Chapter 1 : Her Insecurities
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"Let me love you,
and I will love you,
Until you learn to love yourself."
-Let Me Love You, Ne-yo.
"You're never going to be the girl any guy wants", Daphne spat, shoving Hermione behind.
"You're not the judge of that", Hermione said, standing straight with her head held high.
"I think I am", Daphne smirked, "I'm everything a girl should be and you're everything a girl shouldn't be. I'm beautiful, I'm thin, I have a perfect figure, my hair is flawless, my features are to die for and I have all the money in the world. And look at you."
"You have nothing", Hermione said, looking the girl in front of her up and down, "You may have the outer beauty, but not the inner."
"Keep trying to make yourself feel better, Granger", Daphne said, "You'll find out soon enough that looks are what matters in today's world, not know-it-all brains." She winked at herself in the mirror and strutted out of the room.
Hermione wrinkled her face in disgust as she watched the girl walk out of the bathroom, an over usage of sway in her hips. Daphne was nothing but a fake.
But then she turned to the mirror and as she stared into it, she wondered. Was she fat, like Daphne said?
Ugly? An unattractive figure? She definitely didn't have all the money in the world... Hell, she had been practically disowned by her own mother... She didn't have somewhere to live...
Hermione shook her head. She wasnt fat. She wasn't ugly. She didn't have a bad body. She was fine. She had the inner beauty, if not the outer.
But as the day went on, she unconsciously glanced at every reflective surface she came across. That evening, while everybody else was at the dinner hall, Hermione stood outside a cupboard that had a mirror on it's door. She looked at herself closely.
Her features weren't perfect... Her eyes were big and her nose was button like and small. She ran her fingers through her hair... It wasn't smooth. It was wavy and had knots. It wasn't very pretty, now that she was observing properly. She turned to see her own side profile. She didn't have much of a figure either. Just slight curves but nothing great... Was she fat? She brought her hand up to her stomach and sucked in her breathe. It wouldn't hurt to lose a few pounds... Perhaps she could cut down on some food once in a while... She was eating too much anyway...
"I didn't take you to be the narcissistic types, Granger", A voice drawled from her right. Her head snapped in that direction and her mouth fell open. Draco Malfoy was standing there, leaning on his side against the wall, a smirk on his face and his hands in his pockets.
"I-I'm not", She stuttered. How long had he been standing there?
"Then what are you doing admiring yourself, might I ask?" He said, pushing off the wall and moving towards her.
I'm doing the exact opposite of admiring, she thought to herself, her eyes down at her feet.
"Youre doing the exact opposite?" Draco asked, confused. Her eyes snapped up to meet his. Had she said that out loud?!
"Well?" He asked, one eyebrow raised in a questioning manner.
"Just... I was just seeing", She mumbled, not meeting his eyes.
"What did Daphne say, Granger?" Draco asked, stepping between her and the mirror, in which she kept glancing at herself.
"She... Didnt", Hermione said. What was she supposed to tell him? That she was called fat? He would probably agree... Wait-how did he know it was Daphne? She looked up and he was staring at her intently, expressionless.
"Don't lie to me", He said quietly, shaking his head.
"She said I was unattractive and that guys would never want me and all that I am is a know-it-all", Hermione said in a small voice, her throat constricting.
"She told Pansy she was overweight in fifth year", Draco said. Hermione's jaw dropped open and she looked up at him. Anger was etched on to his face, "She stopped eating. She got an eating disorder and-"
"Stop", Hermione shook her head, "This is personal. You can't tell me all this."
"Well I am. And you're going to listen to me", Draco said, not breaking eye contact with her, "She got an eating disorder and became too thin and weak. She would collapse and faint and she failed most of her subjects. She was such a mess and everybody saw it. I tried to help her but she wouldn't listen. Daphne had really gotten to her. But so could Blaise- so he helped her. He took her to St.Mungo's and got her medical attention. She only listened to him at that point. They've always had this connection. But that's besides the point. The point is that you can't believe what she says. She's a complete... Well, you know what she is. And you're... You know what you are."
What am I? She wanted to ask. Ugly? Fat? Unattractive? Know-it-all?
She broke eye contact with him and looked over his shoulder at herself in the mirror.
"Stop it", He said softly. She swallowed hard and refused to look at him.
"She's not worth it, Granger", Draco said, "Look at yourself. Youre so pretty, you're not overly skinny, your hair isn't fake like her's and you have something she's lacked from the day she was born- inner beauty. Youre beautiful inside. She isn't. And for that very fact, you can get any guy you want."
She looked back at him. Had he just called her pretty? And said she was beautiful inside? Was this really Draco Malfoy?
He reached out with his hand and brushed away something from her cheek.
"She isn't worth anything. Don't listen to her", He shook his head, "You hear me?" She nodded and realized that tears were rolling down her cheeks. She wiped them away hastily.
And then Malfoy did something that surprised her out of her skin. He took her hand in his, lifted it up and kissed the back of her hand and said, "I dint usually compliment Griffindors on a daily basis so listen carefully- You are beautiful just the way you are- beautiful and bloody strong. Your dad would be so proud of you." He let go of her hand and with a smile in her direction, he walked off. It took her a few seconds to recover from the she had just received and once she did, she began heading to the dining hall.
She sat between Pansy and Ginny and opposite Draco who smiled at her. She looked at her empty plate and then at all the food... Was he really serious? What if...
Her thoughts were cut off as somebody placed a sandwhich on to her plate. She followed the pale arm to it's owner and ended up looking into stormy grey eyes.
"Eat, Granger", Draco said, picking up his own fork and eating what was on his plate.
He looked up after a few seconds to see Hermione gaping at him. He smirked at her and that snapped her back to reality.
"I know I'm attractive but I'd rather not have somebody watching me eat", He said. She smiled and just took a bite out of her sandwich. Oh god, it tasted divine. She shook her head. Would she really have been able to last out without food? Because of Daphne's hurtful words, probably. She looked at Draco who was laughing at something Blaise had said.
She kicked him lightly from under the table and he looked towards her, an amused expression on his face. He raised a perfect blonde eyebrow in a questioning manner.
"Thank you", She mouthed.
And they both knew that she didn't only mean for the sandwich.
A/N: So that's done! Thank you so so much for reading and do do review, please! TOR is going to come to and end very soon so I'd love all the encouragement I can get till the end!
I just wanted to say that this chapter wasn't written for the hell of it. There was a strong reason and it's that don't ever EVER try and change yourself. You may have heard this a lot of times, I don't know, but nobody is ever worth changing yourself over. Don't let anybody blow you over and down like that- you are PERFECT and don't ever forget that. You are beautiful and don't ever forget that. There will always be somebody who loves you for who and what you are as well as for what you're not and that's all that matters- sometimes that one person is more than enough. :)
Thank you again and do review xx