I was breaking apart again.

My lungs temporarily forgot to breathe. I couldn't form a competent thought. It was unlike me.

An hour ago, if you had asked that I was going to care about Draco Malfoy I probably would laugh at you, but now I was so unsure of myself. It was highly unexpected for me to end up snogging Malfoy. His lips on my skin. The thrum of my heartbeat. The knot forming in the pit of my stomach.

"Stop!" I commanded my mind out loud, "You love Ronald Weasley!"

But still, there was something there I couldn't quite explain. Something warm and safe. Safe. I hadn't felt safe since 6th year at Hogwarts. That's about the time a price started building on my head, but when he held me…

What is this? It can't be what he had called it. Love.

I sat and pressed my head into my hands. "What the hell do I do?" I asked the empty library. It didn't answer back.

"Should I go after him?" no answer.

I reached for my wand in my pocket. Only it wasn't mine. My wand was on the table next to me. I still had Draco's. My heart jumped. I stood quickly, stashing my wand into my other pocket, and practically running to the door.

I pushed it open, a smile spread across my face. "Draco, you-"

I froze. Draco was writhing in the snow. Two figures stood with wands point at him. "Draco!" I screamed ripping out my own wand, "stupefy!"

One of the figures flew back. Draco stilled "Granger, They are after you! Go!" he yelled coughing.

The second man started hurling curses at me. I blocked them. "Expelliarmus." I said.

His wand flew through the air and landed in my waiting hand. I was about to stun him when his friend yelled, "Drop it, Mud blood, or the blood traitor dies!"

He had Draco by his throat, his wand to his temple. Draco's nose was bloodied and one of his eyes were swollen shut. "Granger, get out of here." He said, "Don't worry about me."

I looked at both men I knew neither of them. One was round and blond. The one holding onto Draco was tall with hair almost black. "Avada-" he started.

"No stop!" I screamed, throwing both wands in my hand to the ground and holding up my hands.

"Grab her, Frank! Make sure you search her!" the dark one commanded though he did not release Draco.

"Release the boy." I said.

"I give the commands here, Mud blood!" he yelled, "Frank!"

Frank waddled over to me. "Don't make any sudden moves, princess." He chuckled as started running his sausage fingers down my sides.

He groped more than necessary when he got to my breasts. "They are pretty nice for filth." He said. He gave them a squeeze.

"That's enough! Hands off, Frank."

"Sorry, boss." He picked up my wand and his own out of the snow and forcefully grabbed me by the arm and dragged me along.

He had been so occupied with my chest that he missed the wand in my pocket.

"Let's go!" he commanded. Draco stood and let himself be dragged by the throat alongside me.

"Where are you-" I tried.

"Silence." The dark haired one said.

Frank tapped my arse with his hand and leaned forward to whisper in my ear, "Shut up, little pet. You will find out soon enough. I only wish I had a few minutes alone with you."

Frank suddenly tripped and fell on his face. I had managed to stay on my feet, "Frank, you fat bastard! Get up!" the boss said.

"That little prick did that!" he screamed pointing a large finger at Draco.

"Shut up!" the dark haired one hissed, "You want all the muggles to hear you?"

"Sorry, Ajax, but why are we bringing the blood traitor too?" Frank questioned.

Ajax groaned, "He's a witness."

"We could just kill him."

"And miss out on the reward? We are already bringing the mudblood from the golden trio. We might get extra for the blood traitor."

"I didn't think about that."

"Of course you didn't because you don't think."

They brought us to a truck. It was one of those trucks with a storage trailer attached to it. Ajax let Draco go to open the heavy lock then Draco was shoved roughly inside.

Frank started to do the same with me. "Gently, Frank. We were told that she was to be unharmed."

"Should we even be putting them together?"

"Where else are we going to put her?"

"Well, I could-"

"You know what? Shut up!" Ajax said slamming the door closed and leaving us in complete darkness.

Draco waited until Ajax and Frank were starting the truck before whispering, "Why didn't you go you had a chance, Granger?"

"I couldn't." I curled into a ball and started counting.

Two lefts.

A right.

10 minutes.

"Hermione, what are you doing?"


A right.

"About what?"

"How far we are going. The directions we are taking. How long it takes to get there. Building a mental map. Wondering why they didn't just disapparate us."

Another left.

"Why did you come after me?"

"You forgot something." I pulled out the wand and tossed it in his direction.

"My wand? Let's get out of here then." He grabbed my hand, but nothing happened, "it's not working."

"They probably had it warded." I said.


A dim light illuminated the cabin.

"You think the bastard would notice the 12 inch stick of wood in your pocket."

"Nope. He was distracted."

