Chapter 3 : The Daily Prophet
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She let a small smile escape her lips but followed it with a frown. She didn’t understand why Malfoy had sent it at all. What had happened to him? It was as if he had had a complete personality transplant. She wasn’t sure whether to be glad that this had happened or worried that he had some ulterior motive. Instead she chose the grab a piece of parchment and write him a quick note.
Thank you for the book but I do not at all understand why you sent it to me. Malfoy I swear if this is some wind up you are going to be sorry. On the other hand if it’s not then thanks.
That sounded about right. She wanted to thank him but he needed to know that he wouldn’t get away with whatever it was that he was planning. She dressed quickly a and pulled her hair into a messy bun before folding the parchment up addressing it to Draco Malfoy and walking out of Bill’s old room. As there were only four of them staying at the Burrow Hermione had Bills old room and Harry had been put in Fred and George’s room.
She bounded quickly down the stairs and into the kitchen.
“Harry can I borrow Hettie to send a…” her voice trailed off as she noted three different faces staring at her all with completely different expressions plastered across them. Harry had a mixed look of disbelief and confusion, Ginny looked as if she couldn’t decide whether to feel sorry for her or completely surprised and slightly annoyed. Ron’s expression however was quite clear. His ears had turned a brilliant shade of red and his face matched. His expression was thunderous. Hermione was taken aback. What was going on? She glanced at the people in front of her
“I-is everything ok?” she squeaked.
Ron shot her a glare and pushed something across the table towards her.
“You tell me Hermione!” he spat.
She glanced down at the table. He had pushed the paper towards her and on the front page, taking up nearly the entire side was a huge picture of her and Draco Malfoy standing outside Flourish and Blotts. Shit. She picked the paper up and studying it closer. She could see how Ron would take this the wrong way. Malfoy had her bags in his left hand and his right hand settled on her waist. Hermione’s hand rested on his and she had turned her head to look up at him. At the time Hermione had been sure it was a look of shock but looking at this paper it looked almost relieved. The Hermione and Malfoy in paper span on the spot and disappeared.
The headline read ‘Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy. Question, where is Ronald Weasley?’ she read further down.
Hermione Granger. The brains of the golden trio, well known for her wit and her developing beauty and in a devoted relationship with Ronald Weasley? Our sources say otherwise. It has been reported that the Gryffindor princess has been secretly dating the Slytherin prince. So where is Ronald Weasley in all this you ask? We are wondering the same question. Draco Malfoy, the well-known bachelor and ex-death eater (turned good in the midst of the war) was just two days previously excused from all charges in court along with his mother thanks to a statement by none other than Hermione Granger. Was she saving him from a life in Azkaban purely for her own means? Did he get let off because she wanted to save him from the Dementors?
It went on to talk about how unlikely the couple was and how Ron would be feeling. There was a statement from the witch in Flourish and Blotts and the witch in the shop they had visited afterwards. It made Hermione feel slightly sick.
She placed the paper on the table very slowly and looked at the three people who were staring at her.
“It’s not what you think,” she said, making sure her words were said slowly and quietly.
“Not what I think!” Ron cried slamming his fists on the table, “Not what I think? It doesn’t get more obvious that this! I wake up this morning and come downstairs to find that my girlfriend HAS BEEN CHEATING ON ME WITH A FERRET!” he shouted the last few words and Hermione stepped back a few paces, tears welling in her eyes.
“Ron no, it’s not like that I promise,” her voice was thick with tears but she tried to hold them in as best she could.
“REALLY THEN WHAT IS IT LIKE HERMIONE!” he cried.
“He just turned up, I didn’t know…”
“AND I’M EXPECTED TO BELIEVE THAT!”
“Ron what’s all this shouting,” Mrs Weasley asked as she bustled into the room and began to sort breakfast, “Your father is still asleep you know.”
“THIS MOTHER, IS THE END OF MINE AND HERMIONE’S RELATIONSHIP!” he slammed his hand down on the table for a second time and stormed out of the door and into the garden.
Hermione’s breath caught in her throat as she stood staring after Ron. He had just broken up with her, oh my god he had just broken up with her. The tears truly spilled over now and she sank into a chair, bursting into large sobs that echoed out from her chest. Ginny ran to her side and placed a comforting arm around her friend as Mrs Weasley looked on in shock. She made an excuse that Hermione didn’t hear to leave the room.
