Both Hermione and Malfoy walked into the Great Hall for dinner which had already started unhappily. That night in bed both tossed and turned thinking about their futures before falling into a fitful sleep.
The next night was detention and it was the best detention Hermione had ever had. That day the three had still been barely talking, and no apologies had been said making all three feel miserable. Harry had tried to convince Ron to apologize, only to be glared at making him shut up about the subject.
That night all three were ushered into the trophy room to polish for detention with Filch making sure they didn't try to escape by lurking around the hallway outside the door. It had started out silent, the only sounds being the scrubbing and huffs of the three students. It wasn't long before Ron got annoyed though and threw his brush down grumbling loudly about Snape.
"Ron! Shush- Filch will hear." She whispered stopping Ron mid-ramble to look at Hermione.
He stared at her for a while before sighing. "Listen Hermione about yesterday I'm uh..well I shouldn't have blown up at you so much and uh, sorry." He said looking sheepish. Then as if to redeem some of his dignity added hastily "but just remember to keep us in touch with your life from now on okay?" He said, making Hermione smile wide. She knew it was hard for him to apologize so she wasn't going to be picky about how he did it.
"Deal" she said grinning and all three friends sighed in relief. After that they were smiling and whispering jokes to each other for the rest of detention keeping the subjects light-hearted and trivial.
The next three days passed normally. Hermione was ecstatic to be back to normal with Harry and Ron but she couldn't help the fact that Harry and Ron were starting to get on her nerves.
They were constantly whispering about the father, and though they thought they were doing it so she couldn't hear, she knew what they were doing. Sure it was a disturbing image for both of them, Hermione doing it with some guy, but they couldn't help trying to figure out who he is.
On Friday Hermione had three classes, Herbology, Arithmacy, and DADA. She whizzed through Herbology with Neville as her partner and was in a very good mood. She had woken up to a crisp clear day, the sun hidden mostly by clouds so it was neither too cold or warm, the mild wind waking her up effectively and pleasantly.
After class she had finished all her Transfiguration homework not due until Monday only taking a short break for lunch and had pleasant conversations with Harry and Ron and Arithmacy after. All was going well.
Well it was before Ron started whispering with Harry again. She couldn't take it any more. She exploded.
"Stop! It's none of your buisness! I'll tell you when I tell you! Now don't mention it again!" She hadn't mean to snap like that, it just happened.
After that explosion Harry and Ron avoided her for a good hour scared for their well-beings, but came back not uttering a single whisper. True it was not happily they dropped it, but they did drop the subject.
By the time DADA rolled around she felt nothing could ruin today after her friends agreed to drop the subject of the father. Not to mention they would meet their DADA teacher today.
On Wednesday Snape had come in to teach as the new professor hadn't arrived yet. Not only that but no one knew who their new professor was supposed to be as he hadn't been announced at the beginning of the feast.
However, there was one round faced Gryffindor who would have never taken DADA if he knew who the professor was going to be. The trio walked into DADA chatting lightly until Neville came in, and proceeded to promptly let out a shriek and pale.
For at the front of the classroom was his uncle Algie. A fact Malfoy quickly spotted after a quick imitation towards Nott and Zambini of Neville's girly shriek which both boys shamelessly sniggered at.
He then promptly glided over to Neville, and seeing their new professor busy trying to sort papers whispered to Neville "Oh wonderful Longbottom. You can finally show your uncle all your magnificent skills and stunning intelligence". Each word specifically designed to freak Neville out.
Neville's eyes promptly widened in fear as his breathing got harder and faster. Hermione shot over to Neville trying to speak words of comfort while glaring at Malfoy who had not moved and was now staring at her amused. "Neville, really your uncle will be proud. You did make it to NEWTS didn't you? You'll do fine, don't panic."
Neville slowly turned his head looking disbelieving at Hermione. Before he could answer though the source of all Neville's panic spoke. "Good afternoon! I am Professor Algie and I will be teaching this class. Now take your seats."
The class was for the most part normal. They jumped into the first lesson, however the entire class Neville looked as pale as a ghost. Their new professor asked quite a few questions, and though Hermione's hand always shot up as per usual, Algie always stared at Neville asking him for the answer ignoring the others.
This resulted in a lot of fidgeting and sweating from Neville, and for each question Hermione took pity on him. While Neville was glancing around panicked after being addressed by his old uncle she would catch his eye and mouth the answer to him. He would then squeak it out and Professor Algie would beam saying "good job!"
At the end of class as they all walked out Neville rushed over to Hermione thanking her over and over for the help in class. She beamed from the gratitude and took in all in stride declaring it ‘no problem' proudly as she held her head high walking to the great hall for dinner, Harry and Ron racing ahead ready for food.
