Chapter 3 : He Needs His Very Own Spot, in the Deepest Depths of Hell.
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Dreams can mean anything depending on how you look at them. They can be memories, hopes, changes, or aspirations; anything. See, I can’t remember the last time I had a dream. Now don’t take that the wrong way; technically I ‘dream’ every night. But to understand what I’m talking about you have to be familiarized with dream categories. Say there is a bundle of grapes in your refrigerator. While eating them you always notice that there are some substantially better than others. There are the perfectly ripe, juicy, big, and vibrant ones that, no matter who you are, give your tastebuds a shock of pure elation. Those are the happy go lucky, hopes, and aspirations dreams. What makes those delightful grapes superior is the taste of the utterly lowest standard. See those types are always in the bag, somewhere. Just like in life, the worst will always show face at some point. The shriveling, squishy, and rotten grapes that you never eat, but toss in the garbage, are the worst of the brunt. These god-awful round fruit can only be compared to the most vicious, vile, and wicked of dreams. Dreams of this caliber have their own name.
Those are what I try to escape every night. Ever since my life went to shit, that’s what I’m running from. It’s the hardest to accomplish because you can’t run from sleep; most importantly, you can’t run from yourself. There is no way to run from your very own brain. It just can’t be done.
The difference between my bundle of grapes and my dreams are you can’t pick and choose. I can toss a bad grape. No matter how hard I try, there is no way I can throw my own nightmares out.
Drink. A lot.
Subdue the nightmares in any way possible. If I’m going to be forced to have them then they’re going to be hazy and blurred. Just barely able to feel like I’m in whatever horrid contorted memory comes to me, until I drift into a deep enough abyss of darkness where not even the nightmares can find me.
So I drink.
I’m sure your thinking why not a Dreamless Draught? Or some other potion of the same affect? I’ve tried, believe me. It seems that being dreamless just isn’t something my body is going to commit to. So my brain makes sure to send the twisted dreams into my subconscious anyway, where I wake up to my own ear shattering screams. Like I said, you can’t escape a dream. Unless you wake up of course. I’ve learned what dreams to wake myself up to and which ones to fight my way through. You choose what battles you fight right?
Well, where my screams were taking me tonight, I made a decision to not fight. I wake up with a jolt. Apparently, my brain didn’t agree with my body about playing battle because I kicked off the bed and went to the floor.
Damn, that hurt.
I slowly sit up and sharp stabs of pain shoot through my back and head.
Stupid nightmares making me feel pain after I wake up. I just can’t seem to win!
Climbing back under my heavy covers; I stare at the ceiling. Recollection of last nights events wash through me. Audibly, I groan and kick my foot board.
“Dammit!” I yell when my foot finds out how hard my footboard actually is. I make a note to myself that footboards are deceiving and to refrain from kicking them in the future.
Jumping out of bed I head to the bathrooms that, now that I’ve seen it, realize that I share with the Slytherin. Locking the doors and turning the water on along with my music, I climb in the shower. As I sing to the soft strums of the guitar my mind wonders to what on Earth I’ve got myself into with Malfoy. He seemed okay last night, but I doubt he is just going to stop being an arrogant prat to me because of it. Malfoy is a Malfoy and they don’t show compassion. Superiority is what dominates their feeling compass, and I couldn’t care less. The only thing I have my doubts about is the fact that now he’s got my secrets. For that reason alone I need to ease up on my attitude towards him. I decide at the end of this next song I will get out of the shower. So I spend the next two and a half minutes singing along with tunes.
Jumping at the yell of what I would assume was Hermione’s newly found foul mouth; I am pulled from my sleep. Deciding she’s probably alright in there since I haven’t heard anything since, I lay in my silk sheets. Relaxing there, I am lured back into the memories of the confessions I heard last from the Gryffindor Princess.
Looks like I’m gonna have to stop calling her that now. Her life is obviously the total opposite of a princess.
Lying there, I try and figure out how I’m going to go about this new Granger situation. There are a couple ways:
1. Pretend none of it happened and be mean as ever.
2. Be mean to her outside the times when we’re alone.
3. Ignore her completely
4. Be as nice as a Malfoy can to someone of such a low status
At the moment just being civil with her in the common rooms and maybe toning down how mean I am to her outside of this vicinity seems like a solid choice. Looking back over my choices, I notice that the one I chose wasn’t even one I had thought about previously.
