Chapter 9 : Chapter 9
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I had a good time today in the bookshop even if it was tense. I feel better when I am around you. It’s almost like you have a calming effect on me. You are better that any Calming Draught I have ever taken and believe me when I say I have taken a fair few. I won’t say why, but you’re smart so you can probably figure it out. I spent the afternoon thinking of something I could get for you and I saw this rose in one of the shop windows. I know it’s an everlasting rose. And yes I know what it means, but honestly I think it is a fitting gift. I do love you, Hermione. I know we have only been friends or whatever for a short time, but I feel as though I have known you my entire life. Mother says that whoever I am always writing to is good for me. Even she has noticed the change you have brought about in me. I understand the risks in sending such a flower to you, but I believe it is right. I will always love you for you. Thank you again for giving me a chance and believing that people can change.
Oh no, I thought. Draco Malfoy loves me. I wasn’t entirely opposed to the thought, but this was happening way too fast. I was barely on my feet. Ron and I had only just broke up and I wasn’t ready for another relationship. Or was I? I didn’t answer Draco’s letter right away. I needed time and I needed to tell someone about this. But who could I tell.
Then it hit me. I could tell Harry. He might know what to do. He wasn’t good with things like this, but it was worth a shot. I knew I couldn’t tell Ron yet because he was just coming to terms with my being friends with Draco.
Getting up from my cot bed in the room I went to find Harry. He was my best friend after all and he said he would try to forgive Draco for what he did last year.
I walked all through the house before I realized that Harry would be out in the orchard playing Quidditch with Ron and Ginny. That was where the three of them went every afternoon before dinner. It was that perfect time of day. The sun was beginning to set and the sky was a beautiful shade of pink. I remembered I had asked one day why they played at that time when nearly all of the Quidditch matches I had been to had been played in the early afternoon. Harry told me it was the most peaceful time of day.
As I neared the orchard I began to panic. I had intended to talk to Harry alone, but if he was there with the other two then I would have to tell them too. I wasn’t ready for that, but it was too late to turn back to the house now. You may ask why it was too late. Well, because I had been spotted. I arrived at the edge of the orchard just as they were dismounting their brooms.
Smiling Harry waved me over. “Hermione, is dinner ready?” he asked.
I hadn’t thought about that when I had come outside. I shook my head and asked, “Can I talk to you Harry?”
“Sure,” he answered. “What about?”
I cringed, I knew he was going to put me on the spot but I had hoped he wouldn’t. “Nothing really. Just something about boys.”
Ginny laughed at this. “Hermione,” she said. “You should’ve come to me. Harry won’t know how to answer your questions. I’m your girl. After all I was raised with six brothers.”
I smiled at the petite red head next to Harry. “Of course, Ginny,” I said. “I would like your opinion too.”
Right then Ron came up and asked, “What’s going on over here?”
“Nothing,” I started, but was interrupted by Ginny.
“Hermione is having boy troubles,” she said.
Uh-oh, I thought. There was nowhere to hide and I could see the wheels turning in Ron’s head. This wasn’t good. Ron was not stupid he would know who I was talking about when Ginny said “boy troubles”. Oh that girl could not keep her mouth closed. Funny it was something that I usually loved about her, but right now I wanted to throttle her.
“Boy troubles, huh,” Ron said. “Well, what’s the trouble?”
“I was sent something that I don’t think he should have gotten for me,” I said. I wasn’t about to reveal what the something was. I had had far too much experience with the Weasley temper for that.
“That’s simple,” Harry said. “Just send it back and tell him to hold on to it for a later time.”
“I don’t think I can,” I admitted.
“Oh come on Hermione,” Ginny said. “It’s not like he sent you an everlasting rose or something. You can always send it back.”
I shot the girl a look that said shut up now. I knew she saw it when I heard the almost inaudible gasp escape her lips. I nodded at her inperceptibly and told Harry and Ron thanks.
I heard Ginny make some excuse about needing to see if her mum needed any help in the kitchen as I was walking back to the house. She caught up quickly and whispered in my ear, “He got you an everlasting rose?!”
“Yes,” I whispered back. “Now do you understand why I can’t send it back? I don’t want to be the one responsible for him losing all ability to love. I just can’t bear that.”
“What are you going to tell him,” she asked excitedly.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I don’t have anything to say about it.”
“But he loves you,” I could tell this news was foreign to Ginny. Bloody hell it was foreign to me. Until recently I had always believed that Draco Malfoy was incapable of love. “Do you love him, Hermione?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I think I might be able to, but to say ‘I love you’ right now just doesn’t seem right. I mean we just started acting civil towards each other.”
“You better figure it out,” Ginny said. “The everlasting rose will sense your hesitation and will rob him of his ability to love if you don’t.”
I hadn’t thought about that. How could he have been so stupid? Didn’t he know it was too soon? There were still so many things that we needed to find out about each other before we could even consider declaring our love for one another. I knew what to write to him then.
Thank you for the rose. I think it might be too soon, but here goes nothing. I love you too. We still have a lot to find out about each other, but I will love you for you. I still can’t believe you did this. An everlasting rose is simply too expensive a gift to be giving to someone you barely know. It’s lovely though. Ginny insisted on putting in a vase on the window sill. Thank you again. And I will see you next week on the train.
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