She couldn't understand his behavior. One minute he is evil and vicious almost killing her and the other he is good and almost carrying. He picked her up in his strong but cold arms and led her back to the dungeons. He decided that it would be best for her to take her to the room with the window, the small barred window that meant a lot to Hermione now that she was in captivity. He walked slowly into the room so that he doesn't hit Hermione anywhere by mistake. He reached the corner of the room and placed her there down on the floor. He left the room and a few minutes later he came back with a soft puffy purple blanket which he placed on the floor and put Hermione there carefully. She didn't speak but remained there looking at him puzzled. He closed the door and put on some repelling and silencing charms. He went there and sat next to her and remained silent for a few minutes just starring at her. Hermione couldn't bare this kind of silence and decided to speak.
“I can't figure you out” she said and paused for a second. Then she continued “One minute you're torturing me and the other you are carrying me here saying that you are sorry. What kind of game are you playing Draco?”
Draco lowered his head. He was troubled, he had a lot of things in his mind but her safety kept him busy most of the time but she didn't know that.
“I told you, I'm sorry.” was all he could say.
“That's it? All you can say is that you are sorry? That doesn't give me any kind of answers.”
“Look I have something to tell you and I want you to believe me. I never tortured you.”
“What sick twisted game are you playing Malfoy? What are you trying to do?” Hermione yelled.
“Shhh...” he said “Don't yell and listen to me carefully. I will tell you once.”
“I never tortured you really. Well practically I did but was under the Imperius curse. When the war ended I looked back into what we had done and felt sick with myself and with the rest of the Death Eaters. The only reason I joined them in the end was because I was afraid for myself and for my parents. We would die if I didn't follow. So when the war ended we came back to the Manor and decided to destroy it because it was not safe at all to stay there. We build this one which is exactly the same with the other one. But as our defeat wasn't enough for them, they decided that they want revenge. I didn't want to participate in this but my father wouldn't let it go. He imprisoned me and then when the plan was ready he let me go to Hogwarts. Then...”
A loud noise sounded from outside and Draco stopped talking.
“I will explain the rest later, please don't push them, I will try to let you go...”
“How the hell do I know this is not just a part of your plan?”
“You don't but I will tell you this, the war was a shock of maturity for me Hermione...I changed. I want to live peacefully.” he said.
He removed the charms and left. When the door was closed Hermione made a realization.
He called me Hermione, she thought.
Harry kept opening the Marauders map over and over again hoping that Hermione's name would appear. But it didn't and he realized that it wouldn't as many times as he tried. Ron on the other hand had pushed himself away from the others sinking in depression even more as time passed. Harry was sitting in the common room when Ron entered with two glasses of butterbeer in his hands. He approached Harry and sat next to him.
“Here you go, drink this with me.” he said.
“Thanks Ron.” Harry said. He noticed that he had already drank 5 glases of butterbeer today and did the same yesterday too. “Ron, I'm worried about you. You drink too much two days now.”
“Oh let it go Harry It's just a way for me to relax. I can't handle this feeling completely sober.”
“So what Ron? You will become a drunk to relax? She needs us strong, not vulnerable.”
“You are right...I'm going to admit that. I'll be more carefull.”
“Look McGonagall will be here any moment now and she will tell us what happened in the Ministry and what are we going to be able to do. Lets wait for her.”
In the meantime everyone in the school had found out about Hermione's disappearance but none really knew what had happened. Harry, Ron, Ginny, Luna and Neville decided to keep their mouth shut and pretend they know nothing much about it so that none gets panicked or make a mess. The problem thought was that everybody looked at them with a pitiful look that didn't make them feel any better at all.
At one point McGonagall entered the common room in a hurry. She called at Harry and Ron.
“Potter, Weasly go and call Miss Weasly, Mr Longbottom and Miss Lovegood. Meet me in my office I 10 minutes. It's too crowded to talk here” she said and pointed at a group of third- years.
Harry and Ron did what she said. Harry went to call Neville and Ron knocked on the door of the girls dormitories. A first years opened the door.
“Hey go away...no boys allowed here!” she yelled and shut the door to his face.
