Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters/concepts from it. I make no money from the writing/publishing of this story.
Rated M for language.
Blanket Story Warning: includes claustrophobic conditions and graphic depictions of injury and illness.
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"Every second he breathed, the smell of the grass, the cool air on his face, was so precious:
To think that people had years and years, time to waste, so much time it dragged, and he was clinging to each second."
- JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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Day One: Morning
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"Granger, get the fuck off me," Draco snarled as he blinked through the dim light and settling dirt and dust. Hermione merely coughed at the airborne debris.
"And for fuck's sake, cover your mouth," he said.
"I…I can't," Hermione grunted back as she attempted to wriggle her arms that were trapped at awkward angles, her right somewhat between them and the left smashed between her side and a jagged outcropping of stone wall. Draco's eyes widened as she tried to move.
"And get your hand away from my cock," he demanded. Hermione stopped moving and glared at the man pressed directly before her.
"I don't want to touch your precious cock," she snipped back. "I'm trying to free my arm."
"Well, try a different way, because I'd prefer not to be fondled just now."
Hermione continued to glare as she tried to crane her neck to look between them. She gave an annoyed sigh when she saw that her hand was indeed rubbing directly against his crotch. She looked back up at him.
"Can you move your arms?" she asked. Draco growled irritably but wiggled his body in the tight space and tried to dislodge his right arm that was stuck somewhat behind him and his left arm that was caught up and wedged beside them, his bent elbow lodged against the wall opposite him, so his hand and forearm were slightly above the level of their faces hanging awkwardly.
His sleeve was rolled up and the angle of his arm clearly exposed his Dark Mark.
Hermione turned her face away from it. "Will you please move that?" she snapped.
"I'm bloody well trying," Draco said through gritted teeth as he tried to pull the arm free by shifting his weight.
"Aaahh!" Hermione cried out as his right shoulder pressed into her painfully when he tried to turn. "Stop! You're hurting me."
Draco only wriggled harder. "Just shut up! I'm…trying to…aaahh! Goddamn it!" he roared in frustration, shaking himself violently.
"STOP! STOP!" Hermione begged as she was jostled by his movements against the hard, dusty stone.
"We have to get out of here!" Draco shouted at her, panic rising in his voice.
"Calm down!" Hermione ordered. "Panicking is not going to help us."
"Fuck you!" he yelled back as he tried to turn forcefully again. Hermione cried out again and then punched her right hand forward to hit him square in the jewels. He finally stopped moving.
"Aaah! Granger…" he ground out, "…what the fuck!?"
"You need to calm down," she insisted again as Draco bowed his head as far as it could go without touching her and breathed raggedly.
"So…so you hit me?" he panted.
"Worked," was all she said.
Draco snapped his head back up and scowled at her. "Bitch," he said as he kneed her hard in the thigh.
"Prick!" she shouted, kicking her feet at his shins. They both proceeded then to wrestle their wedged bodies angrily against each other, hitting and kicking whatever they could manage.
The physical fight lasted a whole thirty seconds but ended with both of them red-faced and out of breath.
"We can't…keep on…like this…" Hermione panted, wincing as Draco delivered a final kick. He didn't say anything but nodded reluctantly before letting his head fall back against the stone and closing his eyes as he tried to catch his breath.
"This didn't happen," he said pleadingly. "This is not happening. This cannot really be happening."
Hermione rested her own head back and watched him for a moment before roaming her gaze about to finally ascertain just how bad their situation was.
It was bad.
The fissure they were stuck in was wide, extending far beyond them on either side of their wedged bodies, but the walls only got further apart. It appeared they were 'lucky' not to have dropped completely to the bottom by falling in right at the narrowest point.
"We're at least…ten meters down, by the look of it," she said after a time, squinting her eyes up at the opening high above them. "Though I can't tilt my head back far enough to tell for sure."
Draco opened his eyes to look up at the crack they'd fallen into and the sheer walls leading up to it.
"So no climbing out," he muttered. He gave another tentative wriggle and added, "If we can ever manage to get unstuck."
He tried to look down but found his view blocked by their bodies and his range of head motion limited by his own arm. "What about down?" he asked Hermione who was able to move her head just enough to see past their feet. She looked down.
"It's too dark to tell," she answered, "it's just blackness."
Draco groaned. "How good is your wandless magic?" he asked. At her raised eyebrow he huffed.
"See if you can summon our wands," he said. Hermione looked doubtful but nodded in agreement and focused her mind onto the spell.
"Accio Malfoy's wand!" she called out. They both looked up expectantly and, when a small stick came rolling over the side of the ledge above them, they both gasped excitedly. They watched the wand tumble down to them and quickly jerked their heads back as it fell between them to just barely rest where their chests were pressed together on Hermione's left and Draco's right. It balanced precariously there and both Draco and Hermione stared at it in fearful anticipation.
"Can you reach it?" Hermione whispered. Draco glared at her.
"Does it bloody look like I can reach it?" he asked, tilting his head at his trapped arm. "See if you can get it in your teeth," he suggested instead.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "That seems even less likely than you getting it with your hand." She looked thoughtful for a moment. "Maybe…maybe it will still work because it's touching us," she said. "Try and cast something."
Draco frowned slightly but looked down at his wand between them. "Um…Lumos," he tried. Nothing happened.
