Author's Note: I've gone back and edited some of the beginning chapters, and intend to continue to do so up until about chapter 10, I think. There are some inconsistencies in tone, mainly because the direction of the story was quite different when I first started it. I was setting up a situation that I can't remember anything about, right now. I've rewritten a fair bit of dialogue and downplayed some things. Nothing that requires re-reading, but if you choose to re-read it will be a nicer read.
I wrote a one-shot Dramione called Not Like the Movies. I'd love it if you'd check it out and let me know what you think. It's a playful, light sort of story that I wrote in a few days because I couldn't get the idea out of my head.
I am posting this chapter in honour of a) my 19th birthday, which is today and b) you, for your continued support. This chapter has been cut in TWO, because it was quite mammoth and I have been struggling with the second part. I'm hoping posting this will spur me on to finish it up quickly.
IMPORTANT-I have the feeling a few of you may be skeptical about some of the goings on in this chapter. Keep in mind that Sheila and James will do anything to shake up the dynamic in the House and wring some drama, however reluctantly, from the people living there. I actually do have mixed feelings about this chapter, but in the end its what I intended, so here we go!
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
At the beginning of the summer it would have been enough of a change for Hermione to acknowledge that Draco Malfoy wasn't exactly Satan's incarnate and hadn't come from the deepest pits of Hell to torment Hermione and her friends. Even to admit that, as a person, he was actually kind of a good one once the crusty exterior was chopped through with something blunt and heavy, such as an anvil or a whale.
But to realize, with his arms around her, that her heart was beating and her stomach twisting in ways that were not the kind to be described as platonic was nothing short of a terrifying moment.
"Are you okay?" Blaise asked her when they pulled back. "You look like Moaning Myrtle just tried to give you a striptease."
She shook her head, the wet strands of hair falling around her face. "Yeah, I just…I suppose I didn't realize how quickly this could all end."
"Especially with Potter and Weasley as our competition. People aren't going to vote Potter off anytime soon, and Weasley is his best mate, so you can bet they'd like to keep him around." Draco said and she turned her eyes to the floor.
Theodore nodded, "Especially because there's only two of them. The teams are really unbalanced now."
"Maybe they'll put her on their team." Blaise jerked his head at Hermione, who turned to look up at him in alarm. "Turn it into a Gryffindor pitted against Slytherin thing."
"The entire show is obsessed with the idea of some kind of summer fling, or at least as much drama as they can wring from us." Draco shook his head. She could almost feel him watching her, perhaps wondering why she still refused to make eye contact. "I don't think they'd put her back with them."
"Obviously we're the best team. Our name has the word fuck in it, I'll bet people love saying it." Theodore let out a long, drawn out sigh and Blaise rolled his eyes at Draco. "You know, before I came on this show this summer was turning out to be so boring, with you two in here."
Blaise wandered to the refrigerator and opened it, staring at its contents. "We'd have had you over as soon as the road trip ended."
"It was basically a month of loneliness and despair. Those were my darkest days," Theodore shuddered and followed Blaise, resting his head on his shoulder so he could peer over it into the fridge. "Even Pansy was in here, and she's just my backup friend."
"Don't be an arse," Draco said, but it lacked conviction and he yawned widely. Hermione found herself following suit, covering her mouth with her arm.
"I think I'm going to bed," she said, fluffing her hair from the back and twisting it over her shoulder.
"Me too," Draco said and joined her as she left the kitchen. They were silent for a few seconds and Hermione was acutely aware of the quick beating of her heart. "Have you noticed how the colours of our names change on our bedroom doors?"
"Yes," she answered, but said nothing more. She had her suspicions about what they signified, but didn't want to reveal it while they were approaching them together.
"I started thinking about it and I think it has to do with our moods or feelings," Draco said, his voice thoughtful. He seemed completely oblivious to her reluctance to talk and continued without pause. "They were the same colour after we won the challenge, and Theodore's always turns this ugly green when he's in a bad mood. And see, mine is pale blue now. It looked like that the other night before I went to sleep."
Hermione took a quick step in front of her door to cover her name, eyes a bit too wide. "Yeah, that could definitely be it. I haven't really thought much about it, so…"
His eyebrow quirked together, but he didn't say anything more on the subject. "Right. Well, goodnight then Granger."
"Goodnight." She smiled hesitantly at him and opened her door, back still pressed to the front of hers. It was only after he'd slipped through the door to his own bedroom that she stepped away, turning her eyes to her name. To her horror, veins of pink wove through the pale blue and light yellow there. Even though they hadn't been told what the colours represented, pink was universally symbolic.
Flushing, she hurried into her room and, in doing so, didn't bother to look and see what colours made up Draco's name.
She wasn't sure exactly what time it was that she next woke, but she knew that the only reason she'd awakened was the sound of muted shouting. Rubbing her eyes she pulled her blankets off her body and stumbled to the door, opening it with a small groan. The voices became moderately clearer after she'd done so and she realized they were coming from Theodore's room. Most of what they were saying was lost through the door and her own fatigue, but snatches made it through unscathed.
"-told me you'd stopped!" Although Hermione had heard the pair fight countless times, she'd never heard Blaise sound as angry as he did in that moment.
Theodore's voice rose and fell like a wave. "-do what I want!"
"-think that I'm going to stand by and—"
Hermione started as Draco's door opened across from her, his silhouette just barely visible in the dimly lit hallway. Her stomach constricted as she realized he, too, had obviously just come from bed and not only was his hair all mussed but he wasn't wearing a shirt.
"Granger?" He mumbled, his voice pitched low. He was obviously sleepy, but he was holding his wand so she knew he was at least moderately awake. "What are you doing up?"
"Their shouting." Was all she said as an explanation. He nodded in response, his eyes heavily lidded and he waved his wand in the direction of the other room. The voices cut off and the house was silent once more.
"Silencing charm," he muttered unnecessarily, as she'd recognized the hand movement, and without another word returned to his room. Hermione followed suit, clambering onto her bed. In the morning she nearly didn't remember the entire incident, but what she did made her intensely curious and she almost wished Draco hadn't silenced them.
By noon the next day the entire House was gathered in the same small clearing in the garden that the other challenge had been announced in. The sky was a murky grey and seemed to be threatening rain, but was miraculously holding off. Harry and Ron both seemed pleased to see Hermione, even though they were now short two team members compared to The Bloody Fuckers.
