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Chapter 16 : Rumors At Hogwarts
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You took it back
You ripped my heart out of my then you put it back
I'm pulling my hair
I let you just a million times
I love you even though it isn't fair
~The Used: Greener with the Scenery
Ron stomped down the halls yelling at any student who had the audacity to even breathe on him. From what he had walked in on last night, he was wound up enough to take down a full grown and hungry hippogriff.
“Shove the bloody hell off!” He turned and shouted at a first year that looked at him while passing. Hermione, his Hermione was practically on top of Draco Malfoy, the ferret of the universe! He was fuming, completely blowing steam from his ears.
Ron threw open the doors to the Great Hall and stormed to his spot on the Gryffindor table next to Harry.
“Hey Ron, what has got you so worked up?” Harry asked quirking an eyebrow. Everyone was well aware of the legendary Weasley temper, and Ron held the highest record of blowing his top the fastest.
“What’s got me worked up? What’s got me worked up!? You really want to know that Harry!?!” Ron was shouting at his friend who was looking struck beside him.
“Ron...? Seriously mate, what’s going on?” Harry tried again not liking the attention that was being brought to them.
“Hermione!” Ron hissed in a low whisper once he noticed the stares from every table.
“Did she say ‘no’ to Hogsmeade?”
“You know, a simple ‘no’ would have been easier to handle then what I saw last night.” Ron stabbed his fork into a muffin on Neville’s plate.
“Hey! I was eating that!”
“Shut up Neville!!” Ron snapped yanking his fork from the poor destroyed muffin.
“Guess who had Hermione pinned up against a wall last night after dinner.” He said turning back to Harry.
“What!? Who?” Harry asked with wide eyes.
“The bloody ferret that’s who!” He shouted pointing to the Slytherin table, but Draco wasn’t there.
“Ron, you have to be joking. Hermione would never...” Harry said not wanting to believe him.
“The hell I’m joking! Ask her yourself!” He said as Hermione walked into the Great Hall with a happy bounce in her step.
Hermione entered the Great Hall thoroughly enjoying her and Draco’s night, but something was tugging in her mind, there was something wrong.
“Hey Harry, morning Ron.” She said sitting across from the boys. “Erm, Harry what’s wrong with Ron?” Ron was avoiding eye contact with her and random grunts would sound from him as he jabbed at the mutilated eggs on his plate.
“Ron thinks that he saw something last night. I don’t know if I believe him, but... um, where were you last night after dinner?” Harry asked carefully.
“I was in the Head’s Tower...I told you two I wanted to finish reading that book.” ‘Well that wasn’t all a lie, I did eventually get to the Head’s Tower, and I did read that book...’ Hermione reasoned and bit into some toast with jelly.
“Well you see, Ron believes he saw you and Malfoy, together, last night in a, erm, very...compromising...position.” Hermione began choking on her toast not being able to answer. “I know that it’s impossible for him to of actually seen that, I mean, you hate Malfoy, right?” Hermione was still struggling to clear her throat and respond. The longer the silence lasted the more she started to freak out a bit.
“Hermione! I need your help on an essay.” Ginny’s hurried voice came down the table. The whole time she was listening in, but hearing Hermione struggle with the situation she decided to jump in. Without being able to answer, Hermione was snatched up and drug from the Great Hall.
“Ron caught you?!” Ginny exclaimed once the two girls were a few feet out of the Great Hall. Hermione finally recovered her voice and began rambling horribly to the point that Ginny had to cover her mouth from confusion. “Complete sentences and real words, please.”
“Draco and I were in an alcove, I didn’t think anyone would have left dinner so early, let alone wonder into an alcove that led to nothing. Ginny what am I going to do?”
“Ron and Harry may not tell anyone. Harry doesn’t exactly believe it, and Ron is just blowing smoke. Wait until this all passes before you and Draco do any more late night rendezvous again.” Ginny said hopefully.
“I’m so glad that there are no classes today. I would’ve had potions and I sit right by Draco. Argh, why does he have to be so bloody irresistible?” She groaned blaming the incident on him.
“I expect you’re talking about me.” Draco said coming up behind Hermione and wrapping his arms around her stomach.
“Ron caught you two, now he’s looking to rip you to tiny little pieces.” Ginny said a little too cheery for the couple’s comfort.