“Hermione I can go and talk to him but you have to tell me what happened. You’re not with…Malfoy are you?” Harry asked.
“No!” she cried out loud. She let her sobs subside and looked her friend in the eyes. “I met Malfoy in the shop, we talked, it was weird. I went outside and the reporters sort of landed around me and I couldn’t get out. Malfoy came out and apparated me away. I didn’t even have a say in it and I definitely didn’t cheat on Ron with him!”
Anger started to bubble in her stomach, how dare Ron accuse her of cheating! Harry nodded and left the room, following Ron into the garden. Hermione burst into fresh sobs and buried her head in Ginny’s shoulder. After a few minutes of silence Hermione snapped her head up.
She reached across to the kitchen side and pulled a piece of parchment and a quill in front of her and went to write Malfoy a very annoyed and spiteful letter for getting her into trouble with Ron. However before she could put pen to paper the large snowy owl from the night before flew through the window and landed straight in front of Hermione on the table. It stuck its leg out and she untied the letter that was attached to it. The owl flew off instantly and she opened the letter.
I said that every Juliet needs her Romeo and let’s hope the weasel’s yours, especially after what the prophet published this morning. If he hasn’t seen it I suggest you don’t let him because I don’t think he is going to take lightly to the fact that I was seen apprating off with you…
Hermione could almost feel his smug smile radiating from the paper and her annoyance with the Slytherin reached boiling point.
I’m sorry if he has seen it, I meant to help you not get you in more trouble.
She let out a loud groan and let her head fall onto the table.
“Mione, who was that from?” Ginny asked.
“Draco Malfoy, apologising for getting me in trouble with Ron.” She didn’t need to look at her best friend to know that not only had her jaw dropped but that she had worked out that she had seen the owl before.
“Draco Malfoy sent you Romeo and Juliet? Why on earth would he do that?”
“I don’t know, but it’s creeping me out.” Hermione pulled the parchment back towards her and wrote a reply.
You best be sorry, Ron has just thrown the most almighty strop and I think he’s gone and broken up with me because he thinks I’m cheating on him with you! I suggest you do something to fix this! There must be hundreds of reporters camped outside the manor, tell them that it is not true and then leave me alone! I would rather not be associated with the likes of you! I don’t understand what you have been doing Malfoy but stop it, you might have just ruined the best thing I have!
She called Harry’s new brown owl Hettie into the kitchen and tied it to her leg, sending it off quickly. Ginny looked at her with her eyebrows raised.
“I was telling him to leave me alone!” Hermione snapped. She twisted on her heel and stormed back up the stairs to her bedroom where she collapsed on the bed and cried herself to sleep, Malfoy’s letter scrunched in her hand.
Four sharp and familiar knocks told Hermione that Ron had finally come around. She was curled into a ball underneath her covers, shielding the midday sun from her eyes. He didn’t wait for an answer and walked straight in. Hermione closed her eyes hoping that he would just go away. Instead he closed the door and sat down on the end of her bed, shooing her cat away as he did.
“Hermione I’m sorry,” he said. She stayed silent. “Listen, Harry told me what you said and Ginny knocked sense into me. I know you would never cheat on me, least of all with Malfoy and I shouldn’t have shouted at you like I did.”
Hermione pulled the covers from over her head and sat up looking at Ron. She knew he was sorry, he had that embarrassed look that he used when he knew he was in the wrong. Hermione felt her insides melt in forgiveness.
“It’s ok,” she sighed, “if I had seen that then I probably would have thought the same.” She shuffled over to Ron and snuggled into his chest as he wrapped his arms tightly around her and kissed the top of her head.
“Before I forget,” he said releasing his arms and reaching inside his jacket pocket, “Hettie brought this back for you. I don’t know who it’s from, I don’t recognise the writing but Ginny snatched it from Harry so I guess she knows what it’s about but she wouldn’t tell us…” he trailed off and handed a letter to Hermione.
She couldn’t help but let a small smile creep onto her face. Tactful Ginny hadn’t told Ron about her letters to Malfoy. She would have to thank her later. Hermione put the letter in the draw in her bedside table to open later when Ron wasn’t there.
“So,” Ron said, “you never told me what you brought yesterday. Ginny said you dragged her into Flourish and Blotts.”
“Yeah, sorry we couldn’t wait for you and Harry, we came into the shop but George said you were working out the back.”
