Late Night Studies
I was staring at my bedroom ceiling. Moonlight was pouring in from the window, whose curtains were usually drawn. I sighed, and looked at the time splayer on the wall. It was well past two in the morning. I rose, my legs making barely a sound on the floor. A fire still roared in the hearth, putting warm light onto the books in my personal library. I had no fear of anything burning. Anything except myself.
I ignored my wand on the bedside table and reached instead for a black silk shirt, slipping it onto my frame and going to the window. My head still hurt from the mental beating of information on how to attract a feminine eye, and I still wasn't completely sure any of it was useful. If such things worked for Hermione, I was certain she would already be on someone else's arm. No, she was different. Special.
I sighed. It was getting harder to continue to be my usual self. While I knew I could retain my stony demeanor in class and not give anything away but a hint of friendship, but I was worried. Not just for myself, but for her. The odd ache, the uncertainty of tomorrow, of each day seeming like years... I could live with that. Some of it could even be passed off as symptoms of de-aging. She seemed so distant from others, with no excuse as such. Not to mention so unaware of how much she meant to those around her. To the students, she was a hero. To Molly Weasley, she was a daughter. To Harry Potter, a sister and best friend. To me... more than I currently dared try to grasp.
I turned away from the window. I was no foolish romantic, no bright eyed boy going on about his first crush. If I thought that of myself, even for an instant, then I would hang up my teacher's robes and check myself into St. Mungos for a full analysis of my mind. This was something more, as she was. Hermione had managed to fight against an evil that had nearly broken much of the world, with no hope of surviving. Such a thing had long ago dampened my resolve, and almost broken me. In my mind she deserved every ounce of the kindness and respect she was getting from those in the school, even if it could be overwhelming at times.
A wondrous anomaly. Who can say the things she says, do what she does, and brush everything off and concentrate on nothing but the work in front of her? Even with the stress on her mind she speaks nothing but kindness and intellect, or perhaps the barest of annoyances at the kind of things that would drive the normal being to insanity.
Also to consider, myself. All this strange change, all these strange feelings, had been brought on by her. Even before the smell of Amortentia that opened my eyes to my heart, she had begun something. In my being forced to help her come out of her shell, she had shown me I could come out of mine. She had cried on my shoulder, a sign of trust none had ever given me before. How could I have been so blind, as to never notice what was right in front of me?
I began pacing, looking at nothing. Perhaps I was blind because she was. For all I hadn't noticed my feelings, nor had she noticed mine. If she had, something would have happened, even if had been a word to the Headmistress. As it was, I'd had to inform her of my trust in her. I still wasn't sure if she understood.
Truth be told, I wasn't sure if I understood.
My eyes caught a sudden light and movement outside the window, and I turned to it instantly. The deep darkness was full of stars, clearly visible in the vastness of the black night. None of them, however were moving. A closer look, and I saw it again. The shimmer that had caught my eyes was a firefly swimming in the air. A sudden hope burned in my chest.
Every day seemed like yesterday, and tomorrow seemed unreachable, but the chance to understand and live was still there. Deep in my mind lay the memories of a life before sadness, and in her mind as well. So lies, I reaffirmed, the chance to believe in someone, and to love someone.
I looked back at my bed, the sheets still ruffled from when I had left. I also looked to the notes left from Harry on the table, on what he knew about romance and what Ginny had told him about what Hermione liked. The warnings of my past went through my head, of uncertainty in myself, and of the fact that she was still a student. Then came the positive words of people I could call my friends, my own Slytherin cunning, and the thirst of truly having something I wanted; to earn my own happiness.
I sighed, and reached for my wand. Flicking on a lamp with a quick wave, I sat at the desk, a serious look on my face. One more thing I hadn't done in many long years. I picked up the notes and began to read them; I had studying to do.