[I don't own anything apart from the OC's and the plot. Everything else is JK Rowling's. Enjoy! See you down at the AN!]
They were three, we were two. That was all I could think about as I stood there facing Laura, the fact that she was two years younger than me didn't matter at all. I knew that she could very well be brilliant with a wand despite her younger age. It didn't really help that Amber had gone stone-statue on me either. Laura stood in the middle of the two blonde girls, making sure that everyone could see that she was the 'leader of the gang'. Her lips were curled up in a sneer and her eyes seemed to sparkle of cruelness.
Perhaps I just imagined that last part, though. I also noticed that everyone but myself were in their school robes, and I was wearing simple Muggle clothes. Though, this was a good thing, I remembered – It would give me easier access to my wand. Which was in my pocket. Mad-Eye Moody wouldn't have approved, I thought sadly.
“What's up with little Miss Perfect?” mocked Laura and nodded towards Amber, “Boyfriend problems?”
Amber looked down at her feet and that didn't go unnoticed by Laura who smiled wickedly. I had the urge to hit her – forget my wand, I'd use my fists if I had to. At the same time as I wanted to hit Laura, I wanted to comfort Amber. The girls on each side of her laughed and I gritted my teeth.
“Leave her alone, would you?” I snapped harshly and they silenced. “Don't you realize how pathetic you look, Laura? Pansy's little puppet. She's using you and you don't even notice it, do you? Pathetic.”
“As I would care if you think I look pathetic, what are the words of a Mudblood anyway? And how dare you even take her name in your disgusting mouth?”
Even though I had been called a Mudblood many times that one would think that I had gotten used to it – I hadn't. I still winced on the inside as she called me by that name. Still, I pretended that I wasn't bothered by it.
“That's rich, Laura. Did Pansy teach you a new word or two?” I said Pansy's name in a childish voice and Laura looked livid. I had never seen anyone look up to another person like that – Laura really would do anything Pansy told her. It was just as sick as it was sad. Her cold demeanour was back before I could count to five.
“Maybe she did. Now, do you think she was trying to teach Draco something at the New Years party as well? A new kissing technique, perhaps?”
She knew that she had hit a sore spot. It must have been written all over my face. It felt as if someone had slapped me in the face – hard. I was brought back to the night when Pansy had kissed Draco and I tried to shake it off me. Instead I focused on the ghost of a smirk which was currently playing on Laura's lips. I didn't get sad as I thought I would, instead I responded by being furious.
Who did she think she was to bring up something like that? She was nothing but a puppet on Pansy's string. And who was I to let her get to me? I took a deep breath to calm myself down and then I cleared my voice.
Her friends had begun to snicker and she couldn't hold back a triumphing smile herself. My mind was completely blank – I had nothing to say to her.
“You know...” Amber's voice startled me, it was so strong and yet so frightened, “I don't know what's wrong with you. Perhaps your parents did a bad job raising you?”
It was a low blow but that didn't mean that it was any less satisfying. Laura paled and seemed to look nervous. Amber continued with a shaky voice, “Isn't your father a Muggle or something?”
“You leave my parents out of this, Lambetti, or I'm going to make your life miserable. Want to test your boyfriends faithfulness?” Laura had come over her initial shock from Ambers words and I could tell that she wasn't messing around with this. She was determine to make out lives hell, I just wondered what she would get out of it. Amber flinched visibly and Laura smiled.
“Didn't think so,” she said happily. I was on my way to reach for my wand but Laura made a 'tsk tsk' - sound and said, “Now, no fighting in the corridors, Granger. You might earn yourself another detention.”
I knew that she was right – I really didn't need another detention. I couldn't take that risk, so I let my hand hang down my side. It annoyed me that she was able to get to me as much as she did. Not only was she a friend of Pansy's but she was also younger than me – I should be able to handle this. But she knew just what buttons to press and she knew just what to say to make me immobilized. No doubt she had talked these things over with Pansy. At times I even wondered if she had a brain and could think for herself. Everything she said to us seemed to be something she memorized from Pansy. It was sad, really.
