AN: The reason this story was ended earlier than originally intended was for a medical crisis with my son. The medical crisis has passed and I came back and ended this story the way I originally intended too, so there is an epilogue now that will follow this chapter! Once that is posted, I will publish a couple one-shots I have written, then my next story called The Other Trio. Enjoy! Clumsy!
Hermione may have been in the full body bind, but that didn’t freeze her brain which starting working in overdrive. She wasn’t called the brightest witch of the age for no reason and she was quickly coming up with a plan. She knew that Draco and Harry would be informed immediately that she had been taken because she never walked out of sight of the Aurors who were watching the Burrow.
Smith had taken her wand but that wand wasn’t her only weapon, Hermione’s brain was a powerful weapon and she would use it to its utmost capacity. She would try first to keep him talking and hopefully that would buy her enough time for the others to find her. Honestly, it shouldn’t be hard considering all Aurors had tracking devices on their wands, and he had been idiotic enough to bring her to the shrieking shack which Hermione knew the full layout better than anyone.
When he threw her down she could start to feel the spell wearing off. “You certainly made me work hard enough to get to you didn’t you Princess?” She realized he was starting to rant.
“Here I give you the best gift by killing those filthy Muggle men who hurt you, and did you thank me? No! Instead I had to punish you for your ungratefulness, but you weren’t available were you?” He continued on insanely.
Hermione was sickened by this maniac! He had convinced himself he was giving her a prize by murdering boys who hurt her when they were children? Oh God, please Draco hurry was all she could think.
“Then I was taking care of all those Purebloods who talked about you during the DA meetings when you weren’t paying attention. Pansy Parkinson was the most fun though. She deserved the most pain for the way she treated you, but did you praise me for all the work I did paying them back for you? Again no, you sided with the Bastard who taunted all of us and became his whore!” He turned to face her and his face was twisted with disgust.
Hermione rose to her feet thankful to be freed from the spell finally. She held her hands up in what she hoped was a pacifying gesture, “Zacharias, I don’t understand any of this, why would you think I wanted you to do all these horrible things to innocent people?”
“Hermione, don’t pretend! You knew I was in love with you, for years you kept me waiting. That was fine because I knew your career was important, but then you decided to play me! I’m no fool; you’re just a bitch who needs to learn her place!” He started ranting again. “Except for Ginny, that was to pay back Potter for trying to humiliate me in front of you. The rest were gifts for you, Princess. To help you sleep better at night and help you get past the nightmares. I took care of all the people who hurt you, there are only two more, but I will get them soon and then we’ll leave and be happy together.”
“Listen to me please, I never meant to hurt you, I didn’t even know you thought of me that way. I’m sorry that you felt I was leading you on, but you have to stop hurting people. Let me take you to the Ministry and it will go on your record that you turned yourself in, which will help you in your trial.” She gave it her best try.
“Ministry and trial? I’ve done nothing wrong Hermione, they were the ones who hurt you and needed to be punished. Soon Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy will pay for what they did and we will be free to live our lives away from here.” He answered crazily.
“I am not going anywhere with you, and I love Draco!” She said without thinking first and realized her mistake quickly when he flew at her slapping her to the floor.
At the Ministry meanwhile………
“Calm down mate, we’ll find her. Hermione is smart and she’ll handle it, she knows we’ll find her so she’ll bide her time.” Harry said with a comforting hand on Draco’s shoulder.
“I shouldn’t have left her, how could I have done something so stupid?” Draco asked. He was in rough shape.
They had gotten the notice immediately when she was taken. The Aurors at the Burrow had fired of jinxes to stop Smith from taking Hermione but had missed, reporting the abduction straight away. They were waiting now for the tracking charm to show where she was. It took thirty minutes to take effect, so they would know any time now.
Sure enough the charm started pinging. Like a bomb went off they all gathered together and apparated not knowing where they would land.
“So simple it might’ve worked. I wouldn’t have thought he’d be so stupid to bring her here!” Harry said.
