Chapter 3 : On My Side
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On My Side
After a long week of revision classes and pop quizzes Hermione was beginning to panic about who she was going to be paired with for her study partner. She knew her marks always ranked on the higher side of the scale, and she nearly always got the top marks in everything. The only other person who came close to beating her was Draco Malfoy and they had all the exact same classes together.
“I’m considering either pretending to be his friend or start pretending to fail” she announced as she munched on her cereal
“Well you only have one day left so I don’t think that’s going to work” Ron rolled his eyes he was sick of hearing her complain about Draco Malfoy all week. Between him possibly sniffing her, the fact he’s thinking about running for head boy and now this, he felt like if he heard his name one more time he might scream
“Relax Hermione, even if you are paired with him chances are he’s not going to force you to study with him you can just do your own thing, it’s not like we’re being marked on how well we study with someone it’s just a way of coping”
“Personally I think we should be paired with someone more intelligent than yourself to help you improve”
“That’s called a tutor Ron, and besides everyone has enough to worry about without having to teach someone something they should already know!” she was getting flustered as neither of them were giving her the response she wanted to hear “And what do you mean a way of coping? They’ve never needed this before” she snapped at Harry
“Well think about it, not to be morbid but there’s fewer students because of the war whether they’ve died or chosen not to come back having someone to even just study with might restore that sense of unity and friendship”
Hermione hung her head and shook it “I’m sorry” she’d never considered how people who’ve lost their friends and came back to Hogwarts must feel as she still had her two best friends
“I was being selfish, it is a good idea I never thought anyone else might need that kind of support because I still have you two” her eyes bean to well up but she tried to hold in the tears “When did you get so wise Harry?”
Ron put his arm around her and squeezed her in tightly “Don’t worry Mione even if you are paired with the ferret we won’t let him get to you, right Harry?”
Harry nodded his head and smiled but he was really wanted to say he didn’t think he’d have a go at Hermione considering how many times the three of them basically saved his life but he thought that there was enough talk of the war for that day. The three of them got up and began to leave the great hall for class along with several other students. Harry sped ahead to catch up with Ginny and avoid any more conflict of mind.
“Oh wait I forgot my journal I left it on the table” Hermione spun round to go and get her journal not realising how close the person behind her was. She smacked right into what felt like a solid wall, and worse yet tipped the bottle of water her was about to take a drink from all over her head and his chest. The cold water trickled through her hair and onto her face
“Draco sodding Malfoy watch were you’re walking” she said furiously through gritted teeth and pushed him back by the chest
“Oh no here we go” Ron sighed getting ready for Draco to kick off at her, he began to make his way over to her to back her up
Draco stood there looking down at Hermione who was now wiping the water off her face. It was only an accident Draco relax he thought trying not to lose his temper
“Sorry” he mumbled while pulling his wand from his pocket “Here let me” he raised his wand just over their heads “Siccitatis” and instantly the water dried off both of them
Hermione stood there in shock, one because he just said sorry to her and two because he just in some way helped her. Ron who was also in shock took her by the arm and led her away
“Did that just happen?” she asked in disbelief
“Yep” Ron replied equally as confused as she was
“And it was sorry he said, not mudblood”
“I think we need our ears checked”
“Damn it I still have to get my journal”
“Forget it Hermione that was just too weird” Ron grabbed her by the hands and pulled her down the hall at his pace to try and get to class quicker, he was starting to think Draco was just toying with them but she pulled her arm back swiftly
“Stop it Ron I need it” she stormed back down the corridor in the opposite direction to go back and claim her journal
Draco placed his wand back in his pocket and after checking that his jumper was completely dry. He glanced up to see Hermione basically being pulled out of the Great Hall by Ron
“What the hell was that” Blaise pushed hard him from behind
“What was what?” Draco spun round and clenched his fists
“You just helped that little swat of a mud blood”
“You can’t say that anymore” he whispered angrily at Blaise
“Say what? Mud blood? But she is and you know it”
Draco could feel everyone’s eyes shift to him and Blaise. He knew it wasn’t really acceptable to say mud blood anymore and especially not at Hogwarts
“Cool it Blaise” he glanced around him again hoping he could calm Blaise down
“Cool it?” Blaise pushed him by the shoulders then stormed out of the Great Hall bumping into several students along the way. Draco knew Blaise wasn’t going to go to class so he decided that, that might be the best place to go until both of them cool off.
Draco had figured Blaise was on the same wave length as himself when it came to blood status, that it no longer defined them as who they were, and that people were not going to sit back at watched when you dissed someone else’s blood status. Wasn’t that why he returned to Hogwarts?
