Chapter 12 : This Ruined Puzzle
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it's pressed between pages
that you've marked to find your way back.
It says "Does he ever get the girl?"
But what if the pages stay pressed,
the chapters unfinished,
the story’s too dull to unfold?
Does he ever get the girl?
~Dashboard Confessional: This Ruined Puzzle
“Draco? Oy, I’m talking here mate!” Draco shook his head clear of his thoughts and turn to see his fellow Slytherin Blaise Zabini waving an agitated hand in his face. “What’s going on in that head of yours, you’ve been staring into space all day.”
“Nothing I’m fine.” Draco grunted, but subconsciously rubbed his right forearm where instead of a terrible scar a sinister black mark had been resting contently for almost a week.
Draco trudged down the dark corridors of Hogwarts in the middle of the night while each student slept warm in their beds. He knew full well Hermione was still stirring in her covers from what she knew was about to happen. To his left was the greasy potions master, Severus Snape. The professor was ordered by Voldemort to accompany the young wizard to the Malfoy Manor so that he didn’t have another ‘lapse in judgment’.
“Hand out.” Snape demanded once they reached the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Draco followed the command and felt a heavy metal medallion drop into his hand. Before he could make out the intricate details of the round cold metal, Draco felt the familiar tugging that only a portkey could create. When he regained his balance, he found himself standing in the entrance hall of the Malfoy Manor. Draco looked down and saw that the medallion was gone. Without time to question this Draco was pulled ahead by Snape toward his father’s study.
“Remember what Dumbledore told you, Draco. Breath, relax, and most important, get that Granger girl out of your thoughts.”
“Yes, sir.” Earlier in the day Hermione pleaded to join the meeting that determined what would happen to Draco that night. They both had to come clean to the Headmaster about whatever it was the two students were. Friends? No, they decided it was more than that, but neither could put a title to it.
“Get the look off your face.” Snape hissed dangerously when he glanced at Draco. Immediately he threw on the mask his father had beaten into him years ago. Looking pleased Snape opened the door to Lucius’ study and once in bowed low to the Dark Lord sitting tall in a large armchair. Draco came in second and gave Voldemort the best loyal-servant-kiss-arse bow he could muster.
“Young Malfoy, stand up and face your Lord.” Voldemort said with a hissing leer. Draco stayed silent and stood proudly infront of the disgusting man he was born to serve. “You have caused me great despair my child. But you have returned.” Voldemort’s mock smile turned fierce as he spat, “Why?”
“My Lord, I have seen the error of my ways and beg for your mercy and forgiveness.” As Snape told him, Draco bowed low again and stayed there until spoken to again.
“There is no reason for me to doubt where your loyalties reside, young Malfoy. But,” Draco didn’t look up, he knew what was coming. Horrible pain. “Crucio!”
“Drakey sweetie.” Draco snapped from his memories and clenched the table for mental support as Pansy Parkinson galloped up to him. “You said you would spend dinner with me!” She pouted with a sickening frown on her horrible face.
“Shove off Parkinson.” Draco growled lowly feeling as though the table was about to send splinters into his fists.
“Look, you have had that bloody mark for less than a week and already you act as though you are the Dark damn Lord yourself!” She shrieked. Draco could care less about the pug in front of him. He simply stood from the table, grabbed one last dinner roll and strolled from the Great Hall as Pansy seemed to internally explode.
During dinner Hermione watched warily as Draco seemed to return to a night she knew well of. He stared absently at the food on his plate and swirled it around numerous times before the Parkinson girl came trotting up to him like an oversized dog.
“Hey Herms, are you coming to watch the Gryffindor try-outs tomorrow?” Ron asked anxiously.
“Of course, you know I wouldn’t miss that. And besides, I’m already aware you both are depending on me to take note of the best fliers.” Hermione joked.
“That’s great, I was sure of going, but knowing someone else will be with me in the stands definitely makes me want to go.” Zach said swallowing a large bite of chicken. “So what time is it again?” He asked turning to Harry.
