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I slowly opened my eyes but quickly regretted it. The suns bright rays shined through my open curtains and stung my eyes. I felt around me and knew I was back in my bed in the girl’s dorm. How I got here was the least of my worry’s. I sat up and as soon as I did a sudden dizziness overcame me. I put my hand against my forehead and tried to think about what had happened that night.

When it finally all came back, I hated myself again. I had killed one of my best friends, sacrificed myself for the other and now...

I looked down at my left arm, forearm, and wasn’t surprised at what I saw. The dark mark was there and it reminded me that it wasn’t some nightmare.

I stopped just short of leaving the dorm, realizing I couldn’t let Harry see the mark. I sighed and crossed the room to grab my sweater. I slipped it on and hurried down the stairs. Harry turned at the creak of the stairs, his face pale and it looked like he had shadows under his eyes.

I wanted to turn around and leave. Knowing my guilty conscience I would spill everything.

“You’re up” He stated dully as he looked out the window instead of at me.

“Are you ok?”

He shook his head and I felt dumb for even lying.

Is this what it has to be now? Lying to my friends when they may be the very people who can save me?

“Someone...” He paused and I could tell what he was going to say would cause him great difficulty. “Someone killed Ron”

It wasn’t me trying to act surprised that brought the tears, it was the images of me killing him that did it. I sank to the floor and didn’t care that he was staring as I kept crying. The whole realization of what had happened last night came back with those three tragic words. I ran out of the common room without a backwards glance, I ran till I reached the most empty corridor.

I sat there on the cold stone floor without any intention of getting up or leaving.

“The guilt of killing someone will fade”

I turned and saw him with his usual not caring smirk but the soft reassuring voice. How someone can be two things at once seems impossible. It’s as if he’s really trying to help but at the same time he just wants to cause me as much pain as possible. I heard him sigh and then sit beside me.

“Don’t touch me” I hissed as he put his hand on my shoulder.

I scooted farther away from him but I must have been mistaken as I looked back at him. He couldn’t possibly be hurt by my actions.

“How could you do this?” I whispered as I stared off at the other corridor where students were passing with curious looks on their faces.

“Weasley was only in the way”

“But why me? You could have killed him if you wanted to”

“I told you” He replied as rolled his eyes in annoyance. “If you already felt guilt about killing one of your friends then you would do anything to keep the other safe”

“I hope you fail this plan of yours”

“And why is that?”

“So you’ll be killed by the dark lord for your second failure” I snapped and stood up to leave.

I went straight down the crowded hall, hoping that maybe I could lose him in the mess. Students were staring and whispering amongst themselves. They had seen me talking to him and now the rumors would fly.

--

Once lunch came, things weren’t any better. Harry, the twins, and Ginny all refused to eat anything. Sitting at the table and staring off somewhere without blinking.

I should be like them. Upset for Ron I thought shamefully.

I turned my attention to Parvati and Padama who were talking almost secretly to each other. I listened closely but there wasn’t much outside noise to even obscure the conversation.

“I heard Granger’s going out with Malfoy”

“Unbelievable. I saw them talking in the hall today. Looked awfully too nice for just friends”

“Some say he kissed her”

“As if he would. I bet the whole good student deal was just a cover up. Looks like she’s slipped up this—“

I didn’t listen anymore. I left the hall quickly, feeling all eyes on me still. I sat down on the stairs of the third floor corridor not caring if it moved. Maybe if it moved I would fall and end up dead. Surely that would be the wake up to this dismal nightmare.
“Heard any good rumors?”

“Shove off Malfoy”

“They’re some really interesting ones going around” He continued, only adding on to my anger.

“I said leave”

“You said ‘shove off Malfoy’” He retorted with the same usual grin.

I ignored him and moved over to keep a good distance between us. I was surprised to see a sudden anger in his eyes. It wasn’t enough to frighten me but to worry me. The same anger that was the reason I was forced to take the mark. Not for my sake but for Harry’s.

He reached over and grabbed my left arm, pulling the sleeve of my sweater up and turned my arm so the dark mark was showing.

“You’re bound to me wether you like it or not Granger. I advise you get use to it” He snapped but as quickly as the anger came it was gone.

I jerked my arm away and pulled the sleeve of my sweater back down as students began filing out of the Great Hall.

“You know the rumors?”

“Yes Malfoy I know the rumors. Now shutup before you give them something else to say”

“Why not?”

“What’re you talking about?”

“How about we give them something to talk about?”

“You come any closer and I’ll be sure to hex you into next year!”

Only a few students were out of the hall and the much larger crowd was to come. I wouldn’t give him any chance to cause another rumor. I was to preoccupied watching the curious stares of the students to realize how close he actually came.

“You shouldn’t be like that” He whispered and before I could do anything he had jerked me forward.

I fell hopelessly right into him, I was turned so my head was resting against his chest. I tried to shove him away as the rest of the students came out of the hall but his iron grasp held me where I was. It was hopeless.
Students were pointing, some laughing, others were too stunned to even say anything. When I finally got away it was too late. The crowd of students had seen what they needed for their next rumor, the damage was done.

“What the hell are you doing!” I shouted as I stood up and glared at him hatefully.

As I turned around I saw it wasn’t only the students who had seen but Professor McGonagall as well. She had her hands on her hips and looked upset. Draco sat with his usual grin on his lips, waving at McGonagall in a sarcastic manner.

“Stop it! You’re going to get us in even bigger trouble!” I snapped as I grabbed his wrist to stop him.

I saw the grin on his lips and jerked my hand away. When I turned back around to see McGonagall she was already right in front of me.

“My office. Now”

A/N--Not happy with it but when I went to edit it, I just couldn't find anything to change without messing with things that needed to be there. Chapter three is where things start to begin to happen a lot more, in case you were curious.

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