Chapter 12 : Dangerous To Know
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Dangerous to Know
Like the way I feel
It’s all right to steal
What I need from you, do what I want to do
Say what I have to say, go where I have to go
And that’s dangerous, dangerous to know
“Dangerous To Know”- Hilary Duff
It was now January and the ambiance in Grimmauld Place was a stressful one. Ginny’s presence in Grimmauld Place was becoming a problem for Harry and Hermione. Harry found himself feeling more suffocated by his relationship with Ginny and he knew it was only a matter of time before there was a falling out. Keeping up appearances was becoming a very tedious job. Harry felt himself feeling more and more agitated the less time he got to spend with Hermione. Even more so, when it appeared that Ron was actually making more time for Hermione than he was.
“Why don’t we go up to Hogsmeade?” Ginny asked one bright afternoon while she finished her Transfiguration study. “It’s nice outside.”
“Actually, I was kind of hoping to hang out with Hermione today.” said Harry not really thinking of what he was saying.
Ginny bolted upright in her seat.
“You’re girlfriend isn’t good enough for you?” she asked heatedly.
“I’m only saying that because we haven’t really had the time to hang out.” said Harry patiently. “Because her workload has gotten heavier. Anyway, I still have to make time for my friends Ginny.”
“Then why not Ron?” Ginny asked.
“Because he’s here for most of the day.” said Harry defensively.
“Or maybe it’s because you fancy Hermione and you haven’t had the chance to sneak around now that I’m here.” said Ginny bitterly.
“You know what?” said Harry, discarding the Daily Prophet upon the coffee table. “I don’t feel up to rowing with you today.”
Harry got up and walked away to his room, leaving Ginny alone and fuming.
Hermione stumbled as she apparated into the hallway of Girmmauld Place. She turned around and saw that she had run into Ginny.
“I’m sorry” said Hermione sincerely.
“I bet you are.” said Ginny bitterly.
She pushed passed Hermione and slammed the door loudly behind her.
‘what’s her problem?’ Hermione asked herself.
She made her way into the warm and quiet drawing room. Harry’s trainers were thrown unceremoniously on the floor. Her troubles vanished as she noticed his shoes. He was home and they were alone for the first time in a while. She walked toward the hallway that led to his room and knocked on the door gently.
The door clicked open and Hermione stepped inside. Harry was lying lazily on the bed, staring off into the ceiling.
“Hey” said Hermione tentatively.
“Hey” said Harry still looking up at the ceiling.
Hermione sat down on the foot of the bed.
“Did you two have another row?” Hermione asked courteously.
“I figured.” said Hermione. “I just ran into Ginny and she looked livid.”
“I’m going to end it.” said Harry simply. “I can’t take it anymore.”
Hermione looked at Harry in alarm.
“Are you mad?” she said.
“No, for the first time in a while I am in my right mind.” said Harry defensively. “What, you want me to go prematurely gray? Because I will if this goes on any further.”
“Harry we said we would wait.” said Hermione.
“What’s the point? Ginny already suspects something is going on between us and I’m tired of keeping up the charade.”
“Harry I know it’s hard--”
“Do you really? Because I don’t see you making an effort to end things with Ron.” said
Hermione flinched at his tone. She hated when they argued.
“Because I don’t want to hurt Ron. I care for him too Harry.” said Hermione honestly. “I know that Ron would flip out if he found out what we’ve been doing.”
“And you think keeping him the dark is better than just breaking things off?” Harry asked. “Hermione everything is going to blow up eventually, and I think that after he gets over the anger, he’d appreciate that we told him the truth than to be hiding it from him.”
Hermione’s shoulders sagged as she drew a big sigh.
“I don’t know.” she said distraughtly.
“Well, you’re going to have to come up with something fast because I can’t stand this situation any longer.”
Hermione closed the door lightly behind her. It was late at night and she was sure that Ginny or Ron were back. She walked carefully towards the kitchen to get a glass of water when she came across Ginny, who looked as angry as she had been when she stormed off earlier.
“Had a nice little chat?” Ginny asked bitterly.
“Uhm…yes.” said Hermione uncertainly.
“He told you everything didn’t he?” Ginny asked cynically.
“What are you talking about?” said Hermione, casting Muffliato non-verbally. She could already sense where this was going.
“Oh stop acting all innocent.” said Ginny vividly. “I’m not stupid.”
“What’s your problem?” Hermione asked.
“You’re my problem.” Ginny blurted. “Don’t think I don’t know what’s going on between you two.”
