The Shadow Lands
By Kyizi

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all related items do not belong to me. Only the Story and it's related original ideas and characters are mine. No copyright infringement intended.

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix.

Distribution: Please ask, the answer will likely be yes.

Feedback: Is a gift. It's nice to give.

E-mail: kyizifanfic hotmail. com

Yahoo! Groups: Kyizific

Notes: This is the result of a strange afternoon spent with FrippySnarf around a month or so ago, but this is me only finally deciding to post it. We decided to set challenges for each other, but we decided we'd both start with mine and then do hers. Here's the challenge…well, what I can remember of it!

A thought spell/potion goes wrong and only Hermione and Draco can hear thoughts. It is author's choice whether or not they can hear only each other's or everyone's.

Must not have: Hermione/Ron or Draco bashing

Must have: a secret crush being discovered and Hermione/Draco having a private joke

Also, despite my dislike for both first person and present tense, this happened! ;)


Part One: The Silence Between



It has always amazed me how one word from this man is all it takes to stun an entire room into stupidity. I glance around and am shocked by the looks of fear that still adorn my friends' faces. Seven years in his classroom and Snape still makes everyone feel like they are naughty five year olds.

I'm not sure when it was that I stopped fearing him, but perhaps the respect I feel for him having witnessed first hand the lengths he went to to stop Voldemort had something to do with it. I am no longer frightened by him and I wouldn't even say that I pity him, though his loneliness is something I wish were not so apparent to me, but I definitely am not scared of him.

"Miss Granger, when you have quite finished staring at me, perhaps we can begin."

He's sneering at me, but I find that I'm having difficulty stopping myself smiling. "Yes, Sir."

He glances at me through his narrowed eyes for a moment longer before turning his eagle eyes gaze around the classroom. "Today we will be studying the Umbra Scit potion. Yes, Miss Granger, you have a problem?"

Clearly my confusion was showing on my face as I did not raise my hand. I learned a few years ago that that action did little other than irritate Snape. I will admit that it was my inner five year old (or my Inner Ron as I affectionately call it) that kept me doing it so long.

"Well, Miss Granger?"

"'The shadow knows', Sir? I don't understand."

"Wonders will never cease, Miss Granger. Perhaps if you would allow me to continue before asking your questions, the answers would be given."

"Yes, sir." Part of me wants to point out that it was he who asked me why I looked confused; I did not interrupt him at all. However, the smarter part of me, the part that wishes to live to see my next birthday advises me to wisely keep my mouth shut as he continues.

"Mister Malfoy, perhaps you can explain to us why it is that the thought potion is called Umbra Scit, seeing as our all knowing Miss Granger is at a loss."

Draco is smirking at me and I really want to hit him. I haven't hit him since we were in third year but I'd be willing to do so again.

"Yes, Sir." He sounds so smug. I really hate him. "Wizards used to believe that their inner thoughts were sent to them from the Shadow Lands, so to be able to read another's thoughts was to visit that land. When taking the potion, your vision blurs and those around you are briefly surrounded by what came to be known as Shadow Walkers. They were believed to be the translators of thoughts; they were thought to be the ones that told the thoughts of others. The translation of the spell literally means 'The Shadow Knows'."

"Excellent. Twenty points to Slytherin."

Did I mention that I really hate that Draco Malfoy? I mean, really, he's an arrogant prat but what makes it worse is that he actually knows what he's talking about some of the time. Okay, so when it comes to Potions and Arithmancy, he knows what he's talking about pretty much all of the time. He just tends to be less vocal about it than I am. I have to be honest when I say that I'm glad he was on our side during the war.

I know, I know, I'm one of the few people that actually believed he was, but I honestly do believe it. Draco Malfoy may be someone I do not particularly like, but I respect him, I guess. There are few people who would be able to stand up against their own father. Especially when that father was Lucius Malfoy.

"You may begin."

I'm suddenly aware that I haven't heard a word that Snape has said, but given that Draco is raising his eyebrows expectantly, it would appear that I have been paired with him again. I gather my things and move to his desk; after all it wouldn't do for a Malfoy to have to move his things. Despite my dislike for him, I have to admit that I am glad Snape has been pairing us together. He clearly wants Draco to get good marks and I have to admit that I am seeing the benefits as well. I have no idea how Neville made it into the NEWTS class, but I am eternally grateful that Snape no longer pairs us together. Poor Harry, though. They both need potions to become Aurors so they try their best, but to be honest, now that Voldemort's dead, I don't think Harry's heart is really in it, and I do not blame him.

