Chapter 10 : Spotlight
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She was dressed like that for Hogsmeade, since it was a Hogsmeade weekend. Her hair hung in loose curls around her shoulders as she ate, hiding the already charmed mark on her neck. How could she let Malfoy do that to her? The reminder of last nights snog session made her blush a crimson red, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Malfoy.
“Are you ready?” Ginny’s calm voice asked, breaking her thoughts forcing Hermione to looked up. She gave a soft smile to Ginny.
“Let’s go,” she said, taking Ginny’s hand and pulling herself up. The girls linked arms and walked from the great hall, Harry and Ron dotting behind like the boys they were. Malfoy noticed this too, and with a jealous look in his eyes stared at Zabini.
“I think it’s a perfect day for a Hogmeade trip,” he said coyly.
“Oh Draco! I’d love to go!” screeched Pansy from the other side of him. Draco sneered at her.
“You can go,” he hissed, “With your friends. I’ll go with mine.”
Blaise gave him a questioning look and he moved a blond eyebrow. Blaise understood quickly and followed Draco from the table. Pansy glared at his back. He walked swiftly, following the footsteps of the four Gryffindor’s until he could see them. Blaise said nothing as they walked, and what Draco saw made him shake violently with jealousy. Weasel had his arm draped around his mudblood’s shoulders, his fingers playing with one curl. Draco felt his fists tighten with rage and anger.
Hermione had no idea that Malfoy was behind them. If she knew, she probably wouldn’t have let Ron drape his arm over her shoulders, but it was cool, and the wind was bitter, so she was glad for the extra warmth. She smiled at him and he returned it with a kind smile, but there was not light in it, and she was sordidly reminded of his words.
“Oh Hermione! Let’s go in, I love this shop!” Ginny tugged on her arm, causing her to become free from Ron’s. She silently thanked Ginny for that and smiled.
“Alright, alright,” Hermione said, letting Ginny take the lead. Ginny dragged her into the costume shop.
The costume shop was not one like the muggles kind. This shop had everything you could think of, from muggle outfits to the traditional witches costume. There were feathers and sequins and glitter everywhere, along with gore and tatters on the walls. The outfits themselves were in tiny little boxes that had to enchanted to fit the wearer perfectly. Ginny smiled and Hermione gaped-quite like a fish-before falling Ginny as she dragged her through the racks of clothes. Hermione ran her fingers along the fabrics of each costume and smiled.
“Okay, spill,” Ginny said suddenly, popping out from behind a rack of clothing. Hermione jumped and looked at her with a confused look.
“What?” she asked, confused. Ginny sighed and reach for Hermione’s hair, pulling it back off her neck to expose the skin. With a sigh, the charm that was hiding it disappeared and Hermione blushed.
“That,” Ginny stated, staring at the mark, “Where did you get that?”
“I-poked myself in the neck with a pencil?” Hermione looked at her with a hopeful looked, but Ginny shifted to put her hands on her hips and rolled her eyes. She gave up in a sighed.
“Malfoy,” she whispered softly. Ginny stared at her.
“Malfoy,” Hermione repeated.
“Dammit, Gin, I know you heard me,” she snapped, crossing her arms. Ginny smirked lightly.
“Wow,” she said, “Lucky girl, I know about a hundred girls would love to have that mark on their necks from him.”
“Oh shut it,” she snapped, shifting her eyes to the costumes, “It was a mistake.”
“Like I believe that,” Ginny said, rolling her eyes, “You like him.”
“No,” Hermione snapped.
“Yes,” Ginny countered.
“Ye-es,” Ginny sing-songed. Hermione sighed.
“Fine,” she answered.
“I knew it!” Ginny squealed.
“Gin! Shish! If the boys’ knew about this-“
“They’d kill you, I know,” Ginny stated, “I don’t know why I shouldn’t be more upset.”
“Why aren’t you?” Hermione asked. Ginny shrugged.
