Chapter 4 : Waking Up In Hell
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I've never knew what it was to be alone, no.
‘Cause you were always there for me
You were always there waiting
But now I come home and it's not the same, no
It feels empty and alone
I can't believe you're gone
~Alter Bridge: In Loving Memory
"No, I'm the one who should be sorry." She was now fully awake and sitting up in her bed. "I just ran off on you like that, I'm sorry, but I didn't want to hurt you..." She was trying to divert her attention from Draco's sad gaze.
"Hermione, what are you talking about, you weren't hurting me at all."
"I would have though, Draco, what if I changed and my fangs appeared? I felt them coming in, I had to run." Hermione was on the verge of tears again.
"Oh get off it Hermione, you wouldn't hurt me, you wouldn't be able to."
Hermione wake up! She jumped from her sheets in a sweat. Finally, you’ve been passed out for almost an entire day. You’re mind has been wreaking havoc on the hotel and no one could get you to wake up. Iris informed her.
“Please tell me it was a dream.” Hermione said wanting to break down. It was real, and he’s not going to stop until he finds you again. She didn’t want to leave her bed. The fear that everything around her was going to shatter kept her rooted.
“Don’t let the memories come back.” She pleaded to Iris.
Hermione knew that even a supernatural being living in her head couldn’t stop his face from leaking back into her vision. It was inevitable. She wanted to beat herself over the head several times for believing he would never find her.
Look at the bright side, at least now you know where he is and we can get as far away as possible. The thought never occurred to her that if Draco found her that she would have to run. Her new family would be left in a city burning for war between its immortal inhabitants.
“There has to be another way.” She said. After minutes of contemplation she sighed deeply. “So what happened?”
After you saw him you tried to apparate away with the boys, but your mind was so dismantled that you ended up somewhere in the city. The boys couldn’t get you to snap out of your state so they rushed you back to Dean’s car and got back home. We all got some decent burns but they’re healed well on us, though I’m sure Halley has fixed the boys right up. Iris felt the emptiness around her but couldn’t stand it. I have a question though. How did he get so close? It’s damn near impossible to sneak up on a vampire, especially since you know his smell so well. He was able to surprise both of us. It’s disturbing.
“I haven’t thought about it. If I had missed his smell I’m sure you would have picked it out. But all I remember is the smell of the boys and...” Hermione sifted her memory but came up with no fresh human scent. “Iris!” Hermione scrambled from her bed with a new realization dawning on her. She screamed for Marius and knew that anywhere in the hotel he would be able to hear her, but there was no response. Iris flipped through her thoughts like a rolodex and froze when she uncovered it.
That can’t be it. Hermione there are thousands of vampires in the city and any one of them could have been passing that alley right before Draco did.
“No that wouldn’t explain how potent, how close it seemed.” Hermione felt herself crumbling, but she pushed to find Marius.
Finally, Marius strolled from the elevator in the lobby and called calmly to her. She was in front of him in a second and rambling too quickly.
“Calm down, what are you talking about?” He said.
“There was no scent on him. At least it wasn’t the smell that I burned into my memory. Marius, don’t you see? All I can remember is a potent and fresh smell of a vampire. But it was odd. It smelled like a vampire, but very unique because I could still pick out Draco’s old smell.” She spat out.
“This could be a problem. If you’re right and Draco is a vampire then there is little to no chance of hiding you or running.” He said gravely.
“I don’t care about that! He’s a vampire because of me! His life is over and his soul is gone forever all because of my stupid existence.” She whispered the last part in defeat.
“Hermione there is nothing you can do now. You are the one who needs to make the choices and quickly.” He told her roughly. The fact that he had a love-crazed vampire hot on Hermione’s trail leading to his home infuriated him.
“That isn’t fair.” She whispered. Marius turned and left her unable to tell her anything else. “I wish vampires could cry. Then at least I’d be able to rid my chest of this pain.”
Look you aren’t the one who turned him. And you never told him to. This isn’t your fault. He made the decision because he obviously wants to be with you again.
“Shut up Iris, I don’t want to hear it.” She snapped causing a vase to explode into shards on the other side of the lobby.
Who knew porcelain shattered into 40,000 pieces? Iris said as pieces flitted across the floor.
Halley was leaning against the corner of a counter in the kitchen when Hermione walked in. She sipped blood from her mug and then placed it down.
