Chapter Nine I kept my promise not to tell anyone of what I had over heard, except for writing my father and explaining it to him. I figured that he would analyze the information I had so that it would be easier for me to find more. I crumpled in my old message I had written to my father earlier that day and casually threw it into the Slytherin common room fire. I took a fresh piece of parchment from my roll and begin to write a long and descriptive letter to my father, including the last night’s and this morning’s every detail. The memory of Hermione’s voice conversing with Dumbledore was still fresh in my mind that it wasn’t at all hard to recall every word I had over heard. When I reached the part about my promise to Hermione, I felt a twinge of guilt. I quickly brushed it away and kept writing, trying to ignore the feeling. I tied the letter loosely around Samsara’s leg and watched her fly into the setting sun in the distance. When she became no more that a tiny dot I turned toward the common room and sat down in a chair isolated from all the others. ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ I thought, ‘Betraying her trust like that? What if she knew? What if she found out? What would she do?’ But suddenly a new voice entered my thoughts. It sounded very much like the voice of my father, ‘Who cares if she finds out, just as long as we find the information first. Then you can treat her however you want after that…’ I realized that I had never even considered what I would do with Hermione once this was all over. I thought about it for a few minutes, and decided that I would make a decision when the time came. I left the common room early that night, and entered my dormitory. It was empty, and the only thoughts to soothe me to sleep were those of Hermione. * * * * * * * * * * * Over the next several weeks, Hermione and I kept ourselves a secret, meeting only in the cover of darkness. I became used to my life growing around her. I spent more and more time with Hermione, and less and less time with my Slytherin friends. We would meet secretly three or four times a week, maybe more or less as our schedules allowed. On one of these nights I took the familiar route up the dungeons to the empty Transfiguration classroom quietly. I decided that tonight would be the night to pry the information out of her. My father began to send weekly owls telling me to speed things along. At first, I would reply saying that the time was hardly right, and I would find out soon. Now, I just ignored them, and even burned one or two without reading them, for he had began to accuse me of delay and betrayal. When I sliently entered the Transfiguration room, Hermione immediately pulled me into a long, deep passionate kiss. When we broke away, I knew I had to ask her about the day I overheard her and Dumbledore talking. “Hermione,” I whispered into her sweet smelling hair, “Can I ask you something?” “Of course,” she replied, “Ask me anything.” She sounded happy and carefree, but when I told her that I wanted to know what she was keeping a secret from me, her expression darkened. “Oh,” she whispered. “Draco, I don’t know if I should tell you this…” “Hermione, what I heard has been twisting my heart. I’m worried about you. Please, just tell me what it is. You can trust me.” She sighed. “Well, it’s just that, it has to do with—with You-Know-Who. I don’t want to accuse you of anything, but, your father---“ “My father has nothing to do with the Dark Lord” I lied to her sternly, “And neither do I.” “Yes, of course you don’t. I didn’t—“ She paused and drew a long deep breath before she continued. “I’m sorry. But what I’m going to tell you is very secret. You can tell anyone, not anyone. Not anyone you even think you can trust. Do you swear never to tell anyone? And I mean no one, Draco. This secret could end our world.” “I swear” I lied. As soon as I said this, I felt another, stronger pang of guilt run through my heart. And yet again, I brushed it away trying to ignore it.
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