Chapter 40 : The Run-Away
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Hermione did not wake from the trance with a jerk, but her eyes moved, almost looking lost. Her eyes were brimmed with tears and Cherry immediately noticed the distress look. Cherry rushed to Hermione’s side, her tennis-ball, black cherry eyes searching for anything wrong with Hermione. But there seemed nothing wrong with a squeaky clean Hermione expect for the tears in her eyes and her hair slightly tangled and ruffled.
“What is wrong with the Misses?” squeaked Cherry.
“Can you do me a favor please?” croaked Hermione. Cherry nodded. She cleared her throat to speak a little crisper, but when she spoke again, her voice still sounded hoarse. “Find Healer Bracken. Let her know I think I had a miscarriage. I need to know for sure. When you tell her, make sure it is in private that no one can hear. She knows she can’t breathe a word about my pregnancy and please Cherry you can’t either.”
Cherry nodded with worry drowning in her eyes and apparated out of the Manor with a light smoke and a crackle. Hermione hung her head in her hands, breathing harshly. Another crackle, Hermione looked up to see a flustered Healer Bracken.
“Oh, dear,” she breathed. “What happened?”
“I was bleeding. It…it was like it…was endless.” Hermione broke into a sob, burying her face into her hands. “I think I lost him…”
Healer Bracken rushed to Hermione’s side, rubbing her back. “There is still hope… Let’s check for sure.” She hurried to settle everything on the bathroom counter. When she turned back to Hermione, she held up a tube, “If you could—”
“Okay,” murmured Healer Bracken. “You know the drill.”
Hermione did what she needed and invited Healer Bracken back in by simply opening the door without a whisper of a word. The Healer did the same as the last time, pouring Hermione’s contents in the clear liquid of the potion. They stared on. They waited. The clear liquid did not turn blue. Hermione really did have a miscarriage. She hitched her breath, staring at the ripples of the clear liquid.
“I’m sorry,” breathed Healer Bracken.
Hermione slightly shook her head. “No, I am…” Hermione lifted her wand to Healer Bracken. “Stuify!” Hermione caught her Healer, slowly laying her on the cream-tilted floor. Cherry’s eyes widen, watching Hermione. She aimed her wand at Healer Bracken’s forehead, whispering, “Oberlirate…” Hermione looked up at Cherry and cleared her throat. “Cherry,” she began gently. “Bring her back to the hospital. You don’t have to wait until she wakes up. She’ll be fine. She won’t remember me or you or any of this… Cherry…I don’t like giving elves order. I always felt you should act on your free will. But as a Malfoy…as…a…master, you are never to tell a soul about this, not even to Draco. No matter how many times he commands you, don’t. I want you to go to the Malfoy Island and live with those elves over there. Enjoy yourself, the water, the sun and the company of your peers. Stay there…and when Draco calls on you…you don’t go to him… Cherry? I love you.” Hermione leaned forward and embraced the little elf. “Go now. Don’t say a word. It’ll be harder for me…” Hermione stepped back and up and left the bathroom. She could hear Cherry sniffing then the crackle of the apparition.
Quickly Hermione packed clothes and other nessarcities into a backpack that was magically expanded. She was ready to leave. At the doorway, she stopped, her body trembling. She took a look behind her to stare at the room and breathed her good-bye while caressing the wooden frame of the door. Every corner she turned, her eyes glanced about madly, but the Manor was empty. She was able to slip out easily. Outside, she breathed in the dying winter air and felt safe. She began walking down the stone-cobble path with the hedges towering over her. The gates were up ahead, closed and she knew when she opened them, she was free. The thought of freedom rose the hairs on her skin as her pace quickened. She wanted nothing more, but the freedom. Her fingers touched the cold metal of the gate, but before she could even push it open, someone else had opened it. She gasped in surprise as her heart slowly froze to ice. She was trembling, looking into the dark brown eyes.
“Where are you going?”
It felt like all breath was knocked out of her, she couldn’t even answer.
“Are you—are you leaving?” Rabastan asked.
“Where do you intend to go?”
This struck her as strange. He didn’t ask why she was leaving or anything to do with running away with Draco. It seemed like he knew. He knew she was going to leave everything behind. So, his question was one of concern of what would she do. How she would survive? He wanted her to answer that question so he can have some peace that she would be okay. She shook her head. She couldn’t give him that false peace he hoped for.
“You don’t know?... Well, I know of a place… I only been there once. It isn’t much… Would you let me take you there?”
He interlaced his fingers with hers gently, pulling out of the Manor. She stared at the gates in surprise. She was finally leaving. The minute they were free from the Manor’s daunting cage of spells, Rabastan was able to apparate them far away from the memories that Manor had pulsed with. They were both in it seemed like a flat above a shop. It was slightly dingy. The wooden floor was dusty and brown-gray. The white walls were stained faintly gray. Off to her left was a small outdated kitchen with a little island counter. On her right was one couch seated for three people, wearing away. She looked a little ahead to two doors.
