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Chapter 9 : Hogsmeade
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Chapter 9- Hogsmeade
The next day, Hermione was sitting in the library with Ginny when she told her about the conversation with Theo the night before.
“I knew it!” Ginny shrieked. “I knew he liked you back!”
Hermione immediately shushed her friend, looking around quickly to see if Madam Pince noticed the disturbance. When the coast seemed clear, she finally smiled slightly and rolled her eyes. “I don’t know where it’s going yet, Gin. I like him; he likes me. We’re going to Hogsmeade together next weekend, but after that…”
Now it was Ginny’s turn to roll her eyes, tossing her red hair confidently. “Don’t be ridiculous, Hermione. He’ll ask you to be his girlfriend soon enough.”
Hermione shook her head violently. “I’m not going to think about that yet. I don’t want to get my hopes up.”
“Hermione Granger, you are being completely silly!” Ginny scolded loudly.
“No, I’m—” Hermione didn’t get a chance to finish her sentence, since at that exact moment Madam Pince rounded the corner with a withering look on her face.
“If you two can’t keep quiet in my library, you won’t ever be coming here again,” she hissed menacingly, her clawed fingers clasped around a book protectively.
Hermione nodded fervently. “We’re sorry, ma’am. It won’t happen again.”
“It had better not,” the librarian responded as she retreated back towards her desk, throwing glares over her shoulder every few steps.
Ginny giggled quietly. “What a weird woman,” she whispered.
Hermione just smiled again and looked back at the Defense Against the Dark Arts essay she was writing. She and Ginny lapsed into silence for several long minutes.
“Hermione?” Ginny said after a while.
Hermione made an acknowledging noise, but didn’t look up from her essay.
“Um…” Ginny was murmuring so quietly that Hermione finally looked up.
“Do you have a question about your Potions homework?” she asked, but Ginny wasn’t looking at her.
“It’s Malfoy,” Ginny said very softly, barely moving her lips.
Hermione’s eyebrows shot up. “What do you mean?”
“Three rows behind you,” Ginny replied, just as softly.
Hermione’s eyes widened. She dropped her quill to the floor to make it look accidental, and let her bushy hair fall across her face as she bent over to pick it up. Sure enough, three rows away, she could see Draco Malfoy’s face peering in between books. She sat back up quickly. “Well, Ginny,” she said, her voice at a normal level again. “I think I’m going to finish this in my common room. I have a few things to talk to Theo about before tomorrow.”
Ginny’s smile was strained. “Sounds great, Hermione. I’ll see you later,” she replied.
Hermione stood and gathered her books as calmly as possible. A moment later, she was heading out of the library, trying to keep her pace normal and not sprint for the Heads’ Dormitory. She had reached the end of the hallway and turned the corner before she heard footsteps behind her.
Don’t be silly, she thought. You’re in a school. There are hundreds of people. It is not necessarily Draco following you…
But it was, as he revealed before Hermione even had time to finish her thought. “Granger!” he called from behind her. “Wait up!”
Hermione squeezed her eyes shut and clenched her jaw, but stopped walking and turned around. Draco was jogging towards her, his robes rustling in the quiet hallway, a conflicted expression on his face. “What do you need, Malfoy?” Hermione asked resignedly, hiding her confusion and sighing as he reached her.
“Um…” Draco paused. “I need to speak to you. Can we go in here?” he asked, gesturing towards the nearest classroom.
Hermione’s eyebrows shot up. “Why on Earth would we do that?”
Draco’s eyes narrowed. “I need to talk to you, and I don’t want anyone to see me doing it,” he replied tersely.
Hermione was torn for a moment, but nodded and opened the door to the darkened classroom. Draco followed her inside and closed the door behind him.
“Now, what is this about, Malfoy?” Hermione asked, not taking her eyes off of him and squinting to see him in the darkness.
Without preamble, Draco launched into an explanation that he had obviously prepared beforehand. “Granger, I don’t like you; you don’t like me. These are just the facts. But I’m sick of people looking at me like I’m going to attack them, and that includes you. You’re doing it right now, in fact,” Draco paused to nod at her matter-of-factly. It looked to Hermione like he was making a real effort not to scare her away too quickly. “I know that things have been happening this year. I know that a lot of it looks like I’m the culprit. I’m not admitting anything, nor denying it, but I want you to know that I really am committed to being at Hogwarts for this last year. I don’t want to be tailed like a criminal. I know what you think of me. I know what everyone thinks of me. I don’t really care, honestly,” he rolled his eyes, and Hermione let her teeth unclench. Draco took a deep breath, but didn’t continue.
“Well…” Hermione began, not sure what to say, “well…Draco, I…” Draco made a face, but let her finish. “I don’t know what you expect me to say,” Hermione continued, smiling apologetically. “Thank you, I guess. For coming to talk to me, that is. I do agree that there have been a lot of strange things happening this year. I won’t lie and say I haven’t suspected you.”