Damn eleven year old girls...he thought. He knocked again. Another girl opened. But before she had any chance to speak Ron yelled.
“Ginny, Luna get out here!!”
And they did. He explained what McGonagall had said and they went to meet Harry and Neville.
When they reached the Headmistress office they saw that McGonagall was already waiting for them. They all went inside. Harry looked around the room and saw that she hadn't changed anything in it. It was exactly the way it used to be even the portraits. Harry got emotional and shacked his head.
“So, I have knews..” McGonagall started. “The Ministry has been warn, not only by me but my an anonymous letter that says Hermione is captured. She is to be...killed in two weeks if we don't give them Harry...”
“Who is them?” Neville said.
“Death Eaters Longbottom.”
“Oh my god...Hermione was right.” he said.
“What do you mean?”
“She told me right before she got captured that Malfoys presence was suspicious, that she had a feeling something bad would happen and that she believed that her parents didn't die of a heart attack but by Death Eaters...”
“Well she is probably right, Kingsley told me the same thing. Well Kingsley has many Aurors already looking for her. Everyone will be questioned. Anyway, you have the ministers permission to look for her. I can't leave Hogwarts though I am the Headmistress after all. But you won't go alone.”
“What do you mean we won't go alone?” Ginny asked.
“Well Kingsley insisted that Hylian Scott and Parmenion Selmy come with you. The both work in the Ministry and they will come as your protectors.”
“But we don't need protection professor. Don't you know what we've been through?” Ginny said.
“I know...but there is nothing I can do, It's out of my hand miss Weasly...”
“Well why are we still talking, lets make a damn plan!” Ron shouted.
They were all sitting in the Headmistress office making up a plan. They spotted the places they wanted to go look for Hermione and the possible dangers. They were convinced that their job would not be easy but the positive fact was that the Death Eaters were less now that Voldemort was gone. They agreed that they would find a way to keep each other informed about their location since they would be divided in groups.
“You have to be very careful.” McGonagall said. “They will try to kill you either way. Keep your friends close and separate only when it is needed...Oh have you come down to which places you are going to search for her?”
“Yes we have professor.” Harry said. “We are going to go to the Forest of Dean, Ottery St. Catchpole and last but not least we are going to search for the Malfoy Manor.”
“The only problem is that we have no idea where it is.” Ginny added.
“The current location of the Manor is unknown. It is said that the Malfoys either moved the Manor or destroyed it and live somewhere else. We hope the since the two Ministry guys will come with us, they might know where it is or at least where it could be.” Neville said.
“ Well its great to hear you have something on your mind and that you have a start. Well now it's best that you meet with Hylian and Parmenion. They might have a plan too. I arranged for all of you to meet in Leaky Cauldron tomorrow morning. Is that ok?” McGonagall said.
“Yes, it's perfect.” Harry said.
“Well alright then. After the meeting you are free to begin the search but first you must tell me your final plan. I have something to do now so If you might...” McGonagall said and pointed at the door.
They all got up and walked away. As they were walking the Hogwarts grounds and looked the beautifully colored sky they decided to sit in the yard for a little while.
“Ron you have been awfully quiet all day.” Ginny said. “I know you are worried but give it a rest. We are about to go find her. Stop being so stressed...please.”
“No, no don't worry Gin, i'm fine. I'm just curious. I've come to terms with it, she's been gone for a little while. Well I have an amazingly strong feeling she is fine. I even amaze myself, I don't understand how i've come to be so calm.” Ron said.
“Well your instinct is stronger that ours.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because you love her and she loves you. Your minds are connected a lot more than you might think.” Ginny said and caressed her brother's back.
Ron smiled at her. “Ginny...”
“She's the one...” Ron said.
Hermione waited for him. She wanted to hear the rest of the story. Her mind was playing games with her. She remembered the feeling of him carrying her in his arms and she felt warm. That single tear was what moved her. He does care, she thought. Now her hopes were getting higher. He said the he was going to try and get her out of there. Was he telling the truth? That she didn't know but for an unknown reason she believed him. Or maybe she was just trying to believe him so that she felt better. What was it? All she knew was the now she felt safe in his presence. She waited to hear the rest of the story and have him near her. She remembered him kissing her.
