Ch 11: Apologies and Letter
“It’s…oh my god…wow…” Hermione whispered as her eyes took in the surroundings.
Her room had completely changed and she was mesmerized by it. To begin with, her once simple medium-sized lilac colored bed had been replaced by a magnificent queen-sized bed. It now looked really cozy with the fluffy white bed sheets and bedcover. At the head of the bed were two big fluffy pinkish-white pillows. On either side of the pillows, were two huge Teddy bears which were so cute that Hermione felt like cuddling them that very second. The teddy bears had red ribbons tied over their heads in the shape of a bow, and the ribbons read ‘Happy Birthday to my most special friend.’
Her eyes moved to the dresser beside her bed and they nearly popped out of their sockets. There was an enormous stack of gifts piled up on the dresser, each of them covered with a silvery glittering wrapping paper.
Her eyes grew wider as she looked up at the ceiling. It was illusioned to look like a rainy day’s sky. The ‘apparent’ clouds formed beautiful patterns and she could almost feel the moist wind. It was pure bliss.
The best parts were the huge bookracks kept against the wall just across the door. There were full of books which Hermione loved. She quickly made her way to the bookracks and found herself in a new world. There were different types of novels – Thriller books, Mystery books, Romantic books, Horror books, Adventurous books etc. In fact many muggle books were also there! There were some learning books also, like The Great Book of Healing spells
and 101 ways to practice Defense.
She lightly brushed her hands against some of the books.
“This is…wonderful…” She whispered, as she saw all the decorations around the bookracks too.
Finally after looking through the ‘changed’ room after what seemed the millionth time, Hermione tore her eyes away from the books and turned around to look at the person who had done all this for her.
“Oh Draco…Thanks…Thank you so much!” She hastily made her way towards Draco who stood smiling at her, his hands in his pockets. Even at that moment, she couldn’t help but notice how striking he looked.
As she drew level with Draco, he extended a hand towards her.
“Happy Birthday to the most precious and the most special friend I’ve ever had and hopefully, will always have.” He told her.
“Thanks a million to my best friend who has done so much for me and made my life a paradise…Thank you.” She replied taking his hand and smiling back.
“Thanks to you too Mi.”
“Why? I thought I should be the one to thank you?!”
“Thanks for being there for me…for understanding me…for…”
“Shhhhhh…” She shushed him with her finger. “Enough of Thank yous. I already know what you’ll say to me…and anyways, we are best friends and best friends needn’t thank each other…” She smiled before giving him a hug but pulling back quickly.
“What? Why are you looking at me like that?” Hermione asked him when she saw him looking at her strangely.
He shook his head. “Nothing…You've done so much for me Mi...All this is still not enough to make you realized how special you're for me..."
"I fully realize how special I am to you, and you should realize this as well that you hold that same special place in my heart as well..."
He smiled. "Won’t you open any of the gifts?”
“Oh…yes of course! Let’s open them now…”
Hermione ushered him to her bed.
At once all the gifts she had left on the couch came zooming towards her.
“There you go…now we can open them!” She said excitedly.
Draco watched her as she carefully waved her wand, making all the gifts pile up neatly around them.
“Hmm…what do you reckon? Who’s gift should we start from?” She asked him when he hadn’t uttered a word (afterall, he was busy noticing her every movement).
“Oh…um…how about the Weasel?”
Hermione threw a warning look at Draco’s direction but didn’t say anything.
Sighing, she picked up the gift given to her by Ron and opened it. She gasped. It was a red velvety box and on opening it, she found out that it contained a really beautiful set of sapphire earrings and a chain with a sapphire locket.
“Oh my god! This is beautiful…” She said happily as she examined it. Draco snorted.
“Wonder how much it had cost the Weasel to buy something like that! Hope he didn’t had to sell his house or anything…” He said, rolling his eyes.
“Draco Nicholas Malfoy! Don’t you dare say such things about him
“I thought you were angry with him?!”
“Yeah…but I forgave him. He’s my best friend since I was eleven and I can’t forget all those years of friendship like that!”
? Or is it something more than that?” Draco spat angrily at her. Suddenly, he was feeling very furious and even he couldn't understand his sudden anger.
Hermione was shocked. Why was he acting like this?
