The first week into October- horror. Hogwarts has been an pleasant experience- until now. How long has it been? Already a couple days after that ‘Quidditch ordeal’, or so I have come to call it. No, eversince that day, sheer horror has befallen me. Great.
I held tightly onto my bag, afraid that I was going to trip over another person’s foot and topple over onto the cold stone floor. I can hear the laugher ringing in my ears, god. And I thought people here were civilized. Apparently not when it came to their so called ‘revenge on the girl who touched dream boy, Harry Potter’. Yep, apparently I wasn’t so popular at the moment. Eversince L&P spread the news like wild fire to those that did not see me on a broomstick with him.
I groaned as Colin Creevey flashed a nice glossy photo in my face. It was of me and Harry, the wind whipping in our faces with me burying my face into his back. Oh great.
I rudely snatched the photo from the excited boy and pocketed it without another word. “Will I get that back?!” I heard him call after me, but I didn’t bother replying. It would just bring more unneeded attention upon myself.
Today was just another day. The same as any other day since the Quidditch ordeal. Number of broken ink bottles total to three. Number of scowls sent my way total to fifty for the day. Number of falls, five. I think I broke a record. Oooh…one whole hour since I heard the last insult thrown my way..
“Hey Granger, look what I’ve got!” It was Millicent Bulstrode with her square face and jaw standing over me with that horrible sneer on her face. I stepped back and noticed a flashy button of some sort pinned onto her robes. She pushed one pudgy finger on it and the blank button flashed again. “I nominate Hermione Granger for best whore of the season.” flashed in bright red across the button before going blank again. I groaned.
“Lovely,” I muttered.
“I know!” She replied rather proudly and tossed one at me. “Want one?” And she strutted off with a dozen other Slytherin girls tagging along with her, all flashing their buttons proudly at me before turning haughtily away.
I tossed my button at the wall -hard- and it broke in two. Good riddance.
I had a spare period now until my next class; Arithmancy. I suppose I had better hide somewhere to risk tripping and more broken quills and ink bottles. This was ridiculous. Childish behavior. At least the male part of the population of Hogwarts left me in peace. Well, some. Now I only had one goal in mind; to reach the library safely in one piece.
As I turned the corner into the familiar hallway leading to the library, I noticed that no one was in sight. Thank god. Finally some peace and quiet and no one around me ready to pounce. I let out a breath of relief as I approached the inviting library doors…
I tripped over my heel, stumbled forwards a few steps, dropped my books, and winced as I heard approaching footsteps on the stone floor. Nevermind about the peace and quiet. Dang.
I looked over my shoulder relunctantly and groaned. “Hello Padma,” I greeted rather pleasantly, “I’m sorry I can’t stay and chat, but I’ve got to..”
“Oh, I just need a minute!” Parvati’s twin squealed and clutched onto my arm as if I was going to break into a run, which I very much wanted to do. Yet I realized she wasn’t wearing one of those buttons, much to my relief.
“Fine, a minute,” I sighed in defeat.
Padma clapped her hands together in delight. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell Parvati or Lav!”
“Oh you know…that you really are going out with you-know-who!” Padma exclaimed, leaning on one foot to another.
I rolled my eyes and flung my hands in the air in exasperation. “No, ok? I’m not going out with Harry Potter. Got that?” Padma opened her mouth but I glared at her. “Zip.”
She stared at me and I managed a smile. “One minute is up, good-bye.” I picked up my books hurridly and escaped through the library doors.
Its been almost an entire week since the Quidditch ordeal but no one seemed to understand the meaning of “No, he’s not my boyfriend” or “It was just a friendly offer”. Oooh, if one more person asks me about it, I’m sorry if I seriously hurt something.
Yet strangely…Harry and Hermione. That doesn’t sound too bad eh? Goodness, see! I’m getting absurd thoughts because of everyone around me..oh, but did that ride mean anything at all? I’ll admit…it felt like pure bliss, the warm sun on our faces and the cool breeze making our cheeks flush…he didn’t fly too high, or too fast…it was just…perfect.
Perfect. Great, now I’m even using L&P’s description of Harry. No, no one’s perfect. Ok, so Harry’s an extremely excellent flier, charming, smart…and his flaws…er…he’s too mysterious! Yeah, but I like that.
I slammed The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 7 shut. It was nearly impossible to concentrate wihle my pesky little thoughts invaded my brain. Oh no! What am I to do? Bang my head against the table and try to knock these ‘Harry thoughts’ out of my mind?
