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Pirates by singerhotti24
Chapter 34 : Almost Doesn't Count
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 44

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A/N: My personal favorite review: “PLEASE HURRY UP! Don't make us wait as long as last time!”Obviously, I enjoyed that for comedic effect. I can't really say sorry anymore for not updating in ages, because life is life, and it's been rough. :) But hey. Here's an update- maybe it'll make it better. I'd love to hear from you guys- not just yelling at me via capital letters to update ;) It takes me a while, but I'll do it. I will finish this story. I promise! Anyway, let me know how it's going! (PS: if anyone wants to throw some amazing Damon/Elena fan fiction recommendations based off of the show, I would LOVE you forever) And of course, how you like the chapter. I do my best to respond to them. Also, there is MORE TO COME after this chapter. This is not the end :D Anyway, I've blabbed enough. Enjoy!! Love always, -Greta






Chapter 34: Almost Doesn't Count






Pansy's plush red lip lifted to let out a growl against the rain. Her hair was plastered on her forehead, and she knew it didn't look pretty. Damn.




It was agitating her to no end. Her nail had chipped a while ago, and there was an offensive tear in her pants. But she was still in one piece, could not suppress an eye roll inspired by the idiots yelling their bloody lungs off swiping their swords around like sticks with no poise. She crinkled her nose in disgust as someone spiked someone else with a sword and a yell.








She sauntered between the flashing blades, none of them touched her. It was impressive, and she definitely thought so herself. Her eyes however, were not on the mindless idiots around her- she was looking for that telltale flash of blonde hair that sometimes made her heart skip five beats.




But only sometimes.




He was just as vain as her, they were nearly one and the same. Their bloodlines, their values, their morals. They were both cold hearted, hot lovers. Of course, she would always carry a candle, hell, a blazing torch for him, but the time for that had passed. Maybe it would come back again, maybe it wouldn't. For now, it didn't matter. She had other men on her plate. Don't I always? Her lip quirked up.




Is that--- Nope. Just another spineless moron.




Her fists clenched. She was getting frustrated. The time was ticking with every roll of thunder and flash of lighting that passed by, with every drop of rain that screwed up her hair. With an agitated hand, she pushed it from her face. Damn it all to hell.




She heard a roar behind her. “Bloody hell, SHUT UP,she yelled as she swiveled around.




And then she saw him, flinging the door open, knocking the plank of wood off its hinges. For a second, she couldn't breath. It was glorious. A crack of thunder and a very well placed stroke of lightening blazed in the sky.




Draco Malfoy.


Pansy rolled her eyes. Even the weather slaved for him.


She headed toward the blonde with intent. She was going to kill him. He probably wouldn't mind. Hermione still had a chance in hell to win the bet and she couldn't allow that to happen. Personally, she would have preferred killing Hermione. There would have been a lot more personal pleasure from that. Seeing her face-- But it didn't matter. She had one piece of the puzzle, so she would exploit it. Draco would understand.....




She pulled the pistol from her belt, and strode toward him. He hadn't seen her yet, but in a second he would. They were friends. She couldn't just kill him in cold blood. She stepped into his line of vision. “Hello, Draco.”


Her grey eyes snapped towards her. He didn't say a word. He didn't even really acknowledge her. Was he walking past---- Oh, hell no. “I said, hello, Draco.”

She was following him? This was preposterous. Pansy quickened her step. She wasn't going to shoot him in the back. He would never forgive her for something like that----


Ah. Well, damn. It seemed like she was screwed after all.


“Not now, Pansy.”


Damn, but his voice was smooth. Just rough enough to--


She grabbed his upper arm and stepped in front of him. “Yes, now, Draco.”


He jerked his arm away. “I have something to attend to, you can wait.”


“Oh, no I can't.” She cocked her pistol, and pointed it at his heart. Her grasp was cold, unwavering, unflinching.


He didn't break eye contact with her. He honestly didn't have time for this bullshit. “You shot me in the back, so now you want to shoot me in the front, too?”


“Oh, come on, Draco, it's just a game,” she retorted flippantly. “I did what I had to do.”




“You could have shot Granger instead.”


“You were in the way.”


“And now you're in my way.”


