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Chapter Six: The Mask

I felt my world collapsing around me…..

And it was all MY fault….

Always….

"HERMIONE!" I heard a voice call my name as my eyes fluttered up to meet those of jet black. Snape had jerked me from my thoughts, causing me to almost jump in his grasp. I felt my heart breaking as I looked up at him.

He watched my face for a moment, and did something that completely took me by surprise. He pulled me into his arms and held me. I felt my all the pain from the past day pour out of me. I let this comfort consume me for a few moments, feeling as if this man could make it all better. But no matter of magic could change my life.

Could change my destiny….

I pulled away slowly, rubbing my eyes. "I am fine. I must only think of Harry now. I have to save him Severus. Please lets hurry."

I thanked Poppy and moved towards the door, trying to get the feeling back in my legs. Snape was behind me as we past the deceased and moved toward the dungeons. I felt tears till escaping my eyes, but I remained determined to reach the Potion's store room. Before I had time to think, I was already there and Snape opened it, stepping in and gathering a few vials of liquid. I recognized them at once as the Polyjuice Potion and made a face. I could almost taste the nasty liquid in my throat already. He closed that cabinet and opened another; contain jars of herbs and powders. He studied them for a moment as if thinking then pulled out a jar of silvery powder. I looked at it curiously, finally realizing what it was.

            "That is a very powerful sleeping draught. Do you plan on having him sleep for a month?"

            Snape smiled. "As long as it takes for you to remain in his form. Luckily it won't be long. I prefer you now as you are and not of an obnoxious twit."

            I let myself laugh at that one. It felt good to laugh. Snape returned a chuckle as he moved out of the room and we proceeded to his office. I walked in and saw many interesting jars containing different items. The walls were stacked with books as well. I would have to remind myself to explore this room more often if he would let me.

            "Hermione, bring me a cauldron and that bottle of pumpkin juice on the table."

            I nodded and grabbed the bottle and a small cauldron. I brought it over to him as he lit a fire under it. Filling the cauldron with the juice, he stirred in two spoonfuls of the powder, watching carefully that it did not boil over. He turned of the heat and pointed his wand at the potion, cooling back down. He then took a ladle and spooned the juice back into the bottle. He then handed to Hermione as he went to his fireplace. Pulling out a small bag, he threw in some blue powder and said to the flames. "Draco, I need a word. Be at my office in 15 minutes."

            I watched as a head appeared in the flame. "Yes, professor," said the icy voice of Draco Malfoy, who disappeared as quickly as he had appeared.

            Snape turned to me and smiled. "When he gets he I will invite him to a drink and it won't be long after that. Just step into the potions classroom and I will come and get you."

            I nodded and walked into the hall leading to the room. Soon I will be Draco and I will be with Harry. I opened the door the classroom to find it not as empty as Severus would have thought….

            "Who is there?" came a small voice from the other side of the room.

            "Hermione, the Head Girl. Where are you?" I waved my head and the lamps were lit in the dark room. I was shocked to see a little girl I didn't recognize in a Gryffindor uniform. She had long brown hair, slightly busy like mine, and small brown eyes. She was cowering in a corner of the room. I moved toward her, trying to place her. She looked familiar, but I knew I had not seen her around. She could not be any more than a first year. I moved up to her and smiled, kneeling down toward her. "How did you end up in here?"

            She pointed to the sky. "I…I saw that evil skull and I ran. I ended up here. I figured it would be the last place they would look."

            I smiled. "What is your name?"

            She paused and looked at me. "Ann."

            "Well Ann, I am sure your house mates will want to know where you are at. Why don't you go on up to the hospital wing and see Madam Promfrey and see if they are there?"

            She looked at me, her eyes very sullen. I could almost feel her pain and confusion from the day's events. She almost looked lost in herself.

            "Hermione, why are you in here? Why are you in this room?"

            I smiled. "I am here waiting for the potions master. He is helping me find Harry Potter. He was taken in the attack."

