Chapter 9 : Hermione's Decisions
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Thanks to EvilTwin, KxxDxx, irrelevant, Emerald-Eyed Cat, GriffindorHeadGurl, and happy for reviewing the last chapter! Sorry for the long wait, but here's the 9th chapter! Again, I don't own anything except Castor and the plot. Enjoy!
With a start, he cast a silent spell on Hermione's scarf:
Meet me in RoR. Midnight. Important to mission and to self.
Hermione nodded. Her dimpled smile had disappeared. The word “mission” was not to be taken lightly. The time was soon.
Hermione tapped her fingers anxiously. Midnight had come and gone. It was nearing one.
Perhaps the boy overslept, she thought.
Strange, how her son could look nothing like her. He was Draco’s miniature in every aspect. But inside, she suspected the boy was more like her than anyone could imagine. Who else but her son would be Ravenclaw and Head Boy? Certainly not any son of Demelza’s or Astoria’s. She and Draco had created the It-Boy: handsome, smart…everything a man should be. In fact, she held a bit of pride that it was her son who was so brilliant. Hugo had yet to show anything near her mental capacity, but Rose and Castor had turned out well. Two out of three wasn’t bad, in her humble opinion. Yet her thoughts started drifting away from the boy. Hermione’s anxiety and eagerness to meet the boy was slowly being strangled by her irritation that he wasn’t there to meet her.
What if he got hurt?
Hermione pulled out a mirror from her purse. She’d cast an enchantment on it long ago so that the mirror could show her everything she wanted to see.
“Show me the boy,” she whispered.
He was gasping for breath. Huddled in some dark corner, while a faceless person cast curse after curse upon him. Hermione gasped in shock. He was being tortured to death. Blood was everywhere. She gazed intently, trying to locate him, before she found a telltale sign of where he was: in the corner, almost out of the mirror’s visage, was a golden frame. And in the golden frame was fruit. He was being attacked outside of the kitchens. Withdrawing her wand, she sprinted out of the R.o.R. to rescue Castor. When she arrived at the scene, she heard someone about to utter the deathly curse:
Protego, Hermione thought furiously, while she whispered, “Expelliarmus!”
A shield now protected the boy, while the torturer’s wand was now in her possession. Hermione also muttered a Body-Binding Curse. She would not have this weasel escape punishment.
“Are you alright, Castor?” Hermione asked anxiously, all pretenses gone. At that moment, Hermione Weasley, nee Granger, was being his mother. Wincing, she thought, ‘As I should have been all along…’
“Sh…it’s ok now. You’re going to be fine. Don’t worry,” Hermione crooned softly, as if humming a lullaby.
But while Hermione’s maternal instincts were in full gear, she heard a sharp crack. The torturer had disappeared. Someone must have helped him or her. There was no way he could have broken Hermione’s curse. She was about to investigate when she heard a moan. The boy! How could she have been so stupid as to forget him?! Angry with herself, she cast a Feather Light spell to make him weigh nothing. Then she carried her son to the Hospital Wing.
“Madame Pomfrey! Madame Pomfrey! Please, I need your help!”
“Professor Vanderbilt? How may I help you?”
Vanderbilt? Then she remembered her alias. The reason why she was here…
“I fayound this boy. He’s hurt. Can yuh pulease help him?”
“Merlin’s beard! Place him on the bed immediately please, Professor, and message his head of House and the Headmistress?”
Hermione obeyed. She Summoned Flitwick and McGonagall with a quick Patronus. But then she did more. Summoning all of the courage that only a Gryffindor could posses, she did her worst nightmare: she messaged Draco. Yes, yes, she knew it was necessary, but that didn’t mean she needed to like it. She had loved Draco, more than any other silly bint had. He’d made her heart soar with one smirk. He made her heart plummet with one cold glare from the liquid mercury. Then she remembered why she left…Blaise…
Hermione was ecstatic. She’d been dating Draco Malfoy, of all people, for several months now! Never had her life been so blissful. She walked towards the Charms classroom, humming a song from West Side Story. This only encouraged her mood further. She sang softly.
‘I feel pretty…oh so pretty…’
‘I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Mudblood.’
‘Zabini,’ Hermione uttered coldly. ‘What do you want?’
Blaise just smiled. His grin twisted upwards. He was a handsome boy, really, but at this moment, he appeared to look just like the young Tom Riddle, attractive but evil.
