Chapter Two: Bite to Break Skin
His tsavorite eyes baring flecks of a dull copper peered out from the darkness, observing her every move. She was graceful, yet she was carefree; she was quick, yet she was gentle. He would have been lying if he were to say she was a typical blonde haired, blue-eyed beauty, no, she was a unique goddess in his eyes. Her shimmering, crimson hair touched with glints of gold cascaded softly down her shoulders just sweeping the tops, and her complexion was like none he'd ever seen before; it was fair, like whipped cream sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon. She was incomparable to anyone else in the world, but what made her so, was undoubtedly her smile. It was the most beautiful thing he'd ever laid his eyes upon. Like no other's it seemed to warm him to the very core of his soul. Her smile was indeed special, and she did so often; but just once, just once he wished that she would smile for him, at him; because of him. It was all he wanted; all he truly needed.
Never once even glancing his way, she sauntered by with her usual clique of Gryffindors. She would never notice him on her own, she would never know that he watched her when none other did; she would never know that he (with the aid of polyjuice potion) was the one who'd protected her from the band of Slytherins that had come after her one night; she would never know that he was the one who left her the enchanted azure rose petals in the most discreet of places which only she could find.
Never—Never would she know.
A large oak door materialized before the sixth-year Gryffindor. Tentatively, she reached forward and slowly twisted the door knob. Pushing forwards, she stepped through the frame and entered a large room that resembled a relatively spacious bed chamber. The walls were coloured a navy blue with cerulean trimmings along the edges. Her eyes travelled to one side where there was a large library filled with books of all sorts; many scattered along the ground before the book case. At the opposite side end, sat a large clear cabinet that seemed to be filled with various medicines, potions and rolls of gauze. In the very back was a large king-sized bed, covered with a slate-blue blanket that blended rather agreeably with the colour of the room. Laying atop the bed immersed in a book of some sort, was the very person Hermione Granger had been searching for.
"What are you reading?" she asked, not so much curious but more of a way to start the conversation. After all, it wasn't everyday that Hermione Granger sought out her arch-nemesis for a little heart-the-heart chat.
Startled by the intruder, Draco promptly dropped book he had been reading and looked up. "Nothing—it's none of your business" he said sharply, sliding the book beneath his covers. There was silence as Hermione stood beside his bed in her striped purple pyjamas, contemplating what to say next aside from, "Do you mind telling everyone that I didn't viciously attack and nearly kill you?"
"What are you doing here?" Draco asked suddenly, breaking her current train of thought.
"I—I just came to see if you were alright. That's all" she lied, shuffling her bare feet against the gleaming wooden floors.
Draco eyed her suspiciously, her head was tilted towards the ground, and she had been nervously twisting her hands together. It didn't seem likely that she would be one to care how he of all people was. Something was definitely wrong with the current picture. "You're a terrible liar, Granger" he said. "Now, tell me—and I can tell if you lie—what are you doing here?"
Staring her deep in the eyes, his hard, amethyst gaze deeply perturbed her. Unconsciously, Hermione stepped back a few inches, putting what she felt was a relatively comfortable distance between the two.
"You've decorated this place quite nicely" she blurted out rather awkwardly.
Draco stared at her, but instead of trying to unnerve her, he was merely gawking with a look of incredulity, a single pale-blond eyebrow raised.
"Uh, I really like the colours." Hermione continued, her voice bordering on shrill, and looking anywhere but at him. "They correspond very nicely. "And wow! Look at the floors they're so shiny and they—"
"GRANGER!" Hermione's head shot up from the ground with remarkable speed. "Will you just get to the point!" Draco grated irritably.
Hermione winced and bit the side of her lip. "Okay…well, honestly, I really did want to see how you were doing." Draco gave her a look which she pretended not to notice and continued, "And, well, just…you know, make sure none of the spells I used on you…backfired..." she finished, rather lamely.
"Ha," the Slytherin laughed scathingly. "You just wanted to make sure that you hadn't killed me. Don't want your pristine record tarnished now do you, Granger?"
"It's not that!" Hermione protested as he managed to throw off his covers with one hand and climb out of bed. "Where are you going!" she demanded as she followed him to his destination.
"I am going to change my bandages and unless you want to do it for me I suggest you get out," he said, never once looking her way.
Hermione stood her ground and glared stubbornly at his back as he made his way towards the medicine cabinet. "I'm not going anywhere until I know for sure that you're not going to drop dead!"
