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'My father’s in the Navy. He said there aren’t any unknown islands left. He says that the Queen has a big room full of maps and all the islands of the world are drawn there. So the Queen’s got a picture of this island.’…‘And sooner or later, a ship will put in here. It might even be Daddy’s ship. So you see, sooner or later, we shall be rescued.’ (-Ralph, pg. 37)
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 1954.

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By Queen of Serpents

Disclaimer: The story is loosely based on the theme of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I am fortunate to be able to use the characters of Harry Potter but alas I do not own them.
Author's Note: Aww you all really lifted my spirits when saying the previous chapter was better than I thought it was.
“A contest or race” part of the challenge has been completed in the previous chapter!

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Chapter Four: Of Limits and Levitation

Night was beginning to fall once again. Darkness hung over them and as each ray of light began to fade away, so had the little hope of rescue they had. After a long time of denial, the 6th Year students, trapped on that deserted island, finally began to realize that they would have to stay another night in the darkness.

Harry Potter leapt up from his sitting position on the shore. The ocean’s waves were lapping at his feet and then retreated back again. He was staring up at the pink clouds, reminiscing about the times he would fly into them, soaring so high he felt as though he would be able to touch the utmost end of the sky. He remembered the feel of the wind slapping at his face and his stomach flipping at the sensations of flying so high above the ground.

It was then that he realized, after that quick flash of memory, that there was a way they could escape the confines of this island.

He must fly.
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His behavior had startled Hermione, and as she walked back to the clearing where most of her peers were laying around, she pondered the reason for his actions. She never encountered this flirty and amiable side of him. He was always obnoxious, arrogant, and quite frankly a pain in the ass to be around, but this entire day of spending so much time with just him and no else had forced Hermione to rethink her attitude towards him.

He was conceited - there was no doubt about that - but he wasn’t too bad to hang around with. He was quite intelligent, his voice had the capability to stir the core of his listeners, and he was quite in tune with his surroundings. His similarities with Harry were surprising, and Hermione noticed that just as she liked being friends with Harry, she liked being around Draco Malfoy.

However, the only thing that was different about her platonic friendship with Harry and this new thing (she couldn’t put a name to their relationship) with Draco, was that as much as she would like to deny it, she was attracted to him.

Curse the gods for this!

And now, with his odd behavior towards her - calling her his "pet" and being so damn flirtatious with her - was beginning to confuse her greatly and she couldn’t help but act flirtatious in return.

Hermione Granger was not supposed to be attracted to the enemy. She wasn’t supposed to wink at him, eat his offered chocolate cake while the rest of her peers were puking and almost starving, and most importantly, she wasn’t supposed to feel all tingly inside while seeing his bare chest!

The latter part was most un-Hermione-like and she needed to stay away from him as much as possible. She wasn’t supposed to be just like the majority of the female population in school. She was supposed to be smart enough to put her priorities straight and push boys back in the utmost corner of her mind, lock it up, and eat the keys (not eat deliciously, irresistible chocolate cake!).

But it was just her luck to be stranded on an island with him with still no means of leaving. It was either the fact the gods liked torturing her, or she was just doomed for all eternity to being placed in life-threatening situations and being attracted to a boy she shouldn’t be attracted to.

She was supposedly a genius but, well, her genes gave her intelligence in books, but they sure as hell made wrong choices in liking people. She constantly berated herself for following Harry and Ron around and almost being killed for her loyalty and friendship for them. They may be good friends, but they would be the death of her someday. And now, her choice in being attracted to Draco Malfoy of all people. Curse her brains and instinct!

“Hey! I smell chocolate!” someone screamed from behind her as she continued walking aimlessly around the lagoon. She stopped in her tracks suddenly and jerked herself from her thoughts.

Uh oh…

“Chocolate?! Where?” This voice belonged to Gregory Goyle, or maybe it was Crabbe. Well, they both spoke at one point or another; she couldn’t quite tell them apart from their voice.

But how predictable that it was those two out of all people to sniff out chocolate from a mile away.

She turned around and watched how one of the large, buffoons who followed Draco’s every wake and call sniffed the air like a dog.

“What is he doing?” Parvati yelled.

“Chocolate,” he grunted.

Parvati’s eyes widened. “Chocolate? Really? Where?” She leaped off from her sitting position on an enormous pink rock at the side of the lagoon.

Soon the entire population of stranded sixth year students gathered savagely and began to watch the sniffing bodyguard in action, chanting “Chocolate! Chocolate!” persistently, and raising their voices in tempo with every second.

Hermione remained standing, trembling at the scene before her. If everyone else found out she was the one eating chocolate cake without sharing, she’d be a goner.

It was all Malfoy’s fault!

Suddenly, the chanting stopped and Crabbe or Goyle’s finger pointed directly at Hermione. She gulped and decided to make a run for it in 3…2…

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With every second the light slowly began to fade, Pansy Parkinson’s fear multiplied. She was alone, she was tired, and she was hungry. Her clothes were rumpled, sticky with sweat, and her body itched from mosquito bites and who knew what else. Her hair was a pile of muck and she needed a bath.

