Disclaimer- All these characters, aside from my self created Credere, belong to J.K. Rowling. Everything in this story has come from her, whether it be the location, themes or inspiration. She is a pure genius and no one can ever replicate a mind such as hers. Thank you J.K for Harry Potter, who has given your fans not only five (so far) of the best books fantasy lovers could ever find, but a world to dabble in and create our own stories and adventures from. I know I'm not the only one who appreciates J.K. allowing us to use her works to entertain us and expand our minds.
A/N- This is the final chapter! There's not much I can say, except enjoy this final installment, (until the sequel!) Thanks for reading right up until the end; I know it has been long. Much longer than I ever expected it to be, and you've done it with nothing but compliments. Thanks again!
Chapter Twenty Seven – Confronting Voldemort
Draco plunged his hand deep into his robe and pulled out his wand. Spinning on his heel, he raised it and pointed it at the first Death Eater that stood lining the wall on his right. While Lucius killed the other three Death Eaters on the left side of the hall, Draco killed the other four within a matter of seconds.
'The element of surprise.' Draco thought. 'Works every time.'
'Yeah, just hold the gloating till we're finished here, Draco.' Hermione told him. Draco looked back at Voldemort who stood, stunned at the seven deaths that had just taken place.
He quickly moved his wand from aiming at Credere, to point at Lucius. "It seems it's not only your son who has betrayed me Malfoy! And I hate traitors." He sneered. "Avada Kedavra!"
Lucius' eyes widened in shock as the green curse struck him in the chest. The breath died on his lips and he fell limp to the floor. After a few moments of disbelieving silence, Draco felt his stomach churn, and before he could stop himself, he fell to his knees and was sick all over the floor. He sobbed once before raising his head to glare at Voldemort. "You just killed my father."
"And after I've killed your mudblooded girlfriend, I will kill you." Voldemort continued for him.
"You can't kill me. Or my girlfriend." Draco told Voldemort, returning to his feet. "Not while she is safe inside me."
"A memory can only preserve itself, Malfoy. A memory can never preserve a life. I've learnt that from experience." Voldemort said. "And even if she lived inside you, surely you know that your memory of her would die as soon as I killed you."
"I won't let you kill him." Credere spoke from next to Draco. Voldemort shifted his eyes to rest on her in amusement.
"Really? A mudblood like your self plans to stop me?" he asked her, now becoming highly amused.
"Yes." Credere held her head up high, and her eyes burnt in rage.
"I like to kill mudbloods." Voldemort told her with a smile. "Slowly."
"Is that a challenge?"
"Others might call it a death sentence." He replied, beginning to raise his wand. He lifted it slowly, hoping to make Credere as scared as possible in apprehension.
"You're scary." Credere said dully, then she suddenly began to change. Her legs grew, as did her arms and her middle thickened. Credere's nose began growing at an alarming rate, and by the time she was half way through changing her form, she looked like the ugliest thing Draco had ever seen.
"What the hell is happening Malfoy? If you don't tell me I'll kill it right now." Voldemort demanded, still aiming the wand at Credere.
"She has a weapon over you." Draco said cryptically.
"Really and what is that?" Voldemort sneered. "She plans to make me die at the sight of her ugliness? Well Malfoy, I think you should know I've seen things much worse than…that…" he trailed off when he looked back at Credere, to see her now taking on the recognizable form of a Unicorn. The change was completed within moments, and without wasting any time Credere began to charge at Voldemort with her head lowered.
"Crucius!" Voldemort screamed at Credere's oncoming form. The bolt of light shot out of his wand at hit her on the side of her head. Credere stumbled as the pain seared through her, and she dropped to her knees.
'Hermione, now.' Draco said to her, and he reached up and took hold of his amulet. Hermione concentrated as Draco did, and though they both felt their feet lift off the same point on the floor, the both reappeared in different places of the hall.
