Chapter 1 : Chapter One
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Hermione blew into her apartment with the force of a banshee. At this moment, she felt like one. She was most likely as furious as one. But after what she had seen at the party minutes before, no one could really blame her, although Harry and Ginny were trying to stop her.
“Hermione!” Harry said. “Really, I know what he did was wrong but you shouldn’t act when you’re angry.”
“I shouldn’t do a lot of things!” Hermione exclaimed, not bothering to be quiet as she moved through the rooms, down the hallway and toward her bedroom. “But right now, I couldn’t really care. I’m going to kill him!”
She busted through the door and was not surprised at the scene she came in on: Ron and Lavender were scurrying around the room, attempting to gather their clothes and get them on before she was through the door. Now, they both froze.
Hermione didn’t stop; she stormed in and grabbed Lavender roughly by the hair. “Get OUT of my house you homewrecker!” she screamed, pulling her hard across the floor and then throwing her out of the room. Lavender stumbled out of the room and hit the floor hard. She struggled to her feet before taking off away from the room and running out of the apartment.
Hermione no longer cared about her. She was now focused on Ron’s semi-naked body. He put his hands up in defeat, dropping the rest of his clothes to the floor. “Now, ‘Mione,” he began. “Don’t do anything you’ll regret.”
“Oh I’m looking at my biggest regret right now!” Hermione said, drawing nearer to him slowly.
Harry was suddenly in front of her. “Hermione, I know you’re pissed, but you don’t need to do this. He’s not worth it.”
“That’s my point!” Hermione said angrily, shocking Harry. “He isn’t worth it! Which is why he is getting OUT!”
Ron looked hurt. “Hermione please, I swear it meant nothing.”
“How many times have you lied to me Ronald?” Hermione demanded. “How many times has she been in my apartment, in my bed with you? How many?”
“This is the first time I swear!” Ron cried, but his face told Hermione otherwise. Realizing that his face would most likely give him away, Ron said, “Ok, fine it was more than once. It happened a few times but it never meant anything.”
“You’re lying!” Hermione said. “Still.”
Ron started toward her, tripping slightly over his clothes. “Hermione please let me explain it.”
He took one step toward her.
Suddenly he was blasted off his feet, being thrown into the wall.
Hermione turned around to see Ginny standing in the doorway, her wand out and pointed at her brother. They exchanged a look but no words. “Ron,” Ginny said. “You should get dressed and leave before Hermione hurts you. Believe me, she has every right.”
Ron had picked himself up off the floor and was rubbing his shoulder. He opened his mouth, ready to protest, but then he saw Hermione’s expression. Without another word, he moved past them, shoving Ginny roughly out of the way and left. A moment later, they heard the apartment door shut.
“Ugh!” Hermione all but screamed, looking between Harry and Ginny. “How could he do this? How long has he been doing this?”
Harry avoided her gaze. “I don’t really know the whole truth,” he said. “But tonight was not the first time I’ve seen them together.”
Hermione glared at him. “What do you mean?”
Harry sighed, ducking his head. Ginny came to stand beside him, looking as if she wanted to know the answer just as much as Hermione. “Hermione, I’ve heard rumors around work that they’ve been seen together. Having lunch and leaving together. I think I even heard a couple of people say they’ve been disappearing into broom closets.”
Hermione had grown furious with every word. “Why didn’t you tell me Harry?!” she demanded.
“Because,” Harry said. “I had no proof. I wanted proof to give instead of stupid rumors that might not be true.”
Ginny spoke up then. “But how many people did these rumors come to you from?”
Harry shrugged. “Well, no one ever really told me the rumors. I only ever heard them being whispered about. I would have confronted Ron about them but-“he sighed and shook his head, obviously annoyed with himself. “He was never around. That should have been a clue to me all on its own.”
It was very quiet for several minutes after Harry finished. Hermione was furious. She was honestly surprised she could think. How could Ron do this to her? It wasn’t bad enough that she had spotted them together in a corner of Malfoy Manor not twenty minutes ago, snogging like maniacs. And her hands had been all over Ron, touching him in places that were not appropriate for such a public party. She had watched them leave and then had followed. Harry and Ginny had followed, having seen the same scene as her. They were both angry as well but in the end, they only followed so she wouldn’t do anything she would regret.
“Ron is my biggest regret,” she said, more to herself than to anyone else. Harry and Ginny looked up at her. Hermione cleared her throat and smoothed her hands over her black cocktail dress. “We should get back to the Manor,” she said. “It would be rude for me to be away when this party was thrown for me.”
“Are you sure?” Ginny asked, taking a small step forward, her arm partly extended. “I mean, it was a party to announce yours and Ron’s engagement.”
“I’ll work on that.” Hermione snapped. “It’s just another lie, like everything else in this relationship.” Hermione lifted her hand to gaze at the ring on her left hand. Once she thought it was beautiful and delicate, now it appeared ugly and bulky. “Besides, this is a good way for me to embarrass his sorry ass.”
Ginny gaped. “Uhm, ‘Mione, I know Ron is a total douche and all but what are you planning? He’s still my brother and—“
“Oh calm down.” Hermione said. “I’m just going to embarrass him. Although his reputation might be ruined.”
Before Harry or Ginny could say another word Hermione apparated on the spot. A moment later, she appeared in front of Malfoy Manor where someone was waiting to escort her inside. She didn’t pay attention to her surroundings as she was led up the drive and into the manor, her journey ending at the door to the gigantic room where her party was being held.
Standing outside the door was Draco Malfoy himself. “Welcome back Granger,” he greeted. There was no smirk or disgusted tone like there had been in the old Hogwarts days. “I hope your little emergency was taken care of.”
“You could say that,” Hermione said angrily.
“Well, Lavender sure appeared hurried to get her things and leave. I take it you found out about—“
Hermione gasped. “You knew?!”
He shrugged. “I heard the rumors, but I saw the truth for myself when you did. I also followed you when you went after them.”
Draco smirked. “I’m sure things have changed now. Although you’re still wearing the ring.”
Hermione sighed. “Malfoy, mind your own—“ She trailed off as an idea occurred to her.
“Granger,” Malfoy started.
“Malfoy!” Hermione cut him off. “I hate Ron and you hate that girl your parents are forcing you to marry. What do you say to a compromise between the two of us?”
Draco arched an eyebrow. “Compromise?”
Hermione nodded. “I think we should talk.”