I’m pulled out of my thoughts when I hear it again. A voice that could lure me back to sleep again with its soft tones of soprano.
She must be singing in the shower. If that’s the voice I hear every morning I might become a morning person.
Her voice really is beautiful. It’s elegant and full of grace. God knows that’s where her grace comes to an abrupt halt because Granger is clumsier than a clown. Something she should spend some time working on.
The soft lyrics I heard coming from the bathroom stop and, disappointedly, so does her voice. She must be done. Walking to the bathroom to take my turn in the shower, my mind wanders back to Granger. That girl will be the end of me if my thoughts don’t proceed to go elsewhere. Of course that thought only brings up more about the girl in question.
Great, now I’m suicidal. Merlin help me now.
In the shower my thoughts take me to her singing. It’s weird that she sounds so innocent and pure when she sings, but when it stops she’s drowning in her own personal darkness. Her very own Hell. Maybe that’s why she sings, I think to myself. I finish up in the shower and return to my room to get ready. When walking out of the bathroom I hear her down in the common room humming another tune.
Her voice really is soothing. I could listen to it all day.
Downstairs I’m making hot chocolate, it soothes my body. I’ve never been one for coffee unless it was the fancy overly priced kind.
I leave the mini stove on low to keep the water heated just incase Malfoy wants some for coffee or hot chocolate. Maybe one nice thing a day will make my secret safe.
It’s worth a shot.
Malfoy thuds down his staircase and I think only one thing:
Shit, he isn’t a morning person. This is going to be hell.
Sitting down on a fluffy couch I set my hot chocolate on the side table and sit on the couch. Upside down. You know? When your legs are where your back should go and your head is hanging off where your knees usually rest. That’s what I do. I stare at the ceiling as I welcome the feeling of blood rushing to my head. Closing my eyes for a minute or so I hear feet make their way to me; finally I open my eyes when they never retreat. What I see scares the hell out of me. Malfoy’s head is directly level with mine as he bends down and stares at me with curiosity written on his face.
“Jesus Malfoy! You scared the shit out of me. Why did you do that?”
“What are you doing?” He ignores my question.
“Lying down, what does it look like? “
“You’re going insane aren’t you? You know you’re sitting on the couch upside down right?”
I glare at him,” I’m aware. I think better this way.” I say truthfully.
“What is it you’re thinking about if I might ask.”
“Whether or not you’re going to keep my secrets or be an asshole as usual.” I bluntly spit out.
No use trying to hide it.
Alrighty then. Looks like that’s how this conversation is going to start.
“Uh, alright. Well as for the secrets thing I’m not telling anyone don’t worry about that. I’m not even that heartless.”
When I glance at her she is wearing a face that clearly says, “I beg to differ.” As if on que she says,
“I beg to differ,”
“Well I’m not, so you know.”
“Thanks that’s refreshing to know. By the way, we’re still being rude to each other right?”
It’s odd; the look on her face resembles that of hope.
I give her a quizzical look and say,” I was planning on it I guess.”
She looks relieved. “Oh good, I found that making fun of you sometimes releases some of my aggression.” She pauses,” Oh my God Malfoy, you’re therapeutic for me!”
Is she joking?
She pulls herself up and I notice what she’s wearing.
She has on this high wasted blue skirt that kind flares out and hits just above mid thigh. It has these subtle orange and red triangles all over it. Her top is a solid light blue button up flannel that she tied the ends around the waist of the skirt. I look to her face and notice the littlest bit of makeup just to accent a couple features. Finally, I notice her hair; and wow is it gorgeous. It’s long and the first time I’ve seen it down. The ends are curled a bit so they’re super loose ringlets. She looks really good.
Damn, she sure is making it hard not to think about her.
“Malfoy!” Granger yells. Pulling myself out of my daydream I see she is snapping her fingers in front of me.
“Geez, took you long enough. I left some hot water on the stove for coffee or hot chocolate or whatever you want.”
“No problem. I made hot chocolate earlier.”
“What’s hot chocolate?”
“Seriously?” When I don’t answer she continues. “It’s great do you want to try some?”
“Sure, I guess.”
