Hermione hadn't given much more thought to Professor McGonagall's words over the past week. In fact, she hadn't given much more thought to Malfoy at all. He didn't spend much time in the Common Room any more, only to sleep and shower. Hermione didn't know where he went, nor did she care. He was probably off with his pug-faced girlfriend anyway. Though as she looked over at the Slytherin table, she saw Pansy, but no Malfoy. He's hiding away, again. Well, she didn't know if he was necessarily hiding but he never showed that somber face of his anymore. She automatically stopped thinking. I honestly didn't know why I care so much about it anyway!
The Great Hall appeared as a mass of red, green and black. It was Gryffindor's first match against Slytherin today so there were many house-colour clad supporters. The black dressed were the few Ravenclaw's or Hufflepuff's that refused to pick a side. Hermione sat amongst the mass of gold and scarlet red. Harry, Ginny and Ron had just left breakfast for the Gryffindor changing rooms. It suddenly then hit her, that's where Malfoy is. Changing Rooms. Then, why do I even care? The same question again, the exact one that she couldn't answer. She shook her head and looked down the table. Seamus and Dean, who hadn't left for the changing rooms yet, were trying to come up with a new chant because apparently, 'Weasley Is Our King' is getting old. So far, they weren't succeeding. Neville was looking rather gloomy, and Hermione knew he didn't appreciate Quidditch like the others did. She empathised with him, because neither did she. Suddenly, Dean stood up, gave a rushed goodbye to the Gryffindor table, where a couple of people cheered him on, and ran out of the Hall. Seamus stood too.
'Coming Hermione? Neville? We should go get good seats.'
Neville looked up and nodded.
'Yeah, sure Seamus.' said Hermione in her best attempt of sounding enthusiastic. She patted Neville on his shoulder and they both got up and followed Seamus out.
The air was chilly outside as it was reaching late mid-October now and students were wrapping scarves tightly around their necks. Neville, Seamus and Hermione sat near the Gryffindor Goal posts, watching the rest of the school file in to the stadium. Hermione looked around and saw the Teacher's standers and was surprised to see a dirty blonde, small Dennis Creevy in front of the Commentator's microphone. She smiled weakly; it must be hard for him, after just losing his big brother.
The stadium was now full and it seemed every single student was packed tightly into it. There was a loud buzzing of voices, which was silenced by Professor McGonagall over the microphone.
'Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to the first Gryffindor versus Slytherin match of the season!' Dennis' voice rung through the air.
'And here is the Gryffindor team! At the front, Captain Harry Potter, Weasley, Weasley, Thomas, Robins, Peakes and Coote!'
Sure enough, the seven players dressed in scarlet Quidditch robes marched onto the pitch with Harry in the lead. Hermione smiled down at them whilst the stadium erupted in a roar.
'And the Slytherin team with Captain Draco Malfoy, Bulstrode, Zabini, Warrington, Pucey, Crabbe and Goyle!
Another roar, but this one was quieter and came solely from the green supporters. She saw the mass of platinum blonde hair atop of Slytherin robes at the front; carrying his broom promptly under is right arm and swaggering onto the pitch. Malfoy. This was the first time she had seen him in a while, to be perfectly honest and it was from a hundred feet away. Even from this far, she could see his pale complexion and dark shadows under his eyes. He looked like he did in sixth year… Or so Harry had said, Hermione hadn’t paid that much attention to him then.
Draco squinted as his eyes adjusted from the darkness of the change rooms to the pitch. The team meeting had gone well, sort of. He still didn’t think the team was up to scratch, despite his lethal training sessions. Bulstrode was the only girl on the team but she was built like a man. In fact, she kind of looks like one too… She was fairly decent Chaser and worked well with Warrington. Blaise… Honestly, he had only put him on the tea, because he was Draco’s best mate, and there really weren’t that many people better than him. Pucey was an alright Keeper, but Draco didn’t know how he would withstand the likes of Ginny Weasley, Demelza Robins and Dean Thomas. Despite his hate, no, strong dislike, for the Gryffindor team, and house in general, he couldn’t deny they would good. Potter had even pulled Weasley up to scratch. Crabbe and Goyle; they were absolutely rubbish at flying, but they could bloody hit a bludger. His only real competition was Potter.
Said Seeker was standing on the opposite side of the pitch with his team and it wasn’t until Madam Hooch called them did they approach each other. Potter approached him with a hard stare and they held eye contact. As much as he didn’t like him, he had saved Draco’s life twice in the battle last year, so he owed him no hard feelings. Sort of. Captains, shake hands.’ Came the
authoritative voice of Madam Hooch. Draco extended his arm and Potter mirrored him. They shook firmly, but rapidly, not wishing to show any signs of acquaintanceship. They both nodded at each other and looked away.
