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Chapter 19 : Discovered
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“My Lord, we have news that will be most pleasing to you,” said the cloaked figure as he bowed before Voldemort. “My spies inform me that the last elemental has been discovered.”
“Very good news indeed,” hissed the Dark lord. “Tell me, are the chances good?”
“No My Lord,” replied the woman. “Water and air are completely devoted to Dumbledore’s Order.” The Dark Lord snarled. “However, it may be possible to use one of them as bait for the other.”
“Indeed, very wise. Is there anything you wish to add?”
“My Lord, it would be dangerous, not knowing what other powers they may have.”
“Very well, send those that are not essential to the plan.”
“As you wish My Lord,” replied the cloaked man.
“If you succeed, you shall be well rewarded,” hissed the Dark Lord. He then pointed to the shorter of the two that faced him, the woman. “You will stay.”
“Of course, My Lord,” she replied, motioning for the other to leave them.
“Where does the third stand?”
“I believe he may be swayed.”
“And the last?”
“As always, faithful to her cause. She will never be swayed.”
“As I thought. Keep me well informed, my pet.” The woman nodded and disapparated.
Tuesday’s lesson could be described as nothing other than hellish. The lesson had started an hour earlier than usual and had run for four hours. By the time it was over, Draco could form water instead of having to find it, and Hermione’s skill had increased even more.
Not that it was 10 O’ Clock and they had both been practicing for hours, they were drained, both of them exhausted.
They dragged themselves to their common room, where they fell asleep together on the couch. When Hermione finally woke, there was an eerie silence. Guessing that it was around 3 am, she snuggled closer to Draco and closed her eyes, unaware of what had drawn her from her slumber. When she was about to fall asleep though, she heard a soft thud from behind. Her eyes opened, now completely aware, and they searched the darkened room for any signs of movement.
She nudged Draco and carefully covered his mouth to prevent him from making any noise. He opened his eyes and gave her a questioning look. She mouthed that there was someone in the room as she contacted Jake, when she heard the footsteps stop behind the couch, she peeked over the top and came face to face with a blinding yellow light.
She was sent crashing through the room until her head came into contact with the hard stone wall with a sickening crack. Draco’s eyes widened as he saw Hermione’s limp form fall in a slump on the floor, blood streaking the wall behind her, feeling a searing pain in his own head, as a reflection of her pain.
From the corner of his eye, he saw Jake slam the portrait open as he sent a stupefy curse at one of the attackers, sending them to the ground. The other, he disarmed and stunned as well. Taking the other attackers wand, he bound them and rushed to Hermione’s side, kneeling next to Jake.
“How is she?” he asked cautiously, afraid of the answer. He could see, even in the darkness, that blood had pooled around her head. Jake didn’t answer, but Draco knew that he was trying to heal her. The dim green of Jake’s magic shone from her head and Draco could see the perspiration from Jake’s concentration level forming on his brow.
Finally, Jake looked to Draco. “I’ve healed her internal bleeding and skull, but I can’t do anything about the curse. I’ll call for Poppy.” Draco nodded and took Hermione’s hand in his.
“Contact Dumbledore too,” he said, receiving a nod from Jake. Shortly after, Madame Pomfrey and Dumbledore appeared in the doorway, the plump nurse rushing to where Hermione lay on the floor.
“I’ve already healed her physical wounds,” informed Jake, “but I can’t do anything about the curse.”
“What colour was the curse Mr. Malfoy?”
“Good,” she replied, giving a sigh of relief. She spoke a few words and a deep blue spell came from the tip of her wand.
“Will she be okay?”
“She will be fine, Mr. Malfoy. Luckily, the level of attack was quite low, so there won’t be any permanent damage. However, she will not wake for another day. Poor things exhausted. She’s welcome to stay at the hospit-“
“No,” cut in Draco smoothly, “thank you. I can watch over her here. She doesn’t like waking up in the hospital wing. It makes her think she’s going to die sooner than she really is.”
