When Hermione and Draco reached the castle, Hermione turned to Draco smiling slightly.

“Thank you for today I had fun.” She giggled lightly, lowering her head so her hair fell across it slightly. Draco lifted it with a finger. Brushing her hair aside then lightly kissing her on the edge of her lips.

She pushed him away lightly.

“Not here someone might see then we’d both be in trouble.” Draco nodded in agreement. “I have some things to do in the Library, I’ll meet you in the common room later. Ok.”

“Alright but don’t take all day.” And he swept away, leaving a smiling Hermione staring after him.

So Hermione finished her work just before dinner, her stomach growling in protest at the lack of food she had had that day. So she put away her books and made her way to the Great Hall. Making her way down a deserted corridor thinking about her trip to Hogsmead with Draco, and how his kiss had made her whole being fill with warmth and love.

She was snapped out of he thoughts when the lights around her began to flicker.

“Hello?” she called out. “Is someone there?” the lights guttered throwing Hermione into darkness. She made to grab her wand but a hand grabbed hers.

“I wouldn’t do that if were you.” A voice she was all too familiar said. She was spun around and a hand took hold of her throat. His body was pressed against her back. “How have you been my darling? Well I hope.” And he laughed out loudly, Hermione was sure that someone would have heard it. And as if to answer her thoughts, he said. “No one can hear us or see us.”

He trailed a cold finger down her face.

“What are you doing here?” Hermione cried out. “You shouldn’t be here, what if you had been spotted. People would ask questions. They would shut down the school.”

“This school as you call it is none of my concern, making you my wife however is. Your running out of time, there is but three days left before your task must be completed. Why are you staling?” Lucius hissed at her.

“I’m not I just wanted to spend as time with my friends as I could before…” her voice trailed away.

“They are no longer your friends. You’ve run out of time, get it done.” His gripped tightened on her throat, she could feel his cold lips on her skin, and then he was gone. Light had returned to the corridor and she was now on her knees gasping for breath, her hand touching the skin on her neck where moments ago his cold cruel hands had been. The skin was tender, probably bruised.

“Hermione?” her head shot up and before her was standing Harry. “Are you alright?”

“Yah I’m fine I just tripped that’s all, I’m fine.” Harry looked suspiciously at her but his features softened quickly. Walking over to her, he helped her to her feet.

“We missed you today. Where have you been? You said you were going to Hogsmead but we never saw you there.”

“Oh yah I was there for a while, but I ran into Malfoy and he told me that McGonagall had instructed us to patrol, latter on we got into a fight. You know how it is with him, thinks he’s better then everyone else.”

Harry nodded but lifted his hand brushing Hermione’s hair back.

“Is that how you got those?” Hermione’s hand sprang to her neck.

“No he didn’t do that, I don’t know how I got them. Maybe I did it when I fell.” She stated trying desperately to ovoid any more questions about the matter and the possible murder of Draco.

“If you say so. Well I was just on my way to dinner, you coming” Hermione nodded and they made their way together to the great hall.

Once there Hermione sat down between Harry and Ron. Placing a few food items on her plate. However, since her encounter with Lucius her hunger had ebbed drastically. Ron had taken told of one of her hands under the table and wouldn’t let her go.

She could feel eyes on her from across the room, guessing it was probably Draco’s but not wanting to draw attention to his gaze, she did not meet his.

After 15 minutes of pushing food around her plate and Ron almost cutting the circulation off to her hand she stood pulling her hand free.

“Everything alright Hermione?” Harry asked softly.

“Yah I’m just a little tired is all. I think I’ll get an early night. Good night.” And she walked away from her friends not looking back or returning the curious look that Draco shot as she left.

Once back in the common room it only took Draco 15 minuets to show up. However, Hermione was in no mood for his questioning and lay still in her bed, pretending to sleep so he would leave her be. She felt his lips brush her forehead.

Once he had left Hermione went and stood by the window looking across the grounds a great calm enveloping her. An owl flew across the moon searching for it’s prey. Oh, how she wished that she were an owl, free and away from all the stress and strain of her life. She closed her eyes pressing her head against the cool glass.

After a few minutes Hermione decided it was time for bed, so she laid down and fell into a deep sleep. Waking many hours later only to discover it was still night. Strange she thought, so she looked at her clock holding it in front of her face to read that it was only a few hours since she went to sleep. But something caught her eye, the date. It said it was a day, it said it was tomorrow, but it was actually today. Had she really slept that long. So she decided that she would go in search of Draco and ask him.

Finding him was easy, he was seated by the fire, sipping something that looked very much like golden syrup. The floor creaked under her foot and Draco spun around.

“Oh so your up are you. I really do not understand how you can sleep through an entire day without waking up at least once. I mean I almost broke your door down. That was until I heard you snoring.”

Hermione’s mouth flew open.

“I do not snore.” She said defensively.

“Oh really, my ears and the rattling windows would say otherwise.” Hermione picked up a pillow and ditched it at Draco’s head.

“Hey watch the drink. Madam Pomfrey would have your guts if you spilt it.” Putting his hand over it to protect it.

“Why what is it?” Hermione asked trying to steal a glance at it.

