Chapter 5 : Don't mess with a good thing, honey.
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She tried to ignore the hunger pains, her reason for leaving hadn't been for hunger and she felt no urge to let herself eat. She noticed a few stray students in the Great Hall, lost in the thoughts of her mistakes, she was only alerted by the bang of the two doors of which shook away the once quiet atmosphere, but she didn't even bother to look up. Whoever it was couldn't possibly have anything to do with her, or so she figured.
"Hermione." A booming man's voice echoed, she let herself look up, and came face to face with James; a very angry James for the matter. "What did you say to Remus?"
Hermione could feel the few other students eyes on her, she knew she had to calm down James. "Nothing, well nothing bad." She spoke frank and honest, a slight creak of the bench let her know James had sat down, she continued. "He was all cut up and covered in bruises. I was only trying to help, I hadn't meant any harm. I certainly had not mean to anger him."
Hermione took a deep breath to compose herself there were a few moments of silence on both ends, eventually James broke it, he rested his hand upon Hermione's.
"I'm sure you didn't, Remus is well.. he's very complicated, there are things you don't know about, he can't be certain if he can trust you completely. Give him time, Hermione." He squeezed her hand, and smiled at her.
"But-but." She was slightly dumbfounded she knew how deep James and Remus friendship but she'd never actually witnessed it. "I suppose thats understandable, I mean I've barely been here. He needs time. He's got it."
James smiled in response and quickly changed back into his regular goofy self. "It's too early, it can't be healthy to be up this early. I don't think I can forgive Moony for waking me up."
Hermione finally let a giggle escape her lips, James twinkled in response. "I was beginning to think you were inhuman, far too serious, much like Lily."
"I'm sure she'd love to hear you said that." A faint reminiscence of a mischievousness spread across her face, James eyes widened. "But don't worry, I won't say a thing."
Hermione made a motion to stand up, startling James. "I'm going to get my stuff-" She put her hand up to silence James. "And when I come back, you better not have run off because I plan on eating."
She turned around and exited the Great Hall, she wondered how the others would act around her, their loyalties would obviously lie with Remus, her thoughts were interrupted by an all too-familiar voice.
"You shouldn't worry about them." The voice came from the shadows of a corridor near the staircase, clearly they had witnessed the events beforehand otherwise they were very perceptible. She didn't cease her walking, but instead quickened her pace. "I didn't mean any harm, Miss Granger."
Hermione halted her footsteps, no one called her Miss Granger, besides the Professors. She put her strengths into confronting said person. "If you didn't mean any harm, how come your not showing yourself?"
As that was said, Lucius stepped out of the shadows. "Does this make it any better?" He inched his way closer and closer to Hermione and not a single thought told her to try and leave. She was dumbfounded. "You're certainly an interesting character." He chuckled in his oddly intriguing voice.
"What do you want?" It was clear to see he had something up his sleeve, and she wasn't about to fall for anything. Lucius simply raised his eyebrows at her, Hermione stared him down, with him doing the same. It was an epic moment of staring and how amusing this would have been, with anyone else.
"I suppose trying to be nice is a crime these days?" His voice drawled, almost bored. "I figured you'd appreciate and understand that. With you trying to be everyone's friend, and from what I hear not going so well." A faint outline of a smirk was there and Hermione resisted the urge to smash her fist in his face. "Ah, I've hit a nerve. I see."
Hermione hated the sensation she got whenever she was in close proximity's to him. It was powerful, yet alluring almost. She could almost understand how Narcissa would become attracted to him, but the sensation also made her sick to her stomach. A sudden rush of voices caught her off-guard, she braced herself against the dark, cold wall. She foolishly hoped she would be able to blend in with the wall, she wasn't ready to see everyone else yet.
"I can't believe Remus.." The voices were getting closer and closer and Hermione slowly tried to edge away but Lucius inched himself towards Hermione ruining her plan of being inconspicuous.
"Would you go away." Hermione pleaded, there was nowhere to escape to without being seen with Lucius, and all that would do was draw attention, and attention she didn't want. "Please.." Hermione just wished Lucius would just go away, she didn't need to see his arrogant smirks every time she glanced in his direction.
Lucius seemed very pleased with himself, as if he'd won a prize. Hermione gave into leaning against the wall, even if it meant being in such close proximity to Lucius.
"... James didn't have to rush off like that." The already familiar redhead's voice echoed against the cold, dark stone walls. "It's not like Hermione wouldn't understand but.."
Her voice halted at the sight of Hermione and Lucius. Hermione for once didn't know what to say or do, she didn't want to accidently say something she'd regret later. There was a tense awkward silence between Hermione, Lily, and the still silent Sirius and Peter.
"Hermione.. and Malfoy." She spoke casually but her eyes darted between Hermione and then towards the Great Hall. "Did-did James talk to you?"
"Yes, if your looking for him, he's in the Great Hall." She stole another glance at Lucius, who looked mighty pleased with himself.
"Thanks, Hermione." They kept on walking although Sirius sneaked a smile to her.
Hermione almost ready to get on the stairs, turned towards their retreating shadows. "How is he?" Lily turned around.
"He's doing alright. He's resting." She seemed to struggle with her words. "He'll come around, you know. Don't worry."
She turned and walked away, as did Hermione. Lucius made a dramatic exit and proceeded to follow her and it wasn't long before they were walking in sync.