I looked at him. "Are you alright?" I asked. He looked terrible. His blonde was stained with a bit of blood turning it slightly pink. His eye was so swollen, and I am pretty sure his nose was broken. His bottom lip was busted.

"It's not as bad as it looks. They got a few good hits in. Maybe cracked a rib or two and the big one, Frank, got me in the nose. Believe it or not this only the second worse broken nose I ever got. Remember the first?" he chuckled.

"This isn't a time to be serious." I snatched his wand, "Episky."

There was sickening pop. "Bloody hell!" he said grabbing his face, "A little warning next time please."

"No time. Off with the jumper and shirt. I have to do this quickly. Who knows when they are going to stop."

He obeyed. Soon he was shirtless. His pale skin was covered in large dark purple slotches. "S'not as bad as it looks." He hissed through his teeth as I touched the worst looking one.

I got to work immediately on healing spells. "Why did they beat you up?" I asked to take his mind of things.

"Well, when I left the library after… anyway, when I left the library those two idiots stopped me. The fat one asked me if the mud blood was inside. They apparently didn't recognize me because Ajax elbowed frank and reminded him I was a muggle. Ouch! That hurt."


"Anyway then he asked about you. I figured they were up to no good, so I told him no. They didn't believe me, so they tried to go around me. I went to go hex them, but realized I had no wand. I went with the next best thing and jumped on Frank's back and tried to hit him. They took turns kicking the snot out of me, but they were going to leave me. They were anyway until Ajax remembered my face. That's when they whipped out their wands and used the cruciatus curse. That's when you came out."

"Do you recognize them? I don't? Like did you see them at you know…" I trailed off.

"The death eater meetings?" he finished.

"I am sorry." My eyes trailed down his now bare arm to the dark mark. It was faded now, but still present.

"Hermione, it's fine. Nothing about me is hidden from you anymore. I have come to terms with my past; and, no, I haven't seen them before."

"Does it hurt?" I asked looking pointedly at it.

He raised his arm so that I could have a better look. "Not really. Not anymore. It was bad when he was still around. You can touch it."

I traced the snake lightly with the tip my index finger. There were scars from were someone had scratched it to the point of bleeding. As if they tried to remove it. "Did it hurt when you got?"

"Immensely so. You know, I kind of like when you touch me like that." He said.

The air became electric. "Put your shirt back on." I said pulling away, "We can't focus on that. I have done all I can without it being painfully obvious that we had a wand."

"You are probably right. It's too cold anyway."

This was the first I was noticing the below freezing temperature. Chills suddenly ran up my spine.

"You are not wearing enough." Draco pointed out. He had is clothes back on.

"I wasn't expecting to spend much time outside."

The truck suddenly stopped. Draco put out the wand light and we moved away from each other into separate corners. There was a fumbling outside and soon the door slide open. "I was sent to check on you. We have a long way to go." Frank said.

"She's freezing." Draco said.

"What's that, little prick? The mudblood is cold? Why should I care?" He chortled.

"I would hate for your precious little cargo to show up with frost bite." Draco snapped harshly.

"What in the bleeding hell is frostbite?"

"It's where you get so cold that your flesh freezes and can shatter. She wouldn't show up to your boss in good condition."

"Oh." Frank thought about it for a second, "be right back."

He shut the door again. "Draco, I am fine. Don't get yourself in trouble."

"Shut up, Hermione." He said bluntly. I almost wanted to kick him.

Lucky for us, Frank returned a whole 20 minutes later with a small blanket, a package of peanuts, and a small thermos full of something warm. "This is only for her." He clarified, "Ajax thought it smart to get you some food too, just in case. The drink is from me, pet." He winked at me. I wanted to vomit.

He set the items inside the cabin and shut the door again. Soon we were on the road again. I heard Draco moving around. I wondered what he could possibly be doing until the scratchy blanket was suddenly wrapped around my shoulders and the food and drink placed in my hands. "Eat. Keep warm." He told me.

I felt around in the darkness until I found his hand. "We are sharing." I said, "No arguing."

The coffee was disgusting, but we shared it anyway. The nuts weren't too bad.

"You should rest, Hermione." He said after an hour, "You will need your energy."

"But-" I started.

"No, you need to rest."

"I don't sleep anymore, Draco. Other than a nap here and there, I can't. Too many nightmares."

He wrapped his arms around me under the blanket. "You remember when Potter almost killed me in that bathroom back in 6th year?" he asked.

"Yes, I think so."

"That was my moment. The moment I wished to just die."


"I didn't know the spell Potter had used. Snape told me later that Potter didn't either, but I couldn't hate Potter for it. If you had seen his face when he realized what he had just done to me you would realize why. I was bleeding out and I was getting very lightheaded. It was bliss compared to all the stress I was under because of he who must not be named's task for me. I never wanted the feeling to go for a moment. I wanted to fade into the floor and die."

