Chapter 1 : Part One
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Hermione walked through the empty corridor with her wand out and alert. She had just finished her patrols for the night but she knew better than to be walking around on her own in the castle without being attentive. She knew that it was only a matter of time before the war would come to ahead with one final battle in which Harry and Voldemort would fight and so she was extra cautious these days as she was determined that she would not be caught unprepared.
Rounding the corner Hermione muttered the password to the portrait that led to the Heads quarters that she shared with the Head Boy, Draco Malfoy. She could still remember the moment that she walked into the Heads Compartment on the Hogwarts Express and found Malfoy smirking at her. To say that she was shocked was an understatement. She was disappointed, outraged, angry and confused all at once. Her opinion at the time was that Malfoy was a Death Eater - he may not have had the dark mark yet, but he was as good as. It wasn’t until that they arrived at Hogwarts and she was called to the Headmasters office that Dumbledore explained to Hermione that in these dark times we must keep our friends close but our enemies closer, and that if Malfoy was up to anything then it would be likely that she would know about it if they shared living quarters. Not that she had found out about anything, he kept to himself this year, hardly even acknowledging the Slytherins let alone anyone else.
Upon entering the common room she found Malfoy sprawled out on the sofa staring up at the ceiling in a trance. He seemed to be deep in thought and didn’t even notice when she entered the room. She silently made her way to the stairs on the right that lead to her own dormitory. She knew that Malfoy would soon realise that she was back and he would begin to make his way up to her room as usual.
Sure enough, less than five minutes later Hermione heard footsteps climbing the stairs that lead to her room. Malfoy entered the room with a serious expression on his face. She had come to know that look well over the past five months and she knew that he would use her body as a release tonight. A release from the pressures that he faced from his Death Eater father to be branded with the dark mark. A release from his mothers constant worrying and her attempts to make him reconsider the path that has been chosen for him. A release from the war. A release from everything. Although Malfoy had never confided any of this information in her, Hermione had overheard some of his conversations with his best friend, Blaise Zabini. Zabini was the only person that Hermione had seen Malfoy actually have a conversation with this year - she couldn’t understand what had changed with Malfoy and why he wasn’t his usual self with his Slytherin cronies. She didn’t dare ask him though.
Hermione slowly walked over to where Malfoy stood in the doorway and ran her hand over his pale face. As much as she knew it was wrong, she couldn’t deny that Malfoy was gorgeous. His hair was longer than in the previous years and he just let it hang down in his face now rather than slicking it all back, Hermione thought that it made his eyes stand out beautifully. His grey eyes watched her as she studied his face. Suddenly he grasped her hand from his face and pulled her flush against him and caught her soft lips in a frenzy. Within seconds the two of them were lost in each other.
Hermione pulled the cover up to cover her naked body and tried to steady her breathing. She was confused. He was so gentle and tender with her tonight, it had never been like that before. Normally it was hard, fast and explosive, they fucked each other. Tonight - dare she say it - it was more like making love. It was almost as if he was trying to memorise her whole body, every inch of it. He had kissed and touched her everywhere slowly, it was like he was trying to make this night last as long as possible and he didn’t want it to end. She looked over to Malfoy who was lying on his back with his eyes closed, Hermione couldn’t work out what he was doing, as soon as they finished he would gather up his clothes and leave the room in silence. Why wasn’t he leaving?
‘Malfoy?’ Hermione was surprised at the softness in her voice; she had wanted to sound firm and authoritative so that he would leave. They had never spoken to each other in all the time they spent together; it was a silent mutual agreement that they seemed to have. Hermione thought that speaking to each other would ruin the point of their arrangement. It was supposed to help them let out their fears and stress over the war, speaking to each other would only stress them out more. It wasn’t like they had anything to say to each other either. They were on different sides of the war. Enemies. One wrong word to one another could put their own side in jeopardy. No, talking to one another was not a good idea.
Malfoy opened his eyes and turned to face her and grey met brown. The expression on his face was pained. Hermione was mystified at his actions. For at least a minute he just lay on his side staring at her while she lay still matching his stare, wondering what was going on. He broke the stare and slowly got out of bed. Silently he picked up his clothes, not bothering to put them on, and left Hermione’s room without a backwards glance.
‘What the hell?’ Hermione whispered in the darkness.
