A/N – ok so I’m going to humbly ask everyone’s forgiveness *again* for my horrible lackage of an update. I am *so* sorry. Really, I am. I started a new job in a pharmacy, but I’m still working at my old job at the bank so I’m averaging 60+ hours of work a week. I haven’t even been able to make my dance classes, which makes me sad inside! Hopefully I’ll get back to a normal work schedule and be able to go back to updating regularly. Hope this tides everyone over until then! This is the exact middle of the story. Only 15 chapters left! That being said, I’m afraid this is going to be rather short. Please enjoy!
Chapter 15: Something Missing
The talk with George was not going well.
“How am I supposed to choose between them? I don’t like any of them!” Hermione shouted.
“Perhaps you should give them another chance. There has to be something you…”
“No, George. I’m done. I’m done playing this game. None of them are offering what I want.”
“And what is that?” George asked, finally annoyed.
Hermione bit her lip in response. She was stumped once again.
“I guess that’s what is missing.”
“Is it?” George grumbled as he crossed the room to get away from Hermione. This was difficult for him. He wanted to be pleased that she didn’t want any of the remaining suitors. But at the same time, she had to choose one of them eventually.
Fred entered then, assuming that the absence of yelling meant they were finished talking.
“Time to call it a night, don’t you two think?”
“Brilliant idea, Fred. Much better than calling it a morning!” George smiled weakly.
Fred grinned with him and then took Hermione by the arm to lead her to her room.
“Alright, Hermione?” he asked as she started to disappear into her room.
“Tomorrow’s another day,” was the only response he got as she shut the door.
The next morning no one was really surprised when Hermione refused to come out of her room.
“This is ridiculous!” Draco shouted to her locked door.
“Can’t we just alohamora the damn door?” Blaise said bored as ever.
“You really want to invade on her rights that much?” Harry asked annoyed.
“What if she’s in danger though?” Ron asked.
“From what, all her worst fears are standing on this side of the door,” Draco sneered.
“I’m fine!” Hermione chirped through the door.
“No you’re not, Hermione,” Fred answered, “you need to come out and eat something.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“Let her starve,” Blaise said impatiently.
“Lucky she hasn’t chosen you yet, she would have died of starvation by now,” George rolled his eyes.
“She would still be doing better than she is with you two,” Blaise snapped back.
“Can you all please leave!” Hermione said annoyed.
“Now you should know better than that, Hermione,” Fred answered, “We’re staying here until you decide to come out.”
“Maybe we should give her some space,” George said quietly. It was the first thing he had said all morning. Maybe it was because of that, that everyone had decided to listen to him.
That is, until lunchtime. They were all worried about her starving to death.
“I say we all take 30 minute intervals until she decides to come out,” Blaise suggested in a competitive way.
“Winner takes all?” Draco sneered.
“Not necessarily, but obviously the implications would be there,” Blaise smirked back.
“I think she’ll come out on her own,” Ron suggested, convinced he didn’t stand a chance at the mock-competition.
“Can’t we just concentrate on getting her help first?” Harry said impatiently.
“Fine,” the all chimed at different times.
They explained the idea to Fred and George, who agreed since they really didn’t have another plan.
“Guess I’ll go first,” Ron volunteered.
Blaise looked at his watch, “Ready. Go!”
Ron glared at him as he made his way to Hermione’s room.
“Hermione can you hear me?”
All he got in response was a light snore.
“Oh great,” he whispered to himself as he leaned against the door and slid down, “should have known.”
He had banged his head against the door, which had triggered the light snoring to stop. He listened closely, wondering if Hermione had truly woken up.
“Who’s out there?” came the lightly tired, but annoyed, voice.
“It’s Ron,” he answered, “are you ok?”
“Obviously,” Hermione said, awake and annoyed by this time.
“Oh, that’s good.”
Ron could feel Hermione rolling her eyes. He felt bad for annoying her.
“I guess I’ll just leave.”
“Are you ever coming out.”
“I guess I’ll have to eventually. Mortal needs and all.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“Don’t worry so much.”
