Chapter 3 : Sickly Lovebirds and the new Draco Malfoy
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Hermione found Harry, Ginny, Neville, and Luna in a compartment looking worried. As she opened the glass door, she was bombarded with an overwhelming hug from Ginny and questions from her and Harry both.
"Hermione, where have you been? We've been so worried about you; we thought you missed the train and were still in London! Why are you so late?" Harry asked accusingly.
"Sorry, dad. I meant to call, but I guess I forgot," she said sarcastically. Harry gave her a look between anger and regret. "Look, Hermione, we were just worried about you. It's pretty much instinct since the war," Neville said nervously.
Hermione's look of anger subsided and she explained why she was late this morning up to the point when Cormac helped her onto the train. "So he's alive?" Ginny asked, "Wonder why this is the first time we're hearing about it?"
Luna looked up from The Quibbler that she was reading and suggested,"Perhaps nargles are behind the delay of retrieving information at this time." Neville looked at her with wonder and put his arm around her shoulders.
"Where's Ron?" Hermione asked finally realising he was not present. As if on cue, he walked in, with his arms around Lavender, laughing. He sat down with her on his lap.
"Oh hey, Hermione," Ron said as if he just barely noticed she was there. Apparently, he didn't realize nor did he care where she had been or why she was late.
Lavender looked at her smugly, Guess you just weren't good enough for him.
Hermione returned with a "if looks could kill" face that said All you got was my sloppy seconds.
But deep down, she knew Lavender was right. She wasn't good enough for him. She was boring and bossy. He deserved someone who would pay him attention and not bore him to tears with facts and knowledge. At least that's what she tried to convince herself with. But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't ignore the fact that she wanted to be with him.
Hermione looked out the glass door with tears threatening to form. She forced them away when she saw the trolley come up to their compartment. When Harry and Ron got up to get something sweet to eat, she noticed that she was very hungry so she got up too.
While Harry was paying, Draco and Blaise came up to the trolley. "Two boxes of Bertie Botts, please," Draco said. Hermione was shocked; she had never heard Malfoy politely ask for something. "Hello Potter, Granger, Weasley." Even though Harry and Hermione had decided to act civilly with the Slytherins, old habits die hard.
"Malfoy, Zabini," Harry said nodding as he did then turned back to the compartment. The trolley lady handed Malfoy his sweets and as she did, he surprised Hermione a second time. "Thank you very much," he said graciously. Blaise started to walk away, but Draco turned to Hermione. "See you soon, Granger," he said with a genuine smile, then turned to catch up with Blaise.
Hermione and Ron(who was looking on as this took place) stood stunned at what just happened. Draco Malfoy smiled! His normal smirk had disappeared and what replaced it was an real, actual smile, even if it was a small one.
Ron turned angrily back into the compartment, which Hermione followed still shocked. "What the bloody hell was that, Hermione?" Ron yelled, startling everyone. "Since when does Malfoy play nice and when did he start getting cozy with you?!"
Hermione shot him a look of pure anger and hatred. How is this her fault? She didn't know anything about the new Draco, though she did like him better this way. Wait a minute, Hermione, what are you thinking?! You didn't like Draco in the first place! Wait, why was that in the past tense? You don't like Draco Malfoy and that's final! Wait, since when did Malfoy become Draco?
"Maybe he has changed for the better and has decided to move forward from the past," Luna said dreamily.
"Yeah, and by moving from the past, that means moving towards Hermione," Ron exclaimed angrily.
"Maybe she's sleeping with him," Lavender suggested jokingly, wanting to enrage Hermione even more. Everyone looked at Lavender like she had grown two heads or something. They knew Hermione would never do that, especially with their old arch-nemesis. Hermione was bewildered, but only for a second. "Sorry, Lavender, I'm not like you," she said with a smug look on her face.
"Hey! What are you suggesting?" Ron asked accusingly. "Well, Ronald, it's not really a suggestion, just the truth. Your "girlfriend" is a barmy bint and I have no interest in being like her. Now if you don't mind, I will be leaving to the Heads compartment because I need to meet the Head Boy." Hermione walked out leaving Lavender and Ron livid and the rest staring at her proudly. It felt good to get that off her chest.
As Hermione entered the Heads compartment, her thoughts went back to Ron, Lavender, and the new Draco. How dare they accuse her of sleeping with Malfoy! This was not her fault!! But maybe Luna was right; maybe Draco has changed for the better.
While she was still deep in thought, she didn't notice that somebody had come into the compartment. The person came right up behind her and grabbed her on her waist. Hermione jumped and let out a loud shriek. Then she heard somebody laugh. She turned around and saw that it was Draco. He was laughing; laughing at her! She never heard him laugh.
"What the bloody hell, Malfoy? You nearly gave me a heart attack!" Hermione said as she punched him in the arm. "Sorry, Granger. Couldn't resist while you were staring off into space like that," Malfoy said with his famous smirk back.
"What are you doing in the Heads compartment?" she asked furiously.
"Well, they call you the brightest witch of our age for a reason. You figure it out."
Oh no! Draco Malfoy is the Head Boy! Well, things just got more complicated.
Sorry for the two short chapters. I promise they will get longer. Thanks to all that reviewed:) Please review; it really helps me write!:)
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