Chapter 11 : Character is destiny
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Some Things Are Meant To Be
Character is destiny
The special care unit at St Mungos was becoming a familiar surrounding to the two men who sat at one of the beds; Harry, his raven coloured hair falling into his piercing green eyes and Ron, his bright red hair mimicking Harry’s in a longer fashion. If she were to wake right now, the girl in the bed would barely recognise her two best friends.
“Have you spoken to Ginny?” Ron asked Harry, his eyes avoiding the green ones which stared back at him.
“No, Ron, I haven’t been able to; she just won’t listen to me,” Harry replied, his eyes begging his friends to look back to show some sign of understanding.
“I’m not surprised.” Ron snapped back as he stood, the chair he was on flying from beneath him. A nurse hushed them hurriedly on her way passed.
“I. Did. Not. Cheat. On. Her.” Harry said between gritted teeth, his voice whispered. Ron made a disbelieving sound at the back of his throat and pulled his seat back towards him. “Why will no one believe me? I have no interest in Luna and you of all people should know that. Why are you being like this?”
“I just,” Ron began his defensive tone dropping as he noticed the pleading note to Harry’s question. “I can’t understand why else you would spend so much time together. I just…I don’t get it.”
Harry tilted his head and narrowed his eyes, a confused look on his face. “I have reasons Ron. Reasons she’d prefer me not to talk about,” he told his friend. “Is there,” he began cautiously. “Is there something you want to tell me Ron?” Ron looked back questioningly. “I mean, I don’t get why you would jump to conclusions about me and Luna when you know I’m madly in love with Ginny. Unless, well, unless you had feelings for Luna?”
Ron’s nose flared as he refused to meet Harry’s stare. He bit down on his lip and sighed. “For about five years,” he mumbled after a pause. Harry’s eyebrows rose but he kept quiet. “I’ve been in love with her for about five years.”
“Love?” Harry blurted in surprise. Ron looked up.
“Love,” he repeated quietly.
“Well,” Harry choked, a grin plastered across his face.
“Why are you smiling like that?” Ron asked slowly.
“Ron, the reason Luna and I spoke so often was because she needed someone to talk to about her feelings for you,” he breathed in response, happy to finally be able to tell Ron. “She’s in love with you Ron.”
“Why didn’t you just tell Ginny and end this whole thing?” Ron asked in bewilderment but with an indistinguishably happy smile on his face.
“I tried,” Harry sighed, falling back in to his chair. “But like I said; she won’t listen.”
“Ye,” Ron laughed slightly. “It’s the stubborn Weasley blood.” Harry nodded in agreement and the two men fell silent once again, Ron taking the woman in the beds hand and smoothing his thumb over it.
“Do you think we ever had a chance?” he asked suddenly, inclining his head towards the bed. Harry looked up, slightly shocked and with a frown on his face.
“Who knows,” he said with a deep sigh. “No one thanks to the ferret. But it’s a good thing to see you’ve moved on,” he smiled at his friend before looking out through the window.
“Yes,” Ron said quietly. “Do you really think he did it on purpose?” he asked after a few seconds silence. “I mean, he would have done anything to catch that snitch, maybe he didn’t expect such a bad effect? And I know everyone assumed he was a junior death eater and everything but, he was trying to clear his name. Would he have risked all his work just for some revenge on Hermione; risked his own health?” He raised a dubious eyebrow. “He is a cowardly Slytherin after all.”
The Hogwarts Halloween ball was just three days away and all over the school pupils were hurriedly finding last minute dates. Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy were groggily making their way back into their shared dorm room, having finally been released from the hospital wing.
Draco threw himself down in to a squishy arm chair and let out heaved a sigh. “I feel like my brain could explode from my ears,” he mumbled into a cushion.
“I know how you feel,” Hermione replied, swigging down some water and taking the chair opposite Draco’s. “I swear I was actually in the room that time,” Hermione said shaking her head. “You know? Like, every other time it’s been as though if I could wake up I’d be there, but this time it was as though I was there already and just needed to wake up…” she trailed off. “Oh, it doesn’t make sense!” she started pacing.
