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Betrayal by Agrolass

Format: Novella
Chapters: 15
Word Count: 72,030
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Romance, Angst, AU
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Ginny
Pairings: Ron/Hermione, Draco/Hermione

First Published: 07/22/2006
Last Chapter: 02/07/2008
Last Updated: 02/07/2008

Summary:



Hermione has been going out with Ron for over seven months, and yet if her life is so perfect, why does she feel empty inside? This is a story of straying from the man you love into the arms of a man you should never be with. But isn't the forbidden that more fun? When you start an affair, you know it will always come crashing down on you! 
New Banner everyone!!!!


Chapter 1: Perfect Life
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Hey everyone! This is a new ficcie of mine that has actually only been in existence for a very short time, a strange thing for me. All my stories are at least two months old before the first word is written. Point being, those who know me, will know I'm a Ron/Hermione shipper to the end, and before you start hurling the questions at me on why I wrote this story, let me just say this. There is no such thing as a perfect couple and even someone like Ron and Hermione make their mistakes.
This story is based on a situation that happened to me in real life and I felt a need to write this story so I could deal with some things.
This is a story about betraying the one you love and I hope you like it.
As always please read and review and let me know what you think.
Agrolass


Betrayal

CHAPTER 1 Perfect Life

You terrorise my mind, you're so unkind
You fuck with me inside, you terrify
I have no will to live, with you around
Go fuck with someone else, and drag them down
I see nothing wrong, in my perfect life
Perfect Life by Mindfeed


My life is just perfect, Hermione thought, smiling slightly to herself. She was currently sitting on one of the overly large window sills found in the Gryffindor common room, her legs propped up in front of her and her school skirt covering her shivering legs from the early morning cold. As she leaned her head against the chilly windowpane, she realised her life could not get any better. It might be a horrible thing to say in the midst of a terrible war the Wizarding world was facing, but she was the happiest she had been in a long time.

Now in her seventh year at Hogwarts, Hermione could with great satisfaction look back on her time at Hogwarts with fond memories. She had been made Head Girl, something both her best friends had never doubted, which she herself hardly dared believe, and just over seven months ago Ron had finally picked up the courage to ask her out after waiting for him for three years. Hermione smiled lazily to herself, looking out onto the frosty autumn grounds of Hogwarts below as she remembered fondly the particular moment of when Ron finally picked up the courage to reveal his true feelings to her. She laughed lightly, remembering the argument they had been having when out of the blue Ron just walked up to her and kissed her. That was all it took for them both to realise what the whole Gryffindor house, nay the whole school had already known. Ron and Hermione were crazy for each other. Now seven months later, Hermione was happy with Ron, he was everything she could possibly want, and as she sat there on the window sill, the draft creeping into her bones she waited patiently for her perfect boyfriend to come down to the common room so they could all head to breakfast.
Ron and Hermione had calmed down a lot since they first started dating. For one, their infamous rows had calmed down considerably since they both got what they wanted, and with time, even their very passionate love affair had calmed considerably. Hermione mused it was because they were settled into their relationship, nothing was new anymore, so in a way the excitement had left too. Hermione didn’t mind though, she loved Ron deeply and nothing could change that.
The creaking of a door opening, pulled Hermione out of her reverie and she looked up to see Ron and Harry descending the stairs, both yawning and looking very tired.

“Morning”, she called brightly, to the two men descending into the common room. Harry was still rubbing his eyes, one hand holding his glasses, while the other was running a hand through his flaming red hair.

“Mornin’ ‘Mione”, Ron yawned, walking up to her and giving her a kiss on the cheek.

“Tell me again why we have to get up so early for classes?” Harry groaned, plopping himself down on one of the large sofas in the common room. He carefully cleaned his glasses with the corner of his school shirt before resting them back on the bridge of his nose. Hermione scooted over on the windowsill and sat up straight, making space for Ron to sit down next to her.

“You think for your final year they would lay off on the pressure and give us more time for ourselves”, Ron groaned. It seemed he had woken up sufficiently to begin his complaining.

“Oh Ron!” Hermione sighed, but she was too used to his grumblings. Instead she jumped lightly of the windowsill, smoothing out her skirt and grabbing her school bag.

“We had better get going if we don’t want to be late for classes”, Hermione spoke lightly, and one hand resting on her hip while the other pushed back her voluminous hair that had by no means become tamer. It was still as frizzy as ever, but the frizz had begun to define itself into curls, which ran down to her waist.

Both boys shook their heads lightly, each rolling their eyes at each other when they thought she wasn’t looking. Even now in their seventh and final year, she was still the same old Hermione from first year. Luckily they had learnt from their seven years of knowing the bushy haired know-it-all not to argue with her when she got into one of those moods.

Hermione sighed to herself. She had seen the boys rolling their eyes at each other. Unfortunately she had to go and befriend two boys who weren’t, well to say it lightly, the brightest of the bunch she thought sarcastically. Sometimes it irritated her how little they really knew her. Could they not see she had changed? And especially her boyfriend Ron, he of all people should know that she had grown from the girl they permanently seem to see her into the young woman she was now.

Hermione banished these thoughts from her mind, they would not understand anyway if she spoke to them about it and they would only presume she was nagging once again.

Both rose from their respective seats, threw their bags over their shoulders and while Ron reached for Hermione’s hand, Harry walked on ahead. All three made their way down to the Great Hall in companionable silence.

* * *


Mid morning found Hermione silently taking notes in her advanced Transfiguration class, Ron and Harry sitting on either side of her, absent-mindedly either drumming their quills on the desk, or staring off into space. Hermione was too used to their lack of attention in class, after seven years it ceased to aggravate her like it used to. Instead she placed her hand on Ron’s to still his drumming, while lightly elbowing Harry in the side to wake him from his daydream. Harry, whose mouth was hanging open during his reverie, quickly snapped it shut and turned his attention on Hermione, who just smiled.

She returned to the notes they had to take down for the transfiguration of a beetle into a cat and the stages one must go through. Occasionally Hermione would raise her head and listen intently to some additional notes Mc Gonagall would give, bout throughout the majority of class Hermione had her attention on the class work.

What drew her attention away from the theory of animal-to-animal transfiguration, surprisingly was neither Ron nor Harry, but the newest Gryffindor couple, Parvati Patil and Dean Thomas. They were sitting further up and to the right of Ron, Harry and Hermione and both of their attention was very far away from the class work. From her vantage point, Hermione could see they were holding hands under their desk. Parvati was leaning towards Dean, while he was whispering into her ear whenever Mc Gonagall wasn’t looking, causing her to giggle quietly. Fascinated, Hermione watched then intently, Parvati had let go of Dean’s hand and had it resting on his thigh, a slow grin forming on her face, while a slow blush was creeping up on his cheeks. Dean was busy trying to act normal; overtly shuffling through sheets of parchment all the while not realising it was drawing other’s attention and that of Professor Mc Gonagall. Parvati had just begun whispering something into his ear, her hand still on his thigh, when Professor Mc Gonagall imperiously walked up to their desk.

“Miss Patil, Mr Thomas, I would kindly ask you to refrain from whispering until after class is over or I may have to take away house points”, she said sternly. Mc Gonagall fixed the two with a hard glare before adding, “And might I remind you two that your seats are meant to be apart for a reason! Now eyes on the board”, she turned around and swept back to the front of the class, leaving a very red and embarrassed Dean blushing furiously.

The two lovers quickly moved their chairs further apart, each very red in the face, though they continued sending each other secret smiles. Hermione watched the happy couple from between her notes. There was a slight sadness in her eyes; it seemed like a long time ago when her and Ron were like those two. There was a time at the beginning of the relationship that they literally couldn’t keep their hands of each other; that had been the same time as their legendary arguments, and while she did not miss those, she did miss the excitement. She really had nothing to complain of, Hermione scolded herself, she had a loving boyfriend who she loved dearly and they had grown so much into their relationship to be completely comfortable with each other. The arguments were gone; there was no jealousy to argue over, and she knew the reason the excitement was gone was because nothing was new anymore. Dean and Parvati would reach that stage soon too, Hermione mused, but still she couldn’t help feeling a little jealous of them. This thought greatly disturbed Hermione, and she could not concentrate for the rest of the class.

* * *


Potions class that afternoon found Hermione in much the same mood as Transfiguration had put her in. Ron and Harry had noticed her sullen mood at lunch, and after expressing concern for her, Ron was distracted by the sight of his favourite desert, Spotted Dick.

With a cry of “Yum!” and a flurry of spoons, Ron was too preoccupied to remember his conversation with Hermione. To say Hermione was annoyed was a little of an understatement, but she was used too used to Ron to let it affect her for long. Currently she was a little more preoccupied with the assignment Professor Snape had given them in Potions class, and unfortunately for her, he had teamed up the “Dream Team” with Draco Malfoy. Hermione couldn’t understand why he would do that, Snape’s favourite pastime did seem to be torturing Harry, but why involve his favourite student in the exercise? Then again, Hermione mused, since the teams were teams of four, maybe he knew Malfoy would get the best marks if put on their team. It was common knowledge that Crabbe and Goyle were the stupidest in the class, nay in the year!

Malfoy was making it extremely difficult for Hermione to concentrate on the complex potion they were meant to be brewing and the antidote for it. Harry and Ron were busy with the antidote, it was the less complex of the two potions, and Hermione watched with a small smile on her face, Ron screwing up his forehead in concentration, while adding the right amount of Mandrake Root oil.

“Urgh, what a disgusting sight, Mudblood cooing over her Blood Traitor boyfriend!” Malfoy spat, shaking his head as if the thought really did disgust him. Hermione bit down hard on the retort she was about to utter. Malfoy, who unfortunately decided he would rather work with Hermione than Ron and Harry, had been taunting her since they began their assignment thirty minutes earlier and so far he had broken through her, but if she didn’t begin controlling her temper soon, he would soon succeed.

“Pass the Scamander legs”, Hermione replied irritably, ignoring his latest attack upon her, and instead concentrated on stirring the potion the correct amount of times. Malfoy handed her the jar with the shrivelled up grey legs of a Scamander, all the while pulling a disgusted face, though when Hermione took the jar of him, making sure not to touch his hands, Malfoy kept his eyes on her. Hermione at first did not notice, for she was busy, lightly chopping up the Scamander legs and adding them one at a time to the bubbling blue potion. It instantly turned a blue-grey colour and the bubbles ceased, causing Hermione to smile. According to the book, she was brewing it correctly and with a satisfied smile she turned back to her notes for the next step. At that moment she caught Malfoy looking at her, and though it was only out of the corner of her eye, she could have sworn it was a far softer look than she had ever received of him. When Hermione swept her eyes up to Malfoy’s cold grey ones to see if she had observed correctly, his haughty demeanour had returned.

“Don’t tell me Granger needs confirmation in brewing up a potion? I always knew you weren’t as smart as everyone made you out to be!” Malfoy laughed a cold laugh, causing Hermione to grit her teeth.

“Shut up Malfoy!” she hissed through clenched teeth, her temper only a second away from exploding. Her hands, she noticed, while staring down at them, were shaking lightly and she firmly grabbed the edge of the table to stop them from trembling.

“Is that the only comeback you can come up with Granger?” Malfoy laughed, sneering at her. “The oh so brilliant Mudblood Granger, smartest witch on our year and that is all you can say?”

“Shut it Malfoy!” Hermione threatened, her hazel eyes glinting dangerously. She raised the knife she had been chopping the Scamander legs with in her right hand, not aware she was holding it threateningly in front of her so fierce was her anger. “If you’re not at least going to help me with this potion, then at least shut up or you will seriously regret it!”

Malfoy warily eyed the knife in her hand and turned his gaze back up to her, smirking as he replied, “And what are you going to do Granger?”

“Oh you don’t want to find out!” Hermione was visibly shaking by this point.

“But I do!” Hermione’s eyes widened slightly. Malfoy was gazing at her intently and it began unnerving her. She looked back down onto her cauldron and busied herself with continuing with the potion. By looking away, Hermione gave off an air of disinterest, but in reality she was quite unnerved. That was the second time in one day and she did not like it. She could have sworn that Malfoy had tried to flirt with her, but that was preposterous. Malfoy flirting with a Muggle-born, especially her was almost laughable if she didn’t presume it had just happened. Hermione inwardly shook her head. Presumably Malfoy had just found a new way to get to her. She had to concede that this was the most likely case, but it still didn’t do anything to dispel the fact that she was profoundly unsettled. Whatever Malfoy was playing at was working and Hermione certainly didn’t like that! For the second time that day Hermione couldn’t concentrate in class, and if she didn’t do something about it soon, it would only get worse.


By the end of class, Hermione was just glad to get out as fast as possible. Malfoy staring at her and coupled with his snide remarks had pushed Hermione’s temper further than she ever wanted it to go. A very frazzled Hermione sprinted out of class as soon as the bell went, leaving behind a smirking Malfoy and a very confused Ron and Harry, who of course had not noticed anything. They ran off after her and finally managed to catch up with Hermione in the Entrance Hall, where she turned around reluctantly to face the very confused boys.

“You okay Hermione?” Harry asked, a frown creasing his forehead that caused the bridge of his nose to crinkle and made his glasses sit at an odd position.

“Yeah I’m okay, its just Malfoy trying to get to me!” Hermione sighed, rubbing her tired eyes.

“Hey come on ‘Mione. It’ll be okay, and if he keeps it up, me and Harry will just sort that scumbag out”, Ron added, wrapping an arms around her shoulders, pulling her close and placing a kiss on her forehead. Hermione nodded her head and smiled up at Ron, and then Harry.

“Thanks, and I’ll be fine”, she smiled.

“You wanna come watch us at Quidditch practice?” Ron asked, looking down at her.

“No, I’m tired and I’ve got homework to do”, Hermione replied, disengaging herself from Ron’s arm and smiling slightly at the two. “You go on ahead I’m going to head back to the Gryffindor common room”. She gave them both another small smile and made her way up the marble staircase, slowly and tiredly making her way back to the common room.

Once she finally made her way through the portrait hole, she fell onto the nearest sofa, which thankfully was empty. Hermione was glad to see that everyone had made their way down to the Great Hall for dinner, but she was too exhausted to get up, nor was she in the mood for any food at that moment. She was just glad to have some alone time and not to be bothered by any other Gryffindors. She made herself more comfortable on the sofa, draping her legs over the arm of the sofa, while her head rested on the other one. With one hand she was lazily twirling a strand of hair through her fingers, while the other was resting on her stomach. Hermione couldn’t think straight from all the stress of the day and she let out a frustrated cry, her hands on her face as she released the pent up irritation that had been building up over the course of the day. She let out a large sigh and let her hands fall back onto her stomach, gazing up at the wooden rafters of the ceiling.

Yes my life is perfect, she thought once more, remembering what she had been thinking only that very morning. Everything is as it should be, she thought sarcastically, snorting to herself, but her mood changed and became sombre. But if life was so perfect for her right now, why did she feel so empty?


Chapter 2: Flirtatious Fighting
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Spoiler Alert in A/N's
Hey everyone!
I forgot to mention in the last chapter, but this story is AU and the reason I've omitted Half Blood Prince is because this story couldn't have worked out with the revelations of the last book. I think I'm still in denial though so it's easier to live in a dreamworld than face the cold harsh reality that Dumbledore is not coming back! *Sob!* Anyway enjoy the story and as always please leave a review. It makes my day!


CHAPTER 2 Flirtatious Fighting

I really know how it feels to be, stressed out, stressed out
When youre face to face with your adversity
I really know how it feels to be, stressed out, stressed out
Were gonna make this thing work out eventually
Stressed Out by A Tribe Called Quest


Hermione was secretly glad that Potions class wasn’t on for another two days after the very perplexing Potions class she had on Monday with Malfoy, so it was with a heavy heart and a resigned fate that she trekked down to the Dungeons on a Thursday morning for their second class of the day. Harry and Ron were on either side of her, amiably discussing Quidditch tactics on the up-coming Quidditch match against Slytherin no less. Hermione was agitated to say the least, those two days without Potions had almost made her forget what she realised on Monday, and almost made her forget about Malfoy. Well almost! In truth it had been nagging away at her, in the back of her head, as to why she could ever imagine Malfoy flirting with herself. She established quickly enough on Monday evening, while musing over the day in the empty common room, that she must have imagined it all with Malfoy. The further away she was from that class, the more probable it seemed. Now Thursday morning, all she wished for, was a chance to sit as far away from Malfoy as possible and hope to god that Snape had gotten over this new idea he had of assigning teams.

Once the door opened ceremoniously to the Potions class, and Professor Snape allowed them to enter his classroom, under his cold gaze, Hermione made her way down to the back of the class, as far away from Malfoy’s table at the front. Both boys frowned at her, it was not like her to sit at the back where she could not hear Snape properly, but they didn’t question her change of seating, and sat down beside her, pulling out their things.

Snape, who had been standing at the front of the class, leaning back against his desk, waited until the students had stopped fidgeting and pulling things out of their bags and placed on them a piercing gaze.

“I’m going to split you up into teams of two to work on another complex potion and I’m sure I needn’t add that your attention will need to be one hundred percent on this potion, for one slight mistake and it will explode. I know this may be a little too difficult for some of you, as moronic as you are, but I expect all of you to keep up a good grade for the NEWTs”, Snape’s gaze lingered on Harry and Ron, before continuing. “Today we will be brewing the Felix Felicis, a highly dangerous potion, but as it will most likely be appearing in your NEWTs exams, we must study this”, Snape spoke silkily, turning to the board and with a wave of his wand, instructions appeared for the class to copy down.

“Now teams will be divided as such”, Hermione looked around anxiously, hoping against hope she would remain with either Harry or Ron. “Weasley with Thomas, Zabini and Parkinson, Potter and…” Snape cut off, a sneer forming on his cold features, “Let see who would be your equal, ah Longbottom. My my, the Dream Team have been split up, Granger with”, Hermione silently chanting in her head, pleading with whoever would listen, not Malfoy, not Malfoy, “Malfoy!” Hermione looked up crestfallen to see a contemptuous look on Snape’s face. “Now move over to your partners”, Snape added continuing with the list of teams. Hermione gave Harry and Ron a resigned sigh and packed her things, making her way up to the front of the class to sit down next to Malfoy. She refused to look him in the eye, instead concentrating on pulling all her things out of her bag and setting up the cauldron on the table to begin her work. She continued with this for a few minutes ignoring Malfoy, or the looks he was giving her from the corner of his eye.

When Snape had finished dividing the class into teams, he added, “You have one hour, you may begin. At the end of the class I want you to bottle your potion, whether ready or not and bring it to the front of the class”. Hermione assented her head and began pulling out the ingredients from her potions kit, placing them in a line on the desk. From the corner of her eye she saw Malfoy was still staring at her and coupled with her already drained nerves, she looked Malfoy in the eyes and snapped, “Are you just going to sit there and stare at me or are you actually going to do some god-damn work!”

“You seem to be managing just fine Granger!” Malfoy smirked at her, his gaze lingering on her a moment longer.

Hermione was becoming very intimidated, “Will you just stop staring at me Malfoy!” Her jaw was clenched and her hands were balled into fists as her whole body was tense with anger and frustration. Her whole attention was firmly placed on Malfoy and without realising, she was leaning closer. Malfoy was still smirking at her, his attention on her face, though he would occasionally sweep a look over her body, smirking slightly, which infuriated Hermione even more.

“Whatever you say Granger. My, my haven’t we grown?” His gaze lingered on her chest once more, which caused Hermione to let out a frustrated cry. She had enough of Malfoy and how much he was unsettling her. She quickly stood up and stormed off into the Potions storeroom to collect the other ingredients, leaving behind a laughing Malfoy. Hermione was going to have to learn to control her anger around Malfoy, because she knew this couldn’t go on. There was something about him that just provoked her instantly, he needn’t even open his mouth and already she was riled up. She steadied her breathing while she rummaged through the many jars of ingredients in the storeroom, and was only content to come out of the storeroom when she had calmed down considerably. With as much dignity as she could muster, Hermione returned to her seat next to Malfoy, ignoring the smirk that was visibly displayed on his face. She was not going to give him the pleasure of showing him how much she was affected by his behaviour. Her haughty demeanour masked the disjointed feelings she was experiencing as she held her head high and with a majesty that only a truly dignified person could portray, began her work. Within twenty minutes, the Felix Felicis potion they were meant to be brewing was coming along nicely. So far Hermione had done all the work, refusing to allow Malfoy to help her in case he screwed up the potion and she was not going to lose marks because of him.

Snape, who had been stalking through the classroom, observing everyone’s potions, finally rested his eyes on Hermione and Malfoy’s concoction.

“Miss Granger, I am sure you’re aware of the fact that I said that both members of the team were to brew this potion. As strange an idea as it might be, that you have deliberately defied my instructions, I don’t remember Mr Malfoy taking part in the making of this potion”, Snape’s cool silky voice echoed through the cavernous classroom, a sneer forming on his features.

“Yes Sir”, Hermione replied tersely.

“Good now proceed together, or I shall be forced to fail this potion!” With a sweep of his robes, he walked away over to the back of the classroom where Ron and Dean were helplessly trying to stop their purple potion from bubbling over the cauldron. Hermione turned around to watch with dismay as Snape began his usual snide remarks on Ron and smiled sympathetically at him.

“Now that is a sight worth beholding!” Malfoy exclaimed laughing coldly. “The Weasel actually trying to do something properly!”

“Shut it Malfoy!” Hermione snapped through gritted teeth.

“Ooh Granger!” Malfoy cried in mock terror, a smirk etching itself across his face again, “Don’t tell me that’s the limits of your vocabulary. How many times have you used that phrase today?” With one elbow resting on the table, he shifted his body towards her, his pointed chin resting on the palm of his hand, a sly smirk still gracing his features.

“I’m hoping if I repeat myself it might actually sink into that thick head of yours”, Hermione replied dismissively, “Now hand me the essence of mandrake root and start chopping up bobotubers for me”.

“Anything for you Granger”, Malfoy laughed sarcastically handing her the jar with mandrake root inside. He pulled the chopping board towards him and began chopping the bobotubers into irregular pieces, carelessly throwing them to the side.

“Oh for God’s sake Malfoy, can’t you do anything right?” Hermione huffed impatiently, leaning over and yanking the sharp knife from his hands and chopping the bobotubers into more even pieces. “The point of this is they’re meant to be the same size!” She was leaning over onto his side, not bothering to pull the chopping board over to her side of the table. Malfoy was looking at her strangely, at first unsure of what to do with Hermione leaning over across him. He seemed to have regained his composure pretty quickly and was smirking at her, his attention shifting from what she was chopping on the board to her body that was stretched out in front of him. Though she wore a school uniform and robes, Malfoy could still see her figure, which had blossomed since Hermione had grown over the last two years. She was shedding the childish figure and becoming a woman, something Malfoy more than welcomed watching.

“Who would want to when you can just do it for me, leaning over like that!” he drawled flicking one last look over his body, savouring what was leaning across from him. Hermione sighed deeply and turned around and faced Malfoy, one hand resting on the edge of the table for support.

Her face was mere inches from his and with a slow smirk that was gracing her soft features she spoke ever so quietly. “You know what Malfoy, I think I’m starting to figure you out, and let me tell you this, this is the closest you’ll ever get to me!”

“Is that a dare Granger?” Malfoy replied huskily, his intense gaze firmly set on Hermione.

Hermione archly raised an eyebrow, leaning in ever so closely and whispering, “I wouldn’t even touch you with a ten foot pole”. She smirked at him one more time, before pulling away and continuing with the potion comforted in the fact that she had stunned Malfoy sufficiently to allow her to complete it.

* * *


Hermione was not relieved of the stress she had been under for the last week for long, when it was tested to its limits once again. This came in the form of the Prefect and Heads meeting the next night in a room on the fourth floor. Currently all the Prefects were gathered in a semi circle, sitting on chairs around where the Head Boy and Girl, Anthony Goldstein and Hermione Granger, were leaning against a desk. Malfoy had been smirking at her all through the meeting, occasionally blowing her kisses when he thought no-one was looking or winking suggestively at her. Hermione did her best to ignore him, but holding onto her composure and her temper was growing increasingly difficult. What made it worse is that Malfoy was doing it in the presence of Ron. She didn’t want to guess how much he was aware of, but the last thing she needed was Ron jumping to conclusions and starting trouble. If this did not stop with Malfoy, she would have to sort it out herself, something she was not keen on doing.

“I don’t think we need to change the rosters for patrolling duties anymore than they already are. If some of you have a problem patrolling you’d best come talk to me now”, Anthony called out, standing up and making his way over to the Professor’s desk, where he dropped his school bag and clipboard with notes on the desk. Some Prefects made their way over to him, and stood in a circle around the desk discussing the rosters.

“Alright, anyone who has any problems bring them to me and I’ll sort them out, the rest of you go and get your schedules from Anthony”, Hermione called out, catching the Prefects’ attentions. She made her way over to another table at the other side of the room and sat down on the desk, dropping her school bag next to the leg of the table and making herself comfortable. She pulled out a roll of parchment from her bag along with her favourite quill and bottle of ink. A few Prefects made their way over to her and stood around her, waiting until she lifted her head from the notes she was currently taking.

“Okay who can I help first?” she asked cheerily, determined not to let Malfoy ruin any more of the day for her, or for that matter to pull her down so much that she was venting off the people around her.

A fifth year Hufflepuff Prefect with shiny auburn hair to her waist spoke up first, her round face crinkled up due to the frown on her face.

“I’m having some trouble with some first years in my House”, she spoke, adding slowly, “There is this group of about four boys and two girls that have been harassing another first year by the name of Jackie Macmillan and even though she won’t come up and outright say that they are bullying her, I haven’t found any concrete evidence to prove it either”. She pursed her lips and frowned some more, looking down.

“Have you talked to your Head of House about this matter Rosanna?” Hermione asked, her brow furrowed like the girl’s.

“Yes and Professor Sprout says she can’t do anything without concrete evidence other than warn the year that bullying won’t be tolerated and hope the girl comes forward”, Rosanna replied, sweeping bits of her hair behind her ear. “I was hoping you might be able to do something Hermione”. Though she was not pleading, there was a tone of urgency in her voice.

“Sure I can try. How about you bring her, Jackie Macmillan right, to me after classes some day and I can talk to her, maybe she will open up to me”, Hermione replied, smiling in what she hoped was a hopeful manner. She quickly copied down the girl’s name and details onto the parchment along with the Prefect’s name and looked back up at Rosanna. “Oh and while we’re at it, can you bring this gang of first years to me say Friday evening and I’ll have a talk to them. It might not do much good, but we can always hope”. Rosanna grinned up at her and said her thanks before walking over to the Head Boy to receive her patrolling schedule.

One by one she dealt with all the problems of the Prefects, surprising even herself at how adept she was at solving difficult situations. She should really consider it as a career, she mused, smiling slightly to herself, her head bent low over her parchment, that was now almost filled with the records of this meeting.

“Whatever could Granger find so amusing?” a voice drawled above her, and with a sigh and resignation, Hermione raised her head to see the pale pointed face of her enemy sneer down at her.

“What is it Malfoy?” she sighed exasperated.

“Can’t I just come over, or is that not allowed anymore?” he retorted angrily, glaring down at her from his tall height.

“Do you have a problem with any of your Prefect duties Malfoy, because if you don’t, Anthony I believe, is trying to sort out your schedules for the next two weeks”, Hermione replied calmly, pushing down the irritation she was feeling. She decided the best policy was ignoring him and returned to the notes she was taking.

“Can’t you change the Prefect partners around, I’m tiring of mine!” Malfoy asked coldly.

“Why is Pansy not keeping you amused anymore?” Hermione looked up grinning widely.

“She is irritating me”, Malfoy drawled lazily. “Can’t you change me around so I’m teamed up with someone else? Maybe you and I…” Malfoy wagged his eyebrows at her in a suggestive manner.

“Don’t even think about it! Hermione snorted in reply. “I’m not changing the teams around, it causes too much hassle and I’m sure you can manage to keep Pansy at bay just fine!” she grinned once more at this. Watching Malfoy being uncomfortable in any situation was always a pleasure to behold.

“You know it would do you a lot of good to be a little nicer to me Granger!” Malfoy hissed, leaning in closer, his arms now propped up on the table that Hermione was currently perched on. She instinctively pulled her head back a little from Malfoy’s smirking face. “You never know when you might be desiring my company”.

Hermione’s breath caught in her throat as her widened a little at his statement. Did Malfoy just insinuate something between them? She couldn’t understand why that thought had her heart beating at a faster rate, or why a small part of her inside was smiling. Was she actually for one moment, tempted by what Malfoy had said to her? Hermione reeled from these thoughts. She couldn’t deal with them now, so she plucked up as much anger as she could possibly hold on and turned a cold glare onto Malfoy.

“Back off Malfoy or else!” Hermione warned, the tone of her voice both cold and demanding.

“Or what, you’ll call your precious boyfriend, the Weasel on me ?” he mocked at her, laughing. With one last smirk he took his hands of the table and stood up straight, walking back over to Anthony Goldstein, who seemed to be deep in a conversation about how to organise next weekend’s Hogsmeade trip. Hermione closed her eyes, easing the tension that had suddenly overridden her body and tried to relax, but unfortunately, like almost every night this week it was eluding her. Her heart rate was still beating unbelievably fast, she couldn’t get his words out of her head. When she opened her eyes and looked up , she saw Ron was standing before her with a frown on his face.

“Oh hi Ron” she smiled up at him, focussing her attention on her boyfriend in front of her. Now was not the time to be thinking of Malfoy, or ever for that matter! Ron kept the frown on his face and crouched down in front of her so they were level height.

“What’s the matter ‘Mione?” he asked looking into her hazel eyes.

“It’s nothing really, I’m just really stressed, nothing for you to worry about”, she smiled at him, taking his hands in her to reassure him. Ron didn’t seem convinced.

“I saw Malfoy here with you just a moment ago”, he began and a look of horror flashed across her face for a second before she masked it. Oh no, don’t let Ron realise what is going on, she prayed. “Has he been bothering you a lot lately?”
Ron’s gaze was shrewd, and Hermione knew she couldn’t lie to him. He would see right through it.

“Yeah”, Hermione sighed, dropping her gaze for a moment, before bringing it back up again and looking at Ron. “But I don’t want you to worry or get yourself into trouble over it Ron”.

“In Potions too right? Harry thought I was imagining it, but something seemed off about how he was treating you”.

Hermione slowly nodded her head and added, “It seems he’s figured the new way to get to me is to unsettle me as much as possible”.

“I’m going to sort that little ferret out, make sure he knows to stay very far away from you or else!” Ron muttered darkly, his fiery blue eyes flashing with fury as he stood up, his hands rolled into fists.

“No you won’t!” Hermione cried out urgently, pulling him back down to her. “Ron you can’t!” she cried anxiously. “You’ll just get in trouble and it won’t solve anything!”

“But it’ll make me feel better”, Ron muttered angrily, his gaze fixed on Malfoy, who was leaning against the doorframe looking bored at the rest of the Prefects.

“No Ron!” Hermione said, exasperated. “I’ll deal with it, okay. I’m Head Girl after all and any kind of imitation he might be trying I can just go and report him to Mc Gonagall and that will solve the matter. Don’t go playing into his hands, that’s exactly what the git wants”. Ron sighed and looked into Hermione’s eyes, before he slowly sighed and nodded his head.

“Thank you Ron”, Hermione smiled and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. She looked up to see most of the Prefects were leaving and jumped up in surprise. She hadn’t realised the meeting was over already.

“They’re all leaving”, Ron said, mildly surprised. He also hadn’t noticed how everyone was leaving and the meeting was over. “I’m going to head back to the common room. Are you coming up after this is finished?” Ron asked, his voice hopeful. Hermione smiled and nodded her head. He grinned back at her and left the classroom. Hermione jumped off where she had been sitting and saw the only two left were her and Anthony.

“Do we have everything sorted or is there anything else we need to discuss before the next meeting?” Hermione asked walking up to the desk where Anthony was still sitting, head bent over the lists that were placed in front of him.

“What?” he cried startled, looking up at Hermione. “No I think that’s about it. We need to change the passwords again, but I was thinking we leave if until next week. I also wanted to discuss with Mc Gonagall about giving both Crabbe and Goyle of Slytherin detention for their behaviour to us Heads”. He waved one hands through his hair, ruffling it in the process and dropped it back onto the table.

“That sounds about right”, Hermione agreed.

“You know sometimes I wonder why I’m even doing this job, you seem to be doing it just brilliantly without me”, he laughed and Hermione smiled.

“Well you do give me a lot of leeway”, Hermione replied lightly.

“Anyway we should probably get going”, Anthony said standing up and quickly grabbing all the sheets together, stuffing them untidily into his school bag which he slung over his shoulder.

“You heading back up to the Heads common room?” Hermione asked, following suit and slinging her own school bag over her shoulders, the roll of parchment in her hands.

“No I’ve got things to do. I probably won’t be back until later”, he replied. “Will you be okay walking back on your own?” he asked.

“I’ll be fine, I’m heading to Gryffindor Tower anyway. I’ll see you tomorrow”, she called out as he waved goodbye and rounded a corner. Hermione pressed on and took her old route back to her House in silence.

* * *


Two hours later, found a very tired Hermione lounging on one of two large sofa that were facing the crackling hearth, her mind abuzz with thoughts and the old copy of Hogwarts: A History lying haphazardly on her stomach, forgotten about. She had just returned from spending the last two hours in the Gryffindor common room with Ron, just enjoying his and Harry’s company, lying on Ron’s lap while helping Harry with his Transfiguration homework. It was past eleven by this point, and while Heads had their curfew extended to eleven thirty, Hermione was still surprised about Anthony not returning yet. But in truth this should not have surprised her all that much, he has always been somewhat of an absent Head Boy.

Ever since they first returned to Hogwarts for their last year over a month ago, she hadn’t seen much of Anthony Goldstein. Hermione had adjusted well enough, after six years of sharing a common room with Lavender and Parvati and of other shrieking girls, she was very glad to have her own personal space and to be on her own for a bit. All in all he made a very agreeable roommate, Hermione laughed quietly to herself. He left her on her own and hardly returned to their shared common room, which made her feel as if she lived here all on her own. A more wicked thought of hers thought, that was also an added bonus for her and Ron, but she had only tried that out once or twice.

She sighed and stretched out her body, knowing there was no point staying up any longer, she was tired and even tonight she couldn’t manage to hold her concentration long enough to read her favourite book. Hermione slowly got up and dropped the book on the sofa next to her, yawning all the while she walked up the stairs to her room. Her room looked exactly alike to those dorm rooms she slept in for six years, only there was only one bed with red and gold hanging, the same old tarnished wooden floor and small window looking out over the Lake. The only thing different was the addition of a sturdy wooden desk and chair, a small wardrobe made of oak and a bedside table. It wasn’t luxurious, but it was more than comfortable. Hermione made her way back out onto the landing to the bathroom she shared with the Head Boy, which resembled more of an elaborate hall of marble than anything else. Hogwarts always went all out with the bathrooms, Hermione smiled. Just like in the Prefect bathrooms, there was a large pool that was used as a bath, a set of showers and a long marble countertop running along a shorter side of the wall, where two elegant sinks were perched. Hermione wasn’t accustomed so such luxury and it made her slightly uncomfortable, but she had gotten used to it, and just proceeded with getting ready for bed.

In the comfort of her bed, with the lights switched off, Hermione could finally think and process the events of the day. Malfoy had hit upon a new emotion within her during the Prefect and Heads meeting, that she had to admit, but she didin’t know if she wanted to admit it yet that she was tempted by him. That could never end well, no matter what happens.

“Oh my God!” Hermione let out a frustrated yell, sitting up in her bed, knees propped up as she ran her hands through her hair. She was in serious trouble if she was tempted by Draco Malfoy. She let her hands fall back down onto the bed and stared out into the darkness. Malfoy’s pale, pointed face swam across her vision, his cold grey eyes burning with an intensity she always associated with him. This time there was not a glare on his face, or even his trademark smirk, his features were softer and he looked happy. A small smile crept across her face as her heart began hammering faster. She saw herself again with Malfoy, walking up to him, his trademark smirk having returned. She stopped just short of him and with a sly smile, looked up into his grey orbs. He took a step towards her, and with an arm she didn’t even know where it came from, snaked it around her waist pulling her closer. Before she even knew what was happening, he had kissed her. Hermione suddenly shook her head, opening her eyes, startled. She did not just imagine that, did she? It was one thing to be tempted by him, quite another to want to kiss him, or even just imagine him. Even if he did have very sexy eyes and a swagger that could probably make her swoon.

“Stop it Hermione!” she cried aloud, shaking her head as if that would dispel those thoughts and slapping her forehead. She had never before found Malfoy’s eyes sexy and no matter how cocky, arrogant and utterly bad-boy like he was, she couldn’t think that about him. Yet why did he make her stomach flutter, why did her heart beat race when he was placed his sole attention on her. Hermione let her head fall back onto her pillow as she stared up at the dark ceiling, the wooden rafters barely visible in the darkness. The only answer to this was that she fancied Malfoy, and she knew she was in serious trouble.


Chapter 3: The Taste Of Failure
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A/N's: Well here's the third chapter. This one is a bit of a prequel chapter to the next one, which is gonna be a good one!
Anyway's here's the chapter and as always please review!
Agrolass


CHAPTER 3 The Taste Of Failure


Everyone here, is wondering what it's like to be with
Somebody else
Everyone here's to blame, everyone here
Gets caught up in the pleasure of the pain, everyone hides
Shades of shame, but looking inside we're the same, we're
The same
And we're all grown now, but we don't know how
To get it back to good
Back Too Good by Matchbox 20


After the rather unwanted admission, Hermione made to herself last night, she woke up with a newfound determination and a plan. She was going to do the only thing she could do in her position, fix things with Ron. It was obvious, if she looked upon the situation from a logical point of view, the reason she had been letting Malfoy pay her such attentions, which was subconsciously done, was because things had not been right with Ron. So the solution to the problem was also simple, fix things with Ron and the Malfoy situation should disappear. Hermione threw the covers of her as she got out of bed and prepared herself for the day. The first thing she was going to do was make an effort for Ron, which meant much to her chagrin, she would have to tame her hair.

Hermione grabbed her things and made her way into the Heads bathroom, adjoining to her and Anthony’s room and began her long battle with her frizzy hair.

Half an hour later Hermione found herself walking towards the Gryffindor table, locating Ron and Harry already sitting towards the end, heads bent low in a deep discussion. She sauntered over to them, a wide smile on her face and sat down next to Ron, dropping her bag down onto the floor beneath the table.
“Morning”, she said cheerfully, pulling a bowl of corn flakes towards her while pouring herself a cup of tea.

“Morning ‘Mione”, Ron yawned giving her a kiss on the cheek and turning his attention back to Harry. “I still think we should keep Sloper away from the Beater position, you saw what he was like during practice when we looked for a new Beater”.

“Well he’s all we’ve got. Natalie Mc Donald isn’t going to be playing any time soon and we’ve a Slytherin match in over a week!” Harry cried exasperated. “Can you help me on this Hermione?” he asked agitated, turning to face Hermione.

“Oh keep me out of this!” Hermione asked, throwing her hands into the air, brushing her long hair out of the way. Harry turned back to Ron and she gave both of their backs a long disgruntled look. They hadn’t even noticed how she had made an effort with her appearance today!

Harry turned around and looked at Hermione again, over Ron’s shoulder, a small frown on his face as he exclaimed, “Hermione. You’re hair looks different today”. A puzzled Ron turned around to face his girlfriend, halfway through eating a slice of toast as he looked at her once again. Hermione gave Harry a brilliant smile as she swept her straightened and sleek long hair over her shoulder. She had slaved the last half hour in the Heads bathroom, trying to keep her hair under control and after that was finally done, she had tried to also apply some make-up that Ginny owned. After attempting to put blusher on for five minutes without successfully achieving it, she abandoned the hope of putting the stuff on and left it with mascara.

