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Chapter 4 : Of Dreams and Failed Planning
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A small line of light appeared on the ground before her and began to expand as the darkness disappeared. She held her head high and plastered a smile on her face, the whispering around her instantly dissipating.
As the sweet sound of music filled her ears, she changed her pose with it. The bright lights were obscuring her view ahead of her, only emitting darkness. She, however, had no problem with that.
Her legs moved on their own accord, her arms changing positions without thinking. Her entire body flowed with the sounds that she had grown accustomed with over the months.
Soon, everything around her had disappeared: it was only her and her body, evolving into the music itself. The music quickened, her pace quickened. The music slowed down: her movements slowed down, too. Her smile faded as her face changed into one of concentration. As her movements changed, they became more difficult. But all the same, they were enchanting, fluent and exotic.
As she raised her arms above her head, she paused for a moment to rethink all her moves, just as she had planned. Her feet were pointed, and she smiled once more to the darkness ahead of her.
She lowered her hands, but held them outwards from her body as she moved her feet daintily, traveling in a circle of small leaps and jumps. As she twirled to the side, she stopped, positioning her arms and her legs in a position that would soon help her.
The sudden change of music made her steps quicken as she ran, before raising both of her legs in the air, falling once more to the ground, and she prepared to finish with the finale.
As the music slowed down and was held on one note, she raised one of her arms in front of her chest, angled to the right position, the other pointing towards the opposite direction, angled downwards. She breathed in deeply, trying to concentrate as hard as she could.
She pointed her toes with all her concentration, before raising her leg in the air so it would be parallel to the ground.
As the sound of pleased mutterings hit her ears she was suddenly reminded of the voice that was not adding to those whisperings.
The voice that would not ever again.
She suddenly felt her mind turning inwards on itself, falling inside her own fears her vision became black. Angry voices dimly echoed in her ears as tears stung her eyes.
He wasn't coming back this time, she had said. It was done now; they would have to move on.
She took a deep breath but it was already too late as she lost her balance and everything fell around her. The hard ground was jarring against her knees, and the pain was so acute that the darkness that had overcome her vision cleared.
There were the hushed whispers again, as people scurried onto where she was to help her up.
But she didn't let them.
The lights were dimming.
Hermione sat bolt upright, her breath coming quickly and her heart pounding in her chest. Her hand flew to her heart as she blinked the sleep from her eyes. She felt so odd.
The room was dimly lit by the early morning light as she turned towards the window with a sigh. She swung her legs over the edge of the bed and cringed. Her muscles were tight and sore and the pads of her feet stung as she stepped onto the cold floor to make her way to the lavatory.
As she put toothpaste on her tooth brush, she thought about what she had dreamt about.
But what did she dream about? Her mind thought, and it thought hard, but all she could muster were the— all she could muster were the feelings. The pain, the anguish, the hurt. Did her dream revolve around that?
It must have, Hermione thought miserably, as she spat out the last of the remains of her tooth paste into the sink. She brushed her hair slowly, her mind once more searching for last night's dream. But it never came.
She slipped into her robes and stockings. However, when it came to her shoes, she winced in pain as her feet hit the sole. She hissed in a cry before slipping into the other one.
Drawing out her wand, Hermione whispered the incantation she had read in one of her school books. "Terrenus levamentum."
In an instant, her feet stopped hurting and they relaxed in her shoes. She sighed in content before grabbing her bag on the ground. She moaned when her back had moved, and she rose up slowly as the pain increased.
She heard the sound of Draco in the room on the other side of the wall, but she paid no attention. There were much more important matters at the moment. Maybe I could try and use that spell on my body, She thought quickly, before nodding to herself.
Hermione raised her wand, pointing it at herself. "Terrenus levamentum," she whispered. As the white glow shot from her wand, she smiled brightly. Except, her happiness was short lived. As the spell hit her body, she felt nothing change. She looked confused for a second, before pointing her wand to her body once more. "Terrenus levamentum," she said a little louder. The same result: Nothing happened.
