Chapter 16 : Morning Moods
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The next morning, Draco woke up when lights hit the lids of his eyes. He growled, burying his face into his pillow, when Zabini’s voice rang through the room.
“Oi! Get up! Get up you fat arse! Up now!”
Five hours of sleep was not enough. For all Draco knew it was still night time and man was his pillow looking as inviting as ever. He tiredly got up and dressed. As he put his tie on he mumbled sourly, “What a stupid way to start the new term...”
Malfoy made his way down the stairs, his usual cronies of Crabbe and Goyle following him, as Zabini came down with a new girl in his arms. Draco rolled his eyes, but looked quite surprised when he saw his fellow sixth years gathered around the Common Room notice boards.
Injecting some of his Malfoy swagger into his voice, he said, “What’s going on here? Nott, move along!”
Draco saw that the Slytherins were looking at a notice that had been put up, presumably over night. The notice read APPARITION LESSONS in big bolded letters. Draco quickly scanned the piece of paper and scowled; this just meant he would have less time in the Room of Requirement. Nevertheless he grabbed the quill that Crabbe had just finished using and wrote his name in a tight, neat scrawl.
Leaving the others behind, he walked up the stairs of the dungeons and decided to skip breakfast. He was just about to make a sharp turn to the left when someone’s hand grasped his shoulder.
Bloody hell, he thought, not again.
But this time, it wasn’t McGonagall. The surly Head Boy Pastore was looking down at him. “Malfoy,” he began his voice with a slight edge in it. Draco rolled his eyes at the tone. “There’s no need for patrolling tonight, Dumbledore’s back. Just thought I’d let you know.”
Draco gave him a curt nod and continued his way up, moving flights of stairs accompanying him. Finally, he reached the wall that led to the Room.
Though neither Crabbe nor Goyle were with him, Draco thought it was best to check that no harm had come on the cabinet over the holidays – he didn’t need it worse than it already was.
Facing the blank wall he began pacing once more, thinking hard. I need a place to fix the Vanishing Cabinet, a place where Potter can’t find me, so I can bring Death Eaters into Hogwarts. The familiar black door once again came into view and Draco stepped inside.
He rushed towards the cabinet and began using enchantments Borgin had advised him to use. Muttering, “Harmonia Nectare Passus, Harmonia Nectare Passus...”* When the spell as per usual had no effect of the broken wardrobe, Draco cursed and exited the room, fuming.
Hermione took out her feathery quill and signed her name up for Apparition lessons after Seamus and once she was done she once again was facing Ron.
Lavender had very unfortunately crept up behind him, placing her hands on his eyes and trilled, “Guess who, Won-Won?”*
Hermione rolled her eyes and stalked off, soon to be joined by Harry who seemed to have no wish to stay behind with the duo. She smiled haughtily though when, much to her surprise, a disgruntled Ron caught up with them, Hermione sped up to walk with Neville.
“Hello Neville, have a good Christmas?” she asked conversationally, her mind still a bit dazed at how quickly Ron had left Lavender’s side.
“It was just Gran and I. My Great-Uncle Algie stopped by though, he brought some food for Trevor,” Neville replied, breaking Hermione from her trance.
“Oh of course,” said Hermione. Neville raised his eyebrow at her vague answer but said no more. Hermione didn’t notice this because she’d just spotted a certain blonde make a detour.
Hermione had barely seconds to make a choice and she chose the latter. Excusing herself past Neville she hurriedly began climbing the stairs. Draco was almost two whole sets ahead of her and took a sharp left when the stairs stopped moving.
Hermione lifted her foot to climb the next step when it suddenly passed through.
She clutched the step in front of her for support. One foot was perched on the step below her while the other foot was throbbing, still stuck. She wiggled around for moments, desperately looking around for someone to help her, but to no avail. Her struggle continued until she heard someone say her name.
“Granger?” She snapped her head up, brushing her unruly curls out of the way. In front of her stood Draco, almost as disheveled as she herself was, his eyes still dull and face tinged dark. “Need help getting up?”
