AN: I don’t own anything from Harry Potter. This chapter contains language and some mentionings of substances being used.
Draco was furious as he left his childhood bedroom. Furious at his father, for destroying his relationship with Hermione, furious with Astoria for giving him the love potion and furious at himself for being stupid enough to fall for all of it. Shit, he didn’t know who to scream at first. Should he track his father down or go find Hermione?
Damn it, how could he have let this happen? What did he say to Hermione? How much did she see? He needed to go to her now. Explain what happened, gravel if he needed to.
He made his way outside, down the long front drive. Not bothering to say goodbye to everyone. He was to the front gate when his father stepped in front of him.
“Where do you think you’re going Draco?”
Draco glared at him, wand clenched in his fist at his side ready to strike if need be. “Get out of my way old man.” He gritted through his teeth.
“I see your back to your usual self.” His father replied.
“You had no right to do what you did you horrible bastard.”
“All I did was make sure you don’t go around making a horrible mistake by embarrassing the Malfoy name.”
“Oh I think you’ve already done plenty to embarrass the Malfoy name, father and none of them have anything to do with what on at this party. And you no longer have any right to control anything I do, and anything I choose to do in life or anybody I choose to spend it with.”
“She’s filth Draco.” His father spat.
“No she’s the women I love and you can’t do anything to change that.” And with that he apparated away before his father could get the last word in.
He landed with a thud, both feet on the ground. Taking in a deep breath to help settle his stomach after it felt like it was getting pulled in all directions whenever he apparated anywhere. He looked around at the countryside finally turning around to see a moderate size, two story country home. Which he assumed was the Potter’s house. At least he sure as hell hoped it was the Potter’s house, since he’s never been here before. And the only thing he thought about was Hermione and that she went back with Ginny so that’s where he went.
He never apparated blindly before but his gut feeling told him he was at the right place. He glanced at his watch and winced, it was a little past midnight. But when he looked at the house he could see a light on from inside the house. Well it was now or never, he thought as he marched up to the front door.
Without second guessing again he knocked loudly on the door. Damn, he sure hoped Hermione was here otherwise he would just be making a huge fool of himself. And if this was the Potter’s home and Hermione really did leave upset then he wasn’t looking forward to the wrath Ginny the Weaslette was surely going to rain upon him. He didn’t know her all that well, but he’d bet money she was scarier than Pansy is when she’s pissed off at someone.
The night grew chilly and he left the party in such a hurry that he left his jacket along with his broom at the Manor. He crossed his arms trying to keep away the chilly air whipping around waiting impatiently. He raised his hand, about to knock again when the door flung open.
He looked down to see Lily holding the door open with one hand and held on to a ratty old, what looked like to be a teddy bear at one point in the other hand. She looked up at him and squealed.
“Uncle Draky!” and flung her little arms around his legs and squeezed tight. He patted the top of her head, her hair all askew as if she just woken up from bed.
“Hey squirt. I know it’s really late but is Hermione here? I really need to talk to her.”
She looked up at him with big vibrant green eyes. “Aunt Mione? No, she’s sick.”
“Sick? What do you mean she’s sick?”
She shrugged her little shoulders, “She’s sick so mummy and daddy had to take her to see the healers. But they wouldn’t let me go with them. They said I had to stay here with Grandma.”
He tensed, and then kneeled down so he was level with her. “Lily, you have to tell me what happened. Why was Hermione so sick?” he asked worried now.
“I don’t know. Grandma said Aunt Mione was really tired and fell asleep but she was having trouble waking up. I know when I’m sick I like sleeping too.”
He literally felt his heart stop. What did she mean; she fell asleep and wouldn’t wake up?
“Lily! I told you never open the door to strangers. Always wait for me or your parents.” Mrs. Weasley said waltzing towards the door.
“But Grandma, Uncle Draky isn’t a stranger.”
He straightened up to greet Mrs. Weasley.
Mrs. Weasley stopped short when she saw him. “Mr. Malfoy?”
“Mrs. Weasley.” He gave a curt nod. “I’m here looking for Hermione. I know it’s late but I need to see her, please.”
