Author’s Note Well, there are some changes. This chapter isn’t called ‘Pandora’s Box II’ anymore. At first, the plot of the second chapter was too long so I had to spilt it into two parts. But now, it really is too long. Thus, the ‘second chapter’s’ plot is going to be spilt into three parts. This is the second part, by the way. A little warning: somewhere in the middle, it’ll get a little more… emotional. (insertweirdiconhere) Don’t worry too much though. ^^
By the way, if you understood what I just rambled about, a cookie to you.
This chapter is dedicated to hprbdfan aka iliana, whom, as far as I know, is experiencing something similar to the star of Pandora’s Box.
Good luck, hun!
Her Tangled Mess
“Professor! W-What- How can you do this?!”
“Ms Granger, the decision is final.”
“But Professor! You can’t! He’s not right for the position, he’s not- he’s a Malfoy, Professor!”
Professor McGonagall sighed and peered at me with tired eyes, they portraying sympathy and firmness at the same time.
“Professor Snape has selected him and seeing as none of the other professors objected nor selected any students from their own houses, the position goes to Mr. Malfoy.
And Ms Granger, it would be best if you kept his family heritage out of this,”
I groaned as a feeling of dread passed through me.
I have to work with the ignorant, pig-headed, cowardly, selfish, evil little…
Grumpily, I shut the door to Professor McGonagall’s office and headed back to the Heads’ dormitories.
Harry had already left for the Gryffindor dormitories once his shock had died down. He had wished me luck, sent Malfoy a glare and headed back to his own dormitories. Professor Dumbledore only smiled and bid us a ‘good day’ before leaving himself.
Malfoy’s face had immediately turned sour and before he could start cooking up childish insults, like every other time we meet, I had run from the Heads’ dormitories to the professor’s office, seeking an explanation, only to leave dead buried in reality.
I felt like pulling at my messy hair, twisting my face into one of absolute ugliness and moaning, “NOOOOO…” into the darkness of the corridor.
But of course, I couldn’t.
Tilting my head up and sticking my chin into the air, I marched back to the Heads’ dorms, promising myself that no matter what happens, I wouldn’t play with Malfoy and his silly little insults, allowing him to get onto my nerves.
“SHUT UP!! SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!”
“STUPID MUDBLOOD! WHY DON’T YOU THROW YOURSELF DOWN A BLOODY TOWER?!”
“YOU GO THROW YOURSELF DOWN A BLOODY TOWER! YOU’RE DELUSIONED IF YOU THINK I’M GOING TO LISTEN TO YOU!”
”YEAH? WELL, I WOULDN’T LISTEN TO YOU ANYWAY! YOU’RE NOTHING BUT A MUDBLOOD!”
“I’M NOT SOME CHILD WHO CRIES WHEN TAUNTED, MALFOY! YOU ARE SO IMMATURE!”
“AND YOU ARE FLITH!”
”BETTER THAT THAN BEING SOMEBODY LIKE YOU!!”
Screaming at the top of my lungs, I slammed the door to my room shut as the door at the opposite end of the room crashed to a close as well.
Grabbing the nearest pillow, I stuffed it into my face and screamed into the cloth of feathers, nearly succeeding in suffocating myself.
The ringing in my ears were dizzying.
Throwing myself on my fluffy and frilly, light colored-cherry bed, I forced my eyes closed and swallowed, trying to soothe my raw throat as a dull yet painful throb resonated in my head.
With my own yells, shouts and muffled screams, I managed to throw in another headache atop all my other problems.
Was there anything that’s not screwing up in my life?
Groaning, I pried my eyes open.
Feeling much to pessimistic to describe the morning scenery, I reluctantly pulled myself out of bed, tangled locks and all, and trudged into the bathroom.
It wasn’t easy trying to wash up because every time I held my breath to splatter water on my face, my throat throbbed in pain and my ears started to pulsate a dull twinge.
Oh yes. My throat was definitely infected.
I tried to speak but what came out instead was a raspy breath. I started panicking when the fact that I would be missing lessons dawned on me. Desperately, I began shouting, if hoarse gasps of air was considered as shouting, in hopes of regaining my voice somehow.
The outcome, however, was that my throat burned and my ears felt like they were on the verge of falling off in pain.
Hopelessly, I sat myself on the edge of my bathtub, trying to hold back a tear.
What did I do to deserve this…?
Grudgingly, I sat myself on the sofa in the Common Room.
I couldn’t talk and I felt feverish. It wasn’t as though I had a choice.
I just wanted to fall back into bed and sleep.
What seemed like an eternity later, the ferret finally emerged from his room. I tried not to roll my eyes at his awful attempt at trying to look handsome.
He’s going to do you a favor Hermione, I silently berated, don’t be rude… for now.
Malfoy, much too engrossed in himself, walked right past me without even noticing.
It wasn’t until I cleared my throat, in a very hoarse manner, did he look back and sneer.
“Well, well. Scarhead’s Mudblood. What are you doing here?”
I almost wanted to laugh at his idiocy.
Holding back my amusement, which was sure to hurt my throat, I waved a piece of paper in front of his face.