"Hello, surviving house guests." James smoothed down the front of his shirt with a smile. "We've got some exciting news. We've consulted the viewers—"
"I think that 'the viewers' is just a pseudonym for yourselves so you can blame other people for your strange ideas." Theodore said without even blinking, his head cocked to the side. James seemed momentarily floored, so Sheila pressed on.
"Actually, we did consult the viewers on this one. And let me tell you, there are a lot of them." She moved closer to her husband and leaned against his arm. "We've got an exciting afternoon and evening planned for you guys. Tonight, you are going to be throwing a party!"
"Is this a challenge?" Ron asked in a slow voice, his eyebrows drawn together.
Both Sheila and James deflated when they noticed the unexcited expressions of the group before them. "No, it's for fun!" They were still silent, but Theodore's face was growing in happiness and Blaise was watching the changing expression with fascination. "The viewers have felt that you've been really stressed, especially with the recent elimination and Pansy being gone and such. So we've taken it upon ourselves to invite the guests. Consider it our treat to you, for being part of our successful show."
"Er, thanks." Harry said, his eyes fixed on the couple. "Are you going to tell us who you invited?"
James waved his hand around. "Oh, the usual. Most of your year at Hogwarts and ten people who entered a draw and won. Plus a few extras."
"Most of our year?" Hermione exclaimed, "How are they going to fit in the house?"
"Hermione, Hermione, Hermione. Magic, my dear." Sheila grinned at them. "Anyway. I doubt you six are aware, but this show has gotten an incredible amount of publicity, so tonight while the house is being prepared we're going to have a bit of a publicity event. We'll be putting you all through hair and makeup—"
"I am not wearing makeup," Ron interjected, but they paid no attention.
"—and you'll be given a selection of clothing to pick. Then we're going to have the cars drive you to a location, where you'll be walking a red carpet—"
"A red carpet." Harry repeated flatly and was also ignored.
"—and we'll have a bit of an interview period with some fans who couldn't make it to the party. Any questions about that?"
"Is it mandatory?" Hermione asked, trying to imagine herself walking down a red carpet and failing miserably.
"Completely." James said and clapped his hands twice. "So you all need to report to your respective kitchens at 6 O'clock, and we'll get everything underway."
Sheila slipped her arm into her husband's. "In the meantime, live your youth to the fullest!"
"'Live your youth'?" Ron was snickering a few minutes later as he and Harry accompanied Hermione back into her section of the house. "They get weirder and weirder as time goes on."
"Do you ever get the impression that everything they do is a ploy to get some action in the show?" Harry asked them, holding the door open for both of them.
"I wouldn't be surprised," Hermione shrugged and dropped sideways into an armchair. "They said they invited most of our year. They're probably hoping for something to happen."
"Maybe they're going to randomly announce a challenge in the middle of everything," Ron speculated, yawning into his elbow. "To catch us off guard. Seems like something they'd do."
"I think they're just hoping that everyone will get completely smashed and, with lowered inhibitions, act like idiots." Hermione said, frowning when Ron yawned again. "Did you sleep last night?"
"He was out late," Harry said with a grin and Ron flushed in response. "With Andrea."
"Oh," she nodded, pausing. "How are things with you two?"
"She hasn't talked to you?" Ron asked and rubbed one of his red ears.
"No," Hermione said in response. "Probably because we're friends. She might feel awkward or something."
"Oh. Well. Good, er, you know. Really well." He bit his lip, eyebrows narrowing for a brief moment, and then sighed. "Something Pansy said—well, I can't really stop thinking about it."
"Before she left?" She prodded, when he didn't go on. "What did she say?"
"She was just—I dunno, asking me what I'm going to do when school starts or things like that. Like what if I get eliminated from the show? She can't very well come to my house or anything. Just—just things like that."
"Wasn't Seamus's dad a muggle, though?" Harry pointed out, "It can work out."
Hermione hesitated. "I've found it hard to explain some things to her, over the years. Like where I go to school, what I study, things like that. But I guess if you think it's worth it you can try to keep things up."
Ron nodded, staring at the armrest as if it held the answer. "I'm not giving up on things, it's just what I've been thinking about lately, is all."
The boys started talking about their letters from Hogwarts, which they'd gotten a day or so ago. Hermione sat in silence, thinking once more about the trouble it was to straddle the magic and muggle worlds. As soon as the conversation turned to their course books ("I've seen that book before, it's a tomb") Hermione joined in, smiling at her two best friends.
At five minutes to six Hermione found herself standing alone in the kitchen, wondering if her entire team had forgotten about the evening plans. Looking at the ticking clock on the wall she sat down in a chair, glancing over at the door when Theodore and Blaise walked in together. "You ready?" Blaise asked her, dropping into a chair by the table and Theodore slouched against a wall.
"Not really," She admitted, glancing at the clock. "Where's Malfoy?"
Blaise shrugged, watching Theodore. "I don't know."
She instantly wondered if she was being excessive in wondering why he wasn't there and tried to shrug nonchalantly. "Who cares? He'll show up eventually."
Theodore tilted his head to the side as he watched her, however Draco's entrance seemed to halt his train of thought. He gave the group a brief smile, checking his watch, and then Sheila floated into their room. "Ah, right on schedule." She cast a quick look around the room. "We have teams waiting for each of you in separate locations, so Hermione we'll set you off first. Don't worry, though, you'll all be reunited on the red carpet."
Hermione cast a look over her shoulder as she left, not cheered up at all by the prospect of the circumstances of their reunion, and settled into the car waiting for her outside. The ride was short and she found herself nearly bombarded by the group of people waiting for her inside the hotel she was ushered into. Resisting her immediate urge, which was to make a hasty exit, she followed them to the sink and complied with their requests.
In two hours her hair was washed, conditioned and twisted into some kind of up-do that she hadn't been able to see because of the absence of a mirror. She'd been given a French manicure and pedicure and her face had been exfoliated and makeup applied to its clean surface. The dress they presented her with was gorgeous—a floor length blue with a white length of lace twisted around just under her bust and extended up to her shoulders to act as straps.
After she'd been completely made up she was once again led back to the car and driven to what she could only assume was where the red carpet was waiting. The first thing she heard as the car began to slow down was screaming—shrill screaming. It was at that point that her heart began to pound in her chest and she took a few breaths to steady herself, craning her neck in an attempt to see out the windows.
