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P.S. I Love You
Chapter 13- Marsh’s Big Trust Activity

A/N: Ok, another chapter. Yay! It’s been a while. The release of the final book has been causing lots of delays on my writing. I have read Deathly Hallows, and I think it was the bomb. Except, I believe Draco should have had more parts than that. And who the hell names their kid Hugo right? Now, back to the story. I know I’ve gotten reviews saying Hermione and Harry’s relationship don’t seem too friendly, so I tried changing that with this chapter. And, warning: it’s going to get a lot cheesier now. Hermione and Malfoy are going to be closer. But not that close yet. Okay? Oh and I’m not sure about all the plants, creatures, and spells I put at the bottom, so sorry if there are any wrong information. I just remembered stuff from the books and put it in there, hoping it’d work. This one’s longer just to make up for the delay. So enjoy. 



As the middle of January approaches, each passing day grows colder and colder in the castle grounds. Hermione often finds herself thinking about the two letters she now has and the boy whom the letters have both come from.

The latest letter and current events has lead her to thinking. A lot. Even after about a week after the last letter arrived, she still finds herself contemplating about it too much. She thinks about it during classes, at meals, late at night, early in the morning. It’s began to be too distracting that even her friends, who could be really thick sometimes, have take notice. One time during lunch, a few days after the holiday break ended, a very excited Harry was once again talking animatedly to a distracted Hermione.

“Hermione, Hermione? Are you all right? You seem to have been distracted for the last couple of days. What is the matter?” Harry asked his face full of concern.

She looked up from her plate full of food that she’s been playing with for the last couple of minutes. “What? Oh nothing Harry, I’ve just been thinking a lot lately, you know. Just thinking about all the assignments we have to do. There’s so much I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up.”

Harry contorted his face into one of confusion. “Hermione, we’ve only been back from the holidays for a few days. Are you saying that you’re behind in your studies? That’s so unlike you.”

She shook her head. “No, no, it’s just that I’m worried that I will be soon if I don’t hurry.”

“Are you sure that’s the only thing that’s bothering you. It seems to be a much bigger ordeal than that. You know you could always talk to me if there’s anything wrong right? I mean, I know I’m not a girl, and there are some things I won’t understand, but I’ll try. You know that right?” Harry said sincerely.

Hermione grinned. “I know Harry, thanks. I just… I’m just busier than normal.”

“If you’re so sure then, alright. But one last thing, has it got anything to do with Malfoy? You haven’t really told us what happened to you two over the break.”

Hermione’s smile faltered. She knew she would be able to trust Harry and tell him what happened. But, she was scared that he might do something to Malfoy. She wouldn’t want Harry to be expelled. Or worse, he could tell Ron and they’d both hurt Malfoy and get into trouble. So, she decided to just tell someone else.

“No Harry, this has nothing to do with him.” He gave her a look and she added, “I promise.”

Harry didn’t look too convinced at first. Then, he hesitantly nodded.

“Have you seen Ginny, I haven’t talked to her in a while.” Hermione suddenly asked, changing the subject.

“Oh yeah, I think she’s down by the library to look up some stuff for an essay for Marsh.” Harry replied, eating his meal once again.

“OK. I think I’ll go over and join her.”

“But you haven’t eaten anything.”

“Don’t be silly Harry, I ate more than enough.”

Harry pointed at her plate. “You didn’t touch anything.”

“Yes I did, look at it.” Hermione said back, pointing at the food she played around with her fork.

“Touched yes, consumed no. Now go and eat something first, then I’ll let you go to Ginny.”

“Harry-”

“Don’t you Harry me, you’re eating and that’s that.”

“You’re not my mother!”

“No, but I’m a great friend who cares. Now go eat. I don’t want you to become like Lavender and Parvati who don’t eat anything to look good. If that’s what you’re worried about, you look good ok?”

