gay.’
Blaise’s face contorted angrily. ‘Right, I’m sure, Ginny.’
Her laughter stopped.
‘Blaise you’ve got to believe me.’
‘I don’t believe it Ginny. I realise now why you didn’t tell him about us, you enjoyed playing us both, too much.’
‘You’re being an idiot.’
Blaise wasn’t listening. ‘I told Draco, Ginny. I actually cared for you. I was willing to ruin my reputation, my fucking heritage for you! Just so you could fuck me over with that fucking piece of crap!’
‘Blaise shut the fuck up and listen to me!’
He was still shaking but his face was cold, he was no longer yelling and it almost broke Ginny’s heart.
‘I don’t want to hear it Weasley.’
He turned his back on her and strode back into the hall.
Ginny followed. ‘Blaise!’
People looked up from there meals as Ginny voice rang out.
‘Trust me!’ She pleaded her face full of anxiety.
Blaise spun around halfway to the Syltherin table.
‘Trust you? Trust you? I saw you kiss him!’
‘It doesn’t, mean anything, he’s-’
‘Don’t give me excuses!’
Ginny roared in frustration.
‘If you don’t want to believe me, fine!'
In one motion she moved forward and kissed him full on the mouth.
Right there in the middle of the Great Hall, in front of the Slytherins, the Gryffindors, Harry, Ron, all the teachers…
Blaise stood stunned for a moment; a moment later he was responding automatically.
He didn’t care; it was the best kiss he’d ever had.
The pair pulled apart gasping.
The Hall was completely silent; all eyes on them, mouths hung open.
Everything was still. Blushing red, Ginny swung her hair over her shoulder with decorum, grabbed Blaise’s hand and strode out of the hall.
The last thing they heard was Trelawney cough.
‘Well, of course that was going to happen.’
Silence broken, chatter tumbled out the doors behind them
‘Well; now we’ve really done it. No going back.’
‘I can’t believe you did that.’
‘I proved my point didn’t I?’
Blaise grabbed her by the waist.
Perhaps love isn’t so bad…
‘Well, I did always think potter seemed a bit gay…’
Hermione had skipped breakfast.
She’d missed the spectacle but knew something odd was going on during McGonagal’s first class of the morning, there was no talking as such but notes were being passed around by everyone at an alarming rate.
When she entered the hallway she knew immediately that something was definitely going on.
For a few paranoid moments she thought Draco had let her secret slip.
‘Did you see them kiss?’
She froze as she caught the snippet of conversations.
‘Sussie and Turner are together.’
She shoulders un-tensed and she continued walking.
Nothing to do with me.
She kept her ears open trying to catch what going on as people rushed past.
‘Did you hear?’
‘They hate each other?’
‘I saw it with my own eyes.’
‘Just you wait next it will be Granger and Malfoy.’
Malfoy and me?
Hermione was perplexed.
What’s going on?
She decided to make an appearance at lunch just to know what was going on.
When lunch came she slid in between Harry and Ron.
‘What’s going on? People are acting like something scandalous has happened.’
Ron was red in the face. ‘It has. My fucking sister, that’s what’s scandalous.’
‘What did she…’ her sentenced faded as a stunning Slytherin girl sat down at the Gryffindor table and kissed Colin Creevy on the cheek.
She stared around the hall; there were Gryffindors and Slytherins everywhere together talking, joking, sitting together and …
‘Kissing?! Has the school gone mental?’
‘Yea, it has.’ Harry looked torn between being disgusted or pleased. ‘I mean I guess it’s good but still…Years of house rivalry and Ginny goes kissing Blaise Zabini at breakfast and just like that, it’s gone.’
Hermione gaped. ‘She what?’
‘Oh, Merlin. In front of-’
‘But why are there-’
‘Turns out there were heaps of friends and couples from Gryffindor and Slytherin too embarrassed to admit it.’
Ron, who had been glowering silently while Harry had explained the sudden lessening in house hatred, suddenly turned accusingly to Hermione.
She shifted awkwardly. ‘Er, I guess…’
He gave his plate a death stare.
The teachers were utterly perplexed. They were pulling apart fights from various people unhappy about the recently announced friendships but surprisingly also having a hard time separating all the previously rivalled couples from making out.
It seemed Dumbledore had coincidentally not attended breakfast.
It was easily the most unusual day so far, since the semester had begun.
By the time dinner came around Ginny looked drained.
‘I’m sick of the gossip already, I mean no regrets but…’
Seamus slid in next to Harry, smiling at Ginny slyly. ‘I think we can fix that Ginny. Give them something else to talk about? Harry? You’re used to gossip aren’t you?’
Nothing happened when Harry Potter and Seamus Finnegan first leaned in toward each other, nevertheless they started to notice.
The end effect was madder than breakfast had been.
Hermione grinned and all at once the Hall was full of yelling, raised voices and kissing couples.
If Harry Potter and Blaise Zabini could come out why couldn’t they?
The teachers were stunned. Snape had begun to hand out detentions before Dumbledore smiled pleasantly and calmly pointed out to him that the Muggle Studies Professor and the Astrology Professor had mysteriously disappeared.
Hermione threw her things on her bed after dinner laughing; it had been well worth being social just for that spectacle meal.
As Hermione bag landed on the bed, the familiar black book fell out. Hermione sobered and picked it up unsteadily.
Malfoy gave it back?
Why would he give up something he could blackmail me so easily with?
The pages were unaltered, everything the same.
There was no sign it had been gone until a piece of paper slipped from between the pages.
She stared before unfolding it slowly.
It’s in your flaws I begin to see the equality.
What does that mean?
There was a tap at the window and she jumped. It was another parcel.
If he gave the black book back without blackmailing me, why bother with the parcels?
She’d been certain that he’d use it all against her. Surely he wasn’t clueless as to what it all meant.
But he is smart.
And why the hell had that kiss been so good, it was only a ruse.
Just a ruse.
Ron and Dean and Krum never made me feel like that, I’ve lost any psychical attraction towards anyone and yet Draco made me feel…
She shook her head angrily.
Don’t be an idiot. Ugh it’s Malfoy! For fucks sake, this really is a mental disorder, thinking things like that.
She threw the parcel down the stairs.
I’m just going to have to fast longer to get that git out of my head. *
I know this chapter was a bit silly in some ways but I had fun writing it.
* As you can all guess starving does nothing to get someone out of your head.
I know the beggining of this chapter is the same as the end of the last. The flow just didn't seem right so I've pasted it here and it works well.
Chapter title and lyrics from Goldfrapp's song Tiptoe.
Tears start over nightly
Go away, tears start over
Here over you, tears start over
Hermione ached when she woke up. Her legs felt like lead, her shoulders were tense.
She groaned as she rolled out of bed.
‘You look terrible Hermione,’ Pavarti commented looking at her curiously. ‘Perhaps you shouldn’t go to classes.’
I’m already behind.
I feel fat.
Parvarti raised her eyebrows. ‘Are you kidding?’
I said that out loud?
She mumbled an inaudible ‘Yes.’ Feeling embarrassed that her thoughts had slipped through her teeth.
She wanted nothing more than to lay back down. She felt dazed and out of character.
I’ll eat tomorrow.
She chose her biggest t-shirt to put on under her robes.
‘Go have some toast.’ Parvarti advised. ‘Coffee as well judging by how tired you look.’
Hermione smiled at the other girl.
Making her way to breakfast, she felt like the left side of her body wasn’t supporting itself. The area around her adrenals hurt.
Forgetting posture for once in her life, she slouched.
She sat at the table, her legs instantly going into a bout of pins and needles.
Hermione downed 2 cups of water before following it with a mug of black coffee.
Her stomach rumbled.
When an owl landed next to her as the post arrived, all amusing thoughts of the newly announced couples around the Great Hall her fled her mind as the usual rush of worry flooded in to take it’s place.
The letter read;
I got out of hospital yesterday and I’m back at work, Jill Anderson got her braces off and you mothers feeding me real food again. The doctors say to take it easy but I don’t feel so bad.
I hope your studies are going well.
I love you with all my heart,
Hermione was about to cry as she put the paper down. Relief overflowed through her.
A small smile grew on her lips.
I guess the world’s not so unfair after all.
She felt as though a great weight had lifted from her shoulders.
‘Why the smile?’
Hermione twirled toward Ron, throwing her arms around him happily. ‘Dad’s getting better!’
‘That’s great!’ he mirrored her smile looking genuinely happy. ‘I’m sorry for not being there Hermione. I really am. I’m so glad he is ok. Are you feeling better?’
She poured herself another cup of coffee grinning.
‘You know what? I think I am.’
‘Are you going to have breakfast?’
Her heart sank and she eyed her empty plate. ‘Erm, of course.’
Reluctantly she reached for a few grapes.
Dad is better. Why not celebrate?
Just as her fingers closed over the firm surface of the grapes the bell rang loudly throughout the hall.
She let go abruptly.
‘Transfiguration.’ She said brightly, standing up and grabbing her bag.
Just because dad is better doesn’t mean I need to go binge.
Ron’s face fell. ‘Yeah.’
In Transfigurations Hermione didn’t fall asleep. No, her mind way occupied by far worse.
I hate Malfoy so much.
It’s got to stop. I’m telling him to cease this silly parcel giving. It’s not funny. It never was.
She’d received another parcel this morning, this time full of jellybeans, pastries and scrumptious looking cauldron cakes. They’d looked to good to throw out so after checking them for poisons or enchantments, she gave them to a very pleased Ron.
‘Miss Granger? Do you know the answer?’
She looked up panicky, ‘What was the question?’
McGonagal looked annoyed.
‘Potter!’ she barked. Harry jumped. ‘I’d like to see you after class.’
Harry looked confused. ‘Yes professor.’
‘‘See you after class.’ He murmured as Hermione left.
When lunch came she headed reluctantly towards the hall.
Last minute she changed her mind and opted for a walk around the lake.
I could use the exercise.
She spotted a blonde under an oak tree.
Ugh! Git. I hate him.
Feeling dazed and knowing her mind wasn’t working properly, she stormed up to him.
He looked up at her as shadow fell over him like a blanket. He looked up tired, almost human.
‘It’s not funny Malfoy.’
‘It wasn’t meant to be.’
‘Right,’ she was fuming. ‘So you’re telling me you sent it to actually make me feel better?’ She laughed. ‘I highly doubt it.’
‘It wasn’t meant to make you feel better either.’ A scowl was fixed like glue on his face.
‘Ugh, then why on earth bother sending the most expensive? Are you just showing off your filthy wealth and why the hell aren’t you blackmailing me?’
Malfoy stood up angrily. ‘First of all, most expensive what? And secondly, would you like me to blackmail you?’
She stopped and looked at up him.
‘Of course not, it’s just odd that you aren’t. The most expensive Honeydukes chocolates you twat!’
Malfoy snorted. ‘Why would I bother sending you anything? It would be a waste anyway. Judging by that book of yours, you probably wouldn’t eat it anyway.’ He looked her up and down icily. ‘Why is that Granger? On a diet?’
Hermione gaped; she wouldn’t be surprised if her hair was standing angrily on end. ‘You didn’t send it?’
‘No Granger, someone else’s joke. Probably Weasley thinks he’s being all romantic. Does he know that you don’t eat?’
His face filled with distaste. ‘Then again he eats enough for the both of you.’
Hermione blushed. ‘Fuck off.’
She turned on her heel, Malfoy snagged her wrist and she spun around furiously.
‘It was uncalled for Malfoy,’ her voice shook. ‘K-kissing me to steal that book. It’s none of your business.’
‘Oh but it is.’ His grin was malicious. She stepped back.
‘I hate you so much Malfoy. What I do with my life has nothing to do with you. You fucking scum ball.’
Malfoy tutted. ‘Such harsh words coming from such a small girl.’
‘Close your mouth Malfoy.’ She didn’t like the tone of his voice; she tripped on a twig and stumbled a few steps back.
He lifted up her snagged arm. ‘Such tiny wrists. They’d probably break easily.’ He bent her hand back, she gasped in pain.
‘Ugh!’ she swung at him with her free hand. He caught this too. She stepped back her spine bumping painfully into the tree. With one hand he hoisted her hands above her head, his fingers wrapping easily around both wrists.
Adrenaline was racing through her now, rising faster than usual with no food to slow it down. Despite the warm air she shivered, her knees giving way as Malfoy moved in.
‘Why do you do it Granger?’
Because it’s my lifeline. It’s the only constant thing I have. The only thing I can control.
But this was wrong. She’d lost control a long time again.
She gritted her teeth. ‘I’m going to kill you Malfoy. I’m going to kill you with my bare hands.
He laughed scornfully. ‘You?’ He poked her in the ribs. She gasped again.
She struggled against him, kicking him in the shins.
I will not be in this situation twice!
He moved in closer, trapping her legs with his solid thighs.
‘I didn’t blackmail you Granger because I’m curious. I don’t believe the Gryffindor super brain would go on a simple diet.’
‘It doesn’t concern you, you half-witted oaf. I eat plenty. You saw yourself, who cares if it’s not every day. It’s just a phase. So what if I don’t have a small appetite.’
Her stomach rumbled. An unreadable expression crossed his face.
‘You’re a strong woman Granger. I won’t deny that. Stronger that most people I’ve met.’
His lips were almost touching hers. ‘If you can’t be saved, how can I?’
He looked at her intently before letting her wrists slip through his fingers and walked away.
Hermione slid down the tree in confusion.
He’s being a complete and yet…
She couldn’t pinpoint what was going on.
The worst part was that she was still trembling; not from fear or cold but from the memory of his lips.
Harry looked up startled as McGonagal barked at him.
What have I done now? I was actually listening.
He glanced sideway at Seamus who shrugged.
‘See you after class.’ He muttered as Hermione headed for the door.
Once everyone had filed out he walked up to her desk. ‘Professor?’
She sighed heavily. ‘Don’t worry Mr. Potter, you’re not in trouble.’
His shoulders un-tensed. ‘Oh, good.’
‘It’s about miss Granger. No doubt you’ll notice she is slipping in class. This is very unusual for her. I also can’t help but notice she has lost a significant amount of weight.’
He nodded gravely, realising what was going on. ‘I’m worried too Professor. She’s not eating. I think it has to do with her dad. He’s getting better. Ginny and I are sure she’ll start eating again, now that he’s out of hospital.’
The usually stern witch looked at him softly. ‘You and miss Weasley will look after her won’t you?’
‘We already are Professor.’
'Perfection' has been nominated in the Dobby's for 'Most addicting story' !!!
Thanks to anyone who has nominated this story and thank you all so much for the continuing support!
AN/: Took me a long time didn't it? Everyone was asking for a longer chapter so that's my excuse for the delay (plus moving house, very exciting!)
This chapter is twice the usual length so I hope you enjoy!
Chapter Title and Lyrics from the song “Oh Well” by Fiona Apple
What you did to me made me see myself
And though I try to talk sense to myself
But I just won't listen
It's the only way.
People are noticing. It's all getting ridiculous.
I don't look obese anymore. I guess.
Her mind started imagining cakes, chocolate, pies. She felt so empty she'd forgotten what it felt like to be full.
Surely weight gain now was impossible?
The thought of being free, ugh if only to stop obsessing about food.
To wake up and not plan what I'll be eating during the day, to eat a meal without feeling uncomfortable, to not feel weak, for my hair stop falling out.
This has all gotten out of hand; my brain has runaway with me.
I should be thinking about boys.
And yet the idea of any relationships repulsed her.
Hermione sat down with a pen and paper.
What to start with? What foods are there?
Her brain clogging, she tapped her pen irritably.
Lettuce and fruit.
As much as I want to begin with.
Surely I won't gain.
20 crunches every night.
She breathed in deeply.
I'll be free. I'm going to recover.
She stood up.
The decision was made.
It sounded so easy to say in her brain but something wasn't quite working. Somehow she felt reluctant.
If she gave this up she'd be freefalling without her safety net.
Her first meal she decided to take lightly. She ate lettuce with a small slice of fish and a hearty pile of vegetables.
She felt quite full at the end. Ginny and Harry exchanged glances and smiled.
It annoyed her unexplainably.
The next day she felt super hungry.
Pancakes for breakfast, 3 sandwiches for lunch and a plate of casserole for dinner. Before eating she needed to breathe deeply to coerce herself to eat but once the food hit her tastebuds, finishing the meal was no problem.
Surely that's more than most people eat normally in a day.
I can't even tell anymore. My perception is totally fucked.
But that doesn't matter anymore.
I can eat. I'm allowed to eat. I can eat whatever I want.
The next few days continued like this.
She found herself eating more than she usually would, fatty sugary foods she hadn't touched in months except for binges. She avoided the mirror; she ate every night until she felt uncomfortable and sick. She couldn't stop. She didn't care. All the while Harry and Ginny seemed pleased, thinking she was eating normally again.
She even stopped writing her food diary.
She was scared to miss a meal in case she became addicted to starvation again.
She felt great at first, she had more energy, she could concentrate during her lessons and the cramps and dizzy spells ceased. However after 2 weeks of this she felt like she as going to explode, it was a horrible feeling.
When she stood in front of the mirror she could see the fat creeping back on.
She loved the freedom. She hated the feeling of her thighs touching as she walked.
Within another day she felt trapped inside her own body. She wanted to grab a knife and rip it off. It felt like she was wearing an all-too-tight suit.
Glaring at the mirror she was on the verge of grabbing her wand and exploding it angrily into thousands of glass shards.
I've overdone it.
She threw her hands in the air.
I ate food I normally wouldn't, sugary junk. I didn't start small.
I can't give up though.
All it took was a dream to crack her up.
She woke up with scratches all over as if she'd thrashed in her sleep from all the dreams of trying to rid the fat from her bones.
She lay in her four poster, her heart thumping like a drum.
She walked slowly to the bathroom, standing in the shower cubicle; she rested her head against the cool tiles.
'I want to be normal again.' She whispered to no one.
But I want to be perfect.
A whimper tumbled from her mouth.
I have to choose.
Between normal and perfect.
I can't stand between like this.
As she turned on the tap, her ribs began to shake and she slid down the wall, hot water beating down on her. Tears slid down her cheeks and she had to breathe in gulps between sobs.
Logic says get better but something-something is stopping me.
I don't really want it.
Eating normally is just too hard.
I hate this. I hate it all.
I can't stand it any longer. Why can't I be normal? Why can't I see food like everyone else?
I can't continue. Torn between two, being torn in two.
Fuck, fuck, fuck. I hate this.
'Hermione!' Lavender was banging on the door. 'Go use the bloody Prefects bathroom and get your fat arse out of there!'
Hermione's paled, her voice shook.
'Ok, be out in a few minutes.'
She donned a towel and stood before the mirror.
My arms squish down at my sides. I have a roll of fat on my back; my boobs are too big and they make me look even bigger. My stomach is still bulging from dinner.
Do I go to breakfast?
How can I give up something that's become such a big part of my life?
Breakfast smelled so good. Completely torn an hour later, she was surrounded by food.
Slowly she raised the fork to her lips.
I need to get better.
A proud voice drifted to her ears.
'I didn't eat yesterday. I think I've lost.'
Hermione gritted her teeth, glancing at the slim third year brunette in question, one that she saw sitting at the Gryffindor table eating normally every day. Only last night she had double servings of ice cream.
Yet it was the tone of voice that annoyed her.
Why would that girl even want to boast about not eating?
Jealousy stabbed at Hermione.
Why should I be jealous?
I hate this sickness.
And yet I don't want anyone else showing any signs starvation, even if they are pretending, even if I've given up on it.
That girl is so much skinnier than me.
Suddenly Hermione realised what it felt like for quitting smokers to have a cigarette waved and flaunted in front of their face.
The girl’s manner triggered a want to go back to her destructive habits.
She shut her eyes tightly.
I will not give up on fixing this.
I will not let this fucked up jealousy, want or whatever it is, condemn me to more hell.
The fork passed her lips.
'Omigod Cindy, I want to catch anorexia off you!'
The food in Hermione's mouth suddenly tasted bitter.
She felt sick.
She pushed her plate away, facing the girl who had spoken, anger cursing through her.
'Anorexia is not a communal disease. It cannot be caught. It cannot be taught. Get your facts straight.'
The girl looked stunned and hurt. Hermione left the hall. The girls whispered last words ringing through her head;
'Ugh Hermione Granger is a know it all. Don't worry I'll teach it to you.'
Were those girls really admiring of this disorder?
It annoyed her beyond belief, those girls knew nothing. They talked of it as though it was some popular fragrance or common cold...
...Absolutely clueless to the pain it's caused me.
Despite her anger at these girls, tears were pricking at her eyes from the inevitable decision.
I once thought I was utterly in control, I now realise I'm utterly powerless.
She sighed in despair and pulled a little black book from her pocket, it hadn't been opened in weeks.
1 forkful of egg.
For a few weeks she found it hard to starve again, all the eating had given her an appetite and she was prone to binging.
She was becoming more and more frustrated, she'd decided to recover and failed and now she couldn't fast properly.
She was torn yet again.
Just one day if I can fast for one day I'll remember the old addiction.
It was by coincidence that this day came.
She slept in, needed to speak to her runes Professor about an assignment during lunch and got caught up in the library before dinner and lost track of time.
She couldn't help smiling as her legs wobbled weakly on her way up the stairs. Her stomach grumbled. It was a secret pleasure that was for her only.
But part of me still wants recovery.
I should stop before I get too deep again.
She slammed her hand on the Gryffindor common room desk, with a thwap getting funny looks from everyone.
Make up your fucking mind!
'Hermione,' Ginny pushed her way through the crowded common room. She looked livid.
'Where were you?' She whispered angrily.
'Studying.' she replied calmly, wondering why on earth Ginny's voice sounded so accusing.
Ginny threw her hands up in the air. 'You skipped dinner!'
Hermione stared at her. 'So?'
Ginny's face softened. 'So? Hermione what's going on? You only just stopped skipping dinner. You need to start talking to us.'
A chill ran down Hermione's spine at the accusation Ginny was throwing at her.
Can't be found out. Not when I've only just started again. Lie. Hide.
I hate this.
'I haven't been skipping dinner. What are you talking about?'
'Yes you have. You have and it's starting to show.'
'Ginny honestly there is nothing wrong.'
'Of course there is! Please tell me.' Ginny voice had begun to rise.
'I would if there was something to tell!' Hermione felt rage flood through her.
Hermione turned and left. She stormed down the hall.
I'm never eating again.
I can't handle any stressful situation with food inside me. With fat on my bones.
I'm so weak and so irritable.
I can't stand the eating.
I'm ballooning out.
She had kind of thought she'd love people telling her she looked too skinny but it wasn't the same when she knew they were telling lies.
I'm going to lose weight. That's it. No more excuses.
I don't care about recovery.
200 calories max for at least a week.*
That night she sent herself to sleep counting the calories in fruit.
She woke at 5:30, bypassed breakfast and headed to the lake. She wore her swimmers under her clothes. It took her 5 minutes to finally coax herself to take a deep breath and dive in.
The Water was icy.
Cold burns calories.
Once dry she threw on her robes and appreciatively entered the warmth of the castle, she was still shivering.
She sat next to Neville and poured herself a black coffee.
Neville looked at her oddly.
She smiled convincingly. 'I woke up early. I've already eaten.'
Ron sat beside them. He was eating the chocolate from the mysterious gift basket Hermione had given him.
Ginny scoffed as she sat.
'Ron that's gross, chocolate for breakfast? Podgy moron.'
The podgy moron in question glared at his sister.
'I'm a growing boy!'
Neville was looking at the chocolate as if it was giving him the finger.
'Where'd you get that?'
''Ermione.' Ron's hand moved to catch a drip from the melting sweet.
Hermione looked at it half repulsed, half wishful.
Neville glanced at Hermione in shock.
'Oh,' he paused. 'But you didn't give it all to Ron did you?'
Hermione nodded, blowing gently on her steaming coffee.