The car came to a full stop and the cheering increased. As Hermione reached for the door it opened for her and she stepped out, nearly blinded by flashing lights. A wave of noise rocked into her and for a brief moment she considered climbing right back in the car and heading back to the house, but her determined will steadied her and she began to walk through the middle of the cordoned off carpet. People pushed against each other and she shot a nervous glance towards them, but tall men dressed in black that she recognized from their first day were patrolling up and down the sides and called out warnings to them.
"Hermione! Hermione!" A girl to her right was shouting and Hermione turned, smiling weakly in her direction. People were holding out pieces of paper and pens, shaking signs that said things like 'We Heart Harry Potter' and 'Marry Me Draco?' As she neared the end of the red carpet Hermione spotted the rest of her teammates gathered together, and they turned to face her as the flurry of attention caught their eyes.
Although her better judgement told her not to look right at Draco she did anyway, her heart thudding extra hard for a couple beats and she couldn't tell if her smile was forced or not. His eyes ran down her once and the corners of his lips turned up even more, but other than that his reaction was hardly noticeable. She wasn't sure if she was disappointed or not.
"Let's ge' a group shot, right!?" A man was shouting and waving his hands together. She fell into step beside Blaise and smiled in the direction of the flashing lights until Theodore, who was on the far side of the group, hurried off and the rest followed suit.
As soon as they were inside the doors Sheila was upon them, her hair done up, eyes literally sparkling with shimmery eyeshadow and a figure-hugging dress on. "Hello, teammates! You all look lovely—my gosh Hermione you're stunning! Isn't she gorgeous, boys?"
Draco coughed and nodded. "Yeah. She's, ah, very nice."
"Right this way." Sheila strode down a hallway at a brisk pace, the curls around her face bouncing in stride, and ushered them into a small room. "We'll have someone collect you in about ten minutes for the question period, which will only last about half an hour."
"Alright," Blaise said, because the rest of the team didn't seem inclined to speak. Hermione had leaned with her back against the wall, eyes falling shut as the noise and energy from outside faded. With a wink Sheila disappeared out the door, heels clicking.
"I don't know how you Gryffindors do it." Theodore said with the shake of his head, tugging at his robes.
"Do what?" Hermione asked, opening her eyes.
"All the attention." Theodore was playing with the two ends of his tie now. "I don't know why all you Gryffindors want it."
"Want it?" She repeated, staring at him. He remained oblivious to her less than favourable reaction, pulling at his tie. "Trust me, we do not want it. I mean, some Gryffindors might, but I certainly don't. Nor do Harry, or Ron. That out there—that was a nightmare!"
"Oh for Merlin's sake, Theo." Blaise strode over to his friend and took Theodore's tie into his hands, fixing it up. Theodore looked up in consternation, but otherwise didn't address his friend.
"You don't really think we like the attention?" Hermione continued, although she wasn't positive she was being listened to.
"During fourth year you were always in the papers," Theodore said, attempting to shrug but was stilled by Blaise. "Potter's always got people staring at him. And signing photographs—"
"That was a few years ago," she corrected. "And he didn't want to sign them, it was all miscommunication. And being in the papers was hardly our fault, when it was you lot feeding them the information."
"Oh, that's right." Theodore stepped back and away from Blaise's fussing hands. "I forget Draco has always been such a prick."
Draco, who up until that moment had been watching the proceedings with a steady gaze, glanced at her. "I always assumed you loved the attention, and it was an act that you didn't."
"That doesn't explain why you tried to give us more, if you were angry about that." Hermione pointed out, a prickly feeling running up and down her arms. She and Draco had never addressed the errs from the past, and doing so now seemed awkward and somewhat daring.
"I think the plan was to make you miserable by giving you the wrong sort of publicity," Draco said in response, a wry smile stretching his lips. "Besides, a lot of us thought you and Potter were secretly together for awhile, or at least on the way. We wanted to make you miserable."
"When he says we," Blaise began, smoothing his hands over Theodore's shoulders and flicking off dust specks, to Theodore's distaste, "he's mostly referring to himself. I couldn't have cared less how you felt, and Crabbe and Goyle just went along with it."
"Stop that," Theodore muttered, stepping away and pushing back against Blaise's hands. "We can safely conclude that Draco was a prick, Blaise claims he was indifferent and apparently you Gryffindors aren't actually attention-whores. Glad we got that covered."
"Never one to dwell, are you?" Blaise said with an affectionate smile, beginning a slow walk around the room.
Theodore shrugged. "There's no point in spending so much time talking about the past. Binns does that enough for everyone, let's not all suffer."
Hermione laughed aloud and then lapsed into comfortable silence. Shortly afterward Mitchell stuck his head in the door, dressed considerably better than he had for their night at the club. "Hello, again. Can you four follow me? Quickly now, thanks."
He led them through a door that led down a long hallway, boxes of what looked like electronic equipment piled near doors. People wearing headsets walked by every once in awhile and didn't blink when they saw the teenagers. At last they came to another door with the words STAGE LEFT on them. The sounds of hundreds of people whispering, the occasional cough and shifting could be heard through the door.
"Alright, so we're going to order you like this—Hermione first, Draco, Theodore and then Blaise. Yeah—yeah that's right, get in line. Okay, so I'm going to cast a sonorus on you all now, keep quiet or they'll hear. Yep, perfect. Just wait here until the signal, and then walk up on stage and take your seats in the chairs up there." Mitchell spoke quietly and quickly and then pressed his hand to his ear, muttering softly.
Hermione dearly wanted to ask what the signal was, but couldn't for fear of accidentally bellowing. She exchanged a look with Draco, who stood beside her, and then Mitchell was back and nudging her through the door. The crowd that was gathered in the large room jumped to their feet and started cheering as soon as they walked in and she resisted the urge to shy away from it. Climbing the stairs to the stage she spotted the long table they were to sit at. There were six chairs and a water bottle in front of each one. At the end of the table sat Sheila and James, who both clapped as they took their seats.
"Welcome, teammates!" Sheila spoke over the noise and gradually the cheering died away. "We're going to begin this little question period by having each of you introduce yourselves to the crowd. Go ahead."
They went swiftly down the table and gave their names. "Great," James said and turned back to the audience, a smile firmly fixed on his face. "We've got quite the group gathered here, but unfortunately we only have half an hour with each team. So we'll begin with the questions right now. Without further ado."
People who obviously worked for the show were lining the walkways and seemed to be supervising a group lined up against the wall. The girl at the front walked forward until she stood in the middle of the aisle and looked at Blaise. "This question is for Blaise," she spoke clearly. "I was wondering when we can expect your first record out."