‘You know, you really shouldn’t smile like that. You’ll scare away all of your potential amours,’ Hermione scoffed.
‘Amours,’ Blaise mocked. ‘How…sickening.’
‘Zabini, what do you want? I’m in no mood to humor you with a match of wits.’
‘I want revenge.’
Hermione was puzzled. She knew Draco and Blaise had gotten into a huge fight, but she had no idea what there was to take revenge for…
‘You’ve brought nothing but pain for me Granger. First, you helped kill my father. Then you stole my best friend. Now he hates me. He wants nothing to do with me. And why? Because I called you what you are- a Mudblood. I called you the name that you deserve. You’ll always be a Mudblood. You’ll never fit in with Purebloods. Would you have the audacity to sully Pure lines with your filthy blood?’
‘Hold on, Zabini. I never killed your father.’
‘I never said you did.’
‘You helped someone kill my father.’
‘Pay attention, Granger, coz it’s story time. Once upon a time, there was a beautiful witch. She attracted every man, wizard or Muggle, but she never kept him for long. She kept him long enough to gain his fortune. But one day she met someone different. He was just as clever as she, just as attractive as she, and just as cold-blooded as she. They never married, but a year of romancing was enough to produce me. For years, I struggled to find out my paternity, only to find out, ironically enough, in a diary…just like the one Draco keeps…the one that I found. But back to the story. I found this lovely piece of literature. Imagine my surprise, when I find that I am better than the so-called Slytherin Prince himself. One of the last Slytherins.’
‘Please, Zabini. There are plenty of you Slytherins…too many,’ Hermione scoffed.
‘Shut up, Mudblood,’ he snarled. ‘Not just any Slytherin. The youngest descendent of Salazar Slytherin himself.’
‘You can’t be…’
Hermione’s face was covered in horror. She knew where Zabini was going with this story now…
‘Yes, Granger. My father was Lord Voldemort. And you killed him.’
Hermione whipped out her wand.
‘What do you want? Why are you telling me this?’
‘I want you to leave Draco. I want you to never see him again. I want you to break his heart by dating that pathetic Weasel. And I want you to see him in pain.’
‘Why would you do that? You’re his best friend!’
‘The Malfoy line is one of the purest. It can’t be muddied. And he would willingly do so. In fact, I think he went ring shopping the other day…’
‘You’ll never separate us. You can’t. We have no weakness together, he and I.’
‘That’s where you’re wrong, Granger. You wouldn’t want to wake up one night to find dear Draco lying in his own blood, stone dead now would you?’
‘You snake! You’d do that to your own best friend.’
‘If it means saving him from an eternity of misery due to one mistake, then yes.’
‘I don’t believe you.’
‘Want to test it out then, eh? Fine, here’s a present for you. It starts with the smaller joys. But sooner or later, you will lose everything you love. You will be miserable forever. This, I promise you.’
Hermione lunged with her right fist, only for Blaise to grab and twist her fist until he heard a satisfying crack.
‘Play nicely, Mudblood.’
After bestowing the loving words, Blaise spun around and strode away, leaving Hermione crying in pain.
Hermione spent that night in the hospital wing, Draco sleeping next to her. That night, there was a fire in the library. Thousands of priceless books were destroyed beyond repair.
‘Having fun, Mudblood?’ Blaise taunted in Herbology.
‘You…you evil, sickening little twat. How could you? There was priceless literature in there! Scrolls from the Library at Alexandria, oracle bones, and you destroyed them…’
‘The fun is just beginning,’ he smirked.
The next day, McGonagall made an announcement:
‘I regret to announce that last night several of our House Elves were brutally murdered. If you would, please take a moment in silence for these victims.’
Tears streamed down Hermione’s cheeks while Blaise could barely contain his laughter.
For a month, little things like this occurred. Luna was sent to the Hospital Wing after her Cauldron erupted, almost burning off her skin. Ginny broke all her limbs in a Quidditch match, where Blaise was Beater. Neville came back from Herbology with bites from various venomous snakes. Seamus nearly died of poisoning, Ron was sent into hysterics, and Harry barely saved Crookshanks from drowning. But as the threats increased steadily, Hermione’ anxiety increased. Her appetite disappeared, causing her to lose weight, and she grew gaunt. Finally, she approached Blaise.
‘What do you want?’
