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Chapter 2 : Flying
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I slept good that night, no nightmares or anything like that. I did not even dwell on the war, which was a relief, it was a relief that I didn’t have to stare in to Fred or Snape’s dead eyes, or re-live the pain from Bellatrix’s torture.
Deciding it was time to get up, I slid out of bed and walked into the shared bathroom.
“Morning, ‘Mione” Ginny greeted as she joined me.
“Yeah, hi.” I said, too distracted by my nerves to have an actual conversation. Today was going to be the first lesson in flying, for me. I wondered who my teacher would be…
I mumbled something about breakfast and walked away from them all in a hurry.
Before I would have my flying lesson, I had Charms with Flitwick, and then lunch.
Charms would work out nicely, I didn’t need to concentrate for Flitwick wasn’t all that strict, he would probably just look the other way if he saw me daydreaming.
I sighed as I sat down at the Gryffindor table out of habit, but these days, many tables were mixed. Houses did not seem to matter as much anymore, at least not for Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, the hatred between Gryffindor and Slytherin was still there, thought. You would see no Gryffindor sitting with a Slytherin, or vice versa.
I hated the Great Hall these days, the hall that once had been so enchanting and beautiful, was now a constant reminder of the people we had lost.
I remembered clearly how many bodies that had been lying on the cold floor of the hall. Dead.
In the same room that we were all sitting eating our breakfast at the moment, however, I couldn't eat anything.
I lost my appetite as I thought about the war.
The castle looked the same as it had always done, they had fixed it up good in just a year.
But it was something wrong about the atmosphere; the death seemed to hang in the air, still.
A giggle from behind me made me snap out of my thoughts, and look around.
Behind me, blue and yellow was mixed to the extreme, sharing laughter and talking friendly. Further away there was a perfect still line of green, the Slytherins were barely speaking to each other, they did not sit close to each other and they didn’t look at one another.
I noticed that Parkinson was missing. No, not just Parkinson, the table was awfully empty, looking more closely around me, there were not many Hufflepuffs or Ravenclaws there either.
How had I not noticed?
Shaking my head for myself, I glanced over at the Slytherin table once more, and caught the eye of Malfoy, who sat on the very edge, further away from the others than anyone else. He smirked cruelly. I looked away in a hurry. I had noticed that he didn’t eat anything either.
“Hi, Herms.” Ron said cheerfully, as he sat down opposite of me.
“Uh. Don’t call me that!” I moaned, at looked at him with a disgusted look as he shoved food in his mouth and smiled at me. “That’s disgusting.”
“So, how’s the flying going?” He laughed at his own words, and I glared at him.
“I’m going to practise after lunch, actually. I expect it to go just fine.”
His eyes widened and he kept quiet until Harry and Ginny came, and then he threw himself into a conversation with them.
I tried to keep up with their talk, but found myself drifting away. I felt lonely.
Charms passed by just as fast as I had suspected, I kept up good with what he was saying and was able to answer a few questions as well. It was an achievement in it self, it was a long time since I had been able to focus on anything.
I glanced at my watch. 12:57. I panicked and started running towards the pitch, dashed pass people, who looked worriedly at me.
I had not had time to change, so I had my school robes on, and underneath I had my casual muggle clothes.
Grey jeans and a white t-shirt, very simple and very muggle.
I sighed as I stood on the pitch, I wasn’t late. My teacher was, though… Impatiently I stood with my hand on my hip waiting, every now and then I glanced at my watch.
1:06… 1:14…1:16.. I looked up and saw a figure carrying two brooms and started walking towards it.
“I have waited for over fifthteen minutes!” I snapped irritated.
“Don’t get your wand in a knot, Granger.” The figured drawled. “I’m here now, aren’t I?”
He chuckled at my reaction, and I nearly walked away from the pitch right then. Flying lessons, with Malfoy? Oh, Joy.
“Yes. Malfoy, your teacher.” He smirked at me as I realized that he wasn’t joking. “As your teacher, you are to do what I say. But you don’t mind, do you?”
“I… You prat! Why would you want to teach me?”
“Who ever said I wanted to? Madame Hooch asked me too, and honestly, Granger, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by.”
I clenched my fists and glared at him. I strongly regretted ever wanting to fly.
