Chapter 5 : Maybe
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The Halloween Ball couldn’t have come any sooner. Hours before the Ball, almost everyone was running around frantically, looking for missing bits and pieces. A fifth year girl actually burst into tears while looking for her left shoe. Meanwhile, I was sitting on my bed, legs crossed, waiting for Hermione to get out of the bathroom.
“Tick, tock.” I muttered, loudly enough for Hermione to hear.
“It’s hard getting into this thing you know!” As soon as she said that, I heard a loud thump. “I’m okay!”
I laughed out loud. “Hermioneee,” I winged, “I need to use the bathroom too!”
“Ok, ok, I’m coming out now.” Surely enough, Hermione emerged from the bathroom, looking a tad embarrassed.
I uncrossed my legs and ran up to her. “Wow, Hermione!”
She was wearing a sparkling, golden long, pleated dress which matched her hair.
“Sofie, you have to do my hair later.” I looked at her tangly hair. This was going to be… difficult.
“And I can do your hair!” I put on a strained smile.
“You know Hermione, I’ve never really, gotten dressed for stuff like this before.”
“Well there’s a first for everything. Now hurry up and get dressed so I can do your hair.” She demanded. I blinked.
“If it wasn’t for you, I would’ve been ready hours ago.” I muttered walking through the bathroom door.
It took us several more hours to do our hair. Ginny joining us not long after. I was watching Hermione and Ginny put on some make-up.
“Come on, Soph. At least put some eyeliner on.” Hermione said, holding the eyeliner out.
“No, don’t worry.” I pushed her hand away.
“George is excited.” Ginny said as she applied mascara to her already curled eyelashes.
I shifted my feet guiltily. Luckily, Ginny didn’t notice but Hermione exchanged a look with me.
“Ginny,” I said, wanting to avoid the subject of her brother, “Who are you going with?”
“Neville.” She said simply, now applying some blush while her hair curled itself.
“Neville? What do your brothers think?” Hermione asked, obviously a bit startled.
“They don’t know. Hey, I heard Harry was going with Luna?”
“Oh, yeah. Wait, YEAH!” I squealed, totally forgetting that Harry was going with Luna. With my hyped excitement, I stood up abruptly, causing myself to fall face first onto the floor.
“Sofie!” both Ginny and Hermione shrieked.
I groaned as I got up. “I hate dresses!”
“Wow…” I heard George say as Hermione, Ginny and I walked down the steps - mouth hanging open.
“Ginny, isn’t that dress a bit too revealing?” Fred nodded at Ginny with a look of disapproval. Ginny merely hissed as she shoved past him towards Neville.
I smiled at George. Harry, Ron, George and Fred were all wearing normal dress robes at which Ron seemed to be extremely proud of as he puffed out his chest.
George stared at me for a moment, while Hermione and Ron started towards the Great Hall, followed by Harry and Fred.
“Do you want to, uh, go?” I asked, slightly uncomfortable at him just staring.
“What? Yeah, okay.” He said voice a bit lost and dreamy.
Loads of other students were waiting along the room for the Great Hall doors to open. Flashing dresses and robes filled the room. In the centre of the room I spotted Draco, Pansy and the rest of the Slytherins. Draco looking the least enthusiastic.
A few seconds later, the doors opened slowly, displaying four long tables (set in the same way as normal), already filled with drinks and food, happily made for us by the house-elves. A few murmurs of ‘oooh’ and ‘ahh’ filled the room. Eventually, everyone sat themselves down on a table. George, Hermione, Ron, Harry, Luna, and I had found ourselves – unfortunately – a few seats away from the Slytherins.
After a short speech from Dumbledore we all began to eat. Peas flew towards me, undoubtedly coming from Pansy. After a few hundred peas had flown my way, I glared at Pansy, who was looking at me with a superior look on her face. On the right side of her, I saw Draco looking towards me. Not with a sneer or a jeering look, but with a blank and empty expression. I looked back to Pansy who had just flicked another pea at me. I blinked.
