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The Serpent by NoxTonks
Chapter 10 : Pain
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 9

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Draco sighed, rolling over to check his watch for the eleventh time.

2:35 am! Would you just fucking sleep!

But he couldn’t sleep, though he didn’t know why. In fact there was absolutely no reason why.


Draco growled in frustration as his mind once again filled with her face, her voice, her smell, her very essence.


This was too much. His infatuation with her had gone too far and asking about Weasel the other day was just asking for it. He should respect her privacy and leave her and her relationship alone. He should stop his silly flirting and accept the fact that she could never be his. He should stop sneaking glances at her, stop gazing longingly at her lips while she talked, stop longing to run his fingers through her hair and across her shoulders and then softly over her lips-

“Stop.” He told himself firmly, rolling onto his other side and fighting to keep his mind blank. He really had to stop this.

But I don’t know how…..

He forced Hermione out and lay down, figuring he could start by actually sleeping. He imagined sitting on his broom and throwing a quaffle through the goals. He counted every throw as he had since he was a child and eventually felt himself slip into oblivion.

Or at least for a little while.


Draco was standing in the living room in the tent, gazing at the huge Christmas tree before him. He watched the swirling snowflakes descend slowly, landing on the evergreen leaves and mixing beautifully with the decorations. The living room was filled with sweet music playing softly in the background; music that seemed to accompany the crystalline voice of the nightingale.  

Not half bad if he did say so himself.

Draco was extremely proud of his work and the expression on Hermione’s face as she took it all in was priceless. Oh how he loved her smile, her whole face seemed to light up from within when she smiled. He knew he was in danger of falling in love with her, if he hadn’t subconsciously done so already. He didn’t think so, but then again love was blind.

But she was so beautiful…so beautiful that looking at her actually hurt. He had to physically restrain himself when she’d worn that little nightie the other day.

If she wears it again I can’t be held responsible for my actions…..

He shook his head in an effort to dismiss his dangerous thoughts and stepped forwards, admiring the fabulous detail of the decorative birds and, of course, the beautiful star: the nightingale.

That was the best, Hermione loved the nightingale, and the thought that he had made her happy sent thrills down his spine. Oh how she’d smiled as she listened to that little bird sing. He’d wanted to kiss her in that moment more than ever; to wrap his arms around her petit waist and pull her close, to gaze into her eyes lovingly before he pressed his lips to hers and felt that smile against his…..

“You’re not supposed to be thinking about her.” Draco scolded himself half-heartedly, knowing he could never stop.

He was in too deep.

Something caught his eye then, a strange alien glow emanating from one of the baubles. It outshone all of the other lights; a huge sun amongst thousands of tiny far away stars.

I didn’t make that….. He thought, confusion creating lines on his forehead and bending his lips into a frown.

 He stepped closer, curiosity leading him to the centre of the tree where a round frosted glass bauble hung delicately from a dark green branch. It was nothing special; in fact it was disturbingly plain apart from the white glow surrounding it like a halo. Just a cloudy, frosted glass bauble.  

Until it changed.

The glass seemed to shimmer and suddenly it was clear, the frosted quality evaporating in a tendril of grey smoke. Draco gasped and gazed inside, confused at first as he took in the swirling smoke trapped inside the glass. The fog seemed to fade, revealing a beautiful woodland forest contained within the glass sphere. It reminded him of the forbidden forest, though it seemed less dark somehow. More fairy-tale-enchanted than forbidden, the green leaves lighting up with the soft rays of sunlight. At the mouth of this forest was a small clearing, about two miniature trees wide, with sunlight raining down on it beautifully, like a spotlight focused on the exposed forest floor.  

Suddenly, he saw movement in the shadows. There was something there, between the trees, just out of sight. He tensed, involuntarily reaching for a wand that wasn’t there. He cursed and held his breath as he watched the figure step into the light.

And gasped.

He was staring at some sort of fairy, though the figure clearly had no wings. She was slim, with softly tanned skin and long wavy brown hair. She wore a long, flowing white dress with no sleeves, leaving her shoulders completely bare. The shimmery fabric clung to her torso before flowing out loosely from her hips to her bare feet. The dress seemed to move and flow with an invisible wind and the effect was breath-taking.

She was like an angel. A tiny trapped angel who was laughing at the dumbstruck boy before her, her tiny limbs so delicate looking yet so real. She was just like the decorative fairies that adorned the rest of the tree.  

He leaned closer, gazing in wonder at the girl, his breath catching as he finally recognised her.


How could he have missed this? How could he have not registered her face?  

Though there she was, her flawless skin practically glowing as her rose petal lips curved up in a slow smile, her glossy brown hair framing her beautiful face in tumbling waves. Her eyes practically pulled him to her and he found himself marvelling at their dark brown depth, at the frame of long dark lashes that just seemed to intensify their colour and beauty.   

