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Chapter 13 : The Letters
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AN: Sorry about the wait, it was rejected at first because over 1/3 of the word count was in the letters, and after I fixed it they rejected it again, even though I know for a fact, since I counted, that it was of proper proportion, so then I had to edit it further, to make it even more within the rules. I’m sorry if the letters seem short, I had them longer originally, with ‘Dear’ and the start of each, but I needed to make them shorter and the other text longer, so I made conjunctions in the letters and embellished in the rest. I’m sorry. I do want to thank everyone who replied so quickly, it really made my day to see so many new reviews and it certainly got me to write my first thousand words of this chapter that very night. Enjoy. Please review! :D
Unfortunately, as nice as the release of tensions was for Hermione when she argued with Draco, over the next few days she realized that she missed the guy that she had gotten to know that evening at the dance; she missed Damien. She saw Draco everyday and they were relatively decent to each other, though obviously less so in public, but she still missed the connection that she had had with Damien. Since she was the brightest witch of her age, when she finally took the time to put her mind to it, she managed to figure out a way so that she could still talk to Damien without having to be Hermione, she could still be the Emily from the ball. And people always say that you cannot have your cake and eat it too.
I know we didn’t separate on positive terms, but please read. I addressed this letter to Damien, though I know you are Draco. I miss Damien. He and I got along well. I would love to keep contact with Damien; if that’s alright with you. We could send letters. I can tell an owl Draco. You, since I don’t want to reveal myself, can send a reply by the same owl. He’ll wait for you to write a reply, whenever you find time to, and then he can return it to me, since he’ll know who sent it. If this plan’s alright by you, please reply in the fashion mentioned above. If not, please tell the owl to return to his sender, he’ll know what to do. Thanks for reading.
Hermione gave this letter to her owl, Henry. Her parents had bought Henry for her for getting Head Girl, and he was already very attached to her. He wasn’t snowy white like Harry’s owl, Hedwig, rather he was a dark, musky brown color with hints of red and gold in his feathers near his head. She thought he was beautiful. She kept him in her room, since she had the space, so very few people recognized him as belonging to her. She hoped that by sending Malfoy this letter, he might take the bait, and allow her to indulge in thinking of him as sweet, funny, enjoyable to talk to, considerate, fun loving, and nice, and let her escape the reality of the real Draco Malfoy, even just in letter form. Although, the more that she thought about it, the more she realized that the actual Draco Malfoy had been acting quite nicely to her in private lately. Obviously he was rude in public to uphold his image and reputation, but he was pretty thoughtful, helpful, and, as odd as it was to say it about a Malfoy, he had been acting relatively nice towards her as of late. She saw no reason for the sudden change, as she had done nothing particularly nice towards him. She thought to herself, it was possible that he’d picked up that she was not doing so well. There was no way he could possibly know of the severity of her situation, but she had been sparking and forgetting things, and she did favor her other hand since her wand hand started hurting, perhaps he suspected something, since the Hermione most people knew did not forget things. It was odd that he would notice when her best friends seemed to be oblivious to it, but he did live with her. Hermione put these thoughts off for a rainy day and directed Henry to deliver the letter with the morning post to Draco Malfoy, explaining to him how it was going to work with Malfoy writing the reply and sending it back with him. Henry seemed to understand, but it was hard to tell, considering that Henry was just an owl.
For the next two days Hermione was on hinges. She wanted to know what he was going to say. Henry had yet to return, with or without a response. Even more than just the nerves of receiving a reply, Hermione was beginning to make herself nervous as well as Malfoy, Harry, and Ron for a different reason. One minute she would be happily humming while reading a book in the library, usually for Charms or Transfiguration, and the next minute she would toss the book away from her, heave a frustrated sigh and bang her head on the table because she could not find what she was looking for. On other occasions she would be eating in the Great Hall and suddenly she would get up and leave, telling the boys that they were chewing too damn loudly for her to stand it. Harry and Ron did not think anything was wrong, they just thought that it was that time of the month, but Malfoy had an idea of what was up. He did not remember mood swings being a symptom of Fluxi Magus, but they were very un-Hermione, so he wanted to take her Diagnose Your Own Magical Maladies book and look up the symptoms again, just to see if he had missed it.
Meanwhile, he had yet to answer the letter he’d received from Emily. He planned to reply, whether he wanted to continue correspondences or not, he just had not yet figured out what words to use. Eventually he sat down in his room and scribbled out a reply in his elegant, well practiced handwriting and sent it off, hoping that the response was well received. When Henry returned to her, this was the letter that he had for her to read.