I watch as she goes to the kitchen and puts some light brown powder in a mug and dumps some water in it.
“Here, I only made a little so if you don’t like it you can have coffee or tea.”
Apprehensively, I take a slow sip. It tastes chocolatey which is great. I like it. A lot.
“It’s surprisingly good. Can you make me more?”
She smiles and I notice how white and straight her teeth have become. “Sure, here I’ll show you so you can make it on your own sometime.”
I follow her further into the kitchen.
“Okay, first, you warm up the water on the stove. I trust you know how to do that?” She asks with a subtle smirk.
I smirk right back and reply,” As a matter of fact, I do.” I walk closer to her and sit on the counter beside the stove.
Smiling again she continues,” Second you grab a mug and rip open this package and dump it in the cup. When the water is done you pour it in and stir them together. Voilà, you have a chocolaty delight. There is another way to make it too. It’s from scratch, it tastes a hundred times better, but is a long, tedious task. Maybe I will make it for you one day when you aren’t being a total jerk.” She gives a wink to imply she’s kidding.
I jump off the counter and end up a tiny bit closer to her, I inhale and smell the sweet smell of vanilla and heavenly chocolate. Taking the cup from her hands, I laugh,” Sounds good to me.”
“I’m going to breakfast are you coming or are we not talking to each other when people see us?”
“Um,” I hesitate.
“Civil in the common room only it is then. I’ll see you later Malfoy.”
She walks to the door with her back pack and I watch as she pulls her mildly used navy vans on over her long white socks that she pushed down right before her ankles. You would think she looked weird and like a child, but it looked quite good actually. Plus, it gave her a ‘Bitch to me about my look if you dare’ kinda vibe. I don’t know why, it just did. Watching her walk out of the room sent a pang of guilt into my chest. I shrugged it off and headed to breakfast. By myself.
When I get to the Great Hall I take my seat beside Blaise. He nods his head towards me and I nod mine back. I scan the room, until my eyes land on her, I didn’t know I was looking for her. Staring at her awhile I notice she doesn’t talk at all. Maybe it’s not her fault though; Potty and Weasel seem to be in their own world with themselves.
Like she explained last night.
Looking back at my plate I told myself not to worry about it. She can handle it. Sure enough, two minutes later my eyes are back on her. I find myself analyzing her actions, she looks at her food, but never once does she eat it. Quickly, I pull my eyes off her. Again.
Stop it man!
Glancing around the room I see several boys looking at the Gryffindor table. All of them, are looking at Granger. She doesn’t even realize the attention she’s receiving!
Then again, I don’t think I would either if I had to think about the things she does.
My stomach gives and involuntary lurch as I think about probably, the worst night of her life.
“Ladies and Gentleman!” McGonagall says in an amplified voice. Everyone moves their attention to the Headmistress. Except a long haired brunette, that I can’t seem to stop looking at. She keeps her head down the whole speech. It was something about a new kid yada, yada then make him feel at home.
“Please welcome, Jacob Eddings.” People clapped and girls swooned. All I seemed to notice though was the automatic shift in Granger’s posture when she heard his name. I squinted at her as if that way I could see her thoughts. They sorted the kid and the hat yelled out, “Slytherin.” Everyone clapped besides Granger and I. Keeping my gaze on her I vaguely noted that Headmistress said head boy and head girl.
“Hermione Granger is Head girl Jacob, and Draco Malfoy is Head boy.”
Shifting my gaze to him to see his reaction, I didn’t miss the sly smile he gave Granger across the hall. Rapidly, I moved by gaze back to her she looked like she was going to be sick. I watched as she excused herself and ran/speed walked out of the hall. Jack or whatever quickly said goodbye and left the hall too.
Stay out of it Malfoy. She can handle herself. She’s got this. It’s not your job.
I try and assure myself, but after seven minutes I excuse myself and reluctantly head off to find them.
Those four words brought my world crashing down. Again.
He can’t be here! He wasn’t even supposed to be a wizard for crying out loud. I guess it’s only adequate he was put in Slytherin, the conniving little bastard.
Jacob Eddings has jet black hair and tan skin. His eyes are almost black, I’m convinced it radiates his black soul. I hope they give him his own personal hell right in the depths, that’s where he belongs.