“Well we get to start try-outs directly after class and they can be held until dinner. So to get through all the players and then debate who is the best, and then go through the best again.” Harry stopped in thought. “I suppose from 3 to 7 o’clock.”
“Harry, honestly we don’t need 4 hours, there are only seven players coming out this year.” Ginny said leaving her conversation with Colin Creevey.
“Alright fine Gin, come around 5 o’clock you two.” Harry said sounding defeated, but gave Ginny a loving smile nonetheless. Hermione looked up and saw the blonde boy she had grown to enjoy was gone from the Slytherin table.
“Hey, I think I’m going to head back to my dorm. I haven’t finished the Defense Against the Dark Arts essay Professor Burslem assigned Tuesday.” She noticed the gaping stares her friends were giving her and just sighed. “Yes, I didn’t do it the second the essay was assigned. I only have a couple inches left though.” She reasoned.
“Alright ‘Mione. Goodnight, but don’t forget what I told you.” Ginny said. The rest bid her goodnight and then turned on Ginny about what she told Hermione.
The day after Draco received the dark mark, Dumbledore agreed to allow Hermione to tell one friend about what was happening. He thought she was too young to deal with this on her own and needed someone besides Draco to lend a shoulder to lean on. Hermione decided Ginny was the most accepting of her friends. If Harry and Ron knew she was even on speaking terms with Draco, let alone had some sort of feeling for the boy, Merlin she didn’t want to know what they would do. Kill Draco? Kill her? Never speak with her again? Hermione didn’t want to know. But Ginny had been supportive, and Zach had found out about Draco’s ceremony and already knew of the situation without Hermione needing to tell him. The two together were able to keep Hermione sane after Draco got back to Hogwarts with that thing on his arm. After classes tomorrow the three of them had planned a picnic to just talk and relax. Ginny had even offered to be civil if Hermione wanted Draco to attend, though he wouldn’t be at school the next day anyway, Ginny was simply being courteous.
“Sweetness.” Hermione said to the sleepy portrait and was allowed inside. She stepped into the Common Room and felt the thick tension immediately.
“Hermione!” Viktor Krum was sitting rigid on the squishy maroon couch, but jumped to his feet when he saw her.
“You have a visitor, Granger.” Draco sneered venomously at Viktor.
“Oh hello Viktor, I er, didn’t expect to see you here.” Hermione said trying to sound friendly.
“I wanted to see you, I ‘ave been very busy with the first years lately.”
“Well isn’t that a shame.” She mumbled so neither of the boys could hear. “Say Viktor, how about I talk to you tomorrow at breakfast?”
“Could I walk you there again?” He asked hopefully.
“That sounds wonderful. Goodnight now.” Hermione ushered him quickly out the door and waved him goodbye before tromping back into the Common Room.
“That sounds wonderful, oh Viktor!” Draco mocked holding his hands to his heart and twirling.
“Watch it Malfoy, you’ll look more like a fairy.” Hermione barked.
“Don’t give me that, you were rude to him and obviously jealous!”
“He had his bloody eyes dancing all over you, I have a right to be angry!” Draco retaliated yelling in her face.
“Get over yourself Draco, we aren’t dating so you have no right over me in any way. Plus, Viktor is sweet, he doesn’t know he’s doing anything wrong and he still thinks I fancy him, so just -” Hermione turned away to sit on the couch.
“Then tell him you don’t. It’s obvious to everyone but that oaf.” Hermione tried to protest that she could continue ignoring him, but Draco just pressed his lips firmly against hers.
