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Darkover Magic by K A Woods

Format: Novella
Chapters: 14
Word Count: 40,108
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Romance, Action, Humor, General, Angst, Mystery, Drama
Characters: Draco, Ginny, Harry, Dumbledore, Hermione, James, Lily, Neville, Ron, Snape, Voldemort, Luna, Lucius, Seamus, Pansy
Pairings:

First Published: 02/14/2005
Last Chapter: 06/28/2005
Last Updated: 06/28/2005

Summary:
A prosaic story of the Final Year for Harry Potter and his friends- interlaced with romance, and the thin line that is drawn between good and evil that is crossed in order to win the ultimate battle. A good read for the reader who is enthralled with Harry Potter and the relationships, some unlikelier then others, that bond the characters together.


Chapter 12: Countdown to the Dance

CHAPTER 12: COUNTDOWN TO THE DANCE

“Where the bloody hell is Hermione?” Ron asked irritably as he stabbed a mountain full of scrambled eggs that lay on the plate before him.

“Calm down mate, she is probably just freshening up after a long night of snogging with Malfoy.” Seamus retorted with a snicker as Neville and Dean broke into a fit of giggles.

“Oh sod off Finnegan!” Ron replied irritably as he stuffed some eggs into his mouth and looked at Harry for some sort of moral support.

“I’m sure she wasn’t snogging Malfoy… at least not all night.” Harry remarked with a little grin as Neville, Dean, and Seamus broke into a roaring laugh.

“Thanks mate.” Ron replied flatly as he started poking at a piece of bacon.

“Speaking of snogging, Seamus isn’t that your hopeful little snog right there? And looking ravishing I must say.” Dean stated as he motioned towards the door to the Great Hall where Pavarti and Lavender had just walked in. Lavender was looking quite pretty actually, her long brown hair was not in it’s usual plait down her back but instead hanging down straight and sleek.

“Pinch me.” Seamus muttered as he looked up at her. Neville of course, being the thick person he is, took it upon himself to pinch Seamus right on the upper part of his arm, causing him to howl in pain.

“LONGBOTTOM YOU DUNDERHEAD I DIDN’T MEAN TO LITERALLY PINCH ME!” Seamus roared.

Harry on the other hand had turned his gaze from Seamus and Dean to Ron, who was now walking down the table to where Pavarti and Lavender had just sat down.

“Can I help you Ron?” Lavender asked curtly when Ron sat down in front of her and Pavarti.

“Maybe…I was just wondering if you two had seen Hermione this morning.” Ron questioned, looking down, his cheeks blushing a little.

“No we haven’t, I mean she is not in our dorm anymore so we barely see her as it is…” Lavender started.

“But it does seem a bit odd that she isn’t down here by now, surely she has to always be the first one down in the morning.” Pavarti finished.

“Maybe she had a late night snogging Malfoy.” Lavender commented jokingly as her and Pavarti broke into a fit of giggles.

“Thanks for the help.” Ron replied flatly, as he rolled his eyes and walked back to where Harry was sitting watching the whole scene.

“No one seems to have seen her, and I know she is not in the Library because I checked there before I came down to breakfast this morning. Bloody hell... she probably was snogging Malfoy!” Ron announced as he slammed his head down on the table and let out a sigh of exasperation.

“If that’s what it is like to be in love then I never want to be in it.” Dean remarked as he looked over at Ron slumped over on the table.

“It’s not that bad you know.” Neville spoke softly as his cheeks went red.

“What the bloody hell do you know about love Neville?” Ron snapped, his head still slumped over the table.

“Longbottom, you are not ACTUALLY in love with Looney Lovegood are you?” Seamus blurted out causing Dean to spit out his pumpkin juice.

“It’s a sensitive subject…” Neville spoke softly as he suddenly became very interested in playing with the eggs on his plate. Harry studied Neville for a minute, if Neville can find true love then there is definitely hope for the rest of us. Harry thought to himself as a certain red head floated into his mind.

“Ginny!” Ron called out as though reading Harry’s mind. Harry turned to see Ginny walk into the Great Hall, her long red hair falling down in soft curls. Ginny nodded at Ron before looking over and smiling at HARRY? This had to be some mistake; did she just smile right at him? Harry’s stomach seemed to do a little flip-flop before he too became very interested in his food.