She finally found herself a path that led out of the intertwining bushes and trees and stumbled out onto the shore. She took off her high-heeled Mary Janes, and then her socks, and allowed the feel of the sand under her feet to comfort her.

She sat by the shore, and allowed the water to cool her down. She washed her face with the salty water, spat the taste of it out of her mouth and crawled back towards the middle of the shore, wondering where all her friends went.

And then she cried.

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Just as she was about to reach counting to number 1, a piercing sound echoed through the island and into the hearts of the chocolate-driven students. It was the sound of the conch, and Hermione’s savior.

She wiped a bead of sweat from her forehead and ran off towards the boy who blew into the conch. It was Draco Malfoy and when she saw him, she pounced on him, knocking him off from the platform and toppling over him while squeezing his midsection tight with all her might. She was never this happy to see him.

And whether the reason for her uncharacteristic behavior was due the fact he had stopped the hunger-induced barbarians from attacking her, or because her mind had temporarily left her and her attraction towards him had taken control of her body, she didn’t know. But Hermione Granger held onto the startled boy, snuggled her head into his chest, and thanked him with the depths of her soul.

She had momentarily forgotten that it was because he offered her the chocolate cake in the first place that caused Crabbe and Goyle to notice the smell of chocolate on her and turn her peers against her.

“Uhh… Granger, I know I’m just so irresistible that it’s hard for a girl like you not to pounce on me but everyone is probably watching. We could always shag in the bushes but we've got work to do. Maybe later?” Draco told her, smirking at her and prying her hands away from him.

Hermione leapt out of his arms quicker than she had leapt into them and smacked her hand on her forehead. What was wrong with her?

Draco slowly got up, wiped the sand off of his pants, and watched her intently. She did not retort back after his comment and he wondered why.

But his ponderings did not get him anywhere, for all their peers were walking towards them. He had blown on the conch and he needed to start on with the meeting. He would wonder about Hermione some other time.

“Where’s Potter?” he asked her as he climbed back up onto the platform. He held up the conch with his left hand and twirled around his wand with his other.

“Huh?…oh yeah. I dunno,” Hermione stammered, trying to focus her mind.

“That’s odd. The Weasels aren’t here either.”

“Hey, Malfoy. Why’d you call us all up?” Blaise asked, sitting on a log and crossing his arms. “We’re were just going to get ourselves a taste of chocolate,” he said while licking his lips and staring at Hermione, “when you called and stopped us.”

Hermione shuddered and inched nearer to Draco. That Blaise Zabini was a quiet one, nice to Gryffindors sometimes, but right now he was just plain scary. Quiet ones, she thought, shaking her head, they’re always the ones planning conspiracy. They stay quiet, taking everything in, and when you least expect it, they attack.

“You’re an idiot, Zabini. How the fuck can there be chocolate on the island?” Draco said. Only Hermione was able to see the slight twitch in his lip as he tried to hide his smirk. “You’re all hallucinating. What you guys need,” he flicked his wrist once, pointed his wand straight at a berry that laid untouched on the ground, and shouted a spell. “…is food.” The poisonous berry transfigured into a pie and they all stared at it with their mouths watering and hands twitching.

But his former speech rang clearly into their ears. They did not want to touch it. Maybe the pie was poisonous too.

Draco jumped off the platform, handed Hermione the conch, and went over to pick up the pie. He broke a piece off with his hands, inspected it, and ate it. “Tastes like berries,” Draco mused.

His audience gasped.

“I never had a blue-berry pie before. But mmm…tastes good.

“What if it’s poisonous, Draco!” Parvati yelled out, running towards Draco and attempting to snatch the rest of the pie away from his hands. She didn’t want him to die. And Hermione felt a pang of some unknown feeling—oh dear, was it jealousy?—in the depths of her stomach. Stupid Parvati, always trying to get near all the hot guys in the school. Slut.

She silently gasped after finishing her train of thought.

What was she thinking! There was something definitely wrong with her. Damned island! It was making everyone turn so…different. So…uncharacteristic. They needed to find a way out…fast.

After a few more minutes of silence, Draco swallowed the rest of his piece, all the while holding the pie high over his head so that Parvati could not reach.

“The pie is not poisonous if that’s what you all are thinking,” Hermione said, after finally pushing her stray thoughts aside. “If you paid any attention at all in Transfiguration, then you’d know that when using magic to transfigure an object, it’s chemical properties no longer remain the same and are changed into the properties of the object it now has become. It’s basic 1st Year Transfiguration knowledge. I’m surprised at you all.”

Parvati inched away from Draco and glared at Hermione. “I knew that,” she whispered defensively and walked over to Lavender, humiliated.

“Right,” Draco said sarcastically to Parvati. He chuckled and then said: “Granger is right. This pie is no longer poisonous at all. You won’t feel sick. Of course, it all depends on whether you perform the spell correctly. One mispronunciation or wrong movement of wrist can alter the entire spell. You all must be careful.”