"Gee Granger, never thought you'd be one for cheating, but now that I think of it, it would explain how Potter and Weasley managed to stumble into NEWT classes." Malfoy said calmly gliding up to her in the hallway. He had not missed the fact she had given Longbottom all the answers, nor had anyone else except the professor. A fact he found extremely annoying. He had been looking forward toward Neville choking up in class and Granger just had to ruin it.
She stopped, turned and glared. "He would have been perfectly fine if you hadn't freaked him out before class Malfoy. And Harry and Ron are not stupid. They could make perfectly good grades all by themselves." She stated trying to defend her friends.
He rolled his eyes and retorted "You can not seriously believe that?" He was about to elaborate but Hermione cut him off, knowing at some level he was right.
She was pretty sure she was the only one who knew the answers to half the questions back there, and Neville may have only known a few, if any, but he didn't have to harp on that fact. "You are impossible. No one is perfect Malfoy and Neville is trying to do well at least. You on the other hand, are just lazy."
"No Granger not lazy, just not book obsessed. And I still manage to do better than most- including Longbottom. And as for being impossible, you know that's not true. Didn't I just compromise with you the other day?" He asked raising his eyebrows leaning closer to Hermione who at the present moment had no idea how to act.
"I...um need to go." She said nervously before darting away. He stood there staring after her. He needed to do some serious thinking. There was a damn good reason why he had bothered talking to her, and she didn't even seem to realize this fact. Didn't she realize that was him making small talk? Meaning he was attempting to talk to her.
Obviously she had not picked up on anything, well until the end. Seeing her so unsure just because he leaned towards her was a very interesting concept. He could have fun with this.
That planning for that would have to wait though. For now he had to find a way to get guys away from her. Why? The same reason why he had tried to talk to her just now.
For the past three days he had been content to think of Granger as an annoying thorn in his side carrying his baby. An object if you will instead of a person. That morning though, he had noticed Seamus looking over at Granger with interest. It had made him reevaluate everything.
It had been at breakfast, and seeing someone else look at her had made him frown. He had gotten the urge to go over there and wrap his arm around her in a warning to Finnigean not to try anything but thankfully was able to stop himself.
Still, it had opened his eyes to a very odd fact. He didn't want anyone going after her. Oddly enough, he was feeling protective of her. She was still a thorn in his side, but as of Monday she was his thorn. As long as she carried his baby, there would be no other guy. Of that, he was positive. The only question now was how to make sure that happened.
Later that night in bed he came to another startling conclusion. As long as Granger carried his baby, he didn't really want to be with any other girl. Upon realizing this he shot up in bed his eyes wide and started to breathe deeply. He must be going mad. Did this mean he wanted to..to..be with Granger?!
He frantically thought and tried to soothe himself. No. He did not want to be with her, he simply didn't want another guy around the bush that had his baby, and he didn't want to.....be with another girl? Ok. That last part made him wonder but he was tired and didn't feel like dwelling on it anymore. Instead he shut his thoughts off as he dropped into a deep sleep. He could always deal with it later.
Hermione sighed going to bed that night. Part of her had been wishing since Monday that Malfoy may act a little differently towards her now, but apparently not. The incident with Neville in DADA just proved he was the Malfoy she always had known. She didn't know what she was expecting and she couldn't really be disappointed, yet she was.
Harry stared wide eyed at the top of his canopy while laying on his bed listening to the snores of his fellow dorm mates. It had been almost a week since school started and the events of the last night of summer were just scaring him more and more. Especially now, now that he knew.
He had been feeling a little distant since school started, though he tried to regularly talk and laugh with Hermione and Ron. He was trying to act normal, and he was doing a pretty good job, but truth be told he had been in a daze since he got here.
The only time he had felt alert was earlier in the week when Hermione talked about the father of her baby and the fight broke out, but that was short-lived. He was fading away.
He knew he should be supporting Hermione right now and how much she needed it. And he also knew he wasn't doing a very good job of it, tending to avoid the subject of her baby, but he just couldn't bring himself to mention things that would only cause more emotions and drama.
He had way to much of both those things running through his head to last him a life time already. He just couldn't be her support right now. He was falling, and he needed support as well.
And it was all because of September 1, 1997 2:04 am.
He had been asleep waiting anxiously for Hogwarts the next day when he heard a crash startling him out of his sleep. He glanced around his room, everything seemed normal. But what was downstairs?
His heart beat fast with fear as he fumbled for his wand tiptoeing out of his room casting silencing spells on his aunt and uncle's and his cousin's rooms. He tiptoed downstairs his bare feet making no noise on the wooden floorboards ready to hex however was there.
He had heard his uncle and cousin's snores so any hopes of it just being them getting a late-night snack had been dashed away.
He rounded the stairs and froze. He was face to face with....Bellatrix Lestrange.
She grinned that crooked grin of hers and before Harry could register what was happening he was hit with a curse sending him flying into the living room's end table. His back was painfully throbbing as he rolled out of the way of another curse just in time.
