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Chapter 7 : Just Like the Movies
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Hermione tried to casually unlink her hand from his own in a way that would seem the least ostentatious, but nonetheless witnessed a shadow cross his face as their hands dropped to their sides, diminishing the child-like eagerness on his face a shade. She watched him give his head a miniscule shake before he pasted a smile onto his face, though it was noticeably less bright.
“So,” he rose his eyebrows inquisitorially, “where are you taking me, Granger?”
Hermione shrugged, a bit overwhelmed at the sudden change in Draco’s behavior and the favor he asked of her. She didn’t quite know what was going on. “I, er, don’t know. Would you mind telling me what’s going on?”
Draco rolled his eyes comically and sighed dramatically. “Do I need to write and publish it in a textbook, Granger? I’m asking you to take me out for a bit to get my mind off of Bennett.”
“But why…why are you suddenly so…,” Hermione paused, acutely observing Draco’s face in fear of his rejection of her again, “…so happy?”
His smile shrank a little as he paused, thinking Hermione’s question over. Finally, he answered. “I’m just in a good mood.”
Hermione nodded and turned to walk to her car, but as she turned, she witnessed something that made her heart smile: Draco’s smile had widened again after he had answered her, staying pasted on his face for a few seconds more, though Hermione wasn’t sure why he was smiling. She briefly wondered if he was playing a joke on her, but his smile seemed so authentic that her doubts faded away immediately. Whatever the case, though she hoped fiercely that it wasn’t a joke, she was happy. Draco had seemed extra relaxed today as they had shuffled over more documents and discussed the similarities between each of Bennett’s crimes and the last places he had been seen, and he’d made her laugh more than usual with his pleasant mood.
Footsteps sounded behind her and she moved her head a little to the right to see Draco jogging a few steps until he had caught up with her. The rapid motion had left his blonde hair more disheveled than ever, and the more charming. Hermione had to stop herself from reaching out to fix his hair for him. Draco noticed the twitch in her hand and laughed.
“What’s going on there, Granger? Sidewalks aren’t really the place for dancing, you know.”
She rolled her eyes as was customary at the sarcastic jokes he often made. “Nothing. Now where am I supposed to take you?”
He shrugged, turning to look at her. “I dunno, I’m not from part of this town. What do you usually do around here? And no, wait – don’t say the library.”
A snort exited Hermione’s nose and she couldn’t help but smack him on the arm. “Ha ha, very funny. Well, since the library’s not an option anymore,” she shot him a dirty look, “I don’t know where else to take you. Nowadays I just stay home and read or something, but I know you won’t want to go there, so I -.”
Her words were interrupted by Draco. “I’ve never been there! Take me there, I’ve never been inside a house of a person who has no life! I bet there’s all books, no rubbish because all you do is read and clean. Am I right, Granger?” He grinned cheekily again at her, earning himself another smack on his arm. After wincing for a split second, his grin resumed, making Hermione smile. She did find it a bit strange how happy Draco was suddenly acting, but then again, she thought, he couldn’t always be gloom and doom, could he? And he did seem happy to be working with her that day. Hermione blushed, the thought of Draco’s happiness being derived from her company flitting through her mind. But no, that couldn’t be the reason. She cleared her throat, as if that would clear the embarrassing thought in her mind as well, and replied to Draco after a few moments’ consideration of his request. “Fine. But don’t throw a tantrum when you see it in all its glory.”
They reached her car then, and she pulled her key out of her pocket. Draco looked at her questioningly. “What are you doing, Granger? Why are we stopped at some Muggle’s car?”
Eye roll. Hermione suddenly felt like she was rolling her eyes at Draco as much as she had done to Ron back in the day. Ron. No, she couldn’t think about him. She bit her lip and shook her head again before turning to Draco. “This…is…my…car.” She spoke slowly, as if explaining to a five year old that you can’t just use a household broom to ride and play Quidditch with. “I…have…a…car.”
An expression of amused bewilderment crossed Draco’s face. “You…own…a car?” He burst out in a fit of laughter. “Ha ha ha! Really, Granger? You can apparate and you own a car! Ha ha ha!”
Again, Hermione rolled her eyes, opening the passenger door amidst the background noise of Draco’s laughter and pushing him in. He was still guffawing when she entered the car on the driver’s side. Once she set her key in the car’s ignition, he turned to her. “Seriously, Granger, why the bloody hell do you own a car when you can apparate?”
