AN: And so here it is, most likely the last chapter to this story :) I'd be lying if I said I didn't TOTALLY enjoy writing this, and I hoped you liked reading it :D
Oh, and, just in reply to some reviews, there will be loads more Draco/Ginny in this chapter, I just wanted to introduce what's going on with Hermione/Theodore.
But most of their relationship will be told through flashbacks. Here goes...
Chapter 3 - Liar of an Old Man
I watched in plain amusement as Hermione climbed through the portrait hole in such a huff that she tripped over the ledge and fell flat on her face. I knew I was supposed to be nice and all to her especially, but the way she scrambled back up with this bright red face, too angry to be embarrassed, was just too funny for me to be able to suppress the tiniest of chuckles. But apparently even the softest of mocking noises was enough to attract her attention, Hermione whipped her head around at me and glared the scariest glare I'd seen in a while since I told Ginny exactly how I felt about darling Potter.
She was in a bad mood, a really bad mood. Normally, if she caught me laughing at her, she'd make some kind of retort about it, usually involving something to do with ferrets, Ginny and my father. But this time, she was too angry to say anything, this was not good. Before she collected her scattered thoughts (heehee, get it?), I turned and made a run for it, I had to warn Theodore. He may have been acting like an idiot since Hermione rejected him, but I knew he was planning on doing something today, something to do with Hermione. I couldn't let him, he'd feel worse about himself, he'd think it was his fault when she told him to get lost.
As stupid as I think he is, I wouldn't be able to bare him getting rejected again, especially when it wasn't even his fault. Because guess who he's going to complain to? The boyfriend of his crush's best friend, that would be me.
Idiot. Absolute idiot. Who does he think he is? He asked me out! And now he's going to go around believing pathetic rumors even when he's been on the receiving end of them himself? God, he's such a little -
Woah...is that...? Oh god, just when I thought I got rid of him...
"Uh, hi, Hermione." Theodore Nott approached me warily, he probably got the gist of my bad mood.
"Theodore." I nodded at him and walked away, right past his shoulder.
"Uh, wait! I, um, I know what, uh...happened."
"Really? Do you now? So now I expect you're going to rub it in my face that I should've chosen you? Well guess what, that only would've increased my problems, so no thanks." I attempted to walk away again, but this time he grabbed my wrist and spun me around with such force I almost lost my balance...again.
"How dare you -!"
"Just listen, okay? I have no idea what you're talking about rubbing faces and choosing, like I literally have no idea. What I meant was that Draco told me you were in a bad mood, like a really bad mood."
"Oh, he caught that did he?"
"Yeah, something about falling over and laughing and glares and Ginny and Potter, and some other stuff. That's pretty much all I got after he said your name."
"Aw, how romantic." I rolled my eyes and turned to leave again, but apparently he just had to block me again, he jumps in front of me, taking away all chances of me leaving, unless I turned back the way I came, which would just be sad. So that's out of the question.
"That's not where I was getting actually. But look, whenever I'm not really...feeling like myself, I find that talking about it really helps. Just venting without distractions, with no one second-guessing you or interrupting you every second." That actually did sound pretty good.
"And you expect that I'm going to burst and shower you with all my problems?"
"Ehm, not exactly like that, but somewhere along there."
"Who's your venting buddy?"
"That's...kind of private."
"Secretive, that's a quality all women look for."
"Look, I...if I tell you who I...express myself to, will you at least give me chance? Now that you and Ron are...shaking..."
"We are NOT shaking!" How dare he? I mean that's totally, unquestionably not his business and...and so the truth.
"Still, please? Just one chance."
"Listen, buddy, I don't really care about you who scream at when the world gets too tough for you. You know what I do when I'm pissed off? I read. I take out my anger by filling my brain with an extra little bit of knowledge that pushes out the stress, I simply don't have the space for all of it."
"How does that work out for you?"
"Honestly? Pretty well, I mean no one else gets it. But it works for me. See here's the thing, you are currently blocking my way to the library, and the longer you stand in front of me, the worse my temper gets." I glared at him meaningfully, hoping he'd get my point.
He stepped aside. I took a deep breath and continued with my previous path, he walked along side me, apparently I hadn't scared him off yet.
"Fine, I'll tell you."
"Oh joy! My life long dream has come true, I'm finally going to find out who little Teddy yells at in his spare time!" I chirp with mock enthusiasm.
"It's...it's my...my cat."
That stopped me. "Your what?"
