Chapter 9 : The Strangest Advice
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Hermione managed to keep calm as she went down the stairs and into the kitchen but as soon as she hit the grass outside she began to run. She had never ran from anything before, she had always known it was a cowardly thing to do and she’d always forced herself to stay in every other case but now was different, now she felt like running and running and running. It was like a film she’d watched one summer holiday with her parents, Forrest Gump was what it was called, where the main character just got up one day and decided to run, he ran across the country several times and that’s what Hermione wanted to do now. The only difference was that Forrest Gump didn’t know why he was running, she did and it killed her, she was running away from her problems, away from her friends.
Hermione reached the brook that ran around the circumference of the Burrow’s land. Usually it was quite shallow, easy enough to cross, but today the water raged down the channel and it was impossible to reach the other side. Of course Hermione could have used a quick spell from her wand but the sudden barrier seemed to stop her need to get away in its tracks, instead she just crashed to the floor, crossed her legs and watched the water barrel past. This was something she knew about, she knew exactly how rivers worked, what magical creatures lived in them, what small things could change the entire flow of the river, everything, she knew it all and that was an extreme comfort to her, a small fact she could grasp on to and hold. Her mind needed that, needed something real, something solid, a true actuality to balance out the strange feelings and emotions that were barraging through her.
Hermione didn’t know what was real and what she’d made up from false interpretations. She’d never been that good at reading other people, only those she was close to and now even that had turned into a difficult task. Harry must feel something for her, that she had certainly deduced as the evidence was quite overwhelming, but what Hermione didn’t know was whether or not Harry felt strongly enough for her to leave Ginny, plus Hermione didn’t really know what her own feelings were towards Harry. She had kissed him and furthermore she’d actually enjoyed it, it had almost felt right, but that didn’t mean she felt something for him, not really. Ron’s reaction had broken her too, he’d not reacted as Hermione would have thought; he just seemed to accept it and looked disappointed, more with himself than anyone else. Did that mean Ron had expected it to happen, had known something was going on? Ginny’s reaction had also been quite shocking. Hermione had known Ginny for a while, would even go as close to call her the closest female friend she had, and she’d always known Ginny was strong-minded and short tempered, but not to the point of attacking Harry like she had done. What it really boiled down to was the fact that yes, she did like Ron; she loved him in fact, but that maybe she would be happier with Harry? Hermione didn’t know the answer to that though, she didn’t know what to think of it all, she couldn’t think anything else of it anyway as a body plonked itself down next to her.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” the voice sounded from her left side. Hermione looked across at the person who had joined her. It was Percy. His horn-rimmed glasses sat primly on his long nose and he held himself tall with his long arms wrapped round his knees. It took a moment for Hermione to bring herself to reply, his presence was just so unexpected.
“Yes, I guess so,” Hermione murmured, staring at Percy with a slightly open mouth, he turned to look at her.
“You are probably wondering why I came all the way out here, are you not?” Percy asked politely.
“Well yes, I must admit I am,” Hermione smiled nervously, it was quite odd to be alone with Percy, it had never happened before.
“Yes, I thought as much, to be quite honest I came to speak to you about Ron,” he smiled then turned his head back to the creek, Hermione followed his lead, “you see, Ron has still not quite forgiven me for what I did, he says he has but I can tell he’s lying from his tone of voice, and so I thought if I were to convince you that I were truly sorry then he would believe your word over mine, he is your boyfriend I understand?”
“Actually Percy, I don’t think I’m the best person at the moment, Ron and I have had… a falling out, if you could call it that,” Hermione mumbled so quietly Percy could only just catch it; she felt a lump build in her throat and she realised that she was upset, extremely so. She wouldn’t let herself tear up in front of Percy Weasley though, that would be rather embarrassing.
“I presume Harry Potter has something to do with your falling out Hermione,” Percy said. Hermione frowned. This was the first time she’d properly spoken to Percy and he had already determined what her problem was, it was quite odd.
“How do you know that?” Hermione asked, baffled.
“I noticed Harry and yourself blushing in the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom during Ron and Ginny’s argument, I could only assume from there but I believe my assumptions lead to truths?”
“Yes, they do,” Hermione said. She couldn’t speak properly; her throat seemed to have closed up.
“To say I understood would be a little far-fetched as I have only had one girlfriend in my lifetime and remained true to her throughout our relationship, but I would say to follow your heart, that would be the best way to make sure you were happy,” Percy said resolutely. Hermione was completely shocked. Percy Weasley, the aloof posh brother of Ron, was giving her relationship advice and actually making sense.
“I guess that does actually help Percy, thank you,” she frowned, still in a state of disbelief.
“You know Hermione, you and I, we aren’t that much different. You work hard and aim to achieve the best, I myself strive to do just that, in fact I plan to be the Minister of Magic someday,” Percy continued.
“Yeah, Ron may have mentioned that,” Hermione nodded, feeling her chest tighten as she said his name.
“Of course he will have done, I think I may have annoyed my family members to the point of no return on that point. Anyway, I believe you were chosen to be a Gryffindor Prefect like myself? I imagine it felt quite an honour, you revelled in the authority you had over others? I’d say you’d make an excellent leader Hermione, a brilliant head of a department in the Ministry at least. I don’t deny the fact that you most definitely would have been chosen to be Head Girl if you hadn’t decided to join Harry in his quest to defeat Voldemort,” Percy smiled, turning to look at Hermione again.
“Thank you Percy, I really appreciate that,” Hermione smiled.
“Anyway, thank you for that chat, I must admit I enjoyed talking to you, I hope to do so more in the future as you do seem to share the same wavelength as myself which is rare in this household. Remember to follow your heart though Hermione, I followed my head and look where that got me.”
Percy pushed his glasses up to sit on his nose correctly once again and stood before walking away, heading back to the Burrow. Hermione couldn’t help but watch him. He walked with an air of grace and stood straight like some sort of Royal. He was an odd man but Hermione seemed to agree with what he’d said, following her heart would be the best thing to do.
Hermione pulled herself up and dusted off her legs with her hands. She felt for her wand, it was still tucked in her coat pocket. She looked down at the raging water once again, took comfort and courage from its depths and then walked away, heading back towards the Burrow. She needed to go and find Harry and speak to him alone.
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