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Chapter 12





            Nothing and no one could stop Draco as he raced through the halls. He had been conversing with Crabbe and Goyle when he overheard Ron telling Harry about Hermione’s slow recovery.

~~~




 




            “Hold on” he said to Crabbe, cutting him off from his extremely dull story. Quickly, he ran over to the two boys, panting by the time he reached them.




            “What happened to Hermione?” he asked between breaths. Ron looked at him strangely, while Harry stared in disgust




 “You mean you don’t know?” the red-headed oaf asked.




            “If I knew, why would I be asking?” Draco drawled, growing impatient.




            “Why don’t you go see for yourself?” Harry scowled, “She’s in the hospital wing”

~~~




 




            And now Draco found himself running as fast as he could through the halls, racing towards the hospital ward. He burst through the door after what seemed like ages and practically ran Madam Pomfrey to the ground.




            “Hermione-“ he panted, “Where is she?”




            Madam Pomfrey gave him a disapproving glare while she pointed to the other end of the room. Draco could not see the bed or Hermione as the curtain was drawn. This is bad, he thought, Madam Pomfrey only closes off the beds when it’s a particularly bad case.




            Taking a deep breath, he headed over to the bed, dreading what he was about to see. Slowly, he pulled back the curtains, first revealing the end of the bed, then Hermione’s legs, one covered in a blanket and one in a cast, and finally Hermione herself.




            Hermione, with her bruised face and limp arms, Hermione, with her broken nose and bandaged stomach. Regaining his breath, he tiptoed towards the bed, taking her hand in his own.




“Hermione . . .” he started, not sure what to say to his unconscious girlfriend, “Hermione, I love you”




            He turned away to hide the small tears forming in his eyes. Malfoy’s don’t cry, he told himself angrily, forcing the tears back in and turning back to his love.




“Don’t leave me” he begged. He knew he sounded pathetic, but he didn’t care. No one was around to hear him.





 





 




            “You need to leave” Harry ordered, looking reproachfully at a sleep-deprived Malfoy, “You’ve been here for two days”




            “So?” Draco snapped, running his hand through his dull, tangled hair.




Harry sighed and tried again, “You don’t Hermione to wake up and see you like this, do you?”




            Draco moved his focus to Hermione’s tiny hand, resting safely in his own. “You’ll stay here while I’m gone, right?” he asked after several minutes.




            “Yeah” Harry mumbled.




With the said, Draco kissed Hermione lightly on her sickly grey forehead and stood up, slowly releasing her hand.




“I’ll be back” he reassured Harry before turning and walking out of the room he had spent the past three days eating, sleeping and studying in.




            He took a quick shower, threw on a pair of clothes and made it down to the Great Hall in time to gulp down a decent lunch before racing back up to the hospital wing.




            “I’m back” he panted, seeing that Harry and Ron were still sitting by Hermione’s bed.




The two looked at him as though he was an alien before Ron smiled sadly, saying, “She’s talking in her sleep now. Pomfrey says that’s a sign of recovery”




            Draco smiled widely. She’s okay. Ron and Harry stood, walking towards the end of the bed.




“She’s been calling for you” Ron explained somberly, “Well, kinda. She switches between calling for Draco and yelling for a Malfoy to stop.”




            Draco narrowed his eyes, not sure what to think of this new information. Why would she switch between calling me Draco and Malfoy? And what does she mean, “Stop”?




            He moved over to his previous chair and clasped Hermione’s hand in his own.




“What are you talking about?” he whispered, resting his head on her pillow.




Ron and Harry took this as their cue to leave, and silently walked out of the room.




            “No!” Hermione yelled suddenly, causing Draco to sit up, “Someone help! Stop!”




            Draco stared at her, bewildered. He didn’t know whether to try and wake her or let her continue dreaming. He settled for squeezing her hand and brushing her hair out of her face, whispering, “It’s okay. You’re okay”




            Nobody wanted to know who had done this more than Draco, but finding out wasn’t worth putting Hermione through more pain.




“Malfoy!” she screamed, quickly switching to silent mumbling in which Draco had to strain to hear, “Stop. I did what you wanted. Just let me be”




            She did what I wanted? He asked himself, But I didn’t ask her to do anything . . .




            And so it continued for three whole days. Three days filled with incoherent mumbling (on Hermione’s part) and fitful sleep (also Hermione). Three of the worst days of Draco’s life, all leading up to the best one. Ironic, huh?




            The third day was when Hermione had finally woken up. It took five days for Hermione to gain consciousness, and when it finally happened, Draco was there. He was always there. How great it was for him to see the smile of recognition on his love’s face. How grateful he was to be able to kiss those soft, warm lips. That was until she broke down.




            Draco was in the middle of describing all that happened while she was unconscious when he saw a look of fear cross her face.




“Get out!” she shouted, using her weak, sore arms to push him away.




He was only pushed a few inches, but it felt like miles.




            “Hermione-“ he began, grabbing her hand in his own.




            “No!” she screamed, “Get away from me!”




            She ripped her hand out of his to cover her face. “Just get away from me!”




            Draco could hear her muffled sobs and tried to comfort her, only to be pushed away once again.




“I told you to leave” she muttered, “So go”




            “Why?” Draco asked, pulling her hands off her face, “What did I do?”




            “Just go away! I hate you!”




            Draco glared at her, trying to mock the hatred that had spilled from those very eyes, aimed at that very person, for six years.




“No” he growled through gritted teeth.




            “What did you say?” Hermione asked, clearly surprised.




            “I said no” he clarified, his voice cracking slightly, “I’m not leaving until you tell me why I must”




            “Because he’ll come back!” Hermione yelled, quickly covering her mouth.




            Now Draco was on his feet, towering over the girl.




“Who will come back?” he asked, searching her eyes desperately.




            “melphm” she muttered, looking at her hands in shame.




            “Who?”




            “Malfoy” she clarified, looking up and seeing the look of confusion on his face.




            “But I’m right here” he said slowly, sitting back down in his seat, “I’m right here, and I’m not going to hurt you”




            “Not you!” she yelled in frustration, “The other Malfoy!”




            Draco finally understood. Why he hadn’t thought of it before, he didn’t know. The attack would have happened right after he left her alone in the common room, right after they had gotten the threatening letter from Lucius Malfoy.




            He stood up so fast that his chair was sent toppling over onto the floor.




“I’m gonna kill him” he growled, turning towards the door.




            “He’s your father!” Hermione protested.




            “We may share the same name, but Lucius Malfoy is no father of mine” Draco spat, walking out of the door before Hermione could say anything more.




A/N: I'm so sorry it took me this long to post! My internet got all screwed up and wasn't working! But thank you so much for reading, and please leave a review!

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