Chapter 31 : Chances
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"Tonight I feel so cold and lonely
And baby you’re so far away
The space between us keeps on growing
How I wish that you could hear me when I’d say"
-Miss You by Enrique Iglesias
Ginny had her wand pointed at the two men holding onto Hermione and in seconds they were forced backwards, their backs crunching horribly as they hit the wall behind them. The moment their hands were off her arms Hermione stood up and ran towards her friends. They had formed a circle in the middle of the room and spells were flying. It was hard to make out anything other than the flashes of colour and sudden screams.
“Hermione,” Ron grabbed her hand and began to usher her towards the stairs. “We need to find Draco’s parents-”
Hermione whirled around, trying to make out Draco on the other side of the room but she couldn’t see him.
Ron squeezed her hand as the began to race up the stairway, their feet slipping over several steps.
What felt like rope coiled around Hermiones waist, pulling her backwards and out of Rons grasp. She was yanked across the room and into the arms of a masked man who pressed his wand against her waist in order to stop her from struggling.
“Ms. Granger,” She heard him hiss into her ear, twisting the wand into her flesh.“Was Draco worth it?”
“Harry!” She screamed, attempting to free herself from his grasp.
She felt his mouth graze her neck, his nose moving along her jaw line.
The man cupped his hand over her mouth. “Sh, sh, sh. Let’s not start any trouble now. Say another word and I’ll-”
“Harry help!” She screamed against his palm, lashing against the mans arms. “Harry!”
She needed to find Draco. She needed to see if he was okay. She wondered what time of night it was, how many Death Eaters there were.
“Ignis visio.” The man murmured, jabbing his wand further into her side.
Red began to cloud Hermione’s vision. The room was spinning, the faces around her molding. She couldn’t make out who anyone was and she started to scream, pressing her back into the mans chest. A clownish figure lurched towards her from the right, it’s eyes bloodshot and it’s hands fire crackers.
She watched it reach towards her and she tried to hide behind the Death Eaters embrace. There were slashes all along it’s arms and it reminded her of what Bellatrix did to her on the floor upstairs all those years ago.
Mudblood was engraved across the creatures face, across the creatures arms. It’s mouth opened and she watched in horror as wax began to drip off it’s newspaper clipping tongue. Every article had something to do with her and Draco, but in the pictures Draco’s eyes were missing and she had a noose tied around her neck.
“Get away!” She screamed, kicking her feet at the thing. “Get away!”
The man was suddenly gone from behind her and the creature was surrounding her, slowly transforming into wax figures of her dead parents. It kept duplicating, molding into one, then splitting into two again and Hermione began to feel vile rise in the back of her throat and pulse into her mouth.
The wax figures kept repeating that over and over until finally they both slumped to the floor, melting against the concrete and then rebuilding again. Except instead of growing back into wax the figures grew together and molded into Ron. The red around her vision began to fade and Hermione swore it was dripping down her eyes and onto her cheeks. She reached up and wiped the liquid away, although she discovered there was nothing there.
“Hermione, are you alright?” Ron asked
“I- I don’t know.”
“Who am I?”
“Okay, thank Merlin. You’ll be fine.”
She noticed the Death Eater who had grabbed her laying on the floor a ways away, motionless.
The fight was still going on but Ron and herself were backed into a corner near where Draco and herself had first been tied up.
“Where’s Draco? Have you seen him?” She asked breathlessly.
“Draco? No, I haven’t.”
Hermione looked around the room and noticed Ginny lying on her back a ways away. She gasped and could feel her knees buckle, but Ron helped her back up. Draco was lying a few feet away and Hermione couldn’t tell if he was breathing. There was a man standing over top of him with his wand held gently against the skin of Draco’s forearm where she can see the faded remnants of his scar. A gentle green mist was floating from Draco to the man and his scar continued to fade, as did the colour on Draco’s cheeks.
“Expelliarmus!” She yelled, her wand pointed directly at the man. Although he simply shielded the spell without breaking the current of mist.
He shielded the spell again but this time looked to her, his eyebrows drawn together in mild confusion.
“Crucio!” The spell on Draco broke as the man lifted his wand to Hermione instead.
She rolled out of the way and cast another round of expelliarmus which hit the man in the chest and forced him backwards. Hermione took her opportunity after seeing the mans head collide with the wall behind him and crawled towards Dracos limp form. She cradled his head in her lap and moved her hands down to his neck, feeling for a pulse. It was light but she could feel one.
“Oh, Draco.” She murmured, lowering her face down to his, an overwhelming sense of gratitude washing over her.
The man near the wall began to raise himself upwards but someone else's spell hit him square in the chest before Hermione had time to react. The mans eyes rolled back in his head and Hermione looked to the caster, surprised to see Narcissa standing a little ways away. She met her eyes momentarily before looking to where her son was lying in her embrace. Hermione followed her eyes to the faded skull on his arm. It was more a round, blurry circle of grey smudged on his forearm than an actual mark and she noticed his veins were now worryingly prominent on his lower arm.
Hermione looked to her own arms and noticed all the gashes and bruises that had sprouted and carved into her skin since the night had begun. “Vulnera Santenura.” She pressed her wand to her own arm and watched as she began to heal.
“Hermione, there you are!” She turned to see Harry standing beside her looking completely broken down. “It’s over.”
“What?” Hermione looked around the room, and although many people had gone into other rooms, she could see Lucius lying on the floor through one of the adjoining doorways, and Ginny still on the ground a ways away. Through one door she could see a small pile of bodies and suddenly Harry's voice seemed miles away.
Harry's hands were under her shoulder blades as he helped her to her feet.
“Is Draco okay?” He asked.
“I don’t know.” She answered distantly.
