Chapter 14 : Hogwarts Again
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“Come in Hermione, come in.”
“Hello Hagrid! Did you have a good Christmas?” she asked, entering his hut, rubbing her cold hands. Fang began licking her slushy shoes.
“Jus’ me an’ ol’ Fang. Ge’ away yeh ruddy dog,” he said, his eyes twinkling. “Yeh seem to be glowin’ Hermione!”
Hermione’s pink cold face went a brilliant shade of magenta. Clearing her throat she asked, “How’s Buck – er – Witherwings Hagrid?”
Hagrid, sensing her discomfort, showed her the hippogriff. Hermione bowed low, not breaking eye contact. She waited patiently until the hippogriff returned the bow. “How’re your classes going?” she began, gently petting Buckbeak on his beak.
“Ah, they’re goin’ fine. Harry back yet?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Yeh didn’ go to the Weasley’s with him an’ Ron an’ Ginny?”
Hermione cleared her throat before answering, “No.”
Hagrid seemed to think the conversation was over, and didn’t push the topic any further, something Hermione was glad for. Bidding goodbye she made her way back to the castle.
Hermione jumped when a gentle hand grabbed her shoulder. Spinning around, her eyes met those of Albus Dumbledore’s twinkling ones.
“Ah, Miss Granger! Exactly the person I wanted to see! Would you ever so kindly pass this on to Harry?” he asked her, showing her a scroll that he held with his black withered hand Hermione knew would include details of Harry’s next private class.
“Of course Professor. Did you have a good Christmas then?” she asked conversationally.
“Oh yes! I finally got a pair of socks for Christmas...” he trailed off, causing Hermione’s lips to twitch upwards. “Alas, I think I should retreat to my office. Be sure to pass it on to Harry.”
Hermione nodded and ran up to the Gryffindor Common Room entrance, glowing. The remainder of the Christmas holiday had gone terrible. Being alone with Madi and Aunt Jen for a week could drive anyone up the wall and after the party Madi tried to do just that. But the party was still fresh in her mind, and she couldn't wait to see Draco again...
Panting, she saw Harry, Ginny, and to her disgust, Ron standing in front of the Fat Lady, clearly arguing with her. Pink faced, she hurried towards them.
“Harry! Ginny! I got back a couple of hours ago, I’ve just been down to visit Hagrid and Buck – I mean Witherwings. Did you have a good Christmas?”* she asked, saying all of this breathlessly.
“Yeah,” said Ron at once. “Pretty eventful, Rufus Scrim –"*
Hermione ignored Ron’s remark, by neither looking at him nor giving a sign that he had spoken, and continued by saying the password to the portrait door.
Once inside, Harry questioned her on why the Fat Lady was so off, Hermione filled him in on the Fat Lady and her friend Violet apparently drinking through a big vat of wine by the Charms corridor. Rummaging through her pockets, she held out the scroll, which Harry took gratefully.
Harry had just begun telling her about what happened over at the Weasley’s, when Lavender’s squeal interrupted them. Lavender had flung herself on Ron, who to Hermione’s pleasure looked extremely flustered. The two were locked in a vertical wrestling match.
Hermione gave a ringing laugh, and said, “There’s a table over here. ... Coming Ginny?”*
She wasn’t going to let Ron get to her. Not now.
With a thud, Draco flung himself towards the door, not caring what place it led to. Entering a cubicle, he leaned over the toilet while he emptied the contents of his stomach.
“Bloody hell...” he said, shaking as he continued to cough and splutter. Slightly lightheaded, he flushed the contents in disgust, and made his way to the sink where he thoroughly rinsed his mouth. He suddenly fell something cold pass through his head, causing him to jump.
“Oooh, I’m sorry, your hair did look very soft though. I just forgot I was... you know...”
“Dead?” Malfoy spat. He couldn’t believe a ghost – a particularly ugly one – just saw him throw up.
And then it hit him.
Wait. This is a girls’ washroom!
Draco made the move to go out but the ghost floated in front of him. “It’s okay you know, I used to throw up a lot too... But you don’t seem to need it,” she sniffed. Eyeing Draco suspiciously.
Draco glared at her. “I am not trying to make myself throw up. I’m not fat like you. Now get out of my way!”
The pimply ghost huffed dramatically and said, “I understand you know!”
“NO YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND! NO ONE UNDERSTANDS!” he roared before even realizing his tone had risen. Myrtle floated towards him, instead of retreating as he thought she would.
“But I do understand!” she said earnestly, nodding her head. “I was bullied too!”
Draco snorted despite himself. “Please, just let me go.”
The ghost nodded slowly and cleared his path. Draco sighed and mumbled a goodbye before leaving the washroom. Once he got out, he ran his hand along his jaw and inhaled deeply. He quickly made his way back to the Slytherin Common Room and plopped down onto his four-poster bed, pulling his curtains shut.
“Malfoy?” called a female voice.
“What?” he mumbled, his face buried into his pillow.
“Er – are you okay?” asked Astoria Greengrass tentatively. “I saw you come in and ah, you looked pale –"
“Oh. Okay.” And then Draco heard the door close quietly.
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
*- Chapter 17, A Sluggish Memory, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Please note that the conversation between Hermione and the others were all paraphrased from Ch.17, and that Draco's meeting with Myrtle was inspired from Chapter 21, The Unknowable Room.
AN: Thank you for reading this filler! Absolutely no Dramione action in this but, it was necessary. Thank you for reviewing because FNT hit 80 reviews! Some of your review had profane words in it (even though some of you were just excited) and were removed :( Please do try to refrain from using such language. I will try to update twice a week now, since school's going to start in a month and I really do want to finish this.
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Thank you, Until next time, With Love and Gratitude, all that jazz ;)
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