“Good morning Ron.” Ginny spoke courteously to Ron who still looked to be an absolute wreck. “Something troubling you?”

“No.” Ron replied flatly “Well actually yes… Have you happened to see Hermione this morning?”

“Um no, I haven’t seen her since the D.A. meeting last night, why?” Ginny questioned as a worried expression came over her voice.

“Ron is just worried because Hermione hasn’t come in for breakfast yet this morning.” Harry replied before Ron could even get two words out.

“Oh I see…” Ginny responded as she gave Harry a knowing smile, “Well Ron I am sure your love is fine, probably just getting ready after a snog with Malfoy.”

“Thanks Ginevra.” Ron spoke through gritted teeth.

“No problem Ronald.” Ginny retorted with a smile at Harry.

All of a sudden, the Great Hall seemed to be swept up in a torrent of rushing wings as the post arrived. Harry looked up expectantly then dropped his head, Sirius cannot write, Harry reminded himself. A letter, on the other hand, pelted Ron.

“Is that from mum?” Ginny asked excitedly as Ginny an over and peaked over his shoulder.

“Sod off Ginny, it was addressed to me.” Ron spat back as he tore open the letter dangerously as he read, his expression turning from angry to ecstatic in a matter of seconds.

“Bloody hell Harry, mum says you and Hermione are both invited to The Burrow for Christmas Break!” Ron exclaimed, his eyes as big as saucers.

“That is absolutely brilliant Ron!” Harry responded, a flood of happiness filling him… this was going to be the best Christmas ever.

“I hope Hermione can go!” Ginny exclaimed excitedly.

“Me too.” Ron spoke softly, the worry reflecting yet again on his face.

“OH DRAKEY WHAT HAPPENED!” The shrill voice of Pansey Parkinson echoed throughout the Great Hall, causing all heads to turn towards the front entrance of the Great Hall.

“I really don’t care for that girl.” Ginny scoffed as Harry nodded in agreement, “OH MY WORD!” Ginny exclaimed as she too looked in the direction of the door, causing the rest of the Gryffindors to follow in suit.

There standing at the entrance to the Great Hall was the form of Draco Malfoy in silver dressing robes, covered in blood. The whole hall went deathly silent as Draco started to walk, not towards the Slytherin Table, but towards the Gryffindor table instead. All eyes followed him as he walked, finally stopping in front of Harry and Ron.

“I think you two should come with me.” Draco spoke softly but firmly, his steel gray eyes showing not menace but concern.

Harry immediately rose out of his seat, Ron, on the other hand, decided to be a bit more ornery. “What the bloody hell is this about Malfoy?” Ron snapped as he stared contemptuously at Draco.

“Hermione.” Draco declared, holding his gaze with Ron. Ron’s eyes immediately changed from menace to concern as he rose out of his seat and the three of them began to walk out of the Great Hall.

“What did you do to her Malfoy?” Ron sneered as the three of them passed by the Ravenclaws.

“Oh don’t be thick Weasley, I would never hurt her.” Draco declared causing Harry to turn sharply in his direction. Did Draco just say he would never hurt her? This had to be some kind of joke. This was the same Draco that back in their second year hoped that the Basilisk would kill Hermione… and he almost got his wish.

As soon as the three of them had exited, the Great Hall Harry decided he could now interrogate Draco without the fear of someone over hearing, “What are you playing at Malfoy?” Harry shot at Draco causing Ron to look over at him as well.

“Nothing Potter, I just thought you and Weaselbee would like to see your precious Hermione-especially since she almost died last night.” Draco sneered back, his head beginning to ache from sleep deprivation.

Harry stopped dead in his tracks as Draco’s words sunk in. Ron turned and looked at Harry who was as white as snow and in a fit of rage had Draco pushed up against a wall. “I AM GONNA ASK YOU ONE MORE TIME MALFOY, WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DID YOU DO TO HERMIONE?” Ron roared, his face red but his eyes glaring down on Malfoy with the utmost contempt.

