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Chapter 6 : Chapter Six: The Room of Requirement
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Hermione stood in front of the Room of Requirement, trying to calm her nerves. She was shaking. On the floor in front of where the doorway usually appeared, there was a note from her 'admirer'.
Ask the room to reveal your admirer, and it’ll open for you.
She’d been standing there for more than three minutes. If she stood here any longer, her 'admirer' was going to think she’d bailed. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and kindly asked the room to reveal her admirer.
When she opened her eyes, the door had appeared. Swallowing, she pushed it open and stepped inside.
The Room of Requirement was more beautiful than Hermione had ever seen it. She was standing in the entrance of a room that looked so romantic she wondered if she was dreaming. The room had magnificent high-ceilings, burgundy painted walls and a small round table in the center of the room. Hundreds upon hundreds of little candles floated around the room, giving it a romantic glow. Somewhere in the distance, she could hear a piano and a harp playing softly. On the table was a single rosebud.
It was incredibly romantic indeed.
But there’s no one else here, she thought. It’s just me.
She turned around, prepared to leave disappointed, when the music came to a halting stop. She turned back around.
Theodore Nott was standing in front of her, wearing a simple white dress shirt and a pair of pants with a green tie. He was smiling at her, but Hermione was not happy. Now she knew why Draco had begged her not to come.
‘What exactly do you think you’re doing? Is this some kind of a joke?’ She demanded, crossing her arms.
‘What? No!’ Nott said.
She scowled. ‘You have ten seconds to explain yourself before I walk right back out that door,’ she said.
‘I’m sorry for what I said earlier,’ he said. ‘I didn’t mean it, honestly. I just… see, I’ve fancied you for a while, Hermione. I just… I never had the chance to do anything about it. I’m sorry that I was a jerk.’
She wasn’t sure if she entirely believed him. ‘Your comment about Ron dumping me because I was 'too annoying' isn’t exactly helping you right now,’ she said. ‘Give me one reason why I shouldn’t leave.’
‘Because I’ve gone through all this trouble to prepare for a perfect date? And I know you’d hate for the House Elves work to go to waste. And I only said what I did because I was jealous of Ron. I don’t think you’re annoying. I think you’re beautiful,’ he said, and she couldn’t help but blush.
‘You had House Elves help you with this?’ She asked, angrily.
He nodded. ‘But I paid them extra,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t very well do it myself during class, could I? They were too happy to help. I promise I paid them extra for it.’
‘Fine,’ she sighed. ‘I don’t believe your excuses, but I’ll stay, only because I don’t like dressing up for no reason.’
He grinned triumphantly. They sat down at the table. ‘Um, to order your food, you just tap your plate and say what you want. Like at the Yule Ball. Same thing for the drinks,’ he explained at her confused look at the empty plates.
‘How did you figure out that spell?’ She asked him, curiously.
He shrugged. ‘I didn’t. It was the room. I came in here, and it sort of showed me what to do. Hard to explain,’ he said. He tapped on the side of his plate and said 'Spaghetti', and the famous dish appeared.
She followed his action, ordering her own plate of pasta and a glass of rich red wine to go with it. ‘It’s beautiful. The room, I mean,’ she said.
‘I’m glad you like it. I wanted it to be perfect,’ he said, and to her surprise, his cheeks were a little red.
‘It is,’ she said. She took a bite of her pasta, and to her pleasure, she found that it was cooked perfectly. It was so good, too. Spaghetti wasn’t something that had been served at Hogwarts, and she hadn’t had it in ages, so she’d half-forgotten what it tasted like. But it was delicious, and so was her wine.
‘So, I reckon we should get to know each other a bit, then, if you’re going to trust me,’ he said. ‘What’s your favorite color?’
She laughed. ‘That’s your first question? Really? Well, I guess mine would be purple. Plum, really. What’s yours?’ She asked.
He thought about it for a moment. ‘Would it be totally cheesy if I said my favorite color was the color of your eyes?’ He asked, and she blushed furiously.
‘You’re quite the charmer, aren’t you?’ She said, and took another bite of her food so she didn’t have to look at him. There was something about the dark blue of his eyes that made her stomach churn, and she didn’t know if it was a good or bad thing.
‘Well, I like to think I am,’ he said. ‘What’s your favorite hobby? Besides reading, I mean?’
‘I don’t really have any hobbies besides reading. I used to play the piano, and when I was younger I was in ballet. But… I wouldn’t say I have any now. Does fighting bad guys count?’ She asked, and he laughed. ‘I don’t know, I guess. What about you?’
