(A/N - since it took so long to get the last chapter up due to it being rejected [I had to increase my warning ratings], I thought I'd post this one immediately to make up for it. Thanks to my reviewers, as always, hope you're all enjoying the story, and I should probably warn you all here that this chapter deals with some pretty dark stuff)
DISCLAIMER - If you recognise it, it doesn't belong to me.
RECAP ‘But nothing, Malfoy,’ Fred shouted, ‘It doesn’t matter what the reasons were! The fact is you knew how badly she needed the money, so you paid Hermione to have sex with you!’
‘NO!’ Hermione and Malfoy screamed at the same time. The collective gasp which rebounded off the cold dungeon walls alerted the older boys to the class’s presence.
‘What is going on here?’ bellowed Snape, who had just joined the group. (A/N – he’d been in the cupboard getting supplies when everyone else had left the room)
‘Hermione, I’m –‘ Fred started, but Hermione burst into tears and ran past them, straight up to her room.
A tentative knock on the door startled Hermione. ‘Go away!’
‘It’s me, Mione. I’m coming in.’ The door opened and a mane of red hair appeared as the youngest Weasley came in and sat on Hermione’s bed. ‘I heard what happened.’ She explained when Hermione didn’t say anything, ‘I’m so sorry.’
‘How are Harry and Ron?’ Hermione finally asked.
‘Well...’ she tried to hold back, but the look in her friend’s eye told her she better be truthful, ‘Harry punched a wall and Ron tried to punch Malfoy.’
‘And the twins?’
‘I explained the situation to Dumbledore. I had to – he was going to banish them from Hogwarts forever. So he just gave them a months ban. We still don’t know how they got here in the first place. They must have apparated again.’
‘So everyone knows.’ Hermione said quietly.
‘Don’t worry, I’m sure nobody cares.’ Ginny tried to reassure her friend, ‘Come on, lets go to dinner.’
‘I’m not going down there!’ Hermione looked at the younger girl as if she was crazy.
Ginny sighed, ‘If you don’t show up everyone will think you’re ashamed of something. Don’t let them.’
Hermione let herself be dragged out of the room and down to the Great Hall.
After what seemed like an eternity to Hermione, the two girls reached the Great Hall. As they walked through the doors a deadly silence fell over the crowd inside. Hermione could see Malfoy sitting at the Slytherin table, his head down, avoiding her eyes. Ginny squeezed her hand and led her over to the Gryffindor table. She was aware of the viscious looks girls were giving her, and the leers boys were giving her. As she reached a seat beside Harry and Ron, the silence was broken by a single wolfwhistle. Then , the hall erupted with whistles and jeering. Hermione felt her face grow hot but she was determined not to let them get the better of her.
‘That’s enough!’ McGonagall’s voice broke through the noise, ‘Everyone get back to your dinner!’
The noise began to subside, and was eventually replaced with the usual chatter of teenagers, although Hermione was sure she could hear her name being mentioned pretty often amongst the din, and she was still receiving dirty looks. Then she noticed Ron and Harry.
‘Hi.’ she squeaked.
‘How could you?’ Ron exploded, ‘With that – that – that ferret!’
‘Ron, I –‘ she protested but Harry cut her off.
‘We thought we knew you! You’re disgusting!’ he spat.
‘Harry –‘ her eyes grew wet as he looked at her with an expression of pure revulsion.
‘Just stay away from us.’ Ron growled, turning away from her.
‘Guys, come on…’ Ginny tried to help her friend.
‘Stay out of it Gin. It’s bad enough you knew and didn’t tell us.’ Harry was obviously hurt by his girlfriend’s actions.
Without another word, Hermione stood and began to walk out of the Hall, holding her head high to let them see she wouldn’t let them tear down her dignity. As she reached the end of the table, she heard someone call her name, ‘Hermione?’
‘Yeah?’ she turned to see Seamus standing at the table, with Neville.
‘You can find yourself another date for the Ball because I’m sure as hell not going with a dirty little slut like you.’
She didn’t even answer him, but instead stalked out of the Hall, holding in her tears until she reached the safety of the empty hallways.
She was walking along a deserted fourth floor corridor, completely lost in her own thoughts, when a pair of strong arms dragged her into an empty classroom. She tried to scream but a hand quickly covered her mouth, so she sunk her teeth into it hard. She whirled around to see none other than Goyle standing behind her, grinning lustily.
‘You creep! What the hell do you think you’re doing?’ she yelled, attempting to leave the room, but Goyle blocked her path and pushed her back until she was pinned against the wall.
‘Come on, you must have a little something for me!’ he grunted, his beady little eyes lingering over her body.
She froze with fear as she realised exactly what it was he wanted. She squirmed to get free, but all this did was arouse him more as he held her in place easily.
‘Let me go!’ she growled, reaching into her pocket.
My wand! Where the heck is my wand? Oh no, I forgot to grab it before Gin dragged me out of my bedroom! She was shaking with fear now, but still she tried to fight Goyle.
‘Don’t be like that, Granger. I’ll pay you, you give it all up for that don’t you?’ he leered.
‘You have no idea what that was about.’ she yelled.
