A/N: Hamlet belongs to William Shakespeare and anything you recognize belongs to JK Rowling.
Hermione sat outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream parlor, basking in the warm afternoon sunshine with a book in her right hand and an extremely tall mint chocolate chip ice cream cone in the other. A bag stretched to its limits was perched on the chair to her right, holding all twenty of the books she had just purchased from Flourish and Blotts.
Being the voracious reader she was, Hermione had already cracked open a second edition of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and was currently devouring the madness that was Act III. Just as she was approaching a rather heated moment in Scene II, she happened to glance up and see an aggravatingly familiar face nearly hidden in the shadows by Potage’s Cauldron Shop. She went back to the play but almost immediately looked up a second time to identify the person the face belonged to, but the face was gone.
A sinking feeling pooled in the pit of her belly but she ignored it for the time being, brushing it off as instincts from the war. Taking a rather aggressive bite of her cone, she returned to the tragedy that was Hamlet.
~*~*~*~Three months earlier~*~*~*~
After Harry left Ron and me to search for Ravenclaw’s diadem, we went to the Chamber of Secrets and destroyed Hufflepuff’s cup. On our way up to the seventh floor, a collapsing staircase separated Ron and I. Rather than waste time, I crawled out of the alcove I had jumped into to avoid falling debris and cautiously made my way to the end of the corridor, sounds of battle getting louder with each step.
I turned the corner sharply, wand gripped tightly in my hand. Nothing. I walked carefully, pointing my wand into each branching corridor and hidden alcove, expecting death at every turn. I glimpsed a flash of black at the end of the corridor I was standing in and instantly began sprinting in the opposite direction, taking as many turns and hidden passageways as possible to lose the possible threat. Hurrying now, I almost made it to a side staircase when jeering laughter floated from that direction. Death Eaters.
“Come out and play, little mudblood!” a singsong voice rang out.
“We’ll go easy on you, we promise!” another one jested.
Their footsteps got louder as they approached the top of the stairs. I was frozen in place, partially hidden behind a tapestry. I clamped a hand over my mouth to quiet my breathing, but kept my wand pointed at the tapestry as I slid behind it into the narrow nook.
Jeering laugher again, this time from multiple voices.
“Come on, you filthy little thing! Don’t you want to come and play?” the first male said.
“You can even pick which one of us you want to play with first!” the second man declared.
My heart was racing, nearly pounding out of my chest. I could barely hear their footsteps over the loudness of my own breathing. I held my breath as I strained my ears to listen, but no sound came from in front of the tapestry. Exhaling, I breathed a sigh of relief and dropped my position to rest against the wall, closing my eyes. It didn’t last long. Grubby, calloused hands ripped at my clothes, pulling me out from behind the tapestry into the corridor. One of the Death Eaters had my arms behind my back, my wand in his front pocket.
“Eh, well little Draco didn’t tell us she was a looker now, did ‘e?” MacNair’s eyes roved my body.
Using my restrainer as leverage, I kicked out for any body part my legs could reach. My foot connected with a shin, a knee, and a pelvis before I was thrown onto the ground, though now both my ankles and wrists were being held down.
“Now, now, little mudblood. We want you to play nice. ‘Cause if the mudblood doesn’t play nice—well, we’ll see just how muddy her blood really is,” Dolohov traced the tip of his wand across my jaw and down the curve my neck.
“You really are a pretty littl’ thing, aren’t ya? I betcha that Malfoy scum was tryin’ to keep her to himself! Ha!” the trio laughed at the absurdity.
“But what shall we do with you, hmm?” his wand dug into the skin at my collarbone. “I remember you, from the Department of Mysteries, oh yes—you barely got away with your life! Say boys, what do ya say we make the little mudblood dance?” MacNair’s eyes lit up with insanity, the other two darkly chuckling in agreement. The pressure on my wrists and ankles vanished as the two men stood up.
The former-executioner-turned-Death Eater was suddenly standing, gesturing for me to do the same. Warily I followed orders, keeping my eye on the big blond whose pocket contained my wand. Dolohov cocked his head to the left, wand raised, gazing intently at my face. I boldly returned the stare, refusing to back down and make myself look weak.
Without breaking eye contact, he uttered, “Crucio.”
Immense pain wracked my body as I fell to the ground, fighting to keep a scream down.
“Crucio!” he spat. I couldn’t hold it in anymore—I let loose a sound so ungodly loud the three Death Eaters actually looked worried.
“Maybe we should Silencio her?” the blond one suggested. MacNair flicked his wand at me; I felt a weight slam into my throat, effectively keeping me silent.
“Now, where were we? Oh, that’s right, you were dancing for us!” Dolohov flicked his wand. “Crucio!” I writhed on the floor, screaming in utter silence until my throat felt raw.
The sound of furious footsteps broke Dolohov’s concentration and I looked up to see none other than a bloodied, robed Draco Malfoy advancing towards us, wand held offensively. “What the hell are you doing, Dolohov, MacNair? I told you the Dark Lord ordered me to torture the mudblood for information, not you,” he said snidely, glancing my way in disgust. “Leave, you bloody idiots!”
MacNair and Dolohov sharply walked away, the blond following in their wake. “Not you, blondie. I believe you have something I require,” Malfoy held out his hand, expectant. Wordlessly, the blond stupidly handed over my wand to Malfoy and hurried to catch up with the other two Death Eaters.
Malfoy remained standing firmly until the sound of their footsteps’ echoes had ceased and he swiftly crouched and offered a hand to me. “Come on, Granger, get up! We have to go, now!”
Confused, I took it and stood up, wobbling slightly. I grasped his cold hand tighter until I regained a better sense of balance, not caring he was supposed to be the enemy. Right now, he was the best chance I had of making it back to Harry and Ron alive. “Why are you helping me?” I challenged, snagging my wand from his other hand. “What’s in it for you?”
He arranged his features into a mask, barren of any emotion, then stepped right in front of me, tilting his head down and looking me right in the eyes.
“Everything,” he breathed, so quiet I feared I might have imagined it.
Malfoy whirled and pulled me with him, running down corridor after corridor, moving us so fast I couldn’t figure out where we were. We kept running and running and running, slowing down when the sounds of magical battle reached my ears once again.
“Block this in your mind, Granger, block it with all of your hate for me. If you don’t, we’re both dead,” Malfoy instructed sinisterly in my ear. I nodded, already placing more shields around my previous ones, hiding the past hour deep inside my walls. Fluidly, he pulled the hood of the robe back over his head, sending his face into shadow, and ran off down a side corridor, returning to the darkness from which he came.
Counting to thirty before I reentered the fray, I filed this moment away to puzzle out later. For now, I had a battle to fight and Horcruxes to destroy.
Hermione took her eyes away from Hamlet yet again to see a very different face looking at her from across the alley. She couldn’t help it—her jaw dropped at the sight of a rather bony-looking Draco Malfoy in disheveled, normal clothing, his hair messy and flecked with dirt and grime. Their eyes locked for a tension-filled minute before he turned and melted into the darkness of the alleyway.
Something about him stirred a memory deep inside of her, but she pushed it down, deciding she would puzzle it out later. Presently, she was going to figure out just how Hamlet was going to pull off this ridiculous play of his to frame the king for murder.
A/N: Hello, everyone! Welcome to the rebooted version of Love Makes Me! As you've probably noticed, things have been altered quite drastically, so if you have previously read this, I highly recommend re-reading this because you might get lost in future chapters. Leave a review down below! :)