“Alright, I’ll do it tomorrow.” Hermione mumbled before grabbing onto Draco’s school collar and pulled him down to her on the couch. Draco ran his tongue lightly over her bottom lip and she willingly deepened their kiss. She could taste the faintly sweet pumpkin juice that he always brought back from meals. Draco ran his hands from her hips to the clasp of her school robes and quickly discarded them to the floor only to be followed by his own leaving him in a shirt and pants and her in only her knickers and skirt. The pair seemed to make a habit of fighting each night and then resolving it with sweet kissing by the fire. Draco moved from her soft pink lips to the crook of her neck and gently placed kisses and tiny bites all the way to her collar bone. His hand traveled down to her inner thigh where it massaged sensually causing a soft throaty moan to escape Hermione’s lips. He returned his own lips to hers and roughly kissed her. Hermione raked her hands through his soft platinum hair. Each time she was surprised by how soft and easily her hands could run through it. Draco pulled away to look down at the girl in his arms. Her hair was fanned out under her and her caring honey orbs stared back up into his silver eyes.
“I have to leave soon. And I don’t want this night to be filled with mindless snogging.” He said reluctantly moving to get off from the couch.
“Why can’t you leave in the morning?” Hermione wanted to groan in annoyance. Draco sat down next to her on the couch and pulled her petite form into his chest so that she was practically sitting in his lap.
“You know why I have to leave. It’s important for Dumbledore to introduce me to the Order. And I’ll be back Saturday night, so we can pick up where we stopped tonight.” Draco smirked mischievously.
“Draco wipe that smirk from your face right this instant.” Hermione ordered. She already told him plenty of times that because what they were doing was terribly wrong, so she would only allow kissing. Nothing more. Plus, she was still a young witch with a future to watch out for.
“Fine, but I know you’re going to miss me. But I swear if I hear you were caught snogging some bloody bloke in the trophy room I’ll clobber him into last year.” Draco warned though Hermione only laughed at how protective he could be. She still didn’t exactly think what they were doing was approved, but when they were alone in the Head’s Tower whatever it was they felt seemed to be perfect in all ways. Draco levitated her shirt over so that she could put it back on noticing the goose bumps forming slightly on her skin.
After a few hours Draco had left with Dumbledore to Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. Before he arrived at the Headmaster’s office, Draco had decided to let Hermione fall to sleep comfortably with him in his bed. He stayed awake the whole time listening to her shallow breathing and rare but soft snores. Draco played with her soft tendrils and couldn’t help the smile playing on his lips as Hermione slept. It was difficult enough leaving the sleeping beauty cuddled into him on his bed, but when she grabbed desperately at his shirt as he attempted to leave the bed, it almost killed him to walk away and close the door. But now he lays restlessly on a moth-eaten mattress thinking of her soft olive skin on his. The next day he was to spend getting acquainted with the rest of the Order members, and then Saturday morning was a meeting that involved him and Snape. He was yet to find out what the particulars of the meeting were, but honestly, he could care less. Draco already wore the dark mark; nothing much worse could happen to him now. He rolled over lazily in the squeaky bed and flopped his arm across the empty space beside him wishing it to magically be filled by his Hermione. Draco was well aware Hermione was far from being his, but he could still hope, couldn’t he? Miles away Hermione groaned sleepily and gripped a handful of sheets. Her eyes slowly opened when she realized there was no other person in the bed with her. Only soft off-white cotton sheets and a feather comforter surrounded her exhausted form. He was gone without a goodbye. She would be lying if she was to say she wasn’t a little hurt, but then again she also knew he would never wake her after trying so hard to get her to fall asleep in the first place. But still, her Draco was no where in reach. Of course he wasn’t hers, but there was no reason she couldn’t wish for things. So instead Hermione turned sleepily to the middle of the bed and bundled the sheets that faintly held his scent into her chest and softly drifted back into a heavy slumber.
Hermione woke with a start and glanced to the muggle clock Draco had placed in his dorm.
“Oh bloody hell!” Hermione yelled streaking from the bed causing sheets to scatter onto the ground as she ran into the bathroom. She was about to miss all of breakfast and be late to her first class of the day. Within record time Hermione had showered, gotten her hair dry, and changed into her school uniform. She was out the portrait hole right when the bell signaling the end of breakfast sounded.
“Hermione!” Zach shouted seeing her step out from the portrait hole.
“Zach, good morning.” She said turning to see him running towards her with a large bundle in his hand. “What’s that?”