‘Either way, you’re a slut, and since everyone else is getting some, I think I should too.’ He was almost drooling now, as his podgy hands ran up and down her body.
She shuddered. ‘Urgh! Get off me, you sleazy git!’
‘Now, now, Granger. It’s much easier if you just relax. Not quite so much fun though.’ He grinned, his hand making its way up under her shirt.
‘No! Don’t!’ she screamed, as she heard him unzip his trousers.
‘Ooh, I love a screamer!’ he grunted in her ear.
‘No…’ she whispered, closing her eyes and hoping he would leave. His hands were roaming over her body when suddenly, she felt him being pulled off of her, and a male voice growled ‘Get your bloody hands off her!’ She opened her eyes again to see her hero; Malfoy. She stood rooted to the spot, as Malfoy hauled Goyle to the other side of the room.
‘Hermione, leave.’ he instructed her. But she remained where she was. ‘Go straight to the common room and wait. NOW!’
She started at his yell, and ran from the classroom, not stopping until she was back in her dorm. But she didn’t stop in the common room. Instead she continued up to the bathroom, tore off all of her clothes, and stepped into the shower, scrubbing her skin until it was red raw. The scalding hot water mixed with her tears, and she leaned against the cold white tiles, her body sinking down until she was huddled up on the shower floor with her knees pulled up to her chest. And still she scrubbed at her skin, trying to remove the filth she felt on herself, the dirt, the grime of her actions. She continued sobbing and scrubbing for almost an hour when she heard a knock at the door.
‘Hermione?’ Malfoy’s voice echoed through the room from the other side of the door, ‘You’ve been in there a while. Are you okay?’
She ignored him and stopped scrubbing, although she was now shaking and crying hysterically.
‘Hermione? Hermione, answer me!’ Malfoy pleaded, his voice laced with worry.
Still she ignored him, pulling her knees up tighter to her chest.
‘Hermione? I’m coming in!’ The door opened, and Malfoy entered tentatively. He sped up, however, when he saw her huddled in a ball in the bottom of the shower. Pulling open the glass door, he reached up and turned off the water. Then he grabbed a fluffy white towel and wrapped it around her, before picking her up and carrying her through to her bedroom. He placed her down gently on her king size four post bed and walked over to her drawers. ‘We have to get you into something warm.’ he said, choosing a long flannel nightgown. He placed it on the bed beside her, before turning around. But when he turned back to face her, she hadn’t moved to pick it up so he pulled it over her head and down over her body, before removing the towel which had covered her modesty. She pulled her knees up to her chest once again and began to rock back and forward, sobbing quietly.
He sat down beside her, and gently touched her arm. ‘Hermione? You’re scaring me. If you don’t start talking I’m going to have to take you to Madam Pomphrey.’
‘No!’ she gasped, ‘Nobody can know.’
‘Okay.’ he said in a soothing tone, ‘I won’t tell if you don’t want me to. But why don’t you want me to? I think you should tell Dumbledore what he tried to do.’
‘No! I don’t want anyone to know. It’s over now,’ she whispered, ‘By the way, what did you do to him?’
‘Oh, we – uh – just talked for a bit, and I explained to him the error of his ways.’ Malfoy said cautiously, although there was a glint of something in his eye.
‘Uh huh.’ she sobbed, ‘Why were you even there in the first place?’
He swallowed deeply, ‘I saw you leaving the Hall after what everyone did, and I followed you to make sure you were okay, but I lost you on the second floor, and by the time I found you I was almost to late to stop him from –‘
He stopped as she began to cry hysterically again. ‘Sorry, I guess you don’t want to talk about it.’
‘It’s not just that.’ she sobbed, ‘You stopped him before he could actually do anything. It’s just – why he wa-wanted to d-do that. He’s right; I’m a fil- a filthy slut and I guess I – I had it c-coming.’ she stuttered through her tears.
‘Don’t think that.’ he wrapped his arms around her trembling body, ‘You had a good reason to do what you did, unlike me. It took guts and a heart of gold, and that’s what I like about you Mione; you’re willing to do whatever you have to for the ones you love, even if it means selling yourself to Satan.’ (A/N – thanks, guardian angel, I read what you wrote in the forum!)
‘But my friends all hate me.’ she leaned her head against his chest, and he could feel her warm tears on his skin. He reached up a hand and gently wiped them from her cheeks.
‘They’ll get over it, I promise.’ he whispered, ‘Now, get some sleep and you’ll feel better in the morning, okay?’
She nodded, and scooted up under the burgundy blanket, as he walked toward the door. ‘Wait.’ she said in a small voice.
‘Will you stay for a while? I’m not sure I want to be alone after everything that happened tonight.’ She wasn’t sure why but she felt safe with him there somehow.
He looked shocked, but headed back over to sit on the bed beside her, with his back against the headboard, ‘If you want.’ She moved closer to him and leant her head on his chest once more, and promptly closed her eyes.
He thought she was asleep when she suddenly spoke, her eyes still closed, ‘Draco?’
He wrapped his arms around her delicate body, ‘Don’t even mention it.’
(A/N - well? what did ya think? R/R and let me know!)
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