See! I promised you that I would update soon. And I did! Well, rather, I submitted it today, 2/7...I honestly don't know when it will be up, as the validators do have a lot of stories to go through. But do know that I kept my promise. *laughs*
I really hope that you like this chapter. The last one and the beginning of this one actually got me into a bit of a corner, in terms of lacking comedy and turning serious, so I tried to turn that around. Hopefully it was okay...*laughs again*
Thanks so much for reading this, and please, if you could take the time to review, that would be wonderful. I love feedback of all kinds.
Also, I'd like to thank ALL of you who have review...I've received 232 reviews for only my first five chapters...I am amazed at how popular this story is, and I'd like to let you know that your support has allowed me to continue writing.
I'd also like to thank Terese, who has provided me with so many humerous ideas (i.e. following Hermione to class under a cloak, staring at her across the desk). If it weren't for you, I'd be in an eternal writer's block.
Disclaimer: I do not, nor will I ever, own Harry Potter or any of its characters. It's all the work of JKR.
And now, my dears, on to the story...*laughs*
The house elves were busy, what with being forced to do slave labor, and kindly told me to leave them alone, as they didn’t want to associate with me in the least. Well, except for Dobby. He smiled at me and gave me a hug, but then the other house elves glared at him…
I was going to stay, but then I realized that Plan A just wasn’t worth it. The house elves, for the most part, have grown much more hostile towards me. I just don’t understand why. All I want to do is help them fight the unfair conditions they are forced to work under.
So, as Plan A has now been thrown out the window, onward to plan B!
October 15 – an hour later
Amazingly enough, Ginny’s head is still in perfect condition. However, my heart seems to be in exactly the opposite condition. I ended up, as I normally do with Ginny, pouring out my heart to her… Oh, as always, I’ll just rewrite what happened in here…
Repeating my actions from the day before, I pulled Ginny away from where she was holding court and dragged her back to my room. I shut the door, cast a spell so that no one outside could hear my confessions, and then joined Ginny on the edge my bed.
“What’s going on?” Ginny asked, clearly annoyed. “I was in the middle…”
“…of a conversation, I know, I know,” I finished for her. “When are you not?” Ginny didn’t say anything, but sat there expectantly, waiting for me to continue. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and then said in an extremely small voice, “I think…I think I have a thing for Harry!” I opened my eyes, expecting Ginny to look smug, enthralled, ecstatic, or any expression among those lines.
Instead, she appeared to be in shock. She gave a laugh, then held out a finger and said, “Let me get this straight…you have a thing for Harry?”
I nodded slowly for her benefit, as it appeared her mind wasn’t working as fast as usual. “Just like you said.” That sentence pained me, but I said it anyway. Ginny, again, didn’t smile, as I expected. “I actually realized it yesterday,” I continued. Her face still lacked happiness. I gave out an exasperated sigh and proclaimed, “You were absolutely right!”
“Oh God,” Ginny moaned, burying her face into her hands. “No, no, no…”
“Er, Gin?” I asked her, prying her fingers away from her forehead. “What’s wrong? I honestly expected you to rub this into my face. I mean, I’m never wrong…”
“Hermione,” Ginny said, looking aggravated. “Don’t tell me you didn’t hear? Please tell me that you listen to gossip once in a while, so that my life can be so much easier?”
“Of course I don't listen to gossip!” I scoffed. “It's absolutely point– wait, hear what?” I asked cautiously, realizing that I was, as I seemed to often be doing lately, completely missing the point.
Ginny didn’t say anything for a second and then she closed her eyes and whispered, “Harry has a girlfriend.”
“W-what?” I sputtered. “A girlfriend…but he…he didn’t have one yesterday.”
“Yes, well, apparently, after your conversation with him, he went to the Gryffindor common room and asked out Parvati.”
“He asked out Parvati?” I asked, feeling as if my entire body was going numb. “As in Parvati Patil? As in ‘I constantly giggle and I love to wear pink and flirt outrageously with guys’ Parvati?”
“That’s the one,” Ginny concurred.
“But…” I trailed off. “I mean, I know…that is to say…” I tried to produce a logical sentence. “He said that his feelings for me were simply platonic, but somehow I thought…” I swallowed a lump that was forming at the back of my throat. I was Hermione Granger. I didn’t cry over guys. I didn’t let them ruin my life. I was stronger than that.