“Breakfast. You weren’t there and I assumed you slept in from last night.” He said handing her over the package. “That new teacher, Professor Krum was looking for you earlier. Asked all the Gryffindors where to find you.”
“Damn, I completely forgot I was to meet Viktor! Argh this is what I get for waking up late. A guilty conscience and an empty stomach. Well, I guess it won’t be empty soon.”
“Uh, Hermione where are you going?” He then asked when he saw her bag over her shoulder.
“Erm, class. Aren’t you?”
“No. Did you forget Professor Snape went with Draco last night and he’s gone until tomorrow? No potions until Monday.” Zach said happily. Realization dawned on Hermione and she internally relaxed.
“Come on we can go to the Gryffindor Tower. I’m sure Harry and Ron are there too.” Hermione walked with him down the corridors and opened the package he had made for her. Inside was a bagel with eggs, cheese, and bacon on it. The sandwich was still hot and the cheese was completely melted.
“Enjoying yourself?” Zach asked laughing at Hermione devouring the food. She nodded in a silly reply and continued eating. Sure enough Ron and Harry were in the Gryffindor Common Room playing a round of Wizard Chess. The whole free class period Harry and Ron taught Zach how to play the game. Though he picked it up rather quickly, both boys were able to beat him easily. After the bell sounded for the next class, Hermione said goodbye to her friends parting directions to get to Divinations before she was late.
Classes were surprisingly quick, even McGonagall went easy on the class. Hermione assumed it was because of the Headmaster’s absence, but then again maybe the teachers were simply in a light mood. The Gryffindor try-outs were in a couple hours and Hermione still had to meet with Ginny and Zach. So after dropping her books off in the Head’s Tower, she headed quickly to the lake. Students were buzzing by her in fits of laughter and chatty conversations. There was a sharp autumn bite in the cold air as Hermione stepped from the castle, but simply pulling her robes closer she comfortably made it to the side of the lake. Ginny and Zach weren’t there yet, so she sat serenely looking over the rippling lake, imagining all the creatures lurking and playing in the deep water.
“Mione! Sorry we’re so late!” She heard a girl calling from far away. Hermione looked up and saw Ginny running with Zach to where she was sitting.
“It’s alright Gin, I was enjoying the silence.” Hermione said once the two sat on both of her sides.
“How was last night?” Ginny then asked excitedly turning fully to face Hermione.
“It was fine.” Hermione said softly feeling embarrassed.
“She won’t stop badgering you until she’s told Hermione.” Zach chimed in and Ginny nodded her head furiously while looking at Hermione expectantly.
“Alright well, when I got back from dinner last night Viktor was there waiting for me.” Ignoring Ginny’s gasp of surprise, she continued. “Draco was terribly jealous and when I got Viktor to leave we started yelling at eachother and -”
“If that ferret did something to you, I swear.” Ginny mumbled.
“Would you let her finish Gin?” Zach said nudging Hermione to go on.
“Well anyway we were fighting and then somehow we just started kissing.” Hermione noticed the look on Zach’s face so added. “We stopped quickly because Draco remembered he had to leave with Dumbledore shortly after. So then he took me to his room and just laid there until I feel asleep. But he left without saying ‘goodbye’ or even waking me.” Hermione finished.
“I can’t believe Malfoy could be so nice.” Ginny mused.
“He isn’t a bad guy really.” Zach said voicing his opinion.
“Yeah but Harry and Ron would never look at it that way. They would assume he was luring me to Voldemort or something horrible like that.” Hermione groaned.
The three friends talked for what felt like ever. Ginny was the one to break up the conversation when she noticed the time and remembered she had to be at the try-outs soon. Hermione insisted for Zach to go with Ginny and that she just wanted to get a heavy robe on and then would join them after. So Hermione hurried to the Head’s Tower and grabbed warmer clothing, but noticed the book she had been reading lately and decided to grab it incase she got bored at the Pitch. Saying bye to Elena and heading off to the Quidditch Pitch, Hermione opened up her book to read, but saw instead a folded piece of parchment. Written simply on the parchment was the question ’Does he ever get the girl?’ It was Draco’s writing and Hermione grabbed the note out of the book and smiled pressing it tightly in her hand. She could tell the feelings she had for him were growing even more by the minute. But Hermione was too busy thinking about him that she hadn’t noticed the extra presence around her. When she finally did it was too late, a quiet stupefy sounded and Hermione dropped to the ground.