Draco laughed quietly and leant forward, grabbing Hermione by the waist. “Oh, sit down and relax,” he told her and he pulled her onto the seat. He meant to sit her down on the arm and it was to his great surprise that she ended up situated on his lap with an “Oomph.”
“Sorry,” Hermione squeaked and Draco mumbled as they both fidgeted to get away from each other.
Sitting in chairs at opposite sides of the room Draco and Hermione took time to reflect upon the things they’d seen in their “dream”. A comfortable silence fell between the two, until Draco broke it.
“Urm,” he began lamely. “I spoke to Harry about Ginny today.” He was watching Hermione’s reaction and couldn’t help but let a small smile flicker across his face when he saw her features light up.
“You did?” she asked in shock. “I wasn’t sure whether you were really up for the plan,” her head tilted.
“Well I am,” he told her. “I figured that I’m pretty much up for trying anything out if it means it’ll get us away from this place,” his mouth was screwed up to the side.
“So?” Hermione pressed when he failed to continue what he’d begun.
“He said she was pretty hot for a Gryffindor and that the black works for him,” a smirk slid across his mouth. “In fact, he often thinks about tying her up and taking her to a broom closet where he’ll…”
“I don’t want to know!” Hermione exclaimed holding up a hand to shush him. “You Slytherins and your sick minds,” she tutted and shook her head.
“You love it,” Draco replied huskily with a wink. Hermione caught herself before agreeing to it.
“You wish,” she replied instead.
“More like dream,” he said with a shrug, locking eyes with her and holding the stare. Hermione, who was not threatened by eye contact at all, found herself blushing and looking away.
It was just a bit of harmful flirting is what Draco was reassuring himself. It’s not like he really dreamed about her loving his perverted ways. Ok, so now and again he fantasised about Hermione and himself leaning in towards each other. Her breath against his lips. Her eyes flickering shut…
“So do you think she has a chance?” Hermione broke his line of thought. He raised a confused eyebrow. “Do you think Ginny has a chance with Harry?”
“I’m not sure,” Draco spoke slowly. “There was definitely something about the way he spoke about her. He thought it was coming across as lust and the idea of a little fling with someone he really shouldn’t be thinking twice about, but, I think it runs a bit deeper.”
“Is that likely?” Hermione asked with a small shrug.
“Put it this way Granger,” Draco said as he stood and took stance in front of the fire place. The light emitting from around him made his skin and hair glow and his already chiselled features stand out even more. Hermione felt her breath catch in her throat. “A Slytherin can only end up with a Slytherin unless certain circumstances arise where they have to marry someone else. But they’ll always be of the purest blood. Slytherins like to rebel,” he said with a smirk. “Even if they don’t want to put shame to the family name, it’s a born tendency and therefore they almost seek the company of those classified as “un-worthy”.”
“I don’t know where you’re going with this,” Hermione said with crossed arms.
“They’re never going to marry someone not worthy,” Draco continued as though he was never interrupted. “But like they say; opposites attract. A little something with a muggleborn or half-blood can be kind of exciting. However,” he stressed this word. “Slytherins and Gryffindors are mortal enemies and for a Slytherin to admit to thinking one is hot it means a million things must be going through their heads. This means they’ll be thinking about the person more than usual and everyone knows having someone on your brain all the time is never a good thing. To top it off, Ginny is what the death eaters would call a “blood-traitor”. A pure blood who is a traitor is worse than a muggleborn or half-blood and so, for Harry to admit to thinking about her, which he subconsciously did to me by admitting to thinking she is hot, it must mean he likes her more than he’s letting on. You’ll always develop feelings for someone you’re always thinking about; if you don’t like them they’re not worthy thinking of.”
“I see,” Hermione said quietly, still totally confused but not wanting to show it.
“And there was definitely something about the way Harry spoke about her,” Draco said again with a furrowed brow. “I think, madly enough, maybe she does have a chance.”