‘On my whistle, thee… two… one!’ A ear shattering whistle pierced the air and they kicked off the ground hard. The air was suddenly swarming with billowing cloaks of red and green. Draco circled the pitch once and flew high above the rest. Seeker’s tactic. Potter was doing so too. He listened hard for the commentary and the Creevy boy’s voice fought over the howling wind.
‘Gryffindor in possession!’ His groaned. ‘Weasley, to Thomas, passes back to Weasley, dodges Crabbe… Or is that Goyle?’ What an idiot, they’re both huge, but there is distinctive difference between them…
‘And she scores!’ His heart sunk while three quarters of the school erupted into a monstrous cheer. He flew around the pitch desperately.
‘And it’s now Slytherin with the Quaffle. Warrington passes to Bulstrode. She ducks under the Gryffindor Beaters, Robins and Thomas closing down on her…’
‘PASS IT TO ZABINI!’ screamed Draco, frustrated. He watched as Millicent was tackled by Weasley and Robins, she dropped the Quaffle and Dean Thomas caught it from beneath.
‘Gryffindor scores!’ Sung the Creevy boy. Draco grunted furiously. Pucey is going to get kicked off the team if he doesn’t pull his weight.
‘And its Slytherin in possession again! Bulstrode to Zabini…’ finally. Come on Blaise. He watched as his best mate weaved in and out of Coote and Thomas. ‘Passes to Warrington, back to Zabini… Here’s Weasley’s first thing to do of the match… AND HE SCORES!’
Okay, so I made a decision putting Blaise on the team. Good.
He looked over at the goal posts and saw Blaise doing a loop of joy. Weasley was looking at him menacingly, going red in the face. Ha ha, going to have to be quicker than that Weasel-Bee.
Gryffindor scored another time and Slytherin another two, making the points even. 30 to Lions, 30 to Serpents. Draco searched desperately for the Snitch. He thought he saw it at one stage but it was only Potter’s glasses glistering in the little sunlight. He even fell for Potter’s Wronski Feint at one stage and vowed he would never do so again. No one makes a fool out of a Malfoy.
Another ten minutes passed, and still no sign of the Snitch. Had they even let it out? There was honestly know sign of it. Draco looked over at Potter. He seemed to be frustrated too. He was suddenly distracted by a howl of pain. He whipped his broom around and saw Blaise fumbling around on his broom, hand covering his face which was pouring with blood. He shot over there and realised it was Blaise’s mouth. Blaise was swearing violently. He panicked slightly and looked around furiously for Madam Hooch.
‘Time out!’ he screamed. ‘Time out!’
She looked up, noticed Blaise and blew her whistle. He quickly helped Blaise to the ground.
‘Dat bwudy Beader Coode! I’ll get hib!’ Blaise was shouting with a mouthful of blood. Draco couldn’t help but feel slightly amused. He laughed a little bit.
‘Are you alright?’ He asked quickly.
‘Mmm. My jaw hurts dough!’ Blaise replied. Suddenly Madam Hooch landed next to the two boys.
‘What the devil happened?’ she asked crossly. Before Blaise could speak, Draco answered him quickly.
‘Coote. Hit a bludger in his face. He says his jaw hurts.’ She approached Blaise and tenderly touched his jaw.
‘Yes… I see. A broken jaw I’m afraid Zabini. Go off to the hospital wing now and get fixed up.’
Blaise looked horrified and turned to Draco. Draco saw the worry in his eyes.
‘Go on, we’ll be fine! I’ll come see you later.’ Draco reassured him.
‘Kay, sorry mate.’ Blaise shrugged and Draco patted his shoulder. Once he had left the pitch, Madam Hooch spoke again.
‘Ready to resume play?’ She asked. Draco looked up at the seven red players above him and said,
‘Yes.’ With so much determination in his voice that Madam Hooch stepped back a little.
‘Very well then…’ She blew her whistle again and soon enough, Draco was once again in the air. They were down to six players. The odds were not looking good; he needed to catch the snitch fast. Gryffindor were now up by 120 points, and they hadn’t scored any so Slytherin was still on 30. He needed his two chasers to score one more goal, and they’d be able to win. He listened hard for the commentary.