She didn't stand a chance. His lighting fast seeker reflexes ripped the gun from her almost perfect fingertips (damn that chip!) and pointed it at her. Traitor, she thought at the gun.




“I'd shoot you, but it's not worth my time,” He spat, eyes furious. Without breaking his gaze, he flung her gun overboard. “Cross me again, Parkinson, and I'll kill you. I'm not playing around.” His stare speared her, freezing her to the spot. She'd never seen him so angry. She almost took a step back, but her pride wouldn't allow it. He started to walk by her again.


“I can help you.”


He didn't even look at her. His eyes were focused on the raging sea, more specifically, at a little rowboat that was quickly making its way towards the shore. “Damn it!” he hissed. His hands wrapped into fists and slammed the railing with a loud CRACK. He was so close. His hands ran through his hair. Why did I let her have those two minutes. “Damn it, damn it, damn it!”


She walked up next to him. Didn't even look at him. And then she understood who was in the boat. Only one person could make him swear that much other than his father. “You want the Mudblood, don't you.”


It wasn't a question. It was the lack of the question mark, in fact, that made his blood run cold.


His head snapped towards the raven haired witch. “No, I--”


“So do I.”


His heart stopped beating. And the started up again. She had no idea. She wasn't talking about the raging lust inside of him. She wasn't talking about that at all. She was talking war strategy. The relief inside of his chest blossomed to his very fingertips. He didn't relax, but thank Merlin, she had no idea.




She looked him in the eye. “We both want her, Draco.”


He almost laughed at her, but sombered up as the little boat got smaller and smaller. “You have no idea.”


“Then let's get her.


He leaped onto the railing like a graceful cat and jumped into the rowboat that hanging there. He needed an ally. Pansy wasn't a bad option. She was good, he had to give her that much. He reached out a hand to her, which she grabbed with a grin. “This is going to be fun!”


The smile that slashed across her face was echoed by her cutlass as the deadly metal slashed through the rope; the rowboat plummeted down into the ocean's angry waves.


Draco pulled out his wand and muttered a spell. With a jerk, the wooden vessel was off towards the shore with a bang, leaving a churning wake behind it. He gave her her two minutes. And now she was going to give him the treasure.




For the first time in his life, Ron was a step ahead of the game. He grinned at Harry from between the rocks on the shore that they were hiding behind. As soon as Pansy shrugged him, he knew he had to get to the Island. That was where the action would be taking place anyway. The Grand Finale. He may not have been the best Quidditch player in the world, but he was very good at chess, and as Hogwarts resident master, he knew a thing or two about strategy. “I told you they'd come.”


“So what's the game plan again?” Harry asked, touching the cutlass at his side. He was, shamefully, not the best swordsman. It made him wince to think about it. He was much better with his wand, anyway.


He watched Hermione and her chosen team climb out of the little ocean beat rowboat with undeniable speed and a grace he hadn't realized she had. Then, like they, she stumbled as the sand rumbled beneath her. “Faster!” she yelled, running, knees going up as high as they would.


“It's booby trapped,” Ron said to Harry. “This whole Island is. Which is--”


“--why we're going to follow them. Ronald, you're a genius!” Harry exclaimed with a grin. For the first time in this entire game, he was having fun. His heart was racing pleasantly. This wasn't dangerous. After the war, nothing was dangerous, really. He had faced Voldemort. It was the most terrifying moment of his life. This game was what he needed. The intruige, the silly danger- well, damn. He should have been a Pirate in the first place, maybe he could have avoided the wigs and the marriage mess. Girls. Harry rolled his eyes.


The rain felt refreshing on his face. The worst part was, it made them deaf.


Ron realized this as soon as Harry did. “The plan is to keep Hermione safe. The cavalry's coming! Let's go!” the redhead said. They sneaked behind the rocks and into the jungle, keeping flashes of Hermione's form about 20 feet ahead of them. Ronald looked back out at the sea to see one more boat crash on shore. “Quick!” He pushed Harry deeper into the foiliage.




Thump. Thump. Thump. Slash. Crash. Thump. Splash.




