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Chapter 10

Hermione and Draco finally left the library around midnight- their conversation had lasted almost two hours.

“Granger, you might be an anti-social bookworm, but you do know what you’re talking about when it comes to books.” Draco slowed down as they approached the staircases.

“Yeah, Malfoy, and you can actually stay awake when talking about something other than yourself.” She smirked at him, but froze as she heard noises.

“Someone is out past curfew; do you want to give out the detentions or should I?” Hermione hit him lightly in the arm as they looked around the corner. “Potter and Weasel Jr. I should have known.”

Hermione frowned at his insulting names, but the conversation between her very best friends caught more of her attention.

“Are you sure, Ginny? This isn’t a matter to be wrong about; we haven’t trusted her for months. Ron can’t stand her being around Malfoy so much; she’s changed.” Harry’s mysterious person was known by both of them; it was Hermoine herself.

“Harry she isn’t one of us anymore it’s only a matter of time. Personally, her constant secrets have made me wonder her loyalty to our cause.” Hermione’s eyes widened,

Malfoy couldn’t help but see them becoming watery. “Granger…” he whispered touching her shoulder, she shook him off and leaned closer to the conversation.

“Ginny, it’s always been you, me and Ron- we don’t need her. We don’t need anyone we can’t trust. If she’s not with us 100%, she’s against us.”

“Harry, I wish,” she sighed loudly, “I wish Voldermont would just leave you alone and…well, take her.” The sound of their steps disappeared as they walked up the steps. Draco stood silent as he looked at Hermione. Her face looked like he’d never seen before.

“Granger, I’m sure that…” she held up her hand, taking a deep breath.

“Goodnight,” with that she ran down the hall, leaving Draco with a small smile of triumph.

Next Morning

“That was awesome,” Blaise said shoveling food into his mouth, “I couldn’t bloody believe it!”

Draco nodded his head, looking around the lunch room- she hadn’t come in yet, and she was always there bright and early.

“You alright, Draco? I thought you’d be more excited it worked out perfectly. The two dumb Gryffindors just think they fell asleep outside; thank Merlin for strong memory charms.”

Draco smiled, but then saw her enter. She looked horrid; well, worse then usual. Her hair was a mess; she clothes unkept. He went to stand, but realized the impact of what the action of talking to her in public would do to his reputation. Blaise followed Draco’s eye and took in his expression. Draco looked pained almost, but that couldn’t be…

“Draco, looking at your prize? She looks devastated. When you think Granger can’t get any uglier she does,” Blaise began to laugh.

“I have to talk to her about the dance; I’ll talk to you later.” Draco stood up abruptly and strolled confidently towards the Gryffindor table.

As Hermione walked in for the first time in years she didn’t know where to sit. She was alone. Trudging to an empty seat she sat down and pulled out a book. Ron’s voice pulled her from her trance.

“Her, ‘Mione! Why are you by yourself down there?” Hermione looked up and saw Ron, Harry, and Ginny down the table looking towards her.

“Hermione come down here,” said Ginny happily, “why are you alone?” Hermione lowered her head and ignored them. She couldn’t even look at them.

“Hermione!” yelled Ginny, starting to stand up.

“Maybe she doesn’t hear us,” said Ron, waving his arms around. Hermione just looked at the words in her book; not even comprehending what they meant.
Suddenly a hand touched her shoulder making her jump; she looked towards Ginny, Ron, and Harry and all three were mute, starring behind Hermione. She turned and sucked in a breath. There stood Draco Malfoy; frowning down at her.

“Granger, we need to chat,” he said, looking over at the ‘New Golden Trio’ and smirking.

“About what,” she whispered, looking back towards the book. Malfoy saw her avoiding his eye and took the book, throwing it to the ground. “Malfoy!,” Hermione yelled, “what is your problem!”

“Hermione,” said Harry, jogging to her side, “what’s Malfoy doing? Malfoy, you ferret, leave her alone!” He laid his hand on Hermione’s shoulder, but she shrank away from it. Harry looked down at Hermione’s pained expression, but assumed it was from Malfoy. “Malfoy,” Harry was furious now, “what the bloody did you do? Hermione,” his attention towards her, “what happened?” By now Ginny and Ron had come and all three were around Hermione. Her face looked so pained that even Draco felt bad.

“Sorry, Potty, but I haven’t done a bloody thing. Have I, Granger?” Hermione looked at him slowly then towards her former friends and nodded.

“Hermione, what has he done to you,” begged Ginny, sitting down and hugging her.

“Granger,” Draco held out his hand; he hadn’t meant to be so formal but she looked like someone had stabbed her. “Granger, we still need to talk.”

“Hermione looked at him hand and back at Ginny. “ ‘Moine, what is going on?”
Suddenly Hermione did the last thing any of them had expected and reached up and grabbed his hand. The moment Draco realized what she’d done he entwined his fingers with hers and pulled her up; smirking at Ron who’s face was priceless.

“Hermione, what are you doing,” asked Harry with a shocked expression. She lowered her head, but as she did Draco squeezed her fingers slightly making her look up at Harry. The look that covered her face was unlike anything Harry had ever seen. Pain. Hurt. Sadness. But then another emotion flashed quickly. Fury. Hermione was furious at them, but why? “’Moine,” he reached for her, buts he backed away.

“Potter, Granger doesn’t seem like she wants to speak to you or the two blood traitors behind you,” mocked Draco, as he glanced down at his hand and realized they were still holding hands. Hermione noticed as well and both leg go immediately, drawing a even more curious glance from Ginny.

“What have you done to her, you, you,” Ron began to stutter drawing a laugh from Draco, “you arse!” Draco laughed even harder shaking his head.

“Weasel, I haven’t done a bloody thing. The question is what have you all done?” Hermione looked at Draco, almost begging to leave through her eyes.

Draco nodded at her and bent over, picking up her book he’d thrown to the ground, “Here.” Hermione took it, smiling slightly. “Ready to make a grand exit, Granger?” With that and a wave of his wand he grabbed her hand and in a cloud of smoke both disappeared.
Harry and Ron were fuming at what had just happened, but Ginny – Ginny watched moments before when Draco had grabbed Hermione’s hand. He could’ve grabbed anything, but grabbing her hand made it personal.

Another pair of eyes had seen that action as well, a twinkling pair that was followed with a slight frown.

You like? Hopefully! :) ~~J

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