Hello everyone! Here's chapter 6 :) I hope you like it!
another amazing image by Anna Black @ TDA :)
"Everyone has a secret, but can they keep it? Oh no, they can't."
-Secret, Maroon 5
The silence lasted for a few brief moments, before it was quickly broken.
“What?!” Ron, Harry and Ginny shouted.
Draco couldn’t believe he let those words slip from his mouth. He remained mute, lips parted, scolding himself inside for cracking in front the lot of them. Even though it was released due to his utter frustration and contempt towards the three, it was information that he hadn’t planned on sharing.
“You can’t be serious, Malfoy,” Ron spat through tight lips.
Ginny turned to her brother.
“Ron, he isn’t serious. It’s Malfoy,” she threw him a murderous look; “He’s just trying to antagonize us like always.”
Draco, still drowning in disbelief, opened his mouth to retort, but no response followed.
“Alright, I think it’s past your time to leave,” Harry finally announced, and began to motion to the door.
Still remaining silent, Draco lowered his arms from his chest and glanced towards the exit.
Ron seemed to compose himself, and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Harry’s right. Get out, Malfoy,” He spat with a slight smirk.
Draco pursed his lips as his eyes narrowed. After thinking he should just leave, and avoid the discussion, Weasley’s thinking that he has triumphed set him off once again.
“Now wait just a minute,” Draco shot, holding up his hands.
“What now,” Harry sighed, “I thought we made it clear that you were finished.”
Draco didn’t like that comment one bit. He crossed his arms over his firm chest, and began to slowly walk around the room.
“First of all,” he held up a single ringed finger,” None of you have the right to silence me, since I happen to be one of the most powerful men in the wizarding world.”
Ginny stood fuming beside her brother.
“Second, you people are in quite a predicament, aren’t you? Your best friend lays stuck in an eternal sleep over there, and she hasn’t woken up yet. You all know the cure, but can’t seem to find out who kissed her fist. Now, here I come, telling you that I have an idea of who kissed your precious little Granger first, and send me out. True, it’s me, yes, but I’m the only person who has said anything the least bit helpful to you.”
Ron, Ginny and Harry glanced at one another, surprised at Draco’s logical rebuttal.
“But tell me this, Malfoy,” Ginny stated as she narrowed her gaze,” How the hell would you know who kissed Hermione first?”
“A reasonable argument, little Weaslette. Very reasonable. I have my sources.”
“Oh, like what?”
“You’d be surprised,” Draco retorted.
Ron threw up his hands.
“This is ridiculous! Malfoy is the last person on this entire planet that would know anything about Hermione.”
“No, wait a second, if the last person in the world had no idea, and they left, THEN Malfoy would know.”
“Well, if it isn’t another dim-witted retort from the male ginger.”
Ginny threw herself between her brother and Draco once again.
“Will all of you please shut it!”
Ginny huffed under her breath.
“Obviously, Malfoy has no idea who kissed Hermione first. Use your bloody brains. There’s no way he would know. Don’t make me remind you for the millionth time: IT’S MALFOY.”
Harry and Ron seemed to calm for a moment, thinking on Ginny’s statement.
This time Harry stepped forward.
“Alright, Malfoy. We get it. What a funny joke. It’s hilarious. Sorry I’m not laughing though, I’m just not in the mood at the present moment.”
He watched for Draco to interrupt, and continued when no response came.
“You’ve just had your time to relive the past and tease us about Hermione. Now seriously, get out of here.”
Draco was taken aback by the sheer firmness in Harry’s tone. Even after participating in these immature fights during his Hogwarts years, Harry had never intimidated him as much as he did at the current moment. He had matured; he saved the world from certain ruin and chaos, secured a head position at the ministry, and in doing so, had earned the respect of the entire wizarding community.
Even though Draco has attained a greater degree of financial success than Harry, he lacked the reputation, following, and respect that Harry commanded when he entered a room. Harry’s comment had instilled this notion in his mind.
“So, you would kick me out, even if I knew information to save Granger?” Draco prodded, his tone almost dropping to Harry’s.
Harry sighed as he shook his head.
“I would listen to you if you truly wanted to help Hermione, because I would do anything to help her. But you obviously don’t seeing the spectacle you just threw a few minutes ago.”
