As we were both crawling off the desk and retrieving clothes from the floor, something that had been missing both sprung to mind.  At the exact same moment we stood up together and looked at our hands.

"The cuffs!" We both cried out amazed.

            It was true; the one silver link that had kept us bound together for this long had indeed vanished.  I looked over at the desk but saw no remains of it nor was it spilt on the floor.

"What do you think happened?" I asked tying my tie back together.

            Ironically it seemed awkward to do this without Draco's hand attached to mine.

"I have no idea, maybe it was just a simple charm?" He offered buttoning his shirt together.

            We stood in silence for a while after we were dressed, not quite sure of what we were to do.

"So do we go back to the infirmary, or back to our separate towers?" I asked biting my lower lip.

            He shrugged his shoulders and ran his hand through hair before replying,

"I'm sure that if it was magic that brought along the release, then Dumbledore knows about it."

            I paled thinking he might also know about our jaunt we displayed on the desk.

"So separate towers it is then." I replied sighing.

"We should grab our belongings from the infirmary first." He said and I nodded my head, following him out of the Transfiguration classroom.

            After sorting through our personal items we stood at the entrance of the infirmary, not quite sure of what to say next.

"Will I get to see you again?" I asked and kicked myself at how desperate it sounded.

"Of course you'll see me.  We have classes together and live in the same castle." He said teasingly.

            I gave him a glare and shoved him lightly in the stomach.  Before I could pull my arm back through he grabbed my wrist and pulled me into his brace, able to finally fully wrap his arms around me.

"We still can't bring this out into public you know." He whispered into my ear and I nodded my head in agreement.

"So then I suppose you're off the hook." I sighed sadly.

"Hook?" He asked confused.

"Yes, you know, you now don't have to worry about seeing other women or hurting my feelings since nothing is holding us together." I murmured.

            He stiffened and brought me away slightly to look clearly into my eyes while saying,

"Hermione I don't want any other women, there is always going to be something that's still holding us together." He whispered.

            I gave him a baffled look and he smiled softly and took my hand in his, guiding it up to his heart.  I smiled through my tears and nodded my head while he placed a gentle kiss on my forehead.

"We're going to be caught my Filch if we don't move anytime soon however."

            I nodded my head and shifted the book in my arm, which caught his attention.

"You three still going to work on the sword?" He asked and I grinned while nodding my head.

"Don't worry, you've gotten yourself out of that one however." I said and smiled when he gave a deliriously happy smile.

"Alright, so I'll see you around." I whispered and closed my eyes when he pulled me close to him again.

"I promise I'll figure something out." He whispered back and the motion of his throat and chest soothed me beneath my cheek.

"Merlin's beard, I feel like I've lost an arm." I whispered.

            I could hear him chuckle as the rumble shot through me,

"Really?  That's interesting since I feel like I've gained one."

            I smiled beside myself and shook my head in mock annoyance before giving him a poke in the side.

            Nodding my head I stepped up as he lowered down and kissed him goodbye on the lips.

            The trip back to the Gryffindor Tower was a somber one as I began to wonder how I would fall asleep without Draco next to me or wake up and not be in his arms.  Taking a deep breath, I muttered the password to the practically sleeping Fat Lady and entered into the familiar warmth of the Gryffindor Tower.

"Hermione?" Two deep male voices asked at once.

            I looked up and remembered to school my features as Ron and Harry came forward after rising up from the couch.

"Cuffs are gone." I practically whispered holding up my left hand as if it was a prized trophy.

            They both grinned and ushered me towards the couches they had been occupying.

"So Professor Cathleann found the key then?" Ron asked sitting backwards.

            I scrunched up my eyebrows and shook my head before saying,

"We were…walking and all of a sudden we looked down and they were gone." I said blushing under their gazes.

            They were about to say something but I stood up quickly and said,

"We'll do more research tomorrow night, but right now I want to get some sleep.  Goodnight." And I retreated up the common room steps, trying to figure out exactly how I was going to sleep.

            The next night at the library I had been going through books until I fell upon the four great talismans of the Tuatha De Danann.

"Guys this is it!" I said excitedly and pushed it forward.

"The Tuatha De Danann possessed four talismans of great power: the stone of Fail which shrieked under the true heir to the throne; the spear of Lug which made victory certain; the sword of Nuada which slays all enemies; and the ever full cauldron of Dagda from which no man ever goes away hungry."

            Ron groaned and threw himself back into his chair crying,

"Great, and those four talismans seem to have no relative use to boot."

            I arched an eyebrow at him and replied,

"Only two of the four seem to not be quite necessary, the cauldron of Dagda and the stone of Fail since we aren't worried about who's the true heir to the throne."

            Harry nodded his head in agreement and replied,

"If Voldemort truly does have the Sword of Balor, when do you think he'll be using it?"

