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Chapter 24 : Accusations
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I froze where I was standing, not wanting anyone on the outside to hear me moving about. After all, shouldn’t dinner still be going?
“Hermione,” I heard Draco call from outside my door, “Hermione, it’s me. Are you decent?” I blushed, recalling the bathroom incident once more.
“Y-yes, I’m decent,” I said as I pulled the robe more tightly around myself and crossed my arms over my chest as he opened the door slowly.
“I managed to slip away towards the end on the pretense that I was tired and I- are you okay?” he asked, taking a step towards me and looking concerned. “You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
“You would know,” I said quietly, not wanting an argument at the moment, but hoping that he would at least be able to tell me who the woman was or why he sent her.
“You sent that dreadful X woman here and she berated me for a solid period of time about all sorts of things and wouldn’t let me ask any questions and-” I broke off as he began laughing. “Is something funny, Malfoy?”
“No longer calling me Draco, huh? Not funny as in a joke, more the thought of you not having any information about her and her not willing to tell you anything. Couldn’t have been easy for you.”
“I’m SO GLAD that you find it humorous to torture me in a way that you know will bother me,” I spat out, turning away from him and walking towards the window.
As soon as I start putting pieces together and figuring out this whole mess I’d managed to land it, more pieces come into the puzzle and there doesn’t seem to be room for them anywhere. I could feel the anger boiling up inside me and it was all about to explode out of me when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Hermione, I would never torture you,” he whispered and I swallowed, trying not to look at his face.
“Then why did you send her?” I asked quietly, hoping to at least get some sort of answer.
“I didn’t,” he said simply. “But she’s come and seen me before. Tonight actually, before dinner.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that?” I asked, suddenly angry all over again.
“Hermione… you were angry with me, you’d made that much clear. You didn’t speak with me most of the way home aside from what was necessary and it didn’t seem relevant to pop into your room and say, ‘Hey, this lady named X stopped by, I’m off to dinner now.’” I knew he was right, yet it still bothered me that he hadn’t said anything.
“But it’s not the first time, is it?” I asked, knowing that if it had been the first time she’d visited him, he would be sharing in my shock and trying to figure out who this woman was and why she was visiting us both.
“No, but-” he began, but I cut him off.
“THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!” I hissed through my teeth, trying to not yell.
“No, you listen. I’m sick of all the secrets. I’m tired of being lied to and being left in the dark when it comes to everything this summer. I’m stuck in a house full of all the people who hate me for everything I am, stuck with a man who’s one of my best friend’s biggest enemies, and, to top it off, I’m not getting answers when it comes to anything.”
“That’s not my intent,” he said, his voice barely even a whisper. “I’m sorry you feel that way though, and I’m sorry you feel as if you’re stuck here. I’ve been trying to make you feel more at home, but, as usual, all I’m doing is messing things up.” I could hear the hurt in his voice and I wanted nothing more than to comfort him, but I couldn’t go back on what I’d already said.
I could see the confusion clearly in her eyes as she tried to think about what to say next. It was truly an odd sight to see her struggling for words.
“And that’s fine… I understand you’re trying in that sense, but you haven’t exactly given me answers and just earlier today you’d made it quite clear that I was the one in the wrong by “coming onto you” and that you shouldn’t have allowed it to go that far with me… a mudblood.” I felt a pain in my heart that I knew, once more, belonged to us both. I wish I hadn’t agreed to that being the reason earlier.
“Forget it. I don’t know what exactly I expected from this whole thing. It had been just fine up until today, I’m just thankful that Crookshanks is alright,” she said, looking down. As if he heard his name, Crookshanks meowed loudly in the bathroom, where his meow echoed.
“I’m not just going to ‘forget it’. That’s not why I came here after dinner,” I said and she looked up at me. I could tell she was fighting back tears, as I felt the stinging sensation behind my eyes and knew it wasn’t me who was about to cry.
“Then why did you?” she whispered.
“To apologize. To tell you that I really am sorry I brought you into this mess. That I’m sorry I can’t give you all the information I know you so desperately crave. I didn’t want it to be like this, and it’s not exactly how I’d imagined the summer before my seventh year to turn out, spending all this time with Hermione Granger…” I broke off, not liking where this was going, though I knew I couldn’t stop it.
“Why now?” she asked quietly, the stinging sensation growing to be even more painful.
“What do you mean?”
“Why are you apologizing now?” anger flashed in her eyes and I could tell she thought there was more to it than what I was saying.
“Because I realized how bad I made things today. I realized that you must truly hate me for all the things I’ve said and done this summer, or those things I haven’t said and done. I feel horrible day in and day out about everything but finding out that you’re miserable on top of all that just makes me feel worse.”
“So why her?” she hissed once more.
“I told you, I don’t even know who she is. She keeps showing up rambling on about how it’s for my own good and whatnot, but I don’t see what the point is.”
“She said the same thing to me…” she whispered.
“What same thing?” I asked, suddenly more curious.
“That this was all for your own good, but that I was the one who needed to be here in order to teach you whatever lesson it is that you apparently need to be taught.”
“Well, that’s just great,” I joked. “And what lesson is that?”
“Your guess is as good as mine, Draco,” she said, sounding calmer.
“So, I’m Draco again, am I?” I teased and she narrowed her eyes slightly, though I thought I saw the flicker of a smile.
“Can’t say for how long, so don’t get used to it.” She said, her mouth twisted into a smile.
“I’ll take what I can get,” I said, smiling and feeling better than I had in ages.
She yawned and smiled at me, apologizing for the yawn afterwards.
“Don’t worry about it, try and get a few hours of sleep, I’ll come get you a little later, there’s something that I want to show you, I had my mom work on it while we were out today,” I said, suddenly growing more excited. I’d been planning it for weeks but hadn’t ever known what would be the proper time.
“What is it?” she asked, her eyes sparkling with curiosity.
“You’ll just have to wait and see,” I said. I kissed her on the cheek and turned around, quickly leaving her room and closing the door behind me before she could yell at me for doing so.
I was hoping that tonight would make things better between us… it had to. I had just a few short hours to make sure that everything would be perfect. Or, as perfect as they could be when it came to me.
A/N: Umm right. Life has been utterly ridiculous. I'm sorry it's taken me so long, you guys! But I've finally written out this one and some more, so hopefully updates will be more frequent. :)
Make me the happiest author alive and leave a review? I'll beg if I have to!
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