Chapter 17 : Chapter 17
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The next morning at breakfast Fred sat down beside me and gave my hand a supportive squeeze. I was thankful he never asked what happened or if I was ok. Maybe word had gotten around about what Draco had been saying before I hit him and Fred realized why I had lashed out. The other students were not so polite about it. Whispering and pointing followed me around for the next few days, well not so much whispering on Pansy Parkinson’s part. Next to her the only ones as vocal about how “mental and dangerous” I was were the other members of the Slytherin Quidditch team. They even claimed I was part of a plan to injure their Seeker to increase Gryffindor’s odds of winning.
By Friday morning they became far less vocal, and I wasn’t sure why. I kept getting dark looks though. Pansy Parkinson had the deepest look of disgust out of everyone, as if she would like nothing more than to send a curse my way. I would see her whispering to the other Slytherin girls and their eyes would drift over to me, but they never said anything while I was within earshot.
One Slytherin who did appear to be thoroughly enjoying himself was Theodore Nott. Every time I spared a glance at him he had that nauseating smirk I oh so badly wanted to wipe off his face. I should have ignored him, right? Avoided looking at him completely? Well that might have worked if he didn’t seem to be in every damn place I went.
At least three times a day he would pass me in the corridors. He must have been nearly living in the library because he was always there when I was. Every morning, noon, and night he was sitting at the end of the Slytherin table, watching me as I left. I’m also willing to bet Nott spent most of his meals watching me too because whenever Fred and George sat across from me, they spent most of the time with scowls on their face, looking over my shoulder. It was maddening. Finally I decided to make a more permanent move to Gryffindor tower, even if it meant extra trips to the library for new books and spending each and every night in the common room.
As far as Draco was concerned, I refused to look at him and you know what? I’m betting he was doing the same thing about me. I didn’t hear him speak once during the entire week in fact. Something that, as much as I was still furious at him, made the pit of my stomach fill with guilt.
The only high note of the week was Wednesday night and the first meeting of the newly named Dumbledore’s Army. I paired up with Luna Lovegood to practice the Disarming Charm but she was much more interested in staring at me and making small talk.
“I was hoping to see you on the train,” she said absentmindedly, casting a spell my way that I effortlessly blocked.
“Er…I was a bit late getting to the station,” I explained. Luna nodded at this and continued attempting to disarm me. However she had a habit of taking long pauses to watch me, awkwardly long pauses. Finally it got to the point where I couldn’t ignore it anymore. “Something wrong?” I asked, forcing myself to sound politely curious.
“You look different,” she answered, tilting her head to the side. “Conflicted.”
“Right,” I replied, slightly sarcastic. “Sorry to change so much.”
“Oh, no. I find it fascinating how much people can change over such a small amount of time.”
“A year is a small amount of time?” I questioned.
“Not quite a year. Only since June.” Surprised by her response, I completely forgot to block her Disarming Charm and my wand flew over towards Parvati and Lavender. Instead of simply calling it back to me, I walked over to retrieve it, giving me time to collect my thoughts. Over my first few encounters with Luna I’d been left with the impression of an eccentric ditz, but now she seemed far too observant. Rather than keep the conversation going, I chose to act like she’d never said it and instructed her to continue casting spells at me.
Despite Luna and the odd conversation it had been a good meeting. Harry was doing better than I’d anticipated, even if he did look a bit overwhelmed by people following his directions. Before we left for the evening, another meeting was scheduled for next week.
I couldn’t stop myself from wondering what Snape would say if he found out about this. I suppose first he would tell me to quit immediately and chastise me for taking such a risk. He’d also probably be flabbergasted at why I was even in a Defense group taught by Harry Potter in the first place. There was something about the D.A. though, something that felt right. This is what everyone in the school should have been doing, learning how to defend themselves properly. And there was just something exciting about working directly in opposition to the Ministry.
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To avoid Nott I ate dinner in ten minutes, leaving before he even arrived. It gave me enough time to visit the library and check out half a dozen books to bring back to Gryffindor tower. Planning on storing five in my trunk, I headed up the girls’ staircase. As I opened the door to the fifth year girls’ dormitory I was met with the sound of frantic movement. Inside I found Hermione sitting on her bed, looking very suspicious.
“Oh,” she breathed out, sounding relieved. “I thought it might have been someone else.”
“Er…sorry to alarm you then,” I said, crouching beside my trunk. “What are you doing?” I asked curiously, taking the key from around my neck.
“I – well I thought we needed a better way to contact everyone in the D.A. So it doesn’t look so suspicious every time we plan a meeting.”
“That’s a good idea,” I agreed. “What did you think up?” Hermione bit her lip and paused before standing. She pulled back her comforter, exposing a few golden Galleons and two dozen metal disks. I walked over and bent down, confused. I picked up one of the Galleons, well I thought it was a Galleon but the Gringotts logo wasn’t quite right. “These are fake?”
“You’re making counterfeit gold?”
“It’s for the D.A.,” she said defensively. “I was going to cast a Protean Charm on them. That way Harry could change the serial number bit to reflect the next time and date of the meeting. You can carry them around without worry because Umbridge can’t punish us for carrying around a Galleon.”
“Er…Hermione? You realize this is illegal and you can be sent to Azkaban for it,” I said delicately. Somehow Hermione model-student-and-rule-abiding-prefect Granger was turning into something more Fred and George want-to-see-how-many-detentions-we-can-get-in-the-next-hour? Weasley. It was surreal to say the least.
“Seeing as I’m not using the gold to purchase items, I’m certain it won’t come to that,” she replied impatiently.
“You’re making counterfeit gold,” I repeated as it set in.
“Yes,” Hermione exclaimed, giving up. “I’m making counterfeit gold!”
I dropped the fake Galleon back onto the bed and turned towards Hermione.
“Need some help?”
A/N: Yeah…really short chapter. I didn’t feel like it went well with the next part so I separated them.
I think at this moment, we’re about a quarter of the way through the story, so let me know what you think. Like how it’s going? Excited to find out about Jade and Draco’s childhood? It’s coming up eventually. And of course we haven’t even started on the Lestrange’s breaking out of Azkaban. Don’t be shy about reviews!
The first D.A. meeting is from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling, Chapter 18, Dumbledore’s Army. Hermione’s fake Galleon idea is from Chapter 19, The Lion and the Serpent.
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