“Thank you Poppy,” said Dumbledore. “You may go back to bed. I must speak to these two alone.” The plump nurse excused herself. “Were you unable to contact Melissa, Jake?”
“Yes sir,” he replied. “We had a…fight the other day, and we haven’t really spoken since. Plus, I can never contact her when she’s sleeping. She has somewhat vivid…dreams,” he finished lamely.
“We will notify her tomorrow then. Mr. Malfoy, I trust you have bound your attackers?”
“Yes sir. They’re behind the couch.” Dumbledore nodded slightly and led them to where the attackers were. He removed their masks to reveal Pansy Parkinson and Vincent Crabbe.
“These two will be tried and sent to Azkaban,” he said sorrowfully, shaking his head.
“Albus, this is a serious problem here,” said Jake. “We’ve been discovered. Someone knew who and when to attack. We’re either being watched or someone who knows about us has told.”
“I’ll try, but I don’t think that they’ve sent anyone who knows much of anything, especially if they knew that I could extract any information that they have.”
Jake then closed his eyes, deadly serious, and he probed their minds for information. They cried out in pain, but Jake was relentless, he showed no mercy. Finally, Jake opened his eyes, the screaming of the two young death eaters ceasing, and he shook his head.
“They didn’t even know what Hermione and Draco are,” he informed them. “They were just following orders.”
“Very well,” replied the old headmaster with a sigh. “Then you must be extra cautious. Don’t go anywhere alone if you can help it and make sure that all doors and windows are always closed and locked.”
“Yes professor,” replied Draco. Satisfied that nothing more could be done, Dumbledore then took the intruders and left. Draco went to where Hermione lay and picked her up, bringing her to the couch and gently lowering her onto it.
“Are you going to be okay?” asked Jake, pausing at the door.
“Yeah,” he replied hesitantly. “I’m just glad that I didn’t lose her.” Jake nodded and left Draco, closing the portrait behind him. Draco conjured a chair and sat beside Hermione.
“Look what they’ve done to you,” he whispered, gently brushing a stray locke of hair from her face, falling asleep with her hand clasped gently in his.
“You have failed me!” roared Voldemort in a rage. The hooded figure showed no sigh of fear. “Now they know what I've been planning!”
“No, My Lord, not entirely,” said the woman as she stood, walking closer to him, unhindered by fear. He would not kill her, or even harm her, else she leave his ranks. “The idiots we sent almost killed air. I believe that they think we want them dead. It would make sense.”
“I want one captured.” His words were venomously quiet. “It no longer matters which one.”
“I will do it myself,” said the woman.
“No, I have other plans for you.”
“As you wish, My Lord,” she said obediently. “When?”
“Wait awhile longer. I want this to be unexpected. Keep me informed and do not fail me again.”
“Of course, My Lord.”
“If you cannot capture one,” he added, “then kill them, if you can.”
“As you wish,” said the woman, a grin breaking out on her face.
“We have a serious problem,” said Jake at the next weeks meeting. “They know who at least two of us are. This makes us wide open for attack. Does anyone have any ideas to at least make us a little more difficult to anticipate?”
“We could meet a different day,” suggested Hermione lamely.
“No good,” replied Draco. “If they’re watching us, they’ll notice right away. It wouldn’t even last more than a week.”
“My thoughts exactly,” said Jake.
“How about meeting in the Forbidden Forest?”
“Nope,” replied Draco once again. “When my father was still alive and thought I wanted to join Voldemort, he told me all about the death eaters. One of the things he told me was that I ‘was not to wait around in the forest like all the other useless death eaters who wanted to ‘prove my loyalty’ to the Dark Lord be killing a Hogwarts student.’ He said it was a waste of time, but the forest is still riddled with death eaters waiting to kill students.”
“Then I guess the only thing that we really can do is to be really cautious, and please, make sure you’re never alone if you don’t have to be.”