Draco remained silent for a few moments after Harry’s statement.
“Fair enough, Potter. It’s too bad your arrogance prevents you from listening to someone who may just be better than you.”
Ron narrowed his eyes.
“How dare you even accuse Harry of arrogance, when your own cockiness could drown the entire planet!”
Harry glanced at Ron.
“Ron, don’t give him the attention he wants.”
He turned back to a smirking Draco.
“I’m not going to ask you again. Get out now.”
Draco sensed that his time had expired, and any further jabs would seem stale and forced. He held up his hands in surrender.
“Alright, Potter. I can’t even bear to stand in this room a minute longer.”
Draco bathed in each murderous glance of the three surrounding him before slowly making his way to the door.
“It’s truly unfortunate that your jealousy makes me an unreliable source.”
Draco turned, smiling to himself when he heard Harry silence Ron another time. He took one last look at the lifeless Hermione, and began to exit through the door.
“Wait a minute.”
Draco, startled by the calmness of the female voice that called him, turned to see Ron and Harry staring incredulously at Ginny.
“Yes Mrs. Potter?”
Ginny threw a “just let me talk” glance in the direction of Ron and Harry, and stepped forward.
“So, you seem surprisingly sure that you know some information about Hermione, don’t you? I apologize for my abrasiveness earlier. If you are so confident that you know something, then go on. Spit it out. I’m listening.”
“He doesn’t know anything—“
Ginny cut him off.
“--- we’re all listening. Right Harry? Right Ron?”
The two seemed to visibly swallow an entire hippogriff before giving reluctant nods in Ginny’s direction.
Ginny threw a confident a smile on her face.
“Go on, Malfoy.”
Draco froze. He didn’t want to get this far. The only reason he had stayed as to tease them, not to give any information. His inner pride conflicted with his reputation. The thought of not giving them anything after bragging for ten minutes tasted bitter on his tongue, but he also despised the idea of telling them anything he knew.
“Thanks for the nice intro, but if I did know something, I wouldn’t want to tell you anything now, seeing how you just treated me during our little shouting match, which I won by the way.”
Ron gave an angry sigh.
“See, I told you! He doesn't know a bloody thing! He’s only trying to test our limits. And let me tell you, I’m extremely close to mine.”
Ginny seemed genuinely disappointed before the malice began to show within her eyes again.
“You bastard. You venomous, contemptuous, arrogant bastard. If you don’t remove your arse from my sight, then I’ll make it so you won’t have one to worry about anymore.”
Draco knew that he had pushed himself too far. It was time for his exit, before he blurted anything else dangerous in front of them.
“I’m going. I can’t suffer through this any longer,” he muttered as he turned for a second time to leave the room, before Ron muttered a barely audible comment.
“He’s even worse than his low life of a father…”
Even though he wasn’t aware, Ron has crossed Draco’s invisible line, a line that most he encountered never crossed. Harry had gotten awfully close during his Hogwarts years, but never went too far. His father was a subject that we would not tolerate. His father had already been scorned earlier, but being compared to him was comparable to mixing fire with oil.
Draco turned violently on his heels, his eyes burning with rage.
“Well, Weasley, wouldn’t you faint like a little girl if I told you that I KISSED GRANGER FIRST?!!!??”
The color vanished from Ron’s cheeks, leaving him white as a sheet, as Harry and Ginny’s mouths fell to the floor. Draco’s complexion wasn’t too different from Ron’s.
“….no….whhaaa??....no….no way…that’s…that’s impossible…bloody impossible,” Ron managed to choke out of his pinched lips.
Harry touched his fingertips to his temple.
“What did you just say?”
Dread was pooling in the bottom of Draco’s stomach, as he cursed himself once again for exploding. For the first time today, he didn’t know how to save himself from this.
“…nothing…errr…nothing at all…” He almost whispered in response.
“What do you mean NOTHING? You just announced to the universe that you KISSED HERMIONE,” Ginny frantically shouted.
Draco’s panicked eyes jumped from a shocked Ginny, to a frozen Harry, to an extremely pale Ron.
“Oh come on…that’s ridiculous…That’s not…not…what I meant…OH DAMMIT!” Draco cried in frustration as he turned his back on the three, placing his hands on his sides, and attempted to fix this situation.
