Chapter 7 : Repercussions and Revelations
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DISCLAIMER - I would LOVE to own the Harry Potter franchise - think how rich I'd be! Unfortunately, this isn't the case - I don't own Harry Potter, I'm just a penniless student.
‘Sorry, I can’t explain.’ Hermione answered, grabbing a handful of floo powder. She turned and pointed her wand towards the people gathered in the small kitchen, shouting a charm which caused a red energy shield to shoot out from her wand, preventing anyone from following her. She threw the floo powder into the fireplace, and shouted ‘Heads’ common room, Hogwarts.’ The world around her began to spin, and she staggered out of the common room fireplace just in time to see Malfoy descending the stairs, Fred and George lying in wait.
‘Weasles?’ Malfoy said, confused, looking at the twins, ‘What the –‘
‘No!’ Hermione screamed, but it was too late; Malfoy fell to the floor as Fred’s fist connected with his face. His ribs hit the wooden table on the way down.
Hermione ran over to stand between Fred and Malfoy, but George grabbed her around the waist and held her to the spot. ‘Shh, Mione, he’s getting what he deserves.’
Malfoy pulled himself up off the floor, blood running down his face from his nose and lip. ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’
‘You mess with Hermione, you mess with us.’ Fred growled.
‘What are you talking about? I didn’t mess with Granger.’ Malfoy asked, looking from Fred, to George, and then to Hermione. She looked up at him, tears in her eyes, pleading with him not to do anything stupid.
‘Don’t lie to us, ferret,’ Fred swung his fist again, this time connecting with Malfoy’s eye. ‘We know you paid her to sleep with you! What’s wrong, couldn’t find a slut to lay for the night, so you had to take advantage of our friend? You made a big mistake Malfoy.’
Malfoy staggered back a few steps, before swinging his own fist in return, punching Fred’s jaw. As Fred slumped back against the wall, George let go of Hermione to go help his brother, and she took this opportunity to run up to the two fighting men. Pulling Malfoy off of Fred, she stepped in between them, her back to Fred and George so she was facing Malfoy. ‘Stop it!’ she screamed, ‘I will not have all of you fighting because of me!’
‘Then tell them to get out of my room!’ Malfoy shouted. ‘I don’t go into their hovel and start fights!’
‘Don’t you order her around like that! Despite what you might think, she’s not yours to do whatever you want with!’ George threatened, attempting to step around Hermione to reach the Slytherin.
‘George, no!’ Hermione shouted, putting a hand on his chest and pushing him back into the wall beside Fred. He didn’t try to get past her again, although she knew any of the boys could’ve if they wanted to; the twins were at least five foot ten, and Malfoy was a good two inches taller, whilst she was a mere five foot two. She just had to hope that they would avoid fighting since she was in the middle and could get hurt. ‘Look, Fred, George, thankyou for standing up for me, but I think you should go home and let me handle this.’
‘No way, Mione, we’re not leaving you with him.’ Fred hissed in Malfoy’s direction, ‘What if he gets any more of those urges? At least last time he offered to pay, but this time you might not be so lucky.’
‘Is that what you think happened?’ Hermione turned to see an understanding look pass over Malfoy’s face, ‘You think I asked her to do this?’
‘What else could it have been?’ Fred asked.
Hermione looked up at Malfoy. This is it, she thought, he’s going to tell them that it was my idea, I made the offer, he just accepted. Then what will they think of me? If they think Malfoy took advantage of my problems and offered me money for sex then they’ll just think I was desperate and he was sadistic. But if they know I offered to sell myself to him, they’ll think I’m just a slut, and everyone will hate me and have nothing more to do with me. A tear trickled down her cheek as she waited for the Slytherin to bring her world crashing down around her.
‘You’re right. It was me.’
‘Wait – what?’ Hermione gasped at Malfoy’s words. Why hadn’t he just told the truth and got himself off the hook?
‘It was my fault.’
