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Chapter 17 : Chapter 17
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Hermione woke up and sighed to herself. She got up and walked into the bathroom without disturbing her roommates. She took a long hard look at herself in the mirror and shuddered at the sight of her reflection. She had large dark bags under her eyes and her eyes were red and puffy presumably from crying so much. She decided a hot shower would make her feel better. It was then she remembered it was a school day and so she double checked her watch.
“5:00 am?” she breathed to herself and shook her head. Had she slept at all? George had come down around 2:00 am and by the time she’d gotten back to her bed it must have been far past 3:00 am. That would have given her less than two hours sleep. She could already tell it was going to be a bad day. Even worse she had detention with Umbridge.
After she climbed out of the shower body and hair dripping wet she dried herself off. She threw on her uniform before creeping out of the dorm.
She walked straight out of the empty Common room and to the Great Hall which was also empty except for McGonagall.
“Miss Granger, it’s very early. What are you doing up?”
“No reason really I just couldn’t sleep.”
“That’s a shame. So what was it? Too much romance on the mind?” McGonagall asked as she sat beside Hermione at the Gryffindor table an unusual smile playing on her lips.
“Excuse me professor? I’m slightly confused by what you mean,” Hermione admitted giving the elder witch a questioning look.
“Well, Miss Granger I may be old but I’m not blind. I see the changes, I see that you’re in love. My question is does Mr. Weasley know?”
“Mr. Weasley?” Hermione asked. ‘How would she know? Maybe she thinks it’s Ron...’
“One of the twins my dear don’t ask me to tell them apart, I couldn’t if my life depended on it,” McGonagall smiled.
“George Professor, George Weasley.” Hermione sighed unsure of why she was sharing this with her teacher. “He knows, at least I’m pretty sure he does and I’m pretty sure he feels the same but... well Professor you didn’t hear this from me but the twins are leaving Hogwarts early. Not right away but within the next month or so, they bought a building and they have big plans to open their joke shop in Diagon Alley. They have everything set up for their future but I’m not part of it-not yet maybe not ever.” Hermione sighed again as she finished the explanation.
“Smile, Miss. Granger. These things always find a way of working themselves out, just you wait and see. Good luck and just so you know I’ve done everything in my power to try and get you all out of those detentions but my hands are tied. I’m sorry but I will make sure you have everything you need for that healing potion of yours it’s really some outstanding magic. I’ll leave the ingredients in your dorm,” McGonagall said standing to leave.
“Thanks so much, Professor. Wait how did you know about the healing potion and about George?”
“The healing potion I saw, when you used it on Mr. Potter that is. And about Mr. Weasley... you know when a student’s in love you just need to follow the dreamy looks to find out who it is they’re in love with. Obviously that’s where I became confused as to which twin you had feelings for but you just cleared that up for me,” McGonagall explained.
“I will see you at third period. Enjoy your day Miss. Granger,” she called as she walked away.
“Thanks and you too Professor,” Hermione said sighing after she’d left. She was alone again.
Hermione sat in silence she wasn’t really hungry so she pulled out an old book from her bag. She sat there reading and eventually a few people began coming down. She didn’t speak to any of the Gryffindors who’d come down but after a while a pair of young second year came and sat beside her.
“Hi Dennis, hi Nigel,” she chimed.
“Hi Hermione.” They both whispered shyly.
“Are you alright?” Hermione asked them, she thought very fondly of the two. They were sweet and shy but had their moments of confidence and were definitely funny.
“Hermione we have detention today, all of us. What are we going to do? Last time Fred and George brought me to you and you helped but you can’t help everyone can you?” Nigel asked speaking fast but softly.
“I don’t know but I’m definitely going to try, don’t you worry. I’ll fix up some of the healing potion before we go and hand out some to a student in each house for them to share with everyone in their houses and we’ll take it from there,” Hermione told them gently with a smile.
“Thanks Hermione,” Dennis said.
“It’s okay, if you guys need anything else at all just come and find me,” Hermione told them.
“Hermione, would you mind waiting for us in the Common room before the detention and walk down with us? We’re absolutely terrified of Umbridge,” Nigel said looking up at her.
Hermione smiled at them both, she’d always had that mothering or protective instinct and she was glad that someone felt they could depend on her. “Of course the detentions at five so I’ll be there just before that,” she said smiling warmly.
“Hermione you’re the best,” Dennis grinned.
“Yes she is,” came a voice from behind Hermione.
“George, for god’s sake you scared the life out of me!”
“I’m sorry, Hermione. All I said was that you are the best,” George shrugged sitting beside her.
“Well thank you but you could have started with ‘hi’,” Hermione told her.
“Okay, hi!” George said over enthusiastically making Hermione, Nigel and Dennis laugh.
“Seriously though what have you done to be the best today when it’s not even seven yet?” George asked.