Curiosity etched his features as I handed it to him.
As though struck by lightning, he quickly stepped back and eyed the parchment suspiciously. I openly rolled my eyes at him as he withdrew his wand and muttered, “Accio,”
Honestly. What did he see in that piece of flimsy parchment that’s so scary?
Tell the professors I can’t go for lessons today.
My throat’s hurting thanks to you.
Surprised, he glanced at me, as though hoping I would start laughing and tell him it’s a joke.
“What makes you think I would want to help you? I, Draco Malfoy, help someone as filthy as you? That’s disgusting!” he spat.
My eyes hardened as I signaled for him to turn the piece of parchment over, fist curling into balls.
And don’t even think about refusing, Malfoy.
He snorted and rolled his eyes before glancing back at me.
Or rather, the tip of my wand.
Immediately, he moved back yet again, as threatening, silver sparks flew out of my wand.
“What the hell! Y-you think you can threaten me with your stupid spells? You can’t even talk! Stupid mudblood!”
My eyes narrowed and almost instantly, the burnt logs in the fireplace burst into flames. The windows ripped open, allowing the wind to whip in as the sparks from my wand slowly turned a deep, dark red.
What the hell is so hard about telling the professors I can’t go to class?! You wretched prat! It’s your fault I can’t talk!
I wanted to yell those exact words at his face but the anger was already burning painfully at my throat.
His eyes widened as he dropped the note in fright.
Shaking, he managed, “What- what the hell are you doing?! Put the stupid wand down!”
The sparks were on the verge of leaving nasty cuts on his neck. Again, I gestured to the note, as if daring him to repudiate.
“F- fine! Fine! I- I’ll tell McGonagall! You little… take the stupid wand away!!”
On hearing both his agreement and the note of fear in his voice, I lowered my wand as the effects of my anger wore off.
Instantaneously, he scowled nastily.
Grabbing the note, he rushed out of the room, robe whipping at his ankles as he hurried.
I glared as his retreating head and marched stiffly into my room, grumbling with every step I took.
Just what was Professor Dumbledore thinking?! Dear Merlin…
Harry… Please- I- I’ll change! Don’t go… Harry……
“…please… HARR- !
Tangled in the sheets, I was on the floor.
Tearstains were evident on my cheeks and I was shaking all over. My nose was runny and as I reached up to feel the spot where I landed on, I could feel a bump on my head.
But I couldn’t feel the pain.
I couldn’t feel anything except cold.
Why did Harry prefer Ginny?
Was I not good enough?
I began to cry as a bout of tears poured down my face, staining my cheeks.
I was crying for having lost the one thing I held so dear.
Louder, my mind was telling me.
Cry louder. Cry the pain away. Cry everything away…
The cold kept eating at me. No matter how hard I cried, the emptiness was filling me inside.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see past my tears.
My head was too heavy… my body was too light.
I felt lost.
Everything was too daunting.
Everything was too real.
The footsteps sounding outside my door seemed magnified.
They were stomping, loud and angry.
Yet strangely enough, as disturbing as they were, they brought me back onto earth… back to my senses.
“IT’S BLOODY LATE, MUDBLOOD! STUFF THE NOISE!”
His footsteps grew fainter and fainter...
Not long after, I was hiccupping slightly.
The feeling of being consumed whole by weariness was returning.
The hammering in my head was coming back.
The emptiness was slowly leaving, leaving only traces of bitterness and frost.
I don’t know how, but after a while, my eyes slowly and reluctantly fluttered shut as I fell into a dreamless sleep, sprawled out on the floor in the same tangled mess.
“That’s… that’s great, Ginny! It- it’s great…”
She cast a worried look my way.
No. Not now. Don’t cry now.
“Mione… I- I really hope-”
“No, Ginny. I don’t mind Y- you two would- would make a good pair. I’m good. I’m fine. It’s great. H-Harry would want it…”
“I-I’ll be going now. I- I’ll be seeing you around. I have to go…”
“Ginny. I- It's fine. I- I have to go. It’s getting late. I have duties to- to attend to.”
Please… don’t cry now…
“See y-you around Ginny.”
Willing myself to walk normally without slumping on the wall in defeat, I headed for the Heads’ dorms, my face and posture completely void of emotion, mulling over what had just happened.
“Harry and I- We- we’re…”
I looked up sharply from my book to find Ginny standing before me, eyes on the floor.
It had been five days since my last breakdown. I had told Ginny about it and still, she stood by me.
Everyday suddenly became meaningless, just something I had to endure.
Books normally helped me through. It was so easy to get lost in every page, every sentence and every word.
Still, if everything became too much to handle, Ginny was who I’d turn to.
She’d look out for me, cry with me…
She visibly hesitated and I began to worry.
“We’re- now… Harry- he… asked me- and I- so I…”
Oh Merlin. Please don’t tell me…
“Y-you two are…”
Ginny bit her lip and her eyes met mine. Emotion was stirring in them but my heart was pounding too loudly in my chest to process that thought.
“You two are- are… together?
She looked away.
Why am I drowning in this chill all the time?
Why am I so hollow?