“Yeah exactly, so you need to go before breakfast is dismissed. And you have to be mean to me whenever we see eachother in the halls.” Hermione said, but got a disappointed pout from him.
“What if I don’t want to be?”
“You have to, just be rude I suppose, but expect to be hexed into oblivion if I get called Mudblood.” She warned. “Now go, I’ll meet you later today.” Draco left for the dungeons while Hermione walked with Ginny toward the Astronomy tower seeing as it was the furthest place from the Slytherin Chambers.
Hermione and Draco made it through half the day without breaking character once. They both shot evil glares to eachother when they passed in the hall, and Draco had even gone back to cutting the Trio off with his goons at his sides.
“I just noticed that ferret boy hasn’t called you Mudblood in awhile.” Ron said accusingly with a frown on his face.
“Excuse me Ronald, but I enjoy not being called names for one year, I’m sorry that Malfoy laying off on the whole ‘Mudblood’ thing saddens you.” Hermione retorted trying to make Ron feel bad about himself.
“Well I’m sorry Hermione, but it’s peculiar.”
“Ron, shut up, you actually sound disappointed, it’s good Malfoy didn’t call her anything other than Granger.” Harry said siding with Hermione.
“Granger, I have to talk to you about Head Duties tonight.” Draco’s voiced echoed after her. Hermione expression faltered to worry, and Harry and Ron both noticed before she recovered to an annoyed look.
“I’ll see you two at lunch.” She said failing miserably at sounding convincing while they stared oddly at her.
When Hermione was out of view Ron growled and stared lividly at Harry.
“Did you see that, she’s lying to us!” He snarled pointing down the hall to where Hermione used to be walking with Draco.
“But she’s never lied to us... Ron she couldn’t have...” Harry said doubtfully.
“Harry! Open your bloody eyes! Hermione is with Malfoy now!” Ron bellowed catching the attention of the entire corridor. Suddenly every student was buzzing with the new juicy piece of gossip. Lavender caught Ron’s shouting and wished deeply that Parvati hadn’t gone home for Christmas break. Instead she turned down the nearest corridor and spotted the perfect person to leak the rumor to. Pansy Parkinson would surely enjoy hearing this.
Hermione had finally left the safety of the Library and was hurrying to dinner feeling completely drained. She was happy that Ron and Harry didn’t want to accompany her, but that didn’t stop her from worrying. Suddenly, Pansy Parkinson was stomping her way down the hall towards Hermione looking furious.
“You stupid little Mudblood whore!” She shouted in her face.
“Excuse me?” Hermione was more shocked than angry at this point.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about! He’s mine you disgusting Mudblood!!” Pansy was close to shooting spit all over Hermione at how much her pug lips were flapping around.
“Get out of my way Parkinson. I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Hermione said and knocked the angry Slytherin out of her way.
Hermione ignored the fact Pansy was talking about Draco, there just wasn’t any possible way that anyone knew about that.
“Hey Hermione, I heard you’ve grown to like the taste of ferrets.” Seamus Finnigan said when he passed her. ‘Ok...that’s only two people...’ But by time the sixth person brought up a crude remark about her and Draco she was sprinting to the Great Hall.
After knocking the large oak doors open, Hermione slowed her pace to a fast walk and made her way to where Ron and Harry were. She took a quick glance at where Draco was and threw a fake glare at him.
“What do you think you two are doing?” Hermione asked standing behind Harry and Ron trying to sound as calm and relax as she could.
“What, the fact that you’ve been jumping into Malfoy’s bed whenever it pleases you?” Ron said first turning to face her with anger flashing through him. Hermione grabbed hard onto his collar and yanked him straight off the chair and drug him roughly behind her out of the hall. Harry followed close behind them making sure neither of his friends did something they would regret.
Hermione let go of Ron’s collar once they were well enough away from any student and rounded on him.
“You have no right to tell others about my business, especially when you have no proof.” Hermione took a shaky intake of breath.
“I saw you with Malfoy!” Ron shouted in response.
“Hermione, just tell us if it wasn’t you...” Harry said ignoring Ron’s outburst.
“Harry I... I can’t lie to you. You both are my best friends, and I don’t want to lie...” Hermione said weakly.