“Fine.” She sighed exasperatedly. She sat back down and started eating at her picked food. After consuming all the food in her plate plus a big helping of chocolate cake, which was put on her plate by Harry, she decided to go to the library to talk to Ginny. She really had to tell someone about what happened with Malfoy during the break.

She walked out of the Great Hall and into a deserted corridor that lead to the library. She quickened her pace knowing full well that she didn’t have much time to talk to Ginny before Lunch ended and classes resumed. She was turning a corner when suddenly, she bumped into a tall, lean figure.

“Oomph.”

Hermione stepped back, but realized that whoever she bumped into had a firm grip on her.

“Sorry,” she said looking up, “I wasn’t-”

It was Malfoy.

He realized at the same moment that it was Hermione. He quickly let go of her. He cleared his throat.

“Are you ok?”

She nodded. It was simply becoming too awkward.

“Yes.”

Then, a very pregnant silence.

“Hermione is that you?”

Hermione looked over Malfoy’s shoulder to see Ginny coming from the other end of the hallway.

“Am I interrupting something?” Ginny asked, a mischievous smile on her lips.

“Uh, no!” Hermione was quick to answer.

She glanced up at Malfoy one last time and walked over to Ginny. Hermione dragged the red head a little ways into the hallway, away from Malfoy, and all other prying ears.

“I have been looking for you. I needed to talk to you. Can we go somewhere private? How about we go to your dormitory?” Hermione asked all in one breath.

“Relax Hermione. You know I was only joking back there right?” Ginny asked.

Hermione looked away.

Ginny gasped. “I was wrong! What did happen over the break?”

“Well that’s what I wanted to talk about.”

So, together, the two of them walked towards the Gryffindor Tower and they went into Ginny’s dormitory. For a good twenty minutes, Hermione told Ginny what happened over the break, down to the last detail, including the kiss.

“And then, after that night at Dumbledore’s office, I didn’t hear anything from him ever since. I’m sure that he just kissed me because he was drunk. It was pretty obvious. But, I mean, can’t he just say something so I am not left in the dark?”

“Well, it is Malfoy. He’s probably too ashamed to admit that he kissed you, a muggleborn. You know him, and his big ego.”

Hermione nodded thoughtfully. “On a more positive note, I received another letter from Lover Boy. It was really mysterious, for the lack of better word.”

Hermione took the piece of parchment out and gave it to Ginny. She read it twice before speaking again.

“See?”

“See what?”

“Remember what I told you long ago, about my theory of Malfoy being your secret admirer? Everything fits! I mean his actions, the kiss, the pause between the letters, and the content of the letter! I mean come on Hermione, you’re smart, and you should have easily figured that out.”

“Come on Ginny, we’ve been through this! Malfoy can’t be my secret admirer. He’s just too…Malfoy. His arrogance, oversized ego, and pathetic brain aren’t capable of such sweet things.”

“But Hermione, think about it, it’s not entirely impossible. I mean, we all know the famous boy teases girl, boy likes girl scenario right?”

Hermione sighed in frustration. “No, it just can’t be. I refuse to believe it.”

“Fine, don’t believe me. But if Lover Boy does turn out to be Malfoy, you owe me fifty galleons. Got it?”

“Yeah, yeah, I know.” Hermione said playfully, while waving her hand out as if to dismiss her.

Malfoy was very confused. He didn’t know what to do. He knew that the main thing that triggered that kiss he gave Hermione was his intoxicated mind and drunken state. But was that the only reason?

Of that he was unsure of. He knew he’s once harbored feelings, some kind of attraction to the girl. But he dismissed it as a simple infatuation, nothing but a mere crazy phase. But now, he wasn’t so sure anymore. He had to admit, that Hermione was very attractive, intelligent, and one hell of a good kisser. And she was in a way, so much like him. She was very stubborn, bossy, intelligent, and witty.