Her heart pounded in her ears as her feet almost tripped over themselves. Faster, Faster, she beseeched her legs as they slapped through jungle leaves. Water poured down from the sky in buckets, she could barely see ahead of her. She grabbed her wand out of her pocket. “Point me!” she panted. The wand jerked her a little to the east, and she kept running. Susan was right behind her, and Thaddius was somewhere close. She didn't have time. She didn't have hours. She only had minutes.


Two, to be precise. And with his long legs, he was shaving those two minutes to probably one right now.


This is feeling ridiculously like de ja vu, Hermione thought to herself. Oh, because it DID. The last time she was on the Island, she was being pursued by the blonde male. She was always running. Why couldn't she be the predator?!


But that thought stopped right there. She may not be the predator, but she was going to be the winner, and that's all that mattered. She had the snitch. She knew the spell. Nothing could go wrong. Nothing.


As long as she stayed ahead of Malfoy, she'd be fine. Just fine....


“Someone's following us!” Susan said through heaving breaths.


Damn. He was faster than she thought. Her heart rate picked up a notch.


“And it's not Malfoy!”


This almost caused Hermione to stop. “What?” She whipped her head to the side and looked Susan in the face. She almost stumbled over a root. “Then who is it?!”

 Susan looked over her shoulder. “Dunno! Just keep running!”

Hermione grabbed her hand and they dove into the entrance of the maze. The snakes were going to be a lot harder to see this time, but it didn't matter. She just needed to get to the cliff. “We need to slice through the maze.” She said to Thaddius who was on her left.


“But that'll make it easier for Malfoy--”


“He'll do it if we don't, and that means that he'll make it there before we do. Do it,” Hermione yelled through the rain. “Point me!” She demanded of her wand. It turned her a full quarter circle. “Go!”




Thaddius raised his wand and made an “X” motion with his wand and yelled out a spell. It looked like an invisible knife was cutting through the leaves, shredding them. He motioned forward with a strong thrust of his wand and the wall fell to the ground. Hermione's heart lifted. “Run!”




They ran forward through the slashes in the maze, the vines on the ground grabbed for their legs. Hermione didn't even want to think about what would happen if the snakes arrived. Maybe the spell would work on them, too. Maybe it wouldn't. She didn't have time to think about it, or make a contingency plan. She knew this wasn't well thought out. She was unstoppable when she had preparation- but without it, well.... she was good. But that might not be enough this time.


Hermione pushed the thought away. She could do this. She had to.


Hermione caught a glimpse of the cliff high above the tree tops. She ran into its shadow.




Almost there. Almost there.








They plowed through the maze, breathing hard. Draco was fit, but he wasn't a god.


He smirked for a second, the memory of the Great Hall crossing his mind... But his thoughts digressed. The pouring rain smacked the smirk right off of his lips. She was getting sloppy, he realized as he ran through the cut walls. It was an interesting development. The only thing that was ever sloppy about her was her hair.


Suddenly, a shock of cold ran through his body. Stop thinking about her. The irony was not lost on him. He was running after the thing he was running from. It was almost silly. But he had to catch up to her. She had the key, the spell, and she knew how to get to the treasure.




And he was two minutes behind. Two whole bloody minutes. All because his brain must have had an aneurism or something for two seconds while he stared into her weepy eyes. His time was running out, and he could feel the desperation trying to creep into his veins. He was on the fringe, the edge. He made his feet keep moving. “Faster!” he muttered under his teeth. He jumped over a flailing branch, only to belatedly realize--




“SNAKES!” Pansy screeched. She darted in front of him at the speed of light. He heard an unnatural crunch under his feet.




“Bloody hell, I can't catch a BREAK.”Draco yelled into the air.




He dodged a hissing snake with a yell, not wanting to kill his house mascot. Traitor, he shot at the snake.




Another wall passed in a blur. That's when he saw it. He put on an extra burst of speed and caught up to the terrified Pansy.


“Did you see that?” He said, jogging next to her.


“See what? The sna--”




“No!” Draco said. “THAT.”




Pansy looked forward and …..


“That's not Granger,” she panted in confusion.


“No.” Draco looked at the back that disappeared into the shadow of the cliff. He had seen that backside way too many bloody times in his lifetime. If he saw it one more time (too late!) it would have been a million times too many. “Bloody Potter.”


Fifteen seconds later, he and his partner in crime disappeared into the shadow also.