“Because I like living life to its fullest, and I don’t feel the need to take every shortcut in the world.” She turned to him to see him still smirking. “Shut up, Malfoy, you’re probably just laughing because you couldn’t get a simple Muggle driver’s license!”
The smirk slid off of Draco’s face immediately. At this, Hermione giggled. “Aha! You didn’t get your Muggle driver’s license!”
Draco swiveled his eyes in her direction and narrowed them. “Just shut up, Granger, and drive the damn car,” he said grumpily, though with an amused smile at Hermione’s laughs.
That her chrysanthemums were wilting in their little garden was the first thing that Hermione had noticed upon parking her car in the driveway. She left Draco in the passenger seat, figuring that he could unbuckle his seatbelt without her assistance, and walked forward to inspect her flowers in the fading light of the sky. She hadn’t been attentive to her flower garden since she had split up with Ron and the impact of her negligence was obvious. She remembered that when they still been together she had started planting a new flower for every week that she had been with him, often times letting him plant them with her before they would go back into their apartment and watch a movie. Hunching down before the last chrysanthemum she had planted, she cupped it into her hand. Its soft petals sat wrinkled and deprived of any water, its stem turning a dark, dying green. She trembled as a gust of autumn wind besieged her bare skin, but she knew that it wasn’t just the cold that made her shiver. For a few moments she stayed there, hunched over the dying flower in her hand, before finally standing up against a great gust of wind. The flower that she had just let go of swayed in the wind; she watched as the power of nature tore off one of its wilted petals and consumed it into the mouth of the night. She trembled again.
“Do you need my jacket, Granger?”
Hermione turned to see Draco standing behind her. He’d been silently watching her as she had reminisced with her flowers.
“No, it’s alright. We’re going inside anyways.” Hermione spoke to the ground, not wanting Draco to see the red on her face or the tears threatening to run out of her eyes.
“It’s a nice garden,” he commented. A sudden instinct to cover Hermione’s bare – and as Draco focused more on her – trembling arms overcame him, but he stopped himself, compromising with just stepping closer to her, shielding her from the wind. “Did it take you a while to plant it?”
“A while,” she answered quietly, still looking at the ground. “A couple years. I didn’t do it myself.” Her voice trailed off so that Draco barely caught the last part. “Ron helped.”
He nodded, hating seeing Hermione looking so sad, wanting to save the good moments they had been sharing, and selfishly, the happiness he was feeling himself. Most of the time his optimism was limited and he often found himself trying to grasp at any positivity in his life by the bare threads, saving and savoring every moment that he had. “Shall we go in?”
She nodded, forcing a smile onto her face and leading him into the doorway.
Stepping into the threshold, Draco saw that he had been half right in his cheek to Hermione about the state of her house. It was very clean and filled with copious amounts of book. He perused the sitting area that the entryway led to, taking account of the numerous volumes of books lining the overstocked bookcase, the computer desk encumbered with another stack of reference books abused with scribbled-on sticky notes, the simple dark purple sofa with a rose-print afghan on it. The room stood adjacent to a little kitchen, which Draco could see was as tidy as the living room, and he saw that it housed a staircase leading to the second floor. He also noticed that many framed photographs lined her walls; photos of what he guessed was her paternal family, photos of Potter and his wife, photos of her, Potter, and the Weasel. He also noticed that there weren’t any sole pictures of the Weasel, or any pictures of just them together. He frowned, confused.
Hermione turned to him. “Well, this is my person-with-no-life apartment.” She tried to salvage another smile onto her face. “Did you want to go anywhere else or do you mind kind of just hanging out here? I’m a bit tired.”
Draco nodded. “This’ll do, Granger. I mean, it’s not my usual 6-star hotel, but it’ll do.”
A genuine smile finally found its way onto her face. “You’re such a loser, Draco. There are no such things as 6-star hotels.”
“Well, Granger…” Draco smirked teasingly. “There are for me.”
“Right, right.” Hermione rolled her eyes, but smiled at him appreciatively for easing her gloom. “Sit down if you’d like, I’ll get you a drink.”