"I have absolutely no idea." I said and groaned before leaning back into my chair.

            Rubbing my eyes I sighed thinking of how absolutely impossible this was beginning to become.


            I was sitting by the fireside trying to figure out just how exactly I would be able to continue a relationship with Hermione when my father's head popped up in the fireplace.

"Ah I see you and the Mudblood are no longer connected, it seems she has done her job." My father said almost to himself.  So someone did plan it then!

"Draco, the Dark Lord wishes you to join his ranks." My father said bluntly.

"What!  Now?" I asked alarmed.

"Yes now, apparently there is something…rather large happening tonight and he wishes for you to be there to witness it all.  You should feel privileged!" My father scolded.

            Sighing I nodded my head and he replied,

"Apparate to the manor and together we will go to see him.  Your mother is dying to see you once more." My father said placing emphasis on those two words.

            I was no fool, I understood what he was silently telling me, disobey him and my mother will take the consequences.  Without waiting for anything else to happen he left me to my peace, which soon turned to mayhem.

            I picked up the nearest glass and chucked it at the wall while screaming,


"Good to hear Mr. Malfoy." A voice said from behind me.

            I whirled around to find Dumbledore standing at the entrance with a smile on his face.

"Excuse me Professor, but what are you doing here?" I asked confused.

"I've known something rather large has been planned and I've been trying to figure a loophole in this whole mess and it appears you are it."

            I gave him a curious look, which he only answered with a larger smile.


            We were still in the library when I saw a twinkle from the corner, drawing my attention.

"What's that?" I whispered and stood up with Harry and Ron following me.

            We went towards the back of the library in the dark corner, which was only lighted by the glowing gold light. When we reached it we saw it was yet another sword with a warm yellow looking blade and solid handle.

"Look at these markings."

"Look at the steel."

"Goodness that's the Sword of Nuada."           

            We all said these at the same time and reached out to take a hold of it at the same time.  My stomach lurched forward and instantly I knew that this was not a good sign as this was a designed portkey.

            We landed in a bundle in a very dark and dank area that seemed to have misty air.

"It seems as if the guest or now rather guests of honors have arrived." A voice hissed chilling Ron and I to our bones while Harry clenched his teeth in anger.

"It seems as if the Muggle saying readily applies here.  I believe it goes something along the lines of Curiosity killed the cat."

            Angry I held the sword up and replied,

"Haven't you ever heard the ending to that?  No?  Well it goes something along the lines of Satisfaction got it back."

"And what satisfaction can there be?" He asked clearly amused as he held the sword of Balor.

"Killing you." I hissed as Harry pulled me back behind him.

"Well we were only expecting on killing Potter tonight but to get rid of the rest of the meddlesome trio will prove to be a delight." He hissed.

            I finally took the chance to look around the room and I could see a circle of deatheaters formed in front of Voldemort.

            The three of us all reached for our wands but we saw them safely tucked into Voldemort's hands.  Cursing underneath my breath I realized it was during the scuffle to get up that they had been taken from us.

            When the arrival of two new deatheaters came Voldemort looked away slightly and I used this chance to yell,


            I yelled it with such emotion and hurriedness that the sword flew from Voldemort's grasp and into mine.

"Foolish girl, what do you suppose you'll do with that surrounded in a cave of deatheaters?" Voldemort sighed tiredly.

"Destroy it." I whispered and was about to pick up Nuada's sword when there was a scuffle and I heard a shout of pain.  I looked over and saw Ron with a large stab wound running across his chest.

"YOU BASTARD!" I yelled to the deatheater who held the sword.

            I was about to charge when Harry held me back and shook his head while Voldemort muttered something under his breath and I found myself incapable of moving.

"Form the circle once more and we will begin." 

            The deatheater in front of us reluctantly moved back to his spot as Voldemort turned to the circle and called out,

"Draco, as a rite of passage I ask of you to bring me the sword, using any means necessary."

            I stopped breathing at that moment as did Harry and Ron while our eyes bulged out.  Watching with a shaky stance, I saw a cloaked man move forward and slowly the head was revealed.  I sucked in a breath when I found myself looking into the eyes of Draco Malfoy, the boy I thought I loved.

"What…how…why?" I whispered with tears running down my eyes.

            He didn't offer a word but instead quickly took the sword from my surprised grasp and darted past Harry's swinging arms towards Voldemort.

            I watched with stunned eyes as Voldemort began to chant something and soon all the deatheaters heads were thrown back as well as Voldemort's and something fell over the whole lot of them.

            Realization of what was about to happen came sinking in as I realized that the sword began to glow.

"That's a connection spell Harry!  Voldemort is going to use all their energy to summon Balor back or at least the sword's power!"

            We both began to try and desperately move while Voldemort bellowed out,

"Bring me the sword and take your place and soon we will purge the wizarding as well as Muggle world of unworthiness." Voldemort called out.


