Maybe now it will get more romantic. maybe. As it is there is nowhere else
for it to go, and I hope it doesn't end up sappy. Not too sappy anyway,
some sap could be cute. We'll see how much romance can be strangled from
my stony little spiritual core. Maybe after this I'll write some
Enishi/Kaoru stuff or even Shaoran/Sakura tripe, I don't know, we'll see
how bored I get. Maybe something will inspire me, or I could run through
the streets like a psychotic fangirl with too much time on her hands. I
just want to finish this relatively fast as it has become pretty long
considering my aims for it were pretty limited. Stupid lack of any sort of
inspiration to make this better.
Oh, and I just went through and made all the thoughts in brackets like ,
and it took disgustingly long. Stupid not knowing how to italicize.
Disclaimer of lack of ownership here! I own nothing that has to do with
these characters. I'd like to think the story came out of my own mind, but
maybe it was placed there by aliens and I simply have not yet gotten the
repressed memories back yet.
Part 3: Curtain
Five days left until he had to return her, or else he would suffer a
physical collapse from the spell. It had been accelerated by their, well,
very active nightlife, but he wouldn't trade a second of it. All his
determination to wipe her memory clean and send her back had disintegrated
the morning he woke up after that first night they slept together and he
saw her with her hair all tangled round his arm and her face. When he had
moved to get up she had murmured something in her sleep and smiled as she
turned towards him. Damn witch, she'd be a good enchantress, just so long
as she didn't try too hard at it. The only thing that made her annoying
was her need to be so logically thorough at everything she did. It was
inhuman how good she was at school and magic, but then Draco knew something
about feeling inhuman. He looked around his room. It was very tidy due to
the fact that he spent very little time there, and hadn't slept there in
days. The reason he was there now was because he needed to look at
something without her presence.
The pictures were quite nice actually. Shots of them in the garden,
looking at plants, smiling and lots of her laughing were all quite common
balancing how he never did more than smile. Even the smiles were rare with
him, but it was more than he had ever done before. There were some of them
playing chess. She had never questioned why he wanted to change places
with her and have her face the window. The steady concentrated look she
had was humorous in its own way. When she was really thinking hard she
would bite her bottom lip a little bit. His favorite picture was the one
of her looking at something in the garden; it was an absent and gentle
look, which was unlike her usual somewhat sharp approach to life. He
looked at them hard, as the figures moved and lived in the strange limited
way pictures lived, and tried not to think about the pictures he had yet to
take. Up to this point he had not had any taken of them being intimate,
but he needed evidence and time was dwindling. A part of him rebelled
against it, but the calm center of his mind told him that it was necessary
and backing out would only provide further proof of his uselessness. He
was determined to do it, but as he said it in his mind he had the urge to
be sick. Must have been breakfast.
Hermione sat and contemplated the last couple weeks in her mind. She had
planned to try to change Draco, but she herself had been fiddled with in
return. What was more troubling was that she had gone from hating him to
caring a lot for him in so little time. Even if the physical side was
gratifying, somehow she still felt a bit empty. It was almost like she
felt like she was being used. Of course you feel used, why do you think
he brought you here? He never said that he wanted to have you here for
anything different. You have no reason to feel hurt and betrayed. What
did you expect from him? Something in her still gave the same cynical
sage advice. But I like him. I told myself that having sex was not going
to change how I had felt up to that point. There was pity and the
beginnings of respect, and none of this expectant angsty horridness. This
was not a side of her she liked much. This was sappy. This was romantic,
a sickening word if there ever was one, and yet she wanted it sometimes.
She walked into the bathroom and splashed water on her face before leaning
on the sink and looking at herself in the mirror. Around her she saw the
mosaics, no longer scary to her, and tried to imagine what she would do
once she was home again. Would she tell Harry and Ron? Somehow she
couldn't see herself doing that, and yet she knew that she needed to tell
someone. They invariably would not understand, and would get mad. She
would get angry, maybe even start crying, as they swore to kill Malfoy and
all the rest of his evil friends. Or else they would think she had sold
out and mistrust her. In that line of thought she would probably lose her
dear friends, and as there was no way Malfoy's little cadre of followers
would accept her she could not appeal to him without severely endangering
herself. That is, if he acknowledged her presence at all and didn't just
pretend that nothing happened. What am I thinking? I'm already coming up
with scenarios of confession and disaster! This is ridiculous. It will be
much better when I am home and can separate myself from the whole
situation. For a moment she paused, then she walked into the main room
and sat down heavily in a chair, slouching and looking out of the window.