She stopped, the drink halfway to her lips.
'Hang on. “It all”?'
Neville nodded sheepishly.
Hermione put her cup down.
'You sent the parcels?'
Neville shrugged. 'Yeah. I guess.'
Hermione’s eyes flitted from Neville to Malfoy. 'I thought...?'
Next second, she plastered a smile on her face. 'Thanks Neville. That’s nice and all but why?'
Neville glanced at Ginny who was staring intently. He moved closer so only Hermione could hear.
'Well, you seemed a bit like you've been having trouble eating and well, gaining weight and stuff, er, so I thought maybe if I gave you food that you liked, it might help.'
She laughed softly.
'That's really sweet Neville but I'm ok, really, you don't need to spend any more money on me.'
He shrugged. 'You just look skinny is all.'
'He was right in sending her those packages you know.'
'It's weird. I don't understand girls.'
Harry sighed. 'I just don't understand what's going on.'
Ron stared at the back of their best friend, as they followed her at a distance out of the great hall.
'Why doesn't she want to gain weight when she knows she looks so thin?'
A displaced voice drifted in behind them.
'Maybe she doesn't know.'
Ron raised his eyebrow. 'Hello Luna. What do you mean? It's bloody obvious what's there.'
'Obvious to you.' She said dreamily gazing at the roof. 'But maybe she sees something different.'
'What the bloody hell does that mean?' Ron looked confused, verging on angry. 'She has lost tonnes of weight and won't bloody eat enough to gain it back.'
'Hermione likes to be in control.' Luna noted. 'Hello Harry, Ron seems to be missing the point.'
'What is the point Luna?' Harry asked patiently as she dug through her pockets, although he was anxious to hear the answer.
'Well, she isn't gaining weight is she?'
'And she doesn't seem to realise she looks like a half-starved-Guppledopp?'
'And she's not eating?'
'And she is a perfectionist?'
'Well, maybe it all fits together. Just look at the signs. You've just got to put them together.'
Harry looked at Ron.
'Of course I am,' said Luna staring at Harry wide eyed, almost unfocused.
'Hermione has joined the Cabrinalotus clan without realising they are really-'
'Ron,' Harry cut in. 'You and I need to go to the library, after Charms and Transfiguration.'
Ron looked surprised. 'What? To check if she is a Cabrinalotus-what's-it?'
Harry grabbed his arm. 'Bye Luna.' he dragged the redhead along.
'Right, watch her during Charms. Tell me anything unusual you see about her behaviour of appearance. Luna is right; we need to start putting things together.'
When Harry actually paid attention during Charms, he saw things he hadn't noticed before.
Hermione's nails were broken and tinged blue in colour as she scratched her quill on the page, her eyes kept drooping and it was obvious she wasn't paying proper attention.
She was thin- that was obvious- but she was also wearing two jumpers under her robes and every few minutes she'd wrap her fingers around her wrists, as if to check they were still there.
They wrapped around easily, with room to spare.
When Ron met Harry after the lunch bell Ron looked totally bewildered.
He was holding a tiny clump of frizzy brown hair.
'This was on her robes.'
When they reached the library, it was obvious they needed more practice at researching. Still.
20 minutes later Ron threw another large volume down on the table.
'Well now I know she's definitely not part of the Cabrinalotus clan. Cabrinalotus is a technical term for a Grindylow's little toe.'
Harry threw his hands up in frustration. 'Right, well, she doesn't have Gnome-itis either.'
'Why are we following Luna's advice anyway? She's nuts.'
Ron held up a book entitled; Mental Disorders: Magic or Not.
'Perhaps we should be looking up what's wrong with old Loopy Lovegood instead.'
He threw the book down sighing.
The book flipped open to the centre. There on one side of the open book was a photograph of an almost emaciated looking girl staring into a mirror, a look of disgust etched on her face.
Harry moved closer to read the caption. 'Sufferers will see themselves as “fat” and deny themselves nourishment to become “thinner”, although it is believed there is much more behind the starvation.'
Harry skimmed the page opposite.
'”Hair loss,”' Ron read aloud. '”…Lack of concentration, bruising, grouchiness, refusal to maintain a healthy body weight…” Harry... Do you think...? She can't have...?'
Harry's eyes passed over the page title.
'Anorexia Nervosa... It all fits'
*The average recommended calories for a teenage girl per day is 2000 calories per day. You guessed it. 200 per day is very unhealthy.
I'm also looking for some art to put at the beginning of every chapter so if you're feeling inspired it would be HUGELY appreciated. :)
AN/: Sorry it's taken so long. I've been busy and a bit stressed and my computer has been waging a war against me!
But after a very long wait I bring you an extra long and extra juicy chapter!
Hermione was marching along the corridors not caring where she was going as long as it was far away from Malfoy.
It hadn't been a nice gesture at all, it had been a mocking question.
'It was a Snitch quill Granger! They can only be acquired during malting season. Now fatheR will have to pay extra because it's illegal to harm them! They cost more than your entire schoolbag, probably Weasley's entire house!
'I. Don't. Care.'
'You'll be replacing it.'
Hermione laughed. 'No, I won't.'
'Stop following me!'
'Say sorry you pathetic Mudblood!'
Hermione stopped. 'Turn around.'
They'd somehow stumbled into a small empty room, there were no furnishing and the walls were bare.
'Why should I?'
'Seriously Malfoy, turn around, get out of this room.'
She looked panicked.
Her voice quivered with an edge of terror. 'Malfoy!' she began to push him frantically.
'Don't touch me, Granger.' He blocked the doorway.
Her eyes widened. 'Malfoy, I'm serious, we have to get out of here!'
There was bang and the door swung shut behind them.
'You! You fucking twit!' she shrieked and began to pound her fists against his chest.
'This is all your fault!'
'Chill Granger,' he turned around calmly and pushed on the door.
It didn't budge.
'I told you to turn around but you didn't listen did you?' her voice sounded hysterical.
'Where are we Granger?' Malfoy still sounded calm.
'This is the Hour Room Malfoy. If you'd read Hogwarts a History-'
'Right, the Hour Room?'
'Only opens ever hour!'
'Oh. Right. Bugger.'
'I can't do this,' she began to push at the door. 'I can't be stuck in here with you for an hour. I can't. I can't.'
Malfoy reached into his bag.
'Pasty? To fill the time?'
How can he be so calm?
Anger bubbled in Hermione.
She slapped him hard across the face.
He stood in shock for a few minutes, he slowly put the pasty bag in his bag.
'I can't believe you just did that.'
He moved closer and she pulled out her wand. He pulled out his wand.
They stood there in silence.
'This will get us nowhere Granger. Forty more minutes of this and we'll both be dead.'
Sighing, Malfoy put his wand in his robes.
'You sit in this corner. I'll sit in this one.'
Cautiously they both sat down.
It worked for a few minutes until-
'Why don't you eat Granger?'
'I'm serious. We have a long time for you to explain. It doesn't make sense. I thought you were smarter.'
She glared at him. 'Why are you asking questions?'
He leant in towards her. 'You smell good Granger.' He smirked.
'I don't like this situation Malfoy, any of it. Why can't we just ignore each other? Why can't you just give it up?'
'Why don't you give up the starving?'
'I don't starve!'
'Yes you do.'
'You have no proof.' she retaliated.
Malfoy pounced, dug his hand unto her pocket and pulled out the little black book.'
'Now I do.'
She reached out to snatch it back but he slipped it into his shirt pocket.
'Now can you tell me?'
'I fucking hate you.'
'Come on Granger, it's not like I have your best interests at heart or anything. I'm not going to tell you to stop. In fact, I'm not even going to tell anyone. What reason do I have for that? I won't even blackmail you. So answer my question or I won't give this back.'
'Ugh. That is blackmail. And even if I told you why I starve -which I don't- You'd rip me off. As if I'd tell you anything.'
'Fine. We'll swap.'
'What if I told you I sometimes get sick of being a twat?'
'I'd say you're lying.'
'I do. It's fun as fuck. It's what people expect, it's what I expect. I honestly don't know if I could stop it. Do you really think you are fat?'
'Believe? You have eyes you twat. I can't exactly deny what's there.'
Malfoy gaped at her in the half light.
'You're serious aren't you?'
'You said you wouldn't rip me off!' She folded her arms angrily.
'And I'm holding to it.' Mafoy stared at her. 'How the fuck are you fat?'
'You've seen my thighs. And my arms.'
'You're mad. And that's why you don't eat?'
Hermione fidgeted uncomfortably. 'Shut up.'
'What about exercising?
Malfoy quirked an eyebrow. 'I can tell. Why not exercise AND eat?'
'Exercise alone wouldn't get rid of,' she pinched her belly in disgust. 'This. I'm just a bit more careful with what I eat than most is all.'
'Careful? Right. That's why you've been so spaced out lately isn't it?'
'Why do you care?'
'I don't. I'm just curious. You really are an interesting case.'
Hermione bunched her fists. 'I'm not a case you fucker.'
Malfoy's face lit up. 'That's why you fainted that time after the Prefects meeting! I bet that muffin was all you'd eaten all day.'
'Shut the fuck up! Why did you act like that?'
Hermione began to feel angry. 'Was that kiss a dare too?'
There was a moments silence. She'd said the unspoken. Having it worded seemed to make it all the more real.
Malfoy looked at her thoughtfully.
Hermione's heart skipped a beat.
'Right. Give me back my book.'
He smirked. Hermione felt the muscle in her jaw twitch.
'You're cute. In a sick twisted kind of way. The only positive part of your starving is that your brain doesn't work properly. I'm topping class now that you're a head case. You do things you normally wouldn't. However I think I prefer you when you are eating, you're more fun, better wit, feistier and you actually have boobs.'
'Ugh.' Hermione grabbed at her book angrily.
'I hate you! I hate you! Give it back you insufferable inbred anal groping arse!'
Malfoy leant back as she tried to grab the book out of his hands. He shifted his knees and she landed sprawled on top of him.
'What about that pasty instead?'
Hermione managed to snag his wrist, twisting it around she grabbed hold of the book, he lifted his other hand to get it back. She grabbed that wrist as well, wrenching his hands behind his back.
'You're strong for someone with no meat on their bones.'
Hermione lips tumbled onto his.
Malfoy seemed shocked.
Hermione gripped Malfoy's collar and pulled him closer. Malfoy pushed Hermione onto the cold floor, his lips never leaving hers. Hermione closed her hand around his neck. She didn't want to stop. they were falling deeper into a pit of oblivious bliss.
Hermione could feel the heat radiating off him. He smelt divine and his heart was beating against her chest.
Time stood still, Hermione had no idea how long the kiss lasted, seconds or minutes, it didn't matter. Kisses with Krum or Dean had never been this good.
She snaked her legs around his, pulling and pushing frantically, caught up in the taste of her enemy, she didn't care.
His hands moved to the hem of her shirt, he began to lift it over her head.
The passion seemed to fade instantly.
She tried to push his hands away. Panic rising in her thoughts.
His hands slid up her ribs. 'Oh Merlin,' he broke off, 'You're skin and bones...'
She tried to push the shirt down, he held her, tracing her ribs, staring in confusion.
'What's this doing to you?', he whispered. 'It's scary. You're so...skeletal.'
Hermione glared at him. 'Stop lying you pathetic trollbrain.'
'I'm a what?' All trace of concern was gone.
'You heard me,' she snarled.
In a second their lips were locked again, their hands sliding everywhere.
Hermione couldn't explain what had come over her.
'We have to stop,' she murmured.
She bit his lip and he grabbed her hip roughly.
She rolled on top of him, straddling his waist, his muscles bunching and tensing under her touch. All of a sudden she felt like she needed him, she couldn't get close enough, couldn't kiss hard enough, she was melting against him.
She hated him and his touch was like fire, matching her kiss by kiss, struggling to control themselves, control each other, the hardness of the floor, the coldness of the room was all irrelevant. Last names, status, friendships.
Nothing mattered, it was all extinguished in a cloud of lust as the heat of their bodies merged. She could feel his breath mingling with hers, their breathing in bursts between every kiss.
There was a click and the door popped open.
Stung by shock, Hermione jumped up pulling her shirt back over her head.
'Fuck!' She swore loudly.
Malfoy looked at her for a few seconds, lust still lingering in his eyes. In seconds he shook
his head clear, snarled at her, grabbed his bag, slung it over his shoulder and was gone.
'Oh my god.'
Hermione's heart was beating like a drum.
'Oh my god.'
Not only do I have anorexia, I think I'm insane too.
Hermione slid out of the hour room lest it lock her in again.
Oh my god. What the hell?
I haven't felt attracted to anyone in so long!*
And of all the boys to feel attracted to, it had to be Malfoy.
I just admitted that I'm attracted to Malfoy.
She headed for the Gryffindor common rooms.
what's wrong with me?
Harry and Ron were sitting on the couch talking. She plonked down next to them.
Harry looked up. 'What's up?'
I just made out with Malfoy...again...
'Malfoy was just being a twat.'
'As usual,' Ron opened a bag of gnome shaped cookies. 'Cookie?'
Hermione eyed the biscuit cautiously.
Am I eating today?
She grabbed the packet, her eyes snapping towards the nutritional information, doing a quick calculation in her head, she balked at the calories. One cookie had more calories than she'd eaten in the past two days.
Ron and Harry shared a meaningful glance.
'Come on Hermione, just the one?'
Cookies scare me.
Ron stared at her. 'Why not?'
Hermione scoured her brain , something she'd read in a muggle book once popped into her head.
'I'm not eating wheat anymore.' *
Harry looked upset. 'Or meat. Or fat. Or anything! Hermione, we know what's going on. We did some research and-'
'We want to help.' Ron offered the cookie packet to her again.
Hermione felt a cold sweat creep on her. It was as though someone had poured a bucket of liquid fear on her. Her hearing dimmed and she felt a numb panic.
No one can know. They can't know. If they know they'll try to make me eat. To make me fat.
Her words were shaky and tumbled out of her mouth unsurely. 'There is nothing going on.'
She stood up and turned to go, her hands were shaking.
Harry jumped up and blocked her path.
'Hermione please, Listen to us. We want to help. We know you have;' He swallowed. 'Anorexia.'
The word sounded foreign to Harry's lips. In uttering those five syllables he seemed to confirm all the things that had been tumbling around her head. All of a sudden it all seemed too painfully real.
'I don't know what that its. Let me pass.'
'Hermione,' Ron touched her arm gently. 'We know that you know what it is - honestly, you're not fat. PLEASE let us help.'
Ginny's anger she could handle, she just got angry back but this kindness was painful.
I'm hurting my friends.
'All you have to do is just eat.'
'Argh! It's not that simple. Just please fuck off, there is nothing wrong!'
She shouldered past Harry and left the common room tears swelling in her eyes.
She scrunched up her face top stop the tears as she ran down the hall.
I can't. I can't. Oh god. This can't be happening. They can't know. Just eat.
I want to be better. But I can't. Should I eat today? Get better for their sakes? I can't. I can't get fat. I can't. I can't lose control.
For the second time this year Hermione found herself with an armful of food from the kitchens.
Tears streamed frantically down her face as she sat on the grass in the empty grounds eating a salad sandwich, her brain tumbling with panicked thoughts, regretting and hating herself with every bite.
With the last bite of the food from the kitchens, she gave a great sob and lay on the grass crying.
Why am I like this? What's happened to me? Why can't I go back to being happy and smart? When I could eat and concentrate and have friends.
She could barely imagine what her life had been like without the disorder.
'Hermione?' Harry's voice was soft as he lay down gently next to her.
Hermione tried to stop crying.
I have to be strong.
She wiped her eyes and was halfway through a fake reassuring smile when Harry spoke.
Her smile turned into a sob and she fell into his arms tears raking her body.
Harry wrapped his arms around her and lay his chin on her fluffy brown hair. He didn't try to talk, just rocked her gently. After a while Hermione felt to weak to cry anymore.
'We are worried Hermione. We love you. You're scaring us.'
Hermione looked up into his dazzling green eyes.
I can't hurt my friends.
I can't give up starving.
'I'll get better Harry, I promise. I'll eat. For you and Ron.'
The smile that flooded into Harry's face was full of relief.
'And for yourself Hermione. I hate seeing you like this. I know it's hard but you have us to talk to.'
I hate this disorder.
I can't keep hurting my friends.
Harry squeezed her tightly.
'So you'll start eating again?'
She nodded, wiping her cheeks with the back of her hand.
If my friends think I'm eating it won't hurt them anymore.
I hate anorexia.
I hate that I'm lying to Harry.
Neville looked up startled. 'Hello Luna.'
He pointed to the Daily Prophet in his hands.
'Hear about the lunatic who escaped an asylum in a muggle town close by?'
'Oh,' she looked half interested. 'Really?'
'Yeah, people have been advised to keep their dogs inside.'
Luna turned to him with big eyes. 'Oh, that lunatic. It's probably the Minister for Magic's brother.'
Neville looked surprised. 'Really?'
'They have the same nose.'
Neville stared at the lunatic, comparing it with the picture for 'Minister for Magic signs Goblin Coinage Agreement'
'I, er, can't quite see the resemblance...'
'Do you like rainbows?'
'Pardon?' Luna sat down on the flagstone next to him, the courtyard fountain bubbling away next to them.
'Oh, they are nice I guess. I always forget which order the colours go in.'
'You eyes remind me of rainbows.'
Neville's eyes widened. 'But they are only one colour.'
Luna leant in towards him seriously. 'Not if you look closely, you have little bits of other colours.'
'I never realized.' Luna's face was very close to his. She was examining his eyes intently. A little wisp of blonde fell in front of her eyes.
Neville cleared his throat. 'Yours are, er, just blue.'
'Do you have protection against Bowtruckles Neville? They especially like clawing out the eyes of rainbow eyed people.'
Neville shifted uncomfortably. 'You eyes are pretty too. Do you have protection?'
Luna brightened up. 'Of course! Hang on.' She began rummaging through her bag. She was looking down and Neville studied her intently.
'Got it!' she said happily. She pulled out a necklace of funny shaped pasta and as she looked up, Neville pressed his lips against hers.
Her eyes opened even further in surprise and Neville looked into them as they stared at each other, their lips still connected.
Neville noticed tiny specks of gold among the blue before he closed his eyes.
When they pulled apart Luna blinked a few times as if to check she wasn't dreaming and then lifted the necklace over Neville's head. She twined her fingers with his.
'That was lovely.'
Read it? Review!
*Most boys don't like unhealthily skinny girls and most girls don't like unhealthily skinny boys (unless they really like the persons personality) but it evens out because another effect of starving yourself (along with loss of period for girls) is lack of sex drive. The more you starve the less you want to do anything with anyone.
*I've been getting alot of flames from the comment that used to be here so I've just gotten rid of it completely (it just makes me too depressed when people get spoon fed the lies that the media and advertising dish out.)
All I'll say now is this, on the advice of a very well known chiropractor and a leading nutritionist I stopped eating wheat (mainly gluten) and sugar and I lost alot of (healthy) weight and had more energy by replacing it with fruit and veg. :) In the story Hermione is using it as an excuse but if anyone wants to try it at least its better than starving.
P.S Avacado is yummy and full of good fats!
Chapter title and Song lyrics from the song "Sewn" by "The Feeling"
(Although this chapter was probably just as inspired by the band Camera Obscura this song is more appropriate.)
Cos you got my heart in a headlock
You stopped the blood and made my head soft
And God knows
You've got me sewn
The news of Luna and Neville spread fast, just like anything else at Hogwarts.
Hermione thought it was great.
Her attempts to fool Harry were working, she put crumbs on her plate early and when Harry finally arrived at dinner she’d fake a small bite, swallow and exclaim how yummy it had been and how she just couldn’t wait for him, she’d been so hungry she’d been.
The empty cookie and chip packets in her bag were also leading them on well.
Her clothes size went up again just in case she did lose weight and it was noticeable.
Hermione also developed a new rule.
She was allowed to eat Saturdays, as long as the food didn’t contain carbs or cane sugar, this way any of her binges would be in front of Harry and Ron, where she’d eat loads at lunch and snack in the common room as proof she was eating. The only drawback was that it would take Sunday and Monday to lose back the weight from the binge. It felt like 2 steps forward 1 step back but as long as Harry and Ron were happy it didn’t matter.
At first Hermione was nervous about the Saturday binges but after a while she began to relish it, she could spend the whole week refusing food thinking, I’ll eat that on Saturday, if I can just wait till Saturday. She’d stuff herself till she felt sick and soon enough The Saturday binge crept into Friday night and Sunday binging as well.
By the end of the week she’d be so incredibly hungry that it was easy to fake enjoyment in front of Ron and Harry, every morsel tasted better after 5 days of fasting.
She was starting to feel secure in this rhythm of Monday to Friday at 6m fasting, even though she was a walking zombie at the end of it.
That morning they had charms. Hermione was growing increasingly frustrated; she seemed to be the only person in her class unable to animate her doll.
Even Neville was able to make his china doll dance across the table.
‘Ugh,’ she muttered. Ron stared in disbelief.
Tenderly he grabbed her wrist, his big hands wrapping around them easily.
‘You got to twist it, like this.’
He showed her and within five minutes she’d finally mustered it as her doll shimmied across the oak desk with a gentle tap tap.
Flitwick stared in puzzlement.
As they left charms, Ron was shaking his head. ‘That’s weird Hermione. I dunno how you couldn’t do it.’
Harry glanced at Ron in a silent signal for him to be more tactful. It was a Thursday, the hardest day to fast. Hermione found it difficult to resist eating at lunch but held through with the promise of chips on Saturday.
During potions a messenger arrived at the door. Hermione’s potion had turned a beautiful lilac colour; Snape was tutting because it was in fact supposed to be a disgusting vomit green.
‘Hermione Granger?’ The boy asked Nervously.
Glad to escape Snape’s smirks, the young boy led her to the gargoyle outside Dumbledore’s office.
Her voice was worried when she next spoke. ‘Dumbledore wants to see me?’
The boy nodded, said ‘Cockroach clusters’ and left.
Nervously Hermione climbed the staircases. She felt weak and had to lean on Dumbledore’s door for support as her vision dimmed – she breathed deeply and the dizziness passed.
She knocked gently and heard the headmaster bid her enter.
Dumbledore folded a letter and looked at her over his half moon glasses.
‘Miss Granger. How are you?’ He did not wait for a response. ‘Professor Flitwick came to see me this morning. He said that he was growing concerned that your performance has been lowering of late. He is not the only teacher at Hogwarts to voice such concerns, even Snape mentioned it in passing the other day.’
He paused. Hermione swallowed a lump in her throat.
It’s because I can’t concentrate.
‘I find this very uncharacteristic of you myself Miss Granger. I wonder, is everything alright?’
She nodded; sure her panicked eyes were giving her away.
‘Sleeping well? Studying? Eating well?’ He paused again. Concern lined his eyes. ‘I must confess that I myself have noticed that you do look frail of late Hermione.’
Hermione smiled faintly. ‘I’m fine professor, honestly.’
Dumbledore nodded slowly. ‘Very well. You best get back to class then.’
Hermione turned without a word.
She knew things were getting bad if teachers were noticing. She was well aware of her failing grades. It frustrated her and yet she still couldn’t even face the thought of eating properly.
Hermione was shaking, completely unaware of where she was going. Potions would be over by now.
When she arrived in the hall she glanced up to see what the weather was like.
Her vision dimmed and doubled and the people in the hall swayed as if on a boat.
For a few seconds she felt like she was going to pass out but the feeling soon passed.
Her stomach was grumbling and Hermione closed her eyes, she felt a sick accomplishment at the hunger consuming her midriff.
I need to eat more though, or at least look like I am. But at the same time I binge enough at the moment as it is.
At dinner Ron offered her potatoes.
She smiled. ‘Sure!’ Ron scooped the delicious golden brown-shelled chats onto her plate. He looked smug and pleased. She smiled appreciatively. As soon as he looked away, she brushed them lightly to the floor.
