Chapter 5 : Just a Saturday Afternoon
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Chapter 5- Just a Saturday Afternoon
“Stop, stop it!” Hermione laughed, holding back tears as she tried to catch her breath.
Garrett and Theo grinned at her from the carpet in the Heads’ Dorms. Only moments before, the two had been enthusiastically acting out Shakespearean scenes with terrible accents, distracting Hermione from her homework and making her laugh uncontrollably.
“Fine, Granger,” Theo joked. “We’ll stop our childish antics.”
Two weeks had passed since the start of term, and Hermione was quickly learning not to judge someone just by the House he or she was Sorted into. Theo was fast becoming one of her best friends, and time spent with Garrett was never boring.
“You’re hilarious, Theodore,” Hermione replied, rolling her eyes, “and you’re distracting me from my work…again.”
Garrett flopped onto his back on the carpet and laughed. “You work too much, Hermione,” he said, covering a yawn. “Tomorrow’s the weekend; give the work a rest for the day and spend it with us slimy Slytherins.”
Hermione looked down at him from her place on the couch and smiled. “That’s tempting…but I have a lot to get done…”
Theo groaned and stood, snatching Hermione’s textbook from her lap. “No, you’re going to relax for once. We're only two weeks into the term, and we’re much too chivalrous to let you stress yourself to death.”
Hermione snorted and held out her hand for her book, putting on her best annoyed expression. “I have to study,” she said bluntly, waving her hand expectantly.
“No, you don’t. And you aren’t getting this book back until you agree to hang out with us tomorrow,” Theo raised his eyebrows, challenging Hermione to disagree.
She sighed and rolled her eyes. “Who’s we?” she finally asked.
Theo and Garrett grinned triumphantly. “Just you, me, Garrett of course…and Sam and Mandy, and we’ll see if we can convince Terrance to come along; I don’t think you’ve met him yet,” Theo replied.
Hermione sighed. “Into the snake pit…” she grumbled. “Can I have my book back now?”
Garrett laughed and sat up. “It’s better than us going into the lion’s den. Why don’t you see if your friends will join us?”
Hermione raised her eyebrows. “Garrett…you want me to see if Harry Potter and Ron Weasley want to hang out with nearly half a dozen Slytherins?”
He nodded innocently. “I don’t see why not. You’ve said yourself that we aren’t as bad as the rest of the House.”
Biting her lip, Hermione considered it. It would be an odd combination…she thought skeptically. But I do want Harry and Ron to meet Theo and Garrett at least…and I know Sam won’t cause trouble…
“I’ll ask them,” she finally said.
Theo’s smile stretched even wider. “Wonderful!”
Hermione grinned back. “Leave my book on the couch; I’ll go talk to them now.”
The sun was setting outside the windows of Hogwarts as Hermione walked through the hallways towards Gryffindor Tower. Torches began bursting to life along the passageway, making Hermione smile. She loved magic. Her face fell into a look of concentration as she pondered how to convince Harry and Ron to spend time with her and the Slytherins. I’m sure they’ll agree…she thought nervously. I mean…they can’t say no, can they?
Lost in her thoughts, Hermione didn’t notice when someone stepped out from behind the nearest suit of armor. The sudden movement startled her, and she let out a small yelp, stumbling backwards. “What are you doing, Malfoy?” she hissed through clenched teeth, regaining her balance and holding her ground.
“Tsk, tsk, Granger…” Draco replied, his smirk sliding smoothly onto his face. “You’d think we were enemies the way you talk to me.”
“Malfoy, I’m warning you…”
Draco laughed. “You’re warning me? Really?” he replied, his eyebrows raising as he hooked his thumbs into his belt loops and smirked again. His gray eyes were dancing with amusement. Hermione was confused to see them showing anything but hatred. She took a step backwards, cursing herself for leaving her wand on the couch in the Heads’ Dorms.
“I don’t want any trouble, Malfoy. Get out of my way,” Hermione’s voice shook slightly.
Draco’s eyebrows knitted together, and he shrugged, sighing quietly. “I just wanted to talk, Granger, but I guess I’ll be leaving.”
Hermione took a deep breath. “That would be best.”
Rolling his eyes, Draco turned away from her and ambled off down the hallway, whistling under his breath.
That was weird…Hermione thought, continuing on her way. He didn’t even threaten me.
The Fat Lady’s portrait finally came into view, so Hermione wiped Draco from her mind and spoke the password. The common room was packed when she entered it, and it took a moment for her to find her friends. Harry and Ron were sitting at one of the tables in the corner, pouring uncharacteristically over several large books. Hermione quickly approached them and took the empty seat across from them. “What are you up to?” she asked curiously, glancing at the titles of the tomes stacked in the center of the table. “Atlases?”
