Chapter Three: A Reminder from Long Ago
After class, everyone scattered to their next classes all talking excitedly about what they learned. The two Elves were now their favourite teachers or something of the like, and Hermione rolled her eyes, passing by Parvati and Lavender who she could hear talking to Padma about the class and the Elves. Padma, it seemed, had not had the class yet, but she was one of the many girls who took to fainting, sighing, or declaring their undying love for the two Elves, which had them both quite amused. For Hermione, this annoyed the hell out of her.
Harry and Ron slowed their walk, discussing what the Elves opted to teach them, and this made Hermione growl when she slowed down to keep pace with them. Now, she could hear the ensuing conversation the gossip girls of Hogwarts were having perfectly, and it sickened her.
Hermione glanced over at the three girls, seeing Parvati bouncing on the balls of her feet, her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. ‘Oh my gosh, they were brilliant, and they are gorgeous! I mean who wouldn’t drop to their knees in worship of them?’ she was saying quickly, and rather dramatically much to Hermione’s disgust.
‘Oh Merlin, I know. I have seen them around. What did they teach you guys?’ Padma asked, excitement building within her voice.
‘They showed us how to use daggers, but it was only a demonstration. That doesn’t matter though, it was much better watching them than doing it ourselves and having to concentrate,’ Lavender answered, her eyes taking on a dreamy look, and Hermione rolled her own in annoyance.
‘I know. I mean if I had to concentrate I think I would have failed miserably. It is impossible to focus when there are good-looking guys in the room. I mean it’s a known fact, right?’ Parvati asked, looking at her sister and friend.
‘Well, yes. I mean I don’t know anyone who could focus,’ Lavender answered, flipping her blonde hair over her shoulder.
‘I know someone,’ Parvati said, lowering her voice.
‘Who?’ Padma asked in shock.
‘Hermione Granger, who else? She is like the only girl who hasn’t gone all weak in the knees since they arrived. In fact, I think she’s only pushed herself into her work more. She is such a hopeless case,’ Parvati answered, sighing dramatically.
Hermione temper flared at these words, but Parvati continued, ‘She has always been a strange one. I mean there’s no denying she is gorgeous, and she has a killer body, but apart from the Yule Ball, has she ever actually flaunted the fact?’ she asked her companions.
‘You’re right. I wonder if Hermione will ever actually stop with her whole bookworm thing and just totally have fun for once. Poor girl is going to be stuck shadowing Harry and Ron for the rest of her life if she doesn’t crack before then,’ Lavender answered, and looked over at them, missing the searing glare Hermione shot back.
‘I think it’s a bit late for that, Lav. It seems she cracked last year, remember? The way she attacked Draco Malfoy was so weird. I mean, he didn’t even say anything to her, and she just flipped or something. She didn’t even use her wand; she just assaulted the poor boy. Don’t get me wrong, Malfoy is a bastard, but there was no need for such violence from her,’ Padma told them.
Hermione’s eyes widened when she heard this. Everyone thought she was crazy because of one incident when Malfoy shot a discreet jinx at her which was the reason she attacked him. Also, she was angry due to other things, and she hadn’t slept well the night before due to her worry about Harry. He had another dream, so her spirits were already dampened. Plus, she did go for her wand, but she couldn’t pull it out of her pocket, so she did the next best thing and jumped the guy for being a complete prat.
‘Oh well, she doesn’t matter anyway. I mean, I feel sorry for Harry and Ron sometimes. It’s like they put up with her like they feel sorry for her or something. I mean, they can’t like her, can they?’ Lavender asked them, giving Hermione a look of disgust. The two girls had never gotten along because Lavender had always had a thing for Ron but blamed Hermione for the fact he didn’t seem interested.
Hermione growled, turning to walk over to them, but Harry and Ron quickly grabbed her arms and dragged her down the hall away from them. ‘Get off me! Did you hear what they were saying about me? I’m going to kill them!’ Hermione was shouting, causing people to look at her.
‘We heard, Hermione, but ignore it. We know it’s not true and you should be aware we don’t think of you that way,’ Harry said, spinning her around to face him. ‘Don’t believe everything you hear, Hermione. They’re just jealous is all,’ he told her, pulling her into a hug.
Hermione shrugged him off, looking back at the three girls, but something caught her attention, and she looked at an alcove to her left to see Legolas watching her. She couldn’t tear her gaze from his, and Hermione closed her eyes for a moment, but when she opened them again, he was gone. She frowned, squinting into the darkness while allowing herself to be pulled through the throng of students by Harry and Ron. They headed to their next class which was Transfiguration.