Draco pulled Hermione's wand out of his pocket and threw it to her across the room. She snatched it out of the air and aimed it at Voldemort. The both yelled in unison, "Crucius!" and Voldemort's hold over Credere faded for just a few moments. But a few moments was all it took for Credere to get off the floor, and continue her run at Voldemort.
Draco watched Credere plow into Voldemort with her horn held steady in front of her. It pierced through his stomach, causing him to scream in anguish. Within a matter of moments, he reached into his robe and pulled out his wand. Whipping off an outer layer to expose a blade, he slashed it across Credere's neck in one fluid motion, before she could back away. This caused a deep wound, and Credere fell to the ground, making a soft gurgling sound as the blood fell in a thick stream down her neck. She shuddered and fell limp, her life stripped from her in a matter of seconds.
Voldemort fell to the floor next to her, and as the life left Voldemort's own body from the wound Credere had inflicted on him, he lowered his head and drank the blood of the Unicorn. Hermione gagged at the sight, but did not move her gaze from the evil wizard. Draco's face was impassive and he walked over to Hermione and led her forward so they stood directly in front of Voldemort.
Voldemort began to smile because he thought he was about to regain his strength through the powers of Unicorn blood. Then he seemed to notice Hermione for the first time. He frowned and looked down at the dead and bloodied Unicorn beside him.
"What is going on?" Voldemort asked weakly. "How is the mudblood alive again?"
"She never died you bastard." Draco said, then he spat on Voldemort. "But you're just about to. Do you feel yourself getting weaker? You just drank a weakness potion, and I made it extra strong, just for you." Draco turned to Hermione. "Grab his hand."
Hermione knelt down next to Voldemort, snatched his wand out of his hand and placed it on the ground. Draco also knelt beside Voldemort and they both grabbed one of Voldemort's hands in theirs. With his other hand, Draco reached into his robe and pulled out the journal. The two golden thumbprints on the cover were shining brightly, and they each placed the thumb of their free hand into their pre-traced thumbprint.
"Ok, Hermione. It's your turn." Draco said to her, and she nodded and swallowed. Taking a deep breath, Hermione lowered her gaze to meet Voldemort's, and began to speak the spell that had taken her weeks to get right.
'By the power of the words in this spell,
Clear the world of an evil red stare,
Curse him, kill him, send him to hell,
Even the devil won't want him there.
The Dark Lord has thrived on power,
While sitting on his evil throne,
He laughs as innocents tremble and cower,
And has killed to get hold of the Philosophers stone.
This eternal power was wrenched from his grasp,
But still he has lived too long,
And now to the two of us has fallen this task,
To kill him, and together remain strong.
Listen not to the cry of this horror,
Destroy him before it's too late,
The deadly arm of this black sorcerer,
Reaches out and kills at a devastating rate.
Into children's lives this evil has entered,
And of many has taken their future,
Of ruling all, his life has centered,
Now it's time to stop this dark creature.
Only a few does this monster fear,
A young boy with a lightning scar,
An old man whose eyes are clear,
But those threats remained afar.
Had he known to search the people nearby,
And doubt his power couldn't be beaten,
He would have found one to make him cry,
In rage, as he acted with treason.
But this act went undetected,
As did a forbidden love that defied one's duty,
The Dark Lord will be severely affected,
By his former servant and his Beauty.
To mark his victory on those who serve him,
He's burnt a Deathly Mark,
Remove this brand that could replace the Grim,
When the Lord is thrown into the dark.
You are unable to stop us now,
We are strongest when we are with each other,
To Lord Voldemort no one will again bow,
Or scream and run for cover.'
Hermione paused momentarily when Voldemort, twisting his hand out of her grasp and picking up his wand, broke her focus. Before she could respond, he whipped it forwards and slashed her across her side, causing a deep wound. She screamed and doubled over, her hand leaving the journal to clutch at her stabbed side, which quickly began to bleed.