The next day was a Friday and it seemed to go painfully slow for Hermione - she found that she couldn’t concentrate at all in any of her lessons as her mind was filled with a certain blond haired Slytherin. She was determined to get to the bottom of what happened last night, even if that meant having an actual conversation with Malfoy. Also, to add to her curiosity Malfoy had been absent from lessons all day and no one seemed to know where he was, not even Zabini.
Before dinner began Hermione decided that she would check the Heads Quarters for Malfoy so that she could confront him with her questions. She parted from Harry and Ron and agreed to meet them in the Great Hall in half an hour. Her head was spinning with questions that she had for Malfoy, but would he even answer the questions that she wanted to ask him. It was unlikely that he would be co-operative with her. Hermione shook her head defiantly. No, she would make him listen and answer her; she wasn’t in Gryffindor for nothing.
Hermione’s heart sunk when she entered the Heads Quarters and found Malfoy nowhere in sight in the common room. She quickly checked his room and the bathroom which were also both empty. Sighing in defeat she went back to the common room and sat down on the sofa. Where on earth could he be? Out of habit Hermione began to tidy the pile of books and the stack of papers that were left out on the coffee table in front of her. A small piece of parchment caught her eye and her breath caught in her throat, she had come to recognise that handwriting over the last couple of months. Taking a deep breath she picked the note up and read it over slowly.
Forgive him? For what? Was he apologising for last night, it didn’t make sense? Keeping the note in her hand, she walked over the window and looked out into the darkness that was drawing in. In the distance she could see a light moving further away from the grounds, and she then realised that it was someone walking towards the gates of the castle. When Hermione looked towards the gate she saw a mass of people waiting at the gates - no they weren’t people, they were Death Eaters. She felt the bile rise in her throat. Forgive me. It was him. Malfoy was the one who was walking down towards the gates. He was going to let the Death Eaters in. This was it. The final battle.
Suddenly everything made sense, and Hermione cursed herself for being so stupid. Malfoy knew that last night would be the last night that they had together, that’s why he was so soft and gentle with her. How could he do this? All the innocent children that were in this school tonight, the Death Eaters would show no mercy to anyone, no matter what age you were.
Why was she still standing here? She had to alert the rest of the castle. Throwing her school robe aside so she was left in her blouse and grey skirt she crumpled up the note in her hand threw it at the wall. Grabbing her wand she sent her patronus to Professor McGonagall alerting her that the Death Eaters were outside the castle and began to run to the Gryffindor common room. Running through the corridors she ordered to the students to go to the Great Hall immediately, everyone looked confused and bewildered at the Head Girl sprinting through the castle, but they did so anyway when she threatened them all with detention. She knew it would do no good to tell the students of the danger that the all faced because it would only caused chaos. Once they were in the Great Hall the professors would be able to take control.
Hermione practically screamed the password to the Fat Lady and rushed inside the common room. In an instant the Gryffindors were on their way down to the Great Hall, while Hermione explained to Harry, Ron and Ginny what was happening. They were all ready to kill Malfoy. But then again so was she. Together they ran down to the Great Hall with their wands out and ready encase the battle had already started. When they reached the Great Hall they stood at the back ready to listen to Dumbledore who had just stood at the front of the hall.
‘I ask everyone to stay calm, but I must make you all aware that at this moment Hogwarts is under attack.’ Dumbledore announced calmly as if he was making any normal speech. All the students began whispering anxiously to each other and many of the younger ones looked like they might burst into tears at any moment ‘All students who are not of age will be leaving the school grounds through a passage that leads to the Hogs Head Pub in Hogsmead. Any students who are of age and wish to stay and fight with us, you can.’
Hermione had trouble focusing on the rest of what Dumbledore was saying - all she could think of was Malfoy’s face last night. He didn’t want to do this, Hermione was sure of that, he had no choice. It was complete this task or die, surely. He wasn’t a Death Eater. She had seen his arms, and there was no mark on them to suggest that he too was a Death Eater like his father. The rational part of her brain couldn’t understand why the other part of her brain was trying to justify Malfoy’s actions. He was the enemy. He meant nothing to her. Nothing.
