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Chapter 11: Smuggled
Draco Malfoy was never worried. Not for his friends, not about his family, no one, except maybe his mother. It just wasn’t in his veins to care about anybody. The emotion didn’t come to him. It must have been in the Malfoy family blood.
The mudblood had been missing.
No he didn’t give a damn. Not in the least. But then again, wouldn’t it be better, if there was someone who could assist him? Trying to find a way out all by himself wasn’t happening. Not that being with the stupid know-it-all improved the situations.
Still…facing the unknown dangers with another person was nicer than having to do so all alone.
She must be about somewhere, for there was no exit from here. She had to be either in the castle or the grounds. It wasn’t like she could walk to Hogsmeade. How can you walk to a place which was probably thousands of kilometers away? He had figured that out. Long ago. But had she?
The worst possibility was that she’d found a way out. Maybe she’d cracked something he hadn’t and had forsaken him. That was very much possible. But the fact that the Weasley girl was still around here was a relief.
His search hadn’t quite started. No, he wasn’t looking for her. But he did scan the obvious locations, thoroughly. But she couldn’t be found. It was sometime then he’d heard the sound. It was guttural, as though some troubled soul was beckoning him. He was disturbed. Someone was dying. The ‘someone’ sounded familiar. It made him want to run amuck.
It was with little surprise that he noted the slight tremble in his voice. With his wand lit, he walked in the direction of cry. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead as he cautiously stepped forward. With every step he took, the reality struck him. He knew who he was going to find. How she’d landed up in here, he didn’t know. But he did know that she would soon be gone…
With a growing sense of panic he ran down the aisle. Wet grounds met him. A ringing filled his ears as he moved on. His legs weakened as he looked between three living beings.
There was Hermione. A livid looking wolf which looked far too familiar and then…a black clad woman who looked frail and pale looked up at him from beside Hermione.
Gray eyes looked up to the boy who stood clasping the wand. His knuckles were white as was his face. Relief flooded Narcissa’s mind as she looked at him. Shaken perhaps, but he seemed to be well.
She couldn’t proceed. A flood of emotions overtook her. She’d expected him to be dead, but here he was, alive…Images of Draco lying on the floor, his eyes unseeing or him being thrown off some cliff or him being tortured or finding his mangled body at her doorsteps or…Every such nightmare had tormented her.
But now wasn’t the time. She had to tell him before her time was over. Draco was peering at her with a bemused and frightened expression on his face. She knew that he’d known…
“Draco…’m sorry. I…you must flee. Find a way out. Stay…danger…”
“Mother…calm down. You’re hyperventilating. Relax.”
Narcissa shook her head vehemently as she shot a look at the auburn haired girl who lay as though in sleep. Following her line of vision, Draco frowned, “Is she…?”
End was nearing. Trying hard to keep control, Narcissa leaned against the wall. The wolf-like creature let out a low howl at its mistress’s state and lay curled at her feet.
"She…Alive. Draco…flee,” her eyes began to fill up with water. Her throat was growing dry. Numbness filled her legs slowing traveling upwards. Time was running out. Taking a sharp breath which caused a shooting pain through her body she continued, “Stay away her. Tried to kill. Father…Dark Lord…revenge,”
Her eyes were shutting down on their own accord. It was painful. She wished it would be over, but she hadn’t told him. No…she wouldn’t die. Not before…
“Mother…mother!! Aguamenti. Here…drink this. Mother!”
Her eyes were rolling in, “Vow. Run. Danger.”
Alarmed, Draco poured the water over Narcissa’s face. Her eyes opened momentarily. Grief filled her as tears leaked down her eyes. She hadn’t done it…
Her voice was so feeble that he had to inch closer to her. But he needn’t have, for those were the last words she uttered before her body went still. The howl of the animal filled the place and Draco sat frozen. A pain like he'd never known before filled his heart threatening to suffocate him. She was...gone...
Never would he see her eyes brighten when he shared his achievements. There would be noone who'd fuss over him. No soul to shower him with love and care. He felt quite alone. And he knew the feeling wouldn't leave him.
Her tortured eyes as she'd uttered those last words flashed before him...For the first time in his life, Draco Malfoy cried.
It was the sobs that woke Hermione from her deep slumber. A strange sight met her eyes. With a frown on her face Hermione looked around and her eyes widened when she spotted the very familiar wolf looking down at her with menace. Jumping up in fear she edged away as fast as possible.