Blaise looked genuinely flattered and leaned forward a bit to answer. "We don't have a definite date set, yet. But production is going very quickly and we're hoping for a really quick release. Probably late September."
The girl started walking back to her seat and then a boy stepped forward. "First, I just want to say I love the show. Yay House of Hell!" He lifted his hands in the air and the crowd cheered. "So I have a question for Hermione. What's it like being Harry Potter's best friend?"
"Erm," she felt rather taken aback and looked at her teammates as if they could answer for her. "Well, much the same as it feels for you to have a best friend, I'm sure. It's nice, erm, Harry's a wonderful person."
"I'd like to ask Blaise this question," the next girl asked, her red hair piled atop her head like a pineapple. "Do you think you would have tried to get into music if you hadn't come on the show?"
Blaise paused before responding. "I'm not sure. I've always loved music, and singing and writing of course. But I never really thought anyone would want to hear me do it, to be honest. I never thought of it as a viable career path for me."
"This question is for all of you," a younger girl with rather large eyes said when she moved to the front. "Who is your favourite Hogwarts professor and why?"
Blaise began, "I really like Professor Flitwick. He's very nice and has good energy for teaching." He then turned to look at Theodore, who was to his right.
"I always liked Trelawny." Theodore announced, to the surprise of most. "She's cool. She knows how it is."
"Severus Snape." Draco spoke immediately. "He's a fantastic professor and very dedicated to his craft. Quite talented."
Hermione, who'd spent the last minute frozen with indecision, realized it was her turn. "That's a tough one. I really respect Professor McGonagall, she's very fair and quite accomplished. But Hagrid is lovely, as well. He's so passionate about what he teaches. Oh, and Professor Sinistra is great. Although Professor Flitwick is very knowledgeable, too. It's so difficult to choose just one," she finished helplessly, smiling sheepishly.
"Draco, if there was one person on your team that you would date, who would it be?" Hermione barely noticed the freckly girl until the question had been asked and the audience fell into total silence. Her heart thudded and she kept her smile fixed on her face, turning slightly to look at him.
Pausing as if in thought he looked up and down both sides of the table. "Theodore," Draco finally concluded. "I am so attracted to his sarcastic wit and cruel tongue."
The audience laughed and Hermione chuckled along, giggling when Theodore furthered the joke by flicking his hair and batting his eyelashes in their direction. However, despite the blatant joking she couldn't keep her mind from racing and wondering about the implications of his decision. Draco was heterosexual, so the only person he reasonably would have wanted to date would have had to have been Hermione. Perhaps he felt awkward about saying he would date Hermione even though logically it was really the only choice. But then, what would make him feel so awkward about going along with the most reasonable choice? Was he trying to avoid playing into the fantastical clutches of the viewers, or was there something else?
Maybe I'm overthinking this way too much. Shaking her head she turned back to where a middle aged man was walking forward. "I'd just like to ask this question to all of you. You all seemed very distressed when you first came on the show, but later chose to stay. What was your reasoning behind that choice?"
"Ooh, that's a good one." James interjected. "Hermione, let's go to you."
"Okay," she nodded, gathering her thoughts. "Well, my two best friends are here, although they're not on my team. I also began to see this as an opportunity to bridge the gap between myself and some of the other people on the show. I started to really get along with them, and I think in the end the idea of what I was missing out on kept me from leaving."
Draco watched her intently and when she made it clear she was done speaking he turned back to the front. "Yeah, that was my rationale. It's sometimes easy to forget that we're being filmed until we're confronted with evidence of it, like now, because we can't see the cameras. I suppose I was getting pretty happy with how things were."
"That's true." Blaise was nodding and leaned back in his chair, folding his hands together on the table. "I was incredibly happy when they were asking us to stay—we'd won the challenge, Theo'd been invited on…I'm sure that had a part to play. If they'd asked while we'd been in a bad mood the results might've been different."
"I'd decided to come on the show before I knew they were being given the choice to leave," Theodore said after hesitating momentarily. "So really I just wanted to be with my friends."
"That's so sweet," the man said with a beam before going back to his seat, and Theodore recoiled as if horrified by the prospect of being identified as sweet.
"Hey guys!" The next girl said, waving excitedly. "I just want to say I'm a huge fan. I've seen every episode more than once and I've started this forum and group that meets once a week and—"
"Please remember we have a limited time frame to answer as many questions as possible," Sheila cut in with a syrupy smile.
"I was getting there." The girl glared and then turned back to the house mates, her smile returning instantly. "So basically what we've all been wondering for awhile is Hermione and Draco, when will you two be getting together?"
Hermione felt herself flush and desperately hoped that it wasn't very noticeable. She looked at Draco, who had pressed his lips together, and took the liberty of replying on their behalf. "Erm, it's safe to say that nothing is happening between us. I'm sure that the editing of the show is cut to make things look different than they are in real life. I have nothing against Malfoy here but that's, ah, not something that's going on."
"Nor is it something that will ever be going on," Draco added without looking at her and she felt herself flush once more. Even though it would be a massive exaggeration to claim that she was utterly smitten with him, hearing him say the words so casually felt like someone was pinching her very, very tightly.
The girl looked ridiculously disappointed. "Maybe not yet. But someday."
"No, I don't think so." Hermione said quickly, to make sure that she and Draco showed the same amount of dissent to the idea. "We're really just fine with how things are now."
"But you don't know how things could change," the girl went on and then James let out a sigh beside Hermione and the girl was ushered away by one of the workers from the show.
"Please remember that we take questions, not harassment. Next." Sheila said, as if she was used to seeing people forcibly led away.
"There's been a lot of speculation regarding the nature of Theodore and Blaise's relationship." The next woman looked like a reporter, with a cameraman standing behind her and a notepad in her hands. "The question on almost everyone's lips is whether or not Theodore is gay."
Theodore continued to watch her without speaking, and after the silence stretched on Blaise elbowed him. "I'm still waiting for the question," Theodore said finally, looking down his nose at her imperiously.
"How would you respond to these questions?" The woman pressed, and both Sheila and James were watching keenly so Hermione had the feeling this reporter wouldn't be ushered out for taking up too much time.
"To be honest, I don't much care what people think I am." Theodore said in an even voice and Hermione couldn't resist a smile at his nonchalant attitude, although her own curiosity was somewhat piqued. "I don't think all of Britain needs to know about my love life."
