The next morning, I finished up the small amount of packing that needed to be done in order to get on the train to go back home for the holidays. The only things that were left for me to pack were my pajamas, the book that I was currently reading- which I figured I would keep out so I had something to do on the train ride, and the presents that I had bought for my parents. It was going to be a lonely Christmas; one of the few I wouldn’t be spending with the Weasley’s. Chaos ensued as soon as Lavender and Parvati got up, as they were trying to get everything packed with only an hour to go before we started to board the train.
I left the room, not wanting to deal with Lavender this close to the holiday’s and instead made my way down to the Great Hall for a last minute breakfast. There was barely anybody there, though it was usually pretty dead on the morning we were due to leave since most were still busy packing. I plopped myself down at a spot towards the middle of the table where we usually sat and began to pile food onto my plate.
Wistfully, I looked around at the few people there and watched as friends interacted with each other giggling and exchanged gifts with each other. As I watched them all mingle, I nibbled on a piece of toast wishing that I wasn’t upset with my friends so I would have someone to talk to. I wasn’t upset with Harry but he and Ron were almost always inseparable and I still hadn’t been able to get myself to forgive Ron for being with Lavender even though it was glaringly obvious that I liked him.
Realizing just how alone I felt in that moment made me want to forgive Ron and go back to the way things were before he started dating Lavender. That was, until he walked in the doors with his arm draped around Lavender, steering her in my direction. I tried hard to not let out a scoff as they plopped down across from me. Lavender looked at Ron with her big blue eyes and then began to dish up his plate for him. I had to bite my tongue to refrain from saying anything to the two of them and when Lavender tried feeding Ron, I couldn’t help but let out a scoff and quickly walked away from my spot at the table.
That had to of been the most disgusting thing I’d ever seen, and that’s saying something considering my two best friends are both boys. There was still a bit of time before the train was to leave, and since I had now run out on my breakfast I really wasn’t sure what to do- that was, until my eyes caught sight of Malfoy acting suspicious. Making a snap decision, I quickly followed him making sure to stay far enough behind him so he couldn’t see me and I threw myself into small alcoves when he turned around.
After going up a few floors and down many corridors, I was still completely at a loss for where we were headed and tried to figure it out in my head as we went along. I had been so lost in my thoughts, that I hadn’t realized that Malfoy had stopped walking and turned around to face me; in fact if I hadn’t figured out that the only noise I could hear was the soft click clack of my shoes against the hard floor, I wouldn’t have noticed that Malfoy had stopped until I had run directly into him.
“Oh,” I said softly and turned on my heel, headed back in the direction we had just come from.
I didn’t make it very far until Malfoy’s hand had reached out and grabbed ahold of my arm and yanked me around to face him.
“What do you think you’re doing Granger?” Malfoy all but yelled at me.
“I- I was just-,” I stammered.
“You and Potter, always sticking your nose in other people’s business, maybe I need to teach you a lesson like I did to Potter on the train,” Malfoy spat in my face.
“The train,” I asked before I remembered the incident at the beginning of the year when Harry disappeared on the train and showed up late for dinner with blood on his shirt. I paused for a moment, as I processed everything then gaped at him, “that was you!”
“Don’t act so surprised Granger. The idiot of a snoop got what was coming to him and if you’re not careful then you’ll get what’s coming to you as well.” He said before ripping his hand from my arm, and stalking off in the direction that we had come from. I had no choice but to follow him since I still had no idea where we were or how to get back to the Great Hall from here.
This time, as I followed him, I didn’t try to hide the fact that I was there. Once we reached the Great Hall, I made my way back up towards Gryffindor Tower so I could grab my coat and bag, my trunk had already having been brought down and was waiting with everyone else’s to be brought to the train. After grabbing what I needed I made my way back down to the Great Hall and, after grabbing my trunk, I went out to the gates to catch a horseless carriage to the train.
I ended up in a carriage with some second year Ravenclaw girls who wouldn’t stop talking about a boy named David Greenway. By the end of the short ride, I had had my fill of bubbly little girls, especially these ones, since they reminded me so much of one Miss Lavender Brown. I’m sure that a look of complete disgust was plastered on my face as the three Ravenclaw girls shot looks at me over their shoulders as they boarded the train.
Walking down the train, I paused at every door and looked inside to see if anyone familiar was in there. Finally, I reached a compartment that had Neville, Ginny, and Luna chatting with each other and they only paused for a moment when I slid the door open. As soon as they started on again they were filling me in on all of the conversation I had already missed, which consisted of boys (much to Neville’s displeasure), Herbology (much to Ginny’s displeasure), and some animal made up by Luna and her father (much to both Ginny and Neville’s displeasure). I plopped myself down into the empty seat next to Ginny as they continued on with the conversation. I really didn’t feel like talking much, so instead, I pulled out my book and started reading, only piping up to correct someone.