“Why do you have to do that Pansy?” I snapped loud enough for her to hear.
“Oh, it’s just amusing.” she said, flicking her hair out of her face. Hermione flashed me a threatening look. I stared at Pansy for a few more seconds – her smiling mockingly at me – then looked down at my plate. I grabbed a spoon full of corn and lifted it towards my mouth. Just as soon as it was about to enter my mouth, it disappeared! Along with the plates of food on the table. I gritted my teeth extremely tightly as I heard Pansy shriek in laughter.
Dumbledore told us that it was time for us to dance; after all, it wouldn’t be a ball if there was no dancing.
The long tables had disappeared and bewitched lights were turning in the room. A loud, banging song came on and I had an instant fright. George laughed and pulled me towards the middle of the room. “George, I don’t dance.” I struggled against his strong arms.
“Come on, it won’t be that bad.” he smiled reassuringly. I gave in.
For the next hour or two, George and had danced like our lives depended on it, only stopping for a couple of drinks.
As the Weird Sisters – the band – paused to take a drink of water, George pulled me outside towards the Entrance Hall.
“Sofie…” he still wasn’t able to look me in the face. “Sofie, I really like you.”
I wasn’t able to say anything ‘cause right after that, he stepped closer towards me and attempted to kiss me. Completely shocked, I ducked out of his way.
“George, I’m really, really sorry.” I said as he took a step back. His face was contorted in pain. “George, really.” I felt guilt sweep right across me. He attempted a smile.
“It’s okay Soph. I think I came on too strongly.” I couldn’t look at him.
“George, to be honest, you’ve changed. I’m not sure if you’ve realised, but you don’t seem happy anymore.” I muttered, avoiding his gaze.
“Yeah?” he asked, voice quivering slightly.
“Yeah. I’m not sure, but it’s been that way ever since… well yeah.”
For a moment, there was only silence.
“So, I s’pose you want to break up?” I couldn’t find myself to answer that. “Honestly, I wouldn’t mind. I’ll be okay with that. I can wait.”
I shook me head. “I think it’ll be best if we were just friends. I think you were happier then.”
Another moment of silence then a heavy sigh from George. “I guess you’re right.” Then he left. I watched as the hem his robe flicked out of sight, back into the Great Hall.
Losing all my interest in the Ball, I walked outside towards the lake. The tail of my dress trailing behind.
I sat down on the bank of the lake, taking my shoes off and pulled my dress up so that it was up to my knees, I splashed my feet around lightly. A tremendously huge wave of guilt overcame me. I’d never broken up with anyone. In fact, I’ve never even gone out with anyone before George. Sighing, I looked up into stars and the brightly lit moon. A soft wind rustling my hair. For a while, I sat there, transfixed on the moon and its surrounding stars. The reflection of the moon also landing on the rippled lake. I stopped splashing and just sat there, not entirely enjoying a peaceful silence as I could hear music coming from the Great Hall.
“Ahem.” came a small cough from somewhere behind me.
I turned around swiftly, holding out my wand. “Oh… you.” I put my wand away. Malfoy was standing a few feet away from me, looking a little bit awkward. “Malfoy, if you’re gonna torment me tonight, please don’t. I’m not in the mood.” I muttered, looking back out into the shining moon.
I heard his robes rustle in the wind as he sat down a couple of metres away from me.
“I wasn’t going to torment you tonight, Rivers.” I heard him say. I turned my head so that I could see him clearly. His face was illuminated by the light of the moon as he too, stared out into it.
“It’s pretty isn’t it?” I looked at him for a few more seconds, then joined him in looking out.
“Yeah, I guess.” I said half-heartedly.
A strong gust of wind came over me and I found myself begin to shiver.
“Here.” Malfoy said, taking his robe off and levitating it towards me.
“I’m not cold.” I murmured, not wanting to admit it to Malfoy.
“Don’t make me put you on the Imperius Curse.” I turned my head sharply towards him. “I was kidding, I was kidding. Take a joke, Rivers.”
I scowled at him. “But seriously, put it on.” His robe was now hovering on top of me, gently hitting my head.
