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Behind These Castle Walls by If Only
Chapter 4 : Resolution
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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In life, people always tell us that we need to have a plan; a goal; we need to know where we’re going. But what if your only plan is to find a goal that’s worth living up to? Is that acceptable enough for people?


-If Only


 

The venue of the School New Year’s party was no doubt large enough for everyone to attend. It was clearly an understatement when Dean had mentioned that the party was to be a small one with close friends. You would have thought by looking around that the place would have been large enough for the whole of Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry to attend, but instead not even half of them made up the population of the party. Set in a large river side park, creatively named ‘The River Side’, tables and chairs dotted the landscape, draped in golden and silver fabrics that made the exterior shine as if each piece of furniture were a radiant star in the night’s sky. Reflected on the metallic drapery were thousands of dazzling lights that hovered above them by a couple of metres in all kinds of bright colours. The lights danced slightly in the night’s breeze, throwing colours around the entire venue. Besides the tables and chairs stood long buffets set on plastic tables, those too, covered with metallic cloths. There was a huge variety of food, giving off an amazing aroma to the place. The buffet made a small border between the land and the rippling water. Opposite of the food buffet, a stage was set up where the Weird Sisters sang boisterously, filling the air with music and random screeches of different kinds, they danced crazily about the stage, occasionally pulling up people from their audience to dance with them. The crowd was wild beneath them. Under multiple magically hovering disco balls, the guests danced and sang their hearts out to the barely understandable lyrics of the band.

Dressed in a shiny black dress that was tight around the breast and stomach with a lace corset, and that flowed out like a stream from her waist to just above her knees, with a pair of black heels on her feet, Hermione Granger stretched out a newly manicured hand to reach out for her third cup of fruit punch from the bar just next to the stage where the Weird Sisters sang wildly. After gulping down the punch and picking out the little dices of fruit with her fingers, Hermione joined Ginny and her friends on the dance floor, dancing drunkenly. A few moments after some upbeat dancing, the music turned slow as the Weird Sisters exited the stage for a break. All the girls clung onto the dates or boyfriends and swayed lightly with the music.

Trying not to make it obvious that she was without a date; Hermione snuck off the stage, grabbing another fruit punch on the way and sitting off to the side on a chair next to an open space of water. She sat alone, watching as Ginny and Harry danced with such ease, holding each other so lovingly. She began to sip on her drink as she realised how alone she was, she felt slightly empty. As she remembered Krum, in her fourth year of her education, she tried to remember how it felt to have somebody waiting for her company because that was what made them happy. Just upon thinking about the Yule Ball, a young man came to Hermione. Presenting his palm to her, he said in a slightly Irish accent: “Excuse me miss, would you care to dance?”

Hermione looked up to the man who had asked for her hand. He was dressed in a white suit and even though Hermione despised white suits, she thought it looked quite good on him. His blazer was opened, showing a black shirt, which he had buttoned up with the finishing touches of a bow tie. She smiled pleasantly at him, taking up his offer and placing her hand in his, he lifted her hand gently, walking her to the dance floor where he placed his arms around her waist and she laced hers around his neck. The two of them started to sway to the music and turning in small circles. At one point, Hermione saw Ginny who seemed quite glad that Hermione had found somebody and winked at her with a small smile. Hermione smiled back, turning to concentrate on her dancing as she was scared that she would ruin the moment with her drunken clumsiness.

A few slow songs played and Hermione danced with her partner who she was starting to see as quite an attractive young man. After they both decided to take a rest, Hermione led him to the table she was sitting at before, realising she hadn’t even introduced herself and neither had he.

“My name is Hermione by the way,” She said, smiling shyly.

“And mine is Murray,” He said, still with that husky, Irish accent that Hermione was coming to love. He smiled sweetly at her and they began to speak. She found out that he was from Ireland, coming to visit Dean’s family for a while as they were close family friends.

“...and I finished schooling just last year, but I’ve heard that you here have had it pretty tough with the war and all,” He said, prompting yet another subject to arise. Hermione found herself quite enjoying her night.