‘And we’re back with Gryffindor in possession. Weasley passes to Robins, back to Weasley and Robins again! Oh, she’s diverted by Bulstrode who snatches the Quaffle.’ Yes! Come on… ‘Bulstrode dodges Peakes and …. She scores! …. Oh, Weasley does not look happy does he?’
Draco’s heart skipped a beat. Now the game starts. He smiled broadly to himself, and then realised he looked like an idiot. He sped around the pitch quickly, avoiding Potter and searching desperately for the Snitch. And then he saw it. Small, gold and almost invisible. Hovering just above the Slytherin Goal Posts. He shot at it as fast as his broom would take him. And that was pretty fast. He heard a roar from the crowd but it was a blur. He heard commentary. It didn’t make sense. The crowd roared again and he felt Potter hot on his tail. Shut up! I haven’t caught it, yet.. Weasley ducked violently when he saw Draco coming. Draco threw his arm out and latched on tightly to the golden ball. Without thinking about stopping, he grinned widely and looked around the crowd. He noticed a pair of chocolate brown eyes right before something red crashed into him and they both plummeted towards the ground.
Hermione’s brown eyes locked tight with the silvery blue briefly, and then she panicked. She watched as the two boys fell violently towards to earth. Her heart was beating immensely fast, she wasn’t even sure if it was still in her chest. A sickening crash told her they had both hit the ground and she ran down the stands. Jumping the fence, she sprinted across the pitch, not quite sure which boy she was chasing after. Malfoy or Ron?
As she reached the boys, she saw the red-robed boy stir and sit up carefully.
‘Ronald!’ she shrieked. ‘What the devil did you do that for?!’
Ron looked at her bewildered, and half terrified. Hermione raged.
‘I saw what you did! You flew straight into him on purpose!’
‘I..err..’ Ron stuttered. ‘He deserved it, the slimy git. Did you see the way he was flying around like he owned the place?!’
He nodded over to the unconscious Malfoy on the ground a few feet away. Hermione was gob smacked and her mouth fell open. Before she could retort, many professors were rushing to her side. Professor Slughorn conjured up a stretcher and Malfoy was placed onto it.
‘I’ll take him to the Hospital wing…’ he muttered before leaving briskly. Professor McGonagall advanced onto Ron.
‘Mr. Weasley! That was completely unnecessary and foul in nature! Detention with me, for a week!’ She said furiously. Ron groaned, and she stomped off. Hermione, too annoyed to say anything else to Ron, made her way off of the pitch after McGonagall. She had to fight her way through the vast majority of students leaving the stadium. She heard her name a few times, but kept her head down and kept walking. She would congratulate Harry and Ginny later. Right now, she needed to be alone.
When she finally made it back to the Heads Dorm, she threw off her robe and scarf and flopped onto the armchair. Breathing heavily, she thought about what just happened. Ron flew at him. They plummeted. She ran. For Malfoy. No? Surely not? I was running for Ron, right? He’s my friend, he had fallen. I was running for him. She tried to reassure herself, but it did little to work. Hermione stared up at the high ceilings, confusion clouding her eyes. She would not come to terms with, she just wouldn’t! She sighed loudly and sadly. A small voice in her head said quietly, you were running for Malfoy.
‘Shut up…’ she told it in a weak voice. She pulled her knees up to her chin gently, laid back in the chair and cried. She did not know why. Maybe it was for Ron, and the huge lack of love she felt for him. Maybe it was for Ginny and Harry, and the little friendship they seemed to have left. Maybe it was for the ones she had lost several months ago, and the thoughts she had tried so hard to suppress. Or maybe… It was Draco Malfoy. Malfoy and the confusion that somehow hurt her inside. She didn’t understand what this was. What was this feeling? When she didn’t understand something, she didn’t like it.
Hermione woke several hours later, still curled up in a ball on the arm chair. She felt better, but there was an unknown longing for something in her heart. She looked around the Common Room, and realised nothing had changed since she had fell asleep. There were no muddy footprints on the floor, no bag swung over the back of a chair and no broomstick propped up against the wall in the corner. He was evidently still at the Hospital Wing. She sighed, grabbed her wand and walked up her staircase solemnly. The bathroom was dark when she entered, she had obviously been sleeping a while. With a flick of her wand, the brackets on the wall erupted with fire and the tiles shone brilliantly. She walked over to the basin and almost received a fright when she saw her reflection. The windy Quidditch match, crying and sleeping on an armchair did nothing for her.
Oh My Merlin….
