Valentine’s Day, one of the most pathetic holidays, if you could even call it that, seemed to have every girl in Hogwarts in a frenzy. This included teachers, even Professor McGonagall, right down to the first year girls. Every-where I went girls were whispering about their boyfriend or which boy they hoped would ask them to Hogsmeade - for this one day being that completely obsessed about boys and love was allowed. I seemed to be the only sane girl in the entire building and, as such, I was subjected to much talk from Ginny about how she hoped that Harry would ask her and that all she wanted to do on the Hogsmeade trip was visit the over the top building that was Madame Puddifoots.
It seemed that since we had returned from break, Valentine’s Day was all anyone could talk about and it only increased as each day passed and brought us closer to the horrible day. I didn’t hate the holiday just because I happened to be single and the boy who owned my affections at the moment was being a complete dunderhead, dating an overly excited pathetic girl. The reason I hated this holiday was because it was dumb. One day a year it allowed girls to completely throw themselves into getting a guy and trying to get favors from him such as candy or flowers. Even worse, the boyfriend had to figure out what to get his girlfriend, and if it wasn’t big enough or pretty enough, he might as well have told her they should break up because that’s what would happen. It was shallow and pathetic.
The only good news we had gotten since Christmas break was that in March, those of us who would be seventeen on or before August 31st would be able to start learning how to apparate. I was thrilled and immediately checked out as many books as I could about it to make sure that I knew as much as I possible, not that there was much about it. The information I did find was interesting, it's not like most other magic in that you could include another person with side along apparation, though that was not recommended until at least a year after you passed the test, since you still had to get used to it. On the other hand it was like most other magic in that concentration is key, even the smallest amount of a distraction could cause a splinch for you or your companion.
As everyone else was counting down the days to Valentine’s Day, I was counting down for our first lesson, which was much farther away and in my opinion much more exciting. Currently, I was being dragged around the halls of Hogwarts by Ginny, who had some exciting news but said we needed to be alone for me to hear it. It took a while to figure out where she was dragging me to, but when I figured it out, I couldn’t contain my question.
“Why are we going to the Room of Requirement?” I asked her.
“I told you, I want to make sure no one will be able to overhear us,”she whispered back at me.
Her behavior was really strange but I followed along knowing she would tell me soon enough what was going on. We had just turned down the hall that lead to the Room of Requirement when we bumped into something solid; well, Ginny bumped into something which caused me to bump into her. Looking past the red head, I noticed the trademark scowl on the blond’s face before I even heard his voice.
“Watch it Weaslette,” he shouted, clearly annoyed with something, though I wasn’t entirely sure that it was us that he was annoyed at. We were just the nearest target to take his anger out on.
“Why don’t you watch it Malfoy, before I send a bat boogey hex your way,” Ginny said, matching his voice in volume.
“Come on Ginny, lets just go,” I told her trying to diffuse a fight and only just succeeding at it.
We walked away this time, I was the one dragging her towards the tapestry that would tell us we were at the Room of Requirement. I paced back and forth in front of the empty space thinking of a room that would provide us a nice quiet place to talk, envisioning something like the Gryffindor common room. Behind me, I could hear Ginny muttering under her breath about a stupid bouncing ferret, which brought a smile to my face as I thought about Malfoy as the ferret back in my fourth year. I knew she didn’t want to walk away from the fight, after all, she was a red head, but I knew if we didn’t leave then trouble would have befallen us.
“In, Ginny,” I told her forcefully, pulling her into the room, as her eyes kept darting to the place where we had bumped into the blond Slytherin.
“Jeez Hermione, you don’t have to be so rough,” she said rubbing her arm.
“You’re the one who pulled me away from my Transfiguration homework because you had something you needed to tell me. Well, here we are,” I said as I plopped down on a maroon couch identical to that in Gryffindor common room.
“Harry asked me to Hogsmeade,” Ginny squealed.
“That’s great Ginny,” I told her, “but why couldn’t you tell me that in the common room?”
“For one, Ron was sitting just two chairs away and would have freaked out; Harry may be his best friend but he likes to play big brother way too much. For two, Romilda Vane had just walked in the door and she has been planning something to get him, I just know it, and I can’t stand being in the same room as her!”
She had started off talking normal in the beginning but once she hit the topic of Romilda Vane her voice started getting louder.
“Tone down the green-eyed monster Gin, Harry asked you, not her, to go to Hogsmeade with him for Valentine’s Day.” I said trying to soothe her back to normal.
