Chapter 13 : The Accident II: Suddenly Understood
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Welcome back to TOR :) This is the second part of the Accident and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please please review xx
Previously: "DRACO, WATCH OUT!" Hermione screamed, moving her arms in front of her face, knowing it would be futile and that it was too late to do anything...
* * *
Draco didn't understand what was going on. It was like his body, his tongue was working on it's own accord- spitting words out and doing things he didn't want to. He felt queasy throughout dinner and just when he thought things were going great and smoothly, he opened his mouth and called her a mudblood. He wanted to clamp his mouth shut, tell her that he didn't mean it- but his body didn't allow him to. Instead, he continued saying hurtful, distasteful things to Hermione and shoved her around. No matter how much he tried to get a grip on himself, nothing worked. It was like someone, something had taken over his body and there was nothing he could do about it but watch.
Then the worst came. As Hermione screamed at him and told him to slow down, as she warned him that he was going to get them killed, he knew that there was nothing he could do to fix this. But that didn't mean he wouldn't try. He tried to fight against the force in his body and tried to get himself to slow down... nothing happened.
"Im driving fine!" He heard himself say. Merlin, of course he wasn't! What was going on?!
"No you're not! You'll get us killed, whats wrong with you?!" She cried. He glanced to his left and saw that tears were streaming down her cheeks. One of her hands were on her stomach. He opened his mouth to tell her he was trying to stop but instead he said-
"Ill be glad to get rid of you. One less mudblood in the world" And to his horror, he sped up further.
"MALFOY, STOP THE CAR!" She screamed. He was trying but his body just didn't react! He was beginning to mentally panic... He saw her take her phone out of her purse and dial a number with shaking fingers.
"Ginny! I need help! Malfoy won't stop the car and he's going too fast", Her words tumbling over each other. Thank Merlin! She was getting help! He needed help... Somethinng was wrong with him! But what could Ginny do...?
"Malfoy, please slow down!" Hermione cried, looking at him. I want to, Hermione, he wanted to say but again, his voice was stuck in his throat.
"I don't know, Gods Ginny! What do I do?!" Hermione said, her hands shaking more than before. He felt so helpless! He wanted to do something other than drive them to their own deaths!
She sounded so broken... So helpless... For some reason it pained him to hear her like that. He was going to get himself, her and the baby... The baby! His heart began beating faster... The baby...
"I don't know!" Hermione said, tears clouding her vision. "We're going too fast! MALFOY, YOU'LL GET US KILLED!" She screamed.
Draco watched the road in front of him... Merlin, please save them... He was suddenly ready to cry... He gripped the steering wheel... Wait. He was able to control his hands... He needed to stop the car, goddamit!
"DRACO, WATCH OUT!" Hermione screamed, moving her arms in front of her face in a weak attempt to shield herself from the impact that was yet to come...
The car changed it's direction all of a sudden and headed straight for a metal wall that separated the road from construction. The headlights reflected off the metal surface and almost blinded them both.
Just before they crashed, adrenaline coursed through Draco's veins and either he overcame the force inside him or it subsided itself, either way- he jumped off his seat and threw himself across Hermione, shielding her body from the impact.
He heard, felt mostly, the glass all around him shatter completely and shards showered over him. He heard the front of the car fold into itself and he was pressed against Hermione. He looked down, sweating and panting and saw her eyes closed, her head against the back of the seat. No!
Suddenly, the door to his right was thrown open and someone was reaching out towards him. His head began spinning and everything became hazy in front of him. He felt himself fading away.
"Take Hermione quick", He heard himself mumble almost inchoherently before passing out.
* * * *
"I think she's coming around." Hermione heard someone far away from her say.
"Ssssh, Ginny! I think you're to loud!" A familiar voice said.
"Ron, you should have seen it! It was terrifying!" Ron! And that was Ginny!
"She's lucky Draco shielded her..." Ginny said sadly. Draco? Draco!
Suddenly the events after their dinner came rushing back to her... The car crash... Draco had sheilded her? After saying everything he did?
She tried to sit up but her body protested against it.
"Hermione! Thank Merlin! Healer Rhodes!" She winced. Why was Ginny speaking so loudly!
"Ginny, love, I think you should speak softly, I just saw Hermione wince", She heard Harry say with amusement laced in his voice. She smiled, at least tried to.