“There are two scenarios that are playing here,” Ginny told me. “Either Harry’s tricking you…”
“Believe me,” I said with a bitter laugh. “His face was completely blank when he told me it was platonic, and Harry is horrible at hiding his feelings…” I thought back to fifth year and gave another laugh. Laughing seemed to suppress my tears, and as I was determined not to cry, I found myself in fits of it.
“What’s so funny?” Ginny demanded, staring at me wide-eyed.
“My life!” I exclaimed. “My life is what’s so funny, Ginny! I finally realize that I have feelings for him…” I stopped to burst into laughter once more, “…and he realizes that he’s over me and wants, of all people, Parvati!”
Ginny stared at me, her eyes now narrowed. I might have been the brightest witch of my age, but Ginny was perceptive when it came to my feelings. She gave a little sigh, scooted over to me, and wrapped her arms around me, while I continued to laugh, scared that if I stopped, I’d begin sobbing.
“Then…then the other scenario is,” Ginny said slowly, still holding me, “the other scenario is that he’s over you, Hermione.” She said the last part so that it was barely audible, as if she feared saying it in front of me.
“What am I supposed to do?” I asked, breathing slowly in and out so that I could get through a sentence without my ridiculous laughter.
“Move on,” Ginny urged me, pulling away from our hug so that she could see me. “Get a boyfriend.”
“I can’t ask a guy out!” I exclaimed, wringing my hands. “I’m not that type of girl, Gin. That’s you…I’m…I’m more…” I searched for a proper word to describe myself. “I’m more old fashioned!”
“Well, someone will ask you out,” Ginny told me matter-of-factly.
“No one has before…” I muttered.
“Er, excuse me?” Ginny asked, putting her hands on her hips. “No one? Have you forgotten that the most wanted guy in Europe, the sports star, the best Seeker in the world? Viktor Krum?”
“Okay, so he asked me out!” I said impatiently. “But that’s only because I wasn't some idiot that followed him around. No guy at Hogwarts will ever ask me out!”
“You’d be surprised,” Ginny told me with a knowing look.
“I’m too ugly to be asked out, Gin.”
“Ugly? Hermione, listen, you may not be drop dead gorgeous, like dear Fleur Delacour, but you are extremely pretty - crazy maybe; definitely neurotic. But pretty, all the same.” Ginny paused a second to let the words sink in. “Look, there actually are many guys who would ask you out. They’ve just assumed that you and Harry were an item.”
“Ha!” I cried. “Where did they get an idea like that?”
“Oh, come on, Hermione,” Ginny rolled her eyes. “Everybody assumed it. You looked as if you were a couple – well, minus the kissing, of course. Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is now that Harry has a girlfriend, the guys will realize that you’re free.”
“But maybe I don’t want to be free,” I moaned miserably. “Maybe I want people to believe that I’m with Harry. Maybe I want to actually be with Harry!”
“Slight problem there,” Ginny pointed out. “One, he seems to be over you, and two, he also seems to have a girlfriend.”
“You’re cruel,” I sniffed.
“No, I’m realistic,” Ginny replied. “Listen, when the first guy who comes up to you (which, I promise, will be very soon) asks you out, for Merlin’s sake and our sanity (not to mention yours), say yes. You can’t move on until you’ve started dating again…” Ginny eyed me and then corrected herself. “Until you’ve started dating.”
“Ha, ha,” I muttered, referring to her sanity comment. “Very cute.” But at the same time, I knew it was true – the boyfriend bit that was. I really never had dated before…and that did seem to be the best solution to my problems. How else would I get over Harry if I just sat there? I sighed. “Fine. The next guy who comes up to me asking me out, I will say yes to…” I trailed off suddenly, thinking how wonderful it would be if that next guy was…
“No!” Ginny said firmly, grabbing my hands. “No thinking of Harry. Not in that sense. Not any more.”
“How the Hell do you do that?” I asked Ginny in amazement.
Ginny shrugged, let go of my hands, and jumped off my bed. “It’s one of my many amazing talents,” she told me, and then left my room.
