Chapter 7 : You値l pay for this, you値l all pay!
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Hermione was sniffling and tears were running down her face when Ginny caught up to her. The two girls walked in silence to the Gryffindor common room. Ginny didn't try speaking to her friend because she knew that she was distraught, and when Hermione Granger was distraught, you should be sure to give her a moment or two. Nobody wanted to be on the receiving end of her wand, which she had used so many times on Draco Malfoy in the past. If Hermione Granger raised her wand at you, you ran, and you ran fast. She fingered her 10-¾ vine and dragon heartstring wand before asking:
"Do you think I hurt him Gin? When I knocked him backwards?"
"Well, yeah, but not much, he did land on the couch, not like he was knocked into a desk or something," responded Ginny.
"Do you think he'll be okay?" asked Hermione after a short pause.
"'Mione, he deserved what he got. Besides, you didn't hurt him, I know that if you really meant him some kind of harm you would have used Oppugno like you did on my brother that one time," replied Ginny, trying to make Hermione feel better.
Hermione smiled at that, remembering the first time she had used the spell, she'd been talking to Harry after seeing Lavender and Ron snogging in the common room, the two had ended up in the same room as them and Hermione had taken her anger out on Ron.
Harry spun around to see Hermione pointing her wand at Ron, her expression wild: The little flock of birds was speeding like a hail of fat golden bullets toward Ron, who yelped and covered his face with his hands, but the birds attacked, pecking and clawing at every bit of flesh they could reach."
"I wouldn't use that spell on Draco, I didn't want to harm him... just cause him some sort of discomfort," said Hermione.
"Well, if you want, I mean, I could always go back and Bat-Bogey him," laughed Ginny.
Hermione just laughed and shook her head, and then the tears started pouring again.
"I-I just thought he'd changed! That he was a better person now. He's ridiculed me and my friends since first year! He bothered me because I'm muggle-born, but I thought that that didn't matter to him anymore. That he didn't care for the termination of all things not pure-blood. I mean, why would he fight for the light side if he actually believed in all the pure-blood supremacy nonsense. I thought he'd seen the error of his ways… b-but-" Hermione broke into a fresh batch of tears. "He's still the same arrogant jerk he always was! Thinking he's better than everyone who isn't a pure-blood, thinking that we're the dirt on the bottom of his shoe," cried Hermione.
"'Mione, I don't think he thinks like that anymore. I mean this is stuff that was drilled into him as a child, he can't just forget it, but I know he's really trying. I know he didn't mean to call you those things, he seemed genuinely remorseful after he'd said it," Ginny tried to reason.
"I-I know, but sometimes I just wish that I could hate him! It would be so much easier on me if I could. Maybe then two of my best friends wouldn't hate me for fraternizing with the enemy, and then everything would be normal, just like it's supposed to be. I wouldn't have all this drama around me. Gin, all this stress, it's really getting to me! I got an E on the last essay we did for Professor Snape, an E! I don't get E's! Oh, I just know it's going to bring my mark down, and then I won't be at the top of the class! Oh no, then Malfoy will be! He'll rub it in my face, and…and…GINNY! Oh, what am I going to do!" wailed Hermione.
Ginny, seeing that her friend was obviously in hysterics took charge. She swirled Hermione around and shook her by the shoulders so that she would stop freaking out.
"Hermione Jean Granger, you listen to me and you listen to me good. You are the smartest witch of your year for a reason. Quite possibly the smartest witch to ever walk the halls of Hogwarts. So you got one E on an assignment, that is not going to be the end of the world! You are intelligent and everyone stresses out now and then. You received 10 O.W.L.s, the highest number out of anyone this year. The only people to ever beat you are Percy, Bill, and Barty Crouch JR, and let's be real now, Crouch was a death eater who probably cheated. You are better than this Hermione, now stop beating yourself up over nothing. Draco is not going to rub anything in your face because it actually seems like he likes you," lectured Ginny, trying to make her friend see sense.
Hermione sniffed, "Well, he did say that he likes me back…"
"Wow, good to know what a friend you are, thanks for keeping that from me, Hermione, really, I appreciate it," said Ginny sarcastically.
"Oh no, Ginny! I just forgot, I didn't believe him when he told me you see. So I mean, I naturally just pushed it from my mind and forgot about it, you know I wouldn't withhold information from you Gin!" Hermione objected.
"Don't worry Hermione, I know you wouldn't. Calm down. But why didn't you believe him?" asked Ginny.
"Well, he just never mentioned it again, so I wasn't sure. I thought he was just joking around with me," admitted Hermione.
Ginny seemed to be deep in thought before asking, "You like him right?"
"Yes," Hermione confirmed without hesitation.
"I don't blame you, really," Ginny said. "I know he's a bit of a prat, but he's one good-looking prat."