“Don’t be ridiculous! Ron is like my brother, nothing else! And by the way, why are you getting so irritated?! I just said that Ron and I were best friends since such a long time! It’s true and you know it as much as I do
....Why do you
need to be so hyper about this?”
“I am not getting hyper! And I thought we
were supposed to be best friends; not you and that Weasel
“Draco?! What’s wrong with you?! Why are you starting up this stupid argument?!”
“ME? I am starting this argument?! You were the one who started it! I just joked about Weasel being poor!”
“First of all, His name is Ronald Weasley; NOT Weasel. Secondly, I have told you a numerous times before not to taunt or insult my friends. Sure, you are my best friend too but that doesn’t mean that I will only be your friend! I have other friends too and I have full authority to be with them as much as I have to be with you! And for Merlin’s sake stop being so possessive!”
“I am not being possessive! I –”
You are being possessive! Do you expect me to just be with you all the time?! I do have other friends you know!”
“I very well know that! It’s just that I don’t like that stupid Potter; and especially I just hate that freak bootlicker Wease –”
Draco looked at Hermione with wide eyes as he touched the spot on his chin where she had just punched him.
“Just SHUT UP!
Before you say anything, remember that you are talking about my best friends; about those two people who were the first ones to befriend me when I stepped into Hogwarts; who have been loyal to their friendship for the past eight years! I won’t take it if you insult them like this! ...” She shouted angrily.
“What about the insults they have being throwing at me
?! And why am I blaming them, in fact you were also in league with them, punching me for nothing and its not the first time you have punched me Hermione granger…but of course why would you care? You just care about them; your ‘loyal’ and ‘true’ friends! Not about me! And I guess you don’t even care if I live or die, do you?! Afterall I am the death eater Malfoy to you and your so called best friends… am I not? I have even started to think that all that sympathy of yours was all fake and a lie
! Maybe you just-”
I am not taking anymore of your nonsense! How could you even say
that all my sympathy was fake…and what are you talking about?! Insults they have thrown at you
?! You were the one who started all this enmity when we first set foot into Hogwarts! And I do care about you! I had started acknowledging you as my best and my closest friend! I never punched you just for nothing
! In fact you deserved it! And death eater Malfoy?! You forgot I was the one who told you to move on and forgot that you ever performed any misdeeds! I was the one who helped you to believe in yourself! I was the one who tried to convince everyone including
my so called loyal and true friends
that you were no death eater! But no! You have other thoughts…don’t you?! ” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “How could you say that I don’t care about you?! I care for you every minute! You are the most special to me and you say I don’t care about you?! I never thought you could think something as ridiculous as that! I have confided in you so much, I have made you my closest friend and you tell me that I don’t care if you live or die?! I have started caring about you more than myself Draco Malfoy! And you give me all that nonsense in return?! This is how you repay me?! I was wrong in the first place to even think
that you could befriend me – a mudblood
! That’s what I am to you right?! ” Hermione, having taken out most of her anger now, exhaled deeply. She was shaking violently now, tears rolling down her cheeks.
Draco felt a pang of remorse as he realized the mistake he had done. He rushed by her side to apologize.
“Oh Mi…I am sorry…I am a complete idiot…I shouldn’t have –”
“I don’t want to talk to you anymore! Get lost Malfoy
!” She said crying bitterly.
It was not the words, it was not the bitter way of saying those harsh words, it was the use of his last name acidly, that hurt Draco the most. Understanding that she needed to be left alone, and silently cursing himself for acting so pathetic, he left the room without another word and dragged his feet to the couch, slowly closing the door behind him.
Draco buried his face in his hands as he sat down on the couch. How could he say such things to the only person who cared about him (beside his mother).
‘How could you be such a lunkhead Draco Malfoy?! How could you?! God! I have caused her so much pain; there’s no way she’ll ever forgive me! Please show me some way lord…Please! I’ll do anything to get my Hermione back…please forgive me for my immatureness! Why did I act so terrible…I must have gone off my rocker! How could I do this to her! She must be crying her eyes out by now. I so want to just go to her, apologize and comfort her…yes maybe I could do that…but will she let me?! What if she gets even more pissed off? What if she hates me even more?! No No…she won’t hate me if I apologize…but she won’t let me come near her…or will she?!’