"Are you quite finished day dreaming, Granger? I'd like to get this potion done sometime today."

I sigh and roll my eyes at him but he really isn't bothered by it and I didn't really expect him to be. We fall quickly into what has become our potions routine. I collect the ingredients and he prepares our equipment. I begin the brewing, whilst he prepares the ingredients (it irritates me no end, but he does have a steadier hand than me – but only marginally) and soon we're simply waiting for the potion to simmer.

Having had to stir this brew for the last half an hour, my hand is beginning to cramp and my arm is weakening. I refuse to ask Draco for help, but he usually seems to know when I've had enough. Sure enough, his hand has just covered mine and I let him take the stirrer.

I actually like it this way. NEWTS classes are an amazing improvement. There is complete silence but for the gently simmering liquid and the clacking of utensils. I pick up my potions book and open the page at next weeks experiment. I read the book from cover to cover after I bought it, and another three times since, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

"You may bottle your potions and prepare for testing."

I glance at my watch, unable to believe that it is almost time for the class to end. Glancing at our potion, I can see that it is the correct colour of purple and collect the vials so that Draco can bottle it.

Whilst preparing the potion, I have to admit, the thought that I'd have to test it hadn't even entered my head. To be completely honest, I'm not entirely certain I want to let Draco Malfoy become privy to my innermost thoughts.

Refusing to think about it until we have to actually do so, I glance at Harry and Neville and wince. Their potion is a rather sickly colour of green. I am, once again, eternally grateful not to have to test that.

"Bring your potions to the front of the class."

With Neville still in the class, it soon became Snape's habit to bring everyone to the front so that he was on hand with a finite incantatem or the antidote. The class is considerably smaller and consists mostly of Ravenclaws, so it's not hard for the ten of us to crowd around Snape's table. I glance at Hannah Abbott and smile. She is the only Hufflepuff in the class and, with her countenance, I'm amazed she's still here come the end of the second term.

"Miss Granger, Mr Malfoy, if you would be so kind." I duck my head as I smile softly. The fact that he can make the word kind sound like an insult is an art form indeed.

Draco and I being the first up usually means only one thing. We are the only two that have brewed the potion correctly. Due to the fact that we are now dealing with more dangerous potions, Snape no longer makes the students try theirs unless he is convinced that they have brewed it correctly, or if the effects will not be that bad, although, Snape's idea of 'that bad' is rather worse than most peoples. I suppose if one had lived his double life they may share his opinions. Draco and I glance at each other and, as has become our custom, tap the bottom of our vials together before knocking them back in one go.

My reflexes are not perfect, but Draco is not the Slytherin Seeker for no reason. Therefore, the fact the he, too, was unable to stop himself from drinking the potion was some consolation. I'm not sure what happened exactly, but I saw Neville falling towards me almost in slow motion. Whilst I can feel my potion coursing down my throat, I felt the drops from Neville's vial splatter against me, and the putrid taste in my mouth is proof that I have swallowed some.

A throbbing pain courses through my head and I close my eyes as my hands reach out to grip something, anything. I don't think I could open my eyes, even if I wanted to. There are sounds around me, but I don't know what anyone's saying. I know there is shouting. There hare hands on me but they hurt, they hurt so badly that I want to scream. I actually think I am screaming, but I'm not sure.

Yes, you're bloody screaming, Granger. Will you quit it!

His voice shocked me into opening my eyes. Whilst I expected a blinding light, I was, instead, greeted by dark shadows flitting across my vision. I blink a few times and the room around me is as it was.

Crap, that hurts. I wonder if she plans on letting go anytime soon. I plan to be able to use my arms this weekend.


His head cocks and he looks at me in alarm, before the reminder that we drank a thought reading potion settles in our minds. I'm not actually sure if it was his thought or mine, but it's there none the less.

Well, at least we brewed it correctly.

I nod, but there's something else on my mind. Something more pressing.

Crap, you swallowed it, too?

I resist the urge to groan when I realise that that means Draco swallowed some of Neville and Harry's potion as well.

By all means, Granger, groan away. I think this merits one.

He sighs. I've never heard Malfoy sigh before. It sounds…defeated.

Don't get used to it, Granger.

Wouldn't dream of it, Malfoy.

Oh, so it's not Draco any longer, is it?

Sod off and grow up, Malfoy.

What, afraid that I'll try to kill you as well as Potter.

