Chapter 7 : Hole In The Heart
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PLEASE READ, THIS IS IMPORTANT: I missed a chapter between Drowning Down Under and Hold Me Till I'm Gone and I'm SO SORRY! This is the actual chapter six while Hold Me Till I'm Gone is the actual chapter 7. I didn't want to confuse anyone by swapping the two and deleting etc or you might think I uploaded the same twice. So I'm uploading this one here as chapter seven. I'm sorry for the inconvenience :/
Enjoy this one xx
"Attention, tributes!" My eyes shot open and I sat up, the bow and arrow ready in my hands. I relaxed when I realized it was just an announcement. I took in my surroundings- Calyx was sitting on the branch beside me, slicing at a leaf with a sharp stick of wood she had shaped using an arrow; the water beneath had subsided immensely- the game makers had probably vanished most of it- only leaving puddles here and there on the forest floor; it was night-time, a full moon in the sky and a thousand shining stars.
"Congratulations to those who survived the floods we unleashed on you today. We admit it was harsh-" Calyx and I both scoffed "-but it was required to keep the games moving. The cannons were probably not heard by most of you due to the loud waves- two of the tributes have died today. Thirteen of you remain. The next trick shall be implemented a few days later so you have until then to prepare yourself for the worst. That is, if you survive until then. Good night to you all."
"Only two dead?" Calyx said, her eyebrows furrowed together. "That's a small number for such a huge wave of destruction. Everyone must be very strong."
"Definitely." I agreed. She was right. It wasn't just the huge wave but also all the added tricks like the tangling vines which I had the misfortune of facing. "I don't think they'll spring any surprises on us tonight, do you?"
Calyx shook her head. "I doubt that they will. The floods were bad enough and they already said the next one would be in a few days."
"It's been a long day. I already caught up with some sleep. You sleep- I'll keep watch." Calyx didn't argue. For the next six hours, I fought to keep my eyes and ears open.
* * *
"Are you sure we should be leaving our positions?" Calyx asked as we put our things together.
"We don't have a choice, Cal. We need food or we're sure to pass out soon. Our bodies are too weak from being thrown around." I began climbing down the tree we had been on, bow and quiver strapped to my back while Calyx took the backpack. We began trekking through the forest once again, looking for any sign of food- dead or alive.
Half-way through our journey, which was moving towards what I hoped was the edge, we heard voices.
Calyx grabbed my hand and pulled me to the hidden side of a clearing where two figures stood.
"No..." Calyx whispered as Kris Reed stared straight at the blonde nineteen year old from Delists. The girl stood holding a gun in her hand and it was pointed straight at Kris.
"Hands in the air, I want to be sure you have no weapon." The Delists' tribute said, her voice shaking just a bit.
"You can do whatever you want, I'm not going to put my hands in the friggin' air. I'm not afraid of you." Kris spat, his hands clenched at his sides. He obviously didn't have a weapon on him.
"Any last words?" The girl asked. And without waiting for a response, she squeezed the trigger. What happened after that was a complete blur. My eyes widened as a figure flew out of the trees and threw herself in front of Kris. Everyone stood shocked as Diana Reed fell to the floor, a hole in her heart. It all seemed like it was happening in slow motion. Kris caught his twin in his arms and looked up with furious eyes. The sound of two gunshots echoed around the forest and Kris fell backwards, one hole in his heart and the other in his shoulder. He hit the ground with a thud, his sister still clutched to him.
I hadn't noticed that Calyx was no longer beside me until I looked back at the Delists' tribute, only to see Calyx standing behind her- one of my arrows lodged into the blonde's back. Calyx clutched the other end, rage and unadulterated pain in her eyes. The tribute dropped her gun and fell to her knees and Calyx picked up the gun and yanked the arrow out. The tribute tried to scramble to her feet, gasping for breath but without a second of hesitation, Calyx had shot her. The same way the nineteen year old had shot the twins. Straight through the heart.
Time stood still just then. Five bodies in the clearing. Only two hearts beating. The gun slipped from Calyx's fingers and clattered to the floor. One slow step after the other, I watched as she reached her friends. She fell to her knees beside them. She doubled over. And she cried.
I could say nothing. I could do nothing. At times like this, there is nothing one can do to make it better. The pain hits. And it stays. It does not go no matter what words are spoken. No matter what reason is given.
After long moments where I watched her body shake with now-silent sobs, I moved up to the twins' fallen figures. I pulled them slightly apart but left Diana in Kris' arms. I placed her head on the ground beside his, their faces touching, her arm around his stomach. His arms around her. I gently closed their eye-lids, leaving my fingers lingering for a second and sending up a silent prayer for them to reach the heavens safely. Together.