Fucking asshole. He’s worst than Malfoy!
I’m getting myself too worked up; I can feel a panic attack coming. I don’t need to be fainting anytime today. Those are questions I don’t want to answer. As I run through the hallways, I frantically look for a place to hide. When I decide I’m probably far enough away I turn the corner and lean against the rough, rocky stone. Slowly, I try and catch my breath and pull myself together. That’s when I hear footsteps coming near. As I sit there I hope that it’s just Harry and Ron, but as luck would have it Jacob walks right around the corner with and all too knowing smirk. Just the look of him is revolting; I noticeably stiffen when he walks closer to me and he smiles. Smiles!
He’s like Satan’s Spawn!
“Hey Hermione, long time no see.” He adds a wink because I’m convinced he knows I want to vomit right now.
“What are you doing here?” I snap with a lot more courage than I currently feel.
“I’m a wizard obviously. Looks like we have a lot more in common than you previously thought.”
“Oh yeah, you and I are just radiating similarities.” I deadpan.
“Let’s not get to feisty; we both know where that got us last time.” He flashes a smug smirk.
At the mention of our last encounter I start to panic again. Jacob must notice because he inches closer to me. When he leans into me I stop all future movements. I’m definitely not even going to accidentally bump into this git.
He is a mere centimeters away from my face when he moves his hand to the hair flowing down over my ear. Pushing the curls behind my ear I feel his hot repulsive breath on my ear. Then I feel his mouth inch closer until I can just barely feel them on my skin. At this point my heart has come to a complete stop; I’m not really sure how I’m alive right now.
He whispers in my ear, “I’ll be back later.” He pushes away from me and walks through the halls with the ever knowing smirk played on his lips.
Like a true Slytherin. I tell myself bitterly.
Then I don’t think or say anything. In another life I must’ve pissed someone off to get my life now. Sliding down the wall I stare at the window across from me.
Wondering the halls I can’t seem to find them.
Where the hell did they go?
Panic starts to rise in me and I’m not sure why. It’s just Granger right?
Finally, and to my relief, I hear footsteps. I’m expecting to see Granger, but I see Jack or Jacob. He’s wearing a smirk I know all to well, I invented that smirk.
“Hey man.” This kid says. He gives off a weird vibe, but he’s Slytherin so I respond.
Just like that he walks off. I presume walking the halls in search of Granger. A little ways down the hallway I see around the corner the ends of her hair that are blonde and loosely curled. Peeking around the corner I see her slid down the wall. She looks pained; and briefly, I wish I could take the pain from her soul.
I watch her as she stares out the window, she makes no movements; just stares. I take a few steps closer to her and she doesn’t even glance in my direction. After a few minutes, when she shows no sign of moving I sit down next to her. We sat there for, I don’t how long, but it was a long time then she broke the silence.
“It’s odd isn’t it?” Her voice startled me a bit, but I waited for her to continue.
“It’s odd that as many times as I explore, get lost, and sneak around this castle I always find a new place I haven’t seen. I’ve never once seen this window and it gives the perfect view of the Forbidden Forest. It almost looks not so forbidden at this time of day.”
She must be going insane. After a minute or two I answer her with a simple, “I guess so.”
“You hungry?” She asks. As if on que my stomach grumbles. I look up at her and she gives a small smile. “Come on let’s go to the kitchens, yeah?”
Contemplating her request I figure why not? Everyone else is in class. I stand up and give her my hand to help her up off the floor.
“Wow Malfoy, look at you being all gentleman-like! I’m swooning at your politeness.” She raises the back of her hand to her forehead in an attempt to ‘swoon’ I presume.
“Hardy har har Granger. You’re so funny.”
We walk to the portrait of the pear and tickle it. Stepping over the threshold, the two of us are greeted with hundreds of house elves making lunch. Next to me, I see Granger bend down on her knees and speak to one of the elves. The elf looked utterly shocked to be on the same level as a witch while being talked to. It probably was going to fall over dead when he finds out how polite she’s about to be.
“Hi there.” She said with a smile.
The elf stuttered, but managed to squeak out, “W-What do you n-need?”
“Would you mind bringing us some sandwiches and hot chocolate, please?”
“Oh, Mindy would love to bring Mrs. Granger some food!”
