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Chapter 10 : Chapter 10~ Hogsmead
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I do not own any of the recognizable material from the Harry Potter series. Those are the property of J. K. Rowling.
There is a little more action and some violence in this chapter.
Chapter 10~ Hogsmead
The week crept by and Hermione was feeling ready for the first Hogsmead visit, thinking that it might get her mind to relax. Most of this week she had found that Malfoy watched her more than usual and although she was no longer shocked and creeped out by it, she wondered why he spent so much time looking at her. It was finally Friday and the trip to Hogsmead was tomorrow. Hermione wanted to go to the little book store and the stationary store as well. She wasn’t really sure if she wanted to go with anyone and Harry was going with Ginny, so that only left Ron. Ron would no doubt be followed around by a group of girls or have a couple clinging to him and Hermione didn’t find that the most intriguing situation to be stuck with. She would be perfectly fine on her own. Over the past week she had not met with Malfoy and she found she missed their time talking. She still couldn’t pin point it, but she was realizing she felt very comfortable around him. They were both about finished with their project and she had already asked Flitwick if he would grade it.
Hermione just stared at her dinner and moved it around with her fork lost in thought when a piece of paper floated down in front of her. Curiously she reached for it and unfolded it.
Be Careful tomorrow in Hogsmead… there are likely to be some low-life characters walking about.
Hermione read it three times and still couldn’t figure out who it was from. Obviously they were worried enough to warn her, but she didn’t know who would send her a note anonymously. The initials didn’t make any sense either. S.P. made no sense. She figured it was a harmless warning and would do well in general to follow it. Just because Voldemort was gone didn’t mean that there weren’t any bad or dark wizards about. Right as she was pocketing the note Harry, Ron and Ginny walked up to the table and sat down. Harry and Ron loaded their plates with food and dug in, Ginny however, took an appropriate amount and ate with grace. Hermione smiled at how different she was from the boys who were shoveling food into their mouths like they hadn’t been feed in days.
“Don’t you boys ever eat slowly and with manners?” she said, addressing them.
They both just looked at her and Harry had the decency to swallow and then speak.
“Hermione, we’re hungry and the food tastes great.”
“Yes, but you could at least use some manners.” She said with a smirk.
Harry shrugged and Ron seemed oblivious to their conversation. A group of four girls passed and whispered taking Ron from eating to look at them and smile a little. The girls blushed and smiled shyly. Hermione rolled her eyes and then grabbed her book bag telling Harry and Ginny she’d be in the library. They waved and went back to the conversation they had been having. Hermione reached the library and went to her corner. She decided the best use of her time was to finish her part of the project so that it would be ready to turn in either Wednesday or Thursday. As she was finishing up it occurred to her that she wished that Malfoy had been there with her. She had found herself starting to open up to him and told him a few things that only Ginny knew the details of. He was far from being her mortal enemy anymore and she was sure it was safe to say that they were friends now, although she didn’t talk about him while around Harry and Ron because she knew they wouldn’t really understand. As far as she knew, Ron was still having difficulty getting along with Zabini. They hated Malfoy way more than Zabini, so Hermione had decided not to tell them that he really wasn’t so bad and had spent time with him.
She finished up and then headed back to the Gryffindor Tower and at one point, in a hallway, she could have sworn she saw Malfoy watching her, but then she decided that she was becoming paranoid or something. The common room was mostly empty and Hermione went right up to bed to sleep so she could wake up bright and early ready for the relaxing day in Hogsmead.
When she woke up, the sun was shining brightly and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. Perfect! She thought as she got herself dressed. She decided that she wanted to look nice and get a little dressed up today. Not for anyone in particular, just for herself. She put on a purple top that was tight but had a fabric fringe around the edge at the top that flowed down and covered her whole chest and shoulders. It was very flattering. She wore her favorite pair of light grey jeans with sneakers and then added a little smoky-grey eye shadow to her eyelids. She left her hair down and it cascaded down her back. Sticking her wand in her back pocket and grabbing her cloak as she left, she headed down to breakfast. Almost everyone third year and up was in the Great Hall grabbing something to eat before they headed to Hogsmead. Everyone was chatting which made the whole hall buzz with sound. Hermione sat down right as the owls for mail flew in and one head straight for her, dropped a letter and then flew away. She smiled and reached for the letter. Opening it, she read
Sorry it has taken us so long to write back to you. We’re so happy that school is going well and that you are too. Your father and I plan to visit Australia again. We still remember most of our memories from there and it is a beautiful place.
Write again soon.
Love, Mother and Father
Hermione smiled. It still pained her when she thought of what she did to protect them, but she was glad that they had good memories and weren’t mad at her. She tucked the letter in a pocket of her cloak and continued to eat. Harry and Ginny walked up hand in hand and Hermione felt a slight pinch in her chest. She wished she could be going with someone today, someone she could hold hands with. But she didn’t have anyone, so she was going to have the best damn day possible by herself and she had to admit she was starting to look forward to it. She imagined all the books she could look at and read without being disturbed or sit in the sun and practice spells without someone wanting to pull her in a hundred directions. Yes, today would be a good day.