I heard people walking behind us. I knew just who they were as they sped up and walked in a furious pace. I didn't even have to look over my shoulder to know who they were. Amber did, however, turn to look at her boyfriend, but I was damned not to break eye contact first. I held Laura's stare and I noticed how a nervous tremble of her lips, she must have become aware of the fact that Blaise and Draco had joined us. I had never been more grateful to have them and their impeccable timing.
One of Laura's blonde friends caught her attention and annoyed she looked to her left. Her friend said something about leaving but Laura simply hissed something at her and her friend looked down at her hands and didn't say anything else. I was amazed that they would listen to her as much as they did.
That's when I noticed that the blonde girl to the left wasn't a Slytherin like the two other girls. She was a Hufflepuff. I had been so focused on the brown haired girl in the middle that I had forgotten all about everything else. The girl to the left had sandy blonde hair which reached to her waist, and just like Amber she had soft curls.
I had noticed that she had ivory skin and it seemed close to flawless. She glanced up at me as I looked at her and I saw her eyes. Big, dark green eyes stared at me shyly and when I say that they were big – I mean huge. They made her look more like a doll than a human, but it was cute. She wore close to no make up but she looked fine nonetheless.
But even though she looked like a flawless doll, there was something that wasn't right about her. I couldn't put my finger on what it was – perhaps it was just the fact that she wasn't all that nice of a person. I mean, she couldn't be, right? Yeah, she was a Hufflepuff – but she was also a friend of Laura's, who were friends with Pansy. Maybe I was being judgemental, but I couldn't see how a nice person could be friends with people like them.
I glanced over at the other blonde girl and I saw the similarities between the Hufflepuff girl and her. They had the same big eyes and the same flawless skin. There was no chance that those two weren't sisters, and when I compared them I guessed that the Hufflepuff girl was the younger one of them, a fourth year. Perhaps, just perhaps she was only with Laura because her sister was.
“What's going on here?” Draco's voice made me snap back to reality. He had stopped right beside me and I looked away from the girls to glance up at him. His grey eyes were focused entirely on Laura, whose smirk had fallen. “Hm?”
“Nothing, Malfoy,” muttered Laura, clearly not knowing what else to say. I had a feeling that Pansy wouldn't let her talk to Draco however she liked.
“Good, then get out of my sight before I do something I'll regret – no, scratch that. I wouldn't even regret it.” His voice was cold and hard and nothing like what I was used to. The soft and angelic voice that he had when talking to me was long gone and had been replaced by this icy voice which could send shivers down anyone's spine.
“Okay, we'll leave. I just... Pansy says hi,” she looked at Draco before she looked at Blaise and gave a small wink, knowing that Amber was looking, “I guess I'll see you around?” she made it seem suggestive and she gave Blaise a knowing look before she turned around and walked away – her cronies followed her, naturally.
I heard Amber take a deep breath before she turned around and ran the other way, away from us – away from Blaise. I heard a strangled sob and fought the urge to run after her. But I knew she could use some time. Blaise stood frozen and looked at the spot where Laura had just been standing. As if he couldn't quite understand what had happened.
I knew what had happened, Laura had tried to upset Amber and succeeded, I might add. If Amber had been sad and scared before this incident, then it was nothing to what she was feeling now, I was sure.
“Oh, no...” I moaned and turned to look where she had run, “I should go after her. She shouldn't be alone.” The memory of her telling me that Laura has hinted that she had the potion which Matthew had used on Draco made itself annoyingly clear and my eyes widened. “She really shouldn't be alone, guys...”
“Matthew's potion has ended up in Laura's hands,” I whispered and a complete silence hung around us after I had uttered those words. But then Blaise cursed and ran in the direction which Amber had. I was on my way to follow him, but Draco caught my waist and held me back. “What are you doing? She could be in danger!”
“I doubt it, Hermione. And if so, then Blaise will find her. You need to eat something, you weren't at dinner.”
“I don't care about dinner, Draco. What if Blaise doesn't find her in time? What will we do then? I refuse to sit by another bed and watch another person go through that!”
“Is this really about Amber? You know that Laura wouldn't dare to use it now, not when she knows that we're right behind,” he said and I could hear in his voice that he doubted that is was just about Amber. I knew that he was right.
