Chapter 13 : Gone
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Hermione exited the bathroom, staring at the small device in her hands.
“Well?” Ginny demanded, nearly glaring at her.
Hermione shook her head before looking up, “No.”
“What d’you mean no? You missed your period.”
“I know I did,” she said, slowly, just as confused, “I’m going to schedule an appointment with my doctor before we go back to school.”
Ginny just sighed before flopping down on Hermione’s bed.
Hermione was craning her neck at the station in search of Ginny until she finally spotted the redhead and instantly hurried over to her. She quickly pulled her away from her family, her face contorted into that of ecstasy.
“Stress!” she exclaimed finally, hitting Ginny on the arm, “I was stressed!”
“By what? You couldn’t possibly be upset during this vacation!”
“I wasn’t upset,” she scoffed, rolling her eyes, “But I was stressing about Blaise and Emily, and about Harry and Ron, and then about Draco, and it was just crazy, and it makes sense, Gin.”
“And your doctor told me this?”
“Yes. She said it was possible and most likely.”
“Did you tell Draco any of this?”
“No,” she was firm, “I didn’t, and I don’t want to. He doesn’t need that added weight on his shoulders.”
Ginny just nodded before sighing.
“Don’t let this happen again, ‘Mione, please,” she muttered before going back to her family.
Hermione followed after a moment, composing herself so that she could greet the boys with a smile on her face…
Two months later.
“Letter from the boys,” Ginny said as she sat down, brandishing an envelope.
She took a quick sip of pumpkin juice before slicing it open. It was a Thursday, and Hermione had been trying to catch her while she wasn’t busy all day, but it was only now, at dinner, that she finally graced them with her presence.
“I haven’t seen you all day,” Hermione voiced her concern, but Ginny just waved her away.
“Been running around,” she mumbled as she unfolded the letter, “I’ll give it to you after.”
Hermione watched as she read it four times before she started to fold it again.
“Ginny,” she demanded, holding out her hand, “I want to read it.”
“You can’t,” she mumbled, slipping it back into the envelope.
Under any other circumstance, Hermione would have just let it go, but after last time, she couldn’t. And so she slipped her wand out and, suddenly, the letter was in her hands.
“Hermione!” Ginny shrieked, trying to reach for it.
“I have every right to know,” she hissed, glaring at her redheaded friend until she turned to her food, grumbling to herself.
I can’t write long. It’s even dangerous for me to be writing, but I had to let you know we were okay. I know we’ve been gone all week, and I’m sorry. We just… we don’t know where to look. We’ve run out of ideas, and I feel like we’re just running in circles, checking the stupidest places. Nothing is working. We might be back sooner than planned…
Hermione reacted carefully. She read it only once, folded it, and gave it to Ginny. After that, she did her best to distract Ginny and bring her out of her now sullen mood. It worked eventually, and they even spent the evening with Hilary, Emily, Theodore, Blaise, and Draco.
“I’ll see you tomorrow for breakfast?” Hermione said as she walked the girls to the door; the boys were still down in the common room.
“Yea, absolutely,” Ginny said with a smile, “And, Hermione, thanks so much for not flipping out about that letter.”
“Hey,” she said, shrugging, “It’s fine. I get it. They have to do this without me. It’s my own fault. Have a good night, you guys!” she added as Hilary and Emily made their way out of the portrait hole.
She and Ginny exchanged an embrace before she left, and she smiled at Theodore and Blaise as they passed by her. Draco met her at the bottom of the stairs with a kiss.
“I love you,” he whispered, drawing her close to him.
“Mm,” she sighed into him, “And I love you."
He pulled her off to bed where they expressed their love before falling into a deep sleep…
Hermione woke herself up at around two in the morning, and she slowly rolled away from Draco. She laid there for a few minutes to act as though she were simply doing just that, rolling away. After a short while, she slowly and quietly crept out of bed, slipped back into her panties and bra, scooped up the rest of her clothes, and hurried out of the room. She ran across the common room, up her stairs, and slipped into her room, letting out the breath she’d been holding.
Once there, she dumped her clothes on the floor and hurried over to her dresser. She started pulling out clothes fit for cold weather, camping, and the sort. She picked up a small purse, charmed it, and shoved everything inside before slipping into a pair of jeans, a long striped sweater, a tan sweatshirt, a dark grey peacoat, and a purple pink scarf. She pulled her into a bun, and then went to collect any other necessities she may need.