"Actually, the show is airing all across the U.K., and in bits of America and Canada." Sheila interjected, "Just a note."
The woman scribbled into her notebook. "So you're gay? Are you and Blaise in a relationship?"
"I'm not gay, not that it's your business." Theodore said in a sharp voice. "Blaise and I are good friends. That's all."
There was more murmuring in the crowd and Hermione realized with a start that this was something that seemed to have garnered a lot of interest. She hadn't really thought of the pair in that way, or at least not seriously, and she looked at Blaise's small, polite smile curiously.
"And Blaise, how do you respond to that claim?" The woman asked, and the people in line behind her seemed torn between irritation for her time consumption and intrigue at the answers to the questions.
Sitting up just a bit straighter Blaise shrugged. "I'm sure as a viewer of the show it would be difficult to distinguish between clever editing and what is actually going on, but Theodore is right. Just like Hermione and Draco, our friendship has probably been misrepresented as suggesting something more. I love Theo—but we're just friends."
At last the woman and her reporter left the lineup, but Hermione was hardly paying attention. She watched her house mates, Blaise in particular, and couldn't resist wondering how similar Theodore and Blaise's relationship was to her and Draco's. Perhaps he was making the claim from a position of ignorance, but if it was the same then Blaise wasn't speaking from an entirely platonic perspective.
"Hermione, what are your future ambitions?" The next question started her out of her thoughts and she looked up from the table.
"I haven't completely decided what I'd to do after Hogwarts," she said after a moment. Draco was drinking from his water beside her and she looked away so she wouldn't be caught staring at the long line of his neck. "I'd love to do some work in the relationships between wizarding and non-wizarding folk. It's not a very well represented field and there's a lot of work that needs to be done. However, I'd also like to look into the changes I can make through law. Whatever I do I'd really like to help people. That's something I've always been interested in doing."
Answering questions about her life was like listening to herself talk in a much more filtered, polite fashion. While Theodore didn't seem to have any qualms about being rude, though she understood his motivation for doing so given the intrusive questions they'd been asking, she almost felt like she was in a job interview and she should put her best foot forward.
"Draco, what has been your favourite moment from the show so far?"
As Draco explained that he'd enjoyed testing himself and his ability to adapt to different situations Hermione took a gulp of water to soothe her throat. There was no clock in the room and she had absolutely no idea how much time had passed.
"Theodore, you're always sending and receiving letters with packages in them," the next person began. "Do you have a girlfriend off the show that you haven't told anyone about?"
Hermione resisted the urge to frown and tilted her head, watching both Draco and Blaise do the same thing. Theodore tensed, and then a small smile broke out across his face. "No, I've just been keeping in touch with family and friends from off the show."
Blaise continued to watch Theodore with a calculated stare even as Hermione answered the next question about whether or not she was fine with Andrea and Ron dating. "They're both my friends," was her answer. "I want them both to be happy, and if they can do so together I'm fine with it."
"Blaise I really want to say that I love your voice," a brunette said, rocking back on forth on her heels. "The show has been showing the clips from your studio work, and there's one song in particular that's very emotional. I'm curious—have you ever been in the kind of love you describe in your music?"
Blaise turned his head to the left, as if looking at the wall and not the audience helped him think. He nodded once. "Yeah, I have."
A wave of whispers rolled through the room as the next girl approached the front. "So I have a game sort of question for all of you to answer. You have to pick someone from your team who you would shag, marry, and whose heart you would break."
Hermione blinked. "That doesn't sound like a very fun game!"
"Well," the girl smiled in an apologetic but uncompromising way. "The usual one is shag, marry, kill."
"Yeah, I think we'll stick with the first one." Blaise said with a grin, and then hesitated. "Well, I think I would probably marry Theodore."
"I knew you couldn't resist me!" Theodore crowed and threw an arm around Blaise's shoulder, pressing his forehead against Blaise's ear.
"Only because if I didn't, he probably wouldn't get another shot." Blaise continued with a grin. Theodore pulled his head back and frowned. "And I guess I would break Hermione's heart. I figure that with Weasley and Potter as friends she's got a good chance of getting through it. What was the last one? Oh, right. I'd shag Draco."
Draco snickered and rested his head on his hand. Hermione was trying to simultaneously pay attention while also figuring out who she would pick for each of the options. Of course she obviously didn't want to marry any of them, despite the less-than-platonic feelings she harboured for Draco. But would it be too obvious if she said she would marry him? Marrying Blaise would only result in the complete unhappiness of both parties, and marrying Theodore would be like living every other day in Greenland and Hawaii. But then this wasn't supposed to be given as serious a consideration as she was giving it.
"I think I'd break Granger's heart, too." Theodore said and waved cheerfully at her, his arm still around Blaise. "That way when I screw Draco, too, and then marry Blaise it won't put an awkward strain on our friendships."
"I suppose I'll have to swoop in and mend Granger's broken heart, then." Draco said with a smirk, glancing towards her. "Nothing much else seems to be going for her. So then I'll shag Theodore, and I'll break Blaise's heart. Maybe we'd get some good music from it."
The group all turned to look at her and she wasn't quite sure of where to look—at her teammates or at the audience. "I don't think I have much say in the matter," she said and laughed in what she hoped was a good natured way. "I'll marry Malfoy, then, and hope we don't both go crazy. I'll break Theodore's heart, because Blaise's has already been destroyed. And I suppose I'll go with Blaise. For the, ahm, shagging."
"That would be interesting," Blaise said and grinned at her with a wink.
"Do you think returning to Hogwarts will be awkward at all?"
Hermione opened her mouth to instinctively say no and then paused to consider. Difficult as it was to imagine her school peers regarding her in some kind of new, impressive light she supposed there would probably be a few people who treated them differently.
"I think that by now we know who our friends are," Blaise said, "So if people treat us rudely we'll just let it go."
The girl who'd asked the question frowned, her eyes flicking to where Sheila and James sat. When the couple didn't speak she opened her mouth once more. "No, I mean awkward because of how many fans you have now. This show is so popular."
"Er, really?" Blaise turned to look at Hermione and Draco, who shrugged.
"That actually marks the half hour," James interjected, "And is the perfect segue into the next section. We've actually got short video that is going to show you what the rest of the world has been seeing, and what may be to come for your team."
The lights immediately dimmed and a large white screen projection appeared on the wall to Hermione's left. She shifted slightly in her seat so she wouldn't have to crane her neck to look as casual, tinkering guitar and piano music filled the room.