Hermione met his eyes as he spoke these words, but he quickly looked away. She turned to the Weasley twins, who were still glaring menacingly at Malfoy. ‘Fred, George, go home, please. I’ll be okay.’ She looked at Malfoy’s bloody and battered face, ‘I don’t think he’ll touch me again.’
‘No, George, just go.’
‘Okay…’ George said slowly, pulling his brother across to the fireplace, pausing briefly in front of Malfoy, their faces only five inches apart, ‘But we’ll be keeping an eye on her, and if we even suspect anything is going on, we’ll be paying you another little visit. And that’s a promise.’
Fred and George then threw floo powder into the fireplace and stepped forward, shouting ‘The Burrow.’
‘Please don’t tell anyone!’ Hermione yelled after them as they disappeared in a swirl of flames.
‘So,’ Malfoy said, ‘I think you better fill me in on whatever the hell that was all about, don’t you?’
The cramp in her stomach was getting worse now because of all the physical exertion she’d had in breaking up the fight. She grasped her stomach and slumped into a chair, taking shallow breaths to ease the pain.
‘Well?’ Malfoy glared at her.
‘I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t know what they’d do.’
‘How did they even find out?’ he trudged across to the couch and lowered himself onto it gently, holding his ribs which he’d managed to hit on the table as he fell.
Hermione looked across at him and winced; there was blood all over his face, and a couple of pretty serious looking wounds where he’d hit the stone floor. ‘My stomach was cramping up, and I had to tell Ginny why, and Fred overheard, and then when I was talking to him George overheard, and they made me tell them who it was, and then they disapparated before I could stop them.’
‘Your stomach is cramping?’ Malfoy asked, just noticing that she was practically doubled over in pain.
‘Mm hm.’ she groaned. George grabbing her around the waist had only made things worse.
‘Oh my god …. Hermione?’
‘Was that – I mean, the other night – hadn’t you – well, I mean was that your first ….’ Malfoy stuttered.
‘If you’re asking whether I was a virgin before you, then yes - I was.’ she replied softly.
‘Oh.’ he looked down at his hands, ‘I didn’t know. I thought you’d already done it. If I’d known that was your first time…’
‘What? You’d have made it special for me?’ Hermione asked sarcastically.
Malfoy looked back up, his grey eyes connecting with her brown ones, ‘No. I wouldn’t have done it at all.’
Malfoy began to stand, when she decided to ask the question she’d been avoiding for two days. ‘Why didn’t you finish?’
‘When we had sex, you stopped half way through. Why?’
Malfoy sighed. ‘You didn’t want to be doing it. And I didn’t want to make you do anything you didn’t want to.’
‘Oh. So why did you still give me the money?’
‘You must’ve needed it pretty badly if you were willing to give up yourself to get it.’ he stated, ‘and I admire a woman who is willing to do whatever it takes. Also, it wouldn’t have been fair, you kept your end of the deal. It was me who stopped it.’
Hermione didn’t know what to say, but then Malfoy spoke again.
‘What did they mean I took advantage of you? What happened that you needed money so badly?’
‘My mum has cancer.’ she spoke simply, ‘My parents had to sell the house to pay for the medical bills, and Harry gave us his money, but even that’s not enough and we needed more to get her a new treatment in America.’
She thought could actually see concern in his eyes. ‘Why didn’t you just tell me? I would’ve loaned you the money you needed.’
‘Would you, Malfoy?’ she asked sceptically, ‘I didn’t know you actually had a heart.’
‘That’s not fair.’ he said, genuinely hurt, ‘Just because we don’t get along doesn’t mean I want you or your family to die. I have a mother too, you know, and I’d hate for anything like that to happen to her.’
They sat in silence for a few minutes, avoiding each others eyes. Finally Draco stood up and headed towards the stairs, ‘Goodnight, Granger.’