Ginny snorted. Hermione looked up startled.
Hermione raised her eyebrows. ‘Yes?’
Ginny smiled in a sickly sweet manner.
‘I need to discuss something with you after you’ve EATEN.’ She emphasised the last word loudly. Hermione cringed.
‘Sorry Ginny can we talk later? I’m feeling a little ill. I think I’m going to go back to the common room.’
As the left the hall early she smiled at the secret hunger pangs and knowing that Harry and Ron were satisfied. (Unfortunately Ginny wasn’t as easy to please).
She felt a tug on her shirt as she rounded the corner. She spun around wildly.
Malfoy glared at her, his jaws were clenched tightly. He glanced around him for a moment before turning his full attention back on her. His eyes were burning intensely.
‘Don’t think I didn’t see that.’
She blinked in confusion, yanking her arm away.
Malfoy snarled. ‘Don’t feign innocence. You’re not eating? I mean subtly declining, sure, but pretending?’
Hermione couldn’t see what he was getting at. Her pulse was racing now, as it always did when her eating habits were confronted. His fingers shook; she couldn’t comprehend the expression on Malfoy’s face or the slight crease between his delicate brows.
‘What does it matter?’ She growled, her eyes searching his face. Malfoy grabbed her elbow -her skin tickling and warmed where he touched her- and dragged her into an empty classroom nearby. It smelt strongly of dust.
‘Look-’ Malfoy paused looking at her face severely. ‘I’ve just come to the realisation-’ he stopped again, he seemed to be struggling with his words, something she didn’t see often.
‘I mean, if there is no hope for you, there’s no hope for anyone. I’m just saying-’
‘Ugh Malfoy. What’s wrong with you, I thought you didn’t care?’
‘I don’t,’ Malfoy seemed to be shaking in anger. He laughed. ‘That’s ridiculous and impossible. Can’t you just stop?’
Hermione had no idea how to react to this unsure almost confused Malfoy.
Cocky bastard Malfoy she could deal with but this just left her dizzy and disoriented.
‘Just stop?!’ Her anger was rising; she was hungry, grumpy and couldn’t deal with the pureblood twot.
I don’t have to deal with this.
‘Just fuck off Malfoy. I’m sick of this –you.’
She twirled around.
‘Don’t walk away from me Granger!’
She twisted back towards him sharply, tendrils of her hair whipping her face. ‘I’m sick of playing your mind games!’
His jaw clenched again. ‘I’m not- ugh you’re so frustrating.’
Hermione stepped towards him, obviously expecting her fragile psychical presence to be menacing; she leaned in close, her breath mingled with his.
‘I’m frustrating?’ for a moment she thought she saw a thrill of caution as he caught sight of her eyes, he obviously saw her psychical presence as fragile but she was pleased to see he was still aware of he skills with a wand (or perhaps he was aware she was in an unstable mental state).
Malfoy’s jaw muscle twitched, her own jaw tingled and she had to push away a sudden urge to plant her lips along it, neither spoke or moved, their breathing not quit even. His eyes clenched shut in a frustrated manner, their faces still tilting towards each other, inches from each other.
‘Merlin Granger, what have you done to me?’
Confusion creased her brow. ‘Done?’
Malfoy growled and she stepped back, her knees were weak and she leat against the doorframe for support.
Malfoy held himself above her with one hand on the door frame.
Her breath hitched and his fingers moved ever so slightly. She could feel her face flush and her lower lip tremble against her will. She could barely breathe, as though his Pureblood cologne was chloroform instead.
‘Oh god how I hate you.’ She whispered.
Abruptly his hands were in her hair, pulling her forward. Her hands were pressed against this chest; inadvertently she was leaning up on her toes to get closer. Instantly their lips locked, crushing together in a swirl of fury and lust.
Malfoy groaned and pulled away.
‘We can’t do this.’ His hand went through his hair almost nervously, the effect ruffling it up and causing him to become even more appealing. ‘You’re crazy and I’m starting to think I might be too.’
Hermione leant her head against the door pane panting. She glared at him irritably. ‘You say that like it’s my fault!’
He snarled again. ‘Just go eat Granger.’ He turned away and slammed the door shut behind him.
It took all Draco’s self control not to walk back in there and give in.
What’s going on with me?
It was all crashing down on him. Her face, her smell, everything about her was infecting him.
This would all be so much easier if I was this attracted to Pansy.
Without warning the truth of the situation hit him like a brick.
I’m attracted to her.
Oh Merlin. Shit. Fuck.
I’m attracted to that spoiled, all-to-smart brat.
Memories swirled in his head of the way her cheeks flushed after they’d kiss, the way her mouth twitched when she moved and the beautiful swell of her creamy breasts peeking above her sweater before she’d lost weight.
Before she’d lost weight.
The second realisation hit him with more force than the first leaving his confused mind reeling with shock.
I’m not being a typical male; I’m not just interested in her looks –chiefly because she seems so darn intent on ruining them- and if I’m not just interested in her looks-
Some part of me must like her personality.
But I hate her!
I hate her intelligence, her wit, and her passion-
Oh Merlin who am I kidding?
Another part of him knew he enjoyed her company, in a sick twisted way he actually wanted to be near her.
He wanted to unravel the mystery that was her complicated and brilliant mind.
He wanted to touch her, explore her…
He clenched his fists and shook his head as if to clear his mind. ‘Draco you’re fucked…’ he murmured to himself gently.
When he found Blaise in their rooms, he was almost entirely sure he’d gone insane.
Blaise was sitting on his bed staring at his canopy blankly.
‘Girl troubles?’ Draco mumbled as he collapsed backwards onto his own
Blaise blinked. ‘She’s not the problem. I’m the trouble.’ He sat up further, abruptly turning his rich dark eyes towards Draco. ‘I can’t handle this Draco. I can’t do this-this emotion thing. I don’t even think she wants that but I can’t stop myself. I just, it’s so confusing, I want to be near her all the time and then I…. I can’t explain it. This whole… love thing…’ his eyes read Draco’s facial expression. ‘What’s up with you?’
Draco threw his hands above his head in anger. ‘I’m torn between hexing her into oblivion’ his fists clenched. ‘And-and- well you can guess the other things.’ Draco closed his eyes, letting the velvety darkness of his eyelids comfort him.
He felt Blaise’s eyes search his face. ‘Who?’
Draco groaned. ‘I don’t think I can tell you. You’ll laugh – you’ll- I don’t even want to admit that I – well I don’t really like her, I just want to-’
‘Kiss her senseless?’
Draco clenched his jaw and nodded.
He nodded again trying not to imagine the lovely images and simultaneously coming to terms with the fact that he even found them lovely.
Blaise shuffled awkwardly. ‘Right.’
Draco opened his eyes.
‘It won’t work though, she’s a Gryffindor.’
Blaise gestured to himself. ‘No one seems to mind these days.’
‘Oh, for fuck sakes Blaise, she’s not just any Gryffindor. It’s Granger!’
Blaise’s jaw dropped open. ‘Right.’
There was an awkward silence
‘You hate her guts… she hates yours…I can see the complication. Blaise gazed at the door for a moment and then grinned impishly ‘Although I’ve heard enemy sex is great..’
Draco threw a pillow at him.
‘Granger? Draco? I certainly didn’t see that coming. I was convinced you hated her.’
Draco’s shoulders slumped. ‘So was I…’
There was another long silence.
‘Ginny is worried about her you know…’ Blaise murmured.
Malfoy nodded. ‘I know.’
And I fucking hate to admit it but I think some tiny miniscule part of me might be as well.
An:/ I'm a million times sorry for the freakin massive wait!I've been really busy and quite unispired but I hope it's worth the wait and it's certainly longer than usual.
Chapter title and lyrics from the song 'Not about love' by Fiona Apple.
And it doesn't seem fair
That your wicked words should work
In holding me down
it doesn't seem right
She’d gained weight and she knew it.
How could she be so stupid as to think she could be happy eating. He thighs were touching uncomfortably as she walked and her arms squished down at her sides.
However what she missed most of all, what she craved was the control. Without it she felt lost and helpless, like she was drifting along without a purpose.
How could I have been so stupid?
Harry had begun telling her she looked healthy.
That’s just another way of saying I’ve gotten fat…
I can’t believe I’ve fallen for fake happiness.
Now I’m paying the price with my size.
That afternoon she decided she at least needed more exercise. Tying her hair in a knot she drew herself up an exercise timetable. In the end she only left herself a couple of hours time to study.
Sticking to her new timetable was proving tough but only after 2 days she began to feel the old thrill, the feeling of emptiness, and the same nervous energy as before.
Every morning when she got out of bed, the world went dim. After 3 weeks, what used to be occasional faintness was becoming normal. Every time she stood up the world would fade. She was finding sleep impossible, she’d lay in bed until about 2am before drifting into a fitful sleep.
The slightest noise or thump and she would jump awake, her dreams mixing with the noise making her convinced that the dorms were being attacked or that a candle had made the curtains catch on fire or whatever her dream state was imagining.
Hermione found she could sleep no more than 7 hours each night and she found herself more tired than she’d ever felt before. She’d begin to lose consciousness for split seconds as though her brain just shut off, one moment she was holding her books, the next they’d toppled to the floor.
She was relying heavily on caffeine, so much that she was regularly shaking and getting headaches.
The weather was dreary, clouds hovering menacingly for days.
Hermione’s head felt constantly blurry and her heart was beginning to feel dead, Hermione had trouble getting out of bed, there seemed to be a huge pointlessness to life that she couldn’t figure out.
Everyday Hermione found herself starting her day going to breakfast, she had to trudge to class, struggle to stay awake, pretend to eat lunch, struggle through more tedious lessons while her head was in a haze, avoid dinner, rush her homework, exercise and then attempt to sleep.
Her life was lacking anything interesting and nothing interested her. The only thing she had to look forward to was the upcoming trip to Hogsmeade but even that was dampened by the fact that she couldn’t properly enjoy a meal at the Three Broomsticks.
The week dragged by slowly. The only noticeable fact was that she hadn’t bumped into Malfoy since their encounter in the classroom a few weeks ago.
Hermione knew she should feel glad about it although for some unexplainable reason she felt almost… disappointed?
It was almost like he was going out of his way to avoid her. She hadn’t even seen him walk past her in the hall.
His face kept popping up into her mind and she kept replaying each and every one of their kisses. He was even creeping into her dreams and whenever she woke up after dreaming of him, she felt warm and comfortable.
If she heard his voice in the Great Hall, she felt tingles run down her spine.
Every sensation she did not want to feel. It seemed Draco was the only thing that put life back into her, every other moment was dead. Ron and Harry were the only people talking to her; even Ginny was acting cold and distant.
The weather itself was freezing, snow and icicles caressing the castle walls, making Hermione Cold outside as well as inside. She was in the habit of wearing multiple layers; she seemed to be feeling the cold more so than anyone else.
She stood shivering outside her Charms class, scarf wrapped around her neck, a familiar smell wafter to her nose, she shivered and a strange thrill ran through her, When the source of the smell bumped abruptly into her she grasped in pain, the breath was knocked out of her.
Malfoy’s gruff voice growled at her. ‘Watch out Mudblood.’ His tone was as snobbish as ever, his horrible scowl still in place. There was nothing to show the difference save a slight blush tinge in his pale cheeks.
Without another word he shoved past. Moments like these continued throughout the next few weeks, Malfoy seemed to be creating reasons to get angry at her. Each time the same blush tinged his cheeks.
Hermione was becoming more and more depressed. Every morning she could barely get out of bed. The mental and psychical challenges of the day seemed too much. People like Ernie and Hannah were beginning to comment on her weight, some Slytherins making snide comments like ‘Look at you Granger, you weigh nothing, just like you’re worth nothing.’
The only thing she had to look forward to was the next Hogsmeade trip. The days crept by frustratingly slow until Hermione finally found herself standing in four layer outside in the snow, rubbing her hands and stomping her feet waiting for Harry and Ron. Ron showed up first, with a scowl on his face and muttering ‘Peeves’ under his breath. Harry and Seamus arrived hand in hand before they signed off and began walking.
The Three Broomsticks was mostly empty when they arrived. Hermione ordered a Butterbeer along with the others but only drank enough to warm herself up a bit. She was too scared to learn the calorie content.
Her brain felt foggy and she had trouble following the conversation. None of it seemed to matter, she nodded here and there, she was just happy to be out of the castle and enjoying the company. She wasn’t in the mood for conversing.
Her head snapped up every time the door opened but she saw no blonde.
Oh god, why would I want to see him? What’s wrong with me? Why am I even on the lookout?
And yet she couldn’t help but hope she’d spot him.
Her toes still felt frozen.
Seamus’ voice filtered into her head . “Coming Hermione?’ everyone had stood up already without her even noticing. She nodded and stood up, closing her eyes for a brief moment as the usual and familiar head spin rushed through her.
She felt a mad sort if energy pulsing through her. The same almost false energy she’d noticed came from fasting, it made her feel nervous and jittery, where what she really needed was sleep.
Hermione felt herself shaking her fingers and tapping her feet. She was cold, dizzy and empty. The nervous energy came from nowhere and was hard to contain.
She followed the boys mindlessly into the post office, Zonko’s and a place she’d never been into, she didn’t really pay attention until finally she looked up to find herself surrounded by Honeydukes sweets. The boys had ran off to look at the new Furball Fancies, leaving her alone in the isle.
The colourful saturated packets hurt her eyes; she could smell the sweet candy smell. Without thinking she reached out to read the label of a packet of bright boiled sweets. Calculating the numbers in her head she was hit suddenly by an unexplainable panic.
She was surrounded by thousands and thousands of calories, none of which she could eat. She began to shake, the calories were oozing out of the packets and display cases, inviting her body to become fat, the smell caressed and choked her, the calories all around threatened.
Hermione’s heart hitched and she was taken by an uncontrollable urge to get away, far away. Her breathing became panicked, hysteria rising in her throat.
I need to get away!
She span in panic on her heels and bolted out of the shop, knocking a pile of lollies on the floor. She ran, her heart racing like she was being chased, she needed to escape, escape before she lost everything she’d worked for. She was standing in an alley now, panting for breath, her heart struggling in her chest, trying to supply blood to the rest of her body.
The world dimmed again and she swayed, she could feel the snowflakes settling in her hair, how long had it been snowing? Her body racked in cold shivers.
Nausea hit. She swayed again and felt herself falling.
Arms caught her, helped her upright and placed a cloak around her shoulders.
Hermione groaned, vaguely registering blonde hair.
The world dimmed again.
She felt herself being carried, a door opened, it felt warmer now, there was a pause and then she was carried up what felt like stairs. She was struggling to hold onto consciousness. She felt a soft pillow under her cheek and blankets placed over her.
The world dimmed completely.
When Hermione woke, she woke to complete confusion. Malfoy was sitting on a seat next to the bed she was laying in. On the bedside table was a steaming bowl of soup.
Malfoy’s eyes met hers and he assessed her cautiously.
Oh god, where am I?
I can’t believe I freaked out like that.
‘You’re in the Three Broomsticks. Rosmerta lent me a room. You’re eating this soup, Granger; I don’t care what you say. Do you still feel faint?’
Hermione sat up abruptly, her head swaying.
‘I saw it all Granger. What have you come to? You’re not even able to walk into a lolly shop?
‘What next, you faint whenever someone offers you a chip?’ Malfoy’s face was flushed, concern chasing anger in and out of his expression.
Hermione threw the covers off her and went to stand up. In one swift movement Draco barred the door.
‘Eat the fucking soup Granger.’
Hermione clenched her fists and headed towards the door anyway.
I shouldn’t do this…It’s too dangerous.
She leant her arm next to his head and whispered in his ear. ‘Make me.’ Pureblood wafted to her nose and she had to step back again to stop herself doing anything she’d regret – anything she already regretted.
Malfoy’s fingers twitched, his movements seemed to become rigid and controlled.
‘Eat the fucking soup, it’s basically just flavoured water! Ideally I’d force-feed you some steak and chips but I know I’m already pushing my luck. This will at least do you some good. I swear to Merlin Granger, I’ll Imperious you if I have to.’
Hermione made another attempt for the door but Malfoy didn’t budge.
Hermione sat on the bed grumpily. Her head swam again.
I’m not getting out of it this time.
Her chest stung sharply and she gasped in pain. Malfoy scowled and pressed the soup into her hands.
‘I won’t have you die while I’m here. I’ll certainly get the blame.’
Hermione dipped the spoon into the bowel, nerves jabbing her body. He was right though, a simple watercress wouldn’t have too many calories.
Apprehensively she sipped on it, it burnt her tongue and she felt the blood rush to her head.
Oh, god, I can’t believe I passed out. And Malfoy saving me of all people... I don’t understand what he’s playing at.
She dropped the spoon.
‘You didn’t poison this did you?’ She accused suspiciously. Malfoy rolled his eyes, picked up the spoon and took a mouthful. He gestured to the bowel again.
They sat in silence as Hermione finished her soup. She felt guilty but there was no denying she felt better afterwards.
Hermione put the bowel down and made for the door.
‘Where are you going?’ Malfoy demanded.
Hermione clenched her teeth. ‘Back to Hogwarts.’
He laughed. ‘No way,’ he grabbed her arm and led her back to the fire. ‘How am I to know you’ll keep it down?’
Hermione laughed in disbelievingly. ‘You’re joking right?’
The fire crackled in the hearth, there was silence as Malfoy’s raised his eyebrows.
‘Fine!’ Hermione threw her hands in the air and flopped back onto the bed.
They sat tensely for almost two minutes, before Hermione turned to him angrily. ‘Then at least say something.’
Malfoy leant against the fireplace. ‘About what?’
‘I don’t care – anything.’
Malfoy paused and then nodded toward the empty bowel. ‘My mum used to make that soup. Only thing she’d ever cook. Only typically mother-like thing she ever did actually. I mean all you do is throw the watercress in some hot water with some herbs but she was always so proud of it. She said her mother taught it to her and so on. Father would kiss her on the cheek and say it was delicious. I wasn’t allowed to leave the table until it was all finished.’ He grinned. ‘I’d always feed my broccoli to the dogs.’
Hermione stared at him curiously, trying to picture this scene in her head.
‘I think that’s the most humanly thing you’ve ever said.’ Malfoy shuffled awkwardly.
Hermione’s chest seared in pain again and she groaned.
Malfoy’s countenance changed abruptly, a scowl replaced his boyish grin. ‘I’m more human than you, at least I succumb to my most basic human instincts, like eating for example.’
Ugh I had to ruin one of his nice moments didn’t I?
‘Oh for fuck’s sake Malfoy. Why are you so scared for anyone to see you show a bit of affection, a bit of invulnerability?’
‘Why are you so sacred to eat?’
Hermione stood up angrily. ‘Shut up!’
Malfoy strode towards he and whispered menacingly into her ear. ‘Make me.’
They both froze.
Hermione felt her body tremor, every psychical urge seemed to want to touch this boy before her, and yet she was so angry she wanted to shake him.
The shrugged off the coat he’d given her, shoved it in his face and stormed out of the room, down the stairs and out of Three Broomsticks back entrance.
She was halfway down the deserted path to Hogwarts when the sun began to set. This meant all students needed to be back an hour ago. She cursed under her breath and turned sharply right, onto a little known or used shortcut through the forest, which she’d learnt of from the Marauders Map.
The sky was pink and orange against the snow covered hills, the snow crunched under her feet and the snow started to fall in flakes from above. She began to feel cold again.
‘Granger wait!’ she heard footsteps plodding quickly behind her. ‘Slow down for Merlin’s sake!’
Hermione spun around furiously.
‘Take my coat or you’ll freeze.’
‘Why,’ her teeth clenched, ‘do you care?’
‘Granger, you fainted in the snow.’
Hermione didn’t reply, just turned around and continued trudging through the snow. Malfoy grabbed her wrist and spun her around. She rolled her eyes.
He kissed her instead. All in a rush the familiar feelings ran through her, tingles ran down her spine, need rose in her chest. Her body responded without thought, her arms going around his neck and her eyelids fluttering closed. Malfoy pulled her closer, his body warmth chasing away the cold from her limbs Her hands tangled in his hair as snowflakes fell atop her closed lids.
Time seemed to freeze until Malfoy pulled away, pressing the coat into her arms and without a word turned back towards usual path to Hogwarts.
Hermione stood frozen in shock and confusion.
It happened again and I did nothing to stop it.
What’s wrong with me?
Her stomach grumbled loudly, she shook her head and pulled the coat on. The snow still crunched under her feet and a branch broke somewhere nearby.
She turned and headed towards the castle, her stomach still painfully empty and her mind painfully full of confusing thoughts and emotions.
The figure in the forest stood in shock, careful not to make a noise.
Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger kissing?
In broad daylight?
No way had that happened, it made no logical sense, nevertheless, there it was plain to see, totally undeniable and completely unbelievable.
And there would be hell to pay.
Authors note: Sorry for the massive massive massive wait. The next chapter is written and needs only to be typed so the next wait I promise will be shorter!
Hope you enjoy.
I know tomorrow brings
The consequence at hand
But I keep livin' this day like
The next will never come
Chapter title and lyrics from the song "Criminal" by 'Fiona Apple'.
‘Something needs to be done Draco.’
Draco didn’t reply. He knew Blaise was right.
‘She won’t listen. She is beyond hope.’
‘I care about Ginny. She’s worried worried about Granger. You have to do something. You have to talk to her.’
Blaise ran his hands through his hair. Draco was thoughtlessly tapping his wand against the delicately carved wooden poster of his bed.
‘Her friends aren’t doing anything about it. They’re oblivious. I don’t even know her, so I can’t help. Furthermore, she only ever gets angry at Ginny whenever she tries to breach the subject. To be honest Granger can do what the fuck she wants, just not when it upsets Ginny. When Ginny is upset, I’m upset, it all has to do with this love thing…’
Malfoy began scrunching up his pillow in frustration. ‘What am I supposed to do?’ a hidden fervor was creeping into his voice now.
Blaise creased his eyebrows. After a long moment, he took a deep breath.
‘Speak to Weasley and Potter.’
Malfoy blanched, Blaise flinched.
‘They’d slaughter me!’
‘Oh, come on.’ Blaise sounded desperate.
Malfoy put his face in his hands. ‘It’s not my problem.’
Without warning a pillow hit him in the face.
‘You’re a fucking idiot.’ Blaise was shaking his head. ‘You care about her. Please don’t try denying it. I’m surprised no-one else has noticed the way you look at her.’
Malfoy simply stared defiantly. ‘Look I could try but I don’t think I could help even if I wanted to.’
Blaise fell back on the bed.
‘At least try. Think of it as…a dare. You could find a way to make it interesting, maybe even fun.’
Malfoy pummelled his pillow.
‘Things started being confusing and stopped being fun a long time ago.’
Hermione has the coffee shakes again.
She needed Potions to be over already so she could go back to her dormitory during lunch and collapse on her bed.
She was also getting such bad pins and needles it was hard to do anything.
Unsure if it was her imagination or not she could have own she could feel her muscle going into spasms from too much coffee.
Pulling her scarf tighter (she barely took it off nowadays), she gritted her teeth and headed towards potions.
The heck am I going to endure this bloody lesson?
Potions class, already hard enough to deal with was becoming increasingly harder to tolerate. Most teachers, seemingly unsure how to react to this new spaced out, messed up Hermione, were treating her quite gently. They were almost looking for ways for her to keep her marks up.
Snape however, seemed to be enjoying her daily-reduced brain function and was making things increasingly horrible. Every time she made a mistake he’d swoop down on her like a vulture with road kill.
Generally she had Ron and Harry with her (Harry certainly understood the way she felt) but when she reached the darkness of the dungeons they were nowhere to be seen and continued to not show up until Hermione was forced to sit in their usual spots by herself.
