Chapter 24 : Oh my God, Hermione, Shut up
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There is some Strong Language within this chapter.
Thank you nala@tda for the lovely image!
Hermione collapsed on her bed, crying. She felt embarrassed. This wasn't her. She was the smartest witch of her year, and she couldn't even fight off Mclaggen, or keep a boyfriend. She didn't know what had happened to her. It wasn't like her to be so weak; she cringed thinking of what might have happened had Draco not intervened, even if it was for his own jealous reasons. But he had no reason to be jealous! Hermione didn't understand why he couldn't see she was being assaulted, was he really that quick to believe the worst of her?
The door burst open with a resounding thud.
"Hermione, what's going on? We just passed Draco and he looked really mad and said he didn't know or care where you were!" asked Ginny. Hermione didn't answer; there were just the small shakes of her shoulders and the quiet sounds of sniffling echoing across the Head Girl's bedroom.
"Oh that's it," grumbled Pansy, tired of being ignored. She walked up to the bed and turned Hermione over; she pulled her up and hugged her. Hermione tensed at first, but slowly hugged her friend back, her tears renewing.
"Tell us what happened," Pansy demanded gently as she rubbed soothing circles on her back. Ginny and Luna came and sat down beside her.
Hermione blurted out the whole story. How she caught Astoria kissing Draco, what she said and did, how she ran away and was attacked by Cormac. The girls were furious and ready to murder someone, but stayed still as they listened to Hermione recount her story.
"Then, he blasted Cormac away, but he thought that I was kissing him! And he called me a slag, and broke up with me!" she cried.
"I swear, I'm going to hex his balls off," threatened Ginny, standing.
"No, Ginny, please don't! It'll just make things worse," Hermione said to her friend.
"How can it make things worse?" she demanded.
"I just want to let him cool down, and then I'll talk to him and describe what happened. If he doesn't listen to me, then you have my blessing," Hermione smiled a bit as she said that last part.
"Do you need anything?" asked Pansy.
"No, I just want to be left alone right now. Please."
"Okay, come on Ginny, Luna," Pansy let go of Hermione and walked towards the door.
"Guys, don't do anything," Hermione warned.
"We won't," promised Luna. But Hermione couldn't help but notice the smirks on Pansy and Ginny's faces.
The girls passed Draco as he was entering the common room. If looks could kill, Draco would have been dead three times over by now. Pansy waved the girls on, and told them to return to their dates, she'd join them in a bit. As soon as they were gone, she rounded on her best friend.
"You unbelievable prat," she hissed so Hermione wouldn't hear her, "what the bloody hell is wrong with you?"
"Leave me alone Pans," he said, exasperated.
"No! You are wrong Draco, Hermione would be the last girl to ever betray you," after shooting him one last glare, Pansy stormed out of there. She only hoped that Draco had heard her words, and if not, she was sure that the little bat-bogey hex that Ginny had so kindly taught her and that she sent him on her way out would keep him company.
Ginny and Luna, well, mainly Ginny, recounted the story to Blaise, Harry and Ron while Pansy was gone. Harry and Ron looked like they were going to kill Draco.
"I told Hermione, if that git ever hurt her, I'd hurt him," Ron looked like he was about to spring to his feet and hurtle down the corridors until he found Draco.
"I'll help you," Harry said calmly, but his eyes shone like emeralds, Draco would be wise to avoid this one.
"I don't know, I think we should just let them sort it out themselves," said Blaise, hesitantly. Everyone swirled to glare at him. Luckily, someone stopped them from protesting.
"I agree," Pansy nodded, entering the hallway everyone was in and walking over to Ron.
"Why would you agree to that?" asked Ron, angrily.
"Because, Ronald, it's not our business," Ron opened his mouth to argue, "Shut it, I think we should just let them work things out, if they haven't sorted it out in a week, then we'll intervene, until then, it's best to just stay out of it."
"What makes you the boss?" asked Ginny.
"Look!" Blaise threw his hands in the air, frustrated, "Draco is my best friend, and I know him better than anyone. Pansy's right, leave the two of them alone, if they can't solve their issues, then we can intervene, but until then, we can't just interfere in their business!"
"I'm sure it's just the wrackspurts," Luna said, loftily.
"Fine," sighed Harry, knowing he wasn't going to be able to get Luna to change her mind. Ginny and Ron reluctantly relented.
"But only for a week." Ginny said, pointing her finger at Pansy.
"Fine, now, let's return to the Great Hall. Since both of the heads are missing, someone has to make sure everything runs smoothly," Pansy rolled her eyes.