‘I like to fly,’ he said. ‘I know, it’s a total boy thing to say, but I do. I like to bake, as well, when I can.’
‘Really? I can picture you on a broom, but I can’t picture you frosting cupcakes,’ she said, trying to imagine it and failing.
‘I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy it,’ he said. ‘Let’s see. If you had to be in a house other than your own, which one would you be in?’
‘Ravenclaw,’ she said automatically. ‘The Sorting Hat wanted to put me in Ravenclaw at first, actually, but decided I was better fit for Gryffindor. What about you?’
‘Um,’ he hesitated, blushing. ‘Ravenclaw, as well. I like to think I’m the smart type. But I wanted to be in Slytherin. I already had friends there, and I didn’t enjoy the idea of being an outcast.’
‘I can understand that,’ she said. ‘Okay, then. Um, what’s your favorite class?’
He thought about it. ‘Hmm. Probably Charms,’ he said. ‘You?’
‘I like Charms, but I’d have to say it would be a mix between Transfiguration and Ancient Runes,’ she said. ‘So, um, what’s your favorite season?’
‘Winter,’ he said. ‘I find there’s something… hmm, I don’t know, romantic about it. What’s yours?’
‘I like fall the best. It’s not usually too cold or too hot in the fall, and I love all the colors,’ she said. ‘Plus, my birthday is in September. The nineteenth.’
‘Oh, really? That’s coming up soon then,’ he said. ‘Happy Early Birthday, I suppose. Okay, so my turn. What’s your favorite flower?’
‘Believe it or not, my favorite flower used to be a pansy. Then I came to Hogwarts and I actually met Pansy, and decided I hated the flower,’ she said, and he laughed. ‘But I would say my favorite flower is a rose. I know, it’s such a girly answer.’
‘The rose symbolizes love in variant forms. For example, a red rose symbolizes love and desire, where a white rose symbolizes purity, chastity, and innocence. A yellow rose is an expression of exuberance and are symbols of friendship and caring. Pink roses are used to convey gentle emotions such as admiration, joy and gratitude. Orange roses signify passion and energy. They can be used to express intense desire, pride, and fervor. They also convey a sense of fascination. Lavender roses express 'love at first sight'. A blue rose, as it cannot be achieved naturally, represent the unattainable or the mysterious. Blue roses therefore embody the desire for the unattainable. They say, 'I can’t have you but I can’t stop thinking about you'. And I’m going to shut up now for fear of sounding like a total nerd,’ he said.
She laughed. ‘I don’t think you sound nerdy,’ she said. ‘Most girls would find it endearing that you know so much about flowers.’
‘There was a book in the library about the different meanings of flowers, in the Herbology section. It looked interesting, so I checked it out,’ he explained. ‘And now I do sound like a total nerd.’
‘It’s alright,’ she said. ‘Hey, why’d you sign your note with an 'N' for Nott, instead of a 'T' for Theo?’
‘No one calls me Theodore,’ he said, shrugging. ‘It’s a Slytherin thing, I suppose, addressing yourself by your last name.’
‘I did noticed you lot seemed to do that a lot,’ she said. ‘Am I allowed to call you Theo, then?’
‘You can call me Theo, if you want,’ he said. ‘Although I do allow my closest friends to call me TJ. It’s my initials. Theodore Jacob Nott.’
‘TJ. I like that,’ she said, smiling. It didn’t suit him, but she liked the nickname. It was different… unpredictable.
‘Would you like to dance with me?’ He asked her suddenly.
She had not been asked to dance in a long time, she realized. The idea was thrilling. ‘Sure,’ she said.
He stood, and pulled out her chair. The table disappeared then, as if the room was complying, and he pulled her close.
‘You look beautiful tonight. I’m sorry I didn’t say so earlier,’ he said as he spun her around in a circle.
‘Thanks,’ she said. She wondered what he would do if she told him that Draco had all but picked out her outfit, and decided to keep her mouth shut. She had a feeling that Theo was the jealous type, and she didn’t want to start a fight.
He started asking questions again, as they swayed to the piano music, and Hermione forgot about everything else.
Draco scowled at the clock in the common room. If Hermione didn’t come back soon, he was going to have to go looking for her. He told himself that he was only getting annoyed because there was no way he was doing patrol alone tonight. It was only half a lie.