There was no time to think, no time to question why she was here alone, only time to act. In a blind panic he scrambled behind the couch using a moment to catch his breath before popping up yelling 'petrificus totalus!' And just as quickly ducking back down not even waiting to see of his curse hit her, though he prayed to merlin it had.
A second later though he knew it hadn't as she let out an evil cackle hissing "First year spell Potter? Pathetic, come out and you'll see what real spells can do."
He jumped back up yelling 'Stupefy!' and went right back down as he had with his first spell not waiting to see if his spell hit or not.
She growled as she dodged it and losing her patience shot a spell at the couch, which then exploded sending fabric and cotton everywhere.
Harry's eyes were wide with fear as she approached and he scurried to back away, though he soon hit the wall. Oh god, he was going to die. No other thought could enter Harry's mind, only that this was it, he was going to die in the living room next to a vase of flowers and an exploded couch. So much for saving the wizarding world, they were on their own now. He would soon be six feet under.
"Aw no one to save precious Potter. No Order, no Sirius, what's the wittle boy-who-lived going to do now." She cooed with hate in her eyes and hissing out the words 'precious' as she had never heard something more disgusting than that word in her life.
Sirius. That word broke Harry out of his shock of utter fear as no other word could.
He blinked trying to think straight and he caught her gaze. Her eyes were cold and cruel. No sympathy, no love, barely even human. And then for the first time he truly realized where he was.
Here in front of him was the woman who had killed Sirius. Here was the woman who tortured people like Neville's parents into insanity for fun. Here was the woman who killed for Voldermort- and here was the woman who would not kill him! "NO!" He yelled so loud Bellatrix's faced registered shock if only for a moment.
But that moment was the last one Bellatrix Lestrage would ever know.
Harry barely knowing what he was doing used that moment to shout the words he never thought would come from his mouth. Avada Kedavra. And in that flash of green light, Harry Potter had killed Bellatrix Lestrage.
He stood there unmoving for ten minutes just staring. No thoughts no emotion, he was a zombie. Nothing moved, not even a cricket could be heard.
And then, he fell to his knees and cried. What had he done? He was a murderer. He had killed. He couldn't believe what he had just shouted. Sure fighting death eaters was one thing, but he had just....killed one.
He looked away from the floor in-between his legs over to where Bellatrix laid still as a rock, and sobbed gasping for breath. He had done that, he was the reason she would never move again. Suddenly it didn't matter what her past was, he had murdered her and that....that just wasn't right.
His wand lay in front of him, dropped by him as he had fell to his knees. He needed to bury her. She was evil, but she at least deserved a burial. He walked over his face still wet with tears and picked her up bringing her to the backyard where a warm summer night's breeze caressed his face. He laid her on the grass and scooted inside to pick up his wand going straight back out to Bellatrix.
He then mumbled spells digging a hole in the ground, which after levitating Bellatrix into he filled back up, casting a fast growing grass charm so by morning the ground would look perfectly normal. He stared blankly a the ground she was now under, while more tears fell from his eyes.
He eventually made his way back into the house and cleaned up the house repairing the sofa with his wand in a haze. He stared around the room once he was done and it looked normal.
Like nothing had ever happened, like someone had not just been murdered. Like someone had not just been buried in the backyard. It made him tremble again and he stumbled up the stairs into his bed, mindlessly lifting the silencing charms as he went.
Now back at Hogwarts in his dorm bed, he was wide awake as tears trickled down his face. Ten minutes ago his scar felt red hot as if it would sear him if he dared touched it. It was excruciating and he pressed his head back on his pillow, his face grimaced and his back arching up as the pain continued. He bit his lip holding in yells of agony afraid of waking up the others until it was finally over. He then knew Voldermort had finally heard of Bellatrix's death. The death he had caused.
The next morning was lively with students racing outside to enjoying the first weekend of the school year. Well the second through fourth years at least. The first years were overwhelmed with the fact they had homework and were trying to learn how to write an essay. Though it wasn't much compared to the other years most first years had never had this much homework or written essays before. A skill well known to the older students especially the fifth through seventh years starting on their truckload of homework from their NEWT classes and OWL obsessed teachers. Over all it was a normal start to a normal weekend.
Hermione snatched a chair in the common room early on before they were all taken and had her Charms book opened ready to do her first Charms assignment of the year. She felt exhilarated being back in school. Though it was nice to have a break, summer bored her, even with baby stuff to buy.
She listened happily to the scratching of quills, rustling of parchment and textbooks, hushed questions, groans of frustration. All the wonderful sounds of Hogwarts. She felt pleased as sentence after sentence poured out of her quill. This normalcy was nice, it was just like back in sixth year before she was worried about a baby. Before her life had become intensely more complicated.
