Chapter 12 : Not-So-Long-Awaited Choice
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"Go to Hell, Arielle..." Hermione said.
"You're the one who's going to Hell, half breed." The same voice replied spitting venom with the last remark. Hermione could see the glint of silver and a small smile shining in the dark clearing. She could feel her muscles tense and her grip on the cold steel become desperate.
"Let's hope that sword quickens your feet instead of that mouth."
Hermione jumped from the couch in the Common Room drenched in a cold sweat.
"Bloody hell what time is it?!" Hermione looked at the grandfather clock across the room. "10:30! I'm going to be late for Defense Against the Dark Arts! I'm going to kill Draco for not waking me." Hermione rushed up to her room to change and get her books together. "Shit 11 o'clock...now I'm late, damn and I missed Potions, Snape is going to kill me..." Hermione ran out the portrait hole and rushed towards the dungeons.
When she finally arrived in front of the classroom, she didn't think before she burst through the doors. She barely got the doors half open when they flung back at her.
"Ow, what the hell was that?" Hermione got up and opened the doors again, but this time a little slower.
"Granger, Watch where you're going next time you decide to come in late!" Draco was lying on the floor clutching his forehead.
"Maybe if your bloody head wasn't so damn big I wouldn't have hit it with the door!"
"Mr. Malfoy, Ms. Granger, can we please get on with the class. Since this is you're first lateness of the year, I wonít be deducting any points from Gryffindor." Professor Drown was smiling at Hermione, but glaring at Draco. Hermione quickly sat down between Harry and Ron only to slightly glance back at Draco. She saw him wink at her and smile making her to involuntarily blush a little and turn back towards Professor Drown.
"Okay! Let's continue with our lesson on ancient weaponry! Ms. Granger...I suggest you get some parchment and a quill out..." Hermione was spacing out like always during DADA, but this time she got caught.
"Oh, sorry Professor..." Hermione could hear some snickers from Pansy and some other Slytherin sluts, but Hermione never let that bother her.
"As I was saying, the Kilgorin was once wielded for many years by the Dark One. The Kilgorin was also named The Sword of Darkness. This sword gave the wielder power to bring darkness and enchantment over their enemies. The handle of the sword is polished antique wood with an antique silver finish cast metal wing-shaped guard and skull pommel. Skulls and snakes decorate the metal of the handle with dragon fangs protruding around the handle from the cast iron wings-" Professor Drown was drawing a picture of the Kilgorin when Pansy interrupted him.
"This is Defense Against the bloody Dark Arts! Not a bloody History lesson!"
"Sod off Parkinson and let him teach!" Hermione knew that the lesson pertained to her somehow, and she didn't want Pansy ruining anything.
"Now Hermione, we don't need that language, I can take care of this." Professor Drown smiled slightly a pulled out his wand. Before anyone knew it, Pansy was levitating out of the classroom shrieking. "Shall we continue?" Drown got many amused nods so he kept on with his lecture.
"Do you know why we are learning about swords all of a sudden? I mean, aren't we supposed to be learning about dueling spells and ways to defend ourselves?" Ron said while piling his books and trying to catch up to Hermione and Harry.
"Well, uh, maybe it's important, you never know..." Hermione stammered.
"Hermione, you've been acting so weird lately, I mean, you've been changing, physically!"
"Ron, what are you talking about, I haven't changed."
"Last night, you came in and your appearance was completely split! I thought I imagined it, but when Malfoy said to let it go I figured it wasn't my imagination."
"Ronald, you're delusional, get over-"
"Hermione, he's right, what's up with you." Harry looked worried and grabbed onto her arm so she would stop walking.
"Harry, I'm, I can't tell you. It's for the best."
"I bet Malfoy knows...he seems to have a lot of answers lately, and telling us to bug off and stop trying to figure you out." Ron was glaring at Hermione trying to see her secrets just from her eyes.
"Guys, I'll tell you later...just...don't hate me for not telling...and please, I can't tell you everything...Harry, it's for your safety..." and with that Hermione hurried off to the library to do a little researching.
"Do you have any books on vampires by any chance?" Hermione politely asked the librarian.
"Ah yes, Ms. Granger. Dumbledore told me you would be coming for these. Here you are." The old woman pulled out a stack of about seven books and handed the heavy pile to Hermione who easily carried it to an empty table.
