Chapter 8 : Dream
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Hermione Malfoy was covered in sweat - tossing and turning, tangling herself deeper and deeper into the sheets of her bed. She was all alone in the middle of the dark, rainy night. A storm raged outside the bedroom window, but Hermione was not aware of the storm. She was having a dream and a nightmare. She was dreaming, once again, of that day… of that night, when she and Draco truly met.
Hermione was running faster that she ever thought she could. Panic enveloped her from head to toe, taking control of her weak, frightened body and paralyzing her mind with terror. Her legs were taking her through the dark, looming trees, farther and farther into the depths of the forest, despite all of the dangers that lurked ahead. She was afraid to turn back, and was terrified of what awaited her ahead, but she couldn’t stop. Tears were streaming freely down her cheeks; locks of hair fell into her face and stuck to the wet spots left there by the salty tears… she didn’t care. Shocked sobs escaped her lips from time to time as she tried to breathe without stopping. She could hear the screams and the laughter, indistinguishable in the constant stream of shouted spells which she could hear clearly as if they were right behind her. She could no longer tell if they were getting closer or farther away from her as she raced deeper into the woods. She had lost her wand somewhere on the lawn of Hogwarts, so she had absolutely nothing to defend herself with. It was not like Hermione Granger to be scared of the dark, but that night, she was afraid of absolutely everything.
Frightening shadows loomed at her out of the gloomy darkness, taking shapes of hooded people in her harassed and susceptible mind. Her teeth shattered against each other as she bit her lips and choked back sobs in the bitter cold. A simple woolen shawl was wrapped around her shoulders, failing to serve the purpose of keeping her warm. It caught and tore on random branches, leaving rips and threatening to leave her without any means of fighting the cold, as she dodged the trees and the monstrous roots sticking out of the ground. It was all she could do, to hold on to her shawl and attempt to not trip and fall flat on her face in the pitch black darkness.
Suddenly there was a crack in the path in front of her. She stopped dead in her tracks, trembling, one hand on her neck, eyes wide open, staring into the darkness in shock. Another crack - someone appeared out of thin air. Hermione screamed and flung herself behind the nearest tree, realizing too late what a stupid thing to do that was. Hermione’s chest was heaving with anger at herself, and her heart was pounding so fast, she thought it was going to jump out of her ribcage any second. She let her open palms hit the trunk of her tree with frustration, only to have unnecessary pain jolt through her arms, as the hard wood refused to give way. “Noooo,” she cried out into the night. Small drops of rain were beginning to fall. Someone was approaching her tree from behind and as his or her soft footsteps came closer and closer, her trembling heart sped even further up. Hermione’s mind raced through all the defensive things she could possibly do, but without her wand, the choices were limited. So in a desperate attempt to gather her wits,she made a quick decision - instead of waiting for an attacker to come and ambush her, with a final sigh she stepped out from behind the tree. Her vision blurred and body aching as it already was, a sudden collision with a hard rain soaked chest of an unknown death eater sent a shattering headache through the farthest corners of her mind.
She screamed again and stumbled backward, finally falling to the wet, cold ground beneath her. But before she could open her eyes and recognize the man who hit her, someone else had appeared in the clearing and blasted the death eater away. When Hermione had finally looked up, her attacker was lying ten feet away whimpering from the pain. The boy who hurt him was still standing with his wand held high. His face was unreadable, a mixture of shock and triumph, muddled with an empty-like unknown emotion. He stood tall and dark, looming over the helpless girl, cowering on the ground beside him; he wasn’t looking at her.
“Who was that!” – she yelled. The boy didn’t seem to hear. He only had eyes for the death eater. As they watched, the black robed man rose slowly to his feet and turned around to face them.
“What do you think you’re doing, insolent boy!”
Draco Malfoy didn’t answer. Silently he took the young girls’ hand and apparated out of the forest, forever altering the normal course of both their lives.”
Hermione woke up suddenly, and sat straight up in her bed. Draco wasn’t next to her.
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