Again, Draco nodded, wandering over to the couch and sitting himself down on one side of it. He let his head fall back onto the afghan, sighing. Perusing the walls again, he was again struck with the wonder of why it didn’t have any pictures of Granger and the Weasel solely together. Come off it, he thought, she never even talks about him at all. He found it odd. He had thought that they were inseparable. He wanted to ask her – not that he was interested, he quickly thought to himself – but because the issue had been curious as hell to him since the first time he had thought of it. Letting his head relax more against the soft afghan, he closed his eyes, allowing the tension in his body to seep away into the comfortableness of Granger’s house. It felt homely. He tried to push away the curiosity of the Weasel and Granger issue, but it wouldn’t go away. He couldn’t understand why he was so interested. It’s not like I’m interested in Granger. I’m not. I can’t be. She’s Granger. I’m Malfoy. He clenched his hands into fists, even as he tried to cling onto the comfortableness he felt being here in this little house. He couldn’t be attracted to Granger. For one, it was because of who they were, though he had grown to realize that she was an exceptional woman – so bright, so funny, so charming… And two, if he ever allowed himself to be attracted to her and show it, he would just be shot down. Rejected. Thrown onto the ground and stepped on. But no, she would never do that. She’s not Anaya. She’s a good person…Merlin, why the hell am I even thinking this, she’s not even available! She has Weasley! Forcing himself to relax and unclench his fists, Draco took a deep breath and made his mind blank.
Hermione returned to the living room a few moments later, carrying two cups of steaming drinks. She offered a cup to Draco and sat down on the other end of the sofa. Draco looked down into the contents of the cup and saw a swirling brown liquid. He looked questioningly at Hermione. “What is this?”
“Why don’t you drink it, Draco, I hear that’s the best way to figure out what kind of drink you have.” She smiled at him. Draco noticed that her sad mood had worn off some. For a reason he couldn’t explain, he felt better.
“Well…Because you could have poisoned me, Granger. How am I to know you haven’t?”
“Oh yeah, because obviously that is what I do to high-profile Aurors who are trying to rid the world of evil.” She rolled her eyes. When she saw that he was still purposely hesitating on drinking the drink, she said, “Fine! Gosh, you are such a brat sometimes. It’s hot chocolate with peppermint. Now drink.”
He obeyed her, blowing on the hot drink before sipping its contents. It ran down his throat and into his stomach, spreading warmth throughout his veins. He hadn’t even realized that he’d been cold. Turning to look at her, he raised his eyebrows. “So, where’s the entertainment? Is it just hot chocolate? Tell me, woman!” His quip earned him another smack on the arm.
“I don’t know. You’re the one who insisted on coming to my lovely abode, not me.”
Draco watched as his brunette partner took another sip from her drink, how she closed her eyes and inhaled the warming scent before putting her pink lips onto the rim of the cup. He felt his heartbeat slow down watching her.
She turned and caught him staring at her. “You know, Draco,” she smirked, “staring at me is not the most effective way of communicating what you want to do now.”
Draco raised his eyebrows again, this time suggestively. “Well, you know, Granger, if you’re bored and need something to do…” He grinned at her, effectively earning himself another smack on the arm. He was positively sure it would be blue tomorrow. “Fine, fine! Sorry. I know you have Weaselpuff.”
The grin that had been on her face slid off at his words. She scrunched her eyebrows together, the mirth fading away from her face as she turned away.
There it was again, thought Draco. What was this whole deal with her and Weasley? Draco was torn between the two sides of his conscience: his unreasonable yearning to know what their issue was and his rationale that it was none of his business and that his partnership with Granger was just a professional one. His words came out before his conscience even had a chance to reel them in: “Granger, where is Weasley? Why isn’t he here with you?”
It was silent. Hermione had frozen in her stance, Draco’s heart beating faster and faster, his mind racing at his stupid mistake. Who was he to ask her that? That was too personal a thing! She was just his colleague.
Hermione wrung her hands together, finally moving. Looking up at him, her words came out in a whisper. “We split up. In the summer.”
Remorse at his tactlessness filled Draco as he saw sadness leaking out of her eyes onto her face, misery manifesting every piece of her expression. She looked so sad, so guilty, so – Draco was reminded of how he had looked when Anaya had done what she’d done and left him. So miserable. He wanted to travel the space between them on the sofa and embrace her with reassurance that everything was going to be okay, but he couldn’t. She…she’s just my colleague. I can’t. “I’m…I’m sorry, Granger. I didn’t know, you should’ve told me….I would have stopped making those cracks about you and him…”
She shook her head. “No, it’s fine, Draco. I just didn’t want to talk about it. I was trying to avoid being sad, and move on… And don’t feel bad. Working with you has gotten my mind off of things.” She gave him a watery smile. “Thanks. I appreciate it.”