It didn’t go unnoticed that the elf didn’t add my name to that. I look down annoyed and when Granger gets up off the floor she gives me a glance. She must’ve seen my expression because she gave a soft chuckle and shook her head.
“What?” I ask.
“Maybe if you were nice to them you wouldn’t have to be so annoyed.”
“Right. Did I forget to tell you the Queen just ran fifty laps around the castle?”
“Ha. Ha. Ha. I’m just saying treat others the way you want to be treated and that other entire lesson shit.”
“Well when you say it like that, how can I resist? You’re just radiating encouragement.” Sarcasm evident in my voice.
“You’re getting good at this Malfoy. I must be rubbing off on you.” She gives me a nudge with her elbow; I just stare at her. Quickly, she looks down.
Granger chuckles nervously and then says, “Not that you’d need to learn from a mudblood or anything.”
Before I even realize it I grab her elbow and pull her back to me. Glancing in her eyes I see her melted chocolate eyes look up at me in confusion.
“I thought we agreed if I stopped using that word then you wouldn’t either. Plus, obviously I could learn a few things from you, you’re obviously better than me in every subject.”
She looked down at her feet, but I didn’t miss it when she whispered, “I didn’t know we were sticking to that rule still.”
Did I really use to make her feel that bad? Of course you idiot!
“Well I meant it.”
Brown met icy grey. I couldn’t tell you how long we stood there and stared at each other like that.
The house elf cleared her throat. Granger jumped and got down on her knees again to talk to it.
“Oh thank you so much! We were really hungry.” She added what I am now calling her million dollar smile.
Granger took the plate and I grabbed the hot chocolates.
“Thanks Mindy.” I said.
The elf looked in complete shock, but snapped herself out of it rather quickly. “Oh you’re very welcome Mr. Malfoy.” Then she sprinted off.
I took a chance look at Granger to gauge her reaction. What I saw was an all too knowing smirk grace her face.
“You’re a smartass you know that?”
“Only the smartest. How else would I continually win our little bicker wars?” She added a wink and she walked over to the fireplace.
She’s been winking a lot at me lately.
Woah, how do I know that?
Joining her at the fireplace we made small talk. Talked about stuff that just grazed the surface. A comfortable silence fell over us as we drank our hot chocolate.
“You’re okay right? Ever since that night… you know? “
Her serene facial features quickly contorted into immense pain before she could seal it off. Immediately, I regretted the question.
“Um…Well… I… I…” She closed her eyes briefly, “Can we not talk about that? Besides, I have to go to Transfiguration or McGonagall will have my head.” Abruptly, she stood up.
“It was nice talking to you Malfoy. Really.” Then she was gone.
I walked the corridors the rest of the day, not bothering to go to class. It was almost dinner time and I was making my way to the Great Hall when I ran into the new kid. Who I have finally learned his name. Jacob.
“Hey.” He says in passing.
“You’re Head Boy right?”
“Yup. The one and only.”
A smirk graced his features and I automatically thought, I’m gonna like this kid.
“Well I was hoping I could talk to you about quidditch. “
“Yeah definitely. You play?”
“Chaser in America.”
“Oh cool. Well I’m Captain of Slytherin and I’m holding tryouts on Thursday so just come to the pitch.”
“Sweet. Hey, I notice you weren’t in classes. Do you need any notes?”
“That would by great. Just come by the heads dorm at eight.”
I continued my walk to the Great Hall. As I arrived I walked to my usual spot next to Blaise. To my surprise Eddings was there.
“Dude, this kid is hilarious!” Blaise says.
“Just one of many talents.” Eddings says as he gives a fake bow.
We eat in silence until Blaise brings up the subject I haven’t taken my eyes off the whole dinner.
“So what about Granger this year, that girl has seriously cleaned up, yeah?”
“Yeah whatever.” I try to sound nonchalant.
“She hasn’t always looked like that? She looked like that over the summer when I saw her.”
I dropped my fork and it made and awfully loud clank, “You saw her this summer?”
He gave me an odd look, “Uh, yeah I guess we went on a ‘date’.” he smirked at the last part.
That’s why she must have run out earlier.
I made it back to the common room around seven thirty and saw Granger was already on the couch reading. Her hair was braided to the side and she was wearing an old jersey and mid thigh shorts that said lacrosse on the bottom. Looking great as usual.
