Hermione couldn’t sleep. She wanted to, and had tried to desperately, but every time she closed her eyes what had happened just a few hours before kept flashing before her eyes. It gave her shivers to be honest. At one point she had been shaking so badly that neither Harry’s nor Ron’s comforting arms could stop it.
She sighed. She glanced over to her right and then to her left, her two favorite men sleeping on either side of her because they had sworn that they wouldn’t leave her. Hermione was thankful for them and gently smiled to herself as she watched them sleep, a bit envious that they were able to do so, so soundly while she couldn’t. Harry was quite the quiet sleeper. His hands were folded over his stomach, head tilted in her direction, and glasses skewed until Hermione removed them completely and reached over Ron to place them on the night table. Ron on other hand was the noisy one. A snore escaped his lips every twenty seconds or so, and both an arm and a leg were hanging off of the bed, nearly touching the ground.
“He’s going to fall off by the end of the night, I’m sure.” Hermione said to herself, and tried her best without waking him to shift his body more onto the bed so that he’d be more secure. After Ron was properly placed on the bed Hermione felt even more sandwiched in between him and Harry. But of course, it wasn’t like she was at home. At home there was a king-sized bed, and when they were at her house and time had gotten away from them dangerously, they’d all share it. Not necessarily by consensus, but just because they were used to falling asleep wherever they were; and they were usually in Hermione’s room, talking about things ranging from the tiniest details they could remember about their childhood to the unknowns of the future.
But St. Mungo’s beds were rather tiny. Hermione’s wand had been broken and it wouldn’t be fixed until morning, so there was no way for her to enlarge the bed. And no matter how good friends she was with Harry and Ron, she wasn’t going to go probing around their bodies as they slept, looking for their wands that were sure to be in a back pocket.
With a small shrug Hermione eased herself back down in bed, the feel of her shoulders rubbing up against theirs and angering a bruise or two. She knew that they felt guilty. Harry and Ron usually walked her to the apparation spot after having their daily late lunch, but they hadn’t done it this time around. It was actually her who had left them sitting at a café table near six that afternoon because Hermione had completely forgotten that she had agreed to babysit her neighbor’s kids.
Harry and Ron had offered to walk her, but Hermione had shooed them off, saying that it was fine and that it was only a seven-minute walk. She had bid them her farewells and took her journey. On her way there she had clumsily dropped her wallet off to her left, and she stared at it bemused and annoyed to see it do a small bounce and continue going downhill. Swearing heavily, she followed it down as it fell and made sure to keep her eyes on it because the closer she got to it the darker everything seemed to get around her. By the time Hermione had finally put her hands on her wallet and put it back where it was supposed to go, she realized that where she had tumbled into wasn’t too nice of a place. It was amazing really, to have a dark, creepy-looking place right next to one that was so pleasant and lively and where she had just left her friends.
Hermione began heading back where she came when she thought she heard a man groaning. She stopped at it, though she really shouldn’t have, and listened for it. She heard it again and by now she knew that the man’s sufferings weren’t something imagined, nor was it something that could be ignored. The Gryffindor spirit that had been resting for years had suddenly risen back up and she kept a hand on her wand which was in her pocket as she neared the noise. The closer she got, the tighter the grip on her wand became until her hand began turning pale.
She was right on top of the noise now and was staring through a small window of an old, rundown shoppe. From what she could tell, there had to be about six men in there. Four of them were rather pointless to recognize because they were merely followers. But the person who seemed to be the leader in all of this was someone Hermione knew for sure. As for the man standing next to him, she could say the same thing about him, except in his case she wondered what on earth he was doing. He was supposed to be legit; no more side-deals, no more dealing with dark wizards, none of that. But it seemed right then that Draco had cut back on his word.
Naturally… Hermione had scoffed in her mind and then quickly began going over what she should do. Barging in wand first was obviously a horrible idea. It wouldn’t have been too bad if Harry and Ron were with her, but she was alone and doing something so rash would’ve easily ended her life. As the man in charge of this little bit of torture raised his wand once again, Hermione could barely make out the glimpse in his eyes and the curve of his wicked smile, but from what she could see it was enough. It was enough to know the sudden hunger and eagerness to say the curse that had a permanent ending, and if Hermione could do something, she would at the very least stop that.
She took her wand from her pocket and pointed it at the window she had been staring through. Two quick spells and then Hermione would take off at an inhumane speed to get herself to safety. Her first spell was merely to break a portion of the window or else her disarming spell would bounce right off of it and hit her. Now it wasn’t like Hermione had expected the breaking of the window to go unnoticed. If it had she would’ve been shocked. But what she hadn’t expected was for Draco to suddenly draw out his wand and point it at the man next to him. With swift wand movements he was knocked backwards, but before any more action could take place, the sound of the window breaking from Hermione’s spell caught everyone’s attention, especially Draco’s, who had diverted his eyes to the dirty and obscured window and squished his eyebrows together slightly as if trying to figure out who the hell was there.
Those few wasted seconds were enough for the man who had been rightfully attacked to rise to his feet and draw his wand on Draco who had gotten out of the way none too soon. Had he not, he would’ve been blown apart, and soon the entire broken-down shoppe was in an uproar. Hermione had to duck because a spell had come in her direction, blasting what was left of the window and part of the wall surrounding it, sending debris flying over and on her. She had no idea what she had just walked in on, but her job was done and it was time to get out of there.