Several thoughts crossed his mind but he couldn’t reach any conclusion.
“Ohhhh!! I’ll never be able to come out of this mess I have created myself!” He sighed angrily at himself.
Finally, after a lot of fist banging and ‘damn’-ing, Draco came up with an idea.
He rushed inside his room to make things fine between Hermione and him once again.
(After around 15 minutes, In Hermione’s room)
Hermione looked at herself in the mirror and shook her head.
“Just look at me! I have been crying for a git! Get a grip Hermione! If he’s ignorant then I can also be ignorant about this.” Bracing herself, she stepped out of her room and quickly made a beeline for the bathroom. She applied a little soap on her tear-stained cheeks, and washed her face. Feeling fresh, she came out of the bathroom only to find him
standing there, with his back to her.
At the sound of her heels, he turned around and opened his mouth to speak something but she cut him off.
“Listen Draco, I don’t want to talk to anyone right now, and I certainly don’t want to spoil my birthday with anymore fights, so leave me alone. Have a good day.” She made her way back to her room and applied a little lipstick and blush. She combed her hair, grabbed a book and went out of her room again to have some peace to herself. Not even glancing once at Draco (who still stood where she had left him minutes ago), she stormed out of the common room, kept on walking swiftly until she stopped just near the lake. She propped on the grass under a tree, laid out her book and began to read.
A lot of time had passed when she heard a familiar voice calling her name.
“Hey Lin.” She replied, not looking up from her book.
“What’s this Mi? It’s your birthday! And you are reading
?! This is just not done! It is your 18th birthday for god’s sake…the most special day of your life and you are sitting here!”
“What difference does it make? Special day…yeah right!” Hermione mumbled.
Linda snatched the book from Hermione’s hand.
“Tell me what’s wrong!” She demanded.
“Nothing…nothing at all Lin…give me my book back!”
“No way! First tell me what’s wrong.”
“No buts! Tell me or I’ll come to know somehow! I have my contacts really well!”
Hermione looked at Linda pleadingly but she glared back at her.
! Come, sit. I’ll tell you everything but promise me you won’t breathe a word about this to anyone
especially not Harry or Ron. Ok?”
“Ok…but is it something serious?”
“Sort of…but no worries. I just hope it will pass.” Heaving another big sigh, she told Linda everything (i.e. from the remark on the gift until her snapping at him outside the bathroom). After hearing everything, Linda remained quiet.
“Hmm…I think you should’ve given him a chance to speak…”
“NO WAY! I am never talking with that git again.”
“Come on Mi! You shouldn’t be so stubborn. Afterall, he’s a Malfoy and Malfoys tend to be stupid and mean at times.”
“Yeah but…how could you say this Lin? He insulted your boyfriend too!”
“Listen Mi! Guys are dickheads. You know what? Ron and I had an argument just yesterday! Harry had just told me that I was looking gorgeous and not only had he fought with Harry for ‘laying eyes’ on me, but when I told him that it wasn’t a big deal, he had shouted at me that he cared for me but I didn’t pay heed to his ‘care’…and merlin knows all other sorts of nonsense he was bragging about. These boys tend to be idiotic, over protective and sometimes pathetic too. There’s absolutely no reason to be so angry at Draco. He just got angry ‘cause he expected you to laugh at his comment –” Hermione shot a death glare at Linda. “That wasn’t just a comment!”
“-Ok! Then he expected you to laugh at his poorly constructed so called joke but instead you got furious at him. Then he must have thought that you were favoring Ron over him, and he also got pissed off. Guys can be really possessive at times Mi. So just chill out and have fun on your birthday. Go talk with him and reason things out and everything will turn up fine.” Linda finished calmly.
“For one, how do you know so much about boys?!
For another, do you actually expect me
to ‘reason things out’ with such a git?”
“Well, I have had a lot of experience with guys and yes, I am pretty sure you will…that’s the answer to both of your questions respectively. Now, calm down Hermione. I am sure he’ll apologize, then you can simply forgive him, and things will be back to normal!”
“Um…Thanks a lot for your advice but what if he doesn’t apologize?”
“Yeah right! He’ll apologize as soon as he sees you my dear. Now don’t worry so much. Come let’s go inside to the Gryffindor tower…”
“Erm…I was thinking maybe I should just get back to my room you know…er…”
“Oho! Now someone is getting really anxious to meet a certain blonde git…aren’t they?”
