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Chapter 8

"Hermione, I don't think - -"

"This could go seriously wrong - -"

Hermione gave Ron and Harry an impatient glare. "The potion will be useless without Crabbe's and Goyle's hair. You do want to investigate Malfoy, don't you?"

Ever since attacks of Muggle-borns have increased, the three of them has been suspecting Draco Malfoy as the heir of Slytherin. At first, Hermione thought it was ridiculous. But, she thought of a clever idea for the truth to be known. She had told them about a potion called, the Polyjuice Potion, where they can turn into three of Draco's friends, Crabbe, Goyle, and Millicent and interrogate him with questions about the Chamber of Secrets.

"I'm going to check on the Polyjuice Potion. Don't forget these." She shoved the cupcakes in their hands and turned to walk away.

"Have you ever heard of a plan where so many things can go wrong?" Ron asked Harry.

Harry shrugged, "She knows what she's doing. Alright, lets hide near the entrance hall before Crabbe and Goyle leaves."

Draco raised an eyebrow as he watched the two leave, carrying a handful of cupcakes and other sweets with them. "Weasley must be poorer than I thought."

"What?" Crabbe asked, confused.

"Nevermind." Draco said, rolling his eyes.

"Have you heard the rumors flying around?" Crabbe asked, stuffing his face with a cupcake.

"What?" Draco asked impatiently.

"Potter's the new heir of Slytherin." Pansy scoffed as she plopped down next to Draco.

He gaped at them and smirked, "Ridiculous. Potter's friends with Blood traitors and Mudbloods. I swear, Salazar himself must be tossing and turning in his grave as we speak."

"Do you know who it is then?" Goyle asked, pointing his chubby fingers at Draco.

Draco sighed and shrugged, "Not a clue." He got up from the tabke and told them he was going to go for a walk.

As he exited the entrance hall, his legs began leading him towards the dungeon. He stopped walking when he heard a door shut quietly and turned his head to see a petite female figure with big hair walking quickly, with a black plastic bag over her shoulder. He smirked evilly, thinking what a perfect opportunity to taunt Potter and Weasley's Mudblood.

"What's that you got there, Granger?" Draco called out.

Hermione paused. Oh no! Malfoy! She panicked to herself as and turned to face him. "What?"

"What's that in your bag?" He asked again, walking towards her.

Slytherin robes, you git. She gave him a dirty look, "None of your business."

"Funny. You just came out of the Slytherin laundry room." Draco smirked. "As I am a Slytherin, I believe it is my business."

"That's utterly ridiculous, Malfoy! Why would I be in your guy's laundry room? That's just disgusting." Hermione gasped, trying so hard to sound surprised and angry at his sudden accusation and failing.

Draco noticed her face getting red with nervousness. "You really are a bad liar." He took a step closer to her and smirked as she backed away. "I'm going to ask you one last time, Granger. What's in the bag?'

Hermione's uneasy feeling turned to anger. "Piss off."

Draco took a step back, when he saw her pulling out her wand. "How dare you talk to me like that, Mudblood!"

She rolled her eyes and muttered a spell, causing the plastic bag to shrink. She quickly put the mini bag in her robe pocket and glared at Malfoy as she put her wand away. "Whatever, Malfoy."

He felt anger rushing through his veins as she walked away from him. "Hope you didn't forget the words I said, Granger! You're the next Mudblood the heir of Slytherin will attack!"

Hermione felt herself shiver with uneasiness, but continued walking away from him. She opened the door of the girls' bathroom and enlarged the plastic bag. She took out the borrowed Slytherin robes she took from the laundry room and folded them neatly in the side. She glanced at the Polyjuice Potion and waited for her friends.

In the next couple of hours, Hermione glared at the hospital wing's ceiling. "Go away, you guys. I'll be fine."

Ron nodded and grabbed Harry's arm as they walked towards the door. The last thing she heard before the door shut closed was Ron saying, "I still can't believe she has a tail."

It turned out, the hair Hermione got was not Millicent's, but her cat. She huffed as she sat up from the hospital bed, feeling incredibly stupid for not getting the right hair. She sighed angrily and laid back down, contemplating with what they found out.