Well that wasn't that wasn't a kiss she wanted to have but now she felt a disturbing need to kiss him, to thank him for making her feel better. So she just stayed there and waited for him but hours passed and he was nowhere to be seen. She felt numb and got up from that cold corner of the room. She stretched a little bit and reached for the window. She was glad he brought her to that room again. He brought her, he carried her, he carred... all she could think about now, was him. She wanted to get him of her mind but his last behavior wouldn't let her. He called me Hermione... she thought.
“Oh shut up.” she said to herself.
“What did I say?”
She heard the voice from behind and spun around. It was Draco.
“You were gone for a long time.” she said.
“I know. Greyback killed a hostage.”
“He...h-he what?” Hermione stuttered.
“No don't worry, completely different story.” he said. “So, do you want to hear the rest?”
She nodded and sat back down to the puffy blanket. Draco closed the door and sat next to her the same way they were seated before.
“Well I think I stopped where I went to Hogwarts am I right?”
“Yes, continue.” she said anxious to hear the rest.
“Well father had Yaxley monitoring my every move. Every time he wanted me to do something Yaxley threw the Imperio curse on me. He had managed to find a way to sneak into Hogwarts and follow me everywhere. After that he was starting to plant thoughts in your head.”
“What?!” she yelled.
“Keep it down Hermione...Well the dream you had wasn't just a coincidence. Yaxley made you see it on fathers orders.”
“Son of a...”
“And I petrified you and brought you here. I tried to convince father to let you go but he ended up smacking me and threaten me he was going to torture me too.”
Hermione stayed silent. For some reason she didn't want to look at him. She felt she would melt if she looked him in the eye, so she just remained starring at the floor.
“Hermione look at me.” he said.
Oh no, she thought.
She looked at him. He was looking at her with the most innocent and honest look a person could have.
“I don't understand. Don't you hate me? I'm still a mudblood Draco.”
He came closer to her and sat next to her on the puffy blanket. He brought his right hand to her hair and put a hanging strand of hair behind her ear and whispered, “I told you people change”
Hermione was mesmerized, she felt shivers and she knew he could feel that. He placed his other hand on her waist and left his other hand caressing her hair and seconds later their lips met. This time Hermione wanted him to do that, so she let go. He was pressing on her lips with even more aggressiveness and she parted hers and allowed him to deepen the kiss. She climbed on his lap , threw her hands on him and started caressing him too. When her hands reached his hair he let out a moan. She felt that she could easily lose control and she knew he felt the same. Hermione gasped for air and broke the kiss.
“Damn Hermione” he said kissing her again.
“Well that is very arousing!”
They broke their kiss. Hermione felt frightened and she and Draco spun around to see Thorfin Rawl starring at them with his wand pointed towards them.
“Well we'll find out what your father will think of it when he finds out Draco.” he hissed.
Draco jumped up and got his wand out. “He's not going to find out anything Rawl.”
“You think so?” Rawl said.
“OBLIVIATE!” Draco yelled.
With a loud bang Rawl hit the wall and fell unconscious to the floor. Hermione ran next to him.
“He is off.” she said.
“Get his wand and hide it somewhere, It's yours now. Don't use it until i tell you to. Okay?”
“Yes...what are you going to do with him?”
“Hide him somewhere in the Manor. There is a secret passage way that takes you out of the Manor. I'll hide him in there for a little while and I'll see where to put him next. Father must not find him or his wand. Hide it now.”
“Okay” she said and she saw that Draco went to pick him up.
“What?” he said smiling
He approached her and when he came close Hermione jumped up on him and placed both her thighs around his waist. Draco turned around and pinned her against the wall. He held her from her thighs and raised one hand to caress her neck. Hermione unbuttoned her shirt little and he started kissing her chest. She moaned and grabbed his hair.
“No no stop” he said and placed her down on the floor.
“I'll come back later. I have to hide Rawl now...trust me...I'll come back for you.” He said and kissed her lips once more. He picked up Rawl and vanished.
Hermione just stayed there on the blanket thinking about what happened again and again and again...she wanted him...