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Chapter 14 : Broken
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Hermione walked to her common room, shuffling the papers for what would be the next big event-A Valentines Ball. She was so excited for this dance, because it would be the first event that her and Draco wouldn’t have to hide their relationship at. She said the password and allowed the portrait to swing open as she looked through the papers in her hand one last time.
“Draco, I've got the final arrangements for the Valentine-“ Whatever it was that she was going to say was lost, for she had made the mistake of looking up. Sitting on the couch was Draco and Pansy Parkinson, kissing.
“Well, I guess you found us out,” came his nonchalant reply. “I take it you're going to end our little fling now? Oh well, it doesn’t really matter.”
“Stop it Draco,” she pleaded, her heart aching.
“You do understand that I don’t love you, right? I never really did.”
She didn’t want to hear any more. She just wanted to run, but her feet wouldn’t move. They were glued to the floor.
“I hope you didn’t actually take me seriously.” She wanted to forget it ever happened, but she knew she never would. She loved him too much, and as it turned out, it wasn’t a good thing for her after all. She smiled, for him. She wondered if he noticed how forced it was. Maybe it just seemed so fake to her, because she was the one that could feel her heart being torn apart. She forced herself to look at his angelic face, a false smile still upon her lips.
“I’m glad you finally gave me a reason to end it.” Her voice sounded so much stronger than she felt. She wasn’t strong enough for this. She couldn’t handle this. “I mean, Merlin, it took you long enough. I was getting so bored. It was fun while it lasted. I'm leaving the arrangements for the Valentines Ball on the table. You’ll have to look them over.”
“I’ll do it later.”
“Okay,” replied Hermione, walking back to the door. She couldn’t stay there anymore, not with her there. She turned back to the one she loved so much, smiled, and waved. “Goodbye Draco.”
The portrait swung closed behind her and she walked to the Gryffindor Common Room, slowly, still in complete shock. She searched the crowded room for her best friend. Her eyes met with Ginny’s and the redhead went to her immediately.
“Hey Hun, what’s wrong?” she asked sensitively. Hermione looked to the young Gryffindor in confusion, not knowing what to say. Ginny, knowing that something was very wrong with her best friend, brought Hermione upstairs to her own room, casting the other people out with a warning glance.
“Mione, what happened? Tell me what’s wrong,” she said softly.
“Gin, Draco was cheating on me.”
“I walked in on him and Parkinson kissing.” It all seemed so unreal. Draco wouldn’t cheat on her. She’d always taken that as a known fact. But somehow, she had been wrong. And now, it was just dawning on her that she had been wrong about everything. Draco Malfoy did not love her. “He said it was just a fling and that he didn’t love me. And I-Oh god Gin, I agreed! I told him that I was glad it was finally over!”
The tears came now, as she realized that it was real. And now, it hurt. She had never thought that a single person could have so much control over her emotions, but losing him like this hurt. She slid down to the floor, silent tears falling down her cheeks, her hands covering her face.
Ginny knelt beside her, taking her friend in her arms as she sobbed helplessly. The sight of Hermione crying like this, her expression broken, made Ginny’s heart ache for the pain of her best friend.
“Mione, listen to me,” she said firmly. “You can’t let him do this to you. Go down to dinner with me and hurt him back.”
“I can’t Gin. I don’t know what to do, I can’t take this!”
“You can. I’ll be right next to you if you need me. You can even leave if you want to, but you’ve got to try Mi.”
“I don’t think I can do this Gin.”
“Just try. You’ll have to support of all of us, okay?”
Hermione nervously entered the Great Hall with Ginny, her eyes taking a sweeping glance around the room, checking for Draco. He wasn’t there. Ginny walked faithfully by her side to the Gryffindor table, sitting across from Harry and Ron.
“Hi guys,” said Hermione hoarsely. Harry seemed to know better than to ask what was wrong. Ron, on the other hand, was not nearly so wise. He began to ask what was wrong, but before he could utter two words, Ginny silenced him with a swift kick to the shin.
The doors to the Great Hall opened to reveal Draco and Pansy, blatantly an item, for Draco’s arm was wrapped around Pansy’s waist, pulling her closer to him as Pansy draped herself over him. Hermione hurried out of the hall the moment she caught a glimpse of them, not bothering to offer an excuse. Ron looked up to see where she had gone, and instead saw Draco with his new girlfriend. He immediately stood, went to Draco, and dragged him into the corridors.
“Let’s have a bit of a chat, shall we Malfoy?” His voice was dangerously low.
“Chat away Weasley,” came Draco’s reply.
“What the hell is wrong with you Malfoy!? How could do that to her?”
“People have flings all the time.”
“You made her thing it was something more. You made her fall in love with you!”
“Oh, I see. You're jealous because I can get all the women that I want while you're stuck with, well, nobody.”
“Ugh, I can’t believe you. I warned you Malfoy. I warned you not to hurt her, but you didn’t listen. She’s mine now, so stay away from her. You’ve done enough damage.” Ron, who had grabbed Draco’s shirt, shoved him roughly against the wall.
“So it is jealousy,” mused Draco.
“No Malfoy, its love.” Draco laughed. “Oh, and one more thing-“ Ron’s fist smashed against Draco’s face. “-I don’t need other women. I have Hermione.”