Draco’s head slammed against the stone, hard wall and his eyes immediately went out of focus. Ron’s voice seemed to echo in his head as though his own conscious was yelling at him. Draco pushed Ron off him in a fit of rage and Ron hit the wall on the other side of the hallway. “WHAT DID I TO HER YOU ASK WEASLEY? I SAVED HER LIFE, THAT’S WHAT I DID!” Draco yelled back, no longer to control his pent up anger. Sure, it might have been something he said that made her light headed in the first place but who knows, what he did know was that last night he had never been so frightened before in his entire- frightened over losing someone that up until a couple of months ago he could have cared less about.

There was a placid silence that ensued as Harry and Ron’s eyes bore down on Draco, neither of them saying much.

“Is that her b-blood?” Ron muttered, finally breaking the silence as his eyes flickered with fear when they looked at Draco’s robes.

“What? Oh yes…” Draco trailed off as he looked down at his night robes. He had not even realized he had them on, much less that they were covered in blood.

“What happened?” Harry asked in a whisper, as his green eyes bore into Draco’s- as though trying to decipher the truth.

“I’ll tell you on the way to the Hospital Wing.” Draco responded hurriedly as he took off towards the Hospital Wing with Harry and Ron in tow, hanging on his every word.
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“Hermione?” A soft voice questioned.

“Hermione?” The voice implored again as her eyelids fluttered open to reveal deep chestnut brown eyes.

“Hullo Hermione.” Ron spoke softly as he sat close by her bed his eyes looking at her with deep concern and compassion.

“Oh Ron, it is so wonderful to see you, how did you ever know where I was?” Hermione questioned softly.

“Malfoy came and got us.” Harry responded sternly, drawing attention to his presence at the foot of Hermione’s hospital bed.

“Oh Harry it is wonderful to see you too. If it wasn’t for Draco I don’t think I would ever have seen you two again.” Hermione proclaimed as tears welled up in her eyes.

“So we’ve heard.” Ron muttered to himself angrily as he threw Draco a hateful glare. Harry looked back at Draco as well, he found it to be terribly ironic that the one person who had yearned for Hermione’s death back in their second year saved her from an almost certain death.

“So how are you feeling Hermione?” Harry questioned as he looked empathetically down upon Hermione’s fragile form, she looked so delicate with her pale skin and loose curls, almost as though to touch her would be to break her.

“Better, though my head is still throbbing something awful. But I will be fine, I get out tomorrow so I don’t want you two to fret one bit.” Hermione responded trying to ease the looks of worry plastered on both Harry and Ron faces.

Ron’s heart seemed caught in his throat as he looked down upon Hermione’s limp form, she seemed so frail and helpless, Draco had alluded to how much blood she had lost last night but that still had not prepared Ron for the Hermione he was now gazing upon. Nothing could have prepared him for this. His eyes traced up to Hermione’s forehead, which was where Draco had stated she had busted her had open, and inhaled sharply.

“Bloody hell Hermione, you have a scar…” Ron murmured.

“Oh well that is to be expected but I am lucky that is the only permanent damage I will incur from this endeavor.” Hermione replied optimistically, causing Ron and Harry’s faces to soften a little.

In that same moment the door to the Hospital Wing burst, open with a loud bang.

“WHERE IS SHE? HERMIONE? ARE YOU IN HERE?” The frantic voice of Ginny Weasley yelled shrilly as all four of them turned their heads towards the door.

“Would you shut the bloody hell up Ginevra? This is a Hospital you know and you sound like a raving lunatic!” Ron shot at Ginny as she drew closer to the curtains surrounding Hermione’s bed.

“You would be an absolute raving lunatic as well Ronald Weasley if you had heard the rumors I had! All of which ended with Hermione being in the Hospital Wing! First, I was told that Hermione had a bad reaction to the food at breakfast this morning, then that she had simply blacked out from stress and the last being the most preposterous… Someone ACTUALLY wanted me to believe that Draco Malfoy saved her life in their dormitory last night!” Ginny exclaimed, her chocolate eyes full of fear and as round as saucers.

“Well I regret to inform you that the last of those preposterous stories is in fact true.” Draco stated coolly from where he was standing back in the shadows, still wearing his blood soaked dressing robes.

Ginny froze in horror as she looked over at Draco. “That cannot be possible.” Ginny spoke incredulously.

“But it is.” Hermione spoke sweetly, trying to calm her friend down. Ginny’s face melted from being in a state of horror into an expression of deep compassion as she rushed towards Hermione, pushing Ron aside in the process.

