Chapter image by Ardawling @ TDA
Fred’s unexpected words reverberated inside of her head for most of the night. Though the words were rather sweet she found them also rather unnerving. Never before had she known Fred Weasley to be the kind of person to say such things without an ulterior motive. Although since as of late the twins had been working to help her feel better after Ron’s betrayal she supposed that was probably what Fred’s intention had been.
She felt very grateful that the twins had been trying to make her feel better after the whole mess. True, Ginny had been undeniably on her side, but the twins were always much better for a laugh. And laughter was exactly what she needed to stop herself from crying over the bloody prat that was Ronald Weasley.
Sitting on the train to Hogwarts she had opted not to sit in the same compartment as Ron – which by extension meant not in the same compartment as Harry. Though she knew that Harry also felt that Ron had been moronic she also knew that they were close and she would never hold that against Harry. He could continue to be friends with Ron if that’s what he wanted. She could care less.
Her thoughts went briefly to Malfoy, in his cell in Azkaban. She wondered what it was like to be there for more than the hour she had been there. In that short amount of time she had felt her skin grow cold and felt like she wanted to run out of their screaming. Normally she was rather brave, but that place was like a vortex that sucked out all energy, all happiness.
So what was it like for Malfoy to be stuck there, day in and day out? Surely it was like hell on earth. Not that she really cared, of course. Not beyond the fact that she believed no man should be subjected to cruel treatment. Not even Malfoy.
The idea that he wanted to speak to her and only her was one she couldn’t quite figure out. Sure, it would stand to reason that if he could convince her of all people that he was telling the truth that he could convince anyone, but she was sure that there were people he liked better that he could spend his time talking to. And she wasn’t looking forward to the idea of having to go back to Azkaban and see him from time to time. Not only did she hate that place, but that meant being transported by the ministry to go and see him.
This, she decided, wasn’t going to be a very good year. That was proven to be true when at the feast Lavender had decided to park herself next to Ron, constantly finding a reason to touch him. She’d lean against him and smile, laughing at Ron’s pathetic attempts at humor. It made Hermione’s stomach churn to watch them like that, all sweet and cute when they had both been the cause of her broken heart. Didn’t they know it was poor manners to do such a thing in front of the person they hurt? Didn’t they realize what it did to her when she saw them acting like that? If they knew all that it was obvious that they didn’t care.
For her part Ginny looked disgusted by their behavior. Every time Lavender would slip into a sickeningly cutesy voice the redhead’s nose would crinkle in disgust and she’d stab violently at her plate. Hermione wasn’t sure if Ginny had ever liked Lavender, but she was positive that right at that moment she didn’t.
She did, however, feel sorry for Harry. It must have been rather hard for him to be stuck in the middle of both Ron and Hermione; torn between his two friends and knowing that if he sided with either of them the other would feel betrayed and complain about him being disloyal.
The display between Ron and his little ‘girlfriend’ had been sickening enough that Hermione found herself barely able to eat. Every time she tried to bring the fork to her mouth she would have to force herself to take a small bite when what she really wanted to do was start a food fight like the one that had occurred at the Weasley’s home- only this time with the whole of Hogwarts there it would be on a larger scale. The idea of Lavender picking food out of her hair made her smile. That would be a good start at retribution. But her respect for the school was what convinced her not to go through with it. After all, she doubted very much that the professors would like the idea of a massive food fight in the Great Hall.
By the time she got back to the common room she had come up with about a hundred individual ways to take out her annoyance on Ron and Lavender. She surprised even herself with some of the disturbing images that she had conjured up in her head. Of course she never could have gone through with most of them even if given the chance- some were rather bloody such as the idea of pulling each of Lavender’s nails out one by one- but the fact that she could imagine these things happening to them was enough to cheer her up. If only a little. In truth it would take a great deal more to make her feel actually better. And she knew that would take a long time- even with her friends trying to make her realize that maybe in the long run that it was all for the best.
But how, she wondered, could it be in her best interest that her heart got broken by the one person she never thought would be possible to do that? To most people it had been obvious that Ron started to develop feelings for her a few years before, so what sense did it make that he would break her heart like that? In what world does a guy hurt the person they wanted to be with? Okay, she knew that often times people did
in fact hurt the people they loved the most, but that didn’t make it anymore logical or make it hurt any less. If anything it made her more annoyed to know that she had become a statistic.
Then her mind went back to Malfoy. Only a day into the school year and already the fact that he hadn’t been there to try to make her and Harry and Ron’s lives a living hell was making her feel rather conflicted. When you become accustomed to something and it suddenly isn’t there anymore you find yourself unable to figure out exactly what to do to handle it. And though it wasn’t so much that she missed having Malfoy around as it was she was used to him being there, she wished he was in fact back at school. That little bit of familiarity would have helped her in this time of sorrow.
How strange, she thought, that she actually wanted Draco Malfoy back in her life. She honestly could say she never thought that it would be possible for her to miss him that much. Okay, not Malfoy himself, but the idea of him being there. She craved that conflict, to have someone she could go off on without looking like a jealous psycho. With Malfoy it would have been expected for her to get angry at him, to blow up at him. If he had been there she would get her release. But he was stuck in Azkaban and she wouldn’t have anyone to blow up at.
Once she had grown tired of the endless chatter that filled the common room she had excused herself and returned to her bed, crawling under the covers in hopes of escaping the annoyance that day had brought. Sleep, she believed, would be the best thing for her at the moment. And perhaps the only thing that would distract her from what was going on in her world at the moment.
But as her day had been, her dreams brought her the presence of two members of the Weasley family. Though rather than one of them being the current bane of her existence, this time she found herself in the presence of the two people that had tried to make her feel better after being betrayed. She wasn’t sure if she should have been that excited to see Fred and George invading her dreams, but she found herself smiling despite herself when she saw their faces.
“Feeling any better, Hermione?”
“Lock Ron in a room full of spiders yet?” She had actually come up with that idea herself but figured that she would get into a great deal of trouble if she had actually done that. Ron would most likely end up in the hospital wing and then she’d have to explain to the professors how it was that he had gotten locked into the room to begin with. And of course she would have been punished for being cruel enough to use Ron’s fear against him- even if he did
deserve it after what he did.
She shook her head. “No, afraid not. Not willing to get into trouble.”
“Not worth getting yourself into hot water over the likes of him, is it?”
“Certainly not. Besides, the wanker will get what he deserves in time.”
“Exactly. Karma always kicks wankers in the arse, don’t you know.”
“And he is one wanker who deserves a rather large kick in the arse.”
She couldn’t help it. She felt herself starting to smile, the edge of her mouth curling up. “Wouldn’t your mother love to know you’re talking about your little brother like that?”
“Mum knows we love the wanker.”
“We just think he’s gone completely mental, that’s all.”
“Complete nutter that one.”
“And Mum is mad at him too for what he did.”
“And where he did it.”
“I think smoke is still coming out of her ears actually.”
“Lots of it.”
Hermione leaned back against the invisible wall. How apt it would be that when she went to sleep feeling down the twins would appear to her. Now she had managed to smile despite her day, she had found amusement while she had thought she wouldn’t be able to find any. They had managed to lift her spirits once more.
“Don’t worry too much, Hermione.”
“That’s right. Worrying won’t help, right?”
“Besides, things can only get better.”
“Too right. Isn’t that how it goes? Bad things all lead to good?”
“Exactly. No worries now, Hermione.”
“Just get some rest.”
“Tomorrow is another day. Maybe you’ll set Ron’s hair on fire, yeah?”
An actual smile broke out across her face as she felt herself slip into darkness.
Sleep took a hold.