Scars of Time

Chapter One ~ The Opening

* * * * *

Each person has a story of his own, a tale of life: a tale of misery and sorrow, or a tale of happiness and success. When a story ends it is always the beginning of a new tale, a new adventure, and a new fantasy. This is the start of my own, and it will never stop. It will continue through out the scars of time.

* * * * *

"You may go now," Professor McGonagall announced once it was precisely eleven o'clock. Draco gave a small sigh of relief and stood up. The N.E.W.Ts were finally over, and now-now he could focus on other things. What now? A voice in his head asked him. He glanced at the front of the Examination Hall, where he saw Harry Potter and Ron Weasley laughing and rejoicing.

He looked away from them discontentedly, feeling an amount of hatred towards Harry. Harry, who had defeated Voldemort four months ago, Harry, who probably would score brilliantly on the N.E.W.Ts, Harry, who had sent his father, Lucius Malfoy, into the dungeons of Azkaban. I suppose I'm the only one who's feeling bitter today, he thought, ruffling a hand through his blond hair.

He began to make his way towards the lake, deciding to clear his mind. For the first time that day, he wanted to laugh. Clear his mind? He would never have thought to do such a thing, but today was an exception. So many things were in his head, so many things to plan, so many things to wonder about.

What was he going to do with his future? Where was he going to live? The Malfoy Manor wasn't his family's property anymore. The Ministry had taken everything away-every single antique, portrait and even the magnificent carpets and curtains. The Manor was practically a nest for the Dark Arts, so they had to Reverse every single charm that had been cast, too.

These were the first months of a 'new' era or 'peace restoration', as Professor Dumbledore, the Head Master of Hogwarts, liked to call it. Peace? Draco wanted to kick Dumbledore in the shins when he said that. What a lie-the world will never succeed in having 'peace'. Ever, he thought, rolling his eyes.

He felt sullen and sulky. What was the point of living when there was no point at all?

His ears perked up when he heard soft footsteps behind him. He turned around and met Hermione Granger's honey browned eyes. Draco threw a disdainful look at her and glanced away. He could feel her eyes lingering at his back, and snapped, "You know, it's very rude to stare at a person's back for a long time."

"You never try, do you?" Hermione said. She was standing next to him now, gazing at the lake.

"Try what? Please, enlighten me," he said sarcastically.

She gave him a look of contempt. "You're still the same, Malfoy."

"Wow, are you that surprised, Granger? My, I think I'd better send you to the Hospital Wing, in case you get a heart attack," he muttered. "Why don't you go off now? I think your little Gryffindor friends won't be too happy to find out that you've been hanging around with an evil Slytherin like me."

"I can do what ever I want to, thank you very much!" Hermione retorted.

"Whatever-just don't get into my space."

"Oh, you're simply impossi--"

She was, however, interrupted by a massive sound coming from the lake. A loud, heavy moan came from beneath the water. Draco could hear it swimming to the surface. It couldn't be- it couldn't be the Giant Squid? Draco had heard of it and seen pictures of it in various history books, for it was quite astonishingly famous, but he had never seen it up close before.

How he regretted telling Ron Weasley that he would rather jump into the lake and be eaten by the Giant Squid than to see his freckled face. Hermione gasped loudly at the sight of the squid, but stayed put. It was as if she was Petrified. She was staring at the Giant Squid as it advanced towards them, her face a mask of terror. The Giant Squid gave another loud moan and waved its many tentacles at them. Draco wanted to run away, but he found himself standing still as a statue as the Squid faced them.

He could hear screams coming from behind, and the curses being thrown at the Giant Squid, but it seemed to have possession of a magical barrier to protect itself. The Giant Squid lifted two of its tentacles and picked Draco and Hermione up. Draco tried to wriggle out of its grasp, but no to avail. And besides, if he fell, he was going to drown anyway, since he didn't really know how to swim.

Something strange started to happen after that. The Giant Squid's jelly-like body started to whirl into a hole, and it began to release its grasp on them. For a moment, Draco thought he was finally saved- but then, as he expected a cold drop into the water, his life began to flash through his eyes. But the drop never came. He was now floating mid-air, with Hermione beside him, and they were being sucked into the hole.

As he fell into oblivion, a strange blue light flashed, and then, it was over.

* * * * * *

Draco squinted as the ray of sunlight hit his face, and rolled over. Surely he was sleeping in his soft four poster bed in his dormitory-surely he wasn't dead and in heaven. But if he was in heaven--was he going to live with Hermione there? That would be frightening-and wasn't he supposed to be in Hell? Wow, the bed sure feels sandy-maybe Pansy put a charm on it, the sneak, he thought, frowning. He was still closing his eyes, oblivious to where he was.