It was about all the people I hadn't been able to save and if I lost Amber, too, then it would have been another person who I had failed. I knew that he was right about that second part, too. Laura knew that we were right here, she wouldn't do anything. Today. But who knew when she would decide to act? Tomorrow, the next day, in a month?
I sighed and let Draco pull me in to a hug. He knew just what I had been thinking about but he didn't say anything. He just held me in his arms and I relaxed – and my stomach growled at the loss of food. Draco shook with silent laughter and pulled me along towards the kitchen while ignoring my words of 'I'm not in the mood for food' and 'I've lost my appetite'. He would make sure that I ate and that was that.
Two hours later, Draco and I walked back in to the Heads dorm and was met by Amber and Blaise – Amber seemed fine, but sad. They both sat on the brownish couch on opposite ends of it and looked put out. I realized that they had had another fight – Just what Laura had wanted. Blaise's hair hung down in his eyes which were hard, as if he was still angry.
I looked over at Amber and saw that her eyes were puffy and red. She'd been crying, again. She looked ready to fall asleep any second but she forced herself to stay awake.
“Amber?” I said her name and she didn't look up at me, “Amber, can I talk to you?”
She noticed me than and nodded almost unnoticeable before she got up and followed me to the bathroom, she locked the door and I cast a Silencing Spell on it. Slowly she sunk to the floor and I followed her lead. I wasn't good with girl things, or girl talks. But I knew that I was a good listener and I was fairly good at comforting people.
“What happened?” I said and forced myself not to sigh. I was expecting some lame, small thing which was usually what they fought about.
“He doesn't want me to sleep here,” she said and ran her fingers through her hair, “He says that I should be around the people that I go to class with so that I wont loose my friends there. But he doesn't understand. I don't have friends there! They either hate me or want to shag me,” she sighed, “or kill me, even.”
As much as I loved Blaise, I could really get annoyed with him. Who was he to tell her that she couldn't sleep here? Couldn't he see that she was terrified? Then it struck me. “You haven't told him all of it, have you?”
“No...” she mumbled, “I can't. What if he freaks out and get mad? He would yell and blame me for not telling him sooner and then he would go search her up and get in to detention, or worse. I can't tell him.”
“You have to, or I will. How are you gonna have it? You or me?”
She didn't answer and I could tell that she was thinking it over. If she was smart then she would do it herself, but I knew that she didn't want him to yell at her. Which he probably would. But he wouldn't yell at me, or so I hoped. Amber took a deep breath before she whispered, “You.”
I grimaced at her and earned a small smile from her. I had, after all, offered to do it so there was no backing out. I closed my eyes briefly before I stood up and extended a hand to help Amber up on her feet. Her hand was surprisingly cold. I sent the brown door a glare before I opened it, as if it was it's fault that I was doing this.
As I saw Blaise and Draco in the couch, I mustered up my courage and walked up to Blaise and thought back to what he had said to Amber. That she had to go back there, even though she had told him that she didn't want to. It made me furious, furious enough to grit my teeth.
“You!” I hissed at him and he flinched back as I poked him in the chest with my finger, “How can you even think of letting her stay there, after I told you that Laura has the potion?”
“Look, Hermione. How do you even know she has it? Has she told you, or what?”
"No, Amber told me,” I took a step forward and he was pressed down in the couch, “Amber told me that Laura had threatened to pour that Potion over her as soon as she had fallen asleep. You see, Amber didn't sleep all night. Laura also said that she'd make Ambers life hell and that she'd take you from her. Amber is all alone in the Slytherin common room and she's scared to death and you – you who are her boyfriend wont let her stay here where she feels safe?”
“It's pathetic, Blaise!” I hissed and poked him again.
“What about her friends?” he said weakly and looked up at me and tried to look innocent. “Surely her friends stick up for her?”
“What friends?” said Amber sadly and walked up to him, “I don't have friends. They all hate me back there. You have no idea how lonely I feel there. Lonely and scared and... I just don't want to stay there. Please?” her eyes pleaded to Blaise who could only nod.