God she was so……….actually no, there were no words.

He watched her carefully, his eyes travelling along her body before locking with her eyes once more. He was barely aware of the fact that he was holding his breath until she laughed, a wonderful, musical sound, and he let it all out at once. She raised her bare arms to him, holding out her hands and beckoning for him to come to her.

Oh how he wanted nothing more than to pull her to him and never let her go, to shower her skin in soft kisses and wrap his arms around her slender frame. He was too afraid to touch her glass prison though; he couldn’t bear the thought of her tumbling to the floor in a shower of deadly glass.

Oh if only he could shrink himself down! He could break into that damned bauble and they could be together. They could dance and laugh in their own little paradise and he could finally take her for his own.  

She laughed at his hesitation and threw her arms in the air before stepping forwards and laying her tiny hand on the glass dome. She smiled at him, causing his heart to shudder in his chest and his breathing to falter.

Slowly, slowly, Draco lifted one finger and reached out to the glass dome. Hermione smiled wider, her eyes sparkling as she nodded. She held out her other hand, beckoning him once more.

He couldn’t resist her.

If only Draco had noticed the fact that the music had stopped, even the nightingales song. Maybe the deathly silence would have tipped him off, that unnatural calm before the storm. If only he hadn’t been so focused on Hermione he might have noticed the hairs rising on his bare arms as a cold wind settled over him, might have noticed the decorative lights diming to release dark shadows into the room.

Draco’s finger touched the glass where Hermione’s hand lay.

There was a shudder in the air.

He was being dragged through a tiny hole.

He screamed.

And suddenly he was crumpled in a heap on a cold, frosty floor. His head snapped up to take in the now eerily dark forest. The ice crawled up the bark of the trees, freezing their veins and choking the life out of the whole forest. He stared at the dark, twisting roots: they were like gnarled fingers reaching for him, trying to trap him in their twisted prison of wood. There were no leaves on these trees and only the faint light of the full moon illuminated the scene, though the moonlight seemed to bring forth even more shadows. An icy wind rushed through to knock him backwards against one of the frozen trunks and he felt the tendrils of cold wrap around him, paralysing him. The rushing wind blocked out all other sounds and the stagnant smell of death seemed to be all around him.

Then the scream.

It seemed to echo around the trees, bouncing off the bark to ricochet around his mind. It sent chills down his spine and turned his blood cold. His eyes widened as he watched Hermione run to him, her body twisting from the shadows as she turned to gaze fearfully at the darkness behind her. Her once white dress was now stained with mud and blood, so much blood. His heart squeezed as he watched the blood travel through the fabric around her torso, a deep red flower unfolding as more blood soaked through. The torn skirt billowed around her dirty, scratched legs as they beat fiercely against the ground. Tears flooded her cheeks and she called out his name, though her voice held no sound.

“Hermione!” He screamed, struggling against the invisible bonds of the cold.

She stumbled on, her matted hair whipping madly around her terrified face. Her eyes were wide and resembled that of a wild animals’. He could only watch as she was suddenly thrown forwards by an invisible force, her face smashing into the merciless dirt of the cold ground they lay on. He screamed her name again and watched her struggle to pull herself up, her aching limbs shaking with the effort.

But she wasn’t quick enough.

They appeared as if out of nowhere, stepping from the shadows in their cloaks of darkness. He saw nothing of their faces but he didn’t need to, the ghoulish silver masks told him all he needed to know.

Death Eaters.

“Fuck.” He swore under his breath before yelling: “Hermione run!”

But it was too late, they were already upon her. They grabbed her, yanking her roughly off the ground and holding her, suspended by her arms as she cried out in pain. Her head slumped as she was dragged forwards, her bare and bloody feet scraping across the ground.

The sight of her broke his heart cleanly in two.

She was thrust to her knees before him, her head still bent towards the ground. Blood and tears dripped from her grimy face to pool in the ground at his feet. He tried to reach her, strained to take her in his arms and make all the hurt go away. But his invisible bonds held fast, ensuring he was close enough to watch her suffer at close range but never close enough to help.

The night was silent apart from the cold wind; even Hermione’s sobs seemed to be muted. The Death Eaters stared at them and Draco could practically hear their haughty laughs and feel mocking stares. He glared at them defiantly and once again yanked against his invisible bonds.

What magic was this?!

 A single Death Eater stepped forwards, causing a loud crack as he crushed a twig beneath his shiny black shoe, before he came to a halt before the two. He reached down and grasped Hermione by her hair, yanking her head up so she was staring at the blond boy before her. Draco yelled at him to stop, or at least tried to but the words shrivelled up in his throat as his eyes locked with hers.