Hermione stayed where she was, watching Malfoy’s form retreating up the stairs. Did the ferret actually just show remorse? Why wasn’t he mad at me? And why do I believe what he said? Yawning, she crossed the room and climbed the stone steps. She had just finished changing into her silky pyjamas when she heard a whimper from the bathroom. She opened the door a crack to see Malfoy standing in front of the mirror, dabbing at his face with a damp cloth, his face screwed up in pain. There was a smear of blood from his nose down to his chin, his eye was swollen and beginning to turn purple, his lip had a large gash in it, and his right cheek had a bloody cut on it. He was also taking sharp breaths, his hand holding his ribs. Even though she knew she should hate him, Hermione couldn’t help but feel bad for the beaten and bloody man. She pushed open the door, and entered the bathroom, taking the cloth from him.
‘No, it’s going to take more than that.’ she said, ‘Go downstairs and wait. I’ll be down in a minute.’
Malfoy didn’t say a word, but he followed her instructions. She opened a cabinet in the bathroom and took out a large first aid box, filled with both the basics, such as antiseptic wipes, and some vials filled with potions. She hurried downstairs to find Malfoy sitting on the couch in the common room. She sat on the coffee table in front of him and opened the box. Raising her hand in which she still held the damp cloth she began to wipe the worst of the blood off of his face. His body tensed as touched him, and she could tell he was trying hard not to show how much it hurt. Once she had wiped away all the dry blood, she opened an antiseptic wipe and began to gently clean the cut on his cheek.
‘Mmph…’ he whimpered in pain, his body flinching.
‘Sorry,’ she whispered, ‘But I’ve got to clean it so it won’t go infected.’
‘I know,’ he grimaced, but she could see his grip tighten on the couch cushion.
She leaned forward, looking up intently at his wounded face. ‘I’m so sorry.’
‘It’s okay.’ he replied, ‘Like you said, it has to be cleaned.’
‘Not about that. I mean the fact that you’re even hurt in the first place,’ she told him, ‘If I hadn’t told the twins, they’d never have come here.’
‘It’s okay, Hermione, they were just protecting you.’ Malfoy tried to smile, but the pain caused his face to contort, ‘I can understand their reasons.’
Hermione resumed tenderly cleaning his wounds. When she had finished with his face, she sat back and instructed him ‘Take off your shirt.’
‘Take off your shirt. I want to check out the damage to your ribs.’
Malfoy did as she said, and she gasped in horror. His whole left side was covered in large purple bruises. Quickly, she poured some red liquid out of one of the potions vials. ‘This might feel rather hot, but it should ease the pain.’
She made him lie down then gently wiped the bruised area with a cotton wool pad soaked in potion. His breathing became rapid, and his face twisted in agony. ‘It feels like I’m on fire!’ he grunted.
‘I know,’ she replied in a soothing voice, grabbing his hand, ‘But it’ll subside in a minute.’
He squeezed her hand, and she reached up to sweep his hair off of his forehead, which was soaking wet. She tenderly dabbed it with another damp cloth, until after a few minutes his breathing returned to normal and he loosened his grip on her hand, but didn’t let go completely.
‘How’s that?’ she asked.
‘Better,’ he smiled up at her, ‘Not great, but better.’
‘I don’t think anything’s broken, so there’s really no reason to take you to Madam Pomfrey.’ Hermione said, concern in her voice as she examined his still purple wounds, ‘But I’d like to keep an eye on you for the night, if you wouldn’t mind.’
‘Okay.’ Malfoy shrugged as she helped him up off the couch. She wrapped her hand around his waist to steady him as he placed an arm around her shoulders. She knew that was one of the side effects of the potion she had used; it could make you feel drowsy and lose balance. She helped him up the stairs and into his room, pulling the blankets over him as he sunk into his bed. Then she pulled out her wand and conjured another small single bed a few feet away from his king size one.
‘What are you doing?’
‘I told you, I want to keep an eye one you.’
After only a few moments, she heard him snoring lightly and knew he was asleep.
She looked at his sleeping form; his hair flopped across his forehead, and although there was no smirk on his pale face, there was a grimace of pain instead. She thought back to the last time she’d been in this room, in that very bed, what she’d done. Was it possible that Malfoy felt as bad about it as she did? Staring up at the ceiling above her, she soon fell asleep.
(A/N - so what did you think? R/R and let me know!)
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