I recognised the sleek blonde hair immediately. Narcissa was standing by the common room door, accompanied by Professor McGonagall. Both were standing in silence, and when they caught sight of us McGonagall approached us slowly.
"Where are Mr Potter and Mr Weasley? Not getting involved in another fight, I hope?" Although she presented it as a question, I felt sure McGonagall's last comment was more of a warning.
"No Professor, they stayed behind to speak to Professor Harper," Luna said. McGonagall took a second of contemplation.
"That's probably for the best anyway. Miss Granger, Mrs Malfoy would like to speak with you," McGonagall stated. I was surprised but eventually nodded my head.
"Okay," I muttered.
"You two can go back to the common room," McGonagall instructed, turning to face Neville and Luna. They obeyed and McGonagall lead Narcissa and I down the corridors to an empty office which hadn't been in use since the war. "I'm going to go and see how Draco's feeling," McGonagall said, before turning and leaving. After the door clicked shut there was a moment of silence. Narcissa was the one to break it.
"Hermione, thank you. For agreeing to talk to me," she started. "I know you have every reason to refuse to talk to me and I know you had every reason to hurt Draco just like Ron did earlier but you didn't and I want to say thank you for that." She looked so sincere and for a while I was unsure what to say.
"It doesn't mean I forgive him," I said, trying to keep my voice steady.
"Of course not. I would never expect you to do that. I just hope that maybe one day you'll be able to understand why he did what he did. His father and I are much more to blame than he is, we involved him in a world he didn't want to be involved in, a world which told him that muggles were the lowest of the lowest. He never really thought bad of muggles, but he thought it was wrong to feel any differently to the way his parents had taught him," she explained.
"I find it hard to believe Draco Malfoy could ever think of 'mudbloods' as anything other than dirt," I snapped.
"He never thought of you that way," Narcissa interrupted, looking to her feet as if she were revealing some dark, horrifying family secret which had been covered up for centuries.
"What exactly do you mean by that?" I asked.
"Lucius and I never set Malfoy a good example of how to treat people you care about. We taught him that when you care about someone you try to control and hurt them, so that's what he grew up doing. When he came home for Christmas after his first term at Hogwarts he confided in me that he really liked this clever girl from Gryfinndor who was a mudblood." She brought he eyes up to look at my face, which I'm sure was smothered in shock. "He told me he did what his father told him to do if he ever met a muggle, but he didn't want to do it, he said it made him sad to see how sad he could make you." Narcissa stopped talking to give me time to process what she was telling me and after a deafening silence I took a deep breath and forced myself to speak.
"I don't believe that he could ever actually care for someone," I replied. "I've got homework to do." I said, before turning my back on Narcissa and walking towards the door.
"Hermione," she muttered from behind me. I didn't turn, but stopped. "He really is sorry." I had no reply, so carried on walking, racing through the corridors to get back to my dormitory. Once I got to the common room I was stopped in my tracks by Ronald, who jumped up from his seat the second I entered the room.
"Hermione!" He called, but I carried on walking through the common room.
"I'm tired Ron, I want to go to bed," I mumbled.
"You haven't had dinner yet!" He said, following me and jumping in front of me so I was forced to stop walking. "What did she want?" He asked, not using Narcissa's name but quite obviously referring to her.
"Nothing, can I just go to bed please?" I requested, trying to sound as unfazed by my conversation with Narcissa as possible.
"Aren't you at least going to walk with Harry and I back to Hogsmeade?" He asked, taking my hand in his. I really didn't want to be around people, but after Ron's behaviour today I doubted he'd be invited back, which meant I wouldn't see him again until the Christmas holidays. I squeezed his hand and shot him a forced smile.
"Okay," I relented.
Sorry it's such a short chapter and sorry it took soooo long to update. Probably won't be able to update again for a while but I promise once my exams are over I will be updating a bit more often, thanks to all of you who are reading!