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A/N: Well, here’s Chapter 15! Yay! It didn’t take me so long to update this time. =)



Chapter 15
Good Liar


Astronomy Tower, eleven o‘clock.

I know you know who this is.


Draco stuffed the parchment into his pocket and checked the clock in the common room.

Ten thirty. He would have to meet her in 30 minutes. He would have to leave now since it takes a longer amount of time to get to the tower, especially after curfew when Filch and Mrs. Norris are going around like hawks around the castle.

He walked out of the empty common room and started his journey to Astronomy Tower. He went through the dungeons quietly, careful to not bump into any Prefects, Filch, or Mrs. Norris. He couldn’t see a thing in the dungeons, but knew his way around it so well, he was able to navigate himself out. He started creeping up the Grand Staircase. He had to go and reach the top.

This is gonna take forever. Why the hell did she pick Astronomy Tower? Draco thought to himself as he started walking up the stairs with great ease. Stupid Prefects forgot to plan out who should be in charge of the Grand Staircase, I see. Bloody idiots. He smirked at the idea.

He reached the top in as much time as it would usually take him to. Filch and Mrs. Norris must have been having an off day today. Not that they were any good at finding students who were out at curfew anyway.

He entered the Divination classroom and climbed up the ladder to go to the Tower. The incense was very strong, as usual. Then he saw her; she was standing by the window, the moonlight lighting her face.

She looked over at him. “Malfoy,” she said quietly, acknowledging his presence and looking out the window again.

“Granger,” he said, walking closer to her.

“So… about what happened in Care of Magical Creatures… what was that?” she asked, not looking at him.

“It’s called a kiss, Granger. I’m sure you’re familiar with what they are. You’ve received a lot from me,” he said with a smirk.

“Of course,” Hermione said. “Why?” She looked at him.

“So you haven’t gotten the message yet? Are you just that blind?”

“The message was quite clear to everyone, I think. You heard the argument between Ron and me,” she said, getting angry with him. “Everyone heard the argument.”

“You and Weasel were awfully loud,” he pointed out.

“That’s not the point!” she snapped. “What is this? How many times has this happened?”

“Has what happened, Granger?”

“It all started with Padma’s stupid dare. Then, it led to another one, then that led to another one… and another one… and then another one… then that led to the one in class. How many times was that? Six!”

“So what, Granger? It’s not that bad,” he said.

“What do you mean ‘it’s not bad’?” Hermione asked. “We’ve already kissed six times and haven’t talked about anything. We’re just going on with our lives, as if they’ve never happened, when they have.”

“What do you want me to say, then?” he asked. “I’ve done everything I’ve needed. The only person who has to talk is you, Granger!”

“I-I… I don’t know,” Hermione said. “It’s too complicated… Ron and Harry would go completely mad… Of course Ginny would be happy. She’s the one who’s been trying to get us together… but--”

“So? Who bloody cares what they think? I don’t care what Blaise or Crabbe or Goyle or… Pansy thinks.”

“Well you all are not as close as Harry, Ron, Ginny, and I!”

“Oh well! Why the hell would you let them get in the way?” he asked.

Hermione looked at him curiously. “Oh, this is not you. This is really not you! It would have been simpler if we still hated each other and insulted each other. And… if that stupid dare never happened. Stupid Padma… And stupid Ginny for playing stupid matchmaker!”

“Stupid you, too,” Draco mumbled. Hermione put on a confused look on her face. “Well, it’s not my bloody fault you got so… likeable!”

“Well sorry,” Hermione said. “I don’t exactly know what’s changed about me, but apparently, something has.”

“Can you just… say that you like me too?” Draco asked. “I can’t be romantic. I’m usually used to snogging girls, and that’s it. I’ve never actually gotten… so serious about one.”

“Oh, well that makes me like you even more,” Hermione said sarcastically. “Snogging any random girl you think is… hot?”

“Well, not anymore. Because stupid Hermione Granger had to make me a better person,” he said with a smirk.

Hermione smiled. There was a comfortable silence as she thought it over. She just wasn’t sure. She knew she liked him, actually. She just wasn’t good at admitting feelings like this toward someone. Him -- and practically the whole school -- was waiting for an answer from her. And that put her under more pressure. Many people have actually started rooting for them to get together -- like Ginny, for instance. Many more people were very against them getting together -- like Harry, Ron, Pansy, Blaise, Crabbe, and Goyle, for example.

Hermione sighed. “I don’t know. I really don’t know.” She tried to not make it obvious that she was avoiding his eyes. Draco wasn’t looking straight at her eyes, so it was okay. He was looking at her face, which was different.

“A-all right, then. G’night, Granger,” he said as he exited the room.

Hermione sighed again and watched him leave. After a couple minutes, she followed suit and headed back too.

~*~


Dear Diary,

So, I like him too. I haven’t actually admitted that to him because of what everyone else will think. I know that I’m not supposed to care what they think, but that’s so hard! I can’t do that. If this whole relationship thing was a class, I’m sure I would get an F. It would be the only subject I would get an F on.
I feel so… I don’t know. I don’t feel right. And I know that that feeling won’t disappear until I admit my feelings for Malfoy. But, I just can’t.

Until next time,
Hermione


She snapped her diary shut and muttered the password that she recently added. After putting it into her suitcase, she climbed into her four-poster bed and drifted off to a dreamless sleep.

~*~


"Hello, everybody," Hermione greeted Harry, Ron, and Ginny the next morning gloomily.