Hermione had to be only thirty seconds ahead. And as much as she hated to say it, she was also a girl. Draco would catch up to her in no time. No time at all. He almost had her.






Harry and Ron raced across the swinging bridge, clueless that Draco was less than 15 seconds behind them. They didn't look back, only forward at Hermione's racing form. If either of them tripped, Draco would be on them in seconds.






Ron knew that someone was pursuing. He just didn't know it was Draco. If he would have known, in hindsight, he probably would have fought the sucker right then and there. Maybe...






Ron and Harry climbed, up and up, following the flashes of Hermione and who Ron could only assume to be Susan and some young lad he saw on the left. Some underclassman probably. He was almost insulted that Hermione didn't ask them to team up with her. If anything, so much more could have been accomplished. He would have formed a strategy, blah blah blah, and they could have won super fast.


But for some reason, Hermione had gone rouge. The Golden Trio was not together on this one. Not at all. He didn't like it.




But then again, who was he to talk. He was snogging Pansy Parkinson. Or at least, he thought he was. He wasn't quite sure what to do with that.




“Faster!” Harry said, looking at Ron. They kept climbing up, up, up. Over a rock, hands clutching wet stones, slippery fingers threatening to let them fall at any moment.


“This is crazy,” muttered under his breath. But his heart was beating fast, and he loved it. It was the same feeling, that same feeling of The Chase that made him feel great. It was why he played Quidditch. He wasn't sure what he was doing now. He just knew that Hermione had a reason to be here, and for some reason, it felt like that last game- the game that would make or break the House Cup.




And Ron always followed his gut in games.








Harry thought he was hearings. But when Ron looked at him with confusion, he knew. They both looked back behind them.




“Shit,” they muttered in unison.


“Malfoy,” Harry swore.


“Keep climbing, don't retaliate. We have to get there before they do! That, and we don't associate ourselves with ferrets!” Ron grunted. 


Harry almost laughed.


The rain continued pouring down, not caring about their predicaments. Ron couldn't think about her right now. Not while it was ringing, and not while her shirt was absolutely see through.




Hermione, get to Hermione.




It was his gut instinct.

Poor Ronald, doesn't he know that gut instinct can most certainly be wrong?





Draco grabbed a rock right next to the Boy-Who-Lived's ankle. Draco wouldn't fight them, he had already decided this. He didn't have that much time. “Get out of the damn way, Potter!” He shouted to the brown-haired boy above him. A couple rain drops fell into his mouth- he almost choked on them.




Just as he was about to cough the rain out, he saw her. She was just a little bit ahead of them. Just enough ahead of them to be far away, though. He pulled himself up to Harry's thigh level. In five seconds, he was beside Harry, Pansy on his heels.


Harry shouldered into him. Hard.




Draco shot the other male a glare, “Watch it, Potter. As much as I'd love the satisfaction of being able to say I killed your arse,” he gained another foot, “I don't have the time.” Another six inches. He heard the ginger scoff over the rain. Really, he heard it over the deafening rain. Draco almost snorted. The loud buffoon.




“Oh yeah! You're here to kill 'Mione, ferret! Don't think we don't know!”


Draco rolled his eyes at the gross shortening of her name. It's Hermio--- he stopped himself. Focus. “Strike-one, Weasel.”

Just as he was going to ad something else, something more witty, Harry yelled in pain. Draco's eyes widened in surprise. He jerked around and looked down at the shiny little dagger jammed into Harry's ankle, which had begun to bleed. Ron stopped immediately and shuffled to try to help his panting friend.

“Get it out!” Harry gritted, not moving, fingers white with tension trying to hold on to the steep, slippery surface.


How many daggers does it take to put down the Boy Who Lived and his amazing sidekick? Only ONE. Pansy grinned at up Draco. “Move!”


Ron glared at her“You bi--”

But his words were tragically lost in the rain.

Draco cocked a brow at her as she pulled even with him. “You play dirty.” 

Pansy winked. “You like it.”


They pulled themselves over to a bit of level land and sprinted towards the springing bridge, but Hermione had gotten there ten seconds before them. She had already started crossing it. The chasm gaped beneath her.




“Granger!” he shouted as he was running.