“How are you?” She asked in a whisper. It was barely even a breath, but she knew that Hermione could hear her so she waited for a response. Christian was sitting at the large table with a book as he watched Hermione’s movements.
“I don’t know what to do.” She finally said staring at the ground. “Nothing seems to fit and Marius is putting everything on me.”
“Oh sweetheart,” Halley saw how dark and tired Hermione’s eyes were, “How long has it been?”
“A week...” Hermione thought harder, “Maybe two.” Immediately there was a cup placed down in front of her. “Christian, its okay I’m not in the mood right now. Just the thought is making me feel ill.”
Christian half smiled, but didn’t take his cup back. He pushed it closer to her before he stood and left.
“Maybe it will help clear your head. You’ve gone far too long as it is.” Halley pleaded now noticing how burned out Hermione’s entire body looked. “At least tell me what’s wrong?”
“The only thing that you need to know is that the man I saw can’t be trusted. I don’t want anyone to seek him out.” Her head felt as though Iris was frantically moving about. She held tightly on her temples and massaged the odd feeling away.
"Malfoy! What are you doing in my room!?" Hermione shouted as loud as she could.
"You never came back from the hospital wing and the house elves haven’t made my bed. Do you mind? I was sleeping, Granger." Malfoy said throwing the covers back over his head to block the light Hermione turned on.
"Malfoy, Merlin, help you if I get mad." Hermione threatened through clenched teeth.
Hermione felt her finger tips grind into the table top leaving grooves in the wood. Halley placed her hands on her shoulders and began speaking, but Hermione couldn’t hear a word. Slowly her senses pulled from her and left her in a numb shell. This is for your own good Hermione. Iris said firmly as her vision fuzzed into blackness.
"Where are you going?" she asked him sleepily.
"Um, to my own bed?" He said but it came out as more of a question then statement. Hermione actually looked disappointed that he was leaving.
"Could you...just stay with me tonight...in case...just because." Hermione didn't want to be alone tonight. Her last dream was still fresh in her mind and still scaring her every time she closed her eyes. At the moment she didn't care if it was Malfoy that stayed the night with her, "I just need someone with me tonight."
Hermione screamed ‘stop’, or at least she thought she was. The vibrations of her voice were dead to her and the sound was just a faint buzz to her ears.
"Why are you doing this? You're being so nice, like you actually care." Hermione was holding back so many tears that it hurt to keep them in.
"Because I do care, Hermione..." Hermione shifted from her blanket, and towards Draco letting herself melt into his chest. "You don't have to talk if you don't want to." He said stroking the soft curls that had fallen from her bun. Hermione couldn't hold back the tears anymore; she let every last one fall from her eyes, landing on Draco's grey shirt.
"He came back...for me..." she finally whispered.
She screamed for the old days, she screamed for her human life, and she screamed for Draco. Things were simple and love was easy when they first met. She missed it so much and she would give anything to have those days back.
"I've never kissed a vampire you know..." He had that famous Malfoy smirk on his lips.
Hermione stopped laughing and had a confused look on her face. "I'm the only vampire you know and we haven't-" Draco cut her off by pulling her lips down to his. Hermione released the blankets from her grip and snaked her arms up his toned chest to his strong shoulders deepening the kiss. She could feel his lips form a smile pressing against her own. She broke away from his warm soft lips and stared down at him. "Mr. Malfoy, I never thought you had it in you."
He grabbed tightly on her waist and stood up placing her back on the couch. He crawled on top of her and started kissing her neck. He hit a spot that sent shivers down Hermione's spine.
"Draco..." Hermione gasped. "Draco...you have to stop." She forcefully pushed him off of her and ran to her room.
Hermione flashed from the beginning of her 7th year straight to the end. She pleaded and felt the numbness turn into a suffocating blanket. It was heavy and pressed against her, wrapping tighter and tighter the more she pleaded to Iris.
Hurried footsteps sounded down the hall and the familiar voices of the Hogwarts’ professors could be heard.
“Hermione, we must go now.” Marius said calmly.
“I won’t forget you, no matter how long I am walking this earth.” She whispered, then pulled him roughly down to her and lost herself in their last kiss. Draco grasped the black dress around her not wanting her to pull away.
“Now, we can’t wait any longer.” Marius said a bit more urgently. She pushed from Draco and backed away to Marius.