Suddenly, reality began to click in his brain. Sandy? Sunlight? What the heck was going on? Draco slowly opened his eyes, fearful of what he was going to see. He gasped, looking around him. He was sitting by a beach, his hair and robes were soaked, and-where was Hermione? He looked around, and saw her unconscious figure lying next to him.

He moved closer to her, and began to shake her roughly. "Go away, Parvati. I am not in the mood!" Hermione murmured. Draco rolled his eyes and shook her even harder than before. Hermione immediately opened her eyes and shrieked when she saw Draco.

"Wow, I didn't know my face was that ugly," he said sarcastically.

"Why-why are you here?" Hermione asked in a shaking voice. She glanced around the beach and clutched the sand beneath her hands. She held them up at him and shouted, "What is this?! Some kind of joke?"

"How am I supposed to know?" Draco bit back in an impatient voice. "Do you remember what happened?"

Hermione's eyebrows furrowed in concentration. "We were arguing by the lake, the Giant Squid came out of the water. and it attacked us. That's all," she told him. "Malfoy-tell me this isn't some sick joke of yours!"

"Well, it's worse than a sick joke, that's for sure!" Draco shouted angrily. "Stop blaming me!"

"I am not blaming you!" Hermione shrieked. "I am just asking you whether you had anything to do with this--"

"Well, I don't! End of story!" Draco yelled. "Now where the hell are we?!"

Hermione gritted her teeth, glaring at Draco in exasperation. He could see that she was terribly angry now. Well, so was he! Draco got up and faced the sea. "You stupid Giant Squid, take us back now!" he yelled loudly, his voice almost cracking. But there was no response at all, only the sound of the waves breaking on to the shore. For a moment, his eyes fixed on to the sea.

He had never set foot on a beach or even seen one-his father had always told him that the sea was contaminated with Muggles. He was mesmerized by the color of the ocean-clear and translucent, but green and blue at the same time. The air smelled of salt, and the sun was unusually inviting. He realized that the sand beneath his feet was comfortable and soft, and as he gathered some on the palm of his hands, he smiled faintly.

Suddenly making his way to the sea, he ignored her shouts and put one foot into the water. A tingling sensation went through him, and he felt unusually calm. Dipping his head into the water, he began to swim. He found that he could breathe easily, and the soft touch of the liquid made him feel free for the first time in his life. He swam back to the surface and turned his head to the beach, where he saw Hermione biting her nails, panicking.

Draco went back to the beach, shaking his head so that his hair could dry itself. Hermione gasped and stamped her foot on the sand angrily. "Don't you ever do that again! I thought you drowned-and what if you did? I'll never find my way back by myself!"

He rolled his eyes. "I thought you were smart, Granger. I guess I was wrong,"

She threw him a death stare, and he ignored it. "Come on, I think we should go into the forest. We might get to Hogwarts," he said.

"But Hogwarts is nowhere near a beach!" Hermione shouted, irritated at his stupidity.

"Right, I don't care if you're coming or not, Granger. If you're sticking around, suit yourself," said Draco, rolling his eyes. He began to move towards the forest, and smiled when he heard Hermione's hurried footsteps running up to him.

"All right-I'll come. But if I get into trouble, it's your fault," said Hermione.

Draco merely shrugged.

* * * *

The forest was, fortunately, not very thick and it didn't contain any dangerous animals. Although Hermione screamed when she saw some chipmunks (to Draco's astonishment), they did not face any major problems. But there was a problem, though. Hermione kept tripping on the tree roots and twigs. Draco wanted to feel sorry for her, but he was plain exasperated with her clumsiness.

Draco had the reflexes of a Quidditch Seeker, but Hermione had none. He was beginning to wish that Hermione hadn't come with him. He turned around just in time to prevent Hermione from falling flat on her face. "Will you watch where you're going?" he grumbled.

Hermione's face was flushed, and sweat was dripping from her forehead. The sun was burning, and there was no wind. She absent-mindedly wiped her forehead with a palm of her hand and sat down on a log. "I am too tired to go on further," she said in a breathless voice. "Can't we take a break?"

"You're such a bloody weakling," said Draco icily.

Her face crumpled, as if she was about to cry. She stood up suddenly, yelping. She then stiffened and limped forward. "Well, let's go then, or are you going to turn into a weakling like me?" Hermione snapped, her lips quivering slightly. Draco felt guilty-was she really hurt?

He watched her walk-or limp, wincing as she did so. "Let me help you," he said suddenly. "Honestly, Granger, you have a best friend who's skillful at Quidditch, and he teaches you nothing."

"No-"

"Come on, put your hand on my shoulder," said Draco, rolling his eyes. She did, and he continued, in a scornful voice. "At Quidditch Camp, we do harder things than this, and there are some tough girls there too. I suppose you're all books and no exercising, that's why you have low stamina."