Okay, so he was falling for the girl again. He was in deep trouble. That was against everything he’s ever been taught. It defies every type of rule his father has set out for him. Well, maybe not. After all, he was just attracted to her. Okay, and Malfoys weren’t supposed to show weakness in form of feelings too. Or write letters to woo girls. They’re supposed to be tough and be chased upon not the other way around. But it’s not like he’s done anything with her. Well, not anything that serious anyway.

He needed to do something. He knew that the letters he sent would easily woo any girl. Come on, which girl wouldn’t fall in love with a man who sends sweet compliments secretly. It’s that whole romantic thing right? But he needs time to decide if he likes Hermione enough to take any further steps. So, for now, they should go back to the way they were back during the break. They would be civil towards each other with him giving the occasional hint that it’s him behind all the letters. But knowing Hermione Granger, he was pretty sure that she’d already figured out by now. She either just doesn’t want to admit that it’s him, she doesn’t want to do or say anything because she’s not sure or she doesn’t like him. Which one of those, he’s not sure. But for now, he’s got a pretty decent plan.

The next day brought sunny skies and warm, partly-melted snow. The students of Professor Marsh’s Defense Against the Dark Arts Class has been seated in their seats for nearly ten minutes after the bell rung, and there was still no sign of Professor Marsh. Finally, after ten more minutes, he entered, looking rather delighted by something.

“Good morning class!”

“Good morning Professor!”

“I have a real treat for all of you today. As I have mentioned earlier in the year, I have a big, big, big, huge, ginormous trust activity today. So, everyone please rearrange yourselves and seat with your designated partners.”

Everyone shuffled about until they were in their seats. Hermione made sure to stay as far away from Malfoy as possible, which isn’t much considering they’re the ones sharing the table.

“Now, I know I wasn’t here when this happened, but I know all of you remember the Triwizard Tournament?”

He received nods from most of the class.

“Well, as some of you might recall, the third task consisted of a maze and the contestant’s will to continue and find their way out of it. There were so many dark things inside; things very dangerous and harmful. And, with the permission of Professor Dumbledore, I have created something rather similar to that for your big trust activity.”

Excited murmurs spread through the room. Everyone was buzzing with excitement and conversations quickly started.

“Quiet please!”

The room fell silent once again.

“As I was saying, there currently is a maze out in the Quidditch Pitch right now. Some of the Quidditch players in the class might have noticed that Quidditch Practice has been cancelled for the last few weeks. That was because construction started right at the start of the holiday break. Now, the maze you’re all about to complete isn’t as dark or dangerous as the one from the Triwizard Tournament. But, it will still be filled with obstacles and impediments that will test many things: including how strong your relationship with your partner is, if you’ve even managed to establish one in the first place,” he said, sending a look in Hermione and Malfoy’s direction. They looked away embarrassed. “It will also test your knowledge from most of your classes, including this class, transfiguration, herbology, charms, muggle studies,” several Slytherins groaned at that, “and for some of you, astronomy.”

“All of you in this room will be completing this maze this Saturday. You and your partners are to show up promptly at exactly six o’clock in the morning,” another round of collective groans, “yes that early. You will be given instructions that day and the maze will start at seven. After that, you’ll take all the time you need to get out of the maze, even if it takes all day, all night, all weekend, or all week. Although I hope none of you will need the latter. As for now, everyone please turn to page 394.”

Hermione awoke with a start. A quick glance at the clock told her that it was a tad early to get ready for the trust activity today. It was only four forty-nine, exactly eleven minutes before the time she originally planned to wake up. Seeing as she was already awake, she rose from her bed and started to walk to the bathroom. Knowing Malfoy, he would be up and early to primp and what not, which would mean he would steal the bathroom for such a long time she won’t have enough time to do anything.

She got to the bathroom and quickly turned on the shower. She took a nice hot shower and afterwards dressed herself in a white long sleeved shirt with a green button-up Henley, her favorite pair of jeans, and the brown Ugg boots her parents bought her last year for their ski trip. It was still the middle of January and it would be chilly outside, so she took her warm brown coat and walked outside. Professor Marsh had instructed all of them last class that they would not be needing anything but themselves and warm clothes for the activity.