“Why are you running from Draco?”
She snapped to look at Rabastan who was walking to the kitchen. He turned the knob on the oven and it began to make a clicking sound, but no fire sprouted from it. He heaved a frustrated sigh and pulled his wand, bringing the fire-tip wand to the oven. With clanking of the teapot and glass, he slowly started to make tea. The auburn hair fell in waves beautifully in his face and she couldn’t explain why was there such comfort from just seeing him doing a simple task.
“I’ll ask you again,” he said, his eyes unwavering from the teapot. “Why are you running from Draco?” He now looked at her.
“Don’t tell him. Don’t tell him where I am. Or you saw me. Nothing… please…”
He nodded and didn’t press the matter any further. He understood the boundaries between the two and she couldn’t be anymore grateful for the man in front of her.
There was an eerie silence in the Manor as if it was missing something, as if it was empty. Draco glanced around suspiously as if waiting for the silence to be lifted off the Manor. But he couldn’t be concerned about the silence that loomed, but had to get Hermione quickly. The piercing silence did not leave, it lingered in his room.
“Hermione? Baby?” he called for her at the doorway. He walked in, checking every corner of the room and even the closet. That is when he noticed that her clothes were absent. She had obviously packed, thought Draco, but where could she be?
“Cherry!” Draco now called.
He glanced about wildly, waiting for the little elf, but she did not appear, just like Hermione. He quickly turned on his heel and trekked to the library. There was no sign of Hermione there. Nervousness zapped him right in his chest. His heart began to race a marathon in his chest and his head with pounding with thoughts of worry. There was no sign of Hermione, anywhere. Not in the common room. Not in the dining room. Not in the kitchen. In the kitchen, he stared absently at the counter. There was a ghost of Hermione, bending over in her frilly maid apron, cooking for him. She turned and smiled at him. He reached out for her, but she wasn’t there. He shook his head, his breath becoming ragged and wild. He was hyperventilating. Draco clutched his shirt right over his heart, wrinkling his shirt as he leaned on the counter.
“Hermione,” he breathed.
His head was pounded furiously with any thought of her. Then, his eyes widened with the realization. He pulled out his wand, whispering, “Reperio Hermione.”* His wand was vibrating in his hands and he let go of it, slightly startled. His wand floated, vibrating until it start spinning in place madly in a circle. With a jerk, it was now pointing somewhere. Draco followed it eventually gazing out the window.
The wind was slapping his face, stinging cold against it. His face was going numb yet he did not stop to gain some warmth back. He continued to race in the stormy gray sky on his broom, his hair flying madly in the wind. He was following his wand as he dipped to the left, whirled to right and kept straight ahead. Everything was a daze for him, the only thing he could see was Hermione: her smile cracking as tears run down the hills of her rosy cheeks. There was a lump in his throat. He had to find her before anything really horrid happened to her. A small town was below as his wand slanted downward and he took the opportunity to land in an alley carelessly. He didn’t care if anyone saw. He just needed to find her. It was not simple. The minute he landed, his wand was in a craze. It was spinning madly and whistling and sometimes it would stop with a jerk then spin in the opposite direction and another until it would begin to spin frantically.
“Fuck,” he spat. He leaned against the red brick walls of the alley, draped in darkness. He looked up at the sky, thinking. The person, whoever it was, took her and made sure to place protective spells especially one where he could no longer track her. The word “fuck” rang in his head, endless on replay. He shook his head, his head pounding to think hard.
“Blaise…” he growled.
Draco apparated right into the hallway of the Zamanbi Manor, glaring at the white-wooden door of Blaise’s bedroom. With a wave of the wand, as if he was slicing the air, the door blew off its hinges. It flew into the room, crashing against the far wall as it split in the center. Draco stepped in with nostrils flaring.
“WHAT THE FUCK?” shouted Blaise.
Blaise jumped off a blonde hair girl who brought the sheets up to her chin as Blaise laid besides her bare-chest. Draco hardly noticed it was Astoria because all he saw was flashing red. He held his wand to Blaise, stepping closer.
“Where is she?” he growled.
“Where is—who the fuck are you talking about?” asked Blaise with no effort to keep the panic out of his voice.
“Her—Hermione?” croaked Blaise. “I don’t, man. The last time I saw her was at the wedding. I SWEAR TO MERLIN, DRACO! I don’t care for her anymore!”
Draco glanced at a whimpering Astoria who shook her head slightly, commutating to Draco she hadn’t seen her either.
With a tremble, he lowered his wand, shaking his head to himself. He gazed out the sky, thinking to her, Where are you?
