Chapter 7 – Locked Destiny
Living up to everyone’s expectation, condemned me to a life of damnation
Destiny - Mary J. Blige
Even in the cold dampness of her cell, her body still felt warmth. She wasn’t quite sure how, but she reveled in the fact that the water and cold night air didn’t touch her as he wished it had. Goosebumps still covered her pale flesh, as if trying to keep her safe from that harm that had befallen her. She had been healed and wounded again and again after he thrown into the pit of Hell. The torture her body had gone through was unlike anything she had predicted. She didn’t damn anyone to this fate. She had never foreseen that this would be what would happen. All she had wanted to do was keep her family safe from harm. There were too many doubts in her mind that they would ever be safe again. Her children…her husband…had she truly sent them to their fate because all she had wanted to do was protect them?
”There is no choice in this matter, Hermione,” he droned on, his voice silky. “You either join me or watch Ron suffer a fate worse than death. Your children will become slaves and you…you will come to me willingly even if you do not wish it. Mudbloods do not hold a very keen place in my heart.”
“I am well aware of that, Draco. But if you hurt one hair on my children’s heads…”
Draco’s hand grasped at her throat, nearly draining the life from her body. She choked and clawed at his strong grip, but couldn’t be free of the hold. The world around her was growing black. The sound of her children’s laughter rung in her ears. She saw Ron’s smile and felt his warm touch. She would have welcomed death if it meant that they were safe. But if she died this night, they would die right along side of her. There would be no one left to warn or save everyone else.
“You’ll what?” Draco spat. “You’ll find a way to hex me into oblivion?! If you haven’t noticed, Hermione, I am more powerful than anyone thought I’d ever become. So do not even begin to presume anything about what I am capable of. I would gladly sacrifice your children in order to get me ahead. Do you understand me?!”
Hermione gasped for air as she stammered, “Yes. Yes…I…understand.”
Falling into a heap on the floor, Hermione rubbed at her bruised throat, trying to gain back the air she had been deprived of. She listened to his hollow footsteps as he rounded her like she was his prey. There had been a time when she just decked him without any thought or question. She feared fate was paying her back for only showing that Draco was a prat and nothing more. Was fate that cruel?
“I don’t care about your damn children. I have one of my own, ready to stand tall and move into the darkness that I reside in. Your children are mere ants on the plane of my existence. Ronald, on the other hand, poses a very large threat.”
Her eyes slowly moved upwards, gazing up at Draco with horror. “Ron…Ron has nothing to do with…”
“He has to do with everything! Ron is apart of the Auror sector of the Ministry. It only takes one slip up, Hermione, and I am locked away in Azkaban for the rest of my natural existence.” He gazed down at her with a sneer playing on his lips. “The easiest way to be rid of an obstacle is to kill it.”
Crawling on her hands and knees, she quickly wrapped her arms around Draco’s legs, as if hoping she was concrete to bind him to the floor. Ron had been the light in the darkness after the War. She had been drained, nearly depleted of everything that she was. It had taken a toll on both her mind and body. Ron had somehow stayed along side of her, needing to guide her back to who and what she was. He had saved her without even trying. Ron was her life force. If Draco took that away, she would be back to where she started. Her children would have a mother that was numb and hollow. They deserved better than that. They deserved lives with two parents.
“What do I have to do? Tell me what I have to do in order to save them.”
Draco’s dark eyes peered down at her quivering frame. A smirk played on his lips – one of triumph. He was winning and she knew that, but in order to save her family she would stoop to his level. She would be come the helpless mudblood that he always despised. Whatever he wanted she would do.
“I require a companion,” he slowly began to say, “one that is willing to do anything that I wish of her. Pansy is…easy. You, on the other hand, will prove to be a challenge, won’t you?”
She nearly whimpered at his touch and began to slink away until she pictured Ron lying on the ground, wide eyed and deprived of life. Nodding her head, she spoke, “Yes, Draco. I will prove to be a challenge.”
Slipping away from her tight grasp, he began to seep into the darkness that kept him at bay. It was a place she didn’t want to reside but would in order to keep her family from harm. She would degrade herself in order to keep those that she loved alive.
“You have two days time to say good-bye to those you love, Hermione. If you do not show up by the stroke of midnight on the second day, I will send my most trusted to do what is necessary – including you.”
With a slam of the door, Hermione jumped and let the hot tears stream down her cheeks. She had two days left with the ones she loved before she was damned to Hell itself. The thoughts that filled her couldn’t haunt her as he wanted them to. She needed to be happy for Ron and her children. Two days…all she had was two days…
“Let me the hell out of here!” Hermione screamed as she pounded on the metal bars of her cell.