“Ok…now don’t waste time…go hurry up, the faster you go the faster he’ll say sorry and the faster everything will be back to normal…”
Hermione gave Linda a quick hug before sprinting off to her room. She never knew a time when she had been so glad to have such good friends who solved her problems in a jiffy.
(In the Heads Room)
Hermione entered the common room and was disappointed to see that Draco wasn’t there.
She decided to have some juice from the kitchenette to while the time away until Draco came.
Just as she had sat down to drink her juice, something which looked like a paper airplane zoomed at her and nearly toppled her glass. Taking a closer look, she saw that it was a memo. She assumed that it must be for her since it kept on flying around her head. She grabbed and opened it.
‘I know I am a complete idiot and you want to hex me into oblivion for being such a dimwitted fool but believe me I wasn’t in my right mind when I said all that. And trust me I’m really very sorry!’
Hermione had just finished reading this memo when another one zoomed at her.
‘I guess your anger might have died down a bit by now (hopefully) and you might resolve to just hit me on the head with a pan instead of hexing me…right? Anyways, a big big big sorry again!’
Hermione smiled as another memo came towards her.
‘I know you’re smiling by now so does that mean I am forgiven? Yippee! Thank you! And just in case I am wrong and not forgiven, another huge sorry straight from my heart!’
She had to refrain from laughing now as she saw another one flying towards her.
‘I knew it! I knew for sure that you have a heart of gold! You are really the best Mi and I knew that you can’t be furious at anyone for long. Thanks a ton for forgiving me. Oh yes, another sorry! (Though I don’t think it’s needed now). You rock Mi! And yes, A very happy birthday once again and I am truly sorry for ruining it.’
Hermione giggled. “DRACO!
Enough with your messages! Now give me the honor of seeing your face!” She called out.
Draco suddenly materialized out of thin air right in front of her, giving Hermione a big shock. Then she realized that he had been standing there all the time but had disillusioned himself.
“So am I forgiven Your Highness?”
“Hmm…Yes! But beware! You won’t be forgiven the next time.”
“There won’t be a next time!” Draco shouted gleefully.
“Hey! You are still not forgiven completely
“Yes. First promise me you’ll never hurt me this way again. Promise me you wont insult my friends again…promise!”
Draco stepped closer to Hermione and cupped her face in his hands. “I promise you I’ll never ever hurt you again. I’ll not insult anyone
and I will never give anyone pain, especially not you. And I’m not saying this just to make you forgive me, but this is a promise to myself to make sure I never upset you again…I promise…” His voice held such sincerity that Hermione knew he would never break his promise.
“Yeah but you’ll be entirely forgiven only if you come with me and help me open the rest of the presents…without any remarks!”
“YES! YES! YES!” He shouted so happily and suddenly jumped her and pulled her into a hug.
Caught completely off-guard, Hermione broke apart quickly (though her heart was pounding so hard now, she was sure the whole of Hogwarts castle could hear it).
She thought angrily at herself.
“Oh…um…sorry…I was just a little excited.” Draco was saying, realizing he had just hugged her out of the blues.
“Yeah I could see that…now come!” Hermione hit him playfully in the arm.
(Later that night)
Hermione stifled a yawn. She and Draco had opened all the gifts, kept them in the required places, and had then spent a considerable amount of time talking about all sorts of things. Right now, they were curled up on her bed with a blanket over them (Hermione had started feeling really cold) and her heart was beating at top speed at their closeness.
Draco’s condition wasn’t less. Although he was comfortable, his stomach was churning every now and then, and his blood was pounding in his ears.
“I am tired…I wanna sleep…” She muttered before closing her eyes. Her head accidently dropped on Draco’s shoulder and his heart came into his mouth. He stifled a sigh of longing before slowly making her lie down on the bed and getting up. Covering her up with a blanket and running a soft hand over her forehead, he slipped his shoes back on and exited her room. Just as he was about to go back to his own room and flop on the bed, a small tapping sound made him start. He looked around for the source of noise until he saw that the sound was coming from the small window in the kitchenette. He opened the window and let the small owl in. The owl quickly dropped the envelope in his hands before soaring out of the window and disappearing in the dark night sky. He looked down at the envelope.