Getting annoyed, I snatched it out of the air and put it on.
“Happy?” I growled.
“Honestly, Rivers. Your manners are dreadful.” I knew he was joking as he turned back to look at the moonlight, rubbing his left arm which was now only covered by his white long-sleeved shirt.
“Malfoy, come here.” I said softly.
“Come here,” I patted the ground next to me.
He looked at me suspiciously. I looked back at him with calm and steady eyes. “Don’t make me use the Imperius Curse on you.” I repeated what he’d said.
With a midly surprised look, he got up and plotted himself back down on the patch of grass next to me - still keeping a few inches away.
We were still able to hear the music being played in the Great Hall.
Dance… Your final, Dance…
None of us said anything as we listened to the lyrics of the song.
To hold, the one you Love….
The branches of the large tree a few metres away began to sway, almost to the rhythm of the song.
You know you’ve waited long enough…
I shifted slightly so that I was sitting more comfortably.
So believe that magic works…
I watched as the ripples of the lake flowed further and further.
Don’t let this magic die…
I imagined a Thestral flying across the moon.
The answers there…
I glanced at Malfoy’s left arm, which was tightly across his knees, holding them up slightly against his chest.
Oh, just look in her eyes…
I turned my head so that I was looking at him. To my surprise, his eyes were looking back into mine.
Don't let this moment slip away…
I leant over and reached for his arm.
And don’t believe that magic can die…
But stopped mid-way, as Malfoy leant in towards me, eyes closed.
No, no, no this magic can’t die…
It seemed to last for ages, I closed my eyes as his lips pressed hard against mine, the moon glowing even brighter – if possible - and the wind sweeping against us. His breath became hot against my face as he pulled away from me.
“Draco?” I asked shakily, opening my eyes to see Malfoy’s only a few centimetres away. I felt my cheeks begin to redden.
He didn’t answer.
“I like you, Rivers.” I was speechless.
“What happened to Pansy?” I asked, trying to make this conversation a light-hearted one.
“I told you Rivers, I like you.”
“That’s not what I asked.” I glanced at him as he hesitated.
“I never liked her.” He paused, “Like I said, I like you. I’ve liked you for a while now.”
My heart was hammering inside and my head was throbbing.
“You just broke up with George, I know.” he interrupted. “And I’m breaking up with Pansy” I looked at him with a vacant expression. I didn’t know what to do.
“Draco, I don’t think this is a good idea.”
“We’ll keep it a secret,” he persisted. “I don’t think it’d be a good idea either, if we were to broadcast it all over the school.”
My mind was blank. I wasn’t sure.
“It’s okay if you’re not ready now,” he shrugged, turning to look back out into the lake, “I can wait.”
I shuddered slightly as I remembered that was what George had said as well. The wave of guilt came over me again.
For a while, there was only silence and we finally realised that the Ball was over.
“What time is it?” I asked, after I told him that there was no more music.
“Should be around midnight.” he yawned. “Do you want me to walk you back?”
I blinked owlishly.
“No, I’ll be okay.” I got up and with one last look at the moon and a ‘good-night’ to Malfoy, I shrugged his robe off of my shoulders and walked away. Up towards the Gryffindor Common Room, my brain still trying to comprehend what had just happened.
The next day, was fortunately a Saturday. Hermione had persisted with her questions towards what happened during the Ball, but I kept avoiding the subject.
“Hermione,” I chirped, getting irritated. “Obviously, George and I broke up. So I went to have a walk around the castle.”
I was lying on the grass with Harry while Ron and Hermione sat against the tree near the Lake. I felt bad lying to them, but I couldn’t have just said I snogged Draco.
“Why did you break up?” Ron asked, not seeming to upset at the whole ordeal.
I sighed, “I didn’t feel comfortable.” At least I was telling the truth this time.
“George is pretty cut up about it.” Harry said cautiously, checking to see whether I’d try to avert the statement.
“Yeah?” I didn’t know what to say.