Five minutes into the lesson and still, neither of them had shown up. Malfoy, she noted also seemed to be missing.
Hermione hoped the 3 absences weren’t linked.
‘Ingredients down,’ Snape ordered. ‘You’ll be reading this chapter very thoroughly today; the Eruvus potion is quite complex and potentially quite dangerous. You will memories the instructions before you attempt to prepare it tomorrow.
‘Heads down. There will be no talking.’
Hermione sighed in relief, Snape couldn’t badger her for mistakes when she was reading.
Unsure how she’d fallen asleep, she found herself jerking awake as someone sat next to her. She has assumed it was Ron or Harry but when she looked up she was surprised to find Malfoy looking at her.
Malfoy leaned in gently. ‘We need to talk.’ Hermione noticed a trace of sincerity laced in with his mocking tone.
Hermione laughed under her breath.
I refuse to speak to him.
Malfoy leaned back in his chair. ‘You can’t,’ he hissed at her, ‘ignore me Granger.’
Hermione only raised her eyebrows and kept her eyes on her book.
Draco made a strange defeated noise. He was silent for an entire minute. Hermione thought for a beautiful moment he’d given up.
And then she felt a hand on her knee.
Hermione squeaked and pushed his hand off roughly.
A few people around them glanced to see why she’d made a noise.
They all think it’s just because Malfoy’s beside me. How dare he? How dare he?
‘Be quiet Ganger,’ he shot at her. ‘I will not be getting detention because of you.’
He winked and placed his hand back on her bare knee.
She gritted her teeth. ‘I’m still ignoring you Malfoy.’
If you can ignore food, you can ignore this prat…
He smirked. His infamous smirk that made her want to shove his head in a cauldron of Ill Fortune potion.
‘Where are Harry and Ron?’ he asked mockingly. Their names sounded weird coming from his lips.
His hand moved up her stockinged thigh. His was warm in comparison to the dungeon air.
She squirmed uncomfortably, trying to continue reading but he was impossible to ignore.
And worst of all, I’m not utterly repulsed by his hand. The sheer nerve her had to even sit next to me…
Pinching the skin below his knuckles, she trusted his hand off her thigh once more.
‘Ow.’ Malfoy hissed and within seconds stubbornly replaced his delicately fingered hand.
And started kneading.
Ignore him! He’s just trying to get to you.
The door creaked open and her head shot up.
Please be Ron!
She sighed in relief when she saw the unmanaged black hair.
‘Ten points from Gryffindor, Potter,’ she could see the delight in Snape’s face. ‘Just because you are the chosen one gives you no right to show up late to my classes.’
Harry’s face was hard set as he moved towards his usual seat.
‘Get out of my seat Malfoy.’
Malfoy was the image of an angel. ‘Why Potter? There are plenty of other seats.’ He gestured lazily around the room.
‘Then,’ Harry’s voice was ice cold. ‘Why don’t you take on of them?’
The students closest leant in to hear the two nemesis’ whispered argument.
To Hermione’s surprise and judging by Harry’s stunned look, his surprise, Malfoy, without a word; stood, picked up his things and walked to Hermione’s left and proceeded to sit down as though there was nothing unusual in his actions.
Snape looked up a moment later and unable to retaliate to Malfoy, Harry sat down glaring at the smug blonde.
‘Ignore him.’ Hermione advised. ‘He’s up to something, so just ignore him. Why were you late?’
‘Crabbe and Goyle.’ he muttered, his words self-explanatory.
Hermione jumped suddenly. Not in reaction to Harry’s words but because one of Malfoy’s long fingers was drawing swirls on her left thigh.
Harry stopped and looked at her. ‘Are you okay?’ he whispered in a low worried voice. ‘You look strange.’
Oh, no I’m not. I can’t believe Malfoy!
Hermione edged towards Harry and away from Malfoy’s fingers. He seemed hell bent on getting her attention and she was hell bent on ignoring him.
I cannot afford another conversation with Malfoy gone wrong. Gone…touching. Not after Hogsmeade.
Malfoy was drawing letters up her thigh now, slowly moving away from her knee.
Hermione tried to focus on her book.
She shut her eyes willing him to stop.
Hermione felt the colour drain from her face. She knew what he was trying to write. So he’d looked up her symptoms. That was to be expected, he’d known for a while, now he just knew the name.
‘Where’s Ron?’ Anything to distract herself.
‘He’s in the hospital wing,’ Harry was looking at he as though she was about to throw up on his desk. ‘His left ear was touching the floor. Are you sure you’re ok?’ Hermione nodded absently, moving closer towards him/
Ignore him. Ignore him.
And then he stopped abruptly.
Malfoy seemed to realise this tactic was not working.
His hand moved lazily from drawing on her thigh and snaked around her waist and then the same hand swiftly pulled her tight against it’s owner.
She could no longer ignore him.
She spun on him furiously. ‘Will you stop it!’
Snape’s head snapped upwards. ‘Ten points from Gryffindor. Do not yell in my lesson Ganger!’
Blushing profusely, she glanced sideways at Malfoy, who had released her completely. ‘Fine.’ Was all she uttered
She turned back to her book and to her annoyance she could see him in her peripheral. He looked smug.
* * *
When Hermione and Draco reached the courtyard, she swung on him. She’d chosen a nice public place; It was a simple yard with nothing but cobbled stone and a little stone bench next to a pathetic looking wilting pot plant.
Just Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy fighting, nothing unusual and she obviously hoped to keep it that way.
‘fine Malfoy.’ Her face was flushed in the way he couldn’t help but admire. He pushed down his rising desire as she demanded ‘What do you want this time? That you so desperately demanded my attention?’
He breathed in deep. Tendrils of her hair were caressing her cheek and he forced his eyes down to her protruding collarbones.
‘It’s got to stop.’
Recognition fluttered in her face before she threw her hands in the air angrily.
She shrieked shrilly and kicked a nearby bush brutally/.
‘I will NOT have this conversation again.’ She said forcefully.
The sky was clear and there was barely a breeze to tickle the leaves on the trees.
All quite idyllic to what they both knew would come next.
Granger and Malfoy yelling, how uncommon.
Draco closed his eyes tightly. His jaw clenched before he demanded calmly. ‘Listen to reason Granger.’
‘Reason? What need have I of reason? It’s you who have need of…of reason!’
I’m talking to you, lusting after you, hell, I’m trying to help you, of course I need reason!
She pointed a finger at him, a thin finger with chewed fingernails.
‘I don’t have the – the thing you think I do. I don’t have an-an-anorexia.’ She dropped her hand as her voice dropped. ‘You are sorely mistaken.’
If she thinks I’m to believe this, she’s crazy. It’s so obvious she doesn’t believe this herself.
He wanted to grab her to shake her, insert some sense into her already overloaded brain.
‘Don’t’, he said, ‘lie Granger.’
Granger stared at him, sighed and sat down on the little stone bench.
‘You can’t prove--’
Draco intercepted her words quickly. ‘We are past the point of ifs and maybes. I know what’s going on. Potter and Weasley as daft as they are know, your friend Ginny, heck even Blaise knows…’
Granger stared at her lap and Draco encouraged by her silence continued.
‘I’m not here to blackmail you… I mean I don’t really care,’ Draco Malfoy, you filthy liar. ‘But Blaise’s girlfriend does. And so that means he’s upset too… So stop.’ He ended feebly.
Hermione shook her head, her voice crackling. ‘Oh, what a beautiful speech, you dismal worm.’ She rose unsteadily needing to ease herself up gently. ‘Sod off.’ And she turned.
Why won’t that damn woman just listen?
“Glescio.” He said calmly drawing out his wand.
Granger stopped., her feet glued to the floor. She twisted awkwardly, her blouse slipping sideways.
She pulled out her own wand, her screech almost hurting his ears.
‘Well Granger, if you won’t change yourself, I’ll do it for you.’ He flicked his wand smartly.
Granger stared down at herself in shock as the top button of her blouse popped to accommodate her back to average chest. Within seconds she had regained the curves and flesh she’d had when she first arrived at Hogwarts earlier this year.
Merlin she looks so much better like this. I wish this charm was designed to be permanent.
‘Much better,’ he commented. ‘You have a lovely natural body Granger.’
Granger was staring down at herself in complete shock and revulsion. Most of all she looked terrified.
‘No,’ she whispered. ‘I can’t, oh god…’
Oh no, what have I done? She’s really freaking out. Can’t she see that she looked better before all this…starving started?
And then the more Malfoy like part of his brain butted in.
Serves her right for not listenting to me.
And then her expression changed faster than the Daily Prophets opinion.
‘You!’ she raised her wand, ‘did this…’
And then Draco felt his silver blonde hair fall into his eyes and didn’t need to reach up to know what she’d done. She’d cursed him against the use of any hair products for a long time.
‘You little wrench!’ He raised his wand now. ‘My charm was only temporary. You’ve turned me into a complete scruffian!’
Pink sparks flew towards her encircling her head, and then she gasped as her own hair turned bright blonde.
Draco laughed, she looked rather stupid.
Draco’s nose began to grow.
Granger had dreadlocks.
Draco grew hair out of his ears.
Their wands sparked furiously now.
Horns were grown.
Hair grew longer.
Sparks went everywhere and both their wands flew out of their hands. They’d even gained a little crowd, all of whom were guffawing loudly.
They positively glared at each other for a moment and then burst into laughter.
We must look a ridiculous pair.
A dull shout reached their ears, ‘Granger, Malfoy, what’s this?’ McGonagal was upon them and the crowd dispersed knowing the fun was over. ‘You both look like absolute clowns. Ten points from both your houses. I expected better of the both of you. Fix each other immediately.’
Still chuckling Granger waved her wand lazily.
‘You looked better like that,’ she mouthed behind McGonagal’s back.
And as Draco reversed his own silly looking charms from her, he was left only to return her body back to normal. The effects of the charm would have worn off soon anyway.
He did so regretfully and she began to shrink back down to her fragile looking self.
So did you Granger…
P.S Someone tell me how to spell expelliarmus?
I didn't take as long this time. :) Lots of typo's though so please forgive.
I do not struggle
In your web
Because it was my
Aim to get caught
Chapter title and lyrics from the song "The First Taste" by Fiona Apple. She's amazing.
Hermione felt terrible and gluggy, so sick that she felt like she was going to throw up.
Why did I do that? Why, why did I eat all that food, I knew I’d regret it afterwards.
I feel like I’m going to burst.
Why do I do this to myself?
In her brain she knew it was well past the time that she should have tried eating normally, tried to seek some help but she just couldn’t do either.
People were starting to look at her in the hallways, people who knew her offering food at every meal, they were discreet and she had a feeling they simply thought she was ill.
She hoped to Merlin that they didn’t know it was an illness of her own making.
She’d devised more ways to hide it. She wore baggier clothes, she cut her meals up to make them look eaten, she’d talk a lot while people were eating to distract them from her own lack of food consumption. She’d even started to eat meals and disappear to the bathroom afterwards.
I disgust myself.
To her own horror her weight had crept back from the edge, she’d put on a few kg’s as a result of the meals she ate to please her friends.
The most redundant thing of all was that she tried to hide her weight from others, knowing that in their disillusioned state they found her too thin, while she felt herself to be expanding.
Some days she felt too depressed to be able to starve herself but too flat to bring herself to eat.
She was stuck in limbo and was starting to lose control.
It’s as if this whole thing has gone on too long that I can barely find the energy not to eat.
But I’m still terrified of food.
Fasting made her exhausted and when she was exhausted she’d find it hard to resist the food set before her.
On top of that, was the murky cloud around her head of sheer pointlessness.
She tried hard to shake it but to no avail.
She felt distanced from reality, like there was some sort of invisible fog, separating her from everything.
Harry, Ron and Ginny were able to breach it. She’d have moments of clarity that kept her going.
The scariest thing of all was that when she was near Malfoy.
Intolerable Malfoy, stupid git Malfoy, she regained her clarity.
And the look, that damn confusing look he’d given he her when he’d charmed her back to her original weight.
She could hardly describe the pure sticky horror and disgust she’d been bathed in when she’d suddenly swollen back to original weight.
It hadn’t even clicked with her that this particular charm was not permanent.
She’d wanted to tear the fat off her skin, tears Malfoy’s face off, peel the layers off her fat stomach and then cut of Malfoy’s-
And then he gave me that look.
Admiration tinged with desire.
She knew she couldn’t deny she’d seen the same desire flit into his eyes before. There was no denying it anymore. They’d gone to far, breached too many boundaries.
We’ve kissed for Merlin’s sake!
Oh god, oh god.
But never, in all the perplexity and uncertainty had he admired her body before, only let his eyes brush over it with disgust, confusion and annoyance.
However he’d admired her body.
My pre-anorexia body.
And if he hates the way my body is now, what on earth is it that lets that damned lust even cross his mind in the first place?
She shook her head in an attempt to shake out all thoughts of him, which was hard when she swore he kept looking at her from across the Great Hall.
‘You ok Hermione? You look sick.’ Ron’s voice brought her back to her uncomfortable, post-massive-breakfast stomach.
She nodded impassively. Her eyes fleeting up for a moment to catch Malfoy’s. He looked determined and smug.
Don’t look Hermione.
And as she tore her eyes away an involuntary thought seeped into her mind.
Perhaps I should allow myself to get to a healthy weight, not my original, that was far too fat, but perhaps I should give healthy another shot.
And then she saw the girl.
# # #
‘Oh Merlin Draco, stop looking at Granger.’ Draco’s head shot up at Blaise’s words. ‘Did you talk to her? I mean apart from turning each other into walking mutations?’
A shadow crossed Draco’s face. ‘I wasn’t looking at her and yes I tried. I told you, she’s beyond hope.’
Blaise groaned and put down his goblet. ‘I guess you were right then. I should have known, just because you guys snogged-’ Draco made a face. ‘Oh, shut up you did! The point is, I guess your snogging doesn’t mean she’ll listen to you.’
Blaise was silent for a while.
Draco wasn’t happy with his results at trying to get Granger to listen.
I should have tried harder.
Instead of ogling her.
Blaise brought his goblet to his lips and looked at his copy of the Daily Prophet, the escaped madmen was strewn across the front page. ‘By the way, Millicent wanted me to ask you if you wanted to go to Hogsmeade next time round?’
Draco scowled. ‘That’s months away.’ Besides does she really think I’ll fraternize with her after what she did to Hermione.
He put his head in his hands, thinking angrily to himself.
Oh that’s right, how could I be silly? Blaise is the only one who knows I’m capable of feeling.
Everyone one else is still convinced Granger and I hate each other’s guts, probably including her.
Hell, even I can barely swallow it.
Millicent probably thought we’d have a good laugh about her beating up Granger for no good reason.
I’m just sorry I didn’t pummel her for it.
# # #
Hermione envied the way the girl’s arms didn’t squish against her body; there was a definite gap, even when she held her arms loosely at her sides.
She knew the girl. A Hufflepuff in the year below her, she was a do-gooder and an excellent. Hermione had even leant the girl her old Muggle studies notes and she’d bought several S.P.E.W badges.
Hermione had always noticed the girl’s (was her name Sophie?) slender figure but had put it down to genetics. What she saw now made her blood unexplainably boil.
The slender blonde was sitting at breakfast refusing point blank any of the food her friends offered.
Jealousy stabbed at Hermione.
Followed by her own feelings of incompetence.
Does she have an eating disorder?
Why have I never noticed before?
She’s so much thinner than me!
Does she know about my eating problems?
Does she judge me and think I’m too fat to have anorexia?
Which I am!
I was here first!
Hermione scowled as the girls friends waved food tantalizingly before her and she refused with a wave of her hand and a shake of her head.
Hermione could see the want in her eyes, it was obvious she wanted to eat but she refused.
Not even any attempt to hide the fact she’s not eating.
Almost like she’s waving it in front of my face.
Hermione’s own stuffed feeling almost overwhelmed her.
I will beat this girl. I will become skinnier than her. I will show her I have the willpower to go harder than her.
Once Hermione’s competitive nature kicked in there was nothing stopping her.
For the rest of the day she had nothing but water.
Whenever she saw this girl in the halls (it seemed to have suddenly started happening constantly) she’d feel a wrench of annoyance in her guts, like a hand had reached inside her and was trying to take something out again.
This girl has taken my own coping mechanism and claimed it as her own.
And I can’t deal with that.
At lunch and dinner the girl refused every bite, not one single nibble.
That night Hermione barely worked on her charms essay but jogged around the castle as part of Prefect duty.
The next day neither girls ate a thing.
Thoughts of Malfoy were pushed from her mind as she felt the desperate need to rid herself of the kg’s she’d gained.
Her thoughts were on nothing but food and how to avoid it. She was spinning all too fast into the familiar spiral.
This girl was not the cause of her submission to a relapse, Hermione knew that, only the catalyst and it was with a small feeling of triumph when the next day, she saw the skinny Hufflepuff girl tucking into a big breakfast.
She gave in.
I feel empty. I have my self-control back.
Hermione pushed herself through the next day, feeling ill, headachy and faint, while the Hufflepuff ate at every meal.
The cloud was settling around Hermione thicker than ever before.
And when she’d finally given into a light salad, an hour later she ran into the very same Hufflepuff girl she’d been wordlessly challenging.
The girl smiled up at her, holding out her all too skinny wrist, to which was attached a hand.
‘Hermione Granger,’ her tone was warm and friendly. ‘I’m Sophia Orthia, you leant me your old muggle studies notes one year.’
She’s oblivious that I’ve silently been competing with her…
Hermione felt almost annoyed.
‘Anyway I know you started S.P.E.W and I was wondering if you wanted to make a donation to my cause?’
Hermione was slightly taken aback. ‘Yeah?’ She smiled at Sophia but her eyes had been drawn to Sophia’s protruding collarbones. And then in shock Hermione realized what she was doing.
I’m judging her!
Oh, how horrible.
Sophia however didn’t notice. ‘In muggle studies we’ve been studying how their charities are similar to ours. And I decided I’d participate- I mean, you’d know all about them of course- I’m doing the 48-hour famine. Would you like to donate?’
Hermione heart dropped, and she fumbled over her words as she quickly pulled out her coin purse. ‘Of-of course!’
She pressed an entire galleon into Sophia’s hand. ‘Well- well done on sticking to it. I – I couldn’t have done it – I mean- I hope you get a lot of donations.’
Sophia thanked her hugely and left, stopping a group of Ravenclaws on the way to ask for donations.
Hermione are you mad! You’d take any excuse to starve yourself.
Even competing with another girl starving for a good cause, all because you let your stupid jealousy – which shouldn’t even be there- get in the way.
Hermione was positively scolding herself.
Merlin forbid I notice another person with an eating disorder at Hogwarts or we’ll undoubtedly be the death of one another.
# # #
Harry leant over and kissed Seamus on the lips.
The pair were basking lazily in the sun, potions homework strewn forgotten behind them.
‘Is Ron really thinking of asking Parvarti out?’
Harry laughed worriedly. ‘I certainly hope not, although at least Parvarti would be more tolerable than Lavender.’ He stroked Seamus’ hair absentmindedly. ‘I don’t think I could handle it if Ron and Hermione fight again. Once per year is enough for me. Especially in Hermione’s … state…’
Seamus laughed. ‘Hermione might do to Ron what she did to Malfoy the other day. I would have loved to have seen Malfoy with dreadlocks and things sprouting from his face.’
Harry snickered. ‘She told me about that… I’m sure she’d do something terrible to Ron. Forget charms on his face, she’d probably transfigure his-’
Seamus kissed him. ‘Please I don’t want to imagine – that – not when I have you right here.’
Harry smiled and kissed Seamus back, and then he sighed.
The Slytherin Quidditch team were marching down to the Quidditch pitch, most of them scowled at Harry and Seamus “The Golden Gryffindor couple.”, making hissing noises at Harry.
This was all normal; Blaise and Ginny had done nothing to stop the majority of Slytherins hating Harry.
What struck Harry as odd was that instead of glaring or taunting Malfoy, of all people, was simply looking at him thoughtfully, almost like he couldn’t make his mind up about something.
Harry’s insides squirmed uneasily; he shook his head, memories coming back to him of Malfoy staring at the Gryffindor table at breakfast, not just at the Gryffindor table but quite obviously at one Gryffindor in particular. Hermione.
The question was why?
And it certainly couldn’t be anything good.
Harry turned away from the Slytherins and back to Seamus.
‘Is it just me,’ he began slowly, ‘or was Malfoy watching Hermione at breakfast?’
Seamus wriggled into Harry’s lap and lay down. ‘Dunno,’ he murmured, smiling sleepily at Harry. ‘I didn’t pay attention, I was too busy looking at you.'
I'm sorry about the long wait! I did have a wondrous time in my travels, lots of free mango's, lots of knowledge, lots and lots of heat and I even did a cage dive with crocodiles!
I'm hoping this chapter will be worth all that time I made you guys wait.
Slow Like Honey
It's my big secret, Keeping you coming
Slow like honey, Heavy with mood....
....And I pull you to the edge, And stand there waiting
Trying to attain, The end to satisfy the story
Chapter title and lyrics from the song "Slow Like Honey" by the beautiful Fiona Apple.
It was beyond belief.
It was impossible.
It was infuriating and she could not sit back and watch it happen.
He was hers – or would be.
And then with a painful stab, she realized she’d already made one wrong move regarding Granger.
The word filled her with a dark loathing that filled every pore of her body, right down to the nails on her little fingers.
That girl would pay.
Skinny. Attractive. Intelligent.
Completely unbearable, uptight, slag! And that hair?
Her and Draco!
She wanted to hurt the filthy Mudblood, make her pay like never before.
However Draco could not know.
And she needed to find a way so that Granger would regain her old hate of the attractive blonde, surpass it even.
Ever since Hermione could remember, she’d always had iffy feelings regarding food in movies.
When the perfect TV family fought over dinner, she felt like crying, when food was thrown around a cafeteria in some American teen movie, she cringed.
There was the Muppet chef, whose spaghetti waltzed across the table, leaving Hermione feeling uneasy.
And then there was the especially horribly, terrifying moment in a movie called Matilda when a fat boy was forced to eat a massive, terrible, icky, sickly rich, chocolate cake.
Hermione had refused to watch that movie again.
So when Malfoy confronted her in the Great Hall, she felt guilty at the events that proceeded.
She was in a foul mood and had no urge to eat the pancakes before her.
“Granger.” Hermione’s head snapped up, along with Harry, Ginny and Ron’s head.
Ron so fast his neck cracked loudly.
Malfoy was smirking as her friends scowled darkly at him.
What an absolute git, taunting me in front of my friends.
Although, I guess it’s safer in some ways…
‘Granger,’ Malfoy gestured kindly. ‘Why, you’ve hardly touched your plate.’
That’s it, I’ve had enough, I will not let him do this!
Hermione stood abruptly and pushed the plate towards him. ‘Feel free to finish it off.’
In one swift movement she gripped a pancake in her hand. ‘In fact…’ before he could move she’d slammed the pancake hard on his head.
‘Be my guest.’ Triumphantly grabbing the half empty jar of honey she poured it over his head.
Ron, Harry and Ginny were positively guffawing with laughter, along with half the hall.
Malfoy was livid beneath his pancake-d head and his pale face rapidly going as red as raspberry jam.
‘Why you little…’ Spluttering madly he clutched the nearest jug of orange juice and hurled the juice into her face.
Hermione, now dripping in sticky yellow-orange liquid, heard a cry of anger uttered from behind her. She whipped around to see four Gryffindors stand up, all of them equally saturated, one of them already reaching for a handful of cornflakes.
Within seconds the flaky pellets, meant for Malfoy’s blonde noggin, flew past towards a sixth year Ravenclaw. The Gryffindors face fell as the flakes fell down the sixth year’s shirt.
Before teachers had any time to react;
‘FOOOOD FIGHT!’ Colin Creevey was standing on the table, toast in hand.