Oooh….and then there was that constellation he named after me. Oh god, am I giggling?! Ugh, I’m acting like I have no control over my thoughts! Or like I’ve never experienced feelings like these..I’ve had relationships. Short ones though. My total is two, and the longest was a month.
“Argh! What am I thinking?!”
A sixth year Ravenclaw shuffled her seat away. I sighed in pure frustration.
“Why so blue?”
I stuck my head back into my textbook. “If you’re here to ask me about the whole Harry thing, the answer is no. No as in opposite of yes. No as in N-O. Understood?” I practically yelled.
Whoever it was merely chuckled. “Is there a chance of that no changing into a yes? Yes as in opposite of no. Yes as in Y-E-S?”
My brow furrowed. “Don’t copy my lines.” I muttered, still behind my book.
There was a moment of silence before the person seemed to clear their throat. “Will you, Hermione Granger?”
If I had been in this situation before the whole Quidditch thing, I might’ve laughed. Laughed at how much it sounded like a wedding propsal. But since I knew what this person was asking for, it was not funny at the very least.
“Yes, I will tell you. Didn’t I tell you already? Harry and I are not in a rela..”
I felt the person pull back my book so that I could no longer use it as shelter, but now I could clearly see the emerald green of his eyes.
“Will you be my girlfriend?”
Hmmm…Hermione Potter. That sounds kind of strange…Hermione Granger Potter. Yech, even worst! Hermione Anne Potter…well, that’s alright I suppose.
Hermione Anne Granger Potter…oooh, that’s just silly…
“Hermione Granger!!” The severe voice of Professor Vector broke into my mind.
I glanced up hurridly. “Yes?”
“Please pay attention. You normally don’t space out like this Miss Granger. May I ask if something is the matter?”
I shook my head no. “Nothing’s wrong. I’m just…kind of tired…”
The bell rang and Professor Vector gave me one last sweeping glance before turning away.
I rubbed my temples and quickly packed my bag, feeling utterly foolish. How could I have spaced out on such an important lesson?
I was so preoccupied with my own thoughts I walked straight into something soft and familiar smelling; fresh grass and air.
“Er, hello Hermione.”
I glanced up quickly and blushed. “Oh, sorry! I kind of spaced out…again.” I sighed. “What are you doing here, Harry?”
He stuffed his hands into his pockets, a habit of his that I noticed instantly. “To escort you to your next class of course.”
I turned crimson and glanced at all the people observing us with great interest. “You don’t have to.”
“Well it’s on my way. It’s double potions, Gryffindor and Slytherin,” he reminded me as he grasped my right hand, tugging me gently towards the stream of students getting to their next classes.
I nodded as I let him lead the way towards the dungeons. That was when I realized…L&P were going to be in my next class…and then they would see Harry and I walking into Snape’s classroom hand in hand..
I untangled our fingers, causing Harry to look over his shoulder curiously. “What’s wrong ‘Mione?”
‘Mione..how adorable. “Well…um..”
He captured me with his gaze, an understanding look flashed across his eyes. “I see.” He nodded.
I watched as he disappeared into the mob of bustling students and frowned. I hope he didn’t take it the wrong way..I mean, we weren’t really together. I didn’t exactly answer his question.
“Will you be my girlfriend?”
My heart had skipped a beat. “Pardon?”
“Will you…be my girlfriend?” He had repeated, yet not as sure.
I had stared at him, and stared, examining his infamous scar as I stared. And I didn’t know what to say even when Draco Malfoy appeared and swept Harry off with him. He had glanced at me, as if trying to read my mind, and he smiled.
And now, it seemed like he took my silence as a yes. Or at least he seemed to think I did not mind his question, which in actual fact, I didn’t mind. Perhaps I should consult my two roommates for advice.
“Miss Potter,” Lavender practically sneered coldly as she brushed by me.
I sighed. Everyone in Gryffindor seemed rather mad at me for being around a Slytherin. Seamus had shook his head and sighed, “I guess you are part of the Harry Potter fanclub. Wishful dreaming thinking that a girl wouldn’t be…” As for the females of Gryffindor…they all just glared while some looked at me in awe. In fact the whole school acted in this annoying manner.
Parvati had gotten over the jealous stage and started acting like Padma, much to Lavender’s disappointment who seemed ready to bite my head off. Guess I coudn’t ask those two for advice…
Oh this is rather mind-racking. I do want to be with Harry, but wouldn’t that upset the whole female population even more? What am I suppose to do now?
Potions class was the usual. I paired up with Neville who seemed to be the only one that didn’t seem bothered by the Quidditch ordeal.
