Neville walked behind me until we reached my ‘group’ in the Great Hall. I sat down next to my best friend, Seamus, and stared at all the food in front of me waiting to be eaten. Parvati Patil was sitting opposite of us and raised her eyebrows in ‘hello’. I started gathering food. I could tell Seamus was staring at me with a weird look on his face. I turned my head to see what his problem was, but saw he was really looking over my head at Neville. I sat up and look to the kid that was just standing there. He was returning Seamus’s look with a glare.
“What? Aren’t you going to sit?” I asked him.
“I’d rather not,” he replied, glaring at Seamus.
I looked back and forth between the two, trying to solve the silent problem.
*They hate each other.*
*Figure that out all by yourself?*
“What’s the matter?” I asked Seamus and Neville.
Seamus looked at me like he couldn’t believe I didn’t know. I gave him that demanding ‘what?’ look that he’s so familiar with. Seamus is always doing weird things and then expects me to know why. Like one day, I walk into our bathroom and Seamus is standing there with two robes, two robes that look exactly the same, in front of a mirror trying to “figure out which one made his eyes pop out more”. So when I asked him why, he gave me the same look he was giving me now, the “Oh come one! You already know” look. Only, I didn’t know, so I always responded with the look I was giving him back.
Seamus sighed in annoyance and…disappointment? I ignored if for now and turned back to Neville. “Are you going to explain what’s going on here?” I asked, wanting answers.
Neville made a face like he had made up his mind about something. “No, if Seamus isn’t going to tell you, why should I? But yeah, I’m going to sit with you,” he told Seamus more so than me. He climbed into the seat next to me and I felt Seamus grow tense. I turned to him and studied his face.
*What is going on? Neville and Seamus used to get along just fine! Now they’re acting like they’re dueling over something, trying to be better than the other*
I tried to ignore it the best I could, and I went back to eating the chicken breast that was in front of me. I picked it up and almost had a bite in when, “So Dean, how has school been this year?” Neville asked, taking a drink.
“Fine, I guess?” I replied.
He looked to my shoulder and raised his eyebrows like he had seen something shocking. He placed his drink down and reached over to brush something off my sleeve. “You’ve got a bit of dirt on your shoulder,” he said, cleaning it off.
“Thanks,” I told him, checking my front to make sure there was no more dirt. I looked up and saw Pavati staring at Seamus, Neville and I like we were all sick. I was about to question her, but Seamus interrupted.
“Oh, Dean, you got a wishbone!” he said. He leaned over to my plate and tried to pull the bone from my meat. He wasn’t able to it well enough, so he leaned over me and finally managed to get it off. He grabbed one side of it and held the other to me. I grabbed it and stared him down.
“Ready?” I asked, prepared to get a wish. “One, two, three!” And with that, we pulled the bone apart and I ended up getting the knot at the top. “Ah ha!” I exclaimed.
“Congratulations. What’d you wish for?” Seamus asked.
“Yeah, what’d you wish for, Dean?” Neville asked also, leaning an arm on my shoulder.
“You have got to be kidding me!” Parvati said randomly, a look of horror and shock filled her face.
Parvati Patil’s P.O.V
Re-wind: Back to when Neville first sits down.
Dean started eating his chicken while Seamus and Neville glared daggers into each other. Neville grabbed his goblet and cleared his throat. “So Dean, how has school been this year?” Neville asked him, taking a sip of his water and looking at Dean over his shoulder with a smirk. He pulled his glass away from his lips and licked them “subconsciously”.
“Fine, I guess?” Dean replied, apparently not noticing Neville’s behavior.
Neville raised his eyebrows and set his glass down gently. Then he leaned as close as he possibly could to Dean without touching him. He raised his arm to Dean’s shoulder. “You’ve got a bit of dirt on your shoulder,” he slurred, slowly rubbing Dean’s arm, ‘getting the dirt off’.