Murray told her that he could in fact, do the Irish jig, which she found herself wondering about. He showed her a little snippet of the traditional dance, which sent her into fits of laughter at a time. She laughed uncontrollably, unable to recondition herself and he soon followed suite, laughing deeply at how weird he must’ve looked at that moment. They laughed raucously together, before sliding into an awkward silence which was only the result of even more laughter.

 Finally, they silenced, together walking to the buffet picking out different pieces of food that looked appetizing to them. Murray pointed out a few Irish delicacies that Hermione was reluctant to try at first. He pushed one onto his spoon and held it near her mouth to try. She opened her mouth slightly, moving forward to scrape the bread pudding off of the spoon. Surprisingly, it tasted nice, the flavours all worked well, a few overpowering the others, but they worked together as if magic. She smiled up at him and he smiled back.

“Do you like it?” He asked modestly. She simply nodded in reply, her smile growing bigger.

“Good,” He said.

“Why ‘good’?” Hermione questioned innocently.

“Because I made it,” He grinned back.

“No way!” Hermione said, surprised, “But it’s so nice!”

“Now you’re just sucking up,” Murray smiled.

“I’m being serious, it’s delicious, and the flavours work so well together!”

“Why is it that you seem so surprised?” He chuckled light-heartedly.

“I guess I just didn’t think you could cook,” She answered honestly.

“Uh-huh, and that, Hermione is why you never judge a book by its cover,” he replied, still with his accent.

“I see,” Hermione said, “I guess I shall always remember that lesson,” she said, leading the way back to their table.

“And the mentor, I hope,” Murray said, quite flirtatiously.

“Of course,” Hermione replied with a small, angelic smile. She spooned up some of her lasagne, eating it quickly, all the while, hoping that she didn’t spill any food or make a fool of herself. The two ate, sparking up conversations and telling each other about themselves. Hermione told Murray about how she was a muggle-born, hoping deeply that that would not make him think any differently of her. But surprisingly, he didn’t seem to care, instead encouraging her to speak more of her world and her parents and differentiate her world from the wizarding world. He seemed interested and was always polite with her; Hermione began to really like him.

Not long after the meal, they stood up for another song and they danced together, frequently interrupted by other drunken dancers, but enjoying their time none the less. At the end of one of the songs, Murray led Hermione to a quieter spot, just next to the river’s edge. He bent down low, so that she could hear him.

“I have to go now,” He said. Hermione looked up, jutting her lower lip out, genuinely upset that he had to leave so soon.

“Already?” She asked, “It’s not even midnight,”

“But you see, I wasn’t planning on meeting such a beautiful girl today,” Murray replied with a sweet smile, causing Hermione to blush. She looked up at him not wanting to say anything in case she sounded too whiney and clingy; after all they had just met.

“Will I see you again?” He asked.

“I’m not sure,” Hermione answered genuinely. With school and exams and the pressure and responsibility of becoming a senior, would she really be able to see him again?

“Do you have a New Year’s resolution yet?” He asked randomly.

Hermione thought for a moment, “No, I haven’t thought of one that I agree of yet,” She answered honestly.

“Good, your New Year’s resolution will be to write to me every fortnight. It takes a while though – for the owls to ... deliver ... I’ll write to you then?” He tried to improvise.

“That sounds wonderful,” Hermione beamed happily. He smiled in return, he genuinely looked happy.

“Alright then, I guess owls would have to do for now,” He said.

“I guess so,” Hermione replied. A moment of silence passed, as they looked at each other, both remembering their night together.

“Hermione?” Murray asked quietly.

“Yeah?” Hermione answered, equally as quiet.

“You really made my night something special tonight,” He smiled a crooked smile.

“And you made mine surprisingly wonderful,” Hermione smiled, again a blush making her cheeks pink.

He bent down to kiss her on the cheek, which lingered for probably a bit too long. He then turned on the spot, walking a bit further from Hermione. He stopped, turning to look at her, giving her a small smile and then disapparated on the spot, leaving Hermione smiling at the empty air in front of her.

