Chapter 88. Tangled Argument
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After arriving back at school, there were still a few days left of winter break, the full moon was vastly approaching, and I had learned that I still passed out during the full moon, letting my beast to roam free, the Dominion potion I had drank had only let me change myself into a beastial form when under its effects, not control of the beast I still had within me; still a curse through and through. I still had a few days to rest before school would begin again, leaving me to my own devices, and after that agonizing Christmas event I had taken a part in, I needed it. 

 

While sitting outside, watching Val splash around in the shallow waters of the lake, a sudden sound of papers plopped beside me on the wooden bench I was sitting on. Looking at the noise, I saw Hermione take a seat with the papers as a barrier between us. Before I could say a word as to why she was here, she spoke with a serious matter. “Buckbeak has been sentenced to death.” I paused for a moment to register what she just said, glancing at her stack of papers, listed with ways to acquit the poor creature. “Once Malfoy’s father heard about it, he went straight to the ministry. I’m sure you can imagine.” She explained, my stomach sinking deeper with every word.

 

“Why would you feel the need to tell me?” Lucas asked, trying to act uninterested, but Hermione could see through his ruse, look past his obscured fingertips digging into thighs. It had been bugging her for all of the winter holiday. After seeing Lucas manage to communicate with a Dementor, she had to watch as he was comforted by Pansy Parkinson. She clearly knew his love for magical creatures, and was free to see his real face whenever they were alone. Hermione had seen it that night, his full smile, and caring nature. That was who Lucas was, who he was hiding under his poisoned words and multitude of masks.

 

Something in her chest itched at seeing that expression again. She didn’t like that Pansy could see it. While Hermione was forced away with walls and barriers, only gaining small peeks and glimpses of the real Lucas, Pansy was free to be close to him. As time went on, the feeling in her chest only grew more violent, forcing her to grasp at her chest from time to time, feeling the small vial of orange liquid the pain seemed to be emanating from. It was eating her alive, she wanted him to let her in. “Because you can help.” She finally responded back , keeping one hand on her chest, twirling the vial between her fingertips.

 

I inwardly scoffed at Hermione. ‘Help? I can’t even smile at a Siren without being fearful of repercussions.’ “There’s nothing for me to help.” Hermione suddenly slammed her hand against the papers laid between us, startling me to look at her. She glared at me, her bottom lip trembling, trying to keep her rage quelled within her. “You’re lying and you know it.” I was astonished by her sudden brazenness, but shook my head, keeping my own composure. “What makes you say I’m lying? There is nothing I can do to save your precious bird. It was Hagrid’s own fault for not speaking of dangers first.”

 

“Shut up!” I was about to continue on listing things, but her sudden scream froze me in my tracks. She had raised her voice before, but never screamed like this. We had been in classes together, her annoying habit of taking whatever seat beside me in Ancient Rune’s persisted throughout the first half of the year. I knew her character quite well, a calm, level headed, determined girl that wanted to prove she was everything any witch or wizard could be. Even when stressed out on her work, did she only mutter and grumble, not once did she scream like this.

 

I just stared at her in utter shock, confused about what brought all this on. She then suddenly delved into her dimly pink jacket, and thrust out a small vial of orange liquid. I immediately recognized the style of bottle, one that I favored with its sturdy construction. The liquid was also familiar, the very same that I tricked her into drinking our second year to remove the memories of our expedition into the Chamber of Secrets. I placed 2 and 2 together, the realization forming in my mind as the world crumbled around my ears. “Would you, for once in your life, just be honest with me!?” She yelled, thrusting the vial closer to my face.

 

Lucas lightly shook his head, faltering in his speech. “Y-You…” Before he could stutter out an excuse, Hermione grabbed his arm, her gaze filled with fire. “I never drank it Lucas! I never forgot a single bit of that night!” Before she could yell out more of her still intact memories, his hand was forcefully placed over her mouth, in Lucas’ haste, he forced her down, kneeling overtop of her, only a few inches apart. In silence they both stared at one another, each frozen in place as their minds slowly turned, trying to find words to say.

 

Finally Hermione pried the hand over her mouth off, still glaring at Lucas. “I’m sick of these charades we play with each other. Just speak to me as an equal.” She watched as his shuddering eyes studied her expression, panting as his fear triggered his fight or flight reflex. Pain was visible in his retina, the same Hermione had seen in her closest friend, Chiara. His eyes glowed in a dull cyan, a mixture of his mostly blue eyes, tainted with a dash of green. “Why…?” Was all he could say between pants of bated breath, still observing her every detail.

 

“Why, what?” Hermione asked, still upset she had to come this far to tear down his walls. He was a good person, just trapped in the societal chains of his family and bloodline. She wanted to be there with him, to remind him of who he was, to hold him true to his good disposition. Pansy was becoming much less of a blood supremacist, clearly changing because of Lucas, but Hermione was still worried she could be a bad influence on him. 

 

“Why have I not spoken a word to others about it? Why did I lie to my friends about losing my memories?” Hermione snipped, knowing exactly that was his question just from disbelief in her words. A twinge of pity stabbed in Hermione’s chest, seeing as Lucas had grown up in a pureblooded home, he grew up learning about humanity through that lens. He couldn’t fathom someone doing something for somebody else with no intent of payment or compensation. “I still haven’t forgotten, you did in fact save my life. If it makes you feel better, we can just say I was paying you back for that.”

 

“If you really wanted to pay me back, you would have drank the potion.” He growled back, baring his pointy teeth. Hermione squinted her eyes, more anger being fueled at him, his constant attempts of pushing her away. “You could have just asked! Had a discussion with me about it! It wasn’t a choice for just yourself to make!” By now she had leaned up closer to him, butting heads with his, she was finally releasing her pent up emotions she had held back for so long. So much anger, yet begrudging care towards the boy leaning above her. That begrudgement only fueled her rage in a vicious cycle.

 

Now both huffing with lack of air, both their hearts racing for different reasons. “You want an apology?” He asked, his fear dwindling into confusion, but still somewhat remaining. Hermione scoffed at him, leaning her head back down on the bench. “I think I’m entitled to one.” He gave a small nod, a smirk filled with scorn. “Fine. I’m sorry that you tricked me into trusting you, and felt that nothing would be gained by having that night in your memory as we would never talk again anyway... Happy?” He tilted his head, knowing that his sarcasm wasn’t appreciated.

 

Hermione bit her bottom lip, almost causing it to bleed from the force of her jaw. Her hands trembled, holding themselves back from hitting him. “You understand that I can’t be seen with you. I can’t be seen enjoying time with a half blood or muggle born. We are dead opposites Hermione. Rather than letting the chance of having any of what happened down their resurface to the ears of the masses, I wanted to make sure that everything would be maintained as the status quo. The moment I’m seen as faltering in the beliefs of my peers… It won’t be good.”

 

“You’re just a coward…” Hermione muttered, snarling at Lucas, strange stinging in her eyes threatening to turn into tears, her chest wrenching itself into a knot. She couldn’t let him see her like this, she didn’t even know why it hurt her so, to hear that he had thought through his decision, and stuck with it rather than ask for her forgiveness. No, she did know. Because it only proved further that he didn’t want anything to do with her. “Then do it.” She said, her mouth working faster than her mind. “If you have to be seen as a purist, then call me a Mudblood.”

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