Hermione nodded, colour rushing in her face. She held her hand out hesitantly and Draco grabbed it, and heaved her up.
“Thanks,” mumbled Hermione in embarrassment.
Draco cocked an eyebrow at her, smirking. “What were you doing up here?”
If turning darker was possible, Hermione’s face would have but she just bit her lip, racking her brain for an excuse and finally settled on one. “Vector,” she spluttered. “Professor Vector. Her office, it’s just up here and I was certain I’d missed an inch or two in my essay, and forgot to jump this trick step –"
“Granger, we only just came back from the holidays –"
“No!” insisted Hermione, momentarily unaware that it was Draco listening to her, not Harry or Ron who would usually listen to her rants about academics and its importance. “There’s so much to do, Apparition lessons, and then Snape’s bound to give us massively large essays, and of course Potions will be tough, I hear we’re –"
“Merlin Granger will you shut up?” said Draco, his tone a mixture of amusement and irritation.
Hermione felt her lip quiver and bit down on it hard, feeling her eyes burn. She could feel the taste of blood that was coming from her lip due to it, but still tried to stop it from trembling. She tried to look anywhere but at Draco, and took to looking at the trick step below her.
Draco looked quite uncomfortable too and both stood in such silence that a pin could drop. “Granger –"
“I have to go now, Harry’ll be waiting for me,” she muttered, still not looking at him. She turned away from the boy, robes swaying gently when he grabbed her arm tightly. Hermione snapped her eyes shut, still struggling to keep back her tears. All the memories of her fights with Ron, her cousins’ reigns, and the fearful night at the Ministry came back to her, moments she didn’t like thinking about. They attacked her like bullets, piercing through her heart and breaking her defence.
“Stop Hermione,” he said with force.
Hermione shook her head, refusing to look at him still. “Let go,” she whispered. She hated how weak she was around him, she hated how easily he could make her feel great and bring her down just the same.
“Bloody hell Granger, I just wanted to say –"
“Let go,” she said forcefully. Thoughts in her mind were forming that no one would love her, maybe she wasn’t made for it. Ron didn’t even look at her an ymore, Draco was confusing her and ripping her heart apart. Sometimes even she didn’t like herself. She wasn’t pretty enough, wasn’t funny enough. Who wanted a bookish know-it-all anyway? Because that was what she was – boring.
“No,” replied Malfoy with the same amount of strength. She twisted her arm when she tried to pull away.
“Back off before I hex you Malfoy,” she spat. Why was he doing this? Weren’t they friends? Friends don’t hurt each other.
“No,” he replied with a teasing grin. Hermione didn’t find it funny at all though. His grip tightened and Hermione could feel his fingers hard against her skin.
She bit her lip again. “You’re hurting me, let go,” she tried one last time, her voice cracking - a wonderful representation of how she felt. At that Draco let go of her arm and his cheeks filled with a light pink colour. Hermione found that she didn’t at all miss the heat of his skin against hers. Perhaps it was because of the kind of touch. It was aggressive, and Hermione didn’t like that much.
“Hermione, I –"
But she didn’t stick around much longer. She hurried down the steps and wiped furiously at her eyes. She was supposed to be strong and Malfoy had reduced her to ashes. And that couldn’t happen ever again.
But more importantly, since when had she been so stupid? Malfoy would always be Malfoy. Never Draco. And she was stupid to think otherwise. Perhaps Harry was right about him. Draco was like his father.
* Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Movie 2009 - Warner Bros.
** A Sluggish Memory, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, iBook edition.
That of which you recognize, does not belong to me, but Jo Rowling.
*hides from tomatoes, Sophie's watermelons and eggs* Okay, I know. I've been a bad updater. But now, I have a new WIP. (I got 2nd place in it, eep!) Updates will alternate between this and that, but for more accurate update info, check my bio on my Author's Page. Sorry for the wait readers, please be sure to leave a review if you have the time though :) The end is near..
Until next time :)
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