To Ms. Hermione Jean Granger,
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,
The Heads Common Room.
“Oh…so it’s for Mi. I better keep it in her room so that she can read it when she gets up in the morning.”
He quietly crept up to Hermione’s room and kept the letter on the table. Just as he was about to go, he heard her faint voice calling for him.
“What is it Draco?” She asked.
“Nothing…just a letter for you from someone. I have kep-”
Before he could even complete his sentence, Hermione had already jumped out of the bed and seized the envelope.
“You could’ve read it in the morning Mi!”
“It might be from home! I haven’t received any letter from Mom or…or Dad wishing me birthday.” She said slowly.
Draco rushed by her side.
“It’s Ok…maybe they didn’t get time.”
“Or maybe they just didn’t remember their only daughter’s birthday…or what if something happened to Dad?” She said suddenly, worry etched in her face.
“Don’t worry Mi. I’m sure everything is alright, and nothing has happened to your father. Now stop worrying and open the letter.” He gave her a reassuring nod and she opened the letter. She first looked at the sender’s name.
“Oh! It’s from Maddy!”
Draco cocked an eyebrow.
“That’s my cousin sister Madeline. I think I told you about her.”
“Oh yes! Go ahead and read the letter.”
Firstly, A very happy birthday. I hope you are having a blast there. Mum and Dad also wish you a great birthday. I hope everything is fine and you are in good spirits. I am extremely sorry for not having written to you since the first day of your term. Oh that reminds me; Aunt Sandra i.e. your mom told me to wish you a very happy birthday too. She’s sorry that she couldn’t write to you but she’s in Italy presently for some official work. Please don’t be mad at her.
I am coming to your place in the Christmas holidays! Cool news eh? I know. I am so looking forward to meet you. I am sure you must have grown up too like I have. I just can’t wait to see you again. I hope we meet soon. Also, I have loads of stuff to tell you and I know you must be having your share too! It’s been like two years since we met right? But seriously, I would have died if we hadn’t been in touch through letters! Oh another good news! Remember Joe? The guy I had a crush on? Well, he asked me out! Yippee! I am so happy that we are dating now. Did anyone ask you yet? Do you have a boyfriend? If yes, how’s he? What’s his name? I am dying to meet you and know the answer to all of my questions. Missing you a lot!
Now, in all this babbling, I forgot to tell you the greatest news ever! Guess what? I am joining Hogwarts! I know you’re shell shocked; I was too when Dad told me that he was transferring me here! Actually, He’s getting transferred to Canada and mum is going with him. Since there’s no wizarding school there and there’s no boarding in Beauxbatons, he’s decided to put me in Hogwarts where you are. This way he’ll have no worries ‘cause I’ll be with you. He’s also a good friend of Professor Dumbledore so the headmaster has accepted me. I’ll be joining Hogwarts from 12th of December. Great huh?! I just can’t wait to see you!
Hope we meet soon. Take care and keep in touch.
Your best friend and cousin
Hermione let out a squeal as she finished reading the letter.
“I can’t believe this! I’ll finally be able to see Maddy! Oh my god! I have to write to her right now! Where’s my quill? And the parchment? Oh Merlin?! Is it past curfew already? How will I get an owl now? And I-”
“Hermione! Calm Down! You can reply to her in the morning!”
She looked at Draco as if she had just acknowledged his presence.
“Nothing…I want to reply to her right now!”
“Don’t be silly now. You won’t get an owl now. It’s too late.”
“Oh ok…fine…but I am so happy! Maddy is joining Hogwarts! I’ll be seeing her so soon!”
“That’s great. Now go off to sleep otherwise you won’t be able to get up early, attend your classes or write to her…”
Hearing this, Hermione quickly kept the letter, scrambled into her bed and pulled the covers over her. Draco smiled and switched off the light.
“Draco…” She said just as he was about to go. “This bed is really comfortable. Thanks for everything. This birthday was my best birthday ever.”
Draco grinned before leaving the room and closing the door behind him.
END OF CH 11.
A/N: Hey friends...How was the chapter? I hope it wasnt too rushed up. And did you like the chapter image? I prepared it myself... Please leave your reviews. And next chapter will be up soon. Dont forget to leave your reviews.