“Your hair is all straight and really long”, Harry continued, surprised.

“Thank you for noticing Harry”, Hermione replied with dignity, ignoring the confused look on Ron’s face.

Ron gulped down his toast, thankfully he had finally gotten over that bad habit of talking with his mouth full and said, “Yeah you look really nice today”.

Thank you Ron”, Hermione replied smiling sweetly, though she let out a low sigh. This was probably the most she would ever get out of him anyway.

“But why did you do it. I thought you said fixing your hair was too much of an effort and took too long”, Ron asked, still confused.

“Well Ron I suppose I wanted to make an effort for you”, she shrugged her shoulders.

“But you don’t have to. I love you the way you are!” Ron replied baffled. Hermione just smiled and kissed him on the cheek.

* * *


Two days later, Hermione was sticking fast to her plan of repairing things between her and Ron and she had insisted to him that she wanted to spend more time. At first Ron had silently groaned at the prospect because in his opinion, Hermione nagged a lot, but he loved her and when she convinced him that it was not just for things like studying he was more agreeable to the idea. She had gone with him to watch him train for Quidditch and they had taken the little free time they had in the evening to just be with each other as much as possible. That Sunday afternoon, Ron and Hermione were sitting under a beech tree near the lake, enjoying the last of the warm autumn days before the onslaught of winter began. Ron had his back propped up against the trunk, while Hermione sat in his arms, her head resting on his shoulder, while one hand lazily played with the auburn fallen leaves lying scattered around her. With a sly smile on her face that Ron couldn’t see, she picked up a bunch in her left hand and threw them over Ron, laughing heartily as he sat up straight, pulled out of whatever train of thought he was in.

“Oy, that was you!” he growled, turning around and looking at his laughing girlfriend. She had a huge grin on her face, and when he went to pick up a bunch of leaves, she tried to scramble out of the way.

“No Ron, don’t!” she squealed, trying to pull away, but Ron’s arm was still around her waist and he was not willing to let her go. He dunked a large amount of the damp, brown leaves onto the hair that she had painstakingly spent an hour on that morning.

“Ron!” she cried out half annoyed, pouncing him, but Ron was too quick and threw her off. They rolled around in the damp leaves for a while, until they came to a stop with Ron lying on top of her.

“Well, well, well”, Ron muttered, looking down at his girlfriend, who was trapped underneath his heavy weight, a sly grin forming on his face.

“Ron! I spent an hour doing my hair this morning, now it’s all a waste”, she cried out annoyed, glaring up at him.

“I don’t see why you bothered Hermione, you look brilliant the way you do”, Ron, by this point was laughing heartily at Hermione’s huffiness. And before she could get a chance to retort, Ron leaned down and kissed her.

Hermione pulled away from the kiss, a frown on her face. “Don’t think that is going to get you off Ronald!” she huffed. Ron just smiled and kissed her again, but Hermione pulled away once again. “And we can’t do this here, people might see!” she added, looking around worried.

“Hermione will you just shut up so I can kiss you properly, or don’t you want me to?” Ron asked annoyed, raising a\n eyebrow at her.

“Of course I do, but-“ Hermione was again cut off by Ron’s lips crashing down on her, and she reasoned, she could give out plenty to him once they had stopped kissing. She wrapped her hands around his back as he deepened the kiss, while Ron snaked one hand to her side, the other had become entwined in her hair along with the leaves that he had unceremoniously thrown over her earlier on. Hermione moaned a little sigh of pleasure, she had not gotten to spend real quality with Ron in a long while and she was so glad to finally have some time alone with him.
That thought unfortunately didn’t last long, as they were both interrupted by the cold drawl of someone saying, “Well what do we have here, Weasel and his mudblood girlfriend. I’ll have to take twenty points of Gryffindor for such disgusting behaviour!”

Ron and Hermione broke off the kiss, startled and looked up to see Malfoy sneering down at them. Ron’s face turned a deep red, matching the colour of his hair and quickly jumped off Hermione, pulling her up as well. Hermione was also blushing, though not as bad as Ron, and with one look at Malfoy, quickly grew angry.

“You’ll be doing no such thing Malfoy!” she warned coldly. “I’m Head girl and if I find anyone abusing their power, there will be hell to pay!” She stood up to face Malfoy, her arms crossed, glaring back at him.

“Last time I checked, Granger”, Malfoy retorted coldly, “Indecent exposure or lewd and indecent acts were not permitted on Hogwarts grounds. Surely, you as Head Girl would know that!”

“We were doing nothing wrong Malfoy and in case you haven’t looked around yet, no-one else is here!” Hermione retorted angrily, biting down her rage. How dare he come here and ruin everything she had been trying so hard to fix. She glared at him, as he glared back, almost wishing he would try something so she could let her frustration out on him. Stupid Malfoy and his irritating habit of always getting to her. It was his fault in the first place that she had to repair things between her and Ron, he didn’t have to turn up and make things even worse. So what if she might fancy him a teeny bit, it wouldn’t stop her from thoroughly hexing him to oblivion or pouncing on him. Hermione closed her eyes, willing the train of thoughts in her head to shut up, she couldn’t think such things. When she opened them she saw that Malfoy was still smirking at her and Ron was standing next to her, glaring daggers at Malfoy.

“There will be no point taking from anyone Malfoy. I’m Head Girl and Ron here is Prefect. You would do well to leave us alone, before he gets the urge to punch you”, Hermione sighed heavily, giving Malfoy a pointed look and looking over at her boyfriend. Ron was indeed pissed off and she wasn’t far wrong in her estimation.

“I wouldn’t want to destroy the dream couple, now would I?” Malfoy smirked at them and began walking away.

“I still think you should have let me punch him just this once. It would teach him a lesson”, Ron growled, Hermione just sighed.

“It wouldn’t solve anything Ron and would only cause more problems than it would solve. Come on let’s go back up to the castle, I don’t feel like hanging around here anymore”, Hermione replied and she and Ron began walking back up to the castle in silence.

* * *


That evening a very weary and tired Hermione, dressed in her comfiest red pj bottoms, warm navy jumper and school cloak, was patrolling the fifth floor. Her patrolling was almost complete and she was eagerly awaiting her warm bed. Tonight she was once again on her own, it was often enough that Anthony Goldstein didn’t patrol with her, but what was unusual about tonight, is that he hadn’t even told her he couldn’t make it. She supposed she would have to talk to him about that. Tonight alone had been difficult shift, the corridors were especially busy. She caught eight first years in out-of-bounds corridors, three couples had been dislodged from each other and sent on their way with deducted house points and one sixth year refused to be told what to do and Hermione was forced to give him detention and walk him back to his Head of House and common room. It had been a very stressful night and Hermione just wanted it to end so she could sleep. It didn’t help her mood that the plan she had so determinedly set out for herself Friday morning, wasn’t working and she felt as alienated to her boyfriend as ever. What was worse she couldn’t talk to him, as he wouldn’t understand.

It was all Malfoy’s fault, she declared vehemently, her irritation rising. Why did he have to keep trying it on with herm when he knew she was taken and therefore out-of-bounds! She might find herself attracted to him for some insane reason, but that didn’t give him the right to flirt with her so and really rile her up. Hermione couldn’t even understand why she was so attracted to him, his eyes were cold and grey, he was a complete and utter asshole, his chin was far too pointed and his icy blonde hair looked like it came right out of a bottle! Yet there was something about that swagger, his demeanour and attitude that was downright sexy in the dirtiest way. He was a bad-boy in the truest sense and that really got to Hermione. It was the good-girl and bad-boy tale all over again, except Hermione was taken and she new she could never change him. She didn’t even want him to, she thought secretly. He would be no fun if he had, Hermione thought wickedly a sly smile on her face.

“That smile on your face wouldn’t by any chance happen to be because Granger’s thinking devilish thoughts about me, would it?” Draco Malfoy drawled, amused. Hermione looked up startled. She had been that engrossed in her thoughts she hadn’t even noticed Malfoy walking up to her in the corridor. She glared at him and wrapped her cloak around her body, blushing slightly at the thought that Malfoy had caught her in her pyjamas and that he had guessed so accurately what she had been thinking.

“What makes you imagine I would ever think of you in such a way?” Hermione retorted angrily, folding her arms across her chest, her cloak still wrapped around her, so he wouldn’t see her in her pyjamas.

“Well you’d certainly not think of the Weasel in that way!” Malfoy snorted, laughing derisively. Hermione frowned at Malfoy’s mocking tone and replied calmly, knowing it was the only way she could win an argument with Malfoy.

“Oh contraire”, Hermione replied sweetly, smiling at a frowning Malfoy. “I do think of Ron in that way, or in case you haven’t noticed we have been dating for the last seven months!” She smiled smugly, knowing her reply had thrown Malfoy.

“You imagine yourself that way with the Weasel. You would actually do that?” Malfoy said disgusted, screwing up his face in repulsion. “I never thought you had it in you Granger!” He was shaking his head in wonder.

“Watch what you’re saying about Ron, Malfoy!” Hermione shouted angrily, taking a step towards him, “Or I’ll take twenty points of your house and give you detention!”

“I’m scared of that Granger!” Malfoy laughed, taking one step closer to her, so that they were but a foot apart. “Whatever will I do if you give me detention? But tell me Granger”, he drawled, “How do you manage to be so close to the Blood Traitor Weasel. Oh the thought of him touching me-“ he stopped and shuddered. Hermione, whose anger had been growing in intensity for the last few minutes, seemed to have snapped and before she even knew what she was doing she had slapped Malfoy across the face, the noise echoing down the empty corridor.

She drew her wand and yelled back, “I told you to shut up about Ron!”

“You wouldn’t try anything Granger!” Malfoy laughed, making her more incensed, “You’re too much of a goody-two-shoes to actually curse me. And if I want to start foul mouthing Weasel you’re sure as hell not gonna stop me!” Malfoy laughed. Hermione was visibly trembling by this point, and she couldn’t even think straight anymore. The only thought that made sense was hex Malfoy.

“Engorgio!” Hermione roared, pointing her wand at Malfoy’s head. He had barely enough time to jump out of the way, his face rather whiter than usual, as if he hadn’t actually expected Hermione to send a hex at him.

“You’ll pay for that Mudblood!” Malfoy roared, whipping out his wand from his robe pocket and pointing at her. “Furnunuclus!” he roared, his wand aimed at her, But Hermione had a small smile on her face and quickly whipped up a shield, which deflected the curse.

“You’ll have to try harder than that Malfoy”, she smirked, but when she saw Malfoy had raised his wand once again, she raised hers in reply and added in a warning tone, “Don’t you even dare!” They were so engrossed in shooting each other glares, that Both Hermione and Malfoy hadn’t noticed the echoing sounds of footsteps on the tiled floor, as person was walking towards them.

“Mr Malfoy, Miss Granger what the devil is going on here?” the commanding tone of Professor Mc Gonagall shrieked, hurrying towards them. Both Malfoy and Hermione looked around startled and when they spotted an angry Mc Gonagall walking towards them, they quickly lowered their wands.

“I can explain Professor”, Hermione began quickly, fear rising within her.

“Well I certainly hope so Miss Granger, because there had better be a very good reason why the Head Girl and a Slytherin Prefect are duelling the corridors past bed-time hours!” Mc Gonagall was clearly incensed, if not a little taken aback at seeing Hermione so blatantly breaking rules. She rounded on Malfoy and set him with a piercing glare, adding, “And did I hear you try and curse Miss Granger, Mr Malfoy?”

“She sent a curse at me first!” Malfoy retorted angrily, glaring over at Hermione.

“Is that true Miss Granger?” Mc Gonagall asked angrily, fixing Hermione with a glare.

“I can explain Professor, you see it was Malfoy’s fault-“ Hermione began, pointing a finger at a smirking Malfoy.

Professor Mc Gonagall held up her hands and Hermione quickly shut up, looking fearfully at her Head of House. “I don’t care who started it, I am disappointed in both of you! You Miss Granger, are a Head girl I would have expected far more from you, and you Mr Malfoy had no right, no matter what the circumstances to retaliate with a hex. You are both lucky that I haven’t stripped you of your positions. It’ll be detention for two weeks for the both of you and I will be taking fifty points of each House. Now I hope you can learn to live together more harmoniously and if I ever hear of an incident like this again, I will strip you of your positions and you will face a suspension. Now go to your dorms and don’t let me see you in the corridors again tonight!”

Hermione glumly nodded her head, refusing to look Mc Gonagall in the eye. She shot Malfoy a death glare when Mc Gonagall wasn’t looking and walked back to the Head common room in a sullen mood.


Chapter 4: A Rainy Detention With Malfoy
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A/N's: Here's the fourth chapter and I've got a feeling you're gonna like this. God I do believe it's been less than three days since I updated with the last chapter. I really wrote this one fast! You can probably tell but it was so much fun to write that's also a reason. I probably wouuldn't expect the next chapter to come so fast. anyway enjoy it and as always please leave a review. Thank you!
Agrolass


CHAPTER 4 A Rainy Detention With Malfoy
"You drive me crazy
I just cant sleep
I'm so excited, I'm in too deep
Ohh...crazy, but it feels alright
Baby, thinkin of you keeps me up all night".
You Drive Me Crazy by Britney Spears



“And she gave you detention?” Ron asked shocked, momentarily forgetting the toast in his hand he was about to eat. Hermione just glumly nodded her head and took another spoonful of cereal, not bothering to look up at Ron. He in turn let out a low whistle and gaped over at Harry, who had his eyebrows raised very high. Harry wisely decided to keep out of this conversation because when Hermione heard Ron she looked up and glared at him, until he shut up and continued eating his toast.

“I suppose it was my fault”, Hermione conceded depressed, stopping momentarily with her breakfast as she looked up at Ron, Harry and Ginny who was sitting opposite her. “I shouldn’t have let Malfoy get to me like that. I played right into his hands!”

“What?” Ron asked scandalized, dropping his toast onto the plate. “Don’t ever think that hexing Malfoy was a bad idea. The slimy git deserves everything you gave him!”

“Ron, I got into detention!” Hermione cried.

“So, it was well worth it. I wish I was there to see the look on his face”.

“I’m Head Girl, I could have lost my position because of that stupid stunt!”

“I think you’re just overreacting Hermione”, Ron said nodding astutely over at Harry, who had the decency to look away and strike up a conversation with Ginny. “I mean Mc Gonagall loves you. There’s no way in hell she would have stripped you of Head Girl because you finally gave Malfoy what was coming to him!”

“You’re hopeless Ron!” Hermione sighed, shaking her head.

* * *


That evening, at exactly five minutes to eight, Hermione was slowly walking along the almost deserted corridors of the second floor, making her way to Professor Mc Gonagall’s office. She had received word earlier that day that she was to go to her Head of House for instructions on what detention she was about to do. Hermione hoped more than anything that her and Malfoy would be separated as was usual, but she had a nagging thought in the back of her head that would not be the case. It would be just like fate to deal her an extra cruel blow, that not only did she have to serve out her first detention, but with Malfoy none the less.

As she rounded the corner and came upon the corridor that stood out the Professor’s office, she was surprised to find another person waiting outside the door. Malfoy, was casually leaning against the stone wall, a bored look on his pallid features, as he played with a gold Galleon in his hand, absentmindedly flipping it up into the air and catching it again. Hermione’s back straightened instantly as she braced herself and strode purposefully towards Mc Gonagall’s office, an eyebrow raised at Malfoy’s early appearance. She had expected him to be late. She decided to ignore Malfoy and instead stood facing the stained wooden door, her attention on her fingernails, which she began examining.

“You’re late Granger!” Malfoy drawled, an amused look on his pale face. “Who would have thought Miss Goody-Two-Shoes would be late for a Professor!” He sneered and flipped the Galleon into the air once more.

“Will you stop doing that Malfoy!” Hermione shot back crossly, crossing her arms across her chest and glowering at him. “And for your information I’m early!” She snapped, pulling up one sleeve of her robe to show him her watch. It read that it was three minutes to eight.

“Well my one says you’re late!” Malfoy smirked; pulling out an ornate gold pocket watch, which read it, was five minutes past.

“Oh I’m not going to argue with you on this one!” Hermione huffed, turning her back to him, her long hair flowing behind her. It was a good thing indeed that at that moment Professor Mc Gonagall chose to come out of her office, as Hermione was glaring daggers at the wall, and Malfoy himself was smirking in amusement.

“Good to see you’re both here on time!” Professor Mc Gonagall spoke, her voice clipped. Hermione spun around and faced her Head of House, her angry demeanour vanishing in an instant. “You will both be helping Mr Filch clean the suits of armour in the castle”.

“What all of them?” Malfoy cried shocked. “But that’ll take forever!”

“Well you have two weeks to do them Mr Malfoy and maybe it might make you think twice before you decide to throw hexes at Miss Granger here”, Professor Mc Gonagall shot back, a frown on her face. “Now you’re both to head down to Mr Filch’s office and he’ll tell you where to start. Now be off with you!” She ushered away a severe look on her face, before turning around and walking back into her office.

“Cleaning is a job for House Elves and people inferior to me, a Malfoy shouldn’t have to do it!” Malfoy spat out bitterly.

Hermione had a jovial grin on her face at the sound of Malfoy’s whining and walked on, snickering lightly to herself. Malfoy sped up and when he spotted the grin on her face, glared at the back of her head.

“Then this should teach you a lesson in learning to hold in your temper”, Hermione smiled jovially to herself, enjoying Malfoy’s pain far too much.

“Granger”, Malfoy began, slightly confused, taking a few quicker steps so he was in sync with her walking before adding, “You do realise you were the first one to hex me and cause us to get into this mess!” He smirked at this, knowing full well she couldn’t get herself out of that.

“Whatever you say Malfoy”, Hermione replied airily, a smile on her face as she sauntered on ahead leaving behind a very puzzled Malfoy.

* * *


Twenty minutes later Head Girl and Slytherin Prefect could be found on their hands and knees on the fourth floor, a half rusted metallic bucket filled with sudsy water standing beside them and each holding some very old and very used scrubbing brushes. Malfoy stopped and angrily threw his brush to the ground, standing up and looking with dismay at his dirty and crinkled school robes. He was panting slightly, and his perfectly kept hair was lying ruffled over his eyes, partially blocking his sight. He glowered at the suit of armour they were in the process of cleaning, as if it was its fault for the mess they had gotten themselves into.

Hermione looked up at Malfoy form her crouched position on the floor and smirked. “What’s the matter Malfoy, is it getting too much for you?”

“What is this possibly ever going to teach us?” Malfoy gritted angrily. “I don’t want to leave this place having learnt how to clean stupid suits of armour!”

“I think this is meant to deter us from any further rule-breaking!” Hermione mused, smiling serenely, adopting Luna’s trademark look.

“I’m sure”, Malfoy replied dryly, smirking slightly. “This is gonna stop me from teaching pesky first years to stay out of my way! How can you take this nonsense anyway?” Malfoy rounded on Hermione, a mystified look on his face.

“What can I say, my parents didn’t raise me as a spilt brat and part of that meant chores”, Hermione answered simply, “You’re looking a bit peaky there Malfoy. Are you sure you don’t want to sit down for a moment and get your energy back?” She smiled down at him, knowing full well she had hit a sore spot and continued with her scrubbing, humming lightly under her breath.

“What are you doing Granger?” Malfoy asked perplexed, crouching back down again and continuing with the scrubbing.

“I’m humming Malfoy”, she replied, not looking up, and continued with scrubbing a rather dirty patch on the suit’s kneecap.

“Why?” he asked, scrunching his face up much like a little child would when trying to understand something difficult. Hermione smiled to herself when she saw the expression on his face and for a moment she saw Malfoy in her mind’s eye not much older than five or six, his white blonde hair still as distinct as ever, trying to understand something difficult.

“Does it bother you?” she asked curiously, stopping momentarily in her cleaning to look at him, who was now eye level with her and sitting crouched on the ground.

“No”, Malfoy replied simply and returning to his scrubbing. Hermione smiled, intrigued with Malfoy’s change in behaviour. She was not put out like she usually was when he started on one of his snide remarks; she was more surprised that he could hold a civil conversation with her. This detention was not nearly as bad as she thought it would be. Smiling on that thought, Hermione continued with her own job of cleaning, both of them lapsing into a relatively comfortable silence.


Twenty minutes later Hermione sat up straight and examined their handy-work. The suit of armour was gleaming softly in the candlelight, the silver colour having returned to the armour.

“I think we’re about done here!” Hermione sighed, brushing her long hair out of the way and behind her shoulder. Her hair, which she had been straightening for the last few days, was turning frizzy and slightly curly again. It had been a long time and Hermione was growing tired of constantly having to reapply that nasty gel. She didn’t see the point in it anymore, so she slowly let her hair turn to its frizzy norm.

“Finally”, Malfoy grumbled, tossing his brush to the floor and standing up straight. “Are we finally done now?”

Hermione rolled her eyes at him and also stood up gathering up their scrubbing brushes and bucket. “No we still have the fifth floor to do, now come on or we will be here forever!” Malfoy grumbled some more under his breath that made her snort but she walked on ahead, letting Malfoy follow her in his bad mood. She made her way along the passageways and took a set of stairs hidden by a large moulding grey tapestry, lighting her wand as she deftly made her way up the dark steps. Malfoy was trailing behind, her his grumblings becoming progressively louder and becoming more vicious in its content. Hermione stopped sharply in the middle of the dark staircase to confront Malfoy about his abusive language, when he collided into her on the step. She swayed a little and grabbed a hold of Malfoy instinctively to steady her balance.

“Malfoy!” she shot out, irritated. Her head spun around and her hair lightly hit against his face, which she hadn’t realised was so close.

“Watch where you’re going Granger!” was the retort she got in return.

Hermione let out a frustrated sigh and continued, “Will you stop cursing like that. You’re a Prefect!”

“So?” he drawled in return, adding with his trademark smirk on his face. “If you just want to be close to me Granger, you could have just asked!”

“What are you talking about?” Hermione replied. She still had not let go of Malfoy’s chest.

Malfoy looked down at where Hermione’s hands had clasped his robes and smirked up at her. “What a petty excuse that you tripped and fell!”

“If I remember correctly you bumped into me!” Hermione hissed heatedly, glaring daggers at Malfoy in the near complete darkness. He just continued to smirk back at her, and with a rush of movement grabbed her hands pulling them closer to her. Hermione was shocked and momentarily froze in her actions, caught off-guard by Malfoy’s unexpected actions. Her mouth was slightly open as surprise was displayed in her eyes. Malfoy’s own look had turned intense and when he pulled her hands towards him, Hermione came back to her senses. She quickly pulled her hands out of his grasp and took a step back, confusion still written across her face. He was still gazing at her so intensely and Hermione began to feel nervous, not because of what he might do to her, but what she might do to him.

“Malfoy back off”, Hermione uttered, regaining control of her vocal chords, her hands out in front of her in a possessive stance.

Malfoy snorted and took another step towards her, causing Hermione to back off and trip on the step behind her. She momentarily fell, before she grabbed hold of a candle bracket on the wall and straightened herself up.

“What has the Weasel done to you, to make you such a prissy stuck up girlfriend, and by the way you look a little too wound up for my liking”, he sneered, sending a contemptuous look towards her again.

“Will you shut up Malfoy”, Hermione gritted, turning around and walking on up the stairs.

“What did I hit a on a sensitive spot. Is the Weasel not satisfying you very well? You know I can always help you with that matter!” Malfoy wagged his eyebrows, catching up with her so they were walking in step. He had a big grin on his face that made Hermione even more irritated.

“Will you for once just shut up about Ron and not talk about him in such a manner in my presence!” Hermione shouted, rounding on Malfoy, her eyes flashing dangerously, “And for that matter”, she hissed, her voice precariously low, “You wouldn’t know what a sensitive spot was if I repeatedly hit you on it!” He let out a deep sigh and glared at him one more time before turning on her heel and storming on out onto the corridor. Malfoy let out a true laugh of mirth and continued on after her, intent on winding her up as much as he could during their detention together.

* * *


Hermione was thoroughly infuriated by the time Filch finally came upon them on the fifth floor at twelve o clock that night. Malfoy had pushed her to such extremes, a dull throbbing had replaced the migraine she had received earlier on in the night and her entire body was tense and sore from Malfoy’s taunting. It was with such extreme delight that detention was finally over, that she threw her scrubbing brush unceremoniously back into the metal bucket and stormed down the corridor without a word or goodbye to Filch or Malfoy. Hermione was so on edge, her entire body was tingling and she knew there was no way in hell there could be any sleep tonight, unless she calmed down. Hermione quickly donned on her school robes and marched on down the corridors, making her way to the marble stairs and down to the Entrance Hall. One perk of being a Head girl, was the curfew had been extended for you and even if she was caught out in the corridors after said curfew, it could be easily explained away. Hermione was too wrapped up in her jumbled thoughts and her frazzled nerves to really care if someone saw her and with a few quick and decisive steps she had wrenched open the large double doors and stepped into the cool, brisk night air. Hermione made a quick motion to cover her body more completely with her cloak and set out for a walk along the Hogwarts grounds. The beginning of the wintry season meant that the nights were growing much colder and the blustery winds were growing fiercer. She continued on, on her path, secretly glad that the extreme wind had died down for the night. The moon was covered completely by some low hanging, thick clouds and she lit her wand only a minute later the farther she walked away from the light of the castle that was spilling out onto the lawn due to the open doors.

The crisp leaves breaking under her step and the light whooshing of the distant trees of the Forbidden Forest were the only noises Hermione could hear and here outside in the dark she finally felt her nerves relaxing a little. Her wand was held loosely in her right hand as she aimlessly wandered along the sloping grass towards the lake; her feet seemed to be drawn to the black mass that was creeping up in front of her. She finally slowed her pacing and stood in front of the lake, perfectly still, letting the light breeze move her hair in soft waves. Her robes were lightly flapping, but this too didn’t faze her much. She was too lost in her own jumbled thoughts. Malfoy had been such a different person to her earlier on that night, he was very capable of holding a civil conversation with her, but that was what didn’t startle her most by this night. It was the softness in his tone, but this could have just been confused with an absence of an insult or harshness in his tenor. Hermione wasn’t quite sure of which. More and more Malfoy was becoming an enigma to her, one that she never expected to appear. She had always been able to read him like a book. He had always been a spoilt child raised by corrupt morals and standards to follow, one who was nasty but essentially not evil. He had grown of course and while he still possessed those qualities he had adopted a harshness to his manner and personality, and with that he had learnt to repress and hide certain aspects of his emotions and personality that made him as perplexing as many other characters at Hogwarts. Though he was the only one to press her so, and she couldn’t understand him. It infuriated her. Hermione let out a frustrated cry and crossed her arms across her chest, fractious because she couldn’t decipher the mystery that was Draco Malfoy.
At that moment Hermione heard the distant rumblings that she guessed to be thunder and a second later the heavens opened up, letting rain fall to the ground. Hermione was quite surprised by the downfall of rain, but instead of running inside for shelter, she stayed outside, the first true smile forming on her face that day. She held her arms out wide embracing the downpour as she raised her head to the sky, delighting in the tickling sensation of rain falling onto her heated face. She was so caught up in enjoying the moment; she did not hear the quiet footsteps of a student behind her. He was watching her with fascination on his face, his own pointed features taking in every inch of her now soaking body, but there was no trademark smirk on his face this time. He watched her enjoy the rain and took another careful step towards her. She had not heard him and Malfoy walked around her until he faced her. She had a smile on her face, her eyes were closed as she held her head up to the heavens and Malfoy was tempted to just stroke her face there, but he resisted the impulse and pulled his outstretched hand away as if it had been burned.

Instead he decided to settle on calling her name. “Granger”, he called out, but she did not open her eyes. “Granger what the hell are you doing?” he snapped and this time he had caught her attention. She opened her eyes in astonishment and lowered her arms, bewilderment written across her face. It took her a few seconds to register what he had said and she mentally prepared herself for another battle, replying briskly:

“What does it look like Malfoy? I’m enjoying the rain. Is there a problem with that?”

“Why?” His face was scrunched up in puzzlement as he leaned his head to the side and stared at her.

“It helps me calm down”, she replied evenly, levelling him with a gaze of her own.
“Can’t you do that inside?” Malfoy thought her mad to be outside in the rain willingly getting soaked to the bone.

“No Malfoy I can’t”, she rolled her eyes and closed them again, as if hoping he would disappear. Then she sighed when she heard he hadn’t moved and snapped her eyes open again, irritation shining in her bright amber orbs. “What do you want this time anyway Malfoy. Because if you’re looking for another fight I’m not in the mood. Go find someone else!”

“I was actually looking for you!” he retorted, crossing his own arms across his chest.

“Oh yeah and why? Not had enough fun the last time you had a go at me?” Hermione snorted.

“I needed to talk to you!” Malfoy snapped.

“What about? How much of a Weasel my boyfriend is or how much you hate Harry, or was it about my blood status. It’s been a while since you brought that up!” Hermione mocked, her jaw set in firm lines.

“God’s sake Granger, you make it very difficult for a man to talk to you. How do Pothead and Weasel manage it anyway?”

“Have you just come here to have another go at Harry and Ron, because if you have I’m leaving now!” Hermione shot back angrily and turned to walk past him, only Malfoy had grabbed her arm.

“Granger!” Malfoy growled, his voice sounding dangerously low. “You infuriate me so much!”

“Well the feeling is very mutual Malfoy now let me go!” Hermione yelled back, wrenching her arm out of his grip, but it was quite firm and she just struggled until she gave up.

“God you drive me crazy woman, now will you listen for one minute? I’m trying to talk to you!” he shouted at her but she just glared back.

“Well I don’t want to talk to you now LET ME LEAVE!” she shouted at him, her face very flushed despite the drenching rain and cold of the night.

“Well I wish I wasn’t so bloody attracted to you!” he yelled back, his gaze burning intensely, and before Hermione could even begin to digest this revelation, he had pulled her to him, his lips crashing down on hers. She was too shocked to do anything, Hermione’s eyes wide open as the surprise and shock of what Malfoy was doing was coursing through her body. He pulled one arm around her waist and drew her closer, the other letting go or her arm and tangling them in her now messy and wet hair, deepening the kiss. Hermione reciprocated, her mind reeling the whole while and when a hand of his had snaked in her hair, she gave herself to the feeling. She kissed him back, letting out a little moan as he deepened the kiss, secretly loving the feel of him against her. His lips were surprisingly soft and warm and before she knew what she was doing she was falling for his charms. Malfoy let the hand that was encircling her waist wander and when she felt him lightly grabbing her bottom, Hermione came to herself again. She was kissing Malfoy! It took all of two seconds to push him off her as she took a step back, her eyes wide. She brought one hand to her now swollen lips and looked at him in shock, his earlier words now registering.

“You’re what?” she whispered, rooted to the spot, unable to take her eyes of him.

“Do I have to bloody repeat myself for you Granger?” Malfoy growled, pride injured from Hermione pushing herself off him. He had enjoyed that kiss and didn’t want it to stop.

“But that can’t be!” she still said quietly to herself, pulling her gaze away from his eyes and staring at the scene around her. They were still standing in the Hogwarts grounds in the rain at night, yet the whole world felt different now.

“Why do you always have to question every little thing?” Malfoy retorted taking another step towards her and grabbing her to him, although this time Hermione was prepared and with a resounding smack, she slapped him across the face. The sound was muffed in the rain, but it was still enough to cause the look of disbelief to wash across Malfoy’s face.

“What the hell was that for?” he yelled angrily.

“That was for kissing me Malfoy. In case you’ve forgotten I’m taken and I hate you!” she screamed back, all her fury and rage from that night suddenly being released in one instant.

“How could I forget the Weasel”, Malfoy mocked, laughing derisively. “The bloody fool doesn’t even know how to take care of his Mudblood girlfriend!” And with a snap of her wrist, Hermione had slapped him across the face again.

“Don’t you ever dare use that word on me again, is that understood?” she hissed dangerously, and Malfoy only then noticed she was holding her wand. He eyed it warily as Hermione glared at him again. It was no use trying to talk any sense into him. She turned on her heel and stormed back up to the castle, hoping Malfoy had enough common sense to leave her alone now. She stormed up to the sixth floor to the Heads common room, not even caring if she was making a racket or getting herself into trouble. She just stomped into the common room and made her way up to her room, not stopping until the door was safely slammed behind her.


A/N's: Ha ha that was so much fun writing and I betcha you're really getting irritated as to what happens next.

Pothead I found so hilarious I just had to use it. I doubt Malfoy ever called Harry that but I thought it such a perfect name to call him that. Maybe it was the image of Harry as an actual pothead that seemed so amusing in my head. What can I say I have a weird sense of humour! That should probably be credited to the British tabloids when the whole scandal came out of Prince Harry caught smoking dope. They were the first to coin the phrase Harry Pothead.

Also credited should go to the Draco/Hermione fic on HPFF Let It Rain which helped me write the kissing scene. Good story, so addictive, the whole genre. I feel myself being sucked in. Help me and please give me a good Ron/Hermione fic before I'm lost to all good!...


Chapter 5: Regret, Guilt And Fights
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CHAPTER 5 Regret, Guilt And Fights


I'll rest my head tonight, thoughts I can't reveal.
The shame inside of me, the fate they've tried to seal.
If you could use your hands, what would you use them for?
Would it be to strangle me, or just try to ignore,
The fact that they don't care, why they stop and stare?
Why they put you in that dusty dirty chair?
Everyday is hard, hard for you to survive.
While we maintain this materialistic paradise.

And I went to sleep last night wondering how I'd feel.
When the world just came.
Guilt (Hold Down) by Fingertip

“Damn!” were the first words, that a very weary Hermione cried out in her bed the next morning. She had been tossing and turning for the better part of the night and when she did manage to catch a few hours of sleep, it was fitful, filled with dreams she couldn’t remember but knew were thoughts she should not be having.

“Crap!” she cried out crassly, huffing loudly as she unceremoniously threw her duvet covers off her and sat up. Her hair was in an even bigger mess than usual, resembling more a tangled disarray of fur than human hair. Hermione yawned and rubbed her eyes, hoping she didn’t look too much worse for wear. Undoubtedly the restlessness and insomnia she had been feeling would be easily evidenced by her own state. Hopefully Ron would never guess there was something wrong with her. Just the thought of him, and she flashed back to the events of the last night with surprising clarity. How could she have let Malfoy kiss her like that? It didn’t matter that Hermione felt more alive during that moment of their kiss than she had with Ron the last three months, because at the end of the day she had a boyfriend who loved her dearly. Oh how the guilt weighed her down. Hermione let out a depressed sigh and flopped back down onto her pillow, closing her eyes and wishing it would all go away. She felt absolutely horrendous for doing that. How could she have let her arch enemy take advantage of her and kiss her like that. She could destroy everything that way if she wasn’t careful. She could lose Ron.

“Oh God!” she cried sitting up and drawing her knees closer to her. She cradled them protectively as that thought flashed through her mind. She could lose Ron. A single tear ran down her cheek. She couldn’t lose him, he was so precious to her, no matter what the problems may be, he was her link to sanity. She needed him. Oh what had she done? Hermione dropped her head to her knees and sighed. She could lose Ron. This thing with Malfoy needed to stop before it got out of hand. If Ron ever knew...

Hermione sniffed away the tears, quickly wiping them away with the palms of her hands and sat up straighter on her bed. The charade with Malfoy must end, it had gone too far and it needed to be stopped before someone got hurt. Hermione knew without a shadow of a doubt that she had cheated on Ron last night. True she had never initiated that kiss, nor had she helped Malfoy’s advances, but she was just as much to blame for it all. After all it takes two to tango, or in her and Malfoy’s case to snog each other in the rain. Hermione didn’t know how Ron would react if she told him the truth, he would probably flip and dump her immediately. Hermione was too scared to lose him, so she closed her eyes and swallowed down the horrible feeling she had been feeling in the pit of her stomach since she woke up. She would have to lie to him. As far as her and Ron were concerned nothing happened last night and she would have to pray very hard to hope Malfoy would be sensible to shut his mouth and stick with that story. She pushed down the queasy feeling in her stomach and that ominous sensation of dread that she supposed was guilt and slowly got out of bed. Thank god today was a Saturday, she reasoned with herself, trying to find a bright side to her messy predicament. At least there were no classes with Malfoy, but that also meant no distraction. As she padded over to the wooden chair in the corner of her room, she pulled out her bathrobe from a small pile of clothes and quickly put it on but not before sneezing loudly.

“Oh great!” she grumbled to herself, pulling a face as she quickly tied her hair up. Now she was coming down with a cold too. Stupid Hermione for going outside in the rain last night and stupid Malfoy for following her. It was his fault she now had a cold beckoning! Grabbing the nearest tissue she blew her nose, grumbling further about Malfoy’s incompetence, her mind flashing back to that kiss in the rain that had started this whole nonsense. The feel of Malfoy’s lips on hers, his rough and savage, yet very passionate kiss was enough to induce a shiver to run down Hermione’s spine. It seemed his touch was burned into her memory and no matter how hard she tried to shake it free, she could not let go of that feeling. The feeling of her being pressed against him was very exciting and exhilarating and how she craved it so much-

“No Hermione!” she shouted to herself, sighing and then shaking her head. “Talking to yourself, either a by product of being an only child or the first sign of madness” she added to herself, rolling her eyes. She was inclined to go with the latter. She had to stop thinking about Malfoy in that way. Hermione would have to go cold turkey on Malfoy. Hermione gathered up her things and padded barefoot to her Heads bathroom, for once delighting in the fact she would not bump into any of her friends along the way. Sometimes being a Head girl really did have its uses.


Almost an hour later Hermione finally trudged along the house tables and found Ron and Harry at the end of the table, as usual deep in conversation. They both looked up when they heard the dull sounds of footsteps and smiled, immediately making room for Hermione in between them.

“Morning Hermione”, they chorused, grinning broadly and Hermione gave them a weak smile and nodded, pulling a bowl of cereal towards her. She ignored their smiles and began eating, wishing she didn’t have to deal with their exuberance. She was far too exhausted for that.

“You’ll never believe what happened ‘Mione”, Ron beamed, wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her closer towards him. Hermione squirmed awkwardly in his arms, finally pulling a bit away from him. The guilt in her stomach increased and Hermione lowered her head, hoping their bushy long hair would obscure her face so Ron wouldn’t see the painful look in her eyes.

“Hey what’s wrong ‘Mione”, Ron asked, lowering his head and moving some of her hair away to look at her. Just at that moment Hermione let out a loud sneeze and lifted her head away from the table and the food.

“I’m sorry Ron, I’m just coming down with a little cold”, she smiled slightly, composing her face so she would look more cheerful and it wouldn’t be betraying the guilt and remorse she was feeling. “Tell me what happened”.

“It was the greatest thing ever to watch, apart from the ferret incident with Malfoy. Malfoy was sneaking around the corridors late last night and Snape caught him. Gave him such a telling off, it was sweet. The git even tried to argue with him!” Ron laughed, rolling his eyes. “Stupid mistake wasn’t it Harry?”

Harry laughed, his eyes glazing over for a second, as he remembered the moment and suddenly came to, nodding his head.

“That just got Snape worked up even more. Gave Malfoy one hell of a detention”, Ron continued, grinning broadly at the memory.

“Sounds interesting”, Hermione replied nonplussed, “But why were you out so late at night and why didn’t they see you?”

“Harry’s cloak”, Ron replied and Hermione smiled. She should have guessed that. “We wanted to head out onto the grounds, but the double doors were locked”.

