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Chapter 8 : Dead
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Draco sat besides Hermione feeling horrible for not being able to save her in time. He hated himself for being the reason that she was now in a comatose state, he was the reason she was in so much pain and close to death. Hermione had fractured her spine, hip, and broken her right leg. Of course it would be quite easy to mend the brakes and fractures with a potion, but she had so many of problems, like her bruised ribs, punctured lung, clogged arteries and internal bleeding that she was only allowed a few different potions everyday.
Now, he spent his days by her side talking about nothing of importance, he didn’t even tell her about how much he loved her. It was his love that had caused her to run out of the house. Harry was right, he should have just stayed the bloody hell away! Holding her pale slender hand in his rough calloused one, he let a single tear fall from his eyes.
“Hey Hermione, I guess I sound sort of stupid talking to you in your sleep but the nurse said that you can still hear me and probably understand what I’m saying, they don’t call you the brightest witch of our generation for nothing ya know.” Harry told Hermione as he held her hand and told her about what was going on in his life. Teddy Lupin was now five years old and begging to see his aunt Mina who baked him cookies and he wanted to see her so bad but Ginny wouldn’t allow it.
“You know, Draco he's blaming himself for this whole thing. He thinks he's the reason that you got hit by the truck, but that's not true is it? I guess there's not really anyone to blame about this. Its sort of weird being on the other side you know? When we were at Hogwarts it was always me or Ron who were near death and in the infirmary, you were the one waiting on us hand and foot to make sure we got better, not the other way around.” harry continued reminiscing about the old days when they were in Hogwarts and naïve with no sense of direction.
Eric was finally allowed some alone time with Hermione's comatose body. He honestly felt silly talking to her when she wouldn’t even know what he was saying, but that just allowed him to say things he would never ever tell her if she were awake.
He talked about his life as a goalie, about all of the dames he had scored, he talked about his life since she had left, how there was a memory he had where all he could remember was her promising she would be back soon. And then after that memory there was nothing, nothing about them.
“Hermione, I love you with all heart, I hope you know that.” he told her as he squeezed her hand one last time and walked out towards the cafeteria where he would be having lunch with the minister and some “aurors.”
“Hello Eric, on your way to see the minister?” Harry asked politely as he fell into step besides the muggle, who had an odd walk that was almost a trot. Eric looked over to Hermione's supposedly best friend and tried his best not to glare at the heap of a man/wizard next to him.
“Yes, why?” he asked his voice on the verge between hate and loathing.
“I just wanted to go with you instead of apparating in seeing as you're a muggle and all.” Harry told him ignoring his cold and rude tone.
“Nice to know you're concerned.” Eric replied sarcastically going down the several flights of stairs that seemed like a never ending hallway that appeared in dreams.
“They moved at Hogwarts.” Harry said with the twinge of a smile pulling on the corners of his lips.
“What moved?” Eric asked out curiosity. Everything about Harry Potter was truly something to marvel, from the wild raggedy hair to the emerald green eyes that seemed unnatural.
“The stair cases, they moved at our school, they often caused us to be late to numerous classes, it was bloody dreadful being late to my very first class.” Harry recounted fondly looking at the moving photographs.
“Oh how peculiar.” Eric commented losing all interest in the conversation, he stared at the photographs as well and hated wizards for their ability to do so many things without the use of electricity, gasoline and other forms of power. It was completely unfair of how over protective they were with their precious magic.
“Mr. Fielders I presume?” the minister asked Eric sticking out a gloved hand for him to shake. “I’m minister Shaklebolt.” Eric looked at the hand offered by the minister and looked at it disdainfully, he was not impressed by the ebony skinned “minister” despite the fact that he looked like an American football player and a Jamaican Rasta singer mixed in one.
“You presumed correct.” Eric replied sliding into an empty seat and giving the minister a bored look, “you wanted to talk?”
“Ah yes.” the minister seemed slightly surprised by Eric’s impertinence and wrote it off as worry for a dear friend. “It has to do with how much you know about the wizarding world, which if Mr. Potter is to be believed and he is, is that you know quite a fair amount about us. But, what concerns me is that if Ms. Granger does not return your feelings, will she still want you in her life? Perhaps, I only worked with her for a year before she went into the fashion industry but, my main priority at the moment is making a negotiation with you.