She sighed, “You’re right, it’s just that I’ve waited a long time for this and well, I just can’t believe it’s real.”
“Trust me, I know how that feels. I still can’t believe that Ron and Lavender are really together and its already been a few months!” I told her, trying to hide my anger that he had chosen Lavender, it was still a sore subject for me.
“He’ll come around eventually, you’ll see Hermione,” she said trying to cheer me up, though it didn’t help much.
“Can I just get back to my homework now?” I asked her, wanting to be anywhere, doing anything, but discussing Ron and Lavender.
“Sure, we can go back.” she said, forcing a small smile on her face for me. I returned it as we made our exit and walked back to the common room.
When we got there, I threw myself into my homework, ignoring anyone who tried to talk to me, I just wasn’t in the mood for it. My homework was my release, sad I know, but it allowed me to forget about everything as I searched for the answers to a question. After spending an hour on the Transfiguration essay, I had finished it at two feet longer than required. I just couldn’t see how any of the information I included could not be relevant. Without wasting any time after finishing my Transfiguration essay, I started up on the 3 foot potions essay that had only just been assigned today. The common room began to come to life around me as friends and couples relaxed on the furniture around the room, not taking any notice that I was still trying to work on homework. Annoyed with the people around me, I got up and roughly shoved my books into my bag to seek a quieter spot to study.
All around Hogwarts, couples were walking hand in hand down the hall and being lovey dovey in any shadow they could find. By the time I reached the library, I was completely annoyed and slammed my book bag down on an empty table earning a stern look from Madame Pince. Instead of sending her an apology, I just set right to work on my essay. Before long, I had already written a foot of the paper and would have continued on if it wasn’t for the loud ruckus of someone putting away books. Curiously, I looked around for Madame Pince knowing she would be outraged that someone was handling her books like they were. There she was standing by the far door deep in conversation with Professor Sprout the Herbology teacher. It looked like the two were pretty close to each other as they seemed to giggle like teenagers whenever they were near the other.
Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I got up from my spot and walked towards the loud thumping noise. Standing before me was Draco Malfoy as he took his anger out on the books he had been looking in. I took a step toward him, though I was not entirely sure why, willing him to stop his irrational behavior. He paused as he slammed a book back in its spot on the shelf, at least I hoped it was in its proper spot, before looking towards me.
“What do you want Granger?” He sneered while giving me a look that clearly meant back off.
“For you to stop making so much noise, I’m trying to study,” I told him standing my ground.
He didn’t say anything to me, instead he returned to his previous task by looking through each of the five books he placed on the floor and then slamming them into the shelves when their pages revealed nothing to him. I watched him for a moment, wondering what exactly he was looking for among all of the books.
“You know you could always ask Professor Flitwick, I’m sure he would know about what you’re looking for, or at least be able to point you in the right direction,” I told him. I figured since all the books he had picked up had to do with charms of some sort that he was after a certain one.
“Why don’t you keep your large nose out of this Granger,” he told me as he grabbed a large black book off the shelf.
I’m not sure what possessed me but instead of returning to my seat and finishing my homework like my mind screamed for me to do, I grabbed a random book off of the shelf and began searching through it.
“It would help if you would tell me what we’re looking for Malfoy,” I said quietly not wanting to attract anyone else’s attention.
“We are not looking for anything Granger,” Draco replied stressing the word 'we' before snatching the book out of my hands.
“It’s not such a bad thing to admit when you need help Malfoy. Obviously, you’re in over your head with this and if you would just let someone help, you might find that you wouldn’t waste as much time searching for something.” I told him before walking away.
Sitting down at the desk, I stared at the spot I had left off at, but when I had read the same paragraph four times, I figured that I wasn’t going to get much else done this evening and packed up my bag. Walking past the row of books that I had left Malfoy at alone, I sneaked a quick peak at him to see him still struggling to find something among all of those books. I snapped my head away from him and continued on my way. Madame Prince Pince and Professor Sprout were still talking by the door but when I walked passed them their conversation stopped suddenly and picked back up with laughter as soon as I was out the door.
The next few weeks passed by without event until it was March 1st, the day of Ron’s birthday.
AN: many thanks to my beta Giola who is absolutely amazing! I hope you all liked the newest chapter there will be more dramione action in the next chapter as well. Please leave me a review to let me know what you think!