Finally everyone was lined up by the doors with their passes and were waiting for Filch to show up. Mrs. Norris waltzed in and scrutinized everyone before meowing and jumping on one of the statues by the giant doors. A few minutes later, Filch came wheezing in and looked irritated. Hermione wondered what could have happened this morning already that had him in such a foul mood. She watched him walk to the doors, yank them open and then turned around to glare at them all.
“Ruddy students,” He mumbled and then spoke louder, “No student without a pass is permitted to go to Hogsmead, so if you don’t have one, get out of here!”
He scowled at them and when no one move proceeded to tell them to form a line and show him their pass as they approached him. She sighed and watched as he eyed her and her pass that she showed him. He glared and nodded before turning to the next person. As soon as she was in the sun and the crisp cool air she took a deep breath in. Everything looked beautiful today and she knew that everyone in Hogsmead would be in a good mood today since the weather was so nice. She started to wonder away from the group and decided to go to the Honeydukes first. She loved the smell of the shop just as much as a book store. She walked around and looked at all the sweets and only once she walked around the whole store did she then buy some different chocolates and leave.
She wondered further down the road and looked around. Deciding that she would visit the Three Broomsticks later, she headed towards the lovely bookstore that she had found and fallen in love with. She saw the sign and smiled. Ah, Miss Cady’s Collection’s… I love this place. She walked in and was immediately greeted by a sweet elderly woman who was a couple inches shorter than Hermione but she seemed to glow and appeared taller. Hermione had once had many talks with her and Hermione had found out that not only did the store offer books from the magical word, but the muggle world as well.
The elderly woman recognized her and looked jubilant at the sight of Hermione. It had been over a year since she had been here because of the war and going off to find Horcrux’s.
“Hermione? Oh dear, I’m so happy to see you! It’s been too long.”
“Yes, it has. I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to visit until now.” Hermione said, a little emotion infusing itself into her words.
“My goodness, don’t apologize. You were off saving the world. Now, tell me how you are. How are your parents?”
Hermione smiled. She loved this woman. They found a spot on some cushy couches to sit and talk and talk they did. After about an hour, Cady went to attend to her store, for that was who the woman was. Hermione found a couple books that looked good to her and she curled up to read. Cady brought her some of her own special hot chocolate and Hermione happily drifted off into the world of books, her world. After losing herself for a few hours Hermione decided she would head over to the Three Broomsticks and then figure out where else she wanted to go before heading back to the castle. It was about three o’clock already. She bade Cady farewell and started towards the Three Broomsticks. As she passed an alleyway she heard a noise and turned to see two guys advancing on her. By the looks of it they were both from Ravenclaw and they had looks on their faces like they were hungry.
She turned to try and start walking the other direction but turned around to come face to face with Cormac McLaggen. He stepped forward, which in turn made her take steps back. As she reached for her wand, one of the guys behind her grabbed her elbows and held them. This made it impossible for her to get her wand out or use her arms at all really. She wanted to panic. When it came to McLaggen, things never went very well for her. She looked back at him and saw that he was close, too close for her liking. They were all far enough back in the ally that no one would notice them for awhile. She thought about screaming, but McLaggen spoke.
“You can try screaming, but no one will hear you. I used a handy spell so no one can hear us.” He smirked.
Hermione found her voice and glared at him.
“Leave me alone!” She spat at him.
His smiled widened and he stepped even closer. His body was now practically against hers and she could feel the two Ravenclaws behind her. She was scared.
“Scared Granger?” He purred in a dangerous voice.
“Get away from me!” She wanted to shout but she only managed a harsh whisper.
Then he was leaning, leaning in to her. He was so close Hermione could feel the heat from his breathing. The hands holding her tightened even more and she couldn’t move even an inch. Just as he was about to make some kind of contact, whether it be a kiss of worse, a new voice suddenly shouted at them,
“WHAT THE BLOODLY HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?! Get away from her!”
Hermione felt the hands behind her let go, but as she tried to step away McLaggen grabbed her and pinned her to the wall. His body crushed hers she saw him leaning in again. But he was yanked away from behind and as she looked to see who her savior was a surprising scene met her eyes. Draco Malfoy had thrown McLaggen to the ground and was advancing on him.
As they left the castle to head to Hogsmead his eyes followed a certain girl. Draco watched as Hermione headed down the road and once they reached the village she went to Honeydukes. He sprawled himself out on a bench far enough away that she probably wouldn’t notice him much less think that he was following her. After about 20 minutes he saw her emerge from the store and then head down a side street he had never ventured down. He kept a distance between them but was curious to see where she was going. He saw her pause slightly and looked up at the sign he assumed she was looking at. Miss Cady’s Collection’s, a bookstore, of course. He knew she would be in there for awhile, so he set up a spell to alert him when she left the store and he wandered off. He went to Zonko’s, Honeydukes, then an Apothecary and then made his way to the Shrieking Shack.