            During all of their chanting a certain song wrapped around all of us as it went like this;

We come form the land of the ice and snow
from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow

Hammer of the Gods
Will drive our ships to new lands
To fight the horde, and sing and cry:
"Valhalla I am coming"

On we sweep with , threshing oar
Our only goal will be the western shore.

An' we come from the land of the ice and snow.
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow

How soft your fields so green
Can whisper tales of gore,
of how we calmed the tides of war,
We are your overlords.

On we sweep with threshing oar
Our only goal will be the western shore.

So now you better stop
And rebuild all your ruins.
For peace and trust can win the day
Despite of all your losing.

Ooh~ooh. Ooh~ooh, Ooh~ooh
Ooh~ooh, Ooh~ooh, Ooh~ooh
Ah hah hah hah hah hah hah

Ooh~ooh Ooh ~ooh, Ooh~ooh
Ooh~ooh Ooh~ooh Ooh~ooh
Ooh~ooh Ooh~ooh Ooh~ooh

            When I heard a bellow followed by cries of pain I looked up to see Draco holding the sword of Voldemort, ready to plunge it into him.

"YOU TRAITOR!" Voldemort yelled as Draco plunged the sword through his middle.

            Breathing deeply I looked around to see every single deatheater that had been connected to him for the summoning spell was following to his or her knees.  What I saw next was something that was completely jaw dropping.  Professor Cathleann stepping out from behind Voldemort, glowing a bright red.

"WHAT?" All four of us bellowed.       

            A passage I had read from a book a few days ago passed through my mind.  It was the Tuatha De Danann family tree and next to Balor, in-between the name of their son, stood the name Cathleann.

            When the stone stopped glowing I looked up at the 'Professor' as all the energy from the room was being sucked into the sword that was buried in Voldemort.

"You…the name…his wife." I whispered looking ashen.

"That's right." She hissed in a voice I hadn't heard before.

"But…the handcuffs, the sword, your father." Ron said obviously not putting the two together.

"I needed her and Lucius' son to be chained together in the beginning, thinking that they would be such great enemies I would keep her at bay…obviously that didn't work." She said with a knowing glance that had Ron and Harry turning towards me to give me incredulous looks.

            I looked over at Draco who was struggling to keep his hold on the vibrating sword while the deatheaters around us screamed and Voldemort himself tried fighting weakly against him.

"Did you honestly think a real Muggle Teacher would keep a sword with this type of power out in the open?  I needed to lure you in, and the only way to do that was to get your interest peaked." She said shrugging carelessly as Draco and began to shake with the pain of the sword.

"Why the blazes did you need us?" Harry yelled frustrated with everything.

"Because it would bring you down here Potter, and without you up in the open with sun, you couldn't counteract it."

"How could he counteract it?" I asked biting my nails into the ball with repressed anger.

"Think of the scar." She whispered and grinned evilly.

            I looked up at him and my eyes widened when I put the lightning bolt scar together with Lugh.

"Lugh's Spear was compared to with lightning." I breathed looking astonished at Harry.

"So?" Ron asked and winced in pain as this caused a short breath.

"So!?  With these ninny's bringing back the spirit of Balor in the sword, thus would bring back the legend including Lugh and his spear.  As they use the symbolism of a sword and Voldemort for Balor's eye along with the evil, somehow Harry's scar would be used for a substitute of Lugh and his spear." I explained.

"However we weren't expecting Draco to turn on us either." Cathleann said and sighed.

            I looked over to Draco to see he and Voldemort struggling immensely with the sword, each fighting it.

"The good news however is that since I am a descendant of Balor, I have his blood running through my body." She said as Voldemort yelled with pain and fell to the floor, along with the deatheaters.

            I looked up confused at the Professor and suddenly realization plunged me like ice cubes.

"Balor's blood." I whispered with horror as Draco continued to hold on steady to the sword, clenching his teeth together.

"Ah, so I believe you have heard of the legend then?" She asked grinning happily, even with these unlikely circumstances.

"Scholars aren't sure the origins of the blood but I'm willing to bet it's through the genes.  It's a slow blood poisoning toxin…"

            Before anything else could happen she took a tiny dagger from her pocket and plunged it inside of herself.  We were confused as to what she was doing but gasped when she turned around just as quickly pulled it back out and plunged into Draco's chest.

"NO!" I screamed and bent to pick up the Nuada Sword that had been dropped to the floor at my feet.

            I charged forward and with one quick thrust, plunged it into her middle, killing her.  But before she dropped to the floor she looked up and whispered,

"He'll die and this will start once more."

            With that she dropped with a cold thud to the floor Draco was already on.

"Draco." I whispered and dropped to me knees as he began to twist and turn beneath me.

