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A/N: Aren't you happy? I wrote another chapter! And I've planned for at least the next two, so the updates should be quick and snappy and all that jazz. Thanks to all who have written a comment and rated, I appreciate it! I hope you like Draco's POV! I love this chapter myself although it is a bit wonky.

 

Save a thestrel, ride a warlock!

--Free_Chicken Soup2





 

Draco had falling forwards into the door for what seemed like minutes when in reality was only a few short seconds. He hit the ground hard, his hands catching the blunt of the blow. Dust flew all around him, causing him to cough and sneeze uncontrollably, unable to see much of anything but caught a glimpse of something shiny out of the corner of his eye. Draco waited for the filth to settle before standing and brushing himself off, never one for being dirty,  then reaching for his wand to light up the chamber.

It was a stone room with a single table with a few unlit candles on it. All around the room were volumes and volumes of books he assumed were “Lost” or never cataloged. Besides the books and the ever swelling darkness, the room was unremarkable. 

“What a waste of my bloody time.” he muttered to himself reaching for a book on one of the dusty shelves. He opened it and much to his surprise, after paging through the book, he found that it contained nothing but a long list of spells, some he had never even heard of.  He closed the book to look at the spine. He brushed off some of the dust and there it was a title, faded gold on its brown binding.

A Long List Of Spells Well that was a bloody convenient name.

 Draco placed the book on the table and went around to the other shelves. He plucked out a sea green book and wiped the dust off again. It had a golden mermaid emblazoned on the cover that swam around in black seaweed that framed the bottom. He looked at the spine and a sense of relief spread over him quickly followed by annoyance.

Merpeople of the Mediterranean

It does exist. So that must mean this room actually wanted to be found
. He smiled a bit to himself at the thought. Then scowled, this room was obviously more than met his keen eyes.

Draco lit the candles on the table with his wand tip, deciding to stay and read instead of the alternative: sleep, dream, think about a certain fuzz-ball fondly. Shivers of self-loathing passed through him as they had when he came  to the realization of his…like of Hermione Granger. Draco shook himself internally to clear his head.

The candles were burning bright as he glanced around. Then gaped. He had thought it was just the one chamber of books. But it was more than that, the shear volume of the room was enough to make Draco rethink his previous description of the chamber. It was more remarkable now that he could see properly. He stood and walked along the nearest wall of books. When he reached a particular part of the wall a small door shaped bookcase was pulled open slightly, barely noticeable to anyone who, in Draco‘s opinion, didn‘t have as observant a gaze as he had. A draft from the concealed bit of the chamber was make the flames flicker and dance, casting uneven light about the room.

Inhaling calmly, Draco stepped forward and pulled the bookcase/door aside. What was inside was less than shocking yet startling at the same time.

Inside the wall was a smaller room. On each wall of the room was a single shelf with books encased in different gleaming metals. He moved forward to touch them but faced a barrier when he tried to place a hand on one of the Gold books’ binding. Draco scowled. How was he supposed to find out what was in them if he couldn’t even touch them? What good was a book if you couldn’t even read it? He searched the room further and while examining he found a round golden keyhole embedded in the door frame.

That key could have been anywhere and after about five minutes of uneventful searching  Draco gave up. He ducked his way out of the secret room and into the main one. He paced. And thought. And paced and thought.

Draco leaned against the nearest wall and sank to the ground. Twirling his wand in his hands as he glanced around the room. Then he saw it. He had seen it before, as he was falling, but he never considered…

The key was on a hook near the ceiling on the wall opposite from where he sat. A brief feeling of excitement fluttered through him. But it was doused as soon as it had ignited. How was he supposed to get to the ceiling to get the key? There wasn’t a ladder or stairs or anything of the like.

Draco looked down at his hands. He continued to twirl his wand absently, watching it as it spun in his hand, for a minute until it hit him. He clapped his hand to his forehead and chuckled at his momentary idiocy.

This is what it must feel like to be Weasley. He thought with a smirk.

He pulled out his wand and tried to summon the key. Nothing happened. He tried again, first trying Finite Incantatem to remove a possible jinx or hex, but still it remained on that hook like a  shiny physical symbol of his failure. He tried a few more things, even an unsticking charm before he grabbed the nearest book and stomped out of the room.

His candle was still lit as he emerged from the room. He quickly made his way over to the table, his shadow cast along the walls, against the doors, and the stacks of books as he made hi way to his chair. He felt a slight breeze but thought nothing about it.