Gingerly, the Slytherin unbuttoned his white oxford and let it drop to the floor. At this, Hermione flushed the slightest bit and turned her head away, staring hard into the corner at the left side of the wall. Draco chose not to take any notice of her strange actions and proceeded to unravel the gauze around his waist. "Everyone is going to drop dead at some point, you know, Granger" he said quietly, carefully spreading a vivid orange paste across a large and colourful bruise just right of his navel.
"Well, yes, I suppose…but I won't be the cause of it. I refuse to be" she said in reply, still staring fixedly at the intriguing dark corner.
"It's inevitable," Draco countered. "Everyone is connected to someone else's death—is the cause of someone else's death somehow. No matter how big or small, you're killing someone or something right this second."
Automatically, her mouth opened to tell him he was wrong, but then she stopped. There simply weren't any words fit to contradict his argument. He was right.
"You know I'm right, Granger. Admit it," he continued as he began to wrap a new roll of material across his midsection.
"It's not proven," she said finally. "You can't prove it. No one can."
"Maybe, but maybe not. No one has ever tried now, have they?" he replied, picking his shirt up off the floor.
"You can't prove that—that someone all the way in—in—Brunei is killing me right now." Hermione argued, determined to win the impossible battle.
"If you think about it, they are technically. Just by living they're killing you because this—person is consuming energy; they very energy that you need. And air—they're breathing in your air this very second."
"That's preposterous! No one is killing me right now! And we have plenty of air!" she shrieked in frustration.
"And this person is also killing your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grand children. What if he uses up all the air and energy now and doesn't leave any for them?"
"Will you shut up! That is impossible and outrageous! We have more than enough of everything and anything to last us a million lifetimes!" Hermione cried.
"How would you know? You're not the one controlling our supplies now are you? And you can stop talking to the wall now. I've got my clothes back on" he added, snapping shut the cabinet door.
Hermione muttered under her breath with a few distinct words which Draco overheard such as 'ferret' and 'prick'. "Where are you going now! I'm not done talking to you!" she exclaimed as he headed towards the doorway.
"You're not, but I am. And I'm going to use the bloody lavatory. Care to join me still?" he offered sarcastically. The Gryffindor sputtered and gritted her teeth in frustration. "That's right, you just keep on grumbling and groaning—just make sure you're out of here by the time I come back," said Draco offhandedly, secretly taking pleasure in seeing her enraged. Then, before Hermione had a chance to reply, he had disappeared out the door.
"Bloody prat!" Hermione shouted after him, disregarding the fact that it was highly unlikely he could have heard her. Fuming, she trudged over to the bed and threw herself onto it. "OW!" Hermione quickly shot back up as she landed on a hard object beneath the covers. Feeling both curious and annoyed, she tugged back the covers and uncovered the object. Her eyes widened and she let out a tiny gasp. Why hadn't she thought of his before?
The early morning sunlight broke through the tiny crack where the tapestry from either side of the window met. Every morning it would shine in exactly the same place, upon the exact same pillow, upon the exact same cringing face of Hermione Granger. But this particular morning was different. The Gryffindor had risen from her bed earlier that morning to get a head start to her sanctuary—the library.
"Thought we'd find you here. Harry said to go check the astronomy tower first, but I knew I'd find you here."
Hermione's bushy, brown head popped up from behind her fortress of texts and scrolls, grinning up at her friend. "Morning, don't you have Quidditch practice today?" she asked, standing up to stretch her muscles.
"Soon, just though we'd come by to say 'hi'" said Harry, tip-toeing to see her. "You missed breakfast. You do know it's Saturday today, don't you? You have the whole day. What's the rush?"
"I just—" she paused, swiping at a strand of stray hair that had gotten loose. "I just wanted to get a head start on something."
"Not still working on SPEW are you?" Ron chimed in, "'cause you know that's a hopeless case, Hermione."
"…Creatures of the Night?" Harry questioned, picking up one of the books at the top of the pile. "House elves are creatures of the night?"
Ron sniggered, "I always thought Dobby looked a bit bat-like. Maybe they're vampires in secret. No wonder they've got such strong magic."
"No!—I mean—yes. I—I haven't gotten there yet. Give me my book back!" Hermione sputtered, attempting to hide the bulk of her books.
Harry frowned slightly, but complied, "You know you can't save the world right, Hermione?"
"Course she can't" Ron interjected before Hermione could reply. "That's your job."
