Chapter 42 : The Quidditch Cup
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Chapter 42- The Quidditch Cup
“Hermione?” Draco’s voice was filled with worry when his girlfriend burst through the door to the Room of Requirement. She hadn’t cried, but her eyes were blazing and the door slammed behind her, seeming to shake the wall as it shattered the silence that had preceded it. “Are you okay?”
“He…I can’t believe him…he…he,” Hermione couldn’t form sentences. The words tumbled from her mouth, spilling over each other, her anger causing her to pace back and forth across the room, pulling at her hair.
“I was right,” Draco said quietly, standing to intercept Hermione as she began another round of pacing. “I’m sorry.”
He carefully wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against him. Hermione only struggled for a moment before relaxing, laying her head on her boyfriend’s chest and panting heavily. Her thoughts were whirling, overwhelming her, making her want to cry.
“I’m not going to cry over him,” she said aloud, her voice muffled by Draco’s shirt. He nodded against her head, letting her speak. “He’s not worth it,” she muttered.
“I’m sorry this happened,” Draco repeated quietly. Hermione knew there was little else that he could say.
“I think I want to move out of the Heads’ Dormitory,” she admitted after a few long moments of standing in Draco’s arms. “I can’t be there anymore. Not with him.” Draco squeezed her gently and pulled back.
“Where will you go?” he asked quietly.
Hermione hesitated. In all honesty, she hadn’t thought that far ahead.
“Gryffindor Tower, I suppose,” she replied. Where else was there?
“You could stay here with me,” Draco suggested hopefully. “I would be happy to have you.”
Hermione bit her lip and looked down. She and Draco had only been together for a month, and she wasn’t sure she was ready for a stronger commitment to him. She loved him wholeheartedly after everything they had been through, but what did that mean for their relationship?
Draco seemed to note her hesitation and shook his head.
“I’m not asking for anything,” he said quickly. “I don’t want anything more. What we have is so amazing. I just…if you wanted to stay here, you could. The Room could give you a separate bed if that would make you more comfortable.”
Hermione finally smiled. She should have known that Draco wouldn’t pressure her into anything.
“I’ll consider it,” she reassured him, leaning up to kiss his lips. Sparks shot through her and she smiled. “I love you,” she murmured.
“I love you too, Hermione Granger,” Draco whispered back.
“I can’t believe it,” Ginny said in awe hours later as they sat in front of the fire in the Gryffindor common room. “I can’t believe he would do that, no matter how jealous he was.” She looked to where Harry and Ron sat on the floor in front of her armchair. “Can you believe it?”
The two boys shook their heads. They had been silent for the several long minutes which had passed since Hermione had explained her conversation with Theo. Harry was twirling his wand in his fingers and Ron was picking at the carpet.
“What are you going to do?” Ron asked. “Mandy never mentioned that Theo was feeling guilty, but from what you said, he’s got to feel bad about what he did.”
“I know he feels bad,” Hermione snapped, “but that doesn’t forgive his actions.” She was staring into the fire thoughtfully, her books and homework abandoned on the carpet beside her. “I want nothing to do with him. I don’t care that he feels bad after the fact. The truth of the matter is that he could have gotten Draco killed, all because he was jealous. That’s stupid and…and evil.” The final word rang in the empty common room, and silence fell again. She wasn’t sure if she’d meant it, but Hermione knew that she was angry enough not to care.
Harry and Ron glanced at each other, and Hermione absentmindedly stroked the carpet beneath her. After a few heavy moments, Ginny finally spoke.
“I’m heading to bed,” she said quietly. Hermione didn’t look up. A part of her was embarrassed that she had shocked her friends so badly, and she found that she couldn’t face Ginny. “I’ll see you all in the morning,” the younger girl finished. She kissed Harry, swatted at Ron’s head, and squeezed Hermione’s shoulder reassuringly. “We’ll figure this out,” she murmured.
Hermione only nodded, still not looking as her friend left the common room.
“Will you go back to the Heads’ Dormitory after this?” Ron asked after the door to Ginny’s room had closed behind her. Now it was only the trio in the common room.
Hermione shrugged noncommittally. She hadn’t asked Ginny if it was all right to stay with her, but she didn’t want her friends to know if she chose to go to the Room of Requirement…to Draco.
“I don’t want to, but I don’t have much of a choice,” she hedged. Not much of a choice, but a choice, nonetheless.
“You could stay here,” Harry suggested, “on the couch or in Ginny’s room.”
Hermione shook her head.
“I don’t want to intrude.” She realized that her mind was being made up the longer she sat with her friends. All she could think about was getting back to Draco’s arms, having him hold her and comfort her, having him heal the wounds that the world continued to open. “I’m going to head back to the room for tonight.” It wasn’t exactly a lie, but she still felt awkward as she stood and began shoving her belongings into her school bag.
Ron and Harry glanced at each other, but didn’t protest.