Draco had become used to staying up late, lingering on his musings and fantasies and puzzling over the statue kept him from lingering on a particular thought. But now that he had discovered it’s secrets his mind was left to wander.

The Book he had taken before he left the secret library frustrated and about to pull his hair out was called Legend of the Lost Thread.

What a load of bullocks.

Nevertheless he opened the book to chapter one: The Legend, and began reading the loose pages. However he was interrupted by an almost inaudible intake of breath. Draco Sprang from his chair and headed in the general direction of the noise, his wand lit and held aloft. He heart beat was accelerating with each step forward.

“I know you’re there.” He called, trying to keep his voice from betraying his nerves. It was probably some Hufflepuff getting lost or something so he decided to call out.

“Olli, Olli oxen fried.” He said with a slight smirk, his fear ebbing away.

There was scuffling and a sound of someone squeaking quietly. He turned the corner, into the stacks and eld his wand above his head. When his eyes adjusted to the light he saw the subject of his recent dreams, thoughts, fantasies, crawling on the floor trying to escape him.

“Granger?” he asked surprised.

“Malfoy.” She said but when she tried to move she winced and moaned “Sod!” He didn’t know what he should do. Help her or taunt her. Call her a Mudblood and tell her she was finally where she belonged, at his feet.  When he saw she was crying he made up his mind and knelt beside her trying with all his self restraint to resist the urge to cradle her against his chest.

“What happened?”

“Do you care?” She hissed at him through gritted teeth.

He did care, he cared that if he tried to he wouldn’t be able to fit both of his hands combined around her ankle and make his fingers meet, the swelling was immense. Carefully, after a moment’s hesitation he reached out a finger and touched the black and blue hot skin of her ankle. He heard her gasp but ignored it.

Draco decided he was being far too kind at the moment. So he said, in a scathing tone “You ought to be more careful Granger.”

“I-You… Shut up Malfoy!” She struggled, Draco just thought it was endearing.

He stared at her. Not creepily, but just wanted to look at her with a calm straight face. Her face was glowing and hard with held back emotion, he hair fell to her shoulders and curved around her back. Her lips were as pink as his mother’s roses and looked twice as sweet. Draco only noticed the silence that had passed when Hermione let out another whimper. 

“Hermione?” Malfoy said faintly. “Are-” he cleared his throat “Um, are you alright?”

“Malfoy, does it look like I’m alright?” she said in a stage whisper.

He looked momentarily away from the girl before him. “Sorry for asking.” Draco said mostly to himself.

He noticed the silence this time. But unlike the last, Draco had to really look at her, she was in a right state, her hair slightly askew, sweat beading on her forehead, eyes wild and pain filled. And her ankle, it looked like He imagined a Boa constrictor would look after eating a particularly large grouse. Without much thought Draco slid her into his arms and picked her up.

“What are you doing?! Put me down!” She squealed indignantly.
 
Draco didn’t have an answer so he remained silent.

“Where are you taking me?”

“Hospital, I thought that was obvious, I mean you are hurt right?” He glanced at her, Draco liking seeing her in his arms, safe.

“Yes, alright, but why?” Draco paused. The corridor ahead of him was dark, illuminated only by a single candle and the moonlight filtering in from the windows.

“I-I uh-I felt sorry for you.” he said mostly to the corridor than Hermione. He continued walking, not risking looking at her and loosing his footing.

Hermione proved to be lighter than Draco had thought, easily carrying her up the flights of stairs and into the infirmary.

“Madam Pomfry?” Draco all but bellowed. The movement f his chest must have jostled Hermione for she let out a yelp of pain. “Fuck, sorry Granger. Er- I’ll just set you down I suppose.”

Draco carried her to the nearest bed and set her down. Hermione was looking him straight in the eyes and he felt no inclination to look away form her unwavering gaze.

“What’s all this ruckus about?” Hermione swiveled her head towards the Matron who was in her dressing gown.

“I tripped…over books.”

“Again?!” Draco disguised his snort of laughter as a cough and thought there was no time like the present to take his leave. So that’s hat he did, taking silent and long strides until he came to the top of the stairs.

He descended them, thinking all the way to the dungeons about Hermione, having her small body against his, the skin of her legs warm on his arms. Tonight he would not need the potion, tonight he would let the thoughts of Hermione Granger ease his pain and lull him into a deep sleep.

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