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Chapter Two

The following day, Hermione woke up with the most painful of headaches. She had been getting them on and off all week, but this one went right through her. As she pushed her hand through her hair and opened her eyes, she pulled herself into a upright position. She scratched her head and moaned as the light poured in through the windows and blinded her. Pushing the duvet cover off of her, she looked around her and noticed that only a few beds where still occupied. Ginny was in the bed beside hers, and she was also sitting in bed. She had her hand covering her eyes from the sun as she smiled at Hermione.
“Morning.” she said in a croaky, ‘I just got out of bed’ tone. Ginny jumped out of bed and grabbed a silky nightgown that now covered her underwear. She wandered over to the large mirror that stood at the far end of the dorm and she neatly combed her hair with the hairbrush that had been sitting by the mirror. Hermione watched in envy how straight Ginny’s hair was, and how tug free it seemed to be.

Eventually deciding to get up, she jumped out of bed quickly and grabbed her own silk nightgown. She pulled it around herself and tied the lace around it in a bow. She walked over to Ginny, who was now rubbing moisturiser onto her pale complexion. Hermione grabbed another brush and stared at herself in the mirror. Her hair was a huge and  fluffy, curly mess. She pulled the brush through it, wincing with pain as she did so. She pulled the brush through it and then when she was satisfied with her now tug-free hair, she pulled back her fringe. She picked up a clip and held it between her teeth as she fixed her fringe into the right position, and then clipped it up. Looking at herself in the mirror again, she was reminded that she wasn’t at all pretty. She actually had no idea why Ron was dating her.

She quickly got changed into her school uniform and then hurried down the stairs to the Common Room. She noticed Harry and Ginny sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace holding hands and smiling day-dreamingly at each other, whist Ron sat on the sofa with his legs outstretched and yawning.
“Hey.” she said as she flopped down onto the sofa beside Ron. He moved his legs from beneath her just before she sat on them. She laughed as he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her on the forehead.
“Nice sleep?” Ron asked as his lips left her forehead and he moved back into his place on the sofa.

“Have a bit of a headache, but apart from that, yeah. You?” Hermione replied as she caressed his face.
“Well I had to face Neville talking in his sleep all night. Tellin me ‘bout some Turkish plant, so he was.” Ron stated. Hermione laughed slightly, her head still hurting. Harry suddenly burst into laughter and turned around to face them, still holding hands with Ginny.
“That’s coming from the guy who once shouted at me in his sleep that spiders where trying to get him to tap-dance.” Harry pointed out, still laughing. Ron turned a reddish colour in the face, and threw one of the pillows that was sitting on the other seat at Harry. Ron turned back to Hermione, who stared at him with a huge grin planted on her face.
“Okay! It’s true. But that was back years ago, and I was scared of spiders back then.” Ron said.
“Don’t be silly, Ron. Your still scared of spiders now!” Ginny squeaked. They all burst into a fit of laughter. Hermione was the first to break it, when she pulled Ron in for a kiss.

As their lips parted, Ron looked into her eyes and said, “What was that for?”
“Because I love you, that’s why.” Hermione replied as she kissed him again. His arms wrapped around her waist and he pulled her onto his lap, still kissing her. He kissed her down her neck, then down her arms, making her laugh uncontrollably. She pushed herself off of his lap and back down onto the sofa.
“Okay guys, I have to go do some tutoring. I agreed to meet Malfoy in the library before first period.” Hermione sighed and stood up. Ron grabbed her hand quickly and pulled her close to him.
“Don’t let him say or do anything to you, yeah?” he warned. Hermione chuckled.
“I’m not a careless little five year old, Ronald.” she replied. She then kissed him on the cheek and turned and left the Common Room.

She walked quickly to the library. As she entered, she noticed the small librarian was sitting at her desk. She smiled at her and quickly scanned the room for Malfoy. She spotted him in the bottom end of the library, away from sight almost. Rolling her eyes, she quickly walked over to the table and sat down.
“Right. Did you bring your books?” Hermione asked as she tapped her fingers on the desk. Draco was leaning back on his seat, but then brought it back down to normal before answering.
“Nope.” he replied as he yawned. Hermione smacked her fists down on the table in anger and he stared at her, seemingly startled by her sudden movement.
“Why can’t you do anything right?!” she bellowed, which earned her a disrespectful glare from the librarian. Draco stared at her with sleepy eyes still and then rubbed them.
“Can’t help it if I’m forgetful.” he replied slowly. Hermione felt as if she was going to snap any second.
“Malfoy. I did not just leave my friends to just sit here and freaking argue with you!” Hermione shouted, “I only agreed to tutoring you because your practically brain dead and Slughorn likes me and I don’t want to let him down. I don’t care about your stupid education.”