Of course, if Ms. Granger does indeed return your feelings as you claim, then you will be able to keep your memories, if and only if you two become a disclosed item with no loose ends and end up married. But if she were to break up with you, all of your memories of the wizarding world would be erased. But it is your choice to continue to learn about us and create even more memories than necessary or to continue living in sweet blissful ignorance.”
“How about this, neither. I keep my memories whether you like it or not.” Eric told him folding his arms over his chest.
“As much as we would like to allow you to keep your memories, we can not. It is too much of a danger for a muggle like you to know so much about our world.” the minister said in a menacing tone that was glazed with false kindness.
“Well that’s just something you will have to live with because I’m keeping my memories.”
“Mr. Fielders, that is not an option and there is no possible way you can escape us. We can easily find you and just as easily terminate you.” Eric gulped, how could someone converse about his death so casually.
“Fine then, when Hermione wakes up and she says she loves me than I keep my memories and we live happily ever after, but if she tells me that she doesn’t love me then I will leave and have my memories erased.” Eric consented all of his impertinence gone in mere seconds.
The minister allowed himself to relax as his bodyguards slid a few contracts across the desk for Eric to sign.
“Sign here, here, here....here and here.” Maurice, his head bodyguard told Eric handing him a self inking quill from the Weasley Wizard Wheezes store.
“how do I know you wont kill me?” Eric asked.
“We could have done that the moment you began to act like a child, but we are a democracy, we don’t go around killing muggles all willy nilly.” the minister replied signing the contracts himself before they were placed back gingerly into a leather briefcase with a Hello Kitty sticker on the left corner.
“Good day Mr. Fielders, I look forward to our next meeting. As for you Harry, you and Malfoy have the rest of the week and next week off so you can grieve Ms. Granger's accident in peace.” Minister Shaklebolt told the young men only shaking Harry’s hand before walking to a near by fireplace and stepping inside.
“Well you certainly screwed up, and sadly I’m going to have to be your personal babysitter due to the fact that Draco hates your guts and so on.” Harry told Eric angrily, he had tried his best to be civilized with the bloody muggle for Hermione's sake, but he was too much of an idiot for his liking. Harry wondered what Hermione saw in him that had caused her to spend hours on end with Eric.
She walked down the empty corridors tripping over lifeless bodies, broken statues, shattered windows and portraits. She inspected the destruction caused to her beloved castle and for once she felt at peace. Her fingers reached out to touch the stone walls, they were still warm from the left over magic, continuing her walk down the corridors and passages she looked for the one body that would prove that what happened a mere two hours ago was reality and not some spell induced hallucination.
But it was true Lucius Malfoy's dead body was laying in the exact same spot where his only son had stupefied him, the impact of the stupefy had caused the tall man to fall forward onto the sharp glass of a broken window. And right where his heart was, was a long sharp shard of glass which had impaled it mercilessly.
Hermione took a step back and looked around, he was leaning against a wall looking at the “sleeping” form of his father.
“He's dead isn’t he?” he asked as he looked at the unprotected Gryffindor.
“Y-yes, I’m so sorry, and I- I want to thank you.” she stammered out looking at Draco Malfoy as he stared without remorse at the immobile body of his father.
“for what?” he asked in a bored tone, slowly drifting his eyes over to the girl.
“For saving me, you protected me from your father and turned on your side to save me. You didn’t have to, you could have just let him kill me. One less mudblood to taint the wizarding society. Why did you do it?” she stated clearly looking up at him demanding he give her answers.
“Because, I knew I had chosen the wrong side. I didn’t mean to kill him but this world would be so much better without him.” he stated indifferently surprising Hermione.
“Are you serious?” Hermione asked her eyes wide in disbelief was the oh-so-great-and-insufferable Draco Mlafoy actually stating that he was wrong?
“Yes, Granger I am serious.” and with that he apparated away without another word.
“Hello my darling, it pains me to see you like this. You were never one to sit still or lay around peacefully, you were always moving around doing one thing or another. But seeing you now, so immobile, so useless, it pains me. I should have shared my vision with you, should have told you that the other two were coming. But I did not, and because of my selfishness you are stuck in this bed, in this hospital near death.” Grandma Granger told her favorite granddaughter.
“I know I never told you this but you were always my favorite grandchild not only because you had inherited my magic, but because you were different in many ways. Although you were addled by ADHD you fought against it, you tried your best to be your best.
