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Chapter 1: Nightmares
“How did you get it?!” Her face swooped down until it was so close that I could feel her hot breath against my face.
“Please.” I sobbed, begging for mercy. I had curled myself into a tight ball on the floor, the hard tiles unforgiving against my aching body. The tears pooled on the floor around me.
“Filthy lying Mudblood!” she screeched before stabbing her wand into my ribs and yelling “Crucio!”
I screamed. I was burning from the inside out. Every cell, every atom of my being was burning. I tasted blood in my mouth as I convulsed in pain, my arms and legs thrashing against the floor abandoning my ball position. I had never felt pain like this in all my life. It felt like I was being ripped apart inside piece by piece while being burned all the while.
I could hear the blood pounding through my head while my fingers ripped at my skin. I looked up into her leering face. She was relishing my pain, every second of it.
“Thief! Liar! Tell me!” Bellatrix Lestrange glared at me, the madness and malice boiling in her eyes.
“I didn’t take it!” I sobbed for the tenth time.
I looked up into the eyes of the watching Malfoys. Lucius stared at me with a mixture of disgust and loathing. Narcissa looked away from me. I looked up at Draco Malfoy and held his gaze. He looked like he was about to be sick. His deep grey eyes softened and I thought I saw the glimmer of a tear.
She hit me with the curse again. My screams echoed around the manor.
I sat up suddenly in bed, gasping for breath and covered in a film of sweat. I was shaking as I placed my head in my hands and tried to force myself to take deep calming breaths.
“It’s over now. She’s dead. It’s over.” I whispered to myself. “Get a grip Hermione.”
Ever since that night at Malfoy Manor, ever since the war, I had been plagued with nightmares. Memories I tried to keep hidden in the back of my mind always found their way into my dreams. If it wasn’t Bellatrix Lestrange then it was Fred, Tonks, Lupin and all the other ones who had died in the war. Their faces, cold and lifeless stare at me accusingly. I should have done better. I should have saved –
Stop it. There’s nothing I can do about it now. I need to stop doing this to myself.
With a sigh I swung myself out of bed and into my ensuite bathroom. I padded over to the sink and splashed my face with cold water. Looking up into the mirror I grimaced. Staring back at me was a girl with bushy hair that stuck out in random directions. Her skin glistened with water droplets and her cheeks were flushed in an unattractive red colour. Her eyes were a deep brown and boy were they huge. Her skin was pale apart from her cheeks and she really did look like she’d seen a ghost.
I sighed at my reflection. Jesus I looked like crap. I made myself take a few more deep calming breaths in front of the mirror before I headed back out into my room. I shivered slightly, but this time from cold. Wondering over to the window I pulled it closed and rubbed my bare arms. I was wearing a pyjama top and shorts, not exactly the warmest of clothes but they were comfy.
I climbed into bed, but didn’t lie down. I wasn’t ready for sleep yet; somehow I doubted Bellatrix would leave me alone.
It had been six months exactly since the war and Voldemort’s death. I suppose you could say that we were beginning to heal now, but honestly the wounds still feel raw. The Weasleys had lost a son and I doubted they would ever fully recover from that. I doubted any of us would. I know Harry blames himself. Of course he does. I didn’t want to imagine what his nightmares were like.
Harry, Ron and I have been helping to rebuild Hogwarts along with many other students. It should be ready by the summer and we all plan to return to school to take our N.E.W.T’S and then we plan to become aurors. I wasn’t sure at first, and I think I might still change my mind, but I know that I’d like to remain close to them both. We’ve been so close for so long, I couldn’t imagine life without them. Harry and Ron were my……….actually it’s hard to put a label on what they mean to me. Let’s just say I needed them as much as they needed me. We were there for each other, especially now that the war is over and we need to try and move on.
My thoughts drifted to Ron and I bit my lip. We were together and I loved him, I really did. But I didn’t know if I was in love with him. It’s always so hard to go from being friends to…..well, being more than friends. I liked just being with Ron, cuddling with him while watching a film, holding his hand as we stroll through Diagon Alley and even kissing him with a sweet, gentle passion. Ron and I were drifting happily along together, and I was perfectly fine with that for now.
“Oh god! Look at me contemplating life while sat in bed staring at the wall! Since when did I become so boring?” I murmured to myself while chuckling. Deep Hermione, very deep.
I got up out of bed again; I was bored. I checked my watch. It was 4am. I groaned. I couldn’t exactly get up now! I needed a book.
That’s when I heard it.
I spun around and was instantly hit with a Stupefy.
I tumbled to the floor and landed with a loud thump. My brain was struggling to keep up with what was happening as I struggled in vain against the spell.
“Damn it!” I tried to curse but the spell wouldn’t let me speak.
Suddenly I was pushed over onto my back. My mouth was being held in strong hands and a potion was poured down my throat. I felt utterly helpless as the spell wore off and I still couldn’t move. Clearly the potion was designed to paralyse the drinker.
I looked up into my attackers eyes and was instantly caught in their deep grey depth. I knew those eyes.
Draco Malfoy picked me up in his arms and promptly carried me over to my wardrobe where he violently shoved me in. I stared at him, my eyes wide and confused, still unsure of what was actually happening as he shut the door in my face and left me in the dark.