“I just agreed to meet Nigel and Dennis in the Common room before we go to the detention,” Hermione told him.
“Aw how sweet,” George said sounding an awful lot like an old lady who’d likely pinch a child’s cheeks as he ruffled Dennis and Nigel’s hair.
“It is sweet actually and don’t mock them,” Hermione said.
“I wasn’t mocking I actually think it’s sweet,” George said genuinely.
Hermione just nodded and smiled her response as she drifted deep into thought.
George took up conversation with Nigel and Dennis who were asking all sorts of questions about the joke shop and when it would be opening.
“George what are you doing up?” Hermione asked suddenly.
“I couldn’t sleep so I was in the Common room at around six am when Lavender Brown sprinted down the stairs looking for you. She was all panicked because she’d woken up and you weren’t in bed and it was still so early. Then I was worried so I told her to go back to bed and sleep and that I’d find you. And now I’m here,” George explained whilst smiling.
“Thanks for worrying but I’m fine and perfectly capable of looking out for myself,” Hermione pointed out as though George’s concern was an insult.
“Hey, I was only worried about you. Not because I don’t think you can look after yourself just because I care about you,” George told her.
“Yes I know, but you’re leaving so you’re going to have to get use to not knowing how I am and if I’m safe or not. You’re going so you clearly don’t care,” Hermione snapped at him.
George looked as if Hermione had just stabbed a knife through his heart and Hermione’s eyes widened in horror at the reality of what she’d just said.
“No George I’m sorry I just... George no don’t walk away. George please I’m sorry! I just didn’t sleep well so I’m not in the best of moods- George wait,” Hermione called though it was no use George didn’t even look back as he left the Great Hall.
George blinked fast to try and stop the tears he saw Fred walking into the Great Hall whilst he was on his way out with Lee they were speaking to him but his head was foggy and he couldn’t tell what they were saying so he just kept walking. Fred didn’t follow instead he and Lee sat with Hermione.
“What’s wrong with George?” Fred demanded.
Hermione looked distressed and jumped up leaving her book and bag on the table not saying a word and ran out. Fred and Lee exchanged confused glances.
As Hermione left Harry and Ron saw her but she didn’t stop to speak or explain she kept moving looking for George. She headed for the Common room where she spotted George sat in front of the fire with Ginny. They were talking and were clearly deep in conversation as neither noticed her. She couldn’t hear what they were saying as they each spoke quietly and softly.
“George she’s just processing the thought of you leaving. She’ll be fine after a while trust me. She’s just trying to come to terms with you going and she’s struggling to except you won’t always be here with her when she needs you. She’s upset, just give her time,” Ginny told her brother.
“But that’s just it Gin, she’s upset and it’s because of me and I don’t want to be the one who makes her upset,” George explained.
Ginny looked up and saw Hermione standing there.
“Talk to her,” Ginny whispered pushing his head gently for him to face her.
Without another word Ginny stood and walked towards Hermione.
She took Hermione’s hands and spoke softly, “talk to him, make him understand what you’re going through and try to understand what he’s going through.” Ginny shoved her towards George before leaving with Lavender Brown.
Hermione sat down beside him and held her face in her hands, “I’m sorry... I know we talked about this last night but it’s still not an easy concept for me you know?”
“I know, it’s not easy for me either and I told you I would stay.”
“I know but as much as I want you to, I also want to see you finally open that joke shop. So I’m sorry for that I didn’t mean anything by it but my point is that I’m going to miss you. Either way you need to go and you need to make everyone proud of everything I know you will accomplish,” Hermione smiled at him before grabbing his hand and pulling him up.
“Let’s go,” she said as they left the Common room.
George stopped them once they were outside the portrait hole and wrapped his arms around her tightly. He held on to her and she hugged him back smiling into his chest and he chuckled lightly.
“Come on,” he dragged her down to the Great Hall and they sat down as if nothing had happened and to their surprise nobody asked.
The bell rang and they went off to their classes. By the end of the school day and after everyone had finished their homework or in Fred and George’s case put off their homework it was already 4:30. Fred, George, Harry, Ron, Ginny, Lee, Angelina and Alicia were sat around the fire talking when Hermione came down the stairs from the girls’ dormitory carrying three large vials each containing a lime green gel.
“We’re going to need that,” Fred said looking up as she set the vials down on the table beside them.
George moved over so she could sit next to him.
“What’s this?” asked Angelina picking up one of the vials.
“It will help soothe the cuts and heal the scarring,” Hermione told her.
“Is it really going to hurt that much?” Ginny asked.
Most of the group winced.
“And that answers that question,” Alicia sighed.
“Hi Hermione!” said Nigel and Dennis together as they spotted the group in the Common room.
“Hi guys, we’re going to head down soon,” Hermione told them.
“Oh God, I completely forgot...it’s bad enough for us but second years in her detentions is just cruel! Doesn’t she have a heart?” Angelina asked looking at the two with a pitying expression.