He was just leaning against the fence that surrounded the house when he felt an invisible pull on his wrist. It felt warm and was an interesting sensation. This was his spell telling him that she was leaving and he took off to find her.
He was having a bit of trouble finding her and wondered where she could have gone. As he turned around and decided to double back he saw some shadows down an ally. He went to see what was going on, but for the amount of movement the shadows were showing he couldn’t hear anything. This gave him a bad feeling and he walked a little faster. Suddenly he walked past a wall and it was like the sound had been turned up. He looked around and saw a sight that made him sick and filled him with rage.
Mclaggen was advancing on Hermione as one of the Ravenclaws from before held her. His body started to shake as he walked forward and shouted,
“WHAT THE BLOODLY HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?! Get away from her!”
They all looked around at him and the Ravenclaws detached themselves from the situation and took off running. However, Draco saw McLaggen turn back to Hermione and push her against the wall. He was leaning in again and Draco did all he could to not pull out his wand and use an unforgivable curse on his ass. Instead he opted to grab the back of his cloak and throw him down to the ground and stand over him. He knew that he looked like he wanted to kill because he could see McLaggen’s face fill with fear. Malfoy kicked him in the ribs, grabbed the front of his shirt and hauled him to his feet just so he could pull he arm back and sink his fist into the side of McLaggen’s face. Draco then rammed his elbow into his adversary’s stomach and finished him off by punching him again and watched as McLaggen slumped to the ground, unconscious. Draco turned around to see if the others were still in the ally but he knew they were long gone. His attention then focused on the girl, on Hermione. She still looked a little shell shocked and was leaning against the wall. He approached her slowly so as not to alarm her. When he stood in front of her he spoke to her softly,
“Hermione? Are you ok?”
She snapped her head up and stared at him. He realized that was the first time he’d ever said her first name. Whoops. He backed up a little to give her space but he continued to watch her every move. He heard a groan behind him and couldn’t help but let a low growl slip out. He studied her and wanted to get her out of there.
“Let’s get out of here. You need to sit.”
“I’m fine.” She whispered.
He almost laughed. He knew full well that she was not okay. She was probably in shock. He carefully put his hand on her arm and stirred her out of the alleyway. He decided that she needed a warm drink and somewhere to sit. Guiding her gently, they walked towards the Three Broomsticks in silence. He hoped that she wasn’t going to suddenly turn on him, but his anxiety did not interfere with his want to protect her. He was in love with her, but she didn’t know. She couldn’t know. They walked into the pub and he led her to a table off in a back corner and sat her down.
“Stay here. I’m going to get you a drink.” He told her and hoped that for once she would listen.
When he returned he was relieved to see that she had stayed seated and looked a little better already. As he approached he noticed that she was studying him. He wanted to keep his emotions hidden plus he couldn’t help but tease her a little.
“Staring at me Granger?”
She rolled her eyes and grabbed the drink he’d gotten her. A good reaction, he would survive another day.
Hermione watched him as he walked back over to her through the cramped tables that filled the popular pub. She was still a little shocked by what happened but somehow she also felt content and safe now that Malfoy had rescued her. It seemed to be becoming a habit of him somehow saving her when she needed it most and no one else was around. It no longer bothered her and in actuality she found herself wanting to be around him. There were also those moments where she got those little fluttering feelings in her stomach, but those she was still ignoring pretty well. When he got close enough his normal smirk appeared and he spoke to her,
“Staring at me Granger?”
She knew he was teasing her so she grabbed the Butterbeet he had gotten her and sipped it. Warmth flooded through her and she felt much better. When she looked at him again he was sitting across from her and was looking at her. After a few more minutes of silence he asked her question,
“How are you? You ok?”
She thought for a moment and analyzed herself. Besides these confusing fluttering feelings she was feeling fine now, for real.
She saw him nod and then heard him mutter some about McLaggen and wanting to kill him. She smiled a little. Curious as to why he helped her she asked him.
“Why did you help me?”
“Because he was being a sick animal. No one should treat a girl like that.”
She had a feeling he wasn’t telling her his whole reason, but she didn’t press him for answers. She was feeling content and didn’t want to ruin the moment. She went down a harmless road and asked him where he went in Hogsmead and whether he had a good day. She saw his face twitch a little with what seemed to be amusement but he told her and didn’t provide an explanation for his reaction. That led them to talk about where she went and then what place was their favorite in the village. Before long the pub started to empty and they realized it was almost five o’clock and everyone was heading back up to the castle for dinner. They got up and left and she walked contentedly by his side as they continued their conversation which had turned to their project. This carried them all the way to the Great Hall where they split and went to sit at their own tables. Hermione smiled as she walked toward her friends and sat down. She had an idea that she was starting to feel something for the boy who continued to save her.
(Cady = meaning “simple happiness”)
I know that the story may not be moving as quickly as some of you readers may like. But I hope that you're enjoying this anyways.
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