The rest of the morning Harry, Ron and Ginny stayed beside Hermione’s hospital bed chatting feverishly, completely ignoring Draco who had fallen asleep in a nearby chair, his heroic efforts seeming to be a thing of the past. Finally, the morning bell rang at 11:30 announcing everyone’s first class of the day. Therefore, after several heartfelt goodbyes the three of them skulked off to class.

“Draco.” Hermione spoke sweetly, trying to wake him from his slumber. After several more attempts, his eyes finally opened and for once, he gave Hermione what appeared to be a sincere smile.

”You okay?” Draco questioned groggily as he got out of the armchair he had been residing in and stretched.

“I am fine; you on the other hand are going to be late for class.” Hermione directed.

“Oh Snape won’t mind, but if you insist…” Draco responded with a coy smile as he got up, pulled Hermione’s covers up for her, and turned to leave.

“Draco, wait…” Hermione implored as she put a frail hand up to his arm.

Draco’s heart seemed to stop as he turned to look down upon Hermione. “Yes?” Draco spoke softly; surprised he could even speak at all.

“Thank You.” Hermione whispered as her eyelids closed and she drifted off to sleep. Draco stood gaping at her for a moment before finally turning and leaving, stopping only to give a polite nod to Madame Pomfrey.

Nothing will ever be the same between us now… Draco thought to himself as he strolled down the solitary hallway towards the dormitory to quickly change out of his blood stained robes.
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“RON, BRING THE STREAMERS OVER HERE!” Hermione directed at Ron from across the Great Hall frantically.

Since early this Saturday morning, all of the Prefects and the Gryffindor Quidditch Team had been slaving away setting up for the Halloween Dance tonight. Hermione, who had gotten out of the hospital only a day ago, was definitely living up to her title as Head Girl nicely. Everything had seemed to go back to normal again, except for Draco and Hermione. Draco had barely spoken to her since the morning after her accident-, which left Hermione extremely perplexed.

“SEAMUS, DEAN, WOULD YOU PLEASE MOVE THE PUMPKIN OVER INTO THE CORNER?” Hermione yelled across the hall again. The two saluted at her before levitating a huge orange jack-o-lantern into the corner. It is finally starting to take shape, Hermione thought proudly to herself as she looked around the Great Hall. The only thing left to do now is cast the enchantments for the decorations with Draco.

“HAS ANYONE SEEN DRACO THIS MORNING?” Hermione questioned the group loudly. Everyone shook there heads as they hurried along on their tasks, trying to not be noticed- seeing as how Hermione seemed she was about to spontaneously combust from being under so much stress.

“PANSEY, CAN YOU COME HERE FOR A MOMENT PLEASE?” Hermione asked across the hall, catalyzing Pansey to roll her eyes and skulk across the hall.

“You rang?” Pansey asked nonchalantly.

“Um yes, have you seen Draco this morning? Because I really need his help with the enchantments…” Hermione trailed off as she studied Pansey.
“You’re asking me? Honestly Granger, you two share a dormitory, shouldn’t you know?” Pansey shot back.

“Well obviously I don’t or I wouldn’t be asking you.” Hermione snapped back as she glared at Pansey, who was she to be smarting off to the Head Girl?

“I don’t know where he is Granger and even if I did I would not tell you so don’t talk to me again.” Pansey responded curtly before turning on her heel and walking back over towards the corner of the Great Hall- where her and a sixth year Slytherin Prefect girl were sorting silverware and plates.

“HERE HE IS HERMIONE!” Collin exclaimed excitedly as Draco walked into the Great Hall.

“Oh how wonderful!” Hermione gasped as she smiled at Collin and marched up to Draco. “So do you have all of the enchantments?” Hermione asked excitedly, her eyes looking over Draco apprehensively.

“Yes I have them here.” Draco replied shortly as he produced a piece of parchment from his pocket, his gray eyes devoid of any emotion though Hermione noticed a letter grasped firmly in his right hand bearing the Malfoy Family Crest.

“Oh, well um- thanks. Well after a lunch break I suppose we should probably get on them then.” Hermione spoke uncomfortably, why is he being so distant? Hermione was having a hard time dealing with Draco’s allusiveness, something had changed in him and at the moment, she would almost prefer his biting insults to his apathetic nature.

