A/N: Part of this fic will make more sense if you go read my song-fic "Being Alive" first......it explains why McGonagall says what she does. But, you can understand the fic even if you don't read it. Oh, and I don't own anything.

"Best friends." Hermione thought bitterly, blindly slamming her books down on the table in the empty common room, her vision blurred with tears. "Yeah, right."

It had come out of the blue for her. Maybe this was something they had been angry about for a long time, but she had never seen it coming. Deep down, she knew they both had a valid point. Ron had finally become fed up with her brains and stubbornness, so, after several arguments, he now flat-out refused to talk to her. Harry quickly followed suit; he had become withdrawn and angry ever since his last encounter with Voldemort, and Ron's feud with Hermione had provided him with an outlet for his bitterness. She knew they were angry.....but what ever happened to 'forgive and forget'?

Curling up in an armchair by the window, she pulled the nearest book into her lap, angrily wiping away the hot tears that spilled down her cheeks. She wrenched the book open, staring blankly at the pages for a full five minutes before realizing she held it upside down. She pushed the book aside in frustration, then picked up another book, one that had been there when she came in.

It was a simple notebook, single subject, wire bound, with a worn blue cover. The three of them shared it. In it, they wrote notes, stories, jokes, drew pictures, just jotted down whatever came to mind. Hermione began flipping through it, rereading all the things they had shared over the years, until she came to a particular page. Upon seeing what was on it, her blood ran cold, and her hands began to shake.

It was a drawing, just a simple drawing of a rose that she had done earlier the same year. Ron and Harry had both commented on how good it was, and how they never knew she was so talented. It was the best thing she'd ever drawn, beautiful in it's natural simplicity. And now it was ripped apart. Still attached to the notebook, a large chunk had been taken out of one of the corners, and the page was crinkled as though someone had tried balling it up. As though someone had tried to ruin it on purpose.

Her face crumpled, and she bowed her head onto the notebook, giving in to sobs.

Why them? The two people she had grown to trust and love so much over the years....they were like brothers to her. Well, maybe she felt something stronger for Ron....but what did any of that matter now? Neither of them would even acknowledge her presence; they wanted nothing to do with her. She had tried talking, had tried apologizing, had begged, pleaded, screamed to be forgiven so life could return to normal. Each time, they refused. She saw them laughing together in the halls and during lunch, excluding her and most of her friends.

Friends. Sure, she had other friends besides them. For instance, Ginny was like her little sister. But other than the little redhead, Hermione didn't have any other close friends. True friends. Harry and Ron....they were her confidants, her partners. But now....

Every thought brought a fresh wave of sobs, and she became so caught up in her tears that she didn't hear the portrait hole open. A hand was placed on her shoulder, causing her to look up quickly, automatically wiping the tears from her face.

Professor McGonagall stood before her, frowning sympathetically. "I take it things haven't improved much between you and you're friends."

Hermione sniffled quickly as she tried to rid her face of tears, furious at herself for allowing someone to see her cry. "How did you know about that?" she asked, trying to keep her voice as steady and emotionless as possible.

Minerva smiled down at her sadly. "I know a lot more than you may think about what goes on around here." She paused, then added wryly, "You'd be surprised how easy it is to observe the social structures that students form when you're watching their lives every day."

With her composure almost completely regained, Hermione sat up straighter and asked, quite professionally, "Was there anything in particular you wanted to see me about, Professor?"

There was another pause, then, "No. No, I don't suppose there was." McGonagall straightened, and turned to go. She stopped at the door and glanced over her shoulder. "Don't let them go, Hermione. I know they're being cruel to you now, but if they really are your friends, they'll come to their senses. And believe me, if you give up on them too soon....you'll regret it. Life without friendship isn't a life worth living."

The words were said without emotion, but as her teacher turned to leave, Hermione saw a tear glinting on her cheek.

With a sigh, Hermione looked out the window at the gray sky above Hogwarts. "And rain will make the flowers grow." she whispered to herself.

A/N: Yes. I know that was crappy. But please, don't flame this one. If you'd like, go flame some of my other fics. Just not this one. This was written for....for venting purposes. If you liked it, by all means review......if you don't like it, I'd rather not hear. Thank you.