Chapter 3 : chapter three
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No, I didn’t want to think about those things, I berated myself. But suddenly, that was all that I could think about. I pictured Ron and Lavender in a passionate embrace, their hands both wandering over each other’s bodies like I had witnessed in the room of requirement. Their movements were frantic, as if they needed each other, and I guess in a way they did. Ron would be the dominate one, I had decided, and would easily overtake Lavender and would quickly turn things from a passionate embrace into a more heated and aggressive one. There would be no space between their bodies as they clutched to each other and began to explore the other’s body more intimately.
I wondered what it would be like, to get kissed like that, with so much passion and aggression, and to have someone pull you closer to them and want to touch you all over. How would it feel to completely lose control over your body and submit to your emotions? Would I even be able to let someone to be dominating over me, to follow their lead in the moment of desire and lust? Or would this too be another area that I had to take control of? Could I ever be as carefree as Lavender had seemed when Ron kissed her? Honestly, I wasn’t sure that I was capable of it, after all, letting go and not over thinking things were not strong points of mine.
It was that thought that made me realize that that was exactly what I was doing, over thinking things. What Ron and Lavender did, or do, should not be my concern. Even if Lavender makes it a point for everyone to hear all of the sordid details, it wasn’t like I had to listen in on it. And who knows, maybe last night was just a one night thing for the both of them and Ron would be ready to tell me how stupid he had been last night to wind up with a girl like Lavender. Maybe he would admit that he should have been with me last night instead.
That had to be it, I decided, as I finally got out of bed and began to get ready for breakfast. Ron would be ready to apologize to me at breakfast about his stupidity and I would accept, telling him that it was all swept under the rug. Maybe he would even ask me to go with him to the Hogsmeade visit this next weekend. I smiled and sort of skipped out of the room, ready to face Ron and get the events of last night pushed behind us.
Of course I was completely ready to do that until I entered the Great Hall and found Lavender Brown perched in my usual spot next to Ron. If they had decided that things were better off left to just one night, then why was she sitting there as close to Ron as she could without actually sitting on top of him? He didn’t seem to be telling her to move over, though he also didn’t seem to be conversing with her. Instead, he was shoveling food into his mouth as if it would disappear if he didn’t eat it fast enough. You would think that after six years he would realize that as long as people were there eating, the food would just keep appearing, but I guess not. Maybe Ron was just being polite and would tell Lavender later that things weren’t going to go any farther than they had last night. Either way, I slowed down, but still continued making my way over to my spot, thinking that maybe Ron would move over to make room in between him and Lavender for me to sit. I stood behind them for a moment, waiting for someone to take notice that I was there, but when no one did, I cleared my throat to catch their attention.
“Oh, hey Hermione,” Ron said as he turned in his seat to look at me. I silently pleaded in my head for him to move over but instead he turned back to his food and continued to shovel it into his mouth. I sighed, and walked around the table to sit next to Harry who had moved over slightly to give me room.
“How was the rest of your night?” Ron continued, in between bites of food, as I sat down.
I decided not to answer him, and instead turned to Harry. “Hello Harry. Did you have a good evening?”
“Um, yeah it was alright Hermione. How was yours?” Harry asked back, even though we both knew that the evening had sucked for both of us.
“Oh, you know, it was alright. I went to the library and did a little bit of homework but other than that it was nothing special,” I responded, making sure to glance at Ron when I said that it was nothing special.
“My night was pretty good as well,” Ron tried to throw in but I continued to ignore him and instead began to pile some food onto my own plate.
I could tell that he was confused about what he had done to merit this type of behavior from me and I was honestly glad that he didn’t know that he was at the root of my problems. Well, him and Lavender. He kept giving me glances throughout breakfast but I wouldn’t make eye contact with him. It hurt too much right now, and the fact that Lavender would swoop in and kiss him randomly did not make it any better.
Just as I was about done with breakfast, I noticed Draco get up from his spot at the Slytherin table and begin to leave the hall. There was something about last night that still didn’t seem to sit quite right with me and I decided to follow him out, hoping to find out more about why he had been there. He was only a few paces ahead of me so it wasn’t hard for me to catch up to him.
“Malfoy,” I called out as I closed the space in between us.
“What do you want Granger?” he asked as he stopped and turned around to face me.
“I-,” I began, not knowing exactly how to ask him my question so instead I went for something else. “I just wanted to say thank you, you know, for not saying anything about last night.”
“What about last night? I already told you Granger, last night never happened so there was nothing for me to say.” He turned around and began to walk away.
