4. Chapter 4
Fourth Year: December
Pansy was the first to find out about Hermione's dirty little secret. People had always found it odd that the sweet little Hermione Granger never had anywhere to go on holidays, how she barely ever got letters from home. How she knew a lot less about the wizarding world than everyone else. She had told them the first time she meet the Slytherins that she was a halfblood from France. Her new found friends never questioned her about her unwillingness to speak about her family and her life away from Hogwarts.
One morning in early December of fourth year Hermione woke up early to mail a letter home to her parents. She wrapped a jacket around herself and ran all the way to the Owlry. She held tight to the rail, afraid she would slip on the steep, icy, steps. Her fingers gripped her letter tightly. She felt something grab onto her wrist. Hermione screamed and turned around. Pansy stood behind her, a cold hand still on her wrist. Hermione’s face flooded with relief and she laughed nervously. Pansy grinned at her and released Hermione’s hand from her grasp.
“Pansy! You scared me to death. I thought you were Potter!” Hermione exclaimed as the two girls continued on their slippery path up the steps to the top of the owlry. Pansy linked her arm into Hermione’s and whispered something in her ear.
“Draco’s going to ask you to the Yule Ball. Blaise told me yesterday,” Pansy said in an excited whisper. Hermione froze and stared at Pansy, who nodded with a big smile on her face.
“Are you sure? I thought he liked Daphne!” Hermione said. Her face glowed with happiness but her voice sounded skeptical. Pansy grinned and winked at her. Hermione gasped, her cheeks turned red. Her green-eyed companion laughed softly.
“No, he never liked Daphne. That’s Theo. Draco likes you, he has for ages. Sure he flirts with everyone, but at the end of the day he likes you,” she explained to a wide eyed Hermione. Finally at the top of the steep climb the girls unlinked their arms and call down individual owls. Pansy eyed Hermione with confusion.
“Who’s the letter for?” Pansy asked. Hermione turned to face her. Her hands still moving as she tied the letter to a large barn owl’s leg. She shrugged and released the owl. She was fully facing Pansy now and didn’t notice the owl fly back to its perch and not away through the open windows into the cloudy December sky. Hermione turned red and dashed away down the stairs. Pansy started to call after her but stopped as Hermione disappeared down the icy steps. After releasing her own owl she noticed Hermione’s borrowed owl still sitting on its perch, letter still attached. She held out her arm and the owl gracefully landed on her outstretched forearm. She quickly untied the letter and opened it.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I miss you both so much! It has been a very long year so far. Something has happened. We are hosting the Triwizard Tournament. It’s a big event sort of like the muggle Olympics. There are two other schools staying here at the castle for the whole year. Durmstrang is an all boys school. One of the boys is a world famous Quidditch player. You know, the game on the brooms that I told you about. Anyways Draco and Blaise freaked out when they saw him come in on the day the arrived. Beauxbatons is an all girls school from France. There are a few Veelas in that group. Veelas are like half human half creature. They have magic that attracts men and can be extremely vicious when angered. They’re all really beautiful but to be totally honest they scare me. There is going to be a ball in a few weeks. To celebrate inter house and inter-school unity. But, only fourth years and up are allowed to attend. I have already bought a dress! Oh Mum, it’s beautiful! It really is! I’m so excited! Everyone is excited!
Since this whole even in going on I don’t think I’m going to come home for Christmas holiday. I know you both wanted me to come with you on your skiing trip. But I’m not really a fan of skiing anyways. I’m sorry, I really am. But I just don’t think I should go. I don’t want to miss anything. I miss you both so much. I’ll send your Christmas gifts soon. I’ll write again soon.
Pansy’s eyes scanned the letter multiple times. Her face rigid with shock. She shook her head in disbelief. No, she thought, this isn’t possible. Her hands shook. The letter slipped from her hand.
“She’s muggleborn,” she whispered.