Although some of the girls and quite a few well preened boys dived under the tables, another group put their arms over there heads, one person even going so far as to conjure a bubble head charm; the majority of the students grabbed whatever food was nearest and began to throw wildly.
Hermione watched in horror, she felt sick in the stomach at the vast amount of food that was about to be wasted and the amount of calories that were about to become airborne.
Before any targets were struck, the edible aeroplanes seemed to freeze midair.
Toast muffins, fruit, all the food was suspended above them. Everyone stared around in confusion.
Dumbledore was standing up at the teacher’s table, wand aloft and to Hermione’s surprise her was chuckling.
Dumbledore still chuckling addressed the hall.
‘Unfortunately a food fight is bound to occur at least once a decade, it seems it is always a temptation to young minds. However I think we will all find this delicious food more useful in our bellies.’
Draco had positively had it up to here with being ticked off because of Granger.
He positively refused to believe she’d publicly humiliated her like that.
He’d been trying to breach the eating issue, the one she’d turned into a taboo topic, and she’d turned him into a walking meal!
So foul was his mood that after snapping at his Arithmancy teacher, he turned an innocent first years nose into pumpkin.
I’ll show her, I’ll get her back.
She won’t even see it coming.
Still seething, he began to plan in his head a way to make Granger wish she’d never ever crossed him...
… The first step of which was to cool off and relax a little so he could perform his vengeance with a clear mind…
Hermione was in a fit of animosity.
I can’t believe he dared make a remark like that in front of my friends!
She was steadily trying to fool them that she was becoming healthier and he comes along smugly and tries to sabotage all her hard work.
Harassing her alone was one thing, but messing with her while her friends watched was another.
A whole different fucking Quidditch pitch!
More of that “You should eat” bullshit again! Simply an excuse to wind me up…
Oh, I’ll get him back; I’ll make him wish he was curled under his covers, being comforted by his mummy.
When classes finished Hermione decided a bath was in order.
A nice hot bubble bath to give her a lucid mind and allow her to contrive an arrangement, to make the damn sod known as Malfoy, feel as insignificant as possible.
She scowled at the mirror, at her hideously overstuffed body before plunging into her intensely bubbled bath.
I think all my hard work to become Prefect has paid off, just for this…
When she was finished, she dressed slowly and to her horror, when she opened the door, her hair still damp and her shirt clinging to her dewy skin, she was faced with no other than the very person she was to a great extent trying to avoid.
‘What are you doing here?’ she demanded acrimoniously, her body language similar to that of a cornered animal.
Malfoy’s pointy face looked shocked for an instant. ‘In point of fact, I was going to take a bath an hour ago but this bathroom was occupied. So I tried again,’ his face was getting angrier and angrier. ‘Not only have you humiliated me today but you took up my precious bath time!’
Oh, the git, oh, the unendurable goyt, oh, I’ll kill him…
‘What you did today-’
Malfoy glowered and thrust past into the marble floored bathroom.
Hermione gasped furiously and swung after him, pointing her finger accusingly.
‘You were going to let slip to the whole Gryffindor table-’
Malfoy threw his hands up. ‘I’M TRYING TO HELP YOU!’ For the first time ever Hermione heard him roar, really roar, a roar full of rough emotion. Gripping his hair in irritation, he kept talking, his voice calming mildly. ‘And you- you throw a goddamn pancake at me-’
Hermione slammed the door in anger, almost tempted to bash her own head against the heavy wooden frame.
‘Don’t you start this shit again!’ She shouted. ‘For all I care you should leave me the hell alone, you pin-dicked, elf kicking prat!’
She was panting heavily, her chest rising and falling rapidly.
Malfoy was puffed up to his full height. ‘Oh yeah Granger, so you can keep starving? Let everyone watch you die?’ His voice was utterly drenched with ferocity. He was shaking all over.
‘SHUT UP!’ Hermione was advancing on him, certain her vexation could grow no larger.
She was wrong.
‘You’re going to pay for humiliating me.’ Draco was progressing toward her, his wrath echoing hers.
She was stamping her feet, making wild gestures with her hands, her damp hair frizzling to the very tips. ‘You- you have no right Malfoy,’
her voice fractured, ‘absolutely no right to even-’
‘-You’re deplorable Ganger, the way you-’
‘- and that stunt you pulled today-’
‘- I don’t even know why they-’
Both voices had risen to deafening shouts, their noses were almost touching, as they cursed and shrieked
‘-I abhor you-’
‘-I can’t even begin-‘
Hermione’s hand rose of it’s own accord; Malfoy reacted before she even got a chance to move, catching it firmly midair, his eyes red hot, his left hand coiling into a fist.
She swore at him loudly, stepping intentionally on his leather clad foot. Malfoy swerved his leg around hers angrily, unbalancing her, his grip burning her skin tightly, she clawing furiously at his shoulder and then with entirely no clue how’d it had happened, they were kissing.
And just as before Hermione felt herself burning up with the sheer energy between them. She felt weak at the knees. She found her arms had wound around his neck and just like before he was pulling her closer.
The heat of her anger had quickly transformed into the heat of their bodies.
All her bewilderment melted as her body sunk lower into her own desires. All the desperation and rage at the situation, everything that had passed so far between them, everything that had happened up until this point, was put forcefully and tenderly into that kiss.
And he seemed to be responding in the same way. She could feel his hand bunched urgently into a fist on her shirt and his long fingers running through and pulling on her long damp hair.
Her hands roamed his back and she pulled him closer, shocked to discover her trembling fingers unbuttoning his shirt.
Caught, completely and unalterably trapped in the moment, she didn’t protest when she felt her shirt being discarded just like his.
Bare skin touching bare skin, Hermione felt as though a current, thrilling beyond belief, was cursing in her veins, like an injection straight to her core.
She felt a pleasant warmth flush her whole body.
Malfoy looked spectacular, his hair was tangled and his skin appeared golden in the candlelight.
The rational part of her brain knew she was acting stupidly, dim-witted and obtuse, she was making a massive mistake, crossing an invisible line; soon she’d open a door she wouldn’t be able to return through.
However she hadn’t listened to that reasonable part of her brain for a long time.
The part of her brain that was allowing her to give in to starvation, was allowing her to give in to lust.
Reason was lost, she’d felt so confused, anxious and depressed for so many weeks and Malfoy, however much she hated him, awoke a fire within her, a fire sputtering and flickering, trying desperately to stay alive, a fire which she secretly wanted to keep aflame.
Their magnificent kiss deepened, their bodies entwining. All she could feel, all she could smell, was him. Her senses were overwhelmed.
Hermione had vanished into the glorious heat and had no urge to claw her way out.
Hey guys, I know my updates are slow but I haven't given up. We're almost there. I can see the end in sight (and I actually know what's going to happen)
Once I complete this little baby I'll go through and edit all the chapters to clean up typo's and anything I thing could be done better.nce I complete this little baby I'll go through and edit all the chapters to clean up typo's and anything I thing could be done better.
Thank you to everyOnce I complete this little baby I'll go through and edit all the chapters to clean up typo's and anything I thing could be done better.one who had stuck with Perfection so far!!!
Chapter title and lyrics from the song "Tymps(the Sick in the Head Song)" By Fiona Apple
Sick In The Head
I knew that to keep in touch
Would do me deep in dutch
Cuz it isnt the rush of remembering
Its just mush
Hermione could have passed out in shock when she woke up.
Against all odds, all natural laws, in fact denying the very order of the world, Hermione was lying amongst a soft pile of sweetly scented towels, she was naked and she had an arm around her.
An arm belonging to a fast asleep and very naked Draco Malfoy.
Holy mother of everything holy!
In a moment of insanity she put her hands over her eyes, almost certain if she wished hard enough the situation would melt away and she’d find herself lying snugly in her bed.
However, when she opened them again, she wasn’t in bed, she was still just as naked and still just as much lying next to Draco Malfoy
I CAN’T believe this.
I can’t believe I’d do that!
Have done that!
I am completely and officially mad.
I absolutely refuse to believe this, of all the things to go and do.
I shagged Malfoy.
And then I did it again. And then again.
And now...oh my...oh my...
I shagged Malfoy.
And I enjoyed it...
Oh shut up Hermione.
Hermione willed her breathing to become more regular. She felt more physically comfortable than she had in a long time. Malfoy’s arm was comfortable and in a strange way it felt kind of safe. She felt like she could just lie there forever.
But that was impossible.
Draco- No, Malfoy, he’s Malfoy...
Stupid hormonal teen body.
That’s all this was, my hormonal teen body and its hormonal teen body ways...
Animal urges. Nothing else. I can’t help that our pheromones attract each other psychically. It has nothing to do with the person...
He’s still asleep, I can slip away. Oh god...
Gently, Hermione tried to lift Malfoy’s arm. He muttered in his sleep, pulled her tighter and to her horror nuzzled the crevice of her neck.
Hermione swore loudly in her head.
This can’t be happening.
This time she moved slowly, extricating herself gently.
She stood, paused to calm herself and then still swearing loudly in her head, began to search for her clothes. Movement caught the corner of her eye and she flicked her head in the same direction, only to discover the big gold gilt mirror projecting her reflection straight back at her.
Her hair was in complete and utter shambles. It looked like an electric current had decided to take up hairdressing.
She had a hickey trying to rake over half of her neck, there were bruises on her hips and upon twisting her body, and she discovered scratches obviously from Draco – Malfoy’s well manicured claws.
Hermione knew the bruises and bangs looked even worse due to her malnutrition tendency to bruise easily. However she hadn’t realised they’d even been rough during the heat of passion.
NOT PASSION, hormones...
To Hermione’s shock, when she gazed at Draco’s sleeping form, she noticed quite a significant amount of scratches and hickeys on him, however his were a lot less noticeable than her own.
No wonder we’re covered in love bites- no, hormonal induced bites, I guess there was a lot of pent up hate and frustration toward each other after all this time.
I just hadn’t counted on pent up sexual tension.
Hermione dressed, making sure to pull her scarf tight around her neck, so as to hide her love-
If Harry and Ron knew...
As Hermione left Malfoy, without a backward glance, and began walking towards the Gryffindor common rooms, even though only a handful of student s were even awake, she felt very self-conscious, as though everyone knew what she’d done.
Oh god, if people found out... I had sex with Draco –MALFOY! His name is Malfoy.
Hermione’s mind was like a room full of children who’d just finished a litre of red cordial each. Complete and utter chaos. Her thoughts kept racing around her head, beating each other up, calling each other names and generally making a ruckus.
Disbelief was the main theme of these thoughts. How had it happened? It was as though she’d been drugged, the night was a blur. A complete hormonal hijacking.
And yet the thought of kissing any other boys repulses me, the thought of kissing Malfoy, as much as I hate to admit it... sends me weak at the knees...
When Hermione entered the common room, she glanced around guiltily for Harry and Ron. She spotted the messy black hair in an instant.
Oh, oh, oh. I’ve just got to act calm, like nothing happened. I have to act just as though I didn’t just shag Malfoy.
She gulped down her fear but as soon as she sat beside them, they looked at her. Harry seemed to spot her nervous eyes flitting around and her tense posture.
‘What’s up?’ he asked straight out.
Ron laughed. ‘Bad test results of course.’ He grinned and nudged her playfully.
Hermione grasped at the lie. ‘Oh it’s terrible! My results for McGonagall’s essay were really bad.’
This much at least wasn’t far from the truth, although she had gotten used to getting less than perfect grades since her eating demons came to settle.
Ron pointed to her neck. ‘What’s that Hermione?’ Ron looked suspicious, or maybe she was just feeling paranoid.
‘Peeves,’ she lied quickly, ‘thought it would be funny to throw textbooks at me.’
The boys, who’d had enough run-ins with Peeves to see this as very plausible, swallowed her story quickly.
Oh Merlin, I can’t believe it.
Hermione muttered something about a late essay and scrambled to her dormitory.
Nothing could have prepared her for breakfast.
This time her nerves had nothing to with food, oh no, that flittering and shaking in her chest, that bug crawling in her guts, that all had to do with him. Sure she’d escaped easily that morning but eventually she’d have to face him or at least glimpse him somewhere in the castle.
Most shocking of all was the exact moment their eyes met upon her entering the dining hall. He seemed to pierce through her very being, his face as impassive and glorious as the rising sun. He read her face and curiosity flit through his eyes.
She didn’t get a sudden guilty, revolted pang like she’d expected, been positive she’d get, in its place she was filled with a barmy urge to waltz straight up to him and do it all again.
I’m raving mad. I knew it. Stupid, stupid...
Unable to handle it any longer, she lowered her gaze, following her feet to her seat.
‘Morning!’ Ron poured her a big glass of orange juice and immediately began shovelling food onto her plate. Hermione was only dimly aware of the clattering of cutlery before he turned back to his own plate to shovel his own food into his mouth.
As usual she smiled brightly pulled the food, oh the revolting calories, toward her and preceded to convincingly feign eating.
If I thought he’d use my eating problems to blackmail me, oh no, he went and got much better material.
She kept her eyes fixed on her toast; she couldn’t stand looking at Malfoy.
On the other hand her toast was looking back at her.
Hermione jumped in astonishment.
Certain not for the first time that day that she’d lost her marbles, she stared. The brown burnt parts of the bread contrasted against the more lightly toasted bread, to form a perfect outline of Malfoy, right down to his pointy nose.
Great, I’m even seeing Malfoy in my toast...
And then the picture began to change, the colours of the cooked bread forming words.
Hermione leant closer.
Meet me tonight. Trophy room.
A message. He sent me a bloody toast message.
Her bushy head snapped up, she caught his eyes. He smirked his usual smirk but it didn’t have the same intolerable quirk.
Hermione tapped her toast with her wand.
Fuck off. Leave me alone. As if I’d risked that. Get fucked.
She saw Malfoy from across the room elevate his eyebrow.
Get fucked? Nice wording. Granger, I don’t know what’s going on. I need to talk to you.
Hermione pushed her toast onto the ground, glaring at Malfoy determinedly as she did so.
No way. I can’t risk even being near him, let alone trying to hold a civilised conversation.
I refuse to have a repeat.
As usual her response became the same. Starve.
To forget about Malfoy and the whole horrible predicament she focused on her intake.
The next few days were lost in a blur of food oriented thoughts, in fact when she tried to think of anything in the past year, she got nothing but a blurry memory, like a photo that’s just out of focus, you know what the image represent but you can’t seem to look closely.
Malfoy tried multiple times to talk to her, he seemed to realise she wasn’t going to meet him anywhere so he took to cornering her but she’d only nip off in a flash. Any notes he tried to send, were ignored, his forever mocking, angry and insulting words just made her angrier still.
Hermione’s luck seemed to be running low, not only did her blackouts, getting more and more frequent, cause her to run into things and drop whatever was in her hands but Peeves seemed to constantly be in her path, she kept finding her potions ingredients had gone stale or off, paintings fell off the wall when she walked past and the Prefects bathroom always seemed to be occupied whenever she wanted to use it.
Of course Hermione just assumed it was a mixture of her deteriorating physical state making her clumsy, her anorexia induced misery and just general bad luck created just to make her life hell.
Still unable to sleep 4 days after the fiasco with Malfoy, Hermione approached Harry and asked to borrow the Invisibility cloak. Harry smiled at her. ‘Midnight library excursions?’ Hermione grinned straight back. ‘Spot on.’
For the next few nights completely unable to sleep, she did just as Harry suspected she would, she crept into the library well after hours, when everyone was in bed. She spent the late hours of the night catching up on her homework and studying all the things she’d gotten behind on.
Despite the fact that she was losing even more sleep than before she felt like she was accomplishing something or at least trying to get her grades back to their original standard.
If I can’t sleep at night I may as well do something useful other than lay in bed frustrated.
However, since her “run-in” with Malfoy she had hardly eaten, focus on study became harder. Her limbs were weak and her brain was ticking as fast as a broken clock.
Hermione was leaving the library on a Thursday night, hidden safely away underneath the cloak, when she spotted a painting that grabbed her attention. The fine painting depicted a girl sitting by the window in an old Victorian style room.
The girl herself was dressed in a simple blue gown, what captured Hermione’s interest however was how finely her wrists were painted. As the girl in the painting moved about Hermione felt a strange thrill at seeing how thin she was.
Bed forgotten Hermione walked further down the chilly corridor until she chanced upon another painting. This time it was a skeletal young man feeding his horse.
Hermione walked and walked, making a mental catalogue in her head.
The painting in the Charms corridor has the skinniest legs...
Every time she found a new picture portraying a thin figure it pulled at a strange urge inside her, making her want to look ever more like these people depicted in oil on canvas.
Hermione felt tired and yet excitedly awake, filled with a fresh wave of obsession, a foreign and yet familiar feeling, a new branch of what she already knew, like creativity without any ideas, motivation without a goal, love without an object. It was a feeling that oozed from her adrenals, spreading through her limbs.
She knew it was related to her eating problems but something about staying up so late and looking at pictures that directly related to her weight obsession, it made her feel exhilarated, all other worries pushed to the back of her mind.
It was only when the sunlight began to trickle in through the windows that Hermione realised she needed to sleep.
After only 3 hours sleep, she dragged herself from her bed, only to face another meal she wasn’t interested in. Harry sat beside her, his arms crossed.
‘You weren’t in the library last night. I checked the map to make sure you hadn’t got caught. You’ve been wondering the halls aimlessly. Aren’t you tired? You look like you haven’t slept for days.’
Hermione shrugged. ‘I just couldn’t sleep is all.’
And I spent the whole night looking at pictures of skinny people.
It hadn’t occurred until then that there was a whole other way to motivate her to lose weight, pictures of people that made her realise just how fat she was.
Ginny almost looked like she was about to have a heart attack when Hermione approached one of her friends and asked to borrow an old muggle magazine.
‘Vogue? That’s a muggle fashion magazine! Earth to Hermione, don’t you want “Magic Frontiers”?’
Hermione didn’t reply just walked to her dormitory and sat on her bed with the hangings pulled closed and fell into a world of skin and bones.
The words in the magazines meant nothing, nor did the clothes.
Hermione was pouring over the models themselves, she was filled with both disgust and wonder. She’d been aware how thin the muggle fashion world had been heading but it had never interested her.
Now she was alarmed at just how thin the models were allowed to get.
She was so electrified by certain images that she pulled out her wand and cut and paste them into her little black book, next to her food entries.
Oh how I want to look like them... most of them have no breasts and none of their thighs touch.
All thoughts of Malfoy were completely taken over by this new wave of food and weight related obsession.
A/N: Sorry for the wait. Things have been hectic! Next update should be sooner, just needs to be typed up.
Chapter title and lyrics from the song "On the Bound" by the beautiful Fiona Apple
I don't know what I'm doing
Don't know should I change my mind
I can't decide, there's too many variations to consider
Nothing I do don't do nothing but bring me more to do It's true, I do imbue my blue unto myself,
I make it bitter
Hermione was finding it increasingly difficult to leave the dorm in the mornings.
Getting out from under her covers was hard enough. She had started waking up with a pressing, heavy feeling atop her chest. She rolled over a few times before preparing herself for the dizzy sickening experience of standing.
What was making her increasingly late for class however was her obsession. Sure, she’d always been a little obsessive (although Harry and Ron would argue she was overly obsessive). She liked neatness and order but even Hermione couldn’t describe this thing taking her over as little.
During her morning shower she had to count all the tiles twice – sometimes three- just to make sure. Every time she came up with the same number but if she didn’t count them, she couldn’t leave the bathroom without a sure feeling that something horrible would happen.
The bed needed to be made perfectly, on many occasions she’d leave her dorm but be filled with the terrible compulsion to go back and make sure it was perfect. She needed to leave her curtain open exactly 3 inches open, if it wasn’t she felt niggling panic take hold of her.
For the past few days she’d tried to ignore it but the panic would get worse and worse until she gave in and double checked that everything was in order.
It didn’t just end at the dormitory, for example the steps on the fourth floor had to be taken 2 at a time, right foot first. Or during lessons, how could she pay attention when the whole lesson she only wanted to get up and straighten the picture of a tree behind the professor.
Dinner was the worst. Fork perfectly aligned with the knife. Coaster neatly placed.
Not a spec on her plate and when she finally put food on her plate, the majority of the meal was spent cutting up and organizing her food, protein in one corner, fats and oils in another carbs furthest away, and then they were to be sorted by colour.
Every now and then she’d lift the empty fork to her lips and pretend to chew. If Harry and Ron were watching particularly hard she’d even put in her mouth and then while appearing to take a sip of water, she’d lift the goblet to her lips and spit the mouthful into it.
Her average food intake consisted of 3. 3 bites of anything every meal, meat, carbs and sugar excluded.
Worst of all she couldn’t cry. All she could do was binge/purge in its place.
I guess this time my cleverness is a curse, I can create elaborate ways to avoid eating and yet I hardly stay awake to finish Arithmancy homework.
She could hardly remember the girl who’d argued, pleaded, to have a time-turner just so she could take extra classes.
I’m ruining my life and I can’t stop. It was a Friday when the two scariest things happened. The day started with her usual obsessive rituals. She met the boys downstairs. Ron sighed when she finally emerged.
“You ready? What takes you so long?’ Hermione just smiled. ‘Sorry…’ and then it occurred to her that perhaps she’d left the window open, she was she’d checked but not 100% sure ‘Hold on a sec.’ Ron sighed heavily while she dashed up the stairs. The window was closed. She dashed back down the stairs.
‘Ok let’s go.’
‘Ugh,’ Ron pushed her jokingly. ‘I see a hair out of place.’
A plastered grin was her only reply.
During Arithmancy Hermione was distracted from ordering her table by the words “results”. Her head snapped up as the Professor handed her her paper. Instantly her heart sank down to her toes.
Oh no. Please tell me this is terrible nightmare. She couldn’t think. She couldn’t breathe. No way. Oh god no way. It was hitting her all at once, like someone had bought a solid metal brick straight into her skull.
This is what I’ve done Oh god, what have I done. I’ve ruined my grades, my perfect grades, for what? I’m not even at my goal weight yet. First I started losing my mind and now I’m losing my grades. Hermione hardly moved when the bell rang.
She slouched through the morning, mind unregistering, feeling heavy and useless.
This is the lowest mark I’ve ever gotten. Even in first year when I was hardly even up to my own waist. How am I going to make this one up?
When she met Harry and Ron in the common room, she could hardly even face them.
They however knew something was wrong straight away. Harry sidled up to her quickly, checking her forehead tenderly.
‘What’s wrong?’ Ron waved his hand in front of her unblinking eyes. She was staring unbelievably into the fire. Ron in an obvious attempt to lighten the mood, patted her hand looking jokingly at Harry. ‘She must have gotten a bad mark.
Hermione thought she was going to be sick. She slid deeper into the couch with a choked sob. Ron gasped in shock. ‘Wait, you did get a bad mark, c’mon Hermione, Harry and I would be thrilled if we got what you consider a bad mark.’
Hermione shook her head. Ron shrugged. ‘Ok so you got an Acceptable. That’s not so-’ She shook her head again.
Ron looked shocked. ‘A Poor?’
All she could do was strangle another sob.
Harry gaped, staring at her as though she’d just announced she was a lesbian death eater with a foot fetish.
‘Troll! You got a Troll?!’ Harry voice was smothered in absolute disbelief. Ron’s eyes almost popped out. ‘No, they got it wrong. Go back and demand a re-marking.’
She sat frozen.
I can’t believe I got a Troll. How it that even possible?
Ron shook his head, ‘Only Crabbe and Goyle get Trolls.’
Harry kicked him in the shins. ‘Not helping Weasley!’ and then he turned to Hermione with a very sober face. ‘Go and ask if you can do extra credit to make it up. This grade can’t be right.’
‘Is this it?’ Harry prized the crumpled up exam out of her clenched hands, her knuckle had gone white. Hermione could hardly nod. Harry flipped the sheet over. ‘Hang on a moment… This isn’t your paper! Mildred Gerro! This isn’t your mark!’
