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Chapter 9 - The Escape




The full moon hung above the tall tree tops of the forest, as Draco stared out the glass window. It was midnight and he still had not started on his letter. He knew he should start soon if he was to be in the forest on time. He sighed, and headed back over to his bed quietly. Hermione’s notebook was left abandoned on her side table. He picked it up quickly, and tore a piece from it. He grabbed the quill lying next to it, and started to scribble his words.

He stopped after the first line, and looked back at the window then back at Hermione. He gulped down a large lump that was in his throat, and his heart exhilarated faster.

Maybe I should tell her how much I love her.... Draco wanted to tell her so badly right now. Just to shake her awake, and say he would love her forever. These emotions were still so new to him, and he had no idea what to do with them.

Wasn’t there some saying that said follow your heart? But then Draco thought of what Dumbledore had said `You will tell her you have gone to join Voldemort. No more no less.`

Draco sighed again and knew even if Dumbledore had said he could add anything he wanted it still would be too risky. If he was to join Voldemort the Death Eaters would get suspicious if the paper’s headlines read that he was in love with a mudblood.

“No. She’s not a mudblood. She’s a muggle-born.” He did not like Hermione being labeled as a mudblood anymore. All those years of taunting had suddenly washed away.

After he was done explaining in the letter he signed it with his name, and put it inside the front of her notebook, and then picked up the notebook again.

“She wanted me to see something. It should be the last entry right?” He flipped through the pages frantically, knowing he only had a few more minutes before he should leave. The pages were a blur of scribbles before his eyes until he came to the last page.

It was nothing special just a short paragraph. He didn’t bother to read it, and looked at the large clock above the wing’s doors. Thirty minutes to escape. He set the notebook back on the table, and looked back at the girl’s sleeping form.

“Draco?” Hermione whispered in her sleep.

“I’m glad you’re dreaming of me, love.” He whispered back, and bent down toward her face. His lips planted a long kiss on her cheek, and then moved to her lips. He barely touched her lips though; scared she would awake from its touch. He stood straight again, trying not to lose his composure, and then a soft hand landed on his left shoulder.

He jumped with a tiny gasp, and spun to meet eyes with Madame Pomfrey. “I’m sorry. I was just um.... I”

“Calm down Mr. Malfoy.” The nurse soothed. “I know why you are up. Dumbledore has explained to me.” Her voice was an unusual calm, unlike the usual frantic one. Draco sighed, and looked back up at her.

“You must leave now Draco. The headmaster is waiting.” Pomfrey shooed Draco out of the room, and he exited the wing slowly. One last glance of Hermione’s bed, and her sleeping face was the last image he had of her. The large doors closed with a soft thud, and Draco was stuck in the hallway.

His breathing suddenly sped up, and it was the only thing he heard against the quiet. He stood against the door not daring to move. He didn’t want to move, all he wanted was to go to bed and sleep, like none of this had ever happened. He wished he had one of those time turners that his father had told him about that would let him go back in time. He would go back to the day the project was issued, and he would demand to have a different partner than Hermione. Then maybe he wouldn’t have fallen in love.

He held his breath as he stepped forward into the darkness, and half expected something to come at him, but nothing did. He took another step, and still nothing happened. He had no idea why he was so frightened. His whole body shook with fear, but he kept walking, and after a while his pace quickened, and he was heading for the entrance hall.

He descended the flight leading to the front, and spied the gigantic front doors of Hogwarts castle in the distance. They seemed haunting in the dead of night, and they went from floor to ceiling, making it look even more intimidating.

Draco stepped onto the level ground of the first floor, and stopped, looking around, for a teacher, or peeves. No one seemed to be here so he swiftly walked across the large room. His steps made no echo off the walls. He had become quite good at sneaking these last few years.

He stopped in front of the doors and his palms felt around for a way to open them. A loud bell suddenly sounded, and Draco jumped. Twelve rings then a half ring, signaling that it was twelve forty-five. He had fifteen minutes to escape. He tried to push them, but was afraid they would make a loud creaking noise.