That said, Ron ran to the Gryffindor common room, knowing that’s where Hermione would be. He entered and saw her on the couch, her head in her hands and her breathing deep and calculated to keep from crying.
“Hermione,” he whispered.
“Well, there you have it,” she proclaimed, “Draco was cheating on me. Are you happy? Have you come to tell me that you told me so? That I should've known better?”
“No Hermione,” he said softly, sitting beside her, “I’m not happy about this. This isn’t what I wanted for you. I wanted you to be happy. I wanted to see you smile. How could this make me happy? You're trying your hardest not to cry.”
“It hurts Ron. Losing him like this hurts so much. I can’t bear to see them together without crying, and I hate it!”
“No, don’t hate it,” murmured Ron. “It’s who you are. I wouldn’t want you to change a thing. Besides, I would be scared for you if you didn’t cry. So, cry all you want. I’ll stay with you." He brought his arms around Hermione and she cried noiselessly, clinging desperately to Ron.
“I’ll always be here for you.”
“Mione, you look great,” said Ginny, gazing at her friend with wide eyes.
“Great?” questioned Lavander. “Gin, she looks bloody hot!”
“Really, I’m not that impressive. You two look much better.”
“Mione,” said Lavander rather severely as she fixed her hair. “Look into this mirror and tell me honestly that you don’t look positively stunning.”
Hermione looked into the mirror and had to admit, she did look good. In the spirit of Valentines Day, she wore a short red dress with a low v-neck that came to wrap around her shoulders in a loose fabric. The bottom of the dress flared out the tiniest bit, with a hint of ruffles in the layered fabric of the skirt.
Ginny had forced Hermione into a pair of ominous satrapy black heels. Hermione was nearly certain that she would not be able to dance, or walk for that matter. Her makeup, compliments of Lavander, was done to perfection.
“Okay, so I do look pretty good,” she said as she played with one of the perfect curls that hung loose from her bun, framing her features.
“Now, I’m sure Ron and your dates are wondering where we are. We’ve probably been keeping them for over thirty minutes,” she said. She had accepted Ron’s invitation the Ball, and she found that she was actually looking forward to it.
The three of them walked town the stairs to where Harry, Ron and Neville were waiting for them. The moment of the girls stepped off the bottom step, Ron, Harry and Neville fell to their knees and began bowing to them.
“Real men don’t grovel,” stated Lavander with a grin.
“No Lav, trust me on this one,” corrected Ginny. “Real men know just when to grovel, because that means that they’ve accepted who their real masters are.”
“Oh get up,” said Hermione through a laugh.
“I’m sorry,” replied Ron, “you all looked so beautiful, we thought you were goddesses descending upon us humans, your humble servants.” Everyone laughed and the guys stood, offering their arms to their dates.
“Shall we?” asked Neville as Lavander placed her hand on his arm. They left for the transformed great hall. When they entered the pink, red and white room, Ron leaned into Hermione and whispered in her ear.
“You look beautiful tonight Mione. Absolutely stunning.”
“Thanks,” she replied with a blush.
“Come on, lets dance.” Ron pulled her onto the dance floor, where they stayed for the remainder of the night. When the slow songs began, Ron wrapped his arms around her waist and Hermione brought hers to rest on his shoulders, her hands at the back of his neck.
Swaying on the dance floor, in the arms of Ron, she could almost forget. Almost. But every now and then, she would catch a glimpse of Draco and Pansy together and quickly look away. She still couldn't stand the sight of the two of them together. And the thought that at the last dance, Draco had confessed his love for her made her stomach churn.
“Hermione?” She looked up to answer Ron, who leaned in and captured her lips with his own. Hermione brought her head back down, breaking the kiss.
“I’m sorry Ron,” she said quietly. “I'm sorry if I've led you on, but I’m still in love with Draco.
“No, its okay. I rushed you. You just need more time. Ill wait for you.” She nodded, her head pounding.
“I guess that I loved him so much, and I don’t know if I can give him up.”
“He cheated on you.”
“But still, for months, I honestly believed that he was in love with me, and I was really, truly happy. I don't want to forget that yet.” Ron laughed helplessly.
“I guess I can understand that. I can’t exactly blame you for being too loving, now can I?” Hermione smiled past the pain in her head, but decided that it was time to go to Madame Pomfrey. If anything happened, she didn’t want the entire school to witness it.
“Hermione, are you alright?” asked Ron.
“Yeah, I'm just not really feeling well. I'm going to go to see Madame Pomfrey, so you have fun here.”
“Are you sure you don’t want me to come with you?”
“No, really, it’s nothing. I’ll be fine on my own,” she insisted and left the room. She quickly headed to the hospital wing, cursing herself for allowing Ginny to force those accursed shoes on her.
She tried to hurry down the stairs, letting out a shriek of surprise as her ankle twisted on the point of the shoe and she fell down the stairs. Her vision blurred as her head came into contact with the hard marble floor, deep red blood pooling around her head as she lost contact with the light, blackness invading her senses. She was going to die.
A/N: Eh heh, I left you a cliffy. I thought this chapter would be a nice change from the fluff of the last one:) Remember, read and review! I love getting your feedback^^
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