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Slowly, Then All at Once by helloshelby
Chapter 2 : Chapter Two.
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1

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Hermione scurried up the stairs trying her best to get up this flight before they moved. She was already flustered and stumbling from her encounter with Malfoy. She sure as hell didn’t need to get lost too. Hermione had never been a fan of trying to find her way around when the staircases got bored, unlike some of her classmates.

They thought it was fun and it could always be an excuse of why you were late to class. Hermione saw it as a deterrent from getting where you needed to go quickly and efficiently. 

With Gryffindor Tower in her sights her pace quicken, as she approached The Fat Lady asked, “Password?”

“Fairy cake.” Hermione said curtly and the portrait swung up.

She proceeded through the portrait hole, hoping that no one would stop her along the way. Someone always needed to rattle on, it was even worse when they had senseless questions.

Hermione wasn’t of a simple mind and she normally figured anything she needed to know out for herself. So when others didn’t do the same she found it infuriating.

And when she took her first steps into the Common Room Fay Dunbar appeared within seconds.

“Hermione, I have been looking for you everywhere.” It took all of Hermione not to roll her eyes.

Fay continued on, “I need to borrow your notes from Defense Again the Dark Arts.” Fay stated, there was no hint of a question.

Fay expected her to just hand them over, which didn’t surprise Hermione in the least. And Hermione thought of saying no but the last time that had happen Fay just took what she needed.

But that didn’t stop Hermione on commenting that maybe Fay should show up to class and take her own notes.

After forking over her notes, she made her way through the room and various students. But before she made it to the stairs she was being called over by Ron and Harry.

She took a deep breath in, turned and walked over to her two friends.

“Weren’t you going to at least come say hello to us before going upstairs? After all you had to study instead of spend time with us today.” Harry stated.

Harry had been in a foul mood for a while now, especially since Ginny was now dating some other boy. What did he expect when he hadn’t told her how he felt?

She loved her friends and was thankful for them, but right now it took a lot not to hit Harry in the back of the head. 

Hermione lowered herself in the slouchy armchair as she sighed, and the boys went back to discussing Quidditch. She was just about to get up when the subject turned to Draco Malfoy.

“I can’t believe he was made the Slytherin captain. Ferret probably had to have his father pay to get him that spot.” Ron spouted angrily.

“Honestly Ronald don’t be ridiculous, he didn’t have to pay to get that spot. He is actually pretty good. ” Hermione said casually.

But as she glanced up through her dark eyelashes she realized it was not taken as a casual comment.

Ron started first, practically roaring at her. “Good? You think he is good? Don’t tell me you have lost your mind and turned into one of Malfoy’s fan girls. ”

Hermione stared at him incredulously, she blinked several times before she spat at him. “Not only do you have the emotional range of a teaspoon also you have a brain as small as a pea. How dare you ever put me in a category with those girls!”

Ron looked to Harry for help as Hermione was catching her breath and her chest rose up and down quickly. Harry glanced down and mumbled to Ron, “You know how she feels about those girls, mate.”

“So now that I have been insulted I am going up to my room. Thank you very much for the lovely time.” She said quickly, and then she turned on her heel and marched up the steps to the girls dormitories.

By the time she flopped down on her bed she was still fuming. How dare Ronald think he could say such a thing to her! It made her shutter to think of any similarities between herself and the number of girls that had been in the hands of Draco Malfoy.

Although now Ronald had found a girl like that for himself, Lavender Brown. And she made Hermione sick, with the cutesy nicknames and all the snogging. Hermione wasn’t a prude but she felt as though it was just rude to others to have your tongue down someone’s throat. It left little imagination to what would happen next.

So she was back to why the hell Ron had to make some big deal about Malfoy. In the boys eyes once someone was bad that could never change. Well except Harry’s father but oh let’s not go there. As for Malfoy, their thoughts would be he is an evil Deatheater who should be in jail.

For her thoughts, she was very undecided of what she thought of him. Whenever she thought of Draco Malfoy it was to try to figure him out. He was such an enigma to everyone, the façade didn’t drop with him. Until it did and it was in front of her in which it fell. In those moments she felt like she may of have a glimpse of who he was.

Caught between being a boy and a man, having to fight for things he doesn’t believe in. Hermione realized she was very curious about him, and she was going to find out more. She was going to start planning ways to but sleep washed over her.

Several hours later the light had drained from the room as Hermione stirred. She yawned as she stretched her arms up into the air. She wished that she could just fall back to sleep, that had been what she wished a lot recently. Waking up and not feeling rested is one of the most awful feelings in Hermione’s opinion.

But now sleeping wasn’t an option, it seldomly was, too much to be done. Tonight she had to continue to read and take notes for Ancient Ruins, as well as Arithmancy. Then she was patrolling the corridors till late tonight. Since she hadn’t been able to sleep much recently so she had her schedule changed.

As she walked to the door she smoothed down her hair. Making her way down the stairs she realized dinner must have already started because normally there were hordes of students to squeeze through. She hoped it wasn’t too late, she could always go down to the kitchen. But that was going to be a pain.