It’s a risk I’ll have to take. He used all his strength and pushed the heavy doors outward, and the grounds suddenly appeared before him, drenched in moonlight. Just as he had expected a loud creaking emitted from the doors hinges. He gasped, and closed them back hurriedly, now that he was outside he bolted for the nearest tree to hide behind, in case someone looked outside from any of the windows.

He slumped against a thick tree, and his breathing was labored. His breathing seriously sounded like he was giving birth, but not because he had just ran, but because he was almost into the forest. He sat down under the tree, and tried to calm himself, but it didn’t seem to be working.

Another loud ring sounded from the tower. It was twelve big and a then a quarter of a ring.

“Shit. I have five minutes.” He stood quickly, and bolted towards the dark trees of the forest. The moon looked haunting, and he knew that once he entered the forest he would meet the headmaster and begin his long journey. He came to Hagrid’s hut, and crouched low, checking the area for a sign of anyone.

He examined the castle looking for anyone staring out of their windows. If he crossed the lawn with the moon shining down he would surely be seen.

He looked at what he assumed was the Gryffindor tower, because Ron Weasley was standing in the window...and was staring right at him. Malfoy quickly ducked behind the hut. He had been spotted and by none other than a pathetic weasel that had Hermione’s heart. Anger filled his chest, and radiated through him. He looked back at the window, but Ron was gone.

“He probably came down to find me.” Suddenly the bells started to ring again, and the last ring it would be one in the morning. He sprinted for the forest, not caring anymore if someone saw him. The trees grew nearer as the bells rang the eighth time.

He entered the dark haven of the bushes, and was finally in the forest. He looked around for the headmaster just as the last bell echoed off the grounds. Another hand touched his left shoulder, and he turned to see a hooded figure. Dumbledore’s beard gave him away as Draco stared at him.

“Thank you Draco. You have done well.” He said softly.

“Professor there is a problem.” The Professor lifted his hood, and let it drop behind his head letting his eyes examine the boy. Dumbledore just turned round, and didn’t speak. Draco decided to tell him anyway.

“Someone has seen me headmaster.” He told him quietly.

“Mr.Weasley does not do any harm Mr.Malfoy now please follow me.” Draco followed the professor. He was a little shocked that he knew what had went on, but then again this was Dumbledore.

“The Death Eaters are waiting in the heart of the forest. Voldemort will not be able to issue your dark mark, but they have a substitute. Now when you go there you must clear your mind of everything, but what is about to happen. Some of them have learned legimacy from Voldemort.” Dumbledore never looked at Draco while he explained.

“Yes Professor.” He answered obediently. Draco looked behind him, and saw a tiny glimpse of the castle in the distance, but as they turned a bend in the path everything disappeared except for the trees around them.

“Here, take this, you will need it.” Dumbledore handed him a jet black cloak, and he took it, and put it on. The hood fit over his head perfectly, and he felt powerful. He had no clue why, but he did.

“Now when you get there I want you to tell them that I have gone into hiding, they will ask you about me I’m sure they will, and that it what you will reply.”

“Yes headmaster.” They walked deeper into the wood, and Draco suddenly felt more comfortable. All his fears were beginning to go away.

“Here is where I leave you, and I will send a special source to retrieve you. Go Draco. We are all depending on you.” The words left an impression on him as he walked forward into a clearing. His shoulders slummed under an invisible weight, and he disappeared.

“Good luck my boy.” Dumbledore said silently after Draco was long gone. “You will need it.”

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The next morning Hermione woke up early to use the bathroom, as the opened window blew cool air into the wing. She yawned heading through the bathroom door.

"I wonder where Draco is." You called him Draco again Hermione. A little voice nagged her. "Shut up will you!" She noticed she had said this out loud and blushed luckily no one had been around.

As a gust of wind blew through the window closest to Hermione's bed her notebook flew open, and a scrap piece of paper floated in the air. Suddenly another gust seemed to suck the paper out the tall window, and into the soft breeze outside.

The parchment floated merrily on its way down, and another gust blew it toward the lake. It neared to water slowly, and finally touched the surface, and the water soaked the paper through, until finally the giant squid gobbled it up thinking it was some sort of food. 

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A/N: oh no! I know I'm cruel to you guys with these cliffes :( maybe I'll let up a little bit if i get some reviews hmm? sound good to you? =]

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