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Chapter 13 : Chapter 13
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After lunch that afternoon I went to the Gryffindor common room where I found Harry and Ron thoroughly engrossed in a game of wizard’s chess. I figured that this is where they were when I couldn’t find them anywhere else. I don’t know why Harry keeps accepting Ron’s challenges to these games because he never won. Chess was Ron’s strong point. In fact it was Ron’s skill in the game that had helped us in first year. Looking back I had to admit that Harry would never have gotten past McGonagall’s chess men.
Just then Ron began laughing and said, “Harry, mate, when will you learn?”
Harry just shook his head and replied, “I don’t know. One day though I will beat you.”
“Keep dreaming,” Ron snickered.
“Harry,” I began. “You have been trying for the past seven years to beat Ron and you still haven’t. I don’t think it will happen.”
“You’ll see. Both of you,” Harry said. Then looking at Ron, said, “You will go down.”
“Ha, ha. Okay mate,” Ron laughed.
I couldn’t help it, but I laughed too. I was sure Harry would never beat Ron. I knew Ron had been playing wizard’s chess since he was a small boy. He had told so last summer when he tried to teach me. I wasn’t very good at it because I found the game barbaric.
Then the conversation veered away from the game to the subject I was dreading.
“So Hermione,” Harry began. “Are you ready for tonight?”
“Not in the slightest,” I answered. “I don’t want the award, but I can’t think of a way to get out of it.”
“I know what you mean,” Ron said. “I mean I wasn’t even with you all of last year. If any of us doesn’t deserve it, it’s me.”
“Ron,” I said. “How many times do we have to tell you that we forgive you for walking out on us? We understand why you did it. And anyway you came back.”
“I don’t believe you,” Ron said. “I don’t believe you forgive me.”
“Mate,” Harry interrupted. “If it wasn’t for you I would have drowned in that icy pool.”
I nodded because I didn’t know what else to say. I had told Ron that he was forgiven, but I didn’t mean it. However, what Harry said was true. Voldemort would’ve won if Ron hadn’t pulled Harry out of the frozen water that night he found Gryffindor’s sword.
“Fine,” Ron said suddenly. “I saved you, but still that’s the only thing I did.”
“No it’s not,” I said rejoining the conversation. “You remembered about the basilisk fangs and opened the Chamber of Secrets to get them.”
“Okay I had a little bit of good luck then,” Ron admitted. “I still don’t deserve this award.”
“None of do,” Harry said sullenly. “They should be honoring the people that died, but you know they won’t.”
“Harry,” I said. “It’s a memorial banquet. They are holding this thing to honor the dead.”
“The reporters won’t see it that way,” he replied. “Especially Skeeter. She will make sure it sounds as though the three of us are trying to stay in the spot light.”
I felt a flush of anger at the mention of that hideous woman’s name. I hated Rita Skeeter with a passion. She was so vile and vindictive. I had read a couple of chapters in her new book and knew that she hated me as well. Her book made me sound like some stupid love struck girl who followed Harry around as though I worshipped him. I knew that if I saw her I would give her a piece of my mind. In fact, I most likely wouldn’t stop there. I knew a few good curses that I would like to try on her.
I could see the boys staring at me then. Quickly I hid my temper and said, “Who cares what Rita Skeeter thinks? We know the truth and anyone who truly knows us won’t believe a word she writes. Just ignore her tonight.” And I walked away to get ready for dinner.
On my way to the Great Hall that night I ran into Draco. He looked so elegant in his dress robes. Once again the air of confidence astounded me. I wished that I could be that self-assured. I greeted him without trying to sound too familiar.
“Hello, Draco,” I said coolly. “How are you this evening?”
“Hermione,” he replied. “I’m fine. Looking forward to the end of this night, though.”
“Me too,” I admitted. “Well, I’ll see you later.”
“Later,” he said bowing slightly.
I walked into the hall not knowing what to expect. I knew that a lot of people would be there, but still I didn’t know what exactly was going to happen. Suddenly I was being blinded by flashbulbs. I was reminded of Collin Creevey following Harry around in our second year, and once again I had to fight back tears. Collin was one we had lost on that fateful night. He had snuck back into the castle to fight and was taken from us. Around me there were calls of “Miss Granger, over here.” The reporters were fighting over me. Each of them wanted my exclusive interview. Oh I knew I should’ve waited for the boys before coming in here. Or at the very least I should’ve waited for Ginny. I wasn’t prepared for this. Then I saw the acid green Quik Quotes Quill that Rita Skeeter used and walked over to her.
“Miss Granger,” the blonde woman said with a poisonous smile. “Are you going to grant me the pleasure of an exclusive?”
“Of course not,” I said acidly. “I came over here to warn you.”
“Are you threatening me?” She asked, her quill working furiously over a bright red notebook.
I knew that no matter what I said it would be turned against me, but I couldn’t hold it back anymore “I don’t threaten,” I hissed. “I make promises. I came to tell you that if you don’t stop reporting the lies you have been, then the Ministry will know all about your bug problem. I suppose the Daily Prophet would like a reporter inside Azkaban to get the exclusives from the prisoners there.”
“You’ve had this information for how many years now,” she asked. “You won’t do anything.”
“Try me,” I said smiling and then I flicked my wand and her quill dissolved into thin air. “Oops. Looks like you will have to take your own notes tonight.”
As I walked away I saw that her quill wasn’t the only one that had disappeared. I laughed to myself because that spell was one I found to erase untruths. Apparently Skeeter wasn’t the only one in the room who used a Quik Quotes Quill. Just then I saw Harry and Ron standing in the middle of a group of reporters. I went over and grabbed them. Quickly I pulled them towards a table so we could sit down.
A/N:Okay so you guys probably want to throw things at me because of the very limited Draco/Hermione in this chapter, but it was necessary. Thank you for taking the time to read this story. I have had some very encouraging reviews on this one so far. I will try to update again in the next couple of days.
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