Lucius had two limos drive us to the ball instead of using the Floo Network. Since most of the press would be outside rather than inside, he felt it would be smarter to get more people to see us together. And besides, Narcissa didn’t want to get her dress covered in ashes.
As we stepped into the limo, I turned to Lucius.
“How do we prove we haven’t been cursed into acting like we’re dating?” He stopped for a moment to ponder my question.
“Don’t say we didn’t cruse you,” he replied, shrugging his shoulders. I rolled my eyes and climbed into the limo next to Ginny and Theo.
“Are you sure this is going to work?” Theo asked Draco, as he laced his and Ginny’s fingers together.
“Not at all,” Draco replied, leaning back in his chair.
“Glad you’re so confident Draco,” I say. He shrugs and closes his eyes.
When we arrived at the Ministry, there were a few limos in front of us. I really didn’t care to watch them get out and pose for pictures; honestly, you’d think they were Muggles the way they throw themselves into the spot light.
“Look Mione! It’s Harry and Cho! Oh, and look there’s Ron…. Oh sweet Merlin, is that Lavender?!”
“Move! Let me see!” I said, pushing her away from the window so I could see. It was true; Ron had his arm around Lavender Brown. Merlin every other day they were broken up and then back together. Last I checked, they had broken up and he asked me to this dance. I guess since I was “kidnapped” he got over me real quick.
Lavender’s dress was a sickly green color with a slit going all the way to her mid-thigh. Her hair was straight and dry as cardboard. It was kinda oblivious she was one of the ugliest guests at this dance.
From the next limo, stepped Lucius. He turned around quickly and angled his face away from the cameras. He helped Narcissa from her seat and the two walked quickly toward the door, turning a deaf ear to the screaming questions and clicking of cameras.
Blaise and Pansy stepped out of the limo before us. Pansy’s dress was a pink mermaid dress, much like my own. Her hair was pinned up in a horribly tight bun. Even Blaise looked horrified with the girl who clung to his arm.
Ginny took one look at them and snorted. “Come on Theo. Let’s go steal the spotlight.”
“Do we have to?” Theo asked, pleading with Gin. She laughed, opened the door, and pushed him out. “Gin! That was uncalled for!”
At the sound of his outburst, the reporters turned away from Blaise and Pansy, to Theo who was now standing back up and brushing off his pants. He offered his hand to Ginny and helped her from the limo. She laughed, kissed his cheek, and led him over to the press. Ginny walk right up to Pansy, and smiled at her. When Theo turned her away from Pansy, Ginny stepped on her foot.
“Hermione, don’t scream,” was all the warning Draco gave me before picking me up bridle style and carrying me from the limo. My arms wrapped around his neck as he took a few steps before setting me down.
I heard the reporters screaming questions, but I refused to answer them. Lacing my fingers through Draco’s we posed for a few pictures, before going inside.
I found the table where Lucius and Narcissa were sitting and led Draco over to them. I hugged Narcissa for the few reporters inside.
“Where’s Seeker?” I asked, my eyes roaming around the ballroom.
“I don’t know,” Lucius replied. “But knowing her, she’ll probably show up soon.”
“In the meantime, what should we do about Harry and Ron? They’ll going to kill Draco and Theo after what they read in the papers.”
“I think Ginny and Theo might be trying to explain things now,” Narcissa said pointing to the flaming red hair of Ginny and Ron Weasely.
“Come on Draco, we should go help Ginny and Theo,” I said pulling him toward the two siblings. As we walked up the group, I noticed Harry, Cho, and Lavender were there as well. Ginny and Ron were having a… disagreement.
“You can’t tell me who I bloody can and can’t date!”
“Yes I can!”
“Doesn’t mean I have to listen to you!”
“Yes it does!”
“Oh you little-“
“Ginny! Calm down!” Harry yelled.
“I will not bloody calm down Harry James Potter!” Theo grabbed Ginny’s hand and turned her around to face him. “Don’t you tell me to calm down too, Theodore Nott!”