Hermione was lost in her own thoughts until Ron grabbed her arm and pulled her forward towards some of the Order where many of the Weasleys stood. All of the students had been evacuated from the building except from the students that are of age and they were joined by the whole of the Order of the Phoenix. They stood together discussing battle plans and tactics, but Hermione couldn’t take it in. It was as if she felt too many emotions at once and her mind and body couldn’t take it. She wanted to let it all out. She needed to. It was like she was going to explode if she didn’t shout, scream, cry or curse someone.
It was quickly decided that Professors McGonagall, Flitwick and Sprout would take groups of fighters up to the three highest towers, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor and Astronomy, where they would have a good position; meanwhile, the rest of the fighters would go down to the grounds to battle the Death Eaters. Hermione began the walk with the rest of the Order, teachers and fellow pupils outside to the front of the school where the Death Eaters waited for them.
Members of the Order were reminding the others of things to remember whilst fighting, while many of the pupils, including Hermione, stayed silent. It only took one look at them to realise that they were literally scared to death. None of them, unless they were part of Dumbledore’s Army, had been prepared for something like this. Hermione briefly wondered what it was like walking to your own execution, and if this was what it felt it.
There were various spells that the Order had put around the castle upon arrival at Hogwarts to try and give them a slight advantage; however, no one knew how well these spells would hold against dark magic. Even so, these protection spells would allow them to exit the school and enter the grounds without being hit by any spells from the Death Eaters. However, when they passed the barrier of the protection they would be on their own. Together they walked out past the walls of Hogwarts and they heard cries of pain from further out in the grounds - the groups in the towers had begun shouting curses at the Death Eaters. The battle had finally started.
Hermione screamed out in pain as Bellatrix used the Cruciatus Curse on her yet again. Her body was aching in excruciating pain it was as if her whole body was on fire and then being ripped apart bit by bit. Never had she felt so useless before in whole life. She wanted to fight it, but her body felt too weak and empty to even try. She closed her eyes and wished for it to be over. For Bellatrix to have mercy on her and accept that she didn’t know where Harry and Ron had disappeared to.
About half an hour ago Harry and Ron just appeared to vanish into thin air and no one seemed to know where they had gone. Hermione believed that they were underneath the invisibility cloak, but she still had no idea what they were doing. In all honesty she was quite annoyed that they had left her out of the plan. It wasn’t as if it could be more dangerous than this. But it appeared that Voldemort was worried about Harry’s disappearance and demanded that Bellatrix find out where he was, and for Hermione that meant being tortured at her hand.
She knew her wand lay just inches away from her as she dropped it when Bellatrix’s spell hit her. Hermione lay on the grass while it seemed Bellatrix was preoccupied duelling with another Order member. Summoning all her energy, she crawled forward as slowly as possible so that Bellatrix wouldn’t notice. As she reached out for her wand, which was barely a centimetre away, her heart was beating with excitement and adrenaline - until she heard Bellatrix’s voice scream Crucio.
Hermione was pulled away from her wand and thrown in the air while she withered in pain, screaming and begging Bellatrix to stop. She heard a familiar voice shout the killing curse and suddenly the torture had stopped and she fell from the air onto the grass. She looked up and saw Bellatrix’s dead body laying a metre away from hers. She wanted to smile but it was then that Draco Malfoy knelt down beside her, and his normal cold grey eyes were replaced with worried look.
Hermione felt her chest tighten and she was sure that she was going to pass out. Malfoy had just killed his aunt. For her. Hermione Granger. The girl that he used to call a Mudblood. There were so many things that she wanted to say to him, but for the first time in her life she was speechless. No words were capable of describing the emotions going through her head right now. Malfoy looked uneasy and quickly scooped Hermione up in his arms, grabbing her wand on the way, and walked quickly over to an area that was dark and covered so that they wouldn’t be seen.
He put her down when they reached the cover, but when her legs touched the ground they collapsed beneath her. Malfoy instinctively reached out and caught her, and then lowered her to the ground and sat down beside her. He touched her hand apprehensively; all the while his eyes never left hers. He slowly began to trace patterns in her palm, while they both trying to work out what the other was thinking. Finally, Hermione couldn’t handle the silence any longer and broke it.
‘Malfoy, why did you do that?’ Hermione whispered quietly and hesitantly, she was scared to know the answer herself.