“He’s the Kitty cat man I was telling you about Grandma. He’s the one Aunt Mione is going to marry and have kitty cat babies with.” Lily giggled hugging her teddy bear close.
Mrs. Weasley looked from Lily back up to Draco. “Lily I think it’s time for you to go back to bed. It’s well past your bedtime.”
Lily rubbed her eyes and yawned. “But I’m not sleepy anymore.”
“I know, but you need to try. Now say goodbye to Mr. Mal…uh Draco and go on up to your bedroom. I’ll be there in five minutes to tuck you in.”
“Okay.” Her shoulders slumped and she walked over to Draco and reached around his legs and hugged him tight. “Goodnight Uncle Draky.”
He bent back down to her level and wrapped his arms around her tiny shoulders. “Sleep tight squirt.” Then released her and watched as she climbed the steps to her bedroom. Then turned back to Mrs. Weasley who was watching him closely.
“She really likes you. You should hear all the imaginative stories she makes up about you. She kept telling me that you turn into a cat every day.”
He choked out a small forced laugh. “Huh, imagine that. Kids and their imaginations eh?” he said becoming uncomfortable.
“I guess you didn’t hear what happened to Hermione?” Mrs. Weasley asked.
“Only what Lily told me and I’m assuming that isn’t the real story.”
“No not quite. Come on in from the cold and I’ll explain. Would you like some tea? I just finished brewing a fresh pot.”
“No thank you. I appreciate the offer but right now I just want to find out what happened so I can go be with her and make sure she’s all right.”
Mrs. Weasley face turned grave, “Oh course dear.” Mrs. Weasley finished explaining what she knew about Hermione’s condition.
He felt sick to his stomach. If he just made sure Hermione never left his side at the party then none of this would have happened. And they would be off having the romantic weekend he had been planning at his home out in the country. He stood up faster then what was considered polite and pleaded with Mrs. Weasley to tell him where she was, what room she was in, everything. Once she told him he apparated away without a word. He would apologize later for his rude actions, but right now he just needed to see her. He arrived with a pop and was immediately blinded by the bright lights and stark white hospital room.
As soon as his eyes adjusted he was assaulted by something else entirely.
“You asshole, how dare you show up here after what you did to Her. What you put her through?”
Before he had time to react, Ginny had a wand pointed at his chest. His hands went up automatically. He completely forgot about the Weaslette and Potter being here.
“Whoa, I can explain. But first where is she?”
“Oh no you don’t. There is no way I’m letting you near her.”
“Please, I need to see her.”
“Ginny let him go. At least let him explain his side before you jump to conclusions. Besides there is no use threatening him here because this is a no magic zone.” Potter tried to reason with her.
“Whose side are you on Harry? For all we know Malfoy could have been the one to do this to her.”
“Yes honey I agree, but we don’t know for sure. As much as we know he could have nothing to do with this.”
“He’s right I didn’t…well not intentionally…it was my father. I mean I have no idea if he had anything to do with Hermione becoming unconscious. He had Astoria Greengrass slip me a love potion behind my back and Hermione saw us together which is why she left upset. But that’s all I know when Pansy and Blaise gave me the antidote, they told me that she left and I went after her to your place only I ran into your mother instead. And she told me that Hermione was taken here. So I came as fast as I could. Is she…is she alright? Has she woken up yet?”
He saw Harry shake his head then tilted his head to the back left corner of the room behind the curtain. Which he noticed for the first time was a bed, a hospital bed. He ran past both of them not caring one bit that the Weaslette still had her wand pointed at him. The only thing he cared about at the moment was Hermione laying there unconscious in the bed.
He went and sat on the bed next to her and grabbed her hand. It was cold and lifeless. He reached up with his other hand to cradle her cheek which was equally cold.
“Hermione? It’s me, I’m here. Please Love, you need to wake up.” He squeezed her hand willing her to squeeze it back.
Her hand was so cold. He put his other hand on top of hers and attempted to warm it up. He took in more of her appearance, her skin was so pale, he couldn’t even make out the dusting of freckles she had across her nose. Her lips even had no color in them. That’s when he noticed all the tubes and machines surrounding her.