*Oh mi God! I knew Neville was gay, but I didn’t think he was one to act like it!*
“Thanks,” Dean said gratefully, completely unaware of what was going on. He looked down the front of his shirt, and I thought something was going on under the table, so I looked. I leaned back and moved my legs so I could see the boys’. Seamus had his legs around one of Dean’s, but he didn’t seem to be touching, or Dean would have noticed.
I sat back up straight and gave the two boys a disgusted look, which Dean saw and was about to question, but Seamus exclaimed an “Oh!” before Dean could speak. “Dean, you got a wishbone!” Seamus leaned over Dean so he was right in his vision. He tried to get the bone off the chicken, but had no such luck. Taking advantage of the situation, he pulled his other arm out from behind himself and used both hands. But when he had pulled his free arm from behind himself, he had managed to scoot so close to Dean that he was practically sitting on him!
When he finally pulled the bent bone free he slowly leaned back into his previous position, shooting Neville a smug look. Neville glared back and stabbed his food with his fork without even glancing down. Looking back to Dean, he held one side of the bone close to his face and waited for Dean to take the other side, giving him a seductive look. I nearly gagged.
Dean grabbed the bone, staring Seamus down with his ‘game face’. “Ready? One, two, three!” Seamus didn’t move a muscle as Dean pulled up on his side of the bone, taking the knot with it. “Ah ha!” Dean looked back at me while he smiled in accomplishment.
“Congratulations,” Seamus said, putting his bone down and crossing his arms and leaning them on the table in front of him. He continued to give Dean that sickly smirk and narrowed his eyes in a flirty way. “What’d you wish for?” he purred.
Neville finally got fed up with Seamus flirting with Dean and I literally watched his nostrils flare as he dropped his fork on his plate and draped his arm on Dean’s shoulder and leaned into his ear. “Yeah, what’d you wish for, Dean?” he slurred in a husky voice.
“You have got to be kidding me!” I retorted.
*How can Dean not see what they’re doing?*
*Because he’s not looking for it. He has no idea that his best friend and Neville are gay*
*Seamus isn’t gay. He’s bi’*
*Ok, what does ‘bi’ mean?*
*That he likes girls and boys*
*What’s that? He likes boys? Isn’t there a word for that? Oh yeah! Gay.*
*You’re just mad because you can’t get any guy to even notice you, and there sits Dean, with two boys begging for his attention*
“What?” Dean asked, snapping me out of my thoughts. All three boys were looking at me with different expressions. Dean looked like he was just confused. Neville was giving me the death stare, letting me know if I said anything I would pay for it later. Seamus was just giving me an annoyed look.
“You seriously don’t see what they’re doing?” I interrogated. I looked back and forth between the two gays (bi-sexual) along with Dean. Dean continued to play his oblivious card.
“No…why? Should I see anything unusual?” he implored.
I widened my eyes and dropped my mouth in shock. I laughed in amusement. “Dean! These two are practically throwing themselves at you! They’re both fighting for your attention!”
Dean frowned and became incredibly uncomfortable. He looked at both the guys again and shifted until Seamus wasn’t so close and he couldn’t feel Neville’s breathing on his ear. Seamus looked at Dean with a sad expression and sighed and shook his head.
He looked away and nodded, like he understood something. Understood that Dean wasn’t gay, and he was just wishful thinking.
He stood up and left the table, not saying a word, but looking back and sending me a disapproving look.
Dean looked like he finally understood also. He looked at me and frowned. “You mean-like-they’re…like, they were hi-hitting on m- They were! They were hit-” He started answering his own questions before he even finished the sentence. He turned to Neville in his realization. “You were hitting on me!?” he demanded.
“Well, yeah. I like you…I didn’t know you’d be this offended at it. I-I’m sorry,” he said in a kind of uncertain way.
Dean looked like he was about to pass out. And he was, and he knew it. He stood up and left the table before his body could decide what it was going to react with.