Hermione snorted and laughed. "Draco Malfoy-talking about stamina? Am I dreaming?"

"Why wouldn't I be talking about energy?" asked Draco quizzically, pretending not to understand.

"Well, I doubt you even know what stamina is, second-you're in Slytherin. You're not supposed to talk about 'stamina'."

"Who do you think I am? Some stupid idiot? How did you think I manage to get 13 O.W.Ls?" Draco snapped, glaring at her.

"You didn't! I asked Professor McGonagall who else achieved straight O.W.Ls like me, and she said no one," said Hermione accusingly.

"I told her not to talk about it-I'm not a show off like you, Potter or Weasley. You three go around and bask in your so- called 'victory'. I only boast when I am in the mood," said Draco. "You made some people feel really awful that day, did you realize that?"

Hermione stared at him in disbelief. "Excuse me, but I'm the one who's supposed to tell you that. Oh, I remember two years ago--you were practically scorning every single person who got a good amount of O.W.Ls. Wait, isn't that called 'boasting' too? Oh, I am so very confused!" she said in a mock-devastated voice.

"Shut your Mudblood mouth, Granger," Draco spat.

"Shut your own so-called Pureblood mouth!" Hermione yelled. "Just because you're rude to me, doesn't mean I can't be rude to you!"

"Gee, and I thought Head Girls had good manners. I must alert the Daily Prophet soon."

"Yeah, go ahead-you and your hypocritical self. I wonder if they'll even believe you," said Hermione spitefully. "Why would they believe the son of Lucius Malfoy, I wonder?"

Draco's face flushed with anger and he shoved Hermione off. She fell on the ground, shrieking. "What did you do that for?" she shouted.

"Don't you dare talk about my parents," said Draco furiously. "Just because you have a 'perfect' family, doesn't mean you have the right to rub in on mine."

Hermione looked at him guiltily. She knew she was wrong for being spiteful. "I'm-"

"Can it, Granger," said Draco harshly.

They continued walking in silence. After what seemed like hours, they both sat down on the damp ground-- too tired to move on. "I think we're walking in circles," said Hermione, breathing heavily. Draco sighed wearily, leaning against the tree trunk behind him. He was beginning to feel thirsty and hungry now. Fear crossed his heart, and he wondered what would happen if both of them didn't make it through the forest. Maybe they would die of starvation in a matter of days.

"I have an idea," said Hermione suddenly.

His head snapped up to look at her, and saw that she was smiling confidently. "What is it?" he asked curiously.

"I'll cast a Summoning Spell-and if the thing comes to me, then that means we are near a village or something like that," her eyes were shining excitedly.

"Damn, I wish you had suggested that earlier-I'm starving," said Draco disdainfully.

Hermione raised her wand up in the air, and hesitated. "What if there are Muggles around? They might get suspicious."

Draco rolled his eyes and said, in an impatient voice, "Oh, the hell with them! Just do it, Hermione!

"Well-let's hope this works," Hermione began to toy with the edge of her wand, apparently thinking on what to summon. She held her wand upwards and shouted, "Accio-er-ball!"

Draco rolled his eyes. "Nice one, Granger. Where did you get it? Have you been obsessing too much over Potter's Quidditch? Or is your brain contaminated with Muggle football?"

Hermione ignored him and waited. She closed her eyes, praying for a miracle. When she opened them again, she saw a strange looking ball hurtling towards her. Draco's eyes widened as she caught the ball deftly. "Holy crap-it worked!" he exclaimed loudly. Hermione was practically beaming now. "For once, Granger, I think it might be useful to have you around after all," he added, smirking at her.

"Why am I not surprised?"

Draco took the ball, and peered at it closely. "It looks kind of weird," he said, arching his eyebrows. "Say, what if the people here are weird too? What if they have ape heads, human bodies and giraffe's legs?"

"Why a human body?" asked Hermione, looking at him sternly.

"Such questions cannot be answered by a perverted mind," said Draco, pretending to be remorseful.

"So, which way did the ball come from?" Hermione wondered.

"That way. North." Draco replied. "I'm pretty sure of it."

Hermione grinned. "Finally. Let's go."

They continued their 'journey' North, and were extremely joyous when they saw an opening. They raced out of the forest and Hermione jumped around excitedly, while Draco simply stared at her, amused. "Oh God, I thought I was going to die in there!" said Hermione, sighing in relief.

"I thought I was going to be tortured by a certain chipmunk," said Draco evilly.

She ignored his remark and looked around. "Wow, I can't believe there's a village here-and a harbor too! Look at those ships-they seem so old fashioned."

He rolled his eyes at her enthusiasm. How typical, he thought as he made his way to the village. Hermione followed him from behind, gasping and looking around, apparently enraptured. "Hey!" a child's voice came out from behind them. They turned around and saw a boy, looking less than 10 years old, staring at them with his wide brown eyes.