“It’s true then, you’re with Malfoy. Ron wasn’t making it up.” He said clenching his jaw tightly together. “I can’t believe this ‘Mione, why would you want to be with him? After all he’s done to you, and us? Think about what you’re doing.”
“I have thought about what I’ve done. I have thought about it since the beginning of the year, and I -”
“Don’t say it Hermione.” Ron warned her dangerously.
“I love him, and he loves me!” She shouted feeling tears trickling down her cheeks.
“You don’t mean that.” He said simply.
“This is a joke right?” Harry asked hoping it was. The silence answered his question, and he couldn’t stand looking at the girl in front of him.
“He’ll break your heart on purpose. He doesn’t love you, it’s a trick and you’ll find out the hard way.” Ron said and stormed off. Harry just gave her a broken look and followed his friend in quiet emotion. Ginny came up behind her best friend and hugged her tightly.
“I’m so sorry ‘Mione.”
“They were going to find out eventually, I just wished I was the one to tell them.” Hermione said as tears slipped onto her trembling lips.
“I’ll talk to Harry, but Ron needs to get through it on his own.” Ginny let go and linked arms with Hermione, “Come on, we can hang out in your Common Room for the night.”
Ginny left Hermione alone in the Common Room at her friend’s request and headed for the Gryffindor tower. She felt terrible for her, the last person that needed extra drama in her life was Hermione. Draco made her happy, Ginny was well aware of that, but Ron would never see that. Harry was a different story and Ginny was set on showing him that.
“Harry, I need to talk to you.” Ginny said walking into the Common Room and seeing her boyfriend talking with her brother. “Alone, please.” She snapped noticing that Ron wasn’t moving. He got up and disappeared up the stairs to the boy’s dormitories.
“If it’s about Hermione then I don’t want to hear it. I’m not mad at her, just, I’m very disappointed.” Harry said when Ginny sat next to him.
“They really do love eachother you know.” She said truthfully. “I’ve never seen Hermione so happy with anyone else. And so what if Draco was a royal arse the past few years, if she of all people can forgive him and realize he’s changed, then there is no reason we shouldn’t too.”
“But he’s the son of Voldemort’s most loyal follower. He was raised to be a Death Eater Gin.” Harry said flatly.
“He’s an Order member, and has already put four strong Death Eaters in Azkaban. He has changed, and it’s up to only you if you believe that. Don’t listen to Ron, he’s angry that Hermione didn’t pick him, and he isn’t thinking rationally.” Ginny finished and left Harry alone on the couch and went to her room.
Hermione woke up and thanked her luckiest stars that it was Christmas break still, and on top of that, a Saturday. She stretched her arm across Draco’s bare chest and hugged him closer to her, but woke him up in the process.
“Think anyone has forgotten about us yet?” He joked rubbing her back with his eyes still closed against the morning rays.
“I’m sure they’re writing an article in the Daily Prophet right now.” Hermione sighed rolling from the bed.
“Hey, where are you going?” He asked sitting up in his bed.
“A walk.” She left Draco’s room and quickly showered and changed into a pair of light jeans, a long sleeve and a jacket.
It only took a few minutes to get outside the castle, but Hermione soon regretted leaving the Head’s Tower. Harry was laying under a large tree in the courtyard right where she was walking. She turned around, but the crunching of the early morning frost caught his attention and he turned to see who was walking by him.
“Hermione, I want to talk to you.” Harry called back to her and sat against the trunk of the tree. “Ron isn’t coming, and I won’t yell or anything.” Hermione gave up and walked back over to him and sat quietly next to him avoiding eye contact.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you both before.”
“Mione, don’t be sorry, I understand why you didn’t speak up, I mean, Ron is a loaded cannon right now. I’m not mad, just confused. Ginny said you were happy, and I don’t want to ruin anything that makes you happy.” Harry said sincerely. “I’m willing to give him a chance. You did and so did Dumbledore, so there is no reason I shouldn’t atleast try”
“Thank you Harry, but what are we going to do about Ron? I don’t want him angry with me, but he isn’t going to get over this easily.” Hermione was happy that atleast one of her best friends wasn’t mad, but the angry red head still brought her down.
“No worries, he’ll come around. Maybe if he saw that you and Draco were truly happy he would see.” Harry suggested.
“Yeah, or he would dismember him.” She said making them both laugh lightly.