“I’m going to find you again ‘Mione, I don’t care how long it takes.” Draco said taking a deep shaking breath.
“Goodbye Draco and Harry, tell everyone I’ll miss them...” She said with a pang of guilt. With a single last look at her love, Hermione vowed to never forget even the littlest detail of him.
The cold floor pierced through Hermione’s mind and senses. Slowly, everything came back to her and she saw Halley hovering over her.
“Are you alright?” She asked helping Hermione off the ground.
“It’s like his face was petrified in sadness when I left.” Sighing, she started explaining herself. “The man from the alley, I know him. His name is Draco Malfoy and we were in love before...before I came here.”
“You left him to save him.” Halley said simply.
“I was so afraid.” Hermione took a deep breath. “When I was changed, something happened. I wasn’t completely turned, and I became some sort of half-breed.” She traced her fingers along the indents she had created on the table. “I knew Draco from before, but we weren’t too happy about having to see each other for any amount of time. I hated him because he was the son of a Dark Wizard, and he believed he was better than everyone. And, he hated me because, well, that’s just how he was brought up.”
“That doesn’t sound like a good way to start off a relationship.” Halley said awkwardly.
“Well it wasn’t. When I returned to school after I was changed, he was the first to find out. It made us closer because he was too scared to anger me, and I needed someone to talk to about what I was going through. Eventually, we just fell in love. When we slept together I wouldn’t have nightmares, and when he kissed me my whole world would spin. I miss it so much.” Halley wrapped her arms around Hermione with a comfort only a mother could possess.
Hermione sniffed and caught Rori’s scent coming close to the kitchen. She straightened up and shook off her emotions before the girl came in.
“Hey, Becky wants to borrow your wand again.” Rori said to Hermione.
“Why?” She asked.
“Well, because I told her that she could come out with me tonight and she’s going a little all out.” Rori smiled innocently.
“It’s on my nightstand. Becky knows where it is, just tell her to take it whenever she wants. I don’t really need the old thing anyway.” Hermione told her as she rubbed her forehead.
“Awesome, thanks!” Rori said.
“Wait, just one more thing I want to tell you. If you go out tonight, I don’t want you around any strangers. That man I saw is dangerous and I don’t want him around any of you, understood? He’s tall, muscular, and blonde. He’s pretty rugged looking, and I know how you are with men like that. Do not bring anyone home.” Hermione said staring hard at Rori. “Just please do not disobey me on this one.”
“I understand. The boys told me all about how shook up he made you. I assumed he must be something awful if he knocked you off your feet.” Rori said and winked as she left.
“Do you actually think she’ll follow what you tell her?” Halley said laughing.
“Not a single bit.” Hermione sighed closing her eyes tight against the world.
It was odd how the buildings blocked any breeze. Draco hadn’t been in a city for nearly a year now, and it was distorting his senses. He had become accustomed to open spaces and quiet suburban towns that weren’t half as loud as New York City. The bright lights of a night club suddenly overwhelmed him, so he crouched in an alleyway.
“So close...” He said resting his head against the wall behind him. After a few calming breathes, he lifted himself back up and stared into the city street. Frowning at the commotion, he turned away and continued down the dark alley. Shadows crossed the alley entrance so continuously, that Draco hadn’t noticed the abrupt absence of light. He slowed and studied the long, stationary shadow stretched past his feet as it seemed to move closer. A blur flashed in front of him and subtle breeze kissed his face. ‘I don’t have the time for this bull.’ Draco thought to himself as he spun on his heels, throwing a quick punch at the presence behind him.
“Too slow,” A smooth voice whispered right into Draco’s ear. Spinning again, Draco felt two of his knuckles breaking on the face of his stalker. “And weak.” He laughed letting his teeth glint in the moonlight.
“There is no way you’re a vampire, at least, none that I’ve ever seen.” Draco said taking in the man’s details. His skin felt like solid stone, and he was sure that his fist hadn’t even made his cheek move. The man disappeared, and Draco flinched backward not knowing what to do. An ice cold grip wrapped around his wrist, and in less than a second, his arm was twisted high against his back. As his shoulder threatened to dislocate, all Draco could think of was Hermione and her face filled his thoughts. She was suddenly so far away from him, and he felt his hope drain.