*This year isn’t going to be easy for him…*
I had been called into Professor Dumbledore’s office for some unknown reason. I was about to knock on the big doors that led to the office I had been in only enough times, but they slowly swung open on their own, and I hesitantly walked in.
“Ah, Miss Granger! Take a seat, won’t you?” Dumbledore welcomed me into the room. There were two seats in front of his seat. He had a smile on his face, but I could tell he was not looking forward to something. I tried to pick myself up as well as I could, but just like Dumbledore, I bet anyone could tell that I wasn’t in the best mood.
As I walked around one of the chairs to sit down, I saw Draco was already here, staring at me with a confused look on his face. I sat down and looked to the Head Master with concern.
*Did we do something wrong? Did Draco do something that involves me? What’s going on?*
Dumbledore stared at us for a moment and then looked down at his desk. He cleared his throat, getting our full attention. “Tell me, Miss Granger, have you done any forbidden spells this year?” he asked, seeming as if he already knew the answer, or the answer I was going to give.
“No, Professor. Of course not,” I replied. Why would he even think that?
Dumbledore nodded, accepting my answer. “Have you, Mr. Malfoy?”
I expected Draco to yell in defense for himself, but he just shook his head. “No, I haven’t,” he said calmly.
Again, Dumbledore nodded. “And you two are absolutely sure?” he questioned over his spectacles.
I nodded, reinsuring Dumbledore; Draco, however, just looked down into his lap and played with his fingers. Dumbledore nodded after me. “Have either of you heard of the spell ‘Fear of Hate’?”
“No,” Draco mumbled. I thought about the spell to make sure I knew exactly what it was.
“Yes, I’ve heard of it before,” I said.
Dumbledore looked to Draco and started to explain. “Fear of Hate is a love spell. It connects whoever the spell was cast on to fall in love with the person they loathed most.”
Draco shrugged. “Ok? What does that have to do with anything?” he asked, clearly not wanting to be here.
The Head Master sighed and leaned back in his chair. “I’m afraid to say that someone has cursed the two of you with this spell,” he said calmly and relaxed.
“What?” I gasped, leaning forward in my chair, gripping the arm rests. This is only time I’ve ever been in a happy relationship and now someone tells me that it was because someone cursed us. I looked at Draco. He looked like something he had been dreading had just exploded in his face.
“He was right…” Draco mumbled under his breath, shaking his head.
“What?” I repeated, this time addressing Draco. I looked to Dumbledore and choked on words to say. Dumbledore must have noticed for he immediately started explaining.
“Miss Pansy Parkinson cast the Fear of Hate spell on Mr. Malfoy, and because he disliked you the most out of all the girls at Hogwarts, he fell in love with you. And because it was you that the spell connected him to, you also gained feelings for Draco,” he said. It was like he’s known this for a long time. Like he was enjoying this.
“Then what are you going to do about it?” Draco asked. He sounded upset, angry.
“We are currently working that out. You see, there is no cure for this spell. Something must happen to break it.”
“What has to happen?” Draco demanded, seeming expectant.
I looked to him with a shocked look. “Why…?” I started, but decided to wait until we were alone.
Dumbledore seemed to become completely pensive. “One of you must fall in love with someone else,” he said knowingly.
Draco and I looked at each other. Those blue eyes that I had fallen in love with now suddenly seemed so cold and distant, like I didn’t know him. I know, that’s a bit of a stretch, loving someone and then seeing them as a stranger in less than a minute…I guess we really aren’t in love…
So many thoughts were going through both of our heads. “I think you both have heard enough for today,” Dumbledore stated truthfully. He stood and walked around the room until he reached the door. “If you have any questions at all, please, speak with me tomorrow evening. Until then…” He opened the door. I felt my throat constrict and knew that I was going to come lose at any second. I tore my eyes away from Draco’s blank face and slowly rose, starting to leave, Draco right behind me.
