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Chapter 5 : Never Could Let Me Inside
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“You have got to be kidding me” I muttered under my breath, closing my eyes in the hope that this was just a very, very bad dream. “What do you want Malfoy?” I hissed at him.
“Settle down Granger, just here for a friendly chat with my fellow Head” He replied cockily, take a seat opposite me.
“Oh really? A friendly chat. Well seen as you and I are not, in any way shape or form, friends I can’t fathom how a chat between the two of us could ever be friendly. “Civil maybe, but not friendly.”
“Stubborn Gryffindor, I should have known” He said with a laugh. A very un-Draco Malfoy laugh.
“Who are you and what have you done with Draco Malfoy?” I asked. He stared at me incredulously.
“ Look, Granger, can we start over? I know I probably scared the living daylights out of you when I approached you-”
“You don’t bloody reckon?” I muttered.
“Look, I’m trying to be a better person here and I need your help. No one else would even give me the time of day if I tried talking to them, I mean the Weasel would have attempted to smash me into a million pieces ‘cause he’s too stupid to use his wand. Potty would just glare at me and the Weaselette... I think my parents would be burying me in a matchbox if I tried to even approach her.”
“Now that sounds more like the Malfoy I know, insulting everyone he can. Their names are Harry, Ron and Ginny, and if you can’t manage that Potter, Weasley and Weasley. Now what makes you think I’m going to want to help you, you, Draco Malfoy, Prince of Slytherin, Pureblood maniac who made my life hell at every minute he moment, the boy-“ I saw him stiffen as I spoke to him, I could tell calling him a boy instead of a man. “-who tried to kill Dumbledore but wasn’t man enough to go through with it. You’ve hated me and my kind for your whole life.” I knew I was baiting him but I figured if this ‘new and improved’ Malfoy could refrain from losing his temper with me then maybe he was worth listening to.
“FOR THE SAKE OF MERLIN GRANGER!” He yelled, his pale face was gaining a slight pink tinge that I knew wasn’t a blush. “Grang-Hermione” I sat up at his pronunciation of my first name and he smirked. “How the hell am I meant to prove to you that I’ve changed? I’m not the same arrogant little prat that I was at Hogwarts, you of all people should know that war changes people. Even my father regrets the things we Malfoys have done and that’s saying something. I want to be someone different to the egotistical git you still think I am.”
“Malfoy, there’s one problem here, whilst you want to change and ‘be a better person’ you’re trying to force yourself on me, which shows that parts of you haven’t changed. You just have to be a better person and get accepted the way the rest of us have. You are going to walk into school tomorrow and everyone is going to hate you and everything you were because you were a Death Eater, there is no denying that. It’s not about who you are or how much money you have, it’s about what type of person you become. Not everyone is going to like you, some people are still going to hate you and some will still fear you, you just have to accept that.”
“I don’t understand everything you just said”
“To be honest, neither do I.... Ever since I found out my parents were dead everything got turned upside down for me. It was Death Eaters who killed them and now I have a former Death Eater wanting me to help him be accepted by society! I need time and space Draco.” I saw a little spark in his eyes that I’d never witnessed before when I said his name. “It’s not that I won’t ever want to help, just not now, I’m trying to get a grip on my own life at the moment and you being like this, it’s just all too much for me, like I don’t know if you’re being serious, you could just be messing with me like usual. I’m sorry. This is all just too confusing, I need some air” I got up off the seat and stalked out of the Heads Compartment, slamming the door behind me.
I walked fast down the carriage, finding an empty compartment and locking myself in and shutting the blinds so no-one could see in. I curled up on one of the leather seats and started to cry. If someone had walked in on me and asked me why I was crying my honest answer would have been 'I don't know.' Trust Malfoy to screw my emotions up. He was acting so different, almost like he had feelings and a heart! Well he obviously always had a heart but he always seemed so emotionless during Hogwarts except in our sixth year when he was trying to kill Dumbledore. He'd almost seemed human then and now this was all just too much for me. Was I to trust him and give him a chance? Pre-war Hermione may have been more forgiving but now I had no idea. Maybe the war had actually changed him as much as it had changed me just in a different way...
I wanted to run as far away from him as I could, as far away as I could from humanity is general. I looked at my reflection in the train window, the condensation giving my reflection more tears than just the ones that streamed down my face. I felt like I had changed so much but I had become lost through these changes. I suddenly felt the desire to talk to someone, just to let everything out, every memory that still haunted me, every little moment that was etched into my brain but I had no-one to talk to. If I spoke to Ginny she would tell Ron and Harry and it would eventually get to Molly and I'd be harassed by owl post. They all meant well, they'd all been through similar pains. Molly had lost a son, Ron and Ginny a brother and Harry had lost his parents and godfather. They'd all seemed to be able to move on so much easier than I had, we all had each other still but I felt like I was still missing a piece of the jigsaw puzzle that was my life.