Rabastan plotted himself onto the couch next to Hermione, sighing. His arm was lazily behind her on the couch. She could feel the burn of his stares as she his fingers lightly brush her shoulders. She pulled away. He sighed again.
“Why are you running from Draco?...”
She gazed up at him with tear-filled eyes and shook her head vaguely.
“Okay…” It was quiet for some time before he spoke. “Do you think I could replace him somehow?”
She didn’t answer because she didn’t know how to answer. It was a strange question to which she knew the answer right away. No, Draco could never be replaced ever, but she couldn’t find the heart to tell him that. She knew the way he looked at her, she had seen it first-hand at the flat. The passing glances, the biting down on his lip as he stared at her lips, the way his fingers try to brush against her skin when he could. It was the subtle things that she knew that he wanted it to be this way and hoped for more.
“You don’t have to answer that,” he said softly. He stood to his feet as he avoided to even look at her. “I’ll be back later to make us dinner… Did you enjoy the lunch I made at least?”
She nodded with her eyes glued to her feet.
“Okay… I’m glad… I’ll see you soon…” She heard the faint pop of apparition, but did not move.
It was been a few days since she abandoned the Manor. She was obviously living with Rabastan. Despite he wanted more, she couldn’t give him that, but would forever be indebted to him for the kindness he showed her. He literally took care of her. He woke up every morning to make her breakfast, he would then leave to do what she guessed was work for the Death Eaters, but he always came back for lunch. Then left, then came back for dinner and stayed the rest of the night. They shared two separate bedrooms, but somehow she would always find him in hers at the edge of her bed, looking exhausted. When she opened her eyes, she’ll met the brown ones that looked so sorry. He’ll tell her, she had nightmares, that she was screaming…screaming for Draco. The thought of Draco made her choke on her feelings like she wasn’t able to breathe. Even the thought of him now…
She stood to her feet quickly and on her way out, she grabbed the black cloak on the hook. She jogged down the stairs, throwing it over her and pulling down the hood to hide her face. The fresh air immediately hit her as she inhaled greedily. With a glance, she walked the stone-cobble streets, peering at people and shops. Everyone looked so happy. How could she live in the same world as these happy people? It seemed like they lived billion of miles away like their happiness was unreachable…unattainable.
Her eyes landed on one man. She had to stop dead in her tracks with shock. His stormy gray eyes were glancing, hopelessly searching for something…someone. She could see him, shaking his head and his shoulders tremble. His body was using all its energy not to cry, it was so noticeable to the point that others had stopped and asked if he was okay. She inched closely through the crowd and cocked her head upward to have a better look, but pretended to look at her feet. His eyes were blood shot and the bags were heavily purple under his eyes. His usual slick back hair was ruffled and his face looked bony. At one moment, he took a glance her way and she hitched her breath. She could hardly breathe when she was touched with those gray eyes. She thought she was going to break down, but she couldn’t. She quickly took her leave, escaping from the reality, from those gray eyes she always thought her little boy would have. She did nothing, but escape from the reality to go drift off to dreamland sleep where she was safe, where her family did exist. She could feel her Scorpius’ little hands touching hers. She could feel Draco’s lips on hers with a smile.
She woke up, gasping for air as if she was dying. Her heart was dying, the pain was killing. Rabastan was at her bedside, looking exhausted.
“You didn’t wait for dinner,” he commented.
She leaned forward as the moonlight shined on her sadly. Hermione buried her face in one hand.
“It’s been five days…since we’ve…been here… You call out for him every night… Hermione, what are you doing?”
“I seen him… He’s looking for you. He hasn’t seen me. But I think I should let him.”
Hermione looked at Rabastan tiredly.
“He should know, Hermione. You’re hurting without him. And he’s hurting without you.”
“No,” she croaked. “Don’t…”
He exhaled deeply from his nose and nodded.
The thought of Draco finding her nerved her. She still wasn’t ready to face him. She didn’t trust Rabastan now for the fear there was a possibility he would tell. She saw the way his eyes glint with the internal debate with himself and she knew he would tell Draco. She couldn’t have that. She couldn’t face Draco. She had to leave.
Rabastan’s footsteps were heavy on the floorboard as he was dragging them. His eyes first landed on the couch and he stopped in his tracks staring at it. She was always there…that same spot on the couch. She was always there after breakfast and before lunch and after lunch and before dinner like she was waiting for him. She wasn’t there now. And he didn’t need to search. There was no need. The flat felt empty.
She had left.
A/N: This was overdue. Sorry, guys! So one of the genres I put for this fic was “Angst” and as you can see, things are going in a downward spiral. This is just to kind of prepare everyone for what’s coming.
P.S.- Would you believe I never got writer’s block for this story yet? =O
P.S. to the P.S. (lol)- I finished writing the entire story! =O WOW! You are in for a lot!
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