‘I don’t know. I heard you screaming and I saw what she was doing to you and I just snapped.’ Malfoy admitted, whispering back to her.
‘You shouldn’t have done it.’ Hermione burst out angrily, suddenly realising the consequences of what just happened. ‘What are you going to do now? You can’t go back to them now after that! They’ll kill you for betraying them for a Mudblood.’
Malfoys eyes flashed furiously, “Don’t call yourself that.” he stated through gritted teeth.
“Why? You called me it for years, so why shouldn’t I call myself it. Mudblood, Mudblood, Mudblood.” Hermione was cut off by Malfoy’s lips on hers, it wasn’t soft and slow like their last kiss - it was hard and demanding. Hermione responded to him with equal passion and she wrapped her arms around his neck pulling him closer to her. They broke away from each other panting hard for breath.
“We can’t stay here.” Hermione decided finally, “If someone finds us together we’ll be killed.”
‘It doesn’t seem like there are many other options for me at the moment anyway. It’s either death or death.’ Malfoy agreed bitterly. Hermione shook her head fiercely.
‘No it doesn’t have to be like that. I can find one of the Order or Dumbledore and explain and we can protect you.’ Hermione exclaimed suddenly nearly in tears realising what was going to happen to him if he went back, while Malfoy lowered his forehead to hers and sighed.
‘I wish it was that easy. Think about it, why would they even want to help me? I’m the reason that this is happening! I let the Death Eaters in!’ Malfoy said raising his voice in exasperation.
‘But,’ Hermione began trying to plead with Malfoy but he cut her off before she could start.
‘I just have to face up to what I’ve done, there is nothing that anyone can do for me now.’ Malfoy said quietly, lowering his voice again.
Hermione let out a small sob and tears began falling down her face, she couldn’t let him go back out there, he would be killed by his own side. She didn’t want him to die. He saved her. Malfoy began kissing away the tears on her cheeks, trying to soothe her and calm her down. They stayed like that for a few minutes until Hermione’s sobs stopped, but silent tears still fell down her face.
‘Why did you do it?’ Hermione said quietly.
‘What choice did I have?’ Malfoy answered closing his eyes in discomfort talking about the situation. ‘I wish I didn’t do it. But, you have to understand that if I didn’t do this the Dark Lord would have killed my whole family.’ He was pleading with her to understand why he it. He needed her to understand. After a few seconds Hermione nodded, and Malfoy took that to mean that she could understand what he was saying.
‘I know this is the wrong time to say it but I need you to know that I love you Hermione.’ Malfoy whispered in the darkness to her, their lips met again and they both tried to pour all of their feelings for one another into that kiss. Malfoy broke the kiss and slowly got up and moved away from Hermione. ‘Stay here, don’t try and go anywhere because your body is too weak to even stand. I’ll make sure someone finds you.’
With that Malfoy disappeared into the darkness and left Hermione alone. She cried out his name over and over again willing him to come back to her. Stupidly she tried to stand up but, just collapsed back onto the floor into a sobbing heap. She needed to find him and save him. He loved her. Draco Malfoy was in love with Hermione Granger. She needed to tell him that she loved him back. He couldn’t die without her telling him that.
She didn’t know how long she sat there crying until she finally heard the familiar voice of Tonks. She tried to suppress her sobs, as Tonks hesitantly walked towards her.
‘Tonks its me Hermione, I can’t get up.’ Hermione cried in between her sobs. Tonks then rushed over to Hermione and knelt down beside her.
‘Hermione what happened? I was duelling with Malfoy and all of a sudden he shouts that you were injured and that you were over by the edge of the castle, I didn’t believe him at first but then a couple of Death Eaters came and dragged him away into the forest, and all he kept shouting was that I had to keep you safe.’ Tonks told Hermione quickly, while healing some of the wounds that she had got from Bellatrix. ‘How did he know that you was over here?’
Hermione couldn’t breathe; a couple of Death Eaters came and dragged him away, no. No, no, no, no. She couldn’t believe it. She wouldn’t believe it. She tried to keep herself calm but all she could think of was Malfoy in pain and dying. Her head was spinning and she in the distance she could hear Tonks’s voice. Then everything went black.
Thanks for reading, I'd love some feedback as I really want to improve my writing.
Also, thanks to my great beta BellaMahina :)
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