He seems shocked. He really can read my mind, I guess. You see, I know that Draco wasn't the one that tried to kill Harry last year. It was Pansy Parkinson using Poly Juice Potion. I discovered that before she had even taken the potion.

You knew?

Yes, Draco, I knew.

His thoughts move fast, but I find that I'm able to keep up with them all right. That's the only reason I know he's no longer talking about the Pansy incident. He means in general. Listening to the whirring of his mind, it seems that he didn't even know what he was going to do right until the last moment. Strange, I guess, how I had known for longer than he had. I guess it was just an intuition. I had thought I had more substantial evidence, but listening to him, I realise that it was perhaps just wishful thinking.

I intrigue you, do I, Granger?


He seems shocked that I'd admit it, but I really fail to see the point in denying it when he can read my mind.

Good point. He pauses, but I know he's thinking. A lot. It's actually amazing how much he thinks when his face remains so impassive. So, am I the only one that's noticed that all I can hear is the inner ramblings of your mind?

I pause for a moment to ascertain the truth of his statement, but I'm not sure why as I can already read his mind. I know he's telling the truth. I sigh and it's a little disconcerting that I am unable to hear it vocally.

I glance around the room and I suddenly realise that I'm still gripping onto Draco's arms. I make no move to let go, despite this, and, although I know he has heard my thoughts, he doesn't let me go either. The truth is, I'm scared and, hearing his thoughts, I can tell that he isn't exactly appreciative of the situation either.

The classroom is empty.


Will you please refrain from scratching me?

I am not scratching you, you big wuss.

Wuss? Draco raises his eyebrows and I have to bite back a smirk. I don't know why I'm bothering, though. He can read my mind, after all. Yes, I can. Now shut up and stop thinking. Your inferior thoughts are making my brain hurt.

I shake my head and continue to grip at his arm. Whether he'll admit it or not, I know that he has taken comfort in my presence and my holding onto him is as much an anchor for him as it is for me. I glance at him, almost daring him to refute that, but he remains silent as we continue our search of the school.

Coming to in an empty potions classroom was rather disconcerting, but that's nothing compared to the ache that's taken hold of me since. Hogwarts is not meant to be this silent. It's usually so full of life one could almost describe it as 'bursting at the seams', now, however, it is completely empty and desolate. Not to mention the fact that, despite that, I swear I'm being watched.

If we keep looking, whatever it is may get bored and leave us alone, Granger.

And what if it is our only way of getting out of the Shadow Lands?

We don't even know that's where we are, Granger.

I roll my eyes. We've both reached the same conclusion, but, for some reason, he seems reluctant to agree with his own assessment, simply because it's mine as well.

Malfoys are not that petty.

I snort. I really couldn't help it, even if I had wanted to. But I didn't. Want to that is.

You internal babble is getting increasingly irritating.

Thank you.

Draco shakes his head and I can tell that he's annoyed that he can't vocalise his annoyance. It certainly didn't take us long to realise that our thoughts were the only way we were able to communicate. It also hadn't taken him long to inform me that he would be severely annoyed if the last thing he ever heard was me screaming.

Okay, only one place left.

I nod, but I know that my apprehension at entering the Slytherin Common Room is obvious to him. Not that I would stop him from experiencing the delight he's obviously feeling at the fact. I did, after all, tease him incessantly during our tour of Gryffindor Tower.

I have to admit, I'm glad that entering the Common Room wasn't as hard as I had thought. It's just as well that all the portraits are empty or we would never have been able to pry them from their places during our search of the castle.

Won't be so easy this time, Granger.

I frown at him and realise that we've stopped in front of a wall. From his thoughts I instantly understand the problem. The Slytherin Common Room is behind a wall, not a portrait. We're screwed.

Really, Granger, what happened to your annoyingly peppy Gryfindorkness?

If you can find something to be 'peppy' about, Draco, then please, do inform me. He doesn't have an answer for that. And I am not peppy.

His smirk is back on form. I really want to hit him now.

You got away with it once, don't think you would again.

I can read his thoughts. He's serious. I didn't realise how much I had hurt him and I don't just mean physically…I really wounded his pride. To be fair, that was my intention and he did deserve it, but knowing him as I do now, I can't help but feel a little remorse. However, it really is only a little.

We're never going to get in this way. I finally say, not willing to let him comment on my inner monologue. I don't think I want to know what he'd say and from the thoughts I was beginning to get, I'm not entirely sure he knows what to say to that. Is there any way to get in without magic? Any secret passages? I know the answer even whilst he's hesitating and I smile.