"Welcome to the House of Hell." A voice on screen intoned over clips of the six original houseguests arriving. It immediately flashed to a clip of Harry and Ron as they strode out onto the Quidditch Pitch, brooms over their shoulders.
"I'm not becoming their friends—I don't even want to see them." Ron was saying as Harry nodded in agreement.
"Must be nice for you to live in something this luxurious, Weasley." Pansy looked down her nose at Ron. "Oh, that's right—the lap of luxury for you is anything better than that rat hole you live in, isn't it? I suppose a cardboard box would've been a step up."
Blaise and Harry walked by each other in the hallway, taking a wider berth than necessary to avoid making contact.
"I'm sure they'll think they own the place." Pansy said, her arms folded over her chest. "It'll be just like Hogwarts, with them running around here."
Draco and Hermione walked into each other in the hallway. "Watch where you're walking, Granger."
"I know what the best bit about living here must be for you, Malfoy." Harry snapped, "At least if Aurors raid this house they won't find all sorts of illegal objects downstairs."
It flicked to various clips of Hermione reuniting with her old classmates, their exclamations used as voice overs ("You look different." "Whoa, I haven't seen you since you left for school!" "So… what exactly happened to you?")
"To the pool!" In slow motion Hermione was thrown from the arms of Todd and went flying into the pool, her hair streaming behind her like a tattered banner, the splash from the pool releasing white foam into the air.
"Professor, Professor! I know the answer Professor! Let me lick your shoes Professor! Ooh, please Professor! " Pansy waved her hand in the air, rocking back and forth on her feet, as Draco and Blaise laughed.
Harry, Ron and Hermione sat on the grass, Harry speaking while Ron plucked and tugged the grass with his fingers. "I don't understand why people care so much about my life. It's not like I chose for all this to happen."
Draco scoffed in Blaise's direction. "Don't be ridiculous. If Granger and I had children they would be incredibly intelligent."
"She's not my girlfriend." Harry snapped at Draco.
"We're not friends." Pansy said to Hermione, gesturing between them.
Blaise leaned inside a door frame. "Ron is actually an alright bloke."
"I've never had a muggle friend before." Pansy murmured to Hermione.
"We're sending you on a road trip."
Blaise was sitting in the confession box in their car, leaning forward on his elbows. "I think…Well, I think we're all ready for a change."
The music stopped for a long moment and Blaise's image hovered on screen, before it renewed with a new and lighter vigour. The first clip was Hermione being dragged out of the pool by Jacob.
Blaise lay sprawled over a bed with charcoal sheets, Pansy beside him. "I just really miss him."
Jacob grinned at her. "I've always liked you anyway."
"What is so wrong with my blood?" Hermione asked Draco, her voice scratchy.
"How long have you been going?" The woman at the hotel asked them, her eyes surveying their disheveled appearances.
"About a full day." Hermione answered in a distracted way. The gum dropped from the woman's mouth.
"My parents disowned me last year before Christmas and Draco offered me a room in Malfoy Manor." Blaise said sharply and Hermione's jaw dropped.
"That's life." Blaise said in response, turning his head away.
Hermione and Jacob had their lips pressed together as the beginnings of rain began to fall. Hermione and Draco were in their overturned car, Blaise the bird squawking inside with them. "Help her first!" Draco was shouting to the people who'd gathered round, gesturing towards where Hermione lay.
Draco gazing at Hermione from across the car, his eyes serious. "Yeah. We're okay."
Draco was sent soaring over Sensei Joe's burly shoulders. The house guests stood in a line practicing the 'jab' and 'reverse' techniques they had been taught.
"Draco, I'm pregnant!"
Hermione had her phone pressed against her ear, her eyebrows drawn together. "When is he coming back?"
"Draco Malfoy," Hermione said to Jacob, her eyes sliding from his face. A shot from the perspective of a side profile of Hermione's face showed Draco watching her. "I think it's a family thing."
Theodore burst through the doors and was pulled into a group hug with Hermione, Draco and Blaise. Draco dove into the lake, sliding through the surface of the water. Blaise shook Harry's hand. Theodore grimaced as he sprinted. Hermione slid down the side of the boat's wall, eyes closing.
"You disgust me," Hermione said as she shone her wand in Draco's direction. Then Draco and Hermione were sitting together at the breakfast table, Draco watching her from under his eyelashes as she mouthed the words to the Prophet's article she was reading.
"Of course I do. You're my best mate." Theodore said to Blaise, his eyebrows raised in earnest.
Hermione and Blaise sang 'I Kissed a Girl' in their car. It slowly transitioned to her singing it on stage. Blaise slinked across the stage to where Theodore had been brought to stand. Blaise's lips were centimetres away from Theodore's ears as Hermione and Draco danced in the background. Hermione and Draco laughed together, their eyes locked.
"It's hard to be this way." Blaise said to Hermione, leaning forwards on his elbows.
"The biggest mistake I made this summer was getting to know you." Draco snapped at Hermione.
Blaise watched Theodore evenly. "I'm worried for you."
'A British sensation…' A voice intoned as a camera panned over a large crowd of screaming fans.
Theodore sat in the middle of a colourful flower bed, stroking the petals of a red flower, Blaise crouching beside him. "It's like there's this massive disconnect that I just can't bridge—between two opposite sides of myself."
'That will change the way you view these teenagers…'
Hermione danced with a boy in the club, a drink clutched in her hand. Blaise had his hands woven through another boy's hair as they kissed.
A series of flashing clips came in quick succession—Draco and Blaise flying their brooms, Hermione and Theodore smiling, Blaise hugging Theodore, Draco with his hand on Hermione's shoulder.
The screen went dark and the room erupted in cheers. Hermione felt yet another flush flood her face, and this time she couldn't manage anything other than a half smile as she averted her eyes from Draco. The clip had only been a couple minutes and seemed to highlight—even provide evidence, almost, for every single thing that was being speculated about in regards to her relationship with Draco.
Draco was sitting tensely beside her and she couldn't bring herself to look at her teammates as they were ushered from the stage and led out a door opposite the one they'd entered the room in.
"That was very strange," Blaise said, an awkward lilt to his voice. "I didn't realize…how realistic they could make the things seem."
"I can kind of understand why Potter never liked the attention," Theodore said as they strode down the hallway and were led through another door. It opened into the parking lot, where their car was waiting for them. "So invasive. I forgot I was saying things in front of a camera."
