Chapter 17 : Honeybee
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The ground didn’t seem to be getting any closer. But a voice in the back of my mind was screaming at me.
I felt a tug on my skin, something pulling me towards her. I twisted my body, trying to get to her faster. She reached for me.
Her hair whipped the back of my head, blinding me. I spat out a mouthful as her arms wrapped round my neck. I managed to clear my face, her skin cold and looked at the ground. It was getting closer, Hermione was muttering the name of a spell but she couldn’t focus. I could feel it in her muscles under the thin layer of cold skin.
I pointed my wand, closed my eyes and used the spell she was trying to tell me. I felt our fall slow, I was eating my insides as we hit the ground. It seemed to swallow us before straightening back out. I laid there with her just trying to breathe again. The cold from the ground sneaking its way through my t-shirt as I listened to her trying to fight back tears.
“I.I.I’m.I’mscared. I’mscaredofheights.” My heart beat began to slow and the blood returned to outer reaches of my hands and face, causing pins and needles to develop everywhere.
“It’s okay. It’s okay it’s just the shock.” I felt a slight patter on my cheeks. My own tears were as cold as my skin. “It’ll pass don’t worry.” I tried to stand and failed. Landing back on the ground, Hermione beside me.
“Draco?” I found her eyes through the mess of hair. “Don’t leave. Stay for two days, like Blaise asked. Please?” I had to laugh.
“Al’right. Throwing yourself out a window to convince me not to go seems a bit drastic all you had to do was say please.” I stuck my tongue out as she smacked my arm. Trying to disentangle herself from me as I laughed.
She managed to stand with a bit of help from me as Blaise and Cyrus came pounding round the corner. “Granger!” Cyrus staggered. “Granger, holy merlin I’m sorry. I was trying to stop you two fighting I didn’t mean too.” He doubled over with a stitch.
“It’s okay we’re fine.” Cy looked at me.
Oh you are never gunna forgive yourself? Welcome aboard pal.
“You fight well Granger. Maybe you are a bit more than a pretty side-kick.” He winked. “Just a shame Cyrus shot you out the window before I could kick your arse.” Cyrus glared at him.
“Yes well, it was stupid and immature.” Blaise laughed as Hermione shook hands with him.
“What’s life without a few regrets?” He stuck his tongue out as he helped me up of the ground. “Now I hope throwing yourself out a window has satisfied your need to do something for two days?” I smirked, but it felt like an itch in the back of my heart. Thankfully he didn’t mention it again.
“Guess we should get you back to the cat cage.” Blaise began walking back up to the castle, not waiting for a reply. I looked down at Hermione, her silvery skin shivering. From the cold condensation in the air, little water droplets had developed on her skin and as she shivered they shimmered. Her brown eyes the only warm thing on her. Cyrus set off after Blaise still looking sorry for himself. I quietly slipped off my jacket and put it round her shoulders not wanting to bring her to much unwanted attention. She went to throw it back at me but I clamped my hands on her arms and as she felt the warmth she stopped fighting.
Didn’t stop glaring at me though. I stuck my tongue out at her and marched in step with her across the entrance hall.
Blaise stopped, his head turned up the stairs and a hand raised telling us to stop. We all listened, listening for any noise or sound. There were footsteps coming down, I pulled Hermione over to the wall under the window. Pushing her down she pulled me next to her as Cyrus went on her other side. It was dark enough here that we were hidden but Blaise was too far ahead. He couldn’t make it in time, instead he jumped over the bannister and laid himself flat out on the ground. He was still partially visible as he tried to make his massive bulk as small as possible and as far back as he could manage.
Curly and Scar Face walked down the stairs, their Auror robes swinging behind them and making them look like death eaters. “Malfoy has to be working for Rudolphus. I reckon he tricked Potter into stalling us whilst he cleaned the place of any evidence.”
“How can we call him on it though?” Scar face looked at Curly. Stopping on the steps right next to Blaise, their eyes swept along the corridors skimming over us to check they were alone.
“We can’t, the lad is good. He’s been brought up by death eaters he knows all the tricks. The little bastard probably handing his own cousin over.” Curly rubbed his face. “I’d like to get us in a room with him for just an hour, break him and find out Lestrange’s plans. Until then we just pester him till he slips up and gives us what we need.”
“What about the Headmistress?”
“What about it? The interfering old cow will probably die in her sleep, she can’t do anything except make a good cup of tea like most women.” He pulled his wand out and started fiddling with it. “If she tries to boss us around a bit more it might just be worth giving her a little scare. Put her back in her place so we’re free to get Malfoy.” He started walking down the corridor, straight past us. Hermione was trembling and her face set in angry lines and Cyrus looked ready to launch himself at them.
“What kind of scare?” They both slowly smiled at each other. “How long do you reckon it’ll be till Malfoy slips?”
