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That New Girl
~A Painful Catch~




Draco, startled by the loud crash of glass, pulled out of his dive so quickly that it gave him whiplash. The entire pitch seemed to gasp with him as he looked up and saw Hermione falling out of the sky.

Draco was horror-struck. His brain seemed to be paralyzed; no thought was running through his mind except for “catch her, catch her!” Instinctively, he held his arms out, ready for the impact, when all of the sudden, he couldn’t see anything at all.

A dozen small shards of glass had fallen directly into his eyes.

He screamed in pain; he had never felt anything like it in his entire life…he could feel the shards, scraping and scratching at his eyeballs, and there was no way to stop it. He tried to blink them out, but it only made it worse. He held his hands up to his eyes…he was bleeding badly. He continued to blink, but it was no use. He slapped at his eyes, blinked, shook his head back and forth, anything to make the glass come out, but nothing was working. There was just pain and blood and glass and-

BANG.


* * *



“Draco…Mister Malfoy…can you hear me?”

Draco opened his eyes.

Well, he tried to anyway. They weren’t opening.

“Ahh!!!! I’m BLIND!!!!!! AHHHH!!!!!”

“Mister….Mister Malfoy! Mister Malfoy please calm down-”

“But I’m BLIND!!!!!”

“No…no you’re not Mister Malfoy! You’re not-”

“But I can’t SEE! I can’t open my-”

“I know Mister Malfoy! I know! Now…if you’ll let me explain…you aren’t blind, I’ve put a special serum on your eyes to keep them shut while they’re healing.”

“Healing? But I…oh.”

“Yes, Draco, you’re in the Hospital Wing. You had a mighty nasty fall yesterday, if I do say so myself…saw the whole thing…”

“Fall? Fall…OH! Hermione! Where’s Hermione…?”

“She’s here, Mister Malfoy, you need not worry. She’ll be fine in a few days I’m sure…fell out a window! I say…in all my days here at Hogwarts….”

“Is she awake?”

“Oh…no, no, has a concussion. Probably would’ve died if it weren’t for you, Mister Malfoy….”

“Me? But…but I didn’t catch her! Did I?”

“Well…no, but you sure did slow her down!”

“Oh…and, and what about the game? Did I catch the Snitch?”

“Catch the Snitch? Well, what do you think, Mister Malfoy? I’m not sure, but I don’t think it’s possible to catch a Snitch while unconscious and bleeding….”

“So…we lost then?”

Madam Pomfrey just sighed.

“Get some rest, Malfoy.”

* * *


Draco had spent the following week just lying in the hospital wing, not being able to see a thing, and it had been driving him crazy. More than once had he awoken with a start, thinking, once again, that he was blind. And each time, Madam Pomfrey would have to rush over and attempt to calm him, and each time he felt more and more like an idiot.

But finally, the day had come for the bandage to be taken off.

“Mister Malfoy? Malfoy, wake up, dear, it’s time to take that bandage off…”

“Wh…what? I…AH! I can’t…oh, wait, nevermind, sorry…” Draco told the nurse, who gave a little chuckle.

“Come, now, sit up…lets see how those eyes of your are doing.”

Draco did as he was told, and Madam Pomfrey removed the bandage from around his head. He was glad to finally be able to see again, although everything was sort of tinted blue…

“There you are, Mister Malfoy…can you see alright?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” he told her. He just wanted to leave. He’d had enough of the hospital wing for a while.

“Alright then, Mister Malfoy, you’re free to go.”

Draco mumbled a “Thank you” and headed towards the exit, but not without first glimpsing over at where Hermione lay. She was so…dead-looking. He’d never seen anyone so pale, not even when he himself looked into a mirror. And she wasn’t moving at all, not unless you counted the steady rising and falling of her chest.

He finally tore his eyes away from Hermione, and started towards the door once more, only to find Potter, Weasley, and the new girl, what’s-her-name, entering.

“Well, well, if it isn’t Scarhead, Weasel, and the American scum, here to visit your little Mudblood friend, no doubt?”

“Shove it, Malfoy,” Ron spat at the blonde.

“Finally conscious again, ferret boy?” the girl sneered. Draco could only laugh at that one.

