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The Darkness and The Light by scabbers_weasly

Format: Novel
Chapters: 20
Word Count: 60,476
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature,

Genres: Drama, General, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Narcissa, Draco, Ginny
Pairings: Ron/Hermione

First Published: 09/19/2004
Last Chapter: 02/11/2005
Last Updated: 09/14/2005

Summary:
Story HIDDEN. Contact propmaster[at]harrypotterfanfiction[dot]com.
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“It wasn’t a game, Mum!” Ron yelled as he got to his feet. Mrs. Weasley stared back at her son amazed that he was yelling at her. “If you only knew exactly what he had done to Hermione…if you had seen her…you would know that he deserved what he got!” A tale of love, pain, and friendship with a bit of angst thrown in for good measure. Warning for gratitious blood in the beginning of cha


Chapter 1: Caught
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Darkness and The Light
Part One

Disclaimer: Characters belong to the great J.K Rowling. The plot is mine and mine alone. There is no profit being made here, we’re just a bunch of fans having fun. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you know.

Archive: Please read previous postings/stories for the answer to this. Please read and review!

Spoilers: Alice Cooper’s song, “Poison” and Evanescence’s “Haunted”. There is no profit being made from the songs, either. As with my other songfic, references to the song(s) may be subtle. Reference(s) to The Sorcerer’s Stone and maybe some Goblet of Fire stuff, too.

Summary: It’s year six at Hogwarts. Draco kidnaps Hermione and holds her hostage in The Room of Requirement. His reasons for this may or may not be what you might think.

Hermione opened her eyes with some difficulty; she couldn’t tell if her eyes were out of focus or if she was surrounded by darkness. She blinked; her head was killing her and she was very aware of something hot and sticky dripping from her temple.
She tried to move her left hand to touch it, but suddenly realized that it was immobile above her head, as was her right. She squirmed and tried to free herself when she saw that she was shackled to the wall.
What the hell…? she wondered.
She blinked again and everything came into focus: she looked upward to see that the ceiling to this room she was in was enchanted to look like a dark, but clear and quite starry night sky.
Music played softly in the distance to her left, she turned her head, expecting to see a victrola, and could not believe what she saw instead…no, it couldn’t be…but, indeed it was, for in the corner sat a cd player.
“Where the hell am I?” Hermione whispered to herself.
“Finally awake, are you?” said a male voice from the shadows on her right. She turned again and narrowed her eyes, trying to see who the voice might belong to. It was too familiar…
“Who’s there?” she demanded
“I’ll come out, but know that if you scream, I will kill you,” there was the sound of feet shuffling as though the stranger was standing whereas he was sitting before. “Do I make myself understood, you filthy little mudblood?”
Hermione rolled her eyes. If Draco was trying to strike fear into her heart, he was doing a pitiful job.
“Understood,” she said.
Draco Malfoy emerged from the shadows, the enchanted moon casting a faint blue light onto his white blonde hair. He wasn’t wearing his robes as he normally did; he was dressed simply in his school uniform: a white dress shirt with the Slytherin emblem where a breast pocket would normally be, untucked from black dress pants, and black dress shoes.
“It’s you,” Hermione said.
“Did I say you could talk?” Malfoy barked, moving closer to her.
Hermione looked back at him, forcing herself not to smile.
“Where are we?” she asked, ignoring him.
He was less than inches away from her now, looking her up and down as though he could kill her night then and there. Instead, he threw his body against hers and kissed her roughly.
“The Room of Requirement,” he whispered.
Hermione chuckled and nodded to the CD player. “What’s with the Muggle gear?”
Draco’s hands had automatically latched themselves to Hermione’s waist and then disappeared inside her shirt. He loved the feel of her bare skin.
“Music, of course. Father would kill me if he knew I had any fascination whatsoever with Muggles,” he kneeled down and uncovered Hermione’s stomach, kissing her. “Or Muggle things…” he looked up at her.
“Is that all I am to you? A thing? What’s this about?” she indicated to the shackles. “And, am I bleeding?”
Draco stood and looked at her, his pale blue eyes that were so cold and heartless, were gleaming with a sick kind of excitement. “A little too rough for you, is it? You’re no fun,” he waved his wand and the shackles came off. Hermione rubbed her wrists, trying to get some circulation back into them. She raised a hand to her temple and brought it in front of her face, fingertips covered in blood.
“What did you do to me?”
Draco was suddenly defensive. “I didn’t do anything! You fell, don’t you remember?”
She sat on the floor and tried to think about the events that occurred before she found herself in the Room of Requirement.
She had been walking to her Potion’s class, and when she had made it just outside the door, she was confronted by Crabbe and Goyle, Draco’s cronies. She tried to walk past them and on into the classroom, but the two of them standing side by side made such a forceful wall that she had ricoched off their chests and backward onto the floor.
She assumed that she had been knocked out by the fall and Crabbe and Goyle brought her to meet Draco.
“I can’t help it if there was a jagged rock loose in the floor,” Draco mumbled as he kneeled down in front of her and wiped the blood away with his handkerchief.
“Couldn’t you have just ASKED me to meet you here?”
Draco smiled deviously. “Where’s the fun in that?”
Hermione smiled back at him and laced her fingers behind his neck, kissing him.
This was wrong, she knew. She had been sneaking around with Draco for a month now. She couldn’t explain how it was she had fallen for him nor could he explain how it was that he had fallen for her, they just knew that suddenly they seemed to enjoy being in eachother’s company.
They knew they had to keep this a secret-what would Draco’s father think? What about his other Slytherin buddies? Not only that-but what if Ron and Harry knew? How would they react? The thought was too much for Hermione to bear.
Draco broke away and waved his wand towards a corner that was behind Hermione. A soft pile of hay appeared and he leaned down towards her, causing her to back down and lie in the hay. He was kissing her neck and running his fingers through her hair, pulling at it roughly, yet lovingly.
“C’mon, Draco,” Hermione giggled. “Here? Are you kidding me?”
He took her hand and placed it along the outside of his pants zipper. It was obvious that he wanted her. “Does it feel like I’m kidding?” he breathed.
Hermione opened her mouth and kissed him deeply, mingling her tongue with his. She went to unbutton his shirt, but he grabbed her wrists and slammed them down on the floor, at either side of her body. He positioned himself on top of her so that he was holding her wrists with his knees.
Hermione let out a yelp of pain but he ignored it as he leaned up, his weight more pronounced. She felt sure that her wrists were going to break under the pressure; or be very badly bruised, to say the least.
“You’re hurting me,” she told him, wincing and gritting her teeth.
“Shut up,” he growled and ripped open her robes along with her school shirt. He was pleased to see that she wasn’t wearing a bra; it was almost as though Hermione had been anticipating this moment. It wasn’t at all peculiar for Crabbe and Goyle to find ways to let her know that Draco was somewhere waiting for her. She never knew when or where he might want to see her. “You’re Gryffindor trash and a mudblood to boot.” He leaned down again and kissed her shoulder, running his hands up both sides of her inner thigh and finding the legs of her panties. Hermione could feel him grip them tightly as though his intent were to just rip them off of her body.
Her breathing quickened, but was quiet. She drew in her stomach. “What are you going to do?” she whispered.
“I’m going to rape you, mudblood, and you’re going to like it.” He forcefully ripped her panties off of her and began to undo his belt.
This was a sick fantasy of Draco’s that he acted out everytime they were together. Hermione had to admit that it was sexy at first, but it increasingly began to bother her. She and Draco didn’t appear to be anywhere near discussing their feelings for one another; she sometimes wasn’t sure that feelings were even a factor in this whatever-it-was that they had. In her darkest moments, she would find herself wondering if she was being an idiot and just letting Draco actually rape her rather than playing out like he was. She was consenting by letting him take her like he was, she reasoned, so it wasn’t really rape.
But what about how she always felt for days afterward? She was finding that she was sullen and depressed. No matter how she tried to hide it from Ron and Harry, she couldn’t. They noticed this and would ask her to tell them what was wrong, but she would always change the subject.
Draco had positioned himself and was entering her now. She was thankful that his knees were no longer on her wrists, but that pain was not compared to what she was feeling now. She wasn’t at all ready for him and when he had noticed this, she could have sworn that she heard him chuckle in the back of his throat. This was something else that worried Hermione. He never seemed to care too much about her when it came to sex. It was always about him being ready and needing to get off.
“Ow! Dammit, Draco!” she grunted.
“I hurt you just to hear you scream my name,” he breathed.
Draco began moving his hips and Hermione wriggled underneath him, trying to find some sort of rhythm with him and hopefully manage some level of comfort until her juices began flowing. Both were so caught up in their own moments that they didn’t hear the sounds of feet shuffling into the room.
“Ohmygod,” said a familiar voice.
Hermione and Draco looked over to see Ron and Harry standing over them. For a moment, the four of them just stared back at one another, stunned. Hermione quickly came to her senses, pushed Draco off of her and stood up clutching at her robes so as to cover herself as quickly as she could.
She was speechless as she looked at Draco who had also stood and was buckling his pants. “Boys,” he said to Harry and Ron nonchalantly.
“I-I-I think I’m gonna be sick,” Ron stammered and his hand flew to his mouth. He took one last look at Draco and Hermione before bolting from the room. Harry’s armload of books fell to his side with a loud thump! as they hit the floor.
“Harry!” exclaimed Hermione, trying to act natural. “What brings you here?”
Harry wouldn’t look at her, he couldn’t. He was still reeling from what he had seen. For a moment, he was speechless. He knelt down and began to collect his books and this seemed to help him find his voice. “A-arithmacy…Ron and me, we came here to study Arithmacy…,” he cleared his throat, obviously uncomfortable. “Everywhere else was b-busy. We couldn’t concentrate.”
Hermione nodded and looked at Draco, hoping he would take the hint to leave. He glared back at her and the fire that danced in his eyes when he had the opportunity to egg Harry on was alive and flickering. Harry stood, but still refused to look at Draco or Hermione.
Draco began to circle him, grinning like the cat that had just caught and eaten the mouse. “Whassamatter, Potter? Jealous that I nailed her first?” he sneered.
“Draco!” exclaimed Hermione.
“Shut up, Malfoy,” Harry growled under his breath.
Draco stopped in front of Harry, mockingly cupped his own ear and leaned in, pretending as though he had not heard him. “Sorry, Potter, what was that?”
“I said, shut up,” Harry repeated, a little louder this time.
“Stop it, Draco!”
Draco looked from Harry to Hermione and then back at Harry. “If you tell anyone what you saw, I’ll deny it ever happened. Be sure your buddy gets the message.” He walked towards the door, Hermione watching him leave. It was as though he could feel her eyes on him because he turned, stuck two fingers on his mouth in a “v” shape, and stuck his tongue through them before he left the room.
“He makes me ill,” Hermione said as she waved her wand. The enchanted night sky disappeared and the CD player had stopped playing music.
“Liar,” Harry said, finally looking at her.
“Excuse me?” Hermione raised an eyebrow at him.
“Nothing,” he sighed. “I need to go check on Ron.”
He left the room.

Harry had wandered around the castle for about an hour before he found Ron in the boys’ bathroom on the second floor of Gryffindor Tower. Ron was standing at a sink, running cool water and splashing it on his face.
“Are you ok?” Harry asked him as he leaned against a nearby wall.
“Please tell me that wasn’t real,” gasped Ron as he looked at his reflection in the mirror above the sink. Harry noticed that he was pale. Ron splashed more water on his face, turned off the spigot and gave his reflection one last look before turning to Harry and starting towards him. “I’m asking you to tell me that what we saw wasn’t real, Harry. I figure that if you say it wasn’t real, then it wasn’t,” he grabbed the neck of Harry’s robes, pleading with him with his eyes. “Tell me that we’re in the same nightmare or something…I don’t care, anything…”
Harry knew that if he thought he was more disgusted with the sight of Draco and Hermione than Ron was, he would be wrong. Ron had told Harry in their fourth year that he had a mad crush on Hermione; he just didn’t know how to tell her. Harry could only imagine what Ron must be feeling right now, but he didn’t see or feel any need to treat his friend with kid gloves.
“I can’t do it, Ron. What we saw was real,” he suddenly flashed back to the moment and shook his head, trying to expel the thought. “Disgusting as it was, it was real.”
Ron nodded and let go of Harry’s robes as he slowly sat down on the floor, his head in his hands.
“How could she, Harry?” he shook his head. “Of everyone here, of all the Houses, she had to choose Slytherin. She had to choose Malfoy,” he paused and looked up at Harry. “Do you think she hates us?” he looked down and mindlessly toyed with the hem of his robes, worry in his voice as he muttered: “Do you think she hates me?”
Harry stood on one foot and rested the other against the wall, pondering this for a moment. It was sad that Ron was self-conscious as it was, but listening to him and watching him feel this was almost too much for Harry to handle. Ron was like a brother to him and when he was hurt, Harry was hurt.
“No,” Harry said softly, shaking his head. “I don’t think it has anything to do with us, or me, or you.”
Ron kept his back to Harry. “Then what?” he asked dejectedly.
“I don’t know, Ron. She has no reason to hate either of us, so it can’t be that.”
”Then why else would she fu…” Ron stopped himself and cleared his throat. “fraternize with the enemy?”
Harry shrugged; moonlight drained in through the window and drenched both boys, their shadows casting on an opposite wall. “Maybe it just happened somehow,” he said. “Nothing planned, you know. Just one of those things…”
Ron bowed his head again and began playing with a big red curl that was hanging down between his eyes. “Yeah, just one of those things,” he said softly. He wanted to shake the image of them together from his mind so badly, but couldn’t. He had never felt so low.
“Why don’t we just ask her about it? There must be an explanation,” Harry said.
“This is my fault, isn’t it?” Ron replied after a moment.
“What do you mean?”
“I should have told her how I feel, I shouldn’t be such a wimp and now because I never told her, she’s with that jerk!” he looked skyward and continued to talk in an accusatory tone, like he was blaming the gods for this. “It was a sign, wasn’t it? You know, I happen to be a little sensitive…when you go screwing with my heart like that, it isn’t funny! Couldn’t you have sent something a little more subtle?” he stood and continued to look up. “I know I love her, I know I need to tell her, but for Merlin’s sake, can’t I do it in my own time??
Ron kept his eyes fixed on the ceiling for a couple of minutes and then looked at Harry, frustrated. “I just want there to be a perfect moment, a right time to tell her.”
Harry nodded. “Let’s find her and talk to her about it. Maybe she has an explanation,” he repeated.
Ron simply shook his head. “No, Harry. I can’t look at her. I don’t want to. Let’s just call it a night, ok?”
Harry said nothing. He pushed himself off of the wall, patted Ron on the shoulder and they left for their dormitory, neither one talking to eachother until the next morning.

Hermione was a little surprised to see that she was the very first one to make it to The Great Hall for breakfast; it felt so weird to be all alone in such a big room. She opened her bag that lay beside her and took out her copy of Hogwarts, a History, a book that was near and dear to her heart.
Hermione tried to read but couldn’t for two reasons: one being that she wondered if Harry and Ron would even take notice of the fact that she was alive when they came down for breakfast-she could only guess what they thought about her since lastnight-and two was that her wrists were aching so badly. She held them up in front of her and held back tears. “Badly bruised” wasn’t even close to describing what she was looking at. Another shade or two and they would almost match her ashy, grey school skirt. Just exactly how it was her wrists were not broken, she didn’t know.
“Damn you,” she whispered as a tear silently slid down her cheek. Whether she was scolding herself or Malfoy, she wasn’t sure. She could see it both ways.
Why didn’t she have the courage to just walk away from him? Why did she stay when she knew it was obvious that there would never be anything more than what was going on? Why did she get involved in the first place? All of these questions were constantly running through her mind although she knew the answer already: She was afraid of him. She couldn’t bring herself to think what he might do to her if he even knew that she entertained the idea of leaving. She wanted someone to pay attention to her and when Draco had just dragged her into a stairwell one day, she found herself going with the flow, no matter how she felt, no matter how sick it was.
Ron would never pay attention to her, not like this. She was tired of feeling like she wasn’t being noticed for what she was: a young woman.
A young woman who was interested in things that went beyond what her friends gave her credit for. Yes, she was smart because of all the time that she spent with her nose buried in a book. But, as she had once told Harry; “There are more important things…”
Friendship was important to her, that was a given. She wanted more than friendship where Ron was concerned and wanted so badly to tell someone because keeping all of these wonderful feelings that he made her feel when he was around bottled up was just too much for her to handle. She had to keep it herself, though, because she didn’t feel like she would be understood.
Harry didn’t understand girls at all. That was clear. If he had any idea about them, maybe things would have gone better with Cho and he would still be dating her at this moment. Ginny, she was a girl, but she was a year younger and was appearing to be something of a late bloomer. Sure, she had that crush on Harry for ages and then she was with Michael what’s-his-name, but Hermione didn’t feel as though she really understood what it was to truly love someone. Not only that, but being that Ron was Ginny’s brother, Hermione talking about how much she loved him might not be something she would want to hear.
She laid her wrists flat on the table in front of her and welcomed the coolness that was coming off of it. She turned her head to see a few students from Ravenclaw trickling in for breakfast. She had an eerie feeling as she closed her book that somehow Draco wouldn’t be far behind. Her goal was to be out of there before he showed up, before Harry and Ron did.
Little did she know that that would be an unaccomplished goal; for the next thing she knew, Draco was sauntering towards her.
Hermione wished she could just Apparate from the room and deal with him when she was good and ready. Draco stood behind her as he talked. “Listen…after Care of Magical Creatures, meet me in the woods behind the giant’s hut. I’m going to finish what I started,” he looked about, checking for spectators and saw that the Ravenclaw students were too engrossed in their breakfasts to care what was going on. He clapped his hands down on Hermione’s shoulders and squeezed them roughly. “Breathe a word of this to anyone and I’ll make you wish you were never born,” he growled.
Hermione could feel something sitting in the pit of her stomach…disgust, fear…”And if I don’t?” she asked through clenched teeth.
“Like I said, you’ll wish you were never born,” he bent down and licked the side of Hermione’s neck and gave it a less than loving nibble. He slowly ran his hands over Hermione’s collarbone and the next thing she knew, they were cupped around her neck as though he intended to strangle her. Or, atleast make her think that he was. She shuddered and closed her eyes. When nothing happened, she opened them to find that Draco had already walked down to the buffet table and was filling his plate.
“I already do,” she said to herself.
She watched as Draco made his way to the Slytherin table and sat down; she took this as her cue to get up and get herself some food. Just then, more students started coming in with Harry in the lead. Their eyes locked briefly as he made straight for the table, towards her. She quickly looked away and grabbed a few pieces of toast before nervously going back to the Gryffindor table.
Hermione had intentionally immersed herself in the act of eating when she heard Harry say her name. She looked up to see him sitting in front of her.
“Harry,” she murmured, glad to see that he was still speaking to her. “What a relief. I thought you would never speak to me again.”
“Yeah, well,” he cleared his throat and continued in a hushed tone. “About lastnight…Hermione, what was that? I mean, are you sneaking around with Malfoy? Or was he hurting you and we were just too dumb to realize it?”
She took a big gulp of her pumpkin juice. “I’ve been sneaking around with him,” she said in the same hushed voice.
Harry gaped at her, leaned backward and then forward again. He didn’t want to believe this was happening; he didn’t understand why and he wasn’t sure that he wanted to try.
“Are you ok, Hermione? Is there something wrong that you aren’t telling?” Harry asked honestly.
“What do you mean?”
“I’m trying really hard to come up with a logical reason for this. I’m just wondering of there isn’t something really wrong with you and you’re going around with Malfoy to try and make it better.”
One thing that Hermione hated about Harry was that sometimes he had this ability to read her like an open book. “Forget it, Harry. I don’t think you would understand,” she stood and collected her bookbag. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go or I’ll be late for Care of Magical Creatures.”




Chapter 2: Confrontation
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Darkness and the Light
Part 2
Disclaimer: Characters belong to the great J.K Rowling. The plot is mine and mine alone. There is no profit being made here, we’re just a bunch of fans having fun. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you know.

Archive: Please read previous postings/stories for the answer to this. Please read and review!

Spoilers: Alice Cooper’s song, “Poison” and Evanescence’s “Haunted”. There is no profit being made from the songs, either. As with my other songfic, references to the song(s) may be subtle. Part one of my story by the same title.

Summary: It’s year six at Hogwarts. Hermione has been sneaking around with Draco. She thinks that she doesn’t deserve any better, will Ron change her mind?

Hermione didn’t know how or if Draco had gone back to the class unnoticed once he was through with her; she didn’t care. She just wanted to get out of the woods and into a hot shower so she could wash him off of her.
As she finally made it to her feet and began to take a few steps, she noticed that she was feeling some pain in her lower regions. Not just because he had not bothered to make sure she was ready yet again, but it was also because he had somehow managed to hold her legs down with his while he had sex with her to keep her from moving.
She ambled as best she could to the edge of the forest until she could see a sure sign of Hagrid’s hut-he was growing pumpkins again this year and he had already managed to grow some that were half his size. She saw that the coast was clear and managed to make it to the pumpkin patch unnoticed, behind one of Hagrid’s bigger pumpkins. As she sank to the ground, she noticed for the first time just how sore she really was.
Her wrists from the night before didn’t show any signs of being better any time really soon, her legs and pelvic region ached so badly that it was hurting her to stand; nevermind walk.
This is insane, she thought to herself, holding back tears for the fifth time that day, no one person should be made to walk around in this much pain!
This wasn’t her, she knew. This was not who she was at all. The Hermione that she knew she was was vibrant, tough, and full of life; not this weak and aching mess that she was becoming.
She blamed Malfoy for this; she wouldn’t be this way if not for him.
She needed to make a change for the better that was clear. Whether it be to get the courage

to get free of Malfoy or to talk to him and try to change him, something had to change.

All she wanted was someone to love her and if she couldn’t have Ron then Draco would have to

be the next best thing to that someone.

Finally, she gingerly stood up and brushed the dirt off of her robes. “I won’t let you pull me

down,” she vowed.

*****


When Ron and Harry didn’t see Hermione in Arithmacy or in Potions, their last class of the day,
they got a little concerned. It wasn’t at all like Hermione to miss a class; for any reason.
They had noticed that Hermione was becoming someone different lately, though and who know just exactly what it was that she was capable of?
One outside of Potions, Harry told Ron that he would go searching about the castle for Hermione; Ron had nodded and leaned himself against the wall beside the doorway, secretly waiting for Malfoy.
It just so happened that he was the very last one out of the classroom and when Ron saw him, he grabbed the neck of his robes and proceeded to slam him against the opposite wall.
“Weaslby? What the hell…?”
“Shut up, Malfoy,” Ron growled as he tightened his grip on Malfoy’s collar. “I’m going to talk and you’re going to listen.” He kept his forearm across Draco’s collar bone and used it to slam him against the wall again for emphasis. “Know that after what I saw lastnight, anytime something comes up with Hermione, I’m going to look to you for answers. Now, where is she?”
Malfoy began laughing at Ron, amused at his anger. “What makes you think I would know that, Weaslby?” he tried to loosen Ron’s grip but to no avail. “Let me go!”
“You know, I can turn you into a ferret just as easily as Professor Moody can, and that’s exactly what I’ll do if you don’t tell me why Hermione missed her last two classes!”
Draco wriggled a bit, still trying to free himself from Ron. The reminder of being turned into a ferret his fourth year at Hogwarts seemed to make him uneasy, but it didn’t quite have the effect that Ron had hoped for. It looked as though Draco thought Ron was funny when he was mad.
“I don’t know, Weaslby! Why don’t you find her and ask her yourself?”
Ron’s grip tightened yet again on Draco’s collar and he made a small choking noise. “The hell you don’t know, Malfoy! I noticed that both of you were missing from Care of Magical Creatures! I saw you return…”
Ron suddenly became lost in his own thoughts as he remembered that he had seen Draco return to class from the woods. He took his arm off of Draco’s collarbone and slightly loosened his grip on his collar. “I swear to Merlin,” he warned, “if I find out that she was in the woods with you, you will pay.”
He let go and as he walked away, he heard Draco clear his throat and walk off in the opposite direction.

****


Ron had gotten as far as the outside of the second floor boys’ bathroom when he ran into Harry who had yet to find Hermione. Together they ventured around the castle some more until they finally went outside and found Hermione straddling a bench by Hogwarts Lake.
Ron began to walk towards her but Harry stopped him; Ron gave him a funny look.
“Are you sure you’re ready to talk to her?”
“I can’t avoid her, Harry. I’ll have to talk to her eventually,” he paused and took a moment to stare at Hermione, who was pouring over a book. He thought she looked beautiful just sitting there peacefully while the sun shone through the leaves on the tree that she was sitting under and onto her hair. He looked back at Harry, “She takes notes for me in Divination. You might not be around when I need to ask her for them.”
He began to walk towards her again and Harry decided to stay back for a moment, to give Ron a chance to talk to her.
“Hi,” Ron said, barely audible, once he reached Hermione.
She looked up from her book. “Hi,” she said.
Ron motioned to the space on the bench in front of her and awkwardly asked if he could sit down.
“Go ahead,” she told him as she closed her book and gave him her full attention.
The awkwardness wasn’t getting any better; it was only getting worse. He wanted to talk to her about the night he and Harry walked in on her and Draco, he wanted to ask her why she had missed classes, he wanted to ask her if she was really ok because he had taken quite a notice in her decreased attitude and he was constantly worried about her, he wanted to say so much more but didn’t know where to begin.
“So, uh,” he timidly began, clearing his throat, “the other night…Hermione, I guess I just wanted to say that I don’t understand…,” he looked at her, waiting for her to say something, anything, perhaps even explain herself.
“It isn’t for you to understand, Ron,” she said haughtily and then she nodded in Harry’s general direction. “You can tell Harry that goes for him, too.”
He stared back at her, a little bit shocked by her retort. “Maybe it isn’t, but it’s our place to be concerned about you, ‘Mione. We’re your best friends. If there’s something wrong, you can tell us.”
“What makes you think there’s something wrong?” Hermione asked, getting defensive.
“There has to be. I mean, why else would we have caught you with Draco? Is there something going on with him or was he hurting you and we were too dumb to see that?”
Hermione let out a heavy sigh; she still wasn’t going to explain anything to Ron. He was the last person she could talk to.
“All I’m telling you, Ronald,” she said shorty, “is this: I have been sneaking around with Draco for a month now. We need to keep it under wraps, so please don’t say anything. Please?”
Ron nodded and looked down at the book that lay in front of Hermione as if he thought it would speak to him and tell him what to say next because he certainly felt at a loss.
He didn’t want this for Hermione, she was too good for a creep like Draco Malfoy, and she needed to be with someone other than him.
She needs to be with me, Ron thought to himself. Why can’t I just TELL her? Why don’t I just say it here and now?
Because, replied a new voice inside his head, you’re scared of so much, too much.
“Will you atleast tell me one thing?” asked Ron.
“What?”
“Is he good to you?” he finally looked at her, making direct eye contact.
Hermione was quick to drop her gaze from his, afraid that if she held contact with her much longer, he would see the truth in her eyes.
“Y-yeah,” she stammered as she brought up a hand to tuck some hair behind her ear. The sleeve of her robes slid down her wrist a few inches when she did this. “He…,” she was interrupted by Ron suddenly grabbing her wrist and pulling up her sleeve some more to get a better look. He stared at her wide-eyed in horror.




Chapter 3: Confrontation Part 2
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The Darkness and the Light
Part 3


Disclaimer: Characters belong to the great J.K Rowling. The plot is mine and mine alone. There is no profit being made here, we’re just a bunch of fans having fun. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you know.

Archive: Please read previous postings/stories for the answer to this. Please read and review!

Spoilers: Alice Cooper’s song, “Poison” and Evanescence’s “Haunted”. There is no profit being made from the songs, either. As with my other songfic, references to the song(s) may be subtle. Part one of my stories by the same title. Some Sorcerer’s Stone stuff.

Summary: It’s year six at Hogwarts. Hermione has been sneaking around with Draco in secret for a month, but now Harry and Ron have found out.

“Hermione! What in Merlin’s name…?”

Hermione couldn’t find her voice; she didn’t know how she was going to explain the bruises to Ron. She didn’t know how she was going to lie to him.
“Did Malfoy do this to you?” he demanded. She tried to jerk away from him, but his grip was too tight, the friction between his hand and her wrist made it feel hot and more uncomfortable. She refused to look at him.
“Hermione, answer me!” Ron said angrily.
“N-no,” she managed at last. “Can I have my wrist back now? You’re hurting me!”
Ron let go of her and looked apologetic as he did so. As quickly as the anger had left his face, it came back. He wasn’t an idiot, he knew that Draco was in fact hurting her, it was plain to see when he looked back at the way she had been carrying herself in the last month. It was plain to see when Ron now took her head in his hands and forced her to look him in the eyes; the life that once flickered there was slowly fading and that, to Ron, was heartbreaking.
This wasn’t the Hermione that he knew and loved so dearly.
“I don’t understand, Hermione,” he repeated softly as he used his thumb to wipe away a tear that had formed in her right eye and began to fall down her face. A few seconds ago, telling Ron everything about the last month of her life was the last thing that she wanted to do. But now, here he was; holding her and looking genuinely concerned-all she wanted to do was tell him.
She knew she couldn’t, Draco had threatened her. And, in the end, what good would telling Ron do? What would it accomplish? To him, it would just be getting her out of another scrape with Malfoy. He didn’t care about her. Not the way she wanted him to, anyway.
“There’s nothing to understand,” she said softly.
“I don’t believe you.”
She shook her head and took his hands away from her face. “What do I have to say to convince you?”
“The truth.”
She stood, picked up her book and turned away from him. “I’ve told you the truth,” she said and headed off towards the common room. Ron was still watching her go when Harry came and sat down beside him.
“What did you find out?” asked Harry.
Hermione had now disappeared inside the castle, but Ron was still looking after her as though he was expecting her to return momentarily.
“Malfoy’s hurting her,” Ron continued sadly. “Harry, he’s hurting her and she’s letting him do it!”
“What do you mean ‘hurting her’?”
“Have you seen her wrists?” he asked, frowning. Harry shook his head.
“They were so bruised up, they were nearly black,” he finally looked at Harry. “This isn’t her, Harry. She’s better than this, why would she waste her time with that creep?!?!?”
Harry shrugged, at a loss for words.

Hermione couldn’t stop thinking of that scene with Ron; how he talked to her as though he had forgotten about catching her with Draco, how he had made her believe that he really did care about her; how it all made her feel.
She was alone in her dormitory and had decided that she would shower before dinner. It seemed to her that she was spending a lot of time here in the last month. Next to the library, it was almost like her second home.
As she unwrapped her towel from her body and got under the steaming hot water, she thought more about Ron. How those green eyes of his stared at her, wanting her to tell him the truth. How angry and hurt they looked when they had seen the bruises.
“You’re an idiot, Granger,” she told herself. “You’re reading too much into his actions. If you really believed that you deserved a heart like Ronald Weasly’s, then you wouldn’t be sneaking around with Draco Malfoy.”
And it was true. She had loved Ron from the day they had met on the train to Hogwarts. He was so adorable when he had tried to perform that piddly little spell on Scabbers and the look on his face when she told him he had dirt on his nose, too cute. For all of her efforts since then, to try and make it known to him that she loved him, he never responded.
She took a couple of steps closer to the droplets of water that came flooding from the shower head letting the hot water rush over her face. This simple act made her feel revived somehow. Like all of the drama in her life was all over her face and now it was being washed away down the drain.
“I don’t know what is sexier,” said a familiar drawl from behind the shower curtain. Hermione gave a start. “You naked or you naked and wet.”
Before Hermione knew what was going on, Draco had stepped out from behind the curtain and was sliding it away.
“Draco! Do you mind? I’m in the shower!” she gasped and tried to cover herself with curtain but Draco yanked it away, causing it to fall to the floor from the bar that it hung on.
“I mind, yes,” he murmured, tossing the curtain well out of Hermione’s reach. “But it’s not your nakedness that I mind.” He waved his wand and the water suddenly stopped, frozen in midair. He walked on into the shower stall, trapping Hermione in the corner. She couldn’t help but cower just a bit; her heart was racing a million miles a minute.
“Th-then what is it?” she stammered, doing her best not to show him any cowardice.
“A little birdie told me that you were getting cozy with Weaslby down by Hogwarts Lake,” he reached up and roughly grabbed her chin with his hand; she tried to get free and couldn’t. His fingers felt like they would leave dents on her jawbone if he pressed any harder. “I didn’t want to believe it at first, but the same bird has a little buddy that was with him when he saw the two of you, so that confirmed it for me. I still don’t want to believe it, so I’m here to give you the benefit of the doubt,” he slammed his free hand against the wall beside her head and pressed his body against hers, menacingly.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she managed although her mouth was nearly clenched.
Draco smacked the wall with his hand and made her jump. “Like hell you don’t, you filthy mudblood!” he growled as he leaned his head in and began to nuzzle her about the ears and neck. “Let’s get something straight,” he continued, his voice was soft and velvety, but in no way was he losing any credibility in trying to make his point. Draco had never scared Hermione this much before and she suddenly realized that not knowing exactly what it was that he was capable of was a horrifying thought. “You are mine and mine alone. You don’t go spending time with St. Potter or Weaslby. If you do,” he kissed her chin and had his face a mere two inches from her, looking deep into her eyes. “I will have them killed.” He said this with the tone of someone who was discussing the weather. “Then, I will have you killed.”
Draco gave her a kiss on the cheek and then patted the place he had kissed as if he thought that action would embed his words into her head somehow. He finally let go of her chin and began to walk away. “Father is a Death Eater, Granger. You know I could have it done.” He got to the door and turned to look at her. “By the way,” he said as he gave her a sinister grin, “have I ever told you what great tits you have?”
Hermione waited until she could no longer hear his footsteps before she sank down into her corner, hugged her legs to her body and cried alone for the next few hours.