Draco was not the heir of Slytherin, after all. But still, all those rude comments about her blood was really unnecessary.

"You have no life, I swear."

Hermione turned around quickly and groaned when she spotted Draco, leaning against the bookcase. Just because he wasn't the heir of Slytherin, it didn't mean he wasn't dangerous. "Miss me, Draco?"

"Shut up, Granger. As if I'm happy to see you." Draco lied.

In the past weeks, he realized Hermione had been absent in all of her classes. As the days of her absence increased, he felt a weird feeling of uneasiness. He didn't know what it was, but he caught himself wondering what happened to her.

Then he heard rumors of her being attacked, and he felt something in his chest tightening. He couldn't explain the feeling he felt, but for some reason, he was scared for her. He hates to admit it, but she's one of the strongest student's in this school. If the monster could attack her, it can attack pretty much anyone.

But no. She's here in front of him, standing and breathing. He stared at her and asked rudely, "Where have you been?"

She grabbed a book about basilisks and headed towards a nearby table. "What are you talking about?" She asked impatiently, flipping through the pages.

"You missed all your classes for like nearly two weeks. That's very unlike you, Granger. What, you finally realize you're not worth learning magic?" Draco sneered, crossing his arms and glaring at her.

Hermione rolled her eyes and paused on a page, reading a paragraph.

Draco felt his patience running low. "Mudblood. I'm talking to you."

She looked up and glared at him. "I have a name, Malfoy. And as for my absences, how nice of you to care. I've been in the hospital wing the whole time. I was extremely ill, that Madam Pomfrey made me stay in bed." She lied.

Draco continued staring at her, but nodded. "Good. Wouldn't want your filth contaminating others."

Hermione sighed heavily and went back to her reading. "Whatever."

"It's a pity seeing you here, actually." Draco said.

Really, he's still here? She looked up again and frowned, "What do you mean?"

"All those missed classes, and everyone thought you were attacked." Draco rolled his eyes.

She shrugged and smirked, "Well they thought wrong."

The proud smug in her face annoyed Draco immensely. "You have no idea how happy I was to think you were finally attacked. I was hoping for you to be the next victim of death, but you being petrified is better than nothing. But since that's not happening, I'm forced to smell the stench reeking your filthy blood."

He kept going and going, ignoring the back of his head to stop. He had to hate this woman. He had to. She's a Mudblood. Yeah, he felt scared when he thought she was attacked, but those feelings are frowned upon. Still, he could not believe the words he threw at her.

When he finished, Hermione opened her mouth to speak but then decided against it and paused. She then took a deep breath and cleared her throat. "So in other words, you want me dead."

She felt her eyes beginning to sting with water as she remembered what Ron and Harry told her. Draco told them he wished she was the next Muggle-born to be murdered by the monster. It still pained her when they told her that.

Draco was remembering the same thing she was. He stared at her with surprise by her bluntness, but didn't say anything. He still felt disgusting for saying such a thing. He hates her yes, but does he really hate hate her?

He noticed her eyes getting shinier with tears, and felt a stab of guilt.

For some reason, he began thinking of Herminee. The way her eyes would water when he had insulted her in front of Blaise, when they were younger. That added more into the guilt.

He opened his mouth to say something, but was interrupted by a girl Ravenclaw prefect. He glanced at the girl and recognized her as the girl who always hung around with that snobbish other Weasley, Percy.

"Hermione, you okay?" The girl asked. She shot Draco a look before walking towards her.

Hermione blinked the tears away and nodded. "Of course, Penelope."

Penelope Clearwater nodded, but looked unconvinced. She turned her attention to Draco and raised an eyebrow. "Anything you need, Malfoy?"

Draco glanced at Hermione, wanting to tell her he's sorry. Instead he said, "I need that Mudblood to stay out of my sight." He nodded towards Hermione, who glared back at him.

Penelope gasped and said coldly, "I will be speaking to Professor Snape about you Malfoy. For using that word, I believe weeks of detention will be good. Go back to your dormitories." She turned around to face Hermione, stating the conversation was over.

Without another word, he turned around and left.

Penelope placed a hand on Hermione's shoulder. "You okay?"