“What are you on about?” Draco asked impatiently.
“What I’m on about is that by bringing Hermione to the Shrieking Shack he’s made a critical and very telling error. She knows this place better than anyone considering she helped care for Sirius Black, Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall, Ginny, Fred, Bill, Neville, Parvati Patil and many others here during our years at Hogwarts and during the war. This is where she saved Snape’s life.” He said. “By bringing her here he’s revealed himself because this is where he also asked her out during our DA days when they came to Hogsmeade to get some supplies behind Umbridge’s back. She declined, and he was very pissed off for a long time. We never thought much about it after that, but apparently he isn’t over the rejection at all!”
Just then they heard Hermione scream out and both Harry and Draco had to be restrained from tearing in there half crazed.
“You won’t be helping her by running in there halfcocked. We need to calm down and make a plan or you could get Hermione and yourselves killed. Remember he has no problem killing and won’t hesitate to curse you.” Bill swayed them to think clearly.
Hermione screamed out when he continued to hit her. She was bleeding from somewhere on her head because the blood was running down to her eyes and dripping off her face.
“Please, please stop! I promise we’ll talk this out and come to an understanding.” She begged. When he climbed off of her she tried to sit up and dizziness assaulted her. She gave herself a moment to steady herself before getting to her feet. She approached him from behind making the decision to disarm him manually because if she didn’t do something soon she knew she was dead. She was losing too much blood to fast.
What happened next was so fast she almost didn’t see it coming. She made a grab for the wand at the same time that the front door flew open. Smith grabbed her by the hair spinning her around in front of him with his wand that she failed to get from him pointed at her own throat instead.
“Make one move asshole and I promise I will not hesitate to kill this lying bitch.” Smith growled.
“Just relax, we can talk about this. Hermione, are you alright?” Draco begged from the door with his wand still pointed at Smith.
“I’m going to be fine.”
“Shut up! You don’t deserve her; you’re not the one who took revenge in her name! You didn’t kill the people who hurt her! I did, she’s mine now!” He ranted maniacally.
Draco however was pleased at his ranting because it kept his attention on Draco instead of Harry Potter who was climbing up through the tunnel under the floor. Draco decided to taunt him some more to make sure he kept his attention focused on himself.
“She’ll never be yours Smith. I love her, and I’m pretty sure she’s in love with me back. That means she’s mine, and I don’t share what’s mine. So let her go before you make me do something you’re going to regret. I won’t regret it I assure you, I will take great pleasure in what happens to you.” Draco said derisively. “Last chance prick, let her go!”
The rest happened in the blink of an eye. As Hermione was losing consciousness she told Draco she loved him and she was sorry. Harry sent a silent Stupefy from behind Smith’s back and he fell on top of Hermione as Draco ran to catch her. He kicked Smith off of Hermione and apparated straight to St. Mungo’s with tears running down his face. She had stopped breathing as she arrived at the hospital, and Draco cursed himself for being too late to save her.
“They told you mate, and I told you she’s strong, she’ll wake up. She’s only resting from the blood loss and the shock.” Harry tried to say to Draco who seemed to be deaf at the moment. His hair stuck out everywhere, and Harry had never seen him look so lost.
“She’s my life now Potter, I will be nothing without her I can’t lose her.” Draco croaked out.
“Dude, she’s gonna be fine. Harry and I have been through this with her same as she’s been through it with us. We all received injuries in the war. She’ll wake up moaning about how we should have done things.” Ron encouraged. He had made it to the Ministry about the same time the others got back from her rescue and came straight away to the hospital to find out about her condition.
Hermione listened to the conversation taking place around her bedside. She smiled inwardly when she heard her second best friend next to her, but she needed to comfort the most important person in her life before she responded to Ron. So she squeezed the warm hand holding her own, she would always and forever know that touch from anyone else’s.
Draco gasped. “Hermione! Wake up love, and talk to me please!”
She opened her eyes and found his beautiful face right above her. Reaching her hand up to his face she said, “You were right, I do love you.”