‘I told you. I want you to get away from Draco and never see him again.’
For a week, Hermione procrastinated. She didn’t want to hurt Draco. Then Blaise’s curse started up again. Finally, a month before graduation, she broke up with Draco.
Hermione had tears pouring down her cheeks now. She’d been cruel. She should have faced the consequences, rather than be a coward. She’d broken his heart, not knowing she was carrying his child.
Then a handkerchief appeared.
“What’s wrong, Granger? Getting sentimental over your child?”
Hermione recognized the cool tone. Draco was here.
“Shut up, Ferret,” she sobbed. She couldn’t even bring a hint of malice into her insult.
Draco, in turn, appraised the witch in front of him. She’d broken his heart. He’d loved her, he’d bought the ring, he’d proposed, and she’d rejected him shortly after. Yet he still felt a twinge of shame. What had he done to make her cry?
“He’s so smart and beautiful, Draco. Our son.”
“Astoria and Demelza raised him well, I think.”
“Why? Because Ronald was available?”
Hermione shook her head, sobbing. At some point, Draco had muttered ‘Muffliato’ as Poppy was working over their son and he didn’t want her to hear.
“Just tell me, mia cara [my dear].”
Hermione couldn’t form the words. But she knew it was time. He needed to know the truth. Conjuring a flask, as she had done long ago for the dying Professor Snape, she placed all of her nightmarish realities into the flask and handed it to Draco.
“I’m sorry. I really am. Please don’t do anything rash.”
With that, Hermione collapsed into sobs once more. Draco eyed the flask curiously, before walking towards the Room of Requirement. He needed a Pensieve. Odd, that he would spend so much time once more in the room. He reached the opening, wished for a room where he could be undisturbed, and gently opened the door.
A great stone pensieve stood in the middle of the room. It was a garden that Draco’s mind had created. A great garden with ivy wrapping around, with a gentle brook flowing through, and a stone bench. Strange- his hands were shaking as he dumped the memories into the stone bowl. Wisps of whirling light flashed brilliantly. He saw their faces, his and Hermione’s, he saw that accursed ring, mocking him as it soared by, and then he saw something else. He saw Hermione bent over, crying in the corner of the library, as someone wearing a dark cloak walked away. Curiously, Draco stuck his head into the pensieve, only to be horrified by the next thirty minutes worth of memories…
Hermione had dried her tears. She watched as Poppy bustled to keep her son alive. The blood was so steeped into his blonde hair that, for a moment, Hermione had a gruesome image of the boy’s hair being pink always. Grabbing her wand, she whispered, “Scourgify.” If she was bloodied and bruised, she’d want to be clean too.
“Are you there?” Castor whispered.
Poppy was gone now. Although the boy hadn’t addressed anyone specifically, Hermione knew she meant him.
“Yes, I’m here,” she murmured back.
“I know…I know everything now.”
“Everything?” Hermione asked shakily.
“Dad told me. I saw her. It was great to know that she cared. But no one could answer my question.” Castor’s breaths were labored as he rushed to get out his emotions.
Hermione had moved to Castor’s bed, and was playing with his hair casually, hoping, no, praying that her baby got better.
“Why did you leave me?”
Again, Muffliato was cast. The war had changed her views on all of the Prince’s curses.
“I couldn’t keep you. I wanted to. You were such a beautiful baby, sweetheart.”
“Why couldn’t you?”
“Ron,” Hermione replied quickly.
“You could have kept me instead of giving me to Dad…”
“You were so beautiful…yet so blonde…it was quite evident upon your birth that you were a Malfoy. Ron would have been furious. It frankly would not have been safe for you to live with me.”
“I feel so cold…”
Hermione frowned. Touching his head, she leaped away in surprise.
“You’re burning up!”
She Summoned a hand towel and a basin of ice water. If potions weren’t having any affect on him, Hermione would fix him the old Muggle way. She stayed up all night, as he tossed and turned, changing towels and adding ice to the water. At just about three in the morning, his fever broke. Then he uttered the words that broke Hermione’s heart:
“Mummy, don’t leave me…”
With a shudder, Castor grew still. Sickeningly still.
“Poppy! Poppy!! COME QUICKLY!” Hermione screamed.
Questions? Comments? After searching everywhere, I realized that Blaise's paternity is questionable, so I decided to play with it. Please review, it means the world to me!
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