“Uh, Hermione, why is our potion orange?”
“It’s suppose to be orange,” I couldn’t keep the impatience from my voice.
I rolled up my sleeves as I dropped some asphodel into the bubbling cauldron. It turned green.
“Uh…why is it green now?”
“I added something wrong,” I snapped just as Snape stepped by with his usual sneer.
“Miss Granger. You have added something incorrectly.”
“I realized that,” I replied, hating the satisfied look on his face.
“Five points will be taken from Gryffindor for your carelessness.” I could tell he had been longing to do that eversince September. I frowned in frustration and I noticed that most of the Gryffindors were eyeing me curiously. “Everyone makes mistakes now and then,” I muttered, loud enough for them to hear.
Neville fidgeted with a pile of spider legs waiting to be crushed. “Er…Hermione…”
“It’s ok,” he uttered shakily, “you’re still the best witch I’ve ever met.”
My frustration melted, only to be replaced with nagging guilt. “Oh Neville, I’m sorry for being so snappish..”
He grinned rather stupidly, “I might be really slow but I can tell something’s bugging you…”
I plastered a fake smile on my face. “Yeah…just stress.”
And the lesson went on with making hair lengthening potions and testing them on your partner. At the end of the lesson I left the classroom with wavy brown hair down to my ankles.
“Wait up ‘Mione.”
Him. I stopped in my tracks and spun around, whipping anyone close by with my mass of hair. I pitied Rapunzel.
“If you’re asking me for an answer, I’ll give one to you by tomorrow morning.”
Harry looked clearly amused, his hair had returned to its normal length. Lucky him. “No, take as long as you need.”
My shoulders sagged. I didn’t know whether to tell him everything that had gone through my head or just put up another act. I still found it hard to believe that he had asked me what he had asked me..
“Are you sure?” I suddenly asked. “I mean, it’s me. And then there’s you.”
“So?” His expression showed confusion.
“Well, I’m just, me.” I breathed, feeling like I had just run a lap around the lake. “And you’re him! Every girl is dieing to be with you! They all….melt under your gaze! It’s not like I’m Miss Popular, or I’ve been your number one fan and you pity me.”
He grinned, grasping my hand once again and leading me off without a word of explantion. “Now what?”
But knowing him, he didn’t answer. We walked up spiraling staircases where stone walls were on either side of us and the only direction evident was up. We were going up, a tower, not Gryffindor Tower though. And just as sudden as we had started, we stopped.
On a balcony. We were on a balcony, overlooking the lake, the Forbidden Forest and the moutains beyond. I held in a breath of amazement. He just knows how to amaze a girl doesn’t he? “Why are we up here?” I breathed lightly.
“I find it easier to think here, we’re up on the South Tower. I don’t think many people know of this place since the entrance to it is so hidden,” He leaned on the stone railing that surrounded us. “Just you and nature.”
I watched the sky; slowly the clouds began to move, the wind blew lightly, and everything seemed right. I sighed, perhaps I was better off telling someone my troubles. Neville would never understand, and Harry…well..my problems centered around him, and to ask him for guidance…well, I suppose I could. “I don’t know.”
“What don’t you know?”
I joined him by the railing, him looking down at the grass below and me just gazing off. “It’s hard…for me to decide. It might’ve been easier if..”
“If the whole school weren’t being such a pain in the arse?”
I nodded, “Exactly. It’s like they can’t accept the fact that a girl is around you…”
“I noticed,” He reached into his pocket and brought out..a button. I groaned inwardly as he held it in his palm. “It’s rather amusing actually. Watching their reactions.” He tossed the button over the railing.
I frowned, “Amusing? Easy for you to say. They’re not all flashing insulting buttons at you and tripping you in the corridors or anything of that sort.” I didn’t know why, but I was fuming and something suddenly…clicked. “So that’s why isn’t it? That’s why you’re being so nice to me…pretending that you’re interested in me. To watch other people’s reaction. Or should I say, get the girls jealous?” I turned to him, and noticed he had a rather strange glint in his eyes as he slowly turned to look at me too.
He didn’t reply, making me even more enraged. What was he thinking?! Ha, and he thought I was easy to fool…no, I’m not like Lavender, or Pavati, or any other foolish female in this school. And yet…I was still fooled. Even if it was only for a moment. A day. Fooled in thinking he had meant every word he had fed me. Thinking that…he would actually take interest in me.
“And I thought you might’ve been different,” I murmered. “But you are an arrogant bastard! Pretending to be all…all… cool.” I suddenly wanted to smack myself. Cool. Goodness, I sounded very much like a child.