"Quite scary, really." Draco said in a strange voice, as if he was watching a boggart approach him very, very slowly but was perilous to stop it.
When they arrived back at the House they were corralled back to their rooms, preventing them from seeing anything, and told to change their clothes to something more suitable for a casual gathering. Hermione re-emerged ten minutes later, after changing her clothes and mentally preparing herself for the rest of the night, and was nearly bowled over by the changes to the House.
Their kitchen table was gone completely and the countertops were covered in food, drinks and punch bowls. The lights were dimmed and gave off red tones, blue and purple streamers decorated the ceiling and there appeared to be pockets on the ceiling that shot out puffs of glitter at random intervals. Women dressed in purple frocks carried trays of drinks while men in black and blue offered finger foods around.
"Hermione!" Lavender and Parvati rushed over to her, their arms linked. "Oh, Hermione, it's so good to see you!"
"Hello!" She said back, perhaps her first genuine smile of the day stretching her lips. "How are you? It's so good to see you!"
"My summer has been completely dull," Lavender informed her, whisking a small sandwich off a passing tray. "Mum's already trying to get me to prepare for the school year, it's dreadful."
"But tell us how you are!" Parvati said, wringing Hermione's hand. "We've been watching every week! But don't worry, we don't believe everything that's on the show."
"Oh good," Hermione said, accepting a piece of bread with some kind of dip spread over it. "That's such a relief, because—"
"We know that you're not pregnant with Theodore's baby," Parvati said, looking over her shoulder with squinted eyes.
Hermione's eyes widened and Lavender burst into a fit of giggles. "Oh, Hermione, you're just the same! Of course they're not trying to push that, it would be a bit difficult to sell, wouldn't it?"
"Oi! Seamus! Dean! Get over here!" Parvati waved her arm in the air to catch the attention of the two males standing a bit far off and they made their way over.
"Hermione!" Seamus exclaimed, beaming.
"Hi boys," she said with a grin. "Seamus I swear you've got more freckles than ever."
"That's what I keep telling him," Dean told her, patting Seamus's shoulder. "Sooner or later he'll turn into one giant freckle."
"Oh, shut up," Seamus replied with a mock frown. "Come over, Hermione, come see the rest of us! Our whole year must be here, at the very least."
Draco, Blaise and Theodore stood chatting with Pansy, who waved cheerily when she saw Hermione go by. Blaise winked at her in greeting, but Draco either didn't notice his friends addressing her or noticed and didn't care, because he looked straight on.
They'd passed through the kitchen into the living room, where the television set had been replaced by a stereo and the couch moved against the wall. The decorations were much the same, except with the glitter puffs on the walls as well. A group of students from her year stood and she greeted them merrily.
"Alright there, Hermione?" Neville asked her as the group's attention was diverted.
"Oh, hello, Neville." She managed to get out of the way before a rather large dose of glitter was sent straight to her face.
Seamus burst into laughter as Neville made a good effort at wiping the corner of her chin as clean as he could get it. "Thanks, I'm really alright," she said, shouting slightly to be heard over the noise.
They'd only been chatting for a few minutes when Harry and Ron walked through the door joining back to their side of the house. Seamus let out a loud roar and hastened over to pat them on the backs, exclaiming loudly at Ron's finally having gotten a girl.
"Hello everyone!" Ginny appeared from behind a crowd of Ravenclaws and smiled around at them, flicking her hair over her shoulder. "Been enjoying living with my idiot brother, Harry?"
"So how bad is it?" Hermione asked Neville as the group's attention was occupied. "The show? Do we come off as awful?"
"Hm?" Neville turned back to her, leaning in to hear. "Oh, no not at all. If anything you come off as even more intelligent!"
"But I mean, do I seem like…well does it really seem like Malfoy and I, erm, get on?" She finally asked, biting her lip.
"You seem to be getting along very well," Neville said in answer, a smile playing out over his lips.
"Neville! You know what I mean—does it seem like I fancy him at all?" She finally asked desperately and he grinned at her.
"A bit, but it's all in the camera shots and that. Anyone with half a bit of sense will know it's not real." She obviously didn't seem at all reassured and he squeezed her shoulder. "Come on, Hermione. Just relax and enjoy the night."
For the most part, she did. Being reunited with all her classmates was a glimpse at being back at Hogwarts, except everyone was dressed in their own clothing and getting progressively drunker as the night wore on. However, even as she was surrounded by her fellow Gryffindors and being regaled by Seamus's exaggerated stories there was a lingering awkwardness nagging at her consciousness. Not because of her friends—they were the same as always and could very well have been picked up and dropped into the Gryffindor Common Room after a Quidditch victory. No, the awkwardness was in the lack of communication between her teammates and her.
Some of it was definitely a result of the fact that she hadn't really been this separate from Draco or Blaise for at least a month so she was noticing their lack of presence. But the fact that Draco had passed by her a couple times and shown absolutely no recognition of her presence—while Blaise and even Theodore did—was odd and kind of twisted her in a way she wasn't fond of.
"Hello teammate!" Theodore threw an arm around her shoulder and smiled around at all her friends, who went quiet and watched him warily.
"Theodore you smell like alcohol," Hermione said and wrinkled her nose with a laugh.
"It's my new cologne," he informed her. "I put it on just for you."
"Did you?" She asked as Neville snickered beside her. "Well, I'm honoured. Er, Theodore you remember everyone from Hogwarts?"
He looked around the group, quirking an eyebrow. "Vaguely. It's just this blur of red and gold. Introduce us."
"Right, well. This is Neville—"
"Ah, Nev my good chap! How are you?" Theodore shook his hand merrily, turning expectantly to Harry.
Hermione was laughing as she pointed around their small circle. "Harry and Ron, obviously. Seamus, Dean, Lavender and Parvati. The Gryffindors from our year."
"It's a pleasure," Theodore said and launched into a one sided conversation about pygmy puffs that eventually had everyone laughing and contributing in some way. Blaise joined part way through and squished in between Hermione and Neville, throwing his arm around her as well.
"This is Blaise, everyone," Theodore said and smiled happily in the direction of his friend. "He's a musician, and some say he's so gorgeous it's cruel."
"Who says that?" Blaise said with a snort.
Theodore winked. "I do."
At that moment the music but out and the room quieted in a quick wave. The faces of her friends had all turned in one direction so she twisted around as best she could in the arms of Blaise and Theodore. Sheila and James had strode in and now stood in a small clearing, beaming around at all the guests. "Sorry to interrupt, but there are just two things we have to address now."