"I'm fine." Hermione nodded, "Aren't you a Muggle-born as well?"

Penelope shrugged and sat next to her. "Yeah, but who cares. I just hope they find who the culprit is, so we can be safe again."

Hermione went back to her reading, and scanned through the paragraphs until she gasped.

"What?" Penelope asked quickly.

Hermione quickly opened her bag and pulled out a quill. She tore a page off the book and wrote the word, pipes in the side of the margin.

"Damaging school property, Hermione?" Penelope asked in surprise and approval. "I thought you wouldn't like that."

Hermione grinned and folded the paper in her hands. "I'll put it back with a spell." She took a mirror out of her bag and stood up. "Walk with me?"

Penelope nodded and asked, "What's with the mirror?"

"Oh, I'm trying to see how I look with my tamed hair." Hermione quickly made up.

They both exited the library and heard a sound around the nearby corner.

"What's that?" Penelope asked suddenly, walking towards the sound.

Hermione grabbed her arm and shook her head. "Don't!"

She took the mirror and angled it to see if the corner was clear.

"What are you doing?" Penelope asked confusingly.

Hermione gasped with firght, "Penelope! Whatever you do, don't- -"

Penelope's screams could have been heard within miles, if anyone was there. She screamed with wide eyes at Hermione's petrified stiff body and glanced at the mirror by Hermione's side. She gasped in horror when she saw the reflection, and felt the feeling of being petrified herself until her high pitched screams were silenced.

"What does McGonagall mean about future Quidditch practices are postponed!" Draco yelled angrily at the Slytherin common room.

"Two Mudblood's had been attacked." Pansy smirked, sitting next Millicent.

Draco rolled his eyes, "So what? That doesn't mean they need to cancel things."

"Yes well, the Professor's are scared of course. They might even closed down the school." Pansy shrugged.

Draco scoffed. "This school is ridiculous anyway." He plopped down on a couch and stared at the fireplace, feeling grumpy that he couldn't go flying by himself anymore. "Who's the two Mudblood's that got attacked, anyway?"

"I don't know the other girl, but the other one was Granger." Goyle chuckled with delight.

Draco's head snapped up and turned sharply to their direction. "No," He said harshly, "Granger hasn't been attacked. I was talking to her yesterday."

"When? Because apparently, that's when she was attacked." Pansy said.

He shook his head, "I was making fun of her in the library and left when some idiot girl kicked me out just because she was a prefect."

Pansy gasped, "Well the other girl was a prefect, Draco. Maybe they both were attacked after you left them. They were found in a petrified state near the library." She gasped again, then stared at him with a wild expression."You're not - -"

"No! I'm not the damn heir of Slytherin!" Draco snapped. He turned back to the fireplace, still shaking his head with disbelief. "You guys are wrong. Granger hasn't been petrified."

"Shouldn't you be happy, Draco?" Blaise asked, closing the common room door closed. "I just came in, but I know you guys are talking about Granger."

Draco didn't say anything, except stare at the fire. He shook his head again in denial, "I would be if she really is petrified."

Blaise rolled his eyes and sat on the opposite couch. "She is."

"She's not." Draco snapped.

"Stop shaking your head will you! It's getting annoying" Pansy huffed, grabbing her bag and pulling out her homework. "Blaise, help me with potions?"

Blaise nodded and got up, glancing at Draco. "You're wish has been granted, Draco. She's in the hospital wing with that Clearwater girl." He walked towards Pansy, leaving Draco alone.

Granger can't be petrified, no. He just spoke to her last night. That's impossible. Tomorrow. Tomorrow he will check for himself.

"Mr. Malfoy, what happened to your hand?" Madam Pomfrey asked.

Draco held his bleeding hand up and faked winced, "I was cutting up ingredients in potions, when I accidentally cut myself deeply with the knife. Professor Snape told me to come here."

Madam Pomfrey sighed and guided him towards an empty bed. She took his hand and examined it, shaking her head. "You did cut it deeply. Wait here, so I can get the supplies for the bacteria to get off the wounds."

Draco nodded and watched as she walked away. Draco looked around the hospital wing and noticed a couple of beds had curtains around them.

