Disclaimer: Still absolutely nothing.
A/N: Posted my Theodore/Hermione story, Dimensions and Diversions, so check it out if you want. (I know, shameless self-pimpage. Forgive me).
All That You Haven't Got
Actions and Consequences
Hermione carried her cheerful disposition into the next several hours, still holding onto it strongly as she entered the Great Hall comprised of hungry students settling down for dinner. However, her mood wavered when the majority of the Gryffindor table fell silent upon her arrival. In return she forced herself to ignore them, her prior sanguine feeling failing to quell the humiliation clawing at her feet.
Without holding either of her best friends' gazes she sat next to Harry across from Ron, giving him a quick once over. He was sporting a black eye and a torn collar while his expression grew sour when his stare met hers. "Are you okay?" she asked nonchalantly.
"Been better." A pregnant pause passed over them briefly, tension manifesting between their seated forms. "So, finish up with Zabini?"
Hermione slammed her hands flat onto the table, causing her plate to swivel in its place. "Excuse me?!"
Ron leveled her with a glare, rage flaring behind his eyes as red painted itself on his ears. "Oh come on Hermione, you can't expect me not to believe those disgusting rumors of you and Zabini! For Merlin's sake, I saw you two walk out of a broom closet together!"
"That 'broom closet' you're referring to was the Room of Requirement, Ronald! Malfoy ambushed us in the library and we were forced into there – if you weren't so daft maybe you would've noticed Zabini's leg was bleeding when you savagely tried to kill him!" Hermione seethed.
"Oh, so you were snogging in the library and decided to finish up in the Room of Requirement!" falsely accused the redhead, ignoring her latter remark. "Sorry Malfoy interrupted your fraternizing!"
"You. Are. Impossible!" Hermione shrilled before standing sharply to her feet, narrowing her eyes with complete malevolence.
Ron returned her dangerous glare. "Oi! I'm not the only one who thinks so!"
The brunette dragged her vision toward the boy sitting beside her whose body had incidentally gone rigid upon Ron's implication of him. Harry appeared stricken, his eyes darting back and forth between his best friends nervously. "Well?" she hissed.
"Well, I, uh?" he stuttered, stumbling over his own words. "I mean, I… don't – wouldn't mind and all but… he's a Slytherin, Hermione, and… you know how they've got it out for me. What if–"
"–Zabini is just using you for his personal gain? Or to get to Harry?" finished Ron bluntly.
"USING ME?" she exploded. "You think Zabini is using me? Well, for your damn information, Zabini and I are not even remotely together and, if we were by chance, I doubt he'd use me to get to Harry or to any of you! And, honestly, I think I can get a boy on my own account without Harry's reputation as the reason behind it!"
"Now you lot did it," Ginny chided as Hermione stalked off, receiving the attention of Gryffindor students and a few of the Hufflepuffs seated a table over. "I think she made it quite clear her and Zabini aren't snogging or even on the same terms."
"Not likely. Honestly, how can she expect me to believe her when she's probably using the library for personal needs with Zabini rather than her so-called 'studying'?" dismissed Ron. "They're together, I tell you. There's no way in hell they're not."
Harry shot Ginny an apologetic smile before returning to pick at his food. She sighed, shaking her head to herself as she muttered, "you'll be sorry."
Blaise certainly was.
Sauntering his way toward the Great Hall filled with stentorian voices he ran into a fuming and familiar witch. She hastily brushed past him, muttering incoherent and dangerous things under her breath and, if it wasn't for their earlier encounter, he would've asked her what happened but refrained himself and instead headed to his table. Like the Gryffindor table had done when Hermione reached it, the Slytherin table rendered itself mute.
"Any children we should expect from the mudblood soon?" sneered Malfoy, exchanging a cruel smirk with Pansy.
"Yeah, who knows what you were doing in that room with her – probably tarnishing yourself even more," she jeered.
Blaise fleered at her words, bending low to even their eye level. She recoiled slightly, fear flashing fleetingly through her otherwise truculent expression. "Funny how she's worth more than you'll ever be, isn't it, Parkinson?" he breathed lowly.
"Say that to me, Zabini," dared Draco, pushing Pansy aside to face the standing wizard.
"Can't, Malfoy," he responded smoothly. The blond appeared pleased only for Blaise to tear the satisfaction from Draco's face when he snarled, "You'll never be in Granger's league. You're too far below her to ever catch up."
Before either of them could retort another word, Draco had keeled over to his side and slumped onto the room's tiled floor. Pansy shrieked loudly, rushing to his aid, and began shaking the blond who was drifting between conscious and unconscious. "Professor, Professor!" she trilled wildly as McGonagall passed the table. The stern teacher strayed her beady eyes to the hysterical Slytherin girl, nodding her head curtly for the student to continue. "Did you just see that?! Zabini punched Draco in the face!"