“What is all of this?” he asked.
“She wasn’t responding to anything the healers were trying, so they have her hooked up to some muggle machines and medicine that monitor all her vitals.” Potter explained.
“Do they know what happened to her?” he asked still not letting go of her hand.
“They think she might have splinched when Ginny went to go pick her up and then brought her back to our house. But it’s hard to tell as far as we know she has no internal injuries or external. At the moment she’s in a coma state and all we can do is wait until she wakes up.”
They all watched her in silence, he still clutched her hand and wasn’t letting go until she woke up. They all stayed that way for a few moments.
“Well, now that Malfoy’s here we should probably get going, it’s late.” He heard Potter tell his wife.
“But…” Ginny started to protest.
“She’ll be fine. Malfoy won’t do anything to hurt her. And you should rest, all of this stress isn’t good for the baby.” Potter went on cutting off his wife.
“I’m sure Malfoy will let us know immediately if she wakes up or if something changes in her recovery.” He went on but was looking at Draco to get his response.
“Of course,” he nodded in agreement.
“Okay good, we’ll stop by again tomorrow to see how’s she’s doing.”
Draco nodded but wasn’t looking at them, instead was looking at Hermione. They were walking out the door when he turned towards them.
They stopped just outside the door to look back at him.
“Thank you, both of you for being there for her when I wasn’t.”
They nodded or well Potter nodded at him knowing they both had an understanding, while the Weaslette just scowled at him like always. When they left he edged closer to Hermione thinking that the closer her was to her the more his body heat would help warm her up. Still holding her hand and whispering words of encouragement to get her to open her eyes for him. Thinking that maybe if she could hear him and just needed that extra push, she would be able to wake up.
He sat there all night watching and waiting. Or at least it felt like it was all night there were no windows in this room and it was hard to tell if it’s been hours that have pasted or just minutes. Regardless nothing changed and nothing happened. Sometime during the night a medi nurse came into check on her. At first she seemed startled to see him there, but if she was suspicious of him she didn’t say anything, just fiddled with one of the machines and changed a bag of clear liquid that was connected to a tube that went into Hermione’s arm. He had no idea what that was for but he wanted to think that whatever that clear liquid was, wasn’t hurting her but helping to make her better.
The medi nurse left just as quickly and quietly as she came in. It wasn’t until much later that he too drifted off to sleep. But still not once leaving her side.
He woke up with a start, sweat beading down his back. He looked around the room in panic for a second forgetting where he was. His gaze landed on Hermione’s sleeping form. Oh no, he thought this cannot happen here.
He looked around the room one last time trying to find anywhere, anything to hide behind so no one would witness him change. On the opposite corner of the room was another door. A closet perhaps? He opened the door.
“Oh thank Merlin.” It was a small water closet attached to her hospital room.
He dashed in quickly leaving the door open a crack, so he could walk out on all fours easily, without having the trouble of attempting to turn the handle with no opposable thumbs.
He stripped his clothes off, hiding them under the sink where hopefully no one will mess with them and he would be able to retrieve them easily later on. Within seconds the change occurred. It was shocking how used to this he was becoming. And how much of a rush it was when it happened. It was like every nerve ending in his body were shooting rivers of tingles throughout, making him shiver and the next thing he knew he was a cat.
He walked out cautiously looking towards the door of the room, which was still thankfully closed. He didn’t exactly know what the policy was on having animals inside the hospital, but for all he knew it was a health code violation.
So it was best that he stay hidden if necessary. He would just have to be overly cautious and keep and ear out for anyone who has to come in and check on Hermione’s condition.
He padded lightly over to her bed and hopped up; making sure land softly and not shakes the bed disturbing Hermione. He plopped himself down next to her thigh, sighing heavily as he laid his head down on her hip. He watched her sleep, watching the way her chest moved evenly up and down with each breath. Slowly but evenly.
