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{A/N} -- Okay, guys, I know, it's finally up and coming again! I finally found the right notebook with the rest of the story in it, so I'm updating as fast as I can type and get things validated. This chapter is dedicated to all the reviewers of this story:

Twippy, Prettyinpink315, ms. critic, JillianUnleashed, anyavioletta, whatup, HarryGinny4eva, Lya_Darkfury, supertools, fiestysnowboarderchick, Hanna Louise, K B Lynne, retro_spunk, lilyjames, GoodGirlsBadBoys, innocentlydark, KArina, Wiccasandwands2193, kelly, Trogdor2030, dracosgem, hanoverpretz01, XxsupertoolsxX ((<-- LOVE HER/HIM! xD)), and again, lilyjames. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

-- CelestialSlytherin ((Betsy Venom))






There was a severely pissed off brown-haired Gryffindor witch with steaming coffee coloured eyes storming down the corridor that led to Gryffindor tower. Hermione couldn't remember ever being this angry before, or as hurt, not even in the pain-filled months of the war. Draco had been beaten badly, with at least two cracked ribs, and, as she had thought when she'd noticed the funny angle his arm hung at, a broken right arm. His entire body was covered in sickeningly darkening bruises, and who knew what else was wrong inside him that she'd not even gotten the chance to learn about. As soon as she'd used her wand to blast open the doors of the infirmary, the worried girl had yelled for Madam Pomfrey. The Healer had come scurrying towards them, a look of shock passing across her work-worn visage. She'd seen many fights in her number of years as the school's medical head, but this could possibly the worst beating she'd ever had the horror to encounter.

The two females had gotten Draco into a bed with a quick burst of a Levitating Spell, and then the older witch had set to work immediately on the male. He'd become unconcious somewhere around the third flight of stairs Hermione had had to locomotor him up, and Madam Pomfrey asked no questions. The younger girl didn't need to ask questions. She knew what had happened -- Harry and Ron. Hermione stayed just long enough to make sure the Slytherin wasn't in any true danger before heading out. That's how she came to be standing outside the painting of The Fat Lady, chest heaving as she spoke the password curtly and clambered inside the portrait hole.

When she emerged in the red and gold common room, the very first thing she saw were the two males she'd come looking for, sprawled on opposite couches in the almost empty chamber. Harry was sporting a busted lip and yellow-and-purple eye, while the red-head had a bloody nose and was cradling his one hand to his chest. Both were wearing bruised knuckles and torn robes. The darker-haired male looked up as the upset girl came form the entrance, an apprehensive look crossing his face; he quickly motioned to his accomplice, and the two of them scrambled up, making a mad dash for the stairs up to the boy's dormitories.

"Stop! You bloody well get your arse back here!" She screamed. That would have been enough to stop any witch or wizard in the school in their tracks, coming from the mouth of the ever-perfect Miss Hermione Jane Granger, but a flick of her wand and a few more murmured words gave the two boys no choice in the matter. A Body-Binding Charm hit them in the backs, and while Harry dropped harmlessly to the thick carpet, Ron wasn't so lucky. The ginger-haired boy had been closer to the stairs, away from the plush carpeting that had saved Harry's fall; when he dropped, the witch heard his nose break with a sickening crunch. She didn't even flinch, however; he was getting what he deserved.

The young woman stood over them, a helplessly angry and disappointed look on her face. "How could you do that to Draco? How? After I told you just how amazing he's been to me, you still went and did something like this! He's the one who's been here for me since the start of the year. He saved me from falling on the train, helped me to bed when I was dizzy and almost falling over from a migraine, and he was the one who stayed behind when the two of you went traipsing off to Hogsmeade, happily sucking face with your girlfriends! I know him much better than you, and I deserve a say in who I'm close to. You don't care about me, that's not the reason you beat him up, much as you may say it is," she ranted at the two immobile wizards, sneering with a fierceness Draco would've been proud of. Harry's green eyes widened behind his glasses at the anger and pain in her orbs.

"No, you beat him because you had to carry on this little rivalry from the past, and for no reason! He didn't even provoke you." The disappointment and disbelief in her words, covered by the boiling fury, was enough to make the concious culprit look ashamed. But Hermione was having no mercy. They'd beaten the man she'd grown to care deeply about and tried to use her as an excuse. In a few moments, she left the same way she'd come, just a little less angry and more worried, leaving behind two exceedingly cursed Gryffindors. Now that some of her anger had been assauged, an almost overwhelming sense of panic was rising within her. She need to get back to Draco, and make sure he was okay. It was her fault, after all, that they'd come after him when he'd been vulnerable.

It was intimidating, really, how much she'd grown to care about him in the past few weeks. But she didn't dwell on it as she sprinted through corridors back towards the infirmary. Within two minutes she was throwing open the huge doors as she had before, gasping for breath while she scanned each bed for the head of platinum hair. Madam Pomfrey had just placed the cap back on a bottle of what Hermione knew to be Skele-Grow, so things had been a bit worse than the harried girl had feared. The older witch left the two of them alone as the curly-haired witch approached slowly, breath still heaving from her lungs but not quite as fiercely. She stopped at the end of the flat cot, brows furrowing in worry as she looked at him.

Madam Pomfrey had stripped him of his shirt, robes, and trousers, and when her brown eyes caught sight of the contusions that marred his customarily flawless skin, a hand rose to her mouth. His alabaster skin was splotched with sickening greens and jaundice yellows, with some LSU purple in places (( haha, representin'! )). Draco's eyes were closed, his dusky lashes lying against his cheeks; he looked serene, the tranquility of sleep giving him an even more attractive appearance, if that was even possible. His chest rose and fell in a slow, steady rhythm. Hermione pulled up a chair to his bedside, and grasping his hand, settled in for the morning, or his awakening, whichever would come first.

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