Haldir watched the students leaving the class before turning to Legolas who had a small frown upon his brow. ‘What is troubling you?’ he asked.
Legolas seemed to shake out of his thoughts, looking up at him. He sighed, watching the last three students head towards the door. His gaze remained on the middle one who was the focus of almost every thought process he had since arriving at Hogwarts the night before and was unclear why. It was irritating him. The first time he had seen her was at dinner the night before, and he had only spoken with her that morning. He knew nothing about her apart from the fact she was brilliant and a great person to teach.
Legolas snapped out of his thoughts once more, looking up at the curious Haldir who was still waiting for an answer from him and thought it would be best to answer before Haldir became impatient. ‘It is nothing. I have had many things trouble me in the past, but this is of no consequence. I was only thinking of how we should proceed with our next lesson,’ he lied and looked towards the door to find it empty of the three students.
Haldir followed his line of sight, clicking his tongue upon figuring out what he thought was getting to him. ‘Do not worry, Legolas. Their protection comes before teaching, and we will follow through with what Dumbledore wants. We will continue to watch them from afar, but we cannot become close to them,’ Haldir told him, and Legolas looked up with a frown at his last words. ‘You are curious about the girl, Hermione, if I am not mistaken. Do not let it cloud your judgement,’ Haldir warned him, gathering his things to leave the room, but turned back to Legolas before leaving. ‘We cannot afford to become close to them in the event something happens to them we did not foresee. At one time, Elves were well acquainted with Men, but these days are proving to be very different. I have yet to find a reason to trust the Men of today, and I see little reason to stay long. I am yet to discover something here which will give me cause to prolong my inevitable fading.’ With that he turned, leaving the room.
Legolas closed his eyes in thought; Haldir was right as usual, though his reasons did little to comfort Legolas’ uncontrollable emotions. It wasn’t so much he cared much for the two boys, Harry, and Ronald, but the girl, Hermione, was somehow familiar to him. It was strange, but she reminded him of the Lady Arwen of Rivendell from her intelligence right down to her looks.
Legolas closed his eyes, his thoughts drifting to Arwen and the last time he saw her when she left for Lothlórien after Aragorn died. He was tempted to go with her but left her to mourn in silence while she faded. He didn’t think he could have bared to see her then; it would have torn him apart. He loved her after all, though her heart belonged to Aragorn, and he would never have come between them. He always had, in all the time he had known him, viewed Aragorn as his brother, and he would never have thought to hurt Arwen.
He shook his head, clearing the thoughts away. That was a long time ago indeed, and the emotional wounds he received had healed. He, once again, decided to leave his memories in the past where they belonged. He would always remember them until the day he faded, but his love for Arwen had waned considerably. Then he met Hermione, and whatever feelings he had for Arwen seemed to draw him to the girl, but for what reason he knew not.
He gathered his daggers and other equipment, strapping them to his person before making his way out of the silent classroom. The students in the hall startled him, having never been too fond of large crowds of people. He stealthily flattened himself against the wall, scaling the hall and slipping into an alcove further down to wait for the throngs of individuals to leave for their next classes.
His ears twitched, hearing the giggles of girls, and he looked out at a trio standing off to one wall talking amongst themselves. His lips twitched, realising the centre of their conversation was on Haldir and himself, and he couldn’t help listening to what they were saying. When he did, his eyes found Hermione and her two friends ambling past them. They were discussing the class and, while Legolas listened, he couldn’t help letting a tiny smile flicker onto his lips at their praise. It disappeared when he tuned back into their change of conversation, his eyes narrowing in resentment. They were speaking awfully about Hermione, and he looked at her, seeing her own eyes clouding in anger. She spun to walk over to them, probably to give them a piece of her mind, when her friends pulled her away.
Legolas stared at the three girls petulantly for a moment before his gaze found Hermione again. Harry hugged her, speaking to her in a comforting manner, and when they walked closer to the alcove he was hiding in, he watched Hermione turn to look back at the three girls, but her gaze caught his own, and his lips twitched. She closed her eyes, and Legolas smiled the first genuine smile he had in many years. He moved further back into the shadows, watching her eyes open again and Hermione frowned upon seeing he disappeared. His smile widened when she looked around for him, even scrunching her eyes up to see through the dark, but it was obvious she couldn’t see him. He watched her frown deepen, while Harry and Ron led her away.