He could no longer communicate verbally with her in this form; he could only do so by touch. He glanced at her hand lying motionless at his side. Remembering how she would sometimes absentmindedly reach out and scratch under his chin or stroke his back. Even in the beginning when all the tension was so high between them. It was like for a second she would forget who he was and just starts petting him, almost as if it was not only to comfort him but to comfort her as well. And then that ridiculous noise that emitted from his body anytime any human skin would come in contact with his fur lined body, no matter who the petter was. It was humiliating and he still couldn’t control it.
But regardless he needed that contact with her now. He started rubbing his cheeks across her knuckles, which started the deep rumbling purr from his chest. Oh what he would give if she could just move her fingers up a hair and scratch that spot he loved so much under his chin.
He closed his eyes imagining what it would feel like. A light touch softly grazed the underside of his chin, then a second stroke this time a little bit bolder and more aggressive. He closed his eyes tighter and purred louder and leaned into the imaginary touch trying to ignore the fact that it felt so real.
He went against his thoughts and opened his eyes. Just as he thought, she was still unconscious…but…but her fingers were moving. He stood up and started softly tapping his paw against her hand and then butted her hand with the top of his head. Anything to get her to wake up fully.
His heart was racing, she was awake, she was going to be okay. With a quick intake of breath her eyes popped open and she looked around a bit groggily and probably a bit disorientated. He rubbed his head against her hand once again, this bringing her gaze to him.
She looked at him, a pained expression coming across her face. Her eyebrows knitted together, eyes sad and face pale.
“Draco,” she whispered.
He licked the top of her hand wishing his tongue wasn’t so rough against her smooth skin.
She turned her face away from him, her eyes tearing up. No! he wanted to shout. I’m here, it’s me, I love you, I’m sorry. All these things he wanted to say to her but couldn’t, not in this form. He licked her hand again, but she pulled it away from him out of reach.
“Why are you here? I thought you didn’t care anymore?” she whispered roughly not looking at him, her hand wiping away a fallen tear.
‘No, that’s not true. I do care about you. I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. I’m sorry for whatever I told you or did last night. I was under a love potion. It wasn’t me. Please baby, I love you so much, I’m so sorry.’ He wanted to scream but couldn’t, so instead he kept on repeating that over and over again in his head thinking by some miracle it would transfer over into her thoughts. But it obviously didn’t, for she still wouldn’t look at him.
He padded softly closer to her, next to her pillow he lighting rubbed his cheek against hers.
“Draco please, just don’t” her voice was rough from crying.
She once again moved out of his reach. He still refused to let this go, he started to step closer when the door to her room opened and in walked a medi nurse. Damn it, he should have stood his ground but like the coward that he was he jumped off her bed and hid beneath it.
Heavy. That’s all she could think of, every inch of her felt heavy. Like her limbs were full of lead. She tried to move her arm, her leg, anything but for some reason it was just too much work. She was awake but even trying to open her eyes was a huge undertaking. So she just laid there, eyes closed for a minute or two.
She pretty much figured out right away that she wasn’t in her own bed because the bed she was in now was small, hard and had scratchy linens. She tried to recall what happened because she didn’t remember falling asleep in a random bed. She went over the events. She remembered the party and…Draco and how he and Astoria…and then Ginny coming to get her and take her back. But after that…nothing except when they apparated away it was the most painful thing she’s ever felt. Just thinking about it now made her muscles and bones ache.
She felt something soft brush up against her hand. She tried to mover her fingers, lifting one slowly then another attempting to caress the softness that was there. Her body was slowly becoming more awake and the heaviness was lifting. She managed to finally open her eyes. She looked around, groggily, her vision blurry at first.
She recognized the room she was in, she was at St. Mungo’s. Which meant something must have happened to her between leaving the party and going back to Ginny’s house. There was an steady beeping noise coming from the side of her head. She looked to where it was coming from. They were machines used on muggles, she has always seen them around, but never had to use them on anyone before.
The softness she felt before butted up against her hand. She turned her gaze to it. “Draco,” she whispered, her throat felt dry and scratchy.