"A year before I came to Hogwarts, for my tenth birthday, my parents found out about my obsession with Muggle pets, well, Muggles in general. I thought they were going to beat the life out of me, but they were surprisingly okay with it. And they bought me Superman, he's this adorable -"
"Wait, hold up, did you just say...Superman?"
"Oh right, I forgot you were Muggle born. Yeah, he's been kind of like my hero since I was like 4. I saw my best friend reading this comic about him, and since then I've worshipped him. How can anyone not praise a guy as brave as him? He has the kind of courage I can only dream about, or the kind of courage you see in Gryffindors, well, some of them."
"You mean to tell me that your best friend is Muggle-born?"
"Not exactly. He's just a Muggle."
I just stared at him, here before me was Theodore Nott, a Slytherin who's father is a Death Eater...and has a Muggle for a best friend. That's just not right, miracles like that are not supposed to exist.
"Um, wow. So back to...Superman?"
"Ah yes, so he's this adorable black and white kitten, and he's small enough for me to still be able to call him a 'kitten', the thing is, the thing that puts other people off, my parents and I went to this animal shelter and managed to rescue him right before they...put him to sleep."
"Why? Wasn't he still young? And why does that put people off?"
"Well, they tend to get really uncomfortable when I mention that the reason they were going to kill him at such a young age was that he had this eye infection and would've died anyway. It could've been treated, but they didn't have the money. So we took him under our care, well mine, but it was my parent's money that cured him. Unfortunately, the operation didn't end without side effects, he's half blind for life. And that's when people start staying away from him, I find it rather cruel that that should discourage people for some stupid reason, but life is unfair, Superman had to learn that the hard way."
My throat was choked up now, and my eyes were threatening to fill with pointless tears.
"That's...that's so sad."
"Yeah, I know." He looked down, then suddenly perked up again.
"Wait, didn't something similar happen to Crookshanks?"
Now my tears were about to spill over.
"Um, yeah." I croaked. "He, uh, he lost his sense of smell when...when..." My voice broke and hot salty tears ran down my face and onto the cold floor below my feet.
"Hey, hey," Theodore stood in front of me and took me in his arms. "It's okay, we all deal with loss. Look, we're at the library. Why don't you read out all that pain?"
"You laughed at her?!" Ginny shouted.
"Ginny, it was the funniest thing I've ever seen Granger do, besides that time her hair-taming spell back-fired on Ronald." Draco said, his face deadpan.
The youngest Weasley held her face in her hands and moaned into them, "No, no, no! You can't just laugh at her, Draco! Not now! Not while she's already so irritated with Nott and Parkinson!"
"Ah, speaking of which, I've made up for laughing at her on the floor."
Ginny looked up at him, her eyes weary and tired.
"Yup, see, Ted was going to talk to Hermione today, he's been grumbling about her rejecting him for ages now, so I told him to shut up. And his way of shutting up? Opening his mouth even further. He was going to tell Hermione exactly how he felt about her today."
"Which is exactly what I thought, so when I saw what a wretched mood Granger was in, I went to go warn him. I told him to leave her alone, just for today at least."
"What did he say? Did he listen to you?"
Draco took a deep breath. "Well...he thought I was trying to take away his 'happily ever after', or some rubbish like that. He thought I was being selfish and trying to keep him away from Hermione, which, you know, it's completely pointless and pathetic."
Ginny nodded impatiently. "So where is he now?"
"Well, as far as I know, he's with Hermione right now."
The first day of a relationship is always the best. It doesn't matter how it starts, but the beginning of something as beautiful as love quite resembles a blossom blooming, and nothing in the world could possibly compare with the magnificence of that. I had learned that the day after the game, when Draco approached me, for the first time looking something like nervous.
He was wringing his fingers, his hair was matted to his forehead, sweat actually covered his face, he was looking down...and he shuffled his feet. Draco Malfoy shuffled his feet. That was the first time I realised there was something more to the cold-hearted Slytherin, there was in fact something that could break him, little did I know that that something was me.
I was walking to the Great Hall for lunch with Luna when I spotted Draco walking towards me, his usual crowd of croonies were nowhere to be found, and since everyone was already in the Hall eating, the three of us were the only ones in the almost deserted corridor.
Luna sensed what was going to happen before I did and quickly said; "Ginny, will you excuse me for a moment? I just realised I hadn't finished my Potions Essay, and it's due next lesson." And with that she scurried away.
I stopped dead in my tracks and slowly turned towards Draco who was only a few paces away from me.
"Eh...hi." He said awkwardly.
"Hello to you too." I folded my arms, if he was going to be a chicken about it, he may as well not do it at all.
