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Push & Pull: Chapter 4

CHAPTER 4: Lovegood & Hogwarts

Shaking his head as he took his leave, Draco snickered. Sure he dirtied his hand when he helped the silly mudblood but at least he got 5 points for Slytherin by putting up a good show. Who knew earning points was that easy?

It also amused him that Snape took his lie as the truth. Not to mention the look on Granger's face. He had to admit, it was surprising to see her look anything but the smarty pants that she is, and also entertaining.

Hermione Granger have always looked too smart, too all knowing to the point that it's unbearable, and too good to be true. It was refreshing to see the way she looked at him dumbly. If he wasn't being indifferent and an actor earlier, he'd have laughed at her.

Finally, peace. Draco thought as he reached his destination.

The Astronomy tower has been his hiding place when he needed a little peace and quiet. For years, it has provided him sanctuary. And he found he was often hungry for the silence it provided that it easily is his favorite place.

Here, he was away from gossip princess Pansy. He didn't have to deal with Theo's excessive nonsense. No Blaise trying to figure him out. No Daphne to remind him of prefect duties. Here, he's Draco. Not a Malfoy. Just Draco.

Beeing at one of the highest peaks of the school, he can see the vast grounds of Hogwarts. Students seem like ants from where he stood. Even with his seeker keen eyes. That which surprised him.

If his eyes are not deceiving him, he can make out Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood among the students on the ground. An odd pair, but not odd at the same time. They were from different houses but he had no doubt Hermione can best anyone from Ravenclaw. That's not the odd part.

The odd part is credited to Luna's being her naturally weird self, and Granger's bird's nest of a hair. But more odd than that, there's himself.

Draco Malfoy, knowing Luna Lovegood when the rest of the Slytherins probably didn't know she existed, and actually paying attention to Granger to trust she's the smartest witch of their age.
-----

"Hermione?" The bushy haired girl heard Luna say.

Looking up, Hermione tried to recall what they were talking about but failed. "What?" She asked.

"You were telling me how Ginny's being mean to you. I asked why do you think that but I got no response." Luna responded. She was waiting for Hermione to answer but she didn't for a full minute. That's when she decided to call her attention.

"Oh, that?" Hermione said. Returning her gaze on her hand which Draco held."I think it is because of Ron." She added.

"You see, everybody in Gryffindor have been..." She paused. "How do I explain this? Ron and I are best friends and..." She supplied but couldn't find the rest of the words.

Bloody hell Hermione! Get a grip.

"I see. So you were not living to expectations is that it?" Luna asked.

"Expectations?" Hermione asked, turning to Luna. If she stared at her hand any longer, she'd lose her mind.

"Yes. Your fellow Gryffindors expects the two of you to be together as a couple, am I right?" Luna said with a small smile.

"That's it. And I think...actually you just gave me an idea." Hermione confessed. "I thought maybe Ginny's disappointed that I haven't shown Ron motives. And I told her I like her brother more than a friend last year. And now Ron is sulking, and oh Merlin! She thinks Ron is sulking and had rudely turned Lavender down because of me." She finished when realization dawned on her.

It wasn't so hard to put this and that together especially when her focus had been redirected. Thanks to Luna for being so smart by reminding he about certain expectations.

"But I like Ron. Not the other way around." Hermione whispered to herself. Why would Ron be upset?
-----

"Welcome back mate!" Harry said putting an arm around Ron's shoulder. It had been a while before Ron have come around. The red head even had a smile plastered on his face.

He'd been sulking for a few days that it made Harry and Hermione wonder. The truth is that he didn't really mean to worry them. It's just so difficult to deal with stuff recently and he didn't want to bother Hermione and Harry with the burden he's carrying.

Lavender has been constantly following him and it made him feel unsettled. He knew his fellow Gryffindor meant no harm. In fact, if he was to tell the truth, he appreciates the admiration she has for him. He just couldn't reciprocate it. Godric knows he tried.

He's been awake all night, sleepy all morning, and has become grumpy because of lack of sleep. He tried liking Lavender. He even made a list of things there is to like. But he just couldn't.

Not if another person invades his mind. He's been trying to rid himself of thinking about that person too. Because it just isn't possible.

There's no way his feelings will be reciprocated. He's not that smart but he can tell that much. And it's really hard to swallow the truth.

"What are you thinking about mate?" Ron heard Harry ask.

"How stupid I've been this past few days." He grinned. "Well, yeah." Harry agreed with a grin himself.

"I've been mean to you and Hermione for isolating myself. I feel bad for Hermione more because I'm supposed to help her with prefect duties." Ron apologized.

"Well Cedric has something for you to do if you really feel bad about missed duties." Hermione said with a smile. She just returned but managed to hear the last of Ron's speech.

"Here's the new patroling schedule the head boy arranged for you." Hermione continued, handing the parchment to Ron. "How're you?" She finished with a question.

"Aside from feeling bad about Lavender?" Ron asked, an eyebrow lifted. "Relieved. A bit. Yeah." He added convincing himself more than his best friends.
-----

"She told you that?" Theo said with a wide smile. He was obviously elated. Blaise thought he looked goofy.

"Yes. She said she didn't get to properly thank you because she was more focused on the angry Weaslette than her returned missing assignment." Blaise said.

Shit! What the f*ck Blaise.

He realized he hasn't asked her name at all. And he'd had a full minute, a cursing comrade, an unfortunate Gryffindor, and a whole lot of opportunity he didn't use to ask a simple question. Dear Salazar, he's not going to be himself in front of her, is he?

"Lovegood's really nice like that, isn't she?" Theo said. His smile never leaving his face.

"Who?" Blaise asked.

"Luna Lovegood. The Ravenclaw angel." Theo responded before standing up.

"Where are you going?" Blaise asked again. He hasn't seen Draco after their encounter with Lovegood. That's her name then? Suits her. And Granger that is.

Startled but didn't show it, Blaise looked at Pansy. She just came and asked him a question out of nowhere that it gave Blaise a bit of a shock. She had her hands on her waist waiting for her to respond.

"Come again?" Blaise asked.

"What's happened to Theodore? He's practically skipping with a goofy look on his face." Pansy said, giving Blaise an account on what she's witnessed.

"I'm not sure. But it's probably because of Lovegood." Blaise responded. It actually tasted bitter in his mouth having to admit he thinks Theo's happy about the bonde Ravenclaw.

Before Pansy could comment and ask more questions, Blaise stood up from his seat and headed towards the boys' dorm.

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