She reached the common room of the Heads’ Quarters when she saw Malfoy already laying lazily on one of the taupe couches, already fully dressed, clad in his black coat, black trousers, black boots, and the flash of green which she could only assume to be his shirt. Without even acknowledging her presence, he stood up from the couch and made his way to the portrait hole. She followed him and they wordlessly walked to the front of the school where they were supposed to be meeting everyone else to get further instructions.

Once they got there, they went their separate ways until the time came that Professor Marsh told them to return to their partners.

“Good morning everyone. I am so glad that all of you are participating. This activity is a big part of your grade.” Everyone gave worried looks.

“But don’t worry. It’s not on how you complete the maze, or whether you complete it or not that I will grade you. It’s how well you work with your trust partner. Now, everyone, please line up as I call you and wait for either Professor Dumbledore or Professor McGonagall here give you your instructions.”

“Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy.”

They both groaned. They always had to be first. It wasn’t fair. They went to the front and formed the line, standing together side by side. Both Professor Dumbledore and McGonagall went to them to give them their instructions.

“Ah. The troublesome duo,” Dumbledore said with that darn twinkle in his eyes, “both of you listen very, very carefully. There are lots of dangerous things in the maze. They might not be as dangerous as the things that were in the Tournament, but it’s still dangerous. I know you two still haven’t work things out exactly, but you both need to learn to work together yet again. Or else, I, along with the rest of the Hogwarts staff will be forced to take both of your badges away. We have had enough of the two of you. This is your final chance to prove that you can work together and will.”

“Now, you both will enter at the Southeast corner of the maze,” started Professor McGonagall, “you will end in the Northwest end. We are not going to give you any materials since all you will need could be conjured, transfigured, or would simply be a spell or charm. If you ever need to withdraw from the activity send, a green spark in the sky. If you need help or first aid, send a red spark. I suggest you stick to one another no matter what. Good luck,” she said pushing both of them to the entrance.

They walked in to the maze and looked at their surroundings. It was much, much colder in there; the temperature probably dropped a few degrees. Everything was just dark; it was as if the world outside them didn’t exist. It was as if they’ve been surrounded by thousands upon thousands of Dementors. They could only see up until a certain point, about a hundred yards away and no more; anything further was just covered by fog. The walls, standing tall and seemingly endless upwards, were covered by dark green leaves and light brown twigs and vines that seemed to spiral and coil around the wall everywhere. The ground they were standing on was dirt with leaves all about.

They now both had a vague idea how scared Harry, Cedric, and all the other champions felt like. Unlike themselves, they were alone.

Malfoy started walking away, straight ahead, the only direction they could go seeing as there are no other paths, and Hermione out of fear for her grades and for her, followed suit.

They have been walking around for what seemed to be ten minutes when they reached an intersection. They could either go left or right. To the left, a very dark and eerie looking path lay ahead, and the one on the right was a bit brighter, seeming as if something was lighting it up. Malfoy seemed to be thinking very hard on which way they should go. Hermione however, has already reached a decision and without telling Malfoy, went to the path on the right. Malfoy noticed and was quick to catch up.

“Granger, wait up! You can’t just decide by yourself where we’re going! I was pretty sure we should have gone left!” Malfoy said.

Hermione had to bite her tongue not to say anything back. She was determined not to say anything to him. She decided right after they started the maze that she will give him the silent treatment. So it was a little puerile and silly, but he really deserved it. It wasn’t her fault he isn’t apologizing or talking about what happened.

“Granger! Granger! Can you hear me?” Malfoy said waving an arm in front of her face as he finally caught up to her.

She swatted his hand away, indicating that she was not going to pay any attention to him.

“Uh. Giving me the silent treatment huh? Alright fine. I’ll try again later.” He said with a smirk. With that he looked away from her and started walking silently too.