A/N: Big HUGS and THANKS to those who have left such positive reviews telling me hoow much you're enjoying this story, I'm glad that you are! I hope you'll continue to come back to r/r me!


Chapter 4: Feeling Afraid
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The Darkness and the Light
Part 4


Disclaimer: Characters belong to the great J.K Rowling. The plot is mine and mine alone. There is no profit being made here, we’re just a bunch of fans having fun. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you know.

Archive: Please read previous postings/stories for the answer to this. Please read and review!

Spoilers: Alice Cooper’s song, “Poison” and Evanescence’s “Haunted”. There is no profit being made from the songs, either. As with my other songfic, references to the song(s) may be subtle. Parts 1-3 of my story by the same title.

Summary: It’s year six at Hogwarts. Hermione has been sneaking around with Draco in secret for a month, but now Harry and Ron have found out.

A/N: Sorry chapter three was so short. Thank you all for the wonderful reviews! You guys are the best!!!

Hours later, Ginny was the first to find Hermione in the shower, water still on although the heat had long since run out leaving Hermione so cold that she was shivering and beginning to turn blue around her mouth.

“Hermione!” she exclaimed and went to find a towel to cover her friend. She returned momentarily, turned off the water and ran to her side. Hermione didn’t seem to take any notice of Ginny’s presence as she wrapped the warm fuzzy towel around her and took hold of Hermione’s shoulders in an effort to stand her up; Hermione resisted.

“Hermione,” Ginny said worriedly, “we have to get you out of here and into some warm clothes. You’ll catch your death.”
No answer or sign that Hermione had come to, she still looked as though she had seen a ghost.
“Hermione, please, answer me.” Ginny shook her lightly and snapped her fingers in front of Hermione’s eyes.
“He’s going to have them killed,” Hermione said finally. “I can never be around them again.”

Ginny tried again to stand Hermione to her feet and this time she was successful. When she stood, she saw the bruises Hermione had on her legs and wrists; she gasped and looked at Hermione with great concern.
“What happened to you?” Ginny asked, putting a comforting arm around Hermione’s shoulders and leading her out of the shower into their dorm room where she made Hermione sit on the foot of the bed while she found some clothes for her to wear.
“I can’t tell you, Ginny...he has spies, he said so…he could be listening right now…they could…he’ll kill them and then he’ll kill me…”
“Hermione, who will?” Ginny found a pair of Hermione’s grey sweatpants and a white sweatshirt and handed them to her. Hermione took them and freely dropped her towel, dressing in front of Ginny. (Neither girl thought anything of this since they were best friends.)

Hermione glanced around the room then got up and looked in every nook and cranny, looking for a sign that she was being listened to. Then it dawned on her, what if he had placed a charm on the room? What if he had somehow managed to get ahold of Fred and George’s Extendable Ears?
”What are you doing?” Ginny asked wildly. She wished Hermione would speak up already.
By this time, Hermione had made it to the doorway and was meticously checking the cracks in between the bricks that made it up. She finally turned to Ginny and mouthed silently, “I can’t talk,” she said as she disappeared out into the corridor.

Hermione was becoming more than paranoid after her encounter with Draco. She had no idea that he would go to such lengths, no idea that he would spy on her. What did he care? It wasn’t like they had a real relationship-not by anyone’s standards.

But, too, Hermione supposed, this was probably just Draco. Once he had steaked his claim in something, that was that. No “ifs” “ands” or “buts” about it. She had made her way downstairs and into the common room which was compltely empty except for a certain redhead that was sitting on the sofa looking into the fire; his elbows on his knees and his head bowed with his hands clenching sections of his hair.

She was standing on the bottom step of the staircase and when she saw him, she froze. For all she knew, Draco had cronies hiding behind the long red satin curtains that were draped over the windows that overlooked Hogwarts grounds.

Hermione stood in silence, watching him; ignorant of the fact that she was there. He looked troubled and she wanted so badly to go to him to talk to him; comfort him. She didn’t know what could be bothering him and she certainly wasn’t selfish enough to believe that he could be worried about her after he saw the bruises on her wrists.

After a few moments, Ron took his hands from his hair and looked up into the fire, muttering something that she couldn’t quite make out. Hermione stood on tiptoe and craned her neck a bit in order to hear him and then she realized that he was talking to someone not totally in her line of vision. All she could make out was a few strands of mussed red hair. When the fire spoke back to Ron, Hermione still couldn’t hear what was being said but could tell by the tone of the voice that Ron was talking to his mother.

She hadn’t come down here looking for Ron or anyone; she was on her way to The Great Hall to get dinner- she was starving. She wondered if she could make it past Ron unnoticed as she stepped down and began to creep behind him towards the door.

Then, something gave her away: a deafining squeak from the old wooden floorboards that decorated the common room.
Ron stood abruptly and looked to her and then at the fire from which Mrs. Weasly’s head suddenly disappeared. He gave a slight frown at it and turned his attention to Hermione again.
“Hermione!”
She nodded in his general direction and began to walk on, trying not to be rude but trying not to really speak to him, either. Ron walked away from the couch so that he was now blocking her path to the door; the fire was back to normal and illuminating a few random sections of the common room.
“Hermione,” he said, “what’s wrong?”
She stopped in her tracks, a few feet away from him, she didn’t dare look at him or properly acknowledge his presence; she was too scared at the thought of Malfoy and his sidekicks. She tried to keep on walking but was met halfway in her path when Ron walked up to her, causing her to bump headfirst into his chest. He caught her by the shoulders and now held her out at arms length.
Hermione still would not look at Ron’s face but she looked at his hands and mentally reprimanded herself for loving how comforting his touch felt.

Stop this, she told herself. You’re an idiot.
“Hermione, I’m talking to you!”
She took one last look at his hands and allowed herself again to love the feeling of his touch, very briefly, before looking at her feet.
“Hermione!” Ron said loudly, she could hear irritation in his voice and she didn’t blame him; but she didn’t know what else to do. She thought she was keeping the both of them from harms way.
“Why won’t you talk to me?” he pushed on. “Was it something I said? Something I did? What?” Ron shook her, desperate to get her attention. “Godammit, Hermione!”
Hermione still said nothing and looked at the floor, she could feel Ron’s glare burning into her. After a moment, he took his hands away and clenched his hair again. “You know,” he began taking short paces in front of her, “this is insane.”
The light from the fire cast on him and Hermione could see the shadows of his hands dancing across her feet. Ron was sometimes rather animated when he was frustrated. “What is he doing to you, Hermione? I mean, he’s…he’s taken this hold on you and it’s pulling you down…your attitude and personality have been nothing above lousy for the last month, me and Harry find out why only to find out that he’s abusing you and you seem to enjoy it because you keep letting him do it…”
Hermione couldn’t keep silent any longer. Yelling at her was one thing, but hearing Ron get on a tangent about Draco hurting her was too much, she decided that here would be where she would take her chances.
“He isn’t abusing me, Ron!” she spat.
He stopped directiy in front of her and looked at her as though he was honetly amazed that she had spoken.
“No?” he grabbed the sleeve of her shirt and yanked it to her elbow, exposing the bruises. “Then explain these to me, Hermione!” His ears were growing red as he looked expectantly back at her, wanting an answer.




Chapter 5: When light turns to dark
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The Darkness and the Light
Part 5


Disclaimer: Characters belong to the great J.K Rowling. The plot is mine and mine alone. There is no profit being made here, we’re just a bunch of fans having fun. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, you know.

Archive: Please read previous postings/stories for the answer to this. Please read and review!

Spoilers: Parts 1-4 of my stories by the same title.



“Ron,” Hermione sighed, “how many times do I have to tell you that there is nothing to explain?” She noticed that his grip had tightened on her sleeve as though he was determined not to let her walk away this time.
“And how many times do I have to tell you that I don’t believe you?” he put a finger under her chin and drew it upward; again forcing her to look at him. “What’s going on, Hermione? You can tell me, I’m your friend.”

Those last three words went straight to Hermione’s heart and pierced it worse than anything ever could. She closed her eyes, feeling the pain in a way that Ron could never imagine.
“You’re my friend,” she repeated softly.
“I am.”
It was very real: him standing there with his hand on her, talking to her and saying everything he could to get her to open up. Yet, when he had said that he was her friend, it was like it echoed in her mind and it was all that she was hearing. She found herself just sort of zoning out and not paying attention to him.
“I-I have to go,” she heard herself say as she took his hand away from her chin. She tried to walk away but soon realized that there was something holding her back. Ron’s hand. He still had ahold of her sleeve. “Let go.”

Ron took this to have a double meaning. “Never.”
“You don’t understand,” Hermione said numbly. “He’ll kill me, he’ll kill Harry…he’ll kill you…”
“Kill? Who will?” He smirked and a bemused expression crossed his face. “Malfoy?”
Hermione nodded.
“Hermione,” Ron chuckled, “I’m not afraid of him.”
“You should be,” she told him, snapping to her senses. “You don’t know what he’s capable of.”
Ron suddenly looked very grim as his attention went back to her bruises. “I do know, Hermione,” he said softly. “You’re walking proof. If he thinks he’s big and bad because he can do this to you, then…”
“What does it matter, Ron?” Hermione interrupted him.
He finally released her sleeve but only to take her hand and hold it against his chest over his heart. He looked at her meaningfully and their eyes locked; they were the only ones in the common room-the only ones in the world at this exact moment.

“It matters more than you realize, Hermione.” Ron said, his heart beating loudly in his ears a million miles a second. His mind was screaming at him this is it, your perfect moment. Tell her. Tell her how you feel, you may never have a chance like this again, seize it….
He moved in a little closer and the heat from the fire that was warming them seemed to get a bit warmer, or maybe it was the fact that they both knew that they were feeling the same thing. “You deserve so much better than that. I’m a nice guy, Hermione…”
Whoever said that the truth hurt knew what they were talking about; Hermione found herself fighting back tears.
“I know.”
“Do you?” he whispered as he brought her hand to his cheek, she caressed it.
“I do,” she didn’t think it humanly possible to feel any warmer, but she did.
“I won’t hurt you,” he said, his voice still soft. “I would never hurt you.” He kissed her palm, sending waves of excitement through Hermione.
“I know…” she murmured, touching him felt too good, him touching and kissing her felt too good; too right. She had forgotten all about her empty stomach, all about Draco and his threat; Ron was planting gentle kisses on her arm and she didn’t resist the urge to run her free hand through his fluffy red hair.
“Do you?” he repeated in between kisses and when she caught his eye again, she nodded.

Ron had gotten a few inches below Hermione’s shoulder and stopped. Their faces were inches apart.
“I love you, Hermione. I can show you that you’re better than you think if you give me the chance.” Ron couldn’t believe he was hearing himself say this. Telling her those three little words was not as hard as he had anticipated.
Hermione’s heart swelled so much that she felt sure it was going to explode. This was what she wanted. What she had dreamed of. Her dream come true.
“I love you, too,” she said as she descended her lips onto his.


It was a good thing that Draco Malfoy came from money because when Crabbe and Goyle came back to the Slytherin common room to tell him what they had witnessed while watching through the windows of Gryffindor tower, Draco went into a thundering rage smashing everything he could get his hands on. There was no doubt that his father would have to replace it all.
“I WARNED THAT FILTHY LITTLE MUDBLOOD! DID SHE THINK I WAS JOKING?” he roared as he picked up a nearby goblet of pumpkin juice and threw it against the stone wall causing juice and little shards of glass to splatter everywhere.
Goyle looked at Crabbe uneasily, they had seen Draco mad before, but not like this; and also, when Draco wasn’t around, they had found themselves in deep conversations about exactly what it was that Draco wanted with that Granger girl. They didn’t think it fair that while they did Malfoy’s bidding for him, they were also kept in the dark.

Until today, that is. They decided that they had the courage to ask him. Well, courage before they had been sent to spy on her. Goyle kept his eyes on Malfoy as he nudged Crabbe in the ribs, prompting him to ask about that Granger girl.
“Uh huh,” Crabbe grunted and returned Goyle’s jab. “You do it.”
“Me?” Goyle whispered loudly. He hadn’t meant for Malfoy to hear him, but he did; and he stopped his rampage upon the Slytherin common room long enough to turn and stare at his cronies with his cold silvery eyes.
“What’s this?” Draco demanded, raising an eyebrow.
Goyle cleared his throat and nudged Crabbe again, who finally gave him an exasperated look as if to say that it wasn’t as big a deal as they thought to ask their question.
“Well? Out with it!” Draco said impatiently.
“The-the Granger girl...,” Crabbe was still timid, “well, see, what it is…,” he shot a nervous look at Goyle who urged him on, “um, well, we were…sort of wondering what you’re doing with her…” when he finished, he winced and held his forearm up like a shield to protect his head as though he was expecting a fierce blow to come from Draco and when it didn’t happen, he let his guard down.
“What do you mean?” Draco asked simply as he sat down on the couch. This action made Crabbe and Goyle feel more at ease about continuing the subject.
“Is she your girlfriend or…what?” asked Goyle.
Draco gave a bemused expression and chuckled to himself. “That filthy little mudblood? Never!”
“Then what?” Crabbe asked, sitting next to Draco.
“I can’t stand being with her, she makes me physically ill. But, she’s a mudblood and she has to be taught and this is going to continue until she gets things straight in her head.”
Crabbe managed to secretly cast a worried glance at Goyle. He already didn’t like where this conversation was going. “’Gets things straight’?”
“Oh, don’t tell me you haven’t noticed, Crabbe!” Draco sneered. “The way she always knows the answers to all the questions in class, the way she quotes every book she’s ever read...” “But, why her? She isn’t the only Muggle-born in Hogwarts…” Crabbe tried not to sound like he was even close to defending Hermione but was failing miserably.
“Are you developing a soft spot, Crabbe?” Draco asked suspiciously. Crabbe didn’t answer and Draco went on. “And what about the way she walks around here like she’s all high and mighty because she’s friends with Dumbledore’s Golden Boy? He’s not so special and neither is that Weasel that she’s obviously so stuck on,” he paused and turned his attention to the fire, “she needs to come down from her pedestal. Not only that, but it’s teaching Potter and Weaslby that they should know better than to play with a Malfoy. I’ll make them all wish they had never met me.”
“What are you going to do?” Goyle asked.
Goyle looked at Crabbe not really sure what to think of the darkness that was Draco Malfoy.


The late hour of midnight was finally upon Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Hermione Granger found herself lying in bed feeling lighter than she had in a month. Ron loved her, he said he did. They kissed and it was perfection. They were well on their way to being an item, like she had always wanted. All she had to do was get rid of Draco…
Draco…the thought of that name made Hermione’s insides quiver with fear. She didn’t like this feeling and chose to push it aside with thoughts of Ron and their kiss in the common room. She drifted off into a blissful sleep but was awakend by what she thought was rather suddenly to a heavy weight holding her down by her wrists.
Hermione opened her eyes and they focused on a slightly muscular figure on top of her, blonde hair and silvery eyes glinting in the moonlight. Malfoy had made it into her dorm again and he was on top of her. This had to be a bad dream, but realized just the opposite when she opened her mouth to scream and suddenly found herself mute. He had placed a Silencing Charm on her.
“I warned you,” he growled as he leaned in to put his face next to hers. She fought to control tears that she felt coming on but was powerless. “I know all about your cozy kissing session with Weaslby and you’re going to be so sorry…”


Ginny Weasly did something that she didn’t normally do; she woke up at around 2:30 in the morning for a drink of water. As she drank, she looked around the room and was surprised to see Hermione’s bed unmade and empty. She felt an uneasiness creep into the pit of her stomach-something was wrong, Hermione was never missing from her bed this late.
Putting hope against hope, she got out of bed and went looking for her friend, hoping to just find her in the bathroom but on her way to the door, something on Hermione’s bed caught her eye. A piece of parchment.
She crossed to the bed, picked it up and gasped at the words that were scrawled in what appeared to be blood:
Let’s see you touch her now…
Ginny felt as though the wind had been knocked from her lungs and her legs felt like they had given out from under her. Hermione had been kidnapped.
Ginny instantly knew that she had to get herself together, she had to get out of that room, and she had to go tell Ron.





Chapter 6: Game Plan
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The Darkness and The Light



Disclaimer: The plot is mine; the rest belongs to the brilliance that is JK Rowling.

Spoilers: Yep. Parts 1-5 of this story.

Summary: Draco and Hermione had been sneaking around for a month until Harry and Ron caught them in the Room of Requirement. The secret is out along with a few other secrets that Hermione was keeping. She and Ron have finally gotten together, only now Draco has found out and kidnapped her. It just keeps getting worse.

A/N: THANK YOU ALL for the awesome reviews!! You’re great and it’s you that give me the inspiration to go on. Please read and review!

A/N: Sorry I took so long to update!!

Ron hated that he was such a light sleeper; he was the only one awakened by the loud banging on his dormitory door. He sat up in bed and looked around at Harry, Seamus, Neville and Dean who were all sleeping soundly.
“It must be nice,” he sleepily grumbled to himself as he slid his feet into the slippers that sat at the side of his bed. Louder knocking came from the door, more urgent this time.
“Ok, ok, keep your robes on! I’m coming!” he barked as he trudged to the door and opened it, surprised to see Ginny on the other side looking flushed. “Gin, it’s the middle of the night…”
“I know, I’m sorry, but I didn’t know what else to do…”
Ron rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “What’s wrong?”
Ginny stood on tiptoe and looked over her brother’s shoulder, she was glad to see that she hadn’t woken the other boys. In order to keep it this way, she grabbed Ron’s nightgown and pulled him out into the corridor motioning for him to close the door behind him, which he did.
“I woke up for a drink of water and I just happened to be looking around the room when I found this on Hermione’s bed,” she reached into the pocket of her nightgown and produced the piece of parchment, handing it to Ron who opened it and turned white when he read it.
“I don’t know how I knew to bring it to you, it just felt…”
Still looking at the letter, obviously stricken, he nodded to show Ginny that he had heard her.
“It-it’s ok, Gin, you don’t have-have to say any more,” he managed. “Stay here, I’m going to go get Harry.”
Ginny nodded and watched her brother as he turned and walked shakily back into his room, making straight for Harry, who appeared to be hard to wake. Finally, she saw him sit up and put on his glasses, his eyes never leaving Ron. Harry took the parchment, read it, and looked out into the hallway at Ginny and at Ron again.
“Ok,” she heard Harry whisper. “Let’s go downstairs so we don’t wake the others.”
Harry got out of bed, put on his slippers and went towards the door with Ron bringing up the rear. A few moments later, they were sitting in a small circle on a rug in front of the fire, the parchment in the middle.
“Do you think it was Draco?” Ron asked Harry, gesturing to the letter.
“Who else could it be?” Harry reasoned. Ron was silent for a moment as if he were pondering something that was weighing heavily upon him, never looking away from the letter. Then he spoke:
“Harry,” his voice shook slightly, “you don’t think that was written with Hermione’s blood, do you?”
Harry cast a sideways glance at Ron; that was exactly what he thought and he had hoped that the thought wouldn’t cross Ron’s mind. He didn’t want to say this to his friend, so he just shrugged and shook his head hoping that would pacify him.
“What are you talking about?” Ginny asked, looking from boy to boy until one of them began with something that would pass by her for an answer.
Ron looked at Harry, not entirely sure that he wanted to share the story of Hermione with her, and then looked at his sister. “You’re too young,” he muttered.
“I’m a year younger than you are, Ron!” Ginny sputtered, indignant.
“I don’t care,” he said flatly. “You’re still too young.”
Ginny let out a heavy, annoyed sigh. “I swear to Merlin, I am so sick of this! I’m not as young as you all would like to think!” She got to her feet and headed towards the steps leading to her dorm. “And to think I was going to tell you about the bruises I saw all over Hermione’s body…”
Ron and Harry looked at eachother. What did she mean by ‘all over her body’?
“Ginny, wait,” Ron said and when Ginny stopped in her tracks, she smiled to herself. She knew that would grab their attention.
“Yes?” she asked innocently.
“You win,” he said defeatedly. “Come back here and sit down.” He patted the place on the rug where Ginny had sat.
“I knew you would see it my way,” Ginny snickered, taking her brothers invitation.
“What bruises, Ginny?” Harry asked.
She told them about finding Hermione in the shower the day before and when she was done, Ron stood and angrily paced the floor, his ears almost the same shade as his hair. “I’ll kill him,” he was seething, “so help me Merlin, I will kill him…”
“Kill who?” Ginny asked.
“Gin, why didn’t you tell us?” Harry asked, looking worriedly at Ron.
“I didn’t know there was anything to tell. Kill who?” she asked again, watching Ron pace.
“Malfoy!” Ron exclaimed, a little too harshly, causing both Ginny and Harry to jump. “He’s been…Hermione’s been…they were sneaking around for a month. He’s been hurting her, Ginny. That’s all you need to know.”
Ginny thought for a moment about the events after she had gotten Hermione out of the shower. She hadn’t understood why Hermione was acting so paranoid and now she did.
“She’s scared of him,” she whispered to herself.
“What?” Harry asked, giving her a quizzical look.
“Hermione,” Ginny told him. “She’s scared of Draco.”
“All the more reason for us to get out of here and set out to find her!” Ron exclaimed, feeling as though they had sat there and talked long enough. He spun on his heels and looked out the window. The sun would be rising soon.
“Ron, we don’t know where to start,” Harry reminded him.
“I do.” Ron said.
“Where?” Ginny and Harry asked in unison.
“Crabbe and Goyle.”

Hermione didn’t know exactly what was going on or where she was; she just knew that she felt so weak that when she tried to open her eyes, it was a struggle. She wasn’t aware of much at all, just a few things: her body felt heavier than normal, she was cold, and her left wrist was in a considerable amount of pain; pain that went beyond her bruises. She tried very hard to think of why she might be feeling this and the last thing she remembered was Draco kidnapping her from her dormitory while everyone in Gryffindor slept.
“Draco?” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. Finding strength to talk was impossible. When there was no answer, she called his name again; managing to sound a little louder this time. Still no answer. She decided that she must be alone. Despite her groggy state, she knew that she had to figure out her situation-she had to figure out where she was and she had to find a way out because she was almost certain that this wasn’t good.
With great effort, she tried to move her feet and soon found that she was shackled to the floor.
“What have you done?” she whispered to the silence around her. She tried opening her eyes again and this time, she was successful. She focused on something-no-someone-in the corner.
“Draco?” she asked again and still got no answer.
Hermione realized that her surroundings looked somewhat dark, but she didn’t know if it was due to low lighting or if it was her eyesight failing her. She knew the figure in the corner was coming towards her because she could hear approaching footsteps.
“Draco, is it you?”
Finally, the figure stopped, knelt down, and got right in her face.
“Who else would it be?” said a familiar voice that made her cringe.
“Where are we?”
He ignored this and got to his feet. “I warned you,” he sneered. Draco was making slow circles around her and looking down at her disdainfully. She had done it this time. “I know you were with Weasly.”
“So what?”
His footsteps stopped and Hermione yelped as he kicked her in the small of her back.
So what? You’ve forgotten how to play our little game, Granger! You’re mine and mine alone! You don’t go sneaking moments with Weasly whenever you see fit!” Hermione could hear his footsteps encircling her again and her wrist throbbed some more. She felt as though her very life was draining from her, and as she managed to bring her wrist up to look at it, she understood why. She was bleeding. Draco had cut her wrist open.
“You’re really going to kill me,” she said; more to herself than to Draco.

When Ron had an idea and was certain that he was right about it, it was hard to change his mind. Once he had decided to talk to Crabbe and Goyle, he had made a mad dash from the Gryffindor common room headed for Slytherin before Harry and Ginny could say anything,
Ron had made it to the doorway of Slytherin’s common room before his sister and best friend were finally able to stop him; Harry blocking the doorway and Ginny holding tightly onto his wrist.
“Let me go!” he demanded, looking from one to the other.
“Not until you hear us out!” Harry said to him as he braced himself in the doorway; he was half expecting Ron to barge past him to get to Crabbe and Goyle.
“I don’t have time for this, Harry! We have to find Hermione! If that’s her blood on the letter, then there is no telling what he’s done to her! She could be seriously hurt or…,” he stopped, not wanting to finish that thought; he couldn’t.
“I know,” Harry sympathized, “but there’s too much we don’t know. What makes you think Crabbe and Goyle are behind this? More importantly, what makes you think they would tell you anything?”
Before Ron could answer, Ginny interjected, “I think we should wait until morning and go to Dumbledore,” she was quiet when she said this and looked at Ron tentatively for a moment waiting for a reaction before her eyes quickly darted to her feet; almost as if she was sorry for suggesting such a thing.
“Of course they’re behind it, Harry! They’re friends with Draco, why wouldn’t they be?”
“But we don’t know that for sure, Ron!”
“I do, I feel it.”
Harry let out a heavy sigh. Deep down, he agreed with Ron about Draco’s cronies, but he was trying to stall for time. He loved Hermione like a sister and knew that they were wasting precious time standing around like a bunch of prats, but he didn’t want Ron going off half cocked and doing something he might regret later.
“What makes you think they would tell us anything?” Harry asked again and this time Ron looked as though he was actually pondering this question; he yanked his wrist from Ginny’s grasp.
“I don’t know,” he sighed, hanging his head and giving up. “We have to save her. We can’t just…”
“We know,” Ginny said patting Ron’s arm. “If anyone can help us, Dumbledore can. We should wait and talk to him.”
“But, what if…” Ron began and stopped in mid-sentence as whirlwind of “what if” blew around in his mind.
“Try not to think of it, mate.” Harry relaxed and stepped out into the corridor, lightly pushing Ron ahead of him and guiding him down the hall. He looked at his watch. “It’ll be sunrise soon. Why don’t we all try and get some sleep?”
Ron reluctantly agreed to this and secretly hoped that Harry and Ginny couldn’t see his ears in the dim light. They were red, he knew they were. He was furious at them for being so passive. Waiting and talking to Dumbledore was not on his list of things to do. Hermione was in danger, he needed to find her.
They had made just outside The Great Hall when Ron stopped suddenly and began to pat himself around his chest and torso as thought looking for something.
“What’s wrong?” Harry asked, giving Ron a quizzical look.
“I think I lost my wand,” he fumbled through both pockets in his pajamas; even turned them out and they were empty.
“You probably dropped it in Slytherin somewhere,” Ginny offered and turned in the direction they had come from. “C’mon. We’ll go look for it.”
Harry had turned to follow her lead and Ron but a hand on each of their shoulders, holding them back; they looked at eachother and then at Ron.
“It’s ok, why don’t you go on and I’ll go? Ginny, can I borrow your wand?”
“What for?” Ginny asked, looking him over suspiciously.
“Light,” he explained uneasily.
Ginny’s expression never changed as she withdrew her wand from a pocket in her gown and handed it to Ron. “See you in a few hours, Ron,” she said.
“Back at you.”
“We’re going to go talk to Dumbledore, right?” she asked. It sounded more like she was looking for confirmation rather than asking a question.
Ron nodded.
“Ok,” Ginny said, disbelief creeping into her voice as she and Harry walked away.

Ron didn’t want to lie to Harry and Ginny, but he didn’t see where he had any other choice. He had come up with a plan-a plan that he felt so brilliant that he couldn’t help but mentally pat himself on the back for thinking of it.
He stopped outside of the door and looked around to make sure the coast was clear and was delighted to see that it was. His delight soon turned to disappointment when he tried to open the door and found it locked.
“No matter,” he told himself as he held Ginny’s wand to the lock. “Alohamora.” The large wooden door gave a loud creak as it opened up, spooking Ron just a bit. He crept on inside the room, being careful not to bump into any desks or chairs as he made his way towards his target in the back. He muttered an incantation that made the tip of the wand light up ever so slightly, not so bright that he would get caught if someone saw a strange light through the window, but not so low that it was pointless to use it to begin with, either.
Looking upward, he ran the light over the cabinet that he was now looking into. He knew what he was looking for would be here-just finding it was the trick.
Each little bottle that sat on the shelves was labeled and Ron read them as he browsed:
“Valentine…no…Vanish…no…Vermin…no…” then he saw it. “Veritaserum,” he said with a smile on his face. This was exactly what he would need to save Hermione.

Harry and Ginny were silent on the way back to the Gryffindor common room; each lost in their own thoughts: Harry was thinking about Hermione and how he knew that something needed to be done, but Ginny had been right; nothing could be done until morning. He also worried that maybe he had given Ron the impression that he didn’t care about Hermione and hoped that Ron knew that it was quite the contrary.
Ginny, on the other hand, thought of nothing other than Ron. She didn’t think for a second that he had lost his wand. Upon reaching the doorway to the common room, she grabbed Harry’s sleeve and said this to him.
“Oh?” he asked, genuinely interested in why she thought this. “What do you think he’s up to?”
Ginny opened her mouth to answer him but the ever constant fire that warmed the common room grew a little brighter than usual and it caught her eye. She was suddenly distracted by a tiny shadow that was cast on the rug in front of the fireplace and went to investigate it, Harry watched her curiously.
“What is it?”
Ginny had found exactly what she thought. She picked the object casting the shadow off the floor and turned to Harry, holding it up for him to see.
“I told you,” she said. “It’s Ron’s wand.”




Chapter 7: Waiting and Realizing
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Disclaimer: Everything except the characters belong to me. The rest is the brilliance that is JK Rowling.

Spoilers: Parts 1-6 of this story.

A/N: Sorry that I have been so lousy at updating! I've had a horrible case of writers block. I know this chapter is kinda short as well...I'll try to make up for it in chapter 8.

The Darkness and The Light
Part 7


Ron’s heart was thudding so loudly against his ribcage that he couldn’t hear his own footsteps as he neared the Slytherin common room. The closer he got, the more he realized that his plan was not as well thought out as he had assumed.

For one thing, he didn’t know exactly how he was going to administer the serum to Crabbe and Goyle. Secondly, he realized that he didn’t know exactly where in Slytherin they slept.
I have to try, he thought to himself as he crept up the steps to the dormitory.
If Ron needed anything more than anything else at this moment, it was luck. He had made it to the end of the first hallway and was about to turn a corner when he heard it: a loud, resonating snore that came from his left. At first, the sound didn’t register with him as being human; it sounded like it was anything but and that was what piqued Ron’s curiosity enough to make him turn back and walk towards the sound.

He noticed something that he had not noticed upon his first trip down the hallway. An open door. This was where the sound was coming from. Still curious about what that sound was, he pushed on and tiptoed as quietly as he could into the room where two Slytherin boys slept.

The moon outside was shining brightly and practically flooding the room, this allowed Ron to get a good look at who was occupying the beds. To the left was Crabbe who was sleeping soundly. The inhuman sounding snores were coming from Goyle, who was directly in front of him.
Too bloody easy, Ron thought to himself as he silently thanked whoever or whatever it could have been that bestowed such a stroke of luck upon him. He withdrew the vile of Veritaserum from the pocket of his gown and looked from it to the two sleeping boys. Now, the trick was to figure out how he was going to administer it.




Hermione had regained enough consciousness to know that Draco had now sat her up and leaned her against the stone cold wall. Her wrist was aching dully as opposed to the throbbing sensation that it had when she realized he had cut her. She looked down and was surprised to see the cut had disappeared and slowly she began to notice that she was feeling some better than she originally did. She was confused.
“I thought you meant to kill me,” she stated to Draco who was now sitting in front of her.
“Don’t kid yourself, Granger.”
“Then why am I here? Why did you kidnap me? Why did you cut me?” Hermione asked. He made no reaction to her questions whatsoever, he just let her speak. The more she spoke and the less he reacted, the madder Hermione got. She demanded to know what was going on. She looked around the room to see if she could recognize where they were and quickly realized two things: one being that if she could, it wouldn’t matter because Draco had enchanted the room to look like the night sky was encasing them on all sides and, two, if they were in The Room of Requirement, which Hermione somehow doubted, he wouldn’t be dumb enough to do something like this on Hogwarts grounds.
“Where are we?”
“Don’t ask so many questions!” Draco barked at her as he bowed his head and ran his fingers through his hair. Hermione thought for a second that he was going to use that action as a springboard to just start yelling at her, his knuckles were white he had his hands clenched so tightly. She cowered against the wall.
“What are you doing?” he asked, finally looking at her.
“No-nothing…” she stammered.
Draco got to his feet, walked to her and got on his knees so he would be at eye level at her. He brought a hand up and rested it on her cheek, she instinctively jerked back and he recoiled; looking genuinely hurt.
“I just wanted to kiss you,” he told her.
She glared at him. “Do you really think I would let you after this?” Hermione roared. “You’re crossing the line, Malfoy!”
The hurt in his face faded to pure and unadulterated anger as he stood and dealt her a swift blow to her face with his hand, causing her to fall sideways and hit her head on the opposite wall. She found herself losing consciousness.
“Damned Mudblood! Don’t talk to me about crossing lines!” Before completely falling into darkness, Hermione could hear the faint sound of his footsteps leaving the room.