“Why did you want to head out there?” Hermione asked, her eyes widening. She was sweating slightly, so close to getting caught. Her stomach churned once more, reminding her of her deceit and she dropped her gaze onto her cereal. Suddenly she didn’t feel very hungry anymore.

“Oh nothing in particular”, Ron replied evasively and wrapped another arm around Hermione, so that she lay against his chest. Hermione smiled guiltily at him when he beamed down and wished with all her might she wouldn’t feel so horrible right now.


During Prefects meeting the next night, Hermione was still not feeling any better. If anything her slight cold had formed itself into a fully blown flu and she was regularly seen sneezing and coughing during the speeches. As usual the Prefects were sitting in a semi circle around the Head Girl, and today of all days Anthony Goldstein decided he didn’t want to appear. Hermione huffed slightly, growing increasingly irritated with her fellow Co-Head. She didn’t mind too much when he normally disappeared, she was more than capable of handling everything on her own and it gave her a great sense of satisfaction when she realised how well she was doing everything on her own, but now that she was ill she really needed some help and he, of course was not there to give it. She would have to get through this on her own.

“I don’t think there’s anything new we need to add to the list of confiscated materials, although I would like to ask the Hufflepuff Prefects to keep an eye on their house, to make sure no more of these dangerous fake wands turn up again. I don’t think we need a repeat of what happened to Tristan George”, Hermione concluded and looked down at the list she had made on a spare parchment on her lap. “I think that’s about all. You can leave, if there’s anything you need I’ll talk to you now”, Hermione finished and the Prefects got up of their seats, chatting animatedly between each other, while Hermione wrote some final notes onto her parchment. Ron walked up toward her and sat down on the desk next to her.

“You really don’t sound too good ‘Mione. I don’t think you should go to classes tomorrow, you need bed rest, and what a perfect excuse to skive off classes”, he added grinning broadly.

“Ron”, she sighed, shaking her head though a sly smile had formed at the corner of her mouth, “You know very well I wouldn’t skive off classes for anything. Anyway I’ll be fine, if it gets any worse I’ll head to Madam Pomfrey and let her give me something to get rid of this flu”, she smiled and let out a hacking cough.
Hermione tapped her upper chest, trying to clear her lungs, but she kept on coughing. Ron tapped her on the beck, until her coughing fit ceased and she smiled gratefully up at him.

“Well if you won’t skive off classes, how about you stay a little longer with me and Harry in the common room, we haven’t seen you in ages there and we could try and feed you hot soup to make you better”.

“Ron, I love you very much”, Hermione began, grinning up at him. She let out another cough and pulled out a spare tissue, blowing her nose. “But I don’t think I’ll drink anything you and Harry make up. You’ll understand that I don’t want any food poisoning and you’re both hopeless in the kitchen!”

Ron looked slightly affronted, but shrugged his shoulders at Hermione.

“But I will come visit you two. I miss your company”, she added and beamed up at Ron. She leaned in and gave him a chaste kiss before dropping her head onto his shoulder.

“For the sake of all of us, please don’t do that. I think I’m going to hurl!” the cool, silken voice of Draco Malfoy drawled, as he walked up to where Ron and Hermione were sitting.

“Shove off Malfoy, before you get what’s coming to him”, Ron replied with venom, almost automatically.

“Oooh Weasel”, Malfoy mocked, pulling a scared face. “I’m frightened out of my wits!”

“What do you want anyway?” Ron shot back, irritated.

“I need to speak to Granger, so that means you can scamper off to Pothead and scurry off in whatever little hole you came from”, Malfoy smirked, laughing to himself.

Hermione squirmed uncomfortably in Ron’s arms, wishing more than anything Malfoy would disappear so she wouldn’t have to deal with him in her weakened state. Ron seemed to have sensed how uncomfortable Hermione was and when he looked at her, he saw she had her head dropped slightly, as if trying to avoid the situation.

“You’ll leave Hermione alone Malfoy, now why don’t you scamper off and stop bothering us!” Ron drew himself up and glared at Malfoy.

“What can’t the mudblood speak for herself anymore?” Malfoy laughed a derisive laugh and sneered at them from his pointed nose.

“You’ll watch your mouth Malfoy!” Ron hissed, standing up quickly and drawing out his wand. Hermione sighed. It seems she would have to deal with the situation herself after all.

She slowly got up and turned to Ron, “I’ve nothing to say to him anyway Ron. Come on let’s go. We stop by at the Hospital Wing and I’ll get a potion of Madam Pomfrey”. She looked him levelly in the eyes and he finally nodded his head and lowered his wand. Wrapping a protective arm around her waist, the two walked out of the empty classroom, leaving behind a disgruntled Malfoy.


Draco Malfoy was pissed! Currently, he was storming through the corridors of Hogwarts in search of the bushy-haired Know-It-All that was Head Girl. If she didn’t stop this idiot ploy of hers, he was going to get really mad.
He glowered at a frightened looking Slytherin first year, shouting over his retreating back, “Detention Thursday 8pm with Filch, Belchey and if you’re late there’ll be hell to pay!” This was even more proof to how infuriated he was at that very moment. Never in his entire six and a half years at Hogwarts would he ever dream of giving detention to one of his own. It was all Granger’s fault. Malfoy gritted his teeth and turned a sharp left at the next junction, growling slightly under his breath at that insufferable wench. It had all started the day after he had kissed her in the rain after detention. He wasn’t quite sure what came over him, but suddenly all the arguing and prodding was getting too much and he pulled her towards him and kissed her. Malfoy put it down to hormones and an anger she was always able to evoke in him. The matter didn’t help his temper when she slapped him afterwards and stormed back into the castle. He had to admit to himself, provoking Granger had become an amusing pastime over the last few weeks. She was an easy target and there was something about her electric temper, the way she stood up to his insults, almost bristling with energy and sexuality, that really ensnared Malfoy. He almost couldn’t help himself with her, and before he even realised what had happened, he was suddenly desiring Granger’s company, to enjoy more of that bristling temper of hers, that temper she released when angry. It was probably what caught the Weasel too, though Malfoy doubted he would ever be able to make full use of Granger’s vibrancy. He was too much of a lumbering oaf to fully appreciate what he had.

But Malfoy knew exactly what to make of Granger. She needed to be pushed and tested. She needed to fight and clash constantly, it caused her to be so enticing, and now that Malfoy realised he was attracted to her, he needed to have her. Damn the Weasel and faithfulness, he wanted Granger and nothing was going to stop him! That’s what enraged him so much over the last few days. After that kiss she had fled and since then she had been ignoring every single one of his advances, backing off instead of rising to the challenge and in some cases, like the Prefect meeting on Sunday, running away. Damn the Weasel for getting in the way there. She wouldn’t even look at him and Malfoy tried his hardest in Potions, when they had to finish their potion together, to get Granger to interact with him, but she had either ignored his snide remarks, brushed off his advances and even blandly refused to talk to him. How was he meant to enjoy that vibrancy that was Mudblood Granger if she didn’t even acknowledge him. Detention every night had also been a complete and utter failure, she had devised a new tactic that was just completely ignoring Malfoy and it had infuriated him to no end. In the end he just ended up breaking one of the suits of armour they were cleaning in a desperate attempt to get her attention, but she had just lazily repaired the damage with her wand and continued cleaning.

He was frustrated beyond belief and even Pansy Parkinson couldn’t relieve his frustration no matter how hard she tried. In the end Malfoy had just thrown her off him and stormed out of the common room. He knew he would get some raised eyebrows later on, but he didn’t care. That was how he ended up stalking through the corridors like the whole world had wronged him on that rainy and dreary Wednesday night. Tonight was not his night for patrolling so he should have been back in his common room, since it was after curfew, but he wasn’t in the mood. Granger was patrolling tonight, and if he was right in guessing, it meant the idiot Ravenclaw Head Boy would be absent again. Goldstein would be found out soon enough, Malfoy mused to himself, smirking at the thought, and when it happened, Malfoy would enjoy it very much.

“Serves him right for sneaking out nearly every night”, he sneered and walked on. No matter what happened to Goldstein, it meant Granger would be patrolling on her own, so that meant all Malfoy had to do was find her in this blasted castle. He was tired of Granger running away from him, he wanted her and that meant he would have to find her and shake her until she returned to normal. It was for her own good really.

He walked on for another twenty minutes along the eighth floor corridors, and was about to give up, when he spotted the swirling of school robes up ahead of him, and the distinctive bushy mane that was Granger’s. Malfoy smirked to himself and quietly sneaked up behind her until he was right behind her and whispered in her ear.

“So this is where you’ve been hiding yourself Granger”.

Hermione spun around, a shocked look on her face as her eyes widened when she saw who it was.

“What are you doing here Malfoy?” The surprise in her voice, meant she had not yet fully registered his presence here.

“I’m here to pick up where we left it Saturday night before you ran off on me”, he replied huskily, taking another step towards her.

Hermione slowly backed away from him, not quite meeting his eyes. “That was a mistake Malfoy and I won’t be doing anything like that with you again”

“Oh really Granger?” Malfoy smirked, taking another two steps towards her.
Hermione back off even more and bumped into the wall. She looked up at Malfoy quickly and turned to run, but Malfoy was quicker and stopped her with his hand.
“Really”, she replied, though her voice was wavering. Malfoy seemed to smirk even more at this and he placed both hands on the wall, effectively trapping her in.

Hermione could feel his hot breath on her neck, he was so close yet Hermione wished more than anything to be very far away. He was also smirking at her, which drove her crazy, and she realised, as she looked up into his cold grey eyes, that she wanted to let go. He was driving her crazy again and he hadn’t even really done anything. Hermione needed to get away from him before she done something she would regret.

“What a feeble attempt at an excuse Granger”, Malfoy drawled, looking at her lips and then flicking his gaze up at her again, a smirk on his face.

“Malfoy please don’t”, Hermione said, her breath catching under his intense gaze.

“Malfoy what the hell are you doing?” Ron shouted, storming down the corridor. Hermione’s head whipped around so fast she cricked her neck. She rubbed it, wincing at the pain and looked at Ron. He looked pretty mad, though Hermione was relieved to see it was not directed at her. She let out a sigh of breath that caused Malfoy to smirk even more.

“I’m talking to Granger, do you mind?” he sneered, then turned his attention to Hermione, who glared daggers at him. Ron stormed up to them, grabbed Malfoy by the shoulder and pushed him away from Hermione.

“Don’t you dare try and intimidate my girlfriend Malfoy?” Ron growled, bristling with anger. His cheeks were reddening to match the colour of his hair.

“Intimidating you girlfriend?” Malfoy laughed mockingly at this. “I really don’t think Granger minded all that much. In fact she seems quite keen on it. Mustn’t be getting any satisfaction from her boyfriend-“

Malfoy was cut off, when Ron charged at him a second later and punched him squarely in the face. Malfoy stumbled backwards from the blow, a shocked and surprised look on his face. Ron marched up to Hermione, took her hand and walked off, leaving behind a stunned Malfoy.

“That blasted ferret is really gonna get what coming to him”, Ron fumed, more to himself than Hermione. She just followed him, wincing inwardly from his intense grip on her hand.

“Ron where are we going?” Hermione asked timidly as they walked up a flight of steps.

“To your common room, we can’t talk in the Gryffindor one and I want to know what’s going on”.

“Going on?” Hermione asked, stopping and pulling at his hand so he turned to face her.

“Hermione can we please just discuss this in your common room?” Ron asked tersely, pulling at her hand and walking on again.

“Ron, what is wrong with you?” Hermione cried out, yanking him to a stop. She walked up to him, and gently with her hand turned his face to her. “Why can’t we discuss it here?”

“Because I don’t want the whole school to know”, Ron replied stiffly.

“The whole school is in bed and since when has it ever bothered you when you and I argued in front of a crowd? Now Ron will you please tell me why you’re so mad?”

“That fucking ferret is the problem Hermione, or hadn’t you noticed yet?” Ron shouted, his temper flaring once again. Hermione winced slightly at his crude language and his fury.

“Why are you letting him get to you Ron, you know very well he’s only doing that to wind you up!” Hermione countered, hoping that if she kept her voice low he would calm down.

“Why are you letting him so close to you?” Ron gritted in reply, folding his arms across his chest and glaring at her.

“Excuse me?” Hermione cried, stunned. Her eyes flitted from Ron’s angry face to the corridor behind him, not quite sure how to handle the situation. Did he know of her kiss with Malfoy or did he just guess there was something going on. But she had been avoiding Malfoy so well for the last few days. Maybe it wasn’t enough.

“What were you doing exactly against the wall when I walked in on you two?”

“I was doing my rounds and Malfoy wouldn’t leave me alone. What do you think I was doing or don’t you trust me anymore Ron?” Hermione cried, throwing her hands up in the air. She was looking at Ron, with a mixture of shock and hurt in her eyes.

“Sometimes I really wonder about that Hermione”, Ron replied dismissively, and then without another word he turned around and walked away from her.


Chapter 6: Lying To Herself
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A/N's: How did I get 2300 reads? Did I miss something? I'm a little speechless, thanks you guys, and more importantly thank you for all the brilliant reviews! They've rather been growing in number. I feel so chuffed!
I was also rather surprised no-one mentioned anything about Anthony Goldstein. I thought I had left anvil-sized hints behind that there was something amiss there, but I guess the whole Ron/Hermione/Malfoy triangle was more predominant. Well you'll see more of Goldstein in this chapter and it'll all be explained in the next one, which leads to a rather fun and exciting new storyline. I'm looking forward to it!
That's basically it for now, so go and enjoy the chapter. Sorry if it seems shorter than what you're used to. It just didn't want to be a long one. Ah well.
Agrolass


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"I just can’t get you out of my head
Boy your lovin’ is all I think about
I just can’t get you out of my head
Boy it’s more than I dare to think about

There’s a dark secret in me
Don’t leave me locked in your heart
Set me free
Feel the need in me
Set me free
Stay forever
And ever and ever and ever".
Can't Get You Outta My Head by Kylie Minogue


Lying To Herself


Hermione stood there in disbelief at what Ron had just said. Were things really that bad between them that they didn’t even trust each other anymore? Suddenly Hermione felt so horribly guilty, she let out a small sob. Ron had every right not to trust her, she had cheated on him by kissing Malfoy. She didn’t deserve him, but she couldn’t live without him either. So she done the only thing she could. She ran after him. Hermione finally caught up with Ron on the seventh floor corridor near the entrance to the Heads common room. She vaguely wondered why he hadn’t made his way back down to the Gryffindor common room, but pushed that aside as she ran up to him.

“Ron wait!” she called out and he stopped, though he did not turn around and face her. “You can’t just leave it at that and just walk off. We have to talk about this!”

“That’s a change!”, he replied, his back still to her. “It seems lately you don’t tell me at all how you are”.

“Ron please just turn around and talk to me properly”, Hermione pleaded, gingerly walking up to him and lightly pulling at his arm. He reluctantly turned around to face her. His expression was emotionless and Hermione grew worried. “Come on let’s go back to my common room”. She smiled slightly at him and he followed her.

When the portrait had finally shut behind him, Hermione lightly pulled at his hand and sat down next to him on a sofa.

“What exactly is going on between you and Malfoy?” he pressed again, and Hermione gulped.

“Nothing Ron, he’s just being as irritating as ever. He’s just trying to unsettle me that’s all”, Hermione replied, looking him straight in the eyes. She knew she was lying through the teeth, but Ron couldn’t find out.

“It just seems that every time I turn around you’re talking to him, and the thing that I don’t understand is you aren’t telling him to fuck off!” Ron cried, shaking his head in disbelief and turning his attention on Hermione.

Hermione frowned and automatically answered with a “Please don’t swear Ron”, before stopping and looking down at her hands. He was speaking the truth, and she was mildly surprised that he had picked up on those things, her assessment of his character a few years earlier making her burn with shame. She had no right to say he had the emotional range of a teaspoon or that he couldn’t understand people’s feelings.

“What do you want me to say Ron?” she asked quietly, not looking up at him. “There’s nothing going on between us”.

“I want you to tell me there isn’t and never will, because I don’t think I could ever handle that!” Ron replied solemnly.

Hermione looked up into his bright blue eyes and she knew at that instant she would hate herself forever, for what she was about to do. She took in a big gulp of air, as if preparing for a battle and replied.

“I would never and will never do anything with Malfoy, Ron”, she said, not once breaking eye contact with him. She knew she was lying to him and the guilt and shame was eating away at her insides again, but the thought of losing him was too great to bear. Maybe by keeping eye contact with Ron and saying it with such sincerity, she could convince herself of it too.

Ron nodded his head and smiled at her, pulling her towards him, so that her head was lying against his chest.

“I’m sorry for not believing you ‘Mione. I should never have doubted you!”

“It’s okay Ron”, she mumbled into his chest, too ashamed to look up.

“You’re right I shouldn’t let Malfoy get to me like that. He just really pissed me off, played on my fears, I guess”, he continued on.

Hermione mumbled something incoherently in reply.

“I should just listen to you all the time, you’re too perfect to be wrong!” Ron added, grinning broadly and brushing her hair lightly from her face. Hermione buried herself deeper into his chest, feeling horrendous. How could Ron think she was perfect, she was deeply flawed and all to aware of it.

“Don’t say that Ron, I’m not perfect and I don’t think I could live up to that estimation either”, she had looked up at Ron, her eyes filled with worry.

“I know, I’m sorry”, he replied, smiling down at her.

“Don’t apologise either”, she smiled back up at him, feeling much safer and secure in his arms. It was amazing how just lying in Ron’s arms could make all the troubles in the world disappear. She could feel Malfoy receding along with all the problems that were associated with him. They lay there on the sofa for another while, until Hermione finally stirred and looked at her watch. It was way past curfew at this point and she shifted in Ron’s arms, causing him to let go of her.

“’Sup ‘Mione?” he groaned tiredly.

“It’s late Ron, you had better go back to Gryffindor Tower before you get in trouble”, she replied, sitting up straighter on the sofa.

“Can’t I just stay with you the night?” Ron pouted, pulling a face that caused Hermione to laugh lightly.

“No, we have school tomorrow and what will Dean and Seamus say when they find out you didn’t stay in your bed during the night?” Hermione laughed in return.

“I’d say they’d congratulate me”, Ron grinned mischievously.

“Ron!” Hermione cried out and shoved him off her, standing up with her hands on her hips.

“What I’m not bragging!” Ron cried in return.

“I think you should go now, before I do something they might congratulate me for!” she thundered, though a playful smile formed on her lips.

“Fine!” he pouted and got up, kissing her lightly. Hermione smiled indulgently up at him as he crossed the common room and left through the portrait.

* * *


Hermione was walking down the eighth floor corridor, sighing deeply to herself. It was late at night, well past her own curfew, but with the Head Boy absent once more, she was forced to patrol all on her own. Sometimes even she tired of her position, and this was one of those rare few moments. She had no-one to help her out as Anthony was always absent and she was far too tired to care if students were still roaming about that night. She was in a deserted corridor and was just about to give up and head in for the night, when a cold drawl whispered into her ear.

“So this is where you’ve been hiding yourself Granger”, Malfoy drawled and Hermione spun around, a shocked look on her face. He was standing very close to her and she was all too aware of his breath tickling her neck.

She replied, her voice quite breathless, “What are you doing here Malfoy?”

“I’m here to pick up where we left it Saturday night before you ran off on me”, he replied huskily, taking another step towards her.

Hermione slowly backed away from him, not quite meeting his eyes. “That was a mistake Malfoy and I won’t be doing anything like that with you again”

“Oh really Granger?” Malfoy smirked, taking another two steps towards her.
Hermione back off even more and bumped into the wall. She looked up at Malfoy quickly and turned to run, but Malfoy was quicker and stopped her with his hand.
“Really”, she replied, though her voice was wavering. Malfoy seemed to smirk even more at this and he placed both hands on the wall, effectively trapping her in.
Hermione could feel his hot breath on her neck, he was so close yet Hermione wished more than anything to be very far away. He was also smirking at her, which drove her crazy, and she realised, as she looked up into his cold grey eyes, that she wanted to let go. He was driving her crazy again and he hadn’t even really done anything. Hermione needed to get away from him before she done something she would regret.

“What a feeble attempt at an excuse Granger”, Malfoy drawled, looking at her lips and then flicking his gaze up at her again, a smirk on his face.

“Malfoy please don’t”, Hermione said, her breath catching under his intense gaze.

“Don’t what?” Malfoy remarked, cocking his head a slow grin forming on his face. Hermione looked up into his steel grey eyes, her breath catching once more under his intense gaze.

“Malfoy I have a-“ she whispered, but was cut off by Malfoy’s lips crashing down on her own. She was momentarily caught by shock and surprise, but when a warm hand snaked around her back, pulling her closer, she reciprocated and brought her arms around his neck. She entangled one of her hands in his sleek white, blonde hair, as Malfoy grabbed a fistful of her hair as he drew her closer, devouring her mouth. Hermione moaned lightly at his rough and exhilarating touch, deepening the kiss. Their tongues danced a fiery passionate dance, while their hosts were kissing like there was no tomorrow. Malfoy cupped her ass, squeezing it roughly, causing Hermione to moan once more, but never once did they break their kiss. Hermione craved Malfoy’s kiss, his touch and his attention, she needed more of him. She felt like she was drowning in the feelings, but it wasn’t enough. It could never be enough for the lust she was feeling at that moment. She jumped lightly into his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist as Malfoy held her in place. They swayed for a few moments, trying to regain their balance before Malfoy rammed her up against the wall again and resumed their passionate kissing.

“Malfoy”, Hermione whispered, her voice still shaky. She pulled away a little from the kiss, as if trying to regain some form of control over her disordered mind.

“If you’re going to say stop it, Granger”, Malfoy growled, leaning in and kissing her passionately once more.

“No, I need more”, she answered, pulling away from the kiss and staring deep into his grey eyes. A slow smirk formed on his impassive features and he leant in once again, kissing her like there was no tomorrow.



Hermione’s eyes sprung open, her mind racing with her beating heart. Had she just dreamed that? It felt too vivid to be a dream, yet that same evening that was replaying in her dream was different from reality, so it must have been. Her heart was hammering heavily against her constricted chest, and she let out a shaky breath, covering her mouth with her hands. The dream felt so real, she could swear she could still feel Malfoy’s rough lips on her own, his hands on her body, pressed against her. Oh god, now she was even dreaming about encounters with the Slytherin Prefect. She sat up straight in her bed and knew there was going to be no sleep for her that night.

“This can’t be happening!” Hermione cried aloud, but no-one was there to hear her cry. A silent tear escaped her blinking eyes and trailed it’s way down her cheeks. She was trying so hard, fighting so much to make everything the way it used to be, before Malfoy came and destroyed it all. She was tired and frustrated of fighting all the time, battling against herself and fighting with Ron over this. She just wanted to give up, but that wasn’t an option. For once in her life Hermione actually wanted to let go of her inhibitions and just feel something she never felt before, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t let herself fall for Malfoy, she couldn’t let herself destroy everything with Ron.

Oh I am so tired!, she thought to herself, wishing more than anything she could fall into a dreamless sleep again, but as she lay on the mattress and closed her eyes, she knew it would be alluding her.

The fight with Ron and having to deal with Malfoy had drained her of all her spare energy. Her body was aching with tiredness, but her mind was wide awake. She tossed and turned in her bed for another while, trying so hard to fall asleep again, but after half an hour of trying she gave up.

Hermione gazed up at the wooden rafters on her ceiling, wondering where and why everything had gone so wrong. Her and Ron had been fine for so long, they were happy and content with each other, but somewhere down the road things had changed, and she stopped being satisfied with what she had. Or maybe things had never been right between the two, maybe the sparks had left a long time ago, and once Malfoy came into the picture, offering her the excitement she was craving she couldn’t say no.

She was trying her hardest with Ron, but it didn’t seem to be working. Maybe it was time to finally talk to him about their problems, hell she had probably waited too long for that anyway. Yes, tomorrow, Hermione decided, she would talk to Ron about them and try and sort things out once and for all. She turned over on her side, and when she realised after another painfully long half hour, that she still couldn’t get to sleep, Hermione slid out from under her covers and padded across her wooden floor to the door. If she couldn’t sleep, she would have to keep herself entertained in some other way. The was always homework to do, or a book to read. She fumbled blindly in the dark for a moment, not wanting to turn on the lights and hurt her eyes, before locating her school bag next to the door and heading out into the dimly lit common room. The fire was still burning slowly, having been reduced to its embers, and Hermione made herself comfortable on the sofa nearest to the fireplace, pulling out a heavy library book to read.

Hermione had just gotten through the second chapter, her head resting lightly on the arm of the sofa, when the portrait door was loudly opened. Hermione jumped up, peering over the back of the sofa, to see a very nervous and agitated looking Head Boy come strolling into the common room, too caught up in his own thoughts to notice Hermione. She in turn took in his dishevelled appearance, his crumpled and dirty school robes, covered in bits of dirt and dust, his hair askew and covered in a light sheen of soot.

“Anthony?” Hermione called out, her face filled with bewilderment.

Anthony spun around on his heel, a mixture of surprise now written all over his troubled face. “Hermione what are you doing up so late?”

“I was going to ask you the same thing”, she replied quickly, sitting up and leaning into the back of the sofa as she observed his agitated demeanour. “What’s the matter? And where were you?”

“I was out”, he replied distractedly, his gaze flickering from Hermione to take in the rest of the common room. When he saw no-one else was there, his features relaxed somewhat.

“Out where?” she queried, her eyebrow raising in confusion. “You’ve covered in dirt and what looks like dust? Were you in some kind of a tunnel or something?”

“Why do you say that?” he asked sharply, fixing his full attention on the brunette.

“You’re covered in dust and soot. What’s going on Anthony?” her tone was much firmer than before and it meant business.

“It’s nothing to do with you”, he replied dismissively.

“Yes it does, since I’m Head Girl and your partner in this, your absences and strange re-appearance is very much my business, now tell me what is going on?”

“I was out like I said”, he replied, folding his arms, though Hermione gave him an intimidating glare, and he shrugged his shoulders, unfolding his arms and continuing, “I was in Hogsmeade. I just need you to do something for me. If any teachers ask you where I was can you please just tell them I was here all night?”
“Why what did you do?” Hermione asked suspiciously.

“I don’t want to discuss it”, was his reply and he crossed his arms across his chest once again, to emphasise his point.

“Well then tell me, why the teachers would think otherwise?”

“I think I was caught by a teacher out in the corridor when I was returning. Can you just promise me you’ll say that?” he pleaded, giving her a plaintive look.

Hermione crossed her own arms across her chest, fixing Anthony with an intense gaze as she pondered what he was asking of her.

A/N's: It's a bit of an abrupt ending, but it's meant to be like that. The next chapter will explain all I promise, well with Anthony Goldstein anyway!
Please leave a review, it makes my day, thank you.
Oh also because I keep forgetting to say this, all chapter banners are mine, as is the summary banner. I've just gotten into graphics and it's really addictive. Also if I used images of others I have no idea where I got them from, but they are definately not mine and the credit belongs to their creators. I think that's all.



Chapter 7: A New Head Boy
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A/N's: Well here ya go, the next chapter. I know you've all been dying for me to update and I'm quite impresseed with myself that I updated now, because I'm on my hols for a week and thanks to the fabulous-ness that are laptops and wireless internet in hotels I was not only able to write but also do another chapter banner and those can be just as important to me as the actual chapter. Anyway now that I have a laptop and will be regularly checking up on things I will expect reviews! lol Please leave them if you want, it makes me happy and a happy author writes faster!
Hey I just noticed a bit of a plot hole in the first chapter. It said right at the start she was sitting on a window sill in the Gryffindor common room early one morning waiting for Ron and Harry to come down to the common room, but she wouldn’t generally be there that early in the morning considering how she had her own common room. So to answer that little plot hole we’ll just assume that as Head Girl she knows all the passwords to the common rooms and went to the Gryffindor one to wait for Harry and Ron one morning.
You know I’ve also been wondering where Harry is. I seriously forgot about him, he’s probably buried under the pile of notes and sheets that litter my computer desk that contain all my fanfic ideas. Poor guy must be getting crushed, and the amount of paper cuts he must have. I’M SORRY HARRY!!!! Now back to the story
Anyway enough of the ramblings, my laptop is going to die on me now, so on with the story. Just so you know it is an in between chapter but it's meant to be that way. I still think you'll like it.
On with the story!
Agrolass


CHAPTER 7 A New Head Boy

Your scent eats through my heart
Your body soaks up my affection
And if I get to close
I, will scar my intention

It comes and goes like sunlight
Seeping into my mind
It keeps me stirring in deep of night
Your mood holds my destruction……

Coz I’m powerless to you
No chance for me now
So under control
No chance for me now
I’m fighting desire……….
Fighting Desire By Callar Door


Hermione was leaning against the back of the sofa, her arms propped over the back of it, intently looking at a dishevelled Anthony Goldstein, the lately absent Head Boy. She was spared giving an answer, with the portrait hole opening up again and the appearance of not only Professor Mc Gonagall in tartan tweed robes, but Professor Dumbledore in his usual attire, and the Ravenclaw Head of House Professor Flitwick in blue pyjamas, outer robe and a stern look on his face.

“Professors”, Hermione cried out in shock at their sudden appearance in the Head common room, her eyes wide. Her gaze flicked from the Professors, who were wearing unusually severe looks on their faces back to Anthony, now even more confused. Whatever the Head Boy had gotten up to, the teachers had obviously found out. And if Dumbledore was there, it meant it was serious.

“Mr Goldstein, if you would please come with us”, Mc Gonagall spoke curtly, fixing him with a cold glance. Anthony’s eyes bulged with fear and his gaze flickered over to a confused Hermione, who was still leaning against the couch, all too aware that she was the only one who didn’t have a clue what was going on. His shoulders slouched as if preparing himself for defeat and nodded his head. Professor Flitwick and Dumbledore proceeded out of the common room and Anthony followed them, his shoulders slouched in defeat, letting Mc Gonagall walk behind him.

“Professor?” Hermione called out, her eyebrows furrowed.

Professor Mc Gonagall turned around and eyed her favourite student with an appraising look. “If you could come to my office tomorrow evening around six, there are some matters that need to be discussed”.

“Of course”, Hermione replied numbly, wishing more than anything to understand what was going on. Mc Gonagall gave her a brief nod and left the Heads common room, closing the portrait behind her. Hermione sat there, leaning against the back of the sofa, in complete shock over what had happened, staring off into the space that had previously been filled up by the Head Boy and the Professors. Whatever had happened just there?


* * *


Friday afternoon for Hermione was a dull and tedious affair. For the first time in seven years of attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, she was not only not paying attention to her classes and studies, she did not actually want to partake in the lessons. The Professors were the first to notice, that Hermione’s hands were not always up in the air, ready to answer questions, and it wasn’t long afterwards that the rest of class noticed a change in her behaviour.

It was in the afternoon class of Herbology that Ron and Harry finally queried her about her lack of attention, becoming almost concerned with her. She then spent the next half hour relaying what had happened in the Heads common room the night before. Ron and Harry were more amused and surprised assuming what had happened to Goldstein than Hermione was. They were soon concocting far-fetched ideas and solutions to his absenteeism that made Hermione snort with derision. She let them mutter some more under their breath and finally put an end to the conversation by reminding them of their class work. What was also unusual, and certainly got tongues wagging among the seventh years was, the absence of the Head Boy Anthony Goldstein from class that day. Gryffindors shared two classes on a Friday with the Ravenclaw, Herbology and Arithmancy, and in both of them Anthony had not appeared. What had first began as idle speculation soon led to rumours and by the end of the school day the whole school was speculating on the gossip spreading around school, that said he had been stripped of his position and expelled.

“I heard from Hannah Abbot that he got caught with Professor Sinstra”, Ron exclaimed, as both he and Hermione were walking along the corridors after dinner. Harry was absent once again, though not as Ron had pointed out earlier on, like Goldstein had been doing for the last few weeks. To Hermione, she thought Ron was obsessing a little too much about Goldstein, which she readily pointed out to him with a smirk on her face, a moment later.

“Awww come on ‘Mione, don’t tell me you’re not the least bit curious!” he sighed, shaking his head.

“I am, I just don’t think he done anything with Professor Sinstra. Seriously Ron, where do you hear such things?”

“Hannah Abbot told me”, he objected, a little stung by her tone of voice.

“She isn’t really friends with him, apart from the fact they were both Prefects. Why do you care so much anyway?”

“Well if he gets stripped of his Head Boy duties, maybe I could be Head Boy”, he replied in a quieter tone. He looked up at Hermione, with a hopeful look on his face. “Maybe that way we can spend more time together that way”.

“Ron!” she smiled at him and gave him a peck on the cheek. Her insides squirmed uncomfortably, but she repressed the guilty feeling and continued walking.

“Back to Harry”, Hermione spoke, her mind wandering back to her other best friend. “Where has he been these last few weeks? I barely see him outside classes now, and even if I don’t live in the Gryffindor Tower anymore, it’s still weird how I don’t see him”. Ron shrugged his shoulders, not sure either where Harry was. He was beginning to feel very left out, what with Hermione off being Head Girl and fighting with him half the time, and Harry’s disappearances, he had been resorting to hanging out more with Dean and Seamus, something he felt quite desperate about.

“Wonder where the git is!” Ron grumbled. He was getting very irritated with always being left out. They walked along the corridor in silence. Up ahead of them was a broom closet and as they walked past it, Hermione had the distinct impression that he heard a girl’s giggling voice, followed by a manly laugh.

“Did you hear that Ron, coming from the closet?” Hermione asked, turning to her boyfriend on the right.

“Yeah probably just some couple”, Ron replied dismissively.

“Well they shouldn’t be getting up to such things in a broom closet”, Hermione replied sternly, turning around and making her way back to it.

“Come on Hermione!” Ron cried out exasperated. “Leave ‘em be, they’re not hurting anyone!” He let out a sigh and followed her back to the closet. Hermione was already there and she had yanked open the door, glaring imperiously at the hidden couple snoggging inside. Her eyes widened when she saw who it was. Ron came up behind her and gazed over her shoulder at his best friend, in a very compromising clinch with his baby sister, both extremely red in the face.

“Harry?” Hermione let out a surprised question. He blushed even deeper at this and shifted his gaze from Hermione to Ron, who was crossing his arms and glaring at his best friend.

“Harry, I know you’re my best mate and all, but what are you doing with my sister in there?” Ron was frowning deeply.

“Ron listen”, Harry began, gazing warily at Ron, but when Ron glared some more, he shut up.

“Oh honestly Ron!” Ginny said hotly, crossing her arms across her chest and glaring at her brother. “This is exactly why we didn’t tell you anything, you overreact to everything!”

“I’m not overreacting!” Ron retorted, his voice growing louder. “I just found my baby sister in a broom closet with my best friend, getting up to who knows what!”

“Ron”, Hermione tried to sound placating, but Ron just ignored her.

“Hey come on mate!” Harry cried out, crossing his own across his chest and gazing fiercely at his tall best friend.

“And you”, Ron cried, rounding on his little sister, who was also glaring at him, her expression much fiercer than that of Harry.

“Don’t you dare say anything Ronald!” she hissed, visibly shaking with anger. “I remember when you and Hermione got together, and we did not overreact half as much as you’re doing now!”

“I’m your older brother Ginevra!” Ron hissed, taking a step towards her, his height visibly intimidating. “Mum told me to watch over you, make sure you don’t get up to anything!”

“I’m a year younger than you!” Ginny cried out, glaring up at him. “And I’m not a little girl anymore. In case you’ve forgotten I’m turning seventeen in two months!”

“Ron!” Hermione cried out, tugging at his arm to catch his attention. He turned to Hermione, still fuming. “Come on, we should go now!”

“No, I’m going to sort this out!” he replied aggressively.

“And what are you going to do, punch Harry for being with your sister?” Hermione enquired, her voice firm and level. She raised an eyebrow at him. “Come on, you need to calm down and I think we should go now and leave them be. Maybe you might still have a best friend after this!” She glared at him pointedly, and Ron sighed, looking down. She smiled over at Harry and Ginny and began walking away, not letting go of Ron’s arm in case he got any other ideas. They walked on in silence, and Hermione could feel Ron still breathing heavily.

“Come on, it’s not that bad!” she tried, linking his hand with hers and smiling up at him.

“Not bad?” Ron fumed, “That’s my baby sister!”

“Yeah but Ginny had a point, she’s the same age we were when we got together, do you remember?” Hermione replied.

“But she’s my baby sister!” Ron stressed the emphasis of the last two words as he stopped and gazed down at Hermione.

“Well who would you rather she get together with?” Hermione piped up, placing a finger to her mouth, as if deep in thought. “Terry Boot again, or maybe someone else?”

“No!”

“Well come on, you know Harry. You know he’s honourable and frankly I’ve noticed a few months ago that he was into her. You know Harry better than others, you know he wouldn’t try anything stupid with Ginny, because she would hex him so fast, he won’t know where the Bat Bogies came from!” She grinned at this, and she felt Ron relaxing next to her.

“I suppose you’re right!” he sighed and smiled down at her. “As long as they don’t get up to what you and I get u to!” Hermione laughed at this and kissed him on the cheek, knowing full well that if she answered that question it would only incite him. Best to let him think his sister would never try anything of the sort.

“Come on, I have to go to Professor Mc Gonagall’s office, she wants to speak to me”, Hermione sighed and they trudged on towards the second floor corridor, where her office lay. When they reached the door, Ron gave her a quick kiss and walked on down the corridor. She waited until he had rounded the corridor and knocked on the door, smiling to herself. Professor Mc Gonagall opened the door and gazed imperiously down at Hermione from her impressive height.

“Ah Miss Granger, come in please!” Mc Gonagall said, stepping aside and opening the door wider. Hermione smiled nervously up at her Head of House and stepped inside, sitting down on a chair Mc Gonagall had pulled out for her.

“Now Miss Granger, I’m sure you’ve been wondering about what happened last night”, Mc Gonagall started and Hermione nodded her head. “Now bear in mind, the only reason I am telling you this, is because you are Head Girl and you will most likely want to know what happened to your co-Head. Miss Granger, I would like to ask though, why you have never told myself or another teacher of the absence of Anthony Goldstein?”

“Well Professor”, Hermione began meekly. “At first I thought he was just spending a lot of time in the Ravenclaw common room or with his friends, and when he missed the first few Prefect meetings he apologised profusely and always gave me an excuse. I just didn’t want to interfere in his life and I thought that since I was perfectly capable of handling most of the duties on my own, I didn’t see the need. I’m sorry Professor, I should have noticed something much earlier and told someone, but I was content with having the time to myself”. She looked slightly ashamed at her Head of House and gazed down at her hands on her lap.

“Very well Miss Granger, though I am a little disappointed in you!” Mc Gonagall replied sternly, though her features softened and she continued. “Anthony Goldstein has been sneaking out of the castle quite regularly these last two months to go to Hogsmeade village, to the Hogs Head in particular. We have only discovered this recently when Professor Hagrid visited that same pub and discovered Mr Goldstein, in a corner, drunk”.

“He’s been going to Hogsmeade to drink?” Hermione cried out astonished, “But why?”

“That is not important. What is important is that we stripped him of his duties and he has been suspended for the moment. Whether he shall return to Hogwarts is another matter to be decided at a later date, but the reason I have called you here, is to inform you of the situation and to tell you that you shall be getting a new co-Head, though he is still to be chosen”.

“Thank you for telling me this Professor”, Hermione replied politely.

“That is all Miss Granger, you may leave now”. Hermione nodded her head and rose from her seat, making her way out of the office, her head reeling from what she heard. She made a beeline for the Gryffindor common room, intent on telling both Ron and Harry about what she learnt, and not even five minutes later she was seated comfortably on an old sofa next to the fireplace, wrapped in Ron’s strong arms, telling an eager Ron, and a slightly wary Harry what Mc Gonagall had told her.