Draco must have a plan about what is appropriate. But I can't ask him.
He'll misunderstand, he'll think I'm getting attached to him or something.
But am I? I should just stop worrying and deal with things as they come.
As she ran her fingers over the scar on her left hand and thought, she
heard the door open and close behind her. Fingers ran through her hair a
couple times and then touched her neck. Shivering involuntarily, and
slightly nervous as the whole scene seemed so detached and creepy in her
mind, Hermione did not look up for a few moments as Draco's fingers ran
over her skin. When she did look up she wished she hadn't because his mind
was far away even if his body was not, and the vacant expression made
everything surreal. Then his hand gripped her shoulder and he smiled
sparely down at her creased brow. This little toy was a nice one, he had
to admit, and it would a horrible day when he had to give her up. Why do
I have to give her up again? Somehow the reasons were all going oblong
and obscure in his mind. Why can't I just keep her here with me? There's
no boredom with her here. No pain, at least not any more, and sometimes.
sometimes she makes me wish I weren't me anymore. What a strange thing to
think. What would I be if I were not me? A renegade thought sped through
his mind before being calmly squelched by his rational side: Someone who
could be with her in public.
"Draco?" She must have repeated it already because her voice had a tone of
"You're ok right?"
"Of course." The vague smile dropped and he looked like his regular
partially scowling self. At least this was more familiar.
"I've noticed that you seem really exhausted recently, but I know you sleep
like you were dead every night. I remember what you said about putting
that spell on my parents. You know you can't keep things up much longer
what with your level of activity."
He sat down heavily across from her but did not look up. "Just say it."
The interruption was flat and harsh.
"Just say you want to go home. I know that that must be what you are
getting at." It had been too much to hope for that she had wanted to be
around him at all. She was the prisoner he the jailer and he was an idiot
to let himself create a delusion of peace with her. How could she possibly
see him as anything but a nasty Malfoy?
"I wasn't actually, but now that you bring it up I'd like to know when."
"Tomorrow." He could practically feel the darkness and ice in his soul.
It was beautiful in its familiarity. Warmth was overrated. "I'll be back
later. I still have some arrangements to make." The anger was starting to
come, he wondered why and then began to stalk towards the door.
"Are you sure you're ok?" She sensed the mercurial mood swing and tried to
guess at the cause.
"Just. Fine." His teeth gritted in a nasty attempt to smile. The door
slammed with a click and a pop and Hermione could practically feel his aura
as he moved down the hallway. As she looked back at the door,
contemplating his exit, she noticed something glint. It was the mirror
across the hall from her room. He had slammed the door so hard it had not
latched quickly enough. Options swam before her eyes. Escape on her terms
not his. Discovery of valuable information to take with her, maybe, to
benefit the wizard community. It wasn't very smart to go looking, but this
was such an opportunity and she would never have another like it. Pushing
the door open, she ventured into the dark hallway and walked down the way
opposite that of the exit to the garden.
Ok. Castles, even renovated ones, were apparently more maze-like that she
had expected and now she was quite lost. Everything in the place was very
old and expensive looking, but that made picking out landmarks to go by
very difficult what with everything generally looking old and expensive and
in dark colors. Several times she had had to duck behind curtains as
servants went past, but they did not look as if hey would have stopped her
even if she had spoken to them. There were twists that led up stairs and
downstairs and some seemed to slope up and then down and who knew what else
it did. Grim portraits of pale and slightly mad looking people lined the
walls. True to most wizard works, their eyes really did follow her with
disapproving scowls that rang familiar in her mind. Must be a family
Turning down a wing that seemed more used, judging from the carpet, she saw
a door slightly ajar at the end, a book in the doorway. Inside was a room
done in Slytherin colors but in a way that spoke of them having been that
way long before Draco was born. There was no doubt in her mind that this
was his room, as the books were texts from last year that were torn and
thrown about. The shattered lamp had left a spray of glass that crunched
beneath her shoes in a muted way. Somehow he had ripped the covers on the
bed, as well as littered the room with feathers (she assumed they were from
the gutted pillows lying across the room). Bits of paper were everywhere,
as if a small confetti bomb had gone off above her. Picking up one of the
larger pieces, she thought she recognized the side of her face. That
couldn't be right. Some of these paper bits were really torn pictures.
Sifting through she found chunks of the room she occupied, the garden,
fragments of chess and flowers, but in each of them there was a
recognizable fragment of her. There were a couple that she guessed were of
her dressing in the morning that didn't please her too much, but there
wasn't anything too explicit. Crouched down she noticed one that looked
almost whole sitting on the bed, where most of the torn pieces had been.
