That New Girl
Outside the door to the tower, Hermione paused before shaking her head and laughing quietly.
Did I just have a civil conversation with Draco Malfoy?
No, it was more than civil. It was, well, friendly. She just had a friendly conversation with her worst enemy. With Draco Malfoy.
She laughed again and started down the winding stone staircase. Well he sure as hell wasn’t acting like my worst enemy.
Normally, she could barely stand being in the same room as him, let alone talk to him out of sheer will, like she had just been doing.
And damn, did I call him Draco?
And he had called her Hermione.
She remembered how he had said her name. Hermione. It had sounded so different than when he called her Granger. A good kind of different. A different that she liked.
Why had he been acting so nice towards her? He had acted as if they were long-time friends or something.
And then again, so had she. She had been talking to him as if he had been Harry or Ron.
Harry and Ron. And Danielle.
She forgot. That’s what she had been thinking about before Dra-Malfoy-had arrived.
Hermione snapped out of the trance that Drac-MALFOY-had put her in and began to remember her anger towards Danielle. The frustration began to rush back to her like the warmth of a butterbeer would down one’s throat in the wintertime. But now, her anger was, if possible, made higher after talking to Dr-MALFOY DAMN IT. For some reason, she felt a pity for him like she had never felt before. What Danielle had done to him by the Quidditch pitch just days earlier no longer gave Hermione even the slightest bit of satisfaction. A brand new loathing for the girl had arrived sometime during the extent of the evening.
Hermione didn’t recall reaching the Fat Lady or spitting out the password (Exordium Major), or even trudging up the steps to her dormitory. She was totally immersed in her own thoughts, which were mainly split between her loathing of Danielle, her jealousy of the girl, and her new found “friendship” in her enemy of 6 years.
When she finally fell asleep a long while later, she was drowning in so much emotion that it was making her head spin.
* * *
Hermione awoke around nine o’clock according to her watch. It was a good thing that it was Saturday; she would have missed Potions.
Pulling on some jeans, a tee, and some robes, Hermione headed down to the common room. When she got there she spotted Seamus and Dean playing a game of wizard’s chess on one of the tables in a corner.
“’Lo Seamus. Hey Dean.”
“Hey Hermione,” the boys said in unison, not looking up from the board.
“Er, have either of you seen Ron or Harry? Did they go down to breakfast?” she asked, surveying their game. Seamus had Dean in an unavoidable checkmate.
“They’re on the Quidditch Pitch,” said Dean, as his king threw down it’s white sword in defeat.
“Already? It’s only nine!” Hermione said. She actually wasn’t surprised. Harry and Ron were die-hard Quidditch players.
“Ha! I win. I believe that’s five Sickles,” said Seamus to Dean, looking quite pleased with himself while holding out his hand. As Dean rummaged in his pocket for some silver, Seamus looked up at Hermione. “Yeah, Hermione, it’s try-outs today, remember?”
Hermione inhaled deeply. “Oh yes, that’s right,” she drawled quite gloomily. Danielle would be trying out today, and Hermione was prepared to bet her entire Gringotts savings that she would make the team. Being Gryffindor’s Beater would no doubt bring Danielle ever so much closer to Harry and Ron, if that was at all possible. She scowled at the thought of this. “Well, see you two later,” she told them before heading out through the portrait hole and towards the Great Hall.
Hermione didn’t want to attend the try-outs. She didn’t want to see how good Danielle was at Quidditch. It would only make her more miserable. So on her way to breakfast she decided that later she’d go back into the common room, grab her things, and head down to the library to work on an Ancient Runes assignment. Yes, that ought to keep her mind off…things.
As she walked towards her House table and sat down in her usual area, she couldn’t help but feel like someone was watching her. As she poured herself some pumpkin juice, she looked around for who’s eyes might be lingering, and found none other than Draco Malfoy staring at her intently from the Slytherin table. But when she raised her chocolate brown eyes towards his slate gray ones, he looked quickly away, obviously flustered. The normal smirk returned to his face about five seconds later, and he continued to discuss something with Crabbe and Goyle. Hermione furrowed her brow before shrugging it off and continuing with her food.
But as much as she tried, she couldn’t shrug off that vision of intense gray eyes.
* * *
“Excuse me, Madame Pince? Where can I find books on the history of Egyptian runes and their role in the designs of hieroglyphs for my Ancient Runes assignment?”
“I believe there are books on the subject in row thirty-two, Hermione. And you may also want to have a look in row twelve, towards the back. If you need assistance, just ask.”
“Thank you very much.”
Hermione was doing a very good job at forgetting Danielle, if she did say so herself. Yes, books and school-work always did the trick.
As she scanned row thirty-two’s shelves, her finger gliding over the old books bindings as she looked for relevant titles, she again had the disturbing sensation of eyes on her. She decided to ignore it and furrowed her brow even harder in concentration. But she soon found herself scanning the same books over and over, and decided to give in to the temptation to turn her head.