"What's up with you, Hermione?” Ginny said as Hermione took the seat next to her.

"I’m so tired," Hermione replied with a yawn. “I couldn’t get any sleep last night.” She looked over at Ron, who was playing around with his food with his fork. Hermione found this odd, for he would usually be stuffing his face right now. But she knew why. It was because of the argument they had the other day. She would have said something, but she didn't feel like dealing with him today.

"Ron, what's wrong with you, mate?" Harry asked his best friend.

"Huh?" he asked, looking up from his plate, "Oh, nothing. I'm just not hungry is all."

"You're not hungry?" Ginny asked incredulously, "Are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine, Ginny," he snapped at her. He went back to moving his tater tots around with his fork.

"All right then," Ginny said, giving up.

There was an awkward silence for a few seconds. But then, Ron couldn't hold it in anymore.

"So, Hermione, went to see Malfoy last night, didn‘t you?" Ron asked her rudely.

"As a matter of fact, I did,” Hermione said truthfully. She didn’t want to lie to him-- or anyone else listening in on their conversation at that.

Really?” Harry and Ginny asked at the same time. Harry sounded serious and surprised; Ginny sounded plain happy. Harry looked at her curiously, then turned his attention back to Hermione again.

“Yes,” Hermione replied. “What? You expect us to not talk about it? You can’t kiss someone and not talk.”

“Well, in this case, you can,” Ron said, “Because… it’s--”

“It’s Malfoy, I know,” Hermione finished off for him.

“Well, what’d you say?” Ginny asked.

“Erm…” Hermione began unsurely.

“Oh, bloody hell,” Ron said, standing up from his seat. “I don’t want to be around to hear your answer. I’m already pretty sure what is anyway.” With that, he walked out of the Great Hall.

“Hermione, don’t tell me…” Harry trailed off.

“Erm…” Hermione repeated.

“You like him, too!” Ginny exclaimed excitedly.

Many heads turned to them to see what Ginny’s excited yelling was all about.

“I-I didn’t say that…” she said nervously, hoping she wouldn’t discuss it any further. Attention made her nervous when she wasn’t angry.

“Hermione Granger, you like Draco Malfoy!” Ginny yelled. They gained more listeners and all of them gasped. At the Slytherin Table, Draco smirked. “Admit it!”

Hermione’s mouth formed an ‘O’ at Ginny’s excited behavior and yelling.

“No, I don’t,” Hermione said, but she wasn’t very convincing. Everyone was quiet and listening in on their conversation again, for Ginny’s yelling caught a lot of attention.

“Yes, you do,” Ginny said, lowering her voice when she realized how quiet it was.

Hermione didn’t say anything. She looked around at everyone looking at them and then back at Ginny. All this attention-- she couldn’t take it. She hated it. If this is what would happen with her actually admitting that she likes Draco, then…

‘But that sounds so wrong. I’m not supposed to care what everybody else thinks… How come I don’t care that everybody labels me as a nerd and a bookworm, but I care when I start liking someone I shouldn’t be?’ Hermione thought.

In the most serious and believable voice she could muster, she said, “No, I don’t. Get that through your heads, because I don’t.” She stood up from her seat and started walking out.

Ginny shook her head. “You’re a good liar, Hermione.”

~*~


The whole day went by so slow and in a blur for Hermione. She opens up her notebook and sees that she’s taken notes, but doesn’t actually recall learning about any of it. After each of her classes, she would throw the information she just learned away from her head and start thinking about Draco and how everybody would go mad if they knew how she actually felt.

She wanted to get her mind off him, but that didn’t help, considering that in most of her classes, they have to work in partners, and her partner is none other than him.

In Charms, he tried to talk to her, but she wasn’t listening to him at all. She had absolutely no idea what he said to her. They worked on the charm they had to practice in silence.

Potions went by horribly for her-- in her opinion. Her potion was a light green color, but it was supposed to be a dark green color. She got an E, but she was very disappointed in herself.

Hermione went to dinner that day, apparently. She sat in her usual seat, next to Ginny, but she didn’t talk. She heard her name being called by one of them and she looked up.

“Hermione, why do you look so… I don’t know. Not good?” Ginny asked when she realized her state.

“My classes didn’t go very well today.” It wasn’t a lie. But she was actually going crazy in her head about how she has to admit to Draco that she likes him too, but it would be too confusing and wouldn’t work out anyway. But if she never tries, she’ll never know.

‘But when people would start figuring out about us, then… the attention. And Ron. He would surely not want to talk to me ever again. Harry would eventually say that it’s okay. But, Ron… I know we’ll work this little ‘Ignoring Each Other’ thing going on right now sooner or later, but if Malfoy and I actually get together, I would be surprised if we were even friends again, Hermione thought. ‘And I don’t want that to happen.’

“Hermione, you’re gonna go mad sooner or later. It’s better to tell him as soon as possible,” Ginny said quietly to her.

“I know,” Hermione replied, “But I can’t. You don’t understand. Ron and I wouldn’t be friends anymore if that happened. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle that.”

“But Ron’ll get over it. He just has to get it through his thick head,” Ginny said, “I hate seeing you like this, Hermione.”

“I know. Me too,” she said, “I know I will. But just not right now. When I know I’m ready to handle the consequences, then that’s when I’ll tell him.”



A/N: I know, it was really short. But was it good or bad? Please review! I love to hear what you all think.

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