Hermione was surprised at first, but then she felt tears start to form in the corner of her eyes. "But I don't want to like him," she admitted, clearly upset "He's Draco Sodding Malfoy, for Merlin's sake!" Ginny raised her eyebrows at Hermione's cursing; she's becoming a potty-mouth, she thought, but kept her thoughts to herself. Hermione's rant continued, her voice rising with every sentence. "I mean, this is the same guy who's made all of our lives hell for years. He's been so rude to me; he's always picking fights with Harry and Ron. He tried to have Buckbeak killed. He's acted like he owns all of Hogwarts for the past six years. He's insulted your family simply because you're not some crazy traditional pure-blood fanatic family. And he's just been such an arse for all my Hogwarts years!" The tears were running freely down her cheeks now. She hadn't cried this much in years. Even during the war, she kept her emotions in check, what was it about Malfoy that made her like this? What in Merlin's beard was wrong with her?
"Despite all that, you still like him don't you?" Ginny pressed.
"Yes, despite everything's he's done, I still like him, heck, I even forgive him for all the pain he's caused me and my friends over the years," sighed Hermione.
"That's because you know he's changed Hermione, you know he's a better person now. Your heart is telling you that he needs another chance," stated Ginny.
"But, I don't want to get hurt Gin, I don't think I could handle it. And this is Draco Malfoy, maybe you haven't heard, but he does have a reputation as a bit of a heartbreaker around here. The only girls he hasn't been with is us Gryffindor girls, but then again, I do think that Lavender has joined the group of Malfoy's Girls," added Hermione thoughtfully.
"You're right, we aren't Malfoy's Girls, but that's because we're better than all of those other girls. And to be quite honest with you, I think Lavender has too. But Draco won't hurt you, not intentionally, he seems to be trying, he's just a bit shy, all he needs is a push in the right direction - the right direction being you."
"Are you sure Gin?" asked a skeptical Hermione.
"I've never been more sure of anything," promised Ginny.
"Not even when you realized you don't love Harry?"
"Well... except that."
"Or when you realized that you want to play professional quidditch when you're done school?"
"Uh… that too."
"Or when you reali-"
"OKAY, I get your point, but I'm sure of this," interjected Ginny, "Trust me."
Hermione laughed and the two girls continued walking back to the Gryffindor common room.
"Oh hey! Gin, what was up with you and Zabini?" asked Hermione recalling the way the two were acting in the common room.
"Uhh, what do you mean?" stammered Ginny.
"Well, you guys were flirting the whole time," stated Hermione.
"No, we weren't!" Ginny squeaked, feeling the blood rush to her face.
"Really, because it seemed to me like you were," Hermione said with one eyebrow raised.
"Are you sure?"
"I don't believe you," Hermione stated, staring at her friend.
"Oh, uh, why is that?"
"Because you were flirting with him, he was flirting back, you're blushing all over and I've noticed you staring at him quite often. "
"Oh… well, when you put it that way…" Ginny mumbled.
"So do you like him?"
"Umm… maybe. A bit… No…Y-yes." Ginny stuttered before ducking her head so Hermione couldn't see how red she really was, red was really just not her color, what with having red hair and all.
Hermione squealed before hugging Ginny.
"I knew it! I knew it! I knew there was a reason for the excessive flirting going on! Why didn't you tell me?" scolded Hermione.
"Oh, well, see, I wasn't really sure, and I wanted to be sure I did actually like him... you know, before telling anyone," lied Ginny. Truth was that she didn't want anyone to know.
"Oh Gin, that's fantastic! Does anyone know?"
"No, and I plan on keeping it that way. It's one thing for you to like a Slytherin, but if Ron found out I did, ugh, he'd never leave me alone! I'd never have a peaceful day again," groaned Ginny.
Being reminded of Draco caused Hermione to start crying again. Though not as heavily as before, there were still tears being shed. She felt like the world's biggest 'cry-baby', she was crying over nothing! Yet, she couldn't stop.
"Oh Hermione! Stop crying please, I didn't mean to make you cry, and we're here now, you don't want anyone to see you've been crying do you? They will ask questions," said Ginny.
They stepped through the entrance to the common room and Hermione wiped her face with the back of the sleeve from her Hogwarts blouse. She looked up to see who was in the common room, and staring right back at her sitting at the couches in front of the fireplace were Harry and Ron: They'd seen her tears and her wiping her face. She looked at them before trying to walk past to the stairs that led to the dormitories.
"Hermione, we need to talk,"
Oooh cliffhanger! Kind of, who is it that that said they need to talk? Guess you'll find out in the next chapter Please Review! I know people hate reviewing, but it really does make an author happy to know that people like what they're doing. Thanks to everyone who's reviewed, and to everyone who's reading It's just a crush. You're all great!
Taken from HPwikia:
"The only known characters to receive all twelve O.W.L.s are Percy and Bill Weasley, and Barty Crouch Jr."
If you haven't yet noticed... I like to tell you where I get my facts from :)
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