“She’s very attractive,” The man said darkly, “I’ll have to pay her a visit once I’m done with you.” With a sickening crack, Draco cried out in pain and his arm fell limp against his side. In another second, he was face down in the grim knocked unconscious.
Becky fidgeted with the long silk blouse she was wearing. Rori looked over to her and rolled her eyes, and smacked her hands away from the hem.
“If you are going to wear my clothes, then I don’t want to see you trying to tear at them.” She told Becky sternly.
“Aw, come on Rori, let the girl do what she wants. It’s not like you haven’t got the money to buy a hundred more of those silly tops.” Xavier said running his finger tips across Becky’s stomach.
“Don’t you have some other girl to fondle?” Becky asked. The three laughed and continued down the busy street. They were headed to the night club Cream because Rori and Xavier had the best sorts of connection with the owners there. That meant private rooms with other classy vampires in which no outside strangers were able to get into.
Once they were in the Red Room, Rori detoured to a man surrounded by women that couldn’t match her beauty. Becky watched as the man immediately directed his attention toward her causing the other women to scoff and disperse. Rori had the man around her finger already, and Becky couldn’t help but giggle.
“Can I get you a drink?” Becky felt a hand on her back and turned in surprise. Daniel Bartoli, the head of the Salvation, stood smiling at her.
“Oh, no thank you Mr. Bartoli.” She replied.
“Please, just call me Dan. We’ve known each other long enough to be on a first name basis, Becky.” He said with the same fake smile. “So, how is Hermione these days? I hear Brun has her running around like an errand girl.”
“I see,” Becky smirked, “You just want to get the inside dirt on the Reformers. Of all the people on this island, you should know that Hermione doesn’t tell us anything. Only Marius knows what is going on between Phil and Hermione.”
“Well, have a good night then, Becky.” Dan said and disappeared into the crowd. Becky rolled her eyes and walked over to the table Xavier staked out already.
A small blonde human girl bounced on Xavier’s lap as she spoke. Becky could tell that he was ignoring her as he scanned the room for a vampire girl. Xavier was picky, and he could barely look at a human girl without finding a hundred faults in her. To him, vampires were perfect in every way, and no human could compare.
“Hey, how about you go and grab us some more drinks, darlin’?” He said to her and she popped off his lap. “Dear Lord, tell her I was torn to bits by a ravaging pack of werewolves when she comes back.” He whispered to Becky and slipped quickly from the table.
“No problem...” Becky sighed and twirled the tiny straw around in her drink. The blonde didn’t come back for one reason or another, and Becky could care less. To her, the whole night club scene sounded so much better when Rori would come home and tell her stories. Right now though, it was loud, smelled like human sweat, and...‘Where is that coming from?’ Becky thought as she picked up the smell of blood in the room. No vampire was stupid enough to open up someone in the middle of a night club, no matter how private the room was. She concentrated hard on the scent and found it laying in a splatter on a vampire’s shirt. Then, she noticed the group surrounding the vampire. Each one of them looked angry and about to tear the club to the floor. All of a sudden, Becky’s table was knocked over when a drunken human man toppled to the ground on top of it. Rori snatched Becky’s arm and hauled her to her feet. Above the man was an obviously enraged vampire, and security was quickly filing into the room.
“It’s about time to go.” Xavier said with a gorgeous vampire on his arm.
Outside of Cream the busy streets seemed to slow. It was past 4 A.M. and the majority of the human populace was finally retiring back to their homes.
“So did you enjoy yourself?” Rori asked Becky.
“It was alright, I suppose I just had higher expectations.” Becky said, but still smiled. The wind kicked up and blew against their backs, and a familiar scent grabbed Becky. The others caught the smell of blood too, but it wasn’t as familiar to them. “You all smell that right? I smelled it in the club just before we left.”
“Yeah we smell it Becky, but it’s none of our business.” Xavier said and continued walking with his girl. He noticed Becky turn around and follow the blood scent. “I guess I’ll be meeting you two back at home.” He said to Rori and nodded his head toward Becky.
“Oh, for the love of...you owe me Crane.” Rori growled and turned around.
Becky walked back past the club and caught the breeze again. It was strong, and not far down the alley next to the club. Rori realized how strong the smell was now and quickened her pace to catch up.
“Someone got tapped.” Rori said aloud as the two stopped next to a body.