“Where’s your bloody American boy now, Granger?” Soon everything was black.
The scent of stale parchment and old wood filled Hermione’s nose bringing her to awake in complete darkness. She pulled herself onto her elbows on a hard table, but quickly fell back onto the table in numbing pain.
“Argh!” Hermione ran her hand along her right elbow feeling deep cuts and scraps over her forearm and past her elbow. Suddenly the room lit brightly from a fire started on the other side of the room. Hermione was forced to squint from the abrupt light shining in her eyes.
“It’s nice of you to come around. I’ve been waiting nearly two hours.” Two hours? That meant she missed the Gryffindor try-outs, her friends would be getting worried about now.
“Who are you?” She was finally able to croak.
“You already know who I am, Granger.” A tall dark figure stepped in front of the fire creating a mere silhouette of their body. Slowly he walked towards Hermione who was still laying on a table clutching her throbbing arm. “Come now, smartest witch of our generation and you can’t even remember not to make enemies.” Hermione’s mind zoomed thinking who she had ever fought with or maybe made short remarks at. She wasn’t to kind of person to be rude, but sometimes things slip.
“Why am I here?” She asked instead of guessing who had kidnapped her.
“I’m not one to take no for an answer. Just because you have a loving American boy toy doesn’t mean you’re off limits to me Granger.” Realization nearly knocked her off the table.
“Luke Brinton?” She half asked half gasped. A couple more torches were lit and Hermione could see the strong Ravenclaw’s black hair and tan complexion. He was walking closer to her now, so close she could see the black fire burning in his brown eyes.
“A simple yes would have sufficed, but this always works too.” Luke pulled out his wand and conjured ropes around Hermione’s arms and legs. There was no way this was happening to her, she always thought after her parents died nothing worse could happen to her, that she suffered enough. Hermione didn’t move, she didn’t even make a sound; there was nothing she could do anyway. ‘Draco please help me, someone, Harry, Ron, Ginny, please.’ Hermione shouted in her mind as he began roughly placing kisses along her neck. She closed her eyes tightly as hot tears burned down the side of her face as she felt the buttons along her shirt pull apart.
“Please don’t,” Hermione pleaded knowing it would get her nowhere. She slightly opened her eyes only to see the menacing grin in front of her face. Luke was on top the table ripping her skirt down leaving Hermione exposed in her bra and knickers. A short sob escape her lips as his hand ran over each part of her exposed body. Tremors ran through her core uncontrollably causing Luke to become angry.
“Stop your bloody sobbing you Gryffindor whore!” Hermione expected a hard slap, but instead a loud explosion echoed through the room.
Author's Note: PLEASE don't be mad at me.. ok I made sure nothing happened to Hermione, but it's important to the plot that something semi-bad happens to her and I already had Luke's character written in the story... agh just please no flamers!! the next chapter is a very happy one for Draco and Hermione I SWEAR!!!!!! ...but the preview is a bit misleading with the whole happiness thing... haha
Preview for Chpt 13!
“Hermione. You did that to her didn’t you?” When he didn’t get an answer Draco threw him against the wall again even harder. “Didn’t you?”
“I said I don’t know what you’re going on about!” He knew it was the kid; there was no way it wasn’t. Draco wanted him to feel all the pain Hermione went through. Since he couldn’t harm the boy that much emotionally, physically would just have to do for now.
“Wrong answer.” Draco pulled the shaking boy from the wall and tossed him to the floor. Sitting there close to fainting, Luke tried backing away but Draco had his wand back out first. He had one curse in mind, but not the Killing Curse, Draco wanted Luke to live with it. Raising his wand Draco was seconds from murmuring the Torture Curse...
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