They stayed like that for a few hours. Hermione kept track of the time by looking at her watch and Malfoy would sneak a glance every now and then to look at the time too. They seemed to have been walking for miles and miles and still no encounters or progress. They seem to have been going in circles. They would walk wherever the paths led them and if there were forks in the road, they would take turns in deciding which way they should go. There were so many time when they would reach a dead end. It seemed as if the maze was charmed to make them go round and round going over the same places again and again. Both of them took notice of the fact that they have gone through the path with odd root sticking out in the middle that had what looked like dull thorns the color of the sun during sunset.

At around noon, Hermione abruptly stopped and sat down and leaned her head against the thick leaf-covered wall. She had become so tired and she was really hungry. She didn’t eat anything for breakfast this morning and all the walking had made her famished.

Malfoy was about to ask what was wrong when her stomach gave a big grumble. He snickered. He knew it was a great decision bringing along some of the pumpkin pasties that his mother sent him a few days ago. He reached into his coat pocket and took one out.

He extended his arm and offered the pumpkin pasty to Hermione. “Here, take this. You must be starving,” he said.

Hermione looked up to him and gave him a suspicious look. “Don’t worry; I didn’t put poison in it. If I ever want to kill you, I’d do so after we finish this activity that counts as big part of our grade.” He said with a smirk.

She hesitated before taking the food from him and taking a small bite. She nodded her thanks. She was determined to stay quiet.

“You know you can’t ignore me forever. You would eventually need to talk to me and therefore break that silent treatment you’re giving me.” Malfoy said suddenly.

Hermione stopped eating in surprise. She arched one eyebrow at him to show her skepticism.

“Is this still about the kiss I gave you back during the holidays?”

She gave him a glare for an answer.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

“Look, I’m sorry if you got upset because of it. I didn’t mean to kiss you. My intoxicated mind just thought that that was the right thing to do. It was a sort of spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. You know what I’m saying?”

Hermione didn’t know why, but suddenly, the fact that Malfoy just said that he kissed her because he was drunk saddened her. What was the world becoming to?

Malfoy continued, “I’m sorry that I upset you. But I’m not sorry I kissed you. You are one hell of a great kisser.” He said a smirk on his face, his voice teasingly, and his eyes glinting with mischief.

Hermione’s lips turned up the slightest bit in the corner.

“Couldn’t we just get back to what ever it was we had before that thing happened? We were getting along really well. I mean, we weren’t best of friends or anything, more like acquaintances or companions, but it is way better than that silent treatment you’re giving me. Besides, like Dumbledore, Marsh, and McGonagall said, the only way we’re going to get through this darn activity is if we learn to work together. Couldn’t you do that? Not for me, not for the teachers, but for you? But for the sake of your flawless grades?” He said, his voice teasing yet again.

Hermione’s lips formed a bright, big smile. “I guess you’re right Malfoy. I’m sorry too. I should have… you didn’t deserve the way I treated you at all. I had no excuse to do that. After all, we both had no idea what we were doing. Well, sort of, anyway,” she finished with a small grin.

“Well, come on then, we’ve got to finish this maze and get the hell out of here,” he said extending his arm and offering his hand to her. She took it and he helped her get up. She dusted off her jeans and looked around.

“What now?”

“I guess we just continue on in the path we’re in. If we’re lucky we don’t encounter any dangerous things,” he said.

“You probably shouldn’t have said that,” Hermione said looking straight ahead with a frightened look painter in her face.

Malfoy looked in the direction she was looking at. There was a Mountain Troll up ahead.

“Ok don’t panic, what curse or spell can we use with this thing?”

“Why don’t we just stupefy him?” Hermione asked.

“There are only two of us. Even if we do it together, our powers combined wouldn’t be able to stun him like we want to.” Malfoy replied, looking the troll up and down. It must have been at least fourteen feet tall.