“At any rate, for those of you who aren’t too strong with magic,” he stared pointedly at Neville, who looked flushed in indignation, “…then I suggest you ask someone who does, like myself, Granger, Zabini, or Potter, and we’ll assist. Now, the island is filled with edibles, so good luck with filling your stomachs.”

“Draco, Neville is very good in Herbology,” Hermione told him in Neville’s defense.

“Oh, right. Well, he’s not too good in Transfiguration, now is he?” Draco reminded her.

“True, but you’re being mean,” she shot back.

“Wait a minute,” Blaise said. Everyone stopped as they looked for things they could transfigure into food. “Do you have any idea how we will be rescued?”

Draco and Hermione exchanged a quick glance. “I told you guys already, nothing’s completely for certain, but Snape did forewarn me about this island. He told me about it and said the ocean’s currents may just shift us away from the direction where we were supposed to land, in New York, to somewhere else, possibly this island. He told me to stay clear of it. When news gets by that we didn’t land in New York like the plan was, they should know that we’re here. It may take time, but we should get rescued sooner or later. Okay, so go on and fill your bellies. You all must be starving.”

When they all kept staring at him, he put his hands together, and yelled, “Dismissed!” at the top of his lungs. They were just about to obey him and leave when suddenly Harry came running towards them, screaming and waving his hands together.

“I got it! I got the perfect way!” he said while running and jumping over logs and rocks that came his way. He stopped in front of Draco, bent over his stomach, and held onto his thighs, trying to catch his breath. Parvati, now finding a different person to drool over, ran off to get some coconut milk and ran back as quick as her legs could carry her, handing it over to Harry who gratefully took it.

“What happened, Harry?” Hermione asked him, rubbing her friend’s back soothingly and walking him over to a log for him to sit and catch his breath.

“I found out a way to leave the island. Ron, Fred and George should come with the brooms any minute now.”

“Brooms? What are you talking about, Potter?”

“We’re here! We’re here with the brooms!” Ron yelled, running quickly towards them. His long legs gave him the ability to approach them fast. Four brooms followed him in the air as he came, with Fred and George bringing up the rear.

“We may not be able to Apparate,” Harry said, standing up and watching as his Firebolt flew straight at him. “We may not be able to swim but…” he grabbed the broom from the air and maneuvered himself on top of it. “…we could fly.”

Draco raised his eyebrows and nodded his head. “Not a bad idea, Potter. But I doubt it’ll work.”

“I don’t see you coming up with a bright idea,” Harry challenged. Hermione squeezed his arm, warning him and holding him back. She didn’t want them to fight. “And besides, why won’t it work?” Harry added, softening his voice.

Draco raised his eyebrow and hardened his face. “The barrier. In case you have forgotten, the barrier is not something that an easily be broken. If magic can’t go through it, who said you can?”

The Weasley brothers climbed on top of their own brooms and flew towards the rest of them.

“Just watch, Malfoy,” Ron said superiorly. “We’ll go straight back to Wizard London and come back with help.”

“How’d you get the brooms in the first place, Harry?” Hermione asked him, running her fingers over the Firebolt’s wooden handle. It was smooth to her touch, and cool. The vibration was tingling her skin.

“We Accio-ed it, watched it fly out of the water from underneath the ship, and put drying spells on it.”

Draco nodded his head in admiration. “Accio-ed the broom… smart idea.” He looked back up at the sky and then the color from his face drained. “But let’s see this thing get out of the barrier first,” he challenged.

“Oh, we will, Malfoy. We will,” Ron said daringly, hovering his broom higher and higher in the air. “We’ll get us rescued.”

“C’mon, enough chitchat. Let's go before it gets darker,” Harry said. The three other boys nodded their heads and took off in high speed into the air. The others watched as they sped off, screaming and yelling in happiness. They would be saved. They would no longer be starving. Back home. They would go back home!

The sun was down by the horizon at that time making it almost impossible to see them in the air. But they could still faintly see them: four little dots in the pinkish purple sky. They were leaving the island, and the higher the boys went, the higher up their hopes went.

Until of course, everything went horribly wrong.

The first broom to make it the furthest, only 90 feet in the air, smashed headfirst into the solid, magical barrier. The barrier was in a shape of a dome, rounding off all around the island and the boys were unable to make it past it. Just as when the signals reached the top, and made the sky illuminate into a white, cloudy barrier, when Harry touched the dome, he could go no further.

And instead, he came crashing down.

And following him was Fred and George and lastly Ron. As their brooms began their insane drop downwards, everyone gasped as the boys tried to regain their control. They were spiraling down, fast and uncontrollably.

It was only Harry who managed to turn his broom up in time and save himself from crashing onto the sandy shore. The other 3 boys landed straight down, crashing explosively, groaning in pain.

And while the boys laid on the ground, bruised, hurt, confused, and disappointed, everyone just stood silently, watching the fallen figures in the sand. Their hopes shattered. The boys had been defeated. The barrier had blocked everything; Draco was right all along. And now… they were all sure that they a very little chance to leave.

They met their limits, were defeated, and doomed.

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