“Get the girls jealous?” He repeated, staring at me with an unreadable expression. He looked eerie then. With his black robes whipping around him from the wind that had suddenly picked up. His eyes so ever greener than usual, his hands just hanging limply at his sides. “Why would I want to get the girls jealous? Why?” He brought his left hand up abruptly- tilting my chin towards him. I could feel his warm breath, sending shivers down my spine. Forcing me to look him in the eye, and somehow it hurt. As if I was trying to look straight into the sun.
“You don’t know what you’re saying,” He let go, turning away from me to look at the forest. “You’re confused. You’re lost. You’re angry. Let it out.”
“It helps..when you let your anger out.”
I looked away, suddenly feeling like a child, foolish…ashamed. Why did I rant about like an idiot? Oh, for goodness sake’s…even me, who didn’t know Harry that well, could tell he wasn’t like that. Wasn’t a person that would want to get the girls jealous..or swooning after him. He didn’t need to do that. He…already had them spellbound. I bit my lip, “Sorry.”
“You shouldn’t apologize for letting out your anger,” He said calmly. “I understand.”
“…It’s just, everyone’s being so selfish…” I stuttered, not really knowing where I was getting to. “They’re all making such a big deal, over such a small matter…”
“That’s why women are frightening.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Frightening?”
“Yes. They lash out at each other because of that pesky little thing called jealousy,” Harry now had a smirk on his face, still looking afar. “You could be the most mature person on the face of earth, and yet still, jealousy brings the childish behavior out of everyone, doesn’t it?”
I pulled my robes closer together as the wind whipped up at my face. “Oh stop being so wise,” I felt frustration corse through me, we were getting no where. “It isn’t helping.”
“What are you feeling then?” He asked.
“Frustrated, angry, stupid..” I listed off without another thought.
“No…I meant, really.”
“Really?” I quirked an eyebrow at him. “I’m confused.” I confessed. “It’s one of those few times for me where I can’t find the answer in some book…I can’t just look on pg. 245 and expect to find the right answer….”
“No, it’s embarrasing,” I flushed.
He laughed, a short brief laugh. “That’s ok. Just pretend I’m the wall and you’re here alone.”
I looked away from his composed figure, and looked straight at the wall to my right. “I…I like the idea of being your girlfriend.” I spoke to the wall. The real wall. “But there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to. Because I know what will happen. I’ve already seen the reaction of everyone when I went on a simple broom ride with you. They’re ready to kill.” I chuckled. “And if I were to become more than a friend to you…I don’t know what chaos that would cause. Perhaps I would be dead by the next morning.”
I exhaled, examing every inch on the stone wall, its crevices and the spider webs that had been weaved in-between the cracks of the stone. “This is about you, Hermione.” His voice rung in my ears.
I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I was turning around to face him. He was taller than me..by a head. I don’t think I’ve ever come this close to him, other than the time I was gripping onto him wihle on his Firebolt. “This is about you,” He repeated softly, “and what you want.”
I furrowed my brow, knowing very well he was right…in a way. But oh so very wrong in another way…if only he knew what it felt like. “I know what it feels like,” He added, making me wonder if he could read minds. He certainly seemed the type to do so. “But if you think about it, it’s kind of funny.”
“How is this funny?” I rolled my eyes.
“Because although I might be the guy that the females are all dieing for, in your words, none of them have asked me out,” He chuckled.
“I think you would’ve known that,” He ran one hand through his unruly ebony hair, revealing his scar once again. “I mean, they’re all scared. Just like you.”
“I’m not scared.”
Harry smirked, “Really?”
“Why would I be?” I said rather stubbornly.
“You’re scared of everyone’s reaction. You’re scared that they’re all going to turn on you and hate you because you have something they don’t,” He voiced my thoughts. He was one scary person..
I raised my head, wanting to feel taller and feeling rather small standing so close to him. “Fine. I am scared.” I kept my voice steady. “Since you’re so smart and all psychic, what do you think my answer’s going to be?” I challenged.
Harry Potter smiled, that knowing look on his face again. “Well, you’re going to say…yes.”
“…Why do you say that?”
“Because, you’re Hermione Granger.” He said lightly and fingered a lock of my hair gently in his fingers. “And you like to be different…unpredictable…adventurous. That’s the real Hermione Granger.”
Perhaps I was dreaming, but I didn’t really care. So here I was, standing on a balcony with Harry Potter, telling me who I am, and what I’m like, and reading me like an open book.
“I guess I’m not so unpredictable to you then?”