'Dueling without Wands? Dark Rulers in Ancient Times? What is all of this? I guess if Dumbledore got them for me...' Hermione was eagerly taking notes about Queen Papillion, she even found an entire book based on her fighting styles and preferences.
"The Luciendar...hmm that sounds cool..." Hermione was looking at a picture of a sword in one of the books that had immediately caught her attention. " The Sword of Light...Revealed to the user that which was hidden and showed the true nature of creatures, both natural and enchanted...Wielded by Barlodir in the War of the Shadows...This sword has an intricately detailed solid metal handle with a glass crystal mounted in the pommel...Mystic runs are engraved in the tongue of the ancients at the top of the blade near the handle...The handle had four prongs splitting from the handle and forming around the blade and engravings..." Hermione was scanning over the pages about the sword reading pieces of each page.
"I see you found an interest in the Luciendar." Hermione jumped and closed the book quickly. She looked up and saw Dumbledore peering over her with Professor Drown at his side.
"Hello Professors, I'm sorry for snooping, but I just wanted to get a better idea so I can choose the best-"
"That is why we came here for you. We thought you would have until Tuesday, but you have to choose now, before midnight."
"Dumbledore, I need more time, I planned to tell Harry, Ron, Ginny and Draco tonight...why tonight?!" Hermione was turning red. 'Why the hell, do I keep getting screwed over!?!'
"I'm very sorry Ms. Granger, but it seems our company has come earlier than expected and we need to begin with whatever your choice is." Drown was leaning over the table so only Hermione and Dumbledore could hear him.
"They can come with you, it's alright for them to be there with you, it's just, we do not insure their safety in the Forbidden Forest..." Hermione could tell Dumbledore was trying to make her as calm and comfortable with the situation possible, but it wasn't helping.
"I'll be at you're office at midnight..." Hermione said in defeat without looking her Professors in the eyes. The two men turned and left the library while Hermione stayed thinking about how she would even begin to tell her friends. She hadn't even told them she was vampire, let alone the one person who could bring Voldemort down if she chose to.
Back in the Common Room, Hermione was pacing around waiting for her friends to arrive.
"Hermione, you have to calm down, they are your friends, they'll understand. I mean hell, I hated you when you told me and look how well that turned out." Draco stood from the couch and walked over to wrap Hermione in his arms.
"Draco, there is something else...something you don't exactly know about, and I don't think you're going to like it. I have to-" But she couldn't finish because her friends had walked into the room looking worried and eager.
"Okay...how do I tell you guys this...um..."
"Hermione just spit it out!" Draco shot Ron a venomous glare at his outburst and Ron shut up.
"Mione, just tell us...it's not like you're some kind of monster or something." Ginny said placing a hand on Hermione's knee. Hermione's bottom lip started to tremble and she looked up at Draco for some help. "I can't" she mouthed to him.
"Hermione...what's happening to you? We love you, nothing is going to change that." Harry sat down next to his best friend and wrapped a loving arm around her.
"I'm kind of a, uh, I'm a v-v-vampire..." Hermione diverted her glance to her shoes and started crying. To her surprise Harry didn't motion to move his arm, he just pulled her closer to him.
"Hermione, why didn't you tell us, you know we wouldn't let that change anything." Harry whispered into her ear.
"How are you a vampire!?!" Ron blurted out. Everyone shot him a glare this time, but he didn't shut up. "No, seriously, we were all walking by the lake in the sun a couple days ago, and Hogsmeade. What the bloody hell, you wear a cross around your neck!"
"I'm only half, I'm human, just, with fangs...and a split appearance apparently."
"You have fangs?!?" Ginny asked looking at her friend with wide eyes. Hermione nodded her head and smiled showing the fangs she had. Lately Hermione was able to control when her fangs would show.
"Um, there's something else...something that not even Draco knew...but I can only tell you a little." Hermione wiped her eyes and pulled away from Harry a little. "I have to make a choice, it's confusing. I can become a human again...or a full vampire...or just stay the way I am. But there's a catch..."
"Who cares about the catch, go back to being human so you can stop worrying about this whole vampire thing. It's not like we can't still be together." Draco was excited to hear he could have Hermione as she used to be.
"Uh, that's the catch. Time would go back and nobody would remember anything that happened after the second I got bit this summer. That means I wouldn't remember becoming Head Girl, or you being Head Boy, or even whatever feelings I have for you. Admit it, we still hated eachother until after I told you I was a vampire, then you softened up for me. Draco, you won't remember any of this, nobody in the entire world would."