            I heard someone yell behind me and when I looked over my shoulder my eyes widened seeing Voldemort ready to kill me with the sword I had plunged into Cathleann's middle.

"HE MUST DIE AS MUST YOU!" He bellowed.

            His eyes widened then and he dropped to the floor next to me.  Looking up I saw Harry holding a glowing spear and looking at it with amazement.

"One minute I was standing behind him ready to hex him and then my wand transformed into this." He said.

            I looked up to see his scar glowing as well and I whispered,


            I turned back to Draco to see his eyes closing and shutting slowly while he gasped for breath.

"Don't die." I whispered and I saw tears fall onto his face from my own eyes.

            A sentence chanted into my head of a previous reading of the history of Balor's blood.

"The heart's blood of one who loves the victim truly is the only ascribed cure."

            Apparently Ron and Harry heard this as well and Ron cried out,

"Well who truly loves the bloody git?"

            Breathing in a deep breath I picked up the dagger lying nearby Voldemort and whispered,

"I do." Before I shoved it roughly into where my hear lie.

            Screaming in pain as Ron and Harry tried to stop me I leaned over Draco and collapsed onto him, letting my heart's blood soak into his own wound before seeing black for the last time.


            I watched with a horror stricken face Hermione plunge the dagger into her heart and felt the warm and sticky substance flow into my body as she collapsed on top of me, kicking the poison out of my body, as I spat it out of my mouth.

"Hermione." Ron and Harry whispered together sinking to their knees.

            I pulled her up roughly and we all watched her head loll backwards and there was a large CRACK causing us all to duck and throw ourselves onto Hermione.

            We finally looked up sometime later to realize that it had been the sword falling from Voldemort's body as the glowing aurora that had been hovering over he and his deatheaters vanished.

"HARRY!" A voice yelled and we all recognized it as Dumbledore.

            He instantly came into the cave followed by many other wizards and Ministry Officials.  They all stopped at the sight and took in everything with wide eyes before I cut in and said in an almost bored voice,

"Voldemort is this way."

            They all scrambled up and I watched two people cast a binding spell over him before touching his shoulder and disappearing.  Looking around I watched the deatheaters being placed underneath the same charm and finally Dumbledore made his way up to us.

"Miss Cathleann I presume?" He asked knowingly.

            Harry and Ron nodded their heads dazed as the three of us continued to stare at the limp body of Hermione.

"Was Miss Granger struck unconscious?" He asked.

            We all shook our heads slowly and turned her over to see the dagger still protruding from her chest.  I was surprised to see his eyes widen at the sight as he took a look at all the swords lying around.

"Can she be revived?" I asked with a choked voice as Harry and Ron brushed hair away from her face.

            The look of complete sadness and helplessness crossed into his eyes and I bowed my head in defeat.

            During the funeral I watched with indifferent eyes as the coffin was lowered into the ground while not that many people stood around the burial site.  With the circumstances it was quite odd to here the ministry was ordering a proper funeral for her.  All the events of that tragic day ran into my head and I felt my heart clench slightly.

            Words were said but I wasn't fully paying attention while Harry and Ron stood across the way from me, watching with the same indifferent eyes.  I watched as the coffin was lowered into the ground and the first sprinkle of dirt was tossed onto the burgundy wood.

"Unbelievable." I murmured.

            Harry and Ron walked towards me as a soft hand was laid on my shoulder.

"I know, I can't believe the ministry actually wants a proper funeral for her." Hermione said shaking her head.

            Hermione had been given a magical blood transfusion after we brought her in and after an emotional night, she was revived.  The first thing out of her mouth was something that had us gaping but laughing heartily,

"Bloody hell that hurt."

The next thing that was meant for my ears only as Harry and Ron did jigs of laughter was,

"So I guess this means I love you then."

            I smiled and brushed her hair back tenderly before replying,

"Drag isn't it?  I think I can understand the feeling since I love you too."

            She grinned and weakly touched my cheek before Ron and Harry enveloped her in hugs.

I grinned and walked back with her, hand-in-hand as Ron and Harry walked behind us with Dumbledore.  The only reason the four of us had come was out of persuaded pleading on Dumbledore's part.

"It's nice not having to hide our relationship." She said smiling and leaning her head onto my shoulder.

"You mean since my father's dead or in prison?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.

            Her eyes widened and I could see pure guilt flash through them.

"I didn't mean…" She began but I cut her off with a smirk and replied,

"Me too."

            We held eye contact and walked back into the Hogwarts Castle, amid the staring eyes.

"What do you want to do now?" She asked innocently enough making me smirk once more.

"I think we can find something…productive to do." I waggled my eyebrows at her making her blush slightly but she replied in a strong voice,

"And what do you suggest Mr. Malfoy?"
            I stopped her and pulled her into my embrace before kissing her on the nose and whispering,

"I bought some handcuffs."