“We’re searching for locations of…well, you know,” Harry said quietly, looking up.
“And we’ve been at it for hours…” Ron groaned, rubbing his eyes. “What brings you here?”
“I’m not allowed to just visit my best friends?” Hermione asked innocently. Harry raised his eyebrows, and Hermione grinned. “I was wondering if you two were busy tomorrow.”
Ron looked suspicious. “No…why? You aren't going to ask us to study for NEWTs, are you?”
Hermione took a deep breath and shook her head. “No, I was wondering if you’d like to hang out with us.”
Harry smiled, but then looked confused. “Us?”
“Um…me, and Theo…and Garrett…and a few others.”
Ron scowled. “Slytherins?” he asked, narrowing his eyes.
“Yes, but they aren’t bad at all! I promise.”
Harry sighed. “We don’t know anything about them, Hermione…”
“What do you want to know?” she asked quickly, interrupting him. “I can tell you everything I know about them, and maybe you’ll feel more comfortable?”
"If I at least know what they look like before I meet them, it might help," Harry said compromisingly. "I don't need a rundown of their whole lives."
“Just tell us the basics,” Ron muttered, crossing his arms and slumping into his chair. If this was important to Hermione, he would at least try to cooperate. Hermione raised an eyebrow at his tone, but did as he asked.
“Well, Theo—Theodore Nott—is the Head Boy, as you know. He’s a seventh year, in Slytherin: tall, brown hair, green eyes…You’ve seen him. He’s really friendly too. You’ll like him. Crookshanks likes him, so you know he can't be all that bad with how judgmental my cat is." Hermione grinned before continuing, "Then there’s Garrett Crush, he’s also a seventh year. He’s lovely…”
She trailed off for a moment before her friends started to sigh impatiently.
“Oh," Hermione blushed and hurried on, "he’s even taller than Theo. He’s got blond hair and green eyes…he’s funny. And there’s Sam—Samantha Wright—she’s a seventh year. She’s about my height, red hair and blue eyes. And her best friend Mandy Broom is a sixth year. She’s another blonde. But you don’t really care about this…I guess that’s about all you need to know. Oh! And I think we’ll all be meeting Terrance Williams tomorrow. He’s another sixth year.”
Harry and Ron exchanged a look, and Harry sighed. “Okay, Hermione. For you, we’ll come. But I really doubt we’re going to be friends with a bunch of Slytherins…it just doesn’t happen.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “You never know. But thank you. I really appreciate it.” She smiled. “Now, what are our ideas about these locations so far?”
Saturday morning found Hermione walking across the grounds with five Slytherins to meet Harry and Ron by the Lake. It was still September and therefore warm outside, so they had left their cloaks in their common rooms and were roughhousing as they ran across the dry grass. Theo tackled Garrett from behind and brought him tumbling to the ground where they rolled around, wrestling in the bright morning sun.
Hermione laughed. “You guys are going to make a bad impression if you aren’t careful,” she warned them.
Standing, Garrett smoothed his expression into one of pompous calm and straightened his blond hair seriously, not noticing the pieces of grass covering his hair and robes. “I know not of what you speak, my dear Miss Granger,” he said, bowing extravagantly and managing to look ridiculous without even trying.
Theo took his lead and began his own bard-inspired tirade before Hermione shoved him lightly and led the rest of the way to the shore of the Lake, laughing with her friends.
Harry and Ron were waiting in the shadows of a tall tree, talking quietly to each other. Hermione ran up to them and gently pulled their arms to get them to join the rest of the group.
“Okay, Harry, Ron: this is Theo, Garrett, Sam, Mandy, and Terrance,” she introduced, pointing to each person in turn. “And you all, these two are Harry Potter and Ron Weasley.”
The Slytherins were gracious, greeting their House-opposites with grins and jokes, much to the surprise of the Gryffindors. Mandy stepped forward first and addressed Ron. “I hear you’re the best chess player at Hogwarts,” she challenged lightly, smoothing a hand through her short hair.
Ron raised his eyebrows at the younger girl and assessed her carefully. She was a full head and a half shorter than him with pixy-cut blonde hair and a gently upturned nose. To Ron, she didn’t look like competition at all. “Yeah, that’s probably true,” he replied, trying not to sound too pompous.
Mandy laughed. “You’ll have to play me sometime, and we’ll see.”
