“Good morning class, I will be filling in for Professor Slughorn while he is away researching the many cures of hippogriff wings.” The tall blonde witch in front of the seventh years surveyed them with piercing eyes. “I am Professor Dunbar and today we are looking at how to brew a potion which makes you sing opera…quite basic but I want to see how able you all are” she looked around at them meaningfully and they jumped into action. Rummaging for their books and grabbing ingredients.
Ron just stood there ogling at the professor, Hermione wacked him hard around the head and walked off. This caused Harry to burst into fits of laughter.
“You, Mr. Potter I believe. Don’t you have some work to do?” Professor Dunbar shouted at Harry. Harry blushed and followed Ron over to the cabinet of ingredients. Professor Dunbar smiled; she liked Hogwarts already, as a teacher she commanded so much power, just like she liked.
She felt some eyes on her and turned to look into the grey ones of Draco Malfoy. Draco stared at the woman, something in her stance and eyes were familiar. He could not place where he had seen her, but Draco had a bad feeling about this woman. Professor Dunbar smiled wickedly at him motioning for him to start, but Draco just stood there staring at her bleakly, until Pansy knocked into him, nearly putting her knife through his chest. Luckily Nikita was near and grabbed the knife out of harm’s way. Bemused by the scene before her Professor Dunbar chuckled darkly and with a flick of her wand everything was back to normal.
Draco chopped up the dragon liver slowly; he didn’t like the new professor, if only he could work out where he had seen her before. He was sure it was something vital. The bell went and they all trudged out of class, Professor Dunbar called Millie Moonstone back, a girl from the Gryffindor quidditch team.
“Run along now Draco, I need to talk to Millie, alone.” She said sweetly. It was sickly sweet. Draco left glancing back at Millie before the door shut behind him. He was so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he nearly knocked Hermione over as she ran around the corner. Draco grabbed her arms to prevent her falling to the floor. Blushing he released her and walked on. Hermione sighed; she wondered if things could ever be normal between them. She owed him her life; couldn’t they at least be friends?
Hermione reached for the door to the dungeon room where they had previously had potions but someone opened it from the inside before she could. Millie Moonstone came out, looking a bit dishevelled.
“Millie! Aren’t you meant to be at practice, Harry will kill you if you’re late!” Millie didn’t even look up; she just walked past Hermione slowly. Hermione carried on confused, Millie was normally really chatty and nice. Hermione walked into the dungeon to pick up her book that she had left behind only to see Professor Dunbar pocketing her wand. Hermione made a rushed apology and left swiftly pondering about the new professor. Something just wasn’t right about her; she also seemed familiar in some way. But these days Hermione wasn’t sure what was real. She had no idea who she was anymore.
“Moonstone in possession, she’s approaching the goalposts, wait what is she doing? Strange tactics there Gryffindor, Moonstone is about to collide with Slytherin Seeker! What is she playing at!!! Watch out Malfoy!” Hermione gasped audibly as Millie Moonstone zoomed towards Draco. Draco attempted to swerve but he was not quick enough, Millie smashed into him knocking him right off his broom. Around her people were gasping, exclaiming at Millie’s foolishness and wondering how she could have been so reckless, Hermione was just frozen. Her heart was beating so fast it was like it had stopped beating. Hermione saw Draco fall to the ground so slowly, why was no one stopping him? Why did they not care?
Hermione stood frozen watching Draco fall to the ground. Knowing there was nothing she could do. He had saved her once, she would for him. Slowly Hermione raised her wand and Draco stopped falling. His unconscious form hung in the air like a puppet. Many heads turned to look at Hermione in shock, Millie had fallen too…why had Hermione gone for Draco? Wasn’t that the teachers’ job? Hermione left the stands in a rush not wanting to watch the rest of the match. She acted like it was Millie she cared about, she sat with Millie for hours in the hospital wing, but the whole time she looked at Draco.
Thoughts ran through Hermione’s head. It was like a tornado whirling round her brain. Slowly she concluded one thing; she was not over Draco Malfoy, seeing him nearly die today broke her heart. An unimaginable ache burned in her chest, it sometimes subsided but it always came back. It prevented her breath. What if she lost him? She couldn’t lose him? She had to tell him. After all that had happened Hermione deserved happiness...Right?
Draco was blinded by light when he opened his eyes. To his surprise he was not in the hospital wing as he had suspected. He was in the common room lying on the sofa, kneeling beside him was Hermione. Draco sat up quickly not liking being so close to her face. Immediately the world started spinning, Hermione’s cool hand pulled him back down again and slowly the world was back to normal. Draco carefully sat up again, Hermione sat next to him, Draco held his head in his hands. His head was throbbing.
“You had a really bad fall” Hermione said “Millie just lost control” Hermione trailed off; he could hear something breaking in her voice. She was so held together but he could feel her about to break. Draco stopped himself from hugging her; instead he leant forward for the potion that had been left for him on the table. It seemed Hermione had the same idea; their hands knocked awkwardly tipping over the potion. It spilt all over the floor, Hermione fiddled for her wand.
“Leave it!” Draco yelled. He looked away from her, “I know you want to talk about what happened. I know you think that because I’m hurt it will make me vulnerable but it doesn’t work that way!” He breathed heavily now staring at her menacingly. She just stared back unblinking.
“I’m sorry; I just thought…seeing as I remember, we could…I don’t know” Hermione said weakly.
“Just thought it would all be ok? I’m over it Hermione. I got over it ages ago, I don’t want” Draco said through gritted teeth, he got up and strode to the fireplace. Hermione followed him and tilted his head towards her. They stared at each other for a while then,
“Draco…” Hermione whispered
“No Hermione! I don’t want to remember, I don’t want to think about the torture and how much you hurt. I want to forget how it felt to be near to losing you; I don’t want to think about how I felt about you! I don’t want to love you anymore. I can’t!” Draco smashed his hand against the wall in a fury; blood trickled down it making him feel sick. Hermione held his hand in both of hers, her cool hands reduced the pain a little and he calmed down. Draco then leaned down and kissed her, he wound his bleeding hand around her so it fell to the small of her back and she clutched him to her tightly. Draco had wanted this for so long, but he knew it was wrong. Why did it feel so right? Hermione hugged him tighter and her hands moved up to brush through his hair.
Suddenly Draco pulled away sharply. Hermione’s breath was ragged, “STOP! This is so stupid! You know this will never work! I can’t Hermione, I can’t! You can’t break my heart again! I can’t go through it again, I’m done. I mean it I’m done.” Draco felt tears sting his eyes and he stormed out of the room leaving Hermione alone and confused. What had she done? Hermione couldn’t understand it.
She was unable to move; slowly she backed up against the wall and slid down hopelessly. She knelt there on the floor staring at the wall opposite, she needed to cry, she needed to cry so much, but she couldn’t. The tears wouldn’t come. Just an eerie numbness surrounding her, mocking her, Hermione needed to feel something again. She would give anything to feel something. The dull ache in her chest exploded and for hours she just sat there struggling to breathe, waiting for a time when she could sleep. The darkness crept around her and slowly her mind shut down. Hermione fell asleep leaning against the wall, alone and cold. Just like she was back In the Malfoy Manor, after she’d been tortured.