Chapter 4 : Hermione’s Interrogation
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"Okay Hermione, spill." Harry said as he saw Dean and Seamus sharing a joke whilst starting up the stairs in the direction of the boys’ dormitory. Neither he nor Ron had asked Hermione what she had seen since Draco's funeral, and neither had Hermione encouraged them too.
An hour after the ceremony, a feast was held in remembrance of Draco. Despite Harry's severe dislike towards the pure blood, he was moderately shaken by the news of his death. If Voldermort would kill one of his own, what lengths would he go to have Harry's head served to him on a plate? He dreaded to think.
"What are you on about?" Hermione asked, although her eyes told the boys that she knew exactly what they meant.
"Come on, Hermione. It's just us here now, Draco's funeral," Hermione shuddered at the sound of his name, "What did you see?"
Hermione looked around the red lit room, desperately looking for an excuse to rescue her from Harry's enquiry.
"Hermione." Ron said encouragingly. She sighed. She had done so well in avoiding their questions, but she knew that she'd have to tell them sometime, but how? How could she tell them without making herself sound completely off the rails? She sighed once more, remembering how flawless he looked. "He kind of suits being dead" she thought to herself before turning to look Harry directly in the eyes, when his emerald eyes met her own, she knew she had no choice but to tell them.
"I think I saw Malfoy." She whispered, breaking eye contact with Harry to look down at her closed book. Ron and Harry exchanged identical discombobulated looks before turning back to Hermione, their faces full of questions. "I know, I know! It sounds utterly bonkers, but I swear I saw him! He walked down the centre of the hall and stood in front of Dumbledore, as though he was listening to every word he was saying, and then he turned to frown at us when you were asking me what was wrong.. And then, and then-" She couldn't continue, it was all too much for Hermione. Was it real? Or was she just not ready to accept the Slytherin's death?
"Wait, come again... Malfoy? As in Draco Malfoy? The uptight proud pure blood, recently deceased?" Ron questioned. However Harry wanted the full story.
"And then what, Hermione?" She looked up to see his curious eyes staring directly into her own. She wanted to look away, but she couldn't. She shouldn't.
"And then he saw me." Her voice was barely a whisper. The scene replayed in her mind, over and over again. The disbelief mixed with fright that conquered her body, flowing to every last corner, filling every organ and seeping through every vein, as he mouthed "Can you see me?"
"He saw you?"
"Yes, he was staring directly at me and then he mouthed something at me; Can you see me." She trembled as she repeated the words aloud. Harry's eyes widened with realisation.
"And that's why you nodded?"
"Have you seen him since?" Harry and Hermione's heads both snapped in Ron's direction, he had remained silent through the duration of their conversation, however he now looked concerned. Hermione shook her head slowly.
"No, not since his funeral."
"Has it ever occurred to you that maybe it wasn't actually Malfoy? I mean, I'm not trying to say you're crazy here, Hermione. But everyone can see the ghosts that haunt Hogwarts, but only you, as far as we know, have seen Malfoy. Isn't that a little odd?"
"Of course it's occurred to me, Ron. But why would I hallucinate about him? He's been our sworn enemy since our first year. If anything you'd think I'd be glad that he's gone, but I'm not."
"None of us are, Hermione, not even me." Harry sighed and then added, "Hey, it's been a long stressful day, why don't we call it a night?" He stood up and offered his hand to her, she paused momentarily before placing her own hand onto his. As soon as she'd stood up, he didn't let go of her hand, but instead pulled her into a warm hug and whispered, "It'll be okay, Hermione. " he felt her let out a long sad sigh before dropping her arms, she smiled emptily, ruffled Rons hair and turned towards the staircase that led up to the girls dormitory without another word. When Ron saw she was out of sight, and hopefully out of hearing distance, he looked over to Harry.
"I'm worried about her, Harry."
"You're not the only one, mate."
Ron stood up next to Harry, staring into the space from which Hermione had just disappeared and sighed sadly. Hermione claimed that "a relationship would come in the way of her studying" however Ron couldn't help but feel that Hermione was embarassed by the thought of him being her boyfriend. He sighed once more.
"Come on then," Harry smiled, fully aware of the thoughts that were swimming in Rons mind, "I wasn't joking about it being a long day, I'm knackered!"
Harry walked towards the staircase leading to the boys dormitory but stopped as he noticed that the shuffles from Rons scruffy slippers following him were absent. He turned to see his best friend looking mournfully at the staircase leading to the girls dormitory, Harry knew his mournful expression was nothing to do with the death of their school enemy, but instead the loss of the potential relationship he could have had with Hermione.
"Ron?" Harry said softly. Ron looked up, sighed deepy, and followed Harry to their dorm.
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