Hermione jumped slightly on the spot after hearing her name being called.

“Hermione?” A familiar voice called from behind her.

“Yes, Ronald?” She answered a bit dreamily, turning around to see the red head.

“Who was that guy?” He asked, with a tinge of jealousy in his voice.

“Oh just one of Dean’s family friends,” She answered, slightly annoyed that he may have seen the scene that had just taken place.

Ron nodded, “Okay, well it’s almost midnight, and I was just thinking if uh...If you would like to dance?” He asked shyly.

“Of course Ron,” Hermione smiled, walking to take his hand. He led her to the dance floor and they began swaying to the slow music. The music slowly merged together with the faster music, giving a smooth transition to the upbeat music. They began dancing wildly and were soon joined by Ginny and Harry. Harry led Ron off to the side where they got some beverages, sipping on them, while watching the others dance.

A loud voice spoke over the music, one of the Weird Sister’s band members began yelling out to everybody who was dancing. Slowly, the dancing came to a halt, as the music too, began to stop. All the guests listened intently to what was being said, and not soon after their speech, the boys had joined Ginny and Hermione and the countdown to the next day began, because a bunch of drunken girls had requested it, just for the fun of it.

“Twenty! Nineteen! Eighteen! Seventeen! Sixteen!” All the guests began to yell above each other, screaming their lungs out. Over all the chaos, Hermione heard her name being called from behind her.

“Hermione! Hermione!” the voice yelled out harshly. The crowd was now up to nine and the yelling became louder. Hermione looked behind her at Ron who was still calling out to her. She walked over to him and he looked quite embarrassed.

“I wanted to give you this,” He said, confusedly not holding anything or making an act of unveiling a gift.

“What is it?” Hermione asked loudly.

“...ONE!”

His lips came crashing down on hers and in her drunken state, Hermione kissed the red head back, not entirely in her right mind to know what she was doing nor evaluate if it was the right or wrong thing to do. His hand came to her face, cupping it tightly and holding it against his, and after a few seconds, he broke away from the kiss and started cheering with the rest of the guests, as if presuming that the whole situation was completely normal, that kissing your best friend randomly, right after seeing her with another guy that she obviously liked, was something that he did every day, just out of the blues...

Hermione stood there puzzled and befuddled, ‘what in the name of Merlin’s beard just happened?’ She thought to herself.

 

-::.*.*.*.*.*.::-

 

The sun was trickling through the curtains. I could feel it. I could feel the new light warming up my left foot that was randomly sticking out from beneath the crisp blue blanket. I stuck my hand out into the sunlight, wriggling my fingers, beginning to get the feeling back in them and I opened my eyes, uneasily, taking in the sun that was rudely intruding the room through the beige blinds, throwing rays of warm light throughout the room, over the closets and oddly strewn clothes and objects on the floor. This definitely has to be Ginny’s bedroom! I thought to myself. It simply was not as organised as my room and it was too ... Messy!

As I began to come in touch with my senses again, I heard Ginny’s voice from not far, probably just outside the door.

“Yes Mum, I’m going to check on her again! I’m sure she is not in need of Saint Mungo’s; don’t go to such drastic measures!” I was slightly befuddled and concerned, who would be in need of Saint Mungo’s? Who was even here that was a she?

I heard the wooden door slowly and slightly open, I wasn’t facing the door, so I didn’t see as Ginny crept across the small bed to where my head was currently resting.

“Hermione?” Her sweet voice rang through the room, a little too harshly.

I stirred slightly in the bed, even though I had been awake for a while now, I didn’t exactly want to get up just yet.

“Hm?” I moaned instead, opening one of my eyes.

“Oh, you’re awake.” Ginny smiled down at me. “Mum! She’s awake!” She yelled through the room, in the general direction of the door. Her voice was involuntarily loud, I was usually used to the loud Weasley house hold, but right now, I just felt as if with every yelled word, a pin was being stuck harshly into my brain, creating extreme pain.