“Study more if you stay awake,” Hermione said as she made her way towards the portrait hole. “I don’t care if the Quidditch Cup is this weekend, you need to keep your eyes on NEWTs the week after next.”
She turned back just in time to see Ron roll his eyes.
“Good night,” she said, ignoring the gesture. Her friends waved, and Hermione left the Gryffindor common room alone, letting the portrait fall quietly shut behind her.
The hallways were quiet. It was long past curfew and somewhere down the hallway, Hermione could hear Peeves singing a raunchy song. She almost smiled. Hogwarts knew nothing of her turmoil. She was jealous of the carefree people tucked into their beds, jealous of her fellow seventh-years’ excitement over the Quidditch Cup and nervousness over their upcoming NEWTs. Not for the first time, Hermione wished she could be as blissful as them.
It’s not that simple, her inner voice insisted as she paced in front of the wall concealing the Room of Requirement. The War is affecting them too. They’re scared as well. Everything that has happened in this castle, all the horror caused by Boot and McDougal, they experienced that too. Quit being so selfish.
She shook her head to clear it as the door appeared.
“Draco?” she called as she stepped into the darkened room. From the other end, she heard him murmur Lumos, and covered her eyes as light flooded the room.
“You’re back late,” he said quietly, sitting up in bed. “Did you come to say good night?”
Hermione shook her head.
“I came to stay,” she admitted, taking a step into the room and closing the door behind her. She let her school bag fall to the ground and walked towards her boyfriend, her heart inexplicably pounding in her chest.
“Did you want another bed?” Draco asked as she reached his side and hesitated.
“No,” she replied quietly, shaking her head. “If it’s okay, I’d like to sleep beside you.”
Draco’s gray eyes widened as he sat up a bit straighter. Hermione was sure there was a lump in his throat as he nodded jerkily and slid over to make room for her. She quickly shed her robes and slipped into bed beside Draco, not bothering to change into her pajamas. Draco only hesitated for a moment before he slipped his arm around her waist and scooted closer.
“How was your talk with Harry and Ron?” he asked.
“How you’d expect,” she said with a small shrug. “They couldn’t believe what he’d done, and Ron seems to think I should forgive him because he feels bad.” She couldn’t keep the scoff out of her voice.
“You’ll forgive him in your own time,” Draco murmured, tightening his arms around her. “Until then, there’s nothing more we can do.”
Hermione nodded against his chest.
“I’m glad you came here,” Draco whispered as he began drifting back to sleep.
“Me too,” Hermione replied quietly, turning her face to nuzzle closer to his chest. Moments later, she was asleep.
“Let’s go, Hermione!” Ginny said impatiently. “The boys are already at the field! I’m going to be late! You said you would watch us warm up!”
Hermione shoved the last of her bacon into her mouth and scrambled to her feet.
“I have no idea why I agreed to do this,” she muttered as she and Ginny made their way towards the oaken front doors. Around them milled students decked out in Gryffindor red and gold, and Ravenclaw blue and bronze. This game would decide the winner of the Quidditch Cup, and everyone seemed more excited than Hermione.
“Good luck, Ginny!” a voice called as the redheaded Chaser and Hermione stepped into the Entrance Hall. They both turned to see Mandy waving from the foot of the marble staircase. “Tell Ron I’ll see him after the game!”
“Thanks, Mandy! I will!”
Mandy forced a smile Hermione’s direction and turned away. In that moment, Hermione’s eyes drifted to the other Slytherins. Garrett and Sam stood hand-in-hand not looking at her, but Theo met Hermione’s gaze unflinchingly. His green eyes were sad, and Hermione could almost feel the regret. He opened his mouth to speak, but Hermione turned away. It had only been three days. She wasn’t ready for this yet.
“Let’s go,” she murmured to Ginny.
The younger girl nodded and led the way out of the castle and towards the Quidditch pitch. The May sky was blue and clear, and Hermione could almost hear Harry’s pep-talk to his team: “perfect conditions!”
“Thanks for coming down, Hermione,” Ginny said. “I know you don’t like Quidditch very much.”
“It’s fine, Ginny,” Hermione said as they reached the pitch. “I like to support my friends.” She smiled and Ginny turned towards the locker rooms.
“I’ll see you soon!”
Hermione waved and started up the stairs into the stands. Her Omnioculars bounced against her chest as she hiked up the steps. Seemingly long minutes later, she reached her seat. Neville was already there, accompanied by Hannah Abbott from Hufflepuff.
“Hi Neville!” Hermione said as she walked down the row to stand by his side. “How are you, Hannah?” She didn’t know the blonde girl particularly well, but she had been in the D.A. and Hermione wanted to be polite.
“I’m doing well, Hermione,” Hannah replied. “Thanks for asking. Are you excited for the game?”
“I suppose so,” Hermione said with a wry smile. “Gryffindor can still win the Cup, can’t they?”