            She shivered. "I hope you find him. I am looking for my father. He is supposed to be here. Have you seen him?"

            This confused me. Maybe…maybe the medi-wizards were letting parents in for the children. I had not seen any yet, but it didn't mean they were not coming.

            "Well, he maybe at the hospital wing then."

            She smiled at me. "I have to go now Hermione. Thank you for making me feel better." She stood and gave me a hug. She moved her face up to my ear and whispered to me. "Just remember who you are. Don't forget who you are Hermione."

            Puzzled I looked at her and she smiled, letting go of me and running toward the door up to the hospital wing. Then I realized….

            "What is your last name Ann?" I called after her. But, she was gone….

            I sat there, wondering whom the strange little girl was when I heard the door on the other side open and Snape walked through. "It is done. Lets hurry and get you to the Portkey; he was on his way to one when I summoned him. They will be expecting him soon."

            I nodded and stood, following him into the other room. On the floor lay Draco Malfoy, whom after years of growing into a handsome figure was still as pompous and obnoxious as ever. All the girls swooned over his looks, but I could always see right through him and his lame attempts at humanity. He was superficial and always treated women like toys, just something to use until he bored with them. I had to smile at the thought that he was just bested by the woman he loathed the most.

            "I will need his death eater robes."

            Snape tossed a bag on the floor near my feet. "Already taken care of. All you need to do is take some of his hair. Don't forget his wand either. You will need that to fool the guards at the Portkey."

            I began to change into the robes as Snape left the room. As I placed them against my skin, I could almost feel the evil that was done while he wore them. It almost dripped from the very fibers. I felt cold and slimy in the robes. If this is what being Draco Malfoy was going to feel like, I knew I was going to regret this. I called out to Snape that I was ready and he walked back into the room, dressed in his robes as well, holding his death eaters mask. I shivered at the sight of it, hoping that I would not have to do anything horrible before I reached Harry.

            I pulled out some of the silvery hairs from his head and added them to the vial Snape was holding. It frothed and became a violent gray color. Remember how bad it had tasted before, I felt my stomach churn. He looked at me as I grimaced, taking the container from his hand. "Have you ever tasted this stuff Severus?"

            He smirked. "I don't believe I have ever had the pleasure of tasting essence of Malfoy. But, you may proceed in doing so."

            I grimaced again and he chuckled lightly. Putting the vial to my lips, I tipped the strong liquid down my throat, swallowing quickly. It tasted like metal, a very strong metallic taste. My stomach churned once as I felt my body beginning to lengthen. It felt as if my skin and bones were on fire. I felt something between my legs and releasing what it was, made me feel even sicker.

            I crumpled to the floor as I felt my bones growing, my hair shrinking on my head. My chest began to shrink and harden and it was getting hard to breathe. It almost felt like my very organs were changing, and they were. I was becoming a man.

            As fast as it began, it finally came to a stop. I lay on the floor panting and trying to clear my mind. I heard Snape's voice and a pair of hands grip my waist and pull me to my feet. I turned and looked at him. For once in my life I was actually eye-to-eye with my potion's professor. I shook my head and saw long silvery hair around my face. Snape turned me around a mirror on the far wall. I saw my reflection and about jumped.

            Silvery-blonde hair and a well-formed body.

            I had become Draco Malfoy. And I less then one hour to fool the death eaters, enter a Portkey, find Harry and stop Voldemort.

            I looked in my own eyes and saw the steel gray of Malfoy's.

            "How am I going to do this?"

            Snape turned me back around. "You are going to succeed Hermione. Don't worry. I will be there until the end. As I always have been."

            I took one last look at the mirror, and slid on my own death eaters mask as I turned to the waiting fireplace where Snape was holding yet another jar of sparkling powder…….

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Well, now the fun begins. I know I said it was going to be this chapter, but I really needed to cut it there for it to transition good. Please R & R! I know my reviews are gone and I thank you all for them. So, please keep this story alive once more!