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Chapter 17

 

Hermione opened her eyes.

 

’Oh, no! Not in the hospital wing again!’ She sighed.

 

Madam Pomfrey was examining her with a strict expression on her face.

 

’Miss Granger, you should be more careful. This was your second accident within the last two weeks.’

 

’Am I seriously wounded?’

 

’No. You were lucky. Just a slight consussion again. You’ll recover soon, but you should stay in bed for a few days. By the way, your owl has a broken wing but Hagrid is taking care of it so there’s no need to worry.’

 

’My owl?’ Hermione didn’t understand.

 

’You don’t remember? The owl you saved from the branches of the Whomping Willow.’ Madam Pomfrey looked at her worried.

 

’I remember… But that was not my owl.’

 

’I see,’ Madam Pomfrey nodded relieved. She pointed at a pile of books. ’Miss Weasley brought them for you.’ And then she headed for her office.

 

Hermione picked the diary (Ginny had known what her friend would need first) and was about to open it when Madam Pomfrey returned.

 

’Somebody wants to see you desperately… A very impatient visitor. Shall I let him in?’

 

 

Hermione nodded. ’It must be Harry or Ron,’ she thought.

 

The one she expected the least to see was an embarrassed Draco Malfoy, approaching her bed slowly, with a daisy in his hand. He was wearing blue jeans and a white shirt, a blond lock fell across his forehead. He looked surprisingly tall… Tall and handsome.

 

The girl could hardly pull herself together to talk.

 

’Malfoy… What are you doing here?’

 

’I just… wanted to say thank you. For saving that owl… Actually, that was, I mean, that is my owl,’ he stammered.

 

’Poor birdie,’ Hermione said in a mocking tone.

 

’Yeah, it has a broken wing,’ Malfoy took a step forward and was glad the conversation had begun somehow.

 

’I mean poor birdie because it belongs to you, Malfoy,’ Hermione frowned.

 

There was a short silence, the boy clenched his jaws but didn’t talk back.

 

’Anyway, I brought you… this,’ he said and put the flower on the bed. ’A daisy.’

 

’Why did you bring me a flower? And why a daisy?’ Hermione was suspicious. ’Why not a carnivorous plant?’

 

’I heard you were… sick.’ The blond Slytherin was now in trouble with words.

 

’Yeah, sick. Sick of seeing you.’ Hermione spat.

 

’Don’t say things you will regret later,’ Malfoy answered unusually calmly.

 

Hermione froze.

 

’What are you up to, Malfoy? Tell me.’

 

’Nothing. Believe me. I’m trying to be civil, that’s all.’

 

’You? Civil?’

 

’People can change.’

 

’People can. But not you.’

 

’What shall I do to make you believe me?’

 

’Get off.’ Hermione couldn’t have sounded more determined but Malfoy didn’t move. What’s more, he sat down on a small chair next to the bed, and looked around.

 

’Do you keep a diary?’ He asked casually when noticing the book on top of the pile.

 

’None of your business, Malfoy,’ Hermione said but started to give up the hope she would get rid of the blond Slytherin. She was fiddling nervously with the flower.

 

’What happened to the guy you were expecting in the tea shop?’ Malfoy asked unusually softly.

 

’Nothing.’ Hermione shrugged her shoulders. ’He didn’t show up.’

 

’Then he missed the chance to see how pretty you can be… If you want to.’ Malfoy gulped, his mesmerising blue eyes boring into the girl’s.

 

’Excuse me?!’ Hermione was seriously shocked. For a second she thought her concussion was not slight at all.

 

’You looked… nice.’ He wanted to use the word ’beautiful’ but he didn’t dare.

 

Hermione shifted her gaze to the daisy and blushed.

 

’But my behaviour… wasn’t nice at all.’ She whispered. ’I said awful things.’

 

’Me too,’ Malfoy nodded.

 

’But I have no excuse.’ She looked back at him.

 

’You mean, since I’m an awful person, I am entitled to say awful things…’ He sneered.

 

Hermione nodded.

 

Malfoy rolled his eyes and frowned but controlled himself.

 

’So the guy you were expecting… The guy who is not such an awful person as me… Are you falling for him?’ He asked finally.

 

Hermione nodded again though the strange subject of the conversation started to make her feel embarrassed.

 

’Is he a Gryffindor heart-throb?’ He asked curiously.

 

Hermione buried her face in the pillow.

 

’I don’t know. We just… write letters to each other. I know it sounds ridiculous.’ She sighed and didn’t have a clue why she confessed it to someone like Malfoy.

 

’It isn’t. You know… I think you should meet him. Set up another date with him. He might show up.’

 

Hermione pulled herself together and sat up.

 

’Tell me one reason why I should take your advice, Malfoy.’ She scowled.

 

’You don’t have to. It was merely the suggestion of a… friend.’ He added the last word after some hesitation.

 

’Friend?!’ Hermione looked at him with wide eyes.

 

Malfoy thought this was the right moment to go.

 

’Well… Take care. Bye.’ He stood up and headed for the door.

 

Hermione gulped and watched him leaving. Draco Malfoy as a friend… She fell back into the pillow and gazed at the daisy in her hand with wildly beating heart. She forgot even about her diary.

 

End of Chapter 17

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