“M-Malfoy?” she called, her eyes on the creature. Tears welled up her eyes at the memory of their ruthless attack.
After the passage of few tense moments in which Hermione had been sure that he would turn around and leave her at the mercy of the creature, Draco turned to regard her vaguely. His eyes were rimmed with red. There was a deathly pallor to his face.
He looked away and down at the body and with a jolt Hermione recognized the blond woman. Narcissa Malfoy.
“Is…is that your mother?”
There was still no reply from him. With great effort Hermione stood, her body being supported by the wall. She tried to move towards him but the creature let out a growl. Wincing, she backed away.
“Can you…can you ask this creature to move away?”
“Zorro,” Malfoy said.
Hermione looked at him, perplexed. “Pardon?”
He looked up and met her eyes. “His name is Zorro.”
“Zorro guards the Manor. Will you please shut up?”
“But…but…they tried to kill me…I…” she frowned. How had she revived? Hadn’t she been so sure she’d be dead?
Malfoy studied her. “Granger, have you lost it?”
“I…are you unwell? You look like you’re going to faint,”
Malfoy straightened. “Answer my question Granger,”
Her eyes found the prone figure of Narcissa Malfoy and she suddenly knew.
Draco frowned and then saw the sympathy in her eyes. He hated it.
“Look Granger. You said Zorro tried to kill you. So could we perhaps continue on it?”
It was her cue to shut up but she rushed on to ask him about his mother. Malfoy gave her a cold glare before he turned around to leave and she screeched for him to stop.
“Alright! A…a herd of them attacked me. After…” she stopped to think, “After I walked away from the library…they attacked me. I don’t know how I managed to survive for I was sure to be dead,”
Malfoy glowered as he looked at her. “A likely tale Granger. No one survives their bite. And they don’t stop until you’ve satisfied their hungry stomachs. They rip every part of your…”
Hermione shuddered and closed her ears. “Don’t…”
With a shrug he bent down to pick the lifeless body. A sudden burst of flame erupted and threw Draco a foot away. He watched in horror as the body burnt into ashes. Hermione’s scream filled the air.
“Malfoy! Malfoy! Listen to me…”
Hermione was running to catch up with him. The creature walked obediently beside Draco like a lap dog as Hermione rushed to catch up.
“Where are you going?”
Draco halted and turned around to find her panting for breath, “Granger…just leave me alone. Don’t force me to let lose Zorro on you,”
“But why are you leaving? Where are you going?”
“Away from you. You want to kill me, don’t you?”
Hermione blanched. “I…what are you talking about?”
Draco let out a devious laugh. “You and your friend can go to hell. Am leaving!”
With an air of urgency, Draco walked away with Hermione at his wake.
“But where will you go? We’re trapped in Hogwarts!”
“You still haven’t figured it out, have you? We aren’t at Hogwarts at all. This place looks like Hogwarts,”
Hermione stopped dead on her tracks. “That’s…that’s…I-I can’t believe…”
“Trust me Granger, there are things far more unbelievable than that. This is just the beginning,”
“Are you saying we were smuggled out of Hogwarts?”
“Wow Granger, you’re mightily bright,”
“Aren’t you feeling remorseful?”
Draco didn’t reply.
“Your mother is dead.”
He moved on.
“I thought it’d tear you apart.”
There still wasn’t any response from the blonde haired boy.
Slowly, Draco turned around to look at her. The pain in his eyes made her flinch.
“What do you expect Granger? That I’d cry on your shoulders? That I’ll forget myself over the grief? I don’t show Granger. It isn’t in me. So I’d hugely appreciate if you shut your damned mouth and leave me alone!”
Hermione watched with tears in her eyes as Malfoy turned around the corner and disappeared.
Author's Note: Grief stricken, I went absconding from HPFF. One of my close friends passed away. So I wasn't able to update. My writing in here is quite rusty and I would urge you to find as many errors as possible for am sure there are many. This was my most anticipated chapter, but somehow I haven't gotten what I originally planned. I will now enter the re-editing while being saved from the guilt of non-updating. I'm eternally thankful to all of you guys who've helped me so much with your reviews. Thank you so much guys :)
Wow. That sounded like a speech. Anyways, enjoy :) I don't think I'm gonna edit now anyway. I think I should've...but the need to update was far more than the editing. I hope it isn't too substandard.