"Lumos!" Hermione shouted. There was still no reaction and they both sighed disappointedly.
"Well, there goes that theory. Got anymore brilliant suggestions?" Draco drawled.
"Try and Accio it to your hand," she said. "But be careful not to be-"
"-too forceful…" Hermione finished dismally as they both watched the wand zoom like a shot from where it lay to slam into his palm and then somersault down into the abyss when he was unable to grab it quickly enough.
"FUCK!" Draco roared. Hermione shushed him forcefully and then tilted her ear downward.
"Damn it," she said a moment later, raising her head.
"What?" Draco glowered at her.
"I was listening," she explained, "to see if I could hear it hit the bottom so I could gauge how deep this goes."
"And I couldn't hear anything."
Draco let his head fall back. "Lovely." He sighed heavily. "What about your wand?"
"It's locked in my specimen trunk," Hermione answered regrettably. "So, unless you want a heavy, wooden box full of glass jars tumbling down here with us, my wand's not an option."
Draco frowned and they remained in silence for a moment until he spoke again. "Who knows that you're here?"
Hermione exhaled a troubled breath. "No one," she answered quietly. "I…I talked to my mum on the telephone just before I left the house…told her I was going out, but I didn't say where."
"What about Weasley?" Draco inquired. "Or Potter?"
Hermione shook her head. "They're out on week-long field ops…the final phase of their Auror training. They left two days ago to destinations unknown," she said miserably. "What about you?"
"No one knows that I'm out here," Draco answered. "My parents are still on house arrest and I regularly stay elsewhere. It'll be too late by the time they start to worry…"
He closed his eyes then and also shook his head against the rocky wall.
"We're going to die in here," he sighed. "That's it…the Malfoy line ends with me rotting away in a hole next to a Mudblood."
Hermione glared at the Mark on his arm and wrinkled her nose. "I'm not entirely thrilled about the prospect of remaining stuck beside you either, you know."
"Well, maybe if you had simply done as I said, we wouldn't be here," he said.
"You're the one that encroached on my find," Hermione threw back. "If this is anyone's fault it's yours."
"My fault!?" he said indignantly, snapping his eyes open. "If you'd have only listened to me-"
"I'm not your bloody house elf that will just take orders, Malfoy!" Hermione interrupted angrily.
Draco sneered at her. "It was a simple request to move, you insufferable bint," he seethed, "not an order to shine my fucking shoes…not that I'd ever trust your clumsy hands to touch my shoes."
Hermione glared at him, lips pursed into a thin line. "Clumsy? You couldn't even properly summon your wand a few inches," she jabbed. "Just let it fall. It's a wonder you ever made Seeker with such poor reflexes."
He narrowed his eyes. "I was a damn good Seeker."
Hermione snorted derisively. "Harry beat you every time."
"Potter's a cheating bastard," Draco grumbled and Hermione laughed.
"Sour grapes," she said. "You always were jealous of him."
"Yeah, fucking right," he snarled. He screwed up his face then as he tried again to twist his body within the tight space.
"Stop," Hermione grunted in pain again as his right shoulder and hip shoved her harder into the stone around them.
"No," Draco said, "I'm getting the hell out of this hole." He tapped his feet around the small ledges about the walls below them and, when he felt a foothold, tried to push himself up with his legs. The action managed to move them both upwards slightly but forced his wedged left arm against a sharp facet. He cursed and immediately let them lower back to their previous position as blood began to trickle down his arm.
"Damn it," he said, turning the forearm as far as he could to see the long gash the stone had cut into his skin.
"That was brilliant," Hermione said dryly with a wince. "Now that you've managed to cut yourself and scrape my back all to hell against these rocks, do you think you could stop being stupid?"
"I'm trying to save our arses," Draco snapped at her. "Can't do that by doing nothing."
Hermione exhaled deeply and turned her attention back up to the opening. She squinted her eyes into the small amount of light that was filtering down to them and then shouted.
"For Merlin's sake," Draco cringed as her voice echoed loudly around them, but Hermione kept on.
"HELP! CAN ANYONE HEAR ME!? HELP US!"
"STOP!" Draco hollered over her. "You sound like a dying animal. You're going to attract predators."
Hermione stopped and raised an eyebrow at him. "We currently are dying animals."
Draco blinked at her and then turned his face upwards. "HELP! HELP US!"
Hermione rolled her eyes at him once before calling out again as well. Crumbs of dirt from above and loose, dusty earth from the walls rained down on them as their combined shouts carried up the fissure and vibrated against them. They went on for several minutes until the dust became too much and Hermione started coughing again.
Draco tilted his head away from her when she did and a piece of dirt fell directly into his right eye.
"Fuck!" he cried, slamming his eyelid shut against the foreign material. He attempted to reach his hand over to rub at it, but couldn't manage it. He opened the eye only to immediately squeeze it closed again when the pain proved too much. Involuntary tears leaked down his cheeks as Hermione continued to cough and wheeze. It was another several minutes before the air cleared, Hermione's hacking stopped, and Draco's tears dislodged the dirt.
Hermione tried to calm her rate of breathing as she blinked at Draco through watery eyes. He blinked back with an equally watery set and let his head fall back into the stone again.
"No more yelling," he sniffed quietly. They both fell silent then and alternated between closing their eyes and looking up at the light that they had no hope of reaching.