"What brought you back?" I asked, "besides Snape, of course."

"My mother was part of it."

"The other parts?"

"Mainly you." He confessed.

"How? You hated me."

"Well, I guess I did but not for the reasons you think."

"Indulge me."

"I always have been attracted to you to an extent. Before I found out your blood status I followed you around a bit. Then you became friends with Potter and Weasley, so I backed off and tried to find some reason to hate you. That's when I overheard you telling Longbottom about your parents, so I clung to that. I kept telling myself the reason my stomach wobbled around you was because I was repulsed by your filth. Also, you were better than me at everything and that tends to take a toll on a Slytherin's ego." He laughed a little at the last bit.

"You know Harry and Ron told me wait you said about me back before I got petrified."

"What do you mean?"

"Remember Halloween 2nd year when Crabbe and Goyle when acting strange after the feast."

"I think so. I remember you missing the next few days of classes."

"That was Harry and Ron. I had brewed polyjuice potion and we all took it."

"It makes sense, but where were you?"

"You do not want to know. Anyway, They told me that you hoped I would die."

"You remember who I thought I was talking to right." he asked.

"I guess, but that is not an excuse." I reminded you.

"I know. I accept that and I am sorry."

"It's alright. It was a long time ago."

"Thank you." He said. He leaned over and kissed my forehead.

"Don't mention it." I told him.

"They probably didn't know it, but I actually went and visited you after you got petrified. Only when no one was around, which as like twice." He said

"You did?" this was news to me.

"I didn't sit near your bed or anything I just kind of went and checked on you. I couldn't let on that I actually cared not even to myself." He paused a moment, "Anyway, going into third year was when I really turned into a complete arse. Nice punch, by the way, I deserved it."

"Ok, so what changed?" I asked.

"Well, when I was lying on the floor of that bathroom. I noticed that the things I was thinking about in my dying moments were all about you. The color of your eyes, the curve of your lips when you smiled, the way your nose crinkles when you laugh, the face you make when you are thinking, and the smell of your hair." He took a quick sniff to prove a point, "I realized that I was never going to see any of that can if I died. I was grateful when Snape healed me."

"Then why were you still rude to me after that." I remarked.

"Hermione, I am going to be honest with you. I am an idiot."

"I only ever told my mother that I cared for you. She didn't approve, but my mother only ever cared about my happiness. That's why she wasn't as keen as Bellatrix when it came to torturing you. She even tried to stop her."

"Which is still more than you did." I commented.

"Probably the worst mistake of my life. I should write a book on how not to get a girlfriend. Lumos." He illuminated the space between us. The swelling on his eye was getting much better, "Listen, Hermione, hearing that vile werewolf talk about you was bad enough, but hearing your screams literally made me sick to my stomach. I was vomiting. I told my mother I would rather trade places with you than be there. Not a day goes by that I don't wish I had taken your place." His fingers found my on scar, "I deserved this. Not you."

He suddenly moved away and turned his back to me. I heard him chant something under his breath and then hiss in pain as his wand glowed brightly. It took me a second to realize what he was doing. "Draco, stop!" I yelled.

I tried to snatch it away, but it was too late. He turned back to me with a new scar on his right arm. His lettering was identical to mine. "Mudblood" it read.

"Bloody hell, Draco! Why the hell did you do that?" I yelled.

"Now we match." He said smiling wearily.

"That's not what I wanted. Dear god! That's not what I wanted."

"I got what I deserve. This is the smallest price I could ever pay for what I did to you. If you have to bare it, I do to." He said grabbing my face gently and pressing his lips to mine. Against my better judgement, I kissed him back.

After a moment he moved to my throat. "Are you bleeding mad?" I gasped, "I should hex you for that." He captured my mouth again.

Suddenly the truck's engine cut off. "Dammit." Draco mumbled under his breath.

We separated. I took the blanket with me. 2 minutes later, Ajax slid open the door. The daylight as blinding. "Anyone need the lou?" He asked, "No? Ok looks like we are good then." He shut the door back.

The truck started going again. "This is getting freaking ridiculous." I said.

"Hermione, You really should get some sleep." Draco remarked.

I groaned, "Fine, but don't think we are done talking about what you just did."

"I hope not." He purred finding me in the darkness.

My face grew hot. "I mean about the scar."

"I feel you blush." He teased.

"Shut up." I curled up next him. It was surprisingly comfy.

He kissed my forehead, "Goodnight, Granger. I love you."

I drifted quickly off to sleep listening to the pleasant sound of his heart beating.

*I hope you enjoyed don't forget to review*