“Well, you’re a dense one, aren’t you? I haven’t been unconscious for the past week, you twitty little b-”

“Why’d you try to save Hermione anyway, Malfoy, if you hate her so much?” Harry asked, interrupting Draco’s foul comment.

“Well what would you rather I have done, Potter? Just grab the Snitch and be done with it?”

“Well, honestly, yeah, we did,” said the blonde one sarcastically.

“I wasn’t talking to you, you filthy little-”

“Back off, Malfoy,” Ron said, pretending to be tough, and failing miserably.

“You know,” Draco told them all with a nasty sneer on his face, crossing his arms, “I actually thought that maybe, oh, I don’t know…maybe you three might be thanking me for trying to save your precious little Mudblood, instead of-”

“Are you four just going to keep arguing like that, or are you going to come over here and welcome me back?”

“Hermione!” Harry and Ron exclaimed, running over to her. Draco looked, but didn’t dare get any closer. And for some reason, neither did the new girl. She just stood there, giving Draco a look that he couldn’t place…all he knew was that he didn’t like it. He glared back at her, searching her face but finding nothing, until she finally turned away and started towards her new friends. Draco still stood there, just looking at them.

After a few seconds, he saw Hermione look past her friends at him, the smile fading slightly off her face. He looked back into her eyes and saw a sadness that he had never quite seen in her before…like she wanted him there next to her bed, too.

But he couldn’t go to her. Not with Potter and Weasel and What’s-Her-Face there, too.

He tore his gaze from hers and started silently out the door.


* * *



Hermione watched as Draco left the Hospital Wing, sad that he didn’t come over to her with Harry and Ron…and Danielle.

“Hermione!” Ron was saying. “You’re awake!”

“Yeah, finally!” Danielle added. “We thought you’d never wake up.”

Hermione faked a smile. What did Danielle care…the girls barely even knew each other.

“Yeah, Hermione, I’m glad that you’re awake…we missed you,” Harry told her.

Wait, what? They missed her? Hermione brushed the thought away, and answered them all, just glad to have Harry and Ron paying a little attention to her again.

“Yes, it feels good to be…awake, finally. Wh-…what happened, anyway?” she asked groggily.

“You don’t remember?”

“You fell out of a window!”

“Malfoy tried to catch you…sort of.”

“He kind of missed…got glass in his eyes. Pretty gross…”

“Then you hit him and knocked him out-”

“And then you both hit the ground-”

“REALLY hard.”

“And you’ve been unconscious for a week!”

“Fell out a…” Hermione started…it was coming back to her, “a window? I…OH!”

Blaise!

“BLAISE! Blaise Zabini…it was Blaise Zabini-”

What was Blaise Zabini?” Ron asked urgently.

“Did Blaise push you?” Harry asked wide-eyed, green eyes glowing with growing fury.

Yes! I didn’t fall…Blaise…he-”

“He pushed you?” Danielle asked, astounded.

“YES!” Hermione roared. “He…he said-”

“Why did he push you?” Ron asked.

“He said it was Lucius’s orders! Mister Malfoy’s orders! He said-”

“Lucius?”

“YES! He said that Lucius had some sort of plan or something-”

“He pushed you?”

“YES FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTMAS!” Hermione burst out. “What, did you think I just happened to have my back tuned to the window and OOPS, I fell!? NO, HE PUSHED ME!!! Is everyone in this school really that DENSE?”

“Aparently…” Danielle said in a sarcastic tone.

“We have to tell Dumbledore,” Harry said, turning towards the door

“Yes, please, go tell Dumbledore…”Hermione said, exhausted from all of the screaming.

And with that, Harry, Ron, and Danielle left in a hurry towards Dumbledore’s office, leaving Hermione alone in the Hospital Wing, giving her a chance to think.




A/N: And VOILA, there it was…hope you liked it. I think I’m going to like the next chapter a bit more, only because I’m planning on a lot of Hermione/Draco interaction, with a LOT less bickering than usual! Should be very interesting… ;)

But anyway, I’ve started a new thing where if you would like to be notified by email when I update, just send me and email saying so at "gripleg@yahoo.com". And also, please specify which story of mine you’d like to be notified of, and which site you’re at, HPFF or MNFF, because I have both “Draco Who?” and “That New Girl” up on both sites.

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