“What about a conjunctivitis curse?” Hermione tried again.

“No, if that thing can’t see, it would just trample everywhere, and in the process might kill both of us.” Malfoy replied again. Clearly, he was the only one to think clearly.

“Ugh. I thought it wasn’t going to be as dangerous as the maze in the tournament? This seems much harder.” Hermione said frustrated.

“Alright, we can’t stun it, we can’t crust its eyes together, we can’t blast it, because it’s too big and even our spells together won’t affect him. So, what could we do?” Malfoy stated.

“Oh! I got it! Do you think we could just put a full body-bind curse on it? Or will we have not enough people once again?” Malfoy looked thoughtful.

“Well, since that curse isn’t going to be using force, I think it should work just fine.” He replied. “We just have to be careful when we approach it. Wait for my signal, then we’ll both curse him.” He said looking at Hermione.

She nodded her reply. They both started walking towards the mountain troll and approached it cautiously. They crept up to it making sure that they are not seen by the troll, until they were only about ten yards away. They stood side by side and Malfoy glanced at Hermione and nodded, telling Hermione to attack the troll.

Together, in unison, they shouted, “Petrificus Totalus!”

Neither of them thought that the curse would work, especially because of the size of the troll. But surprisingly, it did work and the ground vibrated as the troll fell with a thud, having been hit by a full body-bind curse.

They looked at each other and grinned like Cheshire cats, triumph evident on their eager faces.

“One down, who knows how many more to go?” Malfoy said with a grin.

She gave a hearty laugh. “Come on.”

They walked together and tried to finish the maze once again. There would be the occasional conversations about the oddest things like hair color and smelly feet. For hours on end, they walked and walked, encountering various things.

Right after the troll, they’ve encountered Devil’s Snare, which Hermione easily got out of. Although she had to produce sun light because Malfoy, much like Ron during their first year, the coward that he is wouldn’t stop panicking.

Then after that, they also encountered a hippogriff much to the dislike of Malfoy once again. Hermione handled the hippogriff and they were able to get through. They also made some wrong turns along the way and seemed to have reached thousands of dead ends.

They have also blasted a banshee, drowned a blast-ended skrewt with jets of water, set a Bubotuber plant into fire, although why, Hermione had no idea, silenced a Mandrake, and froze what seemed to be hundreds of Cornish Pixies. By the time they’ve gotten all of the aforementioned obstacles, it was already evening. A glance at her watch told Hermione that it was already six thirty. They were both getting hungry.

Having eaten the last of the pumpkin pasties three hours ago, left them with nothing to eat. Hermione, being the cleverer and more talented one, conjured some pumpkin juice and a loaf of bread.

“Sorry. That’s all I could conjure. I’m not that gifted with the conjuring charm.” Hermione said with an apologetic look.

“It’s fine; it’s better than those pumpkin pasties. Besides, I’m really thirsty.” Malfoy replied.

They ate in silence for a while until Hermione suddenly thought about something.

“Do you think the others are done? I mean, we started first, and it will be such an embarrassment if we’re the last ones to finish it.”

“Well, I don’t know. We’ve been traveling in here for almost twelve hours. Surely, this thing isn’t too big. After all, the Quidditch Pitch is not that vast. I don’t know if what I’m about to say will make sense but, if I didn’t know any better, the Professors have once again trapped us into one of their little games. Seriously, twelve hours? It didn’t take that long for the champions nearly three years ago this long to complete it. Right?”

Hermione chewed the piece of bread she popped into her mouth. She swallowed and took a little longer to reply, thinking.

“You’re probably right. It seems we’re going on circles and there are too many damn dead ends. It does seem like something Dumbledore and Marsh would do.”

Malfoy took a swig of pumpkin juice one last time before standing up. “Let’s get going and hope we finish before midnight.”