Draco pulled his hands free of both Voldemort and the journal and quickly snatched the wand away from Voldemort and threw it across the room. Voldmort had gotten weaker, obviously the work of the potion, but without the spell being completed, he knew he was not going anywhere. He smirked at Draco and indicated to Hermione with a small nod of the head.
"If you stay here too much longer, she'll die from blood loss. You'd better take her away quickly."
"I'm not taking her anywhere." Draco said firmly, though his eyes darted to Hermione, who was now sagging over herself as she knelt on the floor. She began whimpering, and Draco could see her blood beginning to stain the floor around her. "I have to kill you first."
"I've never felt more threatened." Voldemort said sarcastically, though Draco wasn't sure if it was actually the truth. Draco grabbed Hermione's hands, and blinked back tears of terror when he felt the sticky blood that covered them. He placed one in Voldemort's hand, and moved the other to rest on the journal. He roughly took hold of Voldemort's other hand in his once more and placed his thumb in his groove on the journal. Then he started to speak a spell, though where the words came from, he didn't know.
'All my life I have had your name pressed upon me,
Now I want to be free to live with Hermione,
She has suffered for the mudblood she's been,
I love her, I hate you, and from now on you'll be a part of history.
I'll tell you, as her dying heart you clutch,
There is a bond between Hermione and my self,
So strong is our love and so deep is our touch,
It cannot be broken by one like your self.
So go away and leave us alone,
No one wants you in their lives,
Feel agonizing pain right to your bones,
And when you're gone, know that no one cries.'
Voldemort suddenly screamed, and Draco felt his amulet grow warm and begin to glow emerald green. The journal also glowed, and Draco felt a power flow through him like he had never felt before. Voldemort's hand began to burn in Draco's, but Draco held onto it tight.
Hermione screamed in pain, and Draco watched helplessly as she used all the power she could, not to let go of Voldemort's burning hand. Voldmort's skin began to shimmer and pucker, and Draco realized that he was actually burning. It wasn't just a sensation, it was actually happening. Suddenly, flame erupted from the wound Credere had given him to the stomach. It burnt quickly, and Voldemort continued to scream, drowning out Hermione's dying wail with his own.
And almost as suddenly as it had started, Voldemort was gone. His entire being had been burnt to ash and it lay scattered and smoldering next to the young witch and wizard. Credere's dead body lay between them, and the journal's emerald glow faded, flicked and went out.
Hermione moaned and slumped to the floor in unconsciousness. Draco sat in shock for a few moments. He stared at the ash that was once Voldemort, and wondered how it was over. After all the months of preparation, he was gone. Defeated. Voldemort was no longer. He had almost believed it was not possible.
When his eyes rested on Hermione's motionless form, he was jerked back to reality. "Hermione." He sobbed before he could stop himself. He dropped the journal and moved quickly over to her side, lifting up her chin so he could look into her eyes. But her eyes were closed and her face was as pale as snow.
"No." He whispered in despair. Without really knowing what he was going to do when he got there, Draco enfolded Hermione's bleeding body in one arm, and closed the other around his amulet. He pictured Hogwarts castle, gave no specific rooms, so long as he appeared somewhere safe in the castle. He felt himself lift off the ground with Hermione in his arms.
After a few moments of disorientation, they landed on a stone floor. Hermione sprawled out in front of Draco, and he just sat staring at her, not knowing what to do. He heard a noise behind him, but didn't bother to check what it was. He just watched his beloved Hermione, bleeding out the life that he had come to love. Draco hardly noticed when he was shoved slightly as someone rushed passed him and knelt beside Hermione on her other side.
"Hermione!" Draco heard a familiar voice say in horror. He didn't listen to it. He didn't care about anyone else's feelings for Hermione. None could be as strong as his own.
"Mr. Malfoy, you have to tell me what happened." It was only when he was directly addressed, that he looked up to see Madam Pomfrey watching him intently. "What did Voldemort do to her?"
