Obligatory long author's note because I'm genuinely so excited to start this project. I'm not a patient person, so while I did plot out this story nearly to the end, I haven't written it all yet. So it's my hope that people are willing to follow as I write. I wanted to see a muggle AU set in present day, with cell phones, etc, so I wrote one. That being said, the story itself begins in 2017. It wouldn't have come about as well as I think it did without Christina, who is my alpha, and also a dear friend.

There is an aesthetic on my Tumblr that I'm pretty proud of. You'll find me under mrsren96 if you'd like to!

Lastly, I can't let you go into the story without some sort of warning due to triggers. Attempted rape and assault being the trigger. It's not Draco as the bad guy. Far from it in this story. And while angst is a part of this story, it will not be the entire thing.

The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of place, time or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break.

Chapter One

Draco Malfoy had the annoying tendency of being right.

He'd told her that Cormac McLaggen wasn't anyone she should involve herself with, but she'd dated the boy in secret anyway. She'd sat at their table in the cafeteria and lied to the faces of the friends she'd gone through her childhood with. They hadn't had a clue; she'd never lied to them before.

"Get off of me." Hermione yelled, swinging her right fist wildly, but she didn't land a hit. The boy above her grunted, moving the pin her wrists down. "No!" A scream tore from her throat as she wiggled beneath him, kicking at his kneecaps and attempting to knee him in the groin.

"Bitch." he hissed, taking both of her wrists in one hand. Her eyes widened as his hand raised, and she flinched the second before he hit her. It was a resounding smack in the otherwise quiet room. "Stay still."

Hermione's knee landed hard against his groin, and his grip on her loosened. She lunged to the side, ignoring what would happen if she didn't find a way out from under him and out of his house. She went through it quickly in her head, coming to the conclusion that if she could get outside, the neighbors would hear her screams.

She swiped the lamp from his bedside table, twisting up and slamming the heavy weight of the bottom into the side of his face. A second passed where she was still, waiting to see if he went down, but it was a second wasted. He didn't crumple before her and she took three strides across the room to throw the bedroom door open.

Hermione sprinted for the stairs, putting her hand on the banister. She'd taken three steps before his arm came around her throat, pressing down until she choked. "Let me go." she gasped.

"So you can run to Malfoy crying, and his dad makes sure I'm arrested? Not a chance." His words were rough in her ear, slurred from the alcohol he'd consumed.

She should have known drinking, even the small amount she'd had, with him alone was a horrible idea. Hermione squeezed her eyes shut, tears stinging as they came to her. She'd known it was a bad idea; that's why she'd seen him in secret in the first place.

"You wouldn't need to be arrested if you weren't trying to rape me." She spit the words, clawing at his arm, but he was far too strong to break free of. Hermione forced herself to look at him, to see the rabid look in his eyes, the cruel curl of his bottom lip.

"You'll enjoy it." His lips ghosted against the exposed skin of her neck, and she screamed. Facing the bottom of the stairs, she bit her lip and weighed the options.

Maybe it would give her the smallest window to make it out the front door. From where they would land, it would take perhaps six seconds to reach it, another three if she had to unlock the door.

Another five seconds if her fingers didn't stop trembling.

Hermione turned to look at him, glaring at him as if panic was sinking its claws into her and as if she weren't mere moments from throwing up. "You're going to regret this." She hissed, and put all of her weight forward, throwing herself down the stairs, leaving him no chance to let go as he went with her.

His body was heavy against hers as she slammed into the wooden stairs first.

The pain was explosive, the edge of the stairs cutting into her side, and she found it was harder to breathe. A rib was sure to be fractured, if not broken. It would have to be dealt with later, whenever she got the hell out of this house.

But she had to get out first, and she wasn't sure she would be able to.

Cormac landed on his side, his left wrist twisted painfully. She rolled onto the side that wasn't aching, using the banister to climb to her feet.

Hermione rung her hands, as if it would stop the trembling as she risked a look over her shoulder. He was still on his side, cradling the wrist that had been broken at a severe angle. "If you know what's good for you, you won't move." she hissed, grabbing her bag from beside the door.

Her steps were hasty as she moved backwards, keeping her eyes trained on him as she made her way backwards to the front door. Her eyes shot open as he rolled onto his belly, one hand beneath him as he pushed himself up. Dread coiled in her stomach.

She threw the door open, hearing glass break from the force against the wall. Hermione ran down the stairs, screaming as loudly as she could, hoping the elderly couple next door hadn't gone to sleep at eight o'clock. "Help!" she screamed, her heart clenching as she heard his footsteps behind her.