Draco stared her up and down and smirked.
“Oh what’s funny?” Hermione asked impatiently as she flicked her hair from her face.
“Your attitude. It’s always the same with the Mudblood’s. Stuck up, good for nothing, not worth living and pathetic.” Draco replied. Hermione’s straight look of anger had now changed to sadness.

Hermione stood up in her seat and pointed her finger at him. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. Her eyes welled up with tears, and she made to walk away. As she reached the door, Slughorn entered with a huge smile set across his face.
“Oh, Miss Granger. I see you’ve taken to tutoring this early. Good. I’ll make sure to put that on your letter home. Your letter of achievement.” Slughorn announced as he waddled in. He walked straight past her and to the opposite side of the library. Sighing, she decided that it where best if she tutored him for at least she was getting the credit for it.

She wandered back over to the table that Draco was situated at and perched herself on the chair.
“Was that a little mean, Granger? Why don’t you run off and tell your blood traitor of a boyfriend?” Draco spat as he spoke, and one piece of saliva landed on her cheek. Wiping it off, she ignored his comment and instead, walked over to the bookstand. She picked out a potions book and threw it onto the desk. She then walked to the other side and grabbed three more, each time throwing them on the desk in front of Draco. She then walked back to the desk and sat down back on her seat.
“Read.” she instructed. Draco stared at her, but then picked up one of the books and began to read it.

They sat in silence as Draco scanned each page of the fist book. Hermione watched as his pale, bony fingers curved around the edge of the pages and flipped them over. She stared at his pale complexion. She had never really thought about what he had really looked like, but she studied him fully. She noticed that his hair wasn’t greasy. It was fluffy and a few shades darker blond than it had been. His eyes where grey still, but they held something in them - something that wasn’t evil. His mouth was twitching in the corners as he read, and she realised how humane he actually looked when not smirking. His face wasn’t as strange and disorientated as it once had been, in her eyes, and she studied his expression. His eyebrows where curved into a frown as he read the book, seemingly trying to remember the terms of the words. He turned the last page of the book and scanned it before shutting it slowly and then putting it back down on the table. He looked up from the book and smiled at her. He then stretched out his arms and sunk into the chair, yawning in the process.

“Well?” Hermione asked, eyebrows raised. Draco shrugged and closed his eyes. He licked his lips and then ran his fingers through his hair, then opened his eyes again. He watched as Hermione sighed and rested her head in her hands that where sitting beneath her chin. She stared at the ceiling for a moment, then her eyes rested on Draco once again.

“I think we have time for breakfast.” Draco looked up at the clock as he said this, and Hermione followed his gaze. It was twenty to nine, and lessons stared at nine.
“C’mon.” Draco instructed as he stood up and began to walk away, but Hermione stayed rooted ton the spot. She stared at him with wide eyes that flickered between him and the books.
“Fine.” Draco said as he picked up the books and shoved them back on a random shelf. Hermione shook her head and followed him out of the library. 

They walked along the long corridors, and eventually reached the Great Hall doorway. Draco turned to her and smiled at her. It wasn’t even a snigger.
“Thanks for tutoring me.” Draco said after he stood for a long moment.
“Err, your welcome?” Hermione replied, feeling curious as to why he thanked her.
“Yeah, I know. I don’t know why I said that either.” Draco said as he pushed one of the Great Hall doors open and peeked in. He noticed Pansy sitting at the Slytherin table beside Blaise, her eyes red.
“Draco?” Hermione said as she peeked around to see his expression. He hadn’t realised that he had been staring for so long at Pansy. He cleared his throat and moved out of her path.
“I think I might skip breakfast actually. Err, got things to do.” he said as he continued to peer at Pansy.
“Um, okay. Hey, Pansy looks sad, doesn’t she?” Hermione asked as she followed his gaze.
“Mhm. That was me.” Draco replied, still staring. Pansy was rubbing her eyes, having clearly been crying for what looked like ages.

“What did you do?” Hermione found herself asking. She looked up at Draco and pulled the door shut again. He looked down at Hermione’s small frame compared to his and studied her.
“She likes me, but I don’t like her. She got the wrong idea and thought I was gonna go out with her, but I wasn’t. When I told her that, she punched me and ran off. Didn’t realise she liked me that much.” Draco replied as he stared into Hermione’s eyes.
“I actually didn’t expect you to be so open with me about that. Um, why don’t you apologize?” Hermione asked. Draco smiled slightly.
“If only it where that easy with Pansy. Anyway, I better go. See you tomorrow, same time and same place.” Draco said as he walked off, leaving Hermione standing alone.