“Oh nothing much just a little lifter upper.” He said with a wicked grin.

“Well you wouldn’t mind if I had some then.” reaching for the glass.

“No I don’t think so.” Putting it out of Hermione’s grasp.

But Hermione was quicker thinking, whipped out her wand and levitated it over to herself.

“Oy that’s mine.”

“Well it’s mine now.” And she threw back her head and drained the contents of the glass. Missing the grin on his face.

“Ok well I’m just going to go to bed now I think.” And he stood walking in the direction of his room. “Good night.” He said.

“Night.” Hermione answered back without looking at him. Only to miss the radical changing of the once young boy into a somewhat older version.

Hermione walked to her room. Her head thumping suddenly, her eyes stinging. She heard the portrait door open and close. Footsteps crossing the common room. Her eyes widening in realisation.

She made her way over to the window looking out, closing her eyes as pain shot through her body, labouring her breathe, leaving a clouded stain on the glass.

“Draco.” She called softly as she fell to the floor with a soft thud. Knocking came shortly after.

“Hermione are you alright I thought I heard something.” She didn’t answer, she just looked at the door willing it to open and for Draco to rush to her side. “Hermione?”

He called again this time with a touch of panic in his voice. Hermione heard the door open and she started to shiver. She could feel deaths grip on her soul.

“Hermione!” came a shout and then footsteps thudded against the wooden floor. Draco knelt down beside her grabbing her hand, rubbing at it as fear set in. “Hermione?” he chocked out,

She looked over at him, fear spilling out of his misty eyes.

“Don’t be afraid, I’m alright. I’m alright.” She whispered trying to calm him.

“Do you want me to get you anything? Potter and Weasly?” Draco asked hoping that he could do something to make everything alright.

“No it’s ok, I just need you. Hold me.” and he picked her up so she was resting on his lap. A smile spread across her face. “Don’t be sad for me Draco, it’ll be alright. Everything will be alright.” And she raised her hand and rubbed away the tear that leaked down his face.

Her breath hitched, becoming short and sharp.

“Your in pain. Let me get help, please just let me make you better.” He sobbed at her, clutching her hand and pressing his lips against it.

“You already have. Thank you.” And her body arched up as pain shot through her to the core. And she looked to the sky as though begging it to be over. Then her body went limp, the warmth beginning to ebb away.

“Hermione?” Draco said. “Hermione?” he shouted, “No don’t leave me, Hermione? Please.” And he cradled her in his arms, begging her to come back. Then throwing his head back and screaming into the night in pain.

He picked up her limp body, walking out into the cool corridors that were Hogwarts.

Several people passed Draco as he walked with Hermione in his arms, tears sliding down his white skin. Them gasping at the sight, falling in step behind him. Finally Draco reached the great hall, the doors already open. He looked out into the sea of people.

“Mr Malfoy?” he heard McGonagall say. “Dear god.” As she saw Hermione’s limp body. She ran from her spot at the table towards the Head boy and girl.

Draco dropped to his knees still clutching Hermione. By this time, Harry and Ron had seen Hermione as well and were now running towards Draco, with Ginny following behind them. They all stopped just in front for Draco. Ginny gasping and bursting into sobs turning to Harry, he comforted her.

Ron however looked down at Hermione then at Draco. “What did you do to her? What have you done to her?” He spat.

But Draco didn’t answer he just looked down at her pale face. Wishing he could kiss her lips just once more.

McGonagall knelt down beside Draco putting her fingers on Hermione neck to check for a pulse. Slowly moving her hand away.

“Miss Granger is dead.” Cries could be heard all around the hall. Ginny’s grew into great sobs as Harry tried his best to comfort her. And Draco just continued to look at her face thinking how peaceful she looked, how beautiful she looked. “Professor Hagrid please take Miss Granger to my office.”

Hagrid tried to take Hermione from Draco but he just pushed his hands away.

“No, leave her alone. Leave us alone. She’s alright, she’ll be alright.” He screamed at them.

“Mr Malfoy she’s dead. You cannot help her anymore, she’s gone.” Draco shook his head. Clutching at Hermione more, pulling her against him.

“Feel my heart beating,” he whispered. “It beats for you. Please come back, I don’t want to do this anymore, Please.” Hagrid put his hand on Draco’s shoulder.

“I need to take her now.” Draco looked back at Hermione then nodded. Hagrid took Hermione from his arms then left the great hall. The contents filing out after him, all except Draco who stayed where he was. Staring up at the ceiling, then he broke down. His eyes becoming the colour of his tears, full of sadness and grief.

He had lost the women he was falling in love with.

*******************************************************************************

In another castle many miles away. A man and a woman sat in a room, his face covered in triumph hers in sadness.

The man turned to the women. “Now we can be together, without any interference.”

“I hate you and I will never forgive you for this.” The woman answered back.

“That may be, but that changes nothing.” And he strode from the room happiness spilling out of him.

“We’ll see.” And Hermione Granger stood walking from the room, grief for what she had done taking a holding. All she could do was to think about her last moments with Draco. Where she had seen all the love in the world spill from his eyes and hope that she would one day be able to have it again.

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