"Calyx." I said softly, my throat dry. "We need to go. The others would have heard the gunshots. There may be people around. We need to leave."
"Hermione-" She cried, sitting up straighter and running her fingers through her friends' hairs. We both tried to ignore the blood leaking out of the bullet wounds in their chests.
"There's nothing we can do." I bent down and placed my arm around her shoulder and she let me held her stand up. "We have to leave now." She nodded but quickly bent down and kissed their foreheads before moving to pick up the fallen gun.
She took a deep, shuddering breath to calm herself, wiped at her eyes roughly before holding her hand out to me. I grabbed her hand and held it tightly, offering the little comfort I could. We moved forward once again.
* * *
"This is useless." Calyx shook her head and stopped. It really was. We had been walking for close to an hour now and we hadn't found even a nibble of food yet. "We aren't covering enough ground this way. I think we need to split up."
"That's too dangerous." I shook my head. "What if-"
"What if what, Hermione?" She smiled sadly. "What if one of us get attacked? There are high chances of that but better one of us than both, right? It's what we've believed in since day one of Bloodlust. We're in danger as it is. A little more won't make a difference."
I stared at her, a frown on my face. She was right, of course. But I couldn't help but think something bad was going to happen.
"Come on, Hermione. We need to do this. We'll leave a track unnoticeable to others as we move and we'll meet back here in approximately 30 minutes. If one of us come first, climb a tree and wait. Alright?" She reasoned. "We have to."
Reluctantly I nodded. "30 minutes. Leave a track. Be careful, Calyx."
"You too." I stepped forward and hugged her tight. "Stop acting like you'll never see me again." She grinned at me and took her gun out of her pocket. "See you soon." And she went left. I took a deep breath, readied my bow and arrow and set out to the right, scratching every alternate tree's bark with the tip of a well sharpened wooden stick.
A few minutes through my search, movement to my left caught my attention and I turned to see a bird landing on a low branch near me. I made sure I was completely silent before raising my bow and arrow and aiming carefully at the creature. Steady. Three. Two. One-
The bow and arrow fell out of my hands and the bird instantly flew away, squawking, as my body was slammed against the tree beside me. The wind was knocked out of me as my back was pushed painfully against the bark of the tree behind me and a large hand was soon wrapped around my neck.
I looked up at my assailant and my mouth dropped open in shock and horror.
His fingers tightened around my throat and I gasped for breath.
"Viktor", I croaked out, "Please don't." Viktor Krum looked at me, a mad, evil glint in his eye that was never there before. Bloodlust had truly changed everyone. Unleashed the monsters within them.
"I'm sorry". He said, not sounding sorry at all. This was not the boy that had taken me to the Yule Ball. This was not the boy I had spent days with in the Hogwarts Library. This was not him at all.
And now Ginny, Harry and Ron would be watching as I had the life strangled out of me. This was the end. Ten tributes including me. And then nine. I closed my eyes as his grip grew stronger. I allowed everyone I ever loved and cared about flash before my eyelids. Harry. Ron. Ginny. The Weasleys. Neville. Luna. My parents. My professors. Dumbledore's army. Calyx.
And I sent a silent prayer up to the gods. A wish that Seamus or Calyx win the game. And if not them, then Hannah or Malfoy or Parkinson. Or anyone on our side...
And then the pressure over my throat was gone. I felt my vision fading and my eyes fluttering shut but-
But I wasn't dead? I forced my eyes open. Yes, definitely not dead. I watched, instead, as a familiar mop of blonde hair tackled Krum to the floor and a moment of hesitation later, plunged a knife straight through his heart. The heart again. Again... For the fourth time that day.
Draco Malfoy looked up at me. Gratitude and relief pulsed through me. Relief that I was alive. And surprisingly, relief that so was he.
"Granger, breathe." He said.
And when I realized I wasn't, I tried. By Merlin, I tried. I coughed and spluttered and clutched at my throat, trying to get my windpipe and lungs to work again. My throat was dry and stuck.
Malfoy didn't wait around to watch. As I tried to get my breathing system to work once again, I watched him stand up, brush his black pants and jacket down, pull the bloody knife out of Krum and just like I had done after saving his life, he sprinted away.
That was... Depressing? But it's not the worst chapter yet. Chapter 10, which I've planned out, will probably be the most heart-breaking. Welcome back, Draco :P I hope you liked this chapter- I know it's shorter than usual but that's because the next chapter will be much more intense. Thank you for reading and please please review.
You guys are the best.
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