Ron knew he had to think fast; Crabbe and Goyle were likely to wake up at any second. He couldn’t believe that he had failed to think this part through; but when he considered just how hastily he had come up with his plan, yes he could.

He should have panicked, but he didn’t. He walked as softly as he could over to Crabbe, pinched his nose and poured the serum down his throat. He had no idea how he had managed to keep him from waking up as he crept across the room to Goyle and did the same thing. Now all he had to do was wait until they came down to breakfast. He would talk to them then.
He only hoped that it was as easy as he thought it would be as he made his way back to Gryffindor Tower so he could get cleaned up and ready for the day.
Ron had gotten as far as the corridor outside The Great Hall when he was greeted by Ginny and Harry who appeared to be upset.
“Hi, guys,” Ron greeted them.
“Ronald Weasley! Where have you been?” Ginny yelled at him angrily.
Ron looked to Harry and gestured to Ginny, quietly asking him what her problem was. Harry ignored him and spoke evenly, trying to keep his temper in check.
“We’ve been looking all over for you for the last half hour, Ron. I noticed that you never made it to the dorm lastnight. Where have you been?”
“I know where he’s been,” Ginny seethed, glaring angrily at her brother.
“Gin, we don’t know that. Give him a chance to explain.” Harry defended, the anger rising in his voice just the same.
“I know my brother, Harry. I know he went back to Slytherin. ‘Lost my wand’ indeed. I thought we agreed to take this to Dumbledore, Ron!”
Ron let out an exasperated sigh and rolled his eyes. “Ok, you caught me. Fine. I couldn’t wait that long. I had to take matters into my own hands…”
Harry and Ginny stared back at him as though that wasn’t a good enough explanation.
“Hermione could be dying for all we know!” he stormed at them. “And you expect me to just sit by and,” he glared at Ginny and let her know with his eyes that he thought her idea was stupid, “’wait for Dumbledore’! Well, it wasn’t going to happen! I love her and I’m going to do everything in my power to get her back-I don’t care what it takes!” he paused for a moment, his own words and anger had left him breathless. “Ya know, what really gets me is you two, how can you just act like Hermione doesn’t even matter to you? How can you-“
Harry put up a hand and stopped him right there. He somehow knew that this would be coming.
“Ron, that isn’t true and you know it,” Harry protested.
“Do I? First, you’d rather sit around like a bunch of prats discussing the parchment that Ginny found on Hermione’s bed…”
Harry glared back at Ron, incredulous. He opened his mouth to shout back at him, but Ron stopped him before he could say anything.
“…you try and stop me from going into Crabbe and Goyle’s dormitory knowing full well that they are behind this, Harry!” his gaze went back to Ginny, who looked shocked at her brother for yelling at Harry. When Ron’s eyes met her own, she cowered and took a couple of steps back. Being a Weasley herself, she knew the temper that came with the name all to well. Especially when Ron was fired up about Hermione. “And you! ‘Let’s wait and talk to Dumbledore’! If you weren’t a girl and my sister, I would slap you! I’m just as loyal to him as the next Gryffindor, but he isn’t the answer to everything!”
Ron’s anger had left him breathless as he stopped and took a couple of gulps of air. He looked from Harry to Ginny as he did this to see them staring back at him looking dumbfounded. Ron shook his head in disgust and broke between the two, headed for Gryffindor tower.

Harry and Ginny turned and watched him storm off; about midway to the hall that lead to the common room, he stopped and tuned on his heels.
“I’ll do this myself!” Ron shouted. “I don’t need your help! Hermione will see who really cares about her!”
And, with that, he was gone.


Hermione awoke to find herself alone and very briefly wondering where Malfoy was. She looked at her shackles and tried to think of a way she could escape; her thoughts were interrupted by faint voices that sounded like they were arguing.
“I sent them away, Luscious! I sent them away so we could spend some time alone! You’re always so busy at the Ministry and…” cried a very feminine voice.
Hermione strained to get a better listen. She could not have heard that correctly. Could she?
“Luscious?” she whispered to herself.
“Inferior woman! Stop your inane crying! How many times to I have to tell you that if you don’t stop sending the elves away, they’re going to come to expect it all the time?!?! I don’t even know if I can get this lot back this time!! Do you realize we have lost over sixty house elves in the last three months because of you??” yelled a male voice.
“It’s…” cried the feminine sounding voice.
“Narcissa! Enough!” yelled Luscious and Hermione could have sworn that the woman scream as she heard a sickening thud crash against the wall. She tried to put this out of her mind and put together where she was.
“Think of what you know,” she told herself.
It isn’t much. a voice reminded her.
“Draco refuses to tell you where you are and when he knocks you out, you come to and hear his parents arguing.” She pondered this a moment more and it dawned on her. She couldn’t believe it, she didn’t want to. She was somewhere in Malfoy Manor.







Chapter 8: The Weasley Temper
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Disclaimer: This is for fun and not profit in any way, shape, or form. All of the characters in the following story belong to J.K. Rowling. The plot is mine, all mine.

Archive: Sure, as long as you give credit where it is due and you acknowledge me as Scabbers Weasly wherever you archive. Tell me about it by sending an email to Scabbers_Weasly@yahoo.com and send me the site so I can see my work.

Spoilers: Parts 1-7 of this story.

Summary: Hermione and Draco have been sneaking around for about a month until they get caught by Ron and Harry, who later discover Draco is abusing her.

A/N: In case I haven’t said it lately, THANK YOU ALL for the wonderful reviews!!!! It’s you that makes me keep writing! You’re the best!!!

The Darkness and The Light
Chapter 8


Harry and Ginny sat in The Great Hall and ate their breakfast in silence. Ron had sat down across from them and Harry took that to mean something. It meant that Ron didn’t completely abandon him; he had never yelled at Harry before and Harry wasn’t sure how to react.
He glanced nervously at Ginny who was watching him with an apologetic look on her face. She was still amazed at Ron for yelling at his best friend and felt like she had to apologize for him.
Harry must have sensed this because his eyes never left Ginny as he mouthed “don’t” to her.
Ron had taken notice of this exchange and looked up from his ham at them in such a way that neither of the two felt as though they would be permitted to speak.
“Say it!” he growled. Harry and Ginny only started back at him. “You have something to say, say it!”
Finally, Ginny got the courage to speak up: “You owe us an apology! HOW DARE you speak to Harry and me like that! We were only trying to help you, to keep you from doing something so stupid…” she gritted her teeth and stood, leaning over the table towards Ron who looked dumbfounded. “You know what the difference between you and me is, Ron? Do you?”
Ron slowly shook his head and Ginny continued to yell at him. “You’re a boy and my brother, and I WOULD slap you!”
That was exactly what she did before she took a fierce drink of orange juice from her glass and slammed it back onto the table, causing the bottom to break. She looked at the glass, shocked that she didn’t know her own strength, and then cleared her throat as she looked at Ron trying to convince him that she had meant to do that for emphasis. She stormed off towards the entrance to the Great Hall, red hair flying behind her, leaving Ron and Harry to look after her.
“I guess she told you,” Harry said quietly after a moment as he grabbed a piece of toast from his plate and headed after Ginny.
Ron was still speechless. He knew his sister had a temper, but never in a million years did he think she would ever slap him. As he rubbed the place his sister had left on his right cheek, he began to feel very ashamed of himself. Ginny was right. All they wanted to do was help him.
He took a drink of pumpkin juice before he stood up and went after them. He needed to apologize.

Hermione didn’t need strain to hear Narcissa and Lucius any longer, it sounded as though they were right outside the room. She didn’t know how long it had been sine she heard Draco’s Mom hit the floor, she just knew that she was crying and sounding very defeated now.
“I even locked Draco in his room…”
“WHAT?” roared Lucius.
“D-Draco…”
“WHAT IS HE DOING HOME FROM SCHOOL?”
Hermione didn’t think Mr. Malfoy could get any louder and sound any angrier, but he had.
“He-he said that he wasn’t feeling well, said that he was homesick,” Narcissa said, her voice trembling. Hermione heard her feet shuffle as though she had been on the ground all this time and was just now feeling brave enough to get to her feet.
“And that warranted a leave from his studies?” Lucius growled, it was clear that his anger was not going to subside any moment soon.
“He’s my little boy,” Narcissa pleaded. “Our little boy. If he feels exhausted and needs a break, I see no reason that he can’t come home and relax…”
Hermione heard another noise that sounded like Narcissa hitting the ground again; she felt sorry for Mrs. Malfoy, being treated like that.
“Inferior woman!” Lucius yelled and Hermione could hear his footsteps walking away, leaving Narcissa alone to cry.

Sometime later, Hermione didn’t know just how long because she had fallen asleep, she had awoken to see Draco sitting in front of her. He had been watching her sleep.
“You know, it’s strange,” he said thoughtfully, “that you feel safe enough to sleep here.”
She gestured bitterly to her shackles. “Where am I going? What else am I going to do?”
Malfoy only responded with a sneer.
“Besides that,” Hermione continued, “Why should I be scared? You’ve done nothing to frighten me.”
“No?” Draco looked genuinely surprised.
“No. Nothing you haven’t done to me before, Draco. I’m used to it.”
Malfoy stood and walked towards the back of the room; so far that Hermione couldn’t see anything more of him than his white blonde hair that had caught a ray of moonlight from the night sky that was still enchanting the room. He soon walked back towards Hermione; his hands full with what she thought looked like food.
When he took his place in front of her, she saw that that was exactly what it was. He had brought her a few bread rolls, some cooked vegetables and a tall glass of tea. Not intending to count her blessings, Hermione chose her next words carefully:
“If you meant to be mean to me, Draco, you would not have brought me food.”
“It isn’t a gift of love, Granger.” He sat it down in front of her and she was quick to pick up a roll and devour it. She had not eaten in days.
“I want to know something, Draco,” Hermione gulped down her bread and some tea quickly followed, the hot liquid felt heavenly washing down her dry throat. “Why am I here?”
Hermione found it eerie how his eyes never left her for any amount of time. He kept studying her face, but exactly what he was thinking, Hermione couldn’t tell. She wished she knew a little something about Occulemens so that maybe she could see what his thoughts were.
“You know why,” he said lowly and he grabbed for a roll, breaking it in two.
“No, not really,” she shook her head, “all I know is that you found out about Ron and me and now here I am.”
“That’s it, Granger,” Malfoy said gruffly. “I told you that you were mine and you were NOT to be sneaking off with Weaslby…”
“WeasLEY,” she corrected him and this elicited a look of total disdain from him, making her slightly hang her head and wish she had not have done so. “Sorry,” she whispered.
“You belong to me, Granger. I told you that from the very beginning. You knew how to play our little game and you broke a rule, so now you have to pay the price.”
“We never actually said that what we were doing was a game,” she pointed out. These words had escaped her mouth before she had the chance to really think about them and that confused her. She didn’t know why she said that.
“Wasn’t it?” countered Draco. “You played because you wanted that lousy excuse for a pureblood and you didn’t think you could have him.”
Hermione gaped at Draco, wondering how he could have known.
“Don’t look so shocked, Granger,” he said coolly. “It’s no secret how the two of you really feel. It’s obvious to everyone but the two of you.” He smirked at this and went on. “Do you know anything about Slytherin girls?”
Hermione shook her head and remained silent; wanting to see where he was going with what seemed to be an odd conversation. She took another drink of tea and listened intently.
“They’re worthless. I’ve had…I’ve been with almost everyone from Pansy Parkinson to…” he shook his head as though recounting this bothered him for some reason, “…some bird whose name I never got…they’re all the same. They’re all after one thing and do you know how boring that gets? I never got attached because they never bothered to get to know me before they got into bed with me. It was just one stupid face after another.” He reached out and cradled her cheek and Hermione felt a negative chill travel down her spine. “That is where you come in. Despite everything, I like your intellect. You’re smart and you know it.”
Hermione’s head was reeling; she could not believe her ears. She had endured a whole month of rape and low self-esteem so that Draco could tell her he liked her brain?
“I don’t believe it,” she said aloud and she shook his hand from her head. “There’s gotta be more than that. You sought me out for a reason.”
For a moment, Draco stared back at her, wounded by her words. He looked at the floor and then at her. “I told you you were smart,” he said.

“…and I’m sorry for being an insensitive prat, Harry Potter is the best friend a guy like me could have and Ginny Weasley is the best little sister that a guy like me could have. I should thank Merlin everyday that I am so blessed…”
Ron scowled at his sister as he stood outside on the grounds with her and Harry. He had just found them and apologized. Well, sort of. Ginny was telling him what she thought the apology should sound like and she wouldn’t back down until Ron repeated her words.
“…say it, Ron!”
“I will not!” Ron protested.
Harry patted Ginny on the shoulder. “It’s ok, Gin. ‘I’m sorry’ was good enough.”
“Not for me,” Ginny said haughtily and crossed her arms across her chest.
Ron rolled his eyes and decided to give in, but he covered his mouth with his hand and muttered as he did: “sorry…prat…Harry…best friend…I could have…Ginny…little sister…blessed…” he removed his hand from his mouth and looked at Ginny. It was plain to see that she knew that was the best she could hope for from Ron and she was satisfied with it.
“There. Are you happy now?” he said flatly.
“Never better,” Ginny smiled
“Now that that’s settled, what are we going to do about Hermione?” Harry asked.
At this, Ron recounted the story of how he administered Veritaserum to Crabbe and Goyle to them, leaving them staring back at him in shock.
“YOU DID WHAT?” Ginny roared.
“What else was I supposed to do? There’s no other way to make them talk!”
Ginny placed her hands on her hips and let out a huge sigh, letting Ron know that he should have stuck to her idea. “Well, there’s nothing we can do now,” she said. “Let’s go find Crabbe and Goyle.”

After searching for about an hour, the trio found the two Slytherins by Hogwarts Lake trying to hit fish that came to the surface with rocks. Goyle was the first to notice their presence.
“Wutchoowant?” he asked as he looked them up and down.
“Hermione’s missing,” Harry said slowly.
Goyle looked at Crabbe and they smiled at eachother knowingly. “Yup,” he said with a laugh.
“We know about her and Malfoy,” Ron began, a sickening feeling creeping into his stomach. “We believe that he kidnapped her and has done something to her…”
Again, Crabbe and Goyle exchanged a look and a smile.
“Duh!” Crabbe said, trying to suppress a laugh.
Ron, Harry and Ginny all exchanged looks amongst eachother that said the same thing: Are they drunk on butterbeer or just this stupid? This is too easy!”
“I don’t think you needed the Veritaserum, Ron,” Harry whispered in his best friend’s ear. Ron could only stare at the Slytherins in amazement and nod in response to Harry.
“Bloody hell,” he said under his breath. “How thick could you get?”
Ginny was the next to speak: “Do you know where he’s taken her?”
Although they were thoroughly engrossed in mistreating the varieties of fish that inhabited the lake, she was sure that Crabbe and Goyle had heard her. But, upon a second thought, she wasn’t sure. They appeared to be dumber than she had given them credit for and she wasn’t entirely sure that they had the intelligence to register that they were talking to Ron, Harry and herself.
Crabbe nudged Goyle so hard that he almost fell in the lake. “Malfoy’s really thick,” he began and Ginny again got the feeling that they were being ignored. “How big of a prat can you be?”
Goyle nodded as he threw a stone about the size of a snitch into the lake, causing hungry fish to scatter in all directions. “Taking her to his manor like that. How long do you think it will be before his dad catches him?”
Ron, Harry and Ginny exchanged looks of shock. They had their answer.



Chapter 9: The Truth and The Reason
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The Darkness and The Light
Chapter 9


“So…,” Ron said slowly, “he’s taken her to the manor?”

“Yup,” said Goyle as he knelt down on the ground now seeming interested in catching a fish by hand.

“How did they get there?” Harry asked.

“Apparated, I’d say,” said Crabbe, watching Goyle and continuing to throw rocks into the lake.

“He’s going to get in trouble!” Ginny exclaimed, not considering her words beforehand. The tone in her voice was not one of concern, but a general tone. However, this made her brother and Harry fix their eyes on her as if she had said something stupid; she had.

“Who cares?” Ron mouthed.

“Must be nice when your Dad is practically the head of the Ministry of Magic,” Crabbe went on. “You can do whatever you want and no one cares. Draco is always getting in and out of hot water because his dad works for the Ministry.”

“How can WE get there?” Harry asked.

Goyle nodded towards the woods off in the distance. “See that?”

Ron and Ginny followed the direction that he nodded to and saw nothing. They thought that whatever he was nodding to was perhaps concealed by trees and shrubbery. Harry, however, seemed to see exactly what Goyle was talking about.

“What’s that doing there?” he asked.

“It’s Draco’s,” Goyle took his hand from the water and got to his feet. “It’s been trained to find Malfoy Manor from anywhere. Kind of like a homing pigeon. Only it’s a…”

“A what?” Ron cut him off, craning his neck and even standing on tiptoes to see what they were talking about.

“It’s a Thestral,” Harry told them.

“It’s his pet,” Crabbe informed them. “That’s why it’s here. The groundskeeper takes care of it for him.”

Ginny was not the only one shocked to learn that Malfoy had a pet Thestral and that Hagrid was looking after it. She was, however, the only one to realize that the Slytherin boys were not as stupid as she originally thought. Then again, she thought that not only was the serum making them talk, but maybe it was making them seem like they had common sense.

“Do you think we could take it?” Harry ventured.

“Go ahead,” they said together.

Ron, Harry and Ginny looked at one another wide eyed, they couldn’t believe their luck. Leaving Crabbe and Goyle to themselves, they took off for the woods with Harry in the lead. Once out of earshot, Ron said:

“How did that happen? Why was that so easy?”

Ginny shrugged. “Maybe they’re highly susceptible to Veritaserum.”

Ron nodded to her in agreement. “Apparently.”

They were just a few feet away from the tall, black winged creature when Harry stopped dead in his tracks and turned to Ron, out of breath.

“Muggles have a saying, Ron. It goes ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth’.”

Ron and Ginny exchanged looks of confusion and then Ron’s gaze went to Harry.
“What does that mean?”

“It means don’t ask questions, just accept it for what it is and be happy about it.”

They headed for the Thestral again, walking this time. Ron and Ginny found themselves wondering exactly how they were going to get on a creature that they couldn’t see. They knew Harry would help them as best he could, but felt intimidated by the idea of mounting the beast just the same.


“See, Granger, I…” Malfoy began but was soon interrupted by the sound of screaming voices. Hermione knew without so much as a first guess that Lucius and Narcissa were fighting again.
She looked over her shoulder, where the noises outside were coming from, and to Draco who only sat and listened with a troubled frown on his face.
What was being said was hard to tell, but what seemed to be usual, the voices indeed got louder. Hermione secretly wondered how Draco endured such a life. After what seemed to be a great deal of time, the voices died down to a small roar, Hermione entertained the idea that maybe they were using normal speaking tones now.
A few moments more passed and soon there was the sound of approaching footsteps that went on passed the room where Draco and Hermione sat, the sound of a woman moaning in what could be deciphered as pleasure, and then the sound of a door slamming.

“The way he treats her is despicable,” Draco said with disgust.

“That happens often?” Hermione asked, now shutting out the guttural noises that came from the room where Narcissa and her husband were.

Draco nodded. “I don’t know that they have ever loved eachother. I’ve grown up around them doing this all the time, fighting like that.”

“Maybe it wasn’t always so,” Hermione said softly. “Maybe they loved eachother once upon a time. I mean, they had you, right? “

Draco smirked and for the first time since kidnapping her, he turned his back to her as though he wanted to be alone with his thoughts. Hermione thought he would stop here and continue to his usual brooding that he seemed to revel in, but much to her surprise, he spoke:
“Not all parents want their children, Granger. Maybe where you come from, but not where I come from. The only reason they have me around is…I’m lucky to have been born a boy. If I had been a girl, who knows what could have happened? Father wants someone who will take his place at the Ministry, a man who will carry on the Malfoy name.”

Hermione merely sat and listened, trying to show no sign that she felt sorry for him. She knew that she shouldn’t, but she somehow couldn’t help it. Draco got to his feet and walked towards the back of the room once more, out of her sight. She couldn’t see anything but the occasional sight of his white blonde hair as the moonlight played upon it. She heard his footsteps go from one point, stop, and then return to their original place. He was pacing.

“What that man thinks of children is appalling,” he went on, stopping in just enough light for Hermione to see that he was pointing in the direction that the noises were coming from. “I won’t tell you the sordid details, Granger, but I will tell you about something that happened about two months before the new term was to start. I was supposed to be in bed asleep, but for some reason, I wasn’t sleepy. I don’t remember. I just lay there wide awake and sometime later, I heard them in their bedchamber, talking. I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was reluctant about what she had to say, whatever it was. She sounded as though she was trying to choose her words carefully, but Father wasn’t having it. He had had a long day at the Ministry and was in no mood for foolishness. She eventually told him that she suspected she was pregnant again,” his voice trailed off and when he spoke again, Hermione would have sworn that he sounded like he was on the verge of tears. He had come into the light again and stopped. He sat down on the floor, crossed his legs and hung his head as he brought his hands up to rest on either side of it. “This wasn’t exactly news to me, although I had kept that to myself. I had overheard her talking to a house-elf a few days before she decided to tell Father. She was happy. It came as a welcome surprise to her.”

Hermione found herself speechless and wondering why he was telling her this. “What did he say when she told him?” she managed to say after a moment.

“He was enraged. Said that there was no need for another Malfoy child. Said that I wasn’t supposed to have happened in the first place, but I was lucky that I had been a boy or…,” he caught himself, cleared his throat, and went on. “Then he accused her of sleeping with another. She denied it and I knew she was telling the truth, I know my mother. She’s loyal to my father. She loves him. He went on to yell about how he didn’t believe her and that if she was indeed pregnant, it wasn’t his. He accused her of sleeping with anyone less than a pureblood. The fight that night was the worst one I had ever heard. I wanted to go to her so badly, to protect her. I knew that he would hurt her.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“When I was twelve, I learned not to stand up to Father. He cast an Unforgivable Curse on me and made me almost drown myself in a pond just off the grounds.”

Hermione winced slightly and shook her head. She knew from past experience that Lucius Malfoy as a horrible man, but had no idea the lengths he would go to just to punish his own flesh and blood.

“How did you get out of that?” she asked, her voice almost a whisper.

“It doesn’t matter. I’m here,” he paused a moment, reflecting on the incident from his childhood. As if banishing the thought from his mind, he shook his head and continued:
“That night, I could hear him hurting her; he was hitting her and throwing her up against the walls. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I shut it all out and went to sleep. I’ve been kicking myself for months now because I was too scared to go to their chamber and stand up to him.”

Hermione didn’t like where this was going. From Draco’s words, she automatically assumed the worst:

“So, she was pregnant?” she asked as a sinking feeling came into her stomach. The loss of a child like that must be unbearable. She patiently waited for what he had to say, but hoped that she was wrong.

“No, thank Merlin. The worst part of it was, she spent two weeks in St. Mungos drinking internal healing potions because dad had messed her up so badly.”

“Draco, I’m sorry.”

He got to his feet and walked to her, standing over her and watching her. “Yeah, well…”

“Why am I here?” Hermione asked, hoping to catch him off guard with the question that he seemed to avoid so well.

“I keep telling you, you belong to me. I can’t have you messing around with Weaslby.”

“I love him, Draco. I’ve done all of this with you because of him. I never thought I was good enough for him, I thought he didn’t feel the same way. But now I know differently. He loves me back. That means more than you could ever know.”

“Love? You’re talking to me about love?” he smirked and once more crouched down so that he was at face level, looking her directly in the eyes. Although he was this close, his face was shadowed and the moonlight cast across his eyes; making them sparkle with something that Hermione could not pinpoint but she knew by the way her insides lurched she didn’t like it.

“I am. I’ve waited a long time for him to come around and now that I know he feels the same way I do, everything has changed. I want to marry him one day, Draco. Have his children,” she bowed her head with a frown on her face. “I wanted to lose my virginity to him, but you stole that.” She knew a hint of bitterness had crept into her voice and she didn’t care, she secretly caught a glimpse of the look on his face. It was pitiless, just like she had assumed it would be.

“Forget about him, what can he offer you? His family is poor, for Merlin’s sake. What we have is love…”

Those last words were what made Hermione jerk her head up and look at him as though he had just grown a third ear. “Excuse me?” she asked.

“What we have is what my parents have and that’s love,” he explained this a little too plainly for Hermione’s liking. What he had was a warped sense of reality.

“What we have is nothing, Draco,” her voice was not quite a yell, but was something close. “What we have is wrong and never should have begun!”

He grabbed her wrists and held on as tightly as he could. She could feel his fingertips pushing into their undersides as his gaze fixed squarely onto her face. “You see,” he growled. “This is exactly why you are here, you loathsome, filthy little mudblood! I am so sick of your self-righteous, better-than-thou attitude! You think that just because you are best friends with that Saint Potter,” he sneered at the name as though it made him physically ill to speak it, “that you can do anything and treat people any way that you like!” He shook her as he went on. “It isn’t that way! Just because you’ve read all those books and you’re so smart…”

“You said you liked that about me!”

“I lied, Granger! I’ve been lying for a month now! Don’t you know how you repulse me? Everything that has happened has been for one purpose and one purpose alone and that is to bring you down and put you in your place! See, the truth is, you aren’t worthy of anything that anyone could offer because you’re a foul, stupid, worthless Muggle born!” He gave her one last shake, bringing her off the floor ever so slightly and then threw her back down on the ground, sending a sharp pain through her knees as they met with concrete. “THAT, Granger, is why you are here…”

On those words, he drew out his wand and pointed it directly at Hermione. She watched in fear as she wondered in the back of her mind what spell he had in store for her.













Chapter 10: The Finale
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The Darkness and the Light
10


A/N: This chapter originally got lost in the server crash and I had to respost it. That meant I had to give the chapter a title as well. I couldn't remember what it was to brgin with, but now I have and thus changed the chapter back to the original name. You lovely folks are asking for a more on this story and there will be, so please don't read too much into the chapter titile. Thanks! :)

Hermione awoke not knowing what Draco had hit her with, but she had a feeling that she had been out for quite some time. As she struggled to hold her weight on her own hands, she opened her eyes and focused them as best she could; they were met with a peculiar sight:
Wherever she was, there was no longer a night sky but a regularly lit chamber. Not too bright, but not too dim, either. There was an ebony framed canopy bed with a black satin comforter and matching trimmings off to her left.

A water basin with a mirror on the wall above it was to her right and a few posters of various Quiddich teams decorated the wall. Hermione dully thought what a pitiful room this was as she turned her head and saw something else on her right: an open door.
It must have happened while she was out cold, she decided. She looked to see that she was still shackled and began to wonder if she could possibly somehow wriggle out of her shackles or be fortunate enough to break her bond from the floor when she heard it:
That unmistakable roar that she had been hearing outside the room; the same roar that Narcissa seemed to give into so often.

“Draco!” Lucius Malfoy yelled from a corner out of Hermione’s sight. She was behind the open door and guessed that he had come in while she was unconscious on the floor and walked right past her. She could do nothing but be silent although she had mixed feelings about his presence.

If he saw her there, would he help her? Probably not, but she saw no harm in hoping this just a tiny bit. If he saw her there, he might carry out whatever Draco’s intentions were tenfold. This was the thought that sent Hermione’s heart racing faster than she knew it could. Her heart was thudding madly in her ears and her face was hot when a tall man with long blonde hair came into plain sight and whipped around, staring directly at her.

“I know you,” he growled as he raised an eyebrow at her, trying to figure out the purpose of her presence. Hermione found she could do nothing more than nod.

“You’re that Muggle-trash that hangs out with that damned Potter boy.”

I have a name, Hermione seethed inside her head. But you wouldn’t care about that. I know you wouldn’t.

Lucius’ frustration at Hermione’s silence became apparent when he drew his wand at her with a look on his face that she could not decipher as anything other than total disdain. “Speak, Mudblood!” he yelled in the manner of someone who was shouting a command at a dog. “What exactly is it that you are doing in my manor, in my son’s bedroom?”

It took just a moments hesitation from Hermione before she finally mustered the courage to find her voice and tell him what his son had been up to although she knew he would have no care of her plight.
When she was finished, he took a few short steps to the door and was met by his son, whose face quickly registered fear when he saw his father and Hermione in the same room.

“F-Fa-Father!” stammered Draco, looking down on the floor at Hermione and then at his dad, his eyes wide.

“What is the meaning of this, Draco? You dare to bring a Mudblood into Malfoy Manor?” Lucius made no effort to control the anger in his voice as he yelled at his son.

Draco stood frozen staring up into his father’s eyes as he madly searched his mind for an answer that would satisfy him. Nothing came; nothing but a swift blow across the face with Lucius’ wand after he had decided that his offspring was not giving up any information. Hermione scooted herself back into a corner, not knowing who to be more scared for, herself or Draco. It didn’t matter that they had been sworn enemies, even through all of the events of the last month; she never once thought that Draco deserved getting hit by his own father.

“Father, I…” Draco began and was met with a blue flash of light from Lucius’ wand that sent him off his feet and out into the corridor. Hermione heard his body hit the stone wall with a heavy “thud” and there was a moment of silence.

“Speak, boy!”

“Father, do you know who she is?” Draco asked, sounding weak. “She’s that Muggle born that’s always causing me trouble! She’s the one that hangs out with Potter and Weasley-she thinks she’s so great because she’s so smart! She needed to be brought down off her pedestal, Father! That’s why she’s here!”

“She tells a different story! She says you’ve been raping her for the last month, she says that you’ve threatened to have her friends killed.”

What struck Hermione as odd was that suddenly Lucius’ voice had become calm. She was almost straining to hear what was being said when she clearly heard a small tapping noise up above her head to her left. She looked up and couldn’t believe what she saw on the other side of the window: Harry, Ron, and Ginny each with a finger over their mouths signaling for her to be quiet.

She nodded but was unable to contain just how relived she was to see them. She had begun to wonder a couple of days ago if they had noticed her missing. Outside, she could hear Draco and his father still talking. She turned her attention back to them so she wouldn’t accidentally give her friends away, but not before nodding to them that they needed to be quiet because of the Malfoys being so close by.

“I thought you would be proud of me, Father,” Draco said softly. “I brought her here to kill her; I was waiting for the right time.”

If Lucius had a reply, Hermione didn’t hear it. She heard something off to her left had made a noise; she looked to see Ron landing on the floor, feet first.

“Ron!” Hermione whispered, “Be quiet, they’ll hear you!”

Ron was quick to rush to her side and hug her, thankful that she was alive. “I put a Silencing Charm on this room, we have to hurry, I don’t know how long we have.” Regardless of the need to hurry, he took the time to put a hand under her chin and bring her face to his; kissing her softly. “Thank Merlin you’re ok,” he murmured.

“Now that you’re here,” she said softly and held her wrists up so he could magic her shackles off. Once the steel bindings had clattered to the floor, Ron began to examine her wrists rather closely and curiously.

“What’s wrong?”

“Draco left a letter…it was written in blood…I need to know if it’s yours.”

“It was. He cut me, but he healed me.”

Ron was about to open his mouth to say something, but was interrupted by Harry leaning down and waving towards himself, urging them to hurry up.

“C’mon!” Harry exclaimed. “We have to…”

He stopped and mid sentence, his eyes huge. Ron and Hermione stared at him for a moment, wondering what he was looking at. When they realized he was looking past them, they turned and followed his gaze straight to Draco and Lucius who were standing a few feet behind them, looking bemused.

“Well, well, well,” drolled Lucius. “What have we here, a rescue mission?”

“How did you find me?” Draco asked, it was obvious that he wasn’t at all scared that he had been caught.

“Who would have guessed that you had a pet Thestral?” Harry replied, meeting them all on the ground with Ginny close behind.

“What happened to the Silencing Charm?” Ginny asked Harry.

“A Silencing Charm does no good when it’s cast around an open door,” Draco sneered. “I saw you and took it off.”

“If you’re going to try and be brave, the least you can do is be smart about it,” Lucius said. He and Draco both took a step back at the same time, drawing their wands on the foursome.

“We don’t have to try, we are,” Harry said as he tossed Hermione her wand and the four of them formed a straight line in front of the two Malfoy’s and each drawing their wands as well.

“Isn’t this cute?” said Lucius, the smile on his face widening.

The foursome exchanged looks of disgust but had a common idea and they knew it: get Lucius out of the way. Before he had a chance to react, they all pointed their wands at him, cast a Disarming Charm which sent him not only across the room, but back out into the corridor. He hit the wall harder than Draco had and slid down onto the floor, unconscious. Harry finished him off by casting a spell that bound him with ropes and placed a gag in his mouth.
Ginny pointed her wand at the open door and it closed with a loud BANG! Of its own accord, locking them in Draco’s room.

“Aren’t you clever?” Draco sneered.

Ron took a step from the line towards Draco, being sure not to take his wand off of him. “Four against one, Malfoy, what’re you gonna do?”

“I’m not afraid,” Draco smirked.