The witch almost lost her footing as she looked back at him, eyes wild, fingers grasping the rope for her life. The wind was higher here. She didn't say anything. Her eyes focused on him for a moment. And then she started hurrying across the wailing, hungry chasm.


It was only then, that he noticed the two guards, Hufflepuff Bones, he thought, and then there was some kid he didn't know- that she had posted at the gate. They had their swords drawn, ready to fight. Then suddenly-- 




Draco jumped up into the air. There was a flash of blue light, and then.... the Mudblood's makeshift guards weren't there.


Dead meat. If Pansy could have blown the smoke off of her pistol, she would have. She smirked at Draco. His looks were their downfall. They should have stared at her instead.


Susan and Thaddius didn't even see it coming, the poor unfortunate souls.




She tilted her head at the blonde man. “You're welcome. Again.”


Draco almost rolled his eyes. His lips curled up. “What's in it for you, Parkinson.”


She searched his eyes for a moment.


“I'm not in it to win it,” she said to Draco. “It's yours for the taking. You just need to steal it from the Mudblood.”

Draco looked at her as they hurried over to the entrance to the bridge. He could tell that Hermione was almost across. He didn't say anything. He didn't know what to say. He couldn't win. Not with this head start, no way. He was lost. 

“You still have your foot in the door.”


Draco was silent. She could tell he was at the edge, literally.


Poor Draco. She put a hand on his shoulder. “I sent Blaise.”


His gaze jerked sharply towards her. His heart beat raced faster. “You what?”

 “I just saved your ass. He'll distract her till you get there. Now go!” She pushed the unbelieving blonde towards the bridge. Hermione had just hopped off the other end.

Draco could have kissed the raven- haired witch in front of him. Too bad he had already used his voucher for stupid decisions for the day. He didn't even mutter a thank you as he stepped onto the bridge, testing his weight.


Then, he was gone.

Twenty seconds later, Pansy put her booted foot on the first rung. A show wasn't a show without Pansy Parkinson. How could she miss the grand finale?





Hermione jumped of the end. She had made it. Well, almost.


 Going the untraditional route up the cliff saved her time- she didn't have to punch her signet all over the place. All she had left was to sing to the stupid rock. Her relief was almost overwhelming.




Then, the wave stopped. She remembered. She had heard gunshots. In truth, they had made her heart almost jump out of her chest...but she knew that Susan and Thaddius could take care of themselves. and waited for the deafening CRACK to take her into the treasure room. She fingered the snitch in her pocket. A wave of relief washed over her as her fingertips skimmed over the grooved metal. She hand't checked the whole time she was running. She had almost forgotten about it. But it was there, and that's all that mattered. In thirty seconds, it would all be over. She began to sing the first verse of the Hogwarts Hymn, but she had barely gotten through the first verse when the world around her shuddered with a premature CRACK and she fell through into the cave.


Looked like the Island wanted it over just as much as she did.




“OOMPH!” The sound escaped her without her permission. Hermione groaned for a moment, her hand going to her backside. “Ow!” She got up with a groan, moving her body to make sure nothing was broken. 


It was dark in the cave, save for the grey light coming from the opening of the cave. The opening the fell straight down the cliff face.


She turned to the other side of the cave, where.... the treasure chest was already out




That's strange.


But she didn't think about it anymore, even though alarm clocks were going off in her brain. She pulled out her wand out of its small little sheath inside of her pants and waved a spell at it. The lock morphed back to its original shape, the imprint of the snitch darker than the rest of the chest. She stepped towards it.


“Consider me impressed.”

 Hermione whirled around and pointed her wand at the voice, almost tripping over the uneven ground in the process.


Blaise stepped out of the shadows and towards her. “Put it down, Granger.”




“Don't move or I'll hex you,” Hermione warned, her voice slightly unsteady. What is he doing here?


“You won't do it,” he retorted.


Hermione thought it was great moment to ignore his comment and voice her previous thought. “What. Are. You. Doing. Here.”




Blaise smirked at Hermione. A loud crack of thunder sounded from outside, but that was all he needed to lunge at her and jerk her wand away from her. With a strong toss, he threw it out the opening of the cave.


The sound of metal scraping against a cover rang through the air. Blaise brandished his as well. With a dart, he positioned himself between her and the treasure chest.