Hermione arrived to the Great Hall quickly but came to an abrupt halt, Dumbledore was speaking. So Hermione just to the side of the door waiting till he sat to proceed along to her own seat. But that thought was quickly diminished as Dumbledore saw her.

“Oh good evening, Miss Granger.” He said as if they were to just see each other in the corridors.

Most everyone turned to look at her, some started laughing. Hermione had a horror stuck look on at face, she was mortified.

“Well why don’t you take a seat? I will be wrapping up shortly. Surely you want to get some food before Mr. Weasley gets to it.

That made Hermione feel better, she chuckled softly. She spotted Ginny, Harry and Ron, who looked quite red from Dumbledore’s comment. She shuffled to join them at the long wooden table.

As she took a seat next to Harry, Dumbledore started which the matter he had been discussing before.

She listened for a moment only to decipher of what he was speaking about. And it happened to be Quidditch tryouts, and when that word came that’s when Hermione zoned out.

Once Dumbledore wrapped up the food appeared on the table. And as predicted Ron did start grabbing everything, Hermione opted for stew, it was one of her favorites in the colder months.

When she was young, her mother would let her help make the stew. Which now looking back all she did was stir and add too much salt. Small memories like that just made her think of how much she missed being at home with her parents.

Hogwarts was another world, and at times she felt like a different person. She knew that magic was apart of herself and something she could never turn her back on. But she felt like maybe she had turned her back to her parents.

She had only gone home for the holidays once and was her first year. Her parents understood but she wondered if they just thought as she got more in magic the more they lost her.

Which thinking about it seemed as though that was true. And suddenly she felt awful, how could she have been so selfish?

She was only drawn out of her thoughts by Ginny’s voice.

“Hermione?” Ginny said once again in a sing song voice.

Hermione nodded at Ginny, then asking “I’m sorry what were you saying?”

“We all wanted to know if you were going to come watch the tryouts.” Ginny asked raising her eyebrows.

“Well when are they?” Hermione asked.

“Bloody hell, Hermione.” Ron chimed in. “Didn’t you just hear Dumbledore remind everyone that the Gryffindor ryouts are tomorrow.”

“No, I wasn’t listening.” With that comment everyone was a little shocked, it wasn’t like Hermione Granger not to listen to the Headmaster.

“I don’t give a damn about Quidditch, but since this is Harry’s first year as captain I will try to come.”  Hermione stated pointedly.

“But try, you have to be there.” Ron started.

Ginny could tell her brother was on Hermione’s last nerve.

“Ron, get your foot out of your mouth. And then shove more food in it to keep quiet.” Ginny said.

“Hermione is starting that new schedule for patrolling tonight. She might be too tired tomorrow.”

Harry chimed in, “It’s fine if you can’t come, Mione. I forgot all about your new patrolling.”

“Yea, I still don’t get why you changed it. Why would you want to go about the castle at night? Especially when Malfoy is about to, never know what he could do if you bumped into each other.” Ron remarked.

Harry nodded, “You don’t know about Malfoy, I didn’t think of that. He could try to get information for You-Know-Who from you.”

Hermione had finished her stew and was finished with this conversation.

“You two are both bonkers if you think Malfoy would do anything at Hogwarts. When patrolling, there are teachers about especially late at night. But oh no if Malfoy does try something I couldn’t defend myself. What was I thinking? Thank you two for helping me see the error in my judgment.” She asserted as she rose to leave.

“I hope you all have a nice night and if I don’t see you tomorrow good luck.”

She gave Ginny a slight smile and then turned on her heel leaving the Hall.

She planned to go back to the Common Room to study but that wasn’t going to happen down. She would go to the library and do her reading there.

She was set to patrol the upper floors of the castle. So she could drop her bag off in the Tower before patrolling.

Hermione made her way up the stairs to set her plans into motion. But before she made it up the first flight off stairs she heard someone calling her.

“Granger. Oi, Granger. Can you get out of your own world for five seconds?” He barked as he made his way to her.

It was Draco Malfoy. And apparently he wanted something and she wasn’t sure she wanted to know what after this afternoon.

“You are on patrol tonight?” Malfoy asked.

Hermione was stunned, she hadn’t ever heard him ask anyone anything so politely.

“For being so bright, you aren’t all there.” He stated, just staring at her waiting for her answer.

“Yes, I am. Does it matter?” She snapped.

“Someone is snippy. You and I will talk tonight, Granger.”

Hermione opened her mouth to argue but Draco stopped her.

“Whatever you say isn’t going to changed the facts. We need to talk about what happen early and who knows about it.”

He left before she could say anything else.

There was nothing she could do about she was seeing Draco Malfoy tonight. She would just have to find a way to get the upper hand, he didn’t intimidate her.

She wanted answers to but they were not going to come easily. Hermione wanted to figure out why Draco was the way he was, why he was changing and how much more he would have change to want to be on their side.

As well as how she could get him there without being killed by Harry or Ron. But Dumbledore would be that answer, he would see Draco needs help.

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