Harry popped his head into the room, and spied Hermione sitting on her bed reading a rather large book. The privacy curtain was drawn obscuring the view over to the other side.
“Hey, what’re you reading?” He called, and started to move into the room.
She looked up at him quickly, and smiled. With a wearied expression, she took a deep breath, and sighed closing the voluminous tomb and placed it on her bedside table.
“Oh, just something one of the Healers gave me. I couldn’t sleep and was looking for some light reading. She said she thought I might enjoy it.”
As he looked down at the alleged book, he started chuckling. “Hogwarts, A History?”
“Yes. It’s quite interesting actually. Kind of like reading a Science Fiction and Fantasy encyclopedia… What’ so funny?”
“Nothing, nothing! Might just be one of the Healers having a go at you. Either that, or they really want you to remember. What did she look like?”
“Shoulder length red hair, lots of freckles. I don’t think she was teasing me. She’s been one of the nicest to both of us.”
“Ginny.” He mumbled smiling to himself.
Ginny’s logic was so funny sometimes. He could see where she was heading with it though. If anything could jog Hermione’s memory, it would be this book.
“Pardon?” She cut into his thoughts.
“Nothing. Not important. Where’s Peter?”
“He’s having a lie down. All those tests really did him in.
She looked at him, and then to the door seeming to notice for the first time that he was alone.
“So, where were you this morning? You said you’d come and see us off?”
“We did, but we’d just missed you. They had already taken you down to start your physicals.”
She paused awkwardly for a moment before continuing. “And where’s Ron?”
Harry had to fight the smile trying to form on his face. ‘Just like old times,’ he thought to himself. ‘Even when she’s mad at him, she can’t help wanting to see him.’
“Oh, he’s just outside. Didn’t want to… um… disturb either of you.”
“More like he didn’t want to deal with Peter.” She said angrily as she viciously threw the covers off of her.
“No, I don’t think that was it. Where are you going?”
“To have a little chat with him. This childish behaviour has to stop.” She said throwing on her robe.
Harry took a step back as she passed by him. He knew better than to get in her way when she was itching for a fight.
“Sarah, he has his reasons.” He said in one last attempt to prevent the inevitable row.
Gripping the door’s handle, she said quietly. “Whatever they are, they’re not good enough!”
With that, she opened the door, and stepped out into the hall.
The door slid shut behind her as she scanned the hall for him. Finally, she spotted him just down the way on a bench with his head in his hands. Instead of going at him immediately, she watched him for a moment.
He sat up, and sighed heavily into a slouched posture letting his head fall back against the wall behind. He looked so tired, and unhappy, she couldn’t help but want to comfort him. Having realized someone was watching him, his eyes shifted to her, and his entire body tensed. He stood and made his way over to her.
She, in turn, steeled herself for the confrontation she knew was coming.
“What is your problem?” She spat out before he'd even reached her.
“My problem? I don’t have a problem.” He said taking the defensive.
She crossed her arms and glared at him.
“What has Peter ever done to you? If anything, you should be apologizing to him.”
“Excuse me?” He bellowed.
“The first time we had the misfortune of meeting you, you introduced yourself by strangling him. Since then, you’ve been nothing but rude, and downright hostile toward him. Peter, on the other hand, has proven himself to be a true gentleman by ignoring your mistreatment of him.”
“A true gentleman? That git wouldn’t know what a true gentleman was even if the bloke came up and kicked him in the arse.”
“A gentleman wouldn’t kick a man in the arse.”
“Oh, you know what I mean.”
“Peter is more of a man now than you’ll ever be.” She growled, and marched off down the hallway.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” He shouted following her.
Finally having had enough, he grabbed her arm, and whirled her around. “Are you two… involved?”
She sniffed and stuck her nose in the air. “That really isn’t any of your business. But if I was involved with someone, I’d be lucky if it was Peter.”
She knew she was just saying this to get a rise out of him. Peter was great and all, but she really didn’t have those kinds of feelings for him.
“Over my dead body.” He gritted out.
“Don’t make promises you can’t and won’t keep.”
With that, she started back down the hall.
“Hermione, come back here.” He yelled and started to follow.
Without slowing, she shouted back over her shoulder. “Sarah!”
He stopped dead in his tracks. “What?”
She spun quickly around. “My name is Sarah. Until I remember this other person’s life, I’d prefer to be referred to as Sarah. Thank you!”
He clenched and unclenched his fists and glared a hole through her.
She shifted her weight, and crossed her arms again with a huff.
He moved closer to her, and placed his hands on her forearms.
“Listen, Sarah.” He became so earnest she found it unsettling.
“Who Peter was… Who he used to be…” He continued. “Draco Malfoy was an evil, manipulative, vicious person who did horribly bad things to others. He ruined people’s lives for fun, and enjoyed causing pain.”
Sarah’s eyes began to fill with tears but she fought to keep them at bay.
“That’s not who he is now though. Peter is the warmest, most caring person I know. He wouldn’t dream of hurting another person.”
Ron rolled his eyes at this.
“Yes, but Sarah, you don’t know what will happen when he gets his memory back. What if he goes back to who he was… If he ever hurt you, I’d…”
“He would never hurt me.” She cut him off and went through a door leading to a stairwell. Ron was right behind.