“Wow, did anybody see that one coming?” Ron said, obviously awed. “I mean I never knew the guy had it in him! Seriously those Ravenclaws are all so uptight, he just seemed like another Ernie Macmillian to me”.

“Ron!” Hermione admonished him, though it was without any real feeling. “Don’t talk about the Ravenclaws like that!”

“Well my money’s on Ernie becoming Head Boy!” Harry sighed somewhat lazily, not really interested in what they were discussing, and Hermione noticed, with a wry smile on her face, he seemed much keener to be somewhere else.

“Yeah I expected him to be Head Boy too. Wonder why he wasn’t chosen?” Ron replied, staring off at the ceiling, seemingly deep in thought.

“I’m sure Dumbledore has his reasons”, Hermione mused, focusing her attention on Harry. “Tell me Harry, are you sure you want to be here, you look a little distracted!” That wry smile had by this point turned into a full-blown smirk and was growing wider.

“What?” Harry asked somewhat lazily. Ron frowned at his best friend, his attention now fully focussed on Harry.

“You’re not going to go off with Ginny again are you?” he asked suspiciously.

“Ron!” Hermione cried, jumping up in his arms, her head turning around to glare at him. “I thought we talked about this. You need to lay off Harry a bit. It’s sweet that you’re protective of your sister, but she wants her own space. You promised you’d do it for me!” she pleaded with him, and Ron’s glare softened as he smiled at Hermione.

“Sorry”, he added sheepishly and he had the decency to look sheepish at Harry too.

“Look Ron, if you’re not okay with it-“ Harry started, sitting up straight and gazing evenly at Ron, who was still looking rather wary, but when Harry started on a conversation, Hermione guessed would end in Harry telling Ron he’d back off his sister, she elbowed him in the ribs.

Ron immediately realised what was going on and interjected, quickly adding, “No mate it’s alright. I’m okay with you being with Ginny, I’d rather it was you than some idiot Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw”.

“You sure Ron?” Harry asked cautiously, his hopes lifting somewhat.

“Yeah Harry, as I said I’d rather it was you, and sorry for earlier on”, Ron shrugged his shoulders.

“No problem mate”, Harry grinned.

“Honestly boys!” Hermione sighed, shaking her head at the complexity of men, or the lack of. How can they get over such things so quickly? “I think I’m going to head to bed, I’m tired and I’ll see you all in the morning”. She stood and gave Ron a quick peck on the cheek and waved at Harry before opening the portrait door and heading out. She casually made her way along the school corridors, enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the deserted corridors and lack of students. Today had been a good day for her. Malfoy had been too distracted with the news that Anthony Goldstein had been suspended to bother Hermione, or worse tempt her in some devilish way, and her and Ron had actually gotten on well all day, there were no fights and save for how tedious school felt that day, she had survived it all rather well. Tomorrow would be another day, but for now Hermione was just glad she got a moment to relax and think.

As to the matter of who would become Head Boy, she was certain it would be Ernie; he was the only candidate in her mind that would qualify for the position, since Anthony had been dropped. It was with a twinge of guilt and regret, she conceded to herself that although she loved Ron very much, he would most likely not become Head Boy as he was too rash and too prone to getting himself into trouble. The same went for Malfoy. No, she thought to herself, smiling at the thought, Ernie was the only one who could become Head Boy, and she could share the duties and common room with him very well. She rounded the corner and came upon the painting of a young couple in medieval style clothing, the boy with his unruly auburn hair was frowning down from his impressive height, while the girl, a plain looking girl with raven coloured hair carrying books in her arms and wearing an ornate dress with a travelling cloak. Hogwarts first Head Boy and Head Girl looked down at Hermione, the boy giving her a curt nod, while the girl smiled shyly and when Hermione uttered the password, opened the portrait and let Hermione through. Hermione sighed to herself now that she was back in her common room, she quickly shrugged out of her cloak and threw it onto the back of the nearest chair, loosening her tie and slipping off her shoes. She padded her way across the common room, intending to pick up her things later on, and made a beeline for the sofa closest to the fire. She was so caught in her own world, it was not until she sat down, did she realise there was another person in the room. Hermione looked up, letting out an audible gasp, her mouth hanging open in shock. She sat up straight and walked towards him, not quite believing her eyes.

“Don’t tell me you’re Head Boy?” she cried, aghast, still not believing her eyes.

“Afraid so Granger, looks like we’ll be sharing a common room for the year”, Malfoy replied, his trademark smirk growing ever wider now that he would always be around Hermione Granger.


Chapter 8: We're Not Right (Part 1)
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CHAPTER 8 We’re Not Right


You got, you got, you got
what it takes to make me leave my man

It's hard to control myself
It's hard to control myself
You got, you got, you got
What it takes to make this boy be bad

It's hard to control myself
It's hard to control myself

It's hard for me to control myself
and to hold myself back from jumpin' on ya
like I wanna, like I wanna, wanna
Control Myself by LL Cool J and Jennifer Lopez



Whatever Hermione had done in her past life, the Fates were truly punishing her for it now. Said punishment in question alternated between giving her the worst person to share a common room and Heads position with and placing the one man she had the most trouble resisting right outside her Head Girl room. Whatever she had done to piss off the Fates, she was truly doomed! Hermione really had no idea how she survived the first six days with Malfoy as her Co-Head, but it had not been easy and came at a cost. Her stress levels were far higher than usual due to her new tactic of not confronting him, which meant she was repressing her anger and clamping her mouth shut whenever Malfoy started on another of his, "I'm going to make you as mad as humanly possible " speeches. It hadn't helped that Ron wasn't being very supportive of her, either acting like there was nothing wrong, or flaring up again at Malfoy's taunting. Hermione had tried reasoning, but it was hopeless and frankly she grew tired of always having to justify herself for him.

Things had also not gotten off to a good start, with Malfoy being half an hour late for his first Prefect meeting on the Sunday evening since his appointment to the Head position. Nor that he spent the rest of the meeting questioning Hermione's authority and making cruel and snide comments about other houses, which nearly ended the meeting in an all out brawl between Malfoy and the Hufflepuff and Gryffindor male Prefects. Hermione had immediately after the disastrous Prefect meeting stormed to Mc Gonagall's office and angrily told the Deputy Headmistress of the proceedings, demanding quite fiercely that she and the Headmaster review Malfoy's appointment to the position. Mc Gonagall sat quite calmly at her desk as she let Hermione rant about Draco Malfoy and it was only her extreme fondness of the bookworm over the years that stopped her from rightly putting Hermione back in her place. 

"Miss Granger", she had begun and continued in a firm, but placating tone, "I understand your dislike of Mr. Malfoy over the years, but I stand by mine and Professor Dumbledore's decision to give Draco Malfoy the job. I shall look into the fight that erupted during the Prefect meeting. That is all for now Miss Granger", Mc Gonagall concluded, ushering a very shocked Hermione out of her office and it was only common sense that stopped Hermione from uttering the words that were ringing in her head. "What the hell happened here?"

The next morning Mc Gonagall called before her the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff Prefects and Malfoy. She reprimanded them all on fighting with each other when they were in positions of responsibility and were looked up to, to set a standard. They were each given a severe warning and sent on their way. Ron didn't speak to Hermione for two days because of that.


That had been on the Monday and even though he gave her a halfhearted apology on Wednesday, two evenings later found Hermione in the Heads bathroom, her hands on the marble sink, her weight against it. She was breathing heavily, her breaths laboured because of another run-in she had had with Malfoy. Her body was trembling slightly as she tried her hardest to clamp down the anger that was threatening to boil over. What gave Malfoy the right to treat her like that, she asked herself. They had actually been getting on fine, just forty minutes earlier, both of them sitting at the large wooden table in their common room, both working on different assignments. 

Hermione had been flicking through her Standard Book Of Spells Grade 7, looking for a parchment sheet of notes she had stowed there earlier, when she came across a scrap of parchment that made her smile. It was a note Ron had written her months ago during class. As she quickly read through the cute note he wrote for her telling her how much she meant to him, it caused her to smile broadly at the words. Ron really could be a sweetie when he wanted to. Malfoy, who had looked up at the same moment and saw her smile, asked gruffly.

“What’s so amusing Granger?” he asked, raising his eyebrows and stopping momentarily with the Transfiguration essay he was halfway through writing. 

“Oh nothing”, Hermione replied dismissively, not looking up from the note she was reading. When she read a particularly amusing part, her peals of laughter rang through the empty common room. 

“Alright Granger”, he said, leaning over the table and snatching the note, before Hermione could stop him.

“Hey give that back!” she cried indignantly, as Malfoy read through the note. She crossed her arms across her chest and glared at him. “Now will you stop acting the maggot and give me back my note!” she sighed, discontentedly. 

“Who wrote it?” Malfoy asked, disregarding her last comment. 

“Ron did”, she replied, a small smirk tugging at the corners of her mouth as she raised an eyebrow at him, daring him to challenge her. 

“The Weasel?” Malfoy snorted, following Hermione’s suit in raising his own eyebrow.

“Yes of course, how many other Ron’s do you know?” she asked tiredly. 

“Weasel can actually articulate himself like that?” Malfoy spoke incredulously, though Hermione could tell the look of astonishment plastered on his face was fake.

“Yes Malfoy he can, if you actually stopped insulting him at every second you would realise there’s a lot more to Ron than you first thought”, Hermione sighed, and continued with her homework. 

“You know what, I’ll believe that when I see it”, Malfoy snapped nastily, turning his glowering eyes back on his Transfiguration essay.

“Suit yourself”, she sighed and began writing her own Charms assignment once again. For a few moments the only sound in the common room was the gentle scratching of quills on parchment. Hermione looked up from her parchment, tickling her chin with the tip of her quill, as she quietly observed the Slytherin sitting across from her at the table. She was deep in thought when Malfoy raised his head and saw she was looking at him with a blank expression on her face. 

“Okay now Granger, I know I’m good looking, but will you lay off the staring a bit, I’m trying to finish my essay”, Malfoy said, giving Hermione a pointed look.

That seemed to have done the trick as Hermione’s eyes refocused and shot him a withering look. “Honestly Malfoy, I wasn’t staring at you and keep telling yourself that, maybe the rest of us might start believing it too!”

“Granger, staring at someone usually means that the eyes are focussed on a person for long period of time, aka staring!” Malfoy retorted, dropping his quill on the desk and focussing his full attention on her again.

“I know what staring means Malfoy!” she hissed and continued with her work, though when she looked up once again, she could see Malfoy was glowering at the piece of parchment, the note Ron had written for her months earlier lying next to his books; with an ugly look on his face. He gave it one last contemptuous look then went back to his work. Hermione observed all this with a most curious look on her face, as she tried to discern Malfoy’s odd behaviour. If she didn’t know any better-

“Malfoy will you stop glaring at the note, or people might suspect you were jealous”, Hermione quipped, raising an eyebrow as she keenly observed the change of expressions on his face. 

He swept the dirty look from the note, up to Hermione and added sarcastically, “Oh yes of course Granger, I’m jealous of a poor blood traitor, who hasn’t even got enough money to buy new robes!”

“Then why were you staring at the note as if it were the most disgusting thing you had ever seen, if you aren’t jealous?” she retorted, determined not to be let off track by Malfoy.

“Because I find it revolting to think the Weasel would write something like that!” he spat out.

“Or because Ron can and you can’t?” Hermione replied, still keeping her voice even.

“Don’t talk nonsense Granger or people might think that Know-It-All attitude of yours is just a fake”.

“And you’re not exactly fooling anyone with your, I’m-So-Superior-To-Everyone stance Malfoy. You think I don’t see how jealous you are of Ron?”

“Will you shut up about that jealousy Granger”! Malfoy growled, firmly pressing his palms against the edge of the table, as he leaned slightly towards her. “I am not fucking jealous of Ron Weasel. What’s he got anyway that I don’t?”

“Me?” Hermione replied, a slight smirk on her face. 

“Stop talking shite Granger!” Malfoy muttered humourlessly. 

“Come on Malfoy, don’t kid yourself you told me yourself that night in the rain you were attracted to me!” Hermione countered, crossing her arms across her chest to emphasise her point.

“One night of weakness and you’re going to hold that against me forever!” Malfoy replied scathingly, “Don’t kid yourself that it was more than just that Granger, you’re not that special!”

“Then why won’t you leave me alone"! Hermione cried, throwing her hands in the air for added effect. 

“You’re delirious Granger!”

“Oh yeah”, she shouted back in reply. “I wish you’d just leave me in peace. I don’t really give a crap about whether you’re attracted to me or not. I just want to be left in peace with Ron!”

“Yeah like that’s ever gonna happen Granger!” Malfoy snorted in derision. 

“And what you’re going to stop me?” 

“Any fool can see you’re not happy with the Weasel, why else would you still harp on at me?”

“You’ve no idea what you’re talking about Malfoy, so you’d better shut up about me and Ron, we’re happy and you can’t stand it that I’m not with you, or whatever twisted scenario you’ve fantasized in your head!” Hermione shouted in reply. “You could never touch on what we have Malfoy!”

“You think I want you?” he shouted back at her, “I wouldn’t want a filthy Mudblood whore like yourself anyway!”

“Oh and what about Pansy?” She hissed, her tone dropping to a deadly hiss. She sharply rose from her seat, the screeching of the wooden chair legs scratching against the wooden floor, resonating in the quiet common room. Malfoy looked up at her in shock, fearing she would hit him again, but she leaned on the table, her eyes glinting dangerously, which betrayed how very angry she was at that moment. 

“Don’t you ever fucking dare call me a whore again Malfoy"! With that she swept another disgusted look at Malfoy and stormed upstairs, slamming her bedroom door so loudly, the bang startled Draco Malfoy and caused him to jump in the air. He knew at that instant he had gone too far!


“Oh I hate that git so much!” Hermione seethed, as she looked at her reflection in the mirror. That fight had been over half an hour ago and she still had not calmed down. She couldn’t let him get to her like that, so she turned away from the sink, intent on doing what she had originally come into the bathroom for, have a bath and relax.
 Maybe with a good soak she could de-stress and lose some of her tension. She knew Ron wanted to see her, and while she really wasn’t in the mood herself, she knew she could not go to Ron still angry and let her rage out on him. Hermione picked up the fresh clothes she had dumped on the floor earlier on and neatly placed them on a rack next to the giant tub, before she made her way to the pool-size bathtub and began turning on random taps that gushed out hot water and bubbles. The bath filled almost instantly with hot soapy water and Hermione let out her first contented smile that day as she watched the purple bubbles spring forth to the water’s surface and pop, leaving behind a calming lavender scent. 

Hermione went over to the rack of towels and pulled two down for her, leaving them lying next to the tub’s edge and began pulling off her robes and tie, discarding them in a heap on the marble floor. She turned her back on the door and began unbuttoning her school skirt, stopping momentarily when she thought she heard a noise outside, but when she turned around and saw no one was there, she continued getting undressed and walked back towards the full bathtub. The school shirt joined her robes and tie on the ground and as she walked over to her shelf to retrieve her shampoo, the door burst open, letting in a gust of air, that caused Hermione to jump and let out a cry as she spotted Malfoy standing in the doorway, a stunned look on his pallid features.

“Malfoy!” she shrieked, grabbing the nearest towel to her and holding it protectively in front of her chest. “What the hell are you doing here?” she shrieked, her voice still high-pitched from the shock she received.

The look on Malfoy’s face spoke of the shock he had received at seeing Granger half naked in the bathroom, he had obviously not bee expecting her to be inside, half naked none the less.

“Will you shut up Granger!” he growled instinctively.

“Shut up?” she shrieked, her voice growing louder as she turned red in the face from the embarrassment and anger that was coursing through her body. “What the hell are you doing, storming into a locked bathroom?” She cried, crossing her arms across her chest, an angry, defiant look on her face.

“I didn’t storm in anywhere and will you stop shouting at me for two seconds?” Malfoy yelled in reply, his usual cool exterior gone, as he tried to calm down the shrieking woman standing in front of him.

“Don’t you dare tell me to shut up!” she hissed, taking a step towards him. “I’m still furious at you for what you said earlier on, now get the hell out!” Hermione yelled as with each word, her voice grew louder. She pointed a finger at the door, her eyes narrowed. 

“You can’t order me around Granger”, Malfoy growled, taking a step towards her.
“Anyway will you shut up for just two seconds so I can talk to you normally?”

“No, now get the hell out!” she shrieked, placing her hands on her hips and not even noticing as the towel she had been using to cover herself up fell to the floor. 

“Merlin’s Beard woman, you drive every sane man to insanity, now will you shut up and listen!” he growled threateningly, taking the final step towards her and grabbing her upper arms.

“Don’t you dare!” she screamed, pushing his arms away, only to have him grab hers and hold them steady in his grasp. 

“Granger, will you just chill out for two seconds and let me talk?” he yelled at her, letting out an aggravated cry. “I wanted to say sorry for earlier on alright, now will you just lay off me for one minute. I didn’t come in here to watch you getting undressed, it was accident alright!”

“Well then bloody let go of me!” Hermione growled, shooting daggers at Malfoy as she yanked at her hands until Malfoy let her go. She huffily crossed her arms and glared at him, though she said no more on the subject and even though no words were spoken, both knew that Hermione had at least somewhat forgiven Malfoy for calling her a whore. They were back on usual ground. 


“Is there anything else you wanted to tell me?” she added testily, raising an eyebrow at him. “Because I would like to get back to my bath before the water gets cold!”

A change washed over his features as they relaxed and it was only at this moment, he really seemed to see Hermione standing in front of him, wearing nothing but a bra and her school skirt. His brain suddenly realised that this was the closest he had ever seen to a naked Hermione and he grinned broadly, taking in the sight before him like a hungry dog.

“Who would have guessed that this is what you were hiding under your robes all this time Granger, very nice, very nice indeed!” he drawled, gazing at her hungrily. He took a step towards her and trailed his forefinger along her jaw line and down onto her collarbone, taking in every inch of her.

“You’re disgusting Malfoy” Hermione breathed, though her tone suggested she didn’t mean it and she done nothing to stop him. A tiny shiver ran down her spine as he touched a sensitive spot on her neck, her eyes fluttering closed with the sensation.
Malfoy smirked when he saw Hermione’s eyes close and with a swift movement he wrapped one arm around her waist before his lips descended on her neck, kissing a trail along the jaw line. A shudder ran down Hermione’s spine and she let out an audible gasp at the pleasurable feeling. Malfoy wrapped the other arm around her waist and tangled one hand in her voluminous curly hair, fisting some in his palm.
 
Hermione leaned her head back, granting Malfoy more access, which he took with relish, kissing every inch of her exposed skin around her neck, making his way down towards her chest. He moved down to the valley in between her chest, and with one swift hand, began undoing the clasp of her bra.

It was this that pulled Hermione back to reality and she uttered a throaty, “No Malfoy”, pushing him off her. He stood up straight, a confused and hungry look on his face, his thin lips swollen from his devouring of her neck and he looked ready to jump her again. “We can’t do this, I can’t!” she continued, taking a step away from him, her hand held out to keep him at bay.

“Bloody hell Granger, you sure know how to ruin a moment!” he cried aggravated, crossing his arms across his chest and glowering at her.

“Ruin a moment?” she cried incredulously, “You jumped me Malfoy; you can’t do that!”

“I done nothing of the kind and if I remember correctly, you didn’t exactly push me of you straight away. I do believe you were enjoying yourself Granger, or else you wouldn’t have been moaning like that”, he quirked, raising an eyebrow, a devilish look on his face. 

“I am not going to argue with you over the specifics!” Hermione retorted, following Malfoy’s suit and crossing her own arms across her chest. 

Malfoy laughed amusedly at her, taking a step towards her, which caused Hermione to take a step back. “What a feeble attempt at retaliation Granger, face it you can’t resist me and still cling to this pathetic excuse of a boyfriend you have”.

“Oh and I suppose you being jealous of Ron the whole time is just a coincidence!” she snorted, glaring pointedly at him, “And how many times do I have to tell you to stop talking about Ron like that!”

“Granger you’re one hell of a hypocrite telling me off for calling the Weasel a few bad words, when you’re the one who’s blatantly cheating on him behind his back, and might I add more than once too!” Malfoy smirked at her. He knew he had won that round.

That struck a nerve with Hermione; maybe it was the truth in his words or the fact that it was Malfoy who was telling her these things, but the guilt and anger built up inside her so quickly, she fought back the tears that would soon gather at the corner of her eyes. She braced herself, squaring her shoulders and standing up straight. 

With an almighty push with strength Malfoy hadn’t even realised she possessed, she pushed him towards the door, using to her advantage his shock and surprise to move him out of the bathroom.

“Just get out of here Malfoy!” she roared at him and with a final push threw him out of the bathroom, closing the door behind her with a resounding bang. She quickly grabbed her wand and Imperturbed the door, so Malfoy couldn’t enter. She managed to hold onto her composure the whole time until she was sitting in the bathtub, and it was only with the water gently lapping against her shoulders, the soothing scent of lavender relaxing her body, that she let the tears fall freely down her cheeks.







That's part one of probably the most anticipated chapter for me, you'll understand why in part two. I'm sorry I took so long to finally type this up, my laptop crashed and I lost everything (again, this does seem to happen a lot!) and I had to wait a lot. Anyway it's a little modified from the original that I lost but I think you'll like it. As always please leave a review and the second part should be up soon!

Chapter 9: We're Not Right (Part 2)
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You guys, I’ve been struggling and pondering over whether to up the rating for this story or not because I don’t know how many younger readers I’ve got and the last thing I want to do is get into a whole lot of trouble. I wrote this second part of the chapter as light as I could and I tried to treat the subject with as much delicacy as possible, but I don’t think I can get away from upping the rating. If it isn’t for this chapter, then it will be for future ones.
Without giving too much away, this chapter is the point of no return for Hermione and is definitely THE chapter I’ve been so looking forward to writing, so I hope you enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed writing it.
One more thing, the title I used for both these chapters is rather cryptic and I done that for a reason. Apart from not wanting you to guess what the chapters were about, anyone like to take a guess as to why it’s entitled “We’re Not Right”?
As always please review and let me know what you think. The next chapter might take a while to put up; I have a lot of work and other things to write so please be patient. And now, ON WITH THE SHOW!
Agrolass.


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CHAPTER 9 We’re Not Right (Part 2)

With a taste of your lips, I'm on a ride
You're toxic, I'm slippin' under (Toxic)
With a taste of poison paradise
I'm addicted to you
Don't you know that you're toxic?

Intoxicate me now
With your lovin' now
I think I'm ready now
(I think I'm ready now)
Intoxicate me now
With your lovin' now
I think I'm ready now.
Toxic by Britney Spears


An hour and a half later, as the evening was nearing its end and ten o clock struck on the school bell tower, Hermione made her way, slowly and leisurely down towards the Gryffindor Tower, to go and see Ron. Like a few hours earlier on, when she had admitted to herself a reluctance to go see Ron, she knew she really had no choice in the matter. Just because things were in such turmoil for her, didn’t mean she could abandon her boyfriend, and maybe this was the opportune time to finally sort out some old issues. Hermione felt in a reconciliatory mood, so maybe things would finally change.

She muttered the password, Arabesque, tonelessly to the Fat Lady and didn’t even reply when she asked the young Head Girl how her day was, instead waiting patiently until the portrait door was opened and she could step inside. Ron was already there, sitting on his favourite sofa next to the crackling fireplace, the same couch where she had spent so many nights with him, just enjoying his company, back when things so much easier and simpler.
How she missed those days. Apart from a small group of third years sitting at a far table in the corner of the room and a first year asleep on one of the sofas near the hearth, the common room was surprisingly empty.

“Hey ‘Mione!” Ron called out to her, having turned around and spotted his girlfriend standing next to the portrait, though when he saw her sullen and pensive mood, his smile turned to a frown and he quickly added, “What’s up, you look like you just found out something terrible!”

Hermione looked startled when she heard Ron speak and quickly focussed her attention on the lanky redhead, smiling reassuringly at him.

“Oh it’s nothing like that, don’t worry”, she said, managing a warm smile.

“Then what is it?” he asked, patting the seat next to him, indicating for her to sit down. She smiled at him again and made her way over to the couch, not replying until she had sat down next to him.

“I’m just stressed out and a little tired from the day”, she replied simply, leaning her head against the back of the sofa. She closed her eyes and momentarily enjoyed the feeling of not being disturbed, but that didn’t last long as Ron asked.

“Why, what was so bad today?” he seemed genuinely concerned and when Hermione opened her eyes to look at him, she smiled at his worry.

“About the same as yesterday, and the day before and the day before. Basically since Malfoy was made Head Boy”, she replied carelessly, closing her eyes again and placing a hand to her forehead. She hadn’t realised before how a mild headache was forming in her temples.

The change in Ron was immediate and very pronounced as he grunted, “What did the ferret do now?” It was his emphasis of the word now that really startled Hermione. It was spoken with such disgust and ill humour it caused her to open her eyes again and gaze at him in concern. The look on his face spoke clearly of how much he tired of Malfoy always being the problem and how Hermione seemed to be ranting endlessly about him lately.

Hermione in truth didn’t know how to respond to this, but the aggravated look on Ron’s face told her wisely that lying at that moment would not be the best option. So she told the truth.

“He walked in on while I was getting undressed in the bathroom”, she replied tentatively.

“He what”?! Ron stormed, jumping up from his seat, a thunderous expression on his face. The group of third years looked around the common room startled, looking for the source of the commotion and when they spotted Ron standing next to one of the couches, they eyed each other anxiously, but returned to whatever they had been discussing. The first year, though jumped up shocked from where he was sleeping, looking about fearfully, and with a hand held over his heart, he scampered up the stairs to his dorm room.

“Look it’s okay Ron!” Hermione replied urgently, tugging at his hand until he had sat down again.

“If that git saw you naked I swear I will beat him into oblivion!” Ron growled possessively, his hands balling into fists as his whole body tensed up under the rage he was feeling.

“No, he only saw me in my bra and skirt!” Hermione replied placatory, reaching out for his hands, but he pulled them away from her grasp and glared into the fire. He sat there glaring at the flames before he turned his attention back to his nervous girlfriend next to him.

“Oh yeah like that’s much better!” he thundered. “How did that happen anyway, I thought you lock your doors!”

“I do, he just barged in for no reason”, Hermione replied reassuringly, “Look don’t worry Ron, it was nothing really!”

“Nothing really?” Ron cried incredulously. “Nothing really? Hermione, forgetting to return a book to the library is nothing really, getting a question wrong on a test is nothing really. Having that git of a ferret barging into the bathroom while you were changing and ogling at you is a big deal and I don’t get why you’re not reacting more to that!”

“Because I don’t want you to start overreacting. Ron, seriously it was nothing I shouted at him and threw him out”, she added, closing her eyes momentarily as she remembered that much more than that had actually happened.

“It was nothing? Hermione maybe you should be overreacting about this. I am going to kill that bastard!” Ron fumed.

“No!” she cried out, grabbing his hands and holding them down. “You wont Ron. Just let it go!”

“You want me to let it go?” he cried. “Are you mad Hermione?” And then his eyes narrowed as he looked at her shrewdly. “Why are you so determined not to make a deal about it, you should rightly be fuming and hexed him to oblivion, you shouldn’t be acting like it’s nothing or else people might start thinking you didn’t mind Malfoy seeing you half naked!”

“Ron!” Hermione shouted out angrily, shocked he would even voice such opinions. The third years snapped their heads up at this and looked at the Head Girl, and when they saw she was fuming, thought it better to take their business to the safety of their dormitory where they wouldn’t get caught.

“Don’t you dare say that to me!” she raged at him, her cheeks slowly turning red with her temper coming forth.

“Why not, it’s true isn’t it?” he asked, standing up also and crossing his arms across his chest, determined not to back down now.

“No it isn’t Ron!” she roared back at him.

“Well then explain to me how Malfoy has seen you more naked than I have in the last few weeks, Hermione, explain that to me!” Ron shouted back at her, his ears were beginning to turn red at the tips, which meant he was as incensed as Hermione.

“Oh don’t you dare bring the state of our sexual relationship into this!” she screamed at him, placing her hands on her hips as she glared at her boyfriend.

“Oh and why not, I the last time I checked that was part of being in a relationship. You hardly ever touch me anymore!” Ron countered, raising his eyebrows.

“Oh that’s rich coming from you!” she yelled and then added, “Well you wouldn’t want us to bring in a little excitement into our relationship now would you?” Hermione spat out sarcastically, her whole posture screaming of disbelief that Ron would say such things.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Ron cried out incredulously, a little taken aback that Hermione was speaking to him with such disgust.

“Well it seems the only time you seem to pay any attention to me is when the green eyed monster rears its head!”

“THAT IS SO NOT TRUE!” Ron yelled in reply.

“YEAH WELL WHAT ABOUT VIKTOR?!”

“Oh don’t you dare bring him into this!” Ron hissed, his voice dangerously low. “Don’t you dare!”

That was a warning sign from Ron, but Hermione was too infuriated to notice or even care so she continued on, “Why not, eh Ron? You were so jealous and hurtful to me because of him, nothing’s really changed has it?”

“That’s fucking low Hermione Granger!” Ron growled, “Krum was three years ago and you still throw that in my face!”

“THAT’S BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T CHANGED!” Hermione screamed at him, throwing her hands into the air. “YOU STILL DO THIS TO ME ALL THE TIME, YOU DON’T TRUST ME AT ALL!”

“HEY NOW!” Ron yelled back, “You know I fucking trust you Hermione, you know I do!”

“You know what, I really don’t know if I believe that anymore!” Hermione sighed, shaking her head. “You get so jealous and possessive of Malfoy, it really makes me question whether you have any faith and trust in me at all!”

“You’re one hell of a person to talk Hermione!” Ron cried affronted, “You think I haven’t noticed how you and Malfoy act around each other, sure you hate each other and are constantly insulting each other, but you think I don’t notice how he flirts with you and how you don’t even stop him?”

“I’m not going to argue with you over this!” Hermione gritted, glaring at him.

“Oh now you don’t want to argue over this, as soon as Malfoy comes into the picture, you just shut up eh?”

“What do you want me to say Ron?” Hermione cried, “What is it you want to hear from me, that you’re just imagining all this and that I’m going to tell you nothing’s going on and I love you? I shouldn’t have to tell you this and the fact that you need a constant reminder that I’m with you is really starting to worry me!”

“I just want you to tell me once and for all nothing is going to happen with Malfoy!” Ron replied.

“THERE IS NOTHING GOING ON RONALD!” She shouted, speaking each word slowly so he would hear her properly. “I’m so tired of this, I’m fed up and tired Ron!”

“You think it’s easy for me, seeing my girlfriend constantly with some other guy?” Ron cried out, intent on not losing the argument. Hermione just sighed and shrugged her shoulders.

“Whatever you say Ron, I’m going to bed!” she sighed resigned, and without another word she turned around and marched out of the common room, slamming the portrait behind her.
Hermione was breathing raggedly as she walked along the corridors, stopping occasionally to lean against a wall in a vain attempt to calm down. She was trembling slightly from the fight she had just had with Ron and as she slumped against the wall, letting her body slide to the floor, she propped her knees up and laid her head on them. Hot, prickly tears were flowing freely down her face by this point as she tried in vain to control her temper.

“That asshole!” she screamed into the empty corridor. “That fucking asshole!” She buried her head in her hands, running them roughly through her bushy hair. She stood up and walked a few steps on, Ron’s vindictive words ringing in her head. She let out another scream and balled up her fists. Her rage was growing inside her and she had no way of letting it out. How could he do such things to her, he should be her loving boyfriend and not throwing vindictive accusations at her. Everything was so wrong.

She dropped her head into her hands again and let out a deep sigh. She was so tired of this fighting, fighting with Ron, with Malfoy, just fighting everything. She hated that she had to fight so hard against her feelings and she wished Ron could be more supportive of her, but that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. It was draining always having to justify herself the whole time and it was driving a wedge in between Ron and Hermione. Malfoy inadvertently was winning; getting his wish. She was just so fed up. She sighed one last time and made her way back to the Heads common room, knowing that the only thing that could help her now was a good night’s sleep. She trekked up to the seventh floor and said the password to the original Head Boy and Head Girl and tiredly walked into the common room, still too enraged from the fight with Ron.

Malfoy sat up from where he was leisurely lying on the couch and when he saw Hermione slump in, he sat up in anticipation, a smirk on his face.

“Trouble in paradise?” he drawled, standing up.

Hermione’s head whipped around until she faced Malfoy, all her anger coming to the surface as she raged, “Why you little, inconsiderate, slimy, good-for-nothing, spoilt brat, of a waste of space, not-worth-my-time, piece of dirt that’s not worth my time ferret!” she shouted at him, storming towards him, that caused Malfoy to take a step back, his eyes wide. She made her way towards where he was standing; and as a credit to how furious she was, she didn’t even notice he wasn’t wearing anything but a pair of pyjama trousers and was most definitely shirtless. With a mighty burst of strength she brought her palms up and pushed him against the wall, her eyes blazing with fury. How ever Malfoy knew she had just had a fight with Ron, maybe a Gryffindor had told him or maybe he could read it in her body language; he used that to his full advantage. A slow smirk formed at the sides of his mouth, causing Hermione to let out a scream in rage.

“This is all your bloody fault Malfoy!”

Malfoy just continued to smirk, which enraged her even more.

“Will you stop bloody smirking like that!” she screamed at him, ramming him against the wall. “Everything was fine until you started with your bloody mind games, this is all your fault you nasty little ferret!” she spat, not aware her hands were still on his chest. “Everything was good between me and Ron before you!” she yelled, positively crackling with energy and anger. She glared daggers at him, not even aware that she was mere inches from his face, but Malfoy was aware and a second later he leaned in and kissed her. Hermione’s eyes widened in shock and she pushed him off her, raising her hand to slap him across the face for kissing her, but Malfoy was too quick. He grabbed her hand and held it firmly in his grasp.

For a moment, they stared at each other, Hermione glaring at him with such intensity, while Malfoy’s gaze was just as intense if not filled with as much hatred. The sparks between them was so palpable, it was threatening to become explosive between them and with a frenzied passion; they both grabbed each other for a hungry, passionate kiss. Malfoy grabbed the back of her neck and pulled her closer to him, devouring her mouth in a frantic bid to get closer to her, which elicited a moan from Hermione’s lips, but this was quickly subdued, by Hermione readily opening her mouth for him, granting him full access as they continued their fiery kiss. Hermione in turn grabbed his neck and ran her hands down his smooth back, kissing back with just as much intensity and letting Malfoy know she was the one in control. He was not one to be outdone by the stubborn Gryffindor Head Girl, he quickly shifted their positions, turning her around so she was the one leaning against the wall, as he ran his hands up and down the side of her body. His arms travelled up and down her back, stopping occasionally to feel her stomach and upper chest, and when they reached her bum, they stopped and rested there. Hermione broke from the kiss, an eyebrow raised at where his hands rested, but Malfoy cocked a smirk at her and growled.

“Don’t even start Granger!” he growled huskily, and continued their passionate kissing before she could reply. If he thought Hermione was going to complain of where his hands lay, firmly grabbing her ass, he sorely underestimated her.

Se let out another whimpering moan, not from the very enjoying feeling of kissing Malfoy, but from a feeling of not being close enough, so she done the only thing she could think of. With a quick movement Hermione wrapped her arms around Malfoy’s neck and jumped into his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist. Malfoy was so startled he broke the kiss, and nearly caused them both to topple with the shift in weight, had it not been for Hermione’s quick thinking as she leaned back against the wall, giving him some leverage and support. She laughed lightly at Malfoy’s startled facial features and added in a joking manner.

“Oh shut up Malfoy!” With one hand held under his jaw she pulled him towards her for another kiss.

Malfoy pulled away from the kiss a few minutes later and enquired with a cock of his head and a smirk, “Are you trying to seduce me Granger?”

Hermione rolled her eyes at this and replied with an “Honestly Malfoy!” He in turn just smirked at her and kissed a trail along her jaw, a tactic he had learnt earlier on in the night, which gave great results. Just like a few hours earlier, Hermione let out a soft breathy moan at the tickling sensation and tilted her head back to give Malfoy more access.

“And might I add”, she spoke on, though her voice was much softer and she really seemed to be concentrating on her words much more since Malfoy began his assault on her neck.
“That you’re the one who’s been seducing me for the last few weeks, if anyone is going to lay blame it should be with you”.

Malfoy momentarily stopped leaving delicate kisses along her jaw to laugh, which caused Hermione to frown and let out an irritated growl. Whether this was because of Malfoy laughing or because he stopped kissing her neck, but this did nothing to deter him, it only caused Malfoy to laugh some more.

“Granger”, he drawled, laughing amusedly some more, “You’re not going to win this argument”. Hermione unlatched her arms from around his neck and crossed them across her chest, pouting at him, and with a playful swipe, she sent a hand of hers through his sleek and gelled-back, white blonde hair. Malfoy’s eyes darkened and he nearly dropped her when he went to whack her hand away, but she slipped in his grasp so he quickly returned his hand to her ass, which caused Hermione to grin even more. Malfoy glowered at her, and her low trick, but when he saw she had begun laughing lightly, he kissed her with fervour. She readily opened her mouth, granting him full access, her arms wrapping around his neck once more. The weight was getting to Malfoy, and he clumsily moved them closer to the sturdy wooden table closer to the middle of the room, occasionally bumping into a couch or sofa, which caused Hermione to giggle once more, and annoy Malfoy.

He unceremoniously dumped Hermione onto the edge of the table, which caused Hermione to break of the kiss and utter an indignant, “Hey!” Malfoy smirked at her and assaulted her neck once more, which caused Hermione to let out a groan and any thought of reprimanding Malfoy for dumping her on the hard table like that, was forgotten. Her hands roamed up and down his naked chest, taking in the feel of every inch of his half naked body. She broke off the kiss and began kissing a trail down along his jaw and neck, stopping momentarily to suck at his neck, before she began moving down, kissing every inch of his chest.

“Merlin Granger!” Malfoy groaned, bringing his hands into her hair as she kissed a particularly sensitive spot around on his chest. The feeling was like blissful torture for Malfoy, and as much as he enjoyed Hermione Granger snogging him like there was no tomorrow, he needed more. With a grace Hermione hadn’t even realised he possessed, he gently pulled her face back up to his level and kissed her deeply, tasting her sweet, full lips. His roaming hands became more frantic, as they gathered around Hermione’s waist and began tugging at her woolly jumper, which unfortunately for Malfoy, was a figure hugging one. His hands became more impatient and frantic as he tried to pull the tight jumper off her, while still kissing her deeply and occasionally he would utter a frustrated growl in between the kiss, which caused Hermione to chuckle lightly.

“Are you sure you don’t want the blasted thing on any tighter?” he groaned irritably, which caused Hermione to chuckle even more. She whacked his bumbling hands away with a grin, which he once again placed on her ass as she effortlessly pulled the knitted piece over her head and dropped the offending garment on the floor. Hermione ran a hand through his already messy hair and tousled it some more, before grabbing him for another deep kiss.
Malfoy seemed a little too distracted and but a minute later, he pulled away from the kiss and gazed at her half naked figure, fully appreciating that Hermione had decided to wear nothing but a bra underneath the woolly jumper. His eyes were as large as orbs as he gazed at her, which caused Hermione to squirm slightly under such an intense gaze, filled with lust.

“Merlin’s beard Granger!” he said a little dazed by Hermione sitting on the table in front of him with only her bra and trousers on. He gazed a little awed at her and added, “You should not be hiding that body under those clothes you wear. The Weasel doesn’t know what he’s got!”