“You should be,” Ginny warned, taking a few steps and stopping when she was by her brother’s side. ”Finite Incatatem!” she yelled and Draco’s wand flew out of his hand as he fell backward onto the floor. He wasn’t about to give up. As quickly as he could, he scrambled to get his wand which had landed with a loud clatter a few feet away. However, he wasn’t quick enough, for Harry had caught his actions and summoned the wand to him.

“I guess no one believes in a fair fight,” Draco said sheepishly. It was odd to see him with his guard down for once. When he was caught with no way out, he seemed almost pitiful. He was more scared than he let on.

“You leave her alone, Malfoy,” Ron growled, his voice dripping with anger. “What you have done to her is unforgivable.” He took more steps towards Draco, with every intention of backing him against the far wall, making it virtually impossible for him to escape.

“Dumbledore should have you expelled for this,” Ginny chimed in, advancing on the enemy.

“Move out of the way, I want a clear shot,” Harry commanded them as he tried to aim is wand at Malfoy without hitting Ron and Ginny.

Hermione had suddenly come to a decision: “Stop it!” she shouted and everyone turned to stare at her as though she had lost her mind.

“Are you kidding me?” Ginny asked, raising her eyebrow.

“Hermione, he needs to pay for what he’s done to you!” Harry attempted to reason with her.

She never took her eyes off of Draco as she spoke: “He will, believe me. What he endures here at the manor is worse than anything that we ever have endured. When Lucius comes to and breaks free of his binding, Draco will be in trouble. Not because of what he did to me, just because of the fact that he did it. This will somehow reach people at the Ministry and when it does, it could possibly jeopardize Lucius’ career. There is nothing that he holds higher than that.”

She didn’t know how she knew this; it was just a gut feeling that she was relying on.

“You aren’t seriously suggesting that we let him go?” Ron asked.

“Like I said, his Dad will deal with him and that is good enough for me.”

“That isn’t going to stop me from doing this,” said Ron, muttering an incantation that knocked Draco out cold and sent him sliding down the wall into the floor.


A few days had passed since Hermione’s rescue and those involved had not seen Draco back at Hogwarts. There were rumors that Lucius had sent him off to another school, one that was something like Muggle boot camp, only for wizards. There were also rumors that Draco was in St. Mungos with a concussion and had to drink twelve different healing potions a day for some reason that not even Crabbe and Goyle knew. Whatever the truth was, Hermione didn’t care. She was just happy to be back with her friends.

She knew that if Draco was to ever come back to school, somehow things would be different and she would indeed be safe from any harm that he may try to inflict on her. They would be different because she no longer had to doubt Ron’s feelings for her. She had no reason to go back to the way things were, she had no reason to feel as though she were on the bottom rung.

Now, as they sat alone in the Gryffindor common room in front of the eternal fire totally alone, she leaned back against his chest, wrapping his arms around her as tight as she could; she took notice of how content she felt. This was meant to be.

Hermione didn’t know just how long they had been there, but it must have been a while because she had managed to situate herself and move in such a way that allowed her to look up at Ron and see that he had drifted off to sleep. As lightly as she could, she freed herself from his arms and kneeled on the couch so she could look at his peaceful face.

“Ron?” she asked softly as she nuzzled his neck. “Are you awake?”

“Mmm-hmm,” he sounded like he was somewhere between awake and asleep.

“I owe you my life, you know,” she said into his ear as she kissed the spot underneath it tenderly.

“You owe me nothing, Hermione. You would have done the same for me.”

“I just wanted to say thank you.” She leaned back on her heels and studied him for a moment before she leaned back on and covered his mouth with hers in a sweet lingering kiss. “I love you, Ron.”

“I love you, too,” he slowly opened his eyes only to see her smiling back at him. “I’ll always be there for you, whenever you need me.”

She nodded. “I know.”

He raised a skeptic eyebrow at her. “You do?”

“I do.”

“Good,” he said, sounding satisfied. He was quiet for a moment, silently debating whether or not he really wanted to get into what came next: “Can I ask you something?”

Hermione got comfortable on the other end, her legs outstretched, and her feet in Ron’s lap.

“Go ahead.”

“It’s kind of personal,” he said uneasily. “If you don’t want to, you don’t have to answer me, ok?”

“Got it.”

“Were you a virgin when all of that started?”

She was more taken aback than she was offended. What an odd question for him to ask, she thought.

“I was,” she said, a bitter frown escaping onto her face. “He raped me. Repeatedly.”

“I’m sorry,” Ron said softly.

“It’s over now and it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re together.”

Hermione once again settled herself in between Ron’s legs, her head lying on his chest and his arms wrapped tightly around her. It was more than a comfort to know that she had nothing more to fear because he would be there, like he promised. Neither one said anything more as they drifted off into a dreamless sleep.
























Chapter 11: What Really Happened
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The Darkness and the Light
Part 11


A/N: Big thanks to everyone who reviewed this story! I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to update it after I promised most of you a few more chapters. I didn’t know where I wanted it to go exactly. This story has written itself in a lot of ways and that caused some major writer’s block. Anyway, on with the show!


Narcissa Malfoy watched somberly as a group of Healers worked over her son. Whatever it was that he had been hit with the day that Muggleborn’s friends rescued her from Draco’s clutches, no one knew. They just knew that Draco was still out cold after two and a half weeks and his heart just stopped beating sometimes. The Healers were standing over him trying to revive him for what felt like the umpteenth time in the last two days when really it was more like three.

She didn’t see how this could be healthy for her son. If he ever regained consciousness, it would be a miracle. Not only that, but if he was back to his old self when he did so, that would be an added blessing.

A sick feeling crept into the pit of Narcissa’s stomach as the Healer’s began to look at her and whisper amongst themselves. She feared the worst- that her boy had finally given up the fight when a middle-aged female Healer approached her.

“Mrs. Malfoy,” she began gently, “we’ve revived him again but I don’t know how much longer he can hang on like this. His heart grows steadily weaker and when this happens again, I don’t know that…”

Narcissa’s eyes widened-daring woman to continue. Instead she just nervously cleared her throat and continued.

“Are you quite sure that you don’t know who did this to him?” she asked.

Mrs. Malfoy didn’t look at the woman; she just kept her gaze on her son. She was so scared for him. He was her baby and she didn’t know what she would do if she lost him.

“No,” she muttered softly as she shook her head.

“If you knew, we could ask them and perhaps cure your son, Mrs. Malfoy. We’ve seen many, countless actually, magical cases but this is the likes of something we have never seen. Finding who did this to your son would be beneficial.” The Healer pushed on as gently as she could.

“Then why don’t you ask my husband? Maybe he knows.”

“We’ve tried owling your husband at The Ministry and at the Manor. He hasn’t replied to either. I have to admit, Mrs. Malfoy, I find it odd that you don’t know but you seem to think that your husband would.”

“I haven’t seen him since we brought Draco in,” she replied stiffly.

All of her time in the last two and a half weeks had been spent at St. Mungo’s, at Draco’s side. Lucius had left rather abruptly once Draco was in his room and had not been by to visit his son since. The other Healer’s now cleared out and Narcissa advanced slowly on Draco, stopping in her tracks when he saw that his face had become more pallid than she would ever imagine it could.

“It certainly has taken a lot from him, hasn’t it?” She asked, her voice trembling and a silent tear making a clean path down her cheek which had been brushed with make up previously.

The middle-aged woman nodded somberly and brushed back a few loose hairs that threatened to fall to Draco’s eyes. Narcissa was offended that this other woman had touched her son as though SHE was his mother but this thought quickly left her worried mind when she realized that it didn’t matter much because Draco’s eyes were closed anyway.

It took a lot for her to do what she did next: she placed her hand over Draco’s heart and the other hand above his head on his pillow. She leaned down and gently kissed his forehead and murmured to him that she loved him dearly, he was her baby. It took a lot because she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was saying goodbye.

~*~*~*~*~*~


Harry, Ron and Hermione were just a few feet away from their Potions class when they overheard Professor Snape talking to Professor Dumbledore. Normally, they wouldn’t have stopped to listen outside the door, but they all three shared an odd feeling that it might have something to do with Draco Malfoy.

Rumors were only rumors, after all, and they had died down about a week after Hermione’s return to Hogwarts.

The trio didn’t really have time to try and listen to what the exchange between Dumbledore was; before they knew it, they were being confronted by Pansy Parkinson.

“You!” Pansy growled at Hermione, her voice like ice.

Hermione didn’t know why, but she hadn’t seen this coming. She tried to refrain from letting on just how shocked she was.

“What about me?” Hermione asked, looking directly into Pansy’s cold eyes, not about to give her the satisfaction of the fight that she was looking for. Quite the opposite, she was attempting to stare her down and remain in control.

“You know very well what you’ve done,” she nodded to Ron and Harry, “you and your cohorts! Draco is lying near death in St. Mungos because of you!”

Their reaction was impossible for them to contain. All three faces stared back at Pansy; absolutely stunned.

“Ron, what have you done?” Hermione whispered over her shoulder.

The Slytherin girl dropped her books to her side and jumped at Ron, slamming his back against the stone hallway walls. He winced in pain and tried to catch the breath that she had knocked from his lungs. He was unable to speak for a moment, but the look on his face went from shock to horror.

“So, it was you!” Pansy shrieked and she produced her wand from the breast pocket of her robes, jabbing it in Ron’s neck.

“I didn’t know what I was doing,” he confessed in between whimpers. “I only wanted to hurt him!”

“Well, you got what you wanted,” she growled, jabbing her wand in just a little deeper. “He might die because of you, Weasley!”

“What?” Ron yelped.

“His mother has been owling me for the last,” she made sure to emphasize this next part to make her point, “two and a half weeks and she tells me that his heart stops and the Healers have had to reduce to Muggle ways to restart it again! He can’t go on much longer!”

Harry and Hermione remained speechless and exchanged a look before fixing their gazes Ron and silently asking him with their eyes What have you done?

“What’s going on here?” Barked a new voice and everyone turned to see Dumbledore standing in the doorway, Snape peering over his shoulder.

“If he dies, you die,” Pansy threatened Ron under her breath before releasing him and turning to the elders to offer an explanation. “Oh, nothing, Professor, I thought I saw a zit on Weasley’s head and I was offering to pop it for him.” She batted her eyes innocently at the two staff members in front of her.

“Alright, then,” Dumbledore said to her, his eyes and voice were full of suspicion for he knew better. However, he didn’t peruse the matter. He merely nodded ‘hello’ to Ron, Hermione and Harry he walked down the hallway and rounded the corner.

“Get in the classroom, the lot of you,” Snape droned as he turned his back and headed for his desk.

“Yes, Professor Snape,” Pansy said sweetly and once she made sure Snape was out of earshot, she turned to Ron once more: “Mark my words, Weasley.”

She gathered her books and went on in the classroom. Ron straightened his shirt and tie, cleared his throat and tried to walk past a concerned Harry and Hermione without offering them an answer. Hermione grabbed Ron’s arm by the elbow, stopping him in his tracks. He turned his head to see her glaring at him, silently demanding an explanation.

“Later,” he softly promised them. “We’ll talk later.”

Ron gently shook Hermione’s hand free from his arm and when it was in midair, he took it in his hand and kissed it, whether he was trying to reinforce his promise or reassure her, he couldn’t say.

~*~*~*~*~*~


Narcissa took the seat next to Draco’s bed and wrapped her fingers around his hand which lay limp at his side. She shuddered a bit when she noticed that there seemed to be very little heat radiating from it.

She had not stopped crying since the Healers had worked with him earlier that day. There was just too much going on; Draco was dying, deep down she knew it. She could feel it. She didn’t want, no, she didn’t need to be alone at a time like this. She wanted her husband with her so he could wrap his big, strong arms around her and comfort her. Make her believe that her baby would fight this spell that had been placed upon him, whatever it was.

She didn’t understand why the staff at St. Mungos was unable to contact Lucius. Maybe the owls were finding him but he just wasn’t responding because it might mean that he would have to come to the hospital.

Narcissa had a funny feeling that Lucius didn’t want to come to the hospital. Draco’s look had changed drastically since they brought him in and anyone who looked at him now would never know that he was once a handsome, strong and very healthy young boy.

She needed to find Lucius, to talk to him. But that would mean leaving Draco and she couldn’t bring herself do that.

“Mrs. Malfoy?”

The sudden presence of the Healer who had spoken to her before startled Narcissa and she gave a small jump as she came out of her thoughts. The Healer gave her an apologetic look.

“Yes?”

“We’ve tried again to find your husband and we’ve had no luck. I thought maybe…perhaps…,” she nervously twiddled her thumbs and glanced away because she knew that what she was about to suggest may upset Narcissa, “you could Apparate and go looking for him.”

Narcissa surprised the Healer and gave a somber nod as she delicately wiped her tears away with her fingers, one at a time. This did no good, however, because they wouldn’t stop.

“I don’t want to leave his side,” she sniffled as she gave her son’s hand a squeeze, “if I go, he’ll be alone. What if he…?” The words wouldn’t come. What if he died? screamed something in the back of her mind. She swallowed deeply and sufficed it by saying, “I don’t want him to be alone.”

“I understand that,” the Healer sympathized. “But it’s very important that we find your husband, as I told you before. He may have the key to saving your son’s life.” She took her stethoscope and placed it on Draco’s chest. “He sounds good. It’s beating stronger than it has in days. He’ll be fine.”

“But what if he takes a turn for the worse? Anything could happen while I’m gone!” Narcissa protested.

“I don’t mean to sound cold, but it’s chance that you have to take,” the Healer told her matter-of-factly. “Mrs. Malfoy, your son’s life depends on you.”

Narcissa nodded, she knew the middle-aged woman was right. With a kiss placed on Draco’s ashen hand and a heavy heart, she Apparated from the room with a loud pop!

~*~*~*~*~



Hermione couldn’t wait until Potions was over to talk to Ron. She tried her hardest to keep herself engrossed in the lesson, but could not. She had to know what Ron had hit Draco with. She had to know now. She was fortunate enough to catch Snape with his back turned to the class, scrawling ingredients to a potion on the chalkboard, when she took a scrap piece of parchment from her book and jotted down the following:

Ron,
What did you hit Malfoy with? You have to tell me! Whatever it was, I’ll still love you.
Hermione


She folded up the parchment, pointed her wand at it, and softly uttered an incantation that allowed her to levitate it and direct it to Ron who sat across from her to her left. He quickly caught it in his hands and opened it, every so often glancing at Snape and praying that he didn’t get caught.

He looked over at Hermione to see her looking at Snape and then back at him. When he caught her glance again, he silently mouthed to her: “Wait until after classes! Stop being impatient!”

Hermione went to protest, but Snape was now facing the class and she had to turn her attention to him to avoid the wrath that he would put upon her if he saw her talking during class.

~*~*~*~*~*~


When Narcissa Malfoy Apparated from St. Mungo’s, she didn’t know where she was going. She had no idea where to begin looking for her husband, but she followed the instinct that nagged at her and found herself in the livingroom of Malfoy Manor.

“Lucius?” she yelled.

No answer.

“Lucius?” she tried again as she crossed from the livingroom to the diningroom.

There was no proper answer this time but she did hear a noise, however. A noise that sounded like something had fallen and smashed on the floor. Another sound. Another. An uneasy feeling crept into her stomach as she followed the noise, wand drawn, and found herself headed to Lucius’ study.

Upon arriving in the doorway, she was frozen in her tracks. Anything and everything that could have been broken in the study, from vases to nicknacks, was. In the middle of the wreckage stood her husband, his long blonde hair mussed from the havoc he had wreaked.

His back was to her, but she could plainly see what he held in his hand:

A picture of their son.


Chapter 12: Of Mothers, Fathers and Sons
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The Darkness and the Light
Part 12



A/N: As you may already know, this story was originally supposed to end at chapter 10. I want to thank all of you who have r/r wanting more. Because of that, I have given it to you and found that is so much more that I can do with this story. I’m having as much fun writing it as you seem to be reading it. It’s because of what you say that I continue to write, so thank you again for making this story so popular and telling me what you want as far as it is concerned.

“Lucius?” Narcissa ventured a third time as she took an uneasy step towards him. She knew her husband all to well. Well enough to know that even though he appeared to have vented his anger upon his study, it didn’t mean that he was calm.

“Leave me be, Narcissa,” Lucius warned; keeping his back to his wife and placing the picture of Draco on the now bare mantel of the fireplace.

“No,” she said softly as she shook her head. “Lucius, where have you been? Why have you not been to visit your son?”

“Brainless woman,” he muttered under his breath. “I’ve seen my son.”

“You have?”

Narcissa didn’t dare make her husband think that she didn’t believe him, upon taking a few steps closer; she realized that he smelled strongly of Firewhiskey. When he was angry was one thing, when he was angry and drunk, that was quite another. Rather than try approach Lucius a little more, Narcissa backed away.

“I have,” he slurred, nodding. “Just because you haven’t seen me, doesn’t mean that I haven’t been there. He’s my son, for Merlin’s sake, how could you accuse me of not going go see him?”

“It’s just that the Healers have been looking for you, Lucius,” she began slowly. She looked down and found that she had absentmindedly begun wringing her hands; she was much more timid around him when he was like this. He couldn’t control himself when he was drunk.

“They have?” He grunted, his drunken state allowing him to show little to no interest.

“If you’ve seen Draco, then you know something of the shape he’s in. He doesn’t look good, Lucius. His heart just stops sometimes and they have to restart it again.” Narcissa shook her head somewhat warily when she thought of this. She opened her mouth to say more, to tell her husband that they had to use Muggle practices to revive him, but she stopped herself.

She knew all too well what the man before her thought of Muggles. Telling him, she reasoned, might do some good because once he learned this, he would be more apt to come out and tell either her or the Healers who had done this to Draco. On the other hand, mentioning Muggles to him when he was drunk might indeed prove to make matters worse.

~*~*~*~*~



The trio had lunch after Potions and Hermione was determined to talk to Ron while he ate, but when he just sat there with a worried look on his face while he watched Harry and her eat, she thought it best to leave him to his own devices.

Lunch was rather uneventful and much to their surprise, the news of Draco did not appear to have reached their classmates ears. Not yet, anyway. Pansy Parkinson had something of a knack for running her mouth and it was just a matter of time.

After lunch, they mulled through Divination and once class was over for the day, Hermione caught up with Ron and said nothing to him; she simply took his hand in hers and led him towards the common room with Harry in tow.

Once they were settled in a tight circle on the floor by the fireplace in the back of the room, being sure that no one would overhear them, Hermione spoke:

“Ron, please, you can’t let this eat you up. What did you hit him with?”

Ron lifted his blue eyes from his lap and looked from Harry to Hermione, who was staring back at him, secretly preparing herself for the worst.

“It’s sort of like The Killing Curse,” he began and his friends’ mouths dropped open. “With a bit
of the Cruciatus Curse thrown in.”

Harry let out a low whistle. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“Ron,” Hermione struggled to keep her voice from jumping into a lecture. She wanted to be there for Ron, not yell at him. “Where did you learn something like that?”

“I was waiting for you to finish up in the library one day and I just happened to wander into the Restricted section when no one was looking. I picked up a book that was lying on a table nearby and leafed through it. It caught my eye. I didn’t think…” he explained and then hung his head defeatedly. What he said next, made both Harry and Hermione stare back at him in amazement. “I thought you’d be proud of me, ‘Mione.”

She glared incredulously back at him, still struggling with her voice. “Proud of you? Where would you get that?”

“I read a book!” He told her as he flashed her one of those classic, lopsided Weasley grins that she couldn’t help but smile back at.
~*~*~*~*~


Narcissa had to take her chance, Draco was depending on her. She finally mustered the courage to walk towards her husband and then gently turn him to face her.

“Lucius,” she took in a deep breath and let it out to ready herself, “they’re having to resort to Muggle treatment to keep Draco alive. They don’t know what else to do; they don’t know what magic he was hit with.” She didn’t fight the tears that were threatening to come to the corners of her eyes. “They’re trying to find you because they want to ask if you know who did this to him.”

“I know who did this to him!” Lucius roared as he jerked away from his wife and turned his back to her once more, this time looking out the large window that overlooked the spacious grounds of Malfoy Manor. “It was Harry Potter and his friends!”

“Are you sure?”

“Who else could it be, Narcissa? Think! I was there when they were rescuing that Muggle trash,” his voice dripped venom, “they Disarmed and bound me with ropes.” He brought a small silver canteen from the pocket of his robes, opened it and brought it to his lips. Narcissa could only assume that it was more Firewhiskey. Or something stronger. “They think they’re so clever,” he stated as he took a long drink.

“Lucius, let it go. They were rescuing their friend. They’re only kids after all.”

“There was nothing childish about his reasons for dragging a Mudblood into the Manor, Narcissa!” Lucius yelled. “There was nothing childish about how the four of them fought and it sure as hell is not childishness that has Draco lying in St. Mungos!”

Rather than try and reason with him, Narcissa put his words aside. He was right. Deep down, she knew he was. Any other mother would condemn her son for what he did because it was wrong, but not Narcissa. Lucius was hard on him as it was and she never wanted to make it worse for Draco. Sometimes she had a tendency to overlook things her baby boy did, other times she would recognize them but act as though it were no big deal. More often than not, Lucius faulted her for this and took the opportunity to tell her that she was a horrible mother.

Such a horrible mother, she smirked inwardly, that I have seen that boy through more than he has. I have been there to pick him up when you’ve knocked him down.

After a moment of deafening silence, Narcissa broke it by saying: “You do whatever you feel you have to do, Lucius. I’m going back to our son.” She said this next part rather coldly: “He needs me. He needs you. You have the key to saving his life.”

She waited for a reply and when there was none, she hung her head and Apparated back to St. Mungos.




~*~*~*~*~


Upon Narcissa’s abrupt arrival, she found the Healer that she had been talking to taking Draco’s vital signs. As far as she could tell, there was no change in her son. He looked the same as she had when she left and when she thought about the conversation she had with Lucius just one hour before, her heart broke. She had no idea what her husband was going to do and that scared her. If he went off attacking those kids, the world would surely end.

The Healer took notice of her presence and left Draco’s side to speak with her.

“Did you find your husband, Mrs. Malfoy?” The woman asked.

Narcissa nodded, only doing so because she knew if she spoke, her voice would waver and she would defiantly cry.

“Any luck?” She had a note of hope in her voice.

Mrs. Malfoy didn’t want to go into detail and explain that he had been drinking, that he was not only drunk, but hell bent on revenge. She didn’t want to say that she didn’t know if he would just confront the kids and bring them to the hospital-she did know. The truth was, there was no doubt in her mind that her husband wouldn’t confront the kids. If he did, he would not do it reasonably for she was not married to a reasonable man. She knew this all to well.

All she offered to the Healer was a small shrug and a nod as she crossed over to Draco and took his hand in hers. Her eyes never left Draco’s pallid face as she lovingly ran a few fingers through his hair.

“Can I ask you something?” Narcissa had finally mustered the courage to speak and was a little surprised that her voice wasn’t trembling anywhere near as much as she had expected.

“Anything.”

“When my son come out of this…”

The Healer’s attitude seemed to be wavering. “If,” she corrected, “if, Mrs. Malfoy. It’s time to start being realistic.”

She ignored this. Her son was a fighter. “When he comes out of this, how will his brain be affected? How is it now?”

The other woman merely blinked back at her, apparently astonished that she knew anything about the human body. Astonished that she knew and understood that they were dealing with something Muggle-related in terms of Draco’s situation. There was not a potion that could fix this. Not that they were aware of.

“Actually, Mrs. Malfoy, it’s the most curious thing,” she began slowly. “With Draco’s heart stopping as it has been, I would expect that there would already be a fair amount of damage. When the heart shuts down, the brain just follows suit. It’s a mechanism that our bodies have.
Your son is very special, Mrs. Malfoy. His brain seems to have stayed strong through this whole ordeal. Working overtime, in some instances.”

The weight of the world was on her shoulders, but when she was told that, she felt them go a little light. It was the best thing she had heard in two weeks. She brushed back a few strands of hair that had fallen onto his forehead.

“My baby,” she murmured as she kissed his temple, “I wish you were here. I wish I could see your thoughts so I could find out who did this to you.”

~*~*~*~*~


Draco Malfoy looked around him and saw nothing but total blackness. He stood up from the black leather upholstered chair that he had been sitting in and was taken aback when he took a few steps forward and discovered that wherever he was, his footsteps echoed.

Odd, he thought to himself, it’s black all around, but I can still see. Where am I?

This didn’t matter anymore when he saw a boy bound in ropes just a few feet ahead of him. Not just any boy, this was that lousy excuse for a Pureblood that Harry Potter was friends with.
Draco sauntered up to him until he was close enough to touch and when saw how scared he was and how he couldn’t stop whimpering, he out an evil chuckle.

“What’re you gonna do now, Weaselby? Where’s your Mudblood girlfriend when you need her? What do you want to bet that she’s off shagging your boy Potter?” He laughed again and when he saw the look of disgust on Ron’s face, it only added to his joy. “Listen to me. I said ‘bet’ to a Weasley. It’s a little hard to do when you’re poor, isn’t it?”

Ron struggled against his confines but was finding that he was having little to no luck.

“Just wait, Malfoy,” he warned. “I’ll get out of here, I’ll get my wand and you’ll be sorry.”

“Your what?” Malfoy sneered and then smirked. “Your wand? Oh, you mean this?” He reached into the pocket of his robes and brought out Ron’s wand. Ron stared back at it, helpless. Draco saw his opportunity to taunt Ron, to tease him and that was exactly what he did. He dangled the wand in front of Ron’s face in the manner that one would dangle food in front of a starving man. “I don’t think I should. Seems as though you’re a bit dangerous with magic, eh, Weaselby? Why, I would dare say that your Dad is at the Ministry right now defending every reason why you should have your wand and your powers revoked.”

Ron ignored this and struggled once more. “I’ll make you pay for this,” he growled.

“Oh, no, no, no,” Draco tutted. “That isn’t how it goes. See, you’re on my turf now. I say who wins and who doesn’t.” He said these next words without even considering how strange they sounded. He didn’t know how he suddenly had this knowledge, but he did. “This is my reality. Not yours.”


Chapter 13: Portrait
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A/N: Enjoy!


The Darkness and the Light
Part 13


Draco Malfoy found himself confused. One moment ago, he was picking on that insipid Pureblood Weaselby and now he had disappeared. Just like that. In the blink of an eye. He turned his back, walking away from the place Ron had sat, on a quest for something to do. It wasn’t any fun without Weaselby around. Then he heard it:

“Draco!” a familiar voice roared.

He spun around to see what he always thought to be the man that he was expected to become: Rich, powerful, condescending of anyone who didn’t share the same bloodlines as he did. His father.

“Father! Father, please, don’t be angry with me,” Draco pleaded. “Weasley was just here and he vanished. I-I let him g-get away,” he paused. He found that he was more confused than he realized. He wildly searched for an excuse that might pacify his father and found none. “I think I did. I don’t know what happened, exactly.” He was talking more to himself than to his father who had crossed his arms over his chest and was staring down at his son with a look of absolute hatred on his face. Finally, Draco turned to him. “I must have because he isn’t here anymore, Father. I’m so sorry. Please, forgive me. I’ll make it up to you, Father!” Draco’s voice had become a little louder with each plea. He was unable to control himself; fear wasn’t the word he used when he knew his father was upset with him.

“Shut up, boy! You and your insipid pleading!” He paused for a moment, reflecting on the pitiful mess that was his offspring and then continued on, mocking him. “’Father, please! Please, Father!’ Really! When are you going to grow up?”

Draco’s first instinct was to turn his back, but he knew that he didn’t dare. He was crying on the inside and couldn’t bear the thought of what would come to pass if he shed a tear on the outside. He felt the sadness lift away from him when his mother came into view over Lucius’ shoulder.

“Mother!” Draco took one last look at his father. He pitied him, actually, how could he be such a horrible person when his mother was so wonderful? She was always there for him and if he would always remember her for that. His brain wouldn’t allow his feet to stop as he ran past his father and to the parent who loved him. “Mother, I don’t understand it. One minute he was here and the next he was gone. I don’t know what happened…”

“Draco, it’s ok,” Narcissa soothed her son as she held him close and cradled the back of his head with her hand. She always put her hands in his hair when he was anxious, when he knew he had upset his father. It was something that he had kept from his childhood. A way that she touched him that made him feel at ease.

“Mother, I’ve upset him,” Draco whispered in her ear. His voice broke ever so slightly.

“Sssh, Draco, calm down,” she whispered. “It’s ok, I promise.”

“Mother, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to upset him…” His arms were suddenly wrapped tightly around Narcissa’s waist, as though he were literally holding on for dear life. “I don’t know what happened. Weasley was here, I swear. It was like I blinked and he was gone. I don’t know what happened to him and now Father is mad at me because of it. I didn’t mean to let him go…”

“Draco…” Narcissa said in between her son’s confessions. He sounded so panicked, she had to get through to him, but he didn’t seem to hear her because he kept talking.

“Mother, you know what he’s like when he’s mad. He’ll take it out on you, Mother!” Draco drew in a sharp breath and jerked away from Narcissa, holding her in a firm grip at arms length. “You have to get out of here and save yourself...,” his voice trailed off and he looked around at the darkness that surrounded them. “Except, I don’t know where ‘here’ is!” He exclaimed and this time the tears that he had been fighting spilled down his cheeks. “Mother, I’m so confused! I don’t know where I am and I’m so scared!” He pulled her to him in a fierce hug and sobbed uncontrollably into her shoulder.

“Draco, listen to me,” Narcissa said softly. “It’s okay. I won’t let anything happen to you. You know that, don’t you?”

Draco couldn’t speak so he just nodded, the tears still flowing freely.

“Good. Don’t be frightened, Draco. I’m here now. Mommy will take care of it all.”

“W-what about him?” Draco stammered, finally able to manage some words. He was slowly beginning to calm down as he wiped his face with the back of his sleeve.

“Who, dear?”

“H-him. Didn’t you see…?” He pulled away from her to show her that he was talking about his father, but the odd thing was, he was no longer there.

~*~*~*~*~


“Ron, this isn’t funny! What if Malfoy dies? You’ll go to Azkaban for murder and then what?” Hermione was screaming at Ron as he walked from the fireplace and up the steps to the boy’s dormitory. “Don’t walk away from me!”

Ron didn’t say anything to her, he just kept his back turned and continued to walk on with her storming behind them, Harry bringing up the rear. Ron stopped suddenly outside the door to his dormitory, causing Hermione and Harry to collide into his back; Ron’s chest met the door with a loud thump!.

“Do you mind?” He said to Hermione irritably. “I have to use the bathroom!”

He opened the door and made straight for the bathroom while Harry and Hermione made themselves comfortable on Ron’s bed. Once he was finished, he stood in the doorway and dried his hands on a towel as he spoke: “I know that what I did was wrong, Hermione. But what do you want me to do? He deserved it.”

He looked at Harry, expecting him to look at Hermione and nod as though he agreed with him and when he didn’t, Ron stared blankly at him.

“Harry, he did,” he said flatly. “After what he did to Hermione, he deserved what he got.”

Harry looked at Hermione who was looking expectantly at him, waiting to see who he would side with. He could tell by the look in her eyes that she knew he was going to agree with her. He looked at Ron, sighed, and said: “Mate, I’m sorry. I don’t agree with you. Malfoy is awful, but he didn’t deserve what you did.”

“Not even after what he did to me,” Hermione muttered softly.

“So, what do you want me to do? I can’t change it!” Ron stated as he threw his towel across the room.

“Yes, you can, Ron.” Hermione told him as she got off the bed and crossed to him, taking his hands in hers. “You can go to St. Mungos and tell them what you’ve done. If they know, they’ll be able to save him.”

“No,” he said bitterly. “After what he did to you, he deserves to die.”

Hermione let out a great sigh and threw her hands in the air. She saw that there was no reasoning with him and decided to give up. If she stayed here and kept trying to reason with him, it would just end up with her saying things that she didn’t mean. She needed to get away.

“Ron, I love you, but sometimes you are so thick!”

She threw him an exasperated look and walked out the door, her long brown hair flying behind her. Just because Hermione had thrown in the towel, it didn’t mean that Harry had.

“Ron, if he dies, you’ll be a murderer,” Harry reminded him. “Is that what you want?”

“What I want is peace of mind, Harry. What I want is to know that he will never hurt Hermione again.” He walked over to the window and looked out over the school grounds.

“He won’t,” Harry said, although he wasn’t really sure how he knew this or how he could confirm it to Ron.

~*~*~*~*~


Late hours were upon St. Mungos and Narcissa had fallen asleep in the chair that she occupied by Draco’s bed. As usual, her sleep was a dreamless one and these days she was easily awakened whereas before she was normally a sound sleeper. She had somehow trained herself to sleep and listen for the footsteps of Healers and Mediwizards when they entered Draco’s room.

She was hearing faint footsteps now, she realized as she began to awaken, but they were none that she had come to recognize. Rather, they were ones that she had somehow forgotten. She felt a warm, heavy hand on her shoulder and gave a start. Not so much at the sudden appearance of a hand, but who it belonged to.

“Lucius?” Narcissa whispered, unable to believe her eyes.