"Stabbed her there." he said softly, pointing to her side that was still bleeding steadily. Madam Pomfrey began working on her wound quickly, and with such sureness that Draco felt his eyes glaze over as he watched.
Dully, he became aware of others in the room. He glanced uninterestedly over his shoulder and saw Harry's hovering form, watching tensely. His green eyes shifted to meet with Draco's for a brief moment, and though he didn't smile, Draco saw compassion pass through his eyes. Then he looked back to watch Madam Pomfrey over Draco's shoulder.
Draco looked and saw Dumbledore standing solemnly not far from where they had appeared. His blue eyes were closed, and he was muttering very quietly to himself. As Draco began to turn back to Hermione, he noticed a small group of people standing frozen in the doorway, not daring to come any further into the room. Not noting or caring who they were, his gaze rested once more on Hermione. Madam Pomfrey was lifting her hands from Hermione's side, and Draco saw with a tiny spark of hope that she had stopped bleeding.
"Mr. Malfoy." Madam Pomfrey said in a firm tone. "This doesn't mean everything will be alright. I can only imagine that she has lost a lot of blood already. Though I've stopped the bleeding, there is no way for me to replace lost blood." She paused and looked down at Hermione's face. "But there will be no chance at all for her if she does not wake up."
"Can't you use a potion, or spell to try waking her?" Draco asked. "Surely you do that to patients all the time."
"I have a strange feeling it will not work. This is different than usual, I think." She told him regretfully, but after holding Draco's glare for several seconds, she sighed and pulled out a vial form the case she had by her side. She removed the lid, then tipped the liquid carefully down Hermione's throat. She pressed two fingers against Hermione's neck to check her pulse, then looked closely at Hermione's face. She was pale, her eyes remained closed and her breathing was very shallow.
"She's slipping away." Madam Pomfrey whispered, glancing over Draco's shoulder at Dumbledore.
Draco looked over his shoulder once again at the old man, and saw him shaking his head sadly at her. Draco quickly stood up and faced Dumbledore threateningly. "Don't you give up on her! Just because Voldemort is dead, doesn't mean she can die now too!"
"I am fully aware of that Draco." Dumbledore said in a level tone. "And I have not given up on her. To tell you the truth, her wound wasn't all that bad. Voldemort must have been weak when he struck her, because usually he stabs deeper than that."
Draco eyes filled with tears as he looked between Hermione, who remained unconscious, and Dumbledore. "Then why isn't she waking up?" he asked, his voice tight as he tried his hardest not to cry. "She should know that I want her to wake up!"
Dumbledore shook his head. "That is precisely the problem, Draco. She doesn't know that. Or at least, she has forgotten that you do. I think the only way to bring her back to us, is if you go and get her."
Draco stared at Dumbledore for a few moments, before turning around and kneeling next to Hermione. He picked up her hands, which were very cold, and closed his eyes. Concentrating for a few moments, Draco pushed his mind out slowly until he felt it reach hers. He moved slowly into her mind, and noticed with a shiver of fear that it was all black. She wasn't there. She had gone already. There was no point; Dumbledore had been wrong. Voldemort had managed to take Hermione with him. A life without Hermione is worse than no life at all.
But something made Draco keep searching. Through the darkness of her mind, Draco could feel warmth coming from some hidden place. 'Hermione.' He called out. Suddenly, the warmth disappeared, and he wondered why she had retreated from the sound of his voice, instead of moving towards it.
'Hermione, please come out.' He called. 'I want to speak to you.'
Draco continued searching, moving towards the part of her mind where he had felt the warmth. Very slowly, he began to feel it again, and he knew he was getting closer to Hermione.
'Hermione, where are you? Please come out to me, my love.' Draco moved on, and very slowly, he noticed that where there was warmth, there was also color. Not blackness. The color began to form images, and as he pushed carefully towards where Hermione hid, he watched the images. He saw the world through Hermione's eyes, and saw the images she was using to keep herself alive. As he drew closer to the warmth that he knew was Hermione, he realized that every image was of himself.
