Scarlet Women Chapter 16

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Ginny padded down the dark corridor. She rounded a corner and almost ran right into Draco.



“Well, hi,” he said smiling. Ginny noticed he was carrying a basket.



“What’s that?” she asked.



“Just a snack,” he smiled.

***



Hermione noticed Ginny was missing from the Gryffindor table the next day. She turned to Sasha.



“Have you seen Ginny?”



“No,” Sasha shrugged. “I thought she was with you.”



Hermione looked to the Slytherin table. Draco was also missing. Crabbe and Goyle looked slightly uneasy. Curious.



“No, she wasn’t with me,” Hermione shrugged, trying to not look too concerned. She glanced to the head table.



Snape looked very concerned. Actually, all of the teachers looked very concerned.



Dumbledore hit the side of his goblet with a heavy silver spoon and rose to his feet. The hall fell silent.



“Last night there was a breach of security on the grounds of Hogwarts and two students have been abducted,” he began.



Hermione felt an ice cube growing in the pit of her stomach. Ron was mute.



“Through a cleverly concealed portkey Draco Malfoy and Ginny Weasley have been taken from us,” he continued. “We think they may be held by Deatheaters.”



His face sagged, making him look much older than usual.



“As a precautionary measure all students must be confined to their respective common rooms after their classes have been completed for the day,” he seemed to look directly at Hermione. “Exceptions will be made, of course, for prefects.”



It was suspected that the portkey had been slipped to Malfoy and had been triggered when he and Ginny were together. Dumbledore seemed to skim over the fact that they had disappeared in the middle of the night when they were supposed to be fast asleep.



This fact did not slide past Ron.

***



Hermione realized it couldn’t last long. A loud knock sounded on the door to her chambers. She let Ron in. He walked over to the couch and sat down quietly.



“What do you know about this?” Ron asked.



“I don’t know what you -“ she began.



“Please, Hermione,” Ron said quietly. “I’m not that blind. What is going on?”



Hermione took a deep breath and began to talk. She talked a long time, deep into the night and when she was through Ron was shaking his head.



“You know,” he said in a choked voice. “I could understand Ginny, but Snape?”



“Ron,” Hermione began, her own voice beginning to crack.



“Do you think he had anything to do with their disappearances?” he snapped at her, as if he thought that he would startle her into giving him information.



“No!” she yelled back at him. “I know you don’t like him, but really, he wouldn’t.”



“How do you know?” he yelled at her.



“I know!” she screamed at him. She was glad her rooms were soundproof.



Then Ron did something not totally unexpected. He started crying.



“Ron,” Hermione said gently. “I’m sorry, Ron.”



“I could understand you blowing me off for Ginny,” he began to sob. “But WHY, Hermione?”



Why?” she snapped. “WHY?! Maybe because I was tired of being alternately used and ignored by you. Sure, you were nice when you needed help with anything, but God knows if you needed a partner in a social situation I was the last person you wanted to be seen with. And don’t you dare try and blame this on me.”




Ron’s mouth snapped shut. He heaved a great shaky sigh.



“I’m sorry,” he mumbled. “I just…” he trailed off. Hermione sat beside him on the couch and wrapped an arm around him. He leaned into her and she felt her robe getting wet from the tears still flowing from his eyes.



It was only when the sun hit her closed eyes that she realized they had stayed like that all night.