“Of course he would be. At least she didn’t lead him on for long.” I felt grateful for Hermione.
“She’s lead him on for almost six years!” I felt a sickening feeling in my stomach and I looked at Ron with pained eyes. “Sorry,” he said quickly, “but it’s true.”
My stomach squirmed and I immediately felt bad again.
“He’ll get over it.” Hermione noted, getting back to her knitting.
Ron groaned, “Look who’s coming this way.”
One by one, we turned to look at where Ron was looking. My eyes widened while a few butterflies fluttered in my stomach.
Please don’t come here, please, please, please I begged silently. It was Malfoy. Actually, it was Pansy, marching towards us while Malfoy was trying to hold her back. Pansy reached half-way towards us, before Malfoy stepped in front of her and by the looks of it, persuaded Pansy to stop.
She gave me a really pissed off look and stormed off, back the other way. Malfoy turned around and looked at each of us. He left his eyes on me a second too long then sneered as to wish not to raise any suspicion.
“What was all that about?” Ron wondered aloud, propping himself on to his elbows.
I felt Hermione’s eyes bore straight into the back of my head.
“No idea.” I mumbled, not looking at Hermione.
“Well, Pansy seemed pissed. Maybe Malfoy broke up with her.” Harry suggested.
“Yes, but that doesn’t explain why she was walking this way.” Hermione piped up and I felt her look somewhere else. I zipped my jacket up and stood.
“I’m going for a walk.” I told the others.
“She loves her walks.” I heard Ron say as I left.
I tightened my scarf around my neck and walked past Hagrid’s hut. It’s always been empty, ever since Hagrid went along with Grawp to fight in the Order. I kicked a few pebbles and watched as the Hufflepuff team flew into the air with their brooms and started passing the quaffle around.
“I just don’t get it Draco!” Pansy was storming out of the Forbidden Forest, Draco right on her tail. I scampered and hid behind a large boulder.
“Listen, Pansy,” I heard Draco pant, “I like Sofie. I don't want to be cheating on her... or you.”
I took a sharp intake of breath as Pansy started marching towards my way. I heard Draco’s pants as he ran after her.
“Pansy…” and his voice trailed off. I watched them as they go, from the safety of the bushes and this boulder. Pansy turning around on Malfoy and screaming at him, even I could hear. “Draco, you son of a lousy bitch! I can’t believe you were just playing with me all that time!”
And again, the voices faded.
I slunk to the floor and wondered how many problems this relationship – if I can call it that – would cause. I thought about Hermione, Harry and Ron and how if I were to actually go out with Malfoy, how they would react. How they and Malfoy would treat each other. Especially, I thought of George. How betrayed he would feel if he were to find out that I kissed their worst enemy straight after I had broken up with him.
I closed my eyes and massaged my temples. I opened my eyes again and realised. There is someone I can talk to about this. There was Sirius. Leaping up, I ran all the way back up to the Gryffindor Common Room.
“Riddikulus!” I shouted, unintentionally as I reached the Fat Lady's portrait.
“No need to shout, miss.” she rebuked.
“Sorry.” I yelled back as I ran through the door.
“SOFIE!” I saw Hermione leap off of her chair by the fire and run towards me.
“Not now, Hermione.” I said, trying to push past her.
“No, let's go for a walk.” She tried pulling me back the other way.
“Hermione, seriously, not now.” I yanked my arm out of her hold and power walked towards an empty chair. As soon as I came into view of the sofa, I had a full frontal view of George snogging another Gryffindor girl. Hermione walked up to me, pulling on my hand gently this time.
“Seriously, Sofie, let's take a walk.”
I couldn't pry my eyes away from the sight. George was practically lying on top of the poor girl! Well, not poor as she looked as though she was enjoying it. Hermione pulled softly, and I followed.
For a moment, Hermione just lead the way, unable to speak at all.
“Hermione, what was that about?” I managed to ask, barely even believing what I had just saw.
“Sofie, it's fairly straight forward.” I looked at her blankly and she sighed. “He's trying to get over you, so he's obviously using another girl.”
