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Surviving by ducks
Chapter 5 : Chapter 5
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Chapter 5

That night the rain poured down onto the ground, I watched it drip from the windowsill, and watched the patterns it made on the pane. I thought about Malfoy that day, what was he thinking when he left the hall. Did he not know that this would be one of the most important years? He had committed an upmost horrific act upon the school and the school had not expelled him, merely let him back in. It was stupid, why was he here? Why did he think he had the right to go around and just wonder in wherever he pleased? I slapped myself and scolded “Why do you care, why are you still thinking about him?

It was a rough night that one, I couldn’t remember sleeping let alone dreaming, all I can remember is the sound of the rain. It drizzled, it fell in sheets, it poured and then it stopped. When it stops the entire world goes quite and you wonder to yourself why did it stop? Why did it make the world quiet?

The next day, our routine began to settle, classes then food than classes than homework than sleep. This dreary world we now lived in became the existence we swore we would never live. No social life was had in these walls. No Hogsmeade weekends to look forward to as the security risks were too high. Quidditch was out of the question because of the magic dampener that had been placed above Hogwarts. No magic could be fired into the air, no magic could be fired from the air, because of this brooms become ordinary brooms when they get above the astronomy tower, and that is on a good day. Survival takes one heck of an effort.

Classes had not changed since I had been there, however now the teachers were a little more jumpy in their efforts for security. Aurors appeared out of nowhere if something got out of hand. The fireplaces couldn’t be lit in case they were illegally connected to the Floo system. Contact via owls was strictly forbidden and must be made from outside of grounds and the letters are to be read, no exceptions. Not that I had received any news of late. It got me a little jumpy as I just wished I could just get a note. Just one note saying ‘All is well’. But nothing ever came for me. I would sit there when the letters would be given out by the morning mail deliverer, which happened to be one of the highest trained aurors in the country. After three weeks there was still no word upon whether my family was still safe.

I had seen Malfoy around the traps for a while. He kept to himself, studying in the library mostly. I knew that it wasn’t just studying. I used to do it all the time when I had no friends. If you kept in the library you wouldn’t look desperate, just studious. It took all my courage one day to actually go and talk to him.

“Mal…Dra… ummm so how are you these days?” I asked timidly hoping that he would be his usual snobby self and not answer. To my surprise however he looked up at me shocked, it was as if he wasn’t used to human contact for awhile.

“Well Uh you know I’m fine just keeping up with my studying making sure I don’t fall behind” Malfoy stammered.

I could see behind the lies in this statement. He was lonely. It was obvious by his jump that no one had come to talk to him. No one but myself had probably looked at him. He was like a puppy that no one wanted once he had passed the cute stage. Although he was still in the cute stage to me. Mentally slapping myself again. No Hermione you cannot think of him like that. “What are you studying?” Why are you still talking to him Hermione, I scold. You know what he did so why are you talking to him. Pity? Maybe you have matured over the past summer?

Draco looked down at his work again and thought ‘Why the hell is she talking to me? No one talks to me, I don’t deserve it for what I’ve done’. Looking back at her, he wonders again what Hermione Granger is doing in the library, associating herself with the dirt bag that got her headmaster killed.

“Anyway, I better get going” I stammered. I was looking for an excuse to get out of this awkward situation. He said nothing in reply just kept looking down at his work as if she was invisible. I didn’t understand what he was thinking. Why isn’t he rejoicing at his accomplishment. Why isn’t he talking to any of his Slytherin friends.

I left the library at this point, I needed fresh air but I knew that was pretty pointless with the new rules. Walking through the outer hallways in hopes for an open window to poke my head through, I began to notice the changing environment outside Hogwarts. The once green rolling hills, and the giant lake were now dark with the cloud overhanging us all like Damocles’ sword. Fresh air was like gold today. Once when we could go outside if we pleased and roll around in the sunshine. That is reserved for the muggles of our society. Nowadays wizards keep indoors to prevent any unlikely visitors at bay. They all work on the principle that if you can’t be seen, you can’t be killed.

Harry and Ron bounded up to me while I was standing there looking out. I could tell it was them, Harry had this kind of quick walk that contrasted with Ron’s heavy thudding gait. I turned and smiled so they wouldn’t be suspicious of my previous thinking. “So what have you rushed up to tell me so ever urgently?”

“Well, we thought you might like to know that Malfoy is now friendless! Isn’t that great? Not one person in the entire school seems to like him” Ron laughed.

Harry laughed as well but he couldn’t help notice Hermione didn’t.

I smiled as if I thought it was funny, but not too funny that I had to laugh. The truth was, I felt sorry for Malfoy, I knew that what he did, his actions can never be excused. But does anyone deserve to go through the torture that I did in my first year. Unsure of anything, just wanting one friend to be able to cling to in your first steps into the big wide world. I had been there, and I didn’t like it. If I could help it I would make sure that no one would ever be in that situation again.

Walking back to the tower seemed to take forever as the two seemed to only want to talk about how Malfoy is now suffering. I tuned out once again to the conversation, and then realised that I was not becoming an expert at it. I just tuned out when the conversation wasn’t going my way. I tuned out when the conversation they were having wasn’t to my liking. I tuned out whenever they were talking about something I didn’t like, or chose not to give an opinion on. I tuned out when they were talking about Malfoy.

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