“Well that’s brilliant,” Hermione cheered. “But Malfoy,” she began curiously. “How did you know all that?”
“Know all what?” he asked simply.
“All that about a Slytherin having to think a lot about a Gryffindor if he likes her?” her head tilted, curiosity taking over her. Has Draco had a thing for a Gryffindor?
Draco bit down on his lip. How should he answer that? He wasn’t sure how he knew; it just all kind of came out, almost as though he’d subconsciously gone through it himself. “Every Slytherin knows,” he waved it off.
Hermione pushed her lips together and nodded. “What we saw was quite interesting this time don’t you think?” she asked.
“Indeed,” Draco breathed as he leant his head back. “It seems Harry is now with Ginny which is totally weird because it was just yesterday that he was telling you how he’s going to do everything to get with her. And he also managed to get people thinking he was cheating on her with Luna, all over night.”
“Malfoy I think it’s quite obvious that time in our “dreams”,” she made an air quote. “Travels faster than this world.”
“Mhm,” Draco replied, not really listening.
“What’s wrong?” Hermione asked. “You’re never usually this quiet.” Draco lifted his head and turned to look at her.
“I just,” he stuttered. “I can’t get Weasley’s words out of my head,” he had a troubled look on his face.
“The ones where he said I am a cowardly Slytherin,” he replied darkly. “I hate how he’s judged me on the rest of the Slytherins.”
“Are you saying you’re not a coward?” Hermione asked slowly.
“Of course I am not!” he exclaimed. “I took the chance of smashing into the stands to get the snitch.”
“That was just your stubbornness refusing to lose the match,” Hermione stated matter-of-factly.
“Maybe so,” Draco’s teeth were grinding. “But I still risked hurting myself.”
“I’m not trying to imply that you’re a coward Malfoy so please stop biting my head off,” she said calmly. “I just wanted to know whether you thought you were a coward because if you don’t then why are you fretting about what others think. It was you, after all, who said you only need your self to be happy,” Hermione’s eyebrows were raised expectantly.
Draco’s nose flared. “Whatever,” he dismissed. Hermione couldn’t help but give a little triumphant smirk. “Shouldn’t we be thinking of ways to get Harry with Ginny and Ron with Luna?” he asked suddenly.
“Ron with Luna?” Hermione asked.
“Yes,” Draco said slowly. “He’s with Parvarti Patil but Colin Creevey was telling me how he’s been secretly crushing after Luna for the past year. And,” he continued. “Was it just me who thinks maybe we’re getting closer to waking up in these “dreams” since we’ve figured out that Harry and Ginny are meant to be together?”
“It definitely feels more real,” Hermione agreed. “But why do we need to wake up? What’s it going to do; we’ll still be in the “dream”, right?”
“I don’t know,” Draco shrugged. “But maybe the dream people will tell us how to get back.”
“This is so surreal,” Hermione mumbled.
The wind outside had begun picking up and the students were found tightly wrapping scarves around their necks. A thin layer of snow lay over everything and the black lake had been frozen over by ice.
Draco Malfoy’s headache had ceased to disappear so he decided that maybe a walk around the grounds would help. His white tracksuit matched the snow and covered his layered t-shirts and a black scarf was pulled up around his throat and mouth.
“I don’t know what to do,” a shrilled voice spoke from around the corner Draco was about to turn. He stopped in his tracks when he noticed the voice to be a very dishevelled McGonagall. “Tom told me that if I don’t pick up my act I’m going to have to leave Hogwarts. But I don’t know what he’s on about; pick up what act?”
Draco pressed himself to the wall of the castle and peered around to find an amused looking…Hagrid? The half giant looked some-what different to the games keeper Draco was used to. His usually tangled hair was cut to his chin and shone a chocolate brown colour and there was no sign of the food mangled beard.