I swear, Granger, if you-

I won't tell Harry or Ron. I promise.

He takes a moment, but I know he can tell the truth in my statement, just as I've been able to tell the truth (or lack thereof) in all of what he has thought. His wariness is clearly borne from having been brought up in an environment where everything he had thought to be true was either a lie or some bastardisation of reality.

I know that Draco has rebelled against a lot of what he was raised to believe, but I also know that he still holds a lot of it as the truth. Me, for example. I am, to him, still a Mudblood. I'm not at his level. Knowing this stings a little, I have to admit, although, I'm at a loss to explain why. However, there are thoughts in there that contradict this. He seems to view me with a slight wariness, but at the same time, he sees me as me. When he's not thinking of my parentage, I truly impress him and when I do the same for him, the feeling is definitely reciprocated.

Well, you do seem to have a penchant for finding Slytherins intriguing. Although, Snape?

I really wish I did not have fair skin. Blushing is evil. If it had not existed prior to him, I would have sworn if were one of Voldemort's creations.

I jerk my head in surprise. I've never heard Draco laugh. Ever. Not in a friendly way at least. I don't think anyone ever has. He should do it more often. He looks so youthful and happy and, well-

Sexy? His eyebrows raise and he smirks despite my glare. I was wrong about you, Granger, you do have some taste.

I roll my eyes and then, catching a wayward thought, I laugh. As do you, Mister Malfoy. He knows what I'm talking about, though he's doing a good job of pretending he doesn't. I frown at him. I just have to know. Is that really how you saw me, Draco?

He sighs and I know he's debating with himself as to whether or not he should answer. He finally decides that, seeing as I can read his mind, he might as well.

I doubt that there's a male that was present who didn't see you like that, Granger.

But I was only fourteen…besides, that's not what I look like. His thought had come with a visual, and I can understand why he would have thought what he did, but that wasn't me. Not really.

Yes, it was. He looks like he wants to say more, but he doesn't. Instead he clears his throat (although there is no sound to it) and turns to look down the corridor, deeper into the dungeons. We should check Slytherin now.

I nod and take hold of his arm again. I'm not sure when it was that I let go, but he doesn't protest when I take hold again. I'd ask to just hold his hand, but I already know what the reply would be. Malfoy's do not hold hands.

For some reason, though, I hear those words not spoken by my voice, or Draco's, but Lucius Malfoy's. I feel Draco's muscles tense but, again, he doesn't speak. I try to redirect my thoughts and after a moment I hear his inner voice chuckling.

You really get off on the image of Snape in a dress, don't you, Granger?

I laugh and elbow him lightly. I just use it to keep me amused sometimes. It's something I really should thank Neville for.

You know, I had no idea you found him as irritating as I do.

I sigh. I don't want to slight someone in my own House, but-

But it's so easy to do.

Do you mind? This is a private conversation. He snickers again and I shake my head. I like Neville, really I do. He's a lot braver than most people think and he proved it in fifth year and has continued to do so since. I just…

Find his incompetence insulting to Wizardkind? Wish he seemed to have half a brain cell? Wish he didn't require you to pass his exams?

That's quite enough, Draco.

Are you going to tell me I'm wrong? Because, remember, I know when you're lying, Granger.

Will you quite calling me 'Granger'? It's annoying hearing it in my own head.

I will not call you 'Hermione'.


Draco shrugs and doesn't answer the question, instead asking one of his own. How about Herm?



Draco. I'm warning you.


That's it. Despite the fact that he had warning, being able to read me like an open book, I think his Seeker reflexes would have managed to catch me in time anyway. Although, one slip of my hand definitely proved something. Draco Malfoy is extremely tickly.

I am not!

You know, indignation only works when I can't tell that you're lying.

He glares and swings into a new corridor without warning. He stops after a few moments in front of a large statue. Rather symbolically, it's a large dragon. He reaches out with his hand and runs his fingers delicately down the dragon's scales until he reaches the tip of its tail. He really does have lovely fingers. Make that lovely hands.

Why thank you, Gr- He stops himself, but doesn't call me 'Hermione'. Now, if you've finished wanting to lick me, perhaps we can go?

I thought nothing about licking!

No, but you're thinking about it now. He wags his eyebrows at me and my fist is already clenched again, but suddenly I find myself being steered into an opening that most definitely was not there before. I also swear that dragon winked at me.

He did.