"Well, what about if you became full vampire?" Ginny asked.
"That's um, worst and I don't want to go there."
"Oh come on...just tell us." Ron said.
"Well, I'm uh, kind of a princess...and if I become a full vampire then um, I become Queen Antoinette Papillion and Hermione Granger stops existing. I would become a different person with different memories, and I would pretty much be Voldemort's right hand..."
"No you are never getting close to Voldemort, I won't let you." Harry argued.
"Yeah, you don't exactly want to say that Harry......"
"Um, because if I stay as I am I have to fight Voldemort..."
"What!!?!!" All of them shouted in unison.
"If I stay as I am, then nothing changes, everyone keeps their memories, but I go through something like training. Supposedly I would have to strengthen my abilities, I don't know...god this is all so confusing!" Hermione threw her head into her hands and groaned loudly.
"Mione, what if you don't fight Voldemort, what's going to happen." Hermione looked up at Ginny with sorrow filled in her eyes. The young red head realized what her gaze meant and her jaw dropped. "But, Harry...he's...he's the boy-who-lived!"
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked frantically.
"If Hermione doesn't fight, you're going to die!" Ginny sobbed. Her and Harry had been somewhat together ever since Ginny apologized to Harry about her denying his invite to Hogsmeade.
"What? Harry can't die! He's the Wizarding World's only hope!" Ron shouted.
"Obviously not, Weasley. It looks like Hermione is the Wizarding World's only hope." Draco was sitting in an armchairs with his arms crossed over his chest staring into the fire.
"Harry I'm sorry I didn't tell you, I wasn't supposed to, but you have to believe me, I wouldn't let you die. That's why I have to choose to stay like this..."
"But Hermione, you're going to be miserable..."
"No I won't Harry, just, let me do this one thing. It's always you saving me, so I want to be able to help you when I have an opportunity to."
All of them talked for hours until they had to go down to Dinner. Hermione let them go ahead of her so that she could tell Dumbledore her choice, even though it wasn't midnight yet. She made it to the Great Hall, but instead of sitting with her friends, she headed for the teacher's table.
"Professor Drown, I've decided...I think..."
"Oh Ms. Granger, I'm glad you could choose without too much trouble." Hermione could see Dumbledore intently looking at her waiting to hear her decision also.
"I'm going to stay as I am, for everyone's sake, I just can't live with myself deciding to seal the fate of the Wizarding World for the worst."
"That's very noble of you Ms. Granger, I knew I could count on you to always make the selfless choice." Dumbledore was smiling at her with his eyes twinkling in the candlelight. Hermione just bowed her head graciously to the two professors and left for her own table.
"Herms, aren't you going to eat?" Ron was looking at his best friend's empty plate and then back at her. Hermione had her face ducked in a large leather book.
"Come on Hermione, you barely even ate at Dinner yesterday either." It had been two days since she told Dumbledore and Professor Drown of her decision. She had started training already, but just the basics. Her friends all knew about her training and how hard she was being worked, so they worried when she didn't eat.
Over at the Slytherin table Pansy was glaring at the brunette with her head stuck in a huge book.
"I can't stand her anymore! She gets away with everything! She's late to DADA and Professor Drown won't even yell at her!" Pansy was turning red yelling about Hermione to Millicent.
"Well then get her back, here!" Millicent tossed an apple at Pansy and gave her a little smirk. Pansy gripped the apple and tossed it a couple times in her hands.
"This will be perfect. A nice lump on the bookworm's face." Draco heard Pansy complaining and looked up to see what she was about to do. Pansy hurled the green apple at Hermione's face and laughed slightly. Hermione snatched the apple from the air when it was a little less than arm's length away from her. She looked up from her book at the apple and smiled.
"What the...Hermione how'd you do that!?" Harry asked very shocked, even he didn't see the apple coming and he was a seeker.
"Training..." Hermione just shrugged and bit into the crisp apple and began reading again. She could hear Pansy shriek and slam something down onto the table and some laughter she knew was from Draco. She quickly glanced up to where Professor Drown was eating. He was laughing slightly and shaking his head in disbelief.
"She's coming along a lot better than I thought she would in just two days."
"Well, she does have an excellent teacher." Dumbledore was just as pleased as Drown was since he caught the small scene also.
"There I ate something...happy Ronald?" Hermione was still munching on the apple a little, but was practically done with it.
"Only an apple though...but it's better than nothing I guess."