"She's smiling!" She heard a fourth person- a woman- exclaim. Hayley maybe?
She forced one eye open and light streamed into her vision, almost blinding her. She opened her other eye and the first thing she saw was a glass vial filled with a yellow liquid. It was brought under her nose and and then shoved into her mouth. Her head thrown back, she was forced to swallow the foul liquid. Immediately, her heavy head felt lighter and her vision got clearer.
She blinked a few times and proceeded in looking around her. Ginny, Ron, Harry and Hayley were smiling down at her from around the bed.
"How do you feel?" Hayley asked.
"A little confused... Shocked... What happened?" Hermione asked.
"You guys crashed, you remember how, don't you?" Ginny asked and when Hermione nodded, she continued, "Just before you crashed, Draco threw himself across you and sheilded you."
"Did anything happen to the baby?" She asked, afraid to know the answer.
Ginny shook her head, "you're very lucky, Draco took most of the impact."
"Where is he? How is he?" Hermione asked in a whisper.
"He's in another ward. His back was badly damaged- glass shards cut into him mainly. It was a bad sight, really..." Harry answered.
Hermione didn't know what to think. First he threw insults at her and then he threw himself across her to protect her?
"He was under a very dangerous potion", Ginny said quietly. Hermione's head snapped towards her, her jaw dropped open.
"He was under a dangerous potion. It was something like an anger potion except it affects your brain and body to a whole new level- makes the user say things they would never normally say, makes the user do reckless things. You could say it's a danger potion", Ginny explained. Hermione gasped.
"How did it enter his body?" She asked.
"We don't know. According to the healers it was consumed between 5.30 and 6.30", Ron answered for Ginny, "We don't know anything else." Hermione sat up straight, putting her head in her hands. Just then, she felt a stinging sensation on the left side of her face. She brought her hand up to her face and her thumb brushed across what felt like stitches.
"What happened?" She asked softly. Hayley brought out a compact mirror from her bag and handed it to Hermione, who looked at herself and her mouth fell open. A thin, red scar was distinctly visible along the side of her face from her cheekbone down the side of her cheek near her ear. She traced it with the tips of her fingers lightly. Her hair was cut at odd angles around there and the rest of her hair was tied together in a bun.
"A glass shard ripped through", Ginny said, "It was the most they could cure it. They had to cut your hair off there as well because everything got really bloody ." Hermione nodded numbly.
"Can I go see Draco?" She asked, pushing the covers aside, "I'm feeling really stiff so I need to walk about a bit too." Once the healer gave her the green light, she stood up, Ginny supporting her.
"Could you take me to his room?" Hermione asked and the read-head nodded, leading her down the corridor. Hermione was dressed in white pajamas and a loose green St.Mungo's shirt. Finally, they came to a stop outside a ward with a large glass window which they stood in front of, looking inside.
The room was small and was entirely white. Draco was lying on the bed, his entire upper body was bandaged and wrapped around with a white cloth. His lower body was covered with a thick blanket. Hermione could make out he was in pain by the expression on his face even while he slept. For some strange reason, tears welled up in her eyes and she looked away from him as a tear fell down her cheek.
"He woke up once", Ginny said softly, watching the blonde as his chest rose and fell, "Asked for you immediately. He cares, Hermione, more than both of you know. He cares about you so much..." Tears rolled down Hermione's cheeks.
"I was so scared when he was driving. And before that... When he was saying everything... I didn't understand", Hermione shook her head.
"I can understand how you must have felt but it's over, sweety. You're all safe. All the three of you", Ginny said, her eyes touching upon Hermione's stomach. The brown-haired witch wrapped her arms around her stomach and nodded.
"Let's head back?" Ginny asked.
"Give me a second", Hermione said, moving towards the room's door and entering it. He looked peaceful yet pained at the same time... Whatever happened wasn't his fault and the world would end before the day she blamed him for it arrived, that she was sure of.
She walked over to him and brushed his hair away from his face. Only traces of a few scratches were on his face and neck and a few deeper gashes on his arms. She leaned over and kissed him softly on his forehead.
"Thank you, Draco", She said in a whisper before heading back to her room with Ginny at her side once again.