The passageway is dark ahead, but as we go deeper, torches light up on the walls. The way is soon lit before us. Draco's hand is on my back steering me through the passage and up the steep stairway. There's no need really, because there is only one path, and it's not a particularly wide passage either. However, I find it comforting. Odd, really.

Just a minute.

I stop on reaching the top of the stairs and allow him to squeeze in beside me. The passageway is really narrow and I suddenly find myself a little more than flustered to have myself so intimately pressed against someone who was once considered my enemy.

It's not until the doorway is open and we've entered a rather large room that I realise something. Draco didn't comment on my reaction to him. Now I am curious.


I'm trying not to panic, but I can tell that it's not really working. Draco is beginning to get irritated because my panic is cauding him to get a little stressed out as well. We've searched all of Hogwarts, or at least as much of the ever-changing castle as we dared to, and it is most definitely empty. Empty. We're all alone. In the Shadow Lands.

Breathe, Granger, breathe.

I glare at him. Stop calling me 'Granger'! I hiss. Well, as well as one can hiss internally. It doesn't seem to have the same effect.

Draco sighs and I know I'm beginning to get on his last nerve. I have, however, little compassion for him at the moment, I'm more interested in stopping myself from hyperventilating.

Do you have a middle name, or something?

Well, that was random. Jane. I'm strangely intrigued.

Draco scrunched up his nose. Any other name?

I sigh and roll my eyes. Not really, no. I chuckle as he frowns at me, knowing which errant thought he picked up on.

Why does your Uncle James call you 'Lizzy'?

Short for Elizabeth.

And is there a reason for this, or does insanity simply run in your family.

I choose to ignore him. That was what I was going to be called. However, my Great Aunt Hermione died the day after I was born and that sealed my fate. Jane was my grandmother's name.

Elizabeth, that's definitely better.

What? I ask, a little unsure as to what he's proposing. You want to call me 'Elizabeth'?

He shrugs. Or Eliza, depending on what I feel like at the time. Noting my confusion, he directs more thoughts my way. You do not wish for me to call you 'Granger'. I will not call you 'Hermione', if only for the fact that you idiotic friends must call you that and, despite my teasing and your dislike, I can find no pleasing derivative for your archaic name.

Okay, at this I have to laugh. You're called Draco and my name is archaic?

He simply shrugs again and I chuckle. Amazing how I've grown so used to him in such a short amount of time.

I wouldn't get used to it, Elizabeth. I can tell he's finding it odd to call me that and I have to admit that it's odd hearing it. It can't last.

I know. I smile slightly. But surely it's nice for just now. We don't have to pretend here. We can be ourselves and not have to worry about what other people think or see.

He ponders on my words for a few moments, but I can sense the appeal my thoughts have for him. He longs to be free from the public opinion that has confined him his whole life, but he is afraid he will not be able to set his barriers back in place when we leave here. And we are both clinging to the thought that we will leave this place.

He doesn't vocalise his decision, by that, of course, I mean he doesn't send me a direct thought, but he does not try to hide it either. He's willing if I will not use it against him when we return. I never would and I let him know that. Directly.

He smiles at me and I can't help but smile back. I really never understood the power of a smile before, but when you see, for the first time, a genuine smile on someone who's face always held such contempt and ill will to the world in general, it is a genuinely lifting experience.

Don't get all poetic on me, Granger.

What happened to Eliza? I ask, smirking.

I'm working on it. I'm considering Betty, actually.


He laughs and I'm, again, struck by him. This place is doing weird things to me. I need to leave soon or I'll go mad.

That makes two of us.

It wasn't a direct thought and I don't think I was meant to hear it, but I did, and he knows it. I'm not sure what's happening any more. This place is so silent it's deafening. We've been here less than a day and I already feel like it's crushing my spirit. Draco may never be my friend and he may never regard me as anything more than a brainy Mudblood, but here, in this desolate place, he means more. His companionship means more.



Yes, this is a fair bit different to Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, and no I'm not sure if it will be Hermione/Snape, likely not because she's still in school in here. I'm not really sure where I'm going with this one, but I'd most definitely appreciate any and all feedback!

It seems to be heading in a very Draco/Hermione direction, but anyone who knows me, knows I have issues with that pairing, simply because I don't see Draco as having anything to do with a Mudblood. However, I may be willing to sacrifice his principles for this one. I do normally ship for Harry/Draco, after all! ;)

As I said, all feedback appreciated and I promise that, despite how long it's taking, I do plan to update Every Little Thing soon. The next bit is just turning out to be a total bugger of a chapter!