“Just don’t make it too easy for them,” added Mel.
“Right,” said Hermione with a mock salute, receiving a sarcastic smile from Jake.
“Hey guys,” said Hermione cheerfully as she entered the surprisingly empty Gryffindor common room. “What did you do, threaten people out of here?”
“We did no such thing,” replied Ron in mock hurt.
“Yeah,” agreed Harry. “We merely suggested that, since exams are so close, everyone should study.”
“In their own rooms, of course,” added Ginny with a mischievous grin. “That way, nobody would be distracted. It’s all about good study methods, you see.”
“Oh yes, I see it all now,” replied Hermione, forming a small ‘o’ with her mouth. “You threatened people out of here.”
“So we did.”
“Well,” said Hermione with a shrug, “either way, Draco will be here soon.”
“Imagine it,” scoffed Harry, “the day when Ron allows a Slytherin into the Gryffindor common rooms.”
“Well it’s only fair,” said Hermione. “After all, you two did sneak into the Slytherin common room back in our second year.”
“Hey!” objected Harry. “That was your idea!”
“But still, you were the ones that did it.”
“It’s nicer in here,” they heard from behind. “Warmer somehow. Now, what’s this about sneaking into the Slytherin common room? Maybe I should dock house points.”
“It’s sad really,” said Hermione, turning to her friends. “He tries so hard to be funny, and he never is.” This drew laughs from everyone in the room except for Draco who was glaring-or rather not so much glaring as attempting to glare-at Hermione.
“And look!” exclaimed Ginny. “He can’t even glare properly either! Oh, it’s so adorable!”
“Ha. Ha. You're all so very funny,” he said sarcastically.
“Oh, maybe we should stop picking on poor Draco. It’s not very nice.”
“I agree with Harry!” exclaimed Draco, not allowing time for anyone else to object to Harry's comment. “You’re a real friend Harry. A real friend! It’s very hurtful when you make fun of me.”
“Then what are we supposed to do? Isn’t that the reason why you brought him Mione?” when she didn’t receive a reply though, she looked back to see her friend sitting in a chair, hands pressed to her head in obvious pain. “Mione? Are you alright?”
“Bloody hell,” whispered Draco before he began giving orders. “Someone go get Madame Pomfrey. Hurry!” Ron immediately ran out of the room as Harry and Ginny gathered around Hermione. Several minutes later, Ron appeared in the doorway once again, nearly dragging the poor nurse behind him.
“Oh dear,” she said, kneeling beside Hermione. She gave her the vial that she had been carrying and Hermione gulped it down, not caring about its foul taste. The pain ebbed slowly and she tanked Madame Pomfrey, who abruptly excused herself, and she faced her rather confused friends.
“What was that all about?” asked Harry. “Hermione, do you care to explain what’s going on?”
“I’d rather not,” she said quietly.
“What just happened?” asked Ron. “Are you alright?”
“Because if something is wrong,” said Ginny, “then we could help you.”
“I seriously doubt that you could,” replied Hermione quietly.
“Why not? Please, talk to us Mione,” pleaded Harry.
“Nobody can help me,” she said, her voice shaky, “because I have a terminal brain tumor. I'm going to die.”
“I am going to die at the end of this year!” And then, they stood there, staring at her, giving her that look. That look of sympathy. Of pity, and she couldn’t take it anymore. Turning on her heel, she left the room, fleeing that pitiful look that she was so sick of receiving from absolutely everyone that knew. Draco excused himself and ran after her.
“Oh my God,” said Ginny in disbelief. “But-she can’t be!”
“She wouldn’t even joke about something this serious,” said Harry quietly.
“No!” sobbed Ginny. “She can’t be! She can’t leave us! It’s just not fair!”
“I know Gin,” said Harry, walking to her and taking her in his arms. “I know.”