Draco closed his eyes and took a deep, calming breath. Hermione looked at him sadly. “I’m sorry,” she murmured. “I know it must be tough…”
Draco opened his eyes and scoffed at her. “Don’t start pretending to know me, Granger,” he said shortly. “We aren’t friends.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “I was trying to be nice,” she shot back.
“I don’t need your charity.”
“Fine, Malfoy,” Hermione replied. “Thank you for coming to talk to me. I’ll try to convince Theo to lay off your case. I can’t promise anything will change, but I appreciate that you’ve explained the situation.”
Draco nodded once and turned to leave, opening the door before he hesitated. Hermione hadn’t moved.
“Thanks, Granger,” Draco said. It was so quiet that Hermione wasn’t even sure she heard him correctly. The door swung shut behind him, and he was gone. Hermione stood in the dark classroom for several minutes, blinking in surprise. She hadn’t a clue in the world what had just happened. Finally, she stood and picked up her bag. She made her way out of the classroom and finally back to her dorm.
“Hermione!” Theo exclaimed from the couch when the portrait hole opened.
Hermione still hadn’t recovered from the shock of her conversation with Draco, and her smile was delayed just a second too long.
“What’s wrong?” Theo asked, standing and meeting her in the center of the room.
Hermione shook her head. “Nothing, nothing,” she assured him, waving her hand. “I just had another strange conversation with Draco.”
Theo blinked and took her hand, leading her to the couch before asking any questions. They sat side-by-side, and Hermione took a few deep breaths.
“What’s this all about?” Theo finally murmured, stroking Hermione’s hair soothingly.
“I’m not really sure,” Hermione replied. “He was…trying to tell me that he hasn’t been causing all the trouble we’ve been dealing with?” She wasn’t really sure that was what he had been saying at all. “I don’t know,” she continued. “Maybe that’s not right. I couldn’t really tell.”
Theo shook his head. “Let’s just forget about it for now, okay?”
Hermione smiled and finally met his eyes. She nodded. “Sounds great.”
Theo grinned back. “And now you can help me with my Defense Against the Dark Arts work, right?”
Hermione rolled her eyes playfully. “Of course.”
The next week passed faster than Hermione would have thought possible. She was distracted in classes, constantly thinking of the coming weekend and her date with Theo. What would she wear? Where would they go? So many questions rushed through her head. She deliberately kept pulling her mind back to the upcoming trip to Hogsmeade to avoid thinking about how strangely Draco was acting and why he would ever try to talk to her in the first place.
“Hermione?” Harry was waving a hand in front of her face.
“Huh?” Hermione blinked.
“You’d better get a good night’s sleep since you have your...uh, date tomorrow,” Harry said awkwardly. “Ron and I are heading off to bed.”
Hermione smiled. “Thanks, Harry,” she replied, standing from her place by the Gryffindor hearth and hugging him. “Maybe I’ll see you in Hogsmeade.” She hugged Ron as well and made her way out of the portrait hole, leaving her friends smiling behind her.
Wandering through the darkened hallways, she wondered how the next day would go. Did she want Theo to ask her to be his girlfriend? She wasn’t sure, but she did know that she was excited for their date.
She opened the portrait to the Heads' Dorms quietly and walked through the dark common room to her bedroom. Snuggling into her bed a few minutes later, she smiled happily. Tomorrow was sure to be a good day.
The next morning dawned bright and cool. Hermione was awake and out of bed before the sun had fully risen. She showered and pulled her hair into a ponytail before turning to the dilemma of what to wear to Hogsmeade.
I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard…she thought as she rifled through her wardrobe, discarding anything too fancy or otherwise inappropriate for the occasion. Finally, she settled on jeans and a scarlet sweater. She grabbed her quilted coat and hurried down to the common room where Theo was already waiting for her, dressed in jeans and a black coat.
“You look beautiful,” he greeted as she reached him.
Hermione blushed. “Thank you,” she murmured, taking his hand shyly. “Shall we go?”
Theo grinned. “Absolutely.”
He led the way from the common room and down to the entrance hall where Filch was checking off the names of students bound for Hogsmeade. Theo and Hermione joined the line, determinedly ignoring the whispered comments coming from those people who saw them together.
“Granger! Hey, Granger!” a voice shrieked behind them.
Sighing, Hermione turned to face Pansy Parkinson.
“Finally decided to ditch Weasley and go for a higher caliber wizard?” she taunted. “Though…Theodore, you shouldn’t dirty yourself touching a Mudblood like her. I thought you were better than that! What would your father say?”
Hermione stiffened, clenching her teeth and turning away from the venomous girl behind her.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart,” Theo murmured. “Nothing she says matters, you know that.”