I gawked at her, “He wouldn't do that!” I rounded on to her, “Hermione, he wouldn't do that.”
She just sighed.
“Sofie, we don't know what he would or wouldn't do.”
“Why doesn't Fred do something?!” A gush of pity and self-blame came over me.
“I'm not sure if he knows. They sorta had a bit of a fight.”
I looked at her incredulously.
“Apparently,” she hesitated, “Apparently George lashed out after the Halloween Ball.”
“What do you mean he lashed out?” I asked, getting a really bad feeling.
Hermione walked through the Great Hall doors, where Ron and Harry were eating their dinner.
“Hermione,” I chased after her, “What do you mean?”
The boys looked up and must've noticed Hermione's expression because they looked back down and ate their dinner very quickly.
“Him and Fred had a row!” Hermione said exasperatedly.
“Borge pooched Frod squeer in or fooce!” Ron mumbled, mouth full of food.
Hermione looked at him disgustedly as I tried working out what he said.
“Borge... what?” I asked, giving up on the Da Vinci Code.
Ron took a gulp and swallowed all that was in his mouth. “George punched Fred straight in the face!”
“Yeah,” Harry said, putting his cutlery on his plate, “We saw the whole thing.”
I rounded to Harry. “What happened?!” I almost screamed. Although I did break up with him, I didn't like knowing that he was becoming aggro towards everyone. Now that I think about it, he did seem to have been kissing that girl aggressively.
“Well, George was sitting down next to us, didn't seem that happy so Fred tried getting him up to dance. George just snapped and gave it to him.”
I pondered over it while Ron and Harry were finishing off their desserts. Was it because of me George became like that? Things seemed to have just gotten from bad to worse for George.
“Sofie, don't think about it too much.” Hermione said, clearly watching me as I mulled it over. “He'll get over it sooner or later.”
She patted my hand sympathetically and I forced a smile out.
“You're not going to go on another walk are you?” Ron asked, as we started up the stairs to the common room.
“Nah,” I said, “I think I'll go straight to bed.” I stopped abruptly on the stairs and soon, the others did as well. There was Pansy Parkinson, waiting at the top of the stairs, jeering down at us. Momentarily, I thought nothing was going to happen as we were just staring at each other.
“Rivers,” she sneered, her hair was a mess and her eyes watery and blood-shot. Her eyes were piercing straight in to mine. “Rivers, you're a bloody slut you know that?”
My mouth opened incredulously. “What are you on about?”
“DRACO!” she screamed, her eyes becoming wetter and wetter by the minute. “You're a foul, loathsome BITCH!” People passing by came to a stop and stared at Pansy and us.
“I don't know what you're talking about.” I whispered.
“What did you say?!” she was now screeching at the top of her voice.
“I said I don't know what you're going on about!” I shot back. I felt people's eyes fixing on to the back of my head, one of them, surely Hermione's.
“Listen, Pansy, she doesn't know what you're on about, so why don't you just shut up and let us go?” Harry was becoming frustrated.
“I don't care if you leave. No one said you had to stay anyway. I just want Rivers.” Her voice became quiet and deadly within seconds.
“Come on, Sofie.” Hermione said quietly, pulling me with her.
As soon as I passed Pansy, she grasped my arm so tightly that I gasped in pain. Her eyes were bulging out of her sockets and she was trembling so badly that she was shaking my arm as well. It was a frightening sight. Especially being so up close to her.
“Let go of her.” Hermione demanded as Ron and Harry got their wands out.
Pansy didn't let go for a moment, but then she thought better. She released her hand off of my arm and shoved past me, trotting down the stairs with big thumps. Only then did I realise that she was crying the true waterworks.
We walked silently to the common room. I was so immersed in my thinking that I didn't even realise that we had reached the common room. It was only until Hermione sat me down on the sofa - where George had been making out with that girl - did I realise. We were all alone too.
“What was that about?” Hermione was looking very intensely at me. Ron and Harry were in their arm chairs, watching carefully as well.
“Nothing.” I mumbled.