He gave a small nod of hello to his wife and then quietly crept over to the opposite side of Draco’s bed. The boy that lie there was not his son. He couldn’t be. This boy looked nothing like him. No, Draco was built in the shoulders and chest from four years of Quiddich. The young man that was in that bed was looking nearly skeletal.

“Narcissa, please tell me that isn’t…” His eyes met with hers, begging her not to confirm what he didn’t want to believe. She nodded gravely and Lucius suddenly felt as though his knees were going to give out from under him. “It can’t be,” he said under his breath.

“It is, Lucius,” Narcissa said, her voice breaking. She was having a hard time keeping her voice steady with each passing day. “That’s our son,” she paused and waited for some kind, any kind of reaction from her husband. She had taken notice that he had become pale in just a matter of seconds. She knew that somewhere deep down he cared for his son, but he didn’t dare confirm it in front of her.

“I-I couldn’t see him from where I was looking into the room,” he stammered, offering an explanation of his reaction when he saw Draco. “All I saw was Healers, the occasional Mediwizard, and you.”

Lucius turned his head and attempted a covert longing look at Narcissa. At different times in the last two and a half weeks, he had watched her sit at Draco’s bedside and talk to him while holding his hand and placing motherly kisses on his cheeks and forehead. He had watched her while she read to him and even bathed him.

Much to his chagrin, she had seen the manner in which he was staring at her and looked back at him, her face full of questions. He knew that despite what differences they may have on Draco’s upbringing, Narcissa was for the most part a good mother. That had especially been proven by what he had observed during Draco’s hospital stay.

He wanted to thank her, to let her know that she was a stronger woman than he gave her credit for, and that she was to be admired for that; that was what he felt for her at this moment as a parent. A deep admiration. She needed to know these things, but there were no words in his vocabulary to tell her.

“Yes, Lucius?” Narcissa asked gently. It had been ages since Lucius looked at her that way. As she waited for a reply, she tried to remember the last time he looked at her like that and could not.

“Nothing,” he said quickly adverting his eyes and clearing his throat. This caused a moment of uncomfortable silence between them,

“Please tell me that you’re here to tell the Healers that you know what he was hit with,” Narcissa pleaded after a moment.

“No.”

A storm began to brew inside her. With everything she was, she fought not to stand up and begin shouting at Lucius.

What the hell do you mean ‘no’, Lucius? Her mind raged. If you haven’t found those kids to ask them what magic they used, then WHY ARE YOU HERE? You don’t love your son as I do, Lucius! You have not been there for him as I have! WHY ARE YOU HERE? You’re wasting time! He’s dying , Lucius! You’re wasting time being here! WHY ARE YOU HERE?

She wanted nothing more than to pound her fists in his chest. To take her anger, frustration and fear out on him as he had done to her so many times in the past. If she were allowed a moment of revenge at any time in her life, then this should be it. To hit him as he had hit her. Hit their son that he was anything but a father and a friend to.

“What do you mean, ‘no’?” She struggled to keep her voice calm.

He had been looking out the window that overlooked the gardens that were on St. Mungos property that were now bathed in moonlight. His back had been turned and now he was facing her, amazed that she had the gall to speak to him with such a tone in her voice.

“What have you been doing since I last saw you, Lucius?” She demanded, not sure where she was finding the strength to speak to him as he often spoke to her. Her grasp on Draco’s hand tightened a little as though touching him was what was giving her strength.

“Thinking,” Lucius sat down in a chair that was opposite Draco’s bed, tossed his staff onto the extra bed that Narcissa had been using as a place to put her coat; and leaned forward with his elbows resting on his knees as he stared at Draco.

“Thinking will get you nowhere, Lucius,” she told him bitterly. “You need to be doing. You need to be out there looking for those kids! They could save his life!”

“I know.”

The question that had been repeated in her mind finally found its way upon her lips: “Then why are you here?”

“To see my son,” he said.

“Lucius, if you won’t go looking for those kids, then I will.” Narcissa said lowly. “You can’t waste time like this. There is no telling how much longer he has.”

What came from Lucius next was rather odd: “He has plenty of time, Narcissa. He doesn’t need me or you to see him through this. He’ll get himself out. He always does.”

Narcissa narrowed her eyes at him, not able to decipher exactly what it was that was going through the man’s head.

“What do you mean?” She asked.

“When he was twelve, I cursed him with an Unforgivable Curse,” Lucius said as he leaned back in his chair and titled his head back ever so slightly. He reminded Narcissa of a man who was about to recall a very fond memory. “He walked right into the duck pond on the grounds and nearly drowned.”

A small gasp escaped Narcissa’s lips. She remembered that she had been walking past Draco’s room one day and saw him changing into some dry clothes because the pile which he had thrown on the floor were sopping wet. She asked him what happened and he had brushed her off, saying that he was taking a nap and assumed that he had sleepwalked into his shower and turned it on.

Maternal instinct told her not to believe him and she didn’t understand why. However, when she had spoken to the house-elf that had cleaned his room later that day, she learned that the sopping mess had been covered in sludge and weeds that were growing in the bottom of the pond.

“Why would you do that to him?”

“He stood up to me and he had to be put in his place,” he told her simpily.

“Bit of a harsh punishment for a twelve year old boy, Lucius. How did he get out of that?” She couldn’t believe that she never though of how odd Draco’s wet clothes seemed until now.

“How should I know? I walked away.”

“Lucius, he could have died! What if he had?”

Lucius removed his dragon skin gloves from his hands as a sick smile spread across his face.

“The point is that he didn’t, Narcissa. How is that any different from where we are now? He didn’t need you or me to help him then and he doesn’t need you now.” He laced his fingers under his chin and leaned back a little more, getting comfortable. “He’ll get himself out,” he repeated. Whether he was trying to assure himself or her, Narcissa didn’t know.

She glared at him, unable to believe what he was saying. She knew that she was married to a cruel and abusive man, but she had to admit that a line had to be drawn somewhere. Draco was not deserving of any of this and while he was in no shape to defend himself, she would. She was his mother, after all.

“Lucius, what the hell is wrong with you?” She countered, her eyes wide. “Get out, find those kids and-“

You do whatever you feel you have to do, Lucius. Her own words echoed in her head as she realized that he felt he had to sit here and watch his son suffer. That had to be it; there was no other explanation for his quiet refusal to leave.



~*~*~*~*~


Hermione was on her way back from the library, she had been so aggravated with Ron that she needed to find solace in a good book before she went back to Gryffindor tower to settle in for the night.

Upon arriving at the picture of the Fat Lady and giving the password to enter into the common room, she noticed Ron sitting all alone at a table that sat along a far wall, pouring over his homework. Rather, pretending to. It was obvious when she realized that his eyes were not on the pages of the book in front of him, they were staring down at the floor.

“Ron?” Hermione asked softly as she approached him.

He looked up at her, his blue eyes clouded over with a mix of worry and fear. Hermione pulled up a nearby chair and sat beside him, pulled on the legs of his chair, turning him to face her.

“Talk to me,” she ordered.

“I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing, Hermione. I was just so mad…”

“I know. But, Ron, that doesn’t…”

He took her hands in his and looked her deep in the eyes as his glazed over. Hermione could feel his hands trembling around hers and she could only imagine what was causing that. Fear of what would happen if Draco died, anger at his own actions.

“All I could think of was you,” he murmured as he touched her cheek. “Everything that he did to you, what he must have put you through and what if must have been like when he first…”

The words that he didn’t want to say-‘raped you’-hung in the air. Hermione didn’t have to hear them; she knew what he was trying to say.

“Ron…”

His hand still on her cheek, he fiercely drew her to him for a deep and lingering kiss. There was something about the way he was kissing her that made her want to break into tears. She broke away from him and studied his face for a moment.

“Ron,” she said gently. “Look at me. I’m here with you and I’m fine now.” She rolled up her sleeves to show him that the bruises that had once blackened her arm had long since been gone. “It’s over. It’s just you and me, but you need to go to St. Mungos and-“

“No,” Ron said firmly with a shake of his head. “He hurt you, Hermione. If he lives, he’ll be back and it will happen all over again. I can’t take that chance. I can’t loose you twice.”

“Ron, if he dies, you’ll go to Azkaban! I don’t want that for you! You can’t want that for yourself!”

He said nothing in reply but appeared to be thinking about her words. These were basically the same words that Harry had said to him before. Hermione waited a few moments more, wanting him to say something, but he didn’t.

“Love, it can’t be worth it,” she said finally.

Again, she waited for Ron to say something and when he remained quiet; she stood up and headed towards the steps leading to her dormitory. Before she began her ascension, she stopped.

“I love you, Ron,” she paused, “goodnight.” She was so scared of what he might be thinking at this particular moment and she didn’t really want to leave him alone. However, she knew that it might be best. Ron was more capable of thinking for himself and making his own decisions than he gave himself credit for and she trusted him to come to a conclusion and do the right thing...





















Chapter 14: The Madness of Malfoy
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The Darkness and The Light
Part 14


Draco turned around expecting to see his mother and when he saw that she wasn’t there, he felt more alone than he could ever imagine. He did double take after double take, blink after blink: Where did she go? Why was it that people just seemed to have this habit of suddenly disappearing on him? What was going on?

Then, he heard it.

A loud and thunderous laughter that he had heard many, many times in his life. If he had been any other child, or if he had had any other father, a laugh like that would have been a very good thing. But, no, this particular laughter was not only booming, but it was laced with something that Draco recognized as a mix of mockery and disdain.

All he ever does is laugh at me, Draco thought bitterly as he began to look around for his father who was nowhere to be seen.

The laughter that made Draco tremble all over sounded again, this time somewhat louder and his father’s disembodied voice came from somewhere in the darkness: “That’s because you’re such a foolish boy, Draco! You’re weak! You don’t fight back! What’s wrong with you, Draco? You’re a Pureblood and a Malfoy; don’t you know what that means?”

Draco continued to look around for Lucius, trying to figure out what direction his voice was coming from and then came to an odd conclusion: it wasn’t coming from any direction. It was just there. He gave no answer to this question; he just stood and listened to his father condescend as he most often did.

When there was a silence and he thought it was over, Draco turned to walk away and was met with his father standing right behind him. Lucius placed his thumb and forefinger on his son’s chin, gripping it tightly and bringing his face up close to his own.

“You’re pathetic,” Lucius growled. “You couldn’t even dispose of that worthless Mudblood, you couldn’t fight her friends and you won’t be getting yourself out of this mess, either.”

For a second, Draco stared back into his father’s cold silvery eyes and debated whether or not to speak. If he voiced any sort of retort here, his father would surely make him pay dearly for it, but something was compelling him. He had to get this out in the open. He threw caution to the wind as he slowly spoke:

“That’s a lie, Father. I can fight. I fought and got myself out of the lake when I was twelve, remember? I’ll get myself out of this.”

Once the words were out there, Draco couldn’t believe that he had found the courage to speak them. A strange calmness swept over him and he couldn’t think of a time when he had felt so brave. His eyes never left his fathers’ for suddenly they were visually locked in some sort of stare down and Draco had proven to him that he was not afraid of him any longer.

The look of hatred dispersed from Lucius’ eyes and Draco was expecting to see respect, but upon narrowing his eyes and getting a closer inspection, he realized that what he was expecting, was not so.

A wide, bemused smile crossed across Lucius’ face as he pushed Draco to the ground. Draco fell to the ground on his back with a hard and painful thud! with such force that he even skidded about a foot away from where he should have landed. He realized that he didn’t dare get to his feet, so he just sat up and rubbed the place on his chin where his father’s fingers had gripped him so tightly. It was a lingering pain and Draco would have sworn that he may have even had little dents on his jawbone.

“Foolish boy, you’ll die because you were weak!” Lucius said with a smirk as he threw his head back in laughter.

“No, I won’t,” Draco muttered softly as he turned his gaze to the black floor that he sat on. He looked up to see if his father had heard him, but as always seemed to be the case these days, Lucius had disappeared.

~*~*~*~*~*~


After hours of watching Draco lie motionless and being locked inside his head with his own twisted thoughts, Lucius finally gave up and Disapparated from his son’s room. Narcissa had all of her attention on her son and had barely said two words to Lucius since he had implied that Draco had to get out of this by himself.

Healers were in and out of the room again and Narcissa had just gone to stare out of the window while they took his vital signs. It was remarkable that his heart had not stopped as of late and that gave her some hope. Maybe Lucius had been right: Draco had to get himself out of this.

As the last Healer left, Narcissa took her usual vigil at Draco’s side and took one hand in hers while using her other to stoke the side of his cheek.

“I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but since you’re my son, I think it’s okay,” she spoke in a hushed tone. “Despite anything that you may think, when I found out that you were growing inside me, I was so happy. I knew that you would be special,” a tear formed at the corner of her eye and made its way down her cheek. “You’re a fighter, Draco. I know this. I knew it from the beginning; it’s how you got your name. Dragons are the strongest creatures in the land, just like you’re strong. I believe with every fiber of my being that you’ll pull through this, but I don’t think you can do it alone. I’m sorry, my dragon, but this much more severe than when your father placed you under the Imperius Curse.”

Narcissa leaned down and placed her lips on Draco’s forehead and she sadly reprimanded herself for not having done so as often as she should have. Lucius was not going to confront Harry Potter and his friends. That was evident. She would have to do it herself.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Draco had not been alone for very long when he looked up to see that red-haired boy that he had seen sometime before: the same one who had been struggling against binding ropes before him, the one who swore that he would make him pay; Ron Weasley.

Only now, the ropes were gone and he stood before Draco with his shoulders squared, his chest out and wand at his side. This could only mean one thing: The Weasel was looking for a fight.

Draco fought the urge to laugh in his face as stood up and crossed his arms across his chest, waiting for Ron to speak first.

“How does it feel, Malfoy?” Ron growled, his fingers tightening around his wand.

“What?” Draco sneered as he began to circle Ron the way a vulture might before swooping down on its prey.

“How does it feel to know that you’ve killed someone?” His voice sounded bitter and resentful.

“What are you talking about, Weaselby?” Draco smirked, coming to a halt behind Ron and sticking his head over his shoulder. “I haven’t killed anyone. YOU hexed ME. YOU killed ME.”

“No,” Ron said with a firm shake of his head. “You aren’t dead. I haven’t done anything. You killed her, Malfoy, and for that, you had to pay.”

Draco took a few steps around Ron, completing his circle and now stood face to face with him.

“I told you, I didn’t kill anyone.”

“But you did,” Ron said lowly, his knuckles now turning white around his wand. “You killed Hermione. Maybe you didn’t physically kill her, but she’s dead just the same.”

“What are you on about?” Draco asked, letting Ron know with the tone of his voice that he was sick of playing games.

“It’s what you’ve done to her. You raped her, broke her spirit, and now she’s dead inside. I can see it everytime I look into her eyes. She isn’t the Hermione that I know,” then he added to himself, as if an afterthought, “she may never be again.”

“Who cares?” Draco smirked as he turned his back to Ron. “She’s just a filthy little Mudblood anyway. I can’t believe I’m related to you, Weaselby. Why the hell would you want to go tainting the pureblood lineage with her dirty blood?”

“I love her,” Ron told him as he brought his wand up to waist level. “Unlike some, I don’t think lineage or blood matters. It’s the person.”

“You’re so pathetic!”

“It’s better than being someone that no one likes, Draco. Your own father doesn’t even like you.”

Draco didn’t think it possible; he was speechless. Ron Weasley had said something to him that actually stung him and left him speechless. Suddenly, the fight that Ron seemed to be looking for was on. Draco’s hands dove into his pockets, searching for his wand. When he found it in his left pocket, he tightly grasped it in his hand and brought it out to his side trying to be inconspicuous, so Ron wouldn’t hex him first.

There was no way that he was going to let a Weasley get the better of him. Not this time. He whipped around with his wand drawn and a Disarming Charm ready to escape from his lips. But, as always, he was alone.

“What the hell?” He screamed into the blackness. “What IS this?? What is going on?” He dropped his wand and when it hit the floor, it made a loud, hollow clattering noise that echoed all around him. Draco dropped to his knees seconds later, clutching his head in his hands and he couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down his cheeks. “Where am I? I don’t understand any of this!!”

“Ssh…” came a soothing voice. The next thing Draco knew, he could feel a pair of hands gently grabbing onto his wrists and trying to pry is his hands from his face. At first, he was reluctant. He didn’t want to deal with whatever vision may be awaiting him this time. But he soon came to the realization that he knew this touch. It was very familiar. He slowly took his hands down to see his mother knelt down in front of him, smiling.

“What’s the strongest creature in all the land?” she asked.

Straight away, he knew what she was leading up to by asking him this. It was a playful conversation that they had privately played since he was four years old. He always thought that he would love doing this with her no matter how old he got.

“D-dragon,” he sniffled, regaining composure. “The strongest creature in all the land is a dragon.”

She nodded. “That’s right and who is Mummy’s big, strong dragon?”

“Me,” he whispered and then a little louder, “it’s me. I am.”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Ron had not gotten any sleep that night. His conversation with Hermione earlier had had him pacing the common room floor all night long.

“Ron, if he dies, you’ll go to Azkaban! I don’t want that for you! You can’t want that for yourself!” Her voice rang inside his head.

She was right. He didn’t want that, he had heard about the horrors that awaited wizards in Azkaban. He was fully aware of the situation he was in, but he still thought that Draco deserved to die after mistreating Hermione. It was the only way to make sure that it would not happen again.

”I love you, Ron… I’m here with you and I’m fine now… It’s over. It’s just you and me, but you need to go to St. Mungos and-…”

He could he go to St. Mungos? What did Malfoy ever do to him but make life miserable for him and his friends? It wouldn’t only be an end to Hermione’s problems; it would also be an end to his if Malfoy died.

“Love, it can’t be worth it,” she had said.

But it was. Hermione’s happiness was everything in the world to him and if he had to go to hell and back to make sure that she was happy and truly safe from Draco, then so be it.

Ron had been pacing in front of the fire that burned eternal in the common room and when he heard a voice, he gave a small jump. He had thought that he was alone. He turned about in every direction looking for a body that belonged to the voice and saw no one. Maybe his mind was playing tricks on him.

“Excuse me?” said a female disembodied voice and this time, Ron heard exactly where it came from. He looked into the fire to see Narcissa staring back at him.

A/N: Sorry that this chapter is rather short, but I felt it a good place to stop for now. Thank you for all the great reviews!










Chapter 15: Demons
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The Darkness and The Light
Part 15


Disclaimer: The plot it mine but the characters belong to the brilliance that is JK Rowling.

A/N: A huge thanks goes out to all of you who have taken the time to read and review this story, it’s because of you that I decided to continue on and it’s because of you that this story has become so popular. There doesn’t seem to be any real confusion, but I’m worried that there may be concerning things that have happened since the Healer told Narcissa that Draco’s mind was still strong.
Draco taunting Ron with his wand, Draco fighting with Lucius, and any instance where Draco is talking to someone and they suddenly disappear-is all happening inside Draco’s mind. So, just in case there was any doubt at all, now you know.=) Without further ado, enjoy!



Lucius Malfoy Apparated into his son’s room in the very early hours of the morning when it was mostly quiet out in the corridors. He looked around the room and expected to see Narcissa either at Draco’s side or at the window but was surprised to see that she was nowhere to be found.

He took a few quiet steps towards the door and poked his head out into the empty hallway only to find no sign of her there. Assuming that maybe she had gone to the cafeteria for food, he tossed his staff onto the bed next to Draco’s and took Narcissa’s usual seat.

This was the closest that he had been to his son in days. Even when he had been in his room that night, Draco’s appearance had not fully sunk in. All he could do was look at him and think of the fact that he knew his son didn’t need him to find Potter and his friends. He would get out of this on his own.

Though not really sure why, he looked around himself once more before giving his full attention to his son.

“The strongest creature in all the land is a dragon, my son. That’s how you got your name. You’re strong because you’re a Pureblood and a Malfoy. I think-no, I KNOW that you can get through this. You’re a fighter.”

He stopped for a moment to ponder that last word. Fighter. Is that what his offspring was? A fighter? When he really gave it thought, he didn’t think so. Draco wasn’t lying before him unresponsive and comatose because he was a fighter. He had lost. To a Weasley, no less. This was the thought that filled Lucius with anger. How could he lose out to a Weasley?

“No,” he went on, his voice just above a whisper. “I was wrong. It’s your own fault that you’re here. You couldn’t stand up to those damned kids, Draco. You’re better than them and you couldn’t use the powers that you were blessed with to stop them. You’re no son of mine. You’re on your own.”

Giving Draco one last contemptuous look, he grabbed his staff off the bed and Apparated out of the room.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Ron didn’t know why, but suddenly he couldn’t feel his legs under him for they had turned to jelly. As he made it to the couch, keeping his eyes on the head that was in the fire, he felt himself go cold and sweaty all over. What was worse was that he began to shake and he couldn’t stop. He didn’t understand why this was happening to him all of a sudden.

“C-can I hel-help you with some-something?” He stammered as his heart began to beat wildly in his ears.

The female face in the fire was silent for a moment as she narrowed her eyes and inspected Ron as closely as she possibly could. Everyone in the Wizarding World knew Harry Potter regardless of whether or not they had actually seen him, giving one last look at Ron’s forehead and noticing that there was no scar, she finally spoke:

“I’m looking for Harry Potter,” she said, she sounded exhausted.

“He’s asleep,” Ron gulped. He still couldn’t understand where this bout with his nerves was coming from. He had no idea who this woman in the fire was.

Yes, you do, a small voice inside told him. Take a closer look. Take in her features. White blonde hair, grey eyes…where have you seen that before? That’s why you’re going all nervous and sweaty. You know who she is…

He stared back at her, mouth gaped open. It couldn’t be. Could it?

Narcissa Malfoy? He thought to himself. But what in Merlin’s name…?

She’s trying to save Draco, you prat, the small voice spoke up.

“Can I help you with something?” He asked again.

The face in the fire became grim and looked downward with a frown. “Not unless you know how to save my son,” she said tearfully.

Ron’s hands felt clammy and his hammering heart would not cease. Wiping his sweaty hands on his legs, he leaned back into the couch.

“You-your son?” He asked,

“Draco Malfoy,” she told him. “Do you know him?”

He tried his best to hide his feelings from her but knew that he must have been doing a horrible job by the way she was now giving him a suspicious look. If not for this attack that his nerves had made on him, he would have shaken his head, but instead he nodded to her.

“Are you ok?” She asked, genuinely concerned.

“I’m f-fine. Why-why do-why do you ask?”

“It’s just that you seem awfully nervous. Are you always like this?”

He nodded vigorously. “S-sure.”

There was an awkward silence that hung between them now. Ron was a horrible liar, he knew he was. He couldn’t pinpoint what, but there was something that told him that she didn’t believe him. He stared back at her, hoping that she would leave and he could calm down but only found that she was studying him as though she thought he looked familiar.

He quickly searched his mind for ideas on how to hide his face from her but realized that there had been too much time that had passed for him to do such a thing now.

“You look familiar,” she said, confirming his worst thought.

“Oh, I get that all the time. I guess I just have one of those faces. People come up to me all the time thinking that they know who I am when really I’m not who they thought I was. So, you must be mistaken.”

The words had tumbled from his mouth so quickly that even he was not entirely sure of what he had just said. Nonetheless, he didn’t stop to think it over; he just went with it, not caring what it might have sounded like.

“No, that isn’t it,” Narcissa replied. “I have seen you before. Red hair, freckles, your father works for The Ministry in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office, you’re Arthur Weasley’s son. I just don’t know which one, he has so many.”

Ron could no longer try to lie to her, even if he had wanted to. She had an idea who he was. He had to give in; there was nothing else that he could do.

“Ron,” he said lowly. “My name is Ron and I’m the last boy out of five others.”

He was surprised to realize that for some reason he no longer felt nervous. He was finding it much easier to look at her, to speak to her than he had just a few short moments ago.

Why? he asked himself.

The little voice that had made itself known inside his head earlier was back, for it spoke once more:

You know why. Just think for a moment…

“It’s nice to meet you, Ron,” she said earnestly. “I’m Narcissa Malfoy.”

This caught Ron off guard and he couldn’t help but stare back at her wide-eyed and speechless. He knew that Draco was not this polite, nor was his father. He was taken aback and didn’t know how to react for a brief moment before he finally said:

“It’s nice to meet you, too.”



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“Draco.”

The voice came from behind him; he was sitting alone in the darkness again, with his legs crossed in front of him, his back to whatever decided to come his way. He stood and kept his back turned although he knew too well who had said his name.

While he would never say so, this was the voice of someone who had actually somehow managed to save him a thousand times from himself. Conversely, this was the voice of someone that he also feared when he had made her mad.

“Hermione,” he said softly to himself.

“How odd that you would acknowledge that you know my name,” she said. He noted that her voice sounded bitter and angry.

“I’ve always known your name,” he said to himself.

When she said nothing, he turned around to see if she had left like all the others usually did. An odd sense of comfort overcame him when he saw that she was there, staring back at him, dressed in a white gown.

“Oh,” he said, as he gave a smile to show her that he was intrigued by the way she was dressed; “we’re playing the part of the virgin tonight, are we?”

She still said nothing, only looked back at him with grim eyes and a matching expression on her face. When he had turned to look at her, all he had noticed was that she was wearing white. He now saw a big, red stain on her front. He took a few steps close to her and took the fabric in his hands, inspecting it closely.

“It looks like blood,” he observed.

“That’s because it is,” she said, frowning. “It’s virgin’s blood. My blood.”

“What?”

“How does it feel, Malfoy? How does it feel to know that you’ve killed someone?”

“I haven’t killed anyone,” he told her, becoming defensive.

“But, you have,” she said softly. “You’ve killed me…”

“No,” he violently shook his head, mussing his hair as he did so. “It isn’t real! You’re not real, none of this is real!”

“You’re wrong, Draco,” Hermione informed him in a malicious sing-song voice. “You raped me that first time and I bled,” she looked down and fingered a section of the stain on her gown. “Some stains never go away.”

Draco took this to have a double meaning. He thought of the day she had told him that she was bitter because he took her virginity, she had wanted to give herself to Weaselby.

“What do you want from me?” He yelled. “I can’t give you back your precious virginity!”

“I know,” she muttered, her attention still on the stain. Draco thought he heard tears in her voice, but her hair was hanging down around her face now and he couldn’t be sure if she was crying or not.

“Then what?” He demanded.

“’What?’”, you ask?” said a new voice. Draco didn’t have to look behind him, he knew that voice. It belonged to Ron. “Hermione, he wants to know ‘what’.”

Ron took a few steps towards him and the next thing that Draco knew; Ron had grabbed his wrists and wrenched them up in the small of his back, holding them tightly with one hand. Draco tried to struggle free and was shocked at himself when he found that he could not get loose.

The stupid git must be stronger than he looks, Draco thought to himself.

Hermione now looked up at him, her face dry but there were remnants of tears on her cheeks. She slowly brought her wand upward and took enough small paces towards Draco to completely close the distance between them. She jabbed her wand into his chest and their eyes locked at that instant.

The fire that was now in her eyes burned with bitterness, hate and rage while his could only look back at her and silently mock her.

“I’m dead because of you, Malfoy.”

He said nothing.

“You can’t give back her virginity,” Ron said as his free arm locked over Draco’s collarbone.

“But you could say that you’re sorry,” Hermione told him, her tone soft. “It’s the very least you could do.”

Draco looked at her as though he was suddenly remorseful and just when she thought he might make an impassioned speech and say that he was sorry, he burst out laughing at her.

“Never! You’re a stupid, filthy Mudblood! I’ll die before I apologize to you!”

Hermione’s face brightened as she looked from Draco and then at Ron. She looked back at Draco, bemused.

“Funny choice of words, Malfoy,” Ron said.

“Considering who holds your life in their hands,” Hermione finished.

“What do you mean?” Draco demanded as he fought to get free of Ron one more time and failed.

“We have the key,” Ron sang in his ear.

“What key? What are you talking about?”

“We could get you out of here, Draco.”

“You know where ‘here’ is?” He asked them, mildly interested.

Ron nodded. “We do.”

He looked over his shoulder at Ron. “Then you know how to get out,” he said excitedly. He couldn’t hide his relief. He was going to be free of this place that scared him so much. He turned to Hermione, a little smile spreading across his face. “I don’t like it here,” he continued, the expression on his face pleading with her to help him. “I don’t know where I am, things keep happening. Weird things. Things that I don’t understand.”

Hermione brought up a free hand and caressed his cheek. “It’s ok, Draco. I’m going to help you. I’m going to end your pain.”

The look on Hermione’s face stayed solemn and serious as she jabbed her wand into his chest a little deeper, but not penetrating him at all. Regardless, he felt an intense amount of pain and wondered what exactly it was that she was doing.

She’s killing you, he answered himself. She’s transfigured her wand and she’s killing you.



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The conversation between Ron and Narcissa had been rather idle, of no real importance, until she asked:

“Do you think you could go and wake Harry for me?”

Ron found that question rather unexpected as he fought down a lump that began to well up in his throat.

“Um, I could, but he isn’t who you need to talk to, Mrs. Malfoy.”

She looked back at him, quizzical. “He isn’t?”

He shook his head. “No. It’s me.”

“What do you mean?”

Ron took in a deep sigh, preparing himself for what he was about to say. He held it for a moment before he let it out and said, “I’m the reason Draco is in St. Mungo’s.”

“You?” she asked as a look of shock came onto her face.

Ron nodded and avoided her eyes once more. He slowly began to relate to her the story of what Draco had done to Hermione, as he knew it. He told her about the kidnapping and then the rescue. As he drew to a close, he found himself on the verge of tears.

“I was so angry with him, Mrs. Malfoy. I didn’t know what I was doing. I’m in love with Hermione; I had to punish him somehow after what he had done.”

“That doesn’t excuse you,” she said stiffly. The look on her face was so blank that Ron couldn’t tell what must have been going through her mind. Whatever she was feeling now, she was hiding it very well. “I should tell your parents.”

The wrath of the Malfoy’s or the wrath of his parents, Ron didn’t know which would be worse. The idea of both frightened him beyond anything that he could comprehend. He nodded to her, acknowledging that she was right; he would probably tell his parents, too, if he were in Narcissa’s place.

“My son may already be dead because of you!” She shouted, making Ron jump just a little. “The Killing Curse and the Cruciatus Curse…honestly, I don’t know what they’re teaching you children here!”

“I’m sorry,” he said softly. It was all that he knew to say.

“Sorry?” Narcissa glared at him incredulously. “That’s all you can say?”

He twiddled his thumbs as his heart began to thump loudly in his ears again. “It’s all that I know to say,” he admitted.

Another strained silence and after a moment, Narcissa let out a heavy sigh and said, “You’ll be dealt with later. I need to save my son.”

In a flash, the flames turned green and lapped at the outside of the fireplace. When they died down seconds later, she was gone.

















Chapter 16: Demons (Part 2)
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The Darkness and The Light
Part 16


Disclaimer: The plot, but nothing more, is mine. Characters are the brilliance that Is JK Rowling.

Spoilers: Previous chapters of this story.

A/N: I mentioned this in the previous chapter, but just as a reminder: Instances where Draco is talking to someone and they suddenly disappear are all inside his mind. There doesn’t seem to be any real confusion about that, but just in case, I wanted to clear it up. I tried to set the scenes in his head as best I could (the empty darkness that surrounds Draco in his scenes with Lucius, Narcissa, Ron and Hermione, etc). Just looking out for my readers, is all. =)
A huge thank you to all of you who have read/reviewed this story making it what it is. FINALLY, GRATUITOUS BLOOD IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS CHAPTER! IF THAT BOTHERS YOU, THEN YOU MIGHT WANT TO SKIM/SKIP AHEAD!


Now on with the show!



“I’m not going to kill you, Draco,” Hermione said. “I…I just…I just want you to bleed.”

He felt her wand go a little deeper and this time it did penetrate his chest. He could feel the burning trail that her wand-blade left as she slowly drug it downward and stopped just a few inches under his diaphragm.

He wanted so badly to play this off as though he wasn’t feeling anything but could not. It hurt too much. He finally gave into the urge that was welling up inside of him to scream and was answered with a series of echoes as tears of pain flowed from his eyes.

“Why?” He screamed at Hermione.

She replied to him with a cruel but throaty laugh and took a few steps back from him, inspecting her arms.

“You know the answer, Malfoy,” Ron growled.

“It’s your worst nightmare come true,” Hermione said and she brought her wand-blade up to the top of her other forearm where she made a cut that immediately began to bleed.

Draco watched her curiously as she walked towards him, he thought she was going to get in his face again but instead she went behind him, so she could talk to Ron. He could do nothing but stare ahead, his life draining out of him as they spoke.

“Don’t be offended, my love,” she said to Ron as she took his face in her hands and gave him a deep lingering kiss. “I loved you first.”

She broke their kiss and was now standing in front of Draco again, aimlessly running her fingers through the blood that flowed down his chest. She drew her hand away and looked at the blood that was now covering the tips of four fingers with a strange sort of interest.

Hermione began to turn her fingers over in front of her face as though she were trying to get a better inspection.

“What’s so pure about it, Draco?” she asked finally, still staring at the blood on her fingertips.

“What?” he squeaked.

“It’s just that you’re always going on about how regal you are; about how pureblood is the only blood worth having. I don’t see a difference in your blood, so I wonder what makes it so pure?” She brought her bloody hand to Draco’s face and smeared four red lines down his left cheek as he felt a shiver go all over his body.

