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The word echoed in her head. Kissing. Kissing, kissing, kissing. She had been caught kissing Malfoy. The news would spread like wildfire. The whole school would know within a week. A Gryffindor? They would ask. With a Slytherin? It’s just not right! 


Hermione sat in the common room banging her head against the wall. “Idiot! Idiot, idiot, idiot!” She sighed, pulling out her Potions textbook. Even homework didn’t put her in a better mood. 

She was in the middle of an essay on the many uses of Wolfsbane when she felt a hand on her shoulder and whirled around. A second year Gryffindor stood behind her, a shy expression on her face. “Excuse me,” she said quietly, “Mr Malfoy would like to talk to you.” 

Hermione blushed, hoping none of the other students in the common room had heard the smaller girl. She looked around and many sets of eyes quickly darted away from her, back to their various activities. 

“He has messengers now?” she mumbled, trying to avoid the glares, stares and embarrassed looks, and followed the girl out of the room. 

Malfoy was standing outside, leaning on the wall, a smug smirk on his face. 

Hermione grimaced. “What an arrogant prat,” she muttered to herself. Malfoy shooed the little girl, handing her a gold coin. He turned towards Hermione. 

“Okay, look Granger. I’m used to having girls all over me, it’s nothing new, but it just won’t work between us. And you’re kinda pushing it here.” 

“I am not! It’s not my fault! It was a dare, God damn it! Why does no one understand?” 

“It’s called ‘chickening out’. It’s what people who didn’t like the person they were being told to kiss would do.” 

Hermione clenched her fists. “I do not like you, Malfoy,” she said through gritted teeth. “I hate your guts. Sorry if you’re insanely inflated ego can’t take that. Not my problem.  Now go away.” 

Hermione was about to return to the common room when a brunette in green robes walked up to Malfoy. Hermione turned around, but glanced behind her shoulder to see what was happening. 

“Pansy, not now!” mumbled Malfoy, but the girl ran her finger down his face. 

“Oh Drakie, I just want to talk,” she said, rubbing her cheek against his. “About us.” 

“What is it now? You’re so clingy. Leave me alone for just a minute!” 

“Only because I love you, Drakie,” replied Pansy, pressing her lips to his. He leaned back at first, but then wrapped his arm around her waist, kissing her back. 

Hermione flinched. She felt a strange feeling in her gut. A twisting, wrenching, terrible feeling. She returned to her Potions homework, thinking about the pain in her stomach. She tried to concentrate, but the words spun around in her brain, jumbling up. She dipped her pen in ink over and over, but could think of no words to say. And the feeling kept avoiding her. Eventually, she watched the sun go down and the moon rise up through the window, said goodnight to Ginny and Harry and Ron, and finally realized what the feeling was. One of the most gut-wrenching feelings in the world. 


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