What the hell is lacrosse?
Walking to the fridge to grab water I said, “Hey there, still a bookworm I see.”
She looked up and gave me a sly smile.
“It’s actually a book on how to get away with murder.”
I gave a soft chuckle, “You always have something to say don’t you?”
“Only when you start it.”
A knock on the door signalled Jacob was here.
I open the door instead of answering her question. He walks past me and to the couches, where Granger is.
“Hey Hermione.” I watched as she noticeably stiffened on the couch. She slowly turned her head towards me then to Jacob.
Long moments of tension filled the room. Then she started to talk, it wasn’t a particularly long conversation…
“What the hell are you doing here?” Her calm tone seemed even more menacing than if she screamed it.
Jacob smirked, “That’s no way to great company Hermione. To answer your question though Malfoy here invited me to help him with the classes he missed today. Seeing you was just a plus.” He gave her a wink and she flinched, as if the action physically harmed her.
Recovering quickly, her head shot my way, “Is that right?”
“Uh, well, yeah.” I start pushing my hair out of my face for something to do.
“Don’t invite him here again.” Then she quickly got up from the couch and made her way to her stairwell.
My face contorted into anger. Who does she think she is telling me what to do in my own dorm? She must be insane if she thinks I’m going to follow her orders like a dog.
“You can’t tell me what to do Granger, I’ll invite whoever I fucking please in this dorm. Deal with it.”
She spun around quickly and I was surprised her clumsiness didn’t kick in.
“Get these words through your head you thoughtless prat. Don’t. Bring. Him. Here. Again.”
“What are you going to do about it? You’re just a filthy mudblood!” The words were coming out of my mouth faster than I could think about the repercussions. One look at her face made me regret it immediately.
She laughed bitterly and I flinched a bit at the cold hard sound, so much different than her usual smooth laugh. Walking up the stairs she stopped right before she was out of sight and turned to me with a malicious glint in her eye.
“And you’re just a piece of scum, Death Eater. I applaud your work. You really have done a swell fucking job.” Her door slammed seconds after.
I felt two things in that moment overwhelming anger and a little pained she said it. I deserved it though after what I said I guess, but that thought didn’t replace my anger of any substance.
“Uh. I’ll just give you the notes later you look like you need to be alone.” I walked him to the door seething.
“Oh, and one more thing; if she gives you any more lip show her who’s boss.” He gave a smirk that didn’t sit well in my stomach. Then he was gone, but my anger was still present though. Slamming the portrait door; I walked to the kitchen to grab some water in hopes that my anger would be suppressed. Lying on the couch for fifteen minutes I hear her feet pad down the stairwell. She must not realize I haven’t cooled down yet.
When she walks into the room her gaze lands on me and her eyes flashed with disgust. This makes my blood boil even further. She continues to make her way to the fridge; she pulls out some Firewhiskey.
“Getting drunk again Granger?” Loathing etched into my drawled voice.
“No this is for all my girlfriends upstairs, we’re having a party.” Her voice is sarcastically high and squeaky, like a school girl.
“I hear you really no how to party Granger. Jacob said in America you really knew how to show off the goods.” She flinched at his name and I felt a surge of success wash over me.
“We’re not talking about him.”
“Why not? Did he break your heart? Is that just another thing to add up to your fucked up, pathetic life?”
Her fury was back and I regretted starting up conversation. “What in the fucking hell are you talking about Malfoy?” she yelled and it pierced my ears.
“Oh, didn’t think Eddings would tell me about your fling in America? You guest wrong. I just didn’t think you would break that easily Granger. A boy broke your heart, how utterly ironic.” I seethed.
Her voice was low and eerily calm again, “I’m pretty sure both parties have to agree to that affair for it to be called dating or even a fling for that matter Malfoy.”
What is she talking about?
“Granger, you’re going insane. What are you even talking about?” Then all of a sudden it hits me like a bus. It feels like she just slapped me in the face a hundred times over. My smirk faded instantly at the realization her words gave.
It was him? He did that to her? No wonder she wanted him out.
“What Malfoy? It’s not funny anymore?”
“Save it Malfoy, you showed your true colors. I’m not surprised they were the ones I’ve seen all along.”
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