Nodding, Draco offered her a smile. She appreciated working with him. But…Then his theory had been correct. She had only spent time with him because of the case. And now that he knew that she wasn’t seeing Weasley, it obviously meant that she wasn’t interested. Draco tried to avoid feeling beat-down and rejected. It’s better this way, that I figure this out now. That way I won’t fall the way I would’ve if I had let myself like her more. Abruptly, Draco realized that he had just admitted to himself that he liked Granger. But he couldn’t. He had to stop having these feelings for her. He would just fall into his own grave in the end. He exited from his reverie and saw that she was gazing at him, biting her lip nervously and seeming vulnerable. He could see why she would be vulnerable, but didn’t understand why she would look nervous. “So, yeah.”
“So, yeah,” she repeated.
An awkward silence lingered in the air. Draco knew that the more time he spent with her, the more attraction he would feel for her, but he couldn’t find the will in him to tear himself away. “How about that entertainment, eh?”
“Right. Erm, what do you want to do? Er, read? Play a video game? Watch a movie?”
Draco nodded noncommittally. “Right, a movie is one of those weird things with moving people on the plastic screen, right? You can buy them on those little V-D-V things?”
She laughed, and Draco felt an empowering burst of elation fill his chest at the sound. She thought he was funny, though he wasn’t exactly sure why. “What’s the deal, Granger? Are you laughing at me?”
Pulling open the cabinet doors next to her bookcase, she revealed a medium-sized box which Draco presumed was the machine that was used to watch movies with. She then pulled out a clear container filled with smaller, flatter boxes, with pictures facing the front of each little box. “It’s DVD, Draco. Not V-D-V. B for effort though.”
“Aww, come on, Granger. Why not A for effort? You’re tainting my record, you are.” He watched as she brought the container with the smaller, flatter boxes toward him. A warm scent of cinnamon suddenly wafted over him as she sat down next to him, the box between them.
“What would you like to watch?” She asked him, opening the box and pulling out a few of the slender boxes. Draco assumed that they housed the D-V-D things.
“Well, hmm. Let me think, because I know so many of those movie things that litter the Muggle world, right?” Moving his head to the side, he caught her looking down, blushing. “Well, how about a picture of epic scenery?”
“You mean like a nature movie?”
“No, Granger, like one that is really bloody cool. What’s your favorite movie? And please don’t let it be a documentary of something educational.”
“Well…” The blush seemed semi-permanent on her skin as she became more flustered, shuffling through the D-V-D cases in her hand. “I really enjoyed this movie called Titanic, but it’s quite lengthy and it’s a romantic movie, so maybe something else. There’s this other movie called -.”
“Hold up, Granger. What makes you think I don’t enjoy sappy, girly movies?” Draco winked at her, raising his eyebrows devilishly. “What’s this Titanic movie about? Vampires and humans falling in love? Typical love story rubbish?”
Hermione blushed even deeper. “No. It’s about this girl who is engaged to a wealthy man but falls in love with a poor man on aboard a ship, and it’s like a forbidden love -.”
“Kind of like Romeo and Juliet?” Draco interrupted.
Hermione looked at Draco in surprise, her eyebrows arise. “You know about that story? But how?”
Draco looked sheepish. “My mother made me read it one summer home from Hogwarts, after I’d been complaining that I was bored out of my mind.” He grinned. “She’d never admit it, but she’s a romance love story fanatic, even if it’s from a Muggle author.”
A feeling of affection suddenly wrapped around Hermione as Draco’s words sank in, and she unconsciously gave him a warm smile. Upon realizing what she did, she cleared her throat. Draco smirked at her, though he too, had felt the same feeling of affection. He found that it was getting harder and harder to deny how much he enjoyed being around her. “Well,” Hermione continued, as if their moment of mutual appreciation hadn’t occurred, though she was still a bit pink around the neck, “it’s not quite like Romeo and Juliet, but it is a rather compelling love story, and quite sad. And a lot of people die in it, too. It’s a bit tragic.”
“Perfect, just my cup of tea.” Draco joked. Upon seeing the shocked expression on Hermione’s face, he raised his hands, as if in surrender. “I’m just joking, Granger. You know I’m not like that anymore. Alright, let’s watch it then.”