Ron blushed and left. There was no way in his mind he could fathom that Hermione liked him the way he liked her. But he couldn’t give up now. He was in too deep. He sighed as he returned to where the others were waiting.
“Any luck?” Harry asked with concern on his face.
“Your turn, I guess,” Ron answered.
Harry gulped and started towards Hermione’s door. Dealing with an annoyed angry Hermione wasn’t the easiest. Especially when he couldn’t distract her with kisses and physical appeal. This wasn’t going to be easy.
He knocked softly on the door, “Hey Hermione.”
“Go away, Harry.”
“Jeesh, you sure know how to hurt a guy.”
“Don’t take everything so personally,” Hermione answered annoyed.
“What’s wrong, Hermione? Yesterday you seemed so happy.”
“Yesterday I wasn’t being pressured to choosing a future husband.”
“And you’re not today either.”
“Oh really?” Hermione asked and both could feel the glare that radiated through the door.
“Hermione, no one expects you to choose instantly. But you need to come out and eat and take care of yourself.”
“I’ll think about it.”
“Can I get you anything?”
Harry laughed, “I’ll be right back.”
“Success!” Fred clapped his hands together at Harry’s news. At least Hermione was going to eat. Now if they could just get her out of her room.
Later that night, Blaise decided to give it a go. After all, if Harry could have that much success, couldn’t he do better?
“What do you want, Blaise?” Hermione answered as he knocked on her door in the middle of the night.
“How did you know it was me?”
“Easy. What other guy disturbs a girl in the middle of night. The one with the least amount of consideration.”
“Was that suppose to be a compliment?”
Blaise grinned as he heard Hermione give a sigh of frustration.
“Just go away.”
“Not til I know you’re ok.”
“I am. There are you happy? Now go!”
“No, I’m afraid that’s not proof enough. I’ll need to see you.”
Hermione sighed again and he could hear her unlocking the door. He couldn’t help but smirk.
She stood in light blue pajama bottoms and a black tanktop. Her hair was a mess from sleeping. Other than tired, she looked perfectly fine.
“Are you good now?”
“I guess,” Blaise smirked again.
“Seriously, Blaise. This is ridiculous.”
“No, it’s not. Besides, I brought you something.”
Hermione’s eyes glittered for a moment, “What did you bring me?”
He handed her a book, quite old and dusty looking.
“I saw you looking at it in my library.”
“Seriously, Blaise? You’ll let me borrow this?”
“Yes, on one condition.”
“Don’t lock us out.”
Hermione bit her lip, “Do I have to?”
“Hermione, you have to let people in. Especially the ones who care about you.”
“Why would I want to let people in my life, when I’m dying to get out?”
“Lives change, Hermione. Yours is changing too. If you’ll just let it.”
Hermione’s voice went really soft and she looked downcast, “I think I might be scared of changing.”
Blaise gently wrapped his arms around her, “It’ll be ok.”
“I think I’m beginning to realize that,” she smiled while looking up at him.
They were interrupted by a very annoyed drawl, “Seriously? Are there no morals left in this household?”
“Draco!” Hermione’s face blushed crimson.
“Looks like I’m not the only one with the least amount of consideration,” Blaise smirked.
“What are you doing here, Zabini?”
“Obviously, I was here to assist Hermione. It seems she’s decided to end the locking of the doors,” he answered curtly.
Draco considered for a moment, then smiled at Hermione, “Glad to hear you’re doing better then.”
Hermione glared, “I’m not ‘doing better’, Draco. I just decided that starving wasn’t the best way to ignore my problems.”
“Let me help you with those then,” Draco answered quickly, “Blaise, you can go now.”
Blaise glowered at Draco as he left, following orders.
“Why do you have to do that?” Hermione asked.
“Order people around like they have no free will.”
Draco shrugged, “Natural?”
Hermione rolled her eyes, “I’m going to bed.”
“See you in the morning?”
“If I must.”
Hermione grunted in disgust and slammed her door.