“Ginny calm down. You’re not making any sense.” said Hermione sensibly.
“Oh I am making plenty of sense.” said Ginny cynically.
Tears were spilling out of her eyes and her face was beet red. Hermione felt her annoyance melt as she saw Ginny sob.
“I know that you two are together behind everyone’s back.”
Hermione knew that she and Harry were probably not doing a good job in concealing their secret. Nevertheless she knew it was best to keep pretending like she didn’t know what Ginny was talking about. Hermione knew a side of Ginny that her brothers and Harry were unaware of. Ginny was manipulative and Hermione was sure she was just acting to know something to see if she could get out of her.
“Ginny, I assure you we aren’t.” said Hermione soothingly.
“Then why is he always impatient when he doesn’t see you? Why is it that in every conversation, you always come up?”
“Well, we are best friends and we’ve been through so much together.” said Hermione.
“So why doesn’t he do the same thing with Ron? He’s his best friend too.” said Ginny angrily.
Hermione fought hard to keep her eyes from rolling. Ginny was acting like a spoiled little girl who wasn’t getting her way.
“I don’t know why. But I assure you there is nothing going on.” Hermione said taking herself aback for sounding so convincing. “I’m with Ron remember?”
“It’s just I want his eyes to light up when he sees me the way he does with you.” said Ginny. “I want to be the topic he always directs conversations to. I want to be as close to him as you are.”
Hermione looked at Ginny sympathetically. She had never thought Ginny might’ve felt like she was living in her shadow. Hermione knew what it felt like. It wasn’t too long ago that she herself felt the same thing when she didn’t know Harry felt the same way as her.
“But as long as you’re around that’s never going to happen.” said Ginny. “He’s getting tired of me and I can tell.”
“Do you want me to talk to him?” Hermione asked.
“No!” said Ginny.
“Then what can I do?” Hermione asked.
“I just want to be the one he always thinks about. Not the one that comes second to his best friend.”
“ I had no idea you felt this way Ginny.” said Hermione sincerely. “But if it honestly bothers you this much…maybe it’s time that I started looking for a place of my own.”
Ginny wiped her tears away roughly.
“I don’t want you to feel like I’m kicking you out.” said Ginny in her best sweet girl voice. “I just, think it’d be easier if you weren’t around so often. You know?”
“I understand.” said Hermione.
Without wanting or having anything else to say, Hermione stood up and walked slowly and heavily to her room. Walking away, oblivious of the look of triumph blazing in Ginny’s eyes.
That night Ginny lay awake in her bed. Cho’s taunting voice resonated in her head. She had always notice the closeness between Harry and Hermione. She had never felt threatened by it. Yet ever since she had her run in with Cho, she had been feeling more insecure. Hermione wasn’t helping matters either. She had finally taken care of her hair and was turning into a very beautiful woman. The type of woman any girl would feel insecure next to. She also had a connection with Harry that she envied. She knew she would have to go back to the Ginny she was when Harry had fallen for her. She had to go back to the Ginny who he had kissed passionately in front of dozens of onlookers in the Gryffindor Common Room after Gryffindor’s win. More importantly, with Hermione now out of the picture, she could be the more easy going and mellow Ginny she was in her fifth year. If she could just become her old self again, she could gain Harry back. Her Harry.
She got up and made her way silently to Harry’s bedroom. Once inside she smiled warmly at Harry’s sleeping form. His hair was, as usual, disheveled. He had a faint smile on his face and lay completely on his side, facing her. Ginny tiptoed around the huge bed and slipped in silently. Wrapping her arm around him delicately. Harry was a deep sleeper so he did not stir as she got closer to him. Ginny was just about to close her eyes when he heard him mutter.
“Hermione…” he whispered.
She felt hot tears gather in her eyes. This time she wasn’t angry. She was hurt. Even his dreams were occupied by her. Hermione had completely taken over his mind. She knew that was proof enough to confirm her fears. Even if they weren’t fooling around together, Harry fancied her. Ginny knew that the war had been waged. Only this time, she would seek out a better strategy and not put Harry against her. Letting the rest of the tears fall, she nestled closer to him and hugged him tighter. At least for one night, she would be the one be envied. Envied by the most dangerous adversary, the loved female best friend.
On the other side of the house, Hermione too was restless. She paced back and forth the burgundy carpet. She stopped and faced her night table on which there was a photograph of the two men she loved most. With either choice she made, one would always end up hurt. The question now was, who would take it best?
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