"Listen, I - uh, I wanted to talk to you about yesterday. The...um, the kiss. It was...well - " He looked off into the distance and took a deep breath, his eyes glanced back at me. "It was the most amazing experience of my life. I never thought I could feel so...well, it's just I never expected..." He closed his eyes and sighed. "GOD!" He exploded. "Why am I so pathetic at this?!" He yelled and punched the nearest wall, the skin on his hand turned red, but he didn't show any signs of pain, just frustration.
"Draco, it's okay." I took the final steps towards his and held his injured hand in my own. "You are a lot of things, including an amazing kisser, but you are not pathetic. You are so totally not pathetic."
With our faces just inches away from each other, I couldn't resist, I had to relive the day before, I had to make sure I hadn't imagined him to be a brilliant kisser. So I leaned forward and closed my eyes, hoping to Merlin he wouldn't jerk away, disgusted. I was half surprised when I felt his lips against mine, warm and welcoming.
And so happened our second kiss, and the start to the wonderful relationship I have with Draco Malfoy.
When we arrived at the library and saw Hermione Granger and Theodore Nott at her favorite study table by the window, looking at books that seemed to be about cats, I knew my brother was out of the picture. For one thing, Hermione never shared her table with anyone, not even me, for another, she was smiling, but there seemed to be tear-stains on her cheeks, which means Nott cheered her out of something, almost an impossible feat, and for another, Hermione Granger never ever rests her head against someone's chest in the library.
I knew that day that they would be together for a long time, and how right I was.
It was a rare sight, seeing Gryffindors and Slytherins look at each other with something other than hate and disgust.
Every Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff in Hogwarts were looking with wonder at Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, Draco Malfoy and Theodore Nott, all of whom were gazing at their partner from across the Great Hall, love and adoration written all over their faces. Harry Potter one the other hand was for once not in the spotlight, because he was as usual glaring at Draco Malfoy, but for a completely different reason than normal. Ron was too seething at Theodore Nott, who was completely oblivious to him, for quite the same reason as his best friend.
Both Gryffindors were convinced that Slytherins were no longer just future Death Eaters, they were girlfriend stealers too, or, in Harry's case, girlfriend-to-be, he was sure Ginny and him were meant to be together, but Malfoy ruined all their chances. And deep down inside, Harry and Ron both knew that none of this would've happened if now for that game, that horrible, life-ruining game.
If Draco and Ginny never kissed, they wouldn't be together now, if Theodore never confessed his love for Hermione, he wouldn't feel obliged to follow her allowed, and if she didn't have that fight with Ron because of the stupid rumors, Nott would never have been the one to comfort her. If, if, if, if, if! It wasn't fair, if they didn't have to speak the truth in the stupid game, if they didn't have to do those horrid dares, none of this would've happened and everything would still be the way it was supposed to be.
Dumbledore stood up from the High Chair and approached the stand, he cleared his throat and immediately everyone silenced, although looks of love and hate were still exchanged from across the room.
"I have an announcement to make, it has been two weeks since the game of Truth or Dare has been introduced into this school. And the results are as follows: In first year, Gryffindor and Hufflepuff are the winners," cheers from the little ones. "In second year, Slytherins and Hufflepuff are the winners," cheers from the seconders. "In third, Gryffindors and Ravenclaws are the winners," even more cheers from the third years and the Gryffindors. "In fourth, Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs again," Hermione felt her ears popping by this point. "In fifth, Slytherins and Hufflepuffs, in sixth, Slytherins and Ravenclaws and..." Ginny covered her ears as the cheers grew louder by the second, when they finally faded, she placed her hands back on her lap. "In seventh year, Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs!"
Everyone stick their fingers in their ears and cheer.
"So the final school-results are; Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors!"
Every single Gryffindor and Hufflepuff screamed with joy, they knew what this would mean, house points and possibly the House Cup.
"However, I feel obliged to share something with you," the hall quietened again. "I told each and every one of you before the game that there were certain enchantments put upon the room, you could neither lie nor refuse to do a dare after agreeing to, well, see the thing is, that was a lie. There was no enchantment at all, but the goal was achieved wasn't it? That's all that matters in the end, isn't it?"
No one cheered this time.
AN: Hope I didn't disappoint anyone, but that's the end. I was very close to ending this chapter somewhere near the middle and starting a new one, but my willpower turned out to be stronger than that :)
So that's the end to my first Hermione/Theodore and Ginny/Draco. Hope you enjoyed it! And even if you didn't, just remember...
Reviews are LOVED and APPRECIATED!