Chapter 11 : But now I know that something has a hold
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(Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or anything else created by J.K. Rowling, just my crazy plot)
We entered the Charms classroom in silence as we were both over five minutes late. Seamus and Dean waved me over to sit in between them and I started to walk towards them and then stopped. I’d promised to sit with Draco in class and five minutes ago I wouldn’t have been having second thoughts about that promise but now... Yeah, I really didn’t know. I felt his warmth behind me as he whispered in my ear.
“Where are we sitting today? Your choice” His voice was almost seductive and sent shivers down my spine as I shrugged, waved in apology to Seamus and Dean and lead Draco to a set of seats by the window on the opposite side of the classroom. I set my parchment and quills out on my part of the desk and stared at the front of the classroom waiting for Professor Flitwick to begin instructing us on the new spell we were learning. Of course I’d already read the textbook three times but I saw no harm in going over it again as I absently flicked my textbook open. My mind started to wander, there was little I had to worry about these days, it wasn’t as if anyone was trying to kill my best friend any more, the world was at peace, the most important thing to me now was passing my NEWTs. Thoughts of Harry reminded me of Ron and the fact I hadn’t written to them in a while, which was so unlike me. Ron’s last letter had been rushed as his scrawl hadn’t changed at all, it told me he was okay nothing more, Harry’s had been a little more informative, he explained that both him and Ron were extremely busy, Auror training hard yet they were learning so much and enjoying it which for them was so very important. He had asked how Ginny was doing and it had been one of the main reasons I’d put off replying, I didn’t want to break his heart by saying that Ginny and I weren’t speaking because I knew that it would.
I pulled my water flask out of my bag and took a drink, I had suddenly become a lot warmer and the classroom around me felt smaller and more constricted and I was hoping the water would clear my head. I could hear Draco saying my name but it didn’t seem to register in my brain thus it appeared as if I was ignoring him. I heard Professor Flitwick begin talking but his voice seemed so distant, almost like an echo. I put my hand to my forehead to find that it was burning and the last thing I felt was Draco’s cool hand on my right hand as my whole world went black.
I’d watched Hermione’s hand shake as she attempted to drink from a small flask that she’d pulled from her bag. She was clearly out of it as she took no notice of the water as it dribbled down the front of her robes and she didn’t seem to hear me as I called her name several times. I reached for her hand which was burning as I took it in mine and the next thing I knew she was sliding out of her chair. I was exceptionally grateful for my Quidditch reflexes as I scrambled to catch her before she hit the ground. Her eyes were closed, her hair was falling out of its bun and I could feel a faint pulse through my hand on her wrist. My chair, which I had pushed out of the way in order to catch her, had fallen in slow motion and chose that moment to clatter to the ground, causing everyone in the room to turn and look at us.
“What have you done to her Malfoy?” Seamus’ Irish voice broke the silence, he looked as if he was about to march over and punch me.
“I haven’t done anything Finnigan, she just fainted” I replied glaring at him in return.
“What in the name of Merlin is going on here Mr Malfoy?” Professor Flitwick demanded.
“It’s Hermione Sir, she’s just fainted, well at least I think she’s fainted, she just fell out of her chair and her hand feels like it’s on fire.” I looked down at the girl in my lap and it was then I realised how beautiful she was. It was true she had nothing on Astoria and Daphne Greengrass or Fleur Delacour but there was just something about her that made her beautiful in her own way, I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was.
“Well we’d best get her to the hospital wing then.”
“I’ll take her” Seamus offered and stepped forward.
“No, I’ll take her there” I retorted as I stood up and picked Hermione up, her head resting on my shoulder, she was so light that I made a mental note to check that she was eating properly. The class parted to let me out. I wanted to run but my cargo was precious and I couldn’t justify the thought of anything happening to her. I felt as if my own thoughts were desperate, desperate for her to see me as more than a friend but I felt as if I had ruined it by kissing her before Charms. She’d been through so much yet she still hadn’t judged me like everyone else, she’s given me the chance that I had needed and I was falling in love with her. This was never meant to happen, I was meant to fall in love with a pure blood Slytherin girl whom my parents would have approved of and produce a pure blood Malfoy heir. Yet there was this muggle born girl in my arms who I was willing to throw it all away for, if only she knew...
I reached the Hospital Wing and laid her down on a bed before calling for Madam Pomfrey. As the nurse came out I saw how the war had aged her, she was still nimble and a very able nurse but her body and facial features echoed the pain she had seen and the wounds she had healed.
“What is the problem Mr Malfoy?” She said to me, her tone cold and serious, another reflection of the war weary.
“Hermione collapsed in Charms and hasn’t come to, her body is burning up and I’ve no idea what is wrong.”
“Have you noticed anything different about her recently?”
“No, she seemed normal this morning, apart from the fact she overslept and missed breakfast, I brought her toast but I don’t think she ate it.”
“Has she been stressed?”
“She studies so much, she’s always doing homework, she never seems to have fun. I’ve only really known her since we were made to share a dormitory as Heads of the school, so I don’t know if it’s out of the ordinary for her.” I replied as Madam Pomfrey continued to examine Hermione’s limp form.
“Has she drunk anything this morning?” The nurse asked suddenly after examining Hermione’s neck and forehead.
“She drank from a small flask at the start of Charms, she spilt it because she was shaking so much, and it looked like water.”
“And where is that flask now?”