It was bent but only torn a little bit at the edge, and it was of her
looking at nothing while she had been thinking deeply.
Cleaning things as best she could, she cleared out a spot to sit and waited
Bursting in the door of his room, he pulled open a drawer and got his wand
out. The bitch, that snotty know it all ungrateful whore, would pay for
daring to escape. He would take her down to the underground chamber and
make her bleed from the whipping he was going to give her then he would
rape her up and down the stairs with her raw bleeding back on the cold
stone. It would be beautiful. There would be plenty of time for pictures.
Enough to replace the ones he destroyed a thousand fold in quality. The
light in his eyes was hellish, a laugh rang out inadvertently from his
lungs and it was raspy. Turning, he started and almost fell back on his
exhausted limbs because the object of his twisted hate was sitting o his
ruined bed looking horrified.
It was as if someone had poured water on him just as he stood up too
quickly, because the room went black and then came back into focus with
agonizing clarity. Confusion, horror, and a number of other emotions
played across her features. Draco didn't know what to think. It looked as
if she had been sleeping on his bed for some time since he could see the
nest she had arranged and judging from how blearily she searched his face
with her eyes.
"You're still here." He didn't make it a question.
"Yes." She didn't know what to add.
"You didn't run away."
"I thought you did though."
"Obviously. But you know I wouldn't leave you like that."
He sat down on the floor with a jolt. Today had been too tiring for his
brain and his body. He had gone through the full spectrum of emotions and
now he just felt all wrung out. She hadn't left. She was sitting here for
who knows how long waiting for him. The relief was overwhelming. When he
had thought she didn't care the rage had been beyond his enormous self
control. Everything regarding Hermione seemed to just slip past his years
of barriers straight to something he had no way to stop. At this point he
simply had to admit it to himself that he wanted her, but for more than
just her body. When she was around he didn't feel as if he had to be
anything more than what he was, even if what he was happened to be a filthy
little dark wizard. She had put aside misgiving and treated him like a
person she could feel free around despite the circumstances he had put her
in. He admired her poise, her intelligence, her tendency to show off her
knowledge of things, and damn it all he liked the way she smiled so warmly
and laughed so freely. It was charming, it was lovely, and he did not want
to let her go even if it destroyed him.
"Draco, it's ok, I'm here." She was holding him and stroking his hair. It
was so motherly. It was so loving. If he hadn't already been crying
silently into his sleeves then that would have pushed him over the edge.
But he quickly got a hold on himself and grabbed her to him almost crushing
her arms to her chest with the tight intensity of his grip. "I'm here."
She was gasping a little so he relaxed his hold a bit.
"Do you care about me?" The question seemed very vital right now to him.
The pause before her answer almost broke his tenuous hold on sanity.
"More than I should, and as much as I can for anything in my world." There
was something hopeful/hopeless in the way she said it.
"I thought you didn't care and I got mad enough to kill, or at least maim,
you. I felt as if I had entered hell finally and found out the devil were
you. Something's wrong with me. I can't feel this way about you. Things
like this don't work out in the end."
"It's not the end yet. We still have some time."
"We do, at that, and I am so glad I can hold this moment and this feeling
before I send you back."
"When will that be?"
"We have four days."
Hermione looked into his eyes and saw something sincere and intense. It
was a painful moment for her to know the time limit in which she would be
able to see that in him. "Then we will just have to make them count."
They looked at the window, the sheet at their waists being the only claim
to modesty their bare forms could boast. The clouds obscured the stars,
but still they looked as if they could see something. Willing the moment
to be special was enough to make it that way and they were content with it.
"I think I hated you and Potter and Weasley the most over the last few
years because you all seemed to have love and respect. With good luck and
popularity it seemed like too much for any number of people to possess that
much fortune in life."
"But you had popularity yourself, and respect, and only luck kept you out
of major trouble." Hermione closed her eyes and laid her head on his
"Notice what you left out."
"mmmm" It was a noncommittal answer.
Tomorrow she would go home. All her clothes were carefully packed except
for one outfit for when she left. Even though it was going to be wonderful
to not have to continue the spell anymore and actually have good sleep and
wake up not aching with fatigue, he knew that it was not worth losing
Hermione. All the pictures of her that he had he destroyed. Most of them
were already ripped up so it was no big loss. Well, not all the pictures
were destroyed. the one that he had only ripped the edge of he had been
able to magically fix easily enough. Putting it in a safe place on his
person, (since he couldn't have anyone find it) he felt that maybe this
would be enough to help sustain him. Someone had loved him once, even if
only for a week. He would take what he could get; even his greedy nature
knew he couldn't press this issue.
