Chapter 11 : Chapter 11
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“Hermione,” the blond young man said to me. “What’s the matter? Don’t you want me to go in there with you?”
“More than anything,” I admitted. “I just don’t know how the others will react.”
“I’m sure your friends wouldn’t do anything to upset you,” he said reassuringly.
That statement made me giggle. Obviously Draco had not been paying attention the past six years. I personally believed that Ron lived to upset me. Every year there was something new that caused us to not speak to each other for a few weeks or even months. Draco looked at me in askance so I had to tell him what I was thinking.
“Draco,” I began. “I know that we weren’t friends before this, but even you can’t be dense enough to believe what you just said. Ronald lives to annoy me. Honestly I don’t think I would have ever been friends with him if he hadn’t saved me from the troll in first year.”
“But weren’t you two together earlier this summer?” he asked me. I could see the wheels turning in his mind. He didn’t understand what I could have possibly seen in my red haired tormentor.
“Yes we were,” I replied. “But it didn’t work out. Things didn’t change between us. He still treated me like he has since the day we became friends. I will always be the one he goes to for help on his homework, but I don’t think we can ever be more than what we are.”
“And what exactly is that?” Draco asked.
“I love Ron and I always will, but it’s more like the love a sister has for her brother,” I explained. “The same with Harry.”
“Oh,” was all he said to this.
Another moment passed and still we had not moved from in front of the compartment door. I knew my friends were on the other side wondering where I was, but I didn’t want leave where I was at the moment.
Finally, Draco asked, “Are we going to go sit down or stand here all day?”
“I guess we could step in,” I answered. “All can I ask is that you behave yourself.”
“I will if they do,” he replied.
Okay that was fair. I couldn’t expect him to sit there and take whatever Harry and Ron dished out, but I didn’t want him to be the instigator. As I opened the door to the compartment I swear I heard a flurry of movement as though my friends had been on the other side eavesdropping on my conversation with Draco. At any rate they didn’t look as surprised as I thought they would when he followed me through the door and took a seat opposite me.
After sitting down I chanced a glance at Ron to see how he was taking everything. I feared he would be my biggest obstacle, but other than slightly flushed face he looked fine. There was the expected awkward silence following Draco’s appearance in our ordinarily very noisy compartment. I could tell Ron and Harry were trying to not curse him and Ginny was doing her best not to degrade him. As for Draco I thought he was being very well behaved. Not once had his trademark smirk graced his lips. Instead he sat there as though expecting to be bombarded at any moment.
About five minutes later I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to break the silence, “So Draco what classes are you taking this year?”
For a second I thought he had lost his voice, but he did finally answer me, “Oh you know the usual. Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Transfiguration, Herbology, Arithmancy, and Charms.”
“I guess we might be in some of the same classes,” I said. “I’m taking the same things only I added Ancient Runes.”
“I thought about going into that class, but it just doesn’t hold my attention,” Draco replied.
At this Ron finally spoke up, “I don’t think that class could anyone’s attention. Save for Hermione.”
“This is too true,” Harry said snickering.
I released the breath I had been holding. It looked as though all the boys in my life now could get along. Of course I was waiting for the other shoe to drop as I knew it would eventually.
I decided to join in the conversation again, “So does anyone have any guesses as to who the Head Boy will be?”
Ron, Harry and Ginny all shook their heads. I knew none of them had the slightest clue when Harry didn’t get it. But Draco lowered his head. He knew something, but he wasn’t telling us. I jumped on that little movement immediately, “Draco, do you know?”
“Yeah, I do,” he said so quietly that I almost didn’t hear him. “I just didn’t want anyone to know until they announce it at the banquet.”
“You can tell us,” I said. “The banquet isn’t that far away and I’ve been dying to know since I got my Hogwarts letter.”
“Yeah, Malfoy,” Harry said. I knew he would get into it. Harry had been relieved when he didn’t get the Head Boy badge this summer, but he was always a curious person. How else do you think we got into all the trouble we did? It definitely wasn’t because we kept our noses out of other people’s business. “Out with it. If you know something you should tell us.”
“Alright, but don’t make a big deal out of it,” Draco said. “I am Head Boy, but I don’t think I deserve it.”
“That’s kinda funny,” Ginny said. “Hermione here felt the same way when she got her badge.”
I could see the guilt in Draco’s eyes. I understood why he didn’t feel he deserved it and I was sure there were others that would agree with him. I fully understood what he was feeling. He had been on the wrong side during the war, he had caused people to suffer and now he was been rewarded. He didn’t feel it was right. I understood because he had confided so much to me this summer. Yes, he held back this one piece of information, but still. Draco didn’t want to be Head Boy. Not like this. It was a different circumstance from mine, but the feeling was the same. I could see in Draco’s eyes that he hated himself for the things he had said and done in the past.
That one moment of eye contact was all it took to break my resolve and have me in tears. Before I even knew what I was doing I was next to him and holding him in my arms. I knew then that I would never let him go. I was his and he was mine.
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