“Urm, Minnie,” he began. “Maybe, I mean possibly, well, I’m not saying it’s definitely because of this, you know it’s just a possibility…”
“I mean, I get into character everyday to riel up the students into learning; I’m the most enthusiastic teacher here,” she threw her hands up in defeat. “I don’t know what else I can do.”
Hagrid open and closed his mouth, seemingly trying to explain to her what her faults were, but finally sighed and looked away. “I don’t know what to say,” he breathed.
Draco decided he’d heard enough when he saw tears spill from McGonagall’s eyes and a wail left her mouth. He turned on the spot and made his way back to the castle feeling somewhat sorry for the Transfiguration teacher. Sure enough she was head of Gryffindor so never really had a soft spot for Draco but he thought she was a damn good teacher and didn’t deserve to be sacked. So what if she was a little whacky; she taught people properly right?
“…and she kept Mr Malfoy hours in to the night last week to tell him about pirates; it’s unacceptable!” a voice was ranting from somewhere near the top of the stairs. Draco sighed; great, more conversations he probably shouldn’t be listening to. But he couldn’t help it, eavesdropping was a favourite pastime of his at the Malfoy Manor.
“Yes,” a recognisable voice drawled. “Quite unacceptable.”
“I cannot really allow that behaviour in my school. It’s not right…”
“We tell students to be in before curfew and she keeps him past it; I’m afraid I have to do something,” Professor Riddle concluded.
“Have to do something,” Snape was nodding along like a sheep.
“I dare say she was a brilliant teacher in her prime,” the headmaster said somewhat sadly. “But she seems to have lost the plot and I can’t have her posing a possible danger to the students. You know,” he said, lowering his voice and edging towards Snape who turned his ear eagerly. “The other teachers have been saying that maybe, well, it’s a terrible thing to accuse someone of but, well they’ve been worried that maybe she likes, well, young children.”
Draco did not like the sound of what he was insinuating and quickly turned to walk down a different corridor. Those…Sicko’s! How could they say something like that about her? Sure he had been pissed when she made him see her after classes but she certainly never tried anything on with him. She just seemed like a sweet old woman to him. There was absolutely no way that she would even think of doing something like that!
“Hermione we have to do something!” Draco said for the third time since telling her about what he’d heard. “She’s being wrongly accused and it’s not right!”
“Why do you care so much Draco?” Hermione asked.
“Excuse me?” he said incredulously, shocked that she wasn’t drawing up a plan already.
“I mean, you’re you, you don’t often care about such things?” she re-phrased.
Draco’s forehead wrinkled and his eyes narrowed. “I just don’t think people should be wrongly accused. I know what it’s like and it’s just wrong,” he said quietly, frustrated. Hermione nodded slowly and looked out the window.
“We need to speak to her,” she finally said.
“Speak to McGonagall?” Draco asked. “No, we need to speak to Riddle and convince him that he is wrong about her before it’s too late!” Hermione looked at Draco sympathetically.
“I know it’s horrible to wrongly accuse people Draco,” she said softly. “But can you not see where everyone is coming from? I checked the school records after our Transfiguration lesson and the grades have dropped drastically since McGonagall has been acting this way. Flitwick told me she hasn’t been the same since her mother died twenty-five years ago and that’s when her students’ marks went down hill.”
“That’s not the point,” Draco interrupted.
“Draco,” Hermione began firmly. “If she was teaching well it wouldn’t be so bad; but she isn’t. Someone needs to speak to her and tell her that she needs to tone it down a notch and start teaching properly or else her position here at Hogwarts is greatly threatened.”
A.n. EEK! Sorry
It's been almost two months i do believe...possibly more? I moved and we've only just had the internet fitted! I hope too many of you havent like...left me =O!! I promise im going to try doubley as hard to post chapters to make up for lost time =] And, anyone whose stories i read im going to be catching up on them too =D Uch, seriously, i cant wait to get reading stories on this site again...it been annoying without the internet! Its made me go out more cos ive been bored and then i havent been able to write much! But ye, i will try and get another chappie up soon! And, even though though i took the mick taking super long to update...can you please review =D