“You don't have to do this,” Hermione told him, trying to reason with him.


“But I do,” Blaise said, stepping towards her




“Let me finish this Blaise. Please,” she entreated. 




Blaise rolled his eyes as his body fell into a fighting stance. His gaze returned from their trip over the moon and caught her wide, captious honey eyed one.


“Silly Hermione.” He clicked his tongue. “I'm loyal to my friends.”


Hermione opened her mouth. “But I am--”




NOT my fancies.” 


And with that, he lunged.


“NOOOO!!!!” Came a savage yell from the opening of the cave.


Blaise froze. Hermione looked over his shoulder.




Ronald Weasley stood in the grey light. He threw the vine down onto the ground. “Do that again, Zabini. I dare you.” He strode towards them, sword brandished, glinting in the light. .”I'll stick this right up your ar--”




His voice was cut off by the sudden shuddering in the room. Hermione's heart almost lept out of her chest.


Time's up.


Draco landed into a crouch. He rose slowly, looking at the three gleaming swords, the treasure chest, and then back at them. He coldly surveyed them. Then looked at Blaise. “I suppose 's not a party unless I pull mine out, too,” he said as he pulled out his sword.




Hermione almost snorted. Almost. 


Draco took a step towards her. “I see you lifted the spell, Granger.”


Hermione didn't reply.




Get away from her!” Ron warned, stepping almost comically towards the Slytherin.




“Or what? You'll stab Draco?” Blaise laughed, stepping towards Ron. “You couldn't get within scratching distance of him, even if you tried.”

 “Try me,” Ronald snarled at the black male. He kept his eyes on Hermione, though. He knew she had to win.

“I wouldn't try you, not even in a million years,” Draco said to Ron, not taking his eyes from Hermione's- searching them for that one moment of weakness, that moment where he could lunge, injure her badly enough- not so much as to kill her- but enough to take the resistance out of her so he could search her body for the snitch. He couldn't have her disappearing with the key. “Gross.” he added.

Ron rolled his eyes. “You know, you're so---”

The ground shuddered again, throwing Ron to the ground. Hermione braced herself against a wall, as did Draco. Blaise had been through the shudder three times already, he brarely budged. Pansy landed on her feet, like a cat. She looked at the four people in the room and grinned. She grabbed the handle of her cutlass and whipped it out. “So, what'd I miss?”




It was in that second that Ron knew what he had to do. He and Hermione were outnumbered. It wasn't going to be easy. “Parkinson, I can see your.... breasts.” He wasn't the best at improvisation. But he knew where Blaise's eyes had gone, which is why the young man didn't see it coming when a cutlass bit sharply into his heart. His eyes widened momentarily, and without a word, a blue light filled the air.

 Ron pulled his cutlass from the disappearing blue ball, and whipped around at Pansy. Distract her. Besides, he couldn't take on Malfoy. He knew it. He grinned at Pansy. “You didn't miss anything, Parkinson. In fact, you came just in time.”

She saw him coming before he did, but she thought she would amuse him anyway. Perhaps she'd kill him. Perhaps she wouldn't. She was only here to make sure that Draco didn't kiss the Mudblood. If she won in the process, then perfect. No one would be the wiser.


She dodged Ron's cutlass with a smirk. “Try again.”






  Hermione didn't waste a second. She threw her body towards the treasure chest, but was yanked out of the air by a hand that had roughly grabbed her arm nearly out of her socket. “Not so fast, Granger.” Draco yanked her body his hard body, holding her other arm- the one with the cutlass- away from himself. His lips touched her ear. He could feel the shiver run down her spine. From fear? From …... something else? He stomped on his thoughts. “Hand over the snitch.”

  His heat enveloped her. A flush ran through her body. He breathed in her ear. Her head was tilting of its own accord, her neck, glistening from wet rain was screaming “kiss me!” A small moan escaped her lips.


Draco's breathing caught. He went ridgid. His grip tightened, fingers flexing into her arm.




Goosebumps rose up all over her body.


I can't take this anymore! She just couldn't. It was going to drive her nuts, this delirium. So she did what any other girl would do- she threw a tantrum and stomped on his foot. Hard.