Hermione pushed the Great Hall doors open again and walked in. She wandered over to the Gryffindor table and sat down on the bench next to Ron. Sitting across from them was Harry and Ginny. Harry smiled as he drank from his goblet and she noticed Ginny was too busy eating her toast to notice that Hermione had even sat down. Ron greeted her in the same way as he did every morning; a gentle hug.
“How was tutoring?” Harry asked as he put the goblet of Pumpkin Juice back down on the table. Ron laughed manically beside her, and everyone looked at him as if he was insane.

’How was tutoring’ he says. Obviously it was horrific for her, Harry!” Ron exclaimed as he waved his arms about in the air in the same way as his mother did.
“Actually, it wasn’t all that bad. He annoyed me at first, but then I shoved some books in his arms and he shut up and read them.” Hermione explained. Ron stared at her in disbelief.
“Really?” Ginny piped in as she finished her toast.
“Yeah. It was really weird. What do you have first, Ginny?” Hermione asked as she plopped a grape in her mouth.
“Quidditch practice. You have a free period, don’t you?” Ginny asked quickly.
“Oh! Yes I do! I’ll come and watch you then.” Hermione replied as she suddenly remembered that she did have a free period. Harry nodded in agreement and Ron patted Hermione on her back.
Each finished their breakfasts and they all stood up. Ginny and Harry walked around to Ron and Hermione’s side of the table and they all walked back up and out of the hall

As they walked along the pathway outside the castle towards the Quidditch pitch, Hermione couldn’t help but wonder where Draco was hiding out. He might have been in the Slytherin Common Room, but she had heard that he wasn’t too welcome in there anymore. Not many of the Slytherins enjoyed the fact that he had been granted the position of a Death Eater, or that he had tried to murder their head teacher.
She thought back to their sixth year, when she had heard from Harry that he had been hiding out on the 6th floor and in the room of requirement. She could almost bet that she’d find him there if she looked.

She wondered if he had company, considering that he was hiding from Pansy. Blaise was probably with him, either that or Crabbe or Goyle.
“Hermione?” Ginny asked. Hermione snapped out of her daydream and realised that she had walked meters ahead of them and hadn’t stopped at the gates. Blushing slightly, she jogged back to her friends.
“What where you thinking about?” Ron asked as he put his arm around her waist.
“Not much.” Hermione replied and the four started walking again.

They walked through the gates and into the grounds. Ron let go of Hermione’s waist and instead he took her hand. He lead her up the stairs; right up to the top. The view was great from there. You could see right over the other side of the pitch, and had excellent view of the players. Ron sat down, and she gracefully sat down beside him. He smiled as she sat down, and he put one arm around her shoulders.
Hermione noticed Harry and Ginny standing at the side of the pitch, each with a broomstick in their hands. She then noticed several other players behind them. They all jumped onto their brooms at the blow of a whistle from someone in the seats below them, and they soared into the air. Harry zoomed through the air and hovered high above the ground. Ginny was lower down and Hermione noticed her wave up at Harry, who returned the gesture with blowing her a kiss. Hermione grinned as she noticed Ginny grow redder and redder by the minute as other team members imitated Harry and wolf whistled to her.

The Quaffle, Bludgers and the Golden Snitch where released and the practice game began. Ginny flew through the air with the Quaffle in her hand. She flew up to the hoop that stood and through the ball through the hoop. Everyone cheered and Harry sat on his broom grinning widely.
“Want to spend the night in the Room of Requirement tonight?” Ron suddenly asked gingerly. Hermione snapped her head to his face and stared at him in shock.
“Wh-what?” she stuttered as she continued to stare in shock.
“I’m sorry to just spring it on you like that, but you know, and we have been going out for more than seven months now.” Ron replied quietly.
“Well yeah, but that’s no reason to just expect me to sleep with you! How can you be so insensitive, Ron?!” Hermione shouted as she stormed from her seat and marched back down the stairs.

Huffing and puffing, she made her way back into the castle. How could he be so insensitive towards her feelings about that. He knew how she felt about the whole ‘next level’ of their relationship. She wasn’t ready, and he was. She wandered back into the castle, thinking about their relationship, and just as she rounded the corner to head up the stairs, she bumped straight into Malfoy.
“Malfoy? Oh. I didn’t expect to see you here at this time. Where are you going?” Hermione asked.
“I just wanted to know if you where busy, cause I wanted to do some more studying with you. I have nothing else to do, and I’m still hiding from Pansy.” he replied.
“Err, sure.” Hermione replied in confusion. He wanted to do some studying.
“Lets go to the library.” Draco said as he walked forward. They walked in silence to the library, each busy with their own thoughts to care what people who passed by thought about them being together.

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