Chapter 8 : Redheads and Rows
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DISCLAIMER - You all know what JK Rowling owns, the rest is mine, so don't sue me, ok?
She looked at his sleeping form; his hair flopped across his forehead, and although there was no smirk on his pale face, there was a grimace of pain instead. She thought back to the last time she’d been in this room, in that very bed, what she’d done. Was it possible that Malfoy felt as bad about it as she did? Staring up at the ceiling above her, she soon fell asleep.
Early the next morning, Hermione woke to muffled voices coming from the common room. She glanced across the room, and seeing that Malfoy’s bed was empty, she headed downstairs to investigate. Ginny was standing across the room from Malfoy, smirking at his bruised face.
‘Ginny? What are you doing here?’ Hermione asked her friend.
‘Mum asked one of us to bring your trunk here since you left so suddenly without it last night.’ she gestured to the trunk behind her.
‘Thanks,’ Hermione replied, moving over to grab the trunk.
Ginny didn’t take her eyes off Malfoy, ‘And Fred and George asked me to check on you, and make sure the sleaze hadn’t touched you again.’
‘Oh, no, Gin! They didn’t tell everyone, did they?’ Hermione cried.
‘Don’t worry, Mione. Mum slipped them some veritaserum when they got home, but it’s only me and her that know.’
‘Your mother knows? Great, this just can’t get any worse.’ Hermione groaned.
Ginny rounded on her friend, shouting, ‘Well, what did you expect Hermione? You come roaring down the stairs, floo to the common room, and stop us following you with a blocking shield charm! And then Fred and George appear, George shaking and Fred covered in blood! It was pretty obvious something serious was going on!’
‘I know, Gin’ Hermione replied softly, ‘I know.’
‘And you!’ Ginny turned to look at Malfoy again, all control over her temper long gone, ‘I knew you were evil and sadistic and sick! But I honestly never thought you’d sink so low as to actually take advantage of Hermione and offer her money to sleep with you because you knew how badly she needed it.’
Hermione saw Malfoy clench his fists at his side, but his face remained calm.
‘Uh, Gin, that’s not exactly what happened.’ Hermione started slowly, ‘I’m the one who offered to have sex with him.’
‘I knew he wanted to sleep with me to win this bet the Slytherin boys were having, and I took advantage of this and bribed him for money.’ A tear trickled down her cheek as she confessed.
‘Hermione! Why didn’t you tell us? The twins were ready to kill him!’ Ginny cried, her eyes wide with shock.
‘I couldn’t, Gin! I was afraid of what you’d all think of me, I thought you’d stop being my friends.’ Hermione sniffled through her tears.
Ginny was furious, ‘You really think that little of us? Well I’m not quite sure what to think of you! You sell yourself to this – this – this creep, like some cheap hooker, and then lie about it and get my brothers in a fight!’
Malfoy had stood in silence, watching the interaction between the two witches with interest, but as Hermione broke down completely, her body heaving with sobs, he felt it was time to step in. ‘Wait a minute, Weaslette.’ he said, walking over to where Hermione stood, and placing an arm on her back, ‘If you’re really going to dump one of your best friends just because she made one, admittedly very stupid, mistake, then you’re no better than you’re making her out to be.’
Ginny stared incredulously at the scene before her. Malfoy was gently stroking Hermione’s back, and she was actually leaning into him, crying onto his naked chest. ‘What is going on here?’
‘Huh?’ Hermione looked over at her.
‘Between you two? The twins told me you defended him last night, and from what I’ve just heard he lied to cover for you with them.’ Ginny accused the pair, her hands on her hips.
Hermione quickly stepped away from Malfoy, ‘Look, Ginny, nothing’s going on. It’s just – complicated.’
‘I have to go. But we have to talk sometime, Mione.’ the young redhead stated firmly, as she flooed back to the Burrow.
Hermione heard Malfoy leave the common room and return upstairs to his bedroom, but she didn’t turn around. Instead, she stared into the empty fireplace, still sobbing quietly. What have I done?
That night, as Hermione was making herself dinner in the Heads’ kitchen, she heard the door creep open. Looking up, she saw a blonde head peeking through the gap. ‘Can we talk?’
‘I think you know.’
Hermione sighed, and he took this as an invitation to come in. Pulling out a stool at the table, he sat down, running his hand through his hair.
‘Well?’ she pressed.
‘What’s going on here?’ Malfoy asked, his grey eyes boring straight into her brown ones.
‘What do you mean?’
‘I mean, Weas- uh, Ginny, was right. What’s happening? All of a sudden we’re covering and standing up for each other.’ Malfoy said, exasperated.
Hermione stopped chopping the carrots in front of her. ‘I don’t know. I mean, we hate each other.’
‘Um, I don’t always hate you.’
‘Well don’t I feel honoured! You don’t always hate me!’ Hermione spat at him.
Malfoy stood up, his temper beginning to flare at her attitude, ‘You know, Granger, maybe if you weren’t so damn arrogant and opinionated more people would like you!’
‘Excuse me?’ she shrieked, now waving the kitchen knife around, ‘I have plenty of friends! Just because none of them happen to be Slytherins doesn’t exactly bother me!’
’Oh you do, do you?’ the famous Malfoy smirk made a return, ‘Because I’m pretty sure you lost a few of them today.’
He realised he had hit an explosive nerve too late. ‘How dare you!’ she screamed, storming towards him, and he was desperately aware that she was still brandishing the gleaming knife, ‘It’s your fault that they hate me, you bastard! Why don’t you just go run along and tell all your friends you laid the eternal virgin Hermione Granger, win your bet, and leave me alone!’
‘Fine I will!’ he stormed out of the kitchen, and she threw the knife after him, causing it to stick in the heavy wooden doorframe.
(A/N - before I get hatemail, she didn't aim to kill Draco, she just threw it out of anger, and meant to miss! Please R/R - I try to answer them all!)
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