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Chapter 10 : Chapter 10
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I don't own any thing you recognise, spells/lessons/settings/characters, except the beautiful Lara!
Friends. There was no other word for it. Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy were friends. They did homework together in the library, sat in front of the fire together in the evenings, Draco had even started sitting at the Gryffindor table at meal times. It was safe to say that staff and students alike were shocked. Any time Draco and Hermione were seen talking or sitting together someone started to whisper. Pansy Parkinson, much to Hermione's delight, looked livid whenever Draco sat with Hermione at meal times. Draco had told Hermione that she had cornered him between lessons on more than one occasion to demand that he stopped talking to Hermione and that they should get back together because his father would have wanted it.
Professor McGonagall was extremely pleased, she had told the pair that they were setting a great example to others about unity between houses. Hagrid took some persuading, Hermione had been visiting him once a week like she, Harry and Ron used to, he had been very disgruntled when she turned up one day with Draco. He had softened a little by the time they left, Draco had apologised for his positively awful behaviour in the past.
The new friendship had taken a little getting used to on Ginny's behalf but recently she had started to come around and had even spoken to Draco the past couple of times he had joined them. Of course she had been sworn to secrecy regarding Hermione's new friend, she hasn't quite gotten around to telling Harry and Ron yet. She had every intention of doing so, and had sat down to write them a letter on more than one occasion, she just couldn't get the words out.
"Hermione, you really need to tell them soon you know..." Ginny told her at breakfast for what felt like the millionth time. "It's not fair that I've got to keep secrets from Harry because you're too chicken to tell him you've gotten pally with his and Ron's enemy."
"Oh they're hardly enemies." Hermione said exasperatedly. "They just, don't really know one another."
"Either way, you need to tell them." Ginny stood up to leave, "Sooner rather than later please!" With that, she left for Charms.
Hermione finished her toast and then headed down to the dungeons for potions. Draco was already at their usual desk when she arrived. They had started making Polyjuice Potion a couple of weeks ago and were continuing with it today. Hermione had let Draco take the lead with it, having already successfully made the potion 6 years ago. For the first twenty minutes of the lesson Draco left Hermione alone with her thoughts. She was trying to work out the best way to tell Harry and Ron the truth, drafting letters to them in her mind. Finally, Draco spoke.
"Okay, that's it. What's going on with you today? Every potions lesson since we started making Polyjuice you've been on my back, have I added the right amount of boomslang skins? Have I crushed the lacewing flies enough? Today? Nothing. Not a word!"
She sighed "I'm sorry Draco, I have a lot on my mind. Ginny's been nagging me again about telling the boys about us being friends. I know she's right, I just wish she wasn't."
"Oh. That again...Look, I know Potty and Weasel..."
"Draco!" Hermione scolded.
"Sorry, Harry and Ron...I know Harry and Ron don't like me, the feeling is completely mutual, trust me. But they can't stop you from being friends with someone and I really doubt they'd stop being friends with you because of it. I'll tell you what, after dinner tonight, we'll sit in the common room and write them a letter, I'll help you."
"You will? That would be great." She smiled. "Now concentrate, you're stirring the wrong way!"
As promised, after dinner, Draco and Hermione were sitting at the table in their common room writing the letter Hermione had been dreading. They were surrounded by scraps of parchment, evidence of several unsuccessful attempts.
"It's useless! Maybe I'll just take you with me to the Weasley's for Christmas and you can tell them. Or they could just figure it out for themselves..." Hermione put her head on the table, groaning.
"Some Gryffindor you are! What a coward. How you ever managed to help defeat the most evil wizard of all time is beyond me!" Malfoy teased.
"Oh sod off Malfoy!"
"Ohhh, back to Malfoy now are we? I'm hurt..." He grinned at her, making her angrier.
"I thought you were supposed to be helping!" Her wand was now pointing at his chest.
"Woah, calm down! I was just trying to lighten the mood...you could do with relaxing once in a while you know...Look, this one is fine," he said, gesturing at the letter, "there's no easy way to tell them but this breaks it to them gently. Just send it before you change your mind." Hermione lowered her wand and read the letter once more;
Dear Harry and Ron,
Hope you're both well. I'm missing you lots, looking forward to the Christmas holidays so I can see you. I was glad to hear things are going well with you and Lara, Ron. Will she be visiting over Christmas too? It would be lovely to see her again.
Harry, I never got around to thanking you for helping me with the Malfoy situation. As it turns out, you were right, he's no longer living with his Mum. The reason I know this for sure is, well, he told me. You see, what with me being Head Girl and him being Head Boy we've talked a lot this year and sort of become friends. Please don't be angry with me, he really is different this year. He hasn't really got any friends at school this year, not many Slytherin Seventh Years came back and all of the other Seventh Years avoid him after his involvement in the war. He also found out that his Dad died recently and his Mum is trying to get him to move back in with her. Anyways, a combination of a lot of things has developed into a friendship between us. I'll explain more when I see you both.
Reluctantly, Hermione walked to the owlery to send her letter. Draco had offered to come with her so she could use his owl but Hermione had insisted on using a school one. She didn't want to anger her best friends any more than she had to.
A week past and Hermione still hadn't hear anything from Harry or Ron. She was starting to feel anxious. She knew that Harry had been writing almost daily to Ginny, who told Hermione that Harry had not mentioned her letter.
That was it. They had both decided they weren't going to speak to her again. Who could blame them really? She was friends with the person they disliked more than anyone. Except, well, she wasn't really. She was friends with Draco. Draco who was nice to her, who made her laugh, was clever and did his own homework. Draco, who didn't care that she was friends, used to be friends, with two people he didn't like. He wasn't Malfoy anymore, he had absolutely changed. If Harry and Ron were too stubborn to believe Hermione then that was their problem.
After reaching this conclusion, Hermione spent the next week stomping around, snapping at the younger students, giving detentions for small things like being too loud in the library. Ginny and Draco avoided Hermione like the plague for fear of being on the receiving end of her temper.
Finally, twelve days after she had sent the dreaded letter; the reply arrived. It was short and to the point.
You have a Hogsmeade visit this weekend right? Meet us in the 3 Broomsticks at noon. We need to talk.
Harry and Ron.
Hermione shrank into her chair. This was not good.
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