Chapter 6 : Chapter 6
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Finally, Thursday came and after breakfast we were all standing in front of the Weaselys’ fireplace. I went first as I wanted to meet Draco and try to get him to come and talk to Harry and Ron before the boys were too distracted by the displays in Quality Quidditch Supplies.
Grabbing a handful of floo powder from Mrs. Weasley I stepped into the fireplace and spoke my destination, “Diagon Alley.”
Honestly I hated traveling by floo powder. I think it was the spinning that got to me, but I preferred it to flying on a broomstick. When my spinning slowed I stepped out of the fireplace in The Leaky Cauldron. Brushing my clothes off I turned around to see Harry. It seemed he had decided to go after me. This was unusual as he normally waited until at least Ron or Ginny stepped into the green flames.
“Hermione,” he said. “I know that you are planning on meeting Malfoy.”
“Oh,” was all I could respond with. How did he know?
“I just wanted to warn you,” Harry told me. “I don’t think it would be a good idea to bring him around the rest of us today.”
Well, that was just bloody great. I desperately wanted him to meet up with us so maybe he could try to apologize to everyone else. But all I could ask Harry was, “Why?”
“Think about it Hermione,” my closest friend began. “He was on the other side in the war. No matter what he did to help us, it still doesn’t change that one fact. He was on the side that took Fred, Lupin, and Tonks from us. I am willing to try to forgive him, but I don’t think Ron will.”
Okay, so Harry was willing to try. That made two of my friends that were willing to give Draco a chance.
“Thank you, Harry,” I said giving him a hug.
At that moment the rest of our small party had arrived. Apparently the Weasley family was low on floo powder because it usually isn’t recommended that more than one person go at a time.
After a quick drink in the pub and saying hello to Tom, the innkeeper, we went through the back and Mrs. Weasley tapped the secret brick in the wall. Seeing the brick wall open up onto Diagon Alley always seemed to shock me. I guess even though I had lived in the magical world for the past seven years some things will always take my breath away.
Once in the alley we all went our separate ways. I had the boys give me their book lists and said that I would pick up our books that way they would have more time to look at the newest broomstick. Ginny came with me to the bookshop. She knew my plan and had agreed to come and meet Draco.
Coming up to Flourish and Blotts I felt the butterflies in my stomach start to swarm. I had been nervous all morning and now it was coming to a peak. What if he didn’t show? What if all his letters had been a ploy to get me on my own and then attack me?
When I saw his platinum blond hair I breathed a sigh of relief. I had forgotten how much confidence he exuded when he simply walked into a room. I hadn’t realized how much I was afraid he wouldn’t show until that moment.
I waited a few moments before greeting him. Mainly to get my pulse rate back to normal. I guess that would be when I realized I was falling for him. The moment he looked at me and smiled, a genuine smile, I felt my heart skip a beat and my face heat up in a blush.
Walking over to him with Ginny slightly behind me, I said as casually as I could at that moment, “Hi, Draco. I’m glad you showed up.”
“Of course I would,” he drawled. “When I say I’m going to do something I do it.”
“It’s good to know that you can keep your word,” Ginny said under her breath. I turned and shot the red head girl a look that said to shut up.
Turning back to Draco, I asked, “Have you met Ginny?”
“I’ve seen her in passing,” he said. That was when he noticed her standing there. Putting his hand forward, he said, “It’s good to formally introduced to you, Ginny.”
I held back a giggle at this formal greeting. I know it wasn’t really funny, but considering the Malfoys and the Weaselys weren’t on the best of terms it was comical.
Ginny was stunned. I could tell she didn’t know how to react to this. Slowly though she took his hand and shook it once. “Malfoy,” was all she said. I guess it would be too much to ask her to forego the use of his surname. He had after all called her “Ginny” and not “Weasley” or “Weaselette.”
I decided that it was time for me to speak up, “So how’re things going for you, Draco?” I put emphasis on his first name, so Ginny would know that was the proper way to address someone. Especially if that someone was working on being a better person than they had been.
“Things are okay,” he replied. “Mother has been upset lately. You know with father being in prison and me getting ready to go back to school.”
“Oh,” I said realizing that probably wasn’t the best question to ask at that moment. “I’m sorry.”
“Me, too,” Ginny said. “Not about your father, I mean, but because your mother is going to be so lonely.”
“Ginny,” I hissed. “Don’t start.”
“Hermione,” she hissed back at me. “I’m not starting, but he might as well know that I believe his father deserves to be in prison.”
“It’s alright,” Draco said, interrupting our little argument. “I happen to agree with Ginny. My father does deserve what he got. I just feel bad for my mother. This coming year will be longest she has been left alone at home since before I was born.”
“Well,” I started. “Should we get our books for the coming year? I’m sure Draco has other things he needs to shop for.”
“Yeah,” the other two said.
An hour later, we had all of our books for school and a few that weren’t on the list. I bought Rita Skeeter’s book on Harry. I don’t know why, but maybe it was because I wanted to see what lies she came up with for it. Ginny got one entitled How to Make Friends and Influence Monsters and Draco bought a book on Astrology.
As we were leaving the bookshop, Ginny turned to Draco and said, “Look, Mal- I mean Draco, I wanted to let you know that if you are willing to really change then I’m willing to forgive you. But you have to prove yourself to me first.”
“Thank you, Ginny,” he responded. “I assure you that I’m doing everything I can do just that.”
“Alright,” she said. “Oh and one more thing; Hermione thinks highly of you and if you do anything to hurt her in any way just know I will find you and make you pay.” And with that she turned and walked away.
My face flushed bright red at her statement and I shifted my weight from one foot to the other afraid to look Draco in the eyes at that moment.
“Tell her that I don’t doubt she could make me pay,” Draco said. “But also tell her that I don’t plan on doing anything to hurt you.”
As he walked away he turned and added as an afterthought, “Again. I’m sorry for how I acted the past six years.” And then I was left alone in the middle of cobbled alley.
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