In a split second decision she imagined she'd regret if she got the chance, Hermione didn't rush for the gate. It was locked, and with Cormac right on her she'd never be able to let herself out. So she screamed like her life depended on it, throwing her bag over the metal gate before she got close, and partly to rid herself of the weight.

Between her shallow breaths, and the seconds that seemed to slow down, Hermione tried to talk herself into it. She and Draco had done this all the time as children. The two of them gaining a running start and attempting to jump fences. He'd always cleared the jump, always landed on his feet, and typically broke her fall as quickly as he could manage.

"Someone, help me!" The door of neighboring house slammed open as she grabbed the slippery, metal railing, jumping to the best of her ability.

She wasn't surprised when he caught her by the ankle.

Pain laced through her, tearing down her spine as if her back had been split open. "Get the hell off of me, you arsehole!" Hermione writhed, though she tried not to as a metal spike of the gate was slicing through her flesh. "Stupid, stupid, bastard." she screamed, kicking at his jaw and watching him stumble.

Enemy hands slipped from her ankles, her shoes already on the ground from the struggle. Her eyes drooped as she watched McLaggen set out for his front door, panic etched into his features.

"Call 999." It was the older man from the neighboring house, yelling to his wife who stood on the porch. Calloused hands gripped her carefully, as her head lolled to the side to see the older woman of the house next door rushing inside, in a robe she'd haphazardly thrown over herself. "Easy does it." His voice was gentle as he picked her up, raising her over the fence and bringing her to slump into the curve of his body.

He smelled of sandalwood, as he slipped his black coat from one side, shifting Hermione so he could remove the other side. "Arms around my neck. Need to lie you down until an ambulance in here."

She nodded, her vision blurry from the stinging tears as she latched onto the one life line she had in the moment, burying her face in the crook of his neck. "Down we go. You've got quite the grip there, little girl."

Her laugh came out as a sob as she looked up at him, and the rain falling from the darkened sky. "Who do I need to call? Your parents? Friends?"

"My phone is in my bag." She managed. "My Dad is in my contacts."

"Tell me who you want me to contact for you after him." he whispered, closing her coat around her frame as he watched his wife from the porch.

"After him, Lucius, Draco, and Harry." she paused, wincing and curling her hand into a fist. "Please, please, get ahold of Draco. If he doesn't answer, Harry will find him."

She knew in the back of her mind he wouldn't have his phone on him. He'd complained about it earlier that day, how his girlfriend was likely to hide his phone from him; it was their six month anniversary, she said, and there couldn't be any interruptions.

"Anyone else?" She wanted to thank him for keeping her busy, making her avoid the fact that she was bleeding on a sidewalk due to her own choices.

"No," Hermione shivered. "Draco would tell our friends." The older man nodded, slipping his rough hand into the coat, and holding her hand while glaring into the house he sat in front of. "I'm Hermione Granger." she offered, and saw a light go off in his eyes, and watching the slow smile curl over his lips.

"I'm Henry, Miss Granger, and you're going to be just fine." She nodded, staying close to him as she lifted one weak hand to unlock the phone with her thumb.

If you were to ask Harry Potter to describe Hermione Granger, he would have told you she was brilliant, so brilliant that she struck fear into him on occasion. He might mention how she'd been a bit of a recluse since her mother died.

No, that wasn't correct. To say someone has simply 'died' would draw the conclusion of a simple, but tragic end. Perhaps a car accident, or an illness one could not recover from. Hermione had pointed that out to their group of friends once: that her mother had not simply died. She had been killed, murdered- her voice always hardened on the filthy word, her eyes beginning to water.

He knew what went through her mind. Try as she might, she was easy to read to those who'd known them since they were in nappies, and he'd been there. As had Draco, and later Theo.

But as he received a call from her cell phone at eight o'clock at night, from a stranger no less, Harry would have told you two words.

Bloody reckless.

Theo eyed him, his fingers enclosed around his glass that sat on the island of the Potters' kitchen. The boy didn't breathe as Harry set the phone on the counter, turning on the speaker and hushing Theo with a finger pressed to his lips.

"An ambulance is on its way." The rain was loud in the speaker as it poured in the background. "Miss Granger asked me to call her father, and to call a man named Lucius, but they were unable to answer. Nor was this Draco that she's crying for." The words were not unkind.

Harry's eyes widened as he looked at Theo, the other boy's expression matching his own. In the background, though it was faint, they could hear Hermione's sobs. It was a broken strain of the name he heard her say on a daily, perhaps hourly, basis.

She'd never sounded broken, not after her mother was murdered in cold blood, or the guilt she put on her shoulders.