Hermione would have laughed in less serious circumstances. ‘That’s my teachers name Harry, Professor Gerro.’
Ron snatched the results out of Harry’s hands. ‘Idiot!’ Ron read the words seriously. He looked up expectantly holding the parchment up for her to see. ‘Hermione… it says you only completed one side of the questions sheet.
Hermione sat up suddenly. ‘What?’
‘Yeah says here, “Miss Granger failed to answer both sides of the question sheet.” I think you missed a whole chunk of the assignment…’
Hermione snatched the paper off Ron, looking at it for herself.
‘Oh my, you’re right. How could I miss half an assignment? Oh god, I’m so stupid!’
‘Calm down, I’m sure you can fix it, just tell her what happened, I’m sure she’ll extend your time.’
Even still I got a Troll. My first Troll… I was so distracted I missed a whole page of questions without even noticing.
And truth is I was awfully willing to believe I got a Troll. And I guess if something doesn’t change soon, that will become a reality.
‘Oh great, you guys are here!’ Colin Creevey’s shrill voice cut into Hermione’s dire crisis. ‘Harry I wanted to show you a great photo I took of you.’
Harry rolled his eyes at Hermione and Ron while Colin searched in his bag. Ron put his hand on Hermione’s arm. ‘It will be ok, I’m sure Professor Gerro will understand.’
Colin was flipping through his pile of photographs discarding all the ones that weren’t what he was looking for on the table. Hermione who had began thinking of what to say to her Professor, flipped through them absently. Colin had taken a beautiful series of shots of the castle covered in snow and some very tasteful photos of the Whomping Willow.
‘Colin these are really good.’ She commented as she came across a panoramic photo of the lake covered in ice.
All I need to do is explain that I didn’t see the extra questions. I didn’t flip over the page. It’s an honest mistake, oh sure I was distracted obsessing over food but I’m sure people have missed questions a hundred times before.
When she flipped the next picture over she stopped in disgust. There was a photo of a girl emerging from the lake. Hermione wasn’t actually sure if it was a girl, it could just as easily have been a banshee. The creatures ribs were protruding shockingly and its legs looked thin enough to break. Its hair was matted and it had an unhealthy pallor.
‘Ugh, Colin what is that?’ Hermione asked handing him the photo in disgust. Colin looked surprised, giving her a confused look. ‘Hermione, that’s you.’
‘What?’ Hermione snatched the photo back, surely Colin was mistaken. But on second glance, Hermione recognized her bathing suit and then distantly her face.
Oh my god, I didn’t even recognize myself.
As Hermione looked closer, she saw her own bulging stomach, her bloated hideous arms and the gross fall of her legs.
Yuck, that’s definitely me.
Ron took the picture off her. ‘Hermione you look sick in this photo, I could have mistaken you for an Inferi.’
Harry nodded in agreement, looking at Hermione meaningfully. Hermione snatched the photo back. ‘Are you kidding I’m a heffer.’ She grabbed her pack. ‘Excuse me boys, I’m going to go talk to Professor Gerro.’
‘But-’ Harry called, however Hermione had already slammed the trap door shut.
It I’ll be fine. I’ll fix this mistake and go on starving.
But this time there was another voice, her old voice of reason, trying to argue sensibly.
It could have been a Troll. Next time it might be. You’re grades have been dropping; you truly believed they’d finally reached Troll.
And no matter how much you scrutinize that photo now, nothing can change the fact that at first glance you were disgusted, not because you looked fat but because you did look sick.
You looked emaciated.
Something major is wrong; you can’t keep on denying it. You’ll have to face it at some point. Why not now?
Of course her waking voice, the one dictating her, that stupid little voice, the strong unfaltering voice that had gotten her into this mess, would not relinquish its hold so readily.
Something has to change, I can’t go on like this..
Hermione was just about to descend a steep flight of stairs when her heart began to flutter and the familiar darkening vision kicked in. She could feel her knees buckling. She automatically flung out her arm, catching the wall to steady herself.
When the dizzy spell had passed she stood up straight. Her eyes set directly ahead of her.
‘Something has to change.’
She was scared of course she was scared. She’d already tried once and failed. ‘Hell, she’d gotten worse due to her last attempt. What was to stop her failing again?
There was nothing else for it; she needed to turn to the one source she always turned to for answers.
The moment the last class bell rang she dumped her bag and marched straight to the library.
And yet even these hardly provided any answers, sure they told her what she had – although she still refused to say it’s name- they told her what her symptoms should be. When it came to recovery however, all they suggested was to seek medical help.
No way! Was her first reaction.
And then of course she argued to herself that a Professional was the best option.
I’m not sick enough to seek medical help.
Except, if I’m to be honest with myself, I want to keep it secret, and otherwise I’ll never be able to slip back into it without people noticing straight away.
This is exactly why I need to get help.
I’m ashamed… I’m ashamed that I’ve done such a horrible thing to my body. That I’ve hurt myself and my friends by doing something that hasn’t achieved anything but misery.
A few more pounds and I’ll happy, a few more pounds and I’ll get help.
It’s not even that serious really, just a stupid diet. No one cares, not worth wasting someone’s time over.
And then she skimmed over something that made her pause. The overused cliché phrase she’d seen in so many movies.
Admitting you have a problem. She gulped her eyes tearing up for a moment; the library went blurry, shielded by her salty emotions.
I HAVE to do this.
I’ll admit it, if that’s what I need to do.
‘I have,’ she gulped her voice barely more than a hum to herself. ‘I Hermione Granger have-’
‘Hearing voices Granger?’ She could smell him before she could see him. Within seconds her entire body was filled with anger and frustration. She slammed her book shut. ‘Malfoy if you don’t want a nice book shaped imprint on that expensive face of yours I’d leave now.’
Malfoy smirked (or at least attempted his usual smugness). ‘Why else would you be reading a wizards guide to unexplainable illness ailments – what to do when you hear things that aren’t there-’ Hermione simply stared at him and he dropped his smirk.
‘We need to talk Granger; you can’t avoid me for the rest of the year. I need answers.’
She calmly picked up her bag and left.
Oh that twat, I’d almost forgotten his stupid little existence.
How can he remain casual and smug after what happened? And why must he push the issue. Hasn’t he gotten enough kicks already?
Good thing I’m much stronger now.
I’m not playing into his games. I’m remaining focused on fixing my problem.
I won’t let anything he does deter me. No one can break me.
I’ve already broken myself. I’m untouchable.
Next moment she was flat on her backside rubbing her head.
‘Watch it Granger!’ Millicent Bulstrode was scowling viciously at her. Hermione scowled right back. As the sturdy Slytherin bent over to pick up her own sprawled out silver and green bag, she leant toward Hermiones ear whispering maliciously. ‘Draco wanted me to give you this- darling…’
The last word was undeniably a threat. Bulstrode surreptitiously dropped a piece of parchment into her lap, straightened up and marched away gloatingly.
Hermione left in a huddle on the ground carefully unfolded Malfoy’s letter;
I have your mangy cat. Fifth floor.
Chapter title and lyrics from my beautiful boyfriends amazing band "The Hatty Fatners". Seriously google these guys, go to their Myspace. Whenever I pop these guys on I'm inspired to write.
We walk down to the shop every Sunday,
With heavy legs, we stumble forward seeking modern medicine,
and it's no surprise that our eyes deceive us,
so we tell white lies and pretend that we understand.
‘Harry?’ she tumbled over her tongue for a few seconds. ‘Can I borrow the map?’
The two boys glanced at each other. Harry shook his head. ‘You’ve got it.’
‘What?’ Was her memory really getting that bad?
‘You borrowed it a few nights ago, remember?’
She couldn’t. ‘Oh right, yeah. Thanks, I’ll go grab it.’
The boys only shrugged, both with looks she couldn’t quite discern. ‘I’ll leave it on your bed, Harry.’
She did indeed have the map, stowed away neatly under her pillow. As soon as she unfolded it, she discovered that Malfoy wasn’t bluffing.
Right next to the little Mark labelled ‘Draco Malfoy’ was another labelled ‘Crookshanks.’
I can’t believe he stooped so low as to kidnap my goddam cat!
I’m going to curse him into oblivion.
To make matters worse, as she was emerging from the boy’s
dormitory, having laid the map neatly on Harry’s bed, Neville stopped her.
‘Hermione,’ he began nervously. ‘I’ve been asked to find you. Dumbledore wants to see you. Something about, um, er, trolls?’ He mumbled and continued up the stairs.
Oh great. First I’ll turn Malfoy’s ears into carrots and then I’ll face
If Malfoy wants to talk so bad, oh sure we’ll talk.
Hermione had stormed the entire way to the Prefect’s bathroom. She was going to show that prick what for. She was going give him the telling off of his life.
When she arrived her fists were clenched and her heart was pounding in frustration.
This time he’s gone too far.
Hermione stomped into the dimly lit bathroom, the door swinging shut behind her with a loud bang.
‘Right, what do you want Malfoy? What was so important that you had to kidnap my damn cat?’
Malfoy was staring at her with a blank look, his hands lying limply on his thighs.
She could feel herself going red with rage. His silence only frustrated her more. Without hesitating she moved in toward him and shoved him roughly.
‘I’m sick of your fucking games Malfoy!’
She’d already had a rough day and this was just the icing.
‘It’s time to end this stupid, confusing, stupid- whatever it is- once
and for all. It’s already gone farther than it ever should.’
Malfoy’s face a moment ago blank and staring suddenly changed as though a switch had been flicked. Instead he was smirking, which of course meant trouble.
‘The games are only just starting Granger.
‘You-’ Hermione was thrown off. ‘What?’
Malfoy stepped toward her.
‘So you kidnapped my cat for the sake of some stupid game?’
Malfoy laughed. ‘I didn’t catnap your cat Granger, the mangy mutt followed me here. But it was such a good opportunity to rile you up. Worked well, don’t you think?’
So she slapped him. Well across the face, the sound reverberated around the room and when she lowered her hand a red mark was already appearing. And all Malfoy did was smile.
He shoved her roughly backwards and she stumbled on her robe.
And then he was upon her, her back against the bathroom sink.
‘Stupid filthy mudblood.’
Hermione opened her mouth angrily.
What right does he have?
She shook her head in disbelief; she was in this situation YET AGAIN!
She sighed. ‘We know how this situation ends, Malfoy.’ She shoved him away. ‘Give me Crookshanks and lets quite while we’re ahead.’
Malfoy’s eyes became unfocused for a moment and then he was staring at her, his voice was shaky and sounded forced, as though it took the breath out of him to speak.
She stared at him in confusion. ‘What do you-?’ and then the wind was knocked out of her and she was pressed firmly against the wall.
Malfoy’s face was close to her and his voice was angrier than she’d ever heard it before.
‘Filthy slime. I don’t know why I ever bothered with you.’ She felt his wand against her neck.
In complete shock, her instincts kicked in and she drew her wand. ‘Expelliarmus!’
Malfoy’s wand flew across the room. She swished her wand again and
Malfoy flew off her, his hair flying wildly everywhere as he landed on the ground 3 feet away with a thud.
Hermione brushed down her robes, her knees were shaking. The light in the room was throwing an eerie glow on everything. Her shoes clacked on the marble floor as she moved toward the door.
She was about to reach for the handle and then her rage overtook her. She turned to him angrily. ‘How dare you?’ her voice was laced with fervour.
‘First you tell me I have to eat, as though you care or something ridiculous like that and then you catnap Crookshanks, just so you can call me a filthy Mudblood!’ She was verging on hysterics.
Every moment between them all year, poisoning her blood with desire, confusion and hurt and now her should treat her like this!
‘Leave me be Malfoy, I want nothing, NOTHING to do with you. If anything like this happens again, I will do more than merely disarm you.’
Malfoy stood, retrieved his wand, and then turned to her, pain written all over his face.
‘Hermione listen-’ then without pause his tone hardened. ‘Expelliarmus!’
Her wand was wrenched from her hand. A flick of his wand and she heard the lock on the door click.
She turned to it frantically and pushed. The last thing she wanted was to be wandless when Malfoy was in a foul and unpredictable mood.
Before she registered what had happened, her head smashed against the door and her uncertainty turned to fear.
Her knees buckled and she grabbed her head, which was swelling with terrible pain as her knees cracked against the floor.
Throbbing filled her head as her brain buzzed in shock. Malfoy had never outright harmed her before.
Something is wrong.
The blonde standing over her looked beautiful and terrifying.
Something is definitely wrong.
‘Don’t you dare address me you wetch!’
He grabbed her wrist roughly and hauled her to her feet, her light frame leaving the ground easily. She felt weak and suddenly wished she’d eaten more that day, she might have had more energy to hurt him in return.
‘I should have done this earlier.’
He threw her across the room. She hit the marble floor hard. Hermione recoiled in astonishment as she gasped for breath. She could already feel the bruises forming where her thighs and buttocks had smashed against stone.
She scrambled to her feet. Malfoy was coming toward her with his wand raised. Hermione scanned around desperately trying to find her own.
I need to do something. He’s gone mad.
And then Malfoy’s hands twitched and his face seemed to spasm as he threw his wand aside.
His hands were tangled in her hair. She wanted to shrink away but her held her now with such desperation, his fingers digging into her arms, his eyes almost pleading.
And as if to prove something, he kissed her. It was a gentle kiss which contradicted the force with which he held her; there was an angry shout nearby and suddenly Malfoy’s teeth clamped down on her bottom lip hard.
She kicked him in the stomach and stumbled backwards, she held her hand to her bleeding mouth, her words were mere gasps. ‘Malfoy, what’s going on?’
The same pleading look passed over his face and then his eyes became distant and unfocused. His body twitched every time he moved, it jerked back as though two different parts of him were struggling for control.
She stared at him, at his trembling form and suddenly she realised what was wrong.
He’s been Imperiused!
Recklessly she ran forward, with little regard for her safety. Her hands clasped his face. She tried to keep her voice calm.
‘Malfoy.’ His hand reached up and grabbed her wrist in the same hard grip. ‘Malfoy listen to me-’ he wrenched her hands away from his face.
Her voice turned shrill.
‘Draco! Fight it! FIGHT IT!’
He threw her to the ground.
Her mind reeled.
They are going to make him kill me.
‘Hermione!’ This time it was not Draco, the shout came from outside the door. Her heart suddenly rose. It was Harry’s voice.
And then she heard Ron shouting. ‘Hermione, what’s going on, the map says-’ his voice was drowned out by hammering.
Hermione opened her mouth to shout back but at the same moment Malfoy grinned wickedly and kicked her hard in the ribs. All that came out was a winded squeak.
The banging on the door became more frantic.
Malfoy’s fist was raised but his eyes were looking at the spot where his foot had connected only seconds before. His fist was shaking violently.
Hermione sat up, clutching her bruised ribs.
‘Draco,’ she was breathing hard. ‘I know it’s not you doing this, I know you wouldn’t. Fight it Draco.’ Her voice lowered to a mere whisper. ‘Please.’
The pounding at the door had stopped suddenly.
His fist moved back as if to strike and then a strangled roar came from deep in his throat.
‘No I won’t!’
‘Fight it Draco!’
Hermione crunched her eyes shut waiting for the punch. But it never came.
She opened her eyes again. Malfoy was sprinting jerkily toward the towel cupboard. There was a struggle and from behind it he dragged a stunned Millicent Bulstrode.
Malfoy had her by the shirt.
‘HOW DARE YOU?’ He roared.
She shook her head violently. ‘You kissed that Mudblood! I saw you! I had to do something! It’s one thing for Zabini to cahoots with a blood traitor but you Draco and her? I had to make her hate you and she certainly needed to learn a lesson about keeping pureblood company!’
Malfoy’s cheeks were flushed red. For a moment he looked like he was going to pound into her. And then he let her go.
His voice was dripping with malice, quiet yet incredibly threatening.
‘Get out. If you tell a soul we kissed... or if you ever do anything to harm her ever again, I swear Bulstrode, I’ll do far worse than have you expelled. Do you understand?’
Bulstrode nodded, looking like a mouse in the paws of a cat. She threw Hermione a horrible scowl and then disappeared behind a tapestry.
Malfoy closed his eyes in anger for a moment, obviously calming his anger.
His eyes softened when he turned to her.
He strode shakily over and knelt beside her.
‘I’m sorry Gran- Hermione. I’m so sorry.’ His voice broke.
It was obvious what they were both thinking.
He could have hurt her so much more.
‘I tried to fight it- I never wanted to hurt you- I was under the imperious curse-‘
Hermione had never seen him so unsure.
She nodded her head pounding. ‘I know.’
Gently he leant forward and tenderly touched the place where his own foot had collided with her ribs. And then he gently brushed the bruise forming on her cheek.
She looked up at him from behind her lashes. Pain was dancing through her veins, she felt like she was on fire.
‘Granger – Hermione, I need to tell you-’
At that moment the door flew off its hinges. Harry and Ron pelted into
Draco scrambled up and away from Hermione quickly.
Ron had his fists raised. ‘Right where is that filthy Slytherin slime, I’m going to pummel the life out of ‘em!’
‘Weasley, Potter I didn’t!’ Malfoy had his fists raised in defence, glancing at Hermione pleadingly.
Harry crouched beside Hermione.
‘I should still pummel you anyway!’
Hermione cut in. ‘Ron! It wasn’t him. He was under the Imperius curse.’
Harry looked at the bruise on her face, his expression filled with concern.
Harry nodded. ‘So it was all Bulstrode’s doing? We heard her gloating to Pansy about teaching you a lesson and then we checked the map, the three of you were in here. We came as fast as we could Hermione. I’m so sorry... Hermione, we’ve got to get you to Pomfrey. And we have to tell Dumbledore about this.’
Hermione could see the relief wash over Malfoy’s face.
Ron continued to advance on Malfoy anyway. ‘You still hurt her, I bet you enjoyed it.’
Malfoy shook his head. ‘I would never-’
‘Ron shut up! He was under a curse you idiot.’ Hermione turned to
‘Malfoy please, just leave.’ She stared hard at him imploringly.
He stood staring at her, he looked wounded.
She shook her head.
He stood unsure for a few seconds and then turned to Harry. ‘Make sure she gets looked after.’
And then he strode out of the room glancing back at Hermione only once.
Warning: This chapter contains heavy issues including cutting/bulimic scenes so if you think that might be too much skip this chapter.
Chapter title and lyrics from the song "Sullen Girl" by the amazingly talented Fiona Apple.
And there's too
Much going on
But it's calm under
In the blue of my oblivion
The next day as Hermione arrived at Breakfast, Millicent Bulstrode of Slytherin appeared to be missing.
Hermione wrapped her arms in her jacket to keep herself warmer. Glancing up at the Slytherin table she saw straight away that Pansy and her friends were pointing and scowling at her.
She put her head in her hands.
‘Oh no. They’ve expelled her. Oh no.’
Harry poured her a glass of juice. ’Well, they had to really. After what she pulled off.’ He scowled at the Slytherins. ‘And to be honest I’m quite glad.’
‘Anyway, we’ll look after you.’ Ron pated her on the back trying to be sympathetic but more sort of shoving her manly.
Hermione shook her head. ‘This is bad, really bad.’
She felt tears brimming in her eyes. They weren’t just from the ache in her stomach and the one bruise on her thigh that Pomfrey had missed when she patched Hermione up the night before.
I had sex with Malfoy.
Then he hit me.
But it wasn’t him.
And now all of Slytherin is out to get me.
She didn’t really know what to feel. She felt strange about Malfoy. She’d felt his strength, it had been his hands that had reigned down upon her, but it hadn’t been him.
He’d listened to her, he’d fought it and his eyes had told her it was the last thing he’d wanted to do.
And against all odds, she believed him when he’d said he was sorry.
Now his face was the only one at the whole Slytherin table not glaring at her. He wouldn’t even look up from his cereal. It was excruciatingly obvious that he was ignoring her gaze.
Hermione felt like breaking.
Exhaustion. All too much. Too much. Tired. Stressed. Can’t cope. Too much.
Harry and Ron just didn’t understand the complexity of the situation.
I’m feeling too much. I’m feeling for him? No. Everything. Too much.
And it didn’t help that Ron kept trying to put fatty greasy calorific bacon in front of her. She felt sick.
Even the smell was too much.
She felt herself slipping away the moment the bell rang. On the way to her first lesson she experienced at least 6 shoves. She felt tired but tried hard to pay attention. Harry and Ron guarded her in the Hallway but she still got taunts when she went into the girl’s bathroom. The girls were calling her ‘that fat Mudblood’. Harry and Ron insisted they were being ironic, because she was tiny but somehow she couldn’t believe them.
During her second last lesson, potions, a Slytherin “accidently” spilled a highly toxic potion on her arm and she had to rush to the Infirmary. She missed the beginning of Charms because Pomfrey had misplaced her wand, leaving Hermione sitting on the Hospital wing with her arm stinging as though it was on fire, while the old nurse ambled about trying to find it.
Rushing to Charms half an hour late, she tripped and stumbled. Her foot twisted the wrong way under her legs and she flew to the ground.
She sat up tears brimming in her eyes; she’d grazed her knees and her hands. She had gravel in her palms and her foot stung. As she stood, trying her hardest not to cry, her ankle caved in beneath her and she grabbed onto the wall to hold herself up. She turned her head toward the ceiling to keep the tears in.
The stones began to spin, the blood rushed from her head and her vision went dark. She held onto the wall firmly, trying to stay conscious. Right on cue, her stomach rumbled.
After a few seconds the dizziness passed. Hermione knew that she ought to go back to Pomfrey straight away and let her fix up her ankle. But she was already late for Charms and her marks couldn’t suffer anymore. So she limped to Charms, wincing every time her foot touched the ground, pain singing up her leg.
Harry and Ron looked at her questioningly as she entered limping. ‘I tripped.’ She mouthed to them.
When the bell finally rang, Hermione just wanted to go to bed. She seemed able to walk on her foot with only a minimal amount of pain, she assumed she must have only lightly sprained it.
The three of them plonked in front of the fire.
‘You can’t listen to the Slytherins, Hermione.’ Ron said to her seriously. ‘When they call you fat, they are only saying that because you so obviously aren’t.’
Hermione grunted. ‘Right, or they might be saying it because I’m a fat lard.’
Harry looked at her sadly and leant over to pick up her wrist. He wrapped his pinkie and thumb around it.
‘Your wrist looks like it’s going to snap. You are not a tub of lard! How can you not see that? Look Hermione, I don’t think you’re eating properly, I know you said you were-’
Not this again. Oh god, not today.
‘What makes you think that? You’ve seen me. I said I would and I am!’
‘Well yes, but you haven’t gained any weight; we’re just worried that’s all, if you would just talk to us-’
Ron who’d been sitting silently staring into the fire. ‘It’s Malfoy isn’t it?’
No, no, how could Ron know? How?
Keep your voice calm.
‘What are you talking about?’ Her broke, despite her outward calm.
‘Why you didn’t eat today, because of yesterday, because of that pig headed horrible-’
This is all too much.
‘He didn’t do anything Ron! It was that cow. And yes I am feeling rather horrible because of it.’
Ron tactless as ever, frowned. ‘What I don’t get is why she had to Imperius Malfoy, why couldn’t she just beat you up? It’s not like she hasn’t done it before. Or just ask him to do it; I’m sure he would have loved to anyway.’
Harry kicked Ron in the shins, giving him a severe look. He turned back to Hermione.
‘It’s not just today you didn’t eat. I thought, I’d give you time, maybe it would take you a little while but you have hardly let anything past your mouth have you? Even though you promised. You’re skin and bones! We’re so worried.’
Ron nodded. ‘You mean so much to us Hermione, you’re our best friend.’
No, not this. Not again. I know they just want to help, but they can’t, can’t they see that?
She stood up abruptly. ‘I am fine. I’m eating fine. I’m fine. Maybe there is something wrong with you! There is no problem here.’
