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Chapter 14 : Chapter Fourteen
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The night when the Dark Mark was branded into my skin, I didn’t’ sleep. I kept tossing and turning with the thought that I was now in Voldemort’s Army. I was sure I would be used in other operations, though none could be worse then the crime I had already committed. But at that particular moment in time, Voldemort seemed to stay hidden and had not yet attacked London, but I knew that couldn’t possibly be true.
* * * * * * * * * * *
I was summoned again into the circular dungeon. I didn’t know that this was to be my last visit to this dreadful place, and if I had gained this knowledge, I would have surely known what was about to happen.
When Voldemort entered the room, the Death Eaters fell to their knees in their ritual of respect. But, for the first time, I was not on the outside watching. I was included in the ring of men and women around the room, kissing the floor after Voldemort passed. All the time spent on the stone floor was a time of dread. I didn’t know what was coming, and that is what feared me the most.
Finally Voldemort returned to his place of honor in the center of the room, where all could see him. My father had taken his place in the circle of Death Eaters next to mine, and I could see he was sweating with anticipation.
“Dear servants of mine,” the Dark Lord started, “the time has come. We have moved our way through the north end of Britain, and we have finally reached our final target. London.” Immediately, my stomach lurched with terror. My head was swimming with thoughts of Hermione and the Sorcerer’s Stone, how I had lost them both. How could I save them?
“We will strike tomorrow night, at midnight.”
That night, I fled. I renounced the house of my father, and forsook Voldemort and the Death Eaters, wanting only to be human again.
* * * * * * * * * * *
I don’t remember how I arrived in London. The time passed so quickly, as if time were water cupped in my hands and was slowly dripping away. I also don’t recall getting to the Granger’s house. I took many different turns on the roads of London. My mind didn’t know where I was going, for my heart was leading the way.
I found myself in a residential neighborhood. All the houses were small and recently built. Just looking into this Muggle neighborhood no one would guess a witch was in it’s presence.
I turned towards all the different houses in turn, looking for any sign of Hermione that would lead me closer to her. When evening drew close, I began to give up hope and began to despair. I wouldn’t ever see her again… I couldn’t tell her what I’d done… I wouldn’t tell her I loved her…
“Draco!” cried a voice from a distance, “Draco!”
“Hermione!” I had found her at last. Her familiar figure ran out of a nearby house and I swept her into my arms. I held her close, wanting to never let go, not wanting this moment to end. But I had to save her, I had to tell her the truth.
“Hermione,” I said as we entered into her home, “where is the Stone?”
“It’s hidden, you know that Draco.” She replied.
“Where is it?” I asked more firmly. “He’s coming, let me take it! I’ll keep it!”
“Who’s coming Draco? I told you, it’s—“ But her expression changed from confused to horrified as the truth became clear to her. “How does he, how could he…?”
“Let me take it!” I cried in desperation. “I can keep it safe! Please Hermione, just let me take it!”
She looked at me with a look of pure terror on her face. After a moment, she nodded. She slid out of the room quickly, going to fetch the Stone for me. She returned moments later and put the stone in my hand. It’s rough edges cut into my palm as I tightened my grip around it.
“Draco, how could he know? No one knew!” Hermione questioned with a note of panic in her voice.
Slowly, I pulled the sleeve on my right arm up to reveal the Dark Mark. She let out a tiny scream and her eyes widened in horror.
“It was you! It was you! I can’t believe you!”
“You don’t love me! It was all an act!”
“No, you don’t understand! My father-“
“I know your father is a Death Eater Draco! I should have known not to tell you!”
“I know! But you don’t know what it’s like having-“
“Draco! Don’t you understand? The whole wizarding world is at Voldemort’s feet! Give me back the stone!”
“No! I’m keeping it from Him, don’t you understand?”
“I understand perfectly well Malfoy! You made me believe you loved me so that you could find out what Dumbledore was hiding! You lied to me! You betrayed me!”
“I know!” I cried, tears of grief swelled in my eyes and spilled onto my cheeks. “Hermione, it didn’t work! I love you!”
“No you don’t! Never say that to me again!”
The words she had yelled in rage toward me were branded into my heart, just like the mark was burnt into my skin. She had never called me Malfoy before, she didn’t forgive me, and she never would.
But I had not the time to dwell of grieving thoughts, for in the window that stood behind Hermione, I saw a dark shadow sweep across the glass.
He had arrived at last.
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