Chapter 6 : Gossip
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Thanks to Angel_Speaks @ TDA for the wonderful CI! :)
I walked down the long corridor to Potions, with my books levitating next to me. I leisurely strolled into class, about 5 minutes early, receiving a look from Snape. I was late most of the time, so my being early was apparently suspicious.
Granger was sitting in the front of class, as usual, with her books organized and her ingredients set up nicely. I sat in my chair in the far back, so I didn't have to pretend to pay attention to class. Weasel and Pothead walked in together, about 2 minutes before it started. Potty took the seat next to Granger, while Weasley muttered something under his breath and went and sat by that gossiper girl, Lilac or something. That girl drove me insane. She was the one who first started the rumor that Pansy and I were dating. As soon as Pansy heard, of course she started playing the part of my girlfriend , however much I said I hated her and to PLEASE remove herself from my arm. Now everyone assumed we were together, all thanks to the Gryffindor Gossip Girl. Lavender, that's what her name was. Lavender. I hated her for what she did to my image. A Malfoy would never be seen with someone as low-class As a Parkenson; everyone knew they were only a step above blood-traitors.
Class started quickly. I dazed off, going over many conversations with Granger in my head. None seemed at all realistic, or ended badly. Finally I just gave up. I started to pay attention, or more honestly I decided to watch her make potions. She had a vey organized way of doing everything, from counting snake fangs to adding Billywig Juice.
I decided to just wing it when I talked to her. As the bell rang, I hurried out of the classroom with my books. I had to get to my next class quickly, in the hopes of catching her alone. Somehow my luck was high, because I ran into her in the hallway. Literally, ran into her. Her books fell to the ground as she cursed me.
"Malfoy! What the ruddy hell!" she exclaimed loudly.
Then she stopped to think. I watched her slowly glance around down the hall. All was clear.
"Granger. Hermione. I need to talk to you." I stated quickly and awkwardly.
She shook her head. "Not now you idiot, I'll be late for class!"
I smirked. That was the Granger I knew and... knew. "Tonight in our common room, then. After dinner."
She glanced around furtively and nodded, then left.
I sighed. Hermione was just so... Hermione. She was a bookworm know it all. But I liked that? I was starting to think that I was the one who changed, not her. I
I was jogging quickly to my next class, Muggle Studies, as I ran into Malfoy. Perfectly graceful, I dropped my books and fell to the floor. I gasped, sure that Ginny or Harry were behind me.
"Malfoy! What the ruddy hell!!"
His eyes followed my movements intensely. It was almost like he was trying to see through me. It was scary. I glanced around the hall, checking for anybody who would tell anybody. He half-smirked at me as I nodded at him to continue.
He cleared his throat and spoke, "Granger. Hermione. "
I recorded the moment In my mind. It was the first time he had said my name when he was talking to me. I caught something about talking, and foresaw a long conversation.
"Not now you idiot, I'll be late for class!"
He smirked at me and told me to be at our common room after dinner. I nodded and left.
My Muggle Studies class was slow and uneventful. I had to do a 2-foot essay on the uses of a oven, which I had been using since I was about 3. I had finished most of it in class. My day was otherwise normal, except for my TA Transfiguration class.
As the Head Girl, I was the Teachers Assistant in my head of house's class. I was helping first years turn a flower into a brownie. Unfortunately, I got Transfigured by a slower Hufflepuff girl into a part chocolatey and part petaled thing. It took several minutes for Professor McGonagall to change me back. I smelled like dark chocolate for the rest of the day.
Dinner was interesting. I got a lot of comments on my chocolate 'perfume', and I received many intense looks from the Slytherin Prince. The way his eyes drilled into mine made me wonder what he had in store for me tonight. Ginny caught on to the fact that I wasn't ENTIRELY focused on my food. She tried to see what, or who, I was looking at, but I quickly focused on any non-Draco thing I could find. My attention flitted to Lavender and Parvati gossiping away 4 spots down.
"....And she's such a bitch too. Did you hear she turned down Ronald? Twice!"