“I won’t Gin, but you need to stop yelling at your friends. You are letting your temper cloud your judgment.” Ginny took a deep breath and hugged Theo.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
“Oi! Get your bloody hands off my sister!” Rory yelled, trying to grab his wand from his pocket. Reacting quickly, Draco grabbed his own wand and pointed it at Ron.
“Don’t even think about it,” he growled. Harry tacked Draco to the ground when he wasn’t looking and sent Draco’s wand flying in the air. I grabbed it and then shoved Harry off Draco.
“Dammit, Harry!” I yelled when he aimed a punch at Draco. “Stop it! Leave my boyfriend alone!” The crowd got silent when I yelled at Harry. I helped Draco up and fixed his shirt.
“Bloody hell Hermione. Not you too,” Ron whispered.
“I told you something was wrong with her!” Lavender screamed, clinging to Ron’s arm. My grip on Draco’s hand tightened as curses ran through my mind, but none of them infected enough pain. I felt Draco’s fingers remove his wand from my fist.
“Hermione, you can’t be bloody serious! You’re just a mudblood to him!” Harry yelled. Draco unleashed a glare upon my friend.
“Just to let you know Potter,” Draco spat, “I haven’t said that word in years.” Draco wrapped his arm around my waist and led me back to the table. He handed me his glass of water because it was closer and fanned me with his menu.
“You know what Potter said about what I thought about you isn’t true, right?” he said. I nodded and took a long gulp of water.
Then my world went black.
“Hermione!” I screamed. Her body went limp and she almost fell to the floor, but luckily for her I dove and caught her. “Hermione!”
“Hermione!” I heard my mother yell from the dance floor, and watched as she ran to me, her heels forgotten on the hard wood floor. “Lucius! Dammit, Lucius!”
My father ran after my mum, and grabbed my glass from the table. He brought it to nose and smelled it.
“Draco, get Hermione to St. Mungo’s now!” I didn’t ask why I was supposed to, instead I just Apparated to St. Mungo’s.
“Help! Help! My girlfriend’s been hurt!” Girlfriend? Why in the hell was I saying girlfriend? Hermione wasn’t my- Oh who bloody cares.
“What’s wrong with her?”
“I-I don’t know! We were at the party at the Ministry, and she drank some water, then she just collisped!”
“Stay here, Mr. Malfoy. We’ll handle this.” One of the nurses said, as they took Hermione from my arms and laid her on a stretcher.
“I’m sorry Mr. Malfoy, but rules are rules.” The same nurse said and she turned to help wheel Hermione away. I took a deep breath and sat down on one of the chairs in the waiting room.
The chair was hard and cold, and it only my mood worse. My best friend may be dying in a hospital room and if she does, I’ll never forgive myself. I’m so stupid. Why didn’t I just give her her glass? Then she wouldn’t be at death’s door, I would be.
“Draco!” I looked up and saw Ginny and Theo running toward me. “Is she alright?”
“I don’t know. The nurses wouldn’t let me go with her. They said something about rules.” I muttered, burying my face in my hands.
“I’ll go see if I can get us in.” Ginny said and she walked over to the front desk. A few minutes later, she came back, muttering “Bloody bitch,” under her breath.
We waited for hours before a nurse finally came to talk to us.
“Are you here for Ms. Granger?”
“Yes,” we said.
“Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is she’s alive. The water she drank was spiked with dragon blood and basilisk venom.”
“Is that the bad news?” Ginny asked.
“Yes,” the nurse replied.
“Wait,” Theo said. “I thought dragon blood was used to help people.”
“It is,” the nurse said. “So who ever put the mixture into the glass is quite stupid. Upon drinking the mixture, the two liquids began fighting each other and that caused Miss Granger to shallow them down the wrong tube and into her lungs.
“Luckily, the dragon’s blood kept the venom from doing too much damage, by coating the lungs. However, this clogged up Miss Granger’s airways and caused her to collapse and go into shock. Since you got her here so quickly, we were able to remove the venom from her lungs, however, the damage still remains.
