Hey guys! My first fic Pretty Little Choices, has been on hold for a little while. I'm a little stuck because I have another couple months to cover before the ending and nothing to fill them with. Please review on my last chapter of that story or message me to let me know if I should leave it where it is or give it some sort of rushed ending covering the last couple months. I won't do anything to that story until you let me know so please tell me what you think!
This story has quite a few chapters that are pre written and is almost complete now so the posting schedule should be pretty regular and hopefully I will have an ending for you. Here's the first chapter!
Disclaimer: The world of Harry Potter belongs to the wonderful JK Rowling.
1997 – February 16
Heart pounding, thoughts racing, muscles tensed. The blonde haired boy crouched behind a bookshelf in the library, watching, waiting. This was where he knew she would be. Between two books separated by a couple of inches, he had the perfect view. She sat at a table with two of her so called friends who, at the moment, were pushing their own work in front of her so she could do it for them.
He scowled. Those boys only cared that she was smart. She was too kind for her own good and they took advantage.
He closed his eyes and tried to calm himself, rehearsing the plan in his head. Nothing had gone as it was supposed to. This was wrong. The more he thought, the more he questioned. He had tried. He had worked so hard to prevent exactly this. He had to fix it. He was the only one who knew the gravity of the situation. No one else could help. He was on his own in this. He had a mission, a terrible mission, one that he had recklessly decided to change. He knew that it was stupid. His entire upbringing had told him that the mission he had been given was necessary, an honour even, but he now knew differently. Even though his choice might mean death, in this moment, he was strangely okay with that.
He watched as she examined each parchment, making notes and adjustments every few seconds. Her back was turned to him, so he couldn't see her face, but he could imagine the look of concentration that must be on it. He knew she had her own work still to do but she put it aside to finish her friends' essays while they talked to each other in hushed voices. They had been in the library for a couple of hours now and the two boys seemed very anxious to leave. He himself was anxious too, but for different reasons. His knees ached from being in the same position for so long, but still, he waited and watched in silence.
She handed each boy their essay back and they stood up to leave.
"You go on," she told them. "I still have work to finish."
"Are you sure?" the dark haired boy asked.
As if he truly cared. If they did, they would treat her like human being instead of a homework machine.
"I'm sure. I'll see you later," she said. She sounded tired. That would make his plan slightly easier.
When the two boys left, his scowl deepened. They were so stupid! How could they leave her alone like that? With no one else in the library but her, she was open and vulnerable. Did they not realize that there was a war going on? They thought because they were at Hogwarts they were safe. He knew better. Nowhere was safe, not even Hogwarts. Especially not for Hermione Granger.
Draco clutched his wand at his side. He went over once again everything he needed to do, eyes glued to Hermione form as she pulled out a book and started reading. It wouldn't be long now. He didn't want to hurt her, but he needed to keep her safe.
The sun had faded long before and the night seemed to get darker with every minute that passed. Or maybe that was just his soul, trying to hold on to the last bit of light in his life that he had been sent to burn out. With everything in him, he knew that if he completed his assigned mission, his light would be gone and nothing could bring him back. His soul would go black and his life would be drained to nothing but the shell of his body.
Soon, her fatigue closed in and Hermione's head drooped onto her open book, unable to stay awake any longer. This was it.
Shaking, Draco stood up, not even noticing the stiffness in his legs from crouching for hours. He took a deep breath and headed towards her sleeping form. Out of habit, he looked around before coming out from between the shelves. Nobody would be out at this hour of the night.
He came to stand in front of her. She looked so peaceful and he was determined to keep it that way. Draco raised his wand.
"Stupefy," he whispered.
He needed to make sure she stayed asleep for the escape. Quickly, he cast a disillusionment charm over himself and then Hermione, before scooping her sleeping body into his arms. She was warm against him and smelled like lavender. He hated that this was the first time, and probably the last time, he would hold her in his arms; while he was kidnapping her. Granted, he was kidnapping her for her own safety, so it wasn't all bad was it?
Silently, he slipped out of the library and made his way down the corridors. He had to get off Hogwarts grounds so he could disapparate. The hall was dark and deserted, just as he had known it would be. Draco was thankful for the darkness. Even though they were disillusioned, it would never be perfect. It made him feel a bit more in control, even if the world was chaos around him. The silence seemed to grow into a loud pounding of constant thoughts, mostly of panic.
What was he doing? He had a girl in is arms who he was kidnapping! This was insane, this plan, pure insanity. He was directly disobeying orders from the Dark Lord himself.