She was hiding in her memories of Draco.
'Hermione, what are you doing, you silly thing?' He asked. 'You can't survive on memories alone. If you come out, you'll be able to be with the real me, not just the me of the past.'
From the recesses of Hermione's mind, he heard her call softly out to him. 'But our work is done. Voldemort is gone. There is no reason for you to have to stay with me.'
Draco's mind quickly surged forward, traveling closer and closer to Hermione. There was no way she was going to start thinking like that again. Why couldn't she understand that she was the only one he wanted to be with? No one else would ever make his life worth living.
'Hermione, my angel.' He called, though quieter now that he was so close to her. 'Why do you think like that? Haven't I told you before that you're the only one I love? Just because we've killed Voldemort doesn't mean that has changed.'
Hermione didn't respond, but her warmth grew a little, and Draco knew that he had gotten through to her. He stopped searching for her, and called out, 'Hermione. Please come over here.'
For a few seconds everything stayed as it was, and then he felt Hermione next to him. She felt weak, but he knew she was strong enough to go back to the surface. 'Now Hermione, you have to stay with me. I'm going to leave you now, and that means you have to come out of here. Will you do that for me?'
'Yes.' She replied softly.
Draco didn't press her any more, and he slowly began to withdraw from her mind. As he traveled back, he noticed with relief that the blackness, which had previously shrouded her mind, began lighting up. Draco pulled himself fully out of Hermione's mind, and opened his eyes. He looked down at her, and kept a hold of her hands, that twitched very slightly.
For a few minutes, everybody waited in silence. No one questioned Draco as to what he had found in his search for Hermione, they just stood. Draco glanced once over his shoulder to the doorway, and realized that the people who were standing there was Ron, Ginny, and to his surprise, Pansy. She stood sidled up close to Ron, and she clutched his hand tight in her own as they waited in apprehension.
Hearing Madam Pomfrey gasp, he turned around and watched as Hermione's eyes fluttered, and opened very slowly. Madam Pomfrey suddenly began to bustle around her, applying ointments to her wound, dabbing damp cloths on her head and the like.
Hermione looked up at Draco with her beautiful brown eyes, and he held her gaze. Her eyes were filled with tears, and they slowly fell down her cheek each time she blinked. Draco leaned in close to her, and whispered in her ear, "I love you."
He heard her breathe, "I love you too," weakly, and he raised his head and kissed her gently on the lips. She kissed him back briefly, and then stopped just before Draco pulled away. He sat up and looked down at her, seeing that she had just fallen back into unconsciousness.
Madam Pomfrey murmured, "It's alright this time, Mr. Malfoy. She's just tired."
Draco nodded and felt a hand rest on his shoulder. Standing up slowly, he turned to face Harry, who looked at him with a strange expression. It almost looked like awe. Draco felt his legs grow weak beneath him, and Harry reached out and grabbed his shoulders firmly. "I think you need to sit down, mate."
Draco's vision blurred from fatigue, and as his mind jumped back to the events of the night, he felt himself slipping into unconsciousness. His father's death, Credere's death, and the death of Voldemort seemed to weigh him down, and Draco allowed himself to slip into a blissful sleep.
Hermione awoke with a stabbing pain in her side, a bandaged left hand and a thudding headache. She kept her eyes closed and allowed herself to breathe. In and out, with no thought of what she was going to open her eyes to. After only a few moments however, she heard familiar voices talking close by.
"How is it that I knew nothing about this?" Ron demanded in a outraged voice.
"Ron, ssh! Don't wake Hermione up. She wasn't meant to tell anyone, but I got too close to wrong assumptions that she had to tell me." Harry explained. "And I'm glad she did tell me, it helped her in the end that's for sure."
"I can't believe that Hermione killed Voldemort." Ginny's recognizable voice said softly. "I didn't think it was possible, and then she goes off and kills him as soon as she'd finished her NEWT's."