“I-I don’t know,” he said, his voice wavering. “Father just-Weasley, you explain it to her.”

“There’s nothing to explain as far as I’m concerned, Malfoy. I told you, I don’t give a damn about blood.”

“That’s right, he doesn’t,” Hermione said softly as she cast a smile at Ron. She then turned to Malfoy and said, “That’s why I love him. That’s why I wanted him to be my first. He loves me. He would never make me bleed as you have.”

She took one last look at her bloody fingers and brought them over to her other arm that she had cut earlier. Draco looked on in horror.

“What are you doing?” He bellowed.

“Mixing your blood with my blood,” she said simply. Then she brought her fingers up and rubbed them over the cut in Draco’s chest. “Now I’m mixing our blood together.”

“Not so pure now, are you, Malfoy?” Ron asked.

Draco was stunned speechless by her actions, all he could do was stare down at the wound on his chest in horror.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



Hermione wasn’t sure how long she had lay in her four poster bed just staring up at the ceiling. She was so distracted with thoughts of Ron that she couldn’t sleep no matter how hard she tried.

Being careful not to wake her roommates, she pulled on her robe and slippers and made her way down to the Gryffindor common room only to see Ron sitting alone. For some reason, this surprised her a bit; she had expected Ron to go to bed hours ago.

She came up behind him and placed her hand on his shoulder and he gave a slight jump, but he smiled up at her when he realized who she was.

“Have you been to bed yet?” She asked as she bent down and kissed his cheek.

He took her hand in his and she gave it a loving squeeze before she came to sit down beside him.

“No,” he said. It was evident that he was tired and seemed to be having something of a rough night. “Draco’s Mum was here not long after you left.”

Hermione’s eyes went wide. “You’re kidding me!” She gasped.

Ron shook his head and ran a hand through his hair. “No. I told her everything. She said she was going to St. Mungo’s to save Draco’s life.”

Hermione was silent for a moment, so proud of him for doing the right thing that she could no longer contain herself. She let impulse overtake her and kissed Ron square on the lips, deeply.
When she broke away, he said:

“Not that that wasn’t nice, but what was it for?”

“I’m very proud of you, Ron,” she said honestly as she stroked a cheek with her thumb. “You did the right thing. I knew you would.”

Once again, she kissed him deeply and made no move that showed she had any intention of breaking it soon. He kissed her back just as passionately and before Hermione fully realized what was happening, Ron had managed to sneak one hand inside her robe and place it on her breast.

Ron was testing the waters. He had not been alone with Hermione properly since everything had happened and he saw this as an opportunity since his act of honesty seemed to be such a turn on to her.

Their kiss deepened a little more and at one point, he gave her a squeeze. This time she realized what he was doing and immediately broke away from him, staring back at him like he had not only slapped her but called her a horrible name.

“Hermione, what is it? Did I do something wrong?” Ron asked, taken aback.

There was now a look of total confusion on her face as she glanced at the eternal fire and then at him. She shook her head.

“Hermione, what?” He asked softly.

“It felt good,” she muttered.

Ron had been worried that it was just the opposite; he thought he had made her mad. A smile of relief came onto his face as he took her hands in his.

“Good. It was supposed to.”

“But it was wrong,” she said, her voice shaking slightly. Now she was staring at the fire and not looking at him at all. She wanted to keep this to herself because she was afraid of how it might make him feel, but found that she could keep nothing from him.

“Wrong?” He asked with a frown. His feelings were hurt, she could tell by the sound of his voice.

“I’m not ready yet, Ron,” she said.

“Hermione, it was just a kiss.”

“If I didn’t stop you just then, it would have gone further and I’m just not ready for that yet…” she explained, hoping that he would understand.

I saw his face when we kissed, she thought, horrified.

He took her chin in his hand and looked deep into her eyes. “Hermione, listen to me. We don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to. All you have to do is say no and I’ll back off.”

“I don’t think it’s that simple,” she said, looking at him sadly and taking his hand away.

“What do you mean?”

There was no avoiding it. She had to tell him that she saw Draco’s face when they kissed just then. If she couldn’t tell him this, then what kind of relationship would they have? She took in a deep breath and let it out, meeting Ron’s patient gaze.

“Ron, you must understand that Draco did a real number on me. I mean, I can’t bounce back,” she snapped her fingers, “just like that. I need time.”

“I understand,” he told her with a smile.

She looked deep into those blue eyes that she loved so much with a glimmer of hope that he really did understand where she was coming from, when she didn’t find what she was looking for, she gave a slight frown.

“I don’t think you do, Ron,” she said softly. “I saw his face when we kissed just then…”

“But, ‘Mione,” he said, looking visibly hurt by this, “I’m not him. I would never do those things to you. I’ve told you this before.”

She now scooted closer to him, the distance between them sealed by their hands that lay rested on top of eachother between them. She leaned in and placed a gentle hand on the back of his neck, drawing him close to her, their foreheads touching.

“I know. Just give me time. When I’m ready, I promise that you’ll be the first to know,” she placed a small kiss on his nose. “Deal?”

He nodded. “Deal,” he whispered as he returned the kiss.




~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Hours had passed since Narcissa had made it to St. Mungo’s and told the Healers the nature of Draco’s condition. The proper potions had been administered and his color was slowly but surely coming back, much to her relief.

She sat at Draco’s side, holding his hand as she normally did and was overcome with joy when she realized that he felt warm to the touch. A single happy tear slid down her cheek as she leaned up and whispered in his ear, “You’re the strongest creature in all the land, my dragon.”

They had been alone until a Healer entered the room to check Draco’s vital signs. Narcissa waited patiently a few moments and then asked:

“How is he?”

“Well, it’s apparent that the potions have taken effect. Clearly, his color is back, his heart sounds perfectly healthy,” the young woman gave Draco a curious look and then cast an anxious look at Narcissa as though debating about whether or not she should continue talking. “But, I just don’t understand…” her voice trailed as she looked back down at Draco. “It’s the most curious thing…”

“What is?”

The Healer was quiet for a moment and then fixed her gaze back on Narcissa who was staring back at her with concern for her son, expecting an answer of some kind.

“Mrs. Malfoy, your son should have been awake by now.”

Narcissa’s heart sank at this news as she wondered what it could mean. A dozen or more answers flooded her mind. Was she ever going to have her son back?

“Why isn’t he?” she asked tearfully. This was past the point of getting to be too much for her to handle. Something had to give and soon.

The young Healer tried to hide the fact that she was without a response to these sudden changes, but could not. The truth was, she knew the answer, but didn’t know how to break it to Narcissa in her fragile state.

“Well?” Lady Malfoy demanded.

The younger woman stood before her with a grim yet hopeful look on her face. “It’s up to him now,” she said softly. “He has to want to live.”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



“N-never again,” Draco pleaded, “I’ll never hurt you again if you just help me get out of here!” He glanced down at the deep cut on his chest and then back up at Hermione who was now healing her arm with her wand.

“Is that an apology?” Ron asked as he loosened his grip on Draco ever so slightly.

“No! I told you I would never apologize to that filthy Mudblood!”

Once more he struggled to get free of Ron and was successful. Before Ron really had the chance to react, Draco had swiftly jerked Ron’s wand from his hand and rounded on Hermione who glanced up at him with wide eyes, surprised that Ron had let him go.

At any rate, Hermione was quick to draw her wand on Draco who now had turned his back and had Ron’s wand drawn on him, pointed squarely at his chest. Ron went pale and put his hands in the air in surrender as Draco directed him to stand beside Hermione.

”Expelli-“ Draco began, in a vain attempt to disarm Hermione; she anticipated that he would attack and disarmed him first, sending Ron’s wand far out of sight somewhere and causing it to land in the distance with a clatter that echoed all over for a brief moment.

“You’re back where you started, Draco,” Hermione informed him as she took Ron in her arms and kissed him lightly on the lips.

“Two against one,” Ron said, casting a sneer at Draco and then returning Hermione’s kiss as he ran a hand through her hair.

“Just get me out of here!” He demanded once more. “You said you had the key!”

“We do,” Hermione told him as she nuzzled Ron’s neck. “But with the key comes a price.”

“What?”

“You know what,” Ron said as he gently broke away from Hermione and then pushed Draco to the ground, holding him down with one knee.

“Don’t do it, boy,” drawled a new, but familiar voice. Draco craned his head upwards as best he could to see Lucius standing over him. “If you apologize to that Mudblood, you’ll be dead to me.”

Draco made his body rigid so as to get some amount of leverage before he tried to throw Ron off of him. Looking downward, he noticed that he was no longer being held down. Ron and Hermione were gone, and Draco felt panic seep into his stomach. How was he going to get out without them?

“I don’t want to, Father,” he said as he rose to his feet. “I don’t have a choice. I have to get out of here. They have the key.”

“You have a choice, Draco. You can give into their incessant taunting and apologize or you can get out of here on your own!”

“I can’t, Father,” Draco said, letting the panic take over his voice. He hoped Lucius didn’t hear it, but when his father raised an eyebrow at him, he had his answer. “I don’t know where ‘here’ is! They do, and they said they would help me get out. I have to use that to my advantage!”

“You pathetic boy,” Lucius mumbled, as he shook his head. “You’ll never learn. You’re stupid and incapable of it!”

Draco looked down at the floor as he spoke softly: “That’s not so, Father. I have learned something. Being your son has taught me more than you realize. Do you want to know what I’ve learned from you?”

No answer. Draco thought he was alone again but managed to look up just enough to see the tips of the black dragon skin boots that his father wore.

“Do you?” He asked, a little louder this time, and he made sure to raise his head so that he was eye to eye with his father.

“What?” Lucius asked, daring Draco with his gaze to say something smart.

That look meant nothing. Draco once again found that he wasn’t feeling afraid of his father at this particular moment. He had the sudden thought that maybe he didn’t need to be free of this place after all, maybe he could stay here. This was the one place that he could be and stand up to his father. This was the one place that he didn’t feel afraid of him.

“I’ve learned that sometimes you have to walk all over people in order to get what you want. I’ve learned that you have to use them like they are no better than house-elves if you intend to get your way. People aren’t people at all, they’re just things. Obstacles, if you will.”

“So?” Lucius smirked.

“So, you’re my obstacle.”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


After eating breakfast in The Great Hall, the trio was headed to Professor Trelawney’s class when all of a sudden Ron was met with and knocked down by a tiny brown blur with something red attached to its leg.

After sitting up and recovering himself, he realized that it was Pig with a Howler. Before opening it, Ron cast a nervous look at Harry and Hermione who only looked on in deep sympathy for him.

He didn’t want to open it. He knew it would be no good, no matter who it was from; Howlers never were. Just so he could bide his time, he painstakingly got to his feet and inspected Pig to make sure the tiny owl had not hurt himself.

“Ron, open it,” Hermione said softly.

“Best to get it over with, mate,” Harry chimed in, trying to sound encouraging.

Ron nodded and picked up the little animal, which gave a shell-shocked and half-hearted “hoot” as Ron sat him on his shoulder and opened the Howler up with shaky hands. When it was finally open, it jerked itself away from Ron’s grasp and began yelling in Mrs. Weasley’s voice:

“RONALD WEASLEY! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE CURSING DRACO MALFOY LIKE THAT? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA THE SERIOUSNESS OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE? YOUR FATHER’S JOB IS HANGING IN THE BALANCE BECAUSE OF YOU! NOT TO MENTION POOR DRACO’S CONDITION! THEY’RE SAYING HE MIGHT DIE, RONALD! YOU ARE TO FINISH OUT THE WEEK AT SCHOOL AND THEN YOU’LL BE MEETING ME AFTER CLASSES FRIDAY IN THE GRYFFINDOR COMMON ROOM TO BRING YOU HOME, NO QUESTIONS ASKED!”

The little red envelope yelled with such force that not only did Ron look terrified, so did Harry and Hermione. Ron stood speechless and looked on, pale faced, as the Howler turned to Hermione and said in a gentle, motherly voice:

“Oh, and Hermione, dear, it’s such a relief to see that you’re safe now. Do take care and I suppose I’ll be seeing you on Friday.”

At that, the red message tore itself into tiny bits and then vanished into thin air. Ron was still unable to move from where he stood.


















Chapter 17: At The Burrow
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The Darkness and The Light
Part 17




Friday came to Hogwarts a little too soon for Ron’s liking. Potion’s was the last class of the day and when it was over, Ron purposely hung back as his classmates poured out of the classroom and past him, one occasionally giving him such a saddened expression that he would have thought he was on Death Row at Azkaban.

Harry and Hermione were the last ones out of the room, with Snape following close behind them. For a moment Ron felt sure that Snape would stop and give him a lecture on how wrong it was of him to curse Malfoy as he had, but he didn’t. Rather, he gave Ron an evil sneer as he walked passed, as though he knew what was in store for him once he reached the Gryffindor common room.

Hermione now took Ron’s hand in hers and headed towards the hallway exit. When he didn’t budge, she stopped and looked over her shoulder at him with a quizzical look on her face.

“Ron?” she asked.

“I can’t go,” Ron said numbly.

Ron didn’t have any experience with mothers, but somehow he just knew that no matter how fair she might be, his mother was the toughest there was. She hadn’t raised seven kids without learning to be. Especially where Ron’s older twin brothers, Fred and George, were concerned. They were constantly mischievous and kept Mrs. Weasley on her toes.

Harry and Hermione exchanged worried glances.

“Mate, you have to,” Harry said lowly.

“It’ll be ok,” Hermione said in her best comforting voice as she gave him a small kiss on the cheek.

“We know your mother, Ron,” Harry reminded him. “What’s the worst that could happen? She’ll have you chasing garden gnomes out of her garden until winter comes.”

Ron shook his head and looked downward. He hadn’t felt this anxious since he had seen Mrs. Malfoy’s head in the fire.

“If only it was that simple, Harry. I’ve never done anything like this before.”

Not knowing what more to say, Harry gave a heavy sigh and headed for the tower once again with Ron and Hermione following slowly behind him.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


People sometimes said that Narcissa was the one who always seemed to be looking down her nose at people. They said that she walked around looking as though she had a very bad smell under her nose.

Draco knew that people talked badly of his mother while holding his father in high regard, but he thought that if they looked deeper into the Malfoy family they would see that things were just the opposite. By no means was Lucius Malfoy the man that people thought he was-conversely, Narcissa Malfoy wasn’t the woman that people thought she was.

Draco now stood before his father who had a look of contempt ion his face and was wrinkling his nose as though there were a very foul smell under it.

“Your obstacle, eh?” Lucius laughed.

“Yes, Draco nodded.

“What are you going to do about it?”

Draco stiffened his shoulders and stood as straight as he possibly could. “I’m going to fight you.” He stuck his chest out, hoping to give emphasis.

Lucius gave a great, bemused laugh. “Like when you were twelve, right? Is the little dragon ready to come out and play?”

Draco raised an eyebrow at his father and an uneasy feeling crept into his stomach. “How do you know about that?”

That’s private! Draco thought inwardly. You aren’t good enough to know…that’s special…between my mother and I…

“It doesn’t matter,” Lucius said plainly, clearly enjoying the fact that he had touched a nerve with his son. “It’s her fault you’re weak, playing that insipid game.”

“I like that game,” Draco said under his breath. “That’s her way of telling me she loves me, my way of telling her.” He got a little louder as he continued. “That’s something personal and private. Between my mother and me. No one and mean NO ONE,” his voice went from a slight whisper into a yell now, “is to touch that! Is that understood?”

If Draco was conjuring a spell, he wasn’t fully aware of it until there was a quick burst of white light, almost like an explosion of some sort that ended with Lucius having his feet knocked out from under him and landing flat on his back. There was a very brief silence and Draco could hear his father screaming with intense pain.

“What have you done to me?” Lucius yelled, a mere few feet away.

Draco made no move to rush to his father’s side; he just stood and listened to the howls of pain, quite satisfied with himself.

“You aren’t the only one who can cast an Unforgivable Curse, Father,” he said to himself.



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Ron was the first one to enter the Gryffindor common room and when his eyes met with his mother’s, he immediately hung his head and went to sit before her on the couch that sat in front of the fireplace, Harry and Hermione following close behind.

Before Mrs. Weasley could say anything, Harry approached her with every intention of coming to Ron’s defense. He looked at her and spoke with respect about him as he said:

“Mrs. Weasley, please. Ron just wasn’t thinking before he acted. He was angry, if you only knew everything that Malfoy did to Hermione…”

“Harry, it’s very noble of you to jump to his defense, but he needs to be punished for what he’s done. There’s no excuse for it, I don’t care what games you kids thought you were playing.”

Ron, who had been sitting with his head hung, looked up at his mother in confusion. “Games?” he said. No one seemed to hear him.

Hermione and Harry exchanged an uneasy look and Hermione looked at Mrs. Weasly imploringly.

“Mrs. Weasley, he thought he was helping me. He thought he was protecting me. Ron…”
She stopped in mid sentence. She was about to tell her about how she was now Ron’s girlfriend and that was why things were as they were now. Mrs. Weasley held up a hand to hush Hermione before she could start again.

“Hermione, dear, it’s no secret that Ron has feelings for you. I’ve known it since he was twelve. I know that he did what he did because he cares for you, but it doesn’t excuse it. He has to see why he did what he did was wrong.”

Hermione sat beside Ron and looked at him helplessly and took his hand in hers, stroking it gently with a sorrowful look in her eyes. After a moment, she leaned over and spoke in Ron’s ear:

“I’m sorry.”

“Her mind is made up,” he said knowingly.

Casting one more look at Ron before turning to Mrs. Weasley, Harry said: “Mrs. Weasley, please, does he have to be jerked out of school? Can’t he finish the term?”

Mrs. Weasley shook her head. “No,” she said finally. “He was playing a rough game and he took it too far. He must be punished!”

There was that word again. Game. Ron looked at Hermione who was still focused on him and appeared to not have heard Mrs. Weasley say that word. Ron, feeling a little agitated that she had referred to the situation as a game, gave his mother another confused glare.

“Mrs. Weasley,” Harry began with the shake of his head, “it wasn’t…” he looked in Ron’s direction and their eyes met. Instantly they both knew that they were keying in on the same word. Game. Neither boy understood why she kept using this word.

With an uneasy look, Harry glanced back at Mrs. Weasley. “…It wasn’t…”

“It wasn’t a game, Mum!” Ron yelled as he got to his feet. Mrs. Weasley stared back at her son amazed that he was yelling at her. “If you only knew exactly what he had done to Hermione…if you had seen her…you would know that he deserved what he got!”

“No one is deserving of what you did, Ron!” Mrs. Weasley protested.

“Draco Malfoy is!” he shot back; he could feel his ears turning red.

There was a deafening and uncomfortable silence between them. All four knew that if this went any further here, it would proceed to get worse and Mrs. Weasley for one did not wish to fight with Ron on school grounds. She felt it better to do in the privacy of The Burrow.

“I think it best if you went and got your things, Ron,” she said lowly.

Ron hung his head as he trudged towards the steps to his dormitory to do as his mother instructed. A few moments later, he returned dragging his crate behind him.

“I’m ready. Let’s go,” he said with a heavy sigh. Then he turned to Harry and Hermione who were looking back at him helplessly. “I’ll owl you when I can,” he told them.

“You’ll be doing nothing of the kind, Ronald Weasley!

“What?” Ron asked, going wide-eyed.

“You are to have no contact with your friends while you’re at The Burrow!”

“Mum! No! That isn’t fair!”

“Well, you should have thought of that before you cursed Draco Malfoy into St. Mungos!”

Mrs. Weasley reached in her pocket and brought out a handful of Floo Powder which she threw into the fireplace making the red and orange flames that usually lapped at the inside turn green and lap around the outside.

Both Harry and Hermione gave a small jump, startled by the whoosh! that sounded when that happened.

“Into the fire with you,” Mrs. Weasley said, giving Ron a slight push to get him motivated to leave. He ducked his head as he now stood inside the green flames, his hand outstretched for his mother to give him some Floo Powder.

“The Burrow!” he announced with a frown on his face once the powder was in hand and he had thrown it at his feet. He was engulfed and when the flames died down, he was gone.

Mrs. Weasley turned to Harry and Hermione. “He’ll be fine,” she assured them. She took a few steps forward into the flames. “The Burrow!” she cried as she threw the powder at her feet and was gone in very much the same manner that Ron had disappeared.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Lucius Malfoy had been keeping a silent watch on Draco’s room eversince he had Apparated from The Ministry that evening. He was waiting for his wife to be gone from Draco’s side so that he might be alone with him.

Once Narcissa had finally left, he Apparated once more from the outside of St. Mungos and into Draco’s room. As he took a few steps to his son’s bed, he was pleased to see that he had regained a lot of color and appeared t o be on the mend.

Draco looked as he always had; healthy and strong. It was as though he had no reason to be lying in a hospital for what was now a third week.

Throwing his staff onto the next bed as he usually did, he took Narcissa’s post by his son and as he looked him over once more, he took Draco’s hand in his without thinking.

“Draco, wake up,” he said softly.

Draco didn’t stir, but a panged expression came upon his face and left just as quickly.

“Draco,” he said again and squeezed his hand gently.

Still nothing. A Healer came into the room to check on Draco and upon seeing Lucius, she quickly made the connection that he was the boy’s father.

“Why won’t he wake?” He asked as the young lady worked over Draco. “His color is back and he looks perfectly healthy, why isn’t he awake?”

“Mr. Malfoy, we’ve found out what your son was hit with and we’ve administered the proper potions. The affect they have had on him has been nothing short of unusual. It’s up to him now. He has to want to live.”

“’Want to live?’” Lucius repeated as he screwed his face up in confusion.

The Healer nodded gravely. “We’ve done all we can, Mr. Malfoy. I’m sorry.”

She cast him a sympathetic look before she left the room. Lucius squeezed Draco’s hand tightly and bowed his head, resting his forehead on his forearm.

“You have to live, Draco,” he said softly, just above a whisper. “I need you to. Please.”

Draco’s hand twitched under Lucius’ ever so slightly and the elder Malfoy looked up hopefully. All hope was dashed away when he saw that his son still had his eyes closed looking peaceful but bothered at the same time.

“Are you dreaming? You are, aren’t you? What is it Draco? Is there something wrong?”

Lucius had been so intent on this moment with his son that he didn’t see or hear Narcissa’s footsteps as she returned to Draco’s room and stood silently in the doorway. She had seen and heard everything that transpired since the Healer had left the room.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Upon arriving at The Burrow, the first thing Ron saw when he stepped out of the fireplace
was his father sitting at the kitchen table drinking a cup of tea. Before making his presence known, he tried his best to read the expression on Mr. Weasley’s face so as to get an idea about how drastic his punishment would be. When he took a few small steps closer, he realized that this was impossible.

There was a sudden whoosh! and Mrs. Weasley stepped from the fireplace. She ushered Ron on over to the table to sit across from his father who looked back at him warily. His eyes never left his youngest son as he spoke to his wife:

“Molly, if I could be alone with him, please,” he said flatly.

Mrs. Weasley nodded and went upstairs to busy herself with some laundry that needed to be folded and put away. Once she was out of earshot, Ron began:

“Dad…”

Mr. Weasley held up a hand to silence him.

“I’ve smoothed things over with The Ministry, Ron. If you can give a valid reason for your actions, you will not face such a fierce punishment from them or your mother and I.” He sighed heavily and removed his glasses from his face, placing then in front of him on the table. “I’m lucky they didn’t have my job for what you’ve done, Ron. You’re lucky to not have your wand and your powers revoked.”

“I know…” Ron said quietly. “But, Dad…”

If Mr. Weasley heard Ron, he was not aware of it. He continued on, talking over top of his son.

“Being a wizard is a gift, not a privilege, Ron. I would think that you were old enough to understand that…”

“I know, Dad, I do…”

“Do you comprehend the seriousness of what you’ve done? If Draco Malfoy dies, you’ll be locked up in Azkaban!”

“Does anyone understand the seriousness of what Malfoy has done?” Ron said and this was the thing that caught his father’s attention. He fell silent.

“What?”

“I said, ‘does anyone understand the seriousness of what Malfoy has done?’”

“What does that mean?”

“It means, Dad, that Hermione was bloody lucky to have gotten away with her life. I did what I did because he had kidnapped her and taken her to Malfoy Manor.”

Mr. Weasley narrowed his eyes and shook his head in confusion. “That’s where you played this game?” He asked.

Once again, there was that word. Ron had had enough. He stood up and slammed his hands down flat on the table, causing his father’s tea to topple over and coat the entire table top. Mr. Weasley gave a start and looked at the mess on the table and then up at Ron in amazement.

“Why do I keep hearing that word?” he yelled, clutching at his hair as his ears turned red. “It was no bloody game!” He had been looking at the ceiling in aggravation and now his eyes were fixed on his father. “Harry and me found out that Hermione had been sneaking around with Draco for a month,” he opened his mouth to say more but his father stopped him.

“That’s Hermione’s business,” he said matter-of-factly.

“I’m in love with her, Dad!” He bellowed. “We found out that Draco was hurting her. He was bruising her-“this seemed to get a small reaction from Mr. Weasley but it wasn’t compared to when Ron said what he said next. “He was raping her-“ Mr. Weasley’s eyes went wide in horror at this. “In the middle of everything, Hermione and I got closer and finally became a couple and Draco didn’t like it, so he kidnapped Hermione! Merlin only knows what went on at the Manor!”

Mr. Weasley didn’t know what to be shocked over the most; the fact that his youngest son had yelled at him like a man or the fact that he had even yelled at all. Taking one last annoyed look at his father, Ron stormed up the steps to his bedroom passing his mother as he went.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


They were back. Draco could see them in the distance walking towards him with their wands drawn and aimed right at him. Normally, he would have felt nothing but cowardice, but not now. He had his wand and he was ready to take whatever they could dish out.

“Still hanging around, I see,” Ron chuckled as he and Hermione came to a halt in front of Draco.

“It isn’t because I want to,” Draco said.

“Then apologize,” said Hermione.

“NEVER!” Draco screamed in her face.

“Then you won’t be getting out of here,” Hermione said simply.

“But I will,” Draco told her with an evil grin. He brought his wand up in front of them and disarmed them both; sending their wands flying from their hands and landing somewhere so far off that no one heard them hit the floor, if they had at all.

Ron and Hermione exchanged nervous glances and when Draco saw this, he laughed.

“Tell me what I have to do.”

They both opened their mouths to speak, but were interrupted by a voice that came from nowhere.

“Wake up,” it said. Draco strained his ears when he heard this voice, trying to make out who it belonged to, He didn’t recognize it. “You have to wake up.”

This time, he recognized the voice. Or so he thought. It couldn’t be, could it? Surely that voice didn’t belong to his father.



Chapter 18: Healing
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The Darkness and The Light
Part 18


A/N: In case I haven’t said it lately, thank you all for the reviews!! 200+!!! I can’t believe it! I dedicate this story to you all because if not for the encouragement and wonderful words, I would have stopped at chapter 10. And also, I want to dedicate this chapter to the Tom Felton fan that took the news of his having a girlfriend rather hard. You know who you are. (=P LOL)

On with the show!

Ron sat in the middle of his bed with this legs crossed in front of him and mindlessly picked at a hole that was in his comforter. He had a lot on his mind: his mother, for one. How could she be so ruthless and not allow him to communicate with Harry and Hermione? It wasn’t fair and while he believed that maybe he deserved a swift punishment, that was a little much coming from her.

Then, there was his Dad. Of all people, he expected some kind of understanding from him. He knew and understood what it was like to be sixteen and in love. He understood that virtue was a sacred thing and was to be protected at all costs….Or, so Ron had thought.

The more he thought about how his Dad had barely reacted to the news of what Draco had done, the angrier he got. How was it that he just went silent like that? Didn’t he care?

There was a soft knock on the door that brought Ron out of his thoughts. He didn’t say a word; he just merely looked up at the blank door and silently willed who was on the other side to go away. He wanted to be alone. Wasn’t that clear?

“Ron,” said a soft voice on the other side. There was another knock. Ron still said nothing at this. He knew who was on the other side.

“Please,” Mrs. Weasley said from out in the hallway, “let me in. I want to talk to you.”

He rolled his eyes in exasperation as he let out a heavy sigh. He could sit there and will to his young heart’s content, but he knew his mother would not go away until he let her in and let her say her piece.

“Fine,” he mumbled to himself. Then he said so she could hear him: “Come in.”

He didn’t take his eyes off of the doorway, so when she opened the door, his eyes locked on her, daring her to take one step in his direction. She was one of the last people that he wanted to be alone with at this particular moment. He loved his mother, but right now, she was the enemy.

“What do you want?” He asked, trying very hard not to sound annoyed that she was there.

Molly Weasley knew her son too well; she knew that he didn’t want to be alone with her; he just wanted to be alone. She called him on his silent dare and walked across the room to sit on the foot of his bed. When she did this, he inched back as far as he could, so far that now he was sitting on his pillows. This only seemed to increase the tension that was already hanging in the air.

“So,” she began, resting her hands on her knees. “You’re in love.”

He nodded firmly. “I am.”

“With Hermione,” Mrs. Weasley said, her voice flat.

“With Hermione,” Ron repeated in the same tone.

“How do you know?”

“What?”

“You say that you’re in love with her,” Mrs. Weasley said casually while being suspicious of the way Ron was caught off guard, “how do you know?”

“Mum, what does this have to do with anything?”

“Don’t answer my question with a question,” she warned him.

He opened his mouth to speak, halted, choosing his words. What he was about to say was not what he had originally intended. “Don’t question my feelings. Don’t question me,” he said shrewdly.

“I’m your mother, I have to. Besides that, you are in loads of trouble right now, young man. Everything you say and do from here on in is to be questioned.” She gave him a stern look. “You say that you’re in love,” she repeated.

Ron nodded, confirming this statement once more. “I am.”

Mrs. Weasley shook her head, disbelief all over her wary face. “No. You’re too young, you don’t know what love is, Ron. You don’t know so don’t use that as the excuse for what you’ve done.”

Ron was silent as he stared at his mother, anger rising within him. First, she forbad him to owl his friends and now she was sitting here, on his bed, telling him that not only was he too young to feel love, he was using it as an excuse? Nothing could have been further from the truth.

He was already trying his hardest not to yell at her, but after she said this, he was finding it very hard with every word that he spoke:

“I’m not,” he said lowly as he narrowed his eyes at her. It was his turn to register an amount of disbelief. “Mum, I did what I did out of anger. Malfoy ra-“

Mrs. Weasley held up her hand to let him know that he didn’t have to say that word. She whispered, “I heard you and your father.”

Ron cleared his throat and went on. “I loved Hermione anyway. I have since we were twelve. You knew that, you said you did.”

“That was no reason to talk to your father the way you did, Ron. You owe him an apology.”

Ron leaned back and rested his head on the rim of his headboard. “Yeah, well, love makes you do crazy things,” he said sarcastically.

Mrs. Weasley stood up and put her hands on her hips as she looked at her son helplessly. “You yelled at him, Ron. He’s your father and you yelled at him like you were a man…”

He now looked at her and raised an eyebrow. “Aren’t I?”

“No, you’re a boy. A sixteen year old boy.”

Ron sighed heavily once more and took his place against his headboard. Rather than say anything to this, he kept quiet. He was going to be nice and give his mother the benefit of the doubt. Being the last baby boy of the family, he supposed it was hard for her to let him grow up, let alone be in love.

He listened as her feet shuffled across the wooden floor and then stopped. It was so quiet now that he could practically sense the moment her hand had landed on the doorknob in order to open it. Still looking at the ceiling, he said:

“Mum, I did what I did out of love. I’m not using that as an excuse, it’s the truth. I would have done the same if it had been Ginny.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Not without a small bit of hesitation, Narcissa quietly crossed the room and stood behind her husband as she placed her hands on either side of his waist, just to let him know that she was there. When he took her hands in his and wrapped her arms around him, she found herself at a loss for words.

This was genuine affection that he was showing, it was genuine comfort that he needed, and she could sense it.

“There’s the man I married,” she finally said. Lucius wasn’t always the overbearing and pompas man that people knew today.

The two had known eachother since they were fifteen year old students at Hogwarts. He had been kind and unafraid to admit that he had feelings in those days. It seemed to her that as time had gone on and they both had gotten older, Lucius somehow managed to fall by the wayside and become who he was now.

He pretended not to hear this, but leaned into her just a little, still looking at Draco and holding his hand.

“He looks good, doesn’t he?”

Narcissa nodded. “He does.”

“A-a Healer came in and said that it was up to him now. She said that Draco had want to live.”

Narcissa nodded gravely at her husband’s back. “That’s true,” she said sadly.

There was an odd sort of silence between them and after a while, Lucius took in a deep breath. Narcissa noticed that there was a catch when he did this; as though he were holding back sobs. That was it; she said to herself, she felt his body give a slight shudder.

“Do you think he wants to?”

She opened her mouth to answer him, but Lucius went on, his words going at a medium pace and almost overlapping eachother at times. Like he had to talk fast because if he didn’t, the sobs that were threatening to leave his body might win and this the only way he knew to fight them down.