Doubt still clouded Hermione’s face as she scrutinized Draco, and he had to laugh. “I’m sure, Granger. Now I’m your guest, so do as I say! Pip pip!” Another smack on his arm, and although he knew he’d feel the consequences of the contusions tomorrow, he couldn’t help but laugh in enjoyment of Hermione’s company. Stretching his arms and legs out in comfort, he pushed his head back deeper into the afghan’s comfort and watched as Hermione kneeled down before the machine and put the D-V-D in one of its slots.
Smiling, he couldn’t say that he didn’t enjoy the view.
Lie Hermione hadn’t when she’d admitted that the Titanic movie was quite lengthy; it’d been at least a couple of hours since its onset and Draco had a feeling that they were only halfway through the film. It wasn’t as though he minded though, splayed out on his side of the sofa and covertly slipping Granger glances out of the corner of his eye every once in a while. He found the movie quite catching (though he’d never admit it to his best mate Zabini or anybody else in the damn masculine gender role world), and once or twice, he’d actually felt a moment of poignancy when the characters went through something especially heartfelt. The storyline was unlike anything else he had ever encountered in his youth growing up, partly because in the wizarding world there was no such thing as a television (which he found out was what the box that displayed the film was called), and partly because of the fact that the only stories he’d ever read growing up were dark, filled with competitions, or wizarding dominance, or selfish quests for total power. He glanced at Hermione again, only to find her glancing at him too. She blushed, and he mirrored her act of quickly turning back to the television screen. It was getting hard to deny his want of being closer to her, cuddling with her as they watched the blooming forbidden love on screen. But he couldn’t. It was difficult to let old lessons die hard and let himself become vulnerable again. Furthermore, he felt sure that she was still in love with Weasley, or else why would she be so damn upset whenever his name was mentioned? No. He would have to deny himself her comfort and not take advantage of her. Even so, he let himself absorb the lazy comfort that she emitted from her presence and comfortable house, soaking it all in for when he had to leave to his fate of perpetual solitude.
The movie continued on, protruding its voices and sound effects into the otherwise silent room, while Hermione battled a conflict inside her heart and mind. This was the house she and Ron had once lived in together, in their happier days. And today, she had another man within its threshold, though just a colleague, a friend, not a lover. Yet, she felt like she was evading a loophole, because that was not true in its entirety. She had tried to deny it from the moment she had first felt it, because of Ron, because of her misery and guilt, but sometimes, when there were moments like this, when she and Draco just sat and enjoyed doing something together, whether it be talking about the history of famous spells or discussing the origins of Cavalian’s vengeful behavior, it was hard to deny.
She turned back to the television screen and cringed as she realized that the film’s big love scene was coming up. Squinting out of the corner of her eye, she saw Draco’s eyes widen as the two main characters on the screen started their big scene, and she wished that she could sink into an invisible puddle of air so she didn’t have to withstand this most awkward of all moments. Draco turned his head to her side and caught her sneaking a look at him, and he winked. The tension in the air was still prevalent, but she was glad that he was being silly and breaking a little of the ice. She flashed him a shy grin appreciatively.
A sharp, rapping noise interrupted the moment. She jumped, startled, and turned to seek the cause of the intrusion. A sudden movement to her right entered the corner vision of her eye and she saw that Draco had jumped up and withdrawn his wand. Looking back towards the locus of the noise, she saw that it was just an owl at the window. Blinking her eyes, she realized that it was the same owl that Ginny and Harry had sent her last time. Hurrying to the window, she let the owl in and untied the string connecting the letter to its leg, footsteps behind her signaling that Draco had followed her.
“What is it?” He asked, standing behind her.
She opened the letter, addressed to her in the same royal red writing, and felt a sickening feeling of fear coarse through her body. She looked up at Draco with her heart crashing against her chest, the beat of apprehension. “It’s from Ginny and Harry.”
Then she read out loud:
It’s Ginny and Harry again. I know we already bothered you about Ron, and thanks for owling us back later that you had sent him an owl, but we’re here again: we’re really worried. We haven’t heard from him in 3 weeks, and he used to always come over a couple of times a week. We went to his flat the other day again, but he never opened the door, just like last time. I dunno, ‘Mione, but I’m getting freaked out. Harry’s taking this even worse: He’s frantic, and he even apparated himself into Ron’s place. It was empty, and it looked like it’d been empty for a while. I dunno what’s going on, but I’m really scared. You haven’t heard from him, have you? Please let us know if you have. I’m really scared, and now Mum’s found out that he hasn’t been seen, and you know how she gets. Please, ‘Mione, let us know if you find out anything.