“ALRIGHT EVERYONE GOOD WORK! WE ARE NOW GOING TO BREAK FOR LUNCH OUT IN THE COURTYARD FOR ABOUT AN HOUR!” Hermione directed at the entire group as everyone dropped what they were doing and headed out to the Courtyard.

“I wonder what is wrong with Draco…” Hermione spoke softly as she sat with Harry and Ron in the Courtyard.

“Who the bloody hell cares, that bloody git didn’t even show up till lunch time...Not much of a Head Boy if you ask me!” Ron interjected as he took a huge bite out of his sandwich and glared at Draco who, coincidently, was still walking around in the Great Hall. “OH THIS IS BLOODY DISGUSTING!” Ron roared as he jumped up and started spitting out his huge bite of sandwich while Lavender, Padma and Hannah Abbot all giggled.

“I thought you might get a charge out of that Weasley.” Seamus remarked as him and Dean wore the same coy grins, Neville on the other hand was staring down at his feet.

“OH COME ON FINNEGAN YOU KNOW I BLOODY HATE CORNED BEEF!” Ron moaned as he stormed off into the Great Hall to get a drink-still spitting out corned beef, while everyone roared with laughter.

“Seamus, was that really necessary?” Hannah Abbot squeaked defensively though obviously working hard to suppress a fit of giggles.

“Of course it was I lost five galleons to that git in a game of chess.” Seamus retorted causing everyone to roar with laughter again.

“So Hermione, what kind of things do you and Malfoy have planned?” Lavender asked poignantly. All eyes focused on Hermione as she broke into a longwinded speech about the different enchantments, games, and contests they had planned.
***************************************************************************

“GROSS! I swear Finnegan will pay for this one!” Ron grumbled to himself as he walked into the Great Hall still spitting out the remnants of the horrid corned beef sandwich.

Seeing a pitcher of Pumpkin juice and cups set up across the Great Hall on a table he walked right over, not paying any attention, and walked right into Draco Malfoy.

“WHAT THE-” Ron started as he stumbled over Draco.

“You need to watch where you’re walking Weasley!” Draco shot at Ron. Ron regained his composure and drew closer to Draco.

“You need to watch who you are bloody talking to.” Ron spat back icily as the two stood there staring daggers at one another.

“I know who I am talking to and you should feel privileged to even be standing this close to me.” Draco spoke softly as his gray eyes glinted with contempt.

“JUST BECAUSE YOUR FATHER HAS BOUGHT AND THREATENED HIS WAY TO THE TOP DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACT LIKE YOU ARE BLOODY SUPERIOR TO THE REST OF US!” Ron roared in indignation. Draco’s face tightened into a grimace and he suddenly turned and looked away from Ron.

“You don’t know the first thing about my father Weasley…” Draco trailed off a lot less angry, more hurt then anything.

“YOU’RE KIDDING RIGHT? I THINK I HAVE A PRETTY GOOD IDEA ABOUT WHO YOUR FATHER IS!” Ron yelled back, his face contorting in anger, “HE IS A BLOODY CONNIVING AND SINISTER BASTARD AND HAS A SON JUST LIKE HIM!”

“I am not like my father…” Draco shot back still not facing Ron- clenching tightly to an envelope under his cloak.

“YOU’RE NOT? I THINK YOU ARE JUST AS SADISTIC AND CONNIVING AS HE IS!” Ron roared back.

“Really Weaselbee… And why is that?” Draco responded coolly.

“WHY THE HELL ELSE WOULD YOU SAY YOU WANTED HERMIONE DEAD IN OUR SECOND YEAR AND NOW YOU SAVE HER LIFE!” Ron raged back causing Draco to turn sharply and face him, his eyes glistening with tears yet peering at him with the utmost loathing, neither of them realizing that Hermione had entered the Great Hall.

“What are you two on about?” Hermione interjected as she ran between the two of them and pushed them apart, glancing from one to the other with great concern. “What is this nonsense about you wanting me dead Draco?” Hermione finally asked as she looked into Draco’s gray eyes.

“Yes Hermione, me and Harry never told you but he told us that he hoped the Basilisk would kill you, didn’t you Malfoy?” Ron shot at Draco.