Harry stood up as well. ‘No, no Hermione you’re not. We are around you all the time. And you’re not. Your way too thin, you have bags under your eyes, you’re hair looks dead, and don’t think I don’t notice you in class with your eyes glazed over. You used to listen intently; you used to be awake and fun. You’re hardly even our friend anymore. Now you’re just a zombie! ‘
‘A zombie? Great, thanks Harry.’
‘That’s not what I meant!’
‘If you were really my friends, you’d leave me alone. It’s my body and I’m treating it fine.’
‘Why won’t you let us help you!?’
‘BECAUSE I DON’T NEED HELP!’
‘CAN’T YOU SEE YOURSELF?’
‘What’s going on?’ Ginny was at the door gazing into the room. Harry and Hermione were staring at each angrily, fists closed and Ron was sitting shocked and worried on the couch gaping at them, apparently quite unsure of what had just happened.
‘She won’t see reason that’s what.’ Harry pointed at her accusingly.
‘He called me a zombie!’
Ginny was silent. Hermione was breathing heavily. Ginny just looked at her sadly.
‘You are Hermione.’
‘AAAAAAAAGGHHHHHHHH!’ She turned away, Harry tried to grab her and she threw him off, ‘Don’t fucking touch me!’
She stormed up the stairs.
Harry stared after her, before glancing at Ginny and Ron.
‘If she doesn’t eat tonight, we’ve really got to do something...’
Hermione threw her curtains shut angrily.
No, no, no, they can’t take this off me; it’s all I’ve got. They don’t really care.
Her head was swimming, trying to sort out her thoughts; instead they melted into each other, like watercolours, creating nothing but foggy mess.
This thing is ruining me, I’m like a drug addict, and I just can’t stop.
And now I’m all confused about Malfoy, it was so obvious he didn’t want to hurt me, it almost makes me think he cares. And why can’t I stop thinking about him?
Her eyes fell on her bedside table. There was a basket sitting there innocently. She picked it up confused; she’d thought Neville had stopped sending her these. She flipped the card over.
She was shocked; it was Malfoy’s curvy handwriting;
Granger, I thought Longbottom had the right idea. I’m so sorry about Millicent. I would never have done that to you. Please enjoy these gifts, even if you only end up staring at them wishfully.
He hadn’t sent her chocolate and sweets, he’d been much more sensible than Neville. Instead he’d sent her antipastos in jars, olives, pickles, sundried tomato, crackers, calorie free bubble gum, cheese that looked so expensive she hardly dared think of its cost. There was a bottle of fancy wine, again expensive looking, a beautiful glass and the freshest looking fruits she’d ever seen.
She could feel the anxiety rising in her like the tide.
What the hell? Why would he bother? This is all too confusing. Everything is too much. Everything feels too stressful. I can’t figure anything out. My life is turning to shit.
I need to calm myself down. I need something nice. I just can’t handle anything.
She closed her eyes, trying to slow her breathing. She counted to ten and opened them again.
Her eyes fell on the, no doubt excellent, bottle of wine. She picked it up slowly, turning it over in her fingers.
Well, why not?
She gathered the basket and a towel and took them into the bathroom. She lit some candles and laid the towel on the ground.
She poured herself a glass of wine. It melted on her tastebuds, not too sweet and not too bitter.
It was without doubt, the finest wine she’d ever tasted.
Malfoy lives like this? I bet he enjoys his food...
She looked through the basket and picked up a packet of Strawberries.
It positively dissolved in her mouth.
The first bite of food after a fast is always better, but this is so....
She finished the strawberries and poured herself another glass of wine.
I wonder if the other things he sent taste as amazing?
She rummaged through the basket. She found the round block of ridiculously fancy cheese and sliced it up on crackers with sundried tomato.
She could hardly believe her taste buds.
Why did he do this? Why buy me such amazing food, knowing I most likely wouldn’t eat any of it.
After a few more glasses of the fine wine, Hermione had sampled everything in the basket. Everything had been unbelievably delicious. She was feeling quite intoxicated.
And was starting to feel guilty.
She picked one of the jars and spun the label. She gawked at the calorie contents.
Oh no, way too many calories.
Malfoy did this on purpose! He just wanted to see me get fat.
All of a sudden everything was too much again.
She stumbled into the shower and turned it up to scalding.
Why did I do that? Oh stupid girl! Seriously thinking you could just enjoy some food? This is your life! Eating and then regretting and then starving until you absolutely must eat and then regretting. Feeling fat. Being tired.
I am a zombie...
So she put her fingers down her throat.
And it all rushed out.
She coughed painfully and slid to the bottom of the shower.
Tears began brimming. And then she began sobbing, until she was howling. She felt like someone had lodged a knife into her heart.
I didn’t do that quickly enough. Why did Malfoy give me food? Why was I an idiot, why did I eat it? Why did I have sex with him? Why won’t my friends just let me starve in peace? I’ve screwed up my life and I can’t piece it back together...
I’ve got to exercise. I’ve got to get out. I need to clear my head.
She stumbled back out of the shower, her wet hair plastered to her face. Already a bit drunk, she drained the last few sips of the wine. She was shaking in a panic.
Everything is too much.
The bottle slipped from her fingers and smashed on the ground. She stared at the glass shards, glittering on the floor.
Just like me. I’m exhausted.
None of my problems are real. I don’t even matter. I’ve become useless...
Hardly even alive anymore...
She started sweeping up the shattered glass on the floor, tears streaming relentlessly down her face.
Her vision was blurred with tears and for a few moments she didn’t even realise she’d cut herself. She’d cleanly sliced her thumb on the broken bottle. Not too deep but enough for deep red beads of blood to trickle down her wrist.
And she just stared.
But if I can bleed, surely I am alive?
She picked up the glass tenderly.
Except it wouldn’t really take much to stop me from being alive...
Shaking in despair, her brain muddled, she took a deep breath and sliced a fine line down her arm.
I’m useless. I’m pathetic. I only ever hurt those around me. I can’t even eat properly.
She watched as her blood burst forth from her skin. She’d done that. It proved she was alive. Instead of feeling pain in her mind she felt pain in her arm. And it felt like for the first time in months, she really was feeling.
And then it was like a furore overtook her.
She cut again, her toes curling in pain, yet she felt accomplished. She’d done something strong, something no one else could do.
She felt blinded, her left arm the only thing registering in her consciousness, blood dripping down it, slicing, carefully until soon she was slashing at it. She began to feel faint. Her arm was covered in red.
I am alive. I can bleed. And yet I am a zombie. I don’t want to be alive.
Her hand hovered over her wrist, the wrist Harry thought looked like it would snap. The glass was so close to her veins.
Everything is too much.
I’m exhausted. No one would care.
And then she caught sight of herself in the mirror. And she was disgusted by what she saw. Fat, lard, giant arms, giant hips.
They’d have to bury me like this. Fat and ugly. The pathetic fat girl who killed herself. I wouldn’t even fit in the casket.
I can’t die fat...
Still sobbing, Hermione wrapped blood stained towel around herself. She slipped into the dormitory and yanked her shorts out of her trunk, not caring that blood was dripping all over her clothes.
She hauled on a singlet, not even bothering with shoes she walked back into the bathroom and slipped the bloody piece of broken glass into her pocket.
And then she ran. She ran down the stairs, past the fat lady, down the staircases, through the halls, past clusters of students who hardly noticed her streak past. She took shortcuts to avoid seeing anyone. She ran out a set of wide oak doors into a courtyard, she flew across the bridge and stopped panting when she reached the lake.
I run now. Until I can’t run any further. And then when I feel like I’ve burned enough calories and fat...
She fingered the glass in her pocket.
I’ll die a skeleton...
‘I’m sorry.’ Hermione whispered into the air and began to run. Her wet hair whipped her face and her tears, streaming down fast blew off into the air.
Within one hundred meters she had a stitch.
Until my body starts to fail...
Her foot hit an uneven piece of earth. Her legs collapsed beneath her and she felt her ankle roll.
She gasped in pain gripping her ankle.
No, not now.
She gritted her teeth and stood again, she stumbled a few feet before her ankle gave way again.
‘No, no,’ her chest was shaking, sobs escaping her mouth, like floodgates had been open. ‘no, no, no, no, no.’
I don’t feel anything and yet I feel everything.
I’m just a zombie.
I’d be better off dead.
She fumbled with her pocket, gripping the glass, ready to finish it. Finish all the pain. But the glass was slick from her blood and it slid through her fingers.
Frantically she searched the ground with her hands trying to find it, it was pitch dark.
She screamed in frustration.
Chapter title and lyrics from the song "Paper Bag" by the inspiring Fiona Apple.
Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love
She shook her head. ‘No, no, no.’
No, not now.
‘Granger is that you? Hang on,’
There was a rustling behind her and a whispered ‘Lumos.’
The light shined straight onto her
‘Oh my god Granger!’ Within
seconds Malfoy’s face loomed before her, kneeling in front of her, horror
written all over his face.
‘What happened- did someone- oh
Merlin- are you ok?’
She shook her head, her sobs
I will not let him see me like this.
Hermione stood up, making sure to
keep her weight on her left leg. Her arm was stinging unbearably. She
discreetly wiped her face.
‘I’ll have you, please Malfoy.’
Her voice croaked as she said his name. ‘To leave me alone.’
She began to walk past him, trying
her hardest not to let a single sob escape from her chest.
I can control this, just enough to get to the lake...
Her ankle folded again, her arms flying
in the air. She shrieked in agony, feeling the pain turning from sprain to
fracture. Malfoy reached out as if automatically, to catch her. Within seconds
his nice clean white shirt was soaked in intense red. He looked down in horror.
‘Granger, your arm-’
‘I know, let me go.’
Malfoy’s blue eyes bore into her.
Hermione tore away from him and
half hopped, half limped a few steps toward the lake.
Malfoy was there to catch her, his
arms balancing her when her ankle gave way again.
‘Granger, you can’t walk. You need
to keep your foot still. Look I’ll go get Pomfrey-‘
‘I said no. Just leave Malfoy!’
Malfoy looked at her in
‘I can’t leave you here- like
this- just tell me what happened- did someone attack you?’
‘No, look I’m fine, just let me...’
she tried to limp away from him again. She felt pains shooting up her ribs.
I’ve got to get rid of him. He can’t see me like this...
‘I’ll take myself to the
infirmary. I don’t want you getting in trouble...’
‘You’re joking right?’
This is wrong, all wrong...
Gingerly she limped forward a few more steps.
‘Granger hold on, stop.’ He rushed forward when she swayed,
wrapping his arms around her, to stop her from falling again.
‘Leave me alone Malfoy! I’m fine.’
He stopped and gripped her shoulders. ‘That’s ridiculous,’
he turned her face to look at him. ‘What happened to your foot? Why are you out
here?’ he paused, his eyes searching hers and then is eyes widened in
‘Granger, you weren’t trying to exercise were you?’
She remained silent, not sure what she was supposed to say
‘And what happened to your arm?’ before she could pull it
away, he’d grabbed it and shone his wand on it.
He gasped and looked up at her.
I’ve got to get rid of
him. I can’t let him take me to the Hospital Wing.
Like lightning she grabbed her wand out of her pocket and
pointed it at his throat. ‘It’s none of your business what I’m doing out here.
I’m fine, no one attacked me. It’s not like you care anyway. Now leave.’
Malfoy brushed her wand aside. ‘I’m not leaving you like
‘I’m serious Malfoy!’
‘No Granger, I don’t care if you turn me into buffalo. I’m
not leaving you. You can’t even walk.’
She threw her hands in the air. The cuts on her arm were
burning. She ignored him and stubbornly continued to limp forward.
He can’t see me like
this. He already thinks I’m pathetic. Why, why did he have to find me like
I want everything to
And here he is...
Malfoy just stood there shocked. ‘Are you mad?’
‘Maybe I am.’ She called behind her.
I am. I’ve gone batty.
I don’t care about anything anymore.
I’m a waste of space.
Everything is too
She heard footsteps behind her, she felt his arms hoist her
up and twirl her around and then his lips were on hers.
And she melted.
For a few blissful moments, time stood still, just him and
her under the full moon.
She forgot about the pain in her body, she forgot about the
pain in her mind. She forgot about food, she forgot about excercise. She forgot
everything but the smell, the feel of him.
And then the moon went behind a raincloud.
No, no. I will not let
you give me any reason to have hope.
I am a lost cause.
Furiously she pushed
‘Am I mad? Are you mad? What on earth is wrong with you!?’
He seemed shocked by his own actions. ‘I just - I just want
‘Help? How is kissing me helping? You just confuse me
Malfoy. This whole situation is wrong, it’s wrong!’
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to- something is happening. We
can’t keep ignoring it. We can’t keep pretending like it’s not happening!’
I don’t want it
Everything is too
Hermione shook her head. ‘No Malfoy. Not now. You don’t
understand, you can’t help, you can’t.’
And then she burst into tears.
‘Leave! Leave!’ She was practically shouting, hysteria
rising inside her.
‘You need help! Look at yourself! ‘
Her stomach rumbled loudly and she gasped, clutching at it.
He stared at her. ‘Good god Granger, when was the last time
‘It doesn’t concern you!’
‘You’re crazy. You’ve got to eat!’
‘Shut up! Shut up! Why the fuck do you care anyway? I’m not
going to die,’
Unless I can help
Then she added. ‘And what’s it to you if I do anyway?’
She was shaking with rage, her voice rising louder and
‘I care Granger, I fucking care. Can’t you see?’ He was
bellowing at her now. ‘I do fucking care and I will not sit back and watch you
kill yourself! I’ve never wanted you dead. And if the rest of those arseholes
can’t see you- their friend- falling and crumbling apart, then screw them!’
‘Oh yeah!’ She jabbed him in the chest. ‘Maybe the reason no
one is noticing is because there is nothing to notice!’
‘Nothing to notice? Nothing to notice! You’ve wasted away;
you can hardly even stand for crying out loud! You need to eat!’
She really was screaming at him now.
‘I DO NOT NEED TO EAT!’
‘You’re sick Granger.’
‘DON’T YOU THINK I KNOW THAT? STOP TRYING TO ACT LIKE YOU
EVEN GIVE A FUCK!’
‘I DO GIVE A DAMN FUCK!’
They both stood there panting angrily.
Hard as she tried to contain them, tears were still dropping
from her eyes.
Too much. Too much. I
want this to end.
Hermione put her face in her hands and shook her head.
Malfoy moved closer, his voice unsteady. ‘Gran- Hermione, I
don’t understand any of this, but the thought of this- thing- eating away at
you... It scares me...I know you won’t listen but... last night... I can hardly
live with myself... Being inside my own body, hurting you, it was killing me.
Then I heard you’re voice, pleading with me, it woke me up, made me overcome
the curse... You’ve woken me up... nothing ever used to matter, and now things matter
– Oh I feel so stupid - when I see you, I feel strange – I hate it- but the
closer I am to you, the more right everything feels, even when we are
He was shaking his head, looking away, fiddling with his
blood stained shirt. ‘Just please let me help you... Seeing you starving
yourself to death, it feels the same as being stuck in my body, unable to stop
myself from striking you. I feel helpless. Everyone around you feels
Too much... too
Head held high, crying like the sky, she started limping
toward the Entrance Hall.
He sounds like he...
No, I refuse to have
If I hope... then I
won’t have the courage to leave...
And I want to leave...
She could hear him catching up to her. ‘You hassle me all
year, taunting me, making bets,
irritating and bothering, meddling in my business, stealing my property!
’ she shrieked. She was getting closer to the stairs every second. ‘Then you
had the nerve to –to – kiss – you say you care, how can I believe that Malfoy?
You’re a sodding liar. We should never have let things get this far.’
Her ankle was straining under the weight. Her whole body
felt like torture, her arm was on fire; her ribs were aching from hunger pains.
She’d reached the steps. She felt raindrops begin to fall on
her. There was no way she could get up them.
Malfoy came up behind her and lifted her up with ease, as
though she were nothing but a feather.
‘I’m glad they did.’ He said not looking at her while her
carried her up the stairs. ‘I regret a lot of things, but I don’t regret making
love to you.’
He put her down gently at the doors. The sound of dinner
chatter drifted from the Great Hall. The rain was sprinkling onto the marble
floor from outside the doors. Malfoy’s hair was dotted in fine raindrops.
‘Making love?’ She croaked. ‘We had sex Malfoy.’
Steel blue eyes gazed at her, unsure and scared. ‘You may
have had sex Granger...’
‘What is that supposed to-’ she took an unsure step
Footsteps sounded from behind them. ‘Hermione!’
Hearing Harry’s voice, Hermione spun around. Her foot
slipped on the wet marble, she heard a faint crack from her foot and then she felt
herself falling. Malfoy caught her.
‘You didn’t even come
to dinner! Hermione, we can’t let you keep doing this-’ And then Harry’s eyes went from Malfoy
supporting Hermione, to the blood covering both their shirts.
‘What’s going on?’
Too much... Too
Ron rushed out of the Hall next. ‘Did you find her Harry?’
And then he too caught sight of blood. He howled like a wounded wolf.
‘What did you do Malfoy!? What have you done to her?’ Ron’s fists were curled dangerously.
‘Stop!’ Hermione screamed. ‘He didn’t do anything!’
‘Then why are you bleeding?’
‘You weren’t at dinner-’
‘What happened Malfoy?’
Malfoy looked like a deer caught in the headlights. ‘I don’t
know, I found her like this, I think she was trying to exercise-’
Harry looked exasperated. ‘Exercising? Are you demented
Ron cut her off.
‘He’s lying Harry-’
There were more footsteps and Ginny began to descend the
grand staircase. Her voice was like fire, pointing at Hermione.
‘You can’t lie any longer Hermione!’
Ginny looked mad. She hardly even regarded Harry, Ron or
Malfoy’s blood soaked shirt.
No, no, no, no.
Her chest felt tight with panic. She could feel it filling
with uncomfortable pressure.
Ginny descended angrily. ‘You haven’t eaten anything have
you? Oh but wait, you did eat dinner, right before you vomited it all up again!
Parvarti found it in your bathroom! And
all those chip packets you’d have us think you were eating? In the bin! ’
Ron’s fists were still clenched. ‘Malfoy did something to
her,’ he grunted, nodding toward them.
‘Oh,’ Ginny’s voice was manic. ‘Didn’t you tell them
Hermione? Too busy starving yourself to death?’
‘Tell us what?’ Ron asked looking between Ginny and
Too much... Too
much... All too much... I don’t want to be here... I don’t want to be alive...
If Malfoy hadn’t come along...
Harry cut Ginny off before she could talk again. ‘We love
you Hermione, you’ve got, GOT to let us help. You’ve got to get better, or else
‘Tell us what?!’ Ron demanded.
Too much... too
Hermione felt her heart rate rising rapidly. She felt panic
swirling through her insides. She tried to back away, stumbling on her ruined
foot, the blood on her arm was dripping onto the rain streaked floor, mingling
together and running out the door.
Ginny looked sadly at Hermione. ‘Why won’t you let us help
‘I can’t,’ Hermione’s voice was faint. She shook her head
stumbling backward. ‘I can’t, I can’t, I can’t...’
‘WHY HERMIONE?’ Ginny shouted.
‘TELL US WHAT GINNY?’ Ron insisted angrily.
‘No.’ Hermione whispered looking pleadingly at Ginny.
Her breathing was becoming heavier and heavier. Her chest
hurt. She was straining to breathe.
Malfoy moved toward Hermione, visibly intent on helping her
The world was starting to shake. She couldn’t get enough air
in. Her left arm felt numb. Pain was spreading to her shoulders.
I must have lost
Ginny pointed at them accusingly. ‘Didn’t she tell you she
was fucking Malfoy?’
There was a moment shocked silence. Ginny’s words hovering
in the air like a bad smell.
And then the hall exploded.
Ron rushed at Malfoy, fists flying.
‘Why didn’t you tell us?’
‘How dare you Malfoy?’
‘If you ever fucking touch her again-’
‘Ron you idiot!’
‘Great Weasley, look what you’ve done!’
‘You scum, you filthy scum-’
‘STOP IT!’ She screamed. ‘STOP IT! STOP IT ALL OF YOU! JUST
LEAVE ME ALONE!’
But none of them heard her, they were too busy yelling at
each other about her.
Hermione closed her eyes. She heard them shouting but it
washed over her.
Everything is too
I can’t handle it...
She heard scuffling. She heard shouting over the top of
shouting. She heard voices running together.
Her chest was searing painfully, she felt like she was
trying to breath underwater. She began to drop to the ground, trying her
hardest to support herself. Her whole world was filled with pain. She felt like
the centre of her chest was swelling uncontrollably. She was gasping,
Too much...Too much...
‘My heart hurts.’ She whispered quietly.
Her world blurred. And then it went out.
Draco knew something was wrong when he saw Potter’s head
turn. Malfoy’s heart dropped as he followed Potter’s eyes. Everything moved as
in slow motion. Hermione was collapsing, gasping for air, her hand clutching at
her chest and then she fell completely, her head cracking against the ground.
‘HERMIONE!’ he screamed, rushing toward her. He felt as
though his heart was being ripped out.
He’d seen a collapse like this before. A long time ago, his
grandmother had collapsed the very same way when.... she had had a heart
attack... But Hermione was so young ...
It couldn’t be...
The world stopped.
It was impossible...
This story is almost at a close. I'm so proud to finally be finishing. And then I'll be going back to the begining and re-vamping it, editing and re-editing and then eventually I hope to convert it to a non HP piece.
Authors Note: I'm sorry this took so long. Our computer broke and we've only just retrieved the stuff from it, including this; the last chapter of Perfection before I write the Epilogue.
It's been a long journey, 4 years! When I set out to write this, I was scared of the reception it would get, I would never have dreamt it would end up 30 Chapters long and thats not includng the Prologue and Epilogue.
It was only at the end of last year that I really felt I was in a good enough place to be abe to write this chapter properly, so I picked up my pen and did... and then the computer crashed... But now it's here
I only have the Epilogue to write and then that's it. Finis! Although I will be going through and editing the story, especially the first half, it was written SO long ago and my writing style has refined alot since then.
I'm so proud of this little baby. I want to give all of you readers a HUGE THANK YOU, without you and your support I would never have had the inspiration and determination to continue, you've all given me so many kind words over the whole story!
So without further ado, here we go - HAPPY READING!
The Child Is Gone - Fiona Apple
From the roots of my soul come a gentle coercion
And I ran my hand over a strange inversion
As the darkness turns into the dawn
The child is gone
The world hangs in a cloud. Thoughts swirl and tangle like leaves blowing in the wind. I open my eyes to white. Nothing but white. It hurts my eyes so I close them again. I slip back into darkness...
A small girl plays with her dolls; her father comes into the room with a ham sandwich. She smiles up at him, takes it and politely thanks him. There is a shout from the kitchen. Her father pats her on the head comfortingly and leaves the room. There is a smash from the kitchen. The little girl walks out, taking a bite of the sandwich as she enters. There is ham on the kitchen tiles, smashed plates and cups. It looks as though everything on the bench has been swept onto the floor. Her parents are shouting. The little girl begins to cry. The fridge door opens as if by magic and the contents begin throwing themselves on the floor. Tomatoes, pickles, bread, all launching themselves at the ground. Her parents turn around, shocked beyond belief and rush toward her. The little girl looks at the carnage in the kitchen and drops her sandwich, sobbing.
White, nothing but white. I’m groggy, like someone has stuffed my head with cotton balls. I can feel something attached to my stomach. Gingerly I move my fingers and feel for it. It feels like a tube. I open my eyes a little more. The Hospital Wing? No, it’s too white. My eyes, stinging, not wanting to be open, look down at my stomach. It’s a tube.
Horror takes me. Why is there a tube in my stomach? It appears to be filled with thick honey coloured fluid. Am I dreaming? I follow the tubes progress, it snakes up my arm, attached with surgical tape, around my wrist until it drapes up to a big bag filled with the same fluid, hanging from a thin metal pole. Something clicks in my brain. And I panic.