What was he doing here? He told her as plain as day that he wanted nothing to do with her ever again. Tears welled up in her eyes, she turned her head so he wouldn’t see how much pain he caused her. Of course he was probably just here because of that stupid curse, came here wanting her to do the spell McGonagall gave her to break it. So he could be with his precious Astoria. His perfect pureblood counterpart. Because why would he want to stay with her? A muggle who can’t do magic?
“Why are you here? I thought you didn’t care anymore?” she asked, her face turned away from him.
Of course he couldn’t answer her. He tried to get her attention again but she wouldn’t buy into it. Just then a nurse walked in. She quickly glanced to where Draco was, knowing if the nurse saw him, she would throw him out because they didn’t allow animals inside the hospital rooms. Not that she should care, but still she couldn’t bring herself to say anything. Luckily for him he went into hiding somewhere out of sight.
“Oh my. You’re awake! I was just coming in to see how you were doing,” the medi nurse said.
“What happened to me?”
“I need to go fetch Healer Charles, he’ll explain everything. Do you need anything right now before I go?”
“Water would be nice. I’m really thirsty.”
“Sure thing.” She went over to the side of the room where a pitcher of water and a couple of glasses where setting on top of a rolling cart. “Here you go honey. I’m going to go get the healer in right away. You just hang tight.”
Healer Charles arrived seconds later. Not giving Draco anytime to come out of hiding. “Ah Miss Granger, glad to see your awake.” Healer Charles said as he entered the room. “How are you feeling?”
“A little tired and a tad sore. I guess but other than that I feel fine. What exactly happened to me? I don’t remember how I got here.”
“From what we’ve gathered from what you’re friends who brought you here, Mr. and Mrs. Potter, described to us is that you splinched from a side along apparition with Mrs. Potter last night.”
Splinched? She glanced down her body but couldn’t see any wounds.
“It was quite strange, you had no exterior wounds and we couldn’t get a magical reading on you which is why we have you hooked up to these muggle machines because you weren’t responding to anything we were trying. But we eventually found out you had not internal injuries as well. All we had to do was wait for you to wake up. But we still would like to keep you here for a few more hours just to make sure your condition doesn’t worsen, and then if everything looks okay your free to leave tonight.” He went about checking her readings and did some routinely checkups to make sure everything was functioning properly.
After that he and the medi nurse left, leaving her along or so they thought. As soon as the door closed Draco hopped back up on the bed. He sat down on the bed by her feet and kept a watchful eye trained on her. But she refused to look at him. It was stubborn and childish yes but she didn’t care.
“You know you’re wasting your time, being here. I can’t break the spell until midnight.”
He cocked his head to the side studying her.
“So you’re just going to have to wait to be with your precious Astoria until then.”
He growled at her.
“Don’t you dare growl at me Malfoy. You’re practically the reason why I’m in here to begin with and I didn’t make the rules. I’m just following what McGonagall told me in the letter. God, I can’t believe that for a second I actually believe you changed, that you were different then who you used to be at school. And that I was stupid enough to fall for it.” Tears welled up in her eyes but she pushed them away. “For a while there I actually thought I was fall…God, what am I saying, it doesn’t even matter anymore. Come midnight you won’t even know I exist, no one will.” Tears where falling freely now.
Draco started towards her, but she stopped him. “No! Don’t come any closer. You’ve down enough. Just do us both a favor and leave me alone!” He stopped when she told him to and his ears dropped and shoulders sagged.
He looked at her a few seconds then quietly jumped off the bed and retreated underneath it. Once he was out of sight she stared at the spot he once occupied and cursed herself for still having feelings for him, for still wanting to be with him despite everything he did to her. She turned away on her side and brought her knees up to her chest and cried.
A couple hours later she was about to fall asleep when the door opened and in walked another medi nurse.
“Miss Granger, you have a visitor.”
She sat up and wiped away at her swollen eyes and nodded letting her know it was okay to let them in.
She left and in walked Professor McGonagall.
“Professor McGonagall,” she said as she sat up straighter.
Draco upon hearing who it was came out of hiding and hopped back up onto the bed.