Speaking of complicated. She glanced a regal looking owl swooping towards the Gryffindor Tower's window a letter clutched in its' claws. She sprung out of her seat quickly gliding over to the window to quickly retrieve the letter as soon as it made it to the windowsill afterwards shooing it out which it did after snapping it's beak at her and puffing out it's chest not liking being shooed.
It had been Malfoy's owl and had she let it in there was a sure chance someone would recognize it. Due to it came in almost every morning with something for Malfoy from his parents and a copy of the Daily Prophet. After seeing it every morning for the past 6 years, any seventh year could recognize it in a matter of seconds and she did not wish for anyone to realize Malfoy would ever send her a letter. She went back to her chair and opened it under the table keeping it from other's eyes.
Meet me by Christoph the Klutz after lunch. We need to talk so prepare whatever excuse you want to tell Potter and Weasley as one for the whole afternoon.
She sighed and charmed it to rip into shreds so no one else could read it. She had just had her friends yell at her for keeping secrets Monday, she didn't want to have to make up an excuse for them. Yet, she knew it was either that or tell them about Malfoy. Excuse it is.
"I'll you guys later, I have an appointment for uh.." She trailed of pointing discreetly towards her stomach as she was still in the Great Hall after finishing lunch. Harry and Ron stared for a second and then as they realized what she meant just nodded grinning and winking, glad to be the ones who knew her secret, the only ones- or so they thought.
There, she did it, and without lying! She did have an appointment about the baby. She just left out the part about it being with Malfoy. She walked up to the third floor where the statue of Christoph the Klutz was to see Malfoy leaning on a nearby wall reading a book.
She cleared her throat and his head shot up looking around for anyone else and seeing they were alone, snapped his book shut looking at her.
"You take a long time to eat lunch Granger. You know that?" He said calmly sighing and rolling his eyes at the glare directed at him from Hermione.
He took this moment to look at her from every angle and Hermione subconsciously straightened her back and shuffled asking timidly "What?" suddenly feeling very nervous under his roaming eyes.
She was wearing a knitted red and purple stripped sweater, plain blue jeans and tennis shoes, nothing out of the normal there. She did have a chest and some curves he noticed even through her conservative clothes though he couldn't make out much about them. She was defiantly not fat, overall not a bad figure. Her face was round and symmetrical with big brown eyes, full lips, a smooth curved nose, all framed by a frizzy poof of brown hair, that now that he studied it looked very soft. He could see why Finnigean was interested.
"Malfoy, did you want to talk or stare?" She said out of her need to get his eyes off of her, it was making her feel way to self-conscious for her liking. He snapped out of it and smirked.
"And what would I be staring at Granger?" He challenged. She immediately recoiled from saying her answer out loud not wanting to say he was staring at her. What if he wasn't and she just thought he was? How embarrassing that would be. Instead she choose a safe answer.
"I haven't a clue. I only know you looked like Crabbe or Goyle in....well any class for a few moments. Perhaps they're starting to rub off on you. I'd be careful to not start eating 5 meals a day." She said looking serious as though this was what she really thought.
He glared and mimicked her little speech with his mouth silently before huffing and crossing his arms.
Okay, time to reevaluate. If he wanted Granger away from other guys, he supposed he had to ‘hook up' with her himself. Ugh. And if that wasn't bad enough she was not going to make this easy, she was not going to make the first move. Now he had to, and he had not the first clue about how to do it.
Well he defiantly wasn't going to embarrass or degrade himself in anyway for it. It was him making the sacrifice in going after a mudblood in the first place. But, then what could he do? His steely blue eyes gleamed as he got the perfect idea- one with a very very low embarrassment risk. It took him all of 5 seconds to come up with it, but it felt a lot longer.
He strode up to where she was standing and declared. "Sorry ‘bout that lunch comment, I forgot you're eating for two." He said with a small grin glancing down at her stomach.
Hermione stared very confused. One Malfoy was grinning at her, not a huge one, but a grin nevertheless.. Two he apologized. Apologized for a little comment that she was hardly even bothered by, not even an important one like calling her ‘mudblood' when she was younger. If he was going to act nice, couldn't he at least apologize for the insults he called her instead? That's what she really wanted.
"Um...yeah I am. Thanks for apologizing?" She answered her sentence sounding like a question not sure what was going on.
He then slung his arm over her shoulder and brought her closer to him. "So-" he started straining to keep his voice pleasant, though he felt like gagging. "Where do you want to go to talk?"
(a/n: I am very excited about this story as it seems a lot of you like it. One thing that is bothering me though is almost every story I've seen has more reviews than number of people who have favorited it- every story but mine. I am thrilled so many of you like my story enough to favorite it- but at the moment i have more people favoriting it than reviewing. PLEASE REVIEW! I do read them and respond, I do take into account what you say in your reviews. so please please review! - THANK YOU FOR READING!)
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