“He has to want to, right? He has something to live for, doesn’t he? A proper education, a beautiful manor that sits on spacious grounds, everything he could ever want, and to top it off he’s a pureblood wizard, the best sort of wizard there is.” He paused long enough to look over his shoulder at her. “That’s a reason to live, right? It has to be because it isn’t then it means that I have failed him. It means that he doesn’t see that everything I have done has been in his best interest, it means…”

“Sshh...” Narcissa interrupted. She withdrew her arms and turned her husband to face her only
to take him into her embrace again in an effort to comfort him. “Lucius, it’s okay that you love your son. No one is going to fault you for that. Least of all me. I believe with every ounce of my being that Draco will come out of this.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Is it that simple? Draco wondered. I just have to wake up?

“No!” Hermione yelled as she dove at him and knocked him on his back. “You have to apologize!” She turned her wand into a blade again and held it just inches over Draco’s throat as she now straddled him to keep him from getting up.

“Don’t apologize to a Mudblood, Draco,” said the disembodied voice. Upon hearing it again and more clearly, he realized that it WAS his father. “She doesn’t worthy of a pureblood’s apology, you have done nothing wrong.”

Draco had been turning and craning his head so as to see his father somewhere off in the distance but when he realized that it was a fruitless effort; he looked back at Hermione and met her gaze, which was as cold as his.

“He’s right,” he sneered at her. “I did nothing wrong. You are nothing but a pathetic,” he rose up and held his weight on his elbows, “worthless,” he wriggled slightly under her, getting leverage, “Mudblood!” He exclaimed, unsure of how he was able to buck his hips well enough to throw her off and cause her to land a few feet away.

He looked at her, expecting her to get to her feet, but she did not. She just lie there looking helpless and defeated. Pleased with this, he smirked and walked up to Ron, silently daring him to make a move.

“I’m not afraid of you,” Draco told Ron as he went for his wand.

“The feeling is mutual,” Ron told him, meeting his eyes. “Apologize to her…”

“Draco, wake up,” came Lucius’ voice. “Forget them and wake up.”

Draco looked over Ron’s shoulder, expecting to see his father, but did not. He gazed upward.
“I can’t do it. I have to apologize,” looking at Ron, he asked, “I have no choice, do I?” Then a sudden look of realization came onto his face. “We can hex eachother until someone dies and it isn’t any good, is it?”

Ron shook his head and Draco looked over to where Hermione lay, crumpled and crying. He walked over to her and knelt down.

“You foul, loathsome, evil...,” she stopped, swallowed her tears and continued. “You hurt me. You did it and you don’t even care.”

He took a hand that was lying limp on her side and sat her up.

“I’m sorry, Hermione,” he said. He wondered if he sounded honest.

“You just want to get out of here,” she said, clutching the side she hand fallen on.

He nodded. This was true. He felt this odd wave come over him as he stared back at Hermione and he didn’t know where it came from. He wanted to apologize again. He wanted to do it because this time it would mean something, it would be true. He didn’t know why he was so eager to apologize before whereas he had been so adamant.

He thought maybe it had to do with once more defying his father. Maybe it had to do with getting out. He now stood and lifted Hermione to her feet. She looked back at him in amazement at his kindness.

“I’m sorry, Hermione,” he said once more.



~*~*~*~*~*~*~


His head hurt. No, hurt was not the word. Throbbed painfully described it better. The room around him was blurry as far as he could tell and he struggled a moment to make his eyes come into focus.

One he did, he saw that his mother was standing over him, looking at him with concern on her face.

“M…Mum?” He groaned in a small voice.

Narcissa burst into tears of utter joy when he spoke. She leaned down and planted kisses all over his face. She placed an affectionate hand on his cheek before kissing his nose and saying,

“Don’t go anywhere, my dragon, I’ll be right back.”

She smiled down at him, unable to contain her tears. Giving him one last look, to make sure that she wasn’t dreaming, she ran from the room to get Lucius who had momentarily stepped out.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~



Mr. Weasley was startled when he was walking past the fireplace in the kitchen and he heard a deep voice call his name. He dropped his cup of pumpkin juice and stopped in his tracks, turning to see a head in the fire.

Not just any head. It belonged to The Minister of Magic and his boss, Cornelius Fudge.

“M-Mr. Fudge,” he stammered as he bent to pick up pieces of the shattered cup. “How unexpected to see you! To what do I owe the honor of this visit?”

“Arthur,” Cornelius began with a heavy sigh, “Draco Malfoy has just woken up.”

Relief gushed over Mr. Weasley. So much so that he had to sit down. He kept his eyes trained on his boss.

“Then Ron is clear,” he said.

The older man took in a deep and uneasy breath. “I’m afraid not.”

“Why not? I thought I had this all smoothed over…”

“So did I, Arthur. But, you know the Malfoys…I wouldn’t even be here if Lucius had not threatened to have my job if he didn’t see some justice done.”

Mr. Weasley’s expression turned from relief to alarm. He had a feeling that he knew what was coming next.

“Dammit, Arthur, I don’t like doing this…” he averted his eyes and his hand now jutted out from the fireplace with a roll of parchment in it. Mr. Weasley slowly leaned over and took it with a shaky hand.

Looking at the saddened expression on Cornelius’ face, he held up the paper in front of his own and read:

Mr. Weasley,

Since your son, Ronald Bilius Weasley is not of age in the Wizarding World, we, The Ministry are contacting you and trust that you will pass the following information on to your son.

In two weeks, he is to arrive at The Ministry promptly at 9 o’clock in the morning. Someone will meet him out front to take him to the proper department to stand trial for the attempted murder Draco Malfoy.

Signed,
Mr. Cornelius Fudge
The Minister of Magic


A/N: I know, I know, huge stuff in this chapter. That an awful, awful cliffhanger. Don’t hate me!








Chapter 19: Two Purebloods
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The Darkness and The Light
Part 19


A/N: I just want to dedicate this chapter to all of my wonderful readers and my friends at the Weasley Writers forum. You’re the best!

WARNING: Cliffhanger at the end of this chapter. I know I have done that pretty much throughout this story, so if you don’t want to be left hanging, you may want to wait until chapter 20.


“WHAT?” Ron bellowed when his dad had come into his bedroom to break the news. “Dad, that isn’t fair! How can it be? Malfoy is the one that beat her and raped her! He should stand trial!”

Mr. Weasley sat down on the end of Ron’s bed and hung his head before taking in a rugged and deep breath and exhaling.

“I know, Ron, but your actions cannot go unpunished either.”

Ron shook his head in disbelief. “You agree with this?” He nodded to the parchment that was now lying in the center of his bed.

Mr. Weasley was silent and refused to meet his son’s eyes. “I do, yes.”

Disgusted, Ron frowned at his father’s back. “Thanks a lot, Dad,” he smirked.

Mr. Weasley let out a frustrated groan and rubbed at his temples. “I don’t know what you expect from me, Ron. Did you really think that you could walk away free from this?”

Ron began talking without choosing his words first. “Yes…no…,” he let out a heavy sigh and then continued truthfully. “No, I didn’t. At the time, I wasn’t thinking at all. I was just so mad over what he had done to Hermione, Dad. He had to pay for what he did.”

“You should have thought before you acted, Ron.”

Ron now leaned forward and put a hand on his father’s shoulder, motioning for him to face him. He took in a deep breath of his own, let it out with a heavy sigh and continued on slowly.

“Dad, Hermione was a virgin when all of this began. Her first time was not what it should have been. She’ll always look back on her first time and remember that she was raped.” He paused. “It shouldn’t be that way.”

Mr. Weasley’s face registered an amount of shock and he nodded somberly. “No, it shouldn’t.”

“What if it had happened to Ginny, Dad? What if she had lost her virginity like that and I was the only one to save her? Wouldn’t you expect me to react the same way? Wouldn’t you want me to defend her virtue?”

Ron had expected his dad to nod at this, but he didn’t. He merely said, “But it wasn’t Ginny and Hermione is not my daughter.”

He looked at his father in amazement, unable to register the meaning in his words. Ron shook his head hoping that he had not heard what he thought he had.

“You don’t care about Hermione?” He ventured, hoping that he was wrong. He had to be because he just couldn’t believe his own words.

“It isn’t that I don’t care about her, I do. It’s just that I think you went the wrong way in defending her. What if you are suspended of your powers and expelled from school? Have you given any thought to that?”

“No,” Ron told his father honestly. “If that’s the case, I don’t care. I love Hermione, Dad. She’s worth everything to me.”

Mr. Weasley got to his feet with an exasperated sigh. “I certainly hope so.” He went for the door and before opening it to leave, he turned and said, “Why don’t you owl Harry and Hermione to tell them what’s going on? I’d bet they’re worried sick about you,” he smiled and his glasses slid down his nose a bit, “it’s been a whole day.”

“Oh, didn’t Mum tell you?” Ron asked glumly and his father shook his head. “I’m not allowed to communicate with them.”

“WHAT? That’s just silly. I’ll talk to her, Ron. Write to them and tell them what’s going on.”

“Ok. Thanks, Dad.”

He waved a dismissive hand and opened the door. Before he could head out into the hallway, Ron spoke again.

“Dad?”

“Hmm?”

“I’m sorry about earlier. I just lost my temper.”

“Think nothing of it, Ron. It’s all part of being a Weasley.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



Narcissa helped Draco into his own bed in his own bedroom. After keeping him for a fourth week after he woke up, the Healers at St. Mungos had finally seen fit to let him come home.
It was so much more than a relief to have him back at the manor where he belonged.

“Would you like to be left alone for a nap, Draco?” Narcissa asked as she fluffed up some pillows under his head and tucked his sheets a little tighter around him,

“Mum, I was asleep for 3 weeks. It’s the last thing I want to do.”

“The Healers said that you needed your rest. I’m just following their orders, Draco. Is there anything that I can get you? Maybe some pumpkin juice?”

Draco shook his head slightly and smiled at his mother. “I’m fine, Mum. I promise.”

“Ok, if you’re sure. Just lie there and relax. I’m going to go give the house elves the order for tonight’s feast. We’re going to celebrate your return home.”

He nodded and when she turned to go, he sat up and gently grabbed her wrist. She stopped and turned to look at him with concern on her face. “Yes?”

“Mum, when can I return to school? I’d like to see my friends in Slytherin.”

She stared blankly at him, at a loss for words. Something in those eyes that stared back at her told her that he didn’t know about the charges that were being brought against the boy that had done this to him.

“As soon as you feel well enough to go,” she said, hoping to pacify him.

It didn’t. “Then I could go tomorrow. I feel fine, Mum.”

“Draco, no,” she said firmly and turned to walk away again. Again, he grabbed her and she avoided his eyes because she knew that her own would give away the fact that she was hiding something from him.

However, her action spoke louder than her resistance to look at her son.

“What are you not telling me?” He asked.

“What do you mean?” She asked sheepishly, still looking at the floor.

“Mum, please. What is it?”

She finally gave up and sat down beside Draco on his bed, crossing her leg in front of her. She held his gaze, but spoke uneasily. “Draco, your father has spoken to Cornelius Fudge and that Weasley boy has been summoned to stand trial for what he’s done to you.”

“What?” Draco asked. He didn’t know how to react; he knew that he felt nothing at this news.

“The hearing will be in two weeks and until all of this is over, we, that is, your father and I, don’t think it wise for you to return to school.”

“Why not?”

“No doubt once this has all gotten out; it will attract a certain amount of attention, Draco. We’re looking out for your best interest. You’ll be home schooled by a private tutor until all of this blows over. Your lessons begin next week.”

Draco had opened his mouth but quickly shut it, her tone had been firm and made him feel as though he had no choice in the matter.

“Can I at least owl my friends?”

His mother nodded. “You may. I’ll bring you your quill and parchment when I come to check on you after speaking to the house elves.”

“Give me my wand, I’ll summon them,” Draco told her as he held out his hand. Narcissa looked at her sons open palm and then at him with a worried expression on her face. She didn’t want to tell him that there was more news concerning the hearing. She ignored him as best she could and headed for the door once again.

“Mother, don’t do this to me!” Draco demanded. “Just tell me what is you’re hiding!”

With her back still to him, she stopped when she was standing in the middle of the room, between the door to his room and his bed.

“When your father spoke to Mr. Fudge at the ministry to press charges against Arthur Weasley’s son, he requested that you be suspended of your wand and your powers.”

Draco angrily threw back his covers and got to his feet.

“WHAT?” He roared.

“Draco, there was nothing your father could do! He tried to keep this from happening, but under the circumstances, he just couldn’t.”

Draco hated that she was avoiding his eyes like she was. He now stood in front of her and held her head in his hands, making her look him in the eyes.

“But, Mother, I don’t understand. He has a lot of influence at The Ministry.”

Narcissa rested her hands over her sons and replied in a glum voice, “Not this time, Draco. I’m sorry.”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


When Mr. Weasley had shown the summons to his wife, she felt so many emotions at once that she had to sit down. She didn’t want to believe that any of this was true. How could Ron be so dumb as to get himself into this kind of trouble?

For the first time upon hearing this news, she looked down at the parchment that her husband had laid on the table in front of her that contained Ron’s hearing date. Upon closer inspection, she saw something closer to the bottom of the page.

She took the sheet in her hand and held it up to her face so she could read it more clearly. She read it out loud:

Also, please be aware that your son has been suspended of his powers until further notice. We at The Ministry entrust you to confiscate his wand.


“Arthur, did you see this?” She asked.

Mr. Weasley had been standing over at the fireplace taste testing a soup that his wife had cooking over the open flame. When he heard this, he choked on the portion that he had just swallowed and dropped his spoon, which landed with a soft clatter onto the floor. Now, he ambled over to sit by her, unable to believe what she had just said.

“No, I didn’t. Are you sure that’s what it says?”

She nodded and slammed the paper down onto the table. “As sure as I’m sitting here. He needs to know,” she turned around in her chair and faced the stairway that was behind her and yelled, “Ron! Ron, come down here this instant!”

Momentarily, they heard Ron’s footfalls on coming down the staircase. He stopped and stood on the bottommost step and asked:

“What is it?”

Both parents gave him a remorseful look and his mother patted the empty place on her opposite side, motioning for him to sit beside her.

“We have some bad news, dear. Come, sit down.”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


A few days had passed since they had told him that he wouldn’t have use of his powers. For the first two, he had moped around The Burrow feeling numb and in a state of shock. What good was he without magic? He was no better than a Muggle. How was he going to face his friends?

He now sat outside at a nearby picnic table just few feet from his mother’s garden, watching the gnomes walk off with some daffodils that had begun to grow in her carrot patch. He was slightly bewildered that they were being helpful and not greedy as they usually were.

Ron looked down at the parchment and quill in front of him and gave a heavy hearted sigh with a frown on his face. This was the first letter that he would be writing to Hermione since having been taken out of school.

He reluctantly took the quill in his and touched it to the paper, ready to write. Then something dawned on him:

You can’t tell her that you lost your powers, you git! What will she think of you?

Another voice came into his head, sounding more reasonable and less insecure.

Wait a second before you go crazy, Ron. This IS Hermione we’re talking about. Let’s remember that she loves you for you. She’ll understand.

He liked the sound of this and smiled to himself as he wrote the opening of his letter.

Dear Hermione,

He stopped once more, thinking of something to say, and was once more interrupted by his conscience.

This happened because you were defending her. Don’t forget that. If you tell her that you can’t use magic, she’ll blame herself. You know she will…

Giving into this thought, he aggravatedly crumpled up the piece of paper and threw it onto the ground. Once more, he touched his quill to the parchment and wrote:

Harry,
Dad smoothed it over with Mum and it’s okay for me to write to you and Hermione now. The Malfoy’s are pressing charges against me for what happened to Draco. I have to appear in court at The Ministry in two weeks.
I need you to do me a favor and not tell Hermione what I’m about to tell you. I’m not allowed to use magic or carry my wand until I’ve heard something more from The Ministry. She would blame herself if she found out and I don’t want that. She has had to go through so much without this adding to it.

Thanks, mate, I appreciate it.

Ron


With a heavy sigh, he started to get up from the table to go looking for Pig but sat back down when the little owl swooped down in front of him and landed on the tabletop. Ron sat up enough to get a piece of string from his pocket so as to secure Harry’s letter to the owl’s leg. One he had done so, Pig just stared expectantly back at him.

“I don’t have anything for you. Go to the owlery once you get to school.”

Almost as if he had been understood, Pig gave a defiant “hoot!” and shook his head.

“If you’re not hungry, then what?” He asked in confusion.

Pig looked around and spotted the paper Ron had thrown earlier. He raised up his wings, got enough air under them to swoop over to it and pick it up in his beak only to bring it back to Ron and drop it down on the table. Ron shook his head with a frown on his face.

“No, not yet,” he said to the little creature, knowing that he was expected to have a letter for Hermione as well. Pig didn’t budge; he merely stood and stared back at Ron with the same expectant attitude. The longer he stood there, the more agitated Ron became. “Look, I said no, ok? I can’t face her now! What do you want from me? If she finds out that I lost my magic, she’ll feel bad and I don’t want her to feel bad after what he did to her! I don’t want her to blame herself and that is exactly what will happen! She’s just going to have to wait for a letter from me, that’s all! Why are you hanging around here anyway? You have a letter to deliver!” He nodded to Pig’s leg. “Find Harry!”

Ron leaned forward, rested his face in one hand and angrily knocked Pig off the table with the other. Ron half expected him to fall right to the ground, (as Pig was sometimes not the brightest owl there was), but much to his surprise, he did not.

Not knowing what to do with himself at the moment, he sat and watched Pig fly away until he was nothing more than a tiny speck in the sky.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Harry sat up on the edge of his bed and scratched his messy raven hair trying to wake up. Without thinking about it, he turned his head and looked at Ron’s empty bed and sleepily wondered how things were going for him at The Burrow.

Then, almost as if on cue, a little grey blur came zooming in Harry’s direction and before he could comprehend what was going on, he was hit squarely in the chest by it. He heard a feathery thud! and felt something in his lap. Harry looked down to see a slightly dazed Pig staring up at him.

He shook his head at the little owl, scooped him up and placed him on his fluffy pillow before untying the letter from his leg.

“Rest up here and once you feel better, go to the owlery. I’m sure there’s something to eat there if you’re hungry. Speaking of which, I am. I’m going to go get dressed.” He held up the letter. “Thanks for this.”

A few moments later, he was dressed for the day, making sure to take Ron’s letter with him; he headed down to The Great Hall for breakfast. Once he had settled in at Gryffindor table and was chewing on a piece of toast, he took out Ron’s letter and began reading it.

He hadn’t gotten very far when he heard a familiar voice say “Good morning, Harry!”

He glanced over his shoulder to see Hermione coming towards him and once she got directly behind him, she stopped, looking down at the parchment in his hands.

“What do you have there?” She asked, nodding to it. She was now sitting down beside him, her curious eyes never leaving the contents of his hands. When Harry realized that she was studying it close, he folded it over, hoping that she wouldn’t see her name.

“It’s nothing,” he said quickly.

She narrowed her eyes in suspicion at him. “It’s something. Harry, I saw my name. Is it a letter from Ron?” When he didn’t answer her, she continued on. “It is, isn’t it? Harry, what’s the big deal?”

“Ok, fine,” he said as he went back to his breakfast. “It’s from Ron.”

“How is he?” She asked excitedly as she tried to get the letter from him once more, being successful this time. Harry choked on his orange juice as he moved to try and get it from her. He had gotten to the part where Ron was asking him to keep a secret but got no further than that.

Somehow, Hermione had managed to hold Harry off by merely putting one hand on his chest and looking down at the letter in her other hand. Harry watched her eyes move down the paper, reading every word closely. After a moment, she took her hand away from his chest and shoved the letter at him, color in her cheeks.

“Hermione, what’s wrong?”

She didn’t reply. She got up from the table and stormed out of The Great Hall, her hair flying behind her. After he watched her turn the corner and disappear from sight, he looked down at the letter and now saw what Hermione was so upset about. A terrible feeling settled into his stomach as he got to his feet.

“Hermione, wait!” Harry yelled as he took one last drink of orange juice and ran after her.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


After about 45 minutes of searching all over Gryffindor, Harry finally found Hermione sitting by Hogwarts Lake with her head bowed, holding her hands over her face. He stood a few feet away from her for a few minutes just watching her and giving her a few more moments alone.

Finally, he walked up to her and sat down next to her, putting his arm around her shoulders. He could feel her little body shake with each sob that came from her.

He didn’t really know what to say, so he just hugged her as tightly as he could and decided to let her cry it out. Leaning into his chest, she said, “How could he think that about me, Harry? How could he think that I wouldn’t understand?”

“I don’t think that’s what he thinks at all. Hermione, he is only looking out for you. He doesn’t want you to feel any worse than you already do.”

She gained a modicum of composure and pulled away from him. “What would you know about
how I feel, Harry?”

“What does that mean?”

Hermione took a tissue from her robes and wiped her nose with it. “Nothing, really. I’m just frustrated that Ron would think that about me, I suppose. I mean, what is WRONG with him?”

“You can’t fault him, Hermione. He thought he was doing the right thing. He loves you.”

She frowned as she got to her feet. “He has a funny way of showing it.” She began to walk away from him and soon found that he had jogged up to her side, almost out of breath,

“Where are you going?”

“I’m going to go write him a letter,” she replied simply.

“Hermione, no! Don’t! He’ll know that you read my letter!” Harry pleaded as he grabbed her shoulder and stopped her in her tracks when he did the same.

“Don’t be silly, Harry,” Hermione assured him. “I won’t mention that I know about his powers being taken away. I’ll just tell him that you said it was okay for him to talk to us.”

“Please, just wait for him to write to you, ok? I don’t want him to be suspicious and that’s what will happen once he hears from you.”

Hermione let out a heavy sigh and rolled her eyes in exasperation. “Fine. You win,” she took notice of the expression on Harry’s face; one of total content. “I suppose you’re happy with yourself, are you?”

Harry just smiled back at her. “Let’s go to Hagrid’s,” he suggested as he let go of her arm and began walking towards the hut.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Ron didn’t know how long he had been sitting at the picnic table looking up into the sky, but when his father came and sat down across from him, he came out of his trancelike state only to notice that the sun was beginning to set on the horizon.

Mr. Weasley sat a plate of mashed potatoes and ham sandwiches in front of his son, accompanied by a tall glass of pumpkin juice. Ron didn’t realize how thirsty he was until he took a drink.

“Thanks, Dad.”

“You’re welcome. There’s some tomato soup to be had in the kitchen if you’d like some of that later.”

Ron merely nodded to show that he had heard him and took in a healthy spoonful of potatoes. Mr. Weasley watched Ron as though he were expecting him to say something and he had noticed this just moments before he finally swallowed his potatoes and asked slowly:

“Dad, I have a question,” he began.

“What is it, Ron?”

“I’ve been thinking about everything that’s going on and I don’t understand something,” he took a long drink of juice so as to give himself time to get his thoughts in order. “I’m going to trial for hexing Malfoy, but has anyone thought about what he did to Hermione? He-“

Mr. Weasley held up a hand and Ron stopped in mid sentence.

“You’ve already said what he did, Ron.”

“And that was exactly how you reacted the last time!” He pointed out as he gestured to his father’s hand which now fell to the table top. “What is it?”

“Ron,” Mr. Weasley said with a frown, “I know it isn’t fair that you go to trial while Malfoy doesn’t. It isn’t fair that Hermione will not get to see justice for what has happened to her…”

Ron’s mouth dropped open and he glared wide eyed at his father, unable to believe what he had heard. He had to pinch his arm to make sure that he wasn’t dreaming.

“Please tell me you’re kidding, Dad.” Ron said with anger in his voice. Mr. Weasley shook his head and his frown deepened. “Dad, that isn’t fair!”

“I know.”

“There must be something that can be done!”

“No,” said Mr. Weasley sadly.

Ron got to his feet and slammed his hand on the table. “Why the bloody hell not?”

“Ron, don’t swear,” Mr. Weasley said with a heavy sigh. “It has to do with the fact that her parents are Muggles. If Malfoy stood trial here, then it is likely that Hermione would bring her parents to the wizarding world for support. If Hermione told them what happened to her, then they would press charges against Malfoy and he would have to stand trial in the Muggle world. Besides that, the laws are different and that would cause the two worlds to collide. It’s a chance that can’t be taken.”

“But Malfoy has to pay for what he did! He can’t just walk free because of some technicality!”

Mr. Weasley nodded somberly. “I know, Ron.”

“You work at The Ministry, Dad. Isn’t there someone you know that could change that? She lost her virginity when she was raped! He can’t go free!”

“Ron, calm down…”

“How can I? This is Hermione we’re talking about!” He walked away and slammed his foot against a nearby stone with every intention of rolling it away. To Ron’s dismay, it stayed stationary and he was now concentrating on the pain in his foot rather than his anger at The Ministry.

He let out a squeal and fell to the ground clutching his foot in his lap. After a few moments, Mr. Weasley asked with a smile, “You didn’t hurt the rock, did you?”

Ron looked up at his dad and smiled. “Very funny.”

“Do you feel better?”

“No,” Ron said glumly as he managed to stand up and amble back over to the table.

“It wasn’t worth it, then was it?”

Ron shrugged. “I guess not.”

After a few moments more, Mr. Weasley spotted the crumpled up paper that Ron had set aside.

“Finally wrote to Harry and Hermione, did you?”

Ron frowned. “To Harry, anyway. I can’t face Hermione now. I don’t want her to know that I can’t use magic. I’m afraid that if she finds out, she’ll blame herself and I don’t want that.” He shook his head. “She doesn’t need it.”

“It’s nice of you to protect Hermione like that, Ron, but I think you should let her decide what she can and can’t handle right now. You should tell her what’s going on.”

“What if she thinks less of me once I tell her?” Ron asked uneasily. This thought made the hair on his neck stand up. He couldn’t handle it.

“She won’t, son. I promise you that. She’ll understand,”

He removed Ron’s now empty plate and glass and replaced it with the stack of parchment and the quill.

“Write to her,” Mr. Weasley gently urged his son before taking the dishes inside.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


It was almost dark by the time Harry and Hermione had departed from Hagrid’s and once they had made it to the Gryffindor common room, Hermione had excused herself by saying that she was going to go upstairs and read for a while.

Harry had nodded to her casually and decided to do the same in his dormitory. He now looked up from his book on famous Quiddich teams throughout the wizarding world and looked at his watch. Time had managed to slip away from him and if he didn’t get downstairs to The Great Hall soon, he was going to miss dinner.

He closed his book, left it lying on the bed and dashed downstairs, looking for Hermione in the process. When he didn’t see her in the common room, he gave up and decided to search her out once he got to The Great Hall.

Upon sitting down to a plate of steamed carrots, roast beef and fried potatoes, he let his eyes roam over the room now held maybe one hundred students whereas around dinner time, it held well over one thousand. Still no sign of Hermione. He quickly ate his dinner, gulped down the butterbeer that was in front of him and set off for the library.

After about half an hour, he finally saw her sitting alone in the back near the Restricted section, reading a book and wiping tears from her eyes. He slowly walked up to her and took a seat that was directly across from her.

“Hi,” he said softly, not being one to break the rules and use his normal speaking voice. He knew how Madam Pince hated that. “I’ve been looking for you.”

“Well, you found me,” Hermione snapped in the same soft tone that Harry was using. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “What do you want, Harry?” She sniffled.

“What’s wrong, Hermione?”

“Nothing,” she said quickly and slammed the book in front of her so fiercely that Harry jumped in his seat a little. She intentionally kept her arm lying on top of the cover so as to shield the title from Harry, who was aware of this from the beginning.

“What are you reading?” He asked, secretly trying to see the words engraved on the book under her arm.

“Oh,” she said with a fake smile, “I was missing Ron and I decided to read a bloody romance novel. I can’t believe the damned thing made me cry.” She gave a laugh as false as her smile.

Harry didn’t believe her for a moment, but he wasn’t going to make her aware of that just yet. If this made her feel better about what was really bothering her, then fine. He would gladly play along.

She looked at him and this time she noticed that he was trying to see the title of the book that she was reading. Hermione frowned at his nosiness and made to push the book off the table into her lap but did this a little too rough and caused it to land in the floor instead. She quickly bent down to retrieve it, but Harry was quicker than she was and he reached it first.

Picking it up and making a point to keep it away from Hermione who was trying to take it from him, he saw the silver lettering that was on the cover of the black book:

The Laws and Limitations of Two Worlds: Wizard and Muggle


Harry smirked. “Hermione, why are you reading this?” Once the question had left his mouth, he suddenly felt like he knew why.

“You wouldn’t understand,” she said as she choked back more tears.

“Try me,” he countered.

Hermione knew that if she didn’t come out with what was bothering her, Harry would probably push her until she did. Conceding defeat, she leaned forward and motioned for Harry to do the same, just to make the conversation a bit more private.

“I thought I was okay after what happened to me, Harry. I don’t know how I did it, but I was really feeling like I had put all of this rubbish behind me. Then, about a week ago, I was alone with Ron and…” she stopped and noticed the eager look on Harry’s face, wanting her to continue. She inhaled deeply, let it out slowly and said in an unsure tone, “Are you sure you want me to go on?”

“Hermione, whatever it is, you can tell me,” he said as he reached over and placed a friendly hand on hers.

Trying to choose her words, she went on. “Ok, don’t say that you weren’t warned, though. I was alone with Ron and he got a little carried away when we were kissing, he touched my chest…”

“Ugh!” Harry leaned back and covered his ears with a disgusted look on his face. “I don’t want to hear about you and Ron snogging OR his roaming hands!”

Hermione got to her feet and leaned over to jerk Harry’s hands from his ears. “Oh, grow up, Harry!” She exclaimed impatiently, flopping back down in her chair and leaning over the table once more. “I warned you,” she grabbed Harry’s tie and pulled him to her, so that he was leaning over the table once more with her. She cleared her throat and continued. “I saw Malfoy’s face when I kissed Ron and eversince then I’ve been having these weird visions…I can’t get away from them and I think it’s because now I know Ron will be going to trial and I have this sinking feeling that Malfoy will not.”

Harry frowned and nodded glumly. He didn’t want to admit it, but she was probably right and when he realized this, he realized that was why Hermione had been crying. Whatever was in that book she was reading must have had to do with why she said this.

He looked at the book once more. “Why are you reading this?” He asked again.

“I want something done to Malfoy, Harry,” she said bitterly. “I was reading this book to see what the laws were surrounding something like this and it says here that I don’t stand a chance because if I were to try and fight Draco, it would cause a collision with the Muggle and Wizarding worlds.” She bowed her head and the tears came again.

“That isn’t fair, Hermione,” Harry said truthfully as he took her hand in his and placed his other one on top of hers.

“I know.”

“I refuse to believe that there can’t be anything done! You deserve jutsice and peace of mind after what he did to you!”

Harry now grabbed the book, which he had laid to one side, and began to flip towards the back to the index, hoping to find something that would help Hermione. A loophole of some kind, anything. After watching him act crazed for a minute because he apparently wasn’t finding what he was looking for, Hermione stopped him.

“Harry, don’t,” she told him.

He stared back at her for a moment and saw something in her eyes that he didn’t like. Defeat. She was going to let him win. Trying to suppress the anger he felt, he put the book down once more. Hermione got to her feet and began to gather her things together. Harry stood with her.

“He can’t win, Hermione,” he said flatly, shaking his head. “He just can’t.”

She gave a heavy sigh and threw her bag over her shoulder. “But, he is. I’m just going to have to get over it and get used to the fact that the wizarding world really does not give a damn about Muggle-borns.”

She took one last saddened look at Harry and walked past him, after a moment, he caught up with her.

“Are you going to be ok?” He asked with concern in his voice as they reached the top of the landing leading away from the library.

Hermione stopped in her tracks and dropped her bag at her feet. She ran her hands through her long bushy hair and then waved them in frustration as she spoke:

“I could kick myself, Harry! It would have been better if I hadn’t gotten involved with Malfoy in the first place and we wouldn’t be here.”

Harry saw where this was going. She was doing exactly what Ron had predicted she would.

“Hermione, no,” he said lowly.

“But, it’s true, Harry! If I could have just confronted Ron, taken the chance that he cared about me, it never would have happened.” She stormed past him and now sat on the top step.

“Don’t do this,” he told her as he turned took a seat beside her. “It will work itself out. You don’t need to blame yourself for anything. I know Ron and I know how he feels about you. It’s like he said in his letter, you don’t need to blame yourself. He would hex Malfoy a thousand times if he thought it would keep you safe from him. All you need to do now is be strong for Ron. He needs both of us now.”

Hermione nodded. Harry was right.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


A week and a half had passed before Harry heard from Ron again. Harry himself had tried several times to write to Ron but it seemed that everytime he sat down to begin a letter, he would find himself too distracted with worries about his red haired friend to write to him.
That and the fact that Hermione sometimes worried him as well. After their talk in the stair well that day, he had been under the impression that she was feeling a little better.

When she wasn’t paying attention, he would watch her while they studied in the Gryffindor common room and he increasingly noticed that she was distracted as well because she would look up from whatever she was doing at the moment and stare off into nowhere.

Ron was due to stand trial in three days, he could only imagine what he must be feeling as the day grew nearer.

On this particular evening, Harry and Hermione found themselves trying to concentrate on a game of Wizard’s Chess when all of a sudden, Pig swooped in from nowhere, skidding across the board in an attempt to stop, sending chess pieces everywhere.