“Why were you there Malfoy?” I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.
Draco turned on his heel and headed back over to me, a glint in his eyes. “Let’s get something straight Granger, when I said that nothing happened last night that means that nothing happened last night. However, I am more than willing to tell everyone how you made a complete fool of yourself drooling over the Weasel king, as he shacked it up with some other girl. Makes you sound rather pathetic doesn’t it? Then again, what am I saying, you are nothing more than a pathetic Mudblood.” At that he left, and I made no attempts to stop him as the sting of his words coursed through me.
There was definitely something more going on with Draco Malfoy and I was determined to find out what it was. He always seemed to use threats the most when he felt insecure about something, like any bully does, and I wanted to know what was throwing him off balance. It couldn’t help that his father was currently locked away in Azkaban for the events that had happened at the Ministry at the end of last school year, and Christmas was only a month and a half away. That would definitely put a damper on things, but I couldn’t imagine that that was the source of his problems. I would imagine that having Lucius locked away in Azkaban would be as much of a relief to Draco and his mother as it was for the rest of us. Could it be that Harry was right, that Draco was now a part of the Death Eaters? It would certainly explain his deteriorating state since we’ve returned to school.
“Hermione,” someone said, jarring me out of my thoughts. I turned to see who was calling for me and realized that it was the least person I had wanted to see right now, Ron. “Listen, about last night-“
“I don’t want to hear it Ronald,” I sighed, turning away from him.
“There’s something you should know,” he continued, and I stopped in my tracks, hoping that he was going to admit that it had been a mistake. “If I’d have known that you were there, in the Room of Requirement that is, well, I just want you to know that if I had known, I wouldn’t have taken Lavender there.”
And just like that, I was crushed flat. He wasn’t telling me that being with Lavender was just a spur of the moment thing but instead that he was sorry he had taken her to the same room I had run off too. But that wasn’t even the worst part. No, what he said next took me completely by surprise.
“I mean,” he said, his face suddenly flushing a brilliant shade of red, “if I would have known that there was someone else there with you, we would have left you two alone, to do whatever it was you were doing.”
“What?” I asked. What did he mean that if he had known I was meeting someone there he would have left me alone? And just what did he think I was doing with this other person?
“Last night, before I left, I could have sworn that I saw movement from the far corner. You know, you didn’t have to hide him from me, it’s not like I’m going to tell people who you are shacking up with.”
“I’m not shacking up with anyone Ronald!” I screeched at him, my face flushing at his insinuations.
“Oh, well that’s good.”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Geez Hermione, what’s got your knickers in a twist? It didn’t mean anything.”
“What didn’t mean anything Won-Won?” came Lavenders voice as she approached the two of us.
“Nothing,” he said as he let Lavender pull him away from me.
I stood there for a moment longer, still confused about the events that had just happened. Honestly, what had happened? Did Ron seriously accuse me of sleeping with someone? And to make it worse, the person that he thought that I had shacked it up with was Draco Malfoy. Not that Ron knew who was hiding in the corner of the room the night before. But that didn’t matter; he still thought that there was someone that I had snuck away from the Gryffindor party to go meet, and with a girlfriend like Lavender, I didn’t know who was going to find out.
I looked around quickly, trying to see if anyone had overheard my conversation with either Draco or Ron but everyone seemed to be going about their own business. I sighed in relief and began to make my way back to Gryffindor tower to grab my school books. Last night I had told Parvati that I had been in the library studying, and while that had been a lie, it had been true when I told her that I had thought of another bit of information I wanted to add to my essay for Professor Slughorn.
The hallways were bustling with people that morning, most bundled up to enjoy the warm winter day with their friends, homework a far thought from their minds. Others however, had the same idea as me, and carried stacks of books towards the library to finish the homework that they pushed off until the last minute. It was a wonder to me how they could push their homework off every weekend without a bother and then rush to finish it on Sunday. There was no way that they could get in nearly enough information with only a few hours to satisfy the requirements. I usually revised each essay set at least three times to make sure that I had answered the question fully, and with each revision I found myself remembering another detail that had been left out. So surely if even I left something out after hours of work and three revisions, that meant that their essays would be nowhere near perfection.