Her hair was bedraggled and knotty, she had dark circles under her eyes and her face was red and puffy. Splendid. Groaning, she locked both doors, though it was highly unnecessary, and stripped off. Her shower was long and hot. She needed it to be.
Her purple pajamas were her favourite. Warm and Comfortable. She sat down in her bed, but soon realised she wasn’t at all tired anymore. She checked the time, it was nearly midnight and she really had nothing to do. She wondered what time Malfoy would be back… He’ll probably be back in the morning… I wonder how he his. Suddenly, her eyes widened. She had a brilliant, but insane idea. Without giving herself time to reconsider her insanity, she jumped back out of bed, climbed into her shoes and grabbed her wand. She ran down the stairs and grabbed her cloak.
The castle was dead. Wrong word to use, Hermione. The castle was quiet; she didn’t have to be very stealthy to avoid getting caught. She doubt even the Head Girl could get away with wandering around the castle at midnight. It took her all of five minutes to get to the Hospital Wing. She was about the open the door, when she heard a sickly voice from behind it.
‘Goodnight Draky!’ Hermione’s heart skipped a beat and she hid behind a statue of armour. There was no reply and she watched a Slytherin girl strut out of the Hospital Wing. Pansy, ugh. Hermione held her breath until she was gone and when she was satisfied that Pansy would be a safe distance away, she walked up to the now slightly open door. Her Gryffindor courage had now disappeared and she was about to turn around when she heard more noises.
‘Reckon she’s gone?’ Came Draco’s voice. There was a chuckle from someone else.
‘I think so, yeah.’ It seemed Blaise Zabini was still in the Wing.
‘Thank merlin. I don’t think I could have pretended to be asleep much longer!’
Hermione suppressed a giggle and suddenly felt more cheerful. He doesn’t even like her!
‘..Oh Draky! I’m so worried about you!’ Blaise said in a mocking voice. Malfoy snorted.
‘Shut up and go to sleep.’
‘Aye, aye Captain…’
Hermione back away from the door. They were both awake and now she definitely didn’t want to go in. Though instead of going back to the Common Room, she retreated back behind the statue of armour. Pulling out her wand, she listened carefully. Nothing. She sighed inwardly and practiced her non-verbal spells. She could do them, but they had never been her strong point. Twenty constructive minutes later, and she could make her silvery otter prance around her without uttering a word. Feeling quite satisfied, she stood up and pressed her ear against the door to the Hospital Wing. Silence. She took a deep breath and walked in.
She noticed Blaise first, lying with his mouth slightly open on a bed. On the other side of the room was Malfoy, his luminous hair shining in the moonlight. A full moon. She remembered Remus… Not the time Hermione! Draco looked peaceful, fast asleep. Hermione reached out her hand cautiously and tenderly stroked his chin. The whole time she was wondering what on earth she was doing. She sat down gently on the side of his bed. He hadn’t woken up yet. She wasn’t sure if she wanted him to, to be honest.
‘Draco…’ she whispered. He didn’t stir. She sat on his bed for about ten minutes, looking at his prominent, and slightly bruised, features. She sighed and stood up after a while, feeling that she really shouldn’t be there, and not quite knowing why she was there anyway. As she turned to leave, a hand grabbed hers gently, frightening her.
Hermione whipped around the see Draco, was he Draco now? He was looking at her with pleading, watery eyes. She opened her mouth to speak but he got there first.
‘Stay…’ he croaked out. Instinctively, she sat back down on the bed, overcome with an emotional wave. ‘I’m sorry…’ he said meaningfully, ‘I’m so sorry…’
Hermione’s eyes teared up for the second time that day. She nodded, her throat too thick to say anything. Hermione bent down and kissed his forehead. He closed his eyes and soon fell into a blissful, deep sleep. Hermione smiled warmly, untangled herself from Draco’s arm and snuck carefully out of the Hospital Wing, as she was about to leave, she heard a whisper. Blaise.
‘Granger?’ He was sitting up in bed. ‘I… I heard you and Draco. I, well I’m sorry too, for everything.’
‘It’s Blaise,’ he smiled. Hermione chuckled.
‘Then it’s Hermione.’ It was now Blaise’s turn to laugh, but quietly none the less. He suddenly became sincere.
‘Take care of Draco, after what he’s been though, he needs it.’
‘I’ll try Blaise, I’ll try.’
And she walked out with one thing on her mind; to strongly reconsider Professor McGonagall’s request.
A/N: Hey guys! I'm really excited about this chapter, its basically the turning point in the story so far! I hope you enjoy it and the next chapter will be up soon! Review please! x
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