They walked in silence again for ten minutes until they reached an intersection. This intersection is much different than the once they’ve encountered these previous hours. This particular intersection seems to be much alike the first one they’ve encountered. It was once again leading the two of them to two different directions. The one on the left was dark and eerie, and the one on the right bright and cheery. Hermione made a move to once again go to the right one when Malfoy reached to grab her arm.

“Granger, I told you this morning, I have a strong feeling we’re supposed to go on that path,” he said pointing to the one on the left. “We’ve already gone through the one on the right, and it seems we’ve made no progress. So, please, just listen to me and let’s go through the left one.” He said.

Hermione took a good look at him. Because of their dark surroundings, Malfoy’s face has a shadow cast upon it, making his face look even paler and more… mature almost. His platinum blonde hair looks dark brown in the darkness and his grey eyes even darker. He did have a point. They already took the right one and there’s no reason to go back, but the other option seems to be too dangerous and evil.

She nodded anyway. “Fine, we’ll go that way, but promise to stay close, it seems too dark in there.”

Malfoy grinned, “Is someone afraid of the dark?”

“No, I’m just scared of what could be lurking around in there.”

“You’re a witch remember and you could do this,” he said while flicking his wand and muttering, “Lumos.”

“Yeah, yeah you bloody git,” was Hermione’s reply. She did the same and lit her wand.

They proceeded to the path and once again walked in silence. Each step they took seemed to be taking them deeper and deeper into the maze, and drowning them more and more ever so slowly into the darkness.

Then, Hermione heard a rustle close by. She turned to look at Malfoy but couldn’t see him. She was wondering where he’d gone when he came up from behind her and shouted, “BOO!”

Hermione gave a shrill, toe-curdling scream. She slapped his laughing face.

“You git! That scared me! That was not funny!” Hermione screamed.

He laughed still and could hardly breathe. “Sorry, saw an opportunity to do it and I couldn’t help myself.”

Suddenly, Hermione’s face got all serious. Malfoy got worried.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’ve just been thinking. I’m not sure, but I think I remember Harry telling me that he used this spell when he did the maze in the Tournament that pointed him to the right way.”

“And you remember that now?” Malfoy asked irritated.

“Sorry.”

“Well try it then.”

Hermione lowered her wand and whispered, “Point me.” The wand spun around until it pointed straight down the path they were currently in.

“Is that supposed to mean that the way out of the maze is that way?” Malfoy asked.

“I guess so.” She replied.

They started walking in that direction again and whenever they came across intersections, they would use the spell again and go into the direction the wand pointed to. They walked and walked and both of them started noticing right away that the dark atmosphere around them is gradually getting lighter and lighter.

Finally, about a hundred meters away, the saw what was unmistakably a bright rectangle of white of what could only be the exit to the maze. They looked at each other and smiled. They started sprinting towards it, failing to notice the plant sticking out in the right side of the path.

It looked somewhat like a small version of the Whomping Willow and it obviously had the same characteristics too. It was thrashing its branches everywhere, not breaking a single one.

Malfoy was the first to notice. “HERMIONE!” He said, not even caring that he just called her by her first name.

Unfortunately, his warning was too late and the mini Whomping Willow thing had grabbed hold of Hermione’s right ankle and hoisted her up, feet above, dangling about ten feet into the air.

She screamed. “Malfoy help!”

“What am I supposed to do?” He said panicking. “Should I send help? Send a red spark?” He asked worriedly.

“No!” Hermione replied. “Don’t call for help, that will mean failure, we can do this.”

“But how?” he said exasperatedly.

“Try stunning it!”

“Stupefy!” Malfoy exclaimed. The curse bounced back and he dodged it right on time as it went his direction.

“Nothing!” he said.

“How about freezing it?” she suggested. By this time, the mini plant was trashing Hermione every which way.

“No, I might end up hitting you!” Malfoy said.

“Fine. Give me a few minutes to work this out.” Hermione replied.