“Oh Hermione, I came as soon as I heard what happened. How are you feeling?”
“Better. I’m ready to go home now but they’re not ready to let me go yet. I feel so stupid, you clearly told me in the letter not to apparate but I wasn’t thinking and just acted on impulse and well here I am.” She gestured to the bed.
“Well thank Merlin, nothing worse happened. And Mr. Malfoy how are you today?” when he clearly didn’t answer her she went on. “Would you mind giving me and Miss. Granger some privacy?” he looked at McGonagall then to her then hopped off the bed and went into the water closet. McGonagall followed him. “It will only be a moment.” She told him as she shut the door. Then turned back to her. “Have you made your decision Ms. Granger?”
She nodded and replied, “yes.”
“And you’re positive of your decision?”
“Yes,” she replied weakly.
McGonagall regarded her for a few moments, “It’s a very honorable choice you’re doing for Mr. Malfoy. Most wouldn’t be that selfless, choosing someone else’s happiness over their own.”
“How did you know…?”
McGonagall gave a slight shoulder shrug and smiled. “Because I know you Ms. Granger. You would put someone else’s life before your own regardless of the consequence. You’re a good person because of it.”
“A lot of good that’s done me so far.” She muttered to herself.
“It seems hard now, but once the spell is broken everything will go back to normal.”
Yeah everything will go back to normal for everyone else. For her, she’ll be living a completely different life, a false life. But instead of saying that out loud she just nodded. McGonagall reach into the pocket of her robe and pulled out a small vial of blue liquid.
“This is the potion you need to drink at midnight. And you must drink every drop. And repeat the spell that I wrote to you in the letter.”
She nodded again and accepted the tiny bottle.
“Unfortunately you and Mr. Malfoy need to be separated when this occurs, otherwise it won’t work.”
Despite being hurt and angry at him, her heart still twisted painfully with the thought of never seeing him again. She nodded. Not trusting herself to speak.
“So if you don’t mind Mr. Malfoy will be leaving with me. Which will give you time to prepare for tonight.”
She nodded again like a repetitive robot.
McGonagall walked towards the door.
“Wait,” she said as McGonagall was about to let Draco out. “He doesn’t know about the decision I made. All he knows is that he’ll be changed back to normal and I like to keep it that way. It will just be easier for both of us.”
This time McGonagall nodded. “Would you like me to give you and Mr. Malfoy some privacy so you can say goodbye?”
“No, I’ve already told him all he needs to know.”
McGonagall regarded her sadly. “Very well,” she said as she opened the door to let him out.
Draco walked out and hopped back onto the bed. Watching her closely. She wouldn’t meet his eyes. This time not because she was hurt but because she couldn’t stand not being able to see him again after this. McGonagall came out of the loo holding his clothing and wand in her arms.
“Well this is it, you remember what I told you? And what you have to do with the spell?”
“Very well. I guess this is goodbye then.”
Tears welled up in her eyes again. “Goodbye and thank you for everything.”
McGonagall took her hand. “Oh my dear, it’s been a pleasure to work with you. You have always been my favorite student… and always will be. Don’t worry this isn’t the end, we will meet again someday. I promise.” With that she gave her a hug. “Mr. Malfoy you’ll be coming with me.” She said as she gathered up his things once more.
Draco looked from McGonagall back to her. When she wouldn’t look at him he tapped his paw against her leg to get her attention.
“Just go with her Draco,” she whispered.
He moved closer to her.
“Please, just go.” She told him on last time before turning about from him.
He inched closer still and licked the top of her hand which just made her cry harder.
“Time to go Mr. Malfoy.”
He looked at her once more before going to McGonagall. McGonagall scooped him up in her arms.
“Good luck Hermione.” And they both apparated away.
AN: Hey everyone. Again I'm sorry for taking so long to post this chapter up. I've been crazy busy with school and hadn't had time to write. But anyway so here it is I hope you liked it. I made sure it was long and not short like the past couple chapters have been. AHH I am almost finished with this. One more chapter to go...maybe two I haven't decided yet. Thank you so much for reading and please review as always. :)
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