Hermione's mind was occupied with questions of how she was going to keep
this secret. She knew now that she simply could not tell Harry and Ron
since they would never understand. But how can you love someone and not
want to shout it out to the world? And of course the other problem.
"So what happens at school?" She knew, but she needed to hear it.
"Nothing. I will be me, and you will be you. I hate your people, you hate
"So we will be not even a memory?" It was unreasonable, and she knew it,
but she was still saddened.
"Don't think this trivializes anything. Never think that." He felt her
stiffened body relax again. "I might even be worse to you just because I
will be paranoid that I am acting different. But no matter how evil I get
you know that I will never hurt you and I can't mean those things I'm going
to say." He made her look him in the eyes. "And you need to promise me
you'll give me those same venomous looks and agree with your friends about
how hideously terrible I am."
Her hesitation was palpable.
"Promise me!" He needed this so that he didn't put them both in danger. He
had a lot to think about, but until he was out of his father's house or at
least set up somehow on his own he could not even think about changing.
Significant parts of him weren't sure that change would even happen, but
Hermione had suddenly given him a good reason to begin to think about it,
even if minimally.
"I promise you I will act as if I still hate your guts, but every time I
say something terrible I will be thinking the exact opposite. Maybe you
could too, then no one would know the difference anyway."
"Beautiful, devious. a man could be in trouble with a witch like you
around." He kissed her and from her response he knew that neither of them
would be sleeping before she left.
Standing at the chimney of her house Hermione felt a strange sense of
sadness. It was as if she'd miss that place. No, she corrected herself,
it was not the place she would miss. In her hand she clutched a pretty
orchid-looking flower that was the bloom of something quite rare and
extremely deadly if eaten as well as possessing a number of valuable
magical properties. Wrapped around the stem, so that she could safely
handle it, was a black handkerchief with the initials D.M. embroidered in
green at the hem. It was his parting gift to her, (he didn't know about
the pieces of a picture of him in the garden that she had taken with the
intention of repairing once she had her wand in hand again). She could
still feel the brush of his skin as he hugged her one last time. There
were no tears and no good-byes. It was just a hug and a nod from each of
them and then she had gone home in a whisk of powder and heavy heartache.
Standing there, she was soon accosted by her mother. "Mione! There you
are! I have so many messages for you. Ron and Harry have sent any number
of owls to you the past few weeks. I know you've been busy, but I do say
that you can stop studying for a few moments just to write them back. Oh,
and we're going to have hamburger for dinner, since I just got back from
the store and I want to use this meat up." Her voice faded as she wandered
back into the kitchen. No clue she had been gone. Something in Hermione
almost wished that Draco had wiped her memory clean, as he had told her his
original plan had included.
Looking at the flower, she felt the loss with a touch of fondness and went
to find a vase.
Hermione accidentally bumped into Draco while leaving Potions. She was
really busy as all her books went flying into the corridor. Harry and Ron
immediately started to help her pick them up. Draco hesitated a moment,
but quickly he regained composure.
"Muggle born filth! Watch where you're going." He pushed her a little to
hard and she hit the wall, and only Hermione saw his eye flinch a little as
she hit. Ron sprang up before Harry could and took a swing at Malfoy who
calmly and easily dodged the wild fist aimed at his eye. Hermione forced
herself not to smile.
"I hate you Draco!" she called after his skulking form as he left a furious
Ron behind him, and Harry holding all her books. "You are de-evolved
slime! Wither and die!" Harry nodded at her words and led both her and
Ron away to laugh about something Parvati had said earlier about how
Neville had almost turned Mrs. Norris yellow on accident while practicing
an extra credit spell on his own.
Draco didn't look back as Crabbe and Goyle flanked him and they crowded
their way to their next class. He absorbed her words and tried not to
think about the bruise she would certainly have soon from hitting the wall.
He thought of her words as he had left. "I hate you Hermione Granger. I
hate you with every fiber of my being." He said it under his breath and he
doubted that either Crabbe or Goyle had heard him even say it. If either
of his mammoth followers noticed that he touched a spot on his robes to the
right of his heart, neither thought anything of it. No one would notice
the outline of a thick picture on his dark robes beneath his hand at any
If he had to wait years he would be with her again. Family, companions,
and dark traditions be damned. If he had to turn heaven and earth he would
manage it, and something in him knew she would be waiting. But what she
had said before she had left still rang in his mind: "Just don't take too
He smiled the rest of the day.