Seconds ticked by until Hermione came up with a solution. “I know! Maybe this thing has the same type of knot the Whomping Willow has! It stops the thing from trashing its branches wildly. Go look for one. Hurry! I think my ankle’s broken.”

Malfoy stayed put but started looking around wildly for something that looked like a knot. He became frustrated suddenly as he found that the plant’s roots itself looked like knots. He panicked even more as Hermione gave chronic groans and shrieks from pain and dizziness. He looked around the base, pointing his wand carefully at it, to light up the area around it. It was bright enough, but he felt better by looking at it with a lighted wand. Then, as he was dragging his wand over the right side of the base, a root that had a darker shade of brown than the rest of the roots had, caught his attention.

“I think I found it! What do I do now?” He asked suddenly excited.

“Just push it!”

He found it odd, but did so anyway. He pushed it, and it eased back as if it were a button. Suddenly, all the thrashing of the branches stopped. The plant slammed Hermione’s body down and she landed with a thud. She gave a mighty groan as the plant released her ankle.

“Oww,” she moaned in pain.

Malfoy rushed to her side. “Are you ok?”

“I think my ankle’s broken. And I have some cuts and gashes. Can you take care of it?” She looked really pale and she seems as if she’s going faint anytime soon. After all, she was thrashed around by the plant ten feet above the ground for a good ten minutes upside down. It was almost as crucial as crucio.

Malfoy nodded and tended to her deepest cuts. She banged herself against the vines and twigs sticking out of the wall while being thrashed by the plant. He healed all he can until he reached her ankle. He wasn’t sure about that one.

He looked at her to ask what he could use.

“Epsikey,” she said ever so faintly.

“Episkey,” he said while waving his wand and the broken ankle healed itself.
He looked up to her once again and asked, “Do you think you’ll be able to walk?”

She shook her head. By this time she was really pale and resembled someone about to be sick.

Malfoy picked her up with ease and ran to the exit hoping and praying to the gods that there would be no more obstacles they would have to face in the ten yards they have to travel. He looked down to see she had fainted. Finally, with Hermione still in his arms, he walked out of the exit where Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Marsh were. Behind them was everyone else who participated in the activity.

The Professors had smiles on their faces until their gazes went to Hermione. They then looked solemn and immediately rushed to the two of them.

“What happened?” McGonagall asked.

Malfoy was quick to explain, “We were so close to the end when she was attacked by that… thing that looked like the Whomping Willow. She was thrashed around for a while and she attained cuts, bruises, gashes, and a broken ankle. Right after I healed her cuts and ankle, she fainted. I’m pretty sure she’s going to be okay.”

“Send her to the Infirmary right away,” Dumbledore instructed Malfoy.

He started walking when he was stopped by Marsh.

“Oh, and for your information Mr. Malfoy, you finished last but looking at the state you two are in, I’m pretty sure you both received high marks.” He said.

Malfoy gave him a sly grin.

Hermione awoke in the infirmary a few hours later. She felt someone by her side and immediately became happy; thinking that Harry or Ron is by her side, already aware of what happened.

She looked up and was surprised to see a mop of blond hair.

“Malfoy?” she croaked.

He turned to look at her. “Oh hey. How are you doing?” he said. He was sitting in a chair by her bed staring at empty space.

“Better. Hey, what did we get-”

Malfoy chuckled. “Relax. We got high marks. Listen, now that you’re awake, I’ll let your friends in. I had Madame Pomfrey not let them in until you’re awake. I think that if they entered before you were awake, they'll just fuss over you and wake you. Now that you are awake, I will get out and let you people catch up alright? Take care.” He gave her a courteous nod and left heading for the door.

“Malfoy.”

He turned to look at her.

“Thanks.”

“Anytime Granger,” he replied shortly and was gone. 



A/N: And there you go. Yet another chapter. There were lots of things in this certain chapter I was unsure of. So please, if you find any mistakes at all, feel free to leave a review, complaint, or insult. Whatever you please. Thanks!

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