I guess we could try this; see if it works. I liked Emily, but I didn’t like what she became when she saw my real face. If you hate Draco, why would you want to keep talking to Damien? What would we talk about? We’ll see if this arrangement works. If not, you can always tell me who you really are and we can work from there. Let me know.
(for interception’s sake I’ll be Damien)
Hermione read the letter two times, feeding Henry three treats for being such a good owl as she did, before stopping to plan her reply. It was great that he had agreed to the correspondence, but if he was going to be nagging her in every single letter to tell him who she was then she was going to get annoyed, fast. Still, she did miss the Damien she could confide in, joke with, and dance in the rain with. Harry was so absorbed in dating Ginny that he barely noticed her anymore and Ron was equally s obsessed with Quidditch and a variety of girls along the way, so he was more ignorant than he usually was. She needed a new best friend. Besides, number 19 on her list did say to befriend someone she did not like, and Draco Malfoy definitely counted as someone she did not like, so befriending one side of him at least, the Damien side, was a start. What's more, Damien might be just the person to convince to help her work on her list.
Thinking about her list reminded her that she needed to check some more items off soon, if she planned to get it done in time. With this in mind, she wrote her response to Damien.
Since you agreed to keeping in touch with me, I was wondering if you would do something with me. I’m skipping classes Friday. I’m sneaking down to Hogsmeade through a secret passageway I know. I have some fun things I need to do and wondered if you’d come. I would look as I did at the ball, so I’m not revealing myself. You can either come as Draco or Damien, it’s up to you. If you’d like to accompany me, please indicate that in your response, if not, please say so. As for your questions, I don’t hate Draco, we just have issues and I’m not sure he likes me much. You have to admit, Damien was very different from the usual Draco. For your other question, we can talk about anything. What good gossip have you heard recently? What’s your Heads’ room like? And, are you coming Friday? Let me know.
Draco could not allow himself to feel regret as he read this letter from Emily. He had been hoping that this mysterious Emily and the girl he was crushing on would turn out to be one and the same girl, but the girl he liked would never ditch school. He felt just a bit less eager to find out the true identity of this mystery girl Emily now that he knew it could not possibly be the girl that he most wanted it to be. However, he had had fun at the ball, and it was nice to get to be himself with someone, so it would be a good idea to make friends with “Emily” anyways.
Hermione received a reply much faster than normal. Judging by the speed, he must have written the reply as soon as he read the letter and sent the owl right back to her. Hermione grinned, anticipating his reaction to her odd, yet fun request.
I have to admit, your request surprised me. You just eliminated several candidates for your true identity, they wouldn’t skip classes. I’d love to ditch with you Friday, sounds like fun. I’ll be Damien, so I don’t have to deal with someone in Hogsmeade recognizing me and reporting me to the Headmistress. Thinking about it, Damien was very different from me, but still me. I have several bits of gossip, although that makes me sound like a girl. I’ll tell you another time, when one of our conversations gets boring. Maybe you could come, as Emily, to my Heads’ common room sometime, so you would know how it looks for yourself. See you Friday.
Hermione read this letter thoroughly, yet quickly, smiling brightly. She was psyched for Friday. She was going to get to check off several items from her list. She really did need to get going if she hoped to get done soon. She hide her letters from him in the locked drawer in her desk and wrote a quick response, just to let him know that she got his letter and that everything was a go for Friday.
Great! I’ll see you Friday. Don’t cross people out yet. I’m not the type to ever skip classes. I’m probably the last person anyone expects to skip, but I’ve never done it and it’s our last year. No response needed, just wanted you to know I got it. Please send the bird back. Bye!
After reading this letter, Draco let out a sigh of relief. It could still be her, though it was a bit pathetic that he was so hopeful, desperate even, for Emily to be the girl that he wanted her to be. Emily claimed to be the last person you’d ever expect to skip class. The girl he was thinking of, the one he’d liked for quite a while, she definitely fit that category. She would be his last guess when it came to girls who would skip out on classes. Besides, he’d never expected her to bathe in chocolate, pull an all-nighter, or get fatally ill either, but that had all happened.
AN: I hope you liked it, again, I’m so incredibly sorry about the long wait. I’ve planned out several more chapters, but reviews are still great for ideas. Thanks. Btw, in case you got confused like I did, the masked ball was Friday the week before winter break, so this Friday, the one with Draco, is the last day before winter break. Please review! Love you all!
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