“That’s good dear!” I heard Mrs Weasley yell from downstairs.

“Ginny! Don’t yell!” I moaned in a complaining tone. She laughed slightly, why was she laughing at my pain and discomfort?

“What time is it?” I asked, hoisting myself up on my elbows.

She turned around to look at the analogue clock hanging over her desk by the window.

“A quarter past ten.” She stated.

“What?” I asked surprised, opening my eyes to the full extent. “Are you kidding me?” Why was I still in bed at this time?

She laughed again, I felt like yelling at her, my head was spinning; drowning in the pain!

“Who is in need of Saint Mungo’s anyways?” I asked, getting slowly out of bed, even though with every move, my head hurt even more.

“No one now,” Ginny said. I looked up at her quizzically, “Mum was going to take you, but seeing as you’re up now –“

“Hold up,” I said, holding up my hand, “Why would I be in need of Saint Mungo’s?”

“Because you’ve slept passed your normal time and you know how Mum is,” she pointed out matter-of-factly. Maybe I did need some medical attention; my head was absolutely, positively, in such pain that it was almost unbearable.

“Oh and plus, you drank more than you ever had last night,” she added as if pointing out the obvious. I groaned, so that was what all this pain was about. I was hung over, I groaned again, why was I so stupid. I tried to remember last night. Murray, the Irish food, the Irish jig, the dancing, the countdown, the - ... oh dear, the kiss! As if Ginny was reading my mind, she answered my question.

“Yeah, you and Ron kind of – well you kissed,” She said, making a disgusted face at the thought of it.

 I sighed, deciding it was time for breakfast, walking out of the room, dragging Ginny behind me by her wrist. As I settled down at the table, Mrs Weasley came in with a letter addressed to me. I looked at it, seeing McGonagall’s cursive script, knowing that it was just the normal book and supplies list for the new school year. I opened it, intrigued by what we would have to get for the New Year. As I opened the envelope, two pieces of parchment fell out. One was titled New Years Book and Supplies List for Seventh Year Student – Hermione Jean Granger. I skim read the list, taking note of a few books I already had and mentally ticking them off. Then I looked at the other letter, I picked it up, opening it and reading the words that McGonagall had written.

Dear Ms Granger,

It is with great pleasure and pride that I announce and congratulate you on the wonderful achievement of becoming Head Girl for this year at Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry. Enclosed deeper in the envelope is the golden badge that has now become a part of your daily school uniform, which I am sure you will wear with great pride. With the responsibilities of becoming Head Girl, many other responsibilities will be left with you and the Head Boy to deal with. You will have different meeting and will have the task of organising many an event that I am positively sure you will do well.

As for the Head Boy, you will meet him only on Hogwarts Express in the Head’s Compartment, as is a tradition at Hogwarts. As you know your fellow Head will not be in the same House as you, so I leave you to guess away at that if you please.

Please remember for what values and morals you were chosen to become Head Girl and don’t forget that we have put much trust in you to help lead our school in the right direction. We hope this is of no deep pressure and also hope that you do your best at this newly given job, as we are sure you will, maybe you could even make it a resolution for the new year.

If you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Good luck and until you reach Hogwarts,

Yours Truly

Professor McGonagall

Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry.

I looked up to see many more faces than I expected, all I could manage to do was hold the letter to my chest and jump up and down, overwhelmed.

***

After a celebratory lunch, seeing as I missed breakfast all together, I skipped happily up to my temporary room to write a letter to my parents. I quickly rummaged through the draws of the messy desk in the room I shared with Ginny, until I found what I was looking for; a piece of parchment, an envelope, a quill and a bottle of ink, and so I set down to write.

Dear Mum and Dad,

I have some extremely exciting news to share with you and I am sure you will be happy to hear about this. Do you remember how over lunch a few weeks ago, I was telling you about the job of the Prefects and Heads at Hogwarts? Well guess what? I am now the new Head Girl of Hogwarts! That would be the equivalent of being school captain in any other school in England.