"Hello," said Hermione cheerfully.

"You've got my blitzball," said the boy, pointing at Draco.

"Oh-here it is," he said, giving the boy back his ball. He wondered what a 'blitzball' was.

"Did you see the way it practically flew into the forest! It was 'mazing!" said the boy excitedly, holding up his blitzball triumphantly.

"Er, yeah," Draco mumbled, while Hermione shot him a look.

"Thanks for bringing the ball back," he said, although Draco felt that he did nothing at all. "My coach won't be angry with me this time," and with a wave, he ran back to the beach to his friends. Hermione started to grin ridiculously, and Draco gave her a quizzical look.

"What is it?"

"You should've seen the kid's eyes. He practically adores you." Hermione answered, smiling in a satisfied way.

"Eh? Why.?"

"Draco, you're not good with kids at all. What will happen to your son or daughter when you get married, I really have no idea," said Hermione, sniggering.

"Marriage? Ack-that's scary," he said, shuddering.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "I suppose you're going to end up alone and old, then."

Draco shook his head and made no attempt to be contemplative about it. "Hmm-I think we ought to find a place to stay," he said, changing the subject abruptly to prevent Hermione from talking nonsense. To his relief, she seemed to have forgotten about what she was talking about, and nodded fervently.

"I wonder if there's a library here. maybe I could do some research about this place," she said thoughtfully.

"I doubt it-this place looks pretty isolated," said Draco, looking around.

"I'm really not sure whether we're in England or not," said Hermione, frowning. "Unless the Giant Squid dragged us to Greenland. or Hawaii. or the Caribbean Islands." Draco didn't know what she was talking about, so he simply nodded. "But they're too far. I doubt that there is an island such as this one. For instance, the atmosphere looks simply-different. I've never seen a picture of this island before."

"Not everything comes in pictures, Granger," said Draco in a matter-of-fact voice.

"Oh, but it does in 'Every Island'. It's a book published last year, complete with pictures of every island that ever existed," she protested.

"That is so like you," said Draco, staring at Hermione in disbelief.

They stopped in front of 'Kaloo's Tavern'. "Well, I suppose we've found a place to stay after all," said Hermione, looking pointedly at him. "I wonder who told me that this island seems uncivilized. Oh, wait. You."

"Whatever, Granger. Let's get this over with," he grumbled.

Both of them entered the tavern. It looked traditional, with its wooden floor and thatched roof. The tavern was quiet, except for the soft whispers of guests. They made their way to the counter, where a sleazy looking man sat behind it, looking sleepy.

"Excuse me," said Hermione politely. "I was wondering if we could spend the night here."

"How many nights?" the men asked in a dull tone.

"Erm." Hermione turned to Draco.

"One," he said affirmatively. "If we want to stay another night, we'll pay you again."

The man yawned loudly. "All righty. That'll be twenty Gils."

"Gils?" they exclaimed together.

He looked at them suspiciously. "Yes."

"Well, uh, we don't really have-any-Gils-with us." Hermione mumbled.

"But we do have. this," Draco interjected, putting five Galleons on the counter. The man's eyes widened and gave a shout.

"Bless me! There has been no gold for thousands of years! Bronze and silver, yes, but I've never seen gold before!" he began to inspect the Galleons closely, making sure it wasn't forged. When he was sure, he jumped up, looking wide-awake. "We'll give you the best room there is. You'll take Room 06, it has a king sized bed."

"Two beds, please." Hermione interjected.

"Glad to know you're reading my mind, Granger," said Draco, with a sneer on his face.

"Ah. well. okay," said the man, nodding. "Your room is number 02, then. Here is the key to your room." He handed Hermione a bronze key and beamed at her. "I hope you will enjoy your stay here."

"Uh-huh," Draco murmured.

Once they were outside of their room, Draco put a hand dramatically on to his chest. "Did you hear what he said? 'The key to your room'. He sounded quite serious about it," Hermione glared at him and poked his ribs very hard. She put the key into the lock and opened the door. It revealed a medium-sized room with two beds and a small couch next to it. There was also a dining table with four wooden seats.

"Cheap room-I should have given him a Galleon only," he complained.

"It looks fine," said Hermione. She flopped on the bed next to his, and sighed deeply. "I am so tired. I think I'm going to sleep."

"Sleep, then," he told her. "I hope the bed bugs will bite you. What a scary image if they did."

"Oh, bugger off," she murmured. "Good night, Malfoy."

"You've really lost it, Granger. It's not even night yet," He shook his head and noticed her closed eyes and how she was breathing rhythmically. It was apparent that she was fast asleep. He closed his eyes and he too, fell asleep.