“Nigel’s already had a detention,” said Fred.
“Yes but lucky for him Gred and Forge came to the rescue!” George grinned then added, “And got Hermione to help him.”
“We should go,” said Harry glancing up at the clock.
“Come on guys,” Hermione said leading the group down to Umbridge’s class room.
Harry stopped them outside the door and sighed, “I’m sorry. If it weren’t for me none us would be here and it was my mistake not yours so it’s wrong that you’re being punished. When we started this I intended to help not create more problems and if I could I would take your detentions for myself.”
“Harry, you didn’t mess up you helped,” said Neville as he joined the group accompanied by Dean and Seamus.
“Harry you always concentrate on things that go wrong and then blame yourself you never look at it from our point of view,” said Ron.
“You took down Quirel and Voldemort saving the philosophers stone from falling into the wrong hands,” Hermione started.
“I had help,” Harry tried to say being modest.
“You killed the basilisk and you saved my life,” Ginny said.
“I couldn’t have done it without Hermione and Ron...”
“You saved Buckbeak and freed Sirius Black,” Fred said.
“Again Hermione, Ron and Dumbledore...” Harry was cut off.
“You started the DA teaching students how to defend themselves,” Ron said.
“And look where that got us? In a week of detention with Umbridge,” Harry said not giving up.
“You gave me and Fred the money we needed to start our dream,” George told him.
“Well think about everything your family have done for me, it was the least I could do,” Harry said.
“You’re an annoying guy, you know? Can’t you understand? Nobody here blames you for anything we knew what we were getting into we were completely aware of the consequences. So if you stop being so bloody stupid you will see there is no problem here,” Ron told him.
They looked up just after that to see Umbridge come out of the room. Hermione could feel the coolness of the vials in her robes pressed against her skin however she knew the true cause of the sudden shiver that passed through her body. It was Umbridge. She looked behind her at George as the line started filing into the room. He took her hand gently and whispered to her, “It’ll be fine.”
She nodded slowly and turned to face the front to see Nigel and Dennis looking at her. She gave them a weak smile of reassurance which widened when Collin who was in front of them put an arm around each of them. Collin as obsessed as he was with Harry and as strange as he was-was still a very nice boy and the fact he cared for his brother and his brothers’ friend was very sweet. It reminded her an awful lot of Fred and George and how they were for her. She had initially been Ron’s friend but they had looked out for her and Harry ever since. Then they’d become friends and then with George- they were still friends but there was something more there. She thought back to their second year when Malfoy had called her a mudblood in front of the Gryffindor and Slytherin Quidditch team. Fred and George had jumped on him it had taken a lot of force to hold them back. Then again everyone had gone mad even Angelina and Alicia but they had barely ever spoken at that point. Never the less it had meant a lot to her.
She drew a deep breath as she entered the classroom and sat at a desk. The quills were already set out on each desk with long sheets of parchment. She winced recalling the pain she’d experienced during her previous detention with Umbridge. She’d fought the tears the entire way through she wondered if it would hurt more this time.
After Umbridge issued instructions of what lines they needed to write the DA members began to write. Not long passed and Hermione could look around to see some crying, others clutching their hands trying to stop the bleeding, some were whimpering softly as they wrote and then there were ones like her not giving Umbridge the satisfaction of knowing their pain and misery. She pretended it wasn’t burning as her skin ripped open. The hour ticked by painfully slowly (literally) and finally when they were finished they practically ran out of the room.
They were all appearing to head for their Common rooms when Hermione called them back.
“Luna, you’re in charge of the Ravenclaws. Make sure everyone puts some of this over their scars- it will help,” Hermione said handing a vial of the green liquid to her.
“Yes Hermione, I will do that most definitely,” Luna said in her usual dreamy tone as she led the Ravenclaws to their Common rooms.
“Hannah, I’ll leave you in charge of the Hufflepuffs. Again just make sure everyone puts some on the cuts,” she told Hannah Abott who thanked her and then led the Hufflepuffs away.
“Alright then Gryffindors, let’s get back up to the Common room and I’ll sort us out,” Hermione said wincing as she guided her thumb over the fresh cuts.
They sat round the fire and Hermione got round the large group apologising continuously as she touched the open wounds on their hands and each person winced.
Hermione finally put some on her own hand and told everyone to take it easy because the scars would likely reopen.
“Yeah we better be careful because a week of this is going to do some serious damage,” Ron said looking at his hand.
“I don’t want to go through that again,” whimpered Ginny.
“None of us do,” George sighed.
“I just can’t wait for this week to be over,” Fred said and everyone agreed.
So I really hope you enjoyed that and I cannot wait to hear what you all thought. I appreciate all of you guys sticking with the story for 17 chapters already! Now all I have to say is that the review box is there for a reason...yes you know what I mean, please leave a review! Thanks again for reading.
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