There was no way he could say no when we had attacked him like that. I looked over at Draco who gave me a knowing look before he stood up and dragged me with him to our room.
I glanced over my shoulder to see that Amber had somehow ended up being embraced by Blaise and they just sat like that on the couch. His arms around hers and they didn't say anything, I don't think they had to. They understood each other anyway.
Draco closed the door behind us and then he silenced the room as usual. Blaise and Amber did it, and we did it. We didn't need to hear them do anything, and they didn't need to hear us. But then he surprised me as he started to chuckle. I spun around and glared at him. I hadn't said anything out there which would have made him amused.
“What?” I snapped at him and he sobered up somewhat, “Did I amuse you?”
“Oh, no. Did you see the look on Blaise's face? I think he nearly wet himself. You can be quite terrifying, you know.”
I couldn't keep from grinning at him. Me, terrifying? Well, that was something new.
“You're kind of hot when you're terrifying,” said Draco with a small grin.
Draco began to walk towards me until I felt my legs touch the bed but he didn't stop and soon I found myself sprawled out on the bed as Draco climbed on top of me. It felt like it had been ages since I had felt his weight on me and it felt wonderful – even safe in a way.
He grinned down at me and I reached up to push some of his hair out of his eyes. He caught my wrists and put them on either side of my head. But even though he had me pinned down beneath him, I still felt as safe as always. Slowly he leaned down and let his lips ghost over mine without really kissing me, it was of out most annoyance that I glared at him.
He eased back to look at me and chuckled, I must have looked thoroughly annoyed with him. He tilted his head to his side and as he leaned back a second time, he released my wrists. I brought my hands up to his neck and pulled his head down so that I would be able to kiss him. His warm, soft lips found mine and my eyes fluttered closed at the feeling.
I moaned in disappointment as his lips left mine but I forgot all about it as he pressed his lips against my neck. I moved my head to the side to give him better access and sighed happily as he kissed the spot behind my ear. He knew how good it felt as he kissed me there, it was as if every rational thought just flew out of my head and the only thing my brain was able to focus on was the way his lips felt against my skin. It was as if he made me come alive.
His lips brushed over my jawline before finding my lips again, I parted them slowly and our tongues found each other. His taste was the same – the sweet taste which was unlike anything I had ever tasted before. His hands roamed my body and I pressed up against him and he gave a soft moan against my lips. It was nice to know that I wasn't the only one who was affected by our actions. He bit down on my lower lip and swallowed my strangled moan before he broke the kiss and we laid there panting.
He shifted on top of me, but didn't roll off me. His eyes found mine and he whispered, “Am I crushing you?”
All I could do was shake my head. He wasn't crushing me at all but I didn't think that I was going to be able to form a coherent sentence, so a shake of my head was all he got. Draco stared at me intensely as if trying to read my mind. I licked my lips and cleared my throat. But I didn't get the chance to say something before his lips crashed down on mine again – and I forgot what I was about to say.
Before I knew it, my shirt had come off and Draco was working on my jeans as I pushed his school robes off. But somehow, our lips never left each other. There was no doubt where this was going and I wasn't going to stop. I wanted him as much as he wanted me, and I loved him just as much as he loved me. That was the last thing I thought about before I let my senses take over.
It had been perfect. More perfect than ever before. I understood that there was a difference between shagging and making love and we had most definitely been making love. It had been tender and passionate and, well - it had just been so us. There was no other way to explain it. Needless to say that it had been good.
As I cuddled up next to him later that night, I wondered if he was awake. I tilted my head up to look at him and he opened one eye as if to tell me that he was awake. Draco's hand started to stroke my arm, subconsciously I suspected but sweet nonetheless. I rested my head on his chest which was extremely pale in the moon light. I saw small scars from when he had been hit by the Sectumsempra but they were hardly visible.
“I don't want to fall asleep,” I whispered to him and closed my eyes. I was afraid that I would have another nightmare. I hadn't had them in a while before earlier the same day, but I knew that there was a possibility of having another one. “I had a horrible dream earlier...”
“Want to tell me about it?” he asked softly and I sighed and nodded. He waited for me to say something, but I just didn't know where to start.
