Chapter 18 : People whispering
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After what seemed like hours of removing rocks and stones from the entrance of the passage way, they finally stood in front of an enormous, dark whole in the ground. There was an intense smell of musty rotten flesh coming out of the passage. It could be human, or animal. They hoped it was an animal. The guys illuminated the whole but they were looking at nothing but darkness.
No more death. No more death please. Is that what the world really needs? Death? No its not. Why don't people create relationships who are based in solidarity and trust. Because it's not easy. It's easier to hate than love.
“Are you sure this is the right place? I don't think this leads into the Manor.” Neville said.
“I've been here before, I know this is the right place.” Hylian exclaimed.
Ron looked at Harry who seemed to be thinking. He grabbed his arm and dragged him behind a few meters away from the other two who were devoted into finding a way to get in.
“I don't trust him.” Ron spoke.
“Me neither but there is nothing else we can do. We came here with him. We did all this way and we are going to stick to the plan we made. There is no time to argue or start over.” Harry growled.
“Okay...okay I'm sorry, I am just worried.”
“I am too but there is no turning back now Ron. We have to do this.”
They went back to Hylian and Neville. Hylian shot them a warning look and opened his mouth to speak.
“Look, I know you don't trust me....” he started “Don't look at me like that Ron, I really know you don't trust but you have to. I have no time to explain. You either stay with me or go.”
There was a long pause and the guys turned their head, looking at each other.
“So what is it....tell me”
“Sorry Hylian we are coming with you.”
Hylians expression on his face softened. He shook hands with all of them and took his wand out again. He turned his back to them and pointed his wand to the whole.
“Well then, it's settled. Guys, we are going in.”
Hermione stood there in silence. In the right hand, she had a long dress and on the left hand she held a glass filled with polyjuice potion. She didn't know whose form she was going to take. Why didn't Draco explained that to her. She turned her back to she Polly standing behind her. The small house-elf nodded her head as if she encouraging Hermione to not be afraid and drink the potion. Hermione felt heart- broken and guilty. The possibility of risking the life of someone else to save herself didn't appeal to her.
“If the miss is shy to change her clothes here, I shall turn around.” said Polly. Shame? No, shame wasn't imortant any more for Hermione ever since she came here. She waved her hand.
“Polly, you are very kind but there really is no need to turn around. I am going to change right here.
She slowly undressed and put on the robes Draco gave her. When she was fully dressed, she turned around and gave Polly the piece of clothing she was wearing as a prisoner.
“Here Polly take this. As I gave you clothes now you are free. If you want to step back do it now.” Hermione said and burst into tears.
Polly took the clothes from Hermione and wore them. She smiled at her and raised the glass of polyjuice potion. “Miss lets drink the potion now. Together” she said and took Hermione' s hand. They drank the polyjuice potion and the change began. Hermione turned her head to see herself. Polly looked at her and smiled.
“Miss Parkinson, how lovely to see you here.” she said.
Draco burst into the room. He looked more stressed than ever. He took Hermione by the hand and dragged her out of the room. Before the door closed behind her she saw Polly in her own form, waving at her.
“Stop crying and walk faster, we are going to my room to wait for mother. Pimsin is there too.” Draco said.
When they reached the end of the stairs and got out of the dungeons Draco advised Hermione to try and look calm and confident. She was pretending to be Pansy Parkinson after all and everyone knew that Pansy was in love with Draco.
They were walking across a dimly lit hall and all the guards where looking at her in suspicion.
“What are you all looking at? Look away or my father will...” Draco growled.
“Your father will what Draco?” a voice sounded behind them. Lucious Malfoy stood there. “Oh miss Parkinson...” Lucius said and his hard expression softened. It's good to see you, you haven't been here in a long time.” He bent down and kissed Hermione's hand. He took Draco by the hand and dragged him to the corned.
“Well done boy, I see you have gotten your senses back. Now I am going to rest. Make me proud.” he said and smiled. “Goodnight miss Parkinson.”
“Goodnight Lucius.” Hermione said in her most enchanting tone.
Draco and Hermione left immediately. When they reached the room to see Narcissa and Pimsin waiting for them. Everything was ready.
“Pimsin apparate with Hermione out of here and come back for us as quick as you can.”
“No, no Draco please come with me!!” Hermione said.
“No love, you go first and I will follow. I will apparate with Pimsin and mother.”
“I'll wait for you okay?”
“Okay.” Draco said.
Pinsin took Hermione's hand and everything went dark. She was spinning around towards freedom. Suddenly she felt dirt underneath her. She must have changed back to herself because the dress felt bigger on her. She heard people whispering. Familiar voices. A scream.
“Hermiooooooooooooone! It's her, it's Hermione!!” Ron yelled.
“Let's take you out of here quick, run!” Harry said as he hugged her.
“No please wait. Draco is coming too. He saved me.”
“Yeah, yeah right.” Hylian said.
“No, It's true!! He did save me!” but they weren't listening. They were dragging Hermione by the hand and into the forest again. They were taking her back.
“We where ready to go into that passage way, when we found you. I was so worried. I missed you.” Ron said.
“Let me go!! I have to find him!”
“Hermione what are you taking about?” Harry asked her. One could clearly see how worried he was for her.
“I am talking about Draco.”
“We are here. Take here out of here. Apparate now.” Hylian said.
And before she could resist. Everything got dark and the spinning began again. In the glimpse of an eye she found herself at the Burrow.
A year later
It was 5 in the morning and Hermione Granger got up from a scary nightmare. She had been having nightmares for a long time, almost a year. She put on her robe and headed to the kitchen. Her new house was small but had big wooden windows and a large fireplace, so she could sit by the fire and watch the moon. She sat on the carpet next to the fireplace with a warm cup of coffee in her hands and thought about her future.
She had managed to get the job she wanted. A Healer at St. Mungos. A nice job she felt good about. She had been working for very little time but she was sure it was the right thing for her.
The only part she didn't feel good about was her break up with Ron. After what happened and Draco's disappearance she shank into depression. She felt guilty that he was gone and even more guilty that he had practically cheated on Ron with her body and her mind too. She loved them both but she couldn't be with neither of them. Ron chased her for a while but gave up when she told him to stop.
Hermione saw raindrops on the windows. Storm was coming. But she wasn't worried because the storm in her heart had died down. The sun was coming up minute by minute and it's light and warmth washed Hermione who was still sitting on the same spot. Her cup of coffee was now empty and her stomach full. She was about to go for a nice long bath when she heard a knock on the door. Who could be at this time? She rushed to open the door.
“I can't stay away from you Hermione. I came back here to ask you one last time to be with me again. If you say no, I am going to leave and you are not going to see me again. Ever.” Ron said.
Hermione looked at him. His face, the sweetest thing she has ever seen. His eyes declared his love for her. How could I be so blind? She thought. She loved him. And she never stopped loving him, she just fell in love with another man too.
“Yes Ron, I'll be with you again.” the words just came out of her mouth. Ron practically jumped on her and hugged her tightly with all his strength. They burst into laughter. And Hermione was happy but the only thing that worried here every now and then is that she never found out what happened to him. The Dragon. The amazing bouncing ferret she fell in love with.