“Don’t mention Ron right now Malfoy!” Hermione replied, her voice a little clipped. She did not want to think about Ron right now and how he had been such an asshole to her; she was tired of his jealousy and in the back of her mind, though she would never consciously admit to this, this was her way of getting back at him for his lack of trust in her and his possessive nature. Without even realising Hermione was exactly being the hypocrite that Malfoy had called her earlier on.

“What’s the Weasel gone and done this time?” Malfoy asked, his expression, one of curiosity.

“I’m too angry at the git to want to talk about him right now”, Hermione replied, biting down her anger and with a huffy growl, she grabbed Malfoy’s neck and pulled him towards her. They continued their frenzied passionate kissing, with Malfoy’s hands roaming all over her body and it was only a few minutes later, he had managed to pull off her trousers and shoes too, which now lay as a messy pile on the floor.

Their frenzied kissing turned more passionate and desperate as they yearned for more of each other and with a great show of strength Malfoy picked up Hermione again in his arms and made his way over to the fireplace, not once breaking from their frantic kiss. He got down onto his knees on the sheepskin rug and laid Hermione down, hovering over her as he gazed intensely into her amber eyes. They gazed at each other for a moment, her taking in his eerily calm grey eyes, while her brown ones were filled with lust and longing. With a slight nod of her head, Malfoy knew she was willing to go on, and as if a dam had been broken, he leaned down and kissed her with such passionate frenzy, it took Hermione’s breath away. He moved to devour every inch of her, and as Hermione let out breathy moan after breathy moan she knew Malfoy was marking her as his.

A/N;s Ha ha now that was fun wasn't it? Told you it was a point of no return for Hermione, the bad girl! Again sorry for upping the rating on this!

Chapter 10: The Aftermath
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A/N's: Well here's the next chapter, sorry it took so long, College life can distract you from writing, but here it finally is. This is the aftermath of Hermione's very illicit night, as you can probably guess by the chapter title.
As always I've really enjoyed your reviews and your screams for more. :-)
Well on with the story. Enjoy.
Agrolass


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Chapter 10 The Aftermath

You can't hide your lyin' eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
There ain't now way to hide you lyin' eyes

She gets up and pours herself a strong one
And stares out at the stars up in the sky
Another night, it's gonna be a long one
She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry
She wonders how it ever got this crazy
She thinks about a boy she knew in school
Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
She's so far gone she feels just like a fool
My, oh my, you sure know how to arrange things
You set it up so well, so carefully
Ain't it funny how your new life didn't change things
You're still the same old girl you used to be.
Lying Eyes by The Eagles


The first rays began to filter their way through the heavy and oppressive dark curtains, at first making their way downwards from the wall opposite the window, until they finally fell upon the sleeping couple lying haphazardly on the bed. The blankets were strewn on the floor, while only the light sheets clung around their naked bodies. Hermione was the first to stir, tossing her head lightly when the beam of sunshine hit her eyes, causing them to flutter in her sleep as her body slowly but surely pulled her from the lulls of sleep. She groaned tiredly and finally opened her eyes blearily, not quite registering where she was. She was lying on her bed, though it only took another few seconds for her to realise, the reason why there were light goose-bumps along her exposed arms was because she was in fact not wearing any clothes. Coupled with the fact that there was a very manly arm draped across her waist holding her securely, caused her foggy mind to begin to work into overdrive on trying to remember how she got into this situation. She groggily rolled over in the bed and faced the owner of the male arm, only to find a sleeping Draco Malfoy next to her, his hair very tousled and messed from sleep, still distinctly fast asleep. It was also at that moment she realised the curtains hanging on the window were in fact green and not red and gold. She was not in her own room.

It was at that moment her mind really woke up and her eyes sprang open fully as she took in the scene before her. Her body awoke properly from the sleep and she deftly tried to move out of his arms, but they held her securely around her waist. Hermione groaned lightly and tried wriggling free but Malfoy wouldn’t give way, whether asleep or awake. She let out a huffy sigh and dropped her head back onto the pillow, her hair splaying around her. She gently prised Malfoy’s fingers open and lifted his hand from around her waist, slipping out from beside him before she dropped his hand back onto the bed. Hermione sat up on the edge of the bed, shivering slightly from the early morning chilliness so she wrapped her hands around her shivering naked body and stood up. A thin grey woollen blanket was lying over the wooden chair next to the desk and Hermione quickly picked it up and wrapped it around herself. The room looked a mess around her, books that had previously been neatly stacked on Malfoy’s table were toppled over and lying on the floor, along with quills, clothes and a multitude of Quidditch things. Hermione looked about her, for anything of hers, but when she found nothing she shuffled towards the door, clutching on tightly to the blanket she had wrapped around her.

Hermione quietly opened the door and slipped out, closing the door silently behind her, before making her way down the stairs to the common room. On her bare feet, Hermione padded down the wooden stairs and walked across the common room and saw her clothes scattered throughout the common room. Her underwear and jeans she quickly found next to the fireplace and swiftly pulled them on, dropping the blanket onto the sofa. Her jumper unfortunately was a little harder to find, they had gone and hidden themselves with her shoes and socks. Hermione quickly darted around the common room, looking for them, under the table and near the sofa, anywhere where she might have ended up the night before.

Maybe it was the lack of sleep, or the fact that she had just woken up, but Hermione was still quite numb to the events of the last night, but as she lifted up the seat cushions of the sofa, flashes of the last night returned to her. She looked up at the table and remembered how Malfoy had pushed her against it, and the bruise she got on her lower back was still hurting her. Hermione sighed and shook the thoughts from her mind, concentrating on locating her lost items of clothing, but the memories and thoughts of their passionate night wouldn’t leave her.

Hermione held back a sob as the guilt over what she had done set in; hitting her with such a force she was winded and blown away. Last night she had cheated on Ron with his, and her worst enemy and no matter how she tried to explain it away, Hermione couldn’t. Last night had been the point of no return and she had crossed it and no matter what she said to herself, there was no forgiving what she done. She let out a sob as her hands flew to her face, trying all she could to hold onto some form of control, but Hermione couldn’t. The sobs increased in intensity and her body shook with them, tears were freely flowing down her face and all Hermione could do was stand there in the middle of the common room, trying to find her blasted jumper. Through her streaming tears she finally managed to find her shoes and socks lying underneath Malfoy’s pyjama bottoms he had been wearing when she first entered the common room after that fight with Ron, that fight that nearly destroyed her relationship.

She felt so terribly ashamed for what she had done and let out another sob as she threw the cushions away from her in a frantic attempt to find her lost jumper. Another fresh wave of tears made their way down her cheeks and as much as she scrunched up her face in an attempt to stop the tears, they rolled down her face.

What had she done?

Luckily for her the jumper was located shortly afterwards, thrown carelessly over a wooden chair and as she picked it up and made her way back up the stairs to her room, she clung as tightly to her composure as she could, and it was only when she was in the shower that she finally let it go and cried in earnest.

Hermione’s body wracked with sobs, as the guilt washed over her, like a powerful wave, threatening to pull her under and suffocate her. She pushed her hands against the tile wall for support, letting the hot and powerful water wash over her and even when the water fell into her open eyes and mouth she didn’t move or try to stop it, so deep was she caught in her own horrible feelings. The pain that was coursing through her body, the remorse and shame was like nothing she had ever felt on this earth and she was afraid of it.

At that moment she felt more alone than ever before. There was no one she had who she could talk to, no one who would understand and that killed her. She had probably destroyed everything precious she ever had with Ron, for some feeling with Malfoy. If Ron ever found out he would never forgive her.

Hermione pushed back those thoughts for the moment; they were too hard to deal with. Instead she began washing out the dirt, taking comfort in the distraction of not having to think. Unfortunately as hard as she tried to scrub the sweat from her body from her illicit night with Malfoy, the more memories returned to the surface of her consciousness, tormenting her soul. Hermione closed her eyes as a flash of the night returned to her, their hot, sweaty bodies on his bed, the sheets tangled up in their feet. She violently shook her head to dispel the thoughts and continued to scrub her body clean as the tears began rolling down her cheeks again. She suppressed a sob and rubbed harder on her arms, the skin growing red and sore, but Hermione was feeling too polluted and ashamed to stop. She felt so horribly dirty and filthy from the last night and as hard as she scrubbed her body raw, the memories would not fade and neither would her guilt. Her chest heaved with the wrack of sobs as she laid her head against the cold tiles to cool her flushed body.
“What have I done?” she cried brokenly through her sobs, dropping her head into her hands. Her legs gave way and she slid down, until she landed in a crumpled heap on the shower floor, the hot, hard water beating down onto her back. She tugged her knees up close to her and hugged them tightly.

What had she done?

It took Hermione a full hour to recover somewhat and compose herself as she lay on the shower floor, her back aching from the blistering and pressurised water. She cried until she could cry no more and afterwards cried some more. Hermione was feeling the lowest she had ever felt and no matter how many scenarios ran through her head, she had neither the courage nor the justification to see them through. As to what she would do about Ron, she really had no idea.

It took her a long time to calm herself down, but she eventually did and when she felt confident enough to stand, she gingerly pulled herself up and stretched her tired and cramped muscles. Her legs were screaming in protest and Hermione cried out in pain as they spasmed, but eventually they too did subside. She hadn’t even realised the water was turning cold and she quickly wrapped her arms around her shivering body and turned off the lukewarm water. Hermione grabbed a towel from the rack next to the shower and wrapped it around her shivering body, hissing as the slightly rough material made contact with her red and sore arms. She got dressed in her oldest and most unflattering clothes she owned, a large knitted jumper and a maroon set of cords. Hermione couldn’t even bear to make herself look nice and looking in the mirror at her reflection made those feelings of shame even more acute. She snorted at the reflection staring back at her, noticing the dark circles under her tired eyes and saw how different she looked, with a defeated and broken look on her face. She tried to crack a smile to make herself look better, but let it slide from her face as the feelings of shame returned.

Hermione allowed one more tear to roll down her cheeks, before she angrily wiped them away with the back of her hand and left the bathroom, making her way to somewhere quiet where she could hide, undisturbed from anyone and especially Malfoy.

Her aimless wandering through the corridors of Hogwarts led her to the most unexpected place she thought she would end up in, the Owlery. Hermione sighed and walked into the cold tower, maybe this was a good place to hide in for the moment, it was still early and the tower was still empty, the owls hadn’t returned from their hunting yet. Stepping in between the dropping strewn floor was difficult, but Hermione made her way over to the large open window, which thankfully was free of any droppings. She tentatively leaned her arms against the cold stone windowsill, and stared out into the hazy sky. The morning mist was gathered around the Forbidden Forest, making only the treetops visible in the hazy hue. She sighed and let her thoughts roam with the birds flying this early in the morning and for the first time that early cold morning she didn’t stop the tears from falling.
While she was caught in her reverie, that dark and despairing pit her mind had conjured for her guilt-ridden consciousness, the door of the Owlery creaked loudly, as it let in someone else. Hermione spun around startled, the tears still clinging to her lashes as she appraised who had come in. It was not like Ron to be awake so early, and by the sight of his surprised face, he hadn’t expected her to be awake so early either. Another tear fell down Hermione’s face as she looked at Ron, who had dark circles under his eyes and obviously not slept well either. The guilt churned loudly in her stomach, causing her to let out another sob and turn her back to him. She couldn’t face him, after what she had done. She concentrated on watching the first of the owls returning to the castle after a night spent hunting, but her ears were attuned to Ron’s shuffling as she made his way around the near empty rails, looking for his own owl, more than likely.

They continued with their pretence for a while longer, acting as if the other weren’t there, though being more than aware of each other’s presence, for the tension in the air was so strong, it threatened to suffocate Hermione, in her hour of despair.

The shuffling of the feet stopped and Hermione almost wished Ron had left the Owlery again, but when his voice spoke up, her back stiffened.

“I’m sorry Hermione” he tried tentatively. Hermione just stood there with her back to him, staring out onto the grounds. When she did not answer, he continued, a little unsure at first, “I’m sorry for being such a prat to you last night. I know you’re right and I’m sorry I hurt you so much”.

The tears Hermione had been hiding by having her back to him, became worse and her shoulders sagged with Ron’s apology, knowing full well if she turned around right now she would lose whatever tentative hold she had on her emotions and break down completely. As hard as she tried to control her tears, a sob escaped her, echoing eerily of the empty stonewalls. Ron took a few steps towards her, the sound practically deafening in the quiet tower and he halted there, a foot away from Hermione, unsure of what to do. A moment later he decided and he gently turned Hermione around and held her to him.

This turned out to be Hermione’s undoing and as if the flood of tears had broken free of their dam, began to freely make their way down her cheeks. Hermione sobbed like there was no tomorrow, clinging tightly to Ron as wave after wave of guilt and despair washed over her, and were she not in his strong and comforting arms, she would surely be lost at that moment.

“It’s okay Hermione, please don’t cry”, Ron whispered into her ear, holding her closely as she leaned into his chest, soaking is woolly jumper with her tears. This did nothing to stop her, it only caused her to cry even more, and Ron had to rub her back in an attempt to calm her down.

“Come on ‘Mione, it’s okay I’m sorry for what I said to you last night and I promise I won’t be that vindictive again, just please don’t cry”.

It took Hermione a moment to finally calm down and she hiccupped as she nodded her head into his chest, showing him she heard what he said. She slowly lifted her head, glancing up at him through tear stained red eyes and smiled awkwardly.

“Please don’t apologise Ron”, she croaked out, “I don’t want you to-“

She was cut off by Ron’s finger on her lips, silencing her speech as he smiled down at her. Hermione gulped as she looked up into Ron’s adoring blue eyes. The words she had been about to utter, caught in her throat. The words, which were filled with regrets and an apology for all she had done to him, died on her lips when he looked down at her with those loving eyes, and she couldn’t look at him anymore. Her gaze flickered down to his chest, gulping back the knot that had formed in her throat. Ron must have noticed her change, and he gently placed a finger under her chin and lifted her head up so he could look at her.

“Are you okay Hermione? You looked like you wanted to say something, I shouldn’t have stopped you”, he asked concerned, so affectionate it tore at her heart.

She blinked away the tears that had been forming once again and smiled a watery smile up at him, knowing at that moment she could not go through with her plan, she couldn’t tell Ron. He meant too much to her and she couldn’t lose him.

“No Ron there’s nothing I wanted to say other than I’m sorry too for fighting with you last night”, she tried a confident smile to reassure him and visibly relaxed when she saw him smile back at her.

“I love you Hermione”, he said simply, leaning down and kissing her.

She slowly pulled away from the kiss, her lips still tingling as the tears threatened to start again and pushed as hard as she could the guilty feeling to the pit of her stomach and replied with a smile, “I love you too”.


Hermione had left shortly afterwards, armed with the knowledge that her boyfriend loved her more than anything and she could not lose that. Just the thought of his loving gaze and his affectionate nature, strengthened her while she was feeling her lowest and with this strength and love in her heart she made her way back to the Heads Common Room, intent on finishing what had happened the night before. She didn’t stop to see if Malfoy had finally woken up, it was not in his nature to be an early riser, so she strode up the stairs to his room. The door, which she had earlier on left open after her escape from his room and his arms, was still ajar. Hermione steeled herself, collecting all the courage she possessed, drawing on Ron’s words, and took the step into his room, staying in the doorway. Malfoy was still not awake, though he had moved a little his bed since she had left it, the sheets were only barely drawn across his torso, one feet kicked out, hanging loosely over the edge of the bed. Hermione faltered at the doorway, not sure how to wake him without drawing closer, and contended with making loud coughing noises, much like Umbridge used to do a few years previous. This did nothing but cause Malfoy to grunt incoherently in his sleep, and Hermione huffed in irritation.

“Malfoy!” she called out, a little hesitant at first, but he wouldn’t move. “MALFOY!” she cried loudly.

Malfoy jerked startled, his head rising at the loud noise, and turned around to face Hermione, his eyes bleary.

“Granger”, he replied, his voice husky from sleep, that Hermione noted had quite a sexy edge to it. A smirk grew on his face as he woke up properly and he sat up in the bed, not bothering to draw the sheets up around him or getting dressed. As he cocked an eyebrow at her, Hermione knew he was doing it deliberately and she closed her eyes briefly, lest he catch the tear rolling down her face.

“Merlin’s sake Granger you sure know how to wear a man out with those numerous antics we got up to! I never even woke up when you left” Malfoy drawled, sweeping his hair away from his eyes against his head again that made Hermione want to slap his hand away, but when she realised her thought, she blanched slightly and shook the thought from her head.

“I mean the sound of you moaning and screaming out my name like that last night, I never knew you had it in you, and what you done with your tongue-“ Malfoy whistled, sounding genuinely impressed, and he looked at her in a whole new light that would normally have pleased Hermione, but that morning it made her feel more sick of herself.

She dropped her head as a silent tear rolled down her cheek, unsure of what to say for the first time. She finally raised her head and looked at Malfoy with such a morose face, he stopped whatever snide remark he was going to say and stared at her.

“Last night was a mistake Malfoy and it’ll never happen again. You and I are over”, she said tonelessly as she stared into his emotionless grey orbs.

“Yeah right Granger!” Malfoy laughed, then his tone dropped an octave as he gazed at her hungrily, “Now get over here so we can finish what we started last night”.

“No”, she replied, keeping her position in the doorframe.

“What you’re actually serious?” he asked amazed, and then he let out a derisive laugh. “Oh like that’s ever going to happen Granger, face it you can’t keep your hands of me, you pretty much proved that to me last night. You’ll come back again”.

“Malfoy I’m very serious”, Hermione spoke, her tone very serious with a hint of irritation in it. “We’re enemies, I’m a Gryffindor and you’re a Slytherin. Not only would my friends hate me, as would yours hate you, the whole school would probably turn against us because of my betrayal, and you would also lose your precious reputation you seem to care about so much! I mean sleeping with a Gryffindor must be bad enough, but to sleep with a Mudblood Gryffindor who is your enemy. No Malfoy you’re going to be wise for once and keep your mouth shut about this and see it for the big mistake it is!” Her tone held a warning note in it, that made Malfoy realise she was deadly serious and now was not the time to taunt her over it.

Instead he sat up straighter and fixed Hermione with his gaze, “You’ll come back Granger, I know you will”.

Hermione just sighed, before she turned on her heel and walked out of his room.



Anyone who thinks the story ends here, I have only this to say. “I shall think you a simpleton!” Oh God help me, I’m quoting Jane Austen again!





Chapter 11: Hypocrisy Is Her Middle Name
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



Chapter 11 Hypocrisy Is Her Middle Name
How can I look at your smiling face and not feel ashamed?



‘Cos I’ve cheated on you time and time again



What would you say if it was to your worst enemy?



I fell from grace and you don’t deserve me



Is it fear that keeps my mouth shut?



Maybe I’m afraid you’ll call me a slut



I’m sorry I’m so weak



I’ll just go and hide my face in shame



For hypocrisy is my middle name.
Lyrics by me.

A breathy moan escaped her lips as her back arched, her head rose from the rug, the silky brown tresses cascading down her back to land on the shaggy ornamental hearthrug. Light beads of sweat flecked across her forehead, the few damp tendrils of her voluminous hair, clinging around her face. Another shuddering moan darted from her slightly parted lips, causing another tremor to roll over her naked and sensitive body. A masculine grunt joined her moan and Hermione opened her eyes, watching the very masculine Draco Malfoy leaning over her, his ashen blonde hair, long since having lost it’s immaculate state gelled to the back of his head and was falling into those icy grey eyes, those eyes that both drew her in and disgusted her at the same time. They held no warmth or joy, they were so opposite to those azure warm eyes she was used to, but that drew her in all the more.




 “Oh God Malfoy!” Hermione shuddered out brokenly, a slow smile forming on her lips as she let out another earth shuddering moan. Her sweaty hands ran through her thick hair, getting caught in the tangles of their lovemaking and Draco let out another grunt, which elicited a small cry from the bushy haired girl lying underneath him.




 “Holy fuck Granger!” Malfoy grunted thrusting into her that caused both of them to let out cries of pleasure. Hermione arched her back, shudders reverberating down her spine as her hands flew to wrap themselves around Draco’s neck, the nails digging into his pale skin.




 “Malfoy”, Hermione growled, but stopped as Malfoy gazed down at her with those stormy grey eyes, a confused crinkle forming on his forehead, not quite sure why she was admonishing him. “Don’t swear”, she added a little breathless and Malfoy stopped, a smirk forming on his face as he gazed down at the brunette bookworm lying underneath him. He let out a light laugh when he realised what she was giving out about.




 “Merlin Granger, we’re in the middle of something and all you can think of is that I shouldn’t swear?” Malfoy let out another sharp laugh at this and raised an eyebrow at her. 




 Hermione lowered her eyebrows and let out a growl under her breath, narrowing her eyes, which caused Malfoy to laugh even more. She let out a huffy sigh and turned her head to the side, refusing to look at him.




 “You can huff all you want Granger, it still makes you look sexy, now if you want to go and pout all night, I’ll just leave you be”, Malfoy replied, pushing himself up on his arms, only Hermione had turned her head back to face him, a determined look on her face. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him back down towards her, her eyes darkening.




 “Oh no you don’t, you’re getting back to what you were doing!” she commanded sharply, which caused Malfoy to smirk even more. She grabbed his face with both her hands and pulled him down her, capturing his lips in a searing hungry kiss. His tongue flicked across her mouth begging for entrance, which she all too willingly gave him, as both tongues danced their fiery passionate dance. Hermione wrapped a leg around his waist, drawing him closer to her, which caused Malfoy to let out a deep groan and grab her leg, holding it tightly in place. He kissed a trail down her neck as Hermione closed her eyes, enjoying the pure bliss of Malfoy’s kiss and touch.



 



Hermione shot upright on her bed, panting slightly as the blanket that had barely been covering her hot flushed body, fell to the floor. She tried to calm her racing heart as her fingers went to her lips, noticing how swollen they felt, as if that dream she had just had about her and Malfoy had been real. In reality, the dream, that dream had been haunting her for the last week, and she knew why. It was not so much a dream as it was a reliving of the very hot night she shared with Malfoy, the night she had given in to her inhibitions and just felt. 

A week later, and still every night she had the same dream, the same experience she lived over and over, each time waking up hot and sweaty and as turned on as she had been on that fateful night.



Hermione rubbed her face with her hands, trying to dispel the racing thoughts of her and the Slytherin, but she knew she would fail, as she had every night. The oversized t-shirt and shorts that were her night time wear, were soaked through with sweat, and as she sat on her bed, with only a thin sheet spread across her legs, her body started shivering slightly. Hermione groaned at herself and swung her legs over to the side of the bed, slowly rising from the bed. She let out a low hiss at the cold floorboards underneath her bare feet and tiptoed over to where her slippers lay, sighing as her feet slipped into them. 

Hermione walked over to her window, and pulled the curtains open a little, peering out onto the black mass of the Great Lake, in front of her, turning to her right and gazing at the dark Forbidden Forest, which was as eerily quiet as always. She leant her head against the cold windowpane, shivering slightly and watching as her breath misted part of the window, only to fade a moment later. She couldn’t go on like this, hardly sleeping. It would soon start to affect her schoolwork and Hermione hated anything that got in the way of her schoolwork, yet she knew the answer. Well the two answers actually and neither she was keen on following through. She refused to lose Ron, and she wouldn’t give in to Malfoy any time soon. No matter how much her body wanted her to, she had principles and by god she was going to stick to them, even if it killed her!




Hermione moved away from the window and crossed her room, making her way for the door, picking up a book she had left on her desk the night before on the way there, but as she grasped the doorknob, she hesitated. What if Malfoy was down there, she was only in her pyjamas and Hermione couldn’t fall for him again. She sighed, no matter how inviting the great sofa in front of the dying fire seemed, she didn’t want to risk an encounter with the blonde haired Slytherin, knowing him the one time she needed peace he would be there.




Instead she let out an audible and irritated sigh and let go of the doorknob, dropping the book in a chair. Tonight she had better not risk it. She turned around and got into bed, determined she would for once get a good night’s sleep!



*        *          * 





 “Ron, will you please just turn around and talk to me properly!” Hermione cried out indignantly, pulling at his arm before he could walk away from her, and turned him around. “You have been weird with me for ages, even though you promised you wouldn’t Ron!” Her words were shrill, but they held a note of panic in them that even Ron couldn’t miss. He looked down at his feet, his arm hanging limply at his side. Hermione let go of his arm and pressed a hand to her face in a vain attempt to stop the tears she was sure were welling up in her eyes.




 Not now, this isn’t the time to start feeling guilty she admonished herself and took a deep breath to control her emotions. This was the way it had been with her the past week, feeling so overwhelmingly guilty she feared she would drown in her misery, and every time she was with Ron she tried so hard to make things right, show him she loved him and maybe in some unconscious way prove to herself that that night really had only been a mistake. Hermione was beginning to become clingy with Ron, and even though he wasn’t aware of the great treachery of his girlfriend, he knew something was wrong. 



   “What is it Hermione?” Ron asked tiredly, looking up briefly to catch her eyes and see the sorrow in them. He sighed hating that he was hurting her, but he knew there was something different between them. For Gryffindor bravery seemed to have abandoned him, and instead of confronting the issue between them, he would rather pretend there was nothing wrong, even if he was pushing her away in the process. 




 “Please Ron, just tell me what I did wrong!” Hermione pleaded with him, the words stinging her, because she knew exactly what she had done wrong, but could never admit to it. Her policy on the matter with Malfoy was to act like nothing had happened. 




 “You done nothing wrong”, Ron sighed and glanced up at his girlfriend, trying a small smile, but what came out felt and looked forced so he stopped. “I just got Quidditch practice on now”. With that he looked down at where Hermione was still holding onto his arm and gently but firmly disengaged her hand from his arm. He sighed once more and looked up at her, a real, though rather hesitant smile creeping along his facial features and before it had a chance to bloom, he was walking down the corridor away from her. 




Hermione blankly gazed down at her hand, that had held onto Ron just a moment earlier and before she could even stop herself, a lone tear rolled down her face, trailing a way down her cheeks and pausing momentarily before it delved down the curve of her jaw and made its way to her school shirt. 




Everything was so wrong between them, Ron was avoiding and pushing her away and Hermione herself was so consumed with guilt, she wondered if she could even see clearly still. She was not wearing a set of rose tinted glasses; instead she wore ones that to her paranoid and overworked mind felt were accentuating her treachery, as if everyone and everything was judging her. She could almost hear the proverbial beating heart under the non-existent floorboards, its thumping rhythm reminding her of her guilt. 




Hermione bit down on her lower lip in an attempt to calm her raging emotions, the guilt and fear that had been bubbling just under the surface for the last week, which she had been working so hard to press down in her soul, was threatening to finally be released. She knew it would be fruitless to fight this battle with herself forever, as she would lose terribly, but to cry in such a public place, was not something she was comfortable with. With one last shuddering gasp, and the quiet trembling of her body, Hermione quickly wiped away a stray tear and turned on her heel, marching purposefully down the corridor. The confidence and assurance she was portraying was so much more than just an act, it was a shield from the world, but even this impenetrable shield was wavering. It too soon would crumble and Hermione would be naked and exposed. A small hiccup escaped her lips as another tear carved its path down her cheeks and without even thinking on it, Hermione sped up and broke into a desperate run. 

She meandered in and out of students leisurely making their way through the castle, sometimes barging past them, but if that wasn’t unusual enough for them, the fact that they saw their Head Girl with tears streaming down her eyes was certainly enough to cause a few raised eyebrows and whispers. Hermione was so consumed in her own little world she wasn’t even aware, not that she would have cared very much. 



She didn’t stop, not even with an aching heart and a stitch in her side, until she made her way into the Head common room, and the portrait door was closed firmly behind her. As the fragile girl gasped for air, her hand clutching her aching side, the tears flowed freely down her cheeks, and it did not take much for the sobs to begin too, and by that point she had lost all control over her emotions. She unsteadily made her way to her room, wanting in no way to get caught by Malfoy in her hour of weakness, he would only make derogatory remarks and hold it against her for being so weak. She was a filthy Mudblood after all and weakness was in her nature. As tempestuous a relationship she had with Malfoy, she knew he at the very least acknowledged her strength, both in mind and personality, this she was very well aware of, but the thought that she would lose whatever little respect he had of her was too much. 




She silently crept up the stairs, making sure to skip the creaking step halfway up and closed her door behind her, before Malfoy could even be aware of her presence. She was too weak to deal with him, especially today. Hermione threw herself onto her bed and cried for a full half hour, but after she was done and some of her strength had returned to her, she got up and washed her face with cold water, pulled her schoolbag next to her table and began her schoolwork. It would not do well to dwell on the problems she had or the guilt she felt. When there was a crisis Hermione needed to be productive and essays couldn’t write themselves. 



 



Before she even realised it a full day had passed her by and Hermione had not stepped out of her room since she came running in earlier that morning with tears streaming down her eyes. Currently she was perched rather leisurely on her wooden chair, a blanket thrown loosely around her shoulders to stave off whatever cold the small crackling fire in the hearth had not managed to do. She dropped her quill onto her parchment sheet and gazed out of her window, noting how the setting sun was slowly making its way down the sky and was currently hovering over the treetops of the Forbidden Forest. The azure sky was streaked with hints of lavender, pink and a crimson red and the last flecks of golden sunlight interspersed this vibrant watercolour, and before Hermione even realised what was going on she was sucked into the beautiful sky and the minutes had flown past her by. 




Hermione got up from her chair and wrapped the blanket tighter around her slightly shivering body and made her way over to her bedroom window, leaning against the pale cool glass, its icy touch sending shivers down her arms and spine. Even in the pale twilight, Hermione could still make out players practicing on the Quidditch pitch, as she craned her neck to the side and shifted her body closer to the glass. It would soon be too dark for the team to continue on, but even as the sun was finally swallowed up by the thick mass of the Forbidden Forest, they did not stop. It was only as the sky darkened and the bright colours faded from the sky, was Hermione finally able to make out the colours of the players’ uniforms. 




The bright Slytherin green shone vibrantly in the twilight light, and one in particular, the pale blonde haired boy that was hovering above the rest of the players was as discernible to Hermione as the dark canopy of the trees. She watched him entranced, her mind drifting from conscious thought and as he flew in circles and made slow arching loops in the air, she became mesmerized by his actions. 

Despite his cool and arrogant exterior, there was a calmness and confidence that drew her in. It was in moments like these, when he let go of his arrogance and his pride and when he was too busy concentrating on something else that Hermione could truly appreciate him in every aspect from his lean and toned figure right down to his aloofness and cool interior that could burn with a passion she had never known before. She watched him entranced for a few minutes, and it seemed that Draco too had seen it was too dark to continue so he dismissed his team, but instead of gladly rushing to the ground like his fellow team mates he continued doing laps around the pitch, even after everyone had gone. His laps turned larger and wider as he flew round and around, and it was during one of his laps as he reached the closest proximity to Hermione’s window that he could, he spotted her. 

Their eyes locked for a moment, neither willing to look away, but when he broke the contact, he turned around and Hermione quickly moved away from the window. 



She felt flustered and embarrassed that she had been caught watching Malfoy, by Malfoy himself none the less, and as she anxiously shuffled around her room, deciding what to do, deciding the best thing to do was continue with her work. She expelled a large breath and purposefully strode back over to her table and sat down, fully intent on continuing her work for Potions and forgetting all about Malfoy, his lean physique or how entranced she had been. Her work continued as such, but as the evening wore on and she still hadn’t heard anything from Ron, her mood became more despondent, until nine o clock came and still no sign of her boyfriend. By this point Hermione gave up on her studies, the Potions homework had long ago been completed and for the last hour she had been doing nothing but read over her Charms notes. Feeling what an unproductive and miserable day it had been, Hermione changed into her pyjamas and grabbed her favourite book, Hogwarts, A History, and made her way down to the common room, fully intent on taking up the large sofa in front of the fireplace and reading the rest of the night away. 



Her slipper clad feet quietly made their way down the spiral staircase to the common room, and she breathed out a sigh of relief when she spotted that Malfoy wasn’t in the common room. The sofa was all hers and she gleefully made herself comfortable, resting her head against the arm as she opened her book and began reading. 




Hermione hadn’t gotten past the first chapter when the portrait to the common room burst open, pulling Hermione out of her stupor as she sat up on the sofa, almost rather foolishly expecting her boyfriend to come walking in, so it was with a disappointed sigh that she observed Malfoy coming into the common room, carrying his broom over his shoulder and still wearing his Quidditch gear. 




 Temporarily forgetting that she hated the boy, Hermione queried, “Were you out on the pitch this whole time?” Knowing full well she was referencing to having watched him hours earlier from her bedroom window.




 “Yeah”, was his grunt of a reply as he laid his broom against the wall and proceeded in taking of his outer Quidditch gear and dumping them next to the broom, starting with his shin pads and his outer vest. 




 “What’s it to you anyway?” he added, pulling his shirt over his head and completely disregarding Hermione’s shocked face and henceforth the strong blush that covered her cheeks at his actions. 




 “I was just wondering, it’s been dark for ages. How could you have seen anything?”




 “It’s not so much about seeing the Snitch, Granger, as it is about feeling the game, using your other senses and not just relying on your sight”, he replied, turning his back to her and picking up his things. 




 “Oh right”, Hermione replied, mutely surprised for his depth in the conversation. “I was just curious that’s all”.




 “I noticed Granger”, he replied with a wry smile, that threw Hermione even more than his depth or the fact he had just taken off his shirt in front of her moments earlier. Malfoy turned his back to her once more and climbed the spiral staircase to his bedroom, disappearing behind the door. Hermione furrowed her brows at the unusual conversation, but just shrugged to herself and continued reading where she left off. 




She had again not managed to get past more than a few paragraphs, when Malfoy ambled down the staircase having changed into something more comfortable and Hermione detected from the clean fresh smell coming from him, that he had showered too. He made his way over to the couches next to the fireplace and plopped himself down onto one next to Hermione’s sofa, pulling out a roll of parchment and some books Hermione hadn’t been aware he was carrying. She raised her eyebrow at his attempts at studying this late at night but said nothing and read on. They continued their charade of ignoring each other despite the stolen glances and deep thoughts for a few more minutes, but it was Hermione’s fidgeting and irritated huffs that broke the spell hanging over them. 




 “Alright Granger, what’s got you so fidgety. Weaselbee not paying you enough attention?” Malfoy stated, letting out a sigh and dropping his quill back into the inkwell. 




 “What’s it to you anyway?” Hermione asked, raising and eyebrow at him over her book.




 “Because you’re distracting me, so come on out with it!” he sighed, as if stating the obvious to a small child. 




 “It’s not really any of your business”, Hermione replied defensively.




 “Yes it is; we’re both Heads and your disrupting my valuable study time”.




Hermione opened and closed her mouth, crossing her arms across her chest and let out an irritated huff, knowing she had no way of coming back from that one. 




 “Well I’ll take it from the fact that you didn’t deny it, this is about the Weasel. Let me guess, he’s been neglecting you and now you’re smothering him because of that guilt your feeling only he’s pushing you more away and you feel horrible”.




 Hermione opened and closed her mouth like a dumbstruck goldfish, shocked and not quite what to say to Malfoy’s astuteness, she never realised he had. 




 “How do you do that?” she asked stunned, “I thought you wouldn’t even know that the emotion guilt was?”




 “Guilt is an emotion for the weak and letting yourself succumb to them shows a lack of strength. Rest assured Granger, I do not feel these emotions as you so eloquently put it. I just happen to be very good at reading emotions on others. If you want my advice, and before you start lecturing me in your know-it-all attitude just listen up. The Weasel doesn’t know what he’s got and if he doesn’t watch out he’s going to lose you. Weasel’s taking you for granted and is pushing you away because he’s a lad and probably suspects something. If you really wanna stay with that pathetic idiot give him space and he should come crawling back to you”.




 Hermione’s eyes were wide. “But I thought you didn’t care. Whatever happened to me being a Mudblood and being beneath you?”




 “Rest assured Granger, you’re still a Mudblood, you’re still dirt to me, and you’re still beneath me in every way”, Malfoy sneered and picked up his quill resuming his work.




 “I don’t understand!” she breathed, perplexed, letting her book slide to the floor.




 “Don’t try to”, Malfoy muttered in reply, not looking up from his parchment. 




 “Right I’m going to bed”, Hermione mumbled, still too stunned with this newest development in the enigma that is Draco Malfoy. She grabbed her book from the floor and stood up, but at that moment Malfoy jumped up from his seat, letting the parchment and his quill drop to the carpeted floor. Hermione let out a surprised gasp and he grabbed her upper arms, holding the shocked Hermione in place. 




 “Just because that Blood Traitor can’t appreciate you, doesn’t mean no-one else can!” his voice was low and filled with an emotion Hermione couldn’t define. Hermione just mutely nodded her head, not sure how to react to Malfoy trying, in a very warped way to make her feel better.




 She gulped and let out a shaky breath, uttering a trembling “Thank you”. Malfoy cocked his head to the side slightly, not quite sure how to respond to Hermione actually saying thank you to him. 




 “You know…well thank you anyway”, Hermione added, smiling slightly at him. He in turn just nodded and pulled her flush against his body, and before Hermione could even make sense of his strange behaviour he had kissed her.




What started out as a simple and chaste kiss, turned more desperate as Malfoy let go of her upper arms and wrapped his hands around her waist. Hermione let go of her inhibitions and her doubts and for the first time that day just let herself feel what it felt like to just be wanted. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back as passionately as she could. 





A/N's: Ha ha there you go, knew I could finally spit out that chapter to my satisfaction. Who would've guessed it would have taken two months for that chapter alone.
I'm sory you guys it took so long. For ages I didn't know how to write this chapter as it's so crucially important to the development of the plot and then reality and the problems that come with it got in the way, but that's all over and done with and I can concentrate on this story more.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed that chapter and like the new banner for the story. I'm very proud of it as it's all my own creation. The reason why the banner's got cherry blossoms on it will be revealed later on in the story, as they are quite crucial, but you'll understand when you get to it. 
Review let me know what you think of the chapter and most importantly if you want to discuss it a little. I love discussing different thoughts and ideas with a reviewer.
I might even set up an author page on the HPFF forums again for people who want to discuss this or any of my other stories. 
Let me know what you think,
Agrolass


Chapter 12: Return of the Disgraced Ex-Head Boy
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


Chapter 12 Return Of The Disgraced Ex-Head Boy



 



 “I say we run on three”, Harry yelled out above the gale force winds that were whipping across the castle grounds. Currently Harry, Ron and Hermione were standing at the edge of the stone courtyard, cloaks and scarves wrapped tightly around their bodies, schoolbags slung over their shoulders as they dismally looked at the trees bent almost backwards in the heavy winds, students streaking across the grounds, letting out dull shrieks at the weather, though their voices were quickly drowned out by the deafening winds. 



 “I still think we’re mad for going to class!” Ron roared in reply.



 “What?” Hermione shouted out, leaning closer to Ron to hear him better.



 “I think we should just skip the class!” he yelled in reply. 



 “Come on, one, two three, run!” Harry bellowed, and pulled Hermione’s arm. All three held tighter to their cloaks and dashed across the muddy, windswept grounds, not stopping until they reached the safety of the greenhouse. How the glasshouse could maintain its structure in the fierce winds was beyond Hermione, though she severely doubted if there wasn’t some magical help in the matter. She shuddered as she reached the slightly warmer greenhouse, though it was not much of an improvement, even if it was dry and wind free. She took of her thick winter cloak and brushed her wild and frizzy hair behind her ear. 



 “Come on, let’s go find a good spot”, she called out to the boys, but they were already deep n conversation again and hadn’t heard a word she said. Hermione let out a sigh and grabbed Ron’s hand, dragging him along. They reached a spot near the middle of the greenhouse, closest to the warm ducts running above their heads along the roof, and furthest away from the draughty corners.