"Shit." Ron said as the subject of their exams was brought to the surface of his mind. "Thanks for that reminder, Gin."
"Get over it Ron." His sister told him sternly then their conversation paused when footsteps drew close to where Hermione lay. "Madam Pomfrey, will she be alright?"
"She'll be just fine, but will need plenty of bed rest over the next few weeks." The nurse replied. "Not only so her wound can fully heal, but also because she's exhausted."
"But she will be ok?" A drained voice asked from across the room. Hermione opened her eyes immediately, causing her three friends to jump in surprise of her sudden awakening. She lifted her head, and Harry stepped aside, knowing who she was looking for. Draco lay in a hospital bed on the opposite side of the room, with Pansy sitting on the end of it.
He was watching her, and when he saw her open her eyes, his face split into a grin. "Good morning, sleeping beauty."
"Don't lie to me." She responded, resting her head back down on her pillow. "I know I look terrible when I sleep. I've probably drooled and matted my hair."
This caused everyone who was in the room to laugh, not because it was overly funny, but to release their tension. Their Hermione was alright. Madam Pomfrey smiled, and left the room, knowing that they probably wanted to talk without an adult present. Hermione smiled and allowed herself to be fussed over by Ron, Harry and Ginny for the next twenty or so minutes before asking, "So what happened?"
They fell silent, and looked over at Draco. He looked at Hermione silently, trying to think of where to start. He cleared his throat slightly, and questioned, "What's the last thing you remember?"
Hermione thought back, "Credere fell, Voldemort drank her blood, we held on to his hands, I said most of my spell." She paused and closed her eyes, shivering at the next memory. "Then he pulled out of my grasp and slashed me just below the ribs. It hurt." She added needlessly. Everyone listening knew it would have hurt terribly. "You started speaking a spell, and Voldemort got really hot."
Draco smiled dryly. "Really hot might be an understatement. He burned to death."
"So he really is gone?" she asked, in need of assurance. "It's too hard to believe."
Draco nodded. "You can say that again. I wouldn't believe that he is dead, even though I watched him die, if I didn't have this as proof." He raised himself up onto his elbows and pulled back the sleeve of his hospital gown. Hermione stared at his bare arm in wonder.
"It's gone." She breathed. "The Dark Mark is gone."
Pansy grinned from the end of Draco's bed. "You don't know how much that has confused the Death Eaters. Their leader is missing. They won't believe that he has been killed, but they have no idea what to do. They know Voldemort would never release them from his service, and the Dark Mark was the brand that bound them to him. Now it has vanished. They are leaderless and without direction. It won't take long before they are all captured and put in Azkaban."
Hermione smiled at this news, then asked, "So what happened after he died?"
Draco frowned. "I picked you up, because you passed out as Voldemort burned, and took hold of my amulet and pictured Hogwarts. It could have been anywhere in Hogwarts, as long as I got away from that cold place."
"So where did we appear?" Hermione queried.
"The Room of Requirement." He told her. "Apparently it was the safest place Hogwarts had to offer. And it really was, because these four were all waiting there," he gestured to Pansy, Harry, Ron and Ginny, "along with Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey."
"What were you guys doing there?" Hermione asked them curiously, shifting her gaze to Harry, who she knew had something to do with it.
He winked at her, and said, "Surely you knew not to trust me with such secret information. You were going to face Voldemort, and I didn't know what condition you were going to be in when you got back. Or even if you would come back. I was stressing out about you Hermione, I felt like I had to do something but I had no idea what. Then my scar started burning at dinner and I couldn't take it any more. "
"So he went to Dumbledore during dessert, and confused the hell out of Ginny and myself." Ron added in.
"Only because you couldn't figure out why he would leave half his mud cake uneaten." Ginny told him with a roll of her eyes.
