Chapter 12- A New Plan
AN: Please read and review!
The next week passed in much the same fashion as that first day had. The morning after her first day back Hermione woke to find a letter from Damian on her bedside table.
I’m so sorry that you’ve been having a hard time. I hope it’s getting better. Despite your obvious personal troubles, you mind is as sharp as always. Yes, I am in Slytherin. But I’m having a harder time pinpointing what house you are most likely in. You are smart, so I’m sure you’d make a great Ravenclaw. Your tone when mentioning Hufflepuff in your last letter makes me lean away from saying you are in that house. Your answers to our questions hint that you are brave and loyal, meaning you could be a Gryffindor. I don’t know which seems more likely, Ravenclaw or Gryffindor, so I’m just going to guess one. I guess…Ravenclaw, since you are so logical and smart. Plus, the tone of your last letter didn’t sound like me being a Slytherin would be the worst thing in the world, making me think you probably aren’t a Gryffindor. haha.
You have moved on to much more personal questions I see. Not that it’s a problem. I don’t know what my boggart is, but I guess I would expect it to be either the Dark Lord returning, or a horse. I know, you’re probably laughing, since those two things don’t really seem to be on the same level, but I’m terrified of horses. I have been since I was little. It means I also dislike horse-like creatures such as Thestrals, Centaurs, and Hippogriffs. I would rather never know what time it was than always be late despite knowing the time. I could learn to feel the general time by the sun or something, but I value punctuality and can’t give that up.
Now, what is your favorite subject? I realized we had never asked this, I guess so as to prevent judgment of what house we might be in, but since you now know, I don’t think that matters. Would you rather only remember what you’ve been learning in school while you are taking the test, or forget it all while taking the test but remember it all other times? Knowing how smart you are I’m betting this isn’t an easy question, since one choice means failing all your classes. Enjoy the decision.
Hermione was indeed having troubles choosing. She hated the idea of failing, but she also recognized that school was supposed to be preparation for the outside world. She put off writing a response for a few days.
Hermione finally met up with Ron, Harry, and Ginny and explained everything that had happened since she had left. They hugged her a lot and expressed their sympathies, berated her gently for not telling them so that they could have been there for her at the funeral.
Hermione explained that she had wanted to deal with it on her own and that her dad had been there for her. She left out that Draco was there, they didn’t really need to know that. Draco had been being a saint since she had returned from the funeral. He kept her very busy. After they had caught up on all of their homework and Heads’ work they had gotten behind on, he came up with a new idea to keep her mind occupied.
“Hermione, I had an idea for a fun activity we could plan and I wanted to know what you thought of it.” Draco was seated on the couch in front of the fire with Hermione sitting cross-legged on the floor across the coffee table from him. They had been working on writing up a new chart for prefects’ patrol rounds.
“Well, we had said how we wanted to do events to build inter-house unity. The past events have been really successful and all. I thought we could do something for Valentine’s Day. We always have a Hogsmeade weekend around then, so I thought it might be nice to do something else for a change. I hadn’t come up with a specific idea yet. What do you think?”
Hermione’s face broke out into a huge grin. “That sounds great, and I have the perfect idea.” She sat up on her knees and leaned forward towards Draco. “At muggle high schools they sometimes have this dance that’s really different. It’s sometimes called a Sadie Hawkins dance, sometimes as Turnabout. Basically, it’s a dance where the girls have to ask the guys to go with them, rather than the other way around. It’s cool for girls to have to freak out about asking guys as compared to the way things usually go.”
Draco smiled. “That sounds great. Let’s write up a draft of the idea so we can get it approved by McGonagall right away.”
They got to work on planning the Valentine’s Day Turnabout dance.
Fuelled by the energy Hermione got from having a new project, she finally got down to writing her response to Damien.
Ravenclaw, really? You were so close. I’m in Gryffindor. Sorry if I threw you off by not caring that you’re in Slytherin. I’m trying out that whole, inter-house unity thing. Anyway, now you know.
Horses, really? I admit, I was surprised. I like horses well enough, and I really like Hippogriffs. I can understand fearing Voldemort, he was pretty terrifying.
My favorite class is Transfiguration. I feel like it’s the most magical. I love the idea that one thing can suddenly become something else. Though I really like all my classes, so it’s hard to choose. Charms is up there too, most useful subject I think. Your second question is, indeed, really difficult. I put off writing this letter because I didn’t want to answer it, haha, see how brave I am. Anyway, I finally came to my decision, though it hurts me to say this. I would rather forget it all for the exam but know it for the real world. I despise the idea of failing anything, or even just getting anything below an O. However, if the war taught me anything at all, it was that we need to know our stuff. There are real dangers out there, though fewer than in past years, and we all need to be prepared. I would suffer failing my exams if it meant I was prepared for the real world.
I just wanted to say thanks for all the letters you wrote me over break. They really helped. It is getting better, thanks for your concern.
I’m afraid I don’t have any deep questions for you this time. I’m getting a bit impatient to know who you are; I feel like I already know everything about you except for your name. I guess one thing I don’t know much about you is your family life. So, my question is: what is your family like? I think that’s a loaded enough question as is, so I won’t force another on you at the same time.
Hermione had meant what she said. She felt like she really knew Damien. She couldn’t imagine what he could possibly tell her that wouldn’t fit her mental image of who he was. She wasn’t sure who, specifically, he was, but she had a persona in her mind. She had tried, unsuccessfully, to go through all the Slytherins one-by-one and judge whether they could possibly be Damien or not. None of them really seemed to fit. She could, potentially, see Blaise or Draco fitting, but even that was a stretch. She was at such a loss.