Everything was coming back at full force, first then headache, next the shaking, the sobs, the pain…
Suffocating. I’m suffocating.
The heavy feeling in my head returned.
I felt wrong, I felt erroneous.
I felt broken.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to rip everything apart, to pull at my hair, to scratch myself. I wanted to yell and shout and shriek till I couldn’t.
And yet I wanted, more than anything, for everything to return to what it once was.
Before, it had seemed entirely possible for Harry and I to reconcile.
But right now, every single thing was spinning downhill.
Why did she agree to be together with him..?
She has been fancying Harry for over four years, Hermione! Have more sense!
But why did Harry ask her…?
He doesn’t even know you’re in this state! Look at yourself! Everyone is moving on!
But I- B-but Harry…
Stop fretting over him! Stop it right now!
I was so sick of crying.
Yet I couldn’t do anything else but cry.
For the second time in six nights, footsteps sounded from outside my door.
Alarms were sounding in my head.
Turn away! Turn before the ferret catches you weak!
Yet the other side of me didn’t care who saw. The other side of me just wanted the madness to go away.
“Granger! For the last time, stop crying! I don’t give a rat’s arse on why you bawl like a baby but it’s nauseating when people are trying to sleep! Merlin’s sake, woman! If I were allowed, I’d curse you to-” he stopped short when he met my eyes.
I knew what he was seeing.
A weak, shaking, whimpering girl, covered in blankets and trails of tears on her cheeks. Hair unkempt, eyes puffy and quivering like a beggar without a home.
I wanted to die.
He looked shocked but slowly, it began to wear off as a smirk took its place.
“You’re a bloody mess, mudblood. What’s the matter, Potty dumped you?” he taunted, lips curling into a sneer.
I wanted nothing more at the point, to bury a hole in the ground and disappear from the face of the earth but a strong voice inside my head was yelling instructions.
Stand and grab your wand! He’s nothing more than a miserable git! Come on! Stand up!
So I tried.
The keyword being: tried.
The first thing that came out of my mouth when I opened it was a sob.
A weak, soft, heartbroken sob.
He froze as my tears came pouring down like a waterfall.
My cheeks were burning with shame but I couldn’t stop.
“Y-you- you get, get ou-out!”
I couldn’t even manage my words right.
He didn’t move, only stared at my tears as they trailed from my cheek and dripped down my chin.
I cried louder.
Oh Merlin, help me!
I was begging.
I have never been more humiliated in my entire life!
Stop crying! Stop! STOP!!
“G-GET OU-OUT! GO A- A- WAY!”
He was just standing there, staring and staring.
Stop staring! Stop staring you little-!
But before that train of thought could end, what he did next surprised me.
Gazing at me, he took an uncertain step forward as the hatred, hardness and Malfoy emotion in his eyes seemed to flicker… and die out.
I pressed myself against the wall as he set another foot forward.
Why wouldn’t he just leave me alone?
My wand was on my bed and from where he was standing right now, I couldn’t get it without passing him.
My vision snapped from the wand on my bed to his eyes.
There was something stirring in them.
Something that looked so close to concern.
“Are you…” he tried again.
The said emotion flashed again in his eyes.
Was it really concern?
Malfoy’s don’t feel concern!
Why would he anyway? You’re so pathetic, just sitting there like some… pitiful… thing. Get up! Get up right now!
The tears were still pooling out of my eyes as he hesitantly stepped closer.
I didn’t know what to do.
Try to get him out got no response, ignoring him was just useless and to be honest, I was much too tired. I wanted to clump over and sleep.
I wanted warmth.
I looked up at Malfoy’s blank eyes; still gazing at the fresh tears on my cheeks, his posture unnaturally stiff...
I needed warmth.
I wasn’t quite sure what had happened after that thought swam across my mind.
All that my muddled brain could register were the closing of my eyes… and the inhale of a single, shaky breath before I found myself sobbing again.
Sobbing hard in the arms of Draco Malfoy.
Author’s Note Ahaha! There you go, my pretties! A super-sized (well, super-sized in my case) chapter for putting up with my lazy fingers!
I had a camp a couple days back though… and this chapter wasn’t ready to be beta`ed yet at that point of time. Hence, the late update.
So yeah, this is for anyone who (actually bothers to) puts up with my randomness:
Camp was FUN! Yeah, okay, so the training part made me swear a little but hey, camp is all about roughing it! Even though we slept in the school… …
OK! Much, much, much love to all my lovely readers aka reviewers, you all rock my socks and you better know it cause leaving another one will make you rock some more! *woots!*
Before I forget, please don’t throw flames and rotten eggs at me because of the little… emotional scene Hermione had to go through. Was it overboard? I tend to go overboard but I really hope it wasn’t. I was trying to inject as much humane emotions, feelings and expressions into it. *shuffles feet* I hope it wasn’t too horrible… Next chapter titled, ‘Pandora’s Box II’ until further notice!
And again, this chapter is dedicated to the lovely hprdbfan or, iliana. Good luck, hun! *huggles*
Well. I think you’re spared of my ramblings.
The review box is tapping his (her?) foot impatiently!
Lots and lots of love, Meg~