He had tried all evening not to imagine what Hermione was doing with Nott. But of course, he couldn’t help but do exactly that. He kept envisioning the two of them snogging madly in a broom cupboard somewhere, and every time he did, he felt like he would be sick.
She was too good for Theodore Nott. And he knew perfectly well the kind of person that Nott was. He was too good with his words, too charming. He would play with Granger’s heart and when he was done, when he had destroyed her completely, he would toss her aside like she was a toy he was tired of playing with. He’d watched it happen too many times before. But Draco couldn’t let that happen to her. Not Granger. He couldn’t stand to watch Granger become a broken, lifeless thing like so many girls before her. The thought of never seeing her smile again, never seeing her laugh or her eyes light up, made him furious.
Stop it, he told himself. This is Granger you’re thinking about. You can’t think about her like that.
But he couldn’t help it. And the longer the evening went on, the more he kept picturing. It didn’t help that he happened to have a very good… imagination when it came to these sorts of things. He’d even pictured Hermione having children with Nott. It was absolutely disgusting to think about, and the thought filled him with a hatred he couldn’t quite explain.
‘Ugh,’ he growled, punching the pillow on the sofa. He’d already ripped it apart and repaired it twice.
He felt like ripping his hair out. There was nothing to do. He didn’t feel like going down to the Slytherin common room, and it was too close to curfew to go to the library. He’d even attempted to read, but no use. The book he’d picked out had been one of those stupid 'romance' novels. And every time the couple kissed in the story—which was a lot even though he’d barely finished the first chapter—he imagined, to his disgust, Hermione and Nott.
It’s just because she’s on a date with Nott, he told himself. That’s all. You are not attracted to bushy-haired Granger. At all. End of story.
He took a deep, shaky breath. Yes. That was it. Because the idea of Draco Malfoy being even slightly attracted to Hermione Granger was preposterous as the idea of The Dark Lord returning—okay, maybe he was exaggerating a little.
But still, those were both things that were never going to happen. Not in this lifetime. Not if Draco could help it.
Hermione had no idea how long she stayed in the Room of Requirement with Theo, but she would’ve stayed longer if she hadn’t started yawning. They had been curled up on a sofa that had appeared when they tired of dancing. Their hands had laced together, and she was half-curled into his side. It had been ages since she’d sat like that with someone; she’d almost forgotten what it was like.
‘I guess I should probably get you back to your dorm,’ Theo said, almost sheepishly. ‘It’s almost curfew.’
‘Oh my goodness!’ She gasped, getting up. ‘I forgot about patrol!’
Theo laughed. ‘It’s fine. I’m sure Draco will understand. But we should get going.’
He picked up a rosebud, and they left the Room of Requirement. ‘I wonder what would happen if someone saw us together,’ she said, as they walked down the empty corridors. He was holding her hand, fingers warm around hers.
‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘People would be shocked, I think. It’s probably not a good idea for anyone to see us together yet.’
‘I know,’ she said miserably. ‘Our houses would never accept us being even friends, even with House Unity. And I know Ron would hate me forever for being friends with a Slytherin.’
‘What about Potter and Weaslette, though?’ He asked. ‘How do you think they’d react if they found out?’
‘I’m sure that Ginny would be okay with it. She’s my best friend, she’ll support me no matter what,’ she said. ‘As for Harry, I’m not sure. He might not like it, but if it makes me happy, he won’t try to fight against it. The rest of my friends would hopefully follow suit. What about your friends? How do you think they’d react?’
‘They’d be furious,’ he said. ‘At least, most of them would be. You can never tell how they’re going to react. They might just surprise us.’
‘I hope so,’ she said.
They reached the Head’s Tower at last. They stopped about halfway down the corridor, Shakespeare’s portrait a ways ahead. ‘I would like to see you again, Hermione,’ Theo said, staring intensely into her eyes as he handed her the rosebud.
‘Me, too,’ she said.
Suddenly, he was so close that she could just make out specks of gold in his hazel eyes.
‘I’ll send you another note when we can meet up again,’ he said. When he spoke, his lips almost touched hers, sending shivers down her spine.
‘Okay,’ she breathed.
She anticipated the kiss. Surely he was going to kiss her, right? The look in his eyes… she could see he wanted to, but he was hesitating. Why?
Then he leaned down, and his lips brushed hers. Hermione smiled against his mouth, her body arching upwards, her mouth finding his. Theo twined his fingers in her hair, and pulled her closer.
But then, just as quickly as the kiss had begun, before Theodore had the chance to snog her senseless, there was a devastatingly familiar voice:
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