“I think I have changed my mind, Malfoy.” I spat, and started to walk, but I didn’t get very far as his hand gripped my upper arm painfully. “What…?”
“Don’t just walk away from me, Granger. I’m here because you wanted to learn, I’m here because I wanted to help… I mean, teach… you.”
I stopped, not because of his painfully hard grip, but because he had a point. I wanted to learn, what did it really matter who taught me? But it was Malfoy. He was a good seeker, thought…
I turned to face him again, he didn’t smirk, he looked at me just waiting for my answer. Innocently.
“Alright, Malfoy. We can try.”
He smiled at me, almost a real smile. It was breathtaking. I shook my head and looked down on my arm, on which his hand now rested lightly. My breathing increased somewhat and he awkwardly let his arm fall to his side. He did not wear his robes, but he had on what looked like muggle clothes, but I knew better.
“Right. So, now… What is it about flying that scares you?”
I then understood what he had meant the night before when he had told me he always figured out things. I snorted. Had he run after Hooch and asked her right away, or had he waited a while?
“You don’t need to know why, just teach me.”
“I can’t teach you if you are scared, stupid. Now, tell me, so we can begin already.”
“Fine” I sighed. “It’s the height. I’m afraid of falling.”
“You’d have your wand…? Even though you are a muggleborn, you are a witch, you know. You wouldn’t die of a fall, merlins sake.”
“I know that!” I snapped and he chuckled at me, how could he just chuckle? “What?”
“You look better when you’re upset.”
He walked to the middle of the pitch, and threw one of the brooms away, and mounted the one he held. He raised an eyebrow as if asking. ‘What are you waiting for?’
I walked pass him to grab the other broom, but he coughed and I looked at him, and he motioned for me to get on the same broom as him.
“No way, Malfoy. You’ll push me off up there.”
“Yet again, you are a witch…” He snorted and when I still didn’t move he moaned. “Just get on the fucking broom, Granger.”
He looked so secure on the broom, and I gave in to him and mounted the broom infront of him and held on tight to it.
“Oh, Malfoy, I think I’m defiantly having second thoughts about this.” I mumbled and then one of his arms sneaked its way around my waist and pulled me tighter to him. His muscles made me feel tiny, then he shifted just a little bit and I inhaled sharply and closed my eyes.
Then I realized that we were still on solid ground and felt stupid.
“Are you ready?” He murmured in my ear. His breath tickling and warm against my cold skin.
“Do you trust me?”
I was amused by the thought.
“Good.” He mused.
And then he pushed off the ground, and I gripped the broom hard enough so that my knuckles turned white, and pressed myself back on him. I think I screamed too.
“Don’t close your eyes, Granger.” He whispered and as if under the imperius I opened them, the view was amazing, we were flying over the grounds, over the forest.
The way the sun made the lake shimmer was breathtaking. Then I looked down and nearly fell off the broom, I would have if Malfoy didn’t hold me tight.
“Oh.” I moaned. “Oh… How far up are we?”
“Far enough.” Came his amused response. “You scared?”
“Yes.” I confessed shakily, “May I close my eyes now?”
“No.” He laughed. “No, you may not. How are you suppose to learn how to fly if you can’t see?”
He did a fast turn, and I whimpered in fear. His grip around me became more secure, and I wordlessly thanked him. “Granger… I’m going to hold the broom here, so we will be stopping now. Okay?”
We held our position in the air, over looking the lake.
“You wanna take over?” He murmured in my ear and I looked back at him, and he nodded towards the broom. “Take the wheel, as a muggle would say.” He smiled, proud to have impressed me.
“No!” I breathed, I would have shouted but my voice wouldn’t hold. I was too frightened. His calm eyes found mine as he looked up from the ground. The silver orbs held dept, and drew me closer to him, they seemed melted, floating almost. I melted under his gaze, and his grip tightened.
“You almost fell off. Are you okay?”
I just nodded and forced myself to look away from him. This is Malfoy you are thinking about, cruel, deatheater, evil, ferret Malfoy. He is beautiful…
“Granger… You should try, come on.” He said, and put his hands over my hands and turned to the left.
“Oh, Malfoy, please.” I tried to turn my head but he moved one of his hands to force my head back. “Don’t… I’m… Scared.”