Harry and Hermione sat under the tree in the crisp January air talking and laughing as if nothing ever happened the day before. They wondered about how it will be after the Final battle when there would be nothing left to worry them. Harry enjoyed thinking about a normal life with Ginny. Being able to wake up every morning with the beautiful red head and not have to worry if a Death Eater was out there killing someone, or if Voldemort was plotting his death.
“Hermi-ny?” A voice broke their conversation. Viktor was standing, well, more towering over the two. “Have you thought more of my offer?”
“Oh, erm, Viktor I’m not sure. You see Zach is coming back for the trip and I wanted to see him.” Hermione said being honest.
“Well, maybe I will see you there anyway?” Viktor just wasn’t one to be rejected.
“Of course.” She said.
“Let’s not tell Ron about that one either.” Harry warned once Viktor was out of earshot. Hermione immediately agreed knowing fully that if Ron found out that another guy was pinning after her there would be some blown up walls around Hogwarts.
Draco spent the afternoon relaxing in the Common Room reading and playing with the designs he drew with his wand. He was bored and lonely without Hermione there, and since he had no desire to be around the Slytherins anymore that day, he was stuck by himself. A heart floated from his wand in sparkling maroon and a green Quidditch player shot out and flew around the heart several times. The portrait clicked open and then shut and Hermione came walking in.
“What are you doing?” She asked smiling at the sparkling figures floating above him. Draco jumped and the figures exploded into a million sparkling pieces and disappeared before hitting the floor.
“Nothing, I was just bored.” He said and stuffed his wand into his pocket.
“I have good news.” She laid on the couch and put her head on his lap smiling. “Harry isn’t mad, he isn’t anything. He was, well, happy that you make me happy.”
“That’s good, but what about Weasley?” Draco asked.
“Eventually he’ll get over it.” Hermione said waving the issue away and snuggling closely to him. She let the faint scent of his cologne engulf around her as the late afternoon light filtered in on the couple.
“I’ve just thought of something!” Hermione suddenly perked up after almost thirty minutes of silence between the relaxed couple. Draco just quirked his eyebrows in wonder as she continued, “Now that the whole school is going to know about us, we can go to Hogsmeade together. There’s no use in trying to hide it now, so why not spend time together in public instead of confining our relationship to this dank tower?” Draco stayed silent for some time thinking about the prospect of being with Hermione whenever he wished. It was all too obvious that he would jump at the opportunity, but his recent dream was worrying him.
“Hermione, there’s something wrong that I need to tell you.”
“Is it safe to assume that it isn’t Viktor that is bothering you?” She asked feeling a bit concerned about what he was going to tell her.
“No, it’s not about Krum. Yesterday before dinner, I had a bit of a dream that’s been bothering me.” Draco directed his eyes to the sinking sun through the floor to ceiling window. “We were in Hogsmeade together and it was wonderful, but something happened. Whoever it was that attacked me months ago was there. He stole you from me, and there was nothing I could do. Hermione he-”
“Oh don’t be silly Draco. Harry and Ginny will be there with us the whole day also, and even Zach is coming back for the day to visit us. Don’t let this worry you, alright? I promise nothing will happen. And the man that attacked you hasn’t come back for a very long time.” Hermione grabbed onto his hand with both of hers and placed it on her chest.
“I swear nothing will happen, and I trust that you will always be able to protect me no matter what.” Seeing that Draco was still pondering over the situation, Hermione sat up and stood from the couch. “That’s it! We’re going for a walk. Come on I know that a sit by the lake will make you feel better.” A small grin showed up on his face as he was pulled up from the couch by the smiling brunette.
In the halls and corridors students watched shocked as the Slytherin Sex God and the Gryffindor Know-it-All walked together so closely, and happy together at that. Not many of them believed the rumor of the couple, but now having proof, they went absolutely mad. Draco laughed lightly at the ridiculous reactions different groups had and noticed how Hermione ignored them all. He reached for her hand and the unlikely couple walked proudly through the school and out to the beautifully illuminated lake in the sunset.