Over the next few days, Hermione seemed to be getting better. She talked with each suitor frequently, and often was found in Blaise’s library or eating out with Draco. However, it wasn’t surprising to find Harry sneaking out of her bedroom at night, or Ron sitting next to her in deep conversation. George could hardly stand it.
One day, after seeing Harry leave her room with a ridiculous grin on his face, George went to speak with Hermione.
“George!” she smiled.
“Hello, Hermione,” he answered trying to remain calm.
“It’s been so long since I’ve actually gotten to talk to you alone. Usually you’re with Fred, or Fred talks to me. What’s up?”
“Well I’m concerned for you.”
“When haven’t you been?”
“Seriously this time.”
“Oh, so it hasn’t been serious before?”
“You know what I mean.”
“Do I?” Hermione was beginning to get impatient.
“I’m just worried. I don’t want to see you hurt.”
Hermione rolled her eyes.
“Look, I know we haven’t put you in the best position, but could you try to be a bit more careful?”
“What do you mean, George?” Hermione asked curtly.
“Well, you know. No more late night visits. No being alone with Malfoy. Or Zabini for that matter. We just can’t trust them.”
“Trust them?! You’re the one who brought them here in the first place!”
“No Hermione, you did by choosing them. You could have chosen other boys.”
“I don’t see how that would make a difference. You’d find flaws with all of them.”
“Yes, but not as many.”
Hermione gave out an exasperated sigh and sank into a nearby couch.
George sat cautiously next to her.
“I just want to make sure you’re ok. It’s a lot easier to protect you when you’re not alone with some boy.”
“I will one day be permanently alone with some boy. What will you do then?”
George looked confused for a moment then said, “Well, we’ll get there when we get there.”
“I just don’t know why you feel like you need to protect me. You’re the one who put me in this situation.”
“Yes, but you sort of went the opposite direction we were hoping.”
“And what were you hoping for? That I would choose you and we could all live happily ever after?”
“That’s not what I’m saying…”
“Then what are you saying, George? Because I’m getting slightly confused.”
George flung up his arms in frustration, “I just wish you would be more wise in your decisions. Malfoy? Really?”
“Why does it matter? Are you jealous that Malfoy might win and steal me away from you?”
“Hermione, don’t put words in my mouth.”
“I’m just trying to make sense of it all, why can’t you just be honest with me!”
Hermione had risen from the couch now and was pacing in anger. George rose and went to her quickly and grabbed both of her arms to still her.
“I am being honest. Ok?” George stared at her, willing her to understand what he himself didn’t, “I just feel like something’s missing. Something isn’t right.”
“I know,” Hermione whispered and then she tilted her head softly up to him and placed a gentle kiss on his lips. George was surprised at first and then eager to finally get what he wanted. Eventually common sense caught up with him and he pulled away.
“Is that what you were missing?” Hermione asked with a grin.
George tried to hide his smile, “Perhaps. But what about you? Was it what you were missing?”
“This isn’t about me.”
“Yes it is Hermione. It has to be. I can’t think about myself right now. No matter what I feel, you have to come first. Your happiness will always come before my desires.”
“That’s ridiculous!” Hermione crossed her arms and backed away from him, “How can you say that? Do your feelings really not matter that much? You really won’t fight for what you feel in your heart?”
“Not when there’s a chance that you could be happier another way.”
“I see,” Hermione whispered softly. She turned quickly to run out of the room, but not quick enough for George not to see the tears running down her eyes.
A/N – So much for this being short. ^_- This chapter took me forever to write! I’m so sorry! I’ve just been so caught up in my new job at the pharmacy. I’m no longer at the bank, but I still wait tables. I still haven’t been able to go to any of my dance classes sadly, but one day! I actually had two versions of this chapter going and I didn’t realize it, but this one is much better and longer so yay! Oh, another diversion while writing this chapter: I found out I’m pregnant. Yay. ^_^ I’m about 7 weeks right now. I’m looking forward to my 6 weeks of maternity leave! Ha!
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