"You should rest, 'Mione", Ron said, sitting at the edge of her bed.
"What if Draco-"
"The healers said you could leave today night", Ginny cut through her friend's words, "You slept through the night and half through today. It's four right now and they say he should be up in an hour so why don't you rest and later when it's time to leave, if you're still asleep, we'll wake you up, alright?" Hermione nodded.
"Can I get something to eat?" She asked. She was given food, which she ate with shaking fingers and then she lay down, wincing as the side of her face brushed against the pillow. Ginny sat beside her the entire time, holding her hand and stroking her hair comfortingly, even after Hermione fell asleep.
"Ginny, I might have to leave soon- there's a lot of work I have left at home", Harry said softly.
Ginny nodded and replied, "I'll stay here till they leave. Could you drop Aaron, James, Lily and Teddy off at either Mum's place, Andromeda's place or Narcissa's?"
"Sure, love, I'll see you later", Harry said, kissing the top of his wife's head and heading out.
"Harry?" He turned back and Ginny said, "If Draco's up, convince him that-"
"-Hermione doesnt think it's his fault? I was already planning on it", Harry said, smiling. Ginny smiled back and let her husband leave.
Harry made his way to Draco's room and pushed the door open. He was sitting up, a tray of food left untouched on his side table.
"Hey, mate", Harry greeted, shutting the door behind him. Draco looked up and was about to scowl at 'Potter' when he realized that this was not the 'time' to do it- they were supposed to be good friends.
"Hey, Harry", Draco said, nodding at the raven haired man.
"How are you feeling?" Harry asked, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
"My body's in immense pain but other than that, I'm great", Draco said, offering him a small smile which Harry returned.
"Can I see Hermione?" Draco asked, trying to stretch his back a bit by sitting straighter.
"Even better", Draco said, pushing aside his coves slowly and carefully. Harry stepped forward and helped him stand up, an arm around the blonde's back, supporting it. Draco was dressed in loose white shorts and his entire upper body and back was wrapped in bandages.
In silence, they went to Hermione's room and stood outside it's glass window. Hermione was asleep, her hand in Ginny's, who was still stroking her hair. He looked at her peaceful face... He could've killed her. His eyes shifted to her stomach... He could have killed all three of them. Though right then, he didn't care much about himself...
"She doesn't blame you", Harry said. Draco looked at him.
"How do you know?"
"She was awake- even went to see you because she was so worried about you."
"I almost killed them..." Draco said, looking away from her.
"You were under a potion, she doesn't blame you at all", Harry tried reasoning with him.
"That doesn't change the fact that I almost killed her and the baby", Draco said.
"It doesn't but it's not your fault. Everyone knows that", Harry said. Draco nodded, still believing that it was his fault. He walked to the door and pushed it open. Ginny looked up and seeing Draco, moved to the side.
He walked up to Hermione's bed and reached his hand out to her face. His thumb gently traced the scar on her cheek and he closed his eyes tightly.
"I'm so sorry", He whispered. Ginny was about to say something when she was beaten to it.
"She doesn't blame you", A voice came from behind him. He was ready to growl in frustration as he spun around, expecting Harry but instead Ron stood there.
"Is everyone giving me this talk?" He snapped angrily. It was his fault, goddamit!
"Yes, Draco, and you need to hear it!" Ron snapped back, stepping towards him, "That was a dangerous potion you took in and yes, you almost got the three of you killed. Yes, you almost left Aaron parentless. Yes, you almost killed your own baby. Yes, it would have been the second time Hermione lost her baby if you both did survive. But listen here, Draco, nothing happened! The worst that happened was she got a gash across her face and you're back was scarred. Get your head out of your arse and see the facts yourself! Yes, your oh-so good looks were ruined. But that's all that happened! What else do you see? Aren't you happy that you three survived? Aren't you happy that you survived? Stop pitying yourself for Merlin's sake!"
Draco sat there, stunned. Had Weasley just given him a speech that was ironically aimed in making him feel better?
"Say something then! Or are you busy wondering what would have happened if you killed yourself?!" Ron said, grabbing Draco's arm and making him stand up, causing Draco to wince with pain. Ginny sat watching and was about to interrupt when Draco spoke,
"I dont care if I died", Draco spat back, feeling an odd but familiar pricking at the back of his eyes. No! Not in front of Weasley.
