Author Note: Thanks to everyone who has read, reviewed and enjoyed this story. This chapter is from Hermione's POV. I hope you like it.
Also I still don't own any part of Harry Potter :(
She expected that kind of behaviour from Ron, he had always been the type to lash out quickly. But, Cedric. He wasn't a rash individual. He thought about things. He was logical. This sort of behaviour wasn't like him. She was currently in her bed, face buried in her pillow which had become soaked with her tears. Like Cedric wasn't the type of person to lose his cool, Hermione wasn't the type of person to break down. She prided herself on not being one of those overly emotional girls. It set her apart from the others. The Lavenders and Parvartis of the world, the ones whose world revolved around boys. But, when she had rushed around the grounds of Hogwarts, wanting to tell both Cedric and Ron of the decision she had made, her heart had sunk when she had found them in a heap, fighting and yelling obscenities. I'm not a possession, she was furious that they were fighting over her, over who could have her. Protectiveness was one thing, possessiveness was another. It wasn't gallant or sexy in Hermione's opinion and that was why she wanted nothing to do with either of them. It was too much. They were causing her too much heartache and Hermione wanted nothing more than to go back to the uncomplicated friendship she had had with Ron and Harry before Cedric, before the Tournament. She sighed and wiped away the tears flowing down her cheeks, rolling over on her bed to face the ceiling. It was time to stop crying. Maybe she could go and find Harry, help him figure out what to do for the First Task. At least I have one uncomplicated relationship with a boy. I don't fancy Harry and he doesn't fancy me, she smiled at the thought, glad that she could escape in his friendship for a little bit.
"I just don't know what to do with them, they're both absolute idiots and I cannot be bothered dealing with their petty insecurities anymore," she finished, looking at Harry who looked completely bewildered. She had met Harry in the library to prepare for the first task and as soon as he had asked her how she was, she had launched into the tale of what had happened earlier that day.
"While that's err completely horrible Hermione, I just wanted to know if you were feeling better after you complained of having a headache this morning," Harry chuckled when she blushed.
"Sorry Harry, I didn't mean to dump all my problems on you," she felt bad for making him worry about her when he was supposed to be focusing on the Tournament. He simply smiled warmly at her.
"It's fine Hermione, I mean I'm no expert on relationship issues but you're here to help me prepare for the Tournament so I guess the least I can do is listen to you complain about having boys falling all over you," he teased and she glared half-heartedly at him and rolled her eyes. She did understand how it sounded. Her biggest problem was dealing with two boys who liked her, it seemed fairly insignificant when she thought of all that Harry was dealing with, what with knowing he was going to have to fight a dragon in a few days.
"It's petty, I know, but, they are both so...so insufferable," it was honestly the only word she could use to effectively describe her situation with the two boys. They were driving her completely crazy and as a logical, pragmatic individual she was finding that very hard to deal with.
"It's not petty Hermione," Harry consoled, "I was just teasing you. They were both idiots but I mean isn't it obvious that they're both crazy about you? When it comes to dealing with our emotions us blokes like to use our fists, or wands, before we stop to think," she knew this was true to an extent but it didn't make it right. She furrowed her eyebrows and Harry merely shrugged his shoulders in a resigned kind of way.
"Hmmm, well thank you Harry for that insight," she smiled at him, "but, now I think we should focus on what you can do to fight the dragon," she headed towards one of the larger bookshelves in the library, muttering about dragons and defensive magic as she sifted through the books. Using her mind was what she was best at. For now she was happy to be the bookworm, it was a part she knew well. Uncomplicated and easy to slip into she felt herself relax as she stepped into the world of mad research, a world that was truly her own.
"That's more like the Hermione I'm used to," Harry laughed as he stretched and joined her at the bookshelf, collecting all the books she threw into his arms as she zipped across the library searching for any relevant title. At least books are uncomplicated, she thought to herself as her eyes found yet another book dedicated to dragons.
This was it. The first task had finally arrived, bringing the entire population of Hogwarts down to the Quidditch Pitch. Hermione couldn't help but feel nervous for Cedric and Harry. Worrying was in her blood. She was allowed to be nervous for Harry though. Currently she was supposed to be angry at Cedric. Despite the fact that she had made up her mind to have nothing to do with either of the two boys, she couldn't simply switch off her feelings for them. That was why she was currently sitting in the Quidditch stands biting her lip as she watched Cedric walk steadily into the arena. His dragon looked completely terrifying. Snarling and pulling against the chains that tied it down and stopped it from escaping. She couldn't stop the gasp that left her lips at the sight of the ferocious beast. But, she noted, Cedric looked so calm, so focused and completely undeterred. He looked like the sort of man that could face anything. That's my Cedric, she thought warmly before she froze and realised her mistake. He wasn't hers any longer. He was never really hers to begin with. She could see his eyes searching through the crowd and suddenly they locked on hers. He smiled up at her and it took everything in her will power to look coldly back. Why does he have to be so devastatingly handsome? She felt something a figure plop down beside her and turned to face the other boy who had been making her heart ache: Ron. Quickly Hermione scanned the surrounding area for somewhere she could safely move to only to realise that there was nowhere else to go. Why in the name of Merlin does he have to sit here?
"Hey 'Mione," the casual use of her nickname made her snap. She whipped around to face him piercing him with a cold glare.
"You have some nerve Ronald," she spat at him, causing him to stare at her in disbelief.
"What? All I said way hey, am I not allowed greet you anymore or something?"
"No greet me all you want, but don't pretend as though everything is back to normal. It's not. You and your temper made sure of that," she could feel the heat rising in her cheeks as she struggled to not raise her voice. She didn't want to cause a scene.
"It's all my fault is it, my temper caused this," she can tell that he is getting angry now by the way he shakes his head and by the colour of his cheeks. "So pretty boy Diggory had nothing to do with it right, it was all me and my big mouth. Did he get a kiss as his reward for being a good boy and defending himself against me?"
"I'll have you know Ronald that he is receiving the exact same treatment you are. Your both stupid insensitive prats and I want nothing to do with either of you. Just...just leave me alone and let me watch the Tournament without...without having to deal with all of this," she hated herself for the tears that were forming in her eyes. He slipped an arm around her shoulder and she knew that she should push it off but she didn't. It felt normal. It felt like what their friendship had been like so she let him.
"I'm sorry 'Mione, I didn't mean for all of this to...to...to...blimey I can't think of a polite way to say it, fucked up. I just said what I felt and I get if you don't...you know want anything from that. But, I'm not good at words and he riles me up and stuff and...I'm just sorry okay," she can't fight the tears falling now. Why does he have to have moments of such sincere sweetness? It would be so much easier to hate him if he was a total prat, she wipes the tears from her eyes and turns to look at him.
"I get it Ron, I mean I guess I kind of do anyway. I still need some time to think about all this," she gestures between them awkwardly, "other stuff, but, I'd like if we could still talk and do the things we used to do," she smiles sweetly at him, trying to tell him that he is at least partially forgiven. He moved his arm away and gave her his typical Ron, lopsided grin.
"I'd like that 'Mione," and with that she turned back to face the task. A piece of her broken heart sliding back into place she met two grey eyes staring at her from the centre of the arena and the piece crumbled once more. Cedric. Oh for the love of Merlin!
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