He hadn’t noticed but Hermione Granger was following not too far behind him on his way to class, she had witnessed what had happened in the Great Hall when she returned for her journal and reluctantly had to go to the same class as him. Luckily there were other students darting through the corridors also. She still couldn’t figure out why he had been nice to her, twice now! Between helping her with her books and drying her off after she was the one to cause the mess, she figured he had to be up to something!
“Can I come in?” Draco lightly knocked his bedroom door and slowly pushed it open to find Blaise lying on his own bed flicking through a book
“It’s your room too” he said bluntly “No need to ask”
“Listen about earlier”
“I don’t wanna hear it Draco”
“Hear what? How you know it has to be?” he began to lose his temper but reigned himself back in “Blaise it’s not like it used to be, we’re not who we were anymore and certainly can’t say stuff like that”
“Why the hell not, Voldemort’s gone everything is as it was not that he has anything to do with it” he snapped the book closed and glared at Draco, his dark brown eyes were full of anger and his lips tightly closed
“Yes he is gone and so if everything he stood for and that is one of them, so it’s a touchy subject”
“I’m not surprised your parents left you” his lips turned up into a snarl almost “You just jump from side to side don’t you, whichever one has the greatest odds, I didn’t follow Voldemort and I had no intensions of it even when it looked like he had won, but you! You’re something else” Blaise was now standing in the middle of the room, his fists clenched, and his body rigid with anger
“Why are you so mad?” Draco asked calm as he could
“Because I feel like I don’t know who you are anymore” he walked towards the window with his fists still clenched he hadn’t planned on being so honest but it was better than getting in a fist fight
“I’m me, Draco Fucking Malfoy” he said sounding particularly relieved Blaise didn’t swing a punch
“No you’re not you haven’t been for a long time, our last year of school you were like a ghost drifting in and out with us, then you just disappeared until the day Voldemort died”
“You knew I left Hogwarts”
“Don’t, you barely kept in touch last year, and when I heard you were coming back here I thought we would be like we always were Malfoy and Zabini ruling Hogwarts”
Draco couldn’t find the words to tell him that yes he was different, that for the last year at school he was trying to kill their head master and his parents ripped him out of Hogwarts because Voldemort was residing at their residence and were barely coping and that he couldn’t care less about his blood status anymore, how him being a pure blood has only seemed to bring him bad luck, misfortune, ridiculous traditions and standards to uphold. How his parents abandoned him and Hogwarts was the only place he had to go, and how it felt like the only home he ever had. Instead he just left the room torn down inside, again, he felt as if he had somehow let Blaise down but he no longer had it in him mentally to be the Draco everyone once knew. He headed for the only place in the school he felt like he could think clearly, the astronomy tower.
Draco stood at the balcony and stared out blankly into the night sky, not quite sure what he was actually thinking as his mind raced over so many things he couldn’t keep a train of thought. A cool breeze brushed past his making his eyes water and his hair blow softly back. After a while he heard footsteps making their way up the stairs echoing through the domed room.
“Draco Malfoy?” a girl’s voice from behind him called out
Draco didn’t look back, he looked at his watch instead he was sure it was after hours and was going to have to sneak back to his room, but it was quite early
“Is that you?” she asked now fairly close to him.
He looked over his shoulder to see Luna Lovegood, someone he hadn’t been able to look straight in the face since she was locked in the dungeons of Malfoy manor. She stood next to him at the balcony
“I come here sometimes to see if I can see the Thestrals flying over the forbidden forest” she placed her hands on the ledge and leaned over to look down onto the courtyard “Not many students could see them before, but now most can after the war, sad isn’t it?”
Draco looked over at her baffled that she was just standing right beside him talking to him as if they had been friends before
Luna could sense he was confused and slightly tense and didn’t have to pretend to know why
“I don’t blame you, if that’s what you’re thinking” she turned her back to the ledge and leaned against it “I know your parents were the ones who made that decision, you know to hold me captive because I’m friends with Harry Potter”
Draco sunk his head into his hands and ran his fingers through his platinum blonde hair, he had no words, something that seemed to be happening a lot lately
“It’s pretty unfair actually, I could see you didn’t want to be there, you must really love them” she looked over at Draco who was back to staring out into the night and decided that maybe she should leave
“Watch out for the Thestrals” she called back as she headed down the stairs
Draco swallowed a lump in his throat how was it that this girl who was tortured in his home before his own eyes could say something like that, and his best friend can’t accept him for who he is? He tried his best not to cry but a few tears escaped his eyes and rolled down his cheeks. He wiped his face and decided to go before it was after curfew. Just before he turned round a Thestral soared from the dense mass of trees below and sailed across the clear night sky. He smiled to himself and though maybe someday he could feel that free.
Over lunch the next day Hermione furiously flicked through pages and pages of several different books, scrillbled furiously in her journal and barely touched her lunch. All her fussing about was distracting for everyone who was trying to use their lunch time to squeeze in some extra study in case another surprise quiz was about to happen. It was a long tiring first week back at Hogwarts but nobody seemed to mind.