Hermione looked down at the apple core and smirked to herself. She pulled out a quill and a small piece of parchment and wrote a quick note. She stuck the note onto the apple core.
"What are you doing?" Ginny asked curious about Hermione's weird actions.
"I think Pansy would like her apple back, don't you think?" Hermione and Ginny both smiled widely at eachother. Hermione chucked the slimy apple core right at Pansy. She heard a loud thud and a lot a shrieking. Hermione couldn't contain her laughter once the entire Great Hall was holding their sides laughing.
"Granger!!!!!" Pansy squealed in a high pitched voice. Hermione just closed her book and looked up. "Youíre going to get it you stupid mudblood!" Hermione was still laughing which pissed Pansy off even more since she wasn't intimidated by her threats. Instead of commenting on Pansy, Hermione just propped her head up on her hand and smiled innocently at the reddening face of Pansy Parkinson.
"That was bloody brilliant Hermione!" Draco was still in hysterics from the look on Pansy's face when the apple hit her and she read the note Hermione wrote saying 'Thanks for the apple, thought you might want a bite'
"Ya know, you should be careful about what you say to her. She might get help on figuring your secret out."
"Draco...this is my first break from training...stop talking about Pansy..."
"It's only been two days!"
"Two long days, Thank You very much!" Hermione crossed her arms over her chest and glared at Draco playfully.
"Oh poor baby, guess you won't have any energy for me tonight."
"Is that a challenge Mr. Malfoy?"
"Yeah, you up for it?"
"Nope!" Hermione stood up from the couch and walked to her room.
"I can't believe I just got rejected." Draco followed her up to her room and jumped onto her bed while she went into the shower. It had been so long since they last kissed, Draco couldn't take it any more. It was driving him crazy having to wait for her to get out of the shower. "Hermione! Merlin why does it take you so-" Hermione stepped out of the bathroom completely oblivious to the fact Draco was yelling, let alone in her room.
"Draco! What are you doing here get out! I'm naked you git!" Draco didn't even answer her; he just pulled her moist body right up against his and kissed her passionately on the lips. Hermione completely forgot about being in a towel until Draco pushed her onto the bed and she felt the towel loosen.
"You aren't naked, look you've got a towel on." Draco pulled on the fluffy white towel wrapped not-so-tightly around Hermione damp skin. She gave him an evil glare making him laugh and roll his eyes.
"Well?" Hermione huffed impatiently.
"What...?" Draco asked smirking.
"Get out! I have to change."
"So...what's your point?" Hermione grinned and hoped off the bed walking towards Draco swaying her hips as much as she could. Draco was looking at her wide eyed like he was about to be the luckiest man in the world in a couple seconds. She got right up against him; she was so close that she heard the large lump in Draco's throat being swallowed. Hermione placed her finger on his chest and started pushing him towards the door. 'Poor Draco has no idea he's just leaving...' Once she got him a couple inches away from the open portrait to her room.
"Draco..." Hermione huskily whispered in his ear. "Bye!" And she pushed him out the portrait and he stumbled out of her room with a shocked look on his face.
By time Hermione had dried off and changed into a pair of red silk pants and a white tank top, Draco was already in the Common Room surprisingly listening to music.
"Are you listening to my CD?"
"If you're talking about the CD that was lying on your dresser under some parchment, then yeah, I am." Hermione glared at him and jumped on his lap. "I like the smell of that vanilla body wash you were using, especially when it was still on you."
"Draco Malfoy, don't even try it tonight." Hermione glared at him again and crossed her arms. Draco just shook his head in defeat and laid down with Hermione still on top of him.
'I still can't believe I'm so lucky to have her...I just wish that I could keep her from doing that training...what if she gets hurt? If she gets hurt I donít know what I would do...what does she do when she trains? What if she's fighting people?'
"Draco? What are you thinking about? You seem kind of spaced out right now." Hermione was tracing small circles on his bare chest, wishing she could read minds.
"Nothing, just stupid stuff that I shouldnít be worrying about..."
"You're thinking about my training aren't you......" Hermione sighed and stopped running her fingers along his chest. "Don't worry about me...I'm not in danger...please donít be bothered by it."
"I'm sorry Hermione, but I do worry...I just want you to stay safe and come back to me in one piece every day." Hermione smiled because of Draco's concern for her and kissed his cheek. Draco was mentally screaming at himself all night until Hermione and him decided to retire in his bed, and nothing else, to Draco's disappointment.
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