"I know where he is. Please tell Hermione I will bring him straight to her." Harry replied, looking at his knuckles that had grown white as he clenched his fists.

"Of course. If you could locate her father, and this Lucius, I would greatly appreciate it. I'd like to know she's being surrounded by her loved ones." His words were masked by the sound of approaching sirens.


"Shh, dear. Don't strain yourself." Henry replied, his attention diverting back to her for a moment. "She's asked you to bring her a change of clothes. Hers are likely ruined. She won't say it, but she's feeling very exposed."

Anger went through Harry as his eyes narrowed. "I will. Do you know which hospital they will take her to?"

"St. Mungos would be the closest." he replied. "Thank you, Harry." It was amidst the shouting of what he could only guess was emergency responders that the line disconnected.

Harry looked at his friend in silence, his mouth set in a flat, grim line. "I can't believe she saw that bastard!" Theo exploded, his fist slamming down on the counter, the glass above it tipping and spilling. "I know, I know, it's not her fault. I, just, Draco told her he was a right bastard."

"She's," Harry sighed. "I don't bloody know what she was doing. Hermione's Dad is out of town this weekend, but Mr. Malfoy will be at working late. Can you tell him while I go to Pansy's?"

Theo nodded, "Draco and that witch both will have a heart attack once you barge in there. I don't envy you at all." Harry slid off of the barstool, grabbing his coat and keys from the rack by the hallway.

"I don't give a damn about Pansy's feelings. Draco is going to kill Cormac McLaggen." Harry waved to his mother who leaned in the doorway, worry over her face.

"Good thing his father is a barrister then." Theo countered, setting the glass he'd tipped over in the sink. "Sorry, Mrs. Potter."

She waved him off "You call me once you learn anything about Hermione, do you understand?" Her son winced under the fierce glare she'd thrown his way.

Harry nodded, turning on his heel and walking down the hallway with Theo Nott seconds behind him.

She threw her front door open, her eyes already narrowed as if she'd anticipated an interruption. "Oh, no. Not tonight." Pansy hissed, moving the slam the door in his face. "You can talk to Draco tomorrow!"

Harry's foot shot out, as did his hand as he shoved past her. "I'll talk to you him now, you bint." The blond was relaxed on the couch, a small dog nestled in his lap and his arms thrown over the back of it. Gray eyes stared back at him, his eyes flicking to the rapid rise and fall of his chest. "Hermione is in the hospital."

"What?" Draco snapped, standing too quickly, and the dog tumbled to the floor accidentally. "What happened?" There was an urgency in his voice, the not so subtle emotions that had his girlfriend folding her arms across her chest. "Was there a car wreck? Was she driving in the rain?" His words were jumbling together while Harry shook his head. "Then fucking tell me what's happened to her!"

Pansy flinched at his voice, the way it sounded between a snarl and a growl. "She'll still be there tomorrow. You can see her tomorrow." she said quietly.

Draco glared at her, shaking his head. "Tell me, or I swear to God,"

"She lied to us, mate." Harry began. "You told her McLaggen was a bastard and you were right." He choked on his saliva, his eyes widening at the revelation as the facts slowly sunk in. "She was with him tonight. I don't know much right now. Hermione couldn't talk to me. It was a neighbor that stayed with her until help arrived."

"Why would he need to attack her? It doesn't make sense. Didn't you learn anything else?" Draco grabbed his jacket from the back of the armchair it had been thrown over. "Is she okay?"

Harry's head shook slowly. "I'm sorry. He didn't tell me her injuries, but she lost quite a bit of blood. And you and I both know McLaggen is only interested in one thing."

"She would have never said yes to him." Draco growled, shoving his arms through his sleeves. "She could have called me though. I'd have already been at the hospital."

"Hermione had that old man call you at least a dozen times and you never answered."

"What? That's not possible." His voice finally cracked as he fumbled for his phone in his jacket pockets. "I had it all night," Draco's voice came to a halt as he stared at the screen, pressing the power button, but was still met with the same black screen. "You turned my phone off, didn't you?" he hissed, storming towards the girl who took two quick steps backwards.

"You're always on your stupid phone and it's always her! Can't we have one night where you're not focused on your 'best friend'?" Draco didn't say a word as he motioned for Harry to lead the way.

"You drive? I didn't drive here tonight."

"Yeah, they're taking her to St. Mungo's." Harry replied, cheerfully shooting an obscene gesture at the girl they left in their wake.

"Draco Malfoy, if you walk out that door, we're done! Do you understand me?"

Draco looked over his shoulder, his fingers gripping the door knob tightly. "Like crystal." he hissed, letting the sound of the slamming door say everything else.