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Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Disclaimer: I don’t own
anything.JKR is a genius.
A/N:Thank you, thank you, thank you to my
wonderful beta reader, and also to everyone who reviews.I hope you enjoy!
Hermione Granger had never felt so ashamed of herself.
It was Ron’s birthday, and not only had she conveniently
forgotten to buy him anything for a gift, but she had also been refusing to
speak to him for a very long time.And
now he was in the hospital wing, poisoned by mead in Slughorn’s office.
She choked on a sob, trying to remind herself that he was
But if Harry hadn’t
acted immediately, he could have died, said the nasty little voice in her
head.He could have died and the last thing you ever would have said to him
would have been –
No.Best not to think about that.
She ran up the last seven stairs on her way to her dormitory
and threw the door open, not caring if she woke up her fellow sixth-year girls.
Much to her surprise, however, Lavender and Parvati were not
in the room.
With a sigh, Hermione sat down on her bed and stared across
the room.A photo on Lavender’s
nightstand caught her eye, and she crossed the room to look closer.
Tears welled her eyes when she saw a miniature Lavender,
sitting at the Gryffindor table trying to write an essay.She was most unsuccessful, however, because a
very familiar redheaded boy had his arm around her shoulders and was repeatedly
kissing her on the cheek and tickling her, trying to make her laugh.
Hermione lifted the frame and held it close to her face,
squinting at the tiny Ron.An
overwhelming wave of emotions hit her – anger at him for what he had done, anger at herself for acting so stupidly, and anger at
Lavender for stealing him away right out from under Hermione’s nose.
“Stupid prat,” she whispered.
The door to the dormitory rattled, and she set the picture
down in a hurry and threw herself onto her own bed.She managed to appear to be sound asleep by
the time Lavender and Parvati entered.
“Oh, damn,” said Lavender angrily, in what Hermione was
pleased to hear was a shaking voice.“Is
Hermione felt someone lean over her.“Yeah,” Parvati said, not bothering to lower
her voice.“Go ahead, Lav.You know Hermione – she sleeps like someone’s
given her a Draught of the Living Dead.”
Not needing any further encouragement, Lavender let out a
strangled sob.Hermione mumbled and
rolled over, as though in her sleep.Neither girl noticed this and it gave her an opportunity to
open her eyes without being caught.
“I just… I d-d-don’t understand,” Lavender was sobbing to
Parvati.“He loved me.”
Hermione swallowed an enormous lump in her throat.Ron had told Lavender that he loved her?He didn’t!How could he love her?
Maybe he does love
her, said that nasty, taunting voice. Maybe
he always has, and you’ve just been too blind to see it.
Hermione choked on a sob of her own.
“I know he loved you,” Parvati was saying.“But he said something to you about…?”
“How many times do I have to tell you?!” Lavender snapped.“He was completely in love with R-R-Romilda
Vane when I saw him!We were going to g-go
for a walk – you know, a walk,” she
said, snorting with laughter through her tears.
Hermione clamped her mouth shut, fighting the urge to throw
up.Following this wave of nausea was a
wave of irritation at Lavender – her boyfriend, the boy she supposedly “loved”
had almost died, and she was crying about a fake attraction to Romilda Vane.
“A-and he was late… so I was going to give him a hard time
about it… but he just c-completely blew me off – he told me to l-leave him
alone! Then he said… said H-Harry was
going to introduce him to R-Romilda.”Lavender stopped trying to speak and wept, as best Hermione could tell by
the slightly muffled sound to her wailing, into her hands.
“Shhh,” Parvati said soothingly, “Lavender, it will be okay…
maybe it was just a spell or something.You know,” she added, sounding slightly annoyed, “you should just be
glad that he didn’t get killed.Be glad
that you get to worry about Romilda Vane.”Hermione couldn’t help but feel gratitude toward Parvati for not
completely siding with her friend.The
pair usually stuck together like glue, but Lavender was being a bit ridiculous
now, and Hermione sensed that even Parvati was getting tired of it.