Once we were outside, the stone staircase started moving downward. Draco and I stood in silence. A heavy silence. So much had just been thrown at us, and I didn’t know what to think about. Why would someone do this? Did Draco really even like me? Why was he so egger to figure out how to undo the spell? Why wasn’t the spell broken already?
“Why?” I pondered aloud. I saw Draco shake his head from the corner of my eye. But he couldn’t possibly know what question I was referring to.
“Because I don’t want to be forced to love you,” he answered, answered the one question I didn’t want to know the answer to: Why was Draco so eager to break the spell?
I snapped my head up towards his hovering body. “What? You don’t want to…to love me?” I sputtered. “Am I so awful that you can’t stand to love me?” I was crushed that he would say something like that.
Draco looked up and turned his body towards me. “No, Hermione. You didn’t understand that correctly,” he began. But I was too hurt to even listen.
“No! Don’t try to turn this around and make it seem like I’m the one that got it wrong.” I could feel my face start to get flushed. “I just found that I have been forced into a relationship! The only good relationship I’ve ever been in is a lie! And not to mention that you don’t even want to think of loving me! And I’m going to be connected to you until something happens! Until I fall in love!” I felt my eyes water and my throat start to stretch.
“Hermione. It’s not that bad,” Draco started again, moving towards me. I took a step back with every forward one he made.
“Don’t! Don’t come near me.” I held out my hand to stop him. I stared at his chest, only because I couldn’t bear to look in his eyes. “I don’t know who you are anymore,” I whispered.
It was true. I didn’t know who anyone was anymore. Cho had cursed Ginny. Ronald was supposedly in love with Luna. Zabini was trying to comfort me. Parkinson is trying to kill me. Harry has grown distant while dealing with Voldemort and Ginny. Draco loved me. Draco betrayed me. Draco does or doesn’t love me anymore…and I thought I loved Ron…but if I loved him then the spell would have broken by now.
“And if it hasn’t broken off by now then I must not know what love is!” I yelled. The tears finally over flooded my eyes and came streaming down my face. I leaned back and crashed into the wall behind me, sliding down until I felt the cool cement beneath me.
I felt Draco’s eyes on me. His eyes filled with the same concern, fear, and sadness that clouded my thoughts. I watched his feet scrape the ground until they were directly in front of me. He leaned down until we were at eye level with each other. He looked at me with a pitiful look and reached up to brush the hair out of my face.
In the anger I was dwelling in, I turned my face away from his touch, glaring at whatever was in my eye sight. I saw his hand drop to his side and heard him sigh.
“Spell or no spell,” he whispered in a deep, cracked voice, “I still love you.”
I slowly turned to see his face. It was serious, no hint of emotion at all. But then again, I’d never seen Draco cry, I’d never seen him upset. How could I possibly know what to look for?
And just that thought, the thought of not knowing what to look for, the thought of not knowing what he looked like when he cried, that thought made me completely sure I didn’t know him…didn’t know myself. I looked down as tears flooded my eyes again and threatened to roll down my face.
Draco sniffled. I was surprised I even heard it over my own sobbing, but I looked up and saw him turned the other way, with water in his eyes.
“Why are you crying?” I spat, sounding crueler than I had intended. Draco looked back to my face like he hadn’t expected me to talk. “You haven’t lost anything. In fact, your life just got better! You just found out that you’re really not in love with a mudblood. Congratulations!” I hissed.
“How could my life have gotten better out of this? Hermione,” he gently grabbed my jaw and turned my head so I was staring him in the eyes, “I just lost you! My life is never going to be the same!”
“Yes it is!” I replied, pulling my face out of his hand. “Once this spell is over we’re going to be more distant than ever! Not only will things be nasty when you’re insulting me, but in my head the insults will just be ten times as effective. And the worst part i,” I leaned in to make sure he heard me, “you don’t even care!”
I stood up so fast that Draco didn’t have time to follow me as I stormed down the hallway, getting far away. Far enough away so I could think about what just happened, what will happen, and what I’m going to do without Draco…
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