Chapter 4 : Confusion
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“For a little while now, they are quite interesting.” Her eyes grew wide in horror as she understood the nature of the dreams.
“So you kissed me last night, to get me to trust you so we could…” She suddenly felt disgusted and inched away from him.
“No! I couldn’t even try that with you. You’d probably figure it out if I did. I just really wanted to kiss you and you looked so miserable. Why is that, by the way?” He sat on the table beside her, grabbing her hand in his gently.
“It was nothing, never mind” She pulled her hand out of his cool grip and turned back to the essay. Getting the hint, he sighed, picked up his coat and quickly walked out of the library.
“So who is it?” Blaise asked as soon as Draco stepped into the dormitory.
“What?” Draco asked his back to his best friend as he loosened his tie.
“I don’t know who you’re talking about” Draco said, heading to the bathroom.
“You can’t tell anyone” Draco threatened and Blaise made a show of crossing his heart. Sighing, he continued. “It’s just a small crush, but it’s Granger.” Draco cringed internally as he saw his friends eyes widen.
“G-Granger? As in Hermione Granger? The Mudblood?” His mouth hung open in shock.
“Don’t call her that!” Draco hissed, anger flashing through his eyes. Blaise stared at Draco, an eyebrow raised.
“You’re serious, huh? You seriously like Granger” Blaise struggled to spit the words out, but Draco just stood there.
“I don’t like anybody. It’s just the smallest of crushes which will pass in the next couple days.” He pulled his school shirt off over his head and unsilenced the room. Blaise just shook his head pathetically and left the room.
“So you have shagged her” Blaise whispered in his ear as most people had left.
“No, I haven’t.” Draco whispered back, his eyes flickering over to her bushy hair. He looked up and caught Ron staring at him, his mouth set in an angry line.
“So no surprise that Ron doesn’t trust you.” Blaise said. It was now only him and Draco sitting at the Slytherin table. There were only nine people left in the Great Hall, with all the teachers retiring to their respective houses and rooms, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lavender, Neville, Luna, Renae, Blaise and Draco, were left, with the most of them sitting with the trio. Hermione silently excused herself and slowly left the Great Hall, her arms swaying sleepily by her side. Draco watched her, and then his eyes flicked back to the Gryffindor table. Ron was speaking quickly to Harry, while Lavender lolled about beside him, giggling in his ear. He tried to brush her off but she wouldn’t get the hint, and Draco ducked his head to smile to himself.
“Why are we still sitting here? Everyone’s gone” Blaise said, and he slowly stood up. Draco followed him but once they passed the doors leading out of the Hall, he stopped.
“I’m going to the library. Don’t tell anyone.” Draco whispered and took long steps up the stairs. He heard Blaise sigh but he was rushing so he didn’t stop to look back.
She wasn’t there. Why should she be there? She was obviously tired, so she’s gone to bed. Draco cursed himself for thinking otherwise and left their room. But he heard humming as he passed the muggle books. Renae was there. Why was Renae in the library this late?
“Draco? Why are you in the library?” She asked, her arms laden with books. He ran his fingers through his hair before replying.
“Just returning a study book” He replied quickly and she just raised an eyebrow but said nothing. She turned back to the collection of books.
“Why are you pursuing her?” She asked suddenly and he froze.
“Pursuing who, exactly?” He asked, walking towards her. She looked up at him, her blonde hair falling behind her shoulders.
“Hermione, it’s obvious you fancy her” She replied simply, before smiling and putting a book back.
“I do not fancy Hermione. Hermione is obnoxious, annoying and a know-it-all.” Draco replied, his voice shaking slightly.
“If you say so” Renae replied and didn’t speak again. Draco just turned on his heel and left.
“I don’t know” She muttered and crawled under her blankets. Tomorrow should hopefully be less confusing. Her eyelids were heavy but her mind wasn’t slowing down, so she soon became restless. The minutes ticked by before she eventually climbed out of bed and silently left, heading to the library. She didn’t know why but she felt an odd urge to leave and go there. She inhaled deeply through her nose, loving the faint musty smell. She slowly made her way up to the room and relaxed back into her favourite armchair. The fire roared into life as she closed her eyes and she smiled as the warmth embraced her gently. Her mind still wouldn’t rest, and kept thinking about everything, Harry and Dumbledore, Ron, school, Voldemort and Draco.