The golden boy shrugged, averting his brilliant green eyes to the ground. "Hey…we should be getting to practice now, Ron."
"Oh, right" said Ron putting down her books, "see you at lunch then, Hermione. Promise you won't go off trying to save the world then?"
"I promise" she smiled, waving goodbye. "See you then."
The very second the two boys left the library, Hermione dove back into her books, determined to save something, if not the world
"Will you two shut up? Some of us are actually trying to get our work done here!" Hermione hissed, burying her nose deeper into her book.
Later on near mid-afternoon, Parvati and Lavender had decided to take up residence inside of Hermione's fortress of texts, blatantly ignoring her plea for some time alone. Clearly the two had not joined her table for the reason they claimed to have, but instead, Hermione had been informed that she seemed to have taken the table with the best view of this boy. Presently, the Olsen twins were peering out from a gap between the columns of books, gaping and giggling every other second. Naturally, Hermione would have moved had she not taken over 50 books off of the shelves—but seeing as she had; well she was not so keen on having the move 50 odd books to another table—without magic.
"Hermione!" Lavender whined, nudging Hermione's writing arm and causing her to drag her self-inking quill half way down her scroll of notes.
"WHAT!" she grated vehemently as she attempted to undo the mess.
"Take a look!" the strawberry-blonde haired girl whispered excitedly, now tugging at Hermione's sleeve. "You'll like it I promise you!"
"Yes! Come see, Hermione!" Parvati chimed in, her multi-coloured bangles clanging musically against one another as she motioned Hermione over.
Surrendering at long last, Hermione slammed down her quill and marched over. "What am I looking at?"
Gripping the sides of her head, Parvati forced Hermione's head downwards into the gap between the books. "That."
"What the hell am I supposed to be seeing? Ernie? Dean? MADAME PINCE?" she hissed, drawing away.
"Look harder!" Lavender demanded, forcing Hermione's head back down.
"Seamus!" they chorused on either side of her ears.
Hermione's amber eyes widened as she finally caught sight of the sandy-haired Irish boy that seemed to have captured her heart—or her interest at the very least. Silently, Hermione cursed herself for ever telling the two boy-fanatics that she had found Seamus 'somewhat intriguing', and 'the best of the worst.' But nonetheless, it was very true. It seemed that he was actually much more intelligent that he had ever led on. No one had ever noticed before, but Seamus was in fact the second (to a certain blond-haired Slytherin) smartest wizard in their year. Her heart skipped a few beats as she recalled that one particular day when he had drawn her attention.
"Professor!" she called out, raising her arm up so far up she could have sworn it had permanently stretched it out an extra few inches. "Professor!"
"Yes, Miss…Miss Ginger?" replied Professor Binns as he looked up from the book.
"Are these the same text books the other sixth years used last year?" she asked.
"Yes. Yes they are the exact same ones."
"But that's impossible! I went through the text book they used last year and this one is missing a whole chapter!" Hermione protested.
"No—no it isn't"
"She's right! Chapter thirteen; The Mudblood Massacre of 1973!" Seamus piped up, flipping through the book.
"There is no such chapter, Mr. Flannigan!"
"There is! The great massacre of 1973 where the pureblood wizards bonded together to exterminate the muggleborns, halfblood and squibs." Hermione exclaimed.
"And that's only the part that everyone found out about. All the non-purebloods knew that the purebloods had been prostituting the non-pure witches for their soldiers" added Seamus.
"And! They slaughtered all the non-pure children!"
"That is enough!" Professor Binns roared, slamming down his book. His ghostly pale cheeks were flushed a vibrant silver as he levitated a few metres off of the floor. "We are NOT going to be learning about that this year!"
"But why not? It's an important event in history! Everyone should about this!" cried Hermione.
"Yes! Especially since to this very day, the non-purebloods have not received any compensation— or an apology of any sort!" said Seamus, outraged.
"It is not my decision what I do and do not teach! If you have a problem with the curriculum then I suggest you go and talk to the department of Education—detention to you both for disrupting the class!"
At this, Hermione fell silent, her fists clenched, and her jaw lacked tight. She would find a way to bring this chapter back into the lives of modern day wizards if it was the last thing she ever did.
Glancing across the room, she found Seamus looking every bit as infuriated as she was. Turning, he caught Hermione looking his way and flashed her a strong, promising smile.
Hermione returned his smile briefly before tuning back to her corrupted text.