“This means that she’s been going through this alone,” said Ron. “Except for bloody Malfoy. He knew. How the hell could she tell him and not us? Was she even going to tell us at all?”
“Ron, she must have a reason,” objected Harry. “Though we certainly deserve to be the last ones to know. I mean, we’ve been friends for years, and we hardly even noticed that anything was wrong. She gave plenty of signs, and we didn’t push for an answer. What kind of friends are we?”
“No way,” declared Ron. “This isn’t or fault. She’s the one that didn’t tell us anything.”
“Would you listen to yourself!?” shrieked Ginny, reeling in Ron. “One of your best friends is going to die and all you can do is complain that she didn’t tell you sooner!? I cannot believe you Ronald Weasley!” Silence followed for a long moment until Ron finally spoke again.
“You’re right,” he said, “I’m not helping anyone.”
“Well then,” decided Harry, “let’s make sure that the time she has left is fun!”
“Yeah,” replied Ginny softly, brushing her tears away.
“Mione, stop running!” he called out, though his words went ignored by Hermione. “They would’ve found out anyway! It’s better that you told them yourself, rather than letting them be told after it all!”
“I know that Draco!” she exclaimed, reeling on him. “But it’s all going to be different now! They’re going to treat me like glass! All I wanted was a normal life!”
“You know as well as I do that a ‘normal’ life is impossible for you,” he said, lowering his voice. “Just think about what we are. Isn’t that enough?”
“Then if I can’t have a normal life, I at least don’t want to be treated like some sort of breakable freak!”
“Mione, they’re going to try to make you happy. Please don’t make that impossible for them,” said Draco with a sigh. “Just think about it this way, if you have an attack, they can help you. But, if they start treating you too delicately, you can tell them to sod off.” A small smile appeared on Hermione's lips.
“I guess it can’t be all that bad,” she said, leading him to their common room.
“I have a question,” said Draco suddenly as they entered their common room. “I mean, I’m supposed to take your mind off this depressing subject, right?” She shot him a glare. “No, I really actually want to know the answer.”
“Okay, what’s the question?”
“If you could have children, I mean, if we had time, would you want a girl or a boy”
“Oh, a boy, most definitely.”
“Really?” he asked skeptically. “I was thinking a beautiful daughter that I could dote upon.”
“Most definitely. She’d have my hair, and your eyes. And she would be as beautiful as her mother. Her name would be Sophie-a beautiful name, don’t you think?”
“Mhmm, I do like it. But what about a middle name? She would need a middle name.”
“I’ve never thought about middle names before. I just knew that I’ve always, always wanted a little girl named Sophie.”
“How about Emilia? I love that name.”
“I love it more together.”
“Sophie Emilia Malfoy,” said Hermione aloud, loving the way it sounded.
“We do have a brilliant naming sense, don’t we? Or maybe it’s just our children. Beautiful names for beautiful children!”
“But Draco dear, what if it was to be a boy?”
“Our first child wouldn’t be a boy,” he replied dubiously.
“Could be, you never know.”
“No, I really think that our first child would be a beautiful daughter named-“
“Goodness, no. I thought we liked Sophie Emilia, Mione.”
“Not for a girl, you dolt. For a boy. I like Michael. It was my father’s name, you know.”
“Michael then. But Michael what? Michael Alexander? No, that reminds me of that painter. Michael-“ and so, he began muttering names to himself, causing Hermione to smile fondly at him.
“Michael Eric!” he proclaimed proudly. “Michael Eric Malfoy! A wonderful name!”
“Look at us,” said Hermione with a laugh. “Planning our children’s names and we’re not even married!”
“A fact that I shall soon have to remedy.” He turned to her. “Hermione Jean granger, will you marry me?”
“Of course I will! When?”
“Soon,” he replied, taking her in his arms. “As soon as possible.”
A'N: I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Thank you so much for the reviews. You guys are awesome! And remember, always read and review =D
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