You never gave up, you had the heart of a Gryffindor. And most of all you understood how the world worked unlike others, you knew there was a hint of truth behind my stories. You knew you were special from the moment you were born, just like I did. Wake up soon cucciola mia.” her grandmother whispered as she kissed her comatose granddaughter's head gently before sitting back down and beginning a sweet song so the silence would not be so loud.
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Draco walked back into Hermione's room with his mother, they were just in time to see Hermione's heart monitor let out a long beep that did not stop. Narcissa hugged her son tightly as tears fell down her face.
What happened next Draco could not describe all he saw was the flat line that meant Hermione was dead. The one person he loved more than himself and his mum was dead. He crumpled to his knees as nurses and doctors rushed past him, strong arms pulled him away from the entrance and carried a sobbing grandma Granger out of the room.
“Draco, Draco what happened in there?” Harry asked snapping Draco back into reality.
“Herm-hermione.” he choked out.
“What about Hermione did she wake up?” he asked.
“No, no she she she's dead.” he said remorse and grief tinging his mind. Dead, she was dead her cheeks would no longer hold that pink tone her lips would no longer grace her face with her smile, Draco would never be able to tell her he loved her and get a reply. He stood up as Eric got out of Hermione's room followed by a bunch of nurses who all had downcast expressions, Draco knew just by that that there was no more hope. He walked down the hall just as Eric grabbed his hand whipped him around and punched him.
“It's you're fault you stupid wizard! You're stupid fault she's dead! She was mine! Mine I won her fair and square and then you had to come along and ruin everything!” Eric cried as Draco stood before him looking like an angry beautiful statue.
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Death, it was beautiful and ugly. It was bright yet there was darkness. She was free yet trapped. Hermione stood in a bright garden that she immediately recognized as her grandma's but everything was just a little too perfect a little to bright. She looked around and saw her grandfather on the porch swing.
“Papa, I’m dead aren’t I?” she asked looking at her grandfather thoughtfully.
“Not entirely. You can still go back if you want. Right now you are in limbo, from here you have a choice go back or go up. Most choose to go up.” he said in his Italian accent.
“Hm, up is He truly there?” Hermione asked looking up towards the heavens.
“I am not allowed to tell you that, that is for you to find out on your own.” he told her with a smile.
“You don’t have wings or a halo.” Hermione said pointing out the obvious.
“I am not an angel of battle dear, I only give the souls a choice back to earth or up.” he replied.
“If angels exist then He must exist too, but what of the souls who don’t make it to heaven do they still go up?” she asked always curious.
“Curiosity killed the cat.” her grandfather told her one of his favorite lines.
“I’m already half dead.” Hermione replied as he laughed.
“You were always my favorite. But going up you are led to the path of heaven or hell. I never know which one the souls will go up to.” he replied sadness tinging his italian accent.
“Oh, I don’t think I’m ready to go up.” Hermione said looking up at her grandfather in shame.
“Do not worry if you are not ready to join me everyone will join me eventually.” he told her standing up from his perch on the swing.
“Alright then, I want to go back, how do I get back?” Hermione asked hugging her grandfather.
“Follow me.” he said with a twinkle in his eyes, somehow Hermione had the feeling that he knew she would choose to go back.
“But what of the other souls who have to go up or back?” Hermione asked but there were no other souls.
“They will still be met, I always have time, there is no such thing as time here. When you get back Hermione I need you to send a message to your grandmother.” he said kissing her forehead.
“The rooster always crows at midnight, she will understand.” he said “Now, spread your arms out and fall backwards your soul will meet your body soon enough, just keep your eyes closed dear.”
“Bye Papa, I will see you soon enough.” Hermione said kissing his cheek and falling just as he told her.
She was back in her body, she could feel the scratchy linens and clothing she had been put in last night. She could hear the weeping of women, she hoped they weren’t anyone she knew. She heard two people yelling. She tasted her dry tongue in her mouth and wished for water. She smelled the sterile smell of hospitals and could smell her grandma.
She opened her eyes and closed them again for the light was too bright, blinking rapidly her eyes adjusted to the harsh light. She sat up and almost regretted it, she hurt horribly all over. Sliding out of her bed she saw that everything had been moved out of the room except her. Wincing at the feel of the cold linoleum floor under feet, Hermione walked out the room towards the voices that were yelling.