Calm down. He told himself. You're never going to get out of this if you don't keep a level head. Draco repeated these thoughts as he moved through the corridor. Slowly, the panic that had spread through his body dissipated into determination. He had already started and he wasn't about to give up now.
Draco froze. Someone was coming. He pressed himself against the wall in hopes that whoever it was would simply pass him by. It was Filch. He stopped directly in front of Draco when his cat, Mrs. Norris began to growl in his direction. The man looked around, eyes squinted, and Draco held his breath.
"Come on. No one here," he growled.
Draco let out his breath in relief as Filch moved away, mumbling to his cat. He stayed still until the man was well gone before finally continuing down the hall. So much for staying calm, he thought, feeling his heart racing in his chest.
When he finally met the cold February air, it felt like freedom. He had made it out of the castle, the hardest part of the plan. Draco took a deep breath and continued down the hill towards the forbidden forest, which was the easiest place to disapparate from without being noticed.
Draco couldn't believe he had actually done it. It didn't seem like something he would normally do, actually, completely outside of his personality. Since when did he care about another's life more than his own? Since when had Draco Malfoy gone soft? It was probably the first time he was forced to torture somebody. That event had shattered his already broken soul into a million pieces. He hated who he was forced to become.
He reached the edge of the forest and hesitated. He hated that place, ever since that detention in first year when he had been made to wander the wretched woods with Potter. It felt so long ago, yet, the forest still brought back the memories.
With a nod of his head, Draco entered the forest. Broken branches and twigs snapped underfoot, the frozen ground crunching with every step. He knew he had to hurry. Whereas he was too stressed to notice the cold, Hermione was not dressed to be outside right now. Draco pulled her tighter against him and quickened his pace.
Once he was sure he was far enough from the castle, he closed his eyes, concentrated on where he wanted to go, and turned on the spot. The feeling of disapparation always left Draco feeling a bit nauseous, but there was no time for that now. He found himself on familiar land and finally was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
He stood in front of an inconspicuous looking log cabin in the middle of a more comforting set of woods. Draco took Hermione inside and to a bedroom, where he gently laid her on the bed and slid her wand from her pocket. He lifted the disillusionment charms and quickly left. She would be waking soon and he didn't want to be around when she did. Draco walked back outside, and moved far enough away from the cabin in the woods to make a large boundary, muttering a few spells to make a ward around the property before going back in and entering his own room.
He sat down on the bed and held his head in his hands, the weight of what he had just done hitting him like a tidal wave. One, he had defied the Dark Lord and would most likely be killed. Two, he had just kidnapped Hermione Granger. Three, Hermione hated him, and thought he hated her. There was no good in this situation as far as Draco could see. Fear filled him as he thought of what would happen to him if the other Death Eaters found out what he had done. He would be tortured, that was for sure. And then he would be killed in probably the most painful way those twisted people could think of. How could he hide this? Could he tell his master that he had completed his task? Would he know that it wasn't? It could even end up worse for him if he were to be caught lying to the Dark Lord himself.
"What did I do? What did I do? What did I do? What did I do?" he whispered repeatedly to himself. Had he just thrown his life away by making this rash decision? These thoughts terrified him, yet consumed his mind. All of this for a girl who hated him.
Draco hadn't even thought about what he would do when she woke up. She would be confused. She wouldn't know where she was, only that she wasn't at Hogwarts anymore. And once she found out he was the one who brought her there, she would probably be terrified, not to mention furious.
He had bought the cabin off the grid, no one to know where it was or that he even had it. It had been his place of peace and sanctuary when he couldn't handle to be in his own home. He had no house elves working there because he wanted to be the only person to know the cabin existed. He had learned the basics of how to survive on his own. And even though things were a bit too muggle for his liking, during the breaks when he was forced to be at Malfoy manor, it was the place he could retreat to. With the Dark Lord using the manor for his own purposes, being within its walls was sickening. Nothing could get the screams followed be the maniacal laughter of his aunt Bella out of his head. That woman enjoyed causing pain far too much and made him cringe just to think about it.
Draco wondered if Hermione had woken yet. How should he treat her now that he had kidnapped her? He thought that she would expect for him to be his terrible self and if he acted any differently, it would be strange. He also needed to emotionally distance himself from the witch. Draco didn't think he could handle it if Hermione found out why he did what he did. It would be better for both of them if she continued to hate him. It would be easier on everyone when he died.
He sighed and decided that he should probably go and check on her to make sure everything was okay and explain that hopefully, she wasn't going to get hurt.
So that was the first chapter! I hope you enjoyed it! Please review to let me know what you think. It means so much to an author even to say just a couple words saying if you liked it or not. I'm excited to start this journey with you guys!