She groaned in frustration, before trying to repeat the spell three times. Again, nothing happened. She soon gave up, walking slowly towards the door, groaning every so often.
The walk to the Great Hall, needless to say, was painful.
"Hey, Hermione! Good morning!" Said Harry happily. Hermione smiled weakly at him, before taking a seat next to him.
"HeMionOdmring," Ron tried to say, as he stuffed eggs in his mouth.
"Ronald, please talk without food in your mouth," she said, exasperated. He shrugged before swallowing.
"I said ‘good morning Hermione,’" he said, and Hermione nodded to show that she understood.
She buttered her own piece of toast before taking baby bites on it. She wasn't that hungry; and her mind was still trying to figure out what she had dreamt of last night. Besides, raising her arms made her whole body sore.
"I'm not that hungry. I think I'll just go to my first class, early," she announced, before standing up and wincing slightly.
"Are you okay, Hermione?" Harry asked, and she nodded, forcing a smile.
"Yes, I'm fine. Good bye Harry, Ron," she said, walking out of the Great Hall, not waiting for an answer from her best friends. She definitely was not in the mood today.
As the young brunette entered the Arithmancy classroom, she noticed that no one was in there, including the Professor. She shrugged before walking to the front of the classroom and sitting down at one of the desks. She moaned; somehow the seats were relaxing to her muscles. But before she could enjoy this moment any longer, her thoughts were interrupted.
"Excuse me, I believe that is my seat," A voice drawled, and Hermione bolted upright, before glaring at the person that had spoken.
"I never knew that you sat in the front, Malfoy," she spat. "I always thought you liked to be at the back and not listen or take notes." She smiled sweetly at him, folding her hands on the desk.
"Shut up Granger," he growled, taking his bag that was on the ground, leaning against the desk. "I don’t know why I even bothered," he sneered, slinging the bag around his shoulder and walking to the back of the class.
Hermione rolled her eyes. Stupid Malfoy. Thick Malfoy. Doesn't know his manners, well, at all. Well, you could never expect that much from him.
She jumped when she felt a breath tickling her cheek. "You'll be sorry," he breathed from behind her, and her whole body went rigid. He laughed softly as her muscles slowly unclenched one by one. She let out her gasp of air in a giant exhale before reeling around on him.
“Exactly what will I be sorry for?” She asked as she stood. He turned to meet her eyes, leaning casually against the nearest desk, his arms crossed against his chest. He smirked.
“The question is, what will you not be sorry for?” He asked through grit teeth.
She pursed her lips. “That’s an empty threat, Malfoy.” She hissed back at him, her voice far more sure sounding than she felt.
He uncrossed his arms as he stepped towards her, his eyes never leaving hers. She backed away with every step he took until her legs met her desk. She wished nothing more than for students to enter the room now.
“Say it again, Granger.” He grinned maliciously. “Go ahead.”
She swallowed, but couldn’t find her voice. He nodded satisfactorily as he backed off and turned to make his way to the back of the class.
“Ah, Miss Granger, Mister Malfoy.” The Professor said as she breezed into the room. “The headmaster wishes to see you in her office immediately. You are dismissed.” She waved towards the door.
Hermione’s stomach fell as she gathered her books to her and made for the door. Now she had to walk down to the headmaster’s office with him. Perhaps she could get enough of a head start to get there far before he did.
“Granger,” A voice said from her left.
“Yes, Malfoy. I noticed you are there. You don’t have to give yourself a royal introduction.” She kept her eyes forward.
“Feisty?” He inquired with an approving tone.
“Disgusted.” She cast him a quick glance before averting her eyes back to the hallway.
He laughed. “Go ahead.” He encouraged. “Look again. Had you ever wondered how I got to look like this?”
He was apparently referring to the way his shirt bulged over his arms and the toned quality his chest appeared to have through his shirt. She suddenly became flushed. “No. Not at all.” She said too quickly.