“He had us shifting crates, I swear he puts us on all the jobs that he can’t be bothered to do!”
“He needs your help now that Fred isn’t here. Anyway, I bought some fiction books and a couple of spell books and a book on…” She jumped up. “Oh I almost forgot! How could I forget?”
She grabbed Ron’s hand and dragged him up to Harry’s room.
“Harry,” she said as she knocked on the door, “Harry it’s us.”
“Come in.” He was sat on the floor polishing his broomstick as Ginny sat on the bed, Crookshanks (who had slipped from Hermione’s room when Ron had come in) in her arms. Hermione sat on the bed and told Ron to sit too.
“Harry I need to ask you something,” she said.
“Yep?” Harry asked putting down his broom and looking up at her.
“I was wondering if I could have your permission to write a book. Well a few books really, about you. About you and Voldemort and all that stuff.” Harry gaped up at her.
“Why would you want to do that?” he asked.
“Because other writers are going to want to do it and I figured that since I was there for most of it, it would be better coming from me. Can I do it Harry?” she pleaded, “it will have all the stuff about the philosophers stone and the chamber of secrets and the year we spent away and your trip with Dumbledore…everything. Obviously I would need to interview you on a few points so all of you three are going to have to help me…” she trailed off and looked around expectantly at the trio. Harry beamed up at her.
“I think I would be a great idea Mione!” he said. Hermione jumped down and hugged him tightly.
“Oh thank you thank you thank you!” she cried still hugging him.
“Ok Mione that’s enough, give the guy some breathing space,” Ron laughed pulling her of his best friend.
“Oh it’s going to be so good! Obviously I need to get the details of what happened with you and Quirrell first and then I need to know what Dumbledore said to you because I know he said something because I could see it in your eyes when you left the hospital wing and I really want to explore your relationship with Dumbledore so I will also need to know all about your meetings again you know in year six-”
“Hermione breathe please!” Ginny cut in to stop her rambling. She blushed and sat back down on the bed taking her cat and scratching him behind the ears.
“Sorry, it’s just so exciting.”
“So Hermione, how exactly are you going to write this book and continue with seventh year?” Ron asked.
“Easy, we aren’t taking a lot of subjects, we have free periods and weekends and holidays, I have loads of time to study and write, especially if I start this summer,” she shrugged. Ron didn’t look convinced.
“Ronald I managed to survive third year didn’t I? I will more than be able to do this, though S.P.E.W might have to take the back burner.”
“Oh no!” Ginny cried with a sarcastic smile, “what will the poor house elves do!” Hermione hit her on the leg lightly.
“Shh Gin, I think they will be able to survive a couple of years without me, when I’ve finished my books they will become my number one priority.”
“Joy,” Ron mumbled.
“In fact I might start on it now, I already have a few notes down about how we figured out the philosophers stone and all the things we went through,” she turned to Harry, “is it ok if I get my notebook and ask you a few questions? I just need you to help me with what happened when you met Voldemort and what Dumbledore said after.”
“Sure,” Harry shrugged, “as long as you don’t mind me fixing up my broom as you do it.”
“Thanks!” she squeaked before putting Crookshanks down and rushing from the room.
She arrived in her room and opened her bedside table draw, taking out the blue notebook and the white self-inking owl quill. As she put them on the bed her eyes caught an envelope. It was the letter from Malfoy. She sat down and ripped it open.
I wouldn’t know if there were reporters camped outside the Manor because I haven’t been back there since the war. Voldemort nearly destroyed it, I moved into an apartment in London, where there are reporters camped outside. Don’t worry Granger I put them right and they will be printing it tomorrow. You don’t have to get your big bushy mudblood head in a stress Granger, I won’t be contacting you again. I know where I stand.
Hermione couldn’t help but let her heart sink. Malfoy was trying to turn over a new leaf and she had snubbed him after he had helped her escaped all those reporters. He had gone back to calling her a mudblood and she knew it because she had wounded his pride. The idea that he wasn’t living at the manor surprised her, she thought he would have loved being the true master of the house now his father was gone though she knew his apartment was likely to be just as over the top. Folding up the letter she slipped it into Romeo and Juliet with his other two notes and placed it into the bottom of her trunk underneath her clothes where she wouldn’t look for it. She didn’t want to think of stupid Draco Malfoy and his stupid change of character.
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