Hermione's confession

It took Harry a lot of time to convince uncle Vernon to take him to London. When he promised that he wouldn't come back until next summer (he would stay a few days with Ron), uncle Vernon's mood changed and he wanted to get Harry in London as soon as possible.

On Wednesday morning, around 7h30, Harry was dropped off at King's Cross. Uncle Vernon refused to take him any further. Harry had to walk a whole hour until he reached the Leacky Cauldron. When he entered Diagon Alley, he wasn't surprised that most of the shops were still closed.

Harry sighed, he was getting in a very bad mood again. He decided to go to Gringrott's first. When he entered the wizarding bank, he heard someone calling him.

"Harry!"

To Harry's surprise, it was Hermione. Harry went to her and tried to smile.

"Hey Hermione, what are you doing here so early? Weren't you coming together with Ron?" he asked.

"Oh, no. I wanted to look around at Flourish and Blotts for a few hours. I'm looking for some books. You know how much Ron hates books. That's why I decided to come earlier."

Hermione said the whole sentence in one breath, quickly and nervous. That's what made Harry worried.

"Hermione, are you alright?"

"Of course I am Harry." Hermione said with a faint smile. Harry wasn't convinced, but he decided to let it rest for a moment.

"Want to go to eat something at Florean's?" Harry asked.

"Sure."

Florean Fortescue was very happy to see Harry again and offered him and Hermione some sundaes. The two friends thanked him and started to chat. Somehow, Hermione tried to avoid the 'Ron' subject anxiously. Harry, who thought that Hermione didn't want to hurt him and who was tired of it, asked about their relation.

"How are you and Ron doing?"

"Euhm...fine I guess." Hermione muttered.

"What an answer!" Harry spat almost angrily, "Hermione, what's really going on?"

Hermione sighed and stared at Madam Malkin's shop.

"I'm a bit confused, Harry. It's just that...it's probably because this is my first relation."

"And..." Harry encouraged her.

"And...I don't know whether I love Ron like a friend or like a boyfriend." Hermione almost whispered.

Harry became silent. He didn't know why he wasn't surprised to hear that. He totally didn't know why he had forced Hermione to confess all those things. After a few seconds he realised that he was staring like an idiot. He looked on his watch to try and save his dignity a bit.

"Why don't we go to Flourish and Blotts?" he said, "It must be open by now."

"Oh Harry, you don't have to do that for me." Hermione smiled.

"I don't," Harry grinned, "I need schoolbooks too, you know."

- * - * - * -

When they entered Flourish and Blotts, they met some of their schoolfriends, old and new. Harry excused himself, when he saw Oliver Wood. They had met in the Quidditch section and had to talk a lot about...Quidditch of course. Hermione left the two Quidditch freaks and went to the reading corner with a terribly interesting Arithmancy book.

She was reading the introduction, when she was disturbed by a noise. She looked up from her book and looked in two big eyes of Luna Lovegood. Without a greeting, Luna placed herself next to Hermione and began to read a book about Unicorns, upside down. Hermione raised an eyebrow and read further.

When a second person entered the reading corner, Hermione didn't even bother to look up anymore. Until she got pinched in her arm.

"What?" Hermione said.

"Shhh," Luna whispered, "It's the dragon."

Hermione, confused, looked to the other person in the corner. Following Luna's pointing finger, she understood the clue. It was Draco Malfoy. Hermione knew he hadn't noticed her, otherwise he would be insulting her endlessly right now.

Malfoy seemed to be very deepened in the book he was reading. Hermione, a bit curious, looked at the title. 'How to poison your opponent' it said. Hermione rolled her eyes, why wasn't she surprised?

"Have you read it?" Luna whispered to Hermione, and she pushed a parchment in her hand.

Hermione looked at the parchment. It was some kind of brochure. She started to read, where a red circle was drawn:

- Cer. art. 234855 -

Malfoy - Draco, Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire, 29th of August

Hermione wasn't sure what she just had read. She read the other ones. The list went on with a dozen of other wizards, like:

- Cer. art. 234856 -

Morish - Gareth, Morish Estate, Port Isaac, 28th of August

"What's this?" Hermione whispered to Luna.

Without a warning, Luna took Hermione by her arm and pulled her away from the reading corner. Draco Malfoy didn't notice, with all the people that passed with a lot of noise.

Luna stared at Hermione without blinking once, before she said: "Those are some sort of advertisments of wizards ready to be engaged. Only the richest wizards can afford that. It's a very old tradition, to be assured of the pureblood-line."

"They get to be married off?" Hermione asked astound. Luna nodded.

"At such a young age?"

"Yes, but it's just an engagement on parchment, they will marry when they become adults." Luna explained.

"You have to have a lot of nerves to put your son in this brochure, when everybody knows that your father's a Death Eater." Hermione said.

"No, it's the name and blood that counts," Luna said, shaking her head violently, "Purebloods are rare and Malfoy is a respectable name. And no one has proved that he's a Death Eater himself. And don't forget the money and the manor you get, when you marry him."

"That's ridiculous!" Hermione said.

"It's not, when your a snobby little witch." Luna answered. Hermione still couldn't understand it, but she gave up. Luna told Hermione that she was going to the Divination section, leaving her alone with her thoughts.

Hermione looked back to the reading corner. Malfoy was absently running his fingers through his white hair. Hermione thought it was quite pathetic to be married off. What's the point of having a relationship, when you didn't love each other for real? Hermione was confused by the thought. She herself had a relationship right now that didn't work out, after all.

Hermione sighed. She didn't know why she hated it so. She couldn't figure out what was missing. She looked back at Malfoy. Maybe she could. Ron might have been kind, but he didn't have the passion she was looking for, and he could be a child sometimes, and he didn't always understand what she talking about,...

Hermione stopped herself before she could destroy her own boyfriend even more. Ron was always there for, she reminded herself. That's something the stupid witch who married Malfoy would never have.

Or would she? Hermione wondered. Malfoy had never seemed the kind of guy who would give you a big hug when you were sad, she thought. But when she came to think of it, she didn't know Malfoy at all.

"And I definitely don't want to!" Hermione muttered.

In the corner of her eye she saw Malfoy standing up. He ripped a page out of the book and threw the book on a shelf. Hermione wanted to round a corner, but her crossed her path.

"Well well, Mudblood!" he said, narrowing his cold grey eyes, "Still not dead?"

"Apparently not, Ferret," Hermione bit, "Otherwise I wouldn't be standing here, would I?"

"Oh yes before I forgot," she added, before she went to the Quidditch section, "I hope your daddy likes the dogfood that's being served in Azkaban."

Author's note: As you may notice this is some kind of HP/ HG RW/HG DM/HG story. * fjew * Hey, thanks for the reviews for the prologue! So, the story is almost beginning, but it still needs some more chapters to decide where I'm going with this. Keep R&R!!!

Ravenklauw