"I dont care if I killed myself! But Hermione? What would you have done if you lost her?" He growled, shoving Ron in the chest causing him to stumble backwards, "What would you have done if it was your fault you lost her? Would you have been able to live with yourself for killing her and your baby?! I wouldn't! Dammit, Ron! I can't live without her!" His voice cracked on the last sentence and he felt tears in his eyes. What was wrong with him?! Merlin, not in front of Weasley!
"I can't live without her", He repeated, squeezing his eyes shut so the red-head in front of him wouldnt see the tears. He expected Ron to scream at him or shove him behind but what happened next completely shocked him. He was pulled forward and a pair of strong arms came around his shoulders.
Ron had pulled him into a brotherly embrace. He was about to move away but his body didn't allow him to... Instead, tears flowed down his cheeks and he held on to his support, his body shaking.
"I can't live without her", He repeated hoarsely.
"You don't have to", Ron said. Ginny watched the two with a smile on his face. This was the first time the two had embraced. Yes, even in the future they were a little bitter towards each other and seventeen year old Draco had brought them closer without even knowing it, without even trying. They were all so caught up in their emotions that they didn't see the fourth person in the room open her eyes.
"Mind if I take a picture?" She asked hoarsely, a smile on her face. The two men split apart and looked at Hermione. Draco hurriedly wiped his face and the remaining tears with the back of his hand and Ron looked away, his face almost as red as his hair. She couldn't get the smile off her face, if anything it got wider.
Just when Ginny was about to speak, she got cut off again. The door opened and Hayley poked her head into the room, an amused expression on her face because of the sight in front of her.
"Healer Rhodes said you could leave in half an hour after filling out some forms and such", She said, "Ron, I'm going home, when will you be back?"
"Uh... I...", He was still very red, "I'll come with you now. Is that okay, guys? Do you need me?"
"No, Ron", Hermione smiled, "Go home. Thanks for being here for us, both of you". She held out her arms for a hug and Ron and Hayley both hugged her tightly. Ron nodded to Draco, kissed his sister on top of her head and headed out. Hayley hugged Ginny, then Draco, who hugged her back with a little awkward pat on the back as he had not hugged his best friend's sister before. Hermione and Ginny bit back their laughter at this.
"I'll go get dressed, I think Blaise got me some clothes from home", Draco said, looking anywhere but at Hermione.
"Blaise and Pansy came here?" Hermione asked.
"Only for a few minutes when I was awake", Draco said, "They said they'd come to see us again at home some time. Mum too." Hermione nodded and after a few seconds of silence, Draco left the room.
"What was with Ron and Draco's hugging?" Hermione asked Ginny, who came to sit beside her again.
Ginny recounted their conversations and Hermione's eyes grew sad.
"When he said he couldn't live without you, the emotion in his eyes were so real, Hermione", Ginny said. Hermione was a little startled at first but then once it settled in, she realized something.
How much ever she tried to deny it, she wouldn't be able to live without him either. Not in the I'm-in-love-with-you kind of way. Merlin forbid that ever happen, she thought. After everything that had happened with them, between them and around them, she knew that if anything happened to him, she wouldn't have been able to bear with it... She wouldn't have been able to live without him in this other reality of theirs.
Ginny saw it in her eyes and pulled her best friend into a tight hug.
"It's okay", She whispered as Hermione's eyes welled up with tears. But was it really? She really didn't understand the emotions running through her mind and heart right then...
* * * *
Hermione and Draco flooed home half an hour later, Draco not looking at her even once. He had a white button up half-sleeve shirt on and beige three-fourth shorts.
When they reached home, without a single word to Hermione, he went up the stairs and then the closing of a door was heard. Sighing, Hermione went upstairs as well. She retreated to her own room, deciding to give Draco a little time to himself.
At six-thirty, when she got restless and could take it no longer, she jumped off the bed and got dressed. She pulled on a pair of blue jeans which she altered at the waist as she realized they weren't fitting properly anymore- downsides of preganancy, she huffed. She pulled on a white shirt and slipped on a comfortable black sweater on top of that. It wasnt winter time yet but it was definitely starting to get cold at night.