Probably the petrified ones. Draco thought to himself, as he stared at the couple of beds. He got up and stared opening one of the curtains and noticed the petrified person was a Gryffindor name Colin.

He closed the curtain and proceeded to do the same with the other one. He opened the next one and paused when he recognized the girl prefect who kicked him out in the library.

He felt his breath shortening and his heart beating faster. The rumors said the prefect and Hermione was attacked the same time. If the girl was here, that means Hermione must be here.

"Mr. Malfoy what are you doing?" Madam Pomfrey snapped, rushing towards him and closing the curtain shut.

"Sorry, I was looking for... someone." Draco whispered, following her towards the empty bed.

She ignored him and cleansed the cut and muttered a spell to close the wounds. "Now, wait here. I need to get Professor Snape so he can escort you back to your common room." She started walking towards the door and turned to look at him. "Don't let me catch you again, Mr. Malfoy. These victim's has gone through enough. Give them some respect." She opened the door and left him.

Draco turned around and quickly ran towards the other bed, and opening the curtain. He stared down at the petrified Justin Finch-Fletchley before closing it back roughly and continued.

He stopped when he saw the last bed with curtains. He rushed towards it and paused, his hand on the curtain. Don't be Granger. He secretly pleaded. He opened the curtains fast and felt his breathing caught between his throat. He shook his head slowly with wide eyes, staring down at Hermione's petrified body. No, it can't be.

He breathed deeply and held out a shaky hand, towards her curls. "Granger, no." He breathed raggedly. He wanted nothing more than to go back in time and eat his words. He never wanted her to be petrified or die. It was just his pride and stubborness speaking, not him.

He continued staring at her face and felt his heart hammering against his ribcage. He didn't realize he was holding onto her cold hands, but didn't care. No one was with him to judge him and tell him how to behave. For now, he was going to act like himself and how he feels. Right now, he feels horrible.

He cupped her cheek and absently caressed it with his thumb. "I'm sorry." He mumbled painfully. He never apologizes, so this was new to him. He continued caressing her face until something around her neck caught his attention. Frowning, he reach for the necklace and gasped.

No way.

"It's not a girl necklace, Drake! It's a friendship necklace. Here look," Herminee drew out a necklace on her neck that has been hiding under her shirt. It's identical to Draco's but hers had a pink bead. "See? Mine is pink for a girl and yours is blue for boy. Wearing it is a sign of our friendship."

Draco stared at the silver chained necklace with a pink bead. Thoughts rushing through his head as he stared at Hermione with wide eyes.

Hermione was Herminee.

Herminee was Hermione.

Herminee the Muggle who didn't believe in magic was actually Hermione the Muggle-born witch who exceeds in all her magical abilities.

The girl he was missing was with him inside the castle all along.

He didn't know he was clutching into her necklace until Snape's voice brought him back to reality.

"Mr. Malfoy, what are you doing?" Snape drawled lazily.

Draco let go of the necklace quickly and let out a breath he didn't know he was holding. "Nothing, sir."

"What did I tell you, Mr Malfoy!" Madam Pomfrey yelled.

Draco didn't care that he lost 30 points. Who cares?

After Snape escorted him back to the common room, thoughts still kept running through his head. He pulled his necklace over his head and stared at the blue bead, remembering a memory.

Herminee beamed at him, "Now whenever we look at it, we'll always remember our first best friend."

Draco grinned, "Best friends."

He found himself smiling at the necklace, before putting it on top of his desk. He sighed deeply, thinking of how much of an idiot he felt. How was Hermione his first best friend? Had she known all along and not tell him? He can never look at her the same way again. He turned to stare and the ceiling, contemplating of what he just learned.

All this time, Draco was best friend's with Hermione when they were little kids.

He hated how he felt. Instead of being happy with each other, they despised one another. How could that have happened?

It's all your fault. Draco blamed himself. What am I going to do?

Before he went to sleep, he said to himself that he would not act differently, until she confronts him the truth. He will be less harsh, but he wont mention anything. Not until she remembers him herself.

terribly sorry for updating late! I just been busy =( but i have time now! lol REVIEWS will be nice =) it helps motivate me!

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