The common room was pretty much empty, only a few people scattered about the room playing Exploding Snap or Wizard Chess. Ron was perched at his usual Sunday afternoon spot, challenging Neville to a round of chess. I watched as a one of his pieces slid across the board and knocked out one of Neville’s pieces, I still thought that the game was barbaric. Lavender was the only one from the table to notice as I walked by them, Ron and Neville both deep in thought about their next movements. She shot me this sort of smug smile before leaning in closer to Ron, running her hand through his hair. I watched in amusement as Ron knocked her hand away as one of Neville’s pieces knocked out his own and he leaned in closer to the chessboard looking over the situation.
My books were still packed away in my bag next to my bed, I had been planning on doing my homework last night, until my night had taken a detour to the Room of Requirement. I didn’t like the fact that I was now one of the many people who had waited until the last minute to finish off my essay. It was a strange feeling to know that my essay still needed some revision on a Sunday afternoon. Usually my last revision was completed on Friday night so that I had all weekend to read ahead on the next lesson. Now I wasn’t even sure if I would have the following day’s material completed, and it left a slight unease in my stomach. How would I be able to answer the Professor’s questions if I hadn’t properly revised? And what would that do to my grades? I was currently at an Outstanding in almost every class, receiving only an Exceeds Expectations in Defense Against the Dark Arts and Arithmancy. I couldn’t afford to have any of my other classes drop down to an Exceeds Expectations, because that would be anything but acceptable to me.
I stalked into the library, both annoyed with my confrontation with Draco and Ron, and the turn my thoughts had taken. Having not one, but two, Acceptable scores was a bit of a sore spot with me and just merely thinking about it set me on edge. I set my books down at a far corner table, most of the others already taken, though it seemed like few were actually doing any work but instead, discussing the newest gossip going around Hogwarts. It seemed like everyone else though that the personal lives of others were much more important than making sure that their homework was completed for the next day. That was, everyone except for one small table a little further back than my own, were all caught up in gossip. The two at the small table seemed to be much more interested in each other than anything else, and I gasped as I realized just who the two students were.
Draco pushed himself back from Pansy and whispered something to her before turning to the books on his table and began to scribble away at his parchment. Pansy looked defeated as she sat back in her chair and looked around the room. When her eyes met mine however, a mischievous glint came into her eyes. I watched as she leaned into Draco and whispered something into his ear. His head snapped up from his homework and looked over to me, a calculated grin spread across his face. They stood up and made their way over to me, Pansy dancing in excitement at whatever it was they were going to do.
“Like what you see Granger?” Draco asked as they came to a stop.
“I don’t know what you mean Malfoy,” I scoffed trying to play it off.
“You really must get a thrill at watching people. First it was Weasel and Brown and now me and Pansy. What would people say if they knew that the golden girl was actually a peeping tom?”
“I was not watching you. I was merely glancing around and I happened to see you two do whatever that was.”
“It was called kissing Granger, not that you would ever know what that is. Who would want to kiss a pathetic Mudblood like yourself?”
Pansy cackled next to Draco at his insults. They thought that they were so clever, coming over here and insinuating that I enjoyed watching them. There was only one problem with their plan; Draco wasn’t holding all of the cards. I had a secret of his that he didn’t want anyone to know; it would be a shame if I happened to let it slip now with Pansy standing right next to him.
I shot him a smirk of my own before responding. “You know Malfoy, it’s funny that you mention how sick it is to watch someone because I seem to recall that I wasn’t the only one doing the watching last night. So really, if anyone is a peeping tom, that would be you. Casting a disillusionment spell on yourself and hiding away in a corner of the room, not making any effort to leave, it’s almost like you were hoping that something would happen.”
His face turned a dark shade of red and he balled up his fists before slamming them down on the table in front of me, causing my organized piles to slide into each other. I could feel my heart racing furiously inside my chest, and for the second time in two days, I was honestly afraid of what he would do. At first, he didn’t do anything, he just glared at me, but then he stood up and began to walk away.
“Come on Pansy, there’s no point in sullying ourselves with the likes of the her.”
Pansy turned and began to follow after Draco, calling out behind her, “You’ll get what’s coming to you, Mudblood.”
I let out a breath that I had been holding since Draco’s fists hit the table, and rustled my parchment back into their places on the table. He was just trying to rattle me, and I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of knowing that he had managed to do so. I dipped my quill into my unstoppered bottle of ink and began to write away, letting the familiar task comfort my still racing heart into a normal pace.
AN: Here is the edit for Chapter Three! I hope that you are enjoying this story! A huge thanks to Dee (HeyMrsPotter) and Infinityx for your help with this chapter! Also to everyone in my Camp NaNo cabin, all the races and encouragement has really helped me along! Don't forget to leave a review!
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by Ben Hallport