After that, the Slytherins and Gryffindors took seats on the grass and began to talk, getting to know each other and just laughing together. Hermione was quiet for a while, watching both of her groups of friends get along and reveling in the lack of House rivalry. Terrance, Hermione’s newest acquaintance, started up a conversation about Quidditch with Harry, causing the Head Girl to roll her eyes and only pretend to listen. Terrance was nice, she had decided. He was sort of a goof and had a tendency to toss his black hair from his face that Hermione found endearing. His very white teeth stood out brilliantly against his dark face, giving him a uniquely attractive quality.
I’m surprised to have met so many nice Slytherins…Hermione thought, letting her eyes trail over her five friends. They’re nothing like Malfoy…
As if thinking his name was a trigger, Hermione noticed Draco walking towards them.
She sighed. “Theo…we might have trouble,” she said quietly.
The Head Boy followed her gaze and groaned. “I seriously cannot handle him today. He had better turn around and leave.”
Hermione shook her head. “That’s not going to happen.” Knowing that Harry and Ron would soon notice the blond-haired nuisance, Hermione took preemptive measures. “Harry…please listen to me,” she said, loudly enough that he could hear her across the chattering circle. Everyone went quiet and Hermione nodded once, embarrassed. “I know this seems stupid, but I really have to give anyone who causes trouble detention, and I don’t want that to be any of you. Please, Harry…Malfoy’s heading this way. Don’t do anything stupid.”
Surprisingly, the Slytherins seemed more upset than Harry and Ron. Sam muttered something about a “slimy good-for-nothing ferret,” and Terrance fake-coughed something that Hermione cringed to hear. Everyone nodded though and silently agreed to ignore him. They continued their conversation as Hermione watched Draco approach. Less than ten feet from their group, he stopped. His gray eyes were locked on Hermione’s, and his smirk was once again in place. Theo looked up from his forced conversation with Ron to glare at Draco who utterly ignored him.
“Nice day out,” Draco remarked, obviously speaking to Hermione who only nodded in response.
“Why are you here, Malfoy?” Mandy asked, her voice strong and cold.
“Are you really talking to me, Broom?” Draco asked, his tone matching hers.
Theo shook his head a fraction of an inch; Mandy swallowed her reply and only glared at Draco, her blue eyes cold.
Sighing histrionically, Draco addressed Hermione again. “Second time we meet in two days, and you make me feel unwelcome again,” he said sarcastically. “You might want to pay closer attention to your duties as Head Girl; you’ll probably have a lot more on your hands soon enough.”
Hermione’s eyebrows snapped together. “What’s that supposed to mean, Malfoy?” she asked sharply.
Draco laughed, and Hermione could have sworn he almost sounded truly happy. “You’ll see,” he replied before turning and walking away. He raised a hand in farewell, not turning to see if his goodbye was returned, setting off for the school alone.
Hermione watched him go, shaking her head at his retreating form. “He’s going to drive me insane…” she murmured.
Theo clenched his fists beside her. “Not before I wring his neck…” he muttered darkly.
If anyone had been paying attention to them walking up to the castle for lunch, they couldn’t have guessed that Harry and Ron hadn’t always been friends with the Slytherins. Though there was still a bit of nervous tension within the group, the two Gryffindors were laughing at the Slytherins’ jokes and telling some of their own and horsing around just as much as the Slytherins always did.
Hermione met Garrett’s eyes and grinned. Garrett smiled back and mouthed, “I told you so.” Rolling her eyes, Hermione caught up to Mandy and Sam.
“What a morning,” Mandy laughed.
Sam nodded, the sun catching her red hair and making it sparkle. “I never thought Gryffindors could be so cool,” she joked, causing Hermione to punch her in the arm playfully.
“Thanks a million,” Hermione replied.
“And what was all that nonsense with Malfoy?” Mandy asked. “I’d like to beat the stupid slimeball to a pulp one of these days…”
Hermione shrugged, thinking about what Malfoy had said before and hanging back to ask Theo what he thought. The Head Boy looked at her knowingly when she opened her mouth to speak. “He’s all talk, Hermione,” he assured her. “He can’t cause any more trouble than he already has.”
Harry overheard and agreed with Theo. “Just ignore him. He’s got no power here.”
Hermione started to nod, but stopped when Sam turned around, her blue eyes huge and terrified. “Get Professor McGonagall,” she whispered.
Author's Note: So, how'd you like it? What about the OCs? How are you liking the characterization and interaction? Plot development? Any feedback is appreciated and it only takes a second! Thank you for reading! :)
Also: If you have additional questions that you would like answered, please feel free to go to my "Meet the Author" page on the forums. There's a link on my author's page!
(edited as of 7-23-14)
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