He grinned. “Didn’t suspect it was dance, did you?”
That sounded oddly like an honest question.
“No.” She said simply.
His laughter echoed up to her as they turned the last corner. “You really can’t dance can you?” He said out of nowhere.
She stopped cold. Her eyes closing of her own volition as the pain swamped her. “That’s none of your business.” She said as soon as she had recovered.
He looked oddly at her, but didn’t say anything.
“Cricket Crunchies,” She said as they reached the entrance to the Headmaster’s office. As soon as the entrance was made visible, Draco stepped before her, cutting her off. She rolled her eyes behind his back as she too stepped into the dimly lit hallway and the doorway sealed itself.
She jumped as the door shut behind them and they were cast pretty much into pitch darkness.
“Scared?” A cruel whisper flitted through her right ear.
She scoffed as she pulled her wand and muttered “lumos”. She smiled a fake sweet smile before she set off down the corridor. Behind her Draco grinned before following.
The Headmaster was waiting at the end of the tunnel-like hallway with a scowl on his face. “I apologize for that. The torches seem to not want to light today for some odd reason.” He turned and stepped through the door.
He gestured them into two seats before his desk as he took the one behind it.
“As the new Heads, you have many responsibilities that need to be taken care of.” He began.
Hermione nodded and wondered if she should perhaps take notes? She turned towards Draco and scowled. He was slouched back in his chair, probably not listening at all. She sat up straighter.
“Have you organized the first prefect meeting yet?” He asked as he pulled out a few pieces of parchment from his desk and a quill.
“Uh . . . No.” Hermione floundered.
Dumbledore raised a disapproving eyebrow but did not raise his head. “I see.”
“Have you yet decided when and what the first ball will be? And if we are even having one?”
“No.” Hermione said softly.
“Have you checked with Hogsmeade to see when we can take our first trip?” Professor Dumbledore raised his head and set down his quill, eyes focused on Hermione, who was feeling smaller by the moment.
“No.” She said in an almost inaudible voice.
“Miss Granger, I must say,” He removed his glasses. “I am disappointed. You’ve always been one to stay ahead of the game, whatever is the matter with you this year?”
“I’m sorry.” She mumbled.
“Be that as it may, you need to start on these issues. They are very important, and affect not only you but your schoolmates. You were chosen for this job because it was believed that you could handle it. Is it going to be too much?” He arched an eyebrow.
There was silence for a moment as Hermione struggled through her embarrassment to find words.
“She said she was sorry.” Draco sat forward. Dumbledore’s eyes immediately switched to him.
“Excuse me Mister Malfoy?”
Draco got to his feet. “She said she was sorry. We’ll start on it tonight. You can stop nagging on her now.” And with that he turned and left the office.
Hermione gaped after him. What had gotten into him? Speaking like that to the Headmaster?!
She stood and awkwardly gathered her things. “I . . . I’m sorry Headmaster. . . I’ll . . .we’ll get right on it.” She stumbled as she followed him out the door.
As the door shut behind her the Headmaster sat back in his chair, still a bit shocked, gazing at the door they had just passed through. He shook his head and smiled as he went back to the book he had before him.
Out in the hall Hermione was scampering to catch up with the tall blonde. As she reached his side he didn’t acknowledge her.
“Uhm. Thank you.” She said softly.
“For what?" He said gruffly, his eyes never leaving the hallway before them.
“For what you did back there. For standing up for me.” She said.
He stopped and turned abruptly, causing her to bump into his chest. “Look, Granger.” He hissed down at her. “I wasn’t standing up for you. I don’t stand up for anyone but myself. He was pissing me off the way he kept going on, so I left.” He started off down the hallway again.
She processed what he had said before starting after him again. “You stood up for me.” She insisted. “It had nothing to do with him annoying you.”
He didn’t answer as they reached the classroom door once again and he disappeared through it.
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