A gasp escaped his lips and into her ear, but his hold loosened just enough for her to slip out of his grasp, and away from his lips, with a hard tug. “Not a chance!” She yelled, flinging herself onto the chest hand fumbling into her pocket for the little metal ball.


He was about to throw himself on top of her, to pin her down, immobilize her, ravage her, anything to get her not to get the snitch out of her pant pocket, really, but just before he did, he noticed her stricken face. The panicked expression was not lost on him.


Her cutlass clattered onto the floor.


Confusion filled his veins.


…..and that was when a sharp buzz passed his ear.


Merlin. It's the key. Draco whirled around, seeker instincts taking over. He lunged into the air to grab the flying snitch, but was derailed from his path to victory by Hermione who jumped up with lightening speed, cutlass forgotten, and shoved passed him, almost plucking the snitch out of the air.




Draco shover her out of the way, and right into Ronald. Pansy's blade was in midswing and had nowhere to go but down Hermione's back.




A scream escaped her throat as white hot fire slashed down her back. She flung herself onto the wall. Tried to ignore the pain. Where is it!!! It flittered right in front of her face, but she couldn't move. The pain.....

 Draco's eyes stopped flitting and focused on the back his screaming enemy. A red ribbon instantly formed on her wet shirt. The sight made his heart clench. The words began pushing themselves out of his mouth before he could stop them.Are you O--”

The buzz whizzed by his ear again. Focus!


He whirled around, right into Pansy. He was righting himself off of her, just when Hermione pushed herself off of the wall and tumbled into them, her momentum pushing their stumbling bodies closer to the treasure chest. Thunder cracked, lightning flashed. The snitch glinted in the light.


Pansy's eyes zeroed in on it. It was right behind him. Maybe winning wouldn't be so bad after all----

Ron had seen it just a split second before her, and finally everything clicked. He got ambitions and lunged towards it, momentarily forgetting that Draco, Hermione, and Pansy were somewhat in the way. All he could see was the snitch.

What happened next was a blur.


With a yell, Ron lunged hard into Draco who in turned was pushed to knock over Pansy, who tripped over the treasure chest, but right before had managed to grab a fistful of Hermione's hair. 'You're coming down with me, bi--!” Grunt. Slash. Scream. Thud. Limbs, flailing.


The snitch flitted over the group that was tumbling to the ground and scrambling over the chest, when suddenly, a hand somehow pushed out of the fray, grabbed the snitch out of midair, and jammed it in the lock.


Then, the world erupted into a flash of blue light.






Draco hit the ground, hard. The sounds of more bodies thudding into the Great Hall filled his ears. He was disoriented for a moment, for just a moment. His eyes adjusted to the bright sunlight that filled the room. He held up a hand to shield his eyes anyway.Turn it off.


The person who had landed next to him gasped. Hermione was sprawled out on the stone floor. Her hair was glinting in the sunlight. He almost wanted to touch. He was about to move the hand that he was propping himself with when he noticed----


Hermione shot up into a sitting position. She noticed him immediately. His grey eyes clashed with her brown ones. Her eyes shot down to her hands.


They were empty. Only a single glittering silver ring adorned one of her fingers. Her eyes filled with shock and dread.


And that was when he noticed the wriggling underneath the hand that he hadn't lifted off of the floor yet. His eye darted down to his hand. He stared at it, almost confused for a moment.


Draco didn't move. He couldn't.... He didn't.... The wriggling started again.


Suddenly, Hermione grabbed his wrist, yanking is hand up and off floor, unbalancing him and nearly causing him to fall over.


A blur of gold and silver flew into the air.


Neither one of the breathed, they just stared at each other. She didn't let go of his wrist, both of their arms in the air. She was holding on tightly. Too tightly. His fingers started to tingle.


The voices in the great hall got louder, people started getting up, but still, they didn't move, both in disbelief, both entranced by some moment that neither could deny. After that moment, everything would change. His eyes searched hers. He knew he should gloat. Should say something. But he couldn't. He tried to read her, but so many emotions were running through her face. He couldn't decipher one from the next.


He wanted to say something. But if he would, everything would---




His thoughts were cut off by a loud voice cutting through the hall, regards of Severus Snape, shocking them both into the very real reality.


“Congratulations, Draco Malfoy, the winner of the game!” 


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