“Still on her desk in the Charms classroom as far as I’m aware.”
“I need to see it” She demanded, a hint of concern in her voice and I needed no further instructions before I sprinted off to grab the flask. There was a group of first years walking behind Professor McGonagall who gave me a queer look as if to say ‘slow down’ as I ran down the corridor past them, sliding around a corner and barging into the classroom.
..... Or rather what I had believed was our classroom. In my haste to help her taken the wrong staircase and ended up a floor below where I needed to be. I’d ended up in a deserted classroom and I heard the door click shut behind me and an evil cackle come from the other side of the room. I spun around to find the door locked shut so I pulled out my wand and whispered ‘Alohomora’ yet nothing happened.
“Peeves!” I hissed. “The Bloody Baron will hear about this!”
“I’m not afraid of you Draco Malfoy! Peeves is getting paid good to keep you occupied” He continued to cackle and float around the room.
“Who’s paying you?”
“And take all the fun out of this?” I held my wand at him as he shook his head. “I was told to keep the blood traitor busy whilst the mudblood suffered.”
“WHO PAID YOU?” I yelled. “Who paid you Peeves? Just fucking tell me.” I growled, I knew Peeves wouldn’t be likely to tell me anything until I had the upper hand and I remember one particular Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson from my third year and I began looking around the room for some sort of gum or anything that even slightly resembled gum.
“Accio chewing gum” I whispered under my breath and felt a few small balls whiz into my hand. “Oi! Peeves!” I called and he looked at me curiously. “Catch!” I yelled as I chucked the gum at him also yelling ‘Waddiwassi’ at the same time. The gum zoomed at him, attacking him, trying to shove itself in all the places that would be most uncomfortable for him.
“Make it stop, I’ll tell you if you make it stop” He squealed, minor technicality being that I didn’t know how to make it stop but he didn’t know that.
“Tell me first”
“I don’t know her name! She was a Slytherin, sixth year, pale, blonde hair.” He panted, it didn’t help me much, there was a fair few blonde Slytherin girls.
“Finite Incantatem” I said, pointing my wand at Peeves in the hope that it would work and luckily it did as the gum fell to the floor. “Don’t cross me again Peeves. Understand? If this girl approaches you again, come straight to me and I’ll pay you double what she does, for you to do it back to her. Now unlock the door.”
“Yes Mr Malfoy.” He said solemnly, as if he was a house elf, I heard the lock click again and I walked out the door and ran back towards the staircase and Charms classroom, fifteen precious minutes wasted dealing with Peeves.
As I barged into the classroom everyone turned to look at me.
“Sorry Professor, I just need a few of Hermione’s things”
“Well be quick Malfoy, and quietly if you don’t mind.”
I walked quickly over to our shared desk, hastily shoving her things back into her bag, placing it on the desk and realised that the flask was missing.
“Excuse me, did anyone take Hermione’s flask?” There was pure silence. “Finnigan? Thomas? Either of you seen it?” They both responded with a shake of their heads. I looked around the classroom at people likely to steal it. There was a mixture of houses within the room and I doubted that anyone but a Slytherin would wish any ill on Hermione.
“Nott, if you’ve got the flask I’m going to hex you into oblivion.”
“Why do you care so much Malfoy? She’s just a mudblood”
“Don’t speak about her like that”
“Got a bit of a crush on her have we? Imagine if Pansy heard about this, or Astoria, I would love to see them get their hands on you. What would your father say?”
“My father doesn’t care anymore, he’s lost everything. As for Pansy, I don’t care what she thinks; same for Astoria, Hermione and I are just friends. Look, Nott, I don’t have time for this idle chit chat, just tell me where the flask is and we can continue this lovely discussion.” I replied sarcastically.
“Why would I have the filthy mudblood’s flask? Merlin knows what diseases I could get from it.”
“You’ve never been a very good liar. Just hand it over.”
“Gentlemen please, stop this ruckus this instant. Nott, fifty points from Slytherin for stealing now give the flask back now and Malfoy, you’re head boy and you should be setting a better example, take the flask and stop disturbing this class!” Flitwick yelled from the front of the room with obvious annoyance. Nott handed the flask over with a scowl, but not without flicking the top open so that most of the contents went all over my robes and the table in between us. I closed the lid and tucked it away before throwing Hermione’s bag over my shoulder, how she carried a bag that heavy all day of every school day I’d never know, and I tucked my own books under my arm and exited the classroom, slamming the door behind me.
I entered the hospital wing, dumping all the books and Hermione’s bag in the first free space I could find, I handed the flask over to Madam Pomfrey who took it and walked away briskly so I sat by Hermione’s beside. I took her hand in mine and felt that it was still burning, I must have had a concerned look on my face when the nurse came back as she spoke to me.
“She’ll be fine Mr Malfoy, but I’m afraid I have some good news and some bad news.”
I'm sure you all noticed the switch in perspective partway through, I thought I'd try something different, let me know if you liked it/didn't like it or if you think it did/didn't work that well in a review otherwise I won't know!
So I laboured all day just to get this out, just for all you wonderful readers, two chapters in relative quick time, well quick for me anyway, because I have a feeling I won't update for about a month because of assignments/exams, well I'm aiming to update in about a month anyway otherwise I'll feel really slack and horrible.
I really hope you enjoyed it :D But there is only one way I'll know if you did, so let me know, and thanks to all the kind reviewers so far, you are ALL amazing.
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