And so here I am, still sitting in my room (what’s new?), dazed and confused. I want this horrible feeling of loss to disappear, and Ginny’s certain that dating someone will be just the trick. But at the same time, I don’t want to be over Harry. I want to be with Harry.
How can he be with Parvati? At the very least, I just want to know that much. I mean, honestly! Parvati? I thought Harry hated girls who giggled constantly… Wait, no, there was also Cho. But then again, I assumed he learned from that horrible past experience.
Argh! Yes, I just said Argh. There’s no other way to depict my agony and anger. Why Parvati? Parvati likes to hang on to her men, even after she’s finished with them! Why couldn’t Harry have chosen Padma? Or maybe even Luna? Those two would certainly let bygones be bygones. Especially Luna. Actually, I’m not even sure Luna would be aware of what was happening…
I honestly don’t know what to do. I guess I should follow Ginny’s advice. I mean, she was right before. If I had only followed it then…
Well, my life wouldn’t be one hundred percent miserable, that’s for sure.
How does she do it? How does Ginny Weasley know exactly what’s going to happen? I swear, if I didn’t have such an aversion to the subject, I would swear Ginny had seer blood in her.
I sat at my usual table in the library, trying to finish the essay McGonagall has just given us, when all of a sudden Terry Boot sat next to me. I looked up, completely surprised.
“Terry!” I exclaimed, setting my quill down. “We’re not planning on having a DA meeting for a while. Harry’s been extremely busy, and I know it’s been months, really, but…”
“No, that’s not it…” Terry trailed off, looking away. Then he turned his attention back to me. “I heard that you and Harry are no longer going out?”
I felt myself tense, and forced myself to smile. I produced a small nervous laugh. “Eh, actually, that would be false.” Terry’s face fell, and I rushed to correct myself. “No! What I mean is that we were never…never going out,” I managed to finish. I was proud that not one sob merged its way into my throat. “So, er…yeah,” I finished, rather lamely.
“Brilliant!” Terry exclaimed, looking very happy, much happier than I must have felt. “So, Hermione, I know that we don’t know each other that well, but I was just wondering if, since this weekend is a Hogsmeade weekend, whether you’d…er…you’d like to go with me?”
“As in a date?” I asked slowly, eyeing Terry curiously.
“Well, er…yeah.” Terry gave his own nervous laugh.
I thought back to what Ginny had told me, and what I had promised. Taking a deep breath, and hoping to Merlin that this wasn’t a mistake, I put on a smile and replied, “Sure, Terry, I’d love to go with you.” Terry beamed at me and I gave a little laugh. He told me he’d meet me outside the gates, and then left me to my studies.
I must admit, it feels good to have this affect on a male - to know that they were nervous asking you out.
I guess I should go tell Ginny. Goodness knows she’ll want to know so that she can begin choruses of, “I was right!”
I spoke to Ginny last night. She did not, as I said earlier, break out into song about how she was right. Instead, she gave me a smug smile. Not sure which one is worse, honestly…
After her smugness wore off, she began babbling about preparations. Oh Merlin…
“We’ll have to do your hair,” Ginny cried excitedly, almost jumping out of her seat. “Oh, nothing too fancy,” Ginny added, seeing my doubtful look, “not like what you did for the Yule Ball, but just so that it’s out of your eyes…maybe half pulled back? I don’t know, we’ll see… And we have to choose the right outfit, and, oh! I bet Lavender will want to help.” Ginny seemed as if she would burst with glee.
I however, felt exactly the opposite. “La-Lavender?” I sputtered. “Oh, please, Ginny, no. The last thing I need is the energizer bunny involved in my love life.”
“But Lavender’s really good at this type of stuff,” Ginny insisted. “Plus, I might have to leave early to get ready for my date.”
“Your date?” I asked, eyeing Ginny curiously. “And who might the charming young man (or is it men?) be?”
“Ha, ha,” Ginny frowned at me. “You know all those rumors about me going out with multiple guys are just that – rumors, right?”
“I know Ginny,” I smiled at her. “I was just teasing. Anyway, who is it?”
“Well…” Ginny paused. “Promise not to make fun of me?”
“Why on earth would I make fun of you when my life is so screwed up?” I asked her, raising an eyebrow.