“Don’t know, figured you’d found someone-else. But you look happy.”
“I’m not,” Hermione said quietly. Ginny didn’t hear though, as she dashed off to try on costumes. Hermione sighed and followed her into the dressing rooms, costumes in hand.
They left the shop about an hour later, costumes in arm. Hermione had bought a princess costume, with a baby blue ball gown bodice and light whispy fabric, while Ginny had bought a ladybug costume. Both had gotten free matching masks as they where Hogwarts students (Hermione even got a discount, since she was head girl) and they were giggling wildly as they entered the Three Broomsticks. The boys waved them over, and they walked over to them smoothly, not even noting that Malfoy and Zabini were in there, in the corner.
Ron stood up and gave the two girls a smile before letting Ginny slide in next to Harry. He blocked the way for Hermione.
“Can I talk to you, outside?” Ron asked hopefully. Hermione smiled gently and nodded her head. He smiled and let her lead the way out of the place. They slipped out the front, while Malfoy slipped out the back, he had to know what was happening.
He had snuck around the side by the alley where they were standing and he could hear the stress in Hermione’s voice as she talked to Ron.
“Ron, I just don’t think that’s a great idea,” she said, stressing every word.
“Nonsense,” Ron replied shaking his red hair, “You and I are supposed to be together.”
“So that’s why you want to be with me?” Hermione spoke with a low tone. Draco clenched his fists at the hurt in her voice. The jealousy in his blood ran thick, and now it began to boil and bubble.
“’Mione, don’t be like that,” he pleaded, “It’s just, that well-I really like you and if you think about it, you don’t really have other offers to chose from-
That was it, Hermione had heard enough. She coughed, a strangled sob coming from her lips.
“Oh, Hermione, don’t cry, I hate it when you cry,” Ron whined.
“I don’t want to go with you to the ball!” Hermione shouted.
“Don’t be like that, ‘Mione, I’m only doing what’s best for you,” he countered, “Come here.”
“No!” Hermione screeched like a small child. Ron, looking hurt smiled lightly at her.
“No,” she whispered. Malfoy felt warm ooze forming in his palms and he realized he’d been bleeding.
“Hermione,” he scolded like a parent, “Please?”
“You think you can insult me and expect me to coming running to you?” she hissed dangerously, “You think you can say nasty things to me? Just leave.”
“What? What are you talking about ‘Mione? What nasty things?”
“Ron!” she sobbed angrily.
Malfoy had enough. From his hiding spot he pulled his wand and strode out from the darkness.
“She asked you to leave, Weasel,” he said coolly, causing Hermione to turn her head to look at him. The relief in her eyes she wasn’t able to conceal and he smirked sideways.
“Sod off you git,” Ron hissed at Malfoy. Malfoy stepped closer, his clothing blending in with the shadows. He looked terribly menacing-like a death should look.
“She asked you to go,” he repeated, standing tall. Ron growled -a real growl.
“Fuck off ferret!” he hissed, “Can’t you see where talking?”
“She asked you to go,” Malfoy repeated calming, as his insides bubbled. Hermione noted the gleam in his eyes, and it was going to get ugly real fast-she had to act.
“Ron,” she said quietly, “Please go inside, and I don’t want to go with you to the ball.”
“You heard her Weasel, now run along,” Malfoy said after a moment of silence. Ron looked at Malfoy with a sneer, then at Hermione. He looked between the two faces again, and then again. Something clicked.
“I get it,” he stated slowly, “I get it now. All those comments about Hermione, Malfoy, Hermione, I see. You honestly think he’s going to take you to the ball Hermione?” Ron stated, gripping her wrists. She flinched.
“You really think the foul ferret likes you?” he said, “Is that what this is about? Hermione can’t you see he’s using you? Can’t you see he doesn’t care about you! You need to see that he’s just using you for a snog session and a quick shag-“
“Stop it, Ron you’re hurting me,” Hermione said quietly, trying to free her wrists. Ron would not listen. Malfoy’s temper flared, hell was breaking loose.