The days passed slowly, you could tell that the rift between Draco and Hermione was really taking a toll on their friends. Hermione's nearly cursed Astoria when she heard her whispering to her friends.
"I told you that a filthy mudblood like her wouldn't be able to keep Draco's interest for very long." The only reason Astoria wasn't in the hospital wing was because Pansy had dragged Hermione away, threatening to burn her copy of Hogwarts: A History if she didn't cooperate.
Draco had nearly pummeled Cormac when he passed him in the hallway, he would have ignored the prick, but it's kind of hard to do that when someone's smirking at you like they're better than you, no one is better than a Malfoy.
Needless to say, things were extremely awkward. Draco and Hermione avoided each other in their Common Room, sat as far away from each other as possible when their friends decided to hang out as a group, and they even took to patrolling by themselves, Hermione Granger was breaking the rules and she really hoped that Professor McGonagall didn't find out.
Finally, a week had passed, a week in which no attempts to reconcile their differences had been made. Pansy, Blaise, Ginny, Ron, Harry and Luna finally realized just how serious this was, well, Luna didn't, she didn't even seem to notice the rift between her friends.
"Okay, I think it's officially time that we did something, this has been going on for too long!" Pansy whispered.
"Why are you whispering? There's no one here Pans," Ron pointed out.
"Oh… right," muttered Pansy, looking around her as if just noticing that the group was standing underneath the Quidditch bleachers.
"They don't even spend time with us as a group anymore!" Ginny threw her hands up in the air, frustrated.
"Yeah, Draco's been focusing all his time on conquering his Animagus form, while Granger's been holed up in the library. I swear she knows of a secret room in there or something, she always manages to evade Draco and I if we enter the Library," Blaise trailed off.
"Well, does anyone have any ideas? Of ways that we could get them to talk?"
"We could always shove them in a broom cupboard, if anything, that'd be a good laugh," Ron chuckled, not being serious about his best friend trapped in a cupboard with his one time nemesis.
"That's perfect!" Pansy and Ginny screamed simultaneously. They looked at each other and grinned.
"I knew you had a brain in there somewhere Ronniekins!" Ginny grinned. Ron glared at his little sister.
"I wasn't being serious! That's an awful idea!" he protested.
"No! It's perfect, we need to force them somewhere where they would have no choice but to talk to each other."
"Harry!" Ron turned to his best friend.
"Well, I don't like the idea anymore than you do, but you have to admit, we're a bit short on ideas right now, it couldn't hurt to try it."
"Good! It's settled, Pans, do you know about that broom cupboard on the third floor next to that alcove with the Lachlan the Lanky statue?
"Oh yeah," Pansy smirked.
"Good. Meet me there at eight, after dinner. Bring Draco, we'll shove him in there first, then we can go find Hermione. Blaise, Ron and Harry, you'll be in charge of guarding the door until we get back. Silencing charms, locking charms, do everything to make sure that they can't get out. Clear?"
"Pans, where are we going? I have an Arithmancy essay that I need to finish," said an exasperated Draco. Pansy had been dragging him around the castle since dinner ended.
"I'm telling you, I found a secret passageway out of the school! One that the Gryffindors don't know about," Pansy continued pulling him by his arm.
"I hope you realize that I am Head Boy and you're breaking a school rule," Draco said dryly, raising an eyebrow at his friend.
"Pft, since when have you ever cared?" Pansy rolled her eyes. "Ah, here we are!"
"Here? We're in the middle of no whe-" but Draco didn't get to finish what he was saying. A sac was placed over his head, his wand stolen, and then he was spun around multiple times before the sac was removed and he was hastily shoved into a dark place before being stunned.
"Ron! You didn't have to stun him!" Pansy turned to glare at her boyfriend.
"Just taking all necessary precautions, he'll be back to normal by the time you guys get back with Hermione," he shrugged. Pansy just shook her head before walking off with Luna and Ginny.
Soon, voices were heard coming down the 3rd floor corridor once more.
"Guys, where are you taking me?"
"We told you, there were some fourth years arguing pretty badly with each other down here, we stunned them because they were being annoying, now you can give them detentions for us," Ginny said nonchalantly.
"You stunned them! You guys! You can't do that!"
"You didn't see anything," Pansy shrugged, stopping suddenly. "Now!"
Once more, there was some shoving and muffles of protest before the broom cupboard door was wrenched open, Hermione was thrown inside, and then the door was locked from the outside using magic. Pansy and Ginny gave each other high-fives, cackling madly.
WhopWhop! We're almost finished guys! Just a few more chapters!
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