“Everyone just calm down,” Harry reasoned,” And Malfoy, explain yourself.”
Draco took a deep breath, before facing them again.
“It was hypothetical. A completely hypothetical statement.”
Ginny stared at him.
“Hypothetical? That you kissed Hermione?”
Draco brought his hand to his face, slowly figuring out his retort.
This just confused them even more.
Draco shook his head as he began to pace the room.
“Let’s just say, hypothetically, that I kissed Granger first,” he began.
Ron looked sick.
“Even if you knew it was me, the leader of all evil Slytherins who kissed your precious Granger, would you allow that? Or would you rather her lie there than even consider that.”
Harry silenced him.
“How is this relevant?!”
“Because what if I did kiss her first? Then what would you do about that?”
Ginny shook her head.
“Give me one good reason why Hermione would have kissed you first. Or even at all. Because honestly, right now, I really can’t.”
“Maybe you didn’t know Hermione as well as you thought, did you?”
“Hermione is my best friend, and I know that she would never have gone near you alone even if she was protected with every charm ever created!”
“Maybe she did, and decided not to tell you!”
Draco was digging himself deeper into a hole. But his frustration prevented him from screening his comments first.
“I thought this was hypothetical?!”
“Maybe it is, or maybe it isn’t? Wouldn’t that bother you?”
Ginny cried out in frustration.
“I’VE HAD IT! Let’s just solve this right now,” Ginny pointed to Hermione, “We’ll figure out if this is hypothetical or not. Go kiss Hermione, Malfoy.”
Draco’s eyes widened. This was the last thing he had expected.
Ginny walked over to Hermione, and thrust a finger in her direction.
“Well if you are so sure of yourself, then do it! Kiss her!”
“…but…but this is…hypothetical…” Draco murmured to himself.
“Just do it, Malfoy!” Harry shouted.
Draco glanced from a smirking Ginny, to an angry Harry, to a still stark white Ron. He took a deep breath, and calmed himself.
Ginny crossed her arms.
“No?! Is someone not telling the truth, and just antagonizing us like I thought?”
Draco threw her a disgusted look.
“No! Because I won’t kiss Granger on demand like some obedient little poodle! I won’t do it!”
Harry stepped in.
“So, did you kiss her at Hogwarts, or not!”
“Maybe I did, Potter!”
Harry didn’t respond at first, and shot him a dark glare.
“I don’t believe you, Malfoy. I never could. I don’t trust you. You are still the same shady git, with the same reputation that you had back at Hogwarts. The war changed most people, but apparently not you. Not one bit. Even if you did in fact kiss Hermione, I still wouldn’t believe you.”
Draco was thoroughly silenced. For some reason, his comments stung deeper than he thought.
“I don’t believe you either. You disgust me, Malfoy,” Ginny stammered. She looked almost close to tears.
For the first time, Ron spoke up.
“Hermione would never have kissed you. She despised you for treating her like garbage, even though she probably deserved the chance to attend a school like Hogwarts more than you ever did.”
Draco narrowed his eyes in anger, but gave no response. These comments were secretly tearing up his insides, and damaging him more than they could ever know.
Through the door behind them, a troubled looking Healer Mismick shuffled through the doors.
“What on earth is going on in here?”
Harry, Ron and Ginny exchanged glances before glaring at Draco.
“You can hear the shouting from the lobby!”
Harry cleared his throat before facing her.
“I’m terribly sorry for the noise. We just had a little disagreement.”
His glare traveled to Draco.
“Our guest was just on his way out.”
Draco narrowed his gaze, after tightening his lips.
“As a matter of fact, I was.”
He shot a poisonous look at Harry before finally exiting through the door. Draco sped across the hall and flung himself into the elevator, before violently jabbing one of the buttons.
After feeling the compartment shutter and begin its descent, he threw his head against the wall and sighed.
Ginny watched Harry pull his pajama top over his head from her position under the crimson duvet cover. She buried her toes into the soft down, and placed her elbows on top of the throw as she lifted her back against the pillow.
“Harry, you sent the owl to my mother about Saturday dinner, right?”
Harry nodded as he crawled into bed beside her.
“Yeah, I sent it when we got home.”