 “I’m telling you, she just cornered me the other day, while I was making my way back from Quidditch and literally pushed me into one of those alcoves. It was strange, I never would have thought of Susan Bones to be so… so forward!” Harry continued on, though what exactly he was on about Hermione wasn’t sure, but Ron had obviously been privy to the whole of the conversation and was nodding his head emphatically.



 “That’s mental mate! I’m telling you, those Hufflepuff girls sure know how to catch you off guard!” Ron let out a low whistle and laughed, to which Harry cracked a grin and laughed as well.



 “What do you think Hermione?” Harry asked, noticing that she should probably be involved in the conversation too.



 “Oh honestly!” Hermione sighed shaking her head and putting down the Herbology book she was reading over. “Is that all you two can really think of? You boys are all the same! And might I remind you Harry, you have a girlfriend!”



 “Hermione, relax will ya”, Ron cried out, placing a placatory hand on her arm in an attempt to calm the obviously irate girl down. “I mean it’s not like he’s actually gonna cheat on Ginny, now is he?” Ron quickly snapped his head around to face Harry and shot him a look that screamed that Harry had better not dare.



 “No worries there mate!” Harry replied raising his hands in defence. 



 “Honestly!” Hermione sighed and pulled her Advanced Herbology: The Plants And Their Magical Properties out of her bag, flipped it open to where her bookmark had kept her place and read on. 



 “First thing Hermione does when she loses an argument”, Harry smirked, and leaning his head closer to Ron and pretending he was whispering something conspiratorially to him, even though Hermione could perfectly hear what he was saying. “Is go into a huff and pull out a book to read to prove she is superior to us”.



 “I totally agree with you mate, look she’s creasing her brows together. That’s a sure-fire sign that she’s getting pissed off!” Ron quipped and laughed good-naturedly. 



 “I’m not in a huff and we weren’t arguing!” Hermione shot out irritably. 



 “Whatever you say ‘Mione!” Ron replied, using his pet name for her, which caused Hermione to shoot him a look, though it was not as filled with irritation as the one before. They lapsed into silence and after a while Ron turned to Harry and they began conversing about Quidditch or something along those lines, and Hermione, who had set her book down on the nearest pot, wanted to join in the conversation, but found she had been frozen out. The boys were too busy talking amongst each other to notice Hermione sitting next to them, staring absently into space, bored and feeling very left out. 






 



As the late November setting sun slowly made its way through the treetops of the Forbidden Forest and finally disappeared under the Earth for one more day, found Hermione sitting at the large wooden table at one end of her Heads common room, her reading books, notes and parchments scattered around her in what looked like to everyone as a complete mess, but to Hermione held a meticulous system that only she knew. Currently her head was leaning so close to the table, her nose was almost touching it, her left hand scribbling along the parchment so frantically it was a miracle she hadn’t torn a hole in the parchment yet. 



 “Granger, keep on going that way and you’ll actually manage what you’ve been threatening to do since your know-it-all first year and disappear behind all those notes of parchment”, Malfoy drawled into her ear.



 Hermione let out a shriek and dropped her quill on the parchment in fright, one hand placed over her heart as she tried to calm her breathing.



 “For God’s sake Malfoy!” she cried out angrily and let out a sigh of dismay as she spotted her quill on her parchment, the ink soaking its way into the parchment, leaving behind a large black spot that obscured her tiny handwriting. She picked up her quill and placed it in its inkwell once more, before she turned to face Malfoy and fix him with a glare.



 “Have you got nothing better to do than to scare me?”



 “No”, he replied simply, smirking down at her. 



 “Don’t you already have all your homework completed for the next two weeks?”
Malfoy asked, scrunching up his nose to which Hermione could only chuckle.



 “Yes I do!” she replied pointedly, the smile quickly vanishing from her face, “But since you, like everybody else seems to have forgotten, we’ve got the NEWTs to sit this year!”



 “It’s November Granger!” Malfoy exclaimed, shaking his head at her absurdity.



 “Your point being?”



 “I give up you’re a lost cause”, he said and turned to walk away from her.



Hermione sighed to herself and rolled her eyes, before turning around in her chair and picking up her wand, which she promptly pointed at her splatter-covered parchment, intending to siphon of the excess ink, but she sighed in dismay as she saw that the ink had already dried. Stupid Malfoy!








 



Two hours later, after having unsuccessfully managed to complete her History of Magic revision work, Hermione had grabbed her cloak to stave of any draughty chills and decided to go for a walk along the corridors of Hogwarts castle in an attempt to stay away from Malfoy and get a chance to just think. With her Head girl badge clipped onto her robe and her ponytail bobbing merrily behind her, Hermione made her way through the corridors of the fifth floor, having already caught three fourth years with fireworks and disengaged a sixth year couple from a very public display of affection in the middle of the corridor, to which Hermione had disengaged themselves from each other and sent them off with an, “Honestly!” She was feeling in a much better mood these last few minutes, she had stopped and talked to Parvati and Dean Thomas and had taken great delight in seeing that they were still very much together and rather crazy about each other. She had sighed happily at this sight, but despite the fact that her heart yearned for the same, she had pushed that emotion away and continued on in her ramblings. 



Hermione was about to give up on her walk, her toes were becoming incredibly cold and she silently cursed herself for not wearing heavier shoes, when she saw that she was close to the Ravenclaw common room, and who could be ahead of her, leaning against the wall, but none other than that familiar tidy brown hair, large nose and brown eyes of Anthony Goldstein, the Ex-Head Boy. He was not aware of her presence and had pushed himself off from the wall, intent on going back towards the Ravenclaw common room, when Hermione cried out, quite surprised with herself and his sudden reappearance.



 “Anthony!” she called out, “Wait!”



 The boy stopped momentarily, his back to Hermione and slowly swivelled on the spot, turning around to face her. It took him a second to recognise her voice, and at her sudden appearance he smiled, a little unsure of what to do.



 “Hermione…” he said, “I can explain about everything!”



 “Where have you been? I’ve heard that you were expelled and others said you were suspended. No-one quite seems to know what happened to you. You just done a disappearing act after that night”.



 “Yeah about that…”



 “Are you okay?” Hermione asked, cocking her head a little to the side and taking a few steps towards him. “You look a little scared of me”, she laughed somewhat nervously at this.



 “You must hate me after all that, not doing a thing all year, leaving you with the job of doing both our Heads jobs, trying to get you to vouch for me when Mc Gonagall came in and now leaving you with Draco Malfoy as Co-Head. I’d heard”, Anthony replied in quick succession. 



 “I’ll admit that I wasn’t the happiest person to be left with all the work, but it was ok and I managed just fine. Mostly I was worried about you and your constant disappearing acts. Did they really expel you, I mean it can’t really be, you’re here and in your uniform no less, but what do I know?”



 “No Hermione, I’m not expelled and you needn’t worry so much about me”, Anthony smiled at this last part. “I got suspended for being in Hogsmeade that night without permission. You can imagine what kind of an outcry that caused among the Professors. They suspended me for four weeks and I just got back this morning. Frankly to be honest I’ve been a little unsure of my return. It seems quite a few rumours have built up in my absence!”



 Hermione laughed to this and nodded her head, smiling with mirth. “Well you’re right about that! Anthony Goldstein the amazing disappearing act. I believe one fourth year Hufflepuff was certain she had seen you in Australia, God knows how she could have been there to see you there, but then they were all as crazy as that theory. You would have been proud of their bouts of imagination. If you want you can always talk to me Anthony, you and I, we got on well”, Hermione said. 



 “Thanks Hermione, I really appreciate that, and you know what, why don’t I take you up on that offer? You can fill me in on life in Hogwarts since I’ve been gone and what it’s like to have the Slytherin Prince as Head Boy!”



 “Oh God don’t you start on that too!” Hermione cried shaking her head, but her act of trying to appear perturbed was lost when she cracked a smile. “And you can tell me all about what happened to you”.



 “Well then why don’t you lead the way?” Anthony replied, motioning politely with her hand that ladies should go first. They ambled comfortably down the corridor and slowly but surely made their way down the many staircases to the ground floor.




 



 “So you’re telling me, they just gave Draco Malfoy the job?” Anthony queried, quite flabbergasted.



 “Yeah, honestly I don’t know why, I mean he has good grades and in a way I suppose he does command respect, but I do still worry about him abusing his power. Why they couldn’t have made Ron or Ernie Head Boy is beyond me!”



 “Well then he has the perfect Head Girl to keep him in line”, at this comment Hermione blushed a deep scarlet, but Anthony either didn’t notice or didn’t comment on it for he continued on, “But don’t be so surprised with Ernie not being made Head Boy, he was with me in Hogsmeade a few times when I was there”.



 “What do you mean?” Hermione asked, eyes wide.



 Anthony made a motion of drinking from a bottle with his hands and Hermione’s eyes went wider. 



 “You don’t seriously say he was drinking?!” she cried shocked.



 “I did say not to be so surprised, the stress of the exams were getting to him and he has a lot to live up to, high expectations from himself and his family”.



 “Was it the same for you?”



 “Me?” Anthony mused, stopping for a moment to think, “I suppose you could say something like that. Honestly I don’t know why I done it, the thrill of danger, getting caught; the kind of friends I had. I suppose that’s what you get if you decide it would be a fun idea if you break out of Hogwarts at night and go drinking with some Slytherins”.



 “Slytherins, but I heard nothing of them getting caught that night!” Hermione exclaimed.



 “Yeah that’s the thing when you have Slytherin buddies when you’re doing something against the rules, they’re not going to stick their neck out for you, and if faced with the threat of being discovered, they will leave you in the lurch and let you fall and take the blame”.



 “Oh my God, why didn’t you say something?”



 “And say what? Sorry for drinking underage in the Hogs Head late on a Saturday night, yeah I’ve a few buddies too, but they scarpered off and left me to face the music!” Anthony ground out bitterly. “Either way it wouldn’t have helped the situation and just because the Slytherins have no problem with doing shady things doesn’t mean I have to”.



 “I’m so sorry Anthony, I know I could just say you shouldn’t have let yourself in with Slytherins in the first place, but who am I to talk?” Hermione sighed and shook her head.



 “So tell me about yourself, how are you doing with Malfoy as Co-Head?” Anthony asked, stopping for a moment to gaze down at Hermione. 



 Hermione let out a laugh that quickly subsided and sighed deeply. “Oh where do I start?”



 “Well you can start with telling me why you blushed when I insinuated that you could keep Malfoy under control and what you just meant with not letting yourself in with Slytherins. What’s going on with you and Draco Malfoy?”



 “I forgot you were always so good at reading people”, Hermione replied. “Well what is there to say, other than what a big mess”.



 “You’re still with Ron Weasley or did you two break up?” Anthony added, starting to walk on again.



 Hermione blushed even deeper at this and looked down, unable to reply.



 “Hermione you alright?”



 Hermione looked up and for a moment he thought he detected her eyes glistening, but she blinked a few times and the unshed tears were gone. “I don’t know why people always paint me as this saint. I certainly amn’t one”.



 “You won’t get those type of judgements from me”. To this, Hermione looked up and smiled gratefully at him. 



 “Thank you!”



 “What for? You watched out for my back I’ll do the same. Us Heads have to look after each other”, Anthony replied stoically, though Hermione detected a glimmer of a smile.



 Feeling a lot better than she had been in days, she grinned back at him and teased, “Yes well Anthony, you might want to get your head checked out. You’re not a Head anymore. And there I thought the Ravenclaws were meant to be smart!”



 “Oh touché Hermione. I forgot you can have an acid tongue comparable to that of Rita Skeeter!” A muscle in Anthony’s face twitched as Hermione scowled. 



 “Low blow Goldstein”, she quipped, a mock scowl on her face.



 “And insulting my intelligence isn’t?”



 “Ah but you’re forgetting I’m still a Head!” Hermione smiled at her response and Anthony let out a laugh, swinging an arm around her shoulders and tapping her on the shoulders.



 “That you are Granger, that you are!” Hermione’s smile disappeared at his mentioning of her last name. It reminded her too much of Malfoy. They walked on in silence for a few moments, leisurely strolling down the darkening corridors, torches in their brackets springing to life and magically igniting themselves, so that it looked like as they were walking past a torch in a bracket the flame would burst to life. 



Hermione looked up a few times to see that Anthony was looking ahead, a serious look on his face, as though contemplating. She noticed, when the light of the torches flickered across his face that he looked a lot healthier than he had been a month ago, just before he was suspended. His face had a lot more colour and life in it, the pallid look was gone and he no longer had deep rings under his eyes. She smiled, glad to see he was doing better now. She had been worried when he disappeared without so much as a word to her all those weeks ago, but Malfoy had soon taken away every spare thought she would have had for Anthony. It amazed her fast things had changed, just a mere five weeks ago, Anthony was still Head Boy, she shared her duties with him, her and Ron were a lot better and Malfoy was nothing but a slight irritation. She sighed, and at this Anthony glanced quickly over at her, before casting his gaze back on the corridor in front of him.



 Hermione stirred herself out of her thoughts and looked up at Anthony, “How have the Ravenclaws been treating you since you came back?”



 “Not good”, Anthony replied, scowling slightly at this and looking down at his feet.



 “How do you mean?” Hermione queried, eyes wide.



 “Well Ravenclaws aren’t the most prideful of houses. I mean Gryffindors support everyone, especially themselves, Slytherins wouldn’t deign being seen supporting any other house so they rally all that energy into sticking together and Hufflepuff, they don’t have much other than each other. Ravenclaws are a funny lot, they will completely support you when you’re at your best, the top, but you make a mistake, you fall from grace and the whole house can turn against you”.



 “What about Terry and Michael? Surely they haven’t abandoned you”, Hermione asked, the worry evident in her voice.



 “Oh Michael was a bit pissed with me and what I done, but if you mean have they ditched me too, then the answer is no”, Anthony replied and he let out a smile as he saw Hermione’s visible relief. 



 “What are you going to do?” she asked him.



 Anthony just shrugged his shoulders and stayed quiet. A moment of silence passed before he opened his mouth. “What’s left for a disgraced Ex-Head Boy?” Anthony asked, sighing heavily.



 “What’s left for a cheating, hypocritical Head Girl?” Hermione quipped, raising her eyebrows and shaking her head at this.



 “We make a fine pair of Heads, don’t we?” Anthony asked, a trace of a smile gracing his elegant features. At this Hermione looked up and their eyes met for a moment. Both in unison tried to stop themselves from smiling, but when they saw the other trying to remain serious, they cracked and Hermione and Anthony burst out laughing, their chuckles reverberating down the empty corridor. Hermione clutched her sides as she tried to contain her laughter while Anthony leant against the wall for support his head bent low, his shoulders shaking.



Eventually the laughter subsided and Hermione heaved, gasping for air as she clutched her aching sides. Anthony still had his head bent low, and she detected his swiping a lone tear from his eye. He righted himself up again and grinned at Hermione.



 “Well anyway”, he said, trying to compose himself and the situation once more. 



 “Yes, let’s act like the mature people we are. I have a reputation to uphold”, Hermione replied primly, flattening down her hair and straightening out her school skirt. 



 “Come on I’ll walk you back to your common room, it’s getting late anyway”, Anthony spoke up, turning to face her, his arm held out as if ushering her ahead of him. 



 “You were always such a gentleman!” Hermione teased and walked on ahead, letting Anthony come up behind her, until he was walking next to her, matching his long stride with her short one. They walked along amiably in silence, walking along oblivious to the stares and whispers that were following them from other students, either shocked that Anthony Goldstein had returned or that Hermione was actually still talking to him. They glanced at each other for a moment, smirking at each other and walking on both with a spring in their step.



When they reached the outside of the Heads common room, Anthony stopped and Hermione halted next to him.



 “Well here you are, see no monsters attacked you along the way. You’re safe in my company”, Anthony joked, his tone light and humorous. 



 “Well I don’t think the rest of the student body would agree with you”, Hermione replied, smirking slightly.



 “Pfff, what do they know?” 



 “Thank you for being a good friend”, Hermione spoke quietly, almost timidly.



 “For what? You know you can always talk to me, I won’t ever judge you for what you do. I would be too much of a hypocrite if I did”.



 “Well thank you anyway, and you know you can always talk to me”, Hermione replied, relaxing a little and letting a smile through.



 “No sweat, now you’d better go in there and go annoy Malfoy for me”, Anthony said, clapping her on the shoulder. 



 Hermione smiled and Anthony added, “Can I give you a bit of advice though?”



 “Sure go on ahead”.



 “Don’t sell yourself short, that’s the only thing I can say. Don’t ever forget who you are”, Anthony said, his tone sombre. Hermione nodded her head, gave him a last grateful smile and spoke the password for the portrait, which opened promptly and she slipped in through the gap before the painting closed behind her. She sighed, a contented look washed over her face, glad in the knowledge that despite everything she would always have one person who would stand by her side and not judge her. She secretly thanked the heavens for Anthony’s character and wondered why she had never seen it herself or made an effort to really get to know and become friends with him. That thought she never got a chance to ponder on as the cold tone of Malfoy disrupted her musings and once more pulled her out of her reverie. He had a real knack of doing that, she thought irritated. 



 “Granger close your mouth you look like a dying goldfish like that. Although with that mess you call hair, goldfish might be too much of a compliment for you”, Malfoy drawled, turning around on the sofa that he had been lying on to smirk at her. 



 “Oh Malfoy, you do know how to compliment a girl!” Hermione replied dismissively, adding a large sigh for dramatic effect. She walked on across the common room, clearly her destination was her private room and from the determination in her step it was obvious nothing that Malfoy would say would stop her. 



 “Oh Granger, you have a letter. It’s lying on the table. The owl nearly clawed out my eyes when it arrived with the letter when I wouldn’t take it”, Malfoy complained, as if the arrival of a letter for Hermione had been such an imposition on his life. 



 “Stop whinging Malfoy, you sound like a three year old child!” Hermione sighed, irritated even more by his childishness. She walked over to the table n the common room and picked up the letter. 



Malfoy, who was either curious as to its contents or thinking of another way to irritate her got up and walked towards her, slinging an arm around her waist and began leaving a trail of kisses running down the back of her neck. He latched onto her pulse point and sucked it lightly, eliciting a groan from Hermione as she lowered the letter she had begun reading.



 “Malfoy…” she groaned. Malfoy in turn flicked his tongue along the underside of her ear and left butterfly kisses along her lower jaw, which caused Hermione to let out another barely audible groan. She tried to hold onto her concentration.



 “Shush Granger”, Malfoy whispered into her neck, his left hand wrapped tighter around her waist, while the other began leaving a trail of tingling skin as his hand trailed down her upper thigh, to where her skirt ended. His fingers played with the hem of her skirt and this finally broke Hermione’s resistance and damning her concentration, Hermione allowed herself to be turned around. She seized Malfoy by the collar, kissing him deeply. Malfoy’s hand fisted deeply in her wild hair, while the other cupped her rear, his hand trailing down her thigh under it reached the crook of her knee, which he brought up closer to him, relishing in the contact their provocative stance gave him. Hermione let out a whimper as he ground into her, her skirt falling down, revealing more of her upper thighs, which Malfoy used to his full advantage, running his hand up and down her leg. Their tongues in the meantime twirled in their fiery dance, both craving more contact and more passion. 



Hermione suddenly remembered her letter and disengaged her arms from around his neck and lowered her leg, taking a step away, panting slightly. Her lips were red and swollen, her hair mussed and her cheeks were tinged pink. Malfoy’s own eyes were a stormy grey, a clear contrast to his usual emotionless silver orbs.
His gaze, which was fixed on her was deep and penetrating and Hermione took a step back, knowing how close she was to jumping him again or that he would do the same to her. She bent down and picked up the letter and began reading, slowly walking away from Malfoy. Though she had initially been wary of the letter and its contents, due to the unusual time of arrival, nothing could prepare her for its news.




From Malfoy’s angle he saw how she began reading the letter her eyes drinking in every word and meaning, but he noticed the change in expression that washed over her delicate features. A look of shock followed by disbelief and then sorrow as grief overcame her and she let out a strangled sob. 



As the tears began to flow down her cheeks and the sobs started in earnest, Malfoy was snapped out of his observation and before he knew what he was doing, he was walking up to her, not quite sure what he was doing. When it came to seducing a girl or getting his way he was an expert, but dealing with emotions or those of others he was as naïve about them as Hermione Granger was about his character. Malfoy wasn’t quite sure what led him to do what he was about to do, but he had nevertheless taken those extra steps, crossed the boundary they had set long ago and enveloped Hermione in a hug.



She had either forgotten who he was or didn’t care, for she flung her arms around his neck and cried into his chest, her whole body shaking with sobs. Malfoy wrapped one arm around her back, subconsciously rubbing the small of her back in circles, while the other entwined itself with her luxurious hair. 



Hermione cried into his chest and Malfoy let her. Neither were sure exactly why both had temporarily let down their guard, but they had. Hell didn’t freeze over either, then again that’s the curious thing about feelings.






A/N: Well there we go, I'm really sorry it took me what over six months for this to come out. If this chapter feels a bit weird, I'll say an extra sorry because I've seem to have gotten myself out of the swing of writing and it'll take a bit until I'm back to my best.
Anyway, for that long wait you get an extra long chapter. Also i had so much fun writing Anthony Goldstein. He's a really fun character to write and apart from Draco and Hermione one of my favourites. I don't think people give him enough credit, in a way if it weren't for him Malfoy and Hermione might never have gotten together. I love the way how he instigates and resolves things. I also saw him as a bit of a preppy boy, I mean he is in Ravenclaw so I hope you agree with me.
Just to add some details were left vague on purpose, you will either find out later in the story or it wasn't central to the plotline so no need to fret.
Also the last scene of this chapter is rather telling and revealing, but I must caution you guys not to read too much into it. No jumping the gun here and declaring both have fallen madly in love with each other because they haven't but it is significant to their rather twisted relationship. You'll just have to see!

Now the last thing I can say is thank you for reading all the way through and please don't forget to review. 
As Samantha from Sex and The City once said, "Flattery will get you everywhere!"

Agrolass


Chapter 13: Letters
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



Chapter 13 Letters
There’s an angel at my table,


She broke her wings, she’s packed her things,


She said I’m the only one she’ll turn to.


 


There’s a devil on my shoulder,


And he’s telling me she’s so beautiful


And I should go up there and hold her,


 


But looking on,


How can I stay here,


It wouldn’t be what she wants


And I’m trying to break it easy,


But she’s pleading with me


 


Will you be my anchor,


When there’s no-one around to hold me down,


Will you be my anchor,


I know you’re not the answer.


 


"Angel At My Table" by The Frames (Frames DC)



 


Hermione awoke the next morning, groggy and with a distinct feeling of having gotten very little restful sleep. The skin on her shoulders and arms were tingling due to the cold and she let out a shiver, wanting nothing more than to crawl


under the covers, but as she gazed over at her sleeping companion, who’s hair was still messy from the night before, she decided to quietly slip out of the room, while he still slept soundly. Hermione let go of the blankets and slid side-wards out of the bed, doing her best not to wake him up. She paused momentarily to gather up her clothing. She dressed quietly, with a speed and efficiency which could only be attributed to her and silently slipped out of Malfoy’s room and down the spiral staircase. 


 


Half an hour later, a freshly showered and changed Hermione was sitting silently at the Gryffindor table. The hall was still rather empty due to the early hour. Hermione watched with an amused smile on her face that some of the Slytherin seventh year girls were already up and arguing amongst each other, one in particular that was Pansy Parkinson, seeming to be the most enraged. She barely noticed that Draco Malfoy had walked into the Great Hall, which attested to how engrossed she was in watching the squabbling Slytherin girls. The girls, Pansy in particular, stopped their argument when they spotted Malfoy and Pansy turned her anger on the blonde Head Boy, jabbing him in the chest with her finger. Hermione grinned with amusement at his shocked reaction, but when he looked over at her, she quickly let her grin slide from her face and looked down. 

Things were even stranger between them since the night before and Hermione wasn’t quite sure what to make of it or how to treat the issue. She continued eating her toast and did not look over at the Slytherin table for the rest of the morning. 


A few minutes later Ron and Harry ambled into the Great Hall and sat down on either side of her, greeting her with their usual smiles, though Ron’s was a lot more strained. 


Hermione gave them a fleeting smile and hello in return and focussed back on her toast. She wasn’t much in the mood to speak to them, she had too much to muddle over, the letter weighing heavily in her robe pocket. Truthfully, she had to concede that she never actually gave herself the chance to process it’s contents and deal with the shocking revelation, but as she felt her eyes watering at the mere thought, she quickly pushed the thought as far back in her sub-consciousness as she could and concentrated on her breakfast.


Ron had been giving her fleeting looks from the corner of his eye for the last fifteen minutes, opening and closing his mouth, but it was evident he hadn’t picked up the courage to say to her what he felt needed to be said. Ron gave Harry another look, and Harry sighed, knowing the inevitable had come. They had spent the better part of last evening discussing amongst each other, or more like Ron discussing and Harry nodding his head, and he knew that Ron wanted to speak to Hermione, though he did wish as he sighed and mentally shook his head, his best friend could have chosen a better time or place to confront Hermione.


 “Right”, Harry said, rolling his eyes at Ron’s insistent glances, getting up from the table, “I gotta go get some things before class starts”.


 Hermione barely nodded her head, caught in her own world, not really looking at anything in particular and Harry shook his head at Ron and made his way out of the Great Hall, grabbing Ginny’s hand as she walked into the Great Hall and leading her back out again.


 “What is it Harry?” she queried, her friends stopping next to her as Harry sighed.


 “Ron wants to confront or talk to Hermione and knowing those two it’s probably best if we leave them be, you know how their fights are”, he replied giving her a smile and a quick chaste kiss.


 “He has to do this now and here?” she said incredulously.


 “I tried to talk him out of it. Come on we can get some breakfast from the kitchens. I’m sure Dobby can make us up something nice”, Harry replied, smiling apologetically at his girlfriend.


 Ginny looked disgruntled and it took her a moment to calm down and reply,
“Alright, but Ron owes us one. I hate missing breakfast!” Harry smiled gratefully at her, gave her one more kiss and the two walked out of the Great Hall.


 “Hermione…” Ron began, not quite sure how to broach the subject. Hermione continued to stare of into space, unaware that Ron was addressing her.
“Hermione!” he tried once again a little louder and she flicked her gaze to look at him.


  “I think we need to talk about us”.


 “Can it wait Ron, I really don’t want to talk right now”, Hermione sighed, looking away and focussing on something else.


 “No it can’t Hermione. You’ve been distant and weird with me for weeks!” Ron growled, his temper flaring up.


 “Ron, please!” Hermione said, resigned. 


 “For fuck’s sake Hermione! Will you stop this bullshit and actually turn around and talk to me!” Ron shouted. Everyone in the vicinity at the Gryffindor table quickly stopped their conversations and turned to watch the Prefect and Head Girl argue. It was always a spectacular sight to see.


 “I never see you anymore and if I do you’re all strange and not you. You think I haven’t even noticed how weird you’ve been Hermione? Give me a little credit will you!” Ron growled, lowering his voice slightly as he fixed a glare onto his girlfriend.


 Hermione briefly looked up at her boyfriend but she had not the courage to speak so she looked back down onto her now cold breakfast.


 “And what’s even worse is you never invite me up to your common room anymore. In fact you never even gave me the password. Am I having a relationship with an imaginary girlfriend here or are you actually going to be there?”


Something snapped within Hermione and her attention was quickly diverted back onto Ron sitting next to her. Her eyes were glinting dangerously and her breathing was laboured. She glared menacingly at Ron and then heaved once more before she thought she had enough control to reply.


 “You always think things are about you don’t you Ronald! Not once did it pop into your head that maybe some issues didn’t involve you and that you should butt out of them. No Ron, who’s been the actual absentee one in this relationship, decides now after he got an attack of the consciousness to have a go at me for being just slightly distant because some things are plaguing me. Well you want to know what the problem is, well here it is!” she fumed, her voice dangerously cold. She quickly stood up, causing Ron to jerk back in fear that she might hit him and pull out the letter she had received from her robe pocket slamming it down on the table. My aunt’s missing, that’s your fucking problem, so excuse me if I’m a little on edge!” She spoke the last part with such maliciousness one could think it came from Lucius Malfoy and before Ron could splutter a reply, she had stormed off out of the Great Hall.


 Ron seemed too much in shock to say anything, gazing at the retreating form of his livid girlfriend. He certainly hadn’t expected that to happen, but then again they had been so strange these last few months that he didn’t know what was normal between them. His gaze flicked down to the letter she had slammed on the table, the top part of it glaring back at him and he felt the guilt rising up in his stomach as he read the words:


My darling Hermione,


We are really sorry to have to tell you this, and worse write it in a letter, for this has to be the worst way to find out, but your aunt Rosie has been missing for a week…



 


Ron jumped up from his seat and darted out of the Great Hall, running after Hermione, his long gangly legs quickly catching up with her short strides. Most of the Gryffindor looked up from their breakfast at the commotion Ron was causing and over on the other side of the hall at the Slytherin table, an irate Head boy was glowering at the retreating back of Ron Weasley. 


 “Hermione wait!” he called out, grabbing her arm as he reached her just outside of the Great Hall, spinning her around rather unceremoniously so that she lost her balance and tripped into his chest. Ron grabbed her with his strong arms and held her steady as Hermione continued to look down at her feet.


 “I’m really sorry Hermione, I didn’t know!” he pleaded with her, and Hermione nodded her head, unable to look up at him. “Please will you just look at me, I’m trying you know, I really am!”


 “I know”, the cracked voice of Hermione replied as she sniffed and roughly wiped a stray tear away. She glanced up into his cobalt eyes; her own chocolate eyes brimming with unshed tears. 


 “We don’t have to talk about us now. I’m here for you okay ‘Mione”, he replied softly, giving her arms a light squeeze.


 “Ron”, Hermione started, tears running down her cheeks as she vainly tried to hold them back and keep herself under control.


 “You don’t need to put up a front for me ‘Mione, it’s okay”, he whispered into her hair, drawing her closer. Hermione’s weight sagged against him as she threw her arms around his neck and silently cried into his chest.


 After a few minutes Ron picked up the courage and asked gently, “How long have you known?”


 “A few days, although that letter I got last night confirmed it”, came Hermione’s muffled reply in between her sobs. 


 “You should have told you, I wouldn’t have been such a prat to you about it!” Ron replied, brushing down her hair and rubbing the small of her back in circles, much like Malfoy had done the night before. Hermione stiffened at the memory and pulled away from Ron wiping away her tears. Ron was looking a little unsure at her so she pulled up as much strength as she could muster and smiled at him, dispelling his uneasiness. 


 “I’ll be okay, I just need to go to class”, Hermione replied, taking deep breaths to calm her erratic beating heart. She hitched her school bag higher up on her shoulder and began walking down the corridor leaving a puzzled Ron behind.



 


*        *          *



 


 “Draco, you’re never around anymore!” the high pitched, nasal voice of Pansy Parkinson whinged, to which Malfoy could only sigh and grit his teeth at their irritating behaviour. “Ever since you got made Head Boy we never see you and you’re always hanging around with that filthy Mudblood Granger!”


 Draco had had enough and with a sharpness of tone, which he could not disguise replied coldly, “That’s because she’s Head Girl and the position isn’t just fun and games Pansy. And in case you haven’t noticed I’m not living in the Slytherin common room anymore”.


 “But we miss you Draco!” she whined, batting her eyelashes in the hope of appeasing him and inciting some affectionate behaviour in the cool Head Boy.


 “Pansy, if you haven’t got anything else to tell me I’d really like to eat my breakfast”, he replied tiredly, making a berth around the black haired Slytherin Prefect and taking a seat further down the Slytherin table. Pansy unfortunately did not take the hint and followed him like a lost puppy, taking a seat next to him. Malfoy sighed to himself but ignored her, pulling out a piece of toast from the rack and began liberally buttering it up, pouring himself a strong coffee in the process. He was really not having the best start to the day. What had started of as waking up cold in bed to find that Granger had already left just went further downhill when he discovered the hot water had run out halfway through the shower and he couldn’t even swear at Granger for using up all the hot water as she had already left. To top things of again, Pansy Parkinson was being extra irritating. If she weren’t a pureblood and friends of the family he wouldn’t pay her half as much deference as he did, but even she was wearing his patience rather thin. 


She continued her whining at Draco, alternating it with telling him in her most condescending tone of all the stupid things other students in the other houses had done or the hexes placed on them by fellow Slytherins, and while he usually would have found listening to her an amusing distraction, this morning he was not in the best of moods and all it done was place Pansy in an even worse light in Draco’s eyes. 


It was the sound of Ron Weasley’s loud voice and angry tone that caught Draco Malfoy’s attention and he quickly jerked up his head and watched as the stupid berk began yelling at Hermione Granger, his voice being loud enough to carry to the other side of the Great Hall where Slytherin sat and roused a few amused and surprised looks from his fellow Slytherins. He watched with interest as Granger cowered slightly under his murderous gaze; for Malfoy any opportunity
to see that know-it-all put in her place was always something he enjoyed seeing.
 
But Draco was starting to understand a little about her character; she had always professed and given off an air that she was superior with a character that was not so easy to read, but he knew better. Hermione Granger, though she acted like she was the image of composure and calmness, had a volatile temper, he had experienced and pushed it to it’s extremes on many occasions, and he could tell from the half-wit Weasley’s shouting that it was bound to make an appearance soon. He relished the chance to watch her snap and turn her fiery temper on others. That was what attracted Draco to Granger. 


He did not have to wait long and Hermione’s temper did not disappoint him as she screamed back to Ron and stormed out of the Great Hall. From what she had screamed at the Weasel he surmised that it was about the letter she had received the night before and reacted so strongly to. 


Pansy Parkinson though would not let him think in peace that morning, for she had also watched the fight with a sharpness of mind that most of the time people did not credit her with. She turned her head around to watch Draco with scrutiny and found the Head Boy watching the scene with calmness. His eyes followed the Head Girl’s exit from the Great Hall and Pansy did not like that at all. 


 “Draco!” she spoke quite sharply, her eyes flashing dangerously. “You do spend too much time with that Mudblood. It’s not for your own good and you know we are all starting to worry about you”. Though the comment was meant to be passed of as a sign of concern, Draco knew too much of Pansy’s character to be able to detect the threat underlying those words. He turned his attention on Pansy, cold steel eyes meeting her stormy dark ones and gave her a curt nod.


 “You are right Pansy, if that were the case then I would definitely not be a good thing, but as it stands whatever time is spent with that Mudblood is done so in the greatest of discomfort on my part. Rest assured, I am not in any danger and if anything she should watch out for me”, his eyes glinted darkly, though his tone remained calm and Pansy allowed a quick smirk before returning to her cereal. 


Draco had grown far too wearisome of her officious character and exited the Great Hall a minute later. He let out a deep breath he hadn’t even realised he had held in once he was out of the Great Hall. Pansy was right; he was getting himself far too involved with that Mudblood, especially after the night before. Something needed to be done, and the first thing on the agenda was emotional distance. 


Draco took another deep breath to calm his torrid inner emotions and began walking down the empty corridor. He spotted the Head Girl and Ron Weasley a few metres ahead of him; surprised he hadn’t noticed that oaf run out after her.

She was currently sobbing into his arms, much like she had done to him the night before. Draco wasn’t quite sure what to do, usually he would say something insulting, break up their private moment, but he needed emotional distance and riling Granger up for his own amusement, was allowing her a little too close for his own comfort. He stood rooted on the spot, watching their private moment and the closeness that the Weasel gave her that he couldn’t and doubted he would ever allow himself to give to someone like her. It was quite surprising for him though when he felt the anger rising up deep within the pit of his stomach and for a moment he wasn’t quite sure where it came from, but one thing was crystal clear. He needed to get away. 


Turning on his heel, Draco stalked away and made his own way back to the Heads common room. During his brisk walk, he came to the conclusion that a plan needed to be formulated. What had happened the night before couldn’t occur again. He had allowed himself a moment of emotional weakness and it resulted in becoming far too emotionally attached in Granger and her concerns.
 
Since when did he care if she was all right, if the letter had caused her pain or that she needed him to comfort her? Was he not insulting her enough for the stupid girl to realise that he was not her Blood Traitor boyfriend? Or had she grown too used to his taunting to be able to see right through him. That thought scared Malfoy more than he realised. For him the mask he continuously wore was of extreme importance. It was so vital to his being that he didn’t even remove it in front of other Slytherins, so if she could see right through him, it was a most unsettling thought. 


So for the rest of the day, Malfoy contented himself with staying as far away from Hermione Granger as possible and not saying a single word to her. If she noticed, she didn’t say a word, and that night he saw very little of her. They did not even have rounds together, so by the time he returned to the common room after doing his rounds in complete boredom, she had either gone to bed or not returned yet for he found the common room both cold and empty. Peeved at being alone and her impassiveness, he went to bed in a sour mood.


 


What he had originally thought would be a simple enough task that he set for himself, turned out to be a lot more difficult than Malfoy had imagined. Staying away from Granger to get some emotional distance seemed so easy on paper, but he had either not taken into account or not realised how attracted he was to the fiery Head Girl with the wild hair and fierce code of morals. He found himself absently missing her company by the third evening, and since she seemed to no longer reside in the Heads common room, preferring her Gryffindor common room and the close company of her Gryffindor friends, he found himself spending more time with his fellow Slytherins, which Pansy seemed quite delighted by. She had turned her full attention on him and by the fourth day he was shrewdly keeping his distance from her, for she seemed to have decided to try and rekindle their former relationship, and Malfoy was in no mood to humour her. There was nothing that attracted Draco to her, her hair was sleek and black, her eyes though dark, held no passionate emotions and he found her voice too irritating and her mind empty of all intelligent thought. What was even stranger was he found himself comparing her on more than one occasion, while in the Slytherin common room surrounded by his Slytherin cronies and other hangers-on, to the Head Girl Hermione Granger, but then he supposed to his alarmed mind that was because of the amount of time he spent with the girl. If it weren’t for her blood status, he would find her an almost ideal female and himself in quite a lot of danger of falling hard for her and although she did not possess a mind as composed as him own, he rather liked her passion and fiery nature. He felt he was secure enough for the time being. 


Though he did soon tire of the Slytherin company and wished for more intelligent or amusing company, but Hermione had now been avoiding him and the Heads common room for a week. He did see that she still slept in her own bed, but she was always gone so early and often that she might as well not have lived there at all. Those rare occasions when they were in each other’s company, when they were either on rounds together, planning a Prefect and Heads meeting or even less when they were both on the Heads common room together at the same time, he found himself slipping up in his plan on more than one occasion. 


 What had started of five days after the letter arrived with Draco asking her gruffly, whether there was any better news from home so she could stop crying so often was met with an emotionless no after a particularly stressful Prefect meeting, soon turned into an awkward pat on the shoulder when she burst into tears during one of their rounds. Malfoy would not allow himself to hug her, but during that rather strange night, when she had obviously not received good news from home, she had thrown herself on him and he found himself not having the heart to push her off. To an outsider it would have looked incredibly amusing, Hermione Granger crying her heart out on Malfoy’s chest and he standing there awkwardly and rigidly with a definite look of fear and uneasiness in his stormy grey eyes, arms handing limply at his sides. 


Later that night, while in his bed he silently cursed himself for that moment of weakness and told himself rather scornfully that he would be better next time.


It was nine days after the arrival of the letter than he found his new strategy of emotional distance put to its hardest test. They had just had another Prefect meeting on the fourth floor, after Hermione Granger insisted that they strategise and hand out new security plans for the next Hogsmeade trip, calling all Prefects together to inform them that they were to supervise security in the wake of the increased attacks occurring in the Wizarding World. 