She pulled on sneakers and went to Draco's room. Taking a deep breathe, she knocked on the door. A few seconds later, he opened it.
"Hi", She said softly, looking up to meet his eyes. He looked tortured for some reason. He looked away from her. Again.
"Care to take a walk with me?" She asked. "Unless your back hurts", She added quickly.
"No, my back's fine", He replied hoarsely, "I'll come." She nodded and waited for him as he pulled on a white sweater vest and sneakers. She walked downstairs and he followed a few steps behind. They walked outside, taking the long corridor out to the main gate. They locked it magically and made their way in silence down the street.
"Tell me what's on your mind", Hermione said. He didn't respond. "Please, Malfoy."
"I don't blame you, you've heard it from everyone else and now you're hearing it from me", She said.
"I can't hear it from myself", Draco said, "Ive never been able to."
"It was always my fault".
Draco didn't answer.
"Who said that, Malfoy?" She pushed on.
"I know he's your father, Malfoy, but to be honest he's a down right arsehole", Hermione said. Draco smirked half-heartedly.
"Then why do you believe him?"
"I killed Snape."
Hermione furrowed her eyebrows, "No... Voldemort did. I know he did."
"Think back. I was asked to kill Dumbeldore. I couldn't. Snape was beside me up in the Astronomy Tower when I lowered my wand... Dumbeldore's eyes met with Snape's- I saw them practically talking. When the death-eaters asked Snape to kill him instead, he didn't. He couldn't. He was on your side all along wasn't he?" Draco said.
Hermione nodded but interrupted him before he could continue, "You can't possible blame yourself for that! You both weren't killers!"
"Wait, Granger", Draco said, "Listen, will you?" She nodded and kept quiet again. "I had thought Snape wouldnt even hesitate before finishing someone off. But then I saw them talking with their eyes and I knew something was different. Something that Voldemory had missed- something he hadn't even anticipated. That's when I began searching. The truth is, my mother wanted to change sides before the war but couldn't find an outlet. She would have been found out and killed. So I tried to help her. As soon as I realized that there could be a chance that she and maybe me as well had an outlet throu someone on our side, I searched. Snape was trained in Occlumency. I knew Legillemens. I poked and prodded his mind the best I could but his guard was always up.
"I was skilled. Very skilled. I could go into somebody's mind even if they were not near me, even if I couldn't see them. So at every chance I got, I would try and break down Snape's walls. I couldn't. Then the war came and mother got more scared. She was ready to swap sides even during the time but didn't know how so I didn't give up either. The room of requirement burned up in flames. You guys rescued Goyle and me. There was this point where I was out of breathe and bloodied up in a corridor that was still intact. I realized I had to try once again. Maybe there was still hope. Hell, I had no idea what I was thinking... I began trying to break through his mind again. This time I realized that I wasnt the only one. Voldemort was trying too. And Snape was trying so hard to block him out that anyone else trying to break through could have. And I did. I burst through his mind and found out what I wanted to. He was on the light side all along.
"What good did that do though? Snape sensed a second mind in his and was take by surprise so he tried blocking my mind off as well but no one can fully block out two minds especially those of skilled legillimens. So Voldemort got through the break in his concentration and saw enough to know that Snape was a traitor to his side all along. He was killed. I saw him get killed because I hadn't left his mind yet. I withdrew the second I could..." Draco looked away and continued walking.
Hermione stood rooted to the spot, taking in whatever she had just heard. That's why Voldemort had killed Snape?! No... There was another reason. And Draco deserved to know that.
"Malfoy!" She called, catching up to him. He didn't look at her and instead just keep moving forward. She reached her hand out and grabbed his hand. He stopped.
"The elder wand belonged to whoever disarmed the owner. It was Dumbeldore's first and you disarmed him on the top of the tower. Therefore it belonged to you- Snape ended up having the wand though. Harry disarmed you after that and it belonged to him then. Voldemort didn't know this and thought that it was Snape's all along. That's why he killed Snape, Malfoy", She explained. A drop of water landed on her head and she looked up in time to see the rain start pouring down on them.
"It was still-"
"No, it wasn't your fault!" She said, facing him, "You just happened to be going through his mind at that time. Malfoy, Voldemort wasn't looking for anything in particular- he was looking to see if Snape knew that the elder wand was his at that time. You're blaming yourself for no reason." The rain began falling steadily over them, drenching them slowly.