I also told you about how there was always a Head Boy and a Head Girl, but I’m not sure of who the Head Boy may be just yet, I only know that he won’t be from Gryffindor, whoever he is ... I swear to you as soon as I find out who the Head Boy is, I will let you two know right away, but that might be a while away when I’m in Hogwarts, as it is a Hogwarts tradition to find out who the other Head is on the actual train on the way to Hogwarts and obviously I can’t send an owl from a train!

I hope to hear from you soon and I really hope that you were as glad of that news as I am!

I love the both of you so much,

Hermione

I thought for a while of maybe sending a letter to Murray as well, but then remembered that he said he would send the first letter.

Before I finished, I remembered the time I had taught my parents how to send a letter by owl.

“So, you write the letter -“ I had begun to say.

“Can we type it up? Like on a computer?” I laughed, amused at my mother’s question.

“Whatever you would like to do Mother,” I smiled lightly.

“-When you have finished with the letter,” I continued, “put it in a an envelope,”

“Just any old envelope?” Dad asked, pausing from his writing every word I said on a paper. He looked up at me from across the dining table we were all sitting on, my mother, on my father’s side, nodded eagerly as if agreeing with his question. It was quite a scene, watching my parents peer up at me expectantly as they wrote down the steps of sending owl mail. They were both seated at the edge of their seats as if this was the most interesting thing they had ever learnt. Dad must’ve seen the bemused way I was looking at him because he then added sheepishly: “I just meant, would it affect the-the owl?” He tried to reason with me.

“No, Dad,” I said, “The type of envelope you use does not matter,” I finished, stifling a small giggle as my Dad wrote this all down hastily, before peering back up at me eagerly.

“So, as I was saying, you slip the parchment – or paper,” I added hastily, as my parents were about to ask, “you have to address the letter to me, so write the name and say if you’re sending it to me, you write ‘Hermione Granger, Hogwarts”. Now, if you don’t know where I am, it doesn’t really matter, you can just write my name.” I looked at the two of them, expecting them to be shooting questions at me, but Dad was too busy writing every word I said, and Mum was just looking up at me, nodding to say that they understood, so I continued. “Okay, so after you’ve done all that, you tie the letter to one of the owl’s legs and –“

“WHAT?!” both my Mother and Father erupted, looking at me as if I had just said something ludicrous. Their eyes were popping out and their mouths were hanging open in horror.

“I-Is that safe? W-Won’t it hurt the-the owl?” I laughed at my mother’s innocence.

“No, Mum,” I said between fits of giggles, “It’s perfectly fine, the owls are-are magical,” I reassured her, still unconvinced, she looked down, intertwining her finger on the polished wood of our table. She looked as if she had committed a crime, or was subjected to.

“Moving on,” I continued, never the less, “You can then tell the owl, to whom the letter is addressed to-” I was cut off yet again.

“What? You want us to talk to the owl? What do you think, we’re mad people? I’m not talking to an owl!” My Father said, defiantly, flailing his arms around and in the process losing the ball point pen he had been using.

“Dad, nobody will see you anyway,” I said convincingly...


Following my own instructions, I sealed my letter with a kiss and ran down to the kitchen where I found one of the owls and tied it to his leg. I gave him a little pet and fed him a small treat I found on the kitchen bench, before watching it fly through the unlatched window, leaving behind a simple beige feather, that floated slowly and unsupported to the grass outside...


Hey everybody thanks for reading once again! I really enjoyed writing this chapter and I’d really like to hear whether or not you enjoyed reading it (:

So tell me, how’s my story going so far? I was really nervous putting it up, but I have some pretty awesome viewers and reviewers so thank you guys so much for making my day! Let me just say criticism is welcome, welcome, welcome! Have any ideas? Helpful hints? Reviews? See that box below? It’s hungry so feed it with what you’ve got to say :D

Haha, thanks so much again! Hope you’re enjoying and until next update 

-If Only 





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