A blush spread like spilled ink across her cheeks as Seamus turned his head just in time to catch her gawking. She smiled faintly, shrugging her shoulder the slightest bit as the sandy-brown haired boy flashed her a grin, rolling his eyes at Parvati and Lavender.
"Did you see that, Parvati!" Lavender giggled, nudging her friend's right arm. "Did you see the connection between them? The sexual tension?"
"The WHAT!" Hermione cried indignantly. "All we did was acknowledge one another! There is absolutely nothing sexual about THAT!"
Lavender and Parvati turned and yelled, "HA!" at the exact same time.
"So you admit there was an exchange!" Lavender proclaimed triumphantly.
"That you two made a connection!" Parvati added rather loudly, wringing Hermione's arm tightly and shaking her.
"Will you get off of me and leave me ALONE!" cried Hermione, attempting to wrench both girls off of her arm.
"That's QUITE enough!" bellowed Madame Pince, striding over to Hermione's tiny fortress. "All three of you, OUT!"
"Argh! Look what you've done now!" Hermione hissed venomously. Still shaking with anger, she snatched the books she'd taken out off of the table and swept them into her book bag.
"But Hermione, wait!" Parvati cried after her.
"No!" Hermione shouted angrily, not bothering to turn around. "Just leave me the bloody hell alone!"
A loud rumbling echoed through the halls followed by the steady footsteps, and hushed curses of a Slytherin boy. Gingerly, Draco rubbed his stomach in an attempt to smother the sounds it emitted. But alas, his attempts were fruitless as it just seemed to growl louder and louder as he went on. Draco cursed himself for not eating a proper dinner, but something in the food had made him feel terribly sick. Gritting his teeth together, Draco stumbled through the corridors food of some sort. He knew there had to be some around. Those two red-headed Weasleys were forever nicking food for their little Gryffindor parties.
Somehow, through his aimless wandering, the silver-haired boy had found his way into an empty classroom. Carefully, he seated himself on a rickety desk near the window, and laid his head down, facing the open window.
His head throbbed uncomfortably; not yet painful, but nonetheless irritating, and the glaring moonlight did nothing to help.
Suddenly, he felt his limbs wrack with violent tremors, his heart, beating against his chest as if trying to force its way out. His ears began to hurt, only worsening his headache, and his eyes began to burn as if someone had poured acid into them.
Draco moaned in agony as he tumbled out of the desk, landing hard on his back. Ever so slowly, the pain subsided, leaving a faint feeling, like someone tapping relentlessly on his head. Firmly, he placed his palms flat against the ground, the floor feeling strangely colder than normal, and slowly got up to his feet. Draco blinked his eyes repeatedly before starting to rub them. His vision had become inconceivably blurred.
Stumbling across the room, Draco finally reached the door, and made his way back out in to the halls to find help.
But all was dark when he found his way into the main halls, it was almost past curfew, and very few students were around.
"Look at him! He looks like he's been beaten up pretty badly."
"Probably walked into a door, stupid Slytherin."
Draco's head jerked up in what he assumed was the general direction of the voices. "You'd be smart to take that back" he warned, clutching the corner of the walls.
"Merlin! He's heard us!"
"Probably a trick from he-who-must-not-be-named, that traitor."
"He can still hear us!"
"Of course I can!" Draco cried indignantly. "You're talking so bloody loudly! How could I not hear you!"
After hearing a thundering of feet rushing away from him, Draco started again. His nose twitched. There was a strange scent in the air. It wasn't exactly potent, but rather distinctive. It came from many directions, but one in particular. Gradually, Draco staggered his way across to it.
"H-hello?" he said tentatively, wondering if anyone was there. He was almost certain that there was something….moving before him.
"Can I help you?" came a girl's voice.
The scent was now stronger than ever—something, something about this girl drew him towards her. Just then, he felt a strange sensation cross his mouth—as if his teeth had suddenly grown an extra inch.
"I don't know, can you?" a peculiar feeling surged through his body, and as if by instinct, Draco suddenly lunged forwards, bringing the girl down beneath him.
The girl screamed, but no one was around to hear her. Then, Draco did what both his mind and stomach urged him to do.
He sunk his teeth, deep into the side of her neck.
A/N , yes, an update! Couldn't think of decent lyrics for this chapter. If you have any it'd be great if you could recommend them to me. Right, so review then. The title if anyone cares if from Senses Fail.