“I found your parents bodies at the Manor. They had been killed. I was looking for you, all over. Running around, screaming. But I couldn't find you. Then I heard her laugh. It was a could, humourless laugh which I was sure belonged to her. I followed her laugh and it led me to your room,” I spoke in a low voice and tried to keep the images of the dream out of my head, “I found you on the floor by her feet.
"You were wounded and tied up. Barely alive. You spoke my name as you looked at me. Pleading me for something. To save you or to run, I'm not sure. But I knew that she was going to kill you and I sank to the floor. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to save you either. It was so real, it's... I remember it as if it has happened, you know? It was so real...”
He listened to me and his fingers didn't stop stroking my arms. I always told him about my nightmares, so he knew very well who 'she' was. I didn't need to explain that to him. I didn't need to say her name. He pulled me closer to him and whispered against my hair, “It's okay to sleep, Hermione. I'm right here.”
So, I did as he said and tried to sleep. The first couple of hours, I just tossed and turned. But then I must have fallen asleep out of pure exhaustion. The Quidditch Practice had really worn me out and I was damned to have some sore muscles the next day.
Days passed by slowly, classes were stressful as we all studied hard for our N.E.W.T's and then there was Laura who we couldn't stand. She seemed to be everywhere with her rude comments and her cruel words. But we wouldn't let her get to us, so we had all chosen to ignore her. Something which made her furious. It was Friday and we had breakfast, waiting patiently for our owls to bring us some letters or the Daily Prophet.
I was expecting a letter from my mother and perhaps a letter from Harry wouldn't be so bad either. He had been very surprised when I had told him that I had become a Chaser and was drowning me in tips on how to play. It seemed as if he was proud of me, but he couldn't find the words to say it. However I was glad that we had started to write each other. I missed him terribly at times, I really did.
I hadn't told Draco that Harry was writing to me, I just didn't know what do say or how he would take it. I really didn't like keeping it from him and he was bound to find out sooner or later. I preferred later.
By the Ravenclaw table, nothing had changed. Luna still sat by Cho and they didn't really talk to each other today, though. Neville sat on Luna's other side and kept glancing at Hannah Abbott. Opposite of Neville, well, there I sat. Next to me sat Draco, followed by Blaise and Amber. They were still together, thank god, and she had told him all about what Laura had done and said to her. Not only now, but in the past as well. He felt incredibly bad for not letting her sleep in his room and ever since I told him about it; she had been staying with us.
The owls arrived and as I had suspected, I had two letters. One from my mother and one from Harry. I hurried up and opened my letter from Harry first. I skimmed through it – reading about the Weasleys and Harry's work. Ginny and George was doing good, but Ron was worse. He had, apparently, gone in to a fit of rage when he had gotten home from his therapist and taken it out on a poor door. Molly and Arthur was sad for their sons sake, but other than that – they were fine as well.
I glanced over at Draco to see that he had received a letter, too. He looked at me and his eyes locked on my letter as if he was trying to see who had written it. I swallowed hard as I spoke up.
“It's from Harry,” I said to him and he stiffened and gave a small nod before looking back at his letter.
I couldn't help but to wonder who had sent a letter to him and my stomach tightened as I considered that it might be from Pansy. As if he had read my mind he handed me his letter to let me read it, and I did the same. I didn't mind if he read Harry's letter. He seemed surprised as his fingers closed around the piece of parchment and he looked at me curiously before he read through it.
Bracing myself, I let my eyes land on his letter. With a sigh of relief I noticed that the letter was from Narcissa and not Pansy. I smiled as I read through her words. She had met up with Andromeda and they had had a good time as they went for lunch at some fancy restaurant. Andromeda wanted to meet Draco and Narcissa asked her son if there was any possibility of doing so during the Easter Holidays. I had a feeling that I was going to meet Andromeda as well, since I was going to come with Draco home.
I was done with his letter before he had finished reading Harry's. He frowned occasionally but didn't say anything about it. After a while he handed it back to me. Still, he didn't say anything about it. He must have noticed that it wasn't the first letter that Harry had sent me. I chewed on my lip as I reached for my mothers letter.