Harry, exhausted from the day’s events, immediately lay down under the covers, and rested his head on his pillow, closing his eyes.
“Can you get the lights, Ginny? Or do you need them on?”
Ginny shook her head softly as she flicked her wand that rested on the table beside her. In an instant, the room fell dark.
Ginny remained sitting up on her side of the bed and Harry opened his eyes on his pillow. He knew that she was worried, and this prevented him from falling asleep.
“What’s the matter?”
Harry watched her chest heave with another sigh before she closed her eyes, tilting her head towards the ceiling.
“I’ve just been thinking, Harry. That’s all.”
Harry turned over to face her.
He saw her give a signature pout in the darkness.
Harry groaned as he hit his head against his pillow.
“That’s not a comforting statement, Ginny.”
Ginny shook her head.
“I know it doesn’t make any sense, but it’s just…it’s just…I don’t understand why he would come all the way over to St. Mungo’s and throw a massive fit if he didn’t know anything.”
Harry sat up straighter on his side.
“What are you saying?”
‘What if he did kiss her first, Harry?”
Nausea spread through Harry in an instant.
“That’s ridiculous, Ginny.”
“It is, isn’t it? But why would he admit to us that he would know anything? Or even that he kissed her? He seemed just as startled as we did when he admitted it.”
Harry shook his head.
“But they hated each other. He despised him, and she hated Malfoy for how he treated her. He called her a mudblood, made fun of her teeth, her hair, and her parents! Why would she even go near him?”
“I can’t explain any of that, Harry. I’m just thinking about what I saw today.”
Harry rested his chin in his hand.
“Hermione was always with us, Ginny. Always. When would she have snuck off with Malfoy alone?”
“Maybe he’s right. Maybe she didn’t tell us.”
“This is…this is insane, Ginny. Hermione would never have kissed Malfoy. Period. That’s a symbol of love, intimacy and affection! She never felt any of that about Malfoy. I know it.”
Ginny stayed silent for a few moments.
“He wouldn’t have even given a hypothetical statement like that Harry, if he couldn’t back it up. We know him to well Harry. He knows something we don’t, and he tried to wield it against us today.”
Harry considered this while she continued.
“And he didn’t kiss Hermione. Harry, if he was only teasing, he would have planted one on her dramatically to get at Ron.”
Harry didn’t respond.
“He may be telling the truth, Harry, whether we like it or not.”
The two fell silent, contemplating Ginny’s new hypothesis. Harry rubbed his eyes as Ginny ran a hand through her hair.
“I don’t understand it at all. I don’t know why she would ever kiss him. It kills me to think that she kissed that greasy ferret just as much as you. But we can’t let this go, Harry. It’s the only lead we have at all.”
“As much as it murders me, you’re right, Ginny.”
They listened to the clock chime from the kitchen downstairs.
“But how to we figure out for sure if he actually did kiss her, Harry?”
Ginny stared at her husband, waiting for a response. She watched him cross and uncross his arms, and sigh under his breath.
After a few minutes he turned to her, his eyes narrowed in thought.
“I think I know how.”
Well there's chapter 6! Haha I know I say this a lot, but I LOVED writing this one. Hmm what is on Harry's mind? ;) Just a little sneek peek! In the next chapter, we may finally discover the mystery behind Hermione's first kiss ;D
Ok, first, I have to thank you all so much for your AMAZING feedback! It's insane! And it makes me smile so big, and open microsoft word up to write for you all :) Seriously, I love you all! Thank you so much!
*Sigh...this chapter should have been up about a week earlier, but it was rejected for a very strange reason which i've never had a problem with before:/ Sorry about the extra wait! I wish all of you could have read this sooner.
I used another Maroon 5 song for the quote, but I love them, and it fits pretty well, doesn't it?;) Also, if you are looking for an amazing read, you have to try Atonement by Ian McEwan. (A movie came out a few years ago) It is the most moving and beautifully written love story i've read in a while. I highly recommend it! And another side note, have I mentioned my obsession with Alex Pettyfer?? I guess i'm going through a phase...he's just so handsome :)
Anyways, thank you all so so so much for supporting this story like you have!
Please review! It only takes a few little seconds! :)
Until chapter 7,