After, she shouldered the purse, left her room, and stopped at the bottom of her stairs, looking over at Draco’s room. She wouldn’t leave anything, not a letter, not a kiss, and that hurt her the most. It was like how he’d left her with no trace of his existence but a wrapped parcel containing the book she’d been looking at.
She cast her eyes downward and marched forward, right out of the house. Once outside, she snuck her way to the Gryffindor house where she whispered the password out of sight so that the Fat Lady wouldn’t recognize her, crept inside, and ran up the boys’ staircase. She quickly found Harry and Ron’s room, and, without making a sound, she got them clothes and other things they’d forgotten.
Then, taking a deep breath, she left, slipped her way through the castle, and took off in a sprint down the stairs and toward the far gates. She turned only once she’d reached them, and she stared at the castle for a few moments before pointing her wand at the gates. She left, and she spent the night apparating to different places until she found them, a small fire outside of a little tent. She cursed softly, stalking toward it, and, once near enough, she screamed.
Harry immediately came rushing out, wand at the ready, and Hermione rolled her eyes.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” he screeched instantly, gaping at her.
“Why don’t you have charms up?”
“What?” he whined, poking his head out, “Why aren’t there any charms up?”
“I put the charms up.”
“Hermione found us.”
“How did you find us?” Ron exclaimed.
Hermione rolled her eyes, “Because the charms aren’t up.”
“Why are you here?” Harry demanded.
“Because you need me. Look, I’m sick of this, I’m not going to continue to let you guys do this alone. I want to help.”
“Whatever,” Harry grumbled.
“I brought extra clothes and the things you may have forgotten. Like the Marauder’s Map.”
Harry stopped at this, half-turning, “Why would I need that?”
“Don’t play fool, Harry. I know you’re worried about Ginny.”
“And how would that help me?”
But his voice was hoarse, and she could tell he was grateful.
“So you can see that she’s still walking about, she’s still living.”
“Thank you,” he barely whispered, and she just smiled before following them to the tent.
They spent the night talking, first about her and Draco, about her and Ron, about her being here, which only provided a segue way into where they would look next. In the end, they all bid each other good night with hugs and apologies.
Draco knew that pacing outside of the Gryffindor portrait hole was probably not a good idea, but he could barely hold himself together let alone remember etiquette.
“Draco Malfoy?” a voice suddenly said, and he stopped as a girl exited the portrait hole, “What are you doing he—hey! You can’t go in there!”
Draco pushed past her and sprinted through the tunnel, erupting in the Gryffindor common room. People shrieked at his arrival, and someone tried to grab him to push him back out, but he ducked away and hurried up the girls’ staircase, grabbing onto the banister halfway there and hauling himself up when it turned into a slide. Finally, he reached the top and banged on every single door until Ginny finally answered one of them, and he let out a sigh, waving her back into her room so he could enter.
“Oh my God!” one of the girls in her room exclaimed, and Ginny just hushed her before arching an eyebrow.
“How the hell did you get in here?” she asked, slightly amused.
“Waited until someone left. Where is she?” he demanded, eyes wild.
“She who?” Ginny laughed.
“Hermione. Where is she?”
“What do you mean? I was just going to go down and join her for breakfast.”
“Ginny!” he yelled, grabbing her shoulders, “She’s gone!”
It finally dawned on her, and she spun out of Draco’s grasp, racing over to her bed. She rifled through her nightstand, but the letter was still there. However, taped on top was a slip of paper, Hermione’s handwriting.
I’m sorry. I had to.
Ginny looked up and over at Draco, her heart pounding. She turned the letter, and he collapsed against the door as he read the note.
“She’s gone, Ginny. She went to them, didn’t she?”
“I have no idea where they are, either.”
“What are we going to do?”
“Well, first, we’re going to get you out of here because, well…” she trailed off at the commotion downstairs, “McGonagall is here.”
However, when they walked downstairs, McGonagall looked frantic.
“Miss Weasley!” she exclaimed, and there was a few seconds where her gaze jumped between the two of them before she finally stopped, looking straight at Draco.
“She’s gone,” was all she said, and Draco just nodded.
“To them?” she asked of Ginny, who looked away.
“Okay,” she started, “We’ll have to speak to Albus about this.”
And she ushered them out of the room, and they were eerily quiet as they made their way to the headmaster’s office.
OH MY GOD.
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