Chapter 2 : Brother
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Hermione was still not perfectly alright. I didn’t know what was going on. She had convinced Ron that she was fine, and she was trying to convince me. But it wasn’t working. A week had gone by since Ron had talked to Hermione. Ron seemed fine, though a little estranged from me. One morning at breakfast, before Transfiguration, I pulled Ginny aside.
"Do you know what’s wrong with Hermione?" I asked. Ginny shook her head, and looked at me.
"You’ve noticed it too?" she asked. I nodded.
"I’ve tried to talk to her, she won’t listen. I talked to Ron, and then he talked to her, and she convinced him she was fine. I’m not convinced at all," I said. Ginny shook her head, quickly looked at Hermione, who was pushing her food around her plate.
"Have you noticed she hasn’t been eating either?" I asked. Ginny nodded.
"I’ll try to talk to her. She might listen to me, I’m her best girl friend," said Ginny. I nodded.
"Thank-you. I hate seeing her like this," I said.
"You love her," said Ginny.
"As a sister," I said quickly. Ginny smiled.
"I know. A sister," she said, and she walked off, smiling. I frowned, not knowing what was going through her head. Then I went back the Gryffindor table, and ate, watching Hermione the whole time. She only ate a small bite of sausage.
Sitting in Transfiguration, sitting next to Neville, I looked over at Hermione. She had her head down, doing her work quietly, Ron trying to talk to her. The class was allowed to talk for once - Professor McGonagall had said we’d be better off trying to get help from one another - but Hermione just sat there. Before, when McGonagall had asked a question, Hermione didn’t put her hand up, though I knew she knew the answer, I had asked her about the same thing about a week ago when I came across it in my text book. Besides, when did Hermione ever not know the answer to a question in class?
"Harry?" asked Neville.
"Hmm?" I asked, turning to him.
"Are you okay? You seem…oh," he said, seeing Hermione. I frowned.
"You noticed to?" I whispered to him. He nodded.
"Everyone’s noticed, Harry. It’s no secret Hermione’s unhappy and not eating. The secret is why," said Neville. I put my head in my hands.
"I’m so worried about her, Neville. Ron can’t see anything is wrong, and Hermione won’t listen to anyone," I said. Neville shrugged.
"Look, Harry, tell a teacher, tell Madam Pomfrey. They can do something," said Neville. I looked at him.
"I’ll see if Ginny can do anything first," I said. Neville nodded, but I could tell he didn’t agree with me.
"Did you talk to her?" I asked Ginny.
"More like talked at her," said Ginny "everything seemed to go in one ear, and out the other." I groaned.
"I need to know what’s wrong with her! I need her to be okay! She means a lot to me, and I can’t have her hurting or being sick or anything!" I nearly yelled. Ginny and Neville looked at each other, and then Ginny touched my arm tentatively.
"Harry. Look, we’ll go to Professor McGonagall, Madam Pomfrey. Get her help," said Ginny.
"No. I need to talk to her one more time," I said. Ginny and Neville just shared a look.
"Fine, Harry. But we’re here to help," said Neville. I nodded, and then walked off. They were wrong. All I needed was to talk to Hermione. She knew what was going on. She needed to talk to someone, and I would make sure that someone would be me.
"Where’s Ron?" I asked, looking across the library table. Hermione shrugged. I frowned.
"Wouldn’t he be here studying with you?" I asked. Hermione looked at me, smiling slightly.
"Just because for some unknown reason you’ve started to study doesn’t mean Ron’s about to do the same," said Hermione. I laughed.
"I guess so. A leopard never changes his spots," I said.
"You did," Hermione pointed out. I shrugged.
"I think that maybe since its seventh year I thought passing my N.E.W.T.s was a good idea. Also, I thought maybe if I studied, I’d be more likely to be able to defeat Voldemort," I said the last part really quietly so only Hermione could hear. Hermione looked down quickly.
"Harry, please," she said. I nodded.
"OK, Herms,’ I said, smirking slightly.
"Harry. You know I hate nicknames," said Hermione. I smiled. I had her right where I wanted.
"You know what I hate, Hermione?" I asked. She shook her head.
"What?" she asked.
"When you can tell there’s something wrong with the closest thing you have to family, and they insist nothing’s wrong," I said. Hermione looked at me sharply.