“Sofie, we know better. Something happened after that Ball. Something to do with Malfoy. What?” She was too smart for me.
I sighed heavily. “I- I don't know.”
“Just tell us what happened.” Harry pressed, leaning in on his arm chair.
I looked at each of them, one by one. Until finally, I looked at Hermione. Her brows were furrowed, with a quite perplexed look.
“Did you talk to Malfoy?” she asked, and I had a feeling that she somehow knew.
“Yes.” I replied quietly.
“Did you just talk?” Yes, she knew.
I looked down at my hands, not wanting to say anything.
“Sofie?” Ron got up and sat down next to me. “What happened?”
I looked at him, his face made it look as though he thought Malfoy'd done something bad to me.
“He – He – He just kissed me.” My voice now barely audible.
Hermione shrieked while Ron stared at me, disbelievingly. “He kissed you?! What??”
I nodded and Hermione shrieked again, getting up.
“Hermione, its not as big as you think.” I looked to Harry for some support. He had been the only one who hadn't acted as surprised or shocked.
“Sofie,” his voice low and slow, “why did he kiss you?”
I stared at him with a 'what-do-you-mean-why-did-he-kiss-me' look.
“I s'pose he likes me?” I mumbled. “He said he did... anyway.”
Harry gave a small snort.
I raised my eyebrow. “What?”
“Nothing.” his voice becoming steely.
“You're saying that Draco Malfoy likes you?” Hermione asked, eyes round.
“Look, I don't know. That's what he said.”
“And that's why Pansy's giving you the shits? She's jealous?” Ron piped in. Still a disbelieving look on his face.
“I guess?” Hermione looked at me with a shocked face.
“Look, I'm going to bed now so you three can discuss it between yourselves while I'm gone.”
No one said anything as I got up and trotted up to my dormitory. I slowly got changed into my pyjamas, and climbed into bed. I turned on to my side and kept my eyes open. Sure I wouldn't be able to sleep.
In what seemed to be an hour, Hermione too got into her own bed. Me, knowing well that she wouldn't be able to sleep either. Sooner or later, I became light headed and next thing I knew, I was awoken by a slapping Hermione.
There were no interruptions during the day, apart from one in Potions.
“Rivers, how many times would you stir to get a Love Potion?” Snape drawled, his greasy hair almost covering his whole face.
Tired and sick of the unfairness, I snapped. “Why don't you ask a Slytherin? They probably know!” The bunch of Slytherins at the front sniggered, including Malfoy who had stopped the instant I looked at him.
Pansy looked back and forth from Draco and I. “Oh, but you know everything, don't you Rivers?” she quipped, obviously still furious at me as she gave me another piercing look as Snape turned around.”
“10 points from Gryffindor.” he smirked, wrapping his long black cloak around himself.
“What for?!” I screamed frantically, so close to breaking point.
“Sofie!” said an aghast Hermione. “Shh!”
“Don't make me give you another weeks detention.” Snape whispered in a deadly voice.
“Hey, you know what?” I got up and walked around my desk towards him, holding my wand down but ready. Hermione also got up. “I don't really care what happens. I'm standing up for all these Gryffindors” - I gestured towards the people sitting down around me - “so do whatever you want. And I don't give two shits about what you people think of me.” I shot Pansy a fierce look.
“Sit down Rivers.” Snape's voice menacing as his hand reached down into his pocket. No doubt clenching his wand.
“Didn't you hear me?” I said, lowering my voice.
“Sofie, sit down!” I turned around, surprised at the sharpness of Hermione. Her lips were pressed together so tightly that it made it look as though she had none! “I am a prefect and I'm telling you to sit down!”
I gazed at her wearily, unsure on how to take this surprise attack of Hermione's. Confusedly, I stumbled to my seat where I was set another weeks detention and 50 points off of Gryffindor.
“What was all that about?” Ron muttered quietly as Hermione left to go to her Ancient Runes class without a goodbye.
I stayed quiet, not fully understanding – just like Ron and Harry – what that had been about.
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