"Why are you following me?" Hermione hissed, this day was only getting worse, instead of better.
"Oh, I'm just being a gentleman."
Hermione already to turn sideways and kill him and save the trouble, focused on passing portraits as they went up the staircase..
"Well, don't." She spat out. "I don't need them hating me anymore." She took her focus off the nosy portraits and stared down Lucius. "Besides, wouldn't your little friends be disgusted by this?" She motioned around. "You're being nice, that's really normal. You don't see any of your friends, socializing with anyone like me, or even Gryffindors for that matter."
It seemed as if nothing she could say would make Lucius go away. She knew better than to test his limits as she knew what he could be like but every time they were in such close proximity's, her emotions got the best of her.
"You seem to know so much about me, when I know so little about you." He paused. "That is why I am here, you're fascinating, Hermione. Whether you'd like to believe that, but you made a good point, not all my friends understand why I bother." His face twisted into a very arrogant grin. "It also helps that your quite attractive."
"Does that ever work for you?" She was referring to his stupid grin and him calling her attractive.
"All the time." That only made her want to gag, luckily she was saved by their arrival at the portrait.
"Okay, you can go away now" She snapped bitterly at him.
Lucius moved far enough out of range, Hermione quietly said the password and slipped inside. She caught a few glances from the stragglers who hadn't left yet. She took her time in retrieving her things in hopes of Lucius being gone. She stepped down the stairs as Remus emerged from the boys dorm. They locked gaze as Hermione inwardly panicked, she quickened her pace.
She made it to the exit before he did, much to her relief. As she went to step out, there was Remus standing less than two feet away, staring at her. Hermione's eyes widened, she could only imagine that he was probably going to yell again.
He didn't speak, just stared. She stepped out, and was greeted by Lucius much to her disgust. She turned back to Remus, who was looking at her, she couldn't understand. It felt like he was non-verbally trying to talk to her.
She turned away and resigned herself for the walk with Lucius to the Great Hall. At least she was doing well with one of Dumbledore's requests. When they got to the doors, Lucius very politely and gentlemanly bid her goodbye and welcomed her to sit with him in class, if she wished. Yeah, maybe if she was desperate.
She made her way to the table, knowing all too well that Remus wasn't far behind her. She passed by James and everyone and took a seat a little ways down. They all stared in puzzlement until they saw Remus.
This time around her intent was to eat and she did. When she was done, she stood up, and started to leave. Sirius held out his hand, grabbing her arm. It had startled her at first.
"Do you want me to walk with you?"
She processed his question and was ready to say yes but she noticed he hadn't even finished eating. "No. It's okay, stay and finished your food." She smiled sweetly and slipped out of his grasp.
She was stopped at the doors by Lucius and his sidekick Severus.
"Mind if we walk with you?"
She didn't think it mattered if she said yes or not. They would be walking there anyway. "Why not."
Thankfully, she did survive the walk there. She managed through the small talk both, it seemed had been set upon. She politely declined sitting with them and took an empty seat, across the aisle from them. It was farther back then she'd ever sat but she just couldn't make herself go to the front.
She had barely noticed that her surroundings had changed, until she saw Remus, sitting next to her. She also noticed that Sirius was sitting with Peter and Lily with James. This seemed very planned out to her but at least there was no forced talking involved.
"Psst." Her brows knitted together in confusion. "Psst."
She finally looked up as Sirius flew a piece of parchment towards her, it landed gracefully in front of her.
Oh. By the way, you broke the bet.
You own me a date, missy.
"You snake." She said louder than necessary. Sirius only glanced at her. "You stupid snake." She had caught the attention of Lucius and his gang. "You didn't want to walk with me. You just wanted me to talk to you." She couldn't believe she had been tricked, this was a first for her. "Damn. You're pretty clever."
Nothing more could be said, as Professor Slughorn made his appearance.
"Good Morning class. I trust you're all awake and lively today." A unison of chuckles echoed around the room. "Or at least you're all here." He seemed to be in a good mood but so far that seemed to be his general mood. "Good work on yesterday's assignment. Today, you will be writing some notes." A general sense of dread filled the room. "I know, no one likes my notes. You'll thank me when you don't fail your N.E.W.T.S"
A wave of his wand and a great majority of the notes appeared on the board. Hermione reached into her bag for some parchment, reaching for her quill, her and Remus bumped arms. She avoided eye contact.
"Erm. sorry." They both said in unison and both turned away from each other fast. Hermione concentrated on the notes, anything to distract herself from awkwardness that now plagued them both.
The signal for the end of the class was a blessing in Hermione's eyes. Of course, she still had other classes to attend, she was thankful potions was done for.
Sirius caught up with her as she tried to leave the classroom. His sickeningly charming smile accompanied him. She tried to avoid any sort of eye contact with him.
"Oh come now Hermione." He paused for dramatics. "I won it fair and square. When do we get to go out?" He was so self-assured, it drove her mad.
"Fair and square?" She snorted in disbelief. "Is that what were pretending this was?" Although, none of it was fair in her mind, she wasn't going to back down. "Fine. You want a date? You take me out on the last Hogsmede trip before Christmas."
"But-but" Sirius paused. "Thats months away!" A forceful amount of whining concluded the chat.
"You never said that it had to be anytime soon."
She picked up her pace and left Sirius standing in her figurative dust, staring in amazement after her.
[A/N: Updated; minor editing. A new chapter will be up as soon as possible]
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