“Not long. We’ll have him in Azkabam for Christmas, should be a lovely little present for his mother.” He chuckled. “Then we’ll get Rudolphus, they’ll fall into place quite nicely.” They carried on around the corner and out of ear shot. We stayed their silently for a moment.
We all slowly stood, coming out of our hiding places and looking at the corner the Aurors had gone round. “Bastards.” Cyrus growled under his breath.
“I agree.” Blaise dragged himself up from the floor coughing. “So much dust here it’s disgusting. Does no one sweep or anything?”
“Well the house elves can’t do everything for you.” Oh not again.
Blaise raised an eyebrow. “Why not? That’s why there here.”
Hermione glared at him. “Their used as slaves.” Blaise laughed.
“And we’re not?” Blaise smiled. “Technically we’re slaves to the Ministry and society.”
“Oh don’t go hippy.” Hermione snapped. Blaise laughed.
“I might be going a bit hippy. But is it not true?” Blaise started up the stairs. “Come on guys.” We did. “The ministry tells us what we can and can’t do, how much tax we pay and that we have to go to school and get jobs. Society tells us we can’t go around wearing banana yellow dungaree’s and purple shoes.” We continued climbing the stairs.
“Yes but we built our society. Their forced.”
“Really? Did you have a choice about education?”
“Well, not really.”
“Why do we come here?”
“Don’t patronise me!” Blaise grinned.
“A job. Our wages paid in money deducted by tax before we can even get our hands on it. Tax goes to the ministry who then uses it to get fat on a pension and lie to us about what new scandal their doing and pretend it’s in the public’s interest and best for British witches and wizards.”
She was silent for a moment. Thinking through his argument. “Now tell me.” He pushed. “How it’s different from Elves? Well yes they don’t have a ministry. But they’ve been house elves for years and one or two object but the rest enjoy it. They all have the same job which is guaranteed. We have to work for ours.” Hermione made to speak but Blaise interrupted, which really annoyed her but he ignored it. “However I do agree that rules should be put in place to prevent potential abuse. Like what Draco’s family did to that elf of theirs. What was it called again?”
“Dobby.” He clicked his fingers at me, again interrupting Hermione.
“That’s it.” We reached the Gryffindor common room. “What was it you wanted to say again?”
Her cheeks had gone red and a little wrinkle had appeared between her eyebrows. “Nothing.”
“Al’right. See ya.” Blaise and Cyrus made to walk off but I stayed, watching them go before turning back to Hermione. She was peeved but I could see she was seriously considering Blaise’s argument.
“You going to be alright?” She turned back to me.
“Yeah. Thanks for your jacket, and for not well…” I nodded, understanding. “I’ll only tell Harry what happened. If you don’t mind?” I shrugged.
“Your choice. You were the one thrown out the window.” I winked. Making her smile slightly. “You know, you’re a bit like a honey bee.” I don’t know why I mentioned it or why it suddenly occurred to me. She frowned.
“Well you’re sweet, but don’t really wanna piss you off.” I felt embarrassed now.
She laughed, and I joined. We laughed for a few moments, the corridor echoed with it up and down the stairs and into the portraits. Who all woke and glared at us. I had no idea of the time but it was late. We smiled at each other, she really was pretty. “I don’t think Blaise likes me.” She didn’t seemed fussed, more testing how I’d react.
I shrugged it off. “I don’t think Weasley likes me. Can’t think why.” She laughed and looked back up to me. Swaying slightly.
“You should take your jacket back. Might get cold on your way back to Slytherin.” I laughed.
I raised my hands as she went to take it off. “Highly doubt it.” She smiled and pulled it round herself a bit tighter. The common room door swung open and Weasley stuck his head out as I made to say goodbye.
“Hermione.” Weasley didn’t take his eyes off me. “What time do you call this?” She turned around.
“My time Ronald.” I could hear a slight irritation in her voice but either Weasley couldn’t hear it or was ignoring it.
“Well come to bed.” His eyes didn’t move from me. “It’s cold in here.”
“It’s never cold in there Ronald. You just don’t like the fact that I’m out here talking to Draco.” He went red slightly.
“I’ll go.” I moved to leave but Hermione spun around and threw herself at me. I put my arms out just in time as she hugged me. She was warm and soft in my arms. I could see Weasley’s face behind her as she squeezed me slightly, I squeezed back.
Smiling at Weasley.
He stormed back and up the steps to the boy’s dorm and Potter’s curious face appeared at the door as Hermione pulled back.
She whispered. “Goodnight Draco.” I winked as she stepped back.
“Goodnight Honeybee.” I said it quietly so Potter wouldn’t hear. She flushed slightly before giving me a little wave and disappearing into the common room. I bounced on the balls of my feet all the way to our dorm where Cyrus and Blaise were already sleeping.
I curled up in a ball under my duvet, held Arabella’s diary to my chest and cried.
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