Harry sat flipping through the “Hogwarts, A History” from Hermione’s bedside table. He wasn’t really reading with any kind of focus, just skimming the pages allowing the memories they incited to flood back to him.
It was fairly silent save for the even breathing from the other side of the room. Without realizing it, Harry’s attention was drawn to the steadiness of the sound. It lulled him into thoughts of the person who rested behind the curtain. There were so many questions and concerns he had regarding Draco.
This wasn’t just a casual visit for him. He’d been stationed by the Ministry to guard them, Draco in particular.
Harry let his thoughts wander.
‘What happens when he remembers? Will he go back to being who he was? Or will he stay this new person? How long will it take for him to remember? Weeks? Months? Years? Will he ever remember? Merlin, for his sake, I hope he doesn’t.’
The sound of the door opening drew him out of these musings. He looked up and over to find Lavender surveying the room.
“Where are they?” She asked, confusion lacing her voice.
“Draco is asleep, and Hermione is with Ron somewhere probably having a right good spat about now.”
She rolled her eyes in response, and Harry briefly spotted the girl he new from school.
“Did you need them for another test?” He inquired.
“No, no… Just wanted to make sure they were comfortable and didn’t want anything.”
Harry only nodded his head.
“Well, I’m going to go find her. The last thing she needs right now is a row with Ron.”
Harry couldn’t control his reaction. “Uh huh…” Was all he could offer.
He assumed this was just another one of Lavender’s jealous snits.
Sensing his opinion, she continued. “She and Draco have some serious decisions to make, and I don’t want her making them in an emotional state.”
She’d really grabbed his attention with that last comment.
“What do you mean? What decisions?”
“As I told you before, Harry, they have to decide whether they want to stay and go through a pretty difficult and possibly lengthy recuperation. Or have the memories of their time here wiped and be returned to Hammersmith.”
“You told them this?” His anger rising.
“Yes, Harry. It’s their right to choose, no one else’s.”
She was right, of course. He knew she was right, but it didn’t stop him from being upset with the prospect of losing Hermione again.
“Now, I’m going to go find her before Ron says something stupid.”
Distracted by this new development, Harry simply nodded. This created a whole new gamut of questions.
“Sarah, you have no idea how cruel Draco Malfoy was. He hurt people… You were the most in danger.”
She didn’t want to hear it.
“I think the biggest threat to my life and safety right now is you.” She shouted angrily.
“He’s a deceitful, evil, little ferret who deserves to be put out of his misery,” he screamed.
She slapped him hard across the face. That would definitely leave a mark. He didn’t reach up and clasp his cheek though. Instead, he stared at her seething in anger.
Her voice dangerously low, she whispered. “Take that back.”
“No.” He challenged.
She reached up to haul off and slap him again, but he grabbed her wrist viciously.
“You hit me one more time, and I’ll…” Ron growled.
“And you’ll what? What will you do?” She dared.
His eyes flitted quickly down to her wetted, trembling lips, and she gasped slightly. They’d never been alone together like this.
In one swift motion, he pulled her to him still clutching her wrist. He placed his other hand forcefully behind her head to hold her in place, and brought his lips crashing to hers. The kiss was brutal, and his touch was completely lacking in gentleness. She struggled weakly against him at first, but as his initial roughness began to wane and his lips took on a softer feel, her body began to respond and she melted into his tall frame.
As the hand holding her wrist released its grasp and moved to wrap around her slim waist, his tongue brushed lightly along her lips begging for entry. She whimpered softly at the contact, and allowed him to deepen the kiss. Her hands limply fell to his shoulders as he pulled her even more flush against him. But after a moment they grew bold, and traveled up to become tangled in his hair.
He moaned deeply as she took handfuls of his mane and tugged at it to better position his mouth for her. His hands began to venture up and down her back as their kisses became more and more urgent.
Suddenly, she pulled back panting heavily, her lips swollen and red. Gasping for air as well, he looked at her bewildered. In a flash, she slapped him. Confused, he stared back at her, but then the anger flared in his eyes.
“I told you not to hit me…”
“Shut up!” She interrupted still breathing deeply.
She grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled him back to her slamming her lips into his. This action was so forceful that he lost his balance, and tripped forward slightly. He placed one hand on the wall behind her to brace himself, and wrapped the other arm around her.
There was nothing gentle about these kisses. They were a violent clash of lips and teeth as their tongues battled for dominance. Her hands greedily roamed his back and shoulders. As he let his arm bracing him buckle slightly and force her more fully up against the wall, he wedged his right leg between both of hers causing an intimate friction. She released a guttural moan, and her head fell back at the sheer pleasure of the pressure his leg was applying. He took full advantage of the supple expanse of skin offered, and latched his lips and tongue onto her neck. His fingers began to trace up and down her ribs barely brushing the edge of her breasts on the up stroke eliciting breathy gasps and sighs from her.
All coherent thought had flown from their minds. There was no sense of right or wrong in this haze, or the consequences of these actions. Between kisses, licks, and bites, he began to mumble sweetly into her neck, and through the fog she heard two words.