“The only way to fix the damage done is to inject Phoenix tears into her lungs from her back. Miss Granger is not yet awake and we need permission from a family member before we can inject the tears.”
“Well, Draco’s here, so can’t you just get permission from him?”
“No, he is not married to or engaged to Ms. Granger, there for he cannot-“
“We’re engaged,” I blurted out. What?! Why in the name of Merlin’s pants did I just say we’re engaged? What the hell is wrong with me? I’m just digging this hole a hell of a lot deeper.
“You are?” the nurse said, her eye brow raised.
“Yes,” I said meeting her glaze and never looking away.
“Well, then that changes things. We will continue on with her treatment.” The nurse turned and walked away.
“What the bloody hell-“I quickly covered Ginny’s mouth.
“Gin, yell at me when we get back to my house,” I told her. She glared at me and pulled my hand away from her mouth.
“I just hope you know what you’re doing, Draco Lucius Malfoy,” she said. I bowed my head and looked at the floor.
“So do I,” I replied.
We left St. Mungo’s only after a nurse had explained for the hundredth time that we couldn’t stay and that Hermione would not be going home for a few days.
Upon exiting from my fireplace in the living room, I was tackled to the ground by Ginny.
“Are you out of your God damn bloody mind?!” she yelled, alerting my parents to our arrival. “Do you have any idea how much worse this problem is now?! Not to mention Hermione’s going to kill you when she finds out! And dammit Draco you’re not even out of school!”
“What was I suppose to do Gin?! Watch her die? You know as well as I do that Hermione hasn’t found her parents yet! She just says she did so we won’t worry about her!” I yelled back into her face.
“What are you two bloody screaming about?” my mother said walking into the living room wearing a floor length green silk robe.
“And why is Hermione going to kill Draco?” my dad asked. He gave me the old, if you messed up your chance to get together with Hermione, I’m going to kill you look.
“Well, you see, the water Hermione drank-“
“Had basilisk venom in it, I know, I know. Why do you think I told you to get her to St. Mungo’s?” my dad said, sitting down on the love seat.
“Well it also had dragon’s blood in it and that saved Hermione’s lungs when she swallowed it down the wrong tube. But the only way to fix the damage the venom had caused is to inject Phoenix tears into her lungs. And the nurses needed permission from a family member to proceed with the treatment.”
“And then your brilliant son over here tells the nurse that he and Hermione are engaged.” Ginny said. “Don’t get me wrong Draco; I do want you and Hermione to get together, but not this way. She’s going to kill you when she finds out. “
“Draco, you couldn’t have done anything else?” my mother asked.
“Well you know Hermione is still looking for her parents. And even if the Ministry found them they wouldn’t know a damn thing about Hermione or the magic world and by the time Hermione’s charm was lifted she would have been six feet under!”
“So about the engagement-“
“Dad! There is no engagement!” My dad slumped back into his chair, obviously annoyed.
“Draco, you will have to tell her the moment you see her. I don’t want the nurses talking to her about an engagement she doesn’t know about-“
“There is no engagement!”
“Oh shut-up Draco,” Theo said. “You screwed up, big time. And once that nurse tells the Daily Prophet about Hermione and yours engagement, you will have to have a wedding.”
“So as I was saying I was thinking a fall wedding-“
“What? Hermione’s hair goes lovely with fall colors-“
“Lucius, love, perhaps we should live Draco alone with his friends for a while,” my mum said, taking my father’s hand and leading him back to their room.
“Okay, I’m going to come right out and say it.” Ginny said. “When did your father become such a girl? Did he and your mum switch bodies or something? Because no man should ever notice what season a woman’s hair looks good in.”
“Well, love, I happen to think a mixture of spring and fall colors look lovely with your hair.” Theo said.
“Aww, really? You know I couldn’t decide between the two of them.”
“Oh dear Merlin help me! I’m surrounded by women!” I said jumping onto the loveseat my father had been sitting on.