Harry watched with dull amusement as each piece stood up one by one, brushed themselves off and stormed away while giving the little owl scornful looks. Hermione got up from her chair, collected Pig in her hands and sat him up on the table as she untied the scroll of parchment that was around his leg.

She unrolled it to see her name written on the outside in Ron’s handwriting. She looked up at Harry, then at the letter, reading silently.

Dear Mione,
Dad worked it out with Mum and I can write to you and Harry now. I’ve been allowed to for a week and a half now, to tell you the truth. Please don’t be mad at me for not writing to you sooner. I have been thinking about you a lot lately and I need to tell you something. My wand and my powers have been suspended by The Ministry until further notice due to all of this mess with Malfoy.

I don’t want you to blame yourself, it isn’t your fault. I love you and would do it all over again if I had to. Tell Harry hi for me. Mum and Dad said that if you and Harry can get passes from Dumbledore, you can come here to The Burrow and stay until after the trial. I wish that you would. I need the both of you here. Let me know something.

Love,
Ron.


“Well?” Harry asked once it was apparent that she had finished reading. “What does it say?”

“He finally told me about losing his wand and his magic, so that’s good. He says to tell you hi and he said that we’re invited to The Burrow so we can go to court with him.”

Harry nodded. “Great.”

Hermione nodded. “We’ll need to get passes from Dumbledore.”

“Well, come on, then. Let’s go.”

With that, they took off for Dumbledore’s office.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


When they showed up at the Headmaster’s office, Harry would have thought that he would be a little annoyed that they had come by so late. But it was just the opposite, when he opened the door; Dumbledore smiled and gave his usual warm greeting, welcoming them inside.

“Hello, Harry. Hello, Hermione,” he said as he crossed over to his desk and sat down. “You’re here to get passes to The Burrow, I believe.”

It didn’t matter how long Harry had known the Headmaster, he never ceased to amaze him.
Harry opened his mouth to ask how he knew this and quickly shut it when he saw Errol, the Weasley family owl, perched on a feeder that Dumbledore kept in his office, eating seeds.

“Quite a tragedy that has befallen The Weasley family, isn’t it?” He asked them, but his eyes shifted to Hermione who only nodded somberly at him. He waved his wand over a couple of small scrolls that lay dormant on his desk for a moment and then sprang to life when he muttered an incantation that sent them to Harry’s outstretched hand. “These are your passes. You need to show them to Mr. Fudge when you get to The Ministry.”

Harry nodded. “Thank you, sir.”

Harry gently grabbed Hermione by the sleeve and pulled her with him when he turned to go. They were almost to the door when Dumbledore’s voice came from behind them.

“Miss Granger, if I may have a moment of your time.”

“I’ll be right outside when you’re finished, ok?” Harry told her before he left the room and closed the door behind him.

Hermione turned around to see the Headmaster motioning to the big green leather chair that sat in front of his desk, wanting her to sit down. With a small bit of reluctance, she did so. This was when he leaned back in his own chair, crossing his fingers under his chin and behind his long white beard.

“What seems to be troubling you, Miss Granger?” His icy blue eyes twinkled with concern as he peered over his moon shaped spectacles.

“Headmaster, you must know by now exactly what it is that Ron is standing trial for and why,” she began slowly, meeting his eyes.

“Yes.”

She related to him about reading the book in the library and how she felt that it was unfair that not only it looked as though Malfoy would be walking free, but he wouldn’t even be receiving a trial. Dumbledore nodded to show that he understood.

“How can that be right, Headmaster?” Hermione questioned.

Dumbledore never said another word. He just sat and studied Hermione closely as though heavily pondering something. The longer this went on, the more uneasy Hermione became. She stood up and politely excused herself from him but not before thanking him for the passes and asking him to keep her and Harry up to date on their lessons.

She walked out the door and found Harry standing in the hallway, waiting patiently. He noticed the uncomfortable look on Hermione’s face and asked, “What’s wrong? What did he say?”

Hermione gave the door that lead into the office a bewildered look and turned to Harry. “Nothing. Nothing at all, really,” she began walking. “Strange man, Dumbledore,” she observed.

Not wanting to press the matter of why exactly it was Hermione thought this, he decided to leave it at a that and said: “C’mon. Let’s go pack. According to these passes, Mr. Weasley will be in Gryffindor Tower after breakfast to Floo us back to The Burrow.”

As they began walking, Harry talked to Hermione about how he had been wondering about Ron and how he felt certain that Malfoy would be punished somehow. She walked alongside him, barely hearing a word for all she could think about was how strange that conversation with Dumbledore had been.

Why didn’t he answer me? Why did he just tone me out like that?



A/N: Yes, I know it’s weird. But it’ll make you wonder until next time…Go on, say it. I’m evil…*sly grin* Don’t hate me.





Chapter 20: The Trial
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Darkness and The Light
Part 20


A/N: Ok, folks. This is the last shout. For real, this time. I want to give you all a heartfelt thank you so much for sticking with me through this story and encouraging me to go on when I wanted to stop. I think I can safely say that this has been a labor of love for a lot of reasons. One being that if not for you, my readers, this story would not be what it has become. Two, in exploring the Malfoy’s, I have fallen in love with them to a degree. They are so effed up and so fun to write! Finally, there is Draco’s psyche that was just a flat out blast! I’ll miss it all. I hope you’ll enjoy this chapter and check out my other works.


A/N: MokukapawaokeAo pronounced Mow koo kah pah vah oh kay ah-oh -The light of the dawn through the darkness. I wanted to throw that in simply because it sort of coincides with my title. I’m dedicating this chapter to all of my readers, Hoku, and everyone else at Weasley Writers and The School of Merlin. You’re the best! Now, on with the show!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



“Miss Granger, I’m terribly sorry, I…” Dumbledore began, snapping out of his thoughts. He looked around the room with slight surprise. He had been so lost in his reverie that he hadn’t even noticed that she had left the room.

Making a mental note to apologize the next time he saw her, he walked over to the shelves of books that lined one wall of his office and began to gaze over what his eyes beheld.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


When Harry, Hermione and Mr. Weasley arrived at The Burrow they found themselves being hurled out of the kitchen fireplace by the green flames. First, it was Harry who was forced across the room. He ran into the sink chest first, and then came Mr. Weasley who landed at Harry’s feet. Third was Hermione who was spat from the fireplace about the same time that Ron had come from downstairs and was crossing to the family dinner table.

Hermione slammed into him with her entire body, knocking him flat on his back. She was lying on top of him, her head on his shoulder, some of her hair flowing over one side of his face. It took Ron a moment to fully realize exactly what had happened and when he did, he lifted one hand up to smooth her hair back so that it was now hanging over her shoulders as it usually did.

“Mione?” He asked as he gasped for breath, the force of her body had knocked the wind from him. “Are you ok?”

Her weight was now distributed to both of her hands on either side of him. Her face was flushed from having landed on top of him in the manner that she had. As she got to her feet and pulled him up on his, she said: “I’m fine. I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

He was so happy to see her, so relieved that she was there and that she didn’t appear to be angry with him. He pulled her to him for a tight hug. “You could never hurt me. I’ve missed you so much, Hermione. Thank you for being here,” he bent his head down and placed a gentle kiss on top of her shoulder. She responded with a kiss on the cheek and then pulled away from him.

“Harry’s here, too,” she told him as she gestured to where Harry now stood and was helping Mr. Weasley to his feet.

“Hey, mate,” Ron greeted his friend. “Thanks for coming.”

“Anytime,” Harry said as he went to retrieve his trunk which had landed just a few feet away from where he had. He looked at Mr. Weasley. “Where do you want me to sleep?”

“Since everyone else is gone, you can sleep in Percy’s room,” he grabbed Hermione’s trunk from the fireplace, “I’ll put your things in Ginny’s room.”

Hermione nodded as he walked on past with Harry trailing along behind him. Ron watched them go and once they had made it onto the second landing and out of sight, he turned to look back at Hermione only to see that she was wearing an angry scowl on her face. He didn’t have to ask what was bothering her; he knew. She was mad because he had taken so long to tell her what The Ministry had done.

“Hermione, please don’t be mad at me. I can’t handle it if you are. I said I was sorry. The point should be that I told you and didn’t hide it from you like I had originally wanted to-“ he stopped in midsentence. He had heard his own words and known that he said the wrong thing. He could tell by the fact that Hermione’s face was now the color of his hair and by the way his insides began to quiver at the thought of her yelling at him.

Her silence made him more uneasy with each passing moment and when she grabbed his hand to lead him outside into the yard, he only felt worse. If such a thing were possible. She pulled him behind her to the picnic table that he had sat at a few days before trying to write his first letter to her and made him sit on the tabletop. Ron remained silent.

“Did you think that I couldn’t handle you having your powers revoked?” She seethed as she crossed her arms over her chest and began to pace in front of him. “Did you think that I would feel guilty? Did you think that I wouldn’t love you anymore?” This was where she stopped her pacing and looked back at him expectantly, her arms still crossed.

“That was exactly what I thought,” he said honestly.

“WHAT?” she asked, incredulous. “You thought I couldn’t handle it? Since when is it up to you to decide what I can and can’t handle, Ron?”

“No, not that part. I thought that you would feel guilty; I thought that you wouldn’t love me.”

“Then you don’t know me very well, do you?” she asked angrily.

“Hermione, I’m sorry,” he said, feeling helpless. “I don’t know what else to say. I just didn’t know how to tell you when I found out.”

“But you knew how to tell Harry,” she remarked with a smirk.

This made Ron jerk his head up and give her a questioning look. “WHAT? He told you? He let you read my letter?” His face began to take on the shade of his hair as he fixed his eyes on the window to Percy’s room that overlooked The Burrow. “I’ll kill him! I can’t believe this!”

“Ron, calm down. Harry didn’t do anything. I saw the letter the day he got it. I jerked it away from him.”

His face still screwed up in anger, he now turned to Hermione. “You did what?

Hermione rolled her eyes in exasperation as she let out an aggravated sigh. “What else was I supposed to do, Ron? I hadn’t heard from you and at the first sign of some news, I had to know!”

“But you didn’t have to yank it away from him!” He barked.

For a few moments, there was an angry silence between them. Hermione stood and stared at Ron who was looking at the ground and mulling a loose patch of grass around with the toe of his shoe. There was no way that she was going to apologize to him…Then it dawned on her. He had apologized to her as much as he possibly could. It was her own fault if she didn’t accept it.

Her frustrtation at him quickly left when she realized something else: Ron needed her to be there for him, not argue with him. She began to feel horrible about their silly fight as she walked up to him and placed one hand on his chest, the other on his chin so she could turn his face up to look at her.

“You’re right,” she said softly. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry about everything. Forgive me?”

Ron faltered for a minute, frowning at her and she thought he was going to say no. That was, until he began to smile at her. “Yes. Do you forgive me?”

She nodded. “Yes. The next time you have something to tell me, just tell me instead of keeping me in the dark, ok? If we’re going to be together, there can be no secrets. Agreed?”

He nodded seriously. “Agreed.”

“Good,” she murmured happily. “Now that that’s over, I want to do something that I’ve been dying to do since I got here.”

He laced his arms around her tiny waist, hoping that she was thinking the same thing that he was.

“This,” she leaned in and gave him a deep, gentle kiss on the lips.

Ron’s heart was doing cartwheels. She had been thinking the same thing.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Mr. Weasley had arrived at The Ministry with Ron, Harry and Hermione by Portkey at a quarter til nine on the morning of the trial. They wanted to be ensured that they would have proper seating so that they would be able to see the wizard who would be overseeing the trial.

Once the foursome had settled in, Hermione had excused herself to go to the restroom. As she made her way through the lobby and back towards the courtroom, someone collided with her from nowhere and the next thing she knew, she was being pinned into a corner. When the excitement died down, she quickly realized that it was Malfoy and struggled to get free from him for he had pinned her wrists against the wall above her head with his hands.

“Give it up, Mudblood. You haven’t a chance in hell,” he breathed in her ear. Hermione wasn’t stupid enough to believe that he didn’t know anything about the law surrounding Muggleborns. She just scowled back at him, still struggling, and resisted the urge to knee him in the groin.

“Let me go,” she said at last.

He said nothing, he only tightened his grip and slammed her wrists against the wall once more a little more forcefully and sneered at her. If he was trying to make her think that he had the upper hand, he was doing a really poor job of it. Hermione already knew that she had no chance. Still, she had to be strong.

“Draco? Hermione? What’s going on here?” asked a familiar voice, sounding alarmed. Draco and Hermione both turned their heads to see Mr. Weasley standing just a few feet away with his hands on his hips and a frown on his face. “I suggest that you let her go, Malfoy,” Mr. Weasley said evenly.

Draco smirked and looked Mr. Weasley up and down; almost as though he were sizing him up. He turned his attention back to Hermione and used his entire body to pin her against the wall. He leaned down and got in her ear.

“I’m going to win,” he whispered in a sing-song voice. He kissed Hermione on the cheek before he let her go and walked away, into the courtroom, Mr. Weasley watching him the entire time. Once Draco had chosen a seat away from where they sat (much to everyone’s surprise), Mr. Weasley rushed over to Hermione and placed a hand on both of her shoulders, crouching down so he was at eye level with her.

“Are you ok?”

Hermione was silent for a moment and could only nod. When she had finally felt like she could speak, her voice was suddenly lost to tears. Mr. Weasley stood and pulled her to him.

“It’ll be okay, Hermione. Don’t you worry.”

Moments later, they were interrupted by the sound of approaching footsteps and they broke their hug to see Ron standing before them. When he saw Hermione’s face red and blotchy from crying, he crossed to her and took her hands in his.

“’Mione, what is it?”

“It’s nothing, Ron, don’t worry.”

He held her at arms length and knelt down a little so he could inspect her face and then her wrists.

“I saw Malfoy come into the courtroom looking more pleased with himself than usual. Did he hurt you?”

Hermione shook her head. When Ron was ready to believe her (it took him a moment because he knew that Hermione didn’t cry for no reason), he turned to his Dad and said:

“I just wanted to let you know that session will be starting in a few moments. I’m going to spend a few more minutes out here with Hermione and then we’ll be in.”

Making sure one last time that Hermione was ok, Mr. Weasley nodded to his son and ducked inside the courtroom. Once Ron and Hermione were alone, Hermione gained her composure and held Ron’s hand in hers; flat and palm up.

“What are you doing?” He asked, giving her a funny look.

She silently withdrew her wand from her robes, aimed it at Ron’s palm and the next thing Ron knew, his palm was tingling and glowing a slight red color at the same time. When the beam from Hermione’s wand was gone, he could see what looked like words etched onto his hand.

Always remember that I love you…

She gave him a doleful look and kissed the words before closing his fingers over it.

“What was that for?”

“It’s in case you panic up there on the stand,” she said quietly. “It’s in case Malfoy really wins.”

She turned and began to walk away. Ron hung back for a moment, watching her walk towards the courtroom, before he followed her inside.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The judge, who was a portly man who stood about 6 feet tall, had entered the room and introduced himself as Judge McNabb before having taken his place behind his bench. Ron, Hermione and Harry all exchanged glances, they knew that they had been expecting the same thing: a man who looked something like Professor Snape and was twice as mean.

Judge McNabb appeared to be a rather kind looking man and that made Ron feel a little more at ease when he had been the first one called to the stand. He took his seat next to the judge’s podium and was greeted by a witch in emerald green robes.

“Hello, my name is Shantell Tom,” she spoke with a kind voice. “Could you please state your full name for the court?”

“Ronald Bilius Weasley.”

Shantell thanked him and went to sit in a chair that was against the wall off to Ron’s left. He looked ahead and saw that Draco and Lucius were sitting side by side at a table just a few feet away from the judge’s podium with a middle-aged wizard who was dressed in royal purple robes. He now approached Ron.

“How is it that you know Mr. Draco Malfoy?”

“We attend the same school, we’re…” Ron had almost admitted that he also knew Malfoy because he was related to him, but wanted to keep this to himself. He wasn’t happy about this fact. The wizard in the purple robes didn’t seem to notice that Ron had faltered when he spoke and he was grateful for that.

“Could you be more specific?”

“We both attend Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I’m in Gryffindor House and he’s in Slytherin House.”

The wizard stood before Ron and nodded sagely. “Hmm…Slytherin…where do I know that name? Oh, yes, it’s referring to Salazar Slytherin, a Dark wizard. So, that must mean that Slytherin students are mostly trained in The Dark Arts?”

Ron nodded.

The wizard in the purple robes stood before Ron and touched the feathered end of the quill that he had in his hand to his mouth. He continued on, seeming thoughtful.

“Gryffindor…Gryffindor...Godric Gryffindor, right? He was on the Good side, wasn’t he? It’s my understanding that if Slytherin teaches Dark Magic, then Gryffindor must focus mainly on Good Magic?”

Ron nodded again.

“I see. But you used Dark Magic the day you tried to kill Draco Malfoy, didn’t you?”

“You don’t understand,” Ron finally spoke. “What he did to Hermione…I didn’t mean to do what I did! I was just so angry…I didn’t think before I spoke the incantation!” Feeling more flustered with every word, he stood up and pointed a finger at Malfoy who was watching him with a bemused expression on his face. “He’s guilty of physical abuse, rape and kidnapping, Your Honor! Why is it that I’m on trial for trying to defend Hermione and he gets to walk free?”

Judge McNabb turned his wand into a gavel and banged it fiercely on the stand.

“You will contain yourself this instant, Young Weasley!” The judge barked, glaring at Ron angrily. “I didn’t expect to have to do this this early on, but I’m going to call a ten minute recess in which you had BETTER take to collect yourself, Mister Weasley! I will not tolerate such insolence and disrespect in my courtroom! Do you understand me?” Judge McNabb slammed his beefy hands down on the bench, pulled himself up and now leaned down over top of Ron, who was cowering like a mouse when it knows the cat has it cornered.

“Y-yes,” he stammered.

Judge McNabb hovered for a few more seconds before announcing that he would be in his chambers and then Apparated out of the room.

Still shaking like mad, Ron managed to glance over to where Draco and Lucius sat. They were staring back at him and grinning like a couple of Cheshire cats. Apparently they liked that Ron had lost his nerve. Lucius leaned over, whispered something in his son’s ear, and when Draco nodded, Lucius Apparated with a loud pop!.

Draco dropped his eyes from Ron and looked around the room as though he wanted to make sure that he wasn’t being watched. Ron pretended to look away and couldn’t help but get curious when he saw Draco cross to the judge’s bench and exit through a door that was behind it.

He briefly looked over and saw Harry, Hermione, and his father staring back at him with concern.

“Are you ok, mate?” Harry asked.

“Fine,” he said as he got down from the stand. “I don’t know what came over me.” He jerked his thumb in the direction that Malfoy had gone. “Where do you suppose they went?”

Mr. Weasley had suddenly become thoughtful and was scratching his chin with an air of suspicion about him.

“I don’t know,” he replied, “but I’m going to go find out.” He too then Apparated from the room, leaving three confused teenagers in his wake.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Going on a gut feeling, an off-handed hunch that he couldn’t explain or ignore, Mr. Weasley found himself outside Judge McNabb’s chambers listening at the door. What he was expecting to hear, he couldn’t say exactly. He had seen the suspicious manner in which Lucius Malfoy was conversing with his son in the courtroom; he had taken full notice of how their actions afterward seemed to be sneaky as well.

He could hear voices inside. With the exception of Judge McNabb’s booming voice, he couldn’t tell who the other voices belonged to. Noticing that the door was slightly ajar, he pushed it open just a little further to see Draco and Lucius inside.

“I want to thank you for seeing to it that my son wouldn’t have to stand trial,” Lucius was saying.

Mr. Weasley couldn’t believe his ears. He was filled with a sudden rage and had to fight very hard the urge to go for his wand and hex Malfoy himself.

Judge McNabb took a quick shot of firewhiskey from the bottle as he made himself comfortable in the chair behind his desk. He held out one of his hands with an expectant look on his face.

“You said the price would be nice, Malfoy,” he said coolly.

Mr. Weasley watched in horror as Lucius reached into the pocket of his robes and brought out what was unmistakably a small, yet well-sized money bag. Just then there was a faint pop! that made Mr. Weasley give a slight jump. He looked to see Dumbledore at his side.

“Headmaster,” he said in a hushed yet surprised tone, “what brings you here?”

“I wanted to see how things were going for your son.”

“Thank you, I’m sure it will mean a lot to him.”

Dumbledore nodded sagely. “It’s the darndest thing. I was watching the proceedings from the crystal ball in my office. I saw something suspicious looking happen between Draco and Lucius…”

Mr. Weasley frowned and nodded to what was happening inside. “Lucius bribed the judge so Draco wouldn’t have to stand trial. He must have been telling Draco that he was going to pay the judge and to come in a little later.”

Dumbledore shook his head in disgust causing his moon shaped rims to slide down his nose just a touch. “I’ll fix that,” he said. Before Mr. Weasley could stop him, he had opened the door all the way and now the occupants of the judge’s chambers turned to stare at him.

“Albus!” Judge McNabb exclaimed as he gave the money pouch in his hand a nervous look and tried to conceal it in his lap. “What a surprise.”

“Not as surprised as I am, Jakob. I’ll be speaking to Mr. Fudge about your crooked practices. In the mean time, I want the proceedings to carry on in a fair manner.”

This made Lucius stand up and bang his cane on the judge’s desk. “It IS fair, Dumbledore! It’s wizards like the Weasley’s who…”

“Beginning with you, Lucius,” Dumbledore interrupted as he withdrew his wand from his robes and proceeded to cast a Memory Charm on both Malfoy’s where they now stood. “You will both go back to the courtroom and take your places as though nothing has happened here.”

Mr. Weasley watched in astonishment as Lucius and Draco left the judges chambers, headed for the courtroom. He said not a word as Dumbledore now turned to Judge McNabb and pointed his wand squarely at the man’s chest. Judge McNabb looked absolutely horrified.

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to make sure things go as they should have from the beginning,” Dumbledore told him as he muttered an incantation that bound the heavyset man to his chair. He then turned his wand on himself but stopped, looking confused. Mr. Weasley was too awestruck to speak as he watched the Headmaster cast a Memory Charm on Judge McNabb.

“That’s better,” he said to Mr. Weasley and then turned his wand on himself once more.

“What are you going to do?” he asked, finally finding his voice.

Dumbledore gave a sly grin and said nothing as he muttered yet another incantation that made him change form before Mr. Weasley’s eyes. When the stream of light and smoke from the wand died down, he did a double take, looking at the judge that was confined to a chair and the judge that was standing before him where Dumbledore had just a few seconds before.

“Well, what do you think, Arthur?” Dumbledore asked as he spread his arms out for Mr. Weasley to get a better look. “Do I look the part?”

Mr. Weasley found himself speechless yet again. “Dumbledore, I don’t care what anyone else says, you are absolutely brilliant.”

He clapped the old man on the back as they exited the chambers and went to join everyone in the courtroom.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


As Mr. Weasley sat down next to Ron, Hermione, and Harry he could barely keep a straight face for all of the grinning that he was doing. The trio watched him curiously before Ron finally gave in and asked:

“Dad, what is it?”

Mr. Weasley pretended to clear his throat and suddenly looked serious. “What is what, Ron?”

Ron looked up at his father, trying to decide whether or not he should be suspicious. Deciding not to be, he just shook his head and said “Nothing,” as he turned his attention to the bench at the front of the room.

Momentarily, Dumbledore entered the room and nodded to Draco and Lucius who were in their seats on the opposite side. He made himself comfortable in Judge McNabb’s chair.

“I would like for the young Mr. Weasley and the young Mr. Malfoy to please approach the bench,” he ordered.

Ron cast a worried glance at Hermione and Harry as he took a deep breath inward and slowly walked to the front of the room. Draco did not budge for a moment and when Dumbledore realized this, he stretched out his hand in Draco’s general direction and beckoned him with his finger.

Now, both boys stood at the front of the room and Dumbledore loomed over them. He looked from boy to boy as he spoke:

“I have reviewed the facts that were brought before me and I’m going to hurry the proceedings along by telling you my decision,” he now fixed his eyes on Ron who continued to stare at the floor, not really seeing anything. “Mr. Weasley, please look at me when I’m speaking to you. It shows respect.”

Reluctantly, Ron raised his head and made eye contact with Judge McNabb.

“You aren’t faultless. By all rights, you should have thought before you acted out of anger. At
the same time, you were trying to defend your friend and the court finds this a noble act. You will be accepted back into school within one week and be sure to have your wand with you because there will be a representative from The Ministry on the grounds who will reinstate your powers.”

Ron was overcome with joy and relief and could barely stop himself from smiling. His heart felt lighter than it had in a very long time.

“You may join your father and friends, Mr. Weasley.”

“Thank you, your honor! Thank you, thank you! A thousand times, thank you,” he said gratefully as he went to join them.

“You’re welcome,” Dumbledore called out to him. “You will be on probation for six months after your return to school.”

“Probation?” Hermione asked in alarm.

“Yes, Miss Granger. While his intentions were noble, he needs to consider what he did and understand why it was wrong. His probation will be worked out with the Headmaster.”

This suited Ron just fine for his punishment could have been worse.

“So, I’m to see the Headmaster the first thing when I go back to school?”

Dumbledore nodded.

“Okay. Thank you again, sir.”

Dumbledore now turned to Draco who had been unusually quiet through all of this.

“Now for you, Mr. Malfoy. What you did was heinous. There is no excuse for it. So, I will be sending you to Azkaban to finish out the term. There, you will be put into their Wizard Reform program and attentending classes much like the ones you take at Hogwarts. Your powers and your wand will be reinstated to you upon your return to Hogwart’s grounds.”

“Won’t I need magic to get back to school?” Draco asked dully.

“When you are ready to start the new term, someone from The Ministry will be appointed to you to escort you back to school. Have I made myself clear? Are there any questions?”

Draco shook his head.

“Fine, then you may join your father, Draco. You will be taken on to Azkaban and your things will be sent to you in a few days.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Ron and Hermione were the first ones to exit the courtroom and walk into the waiting area. Hermione was so relieved for Ron, she couldn’t contain herself. She was quick to lead Ron behind the door to the courtroom, pin him against the wall and kiss him as passionately as she could.

When she broke their kiss, she hugged him to her and breathed in his ear, “Congratulations, love,” she said as she pulled away from him. “I was so scared for you. It could have been much worse, you know.”

Ron nodded gravely as Harry and Mr. Weasley came and stood behind Hermione. “I know,” he looked at his father curiously. “What had you smiling like a bloody Cheshire cat in there, dad?”

Mr. Weasley was about to answer when someone coming from the double doors of the courtroom caught his eye. It was Dumbledore coming to join them.

“Hello, Headmaster,” Harry, Ron and Hermione all said at once, surprised to see him.

“Have you been here all this time?” Hermione asked.

“What are you doing here?” Ron asked, sounding shorter than he meant to.

“You owe a big thanks to the Headmaster, Ron,” Mr. Weasley told his son.

“What do you mean?” Ron asked, clearly just as confused as his friends appeared to be.

Dumbledore explained everything to them from how he had been watching everything from his crystal ball to how he had transfigured himself to look like the judge so that Hermione would see justice after all. When he was done, Hermione had tears of happiness streaming down her cheeks.

“Brilliant,” Harry murmured when Dumbledore had finished.

“Thank you,” Ron said in awe as he stretched out his hand to shake with the headmaster.

“No thanks necessary,” Dumbledore said kindly. “Your actions during your probation period will be more than sufficient.”

“What did you have in mind?” Ron asked as he made a face. He was sure that it would be awful, he could feel it.

“Hagrid tells me that he’ll be making a trip to Bolivia this week to get a new crate of blast-ended Skrewts. He should be back by the time you come back to school, so until further notice, you can help him with whatever needs doing after classes.”

That isn’t so bad, Ron said as he looked at Harry and Hermione. He could tell by the expressions on their faces that they thought the same thing.

“Ok,” Ron said agreeably. “I’ll see you in a week, then?”

Dumbledore nodded kindly. “One week.”

“Why don’t you lot run on ahead and I’ll catch up with you?” Mr. Weasley suggested.

There was a small round of “okay’s from the trio as they began to walk away talking excitedly amongst themselves. Once they were out of earshot, Mr. Weasley turned to Dumbledore.

“Albus,” he began seriously, “I can’t thank you enough for what you did for Ron. I was really worried that he would end up in far worse trouble than he did. Not just him, but Hermione…she deserves peace of mind after what happened to her.”

Dumbledore frowned and nodded. “Think nothing of it, Arthur. I’m just glad that I followed my instincts and came here to check things out. The memory charms I placed on the Malfoy’s will last atleast two weeks. By then, Draco will wonder why he is in Azkaban and he and his father both will have no recollection of what happened in Judge McNabb’s chambers.”

“And what of Judge McNabb?”

“I’ll be having a nice chat with his superiors. If you’ll excuse me, I think that is how I will use up the remainder of this day. That man cannot be working for The Ministry if he’s going to take a bribe everytime he has a case. Merlin only knows how many he has taken before this one.”

Mr. Weasley merely nodded at this. “I had better be going on home, then. I know Molly will want to hear the good news.”

“Good day, Arthur.”

“Good day, Headmaster.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“I never got to properly say thank you,” Hermione was saying to Ron as they listened to the celebration outside.

Mrs. Weasley had been so thrilled about the outcome of Ron’s trial (she, like everyone else, agreed that it could have been so much worse) that she had decided to throw him an impromptu party that consisted of a large dinner that had all of his favorite foods, his favorite desserts and drinks.

She had conjured up a tent to house 2 buffet tables, some chairs and tables for dining at, and a few decorations such as banners, enchanted Christmas lights and flowers which were placed randomly in corners and lining the ceiling of the tent to make it dimly lit.

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were somewhere outside the tent having a laugh with Harry and the twins, Fred and George, while they showed off their latest inventions. At some point in the evening, Ron had managed to sneak away to find peace and quiet in the tent. It hadn’t been much longer until Hermione had noticed him missing and gone to look for him, finding him picking small bites from random foods on the tables.

They now shared a comfortable cushioned chair with Ron leaning back and Hermione straddling his lap.

“For what?” Ron asked as he lazily tossed a grape in the air and caught it in his mouth. “This party should be for Dumbledore, not me. I didn’t do anything. It’s because of him that I got by so easily.”

“That’s why I love you, Ron,” she said with a smile. “Sometimes you’re so selfless.”

“Well, it’s true,” he said as he swallowed a piece of cake that had been in his hand. “Dumbledore really should be here.”

“I think he’s going to come later on, actually,” Hermione informed him. “I overheard your Mum and Dad talking about him. Your Dad was saying that he had to talk to Mr. Fudge about Judge McNabb…”

“Do you think it’ll get found out what Dumbledore did?” Ron asked grimly as he took a drink from the butterbeer bottle that was nestled behind him in the chair.

“No. How could it? No one was there but us, and we aren’t going to say anything. The Malfoy’s and the Judge were all hexed with Memory Charms…”

“But don’t you think that The Ministry will get suspicious once Dumbledore goes running to Fudge?

Hermione shook her head and leaned in to nuzzle Ron’s neck. “I’m sure Dumbledore will cover his tracks, Ron. Stop worrying and enjoy your party.”

Ron took in a deep breath and let it out slowly, still looking worried. “What if he gets found out and I switch places with Draco?”

“He won’t,” she said as she kissed him reassuringly on the lips. “You won’t. Ron, you can rest easy. Trust me. It’s all over now. We can get on with our lives.”

“Can we?” He asked suddenly. “How are you feeling these days?” He reached up and tucked a few loose stands of hair behind her ear.

“I’m fine,” she said truthfully. “It’s like I told you before, I just need you to be patient with me. You promised me that you would. Are you keeping your promise?”

He nodded. “I am.”

“Good,” she kissed him once more before she got to her feet and took his hand in hers. “There’s a party out there in your honor,” she said matter-of-factly as she pulled on his hand, trying to coax him to his feet. He refused and grinned at her as he did so. “You’re missing it,” she informed him.

“I bet no one notices that we’re gone,” Ron flashed a mischievous smile.

Hermione was not about to give up. She continued to tug on Ron’s hand, even tried to grab his wrist so she could get more leverage. He purposely made his arm limp so she wouldn’t be able to pull him up with her.

“I bet they do,” Hermione said in between grunts. “Stop it, Ron!” She tried to sound annoyed but found that she could only laugh at him.

She tried to pull him up once more and this time, he flexed his arm and pulled her back down on his lap. She let out a squeal of surprise.

“Ron, the party…” she reminded him again.

“They’ll be there for the rest of the evening. Who knows when we’ll get to be alone again?” He nuzzled her neck and she squirmed away uncomfortably.

“Ron, I told you, give me time…”

He wrapped his arms around her small waist and leaned her back so that her head rested on his shoulder. “I am. I just want to hold you.” He paused for a moment and continued on, sounding worried. “Is that ok?”

“That’s fine,” she said with a nod.

Feeling more confident with himself, he wrapped his arms around her a little tighter and Hermione wriggled a bit in order to get more comfortable on him. He breathed in deeply, relishing the scent of roses that came from Hermione’s hair.

He couldn’t wait to get back to school. The fact that he would be spending the remainder of the term without Malfoy heightened his anxiety. It was going to be the best term yet, he could feel it.





























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