"Well, he left his ice-cream as well. I just couldn't figure out why he would do it." Ron agreed, not completely realizing that he was being teased by his sister.
"Dumbledore knew that you had both gone to Voldemort, and he called Madam Pomfrey and Snape out of the Great Hall." Harry continued. "Ron and Ginny followed out of curiosity, and Pansy came as well, guessing it had to do with Draco."
Pansy smiled and nodded at this.
"Dumbledore led us to the Room of Requirement, saying that if you were to appear anywhere inside the castle it would be there, because no evil could follow you to it. It changes depending on the need of the person, and your need was to stay safe and hidden." Harry said. "We all waited, and not long later, Snape's arm started paining him. He rolled up his sleeve, and the Dark Mark was fading. We all stared at it until it had completely disappeared. Then Dumbledore sent Snape to go alert the Ministry that Voldemort was gone."
"Dumbledore knew for a fact that Voldemort was dead just by the disappearance of the Dark Mark?" Hermione asked.
"He said, 'The mark disappears with its creator.' We had no reason to ever doubt Dumbledore." Ron explained.
"Then we just waited for you two to come." Ginny said quietly. "We were so scared that you wouldn't."
There was silence for a few minutes as everybody thought about what might have been. The quiet was broken by the door to the hospital wing opening, and Dumbledore walking in. His blue eyes were twinkling as he looked at the students gathered there.
"Ah, Miss Granger." He commented. "It's wonderful to see you awake again. You certainly slept long enough to worry Mr. Malfoy that you may prefer the world of dreams more than reality. He thought he might have to go retrieve you again."
Hermione smiled over at Draco, "No, I much prefer reality."
Draco smiled almost shyly at her across the hospital wing. Dumbledore looked at the students who weren't restricted to bed and said politely, "Could I please speak to these two alone for a few minutes?"
They nodded and left the room, making promises to come back and visit later that afternoon. Draco propped himself up in bed with a few pillows, but Hermione remained lying down. Dumbledore sat himself in a chair and sighed contentedly. "You two have put the wizarding world in to quite an uproar." He chuckled. "But they'll sort it out sooner or later. The newspapers are having a wonderful time making up absolutely ridiculous stories."
"I can only imagine." Hermione said in understanding.
Dumbledore smiled at them. "I'm sure you two have a very successful future ahead of you. You can do anything you want to, after this. The choices are endless. My advice is to decide what is most important to you, and stick to it. With the amount of publicity you will receive, I can only imagine priorities will easily become twisted."
They both nodded at him, and he continued. "Hermione, your parents will be here to pick you up tomorrow morning to take you home. Make sure you stay in bed, no matter how tempted you might be to get up and wander around. That wound needs to fully heal. It was inflicted upon you by pure evil, and evil takes a while to heal." He smiled. "Give it a few weeks."
Hermione agreed by nodding again. Dumbledore then turned to Draco with a solemn expression. "Draco, you have a more difficult time ahead of you. Sadly, Lucius' life was taken in the events of Friday night. The Manor has been left to you, as I'm sure you know. Your mother is in quite a distressed state, and I daresay that you will have many businesses to attend to. Also, because Hermione must rest, you will be the one who must talk to the media about this."
Draco sighed and stared at his hands, one of which was bandaged similar to Hermione's. "I know. I'll go home tomorrow morning too. I can only imagine mother needs me around. The Manor is a very big place for only one person."
"Very good. That's all I needed to say." Dumbledore said, and then he stood up. "Oh, one more thing." He paused and looked at them both. "Congratulations. You will bear the mark of this victory always." With that statement being said, he turned and shuffled out of the hospital room.
Hermione looked over at Draco, then glanced at his hand. "What happened to your hand?"
"Same thing that happened to yours." He said, motioning to her bandaged hand. "Take a look."
Hermione frowned and slowly unwrapped the bandage from around her hand. Carefully, she held it in front of her, looking at the back of her hand. Her brow furrowed when she couldn't see anything wrong with it. "What are you talking about? It doesn't even hurt."