“HERMIONE WAS NEVER A PRIZE TO BE WON!” a blonde man snarled, his back was to her, but she knew who he was so she continued to walk soundlessly towards him.
“You are just jealous because she would have been mine if she hadn’t died.” the other voice replied, Eric. Hermione noted. Once she reached Draco she wrapped an arm around his waist and lay her head on his arm.
“Herm Hermione? You you're alive?” he asked bewildered looking at the girl who was very much alive, he had to be hallucinating, there was something wrong there was no way she could still be alive.
“Yes Draco, I’m alive and so very cold. Why do I hurt so bad Draco?” she asked looking up into his stormy gray eyes.
“You were in an accident, but your almost fine now.” he replied hugging her to him, this was incredible, unnatural a miracle.
“How long have I been asleep?” she asked as Draco bent down so he could place one of his arms under her legs and the other around her shoulders.
“Over a month, the nurses had to keep you asleep because you were not stable enough to be awake.” he replied amazed that she was alive, he hoped that he wasn’t hallucinating.
“Makes sense? How long was I dead?” Hermione asked looking up at Draco.
“About an hour.” he said feeling totally weirded out, this was impossible even for wizards. “How did, how did you come back?” he asked her
“I was in limbo, not dead yet not alive I had a choice. I decided to come back.” she told him resting her head on his shoulder. she was so tired, so so tired all she wanted to do was go back to sleep.
“Why?” he asked wondering why someone would give up the gift of death.
“Why else, to be with you and my gran silly.” Hermione said kissing his cheek. “It was always you, I just never realized it.”
“Miss. Granger you're alive!” a nurse exclaimed as she ran out of Hermione's room.
“Very much indeed.” Hermione said happily, “Could you get my gran please, I want to see her.” Hermione said happily.
“Of, of course Miss. Granger.” the astonished nurse replied as she literally ran down the hall to where Hermione's grandmother was about to sign some papers about Hermione's death.
“Call me Hermione.” she said as Draco lay her in her bed. “Lay down next to me please Draky?” she asked scooting over in her bed.
“I have always hated that nick name, but I actually don’t mind it much coming out from your mouth.” he said with a grin as he sat down beside her.
“Yes Hermione?” he asked looking down at the girl who looked like she was about to make the biggest decision of her life.
He barely registered what was happening when he felt her lips land on top of his softly, hesitantly. He was in such shock he didn’t kiss her back, leaving her feeling confused and slightly hurt.
“I’m sorry, was that too soon? Did you even want me to-” Hermione asked blushing a furious red.
“No I’m sorry, you just caught me a little off guard.” Draco replied smiling.
“Oh-” Draco never knew what she was going to say since this time he kissed her with a passion, he had wanted this for so long and he wasn’t going to screw it up a second time. He literally felt as if he were on fire never before had he felt this way and he doubted Hermione had either for when they finally pulled apart she was panting and looked dazed.
“wow.” she whispered looking at him in awe.
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Eric stared, that’s all he could do stare. As Hermione paid no attention to him, all she did was wrap herself around the other blonde. He had seen the victory in Draco’s eyes as Hermione had told him she wanted to be with him and not Eric.
He walked to Harry not wanting to be humiliated any longer, “Take me to the minister.” he said angrily, he knew he wouldn’t get away and now all he wanted was all memories of Hermione Granger wiped out of his head.
“Alright, but don’t you want to see Hermione?” Harry asked inspecting Eric cautiously.
“I already did, and I need to speak with the minister.” Eric replied angrily.
“Alright, lets go to the fireplace.” harry said pulling out a handful of floo powder from his pocket.
“What?” Eric asked bewildered.
“We travel by fireplace when a broom or apparating isn’t convenient enough.” Harry replied throwing the handful of powder into the fireplace and yelling, “Ministry of Magic.” and dragging Eric in beside him.
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“Hello Mr. Fielders, Harry, what brings you here this fine evening?” the minister asked not looking up from his paper work.
“I need you to erase my memories.” Eric stated looking out a stained glass window, the sun was out and shining not a cloud in the sky.
Aww wasnt that sad, poor Eric, so i have three alternate endings for this story and i need some time to see which ending or chapter+ending i want to choose, i'll update as soon as i sort out that little glitch. Till the next chapter adieu
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