What the hell was going on! I tried to move but I couldn’t even wiggle a toe. Panic hit me then, and boy did it hit me hard. I couldn’t breathe; my lungs seemed to close off as my heart beat quickened. Adrenalin pulsed through my veins and I felt the desperate urge to fight for my life. I knew this feeling well, and also the crushing feeling of being utterly helpless. Oh god I was going to die.
Calm down. Think. If he was going to kill you then wouldn’t he have done it already? I allowed myself to be calmed by my rational mind for a moment. After all, she had a point. Instead I focused on taking deep breaths and focusing completely on escape routes; the potion had to wear off eventually. Analyse the situation, figure out how to shift it to your advantage. Come on Hermione you’re supposed to be the brightest witch of your age! Think!
Why would Malfoy come here? Why? Maybe he was playing a prank. How did he even know where I lived? Think! Be logical! Why would Malfoy do this?
Maybe he was getting ready to torture me for information, but about what? The war was over! What could he possibly want from me? I thought long and hard while I heard Malfoy rustling through my things. In the end I got nothing.
Another pop as someone else apparated into my room. I wished I could see what was going on so badly! Why hadn’t I picked one of those wardrobes with slits I could peek through like in the movies?
“Where is she?” That voice. Only Lucius Malfoy could sound so cruel with just a few words. I felt a burning hatred rise up from my stomach and I found myself beginning to shake with anger. How dare he just waltz into my house! How dare they!
“I don’t know. I’ve searched the whole house she’s not here. I haven’t seen her parents ether.” Draco lied so smoothly that I was actually surprised. I shouldn’t have been. He was put in Slytherin for a reason. Snake.
“The muggles are probably in the sewers, rolling around in their own filth like the swine they are.” He practically spat the words out in disgust. I wanted to curse him so bad! The burning loathing in my soul increased with every foul syllable he spat out in my house about my family. I head his footsteps near the wardrobe.
“Where else could she be?”
“How the hell should I know?” Malfoy junior practically growled at his father. There was a brief pause and I heard the smack of Lucius cane against something hard. Probably my set of wooden draws.
“When you speak to me you speak with respect! Understood?” Lucius practically snarled at his son. “You went to Hogwarts with her for six years; now tell me where else she could be.”
“Probably the Weasleys house, if not there then I honestly don’t know where else she’d be.” Malfoy muttered. I think I heard a slight quake in his voice. Clearly someone was scared of his father. Coward.
Coward? He’s lying to his father about you when you’re right there! If he was a coward he would have given you up by now. Once again my rational side was right. Damn her. What the hell was Malfoys angle?
“Well we can’t exactly charge in there without the others. No. Draco!” he barked his name like a command, I was reminded briefly of a master calling his dog. “You stay here and wait for her or her parents to return. If her parents turn up first torture them until they give her up. I want to be kept informed. Do you understand?”
Over my dead body was a Malfoy laying one finger on my family.
I heard the distinct pop as Lucius apparated out of my room.
Malfoy sighed. I heard a shuffling as he moved about. I silently seethed. How dare he! How bloody dare he! Draco sodding Malfoy was walking around my room while he locked me in the god damn closet! What kind of arrogant, inconsiderate and downright rude person does that!
That’s when I realised how crazy I sounded. I was locked in my closest, probably awaiting torture of worse at the hands of Malfoy and I was angry because he was walking around my room and probably going through my things?
“Accio Hermione’s belongings!” What the hell was he doing! I heard a clatter as all of my things were packed into my cases. Suddenly I felt myself pushed from behind as my wardrobe flew open and my clothes shot to the case. I landed on my face with an ‘Oomft!’ I still couldn’t move so I just lay there, completely helpless and more than a little frightened.
Suddenly I was being pushed onto my back and I was once again staring into the eyes of Draco Malfoy. He stood above me with his wand aimed at my heart. I glanced between his wand and his face as I felt myself go cold.
His perfect face was set in stone, his fair hair pushed lightly out of his eyes which were staring at me without any emotion. It was like he just didn’t feel anything. Then I looked down to his wand and was hit with the memories.
I felt more than heard myself whimper as I remembered every tiny detail of that night. I remembered thrashing around on the floor as the pain threatened to drive me insane. I remembered looking up at her leering face as she tortured me. I remembered the feeling of her knife against my neck. I remembered the feeling of the cold floor against my back. I remembered screaming.
I felt a few tears escape my eyes and promptly squeezed them shut. I didn’t want to see his face as he relished my pain.
“Hermione,” I heard him murmur my name. At the time I didn’t really register the fact that he’d called me Hermione and not Granger. All I was thinking of was how long this was going to take. I hoped he wasn’t going to drag it out. But I swore right then and there that no matter how much he tortured me, no matter how long it takes, I would never ever tell him anything. I wouldn’t make a sound.
Malfoy took a breath, I presumed before he cast the spell.
I took my own deep breath and gritted my teeth in preparation for what was to come.
I felt a sharp burst of pain and then my world faded into blissful blackness.
(A/N) I hope you like the first chapter and I'd love to hear what you think about it. The second chapter should be up soon too, enjoy!