Chapter 2 : Chapter 2~ Noticing Change
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Chapter 2~ Noticing Change
Hermione didn’t say a word about what had happened and why she had fallen behind. Ron didn’t seem too worried about it, his concern was the food. Harry looked at her with a somewhat sympathetic look, but didn’t say anything. She didn’t look over at Malfoy all through dinner. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to take the chance and look. What Malfoy had done was so out of character she had no idea what to think and to ease her mind for the moment, she pushed it to the back of her mind. As the sorting ended and the feast continued, Hermione just tried to let the warmth engulf her like it always had. Finally she just shut everything out because it was too hard for her sitting at the table, her mind flooding with memories. As soon as it was possible, she got up and raced ahead of all the other students to get to the common room first. As she stopped in front of the portrait she realized that for once, she didn’t know the password.
“Password.” The Fat Lady said.
“Um…” Hermione didn’t know what to say.
The Fat Lady looked a little surprised at the fact that she didn’t know the password. Just as Hermione was about to walk away and sit down, McLaggen walked up and looked at her.
“You don’t know the password?” He said incredulously.
“No, I left before I found out.” She said, not looking at him. Things had been weird between them since she ditched him after asking him to Slughorn’s Christmas party.
“Oh, ok. Well it’s Crimson.”
They entered the common room and as soon as they were fully through Hermione took off up the stairs to the girls dormitories. She changed and lay down in her bed pulling the curtains around her and muttering Muffliato so no one would hear her. That’s when she let the tears fall and all of her emotions take over. She didn’t know what to feel or think. Being back at Hogwarts and all the memories, Malfoy and his behavior, and Ron acting as though it was really easy to just be friends and act as though he had no other care in the world. As she lay there, she was glad that they had a couple days to relax before classes started. With all her thoughts swimming through her head and silent tears running down her cheeks, she fell asleep.
Through dinner Draco glanced at Hermione many times, but never once did he see her look over. He wasn’t really surprised. She was probably trying to figure out his actions and hold everything together. As the feast ended, he saw her get up and practically run out of the hall, not far behind her was McLaggen. Ugh, that git. Malfoy decided he just needed to get to bed and away from everything, there was nothing else he could do. He wandered his way through the corridors and somehow ended up in front of the Gryffindor portrait. That’s interesting… I wasn’t even thinking of anything having to do with Gryff… oh… Hermione. He shook his head, frustrated that he had been thinking of her, again. He had to admit it to himself, no sense denying it, he was attracted to her. He turned around and started his journey to the dungeons trying not to think of anything at all. For the most part it worked, especially when Peeves snuck up on him and tapped him on the shoulder making Draco jump and duck for cover. Peeves thought this was absolutely hilarious and zoomed away singing a little song about how he had “scared the Malfoy.” Draco was annoyed by Peeves and his own reaction. Once he finally made it back to the Slytherin entrance he found the secret spot on the wall where you could draw an “S” if you forgot the password. He was pretty sure he was the only one in almost 50 years to know about the spot. As he touched the wall and made the makeshift password, the wall shuddered and changed to let him in. he stepped through and saw that the common room was almost empty. Whether it was because they were in Azkaban, their families didn’t allow them, or they were off somewhere else, not many Slytherin’s had come back. He found himself feeling grateful for it. He would have an easier time of convincing people here that he was sorry and a changed person if he didn’t have Slytherin’s stuck to his side every second.
He made his way up to his room and saw that there were two beds with 7th year emblems on them. Wow, definitely not very many of us. He smirked and pulled his hangings around his bed. He lay down and a sigh escaped him. For once he felt safe. With that thought he drifted off to sleep, the image of a beautiful girl floating in front of his eyes.
Hermione woke up and stretched. It was still mostly dark in her bed because of the hangings that were closed. Ginny must have sensed she was awake because she yanked the curtains open and Hermione let out a loud groan.
“Ginny!!! Shut the hangings!” Hermione said throwing one of her pillows at Ginny and using the other to cover her face as she fell back on her bed.
“Nope! Come on, I want to talk to you and have a good day exploring. I think we both need it.”
“Why can’t you just go with Harry and Ron?”
“Because they are boys and I want some girl time with you! I think you could use it too.” She said sternly pulling the pillow away from Hermione’s face.
“Yay! Now hurry up and get dressed.”
She left Hermione alone to change. As she left the room Hermione had to admit that she’d missed Ginny and found herself looking forward to walking around with her. Ginny would understand her emotions if any came up. She dressed in a pair of dark jean capri’s and layered a black tank top and purple t-shirt. As she dragged a brush through her hair and brushed her teeth she debated makeup, but decided she didn’t care and therefore wasn’t going to worry about it. She looked at herself in the mirror and realized just how nice her hair was now, she smiled. When she got down to the common room Ginny was talking with Harry and Ron looked like he had been smacked. Ginny looked up when she came down and smiled.