Hermione nodded and they walked out onto the lawns together, not looking back at Pansy and her cackling friends.
In Hogsmeade, the streets were crowded with Hogwarts students and other shoppers, bustling to and fro.
“Where would you like to go first?” Hermione asked, smiling up at Theo happily.
“I thought I’d leave that up to you,” Theo replied. “You’re the lady.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “Would you mind if we stopped in the bookshop for a moment? I wanted to check if they stocked a copy of A Hundred Advanced Transfigurations…”
Theo smiled widely. “Lead the way!”
They walked hand-in-hand into the bookshop and made their way between the shelves in comfortable silence. A while passed before Theo spoke up. “Hermione?” he asked quietly, trying not to disturb her too much as she rifled through different books happily.
She looked up at him and smiled. “Yes?”
“Thank you for coming with me today,” Theo said, smiling back at her. “I’m really glad I’m here with you.”
Shyly, Hermione stood on the tips of her toes and kissed his cheek. “I’m really glad I’m here with you too, Theo,” she replied.
“You’re sweet to say tha—” Theo broke off, looking over her head to something happening in the street on the other side of the window. “What’s going on out there?”
Hermione turned to look out the window as well.
Across the street, Terrance Williams and Draco were standing toe-to-toe with their wands drawn, apparently shouting at each other. Shoppers on the street were staring as they passed by, obviously not wanting to get involved.
“Come on!” Hermione said urgently, hurriedly leading the way out of the store. They ran across the street, their footfalls heavy and deliberate, smacking loudly against the cobblestones. “What are you doing?” Hermione shouted angrily at the two boys as they reached the scene of the fight. “In the middle of Hogsmeade, really?”
Terrance hesitated, but lowered his wand first. “It was nothing, Hermione, don’t worry,” he said. “I’ll just be going now.” He turned to walk away.
“One second, Terry,” Theo said. “You’ll be okay here, Hermione?” he asked, looking at Draco suspiciously.
“I’ll be fine, go on,” Hermione replied, not taking her eyes off of Draco whose wand was still drawn. Theo nodded and followed Terry down the street a ways to where they could talk without being overheard.
Hermione turned back to Draco. “What were you thinking?” she asked sharply. “What was all that the other day about being committed to staying at Hogwarts?”
Draco clenched his teeth and closed his eyes a moment to compose himself, slowly pocketing his wand and straightening his cloak. “We had a disagreement is all,” he explained casually, not meeting Hermione's eyes. “Williams and I don’t see eye-to-eye on everything.”
Hermione shook her head. “There was no reason to draw wands, Draco,” she said exasperatedly. She wasn't going to say it aloud, but she had begun to hope that Draco was serious about what he'd said the other day...She had begun to hope that maybe he would change.
Draco only shrugged. “I’ll see you later, Granger,” he replied, shoving his hands in his pockets and walking away up the street, shoulders slouched.
Theo rejoined her a moment later. “Terry seems pretty bent out of shape. I guess what happened is that he and Malfoy ran into each other—literally—in Dervish and Bangs and got in some sort of row. They carried it out here to the street, and Terry shouted at Malfoy that ‘at least I won’t be worried if you threaten to kill me, as you couldn’t kill an unarmed old man.’”
Hermione winced, gritting her teeth angrily. She liked Terrance, but he was still a Slytherin at heart.
“So that’s when wands were drawn,” Theo continued, “and we broke it up after they shouted some more. Terry’s headed back to the school. He figures he should avoid Malfoy while they both cool off.”
Hermione nodded and stayed silent. Theo’s eyebrows knitted together. “C’mon, Hermione, let’s get a butterbeer and forget about all of this.”
Hermione smiled. “Good idea,” she said, taking Theo’s hand again and turning to head towards the Three Broomsticks, still deep in thought about Draco and Terry’s fight.
They hadn’t taken more than a dozen steps when screams split the air. Hermione's eyes widened, and she and Theo made a split second decision. Breaking into a run, they dashed down the street to where a man and woman were standing at the mouth of an alleyway. The woman was screaming and sobbing hysterically, pointing to something just out of sight. Hermione and Theo edged through the gathering crowd to see what was causing such an uproar.
“No!” Theo shouted, his eyes widening. He ran through the remaining people, pushing them aside roughly, and dropped to his knees. “No! Someone get Professor McGonagall! Get help! Please!”
Behind them, people were shouting for help and hurried feet indicated that someone had run to find some. Hermione felt tears well in her eyes as she stared down at the prone body of Terrance Williams.
Author's Note: So, I hope you enjoyed this! Was it a surprise? Do you have ideas about what happened? Let me know what you think! Reviews really only take a moment, and I truly appreciate feedback. Thank you for reading!
Also: If you have additional questions that you would like answered, please feel free to go to my "Meet the Author" page on the forums. There's a link on my author's page!
(edited as of 7-31-14)
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