“He’s fine, Parvati.And… you’ve seen that… that girl.She’s not clever enough to tie her own
shoelaces, let alone m-make a love potion,” Lavender spat.
suppose we’ll just have to see.Honestly, Lavender – he would never choose Romilda over you.”
“What about her?” Lavender asked in a nasty voice. And, with
a strange swoop in her stomach, Hermione realized that Lavender was talking
“I… Well, if Ron was in love with Hermione, I’m sure they
would have been going out together, rather than you,” said Parvati uncertainly.
“Whatever,” said Lavender, who had finally managed to stop crying.“I’m going to
go see him.”
“Lavender!” exclaimed Parvati.“It’s nearly !You’ll be in so much trouble if you get
“I don’t care,” said Lavender in a shaky voice.“Maybe… maybe he’ll wake up.Maybe he’ll talk to me.”
Parvati made a sympathetic noise as Hermione squeezed her
eyes shut against the tears that threatened to spill.“Good luck, then,” she sighed, and Hermione heard
the sound of two people hugging.
The door swung open then shut, and the room was quiet.
“Hermione Granger, you’d better marry that boy.Or else this just might not be worth it,”
Parvati declared in a commanding voice.
Pleasantly surprised but still upset, Hermione did not move.
“Hermione, c’mon,” said Parvati impatiently.“You may be a genius, and a heavy sleeper,
but you’re not a very good actress.I
know you’re awake.”
Caught, Hermione sat up and looked at her classmate, hoping
that her eyes weren’t red.
“Look, Hermione…” said Parvati cautiously.“I… I know that this is hard on you.Frankly, I’m getting tired of it.I was shocked when Lav first told me she was…
interested in Ron.I always thought that
you were the one that struck his fancy.”
“But… she’s my best friend and I… I just… don’t know.”
Surprised that Parvati was acting so unnerved, Hermione
nodded in what she hoped was a sympathetic way.She could not hate Parvati for Lavender’s actions.They had always gotten along reasonably well.
“Are you still going out with Cormac,
then?” asked Parvati brightly, clearly trying to change the subject.
Hermione shook her head.
wryly.“I never thought you appeared to
like him much.”
“I didn’t,” whispered Hermione tiredly.Why on earth was she having this discussion
“I know how it feels,” said Parvati sadly.“I… well… when Ginny started going out with
Hermione turned a surprised gaze on Parvati.It had never registered that Parvati had
harbored feelings of more than friendship for their fellow Gryffindor.
“I see,” she said softly.
Parvati shrugged.“It’s just hard, isn’t it?I
suppose there is the fact that Harry is obviously irreversibly in love with
Ginny, so maybe someday things will be different.”
“Harry in love with Ginny?”
Hermione feigned ignorance.“Maybe.And Parvati,
I think you have a good chance with Dean.”
“As you do with Ron,” said Parvati with an unusually kind
smile.“Lavender and Seamus always made a
good pair.I think they’ll end up back
together, so don’t you worry.”
Hermione smiled in spite of herself and reached over to her
trunk.Pulling out her pajamas and
changing into them, she was silent for a few moments.As she and Parvati both climbed into bed, she
glanced across the room at the photograph on Lavender’s nightstand.
“Thank you, Parvati,” she said into the darkness.
“Mmhmm,” said the other girl sleepily.“Let’s just hope that poison doesn’t addle
Ron’s brains too terribly much.”
Hermione laughed coldly.“I don’t think his brains could be any more addled, do you?”
Parvati laughed too.“No, not with the way he’s been snogging Lavender.I mean, like I said, she’s my best friend…
“It’s disgusting,” Hermione said simply.
“Yeah, it is,” said Parvati in a strangled voice.Then without warning, she burst into a fit of
Lying in the darkness, waiting to be taken by sleep and
listening to Parvati’s laughter, Hermione smiled to herself and thought that
maybe it would all work out in the end.After all, if Parvati was able to admit that something Lavender did was
actually obnoxious, maybe anything was possible.
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