Disclaimer: I own only the plot, not the characters, though if J.K. is feeling charitable, I'd gladly take them from her. :P j/k.


"Damn boy, just can't keep your mouth shut can you!" A hand came crashing down on Blaise's face, leaving a bruise in it's wake. Shaking with rage, Blaise aimed his fist at his fathers jaw only to have it caught and held still while he took another beating to the face. "Never speak to me like that! And if you try and lay your filthy hands on me one more time I'll make sure you never wake up from your nightmares of me." With one more slam to his forehead, Blaise hit the ground and through blurry, blood shot eyes, watched his father walk down the hallway and out of sight. He could taste copper and felt thick liquid seep from his hairline down his pale face. His head was throbbing but there as nothing he could do as he fought the darkness threatening to overtake his consciousness. A moan escaped his mouth at the shear effort of keeping his eyes open. It was becoming increasingly difficult as he began to see red drip into his vision. He was becoming frantic. 'I can't die yet, school is starting soon. I'll be safe in just a few more days.' He tried to sit up but the searing pain in his chest kept him where he was. The blood loss was taking it's toll on him as he finally let the darkness take him.

Hermione sat trembling in her room. She saw how Blaise's father was and new that his tolerance for her was only temporary. He had only been her step-father for a week and she could already see the affect he was having on her mother. She was becoming more and more irritable and even occasionally threatening her or Blaise. She remembered reading an article that explained when a person was in an abusive relationship, they began to turn into their partner in order to survive. She suddenly heard a loud crash and a door slamming. She sat there for a moment. Did everyone leave? Was she finally alone and safe? If only temporarily, it was still a relief. She ran a hand through her long curly brown hair. The frizz had tamed itself into soft curls that she was thankful for. Her stomach made a noise, bringing to her attention the fact that she hadn't eaten all day, and it was already three in the afternoon. Hoping it was safe; she lifted herself from her four poster bed and went down the white spiral stairs to the front corridor. Turning left she made her way down the hallway leading to the kitchen. So far she hadn't run into anyone, and she was thankful. Then, she froze. She heard a moan come from somewhere. She couldn't pinpoint where though. She wanted to just leave it be but something was telling her to go check it out.

"Damn conscience," she whispered to herself as she walked back out the kitchen door and made her way to the living room. "WHAT THE HELL," she screamed, frozen in one spot. What she saw chilled her to the bone. The white carpet was stained red. Blaise was crumpled on the floor, his shaggy black hair matted and sticking to his head with the same red liquid seeping down his face into his mouth, like it was trying to drown him. His breathing was shallow and laboured. She could hear the blood catching in his throat as he tried to gasp at his breath. His shirt was drenched in blood and his face and wrists were severely bruised. Tears ran down Hermione's face as she sprang into action. Levitating him and bringing him up the winding staircase to lay him on his bed. Luckily, her career of choice was a medi-witch. So she know the appropriate spells to heal the bruises and even the broken wrist but the gash on his head needed to heal on it's own. The amount of blood lost was too significant for her to tamper with it. Even she had to admit she didn't know enough about what to do in this situation. So, she grabbed some cloth and hydrogen peroxide and started to work on the cut manually. Her hands soon became drenched in the blood but she had seen so much on Ron and Harry that it hardly fazed her anymore. She dabbed the peroxide on the wound until the blood was wiped away and it was clear. She then wrapped the cloth tightly around his forehead. Returning to the bathroom, she took a wash cloth and ran it under hot water. She used it to wash the rest of the blood from her new brother's face. Sighing, she looked at him. They hadn't become best of friends, but they had realized that they now had something in common, a fear for their lives. This brought on a pact between the two. Hermione was thankful she had listened to her conscience for once. If not, it was very likely he would have died.

Still shrouded in darkness, Blaise could feel the pounding return to his head like a wave. He moaned and put his hand to his head. He felt the cloth around his head and abruptly opened his eyes. For a minute, his surroundings refused to come into focus and for a brief second he wondered if he was dead. Then the room finally decided to become in focus. He was in his room.

"What the hell?" he moaned trying to sit up. He decided against it though as a rush of dizziness swept over him. Looking around once more he noticed Hermione sitting in the plush chair next to his bed, fast asleep. 'She must have brought me here,' he thought, sighing with relief. His throat felt dry forcing him to cough. This caused Hermione's eyes to flutter open. She sat straight up when she realized he had woken.

"Hey, how are you feeling?" she asked, standing over him and inspecting his head. He winced as she prodded his head.

"Painful," he answered. She smiled weakly at him.

"At least you're straightforward."

"You know it," he said. "What time is it?" She glanced at her watch.

"Um, 7:30, it's been four and a half hours." She glanced at him worriedly. "Do you need me to get you anything?" He coughed once more.

"Some water would be great," he answered. She went back downstairs to the kitchen and filled a large crystal glass with ice cold water and brought it back to him. Thankfully, her mother and step-father left for the night so she didn't have to worry about running into either of them. "Thanks," he said, downing it in one long gulp. "That really helped."

"Good. What set him off?" she asked, referring to his father. His brow furrowed in disgust at the memory.

"He said that when I finish school, I'd work for him, I told him that once I get the chance I'm breaking all possible contact with him. Then he just kinda blew up on me. He wants to control my life so badly. It pisses me off so much, I swear, one day I'm gonna kill the bastard. One day, he'll get his." Anger was evident in his voice. He had no idea why he was telling her all his. He knew though, that she was on his side. He owed her his life, and she was his sister now. All this led to him feeling a connection with her. She may be in Gryffindor, but she was his little sister now.

"What are you planning on being?" She prayed it wasn't a death eater. The simple knowledge that she knew his father was brought her comfort. After all, it would mean he would have to work with him, and he just said that he wasn't going to do that.

"I want to be an Auror, Draco and I both do. It seems like the only way we'll have a semblance of control over our lives." Hermione was gaping at him. Had she heard him right? Draco?

"You're kidding right? I mean, I can see you, but Draco is a whole different story."

"It's true, we decided the summer after fifth year. We didn't want the same fate as Luscious. Believe it or not Hermione but Draco has changed. He feels no disdain for you. He only acts that way because it's all you know of him. He doesn't think you'd believe him if he changed."

"Well he's right about that," she replied with a sigh.

"Well I think you can expect a difference from him this year. Besides, he knows better that to bother my sister." He grinned at her. "And you know what? he said still grinning.

"What?" she asked getting more and more curious as the conversation continued.

""My mom said when she can; she's going to come get me and take me far away from my dad. I've decided I'm going to take you with me," he told her with confidence. She was shocked.


"Because Mione, you're my little sister now, and it's my job to keep you safe." She smiled at him and gave him a hug.

"I'm only a few months younger," she teased.

"Younger none the less," he laughed.