“You look exhausted” Renae said as Hermione stirred awake. “You mustn’t sleep very much, I always see you sleeping in here.” She smiled and handed Hermione a cup of coffee.
“Mmm, it gets me away from the drama of the common room and I can study in peace in here.” She sipped the coffee and felt suddenly warm.
“I totally understand, this place is like a getaway that even the likes of Malfoy use! I saw him in here yesterday, actually” Her blue eyes twinkled brightly, but Hermione just continued to sip her coffee.
“Uh huh” She replied simply and Renae rolled her eyes and pulled her long hair back into a pony tail.
“Hermione, I’m not an idiot. I can see a spark where others choose to ignore it. What’s going on with you and Snake Boy?” She pulled a foot rest over and sat in front of Hermione.
“There is nothing going on between me and Draco. We have spoken a few times without abusing each other.” Hermione stood up slowly, straightened her crumpled uniform with a quick spell and handed the mug back to Renae. “Now I have to go get ready for class. I’ll see you there” Hermione rushed out of the library and didn’t look back. Sure, Draco kissed her and he was dreaming about her, but she didn’t feel the slightest hint of affection towards him.
Classes passed with some annoyed looks from fellow classmates, why couldn’t people be more like Harry? She thought as she entered the common room, only to stumble upon a screaming match between Lavender Brown and Ron.
“You are always with them! I don’t even see you anymore!” Lavender cried as she was holding Ron’s arm with the grip of a vulture.
“They are my best friends, Lav! I can’t help it if they are like my family!” Ron cried back, he looked around for support and when his eyes landed on Hermione, Lavender turned.
“YOU! It’s your fault Won-Won doesn’t want to be with me! You just can’t have enough boys chasing after you! Krum, Ron, McClaggen and Malfoy!” Her face was red with anger and sparks shot out of the tip of her wand, causing Hermione to leap back in fear. “Stop teasing everyone!” She cried out as Hermione quickly climbed out of the common room. She reached the stairs leading to the dungeon before she realised where she was.
“Granger” She heard Snape drawl and she whirled around to see him standing there, more batlike than ever. “Granger, what on earth are you doing here? This is the Slytherin common room.
“I’m sorry, sir, I didn’t realise where I was going.” She quietly skirted around him and headed to the astronomy tower, trying to distance herself as much as she could from the common room. Looking up at the twinkling stars; she let out a soft sigh and hugged herself. The snow had finally stopped, and the clouds were wispy as they danced with the moon, but there was still a bite to the air and she had left her jacket in the common room.
“Cold, Granger?” A familiar voice whispered behind her and she turned to see Draco looking at her softly. His grey eyes were still hard and protected, but there was a look to his face that suggested he wanted to let her in.
“Only a little” She replied and turned back to the stars. She sighed a little when she felt the warmth of his jacket enclose her shoulders and she turned to face him.
“How did you manage to forget your jacket on a night like this, on the way to the astronomy tower?” He asked with a cheeky grin on his face.
"It just slipped my mind, I suppose” She shrugged gently and looked away again. He was always around when she was, it was very curious.
“That Renae girl has a keen eye for things” He brought up after a few minutes of silence, Hermione turned to look at him, her eyebrow raised.
“Like?” She asked, her hands moving to her hips.
“Like books and things. She just seems rather intuitive.” He was staring up at the stars and she watched as they reflected in his eyes.
“Yeah, she is very good for that.” Hermione sighed and sat down, resting herself back on her arms. Draco sat down beside her, and she could smell his musky cologne, making her inhale deeply.
“You were very quiet in class today, is everything okay?” He asked a while later, and she felt him shift closer to her.
“Yeah, just trying to focus” She replied shortly. “Malfoy, where is this going?”
“What do you mean?” He asked, his forehead crinkling slightly as he frowned.
“I mean, I know you’ve been dreaming about me or something, but why do you really care if I’m cold or not, or if I’m silent in class?” She inched away from him so she could face him, her eyes searching his.
“I really don’t know, and if I did, I’d tell you. You’re just… I don’t know.” He shrugged his shoulders and held onto her hand. He was leaning closer but she drew back and let go of his hand.
“I have to go” She stood up and handed him back his jacket. “I’ll see you later.” She quickly left the astronomy tower and went to the now silent common room.
*Everything recognisable belongs to J.K Rowling and lyrics to Confusion belong to Alice In Chains
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