“Of course!” Neville cut in. “Ravenclaw would need to score over six hundred points to win it, and Hufflepuff is out of the running. Slytherin is in the lead with exactly seven hundred, but Gryffindor has four hundred right now, so if they score three hundred and ten or more…they win the Cup!”
Hermione nodded slowly. To be honest, she didn’t understand much of what Neville had said, but she did understand that Gryffindor could still win. She glanced down at the pitch where the Gryffindor team was doing drills on one end, and the Ravenclaws on the other.
“Only a few more minutes,” Hannah said excitedly.
It seemed to be true. The stands were beginning to fill up and the teams were finalizing their warm-ups. Hermione used her Omnioculars to scan the Slytherin crowd as the teams made their way to their respective locker rooms. It took only a moment to spot Draco, standing alone at the far end of the Slytherin section. Another swivel of her Omnioculars showed her Theo and his friends on the opposite end of the crowd. She sighed and lowered the magical binoculars. It was time to watch Quidditch.
Madam Hooch stepped onto the field as Luna’s voice rose over the assembled crowd, welcoming everyone to the final game of the Quidditch season. The teams rocketed out of their locker rooms, Harry leading the way with the rest of the Gryffindors speeding behind him. Hermione’s voice rose with her housemates’.
“This will be Harry Potter’s final game as Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team!” Luna announced as the teams took their places. “As a Ravenclaw, I’m not sure that I want him to win, but we’ll cheer for him just the same!”
Hermione rolled her eyes. The deafening sounds of the crowd quieted as the Snitch and the Bludgers were released. The Chasers took their places, the Quaffle went up, and the game began!
“And it’s Ginny Weasley with the Quaffle,” Luna said. “Ginny passes the Quaffle to Dean Thomas…who drops it.”
Hermione groaned along with the other Gryffindors, but the game kept going. The Gryffindor Beaters were attacking the Bludgers with a vengeance. They always seemed to know just where to hit them to intercept the Ravenclaw Chasers. Half an hour in, the score was Gryffindor: 80, Ravenclaw: 70. Even Hermione, who knew very little about Quidditch and cared even less, could tell that it was an interesting game.
Time slogged on as Hermione watched the game. Every time Gryffindor—usually Ginny—scored, Neville would grab Hannah’s arm and jump up and down in excitement. The jostling from their enthusiasm was starting to wear on Hermione’s nerves. Every once in a while, she would use her Omnioculars to glance across the stadium to see what Draco was doing. He looked interested in the game, but she knew that he probably wanted to be away from the Slytherins, none of whom would stand within three feet of him.
“Ravenclaw timeout!” Luna called, bringing Hermione’s attention back to the game. “The score is Gryffindor: 130, Ravenclaw: 210.”
The score made Hermione’s eyes widen and she leaned forward in the stands to look at Harry and his team, all of whom were circling the pitch angrily. Ron was hovering near his goal posts looking dejected, and Hermione could only assume that he had lost his confidence again. She sighed deeply. She felt bad for thinking it, but at least this was his last game.
When the game resumed, things continued to go south for Gryffindor. In only a few minutes, Ravenclaw brought the score to 250 to 130. Neville was rattling statistics in Hermione’s ear as she leaned over the side of the stands to watch the action below.
“Ravenclaw can’t catch the Snitch until they have 460 points, or they’ll lose the Cup,” he said quickly, bouncing on the balls of his feet and never taking his eyes away from the players. “If Gryffindor can get thirty more points, then Harry can catch the Snitch and Gryffindor wins the Cup! But if Harry catches it too soon, or Ravenclaw gains another 190 points, we lose.”
Hermione only nodded. Ginny had scored again and the Gryffindor supporters were screaming around her.
“Just two more, just two more,” Hermione heard herself muttering under her breath. As if on cue, Dean scored and Hermione cheered along with her housemates. “One more, Ginny! You can do it!”
Around her, the Gryffindors started up a chant of Ginny’s name. Everyone knew that she was by far their best Chaser, and Hermione spun her Omnioculars towards the sky where Harry was circling the Pitch. A wide smile was spread on his face as he listened to the crowd chant his girlfriend’s name.
Like magic, the moment Hermione focused back on Ginny and her broom, the younger girl broke away from the Ravenclaw Beaters and rocketed towards the goal posts. She faked to the left, tossed the Quaffle to her right hand, and lobbed it straight through the middle hoop. The Gryffindors went wild. In the chaos, Hermione didn’t even realize that Harry had spotted the Snitch, and Luna’s commentary was lost in the noise of the crowd as Harry ended the game, and Gryffindor won the Quidditch Cup.
Author's Note: I'm so sorry for the delay in getting this to you. Quidditch is tough for me to write. On the upside, here it is! Only a few chapters left now. Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think in a review. I appreciate them so much! :)
Also: If you have additional questions that you would like answered, please feel free to go to my "Meet the Author" page on the forums. There's a link on my author's page!
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