“What are you doing, stalking me?” Hermione asked Draco with a grin, who was leaning suavely on the bookshelf at the end of the row. When he realized that she indeed knew he was there, he walked toward her, arms folded, and the familiar smirk on his face. Little wisps of his silvery-blonde hair, which he had recently stopped slicking back, were hanging handsomely over his gray eyes.
“Damn, I’ve been spotted,” he said sarcastically, “and, no, I’m not stalking you. It’s called a library, Granger, it’s a public place.”
“Oh yes,” Hermione responded, turning her attention back towards the books, “but a Malfoy in a library is a rather peculiar sight, if you ask me. I didn’t think you were one to take interest in literature.”
“Mmm, well,” he answered her, now also scanning the rows of books, “I have my reasons.” Hermione narrowed an eye and cocked an eyebrow at this, turning to Draco, who was still looking intently at the shelves. “Oh, and you may want to try this one,” he said, taking a rather old book off the shelf and handing it out toward her. She grabbed it, not changing her expression. “I used it last week. It was rather helpful, actually.” And with that, he turned and left the row, but not without issuing one last smirk in her direction over his shoulder.
What was that about? Hermione asked herself after his departure. She looked down at the book he had given her. It was entitled Ancient Egyptian Runes: An Important Role in History?. It was exactly the book she had been looking for. She smiled slightly before turning on her heel and walking back towards the table she had set her books down on.
Why was Malfoy being so, well, non-Malfoyish towards her lately? And why was she being so friendly towards him in return? She couldn’t really help it, actually. And it scared her that she didn’t know why.
She attempted to start her assignment, but could barely even concentrate on the title for some reason. Realizing it was no use, she packed up her things and exited the library. It was about 10:30, and having nothing else to do, she decided that she’d visit Hagrid.
While she was passing the Quidditch Pitch, she tried not to look over, but gave in to temptation. The newly-founded Gryffindor team was gathered in a circle, and Hermione could see Harry talking to them all, but could not make out what he was saying. Hermione noticed Ginny and two other fifth year girls Hermione didn’t know had made Chasers, while a seventh year boy and of course, Danielle, were the new Beaters. After obtaining this information, Hermione forced her head to turn back towards Hagrid’s hut, and hoped that no one would notice her.
It was too late for that, however, because Hermione noticed out of the corner of her eye that someone was coming towards her, and what do you know, it was Danielle.
“Hey Hermione, wait up!” Danielle called. Reluctantly, she turned and saw the new girl running towards her, broom in hand. Hermione forced a weak smile.
“Oh, hello Danielle,” she said through gritted teeth.
“Going to Hagrid’s? Great! I’ll come with you. You’ll never guess what just happened. I’ve been made Beater! Oh, isn’t that wonderful, Hermione? Harry and Ron said I might even be better than Fred and George. I doubt that though. Hey, speaking of Harry, guess what else? He asked me to that Yule Ball! Ooooh I can’t wait, I’ve been hoping he’d ask me. Ron tried to get to me too, and they ended up having a race to reach me first. Harry won, obviously. He was quite a bit faster than Ron, actually. It was rather funny; Ron tried to scream to me ‘Do you want to go to the ball with me?’, but Madam Pince threw him out before I could answer. We were in the library, see. I couldn’t stop laughing for a while afterwards. I reckon Ron’s a bit upset at Harry, but he said he didn’t mind, and went for Lavender instead. She couldn’t stop giggling enough to tell him that she’d go! Meanwhile Ron was as red as a chili pepper. Oh, it was hilarious, Hermione, you should’ve been there.”
Hermione tried her best to not explode on the spot; she was shivering with rage. But after about five seconds she managed to regain her cool.
“Er, sorry Danielle, I’ve just realized I have to ask, er, Professor Binns something. Better do it before I forget. See you.” She turned away, leaving Danielle standing there, a puzzled expression on her face. She just wanted to get as far away from the girl as possible, and a visit to Hagrid’s with her probably wasn’t the best idea. To Hermione’s dismay, however, she soon heard Danielle’s footsteps on the grass behind her racing to catch up. She soon felt a hand on her upper arm.
Hermione pivoted around, pulling herself out of Danielle’s grasp. Her eyes were glued in the narrowed position.
“If you want to go to the ball with Harry, I’ll, you know, tell him I can’t go with him or something.” To Hermione’s surprise, the girl was sincere.
“Oh, no Danielle, I don’t like Harry like that. Don’t worry, you two will have so much fun together.”
Danielle looked like she didn’t know what to say. “Er, well, okay then. See you.”
Hermione just blinked in response before turning around again and stalking off towards the castle. Hagrid would have to wait.