Food, fat, drip, weight. Feeding tube. I tear it out frantically. No, no, no. They will not, they cannot. I try to sit up. Who knows how long it’s been pumping fat inside me? Who knows what damage it has done? My head spins drastically. I swing my feet over the side of the bed. I try to stand up, but I fall. I yelp, my hands splaying in front of me to catch me. Someone is rushing toward me. I try to swat them away. They cannot put that
back in me. I struggle, I cry, I try to push them away. And then one of them pulls out a needle. I feel a sting in my arm. And then everything fades once more...
The little girl hugs her doll tightly. She knows they are talking about her in soft voices in the room next door. She did something wrong. They are whispering about it. They say no one can find out. They say there is something strange going on. The little girl knows it has something to do with the fridge. With the food... They say something odd is going on with her. They had to throw away all the food in the garbage. Her belly rumbles. But she doesn’t want to eat, because it might happen again... She doesn’t want them fighting. She knows it’s all because of her. If she is a good little girl, they might stop...
A basket. It started with a basket. I can’t seem to grasp the details. Wine? Yes, there was wine... And pain, in my ankle. In my arm... Everything was... unbearable... Blond hair... blue eyes...Malfoy... Malfoy saying... No... He couldn’t... The entrance hall... Anger... They were accusing me of... Ginny... Ginny! She told them! And then... And then what?
‘Eat your dinner Hermione, the starving kids in Africa would do anything for a meal like that.’
It was her fault wasn’t it? She was eating food that they could be eating... They were starving because of her...
Hips expanding, skin blemishing, buds on her chest, hair in places – it shouldn’t be… Emotions that simply can’t be controlled, angry for no reason, sadness for none as well. Getting taller, getting wider, hungry always, so hungry…
Her stomach ached, oh it ached, and her back ached, no it seared. Her whole midriff was on fire. Why did it hurt so much? Her period had never hurt this much. It was unbearable, she felt like... She was dying. Surely she was dying. It hurt so much she wished she WAS dying! And then she couldn’t handle the pain any longer and she fell off her chair, in front of the whole class, and passed out.
I wake to white once more. For a moment adrenaline rushes through me. The Death Eaters must have me! But then I remember that the war is over. I have no idea where I am.
‘Where am I?’ I manage to choke out, my voice is raspy. There is no reply. ‘Hello?’ I rasp again.
I hear voices not too far away. They say something like. ‘She’s awake.’ There are footsteps and I open my eyes. Everything is unfocused. ‘Where am I?’
I see the blurry outline of a blonde haired woman. When she speaks, she has a beautiful calm voice.
'You’re safe. You’re at St. Mungo’s in the Janus Thickey ward. We weren’t actually sure where to put you.’
It barely registers. St. Mungo’s? So I’m in hospital. The Janus Thickey ward? That’s where they put Lockhart isn’t it? But that doesn’t make sense.
‘What- what happened – why can’t I remember anything?’
‘You had a heart attack. Temporary memory loss and confusion is a side effect of the potion you’ve been given.’
I can hardly believe my ears. I had a heart attack?
The Halloween feast has been brought up to the Gryffindor Dormitory. Her heart is still racing. She lied to a teacher. She lied to all of them. She lied! Straight to their faces! They knocked out a troll! And now, now they were talking to her... There was so much food. What must the feast have been like? Her new friends are stuffing their faces. She should eat slowly. Don’t want to make them think she is a pig...
They moved me from the Janus Thickey Ward the next day. They started me off slowly, yoghurt, strawberries. And they had a muggle drink called “Ensure” and if I didn’t eat properly, they’d threaten me with it. It was full of everything designed to make us put on weight.
When I say us, I’m talking about the other underweight patients. I’d been put in a ward designed to help severely emaciated patients gain back some fat and muscle before being moved to different wards for various procedures.
But they were underweight for different reasons. They hadn’t
to lose weight. One patient had gotten himself lost in the Sahara desert looking for rare potion ingredients, one man had a worm like creature in his stomach that had eaten almost everything he’d put in his mouth for weeks, another had some sort of magical malady and she looked like a twig.
At first I could hardly believe I’d been put in here with patients so ridiculously skinny. But these same skinny patients looked at me sadly with “tsks tsks”. And “You poor thing, they’ll fatten you up.”
They didn’t know why I was in here... That I’d gotten this way from sheer determination... I don’t think they would have been able to comprehend anyway...
I guess that was my first step to recovery. The day I looked at the charts attached to the end of their beds. I weighed at least 5 kilograms less than most of them...
How could it be that when I looked at my fellow patients, I saw grossly bony, withered bodies, thighs that looked like sticks and ribs that poked out- and they frightened me- and when I looked at myself I saw fat?
I mean I guess part of me saw that I wasn’t obese or anything but it was like I honed in on everything wrong with me. My arms were still too flabby, my stomach not concave enough...
But to everyone else, I was skinnier than the man lost in the desert for a month...
How had my perception become to warped? Smart, sharp witted, clever Hermione, couldn’t even see the truth in front of her...
When they first described to me, the treatment I would be receiving, when I heard they needed to fatten me up... I was scared... I thought I would fight back at first. I thought I’d stop them at any cost to make me put on weight. I thought I’d kick and scream to stop them ruining the good work I had done. Or that I would meekly comply until they let me go and then when I was released I would be free to go back to my old habits, undo the damage they would have done, just lose it all again.
I thought there was no way I would comply.
Tell them I was fine, there was nothing wrong with me.
Except now that I had the care I needed... I could no longer deny what I had...
The thing that scared me the most... My body had failed me. I had had a heart attack!
I’d abused my young strong heart enough that it failed. It didn’t have enough of what it needed to survive.
And me, clever smart Hermione, had gotten so caught up in the world of starvation that I hadn’t even really thought to research the long term effects of my abuse.
My body would never be the same. I was lucky to have survived...
If I didn’t do something... I would die...
‘But they get paid?’ Hermione said. ‘They holidays, don’t they? And-and sick leave, and pensions and everything?’
Nearly Headless Nick laughed so hard his head flopped off, dangling gruesomely on the inch or so of ghostly muscle that kept it attached to his neck.
‘Sick leave and pensions?’ he said, pushing his head back onto his shoulders and securing it once more with his ruff. ‘House-Elves don’t want sick leave and pensions!’
She pushed her plate away from herself. She refused to eat the slave food. Those poor little creatures, slaving away all day to make the whole school every single meal... And she’d been unknowingly taking advantage of them for years. Every single day, three meals a day, she’d eaten food cooked by servants! They didn’t get paid anything, they didn’t even get gratitude! How could the entire Wizarding community take advantage of the poor little elves!
Well she wasn’t taking part in it. She looked at the boys, shoving their faces, trying to entice her to eat... Oh gosh she was hungry. But no, she had the strength to refuse! To refuse the hams, the sausages... the delicious mash potatoes... Dessert would come later...
She sat up in her seat proudly. In her mind she chanted. ‘I have self control!’…
Those first few weeks, I struggled, boy did I struggle. When they put my first full meal in front of me, I panicked. I felt anxious, I was shaking and I had butterflies. I could barely lift the food to my mouth without shaking so much that it fell off the fork.
For the first time in months I was going to put a decent amount of food inside me and not have the option of throwing it up...
But I managed. Just as I had managed to refuse my body’s hunger, to ignore the pains, to deny myself fuel for so long, I used the same determination to deny the
for hunger. And it was scary, giving my body so much control, after having my mind make the shots for such a long time.
My doctor approved but knew not to push me too far. To make sure I took it slow. Unlike my own attempts to help myself, where I went mad for the food and then hated myself after, they monitored me and made sure I didn’t gorge myself, just as much as they made sure I didn’t deny myself. They only gave me fruit for dinner after that first meal.
I panicked when I first started eating meals, I was gaining weight so quickly! If I continued at this rate I’d end up a whale. That was when my doctor calmly sat me down and explained that after being so starved for so long, my body was storing everything it could. She said that if I continued eating healthily and ate a steady rate, my body would realise it didn’t need to worry anymore and my weight would even out again.
And I believed her.
I tried not to think of the night I had collapsed. Everything was in the open... And Malfoy had said...
But I couldn’t focus on that. I had to focus on letting the doctors help me.
So many times I wondered, why bother? Why let them help me? Why not starve till I die? I’d been so close already.
I spoke to my psychiatrist, Susan , about this... She said the suicidal thoughts came from not eating, from depletion in serotonin, the happy hormone in our bodies, from sheer exhaustion, she said the starving came from depression and probably spawned from my already obsessive nature. I liked to keep things, neat, orderly, managed and under control.
She said it was about control, she said I’d probably started starving just so I could control something, that I’d felt chaotic and at least my eating was something I had 100% control over. She said the body’s natural pain-killers were also addictive.
So when I’d described to her how I felt like a drug addict, that I needed that gnawing hunger inside me, fuelling me like a roaring fire that burnt all and left nothing, she said that I was addicted to the chemicals my body was releasing in response to the hunger pains and all the other pains resulting from not eating.
I’ve never had a professional to talk to and she was nice. She didn’t treat me like a silly child who refused to eat. She’d seen straight away that I was a smart witch and treated me thusly. She said it made perfect sense for someone as intelligent as me to get swept away by the power of my own mind.
She’d said something like, ‘You’re brain is like a horse and cart, you can’t let it get too carried away or the horses will break free and you’ll be tumbling along the road at top speed, ready to crash at any moment.’
After a few months, for the first time ever I spoke about the fight against Voldemort with someone other than Harry and Ron.
I thought I’d been dealing, I thought I’d handled it fine. I thought we’d all come through fairly unscratched. Psychically yes, but psychologically maybe not so much. It had been shorter than we’d thought it would be, it had all happened in the span of a few weeks… It had happened so fast and so many people had died. I’d SEEN so many of them die. I’d been tortured by Bellatrix…
I’d blocked that memory out. When she asked me how much I thought about those few weeks, and I realised that I barely ever did, I preferred to pretend they hadn’t happened… but I dreamt about it all the time.
I dreamt flashes of it all the time, dreams I forgot upon waking. They had me at Stonehedge, Bellatrix employing Umbridge’s tactics… holding me at wand point while I was forced to scrawl Mudblood across parchment over and over again while my chest seared over and over again. And then when I didn’t crack, didn’t tell her where Harry and Ron where, she’d performed Crucio on me until I felt like I was bleeding tears…
I held it together in the beginning talking to Susan… and then I recalled the things I’d blocked in my mind the moment they were over. During that holiday in California right afterward, I’d made sure to focus something on completely irrelevant and tried to make it relevant.
The moment I thought Harry had really died, I’ll never recover from that, I’ve been filled with fear that he really will die ever since then. I’d lost him once, what was to stop me losing him twice? I can’t explain what it felt like. Only that it was the most hopeless moment of my life. ..
I'd started crying then, right there in the clinic, for a good ten minutes I was inaudible, just sobbing and muttering to myself. Susan just sat there sadly, not saying anything, but offering me tissues and letting me sob.
She told me how brave I was, and that it was a shame that no one thought to offer any of us counselling after all of it. That she had in fact read the Prophets article, but they’d beaten around the bush, hadn’t described the gory details that I was telling her now.
She told me that she’d never met such a brave young woman. And that I really was the most brilliant witch of our age.
I’d burst out crying. ‘That’s not true, because I’ve given in to something so stupid and meaningless after all of that! I helped defeat the Dark Lord and yet I can’t even defeat this stupid urge not to eat for Christs sake!' I was desperate, I felt like I would never smile again.
'I’ve let my fear and hopelessness take over! I’m a fuck up. I might have acted bravely and brilliant but I’m not, I bottled it up, pretended it didn’t happen and I still couldn’t cope and as a result I tried starving myself to death! What kind of brilliant witch would fall to her feet because of food?’
And then in the midst of my tears I remembered something I’d forgotten moments after it had happened, I’d forgotten because the Order had shown up, the memory had been swept away and overwritten by the battle, by my own pain and exhaustion, by Harry sacrificing himself, and Neville slaying Nagini and then Harry duelling Voldemort…
Bellatrix had me in the centre of the circle of Death eaters, while they all watched me being tortured, Narcissa, Lucius and Draco Malfoy included. I’d been screaming from the Cruciatus curse until my voice was raw but I still hadn’t given in. The moment Bellatrix let up, I collapsed to the ground in agony, and slowly raised my excruciating head.
I’d met Draco’s eyes at that moment and in shock, amongst my pain and despair, I’d noticed wet streaks down his cheeks, he met me squarely with his stormy grey eyes, they were filled with some sort of emotion I’d been to shattered to recognise.
And then my attention snapped back to Bellatrix when Voldemorts voice commanded. ‘It appears the filthy Mudblood isn’t giving anything away, perhaps we should free her of an appendage to loosen her voice. ‘
The face of Bellatrix Lestrange lit up with glee, she licked her lips excitedly. ‘What will it be Hermione? Should Potter’s girlfriend lose her feet first or her hands?’
My eyes had expanded in sheer terror.
‘No!’ I heard the shout first and then my head snapped to the side and I saw Draco burst forth from the Death Eaters ranks.
‘Draco no!’ Narcissa Malfoy tried to hold her son back, to stop him from going to his death but he had broken free and was suddenly in front of me, arms spread.
His voice had cracked and broken in desperation as he addressed his aunt. ‘No! You can’t. I won’t let you.’
I couldn’t see Bellatrix’s face behind Draco’s body but her voice was breathless and shocked. ‘Move aside boy! Have you gone mad, you defy the dark lord for her?’ she spat the last word out.
And then the air around us crackled and fizzed and the Order began to Apparate all around us, and I got swept up in the fight… The Death Eaters spread out to fight, Voldemort disappeared and then Ron arrived, shoving Malfoy aside and handing me my wand which he must have grappled off Lucius Malfoy….
My tears flowed freely. How had I forgotten? I had just shoved that memory aside, like all the others, it seemed so unbelievable anyway. I’d forgotten, all the fighting with Draco this year and I’d never even thanked him for doing what he did. I hadn’t even recalled it myself. I’d kept asking him why he even cared about me starving and he’d never even said anything, never even used what he did as a defence, never held it against me. It must have hurt him so much, added extra confusion to his mind…
‘He,’ I gasped, ‘Draco Malfoy, he tried to save my life…’ And then it all came tumbling out. All of it. I told her everything…
I wasn’t allowed visitors at first, in case I became upset and triggered what they called a ‘relapse’.
Mum and Dad were an exception one time only. They didn’t understand.
I tried explaining but they couldn’t fathom what had made me get to this point... Why was their daughter so thin? And she’d knowingly done this to herself?
The only thing they really got was when the nurse said I was severely stressed. They hugged me anyway and told me they loved me and were proud of me. The moment they left, I cried and cried until I fell asleep.
It was Harry, Ginny and Ron that really drove me to want to get better.
They didn’t send me a letter. Instead they sent me a photo album full of photos of all of us, newspaper clippings that Mum must have given them showing things like me in primary school grinning proudly while holding a public speaking award or as part of our local choir. They had even included funny little letters and pictures that Harry or Ron must have kept that we’d written in class throughout our years at Hogwarts.
When I flipped over the pages, I saw the three of us grinning nervously in our first year school photos. Photos of us in second year, looking like scrawny little things; I was still taller than Harry. There was a photo of us at Diagon Alley in our third year. We all looked so happy.
There we were, first year to fifth, still smiling despite all we’d been through. They had even included the huge article we’d reluctantly agreed to be interviewed for with the Daily Prophet in the weeks after the downfall of Voldemort.
We’d shared so many memories. Gotten out of so many scrapes.
I remember them constantly teasing me in a loving manner about being so clever and bossy.
And then they’d put in pictures from this year. They started out normally. There was a lovely one of me hugging Crookshanks and laughing while Ron’s gobstones exploded all over him. And then there was one of us sitting by the lake, I had my books out diligently studying, while Ron and Ginny mucked about. Harry must have taken the photo.
And then I started to look more and more unhappy. A few photo’s later my clothes looked baggier and although I didn’t want to admit it, I had bags forming under my eyes. As the year passed in photographic memory, for the first time I saw myself as my friends must have seen me.
I smiled less. I got noticeably skinnier. I was scowling in a few photos. In one or two, my usual study was replaced by me scribbling in my food diary (although the boys wouldn’t have known this). The last few, I could hardly recognise myself. My face was gaunt and pale and unhappy.
Harry had been right. I had turned into a zombie.
What had happened to smiling, clever me?
I wanted that back more than anything....
My name is Hermione Ganger. Recovering anorexic. Or at least I hope recovering. I just spent six months in hospital. Today they want to let me out. They think I’m ready to face the world again, and all the food that comes with it. I’ll be starting my seventh and last year of school in 3 weeks.
At first they focused on making me get to a safe place weight wise, to make sure my heart was ok. And then they’d starting working intensively on my mental health. I was diagnosed with depression, anorexia with bulimic tendencies, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. That’s a lot for a witch to handle right? They put me on a potion to help my body balance its chemicals, finally deciding on a muggle anti-depressant, figuring that that is what they gave anorexic patients in muggle hospitals.
After my head had started to clear, I realised just how much my education had suffered and when the doctors saw how stressed this made me they had Hogwarts send in my study. In my mind I was relieved because it meant I could still do my exams, that I could still salvage the year, I could go to school normally again with all of my friends. The doctors were relieved that it gave me something to do and focus on.
I had a few bad moments, when the fear just became too much again, when I felt I was expanding too rapidly. Near the start of my treatment I threw up one of my meals into a jar and hid it beneath the bed. Gross right? That’s how unclear my thoughts were. When I got the chance I’d sneak it to the bathroom and pour it into the toilet. I got away with this a few times before they cottoned on.
I had times when I felt so desperate and alone and everything was so grey and monochrome, times when I felt like there was no point to anything, when I wished I could crawl under the covers and sleep forever, when my emotions and my reasonable mind were in separate worlds, when food was no longer the enemy, the world was, I had nothing left to control and now my world was left to chaos.
And I hated myself for reasonably knowing that it was worth fighting but still struggling so damn much. And I worried about people worrying about me and then I’d worry about my worry and it would escalate until I had to hide under my covers and pray that the monsters would go away.
However the sun still rose every morning and the bluebirds still flitted by my window, every single day at St. Mungo’s a new life was born. I was still alive, miraculously, and I still WANTED to get better, no matter how much I struggled.
I just wanted to have a clear mind again, to be able to function normally, stop being so psychically and emotionally worn out, every moment of every day.
And then I’d look at the photo album my friends had given me. I’d remember what things were like before and see how much things had changed, I’d wish and wish for them to go back to the way they were, exactly the way they had been.
And then one day when I was absolutely spinning out in my mind, trying with all my will to eat the small bowl of Puttanesca I’d been given for dinner, I started to cry and get frustrated that I was so torn, I KNEW I had to eat but I was just so scared, so scared of giving away my control and even of getting better because then there would be a chance I’d fall back into the same patterns. And the second fall might hurt more than the first…
I closed my eyes and wished and wished I could go back to how I used to be, back to old familiar, bossy, ordered and driven me.
And then when I gave up and put my fork down, gave in to the things tearing me up inside, it dawned on me.
It wasn’t going to happen, things weren’t going to go back to “normal”.
Even if I recovered, I wouldn’t go back to the “old” me. If I honestly asked myself, I wasn’t even sure I’d want to. As much as it pained me, all the stuff that had happened, the starving, the fighting, even the stuff with Malfoy, it was all something I wasn’t sure I would wipe out given the choice. Maybe all this starving was about something bigger. Maybe I needed to go through this to get to the other side, maybe I had to fight all these little demons to get to the really big one, whatever it was.
Maybe I’ll come out the other side stronger. I’d be something new, something forged from the battles and pains of anorexia, someone who had battled with demons almost too strong to fight. The urge to starve would never fully go away, but I could learn to keep it at bay. I’d come out with scars. However if I beat this, then all those scars would be nothing but that- scars. Scars to remind me how I had been but no longer am, to show me how strong I’d been, to prove that I’d persevered past the point when I thought I could persevere.
In that moment I no longer felt afraid or ashamed of having scars. I wanted them! I wanted them so I could show myself and others that no matter how much a wound hurts at the time, physically, mentally or spiritually, no matter how unbearable the pain is, if we can endure it, all scars can eventually fade…
And then this image began to form of what “new” me would be like. She’d be just like old me, but with tougher skin, better coping strategies, someone who didn’t always need to be in control ALL the time. She’d be healthy, have healthy body image, she’d work hard but not so hard that she’d suffer in other areas like her relationships, she’d be smiling, she’d take time to smell the metaphorical and the actual roses, she’d make jokes again…
The more I spoke to my psychiatrist the more I saw things I’d never thought about before. I started to realise that starving was just a way to cover up and smother my emotions, a way for me to focus on something else instead of facing them head on.
She suggested that maybe there wasn’t one big huge thing wrong that I needed to face, but that the way I was now was just an accumulation of things, trauma, witnessing violence, self-doubt, the need to succeed even if it’s detrimental to me and especially having such a fast brilliant mind but struggling with how to work WITH it, that I AM my mind but I’m also my body and my spirit, I get so focused in the mental world that I sometimes disregard other things.
She gave me strategies; she tried to teach me to be mindful of my emotions, not to ignore them but to acknowledge them and to let them out in a safe way, instead of bottling them until they detonated. She suggested things like painting, music, poems, outside activity etc. Things I guess I already knew but where just too hard to face in my state.
I was quite sceptical at first but seeing as I had not much else to do in hospital, I took her advice and it did help. I know that ultimately, she didn’t “fix” me, she just listened and was the outside voice that helped me unravel knots in my own mind, she just found and showed me the end of the piece of string so to speak, and I did the rest myself. I worked – still am- working hard to help myself.
Slowly with treatment the pains, the aches, the lethargy began to go away and my mind began to clear. From that point on the healthier I got the more motivation I had to get ealthier.
Now they think I’m ready to face my problems. I still get relapses, if I let myself get hungry; I am tempted to let it go further. There are certain foods I won’t be able to face for a long time. I still get nervous sometimes before I eat. I still can’t see myself in the mirror the way other people see me.
But whenever I think this, I look at the second last picture in the photo album my friends gave me. It was the photo Colin had taken of me by the lake, the photo in which I’d mistaken myself for a ghoul. Even I couldn’t look at that photo without cringing. I was nothing, I was emaciated, I was a skeleton…
And the scariest thing was that I hadn’t seen it. It’s taken me six months of intensive treatment to see how sick I had been.
Looking back now, I understand better why I did it all. Back then, six months ago, when I was admitted, I could never have imagined myself here today, 2 kilograms over the minimum weight for my height, by my own doing. I would have thought myself a fat pig. Except now, looking back, I can hardly recognise the person I’d become during that time. I had been in a dark, dark place.
But I’d fought my way out if it... God knows how... I guess with the help of everyone around me, even Malfoy. I guess I was brave in lots of ways; I eventually did let people help me, despite my pride and my fear. I took the hand that they offered and made the choice to try to solve my issues.
All the starving, the cutting, the despair, I guess ultimately, it was my way of coping, even if it was a bad method. I needed to learn better ways. Although I never realised, it was also a call for help, it let myself and others know that I did have other demons to fight, that it was real and that it was really awful. I needed my family and friends and even the professionals to show me that I had to fight the real demons...
I knew that Harry, Ron, Neville, Ginny, Mum, Dad, Fred, George, Bill, Charlie, Mrs Weasley, Mr Weasley, even Dumbledore, maybe even…….and everyone else who supported me, they all loved me and believed in me and that helped me love and believe in myself.
I’m still in a dark place but it’s not quite so dark anymore and it’s getting brighter with every passing day.
All I know is that I never want to go back there again.
AU: READ IT? REVIEW IT!
Only the epilogue left....