Gryffindor? Draco had been sure she was a Ravenclaw. Having read he most recent letter from Grace he was so confused. He only knew one Gryffindor really well, and that was Hermione. Other than her he didn’t know them very well. Trying to picture who he could be corresponding with was difficult. The person didn’t necessarily have to be in his grade, which just widened the possibilities. He was hoping it wasn’t that girl, Lavender, she didn’t seem smart enough. He knew there was a Patil sister as well, but he didn’t know much else about her. He prayed to any higher power that it wasn’t the Weasley girl.
Pondering his response Draco put the letter with all of his others and left his room. He had a lunch date with Hermione in a few minutes. Well, not a date. He wasn’t entirely sure what was going on with them lately. They got on really well and he actually felt ok admitting that he thought of her as a really close friend.
But she had kissed him.
On his cheek, granted, but still, she had kissed him! He didn’t know how to process that. For one, this was Hermione Granger he was talking about. Secondly, she had been upset and whatnot, so it seemed excusable. And finally, she hadn’t mentioned it or repeated it since. Draco wasn’t even sure what he wanted her to think or do. He was a typical guy, he liked attention from girls, and he and Hermione really meshed well. But he felt a slight reluctance to try and take it any further, since he had someone else in mind.
Grace had turned out to be one of the best things to happen to him in a long time. She was smart, funny, they got along great. She didn’t push subjects if he indicated a reluctance- he tried to not think about her most recent question, and she seemed to really understand him and like what she understood of him. He really liked her. He knew it would still be a few weeks before they were allowed to reveal themselves to each other. But something in him didn’t want to pursue anyone else until he knew whether she was a viable option or not. He didn’t wanted to be somehow involved with Hermione when he learned who Grace was incase Grace really was as amazing as he was starting to think she was. He wanted to have a chance with her.
So he did nothing. H projected ‘just friend’ vibes at Hermione whenever he could and read between the lines of Grace’s letters to try and figure out who she was.
McGonagall approved of their idea for the turnabout dance instantly and they got to organizing the finer points.
“I think it should be formal. It’s a dance, why wouldn’t it be.” Hermione didn’t see why dressing up was always such a problem for guys.
“I think it would be relaxing and encourage more unity if we had a casual dance for a change.” Draco would try to avoid wearing a monkey suit with his very last breath.
“Uhg! Ok, fine. How about semi-formal? Guys don’t have to wear jackets and maybe not even ties if they don’t want, but girls can wear nice dresses if they want. I think that’s a nice compromise. Right?” Hermione was unwilling to give up a chance to get all dolled up.
“I guess that’ll work. How about decorations? I don’t want everything to be pink. Pink is a bit overwhelming at times and I wouldn’t mind a relatively pink-less Valentine’s Day. And I know I’m not the only one who thinks that.”
“I think we could put the focus on red. Make the color scheme of red, white, and black. It still says love and Valentine’s Day, but is a bit more tolerable for guys, you think?”
“Yeah, that actually sounds like it would look really good.” Draco’s voice sounded surprised.
“Gasp, I had a smart idea!” Hermione’s tone, on the other hand, was dripping in sarcasm. “I have to warn you, that happens sometimes.” They both chuckled a bit at that.
“All right, I concede. You have brilliant ideas all the time. Sorry.” The sincerity of his apology was a bit compromised by his grin and laughing eyes.
“Well, what do you think of having the dance start later? That way we don’t have to worry about food, people will have already eaten dinner at the regular dinner time. We can focus on a large and decadent dessert table.”
“That should work. Any specific desserts in mind?”
“Yeah. I thought we could have, in the center of the dessert table, a tower of cupcakes. Cupcakes are easy for any occasion because they can be decorated for any theme. Ours could have white frosting with black and red designs. Then we could have edible roses and cover the table in edible red rose petals.”
“I like the idea of edible flowers. And if the cupcakes are chocolate then I’m in.”
“We could have both chocolate and vanilla, to please everyone.”
Draco looked skeptical at that. “Who doesn’t like chocolate? I’m not sure we want people like that to be at the dance.” The smile in his eyes ruined his perfect ‘serious look’ act.
“I like chocolate and vanilla” Hermione said, laughing, “so you can just do it to please me. How’s that?”
Draco full out smiled at that. “I guess, if it’s to please you. I mean, I clearly do everything just for you.”
Hermione gave him a solid nod. “As well you should.” They shared a conspiratorial grin. “Anyway, we could easily set the great hall up so that it would give the whole event a sophisticated air that Valentine’s Day things often lack. We could probably get professor McGonagall to transfigure the candles into large black chandeliers to fit the occasion. The tables could have white vases with red roses. It’s going to be great!”
With a theme in mind, the planning took off on wings, every detail being argued and eventually compromised.
AN: I know, I don’t even have a right to ask you all to review. I am such a horrible person. I cover my face in shame. It has been too terribly long since I posted that last chapter. I can’t express how sorry I am. And, then, to end the wait with such a short chapter. I’m soo sorry. I don’t deserve your reviews (though I still ask for them anyways. ;D ) I am coming up on the end of my semester and I suddenly got buried in projects, test, quizzes, portfolios, etc. I also lost my muse something terrible. I couldn’t write a single sentence in this story. I wrote a whole short story for my intro fiction class, so I know I could still write, but nothing hpff related. It was tragic. I’m travelling in Asia for the first month or so of summer(until around June 15th), but after that I’m staying in one place all summer and hope to get more of this story out. I was so sad to see one reviewer ask if I was abandoning this story. I will never abandon this story, I will keep writing until the story is done. And there is, surprisingly, a fair amount left to write for this story. We aren’t even that close to the end yet. So please, keep being amazing, have patience, and stick with me. Thanks! If you love me and this story enough to forgive me my awfulness, please review. I love you all, you are the best!