"Since when have you believed anything that man said?" Hermione demanded, raising her voice so that she could be heard over the rain.
"Malfoy, it wasn't your fault. It's over! The war's over and it's about time you come to terms with the fact that all that happened wasn't your fault! If I'm going to have to be the one to drill that into your head by Merlin, I'll do it!" She was yelling by now. The rain was only getting heavier but neither of them were moving an inch.
"You're not evil, Malfoy! Everyone makes mistakes! You made yours, yes. Snape was going to die either way. You possibly made it less painful for him, you know? Voldemort might have crucio'd him but seeing that he was a traitor gave him immediate death and that was a blessing on disguise!" Hermione was staring into his eyes now and he was looking at her, taking in every word she said. Suddenly understanding why his future self had wanted to marry her...
"Why are you helping me?" He asked and if she hadn't been listening closely for a response, the rain would've drowned his soft voice.
"Because you're worth it. Because I want to. Because I see so much good in you. Because none of it was your fault. Because you deserve an explanation. Because you're not evil even if you see yourself as that... Because I believe you can be everything you want to be and to do that, you have to get the blame away from yourself", She answered and then after a pause added, "Because you're not your father." And suddenly, the hand she had been loosely holding on to wrapped it's fingers around her hand, lacing their fingers together.
As soon as she said that last line, he Suddenly Understood. Suddenly Understood why he was scared out of his wits when he woke up on the hospital bed with the thought that Hermione hadnt made it. Suddenly Understood why he had broken down when he thought of how he might have had to live without her. Sudenly Understood why when he told Weasley that he couldn't live without her earlier, he felt like all his emotions were true. Because they were. Because he couldn't live without her... Because she was one person who could put him together without giving up until it was done.
Hermione waited, looking into his eyes, for a reply. But when several emotions reflected through his eyes, she didn't need a reply. His eyes said everything.
"Let's go home", She said, turning and walking down the street. He walked beside her, their fingers still intertwined. They entered their house and separated to their respective rooms to dry off and get changed. Without another word to each other, they retreated to their respective rooms, no decision on who would keep away whose nightmares that night.
Later at midnight, Hermione trudged through the corridor and pushed Draco's door open. She pushed his hair out of his eyes and held his hand tightly while his thrashing ceased.
"It's okay, you're okay", She soothed him, about to sit down on the floor beside the bed when he shifted to one side of the bed, pulling Hermione on to it as well.
"You're not sitting on the floor and I'm not getting up", He said sleepily. She sighed and crawled under the comforter beside him and covered them both.
"Malfoy?" She said quietly. Before he could reply a flash of lightening lit up the room through the curtains followed by loud thunder. She snuggled deeper into the comforter and unconsciously closer to Draco.
"Afraid of storms?" He asked, his words in a tired drawl.
"No..." She lied. She was a little scared of them...
He smirked, seeing right through her lies but held tightly to her hand to show her that he was there for her just as she was for him.
"Thank you", She said, moving slightly closer to him. Everything was quiet again when she realized that she had had something to say, "Malfoy?"
"What, Granger? Do you never go to sleep?" He asked. She fell silent, wondering whether she should tell him. What was the worst that could happen? He'd laugh at her... But she had heard him say the same thing, albeit not directly to her...
"Just say it. I can hear you think", He said, amusement in his voice. She looked at him and saw him looking at her already.
She took a deep breathe and said, "I can't live this other reality without you."
Draco's smirk vanished and was replaced with shock. Why would she need him? It was him who was mentally unstable half the time, yet she says that she can't live without HIM?
Hermione looked away, embarrassed. But the next thing he said made her smile softly.
"Right back at'cha, Granger".
* * * *
So thats it! How did you like it? :D They survived, obviously! The potion thing, most of you guessed, but the aftermath of finding out who did it will come later ;) I'm not so mean as go kill any of the three! How did you like Ron and Draco's bromance moment btw? ^^ I loved writing that. Ehfar's last chapter is out by the way, in case you guys haven't seen it yet. And the next chapter is part one of the modeling bit ;) oh and btw, check out the chapter image by the amazing aim.moon for the first chapter!
Please review, please please please!
Anyway until next time,
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