“No need to be. I’ve got you.” He reassured me softly. I snorted. But the fact that he was there was just what I needed, I took control and we flew around the castle, and then I tried to make us go down. But he wouldn’t have that.
“Don’t go down just yet, I want to show you something. Here, let me.”
He pushed my hands away, and I put them on his arms instead. He flew even higher.
“Okay, now I’m closing my eyes.” I said and turned my head towards his chest and shut my eyes tight. We flew fast, I could feel that. His muscles worked hard underneath my hands, and but the weird thing was that I felt completely safe.
“Put your legs down, in landing position.”
The warning came just in time, for I had hardly heard him before we came in contact with ground. The broom fell down from underneath me, and I realized that I was hanging on to Malfoy as if my life depended on it. But, I couldn’t bring myself to let go.
“Just a second, Malfoy.” I managed to choke out. I took a few breaths, then I let him go. “Sorry about that, I wasn’t aware of the speed that broom held. You cut me off guard.”
He laughed darkly at that, and shook his head. “Honestly, did you think that I was going to go easy on you? That is one of the fastest brooms in the world, I only settle for the best.”
I ignored him and looked around my surroundings, we were in a meadow, I had no idea where we had landed, and would probably not be able to find my own way back. It was beautiful, warm and open. The grass moved in the soft breeze and I gasped at its beauty.
I searched for Malfoy, to find him sitting in the grass. I moved to sit near enough so that I could talk to him, but not closer than necessary.
“I won’t bite, you know.” He joked as he saw the distance between us. “Or maybe I will.” I thought I heard him add. I rolled my eyes slightly, but I held my position, if he wanted to move closer it was his call. He raised his one blond eyebrow, and shook his head.
“Come closer, Granger. One would think you are afraid of me.”
That damn smirk.
I sighed as I moved closer to him. “Close enough?”
“Always eager to please.” He mumbled satisfied. “What do you think?” Malfoys hand gestured to our surroundings.
“I think so, it is a great place for thinking.” He mumbled again.
He looked to be in deep thoughts, and his eyes darkened. I, myself, drifted away in thoughts as well.
Bellatrix moved closer to me with her wand outstretched, pointing directly at me, but my vision was not clear. I was lightheaded and my whole body hurted worse than it had ever done before.
I heard her screaming something to me, I saw her lips move. She was outraged. I couldn’t for all in the world figure out what words her mouth was spitting out.
I just knew that the answer was ‘No, I know nothing about that!’
Please… She showed no mercy.
Another dose of pure agony, I saw his face then, Draco Malfoy was standing right in my view. His eyes were huge, and he seemed disgusted. For one split second, Malfoy looked at me like he wanted to help me. But just for a second. The agony got worse, and my throat hurted from all my screaming, I heard Ron from far away, calling my name…
The image of how Malfoy had looked, and had continued looking through out the war was forever imprinted in my mind. Such a shell, a living shell of his former self.
It was hard to witness, I glanced over at him, and found that he was looking at me, curiously.
He looked so much better, healthier, almost the same as he had before. But he was different.
I blushed at his stare, he didn’t seem to be ashamed of his stare either, and kept staring.
“Looks like its going to rain soon…” My eyes moved from the sky to Malfoy who agreed with me, by nodding.
“Wanna go back?” His voice was thick, he sounded sad. I looked more closely at him; his features were hard and made him look like the old Malfoy, the one that had been in the Malfoy Manor. I assumed he had been thinking about it too.
“Whenever you want to.” I smiled at him, trying to lighten up the mood.
“Always so eager to please.” He mumbled. “Can we stay just a while longer?”
“Are you actually asking me?”
“Just being polite, that’s all. I really didn’t care if you didn’t want to.”
“Same old git.” I mumbled.
“What was that, Granger?”
“Nothing… Won’t it be hard to fly in the rain?”
“Surely you know that I am an excellent flyer, and I can fly in most conditions?”
I gave him a highly doubting look, but shrugged afterwards. “What ever you say.”
We sat in silent for about ten more minutes, before he stood up.
“Accio broom!” In a matter of seconds, he had mounted the broom, and I hurried up to him. ”I wasn’t about to leave you behind.” He muttered. He held his arm out and when I had seated myself in front of him, he held me tightly.
