JKR owns Harry Potter and friends. I'm just borrowing them for a while. If I could buy Draco, I would.
And someone really does own Lifesavers.
Part 18: The Course of True Love
"Ooh! Ooohh! I'll go!" Blaise screamed excitedly, jumping up and down with his hand in the air.
"You what?" Draco half-wheezed.
Blaise made elaborate motions with his eyebrow. "Of course I will," he said enthusiastically, still jumping. "I can't wait to find her!"
"OH!" Draco said. "Ermm, of course." Panic had evidently bitten into his brain, robbing him of his ability to think. It was fortunate that Blaise actually seemed to want to help, and if he thought it was some kind of game, who cared.
Draco needed all the help he could get.
Hermione was running for her life.
She could hear the commotion in the ballroom behind her. It didn't take a genius to figure out what had caused it – she had locked eyes with Peter Pettigrew for one horrid moment – and when his eyes had widened in recognition, she turned and ran. Someone who sounded suspiciously like Blaise Zabini was squealing like a girl in excitement. No wonder we all thought he was a girl back in First Year, she thought crossly, if irrationally, as she sprinted down the hall and skidded sideways into a room.
She found herself in a room with large, airy windows. Large maps lined the walls and were scrolled on the desk. Her eyes darted back and forth in wonder – scholar that she was, she had to appreciate these very large, elaborate versions of the Marauder's Map. Here was a map of King's Cross Station, and one of Hogsmeade - she thought could see Madam Rosmerta among one of the busy little dots on the wall. What looked like a swarm of ants was moving up and down the wall, she knew these were Holiday shoppers looking for purchases and exchanging gifts.
Suddenly, she knew.
Her brain working frantically, Hermione darted down the room, searching for what she knew had to be there. Please be here, please…
Her eyes gleamed as she saw it. It was on the desk, obviously centuries old. On the edges of the map, the ink was darker were newer sections where the Malfoys' ancestors had obviously added on to the manor.
Malfoy Manor was written in archaic script on the bottom.
Hermione exhaled in relief and slid down under the desk, map in hand. And not a moment too soon.
The door barged open.
"We need the Map," Draco said, forcing himself to think clearly.
"The Manor Map?" Patsy inquired as she sidled up to him.
"Ah, the Manor Map. No Slytherin home complete without one," Blaise said, grinning. He was clearly enjoying himself.
Draco clenched his fist. "Blaise, shut up." He stared at his friend, eyes hardening with resolve. "I need you to lead the hunt."
Patsy placed her hand on his arm. "We'll both go, Draco. You find her."
He gave her a quick hug. "Thank you, Patsy."
She smiled. "We'll be starting in the gardens."
Hermione's insides clenched with fear as she heard footsteps near the door. She forced herself to breathe deeply and evenly.
The footsteps slowed. She could hear whoever it was walking deliberately into the room. Her lip trembled, and it took all she had not to whimper in fear. Her palms dampening, she slowly reached inside her robe to draw out her wand. Her robes rustled.
Suddenly, the desk was yanked explosively from above her. She opened her mouth to scream as hands yanked her to her feet.
"Merlin," she sobbed, battling off the grasping hands. She felt faint with dismay, but only for a moment. Familiar lips covered hers, and she gasped at the taste. She felt dizzy and delirious and joyously happy all at once.
"Draco, Draco," she whispered over and over, kissing him back fervently.
"You stupid witch," he burst out, half angry, kissing her all over her face. His hands tightened on her arms. "I'm never ever letting you out of my sight again. Ever."
"How did you find me?" she said.
"I'll always find you," he said, smiling against her mouth. "Always."
She grinned. "You went here to get this Map, didn't you?"
He kissed her forehead quickly and took it from her hand. "You know me too well, sweetheart. Now, I have to get you out of here. Blaise and Pansy are leading the hunt for you but they don't know where we are. I don't want them accidentally walking in on us."
She nodded. "Where do we go?"
"Floo," he said. "Weasley's house. Yes?"
"You're taking me to Ron's?"
"Any other suggestions?"
Her hands fumbled under her robe.
"There's no time for that, Granger… oh." He laughed softly as she produced the Time Turner.
"Your mind always in the gutter, Malfoy?" She stroked one hand down his chest.
"It's always on you," he gasped, clutching her to him. He backed her into one of the doorways.
"Later," she said weakly as his tongue delved into the top of her robes. Her eyes widened. "Later."
"What do you mean?'"
Hermione twined the Time Turner around his head. "I love you."
"I love you, crazy witch. What are you doing."
"Going to the future," she breathed. "With you."
Draco grinned. "I don't –" he began, but it was too late.
Hermione turned the hourglass.