While the Head Girl had been talking and handing out schedules for the Hogsmeade trip, she had been more sullen and held back than was usual and Malfoy with his keen eyes had instantly observed the change in demeanour, even for the last week, he realised, it was worse than usual. She had held herself together for the entire meeting though and while she collected all her sheets of parchment Draco went on ahead, fearing she might run to him for comfort, and worse that he would let her. Pansy Parkinson, whose attention towards him was becoming decidedly worse, followed him out the door, walking close by his side.


 “Draco, will you take me to Hogsmeade next weekend”, she declared, batting her eyelashes in the hope of swaying him to say yes.


 “Pansy, surely you can take yourself to Hogsmeade. You don’t need me to show you the way”, he replied, his tone impassive, though there was an edge to which he spoke.


 “Yes, but you can take me to Madam Puddifoot’s. You know it’s closing down and I really want to go there one last time before it’s gone!” was her whined reply. 


 Draco rolled his eyes and added, “Yes I can see why it’s closing down. You know I can’t stand that place Pansy. Go with the girls, they’ll make you happier than I will!”


 “Oh you’re no fun Draco!” came her fast reply. She stopped talking for a moment, then suddenly turned to face him, her eyes gleaming. 


 “You know what we haven’t done in a while”, she purred, grabbing his collar and sucking onto his neck. Draco rolled his eyes and gently pushed her away. She had neither the skill nor the delicacy that Granger had and Malfoy wasn’t in the mood for the attention or her attempts at seducing him. Pansy just wasn’t appealing anymore. 


Pansy seemed a bit shocked that he had outright refused her advances and just stared at him for a moment before giving him a murderous glare and stalking away. Draco let out a sigh of relief and turned around to find Hermione Granger standing behind him, an unreadable expression on her face, watching his exchange with Pansy.


Hermione quickly glanced down at her feet and spun on her heel, it was obvious form Draco’s perspective that she had wished she had never stopped and watched them. Confused slightly why she would act so shy and demure, he quickly darted after her. Honestly he didn’t quite understand why his feet felt the need to go after her, but his long strides quickly caught up with her. 


 “Granger”, he called out, quickly shutting his mouth after he called out to her, a little shocked that he actually spoke.


 “Don’t Malfoy”, she whispered, having stopped, but she didn’t turn around. “Don’t do your usual snide comments because I can’t do this right now”.


 Her voice felt so small and fragile, Draco wasn’t quite sure how to take this new Hermione Granger. They were on new ground and Draco wasn’t quite sure how he was meant to act towards her, so he done the only thing that he was ever taught. He may not have been very good with his emotions, but he was an expert at pushing them away.


 “For fuck’s sake Granger, pull yourself together and don’t be such a weak and pathetic girl!” he growled, his defences immediately up. It was easier to deal with Hermione this way, and he knew that the last thing he wanted to do was have her upset, but he couldn’t deal with an upset Hermione, he didn’t know what to do and it threw their whole dynamics into such chaos, Draco done only one thing and that was lash out at her in the hopes of restoring the normal order of things for them. 


 Hermione whirled around and fixed him with a murderous glare to which Malfoy couldn’t help but smirk. He had had Pansy give him the exact same type of glare only a few minutes ago.


 “Is that all you can do Granger?” he taunted, knowing he hit the mark, when her face reddened considerably and her hands clenched into fists.


 “I dare you to hit me, you know you want to Granger. The dirty blood coursing through your veins is just itching to lash out at me. Isn’t that all what dirty Mudbloods can do?” The smirk was more pronounced than before and it did not phase him in the slightest that Hermione Granger was stalking towards him, her breathing erratic, though her pacing gave of an air of calmness.


 “You’re nothing but a dirty Mudblood and that’s all you will ever be-”


 “You bastard!”


 Draco never quite managed to finish that sentence as Hermione had lashed out and punched him square across the face, her eyes glinting dangerously. She launched herself at him once again, only this time slapping every square inch of him that she could reach. Draco quickly threw up his hands to protect himself from the out-of-control Head Girl, but it did not stop her, instead she focussed on beating as much of his chest as she could. He finally had to resort to drastic action and grabbed her arms, clamping them down at her side as he held the shaking and squirming Hermione Granger until she would finally calm down. His arms and chest were sore, his nose was bleeding and he knew he would soon get a black eye if he didn’t solve it with a spell, but Draco held Hermione tightly until she stopped trying to free herself. She sagged against his chest, deflated and spent, though the shaking did not subside and it took him a few minutes to realise that she was crying. He released her arms as his own wound themselves around her waist and he could distinctly hear her muffled sobbing.


 “I hate you!” she sobbed into his chest and he held her tighter to him in reply. 


 “It’s alright Granger”, he replied in the most soothing voice he could muster, rubbing her back in small circles, but she would not stop shaking.


 “Rosie’s missing, presumed dead and all you can do is tell me how filthy I am. You’re disgusting and I hate you Malfoy”, she sobbed, though the venom in her voice had disappeared somewhat, only to be replaced by despair and hopelessness. “I hate you because you don’t even realise how important she is to me. She was my second mum, she raised me and cared for me and never did she ever judge me. Rosie had always said that I was special, more special than the rest and I don’t know what I would do if she never came back again, if she was dead…”


 Draco didn’t know what he could say to her after her admission. They were in foreign territory. It was at this moment he realised what she was to him, she was like poison, infesting his very soul, polluting his thoughts and body and yet he craved her more. He knew he needed that proverbial antidote or he would be doomed, but he could not do it. He could not hurt her anymore, especially after she felt to wretched already and he hated himself for his weakness. He kissed the top of her head and hugged her close to him. Draco Malfoy knew he was doomed, but somehow for that moment he didn’t care. 




A/N: Well guys, there you go. Sorry for the delay there. I have about five different versions for tis chapter banner and I was having real problems with creating the perfect chapter banner, but I'm finally satisfied enough and so I could post this chapter, but considering it's only like 5 days since I posted the last chapter, you guys can't be too mad at me. 

Now about this chapter. God it was both difficult and really fun to write. From Hermione's perspective was difficult and I was having real problems trying to come up with a good reason for Ron being mad at her and deciding to confront her, so if it feels a little jagged within the story, I'm sorry, but it was the best that I could come up with. As for Malfoy's perspective and I hoped I was obvious enough with the fact that three quarter of the story was from his perspective (I really hate those fics where they have like "Start of Draco's POV" and "End of Draco's POV", because as if it isn't blatantly obvious enough I also think your story shouldn't read like a transcript for a tv show). That was so much fun to write and I got a real kick out of delving into Malfoy's psyche. I've never really done it to such a depth in this story and the more I write about him the more fascinated I am by his character. I do think he has one of the most complex characters in JK Rowling's world. I mean he's not just evil or a womaniser or even devoid of emotions as most would paint him. There's so much more so I hope I gave enough of an idea to how complex his mind is. 
Otherwise Draco's and Hermione's relationship is evolving. Unfortunately if you're looking for a story where they now fall madly in love and everything resolves itself, you're reading the wrong story. I've got plenty more lined up and it's gonna get complicated!

So now I can only ask/beg that you please review and the next chapter should be up soon. I've already got the idea for the next chapter banner so half the battle is over. YAY!
P.S. The next chapter is gonna get real exciting and you'll find out more on Hermione's aunt. She will prove to be more significant so give her a chance. 

Peace out, or something like that (lol)!
Agrolass.


Chapter 14: A Snapshot In Time
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


 CHAPTER 14  A Snapshot In Time
It was only one hour ago
It was all so different then
Theres nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did
This flesh and bone
Its just the way that you would tied in
Now theres no-one home

I grieve for you
You leave me
so hard to move on
Still loving whats gone
They say life carries on
Carries on and on and on and on
Lyrics I Grieve by Peter Gabriel.



The dark rings under the Head Girl, Hermione’s Granger’s eyes were the first indicators for Ron and Harry that she was not doing so well. The second came when she had snapped at Ron for eating with his mouth open and the third undoubtedly was her quiet admission to Ron that she had slept very little because of the nightmares she had all night of finding her aunt dead. She was fidgety and seemed extra jumpy when Harry tapped her on the shoulder. Both boys caught each other’s eyes and were worried, but there was nothing they could do short of creating a miracle. So they sat back and continued with their breakfast feeling very uneasy for her.



Hermione on the other hand, was tentatively holding onto her composure, though even she conceded that she was doing a poor job of it. Not only hadn’t she gotten a wink of sleep, for every time she closed her eyes she saw the dead body of her aunt before her eyes, but she also had an ominous feeling that something extremely bad was going to happen today. She couldn’t explain how or why she believed it to be so, neither could she explain the tremors that engulfed her body as she spotted the owls descend upon the Great Hall with the morning post. Hermione’s face visibly paled at the sight of a barn owl flying towards the Gryffindor table and she grabbed Ron’s arm under the table for emotional support. He in turn turned around and gave her a reassuring smile, grabbing her hand and giving it a squeeze. A large tawny barn owl came and landed in between the two goblets of pumpkin juice next to Ron and Hermione, dropping its letter neatly on Hermione’s now empty plate. She glanced nervously at it and slipped her hand out from Ron’s grasp and shakily picked up the envelope. With trembling fingers, as Ron and Harry tried to assure her that all could be well, she opened the letter and began reading. The hand that was holding the letter began shaking visibly as tears began rolling down her cheeks, splattering onto the crisp white paper, but Hermione read on, and it wasn’t until she made it to the end of the letter that she let out an audible sob. It turned out to be the catalyst, that finally allowed all her repressed emotions to come out into the light of day and Hermione burst into quiet tears, one hand tightly clutching the letter, while the other covered her mouth, an obvious sign of shock. Ron wrapped his arms around her and drew her into a hug, which only caused Hermione to cry harder, her now loud sobs not only catching the attention of fellow Gryffindors, but the tables of other houses, too.



 “No!” Hermione cried, her eyes never leaving the sheet of paper in her hand. The tears trailed down her cheeks, like droplets before the storm and her body that had been trembling, let out a visible shake as she let out another strangled sob.



 “Harry mate, help me get her outta here!” Ron whispered as he stroked Hermione’s hair, in an attempt to calm her down. Harry, whose green eyes were demure at the sight of his best friend so aggrieved, silently nodded his head and stood up.



 “Come on Hermione, we’re gonna go now. Can you stand up?” he spoke quietly to her, but Ron doubted that she heard her a word that he said.



She was still clinging desperately to his school jumper, her lifeline to reality as she drowned in her own grief. Ron helped hoist her up, though she never let go of him, and rather awkwardly, with Harry standing on the other side, they supported Hermione and walked her out of the Great Hall. She appeared not to know what was going or even able to support herself, but the two boys managed to walk her out of the Great Hall, half supporting, half carrying her out, all the while whispering words of comfort and condolence in her ear that she could not hear. By this point nearly every head had turned around and faced them and Ron didn’t doubt for a second that as soon as they were out of the Great Hall, the place would be abuzz with gossip and whispers.



Draco Malfoy took in the scene with a frown creasing his forehead. He could tell by the concerned reactions of both Pothead and the oaf Weasley that the worst news had come. Granger’s reaction certainly proved his case. He sat there for a moment, wondering if he should make his excuse and leave the Great Hall, but when he turned and spotted the shrewd looks that Pansy was giving him, he sighed and decided it would be a bad idea. She was already angry enough at him, to rouse suspicion now would be an even worse idea. He resigned himself to staying put and continuing with his breakfast.





She had not been in class in the morning, Draco realised and as he sat at his Ancient Runes table and realised he couldn’t sneak snide glances at Granger or torture her incessantly on various topics, he found the class quite dull. To cap it all off Pansy had completely put him off his food, so when lunch came around, he sought solace and peace in the Heads common room. He wasn’t surprised in the least when, upon opening the portrait door, he saw Hermione Granger curled up on the sofa, a blanket lying across her legs, looking deep into the crackling fire. She appeared so engrossed in her thoughts that she did not hear him enter the room, or she chose to ignore him. He stopped for a moment, glancing at her back, but she would not turn around and acknowledge him, so he walked on up to his bedroom and returned five minutes later with a book. He made his way over to where the sofa and couches were, taking a seat on one of the empty couches. His eyes never once left Hermione Granger, though she did not once look up.


 “Granger”, he said, and it took Hermione a moment before she looked up, their eyes meeting. He could tell she had been crying a lot, her eyes were red and puffy and by the looks of it still held unshed tears. Her nose was red too and it was only then that he realised scattered all around her were tissues. She looked so morose and defeated it pulled at his heartstrings and he held out the book that he had brought down. A quizzical look passed across her features, but she took the book and turned it over to read the title, not saying a word.



 “I read this when my grandmother died of Dragon Pox. I don’t know… you like books so much…” Draco said, not sure what he was meant to say in this situation.



 “Thank you”, she replied softly, glancing up briefly, a small smile on her face, though it was gone a moment later and Draco wondered if he had seen it at all. He turned his attention back to the fire, shuffling about in his seat for a moment until he made himself comfortable. Hermione, alternating between glancing at the book on her lap and the fire, glanced up once or twice to see Malfoy fidgeting with his hands, opening his mouth as if to speak, but then closing it quickly again.



 She pulled the blanket up higher and spoke, “You can ask you know, Malfoy”.



 Draco turned his attention back to the Head Girl, a little confused, but then nodded his head.



“She’s dead, isn’t she?”



 Hermione dropped her head and nodded, letting the hair hide her face. He was always so blunt, but somehow hearing him say it so crassly didn’t make her want to burst into tears again. She had cried too much already that day. Hermione put her hand into her school robes and pulled out the crumpled latter, holding it out for him to take with slightly shaking hands.



 “You can read it, I don’t mind”, came her timid response to the action.



Malfoy leaned forward and took it of her, settling back into his seat, before he began reading its contents.



My dearest Hermione,



It pains me greatly to pass on this terrible news to you, especially with the stress and pain you must already be under, but your aunt’s body was discovered late last night. The Police came to us about four in the morning. Your mother is of course deeply upset and she is staying in bed for the day; the doctor has given her some sleeping medication.



I am deeply sorry that I couldn’t be there with you to tell you the news, but that is the downside of sending you to a boarding school. Either way I know you are strong and I will see you soon darling. For the moment though I think it may be best if you stayed at Hogwarts, your friends and Ron Weasley will keep you distracted. I know it would only pain you too much being cooped up in the house with nothing to do. Please do not be angry with me, I mean only the best for you.



I will now tell you what details we do know. Your mother is against my telling you the Police reports, but I know you appreciate honesty so I shall inform you. Your aunt died in some very unfortunate circumstances and the Police have ruled it as a homicide. I wish I could protect you from the harshness and cruelty of this world, but I fear I cannot and you would only discover through other means. She was murdered quite brutally, though the Police do not yet know the cause of death. It would be so much easier to live under the assumption that she died peacefully, but one does not always get what one wishes for.



That is all I can muster myself to tell you of now. I love you very much darling and though I wish you at home, I can at least sleep somewhat securely, knowing that you are among friends and will be well looked after. Stay strong and let your friends care for you.



I will write soon,



Love Dad.





 “Fuck”, whispered Malfoy upon reading the letter and Hermione nodded her head a little at that.



“And you’re not furious that you’re being asked to stay here at Hogwarts?”



 There was silence for a moment as Malfoy’s question lingered in the air and Hermione took a moment longer to gather up her courage to reply.



 “I am, but there’s not much I can do”.



Malfoy nodded his head and remained silent.


They sat like that for the rest of lunch, neither talking, but both feeding of each other’s presence. When lunch was over, Malfoy got up and left and Hermione resumed her crying, wishing for things she knew would never happen.




That evening was the first night that Hermione asked Ron to stay with her in a long time. He had been walking her back to the Heads common room after spending the evening in the Gryffindor common room, never saying or doing much, but the boys had insisted, and she had relented. As they approached the portrait guarding the entrance to the Heads common room, Hermione turned to him.

 “Ron can you stay with me the night please? I don’t think I could face it on my own!” She looked so defeated and lost that Ron drew her in close for a hug and kissed her hair.



 “Of course ‘Mione”, he replied. She pulled away from his hug and turned to open the portrait for them. With a glance and a small sigh of relief she saw that Malfoy was not in the common room.



They did not linger long there, Hermione just wanted to go to bed and get this horrible, long day over and done with, and Ron just wanted to do whatever it took to make Hermione as happy as can be.


That night she slept very little. His arms felt strange to sleep in and not at all what she was used to, and even his comforting presence, which used to alleviate all her fears and problems could not console her heart or ease the pain she was feeling. At one point in the night, she sat silently at the edge of the bed, eyes cast on the Forbidden Forest and the moonlight as it shone on the treetops. She had always thought it a beautiful view from her room window, but it did nothing but remind her of how hollow and empty she felt. She toyed with the thought of sneaking out and going down to the common room for some peace, but she never picked up the courage to get up and leave. A half hour later, restless at her inability and feeling cold and shaky once more, she climbed into bed again and cuddled up to Ron’s sleeping form, breathing deep in his scent and wondering why she couldn’t feel his presence.



It took quite a few more hours until exhaustion finally claimed her and she fell into a fitful, restless sleep.





In the morning Ron awoke, for once not to the sound of the alarm or the other boys yelling out to him that he was late, but to the early morning light wafting in through Hermione’s window. He looked over at his girlfriend sleeping next to him, a small smile gracing his features, though it quickly slipped off his face when he saw her frown in her sleep. He had heard her most of the night, even when she thought he was asleep and had cried to herself sitting on the edge of the bed. It felt strange, even with her next to him, the gulf that had been separating them lately felt as wide as ever. She may be leaning on him for emotional support and so much more these last two weeks, but still he felt alienated from her. Ron sighed and got up out of the bed, knowing this was probably the most he would get from her and he loved her too much to lose her that easily. Making sure that she didn’t wake up, for Hermione desperately needed her sleep, Ron got dressed and quietly slipped out of the room, stopping only to give her a light kiss on the cheek, before making his way down the spiral staircase.



He didn’t expect Malfoy to be up so early, and by the unguarded and slightly stunned look on Malfoy’s pale features, he had also not expected Ron to be there either. Ron braced himself, crossing his arms across his chest, a glare on his face as he saw the Head Boy rise fluidly out of the chair and make his way over to Ron.


 


 “Well if it isn’t the Blood Traitor”, Malfoy sneered, derision etched across his face.



 “Malfoy”, Ron replied gruffly, standing rooted on the spot, showing him that he couldn’t be intimidated that easily.



 “Shouldn’t you be running along back out of common rooms you don’t belong in, back to your filthy friends?” Malfoy spoke, his upper lip curling into a sneer.



 “Listen here Malfoy!” Ron growled, taking a step towards the pale Head Boy, eyes glinting dangerously. “Stay away from my friends and especially Hermione. If I hear of you giving her any grief it will have been the last thing you done!”



 “Are you threatening me Weasel?” Malfoy quipped, smirking at the infuriated red head. “Because don’t you forget that people like you are worth shit in this world, especially now more than ever!”



 “Oh I suppose you’d know all about it Malfoy? Death Eater father, son walking in the same footsteps. People like you are the filthy ones here!” Ron spat, his hands clenching into fists. “You just stay away from Hermione!”



 “What a feeble threat Weasel bee! What if I just don’t? I mean she just lives up those stairs, I could just sneak up there one night while she’s asleep”, Malfoy replied, eyebrows wagging.



 “Why you little bastard!” Ron growled, standing so close, he could easily have punched the slimy git, but Ron restrained himself with great difficulty. Hermione needed him to support her now and he didn’t think she would be very happy, even as depressed as she was now, if he punched Malfoy just to alleviate some of his anger.



Ron glared at Malfoy one last time, before dropping eye contact and walking around Malfoy out of the Heads common room.



With the slamming of the portrait door, Malfoy whirled around on the spot, his silver eyes blazing with repressed fury. That had been the first time the Weasel had stayed at the Heads common room in a long time and somehow the thought made him even angrier, so angry he done something he hadn’t done since Potter beat him to be Seeker in first year; he punched the wall.



With a string of curse words and a very sore hand, Malfoy opened up the portrait door and stormed out, intent on relieving his pent up frustrations and feelings of possessiveness on someone else.





It was with great shock and surprise that both Ron and Harry looked up and quickly glanced at each other when they spotted Hermione walking into the first lesson of the morning, Transfiguration. She took a seat next to Ron, greeted the two boys with a hello and promptly began pulling her textbooks out of her bag.



 “Hermione?” Harry queried, a little unsure as to how to approach the subject. They had after all not seen her at breakfast and assumed she would stay in the common room all day again. The teachers, with Mc Gonagall had agreed to give her a few days of until she could return home for her aunt’s funeral, so they did not expect her to appear in class, but then again the boys reasoned, with worried looks, she was Hermione and was not going to stop attending class.



 “Yes Harry?” she replied, her tone impassive. Both boys scrutinised her. She had dark rings under her eyes, which was to be expected and although her eyes were slightly red and puffy, she appeared to not have cried recently. Otherwise she seemed calm and composed. Both boys were now extremely worried.



 “I thought you’d take the day off”, he replied, the concern evident in his voice.



 “I’m alright Harry”, Hermione replied and this time turned and looked his square in the eye, smiling a little to reassure him.



 “In all fairness Hermione, I don’t think you are. Your aunt died and you just found out 24 hours ago. You’re not fine and I don’t think you should push yourself too much?”



 “Push myself Harry?” Hermione replied archly, “Is trying to move on with my life pushing myself too much? I appreciate your concern, but there is nothing I can do in this situation. Anyway what use is it going to do me if I sit in bed and cry all day?”



 “’Mione, you need time to deal with this, don’t push yourself too hard and think you will be fine because you can’t be!”



 “Ron! Seriously I’m fine now will you please stop it. I just want to get on with life”, Hermione replied sharply and turned her attention to Mc Gonagall, who had just walked into the classroom. Ron and Harry shook their heads and sighed. There was no use talking to her if she was going to be so stubborn.





Lunchtime found Malfoy stalking the corridors of Hogwarts once more, no appetite on him and a distinct feeling of restlessness. He needed to vent and when he found a fifth year Gryffindor sneering at him as he walked past. For Malfoy, after half a day of feeling completely on the edge of his tether, this was the final straw and he snapped.



 “You think something’s funny you little git!” Malfoy roared, grabbing the boy by the collar and shoving him up against the wall. His arm enclosed around the shirt collar and held him there, his thunderous expression making the boy flinch.



 “I ought to set you in your place, you little piece of Gryffindor scum!” he spoke, his voice low but dangerous. A fearful expression crossed the boy’s face.



 “Malfoy!” came the shrill reply.



Malfoy let out a sigh and turned his head to the right and he winced at the sight of Hermione Granger storming towards him a furious expression on her face. For that moment she uncannily reminded him of Professor Mc Gonagall.



 “Unhand that boy at once, you will do no such thing of the kind!” she replied fiercely and Malfoy grudgingly let go of the boy’s collar, turning his attention away from the pest.


 “I’m sorry, just go on, I’ll deal with this”, Hermione spoke to the boy and he quickly scarpered of, running away so fast it caused a smile of amusement to flicker across his face.



 “You think it’s funny to terrorise Gryffindors?” Hermione said icily, turning her full anger on her fellow Head.



 “They’re pesky little, nosy buggers and deserve what they get”, Malfoy replied tiredly,



 “Oh stuff your insults Malfoy and grow up. I’ve got enough on my plate without having to run after you and keep you in check the whole time, so grow up and starting acting like the mature person you’re supposed to be”. She stopped and let out a sigh, rubbing her eyes as she tried to control her emotions. Malfoy watched her, his face impassive, never betraying any emotion.



 “I can’t deal with you right now Malfoy. Please don’t disappoint me”, and with that she turned around and walked away.



 Malfoy glared after her as she walked away and once she had turned around the corner, he spun on his heels and shouted out, “Fuck!” He walked around in circles, feeling angry and frustrated his fists clenching and unclenching as he tried to calm his torrid emotions. She was not meant to be so angry and then so cold to him, he missed Granger when she was fiery, but he knew he shouldn’t have reacted so strongly. He hated how she was infesting his thoughts and beliefs. He would never have cared about hurting a Gryffindor, yet with her in his life he suddenly found himself angry when she was disappointed with him. With her he suddenly found himself desiring her good opinions and he hated it. Feeling a new emotion that he had not felt in a very long time, he walked away and realised it was shame that was coursing through his veins. It was a new and strange experience, and one he hoped not to repeat in a very long time.





Wednesday morning brought no real news or change to Hermione’s current situation. The letter she received from home with the morning post told her in detail how the situation was going on at home, that the police had yet to establish the cause of death even after two post mortems, though a heart attack was ruled as the most likely cause. This news did not change Hermione’s disposition much, the boys were fearful that she might explode on them if they dared say or do anything wrong, but she did not, and despite their protests continued to attend classes. Since the day that Hermione had first received the letter telling her of her aunt’s death, both Ron and Harry hadn’t seen her cry since. They did not know whether this was good news or not, so they continued to observe and support her.



The only change to the day came from Professor Mc Gonagall walking up to Harry, Ron and Hermione as they were approaching the Defence Against The Dark Arts classroom for their fourth class of the day. In her hand she held a letter and when she walked up to the trio, she acknowledged all three but directed her query at Hermione.



 “How are you today Miss Granger?” she spoke, looking down at Hermione from her impressive height.



 “I’m fine Professor”, Hermione replied impassively, though her tone was always polite.



 “Could you please come with me for a moment”, Professor Mc Gonagall said, and then adding, “Mr Potter, Mr Weasley, you can go off to class and tell Professor Ellis that Miss Granger won’t be attending the class”.



The boys gave each other quizzical looks, but nodded their heads, gave Hermione one last parting smile and walked on towards the classroom. Hermione, not sure what was happening, kept herself busy by adjusting her book bag so it sat more secure on her shoulder before looking up at Professor Mc Gonagall.



 “Miss Granger, your parents have written to the Headmaster and requested you return home this evening. They have also sent this letter to you explaining everything, I am sure. You are excused from classes for the rest of the day and you have my deepest sympathies Miss Granger”. She held out the letter that she had been carrying and giving Hermione a genuine, kind smile she turned on her heels and walked away. Hermione stared numbly at the letter, not quite sure what to make of it. She hitched her bag up higher on her shoulder, and opened the letter, her legs taking her away, to where she did not know. Her hands were shaking slightly, but she did not cry.




My dearest Hermione,



We have arranged all the details with your Headmaster, Professor Dumbledore and he has agreed to let you return home for Rosie’s funeral. He has made sure that you can come home directly and told us that our house will be hooked up to that Floo Network. It has been arranged that you can come home this evening at six pm, so make sure you discuss it once more with Professor Dumbledore before you leave and we will see you soon darling.



Stay strong for your mother, she will need you now more than ever and I will see you this evening,



Love Dad.




After she had read the letter, she folded it up neatly and tucked it into her robe pocket, letting out a deep shaky breath. She closed her eyes momentarily, wishing more than anything that she did not have this burden on her, wishing like all the other times that her aunt had not died, but it was fruitless and with a sigh, she shook her head clear of those thoughts and spun on her heel, walking back the way she came. Somehow the thought of sitting up in the Heads common room on her own for the rest of the day was positively frightening, and with nothing to do she feared that the grief would overwhelm her. She instead chose to defy what Professor Mc Gonagall asked of her and returned back to class.



As the afternoon rolled on the fog from the mountaintops of the Scottish Highlands came rolling down the hills towards Hogwarts, so that by evening, the castle and it’s surrounding lands were almost completely immersed in the sea of thick grey mass. The turrets and towers of the castle stuck out of the fog; like solid masses floating in a sea of mist. As the students of Hogwarts castle watched the beautiful wonder out of their windows, eyes alight with interest, Hermione Granger was not aware of the scenery outside her window. She was putting the finishing touches to her packing, which had already taken up more than two hours. She had started early just to keep herself busy and stop herself from dwelling, but she soon realised that she would most likely not return to Hogwarts until January.



Scanning her tidy room one more time, and seeing nothing out of place or forgotten, she pulled out her wand and waved it at her trunk, walking out of the room, her trunk hovering behind her, trailing her down the stairs. She placed the trunk on the ground once more and walked over to the small table next to the sofas to pick up her book, when she spotted Malfoy had beaten her to it, and was currently deeply engrossed in it’s pages. A small smirk graced her features at the sight.



 “Malfoy”, she started, her voice filled with mirth, the first time in days, “I do believe you are reading my book!”



 “Granger, a man is trying to read here, stop with your incessant chattering”, Malfoy replied bored, though Hermione could swear she detected some amusement in his voice. Hermione’s smirk became more pronounced at this sign and she went and sat down in the couch opposite to his own.



 “You know what Malfoy, you can keep it”, Hermione said, referring to the book that he was still reading. She sat there awkwardly while he read on and when the silence became unbearable she got up and added, “I had better go now”.



 “I take it I’ve got the common room to myself until January, Granger”, came his reply, head still stuck behind the book he was reading.



 “Yeah there’s no point returning early, holidays will be starting the week after next”, Hermione spoke, her heart weighing heavily when the realisation of why she was going home came back to her. Her shoulders slumped as she trudged back to where her trunk was, picking up her school bag along the way. She let out a morose sigh and went to walk to the portrait and out of the common room, but a hand on her arm stopped her. She turned around; a quizzical look on her face to see Malfoy was stopping her. She hadn’t even realised that he had gotten up.



 “What-” Hermione began, but she was cut off when he pulled an arm around her waist and drew her in. Hermione’s breaths came out in little puffs, as she stared into his dark eyes, not quite sure what had come over him. He kissed her a moment later, his soft lips making her heart melt. His kiss was unlike any they had ever shared, all of the ones before had usually been a prelude to something else, but this time, this time Malfoy was so much more gentle than she had ever thought he could be. If Hermione would have been a girly girl like Lavender or Parvati, she would have swooned, but she kept her composure, even if she was a little shocked. Instead she melted into his kiss, dropping her bag and allowing her arms to wind around his neck. For the first time that day, and probably in quite a few days too, she relaxed. But in a flash the moment they had was gone. Hermione slowly unwound her arms from around his neck and took a step back, an unreadable expression on her face. She would have laughed under normal circumstances if someone had told her she was acting more like Malfoy everyday, but no one would ever tell her this truth and Hermione would always remain oblivious.



Instead she glanced at her shoes and bent down to pick up her school bag from the floor, swinging it onto her shoulder. She straightened up and looked Malfoy full in the eye her gaze never flinching and they held that pose for a moment before she looked away, her hair hiding her face.



 “Should I even ask what that was for?” came her quiet query. She looked up to see that he was gazing at her, his expression as unreadable as her own had been but a few moments earlier. 



 “Of course, how silly of me.” She turned so her back was facing him and with a flick of her wand and a silent incantation her trunk floated behind her, as she began to make her way to the portrait door.



 “Granger”, came his reply as she held the open door in her hand, preparing to exit the room. She halted in her actions and turned around to face him, her hair blocking half her face so that he could only see one eye behind her unruly curls.



 “Goodbye”, he added and Hermione looked at him for a minute, trying to discern his meaning behind those two little words. She nodded her head then and turned around and exited the Heads common room, never once looking back or stopping to digest his actions.





Her heels clicked on the stone floor as Hermione made her way from the eighth floor, where the Heads common room was down to the Gryffindor tower, for her final goodbye. By the time she made her way into the Gryffindor common room, she was puffing slightly, her cheeks were flushed and some trace of emotion had returned to her face, even if it was only a slight pain at the stitch in her side.



The boys were gathered around the sofa, sitting with them were also Ginny and Neville, which caused Hermione to allow a look of surprise to flit across her face as she made her way over to them, but the momentary emotion was soon once more gone from her face.



 “Hermione”, both Harry and Ron spoke when they spotted her making her way over to them. They both stood up from their respective seats on the sofa and Ron walked over to her and hugged her, letting Harry lag behind a little.



 “I didn’t mean to disturb you, I was just coming to say goodbye. I probably won’t return until January”, she spoke quickly, a tinge of colour warming her cheeks.



 “Are you sure you’re fine?” Ron queried, his hands still holding onto Hermione’s. She gave him an uneasy smile and gently pulled her hands out of his grasp, walking up to Harry.



 “Goodbye Hermione”, Harry said, his deep timbre causing Hermione to smile. She hugged him momentarily and he returned the gesture, though a little unsure. He released her a moment later and looked into her hazel eyes.



 “Goodbye Harry”, she spoke, looking down at her feet, unable to meet his gaze any longer.



 “You’ll be alright Hermione. Just give it time”. She nodded her head, though she did not look up from her feet and Harry feared for a moment she was crying, but when she looked up once again her eyes were dry, though a little of their shine had been lost.



 “Well you’re not leaving without saying goodbye to me”, Ginny quipped, standing up and walking up to Hermione.



 “Of course not, Ginny”, she replied and a moment later the redhead girl was hugging Hermione. She returned the hug, though it felt strained and Hermione once more wished she could feel her friend’s affection.



 “I had better go”, Hermione mumbled and she bent down to pick up her schoolbag once more and with a flick of her wand, her trunk was floating serenely behind her once more. She turned to Ron, unable to say anything, which he quickly took the opportunity to say.



 “I’ll walk you down to Dumbledore’s office. I’m not saying goodbye now”.



She nodded and turned around to walk out the Gryffindor common room. They walked in silence, though it didn’t feel oppressive and Hermione felt comfort from Ron for just walking next to her. At the foot of the staircase leading up to Dumbledore’s office they had a tender goodbye and Hermione climbed the stairs feeling slightly better, knowing that Ron loved her.




A/N: This one took quite a while and is definately not my favourite. personally see many flaws in this story, but it was such an incredibly hard chapter to write I hope you got what I was tryng to portray. It probably also doesn't help that I think I've lost my mojo, but what can you do?
As for the chapter being written so jaggedly, cutting scenes and going on to other things like that, there was a purpose behind it and not just bad structure or bad editing. The chapter title is A Snapshot In Time, and I wanted each scene to give that feel you got a small glmpse into a particular moment without giving too much away. A lot of what this chapter stands on is also an air of mystery. I don't think this chapter could have worked without it.

Now lastly all I can hope that it was alright for you and it's done enough to keep you interested to read on. There's still a lot more to this story, and there's going to be a new twist in the next chapter, so thanks for reading, please review and I'll see you all soon!

Agrolass


Chapter 15: Keep Running Up That Hill
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Dedicated to quidditch7.



 
Chapter 15, Keep Running Up That Hill

 

Thin shivers of harsh sunshine that permeated through the bare branches of the dense trees, catching her eyes and making her squint. The snow crunched underneath her heavy winter boots as her legs carried her down the forest track, the pavement hidden beneath the thick layer of snow. The breaths came out in small puffs, solidifying for a moment as heavy mist on that icy winter morning before dissipating into the air. The steady beat of her heart set the pace at which she ran along the forest, the ice and soggy leaves underneath the heavy snow making the way treacherous and slippery, but she was not aware of this. Her chest was aching and heaving from the exertion and freezing cold, her feet, despite the thick woollen socks and winter boots were numb with cold from the snow underfoot and her face was so red and raw from the harsh wind it had gone numb half an hour ago, but she continued on despite the stitch, the lack of energy and the lack of air. Really she couldn’t stop, her body and her thoughts wouldn’t let her so she ran on up the hill, through the forest until she would probably collapse.

 

It doesn’t hurt me,

You wanna feel how it feels

You wanna know, know that it doesn’t hurt me

You wanna hear about the deal I’m making

 

Hermione felt as if she were carrying a dead weight in the pit of her stomach as she listened to the Reverend say the sermon in his monotone voice that carried through the graveyard and past the sea of headstones on that wintry Friday morning. Her shoulders felt weighed down, far worse than it had ever been by the heavy book bags she would continuously carry around Hogwarts. Her heart was beating against her breast, but it felt alien and harsh and heavy. Her thoughts felt as oppressed as whatever was lying in her stomach. Were she a philosopher she would assume this feeling to be the deepest form of grief and despair, but she was not. The only coherent thought she had was that she wished she were anywhere but here at the graveyard, attending the funeral of her beloved aunt.

 

You can (keep running up that hill)

You and me (keep running up that hill)

 

Her thoughts felt free here, as she ran along the track, for the first time in days she did not feel like she was suppressing herself and it felt wonderful. Her legs carried her down the track of their own accord, but she did not mind, and even the sun, which would occasionally dart out from behind the oppressive grey clouds did not feel as harsh any more. Her eyes were mesmerised by the sight of the lone sun in between the grey sky, the treetop branches snapping at it in the wind. It was a lone branch that caught her in her face, cutting a gash across her cheek as she gazed up at the sun and she silently cursed her foolishness for not watching where she was going. Her fingers numbly went to the cut and she found blood on her gloved hands, the bright red contrasting sharply with her white woollen gloves. A drop splattered onto the snow-covered ground. The crimson looked so alien among the fresh pure snow, tainting the beauty that it held. The blood was seeping into her gloves and soon there would be a stain, but she did not care. She picked up her sluggish and heavy feet and ran on up the hill, the absence of animals and noise making the heavy thudding of her feet seem unbearable.

 

And if I only could,

Make a deal with God

Get him to swap our places

Be running up that road

Be running up that hill

Be running up that building

If I only could

 

Hermione looked over and saw that her mother’s head was bent low, her hair hiding her features, but she could tell that her mother was crying. Her father looked up and for a moment they held each other’s gaze, one’s eyes speaking of the fear it held within its heart while the other showed the oppressive weight of mourning. The Reverend paused for a moment in his reflection of Rosie Walker’s life, he had known her personally for many years and Hermione could tell from the pained look on his face that he too was taking her death hard. During these precious few moments of silence Hermione gazed around the congregation gathered around the open grave on top of which her casket now lay. Hermione recognized many, but many more were strangers and it struck her at that moment how very little she knew of her aunt’s life outside of her involvement with the Grangers over the years. It shamed her to realise that over the last few years, ever since she had started Hogwarts that she had neglected her relationship with her dear aunt and now it was too late. At that moment she wished so strongly she could be back at Hogwarts, anywhere but here at this grave, but she was not to receive her wish. A tear slid unconsciously down her cheek as she yearned for the comforting arms of Ron and Harry.

Her thoughts had been such a jumbled mess for days that it came as a shock to her aggrieved mind that she realised with perfect clarity she shouldn’t be here; that she should never have come home.

The tolling of the church bells began at that moment and Hermione looked at her wristwatch to see that it was noon already. The loud clangs of the electric bells in the clock tower awoke most of the congregation from their stupor and they gazed around at each other, unsure of what to do or what to say. Once the twelve chimes had finished the Reverend took a deep breath and began once again. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul…”

Hermione was distracted from the Reverend’s prayer when she felt her father give her shoulder a gentle squeeze and she gazed up at him, her features trying to smile, but she couldn’t. He nodded silently at her and returned his gaze back towards the Reverend. He had understood her inability to speak and express her feelings and the wonderful thing she had always loved about him is that he never pressed her to reveal them either.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me”.

With those words, it seemed a dam within Hermione’s mind had finally been breached and for a moment she feared she would drown with the feeling of grief that was overwhelming her mind and her body. She tried desperately to cling to some form of reality, but she couldn’t. A silent gasp was all that would alert the others to her cry for help, but they would not hear. Her mind was spinning, reeling from the pain, falling ever further downward into the spiralling pit of despair and Hermione could do nothing to stop it. From the outside she was a picture of composure, but inside her turmoil-filled mind she was losing grip. She looked around her, but could not see. They were ghosts treading on this earth and she felt incredibly lonely. Panic was rising deep in the pit of her stomach and moving further upward, like bile and as it increased, the fear began to paralyse her, taking hold of her limbs, her speech and her ability to express herself. Hermione felt locked within her own body and it terrified her more than anything she had ever experienced.