James held his arm out as a group of girls Hermione had never seen before walked into the room. "These are the winners of our competition and the special guests for tonight's party."
"It seems a bit late for them to join in now. It's nearly half past eleven." Blaise muttered beside her, but otherwise no one spoke and the girls remained huddled together.
"The second announcement is one regarding the show. Or rather, the teams." Sheila said and paused dramatically. The silence seemed to intensify. "As you know, there are now only two members of The Pansy Pickers, and four of The Bloody Fuckers. This is incredibly uneven."
A heavy weight settled in Hermione stomach.
"As of tomorrow, the teams will essentially be dissolved in competition." Hermione almost felt the redirection of air as people twisted around to find the house guests and take in their reactions to the news. "You will all remain a part of your team formally, however you will compete for yourself, and yourself only."
"And on that note, we bid you all adieu and have a good night!" James wiggled his fingers around at the people who still watched them as a buzz of chatter erupted, and the pair left the room.
"That's going to make things a bit different, isn't it?" Dean said, watching Harry and Ron with interest.
"We figured it would come to this," Ron answered with a shrug. "Or they would add Hermione to our team."
"Excuse me?" A strong voice came from behind Hermione and she turned back, coming face to face with someone she didn't recognize. "Can I get your autograph? I'm making a scrapbook."
"Erm…" She trailed off helplessly, staring at the empty page in front of her as the girl held out a pen. "I don't think I've really done anything that warrants an autograph."
"I'm a big fan." The girl said, and then added, "My name is Annie."
Under no circumstances did Hermione want her signature to be floating around the Wizarding World, or even the idea that she was open to becoming some kind of public figure.
"Take a photo together," Theodore commanded, reaching for the camera that was hanging around Annie's neck.
"Are you sure…?" Hermione trailed off as Annie's face exploded into a smile and she moved to stand beside the Gryffindor. Theodore snapped a photograph and then didn't stop, moving closer and closer until the camera was right in Hermione's face. "Right, that's fine I think—"
"Get one of Blaise and I!" Theodore reached a hand around and tugged Blaise over, smiling genially.
Annie had the expression of one who'd just discovered that she'd received all Os on her NEWTs.
"I'm going to get some water," Hermione said under her breath to Harry and slipped away from the group. Weaving her way through the bunches who'd gathered and darting through the makeshift dance floor she filled a glass with water at the kitchen sink. Instead of returning immediately to her friends she headed outside for some fresh air.
The garden was the perfect oasis and she wandered through the pathway, sipping the glass. The darkness seemed thicker near the ground and made the low-lying plants appear minty green near the tips.
"Granger?" Draco's voice startled her out of her musings and she looked up in surprise. His body was a dark shadow in the gazebo so, instead of turning back, she climbed inside and leaned against the wooden fencing beside him.
"What are you doing out here?" She asked, following his gaze to a sapling a few yards away.
"Just wanted a bit of fresh air," he answered, still looking at the tree as if it was the most fascinating thing he'd ever seen. "I'd forgotten what it's like to be surrounded by so many people at once."
"Me too," she agreed, finishing her water. He didn't say anything more so she steeled herself and looked directly at him. "Did you hear the announcement about the teams?"
"Yeah," Draco answered without elaborating and still would not look at her. "I'm going back inside."
Before she could say anything else or even begin to accompany him he'd started off at a brisk walk and left her standing in the darkness of the gazebo's roof, watching him.
Hermione wasn't sure if everyone had had a lot to drink in her absence or returning from solitude was just an incredible juxtaposition to the inside atmosphere, but when she returned everyone was a lot rowdier than they'd been when she'd left. As she scanned the low lighting of the room for Harry and Ron she was approached by Blaise.
"You know what, Hermione?" His words were somewhat slurred and when he put his hand on her shoulder she wasn't sure if it was to make their communication more personable or to steady himself. "When we were first brought on the show I thought my mum had commissioned some people to kidnap and convert me—from being gay, y'know. So when I saw you, my first thought was 'Granger's a lesbian?'"
Her emotions couldn't decide between amusement at the story or incredible sadness at the premise, so she settled on a mix of the two. Luckily Blaise was amused enough for the both of them and he tugged her arm through his, giggling and wandering around the house.
The rest of the night progressed in similar fashion. Hermione had a few drinks with her friends, but stopped when the warmth in her stomach spread to her fingertips and she recognized, rationally, that things weren't quite as funny as she was finding them. For the most part she was able to push Draco's strange behaviour to the back of her mind and was disappointed when it was announced that the Night Bus had arrived for its scheduled stop at 2 AM to pick up their visitors.
She waited at the end of some sort of receiving line and said goodbye, first to her friends, and progressively to people she really only knew by association. By the time the last party-goer had hopped onto the step and the bus whizzed off her eyelids already felt heavy. She yawned into her elbow as she turned back to the five who stood behind her.
"I'm heading to bed," Hermione announced and Ron nodded in agreement, fighting back his own yawning.
"I feel wide awake," Theodore said, waving his arms around and giggling. "I'm practically Katy Perry at this point."
"I am decidedly not." Draco replied as Harry and Ron bid their adieus and headed back to their section. "I'm exhausted."
"I'll stay up with you a bit longer." Blaise offered as he waved tiredly in Hermione's general direction.
Draco seemed to hesitate a moment, throwing a sharp glance towards her. "I may stay up just a few minutes longer. When he's this pissed Theodore is usually a riot."
There was nothing Hermione wanted more in that moment than to push Draco into a chair and demand that he explain why he seemed so set on avoiding her. To refuse to let him move until he came up with some viable excuse for his strange behaviour. Instead she simply looked at him for longer than was typically appropriate, so long that there was no way he wasn't aware that she had certainly caught on to what he was doing, and then set off for bed.
Thank you for the many wonderful music recommendations—I have some awesome new stuff. Here are some of my own recommendations for you! Band of Horses (The Funeral or Blue Beard are my favourites), Eminem (give Cinderella Man a listen if you aren't a huge fan), Snow Patrol (I literally love all their music, but try Set Fire to the Third Bar, You Could Be Happy, and This Isn't Everything You Are), Ed Sheeran (the music video for Lego House is amazing) and Jonsi (listen to Sinking Friendships, it's beautiful).
Thank you for reading! If you have any thoughts about what could be going on with anyone here—Draco, Theodore, Blaise, Hermione—let me know. I love hearing what you think! Please review!