“And up we go…” He teased before he took off, I couldn’t help but to giggle at the whole situation, and how easy it was to get along with him. I hadn’t thought about killing him all day.
“So…” I began when we were flying high over the ground. “Will you continue teaching me even now, after you know my secret?”
“Yes, my goal is to get you h…Flying.”
“A lot has changed, hasn’t it?”
“Or nothing at all.” He murmured back, and I understood what he meant.
No one acted like a huge war had ever accured, like Voldemort had never existed. It was tearing me apart. No one seemed to acknowledge all the losses that we had suffered. I nodded my agreement.
Once safely back on the ground I asked him when the next lesson was, he looked at me for a long while before answering.
“Tomorrow night, just before supper. Surely you can miss that, we could fly to Hogsmeade for something to eat, if necessary…?”
“Yes, Sir!” I said, and he grimaced. “I’ll skip the sir then, Malfoy.” I joked.
“I am your teacher, thought…” He joked back. “Do you want to try out flying yourself tomorrow, or do you want me to teach you while we are together up there?”
“I want you!” I blurted out. “I mean… With me up… There… On the broom.” Awkward.
He pressed his lips together to suppress the smile that I saw was threatening to take over his lips. He nodded, still with his lips pressed tightly together. He took a deep breath.
“I see. You want me… On the broom with you.” He couldn’t help but smile after he finished that sentence, and it was a smile rarely seen on his face. Making him look even less like the Malfoy I had once known. “Tomorrow then, Granger.”
“Malfoy.” I nodded before I walked up to the tower.
“Oh, and skip the robe tomorrow, would you?”
I laughed and nodded.
Harry and Ron were sitting on the couch when I walked through the portrait.
“How was the ‘Flying Lesson’?” Harry almost burst out in laughter as he asked. Ron smiled sheepishly, I frowned.
“It was excellent, thank you for asking. We flew so high, over the lake, I even got control over the broom for a while. Oh, it was amazing, even though I was so scared. I knew he wouldn’t let me fall. And he did remind me that I can’t die if I fall: I’m a witch.”
They looked at me with wide eyes.
“This guy playes Quidditch?” Harry was the first one to ask me anything after my little speech. “Who is he?”
“Yeah, Seeker. Oh, it’s Malfoy.”
Their eyes widened even more, and Ron looked like he was turning blue. Had he stopped breathing all together? Again, Harry was the first one to recover from the shock.
“M...Malfoy?” He stuttered. “Hermione… You are not serious, are you?”
“She can’t be” Ron looked at me for a long time. “What the hell are you thinking with?!”
“Times have changed, Ronald. Even if you two won’t admit it. I have changed, you have changed. Malfoy have… changed.”
“The likes of Malfoy never change. I don’t understand how he could want to teach you?”
There was no question about the tone in Ron’s voice, pure hatred, but now he was also insulting me. Harry looked like he could murder. Anger rushed through my veins.
“What’s wrong about teaching me?”
“You’re a… I mean, to him you’re just a muggleborn, right? Why would he waste his time with you?”
“Ron, maybe it’s just you that think that I am a waste of time. And nice way of telling me that I am just a mudblood.”
“Herms, you know I did not mean it that way!”
“Do not call me ‘Herms’!” I shouted at him. “I hate that name, I hate it, I hate the students and the teachers of this school for ignoring what has happened, I hate how many people died, I hate…”
“Go ahead, Hermione, say it. You hate us!” Ron shouted back.
“I hate the way you are ignoring it, I don’t hate you, but I hate that you are pretending that it never happened. Well it happened, Ron.” I took a breath. “The war happened.”
“I know.” He shouted. “I was there!”
“So was I! I saw them dead, Ron. Snape, Colin, Tonks, Remus… Fred.”
“Shut up!” They shouted in unison.
“I swear, if you say another word, Hermione.” Harry threatened standing up and looking down on me.
“Fine.” I snapped and stood up aswell. “Keep pretending nothing happened. While you do that, I am going to keep having lessons with Malfoy.”
I stormed off to my bed, and laid down. The castle was cold. Far too cold.
That night, I dreamt about a pair of piercing silver orbs. They belonged to the only one who did not seem to be ignoring the war. Malfoy.
[Hey guys, please leave a review, and tell me that you thought of the chapter, pretty please? Thanks - Cathy]
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