As I read through that letter it felt as if time stood still. The things she wrote just couldn't be true.
'Grandma had a heart attack', 'In the hospital for several days', 'She's feeling a bit better and will be going home any day now, 'there is still a chance that she might get another heart attack, the doctors are reluctant to releasing her. But she refuses to stay there...'
Those sentences screamed at me and I just stared at them. Grandma had a heart attack? Why hadn't I been told sooner? A cold feeling filled my stomach and I took a deep breath so that I wouldn't start hyperventilate. There was still a chance that she might have another heart attack? Gods, of course she would refuse to stay at the hospital. It was so typical her!
“Hermione?” Draco's voice cut through the fog of emotions and brought me back to the present, “Are you okay?”
I wished him to have asked any question but that. I shook my head no and handed him the letter. It didn't take him very long to read it and as he had done that, he put it down and took my hand. I couldn't look at him and know that he would have that look in his eyes. The apologetic look. I squeezed his hand before I let it go and stood up.
He asked me where I was going and I mumbled 'Owlery'. I didn't object as he stood up and followed me out of the Great Hall. I wouldn't have minded being alone but I preferred to have him next to me. Knowing that he was right there with me. It was comforting.
We didn't say anything on our way up there. We didn't say anything while I scribbled down a few rather confusing sentences on a piece of paper and handed it to my owl either. I stood by the open window and watched as the owl became smaller and smaller until I couldn't see it anymore.
I felt Draco's eyes on me but I didn't turn around. What could I possibly tell him right now? I was worried sick.
Grandma Jean was ill. There was a chance that she could have another heart attack. I wasn't stupid, I knew that it meant that she could... die. I closed my eyes for a brief second as I heard Draco say something, but I think he noticed that I didn't hear him. I was too caught up in my own thoughts.
“She'll be okay,” he tried softly but I didn't turn around to look at him, “It'll all be okay.”
“You don't know that, so don't say it."
He sighed, knowing that I was right. I heard hesitant footsteps walking in my direction and then his arms came around my body as he embraced me from behind. His head rested on my left shoulder and I let my hands take a hold of his. His strong hold of me made me feel safer, better.
The open window made it so cold, but Draco's body heat made me feel warm. He pressed his lips against my neck before he gave a small sigh.
“Have a little faith, Hermione,” he whispered against my ear and I couldn't hold back the tear which escaped from the corner of my eye.
I turned around abruptly and let my arms go around his waist as buried my face in his chest. He hugged me tightly and whispered soothing words but he didn't tell me not to cry and I knew why. He knew that I needed to get it out and he also knew how much I hated to be told 'oh, don't cry...'
Draco kissed the top of my head and I tilted my head to look up at him. He was looking down at me and his eyes were so far from the hard ones he got when he spoke to Laura or Pansy – those grey eyes of his looked down on me with so much emotion and care that it was making my knees go weak. His thumb wiped away my tears and he offered me a small smile to make me feel better and to my surprise – it helped.
“Faith?” I questioned what he had told me. Did he expect me to have faith in anything, knowing what I had been through and what I had seen? I was just being realistic as I went over the possibilities of losing Grandma Jean. Draco nodded slowly and his eyes seemed almost pleading. Faith... I thought about it, it couldn't hurt to have a little faith, could it? It was probably better than keep thinking 'what if...' all the time.
His hand took a hold of mine and the thought crossed my mind that classes was about to start so that we should probably be getting back. I leaned up and pressed my lips against him before mumbling, “I'll have a little faith, then.”
[Hello, dear readers! So, with validation time being so short, I should have gotten this one up a bit sooner, right? Yeah, well. I've been crazily sick, as some of you know(if you read my blog, then you know), but here it is. I hope this chapter made up a bit for the lack of Dramione action lately. Did you like the Draco and Hermione scenes in this chapter?
What do you think about Grandma Jean? What do you think will happen for her in the future? Hm. Yeah, as I've said, I've got this story planned out, so I know what will happen to her :)
Well, I just wanna know what you think of this chapter? Was it good? Gah, I need to get back to bed now, I'm so sick. Please, leave a review and make my day :D Thank you, - Cathyyy-]
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