“Hermione for Merlin’s sake sit still” Harry taunted his friend finding a strangle pleasure out of watching everyone cram as much knowledge into their heads as mentally possible, he was just glad pop quizzes were the only worry any of them had!
“Harry it’s D-day and by D-day I mean Draco day as in I’m going to be his study partner!” Hermione couldn’t of cared about any more quizzes she had bigger issues, so she thought
“Hermione let it go you might not be, and by the sounds of it even if you are at least he’s being nice”
“I’ve come to the conclusion that’s because he wants to run for head boy”
“I agree” Ron stuck his head between them “That little ferret would try anything”
Harry rolled his eyes as he turned his back to his friends to pack his bag. He was trying to remain neutral, he wasn’t Draco’s friend but they were at peace with one another and he also knew he had no one worthwhile on his side, especially since him and Blaise had the blow up the day before but at the same time he could see it from Hermione’s point of view and why she was so unwilling to give him a chance.
The trio were talking advantage of the prefect room’s peacefulness as were several other students. There was a soft murmur of students chatting and rustling about but it was still quieter than the Great Hall, first years were more annoying than they had ever seemed any previous year, and Harry, Hermione and Ron could do without the ou’s and ah’s every time they walked passed one. Luna Lovegood waltzed in humming the Hogwarts school song rather loudly she waved at the trio as she walked passed their table and took a seat two tables down with some other Ravenclaws
“Bloody hell she’s annoying” Ron whispered
“Leave it Ron she’s ok” Harry defended he had grown to be quite fond of Luna
“What’s with you Harry you don’t have to defend everyone you know!” Ron jeered “Besides she’s not even a prefect what’s she doing in here”
“No I don’t feel the need to defend everyone, just those who have no one else to defend them, and Ron if you haven’t noticed I’m not a prefect either” Harry began packing his things into his bag he was annoyed at how childish Hermione and Ron had been acting the last week
“Oh yeah! Sorry Harry” Ron mumbled, he was never very good at apologising
Just as Harry was about to leave Draco Malfoy walked through the doors and right up the middle of the room, a piece of parchment in his hand, and a determined look on his face as he approached the large locked wooden box at the top of the room labelled “Head Boy/Girl submissions” he stood right in front of it and then looked at the piece of parchment in his hand, which was unnoticeably shaking to the human eye but he could feel the tremors
“He’s not actually going to run for head boy is he?” Hermione meant to whisper but ended up blurting out quite loudly
Draco froze on the spot, he knew it was Hermione who said it but he didn’t turn round to confront her, instead he just remained frozen on the spot. A few people giggled at Hermione’s snide comment, a first for Miss Granger, which she decided to play upon
“Like honestly that’d be a first an ex-death eater as head boy” she said very condescendingly. She was pleased when a few more people laughed but not as many as she hoped
“Bloody Hell Hermione” Ron whispered now a little uncomfortable with the whole situation “I’ve never seen you like this, you’re starting to remind me of Prissy Pansy”
A wave of shame washer over Hermione as Draco dropped the piece of parchment of the floor and bolted out of the room, not quite the reaction Hermione was going for she thought he’d at least defend himself. She looked over at Harry who was now almost at the door he shook his head in disappointment, like a father would to his child. A knot of guilt tied itself around Hermione’s stomach as he turned and walked away.
“What have I done Ron?”
“Nothing that git deserves everything he gets if you ask me”
Usually Ron agreeing With Hermione cheered her up as Harry never seemed to anymore, but this time it was different she knew Ron was just trying to keep her Happy. He may not like Draco either and called his many names and always agreed with her but she realised right there his answers were always vague and she was the one who started giving out nine times out of ten
“Answer me honestly Ronald, you agree with Harry don’t you”
Ron began to fidget in his seat “Well I don’t know”
“Ron please” she caught his eyes and pleaded with hers he knew he had to answer her seriously
“Well you needed someone on your side didn’t you” it was the nicest way he could think of putting it.
Hermione lunged forward and hugged him tightly “Thank you Ron, I’m going to have to apologise aren’t I?” she knew he was on her side for all the wrong reasons but she still appreciated it he stood by her when Harry wouldn’t even if Harry was right at least she had someone backing her up, unlike Draco but she was too conflicted to see that right there and then.
Ok so another chapter done! I thought I’d leave you in suspense as to who gets paired with who! Please, please, please review!! I really appreciated the reviews I got already, a great insight to things I never even noticed that I intend to keep up! I want the good the bad and the ugly it all helps!
You are the most important part of the story so keep reading and reviewing!
Oh and I’m DustAuror22379 on POTTERMORE! (Finally open!!) So add me please! I got into Slytherin was so exciting!
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