Hermione stood up from her crouching position and took off at a run. She began fleeing from the scene, feeling as though she was safe from harm though that theory was quickly silenced as she heard things shatter and explode behind her –spells and curses that had missed her by inches. She picked up her pace, though Hermione was quite sure that she was going as fast as her body could take her. As she ran, her hands covering her head in order to protect it from flying pieces of wood, stone, brick, and glass, she tried to think and remember how many people were inside that ruined old shoppe. Six..? Eight..? Whatever the number didn’t matter at this point. If it was more than two there was no debating that stopping, turning around, and taking the mob head on was a stupid and dangerous idea.
Hermione swiftly turned a corner, stopped for a split-second to take a deep breath, and then continued her run. She began to smile on the inside as she saw the apparition spot of whatever evil town she was in. All she had to do was make it there. Once there she’d be safe. She’d go straight to the Ministry, tell them of what she had seen, and everything would be fine.
But Hermione’s luck with dodging spells had worn off before she reached the apparation spot. A spell had gotten her in the back and she tumbled forward, rolling on the ground and coming to a stop when she collided with the brick wall of a large building. Hermione’s head was spinning. She shook her head fiercely to refocus her eyes so she could pick herself up and go again. But by the time her eyes were fine a wand was being shoved in her face by a man with a crooked smile and a front tooth missing. Hermione was trapped and there was nothing that she could do about it. She swallowed and looked up at him, trying desperately not to think about what the next few seconds would hold.
“Should I kill her?” He asked, his question being directed to someone whom Hermione couldn’t see. She was surrounded now by four others, they all having their wands out.
“No,” a voice answered, and if Hermione didn’t wish she hadn’t dropped her wallet, she sure would’ve now. Ethan Iverson was the holder of that voice. He was allusive; a leader of a small faction that did enough damage to earn him top priority with the Ministry. And here he was, gently pushing aside his men in order to see Hermione better and smiling devilishly.
“I suppose we could kill her.” Iverson knelt down so that he could be eyelevel with Hermione. After snatching up her wand that was some inches from her, he smiled at her, snapped her wand in half and then stood. “But this is Hermione Granger we’ve got cornered, gentlemen. How much money do you think Potter would pay to get her back?”
None of his men answered but merely smiled. Hermione’s heart had quickened tremendously for they were planning to do what she had feared: kidnap her. Most people would say that that was better than dying, but she knew what happened to all of Iverson’s victims. They were bound and gagged and brought to some unknown location that was different for every person. A ransom was made and for every day it took to be paid, a horribly painful affliction would happen to the kidnapped. No one wanted their loved one hurt. The ransom would be paid eventually. If it wasn’t, well…there was only so much one could take.
Hermione grit her teeth and waited for the binds to appear around her. Instead there was a shout and she quickly scuttled away from where she was before one of Iverson's henchmen had fallen on her. Once on her feet she saw the source of the distraction and, surprisingly, found that it was Draco. He was bruised in the face pretty badly and had a blood smear near the mouth, but none of that could mask his rage. He turned his wand on Iverson who immediately crumbled to his feet from the Cruciatus Curse. Hermione hated to see that curse performed, but at this point was grateful for it. Iverson had dropped both his wand and her broken one. She picked up his and shouted spells at the remaining men who had yet to be subdued.
One Hermione sent through a storefront window, another knocked unconscious from hitting his head against a wall, and, after a third ran off to save his own arse, she turned on a fourth whom Draco had set his wand against as well and had the luxury of bringing him to his knees. All the while this was going on Iverson had recovered from being tortured. Hermione and Draco’s backs had been turned to him and he had used this to his advantage. Iverson managed to get his hand on a fallen wand and used it to disarm Draco. With his wand gone Hermione was the only one out of the two of them to save themselves. However, she never got the chance. She soon found herself running behind Draco who had taken a hold of her wrist and was pulling her along.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” Hermione shouted, trying to wrench her wrist out of his grasp. “Let go of me! Malfoy!”
“Shut up!” Draco yelled at her. They were at the apparation spot now and Draco still had a rough grip on her. Hermione was about to curse him when she felt a pull on her navel as a sign of apparation and they were as far away as they could be within seconds.
Where they had gone, to her shock and huge awe, was the Ministry. Draco continued pulling her along and Hermione was growing more than irritated with this whole ordeal as well as confused. She was forcefully following him all the way up to the Minister’s office where he had finally let her go. Hermione massaged her wrist as she stared at Draco as he continuously banged on the Minister’s door until it was opened.
That was when Hermione found out that it paid well to mind your own business. Draco had been working for the Ministry in trying to catch Iverson. And now everything was utterly destroyed.
author's note: well HELLO to those who know me and to those who don't! welcome to another one of my fics or your first.
what did you think of the first chapter! i tried to make it as interesting as possible all the while drawing you in, so i hope that it did both lol. don't forget to leave a review and i'll happily respond! (as always!)
*minor edits made (grammar) that was driving me nuts, nothing major lol*
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