Chapter 3 : Chapter 3
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The next morning I was greeted by another letter from Draco. It arrived with the morning post while we were all at the breakfast table. I knew from the look in Harry’s eye that he knew who was writing to me, but Ron and his sister, Ginny, had no idea. I knew that Harry wouldn’t say anything, so I ignored the questions from the two red heads at the table with us. As soon as I was done eating I went off to read my letter.
I’m sorry that you don’t get much time to yourself. But at least you have friends who love you around. I have no one. I don’t think I have ever had a friend until recently, just people that wanted to get close to me because of my father or else they were afraid of me because of what they thought I could do to them. I don’t think you have ever really been afraid of me. If you had been then maybe you wouldn’t have punched me in third year. I think when we get back to Hogwarts maybe you and I could spend some time together. If you don’t want to then I understand. If you want things to stay the way they are right now all you have to do is tell me. For now I will hold out hope that you will find it in you to be seen with me.
This letter actually made me tear up a little bit. I really did want to get to know him and talk to him face to face. But I was afraid of telling my friends that I had made friends with the enemy. I had to tell myself that he was no longer the enemy. Ginny walked into the room as I was writing my reply.
“Hermione,” she asked. “Who is writing to you?”
“Malfoy,” I answered honestly. “He wrote me last night to thank me and Harry for helping keep him out of Azkaban.”
“That’s not the only time,” she said thoughtfully. “I know that you have been writing to someone for the last week.”
“Yeah,” I said. “I met him in Diagon Alley the other day and we talked. He started writing to me after that. I think he wants to know what it’s like to have a friend.”
“I hope you don’t end up hurt,” Ginny said. I knew when she said that she was thinking about Harry. He still hadn’t come back to her. He was in the same house and they talked but I could tell that she wanted him back as her boyfriend.
“I won’t be, Ginny,” I said. “We’re just going to be friends. It’s not like I’m going to start dating him. I couldn’t he’s done too much to me. But I can try to be his friend. I can forgive him that much.”
“I don’t know how you can,” she replied. “After everything he said to you and all the names he’s called you.”
“You weren’t there when Bellatrix was torturing me,” I said. “I could see it in his eyes that he didn’t really want her to hurt me. He lied to them that night and said he didn’t recognize Harry. He tried in his own way to keep us safe after the snatchers got us.”
“I’m sorry, Hermione,” she said. Her voice was thick with tears. I had never talked about that night, none of us did. “I never knew. I guess I should try to forgive too.”
“It might be harder for you,” I said. Honesty was certainly coming out today. “After all you did lose a brother in the battle. I didn’t lose any family.”
“Maybe not in the battle,” she said. “But you still don’t have your parents. They may be living, but it’s not the same.”
What she said hit home. She was right, the war had taken away my parents. I couldn’t go to them and tell them all things I wanted to. I couldn’t take away their peace of mind. I told myself again that they were better off never knowing they had a daughter. Who knew, they were still young, may be just may be they could start another family and be a perfectly happy. I had been lost in my thoughts for awhile but I knew that Ginny had left the room. Maybe I should have waited to complain about never being left alone.
My conversation with Ginny had made me think. I needed to be friends with Draco. The more I thought about that day the more determined I became about this. I decided to come clean to everyone about my new friendship.
That night after dinner when Mr. and Mrs. Weasely had gone to bed I told the others about my decision. As I had expected when I had decided to be friends with Draco, Ron was furious.
“Hermione,” he said. The anger was pouring from him, but I could tell he was trying to stay calm. “How can you even think about being friends with the ferret?”
“I think it’s time to forgive,” I said coolly. “His whole world was destroyed and he is trying to be different.”
“His whole world was destroyed!” Ron threw my words back at me. “What about my world? I lost friends and a brother! I don’t care about Malfoy’s world. Hermione he was on the other side.”
“I know that Ronald,” I said. The tears were threatening to fall, but I held them at bay. “I know that you lost a brother. I thought of Fred as my brother. I lost friends too. But I also know that Draco was only on the other side because he was afraid for his family.”
“Is that what he’s telling you?” Ron shot back. “That he was afraid for his family? And you believe it?”
“Ron,” Harry spoke up. “I heard what he told Dumbledore. He was doing those awful things to keep his family safe.”
“Right,” I said in agreement. “And don’t forget that night at the Manor. He knew who we were and he didn’t say anything. He lied to his father and his aunt. He didn’t want us hurt. And his mother helped to save Harry in the forest.”
“I still don’t think I can forgive him,” Ron said. “And I don’t think you should either.”
“Well, luckily I can make that decision for myself,” I said icily. “I understand if you don’t want to be his friend, but I think it would be a good thing.”
I left the room after that to go and tell Draco of my decision.
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