“He doesn’t want you because he thinks you’re trash ‘Mione! I want you though! Can’t you see that I want you because you’re you? Malfoy wants you because he thinks you’re eas-“
“Stop it!” she screeched, ripping at her wrists. He wouldn’t let go and she began to panic. His words hurt, his eyes hurt, his grip hurt her. Malfoy seethed angrily.
“Hermione please just-“
“She said let go!” came the roar that was Malfoy’s voice. In a bright flash Ron was flown from her and onto the ground a few feet away. Hermione was shaking, tears falling down her face. She had flash backs of when he had saved her life. The rain, te werewolf, the cold stare of his eyes. Malfoy seethed angrily, looming in the shadows.
“Why you git-“ Ron said, standing. He started for his wand, but Malfoy his him with a stun.
“Don’t ever touch her again,” he hissed at Ron. Hermione backed herself against the wall as hell played out in front of her.
“If you ever go near her again,” Malfoy hissed, rolling up his sleeve to show Ron his dark Mark, “Do not fear that I will kill you myself. If she does not want you, then that is that. Don’t ever touch her like that again or you will loose your hands, and I will personally make sure you do.”
“Malfoy you’re just a coward that’s all talk.”
And so he sent spell after spell towards Ron, Ron blocking them and dodging them as fast as he could. Malfoy’s spells were nonverbal and many wandless, for he had lost it sometime during the fight.
“Who’s the coward now?” Malfoy shouted as Ron retreated to the door of the Three Broomsticks, “Who’s all talk now? Come near her and I’ll kill you!”
Ron had fled inside, Malfoy stood seething and Hermione stood shaking. Malfoy stood still until the sound of Hermione falling to the ground, suddenly made him aware that she was still there. Merlin, she must have seen it all.
“Granger,” Malfoy said, falling to her side. She looked at him with terror in her eyes at first but it faded away into an emotion he’d never seen before. This emotion sparkled and glittered in her eyes at him and he couldn’t help but feel like this is where his eyes belonged. He blinked, unable to break away.
“Are you alright?” he asked huskily, leaning close to drink in her scent. Hermione giggled at him.
“What, Granger?” he said as she laughed. Her laugh was like a bell, a thousand times amplified and beautiful. She wouldn’t stop laughing.
“Seriously,” he commented.
She stopped laughing then and placed a hand on his cheek. Her warm skin on his made her heart flutter lightly as she stared into charcoal grey eyes. She couldn’t help but love the way they fit right now.
“You know,” she whispered, stroking his cheek, “You’re extremely irrestible when you’re jealous.”
He smirked, a wide smirk at her.
“You mean to say you fancy me?”
Hermione laughed, that bell-like laugh and smiled at him.
“I guess I do,” she said. Malfoy looked at her, a momentary lapse in his head made him go soft.
“Good,” he said, standing up. He did not smile or give a hint to how he felt. Hermione looked at him puzzled.
“What do you mean good?” she questioned. He shrugged.
“It means that I have tamed the untamable bookworm into liking me.”
Hermione couldn’t believe what she was hearing, Ron was right, she was just another conquest to him! Her eyes became daggers and she glared at him, a cold deadly glare that made him question himself. He never questioned himself.
“You insufferable ferret face git!” she said, “I can’t believe you!”
“You can’t believe me, it’s not my fault I don’t feel the same,” he muttered, concealing the lie to himself. So maybe he did feel the same, but he would never tell her that.
The slap on his cheek left the most sastifying sound Hermione had heard. A large red mark appeared on his face, and he touched it gingerly. So he had deserved that, he wasn’t going to deny it. Hermione seethed and then stomped away, her hair swishing over her shoulder, exposing her neck.
There on her neck was his mark, the one he left the night before, and then he realized just why he still persued the girl.
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