"You - ," started Hermione.
"No, Hermione, I’m worried about you, you’re not eating, and you always look miserable. I’m not the only one who has noticed. Ginny, Luna, and Neville have noticed," I said gently.
"I’m fine, Harry!" snapped Hermione.
"No you’re not! Any fool can see that you’re not yourself!" I stated.
"I’m fine, Harry! How many times do I have to tell you?" she asked.
"How many times do I have to tell you, I’m not an idiot!? There is something wrong!" I practically yelled. Madam Pince started walking over to us.
"Go get screwed, Harry! I’m fine," she said, and she snapped her book shut, and stormed out of the library. I was left with a few Hufflepuffs looking at me pityingly, and a 1st year Ravenclaw looking slightly scared. Madam Pince glared at me, but seemed to have the heart not to kick me out. Not that it mattered. I left anyway.
I sat in the Common Room, watching Hermione and Ron talk in hushed whispers. I knew Hermione was telling Ron about today. Hermione had already told Neville, and Ginny had heard from the Hufflepuffs that had been watching, as they were in her Herbology class. Ginny and Neville were walking over to me, no doubt to lecture me.
"I don’t need a lecture," I said as soon as they reached me.
"We’re not going to lecture you, Harry. You already know what you did wrong. And pretty soon you’re going to have a disagreement with Ron, I can tell he’s getting mad," said Ginny, looking over at her brother quickly. I glanced at Ron, and I could tell from his expression he wasn’t happy.
"We know you’re just trying to help Hermione, Harry, but you need to tell Madam Pomfrey," said Neville. I half-smiled at him.
"We’re worried about her, too. We’ll tell Madam Pomfrey if you haven’t by the end of the week," said Ginny. I nodded. I knew what they were trying to do. And I appreciated it. Ginny patted me on the back, and the two left me alone. Nearly as soon as they left, Ron stormed over.
"What are you doing? Hermione is fine, but you won’t give up! You know what, you’re just jealous that I have Hermione! You want to try to break us up!" Ron said loudly. I stood up, and tried to look him in the eye, but he was still too tall. I tried not to laugh at this.
"I’m not trying to break you guys up! I’ve wanted you two to go out for years! You know what I think? You’re insecure! You didn’t tell me you had been going out for two years! TWO YEARS, Ron! I’m supposed to be your best friend! But I suppose I can’t be trusted!" I yelled at him. Ron snorted.
"You are an idiot, Harry! And that has nothing to do with it! You’re just bothering Hermione with your constant ‘what’s wrong’s! Just leave it be!" Ron said.
"No! Just because you’re completely blind, doesn’t mean everyone else isn’t! I’m not the only one who’s noticed! Ginny and Neville, and I bet most of Gryffindor knows Hermione’s not happy!" Harry yelled. By this time, all conversations had ceased, and everyone was watching Ron and I, except Hermione, who was looking down at the table determinedly.
"Well, then, I suppose no one knows Hermione well enough! She’s perfectly happy, Harry! You may as well not talk to us again, because we’re not going to talk to you," said Ron, and stormed off. I narrowed my eyes after him, sitting down. The whole of the common room were still staring at me. I shook my head, and left the room. I didn’t want to handle a whole lot of admirers coming to me and trying to make me feel better.
"Harry! Harry, wait!" I heard Hermione call my name behind me. I turned to see her running after me.
"What, Hermione?" I asked.
"I’m sorry about Ron last night. I didn’t mean for him to yell at you. I know you’re just worried, but there’s nothing to be worried about," said Hermione. I nodded.
"But, what about what Ron said? About not talking to you?" I asked. Hermione waved her hand impatiently, making a snorting noise.
"Don’t listen to him. You’re a good friend, and I want to talk to you, and he can’t stop you talking to me," she said. I smiled at her.
"I’m sorry for annoying you. But you know I’m here to talk. You’re like my sister, Hermione," I said. She smiled, nodding.
"You’re like my brother," said Hermione "what Ron was saying was stupid. Come on, let’s go to breakfast," she said, and we headed to the Great Hall. I noticed she didn’t eat anything except a bit of toast.
AN~ So, what did you think? Review please! And I know Ron may be a little OOC, but that's he way the story is. Anyway, please review!
Again, thanks to my beta, Wannabe Writer
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