Before she could really understand what had just happened to her, the horrible feeling was gone, and she looked around her to see that nearly everyone was gone. The Reverend was closing up his Bible and conversing in low tones with her father and her grandmother, her mother was still standing rigidly beside her. Most of the congregation were slowly making their way out of the small graveyard and back towards the car park to resume their daily lives, acting as if nothing more had happened than a glitch in their lives.

Her father made his way back to Hermione and her mother; his face serious and he took his wife by the arm and looked expectantly at Hermione.

“Are you alright Hermione?”

All Hermione could do was nod, so she did and he asked once again.

“Would you like a few moments? Your mother and I can go ahead back to the car”. Hermione was grateful for her father’s intuitive sense and she barely nodded her head before turning back to face the casket, the sight mesmerising.

The Reverend had gone and Hermione stared at the mahogany casket and the assortment of colourful wreaths lying on top of it. One read “Dearest Sister” while another proclaimed “Friend”. All held messages of grief and condolence and instead of making Hermione feel slightly better that so many people cared for her aunt; it all just felt so hollow and empty. They were poor a replacement for the lively and eternally cheerful aunt that she had lost and no matter how kind and sorrowful those words and feelings could be, they would never be enough.

Hermione let out a constricted sigh and felt the chill of a snowflake land on her nose. It had begun to snow again. Enthralled, Hermione watched as the delicate flakes landed on the hard wooden casket and in between the fresh flowers. The snow began to grow thicker as the minutes passed her by and soon she saw that a light sheen was beginning to cover the flowers and the top of the casket. With one last yearning look at the remains of her aunt, Hermione pulled herself away from the spot, turned around and began to make the long trek back to the car and back to reality.

 

* * *

 

 

“Bloody hell it's cold here”, Ron complained as he lay slouched on the sofa in front of the great open hearth that was crackling merrily and emmiting a soft orange glow that were reflected in Harry's glasses. Ron had claimed the larger of the two sofas and was currently stretched out, legs falling of the edge of the arm rest while Harry was sitting on the two seater, in between his legs on the floor sat Ginny, her gaze focussed on the fire, caught almost in a trance. Harry would occasionally run his hand through his girlfriend's fiery red hair, which seemed to shine with an ethereal glow in the firelight. It was late at night on Friday and the majority of the house had either gone to bed or retreated to their respective dormitories. It was a cold and chilly night and as Ron let out another frustrated sigh that was undoubtedly about the cold, he swung his gangly legs from over the arm rest and moved himself closer to the fire, finally settling on the sheepskin rug that contained numerous holes burnt through by embers falling from the flames.

“Mate you're always cold. It's either that or you're hungry. Ginny's right, you are a bottomless pit!” Harry replied good naturedly, glancing over at his best friend, before focussing his attention back on the fire that Ginny was still staring into.

“Easy on the insults Harry, it's late at night and I'm tired”, Ron said nonplussed.

“Ron, Harry”, Ginny spoke, pulling her attention from the fire for the first time in quite a few minutes. “You realise that Hermione's not doing at all well right?”

“Yeah”, Harry and Ron replied together, turning their attention on Ginny who had turned around slightly she she could face both of them, leaning her back against Harry's right knee.

“Good”, she replied thoughtfully.

“What are you getting at Gin?” Ron asked, cocking a brow.

“I'm just thinking. She's been so unlike herself it's almost like I've forgotten what the real Hermione is like. Do you even remember the last time she spent some real quality time with us and just laughed?”

“I see your point Ginny, but let's face it she's going through a lot. She's not going to be cheerful with all that crap happening to her”, Harry spoke, rubbing Ginny's shoulder.

Ginny smiled at him, patted his hand and turned her attention on her brother. “Tell me Ron, do you know what's going on with her?”

Ron looked confused and asked, “What are you asking me for?”

“Come on Ron, you're going out with her. You've gotta have at least a clue as to what's going on in her head, for Merlin's sake!”

“No more than she tells you two”, Ron replied, his features darkening. “She doesn't tell me anything any more. It's like she's not even in the same place as me half the time. What am I meant to do with her?”

“Support her”, came Ginny's reply.

“She won't let me do that. You see what she's like. Does she let you help her out?”

“You're right mate”, Harry replied thoughtfully. “It's like she's a shell of herself and she won't even admit it to us”.

“I know. I'm like at the end of my tether here”, came Ron's response.

“Well here's a bit of a harsh question”, Ginny intoned, placing her forefinger on her lips as she contemplated how she would word it. “Why not end it with her?”

“What break up with Hermione?” Ron cried, not quite believing his sister. “You serious?”

“Why not?” Ginny replied. “You're not happy, you've barely got a relationship and you've admitted yourself you don't really talk to her”.

“Because it's Hermione”, Ron stated, growing quite angry. “I love her and you're asking me to break up with her? I can't!” He let out a deep sigh and for a moment there was silence. All three gazed into the fire and Ron fidgeted with his hands as he processed what Ginny had suggested. A moment later he added, though his tone was much quieter than before, “I can't let her go, she's too important”. The tips of his ears turned red from his admission and feeling embarrassed he gazed into the fire, glad that Harry and Ginny hadn't looked at him as he spoke this.

“So what do we do then?” Harry asked a moment later.

“We be there for her, give her emotional support and hope she comes back to us”, Ginny replied quietly.

“She'll come back to us, she has to!” Ron added, gazing into the fire, letting his thoughts wander as he watched the fire crackle.

 

* * *

 

Draco felt restless. Four days had passed since Granger went home to attend her aunt's funeral and what Draco had anticipated as being four relaxing days to himself had turned out to be the exact opposite. Currently he was deeply immersed in his trunk rummaging through it quite messily for his favourite expensive winter gloves that his father had bought him a few winters ago. It was still bitingly cold outside and he did not look forward to another day's Quidditch training with numb hands and poor Quidditch gloves. He paused momentarily in his rummaging to look around his now very messy room and crinkled his nose in disdain. He sighed, annoyed at his own inability to keep things tidy and dived back into the trunk, but stopped short when he heard the portrait door for the common room downstairs close abruptly. Features darkening, he thought it must be Pansy Parkinson again, on her relentless quest to annoy him until he snapped. How she had gotten the password for the Heads common room he did not know, and she had been incessantly bothering him for days now and he couldn't change the password until Granger returned. Heartily pissed off with Pansy now he threw his spare quills back into the trunk and stormed out of his room and down the stairs intending to shout as loudly at Pansy as he could get away with.

“Will you just fuck off Pansy, I'm not interested!” Malfoy shouted as he climbed down the stairs, eyes blazing, but when he saw that standing in the common room next to the back of the sofa was not the black-haired Slytherin girl, but a shocked Hermione Granger, feet rooted to the spot. He closed his mouth and stared at her, not quite sure if he believed his eyes. He climbed down the rest of the spiral staircase and made his way over to her. She looked tired and worn, her travelling cloak still hanging over her shoulders, while her trunk was still levitating around her ankles. His approach seemed to have freed Hermione from her trance and she averted his eyes, flicking her wand and walking past him, climbing up the stairs to her room without saying a word. A moment later Draco heard the door close behind her and he stood there on the spot, not quite sure what had happened. Why had she come back early?

Far too surprised and wanting nothing more than a full answer Draco made his way over to the sofa and sat down on it, waiting for her to come down the stairs again and then he would interrogate her. But she never came back down that evening and by midnight Malfoy had to concede that he would have to wait for morning for some answers, so he rose slowly from his spot and grumpily made his way up to bed.

 

* * *

 

Steps faltering, hands clammy and sweating, Hermione wrung them one more time and wiped the excess dampness on her school cloak. She didn't understand why she felt nervous. It was only Ron and Harry, her best friends. She had known them since they were eleven, yet she was nervous. Then again she hadn't felt like herself in a long time, weeks even. But she had come to a conclusion while she was at home and she knew she had to do this. Taking a deep breath , she falteringly walked towards the portrait of the Fat Lady. With each step her confidence was returning so that by the time the Fat Lady inquired after her well-being, she body-language spoke of assurance and calmness.

 

 

“Hermione?” Harry cried startled, stopping in his descent down the spiral staircase when he spotted Hermione. She was sitting on one of the chairs at one of the tables, her fingers lightly drumming on the hard wooden surface, eyes fixed out the window.

“Blimey Harry, walk and what are you on about?” the impatient tones of Ron could be heard before he came into view, walking around Harry as he made his way down the staircase. Upon spotting Hermione sitting at one of the tables, he stopped momentarily and darted over to where she was now standing and enveloped her in a hug.

“Hi Ron”, Hermione said weakly, a smile gracing her features as she wrapped her arms around him.

“Hermione, what are you doing back?” Harry quizzed, walking down the stairs and making his way over to where Ron and Hermione stood.

“Are you not going to give me a hug?” she asked uncertainly, but let out a relieved sigh as he gave her a brief hug and an awkward pat on the shoulder.

“What are you doing back here so soon?” Harry asked again, ignoring the warning glare Ron shot him when Hermione wasn't looking.

Hermione dropped her gaze and her shoulders slumped for a moment, but she rallied her spirits and gave them both a brilliant smile to show she was fine.

She paused, choosing her words carefully before she responded.

“I couldn't be at home any longer”, Hermione sighed, dropping her head and letting her hands fall to her sides. “It was just getting too much”. The last part was said in a whisper as her eyes were set firmly on the floorboards.

 

“Are you alright 'Mione?” Harry asked tentatively and she allowed a small wry smile to grace her features, but her hair obscured the view and the boys didn't see the tear rolling down her cheeks.

Suddenly she felt an arm around her shoulder, giving her a squeeze and she lifted her head to see Ron looking back at her. Wiping away the stray tear she smiled at Ron.

“Come on 'Mione, sit down and tell us what happened”, Ron spoke and he guided her to the sofas as Hermione began to tell her story. She felt stronger than she had in days, having her two best friends beside her, giving her courage and moral support. They sat and listened intently as she spoke of the agony of returning home to a family and house that was filled with oppressive grief and unspoken emotions. She talked on the strength of her father and the frailty of her mother, the cold wintry day of her aunt's funeral, her feeling of disconnectedness and how her desire grew stronger every day of returning to Hogwarts and fleeing the oppressive house that usually felt like home. The boys were incredibly supportive of her and Hermione wondered how she had never seen this before. They had always been there for her, and with the last few months she had completely lost sight of who they really were. She realised, sitting next to Ron with his arm around her shoulders giving her a reassuring smile, that she missed him, but more so she missed the intimacy and connection she had with him. Harry got up as Ginny made her way down the staircase and after Ginny enthusiastically greeted her friend, they both made their way down to the Great Hall for breakfast. Hermione and Ron were left sitting on the sofa.

“How are you really doing?” Ron asked, turning his head so he looked at her.

Hermione shrugged and was silent for a moment, “I think it's better now”, she replied and when Ron gave her a quizzical look, she added, “I realised after Rosie's funeral, that life in a way moves on and even though I miss her terribly and everything at home just seems to be falling apart, life goes on”.

“Yeah, I get that”, Ron replied. There was more silence between them.

“You know I missed you”, Ron said, staring into the cold and empty grate. Hermione smiled wryly and turned to him and she brought her hand to cup his cheek.

“I missed this”, she replied and dropped her hand, blushing slightly, her hair hiding her face from view.

“Don't”, Ron replied grabbing her hand and giving it a squeeze. “Hermione please look at me”, he asked and when she kept averting his eyes, he gently took her chin in his other hand and raised her face so he could look at her.

“Ron”, Hermione started, looking over his shoulder before dropping her gaze. “I'm sorry for everything”.

“'Mione, I love you”, Ron whispered.

“Oh Ron I love you too”, Hermione whispered in return, her forehead leaning against his as she breathed in his scent and revelled in his presence.

 

The student body and seventh year Gryffindors were surprised and astonished at the sight of the Head Girl return to Hogwarts the last week before Christmas holidays, for not a day after her departure the rumours had circulated like wildfire ranging from the state of her mental health to rumours of a Death Eater related death. It was with surprise and shock that they watched her walk into class on the Monday morning, flanked by her usual bodyguards, Harry and Ron and looking visibly happier. The only person who was not surprised about her reappearance was Malfoy, and he shrewdly watched her sit herself down on one of the chairs in the back of class in Potions. He could tell from her smile and affection she was showering on Harry and Ron that she was different; changed. Her behaviour to him the night before had been testament to that alone. The colour and life seemed to be returning to her cheeks and she seemed much more like the Hermione Granger from months previously, and while that would usually incite happiness in a person, Malfoy was a selfish creature and he knew he would lose her to them. This thought made him scowl and he forced himself to focus on his potion at hand.

While stirring his bubbling potion, his attention was caught on more than one occasion by the sound of her quiet peals of laughter and as a result his Draught of Living Death was stirred much more viciously than before. It was bad enough she had returned last night acting so coolly towards him, like he were nothing other than another member of the student body, but every gaze, touch and word she spoke to Potter and the Weasel was one less bit of attention she paid him, and he hated sharing what he rightfully saw as his. It was humiliating enough as it was for Draco, so he done that he always done. She would have to come to him for he could ignore her too. And so that is what Draco Malfoy done.

For the rest of the day both the Head Boy and Head Girl danced their dance, pirouetting around each other, determined to ignore both the other party and ignore what they had between each other. Their complicated dance and intricate steps would have seemed amusing to the trained eye, but the student body were oblivious to the forced calmness and ignorance of the other person that they each displayed. Draco, for his part was seething on the inside at her behaviour, while Hermione was blissfully unaware what her demeanour was inciting in her co-Head.

They had no patrols together and when Thursday and the Prefect meeting finally came around, they managed to spend four whole days with little more than half an hour in each other's presence. By Thursday evening, both were curiously anxious of the Prefect meeting and having to not only speak to each other, but also acknowledge each other's presence. Hermione by that point was very much aware of Malfoy's odd behaviour and she was a little antsy at his temper, and so donned her school robes and winter cloak with much more time and care than usual. She sighed to herself, glancing at the reflection staring back at her, who was pulling at her wild hair and grimace at it.

“I'm a fool”, she spoke to herself, resignation etched in her voice. Her mirror image nodded her head enthusiastically and annoyed with her own trepidation, Hermione turned on her heel and quickly exited the room.

Malfoy was already in the common room, back to her, facing the fireplace and the flickering orange light surrounded him in a golden, Gryfindor-coloured hue. Hermione halted at the bottom of the staircase, caught temporarily in a trance at the sight before her. The only light in the dark common room came from the crackling, bright fire in the hearth, Malfoy's presence blocking half of the light. The rest of the darkened common room was bathed in animated shadows.

“You took your time”, the gruff voice of Malfoy spoke into the fire, pulling Hermione out of her reverie.

“Right”, she replied tightly, taking a step forward. She knew he was angry. It was painfully obvious in his tone and his treatment of her over the last few days. Then again, she knew she couldn't be completely innocent in this situation either. A storm was brewing that she was keenly aware of and the tension hung thickly in the air, heavy enough for someone to cut it with a knife. Hermione braced herself for the inevitable confrontation and mustered all the Gryffindor courage she possessed before she began making her way out of the common room, Malfoy's thudding steps following behind her.

 

The Prefect's meeting went unusually well for Hermione. There were no major arguments and everyone seemed to be in the spirit of cooperation. The relevant issues were dealt with quickly and efficiently and Hermione was amazed to see that even the Slytherin Prefects were keeping the nasty remarks and taunting to a minimum. She suspected it may have been because of the distant Had Boy, who sat next to Hermione throughout the entire Prefect meting and barely spoke a word. Despite all this, that would usually make Hermione feel a lot more relaxed, she was agitated and the reason was the blonde boy sitting next to her. She caught herself on more than one occasion glancing over at his profile, a frown etched on her face as she contemplated to herself, but she was never given a chance to fully think her thoughts through, for Prefect matters were brought to her attention. It did not escape her notice that Malfoy wasn't acting his usual self, in fact Ron even commented on this to her after the meeting ended, but while he and Ginny tried to reassure her, she could not. She could not get used to the idea of a Malfoy that would let an opportunity slide by where he did not get a chance to taunt the Gryffindors or other houses for that matter. Neither did he make any of his usual snide and lewd comments to Hermione, which he used to do to see how far he could away with it with Ron in the room. Hermione felt incredibly uneasy about this, and almost wished for the old snide Malfoy to return, but she caught herself and shook the thought from her. She looked around and saw that she was the last one in the classroom again. Hermione sighed to herself and gathered up her things before exiting the classroom and locking it behind her. She leisurely strolled along the corridor, her pace becoming quicker of its own accord and as she turned a corner, she spotted Malfoy in front of her, dawdling, deep in thought. Her quick strides quickly caught up with him, but he seemed not to notice her presence or care that she was walking next to him. They continued on together in silence, Malfoy keeping up with her quick strides, both lost deep in thought, a mountain and a wall between them. Hermione caught herself looking over at him more than she cared to admit, much as she had done in the Prefect's meeting, but he would not take the bait. In fact even now as he walked alone with her, he would not react to her. She did catch him on more than one occasion gritting his teeth quietly and she saw that his hand next to her clenched and unclenched too. He was obviously still very agitated, if not angry, but he would not respond to her. Hermione grew irritated.

“Malfoy are you going to talk to me at all?” she cried out huffily, her arms crossed across her chest, her parchment sheets clutched tightly to her. He looked up at her and she saw that his grey eyes were stormy and his mouth had formed a harsh thin line, yet he would not respond to her.

“Right”, she replied, but it was more to herself than anyone else. She realised at that moment how very different Ron and Malfoy really were. She wasn't quite sure how Ron popped into her head, but as she thought of his kind face, his fierce loyalty and great passion for his friends and for her, she realised how amazing he truly was. Malfoy on the other hand was cold, secretive and was shutting her out, why she still wasn't quite sure. He did not love her, nor did he seem to care about her very much. Everything between them consisted of unspoken feelings and words, repression and fear of discovery, and while it may be exciting and gave life a certain edge, it was not sustainable. Such a relationship could never last, and Hermione wondered what she was doing in it anyway. Malfoy could not give her what she wanted and he could never really understand her either. Everything was already so complicated and messy in her life, and at her aunt's funeral she realised she didn't want that drama in her life any more. She didn't need any more complications in her life. That was what Malfoy was and he wasn't worth it, especially if it meant she would lose Ron and he was someone too special to her to give up on that easily.

When she looked up from her thoughts she saw that they had reached the portrait for their common room, but while Malfoy walked towards it, she stopped in her tracks. He slowly turned around and stared dispassionately at her, but all Hermione could think of was that she wanted to see Ron desperately, for he would make it all so much easier.

“To hell with this”, she spoke bitterly and spun around on her heel, making her way as quick as she could to the Gryffindor common room and leaving Malfoy standing blankly outside the Heads common room, the portrait door open, staring at her retreating back.

 

Hermione sped past portraits and took three secret passageways as she made her way down to the Gryffindor tower, knowing that it was late and she would not have a lot of time left until curfew came. Running towards the portrait of the Fat Lady, she called out the password and darted quickly inside, scanning the half-full common room for the familiar gangly red-headed Weasley. She spotted him at one of the tables with Harry, Ginny and Neville, a set of Wizard's Chess sitting on the table. He rose from his position and stretched calling out a muffled reply to something they said, but Hermione didn't pay attention to that. She darted over, a determined look on her face as she saw him recognise her, his face lighting up at the sight of his girlfriend, but before he could say something to him, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately. Her fingers wound themselves into his flaming red hair, while his arms wound themselves around her waist, pulling her closer to him. The kiss deepened and Hermione revelled in his touch and presence, but their kiss was starting to attract quite a bit of attention as fellow Gryffindors turned around and spotted them, some of them cheering, while others were whistling. Ron and Hermione broke apart embarrassed, both blushing deeply, though Ron had a pleased smile on his face. The common room erupted in cheers and whistles and Hermione could distinctly hear Seamus Finnegan wolf whistling at their antics. She ducked her head down and smiled, catching Ron's eye and they both grinned at each other.

Ignoring the half full common room that was still giving them their attention, she turned her full attention on him and asked quietly, “Sorry, I just had to see you”.

“Well don't be, you should do that more often”, Ron replied, a pleased grin on his face and they both smiled at each other.

 

* * *

 

Friday was not a good day for Draco Malfoy. It hung thickly in the air, like the unresolved issues that they had not addressed, and probably never would. He got out of bed, hoping that a long hot shower and a good breakfast might lighten his mood, but as he made his way to the first class of Arithmancy that morning, he knew he was fighting a losing battle. What made it even worse is that Hermione Granger took Arithmancy as well and the last thing he wanted to see was her smiling face or even be in her presence. She knew she had returned late at night, he had lain in his bed for most of the night, turning in his bed, unable to sleep and even her quiet movements from the common room below was more than he could take. He had half a mind to go down the stairs and tell her to shut the fuck up, but it would be counter-productive and he was a Malfoy, and Malfoys do not lose their cool.

Yet Draco would have to learn, that by the end of the day he would be eating his words. Either way, by the time Potions came around, his anger had not abated, and what was more, fuel was added to the fire burning inside him with the sight of Harry, Ron and Hermione walking into the classroom. Granger he noted with a dark scowl on his face was holding the Weasel's hand, smiling serenely to herself and stationing herself at their usual spot at the back of the class. Malfoy had to crane his head to get a good view of them.

Everything about Granger irritated and caused such fierce emotions to swell deep inside him, starting from that wild hair of hers which she never tried to control, to her fierce temper that made him want to strangle her half the time. She was so damned loyal to her friends, it was almost sickening. That's what he got to liaising with a Gryffindor, he scoffed to himself, disgusted at what he had with her. Then it was that blasted stubbornness about her, she refused to budge even an inch, whether it was with him or anything else she set her mind to. She was obsessed with school which was neither healthy, nor frankly very cool. Granger's know-it-all attitude was even worse, she insisted on always being above him in their classes. The girl in short was just too damn infuriating and it just made him want to hex her into oblivion, throttle her mercilessly, kiss her senseless and have his way with her-

Malfoy stopped that train of thought immediately and scowled to himself for being so weak. That would not do, she had already made it perfectly clear that she had given up on whatever they had between them and he couldn't be a sick little puppy yearning for her attention and love. He was a proud Malfoy, and so what if she chose that filthy Blood Traitor Weasel above him, so what if her sullied blood was becoming even dirtier with consorting with him, so what if she lay with him at night. The Weasel didn't deserve her anyway, Merlin knows he wouldn't even know how to satisfy such a passionate girl, and he would not allow himself to be jealous of him.

Ha! Now there was sickening thought. Yet even as he vehemently denied such an emotion, the green-eyed monster would not leave him be. He watched with gritting teeth and darkening eyes, Granger caressing his cheek and smiling so softly at him; she had never looked at him like that before. His stomach churned with that horrible sensation and he turned back to face the blackboard, wishing more than anything that Potions, his favourite class, would end as soon as possible.

 

The class had been a complete and utter disaster. He had spent half his time head turned, staring at Granger, Potter and Weasel like some lovesick fool, which had resulted in Snape finally getting annoyed and telling off his favourite student. Then he ha been thoroughly irritated that he was now being picked on by Snape, as if he were nothing more than a pesky Gryffindor. He had snapped at Zabini on more than one occasion, which caused the boy to raise an eyebrow at Draco for his strange behaviour. The last thing he needed was suspicion on others' minds. So it was with a severely blackened mood that he gathered up his things at the end of class and was the last as he walked out of the classroom, a glare fixing on his features as he spotted the Golden Trio congregated just outside the classroom and in his way.

“Move out of my fucking way”, he growled barging through them, not even looking at Granger and he would not have seen the confused look on her face.

“Oy watch it Malfoy”, Ron shouted out, fists clenching at his side.

“Do you really think I give a fuck about you Weasel, you're nothing but a Blood Traitor”, Draco replied viciously.

“Malfoy back off, or else!” Harry warned, taking a step forward and standing in front of Hermione. Draco could have laughed at his act of stupid chivalry, protecting Granger from the Big Bad Wolf, if only they knew what the Big Bad Wolf had done to her, innocent as she was. Incensed, and itching for a fight to relive his frustrations, Draco took a step forward, a daring smirk on his face.

“Is that so Potter? And what are you going to do to me exactly, send your minions of Mudbloods and Blood Traitors on me-”

Draco never got to finish his sentence as the Weasel decided at that moment to not be left out of the fight and punched him square in the nose. Draco stumbled back a step stunned at the action, his hand flying to his face to assess the damage. Nothing had been broken thankfully. Damn, for such a wimp he had a mean right hook.

Eyes darkening considerably, Draco growled in a low and threatening voice, “Bad move Weasel, bad move indeed!” He took a step forward and towered over Potter, though he wasn't quite tall enough for the Weasel, so he just glared at him, his eyes threatening innumerable pain on them both. “This is not going to end well for the both of you, the Mudblood I'll spare as she has more sense than the both of you combined and knows not to get involved”.

“Shut up Malfoy!” came the shrill voice of Hermione Granger, her eyes incensed and for a moment all three boys stopped for a second and stared at Hermione. Her fists were clenched and her bag was dropped on the ground a few steps behind her, where she had previously stood.

Draco heard Ron snicker and he completely lost it, drawing out his wand from his pocket, quicker than both boys could react.

“Just give me a fucking reason to use this!” he threatened, but both Potter and Weasley wouldn't get the message. They were too bloody noble for their own good and it would end up with them being dead because of it. They both too drew their wands and the three boys faced each other, squared for a fight.

“Ron, Harry, don't!” came the high pitched voice of Granger. Both boys ignored her and glared at Draco.

A smirk was gracing his haughty features as he drawled out amusedly, “You'd better do what your Mudblood whore says or else there will be trouble”. The rage was building within Malfoy once again, only this time it was more ferocious than before.

“You wanker!” Hermione screamed, storming towards him and slapping him across the face so hard the resounding smack echoed along the empty corridor. All three boys stood back stunned, too shocked that Hermione had actually acted so impetuously. Draco was the most aghast of the three, his hand numbly holding the side of his cheek that Granger had hit. His grey eyes were filled with confusion and wariness. The Weasel's voice he could distantly hear, laughing quietly to himself and this brought Draco out of his thoughts with full force. He pointed his wand at Weasley's chest, gaze murderous.

“No!” Hermione shouted, her tone thundering and her glare at all three strong enough to stop all three in their tracks. It was only then that Draco realised she had planted herself in between him and her two bodyguards, her arms stretched out. She was a bold little Gryffindor, he had to give it to her standing in between them with no wand, while Draco and the two idiots were armed and ready to use their wands. If he hadn't been so angry and irrational at that moment he would have conceded what a brave little Gryffindor she was being, but the only thought that ran through his head was that he was out for blood.

It was her fierce glare that managed to quell the raging anger within him and he lowered his wand after the two idiots had done the same.

“Harry, Ron, go on ahead, I need to speak to Malfoy now!” she hissed fiercely, and Draco imagined that it was only how angry she was at that moment that made the two listen to her. They eyed Draco one last time, both shooting him glares that spoke of pain and destruction before walking down the corridor a bit and out of earshot, but he was too preoccupied by the irate Head Girl standing next to him to pay them much heed.

“Granger-” Malfoy began, but he was cut off by her hand and the glare she shot him.

“Don't even think about it Malfoy!” she warned, her voice low. “You are Head Boy. Learn to take your position seriously and if I ever catch you starting a fight with Ron and Harry I will go to Dumbledore and have you stripped of your position, is that clear!” One hand was on her hip, while with the other she pointed her index finger at her and Malfoy wasn't quite sure whether he wanted to snap that finger of her hand or use it to draw her closer.

“We are going to discuss this tonight, and don't you dare let me catch you taking your anger out on anyone else!” With that she gave him one last filthy look and stormed away, joining her two bodyguards as they made their way out of the dungeon.

 

His mood darkened for the rest of the day considerably, and even though that might not have seemed possible, he was now even starting to snap at his fellow Slytherins, which did not make him popular by the time lunchtime came around. He stalked into the Great Hall without any intention to eat and paused behind Pansy's seat, leaning in to whisper in her ear, while his eyes were caught on Granger, who was ignoring him.

“Pansy, I'm bored. Care to join me in my common room for a little fun?” he asked, voice low, a smirk forming at the corner of his mouth. She turned her head sharply around, her hair barely missing him as she fixed her eyes on him, expression unreadable.

“You've been an asshole all day Draco, tell me why should I join you?” she asked, eyebrow raised. Damn the girl always had to question everything and he was in no mood to continue this conversation much longer in the Great Hall.

“Well then maybe you can think of a way to take my mind of things and make me a little more agreeable?” he asked, smirk now evident. He glanced up for a second and saw that Granger had spotted him conversing with Pansy. He shot her a dark look and focussed his attention back on the black-haired Slytherin girl before him.

“Well?”

“Oh alright”, she conceded quietly, “But I'm finishing my pudding!” Draco rolled his eyes at her last comment.

“Fine, you know where to find me”, he replied dismissively and walked out of the Great Hall.

Ten minutes later Draco was sitting on the sofa directly in front of the fireplace, the very same sofa Granger would favour when she was in the common room. It was an intentional ploy on his part, and his twisted mind took great pleasure from defiling her favourite place for his own amusement. It served as sweeter revenge on the know-it-all Mudblood. A moment later he heard a sharp rap on the portrait door and he stood up to open it, to find Pansy standing on the other side, a sickly seductive smile on her face, fingers playing with her hair, and he realised her skirt was also a few inches shorter than it had been at lunch. His mind numbly recognised she must have rolled it up, before his hands went to her neck and his lips crashed down upon hers. He drew her into the common room and slammed with door behind him.

Pansy pulled away for a moment, her black eyes even darker than usual and she spoke in what she assumed to be a husky voice, “Shall we go upstairs Draco?”

“No”, he replied, his mouth curved into a smirk, “we're going right over to that sofa in front of the fire”, he replied and he pulled her towards him resuming their kissing. He intended to have his way with the Slytherin girl, to have her on her knees as she gave him pleasure and damn it he would do everything to her that he never could have done to Granger, and if that didn't burn the image and taste of her out of his brain, then nothing probably would.

 

“And that fucking Mudblood has the tenacity to tell me what to do!” he growled irritated, his anger towards Granger growing to such an extent that he was just getting started on all the things he hated about her. “She is just such a fucking priss and she dares to tell me that I can't have a little fun by taunting Potter and the Weaselhead. You just wanna bash her head against a wall and make her see sense that she is nothing but scum!”

“Draco!” came the sharp voice of Pansy and he looked down at her to see she was glaring at him. “Will you just shut up about Granger for two seconds. Is that all I'm here for, to satisfy you while you rant and rave about the Mudblood? Have a little bit of self respect, will you!” She knew she had gone to far as Draco abruptly stood up and zipped up his trousers, the glare he sent down at her from her pitiful state on the floor enough to root her on the spot. She quickly stood up, her face a mask of concern and apprehension as she placed her hands on his chest and attempted to kiss him, but he pushed her away disgusted.

“Get out!” he commanded imperiously, but she wouldn't move.

“But Draco-”

“GET THE FUCK OUT!” he roared at her and she flinched. Picking up her cardigan from the floor she fled the Heads common room, door slamming behind her. He knew he had gone too far and he would have to do some serious grovelling to explain it to her and the fellow Slytherins, for as trampish as she may be, Pansy had influence and a lot of people would be incredibly peeved with him if they heard what he done to her. Frustration that his anger and tension still hadn't been relieved and that he had managed to land himself in even hotter water than before, he dumped himself on the same sofa he had intended to defile with Pansy wishing for nothing more than peace and to be rid of women. He knew why Pansy had irritated him, what he didn't understand was why her usual ministrations hadn't satisfied him like they usually did. Was he that infested with Granger that he couldn't even enjoy this? He knew the answer to that question without even thinking. Granger had infected him from the first moment he touched her, probably long before and now he was bound to her, to such an extent that not even Pansy could please him. She was awkward, clumsy and sloppy compared to Granger, and while she practised too hard at being sexy, it exuded from her along with a natural grace and elegance that Pansy could ever have. But by Merlin how much he hated Granger at that moment, she was everything he wanted and yet he could not have her, had to constantly feel inferior to her high moral standards and her friends, had to endure daily how she lavished Weasley with affection and love, while he never got any of her. It sickened him and made him bitter, from which anger sprung forth and so all he could do was sit in the Heads common room and dwell on his shortcomings.

 

* * *

 

Evening descended upon Hogwarts Castle and by the time eight o'clock finally came around, Hermione entered the Heads common room, making her way over to the table where she dumped her school bag on it. She turned around and saw that Malfoy was sitting at one of the sofas in front of the fire and she took a deep breath. She knew what was about to come, and she was tired. It had been a long day and she did not look forward to this, but they needed to address and discuss whatever had gotten between them.

“Malfoy, can I talk to you?” she asked clearly, and waited for the Head Boy to pull himself up from the sofa and make his way over to her, all the while his expression unreadable.

“Granger”, he sneered at her and Hermione braced herself.

“We've got to talk about us and this situation that seems to have developed”, she began, but was cut off by Malfoy's drawl.

“Merlin's beard Granger, now you want to talk about your feelings too?” he asked, rolling his eyes at her.

“No Malfoy!” she replied sharply, hands on her hips, “I want to talk about why you're being such an arse this last week and that you can't go starting fights with people especially Ron and Harry!”

“Why what is the little Mudblood going to do?” he sneered, taking a step forwards. Hermione at that instant once again realised how tall he was.

“Don't you dare play that little trick Malfoy!” she spoke harshly, her eyes growing to slits. “I know you're lashing out right now, so just stop it. You can't just keep attacking people, you're Head Boy for God's sake! Act like it!”

“Don't you fucking dare tell me how to act, you piece of filth!” he gritted out, staring down at her as if she were nothing more than a bad smell beneath his nose.

 

It doesn’t hurt me,

You wanna feel how it feels

You wanna know, know that it doesn’t hurt me

You wanna hear about the deal I’m making

 

“I will because someone has to and stop trying to insult me, it's not going to work!” she replied coldly. “We are Head Boy and Head Girl and all this animosity is making our jobs incredibly hard, so are we going to talk about this or not?”

“No you fucking piece of trash, we are not going to talk about this!” he shouted at her, his eyes glinting dangerously. Hermione should have spotted at that instant that she was treading into dangerous waters, but she did not.

 

You can (keep running up that hill)

You and me (keep running up that hill)

You and me won’t be unhappy

 

“Will you stop it with the act. It's only the two of us, you don't have to pretend!” she replied calmly, using all her willpower to cool her raging emotions.

Malfoy at that moment saw red. He stormed up to her, taking those last few steps and grabbed her upper arms forcefully, not quite sure what he was doing, but knowing that he needed to shake some sense into her. He shook her roughly, his eyes glaring down at her small frame, every fibre of his body filled with rage and hatred at that moment. She slapped his hands away with her own and before he could react she had drawn her wand and was pointing it at his chest.

 

You don’t wanna hurt me

But see how deep the bullet lies

Unaware that I’m tearing you asunder

There’s a thunder in our hearts baby

So I hate the ones we love

Tell me we both matter don’t we?

 

“Don't you dare ever doing that again”, she said, her voice low and threatening, the pitch not quite steady she was that furious.

“Can't you see some fucking sense, you fucking Mudblood!” Malfoy snapped, yelling at her, his eyes ablaze, emotions wide open to the world. “You're a whore, a slut and you're so dirty and filthy you didn't even deserve what you had with me!”

“No!” came her unsteadied reply.

“NO?” Malfoy roared, “YOU WERE NOTHING BUT A CHEAP FUCK, AN EASY LAY THAT I GOT. YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN A CONQUEST IF IT HADN'T BEEN THAT BLOODY EASY!”

Hermione just shook her head and refused to look at him, for in truth he was terrifying, more terrifying than she could ever have guessed. Oh how she had misjudged him so.

 

Come on baby,

Come on darling

Let me steal this moment from you now

Come on angel

Come on darling

Let’s just change the experience

 

Malfoy was growing even more incensed that she wouldn't even deign to look at him, so he continued lashing out at her, hurling insults that he hoped would finally rattle that perfectly composed image she had.

“You didn't even know that just earlier on today, on that favourite sofa of yours”, he spoke coldly, laughing bitterly as he pointed at the very sofa in front of the fireplace, “that I got Pansy to satisfy me in ways you never possibly could have! Now do you understand that you're nothing but a worthless piece of shit?”

It seemed that was all it took to take Hermione out of the body bind that had held her in place while he shouted at her. Not quite knowing what she was doing she went to slap him hard across the face, but Malfoy was quicker with his Seeker reflexes. He grabbed her hand and held onto it firmly, twisting it a little to cause her pain. Hermione struggled against him, eyes glinting dangerously with an uncontrolled rage, and she went to slap and hit him with the other but he kept blocking her, laughing at her pathetic attempts to hurt him. She screamed and went to kick him between the legs, but with a swift movement he turned both of them around, twisting her arms behind her back. She let out a cry of pain and wrenched away from him, massaging her sore wrists, a stray tear making its way down her cheeks.

 

And I only could

Make a deal with God

Get him to swap our places

Be running up that road

Be running up that hill

Be running up that building

With no problem

 

“Don't you ever dare come near me again you bastard!” she screamed at him, voice unsteady. “WE'RE OVER!”

Instead all that Malfoy done was laugh coldly at her, seemingly taking delight in not only causing her physical pain, but also causing her great emotional pain. She was laid out bare to him and all he did was laugh.

“Don't you worry Mudblood”, he said, stopping his laughing long enough to utter what he wanted to say, “I wouldn't touch you even if you paid me!”

“GET OUT!” she screamed at him, picking up one of her precious books from the table next to her and threw it at his retreating back, hearing nothing more than his cold laughter before the book hit the opposite wall next to the portrait and the portrait door slammed loudly behind him.

Hermione collapsed to the carpeted floor in a flood of tears, knowing that their affair was over.

 

If I only could keep running up that hill

 

* * *

 

The next morning after she had finally pulled herself tiredly out of her bed she carefully made her way down the common room, still fearing of another confrontation with Malfoy, but what she saw as she lightly descended the staircase was that the common room was empty. She looked around and saw that it was bare of his things, his occasional books that would be scattered around, his school bag and his Quidditch gear were also missing. She battled with herself whether she should check his room too, but eventually she decided to and gathering up enough courage she climbed his staircase and hesitantly opened his door. Malfoy's room was both clean and empty. He had left without saying goodbye and somehow what she had realised the evening before now seemed all the more real. The tears made their way down her cheeks before she could even stop them and the emotions overpowered her, so that she slid down the door frame until she ended up into a tangle of limbs, chest heaving, her sobs echoing through the empty Heads common room. 






A/N: Holy crap is that a monster of a chapter! Well there you go, about five months late, but here it finally is. That was probably one of the hardest I've ever had to write so that explains somewhat why it took so long. The reason why is this chapter is a milestone, as you can tell by the ending and I've had it in mind since the beginning, so no matter what happened it was heading in this direction. I am talking about the fight. 
You'll also see that the story has taken a bit of a different direction. The reason why is the other reason why this chapter took five months to complete, and that was a most excellent reviewer reminded me of something, something that I had completely forgotten over the months and she effectively got me back on track with this story, so thank you to her!
I've also got a new Meet the Author page up as my old one got deleted along the way so if you have any questions about this fic or any of my other work just go to it. A link should be on my author profile page.
Other than that I hope you enjoyed all 10,153 words of this chapter (and yes that's exactly how long it is! I still can't believe it. That like almost as long as my thesis I have to do soon!)
The next chapter should prove interesting, I daresay.


Until next time,
Agrolass.


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