“He’s barely breathing though, we can’t just let him die.” Becky said and yanked the cardboard covering half his body.
“Don’t touch him!” Rori hissed, “That might be the guy Hermione was talking about. He matches what Hermione said he looked like.”
“I don’t care, he’s dying and I just can’t have that on my conscience.” Becky said with a final tone and easily lifted the man to his feet.
“Hermione is going to yell at you this time, not me. There is no way I’m taking the blame for this one.” Rori said and took one of his arms over her shoulders and Becky did the same. “Just pretend he’s some passed out drunk and no one will pay us any mind.” She said before they carried him out of the alley.
Rori and Becky finally made it back to the Hotel and immediately laid the man down on a sofa in the lobby. Rori ran off to retrieve Halley, but Becky stayed and kept close watch on his heartbeat. It was running dangerously slow, and she was scared to be the one to witness its last beat.
“What did you two do?” Halley rushed into the lobby and knelt down beside Becky.
“We found him, this wasn’t us!” Becky said defensively, but Halley shushed her and pulled a small stick from her pocket. She broke it open and waved it under his nostrils. His eyes stayed shut, but he groaned in pain and latched onto his shoulder.
“I’m not sure if you can hear me, but this is going to hurt very badly.” Halley warned and took a firm grip on his arm. In a quick motion, she popped his shoulder back into place causing him to scream.
“Where am I?” He asked forcing his eyes open. Feeling came back to his limbs and he noticed how unnaturally cold the hands on him were. “Great, just bloody brilliant. Of course I would wake up surrounded by vampires after being attacked.”
“How do you know what we are?” Rori asked.
“Long story,” He said, “Why did you bring me here?” Looking around he noticed he was in a hotel lobby.
“We didn’t want you to die.” Becky answered truthfully.
“Let me patch you up, dear. You are in very bad condition. Whoever did this to you wasn’t expecting you to ever get back up.” Halley said as she began to work.
Hermione and Marius had been training through the night, but it was hard for her to focus. Marius refused to allow Iris to take a swing at him because he was sick of Hermione being allowed to give up so easily.
“Marius, next time I’m going to direct that fire ball at your smug face if you don’t ease up.” Hermione said through clenched teeth.
“Well, maybe next time you should focus harder and not let a speeding ball of fire nearly catch you in the arm.” Marius responded. “Come now Hermione, don’t give me that look.”
“Wait,” She grabbed his arm and pulled him back before he could walk into the lobby. She inhaled deeply tasting the air around her. Her eyes widened in horror and she stumbled backward. Confused, Marius tested the air, and immediately pinpointed the distinct smell of human blood just around the corner. Outraged, he flew around the corner and stood before Halley.
“What do you think you are doing bringing him into this house?” He shouted, but Hermione fell into her own world.
The smell of Draco’s blood flooded her senses and hot fire ripped through her throat. She had never smelled something so addictive, so luring.
Hermione stop! You cannot do what you’re thinking. You will never get past that. She stopped the flow of air through her nose and mouth and shook. It was painfully uncomfortable to not breath, even though it wasn’t necessary.
“Where is she? Where is Hermione? I want to see her right now.” She heard footsteps approach and she braced herself. Every last instinct of her was pushing to prepare for an attack, but she forced her muscles to freeze in place. But then she saw him. Beaten, bruised, and all wrapped up from an obvious fight. All her monstrous impulses melted from her body as his lips curled in a smile.
“Hermione,” She gasped at how his voice sounded now, and she cursed herself for the air. Draco stopped his advance when he saw how tight she was wound. In that small bit of breath, she lost control and felt poison fill her mouth.
“Stop!” She shouted at him and moved backward. “Please, Draco, just don’t come any closer.”
“You won’t hurt me.” Draco said determined and stepped toward her.
“Yes I will, I’ve already gone through seven ways I could do it. Please, you have to leave.” Hermione could feel her muscles stretch and flex around her bones and joints. It would be easy, the only witnesses being vampires also. But then, how could she ever live with herself when his body laid lifeless on the floor. That was when the most dangerous thought entered her mind. With Draco gone, her torment would be over. “Leave, now!” She yelled with a menacing growl. Realizing that he wasn’t leaving, Hermione spun around and was gone in a blink.
A/N: So, Hermione and Draco are finally in proximity of eachother. Things are about to get very interesting.. :D
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