Hermione’s mad wild eyes were pleading with his, a frightened animal begging him to spare her life. He took in her face, still beautiful despite the stains of mud and blood and tears. Still beautiful despite her evident pain and incredible fear. Still beautiful despite the thick scent of her sweat and fear. He tried to whisper her name but no words came, they just stared at each other. She sobbed, shaking her head mournfully as her lower lip shook.   

Then she spoke, a whisper.

His name.


The last word that escaped her lips before the life was snatched from her eyes by the all deadly green light. Her body slumped forwards as she was released, tumbling into the dirt only a few centimetres from his feet.  

For a moment all was still. He stared at her body dumbly. He felt nothing but a strange sense of disbelief, and for a fleeting moment, a half a second of childlike innocence, he even wondered how she could breathe with her face buried so deeply in the forest debris.

Realisation stabbed him viciously, a knife thrust through his stomach.

The final fragments of his heart shattered.

“No!” The word was a scream, an animalistic howl that echoed around him and shattered the deathly silence. It was barely human.

He folded in on himself, tears streaming down his face as he howled and wailed and screamed as his shattered heart tumbled through his body, slicing everything it came into contact with, ripping him apart from the inside out. The pain was unbelievable. It was all consuming. It displaced everything inside him. It was worse than a thousand blasts of the cruciatus curse, worse than anything he had ever felt before. He wanted to claw at his own skin, to wrench himself away from this fire inside him. The image of her body was seared in his mind, in his soul.

She was gone. 

“Hermione.” Her name didn’t sound right on his lips now; it was more of a moan, the final incoherent wail of a dying man.  

That’s when the laughing started. The familiar, haughty sound that Draco knew so well. The cruel bellowing that could barely be counted as a laugh. His head snapped up as he watched the murderer remove his mask.

And stared into the cold grey eyes of his father.


The dream erupted and Draco leapt up from the bed, rushing away from those cursed covers and dashing down the hall while his heart screamed in his chest.

He burst into her room and only stopped when he saw her sleeping form in the bed, her chest clearly rising up and down in the peaceful rhythm of her breathing. He released his breath and was suddenly overcome by chest heaving sobs. He couldn’t tell if they were from relief or from the aftermath of the horrific scene he was forced to witness. All Draco knew was that he was slumped against her wall, his face buried against his knees, his shoulders heaving with the force of his gut wrenching sobs. His throat screamed in protest as he wailed softly, frightened of the feelings swirling around him.

Then, suddenly her arms where around him. He jerked and his head snapped up to gaze into the soft brown ones of his angel, his saviour.

“H-her-Herm-ione.” He tried to say her name but it was broken by his unrelenting sobs. She shook her head, silencing him with a soft ‘shh’.

“It’s okay Draco, I understand.” Her voice was soft and warm, it wrapped around him like a blanket and he leaned into her. Her arms moved to pull him towards her, wrapping around his shoulders. He hurled himself to her like a child seeking comfort from his mother. He buried his face in her chest and wrapped his arms around her waist, allowing her to stroke his hair while he sobbed into her warmth.

Draco threw away his walls, banished his guards and ran to Hermione as himself. He let her in where he had thrust others away to jealously guard his secrets and pain. Hermione saw him now as all he was, a frightened little boy, and she embraced him. He pulled away to stare at her face, her glorious, radiant face and was once again reminded of an angel.

“I don’t deserve you.” He murmured against his will. In his broken state he was too surprised that he could muster up a sentence to care about what he said.

She smiled.

“Whether you deserve me or not I’m here, and I’m not leaving.”

Sweeter words had never been spoken to him in his life. Draco leaned closer and rested his cheek on her chest, listening to the strong steady heartbeat that lay beneath. The sound comforted him in a way that no words could.

“It was a dream, you-“

“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I understand, I’ve had my fair share.” He could feel the vibrations of her voice through her chest and smiled at the warmth it brought him.

“You were in the woods in a bauble and then I was pulled in and we were in a horrible dark forest and then the Death Eaters came and they killed you Hermione they killed you!” He let it all out in a rush throwing the words away from him and holding her tighter. He didn’t care that he didn’t make sense; he just wanted to get the dream out, to throw it away from him and lock it in a draw where it could never bother him again. “When you died, it was like I died too.”

She was silent for a long time, so long that Draco began to worry he’d said something wrong or said too much or…something. He fought against the irrational panic that she would leave him and instead clutched her tighter, his fingers digging into her back as he shook.

Then she answered him, her voice barely above a whisper even though it seemed to echo around the room.

“We better keep each other safe then huh?”

It was then that Draco knew he was in love with her.     









(A/N – I hope I’ve done this chapter justice; it seemed so good in my head :’) Please tell me what you think I love reading the reviews!)

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