Blaise fixed an indifferent expression on his features when his Transfiguration Professor glanced lethargically at him before redirecting her gaze back onto Draco who was moaning in pain to Pansy. "Sorry, Miss Parkinson, but I can't claim I did."
"Y-you're not going to do anything?!" Pansy called after her Professor who maneuvered around the students. "Professor!"
"I suppose ushering Mr. Malfoy to the infirmary would be a good idea," shrugged McGonagall insouciantly before heading to her seat aside of a glowing Hagrid, still ill over Draco's obvious position behind the trial and near execution of Buckbeack, and Trelawney who busied herself eating her lemon pie with a small smile quirked at her lips.
Pansy huffed to herself before snapping her neck towards Crabbe and Goyle, "well?" she trebled, "What the hell are you waiting for? Help Draco up now!" They quickly jumped at her words, clumsily gathering Draco's limp body in their arms, and, with little grace or care, carried him off to the Hospital Wing.
Meanwhile Blaise shot the Slytherin table a glare and they cowered slightly in their seats, lowering their gazes and began mumbling about trivial things to assure the standing Slytherin they weren't speaking inauspiciously of him. With contentment and his appetite gone, he reeled himself around and ambled out of the Great Hall; a mess of whispers exploding after him. The last exchanged remark he heard being, "What did I tell you, mate? He's got one hell of a punch!" before he disappeared down a hall.
When he reached his destination, the library, he was welcomed with a questionable glance from a Ravenclaw girl, Padma Patil. She bit her lip, mustering enough courage to mutter to him as she passed, "your girlfriend's in the back of the library."
He narrowed his eyes at her upon the news, however, sustained his want to correct her particularly wrong reference pertaining to Hermione and decided to walk to where Padma directed him. What did he have to lose anyways? His reputation that had shattered along with Draco's jaw? Certainly not.
Stilling, he strained his ears to hear softened cries graze over him and, after peering around a bookshelf, discovered Hermione seated at her regular table with her hands cradling her face and catching her tears. Blaise calmly shifted toward her and she stiffened immediately, glancing sourly over her shoulder.
"Zabini," she addressed him distantly.
"The Weasel didn't take too kindly to his apparent 'discovery', I take it," assumed Blaise before boldly taking the seat next to hers.
"He claims we're seeing one another," she informed bitterly as tears continued running down her cheeks, "and that you're using me to get to Harry."
"Malfoy assumes you'll be bearing my child sometime in the near future," Blaise countered and her eyebrows rose. "I don't think he does anymore though. I believe I successfully knocked sense, quite literally, into him."
"Oh Zabini, you didn't," she frowned.
He shrugged. "I did. Perhaps it would've been wise to do the same to your Weasley friend."
Hermione flinched, shaking slightly. "I doubt it would clarify our intentions. Ron doesn't want anything to do with me." She paused, several more tears sliding down her face, "nothing. Absolutely nothing."
Suddenly she gasped loudly, feeling his arm slide across her shoulders and awkwardly guided her trembling body closer into an awkward, near disturbing, and contorted hug. She stiffened immensely in his grasp, her head swimming with questions of how they managed to shift from trying to viciously outwit one another hours prior to confiding within each other at the back of the library.
"What are you doing, Zabini?" she hissed suspiciously under her breath, pushing away the nagging thought that he smelled remotely like coffee and cinnamon.
"Haven't got a clue, Granger," he torpidly remarked back. "But I figured, since I punched Malfoy in the face and eluded detention while performing the deed, I'm on a roll of doing completely obscure things and I might as well not stop here."
She felt a smile stain her lips and, despite her better judgment along with the current controversy surrounding them, rested against his body. "You're strange," she mumbled into his robes.
"Applicable," he agreed smoothly. "But so are you."
"Everyone is awful."
"Quite," he nodded, "if not terribly controlled with vain attempts to rid us of one another. Funny how we always end up in eyebrow raising predicaments despite their efforts."
"Zabini?" she spoke one last time and he hummed lowly in response. "Tell me this – whatever this is – is going to go away soon and we'll eventually fall back into our regular routines and never speak to one another again… or hug, for that matter."
"Can't promise you much, Granger," sighed Blaise. "But I can promise you it's going to get a lot worse before it comes close to getting better."
"Your Weaslette friend just spotted us and promptly ran out of the library."
Author's Notes: I know you're probably dying now. Yes, he finally put Draco in his place and, more importantly, YES, he semi-hugged Hermione. Anyway, I know its a WTF moment but, personally, I think its 'bout time he tried something on her! It's been, what? Like, twelve chapters already! Justkidding, justkidding. I'd blame myspace for the post. Been trying to avoid the site for quite some time because I keep getting these weird adds from either scene kids or thug life gansters so I've busied myself with writing this story. So, on a more important note, I'd really love to hear your thoughts in reviews ;)
Also, like I stated earlier, my Theodore/Hermione story Dimensions and Diversions is up. Sweeeet. Checkitout!:D