"Turn it around." Draco instructed.
She did as he said, and stared at her palm in amazement. Below her thumb was a scar, red and puckering slightly because it was still new. It was the exact shape of a thumb print. She looked up at Draco, and he was holding up his hand, which he had unwrapped too. He had an identical scar, but on the opposite hand to Hermione's.
"What is it from?" she asked.
"Voldemort." Draco answered simply. "We were holding his hand as he burnt to death. He got so hot that it began to burn into our skin. This is what marks our defeat over him." He smiled dryly. "I lose one brand of his, and gain another. I guess one can't outdo Voldemort without having a scar to show for it."
Hermione remained silent for a few minutes. "So, we're both going home tomorrow."
"Yeah." Draco said sadly. "It will be strange without you."
"Mmm." Hermione agreed, not trusting herself to speak with the tears that suddenly threatened to fall. Draco slowly sat up and lowered his feet over the side of his bed. Hermione watched him stand up and move over to her bed, where he lifted the sheet and snuggled in beside her.
He rested his head next to hers and kissed her gently on the temple. "I'll come visit as soon as I can. Just make sure you stay in bed. I don't want to hear that you've made yourself worse by getting up too soon."
"I promise." She whispered, looking into his deep gray eyes. "I'll miss seeing you everyday."
Draco didn't answer, but it went without saying that he felt the same. Hermione closed her eyes, and Draco played with the hair that fell about her face. She sighed and allowed herself to feel peaceful in Draco's arms, enjoying the softness of his touch. After at least a half hour, Hermione sleepily opened her eyes again, to notice that Draco had attempted to plait her hair.
"What is that?" she asked him, and he looked at it with his head cocked to the side.
"It was meant to be a plait." He pouted.
"It looks like a bird has decided to take up residency at the front of my head." Hermione told him.
"It does not look like a birds nest." Draco protested. "I've just done it differently, that's all."
"Differently, as in tangling it up." Hermione suggested.
"It's not tangled! That's how it's meant to look." He told her, and he shifted himself away so they were no longer touching.
Hermione stared at him then said "I didn't know you had that much room behind you. I would have made you move over ages ago. You bed hog."
"I don't really have that much room here." Draco explained. "It's just that my sexy butt needs plenty of space. If it gets squashed, it's in jeopardy of being reshaped, and we both know how dreadful that would be."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Heaven forbid."
"Draco." Hermione said, poking him in the stomach. "You really do have the biggest ego imaginable."
"And you love me for it." He told her, kissing her on the lips in return.
"Yes." She said, moving closer to him, and wrapping her arms about his neck. "You know, I really do."
A/N- I don't believe it. After so many months and months of ideas, writing and procrastinating I've finally finished 'The Cabin.' I was beginning to think it wasn't possible. I really hope I've ended it well enough for you all, but you have to remember, that this isn't really the end! I'm going to write a sequel, it just might take a few months before I get it up. The sequel to 'The Cabin' will be called 'The Manor.' Please keep a lookout for it, just so you know what happens to our dear Draco and Hermione. It will probably be posted in the PG-13 section, because I had so many complaints about the rating not being suitable.
I didn't kill them! You have to give me credit for not killing them. Even if that's the only thing you liked about my conclusion, take pleasure in the fact that they're not dead. I would love to hear from you all, and if you haven't reviewed 'The Cabin' before, now is the best time to do so.
I am thinking that in between 'The Cabin' and 'The Manor' I might post a shortish unrelated fanfiction, just to let some of my other ideas take form. It will also be a Hermione/Draco romance, because honestly, which pairing can beat them?
I want to thank all of my readers and reviews for staying with me for so long. I love you, and your reviews made me smile, and gave me the encouragement to continue writing. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my fic, and I apologize for all the late nights of reading my fic caused many of you! Thanks again, stay safe, love Halfling.