The fluorescent light hanging above their heads shone on Hermione’s pale face, an iridescent sheen emanating from the miniscule droplets of sweat that had emerged on her blood-drained face. She looked at Draco, her lips fluttering, her whole body shocked. He didn’t look nearly as shocked as she did, but inquisitive and thoughtful.
Shivers overtook her body as she watched a light go off behind his eyes. “What’s going on, Draco? Did you realize something? Please tell me what’s going on!” She pleaded with him viciously, grabbing his arms. She felt like the veins of her eyes would burst. Why did bad things always have to happen? Why Ron? Why couldn’t they all just be left alone and be fine and live life normally?
Draco bit his lip, as if contemplating an idea. He looked down into Hermione’s scared eyes before placing his own hands over her shoulders. “Hermione.” He paused, intensifying his gaze into her own eyes, “I need you to trust me. I think I have an idea of what’s going on. But you need to stay here and sleep – No, listen to me, Hermione!” He raised his voice over her protests, but quieted once she had calmed herself into a trembling silence. “Please, stay home and sleep. I know you want to help but I can’t have you breaking down while I try to figure stuff out. Please. Trust me. Everything will be fine and I’ll let you know when I’ve figured out what this means. Please.” He stared one last time into Hermione’s smoldering brown eyes, so full of fear and hurt, and beleaguered her with his one request. “Stay here and be safe. I promise I’ll be back soon.”
Moments passed by as Hermione stood stationary under Draco’s strong hands, suddenly feeling very fragile and useless. The only things that were coursing through her mind were that Ron could be hurt, that it was all of her fault; and how safe she felt with Draco’s hands holding her up. “Don’t go,” she whispered.
The skin between his brows erupted into an indentation as he frowned. He hated leaving her like this. “I’m sorry. I’ll be back soon. Promise.” He thought to leave a kiss on her forehead, but upon thinking about it, caressed her cheek with his thumb instead.
And then he apparated.
Left alone by the windowsill, Hermione hastily scribbled back a letter to Ginny and Harry telling them that she’d do everything she could, with the help of Draco, to find out what had happened to Ron. After sending the owl off, she felt her body stutter, as if about to give in. She wanted to just crumble onto the floor and cry, cry a million photographs telling Ron how sorry she was that she had let him down.
The dark night howled at her, repulsing away from the calm skies that had been the norm a few hours ago, rustling against her closed windowsill. Hermione lay on her side, squeezing her eyes shut, trying to sleep, trying to ignore the anxious thoughts of what could have happened to Ron harassing her mind, trying to desensitize herself from the dagger-sharp pains that continuously attacked her mind when she wavered on the realm of unconsciousness. This was her fault. This was all her fault. It was her own fault that had made Ron a victim. And if anything bad happened to him, she would never forgive herself.
Sleep dodged her until midnight approached, the tears embellishing her face drying on her tired skin. Her breathing was faltered as the nightmares plagued her unconscious, the daggers painfully tearing holes in her mind. The dreams ran like black oceans drowning out everything else in her mind, whispering Darkness into her ear. Goosebumps ran over her skin. The dreams were becoming so vivid, almost as if she were being choked by an invisible and ice-cold hand, and she watched as a small pair of bright blue eyes came into her unconscious vision, watched as it came closer and became bigger until suddenly it turned bright red and – Hermione awoke with a gasp, sweat washing away all of the tears that had painted her face. She turned her head to look at the clock on her bedside table.
It had just been a nightmare. Hermione’s heartbeat wouldn’t stop beating rapidly, and she winced as the painful stabs into her mind became more prominent and bothersome. She had never felt a headache such as this before, so dark and cold, yet making her break out in sweats.
She was just about to settle herself into another nightmare-filled sleep when she heard a sharp noise penetrate the previously silent air. Her eyes quickly glanced to her windowsill, but there was no owl awaiting her. Heart in her throat, she realized that the noise had been a doorbell, from downstairs.
And then she heard something else.
A loud knock on the downstairs front door.
All things Harry Potter as seen in the HP books/movies belong to JKR.
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