Zach stomped into the extravagant kitchen of the Hollinger Mansion. His family was never in the kitchen, only the house elves knew where things were besides Zach himself. He had been fighting with his father since the second he stepped through the fireplace, but he had a feeling his father was angered by something else. Befriending a muggle-born and Harry Potter was a small offense in the Hollinger book. Zach had grown up believing any witch or wizard, pureblood or not, was capable of beating him in a duel. It didn’t matter their background, if he wasn’t perfect with his spells, anyone could defeat him. Opening up the fridge, Zach pulled out a bottle of cold fire whiskey and squished the dark brown liquid around in its container. He walked over to the cabinet and grabbed a shot glass, but in examining it he put it back and grabbed a larger glass.
“You shouldn’t drink at your age...” His mother’s soft voice carried over to him. Zach ignored her and continued pouring the liquid into the glass. After capping the bottle and putting it onto the counter his mother approached him. “He loves you very much Zachary.”
“What do you want mum?” He said avoiding eye contact.
“Zachary, please just know that your father and I love you very much. He only fights with you because he loves you and doesn’t want to see you get hurt. You father is a good man, and it kills him everytime you two go at eachother.”
“You aren’t going to drink that.” She said easily slipping the glass from his hands and poured the fire whiskey into the sink without any protests from her son. “See, we both know you don’t drink that horrid concoction.”
“Is there something you need?”
“Yes, there is something important that your father and I have kept from you. Come, sit down with me.” She linked arms with him and led him to the small bistro table out on the kitchen porch. “You’ve grown so much, you know that? I remember when you where as tall as my waist. Now look at you, taller than your own mum.” Zach hated when she did this. When she spoke of his younger years, there was always something horrible continuing it.
“Please, just get to the point.” Zach mumbled as he sat his mother down and seated himself across from her.
“There was a reason why we sent you to Hogwarts this year. The Dark Lord, he had a plan for you and your cousin. Draco is a very powerful wizard, and he has power that the Dark Lord has yet to see in action. The same goes for you Zachary. Oh, but you have a good heart son, a very good heart. The Dark Lord doesn’t know that though, he believes that you and Draco will still come together and defeat the Light side together.” His mother was near to tears now. “I know about Draco, honey. No one else does, but they will find out soon.”
“What do you know?” Zach asked becoming worried for his cousin’s sake.
“He is in love, but with someone forbidden. If the Dark Lord knew, the girl would be killed without hesitation. But there is something, someone out there. I’ve been watching, and there is another presence that should not be in Draco’s life. The man after Draco isn’t supposed to be here.” His mother was crying and holding Zach’s hands in her own shaky grip.
“Of course he isn’t supposed to be here. He tried to kill Draco.”
“No, you don’t understand. The man isn’t supposed to be here, in this time. Draco did something to upset his life that wasn’t supposed to ever happen. Your father and I are worried for you and Draco. That’s why we took you out of Hogwarts in hope that the problem would fix itself without your influence around.” Zach’s eyes darted to everything in his surroundings. He couldn’t take the information that his mother was just throwing at him.
“I need to go to bed.” He said simply and stood from the small table. He kissed his mother’s damp cheek and walked quickly to his wing of the house.
Zach slammed his room door and magically locked it. He sat lightly on his large satin bed, but refused to lay down. ‘Hermione is what came into Draco’s life. He was attacked after the two had spent the night together.’ Zach collapsed onto his back and rubbed his face with his hands. He couldn’t take anymore guilt from just one person. Hermione had caused chaos in his conscience ever since he read about her parents dying in the ‘fire’. He knew the truth, but there was no way to just come out and tell her. And then the poor girl was almost raped by some creep. Something tugged at his mind that day when she was walking back to the school. He wanted to go along with her so that she wasn’t alone. But he didn’t, he let her wander alone through the school just to be taken away by that disgusting guy. And now, she was the reason his cousin was being attacked and no one knew but him and his parents. Guilt, it was all he felt now, and it was building by the day.
Author's Note: There is no preview for chapter 17. Sorry, but it isn't finished and polished up quite yet. I felt the need to get this chapter out asap and not wait the couple days it would take to finish it and get a preview from. I will tell you that Zach has a major role in the next chapter, and so does Voldemort. Is it going to be good things for either of them?? Hm maybe Voldie is just planning a quiet vacation to the Bahamas away from evil doing and Potter Plotting. And Zach could just have bought a sweet little puppy and brought it to Hogsmeade for everyone to see. Would anyone here bet thats what's going to happen??? Haha didn't think so. Anyway, tell me what you think about the closing chapters! I love reading every single one of my readers opinions!!
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