* * *
The first Quidditch match of the season was soon upon Hogwarts, Gryffindor versus Slytherin, and Hermione had no intention of attending. But, to her disliking, Parvati Patil had noticed that Hermione was still in her pajamas about ten minutes before the game was scheduled to begin.
“Hey, Hermione, what are you doing? The match starts in ten minutes. You’ll be la-”
“I’m not going, Parvati,” Hermione cut her off. “I have to work on this Arithmancy chart, and I really don’t have time to watch the game. You go along, though.”
“Hermione!” Parvati whined. “Honestly it’s a Saturday! Go up to the dormitory and get dressed; I’m not leaving without you!”
Hermione sighed deeply, and realizing she just couldn’t help but give into her friend, she slumped upstairs and threw on a pair of Muggle jeans and a tank top, before draping her robes over her arms and slumping back down the stairs to meet Parvati, who had her arms folded and was tapping her foot impatiently. When she saw Hermione at the foot of the stairs she remarked, “Finally!” before grabbing her friend’s hand and leading her towards the pitch.
Once in the bleachers, the girls took a seat in one of the highest rows. Hermione usually sat in the lower area towards the ground, but she really didn’t mind; she didn’t want to be here anyway, so what difference did it make?
About five minutes after they had sat down, the Slytherin team walked out onto the field, much to the liking of the side of the pitch that was clothed in robes of green. The red side, however, moaned and booed. Hermione could make out Draco in front of the team; his platinum hair was recognizable anywhere. He must’ve made Captain.
The Gyffindor side soon after changed their boos into whoops and cheers, and Hermione saw the gold and crimson team come from the right side of the field led by Harry, towards where the Slytherins were already waiting. Madam Hooch walked out onto the field, and instructed Draco and Harry to shake hands. Even from up at the top of the bleachers, Hermione could make out the looks of utmost loathing on both boy’s faces, before the usual whistle was sounded, and both teams kicked off from the ground and soared into the air.
Harry and Draco soared up higher than the rest, and automatically started searching for the golden snitch. Their eyes scanned the field hurriedly, and both realizing that it was no where to be seen, began shouting out orders to their team mates below.
Ten minutes into the game, Slytherin made the first goal. Five minutes later, they scored two more, and the Gryffindor side of the bleachers booed very loudly. The Slytherin side, meawhile, was beginning to remember their lyrics from last year to “Weasley is our King”, and Pansy Parkinson stood up in the front row, turned around, and began to conduct her House, her arms flailing madly.
Gryffindor finally made a goal, and the Slytherin’s song stopped abruptly, as Ginny was the one who had scored the points. Hermione grinned.
Ron, obviously relieved that the song had ended, blocked six more goals spectacularly, and Gryffindor started singing “Weasley is our King”, the revised edition. Soon, the score was 50-30 Gryffindor, thanks to Ginny and Ron.
And then, without warning, Malfoy began an insanely steep dive, straight towards Hermione’s head. She looked up, and sure enough, the snitch was hovering, tiny wings flapping like mad, about 6 inches from the top of her scalp. Harry saw it too, it seemed, and he began to chase after Draco, robes flapping harshly. His Firebolt was faster than Malfoy’s Nimbus Two-Thousand and One, and soon, the boys were neck and neck, shoulders touching. Harry reached out his left arm to it’s full extent, and Malfoy reached out his right. Their hands began a slapping competition, both trying to make sure their hand was the one that would cover the snitch.
C’mon, Draco, come on… Hermione found herself thinking. Wait what am I saying!
“Go Harry!” she shrieked, a little louder than she meant to.
Both boys were concentrating intently on the speedy little ball, and they began bumping hard against each other’s sides, extremely determined to be the one to win a victory. All of the other players had stopped and were watching the boys go at it. A Slytherin fourth-year was just holding onto the Quaffle, and no one was trying to take it from him. No one was moving. The Bludgers were zooming around idly.
And then, when both boys were about five feat from Hermione’s scalp, she closed her eyes and screamed, so she didn’t see who had won, but she felt the bleachers shake as if something had fallen onto them. She opened her eyes and saw Harry and Draco lying in a heap on the steps in front of her, Draco underneath. Malyfoy’s arm shot up, hand enclosed around the snitch.
The Slytherin side erupted. Hermione thought her ears were going to fall off. Never before had Draco won a Quidditch match against Harry, let alone play a fair game. The Gryffindor side was so dumb-founded that no one was talking.
But as her House realized what had happened, they began making the loudest booing noises Hermione had ever heard. And as the mixed sound of cheering and jeering entered her eardrums, she couldn’t, as hard as she tried, erase one thought from her mind as she looked down at the two boys in front of her.
Yes, she thought, we’ve won.
A/N: I’m really sorry it took me so long to update. I have to do a summer reading assignment for school (To Kill a Mockingbird) and it’s taking up a lot of my time. So, sorry, once again, and I’ll try to have the next chapter up soon! Please, REVIEW!
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