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Thursday, July 15th, 2004:
That was when they started. The footsteps. Hermione could hear them as loudly as though they were directly behind her. They brought goose bumps to her skin.
“No time,” he explained, panting. His face, Hermione noticed, was sweaty. “It’s Ginny.”
Waking Up from a Nightmare
A vision of bright lights and swirling capes flashed before her eyes. The courtroom dissolved into nothingness, and all she could see was his face. Those gray eyes were fixed upon her, and she could feel his desperation. A lone tear streaked down her face as she watched him silently reaching out for her.
“He loved me,” Hermione said, finally meeting Remus’ gaze. “You can say what you want, but I know in my heart that I’m right. I respect you, Remus, but I can’t believe you.”
Into the Snake Pit
The familiar ripping began again, the unbearable tearing of her heart. She couldn’t handle this anymore. She had to go to Azkaban. Somehow, she had to justify a trip to the wizard prison, if only just to see him again. Without him, she didn’t feel right.
“What did you see there?” she managed to choke out.
“You’re awake,” he said. His voice was detached, different. It tore at Hermione’s heart, knowing that Draco was not the same, that Azkaban had changed him, and that he may never be the same again.
Butterflies and More Lies
“Mistress Narcissa is sick in bed, but she told Meissa not to let anyone in,” the elf explained sadly.
When Parker moved, took a firm step backwards, Hermione’s eyes narrowed in on his face. All else faded into nonexistence; she was aware of the pain flooding into Parker’s eyes, and nothing else.
His mouth opened briefly, but he didn’t speak. Instead, using the back of the chair as support, Draco got to his feet. He considered her for a second—her pained expression, the moisture in her eyes—before moving over to her, wand in hand.
He shot her a glance over his shoulder, lips quivering. A shadow passed across his face as he replied, “Someone died.”
Hermione stared in horror as a line was drawn straight through the young girl’s name. The ink dripped like blood from a fresh wound, and Hermione felt her legs grow weak with fear.
“I don’t know what’s worse,” Parker finally said, still staring at the opposite wall. “That you’ve been keeping secrets from me, or that you trust Harry more than you trust me, the man you’re supposed to be in love with.”
Nothing is ever as easy as it seems. For the exact moment that Hermione’s mind was made up, Fate walked right up to her table, introduced himself as ‘a friend’, and changed her mind. And just like that, Hermione was back to square one.
Here was Narcissa Malfoy, mistress of the manor, looking ghostly pale and emaciated. She was lying helplessly atop an exquisitely divine canopy bed, wearing a vacant stare. Her gaunt hand hung limply over the mattress, clinging weakly to a lace handkerchief smeared with blood.
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