Chapter 3 : Staring
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“It’s fine, Ron,” she replied shortly. She was becoming increasingly more and more tired of Ron’s berating. It had been cute at first, but he had never stopped, even when she made it known that she had liked him. God knows what I was thinking then, she thought. She shook her head as she starting pruning the Acklesbaras that Professor Sprout had assigned them to. She couldn’t believe how naïve she was then.
But was she being naïve now? Maybe this was just a new thing Draco was doing to tease her. Maybe he was trying to make her seem like a fool. He wanted her to act like an idiot in front of everyone, so he could just insult her.
Now she felt depressed. Thanks, brain, she said to herself. Sometimes having a huge brain meant also having a huge imagination when it came to things like this. What Hermione really wanted was someone she could talk to. It couldn’t be Ron, obviously. He wouldn’t be much help.
She would have wanted to confide in Harry, but the fact that he and Draco were mortal enemies muddled the situation a bit. Ginny was the person that she would go to for these sorts of things. Even though Ginny was a year younger, she could be very wise in the ways of relationships, especially in Hermione’s. She was the one who had consoled her when Hermione had given up hope on Ron.
But Ginny didn’t get along very well with Draco either. If only he wasn’t so mean to all of her friends! But, maybe Hermione didn’t have to mention his name. If she just asked Ginny about it, she would be a good enough friend to not need to know his name. It was decided then. She would find Ginny at lunch.
But first she had to get through Care of Magical Creatures.
Hermione walked along with Harry and Ron, deep in a conversation about Quidditch. Hermione always tuned them out when they talked about her least favorite sport. It was alright to watch at school, especially when she knew the people playing, but she didn’t see the point of rooting for different teams in the league. She didn’t know the people playing, so she didn’t care whether they won or lost. She tried explaining it to Ron once, but he wasn’t able to fathom it.
“Mornin’ all!” roared Hagrid. The class usually was divided into two groups, the Gryffindors and the Slytherins. And never the twain shall meet, Hermione thought to herself. So how would she and Draco ever make anything work? If he was serious, that is. If he wasn’t just setting her up.
As everyone else dutifully listened to what Hagrid had to say about thestrals, Hermione stole a glance at Draco. He was, as usual, surrounded by his cronies. However, today he wasn’t whispering with them or poking fun at Hagrid. Instead, he was also listening. The sunlight bounced off his slick hair, making it seem even brighter. He seemed to feel her eyes on her, and slowly looked up, meeting her eyes. They stared at each other for a moment. She felt he was reading her mind, yet she could not even penetrate the enigma he presented. She finally broke the contact, staring back at Hagrid and trying to look like she was paying attention. She thought she could still feel his eyes on her, yet refused to look back at him. She stayed that way the entire lesson, her eyes and ears not taking in what was going on. Her mind was focused only on the person standing only a few yards behind her.
At lunch, Hermione searched the table until she found Ginny, sitting with her friends, laughing. Her red hair stood out, shining from the faux light from the magicked ceiling. Hermione stood behind her. “Um, Ginny?” she said. Ginny turned around. “Can I talk to you?”
Ginny ate the last bite of her sandwich. “Sure,” she said as she stood up. “Where do you want to talk?”
“Um, the library is fine, I guess.” They walked in silence and went to an isolated table near the back.
“So, what’s up?” asked Ginny.
“Um, I…well…” Hermione didn’t know how to phrase it.
“Guy problems?” said Ginny, slightly smiling.
“Yes, but, I don’t really want to say who it is.”
Ginny looked surprised. “Well, alright. What happened?” Hermione told her story. Ginny sat through the whole thing, with a thoughtful look on her face.
“And that’s all,” Hermione finished. They sat in silence for awhile. “Any thoughts?” Hermione ventured.
“Well…from what you’ve said, it sounds like this guy might like you, but it’s hard to tell.”
“Do you have any advice?” Hermione asked, hoping she did.
“Well, my best advice would be to talk to this mystery guy,” Ginny said. Hermione’s shoulders fell. She was afraid she would say this. Ginny seemed to notice. “But if you can’t, then you can just wait it out, I guess.”
“Yeah, I think I’ll do that.”
“Are you sure you can’t tell me who it is?” Ginny asked. “It seems to be bothering you a
bit,” she added, looking worried.
“No…I…it’s complicated,” Hermione said hesitatingly. “I wish I could, but…not yet.”
“Okay,” said Ginny. “Well, tell me when you can. I’d like to know who has Hermione all in a tizzy,” she added, grinning.
Hermione attempted a smile back. “Sure. As soon as I can.” When hell freezes over and no one hates Draco anymore, she thought. Ginny said goodbye and left the library. Hermione sighed and put her head in her hands.
Talking with Ginny didn’t help that much. Although it was nice to get some off her chest, she still wanted to tell someone everything. But it was pointless to hope. She would have to work this out herself.
Hermione started pulling out her books to begin studying when someone sat down. “Excuse--” she started.
“Mind if I sit here?” said Draco quietly.
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