Her pleas, she knew, would fall on deaf ears. Draco’s loyal followers had only visited her twice a day, bringing her food and water. She wouldn’t even deem the gruel they had given her food, but in order to keep up her strength she ate it – sparingly. They had still deprived her of clothing as she remained naked within the small cell that held no light except for that of the moon when it rose in just the right way. She could feel the cold seeping deep into her body, but she blocked out everything that went along with that. Fear could not overtake her. She had to remain calm and collected or otherwise he won, and that was something Hermione was not ready to let happen. If there was a will there was a way, and she was sure that she would find a way to be rid of the captivity she found herself in.
Slinking back into the corner of her cell, she sat down and brought her knees against her chest. She had forgotten what she once was. The days had begun to bleed together, always being cast into the darkness. She wasn’t sure if it had been a week, ten days, or even a month. All she kept thinking about was Ron and her children. The thoughts plagued her of what happened to them and if they were even still alive. Draco’s followers were quiet, but she heard their mutterings coming through the floorboards of what was happening. People tortured…slaughtered…all in the name of Draco.
Even the death of Fleur had reached her. She had been killed mercilessly for whatever Draco’s new cause was. Bill was furious as was the rest of the Weasley family. The Wizarding World had absolutely no idea the strength the Weasley family had built after the War. They were no longer weak or frowned upon. The funeral for Fred had been a turnout that no one had ever expected. But they had become more powerful than ever expected. Not exactly at the top of the food chain, but more than they ever had been before.
“Ron, if you can hear me…I love you.”
She listened as something hit the cold floor. Peering up through tear-filled eyes, she saw the outline of something in the darkness. Crawling over to it, she moved quicker once she realized what it was.
Clutching the tiny teddy bear to her chest, she gazed over to see Draco smiling evilly at her through the metal bars. She rocked back and forth on her legs as she thought about what this meant. Everything she had sacrificed herself for was going to be in vain. Everything that she was would be lost.
“The Infari march to your house as we speak. Pansy will lead them through the doors, letting them destroy everything and anything in their wake.” He laughed, letting it echo in her ears. “Did you honestly believe that I would not make the sacrifice even if you joined me?”
“You coward!” She lunged at the bars and tried to claw his eyes out. The only thing that remained was his laughter. “You bastard!”
Draco smirked and merely shrugged. “And I will make sure that Ron’s blood is on my hands. The Weasley family will be non-existent by the time I’m done with it.”
Hermione sobbed and tears continued to stream down her cheeks as she clutched Rose’s bear tight in her hand. The last thing her daughter would remember of her mother was that she had left them. Draco slinked into the darkness as sorrow and rage threatened to consume her. Her family would be destroyed because she wasn’t there to stop it.
“Welcome to Hell, Hermione.”
Draco’s evil laughter echoed in her ears as she slid down the bars. Her tears soaked through the bear’s tough cloth. Her children…her husband…they would all be gone soon. There would be nothing left to live for…
The creaking of the door had her looking up in surprise. She glanced over to see her cell door opened, without anyone standing there. It wasn’t dinner time or breakfast. There was no reason for it to be open. What was…?
“If you want to save your family, let’s go!”
Hermione’s eyes widened in shock as she saw Blaise standing in the doorway of the cell. Slowly rising to her feet, she moved slowly toward him, the bear still clutched in her one hand. He held out a blanket for her to wrap herself in, and she took it without hesitation. He wrapped his arm around her waist and began to guide her through the maze of the dungeon. No words were spoken. She had nothing to say. Shock still filled her, but she didn’t want to protest. If Blaise Zabini wanted to take her to her family, who was she to stop him?
“Please, Blaise, get me there before it’s too late.”
Luna pounded on the door to her cell as if her life depended on it. There was no way that she could save him now, but there would be a way to save others. Suddenly the strength she needed was given to her in spades. She needed to do this before it was too late. There was a way to save the rest of them if she could just be rid of the prison that held her.
“Please! Please…I can save them! I can save them! It’s not their destiny to die! It doesn’t have to be their destiny!”
A/N: Ok I know that this is really short and probably really rough around the edges, but I will be coming back to edit this one a little later. I wanted to get another chapter up for Halloween. The next chapter is going to be up as soon as possible and filled with more than you ever bargained for. Please let me know what you think. *hugs*