Chapter 1 : Appetite
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"Oppugno!" shrieked Hermione.*
And then she walked away.
Ronald Weasley, honestly. What an arse.
Hermione knew she didn't mean it, and that she was just arguing with herself, but couldn't help it. Her emotions threatened to take over, tears blurring her vision.
Ron isn't an arse, you know that!
Didn't you see him snog Lavender? He was eating her face off!
No. Lavender is a... You-Know-What going around courting men.
The never-ending fight with herself continued as she walked, but soon she couldn't take it anymore. Hot tears were already making their way down her face. Ron was being unbearably rude to her, and she didn't know why. Weren't Ron and her together? He had agreed to go to Slughorn's party with her... Surely he hadn't meant just as friends?
Hermione still couldn't understand why she'd wanted to slap Lavender hard when she saw her and Ron walk through the door. Deep down, Hermione knew. She was the brightest witch of her age. And realizing that she did indeed fancy Ron made her cry even harder. Maybe she had feelings for him all this time and never realized, but now the thought of someone else being with with him rather than caused her hearts to ache. Soon her knees were shaking as she tried to control herself. She should be celebrating - Gryffindor had won after all, but no - here she was sobbing over something she had no control over.
Suddenly, it came down on her that someone was coming up the dungeons. A Slytherin. All Hermione heard next was a clearly disgusted and rather familiar voice:
He's going to kill me.
Draco knew it. He'd been trying to fix the vanishing cabinet for ages. Nothing he did seem to work. If he didn't kill Dumbledore, the Dark Lord was going to kill him first. He would kill his family; his mum. Draco looked down at his grumbling stomach, noticing that it had been hours since he ate last.
Deciding to head down to the kitchen, Draco made his way up the stairs from his common room. He was just about to open the green and crimson door when he heard a gradually increasing sob coming from the other side. He half expected it to be some stupid first years, or Daphne crying about Zabini rejecting her once more.
But then he saw her. Granger. Crying. Bushy curls fell over Hermione's face as she crouched on the ledge, tears rolling into the book she was trying to read. Wait, what? Did he really just call that filth Hermione? She's Granger, not Hermione.
But a sensation overwhelmed every inch of the boy's body; a sensation telling him, no, wanting him to go comfort her overtook his last thought. She looked so fragile and something in him made him want to scoop her up into his arms. Maybe it was because she'd always been so tough and Draco couldn't stand the sight of her looking so helpless.
Draco's dark mark burned a little, reminding him that Granger was a filthy little Mudblood. Not to forget she had slapped him in their third year. Draco took one deep breath and stepped forward.
"Granger," he spat.
Her head snapped upward, wet face looking at him.
"Draco," Granger looked up at him, wiping her tears, but the action was in vain, because more tears produced in her eyes. Draco's stomach did a churn at the tears - he always hated it when the other Slytherin girls would cry. But Granger looked too miserable - she looked broken. And that made Draco feel broken too.
"Last time I checked Granger we weren't on first name terms; not like we would ever be, considering saying your name would probably make my mouth reek," sneered Draco. Surprisingly, the words took a lot of effort to get out.
"Not like it would make much of a difference," she retorted. "I'd reckon your mouth already reeks, considering the amount of time you spend snogging that troll Pansy."
"Feisty aren't we Granger?" jeered Malfoy, forgetting his prior thoughts. "Weren't all that sassy when you were crying like a baby just seconds ago. What happened? Tired of being outshined at Potions by Potty? Or do Mudbloods like you blubber all over the grounds? Maybe... That Blood-Traitor Weasley hurt your feelings?"
Draco made it seem as if he didn't care, but a monster aroused in him, highly anticipating Hermione's reply. He controlled it, because it felt weird. It felt different.
“Blaise told me the git’s been kissing, Lavender Brown, I believe?”
“Shut up about Harry, Malfoy,” said Hermione, recovering from Draco’s last comment. She paused, continuing apprehensively, "Shut up about Ronald also –"
“So it was the Weasel?”
“Just shut up you toe rag, no one’s life is as perfect as yours. And Ron didn’t do anything –"
“A perfect life?” Draco interrupted her yet again, his face plaing. What did she know about him? Nothing, that's what. “A perfect life? Did you really just say that? If you think I have a perfect life Granger then you aren’t as bright as you let on.”
“You’re still that foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach* aren’t you Malfoy?” spat Hermione, who was now purple with fury. “I’d rather be a Mudblood than be a twitchy ferret like you.”
Smirking in a pretense way, Hermione gathered her books, her face no longer purple but eyes blood red and simply walked away.
Those last words hit Draco hard. And for the first time he felt guilt, not pleasure. He'd hurt her more, hadn't he? He'd broken her down even more, and this time was one too far. It felt strange to feel bad after hurting her, but he did. One, lone tear made its way down the boy’s face and Draco turned to return to the dungeons, losing his appetite for good.
Author's Note: One chapter done! Woohoo! Thanks for reading, and reviews are highly welcome and appreciated!
* Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Pg 283 U.S. Edition
* Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, Movie.
Edited on 27/09/2013 - rewrite of paragraphs.
Another edit on 28/11/2013 - typos.