Every once in a while, I would peer over the top of my book when the conversation peeked my interest and during one of these times I noticed Neville staring at Luna, and not just because she was talking. Halfway through the train ride, I finally worked up the courage to make my way to Harry and Ron’s compartment. I figured that for the sake of Christmas, I could forgive Ron, at least for the rest of the ride to King’s Cross. I probably would have went through with it, if Lavender hadn’t just passed by their compartment and written RW + LB encased in a heart in the fog she had created on their window. I was so disgusted that I let out a scoff and kept walking, unsure of where to go now since I really didn’t want to go back to the conversation I had just left with Ginny, Neville, and Luna.
Wandering aimlessly around the train, I looked for a compartment that was empty where I could continue reading my book in silence. Unfortunately I didn’t find a single compartment that was empty but after passing by a compartment that had Malfoy and his cronies looking rather bored and a compartment that housed Lavender and her friends giggling, probably over boys like they were always talking about, I finally found one that only had one occupant. I decided to join the lone girl in her compartment and slowly slid open the door. Peering over at the girl, she appeared to be a first year Hufflepuff by the look of her open Transfiguration textbook that she had previously been reading before I had interrupted her.
Plopping down across from the Hufflepuff, I pulled out my book and started reading. I only made it a few pages into my book before I let out a long sigh and shut it, opting to look out the window for the last half hour of the trip. When the train starting pulling up to platform 9 ¾, I made my way back to Ginny, Neville, and Luna’s compartment where I had left my trunk. I looked around at all the parents waiting to pick up their kids and searched for the familiar faces of my own parents.
“Excuse me,” a tall brown haired Ravenclaw said before pushing her way passed me.
“Sorry,” I responded quietly, it wasn’t like she could hear me anyway since she had already reached her parents.
I stepped off of the train so I would no longer be blocking traffic and made my way towards the barrier that separated platform 9 ¾ from the rest of King’s Cross. Finally, I found my parents hovering around the Molly and Arthur Weasley and made my way over to them. After saying quick hellos and exchanging hugs, my dad grabbed a hold of my trunk and began steering us towards the barrier.
As I followed behind my dad, I could hear him call out, “come on pumpkin, we’ve got a surprise for you.”
“Mum,” I questioned shooting a quick glance in her direction.
“You’ll see darling,” was her only response as she placed her arm around my shoulder.
I laughed at their behavior as I was dragged through King’s Cross and out to our car. My dad threw my trunk into the back of the car and I caught a quick glimpse of two other traveling bags in there before he shut the lid. I threw my mum a questioning look as I got into the car and buckled myself in. Being lost in my thoughts, I hadn’t noticed that we had gone well passed our house until my dad called out, “We’re here.” Looking up from my spot in the back seat, the sight in front of me took me aback as we were stopped outside the airport.
“Are you two going to fill me in yet?” I questioned, leaning forward in my seat to be equal with them.
Instead of an answer from either of them, my mum handed back some pamphlets for me to look at. I couldn’t help the squeal that escaped my lips at my first glance of the pamphlets which declared that the Irish wizard ruins are among some of the most fascinating and most intact wizard ruins that are left. Jumping out of the car, I quickly wrapped my arms around my mum before running over to my dad and gave him a hug as well.
“I think she likes her surprise,” my dad said over my shoulder at my mum.
“I believe so dear, but we best be going or we’ll miss our flight,” she responded.
My dad quickly grabbed our bags out of the trunk and we began making our way towards the building to check into our flight. I was a complete ball of energy, wanting to read every piece of information I could about where we were staying and all the different wizard and muggle sights my parents had planned out for us, so much so that I had probably read each of the ten pamphlets five times before we boarded the plane.
The hotel we were staying in was a rather small and looked almost run down, but I guess the hotel didn’t really matter since my parents had planned a jam packed schedule of different sights to see throughout our six day stay in Ireland. We were staying in Dublin, so some of our time was going to be spent roaming around there, but we also had some different walks planned that would take us to the Wizard ruins, to castle remains, and to just enjoy the scenery that Ireland had to offer us.
Christmas break in Ireland was absolutely wonderful and for a while, I actually forgot about Ron and Lavender and how upset I was with him. Honestly, I could have let reality stay away for a while longer but alas the short Christmas break was over sooner then I wished it to be. I was brought back out of my reverie by the sight of Lavender jumping on Ron at platform 9 ¾ before the train was to take off. I looked away from the sight and instead studied the empty compartment around me.
“Here we go again,” I muttered under my breath, not at all looking forward to what this next semester would bring me.
AN: Sorry that this chapter was somewhat boring though the next chapter should start getting more interesting! My beta for this chapter was once again the lovely Giola from HPFF! Thank you for all your help! Please take the time to leave a review and let me know what you think!