“You look great! Your hair is… different.”
“Yeah, it’s gotten straighter and less frizzy lately. I hope it stays.”
“Well I like it. Ok lets go. Cya boys”
And with that Hermione and Ginny left and headed down to the Great Hall. Hermione noticed this morning how everything looked the same but some spots had a newer look. They really had done a great good repairing the castle. They made it to the Great Hall and sat down at the Gryffindor table to enjoy their breakfast, completely unaware of a pair of blue-grey eyes staring at them.
As soon as Draco woke up, “she” was on his mind. Why?! Why was she on his mind? He had dreamed of her and now she was the first thought of his day. He ran a hand through his hair which made it look like he has just gotten off his broom. He washed his face with cold water and brushed his teeth. As he looked at himself he noticed that he had more color in his skin than he had in a long time. With that he decided he might as well go eat. When he got to the Great Hall he looked over to the Gryffindor table to look for her, but she wasn’t sitting there. He almost laughed at himself. He sat down at the very end of the table, in the corner, hoping that he could stay unnoticed. It worked. No one came over to him or greeted him. He started with some bacon and eggs and a glass of pumpkin juice. He was on his second helping when he saw them walk in. She was with the Weasely girl and looked stunning. He shook his head and realized he was staring and quickly dropped his head. She was wearing purple which looked great on her and her hair was silkier than it had ever been. As she sat talking with the Weasely he kept glancing at her, but never once did she look up at him. A couple times he took a longer look at her. She looked happier this morning and talking to Ginny Weasely, her face was brighter and her smile almost reached her eyes. He found himself wanting to be the one to make her smile. Stop it… He thought to himself. She’s never going to voluntarily talk to you or smile. She had every right to hate him after what had happened… but only if she knew what he felt and thought. But he doubted there would ever be that chance. So he contented himself with just watching her.
Hermione and Ginny walked around the castle and explored everything they could and were allowed to. They talked about a lot and had a few emotional moments each as they would pass a place or conversation would bring up a memory. After lunch they decided to go outside and enjoy the day. They walked around the lake and sat down next to a tree by its edge. Hermione looked up at one point to survey the landscape and noticed Malfoy wandering along the opposite shore. She was curious about why he had come back and was even more curious about why he had been so nice to her. It scared her to know that she was thinking about him this much and that she had found herself attracted to him on the train. But the truth was, she would never be able to trust him. Not after everything he had done or let happen. She was far off in thought and slowly became aware that someone was calling her name.
“Hermione. Hermione! HERMIONE!!!”
“Huh? Oh, sorry Ginny I was thinking about someo- something.”
“Yeah obviously. Does it have anything to do with Malfoy?”
“I… what?” Hermione was alarmed. Had she said something outloud?
“Well I noticed you staring off and you seemed to be looking at him? He’s right over there you know.” She pointed to a rock almost directly across the lake from them.
“Oh, no… I didn’t even know he was here.” She lied. “I guess I just zoned out, sorry.”
Luckily Ginny seemed to accept her explanation and nodded. They sat for awhile longer and then headed back to the school. Hermione was careful not to look at Malfoy again as they walked past his side of the lake. The others could not find out what she thought she felt.
They met up with Harry and Ron for dinner, which meant that Hermione was basically by herself because Ron was preoccupied with checking out all the girls in the hall. She took a chance and looked over at the Slytherin table. It took her a moment to find him. He was sitting at the far end of the table and no one was around him. That was different. She also noticed he didn’t look as pale as before and his hair was all messy. She noticed the strong features of his face and then her eyes slowly slid down his body to look at his torso and arms. Just then he looked directly at her. She blushed and looked away quickly, but she knew he had seen her looking.
When Draco had headed outside to get some fresh air and walk around the lake, his plan had been for all that to help him not think about Hermione Granger. Fate, however, seemed to have a sense of humor and other ideas. There she was sitting on the other side of the lake. He walked a little, keeping an eye on her out of the corner of his eye and then he decided to just sit down. Ironically the best spot to sit was a large rock that just so happened to be sitting across from where both of the girls were. Of course, right across from the girl I’m trying not to think about. Great, just great. So he sat. He saw Hermione look up and then she seemed to be zoned out, but looking in his direction. Did that mean she was looking at him? Couple minutes later he heard the Weasely girl practically shouting her name to get her attention.
“Hermione. Hermione! HERMIONE!”
He laughed as he saw her get jolted out of her daze and brought back to reality. He wondered what she was thinking about. They were making their way past him back to the castle and he had such an urge to get up and walk closely behind them but decided that wasn’t the greatest idea. She had looked at him as she passed and when he had seen her she had blushed and looked away. He caught his breath because she was so beautiful and it had hit him. He stayed behind until he figured they were about half way to dinner then got up and followed them still thinking about how she had looked at him. No anger, just curiosity.
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