"I heard she blasted Krum, and tried to make it look like Ron did it! Like he could ever do that!"
That was when I realized they was talking about me. I had never heard myself been gossiped about before, and it hurt. I knew by next week, that would be all anybody would talk about. It was intense. I felt like I was burning, as if I had actually done any of that crap. I quickly stood up and left. I had no patience for bull shit today.
I ran down the corridors, dodging students and ghosts, trying to make it to my dorm before the burning shame would consume me. I made it barely in time, with enough to spare to make it into the bathroom and splash my face with water. I heard a series of knocks on the door. It was Draco.
"Granger? You okay?" he asked in a bit of a worried voice. He paused for a second, and I imagined him smirking. "I'm sure Potty will be fine, he's a big boy. This is just another chance for him to live up to his 'I'm the best ever' ego. That IS what this is about, right?"
I shook my head, then answered with a faint no as I realized he couldn't see my head shake. He opened the door slowly.
"Then what IS this about?"
"Nothing. Not important. "
He came over towards me and wrapped his long Seeker's arms around me. "Of course it's important. Tell me. "
I shook my head and stated in a quiet voice, "Lavender and Parvati. They were talking about me. They were wrong. "
He looked at me funny, squeezed me tighter, and murmured something about they were always wrong. He leaned back against the wall, taking me with him.
Thinking about it, he really was very nice-looking. his ice blond hair had a tousled appearance to it, which made his grey eyes stand out a mile. I could feel his strong Quiddich muscles through his shirt, and his arms held me tightly. He was tall, but not as gangly as Harry or Ron. I was rather attracted to him, if I was honest. Admitting that to myself made me wonder if he liked me back. Was it possible? He was sure affectionate for a Slytherin enemy. I was trying to gather my thoughts as he slowly set me down on the cold floor.
"I'm sorry. I really am. Those bitches don't deserve to be in Gryffindor. They don't deserve to be in Hogwarts. They should be mutes. Forever."
I winced. That was harsh. Something in his voice spoke to me of previous vengeance. I shut my thoughts out as he kept talking.
"She--Lavender--was the one who spread the rumor that Pugsy and I were dating. All false. As if a Malfoy would EVER date a Parkenson! Pansy caught on to the story they were spreading, and decided to play along. It would raise her status in Slytherin, and I would have to go along with it or go to the dance alone, and that would hurt my social standings worse than any date. You know how the Ball went. I have a personal vengeance against Lavender, a reason for revenge. Hearing what they were saying about you just makes it worse. When her time comes, I swear she will be sorry."
I leaned forward and gave him a hug, before I knew I moved. I was shocked at how my fellow Gryffindor had behaved, but more so at the rage in Draco's voice. He wasn't just mad, he was consumed. I had to distract him, preferably quickly.
"So what did you want to talk about earlier?" I asked hurriedly.
"This," he said simply, beckoning at our entwined bodies. He pulled me closer to him, squeezing me tightly against his body again. There was no fighting against his embrace, even if I had wanted to. He started again with his explanation.
"I don't know what we have. I only know the facts. We are more than just Heads who are forced to work together; we are more than just ex enemies." I winced when he said that. I knew how much I had hurt him with just that careless comment.
"Hermione, we have something. I don't know how you feel about me, but I know when you are sad it makes me upset. When I watched you get shunned and ignored by your 'friends', I was ready to hurt them. I considered eating lunch with you more than once, at the Gryffindor table. I like you, a lot. I want to be friends. I want to be more than friends. I like you, a lot. Hermione, now you know." He blinked and loosened his grip on me, as if allowing me to escape if needed. I threw my hands around his neck and hugged him tight. "Draco. We are friends. Already. I like you. Already. Thank you."
Upon hearing my words, he hugged me, squeezing the breath out of my lungs until I was sure I would burst. He somehow got us standing up, and walked with his hand around my waist into our common room.
"What. The. Bloody. HELL! Get OFF of her!!!!"
My brain went into overdrive to come up with a quick excuse for this
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