Draco’s face went as white as the first snow of winter as he comprehended what Ron had just said. That night back in second year, he thought, that night in the Common Room, Crabbe and Goyle were acting strange…, and when I asked them about it the next day they did not know what I was talking about, how could I have been so thick? That was Potter and Weasley!

“That was you and Potter…” Draco spoke softly to Ron- a dawn of understanding spreading across his face.

“Oh spot on Malfoy, we thought you might have been the heir of Slytherin, but now I see that we grossly overestimated you!” Ron spat back as his eyes boar down on Draco.

Draco, on the other hand, avoided Ron’s glare and looked instead over at Hermione whose eyes were flickering with fear as they studied him. What could he say? He could not even begin to try to explain his actions back then, he really had wanted her dead and now he could think of nothing worse… but how would she believe that now?

“I knew you hated me but, but…Did you really want me dead Draco?” Hermione stuttered before she asked again more forcefully. Draco looked over at her but said nothing, “DID YOU WANT ME DEAD MALFOY!” Hermione yelled as tears welled up in her eyes.

“Yes.” Draco professed barely audible above a whisper, carefully avoiding her eyes as his own welled up with tears.

Hermione’s eyes began to overflow with tears of anger, “GET OUT!” Hermione screamed as her face reddened from anger and tears.

Draco looked up at her before dropping the list of enchantments he had been wringing in his hand and walking out, his hand fumbling with a letter in his cloak pocket.

After pushing several second years out of the way, Draco made it to the Prefects Common Room and found himself staring at the portrait guarding the Entrance of him and Hermione’s Common Room. His eyes focused on the Merlin-Dumbledore doppelganger in the centre of the painting. “IS THIS WHAT YOU HAD PLANNED, HUH, FOR ME TO END UP LIKE THIS? WELL, CONGRATULATIONS IT WORKED!” Draco yelled in frustration before storming up the winding stone staircase.

Once through the archway, he threw himself into his high-backed armchair, with a flick of his wand had a fire roaring in the grate in front of him, and gazed into the flames- the envelope still clasped firmly in his hands. He did not know how long he had sat there staring into the fire but he must have drifted off to sleep but when he did awake, it was past seven. His eyes were heavy from sleep and tears and his chest ached from breathing deeply but the first thing to enter his mind was
Hermione. “OH CRAP! THE DANCE STARTS IN THIRTY MINUTES!” Draco blurted out as he went racing up the staircase and into the shower.
***************************************************************************

A few hours earlier…

Hermione stood there awestruck in the middle of the Great Hall- a sober realisation overtook her as a few angry tears rolled down her cheeks. How could she have been so stupid as to think that maybe Malfoy hadn’t hated her all of these years? Now she saw that she couldn’t have been farther from the truth. He wanted her dead… he had told Harry and Ron inadvertently back in their second year…second year… it seemed like such a long time ago…people change…but can they change that much? No, no, no- Hermione argued with herself- any feelings of friendship she might have thought were developing between her and Draco were nothing more then wishful thinking, and for all she knew he could be trying to be friends with her in order to somehow get close to Harry…

“Hermione…” Ron whispered softly as he put a comforting arm around Hermione small frame.

Hermione turned to gaze into Ron’s sincere eyes- eyes that never once had held a malicious glare, eyes that she could always trust to be true, eyes that showed honest courage. Those were the eyes she could trust… and they had always been there, waiting…

“I am sorry to have…um… upset you Hermione, I uh, just thought you might like to know the truth.” Ron spoke delicately as he continued to look into Hermione’s eyes.

Hermione smiled back as she wiped away a tiny tear, “Just promise me you will always tell me the truth Ron.”

“You have my word ‘Mione.” Ron responded with a gentle smile as Seamus and the rest of the team burst into the Great Hall- looks of confusion plastered across their faces.

“You alright there ‘Mione? … We uh… heard you yellin’…” Seamus stuttered as he looked at her quizzically.

Hermione became suddenly aware of the closeness between her and Ron and stepped to the side a bit. “It was nothing Seamus…just Malfoy…but oh well let’s finish this place…” Hermione trailed off as everyone immediately got back to work with out any fuss. Hermione started walking around the room with the list of enchantments Draco had composed- bewitching all the necessary objects with a heavy heart.

