Chapter 13 : Square
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“Gracie, nothing is going on between us. I swear it!” Hermione comforted the black-haired twin in her dormitory.
Gracie sniffed loudly and wiped her eyes on her robes.
“Hermione, I barely know you but I’m going to say it anyway. Don’t screw over my brother!”
Hermione was taken back by her comment. She was not used to having girl friends to full out yell at her. Red with embarrassment, Hermione stood up and took a deep breath and spoke calmly.
“Look, I don’t know what you think of me but I wanted you to know that I do not like Rafe more then a friend. He’s been a sweet guy to me since I’ve returned so I understand how you like him. However, his friendship is all that I want. I have an idea though.”
“I don’t want to hear it!”
“We’ll go on a double date!” Hermione burst out, laughing inside as the words “double date” has never left her mouth before.
“What?” Gracie asked, confused. “Double date? With who?”
“Well…Harry and myself. It won’t be formal or anything. We’ll just go hang out.” Hermione’s voice got quieter as each word trailed forward.
“And me and Rafe?” Gracie asked, lightening her features.
“Unless you want to bring someone else?”
“Yeah that’s a good idea Gracie!” Holly piped up from the bed. “It won’t be too awkward, but not so many people that you can’t talk.”
“Sure… I guess we can do that…If he wants to, I mean.”
After no hesitation, Rafe agreed to this double date that Hermione was dreading. She wasn’t sure if that it was the mere fact that she’s never actually gone on a real date before or the fact that she wasn’t keen on furthering things with Harry. In little more then a week after they decided on this “date”, the day finally came. It was a Saturday that was going to be a Hogsmeade trip anyway, so the date seemed perfect. Hermione put little effort into her outfit, wearing a pair of jeans and a button down blue shirt. She considered changing after seeing Gracie ready to go. Gracie’s shiny black hair fell just above her shoulders, which were covered by a vivid red turtleneck and black pants. Hermione felt underdressed but did not go back up to change. For some strange reason, she didn’t care.
The so-called date was going better then Hermione had expected. However, she was still unsure if Rafe actually caught wind that Gracie liked him. He seemed to miss any sign of flirting, but he was still friendly all the same. Hermione could sense that Gracie was getting frustrated. If only Rafe could pick up on Harry’s pushy suave nature, maybe Gracie would be happier. Hermione, on the other hand, had mixed feelings towards Harry holding her hand under the table.
“Hermione you want a drink?” Rafe asked, after taking Gracie’s order.
“Sure, butterbeer please.”
“Same.” He answered, slightly taken back by the offer.
Hermione smiled in appreciation at Rafe and she could have sworn that Harry might have cracked a smile in his direction as well. He’d never let it show. Gracie let out a deep sigh as Rafe walked away. Hermione sensed her frustration and knew that she should have a talk with Gracie to comfort her in some way. Before she could find a way to get Harry to leave them alone, something or someone caught Hermione’s eye at the entrance of the pub. Before the two of them could see what she was looking at, Hermione excused herself from the table to go to the washroom. She then walked over to the far end of the pub and stood behind a man.
“Checking up on me…Sirius?” Hermione said, slyly.
Sirius turned around with a lopsided grin and laughed loudly.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He said innocently. “I just happen to be in the area.”
“Lily told you about the date, didn’t she?” Hermione said with a cocky tone.
“She might have slipped it out. After all, I’m just being a good uncle by checking up on Gracie. The word spread quickly about their little date.” Sirius said with a boyish grin.
“Well maybe you want to inform Rafe about this date. He’s too daft to realize that she likes him.”
“Most people are.” Sirius said in a trance-like voice.
“Darling, I got the drinks and— Oh! Hermione, I didn’t see you.” Cooed a sugary voice from the other side of Sirius.
Just as she dreaded, Hermione saw Emelia come into view with a fake smile plastered on her face.
“Oh hi Emelia.” Hermione drawled. “Sorry to interrupt, I’m just here with Harry, Rafe and Gracie.”
“Oh I didn’t know you four were here. Sirius insisted on coming here. What a coincidence.” Emelia finished, flashing Sirius a smile.
“Right.” Hermione muttered quietly. “Well I best be off…Nice to see you again.”
Hermione couldn’t help but look at Sirius one last time before walking back to the table. Harry was watching her every move with a twang of jealousy creeping up his body. Rafe returned with the drinks and the day continued, complete with an awkward silence every so often.
After a long day and a cold walk back to the castle, Harry returned to the Slytherin common room and left Hermione to the wannabe lovebirds. Gracie had completely given up on any romance from Rafe’s general direction and began sulking quietly.
“Er, well today was fun.” Rafe said awkwardly. “We’ll have to do it again sometime.” He smiled softly at Gracie.
Hermione nearly fell down the stairs when he suggested a second date.
“It was fun.” Gracie looked up at Rafe with large eyes.
Hermione wanted nothing more but to leave this situation. Her escape would have been a lot smoother if Rafe and Gracie were not blocking the portrait to the Fat Lady. The Fat Lady looked on in amusement, while clutching a flask of who knows what.
“We should invite Holly, Ron and Ginny next time so all the friends could have been here.” Rafe suggested, clearly becoming dafter at the second.
Hermione looked for somewhere to run and hide or hope that the Fat Lady could re-locate to two feet to the left. But it was too late.
“Rafe Ransley Lupin, can you be more square?” Gracie shouted on the top of her lungs, making the Fat Lady lose grip on her flask.
Rafe’s eyes grew to the size of saucers. Hermione wasn’t quite sure if it was the usage of the middle name or the sudden outburst. She wanted to disappear into a puddle and slither past them to the portrait hole. If only puddle transfiguration was taught in school.
“W-what did I do?” Rafe asked, growing a nice shade of red.
“I like you! Get it? I like you! Not like a friend as you keep referring to me as, but I like like you!” Gracie’s face was pink as it looked like she was just about to throw Rafe off the staircase.
As perfect timing always comes through, Gracie pushed him back slightly, leaving a clear path for Hermione to scoot into the common room and close the portrait hole behind her. She laughed to herself as Rafe was like a replica of Ron.
“How’d it go?” Holly called out from the couch.
“Well, I, gah.” Hermione unintelligently blurted.
“That good eh?” Replied Ginny, who was trying to balance a textbook on her head with no success.
Hermione’s conclusions of the date were completely false, for the next few days Gracie and Rafe became close. She was happy to see him happy and even more ecstatic to not have Gracie mad at her. Days turned into weeks, and the term was getting closer and closer to summer. March flew by with dozens of assignments that were always coming at the most inconvenient times. April barely even felt like a week, let alone a month. It was half way through May before Hermione finally caught up with all her assignments. It was that time when she realized that this term was just about over and her seventh year was just around the corner. She had the summer to think upon her decisions on what year she wanted to live her life. Life in the present time was looking good, but she couldn’t shake off the thoughts of Sirius. She felt empty inside and couldn’t bring herself to realize that he was the missing piece. Hopefully by seventh year, she’ll realize.
Thanks for being patient all! I know the pace is slow, but I can just jump to the ‘good stuff’. Don’t worry there is still a lot of twists and some juicy details. I hope you like where the story is heading. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears! I’ll be posting more, due to the fact I finally made Trusted Author status so I skip validation now. Wee. Let me know what you think of the story. Sadly, there are only a handful of chapters left. =(
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