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“Hey…you guys on good terms?” Harry asked when the two arrived at their usual seats at dinner. “Lovely terms,” Hermione said, exchanging a glance with Ron. “Would this mean they will fight less?” Harry asked in an undertone to Ginny. “No, it would probably mean their fights would get worse,” she whispered. Harry sighed, and eyed Hermione as she stole some sausages from Ron’s plate. Ron just grinned at her, and both Harry and Ginny stared at him, gaping. “What?” he asked, when he turned to them. “N-nothing…” Ginny said. Ron shrugged. “Harry, we have Quidditch practice today, don’t we?” Harry nodded, his mouth full of pudding. “Do we have to?” Ginny whined, looking at Harry with her best puppy-dog face. “Yes we do,” Harry said after swallowing his mouthful. He was now immune to her begs and pleas about Quidditch practice. Hermione smiled. “Is it okay if I watch you guys practice?” she asked almost timidly. “B-but y-y-you-“ Ginny stuttered. “Yeah sure,” Harry said, kicking Ginny in the shins under the table. “Ow,” she whispered. “That hurt.” “Sorry,” he replied. “I’ll make it up to you tonight, after everybody gets out of the common room, okay?” “Okay!” Ginny grinned happily. “Why do you want to watch us, ‘Mione?” Ron asked, his mouth full. Bits of whatever he was eating sprayed all his three friends. Hermione took her time to wipe her face on a napkin before answering, since she was the one who got most bits of food. “I have nothing else to do,” she replied plainly. “I thought you go to the Library when you have nothing to do,” Ron stated. “No I don’t!” she cried. “You have no idea what things I like to do!” “I’m sorry, ‘Mione,” he said, his voice very low. He bent his head and concentrated on his fumbling fingers before looking up at her to see her reaction. Hermione saw this, and felt a sudden urge to just shut up and kiss him. But it wasn’t right for the Head Girl to kiss at the table, even if it was her boyfriend. “Ron, please don’t,” she whispered, taking his hands into her own. “I’m sorry for losing my temper like that…” There were a few comical ‘Aw’s from both Harry and Ginny as the other two continued eating. It wasn’t long before Ron stood up. “I’m going down to the Pitch, okay. I want to have a fly…” “I’m coming,” Hermione said, standing up as well. The two of them walked, hand in hand, out of the Great Hall. While passing the Slytherin table, Ron caught the eye of a certain Slytherin girl called Cassia Avery. She was looking at him and Hermione with such hatred and revulsion, and she was sitting across Draco, who was also looking at them with a stare not too different from Cassia’s. Ron concluded they were planning something to do to him and Hermione. Not just something, but something evil and foul. Cassia had finally got her wish to speak to Draco, so she must have told him everything. Without realizing it, Ron squeezed Hermione’s hand tightly. Very tightly, and she squealed quietly. “What?” she asked once they were out of the Great Hall. “No, nothing,” he said. She looked at her, scanning. The very tips of her ears were a crimson, like they were when he was angry, or slightly put out. She soon found out why. “Well, well, look what we have here. The foulest lovebirds even in Gryffindor, Weasel and the Mudblood.” The two spun around to see Cassia Avery and Draco Malfoy. Ron’s wand hand automatically reached for his wand inside his robes. Hermione hung on tightly on his arm. His eyes widened in shock, because he couldn’t find his wand. He dug deeper and deeper into his pocket, searching for his wand. “Looking for this, Weasel?” Draco asked, holding Ron’s wand up. Hermione thought to summon Ron’s wand, and looked for her wand in her usual wand pocket, but she too couldn’t find it. “Look, the Mudblood’s looking for her wand,” Cassia snickered, holding up Hermione’s wand. “What do you want?” Ron asked rather harshly, putting an arm around Hermione, and pushing her behind. “Protecting the Mudblood, I see,” Cassia sneered. “Why bother, Weasel?” Draco said. “The Dark Lord’s going to kill all the Mudbloods anyway. No exception to Weasel’s girlfriend.” Ron felt an urge to go do something nasty to Draco, but Hermione held him back. “Well, lets see. Two people, that makes forty points of Slytherin,” Hermione said, her most rational voice ringing out over the others. Draco looked taken aback. “You have two wands that are not yours, and you are provoking two people into a fight,” Ron said. “Isn’t that right, Hermione?” Hermione nodded. Both Draco and Cassia threw the wands to the floor, turned on their heels and left in a very similar manner. “Thanks, Herm…” “S’okay,” she replied, taking his hand once again and walking out towards the deserted Quidditch Pitch in silence.

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