Ron and Harry stood across the Great Hall setting up tables- both casting worried glances in Hermione’s direction.

Harry’s mind was alive with thoughts, something was going on with Hermione and Draco… he just did not know what. If he had not known any better he would have almost bet that they might even had started becoming friends…

“It’s weird mate… I mean if I had told Hermione that last year she probably wouldn’t have even blinked an eye but now she… she took it as though one of us had said that…” Ron trailed off to Harry as he cast another worried look in Hermione’s direction.

“What did you tell Hermione, Ron?” Harry asked his friend; he had been outside in the courtyard and had not really heard anything except Hermione yelling incoherently.

“Well um…I told her that that I didn’t understand why Malfoy was trying to be her friend now because he said he wanted to kill her back in Second Year… and she got really quiet and then asked Malfoy if it was true, and when he didn’t answer she yelled it at him and then told him to get out.” Ron finished as he looked up at Harry for some sort of explanation but when he got none he continued on, “I just don’t understand why that seemed to surprise her so much…I mean it is Malfoy I was talking about…”

“For some reason Ron, I believe the reason Hermione took it like that is because it was Malfoy you were talking about.” Harry finished as he set the last piece of silverware on the table.

“ALRIGHT EVERYONE THE HALL LOOKS GREAT AND YOU ARE ALL FREE TO GO AND GET READY, SEE YOU ALL TONIGHT!” Hermione announced from where she was standing in the middle of the Great Hall. Everyone let out cheers of approval as they began to file out of the Hall to get ready. Harry and Ron just stood there looking around the hall until a little cough interrupted the boys’ train of thought.

“Oh, um… sorry to startle you Harry but I just wanted to let you know that I think we should meet in the Entrance Hall um, about thirty minutes before the dance starts…I mean if that is alright with you…” The little voice of Hannah Abbot squeaked as she gave Harry a small smile.
Harry smiled back as Hannah ran a small hand through her straight shoulder-length light brown hair. “Sure that will be fine Hannah.” Harry responded.

“Oh and Susan will meet you there too Ron.” Hannah turned and spoke to Ron before turning and walking away, leaving Ron standing there looking more then a little uncomfortable.

“Ron, you didn’t tell me you had asked Susan Bones to the dance…” Harry stated as a coy little smile spread across his face.

“Oh I didn’t? Must have slipped my mind I guess… yeah um right before Herbology.” Ron stuttered as his cheeks turned a little pink.

“Who is this you asked before Herbology Ronald?” Hermione questioned as she walked up to the two boys.

“Susan Bones.” Harry interjected before Ron could even open his mouth.

“And Harry is going with Hannah Abbot.” Ron announced causing several kids exiting the Great Hall to turn and stare- one of them, in particular, being Ginny Weasley. Their eyes met and Harry turned away a little embarrassed, was it wrong of him to be thinking that he would rather be going with her?

“Oh well I think that is absolutely smashing you two.” Hermione responded, as she looked to Ginny then back to Harry-catching his eye and giving him a knowing smile. “Well I must be off to get ready and I suggest you two do the same…see you later.” Hermione spoke cheerfully as she turned on her heel to leave.

The two boys stood there watching Hermione leave as Ron fidgeted a little with his collar. Is he ever going to make a move? Harry thought to himself as he watched his best friend mull things over in his head. This is insane Harry thought again as an idea popped into his head.

“Hermione!” Harry yelled causing Hermione to turn and look at him quizzically.

“This is your chance Ron…” Harry whispered to his friend as he gave him a little shove.

“I, uh well… I was wondering, if you have time that is, would you save me a dance?” Ron finally choked out looking as though he was a few more words away from passing out where he stood.

Hermione looked at him in awe for a second, making it more then obvious that she had been taken off guard. A few gruelling seconds later her face softened into a smile, “Alright Ron, I will.”

And, with that, she turned and left, a little feeling of giddy anticipation overtaking her...




((i hope everyone liked the chapter... sorry i didn't quite get to the dance yet but i can guarantee you it will be in the next one... and i am almost done with it so you shouldn't have to wait too long, please keep r&r and if you have any suggestions or just want to talk feel free to drop me a line))

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