She could see Jasper standing at the foot of a masked man, casting a spell as his body slowly began to dissolve.
At least it looked like it was dissolving. Hermione couldn’t tell.
“We need to help Draco.” She said quickly. “I don’t know what spell they cast on him but-”
“Hermione, don’t worry, Jasper is moving everyone upstairs.”
Hermione dropped to her knees and grabbed Dracos hands. “No, Harry, he might not be okay!”
“Hermione! Calm down, Jasper will figure it out.”
Harry grabbed Hermione by the shoulders and pulled her back.
“C’mon now, he’ll be fine. Just let Jasper-”
Hermione wriggled out of his grasp and began to think of different spells she could use to help Draco. He needed to wake up. What would she do if he didn’t wake up?
She didn’t listen to Harry and instead reached for Dracos arm. The skin around his mark was bruising badly and his veins were pressed against his flesh, throbbing slightly.
“Jasper can you help?” She heard Harry from behind her. He wasn’t trying to pull her away from Draco anymore.
“With Draco or Hermione?” Jaspers voice.
“Hermione. She needs rest.”
Hermione traced her fingers along Draco’s arm. She needed to be careful before casting anything. Every time she felt his wrist his pulse seemed slightly slower.
Her eyelids began to droop. She furrowed her brows and tried to blink but it felt like she was falling into a dream and could not keep herself upright. She looked around and the last thing she saw was Harry and Jasper standing behind her, Jaspers wand hanging limply by his side.
Hermione awoke in her bed at Malfoy Manor. She was warm, as if she had been laying there a while, and the lights were lit low. Narcissa sat on the edge of the bed, dressed in clean clothes and her hair done in a low bun. The woman looked tired.
“Mrs Malfoy?” Hermione croaked, quickly clearing her throat and sitting up. “What happened?”
“Jasper moved you upstairs. You were in a frenzy and he thought it best that you rested a while.” Narcissa answered calmly.
“How is everyone doing? Are they okay?”
“Ginny Potter is doing the best, I think.” Narcissa responded thoughtfully. “She’s already moving about downstairs.”
Hermione breathed out slowly and leaned her back against the head board.
“But unfortunately,” Narcissa spoke up. “Neither Draco or Lucius has awoken in the past few hours since they fell.”
Hermione swore and lifted herself up again. “Oh God...”
“No, no, there is no point getting worked up. They’re both strong and this isn’t the first time they’ve been injured.”
“What happened to your husband exactly? If you don’t mind me asking.”
Narcissa smiled slightly and shook her head. “It’s your place to ask now, don’t be sorry. He got hit with crucio but thankfully I interrupted it soon after it was cast. He also had soul extracted from his mark, like what they did to Draco.”
“Oh, I am so sorry.” Hermione replied softly.
Narcissa nodded and looked away. “Thank you, Hermione.”
Nothing was said for a short moment, both women thinking back to what happened several hours ago.
“May I see Draco?”
Narcissa cocked an eyebrow. “Can you even stand properly yet?”
Hermione moved her body out from under the blankets, still dressed in the pajamas and robe she had been wearing before, and slowly stepped onto the floor. Her knees felt weak and she had to hold onto the bed post in order to stand without shaking.
“I wish you would stay in bed,” Narcissa sighed. “But I understand and I’ll take you to Draco’s room.”
Narcissa outstretched her arm and let Hermione hold onto it for support as she began to walk again. Thankfully Draco’s room wasn’t all too far a walk and so Hermione did not have to use Narcissa as an aid for very long.
Hermione opened the door to his room to see Draco lying on his bed with his eyes closed. He looked just as if he was sleeping, although his arm was still as damaged as it was earlier. Jasper stood at the end of the bed but upon noticing Hermione he walked to the doorway and stood beside Narcissa.
Hermione went to Draco and perched beside his still figure, taking his hands in her own. She looked to his chest and watched as it very slowly rose and fell with his breaths. His clothes were bloodied and his hair was pushed back by grease and sweat. She longed to see his eyes open. She wanted so badly for him to look at her and smile that familiar cocky grin. She could imagine it so clearly. His eyes would flutter open and he would make some sarcastic remark about her sitting on his bed.
And that’s when the tears came. They gathered behind Hermione’s eyes and she did not bother to push them back but instead let them plummet through her lower lashes. She slid onto the blankets next to him and rested her head upon his shoulder, not noticing as Narcissa and Jasper slipped out of the room and closed the door behind them.
“Draco...” She said between uneven breaths. The tears had begun to flood and her body shook due to it. “Dammit Draco.”
She burrowed her face into the spot between his shoulder and neck. He was barely warm.
“I hate you so much. Do you know how much I worry about you? I swear, if you don’t get up...”
She began to tuck stray hairs behind his ear and even out his clothes. She wished Jasper had put him into something clean.
“And just in case you can hear me, do you know what I hate most about you? That I actually think I might love you,” She paused. “No... I hate that somewhere along the way I fell in love with you, but what I hate the most is that it took me so long to realize.”
She let her hand drop and took in his features, stopping on his mouth. She watched him inhale and exhale quietly because at the moment it was the only part of him that seemed alive. She knew it was sappy but it didn’t matter.
“And I wish you were awake right now so you could answer. Because I don’t know how you’re feeling. I don’t know if you were acting last night when I was taken and you didn’t even look at me. So that’s why you need to recover, okay? So you can tell me that you were acting and actually you were just as scared as I was. And maybe that’s selfish, but I really don’t care.”
She breathed out softly and rubbed the tears off of her cheek. “I am selfish, you know. You don’t think I am, but I am. Because all I want in the world right now is for you to be okay. And there are so many other things I could want, but you’re it. And if that’s not selfish, I don’t know what is.”
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