What I didn't realise was the remorse Malfoy felt, sure he had believe in the Pureblood mania fed to him by his father and Voldemort but when you are taught nothing else then what are you meant to believe? It's like those in the muggle world who are born into a religion, taught those belief and values and told that nothing else matters, just those values and what is right and wrong in that society, but not necessarily right or wrong in another.
I knew that my time alone in the carriage was limited. I'd have to return to the Heads carriage soon to gather my robes and get changed. I checked my watch, I had twenty minutes until the train was scheduled to arrive. 'Just suck it up' I whispered to myself. ''It is just Malfoy, scared little Malfoy, pureblood sook, always hiding behind daddy for help' I don't think insulting him in my head would really do much but it made me feel better. I wandered back to our shared compartment, slowly sliding the door open, to reveal Malfoy reading a book, seemingly oblivious to my return.
The train suddenly jolted and I found myself falling onto Malfoy's lap.
"Geez Granger, if you wanted me to hold you, all you had to do was ask..." He said with a traditional Malfoy smirk.
"I'll remember that if I EVER want you to hold me" I retorted. 'And there's a difference between needing and wanting him too Hermione' part of my brain added to myself. I scowled and got off him.
"Now if you wouldn't mind Malfoy, I'd like to get changed into my robes. You might want to do the same, I expect we'll be arriving soon"
"You'd like me to leave?"
"I'm not getting changed with you in here obviously."
"Well in that case I do mind and I'm not leaving" A little of the old Malfoy was showing through again.
"So much for changing and being a better person. I thought Ron was moody, compared to you he seems quite placid. Now, out Malfoy" I'd drawn my wand on him and he raised his hands in surrender and exited the compartment.
I was smiling again. Hermione 3. Malfoy 0. I picked up the book he'd discarded on the seat, smiling at the title before sliding it in my bag. Bribery material... Maybe this year wouldn't be so bad after all I told myself as I changed into my robes.
"You can come back in now!" I called as I straightened my robes. He waltzed back in and grabbed his own robes out of his bag and started pulling his shirt off.
"Uhh did you umm want me to leave?" I stuttered and he turned to face me, shirtless and smirking.
"Oh please, why bother when I know you are enjoying the view"
I flushed a deep red and his smirk grew wider. "You conceited, egotistical prat! As if I do!"
"No need to get embarrassed Granger"
"I'm not! Don't flatter yourself"
"Aww you're blushing, cute"
"WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?" I screamed at him and he just started laughing. I lunged at him and started hitting him with my hands. He wrapped me into an embrace with his strong arms and I started beating at his naked chest with my hands.
"Let me go!" I whispered in his ear.
"Never" He chuckled.
"Seriously, what is wrong with you? When we met here on the train it was like we hated each other, then I spill some of my guts to you about my parents, we argue some more! You decide to change in front of me and now you won’t let go of me? You do realise you’re holding a mudblood right?” I hissed at him.
His only response was to hold me tighter.
"Draco Malfoy! Let go of me this instant! We aren't even friends! This is not right!" I said, my tone somewhat harsher than I had intended.
"You're quite right" His tone flat and devoid of any emotion. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean for all this to happen" He let go of me and I stumbled to the opposite end of the compartment away from him. He was staring at me, it had me feeling quite uneasy. "You can hex me if you want, I wouldn't hold it against you"
I turned away from him with a groan and started banging my head against the window. 'What in the name of Merlin is going on here, this is a dream, a nightmare, a misinformed creation from my insane and utterly crazy imagination, if I pinch myself I will wake up and this will all have gone away. Draco will be a git again and I'll be returning to Hogwarts with Ginny and Luna and everyone else' I muttered under my breath.
"Oh Hermione" I heard a male voice breath from behind me and I cursed under my breath. "For one you called me a git. Malfoy is a git, Draco on the other hand is not" I felt a hand on my shoulder and I turned around to face his grey eyes.
'Oh Merlin! What did I do to deserve this' I muttered as I slid to the ground of the compartment.
"Never mind what you did, I need to ask you a favour" Malfoy said calmly as if nothing had just happened.
"What now?" I replied with a sigh.
"Mind turning around whilst I change my pants?" He asked, his tone amused knowing I had expected something worse. I groaned and buried my head in the leather seat, covering my head with my arms. Talk about mood swings!
'Somebody, anybody help me survive this year' I whispered into the seat, a single tear falling from my eye. I wasn't sure exactly what I needed but I knew that it wasn't going to be Draco Malfoy that caused me hell in my final year, as odd as that sounded in my head, I knew it was the truth, as difficult as it was to believe.
A/N. I know alot of this is fairly confusing but Hermione needs to be confused and Draco needs to be the one confusing her to set a few things up :) Please stick with it and do review to let me know if theres bits you love or even bits you hate, but please be constructive in your criticisms :) This chapter is a lot longer than the others, hope you like it :) Thanks for reading :)
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